What do you answer when people ask about your hobbies? I have seen many hobbies and interests come and go, but one has been a constant over the last decade of my life: earning more money.
I am not quite as entrepreneurial as Kirk in Gilmore Girls, but I’d like to think I do okay. The other day I was looking at the financial performance of the two main businesses my wife and I run on the side: our flash mob business and my online writing, web design, and blogging business. I had t13th wo amazing realizations.
- Denver Flash Mob is never going to make us rich, but it does generate enough income to cover at least one month’s mortgage payment per year. That’s pretty amazing!
- I had built up enough cash in my Narrow Bridge Media business checking account to max out my wife’s Roth IRA account for 2015. I transferred the $5,500 in that day.
I looked back to several milestones in my online income, and realized there are several major hurdles new entrepreneurs can pass that make for life changing income. Here are some of those milestones, how I got there, and a new challenge for each of you.
Milestone 1: Your First Dollar
I’ll never forget the first dollar I made online. Before Google was even a thing that most people had heard of, I created a pro-wrestling fan site in the now defunct Geocities. I had a Yahoo banner ad on the site that paid me five cents per click.
I have come a long way since my first $5 check, but everyone starts somewhere. That somewhere is very important.
Here are a few places you can make your first dollar on the side with a very low barrier to entry:
- Lawn Care
- Snow Removal
Milestone 2: Beer Money
When I realized I was bringing in at least a couple hundred dollars or so each month online, I was thrilled. Who doesn’t like to bring in money? But psychologically more important, I had crossed another milestone.
This happened at a time in my life where I was single in my twenties. My bar tabs were not always small. Okay, I admit it. I spent a lot at bars and clubs in my twenties. But I was making enough on the side to cover the costs, and then some.
Getting here was no accident. I had gone through many attempts at making money online. I had some successes and failures, and more successes and failures. After enough trial and error, I picked a couple of areas to focus on and my income steadily grew.
The combination of income sources that covered my bar tabs was my very early freelancing writing through Demand Studios combined with Google AdSense, affiliate advertising, and direct advertising on this website.
The online writing market has changed and I would not suggest someone to go the same route as I did with Demand Studios, but regular readers know that freelancing makes up 90% of my online income today, and I am a huge fan of freelancing to build your income.
Milestone 3: 13th Month
Here is my challenge to you. I’m calling it the 13th Month Income Challenge. Here is the basic idea:
Take your total annual salary from your primary income source (day job). Divide by twelve. That is your monthly income. If you are paid hourly, multiply your hourly pay times your average number of hours worked per month. For a full-time, 40 hour position, that is 160 hours.
The median household income is a little over $50,000 per year. At that pay rate, your monthly income is $4,167 per month.
A little web searching for 13th month income will tell you about some countries where there is a legally mandated bonus in December equal to one month’s salary. I first came across this concept while looking into hiring a Philippians based virtual assistant, and found that the concept is popular in much of Southeast Asia and Latin America.
In these typically religious Christian populations, the thirteenth month pay is used to cover Christmas gifts and celebrations. I want you to use it to grow your wealth and live a better life.
Just think what you could do with one extra month salary every year. You could top up that emergency fund you’ve been struggling with. You could max your Roth IRA. You could add to a down payment fund. Maybe even budget to use a little bit of that for a weekend getaway or something fun for yourself.
If you make $50,000 per year, you have to earn a little less than $350 per month to reach the goal. That is under $100 per week. If you put your mind to it, I bet you can make an extra $100 per week. Probably a lot more.
Expect to hear more about the 13th Month Income Challenge from me in the future. If you want to commit today to earning an extra month income on the side over the next year, comment below and join the private Personal Profitability Facebook group. We can help you get there!
Beyond: Mortgage and More
I remember the first month I made enough online to cover my mortgage. Nowadays, if I don’t make enough to cover my mortgage, I consider the month an income failure. It took a long time to get there, but I’m now on track to make over $30,000 on the side this year.
$30,000 in additional income can change your life. My wife and I decided to primarily use this extra income for savings. We save well over $30,000 each year in our retirement, savings, and investment accounts. We are still well off from saving over half our income, but we are saving about half of my gross income from my day job.
Additional income can open up so many opportunities. Travel, hobbies, and investments in your health and education are just a few opportunities open to you from earning on the side. I am making enough that I decided to pursue the most expensive item on my life list. I am learning how to fly a plane! That would not be happening today without my side income streams.
Let’s Get This Thing Started
While I am incredibly good looking, I have no other genetic predisposition that makes me special and able to earn more money than anyone else. If I can do it, you can do it.
The 13th Month Income Challenge is just the beginning. There is no limit in what you can earn. Everyone starts at the same place. When you walk into a business, you might see their first dollar earned hanging from the wall. That dollar symbolizes the beginning of a business. Their first dollar is a major milestone, but it is also just the beginning.
One dollar can quickly grow to $100 per week. That alone is enough to meet this challenge for over half of people in the country. And if you have to earn more to make your own 13th month, don’t be discouraged. You are starting off at a better spot than the average already making over $50,000 per year.
Commit to the challenge today. Join the Facebook group and declare that you are taking the 13th Month Income Challenge!