The secret to financial independence isn’t working less but working on what you enjoy doing!
This post is our first Facebook Live video and I’m excited to talk about how I found the secret to financial independence. I never thought I would be happy at work and spent most of my 20s miserable for 40+ hours a week. It wasn’t until I realized that working harder on something I enjoyed was the key rather than my plan to stick it out for twenty years to early retirement. I’m posting the live video below in case you missed it or just scroll down for all the detail.
Don’t forget to catch My Work from Home Money every Thursday at 3pm Eastern for our Facebook Live videos. We’ll talk about specific strategies in each work from home business idea, how to reach the financial independence you deserve and answer any questions you might have about working from home. Please join us on Facebook here and be sure to invite your friends.
How I found Financial Independence by Working Harder
I’ve shared my story on the My Work from Home homepage but it’s probably one with which you are all-too-well familiar. I started working in my early 20s after getting out of the Marine Corps and graduating from college. I got a job as a financial reporting analyst, a kind of corporate finance accountant. It was actually a pretty good job and I was happy to get it. It was on what I thought was my career ladder.
The excitement of a new job wore off fast and the 9-to-5 was nothing like I thought it would be. I was miserable and couldn’t imagine spending the next three decades or more like this. All I could do was save as much money as possible and try to retire as soon as possible.
Turns out, I wasn’t alone. Gallup surveyed workers and found that 70% say they hate their job or are completely disengaged. The misery at work goes way beyond the cool perks that some jobs try to offer to get people involved. Another survey by Salary.com found that 88% of workers waste time every day with the average worker wasting 78 minutes every day…or 338 hours a year!
And that’s not counting the insane amount of hours wasted on email, meetings and other work activities that are of absolutely no use.
But if you think about it, early retirement isn’t the answer. So you reach financial independence at 40 and can retire. Now what? What are you going to do for the next 40 years? You know what ends up happening? You end up working at Wal-Mart for minimum wage just for something to do all day.
I didn’t really want early retirement, I just didn’t want to feel stuck in a crap job that I didn’t like for the better part of my life.
Fast forward a decade and I think I’ve finally found the answer. You wanna know the twisted truth? I work harder on my work from home ideas than I ever did at a traditional job. I’m in front of the computer after dropping my son off at daycare at 8am and work through four, I’ll usually put in a couple of hours at night after everyone else has gone to bed and another few hours on the weekend…but I’m happier than I ever was and know what financial independence really is.
I make about $75,000 a year and that’s just after a few years of developing my work from home businesses. The income from some of these strategies keeps growing each month. I tripled my income last year, which is a hell of a lot better than the 6% cap on my annual raise I had working in the corporate world.
Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you anything. I hate the financial independence blogs that are basically just scams trying to sell you their ‘strategy’. You’re not financially independent if you’re depending on taking advantage of people to make a living.
I started this blog as a free resource to share what I’ve learned about working from home and to learn from your ideas as well.
How to Find Your Work from Home Passion
I walk through how I got to financial independence and my work from home process on the blog but it really starts with your passion. What do you enjoy doing as a hobby and where are your particular skills? It’s that seventh-grade counselor’s question all over again, what would you do if you didn’t have to worry about money?
You know, finding your passion doesn’t even have to mean you work for yourself. If you love what you do and can’t wait to get to work every morning, then you’re doing just fine.
If you’re not happy at work though, then you got to get out. There is no retirement paradise, no extended vacation, no promotion worth being miserable for a third of your day…every day…for a third of your life.
Your work from home financial independence is probably going to start as a side hustle, something you do a few hours a week. A lot of the strategies don’t pay off overnight, you’ll start making money pretty quickly but it won’t be the thousands a month you’ll need to replace your regular job. The best part though is that these strategies can be started slowly. You’re having fun doing it and learning how to build your own business…until you’re making huge money every month.
How Much Can You Make from Home?
The first question a lot of people ask about working from home is, “How much can you make?” What they should be asking is, “How much do I need to be financially independent?”
It’s cliché but the sky really is the limit with a lot of these work from home ideas. You can keep growing the business as much as you want or you can work to the point where you are easily paying your bills and then take it easy.
We’ll go over each of the biggest work from home ideas quickly but check out our work from home directory on the site which links to the best articles and detail in each strategy.
Blogging is one of the most popular strategies because it costs almost nothing to get started and its really easy to run a blog while you’re still working full-time. You’re posting maybe one or two articles a week and building traffic to your site.
The problem is that most people give up before they start to make any real money. A survey by Problogger showed that 76% of bloggers make less than $1,000 a month. The fact is though that it’s not that tough to make more money. I was making over a grand a month from blogging within the first year and that’s not including money from self-publishing or freelancing.
Freelancing is where a lot of people start because it’s pretty close to the traditional idea of work, just doing it on your own as an independent consultant. How much you make is going to depend on what you’re doing and how much experience you already have. Payoneer did a survey of freelancers and found about a fifth of freelancers make between $30 to $100 an hour. Rates are actually quite a bit higher. The survey was done with freelancers from 180 countries, many from countries where the cost of living is much lower. Most of the North American freelancers I know make from $50 to $250 an hour for their work.
Freelancing will be one of the upcoming Facebook Live sessions because it is such a great opportunity for financial independence and anyone can start.
Self-Publishing is where I make a little over a third of my work from home income and is a natural fit for blogging. You’re already writing all those articles on your topic, why not turn it into a book for extra money every month. The best part about self-publishing is that once you’ve published, there really isn’t that much you have to do every month to keep the money coming in. It’s a legit source of passive income.
Amazon FBA is a newer one but really exciting and where I’m hearing that people are making the most money. There are two strategies here, first you can work the reselling strategy. You look for products you can buy locally and resell at a higher price on Amazon. Pretty simple but it can really grow into strong income fast.
The other Amazon FBA strategy is like creating your own product brand. You source your products from a manufacturer and have your own labels put on them before they get shipped to Amazon for warehousing. Amazon manages so much of the process that it is so easy to set up your own retail company and I’ve talked to quite a few people making upwards of five-figures monthly within a year.
Writing Online is really a part of freelancing but something that a lot of people do so I thought I would call it out. There’s a lot of low budget jobs out there but native English speakers can easily make $25 an hour or more.
Craigslist is one that I was skeptical about for a long time until actually talking to people that were making it work. It always seemed more like a waste of time for chump change rather than a real strategy for financial independence but you can make money. It’s a little harder because you have to pick up and deliver so much rather than have Amazon do it for you but there’s still money there and we’ll do a live video session about how to get started.
What is Financial Independence Worth to You?
I could make half as much money working from home and I’d still do it. The real benefit here isn’t the money. Like I said, I work just as much or more now than I ever did at a corporate job but love it. Blogging is basically just talking about what you enjoy doing and self-publishing is just turning it into a book. Yeah, it’s still a job and I don’t always jump out of bed every morning but I enjoy doing it.
You control your own future and financial independence. You don’t have to wait for someone to clear a spot somewhere on the career ladder for you to get a promotion. You also aren’t sitting around hoping for your max 5% pay raise every year. How much money you make is directly dependent on how much work you do, simple as that.
But probably the biggest benefit to these work from home strategies is just ownership of your own business. You can work 30 years at a traditional job and what do you have when you’re done, nothing unless you’ve saved some of your income over the years. If you don’t own your business or assets, you will always be working for someone else and will never have anything beyond what you save.
I know bloggers that have sold their websites for tens of thousands of dollars and that’s on blogs just a few years old. Some of the business ideas don’t even mean much work after you’ve started the monthly income growing.
Why are You Waiting to Be Happier at Work?
With a lot of these work from home strategies, sooner is better for getting started. It takes time to develop a website and get traffic from Google. It takes time to develop your reputation as a quality freelancer or to build your brand on Amazon. It doesn’t mean you need to jump in working full-time, all it takes is getting your site up and working on it a couple of hours or more a week.
There are going to be a lot of people trying to sell you their ‘secret’ strategy to making money. A lot of these courses can run into the thousands of dollars. Forget that! Financial independence doesn’t start with paying out all your money do some scammer. You’ll find all you need to be successful from free or very low-cost resources. The info on My Work from Home Money is absolutely free and you’ll find books on Kindle for less than $5 each.
Again, we’ll be going over a lot of the work from home ideas in future live videos. The important point now is to decide what you want to do. Find your passion in one of the topics or strategies talked about on the site and start making your plan. Take it easy at first and don’t worry about the money. In less than a year, I guarantee you’ll start to see your income grow and will be looking at financial independence.
That wraps up our first Facebook Live session and it was really basic compared to some of the other videos we’ll do on financial independence and work from home ideas. We’ll have another live session every Thursday at 3pm eastern where we’ll talk about real details on making money from home and answer your questions. Let me know ahead of time if there’s a specific strategy you want to cover or if you have a question you missed asking. I’m excited about this new way to share with the work from home community and am looking forward to next week.