Today is my 3-year anniversary of leaving my comfy 9 to 5 (not to mention a steady paycheck) to try my hand at making it as a full-time artist, writer, and creative.
3. Whole. Years. 1095 days!
A LOT has happened in those 3 years.
But the most important thing – and the one that i want to celebrate with you today – is i’ve survived. i made. Not always comfortable. Not always easily, but i’m still here. Waking up and going to into my office to work for myself. Still writing. Still creating. Still chomping slowly on my keyboard, word after word, essay after essay, book after book.
And i’m so so grateful for it all.
To celebrate this momentous milestone, i thought it would be both fun for me to take a look back and helpful for you (if leaving your 9 to 5 or day job to pursue a life as an artist/writer/drag artist *enter your desired full-time profession here* is something you dream of) to share my past writings on the subject . Plus some other things i created to help you see, believe, and take action towards making that big artist leap yourself.
Welcome to …
Binge Box #1: Quitting your day job to be a full-time artist.
Right here in this single post, i’ve curated all the blogs i wrote before and after i quit my day job, videos i created to help get your mindset right (as well as your life & finances in order), and the books, podcasts and other goodies i found helpful these first 3 years of navigating the world as a full-time artist.
All of it right here for you in one convenient place to binge, digest, and then hopefully start asking yourself the questions and taking small daily actions towards building a full-time artist life of your own!
i hope you find one (or a ton) of things that serve you in your journey.
Let the binging begin!!
My blogs on quitting my 9 to 5
Below are all the blogs that i wrote leading up, about, and on the anniversary of me leaving my day job.
If you’re pressed for time, i’ve highlighted via bolding the ONE MUST READ in each section that i believe will serve and provide the MOST inspiration & resources for your time. All the bang. Less bucks.
2016 – The year i quit
May 15, 2016 – i officially quit my job!
June 1, 2016 – 29 days before it’s official: The calm before the storm
July 6, 2016 – Two days before its official: The universe has our back, always.
July 9, 2016 – Day One as a full-time artist: i woke up like this – a self-employed creative
August 24, 2016 – 44 days into full-time artist: You can leap from where you are.
2017 – Year One
2018 – Year Two
July 8, 2017 – 2nd year anniversary Instagram Live Video: 3 quick pre-quitting your day job tip
My articles & videos to help you quit your 9 to 5 & go full-time artist
Books, Podcasts, Articles, Tools, & Humans that helped me through the 1st 3 years
1. Book: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less This book WAS EXTREMELY helpful in getting me to hone in and focus on what really mattered the most.
2. Podcast: Believing Hard by Brooke Castillo. Literally on repeat the entirety of my 3rd year as a full-time artist.
3. Book: Self-Coaching 101: Use your mind. Don’t let it use you. Probably my favorite book on controlling your thoughts in order to build and lead your best life.
4. Human: Melissa Cassera. Melissa is my friend, my yoda, my biz, life, and writing mentor … basically my everything. She was the first human who taught me all about batching (i HIGHLY recommend you download her free e-book called I <3 Batching. It literally changed the way i worked!) and that you HAVE to love what you are doing otherwise it will never work.
She was the impetus to me wanting to quit my job to go full-time artist and i still want to be her when i grow up!
Her mentorship and her online course Obsessed literally CHANGED the GAME for me.
BONUS: Here is a post i wrote celebrating Melissa and the BIGGEST lessons she has taught me!
5. Human: Dani Shapiro. She inspires me to write and to be a better writer. Every. single. day.
6. Tool: Full Focus Planner. This planner is the BOMB! i was first introduced to these planners by my friend Devin and i am OBSESSED with them. Like seriously. It makes goal setting (and follow-through) much much easier!
7. Tool: focusing on daily small habits vs. BIG GIGANTIC goals.
i stopped believing that i needed to make giant leaps every day towards my goal and committed to daily small actions.
Out of all the things on this list, THIS one has created the most momentum and results than all the others.
8. Tool: Meditating. i have to admit i’ve been resistant to meditating and the idea of sitting still for 20min doesn’t sound like a “good” time to me. So for the first year and half, i sucked at meditating and i didn’t do it. A big reason why it never stuck was because i was trying to meditate like everyone else, like my mentors and other people i admired. i thought that if i meditated like they did that i would be able to craft a beautiful sentence out the muck that was in my mind.
But that only stagnated my meditation and pretty sure i held such high expectations of what my meditation practice should be that i just didn’t do it all. All or nothing. That’s me.
It wasn’t until the start of this year (2019) that i finally tossed all those unrealistic meditation ideas out the window and told myself that all i needed to do was 5mins.
5mins of meditation THAT’S ALL. (Again, back to #6. daily small goals vs. giant leaps.)
i downloaded an app called Insight Timer, created a 5min meditation audio, and committed to just doing that. <– That one small shift of high expectations to just 5 minutes a day CHANGED MY LIFE, my meditation practice, and my mind!
9. Tool: Creating an AM ritual that i do EVERY SINGLE DAY. This one took some time to get right because creating a ritual that is personal and motivational to YOU takes a lot of trial and error.
But here’s how i found my grove:
a. i asked myself what are the most important things to me right now? The answer for me was writing and creating a daily habit.
So i knew right then and there THAT’S what i needed to focus on – an AM ritual that centers around creating a writing habit that i can stick to.
i reached back into my daily small habit choice and landed on 10mins a day. That’s it. Easy. Doable. But most importantly, a way to create momentum and feel like a success. Most of the times i go over my 10min but just knowing that 10minutes is ALL i have to do (especially on days that all i want to do is watch reruns of Gossip Girl) is a weight off my shoulders.
10. Tool: Facebook writing groups. It’s how i landed my BET and Global Grind gigs. i answered a call in a Facebook group called, Binders full of editors seeking freelance writers. i didn’t get that gig, but the editor swung back around to me and we had an awesome 2year writer/editor relationship.
11. Tool: Vacation. Even when times were tough and i was struggling to make my monthly bills, getting away with my wife was/is essential. Time away to reboot and reflect is mandatory when you are your own boss so i had to find ways to keep this lifeline in my life.
Cruising is our vacation mode of choice because it’s all done for you and right there. No one has to drive. No one has to think. We can just exist. And that’s the kind vkay i need – no major decision. No extra brain bandwidth. No arguing over whose turn it is to drive. All done for you? Yep, that’s my speed. (Plus, if you book earlier enough you can have up to a year to pay off your cruise which TOTALLY helps when you don’t have a steady, consistent reliable source of income.
12. Tool: Spotify. Music is my life when i’m working. Period.
13. Article: Be the lighthouse.
15. Person: Chani Nicholas. Her new moon workshops, affirmations, and horoscopes have kept me sane, centered, and motivated when i felt like the whole world was against me.
Here are a few ideas of where to go and what to do next.
1. Pick one resource, tool, podcast, book listed above and download, buy, or listen to it.
2. Still feeling like your dream is impossible? READ THIS.
3. Meditate for 5 mins. Just 5. See what comes up for you.
4. Hire me to help you navigate the inbetween space of day job to full-time creative. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “I’m Ready To Leap” to get started.
5. Write your resignation letter (see i officially quit my day job post)
Wherever you go from here, i hope you are heading in the direction towards your BIG “IMPOSSIBLE” dreams and not away from them.
Mucho mas love, light, and leaping,