Saturday, August 16, 2014

Do What You Love

Image Source: Flickr: Islxndx
Happiness is sitting on my porch, a dark roast in hand, no black marks on the calendar, and my fingers typing away at my laptop.

My goals are simple: Live simply and write.

The two goals and completely intertwined.  By living simply, I have more time to write.  The more I write, the less I will have to endure other economic pursuits, which will allow me to live more simply.

What Do You Love To Do? 

We live in an age, where you can make a living doing almost anything.  Here are some odd ways I have seen people make a living:
  • Rescuing golf balls from golf course ponds.  
  • Writing E-books 
  • Making funny viral Youtube vidoes
  • Bloging/article writing 
  • Treasure hinting for $40,000 18th century wine bottles at the bottom of the ocean. 
  • Beach combing at low tide after hot summer days
  • Gold panning 
Whatever your passion, there is a way to make money from doing it.  

Time Is Short! 

I am convinced that life is too short to be stuck doing something you hate.  You compromise, in order to get ahead, taking a job that wears you down.  Months turn into years, and years into decades.

A lot of people take jobs they don't like so that they can buy stuff that they think will make them happy.   They think that they need to keep their six figure job because it will allow them to keep up a luxury lifestyle.  However, all of that time work takes away from doing what they want.  They take a fancy job so that they can play all of the nicest golf courses, then that job consumes them and they don't have enough time to go to the driving range.  Soon, they are only playing five or six games a year and complaining about being overworked.

What's Your Ideal Lifestyle?

The cost of your ideal lifestyle is probably much cheaper than you think.

In the above paragraph I used the example of a business executive who enjoys playing golf.  Maybe if he cut back on some luxuries, quit his day job, gave private lessons to the tune of $80 and hour at the nearest country club, he would have time in between lessons to work on his game, and maybe even a few complimentary games at the club.

My Lifestyle

For me, I can live very nicely off of $35,000.  I enjoy living in small spaces, hate shopping, and have very simple and inexpensive tastes.  Most of the things I like to do are practically free: Scuba diving (I own my own gear), hiking, backpacking, day tripping.  I would love to have more time to do those activities.

So what would I have to do to make $35,000 a year, doing something I love?  That's only $2,900 a month.  How much would I have to write to make that happen?

It's not out of the question to kick my writing into high gear and produce $50/month from HubPages, $100/month from WebAnswers, and $200/month from my self-hosted sites.  I've been watching my earnings grow, and I'm convinced that if I wrote for 2 hours a day, I can pull this off before Christmas.

That leaves $2,550 that needs to be earned from other writing sources.  I've begun writing E-books this month.  How many E-books would I have to sell to get $2,550 a month.  Selling one E-book for $2.09, it would take 1200 copies to earn that amount.  However, once I have a whole collection of E-books, that amount doesn't look so daunting.

Let's say I have 15 short stories, all selling for $0.35, two collections selling for $2.09, and two novels selling for $4.49 each.  With just one novel, it would take 567 copies to make my livable wage.  That's only 18 copies a day.  If I could convince 18 people to buy my book, I could quit my day job.  Not so bad, eh?

If I sold one copy a day of each of my short stories, that would be $5.25 a day. 2 copies a day of each of my collections would be $17.96/day.  Together, that's almost $700/month.  That leaves $1750/month from two novels.  That's 389 novels needed to be sold, or about 11 novels a day.

When you run the numbers, living a free and ideal lifestyle doesn't look very far out of reach.

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