I had been a hairstylist for almost 25 yrs in Northern Ontario Canada. A job I actually really enjoyed for almost all of those years. I moved around shops a lot, bought my own, closed it and went back to the previous salon I had worked at prior to this big ballsy purchase. The owner was happy to have me back. I was just happy to have a job.
Though this move wasn’t in my best interest, I was just grateful to be working and able to pay my bills. I knew what this job came with. Besides a steady pay cheque, there was an awful lot of favoritism and backstabbing by none other than the boss herself. It wasn’t going to be easy but I had no choice. I had just left my abusive relationship, just declared bankruptcy and was clawing my way out of rock bottom.
Throughout this time I was also working on personal development for myself. Something in my life had to change. I was so unhappy and miserable all the fucking time. I couldn’t stand to be with myself anymore. I started reading books on self help and listening to motivational speakers on YouTube.
I also decided to go do something to help take my mind off my problems. I started volunteering at the homeless shelter twice a month, feeding dinner to 200 drug addicts, alcoholics and other broken souls. It was here that my whole world changed.
I had found my purpose here and wanted to be able to spend as much time here as I possibly could. But how can I make that happen when I work full time at a job I don’t necessarily love but need to be at so I can pay my bills and survive? A little bit of research on the internet one night and I had it figured out.
I was going to become a freelance writer, somehow, some way, so I can spend more time at the shelter. I knew nothing about freelance work so I started from the bottom, the very beginning and read blogs til the wee hours of the morning. I’m gonna crack this freelance thing come hell or high water.
I started writing before and after my 9 hour shift at the salon. Write, submit to sites for free, get rejected, write some more for free, more rejections. Nothing was gonna stop me. I was determined. I didn’t care how many rejections I got, I was going to make this work.
I found my purpose dammit and it didn’t include being at a salon listening to women whine about their husbands while I cut their hair all the while being scrutinized by my boss. Nope. Not for this girl. I have bigger visions now and I was on a mission.
Finally after a couple months one of my pieces got accepted. In time, more pieces were accepted by other sites, all for free. I continued to submit for the first site (all for free) until one day I came out and asked them for a job. They informed me there was no work at the time. That’s cool.
After a few months of knocking on this door they finally said yes! I’m a persistent little bugger. Yay!! I was able to cut down my hours at the salon, (told my boss I was now writing part time as well) and volunteer more at the homeless shelter.
This all happened within 8 months. After almost a full year of working for him part time we met via Skype one day and he asked me to work full time for him and hand in my salon resignation. Are you fucking kidding me right now? OH Yay!! Oh hallelujah!! I was writing that resignation letter up the second we finished our meeting.
Things at the salon had taken a turn for the worse for most employees except the favourites. I wasn’t one of them. I had to fight for clients, I had to fight to stay cheery, I had to fight to not stab someone in the eye with my scissors and I was working up to 12 hours a day cutting hair and writing. My boss and I started butting heads. It wasn’t pretty anymore.
I was more than happy to pack this in.
The next day I showed up to work and handed in my resignation. She was slightly shocked, but I had a feeling she was half expecting it eventually. I was finally free! I gave a two week notice but packed up after one. I couldn’t take it anymore knowing that my freedom was right around the corner.
I had worked my ass off to trade in a hairstyling career for full time freelance writing gig and the satisfaction in that is mindblowing.
I became team captain at the homeless shelter and was there every day. I was in heaven. My whole life had just turned around and I had never been happier.
And then this happened.
One day I decided it was time to make an even bigger ballsier move. I wanted to take my volunteering to Central America. Country of choice? Guatemala. Not chosen by me mind you, I had a tea leaf reader pick a country for me. The beauty of being a freelancer is that you can work from anywhere in the world.
Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.
After almost 3 years of freelance writing and then social media managing, I resigned from my clients (I had two good ones by this time) and became a solopreneur.
Though this life isn’t as fabulous as the pictures suggest, there is great freedom in it. I still have to work my ass off to make a living but I’m doing what I want to do and when I want to do it.
If you have a dream, if you’re tired of your 9–5 grind and working to make someone else’s business dream come true, if you’re ready to take control of your life and live life on your terms, I have two words for you…
The only thing standing in your way is you. The only thing standing in your way is the limiting belief you have, the lies you keep telling yourself that you can’t.
Ya, you can.
This is the only life you have. These are your dreams. Your goals. Your desires and passions. If you don’t work on them now, when will you?
It’s been 3 years since I moved to Guatemala and as much as I absolutely love it here, I have my sights set on Peru in 2019. Then maybe Bolivia. Or maybe Ecuador. Who knows?
When you’re a freelancer, you can go anywhere in the world you want. Doesn’t that sound beautiful?
And to think there was a time I was certain I was going to die cutting hair in that salon in that shit town for the dragon lady.
Peace and Love
ox iva xo