I quit my job and life fell into place

Dr Patricia King’ori, co-founder and Director of Holos Creative Solutions

On weekdays, I get up at 6am and enjoy some quiet time, pray and read the bible over a cup of green tea. I then prepare breakfast for my husband and I. Coffee is a must! Breakfast is always coffee and whatever else will be there, be it pancake or an omelette and fruits.

Holos Creative Solutions is a consultancy that specialises in research and strategy. My role as director involves a lot of interactions with current and prospective clients, and universities because of the applied research that we do. Depending on the depth of the research we work with either undergraduate or master’s students.  

I try to structure my days so that Mondays I’m at the office. This helps me reflect on the work carried forward from the previous week and plan through my meetings for the week. I try to avoid having meetings and field work on the same day, simply because when I’m at the field, I dress down whereas when meeting clients I need to be formally dressed. I usually meet with the company chief operating officer on Mondays for a brief on current and future plans. 

A common challenge we face is interpreting data. Enterprises don’t just do research for the sake of it. They want the research to positively impact the business. But this is a fun challenge because we are working with different data every time which means that yesterday’s solution is yesterday’s solution. You need a new solution every other time and you can never get bored with that.

After many years working in the corporate world, I left last year and the transition has been challenging and different. But overall it’s much better. Before, I faced the challenge of balancing work and life and suffered burnout a number of times. This transition has allowed me to rest and rediscover my purpose. I am now putting my energy into something that gives me satisfaction.

If you’re thinking of leaving your job to start a business, it is important to do your research. Find out what the market is like, who your possible competitors are, and how consumers understand the product or service you intend to offer. It helps if it’s something you’re passionate about as that will make it feel less like work. There are challenges, especially when you’re leaving a comfortable job that offers a salary at the end of every month. But when you step out of your comfort zone, the risks are high, but so are the rewards. You’ll also need to have savings to help you weather out the bad days.  

My favourite part of the day is the evening, a chance for me to wind down and reflect on the day. My husband and I will also have our quiet joint time together where we study different books of the bible. Currently, we’re on the book of Matthew. Sometimes we will watch a movie on our favourite couch with a hot beverage, or an inspirational talk on YouTube. Our children are out of the nest, so it feels like we’re dating again.

Outside work, we love spending time with friends. We make sure to have at least one family date with the children. I love mentoring people. I’ve been a mentor with Timeless Women in Leadership and Entrepreneurship for two years now. I also support a children’s home for sexually abused girls. I have a second company, a cleaning company, that trains and hires the girls when they finish high school. I attend bible study every week. I love taking walks with my husband. It’s a great way of relieving stress, exercising and bonding.

TIDBITS

I don’t think there’s one single career advice I’ve received from a single person that has propelled me throughout the years. All I know is as I grew in my career, I was surrounded by people who always encouraged me to reach for the skies. That helped me to believe in myself and therefore aim higher. And if I were to tell someone anything, it would be that balance is very important. In fact, it is the advice I’d give my younger self. I did not balance my life. You can give work your all and when you leave you realise life is more than just work. A human being is made up of mind, body and spirit and if you neglect one or only improve one, you might crack.

I’ve just finished reading Holy Hustle: Embracing a Work-Hard, Rest-Well Life by Crystal Stine. It better articulates the concept of working with diligence just like the bible instructs and giving yourself time to rest.

God worked for six days and saw that it was good, and at the same time, He rested on the seventh day and declared it holy. I used to feel guilty about resting. I felt like I was supposed to always be working. Learning to take a break is important and we all do it differently – it could be taking a walk, jogging, reading, kicking back with some music, hanging out with friends…just find out the method that works for you and embrace it.

I love watching crime and investigation shows. I’m currently watching Forensic Files on Netflix. I find it fascinating the marrying of science with technology to get to justice. 

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