My entrepreneurial endeavors began like most peoples do, while fully employed. I was not gaining much traction with my projects by working on them nights and weekends, and that is when I decided to leap face first into entrepreneurship. Part impatience and part because I was looking for an out to quit my job.

I went through what I like to call the four steps of early stage entrepreneurship 1) excitement 2) hope 3) panic and 4) enlightenment.

Now I must add there is no way I could have gone through these stages while still tied to a desk. So leaving the safety of my office is the only way to experience first hand what it really takes to be an entrepreneur.

I am going to walk you through my path to enlightenment. Hang on tight it’s a bumpy ride.

My first few months of being fabulously unemployed were fantastic. It was like I had tasted peanut butter for the first time. I was enjoying opportunities and seizing almost every chance to meet someone new, learn something special and join every organization I could. I was at last free of the shackles of a real organization and the structure that came with it. And, then came the following month when bills still needed to be paid and my gas tank filled.

Reality set in.

I started to romanticize about my day job, how good it was to receive a steady paycheck, what I could do with my lost income and how much I longed for more free time.  Then hope came along and said that all this hard work and steadfast dedication will pay off. Well hope is very dangerous. Hope said if I do this I should get this. And, well…

Month six rolled around. Where is all my money that hope promised? Instead I spent twice as much as I had expected and earned half as much as my projections. My profit and loss looked nothing like it did six months ago. I just don’t understand.  So I panicked. And, well if we learned anything from Jurassic Park the Tyrannosaurus Rex eats everyone who panics. So I kept my wits.

And, once all the chocolate was gone from the fridge and there was no more wine. I began the final stage of rebuilding. What was I rebuilding you ask? My sanity. I reached a place where there was no more sobbing over how things should be and I accepted things for the way they were. This place is not found inside the comfort zone of a steady paycheck or an ivory tower. It is only found where the rubber meets the road and there is no place to go but up.

Before, we end this journey. I must preface that I am a planner but also have been known to leap head first into the shallow water. With that said, I can’t say for certain I would change anything if I knew then what I know now. What I can say is that sometimes its just best to start building something, even if you don’t know what it is.

Christina Hall is a Marketing and Business Development strategist. She is the owner and founder of LocalFitTank, a web-based marketplace curating the best in local fitness. She holds an MBA in International Business and a BA in Journalism.