Just a few years ago, numerous people called me crazy for leaving my day job as a financial analyst in order to pursue my blogging side hustle full-time. At that point, many people saw my side hustle as just a hobby, not a real business. Plus, some people thought that it wasn't secure enough, that I was nuts for leaving my stable job that I went to college for, along with many other reasons.
And, for the most part, I completely understood why people thought I was crazy.
It's not like the average person knows a full-time blogger or exactly what a blogger is. Just the thought of someone earning a living online, just a few years ago, blew people's mind and led to lots of confusion and questions. It's a very unusual career choice that can be mind boggling for the average person to hear about.
Due to this, we received many money lectures from coworkers and bosses, people who thought we were giving up and trying to find an “easy” way to work, and more.
I had a great day job that paid well. It had benefits, paid a plentiful bonus at the end of each year, and I could have worked there forever if I wanted to.
But, it just wasn't for me.
Behind the scenes, it felt like my day job was killing me. I know that many people aren’t absolutely in love with their job, but I could barely stand going in each day and dreaded nearly every bit of it.
Today's blog post isn't me telling everyone that they should become a blogger. No, instead, it is about how you should work towards improving your life if you are feeling unhappy, stuck, lost, etc. I felt so unhappy, and at times I felt extremely stuck, stressed, and miserable. I thought this was just how life was supposed to be, and that I was the odd one for hating my day job so much.
Turns out, life didn't have to be that way!
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Here's how I knew I should leave my good day job to pursue my side hustle full-time.
I believed in my side hustle business.
I created Making Sense of Cents almost six years ago, and since then, I have earned over $2,000,000 with my blog and over $1,000,000 just in 2017.
But, it wasn't always that way.
I created my blog on a whim after reading about a personal finance website in a magazine. At first, it was just a hobby to track my own personal finance progress, and I had no intention whatsoever of learning how to make money online. And, when I started in 2011, I honestly didn't even know that people could make money blogging!
My interest in blogging quickly grew, but like I said it was all just a hobby. I wanted a space to write about my personal finance situation, have a support group, keep track of how I was doing, and more. I did not create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of earning an income, but after only six months, I began to make money blogging.
A friend I met through the blogging community connected me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that advertisement deal. That was the start of learning how to make extra money online.
By the summer of 2012, just one year after I started my blog, I was earning around $1,000 a month, and I was making around $10,000 monthly by the following summer.
And, that's around when I quit my job to blog full-time. Sure, $10,000 seems like a lot to make each month. But don't forget that I have business expenses, a high tax rate, and more on top of that.
Plus, being a business owner isn't for the faint-hearted. It can be extremely unpredictable, and you never really know what's in store for your future.
And, it was a brand new business for me and something I didn't go to college for.
However, I believed in my side hustle, and I knew it could only grow.
I believed that this was the best decision for myself, and I still 1,000% feel that way.
My side hustle income eventually grew higher than my day job salary.
Once my side income was higher than my day job income, it was very hard to stay motivated at my day job. I knew that if my side hustle grew any further, that sacrificing my happiness was not worth it to be working in an industry that I did not enjoy.
Yes, I probably could have continued to work full-time as a financial analyst at my day job, as well as working on my side hustle. However, that would have been draining to do for too much longer, as I was working over 100 hours a week between the two.
So, eventually, I made the decision that I had to pick one or the other. And, I picked Making Sense of Cents!
I enjoyed my side hustle.
Before I started my blogging side hustle, I never gave blogging a single thought. Like I said, I didn't even know that blogs existed, let alone that it would be fun.
Now that I’ve been blogging for over six years, I can’t imagine not blogging, and I am so very thankful that I turned my little hobby blog into a side hustle all those years ago.
I enjoy helping others improve their financial situation, reading blog posts from others, finding new people to talk to, working on my blog, and especially writing.
I love waking up each morning to work, and I no longer dread work like I did when I had my day job. Blogging is both challenging and rewarding, as there is always something new to learn, and you can reach so many people through your blog.
This is a big reason for why I decided to pursue my side hustle full-time. I didn't enjoy my day job one bit, and here I was having a lot of fun and enjoying pretty much every moment that I spent on my side hustle.
To me, it was a no brainer – I was earning more through blogging and actually enjoying myself.
I am able to help others.
Even though I didn't realize it would happen when I first started my blogging side hustle, as it has grown over the years, I have helped many people – including myself!
Yes, it did teach me how to make extra money and more, but it also helped me help others in numerous ways.
My blog helps readers by showing them new ideas, help them improve their finances, manage their life better, and more.
I have received many emails over the years from readers who I have helped, and it makes it all worthwhile. Helping readers is the best!
I am my own boss.
I never thought that I'd be my own boss when I first started my blogging side hustle.
I can decide what type of business I run, my schedule, my goals, and more.
With my day job, I did not feel in control, at all. Even though I was a good worker, I still felt like I was constantly tiptoeing around.
I knew I would never lose my job, but I also didn't know what was in store for my future.
Now, I feel way more in control since I am my own boss. I can dictate what I want to do, what I don't want to do, and when I want to do it all. I can create a flexible schedule that works best for me, and I can grow my business in the ways that I desire.
My business allows me travel full-time.
At my day job, I received a fair amount of vacation time. It was somewhere around 2-3 weeks a year.
However, being on vacation didn’t mean I was actually able to really leave work for those 2-3 weeks each year.
The work would just pile up on my desk until the day I came back, and I would have to work outside of my normal 8a.m. to 5:30 p.m. hours to catch up after a vacation. Also, the days leading up to a vacation were just as stressful because of all the work that had to be done before I left.
Those 2-3 weeks also included any sicknesses, family emergencies and more, so you can easily see how quickly it all added up whenever things came up in life.
While 2-3 weeks is something I was grateful to receive, it just wasn't for me, especially, since I didn't enjoy my job. Working around 50 weeks a year just to enjoy two weeks off seemed crazy to me.
Now, I travel full-time and can go on vacation whenever I want. While I am working much more than I did at my day job, I am in full control and have a much better work life balance.
I saw others around me hating their jobs.
After landing my first “professional” job after college, I started noticing more and more how others perceived their jobs. I saw how much others genuinely hated their jobs and what they did, and I could see it completely controlling them.
I knew I did not want that. I saw the opportunity that my blogging side hustle gave me, and I jumped on that. I wanted to do something different, with the hope and dream that it would all work out, because anything was better than my current situation.
It wasn't fair to the company I worked for.
My heart wasn't in my work, and it wouldn't have been fair to the company for me to continue to work there. The people I worked with were kind people, but the job made me miserable. It was stressful, the work wasn't enjoyable, it could be quite repetitive at times, I definitely was not improving the world in any way (I dealt with wealthy clients and wasn't changing the world in any way), and so on.
As the days went on, I realized that I couldn't do the job forever. So, by quitting, the company would be able to sooner find the right person for the position, since they were grooming me to take on a key role in the company.
My heart just wasn't in the work that I did.
The job I had may be for some, but I still can't believe I got myself into that mess.
I knew I couldn't waste any more of their time since I knew I wasn't in it for the long haul. I was wasting both their time and mine by continuing to work there.
I absolutely dreaded Sundays and Mondays.
Sundays were horrible because I knew that I had work the next day. Mondays were horrible because I actually had to go to a job that was so incredibly boring. It was also so stressful that I didn't even know what to do with myself.
I also had no one to talk to because I worked independently, and even when I met with clients, they were all older businessmen (and I was a very early 20's female). So, not only was the work horrible, but there was also no social life at the company or in the industry.
Since switching to my freelancing business full-time, I actually look forward to each and every single day. I look forward to any new leads, and to also work for my current clients. I really enjoy everything I do! And, even though I work from home, I have a much better social life than I did when I had my day job – I talk to other freelancers, friends, and family all the time.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons for why I made the decision to leave my day job. It's been around four years since I made the switch, and I honestly cannot even see myself still working at my old day job. Blogging is definitely for me, and it's one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
Sure, not everyone should become a blogger, but the point of today's post is to find what you love to do if you are feeling stuck, unhappy, and more.
Do you have a side hustle? Do you enjoy your career?
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