• Andrea Harrison of Prolific Profiles 4 U

My Personal Story of Independence

Happy summer! Hope you all had a great 4th of July! As a US citizen, I can truly understand what it means to be independent by appreciating all the rights that our country has fought to preserve. However, as an individual with my own lifestyle and career aspirations, I have only recently discovered my independence and am seeing how it has impacted my life. I believe I started to feel this personal sort of independence when I launched my writing business two years ago. Although I've developed many valuable skills over the years, I've always felt confined in a 9 to 5 job. It was if I was living someone else's life by going through a routine set of motions and tasks that truly lacked meaning for me. Why? Because they were for the ultimate betterment of the companies or organizations I worked for, but not for me.

Writing has always been a passion of mine but something I believed I couldn't afford to undertake. Although I studied journalism in college and often enjoyed creative writing as a hobby, I didn't believe there were any realistic writing positions out there that I would qualify for or could sustain me in a career. I was told I needed connections which I didn't have.

Consequently, life took me in a different direction; in fact, several different directions. I first worked in publishing but found it hard to rise in the ranks. I then decided to switch to a field that couldn't be more different than writing. I became a vocational counselor for special needs adults. Without education in this area, I learned on the job and quickly adapted to it because I've always been a caring and compassionate person willing to help others. This sparked me to return to college to get my teaching credentials which allowed me to teach elementary students for over 10 years. Although it was very rewarding to make a difference in children's lives, the demanding work load and level of stress this endeavor caused me had begun to outweigh the benefits.

As I approached my late 40's I realized I wasn't getting any younger yet I was too young to retire from the work force. I decided to retire from teaching and once again, take up a different line of work. I did some part-time work in customer service and telemarketing which led to a full-time Inside Sales Position. It wasn't my dream job but it allowed me to amass some valuable marketing skills that I would later use in my business. I was less stressed and much happier, yet still felt like a hamster on a wheel. I started daydreaming about how I could reinvent myself once again. Then it happened!

I had been in my 4th year as an Inside Sales Representative when an opportunity came along through my husband's work to travel to Switzerland and live there for 6 months as part of an employee exchange program. We lunged at the opportunity, since it was a smart career move for my husband and a chance for me to jumpstart my life. In preparation I took a leave of absence from my job. Although I was not able to get a temporary work visa as my husband was, I took advantage of my free time by sightseeing and keeping a journal of my experiences. In addition, I began writing two screenplays which took up a lot of my time.

By the end of our 6 month stay I had decided not to return to my job but to pursue my passion, a career in writing. In July 2016 I began my company, Prolific Profiles 4 U, LLC. Although I began with the idea of writing only social media and dating profiles, it developed into a comprehensive writing service in which I would provide various kinds of digital content and traditional writing for anyone looking to promote their products and services. In addition, I decided to consult and teach writing, which kept me in the realm of teaching but allowed me to be creative, as well. Because I have allowed myself such self-expression it has increased my confidence and ability to share my value, thoughts and opinions in a personal and professional setting with others.

Consequently my business became my claim to finally feeling truly and completely independent. For the first time I feel like my life has purpose and meaning. I am there for others yet am there for me by allowing myself to express what comes natural to me--the written word. This is freedom; this is happiness! This is my 4th of July, yet all year round!

Do you have a story of independence that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it!


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