Leaving Academia For The Hustle: Finding My Version Of Financial Freedom Online
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Freelancing has been one of the great joys of my 20s. When I first started this period of my life, though, I was enthralled with academia, grades, and higher education in general. I got so much out of my time as a student, but now that I am a freelancer, I couldn't imagine any other career path. Today on The Happy Arkansan, I wanted to talk more about the transition from academia to freelancing and finding financial freedom online.
Joining And Leaving Academia
As a young adult, I followed the traditional path for 20+ years. As soon as I finished with high school, I started college that fall. It always seemed like the next thing to do. I kept falling down the education rabbit hole, and I even got a Master's in Sociology in August of 2017. Ultimately, I don't regret that time in college or graduate school. I have debt from that time, but I think it was well worth it for the soul searching I was able to do during that time.
After following the educational path for so long, I was at a crossroads. Do I continue following this path, get my P.h.D. and become a doctorate in my field? Or, do I slow down a bit and follow a path that had been boiling beneath the surface for as far back as I could imagine. Writing had been a part of my life since my middle school poetry writing days, and I knew I wanted to pursue it more after getting my Master's.
Academia is amazing. You get to know amazingly smart, professional people. It's also one of the most stressful environments I've ever been in. Research and writing rein supreme, but so does teaching, grading, and university service. Writing and research have always been a strong point of mine, so I decided to get rid of the fluff and pursue freelancing full time.
Becoming A Freelancer
Toward the end of my tenure as a Master's student, I decided that I was ready to leave the stress of graduate school behind and focus on my dreams for a while. Writing had become a passion, and it was the only thing I did in school that didn't cause me stress. I loved connecting with audiences big and small. I knew I wanted to write online!
So, I decided to do what any happy 20-something would. Instead of chasing a 9-5, I would work from the comfort of my laptop.
I worked diligently that fall. I eventually upgraded from working wherever my laptop would fit, to purchasing a cheap desk from Walmart, it was seriously the most empowering thing I'd done for my freelance career to date. I'm still using that desk a year later as I type out this story for y'all.
I had to learn a lot about myself that fall, though. What I would and wouldn't take. The kind of clients I did and didn't want. I also had to deal with my own issues stepping away from academia. School was all I had ever known, it was jarring to find a new identity.
Finding My Worth As A Freelancer
This summer, I changed my tune. I was determined to find my worth as a freelance writer. After a stint where I had my lowest grossing month as a freelancer, I bounced back and had my highest grossing month to date. I was searching for clients who would pay me to write content. I was on fire, and loving the money coming in on a consistent basis. I'm still riding this wave and loving every minute of it.
When I wanted to find my worth as a freelancer, Paypal was there for me. PayPal made invoicing all my new clients as easy as pie. The same can be said of the excellent work I've gotten to do on this very blog. PayPal has been there to support my needs for my multiple streams of income.
PayPal also made accessing my money on my terms easy too.
One thing I am very excited about is PayPal's stellar new partnership with Walmart. If you are a freelancer or online creator looking for flexibility like me, and you are a PayPal user, listen up!
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I encourage you to learn more about PayPal's cash in and cash out services at Walmart stores.
What's Coming Next
This year has been an interesting one in my life as a blogger and freelancer. It was my first year solely just being a freelancer/blogger, and it was full of ups and downs. Freelance life is one wild ride, but I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now.
I am so glad that I have services like PayPal's cash in and cash out services to help me on my journey to true financial freedom. I know that 2019 is bound to be my craziest year yet. I'm so excited to plan for that year and ramp up my success in 2019.
Who else is excited about future growth in 2019?
PS: Have you checked out PayPal's new cash in and cash out services at Walmart stores yet? If you are a PayPal user, you should get more information about what this might mean for your business as a creative!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.