I have officially quit my corporate job! I want to start by thanking you for supporting this blog of mine. Whether you’ve been reading for awhile or are just coming here for the first time today, thank you. It’s because of you that I’m able to do something I love so very much and finally call it a job (along with a few other jobs too haha), more on that below!
How I quit my corporate job and became self employed!
I’ve been in the digital marketing world for the last 12 years, and I’ve been a full time working mom for the past 5.5 years. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had some complaint about being in the corporate grind. Not enough pay, not enough visibility, not being recognized for my hard work, not having the right work life balance, not feeling fulfilled, not getting to be creative. . . these are all real thoughts and feelings I’ve had for a VERY long time.
Once I became pregnant with our daughter in 2013 I dreamt of ways I could work and have more flexibility. At the end of 2011 we moved into our home after renovations were completed. I had been refinishing a lot of furniture during this time and started a blog (linking you to it b/c yes it still is out in blogger land) LOL! This was back when blogging was starting to take off a bit. I stuck with it for a little while, but life took over and it soon fell by the wayside.
I trudged on in my 8-5 life by landing a job in the corporate shoe biz within the ecommerce space. It proved to be a great gig where I was able to learn a lot about ecomm, but at the end of the day I wasn’t fulfilled.
The Big Idea
In August 2016 our son was born. I took my measly 3 months maternity leave and begrudgingly returned to the corporate grind. In the summer of 2017, I was feeling burnt out. I was seeing friends around me start their own businesses, watching bloggers I had followed for years grow huge followings, and quite frankly I was feeling really sorry for myself. I complained a lot to my husband about wanting to “do my own thing” and many ideas came and went. For a hot minute, I thought about starting my own online shop and briefly went down the path of research. But ultimately every idea I had went back to one thing. STARTING A BLOG. Sure, I had started the other one in 2013, but SO many things had changed since then. I can vividly remember sitting on the couch with my husband one night and blurting out, “I’m starting a new blog”. And I did. I started the research right then and there and never looked back.
I call it the blur because from July 2017 until Feb 2019 it has been exactly that. I officially launched Emmy Lou Styles and all of my associated social media channels in August 2017. During this 19 month period I continued as a full time working mom and wife. Every night after the kids went to bed I would grab my laptop (and phone) and work. Except it didn’t feel like work because it became my passion project. I was learning new things, connecting with other bloggers, and feeling fulfilled. . . and maybe a little exhausted too.
As my blog and following started growing (slow and steady) we began to talk more openly about the reality of it becoming something with real income. We started to put a timeline around things. During this same time, I was getting more inquiries from friends and family who had questions about growing a following on social media, how to start a blog, how to build a website etc. And that’s when another idea was born. . .
It wasn’t until I started getting questions about growing my social media channels and building websites that it dawned on me (or maybe it was creating the blog itself that made me realize and gave me the courage) to see that I could go out on my own and use my knowledge to provide a service to others. Working in the digital marketing / ecommerce space is something I enjoy, but doing it in a corporate setting wasn’t the right fit. By exploring ways in which I could find contract/freelance work in the digital space helped me realize this idea could come to be. I challenged myself even more and took on freelance work while still working full time AND blogging. It was a great way for me to test things out before taking this leap of faith.
Like any big decision, it’s scary, but it’s also super exciting. This decision was met with lots of questions along the way: “Do you want to give up the stability of a normal 8-5 job?” or “How will we handle insurance?” “Will the kids still go to daycare” But on the flip side, I honestly couldn’t believe it was taking me this long to just do it. Obviously all of those questions were valid and things that we thought through at length. Ultimately, we made the decision that was right for our family and finances.
“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” This quote has so much meaning behind it. Becoming self employed is by no means easy, and frankly it’s probably not right for everyone. I certainly am no expert, but I can tell you my three pieces of advice in getting to the spot of breaking free.
- HUSTLE. Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your entire life. If its something you truly want, only YOU can get yourself there. That means putting in the time and effort. Too busy? Find the time if it’s something you REALLY want for yourself. Get up early before everyone else in your house. Stay up late. Use your lunch breaks at your current gig to research and network.
- PATIENCE. Decisions like this don’t happen over night. They take thought and support from those closest to you. Have a plan or timeline in mind to guide you and keep you focused.
- GRACE. This one is tough and I’m still working on it. There are always more things you want to be doing or could be doing when trying to make a decision like this. The comparison game is HUGE. Celebrate the wins when you have them because they will carry you through and keep you going because you will want to have those feelings again and again.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my journey to this point, and it helps guide you if you too are going down this path. If you have questions / comments, I would love to hear from you. If you’re interested in learning more about the type of consulting and freelance work I can provide to you/your business, be sure to check out my Linkedin profile!