At 33 I Started A Blog…At 36 I Quit My Job

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freedom

I quit!

Possibly the two most debilitating words in the English language…

Unless they’re spoken to your boss.  Then they represent freedom.
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The Need For Money

October 2012.

I felt good, but scared to death at the same time.  I looked at my daughter not yet 4 months old.  And then around my (relatively decent sized) San Diego apartment.

I was living the dream so to speak.  For as long as I could remember I wanted to live in San Diego.  Growing up in the Michigan winters takes a toll on one’s soul.  The seemingly constant 75 and sunny of Southern California has an extra special appeal in late January on the 15th consecutive day of below zero temperatures.

And here I was.  After a fleeing the mitten.  And then a 4 year stay-over in the Pacific Northwest.  Finally a resident of sunny San Diego.

Yet, at the same time financially responsible for a young child, not to mention my wife who (if we could swing it) would be a stay at home mom, while living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States on a waiter’s salary.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I did well for a waiter.  I worked at a restaurant that was not only very busy, but pretty expensive as well.  But the reality is that $60,000 a year doesn’t go very far these days.

The Desire For Something “More”

I knew I needed to make a move.  Sure, I could have supported my family.  But it would have been a constant struggle.  Always worried about a bad week here or a slow month there.

What was even more scary than the thought of not having enough money to experience the type of life I wanted…was not having the time to enjoy it.

Sure I had a college degree.  And plenty of experience managing some really great restaurants.  But what was even more scary than the thought of not having enough money to experience the type of life I wanted for me and my family was not having the time to enjoy it.

No, I needed a better plan.

family on beach

Blogging Was Only The Beginning

Since I didn’t hate my job.  And actually enjoyed it from time to time I decided the answer wasn’t to start from scratch.

What if I could find a way to supplement my income without working too much harder.  A passive stream of income could provide my family with added security.  Not to mention the potential freedom that would be afforded should that passive stream continue to grow.

I began to think about my options differently.

What if I could simply make an extra $20 a day passively?  That would be an $600 a month.  And that would pay the cell phone bill and utilities, which would relieve a ton of pressure.

The only problem was I had nearly zero money to spare.  I couldn’t justify starting a business, or investing a couple thousand dollars in something that wasn’t a guarantee.

I just couldn’t risk it.

And that’s when I discovered the potential of blogging and internet marketing.  I could start a blog for less than $15 a month.  I could work on it in my spare time (I set aside nap time for blogging) and if it didn’t work out, I could quit after 3 months and be out less than $50.

bright idea

Starting a blog checked all the boxes:

  • Potential for passive income
  • Dirt cheap to get started
  • Required no additional formal education
  • Zero commitments (I could take a week off if I wanted to)
  • Minimal investment
  • Massive potential for growth

I’ll spare you the details of how this works for now, but it worked.  I set aside an hour a day to work on my blog.  After I learned how to get it up and running (WordPress makes it really easy) blogging wasn’t all that hard.

And before long I made my first affiliate commission.  All I had to do was recommend a product on Amazon.  And when one of my blog readers clicked the link and purchased anything from Amazon, I got a percentage of the sale.

I knew I uncovered an opportunity of enormous proportions.

After that first commission I was hooked.  I knew I uncovered an opportunity of enormous proportions.  So I continued to grow my blog.  An hour a day.  Skipping it if I was too busy, yet always going back the next.  And before long I hit my goal of making $20 a day passively.  And when I broke the $3000 per month barrier I nearly cried.  My wife was ecstatic.  I felt like I was on top of the world.

achievement

How I Was Able to Quit My Job

I’ll be honest with you, becoming a famously wealthy blogger is nearly impossible.  A spot reserved only for those who are both entertaining and tireless workers.  And the people who have experienced a sensational stroke of luck…

And I am not one of them.  I am not a famous blogger.

That’s a point that bears repeating.  I am not a famous blogger with a massive following.

As a matter of fact, many of my blogs were created using pseudonyms, and outside of my friends and family, nobody really knows who I am…

But there is a formula for success that works.

So how did I make enough money to quit my job?

Blogging is a way of communicating with people at scale…

Blogging is a skill.  And a very useful one at that.  It’s not just some form of journaling.  Blogging is a way of communicating with people at scale in the digital universe that we now live.  And once mastered, blogging will give you the necessary tools to market yourself more effectively and more efficiently than your competition.

…and that’s the secret sauce.

I don’t make a full time income blogging.  But I do make some of my (very good) full time income blogging.  I also make some of my income designing simple websites for small businesses.  And I make some of my full time income blogging for businesses that either don’t know how to, don’t have the time to, or simply can’t afford to pay someone to do on a full time basis.

The world is changing.  People aren’t going to just hand you a job.  You have to master a skill, and then market yourself.  And when you can accomplish those two things, the sky’s the limit.

The Best Part of “Blogging”

I often talk about the money I make working independently because that’s what grabs people’s attention.  There’s a certain intrigue associated with the thought of telling “the man” to go f*#% himself and never looking back.

But the money is just money.  What really matters is the freedom.  Because what’s money without the time to enjoy it?

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