What’s Your Story?
I had found myself in a situation I was not happy in. I was slightly over 40, undereducated, and hating a job I felt was beneath my talents. I didn’t have a college degree, I only had a GED because I had wasted my youth, but that’s a much different and sometimes hilarious story. I tried not to be bitter but it hurt knowing that I wasn’t fulfilling my potential. I had taught my children to be better than me but they were graduating high school and going to places like West Point.
It was time for a change. Professionally, and also personally, it was time for a reevaluation. Personally, I worked to improve relationships with loved ones. I lost 300 pounds going from 500 to under 200. I only mention that part to say this, once you start improving your life in one aspect it becomes a habit and you start improving all aspects. You find out you can do anything you believe you can do.
I enrolled in school to get a degree but what did I want in my career? A degree doesn’t mean much if it is in something completely unrelated to what I wanted to do. I asked myself what did I enjoy doing that people would pay me money to do for them. I always liked writing so I started researching writing jobs and requirements. I was surprised to find out that a college degree isn’t required. I also found out that you didn’t have to be great at English Composition either. The main thing you needed was desire and drive.
How Did You Get Into Freelancing?
You can’t sit around and wait for an opportunity to find you so I knew I had to make it happen. I took some online courses to find out how to get my freelance writing business started. The first thing I did was make a commitment to myself to not give up when things got difficult. The other was to dedicate time each week learning more about the business of freelancing. I was going to learn everything there was to know and then go out and master my decided craft. I had written the commitments I made to myself on paper, like a contract to myself that I put on the wall in a conspicuous location to keep me motivated.
I’ll admit now I got a little impatient and after one particular course where the instructor stressed he had not been great in school at English Composition either. So I signed up at Upwork and started to send out proposals for jobs where I felt I had something of value to offer the client.
What Happened Next?
Then nothing. Success did not happen right away. In the past, when I had ventured out and started something of my own I let self-doubt sabotage several potentially great opportunities. I saw the contract I made to myself and it reminded me failure was not an option. I went back and reviewed my profile and improved my proposals, stressed what I could offer the client. Soon I got my first and second clients.
How Have Things Changed?
Today I have enough work where I could quit my full-time job, even have the date set of when I’m giving my resignation. All it took was a little perseverance and confidence.