Home about me I Quit My Job To Pursue Happiness

I Quit My Job To Pursue Happiness

by Nellie


I left a very cushy, high paying job at a rising company to pursue my dreams.

My Lord.

Remember when I was struggling with something that seemed impossible to overcome? It was my job. I was terrified to leave (hello, I had only been there a few months compared to 9 years at my old place!) but I knew something had to change.

I did my best to ignore the pulling feeling and settled in for the long haul. It wasn’t even a few months later before the suffocating feeling came back. It was a fantastic job–they fed me everyday–the benefits were great and the paycheck allowed me to do pretty much anything I wanted. Yet. The literal feeling of not being able to breathe would come when my kids would beg me to chaperone a trip and I had to tell them that mommy didn’t have anymore “days”. Or when a once in a lifetime blogging opportunity comes up and you have to say no because you don’t want to be penalized later in the year by your job for taking so many days off.

I started saving all of my blogging income. Every dime. The funds kept growing and the opportunities started multiplying. I didn’t know what the plan was but I kept going with it.

My grandmother died in April. I was sitting in the funeral listening to my mom struggle through her obituary. She mentioned that one of the happiest days of my grandmother’s life was when she retired from her back breaking job of being a room attendant at a hotel. It was at that moment when something shattered inside of me. I don’t want to spend my life waiting for my job to free me. I want to do something that I love. This blog is my third child and it brings me so much joy. The new experiences, the event coverage, the complete freedom of creativity. Blogging allows me to wake up with a new canvas to paint on everyday.

I was spending 12 hours a day between traveling and the actual workday–6:30 am to 6:30pm working and commuting. Then I come home and work for HOURS on the blog–because I love it.

Something had to give.

The Decision

My husband noticed how discouraged I was coming home everyday. I was miserable. I was tired of seeing my kids for 90 minutes a day. Tired of asking my mom what’s going on with my own children. Tired of feeling so much pressure to be a perfect employee when even I knew it was impossible. I couldn’t stay late to finish projects, but everyone else could.

So the hubby and I had many, many, many conversations about HOW I could leave my job and have us not end up homeless since my paycheck is responsible for our Brooklyn mortgage. Like epic conversations–ones that ended in pure raw excitement and ones that ended in tears of absolute fear. I was still saving money. We decided that if I could save 6 months mortgage, I could quit. We shook on it.

The Windfall

I was listening to The Friend Zone Podcast (one of my FAVORITE podcasts in the world) and one of the hosts Fran, talked about how getting fired was one of the best things that ever happened to her. Even though it was a complete shock and she was severely embarrassed, it opened a ton of doors for her.

“Sometimes if you don’t pay attention to the alert system, it will just get louder and louder until something happens with bad consequences. If something doesn’t feel right your best bet is to let it go as soon as you can” Fran, TheFriendZone Podcast

The universe heard me loud and clear and just like that magic started happening. We got a tax refund about 4x what we thought it would be. I got a notification from the state secretary that they had 2 (large!) checks for me from 2003. The contracts came rapid fire. The campaigns landed square in my inbox. My mom dropped off a generous check, unsolicited, just to support my dreams.

I now have a year+ of mortgage saved.

The Plan

I plan to continue to pour my heart into this blog because that is where my joy is. There might be more commercials but there will always be a 80% non sponsored posts ratio here.

I have also decided to start a business! Last year, my mom asked for my help in creating a website and a Yelp page for her daycare. She instantly saw an uptick in business. I started researching local businesses in my area and was stunned to see that barely any of them have a social media presence. So I registered and incorporated BAM Digital Media LLC (still under construction!), which will be providing simple social media solutions for small businesses.

I am a CEO y’all.


The Exit

Although I gave my job 3 weeks notice and I’ve known for another 2 months the last day was way harder than expected. Somehow my coworkers crawled up in my heart, took residence and became impossible to evict. It was emotional, for sure, but I am so happy that we crossed paths.

It’s Time

Now it’s time to work my entire ass off to build my business and expand the blog. It’s up to me now. For the first time in my life I will be creating my own way of living. It’s SO scary. Almost equally as exhilarating.

But most of all, it will be me.

Have you ever made a life decision that had you shaking in your boots?!

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Ali July 18, 2016 - 6:57 am

Congratulations! I loved the quote.
So true in my case. I wanted to go back to school in my late 20’s, couldn’t figure out how I could do it and work full time. One day, I went to work and the company had gone under overnight. Bad for them, good for me-the kick I needed to jump right into school. I graduated from nursing school in 2 years and 13 years later, it still is one the best professional and personal changes I have ever made.

Cassandre July 18, 2016 - 7:17 am

Nellie, I am beyond proud of you. You inspire me so much and I pray for nothing but continued success and happiness in all that you do. Love you much and thanks for the Monday morning inspiration 🙂

Louida July 18, 2016 - 7:57 am

Congratulations! Yep, I made the leap at the end of last year. Best decision I ever made. Plus, with me giving my blog my full attention now I’m making more money.

With my exit plan, I made sure to save a year’s worth of income for backup.

You got this girl! Working for yourself is so rewarding and freeing!

Janine Huldie July 18, 2016 - 8:16 am

Omg, so much congrats to you and so excited for you, too. I also never thought working from home with blogging and designing would be something I would do and afford me a way to stay home, make money and be my own boss, but it has here, as well. So have no doubt you are going to make that happen even more so making this here full time. So excited for you and if you need anything feel free to message me as a friend would do whatever I can. Hugs and again excited for you!!! 😉

Britt July 18, 2016 - 9:06 am

Omg! Congrats!!!! That is SUCH amazing news! I’m so happy for you and your new ventures. Best of luck!

LaShawn July 18, 2016 - 9:59 am

I’m so proud and happy for you!!!! You are such an inspiration! I can’t wait to see what you do next!

Quiana July 18, 2016 - 10:08 am

Congrats! I left corporate 6 years ago this fall to be with my family and pursue my biz goals, and it’s flown by. Definitely terrifying moments but no regrets. Excited to continue to follow your journey!

Destiny Paquette July 18, 2016 - 10:10 am

I have so much excitement for you right now. You will do amazing things, because you are amazing. Congrats and let the wild ride of CEO of your life begin.

Tamara July 18, 2016 - 10:11 am

Yes yes yes! For all the reasons you mentioned and all the best ones yet to come.
It’s big. I’ve never done things in order or even logically, but I know what it is to leap.

Camesha July 18, 2016 - 10:17 am

I’m so happy for you! I know you’re going to do awesome things! When you said you were starting a business, I immediately thought cupcakes. What can I say, I’ve got a sweet tooth! Lol! So proud of you and crazy excited for you! ?

Yum Yucky July 18, 2016 - 10:30 am

woohoo girl! You have stepped out into the deep with faith and courage. Congratulations. I look forward to following your journey. I know there is more good stuff to come. xoxo!

Katy Widrick July 18, 2016 - 10:34 am

This makes me SO happy — and we should chat. I’m running my own business and have a list of companies to refer clients to when I can’t take them on. I’d love to include you!

Nellie July 18, 2016 - 6:09 pm

That would be amazing Katy! Thank you! Emailing now.

Andrea Bates July 18, 2016 - 10:38 am

I am THRILLED for you.

You’re amazing. So inspiring. I’m so excited. Hugging you from afar but imma hug you soooon.

Erin Kreitz Shirey July 18, 2016 - 10:38 am

Nellie I am so so proud of you! This is big, but also one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have done. Jack and I have lived with the job focus of what makes your heart sing, and if it doesn’t you have to change. Being your own CEO is one of the most rewarding experiences ever, as you never have to ask for a day off to play with your kids. Congrats!!!! So excited for you! xox

kita bryant July 18, 2016 - 10:56 am

Yay and so proud of you. You stuck in there and you made this thing work. I feel like I am going to cry a tear but I can’t because this is no time for tears. Congrats to you on your next steps!

Jen Lawrence July 18, 2016 - 11:00 am

Yay! I’m so proud of you. This is such an inspiring post since I’m practically in the same boat. Working a FT job and blogging after hours. I’m so happy your plans paid off and everything fell into place. I hope to have a similar testimony in the near future. Congratulations CEO!!!!!

Alexandrafunfit July 18, 2016 - 11:08 am

I predict success, as you are a go-getter

Nicole July 18, 2016 - 11:29 am

I am so excited for you! You are going to kill it as a #momboss let me know how I can help.

P.S. One of my tips in my book was to SAVE before taking the leap to self employment. Not surprised you are such a smart cookie.

Joi July 18, 2016 - 11:43 am

Amazing! Congratulations to you. You are a social media blogging beast, makes so much sense to help others gain a similar presence as your livelihood while still sharing this helpful blog with us. SUPER KUDOS!!! I just love all of this!

Dani Elle bonine July 18, 2016 - 12:09 pm

I’m so excited for your girl! I love your blog and can’t wait to read more!

Ash Diamond July 18, 2016 - 12:15 pm

Huge congratulations on following the path that is right for you!

Stephanie July 18, 2016 - 12:21 pm

Congratulations! That is AWESOME! You were built and designed for this! Praying for favor as you move forward!

Leslie July 18, 2016 - 12:22 pm

Congratulations on so many levels!!! I’m so proud of you not only for taking that leap, but for being so responsible about it. I can’t wait to see where this new adventure takes you. I know you’ll be awesome at it!!

renee July 18, 2016 - 12:22 pm

I am in absolute awe of you and have tears because I wish I had just a small percentage of your courage (I’m working on that!!). This is really some of the best news I’ve read in absolute ages! I admire you, I support you and I am proud of you and I bet I’m not the only one!! Congratulations on an amazing decision – no doubt this is just the start of really great things to come!! xx

Joanna July 18, 2016 - 12:32 pm

OMG Congrats! Super proud of you. Glad you were able to have a plan and follow through. Thumbs up to your supportive husband.

Michelle July 18, 2016 - 12:53 pm

Congrats to you! I am in awe! And so happy for you!

Bernetta July 18, 2016 - 12:55 pm

Congrats! I know you are over the moon with what will come into frution for you!
It’s amazing how MAGIC just started to happen for you! I love that!

Allie July 18, 2016 - 2:20 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!! Seriously reading this in the car on the way home from vacation and jumping up and down in my seat!!!!! You are now ready to conquer the world!!!!

MJ July 18, 2016 - 3:27 pm

I am praying and wishing you all the best on your new journey! I love that you have an amazing team and support system in your family. Your children will cherish this and know that your Grand is watching over and guiding you.
Your story speaks to my heart.

Ty July 18, 2016 - 5:30 pm

You are the envy of the blogosphere. Congratulations!

Diana July 18, 2016 - 5:40 pm

So sooooo proud of you! Congratulations. You’re one of the hardest working bloggers I know. You deserve this! 🙂

Nicole July 18, 2016 - 5:44 pm

This incredible! I am so proud of you and inspired by you! You are going to do amazing amazing things!

Kimberly July 18, 2016 - 6:13 pm

Wow! I am so proud of you! What a hard, yet rewarding decision. Your passion for the blog comes through in all of your posts and I know you will be successful. Congrats!

catherine gacad July 18, 2016 - 7:21 pm

you are an inspiration. keep it up mama!

Esti Berkowitz July 18, 2016 - 9:21 pm

So excited for you, what a great leap forward you are taking. May you have much success and happiness:)

Danielle July 18, 2016 - 9:42 pm

Amazing and congratulations! So inspiring to read. I am firm believer that when things seemingly fall into place – the tax refund, the contracts – you’re moving in the right direction, doing something you need to be doing. Can’t wait to hear about the growth of your new company and your next adventures!

Michell July 18, 2016 - 10:51 pm

Awesome sauce!! So absolutely proud of you lady!! CONGRATULATIONS on your promotion…turning the page to this new chapter in your life!!!

alison Hector July 19, 2016 - 12:00 am

Way to go, Nellie! I just left my job too, so I fully understand the angst that accompanied your decision. It’s the best feeling in the world when you’re able to do what your heart is telling you to do and launch into what gives you life on a whole ‘notha level! Praying for your success and for all the great stuff you’re going to pour into others’ lives, my dear.

Samantha Payne July 19, 2016 - 12:34 am

First of all, I want to congratulate you on your decision. I know it wasn’t an easy one, but you did it because you want to be happy.

I am currently going through the same thing and I haven’t made my final decision as to what I want to do. But, deep down I think I already know the answer.

Thank you for writing this, because I really need to hear something like that this. I think your experience will give me the push I need to make that change and give me a piece of mind.

Nancy July 19, 2016 - 7:30 am

Take it from someone who has taken the plunge: it’s scary and exhilarating, hard and exciting, terrifying and fantastic. And totally worth it to build something you love. Good luck!

Monica J July 19, 2016 - 2:32 pm

I am just so proud of you and happy for this new journey you’re on. You are a boss, a CEO. Actually, you were already a boss. I know you’re in store for some amazing things. Can’t wait to watch you soar. ???????

K. elizabeth July 19, 2016 - 5:45 pm

Yay! Congratulations on pursuing your happiness. There’s nothing like being your own boss. Sure it’s scary and a beyond frightening at first, but you’ve planned and worked hard for this moment. Enjoy it! I wish you nothing but tons of success going forward.

Mrs. Pancakes July 20, 2016 - 11:20 pm

Congrats Nellie, this is so so exciting and knowing you you will sore and sore high!!

Coco July 21, 2016 - 10:24 pm

So excited for you! It sounds like you are headed for even more success — and more enjoyment!

FaiTh July 24, 2016 - 6:25 pm

You are incredible!! Congrats!!

Iris Kirkland August 15, 2016 - 1:30 pm

This is beautiful. I have been seeing things shift for me in the past few weeks. And saw this and was like, I can’t wait till everything falls into place like BAM. I am happy for you. Enjoy.

Power Your Happy With Popsugar Founder Lisa Sugar October 5, 2016 - 12:21 am

[…] take the plunge and start their own businesses. Which is just what Brooklyn Active Mama did. She quit her cushy corporate job to strike it out on her own. She wanted to not only have the freedom to be with her children more, […]


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