Many women start their own business for one reason. Freedom.

In this podcast, I’m talking to business coach and life coach, Kelsey Murphy who knows everything about transitioning from a 9 to 5 job to starting a side business.

Kelsey also worked very closely with Marie Forleo for years. She helped her in B-School and coached many of Marie’s students… even sitting in on private Masterminds, so Kelsey has been surrounded by the best and knows her stuff.

Listen to hear Kelsey talk about testing out what you like and what you could do while you’re working full-time so you go into being your boss with more clarity and better planning.

In this episode, Kelsey will teach you how to start small while you’re in a 9 to 5 and how to surround yourself with others in business.

Some resources mentioned in this episode:

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For more on the episode, click here to download it and listen!

starting a side business

Starting a Side Business While Employed

I have the background of being the advertising director for Nintendo and Elizabeth Arden and GoPro.

But I have the current role of running my own small business and helping other people through that transition of the nine to five.

We’re jumping into the business world when they are ready to start it and that can range from freelancing, consulting, coaching and even starting an app.

Christina Nicholson on YouTube

It’s the thing to do for women because I think we’re looking for that freedom and we’re looking for something that taps into our strengths and the way that we want to show up in this really a confident world.

It taps into the schedule that we want to have – that flexibility and allowing us to live those dual lives.

Yes, Women Can Have It All

I had always had this dream of being this very independent career woman who got to fly first class and drink champagne and felt, really, like a bad ass. Then I also had this dream of being a 1950s housewife, to be honest. I was really ashamed of that, but I wanted to iron my husband’s clothes. I wanted to stay at home. I wanted to be there for my kid’s field trips, every single one of them.

When I was in the corporate world, those two dreams could not live together. People were telling me that that’s just not possible.

Sure you can have those, but you can’t have them at the same time. It was just like every time someone told me that a little part of me died inside and I was so sad about it until I started seeing it out in the world and started seeing these other women live these lives where they had so much control of their schedule.

They were running million dollar businesses and they were still coming home and ironing their husband’s clothes and going on all the field trips.

Starting with a Business Idea

That can be done, so I built that from scratch. It took a lot of time and a lot of man-hours to figure out exactly what I wanted. Then, I started to realize that there were so many other people out there that wanted to do that, that had that same dream.

I just started to work with them. I started to help them, work with them, and consult with them while I was back doing my advertising gig. This was something I could help other people do and build really quickly so that they could start testing it out and learning what they were really good at. I just started doing that and it’s been amazing ever since.

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Leaving Your 9 to 5

I don’t think any of us take corporate jobs and think, “I don’t want this job. I’m just going to take it.” Usually, we take them and we’re excited.

I did the same thing when I started – especially working in advertising. I signed on with one of the best agencies in the entire world and got to do so many incredible things, but after a few years of working there, I knew deep down in my gut this was not home for me.

It’s just a job, so I kinda just kept powering through and I was really appreciative of all the people there, the work and the clients, but I started to notice a couple things that really tipped me off that this was not the place for me.

I remember one late night, we were working on some newspaper spread, a newspaper spread that was going to go out and we were talking about the color of the red that we were going to use for some of the sponsors and we couldn’t figure out the exact color of red that we were supposed to use for this client. But it was pretty darn close. It was probably one in the morning. We’d been working on this ad the whole night. Finally, we were like, you know what, we think this is right. Let’s hit send. It goes to the print producer for approval and she jumps up out of her bed in her home in San Francisco, hops in a cab comes straight down to the office and just rips us a new one like, “How could you ever send this color of red out?!” She just let us have it. I remember everyone when she told us the actual color of red we were supposed to use, which of course looked identical to the other color of red. Everybody around me was like, “You’re totally right. You’re totally right. How could we do this?’ And I remember that moment being like, “What?!”

I realized I do not feel emotionally attached at all to this job. Then a couple of weeks later, we were out doing this big commercial shoot in LA and I was sitting around the table with the whole production team. It was the art director, the copywriter, and our producer. We were talking about this director that we wanted to come on board for the next project and he was this very up and coming director.

They were so excited and they were all talking about how they were going to go home that night and they were going to research more things about him and how we could kind of woo him and bring him over to the project. I remember watching these people talk about this director with such passion and love and me thinking like – there’s no way I’m going home tonight and researching a director. I’m going to go home tonight and watch Netflix and chill.

Enough moments like that happened for me where I thought – it’s not the job, it’s just me. This isn’t what I love. It isn’t what lights me up.

Finding a Side Business to Start

I would go home and I would research random things like emotional intelligence and life coaching and these different types of things that really intrigued me that I wanted to learn more about… or blogging or things like that that I was too shy to explore and to raise my hand and say, “I’m really intrigued by this.”

I don’t always believe in the huge dramatic jumps. I don’t think that you have to do a big, huge, dramatic quit. I actually think that that’s not what we want to do because most of the time we’re working with incredible employers and incredible companies.

We’ve just been in a job we don’t like for so long. We’ve found ways to kind of point our fingers at everything around us that is creating this unhappiness. When the reality is, it’s our job to step up to the plate and once we start doing that, we’ll stop pointing our fingers at our boss and our company.

They want different things. They’re fulfilled by different things. And it’s our job to put ourselves in a new environment and situation. So for me, it was small moments of bravery, small moments of exploring my passions and following my curiosities and listening to that gut inside me that said, “Hey, this is something that you’re interested in” and retraining my brain and my body not to push that to the side.

Trial and Error in Finding a Side Business  to Start

I went to an orientation for massage therapy and I took a little massage therapy course, which my husband is very appreciative of now. I read a book on it and I and I sat down and I had coffee with massage therapists and I realized all these things about myself. Plus, it made for really great stories and these cool little hobbies that I now have.

I realized what I love about that – this idea of truly connecting with people and helping them heal and helping them to move forward. It was exploring those things that start to lead you down paths of what you actually really want to do.

I went through a process of dabbling in different conferences. I worked with different life coaches. I worked with different therapists. I thought I wanted to be a marriage and family therapist at one point and it was so important for me to have that experience and to go talk with people about being a marriage and family therapist and all those things that I did clarify for me.

Once I decided this is not the job for me anymore, I definitely go on exploring and I had a checklist and a whole plan of things that I wanted to kind of cross off or prioritize, and once I was able to cross off a bunch of things and confirm I was doing all of these things for the right, genuine reason and they were really aligned with not only who I wanted to show up as in the next few years, but the life that I wanted to create, the lifestyle I really knew I would thrive in.

It happened in six months. I’m depending on where that kind of pivot and that turning point is that we would agree on. I really determined that life coaching was my thing randomly in London at a free life coaching seminar for two days. I instantly felt at home. The second I started talking to the people around me, I was like, “Oh my gosh, you guys are my people.”

The only way I would have got that ‘aha moment’ was by exploring all these different routes, by raising my hand and saying, “Okay, I’ll start working with a coach and seeing what that looks like. Okay, I’m going to go ahead and commit to this one conference and see what that looks like.”

Those are where the ‘aha moments’ and that confirmation comes. I think that a lot of people are looking for.

Starting a Side Business

If I had the luxury to do that without bringing income, man, that would’ve been fun. That would be the best. But it’s never like that. Never. It’s never like that.

Even when you start your business, you still have to reevaluate what that first year is gonna look like in business, especially when you’re transitioning from a very good job.

You have a very high income that you’re used to bringing to the table. That’s your normal and so the idea of transitioning from this place where you have spent a decade garnering this credibility in a certain industry and you’ve gotten your paycheck up to a certain level and the idea of jumping from that into something completely on your own is… terrifying.

From a budgetary perspective, you have to really understand what that’s gonna look like in year one. Yes, you can bust it really hard in year one and hit it hard and bring in a lot of money and probably get that same number, but the reality for me was, I knew part of my goal was not to hit it so hard. It was to create a lifestyle that gave me a little bit more of a breather because I was hitting it hard in advertising.

In the podcast episode, Kelsey goes on to talk about how she transitioned from corporate job to business owner, working with Marie Forleo, and how you can follow in her footsteps.

Be sure to listen to the podcast episode for more.