Since quitting my job and becoming fully self-employed, a lot of people have been asking me how it’s going.
One person in particular asked: “How’s liberation feeling this week? Do you need some florescent lighting and lame memos sent to you?”
I wanted to give you a personal update of how things are going for me, and how liberation measures up when the rubber hits the road.
What I love:
- Deciding what I work on. This is hands down the biggest benefit to working for yourself. Nothing can compare to it. Of all the benefits of self-employment, this is what I treasure the most. Obviously I have to focus on doing things that are actually going to make money, but I also have a lot of time working on other stuff, like exploring different self-development programs, going to seminars, and meeting lots of cool people.
- Variety. Every month, week, or day, I can be working on a different project. This is stark contrast to the repetitive and predictable work I was doing working 9-5.
- Working when I want. I don’t get stressed out much anymore; having to wake up at a certain time, get to an office by a certain time, and be present to show that I’m working. Sometimes I work early in the morning, sometimes I work at night.
- Flexibility. If I want to take a trip to see my family in Utah, I could take the time off right now. If I want to see my sister in Santa Barbara, I can take the time off. Or if I just want to spend the afternoon with my wife, I don’t have to justify it to anyone.
- Working from home. I love working at home with my wife, eating lunch with her, and being able to spend time with her during the day. It’s also pretty awesome to be able to take a break and do some bodyweight exercises or practice Jeet Kune Do.
- Working with who I want. After working on what I want, this is definitely the next coolest thing. When I was working in “the cube,” I didn’t get to choose the people I worked with. It’s not that they weren’t nice, it’s just that with working for yourself, you have the latitude to basically handpick the people you work with. I feel privileged to be able to work with all the awesome people that I do. It’s really an honor.
- Dealing with distractions. It’s easy to waste your time getting sucked into the “checking things OCD loop.” You check twitter, then you check email, then stats, then your other email, then your affiliate sales, then your other stats. Then when you have nothing left to check, you start over. I try to avoid this as much as possible, but sometimes I catch myself doing it out of habit. Before checking email, twitter or whatever, I ask myself “What is my purpose for doing this?” That helps a lot.
- Being ruthless about ROI. Before my business was my number one source of income, it didn’t matter as much if the stuff I was doing didn’t have a high return on investment. Now, it’s a different story. I have to be really careful about whether what I’m doing is going to actually make money, or not. If I don’t make money, my finances suffer, and there’s always the lurking fear of having to go back to a job. Even though the chances of that are highly unlikely (I’d probably panhandle first), it’s still enough to motivate me to stay focused.
- Staying focused. Now that I’m able to devote 100% of my time to the things I’m most passionate about, sometimes it’s difficult not to get overwhelmed with all the possibilities. Choosing a specific project to work on for a week or month helps with this.
Despite whatever challenges there are, I wouldn’t trade working for myself for anything. Within my own self-development, it’s had the single biggest impact on my quality of life. I just don’t think anything can compare to it.
Phase two is coming…
I also want to give you an update on what’s to come for Illuminated Mind. Some exciting things are in the works.
Here’s what I’ve been working on:
- New design. I’ve been working on a brand-new, kickass design for Illuminated Mind. I think the message and direction of this blog has really outgrown the design. The new design will much better fit the unconventional, on your own terms theme of this blog. Expect this before the end of August.
- The Unstream. This is an idea I’ve been wanting to move forward on for a while. You’ve probably seen the opt-in box for the newsletter, but I have yet to send out a copy. Well, the first edition will be coming out soon. Expect it to be packed with uncommon awesomeness.
- The Black Sheep Project. This is something I just started working on with my friend Jared Kessler. The purpose of the Black Sheep Project is “unconventional people helping unconventional people thrive.” We really want to create a community where unconventional people can come together to support each other in whatever it is they’re doing. More on this soon.
- Getting Paid to Exist. I probably shouldn’t be telling you about this yet (since it’s not ready for the public), but I’ll tell you anyway. I’ll soon be launching a paid membership site that will teach you how to get paid to exist. That’s not a typo. I’m going to go step-by-step, with in depth live webinars to teach you all the methods I’ve used to create freedom, break away from the cubicle, and get paid to be me. I’ll teach you stuff like, how unprofessionalism creates trust, why discrimination is the key to success, and how to causing trouble can make you famous (in a good way). Since this course harnesses the power of unmarketing, I think you’re going to find that it’s not like any other.
There’s also yet another really awesome thing to be launched soon. I can’t say what it is yet, but remember when I mentioned a possible free ebook about how I liberated myself from the 9 to 5? It might have something to do with that.
So I think you’re really going to like “Phase Two.”
Did I mention that you’re awesome? You are the reason I do this stuff.
Thank you for being part of this community.