when quit your 9–5 graph, 9–forever

September 19, 2021 — Quitting your job to start a business can be scary, but the longer you stay, the harder it is to leave.

In 2014, I started my first full-time job working as an agency copywriter, and it seemed like a dream come true…

Half an hour from NYC, Fortune 500 clients, good benefits, and a $40k per year salary, which was more than enough to save up money while I grew my freelance design business.

The problem was, I wasn’t cut out for 9–5 life.

I hated filling out time sheets, sitting through pointless meetings, and doing…

July 10, 2021 — If you’re tired of clunky cushion shoes, here’s how to transition to barefoot walking and running.

Hey, my name’s Andrew, and today I’m going to show you how to transition from cushion shoes to barefoot shoes — and if you’re really adventurous, to running completely barefoot!

For anyone who doesn’t know me, I started barefoot running while I was working as a salesman at a run specialty store, and I’ve been injury-free ever for over three years.

But it was hard because there wasn’t much information out there, and the videos I did find were really…

September 22, 2021 — The ratio of followers to following can tell you how focused you are right now as a creative person.

When my Instagram blew up in August of 2020, I went from 60 to 600 followers in one day — and for the first time in my life, more people were following me than I was following.

Feeling grateful, I started going through my followers list and following all kinds of amazing creatives.

Over the next few months, though, my list started shrinking again — and after I spontaneously unfollowed everyone for a social detox, I ended…

September 21, 2021 — Following people is as easy as clicking a button, but how many of them actually inspire you?

When I first got on Instagram in 2014, I had no idea who to follow, so I just started following everyone.

Illustrators, writers, designers, web developers, painters, life coaches, business gurus, celebrities….

It was super inspiring at first, but pretty soon I started to feel lost, scrolling through hundreds of posts from people who were all more creative and successful than me.

But the problem wasn’t jealousy.

I was following so many people, my feed had no focus —…

September 18, 2021 — Fonts save time, but handwriting is the best way to build a unique brand no one else can copy.

Three weeks into my 365 Comics challenge back in 2019, I started to get tired of handwriting all the captions.

I was spending an extra half hour drawing each letter two or three times, and it seemed like a waste of energy for such a small detail — so I decided to make my own font.

It took a few days, but when I was done, I loaded my characters into an app called Fontself, and TADA…out…

September 11, 2021 — Having to explain your art to people is a sign that it’s not quite “there” and needs more work.

In college, I had an advertising professor named Kevin O’Neill who was something of a real-world Don Draper.

I’d go up to his office with a stack of ads and sit there like a deer in the headlights, waiting to see whether I’d win a smile or get run over by a raised eyebrow.

In retrospect, my crippling level of anxiety over a piece of paper with some scribbles on it was hilarious — but (as any…

September 10, 2021 — Frustration can make you obsessed with finding an answer, but are you asking the right question?

For the past week, I’ve been stuck on a sentence.

I was making good progress on one of my video scripts when “TWACK” — my brain got stuck to the page, like it was a piece of fly paper.

Every day, I sat down at the computer, and I started working on the first sentence of a new section in the script, but nothing I wrote sounded right.

I just didn’t have any motivation. And the more that I tried…

August 23, 2021 — Life can get steep, but stress simply comes from being in the wrong gear at the wrong time.

For the past two years, I’ve been fighting this crazy battle with arthritis, and recently it got so bad that I started waking up every day wishing I was dead.

I wasn’t sleeping. My whole body hurt. When I got up in the morning, my knees were so achy I had to hobble around the house like a ninety-year-old war vet.

(I’m thirty).

Funny thing is, though…it wasn’t the pain that had me thinking of ending it all…

August 4, 2021 — When stuck with average works, pick one, and take it past the point where anyone else would quit.

For the first twenty-nine years of my life, I kept trying to land a breakout hit, but it never happened.

No label ever signed my band, I didn’t get a full-ride to college, and I wasn’t hired by an NYC ad agency.

By 2017, I was working sixteen-hours a day as a freelancer — learning new skills, going the extra mile for clients, and cranking out passion projects.

But still…no hits.

It was like I had a limiter…

August 2, 2021 — Adulting can earn you money, but letting your inner kid out to play will make you rich, in more ways than one.

In the summer of 2015, I built my first website and accidentally made $1,000.

The project was for a restaurant owned by my friend Kathy, and I gladly would have done it for free, but she insisted on paying me — and that check changed my life.

For the next three years, I worked like a maniac on my freelance web design business: learning new skills, making contacts, and dialing in my process.


Andrew Folts

Author of 365 Comics. Writer, illustrator, and barefoot writer slinging minimalist tips for creative rebels.

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