Hey everyone! I have a special post for you. I’m psyched to share a new series of posts – Daring Women Wednesdays – which will showcase women who are working on their own terms doing things that excite and inspire them.
It doesn’t matter if they’ve just begun their entrepreneurial journey or are well-established, the important traits of a Daring Woman are determination, confidence, and passion.
This week – for my first DWW – I am featuring Alex Temblador. Alex is a full-time writer and an inspiration to all aspiring girl bosses! She used her creativity and drive to break out of the 9-5 and live a life of her own design. Check out what Alex has to say on working and living on her own terms…
What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I am a freelancer, though I mostly identify as a writer. My freelance jobs range from writing travel articles and hotel features for a TripAdvisor company to writing family-oriented or LGBT-related articles for an online magazine. I also do social media work, PR & marketing initiatives, graphic design work, advertisement campaigns, and virtual assistantship duties for one of my clients. My past work has included writing for trending news sites, dating sites, editing, proofreading, and captioning and subtitling TV and films.
I’ve also started my own blogazine, Fempotential, where I have female contributors submit their blogs to be published on our site. Our goal is to inspire and educate women to live their lives to their fullest potential with blogs from diverse women. I’m working to grow Fempotential into a full-time business and hope to do so within a year (which is probably insane, but that’s the goal!).
Lastly, I’m a novelist. I’ve self-published two books on Amazon’s Kindle (travel, fiction) and I’m working on finding a literary agent for my ethnic literary fictional novel.
I’ve been a full-time writer for a little over a year and it’s been fantastic.
What excites you most about your work?
I love having a job that allows me to work on different projects every single week. Though I have two on-going clients, the work that I do for them is different each week which I love because I don’t do well doing a single job over and over. I also love that I get to work for home, on my own time, so I’m able to travel when and where I want and bring my laptop with me and work when I need to. There is so much freedom with my work and that excites me every day.
What’s the hardest part?
The hardest part about my work is knowing that there’s little stability. Most of my clients could cancel their relationship with me at any time. I don’t receive benefits and raises are a bit difficult to manage. I had a particularly hard time in the Spring/Summer with work and income and it’s scary knowing that that could happen again.
What does it mean to you to work on your own terms? What inspired you to do so?
Working on my own terms, to me, means being able to do what you love, when you want to do it. I think there’s a huge 9-5 culture, understandably so, however with that culture comes rules, standards, micro-management, and less freedom to live how you wish. I get to work on my own terms each day which allows me to live on the terms that I want to. That’s a special thing in this world.
I was inspired to work on my own terms after getting a 9-5 job following graduate school. I hated going somewhere every day to do a job that I learned in 2 months and didn’t change much day-to-day. I had a few people approach me about freelance writing and once I started to look into that type of lifestyle, I realized that I could make it into an actual career. Other freelancers who shared their stories on Pinterest and the Internet were a huge inspiration to me and helped me to believe that I could do it too.
When did you know that this is what you were supposed to be doing with your life?
I realized that I wanted to be a writer at the end of my undergraduate career, after I had just gotten a Bachelor’s in History. I applied to a MFA in Creative Writing program and didn’t get in, but I got into their MA English program. From there, I was able to transfer into the Creative Writing program a semester later. That grad program made me realize that writing was going to be my life’s work.
However, it was during my first year at a job following grad school that I realized that a “regular” job wasn’t for me and I needed to start freelancing. Now my goal is to be a full-time novelist and blogger, which is a bit harder than being a freelancer, I’ve realized, but I’m not giving up.
What inspires you most in your life right now?
This might seem very broad, but interacting with other people inspires me the most in my life. I’ve moved to four different states in eight years and have traveled around the U.S. and the world and I’m always meeting new people. Their stories inspire me to continue doing what I love.
With Fempotential, I work with female writers who share their most personal stories in blogs and they impress me so much with their words and stories that I want to be just as amazing as they are and continue to help others with my writing.
Name 3 lessons you’ve learned doing this work.
At first, it was hard for me to tell people that I was a writer because I didn’t “feel” like one. I’ve learned that you are what you call yourself and once you own your identity and work, opportunities will come to you.
I don’t have to be the best writer; I just have to be the hardest worker.
Never work for a client or company who doesn’t have the same beliefs, ethics, or morals as you have. Every day that you work for them will eat you alive.
What is your biggest goal over the next year?
I have two big goals. The first is to find a literary agent and get my fiction novel published by a large publishing house. The second goal is to grow Fempotential into a full-time gig.
What advice would you give to other women who want to work on their own terms and create a life they’re passionate and excited about?
You have to be willing to work the hardest, ask for help, and research. You don’t have to be the best writer or designer or whatever it may be, in the world. You just have to work harder than others in your field. You will need help, so don’t be afraid to reach out to those that can offer it. Lastly, you will have to teach yourself new things if you want to live the life that you’re passionate about. It will take a lot of time, planning, and research to do what you want to do. You’ll have to see how others did it, learn from their mistakes, and figure out how to best plan the life that you want in a way that you’ll have a roof over your head and a meal in your stomach. Don’t underestimate how much work this will take – but also don’t be afraid of it. Living a life you’re passionate about is totally worth it.
Recommend something else that has shaped you in your business.
I don’t think people realize how amazing Pinterest really is. I poured through Pinterest each and every day to learn about the freelance/blogging lifestyle. The best thing I can share with you is the Pinterest board where I saved all of the products and articles that helped me learn how to live this life that I love.
Thank you so much, Alex, for being the first Daring Woman on this blog, and for sharing your story!
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Interested in being featured on Daring Women Wednesday? Email me and share your story!