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Early morning wake-ups, Monday blues, and playing Russian roulette with the alarm clock.
If you're like one of the millions that struggle to get up each day to participate in the daily rat race, chances are you’ve wanted the ground to swallow you whole rather than get out of bed and go to work.
The good news is that there is hope.
You too can get out of the rat race because I’m living proof of it.
This article documents my journey into the world of freelancing and the benefits that go along with living authentically.
Working “9 till 5”
After working “in the trenches” for 17 years, I was fed-up, washed-up, stagnant, and unfulfilled.
Each day at the office was excruciating and I was losing countless brain cells doing the same, menial task, day in and day out.
To be quite frank, I was also sick and tired of office politics and pettiness that goes along with working in the corporate world.
Did someone say layoffs?
The day I heard the rumor mill going off about possible layoffs, my interest was immediately piqued.
For most, the thought of losing your job is a shock to the system.
But not for me. I was excited and completely happy to raise my hand and volunteer my head on the chopping block.
I didn’t even think twice. My gut was pushing me to do it.
Within a week I was out of there.
It was December 2019 and I was unemployed for the first time in my adult life, with nothing more than a small severance package to fall back on.
2020: Off to a False Start
A pandemic. SERIOUSLY!
It’s no secret that 2020 got off to a shaky start.
Covid-19 grounded the economy to a standstill and job prospects were bleak.
I was approached by several companies offering me positions, none of which were particularly appealing, so I applied half-heartedly, (because I needed the money - duh!) even though the mere thought of working a corporate gig made me gag.
I’m not going to lie, up until my job was terminated, I was earning a great salary but had reached a tipping point where the money just wasn’t enough to keep me happy.
Having security is nice and comfortable but once you rip off the band-aid, you’re exposed to an entirely new world of opportunities and are forced to take risks.
Everyone has a talent or skill, regardless of upbringing, background, creed, or color.
It’s your natural-born skill set that will lead you towards career fulfillment.
You can quote me on that.
The good Lord blessed me with penmanship - writing.
It’s something that has always come naturally and one of the few things I'm pretty decent at.
Back in high school my English teacher always told me that I should become a writer.
Of course, I didn’t listen to him because my focus was on the corporate world.
Entrepreneurship is not something we’re taught to embrace or even consider because it lacks the safety net provided by conventional employment.
But, in hindsight, It’s an incredibly lucrative career path for those who choose to throw caution to the wind and stick it to the man.
Anyway, getting back to my story...
Harnessing the “power” of my skill, I canned the idea of a corporate job and set out looking for freelance gigs.
I signed up with all the top sites Fiver, PPL Per hour, Text broker, and started putting myself out there.
I didn’t get much work but it was a foot up.
Determined not to give up, I eventually found a gig that would change my life and the way I view the working world, earning a living, and entrepreneurship.
In early September, I joined a kick-ass team of digital marketers and work exclusively with systeme.io.
My current position - Content Team Manager.
So, for the namesake of my article, here’s exactly why I'll never (EVER) work a 9 - 5 ever again.
Instead of the traditional 9 - 5 grind, my day starts when it’s convenient-for me.
This is a very big deal.
Let me put it into perspective, as a wife and as a mom of two, I’m always busy.
There’s always an appointment, a school drop-off, a doctor’s visit, or extramural activity that I need to get to. That’s beside the run of mill household chores that I take care of.
Freelancing gives me total freedom and flexibility to do everything I need to do, without having to beg for time off.
I remember the days of literally watching the clock and waiting for 5 pm to hit so that I could go home.
I’d complete my work by noon but, because of being bound to a contract, I’d have to fulfill my obligations and stay till 5.
This business model sucks, for lack of a better word.
Why have people sit around doing nothing just for the sake of being there?
Covid-19 should act as a huge wake-up call to traditional corporates.
Gone are the days where we are office-bound and are micromanaged down to the minute.
The new normal is very different from the antiquated business practices pre-2020.
Productivity should always be measured by output and quality.
Coming back to the present, I’m eager and pro-active. I love the thought of having an abundance of work to keep me busy and I do just that.
I keep myself busy.
Someday’s it’s the sitting room, other days the patio. I have my own little roving workspace that allows me to be all over.
I enjoy looking out onto the garden and watching my kids play while I’m busy grafting.
I no longer wear heels that make me want to chop my feet off at the end of the day and can be as comfy and casual as I see fit.
Ok, so most days I look like a homeless crackhead but hey, who isn’t rocking the lockdown look nowadays?
My biggest vice is that I’m a smoker.
Yes, I know it’s unhealthy and causes cancer blah blah blah, I enjoy it, and its always been my guilty pleasure.
I can smoke when and where I want to and am no longer banished to a small corner of the office to smoke in the pouring rain.
I smoke, I work, I get things done.
So far I’ve earned over $1500 and hope to grow this amount significantly.
Truth be told, I’m not earning what I was when I worked corporate(not yet that is), however, I’ve managed to cut down on costs significantly.
My children are my number one priority.
I’m so grateful that I get to spend my time with them and can be there for them when they need me.
I don’t have to rely on strangers to pick them up from school or depend on daycare centers to look after them.
They are with me 24/7 and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Within the space of 2 months, I’ve been promoted.
Starting off as a writer, I now manage the content team. A job that gives me great joy.
I can easily spend 10 hours a day editing and helping my team tweak and improve their craft.
This helps them to grow as writers and allows me to hone in on my editing skills
I was completely shit at writing digital content when I first started.
I had no idea what Clickfunnels was nor did I know anything about the world of digital marketing.
So, as you can imagine there was a steep learning curve involved.
From learning SEO and about Google search intent to the world of affiliate and digital marketing, this job has broadened my horizons in a big way.
I’m no longer constrained by the South African border and now consider myself a global employee.
It’s difficult to prove yourself in the corporate world especially when management (or their opinion of you) determines your value.
Working remotely is a different kettle of fish because the face-to-face aspect of work ( and all the drama and backbiting that goes along with it) is eliminated.
You are only as good as the work you produce and this is the only validation I need.
Know your worth and then add tax.
Don’t stay in a job that you hate. Yes, I’m well aware that you need to pay bills but money doesn’t equal happiness (true story).
I know you’re scared to take the plunge.
It’s not for the faint-hearted but believe me, once you make the change you’ll never look back.
Ask yourself what you want out of life and think outside of the box.
The world is way bigger than you think and the only thing holding you back is your insecurities.
Technology needs to be embraced because inevitably it is the vehicle that’s going to drive your success. Learn as much as you can and leverage it to help you.
At the end of the day...
The key takeaway is that you need to use what your momma gave you and go out there and live the life you deserve.
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.” — John A. Shedd.
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