This week, I’ve been creating the lessons for the how to promote your book boot camp I’m teaching in March. Today, I worked on a lesson on social media and realized that I hadn’t worked in public relations for twenty years.
Twenty years, I thought, had it been that long? It’s what actually gave me the topic idea for this post.
It was back in 2000, yes, the beginning of the new century that I decided to venture out on my own. It wasn’t something I’d intended to do. I’d been working for a publishing company as a publicist. During my third year there, I got a sense that things weren’t that rosy. One paycheck bounced so I decided it was time to start looking for another job. I could only find a part-time one so I decided to work both jobs and use the extra money to add to my mortgage payment so it got paid off that much quicker. However, the part time job just wasn’t my cup of tea, and it meant that I was working from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. every day and something had to give. I dropped that job and stuck with the one at the publishing company, but then things really went downhill when the owner got sued. It’s a long story, details of which I don’t want to share here, but let’s just say things got so toxic that I was getting stressed and sick and had no alternative but to quit the job.
I woke up the day after I’d handed in my notice, thinking, what am I going to do, I have a car payment, a mortgage and now, no job? Deep in my heart, I knew I’d done the right thing and told myself that I was done working for other people. Gone were the days that I’d put my financial well being in the hands of someone else. I’d no longer work to help another person live their dream, I’d work to live my own.
There’s nothing like having bills to pay and no job to get the brainstorming started. I loved to write, I was good at it, and yes, I was going to be a full time freelance writer. But wait a minute, I had no leads, where would I start, how long before I ran out of savings?
I didn’t panic but set out to find some odd jobs while I got my first clients and got the assignments rolling in. In fact, I had three of them. I sold ad space for a new age publication, I taught cooking classes at the local co-op, and I cleaned offices at night. As the assignments did roll in, and some of them came through connections I made at the jobs, I slowly was able to drop one job, two jobs and then all three. It took time, it took budgeting, it took belief in myself that I could do it. All the time, the driving force being, I didn’t ever want to work for someone else ever again.
Here I am twenty years later, no longer a freelance writer, but an author of 100 plus books, writing tutor, teacher and coach.
I hope you’ve enjoyed me sharing how I arrived here and that maybe it’s given you the incentive to venture out on your own too. There’s no sure thing when you work for someone else and while I’m not saying quit your job today, I encourage you to find a side gig, set up a business, set up a rainy day fund just in case the worst case scenario ever happens to you.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve now taken BSG into a new direction, to help you do just that.
Talk again soon and remember to live the life you love.