Our life has been anything but typical. Our choices have been the right ones, but occasionally I find myself jealous of those that lead typical lives. There’s so much comfort and security in a predictable life. When your paycheck comes from your employer every week, you know the bills will get paid. When your kids go to school like all the others, you know their headed in a predictable direction. Sure, there are no guarantees, but there are safe choices that make life “easier,” normal.
In 2010, we jumped off the safe and comfortable track and ended up places we didn’t even know existed. 2010 was the big recession where people were clinging tightly to what ever job they could get. We made the decision to let go of ours and free fall into working for ourselves. With the downfall of big business comes the rise of small business and all of the recently unemployed people and those with small businesses were clamoring for the help the internet could give them.
My husband, T, has always taken contract work to supplement his day job. There were a lot of reasons, but primarily so I could stay home with our kids. His contract work reached the sweet spot where we had to choose between his day job and contract work. Conditions at his day job had been getting worse over the previous five years and we really should have left two years earlier, but what family just walks away from good insurance and a regular paycheck.
We did. But we didn’t do it lightly. We did our research. We talked to friends who had made the same choice. T read books on successfully freelancing. Most importantly, though, we figured out what we were willing to lose. We cut our bills to the bare minimum. We looked at everything that was non-essential and let it go. For four months, my husband worked full time for his day job and full time freelancing to build up a nest egg and to make sure the work was available.
But that wasn’t all. Most small businesses fail. Our final consideration was what were we going to do if we lost our house. We knew that the path ahead was iffy. We’d had friends who were freelancers that had ended up eating at soup kitchens. Life happens and how were we going to take care of our kids if it did?
This is where my parents came in. Our best option was to move back to my family farm. My parents love me, but they can be very chaotic. I had no idea if they were going to be supportive of this venture. But they were behind it 100%. In fact, both they and the girls occasionally wished it WOULD fail so we’d end up closer together (but only for that reason).
Interestingly enough, we did end up losing or almost losing a number of things, but the house wasn’t one of them. Money was occasionally tight and freelancing never made us rich, but every month the bills were paid.
So what did we lose? Find out in the next blog post.