30 Days of Giving up Your Day Job

Picture: James Mepham

Name: Emma Morris

Occupation: Publicist

Website: roundshegoes.com.au

How we met: Emma and I went to school together. She was a couple of years younger than me but our friendship began when we were partnered together for a dance sequence in our school’s Rock Eisteddfod entry. She was dressed up to be my male partner a) because we had an uneven female to male ratio and So You Think You Can Dance hadn’t made dancing cool for boys yet, and b) because I was way too chesty to ever pull off being a ‘boy’. 

Fate reconnected us a couple of years ago when she sent a press release to my work from the publishing house she was working for at the time. It was then that I learned about Emma’s awesome business idea, Round She Goes.

But it was only when I received her guest blog, (which you are about to read), that I learned the coolest thing to have possibly ever happened to anyone, ever, happened to her. And here I was thinking it was cool that Henry Winkler aka “The Fonz” winked at me once in NYC. Not even close!

Meet Emma, the only person I know to have been invited to outer space!

Much like Christie, it was also my looming 30th year that prompted a rethink and a reassess of where I was at in my work life. I wanted to feel that I was making the most of my time and get this next decade off to the right start.

I liked my job; I was the publicity manager of an independent book publishing company. I knew that there were people who would kill for my job. I really appreciated my job, it was stimulating and I was lucky enough to worked with super smart people. But I also worked extremely hard. All the time.

I was always battling a niggling feeling that I should consider putting that hard work into my own business. So many Australian women in their 30s are opting out of the workforce to pursue their small business dream (a recent women in business survey found that 27% of female small business owners left their corporate role to start their own business) so why not me?

I was already working on a business idea, Round She Goes Preloved Fashion Market, in my spare time and had an itch to expand it into other states. Round She Goes is a preloved fashion market for women where you can buy designer and quality vintage fashion and accessories from different stallholders. I knew that if I committed myself full-time it had the potential to take off.

Then my life took an incredibly lucky and unexpected turn – I won a fairly unusual competition. It was a competition* I’d automatically been entered into and didn’t even know I was in the running for until I got a phone call from (Virgin mogul) Richard Branson to say I’d won a trip to space. (Yes, SPACE!)

I know – I’m going to be dining out on this story for the rest of my life. Mum always said I was lucky!

I didn’t want to go to space (!) so I took an alternative prize of cash and holidays. It had a three-year time limit to take the holidays but I continued to work for two years because my publishing job was demanding and I’d recently been promoted. Then the final year rolled around and I started to panic. Maybe I should have used the prize for a luxury few weeks of annual leave every year and put the cash into a house deposit?

But that all seemed a bit too sensible.

So, with a year left to finish my prize, I quit my job. It was hard and I cried when I resigned, but I knew I had to do it. I had to live my life.

I know it’s easy for me to say ‘quit your day job and follow your dreams’, since I got out of the career rat race because of a fluke competition, but I truly believe there are still ways to make your businesses idea work even without Richard Branson on your side.

Picture: Two Birds Photography

Sure there is great financial risk, but not being a slave to cash flow is very liberating and gives you incredible flexibility. Maybe go part-time at work. You can rent instead of having a mortgage. The financial benefits of your own businesses will probably pay off in the long run after a few years of doing it tough. There’s not a lot of money sometimes but I’m also not bound to 9am-5pm and I know that every hour I put in to my idea is for my own benefit.

So, if you have that inkling that you would rather spend your days working on that idea you’ve had baking away at the back of your mind, then I have just two words for you: DO IT.

For the record, no, I don’t regret not going to space. These days I am working full-time on my business and it’s sustaining me just fine. Somewhere in there I managed to use the rest of the holiday prize too. 🙂

* The competition Emma won was from a lucky Velocity point with Virgin Airways. There was a promotional period where anyone who earned a point during that time was entered. There were 4 billion entries and Emma won. It was a complete fluke.

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The next Round She Goes in Melbourne:

Sunday September 9
Sunday November 18
Kingston City Hall, 985 Nepean Hwy, Moorabbin
10am-3pm, $2 entry

The next Round She Goes in Adelaide:

Saturday August 25
Saturday November 3
German Club Hall, 223 Flinders St, Adelaide
10am-3pm, $2 entry

For more information visit: www.roundshegoes.com.au

Facebook – Round She Goes Adelaide

Facebook – Round She Goes Melbourne

Twitter – @roundshegoes


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