Today is my last day at my corporate job as a professional IT project manager. I have faithfully served the 9-to-5 for almost 8 and a half years now and the day has finally arrived for my to jump into the unknown world of self-employment and online entrepreneurship. What a rush! Its a strange feeling that I can’t fully describe or understand – when you are fortunate to have a “last day of the 9-to-5″, you’ll know what I mean.
I have planned for this day for a number of years, but it still seems to make me feel unprepared. Leaving a high-paying job is not easy, as much as I’ve always wanted to stop having a job. I suppose I have grown use to the comfort and safety of a steady pay check, as we all do. It helped a lot to have an “exit strategy”, which I put in to motion almost a year earlier. Things didn’t work out exactly the way I planned, but I’m here now – ready to jump!
For a number of years, in fact ever since my university days, I’ve had the desire to build my own business… be my own boss… make something out of nothing. Perhaps you do to. I think a lot of people do, but most never actually act on it and I can see why. Its scary stuff, and exciting at the same time.
I have often thought about the differences in personality traits between those who start their own businesses, and those who don’t. One thing is for sure, both roads are difficult. One is more difficult initially, but far easier towards the end.
Over the last three years, I have been using my spare time to teach my self about Internet business. I have consumed a vast number of ebooks, training videos and podcasts, in order to educate myself in the ways of online business. I have built a number of “training” sites and even developed a complex iPad app, but nothing has generated me enough online income to live off comfortably. Yet.
Working early mornings and weekends has taken a big strain on my personal life, and now its time to cut the job loose and sail out into open waters. Leaving my colleagues behind is not easy either – there is so much comfort in having a corporate job: steady income; work friendships; security; peace – I can now see how easily these can be taken for granted.
The Un-Conventional Way
Trying to explain to people why I’ve quit my job in a global recession is not easy. When I tell them I’ve given up a high-paying career that I have been quite successful in up to now (especially for my age), I can almost see the confusion in their eyes – or perhaps its disbelief. I am truly grateful for everything I have… some people have nothing, so why I have done it? Because I’ve decided that the 9-to-5 is not for me. Here’s why:
- I want freedom to work where I want (coffee shop, home, beach, foreign country)
- I want to be able to choose when I work and how often
- The power to choose who I work with is very important to me
- More time to spend with friends and family
- More time to spend doing the things I love
- Opportunity to discover what I like doing
- Longer holidays / mini-retirements
- Reduced stress
- No more boss
- No more commute (unless its to the local Starbucks)
- No more pouring time into someone else’s business
- Extra money to pay bills
- Extra money to take holidays
- Extra money to spend on luxuries
- Extra money to help those who need it
This breaks the career mould as we know it: go to school, go to university, get a job, retire. Yes, its a risk to turn my back on the career I’ve spent so much time building, but its one that I have calculated.
There are no guarantees in life. But with only one life to live, I’m going to make sure my life doesn’t pass me by without attempting to live my dreams. Waking up one day and realising I’ve worked my entire live away is my biggest fear and motivator – and I believe that the 9-to-5 almost guarantees that scenario.
Why Internet Business?
Internet Business is unique in that it has the power to touch billions of customers, 24 hours a day, being (almost) fully automated, with reduced initial startup costs and lowered barriers to entry. This makes it very possible to achieve goals traditional “brick and mortar” businesses or even careers can’t – and that excites me tremendously more than the prospect of having to work my way up the career ladder.
I ran a physical product business in the past, and that kind of thing consumes a lot of continued effort. My wife and I ran a jewellery manufacturing business for a couple of years (part-time). We made and sold Swarovski necklaces and bracelets to retail stores and direct to the public. It made a great profit, but was extremely time consuming – and if you didn’t make jewellery, you didn’t get paid. That was my biggest lesson in physical product business.
Paying The Bills
So here I am, I quit my job, now what? I’m confident that all I need is time in front of my Macbook and I’ll eventually get to a place where I’m earning more from Internet business than I did from my old corporate job. And when that happens – I will have achieved one of my life’s biggest goals. I just don’t know how long it will take to get there, but I’m going to share every step of the way with you.
In the mean time, I got bills to pay, so I won’t be able to sit around the house in my pyjamas all day and focus 100% on building my online empire. As part of my exit strategy, I planned to leave my job with enough regular online income coming in to pay the rent. As that didn’t quite work out for me, PLAN B was to help my wife with her home business as a childminder up to 3 days a week. This is not the most glamourous option, but it allows me to be at home with my family 7 days a week, which is a huge benefit to me.
Having poured so many hours into my job over the years, I’ve missed out a lot of my eldest daughter’s first couple years of life, and I don”t want to do that with my 7 month year old son. Fortunately, childcare costs are very high in London, so we’ll be able to make almost as much as we did as a family when I was working full time as the only bread-winner. This buys me more time to build my online business – you can only give up your weekends and early mornings for so long before something’s gotta give… and this seems like a plan that will work until I no longer need it.
Who ever is? 3…2… 1. I’m outa here!