When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Dreams Because it’s Kind of Hard

Last Monday I got an email from a big copywriting client I have. I thought they were requesting more work.

I thought wrong.

They were emailing to let me know that they are putting all projects on hold for the foreseeable future.

Not a huge deal. Maybe it will pick up again in a few months, I reasoned.

Then on Thursday, after submitting an invoice to my main social media client, she replied saying that after October, she wouldn’t be able to use my services anymore.

In four days I lost two of my biggest forms of income.

I felt utterly lost. Like I had no purpose. I plopped onto the couch and told Luke that I might apply for a part-time job I’d seen. A community manager for another blogger. It was for about 20 hours a week – the amount of time that I currently spend working on my blog and my freelance work combined.

“You’re going to double your work hours just for a few extra dollars?” Luke asked, baffled.

I was panicking. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I was freaking out about the money.

We all need money.

There’s no way around it. We need to eat and we need to pay bills. Sometimes we work jobs that we hate, that we feel trapped in, simply because we need to cover our overheads. I’m no different.

But those jobs are exactly the reason I’m supposed to be working my butt off on MY blog, not someone else’s.

I’ve worked jobs I hated. In fact, I’ve never actually worked a job that I’ve liked. I clocked in at 9 and out at 5 and tried to look busy at a corporate desk job. I’ve worked for local government, taught English, and even weeded people’s yards in exchange for a bed and a hundred dollars a week (this one was probably one of my favorites!).

When I quit my last job I knew I couldn’t go back to the grind. I craved the freedom to make my own decisions and to have the ability to pick up and move whenever I wanted.

I saved as much as I could during that time so that I wouldn’t have to take a part time job. I scrimped and sacrificed for over a year so that I wouldn’t have to give up on my dreams.

Last year, Luke and I promised ourselves that we would do absolutely everything we could to make sure that we were living the lives we wanted, the ones we’ve talked and dreamed about since graduating college over six years ago.

There’s no going back. It’s now or never.

how much does it cost to travel laos?

I got lazy.

I never went into this intending to make a living out of freelance writing or social media management. Those were just jobs to pay the bills. They were jobs that I could do on the side while I focused on my blog.

My goal was, and still is, to build this blog into my main source of income. I love writing. I love being my own boss. I love helping people figure out how they can travel more, how they can live abroad, how they can afford to live the life they dream of without going into debt.

What kind of example would I be to all of you if I just gave up?

Living the life you dream of is possible. I know that it is. I’ve had glimpses of it over the last six months. I just got too lazy.

I got comfortable doing a few copywriting gigs a week, playing around on Facebook for some companies, and writing on my blog when I had free time.

I didn’t try to build relationships with all of you.

I didn’t write posts that grabbed you.

I didn’t make myself vulnerable or exposed.

I simply posted a few pictures on Instagram every week, followed some people that I liked, and tweeted about my own shit.

I wasn’t actually helping anyone. I was just writing an online journal and being entirely self-indulgent.

I knew it deep down, but we all convince ourselves that we’re doing our best, right? We lower our bar as time passes and let what we’re doing in the present moment be good enough.

I had that safety blanket of income coming in each week. I didn’t have to work that hard, although I convinced myself I was working hard. It was all good enough.

This is the best thing that could have happened.

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

Losing these accounts made me realize how little I was doing to fulfill my dreams.

On Thursday, I really thought about giving up. I didn’t want to face the fact that I hadn’t really been putting in the work. It was so much easier to tell myself that I’d done my best and that it was time to throw in the towel.

I spent most of the rest of the week reading other blogs, looking for someone out there who had gone through what I’d gone through and could give me some much needed advice. I bought a few of Ryan Biddulph’s ebooks and read this post on empathy. I went back to Christine Gilbert’s Creative Entrepreneur course that I’d signed up for and never followed through with (if you need motivation and a swift kick, you need Christine in your life). All of it made me realize a hard truth:

I was pretty much doing it all wrong.

My safety blanket had been ripped out from under me and it was the best thing that could have happened. I had allowed myself to believe that because I was earning money from something that I was doing all right.

Giving up that safety blanket is SO HARD. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in my professional life.

But you have to (I mean, especially when you have no say in the matter anyway because peeps be done with you).

You have to get rid of the safety blankets. You have to get rid of the things that have allowed you to convince yourself that you’re doing enough.

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Get out of your comfort zone.

That’s the only way. You have to leave comfortable behind. You have to do things that make you nervous. Do things that help you learn, that make you better and that actually help others.

For me, one of the hardest things is asking for help. I feel like such an idiot. I feel like people will judge me, that they’ll think I’m asking a stupid question or that I’m not serious. Or worse, that they won’t answer at all.

So I just don’t bother. Which is crazy.

People are mostly good. If you reach out to someone in a genuine way and ask a question, even offering your help in return in some way, you will almost always get a response.

I know this is true. I’ve experienced it before. But it’s easy to forget, easy to fall back on the fact that I’m not good enough or that I won’t get a response, so why bother?

I’m here for YOU.

Without all of you, there is no blog. Without all of you, these are just words hanging out in the ether.

So I’m going to go WAY out of my comfort zone here and ask you for help.

I want to help you. I want to help you travel more, to follow your dreams, and to get you where you want to be in your life as soon as possible.

What questions do you have that will help you reach your goals if only you knew the answer? What is stopping you from getting started right now?

What can I help YOU with? Let me know in the comments, email me (laura@eternal-expat.com) or grab me over on Twitter. I promise I will reply and I promise I won’t think your question in stupid.

30 thoughts on “When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Dreams Because it’s Kind of Hard”

  1. I love this Laura!! I just showed your blog to my 15-year-Old daughter to encourage her to design a life of her dreams :))
    I’m currently working on starting a business as a virtual health consultant so I can do the same!

    Reply
  2. This is exactly what I needed! My fiancé let me quit my job to pursue my passions (animals, photography, travel), and I thought it would be great, but gosh it’s been hard! I’ve started a travel blog and feel like I just don’t know where to start, but your blog has helped so much!!

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  3. From my experience, I have to say I find it mentally really exhausting putting so much energy, time and aspiration into my blog, for honestly very modest results – and I’m not talking money here, just how much traction it actually gets. I started with it in March this year and got into it with all I had – I burnt out… I stopped completely for a few months and picked up again two weeks ago. Yet again completely plunging into it – from when I wake up until I go to sleep.

    I don’t know, I can’t seem to find a healthy balance, I just really want to one day be able to actually do this for a living.

    Anyhow just wanted to share my frustration with somebody that relates to it 🙂

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  4. Thanks for sharing, I can relate to this a lot, as can post people I think, we all have moments where it feels easier to quit than keep pushing on… you help many just by being honest in your writing & I think I speak for many people that we appreciate you very much 🙂

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  5. Thanks for sharing this Laura, very inspiring! I totally understand the feeling: it is not always easy to make a living if a secure 9 to 5 job is not for you. I as well rely too much on my two or three biggest clients so this came as a welcome eye opener: I shouldn’t get lazy, I should keep focusing on what I want to achieve, what keeps my independent / traveling lifestyle going and what makes me happy. Thanks a lot and keep sharing your stories and pictures!!

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  6. Inspiring post! I was recently in a similar spot, wanting to throw my hands up and say forget it. I’m a freelance copywriter trying to take my business from side hustle to full-time..so if you have any pointers I’m all ears since it seems like you’re already living that life.

    Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the ass to get you moving in the right direction again. Cheers to us folks taking a different path. Good luck!

    PS: This was the first post I’ve read on your blog, looking forward to reading more. 🙂

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  7. Hi Laura! I already had a bad time and gave up for writing blog. But actually I’am totally agree with you this ” I spent most of the rest of the week reading other blogs, looking for someone out there who had gone through” . It makes me think carefully and have many ideas for getting back to write blog.
    Thanks for your inspiration

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  8. I’m sorry to hear you had a bad week, but you should know that you’re doing amazingly! I find what you’re doing with your blogs and freelance career so inspiring!
    It can be really tough sometimes – I’m also going through that moment of, “should I just apply for that PT job I know will crush my soul” because I’ve used our lack of home internet as an excuse to be lazy and not do what scares me – but pushing past those feelings and persevering will be oh-so-rewarding!
    I know it might seem insurmountable right now, but you will come out on top!

    Kate | http://www.petiteadventures.org/

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    • You’re the best! We’ve all been there, haven’t we! Keep crushing it in the UK – your last post was really inspiring and so honest – you’ll be back in your field so soon and with a company that appreciates your skills and your confidence!

      Reply
  9. Wow, Laura, this post is everything! I feel ya, having been in that same comfort zone, thinking this is how it’s supposed to be, losing my drive and going slightly crazy over money matters. But you are absolutely right. We didn’t go into blogging just to churn out posts and take on side jobs here and there. Need to reread this tomorrow to kick off the day!

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    • Thank you so much Annemarie! I’m so glad I could help – it’s so hard sometimes to see that you aren’t focusing on the right things. For me it took a minor disaster, but I’m SO grateful for it! Keep on truckin!

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  10. Great post, keep pushing!! I feel the same way sometimes, even with a baby blog, but when you’re hard up on money, I completely understand! Kind of exactly what I needed to read!

    Keep going and good luck, I’ll be following along ((((=

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  11. I actually have a question 🙂

    A question I am having since a while and I never really found the answer to: How can someone live from Blogging?! I am reading articles from travelers who are earning their life online, they do marketing, social media stuff, they gain money with their blog… but HOW? Maybe I am just working in the wrong field (having a full-time analyst job), I wouldn’t know where to start and what I actually can offer. Who should pay me? Who is paying bloggers generally? And how much? It’s all so blurry and I need it more concrete. It seems so easy when people say: “oh I am working online” … but what does that mean? Are they just by chance having a job were this is possible?

    I am mainly writing my blog to connect to people, get inspiration and maybe (maybe!) get some reductions when we are off on our world trip. But besides from that.. Getting paid for that appears very abstract for me cause I am wondering: For what would I be getting paid?!

    So my question: how does earning money with blogging work? Who is paying? And for what?

    (This question is in disregard of my own blog. I am not used to write stuff -especially not in english – I am testing my “outside my comfort zone” here 🙂

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your question Lena! It’s a long answer, and one that I would really like to address in a full blog post if that’s okay? I’ll hope to have it ready by the end of the month and will email you when it’s up! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and comment! Speak soon! x

      Reply
  12. That was a very powerful blog.
    I feel the same way about my Bpo’s I do.
    They’re my safety blanket.
    What I really should be doing is helping people buy and sell real estate.
    That would be outside my comfort zone.
    Time to set some new goals.
    Keep pushing.
    Love papa

    Reply

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