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 Can 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. The truth was that I’ve never been happy in a traditional 9-5 marketing or office role….
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