So today I’m going to dial it back a bit and present to you a slightly different topic that I’ve been meaning to talk about. Most recently in my May Progress report I’ve alluded to an opportunity that presented itself to me that I have taken advantage of. So, just what was that opportunity?
It was actually the opportunity to return to the 9-to-5.
WHAT!?You read that right. Today was the first day of my return back to a regular day job from an almost 7-month hiatus from the corporate IT world that I left seemingly so long ago.
I haven’t been putting out content on this blog as frequently as I used to, and the long hiring process was something that I needed to focus on. Hence the silence, and why I have been playing my cards so close to my chest lately.
You may be wondering, why on Earth would I work so hard to return to a day job when I worked so hard to get out 7 months ago?
Definitely, it’s an interesting question that’s difficult for me to answer in a single blog post. Ultimately, I’ve been looking at my niche marketing business over the past couple of months and have been resigned to the fact that it has one major shortcoming: reliance on organic SEO via Google.
To keep a long story short, I weighed the advantages and disadvantages over and over, and ultimately I decided that I had to do something about it. The problem for me was that I didn’t know what the immediate solution was, other than to feverishly explore new aspects of the Internet Marketing world.
Financially, my family is stable. Yeah, money’s tighter but we have not had to change our lifestyle drastically ever since I quit my previous IT position. Just spend a little less, that’s about it. So, we’ve been quite fortunate at home with zero debt of any kind. We were diligent and aggressive in paying everything off that we owed.
What I wanted to do is expand my efforts into new territories to further grow my business. You may recall that I recently joined a few affiliate networks to further diversify my income stream. You can add Neverblue to that list as well, which is one of the more difficult networks to get into.
Still, the question remained: what to do about organic SEO? What other traffic methods did I want to pursue? I began looking at Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook as alternatives. Forum traffic was another area I began investigating as well. I can’t rely on Google forever. Remember AltaVista? They used to be on top of the search world. And where are they now?
Then, one day, opportunity came knocking on my door. Amazingly, it found me – instead of the other way around. I was approached by a colleague I had met through my previous employer in the most unlikely of places. I was introduced to a position that fit my skill set, and was encouraged to apply for it. I debated internally over it for about a week, but ultimately decided to apply. And here I am again, in a familiar place with familiar people.
At the end of the day, my issue with my last job was really the work/life balance aspect of it. I could do the work, and that wasn't really the concern. But it took too much away from life with my family. So I had to make the difficult decision to remove myself from that lifestyle, and take a huge risk by leaving a stable job to become a stay-at-home dad.
Oh yeah, and I finally got around to learning to build those “niche sites” that I had just learned about, but never had the occasion to do so. I got pretty damn good at it, I think.
Looking back, that was probably the biggest risk I’ve ever taken in my life. But it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made as well. I’ve never been so close to my family, my personal health restored, and I’ve got a new outlook on life. Sometimes things are as simple as going out there and simply getting – or even taking – what you want.
The Most Important Thing That I Will Focus On
So, back to this new job. It will be in a place where work/life balance is of the utmost importance. What’s the #1 most important concept that this company wants me to focus on?
Finally, an employer that just “gets it”, understands exactly what I want, and furthermore, is able to give it to me. You don’t come across that every day, and so it was hard to say no to the opportunity. I cannot reveal too many details, but suffice it to say I will enjoy my new position, and the vast amount of benefits both tangible and intangible outweigh any anticipated disadvantages.
Of course, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t mind staying at home with my kid and continuing IM full time. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to scale the business as much as I’d like due to lack of funding. With this new position, I’ll be able to balance things out much better as I will have an additional income stream. I’m also excited as I’ll be able to get back to contributing to my other financial investments, as well as having the capacity to pump more back into new websites, new employees and new tools to help me.
In terms of time, my day doesn’t really change much. Taking care of a child all day is a full-time job in itself. As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts I don’t really get to start working on my sites until 9 or 10 p.m. at night. I sometimes continue until 4 or 5 in the morning. Wake up whenever my kid wakes up; repeat.
I won’t be able to continue such a hardcore schedule, but that just means I get to invest in some outsourcing and more automation tools. I have a system that works, and have been pretty successful despite things like the Google Panda and Penguin updates getting in the way. I’m on track to repeat my March/April success, so I am confident in my ability to let go of the reins a bit there.
On the Pursuit of FreedomWhile there are some cynical people that may be thinking “Quitter!” you need to understand things from my perspective. Before, I used to let my career dictate what lifestyle I should lead, and what I should be doing. Now, I am the one firmly in control of my own destiny. I still want to continue creating AdSense and CPA sites, but that in and of itself is not a business. At least, I don’t think it is.
It IS, however, a stepping stone towards greater things to come. That is ultimately what I’ve learned over the past 7 months. This is the reason that I think that learning to create successful niche sites with some kind of monetization method is one of the best, if not the best way of starting your IM career. You will learn a lot the first time around the block.
You most certainly won't do it forever, just with the nature of things on the Internet. But by then, you should have a brand, and have the ability to sell ice to Eskimos... You gotta cut your teeth on something.
I may not have “gotten it” this time, but I’m so much more the wiser for when I can really “leave work behind” and give myself both the lifestyle that I want and the financial reward to accompany it. For now, I think that I just have to be patient, but that day will come and I know that I have the skills to get there.
Until then, I will work hard as always, and I will continue learning about SEO, marketing, and how to run a business properly to better educate myself for the future. I have a LOT of things to stimulate my mind now, but things are so much more positive at this point in my life that I am looking forward to each and every challenge.
Like I said in my bio: Toss me the hand grenade and I will run with it.
I will continue to write on this blog (regardless if you’re still interested), but the content will be solely focused on my adventures in the IM and SEO world. I suspect that’s what most of you are here for anyway. There may be some other small changes that need to be made, but I am here to stay.
I’m hoping that you all obtain the opportunities that you’re looking for in life. Maybe for some of you, IM is the missing link that allows you to lead the lifestyle that you want. Whatever it may be, work hard, take action, and at the very least you’ll be down the right path towards what you deserve.
I still have so much more to learn. I hope that you'll stick around to read about it. Until next time.