As I write this, I’m ending my third week as an achiever. Nope, I don’t call myself “self-employed” or an “entrepreneur”. I’m not a business owner either, I’m an achiever. I like this “title” more than the others as it covers all aspects of my life instead of just focusing on my job. In my life, I want to achieve my goals, my dreams. One of those dreams was to quit my job and start my own business.
The first reason I write on this blog is to keep a written record of my journey. I didn’t want to wait until I became successful before telling you about my adventures. Since day one, I’ve been here with you and shared everything. When I officially quit my job and started working full-time on my online business, the money wasn’t enough to support my lifestyle. On the first day in my home office, I kind of felt the coldness of the metal barrel pushing gently on my temple and the gun clicking as I opened my computer.
Fortunately, my first three weeks have been filled with small wins… and a few struggles
I’ve been making money online since 2007. Sometime in 2006, I started blogging and I cashed my first $100 paycheck at the beginning of 2007. It took me two years before my partner and I made $124,000 online. As is often the case with a “real” business, instant success is very rare. I’m in it for the long game, but still, a few small wins here and there are always welcomed!
My car is paid for by my company!
Before I even started working, I started spending! When we came back home, we didn’t have a car and the idea of driving my 25ft RV all over my city wasn’t exactly appealing. One of the first stops I made when I arrived in Quebec was at an automobile dealership. I decided to lease a Jeep Wrangler and put it in my company’s name. I will obviously also use the car for personal purposes. Therefore, the car is on the company, but I will also have to add a taxable benefit into my personal taxes at the end of the year. Still, I’m able to get the consumer taxes back on it, which is a pretty cool win!
Besides my car, I have also a good-sized list of other expenses that I don’t have to pay out of my own pocket anymore, such as my internet connection and my mobile phone. I like using my company card instead of my personal one. 😉
Who works in pajamas?
Working from home has several advantages. Among them is the classic “pajama day”. You know how sometimes when it’s raining, you wake up and you feel like sleeping in? Although I still can’t afford that, I found a nice compromise by keeping my favorite pajamas on the whole morning.
I also like working with music on in the background. Now I don’t have to be careful with my musical choices or the sound level. The other morning, Breed of Nirvana (some old school grunge music from the 90’s) was playing super loud. I was pumped and it helped me to start working longer hours.
Money is coming in
To be honest, this aspect of the business should not really be considered a “small win” but rather a “BIG WIN”. I was expecting a slow start and I had given myself until Christmas to break even. After all, I still had to set up my office properly, get used to working on my own, work out a schedule and let some time go to capitalize on my efforts. While all of this is still true, I’ve seen an impact the very first week. The month is not over yet, but I can tell you that I expect to see a 55% revenue jump from what I made in June. In fact, if all goes well, I might even break even, or at least be very close. The following graph shows you my membership sales per week. Note the difference after July 4th… my official first day at work!
While I’m very proud and motivated by the outcome of my first weeks, I’ve also run into a few struggles as well. Since it’s not my style to just paint pretty pictures and tell unicorn tales, here are the few things that haven’t gone so well…
Do you take time off? Yeah, when I work
My first struggle is finding a balance between work and the rest of my life. Before getting going our home, I had several discussions with my wife about the number of hours required to lift my business. She knows and she agrees that I have to work 50-60 hours per week. However, I now feel a little bit alone because I have the impression that I work all the time. It’s fun, I’m motivated, but I’m lost sometimes because I don’t know when to start and when to stop my work. Therefore, I work all the time until that suddenly hits me and I stop working for half a day. I have a hectic schedule at the moment mainly because I don’t have a schedule. This problem should be resolved once my children start school and I have made enough money to feel comfortable.
What is more important? Making money or building a long-term business?
Another of my struggles in this new adventure is making the choice between short-term and long-term gains. While I want to build a real business, I’m also pressured by making money to pay my bills at the end of this month. I’m writing a lot of content to fill the income gap. This provides me with instant money, but this is not how I will build a 7-figure business either. In the upcoming months, I will have to make important decisions about whether I should use my time to make money now, or to build something bigger that will eventually pay off. The choice will be easier once I reach the breakeven point though!
Finally, I miss my old life…
Oh… don’t worry, I’m not talking about my day job! If there is one thing I realised, it’s that I could have never come back to work for someone else. However, returning from a year-long, nomadic trek through Central America has been huge shock for everybody in my family. I’m the one who survived this adaptation best because I simply ignored the fact that I was back and plunged full-time in my new adventure. However, from time to time, I have these “blues” where my traveler life haunts me. I miss the liberty, I miss the people, and I miss the adrenaline rush. At least I’ve found a solution to combat this melancholy; make sure I make money fast so I can leave for another trip as soon as possible! I think that once you fall in love with traveling, there is nothing you can do besides traveling more!