Two words changed my life forever six years ago.
That’s what my wife of 10 years told me the day after she got back from a work trip in 2014.
Before you go thinking this is a sob story about some guy who drank himself into the ground but eventually found the light at the end of the tunnel after a divorce… it’s not.
This was a wake-up call.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this divorce would be the start of a series of decisions that would change my life for the better.
See, when my wife left so did over half of my income. That’s right. She made more money than me 🤦🏼♂️.
So I was faced with the very real pressure of figuring out a way to earn extra money to provide for me and my kids.
But here’s the thing: I couldn’t leave my full-time job, and frankly I didn’t want to. Plus, I wasn’t interested in something that physically took me away from my kids like retail.
So without any background whatsoever, I stepped into the world of a freelance side hustle. My area of choice was web design.
One funny thing was that before my wife left, she started learning to code. In a failed attempt to find common ground and rescue our relationship, I started learning with her.
So I used what little I had learned from a few months of online courses and started telling people I was a web designer.
I didn’t know what I was doing, but the wake-up call had been so clear. I couldn’t go back to binge-watching entire seasons on Netflix in one sitting. I couldn’t drink myself to sleep from rejection. I couldn’t keep calling my best friend in the middle of the night crying. I had to win.
The beginning of my freelance career
I eventually became the guy at backyard barbecues handing out business cards. Don’t judge me. I was on a mission.
Here’s the thing, though – eventually, people started asking me to build their websites. Then, more and more people saw the work I was doing, and I got busier and busier.
Soon, I had more work than I could handle. So I started raising my rates.
Then something amazing happened. The money I was making in my spare time started approaching the money I made from my full-time career. I was even featured in an ad in Times Square for Upwork.
Making a career change at 36 years old
Four years later, something else started happening.
What was once a creative outlet and way to make extra money slowly became something I loved, and something I fantasized about doing full time.
I had been in my career now for 13 years. I’d started it in my early twenties, and here I was in my mid thirties wondering if I could go up against younger guys who probably had more experience in a field I had only freelanced in my spare time.
But I knew that if I didn’t take this chance now, I may never do it in the future.
If I’m honest with you, there were moments that as I was filling out web design applications, I was also having panic attacks.
What if I couldn’t find anything?
What if I wasn’t as good as I thought I was?
What if I found something, but a few months later decided I didn’t actually like doing web design full-time?
Those were the questions that filled my head as I filled out profile after profile on job boards. But I couldn’t let those fears keep me from moving forward.
I had to take the leap with this like I had to start freelancing.
Then, two months later, a notification came through a job board app. Someone wanted to interview me.
I dusted off my best suit and walked into those doors. Waiting to be interviewed after me were guys born in the late nineties. They shouldn’t even be called adults… more like post teenagers.
Wait your turn, Hudson.
All my fears would be put to rest when I finally got an official offer. I’d be making from one job what I was making from both my full-time job and web design side hustle combined.
All because of divorce
More free time. Better benefits. More money. More time with my family. Doing something I never in a million years thought I’d be doing… all because of a divorce.
Divorce is something I wouldn’t want for anyone. It hurts. A lot.
But when I made it through mine, I looked back and saw growth and change that I know I would have never found had I not gone through it.
Today, I’m remarried with a brand new baby boy, have a brand new job, and a passion project where I help people do the same thing I learned how to do in web design.
All because of a divorce.
Things came full circle when someone emailed me the other day. He was reaching out after his wife had just left him. He was hoping to make some extra money through web design and was wondering if I could help.
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