I am the kind of person who leaps before they look. I would jump out of a plane first and figure out how to work the parachute on my way down. But even with my propensity towards action, I still find myself overwhelmed by fear, too.
Full Name: Stacey Saltzman
City: Port Washington, NY
For example, quitting your job is terrifying! You spend so much time and effort putting together a life you think you want and suddenly you decide it isn’t working. You pull the rug out from underneath yourself and hope that you’ve got the grace to catch yourself before you fall.
My entire identity felt wrapped up in my work. I had spent almost 20 years carving that path. I had been infatuated with my career, fashion, and trying to be the best. My job as Senior Fashion Designer for Tommy Hilfiger Girls was such a huge part of my life that leaving felt like I was walking away from my identity.
But, the thing is, I am not just my job title. I’m a mother of two and wife, too!
Life seemed good on the surface, but I was ignoring my inner desire to be with my kids more and more each day. It left a real, deep sadness in my heart that, after awhile, I just couldn’t ignore any more.
I was torn between these two worlds, but I knew what I needed… and I knew who needed me.
All the amazing benefits, clothing discounts, or travel could never outweigh the importance of my family.
With my former position in Tommy Hilfiger Girls, I worked intense hours and traveled a lot. My husband, who has his own business, had to take on the brunt of both our parental roles and let his business take the backseat. Both of my children were suffering in different ways — my son in school and my daughter’s health. After an eye-opening visit with my daughter’s doctor, I saw that I had to make some changes in order to get my family back on track. I knew they needed me now, and I them, more than ever before.
I was beginning to realize that no matter how much I feared losing the stability I had with my former job, it could never equal the concern I had for my children’s lives and well-being.
I told my husband I had to quit. He supported my decision and put in extra work with his business. I knew if I focused hard on the numbers and did the math, I would never have been able to take this leap. We figured out how to make it work and stay afloat.
Before I resigned, I decided to try teaching fashion to kids during the weekends, using my years of fashion experience. I couldn’t believe how quickly my classes filled up. I never imagined I could feel so happy and rewarded, even though I was left exhausted by the time the work week rolled around.
With teaching, I just knew that I was onto something that would help me start a new, more fulfilling chapter in my and my family’s lives. I could be there for my kids; live and breathe fashion like I did in my former job; and also inspire other children to create and follow their dreams! As a result, I founded MyStyleCamp in June of 2016 and resigned from my job in September 2016. I’ve been working on building my business ever since.
It’s not all perfect, but I find that everything is coming together bit by bit. I know I’ve felt more exhausted doing this work than I did pulling 14-hour days designing, but there’s nothing better than being able to see your progress and get closer to your goals. My kids are blossoming, my husband’s business is doing better, and I feel fulfilled.
I can be a great mom and a great business owner. I hesitated, fueled by fear, to leave my ujob because I thought that was my true identity.
I had forgotten that I am in control of creating who I am.
Knowing you are in control of your destiny is liberating!
Facing that fear and quitting my job was definitely not the easiest road to travel. It rattled my worldview and shook apart the semblance of stability I had fabricated, but I wouldn’t change my decision for the world!
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