Like most of the people reading this article, I was once a worker bee. Getting into the office at 8 am, hardly ever breaking for lunch and leaving as close after 6 pm as I could. Now, I moved from working in an office to the freedom of my fantastic tandem kayak and the shore banks I choose to explore.
Kayaking has always been a passion of mine and was the inspiration behind moving from the office to the water. I have exchanged my desk for the freedom of a tandem kayak, a compartment for me and one for my laptop.
You too can cast off the oppression of the office for the freedom of the outdoors and waterways in 7 steps. (Notice I didn’t say they were easy if they were everyone would do them.)
Step One: Have the Dream
Before you can go anywhere you need some idea of where you want to go. I knew I didn’t want to work in an office anymore. I was a software developer that had spent his life working for the man. I knew I didn’t want to do this anymore. I wanted the freedom to work from anywhere and at any time. Yes, this sounds easier than done and it is.
I started reading and finding out about different ways I could make money in my spare time. That was how I stumbled on affiliate marketing. Many people have sites out there that earn them a passive income while they spend their time doing what they live. I knew I wanted to be one of those people.
Step Two: Read, Research and Learn
Regardless of whether you want to get into the world of affiliate marketing, becoming a novelist, travel blogging, motivational speaking, or the myriad of different ways of earning a living that doesn’t require working in an office, you need to upskill.
You don’t know what you don’t know, so find out! There are PLENTY of examples of people who do what it is you want to do online, and they are usually eager to share their stories. If you don’t have time to read, then use audiobooks and make use of your commute time or when you are ironing and doing the washing up.
Step Three: Make the Time
It is unrealistic to expect to wave a magic wand and instantly teleport yourself into a new life. It requires time. So how do you go about getting this? You have to make it!
This unfortunately requires sacrifice. I made the commitment to carve out 20 hours a week to dedicate myself to my dream. How did I achieve this?
- I used audiobooks so I could learn while I was on the commute. (2.5 hours a week)
- I woke up 30 minutes earlier each morning and stopped sleeping over weekends. (5 hours a week)
- I forced myself to take my lunch break and spent it working on my own stuff instead of my companies. (5 hours a week).
- I stopped working overtime when I didn’t absolutely have to. (3 hours a week)
“But if I don’t work overtime and through my lunch break, I won’t get a bonus or a promotion.” – If you want a bonus and a promotion, then you don’t want to leave your job and you are wasting your time dreaming of a different life.
I carved out the remaining time by reducing the amount of TV I watched and was very specific about the types of programs that consumed my time. If it wasn’t educational or informative, I didn’t watch it.
Step Four: Start, Fail Early, Learn
It is very unlikely you will be successful on your first attempt, no matter how long you prepare or plan. So… Start and fail early. Learn from your mistakes and improve as you go along. When I started watercraftwatch.com it was a shell of what it is now. My design was sloppy and my articles lacked flare. This reflected in my traffic and my rankings. As I improved, so did my traffic and positions in google.
Step Five: Measure and Invest
Don’t be afraid of honest feedback. You need to know where you are if you are to make adjustments to reach your destination. This feedback can be in the form of google analytics, amazon sales, or in the case of the book I wrote, editor’s comments, and writers’ group feedback.
Basically, no matter what vehicle you use, to move from the office into the comfort of your own home on in my case the kayak will require a financial investment. This is something you will need to plan on and budget for. If you decide to write a book, then invest in writer’s tools like grammar checkers. Remember, even if you self-publish, this will cost money.
Step Six: Collaborate
Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and get feedback from friends or focus groups. Don’t be scared of people stealing your ideas. Ideas are cheap, doing the work is hard and requires sweat. Most people aren’t prepared to do the work, that’s why they will fail, and you will succeed.
Step Seven: Rince and Repeat
It is unlikely you will hit upon one idea that will take you from 0 to your current salary or over. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s just the way it is. However, don’t get disheartened. The more lines you have in the water and the more diverse they are, the greater the chances are that you will earn money.
I didn’t launce Watercraft Watch and then a year later leave my job. I spent a year learning and creating an asset that started to generate an income. I used that money to buy another site. I also started writing a book. After a few years I have more than replaced my income and can relax knowing that even if one income stream collapses, I can still keep myself out of the office while I set up another one.
In conclusion, there is no silver bullet that will take you to your dream. There are many roads and each is littered with obstacles. But if you don’t try, you won’t succeed.
man on phone with kayaking paddle -DepositPhotos