Self-Employment: Things I’ve Learned After 1 Year

photos: Victoria Miller


So as many of you know, I’ve been in the blogging game for more than a year. Technically 5 years this May! But it wasn’t until a year ago that I decided I was going to quit my job and dive head first into the scary realm of self-employment.

So let’s back it up for a second. The story didn’t quite turn out that way if you read My Blogging Journey post.

Long story short, the day I thought I was quitting, my boss caught me off guard and offered an alternative schedule if I wanted to keep working as a cosmetic nurse. It seemed silly of me to turn that down so I dropped down to just 2 days a week.

All in all, I am super happy with my current work balance. However, I still had to adjust to pretty significant changes as far as finances, work ethic, and hours to make the self-employed blogging thing really work.

Which brings me to today’s post – THINGS I’VE LEARNED AFTER 1 YEAR OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT. The good, the bad, the truth.

I AM PROUD OF THE JOB I’VE CREATED FOR MYSELF. I didn’t know where I was headed when I launched this space years ago. But I did know that I wasn’t going to stop once I started. It probably wasn’t until about year 2.5-3 that I realized I could potentially monetize it enough to make a living. Sure, from the outside it may look like all fun and games… but it took a ton of hard work and consistency to get to the point where I can get paid to eat pizza. And I am dang proud of that!

I HAVE TO SHOW UP EVERY SINGLE DAY. When you work for yourself and you’re the only one fueling a paycheck, it can be stressful. I have to show up every single day and do my best or I’m only hurting myself. I can’t really let myself turn off so that can be exhausting if I’m not in the mood to plan my next idea, blog post, or money-making move. The mindset will always be “what’s next?”. Most days I am self-motivated and inspired (or else I don’t think it would work if I weren’t a self-disciplined person?) BUT, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about how it was easier when I could leave my 9-5 job with financial security and nothing else to think about when I walked out the door. With that being said, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and I feel so lucky to be able to do this while I can!

HAVING MY OWN SCHEDULE IS AMAZING. I still like to set my day up so that I am working within normal hours and have my evenings open to hang with Josh, make dinner, see family/friends. But there are obviously days when I need to schedule an appointment or meeting in the AM and that’s fine too. It’s nice to know that I have the freedom to just work later into the evening to get things done if need be. But I will say, I am most productive in the morning so I’m usually pretty strict about not dilly-dallying (yes, I said it) before getting my day started. It’s much harder for me to kick into action at noon than it is at 9am. Oh – and I don’t miss having PTO because I can technically work from anywhere. I truly do love blogging so it usually doesn’t feel like work even if I’m working on a paid collab on vacation.

IT’S OK TO FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. I heard this one on a podcast I recently listened to and it totally hit home. Basically, I am learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable. The money and the partnerships are not guaranteed. Negotiating with brands is awkward. Taxes are annoying and confusing. Despite being organized and regimented, I’m still sort of winging this thing as I go!

MY SPENDING HABITS CHANGED. I never had to deal with an unpredictable income or really worry about how I was going to pay my bills before but I knew that would change when I chose to take this route. Yes, I still have my $$ coming in from my 2 days a week as a nurse, but I obviously took a cut. I’ve had to pay close attention to what I’m spending, where I’m spending, and cut back in certain areas.

MANY PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT I DO. And that’s okay. I’m pretty much used to people looking at me like I have 4 eyes at this point. To simplify in 1 sentence: just as traditional marketing has a price tag, so does hiring on an influencer to market X product, event, or brand. Advertising of any form has a cost.

I DON’T LOVE BEING IN THE HOUSE AS MUCH AS I AM. Obviously there are easy solutions to this (i.e. working from a coffee shop) but it’s something I didn’t think would bother me as much as it does. I consider myself an intro/extrovert mixture – so YES, at times I love the quiet space and alone time… but, I do find myself craving human interaction. Which is another reason I’m happy I kept my 2 days as a nurse because I get to chit chat with real people instead of being cooped up behind a screen all day everyday.

ORGANIZATION IS EVERYTHING. Self-employment is a different beast. I have to be organized, plan ahead, have a loose content calendar, stay up with my finances… the list goes on. I won’t beat your ear off on this but more on time management here!

This journey has had it’s ups and downs — but all in all, it has been fun, interesting, and definitely the learning experience. If you’re reading this and haven’t quite gotten to this point… or maybe you’re feeling frustrated and unmotivated — I’m here to say it is possible! If you stay on track, remain focused, and put in the time, you can make it happen too!



The CONS of Blogging (In My Opinion)

My Blogging Story

A Week in My Lhife As a Blogger