I need your help bro. Want to quit my job. Tired of workplace toxicity.
My friend whatsapped me yesterday.
He told me that he knows Graphics Design a little, is about to enroll in a Video Editing course, and also knows some writing. He is desperate to quit his job and start a freelance career.
When I told him to choose one, he said he is passionate about Graphics Design. He has a knack for it.
You might wonder, why did he call me?
Well, I quit my 9–5 job two years ago, and since then, I have been working as a freelance writer. In these two years, I earned four times more money than what I would earn from that job.
Now, what do you think - should I inspire my friend to quit his job and embrace freelancing? Should I give him a pep talk that ends with 'If I can do it, you can too?'
When people talk about following one's passion, they hide a lot of truths.
You feel delighted, thinking you will be able to do things you are passionate about and not face the boss you hate the most anymore. Let alone the toxic and competitive working environment that sucks all the juice from you in exchange for a monthly paycheck.
But remember, 'passion' is a vague word, and often it misleads people.
We hardly acknowledge that what freelance writers do for their clients on Upwork or Fiverr has very little to do with their passion for writing. The same is true for graphic designers, video editors, voice artists, app developers, and others.
Passion hardly gets you food on the table or pays your kids' school fees.
Suppose you are good at graphic design and decided to quit your job on a whim. What would you do next?
Of course, you will join freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. But those platforms are already crowded with expert graphic designers with solid portfolios and tons of great reviews.
Why on earth would clients hire a newbie like you for their projects? - Soon you will realize this hard truth and get upset.
However, if you stick to those platforms and constantly apply to different jobs, you will, indeed, find clients. But you will find those who will offer you pennies for what you've been passionate about the whole time and thought would change the course of your life.
Well, it would undoubtedly change the course of your life - but in the wrong direction. You will drink up a bitter truth that we don't value our jobs until they're gone.
If you survive the first few struggling months in your freelance career and get a few good clients, you might think that your bad days are over. But trust me - that's far from the truth.
My younger brother (19) works as a freelance pixel artist and animator on Fiverr in his free time. He got more than 10 clients in the first two months and earned $5000+. Eventually, he became a Level-2 seller on Fiverr.
You may think he would never have to worry about clients, right?
In the fourth month, he almost had no clients, and his earnings hit the ground. His 'Level-2' badge was also removed by Fiverr.
Why I'm telling you all this?
Just to give you some ideas about how unpredictable the freelancing world can get. And this is exactly what you are going to encounter if you suddenly quit your job and follow your passion being highly motivated by some cheap self-help gurus.
You will be surprised to know that it took me nearly six months to cross the $100/mo mark on Medium as a freelance writer (though I am always very passionate about writing).
I am lucky enough that one of my stories went super-viral in October 2021 which eventually earned me nearly $20,000. But before daydreaming, you should know that it came after writing more than 250 articles.
Sadly, no one can guarantee when your article will go viral and make you a fortune. Some people I know got their first viral one after publishing 500 stories on Medium.
Now think about it - if you have a family to maintain, can you afford to follow your passion and put yourself in such a highly unpredictable situation instead of sticking to a stable 9–5 job?
I hope not.
Maybe you're thinking about the solutions?
The good news is - every problem has a solution, and this one is no exception.
Based on my experience, the solution is to continue your job and, at the same time, start working on your passion.
If you are a writer, you should explore all the opportunities available in the market and what's suitable for you based on your current skills.
Remember, nobody will pay you because you're passionate about something. They will pay you when you can solve their problems using your skills (whether you are passionate about that or not - it doesn't matter much).
If you lack the necessary writing skills, spend at least one or two hours every day to know what you don't know. Then make writing your side hustle.
Create a portfolio publishing good content on this platform or Medium before joining Upwork, Fiverr, or whatever platform suits you the best.
Can you quit your job now?
Keep your job, steal office time, and work hard to monetize your passion. Slowly build a strong client base and put yourself on different platforms.
Take your time.
When you have a job in hand, you can do many experiments with your passion (be it writing, graphics design, coding, etc.) and see what brings you both - joy and money.
It may take one or two years to fully understand where your passion is going to take you in the coming days.
If the income from freelancing gets much higher than your day job and you struggle to maintain both - now it's time for you to quit the job and fully embrace a freelancing career.
Never believe in those who say they can transform your life in 24 or 72 hours with their life-changing freelancing courses. Mark my words - they are misleading you.
Things are not that easy in real life. They have nothing to do with helping you achieve what you want to achieve. They only want you to swallow their fancy baits so that they can rob you of some money.
My first and only $10,000/month on Medium came in November 2021. You'll be surprised to know that I earned only $74 in the month before that. This is how unpredictable freelancing can turn out to be for you.
I must admit that I learned a lot about writing on this rollercoaster journey. But still- I don't know when my next piece will go super-viral and I will have my next $10,000 month.
Don't get me wrong!
My job is not to scare you. I'm just telling you plain truths. Of course, there are some lucky bastards - but as you know - 'exception cannot be an example.'
I hope you've got the idea of what message I'm going to convey about 'following passion' when my friend will pay me a visit the next Friday.
*Originally published on Medium (link)