It’s Been One Year Since I Quit My Job For Self-Employment

My official last day at my day job was October 11, 2013, but that’s a Saturday this year so I am posting my first annual self-employment update a few days early. As a little refresher, I left my day job last year to pursue my online business full-time. I honestly cannot believe it has been…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

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It's Been One Year Since I Quit My Job For Self-Employment
Not a great picture, but it’s one of the only pictures I have from my trips in the past year that has me in it.

My official last day at my day job was October 11, 2013, but that’s a Saturday this year so I am posting my first annual self-employment update a few days early.

As a little refresher, I left my day job last year to pursue my online business full-time.

I honestly cannot believe it has been one year since I left my day job. My day job wasn’t a horrible one, but it also wasn’t the greatest. I didn’t look forward to working and I dreaded every Sunday because it meant I would have to go into a stressful job the next day.

Here are some related articles that will fill you in or help you out if you are new here:

Now, life is amazing. I love everything about self-employment and this has possibly been the best year of my life. Below is my update after being self-employed for ONE FULL YEAR.


It's Been One Year Since I Quit My Job For Self-Employment

I still love what I do.

Many people told me that I would grow to hate freelancing if I started doing it full-time as my main source of income.

Well, that is just not true!

I still love freelancing, self-employment, and everything else. Our lives have never been better, and we often find ourselves saying throughout the day “I cannot believe how much our lives have improved over the past year since we quit our jobs.

Yes, there have been some extremely busy times, dealing with health insurance hasn’t been pleasant, and I have to pay self-employment tax now too, but overall everything has been wonderful.

I have no regrets, and I thoroughly enjoy self-employment. I know it’s not for everyone, but self-employment is definitely for me.


Being able to just wake up and work from home in the morning is great.

One great thing about working from home is that I don’t have a commute. I can just wake up in the morning and start working. I don’t have to spend an hour getting ready and then more time to actually drive to work.

Since I enjoy what I do as well, waking up in the morning is no longer a problem. I enjoy waking up each morning to work!



Having endless access to my fridge isn’t killing me.

I was afraid that I would eat far too much when working from home. Thankfully, I haven’t been too bad. We have been cooking very healthy, but I do still need to improve on working out more.

My main thing now is that I don’t really buy too many unhealthy food items anymore, and if I do I make sure they are in small quantities.


I love having a flexible schedule.

Having a flexible schedule is a BIG positive of working for yourself and being self-employed. I can create a schedule that works best for me. This means if I need to run an errand or go out for lunch with a friend during the day, I can.

I can work at night, I can work in the morning, I can work on the weekends, I can work whenever.


Location independence is wonderful.

Since I left my day job and started being fully self-employed, I have been able to travel a decent amount. We didn’t travel at all from January to the beginning of May of 2014 because we were planning our wedding, but the other seven months were full of travel.

With my business, all I really need is an internet connection and my laptop, so it makes being able to work very easy. The only downside to this is that it can be hard to STOP working when I am on vacation.

In the past seven months we have traveled to:

  • Gulf Shores, Alabama – We vacationed here right after we both quit our jobs. We spent one week in a beach house that we rented. It was a lot of fun and I hope we can go back one day.
  • St. Thomas, Virgin Islands – We went to St. Thomas three times in a 12 month period (only once when I was technically full-time self-employed). Yup, I was addicted last year!
  • Las Vegas – I went to Las Vegas for my bachelorette party and it was a ton of fun.
  • Colorado/Utah road trip – We went on a two week long road trip in June of 2014 right after our wedding. The photo above is from that trip 🙂
  • Caribbean cruise – We went on an eight day cruise to the Caribbean in July of 2014.
  • Colorado – I didn’t go on this trip, but Wes went with a friend in August of 2014 and they hiked a part of the Colorado Trail.
  • Colorado – We went on a seven day road trip to Colorado again in September of 2014.
  • New Orleans – We went to New Orleans in September of 2014 for about four days.
  • Memphis – We visited Wes’s family both before and after New Orleans for a total of two days.



Pajamas are still my best friend.

I am still guilty of wearing yoga clothing pretty much all day long unless I leave my house to go somewhere. It’s super comfy, but I’m sure Wes will never stop laughing at me each and every day. It’s a habit that will be hard to change!

At least I’m saving money on clothing by being self-employed… 🙂

Do you have any questions for me? Are you planning on working for yourself one day?

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Kasia

    Congratulations on a fantastic first year of full time self employment!

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congratulations on a fantastic first year and no doubt many more great years to come.

  3. Wow it’s only been a year? You are such a natural that it seems like so much longer. I remember how much you were working for a while!
    Love CO! We want to move there someday.

    1. Yup it’s only been one year of me being fully self-employed. Sometimes it feels longer than that, other times I can’t believe it’s already been one year!

  4. Congratulations! Enjoy the benefits of being self-employed! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Sounds perfect. I’ll admit to being pretty jealous of your set-up :). I would have to restrain myself around the refrigerator–it’s easy for me to stay healthy at work because I can only eat what I’ve packed. But at home… yum. I’m impressed that you’re holding strong. Many congrats to you for excelling at self-employment!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I thought it would be hard. I’m definitely eating a lot, but not as much as I thought I would haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Liz

    Congrats Michelle – You are an inspiration for me : )

  7. Do you miss your job? HAHA Just kidding. Of course you don’t.

    Yeah, I don’t snack all day either. I’m too busy! I’m sure you are too =)

    1. Haha of course I don’t!

  8. Congrats Michelle! I’m always on my pajama too, my daughter told me that I’m a pajama mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Haha pajama mom! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hooray! Glad year 1 is still as enjoyable as day 1! ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband works from home and benefits from a lot of these things. Sometimes I’m a bit jealous when he gets to sleep in while I rush off for the commute. Esp after reading your post I would LOVE to work from home someday, but I think my working from home will come when we have kids and I become a stay-at-home-mom. Does that count? LOL! Comes with its own different set of pros and cons, I’ve heard… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Deb! Working from home is amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Congrats on one year of self-employment! Your blog has been a huge inspiration to me. I know I’m a long way from it, but I hope to one day be able to make the transition to self-employment too. Thanks for sharing your story ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thanks Breanna! What type of work are you hoping to do as a self-employed person? I love hearing about other people’s dreams and goals ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I would love to pursue freelance writing. I work in marketing currently, so I’ve also considered freelance market research and marketing consulting. I think I have too many interests to narrow it down to just one thing!

  11. Pajamas are totally my best friend too. It’s a big day when I get dressed, let alone put on make up!

  12. Congratulations and happy anniversary, Michelle! One question I have for you is what do you recommend to someone like me, who is getting more momentum with the blog, but not necessarily seeing that same momentum with respect to income from the blog (perhaps attempting more freelancing jobs?)? Thanks!

    1. Hey Natalie!

      How long have you been blogging? It usually takes time for blog income to happen. I would definitely attempt to earn more freelance jobs.

  13. Happy 1 year anniversary!!

    1. Thank you Michelle!

  14. Congrats on one year! And you are still going strong! I’d love to know how you organize all your tasks, just a list, a planner, etc.?

    1. Hey Sarah!

      I have a planner, but I mainly just keep track of everything in my phone. Makes it easy to have my calendar and notes all in one place.

  15. Sounds like a great transition! What don’t you like about being self-employed?

    1. Thanks Brian! Self-employment is really great. There’s really nothing I don’t like except for self-employment taxes ๐Ÿ™

  16. Thank you! Are you actively working towards self-employment currently?

  17. Hey Michelle,

    What a year you’ve had! Totally agree with you that being able to work as and when you want is a fantastic benefit of the lifestyle we lead as self employed digital nomads. Keep up the progress!

  18. Congrats on one year Michelle!! I still remember when you posted your last day, feels like yesterday. Time flies!! Self-employment is not for everyone, but for those who have the stomach for it, there really are so many benefits.

    1. Yes, I love self-employment! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. YES! It is the best feeling ever. I love it.

  20. Nina @

    Congrats! I’ve recently found myself self-employed as I lost my fulltime job and was left with just my side-business. I’m hoping to make something out of being a freelance programmer and webdesigner but it is hard to get any clients. Just got to keep trying I guess. You’ve also inspired me to look at other side hustles, maybe I can find something to do (for now) with writing. And I’ve signed up as a mystery shopper as well.

    1. Thanks Nina! I hope everything works out well for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Adrienne

    Congrats Shell!! I loved all the gifs you used in this post, they made me laugh ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep on kicking butt, you are such an inspiration to a lot of people!

    1. Thanks A!

      Yes, the gifs made me laugh as well. LOL

  22. I’m currently working as a VA from home and it’s been fun. People are all the #1 thing you need to do is make sure you get dressed everyday and I’m always like why?!!? But like you I’m def. saving on clothing by not needing to get corporate dressed up everyday!

    1. Haha yes I love saving all of this money by not needing corporate clothing!

  23. Congratulations on your 1st year!

  24. Congrats on your 1st year. I will eventually get to the point where I’m self employed. Until then the grind won’t stop.

  25. Congrats! Wow, can’t believe it has been a year already?! You have done an amazing job! I can only hope to make 1/4 of what you make after a year, haha!

    1. Thanks Melanie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Congratulations! I didn’t realize your husband is self-employed too. That’s awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, we work together ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ha I don’t really ever take a full day off. That would just be too hard I think.

  27. Maria

    Congratulations on a very successful first year! Your journey is an inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Congratulations on your self-employment anniversary. I agree with you there is nothing better in freelancing than the freedom and loving what you do , just because you are doing it for yourself.

  29. I can’t believe it has been a year already! I agree, freelancing is fantastic – despite the stress it can sometimes bring! I would much rather freelance than be back in my old job

    1. Same here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Andy | Income by Example

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Great to hear things are still going well!

  31. FIVE YEARS of self-employment here: I LOVE IT.

    Losing my job in2009 was a blessing in disguise, it was the kick I needed in my behind. 5 years have passed: I have traveled the world, earn WAY more than before, am my own boss (so I can really schedule work and fun) and now I can take care of my 8 month old and also earn money. LOVE IT!

    Congratulations and keep up the great work. The sky is the limit!

    1. Wow what an awesome story! Congrats on five year!

  32. Congrats, Michelle! I cannot believe it’s been a year already! I’m so glad everything has worked out for the better. I’m also a sucker for yoga pants and comfy clothes, but I do sometimes find that dressing “normally” helps me be a little more productive. Funny, I also don’t eat nearly as much as I thought I would. I think I snacked more working in an office!

    1. I agree! I think I snacked a lot more when I worked in my old office.

  33. Congratulations on your achievement. It’s very inspiring.

  34. Congrats on an awesome year of self-employment!

  35. Myles Money

    Congratulations on reaching the first-year milestone, Michelle. The thing I love about working for myself is the flexibility to work when and where I choose: freedom!

    1. Yes, freedom is amazing!

  36. Marisol Roman

    I wish i could do what you do :/ I just never have time… with three kids, work, and homeschooling….verrrrry difficult! Congratulations on reaching your first year milestone ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Marisol ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. The sweatpants image is hilarious! Congrats on having a great year of self employment. I am working my way towards that goal too. Nice to hear positive stories of people hitting their goals.

    Congrats again ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. anna pry

    I still have issues with the unlimited access to our fridge! haha, Glad its all working out great for you!

  39. Jef Miles

    Great to finally be on your main site and thanks for referring me to here. First of all congratulations on the 1 year! How does it feel, sounds like you are loving it?

    I’d love to embrace self employment and am considering moving from what I am currently blogging about into a travel/lifestyle blog. Have an ambition of getting to 100 countries by 40 and helping others achieve their travel goals as well or generally travel some more, doing the things they love!

    A few questions that I do have are do you use VA’s, if yes how did you hire these and what are you getting them to do for you? Also are you aware of good blogger carnival type websites for travel bloggers?

    Let me know if there is anything I can help you with, although it seems like you’re doing very well, and I’d be happy to help out

    1. Hey Jef!

      Sounds like a great goal! Hope you get to do that ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have a few VAs but my main one is my sister (she blogs at I mainly have her staff write.

      Sorry, I’m not aware of any carnivals for travel bloggers ๐Ÿ™

      1. Jef Miles

        Thanks for the encouraging words and advice Michelle..
        Looking forward to sticking around a bit longer and watching you grow and growing with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Congrats! Nothing like being your own boss and working in pajamas!

  41. Lisa

    Congrats girl! I would love to be able to work for myself one day, I just need to figure out what that means exactly! In the meantime, the job I have right now is pretty good, so I’m in no rush to leave just yet.

  42. burhan c

    Hi Can we do the same, i have not that much confidence but current employment is getting boring.

  43. JustTeddy

    I love your article! I’ve been self-employed for a year now ( I run a mini online shop) but I had to quit it so I can practice my degree– I’m actually starting tomorrow (oh how I wish I could cancel tomorrow) I wish it’s already Apr. 2017 so that I could quit and re-start my mini business. How I love being self-employed, they said it’s boring, for me it’s not! That 1 year of being self-employed has been one of the amazing year I had so far. Can’t wait to be my own boss again ๐Ÿ™‚