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The One Year Self-Employment Survivalist

A year ago this month, I set out on one of the biggest and scariest endeavors of my life – following my dream to work for myself fulltime.

It’s no coincidence that the name of my copywriting business is “Endeavor Writing”. Even as I endeavor to help small business owners achieve marketing success through content management, I’m also following my own endeavor to live by and on my words – literally.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, shy people and risk don’t mix well. Taking this leap was difficult for me, especially because I left a secure job with full benefits and a steady paycheck.

I think here is the point where I’m supposed to say something glib and uplifting, like “…and I’ve never looked back!”

But I have looked back. Loving what I do hasn’t made me immune to worry or doubt. It hasn’t swept away my anxiety over whether I made the right decision, if I’m moving in the correct direction, going too fast or too slow, etc…

Big decisions aren’t supposed to be comfortable, and I think only a fool plunges into something new without at least a little discomfort.

Even so, my first year of total self-employment has gone exceedingly well. Perhaps a little too well, if you’ll permit me my usual suspicion in the face of positive outcomes. My client list has grown. I’ve raised my prices and my confidence.  I’ve expanded my product offerings, learned to work with many different personalities and have seen my profits increase little by little each month.

Certainly, self-employment is not an easy road. I miss the steady paychecks and the benefits. I’ve had to make cuts to my lifestyle and keep an eagle eye on my finances. Also, when your income becomes tied to billable hours, it changes your perspective, making you question every drop of time you use on something that isn’t work.

It can be hard to shut off, hard to relax – and I wasn’t that good at relaxing even before.

Still, I’ll trade the steady paychecks for the ability to take a nap after lunch each day, the walks I can take anytime to clear my head, and the thrill of pitching a new client or sending out my hard-earned invoices at the end of the month.  Oh, and all my awesome clients.

WARNING: here’s the part where I get all sappy about how much my clients mean to me.

I truly value all of my clients. Their respect for my talent is both intimidating and motivating, which is a perfect mix. The intimidation keeps me humble, the motivation keeps me hungry and eager to give my clients the best words that I own. Through my clients I gain confidence in my skill. Through them I learn what I am capable of. Through them, I believe even more strongly in the power and value of content to make connections and build relationships.

So yeah, my clients rule.

Now for the wrap-up – I’m happy with where I am. Endeavor Writing continues to be a fascinating and rewarding endeavor for me. Each day is an adventure. I love that I get to learn a little about so many different topics, that I get to formulate articles and blogs and press releases and even ebooks. Every day is a beckoning challenging, and I am ready to meet it today, tomorrow and into the future.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey. You have no idea what your confidence means to me.

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