I received a comment today about my post on how I built a six figure income blogging which I responded to, but felt would be worthwhile posting here and expanding upon. This is what the commenter wrote:
This is retarded. What is a six-figure income nowadays? Practically everyone I graduated college with started at or near 6-figures in their first job. Unless you’re working class a six-figure income these days is easily attainable at a very young age. No need to try to get it through the unlikely route of blogging.
It is true there are many ways to get a six figure income working for others and I have nothing against people who choose to pursue their careers in this fashion. In fact, I was making a six figure income before I started doing this — so why would I give up a nice income to begin from zero? I had some very specific reasons in my case which I will detail below and everyone should look at their own situation and see if these benefits make the effort worthwhile.
The main reason that I chose to abandon my other job for blogging / sites was because my wife is not a US citizen. We agreed when we got married that we would live half time in the US and half time in her home country. Moving every few years makes it quite difficult to build a career in a standard company. One of the great advantages I now have is that I can work virtually anywhere in the world. As long as I have an Internet connection, I’m fine so where we live and when we want to move is no longer an issue.
Choosing to do this as a job is certainly not for everyone. You have to be self-motivated and willing to put in a lot of time and effort – much more than if you are working for someone else. That being said, I’m my own boss and have nobody to answer to but myself. While I earned a lot in my former jobs, and even had quite a bit of autonomy in them, it’s not the same as being your own boss.
In choosing to blog / build sites, I’ve chosen to write about a subject that I love. That is not to say that it’s 100% heaven everyday. There are certainly times when I want to get away from it, but since I write about things I enjoy for the most part, I’m a lot happier and have a lot less stress than I ever had when working for others. While there are aspects of this job that I don’t particularly like, there are a lot less of them than I have had in any other job I’ve had and I can honestly say that I have truly enjoyed most of the jobs that I have had over the years.
When you are on salary, you get paid for your your time and nothing more. With this work, I am building value beyond the time I spend. That is, while I earned six figures in the past working for other companies, there was no other value was being created beyond the monetary compensation I received. With the sites and blogs, I am building value as they grow in size. I can sell them for a considerable amount of money if I ever decide to move onto something else and no longer want to deal with them anymore.
In addition to building value, the sites can generate passive income if I choose. Awhile ago I needed to take a month off from everything due to some medical issues with my wife. During that time I barely touched anything on the sites and blogs. As would be expected, income that month dropped, but it didn’t drop nearly as much as I imagined it would. While a long term absence will drive regular readers away and not something that you want to do if at all possible, regular readers don’t click on the ads nearly as much as those visiting from search engines. That means that even if I decide to stop my writing completely, I would still be able to earn enough to live on. That is something that is not possible with a regular job.
There are numerous ways that my cost of living is reduced. For example, I do not have a daily commute (I get out of bed, walk down the hall and I’m at work) and the costs associated with that. In fact, I could easily live without a car (although my wife wouldn’t go for that). I don’t have any work clothes expenses (I’m sitting here in a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt) or any of the cleaning bills that can come along with it.
One benefit that I truly enjoy is that I can travel whenever I want. This means that I make a lot more trips during the year than I would normally be able to because I can always fly off-season. In addition, I subscribe to a last minute air travel deal site so that if an amazing airfare becomes available at the last minute, I can take it without a second thought. This is something that would not be possible in most other jobs.
Since I am at home throughout the day, I get to spend a lot more time with my wife than if I was working for a company (this has been especially beneficial due to the medical issues she has had). It also means that if we have kids, I will be able to watch them grow, will have no issues seeing any of their events and can take a day off to have fun with them whenever I want. While this also means that I end up doing a lot more of the housework than I would do if I was working for a company, I think my wife appreciates that fact as well.
While I’m making an assumption here (which may or may not be true) in regard to the person that posted that they live in a high cost area of the US, for most people earning a six figure salary, they have to live in a large city where prices are quite high compared to other parts of the country. The standard of living on a six figure salary is a lot different if you live in Silicon Valley compared to a small town on the Oregon coast. I can live anywhere (as long as I have an Internet connection) which means my salary has much more value than most other six figure salaries. In fact, I can live and move anywhere I want at any time. That is a freedom you don’t have with most jobs.
Granted, this isn’t for everyone, but to dismiss it outright as “retarded” because it’s possible to earn six figures in other ways without also acknowledging the benefits is pretty short sighted in my opinion. There are many things that go into a career choice that have value well above the actually money you earn. Yes, if your only goal is to earn a six figure income, there are certainly easier ways to achieve that goal than through blogging and building sites, but when you consider all the other freedoms that this job provides, I would say that it’s a pretty difficult career choice to beat.
Image courtesy of noahwesley