Life After Quitting My Job

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.

Takeaway

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.

Tiffany “Hutch” Henness is an adult-onset runner and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. Under the name Running Hutch, she writes about her running lifestyle, incorporating faith and sustainable living.

16 Comments

  1. Carline says:

    I like the idea of treating your blog as a business and not a hobby. I think that will help me prioritize in the future when I re-vamp my blog. Great post!

    11.26.13 ·
  2. Columbia says:

    Great post. I actually got fired yesterday from the job I’ve had for almost a year. It was a blessing in disguise, I wasn’t happy and I was ready to leave, but scared of not having an income. I needed that push out, because today I got 3 lucrative gigs that I enjoy making about the same, or a little more than what I was making there. Amen!

    8.15.13 ·
    • Wow! Great perspective and good on ya with using a bad situation for creating the best situation!

      A former co-worker was also let go and she had said the same thing you did: I’d been wanting to quit but was scared. They did me a favor.

      8.22.13 ·
  3. Hi Tiffany and welcome as the guest today! Man that internship makes me boil. They are always doing stuff like that to get free help and I don’t like gym tactics like that. I’m glad you quit!

    Balancing a free day is very challenging. I appreciate your honesty in sharing what you are going through. Congratulations on seeing some progress and all the best as you continue to prosper in this area of your life.

    8.12.13 ·
    • Well, I half quit. I only substitute coach and get paid per class now. But the rest of the time is mine! Thanks so much for the comment and well wishes. 😀

      8.12.13 ·
  4. Great post! Thanks for sharing something so inspiring!

    8.12.13 ·
    • Thanks Britt! Feels good to hear that.

      8.12.13 ·
  5. Alison says:

    This is so true! I love how you viewed it as wasting the best hours of your best years at an ungrateful company. I agree wholeheartedly. I did the same thing a little over a year ago and I couldn’t be happier! Great job!

    8.12.13 ·
    • I love to hear others have made the same leap. Now that it’s been over a year, how is it going? I’m curious!

      8.12.13 ·
  6. I had the pleasure of meeting Tiffany this past weekend and I would expect nothing less than honesty and humor from the woman I met. Good luck with reaching for your dreams…you deserve it.

    8.12.13 ·
    • Thank you SO much Debbie. It was really – and I mean REALLY – great to meet and chat with you. I hope we get to do it more often!

      8.12.13 ·
  7. Kat says:

    I need Hutchie’s nerve, but can’t escape the steady paycheck with bills we still have to pay off – once those are settled, it won’t feel like such a :HAVE TO:

    8.12.13 ·
    • I think the stars do have to align a bit with things like finances – but once they do I highly doubt you’ll lack the nerve. You are a courageous woman with a strong spirit!

      8.12.13 ·
  8. Thanks Chelle! I SO wish I could have coffee dates with fancy schmancy bloggers! lol. But they’d have to be willing to have home-brewed coffee. I can’t afford Starbucks right now. 😉

    8.12.13 ·
  9. This is one of the best “life as a full-time-blogger” posts I’ve read- yay for being honest about the struggles and not making it seem like you just sit around having expensive coffee dates with other fancy schmancy bloggers all day!

    8.12.13 ·
    • Oops, I left my response comment in the wrong spot. See below. #shameface #bloggerfail

      8.12.13 ·

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