So, I took the leap into freelancing last month. (And it's much different than freelancing here and there as a side hustle!)
It's freeing (of course) and terrifying and exciting and stressful, all at once. So why am I doing it and how did I get here?
Let me preface by saying that I am the biggest believer in two, somewhat cliche, sayings. First: 'every thing happens for a reason'. I've seen it be proven true many, many times in my life. So I've always remained confident that when something does or doesn't work out, I'm being kept on track regardless. My career path in accounting was never a detrimental one by any means, but I was never particularly happy or passionate about my jobs, only about the paychecks that allowed me to eat, travel and enjoy life outside of my cube. (No bad talking, I've always loved the companies and people that I've worked for and with!) And I'm sure a lot of people out there feel similarly...
Second: 'if you don't like something, change it'. So I started to do any and everything to get experience and learn more in a field that truly interested me. The gritty truth behind the facade of social media is the I don't remember the last time that I wasn't working around my full-time job! I went back to school for fashion marketing, I was a visual merchandising associate (some of you know that those shifts often start at 4 or 5AM!), I starting blogging, I networked as an 'influencer' to collaborate with brands (air quotes due to the fact that I don't really consider myself one), I took on clients part-time and honestly, I don't know what I would do with all of my spare time if I wasn't doing those things at one point or another... (Maybe workout a little more, haha, but that's besides the point...) Making a career change in any capacity requires hard work, outside of the daily grind!
Anyway, an opportunity presented itself recently to jump into this work full-time and I simply took advantage. Take it from me, and self-employed success stories like Jess Kirby, I don't exactly recommend this. Security and having a strong plan b, c and d are usually very important to me, but sometimes that methodology does not foster your growth and full potential. As mentioned in Jess' post, "leap and the net will appear", and I've had to believe in that whole-heartedly.
At the same time that things were lining up in my professional life, I felt as though I was truly discovering my values and how I wanted to live my life as an adult... my late twenty's came in HOT. Eesh. I've embraced minimalist mantras and zero-waste initiatives, which has lead me to the conclusion that I was not happy participating in the rat race that is 'socially accepted success'. Work, work, work to make money to buy things that put you in debt, take up space or just go to waste. If this sounds just way too out there for ya, check out this documentary. It may not change your life, but it will definitely give you perspective!
To very briefly explain the logistics of my transition, I just started to pick up part-time clients as a way to ease from salaried employee to freelancer. I will say that it is impossible to take on a full client list and put enough time into prospecting with a full-time job, so if you're considering working freelance, you have to embrace the unknown that comes with leaving your current position to focus on self-employment, hopefully with a little financial security in tow. It's been about two months since I've been working freelance full-time. Is it stressful? Yes. Am I often doubting myself? Of course. Am I unsure if I will always have a steady stream of clients to pay the bills? What will happen if I don't? I think about these things all the time. But do you know what else? I get to go outside and enjoy the fresh air any time of day that works for me. I create my schedule based on what I want, and have to, get done, which allows me to work where and whenever. I have the flexibility to travel more than I ever have. I am not forced to commute to a desk for a certain time to display that I am hardworking. (And maybe best of all,) I get to be my dog's midday dog walker.
In short-- I may be working harder than I ever have been, but I've also been able to enjoy everyday life more than ever too. And to me, that's what it's all about.