Whelp. It’s now been 3 years since that fateful day of being let go and jumping into blogging full-time (anyone still reading from 2010?), and as we cross the 6 Million page view mark, I can’t express how grateful I am to still be here.
Who knew a blog could change your life?? :)
Throughout these past few years however – and really, the past 6 overall – I’ve learned a lot and continue to do so almost every single day. I haven’t seen anything evolve so fast as the internet’s been doing this past decade, and I’m glad we’re all here right now taking advantage of it :)
Here are a handful of things I’ve learned over the years:
- It’s incredibly rewarding being able to do what you love every day.
- Even though half of the stuff I do is just as annoying as the stuff everyone else has to do :)
- It’s often more stressful than a “regular” job too – at least those I’ve ever had. (Especially when you’re the sole provider for your family)
- And speaking of family, they pretty much think you goof off all day and will call/drop by anytime they want because apparently when you’re home that means you’re not working.
- But that can be fun sometimes too :)
- And can give you a nice break from hustling 24/7.
- Which is probably the hardest part of the job – there’s no “turning it off” switch.
- But it is awesome to be able to set your own schedule.
- And work in your pjs. (though warning: you always feel/are less productive when doing so)
- Lately, it’s also starting to get a bit lonely (I work from home).
- And going to coffee shops only takes you so far.
- I also have to continually remind myself that work is not the most important thing in the world.
- Nor is my “brand” or twitter account, or anything else us bloggers obsess aver. (See also: stats)
- It’s wonderful being recognized in your own field, but I’m thankful it doesn’t carry over into the “real” world. No one knows, or even cares, who you are offline – it’s freeing.
- Also, I’ve stopped telling people I’m a blogger when asked what “I do.” They never understand, so now it’s “online consultant.” No one knows what that is either, but they always shake their heads in agreement and move on to the real reason they asked: so they can tell you what THEY do ;)
- With freedom, also comes analysis paralysis. It’s often times hard to focus when there’s no limits.
- On the plus side, when you finally DO know what you want to harness your energy on, you can start doing so *right* away.
- But the money flows all over the place, so it’s important to stash it away when the times are good. There’s less stability working for yourself.
- On the flip side, the rewards can be much better. I once made $22,000 over a weekend for probably 12 hours of work. (And then, 2 years later, lost $8,000 on a new idea/project).
- You can deduct a lot more than you think with a home office too.
- And you feel like you’re in a “special” little club with other entrepreneurs. Even though it’s just as “special” as any other job out there ;) (If we had signs on our fronts saying who was self-employed, we’d give each other high fives when walking by each other – similar to how motorcyclists and jeep owners acknowledge each other on the road)
- But you also have to deal with insurance and quarterly taxes for having the pleasure.
- And doubting yourself, then praising yourself, and then doubting yourself all over again.
- When you become successful at one project, you also think you’re going to be successful on all of them (you’re not).
- And you fail a lot more times than you succeed.
- But, the times you succeed make you forget about all the failures! ;)
- It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
- Nor, for *everyone* – contrary to what many entrepreneurs like to say.
- Working for yourself is not the only way to define success either. What makes you HAPPY, does. At least to me… In career, love, and life in general.
So, I’ve pretty much learned a lot over the years :) And I honestly couldn’t tell you where I’ll be this time next year, or any of the years afterwards for that matter. I love my job, but I also love a bunch of other stuff in life too (and I’m no stranger to switching jobs! ;))
What I DO know, however, is that I just want to be happy. Whatever that looks like. Right now that means working for myself and continuing to grow our family, but perhaps it’ll look different later. Perhaps I’ll go back to 9-5 one day, or maybe I’ll continue blogging for the next 30 years when it’s not even called blogging any more. Who knows…
But right now? I am happy. And blessed to be able to write a post like this. I never saw this lifestyle coming, but the world works in mysterious ways if you keep your eyes open. And that’s probably the biggest lesson learned throughout this whole experience: being prepared for when opportunity knocks (and *knowing* when it’s indeed an opportunity, too).
Thank you guys so much for being a part of this journey with me throughout the years! And supporting all my crazy projects! :) You can’t have blogs (professionally) without readers, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Word-press photo by J$