I Just Lost HALF of My Income and Never Felt Better!

I just lost half my income in order to pursue my passion

This is a big day for me, my friends. A HUGE day!!

I QUIT MY JOB!

Today is the first day I’m running my business full-time. No longer am I hustling into all hours of the night on this blog and my business. I just left my full-time job and I feel excellent. The only problem is I just lost half my income (well, almost half)! That’s a huge shock to the system for sure. Ever since I started this blog back in 2012, I wanted to not only help people with their money woes, but also make some money. I’ve accomplished both for sure.

Half the Income, but Twice the Happiness

I don’t want anyone to think that I hated my full-time job. I was there for 8.5 years and enjoyed not only the company, but also my colleagues. It was a very hard day for me to leave on Friday, because I knew I wouldn’t be walking into that office anymore. I got paid well, had excellent benefits, and even more friends. All in all, it was a great job to have. So why in the world did I pack it up to go out on my own?

That’s a question I’ve been struggling with for a long time. While I loved the company, my job was starting to get a little boring. I’m a problem-solver by nature. I like to help people and fix issues. That’s what I did at my job. I’m also very good at automation (think process automation). I helped many people do their jobs faster and be more efficient. It’s how I get so much done within my business. I have processes in place to keep me going, but I also know what I can automate and what I can’t.

When I started thinking about dropping out of the rat race and jumping into self-employment, my mind wandered. How would I make up the lost income? What would I sell? Could I work from home every day? What about my benefits?

The questions kept coming and coming. As a planner, those questions killed me. I knew I worked hard each and every night to build this blog and my WordPress maintenance and support business, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on leaving. I just couldn’t do it. The planner inside me wouldn’t do it. My heart said do it, but my mind couldn’t stop wondering “what if?” That phrase almost crippled me.

While I’m losing nearly half my income (learn how I made more blogging than my job), I’m gaining happiness and freedom. Yes, I still have to work, but I work on my schedule. I get to do what I want to do. I get to help people with their sites and solve their problems. I get to service my customers the way I want and treat them as every company should. I’m really excited about the potential for my business, my blog, and my network. It’s exciting around here right now. I’m super pumped and ready to hit the ground running!

Quitting My Job Almost Didn’t Happen

As I noted, I struggled with this decision. I had good things going for me. I was making a lot of money (basically two full time jobs), enjoyed the company I worked for, had awesome benefits, and a number of other things. I like to plan for almost every contingency. It’s the defensive pessimist in me. I would love to think that this is all rainbows and unicorns, but I know the roller coaster of self-employment is not for everyone. It’s hard work and you go up and down on a regular basis. The thing is, I wanted to try my hand at it. I wanted to go all in.

I literally went back and forth for months before I put in my notice. My wife, family, and friends all told me to do it. The problem was my mind couldn’t come up with all of the answers for the “what ifs” that kept plaguing me. When I can’t get an answer to something, I obsess about it. I think about it until the idea is dead. I beat that thought until I find an answer or deem it impossible. It’s not one of my best traits in some occasions.

From August 15th until last week, I actually logged 110 miles on my walking app and that was just around the office complex. I took those walks to get my mind right. I took them to talk myself into doing what my heart wanted me to do. I took those walks to clear the air and figure out my next steps. I literally walked for 48 hours over the course of a few months.

It wasn’t until my wife told me something that stuck into me very deep. She said:

“Why do you work so hard at your business if you’re not going to go full-time?”

She was right. Why was I working until the late hours of the night? Why was I pushing so hard to get more blog management clients when I had no intention of quitting my job. When she told me that, I realized it was time to give up my full-time job and switch to self-employment.

My Dad helped me along as well with this awesome quote:

“Son, you can either be an entrepreneur or you can work for one!”

That also resonated with me as well. If you’re not an entrepreneur, then you’re working for one. Let that sink in for a minute.

You can either be an entrepreneur or you can work for one! Click To Tweet

I’m Excited and Scared

To be completely honest with you, I’m scared as hell right now. I just quit my good-paying job for the ups and downs of self-employment. I just left good friends and good benefits to sit (or stand) behind a computer and blog about money and help bloggers with their websites. It’s a damn scary proposition, but it also can be a very rewarding one as well.

While I’m scared on one end, I’m super excited on the other. I’ve prepared for this. I have a lot of money saved up in my savings buckets that can hold me over for a long time if I made no money each month. I don’t see that happening right now since I’ve been at this for three years. I do like having the backup plan in place and that is my savings account for sure.

Most seasoned entrepreneurs will say that if you’re not scared, then you’re doing it wrong. I think that resonates with me and it should with you. It’s easy to get complacent when you have a job and the paychecks come regularly each and every month. They have been doing so for the last 8.5 years. I was complacent and it was affecting my earning potential. With my business, my income is only capped by my willingness to earn more and with my market. With my full-time job, I could only get a certain size raise or bonus. My earnings were capped by more administrative things than my performance. Remember, you can either be an entrepreneur or work for one.

Today, I’m choosing to be the entrepreneur!

About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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23 comments
Derrick says November 9

Good luck Grayson! It’s a big leap of faith to make, especially the benefits part. Your wife is right though why work so hard if you aren’t aiming at full-time, something I’ll keep in mind.

Besides having your savings set up was there a certain income from your business you were looking to maintain consistently, and how many months was that income consistent before the decision?

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Kate @ Cashville Skyline says November 9

Congratulations again, Grayson! This time next year you’ll be wondering why you didn’t make the jump sooner 🙂

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Natalie @ Financegirl says November 9

Congratulations, Grayson! I am so happy for you. I know you’ll have great success and build up the income your losing. It will definitely be worth it. Congrats again!!

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Emily @ JohnJaneDoe says November 9

Congratulations! Good luck as you move forward, and have fun!

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Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says November 9

YAY!!!!! I am SO happy for you, Grayson! And for your family. I know this will turn out to be one decision you’ll be glad you made. 🙂

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Ramona @ Personal Finance Today says November 9

Six years ago I lost my job. I had NO income, NO savings, a huge debt. And I made it. You are clearly standing on a way better position then I was so there’s no other way than up for your business. 🙂
Keeping fingers crossed and enjoy your new status

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Shannon @ Financially Blonde says November 9

Congrats Grayson!!!! Since taking the entrepreneurial leap 2 years ago, I have made less than I ever made in my life, but I’ve never been happier. Yes, there are tons of ups and downs, but when you are working on and pursuing your passion, it never feels like work and that’s the greatest gift you could ask for. If you need any references for new clients, I am there for you!

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Kim says November 9

Congrats on being self employed. Some people are great at being paycheck players. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I wish sometimes that I could be one of those. Then you have the rest of us who need to be challenged and passionate about what what we do. A job with limited challenges just won’t cut it. I have no doubt you’ll rock self employment and wonder why you didn’t jump in sooner.

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Chris Huntley says November 9

Greyson, that’s awesome buddy. So happy for you. I love the quote. You can either be an entrepreneur or you can work for one. You’ll never regret it. Trust me.

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Janeen says November 10

Congrats on your leap! Even though you’re terrified, has it been amazing to not be juggling both jobs? I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that “With my business, my income is only capped by my willingness to earn more and with my market.” That’s certainly the allure of being a business owner. I’d love to be in that same position someday. Thanks for helping keep the dream alive 🙂

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Jim says November 10

Congratulations man!

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Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says November 11

Grayson, congrats man! I know this decisions would bring you good results later on. Good luck!

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Catherine says November 11

Congrats Grayson! No doubt you’ll regain your lost income in no time!

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Jacob says November 11

This is so cool man. You’ll never go back, trust me, I can see that.

Now get out there and make that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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Jen says November 24

Congratulations! What motivates me to work hard on my side hustle is telling myself that if I work as hard as I did for my employer I would get somewhere. I ran my employer’s business like it was my own and I asked myself why?? It has motivated me since! Good luck to you!

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Allan says December 23

Congrats, Grayson, on taking this big step a little over six weeks ago! With 2016 on the horizon, I’m wondering how things are going and what your thoughts might be for the new year. Please give us an update!

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    Grayson Bell
    Grayson Bell says December 23

    Thank you Allan. Things are going very well right now. I blew out my monthly projections for last month and this month. I’m hoping to be able to ramp up some content productions in the new year, along with launching another blog with a different blogger, and expanding my services to help more bloggers get started and running smoothly on a monthly basis.

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      Allan says December 23

      You are quite an inspiration and I appreciate you being out ‘there’, Grayson.

      If I may ask a quick question on debt pay-down: I’m using a really neat debt reduction snowball calculator spreadsheet from
      http://www.vertex42.com. Very usable, but I was wondering if you’d come across anything else during your journey.

      Thanks!

      Reply
        Grayson Bell
        Grayson Bell says December 23

        Thanks Allan!

        I used to use the calculator on unbury.me, but that site is no longer. Someone copied it at http://unbury.us, but I haven’t tried it. This just gives you more information on if you should snowball or avalanche depending on your loans.

        You can also check out the many calculators on Financial Mentor (http://financialmentor.com/calculator). Todd has created a lot of awesome calculators.

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Allan says December 24

Thanks, Grayson, these links look awesome!

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Preston @TheDrunkMillionaire says January 18

Thanks for the motivation Grayson! I wrote down your dad’s quote on a sticky note attached to my computer: “Son, you can either be an entrepreneur or you can work for one!”

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