(Clockwise from top left: Jamie Walsh, Grasie Mercedes, Jessica Doll, Marissa Joy)
This week, instead of highlighting just one Quitter, we want to highlight four! This group has told their stories on their personal blogs (linked below), but we also wanted to showcase their collective story with our community today.
Jessica - Seventeen years ago when I first heard of blogs never did I imagine that one day I’d have one as my real life job. What started out as a hobby and curiosity for me has very slowly evolved into something I both love, and enjoy as a business-owner.
The Early Years
Marissa - I was working in fashion, the industry that I had been trying to break into since graduating from college in May of 2014. I was on a marketing team, doing social media for a brand that I had respected for years. I was exactly where I thought I should be: the dream job. But I wasn't happy. And I hadn't been happy in most of the jobs that I had inadvertently bounced around to and from over the last year and half. From unpaid internships that weren't leading anywhere to start-ups that would shutter after just a few months, I had a string of bad jobs that left me feeling untethered and lost. So I did something to keep me creatively occupied and act as a sort of digital portfolio; I started a blog.
Jamie - I’ve been blogging since 2009, back when it was nowhere near the industry it is today. Since then I’ve worked really hard and grown so much. I’ve even watched people start blogs years after me and reach a level of success at the speed of light, but it never discouraged me. I worked hard, stayed the course, listened to my gut (and my audience) and it has definitely paid off.
Jessica - In 1999 I was enjoying my teen years full of Abercrombie & Fitch, AOL chat rooms, and inflatable furniture, in no particular order. One day I became friends with a girl who had her own website, a webblog, if you will. I thought it was really, really cool and was amazed that anyone would take the time to read about her personal life. She wasn’t by any means a boring person, the concept was so foreign to me that I couldn’t grasp it at the time. I asked her how she made it and she introduced me to HTML. I spent many years working hard to learn coding, creating a new layout every month, and slowly growing a readership (It was small by today’s standards, but large back then!).
The Quit Moments
Marissa - As I jumped from internships to start-ups to a corporate job, the blog suffered. And six months ago, while working at my "dream job," Or, I could quit the job that was making me unhappy, take advantage of being 23 and without serious financial obligations (a situation of which I'm very grateful, as I understand that many others don't have this opportunity), and focus on growing the blog into a business that one day had the potential to be creatively, intellectually, and financially fulfilling. Obviously, I chose the latter.
Grasie - At 25, I decided to leave the only city I ever knew to move to LA and pursue my acting career. I was a producer at MTV at the time and moving up in the company fast. I loved working there but always knew if I didn’t try acting, I would one day regret it. So I QUIT! I gave my two weeks notice and within a few months I was heading to Cali.
Wearing All Hats
Marissa - Even though I started this blog as a way to keep me creatively occupied, I still started it with an intention. An intention to grow, develop, and become something more. Since quitting, I've had the time to learn, to invest in the blog. I've forced myself to become acquainted with photography, working with brands, SEO, marketing, social media, and business in general. Running this blog has allowed me to become a writer, a stylist, a web developer, a photographer, a social media and marketing aficionado, a food critic, a model, an Editor-in-Chief, and a small business owner. I've had to become more organized and persistent, and figure out how to reach out to others and pitch myself to them. It's allowed me incredible development both professionally and personally.
It's Not Easy
Jamie - Don’t get me wrong, there are dark sides to this career path. Not everyone in my life understands or supports what I do. This can be hard, particularly when you feel the need to defend yourself or justify your choices. (Because my happiness is important, that’s why!)
The income is unstable there is no guaranteed paycheck coming in every week, which can be nerve racking. There is no set schedule my work day is 7 days a week 16 hours a day, and vacations aren’t vacations they need to be shot and posted. There is rarely anything I get to do that isn’t shared or part of my job. There is no retirement fund, no 401k and quite honestly, there is a shelf life so an exit strategy, or next phase plan needs to be in place. But that being said I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Welcome to the Club
Marissa - Joining The Quitter's Club was neither an easy decision, nor one that I took lightly. I questioned it a lot in the beginning, and missed the consistency of the 9-to-5 work day But now I thoroughly believe I made the right decision. To me, being a quitter means following my passion, doing something I'm good at, and creating my own dream job. I'm still growing and learning, and I'm still working on making this blog into a viable, long-term career, but I never would've gotten this far if I hadn't made that intimidating leap.
Grasie - Reality hit pretty soon after that and I started to learn how hard it was to be a working actress and that no one becomes a star overnight. Long story short, to supplement my acting work I started waiting tables…I hated it. I QUIT again. That’s when I fell into styling then blogging. Now, years later, I have a blog that I love and a budding acting career that makes me so happy.
Loving What You Do
Jamie - I would rather stay in and work than go to a bar. I love it so much I would do it for free. Not too many people can say that about their job. So with that, I take the good with the bad and keep on trucking. No one said following your bliss was easy, but it’s definitely worth it
Grasie - I could go on and on about my trials and tribulations but the moral of the story is this: I QUIT and it lead to wonderful things. Sometimes quitting IS the right thing to do, if it means you work your a$$ off doing something(s) you love. The end.