I Quit the 9-5…

Follow Your DreamsThat’s right!

As of Thursday evening, I will no longer be working the typical 9-5 job that I’ve had for so many years. In fact, I’ll only be “working” four hours/day in a traditional role. What will I be doing for the remainder of my time?

Working for myself.

My Choice to Quit the 9-5

It’s no secret that I’ve been (consciously and subconsciously) planning this leap of faith for quite some time. Last year as I was transitioning jobs, I wrote about my back-up plan and why it’s important to always have options for yourself. I’ve also written about how to start a business while keeping your day job,  I’ve challenged my readers to critically evaluate if they’re using their time wisely, and I’ve discussed why it’s paramount to not sacrifice passion in lieu of paying the bills.

What do all of these posts have in commons? They’re all paving the way for strong foundation that would allow someone (me in this case) to venture off on their own professionally.

Evaluating the Past

As I was reading through my archives in an attempt to write this post, something jumped out at me: I’ve switched jobs two times in the last two years. Despite my initial love for each position, eventually the “honeymoon phase” was over and I returned to the idea of starting my own business.

Looking back, I’ve realized it wasn’t the change or the new, exciting nature of each job change that kept me happy in the beginning–it was me lying to myself. I was avoiding the nearly insatiable desire I had to chart my own course; to make a go of employing myself by forcing myself to “love” what I was doing.

Don’t Let Fear Rule Your Decisions

Essentially, I was letting fear rule my life. I was fearful of what striking out on my own meant. I was fearful of the potential for epic failure. And I was fearful of not living my life in the conventional manner I’ve been groomed to be accustomed to (go to college, go to grad school, get a good job, climb the corporate ladder, blah, blah, blah).

Thanks to some surprising events at my current job that I felt uneasy about (lots of restructuring, people shuffling and strategy changes), I came to the conclusion that it was high time I faced my fears head-on. This is my life, those are my bank balances and I’m ready now more than ever to be successful in my own way.

Staying Realistic–and Positive

Of course striking out on my own isn’t a rash decision, despite the lack of disclosure I’ve had about it here on The Happy Homeowner. For the past few months, I’ve been testing the waters with my new business–and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results.

As of this month, I’m making more money with my new endeavors than I am at my full-time job. And it’s certainly not all about money; I love every second of what I’m doing–from the mundane to the seemingly impossible tasks I’m faced with.

I have been burning the candles at both ends with transitioning out of my job and simultaneously building the business. The funny thing is that when I get home from the office and start the other work on my to-do list, I find myself more motivated than ever. It hardly feels like work even when I’m up past 2AM!

My New Gig(s)

So what exactly is my new business? In a nutshell, it’s a freelance writing, consulting and blogging support operation. While this description runs the gamut of online offerings, it’s important for me to diversify my income-generating options so that in case one thing dries up, there are others that can replace that income stream.

Also, because the nature of online work is highly variable, I’m not quitting the part-time job that I’ve had for the past 6.5 years. Having this job for so long has allowed immense flexibility and I basically work remotely on my own time. There’s a certain economy of scale built in after having a position for so long and I’ve become incredibly efficient with the time needed to perform the tasks of the job.

Additionally, I’ve picked up another part-time job, which is why I’ll still need to be in an office for 4 hours/day (I wanted to make sure I still had a stable, reliable income to cover all of my bills including my mortgage as well as retirement funding and health insurance).

Let’s just say that my new boss has been incredibly flexible with my scheduling needs and has allowed me to create a schedule that I could have only dreamed of in the past–my work day now “ends” by noon unless I want to change up the schedule to fit in other needs. The rest of my day will be spent on all things online, from the comfort of my home. Somebody pinch me!

The Future of The Happy Homeowner

No matter these new endeavors, I will always have The Happy Homeowner as my home base. I look forward to growing this blog bigger than ever now that I have dedicated, consistent time to do so, and I am so excited to have readers like you (both new and old) to be here with me every step of the way.

Viva la Work-Life balance!

 

Photo credit: renaissancechambra

The Happy Homeowner

The Happy Homeowner

We're a team of freelancers who are on a mission to inspire others to live a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time. Work from The Happy Homeowner has been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo! Finance, Wisebread, Lifehacker, The Dr. Oz Show, Good Housekeeping Magazine and many other outlets.
The Happy Homeowner

62 thoughts on “I Quit the 9-5…

  • February 12, 2013 at 11:23 am
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    Wow congratulations! Sounds like you have a lot of things cooking! Good luck with all the new endeavors! I'd still like to know how to sustain steady income from online work…not there yet, but hopefully things will progress. :)
    My recent post When Spending Thousands is a Drop in the Bucket

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    • February 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm
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      Thank you! I can say it takes a lot of hard work and networking to make a go of it–but it's absolutely worth it!!

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm
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    Congrats! Have to let us know your progress :)

    It seems a lot of pf bloggers are jumping off the corporate world and into the freelance world. I wonder if there's any correlation between starting a blog, and taking the plunge!

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    • February 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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      I definitely will! I'm going to be posting a lot more about the logistics in the future.

      You're right–I'd love to investigate the phenomenon more to see what correlations could be drawn…

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm
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    Congratulations!! I did it three years ago and it has been amazing so far. Wise move about diversifying your incomes, I had a couple of gigs that had lasted for 4 years before I quit and thought would always be there, turns out one year later they were gone!
    My recent post Big city life, is it worth it?

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    • February 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm
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      Thank you! Yes, diversification is a must–I like being able to pay the bills without dipping into savings :)

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  • February 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm
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    Great for you Jen! I can attest to that fear as that was what had been holding me back for a number of years. Now that we've taken the leap head first I wonder why I allowed it to hold me back for so long. Sure, we may go down in flames, but it certainly does not seem to be the case and at the end of the day it is so rewarding know that what you did benefits you and your clients and not some massive corporation.

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    • February 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm
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      I couldn't agree more!! Yes, taking this leap has been the most amazing thing I've done for myself in quite some time. Looking forward all the way :)

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    • February 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm
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      Thanks, Lena! It's a very exciting feeling (although it fully won't sink in until next week…haha!)

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    • February 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm
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      Thank you! It hasn't quite sunk in yet what I'm about to do. But I can't think of any other way to do it now that I've made these options a reality!

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm
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    That is awesome, congrats! I will be interested how the freelance writing thing goes as I have thought about doing some of that myself.
    My recent post 4 Must-Do Tasks To Retire by 60

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    • February 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm
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      Thank you! It's going really well so far and I think it's because I pride myself on turning in high-quality work. Hard work, determination and dedication is the best mix for making this type of thing a success.

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm
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    Wow! That's flippin' awesome! Congratulations on the transition, sounds like you have your "dream" job(s) now :)

    Now all you have to do is tell us every week how awesome it is so we can live vicariously through you :)
    My recent post 5 Reasons I Should Win An iPad Mini

    Reply
    • February 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm
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      Haha…thank you! Yes, I do feel as if I'm living a dream–a very exciting one!

      I'll post some updates, but I hope that it's inspirational for others rather than discouraging :)

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    • February 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm
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      Thank you! I'm excited to get things rolling in terms of the new schedule next week :)

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm
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    That is so AWESOME! I am always glad to hear that there are people in the world who can work for themselves and pursue their passion. I don't have any hope of this happening for me but it's good to see it come to fruition for others. Very happy for you!! Smart decisions have paid off and also all of your hard work.
    My recent post Click Chicks Photo Challenge 1//Selfies

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    • February 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm
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      Thank you so much! You're right about hard work–that's the only way I've been able to get to this point. I'm excited for what the future holds!

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  • February 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm
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    Congrats and good luck on this exciting new path!!

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    • February 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm
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      Thanks! I'm happy that you enjoy your job so much–it's so important to enjoy what you're doing AND where you're doing it!

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    • February 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm
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      You can do it! If I can get to this point, anyone can. $75K can be gone before you know it 😉

      Reply
  • February 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm
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    Congratulations! That is very exciting. I am kind of on the same course. I recently went to averaging 3 days a week down from working almost all the time for the past 12 years. It is an amazing feeling and when I tie up some loose ends and finalize the sale of my practice, I will be free. I now enjoy the time I spend at work and cherish the time I have to do other things. Can't wait to see what your future holds.
    My recent post Free Money Finance March Madness, Please Vote!

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    • February 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm
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      Thank you! It was an eventual transition just like what you've described. An incredible ride for both of us by the sounds of it; best of luck to you!!!

      Reply
  • February 13, 2013 at 12:10 am
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    Congrats!!! I remember a few years back, I was working on some personal coding projects at home. I would work my 8-5, go home, eat dinner, and write code for personal stuff until midnight, go to bed, wake up, and repeat. I was so much more motivated to be writing the personal code than work code!

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  • February 13, 2013 at 12:19 am
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    Congratulations! I love seeing people achieve the goals they've worked at for a long time. It seems like you have a really strong support plan in place as well, so you've got stability even if one of the income streams fails. It's all quite inspiring!

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    • February 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm
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      Thank you, Alex! Yes, hard work is beginning to pay off but I still want some stability–it's refreshing to know the bills and insurance/retirement are still covered no matter any irregularity in my new income streams. Go big or go home, eh? :)

      Reply
  • February 13, 2013 at 10:24 am
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    Congratulations! You're living the dream. I am so excited for you and I can't wait to read about your adventures in self-employment.

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    • February 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm
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      Thank you!! It's beginning to sink in now that I'm done with work (they cut my notice short…oh, darn!!!) 😀

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    • February 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm
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      Thank you! Absolutely–I've tested the waters for the past few months, and I'm so happy with the results. I look forward to bringing in even more (and being more transparent here about it)!

      Reply
    • February 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm
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      Thanks, Sharon! I've been planning this for quite some time. Luckily, the stars aligned and the universe agreed that now is the time to take the plunge :)

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    • February 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm
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      Thank you! Yes, always have to have a back-up plan–it made it that much easier to finally strike out on my own

      Reply
  • February 15, 2013 at 9:41 am
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    Omg jen this is your big news? You are a star! I’m so proud of you!

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  • February 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm
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    That is awesome! Congratulations…I hope to follow in your footsteps one day :)

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    • March 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm
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      Thanks, Kevin! I hope to help other contemplating this sort of decision by sharing all the ups & downs along the way…

      Reply
  • February 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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    Congratulation! That takes a lot of guts to do what you did. I would love to get there someday, but I am nowhere near that point yet!

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    • March 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm
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      Thanks, Bernard! I hope you're right here with me in terms of kicking the 9-5 to the curb in no time!

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  • November 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm
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    Congrats!

    Ever thought of getting laid off instead to get severance, COBRA, deferred comp of any, and unemployment insurance?

    I’ve been on a mission to encourage people never to quit but get laid off for these benefits. I left in spring of 2012 and the engineered layoff is providing for roughly six years of living expenses as I work in this crazy online entrepreneurial journey like you.

    Sam

    Reply

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