Running Writers in Charge has provided me with lots of amazing opportunities, and to see that tens of thousands of people follow my work, and that people from all walks of life would want to involve me in life-altering decisions is humbling. I’m honored, and I thank you for your trust.
That said, I believe it is absolutely important to address something critical, and potentially life-altering that several readers have been contacting me about increasingly lately.
I’ve been getting variations of the following question:
“Should I quit my job to be a freelance writer full time?”
Initially, it seems like a simple question but things become tricky when I see the passion with which it was asked.
For someone working a full-time job, the job is an essential part of their lives; it’s their livelihood, their source of income and support, and so much depends on it. So if someone had to ask if she should quit her job to focus on freelance writing, it means the she is excited and sold on the benefits of being a freelance writer.
How I answer this question becomes even more important when I see the passion with which it was asked.
Yes, Freelance Writing is Awesome!
You can get the freedom, the lifestyle and the money you wouldn’t have gotten working a job. What could be more awesome?!
The potential is limitless, and I’m saying this with perspective as someone who’s been a successful freelance writer for 5 years now; within this period I’ve done a lot, which includes starting a commercial fish farm that currently employs 3 people. That’s just part of it, as there’s a limit to how much I can display online; I think it’ll put things in perspective when I say my life is the envy of lots of people around me.
So yes, freelance writing has the potential to give you the income you need and more, I’m a testament to that fact, but…
DON’T Quit Your Job Just Yet
To every single person that has asked me whether they should quit their job or not, my answer has always been NO.
Don’t quit, not just yet.
You’re excited, yes, and freelance writing is more than capable to meet your income needs, but the best decisions in life aren’t made in the heat of excitement.
2012 was a rough year for me, going into debt and almost becoming suicidal, so I know what life can push one into with lots of responsibilities and lack of financial stability. I was a boy then, with little to no responsibility so I can imagine this becomes even more complicated for someone with a spouse, kids or other major responsibilities.
So, if you’re wondering whether to quit your job to become a full time freelance writer, I’d recommend not quitting until you meet the following conditions:
1. You’re pretty familiar with how freelance writing works: You understand the business model, the ups and downs and at least the most basic aspects of this.
For beginner freelance writers, and this isn’t going to be the sweetest sounding thing you’ll hear, this means you shouldn’t entertain the thought of quitting until you’ve been a freelance writer for at least 6 – 12 months.
You know, there’s something they call the “feast or famine cycle”, and probably every freelance writer will experience it at some point.
The “feast cycle” denotes a period with abundance of clients, work and income while the “famine cycle” denotes a period with little; perhaps you’re making just a fraction of your usual monthly income.
If you’re not well entrenched in freelance writing, or in a balanced state of mind, the famine cycle is enough to make you lose motivation and give up. This is not good if you’ve quit your job.
There are several ways to go about overcoming this; such as saving, always marketing and prospecting for clients, etc. but sometimes you’ve got to let experience do its job!
2. You’re making at least 3/4 of your current income from your job as a freelance writer: Why 3/4 of your current income? Because that is most likely going to be enough to meet your basic needs, and you won’t be significantly impacted if it doesn’t. This is also because if you could make 3/4 of your current income from your job as a freelance writer, quitting your job automatically positions you to double that due to the sudden abundance of time you will have.
3. You have enough savings: Even if you’re making enough from your current job, you still need to have savings; anything can happen. You can suddenly experience a health/life challenge preventing you from working, and then things suddenly become difficult; in this case, your savings will come to the rescue until you can find your balance.
4. You can discipline yourself and keep to a tight schedule: Even if you have lots of clients and opportunities to earn, you need to work to earn.
If you can’t get yourself to work, it doesn’t matter if you have 5 clients willing to pay you $1,000 per article monthly. You’ll barely be able to make $500 a month!
When you’re working a job and you have a boss telling you what to do, and when you’re in an environment of other people who are constantly working, thus simulating a “work environment” that encourages you to work, it’s easy to think you’ll be much more productive on your own. This isn’t usually the case.
Once you become a full-time freelance writer without an office, or with an office in your home, you should be ready for distractions from the TV, kids, family members, friends, etc. and unless you are disciplined enough, you won’t realize you haven’t been working until you are broke.
5. You have a plan: Don’t just play it by ear. Instead, develop a solid plan and ensure you’re working consistently to stick to your plan.
To ensure you are on the right track towards achieving the freedom you desire as a freelance writer, you should get a copy of my ebook The Freelance Writer’s Success Starter Guide.
If you’re still struggling as a freelance writer, this guide will help you find your balance; then it’s just a matter of scaling things.
The guide also comes with a case study report of how I was able to land a $625 writing gig in 2 hours flat, with no prior contact with the client.
Get the guide today, and you could very well quit your job in no time!