For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be able to have a flexible way to earn money. If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you know that building a business was a big part of our debt-payoff story. Starting with the vision of debt freedom, I began numerous side hustles to get us cash-flow positive and eventually paying extra on our debt. Dreams turned into reality at the end of 2013 and we became totally debt free. In the process, my side hustles evolved from random teaching assignments and selling used items online to database consulting. The technology business would be the one that I grew over time. Database consulting was the business that allowed me to work on my own, from home in my Pjs. How on earth did I go from selling stuff on Craigslist to database consulting?
The short story is that I worked for a client on yet another random assignment. I had convinced a man that I was a “sales & marketing” expert. After observing his sales operation for a few weeks, I noticed that he had no way of knowing what the heck his sales people were doing. I did some Googling and found out about this thing called salesforce.com. Well, that thing is now a billion dollar+ company and the CRM standard for the free world. At any rate, I helped this guy implement the system and he essentially doubled his sales 18 months post-install. I called a few other companies in the same industry and helped them do the same. I studied for certification and earned 2 credentials. Pretty soon, I was booked for work and began to hire out, groom and train consultants to do what I did. I had a real business!
Last year, my sales peaked at around $
115,000 $123,000. I worked about 20 hours a week from home and had one, week long travel engagement towards the end of the year. My client allowed me to bring my family, so it was both business and pleasure on the last trip. In years prior, I actually traveled about 1-2 times a month. It wasn’t a big deal because it was nice to get away every once and awhile to places like Philadelphia, Denver, San Antonio, Las Vegas (twice) and more. Last year, I met with clients in California, brought the family along and it was still a business trip (that lasted 6 weeks!) Other times, I was able to hire my sisters for work and one would travel with me. We had many paid for girls’ trips with per diem. Talk about a sweet gig!
I also make a few bucks elsewhere last year:
Salesforce.com Consulting- $115,000
Bank Interest- $99.01
Dividends & Stock Sales– $22.15
It’s been fun and I never imagined that my quest for independent income would bring me to such flexibility and travel and a chance to be with my family in various scenarios. But alas, all good things must come to an end. I decided at the top of the year to take some time off and focus on my health and home schooling my kids. In planning for this, I tested 2 income streams. So far, Udemy and blogging have proven the most promising source of income if I can devote the time to them. I believe that I can. The good news is, I’ve been able to make money just using my time and skills. I now have the confidence to do it again!
With this change, I am hoping to transition to more passive forms of income. On Udemy, I’ll be teaching the skills I learned with database consulting and will be focusing solely on the training aspect of salesforce.com. With blogging, I am hoping to inspire people to get out of debt, increase their income and build wealth. At the end of the day, I am experimenting to see if I can earn more passive income and retire before 40. Services is a good way to start your entrepreneurship journey, but at some point you’ll find a limit to yourself, thus my quest for residual earnings.
If you’re down and want updates on my progress, be sure to sign up for the mailing list and get ready to be inspired. Thanks for reading and let’s go!
Update: Just did our taxes and it was actually $123,000!