Have you ever thought about what it would be like to work for yourself? Just you and your laptop figuring it all out?
No boss, no commute, and no schedule?
If you could make money online what would you do with your days? Be a travel blogger? Teach people something that comes naturally to you?
Most people will have something they want to do other than being at work full-time.
Eventually, I reached my breaking point, I knew it was time to try this “make money online while doing what you love” thing. How hard could it be?
Well, I did just that, six months ago today! I left my easy, high paying six-figure job to venture out on my own.
The main reasons were to help people live their best life, earn money online side hustling, and pursue professional golf as it requires a lot of time (and money).
At the six month mark, I can say some of it has been as expected while other parts have been very different.
Before you flip your desk over and give your notice make sure to read this to learn more about what it’s like to work for yourself “doing what you love.”
My Original Goals
When I left my job I had almost no money coming in — “cardinal sin” that everyone other blogger or entrepreneur will tell you to do before quitting.
Most people would recommend having an established side hustle or part-time gig to have some guaranteed income.
I literally had none….whoops.
My thought was, save up enough for 12 months of living (on a reduced budget) and figure out the rest.
It’s a bold move and one I wouldn’t recommend to many. But, taking this risk has made me hustle, learn a ton, and forced me to find new ways to make money without working for anyone else.
Here are three other myths and three truths when it comes to making money online.
Myth #1: Freelancing Is Easy
Even though I hadn’t done any freelance writing before I felt I had read enough income reports from other bloggers it would be easy.
My thought was, “I’m a blogger…how hard can it be?”
The answer….Much harder than expected.
I’ve gotten some writing gigs but blogging for yourself is very different than finding paid writing gigs.
I also thought if you got featured in Business Insider, Entrepreneur, or Huffington Post you would be getting paid. That is actually rarely the case unless you are a recurring writer….
If you want to start freelance writing I recommend you do the following:
Create a Personal Site
For example, mine is michaelleonard.net. Most likely you will want to use your first and last name. If you have a blog don’t just use that as your “portfolio.”
It’s important to differentiate and brand yourself with a personal website.
Establish a Niche
I really underestimated that you need to have a niche for your freelance writing. Clients want to see that you specialize in something specific like personal finance, copywriting, sales, etc.
I was trying to do a little of everything and think I lost a lot of potential clients by trying to be a jack of all trades.
Freelance writing is very competitive, you have to become relentless when it comes to finding clients. You will send a lot of emails, be rejected, and even worse…never hear back from a lot of them. It’s part of the business.
The first few months I was kind of just exploring the ways to make money online but a big mistake I made was to not set specific freelance goals.
If you are thinking of starting any side hustle I recommend setting these goals:
- Monthly income goal
- Pitch X number of clients
- Create X number of work samples
- Read X number of freelance articles
Myth #2: Making Money off Ads
Finally, in September I made decent money from Google Adsense on the site!
In September I made $263 and in October I made $450…like I said “decent” money. I would hardly call it “passive income” as you have to write posts but it is possible to make money from ads.
When I first started blogging I didn’t have Google ads in too many places on my site or many readers. Looking back I would have researched and figured out the best places for ads on my site.
Myth #3: Write It and They Will Come
Why Doesn’t Anyone Read My Blog?
This was a question I asked myself…a lot.
There are over 150 million blogs online. You have to create epic content, market, and promote the hell out of your site if you want eyeballs reading your content.
I have successfully grown my blog over 1,200% this year. Although it wasn’t easy, it’s exciting to have so many people reading your message.
But it does come with a ton of work. “Write it and they will come” is simply not a strategy.
You need to spend 20% writing content and 80% promoting it on social media.
Related: 5 Myths of Starting a Blog
I published two books this year through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace:
I’m super proud of these and they have made some money, not nearly as much as I thought. It’s very similar to a blog, writing is important but promoting is even more important.
If there are any self-published authors out there and have any tips I won’t say no to advice 🙂
That being said they have made over $1,500 which is a cool number in itself. Be sure to check out these previous income reports as well:
Past Income Reports
- June Income Report – $2,035
- July Income Report – $1,001
- August Income Report – $1,686
- September Income Report – $1,736
- October Income Report – $2,256
While it hasn’t all been sunshine, rainbows, and bags of money there has been a ton of upsides to the self-employed life.
Here are the three truths when it comes to working for yourself:
Truth #1: Freedom is Worth It
If you’ve longed to not have a specific schedule or commute then you are in for a treat. Even though it hasn’t been as “easy” as I thought it would be the freedom is absolutely amazing.
This was one of the biggest problems I had with a traditional 9-5…why is it that everyone has to work the same hours to accomplish the same tasks?
Not having to submit a ticket for time off, explain if you need to stay home for the cable guy, or just don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas makes it worth it entirely.
I’ve also loved that you can travel while doing this type of work and not have to worry. As long as you have your laptop and an internet connection you can keep working anywhere.
Would you take a pay cut to work on something you love and answer to no one?
Truth #2: Creativity Flows When You Find Your Passion
Do you ever feel spurts of creativity when you are working towards something you really care about?
It could be a new project at work on a subject you like, a side hustle you just got started, or a league you joined.
The human brain is capable of accomplishing amazing things, but often times the monotonous day to day activities don’t push our brain to new levels.
For example, when I was working my full-time job my daily routine would be exercise, work, blog (sometimes) but spend a ton of time watching sports or Netflix and read occasionally. The problem with this is that I was never pushing my brain to learn and solve problems.
It’s super easy to get content in your day job and not be forced to use your creativity learn something new.
But when you are working for yourself and working on something you like daily, you are constantly forced to solve problems and learn new skills….quickly.
My favorite part of being my own boss has been to see my mind shift when it comes to solving tough problems. Whether I need to reach out to a new blogger, take a new course, or read a new book I’m always searching for the answer.
Truth 3: You’ve Got to Hustle
There is no way around it, if you want to work on your own without a boss or someone looking over you hustle is 100% necessary.
Hustle, drive, motivation, discipline….whatever you want to call it, you have to have it to be successful.
I won’t lie, I’ve had to find my hustle as I think it got tucked away when I was in the real world for the past 6 years.
After visiting FINCON and meeting other people doing the same thing as me I have re-energized my hustle. I have a ton of work to do and things I’d like to accomplish but am confident in following the vision.
I hope this post shows you the goods and bads of being your own boss and working at home full-time.
At the end of the day I love it.
I love the challenge. It requires discipline, focus, and a ton of self-belief to keep going when you can’t see the light through all the shit.
I fully believe anyone could do this if they wanted as long as they had a strong enough vision (know your why) and plan ahead.
Is self-employment something you’ve wanted to do? What’s stopping you…money, insurance, family doubts?
Let me know in the comments 🙂
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