Implement my strategies to get a head start on your self-employed career.
When I started working full-time, I was determined to spend all my working hours at max productivity.
It was naive to think if I worked hard enough, I’d achieve peak happiness.
There were hardworking people all around, but it took me time to realize they were in a rat race. The satisfaction I sought was nothing more than a glorified illusion that people were voluntarily trapped inside.
In my opinion, some characteristic traits of being stuck in a rat race are:
- Always sucking up to your superiors
- Being okay with not getting paid for extra work hours
- Trading your time for money
- Complaining about your superiors in social settings
- Barely managing 2 vacations in a year
- Coming home frustrated and wasting your time off on unproductive activities
I refused to live this life — a life where others decide the template, and I merely follow.
Sure, you’ll have a “safe” job that puts enough money in your bank to keep you from starving. That same job will also keep you jumping from one mindless task to another on your to-do lists and give you a consolatory sense of accomplishment. You’d think this hustle would bring you fulfilment, but it doesn’t.
Why? Because it’s nothing more than the salaried rat race.
I would know, as I was in the same boat about 2.5 years ago.
Here’s a recap of how my life used to be:
- Spent 10–12 hours at my workplace trying to impress my superiors
- Got a salary enough to pay my bills but dreaded checking my savings account
- Applying for week-long leaves meant literal begging for months to finally “deserve” a vacation
This is just the tip of the iceberg-shaped problems I was facing. I felt lost, like an anchor-less boat floating in a vast ocean.
After quitting my job and starting my writing business in 2021, I finally learned a key lesson I missed earlier: work satisfaction comes from tackling meaningful challenges and solving them.
The only challenge I got was meaningless workplace politics during my full-time stint. All my confusion and dissatisfaction started making sense after quitting the salaried rat race.
Coming to the subject: how did I exactly quit this race to nowhere? It was possible because of some unfair advantages I built for myself while pushing through a full-time job.
You can implement my strategies to escape the salaried rat race and be your own boss.
An emergency fund for the dry spell
The major motivation keeping you in the rat race is money.
While there are immense perks to running your business, the hard truth is — every month won’t be great.
I often take loans from my emergency fund when I can’t make ends meet.
I built this emergency fund by working tirelessly for years. My non-stop effort helped me gather enough savings that even if I do zero work for three years, I can stay afloat. This includes food expenses, rent, and my lifestyle cost.
The first unfair advantage you can have is building your emergency fund. A simple guide to planning your emergency fund is:
- Calculate your average monthly expense for six months.
- Work towards saving that capital.
- Once your six-month reserve is ready, start building your side hustle while doubling your savings.
- Till the time you’re ready to quit, keep saving each month.
You’d have a substantial emergency fund with this process. Store it in your bank and plan on taking the next step.
Enough skills to fall back upon
This one’s a soft trait — a mentality shift.
Quitting the rat race is not synonymous with quitting hard work. If you want to afford a certain quality of life, you need to keep working, sometimes even more than your full-time job.
I’m not delusional to think that if I work once, I can rely on it forever.
As a writer, I need to:
- Keep upskilling
- Learn the tricks of the trade
- Market to newer audiences
- Keep up with algorithm changes
Add all these to a mix of businesses I run, and we’re looking at a jam-packed calendar.
I sometimes spend way more time working than I’d have in a job. The only difference is that I’m no longer in a rat race for arbitrary goals. Now I invest my energy in meaningful activities that pay me back in various ways.
Your biggest unfair advantage can be your headstrong belief in one thing: you’ll always keep working towards a better future.
Multiple ways to make bank
Imagine this: You have enough money and skills to keep you afloat without a job. You choose to offer services in an activity, X. The beginning is smooth, but suddenly, the industry starts facing issues. Call it the impact of a shift towards AI, global recession, or turbulent markets.
It’s scary to struggle with that one thing you rely upon to earn your bread. That’s why I never solely depended on selling books or writing blog posts to make money.
As a writer, here are some income sources I strived for:
- Sponsorships and collaborations
- Freelance writing assignments
- Consultations with new writers
- Consultations with entrepreneurs
- Paid writing gigs
- SEO and backlinking
- Content marketing and GTM for startups
These income streams help me make the most of each month and ensure there’s never a long, dry period.
I also stay updated with the latest trends and strive to build genuine credibility for my personal brand. This means:
- Investing time in social media marketing
- Managing multiple business profiles
- Making short-form reels and long-form YouTube videos
- Learning new tools and technology to stay ahead of the competition
With a healthy mix of skills and industry awareness, you can diversify your income streams.
These multiple sources of income helped me through tough months. Say I don’t get any consultation calls for a month, or my payment from the writing gigs is delayed, I can count on the other streams to generate some revenue.
Diversifying income-generating streams is one of the best unfair advantages to build for yourself. It makes sure you don’t have a dry spell, financially, under all circumstances.
The unfair advantages you build now make you future-proof from any financial uncertainties. Make sure to invest time in my top 3 unfair advantages that helped me quit the salaried rat race:
- Build an emergency fund to lay up for a rainy day
- Gather enough skills to keep you afloat
- Have multiple income streams to keep worries at bay
Once you’ve successfully checked all these boxes, you’re prepared to make a grand exit from the meaningless corporate rat race.
Follow a simple roadmap:
- Find something you love.
- Give your best to it. You can either succeed or fail.
- If you succeed, plan to put this project on autopilot and move on to the next mission.
- If you fail, take a deep breath, gather courage, and repeat.
A happier and more meaningful life awaits you beyond this rat race. I’m writing this from the other side, and I hope to see more of my readers join me in this wonderfully challenging world of financial independence and self-employment.
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