About a month ago, I celebrated my imminent departure from my former employer with a lunch with my co-workers. They’ve been spending the past few weeks trying to get through the year-end reporting period, and from what I hear, I should be glad I left when I did. I know, however, that I should have left much earlier.
I’d love to say that working fully for myself has been perfect, I’m fully acclimated to my new working environment, and I’ve improved my time management skills. Alas, none of that is true. I spend some of my time working in my loft, which I’ve rearranged to ensure it functions well enough as an office, and some time in the living room. I haven’t given myself a set working schedule, but I’m keeping mostly to the publication schedule I’ve established over the past few years.
So far, January has been the biggest month Consumerism Commentary has seen, so the combination of the time of year and the work I’ve been putting in could be paying off. At this rate, leaving behind an annual salary and benefits behind will pay off in a few months.
I’m attributing a few personal benefits to the fact that I no longer need to focus on my former day job.
- I no longer get headaches. Perhaps this is because I spend most of my time working at my desk in a comfortable chair that seems to be positioned correctly. This may also be due to getting more and better sleep.
- I am also taking time out of my day several times a week to get exercise. I am working towards losing weight and completing a 5K, and am following a training class offered by RunKeeper. I’ve already lost five pounds.
- Possibly also contributing to the weight loss, I’m eating smaller meals. Rather than eating an over-priced lunch with large portions in a corporate cafeteria, I generally make my own lunch. It’s not necessarily healthy food all the time, but the portions are smaller.
If you have the opportunity to make a living for yourself, don’t wait as long as I did. On Yakezie, I wrote about why I waited so long before quitting while I had been earning enough income to live from my projects without my salaried job for several years, and there are legitimate reasons for being cautious. The type of income I’m generating now may not be viable three decades from now, but with more time to focus, I will be able to adapt to changes.
At thirty-four years old, with no dependents other than a cat, I’m still young enough to take some risks, with no one else relying on me to earn a steady income, but older than many of the most successful bloggers and other industry leaders in this space. I wish I could have done this ten years ago.
If there’s a moral to this story, it’s not to wait before becoming the architect of your own life.
Published or updated January 20, 2011.