One week before my birthday, I turned in my resignation as Senior Copywriter, a position I’ve had for nearly five and a half years. Part of me knew I couldn’t let another birthday go by feeling so hindered and part of me knew, for a long time, it was as simple (and as complex) as it being time to move on.
In what seemed like a blink of an eye, I began wrapping up my projects, transitioning over brands and saying goodbye to beloved clients and coworkers. After my last day, I gave myself the weekend to decompress–which looked a lot like bad food and good Netflix documentaries–so I could wind down after nearly 5 and a half years of work at an ad agency.
By Monday morning, I took a deep breath, put my yoga pants on, and…
I began my journey of running my own business freelance writing!
So What Happened?
I gave growing pains at the job the good ol’ college try–pushing through, convincing myself that things would get better. We all do this in our jobs, in some capacity, because no job is perfect. No job is the end-all-be-all, and patting ourselves on the back about the swanky corporate position we hold can only take us so far. After a longer time than I care to admit vocalizing concerns, spending whole sessions talking to my therapist about work, making the same complaints to the hubster and dancing around the subject of how my job was, I had to accept that a position I used to love, a position I had stayed in Florida for, wasn’t the right fit for me anymore. If it wasn’t going to change, I needed to make a change. (Maybe I had changed?)
Many may think I waited too long. Others may think all jobs are meant to be toiled at for 9-10 hours a day regardless of lack of fulfillment and you just need to deal. Some may not experience it as I did. I did what was right for me.
As I’ve stated many times here, I’ve always wanted to be location independent, working remotely with or without pants. The thought of being able to do that, choose clients I want to work with and be able to see the hubster more became more and more enticing as time went on.
When I gave notice to my boss, he was incredibly understanding and gracious. He had been nice enough to allow me to work remotely 2-3 days a month when the hubster started his ER residency in Michigan. But he also knew the toll that takes and was kind enough to tell me how much he values employees wanting to grow and move on. It was reassuring.
I learned so much. I don’t say that facetiously either. (I’m sure I could tell you stories and mean girl antics that would make your hair stand on end though.) In the end, I know I gained a wealth of knowledge about copywriting and client relations. It was a good experience with memories and laughter to last a lifetime. An unexpected nice benefit was developing meaningful friendships. You don’t always get that in a workplace and I’m lucky enough to call some colleagues–friends.
So What’s Next?
The hubster and I worked really hard to save enough money so I could have the time that’s needed to build my freelance business. And by really hard, I mean, strict personal budgets, forgoing airline tickets to see each other and cutting out nice, but not needed, services. I miss you Sirius XM and CycleBar! (I do have a bike at home, you know.)
What took me awhile to understand is that my side-gig, this blog and some minimal freelance work, was really tough to do…on the side. Most people have their passion projects or side-gigs that they do after their day job, and often it’s something different than their day job. I’d leave for my corporate job around 8-8:30 am and get home at 7pm, at the earliest. That’s a lot of hours doing copywriting, to come home and…do more writing. It became clear that when things picked up at work, my blog and picking up anymore freelance clients would suffer.
I changed it up for a very long time, working before I left for work and then when I got home. The results weren’t very eventful. If I really wanted to make this a full-time gig, I needed to buckle down, save some cash and then do it full time.
So here I am. I’m not sure what to do with my hands most days! I’m able to go to doctor appointments in the middle of the day, take a break after writing and head to the pool and go workout whenever the hell I want to.
A work-life balance! Say what?!
The immediate task is to build processes that allow me to streamline: pitching, signing and working with clients. Freelance writing and copywriting isn’t a new trade and I have so many resources at my fingertips to help me through.
Not Your Average Gal finally got her big girl business wings! I will be able to focus on creating content for this site, as well as for my clients. This Not Your Average Gal community is fiercely loyal, and I want to continue to grow and expand, allowing other wonderful folks to join the not so average
looney bin family. That change may mean more affiliate links, sponsored content and chances to work with brands. While not having a regular, comfy paycheck does scare me, I’ve gladly accepted that the new income, is multiple streams of income.
Are you ready to join me on this adventures? LET’S GO!
The Last Big Question
No, I’m not moving back to Michigan as of now. I realize this may cause a curfuffle (side note: what an underused word) with some, but I’m not sure I care.
Ooooooh, she’s feisty today!
While I know it may rock the good ol’ Great Lakes boat, the hubster and I don’t want to live in Michigan permanently. He’s nearly halfway through his ER residency there. If anyone is willing to fund 2 sets of moving costs that will occur close together, be my guest. Plus, what satantic cult do you belong to if you think I’m moving to Michigan in February? Additionally, the hubster said I’m not allowed to move because the condo we rent in Fort Lauderdale also gives us a country club membership to the golf course I live on. Priorities.
I do have connections here that will help me build clientele here initially. Ultimately, I’d love to work with clients all over the world and travel around working remotely.
Could I move in the future? Sure. That’s beauty of freelance.
Great Risk for Great Reward
I am so excited (and utterly terrified) about the opportunities I will seize on this freelance journey. This is the beginning of pushing past my comfort zone, taking a risk and believing in myself. I’ve asked myself this plenty of times: If not now, when? So watch as I suit up, tighten my harness, tap my helmet, take a slow, calculated, deep breath and peer over the edge. It’s time to jump.
Here’s to Not Your Average Gal and new adventures!