This post is the long overdue follow up to the original post: How Blogging Changed My Life. The original post had mentioned how I learned a lot of skills from blogging and it led to a very drastic career change. In short, I left a steady government job that had been going nowhere for almost 5 years and joined the tech team as an analyst with a startup.
I was there for almost a year and a half. During that time, I had learned much more than I had ever learned at my previous job. Even though I had no formal education or formal experience, I moved fast, figured stuff out mostly on my own, made a ton of mistakes but learned from them and proved myself to be a very valuable asset to the company. I worked with a lot of great people and really enjoyed my time there.
Beginning of this year, I was notified of being let go. We had been acquired by a larger company back in the fall. For those of you who believe in signs, prior to this, I had discussed with my superiors about working 4 days a week and that on Friday, I would focus more on my business. My goal was to actually leave my job later on that year (actually around this time right now, Summer 2017) to go full-time with my business. It ended up happening a lot sooner than I expected, but perhaps that was the big push I needed.
It was the lemon I needed to make my lemonade.
Funny how I had quit so many jobs in the past with nothing lined up and here I was, too hesitant to quit my day job to work on my business (which has started out as a blog over 5 years) which I started building on the side, around Q2 of 2016.
I was at a crossroads because at first, I wasn’t sure whether I should focus on applying for full-time jobs or working more on my business. I was feeling overwhelmed, angry, confused, frustrated, depressed and stressed. I was experiencing deja vu all over again in the sense that I had the ABSOLUTE WORST LUCK EVER when it came to jobs. I felt like history was repeating itself. It was 2009 all over again and I just couldn’t seem to get my sh*t together.
So I did what any other stressed out unemployed person would do.
I took a trip.
Now for all the people who knew me as a personal finance blogger, I didn’t go into debt for it. I already had some fun money stashed away (completely separate from my RRSPs, TFSA, my own savings account – this account is separate from our joint account) and I had a really cheap place to stay ( I was a guest someone else’s Air BnB).
I could have stayed here and saved the money. But I felt I really needed to just take a step back and breathe. I needed a brief change of scenery, a change of routine to clear my head. I needed time to organize my thoughts. Once I came back, I eventually got down to business on my business. I was still applying to jobs and told myself, if nothing substantial happened after 6 months, I would sit down and seriously re-evaluate everything.
Back in November 2016, I initially launched blog coaching services. In 2017, I made the decision to switch my focus to consulting services for small business owners. I threw myself into networking events, went on an endless amount of coffee dates (mind you, I still do these things, but not so intensely at the moment) and promoted my services on all my social media channels. I stepped out of my comfort zone and did a few presentations on how a blog can help your business.
I was persistent and consistent with following up.
But I also made a lot of mistakes such as not being clear about expectations for working together, giving too much information away in proposals, not making it about the prospective client and not setting deadlines for proposals. Of course, I know I will still make mistakes because that’s all part of being an entrepreneur, but hopefully, they won’t be the same ones because I’ll have learned from them.
These past several months have been a wild roller coaster ride. My energy levels come in waves. I’ll be exhausted from working, but then I’ll receive an email from clients who are really excited and looking forward to our time together. This gives me yet another boost of energy to do even more work.
Life is full of surprises. I would have never guessed that I would be using all my blogging-related skills to help small business owners achieve their business goals. Heck, I never considered myself to be the small business owner type (Neither of my parents were entrepreneurs, nor did they encourage it. However, my grandfather on my mom’s side was one. And many of my cousins are entrepreneurs). I never pictured myself actually educating people about blogging. I never thought people would ever consider me as a “blogging expert” and look to me for advice.
So yes, blogging has changed my life yet again and I believe it will continue to provide even more opportunities as time goes on.
If you currently have a blog, has it changed your life or your business in any way?