Everyone deserves the chance to build a life they don’t need a vacation from. Unfortunately, not everyone can quit their job and pursue their passion until it becomes a success. Most of us have to work a 9-to-5 during the day and burn the midnight oil at night, bit by bit, month by month, year by year in order to make our dreams a reality. We have to balance our dreams of entrepreneurship and financial independence with the realities of supporting our families.
Every once in a while though, I get this intense longing to just leave my job and do it. Take a leap of faith, so to speak. I’d totally do it if I was single, but when you’re married, you can’t make these types of decisions alone. I did make the attempt a while back, and I learned some really valuable lessons from the experience.
In 2016, I decided that I wanted to take a year of maternity leave from my job as a science teacher at a middle school. I really felt like God was calling me to step out on faith and blog full-time so that I could have more time at home with my kids. So I talked to my husband about it, and he was on board. At the time, he was in grad school working on his marriage and family degree. We figured that we could survive on his income alone if we had WIC and food assistance to supplement.
Building a successful blog turned out to be much harder than we anticipated. In my mind, I thought that since people really liked my blogs, it would take a year or so for my blog to take off and make at least $1000 dollars a month.
I was so wrong.
We had to figure out our brand message, our brand story, what products and services we wanted to offer people, and so much more. We invested money into hiring a brand strategist to help us, a professional photo shoot, and email service to send out weekly newsletters. I was home with our newborn baby and our one-year-old most of the week. We started sending her to daycare twice a week so that I’d have time to blog. We had two additional family members staying with us at the time, and I had postpartum blues, so there was a lot going on.
The job that my husband thought he had secured fell through, so he started looking for another job, but in the meantime we had rent to pay. We started to fall behind on some of our bills. After a while, it became clear that we desperately needed money in order to catch up, and I made the decision to go back to work. It just so happened that my school needed a biology teacher fast, so I figured that was a clear sign that I was meant to go back to work.
Going back to teaching meant I had to make time to write articles and market my blog on social media in between lesson-planning, grading, and being mom and wife.
It’s hard. And I’m still not blogging full-time 3 years later, but I’m still working toward my goal. I once read a quote by Brian Tracy that says, “There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines.” So if your spouse (or you) have a passion you want to pursue and you feel like you want to quit working to invest in it, here’s what I want you to learn from my story.
You have to have a plan.
When I decided to quit teaching, my husband was behind me 100%. He really believed in my talent for writing and he wanted me to get paid for it. So we figured that we could survive on his income. But at that point, he hadn’t been hired yet, and we had very little money saved up. So we didn’t have a real plan; what we had was a bunch of hopes. If you’re really serious about taking that leap of faith, you have to have a rock solid plan that includes having money saved up in the bank for emergencies.
Save, save, save!
Emergencies come up, unexpected things happen, and you need to make sure your family is taken care of. Find a way to get a year’s worth of your income to stash away. Sell one of your cars, pick up an extra shift, and do whatever you can to make sure your bills can get paid if your business idea takes longer than you expected.
Expect your plan to get detoured.
Launching a business will require you to learn a lot of stuff really fast. Sometimes things will take longer than you expect, and sometimes they’ll be more expensive than you thought, or just be harder than you anticipated. Sometimes you’ll have to start over or take a class to learn a skill you need. Inevitably, there will be bumps in the road, and it will save you from a lot of discouragement if you know that before you start.
Don’t give up!
Remember, there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines. Your dream is yours, and no one can stop you from making you a reality. It just takes the right information and time. It may take a lot longer than you thought (like it is for me, lol) but you have to keep going at it. If you keep working, there’s a 100% possibility of success. But if you stop, well, there isn’t any.
Pursuing your dreams will make you a more fulfilled person, and your family and marriage will benefit from you being as happy and fulfilled as possible. Just make sure your plan to pursue your dreams will also allow your family to thrive too.
Here are some great resources to help you and your spouse get on the same page about your goals for this year:
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