What initially felt like the best job I could find was actually a cage. After applying to numerous jobs and facing a few interviews in the couple of months after college, I’d thought I found the perfect fit. My job as a content writer was at the coolest office at my city (a co-working space), I had an awesome boss who was mentoring me well and things felt good for a week.
But then in the middle of work, I realized the hard facts. I wasn’t doing what I wanted to. I wasn’t satisfied or enjoying my work. Over 12 hours a day, from morning eight to evening eight was spent on the job when I include the travel time. Yes, I had to commute over 11 kilometers each way, which was over an hour and a half in the bus. This made me have no time for the work I really liked to do. I’ll get into that a bit later.
Yep, I did learn a lot at work but they weren’t things that I could apply to my industry. Even when I was working at that employed job, I still identified myself as an author, editor, freelancer, entrepreneur, and a content creator and I never considered my place of employment as my company as I hadn’t built it.
I was made to write ad copies for the same pharmaceutical companies everyday at work which I couldn’t connect with. I can openly say that my marketing copies were mediocre and my boss changed most of what I had done as I was still in a training mode. But this monotonous work lifestyle was truly soul-sucking and made me feel that I was wasting my time.
I feel real satisfaction and put in my best efforts when I work on brands I’ve created or the ones that I connect to. During my college days recently, I did run a comic book magazine team which I co-founded. None of us on the team had any experience in this industry or in business. But my brand’s co-founder and I put in a lot of work, learned stuff and built the brand to a level where we topped the charts on an e-commerce website. We didn’t make any profits out of the brand but if we had continued and launched our issues in the print format we could have made some profits. We’ll never know now and it’s nobody’s fault.
The other reason why I couldn’t go back to work is that my writing is valued better by my readers and literary mentors rather than at the place of my former employment where things are a bit complicated. I could have learned better short-form copy-writing at that job but my boss who tried to mentor me hasn’t written any fiction and hasn’t seen anything that I’ve written outside of that job. I’m not complaining. But I feel that it’s better to be with people who understand me for who I am and help me be who I want to be and not who they want me to be.
Quitting a stable job is a nightmare for most of you. For me it’s relieving. Gary Vaynerchuk’s ocean of content has given me hope and enough push to prioritize my happiness before anything else. Let me explain this in simple terms.
Most people do jobs that they hate to get money that they can’t use and spend their whole lives not doing what they want to do. In this digital era, anyone can make content on topics that they are passionate about and eventually make money if they are consistent.
Many people whom I know can’t make money if they quit their employed jobs. Look at it this way. In July, I made double the money that I made in June just from my freelance work. If I had spent the whole month of August pitching clients, networking and making content, I’m sure I could have doubled what I made in July.
I have a cocktail of personal and social problems. I’m far from perfect, but I’m continually trying to be better at who I really am and learn everyday. Despite my never-ending list of problems, I know that I’m an entrepreneur at heart.
Here’s my plan for making it big as a self-employed person in the coming year. Networking with and pitching more prospective clients everyday, improving my skills through online courses (and podcasts, videos and books), getting more practical experience and learning by working for the clients I get, pumping out content and building my brand, writing a lot of my fiction projects everyday so that I can release more than 4 books an year once I get the flow.
This may seem like a lot, but I’ll also keep my mind, body and spirit healthy. I’ve structured my time and have the greatest mentors a human can find in the world. I’m really thankful to fate for one of my mentors who helped me out in my tough times and I’m not sure what I did to deserve someone as good as him.
Most of us humans settle for stable jobs that bring us no joy when we have the choice to pursue the paths that lead us to where we want to be. This path is thorny and tough. When you make the right sacrifices and be fanatical about your passions which you are working on, time will surely bring results.
Happiness should be the North Star for us, and we should not find an easy fix to social status. If you are really happy about what you’re doing, you’ll put in your best work at it and keep innovating till it bears fruits.
And . . .