I loved doing my job. But I hated the office environment & office politics so much that I spent years saving money & “scheming” a way out of it. :o) Next year will mark TEN years of me not working a 9 to 5. Of not physically being in any office. Meaning, no office gossip or other BS I don’t miss. Call me the weirdo nerd, but people socialized SO much at work that it honestly annoyed me!
I was thinking, don’t you all have other aspirations in life? There was so much focus on “he say, she say”. And I was thinking, “really? Who gives a damn? How is THIS making you more money? Or getting you promoted to a better paying position? What a waste.”
Since I was a long term temp and not an employee, BUT a respected worker, I actually created a job for myself. All so that I could work from home. Again, this goes back to the power in how you present yourself. This power move was a big step outside of my comfort zone and quite frankly my social status at the company. So I had to be convincing. I had to make a strong case for them to contract me as a freelance consultant. I took this potential job opportunity very seriously. And I made a strong case using a Powerpoint presentation showing what I COULD do for them & outlined exactly HOW I was going to do it. I came off fully competent and confident, because I knew what they needed and most importantly, what I wanted.
Now people can clown my professional voice and style all they want, LOL. But my presentation looked something like this video.
And you know what I left that boardroom with? A $50,000 contract for a project I could do from home. But wait. It gets even better. I had complete time flexibility—also known as autonomy. My project kept me disciplined and provided me a secure income while I built up my other business as a graphic consultant.
So basically, I had TWO great paying freelance jobs. When a graphic consultant gig came up? I could leave town immediately. I was no longer tied to a desk or schedule. Again, complete time freedom. The project I was contracted to do for $50k simply kept me busy until a graphic consultant gigs came up.
This nice setup made my transition into graphic consulting so much easier. I was never broke. In fact, cause I lived frugally? I saved $__loads of money.
I finally got health insurance and paid off old debts (because unfortunately I had screwed up my credit in college) It was awesome! And the best part about it all? Is that I felt so FREE. At 26 yrs old, I had learned the power of planning & professionalism. I’d trained myself to take INITIATIVE.
Hell, I had so much freedom & flexibility with my schedule that in the year 2004, I took a 5 week vacation to Europe. A backpacking budget trip on my own. I traveled to 8 countries and 14 cities throughout Europe. I traveled clockwise from Reykjavik, Iceland to Paris, France.
And that’s when I realized. Yup, this is living. And I have to keep this going. lol. So I worked very hard (or smartly) and met all of my work commitments. My $50k project contract was renewed for a few years, so I continued working on that. Again, it kept me disciplined & working in between graphic consulting gigs. After a while I become known for my energy & professionalism in graphic consulting. I acquired BIG corporate clients. So many clients that the $50k side project became irrelevant (Look not bragging, just being honest, ok?) So I started thinking. Why make $XXX a day doing this when I can earn $XXXX+ a day with my graphic consulting career? It was simple math, really. :o)
Plus, years had gone by and the project was complete anyway. At this point they were paying me less and less because at this point I was just maintaining what I had built for them until they could hire someone else to do it in-house (fine with me!) lol
Eventually, I built up a regular clientele for my graphic consulting and I did the same annual meetings. I was earning money consistently. So I no longer needed the other job. Around age 28, I first earned a six figure salary doing my graphic consulting exclusively, even though I only worked about 1/3 of the month (7 -10 days a month usually).
So during all of this time do you think I was looking and dressing all FLASHY? Flossing expensive gear? Driving an expensive car? Living in a big home? Nope. I drove a Mazda-3 (which I had paid for in cash) and lived in an apartment. This was around the time I met Kevin. I was 28 years old, living in an apartment in Baltimore for $660 a month. No debt. Just trying to learn to manage money. Through Kevin I learned a LOT more about money management. I was pretty good at saving money, but he was MUCH better at investing & leveraging it. We figured we could make a good team. :o) So we renovated his home (something we’d both NEVER done before) & sold the house for good profit.
Mind you, we did all this AFTER we got married. Hell no! Neither one of us were going to combine finances until after marriage. LOL. ;o)
Shortly after that? Around 2009? I started doing the Youtube video-making thing. Mainly out of boredom in between graphic consulting gigs. And NOT for money. For the first 14 months on Youtube, I didn’t earn a dime making videos. I started making videos in April 2009, but didn’t become a full partner until July 2010.
But after realizing OTHER people were scheming to make money off me? (As in embedding my videos on their websites/blogs to sell products) I didn’t like that very much. :-( Made me feel so used. It was like a demotion.
Totally frustrated, I was thinking, “I’ve come TOO FAR in life. I’ve Been TOO BOLD in my professional career to start acting like I have no ambition.” And from that frustration? @luvnaturals was born. So around October 2009 I made the BIG decision to create @luvnaturals It was risky. But so was making myself a PUBLIC figure for FREE. LUV Naturals was launched on February 14th 2010, but I did NOT quit my graphic consulting job. I was basically moonlighting for an entire year.
Don’t believe me? Well you can catch a blip of me at 3:00 in this video. June 2010. It was one of the last BIG meetings that I did. That NYC meeting was a crossroad for me for real. My graphic consulting earnings were PEAKING when I started LUV Naturals So the choice was hard!
I had to make a hard choice. Did I see a real future in @luvnaturals and Youtube? Because I was basically giving up $125,000+ yr salary :-/ I had to ask myself, “do I have the *stamina* 2 put up with Youtube? The good, bad & the ugly? How will it affect my life? My plans? Our plans?” The consistent success of LUV Naturals (even without products yet mind you) made a solid financial case for switching careers. And more importantly? I have a strong PASSION for it.
So here I am. LOL. I’ve just tweeted the last 10 years of my life. And I’m probably gonna go to #tweetjail for it. I’ll just end it here. :o)