First of all, let me start by saying I’m fully aware that this post is going to upset people – not everyone is going to agree with me and that’s fine (feel free to disagree with me politely in the comment box below).
However, I feel it needs to be said.
I’ve seen a lot of negative posts discouraging people from quitting their full-time jobs to follow their dreams. There’s been a lot about what people should and shouldn’t do. Now, I’m not going to make any judgements I think everyone is entitled to live their lives, run their businesses and make their decisions however suits them. I’m just going to tell you how and why I am able to run this blog full time. And why, if it’s what you want, you should go for it all guns blazing.
This is not information I’ve made public before, but I am quite socially anxious (understatement). Anyone who’s met me probably picked up on it within two minutes of talking to me, but it’s not something I talk about a lot. I’m not going to go into it fully here – it’s personal (please feel free to email me privately).
However, for this reason I find being in a 9 – 5 office job very, very challenging. I find being in a forced social situation where I can’t leave almost impossible to manage. It makes me miserable. It doesn’t matter how nice people are, how kind, how considerate, being in that situation makes my life hard. It sends me home in tears every day, it leaves me in a panic at night and I just couldn’t do it to myself any more.
Moreover, I only have one shot at life (unless anyone knows differently) and, regardless of money, I want to spend it enjoying myself.
When I started this little wedding blog I had no intention of making it into a business. But once I’d started, I fell in love with what I was doing and when people started taking an interest, asking about advertising, asking how I intended to develop it, I saw a way out.
You see, I have an English degree. Unless I want to work in a shop (absolutely NOTHING wrong with this, it’s just not for me – it’s another job that requires face-to-face constant social interaction) an office job was the only option. But now I had another plan – and there were so many other amazing bloggers who were successful before me, they had created a market for me. So I thought, why not me?
So how was I able to do this? I’m not ashamed of the fact that we don’t pay rent or a mortgage at the moment. Again, I’m not going into why, it’s my private financial business, but I was in a position to follow my dream of working for myself.
For a while I felt guilty – for a while I felt like somehow by taking my opportunity I was robbing others, but then I realised it would be criminal to be given a chance so many desperately want and not to take it out of guilt. I would be doing myself a disservice.
I decided to go freelance with the work I was doing with my day job – I’m perfectly personable in small bursts and people had expressed an interest in using my work – and I still enjoy doing it. I decided to dedicate the rest of my full-time efforts to building this blog into something successful.
Was it soon? Yes. But once you realise what you want to do with your life and you’re in a position to do it, why should you wait? I work just as hard as anyone else, I freelance on top of it all and I just don’t need much money to be happy. I don’t have huge outgoings, I don’t have children – I have a safe roof over my head – if this doesn’t work I have nothing to lose.
It would be irresponsible of me to advise everyone with a dream to quit their jobs and follow it. But if you have the means, the drive and the passion, remember this: you don’t want to look back on your life and regret the things you didn’t do.
I don’t want to lament the things I could have been.
Do the snide remarks hurt? Yes. I won’t lie. A lot. I’m not a thick-skinned person (although I’m learning to be) and I put my heart and soul into making this work for me every day.
Will they deter me? Never.
I’m not forcing anyone to read my blog. I’m not forcing anyone to advertise on my blog – it’s growing at its own pace. And I’m following.
Do what you love and love what you do, folks – and don’t let anyone dare to convince you otherwise.