428. Google Search Starts a Writing Career
Laura is only half joking that her new career started with the Google search, “How to become a freelance writer.” Professors in college had nurtured her writing, even though writing was not her major. As she queried Google, she thought, “Well, at least I’m not a BAD writer.”
Laura Pennington left her job after burning out as a middle school teacher in Baltimore City, Maryland. Since 2013, she has worked full-time for herself as a freelance writer, serving clients all over the world, including some of the biggest personal injury law firms in the U.S., Truecar, and Microsoft. Now she teaches others how to build a fulfilling and freeing lifestyle business from home.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“In college, I had every intention of becoming a lawyer. I worked for lawyers, took the LSAT, and was ready to apply to law school. Then, I worked for a personal injury lawyer who was a solo practitioner.” She was burned out and never able to spend time with her family. “That caused me to rethink my plans and shift gears. I went to graduate school to study political science, intending to become a professor.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I was teaching 7th grade in Baltimore and hit a point where I just could not do one more day. Medically, the job caught up with me. I realized how much hyper-anxiety and exhaustion my body was cycling through to do that job. And I knew I could not be a traditional educator. I would need to find some other way to use my talents and do something that I love. I googled, ‘How to become a freelance writer,’ not expecting anything to come of it.” My freelance writing career took off! Doing it part-time, I was fully booked within about two months. I started to realize I could actually do this as my career.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“We are told that a traditional 9-to-5 kind of job is stability, that it’s how you save for retirement. it’s what you do, what you go to school for. I’m living proof—and there are many other people like me—who have discovered that you don’t have to do that anymore. A great thing about following your purpose is that you can start by doing it just a few hours a week. I found that my freelancing quickly grew, and I was carving out extra hours whenever I could, because I liked doing it so much. I was getting up at 5 in the morning and doing work for my clients before going to my job.”
Steps to Success from Laura Pennington
On Her Bookshelf
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss
The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, by Gay Hendricks, PhD
Connecting With Laura Pennington
LinkedIn: Laura Pennington
Content library with tips and guides to start your freelance career at: www.sixfigurewritingsecrets.com
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