What does it mean to be in charge of your life?
For most of us it means a good work-life balance; clear opportunities to excel at what you’re good at – both at work and in your personal life – while having time to enjoy the fruits of your labour with those you love.
We all work hard and these days we’re being encouraged to work harder than ever before with less rewards in return. For many people this is the signal to get off the treadmill and into a job or business that better suits what they want in life.
The process of making this transition can be a tough path, especially if you’re leaving one well-paid, fairly secure path in exchange for something less secure; something you have to build from scratch. There are the lucky few who have built up the capital to make a painless transition, but those who are building from scratch have to think laterally and be economically agile.
The Story of a Comic Book Artist
For the last two years Sarah has run a Webcomic that updates once a week. She also works 9-5 at a web design agency. While others in her profession who do the same enjoy the variety this lifestyle brings, Sarah isn’t happy. She wants to transition from part-time comic creator to full-time comic creator.
“Is that possible?” you ask. Yes it is. The processes for attracting traffic to a website are the same whether it’s a make-money-doing-nothing site, or if it’s a site whose primary function is to tell a story. The principles are the same and that’s why we’ve seen so many new internet businesses in recent years; it is the great leveller of our time. Back to Sarah.
Her plan has been to build her Webcomic site up to a point where she is earning the same amount per month from that as she is in her 9-5. Two weeks ago she tweeted that she’s finally made her goal and she’s quitting her job to concentrate on her burgeoning comic empire.
Alongside a plan, anyone looking to carve out their own niche in life needs a big dose of courage to willingly step off the certainty of the treadmill and out into the wilderness.
Thinking Laterally and being Economically Agile
The greatest challenge of any niche is making it pay. Passions are fine, but can they pay the rent? You can give yourself a head start by cutting out any unnecessary expenditure and keeping the incoming sum of money greater than the outgoing sum of money. This might mean utilising a plan B in the early days. Sarah has said that paid medical trials will be hers and finding out more information on volunteering for medical trials will be her first step; this is because she wants to keep topping up a pot of money that will help facilitate larger projects specific to her goals.
In reality, you should seek out a niche that offers several potential income streams. They can be virtual, real-world, or a mixture of both. Sarah’s pursuing the last option by continuing her weekly Webcomic, alongside printing physical copies for specialist shops. And then there is the merchandise.
The information age isn’t just about websites and social networks. It’s an opportunity to manage our lives in a way that suits us.