If you want to build a remarkable life, the first step must be ditching your 9-5; there’s no question about it. As soon as you do:
- You can wake up whenever you want to
- You don’t need to put up with an incompetent boss
- You can take a break whenever you want to
- You can travel the world
- You don’t have to crawl through peak hour traffic
- You exponentially increase your earnings potential
And so on, and so on, and so on, and so on, and so on, and so on (I think you get my point). Making money regardless of where you live opens more doors and creates more opportunities than I could convey in 100 pages of dot points.
If any (or all) of them sound like something you want, here’s how you do it:
NOTE: This guide is for those who’re new to the world of online work and are looking for something simple they can jump into straight away without too much learning: getting an online job.
If you want to build your online income streams and skip the transitory step of working for someone else (not recommended for complete beginners), you can read a guide about that here: How to quit your job and travel the world for $120 or less
3 Steps to Ditching your 9-5 in 30 days or less
Let’s start at the start:
Step 1. Work out how much you need to live on (2 hours)
Unless you live in a hippy commune or have millions stashed in an offshore tax haven, you’re still going to need cash to survive. That’s how the economy works so that’s the first thing you need to consider.
The good news for you is that there’s an excellent chance you need far less money than you think you do to quit your job. Think about it: if you weren’t blowing $100 on alcohol every week and another $100 on random snacks you were only eating because you were bored, how much money would you really need each week? And what would that figure be if you weren’t spending money on your work – travel and clothing and food?
In fact, when you start to strip out all your unnecessary expenses, you’re left with only a few critical expenses: food, accommodation, communication, transport (even those can be reduced).
So, the first step in this process is to work out how much money do you need each month to survive:
- How much do you need to eat a healthy diet for one month? If cut back the junk food, processed food, takeaway, and restaurants, how much could you get by with each month?
- How much do you need for rent? And no, not for some fancy apartment with a pool and spa in the complex, but a simple room that puts a roof over your head, gives you a space to cook food, and a safe and productive environment?
- How much do you need to spend on communicating with the outside world? How much do you need to spend to get sufficient internet access and phone coverage to connect with your friends and family and to organise your life? Not ‘how much do you want to spend?’ but ‘how little can you get away with spending and still live a productive life?’
- What about transport costs? What are your public transport costs? Or what are you paying on your car repayments right now? If you have a car, do you need that car or could you get away with something more affordable? What’s the minimum you could spend on your transport costs and still function effectively?
You’ll notice that all these questions are focussed on ‘What’s the least amount possible you could spend?’ It’s important you look at the lowest possible figure, rather than what you’re currently spending (or what you’d like to be spending) because of one key reason:
The less you spend, the less you have to earn to be able to quit your job. The less you have to earn to quit your job means the sooner you’ll be able to quit. The sooner you’re able to quit, the sooner you’ll have more time to pour into your own projects that will make you more money.
If you’re just focussed on making enough money to support your current lifestyle, you might be stuck in your current job 3/6/12 months longer than you need to be. If you’re focussed on making just enough to survive, then you’ll be out of your current job quicker and have more time to make more money.
So, sit down and spend 2 hours working out exactly how much money you need to make it through every month and stick that number in big, bold marker on your bedroom wall.
BONUS: If you want to really blow your mind, repeat this exercise but instead of focussing on the country you live in, pick a developing nation/tropical paradise you’d like to live in and go through the same process with that country.
- How much would you need to spend on food in Thailand?
- How much would adequate communication cost you in Indonesia?
- How much would transport cost in Colombia?
You can check the cost of living on Numbeo’s cost of living calculator.
This might sound like a pointless flight-of-fancy exercise, but it’s not. As soon as you have a location-independent income, you can live in any country you want; including developing nations that also happen to be tropical paradises. And it costs FAR less to live there than a developed, western nation.
It cost me $2,000/month to live in Thailand, and I was spending money on everything I could find. If you tried, you could easily get your costs down to $1,000/month.
Step 2. Get location-independent work (7 days)
Now you know how much you need to live a location-independent lifestyle; the next step is earning that cash.
If you’re new to the world of online work and aren’t quite confident in building a startup from the ground up, the easiest way to start making enough cash to quit your 9-5 is to find a new job, but one that’s online.
This is far simpler than it would have been ten years ago. There are now giant marketplaces where people can advertise their services and post job ads and where you can start your online career.
The marketplace I use to hire most of my staff is Upwork, but Freelancer is also a good option. Making a location-independent income is as simple as building a profile, applying for jobs, and getting paid 🙂
“But I don’t have any skills!”
You actually have more than you think.
- Are you a native English speaker? People are always looking for reliable native English speaking article writers. You don’t have to be Mark Twain; you just have to know how to put together a simple article. If you don’t know how to do that, you can always take our Article Writing 101 course.
- Not a native English speaker? You can be either a translator or a foreign language article writer.
- Writing seem too tough for you but you’re good with small details? Start with data entry positions.
- Data entry too repetitive but you’re organised and good with research? Sign up for some virtual assistant positions.
- Not good enough with research but you’re good with people? Jump into customer service.
These are the basics for those who don’t think they have any skills, but if you’ve got skills, the doors are now wide open.
You can start applying for jobs as soon as your profile is setup and if you get stuck into it, you should have your first job within seven days.
Step 3. Profit (21 days)
Got your first job? Good. Now get another one. Then another one. Fill up all the spare time you have until you’re making enough money to cover all your expenses twice.
Why twice? Because online jobs are fickle and if you quit your 9-5 while you’re just making enough to cover your expenses, you’re putting yourself in a dangerous position. If you’re making twice as much as you need, then you’ll have a safety net in case something goes wrong.
Some people will be able to land 3 or 4 jobs in the first week and be well on their way to travelling the world while others might take longer. But if you stick at it, it shouldn’t take you more than 21 days, allowing you to quit your job in less than 30 days.
A Word of Warning
Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t going to be easy. This is going to be tough, and it’s going to require you grind. There’s a lot to learn; both about yourself, your work habits, your productivity, and how to perform your tasks in a standout manner. But it’s rewarding. SO rewarding.
This hard work doesn’t just pay off like your 9-5 hard work. You’re not just setting yourself for more hard work in the future. The hard work you put in now will set you up to be able to travel the world, make great money, and live the life you’ve always dreamed of.