I did it. I finally did it. I took the leap and handed in my notice at the day job. My last day was Friday and today feels like the first day of the rest of my working life. I'm excited, anxious and more than a little nauseous. I've wanted this for so long and now that it's here, I'm a little overwhelmed. There is no better way to get over the whelms than to pour all my thoughts and fears into this here blog and that is exactly what I shall be doing. I'll be sharing my journey, the ups and downs and everything else that goes with it.
"Something had to give"
Handing in my notice was not an impulsive decision, far from it. This has been in the works for about 6 months. I've known that I wanted to write full time for a long time but the old fear of failing had me clinging to my day job. I would write in the evenings, on the weekends and sometimes on my lunch breaks. I wrote for this blog, I wrote for myself, I freelanced whenever the opportunity arose. I loved it but it was exhausting. Then I had the genius idea of setting up the BBB network and that's when things kicked up a notch. I just could not keep up. The group was growing and I wanted to pour my all into it but my all was currently being held hostage for 40 hours a week. Something had to give.
"This path I have chosen is not littered with gold"
I knew the day job was never going to be my forever career so I started to think seriously about my options. And when I say options, I mean money. I was good financially and I was really worried about throwing that all away. I toyed with the idea of getting a full time writing job but I know it's not what I want right now. I want to blog, run the network and freelance for businesses that mean something to me. I know that this path I have chosen is not littered with gold so I came up with a financial plan.
I got my shit together money wise back in 2013 so I already had a healthy amount of savings in the bank and no debts (student loan aside) to worry about. I'd also been living to a budget for a couple of years so I had a pretty clear idea of my spending habits. I worked out exactly how much I would need to live for a month, multiplied that by 6 and made it my mission to save that much as quickly as possible. I took a long hard look at my spending and started to trim the fat. There were the obvious things like no more impulsive beauty buys and swapping expensive dinners for a cheeky Nandos. I also took an axe to:
- My phone bill - This was the first thing to get sorted. My contract was up and open to renegotiation. By keeping my old phone, I was able to switch to a monthly rolling contract with a similar plan for less than half the price. ££'s in the bank.
- My music streaming apps - I was paying for music on my phone to get me through my hour plus commute and as I knew that was coming to an end I cancelled my subscription. Fortunately I was offered a free month which took me right up till the end of my notice.
- Buying lunch - This was the biggest challenge for me. Lavish lunches keep me going through the work day but at an average of £6 a day, 5 days a week - this was no longer an option. I set myself a budget of £40 a month for lunch which allowed for a nice lunch on a Friday and the occasional breakfast.
With the purse strings well and truly tightened, I knew that money was not going to be an issue any more. Yet I hesitated. Could I really do this? Am I too old to be chasing this? Shouldn't I woman up and get a 'real' job? I talked it out with my friends and family but I was still losing sleep. At times of extreme doubt, I turn to books. I've always been able to find myself between the pages of a book and the books below really helped me feel grounded in my decision. On the 4th April, I sucked in my gut, puffed out my chest and handed in my notice.
From the top of my afro to the soles of my feet, I know this is the right decision for me. This is the path I am supposed to be on and I am excited to meet all the challenges that come my way. I don't imagine it'll be easy and I don't imagine that I'll be rich but if I stay as happy as I am now, then it will all be worth it.