JC Polonia is a young entrepreneur who recently decided to quit his 9 to 5 job to devote his time and energy to running his business full-time. Like many, he comes from working-class parents who value family, quality time, and hard work. Coming from a family of immigrants, he knew that much was expected of him, and he couldn’t shake the inherent feeling that he was meant to live for more, and although he was happy with the money that he was earning, he said that he wasn’t living a fulfilled life. “My grandmother came to the U.S alone from the Dominican Republic with my mom at a very young age. She set the foundation so that my mom and my aunt can have a better life by struggling and working hard. To me, it just didn’t make sense to only have a traditional 9-5 job. So for both financial and passion-driven reasons, I pushed myself to go against the current. I knew that If I wanted to make sure my mom, my grandma, my family was set up for success, it wouldn’t happen by only working 40 hours a week for only $40K a year. There had to be more meaning to life and there had to be a better way. I knew entrepreneurship was the path I needed to take.”

Overcoming Stress by Shifting Your Mindset

Running a major marketing agency can be difficult for anyone, especially a young millennial, but he utilizes an effective mindset to keep stress and anxiety at bay– he chooses to focus on the positive. By rethinking the concept of stress, and putting the seemingly negative things in his life into perspective, he’s able to focus on his personal growth.

“To me, when you’re stressed it means that there is some sort of friction in your life that is causing it. This friction will usually lead to either growth as an individual in various ways or will become a learning lesson for the future. So when I’m stressed, I repeat to myself “these problems are good, they’re here to help in some way or another.” Being able to be self-aware of the fact that you can benefit from stress in some ways is one of the best ways to cope with it because all of a sudden it becomes something positive and can ultimately disappear. . . On top of the paradigm shift of stress, I also tend to try and forget about things that I know won’t be important in 5 years . . . The concept doesn’t just go for business or entrepreneurship, but life in general! Lost a boyfriend or girlfriend? That means the door has been opened for you to find your dream partner. Your car got totaled? Now you can save up to get a nicer one. It’s all perspective and approximately weighing one thing to the things that actually matter in life. Aside from all of the mental “hacks,” I also like to play ball. This is one of the things I do to relieve stress because I can take it out on the court. I get to forget about everything else for a few minutes and just play a game that I enjoy playing and get a good workout while doing so!”

From 80K Employee to 6-Figure Business Owner

It wasn’t that Polonia wasn’t making great money as an employee, he was! As a manager at a retail store, he was bringing home $80,000 a year. Many would say that he was doing pretty good for someone his age, they would probably question why he chose to leave a great job that pays him so well and provides benefits, to take a risk of uncertainty.

But the job, even though it paid well, was taking a toll on his personal life, and he was no longer willing to sacrifice his time and freedom for a “guaranteed” paycheck. He was ready to take the risk and pursue his business with full force, and he hasn’t looked back yet!

“Every day that I went into work, I had this gut feeling that I could be doing something more with myself. So after saving for a few months I mustered up the courage to quit and pursue my agency full time. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only have I had consecutive months that I made way more than what I was getting paid, but I do it on my terms. I get to work when I want to work and do things the way I believe are right. Good thing for me, I enjoy it, so I am constantly hustling for it. It doesn’t feel like work to me; it feels like I’m building something, and every day I’m learning something new. With each new client and each new opportunity, another door opens. Being able to create a yearly six-figure agency in just 6-7 months was an incredible accomplishment for me, but I’m nowhere near even started. This is the learning phase and I know I have so much further to go. I don’t want to be like these online entrepreneurs who are “flexing” their watches and posting their cars. I just want to be able to commit to my “why” and enjoy the process. I’d be okay making just $40K a year doing this, than $80-100K working a job. Don’t get me wrong though, remember business is still business. An agency needs to be profitable and I can assure that’s happening!” 

Never Give Up

Polonia has found so much passion and happiness in his business that he just wants everyone to feel the same joy. For anyone who wants to pursue entrepreneurship, he says, “Don’t give up”. He also encourages people to surround themselves with successful entrepreneurs to keep the mind in alignment with purpose. He says that it’s also important to find others who “compliment your weak points so that you can thrive off of each other.”