I wanted to take a brief detour from discussing new niche business ideas today and discuss exactly how I was able to quit my full-time corporate job on my own terms. When I say “on my own terms”, I mean when I wanted to, how I wanted to, and was able to make a smooth transition to full-time at home. (By the Way – the picture to the left is a joke, there is no easy “make money” button. It’s hard work, sorry).
As many of you know, I worked full-time as a Business Banker at Wells Fargo Bank. You can read more about my background right here. I spent a lot of time getting a bachelors degree in Finance and an MBA; but all of this was really my backup plan. Deep down I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I knew it was only a matter of time. Well, I got my first “real” full time job after my bachelors degree in 2003. So, it took me 8 years to finally find a business idea that worked for me, but I can now happily say that I am living my entrepreneurial dreams and I’m making more money than I ever have in my life!
How I Started Online
I have discussed my internet story a number of times, but essentially I started dabbling around with building websites in 2005 as a hobby essentially. I went from really just trying to figure out if I could get something online to eventually learning how to do search engine optimization. With a full-time job (as you probably know), its very hard to start a business on the side. However, the opportunities of the internet make it much easier. So, I worked MANY long nights after my wife and kids were in bed. I failed miserably for many years. I couldn’t get my websites to rank well in Google and I certainly wasn’t making money.
However, in 2009 I had a break through. I was able to make a shift in my thinking from trying to build websites on high traffic but also high competition topics to building small websites on lower traffic but significantly lower competition topics. Suddenly I was getting free traffic from Google, Yahoo, and Bing. My first couple of sites with this new theory started making about $20/month each. I did some quick calculations in my head and figured since it only costs $10 for a domain per year and a few dollars each month for hosting – that these sites were quite profitable!
My Google Adsense Earnings for March 2011
Well, the rest is now history. I have since scaled up my business of building “small” niche websites into a full-time empire. I get free traffic from Google and make money from advertising (primarily Google Adsense). I don’t usually like to show how much I am earning, but what the heck. I know most of you would be interested in seeing what I made from Google Adsense last month, so here it is. Please note I have multiple Adsense accounts, hence the 2 screenshots (1 personal account and 1 for my Business entity that I own).
So, you can see that I made $11,861.23 just from Google Adsense last month. I also had income from other sources, but Adsense was BY FAR the most. These are both screenshots from the month of March 2011. As you know, I quit my job on March 11th, 2011. So, the reality is that I was making more from my internet business than my day job for several months before I quit. And this is really what I mean by quitting on my own terms. My income from April looks at least as good as March so far.
Reinvesting Leads to Success
I was able to build up my internet business on the side to a point where it had surpassed my day job income. I could have quit a lot sooner and been just fine I am sure, but I wanted to build up my savings account quite a bit as well. In fact, everything I made from my business was never spent on anything personal. I could have been out buying big screen TVs, a new car, gone on vacations, or done other things with the money I was making on the side. However, I made a decision early on to either save or reinvest all the income from my business back into building my business.
So, now I have a decent sized cushion of cash in my business account just in case anything “bad” were to happen. This is what I would recommend for anyone out there considering quitting their job. Make sure you are making real income from your business first, and that you have a little money saved for a rainy day. So, its only been about a month since I started working from home, but I can say that my mental energy is spent on how to grow my business NOT on how to feed my family. That’s the way it should be in my opinion.
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So, the day that I “sprung” the news on my boss that I was quitting; was actually more of a celebration than a doomsday. I was excited to tell my boss that I was able to move onto a new phase in my life that I had been looking forward to for a long time. I could also do it knowing that I was already making enough money to support my family. Luckily I had a exceptional boss (really), and she was just as excited for me and the news I shared. After letting my company know that I was quitting, I worked a few more weeks to keep them happy and create a smooth transition period. As such, I am still on good terms with everyone from my old job.
Do I Really Like Working From Home?
So, what is it like working from home? Well, I gotta be honest…I LOVE IT! I’m able to make my own plans for the day and execute them on my own schedule. I’m able to spend a little time in the morning helping my 7 year old get ready for school and hang out with my wife and kids a bit throughout the day. I’m able to have Pandora jamming in the background as I go throughout my day. I’m also able to go for a run (training for a marathon in June) in the afternoons if I want to.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still putting in about 8 hours a day (or more), but this is what I WANT to do. I’m passionate about my business and look forward to building it each day. However, having the freedom to take a day off or quit early to go hang out with my family when I want is a nice little perk! And the fact that my websites are bringing in traffic from Google and earning money whether or not I do anything is really a nice passive income stream.
Anyway, I just wanted to provide a quick overview of what led me to quitting my job, and what my life has been like in the month since I quit. Life is good. I have lots of plans to expand my business as you know. And of course you get to participate in those expansion plans on this blog as I move into new businesses and try other ideas suggested by you!
If you have any comments, I look forward to responding below!