Category Archives: Money
Escape Nine to Five is an exploration of the lifestyle business or career, we look at ways of making a living that don’t involve slugging your guts at a nine to five in an office cubicle. The first thing that springs to mind for a lot of people when a”Lifestyle Business” is a blog – after all, there are a load of people who make good money selling ad space on their blogs and websites, and blogs have even changed hands for millions of pounds in the past.
I am not going to question whether blogging is a viable business, I’ll save us both some time and say that yes, you can make money from a blog, for those of you who are still skeptical, a quick peek on Flippa.com will show you the value of certain websites as well as what they’re earning. What I plan to talk about is whether blogging is worth your time and effort.
Any successful blogger will tell you that in the vast majority of cases, it takes a long time, and a lot of hard work, to get your blog to the point where it is making any sort of meaningful profit, if you’re looking for instant cash you should probably pursue another route. The best blogs have hundreds of articles, a big social following and are well respected by google, meaning lots of free search engine traffic. All of these aspects take time to build up, and you will spend a lot of time feeling like you’re working for pennies an hour. You need patience, and to keep going when it feels like you’re getting nowhere. Not easy.
If all of that hasn’t put you off too much, you should also know that blogging is a great way to earn your living if you can pull it off, and yes, it is worth it. There are ways you can make the long haul night quite so long, and optimise your blog to make profits.
- Make your blog all about one subject. Calling it yourname.com and writing about anything is all very well, but you won’t attract a specific audience.
- Have something to sell. Someone else’s product, your own product, or of course your advertising space (least profitably)
- Utilize affiliate links, and write articles that tie into affiliate topics.
- Guest post on other authority blogs to gain traffic, links and exposure.
- Promote a service such as consulting or something you do locally.
Overall, I’d say that blogging is more “worth it” for some people than others, and if you already have a product or service to promote and sell you’re off to a good start. Blogging is a powerful tool to promote something you are already doing, but blogging for the sake of it is going to be more tough. There are many people who do manage to start without a product and make their blog their living. Bear in mind at all times that if you want to make money from your blog, directly or indirectly, you have to be a salesperson of some description, if you can’t find a way to do this, you’re going to struggle to succeed.
We’ve all heard a load of mixed signals about money in our lives. From when mother told us that if we really wanted something we had to save our pennies and watching our parents sweat it out in a tough job to put food on the table to when the Beatles told us that they didn’t care for money because it couldn’t buy them love. With all of those messages flying around it was hard to know who to believe, well, I’m sorry not to make it any simpler but they are both right.
The Importance of Money
This is a bit of a “well, duh” moment in a lot of ways, but yes, I am going to talk briefly about the importance of cash in your life. Unless you life in a self sufficient environment without anything to pay for then you need it to get by, everything in life costs money from rent to food to entertainment, but how much do we really need?
- Enough to feed us properly
- Enough to clothe us
- Enough to feed and clothe those who depend on us
- Enough to put a roof over our heads
- Enough to pay our medical and heating bills
- Enough not to be depressed
One word that sticks out there? Yep, enough. I remember reading a Tim Ferriss Quote about living with the bare minimum. Putting ourselves in the position we often fear, where we do not have a huge amount of extravagances, and often when living in this environment we realize that in fact our lives do not entirely depend on our bank balances. Perhaps our perspective of “enough” has become skewed?
It is really hard to write about this stuff without becoming extremely cheesy extremely quickly. It is however true that money is not everything, and there is so much in life that doesn’t depend on it. Lets talk about some things more important than money.
- Friends and Family
- Hobbies and enjoyment
- Security (the two do not always go hand in hand, trust me)
- Life experience
I understand that sometimes you need money to fuel some of those things, but not usually millions, you don’t have to be CEO of a multinational to have a hobby (in fact it probably makes it a lot less likely). It is the last on that list that people often have a problem with, TIME. You might well be one of the people who slaves away for 50 hours a week in search of a better job, more money, promotions and pay rises. Besides that perhaps not being the best use of your time in terms of getting rich, you should ask yourself if that is really how you want to spend your time. You could be doing so much with those 50 hours and though you probably need to use them to do the things we mentioned such as eat and have shelter, some of the luxuries you have such as cable TV or gym memberships could be sacrificed for more time in which to chase your passions and do what you want to with your life. Ironically, this might make you more money in the long term anyway.
Remember that you can’t take money with you. One day you are going to be six feet under and your bank balance will not matter. Live your life and value your time enough not to devote it all to money and you’ll live a happier life.
Here on Escape Nine to Five we’re all about getting out of the rat race, being the boss of our own time, traveling and being the masters of our own destiny. If you’re interested in all or some of those things you probably know who Tim Ferriss is and what he has done for the world of the solopreneur and “New Rich” (a term that Tim himself coined). Many of his quotes have been greatly inspirational to me and I hope that by sharing some of my favorites I’ll do my bit to help out your endeavors.
Here are the best of Tim Ferriss Quotes from his books, interviews and speeches.
From the Four Hour Work Week:
“It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them… People are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.”
“The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is… boredom. Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase.”
“True freedom is much more than having enough income and time to do what you want. It is quite possible – actually the rule rather than the exception – to have financial and time freedom but still be caught in the throes of the rat race. One cannot be free from the stresses of a speed-and size-obsessed culture until you are free from the materialistic addictions, time-famine mind-set, and comparative impulses that created it in the first place.”
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
“I’ll repeat something you might consider tattooing on your forehead: What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
“Pacifists become militants.
Freedom fighters become tyrants.
Blessings become curses.
Help becomes hindrance.
More becomes less.”
“By using money as the scapegoat and work as our all-consuming routine, we are able to conveniently disallow ourselves to do otherwise: ‘John, I’d love to talk about the gaping void I feel in my life, the hopelessness that hits me like a punch in the eye every time I start my computer in the morning, but I have so much work to do! I’ve got at least three hours of unimportant email to reply to before calling prospects who said ‘no’ yesterday. Gotta run!”
“The commonsense rules of the “real world” are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions.”
“I have quit 3 jobs and been fired from all the rest. Getting fired, despite sometimes coming as a surprise and leaving you scrambling to recover, is often a godsend. Most people aren’t lucky enough to get fired and die a slow spiritual death over 30-40 years of tolerating the mediocre.”
For the full low down on Tim’s amazing entrepreneurial career and outlook on life, check out his books on Amazon:
We’re quite an entrepreneurial bunch here at Escape Nine to Five. The desire to get out of our dead end jobs sparks an enterprising spirit in people that we like to both celebrate and facilitate. However, a lot of people want to make the shift from office job, mechanic, teacher or any other profession to full time business owner and free man/woman don’t have a big pot of money to start their business. Luckily, there are loads of ways to get a business started on a shoestring.
Before I look at the cheapest businesses to start up, I’m going to share with you a book that has had a big impact on me. I know, I usually save the recommended reading for the end of the post, but this one is so integral to the point I’m trying to make. It’s called the $100 startup, by Chris Guillebeau, a blogger, business owner and travel addict who I am a huge admirer of. In the book, Chris uses case studies of people who have started their business without a lot of money in their pocket, and the journey to their success.
Now, to the cheap start ups:
- Dog Walker. I know, it isn’t glitz and glamour, but depending on how much business you can drum up locally (and how many dogs you can handle at a time) this can actually be surprisingly lucrative, it’s good exercise too and also allows you to work towards other goals you might have.
- Blogging and Writing. We’ve covered this a lot here on Escape Nine to Five, and you might already know that my words are my preferred method of building an empire on a budget. It costs very little to start a blog or write an eBook, and if you put the hours in and learn a little about how the internet works, there is money to be made.
- Event Planning. Whether you want to offer your services as a freelance wedding or event planner, or start your own events such as singles groups, concerts, business network events or craft fairs, the possibilities are endless and you’d be surprised what you can get started thriftily in this modern age.
- Website Design. If you’re tech savvy, and know a bit about designing websites, brush up on your html, php and css and get designing. Great if you already know a few local businesses.
- Teaching a Skill. From guitar to photography to just about anything people will pay for, you can sell your time teaching a skill to people in your local area. This is a rewarding way to make a bit of cash and network with people along the way.
- Consulting. This depends on your skill set, but businesses always need fresh input, whether you choose management consultant, marketing consultant, brand development consultant or another type, get your business cards made and get networking, the outlay is tiny but the potential earning power is big.
- Domestic Services. Cleaning, ironing, gardening…all the things people don’t always have time for and would likely pay someone else to do. Get the equipment you need, distribute some fliers and you’re on your way.
- Food. If you’re good with food, get the necessary health and safety certificates, some ingredients, and start to make cakes, sandwiches, whatever you have a market for locally. You can distribute these to local coffee shops, take orders from businesses or even do home deliveries.
There are loads more ways you can start businesses on a shoestring. A lot of entrepreneurship is about being inventive, so I’d urge you to take these ideas as inspiration and evolve them into a business model you can sustain.
Entrepreneur is the new rock star. In a world in economic downturn (mostly), there are some trailblazers making huge waves, making a success of themselves and their business ventures. When kids of older generations may have aspired to becoming the next Marc Bolan or David Bowie, they’re now looking up to the Mark Zuckerberg’s and Steve Jobs’ of this world as their idols. Glamorized in movies such as The Social Network and a new wave of entrepreneur inspired movies, books and magazine articles, the worlds best businessmen are beginning to receive the admiration and media coverage once reserved for the John Lennons of this world.
Who wouldn’t want to aspire to becoming an entrepreneur? The money, the lifestyle, being your own boss and all the other benefits of running your own business ventures. Investing, hiring, moulding your own jobs and making big calls not just for your life, but for the companies you are building. Entrepreneurship is creating a legacy, and who doesn’t wish to make that kind of mark on the world? It’s not all glamour, though, and there are some skills and traits you need to become a true entrepreneur.
- Creativity. One of the key traits of en entrepreneur is creativity, and the ability to visualise and turn those visions into goals and realities is almost the very definition of an entrepreneur. The ability to see what others cant, and shed a new light on a product or business model will set you apart from the others. Creating things and watching them flourish or fall flat is part and parcel of the lifestyle you’ll be choosing.
- Bravery and The Ability to Cope with Risk. Risk is another huge part of the blueprint you’re going to have to follow. Throwing your life savings on the line or having the guts to make a big, make or break decision, but not letting it consume your or affect your performance is vitally important.
- Confidence. Similar to the above but also vitally different. You’ve got to have confidence in your ideas and ability in order to make them a success. A lot of entrepreneurship is about getting people on side with your project, and how can you expect to do that if you’re not confident in it yourself? I’m not saying you should be arrogant or blindly certain that you’re going to be successful whatever comes up, but knowing that your idea is a good one and that you’ll work extremely hard to achieve success will give you the confidence you need.
- Passion. This is to do with the businesses you choose to run as well. You have to be passionate about your goals in order to achieve them. I could never run a successful business in the waste disposal industry, because I don’t care about waste disposal. Travel or media on the other hand are massive passions of mine, and being able to work in those areas would put a fire in my belly and make me ambitious to succeed. Wanting to get up in the morning and care about your work is the very reason most people become an entrepreneur, if you’re in a niche you don’t care about, it will defeat the purpose entirely.
- A willingness to work hard. Very hard. Some people will tell you that it’s easy to become your own boss, ditch the nine to five and make a shed load of cash. They’re lying. If you’re going to get to where you want to be, prepare to work your little backside off. Did anybody ever finish a marathon and say “well that was easy”? No, they didn’t, but they finished, because it was worth it in the end.
Of course, there are loads of other traits found in many entrepreneurs, but the ones listed are absolutely key, and ones that you simply wont be able to bypass. You’ll need them, like the world needs entrepreneurs, and though it isn’t always cocktail parties and board meetings, the fulfillment of making things happen for yourself and others is truly rewarding. Good luck in all of your pursuits.
People are always on the lookout for new ways that they can make a residual or passive income online. For many a year now, stock photography has been a popular way for people to upload something they have made and watch the royalty cheques roll in, and I’ve even heard of people making a good living out of stock. A new method that has shot to prominence in recent years is stock footage.
Travel back in time five or six years and remember the digital camera you were shooting with. I bet it wasn’t ridiculously different to the one you’re using today when it comes to taking stills, but I bet there is an area where it has advanced an awful lot; video. The capacity to shoot high quality, high definition video is almost expected with the purchase of a new camera these days, and has opened up a whole new world to the photographer.
Maybe you’re not approaching this from a photography point of view anyway, your history may well be in video and the digital revolution has merely aided your prospects of selling footage, but either way, it is an option that a few years back might not have been worth pursuing.
The bottom line is that the money is there to be made in the world of stock footage, and has been for a few years now. Most of the large stock providers such as Getty Images have begun selling footage as well as stills, and more multimedia stock sites such as Pond5.com have become more popular.
So Selling My Footage is Easy, Right?
Wrong, I’m afraid. I’m going to stick my neck out and say that the world of stock video footage is far, far more difficult than the world of stock photos. Unfortunately, a lot of the stock photos out there aren’t really taken with the most skill. Give a monkey a camera and if he keeps shooting for long enough he’ll have a decent library of images. Of course, the most successful photographers are usually the most skilled, but the barrier to entry is perhaps slightly lower.
Stock footage will show your weaknesses! There’s no sticking your camera in auto and hoping for the best, you’ve got to plan your shot, time your shot, make sure the camera is smooth and not handheld or like something from the blair witch project, you’ll probably even have to do a little editing and after all of this your footage might not be up to scratch, and then there’s another obstacle…
Selling it! Much like stock photography, there are factors that will determine how well your footage sells and how much for. For instance, some types of footage will be in high demand, things like business related subjects of meetings, handshakes and other snippets that will go well in a corporate promo video. Others simply will not be high sellers, not many people will care to buy footage of your pet snail eating dinner. That said, finding a niche can also be a route to profit in this industry and if you’re able to get quite specialist footage, though you probably wont make a huge amount of sales, you can sell exclusivity and make more money per sale due to the nature of the clip. High quality clips of things that are hard to film, for example from an aeroplane or fast moving car, or of a natural phenomenon not often seen, will command higher prices and will sell, even if slightly less than footage of a handshake. It is up to you which path, or combination of paths you take.
If you’ve got some decent gear, make sure you have a tripod and get yourself started, the best way to learn is to do, and you can earn a bit of cash along the journey. Even if stock footage doesn’t end up being your retirement or your escape from the nine to five, it can be a tidy earner and help boost your coffers along the way.
Today, I’m in the amazingly fortunate position of being blogging from the beautiful Batu Ferringhi in Penang Malaysia (I am going somewhere with this, not just boasting). Batu Ferringhi (I’ll call it BF for short) is famous for its night market, where street vendors line the seafront roads selling their wares, from souvenirs to fake bags. Tonight, after negotiating with a really forceful salesman (I use the term salesman very loosely) I decided I didn’t want to buy the bag we had been negotiating over. Suffice to say he wasn’t impressed, and I was met by some really nasty insults (Boo hoo, sob story over).
The episode got me thinking about hard sell tactics and soft sell tactics. This guy was clearly a hard seller, and his only hope in the end of getting me to buy his item was simply to intimidate me. As I walked past his stall, just like around 60-70% of BF traders, he tried desperately to get me to look at what he was trying to sell me, and once something took my fancy he wasn’t letting me go without a fight. Having moved over 60% on the initial price he was trying to sell to me for (a flaky sales technique at best) he then assumed the sale had been made before I had parted with my cash, and was practically taking my money out of my pocket. If anything it put me off more, and no, I didn’t lead him on or make him think I was trying to buy it, I just wanted more information.
The flip side of the coin is the rare street trader whose tactics don’t wreak of desperation, and I have been lucky enough to come across a couple. Purely by comparison, these guys look like saints, and who wouldn’t want to part with an honest and quieter salesperson than a pushy and confrontational conman? Needless to say the good guys have been the ones who receive my time and ultimately my money.
This is all pretty obvious stuff, but I figure there’s much more of a science to the whole thing. The conman obviously cant have been dumb enough to think that he was doing the right thing by his customers, and I’m guessing he just sees me as a piece of sales fodder who will be gone again in a few weeks and he can try and work his “magic” on the next tourist. Intimidation was his only tactic, and by trying to make out that I was in the wrong, he wanted to either frighten or to guilt trip me into buying. The truth is that even after he had begun on a pushy footing, I may have still parted with my cash if the offer and product were good enough, but the more pushy and irate he got, the less I wanted it and the more I wanted to get out of there. He looked desperate, like the kid at school who wont stop begging a girl to notice him and hold hands in the playground, he was anything but an attractive prospect, but again, as with relationships, the guys who were open to your custom, so to speak (sorry, bad analogy), but didn’t have desperation written through them like a stick of Brighton rock, were a more attractive prospect.
A similar thing goes on with pricing too I’m sure. I’m no retail magnate, but I’m pretty sure that when my girlfriend sees a $1,000 bag, she wants it more than the marked down $20 bargain basement bag. The value to produce might be the same, the quality might be the same, they might even look identical, but the fact that it isn’t screaming “buy me” from the depths of the sale section of a shop make it seem eternally more stylish and desirable.
The next time you have to price a product up for sale and try and physically shift it, whether in person or online, make sure you don’t use any underhand tactics, be the friendly but happy go lucky salesman or the $1,000 bag that doesn’t care if it’s being bought or staying on the shelves, even if inside you are desperate to make a sale, don’t let your customers see this weakness, and for goodness sake don’t scare them away.
Amazon are undeniably one of the key players in the world of eCommerce, affiliate schemes and other ways to make money online. As with other huge online businesses such as Google and Facebook, an industry has sprung up around Amazon, and their platform is allowing thousands of people to make an income, large or small, in loads of different ways.
The latest method of making money out of Amazon and it’s many spring-off departments is by publishing your own books, whether fiction or non-fiction, on the Kindle store.
Now Amazon are unsurprisingly cagey about their Kindle sales, and it is not widely known exactly how many people around the world own one, but it was estimated last christmas that one in forty people received one as a gift, and that’s just one day! Of course, Amazon’s Kindle team haven’t been daft enough to keep their product exclusive, and you can get kindle readers on the iPad, other tablets and even on your smartphone, which means that there is an undeniably huge market for eBook sales via the Kindle platform.
Much like music did 5-10 years ago, books and the written word is undergoing something of a digital revolution that many would argue is long overdue. Nobody is surprised to see a device that allows us to read almost any book in the world remotely without having to carry them around with us, and nobody is surprised to see it becoming so widespread, but what you may be surprised by is just how simple it is to get involved with this revolution and begin publishing your way to an income.
The way to get your books up for sale on the Kindle is to use their direct publishing platform, which is over at https://kdp.amazon.com and is surprisingly simple.
How it Works
This is a little more complex than I’m going to make it sound, but all the info you need is at the link above so I wont bore you with details here. In basic, though:
- Create your eBook. There is no minimum length, but depending on whether you’re writing fact or fiction, and the subject matter you have chosen, you’ll probably be looking anywhere between 10,000 and 50,000 words for an Amazon eBook (I tend to shoot for 20-30,000 minimum to offer my readers value.
- Format for the Kindle. There are a few ways you can do this, it’s all about the type of file you save it as and the way you make it look in whichever program you have chosen to finalise your writing for the Kindle. Remember to try and make it look nice, and don’t be afraid to splash out a little to get an eBook cover professionally made.
- Set your price, categories and description. Remember that the price has a big bearing on your royalty share, too, which will be either 35% or 70%. Pricing points are a huge area of debate in the world of self publishing, and it can be key to experiment and find what works best for you.
- Promote your book and reap the rewards!
So, will Amazon get you a bunch of sales? Hmm, this is a tough question, and the answer can be both yes and no. What I can tell you is that simply putting a book up on the Amazon Kindle store is not enough on it’s own to get you a ton of sales (sorry), if only it were that easy. To make your book popular in the first place, and encourage the organic sales that Amazon can eventually bring, you need to generate a lot of the sales yourself.
How can you generate sales? The same way as with most digital products, you can utilise blogging, mailing lists, social networks, affiliate schemes, videos…the list is long, and there are ways you can start your book selling.
So if I’m selling Myself, What are the Benefits of Kindle?
Well, I contradict myself slightly here, and I have to apologise. Thought it is true that initially, you’re going to have to put tons of effort into making the first few hundred sales, but eventually your sales could well end up on autopilot. It’s like trying to get it to a tipping point, when you reach a certain level of sales and promotion the scales will tip and you will begin selling automatically, your book will be on amazon lists of bestsellers or show up well when people search for things, as well as coming up in the “people who bought this, also bought…” sections. Millions of people have amazon accounts and kindles, and are much more likely to part with their cash through the device than they ever would be on a DIY page you have made on your own site.
As with most money making endeavors, those who are successful often shy away from the limelight, not to mention hiding their secrets to success, but luckily there are some awesome stories out there that we can all read, some of which you can see over on one of my favourite self publishing sites, The Creative Penn, and through John Locke’s brilliant…er…eBook on how he made a million sales of er…eBooks (link).
One of the most effective ways of escaping the nine to five rat race is to earn your crust online. There is a lot of scepticism around regarding how difficult this is to do, or if it is even possible to do so. Dont get me wrong, earning a full time living over the internet can be very very tough, but it’s certainly not mythology, and it can be done. One of the reasons online income is accessible in the modern age is the amount of online earning methods available to everyone, there are a lot of different things people can do to make cash online, which is why I have chosen to list some of them and break them down a bit for those looking to grab some cash from the world wide web.
- Revenue Sharing Websites. These are cool because there’s no need to lay out any money, you just create an account and get going. On top of that, you’re leeching off of the reputation they’ve built themselves. The best examples I can give you are Squidoo and Hubpages, where you create an account, create content and when the site makes money off your content through advertising, you get a cut of the cash, which is great, and is certainly a start when it comes to making some online money, but you’ll probably at some point move on to…
- Your own Site or Blog. I’ve got tons of sites in a load of different niches, and I’m passionate about all of them. Depending on the niche of your subject and whether you’re getting traffic to your site that actually want to buy something, you’re probably going to need a lot of traffic to make any real income, but its certainly not impossible and if you build up a community around your site, you can certainly turn traffic into money.
- A product to sell online. Quite a popular one, this, usually coming in the form of an online course or an eBook, which leads me nicely to the next on my list…
- Kindle Publishing. Selling an eBook has never been easier. Amazon let anybody self publish on their kindle platform, which means millions of people who visit amazon every day (and have their credit cards linked to their accounts) may see your book and buy it, which works whether you’re selling fiction or non fiction, just make sure you’re not pumping out spam! You’ll get bad reviews if you do, and nobody else will buy your book (rightly so).
- A membership site. If you’re providing something premium or have a forum full of information you dont want to give away for free, you can put it behind a pay wall, which can create a tidy recurring income.
- Youtube videos. You’ll need a heck of a lot of traffic to get anywhere with this one, but you can build up a following on Youtube with videos, whether they’re product reviews, funny videos or anything, Youtube will share revenue with you…how nice!
- Selling something for stock. If you create art, photography, music or graphics, there are forums where you can sell your work as ‘stock’. Great if you’ve got a lot of time to spend creating content and uploading it to these sites.
Of course, the above list is just some of the more common online earning methods, but there are many more, you could start a social network or music streaming service, the beauty of the internet is that the possibilities truly are endless…
It can truly be one of life’s biggest choices. Do you want to work in a job, exchanging your time for money and receiving a pay check every month, or do you want to start a business, work for yourself and be in charge of the everyday running of the very enterprise that is (hopefully) paying your wages. There are definitely arguments for both; if you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll probably know a lot of my views on the subject already, but lets go through a point by point of Job vs Business and what both entail.
Believe me when I tell you that security is a really strange aspect of this debate. In general, I’d wager that people assume that a regular salaried job would mean job security, and yes, it is true that there are (depending on where you live) some laws that protect you from unfair dismissal, but in general, you’re one grumpy boss away from either a miserable working life or even losing your job altogether. In self employment, growing security is tough, but it does happen, and some business owners are extremely secure in their life (and financial predicament). Think about it, if you had 2,000 subscribers to a service paying you $2 a month each, the chances of losing all of them quickly are very slim. Likewise, 10 clients paying $200 a month are unlikely to all ditch you at once. Your income probably wont just dry up, and diversifying means that you can have multiple income streams so that if one drops off you’re still in good health.
The main benefit of working for yourself and running a business is often that you can set your own hours. This is fine in principal but you may well eventually find yourself having to put in a huge amount of hours too to keep yourself going. A standard office job may well at least guarantee your working hours as being 9-5 monday to friday. It’s a routine you may well give up in a business, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on the individual.
Running a business may well put you in a position of responsibility that you dont experience in a job. You might be responsible for paying suppliers, or paying peoples wages. You will be responsible for your taxes and paying the business bills. In a job, your responsibilities may well be limited.
This is the clincher for me. Potential. Your potential in a job is defined by bosses, opportunities, your industry…as a business owner or entrepreneur you can forge your own path and overcome these limitations, as a business owner you can take yourself to another level rather than wait for a promotion. You only live once, right?