This article may seem like a bit of a contradiction compared to what I am usually promoting and talking about around here.
As you all know I quit my day job.
I also had built a successful business that created passive income. Then I sold that business and I use that money to invest and create more passive income.
But ultimately I got something else from all of these experiences that I have had.
I got a job.
I got a job that I really, really like.
You might call this new job of mine “alternative income.”
It is not like a typical day job.
I don’t have a boss to deal with or office politics.
I don’t have to set my alarm clock if I don’t want to.
I don’t have to deal with performance reviews or annual employee evaluations.
I still technically have a “boss” but I never see him and I never talk to him either. He expects certain work done and I do it for him. He pays me for it. We email once per month and that is it. I have spoke to him on the phone maybe twice in the last 18 months.
This is freelance income. I work freelance on a per word basis.
Instead of building a new business for myself I have found it more desirable to build someone else’s business for them. That way it shifts the risks over to them and I get a steady income.
There are many advantages to a steady income. This is doubly true if you have already had one “payday” and you now have a pile of money invested.
But I want to point something else out to all of the aspiring entrepreneurs out there:
It’s easier to build wealth with a job than it is with a business.
Sure, it sounds sexy and appealing to start a business and then grow it so that you create freedom. But this is actually the more difficult path.
I always tell people that I got lucky with my business. But the truth is that I have published over 2 million words of original content online.
I want you to do me a favor. Sit down and start typing up articles about your favorite subject. Count the words. Let me know when you get to 2 million.
Because that is how much EXTRA WORK that I did before I hit my big payday.
And to be honest, before I even had any steady income from the site I was pushing up close to 1 million words of published content.
So maybe I should not be telling people that I got lucky. Because really this is giving them a false hope that they might get lucky too. The truth is that I write incredibly fast and I am a monster when it comes to creating new content and I have put in days where I created 25 articles and clocked over 20,000 words of new published content.
This is not typical.
If you want results similar to mine then you need to take similar actions. Don’t just write 100 articles and build a few links and expect money to rain down on you from out of nowhere. That is not how I “got lucky.” No, I got lucky by writing and writing and writing some more. If you love to write and you typically write several thousand new words of content each day then by all means, start yourself a new business.
But I have a more realistic suggestion for everyone that is much more in line with my own experience, and is much more in line with how I actually created success for myself:
Go put in the work. Do the work first, learn how to hustle up the income from your skills before you try to turn it into a business.
That means if you want to make money online you should master freelance writing first. Learn how to earn $1,000/month from freelance before you try to create a website that can produce $100/month in passive income. Learn to crawl before you try to walk.
Go to Textbroker dot com or head over to Guru.com or go to Elance or find some job boards. There are all of these Internet marketing people out there right now who will pay you good money to write them a new book for Kindle.
If you want to run your own business online and earn passive income then I suggest you master the tools that will allow you to build that empire FIRST and foremost. Put in the work and actually go build something, go hustle up a paycheck, go do some freelance work for someone and master the skills.
If you want to earn passive income some day then you need to learn how to create real value first.
Or maybe you just want to run a real world business and expect that the Internet is going to bring you free leads or free traffic so that you can gain new customers.
This is a case of “inside out” thinking. It is backwards. Instead, go start your “real world business” and start doing whatever you are going to do for real customers, and then later once you are turning a profit you should add on the website and order your business cards that have your URL on them. Having a website is not going to generate business or leads. The website doesn’t do anything on its own. It just sits there. If you want traffic to that website then you have to go hustle it up for yourself, or put in a few years of work in order to get the search engines to send you free traffic.
Folks, none of this is easy. Owning a running even a part time business is very competitive, and quite honestly it is easier to just have a regular job.
Take me, for example. I was lucky enough to build a stream of passive income once and here I am, still working a regular (freelance) job for regular income. I have some projects on the side to try to build a business down the road but I am not expecting an instant miracle. I am realistic enough to pay my bills first by putting in honest work and creating real value for someone, and then later in my free time I work on my “legacy project” that will hopefully turn a profit in the future.
Call me risk-averse if you like. Call me a chicken or a sell out. But today I realize that the easiest way to build wealth is to get a steady paycheck and then cut your expenses down to the bone. I know exactly how hard it is to build a profitable business and I have a good idea of what my true dollar-per hour is when I am trying to create a future income stream.
I inspire a lot of people to create websites. The problem is that most of these people should be inspired to roll up their sleeves and earn active income first so that they can learn the ropes of business building from the ground up.
There are lots of people out there who will pay any freelancer to give them value and build them a website. They are taking the risk and giving you an instant paycheck. You have a choice to make: will you take the instant paycheck, or will you turn your nose up at that income and try to risk it all on the idea that you can build your own business and become profitable some day?
Me, I am trying to convince people to take the instant paycheck first, learn the skills, and then expand into their own business later on.
This is a more accurate description of how I built my own empire. I did not just quit my day job and then start this ultra successful business that went viral for me. No, I worked hard the whole time and in fact I worked a full time job while I was building my business. Therefore I cannot really advise someone who wants to start from scratch and somehow earn money online without being willing to work freelance in any way. Most people want to take a risk and get this dream job for themselves (business ownership) when in fact they just need to hustle for income right now. They need to take action and get results but they don’t want to do it. In many ways it would easier for them to just go get a day job. Which is not always a bad idea, even though jobs suck.
If I had to start over from scratch right now I would probably use a 5 year plan to build my independence:
1) Go get a day job. Any job. Put in 40 hours/week.
2) Start freelancing on the side, in addition to the 40 hour/week day job.
3) Take on roommates and ditch my car for 5 years. Lower expenses below $1,000/month and possibly get them as low as $700/month or so.
4) Bank at least $2,000/month for the next 5 years straight.
5) Invest money after 5 years and then continue to live frugal. Quit the day job and continue to freelance for an hour or so per day. Reach the crossover point shortly thereafter.
Working freelance is like a compromise between being super wealthy and rich versus still working a 40 hour/week day job.
If you start doing freelance work from home then you might only earn like 10 bucks in two hours. But if you keep at it and continue to improve and find your niche then eventually you may earn more like $50 to $100 per hour or even more. At that point you are truly free because you can earn a living from a laptop from anywhere in the world. This is the position I am in now with my freelance work.
My current “job” of doing about 1 hour of freelance per day is worth more than all of the money that I have banked.
Think about that carefully because it is not a lesson that I learned easily. In fact I had to build a successful business, experience passive income on many different levels, and work many different jobs before I fully understood this concept. I really treasure my current “job” more than my wealth. Shoot, my current “job” exceeds my wealth in only 7 short years! Combined with frugality this is a lot of power. This is the foundation of wealth.
Alternative income is more valuable than a day job, and is the real goal. Don’t try to figure out how to create passive income (it is a myth/dream anyway). Instead, try to figure out how you can create alternative income in your life on a consistent basis while also cutting your expenses. This is the real path to wealth, in my experience.