As many of you already know, I recently quit my management job in a successful digital marketing agency to pursue the self-employed dream. Let’s just get things straight here, and why my situation is slightly different to a lot of peoples..
I actually really loved my job doing SEO in Cornwall; the people I worked with and the industry – I had absolutely no reason to leave. This is partly why my friends and family thought I was bonkers because I really did have it good. My office had a private beach, I had flexi-time so usually didn’t go to work until 10am and we got free food on Fridays (sometimes we’d have a BBQ and go out on my boss’s boat).
On top of all of that, I had a great salary; What was I thinking? Seriously!? It came down to my time and quality of life though. I found myself in the office or thinking about work the majority of my waking life and six months into a promotion as a manager it really started to grate on me and got me thinking, could I go freelance?
Here’s what went through my head. If you’re thinking of doing the same then hopefully this will help:
Figure out your outgoings
I thought I could never go self-employed though, I mean after all I had a mortgage and quite frankly a pretty expensive lifestyle that I wasn’t willing to give up. People kept asking me, and even to my surprise, my dad why I couldn’t go out on my own.
One day I decided to sit down and figure out the math. I realised, luckily for the last year writing on my stupid little blog made enough money to cover the mortgage every month through guest posts and advertising. My biggest fear was already redundant – this really got me thinking, was self-employed really an option?!
Line up some work
Everybody knows that being self employed can be unpredictable, so it’s super important that you start off on the right foot. You don’t leave a job without having something to go to, so why is this any different? Get networking, sort out your sales and make sure that you have some projects to start working on as soon as you’ve left your position.
Careful that their isn’t a conflict on interest though. Before deciding to go freelance, I was part of the sales team in an agency and it wouldn’t have been right for me to gain work on the side, even if I didn’t plan to execute the campaign until I left. That said, I was offered some work that wasn’t a conflict of interest to support me for when I was ready to leave.
Build some savings
I cannot stress this enough. I’ve seen people go freelance before without savings and before they’ve had a chance to get warmed up, they’ve had to go back to work because they were unable to support themselves. I’ve heard there is a three month rule, but if you are over-cautious like me, then it’s worth putting aside enough to support double that.
For me, the reason that drove me to quitting my job and going freelance is that I hated having money and no time. I was fed up of wishing my week away, so that I could rest at the weekend. I was constantly feeling tired, stressing about work and I figured that this isn’t how your twenties should be – you shouldn’t wish away the best years of your life.
It sounds ridiculous, but you know those stupid pictures you see on Facebook saying quotes like.. “Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” and people share it but they are too scared (rightly so!) to do it?
Well, I figured if I don’t do it now, then maybe I never will. It was really frightening quitting my job and risking everything, but no where near as scary as the prospect of not trying and living to regret it.
Want to be successful? Remember the reason you made the leap in the first place. Click here if you are interested taking your blog to the next level and to view my packages for blog coaching.