The Return

My 5-month sabbatical from content creation & what I learned.

The Return

TLDR: Gratitude can free you to reach new heights

The time has finally come for me to return to content creation & posting on social media.

So, I wanted to tell you why I took a ‘sabbatical’ in the first place, what I learned, and my plan of attack going forward.

The Why

Long story short: I was burned out.

I sacrificed sleep for a year to keep up with content creation, freelance projects, family life, and a 9-5.

As a result of being sleep deprived, I was focused on the wrong things:

  • Vanity metrics: likes, follows, and painful unfollows

  • The obsession with making enough money to leave my 9-5 if I wanted to. Everything I did was with a money-first focus.

  • To be an authority figure in a short amount of time - a way shorter amount of time than is reasonable

There is nothing inherently wrong with each of these things, but they are ancillary. They are not things to focus on for their own sake.

And yet, the dopamine hits from growing my social media following to over 90k people in about a year’s time were beautiful. I was addicted.

What I learned

In understanding where I went wrong during my time off, I was able to discern key focus areas that will move the needle for me moving forward and likely get me some of the results I was focusing on before anyway:

  • Generating revenue - holding a 9-5 and making income on the side is ok. I don’t have to go all in; if I do, it doesn’t have to happen quickly.

  • Systems - I need systems in place to work smarter, not harder. 80% of my efforts should be on building out systems.

  • Niching down - one of my main gripes with my content is that it was always generalized productivity insights. I wanted to niche down but didn’t know what market I could provide value in. I didn’t know who my “user persona” or "avatar” was.

  • Providing value - by extension of niching down and knowing who my avatar is, I can provide real value to people through my content. This, above all else, is my main focus.

My plan of attack

My plan of attack moving forward is simple:

  • Focus on recurring revenue with freelance projects. I have some ongoing projects that supplement my 9-5 income. It’s a blessing!

  • Use my experience building a creative freelance business while holding a 9-5 to niche down and provide value to folks who want to build or grow creative freelance businesses while holding a 9-5.

And that’s pretty much it. It’s a mindset shift, really.

Before, I used to beat myself up for not making enough money with my business to sustain my family. But now I’m grateful for the income coming. It supplements my primary income and helps me grow my business without worry.

Having gratitude and shifting goalposts have released a lot of internal pressure. I feel excited to do the work that I do now.

The Lesson

Having gone through this internal struggle for a period of time, I’ve realized that I was strongly influenced by all of the stories of folks becoming full-time creators and quickly leaving their jobs for the businesses they built.

I wanted to do the same, and I wanted to do it quickly.

In reality, holding a 9-5 job and building something on the side is okay. You don’t have to go all in. At least not right away.

In fact, it’s a great time to enjoy the stability that comes from a full-time salary. You can leverage this salary to take more risks in the business.

And that’s how I came up with the niche I now know I want to serve. This is why I decided to build this newsletter.

To help people who work full-time to build & grow creative part-time businesses.

I look forward to taking up this journey with you.

Until next time, friend!



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