Greetings, Frugal Farmer friends! Today we share the story of my freelancing pal Bill. It will inspire, encourage and motivate you to make your life your own. Enjoy!
”Better safe than sorry” –that has been my mantra in the past. I thought, “It’s always better to hold on to something I’ve got for as long as I can, than to take chances and lose everything.” I grasped the old me tightly with both hands, instead of giving myself room to grow. I knew it wasn’t supposed to be that way, I was not being me at all, but I persevered. Until I became too unhappy to function properly.
I worked as a customer care representative for a business outsourcing company. It wasn’t my dream job. I didn’t even think I had the right educational background for that kind of thing. However, I was pressured to have a job at the time because bills were piling up and I had no money to begin with, so I thought I’d give it a try.
The company seemed so eager to have me: it didn’t matter if I had no experience or my college course was totally unrelated, they said. They would pay premium for overtime, they would pay double if I work on weekends, and they had amazing health benefits.
It didn’t feel right, but at that time, I needed it. I thought of making lots of money, building my career and having a wonderful life. Everything was smooth at first; I got everything the company promised. I honed my communication skills while earning money. My colleagues were fun-loving people and we enjoyed hanging out on weekends. Everything was alright, until it wasn’t anymore.
A few months into the business, I got introduced to how bad pressure can affect a person. I had to face several metrics for every transaction with the customers. If I met them, I got cash rewards but if I didn’t I got sanctioned.
As if that wasn’t pressure enough, the higher-ups would send an email blast to everyone with the scores to let us all know where we stood in the rat race. I felt like my real individual capabilities were not recognized at all.
Aside from the pressure coming from the management, there was also pressure from the customers. I got shouted at every day, I got very low survey ratings from people whom I thought I helped, and I got blamed for everything and anything you could think of. All the stress was piling up and I began smoking during lunch break, drinking every weekend, and traveling every chance I got.
I thought it would help that I was making a lot of money, but that wasn’t the case. All the bonuses and cash rewards that I got went to things that helped me escape my reality: gadgets, high-end restaurants, overpriced coffee, and expensive bars. I traveled a lot to keep my mind off the mental prison I was in.
I stopped working overtime because I just couldn’t take a few more hours of customer onslaught. My thought of building a career in the company was completely forgotten. Every day I spent there was a punishment, and wasting money was a form of relief. I got depressed about what my life had become. I had no savings, no career growth and I was dragging myself to work every day.
I was so unhappy inside that in one of my travels, I didn’t explore the place and just stayed in my hotel room all day. I surfed the Internet looking for answers on how to make money fast without going crazy. I found several inspiring money tips, but one particular concept caught my attention: Freelancing. According to the blogs, it was the best way to earn money while living your life the way you want. No boss, no teams, and you get to manage your time effectively. I got so hooked up to the idea that I tried it the very next day.
It didn’t take long before I landed my first project. It wasn’t a simple job, but because I was excited about it, I finished the job and the client was impressed. I started making plans to quit my customer service job and go freelance full-time. I knew I needed to save up first because losing my stable job could land me in the gutter before I knew it. Here’s what I did:
I did freelancing part-time, cut down my expenses and started changing my lifestyle. I figured out how much money I needed to save to support myself and some buffer in case it didn’t work. In just a few months, I was ready to quit my job and go freelance full-time.
So I quit my job, with the hopes of making money and getting my life back. At first, I thought it would be hard. My mind kept telling me that I would run out of clients and that I would have to go back to being an employee again. It’s a good thing I read a lot of inspiring blogs that helped me prepare my mind. My transition was easier than I initially thought. It helped a lot that my family and friends were supportive and happy that I finally had the courage to start over.
I started living a very simple life. It wasn’t really as difficult as others think. I gave up things that I didn’t really need, made smarter choices, and lived frugally. If I think back on it, I was wasting money on a lot of things I didn’t really need. I only resorted to those vices because I didn’t like my job. Before I knew it, I was already saving a lot of money. I started paying off debts. The money I earned from freelancing is much more than I need in my new, simplified life, so there’s always money to spare. I have been supporting myself by freelancing for three years now. I also enjoy having more time to myself: doing things I want to do, when I want to. I don’t have to apply for vacation leave or call the office when I’m sick. I am living independently, free from worries and pressure.
For everyone who would like to escape from the job they don’t like, do it like I did it: Do part-time freelance work now while you still have the job. Figure out how much your expenses are and cut down your unnecessary bills. When you have saved enough, you can quit and go freelance full-time. All it takes is a little bit of courage and mental preparation. It can be done. I’ve done it and will continue doing it because I do not want my old lifestyle back.
How about you? How do you feel about your job right now? Will you try freelancing like I did? Let’s have a discussion about it. I’ll be more than willing to answer your questions.
About the Author
Bill Achola is a personal financial publisher who owns a fast-growing, dynamic and innovative personal finance blog that empowers young people to make the right financial decision. To see action on how you can invest in your future, check out his blog at http://traderushreview.us.com.