My Blueprint for Quitting Your Day Job
I’m still honing in on the focus of this blog as I go along (I thank you for indulging me as I do that), and I realized recently that since this blog is about helping you quit your day job that it might help to outline exactly how I did it — something I’ve never actually thought through a very structured way. And maybe in the process we’ll actually start to get some real structure around this blog.
The most important thing to note right off the bat is that there are lots of ways to quit your day job — this is just the one that has worked for me. It may or may not work for you, based on your talents, goal, passions, etc., but I do think it’s one that can be used in a wide variety of situations.
The cornerstones of this method are a short-term goal and a long-term goal. Both are important, but I think the long-term goal easily outpaces the short-term one.
The long-term goal is to build a site that someone will purchase from you a few years down the road for at least a seven-figure profit. It’s great to earn $25,000 a month, but when you stop, the money stops too. You need to be able to cash out that equity at some point down the road and bank it. Working for yourself every month to get a paycheck is phenomenal — believe me — but just earning interest every month without any work is that much better.
The short-term goal is to make enough monthly revenue so that you don’t have to do anything other than work on your long-term goal. You want to be able to focus on your long-term goal full-time without the distraction of having to do something else to actually put food on the table.
With that in mind, this is the path I took:
1. Pick a good topic.
2. Start (or buy) a website about that topic.
3. Work diligently to build quality traffic (and perhaps revenue) to a very compelling level.
4. Sell the site.
Obviously that vastly oversimplifies everything. If it was as easy as it looks from that list, everyone would be doing it. Still, the basics really are that easy. It’s just the specifics of implementing them that gets difficult.
Maybe the biggest hurdle, though, is being able to practice delayed gratification — a concept I had never thought about consciously until reading an interview with Catherine Roth in the book Deadly Viper Character Assassins. She says it’s one of the hardest things to teach in her Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) and this is one of the reasons why:
One hundred thousand dollars in sales per week … 90% net margin … 90% repeat business … On an investment banking teaser, this company profile would have generated widespread interest among the investment community — had the core product not been crack cocaine.
Forsaking long-term goals for short-term profit is extremely tempting to anyone, so I don’t think it’s something that only her students struggle with. I think it’s a quite common. The long-term payoffs are worth it, though, if you can just stay disciplined. I’ll give you an example from my own experience.
One of my sites has been live for 28 months, but well more than half the revenue we’ve made from it has been made in just the past 9 months. In fact, we made almost as much last month as we did in the first 6 months combined. The foundation we laid in year one continues to produce returns today. If we had given up after a year, we never would have seen revenue quadruple over the next 16 months.
More importantly, it wasn’t until month 20 that I was able to quit my day job. Would I have chosen the same course if I had known it would take that long? Probably, but man I would have been discouraged. Really, really discouraged. That would have been amazingly frustrating.
How about you? If you could look into the future and see that it will take you a year and a half to be able to quit your day job, what would you do?
Don’t let it drive you to look for a more immediate payday. While you’re spending all your hard-earned dollars buying e-books from “gurus” who show you how to make a few thousand bucks (or less) at a time, the real gurus of tomorrow are putting in the unglamorous, tedious work that will pay off big in the long-run.
Would it cause you to reconsider whether you actually do want to quit your day job? I think that’s a great thing, because I know lots of people who shouldn’t quit their day jobs. They have far too much passion for them and would miss them far too much. You have to follow your calling.
If it would cause you to press forward knowing that there is indeed a finish line out there, you’re who I want this blog to be for. I want to shorten that timeframe just as much as I possibly can by showing you things right up front that it took me a long time to learn. The next site I spin up will be running on all cylinders within 6 months and ready to sell in as soon as 12 months because of what I’ve learned up to this point — plus I’ll also be able to do several at a time. I want to help you do the same. That’s what this blog needs to be about.