Going to college and getting a degree doesn’t guarantee you to a job offer. What do you do if you find yourself in this position? Amanda found herself jobless after college, here’s how she found her own path to success!
My Pathway to Success Disappeared
All my life, I had a simple formula, a simple direction to follow. I was told to go to college, get a job, make money. Simple, right? I followed this path somewhat blindly. I didn’t really think about the future, I just did what I was told to do.
When I graduated, I faced a different reality. It was 2010, the economy was suffering. No one was hiring. I found myself with no money, no prospects for gaining an income, and no skills (or so I thought).
I found myself in the middle of an existential crisis. My pathway literally disappeared. Everything I had been told to do in order to be a successful adult no longer applied. I started suffering from panic attacks and a total lack of direction and purpose.
I spent my first six months after graduation in a dark place, unsure of how to move forward. Luckily, during this time, a friend handed me The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. It was this book that helped me realize that there is more than one path in life. I didn’t have to live the way it had been prescribed to me. I could make my own decisions, including working for myself or traveling the world. I could design my own life.
I had no idea what I wanted my life to look like or what I wanted to do, but for the first time I realized that I had the power to create my own path.
Creating My Own Financial Path
After reading that book, I took a chance and looked into freelance writing. I had always wanted to be a writer, maybe I could get paid a little to write while I look for a full time job. One of the writing gigs I landed was looking for personal finance articles. Unfortunately, I knew nothing about money, but I told myself:
“Whatever dream life I come up with in the future - it’s going to cost money, so I better figure it out. If I get paid for these articles, then I’m getting paid to research personal finance topics and teach myself.”
And so began my obsession with learning about money! As I wrote articles from my research, I shared my own financial journey on my blog and eventually landed a full time job as a recruiter.
During my day job I interviewed people for jobs within Fortune 500 companies. I was literally spending my days with people who’d been laid off and had no money. To top it off, the companies were also in a financial bind because they were trying to recover from the economy. This opened my eyes to the reality that working for someone else doesn’t mean you have financial security. I stayed in this job for two years while my blog and freelance gigs were growing.
While I was thankful for my full time work, I was becoming burnt out. I wanted to quit my job and turn my blog into my full time income. I just wasn’t sure how to make this happen! In December of 2013, I hired a business coach to help me monetize the brand I had worked so hard to build. I think I literally paid her my entire emergency fund at the time to take this risk!
This was a really hard leap to take. I feared that I wouldn’t make the money back, but I pushed myself to get over my fear and change my mindset so I could move forward. The risk paid off and I quit my job six months later!
That success was followed by writing a bestselling book, rebranding my business, coaching others, landing corporate writing gigs, and then landing influencer campaigns. It’s been five years; I love what I do and am earning four times more than when I was a recruiter.
How I did it without being frugal
The idea of scrimping, saving, and living frugally never inspired me. I tried it, and it only got me so far. I want to have fun and own nice things. I also like paying for convenience. For me, gaining financial security is all about my income. If I want something I can’t afford, I just figure out how to make more money to pay for it! This is how:
First, Be Intentional: I’ve always been clear about what things matter to me and what don’t. I don’t care about owning a car; but I love healthy food, fitness classes, and getting a massage once in a while. I don’t spend my money on the things I don’t care about.
Second, Grow Your Potential: Once I landed my job, I was still living with my parents. This allowed me to dump the money I made into my business, allowing it to grow and earn more money.
Third, Take Risks: If I wanted something - like to visit a friend in Mexico (which I did) - then I would force myself to find the money. I’d take small risks (book the plane ticket, put something on a credit card) to force myself to find the money.
With time, I started to realize I can earn whatever I want because there is no limit to my earning potential whereas there is only so much I can save before life starts to suck. I’ve also used credit card points (haven’t paid for a flight in years) and would AirBnB or crash with friends.
I’m loving my life in Miami. Every day I get to wake up to a view of Biscayne Bay and do work that I love. Running my own business has been a dream come true - a dream I never realized I had. And I’m excited to continue down this path. My next goal is to become a seven figure business, helping others create their dream life, and booking a trip to London to visit a friend!
Thank you to Amanda for sharing her story! I love that she took small risks and found the money to be able to follow through on her dreams. I look forward to watching Amanda continue to thrive in entrepreneurship and taking that trip to London!
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