Income independence is something I’m not unfamiliar with. In fact, my longest employment to date is with myself as the boss. It’s a great feeling, and I look forward to being self employed again. The following is my plan to return to that status.
I came up with a five step plan to getting out of the oil field and replacing my income.
Step One: switch from night shift to day shift
You’ve heard the term, “don’t quit your day job.” Well, I can’t quit my day job because I work nights. Kidding aside, here is why I think it’s an important step. My days off would likely be more productive if they weren’t all messed up from bouncing from nights to days as I do every week. Some guys I work with stay up all night on their days off? I don’t. I sleep my normal time until the afternoon (sometimes shorter than usual) then go back to bed at around midnight. I wake up the next morning to a full day Wednesday. On Thursday, I have to work in a nap before going back to work that extended graveyard shift.
I also need to switch to days because it will boost our bed and breakfast income by 100%. When I came up with the plan, we were not running a bed and breakfast from our house. This new stream of income, however, reinforces the importance of this first step. How will switching to days double our b&b income? Since we’ve started the business we’ve had to except only couples and women when I’m not home at night. You can figure out why. Because of this, we litterally have had to turn down half the bookings and apologetically explain why. Hopefully, this will soon be resolved.
After taking this job for about four months, I began putting in my application to switch to days. Every other week or so I would fill out the paper and turn it in. Finally, after having served six months, I wanted to know where I was on the list. I went straight to the big office and talked to the big boss. William picked up my stack of papers right under his monitor and said, “I haven’t forgotten. I have your request forms right here. We have to train some more people and then you can go to days.”
“What time frame are we talking here?” I asked; trying not to sound too aggressive.
“About two or three weeks.” He replied. I knew two or three weeks meant four to five at least. After three weeks (just the other day), I went back to his office and enquired again. This time he said a couple weeks. It’s a small and easy step, but it’s still an important one. Any day now, I’ll get beyond step one.
Step Two: build up savings
Income streams can fluctuate. One doesn’t step out into income independence without a little cushion to soften any volatility of income. This is true especially if one has a family. This should be about three month’s income, but I’m half inclined to make it just one month’s income. By the time I close in on step five, however, I’ll probably be more inclined to fatten this one up good and healthy like.
Step Three: reduce workload
This step almost certainly will require me to change jobs. I currently work 60+ hrs a week. I would need to cut that down 15-20hrs so that I could pick up some work at home. By now I’m sure you’re curious as to what I expect to do. One of the ways I can earn an income at home is by video editing for people on upwork.com. I’ve already done some work here and I enjoy it.
By this step I would need to have invested in a new computer. Mine stopped working. I would also need to upgrade my editing software, but that’s not necessary yet as I already own Adobe Elements.
Step Four: book a week of work (at home) and take a week off of work.
Consider this a trial balloon or a test launch; a sample of what’s to come. This is to feel out the sustainability of what I intend to do both financially and in terms of personal endurance. If this sample week shows that it’s more effort than it’s worth, this is when to know for sure. If I’m unable to continue adding work for the following week, this will reveal the degree of volatility. If it looks sustainable in both aspects, I may have to decide to move to step five sooner than later.
Step five: quit the job
After the evaluation has been made and the numbers add up, there remains only one last step. It is the step to complete the goal. My goal is to make this final step within the next sixteen months. My h2s monitor is counting down the months and I use it as a constant reminder to keep my eye on the prize.