Six-Month of Slutty Self-Employment
It may be silly to celebrate every little milestone, especially when I just recently celebrated my one-year anniversary as a content creator, but I honestly had so many doubts that I'd ever be able to make it this far with self-employment that I think it's worth the celebration.
In my head, I wasn't going to become self-employed until probably summer 2022 - I told myself I needed more time to save up, to build a more solid subscriber base, to be more prepared overall. But life had a plan of its own, and I quit just a few months into a new job.
Like I said, I had every intention of sticking it out for longer, but I had an incredibly toxic relationship with my new boss, which led me to having to file HR complaints before putting in my resignation. My favourite part was that I gave them one month's notice so that I could help train my replacement and put some training documents together, but instead, my boss ignored my resignation letter for an entire day, then called me at 4:30PM of the next day (Friday) to tell me to just send an email with a list of outstanding tasks and that I'd be done effective immediately.
So there I was, officially and suddenly self-employed at 5PM. I was a bit anxious about being thrust into self-employment a bit sooner than expected, but more than anything I felt this immense feeling of joy wash over me. I was finally going to have the time to dedicate to the job I loved doing full-time instead of juggling both, and I wouldn't have to have the stresses of my office job or my boss anymore. Sure financially it might be a little scary to be on my own (the reality especially hit when I realized I didn't have insurance anymore and would need to pay for private insurance) but the excitement of my newfound work independence overshadowed all the anxieties that had been running through my head.
I still struggle with a few aspects of being my own boss and working from home:
I'm basically at home alone all the time so my entire social interactions take place online for the most part
my sleeping schedule is kind of whack because there's no reason for me to be up by a certain time
I don't have a dedicated work space so I'm often just in bed typing on my computer or making content in bed. I spend...a lot of time in bed.
I have a hard time NOT working constantly because it's so easy to get wrapped up in posting on social media or checking my pages and getting involved in some sessions, etc. so there's a bit less of a separation of life and work.
Continuing on that last point: I never really understood the saying "do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life" because everything always felt like work that got in the way of what I actually wanted to spend my days doing - until I found sex work. Every day I'm doing something I genuinely want to be doing: I'm creating the content I want, I'm branding and presenting myself the way I want, I get to decide what work I'll take on and work on at my own pace, I only interact with people when and how I want to, I make my own targets and goals, and I don't start working until I feel like I'm ready to start the day - whether that be 10AM or 1PM.
That said, I'm typically checking my pages from the minute I wake up to the minute I fall asleep, even on weekends, because there's always a chance that someone's asking for a sexting session or a video purchase or another earning opportunity I can't afford to turn down at the moment. I'm hoping I can get a bit of a better work/life balance in the coming months with a more solid subscriber base (more subscribers = more steady income = less reliance on tips and other extras, which can be unpredictable and harder to budget for).
My biggest downfall right now is probably that I rarely if ever disconnect fully, unless I'm away from home, which is why my trips have become such an important part of my life. It's the only time I'm not thinking "how could I be working right now?". I know burnout is a real thing because I've experienced it with an old office job, so I'm trying to give myself real weekends and put the phone down a bit more during the evenings so I can be the very best Willow everyone deserves when I do give them my time.
Overall, being my own boss has been the best decision I've ever made, even if it was one I didn't think I was quite ready to make at the time. It's given me the freedom and flexibility to work at a pace that works for me and my mental health (which has been so huge), it's given me confidence and pride in the work that I do and every dollar that I earn, and it's made me feel a sense of accomplishment I've rarely ever felt before in my life.
Initially I told myself I wanted to be able to be self-employed for just a year, at least so I could have the flexibility of self-employment for all the fall adventures I've missed out on over the years (literally every job I've had out of school had its busiest period in the fall so I rarely had weekends off to go do stereotypical fall bullshit like apple picking and corn mazes) but now that I've had a taste of it, I never want to go back to working for someone else.
So here's to the next six months, and beyond.