Why I Want To Do What I Love For A Career

This was a guest post written by Corey at Passive Income to Retire, where he keeps track of his progress to retire by the age of 27.

It was just a little while back that Daniel published an article about why he thought it was important NOT to do what you love for your career. He made some very great points about why someone shouldn’t blog full-time. You can imagine the internal conflict that I faced after just announcing my early retirement plan – part of this goal is to have a full-time income from blogging part-time. Thoughts immediately flooded in: Did I make a mistake in announcing my goal to quit my day job for blogging income? Is Daniel right in the sense that blogging will take over my life?

These concerns are not something that I have completely resolved, to be quite honest. But, I am still going after my goal to replace my income and sustain that by working 3 days a week.

Why I want to “Retire” in 2-3 Years

I first started thinking about creating passive income streams and getting out of the rat race when I realized how my retirement plan was quite limiting. Like any other person (who actually plans for retirement), I figured I would save throughout my entire career (10-20%) and have enough money to retire on. Retirement always seemed nice. Financial security meant that I wouldn’t have to work and more importantly, that I could travel! My wife and I love to travel, but we limit ourselves to a 1 week vacation each year (not only because we want to save for the future, but also because we only have so many days off and are obligated to spend some of those days with family).

When I stopped to think about it, I really didn’t like this idea of retirement at all. There were two aspects that made me hate it actually. First, the fact that I have to wait 35-40 more years to really travel places sounded horrible. Plus, who can say that I will be healthy enough to travel the world at age 60? Secondly, I realized that sitting around all day (like I had normally envisioned retirement) sounded boring. I am the type of person that likes to keep busy. Heck, I’m currently working full-time, going to grad school, and blogging. How could I manage to just sit around all day? The short answer is that I couldn’t!

When I realized that I didn’t want to wait to live my life and that I still plan to remain busy in retirement, I asked myself why I couldn’t do that sooner. Why can’t I live life to the fullest right now? I decided to shoot for the stars and go after my new goal of working 3 days a week to sustain a decent income. With that, I can not only travel more, but contribute to the community – instead of being entirely focused on moving up in the corporate world or making as much money as possible.

How I Plan to Manage It

After reading Daniel’s post about the difficulty of setting boundaries from blogging, I knew that I related. I spend my early mornings and late evenings frequently checking my email for any news related to my blog. I find that I check my blogging email more than my personal email. Blogging is becoming more than just a hobby, but not in a bad way.

While I haven’t made the transition to blogging as my career, I want to take what Daniel said seriously and set boundaries. I can’t imagine staying up through the night and responding to emails. Refusing to do that is an obvious and easy boundary, but what else can one do to keep blogging from taking over your life? Here are some ways I will keep it enjoyable (and from controlling my life):

  • Use an action plan to accomplish tasks – Instead of constantly checking my stats, sitting on twitter all day, or doing other unproductive things, I will use an action plan. I know a few other bloggers that use this idea and it keeps them involved in the parts of running a blog that is important for growth. This keeps you working on the areas where your blog needs it and makes your time pay off more.
  • Keep a large queue of posts – While I know that some bloggers stay up late the night before a post is due, I cannot operate that way. In fact, I currently have a large queue for my primary blog (through the end of 2011) and a few weeks on my secondary blog. Keeping a large queue is important to me because it allows me to write when I am inspired, instead of under pressure to produce something. This also helps me keep the quality high, because I have lots of time to revise. It also ensures that if I get sick for a week, everything continues without any major hiccups.
  • Be Satisfied with progress – Instead of pouring my life into my blogs in order to be a big name blogger, I am going to be satisfied with making enough to replace my day job. Considering that not very many bloggers make that much money, this will still be a feat in and of itself. You can fall into the danger of always trying to do more (and that isn’t the best mentality to take).

Overall, I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be done to ensure that blogging as my career remains enjoyable, but these three things will be a great start.

What other tips should I consider to keep it enjoyable?

6 Responses to Why I Want To Do What I Love For A Career

  1. Noah says:

    I find this all very interesting as I’m in the 25-35 age group, but I have a few questions for you:

    1. When you say work “3 days a week”, are you talking about the traditional 8 hours a day, 3x a week? 4 hours a day 6 days a week? If you are only working 3 days a week, does this mean you’ll only post content 3x a week? Don’t most bloggers post something almost every day? Will you only answer emails on specific days? etc.
    2. I admit I don’t know much about you, but will your wife continue to work full-time? Do you plan on having children?
    3. What happens if 5 or 10 years down the line, something changes and blogging part-time is no longer able to bring in $? The internet is continually evolving and today’s opportunities may be replaced by something different in the future. Will you fully retire or head back into a traditional job?

    • @Noah, Thanks for the detailed comment.

      1. Yes, I mean traditional days. What I have in mind is Tues-Thurs. Because I don’t write my material the day of, I will be able to write everything within those three days and schedule it for when it is posted throughout the week. Although, my flexible schedule should allow me to check in on everything once or twice more during those other four days.
      2. Yes, my wife will continue to work and we don’t plan on having any kids. This will allow us to be financially secure (no matter what) as we are not dependent on my income.
      3. If things change 5-10 years from now, so be it. I will look to develop other forms of income or go back to a traditional job. I think businesses will like the character trait of a self-starter.

  2. NineToNever says:

    Great Post! Plan the work and work the plan. Too many people want to do something, but have no idea how to get there. It is making a plan, and keep sticking to the plan no matter what that will get results.

  3. Your tips are definitely valid. My posting queue is very low and yes, I’m one of those that stay up late to get the post out. :(
    It’s working well so far, but I really need to build up some cushion.
    As for Noah’s question about making $ and the internet evolving. I think it is still better off to have your foot in the door now. As the internet evolve, there will be more opportunity to make money in different ways. Maybe in 10 years, we won’t be making any money at blogging, but we would have a head start on other internet related ventures. If I just work full time, I wouldn’t even think about making money online.

    • @retirebyforty, yes, you need to build up the cushion. ;) Seriously, it is one of the best things ever!

      I also agree. Those who are making lots of money online right now are the ones who got in on the action towards the beginning.

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