How I Would Spend $1000 to Get Out of the Rat Race

pablo

Financial independence is one of those things that I crave. One way to gain financial independence is to be my own boss. Turning my hobby into a profitable business and making money from a hobby would be an ideal way to gain financial independence. Not to mention the fact that eventually I would be able to decide how often I work and when I work.

Fortunately, my hobby can be repackaged in many ways and can be sold in digital format. What I like doing (my hobby) is also considered evergreen which basically means that the information I provide will still be valid for decades to come.

If I had $1000 to spend I would use it to start a business. Here is how I would spend the money.

  1. Take a SEO course – The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I would take a SEO course which teaches how to rank a website high in the search engines so that it receives a decent amount of free traffic. SEO courses usually teach how to structure a website so that it can be found on the first page or within the first pages in the search engines; depending on the keyword search. These courses also teach methods of producing content (articles, video), generating leads (i.e. collecting emails in exchange for free information). Furthermore, SEO courses usually also teach strategies for getting links and/or traffic back to your website. The cost of such courses can range anywhere from less than $100 to well over $1000. From time to time there have been SEO related courses on the market, from well known marketers, that cost about $500. My first purchase towards financial independence costs $500.

    2. Get web hosting – The next thing I would purchase is a prepaid web hosting plan for one year. By paying a year in advance this helps save money as compared to paying for hosting each month. A beginner level prepaid hosting plan for one year can cost about $90. So far I have spent a total of $590 but there are still some other things I need to buy.

  2. Buy 2 domain names – I would buy 2 domain names. One domain name would be used for a blog. The blog will provide free content, blog posts and additional content that can only be accessed in exchange for the user’s email address. The second domain name will be used for a members only site that provides more in depth and varied content. The cost of the two domain names would be about $28 total.

At this point I have spent $618 out of the $1000 I started with. I have $382 remaining.


  1. Hire freelancers –
    To get the business off the ground I would hire freelancers. The type of content and where the content is posted will in part be dependent on the information found in the SEO course (previously mentioned). However, the freelancers will be asked to write articles, post articles and produce simple short videos. Some of the articles will be posted on the blog previously mentioned. The remaining articles and videos will be posted on social media sites depending on the suggestions found in the SEO course. Typically, articles and short videos are posted on various social media sites to spark interest in a product. I would also write articles, produce videos and help with getting the word out on social media. The remaining $382 will be used to pay the freelancers.

Those who submit their email will receive useful information by email and the email will also contain a link to a paid product. The profit generated from any sales will be used to fund development of the product that will be available on the second domain at a future date.

Financial independence is one of those things that I crave. One possible path to get there is to work for myself and to be my own boss. Some people do it the hard way. But there is another way you can get rich and financially independent. This is a bit unusual way but has worked for many, just go and hit the slots in a casino. If you know what you are doing and you do it right, you can become a millionaire virtually overnight.

So I’ll leave it to you to decide which path is for you.

How To Leave Your Job on Good Terms

Quit Now
It’s no secret that I’m pursuing my passion. I talk and think about it multiple times every day.

One thing that’s a negative about me pursuing my passion is that I have to leave my job. Yes, it will be great to be able to do things that I enjoy in life, and to have more time to do what I want, but this means that I have to actually quit my job.

I am currently a financial analyst/investment banker and have been doing this for over three years now. Definitely no passion in this job, at least not for me.

Some people think that I’m just being a baby, but my work really does rely on me a lot. I know a lot of people probably say this and believe that they are irreplaceable, but I can truly say that my work is very reliant on me as I was/am in the process of being Vice President and then President in a couple of years.

It also takes 3 to 5 years to train someone for my position (you need at least 2,000 hours after you earn your designation, which takes 2-3 years, in order to be certified), and there is a very limited amount of people (this includes me and my bosses) in the world who do what I do for a living, so the possibility of them replacing me with someone who doesn’t need to be trained at all and who already has the certification is very small.

There are more details to this, but it will just make me sound like a terrible person for wanting to leave. All of my friends and W all think that when I tell them that it will go horribly, and they all know how important I am in my firm.

I’m absolutely terrified of telling them, and I would of course like to leave on good terms. The people I work with are wonderful people, and have always been very nice to me. And that’s why it makes it even harder to leave, because they are great!

I don’t want to burn any bridges.

Even though the city I live in is fairly large with millions of people, everyone seems to know everyone in some way. I might need to use them as a reference in the future as well, and I would hate to hurt that in any way. Of course, I don’t want to think of something bad happening with my freelancing, but you never know!

Tell your work first

I can’t think of many instances where it would be better to tell everyone else before your boss first, so definitely tell your boss first. Of course I have told all of you through my blog, but I do blog somewhat anonymously. Tell your boss before you tell your coworkers.

Try to keep everything positive if you can. Different circumstances will lead to either positive or negative outcomes, but if you can be positive and you leaving is actually in your control (such as if you found a better job or are pursuing your passion instead) then keeping everything positive is most likely best. Be thankful and appreciative for your time in your position and let your boss know of this.

Give your work notice

You should definitely give your work notice. Unless there are certain circumstances where you cannot, you should give at least 2 weeks notice so that your employer can prepare and hire a replacement.

You should be prepared for them to ask you to leave immediately, and you should also be prepared to stay an extra 2 weeks or so. Do what is right for you though.

For me, 2 weeks won’t help them much, but I will be giving notice. They might have me just leave right as I am telling them. However, if they do ask that I stay an extra month, that will not destroy my life so I will do that as well. Like I said, I do like my employer, and I don’t just want to leave them hanging.

Luckily, I have been in the process for quite some time with creating an instruction manual for smaller parts of my position. This will make it a little bit easier for someone who replaces me, as this instruction manual is over 100 pages of very detailed information.

What tips do you have for someone who wants to quit their job?

Have you ever been scared to quit your job?

If you are interested in leaving your job, then I highly recommend the book How To Engineer Your Layoff. The author of the book negotiated six years of current living expenses and gives tips on the best way to leave your job.  Click here to get the book today.

Learn from My Mistakes: When a CPA is Worth It

pablo

Some years ago, I was teetering between working for a company and earning money on the side through websites I had created. I also dipped into freelance writing. When it came to tax time, I really didn’t have much of an issue because my main job covered the brunt of the taxes and whatever I made from the side-projects were easily included thanks to W2’s and 1099’s.

It wasn’t until I began making more than my normal work and deciding to leave the position that things started to get shaky in terms of finances and taxes. I was so focused on the money-making part that I neglected to plan for the taxes and by the time April 15th rolled around I was looking at owing quite a bit of money to the government (uh-oh).

I made it a point that I’d learn that lesson only once.

The problem I had was compounded due to my ignorance:

·  I didn’t fully understand what I could claim as business expenses

·  I went with one of the popular tax filing companies that just rushed me through the system

·  I wasn’t withholding enough money

After all was said and done I was facing well over $2,500+ in owed taxes which was quite a bit considering that I was still just getting started on my own in business. Every dollar counted because I needed it to help grow (and pay the normal bills).

Turns out that one of the other up-and-coming entrepreneurs within my circle happened to be a CPA for their day job so I got a hold of him on Skype and talked about the benefits of going with one. After about an hour I finally had a solid understanding of what I did wrong, what I need to do next time, and why I really needed to stick to a CPA from that point out.

Here are the main things I learned when talking to this individual about taxes and doing business:

A. Find someone local – As much as I wanted to just hire the guy on the spot, it would have been a pain overall because he lived so far away. I’m in the Central Florida area so I made a list of every CPA Orlando has to offer. I found one and having them so close made it very easy to do taxes the next year because I could fax over the documents, swing by to discuss any issues, have them walk me through it step-by-step, and also help me find ways to add deductions.

B. Frequency is better – We are all used to doing our taxes when it comes tax time because we have this love for one giant check. When you’re doing a business it’s far better to do your taxes quarterly so you won’t get caught off guard by a major hit if you did something wrong during that year. You can easily handle smaller taxes every few months than having it slam on you at the end of the year.

C. Deductions & Withholding – I thought I knew what I could claim as deductions that first year of doing taxes independently but boy was I wrong (it resulted in an audit). A CPA is trained in all of this and can answer your questions; they can help you fully understand what and what not to claim. Working with one that really knows the tax laws can help you save thousands and prevent you from making an “oversight” that could lead to potential tax fraud.

D. Retention – A CPA (or the firm) is going to keep all the files you’ve submitted on record. Compare this to the big envelop you receive or online account (which you forgot) and you see the benefits. If the IRS suddenly digs up something from a few years ago and you’ve been going to the same CPA you can bet that they’ll put in the effort to find the documents and fight back.

These days it’s all about keeping good records. I learned my mistakes early on (at least I’m thankful for that). Taxes aren’t that big a problem anymore and business is booming. In the end I would recommend a CPA to anyone that is out there on their own trying to build something from scratch; it’ll save you a ton of headaches and money.