I used to wake up each and every day with one single question on my mind…”how many days before the weekend?”
I was counting down the days because I, like millions of people, hated my job. Some people just aren’t meant to live in a cage.
But since I’m not a trust fund baby, I needed the money. I also had no idea how to start a business and I definitely didn’t want another job.
That was 6 years ago. Today I thoroughly enjoy my freedom. I get to wake up without an alarm clock, randomly take days off to go kayaking, and I spend the majority of my time on projects that excite me.
In order to attain that freedom, however, I had to learn a few lessons. A lot actually. It turns out my assumption about starting and running a business were way off base. Most people’s are.
One of my biggest challenges was filtering through the get rich quick schemes and everybody and their mom talking about making money online or getting rich with real estate.
For some reason 99% of business advice is about how to make easy money. It’s all about how to to get rich fast. And, it’s even there to trick you into thinking it’s easy.
SPOILER ALERT: If it was that easy, everybody would fucking do it.
But thankfully, there is a reliable way to escape your day job. And in this article my goal is to help you see through that bullshit, so you can actually start a business and eventually quit your job, and do it all without risking your savings or overworking yourself.
Let’s start with a few of those success killing mistakes to avoid so you can one day give your boss the finger.
Avoid “Winner-Take-All” Businesses
I’ve been reading Nassim Taleb a lot lately, which seems to be helping me avoid stupid mistakes in life. And that seems to be what’s necessary to succeed in business these days. It’s not about being smart, it’s about NOT being what Taleb calls a “sucker.”
And, one of the biggest sucker moves is to start a business where the odds are stacked against you and everybody else trying to start that same type of business.
So what is “winner-take-all”?
It’s characterized by any business or event where only a small percentage of people enjoy the lion’s share of the rewards. Like in the book publishing industry where a few dozen authors sell millions of books while 98% of books and authors only sell a few hundred copies (if any at all).
Or in evolution, where one species wins the genetic lottery and the rest vanish forever. Historians believe that we actually co-existed with Neanderthals at one point, until we humans decided we didn’t want to share our planet anymore. Now there are billions of us and none of them.
Or, in the tech industry, where you have a few companies that dominate the market. Take a look at Amazon for example. It’s long been, by far, the largest book store on earth. Now, it’s disrupting all kinds of industries and accounted for 53% of all e-commerce growth in 2017. Amazon is a giant among ants, and while it does have some competitors, they are few and far between.
The same phenomenon applies to anything where a small advantage leads to disproportionate results. No matter how skilled you are, how prepared you are, or how hard you work, there is a tremendous amount of luck involved when the game is “winner-take-all.” Sure, Jeff Bezos is a smart dude, but there are plenty of others just as smart and creative, they just didn’t win the business lottery.
Winners like Jeff get to live in mansions while thousands of losers go get a job.
So you want to start an internet business? Create the next big app? Or, get a patent on some great idea you have for an invention? I wish you the best of luck. But if you want to guarantee your freedom in the next year, those are all terrible choices.
Sure, you may have recently heard a story of another guy getting rich from the app store. But, what about the other ten thousand people who spent thirty grand and didn’t even make their money back? You didn’t hear about them because they’re not writing blog posts about how to get rich creating apps.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to see things clearly when you only hear about the winners. So if you want to escape your day job anytime soon, don’t be a sucker and play a game you actually have a chance to win.
Avoid “Passive Income” Opportunities
There’s no shortage of experts out there teaching you how to make easy money, whether that is through real estate, YouTube, drop shipping, or selling niche products on Amazon.
These can all be amazing ways to create freedom in your life. Even though there are some “winner-take-all” effects in these businesses, the odds are actually pretty good if you stick it out long enough.
Therein lies the problem…you must stick with it for long enough. How long is long enough? It’s impossible to say. But, you should ask yourself…
Are you willing to work your day job for (at least) 3-5 more years while spending all of your nights and weekends building a passive income business?
If so, great. Stop reading and go get to work. But if you’re like I was, you want the light at the end of the tunnel to at least be visible. It’s hard to imagine three years from now in enough detail to actually get motivated.
I remember after I quit my job I started listening to podcasts and pretty soon I stumbled on the idea of starting an internet business. The experts made it sound so easy, like I could just put in some hard work for a few months and coast out the rest of my life cashing big checks and working just a few hours per week.
“Life was going to be amazing! Why isn’t everybody doing this!?” I thought to myself.
Luckily, I didn’t put all of my eggs into that basket and started another business at the same time (more on that later), because all that hard work didn’t pay off until 4 years after getting started.
It’s funny, too, because every year I’d tell my girlfriend “it’s going to be so nice next year when this work starts paying off.” Then the next year would come and success would still be just around the corner.
Are there people who do it faster? Yep. But they’re the exceptions. The outliers. The ones who where in the right place at the right time in the right niche with the right mentors. That’s called luck my friend. You can’t replicate luck.
The truth is that it takes a LOT of time, effort, dedication, failure, and learning to create passive income. Much more than you’ll be lead to believe.
Is it worth it? Hell yes it is. But if you’re looking to quit your job anytime soon there are much faster and easier paths.
Here’s How To Escape Your Job In The Next Six Months
OK, so, starting a business with a new, innovative idea is a bad choice. The odds of success are dismal.
And, trying to aim for the fences with passive income isn’t ideal either. The odds are better, but it takes waaay too long.
We need something faster. Something with better odds.
What if I told you there was a low-cost, low-risk, fast, and nearly guaranteed way to build a business that frees you from your job within this year?
There is, and it’s a very simple concept…
…Start offering a service and charge money for it.
Thats it! Doesn’t really matter what service either, as long as it pays well. You could build websites for small businesses. You could do wedding photography, video editing, manage social media, or even build excel spreadsheets if that’s what you’re good at.
Check out this guy, he drives around and shovels dog poop and makes six figures doing it! It’s not glamorous, but at least he has his freedom.
Personally, I started a handyman business to replace my income (thus the reason for the name of this website).
Why A Service Business Is Fastest,Easiest, and Most Reliable Way To Escape Your Day Job
First, let me make something clear. I’m not recommending you try to invent some new service. That would put you right back in the low probability for success arena. I’m talking about taking a common service, that there are probably hundreds of competitors for, and start offering that.
What, there are already 25 wedding photographers in your area? Great! That means there is demand. When I started my handyman business, do you think I was among the first? Nope, there were dozens, if not hundreds in my city, but my business flourished anyway.
Now, you’d think that if there was so much competition it would be hard to compete. But, here’s a little secret about the service industry…most service providers suck.
The good ones are busy all the time, and the ones with availability are either just getting started or are terrible to work with. Or, they simply aren’t motivated to advertise and grow. That leaves a lot of opportunity for the driven newcomer to succeed (that’s you).
You Don’t Even Need Any Skills
Ok, we both know that’s not completely true. But, you need a lot less skill than you think you do.
In most cases, you could spend just a few weeks learning a completely new skill and start offering that as a service to people. Most people aren’t going to spend two weeks to learn a skill they could just hire somebody else to do for them.
Service Businesses Have Low Risk
Offering a service is about as low-risk as it gets. You don’t need employees. You can work from your home, your office, or wherever makes sense. And, it costs almost nothing to start.
Depending on the service, you will need some tools. Whether that is a computer or small hand tools in the case of a handyman business. But my guess is whatever service you have in mind, you already have some of the tools necessary.
But here’s the best part. If it doesn’t work and nobody hires you (which is unlikely if you do it right), just try something else! The only thing you lost was some time, and hopefully no more than a week or two.
Cash Flow Comes Quickly
After leaving my job, I actually started two businesses simultaneously. One was HandymanStartup.com, and the other was my actual handyman business.
Within weeks of starting my handyman business, I already had a $900 job. Within 6 months I generated over $5,000 in revenue doing basic handyman services and had almost replaced my old income! Keep in mind this was my first business and I made a lot of mistakes. Had I known what I do now, that would have happened much sooner.
Compare that to starting an online business. It took me exactly 3 years and 2 months to break $5k in a single month, and another 2 years before that happened consistently. Would you rather wait six months or five years to quit your job?
You Can Use Your New Found Free Time to Go After Bigger Ideas.
Maybe you want to have a bigger impact in the world. I’m not saying to run a service business the rest of your life. It’s just a really effective 9-5 escape tool.
The beautiful thing about running a service business is you can work as much or as little as you want (assuming you have your marketing in order.) You can also increase your rates and find ways to make more money in fewer hours. That gives you the time you need to go after bigger dreams.
After being in business for over a year as a handyman, I started scheduling jobs more efficiently and increased my rates. I was able to generate a full time income while working just three days per week. That gave me the time to learn new things, grow this business, or just go snowboarding and camping more often.
Maybe you’d want to use that extra time to play your luck at riskier business opportunities. Maybe you’d want to travel the world. Maybe you’d just want more time with your kids. Whatever it is, you first need to take control of your time because you’ll never get that kind of freedom as an employee.
This Isn’t Supposed To Be Glamorous…It’s Supposed To Work
The ideas I share in this article aren’t sexy. I’m not promising you fancy cars, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, or even a beach house. And for some that’s a deal breaker.
We all want fast, easy money. We all love the idea of sipping drinks on a beach while the chips keep stacking in the bank. That’s why all of the so called “experts” promise these things. They know that’s what gets you to buy.
But if you’re serious about quitting your job anytime soon, avoid that stuff like the plague and start a proven business model.
In just a few weeks you’ll be generating a healthy side income of $1,000 or more. A few months later and you’ll be faced with a much better problem to have – how to tell your boss you quit.
Then, once you have your freedom and some actual business skills, you can go after bigger dreams. Or, you can just sleep in for a while.