Quit Your Job and Prosper Online in 5 Easy Steps

by Charlie Cook

A couple of weeks ago I was at a crafts show here in Greenwich, Connecticut with my wife and my 85 year old father-in-law. As we walked by the booths admiring the handmade furniture, jewelry, clothing and pottery, my father in-law said to me, “I wonder what these people would do if they had to get a job?”

As someone who has been happily self-employed for the last twenty-five years, I was struck by his question. I’ve enjoyed building a business and creating my own career. It’s never felt like “a job”.

Being my own boss has given me the flexibility to pick my own projects, spend time with my family and indulge my passion for skiing. Sure, I’ve held down a few jobs.  I worked summers doing carpentry as a teenager and when I first graduated from college I was a special education teacher.

But I realized early on that I wanted to pursue my own ideas and run my own show. “Getting a job” is not one of my goals, and I doubt any of the crafts people at the show were wishing they could trade in their businesses for a job working for someone else.

What’s life like without a “job”?

During the ski season, I spend mornings on the slopes, and afternoons talking with clients from my slopeside home. I don’t necessarily work less, though I could. But I work when it rains and ski when it snows in Vermont. Working without a job gives me the flexibility to lead the life I want but that’s only half of it.

As anyone who is their own boss knows, the best part is being able to keep growing your business and pursue your own ideas. Want to write a book? You don’t need to clear it with the boss, just start writing. Have a new idea or a killer product or service. Just create it.

Sure it takes time to build your own business and create streams of active and passive income that can bring in money while you’re enjoying your family or away on vacation – but once you’re making money without a typical job, I know you won’t want to give it up.

Where are the best places to make money?

I like having an Internet based business because it gives me the flexibility to work from anywhere there is a phone line and Internet access, but there are lots of other ways to make a great living without ever getting a “job”.

Seth is a good example – he’s a fitness trainer and could easily have stuck with a job working at any of a number of sports clubs. Instead, he has his own practice at a small gym here in Greenwich CT with three other like-minded trainers.

While Seth has individual clients he provides each with their own workout sheet and is able to manage 2-3 clients at any one time. In addition the core of his income comes from his summer program for budding high school athletes where he works with 10-15 clients at a time.

The result? Seth makes more than twice what most sports trainers makes and works half as much. He could be making more, but he he’s happy with the life style he has.

Doing something you love, on your own terms, to help others is my favorite way of making money, but there are tons of others ways to make a good living without a job.

George is a good example of someone who makes tons of money while hardly working at all. My office is next to George’s so I know a lot about his work habits.

George is a chemical broker, he sells a by product chemical used in turkey feed. Over the years he’s built relationships with feed mills all across the country and now all he needs to do is keep his customers happy. This involves having a secretary to answer the phone, take the order and arrange for the trucking firm to make delivery. That’s it!

The business is so simple to run that when George is in town, he comes to work at around 9:15 am, takes a two-hour lunch break and usually heads home by 4pm. On average, when he comes to work he’s working a total of approximately 5 hours.

And George is making enough so he can take 6-8 weeks off a year to spend on the fifty-foot powerboat of his that he keeps here in Connecticut in the summer and in Florida in the winter. I’ve never asked George why he doesn’t just get a job and I’m pretty sure he’s happy without one.

Why You Should Never Get a Job

1. It’s too risky having a job.

The days of the lifetime company job are gone. As all too many people are finding in this economy, even if you’ve slaved away for decades at your job, you can easily be laid off due to circumstances beyond your control. Having a job is no guarantee of income.

2. You can make more.

When you’re paid by the hour or by the month, you can only make so much. Whether you’re a sports trainer or web production manager for a company, your income is limited by the time you put in. The only exception to this is if you’re lucky enough to work with a company that provides profit sharing.

3. You can organize your work around your life instead of your life around your work.

Most people’s schedules are determined by their work schedule. Mine’s determined, in part, by when it’s good weather for skiing, biking or kayaking. If the weather is nice on Wednesday afternoon in the spring, I typically leave early so I can enjoy a twenty-five mile ride before dinner. On a hot day in the summer, I opt for an hour and half paddle on the ocean near my house.

And regardless of the weather I have the flexibility to hit the gym go for a bike ride, and get in at least ten hours exercise a week. I’m trying to keep both my mind and body in top shape.

There are limitless ways to make a good living without a job. You could do what Steve Pavlina (featured on this month’s cd) does and spend a few hours each day writing, develop your own sports training practice or broker chemicals used in turkey feed. There are many ways to make money, but no matter which way you choose, there are five things you need to do to be successful.

1. Focus on Creating Value

We all want to make money, and all too often that becomes the goal. Instead, make creating value your goal and making money will be the result.

How do you create value? By helping people and solving their problems.

I’ve given this example before, but let me remind you of it again. I made my first million by mistake. When I created the website SearchIQ, which ranked and reviewed search engines, I wasn’t trying to make money. I created a tool that I needed myself, so I knew that many others could also use it and it would help them find the best search tools on the Internet at the time.

I recognized a problem and developed a tool to solve it. My goal was to make the site as helpful as possible.  By doing so I attracted a huge audience —  over 300,000 visitors a month — and a buyer for the site.

You can do the same. Identify a problem that needs to be solved and come up with a service or product that solves it. If you think that every idea is taken, think again.

Successful entrepreneurs get ideas for new businesses from their personal and professional experiences. Next door to me is the office of GrillDaddy, the entrepreneur who makes his living selling a better brush for your gas grill. A simple idea with a huge market.

Action A: Make a list of five problems you could help solve with a new or improved product or service. Then write down the target market that you would be helping. Remember that to create a viable business, you’ll either need lots of customers for a low priced product or service or, if your target market is limited, a product or service you can sell at a high price.

For each include: a problem, b. target market

1. ______________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________
5. ______________________________________________

2. Be Persistent About Delivering Value

You’ve developed a business plan or strategy based on creating value. Now you’ve got to deliver, and deliver consistently.

Seth is a great example. When his first client, a high school athlete, was referred to him, he didn’t just put this student through a bunch of standard training exercises; he used the latest proven techniques that the NFL uses to train top football players.

Over the course of a few months, the high school student he was working with started to outperform his teammates on the playing field. Pretty soon they all wanted to work with Seth.

Seth’s success didn’t come overnight, but by persistently delivering value and helping his clients achieve their goals, he grew a sustainable practice. Two years from setting foot in town, he was making a lot more than what other sports trainers make, and working half as many hours.

Steve Pavlina did the same. He started writing articles about personal growth for his site. He didn’t make much money the first month or two but by the end of the first year he was bringing in $9000 a month just by including Google Ads on his site. By the end of the second year, after he started reviewing products and earning affiliate commissions, he was making $40,000 a month.

Both Seth and Steve worked hard the first couple of years adding value and now that their businesses are established, they are reaping the rewards, with business coming to them.

When I was building SearchIQ, I added a review of a search engine or another resource to the site every week. When Steve was building his site, he added a couple of articles a week.

What can you do to deliver even more value with the services or products you provide?

Action B: Create a plan for adding value to your target market in the next 12 months. List at least 3 ideas.

1. ______________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________

3. Delegate Your Way To The Top

Every entrepreneur starts by doing everything in their business. You create the product or service, you market it, you deliver it, you ship it, you handle customer questions, and you may even try to do your own accounting. At some point, usually six months after you should, about the time you’re buried in work and totally stressed out, you realize that it’s impossible to grow your business if you are the business.

You’ve focused your growth strategy on adding value and delivering it consistently, and it’s working. But if you’re stuck doing everything it takes to run your business, you’ll never reach your potential and neither will your business.

A lot of entrepreneurs have trouble letting go of tasks they’ve been doing themselves. Others hesitate to hire because of the financial commitment it takes.

The first thing to realize is that most of the operational and administrative tasks in your business can be standardized and either handled by off the shelf software or easily taught to a competent assistant.

Don’t be stuck thinking that no one else can lick stamps as well as you can. Delegate everything except your growth strategy to someone else, or a handful of someone elses.

Delegate all the administrative and operational tasks that you can.

Action C: Make a list of all the administrative and operational tasks you are currently doing on a separate sheet or on your laptop. List the first five you are willing to delegate.

1. ______________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________
5. ______________________________________________

Now find someone competent to delegate them to. You might want to start with a virtual assistant a few hours a week. Then as business grows use your virtual assistant to find a full time assistant.

4. Leverage Your Time With Simple Systems

When you quit your last job, you quit working for an hourly rate so you could make a lot more. The way to do this is to create simple systems that allow you to leverage expertise and your time to make hundreds, if not thousands of dollars an hour.

Seth has all his exercises and workout routines set up on his computer and he tracks what each client has done. Putting together their next customized workout involves 2 or 3 minutes at his computer, and hitting ”Print”. Each client gets a printout of their workout for each session. As Seth trains his clients, they become familiar enough with the varying routines to start the exercises on their own.

Seth staggers the start times of workouts by 15 or 20 minutes. With this system, he can handle three or four clients at a time, give each client attention when they need it and earn two or three times more in a day than other trainers.

George has a simple ordering system set up that his part time secretary can manage. One phone call from the feed mill and she can input their order into the computer and notify the truckers of what to pickup and where to deliver it.

I use simple management systems and automated systems in my business to:

–       Manage my huge subscriber list

–       Stack up newsletters and mail out over 60,000 emails a week

–       Accept online orders

–       Notify my fulfillment house of orders to be shipped

–       Handle returns, refunds, and customer questions

Steve Pavlina has a simple, automated system so that each time he posts an article in his blog, it creates a Twitter and Facebook entry and maintains his top positioning in the search engines.

With a few simple management systems and a bit of automation, you can leverage your time to make more than you ever imagined.

Action D: List at least 4 areas in  your business where you could save time and money by using either simple management systems or software.

1. ______________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________

5. Find a Mentor

I’m going to tell you a secret. I’ve been skiing since I was four years old — that’s more years than I’d like to count. So what’d I do this past January on my birthday?

I took a ski lesson. I signed up with one of the best instructors at the mountain I frequent and had him show me how to improve my technique.

I do the same thing in business. I regularly seek out and work with coaches and mentors. I’ve been doing it for ten years and it’s been critical to my success. Occasionally they share new ideas, but most of the time our conversations just keep me focused and that’s what has helped me be successful without having a job.

Over the years, I’ve worked with a speech coach, , a copywriting coach, and a SEO coach. I’m a marketing coach, but I worked with a marketing coach myself at one point. Getting help from experts keeps me at the top — which is where I want to be.

As I’m sure most of you know, a job is what you do to make money, to earn your living – whether or not you’re self-employed or work for a boss. The point of this newsletter is that whether you already have a job or currently run your own business – there are some simple ways to be far more successful, without necessarily working any harder.

Just use the 5 steps detailed here to see your profits grow.

Additional Resources

• Steve Pavlina’s site www.stevepavlina.com

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