“I don’t know if I’ve made the right decision!” I sobbed to my girlfriend as I lay in the fetal position on the couch.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was on in the background, so there was enough drama happening as it was.
This meltdown happened because I decided to quit my secure job, as a mental health worker, in the middle of a global pandemic to write full-time.
On the 1st of May, I half-jokingly told myself and a colleague I’d leave if I made $3,000 through writing. I didn’t think it’d actually happen.
Later that month…
“$3200? Hmm, must be a mistake…”
I went to work the next day and handed in my resignation on the 1st of June.
You think everything will work out perfectly, and that you’re immune to procrastination. Well, I was in for a rude shock.
Here are 5 realisations I’ve had by trading a secure job for blogging.
1. The devil will tempt you
Procrastination is a sneaky little devil. After you’ve written for 6 minutes, it’ll whisper in your ear “go on, take an extra 23 minutes for lunch. You deserve it!”
Before you know it, you’ve been hiding in your blanket fort (filled with empty chocolate wrappers) watching Netflix for 3 days straight.
Your old boss isn’t going to pop in for a coffee and give you a pep talk.
You’re the captain now. And the captain doesn’t play Pokemon GO! whenever they want (Guilty as charged.)
There are posts to write, money to make and people to help.
I use the Timetable app to keep myself in line. I need structure otherwise I’m all over the shop. Do I slip up? Heck yeah. But I’ve learned to stop judging myself when I do.
As the captain, you need to be your own biggest fan. Otherwise, you’ll feel depressed, and when you feel down in the dumps — you’ll reach for things to make you feel good again.
2. Shiny object syndrome is real
You think you have it under control, but you probably don’t. I didn’t.
I got so excited that I had so much time to do writing, but I trailed off in the first few weeks of self-employment.
And then you realise you’ve achieved nothing — despite starting 2 new businesses, trying a million different courses, AND trying to write every day.
I felt like if I didn’t do everything all at once, I wouldn’t make any progress. I was so wrong.
Doing a thousand things at once results in you moving an inch in a thousand different directions. But when you focus on one thing, you start moving a thousand inches in one direction.
When I focused purely on blogging, I made $6700 in two months — that was whilst working my 9–5. When you knuckle down and do the work, the train starts moving in the right direction.
(I’m only just getting onto the train now.)
3. Self-sabotage will fling you sideways
The subconscious beliefs you have about money, writing or business will seep in and poison your mind when you least expect them to.
They can look like this:
- “Am I smart enough to do this?”
- “What if I can’t help people?”
- “I won’t earn enough money writing.”
Guilt, frustration or anger will follow these negative thoughts. Your thoughts stir up feelings, and these emotions drive your actions.
When you’re thinking negatively, you feel like crap, which changes the action you take. Hello self-sabotage.
And when you think you’ve got them under control, another one will pop up and bite you on the ass.
I grab my journal and brain dump until I get to the source. Daily meditation and hypnosis recordings have also helped me extinguish my toxic beliefs.
Unlearning years of BS can take time, but it’s necessary. If you don’t deal with your issues, they come back to bite you in the ass.
Not today Satan.
4. I miss being drip-fed a paycheck
I’ll be honest; I enjoyed the consistent paycheck from my full-time job. Most people do, that’s why they stay at their jobs for years — even if they hate it.
As much as I felt like a lioness trapped in a tiny cage, it was nice knowing exactly how much money I could squirrel away when I got paid.
But now, it’s a little unpredictable. That’s what you sign up for when you quit your job. Yanking out the financial drip is terrifying, maybe even a little painful to start with.
Do I regret my decision to leap into the unknown? Heck no. Yes, being drip-fed a paycheck was great, but I didn’t like trading my precious time to build someone else's dream.
5. People will try and poison your dreams
“It’s a weird time to quit,” a lady from my old workplace (let’s call her Karen) scoffed at me.
I could smell the judgement on her breath (mixed in with the scent of a ham sandwich.)
“I guess so?” I raised my eyebrow at her.
Yes, I quit in the middle of a COVID lockdown, and yes, Australia is in a recession. Despite quitting on a whim, I have over a year worth of savings is stashed inside my mattress.
I’ve learned not to listen to people who try and bring you down. The spit that flies out of their wrinkled mouth will poison your dreams.
Even some of my family members don’t know I’m self-employed — I’ve only told a handful of people who I’m close with (and all of the internet.)
As long as it was okay with my girlfriend, that’s all that matters to me right now.
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© Kathrine Meraki
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