Top 10 list: Working for myself is awesome

I quitHonestly …. I could just let this article stand on its own: Why working from home wins

ALL OF THESE THINGS.

But, just for fun, here are my TOP 10 list of what I’m looking forward to working for myself….

10. Being home

I love my house. I love being home with my cats (I know. I’m that person). I love being home when Andrew gets home from work. I love having the time to finally finish unpacking boxes. I love being able to enjoy the little nest we’re building together.

9. PJs every day

Actually, probably not…. Maybe leggings or dresses without having to worry about being ladylike. But I can wear t-shirts if I want to. I don’t have to feel bad about not wearing makeup. I’m ultimately just going to be so much more physically comfortable.

8. “free” time again

Between the day job and the building L&R I haven’t really had “free time”. I’m going to get to have a social life again. I’m going to have a chance to play video games and watch movies again. I might even make time to work out.

7. much much less junk food

There was always SO MUCH sweets and junk at work. Like every other day someone brought it sweets. Since I don’t buy anything like that to keep in the house, I am anticipating being able to eat a lot better. No more sugar-temptation every single time I get up from my cubicle seat.

6. FAR less wasted time

The kind of work I did involved just sitting around and waiting for work to come in. Sometimes it was crazy busy, and sometimes I did almost nothing for a whole day. As someone who is super motivated, all that wasted time sitting around drove me CRAZY. I would much rather be home cleaning than just sitting at my cubicle for 6 hours with nothing to do. True story.
ALSO far less wasted time in the car. I was spending 52.5 hours/week outside the house between commute, work, lunch, work, commute. NOW I can still work 40 hours/week, get more done AND have more free time.

5. save $$ on gas

Speaking of … Andrew and I both have had to drive so much we were spending about $500/month on gas. For real. Now, though, I won’t be driving nearly as much and Andrew will be driving the better-mileage car so I anticipate cutting that in half at least! Excited :)

4. new sleeping schedule

As I know I’ve mentioned, the last 5 years I’ve worked until 11p every night which is completely against my natural schedule. I am not a fan of staying up late or sleeping in. I’ve only been self-employed for a few days and I’m already back to falling asleep early and getting up around 6a. AND I LOVE IT.
I think I’ll eventually fall into a schedule where I get up at 6a or so …. work work work til mid-afternoon and then relax/sleep/read in the early evening until Andrew gets home. CANNOT WAIT.

3. no salary cap

My day job corporation had a salary cap for my position – and little (really not any) opportunity for advancement. Which means no matter how hard I worked I could never make any more money. Working for myself, though, is the complete opposite. If I sit around reading a book (like I did at the day job), I won’t make any money …. But if I need a little “bonus” or raise I just gotta hustle.
I’m SUPER excited to have more control over how much money I can make because I know I’m smart and I know I’m a hard worker.

2. rewarded for hard work and intelligence

Related …. Everything at the day job was based on seniority. Privileges and perks given to those who have stuck around …. The shaft is given to people who have been there “only” 5 years. So there was no real reason to work hard. There’s no real reason for me to know all the social media, SEO, online marketing stuff that I know. There’s no reward for being smart or working hard at that place.
But working for myself means that I personally get to reap the benefits of my own hard work. Excited!

1. choosing my own tasks

My day job duties were boring. There’s really no other way to put it. It takes 6 months or so to ‘get it’ and really be able to do the job on your own … but after that it’s just variations on a theme. I need to be challenged. I need to have problems to solve. Having to just do the same task over and over again makes me a little crazy.
I’m SO excited to be able to choose my own tasks and make my own work day. I’m super excited to be able to go on little kicks and dive deep into learning a certain topic that I can immediately work into my online platform and work.
Example: My U.S. History class. Looking into building that site out to attract traffic to monetize that fun little obsession I have.
SERIOUSLY so excited to be able to do work that I am interested in!

That gives you some idea of what I’m leaving and what I’m looking forward to….

What would you be most excited about if you worked for yourself?

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How BUILD helped my quit my job

I realize that somebody might look at the BUILD ecourse info and think, ‘who the heck is this nobody blogger who thinks she can give advice?’

Totally fair assessment.I quit

But the truth is the techniques, skills and strategy that I teach in the upcoming BUILD ecourse are exactly what has helped my quit my day job with NO advertisers and fewer than 1000 followers.

In a nutshell, I’ve built L&R as my primary online platform.

That online platform is what I have leveraged to 

  1. sell ebooks/ecourses directly
  2. get involved with Kam and 30 Days of Lists
  3. show off my skills that helped me get the job with Maggie

Those three things working together will make up the bulk of my income going forward.

No matter what you want to do, your online platform can help you get what you want …… Mine has helped me quit my day job.

Click the image below and make sure you sign-up for the free blogging tips delivered weekly to your email.

750x100_amyquit_color

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How I quit my day job: The unglamorous details

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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Collection of How I Quit stories

I quitI’ve been a tad obsessive about this for the last 3 years or so – ever since I realized that I couldn’t stay at my day job.

I’ve been collecting How-I-Quit stories from around the web, from my favorite bloggers, writers and entrepreneurs. I was looking for hints that I was on the right track; for confirmation that I am not the only one who felt like this might never happen for me. I loved reading about how they KNEW it was time.

Maybe some of these will inspire you too ….

Do you have any favorite How-I-Quit stories?

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The announcement you have all been waiting for

 

I quit

last day of work

This is the face of a girl with 8 hours left of her day job – you’ll be seeing this photo again for a couple other projects!

 

alternate title: The End – The Beginning

Friday was my last day in corporate America.

This is something I have been planning for for a LONG time. I still don’t REALLY feel ready, but Andrew does…. and I’d honestly rather be poor and happy that continue in that job any longer.

So here we go!!

I know some people think I’m crazy …. I mean looking at my wild eyes in this photo -> I look crazy.

I just quit a perfectly good, relatively secure, salaried job with good benefits and nothing terrible or unethical about my duties.

It’s so not-terrible that I started to feel guilty and beat myself up about being so miserable … and then I came across this post from the Adulting Blog and realized that my job offered me NONE of those 3 things.

None.

I don’t feel so bad any more. It’s a perfectly fine job for some people just not me.

Waaaaay back in October 2010 is when I first thought, ‘I wonder if I could quit my day job?’ …. and then I recommitted in October 2011. That’s when we started house shopping so I could take advantage of my then-5+ years of job history.

So, now that we’ve crossed a lot of must-dos off our list, it’s time.

It’s time for me to take that leap.

Friday was extremely emotionally draining. Again, I STILL don’t feel ready, and I feel a little guilty that I get to do this and be crazy happy while Andrew works so hard to support our family ….  I spent all day at the day job talking to (now-former) coworkers, saying goodbye, talking about my plans …. and I came home exhausted.

Saturday I got up, assisted on a photo shoot and then spent the rest of the day still exhausted and not ready to really start on my new life. Watched some TV shows, chatted with Kam, went to bed.

But yesterday, Sunday, I was wide awake at 6am (dear lord, I’ve missed that). I’m a morning person to my very core, and this whole working-til-11p for the last 5 years has just been the WORST. I am SO ready to get to work early early in the morning from now on.

I’ve got a whole week of I-QUIT-MY-DAY-JOB content planned! So many some of your questions will be answered over the next few days, but I bet you’re wondering what I have planned now that I’ve freed up 52.5 hours of each week ….

Plans for the next few months

  • travel then launch BUILD ecourse
  • travel again then launch the next 30Lists
  • travel again then launch this fall’s Onward and Upward
  • continue working for Maggie – she’ll start getting busy again for September – mid-December
  • keep the house clean for my loving husband, work on our backyard, etc.
  • keep on trucking with my 2 existing blogs (make sure you’re subscribed)

I have some small manageable goals:

  • move into more writing/editing for small businesses (sales pages, email blasts, ebook proofing, launch coaching, etc). More on this later in the week.
  • release a few more e-products for you all. I’ve got ideas, but let me know if you have requests.
  • take over marketing for Ghostbot Records
  • redesign Those Crazy Schuberts
  • redesign Andrew’s freelance site
  • create some small niche websites on various topics. I bought the URLs last weekend. I’ll let you know when those are done.
  • revise Tell Its Story
  • revise my Master’s Thesis and release it on Kindle. Just for fun. Because I enjoy writing academic papers.
  • finish all the 95 Blurb books I have started or ideas for
  • scan all my negatives (from about 1992 – 2003). Finally

I have some big audacious “someday” goals:

  • write for Vanity Fair
  • get into selling stock photography
  • shoot (or write) for National Geographic
  • pitch a book idea to Uppercase or Chronicle
  • someday give a TED talk.
  • start an L&R podcast
  • maybe travel to Seattle to sit in on a creativeLIVE class
  • write a few couple books (I have several non-fiction ideas and a several of fiction)

And then I also have some just for fun projects (like Find your Voice, Summer Love and a video game I haven’t started but have been saving since November)…

I can’t wait!

This is the first of a whole week’s worth of I QUIT related posts!

I think you’ll love it!

I’m a little giddy if you can’t tell.

Any questions you have about how/why/what now?

P.S. L&R list subscribers got this news last night. Make sure you’re signed up to get the exclusives and extras!

6 comments

A year of brave (11)

A year of brave

This year I’m going to be BRAVE.

Sometimes BRAVE means doing something brand new, sometimes it means doing that thing you’ve been putting off for months.

Every Sunday (or so) I want to post about something BRAVE-ish I’ve done recently – to keep myself accountable to actually DO something AND to remind you being brave is not always lion taming and hang-gliding.

Last week:

I said my last day out loud.

I’ve been dreaming and planning and nervously looking at the calendar for, oh … a year.

Andrew and I have been privately discussing the plans. I need him to constantly reassure me that it’s OK that I won’t be bringing in as much of an income. I need him to tell me again and again that it’s OK that I’ll be home (doing housework, probably) and he’ll be working 50+ hours/week. I feel guilty about that (I’ve worked at least 30 hours/week for the last 14 years). I feel seriously nervous that we’re going to end up eating ramen for every meal. Taking this giant leap of quitting my day job without another one lined up is frightening, so I’ve been hemming and hawing about deciding the actual date.

Plus, I’m still working through my before-I-quit to do list…

But this past week I actually made a decision of when my absolute last day is (although I may move it sooner)…. and I told someone.

That makes it real, right?

It’s still not *technically* official, but it’s so much closer to being true.

Plus now I have that accountability of someone else knowing and potentially asking about it if the date comes and goes.

Super scary! But I’m being brave :)

2 comments

A year of brave (9)

A year of brave

This year I’m going to be BRAVE.

Sometimes BRAVE means doing something brand new, sometimes it means doing that thing you’ve been putting off for months.

Every Sunday (or so) I want to post about something BRAVE-ish I’ve done recently – to keep myself accountable to actually DO something AND to remind you being brave is not always lion taming and hang-gliding.

Last week:

IRA

I finally got around to filing my paperwork to open up an IRA (retirement savings account).

I have a 401k from my last job that needs to be rolled over so I can keep all my retirement savings in the same place. Simplify simplify.

Again, this is not a SUPER big deal. It’s not super brave at all to simply open up a new account. It’s something that I should have done any time in the last 10 years.

BUT …. it’s on my before-I-escape-the-day-job to do list!

SO excited to be getting closer to the end of that list :)

And now when I have a place to roll over my current 401k as well.

The fewer obstacles between me and leaving my day job the scarier it gets.

What small things are on your to do list that need to get done for your next brave act?

4 comments