Katelyn Cresmer has always been extremely ambitious.  She started freelancing in college.  In 2014, she graduated with an Associates degree in Web Development at 19.  She already had a full-time job with great benefits lined up. Katelyn was making more than her classmates. Everything was good. She was finally the professional she’d always dreamed of being. And, she got to spend her day doing her favorite hobby — coding! Life was great for a 19 year old.

Then the newness wore off and reality set in. She was spending 5/7 days of her week in a cube. “I had to ask permission for anything I wanted to do. I had to bend and cater to people. Another dream of mine was starting my own business. I knew I would get there eventually, but for now I couldn’t think about leaving my job for uncertainty. That is until I had absolutely nothing to do”.

For 8 months straight Katelyn and some of her coworkers were in downtime. “I won’t go into details as to why, but imagine spending 40 hours a week for 8 months with absolutely nothing to do. It was so bad at one point that I read 8 books in one month during my working hours. All this puts a beating on you. I was slowly going crazy. I would spontaneously cry throughout the day, I would dream of getting fired; hoping for it. I was disobeying the dress code and for awhile I was wearing a bright red cape around the office. Just so I can have a little joy. It was bad”.

During this time, Katelyn made the mistake of  venting online which the boss found out and she was fired. “I’ve never been so relieved in my life. I was so scared to quit; so scared of the unknown. But, now, I am thriving more than ever”.  Katelyn has a couple businesses in the works. One is her own web development business, katelynhare.com, another is a blog, backanotch.com. She also writes for several publications online. “It’s just more freeing. I will never go back”.

Katelyn has learned a few lessons along the way.  If she had to do it again, she would have made sure she had an emergency fund.  Things don’t always go exactly as planned and it is useful to have a cushion.  It’s also important to have a business plan and a marketing plan.  She downsized her belongings and her living space as well to save money.  Taking on a minimalist approach to life has been part of her blog – backanotch.com.   She has learned that starting a business does not mean have a spending spree on equipment and supplies. Only buy things when the need for them pop up.

As a result of her escape from the 9 to 5, Katelyn can work when she wants, where she wants and however she wants. “I can sleep until 5pm and work until 2am. I can take 4 hour breaks. I don’t have to ask permission to take time off”.  Her next direction is online education for web developers.  “I’m starting up an online coding school that will give students the same amount of knowledge they would get attending a college. Boring, general education classes included”.