Name: Jesi Carroll
Location: Austin, Texas
Occupation: Business Owner, Interior Designer and Life Coach
From the outside looking in, you had the perfect job with a six figure salary, but inside it wasn't that same picture. Tell us about your corporate job, and what you were experiencing.
Isn't it funny how we can look at someone and based on their job or status think we know the whole story? We assume they MUST be happy because they've "made it" and that's all there is to it. I had been in the corporate world for over 5 years as a Technical Recruiter and never really felt at home in that position after my first year if I'm being honest. I knew it wasn't for me but kept going with it because somewhere down the line I convinced myself that I should just be happy that I'm making a living for myself. I never thought anyone liked their job so I assumed this was part of being an adult. This led to me living the hamster wheel of the Monday-Friday grind, living for the weekends, hating Sunday nights and Mondays in general, and constantly wishing I could come into some giant inheritance so I could start over and finally be happy. Outwardly I thought it was a pipe dream to do things different, but internally I knew this lifestyle didn't suit me and that there HAD to be another way.
What made you decide to take the leap to leave corporate America?
I had been experiencing such a mix of emotions. I was unbelievably grateful to be where I was and to be making what I was making (because I had reached a level I thought was the top), but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was supposed to be doing something more and less defined. It was a terrifying feeling because up until that point I had only moved in the specific direction I thought others wanted me to go. Therefore, I suppressed that little voice for a long time until my body started to physically react (with rashes and panic attacks) and I could no longer ignore it. I knew that the pain of where I was at was becoming WORSE than the act of finally doing something about it and so that's when I decided to leap and leave the corporate world.
How did the people around you react when you told them you were leaving your corporate job to pursue your own business? And how did you react to their reactions?
For the most part, the people around me would say they thought it was awesome, but I could tell some didn't believe I could do it. They kind of laughed it off and would say they "didn't get it" when I would explain my ideas. I also had a lot of people who simply stopped supporting me. They just stopped reaching out, or asking about my business, or liking/commenting on my content. They talked about me behind my back and made fun of me on social media. I've had a best friend of nearly 10 years just leave my life and another try to sue me over a logo she had gifted me for my birthday (luckily she didn't have much of a case so nothing came of it) but it was all so shocking. All I had been trying to do was improve my life and be more authentic and yet it was met with a lot of hate. What helped me through the most was the thought that my dreaming big must have acted as a mirror reflecting back at them all the things they weren't going for in their own lives. So instead of matching any of their actions I decided to dive deep into forgiveness work. This letting go allowed a brand new circle of incredible friends to show up for me quickly.
You have said one of the things you had to do when you decided to start your business, you had to create a deeper relationship with yourself. How did you come to that decision? And what have you done to create that?
This is the BIGGEST thing that has changed my life and allowed me to grow. I also don't think it's something I decided but instead was shown. What I mean by that is when you start to go down a more authentic path, your eyes become open in new ways that you've never experienced before. A new way of being starts forming for you because without realizing it, you've subconsciously said that the old ways of being aren't serving you anymore. Part of this showed itself to me through initially hitting a lot of resistance. I would feel so stressed and overwhelmed and couldn't seem to make a decision on anything. I felt frozen and so free at the same time that I couldn't move. The only thing I could do was get still and start asking questions. I found that the more defined and decisive my questions were, the clearer the answers came. The more often I did this, the easier I understood what next step to take. From there, I stopped feeling alone and started to understand the concept of co-creating. This helped me feel safer and less in fear mode. It's a little tough to explain on paper but I highly encourage everyone to start a stillness (or some form of spiritual) practice. Staying consistent with this has helped me know myself much more and be kinder to myself along the way, making the entrepreneurial journey less of a hardship and more of an adventure.
Starting your own business can be super scary, even more so when it is "not what you went to school for". Tell us about your business. What have you learned from jumping into a space that is more aligned with your passion than your education.
I love this question so much because it goes against everything we've all been taught. We've been brainwashed to think that not having an education in something makes you unqualified. But the thing is, when you have such a deep passion for something that you want to turn it into a business, you actually have a TON of natural ability in that area (typically things that cannot be taught). For me personally, I run an Interior Design and Life Coaching business and stared it after receiving certifications in both. On paper it doesn't look like anyone should hire me, but if you were to talk to me about my experience you would know that I've been interior designing (for myself and others) since I was 7 years old, giving me 22 years of real world experience. I've also had to grow up extremely fast as a child, going to counseling for many years and learning techniques to cope, grow, and transform myself which I have put into practice frequently so that I could be who you see today. Again, over 22 years of real world experience. I believe passion comes from overcoming and wanting to teach others the tools you've learned and mastered.
What's the biggest lesson that you have learned during this experience?
The biggest lesson I've learned in this experience is that leaps are not as scary as they seem. The reward and feeling of relief happens much quicker than you might expect. It's almost as if the moment you say YES to yourself the opportunities and next steps start to show themselves to you. I wish someone would have told me that in all those moments I felt frozen in fear and stuck in the second guessing.
What advice would you give to a woman who is considering leaving corporate America to do her own thing? What are the two things you wish you would have known?
I would recommend to start creating a plan for yourself. A leap can be as sudden or as elongated as you want. It doesn't have to be so black and white, filled with all the pressure that is often associated with making such a drastic life change. Create a goal/timeline for yourself and then start doing steps on the side to get there. If you aren't sure what those steps are or "should be" then get a coach. There's no shame in seeking help because a life change doesn't mean it has to be done alone. I also recommend making sure you start journaling if you don't already. This is my secret weapon to gaining clarity with all the thoughts and overthinking that can happen. Once you have clarity you will be unstoppable.
Anything else you want to share with us?
For anyone who is considering becoming an entrepreneur, be prepared for expedited personal growth. The moment you say YES to this new way of being, all of the things you never knew you needed to figure out seem to make their way to the surface. It's a humbling and rewarding wild ride all in one so make sure you have at least a couple people you love and trust that can stand strong by your side. You will thank yourself later.
A question we ask everyone...what do you want to be known for?
I'd love to be known for my mission because I believe it's what I was put on this earth to do. My mission is to Empower others (especially women) to harness their own internal power so they can trust themselves to create a life they love. I'd love to be known for having helped people do this (and on a large scale).
My favorite quote is...
"You are a Masterpiece, act like it."