Marinella’s pivot from 9-5 to entrepreneur
Go figure, I connected with Marinella and her contagious smile on Facebook! Not only does she belong to some of the groups I belong to, but she founded the group Entrepreneurs Building Businesses Together and works to help others building a life outside of corporate, specializing in online support. She’s even created a course I recommend checking out in full or through the chapters you need at the moment. Use Dreznik50 to get a 50% discount! Her story is about her path to entrepreneurship and how she quit cold turkey.
Usually, people have a choice.
I mean, I had a choice, but I didn’t for my own personality. I will explain in this piece.
Most people have a choice when they leave their 9 to 5. They decide when to retire, they decide to be a stay-at-home parent, they decide their side business is worth it.
Very few people quit their 9 to 5 with nothing else lined up.
But I found myself in a no-win situation and I had to get out of it.
I have worked in the marketing field for a variety of companies and industries. I have worked at start-ups and bigger marketing agencies doing a variety of roles.
As I graduated from university and did some long-term traveling, my jobs tended to be more entry level for the first several years. This was fine with me because my main goal at the time was to make money to travel.
I found myself based in Montreal for a period of time and wanted to actually go up the ranks in a company. I wanted to use my skills to lead a team.
Though the marketing agency I was in was lovely, it wasn’t fulfilling my needs to have a bigger workload and responsibility.
In truth, I asked the whole company for more work. No joke, I walked around to the 50 people in my specific office and asked if they had things they wanted me to do. I actually ended up broadening my work description and responsibilities, but it wasn’t enough for me.
I finally transitioned to a start-up where I would be the one and only marketing person. In a way, I was director and creator at the same time. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me.
However, I was wrong. That is part of the difficulty when changing jobs. You don’t know what it will actually be like.
I went in with the job description in hand and excitement to finally dig my marketing hands into projects.
What my bosses actually expected of me was to be a personal assistant. They asked me to type up notes from meetings, to buy toilet paper for the office, and contact lenses for one of them.
This was not what I signed up for.
I waited for 3 months for things to shift and it only looked like it was going to get worse.
In Quebec, if you have worked for 3 months or less you or the employer doesn’t need to give any notice of termination. I took full advantage of that as I just wanted to get away from it.
I dreaded going into work. I dreaded sitting at my desk doing nothing. I dreaded doing tasks that didn’t need my university degree to accomplish. It was making my personal life miserable as well as I would get into fits of tears and anger for no reason.
On a Friday, November 1st, a little less than 3 months since I started, the office was having an electric outage. Nobody could work due to the computers and internet not working. My boss decided to work from home, so I had to submit my letter of resignation over the phone to him.
As a good rule of thumb, you do not say anything critical when doing this. He asked me why I was leaving so soon and I gave a very vague and professional answer:
“I realized that I want to shift my career path.”
I also told him that I would be taking full-time courses in French, which was true. I signed up for 2 months of full-time immersion right after walking away.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
During my French course, I was also working on developing my own business. I interviewed people I knew who worked freelance or had their own companies and set my own path.
There is no set method.
What I have learned from my experience is that all these coaches that tell you this method works, this is guaranteed, is not necessarily true.
Every single freelancer and entrepreneur that I interviewed had their own unique story. What works for one person does not work for everyone.
I did find myself replicating different things, but I would argue that I did those things in my way.
Besides marketing, I was also English teaching on the side. This side gig helped me through the first several months before I got any clients. It wasn’t enough since it was a side gig, but it helped keep my savings from completely depleting.
Through my travels I taught English, so it was an industry that I was comfortable in and still enjoy.
My Recommendations for Quitting Cold Turkey
As I mentioned before, most people have something lined up before they quit their 9 to 5 and I totally understand why. The first 6 months were nerve wracking to me. I was going from 50K plus a year with health benefits to nothing. (Yes, even in Canada you still need private insurance).
However, if you find your situation completely unbearable just like I did, here are some quick tips that might help.
1. Look through your savings.
Do you have enough money to sustain you at least 6 months if you don’t get any clients? 6 months was my personal goal, but definitely make whatever you want.
2. Find a second gig.
My English teaching saved me a lot. Not only financially, but it let me have another outlet for my creativity. I had something to look forward to every day with my young students.
I still teach English and I look forward to every class, seeing their young bright faces.
Whatever your other passions are, try pursuing them too. For example, put 80% of your efforts in your main freelancing gig, but if you have that extra 20%, find something else you enjoy.
Networking can be difficult. It is nerve wracking for many people. Talking to strangers. Especially online!
However, it is so worth it. My now clients have been through networking. I would talk to them in July and they would reach back out in November asking to be my client.
The key to remember: you never know where things go. Whenever you have the opportunity, put yourself out there. The worse that will happen is they say no. And that little word doesn’t matter.
The Steps for Entrepreneurship
There is a lot of information out there on what to do. It can be overwhelming; I know I was overwhelmed! This is why I created a course that compiles all the resources I have found and or use in one spot.
SEO, search engine optimization, is the vain of many entrepreneurs. Some don’t know what it is. I dedicate one chapter into explaining it and then go over many programs that are free or budget-friendly for entrepreneurs to use to make sure their SEO game is spotless!
Being an entrepreneur isn’t difficult. There is just a lot to muddle through, but with patience and determination, you WILL achieve it.
Blog: My Open Passport
YouTube: My Open Passport