Because I had a $100,000 income target in mind while in college, I set out to work in an industry which would allowed me to make such an income. Industries such as consulting, finance, legal, high tech, and medical are such industries. The problem is getting in and surviving for a long enough time to reap the financial rewards.
I see many people bail out before the income really gets good because they just can’t take the work hours, pressure, and stress anymore. I understand completely since not everybody is cut out to work 50-80 hours a week and constantly compete for their lives. Eventually, we all burn out. I’m just surprised how quickly some of the younger folks burn out nowadays.
As a middle-aged man now, I’m no longer naive about the world. $200,000-$250,000 is my ideal income for maximum happiness, but at what cost? If I am to spend more than 50 hours a week trying to make $200,000, that’s not very impressive. If I could spend just 20 hours a week making $200,000, then I think that would be mighty fine.
IDEAL AMOUNT OF WORK TIME A DAY
My ideal amount of work a day is roughly four hours. I like to get up early and work from 7:30am to 11:30am non-stop. I find that I can maintain a maximum focus of up to four hours, by which time I start to fade if I work any longer. My concentration deteriorates, and I start to get fidgety and want to go outside.
From 11:30am-1pm, I take a leisurely lunch break. Afterward, I enjoy a nice 30 minute siesta on the couch before I go and perform some physical activity to try and stay in shape. I might sprinkle some afternoon errands and by the time 6pm roles around, it’s date night and relaxation time.
There will often be times when I have to get on the computer and work at night due to clients in Australia and Asia. However, I don’t plan on spending more than 45 minutes online after dinner anymore because I want to spend time with my loved ones instead.
I encourage everybody to get a sense of what their optimal work hours are and find a way to get there. I know if I only worked for one hour a day, I’d feel unproductive. Meanwhile, each hour after four hours of work gets less and less enjoyable to the point where I will start hating work after the twelve hour mark!
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Making $200,000-$250,000 a year working just 20 hours a week is no easy task. I’ve reset to zero now that I’ve retired from corporate life and look to build multiple income streams online instead. Although the task may be difficult, if I give myself a long enough runway, I believe I can make it happen.
By December 31, 2015, I aim to generate over $200,000 a year in operating profits from my entrepreneurial activities. I know that if I stick to building up my consulting practice, producing products, writing consistently online, and networking, I will get there from scratch. I’m going to invest in new ventures as well.
I’m excited about this three and a half year goal. Perhaps I will fail, but at least I will try. Perhaps I’ll get tempted to go back to the corporate life before then. That doesn’t mean I still can’t strive towards my goal. All I know is that I’m going to focus on the journey and have fun trying to get there!
Recommended Actions For Increasing Your Wealth
Manage Your Finances In One Place: Get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 25+ difference accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to manage my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing and when my CDs are expiring. I can also see how much I’m spending every month. If you are interested, they can even provide tailored financial advice for much cheaper than traditional wealth managers.
Start your own business: It’s been around six years since I started Financial Samurai and I’m actually earning a good passive and active income stream online now. The top 1% of all posts on Financial Samurai generates 31% of all traffic. The average age of the top 1% posts is 2.3 years old. In other words, after putting in the hours to write some very meaty content over two years ago, 10 posts consistently generate a monthly recurring income stream that’s completely passive.
I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes with Bluehost. You never know where the journey will take you in 2015 and beyond!
Work When You Want: I’ve recently tried out driving for Uber because they are currently giving up to a $300 bonus after you make your 20th ride. After 125 hours and 53 rides, my gross pay is $32/hour, which is not too bad! I can see how people can easily make an extra $2,000 a month after commission and expenses with Uber or any ridesourcing company. I’d definitely sign up and drive until at least the bonus . Every time I plan to drive somewhere, like my main contracting gig down in San Mateo, I’ll just turn on the Uber app to try and catch a fare towards the direction I’m going. Why not make extra money?
$32/hour is a huge pay cut for me and it’s a humbling experience as well. But discovering the whole ridesourcing experience first hand is fascinating! I’ve got so many stories to share in the future about my experiences picking up random people. You can make $40,000 a year easily if you work a normal 40 hour a week shift based off my experience.
Updated for 2016 and beyond