Why I’m Walking Away From 9-5 and the Lessons It’s Taught Me

My goal for 2018 is to become location independent.

But this isn’t what you think. I didn’t stand up on a chair and yell out “I quit!” to the entire office.

Nope, it’s not like that at all. In fact, it’s far, far less exciting.

It’s more like my work contract ended and I couldn’t find a new job. And when I did get job interviews, I would find myself spacing out as I repeated the same answers again and again.

So finally one day, after my fourth interview, I came home and thought, “What’s the point? Why am I trying so hard to get jobs that I have no desire for??” It seemed like a HUGE waste of time to me.

If I’m going to work hard, it might as well be something I’m actually interested in. So I said, “Screw it! I’m going to learn how to work online!”

And that’s what I did.

For months, I looked at all the ways I can work online and in that process, I learned a lot. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. There are THOUSANDS of ways to work online.

You can sell things, become a content creator, coach people, make videos, sell artwork and so much more. The secret formula to working online is:

Experiences + Interests + Digital skills + Marketing

Once you can figure out all those factors, then you can turn them into something profitable. I like to write so I’m looking into blogging and freelance writing.

2. You need to have ROCK-SOLID confidence.

Not only will other people look at you funny but you’ll look at yourself and wonder what the hell you’re doing! You’ll wonder if you’re crazy. You need to be able to stop these thoughts in their tracks and keep going. 

3. It’s rationally daunting but irrationally exciting?

Something I did not expect from choosing this path is how excited I am to work on my goals every day. You would think without a paycheck or a deadline, you would have trouble getting things done but actually, I have the opposite problem! I never know when to stop working. 

4. You’ll feel like a baby again who has to learn to walk.

The learning curve for working online is STEEP. There’s no teacher to guide you. You sort of just stumble around until you get it And when it doesn’t, you go back to square one and try something else. Also, you’ll be full of joy but want to cry randomly.

5. You have to read. A LOT.

I would say 90% of my time is spent reading. The rest of the 10% is spent on figuring out how to apply what I read and what I did wrong.  It’s like college x10.

6. It’s lonely.

There are millions of people working online, but I’ve discovered that most of these people (like myself) are introverts, stay at home moms or dads, traveling couples, or somewhere else in the world because that’s why they became digital in the first place.

It sometimes makes me wonder… are these people real? I’m still not sure. 

7. You experience the HIGHEST of the highs and the LOWEST of the lows.

When you doubt yourself, it feels like you’re at the bottom of the world. But when you finally figure something out, it feels like you’re on top of the world. It’s a constant emotional rollercoaster! Fun!

8. You’ll hustle like you’ve never done before.

You would think, “Working online? Waking up whenever you want? That sounds nice.” But I have NEVER worked this hard in my life before. I’m reading and learning 24/7. Sometimes I honestly feel like my head is going to explode.

In short?

Working online is NOT for you if:

  • you hate reading and learning for hours
  • you need to see instantaneous results to trust that something is working
  • your only objective is to make money
  • you are easily bothered by other people’s comments

Working online IS for you if:

  • you are naturally inquisitive and love learning
  • you enjoy being alone
  • you like challenges
  • you can shake off setbacks and bounce back quickly

Then finally, ask yourself this: are you willing to choose risk over certainty?

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