The Make Money Online (MMO) niche is packed with people who built up a passive income on the side, and eventually quit their jobs, often after years of hard work.
Well, for better of worse, I just didn’t have the patience for that. I am not typically the impulsive type, but if I have an idea firmly set in my mind, I will pursue it relentlessly. And that is what I have done over the past few months.
It was just a few months ago, perhaps October, where I decided that whilst passive income is great in principle, it does take time to build up – especially when your capital outlay is low. And by that time, I was positive that I wanted to leave work behind – as soon as possible.
People often email me with their plans for leaving work behind – in 2013, or even 2014. They are planning years in advance for the big move. Now I am not judging those guys and girls – some of whom I am sure are reading this. Everyone has their own methods, and who am I to say that mine is the “right” one? However, I could not do what they are doing. Late last year I decided that I needed to quit, and I needed to do it as soon as possible.
Enter My Savior
Which is when I stumbled onto freelance writing – a whole industry that had previously been hidden to me. The reality is that I have still only seen the tip of the iceberg. However, I am making a reasonable income from that tip.
Freelance writing gave me the freedom to quit my job – and although it isn’t yet covering my outgoings fully, it will in time – with just a few hours work a day. It is the enabler; the catalyst. For everyone who is building their passive income dream on the side whilst still slaving away at their full time jobs, I beg you to consider how much more you could do if you freelance. It doesn’t have to be writing – pretty much anyone can freelance. You would be amazed at what skills can be monetized – just check out some of the listings over at oDesk and Elance.
I honestly believe that the vast majority of people have a skill set that is suitable for making money online. I honestly believe that given the right level of drive and determination, most of you could be running your own online business within months. The biggest problem is mindset. And it is my intention in this post to right your mindset, and get you thinking in a way that will open doors of opportunity in your mind.
So let’s take a look at why quitting your job is awesome (or, why you should be in business).
1. It Changes Everything
When I was in my job, Leaving Work Behind and my MMO efforts often felt like a distraction. The majority of my attention was still with my job. And from a practical perspective, that makes perfect sense. I was of the mind that my side endeavour was a hopeful stab in the dark – something that probably wouldn’t pay off, but was worth a try.
As long as I had that attitude, I was never going to get as much out of my business as I could. And that attitude remained with me – right up until the day I quit my job.
Until you get to the point where there is no security to fall back on, you will never have as much desire for your online business as you could do. Believe me. When you quit your job and there is only your wits and whatever safety net you have in place separating you from bankruptcy, you will see everything in a new light.
2. It Gives You Ownership
Plenty of people have (politely) asked me what the point is in quitting a job just to get another one. They are alluding to the fact that my income is currently derived from freelance writing – and they just see that as another job. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
For me, the defining feature of a “job” is that you lack control. Yes, you can work hard, and then maybe you will get a promotion and a raise, but your entire potential for success is ultimately in the hands of a 3rd party.
That is simply not the case when you run your own business. You decide who you work with. You set your rates. You decide how many hours you want to work. You are in the driving seat, and you have a direct impact on how much you earn. Work more hours – earn more money. Increase your hourly rate – earn more money. Don’t like a client – drop them. No problem. It’s all you.
3. You Are Working Towards Something
How many of you feel like your career is going nowhere? You’re dissatisfied, dejected, and feel like you’re at a dead end. You feel like there is nothing you can do about it. Well under the right circumstances, you should never feel that way when you are in business.
Even if you feel like your current direction isn’t where you want to be heading, if you have a suitably-sized safety net, you can always change your course. And if business is going well, you will find yourself waking up every morning with great enthusiasm – ready to spend another day pushing your business forward. It is hard to replicate that feeling with a job.
4. It Gives You Flexibility
I created and manage my default diary. I decide what I am doing, and when. I can utilize my “peak hours” (i.e. the hours at which I am most productive) as I see fit. Moreover, I can work as little or as much as I want (within reason).
Say you are a husband and a father, and you want to spend more time with your family. If you’re in business, that is possible.
When it comes to establishing a lifestyle where your work doesn’t run your life, there is this awful disconnect in most people between outgoings and income. The simple fact is, if you want to work less, you need to do one of two things (or both):
- Increase your income per hour worked
- Decrease your outgoings
Option 1 can take time to achieve. For most of us, option 2 is so easy. It really is a matter of considering how much you value your time. If the finance on your beautiful car, the expensive cable package, and the $300 you spend a month eating out is worth it, then fine. But if you stop and assess how much you value your time, you might reconsider. Your business doesn’t necessarily have to match your current outgoings. Just reduce them.
Earning six figures is overrated, unless that is your main drive in life. If instead you are happy to just work a few hours a day and spend more time on the things that are most important to you, why not do that? Money will never make you as happy as quality time spent doing the things you love, with the people you love.
5. It Gives You Control
I mentioned above that as long as you have a job, your destiny is always in the hands of a third party. But when you run your own business, your destiny is in your hands. Yes, markets can shift and the economy can tank, but there is nothing anyone can do about that. As much as it is possible, running your own business gives you the power (and the responsibility) to create success.
Whether I succeed or fail over the coming months depends entirely upon how I perform. It is all on me. What position would you rather be in:
- In control of a situation where you could fail
- In a situation over which you have no control (but you could still fail)
Think about it.
What Is Holding You Back?
Let me make something perfectly clear at this stage – I am not saying that you should walk into your boss’ office tomorrow and hand in your notice. I advocate strongly that you should only ever quit your job under the correct circumstances. But speaking in the present, leaving work behind has been one of the best decisions I have ever made - better than I could have possibly imagined.
When I was in my job, my future was to a large extent preordained. I would have earned more and more money, my stature and reputation would have grown, and I would have been unhappy. Those things were almost a given. But now, my future is an absolute mystery. And I love it.
I want you to do something for me. I want you to give me just one reason why you can’t leave work behind. If you have a good reason, then you can continue to work towards getting rid of it. If you don’t have a good reason, maybe now is the time to reconsider your options.
Creative Commons image courtesy of Stuck in Customs