Im Elena

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Eight Things You Need To Do If You Want To Quit Your Day Job

Hey friends! If you are reading this it’s because you have a little (or big) dream.

You dream of becoming a photographer full time.

And if you are anything like I was eight years ago, you are scared. 

Maybe you have a full time job that you love yet you are still feeling pulled toward photography. 

Maybe you hate your full time job and can’t wait to make this your main thing. 

Maybe you are home with the children and simply want to bring in significant income to help support your family. 

No matter what category you fall into, I think you will find value in this information.

I have a been a professional photographer for eleven years but it wasn’t until nearly six years ago that I left my “day job” as a registered nurse.

I took my time and took care to make sure that this was a solid and sound decision. I am going to share with you eight things that you need to do to prepare to leave your day job. 

How quickly you check these things off your list will be personal. You may be eager to get this ball rolling right away or you may want to take the slow road like I did. Either way I would say that these are the essential steps I took to make photography my full time JOB. 

On a personal aside, I will tell you that my income is not optional for our family. We live in Seattle, WA and it’s not cheap to live here. So making a profit in my business was not an option. 

These are the exact eight steps I took toward making this Photography thing a full time gig!

  1. Price yourself for profit and then make sure that you are shooting enough shoots to match your salary. If you don’t “need” to match your salary set an income goal and make sure you are charging enough and doing enough shoots to either match your salary or to meet your salary goal. Remember, this is a JOB and you should be making a profit. The year before I left my nursing job I set an income goal and made sure I was able to hit that goal without struggle.

  2. Put money into savings. Last thing you want is to go into debt with your new job. We set aside three months worth of my salary before I left my job as a nurse. 

  3. Make sure you have proper support lined up for when you do quit your job. Here is the thing, being a photographer is amazing. You get to work from home and be with your baby’s way more than when you have to leave the house to go to work. BUT that doesn’t mean that you don’t need childcare and other household help. One of the biggest mistakes I see new professional photographers who are also mothers make is that they don’t get the proper help they need. This leaves them feeling overwhelmed and overworked. So treat this like the job it is and make sure you have time to actually work.  

  4. Get your health insurance in order. Now many of you are probably lucky enough to have a spouse who has a job with great insurance. In our family this isn’t the case. I carried the health insurance. We worked with a local insurance booker to make sure that we got a private insurance plan that meet our needs, however you can do this online pretty easily too. 

  5. Make sure you are booked comfortably at least three months in advance. When I left my job as a nurse I was booked comfortable nearly 9 months in advance. This was the ultimate job security for me. How you ask? I utilize my email list to book nearly a year in advance. Click HERE to take our newsletter marketing course. 

  6. Make sure you have a plan in place for retirement. This was a huge stress point for me when I was in the process of leaning my nursing job. I had a great retirement plan at the hospital I worked at. To prepare for my leaving my nursing job we spoke to our accountant who is also a financial planner and had him set me up with a proper retirement plan, one that is suitable for someone who is self employed. Hint, most financial advisors charge you, the customer ZERO in fees. They get paid from the companies they invest your money in. So, speaking to a financial advisor before you leave your job would probably be a great idea. 

  7. Hire an accountant. Friend, when you become self employed your taxes suddenly become complicated. If you aren’t already working with an accountant, do so before you quit your day job. You don’t want to go into tax land alone. 

  8. This one is maybe the most important lesson. Believe in yourself. My friend, self doubt will get you nowhere. You can do this! 

I believe in you! Join a tribe of photographers who are waiting for you with open arms, ready to support you and help you meet your goals!

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