Sherman Texas is not the hub of technology, multiculturalism or high paying executive opportunities. When I lived in Alliston Ontario, virtually everyone I knew who wanted that kind of job worked in Toronto. It was a grueling commute that I saw my Father do every day, two hours south and then two hours home. He gained weight, was frequently exhausted and managed to do it for almost thirty years as a Plant Manager for American Greeting Cards.
Was that part of the reason he felt emotionally and physically bankrupted? The reason his first marriage failed? I’m sure it was part of it.
I drove from Alliston to civilization. I went to school in Barrie (a one hour commute each way) and then began working after College in Toronto. In traffic, the drive from the Ontario College of Pharmacists was 2.5 hours each way. I commuted twenty-five hours per week, lived on McDonald’s Happy Meals (I like the toys), never exercised and was sedentary at my job for eight hours, during my commute for five hours and returned home to Alliston (for the period I lived with She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named and Step-Disaster) to work an extra 2-3 hours (sitting down at my desk) building my business.
My dream has always been to write, work at home with my dogs and have a very tidy house while making enough to own my own house again (someday) and for little bits of things that make life good. Like pedicures and NextGen nails.
Benefits here in the United States are no longer mystified for me. Pay $800 per month and Kevin and I will have great benefits. Having an employer subsidize those benefits is awesome, but most smaller employers only pay about 25% of the cost, leaving a hefty $600+ deducted from your monthly pay. As a subcontractor, I’ll have to foot the full bill but it will be tax deductible. That works.
Kevin had talked to me about downsizing some of my contract accounts prior to me becoming downsized from my most recent position. So I did. I let go of two accounts to balance off. Wishing I hadn’t now of course, that I am sans day-job and marketing myself for new opportunities. Timing… my timing is ever so lucky I swear. Moving on…
My Check List
- Would you be happy working for a small, independently owned company? No.
- Would you be happy working with young and inexperienced people? No.
- Would you be happy working 9-5 outside of your home? No.
- Would you be happy with the noise level while trying to generate content in a busy office? No.
- Would you be happy if Diego stumbled around the house blind and full of anxiety while you are working in an office? No.
- Would you be happy if Diego passed away while you were not home? No.
- Would you be happy if you had all the money in the world and no time to spend it, or energy to enjoy it? No.
- Would you be happy if your health conditions worsened due to stress and the workload of two full time jobs? No.
- Would you be happy commuting four hours per day to Dallas? No.
- Would you be happy moving somewhere closer to Dallas but unable to afford a home with a pool and room to garden? Possibly a goat or two? No.
- Are your content writing skills in demand? Yes.
- Are you great at providing content writing and digital marketing services? Yes.
- Will you take better care of yourself when working from home? Yes.
- Is your husband happier when he doesn’t have to do laundry? Yes.
- Can you rebuild your client load back to over $60k again from home? Yes.
- Are you happier working from home? Yes.
Yesterday I got approached for a managerial position in Dallas for a major beauty supplier. The email introduced the HR Manager as someone who was actively interested in my resume and she wanted to schedule an interview for me. In Dallas, the city of opportunity and impossible commuting distance from Sherman Texas.
Not impossible… zombie commute.
I called Kevin and he told me that would be selling out. I considered the drive to be doable and the perks, benefits and salary were unreal. Yippee! Corporate environment, marketing department…. established, experienced people with two assistants reporting? Pinch me! No wait… pinch me and make it Sherman. But it is Dallas.
And I politely declined.
Writer girl can do her own pedicures if it means establishing myself in Sherman as a professional but marketing myself globally with the kind of content every single business on the planet needs for corporate blogging, eBooks, whitepapers, websites and social media management.
Don’t tell me “You got this!” or I will throw a slipper… It’s not easy being your own business and being fully subcontract, but I am done lying to myself that it is not the best option for me. Making bank was nice… but I wasn’t nice when I was making bank, yanno? I am redesigning my own website, marketing myself, and clawing in content projects to make ends meet and get my income back again.
I work with bosses around the world and have for years… but my favorite boss? Her name is Lori. And this lifestyle is worth sacrificing for. So is happiness and health. As much as the income drop has me feeling vulnerable at times, I am more ready to kick some butt and get it all rolling again. I know I can.
I might even think I am a little cool… because I can.