This post was originally posted on my old blog in Jan 2010. I’m posting it here as a tribute to how far I’ve come and how far you can come in a year.
So One thing that I am really struggling with is coming to terms with the idea of making a living. The ‘what’ is simple. Making a Living is making enough money so that you can afford a house of a given size, food, and the lifestyle that you want.
Okay. Great. But how?
The traditional way (and the one that I am currently partaking in) is to get a job and spend X number of hours a day doing work for other people. Most of the time this is work that you really don’t care about. On top of that, unless you get a raise you pretty much know what you will be making for the year. There is no room for extra (unless you work for a commission).
The other way is to work for yourself. You can either start a company and hire the people who take the traditional way. Or you can do something even more non-traditional, such as be an internet marketer or a performance artist.
For me, working for myself sounds super appealing. Here is why:
- I don’t like sitting in the same place every day. If you work for yourself, you can move around and work from different locations. This might be a silly reason to put as number one, but it really is important to me. My current job would be 10 times better if I could choose where I did it.
- You could do something that interests you. If you work for yourself, you more than likely won’t start a company that you hate. Yes, there may be work that you don’t like to do, but you will at least be interested in the topic. That will help drive you forward.
- I don’t want to worry about money. If I am successful in creating my own company, I won’t have to worry about things like being fired. (Well, usually. Steve Jobs may disagree).
- You have the flexibility to take time off and travel more than you do in a traditional job.
Here is the situation that I would like. I work all year creating something of value. Then I launch it. I make my year’s income in a week. Hopefully I can make more than a year’s income. Then I take some time off and travel. I may learn something new. Then I go back to work creating the next thing. Rinse and repeat. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Don’t think that it could happen? Lets look at the numbers.
I currently make $40,000 a year as a computer programmer working 4 days a week. I will use that as my base salary in doing these calculations.
If I have a $1000 product, I would need to sell 40 of them.
If I have a $500 product, I would need to sell 80 of them.
If I have a $250 product, I would need to sell 160 of them.
If I have a $100 product, I would need to sell 400 of them.
Do you think those numbers are unreasonable? For a year? If you have a really good product, selling 400 of them for $100 each would not be that hard. The key is that you need a really good product.
Now take a different approach. Sell a monthly subscription service. Maybe that is a membership site where you provide weekly teaching on a topic that you are knowledgeable in. It could be a subscription to a product that you sell (think ‘Wine of the Month Club’ style). It might be a website that is a really good tool that people really find useful.
Okay, now say that you charge $20 a month for it. That is $240 a year. Can you get 167 people to buy this product or service? Plus, if it is a super good product people will keep using it. You won’t have to worry about making $40,000 in new sales the next year because some will follow over from the previous year. Your income can grow.
I pay for a NetFlix membership, a World of Warcraft subscription, an email newsletter service, an announce-my-blog-post service, a membership forum, and probably some other things that I am not thinking about right now. People do actually buy that type of thing.
Well there is a lot that I need to do and learn before I get there. But no.. its not a pipe dream. I just need an idea for a great product or service. Working on that one…