How I quit my day job: The unglamorous details

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I’m sure you’re wondering … Here are the 3 boring, unglamorous things in place to allow me to quit my day job.

I haven’t had a social life in at least 6 years

Not really an exaggeration. June 2007 Andrew started a very intensive trade school – so I worked full time and he went to school more than full time and we barely had any time together, let alone with other people.

May of 2008 Andrew and I moved back to California – I was fortunate to be able to transfer to a position with the same company, but the only position open at the time was a 230p – 11p shift. Unfortunately now 5 years later that is STILL the shift I work.

This means I *never* do anything on week nights with friends/family. NEVER. And in the mornings when I am off, everyone else is at work. So mornings I started doing L&R stuff – writing, creating, teaching myself marketing, etc.6around  010

Andrew has worked every Saturday up until a few months ago, so I would just stay home all day on Saturdays too. So Saturdays I’ve been doing L&R stuff all day. So basically … Andrew and I made plans on Sundays. The three-quarters Sundays that he didn’t work.

Which means that while I did have a full-time job that took up a lot of time for the last 6 years, I also filled all my free time with work. Work work work.

The blog/L&R stuff I love (love), but I still worked really hard.

Andrew and I have lived beneath our level of income our entire marriage (and before)

When we got married (2005) I was in grad school and working parttime. A month after I graduated Andrew quit his job and started school. Once he was out of school he was only working for minimum wage. It is literally only in the last couple years that we both have had a full-time (grown-up) income. So for many many years we just got used to living on relatively* little.

When we bought our house we deliberately looked at prices well below what we *technically* qualified for because we wanted to keep our payments low. We haven’t had car loans in … 7 years or so. We don’t have cable, we only go on vacations when we already have the money, we go out to eat *maybe* once a week. Maybe.

All of this means right NOW when we have 2 full-time incomes we live well below our means. Which means that the amount of income I have to replace with freelance income is substantially lower than my full-time salary. Like 20% or less.

Yes, I will be bringing in far far less money by quitting my day job, but our expenses will still be covered because we are used to living on relatively* little. And I will be MUCH MUCH happier. (and I have far more flexibility to grow my income than I did at the day job).

 My friends and family are super supportive.

I literally could not do this without Andrew. Not only is he willing to work so hard to support our family, but he is the one more willing to take the leap of faith this requires. So many many times over the last 2.5 years he has said, “Just quit. Just do it. We’ll figure it out. We’re both smart. We’ll make it work.”

If I didn’t have him to believe in me I’d be a wreck – I tend to be pretty hard on myself apparently.

But not just Andrew – I have friends that have sent me clients, family that has gotten me interviews, I have Kam teaming up on 30Lists with me (and other things), I even have my brother/parents financing our trip to Scotland a couple years ago. Lord knows we needed a good vacation and we could not have gone without their gifts.

I could not have reached this goal on my own – for sure. I just am grateful every day for Andrew and the other people in my life.

__I quit______

That’s it. The nitty gritty details. No secret formula. I worked really hard for a really long time and surrounded myself with people who could support that.

I’m really excited to be able to have a social life again – I’ve been invited to join a trivia night and I have plans to see our nephew more and we’ll be able to travel this summer (since I don’t have to worry about black out dates on time off any more).

I’m really excited to now have the time to do what I REALLY want to do. I will still be working really hard but totally on my own terms.

What are your tips for achieving your goals?

*RELATIVE being the keyword. We live in L.A. don’t forget.
The salary that paid for a 2 bedroom townhouse in Phoenix couldn’t come close to a 1 bedroom apartment in L.A.

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  • Chrissy June 25, 2013 at 5:27 am edit

    Good for you – I know you’ve been wanting this for a long time and I am happy for you that you took the leap and did it! I know there are better things to come and it might seem a bit scary now, but let some time pass and you will probably ask yourself why you didn’t quit much sooner! Good luck with everything! xxx

  • Shawna Miller June 25, 2013 at 6:19 am edit

    Congrats! I always read the I Quit stories and always wished that was me. I ended up quitting to be a mom and I’m trying to figure out how to work time for my creative dreams into my new super full time job. :)

  • Ffion June 25, 2013 at 8:02 am edit

    I’m so happy for you. Sound like you had a rough time, I can’t even imagine working like that without having a social life. Brave girl.

    Congratulations on making the leap, I’m sure you’ll make it work. Andrew sounds like a wonderfully supportive and encouraging person :) So nice that you have so much support from around you.

    What’s 30 lists, I’m curious? Moorea Seal is running a 52 Lists challenge and I’ve had some mad fun using it to practice my calligraphy
    However recently she’s working on some big secret project and the 52 Lists haven’t been appearing as frequently anymore. :(
    I’d love to find something new I could practice my calligraphy on, would the 30 Lists work? Is it a paid course? How exactly does it work? How much does it cost?

  • Allie June 25, 2013 at 10:36 am edit

    Ohh, you’re in for a treat! #30lists is the greatest thing ever :) << this explains why I love 30 days of lists…

  • Ffion June 27, 2013 at 1:38 am edit

    Sounds fun :)


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