In mid-January 2019, I quit working as the Head Of SEO at Foundr.com and also completely quit freelancing and consulting, what was my thought process in doing something like that?
Recently when I was on the Wifly Nomads podcast, I talked about how working at Foundr Magazine was the best thing that happened to my “career” and how I’m so happy I had that experience especially working with Nathan and the rest of the Foundr Team.
In reality, working at Foundr would be considered “the best job ever” by most of the people reading this.
- I had no working hours
- I would work from my laptop while traveling in the world
- I lived in 14 different countries, 3 continents in the 15 months I worked there.
- It paid really well
- I only had a 1-hour skype meeting every week
- I had the autonomy and freedom to experiment with new ideas
- The company invested in me and helped me get better at my work on the job
- Working at Foundr got me into the doors of many companies/in touch with influencers
- I was the head of an entire marketing department at the age of 20 #braggingrights ;)
So, for most people sitting in your offices reading this will honestly feel like slapping the shit out of “the spoiled little brat” ie. me for quitting a job like that. Having a life/job like that is a dream for most people and that was my recent experience when I shared my reasons for quitting with my un-“unconventional” friends.
So why in the hell did I Quit Foundr?
When I quit college 3 years ago to travel the world it was cause basically, I wanted to do things my way and getting a 9-5 wouldn’t help me do that. And at the start of my travels freelancing was the easiest way to make it possible.
However, in 2019; I quit social media and I spent 2 months off the internet while I was traveling India and did a 10-day Vipassana retreat. Now being off the internet for 2 months isn’t something I could do easily if I was still freelancing or working full time.
A one-hour meeting, once a week may sound like a fairy tale to most people but to someone like me who except with a few gigs, have always worked on my own business is a commitment I could do without. I don’t like “having to have to do anything”.
What Am I Doing Now
Well, now I basically just run this site. I also run a couple of other “niche websites” that help pay the bills, but for now, I’ve decided to just spend more of my times writing articles like these.
Check out this article I wrote on Instagram Travel Influencers to understand the content I plan on producing. Instead of just saying “Instagram is so bad for people”, I want to dive further into a lot of topics I find interesting.
I’m going to start blogging to help others do what I do as well, for example, some of the article ideas on my mind are “How to make your first $100 in 3 months of blogging” etc. Being good at what I do ie SEO helped me have the optionality to quit freelancing similarly I want to help others empower themselves.
Over the past 3 years, one of the biggest things I’ve focused on is reducing the things that I “have” to do. Now some of those things are obviously unavoidable, I still have to pay my taxes, bills, etc.
However, by quitting freelancing, I no longer have to have email or slack on my phone and I can go weeks without opening my laptop. Even when it comes to this blog post, I don’t “have” to write this, I “want” to.
Reducing the things “I have to” and instead doing the “I want to” was one of the things that brought me the greatest ROI. For example, when I started the blog, I read a ton of articles on how to make money blogging, and almost all of them said that I had to spend “an hour every day on social media to build my audience”, however I realized that I don’t have to do that I all. On the other hand, I can just quit social media.
The next time someone tells you that you “have” to do anything (get a degree, buy that house, dress a certain way etc) maybe take a short moment to question the “obvious” because most of the time people are just being irrational.
Most of the things you think you “have” to do, aren’t really things you have to do.
Making Money As A Freelancer
If your focus is Money, then I would recommend getting really good at what you do and get into consulting. Because in most cases (unless you are a unicorn) you are better off working for a Google, FB etc instead of starting your own business.
For example; if you have the skills to grow a blog at $1000/month, you could probably work in a tech startup making around $2500/month.
Similarly, if you can grow a marketing business to $10k/month, you could probably consult for the Fortune 500 companies and make $50k/month. So in the majority of cases, you will always make more money working for someone else versus working for yourself.
A reason why Amazon/Google/FB salaries are moving towards $400k is many engineers there wanna do startups of their own (they tell me in DM)
$400k/y risk free in a job
% odds of success * $ selling startup
For ex: sell startup for $12M after 3Y * 10% odds of success = $400k/y https://t.co/dEVAR9HDYM
— Pieter Levels ✨ (@levelsio) June 12, 2018
So, it’s almost always more profitable to work/consult for an established company instead of yourself. However, we don’t live in a vacuum where working is only about money.
I’d rather work on making the 10k/month working for myself doing something I like rather than 50k consulting especially as the benefits of making 50k isn’t 5 times the benefits of making 10k.
However, that equation may change completely if I was 35 years old, had 3 kids, and a mortgage to think about. Being 21 with no debt gives me a lot more optionality than most people, most people can’t decide to overnight quit their comfortable jobs to build their own businesses.
However, I didn’t end up having that optionality due to “luck”. For the past 3 years, even when I made less than $500/month I would focus on first investing at least 10% of my income before spending. That was an intentional decision (one of many) that made the difference.
Find out what works for you, if it’s building your own business do that. If it’s getting a full-time job, try and get one like the one I did at Foundr ;) else go down the path of becoming the best consultant in your field.
Pick your path and don’t let other people’s opinions get to you. All that matters is how you feel when you look at the person in the mirror.