As I come across people who have left the rat race I ask if I can interview them. You can read the other interviews here.
I met Gina in an online group and quickly noticed she was on a fast track to become a full-time freelance writer. When she announced her course 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success it came highly recommended by a few others I know so I decided to take it to see what it was all about. I was impressed with the quality and content and now recommend it to others. If you are interested in becoming a freelance writer definitely take the course and connect with Gina.
Since taking the course Gina has become a good friend and I’m happy that she said yes to the interview. Enjoy!
Q: What one thing or event made you decide to leave the rat race now vs. later? If no such particular event, how did the decision evolve?
A: I realized at the beginning of 2014 that something needed to change for me career-wise. At first, I tried to revamp the career I had at the time (as a financial advisor) to make it more enjoyable by enrolling in the CFP program and offering to buy into the larger practice I worked as a part of.
Instead of “falling more in love” with my career at the time, it had the opposite effect. Only then did I contemplate alternative options. I began my search, came across Leaving Work Behind and found out that freelance writing for the web was a viable option.
I was hooked. Since writing is my true passion, I launched my own website, got an unpaid gig for The Huffington Post and then my first client. From there I built my freelance business first as a side hustle and was later able to put in my notice and sell my planning practice. I’ve been a full-time freelancer since 12/24/14.
Q: What is your #1 advice for people that don’t know where to start but would like to do what you are doing?
A: Take my course 😉 Honestly, I chronicled my journey in the beginning to see what worked and what didn’t. I didn’t want to operate my business using the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results).
So I tracked everything. Only later did I see that I had created a blueprint of sorts that others could follow and experience similar success. I turned it into 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success, which is an email-based curriculum to help aspiring writers for the web launch a business from scratch in 30 days or less.
The best part, is that you can take it at your own pace. Do a few lessons per day when you have the time and skip a few days when you’re busier or need a break. It’s up to you how fast or slow you go through the material.
Q: Do you follow other blogs or websites that are doing what you are doing? If so, any you would recommend?
A: Absolutely! Some of my favorites (besides Leaving Work Behind) are Be a Freelance Blogger, The Write Life, Careful Cents, Make a Living Writing and and Freelance Freedom Fighter. I’m happy to say that I’ve now gotten the opportunity to guest post on all of them – feels a bit “point of arrival!”
Q: How do you finance your dream? Work along the way or are you living solely on savings? Or a combination of both?
A: Great question! For me, I was fortunate in that I had a business to sell. The downside is that I’m the breadwinner for our family of four (my husband is a SAHD to our two toddlers).
I started out writing on the side (many mornings starting before 5 am and on weekends) to make sure it was a viable career choice to support my family. At the end of this year, my business proceeds will be gone, so it’s our goal to pay off our last remaining debt (besides our first mortgage), to put us in the best possible position in 2016.
Additionally, I’m trying to build up my monthly income as much as possible. I hit $5k (gross) the last two months running. My stretch goal is $10k/mo, which will put me well above replacing my former salary. I’m doing everything possible to get there before the end of 2015.
Q: Do you meet a lot of other people doing what you are doing or do you feel as if you’re still breaking new ground wherever you go? And the people you do meet are they mostly single or families?
A: Yes, I’ve met a fair amount of people (mostly online) doing what I do. It’s both singles, marrieds and parents (even some retirees). But, in my social circle, it’s a pretty alternative way to make a living. Almost everyone has been super supportive!
I love meeting fellow freelancers, writers and webpreneurs. I think we have a lot to offer each other and we’ll get much farther together, then we would on our own!
Q: How would you want your eulogy to be read? And do you feel that you are living your life in a way that fits that?
A: What a great question! I think it’s the same as what I want for my children. I want to be known as empathetic and generous. Not just with time or money, but with everything.
I want to encourage and empower others to make their own dreams a reality and challenge the status quo. I want to be a light – and not by stealing anyone else’s. Lastly (but most importantly), I want my life to be a testimony to Jesus.
I think for the most part I am. I hope my journey and story are an encouragement to others that want to do the same thing. I’m definitely going big – at home!
Great answers for sure! I love the energy that Gina brings, her goals, how she is helping others who want to get into freelance writing and her general outlook on life. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
You can connect with Gina on her blog Horkey Handbook.
Share some love for Gina by leaving her a comment below. Take the chance to ask her any questions too!