Drumroll please…

So, I have done it. I have made the leap of faith that just about every blogger dreams…

I have quit my job and become a fulltime blogger! I have left my teaching position of almost twenty years to go out on my own. *Gulp*

Am I scared? Um, yes.

Am I worried about money? Of course.

Do I have a theme song playing in my head? Not yet.

Have I had any panic attacks? Er, maybe.

(Remember to breathe, Bess. Breathe in, breathe out.)

But in my gut I feel this is the right time for this move. As the social media manager for Florida Swim Network, part of my job is pinning inspirational quotes, and so I keep seeing things like this:

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And it got me thinking… I am always encouraging others to chase their dreams, why not me? What am I waiting for? So, I might ask you the same thing… what ARE you waiting for? After the recent passings of my brother and father, I have realized life is way too short to wait on my dreams… I must go after them!

So, if you are considering a similar move, here’s my advice:

1) Weigh Your Options

So the first thing I did was talk with my husband. We discussed current sources of income as well as potential ones in the future. Then I spoke with my mother. (She and my father moved in with us a few years ago so my decisions affect her, too.) Remember all the financial impact, like finding your own health insurance, etc.  As soon as I made the decision, I drove straight to Florida Blue in Winter Park Village and talked with a counselor. $216 a month for better coverage than I currently have with my school! (Who knew?)

2) Enlist Your Cheerleaders

After my family, I then talked with various close friends… and much to my relief there wasn’t one naysayer. There wasn’t one voice telling me not to do it. I made the conscious decision a year or so ago to start eliminating negative people from my daily life. On Facebook I unfriended the people who drained me emotionally and looked for those who built me up spiritually. (After all, isn’t that what real friends do?!) Find those who will support your dream and tell you it is possible to achieve. I even had one friend send me this:

“Congratulations on this significant milestone. You have pulled off what many people dream of doing. Remember this moment. (It’s the one all the multi-millionaires refer back to when they get interviewed in Forbes!)”

3) Make a Realistic Plan

I am busy planning my third blogger conference, and thanks to an incredible planning team, Katy Widrick, Professor Josh, Ben Reed, Jeanette Scott, and Brian Wilson, it is turning into a success that has allowed me some leeway to entertain blogging fulltime. However, I can’t rely on just this (as it doesn’t come close to making up my teaching salary) so I am also returning to my blogging knowledge and educational roots to provide a few new services. Check them out:

4) Ask for Help

This has been the most important lesson I have learned as an adult: Surround yourself with people who are way smarter and more capable than you, close your mouth and listen well, and these people will show you the path to success. And I am also asking each of you to help spread word about my new services, so take a look and see if you know anybody who would benefit from them.

So, as I take a deep breath (breathe in, breathe out), I want to invite you to follow along on my latest journey… onward!