Cheers to Three Years of Making it in Manhattan

how i became my own boss

By: Caroline Vazzana

Three years ago I made a life changing decision. After landing what most people would consider a “dream job," working at a major glossy publication, I was about to leave it all behind. I started working at InStyle in 2015 and over a year and a half later it just wasn’t fulfilling anymore. I knew that there was something else out there for me, something bigger, I just didn’t know what exactly that was. But I also knew sitting behind a desk day after day just wasn’t for me.

I'll never forget the day I actually did it though, the day I quit my job at InStyle. While I was super confident in my decision to leave, I was also super nervous. Why you ask? For years all I dreamed of was to work at a major fashion magazine, and now I was about to throw it all away- was I crazy? I honestly did try to ignore the voice in the back of my head for as long as I could, you know, the one that’s telling you day after day, "do it, quit your job." I don't know why but I honestly knew I had to make this change or I’d never be truly happy.

What was I afraid of most though? Probably failure. The idea that I might fail and fail publicly in front of many people. Also, I was so worried that I wouldn't be respected or taken seriously without a major publiction next to my name, "Caroline from InStyle" now I was just going to be "Caroline" and would that be enough?

The past three years have definitely been hard, they've been a rollercoaster of constant ups and downs, filled with big changes, growth, and many many lessons learned along the way. Has it been easy? Definitely not. But has it been worth it? Absolutely. If i could go back now to three years ago today, I wish I could just give myself a big hug and tell her that EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY, BREATHE!!! I can say though, over these three years, I've definitely learned that believing in yourself is so incredibly important. If you have a dream, you need to be ready to fight for it with everything you've got and you have to believe in it and in yourself with every fiber of your being, or else it's not going to work. Now, don't get me wrong, there were definitely times when doubts began to creep in, but I just knew in the pit of my soul that there was something bigger out there for me- I just wasn't quite sure what that was yet.

As I reflect back on these three years and get ready to start my fourth as my own boss, I'm so excited for all this industry and the world has in store for me and I look forward to the constant and continuous lessons, and challenges. For anyone reading this who might be considering becoming their own boss and taking that big leap from full-time to freelance, my advice is to go for it. Life is too short to live with the “what ifs” so it’s better to take a risk, I did and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

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