“Change is hard!” That´s what you hear everyone saying. I beg to differ. Change is hard when you don´t know where you´re heading, when you don´t know the outcome. But if you do have a vision, if you do want to take that “road”, change is just a small part of the reward to come.

We have only one life (that we know of 🙂 ), so why waste it in a job you don´t like, in a relationship you´re not happy, in a house you don´t feel at home?

How I Left My Day Job to Pursue a Freelance Writing Career
Image courtesy of Mihai Petre

Last month I quit my job as a customer care manager for the past 5 years. It was liberating. I thought I would have regrets, I thought I would miss it along with my routines. But you know what, I haven´t and I didn´t. Why? Because I was ready to move on.

How I Did It?

For more than a year, I´ve been working on building a side hustle as a freelance writer and blogger. Taking on clients when you have a day job with crazy working hours like I had (six working days a week and 10-12 hours a day) is not easy. I made adjustments, I struggled. I was always tired, but kept going with only one goal in mind: to make my side hustle a full-time thing.

When I started this blog, back in 2013, I knew I wanted to make my writing permanent, but I didn´t have a well thought plan. Yet, I was very focused and made online and in person connections with PR pros from all over the world. I learned a lot and the more I read, the more I knew that was the path I was going to take.

At the end of 2013, I took on my first client as a freelance writer. I love writing, but writing for somebody else was scary and exciting at the same time. I loved every moment. Shortly after, another client popped in. It may seem surreal, but my excitement and passion made it happen. I didn´t know it at the time, but when you do something and pour all your heart in it, the results start showing.

When 2014 arrived, I knew I wanted to be a full-time freelance writer and, in spite of the long hours at my day job, I started planning my exit. I began delegating my tasks as an office manager to one of my team members I knew she would handle it and started “training” her. I wasn´t ready to make public my plan, so it was more of a coaching. On my free time (the little I had), when I wasn´t writing for my clients, I was online, networking. I woke every day at 5 a.m., so I could have more time for my freelance business, I used every minute in traffic to read, write and engage on social networks (I wasn´t driving).

What kept me sane in this crazy race was half an hour of fitness every single day. It was my way to decompress and recharge. And it helped, a lot!

I meant business and I wanted to learn from the best. I found courses on freelance blogging, learnt about them and finally took Tom Ewer´s: “Paid to Blog” course. One month after finishing the course (November 2014), I landed another client and, the day I ended my business with my former employer, I landed another one. What better confirmation I was on the right track? 🙂

My goal was to close everything with my former employer before the end of 2014. Of course, the sooner the better. We reached an agreement at the end of November. Yay!

Looking back now, it struck me that all this time, since I made the decision to start a career as a freelance writer, I was breathing, sleeping and waking up with it in mind.

What´s Next?

For 2015, I plan to increase my business taking on more clients, delivering outstanding work and really enjoying life. So, if you need help with writing, blog editing or social media management, check out my portfolio and get in touch . 🙂

What Get Gutsy Means For Me?

It means you need to listen to yourself and do what makes you happy, no matter how hard it is and how long it takes to get there. It means you need to focus and decide what you want to do. It is not enough to just want something, you have to put in the work, believe in yourself and in your dream, no matter what challenges come your way. I am not saying is going to be easy, but it´s that simple!

When Jessica Lawlor invited me to write my story for her Get Gutsy Essay Contest, I knew it was the perfect moment to share with you my struggles, but also my achievements.

There you have it: a little bit of my journey and my future plans.

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.