Accidental Entrepreneur: From Full-Time Accountant to Full-Time Blogger
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Many have heard of those seemingly random few people who blog full-time for a living, but for those not in the know, it can be confusing. Can someone really make a full-time income from writing about their lives on the Internet? Can bloggers really be considered accidental entrepreneurs?
The answer is yes, and of course, there is far more that goes into it than that. You can’t blame the general public for being unaware of blogging as a profession though since there’s really no college curriculum that teaches you how to do it. Plus, there are so many different ways to go about it as seen in our past interviews with people who have left jobs in marketing, aerospace engineering, and pool management to take the leap to become full-time bloggers.
From Accountant to Blogger
Today’s interview centers on one of my own personal heroes and one of the main people who inspired me to become self-employed: Carrie Smith from Careful Cents. In fact, Carrie was one of the very first people who hired me to do some virtual assistant work for her way back when I was a brand new blogger, which showed me that yes, it is possible to make money working online.
Taking the leap from her job as an accountant to personal finance blogger might not seem like that big of a stretch, but when you take into account how talented Carrie is as a writer and editor, it seems funny that she ever made a living crunching numbers and doing the books for someone else.
Still, Carrie is one of those unique people who can be creative (she’s an artist too) and have a “love of numbers” as she says. When she graduated from high school, she stared out as an accounting assistant and “fell in love with having a career, making money, and being able to afford fun things like travel, new electronics, and a new Jeep (that I paid for in cash).”
However, when she got married, the debt added up between nice cars and a nice home, and unfortunately a marriage that didn’t work out. Carrie says, “After three years of this, our lives completely fell apart and we ended up getting divorced when I was 25 years old…My career was on the upswing but my personal life was a disaster.”
Starting Her Blog
After her divorce, Carrie moved to a new city and started a new life. She started taking night classes about small business and taxes. She passed all the necessary accounting exams and got a job offer from H&R Block to work during tax season. Even then, she enjoyed helping small, local businesses, and that’s what initially inspired her to start her blog, carefulcents.com.
She used her blog to “talk about the personal side of business as well as the logistics of running a business, paying taxes, and increasing cash flow.” She also blogged about her journey to being debt free. All of this led to online freelance writing and editing jobs that she worked on at night and during her breaks at work.
Before she knew it, she was making a significant income from her side hustles in addition to working her accounting job and her part-time tax job. She also used the time to “focus on personal relationships with family and friends, so I could prioritize what was important in my life. I had always been a workaholic and felt like that was a big part of why my marriage failed. I no longer wanted my career to be the focus of my life, so I knew something had to change.”
The Big Change
Eventually, Carrie did end up making that positive change. She quit her job to become a full-time blogger even though her career was “something [she] deeply loved.” However, her desire to have personal freedom outweighed her desire to be an accountant, and since becoming self-employed, she’s encouraged countless other solopreners (myself included) to take the leap as well.
Carrie says, “Being my own boss has given me more creative freedom, and love, than I ever thought was possible. Now I have time to pursue other hobbies outside of just work, like painting and reading, two things I enjoy doing almost as much as crunching numbers.”
She is also happily re-married to a chef who makes her lots of amazing dinners and snacks to keep her freelance juices flowing so she can continue to help and inspire small business owners all around the web through her writing at Careful Cents.
Have you ever wanted to be self-employed? What passions or interests do you have that might seem surprising given your current career? How do you find balance between working and enjoying life?
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