The Next Chapter : Leaving My Full-time Job to Pursue My Nutrition Business and Blog
This title alone scares the crap out of me… but I did it. I grew up in the exact same world everybody else did. The one that taught us how to aspire to grow up to be a fireman, or a doctor, or a business man since kindergarten. The one that forced college applications down our throats since 9th grade. The one that assured us that we weren’t succeeding in life unless we pursued a 9-5. I went to college, I got an internship, and I got a job that I loved and held so much of my identity in. But still, I felt the pull to do something else. And I did. Last week, I left my full-time job to further grow my nutrition business and health blog… Unbound Wellness.
How It All Started…
My senior year of high school was both similar yet different to many. It was similar in the sense that I too was buried under college applications, SAT prep, and decision that I was entirely too immature to make. However, it took a very different turn when I started presenting Hashimoto’s symptoms and went undiagnosed for most of the school year. I was too sick to go to school without fainting for the majority of the time, so I spent a lot of time in my bed online pursuing Forever 21, Etsy, and Facebook. By total happenstance, I stumbled upon a health blog… my very first health blog… my life changed and it all started right there. That’s what I wanted to do. Write, create, and help people online, all for the sake of health. I wanted to help people out of what I was currently suffering through in a creative, fun way. At 17, sick in my bed with an autoimmune flare, I knew.
After my Hashimoto’s diagnosis I became obsessed with nutrition and enrolled in Texas Women’s University to study dietetics to become an RD. Little did I know that it would stifle the heck out of my creativity and leave me feeling abundantly lost. Maybe it was the digital communication part of this whole world that fascinated me?
I finished my degree studying Emerging Media and Communication and launched my career in digital marketing at an internet ministry. It was challenging, fun, and rewarding. I loved it and knew I was meant to help people online. Still.. I felt a pull to do nutrition again.
I soon after went back to school at the Nutritional Therapy Association and began building Unbound Wellness… my own manifestation of what I always felt called to do. Little by little, day by day, my business and blog went from my tens, to hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands and more. I started working with clients in my own practice, I wrote an e-book, and I finally made the leap to pursue it as a career.
It took years, but I finally took the leap to pursue Unbound Wellness away from a full-time job.
But really… It Was Still Stinking Hard It Was to Leave…
Like I said… I loved my full-time job. I love internet ministry and really believe in what I was doing. I thought I was going to throw up when I walked out on my last day and it took me months to make the decision to leave. I cried, I felt guilty, and it was really, really hard. I felt blessed beyond belief to have something in my life so great that it made it so hard to walk away.
Walking away from a societal norm is hard. I was made to believe that breaking up with that way of life would be liberating, glamorous, and reality simple, but it wasn’t. Everything always looks a million times easier than it actually is. Though I felt pulled to do this other thing entirely, it didn’t make walking aways from my norm any easier.
Sometimes you have to take an enormous leap to build your dreams, and that’s what I did…
What I’m Doing While I Build Unbound Wellness… (because no, I am not making a full-time salary off of Unbound Wellness)
I’ve been an internet side hustler since I was 16. I’ve figured out the ways to monetize, and I’ve been fairly good at it. Side hustling to make a little extra income on the side while having fun is relatively easy… making a full-time income is not easy. Though I’ve gotten to a point where I’m hitting a stride with Unbound Wellness, you’re also not going to see me on any top internet entrepreneur lists in the next few weeks.
When building a business, you come to a point with a business when you’re a huge percentage of the way there, and yo think… “If I just had more time…”. I was working a 40 hour a week job, and coming home every day and every weekend to work on Unbound Wellness. I was getting traction in building my dream, but I needed more time. So, that’s what I did. I got more time.
Rather than going all in on Unbound Wellness, I opted for the method of scaling back my roles, freelancing, and working part time while I give myself more time to work on my dream. Like I said, I’m quite good at side hustling and I really, really enjoy it. It allows me to stay in the digital marketing in ministry space which I also really love, and have more time during the week to do Unbound Wellness.
Here’s what my days look like…
- Monday & Tuesday: Work 8 hours in an office doing marketing + A couple of hours at home answer emails and following up with clients
- Wednesday: 4 hours in an office doing marketing + 4 hours at home doing freelance digital marketing.
- Thursday: 4 hours at home doing freelance digital marketing + 4 hours doing Unbound Wellness (blog posts and working with clients)
- Friday: 8 hours doing Unbound Wellness (recipe development, photography, blog posts, product development)
- Saturday & Sunday: … maybe I’ll actually rest now? 😛
All days also feature lots of matcha, bone broth, and cat snuggles…
Now, I’m on day 4 here of this new lifestyle so there’s a lot to be seen as to how this all works out, but I’m hopeful and so excited!
Where Unbound Wellness is Going…
If I told you, I’d have to gluten you (which is like being killed in this corner of the internet 😛 ).
But really, the sky is the limit!
Here’s what I can say for sure the I’m working on & dreaming about…
- Two posts a week rather than one (more recipes, more about Hashimoto’s etc.)
- New features to the 30 Day Gut Healing Diet Plan & Guide
- A new big product in the future
- More collaboration with other bloggers
- In person group programs and speaking (big goal of mine!)
- Hopefully a podcast (another huge goal of mine) … now accepting applications for co-hosts 😉
My Advice to You if This Is Your Dream
How amazing is it that we live in a world where we can take the initiative to make our own dreams happen? If you’re anything like me, you’ve felt that pull to do this too. Here’s my advice to you..
I don’t care if you need to get a certification, if you need to finish school, if you don’t have enough time. I started Unbound Wellness during wedding planning and a full-time job and built it through school and consulting jobs. Start now and you’ll be happy you did!
2. It will take longer than you think.
Some bloggers are already making 6 figure salaries a couple of years in. Most aren’t… including me. Some bloggers launch e-books in a month. It took me 6. Whatever it is, count on it probably taking longer than you think it will.
3. Network, network, network!
One of the best parts of building Unbound Wellness has been the community that supports me and I’m able to support as well. Reach out to others who are doing what you want to be doing and ask how you can support them. Don’t ask if you can “pick their brain”… ask how you can contribute to the cause alongside them. Make friends, make connections, and fearlessly start conversations.
4. Be graceful.
Never burn bridges and never think you’re too good for anything or anyone. I’m excited to keep the relationship going with my former FT employer and am still working with consulting clients that I’ve had for years. Handle your transition with grace!
5. The only person who can limit you is yourself.
Nothing irks me more than people asking, “So if you have ___ credentials or ____ goals, what can you do with that?”. You know what? Who cares what people say you can or can’t do?
Writing e-books and become a nutritional therapist was not a bulleted option on the brochure when I got my digital marketing degree. But it’s what I wanted to do… so I went out and figured out a way to do it.
Never let what other people believe about you, what other people have done, or what other people haven’t done limit you for doing what you want to do.
The one belief that I’ve held all of my life about being a creative and boss is this… if you want to be the expert, become the expert. Learn what you have to learn, do what you have to do, and create what you have to create. The only limiting factor is what you’re willing to do to become it.
So, what I’m really trying to say is that I’m excited, blessed beyond belief, and ready to do all of the work necessary to build my dream. Thank you all for your support, inspiration, and friendship <3 I can’t wait to keep providing more for you!
Thanks for sharing this post. I appreciate the honestly in your writing. I am currently finishing up my NTC certification and I would love to learn more about starting my own business online. I don’t have any background in the digital realm and, frankly, the whole project of building and managing a website, blog, and social media accounts for a business while continuing to work full time (at a job I don’t like) it so intimidating. I hate feeling lost. I wish you all the best in your endeavors!
As a graduate of the nta, currently burned out from working 6 days a week, I gotcha girl. Also, I do not do social media at alllll. Feeling overwhelmed is OK. Just recognize it and start small! You got it.
Amen, Julie! Starting small is so key.
Hey, Reagan! I know how intimidating it is to start a business while working full time. I’m still working part time out of my business and it’s still a struggle. Like Julie said… start small! I just started writing random little recipes and posts on my blog, and day by day, little by little, it eventually grew my business! Good luck and never be afraid to start small!
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