Name: Crosby Melendi
Occupation: Digital Marketing Strategist & Content Writer + Travel & Career Blogger
Current Location: Traveling through Colorado, USA
Services: Social media marketing (strategy, content creation, community management), brand identification and strategy development, and content writing (blog posts, articles, email & web copy)
Instagram: @crosbygracetravels – https://www.instagram.com/crosbygracetravels/
What are you currently working on?
I am currently freelancing for a small, start-up social media agency. My role is strategizing and managing internal and client social media accounts, as well as writing blog posts for their website. Before the pandemic, I had about three clients at any given time, but right now I’m just focusing on one so I have enough time and energy for my own personal brand and blog.
In addition to freelancing, I’m posting weekly blog posts on my blog Crosby Grace Travels, building up my email list, and creating a strong online community in the hopes of transitioning from freelancer to solopreneur in the near future. That’s the ultimate goal!
Aside from work, I’ve been spending my time converting my Jeep Wrangler into a livable camper vehicle that my sister and I will be living and traveling in for the next few weeks! We just embarked on our cross-country road trip from Florida to Colorado to explore the amazing natural wonders of Colorado, Utah and Arizona. I’ll be working remotely while I’m out there, so it’ll definitely be the digital nomad experience of a lifetime.
Looking back, what was the number one thing that was holding you back from living this lifestyle?
Being bred to work a traditional corporate job definitely held me back for a while. I studied strategic communications in college and for the first three years, I thought agency life was the only possible career path in my industry. The entire curriculum of my major was based on the assumption that you graduated from college and either worked for a marketing/ PR agency or joined an in-house PR team. There was no talk of freelancing or entrepreneurship – I had to find those options myself – and most of my peers are still dumbfounded by the idea that you can do something outside of agency or corporate work. It’s crazy that the educational system hasn’t adapted to the digital age yet, and it’s holding a lot of people back who may not look for other options on their own. Once I realized that the corporate world wasn’t the only option, I dove into remote work pretty much immediately.
How did the idea for your business come about?
Ironically, I decided to break away from the “traditional” career path and become a remote entrepreneur while working at my “dream company.” Or so I thought it was for over two years.
When I was still under the impression that agency life was my only option, I set my sights on one specific female-run global PR firm. I was absolutely determined to start my career at this world-renowned agency for more than two years. After an extremely intense application process, I was accepted into the agency’s competitive fellowship program in the summer before my senior year of college, and I was absolutely thrilled. This was where I thought I would start my career.
But halfway through the fellowship, I began thinking, “Is this it? Is this really all there is to life?”
I looked around at the upper-level executives, and there was not one person whose job I craved. That was my first indication that this might not be the career for me.
Then I traveled to Idaho for a week in the middle of my fellowship, and my entire outlook on life shifted. I realized that YES – there is more to life than sitting at a cubicle for 50 hours a week. There is more to life than working for someone else’s dream rather than my own. So I started looking into ways that I could work remotely, and freelancing seemed like the most feasible option at the time.
Two weeks later, I landed my first client. And at the end of summer, I left my “dream company” with no regrets.
What belief or habit has most impacted your life?
My most impactful belief is that I am in control of the trajectory of my life – nobody else.
I stopped blaming outside sources for my problems, and I started looking inward at how I could change my circumstances. Once I realized the power I had within myself, my confidence and motivation went through the roof. Rather than dreaming about working and traveling the world, I now take action to make it happen. I no longer seek solutions from external things; I find it within myself. That mindset shift impacted my life more profoundly than just about anything.