Although it seems like I’ve been writing for a living my entire adult life, I worked in an entirely different field throughout my entire 20s. Actually, my writing career is one that started with fairly humble beginnings, and quite by accident.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I was stuck in a dead-end gig and earning less than $40,000 per year. As the Director of Family Services at a mortuary, I worked excruciatingly long hours, plus nights, weekends, and holidays. I dealt with angry and frustrated customers, comforted people who were experiencing the worst day of their lives, and shuffled through piles of mind-numbing paperwork. And I did it all with a smile on my face – even when I felt like crying.
Eventually, I tired of the mortuary industry in general. I knew that I wanted something better for my life, including a career that allowed for more freedom and autonomy, so I started searching for some real work-from-home jobs. Once my husband and I reached this realization, we started brainstorming ways to break out of the industry without walking away from our sizable paychecks. Shortly after that, Club Thrifty was born.
How I Started Working as a Freelance Writer
I’ve always been a writer, but I haven’t always put my skills to use in a professional capacity – unless you count writing thousands of obituaries as “writing,” which I don’t. Even though I have written countless short stories, papers, and poems, I didn’t start writing for money until 2012.
Sometime after we started Club Thrifty, I was asked to start writing for several personal finance websites, including Get Rich Slowly. And after that, I scored several jobs writing jobs in my niche – higher education.
I’m not gonna lie – balancing a full-time job with a side business was really tough. Since I had a full-time job, I was forced to work on all of my projects at night when I got home from work or on weekends. And if I was really in a scheduling bind, I would set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. and write before work. Now, that really sucked.
But my hard work paid off. After a year of writing on the side, I was able to walk away from my full-time job without taking a pay cut. Because I had an established client base, I was easily earning my old salary, plus a little more.
Now, I’ve actually written a course to teach you how to get started as well. It’s called Earn More Writing. More on that in a minute.
5 Ways Freelance Writing – and the Internet – Changed My Life
Since my final days at my old job, I’ve more than quadrupled that income. But that isn’t the only way my life has changed. In addition to more money in my pocket, freelance writing has changed my life in a myriad of ways:
I am finally in charge of my own life.
Where I once planned my life around work, I now do the exact opposite. Now that I’m self-employed, I plan my work schedule in a way that suits me, not someone else. Furthermore, I am in control of how much money I earn. Where I was once lucky to get a $2,000 Christmas bonus and a 3% raise every year, I am now able to reach greater heights by taking on better and higher paying projects.
I am location independent.
Where my husband and I once had to live within a 20-minute radius of the funeral home, we can now live anywhere we want. I like our community and have no plans to move, but it’s nice to have options. With a web-based business, I can live and work anywhere as long as I have an internet connection. That’s part of the reason why we travel so much; I can work on the beach if I want to, and I often do.
I can take off as much time as I want.
After spending seven years with either 15 or 20 PTO days, it feels amazing to be able to take off as much time as I want. I still need to work a lot to make a living, but I can do it all on my terms now. And the best part is this: I never have to put in a vacation request ever again.
I know how strong I am.
When I quit my job, a lot of people thought I was full-blown nuts. It was a really good job, despite the relatively low pay it offered, and I did have a lot of perks. Still, I proved that I could persevere and build something even better than what I had before. Now that I’ve absolutely conquered my goals, I feel as if I could do anything. I know how strong I am now, and I am no longer afraid of taking chances.
I am more present as a parent.
The biggest benefit that comes from self-employment is the fact that I can be home with my kids a lot more often. Since I no longer work crazy hours, holidays, or weekends, I’m always there for the important events in their little lives.
Since I work at home, I get my daughter off and on the bus myself each day. I can take time out to eat lunch with her at school, and I never miss a school program or meeting. At my old job, none of this would have been impossible. In fact, I’m afraid I would have missed most of the major milestones in their lives.
Over the years, we added a few new websites to our portfolio. Because of the added responsibility, my husband was also able to leave his job in early 2015. Now that we’re both living this lifestyle, the sky is truly the limit. We can do anything we want – go anywhere we want – and as long as we keep our eyes on the prize, nothing can stand in our way. The crazy thing is, it all started with a little blog called Club Thrifty and a handful of blogging jobs.
Do You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?
If you’re interested in learning more about a career as a freelance writer, you’re in luck. I recently created the best course for freelance writing on the web – Earn More Writing. The course includes 8 video modules, tips from professional editors, tons of bonus materials, a free Facebook group, and more!
As for me, I can’t imagine how my different my life would be if I had chosen a different path. What if I had been too scared to try? I shudder at the thought of not being able to live this amazing life I have built with my own blood, sweat, and tears.
Now that I’m self-employed and location independent, I never have to worry again. I can do things my way. And with the right skills, you can too.
Have you ever thought of becoming a freelance writer? What is holding you back?