Stories

A Year In the Life….As A Perm Employee & Business Owner!

August 1, 2018

This month marks the one year anniversary of taking a permanent position in Hawaii. It’s weird to talk about the one year mark, because I never publicly announced that I accepted a perm job. Everything happened so quickly.

So, quick back story: I worked at a great hospital for 3 contracts over the course of a year when I came to Oahu as a traveler. They basically told me it was time to sign on perm or leave. I knew I wasn’t ready to go and knew that I loved where I was working. My position in Hawaii is very low stress and I work a part-time schedule.

When signing on with the hospital, I was honest about my situation and told them that I didn’t see myself here for the long-term. They said that was okay and that any time that I could give as a perm employee would be good. My manager was happy to have me for any amount of time, although longer is always better! 🙂

The adjustment has been fairly easy, I mean it is HAWAII! But of course I do miss the travel life. The thing I miss the most is not being able to take off and be a vagabond at the drop of a hat. I have barely left the island over the past year. However, it is easy to be in a place that you love. Everyday I wake up and feel inspired here, whether I am going to work at the hospital, writing blogs all day, or hiking a mountain!

However, things change and priorities change

I spent the majority of this past year either working at the bedside or working behind my computer or camera lens. Going perm was the opportunity I needed to grow my business and my outreach to the community.

For years, I worked hard to be a traveler and be a leader in the travel community. However, once I stopped traveling, I realized that I actually became more of a leader in the travel community, because I spent less time worrying about myself and my life and more time thinking about how I can impact others. Not having to think about finding my next job, housing, moving, finding a routine, new gym, new grocery story, etc. every three months freed my mind and time to blog, create, and build resources for the travel community.

In a lot of ways, this year has been a lot less about me and more about you. My number one goal has been to create content and to answer any and all questions that you have about travel therapy. I want to be a resource, a leader, and an inspiration.

Going permanent has definitely given me the time and space to build the resources that I want to. However, now is only the beginning.

I Started A Business

When I started blogging, it was to showcase my adventures to friends and family. From there, it molded into answering common questions that people would send me. When I realized I was spending more time blogging and doing social media work than my actual job, I decided something needed to change.

I never thought about stopping. That would have been easy. But NOT an option for me. I am committed to serving this community.

So what did I do: I monetized my blog and turned it into a business. This was definitely not the easy route or cheap route. In 2017 I estimated that I spent 15k in start up expenses related to web design, courses on blogging (yes, I had to learn to do what I’m doing), camera equipment, and networking events. This is on top of the hundreds of unpaid hours that I spent writing, photographing, answering questions, coding, designing, etc, etc.

There have been so many times during the last two years where I thought I was digging myself into a bigger hole. I wanted to stop, throw in the towel. But alas, here I am. Living proof that a women in healthcare, a Speech-Language Pathologist, can start and run a successful business. I say this because if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!

I’m so happy for the support that I’ve found in the healthcare entrepreneur crowd. Initially, when I launched my business, I was afraid of internet trolling. I’ve seen a stigma against people (especially female business owners) in healthcare making money non-clinically. An overriding old school sense of “you should do it for free” in the air. I’m happy to have found my tribe of successful women (and men!) who support each other and other newcomers along the way.

I’ve created a life that I love. I can write, inspire and help others, work as an SLP, and travel the world! If you want to create, build something, or do something new, I’m telling you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The bottom line here is to BELIEVE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE!

What’s Next for Me?

To be honest, I don’t know. When I started blogging, I thought that if I created all of the blogs and resources and put them out there, that I would have less work to do. I started blogging and running a Facebook group as a hobby for a couple of hours a week. Now, I spend 30+ hours a week in creating content, doing research, communicating with travelers/recruiters, solving problems, and moderating an online community of 7k people.

The truth of the matter is that the more work I do, the more work I find for myself. The bigger the blog and the community grow, the more I need to do. I realized that I couldn’t possibly do it all on my own and began outsourcing work to designers and an editor.

I no longer see myself having the time or flexibility to work 13-week travel assignments as a full-time SLP and maintain my business, even if I bring in extra help. However, I do see the possibility to contract to facilities for a shorter time frame, work part-time, or on a PRN basis. The nice thing about owning a web-based business is that I can do it from anywhere. It gives me flexibility to take a registry job in California and still be able to work on my projects.

I also envision the blog taking my readers to different places in the coming years! I want to get back to my passion, which is international travel, and take you to places that you have never been. Capturing exotic locations and inspiring you to travel there as well!

Thank You!

None of this crazy year would be possible without you, my readers and supporters! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of your support, love, and motivation.

By being a voice and sharing your stories, you help others to travel and prepare for their journeys! Seeing your questions, posts, and pictures motivates me to work harder to help you on your travel path. Thank you!

This blog has turned from a hobby to a business and I cannot thank you enough for supporting my business. By clicking ads, or buying products, you help to support this blog to produce more content, resources, and inspiration to the community. Thank you!

Final Thoughts

A year goes by very quickly. It seems like yesterday I was going through new hire orientation. Things change, you change, and your path may change. If you are in a perm job and want to travel: what are you waiting for? If you are a traveler and thinking that it’s time to go perm: give it a shot! You don’t know until you try. As for me, continue to follow along to see what’s next!

PS: Comment below if you want to learn more about the business of blogging. I can do a series of blogs on the business of blogging. It’s definitely challenging and not for the faint of heart!

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  • Reply
    Jessica Hirlima
    August 1, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Julia! Great post and so inspiring to hear your various routes of success! I’d love to read some posts on blogging!

    • Reply
      Julia Kuhn
      August 2, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks Jessica! I definitely need to make some “how to” posts on blogging! Seems like there is a lot of interest out there 🙂

  • Reply
    Alison
    August 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    I would love to learn about blogging! I’ve mafe attempts before, but never knew enough to follow through

    • Reply
      Julia Kuhn
      August 2, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      I will definitely post more about blogging! Consistency is key – one of the hardest parts is staying motivated and having ideas to post regularly.

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