Broke to Financially Stable – Full Time Misery to Full Time Happiness
Let me introduce myself. My name is Lauren (Ell) and you may of heard about me if you are a part of my Boss Girl Bloggers group OR maybe you have stuck around my blog since the beginning (WHICH, THANK YOU IF SO! It’s been a crazy ride). OR you may be hearing about me for the first time, you might have just happened to stumble upon this post! I am 24 years old from a small Massachusetts town.
My blogging journey began in April 2017. A little background, I struggled severely with anxiety and depression all my life. I have my full anxiety/depression story here. BUT – needless to say, I got to this point in my life where I was going to college, working full time, and absolutely HATING all of it. I hated college. I didn’t have the best experience and I was taking classes that didn’t inspire me at all. I’m not the typical person who wants to work an uncreative 9-5 job for the next 50 years of my life. I didn’t want to get myself into debt just to get a job to pay off the debt that my job got me in to begin with! That sounds twisted! I am the type of person who enjoys writing, being creative, and I have a wanderlust heart.
I realized I had to quickly get out of college if I wanted to be happy. It would be one thing if college was free, BUT…it’s not. It’s extremely expensive and it would mean that i’d be in a ton of debt for a HUGE part of my life. Many would look down at me over this decision. But, I wanted to go against the norm. I see through the “college business scheme.” Many would tell me “YOU NEED COLLEGE, YOU’LL BE BROKE WITHOUT IT. YOU WON’T FIND A JOB.” blah, blah, blah. But, I refused to listen. Instead I decide to make myself happy and I dropped out of college. Does that make me crazy? MAYBE. Do I regret my decision? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Lesson Number One
Being a people pleaser gets you no where. They aren’t living your life so focus on doing what makes YOU happy.
I will admit, it was a bit rough in the beginning… I have been a full time server for about 8 years now. After I dropped out of college I worked even more. I have been living on my own since 18 years old. I would say that I had to “grow up” faster than a lot of people my age. Heck, here I am at 24 years old and most of my friends are still not living on their own yet. Does this make me jealous? You know, it used to upset me because i’d NEVER have the funds to go out with them and have a “good time”. But, I am proud of where I am today and how I got here.
Lesson Number Two
Do not compare your life to someone elses. Stay in your own lane and appreciate what you do have.
I had to learn to “make it work.” AND IT’S TOUGH AS HELL. I know many probably can relate to my struggle. Not being able to afford groceries, one meal a day and it was free from my work. There were times when I would just break down and cry. Being a server may sound easy, but it’s really exhausting.
Server life consists of constantly being on your feet, barely having the time to eat, long doubles (12-13 hour shifts sometimes with no breaks), and my favorite – dealing with the public (UGH). As much as I love people, serving them is not always fun. You realize just how entitled some people can act. Thrown burger buns in the face, customers who curse you out because their food isn’t cooked exactly how they wanted it. Not to mention as a server I made $3.00 an hour so I had to rely on tips to pay the bills which made budgeting and paying bills extremely difficult! Many are also unaware of this so they feel as if tipping isn’t necessary. When in fact, if they didn’t tip me it could be the deciding factor between if I could pay my electric bill or not. SCARY. I have been doing this for over 8 years, I know I am worthy of a tip and there was never a day that I didn’t work HARD for them.
Now – I would complain about my job and everyone would say “Why don’t you get a new job?” DUH! So that’s what I tried to do. However, every job I applied to came back with the same excuse “Sorry, although your resume is great, BUT…you don’t have enough experience.” I couldn’t even score an interview! (DEVASTATING) This is when I became extremely depressed. At this point in my life I DID start to regret dropping out of college. I felt so stuck. Am I going to be a server forever? It felt that way. .
Getting Through Depression
One thing that always made me feel better was watching “youtubers”. I know it sounds LAME but it really wasn’t to me. They all inspired me. They could make money talking about things that they LOVE and filming their everyday life. It was crazy to me. I always wanted to be a youtuber but of course I didn’t have the funds for a fancy camera and editing software. That’s when I decided I needed to start writing. I was so depressed, writing made me feel so much better!
One day (in April) I decided I’d start my own blog! I figured, why not write in my spare time to make me happy. And if by chance others read it, then maybe i’d be an inspiration to someone! So that’s what I did. I went into blogging with the mindset that I eventually would LOVE to blog as a career. At the time I didn’t think that it would ever turn into a career so fast. I thought, who would actually read my content? But I knew that this was my only chance.
I couldn’t get a job elsewhere and college is too expensive. I wanted to prove to all of those who said “You need a college degree” WRONG. I wanted to prove to myself that I am more than a “college degree and spent money.” And I am definitely more than just a server! I was tired of depending on others “tips” to pay the bills. I wanted more and I knew I deserved more! If that meant I had to become my own damn boss…Well then you better believe I will make that happen.
Lesson Number Three
It’s okay to go after what makes you happy. Believe in yourself and you will have the power to shock the whole world.
Boss Girl Bloggers
I started blogging and for the first month it was definitely slow-going and I had to teach myself, A LOT. I learned that Facebook groups were important and that you could drive a lot of traffic this way. I joined a few that seemed “popular” but quickly became disappointed. All of the groups I was a part of had no admin present, there was no real “community” vibes and my content wasn’t getting seen as much as I wanted it to.
I started thinking to myself, if they can create a group, why can’t I? So that’s when I decide to create my own group at the end of April 2017 early May, Boss Girl Bloggers was born! I wanted a place where female bloggers could come together, support each other, and get their blogging questions answered! I also wanted to network with other female bloggers and thought this was the perfect way to do so!
My group started to grow slowly and about 2 months later it REALLY grew! I was beside myself, shocked by how fast it was growing! Now, going on the 8th month and Boss Girl Bloggers has grown into 25,000 amazing female bloggers and entrepreneurs who are all so motivating, inspiring and supportive!
I will say if it wasn’t for the creation of Boss Girl Bloggers, I really don’t know if i’d be where I am today. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about what my life was like 8 months ago and how it is now. I have had the opportunity to work with brands that I LOVE, I got to go on a luxurious trip to one of my favorite cities (NYC), AND I am now financially stable!!! There are some days I wake up and it still doesn’t seem real…
Full Time Misery to Full Time Happiness
Of course, like I said before I was working as a full time server and it was miserable! Fast forward 8 months, NOW I am working Full Time on my blog (happiness). Do I still serve? YES because I need all the money I can get, but I don’t have to serve full time anymore which has helped with my depression immensely! I LOVE doing what I LOVE. It’s the best feeling! BUT was it an easy journey? Absolutely not!
Those who have been a part of Boss Girl Bloggers from the beginning can probably remember all of my vents – talking about how much I hated my full time job, how exhausted I was, how I felt that I was stuck in a never ending broke/tired cycle.
In order to turn my full time misery into full time happiness I had to HUSTLE my butt off!!! Even that is an understatment!
My days consisted of – waking up, checking my phone, engaging on all social medias, engaging in my group, going to work, engaging during work breaks (if I had any breaks), going home and writing blog posts, engaging more, editing, falling asleep at about 3-4am. THEN waking up and REPEAT.
I was serving full time AND working on my blog full time! It was SO MUCH WORK. OMG – exhausting. It takes strength to really pursue your passion when you’re starting with nothing.
My phone and computer was attached to my hip. (Doesn’t sound healthy BUT it was necessary.) I was SO determined to make my passion my career, I would not give up! No matter how exhausted I became. To this day I still do EVERYTHING on my own. I manage my group, my blog, all of my social media accounts etc. BY MYSELF. I am a control freak and refuse to put any of my “babies” into the hands of someone else. I know eventually I probably will have to, but I just can’t yet!
SO – as you can tell, making your dreams a reality is a crap ton of work! When I tell people that I want to be a full time blogger they look at me and say, “Really? Blogging, how will you ever make money doing that? That’s not a “real” career.” And I politely tell them they are ignorant and have no idea just how successful blogging can be.
Am I saying the money comes right away? Absolutely not…It will come at different times for each person. It’s all about finding a strategy that works for you and sticking to it! If you want to be a successful blogger you have to make it a main priority! You have to risk your social life, your sleep, and sometimes your sanity. BUT I love blogging so for me, it’s fun!
How did you make the money? When did you see the money?
Those are the main questions I get asked by those just starting out. I started making consistently over 1,500$ a month – 6 months into my journey. I know 1,500$ isn’t “career” worthy BUT it’s a great starting point and it means that I must be doing something right to even make over $1,000 dollars. That’s $1,500 dollars more than I had before! That’s groceries! That’s food on the table! That’s being able to treat myself to coffee or a new makeup product! I was SO happy about that. Now I am hitting 8 months and consistently make over $2,000 a month.
NOW, going on my 9th month of blogging and I am making over 3,000$ EACH month from blogging! That’s more than I make serving! I can’t even believe it. I am finally reaching my goals. My main goal was to get rid of my serving job completely and blog full time!
No it’s not six figures a year but you have to remember, those who blog and make THAT MUCH have been doing it for a long time! Everyone has to start somewhere and work their way up! Just like any other job. You start at the bottom and prove to yourself and the company that you are WORTH more. So that’s what I will continue to do. I will continue to put out content that I feel is worthy, I will continue to listen to what my audience wants to read, and I will continue to push forward with my dreams until I can officially say – I MADE IT and I MADE IT WITHOUT A DAMN DEGREE. And right now, I am feeling like it’s all happening. The best part is, it can happen to anyone!
My motivation isn’t just the financial freedom and achieving happiness but it’s also PROVING THOSE WHO DOUBTED ME, WRONG. Because guess what!!! You know what you are capable of, and you know what makes you happy. Your career is what you have to do for a majority of your life! Do you want it to make you happy or miserable? I know my answer!
The ways that I am able to make money blogging is through affiliate links, sponsored posts (working with brands), and my blog coaching services. These three are my main sources of income! As my blog continues to grow, my options will too.
I actually go into GREAT detail about how I make my money HERE.
I also have an affordable E-Course that is filled with blog traffic strategies + affiliate marketing strategies. LEARN MORE ABOUT IT HERE
Moral of the Story
You have the ability to live out your happiness, the question is; Do you have the courage to do so?
It’s all about pushing your fears aside, believing in yourself even during your darkest moments, and finding those who will push and support you through your journey. I had to cut ties with a lot of negative people who made it clear that they didn’t believe in me. It hurt but, it was for the best. You should only surround yourself with those who are going to bring you happiness and positivity.
One person I truly admire is Annie from Style Collective. If you aren’t already a member of Style Collective I definitely recommend checking them out. They support other female entrepreneurs as well. She also has a Be Fearless Podcast that I LOVE! I am actually featuring on her podcast in Early February! Talking about my journey + I am so excited for others to hear! Annie is a sweetheart.
What Keeps Me Going?
- Support groups: Like Boss Girl Bloggers
- Believing in myself. Because honestly, if you don’t believe in yourself, how will anyone else believe in you?
- Creating content schedules, it really motivates me to get it done.
- Looking at my progress, even small progress motivates me. It means I am on the right track because each day I get closer to my goals.
I truly believe that you don’t need a college degree to be successful. If you have the strength, drive, and confidence – you CAN + WILL make your dreams happen. Before you know it, those who ever doubted you will be asking – HOW THE HECK DID YOU DO IT!? And that my friends, will be the BEST feeling ever, I can promise you that!
Until Next Time,