By Jocelyn Ramirez
Over the past year, friends, family, and strangers have expressed their excitement for the pursuit of my passion to increase access to healthier meals in food deserts with Todo Verde. I have received infinite cheers and positivity about leaving my stable “nine-to-five” job to start this venture — one that helped pay the bills every month, offered benefits, and free education. A job that was not terrible, that I didn’t hate.
I heard this from people who knew nothing about my finances, or had any idea how I would survive.
This got me thinking: we praise people for being “courageous” enough to leave stable lives that most people dream of — all in the search of our passion. Not too long after these feelings surfaced, I read a blog post about how quitting your job to find your passion is complete “bullshit.”
This particular quote really resonated with me:
“I am no more brave than the migrant worker picking your strawberries to send remittances to family in their home country. I am no more courageous than the recently-graduated millennial who works in a cubicle 9 hours a day to pay off massive student loans. I am no more of a boss than the working class mother with three jobs who feeds her children.”
Leaving it all behind in pursuit of something more exciting and more “you,” and discounting all the hard work others do on the daily at organizations and companies is not the message I would like to send. We all have such an important role to play in the individual work we do, and everyone’s role matters. Folks hustling in different ways to make ends meet should be praised just as equally as entrepreneurs.
The struggle is real for most of us out here trying to make a living. I often feel very far from success and have so much more work to do. I’m constantly hustling to get into another event, figure out how to further expand the business, pay all the bills, and meet people who believe in the work we are creating with this platform. Being an entrepreneur is not always what it’s hyped up to be.
If people knew my whole story they would see all the privilege it took along my journey to make it to this moment. Before deciding to leave my job, I had many opportunities to sit down and think about what I wanted to do with my time. I wrote a business plan, checked in with friends and family to get their feedback on the concept, tested recipes, did tons of research, and saved enough to survive for a year. I also have a side job as a yoga instructor that helps pay the bills, and keeps me balanced.
I’m neither trying to discourage others from pursuing their passion, nor leaving a current job to make it happen. I’m just saying that it takes a lot of thought and a clear goal to set yourself up for success on the journey of both self-employment and/or employment.
We are living in an era filled with possibility. There is buzz in the air from all the fierce women finding what they’re best at, and owning it — whether it’s through individual platforms or established organizations/companies. It’s definitely an exciting time, and we all want to be a part of this movement of realizing dreams in different capacities. We can do this by continuing to share our story — owning our boss moments and our failures too.
What do you think?