This guest post is from Michelle who blogs at Making Sense of Cents.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about whether I should pursue what I love and enjoy my life more, or stick it out with my job that provides stable income. Recently, I was reading a post about how one reader quit her very promising and high-paying career so that she could enjoy life instead. After I read that post, I read about how another reader actually quit his passion to take a boring job.

Right now, I am at the point financially where I could take the jump and start pursuing other side hustles that I love, instead of my 8-5 analyst job. Luckily, our expenses and mortgage are all low, so it is all manageable. My side hustle income is higher than ever, and I’m still building on it. I know that I could grow this even more if I had more time to dedicate to it.

I’m not sure what I want to do anymore. I keep thinking more and more about life and where I am headed.

Doing the responsible thing

When I decided on my major at 18 years old, I did everything that I could to graduate quickly. I managed to graduate after 2.5 years at the age of 20, and that was even with taking a semester off. I was in a rush for multiple reasons: I wanted something to occupy my time so that I could stop thinking about my dad, who passed away when I was 18, and also because I thought that graduating with two business-related degrees would lead me to a good and stable life.

At that time, I thought life was all about money — not about what actually makes you happy. I thought pursuing your passion as your job was only for lucky people.

I was going for the more “realistic and responsible” direction by going for business degrees.

I’m still young; I’m only 24. I have yet to take a break and pursue something that I love.  I’ve always had to be the responsible one. I have been working full-time since I was 16, and was even a full-time nanny for a neighbor from 12 to 16.

There have always been people who have relied on me (for example, I have been the one raising my sister since she was 14, as our mother is not in our life), but now that they’re starting to do better as well, I have felt the increased need to do what I want to do.

Now, I need a plan. I know for a fact that I want to make the switch. Working for yourself is not easy, and I realize that. Self-employment doesn’t work out for everyone. There are positives and negatives of working for yourself, and also working for others.

Below is my plan for when I make the switch.

  1. Increase savings. We want to increase our savings just in case something happens. We are working on saving as much as we can until then.
  2. Pay off debt. I’m almost done with my $38,000 worth of student loans, and we are planning on buying our next house (before I make the switch, since loans will be harder to get approved for as a self-employed person), and we would realistically want a house that we could pay off within a couple of years.
  3. Build my freelancing and diversify. I have a certain number in my head that I would like to reach before I make the full-time switch. I need to continue working on my side jobs and building up clients. I even started a second blog, Diversified Finances, which will entirely be devoted to my diversifying efforts.
  4. Health insurance. I will hop on my significant other’s plan.
  5. Taxes. I have an LLC for my freelancing, but I would like to increase my knowledge and efficiency in this area.

Would you ever quit your job to pursue your passion? What keeps you from making the change? Have you made this transition work for you?  If you have any tips or suggestions, please share!

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