What Being Laid Off Taught Me About Being a Full-Time Blogger
Back in 2013 I was laid off my job. Mind you this company headhunted me from another company, paid me 15K more and then laid me off 4 months later. But I digress, the layoffs started and everyone started whispering. I was one of the last people hired so even though I knew it was coming I was devastated when I was called into my managers office and told that this would be my last week. It was right around Thanksgiving too and I mentally started to calculate how much my savings would last me. I’m a Taurus and we really like our stability which means a steady paycheck biweekly. We also love money and lots of it because we like nice things. Perhaps a tad on the materialistic side but hey c’est la vie. I had been blogging for 3 years at this time and had just started making a little money from blogging. This was the time when blogger collaborations were actually becoming a thing and when sponsored posts and advertising on blogs where the most relevant form of collaborating with brands. It was time for my hobby to start making me some real money.
That saying could not have been more true for me than the 3 months I was thrust into being a Full-Time Blogger. Mind you I was also getting a $800 check from unemployment every 2 weeks to supplement my income. It was the maximum I could get being that I was making a pretty significant amount of money (which means it barely covered my living expenses). I have a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from NYU and my student loans are more than half of one of those checks monthly. I jumped head first into making my blog make money. It was definitely the hardest and most rewarding 3 months of my life. I went through all the stages of grief after being laid off. At first I was in denial thinking to myself: They just hired me and paid me all this money, they can’t possibly be laying me off. Oh shit, they actually laid me off. Like urmmm no this is not happening. Then there was the Anger.
I lingered in this phase for pretty long. I was pissed. My whole life was turned upside down. I remember having lunch with Karen from Where Did You Get That and pouring my lil heart out. She went through something similar and blogged about it and I knew I had to meet her. I completely skipped over the bargaining stage because I’m not gonna beg for my job back, screw that place. But I did fluctuate in and out of depression. Being laid off has a way of making you feel worthless and literally disposable. I questioned my abilities as a physical therapist and as a human being. Some days where better than others. Being in the house a lot was weird for me. I was bored out of my mind. Then there was acceptance. Okay, Okay I said to myself: these bills are piling up and I need to make this blog pop off. So I did.
I have never worked so hard in my life. I was cold emailing brands (told you I am a pitch Queen since 2013, go ahead and cop The Perfect Pitch Template Packages). I secured my first multi-thousand dollar collaboration. And mind you this was just for a blog post and advertising on my website for 3 months. I felt like a rockstar. Mostly because that one deal paid my rent for 2 months and allowed me to allocate my unemployment checks to basic necessities like food, my cell phone bill and electricity. I quickly learned just how hard it can be being a Full-Time Blogger. I was anxious about making money and making enough to not have to eat ramen and peanut butter sandwiches everyday. It was super stressful especially for someone like me who is very Type-A and needs consistency and stability. I’ve always admired freelancers. LIKE HOW DO THEY DO IT? One of my really good friends is a makeup artist and I just looked at her in awe during this ordeal. It takes a special kind of person to be a freelancer. The fear of having money one day and none the next is very real but somehow they are able to just keep on hustling.
For 3 months while I looked for a new job as a Physical Therapist, I was a Full-Time Blogger and what I learned from that experience is that I can do anything. I am thee baddest broad to ever walk down these streets. I am smart and determined and capable. Anything I want can and will be mine. It taught me that if I had 40 hours a week to pour into Fashion Steele NYC that it could sustain me and it could make me money. It also taught me that being a Full-Time Blogger is hard work and quite frankly I don’t wanna work that hard. It may look all glamorous on Instagram going from event to event working with top tier brands but what most people don’t see is the work. The hours you spend putting together 1 blog post (for me it’s about 3-4 hours). The nail biting anxiety from posting a brand collab photo on Instagram at just the right time and just hoping it get’s enough likes to continue a partnership. The stress of wanting to do and create so much but having no team (like most full time bloggers do).
You’re a stylist, a makeup artist, an editor, a content creator, a location scouter, a photographer, a salesman and your very own PR person 24 hours a day, 365 Days a Year. Being all that taught me to know my worth. Doing all those things even in 2014 was way too much for a free lipstick or a tee shirt. It taught me discernment and it taught me that being a Physical Therapist and using my 40 hour a week job to fund my blogging dream & hobby is OK. I like a steady paycheck and I love shoes. I am an excellent physical therapist and a bomb ass blogger. It’s ok to be multifaceted. What millennial do you know who only has one job or only does one thing? I’ll wait. I’m a much happier person when I’m less stressed and I currently love the balance I have between blogging and working my full-time job. Now my job has it’s moments too (I recently cried at work), but it pays the bills and I’m grateful for it.