From Middle Manager to Freelancer: Escaping the Mundane and Embracing Freedom

As I sit down to reflect on my time as a district manager for Metro by T-Mobile in Des Moines, Iowa, I’m reminded of the demanding and often exhausting life of a middle manager in the retail industry. From juggling the expectations of executives to managing the needs of employees and customers, it was a role that required constant attention and unwavering dedication.

Transitioning from a store manager for both T-Mobile and Sprint to a district manager role in the summer of 2018, I found myself entrenched in the daily grind of stakeholder expectations, employee needs, customer demands, and operational challenges. Despite the title and the supposed prestige that came with it, the reality was far from glamorous. Long hours, endless meetings, and the constant pressure to meet sales targets left me feeling drained and disillusioned.

But perhaps the most frustrating aspect of my role was the lack of autonomy and control over my own life. Despite my best efforts, I often found myself at the mercy of quotas, restrictions, and a lack of resources, with little room for creativity or innovation.

It was during this time that I began to question whether this was truly the life I wanted for myself. Was I destined to spend my days at the mercy of customers, answering to others and sacrificing my own happiness for the sake of a paycheck?

In December of 2018, I made a bold decision to take control of my own destiny and break free from the chains of retail servitude. I transitioned from the world of middle management to the realm of freelancing and entrepreneurship, and it was the best decision I ever made.

By becoming a freelancer, I gained the freedom and flexibility to work on my own terms, without the constraints of a traditional 9-to-5 job. No longer bound by office politics or corporate hierarchies, I was finally able to unleash my creativity and pursue my passions on my own terms.

But perhaps the most significant change was the dramatic improvement in my quality of life. No longer shackled to a demanding schedule or beholden to the whims of corporate execs in some far away state, I found myself with more time to spend with loved ones, pursue hobbies, and explore the world around me.

Since making the switch to freelancing, my income has soared, and my opportunities for growth and advancement have multiplied exponentially. By starting my own agency, I’ve been able to diversify my income streams and build a thriving business that allows me to live life on my own terms.

But perhaps the greatest reward of all has been the opportunity to travel the world and experience new cultures firsthand. From the bustling streets of Rome to the serene beaches of Playa del Carmen, I’ve had the privilege of exploring some of the most beautiful corners of the globe, all while earning a living from my laptop.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my journey, it’s that life is too short to settle for mediocrity. For anyone feeling trapped in a dead-end job or longing for something more out of life, I urge you to take the leap and pursue your passions with everything you’ve got. Whether it’s starting your own business, freelancing, or traveling the world, the possibilities are endless – all you have to do is take the first step.

So here’s to breaking free from the mundane, embracing freedom, and living life on your own terms. The journey may be daunting, but the rewards are more than worth it. And remember, the only limits are the ones you place on yourself.

Here’s to a life of adventure, fulfillment, and endless possibilities.


Lance Ulin