A lot of my friends and family don’t really “get” what it is I do. “What do you do again? Some kind of marketing, right?” “How exactly do you make money?” “When are you going to get a real job?” It was so much easier when I had an official title given to me by an official employer. Let me explain…
Chapter 1 – Press on toward the goal
Since April of 2015, I have been a full-time freelance writer. In addition to freelance writing, I have gotten work as a consultant, photographer, and event planner. I have also worked very hard to develop this travel and lifestyle blog, with the addition of a YouTube channel in January 2017. These are all of the ways I make money. Is this what I’ll be doing forever? I don’t know.
The concept of being self-employed is REALLY difficult for most to comprehend. Growing up, we are trained to get a job, not to start a business. A lot of hard things happened to get me to the point of taking the risk to be self-employed, but ultimately, it wasn’t exactly my decision. I graduated at the beginning of the recession. After a year with no luck finding a job, I left home to live 1k miles away, where I knew no one. We lived in 3 states and in both of our parents’ houses within 6 months of getting married. I worked two part-time jobs for months while trying to find full-time work. I landed my dream job and worked my butt off – then lost my job to be replaced by lower-paid interns. What now?
The recession not only made it difficult to find a job; it also affected the reliability of employment since businesses were constantly downsizing or restructuring to save money or avoid bankruptcy. Clearly, it was about as difficult for me to trust the stability of Corporate America as much as the stability of self-employment. The thought of getting another job was really scary because I felt like I was putting my best efforts and 2/3 of my waking hours, in the hands of someone who saw me as replaceable.
Chapter 2 – Many are called but few are chosen
When you know, you know. Sometimes it takes losing everything to let God in. We so badly want to be in control, that we rarely give him the reins to do what he does best. In the midst of hysterical tears and hyperventilating (at the loss of my job), God spoke to my heart and said very clearly, “I have something greater for you, but you would have never quit your job.” Then, almost immediately following, Ben asked me, “Why don’t you just try doing it yourself?”
With a completely vulnerable state of mind, I started to see the true potential of my life. A few years prior, I had started Freely Mí (then called Adventure Culture) to share about cornerstone experiences that were re-shaping my life. Everything that was once scary was no longer intimidating, and I had begun to actively seek experiences that would further this notion of fearlessness and inner freedom. Losing my job was something I hadn’t anticipated…an all-new fear to overcome as well as a new cornerstone moment. When I said, “When you know, you know.” I was referring to that aha! moment when I discovered what I believe is God’s purpose for my life (and despite the direction this story seems to be going, it isn’t self-employment).
Chapter 3 – A light in dark places
The common denominator in all of these cornerstone moments was overcoming fear. This is my purpose. To overcome fear, adversity, intimidation, and discomfort, in order to be an example of true freedom and encourage it in others. Let’s say I was doing these things — moving away from home, traveling to foreign countries, starting a business, paying off debt, and trying new things — but I never told anyone about it. What if I was overcoming all of these fears and discovering a new level of fulfillment, but never shared how I was doing it. That would be like watching someone drown, knowing you could throw them a lifesaver, but instead waiting to see if they’ll die or figure out how to swim.
Fear, adversity, intimidation, and discomfort are all dark things that keep us from enjoying the light of life and I intend to expose them for what they really are — a waste of precious time.
Chapter 4 – Bearing good fruit
Whatever my platform may be – a job, self-employment, my blog, YouTube channel, events or photography – what I really do, or rather, what God does through me, is encourage people to fearlessly pursue a fulfilling and fruitful life.
[Philippians 3:14] Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
[Psalm 139:12] Even the darkness will not be dark to you the night will shine like the day.
[John 8:12] I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
[Matthew 22:14] For many are called, but few are chosen.
[Matthew 7:16] By their fruit you will recognize them.