Up until this past June, I worked for a small internet marketing agency. I’d been a part of their team since graduating from college six years ago. I did quite well there, learning an incredible amount about life, business and leadership. I was happy as can be for most of that time, but life has a way of giving signs when it’s time to move on and continue to grow and prosper. It was clear that my future opportunities for growth and making the biggest difference I could in the world were outside of that role. So, I did what I had to do. I told my boss the news and set forth to make my mark on the world.
“But, Kraig”, everyone said, “How will you make a living?” That question has been a tough one to answer, but I remain confident that things will work themselves out. I have this sense deep down that says, “as long as I make good decisions and do what’s good for me and for others, I’ll be just fine”. That voice has been right so far and I have no worries of that changing in the future. Ever since I started improving myself with the goals of making myself a better person and making this world a better place by helping and caring about others, things have gotten better and better for me. It’s funny how that works out.
For those of you waiting for an update on what I’m doing and where I’m at, today is your lucky day.
What I’m Doing
I’m working hard. I’m learning all I can about how other entrepreneurs have made it. I’m writing and connecting with others as much as possible. I’m trying all kinds of new things.
I’m surrounding myself with inspiring people. Some of the people I know in real life inspire and lift me up on a daily basis, but many of the positive people in my life are out here on the internet. I take in podcasts and blogs daily where other strong willed entrepreneurs lift me up to feel like I can really make a difference in this world. They say that you are the average of the five people you hang around with the most. I’m choosing to hang around with people who lift me up. At the same time, I want to lift others up so that they want to hang around with me (get in touch with me and I’ll do my best to lift you up!).
I’m enjoying this time. Even though this time is incredibly stressful and I doubt myself constantly, I make it a point to take full advantage of the freedom I have today. I do this by getting outdoors as much as possible. I also do this by spending as much time with close friends and family as possible. Doing these things have greatly increased my quality of life and attitude throughout all of this.
I’m worrying, but remembering that the worst case isn’t that bad. Will things pan out or will I burn through all my savings just to start right back from nothing? My answer to that is this: I may burn through a lot of my savings, but life has forward momentum and I’ll have the lessons I learned and relationships I built no matter what, so I’ll never start back from nothing.
Where I’m At
I’m usually not a fan of sharing income and expenses. Perhaps, I just don’t have the guts to have everything criticized. Today, however, I’ve decided to share it. I know many of you are curious as to what the numbers look like, so here they are:
I’ve spent an average of $1,800 per month these past two months (August and September) since leaving my job. On the income side, I’ve earned an average of $430 per month over the same period. Here’s the income breakdown:
- Blog advertising: $50/month
- Blog affiliate sales: $270/month
- Dividends from investments: $110/month
That leaves a net cash flow deficit of $1,370 per month, which translates into $16,440 per year. At this rate, I have approximately one year left before I burn through all of my cash held in savings and checking accounts. Burning through all that cash can be done without touching my 3.5 years or so worth of living expenses tucked away in Vanguard index funds. I hope to not have to touch that money and instead raise my income up above the $2,000 per month level by the time my cash runs out. I plan to do this by creating my own products and services and making them available here on this site (more on that below).
Deeper Explanation of My Income
Blog Advertising: The blog advertising comes from Google Adsense. I simply put some code on my site and then Google serves up ads to all of you. After reading Chris Guillebeau’s gem however lately, I have removed all advertising from my site, which I may or not decide to make permanent.
Affiliate Sales: The affiliate sales are from helping a few of you start your very own blog (thank you very much for supporting me), something I didn’t know you wanted help from me on, but glad to have been of service. As my community here grows, I’m so thankful that you value what I do enough to want to support me. Thank you for that. Also, I have room to help a few more people, so if you are thinking of starting your own blog, let me know ASAP and, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll help you get it going (for free).
Dividend Income: My income from investments, the $110 per month, is the dividends I receive for doing absolutely nothing but being part owner in every single publicly traded stock in the U.S. stock market. This is great income because it takes no work and it comes in no matter what.
Is This Good… Or Bad?
For all of you downers out there, yes, I’m losing money, every single month. But, for all you uppers out there, I’m bringing in 24% of my expenses just two months after going out on my own! That’s up from about 8% just a few months ago.
All in all, I’m excited about the possibilities ahead. Am I scared? Hell yes, I’m scared. But, I have a year before I’ll need to tap my investments at the pace I’m going. That’s a year where I can write, create value, learn incredibly valuable things, try things, fail, try things again, fail again, and hopefully try things once more and catch a little success.
All I’m looking for is that little bit of success among all kinds of good failure (the kind I learn from) to get to where I want to be. It’s going to be incredibly tough and the emotions will continue to run wild, both positive and negative, but I remain confident that I’m on the right path.
They Say I Should Warn You…
They say I should warn you about this, so here it goes. I plan to earn an income from this site in the future. I won’t ever start charging you for what you’re already getting for free, but I do plan to offer things above and beyond what is here today and allow you to connect much deeper with me, other readers and the things going on here. I plan to put a ton of skin in the game and I hope in return that you’ll be willing to support me.
I’m surely here to support you. I want the best for you and that means financial success and entrepreneurial success (if you want it) for all of us. I’ve asked this before but am doing it again: Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to connect. I would really enjoy connecting personally with you.
Category: Learning New Things