I remember it like it was yesterday. Walking out of the office, for the last time with all my stuff. I wasn’t coming back.
A year ago, I jumped ship at my old job to give this freelance thing a try. It was a scary, bold move, but it felt absolutely right.
A year later, I am so happy I quit. I have had no regrets at all. No moments of wanting to go back. That’s not to say it has all been easy. Far from it.
What I’ve realized about being your own boss, is that it takes an incredible amount of effort to build something. But it’s worth it, because eventually you’ll see the fruits of your labor. I love that I’ve been able to think of new ideas and implement them through events and articles. I enjoy that I get to try new things and every day is something new. I am so grateful that I’m in a place where work is coming to me, rather than me being on the pitch merry-go-round.
I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief. I haven’t failed. I didn’t give up (even when I wanted to). All of my worst fears didn’t come true.
The unknown path ahead was something that contained opportunities I never saw coming.
Most of all, I’m glad I had the faith in myself to jump and actually quit. I remember speaking to my mom when I made my decision. She was nervous for me, but knew that I had made my choice. She has seen how I have blossomed and is my number one supporter. I love her for that.
I hardly ever use the word faith in my personal life, but I can’t think of a better word for what I felt when I quit. I believed it would work out before I could see it. I knew there was something bigger — and I was ready to search for it.
I didn’t have every step figured out. I didn’t have a year’s worth of expenses saved up. I didn’t have my debt all paid off.
There were so many things telling me “no,” but I still said “yes.”
Sometimes faith is about doing something that you know people don’t agree with and doing it anyway.
Faith is also about leaving your comfort zone and knowing that it will work out. What most people don’t know about my journey into freelancing is that when I quit, I had lined up a 20-hour per week remote writing gig. Because of this gig, I felt comfortable quitting and knew I would at least make what I did at my old job.
Quickly I realized the work was mind-numbingly boring. It was taxing, repetitive work and I was getting paid pennies per word. I was a content machine and felt depleted every day.
After a month and a half, I knew I couldn’t do the gig anymore. But it was my safeguard. It was the reason I felt comfortable quitting. How would I bridge the gap and make up for a loss of 20 hours of work per week?
I was scared and didn’t have all the answers, but knew I was unhappy. I didn’t leave my old job to be unhappy and creatively unfulfilled. So, I left and I hustled.
Luckily, it was right near the start of FinCon and after that I was booked up again. I got better paying work. More creatively fulfilling work. I made some great connections with companies that I’m partnered with today.
Something I said on Michelle’s podcast the other day rings so true. You have to let go of bad clients, bad relationships, and unfulfilling work. How can you ever let the right things come to you, when you are devoting all your time and energy to the wrong things?
You need to carve out a space to be open to new, better things. You will stand alone for a while and wonder for a second if you made the right decision. You may even be tempted to crawl back to your old clients, begging for some work.
But it’s better — every single time — to focus on better opportunities.
My freelance journey has been a roller coaster, sprinkled with a lot of surprises and successes, as well as a good dose of anxiety and a huge learning curve.
There’s one thing I know, though, I haven’t done this alone. So, thank you. I am so grateful for you (yes, you).