When I graduated from college, I was full of hope and ready to start working for my future. The problem was that I made the mistake of taking the first offer I received. I was a cubicle monkey for a car dealership software company for $26,500 a year. And I stayed there for six years.
While watching the time go by, I started a blog, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS) and by the end of that year, I was a blogging addict. I also knew that I’d finally found my dream job. As my blog grew, so did the emails from interested advertisers. I went from making nothing to a few hundred a month. And by the end of my first year, I had brought in around $6000 from just BFS. I was astounded.
I only made about $34,500 before taxes from my day job. So that’s when I made the executive decision to go all in.
I decided that I would be self-employed within the next year or else.
Seeing how profitable my own site had become by selling ads, I decided to start running the advertising negotiations for other bloggers too. This was in April 2011. I simply referred any advertisers who contacted my blog to other blogs for a small fee. At first, I did this for just three other blogs, but by mid-June 2011, I was working with 40.
At that point, I couldn’t handle the 100-115 hours a week that I was putting into my full-time job plus my online work. So I quit my day job on July 15, 2011! I had never been so excited or scared before. I felt like I was taking the biggest leap of faith of my whole life.
After one year of self-employment, it was obvious that I made the right choice. From July 2011 through June 2012 my work load exploded as did my earnings. My husband joined me at home to help in January 2012.
By then, we were working with more than 300 bloggers, putting in a combined 120 hours per week and we ended up bringing in a whopping $155,700. (This number includes revenue from ads that I sold on my own blog as well as commission from ads that I referred to other blogs).
You have no idea how happy that number makes me…I hadn’t looked at it from the one-year-self-employed perspective before. Holy moly! I went from $35,000 a year to more than $155,000 a year.
Now, I won’t lie. That year was a crazy, bubble time for blog advertising. But even looking at this past year, July 2012 through June 2013, we have still brought in $113,500.
And while that number is not quite as high, it makes me super happy too. It shows that even after my blog dropped in Google search engine rankings, my husband and I can still make a great living for ourselves at home or wherever we travel. And that makes the instability of self-employment way more palatable. It also has given me a personal sense of achievement and fulfillment that I never had before.
It truly is possible to achieve a dream with enough persistence, time, drive…and a little self-made luck. Figure out what your dream job would be, start it on the side, and see what happens when you feed it time and passion. Good luck!
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]