Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Schwartz.
Linda, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2013, I was working in a corporate job, and truth be told, I was miserable. I was working 80 hours a week, I never got to see my friends, and I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. In my heart of hearts, I knew that my life was meant for more than working at a job I hated and living the way I was – that I was meant to live a creative life.
One Thursday morning, I came into work and had a few minutes to spare before I opened up the office. I decided to let myself dream a little. At the time, my biggest fantasy was to sell everything and eat my way around the world. A super lofty dream that a lot of people have when they’re stressed out. I just wanted to get away for a while, so I looked for one-way tickets to all the places I’d love to go – Paris, Milan, Tahiti, Fiji… and then it struck me that my friend was putting together a group trip to Bali. So looked for a one-way ticket there. And then another thought struck me, “I wonder if he’s gone yet.” So, I sent him a text message – “Hey, have you gone to Bali yet?” and his reply was, “No, we leave May 17th. Got room for one more!”
And at that moment, I looked at my reflection in the computer screen, said, “F-it.” and bought the one-way ticket.
“Count me in. I bought a one-way ticket.” I texted back to him.
“Is everything okay???” he texted back.
And that was the beginning of my new life.
Needless to say, I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and packed my life into a suitcase and carry-on bag.
I had no intentions of ever coming back to my old life, so when I got rid of everything, that included my professional resume. I knew I was never going to work for someone else ever again – it was in fact, non-negotiable.
I went to Bali and had the time of my life. I stayed there for two months, then came back stateside and went to visit friends and family. In all, I lived out of my suitcase for about six months before I came back to San Diego. Once back here, I decided to move to the mountains to continue to decompress. So, I moved to Idyllwild, CA and lived in a tiny furnished cabin named Iris for about two years.
In that time, I was able to write a book and RELAX. In fact, I didn’t do much of anything. It was a dream to be able to reconnect with nature and recharge my batteries after all the years of working in a corporate job. I took on a few writing jobs to pay the bills and I was content with the simple life I’d created.
And then, I came down to San Diego to facilitate a workshop with a friend and that’s when I met my husband. A year after we started dating, I moved back to San Diego.
We launched an online business on Amazon and did quite well, but after two years, I realized my heart wasn’t in it. So, I decided to go back to my creative roots: Comedy.
I started doing stand up comedy again and had the insight to start a podcast called She Shed Comedy. I built out the shed in my backyard, and that’s how this journey began.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would NEVER recommend anyone quit their jobs to pursue a creative life – unless you have the means to. I was in a very fortunate place in my life to be able to do what I did. I was completely debt free, had money saved up, had started a “side hustle” online that was making money before I quit my job, and wasn’t in a relationship; so I was free to make that decision without impacting how my bills would be paid and without impacting an important relationship.
Starting over from scratch is not easy. There were moments when money got tight and I didn’t know how I was going to eat, but something always came through for me because I kept the faith and was committed to living a creative life.
And on top of that, the biggest thing I had to deal with was self-doubt and reconciling within myself if I was doing the right thing. I knew I could always go back to a corporate job to make “easy money” and go back to the lifestyle I had before, but I knew to do that wasn’t going to make me happy or fulfilled. And I wanted to create a lifestyle that I had full control over. I wanted to build my work around my life and not my life around my work.
I never went to college, in fact, I barely graduated high school. I took the proficiency exam in my sophomore year in high school and technically dropped out. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning but a classroom environment was never my jam. At that time, I also “self-emancipated”, so I became personally responsible for myself at 16 – a very young age.
I consider myself a student of life and a student of other successful people, so I read a lot. In 2014, I read 26 books and took a lot of advice from the authors I read.
And that’s my advice to young women: ALWAYS BE A STUDENT AND **IMPLEMENT** WHAT YOU LEARN. Get good at implementing and experimenting with principles you learn from books, mentors, coaches, (successful) friends and family, seminars, etc… and if something doesn’t work, learn from it and course correct. You’ll learn so much from going through the experience and you’ll learn about what works and what doesn’t work for YOU. You’ll start to build your self-confidence because you’ll know exactly what you’re capable of and that you’re at least willing to take things on and try, even at the risk of falling short or “failing.” (Btw, failing is not a bad thing, it’s an opportunity for learning.)
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m a stand-up comedian, podcast host/producer, and soon to be a commercial actor! (Just signed with commercial agency Avalon Artist Group in LA!! Waaawhooo!!)
I’m a stand-up comedian, so I love to make people laugh. My set revolves highly around my family, specifically my mom (she’s a hoot!).
But what I really love about my work, is what I do on my podcast. She Shed Comedy is a show dedicated to educating and empowering women pursuing a career in comedy. It’s basically a personal development show for funny women and there’s not much out there like it. I have an actual She Shed in my backyard and to me, the She Shed is symbolic for Feminine Creativity and Feminine Power. My mission is to empower women through lighthearted and meaningful conversations as they pursue their careers in comedy. I’m super proud of the show!
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Oh boy… did I mention I read A LOT?!
Some of my all-time favorite books:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Podcasts: Super Soul Conversations w/Oprah
Business Blast Podcast
She Shed Comedy (!!) hehe
- Website: www.sheshedcomedy.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sheshedcomedy
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/sheshedcomedysd
(She Shed Photos): Andrew Reed Photography, (Stand Up Photos): Linda Schwartz