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J Money (not his real name) worked at 38 jobs over the course of his lifetime – but before he had the “start your own blog” idea, none of those jobs stuck. As a teenager, he scraped together money through babysitting, mowing lawns, walking dogs, stocking vending machines, making bagels, prep cooking and working as a bowling alley attendant. During college, he hauled trash from construction sites, made sandwiches at 7-Eleven, washed cars, washed dishes, folded clothes at Old Navy, and worked on the assembly line at a stamp factory. “I’m probably not a great example of a ‘good worker,’” J says, “as you can see from my constant and random job hopping.” But he kept job-hopping for a reason: He wasn’t satisfied at work. He hoped that this incessant job-hopping would help him find something he loved. He graduated from college with a degree in media arts and design, but he couldn’t find a position within his field. Instead, he became a travel agent, then a Realtor, and finally picked up his first salaried job as a Customer Service Representative, earning $28,000 per year. This became a turning point in his career. He received a promotion to Customer Service Manager, making $45,000 per year, and then Customer Service Director, starting at $55,000 annually. He eventually reached a salary level of $78,000 per year as a Services Director and Project Manager. This was more money than J had ever made – and in some ways, he felt like he had “made it,” financially. He and his wife bought a suburban townhouse and settled into a 9-to-5 routine. But something was missing. Perhaps, J thought, his problem was that he never worked within his field of study. So he made a lateral transition into graphic design, earning the same $78,000 salary. Now he had a job within his field. He was earning a respectable salary. In theory, he should have been content. But he still wasn’t satisfied. In 2008, he started blogging on the side. Initially, he thought this was just a fun hobby, nothing more. He blogged about buying his first home, about married life, about the ups-and-downs of his career. He wasn’t an expert; he just shared his personal experience. Along the way, he began to attract readers – first a few, and then, slowly, he grew a substantial following. Gathering momentum… As his readership grew, the advertising dollars followed. “I learned that advertisers will pay to advertise on your blog,” J said in an interview with Forbes.com, which recently profiled his success. “And there were other bloggers who didn’t want to blog anymore, and they’d say to me, ‘Do you want to buy my blog out and get the ad revenue?’ So I started doing more entrepreneurial things.” By the summer of 2010, he was working 40 hours per week in his “day job” as a graphic designer, and another 30-40 hours per week as a blogger. “Every single hour was dedicated to work,” he said. “My wife said, ‘You’re burning out. You need to get rid of the job or the blog.’” That was the moment he realized that after all his incessant job-hopping, he had finally found the one calling that stuck. He wouldn’t get rid of the blog. It was, he described, “the only thing in my life that was clicking.” So he began making plans to quit his graphic design job and become a full-time blogger. He began saving a “quit my job” fund. His goal was to save $50,000, and then hand in his resignation. But before he could make the leap, the economy crashed, and J found himself holding a pink slip. On December 17, 2010, J wrote a blog post titled “I Got Fired.” “… and just like that, I’m a full-time blogger,” he wrote. He had been planning to make the leap for some time, but of course he felt caught off-guard. Could he really support himself and his family? He was the sole breadwinner; his wife had returned to graduate school to pursue a doctorate. And his “quit my job” fund was only 80 percent of the way towards his goal. But life handed him a termination – and perhaps that was a sign. He decided to leap head-first into blogging, to see if he could turn it into a viable career. On to six figures… In 2012, he earned $150,000 as a blogger. In 2013, he brought in $155,000. Some of that money came from advertising and commissions from his primary blog; some came from other blogs that he had purchased and started managing; some came from coaching. In 2014, he decided to sell the other blogs he was managing, so that he could focus on writing for his primary blog – this was, after all, what attracted him to blogging in the first place. And within a year’s time, his income dropped to $70,000. It was a substantial income hit, but he’s back to the only vocation that’s ever stuck: writing on his blog. And he’s happy with his choice. Perhaps most importantly, he has the flexibility to focus on his favorite new career: being a first-time daddy. Share on Facebook [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.  Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]

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