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Tired of the Rat Race? How to Quit Your Job and Become a Photographer

graphic for focus creative blog post about how to quit your job and become a photographer - includes photo of camera, sd cards, and keyboard on a desk

“No job is perfect,” “everyone feels stressed by their jobs sometimes,” “if it were always rainbows and unicorns they wouldn’t call it work.” These are the things you tell yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your job.

It’s okay to feel this way every once in a while — even a dream job has components that we don’t like.

However, if this is becoming your daily refrain, maybe it’s time for a career change. What if it were possible to quit your job and do what you love for a living instead?

If your dream is to become a successful photographer, read on to learn that dreams really do come true and how to make it happen.

Is it a Good Idea to Quit Your Job?

I get it, I was there. I spent 15 years working as an auditor and accountant. But I was getting so stressed and burned out and all I really wanted to do was to stop and take pretty pictures.

But quitting a well-paying job to start your own business is intimidating, to say the least. I definitely recommend having a bit of savings on hand to cover living expenses while you’re getting your photography business off the ground.

Only you can decide if this is the right career change for you. But I’ve seen too many people hold themselves back from something beautiful because of fear. Let’s address some of the most common fears people have about becoming an entrepreneur and starting their own business.

1. Starting a Business Is Expensive

No matter how much you might dislike your corporate job, there is one thing you love — your paycheck. Saying goodbye to that steady income is hard. It’s even worse when you’re worried about taking on a lot of operating expenses with a fledging business.

The good thing about photography is that once you’ve bought your gear, there aren’t too many monthly operating expenses. I definitely recommend that you buy your gear before you quit your job. If you don’t buy it outright, then pay it off before you quit.

From there, you’ll have a few expenses like insurance, software for editing, accounting, client management, etc., and a business license. It’s reasonable to expect that you can cover your business expenses with only 30% of your income.  Make sure to consider taxes as well if you’re crunching the numbers.

2. Fear of Failure

Oh gosh. This one is so hard and it’s deeply rooted in most of us.

What if I fail?

To that I say, what if you succeed? What if you can kiss your life as a stressed-out lawyer or accountant goodbye and do what you love? What if you had time to be creative and express your creativity through photography like you’ve always dreamed?

You can always start your photography business on the side to get it rolling before you quit your job. Depending on your job, you might be able to work part-time while you build your business to give you more time to devote to it.

Once your business starts building traction, it’s easier to take that big step of quitting your job. You don’t have to do it 100% on faith.

You also don’t have to do it 100% on your own. Don’t know how to run a business? That’s okay! Programs like becoming a licensed Focus Creative photographer can help you sort out the business side of things.

3. Fear of What People Will Say

“Why would she quit a cushy job as a lawyer to become a starving artist?” “What was the point of going to school for finance just to become a photographer?” “Why does he have his head so high up in the clouds?”

People will say a lot of things about your decision to become a photographer. Don’t let your fear of what they will say hold you back. You never know, what they say might not always be as negative as you think.

“I wish I had the courage to quit my job and pursue my dream like she did!” “His photos are amazing! I can see why people want to hire him!” “Good for her, getting out of a job she hates to do what she loves!”

Living Life on Your Terms

Is it hard to start your own business? I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of work and there will be some moments that won’t be so enjoyable. You might feel scared about your decision or stressed about how you’ll make ends meet for a few months.

But then, you’ll create incredible images that your clients will love. Your heart will lift as your dreams take flight. You’ll get up every day excited about what you get to do, not what you have to do that day.

If this is you, I want to help! Here at Focus Creative, I’m all about supporting new or current photographers as they break into the world of commercial photography. I love this line of work because you can choose your own hours and get paid what you deserve — and you can be creative while you’re at it!

Don’t let fear hold you back, I’m here to help you do what you love. Let’s get started!

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