Being self-employed has afforded me the flexibility and freedom to live a lifestyle that truly brings me happiness. After spending two decades working tirelessly for others, even as a sole trader facing high rent in Sydney, I realized that I never truly enjoyed working for someone else. However, the security of a steady paycheck kept me going. Self-employment, though rewarding, can be a challenging and uncertain journey that demands self-discipline. It’s easy to neglect social life and hobbies when your working hours are no longer confined to the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. As I reached a certain stage in my life, I began questioning myself and underwent a period of self-reflection.
This reevaluation came about in 2018 when I returned to Australia from England after bidding farewell to a dear friend who had unexpectedly passed away. The industry I was working in no longer brought me joy, and I had lost my motivation. I craved change and adaptability came naturally to me. So, I made the decision to move back to Sydney, rent a new space, and rebrand my business with a fresh look, new name, and updated services. Typically, I set myself a three-year goal, but after just two years and ten months, I realized that I no longer wanted to continue down the same path. I was unhappy, unhealthy, and miserable. I felt stuck and lacked progress. Growing the business would have required building a team and assuming the responsibility of others, which wasn’t the direction I desired.
In July 2022, I experienced a sudden shift in perspective. I began to think differently and see things from a new angle. I made the decision to close my business, terminate my rental agreement, and embark on a journey of change. The excitement and fear of the unknown kept me busy, and once again, I found happiness.
Originally, I had planned to relocate to the beautiful Blue Mountains in New South Wales. However, circumstances unfolded differently, and one morning, I woke up with the realization that the mountains weren’t calling me yet. Plan B emerged, necessitating a few adjustments. I yearned for a lifestyle where I wouldn’t have to pay rent, allowing me to save money for visits to my family in Europe and indulge in some travel. The exorbitant cost of living in Sydney, coupled with high rent, hindered my ability to save. Even if I had moved to the mountains, I would still be burdened with rent payments. Moreover, the majority of my work was based in Sydney, requiring me to commute into the city several times a week, which was not a sacrifice I was willing to make.
Around a decade ago, a friend introduced me to the concept of house and pet sitting. He shared stories of staying in beautiful homes, traveling to incredible destinations, and caring for people’s pets. At the time, I thought it was a fantastic way to live, and I yearned for the same experience. So, I reached out to my friend for advice and began exploring the idea further.
Growing up, my family always had a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, chickens, budgies, parrots, rabbits, and guinea pigs. I developed a special fondness for cats and understood them well. Since leaving home at the age of sixteen, I have lived in shared accommodations where my housemates often had cats. I have frequently taken care of other people’s pets while they were on vacation. Therefore, pet sitting was not a new concept to me.
So, in August 2022, I decided to up my pet sitting game and go pro. I splurged on a year-long membership on a bunch of house and pet sitting websites.
Then came the tricky part: sorting out my work situation. I didn’t want to go back to working for someone else, but I still wanted to do hairdressing, just not in a regular old salon.
Now, I’ve got this sweet gig where I set my own hours, catering to my new lifestyle, and I spend all my time doing house and pet sitting. Oh, and did I mention? I’m also a Reiki master now. Pretty cool, huh?
“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.”Ram Dass