Friday #5: Sacrifice
Do you see these tears? These are happy tears, I promise. The past 7 weeks or so have been so incredible with you good folks. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing with you guys the information I’ve learned along my entrepreneurial journey, and I hope you’ve taken some good things from this series; I know I have. It’s amazing the kinds of things you learn when your primary goal is to teach.
A lot of you have given much appreciated feedback throughout this series, which I love love love you for! It lets me know that I was right in thinking this information floating around in my head might be helpful to someone, somewhere. So THANK YOU!
Before we get started, let’s recap for those who have recently joined us, shall we?
(Feel free to skip this section if you’re already up-to-date.)
Friday #1 was all about finding your niche, that one area of expertise that will allow you to stand out amongst competitors (think: Corporate Event Photographer vs. just…Photographer).
Friday #2, we discussed the importance of building a platform for your business. Social media was a start, but then you expand to a website and an email list where you communicate with supporters & customers directly.
Friday #2a: Give to Get, was all about growing your own business by investing in others’ business. That goodwill will make its way back to you faster than hoarding every penny you get for yourself.
Friday #3: Iron Sharpens Iron (Accountability buddies, Mastermind groups, Private Facebook support groups). Find your tribe.
Friday #4: Do the Math = How much are your monthly bills? How much are you making in your business? Do you need to raise your rate?
Friday #4a: What You Focus On, You Create More Of. Are you focused on making money, or your lack of it? Learn to change how you look at money.
And that brings us to today. Friday #5: Sacrifice.
Considering the BOOK I wrote last week, I’ll be short and sweet.
What I’ve learned over the years is that a major reason people don’t believe they can ever be full-time Funemployed is because they’re looking at the life they have now and don’t know how they’ll ever get to where they want to be with everything they have going on. But the truth is, in order to fully imagine a life where you’re self-employed and loving it, you’ve got to make wise cutbacks and sacrifices, even when it hurts the most.
In 2015, my friend Michelle and I had spent long days and nights searching for the our new Brooklyn home. We took off work to view apartments, got our hopes up and then lost bids, spent hours on end gathering paperwork...the whole stressful NYC apartment search. It was the most stress-inducing thing I've ever done, but eventually, we found the perfect place. We dubbed it our "Big Girl Barbie Dream Apartment", and enjoyed our beautiful new home that sat in the heart of Bed Stuy, just a few blocks from our favorite restaurant, Peaches. Life was good.
Then, just 2 months after moving in, I dropped the bomb. I was leaving my job, leaving the Dream Apartment, and leaving New York altogether. I’d decided it was time to follow my dreams of starting my own agency, and New York just wasn’t the place for it. Simply put, the life I wanted was no longer sustainable in the Big Apple, so I decided it was time to move back to Richmond.
Michelle was confused and understandably annoyed. We'd spent so long searching for this new place and I was willing to just toss it all in the trash. Not many understood why I was leaving NYC after being very public about moving into my dream apartment, but it was something only I understood. It was something I knew I needed to do.
After backpacking through Europe for 30 days, I moved back home with my parents, where I still live today.
I'll admit it—being almost 30 and living at home isn’t the dream, but it’s necessary for where I am at this stage in my journey. I need to keep my expenses low if I want to be able to run a business successfully. I need money for business expenses: insurance, taxes, a website, tools to actually do my work, resources, a team to help handle client work…the list goes on.
You know what I don’t want to need money for right now? Rent.
So, my sacrifice was moving back in with my parents to save money. It has its ups and downs, and after living on my own for so long, moving home and not having the privacy I once did was an adjustment. But, I keep my eye on the prize and focus on how blessed I am to be able to use all the money I make in my business to help sustain and grow it.
I also trained my mind to focus only on the positives of living with the ‘rents. My mom is a business owner herself and my dad is the stock market and investment king, so they’ve been able to give me valuable business and investment advice. I hear the conversations about bookkeeping, business management, investment portfolios, and generating wealth, all conversations I’d otherwise never get the scoop on if I weren’t here in their midst every single day. My sacrifice was moving back home, and the reward is invaluable.
I’m not alone—a friend of mine quit her job, sold her home, relocated back to Richmond, and moved back in with her mom to be able to grow her business effectively.
Another friend quit her job, left New York, and moved back home to focus on growing her blog that was making more money than she ever thought a fashion blog could. She lived with her mom for 2 years before landing a high-paying gig with a national brand and moving into her own dream apartment.
I constantly saw entrepreneurs in my Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends Facebook group sadly announce that they're leaving the group because they need the extra $25/month to pay their bills.
So now I ask you: What will you sacrifice for full-time Funemployment?
I think I’ve got some ideas for ya:
- If moving home isn’t an option, get a roommate to cut your rent in half.
- Downsize to a studio or 1-bedroom instead of having an extra room for hypothetical guests.
- If you do need that extra room, then move to a cheaper neighborhood.
- Get rid of cable and rely on your FireStick/subscription services for cheap TV.
- Simplify your wardrobe so that you’re shopping less.
- Commit to not traveling for a year to focus on building your business.
- If you must travel, decide to only use flight deals, Groupon, and other money-saving travel tactics.
- Cancel unnecessary monthly subscription services and automatic debits from your account (they add up).
- Buy a coffee maker instead of camping out in coffee shops. (I had to make this change in 2017; coffee also adds up, y'all.)
- Cut back on drinking (Have you ever gone out to eat and not ordered a cocktail? I’m always shocked at how much cheaper the bill is!).
These are just initial ideas to get your wheels turning. The bottom line is, you have to be willing to let some things go temporarily in order to see long-term success. I did it. My Funemployed friends did it, too. Any successful person you know has at some point had to let things go in order to see the level of success they desire. And again, the key word is “temporary”; if you train your mind to remember that you won’t be without forever, you can better focus on the goal.
What appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment you’ll ever make.
Remember the list of expenses we made on Friday #4? Examine it to see which expenses are absolutely necessary, and which ones you can get rid of. Don’t be conservative; major lifestyle changes might be necessary, so you can’t be afraid to shake up life as you know it in order to set yourself up for true success.
Aaaaaand, that's a wrap, folks! In 5 Fridays (okay, 7), we've gone through the core components of what it takes to build a business model and lifestyle that makes the Funemployed life possible. It's been incredibly fun, but more than anything, I'm ready to take the next steps with you! Remember that I'm offering 50% off Funemployed Coaching for anyone who's ready to take what they've learned and apply it to their business. If you need help getting clarity on the homework and establishing your own goals, coaching allows you a 2-hour 1-on-1 session, complete with a document recapping our discussion and guiding you on your next steps. Normally $300, but for you special people, $150. The deadline to sign up is next Friday, September 28 at 12pm. (I'm feeling generous...I'll give you some time to do your homework and see where you need help.)
Last thing! If you haven't already, subscribe to the Funemployed mailing list! And tell a friend to tell a friend to join the mailing list...We're just getting started!
Until we meet again,
-Janna M. Hall