What you will learn
One of the most attractive things about making money online is the freedom it gives you. The freedom to work when you want, where you want, and to be in control of your own destiny.
In today’s podcast, I’m joined by Perrin about when to quit your job to become a full-time, internet marketer.
How Did We Start Doing Marketing Full Time?
For me, things started pretty quickly after leaving college.
I got a place on a grad scheme working for a large, respectable, faceless multinational doing boring and menial jobs. I hated it from day one. I wanted out.
I didn’t necessarily care what I was going to do because I viewed anything as an improvement.
So, I saved some money, quit my job and went traveling. During this process, I started a site that started making a couple of hundred dollars per month but abandoned it thinking it was a failure.
Soon after, I met Gael. We decided to start a digital marketing agency together, do a but more travelling and learn by working on clients projects. At this point, I was working full-time + in internet marketing, but it felt more like a job rather than my own thing.
At this point, Gael and I decided to launch Health Ambition so that we were spending our time growing our own businesses rather than growing other peoples.
For Perrin, he had been doing a few jobs that weren’t paying all that well or not very fulfilling. Eventually, he got a ‘good’ job as a consultant for a blue chip company. It paid well, but he knew it wasn’t what he wanted to do.
He started building sites on the side. Four site failures later, he had a site that was matching his salary from his ‘real job.
Perrin didn’t outright quit his job though. He’s more risk-averse when it comes to personal finance.
Perrin eventually quit his job when his friend Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits hired him to work on building sites.
Perrin thinks it took so long for him to quit his steady job because he is:
- Risk-averse with life decisions and personal finance
- Doesn’t like to rely on a single source of income
Perrin and I are on the two extremes of the spectrum:
- I quit my job with some savings and believed I could make it work
- Perrin was making more money from his site than his job but wanted additional financial security
Then, in the middle, you have a full range of people who will quit their jobs at different stages. That may be when their site can replace their income. It may be when their site starts making a little bit of money, and they believe they are going to be successful.
What Held You Back From Getting Into Internet Marketing Sooner?
For a lot of people, making money online seems too good to be true. They don’t believe you can make money from a website, work for yourself and travel the world if you want to.
And, if I’m honest, I have to admit that some of the online courses from back in the day reinforced these ideas.
The long sales pages that looked like they were selling get rich quick schemes look cheesy and a bit fake. It all looked like a scam.
I think if I wasn’t so cynical, I would’ve got into internet marketing a lot quicker.
From Perrin’s perspective, there were also family members who were naysayers. It is hard for people who have been conditioned for years to get a job and work your way up through the company to grasp the idea of making money online.
They generally don’t know anyone who has done it. It seems like a crazy scheme. Or at least it did at that time.
In 2018, I would say more people are aware of different people making money online. That may be through drop shipping or YouTube or travel blogging.
How Long Will It Take Before You Can Replace Your Income?
We don’t know! There are too many variables. In fact, we recorded an entire podcast covering this point previously.
The thing is, there are too many variables.
If I lost everything today and I had enough money to survive for 9 months, I would be confident I could start something and be fine in that time.
But, it depends on how often you work on it. It depends what budget you have. If you have slick processes for link building and content creation. These are all things that can take a while to figure out.
For people (like Perrin in the beginning) who are trying to figure things out for themselves, a typical timeline can be as follows:
- Google make money online
- Choose a method (authority sites in our case)
- Read the blogs and try to figure out a series of processes
- Try and fail
- Go back and learn more, fail again
- Eventually earn your first dollar
- Trickle of growth
- Sudden explosion of growth
Whereas if you are joining a group of people following the same methods who are trying to figure out things together, it can look as follows:
- Join group or course
- Try something
- Fail and work out why with the community
- Work with people who know what they’re doing
- Start making money in 6+ months
This is not a guarantee though. There are people who can go as long as five years and still not be making any money. Having said that, there are probably some fundamental mistakes that they are making.
The reason people ask “how long it will take to make money” is that they don’t trust the process. Much like we didn’t at first. It seems too good to be true.
There is ‘input lag’.
Basically, you put in a whole bunch of work up front but don’t see any direct results from that effort until months down the line.
So, while you are waiting for the results, you need to believe you are doing the rights things to stay motivated. This is where the community can really help.
For new members, we will often see the emotions on the Facebook group:
- Day 1 – They join, get really excited, write 10k words in the first weekend, do the design and get their site up
- 2 months later – Come back and are needing a bit of motivation. They have spent the last two months grinding but haven’t seen any results yet.
- 3 months on – They’re super excited again after having just made their first $50 on Amazon and are ready to start taking things to the next level.
The best advice is not to focus on big goals. Focus on the small goals that will give you the motivation to go on. Focus on building your first link, writing your first article, making your first dollar online.
It becomes a virtuous circle that reinforces itself. This is also why we recommend starting a blog you are passionate about. If you are interested in the subject, it is a lot easier to keep going in the tougher times.
Should You Quit Your Job?
Before making your decision, let’s look at Perrin’s reasons for NOT quitting:
- Financial security – don’t leave yourself in a position where you cannot afford important things (like health insurance if you are American.)
- You love your job – if you love your job and are doing something really cool, you don’t have to quit your job to be successful with internet marketing.
- Diversification of income – there is less risk if you have more than one income stream.
- Good way to build wealth – having a job is a good way to build wealth. You can create an early retirement plan, for example.
From my point of view, if you have the money to quit and it is just a psychological question – yes. Quit today. Don’t save too much money either as this will make you give you the hunger to be successful quicker.
Unsurprisingly, risk-averse Perrin takes almost the complete opposite position. He recommends that you:
- Create an emergency fund (at least 6 months income)
- Don’t plan on raising your standard of living for a long time
- Reinvest the money back into the site
Here are some of the best stories from the Facebook group that will hopefully give you a better view of some real-life examples:
March 2016 – Started website
April 2017 – Site making same amount as job
July 2017 – Site making twice as much as job. Decided to save 6 months worth of living expenses before quitting my job
October 2017 – Quit my job
Now – Site now making 4x as much as my old job, new website now up and running, never want to go back to work again!
Couldn’t have done it without all of the amazingly generous insights from various people within this group, so thank you all!
Went full time last month which I posted about. I realized I was making enough income that I could go FT in October, but I stuck it out at my day job for a few extra months just to make sure I had a good amount of savings put away (in case things turned ugly), and to reassure myself that I was going to continue to make money month after month.
Also going full time with this has made me slightly paranoid, so I’m diversifying where I can.
We went full-time when my husband was laid off. It has been tight for us and I really wish my site made more. At that time site was ~2 years into serious monetization, I started it many years ago making mostly display ad income, though (until Adsense stopped paying anything – diversified after that).
Right now I do have a “secondary gig” assisting a local midwife at births, but it’s not to supplement income, it’s to learn to be a midwife (which is also related to my niche).
In short, I went 100% full-time Oct. 2015 with $40k in the bank. My plan was to keep doing what was working for me and not worry too much because I had a cushion in the bank to fall back on.
I’m still in a great position with no plans of being employed by anyone else again. I’m still technically employed because I’m working on and in my business, but that’s changing slowly.
November 2013 – Finished University and didn’t want to get a job, started building websites.
June 2014 – Didn’t make any income from websites (lol) so had to get a job, online marketing at a renewable energy company.
November 2014 – Persuaded boss to take me on as a consultant working 20 hours per week, double the pay per hour. Building up websites the the other 80 hours a week. Moved to Bali.
November 2015 – Websites going nicely, matching income from consulting job, but crash due to negative SEO. Get fired from consulting job a week later (due to new boss!) Almost no income. Move back to parents home in the UK.
2016 – Go all in on my own websites. Eat, sleep, breath SEO and online marketing. Moved back to Bali. End of 2016 making around 6 X as much as my old job.
2017-2018 Full time site owner, hire 2 full time employees. Make more in a an hour with an email list and our own product than I made in 1 month with a job.
2018… preparing to retire?