Today we have a guest post from Tiffany over at Running Hutch. I met this lovely lady at FitBloggin one morning over some bacon at The Nines. We are also both SweatPink Ambassadors. I loved reading her story about how to took a leap of faith to pursue her dreams of having a career related to health and wellness, so I wanted her to speak about it here. Enjoy! And show her some love!
Who is me? Running Hutch is my super running pseudonym. Right now I get to be Running Hutch full-time and that means I can run and pursue my goals and…that’s pretty much it. I used to work full-time in a typical desk job (aka dying inside from stress and the frustration that comes from giving the best hours of my day during the best days of my life to a company that cared less about me than I did about them). I quit that like a bad habit. This post is about what happened after I cut my security strings and jumped into funemployment.
Apples For Apples
When I quit my job, I immediately threw myself into another working situation that had the promise of being better but I should have known better. It was an internship at my gym. I would get to learn more about things I loved (health and fitness) and be at the gym all day! However, it didn’t pay at all and it was set up like a baptism by fire. Whoever “survived” the 100 day internship would win the job. See where this is going?
I realized I had traded one rotten apple for another. I was unable to pursue my personal goals. My work-life balance was worse than before AND I had no benefits or income. So, I quit again! I may be creating a bad reputation for myself but, I don’t care.
Prioritizing Free Time
One of my big goals is to earn an income, however small, from my blog and freelance writing. A little less than 2 months after quitting that internship, I had my first paid writing gig. Then a second. I had finally been able to dedicate my time to improving my online personality and blog content. However, having “Free Time” because I’m “not working” does not equal more success as a writer or blogger. It hasn’t been that simple.
My days are mine to rule or to waste. I have to make an action plan for each day and set my own deadlines. Otherwise I don’t get much done. I’ve learned a lot about being my own boss and holding myself accountable. I have to know how many projects I can take on. I have to prioritize them. I have to be both selective about my opportunities and work hard to create opportunities.
Hobby vs Business
I used to approach writing and blogging as a hobby. Now I approach it as starting a business. I created a designated workspace at home to help stay focused. It has taken some soul-searching to apply my business marketing knowledge to my blog. It’s not easy to critique who you are as a writer and blogger and try to cut out the crap in your content. I still enjoy it all completely, but I have to ask myself, “Where do I want to go with this? What is my plan to get there?”
Sometimes I wish I could just go back to writing whatever I was thinking and hit “Publish”. Now, I must edit, revise and consider how it represents my skills to potential partners.
I didn’t use to think much about what other people thought of my blog. Now, I rely on feedback from colleagues (other bloggers) and my board of advisors (family and friends).
I didn’t use to care about working with brands as long as I got free product. Now, I consult others before signing contracts or agreeing to work for any brands, and have to consider how the company’s brand fits my personal brand. Oy.
Quitting my standard American job to create my own job description has been difficult. Mainly because I’m making things up as I go, I’m the only one to blame if something goes wrong, and I have to build my own resources and connections for success.
That being said, I still enjoy it and I still believe it is all worth it. That’s how I know I made the right decision. If you work hard and your heart is in it, it’s hardly work.