3 Ways to Hug a Life-Changing Choice

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Melissa Gorzelanczyk of Peace & Projects.

“Don’t let me down.” -John Lennon

So you want to quit your day job and start a very small business?

Excellent. I’m a big fan of that.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll have to work really, really hard.
  • You might not make much money at first.
  • Sometimes you’ll wonder if quitting a corporate day job was the right choice.
  • Your family might think you’re crazy giving up “a good job.”

Let me elaborate on that last point. My family is full of epic people. They have shaped my life and made me a better woman.

At the same time, some of them don’t fully “get it.” Here’s what I mean.

When I was an editor at the Green Bay Press-Gazette, my family was my biggest fan. They loved reading my columns. They loved bringing my magazines to show their friends.

The internet has stolen me away.

Recently when I turned down a time commitment, a family member said: “Come on now, Missy, you have the time. You don’t even have a job.

Stop. What will you do with comments like that?

I’m hoping to prepare you in advance.

The truth is, that family member was *a little bit* right.

I don’t have a job … in the traditional sense. I gave that up in June to work and be at home. Making a liberated choice like that was a big step. I wanted to make sure it was for the right reasons.

Here are three ways I fully embrace the choice to quit my day job:

Remember where you came from.

The panic attacks I experienced? Gone, now that I quit my day job. Could I go back into a traditional job? Sure. I’ve already been there. At the same time, I don’t want to. I made the right choice for my mental health.

When you make a big decision, remember what led you there.

Surround yourself with people who DO understand.

You can’t expect everyone to “get it.” Focus on those who do – other freelancers, small business owners, bloggers, the love of your life. Spend time with people working on similar goals. Their positivity will give you momentum.

Prove yourself to yourself.

Word hard. Whether you are a writer, knitter or creator, you have to put in the time. Forget about proving it to other people. Prove it to yourself. Make things you are proud of.

When you focus on creating the most amazing small business you can, the proof is in the product. When naysayers speak up (they will!), remember where you came from. Then work on your goals, a little bit everyday.

E.L. Doctorow said “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night.” You can swap writing a novel with anything you want to do – starting a blog, selling jewelry on etsy or making headwraps.

He was right: You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.


Melissa is the author of The Hybrid Homemaker: A Guide to Personal & Financial Freedom. She writes about living a simpler life by her own rules at Peace & Projects.

Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson

8 responses to “3 Ways to Hug a Life-Changing Choice

  1. Welcome Melissa! I’m excited to have my first guest share their story of liberating choices.

    I love the imagery of making your trip with only as far as your headlights shine! I have always been someone who wants to have every detail figured out before I make a decision. I’ve learned this isn’t realistic and is very overwhelming. It’s okay to learn as I go and change small things as needed.

    All the responsibility comes with self-employment, but so does all the freedom of making your own decisions.

  2. Thanks for having me here, Marci! I really appreciate it.

    It’s good to have a plan in place, but it’s also important to be flexible and open to what comes along the way.

    Peace & happiness,

  3. Hi Melissa and Marci

    I can definitely relate to this post. I left my well paying office job to pursue my goal of becoming a freelance writer/blogger about 5 weeks ago. At first my family didn’t take it very well. One asked me ‘what are you doing when you retire?’ My response was ‘working my butt off’.’

    Thankfully, since this earlier comment they have become more supportive and understanding. I totally agree that it is important to surround yourself with people who will support you. It makes a huge difference.

    When you take the leap into small business, there are bound to be days where you feel overwhelmed or a bit low in confidence. It helps a great deal to have someone in the same boat on your side.

    • Hi Thea,

      I like how you put that – “working my butt off.” I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard for so little money (at first) than I did blogging. At the same time, not all the perks of blogging are monetary. Blogging truly helped me “get to know myself.”
      Thanks for connecting with me here!
      Melissa Gorzelanczyk

  4. Melissa,
    My adult children all think I spend way to much time on my blog. I recently spent 10 days with them and would get up in the middle of the night to do a few things when they were fast a sleep. That allowed me to be present with them during the day. Crazy or dedicated?

    • Hi Tess!
      Personally, I don’t think anyone can decide that for you. If you don’t think it’s crazy, then who cares if they do.

      I like to be present with my family, too, but if I need to work, I’ll just let them know I’m unavailable for the next hour. That might be something to consider, too.
      Best of luck to you!

  5. This is wonderful advice for me. I just recently quit my job and am now working for myself. I am so busy, but busy with my life instead of my work as my life. My life is my work I’ve found, and when I let my life happen the work comes.

    It seems we had similar experiences, panic attacks and all. It feels wonderful to step to the other side and see pure possibility waiting for us.