Nov 3, 2021

[we've been thinking]

Nov 3, 2021

We left our Corporate Jobs 6 Months Ago | 7 Things we have learnt.

6 months ago we walked away from everything we knew. We turned our back on our seemingly “successful” corporate careers, on steady pay cheques and fairly guaranteed futures to leap into the unknown (to us) of freelancing and travel.


Over this past month we created our first YouTube video (Check it out here) and in this process we went through bits and pieces of footage we had taken over the last year. One thing that struck us from some of those first clips through to the present day, was how much we have physically transformed. JP particularly. At the beginning of this year, when he turned 30, he was physically and mentally stressed more than ever and that was clearly showing in his appearance. He had lost a lot of weight and his skin was taking on that grey, unhealthy tinge of someone who never saw the sun and was surviving on little sleep.


For both of us, our sleep patterns were disturbed, most nights only getting 4-6 hours and on those nights we did sleep a full 8 hours, it was restless and full of anxiety ridden dreams. We were really battling to get any movement in our days because of the hours demanded of us, and when we did have a few spare moments we were both so drained that the only action we could entertain was a night spent on the couch watching mindless tv, and ordering take-outs.


We knew we wanted more and as mentioned before (but incase you are new here) when I (Sarah) ended up in hospital from a breakdown, we knew that it was time we made a change and imperative that we made it soon. In December 2020, we went off on a little trip to the Underberg, South Africa (Check it out here) and we reconnected with each other and ourselves. We spent that entire trip talking about the kind of life we envisioned ourselves having, the kind of risks we were prepared to take and what we needed to do in order to make this our reality. One thing became extremely clear. We needed to make a drastic plan, we needed time to recoup our lives and health and the only way to do so, was to leave our corporate lives. Both of us!


So we started to develop a plan. Lucky for us, a few months prior we had started a large savings plan (we had been unhappy and wanting to travel for a long time) and started to funnel as much money as possible each month into this account. We then gave ourselves a deadline to leave our jobs. For us, a time period of 3 months seemed as much as we could handle and so we handed in our resignations straight away to ensure that we could not back out. We gave our company 3 months notice and stuck to that deadline.


On May 03 2021, we woke up, went into the office for the last time since we started working from home to hand back our electronics and equipment, it was official, we were on our own as freelancers. The real journey had began.


We began the process of setting up our own Architecture and Creative Studio and started accepting work with other creatives. Our company is in its infant stage and will no doubt shift and grow with us, but we are so pleased with the progress we have made so far, and all that we have learnt about ourselves and the lifestyle we want.


We cannot believe how quickly 6 months has gone, how much we have grown and shifted. Every week we wake up to a new challenge or a new way of thinking. We are constantly moving, adjusting, readjusting, learning and unlearning. Some days it’s overwhelming and we do struggle with the unknown however we are learning in those moments to strip back, lean on each other and focus on what brings us peace and joy. Most days though, we cannot believe that this is our life now. We are so full of gratitude that we have been able to come this far in 6 months.


It has absolutely been a bit of a roller-coaster ride to say the least but in the past 6 months we have learnt 7 very valuable things:

1. There is way more to life than Architecture (and by extension any "work" really)

Architecture will forever be our number one passion. We derive much joy and purpose from helping people realise their design dreams but this cannot be our lives 24/7. We have a multitude of other dreams and we need to dedicate our time to making them come true. We have come to realise that we require multiple creative exploits outside of architecture in order to keep our creative minds flowing and at work and so we are adamant to make time to explore our other creative selves.

2. No one really knows what they are doing.

One of the first thoughts of resistance that we had towards leaving our jobs, was, “who are we to do this alone? Do we have enough experience? Can we make this work?”  However,  the more you head down this path, the more you realise that so many people are learning as they go and making it up along the way. We just keep telling ourselves, “if others can do this, why can’t we?”

3. Learn to go with the flow of life.

One of the first thoughts of resistance that we had towards leaving our jobs, was, “who are we to do this alone? Do we have enough experience? Can we make this work?”  However,  the more you head down this path, the more you realise that so many people are learning as they go and making it up along the way. We just keep telling ourselves, “if others can do this, why can’t we?”

4. Our Health is as important (if not more) than our work.

Last year, we really let our health slide. Our sleep, nutrition and physical health was almost non-existent. In the last 6 months we have made it our top priority to sleep as much as we need, exercise as much as our body wants and to focus on eating wholesome food that makes us feel good. We cannot believe the difference in our energy levels, our happiness and our resilience to stress. Now, even in times of heavy work loads, we make sure that those three aspects of our life are not being neglected.

5. An amazing Shift happens when your time, is completely your time.

I mentioned in No 1 that there is more to life than Architecture, however we have found, since being able to craft our days as we see fit, being able to work in hours that suit us, rather than just showing up for hours because we “have too”, that we have loved our work that much more. Our projects excite us and keep us drawn to our desks. There is an immense power in knowing that each hour we work, we are directly earning money for ourselves. Our focus and productivity has also increased, because now, the quicker we get the work done, the more time we can spend exploring or lounging on the beach.

6. It’s important to know your worth and appreciate your value.

We are still in the process of learning how best to charge and value our billable time, but one thing we can say, we have truly learnt the value of not taking any old paid work at really low rates, just for moneys sake. We have valuable skills and bring plenty to the table and so we need to value that when we put together fee proposals and statements. It’s hard when you are starting a new business, but it so important to appreciate what you are worth, to have a bench mark for what you are willing to earn (but be reasonable obviously) and stick to it.

7. Deciding on your own path really boosts your self esteem

You will be amazed at how confidently and quickly you can make decisions when you work for yourself and how you make a decision that turns out to be the right direction, it really boosts your self-esteem. Like in No2, it may feel like you don’t know what you are doing in the beginning, and maybe you don’t, that’s OK, but you will figure it out once you know where you are headed. The point is, you have to make a decision at the end of the day, but it is your decision, no one can tell you otherwise.

It’s been an amazing ride thus far and even though we are still new to this entrepreneurial and creative freelancer life, but we  cannot wait to see where the next 6 months takes us. We have so many more goals and ideas and cannot wait to see the shifts that occur going forward.


Are you a small business owner, work for yourself or freelance? Perhaps you work for another company, but on flexi-hours. What have you learnt in the process of having this different level of freedom? We would love to know in the comments below.

Stay Adventurous, Keep Exploring & Play more, 

Until Next time, Sarah and JP. 

7 Responses

  1. Incredible! This blog looks exactly lioe my old one!
    It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty
    much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

    My page; diy repair (Leslee)

  2. I’ll right away grasp your rss feed as I can not fid your email subscription linjk orr newslletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly aallow me realize so that I could subscribe.


    My page: ccie rack rentals (

  3. If you are going for finest contents like myself, simply
    go to see thks website everyday since it gives quality contents, thanks

    Also visit myy page; chevrolet repair manual (Anita)

  4. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

    Here is my web-site … electrical troubles at home (Thad)


Processing our First Year as Digital Nomads

One Year of living as Digital Nomads!
This means that it has been over a year of no permanent address, of carrying all our belongings in two suitcases and our backpacks and bouncing around every few months. We cannot believe how different our life has become.

Read More »

6 Steps we Took to Create the Life we Craved.

How did we say goodbye to our corporate careers for a life as digital nomads. A year ago, we never thought this would be possible and here we are 4 months after saying goodbye to our corporate careers, living our dream. How did we get to this point?

Read More »

Get In Touch!

How can we help you?
How can we reach you?
Where can we reach you?