Don't Quit Your Day Job.
I've been on social media lately looking at a lot of the comments and direct messages people send me. People often say the same thing to me about my life and how lucky I am. It is extremely flattering, but it also made me think about the details that pictures leave out.
Sometimes there is a stigma about following your dreams, the idea that you have to give up everything to prove your commitment to the dream. This isn't always true and I would venture to prove that 50 percent of successful people always do. This argument would also have to factor in the individual's idea and perspective of what success really means.
There are some dreams that may require you to get up and move away, quit your day job and go all in. However, there are a lot of benefits to keeping a day job while trying to follow your dreams. For one, you have a steady income, you are able to finance your own projects and need less investment. Depending on your situation and ability to lean on others would probably be a huge factor in not working. A day job could also keep you motivated to work harder the same way not having a job would. Having to wake up everyday and do something you don't enjoy is enough reason to leave work every day and go home and focus on your real dreams.
I was six months pregnant when I first moved back home to Columbus. I left my dream job of teaching dance in NY and the possibility of joining a company to become a mother. Even though I was college educated not many people were willing to hire me while I was obviously pregnant. I also had my insurance license and was working in claims prior to moving to NY. When I moved home I technically didn't have to work. My husband (who was only my boyfriend at the time) made enough money for both of us and owns his own home. However, I wasn't comfortable asking him for money so I wanted to work. I eventually got a job at a place called the Soup King, a place that served different types of soup. I felt so humiliated and frustrated because I went to college to do much more. I eventually talked my friend's mom into hiring me to work for her private insurance company. I worked with her until I gave birth to my daughter. After I had my daughter I convinced my other friend's mother into hiring me to work as HR for her home health care agency. She was so generous to allow me to bring my daughter to work when she was only 4 months old, I kept her in my office with me during the day. This was probably the most stressful period of parenting for me. I was breast feeding my daughter while I was in the office filing, running background checks, making schedules and taking phone calls from clients.
I worked full time, went back to college full time and was also a mother and live in girlfriend. Nothing was easy for me, I was always tired, frustrated and ready to move back to NY. Eventually after I got my degree, I quit working at the office and started my blog and homeschooling my daughter. I've always worked from home, freelance writing, pharmaceutical sales, and even doing paperwork for companies. I've never been okay with just simply waiting until my dream cashed in. Neither has my husband and that is something I've always respected. He has worked a day job in insurance for the past 15 years while working with a rap group for ten years. He went on tours, got them a record deal and spent hours in the studio helping them chase their dream. He did that all while working 40+ hours a week, being a father and a live in boyfriend.
So I just want to point out that yes, it's always good to follow your dreams, and yes you need to do everything to make them come true. However just because some people found success quitting their day jobs to become who they are, doesn't mean you have to. You have to be focused, whether you have kids, a day job or nobody to support you. If you want something you can have it and you can make it happen despite any obstacles. Just remember to be smart, save your money, prioritize and invest in yourself. There are some people who simply can't have a 9-5 if they want to pursue a certain career. You may have to work night shifts or get creative with ways to make money. I sacrifice things I want often so that I am able to give my daughter an amazing education and the ability to pursue all that she desires. I also know that it will pay off when she's living her life organically as an adult. As for me, I will keep on writing, keep on visiting schools talking to kids, teens and young adults about the importance of self love, diversity and acceptance. However if you ever see me working anywhere and you think I'm above it, just know I'm never above making sure my family does more than just survive. Sometimes you may have to take a step back to take five steps forward. There is no shame in working hard and focusing on the bigger picture at hand. Never give up on your dreams, focus and make it happen. You only get one life.
Side Note: My husband and I both have careers that allow us to work from home. We invest in other creative projects and try to have our hands in different streams of revenue. It isn't always easy and we make sacrifices as a family. However living a simple life and following our dreams is what matters most to us. Figure out what matters to you and make choices that allow you to reach that goal. Your success is not measured by what others are doing. Find happiness in your life and your goals.