Should I quit my marketing business and switch careers?

Post date: 2024-06-15 03:40:01
Views: 17
I run a marketing business which has struggled for the past two years. I'm considering whether to pivot, change careers, or find an in-house or agency job. I have lots of experience but am burned out. Should I try to turn my business around or look for a new career path?

Follow-up to this question. Thank you!

I run a marketing business that has had a rough two years. I am the owner/only full-time employee and have two freelance admins who work for me as well as graphic designers/video editors/other freelancers I hire per project.

I have been a self-employed consultant since 2017 and my business is only on track to earn $90,000 before expenses this year. In 2023 we only generated gross of $65,000. In previous years we grossed anywhere from $120,000-$200,000. After expenses, I'm struggling to meet my take-home salary of $60,000.

I'm really burned out and trying to figure out whether to change careers, pivot my business, or get a job in-house or at an agency.

THE GOOD:
- I'm in my early 40s. My wife has a well-paying job, so we're not at risk of being on the street. Even if my lost all my income, we could get by with some belt tightening.
- My kiddo is about to start kindergarten in the fall, which means my wife and I will now have an additional $2000+ month free since we're not paying for preschool or private occupational therapy for him anymore.
- My company works on a wide range of projects. In the past year, for instance, I helped clients design interactive experiences and write UX scripts for trade shows/conventions and museums, hosted and produced a B2B podcast, trained corporate executives and high-profile engineers for keynote speeches, ghostwrote LinkedIn posts for higher-ups at Fortune 500 companies and wrote internal documentation and YouTube tutorials for an AI startup.
- I have run a business for seven years and have deep experience supervising contractors, with project management, account management/working with clients, working with bookkeepers, managing P&Ls, etc.
- More broadly speaking, I'm great at building complicated projects, working with lots of different data sources/reference materials on projects, and explaining complicated things simply.
- I know how to work with Excel/Sheets, PowerPoint, Google Docs, Creative Cloud and ChatGPT/Claude in my sleep.
- I'm in a major metro (Chicago) with lots of opportunities in my field.

THE BAD:
- From my experiences, freelance + contractor rates in the marketing and advertising rates are plummeting. I used to easily charge $150+/hr while now I'm lucky if I get $120/hr. There have been so many creatives and industry folks laid off in the past few years that the market is absolutely flooded with other senior- and mid-level folks working with freelancers doing similar work to what I currently do.
- We don't live close to any family, so we don't have any family support with our kid. This makes working more than 40 hours a week harder.
- I'm also helping an elderly parent remotely with medical issues/insurance/coordinating with caseworkers, which is a part-time job in itself and is wearing me the hell out. They are non-compliant with doctors' orders and it leads to frequent issues I have to intervene in.

Part of me just wants to do a career change to anything where I can earn $100,000+ a year and not be stuck working on my laptop at 9 or 10pm when the kid's asleep after a full day of work, another part of me wants to see what I can do to turn my business around.

Any advice
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