It is amazing how easily we could get comfortable in misery. It just takes us courage and faith to take risks and liberate ourselves from miserable situations we find ourselves stuck in.
For every freelancer, and I believe this is true for any life-changing situation, there's always that moment, that experience that pushes us to take that leap and just trust our faith and capabilities. Mine came when I knew I had enough of being miserable at a full-time job. The current world economy and job market situation leaves many people in jobs they're way overqualified for, both in terms of education and professional experience. The drive almost always is "working for the money... it pays the bills...". Before we know it, we're stuck doing what we really don't care about, wasting most of our lives (40 hours/week) out of shear fear or comfort.
Among other things, we remain stuck for the following reasons:
- Fear of venturing into the unknown
- Getting comfortable in misery
But once we overcome whatever's holding us back, the rest is history. I can't even describe the feeling of liberation/freedom I felt once I took the risk of quitting in order to pursue my dream. The moment I turned in my notice, it felt like a huge burden had been taken off of me. Of course, the first week felt weird and there were brief moments where I asked myself 'what have I done?, what if?..." But the thought of being my own boss, managing my own time, not having to worry about fitting all my personal and family needs within 3 weeks of paid time off (which an employer would grudgingly allow), not having to worry about driving in adverse weather to get to work or risking my life to send a quick text so my almighty supervisor doesn't get upset. Did I mention this is a location-independent career? Oh yes, I can work from anywhere in the world; all I need is a laptop and the internet!
Freelancing, being your own boss or making that dreadful decision won't be a bed of roses. As a start-up, you get one salary for at least 5 jobs: linguist/business owner, sales/marketing, contract, admin, invoicing manager... And it may get a little lonely especially for people who aren't introverts or who enjoy chitchatting at work. For those in that category I have an answer for you: you have time to talk, socialize and hang out with family, colleagues and friends during your breaks or one of the many free times you'll be blessed with.
You won't be handed a platter of gold. Hence, like anything else in life, it's going to take a lot of hard-work, dedication, consistency, trust in your abilities and the kind of FAITH that lets you take the first step without seeing the whole staircase. Everything you want, truly is on the other side of fear.
But I tell you people, the joy is endless and I sparingly use America's favorite word; "stress". Best part is, I make way more bucks/hour.
You'd ask yourself "what was I thinking all these years?" Obviously, freelancing isn't going to be the answer for everyone. The essence of this post is to encourage and inspire people to take that leap of faith and get out of miserable situations or to do what they're really passionate about.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy (Norman Vincent Peale).
Life's too short to be wasted living or fulfilling other people's dreams.