A Woman's View: Leaving A Full-Time Job To Become Your Own Boss

What made you decided to leave your full time job and take the leap into working for yourself?

There was so much going on and it wasn’t sustainable. My allergy-friendly book proposal, Everyone’s Welcome, was picked up by a publisher. I had less than six months to shoot a hundred new photos and write the whole manuscript. Shooting over the winter was a challenge with the reduced hours of natural light; I was often working with studio lights and spent so much time in editing afterwards. 

On top of this, my husband and I bought a property for the purpose of vacation rental in Prince Edward County this past summer, called Sage House . This was a new experience for me and one I really enjoyed, but it was stressful at the time. There were a lot of long drives to and from the house with loads of cargo, and plenty of heavy lifting.  And then we got engaged (woohoo) in September, and decided to get married in five months. Layered on top of all this was my day job at Indigo, where I was working on Indigo Press publishing in addition to my main role as a kids book buyer. I got to publish some amazing books like this one but my role also required travel for buying and book fairs. I constantly felt exhausted and like I was only putting half of myself into everything I was doing. This bothered me immensely. My social life, physical activity, and sleep suffered. Something had to give.

Take us through the steps you took into quitting your old job and running your business full time?

I told myself that I had to make a decision after our wedding. By that point my manuscript and all publishing material was submitted, wedding plans would no longer be on my mind, and I would have peace and quiet during our honeymoon to think. Given the events of the last year, the decision wasn’t too difficult. Even the thought of going back to my previous schedule made me feel queasy. I went through the stages of grief about giving up my role at Indigo, where I had spent the last three years. I realized that there was no perfect time to leave and that I would always be leaving something unfinished. I gave my two weeks notice right away when I returned to the office after the honeymoon. Once I made up my mind about leaving I got really excited about the prospects that lay ahead, and it made the transition a thrilling experience. 

amanda orlando

 Did you have a safety net (I.e, plans, finance, family support, business partner.) before you left your job or did you just go for it?

I had a lot of support when making this decision. My husband and family have been encouraging me to be self employed for years. They were so happy when I finally made up my mind and were extremely supportive. My parents often volunteer themselves to help with whatever I need. Sage House is a steady business now so it feels good to have that established. 

What were your biggest fears you felt and faced during this process? 

I knew I would miss my friends and colleagues at Indigo. It’s a big transition to go from a very social work environment to a relatively quiet one.

Tell us about how your day looks like as the co-founder of EAF? 

I wake up around 7:30 or 8 and start working on recipes while I have my coffee and breakfast. That allows me to have food ready to photograph and write about when the natural light in my place is at its best; bright yet soft. Sometimes I work on an editorial post instead. I’ll update the EAF content calendar (I plan content out about 4 - 6 weeks in advance), and from there it’s a total toss-up as to what the day will look like. I also dedicate some time each day to Sage House, and to working on my next book concept.

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What’s the biggest difference between your traditional 9-5 job to what you are doing now? 

My job now is unstructured and I have to create work for myself in order to generate an income. Instead of meeting pre-existing goals or expectations, I’m constantly looking for new opportunities. 

What is your number one advice for those who want to leave their jobs and launch into their own business?

Test your concept and carefully analyze your financial situation before you make the big leap. Once you’ve made your decision, don’t look back!

What are your goals for the next year ahead for you and your business?

The goal of my blog is always to inspire confidence and be a trusted resource for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions. I hope to continue publishing books well into the future. 

What is your biggest hurdle you face now that you are running your own business?

Like all new businesses, I think the biggest hurdle is taking a concept and making it viable and sustainable.

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Where do you see EAF in the next 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years?

I see Everyday Allergen-Free continuing to be a trusted resource for people with food allergies and other dietary restrictions. I see the community of writers growing to include new voices. Who knows what else the future will bring!

Rapid fire questions:

Advice for your 21 year old self?

Get your shit together already

Favourite junk food?

Plain popcorn with salt.

Five people you follow on Instagram?

@Lifebyleese

@cupro_

@constancewu

@harborandhill

@darling

Your favourite blog?

Man Repeller

Favourite tv show right now?

Schitt’s Creek

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