Hey savvy people we are PUMPED to share this guest post today with you guys! Michael the creator of Inspire Your Success is sharing his story of becoming a full-time blogger. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and subscribe to get access to his Success Cheat Sheet here. Enjoy!
April 29th, 2017…the day my life changed.
After six years working at the same company, I decided it was time to finally quit my job. I still remember telling my boss that I was “retiring” and going out on my own.
He thought I was kidding, but I had been preparing for this day for nearly a year. I knew it was time to go 100% towards my passions for full-time blogging and professional golf.
The crazy part was that a lot of people would kill for the job I left. Free insurance, six-figure pay, no dress code and free snacks! I felt the same for a while, it was an awesome company but ultimately it drove me crazy to not do something I was passionate about.
Six months later I have never been surer of my decision. While I’m not earning nearly what I did at my last job (yet) it’s all worked out thanks to a lot of planning before I actually quit.
Here are the seven steps I took when planning to quit my six-figure job to blog:
Created a Vision
A lot of people want to quit their job because they don’t like (or hate) what they are doing. Usually, they have no emotional attachment to the work they do.
But if you quit without having a clear goal or vision of your future it will be a difficult transition. For me, I knew I wanted to blog, publish more books, freelance write, and have no schedule so I could pursue golf full-time.
Everyone will have a different vision — what’s important is that you craft it around doing what you love. Unfortunately doing what you love doesn’t always create instant income, it’s crucial to have a sound financial plan to not have to go back to a 9-5 job.
Mastered My Money
As a personal finance blogger, I have always been very focused on mastering my money. When it came to quitting my job it was no different. Learn more about mastering your money with my free money resources. Here’s how I personally prepared financially for the life change:
Opened a New Savings Account
More than a year before I quit my 9-5 I opened a new Ally savings account to prepare for my new life. I went into extreme savings mode by stashing at least 20% of my paycheck after tax and 80% of all commissions or bonuses. I told myself I couldn’t leave until I had 12 months of my new budget saved. This account was totally separate from my 401K, Roth IRA and emergency fund.
Started a Budget
As a finance blogger, this might sound like a sin but I’ve never had a budget until now. In my previous career, I always made sure I paid off credit cards each month, saved 15-20% in a 401K, maxed out my Roth IRA and enjoyed a majority of the leftover money on travel or Amazon.
For the first time, I actually started a budget to ensure I wasn’t overspending and keeping costs low. Luckily our mortgage is super low and all of my overhead was less than $2,000 per month including car payments, utilities, etc. If you plan to leave your job I recommend finding any way you can to minimize your overhead costs!
Bought A Lot
To help keep costs low I also bought as much as I could to keep spending to a minimum in the future. Some of these items included:
- Office: iMac, desk, and bookshelf
- Golf membership
- House supplies
My pantry looked like I was prepared for a zombie apocalypse, I had never seen it so full. From tubs of protein powder, canned goods, and anything else I bought anything I didn’t want to buy in the near future.
Invested in Myself
Not only did I buy a ton of physical items I also spent a ton of money investing in myself.
As Warren Buffett said, “The greatest investment you can make is investing in yourself.”
I took that quote to heart in 2017 and spared no expense when it came to learning new skills and investing in myself. Before I left I purchased some big ticket items to help take my online career and life to the next level:
I spent over $4,000 on over 10 different courses. Some were about blogging, website development, online courses, and freelance writing.
T$C Comment – We HIGHLY recommend taking our FREE 7-day email blogging course to launch your blog successfully. Other amazing paid course to consider when starting our are Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, The Perfect Pin, and Flourish with Facebook Ads.
2017 has been the year of attending seminars. Before I quit my job I bought several tickets to seminars that I wanted to attend. These included a 4 day Tony Robbins event, FINCON (financial blogger conference) and several others.
In the pursuit to change my life in 2017 I knew I needed to be reading more as it’s one of the most common habits of successful people. I bought over 50 books on a wide variety of topics including entrepreneurship, personal development, biographies, and psychology.
Created Multiple Income Streams
Ultimately, if I could do this quitting my job to blog all over again I would have increased the amount of recurring revenue I had before I quit.
When I gave notice my blog had made maybe $200 and I hadn’t really side hustled before leaving. My plan was to save a ton and force myself to learn new ways to make money hustling. Within the last two weeks of working, I was able to get several side hustles created to start having some income each month:
- Finally self-published my first book
- Started dog walking
- Learned about affiliate income
- Started freelance writing
T$C – I quit my job after our blog made our first $50. I am now making a full-time income month after month running our blog working from home. With the low upfront cost $2.95 per month starting a blog has never been easier.
Got My Credit Situated
Before I left I wanted to make sure I had a zero credit card balance on each account. But I also love taking advantage of great credit card offers so I opened a new Citi Diamond Preferred credit card as well. This card was phenomenal and gave me 21 months with zero interest. I hadn’t opened a new credit line in two years and was about due to help my credit utilization ratio. The reason I went with this card is that it had the longest 0% APR time — 21 months!
With all the uncertainty of online income, I figured it would be helpful to give myself a little cushion with zero percent interest for nearly two years. Over six months later I am glad I made this decision as it’s been nice to carry a balance and not be worried about paying it off for another 15 months.
Researched Health Insurance
There’s no way around it, health insurance when you are self-employed is painful. Most employers pay for some or all of most employees monthly costs but when you’re self-employed you are 100% responsible.
I did shop around and try to find some deals but ultimately I went with COBRA from my old employer as it was a terrific plan. While the costs are higher I factored it into my budget and am able to have the insurance up to 18 months.
Talked with Family
While saving, paying off credit cards, and finding insurance was a lot of work the hardest part was trying to explain it all to my parents. My girlfriend saw my misery every day after work and knew I had a good plan so she was always incredibly supportive.
Explaining how I wanted to leave a lucrative sales job for the unknown of online income was difficult to my family.
Eventually, they understood and admired me for going after my passions. They are more supportive now than ever but it took multiple conversations. If you are thinking of making a similar transition make sure you have as many conversations as needed.
Ultimately it’s been an awesome, entertaining and insightful six months since I left my job.
But beware…quitting your job to blog is not always glamorous.
It’s a ton of hard work, long hours for little pay (hopefully just for now), and challenging days. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Each day you get to wake up and know that you control your destiny.
If you plan on quitting my two biggest pieces of advice are:
- Have recurring revenue coming in from one (or several) side hustles.
- Plan, plan, plan. You can’t plan enough for major life changes like this one.
Thank you to Kelan and Brittany for letting me guest post on their awesome site!
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