If you’re an entrepreneur, the ultimate goal might be to quit your job and do what you love full time.
But when do you know it’s time to bail? Steve Chou from My Wife Quit Her Job, Profitable Online Store, and Bumble Bee Linens, has built more than one successful business, and he joins us to talk about how you can figure out when it’s time to quit your job and devote more time to your business ventures.
[0:00:02] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Money Mastermind Show. Let’s Talk Money.
[0:00:18] GC: Creating your own successful business is a dream that many people have. After all, one of the reasons people do it is that they could get out of their current job. How do you know when the time is right to actually leave the safety of that nine to five job? When is that time right?
Tonight we have Steve Chu of Bumble Bee Linens, I apologize there, as well as other sites to help shed light on when a good time it is to leave your job or even if it’s a good idea at all. Welcome to our show Steve.
[0:00:49] SC: Hey man, good to be here.
[0:00:50] GC: Good to have you, finally, I think we’ve been trying to get you on the show for
quite some time.
[0:00:55] SC: I’m glad, I recall it was your fault because you needed it to be done at Wednesday at seven right?
[0:01:02] GC: Seven’s kind of relative compared to, depends on which coast we’re on but we do have a tight schedule. The other members of the Money Mastermind Show or the members of the Money Mastermind Show, Miranda Marquit of Planting Money Seeds, Peter Anderson of Bible Money Matters, Tom Drake of the of the Canadian finance blog, Kyle Prevo of the Youngandthrifty.CA and I’m Glen Craig of Free From Broke.
Before we start, if you’re out there watching us live, head over to our event page if you have any questions at all regarding when it’s safe to leave the job or whatever is. Leave us a question and we’d be happy to answer it. Steve, tell us a little bit about your, and I’m going to put air quotes on this, “side businesses” and why you created them?
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 1
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:01:53] SC: Yeah, the first one that you mentioned, Bumble Bee Linens, that we started when my wife became pregnant with our first child. She wanted to stay at home, we live in an area where it’s pretty expensive. In order to get a house and a good school district, you pretty much need two incomes. When she told me she was going to quit her six figured job I kind of freaked out. So we started just looking for businesses and that’s pretty much how we got started with our E-commerce store, we sell handkerchiefs and linens, it’s a very manly business, Glenn
[0:02:24] GC: I’m sure because when you’re venturing, that’s what you need. It makes perfect sense.
[0:02:31] SC: Yeah, that business actually ended up doing six figures in profit in our first year which allowed my wife to quit. Basically she ran the business from our house in the beginning because it was small back then and she was just able to take care of our kids during the day and run the business at night basically for a couple of hours to fill all of the orders.
Over the years it’s grown, double and triple digits, we started in 2007. It’s eight years later it’s been double the growth or triple the growth for those eight years. So now it’s pretty decent sized business.
[0:03:04] GC: That is a pretty awesome story. What other businesses, if you don’t mind telling us, do you have out there?
[0:03:12] SC: Yeah, once we started Bumble Bee Linens and it started well for the first year, I started having other buddies who wanted to have kids and that sort of thing and they live in the same area obviously. They started asking me questions on how we did it. And so I decide to document all that stuff on my blog at Mywifequitherjob.com an apt name for what happened.
I’ve been blogging, I started that I think at 2009, beginning at 2009 or at the end of 2008 and that started taking off mainly because people were just interested in starting their own businesses. I started building an audience for that and maybe two years later I started an online course teaching people how to do that stuff and that ended up selling really well as well.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 2
MMS 68 Transcript
Yeah, the blog does six figures, the course does six figures. I started a podcast recently also which started making a little bit of cash as well.
[0:04:10] GC: And all of this, all of these successful businesses, you still have a “nine to five” job that you’ve had for quite some time?
[0:04:19] SC: Yeah, I’ve actually been at the same company for 16 years now. [0:04:24] GC: Wow.
[0:04:24] SC: Yeah, that’s a long time.
[0:04:27] GC: That’s pretty dedicated.
[0:04:30] SC: Yeah, I’m still there, still working full time. I am an electrical engineer by day and then I sell hankies at night.
[0:04:39] MM: Let’s not forget you have a patent.
[0:04:42] SC: I do have a patent, yes.
[0:04:43] MM: I mean, you’re totally legit here with your patent and now you’re selling hankies.
[0:04:49] SC: Don’t ask me what the patent is about, I don’t even remember to be honest with you but yeah, I do have that patent. That was one of my life, that was on my bucket list to get the patent. My life is complete now.
[0:05:05] GC: And yet, as complete as your life is, patent and all, you still go to that day job where you have all of this other income and successful businesses. I mean each one of these sites on its own, every online adventure would be a jewel for anybody else just having that. But you have all of these different things. What keeps you at your nine to five job?
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 3
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:05:31] SC: Well, as intellectually stimulating as selling handkerchiefs is, I need something else to keep the brain stimulated. I studied electrical engineering for, man I’ve been doing it for over 20 years at this point and that’s definitely interested me and it’s not like I can do that on my own. I need capital, I need manpower to design hardware.
I do microprocessors. If you guys don’t know what that is, they are the things, the processing units that do like all the audio processing, the video processing in your cellphones, the stuff that I design or help design goes in all the iPhones, all the digital cameras, all the printers. It’s a pretty cool to know that what you’re designing is actually going in to some of these gadgets. It’s rewarding and so that’s one of the reasons why I stay at the day job.
[0:06:17] GC: Maybe it’s fair to say that your day job is a little different from what me the average person has. You’re not just a cube monkey, sitting there wondering why you have to fill out another GPS report perhaps.
[0:06:32] SC: I am staring at a screen most of the day. Let me tell you this, where I live, everyone’s an engineer pretty much. In fact, there are a lot of people that are doing the same things or similar things that I am. It’s just I guess a different mindset. The reason I’ve been at that company for so long is because the people there are just really smart. Almost everyone has a masters or a PhD from MIT ore Stanford that are my coworkers. Just being around those guys kind of just makes me feel smarter as well.
[0:07:05] GC: You’d say that your job in general is actually pretty stimulating for you then?
[0:07:09] SC: Yeah, it’s a good job. I can’t complain otherwise I would have left a long time ago.
[0:07:15] GC: For sure.
[0:07:18] MM: I’m sorry, I was just going to ask. Does your hanky business and your e- commerce business, just real quick, now these make more than your day job right?
[0:07:26] SC: yeah, the day job is like under 20% of the household income.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 4
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:07:34] MM: Okay yeah, I just wanted to get that out there to make it clear that you’re choosing to stay in your job right now and not just, “Oh my gosh, I got to make ends meet.” No, no, no these other things that you’re doing make way more than your day job.
[0:07:47] SC: They do, that’s correct. The day job also is a place of escape, I can go there and it’s just me, a bunch of engineers and a computer. I remember when my kids were younger. I used to look forward to Monday so I could get a break.
[0:08:07] PA: I can relate to that.
[0:08:09] GC: I see where you’re coming from man.
[0:08:11] PA: Talking about family too, I got to wonder sometimes when you’re working that full time job during the day and you’ve got all these businesses going on at night. Sometimes it can be a situation where something’s going to suffer because you got so many plates in the air. Is there ever been a time where you’ve been thinking, man, I’m going to have to drop one of these plates in order to make sure I’m paying enough attention to my kids. I’m taking time for myself.
[0:08:40] SC: I could do the breakdown in my hours actually just recently wrote a post on this. Running the e-commerce store is what my wife does for the day to day. I only handle the technical aspects of that and all of the online marketing pay per click stuff. The blog and the podcast together take maybe 10 hours a week and my job, I work four days, that’s 32 hours. I work like a 40 hour work week pretty much.
Kids don’t go down until like 8:30 or so. I just hang out with them until they go down and then I only start my stuff until after they’ve gone to bed. In general I don’t do anything on the weekends related to the businesses unless there is a some sort of emergency. It’s pretty balanced, yeah.
[0:09:21] GC: Has it always been that way? I’m guessing at this point you’ve got some things formulized where we just maybe help itself. In the beginning, was it a lot more time consuming or...
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 5
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:09:33] SC: Yeah, definitely. In the beginning of course it’s going to be a lot more time consuming but when we first started, we didn’t have kids either right? We could work those weekends, we could work the late nights, we got most of the work done before the first kid popped out.
It was a little more difficult once the first kid popped out because we were just tired and grumpy and that sort of thing. But it’s all about just paying your dues right? You put it in the systems and stuff during that first year or whatnot and then you can generally coast a little more once everything’s established.
[0:10:07] GC: Being the type of engineer you are, how did you go and make the jump to selling linens online?
[0:10:16] SC: Yeah. There’s an interesting story behind that because it wasn’t my lifelong dream to sell hankies.
[0:10:25] GC: Nothing wrong with that if it was.
[0:10:27] SC: Oh no, no, no. Okay, where was I. Okay, on our wedding day, when we first got engaged, my wife was looking for something to dry her tears because she knew she was going to cry at the altar right? She didn’t want to be — we paid a lot of money for photography. Yeah exactly, that’s the reason why she was crying, right?
She was getting tissues, she didn’t want to use tissues because they get all nasty and whatever, she wanted a handkerchief. We looked everywhere for those hankies, could not find them anywhere and then finally we found some Chinese vendors but we ended up having to buy hundreds if we went with those guys. That’s ultimately what we did, we bought a whole bunch, we ended up using a handful and then we sold the rest on eBay and they actually sold right away.
They sold like hotcakes on eBay. When it came time to think about starting a business, we actually got back into contact with our Chinese vendor. That was one of our first products that we sold on our store.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 6
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:11:29] GC: That’s a pretty nice story. With all of these things that are going on right? It sounds like you’re certainly in a spot that most people are in. Probably even just with your first job and type of income you make but certainly, you said that your nine to five is only about 20% of your overall income. At what point might you consider saying, you know what? I really got my bases covered, maybe I could sit back and retire from this? Is that a consideration that you even have?
[0:12:00] SC: Yeah, it’s funny. If I were to leave this job, I would probably need to find something else that’s equally as stimulating. I don’t want to give up my entire background of electrical engineering. It would be tough. I had thought about this at some point. If I were to leave, I might even consider getting another job or going and creating my own thing somehow, depending on how things go.
[0:12:29] GC: I think that’s an interesting consideration there that a lot of people, if you did want to leave let’s say what you’re doing, start going business. You’re giving up your time in the industry right? You have electrical engineering, I’m sure it’s an industry that pretty means pretty fast. If you don’t stay with it, you’re going to fall behind pretty quickly perhaps?
[0:12:54] SC: Yeah, for sure. As soon as you stop doing things for maybe even a year, you can become obsolete. Maybe not that quickly actually but yeah, it’s generally harder and in general, engineers like when we’re looking for them, we probably favor the younger ones, right? Given an equivalent engineer who is older and one who is younger, you’re going to take the younger guy right?
[0:13:20] GC: Simply because he’s cheaper if nothing else. [0:13:22] SC: Cheaper, yeah, if anything, totally.
[0:13:25] GC: Unfortunately the experience really doesn’t always trump the cheaper worker I guess. A lot of people would have to think about that if they ever wanted to try something else. What it’s going to take to jump back into an industry if they ever need to?
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 7
MMS 68 Transcript [0:13:44] SC: Well I mean couldn’t you comment on that Glen?
[0:13:49] GC: Well, I’m actually jumping back into the workplace in a different capacity. It’s really kind of a whole other sorts, but when I did leave my job years ago, my cube job, yeah, it was sort of like — I don’t know if I ever need to go back into this, would I be able to? What systems might change, it might not change too much but yeah, I’m not necessarily the one who is there familiar with all the things that are placed. So it wouldn’t necessarily be easy, been something that was guaranteed that I would be able to go in at the same level that I did.
[0:14:27] SC: Right.
[0:14:29] GC: Kind of a tough decision to go in to and parted that this is also was the work that my wife had and also it’s a different cover that she had that we could still have. Is that something that we think about too, things along the lines of healthcare or retirement plans or anything like that?
[0:14:47] SC: I’m not too worried about that. Did I talk to you Miranda? I don’t even remember, about healthcare, and you were paying some ridiculously low amount. I went to check too and it’s actually not that expensive in terms of healthcare coverage. I mean, granted you’re not going to get the same low coverage as your employer but it’s actually not that bad.
[0:15:06] MM: Yeah, it’s not horrifying if you do a high deductible healthcare plan. That’s the thing, you have to figure out whether or not your household can work with a high deductible healthcare plan and whether you have enough of a savings to do it. I combine my high deductible healthcare plan with a health savings account. I’ve talked about it on this show before. The beauties of the health savings account.
But I do, I combine the high deductible healthcare plan with the health savings account and now if you’re looking at the ACA type stuff that on the health exchange, I get a bronze plan because my needs are low for healthcare. And so I get a bronze plan, I get the high deductible plan and I use the health savings account and yes, my costs remain fairly low.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 8
MMS 68 Transcript
It was nice when I briefly had benefits and I realized that I had been undervaluing them for years and then when I actually had them I was like, “These are amazing!” I had them for a whole year and it was fabulous and now I’m back to paying for my own stuff. It’s not been bad and I was able to find a plan that’s really affordable, it’s not the end of the world. But it’s only me right now.
[0:16:23] SC: Yeah, okay right. I got a family to worry about. It wasn’t that bad actually, I don’t fear that, I fear the boredom actually, more than anything else.
[0:16:35] MM: I think that’s something though, a lot of entrepreneurs worry about, right? That’s why there’s so many serial entrepreneurs, there’s something about that entrepreneurial drive where you kind of get bored right?
[0:16:47] SC: It’s not just that right? If all my buddies are at work and I’m sitting at home, what am I going to do?
[0:16:55] MM: Gonna get on Skype and hang out with us.
[0:16:57] SC: Yeah, exactly, yeah. I’d get on Skype and hang out with you guys I suppose.
[0:17:01] GC: I guess, we don’t plan to Steve’s buddies.
[0:17:05] MM: Well actually, not anymore though. All of you all have like real jobs now. I’m the only one without a real job right now.
[0:17:14] SC: That’s true, huh? Yeah you’re right.
[0:17:16] GC: I think that’s an unfair thing to say.
[0:17:18] MM: Glen has a real job, Tom has a real job, Peter has a real job. [0:17:23] SC: Actually Peter, you’ve been on your same job for a long time too right? [0:17:26] PA: yeah, I’ve been there for 16 or 17 years now as well.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 9
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:17:30] SC: Wow, okay, yeah.
[0:17:30] PA: I think Tom, you’ve been with your company for quite a while as well, right? I don’t
think your mic is on.
[0:17:39] SC: Yeah, I think you’re muted Tom or something, I don’t’ know.
[0:17:46] PA: Yeah, I’ve been on my company for almost 16, 17 years like I said and like you talk about, I enjoy my day job, I enjoy the people that I work with and I enjoy going to work every day and actually accomplishing something. Now, I don’t have the same problem that you do where you’re making good money from your side projects as well. My blog and other things, they make enough income to replace my wife’s income but if I were to quit my job, it probably wouldn’t be enough I don’t think.
At the same token, I like having two different incomes. I like having my day job income and then I like having an outside income. It allows my wife to stay home with our son and not have to go to work, I have good benefits from my job as well, I think that’s something a lot of people who are just starting out, a new start up or a new entrepreneurial endeavor, having that income and the benefits and everything else from that day job can be pretty key especially when things haven’t exactly taken off quite yet.
[0:18:51] SC: Yeah, totally. I’m a big proponent of starting something on the side while you’re working full time.
[0:18:58] GC: Would you say that diversity is maybe a good factor as to why maybe both of you or a lot of us here have done both for some time?
[0:19:08] SC: Here’s the thing. When I start a business, I like to be relaxed when I’m starting it. Meaning I don’t want someone like whipping me or some external force that’s forcing me to bust my butt to do it. I like to do things at my own pace. A lot of people aren’t like that but for me I like to do everything kind of slow and steady because that’s just how I operate.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 10
MMS 68 Transcript [0:19:29] GC: What part of why you’re able to do that is also because you have a good job.
[0:19:33] SC: Exactly, yeah, totally.
[0:19:37] GC: In other words, you have what I said, you don’t need to be running around like doing something 24/7 to make something happen. The fact that you have these jobs and businesses gives you maybe the luxury of time and space to make things work for you?
[0:19:53] SC: Yeah, I was commenting more on when I did not have the businesses and it was just the job. Having the job, we could easily live on my single income and the fact that that was around, we could kind of tackle these businesses at a nice pace without having to stress ourselves out so much.
[0:20:14] GC: I think we’ve talked about this on the show before though. When you have some money to deal with, it gives you a type of a freedom. You can have choices when you have that, you’re not necessarily bound for one road. I know a lot of people would be happy with one job and you’re depending upon that. Even if you’re getting good money, you could be stuck and costing that job. That makes sense?
[0:20:41] SC: Yeah, totally. You could yeah. There’s a lot of people that are like that. They might not necessarily like their job but it’s what they got, it’s their only source of income, they got to stick with it.
[0:20:56] GC: What considerations do you think a person should take into mind if they wanted to or maybe if they’ve already built something and they’re considering leaving? We’ve talked about just the intellectual part of it, enjoying what you do, maybe camaraderie of it. What other things you can get to consider?
[0:21:16] SC: Before what? Before quitting or what? [0:21:18] GC: Before quitting.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 11
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:21:21] SC: I don’t know Glen, I’m not at that point yet but once the money is there, I guess there is the freedom. But here’s the thing; if you have a business that’s making a lot of money and you’re not worrying about money, it’s not like you’re going to just bum around right? Once you quit your jobs. You got to have a plan at least that’s what my wife keeps telling me.
I go to my wife, “Hey, if I quit, we could hang out all the time,” and then she’s like, “You know, maybe you should stick with the job a little longer until you figure out what you want to do.”
[0:21:53] GC: She’s the one that actually runs one of the businesses too. It would really be like you hanging out and her working on the other one.
[0:22:00] SC: Yeah, it’s really flexible. We got two employees who handle most of the heavy lifting. She goes in in the mornings and then in the afternoons the kids have their activities and that sort of thing. I think of it more like Glen as us hanging out together, shuttling the kids around or doing kids’ activities and that sort of thing.
[0:22:22] GC: I think that’s invaluable. That’s time that a lot of people would like to have, that a lot of people don’t necessarily.
[0:22:30] SC: Yeah, it’s pretty idealistic too. Sometimes I don’t want to be doing these things but for the most part. Glen, you got four kids is it?
[0:22:39] GC: Yeah.
[0:22:41] SC: That’s a lot of kids.
[0:22:41] GC: It’s a lot of running around.
[0:22:43] SC: Yeah, that’s a lot of running around.
[0:22:45] GC: As hard as that is, “What’s the option right?” What I mean by that is, is it better to just be running around all the time or to not have that opportunity?
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 12
MMS 68 Transcript [0:22:58] SC: Yeah, sure. Absolutely.
[0:22:59] GC: I’d rather have that work than not have it.
[0:23:03] TD: My situation sounds pretty similar to Steve, we’ve talked about this before too but if I were to quit my job then what do I do? I don’t think I could improve my business anymore, I could always start 10 more websites but otherwise there’s only so much I could do with that time but at the same time it’s things like kids and family that I’d like to get a little bit more time but ultimately they’re also in school most of the time too. How much time does that really free up, maybe an extra hour in the afternoon?
[0:23:36] GC: For any of you, is there ever a consideration like even if your business or side business is doing well, how do you know that it will always continue to do as well as it’s doing? Especially cause I think everyone here has sort of an online type of business. How do you know it’s going to keep going?
[0:23:57] SC: Yeah, you got to keep working at it. I think Tom, where we differ is, if I were to quit, I know I could grow both businesses significantly if I had the time because I have this huge task list for all of the stuff. To be quite honest, it’s getting harder and harder to compete. You got to constantly be on your toes. Like in e-commerce, Amazon is starting to be a factor, there’s a lot of people just jumping in and copying people and that sort of thing.
I feel like the blog is a little bit more secure at this point because I’ve developed like a reputation and an audience and an email list and that sort of thing but I know I could grow that tremendously too by putting myself out there more than I have been doing since I don’t have as much time. There’s definitely more money to be made there, the question is where I want to spend the time. To be honest with you, the money that we make, we don’t really spend that much. I don’t stay out past 8 PM. There’s only like — I don’t buy anything expensive, what am I saving for? College I guess.
[0:25:14] GC: You’re working for your kid’s education. [0:25:16] SC: Yeah, exactly.
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 13
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:25:17] MM: No, I think you make an interesting point there. When you say the, “Where do I want to spend my time? Because what it comes down to is, time is really more valuable than money right? When the time’s gone, it’s gone. I don’t know, I just really like how you say, where do I want to spend my time? That’s kind of interesting. Hypothetically, if you were to quit, what would you do with that time, would you really just go full bore and go on like a whirlwind media tour and try and get out there? How would you grow your business?
[0:25:53] SC: Yeah, for the ecommerce store, there’s a lot of stuff that we need to do. One, the site needs a redesign.
[0:26:00] MM: No.
[0:26:02] SC: It does. I’ve actually already contacted Mr. Forest to do some Photoshop mock ups for me. We need to get the blog back going again, there’s all these email things that we’re not doing. In terms of the blog, I can do more webinars for sure and for sure I can get my name out there more. I had a really good luck with those. There’s a lot to be done. I wouldn’t be bored, if I quit, I probably just spend a year and really boost all those businesses up and then maybe the next year I would find something else to do.
[0:26:41] MM: Would you find a new job or would you just start a new business? Are you going to turn into a serial entrepreneur?
[0:26:46] SC: Here’s the thing, I recently just hung out with Manish Sethi, Ramit’s brother. He created this really cool hardware called Pavlok which shocks you. Anyway, the point of that is, he created this cool hardware software thing, that’s kind of like something I want to do eventually. I can kind of leverage the electrical engineering stuff and create something that’s kind of cool. I don’t know.
[0:27:16] MM: Something that shocks you?
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 14
MMS 68 Transcript
[0:27:17] SC: Yeah, he’s sending me a new one, I supported early on and got one of the early units but he’s sending me an updated one and you can actually put up a webpage where given a username and password, you can remotely shock me from anywhere you are.
[0:27:33] MM: Sweet, you send me that.
[0:27:39] SC: It’s not going to happen Miranda but I’m just saying, it’s possible.
[0:27:43] GC: I think we can easily go down like this really dark trail of weird sort of sort of online things to...
[0:27:48] MM: At the very least, you should be giving it to Jen.
[0:27:51] SC: Yeah, that would be great. What’s hilarious about that is, Manish, when I first bought the first Pavlok, he actually had a website where he just gave me the username and password, he’s like “Hey, I don’t really give this out that much but you can shock me whenever you feel like it”. I actually did, a bunch of times but you get no feedback right? It’s not like this video of him getting shocked.
I was just hitting there, hitting the submit button over and over again. I wasn’t getting any feedback.
[0:28:22] MM: You don’t know if he really was getting shocked? [0:28:25] SC: I don’t know if he was really getting shocked.
[0:28:26] MM: You could have just had the thing sitting off to the side and not actually wearing it. I don’t know if I’d trust you then.
[0:28:34] PA: Call you later from his hospital room.
[0:28:37] GC: The reason why the new product is coming out now is because...
@ 2015 Money Mastermind 15
[0:29:06] GC: I can do the marketing for it.
[0:29:09] SC: I haven’t figured it out yet. Butt yeah, when the time comes.
[0:29:14] GC: Let me ask you something. It sounds like you do get a good deal of satisfaction from the job that you do. Did you find it any way that maybe you enjoyed your job more when you had all of these businesses to fall back on and you didn’t have the pressures everyday of having you just perform at that one job?
[0:29:35] SC: Here’s the thing, I actually enjoy it a lot more early on ironically. Maybe it’s because I had it when I was single too and I was just busting my butt and I had stock options and we were looking to go public at the time. Three years ago, or almost three years ago, our company got acquired. We got our payout from the company, stock options actually had some dollar value associated with it.
Ever since that’s happened, the incentives have shifted, right? Now I’m kind of working for a larger company which doesn’t carry the same incentives as when you’re in a small startup like all working towards the same goal. The other thing I was going to mention also is once we had our businesses and once money wasn’t a factor, what’s funny about that was, I started enjoying work more because I cared less and I felt like I could be a little bit more bold with my decision making, so to speak.
SC: There is a children’s version coming out if you’re interested. GC: That just sounds like.
TD: It sounds like a lot of...
SC: Sounds ingenious.
MM: This is what you’re going to do right? If you ever decided to quit your job, you would invent something really dark and dangerous.
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MMS 68 Transcript
[0:30:36] TD: I agree completely. I can be in a room of very stressed out people and not relying on the job completely makes me take a lot easier than I would have before. Despite my reluctance to leave my job, I don’t get stressed out when we have re org after re org every year or two kind of thing. That’s like two different mindset.
[0:31:00] SC: The other thing for me at least is I could go into a meeting with like a top exec and just speak my mind because what is he going to do? Fire me? Right?
[0:31:10] TD: I’ve had some very honest conversations too.
[0:31:13] SC: What’s ironic about that is people tend to appreciate the honesty I feel. All those
years where I was afraid to speak up, I probably should have spoken up is how I feel. [0:31:25] GC: It’s like, in a way, it’s made you a better employee?
[0:31:30] SC: Probably, yeah. Interesting right?
[0:31:33] GC: It is, because we’re always so afraid of the boss and then the system that’s in there and how we’re depending upon it, if we’re not doing everything correctly, what’s going to come down? But having a little bit of that freedom really kind of makes who you are shine through I guess in the job, does that make sense?
[0:31:55] SC: I think just people value opinions. True opinions rather than “yes people” right?
[0:32:03] GC: Right. Because when you’re dependent upon your job every day, your opinion is more based on “what do you want to hear from me”, as supposed to this “what I really think we should be doing?”
[0:32:14] SC: Yeah, in a way, yeah. Something like that.
[0:32:19] PA: A lot of people out there are motivated in some respects by fear. If we’re in a job and we don’t have a side income or anything like that, we’re afraid of losing that job, if we don’t have enough money saved up or we’ve got some debt or whatever. You’re motivated by that
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fear to not lose your job and in some respects you don’t step out in certain ways because you’re afraid what that might cost.
When you get rid of debt, when you have other income besides your day job income, it helps to remove some of that motivation I think. I think like you guys have said, I don’t fear losing my job that much just because I do have a second full time income basically on the side and that does a lot to be a better employee too.
[0:33:10] MM: I would be interested just for a minute to find out from Glen, what made him decide to go back to work in a different career field.
[0:33:20] SC: Yes Glen, I’m very curious as well.
[0:33:24] GC: Well, I questioned you, maybe the fickleness of the industry that I had in the side as it was. Having a blog or a website is great when it’s doing well but you’re sometimes at the — you’re dependent upon other things right? You’re relying upon Google, all the search engines. It’s the increasing competition that’s out there.
It’s also the sort of the legacy of what it was as supposed to having a “legitimate job” in the long term aspects of that. Those are definitely considerations for me. Long term, healthcare, retirement plans, things along those lines.
[0:34:14] MM: I think that’s another thing though that I sometimes was thinking about as I moved across the country and was looking at my work situation. Sometimes even though I’m sort of living the dream, right? I work from home, I don’t’ have a real job, you don’t know! I could be sitting here without pants on, you don’t know because I’m not at the office, I don’t’ have to get dressed if I don’t want to.
[0:34:38] GC: Be careful what you say, we’re all online...
[0:34:44] MM: There are days when I sit around and when it do start to feel like a real job. I sit here and I’m like, you start to feel a little bit trapped sometimes and you’re looking for other things to do, looking for that next thing to do. There are some days where I think about, I toy
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with the idea, “Well what would it be like if I went and got a real job? What if I got a real estate license or something like that.”
I actually found myself looking at this restaurant and they were looking for a waitress and I was like, “What if I went and waitressed again?” Interesting to get out. Tom’s laughing because when I say things like that, Tom says, Tom brings me back to reality and says, “You can’t make that much money.”
[0:35:39] SC: Are you ever worried that your gigs are going to dry up Miranda? Like your writing gigs?
[0:35:42] MM: Sometimes I do. One of the reasons why it’s probably about three years now, I started shifting more toward corporate gigs as supposed to independent bloggers. Everybody on the show that I no longer write for anymore..
[0:35:59] SC: You don’t write for anyone on this show anymore? I did not know that.
[0:36:05] MM: I just sort of faded away. No, one of the reasons is one, the corporate gigs pay way more and number two is all of the people on this show really have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening with Google and SCEO and changes. I listen to them, complain about what’s going on with Google and I’m like, “Man, I cannot keep writing for blogs that whether or not they can afford me depends on how well they do with affiliate income or ad sense or something like that right?
I started moving over to corporate stuff because at least there, I’m their marketing budget and they don’t care about ad sense, they don’t care affiliate income because they just need a marketing budget and they just need content.
[0:36:53] GC: You’re eating from a bigger pie.
[0:36:55] MM: Yeah. It’s a bigger pie and it’s more solid because this is my marketing budget for the year, we’re going to hire you and you’re going to do this for a year and it’s already earmarked for you.
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[0:37:06] TD: As a freelancer, in a way, you have kind of a real job though. You have multiple bosses but you’re working for someone and you’re getting paid by them. It’s not that different.
[0:37:19] MM: Yeah, and you know, and part of I guess sort of one of the interesting things talking to Steve about this and I’ve been thinking about it is working on my own websites is sort of like having a side gig because I’m trying to find time to do this and work on my own stuff as a side gig right?
[0:37:42] SC: Hey Miranda, sorry this is really random, is that the sword of Omens behind you? [0:37:47] MM: No, actually it’s the Glamdring, it’s Gandalf’s sword.
[0:37:50] SC: Okay, sorry.
[0:37:54] PA: Dude just did not know his sword.
[0:37:57] GC: We thought we were bringing experts on the show.
[0:38:03] MM: Nope, that’s Glamdring.
[0:38:06] GC: As many opportunities as they’re all aligned and it’s certainly made a lot of people very wealthy and opened up a lot of things. It is an interesting concept that even though at times for me, you have so many people to be in contact with, you don’t really have any real contact with people. That makes sense? You’re always speaking maybe through a screen or on the phone. Like Steve, you talked about the camaraderie where you work, that’s a big thing to have.
[0:38:38] SC: Yeah.
[0:38:39] GC: People still do need a contact and that does make your day dynamic in a certain way that you need I think.
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[0:38:48] SC: Yeah, for sure. I’m pretty sure I would miss it and I would probably be — so I talked to Mandy Rose about this maybe six months ago and she told me after she quit, she ended up having lunch with her girlfriends every single day. but within four months, she stopped doing that all together. She just got used to it and to just talking to people virtually, I don’t know. Miranda, you’re probably in the best position to comment, right?
[0:39:22] MM: Okay, who is ready for more psychoanalyzing Miranda? Anyway. I actually found, after I moved here to Idaho Falls for the first time in my life, I was actually lonely. I’ve never actually felt lonely before and I’ve been alone in the past, I don’t mind being alone like I need alone time but I’ve never been lonely before even though I’ve always worked on a computer all day.
Part of the reason was because at the end of the day, I had an actual adult come home and hang out with me. After I moved here, all I had was my virtual Internet people and it’s not the same. I found that, I’ve got my son here but he’s not an adult, he’s not somebody I can talk to really about adult type things. And so I did, I started feeling actually lonely. Something I’ve done is gone out in the community, I’ve been networking in the community, I’ve been joining community organizations so that I can get out there and be with people. It is kind of lonely, Mandy still has Jeff to hang out with.
[0:40:33] SC: That’s true.
[0:40:35] MM: They have business ventures together. They do business-y things together all the time. Yeah, you kind of do need that in person contact. I probably was way too huggy all for FinCon but I was just like, “At last, people and friends! I got to hug everybody and touch everybody because once I get back to Idaho Falls, I’ll be all by myself all day long.”
Yeah, it is a big challenge and it’s one that I didn’t really think of as a challenge until after I was divorced and didn’t have that adult companionship in the evening. There, there’s your big depressing...
[0:41:20] SC: Do you find yourself going to more conferences now then?
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[0:41:24] MM: Probably not, probably about the same, probably three or four a year. Just because I’m a parent.
[0:41:34] SC: Oh right.
[0:41:35] MM: There’s that thing called responsibility for your child. Someone’s got to parent my
[0:41:43] SC: The reason you’re in Idaho Falls is because you have help, right?
[0:41:47] MM: Yeah, my parents have been very gracious, very willing to help out with some of the conferences I go to. Once again, since I feel bad that my parents take him when I go out of town. That makes it a little more challenging for me to be able to go out at night.
[0:42:06] SC: I see.
[0:42:07] GC: Do any of you feel... [0:42:10] MM: It’s like, “Please move on.”
[0:42:12] GC: I’m trying to jump in and get you out of this. Do any of you feel like maybe at your jobs, it’s a little bit more of an instant satisfaction? You do some part of your job and get that feedback and you know that you’ve made whatever difference it is that you need to make as supposed to maybe online businesses, you do well and maybe check a stat that’s not quite the same sort of impact?
[0:42:40] SC: Okay, so I can comment on work I guess. I’m like a part of a team. So I actually get more satisfaction when I do something on the blog or the business but at work, I guess there’s certain milestones like when we ship something. That feels really good but just in terms of like smaller milestones, I’d feel much better about doing something for the businesses.
[0:43:03] GC: What about the feedback maybe that you get from the team at your nine to five.
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MMS 68 Transcript [0:43:08] SC: Feedback from the team.
[0:43:10] GC: In other words, you know that what you’re doing, it has some immediate effect. [0:43:19] SC: I don’t think it has an immediate effect. Just due to the nature of where I work I
guess. What do you mean by immediate affect?
[0:43:28] GC: Just trying to think that the fact that you’re online and it creates maybe something in the barrier with people who you are really working with, you may not really see them, you may not see the actions, you may not see the results of what’s happening. I know you also have an online course and maybe you have a little more actual people than some of the rest of us in our businesses. That’s kind of what I’m getting at.
[0:43:56] SC: Yeah. I can’t really comment. When I do something like for example, hold a webinar and I make a lot of money at once, that feels pretty good whereas at work, I do something and we ship something but then, which feels good but it’s more of a collective kind of good as supposed to individual type of good so it’s different.
[0:44:26] PA: I have a question for you. Successful entrepreneurs, there was a study talking about some of the things that they all have in common and one thing that they had in common was that they allocate their time, their energy and their money more efficiently in ways that are conducive to building wealth.
Watching you over the years, I’ve seen how you’re able to balance all these different things. It does seem like you’re able to really allocate your time and energy in a way that’s pretty efficient. It seems like you built systems and put things in place that really help you to maximize your time. You think that’s been something...
[0:45:02] SC: Yeah, for time and energy, definitely yes. In terms of money, I do a terrible job. A lot of my money is actually in a checking account which probably makes you guys cringe. I am actually just waiting for the next crash of something so I can put that money somewhere but yeah, I am not doing well in terms of investing my money right now but yeah, in terms of time and that sort of thing, I’m pretty good at that and productivity.
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[0:45:32] PA: You find that something you need to do really when you have your day job, when you have these other businesses on the side that you’re going to need to be more efficient with your time?
[0:45:40] SC: Yeah, for sure. Otherwise it just wouldn’t work, right? Plus I got the kids too, don’t forget about the kids Peter.
[0:45:48] PA: Of course not, never.
[0:45:49] GC: What about the children?
[0:45:52] PA: Doing it for the children.
[0:45:55] GC: It is hard putting the kids in the equation, that’s like a whole other time stop but... [0:46:00] SC: It’s like two jobs right there, another job right there.
[0:46:04] GC: The whole other series of scheduling that you really have a lot of question marks about right? You don’t always know what’s going to happen when and what’s going to drag time away. You want to spend that time, that’s time that you want, that’s why you do all these other things too.
[0:46:21] SC: Yeah.
[0:46:21] GC: It’s a good thing.
[0:46:23] SC: My Saturdays are gone now. I got a couple of soccer games and then birthday parties or play dates and that’s it. Then Sunday I take them to supplemental classes and yeah. The whole weekend’s gone.
[0:46:38] GC: Yeah.
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One think we like to do towards the end of the show is we like to just sum up everything with our final word. We’ll go around and do that now. Tom, what’s your final word on how to decide if you should stay at your day job?
PA: With the unicorn kitties?
SC: The pink unicorn kitties? Yeah. That’s my every Saturday. That’s right.
MM: Cute, what is the name of your son’s soccer team?
SC: They are the Blue Ninjas.
MM: That’s right. I couldn’t remember. Pink Unique Kitty is just sort of...
SC: Yeah, it’s bent out yeah.
GC: Do they get to choose their own names? That happens?
SC: No, because if you did that then there will be just pandemonium.
GC: I’ve seen kids’ soccer games, it’s kind of like a definition of pandemonium I think.
SC: You give like three or four choices and you let them choose. I don’t know whoever some coach must have come up with the Unique Kitties. Yeah.
MM: Someone who likes the Lego Movie.
GC: Maybe. I guess it’s better than Chico’s Bail Bonds right? Anyway. Steve. It was great hearing about your businesses and how you’ve put them together and built sort of this really mini empire that’s certainly out shined what you do on your nine to five which probably in its own is something that’s pretty unique compared to what people are doing all over the place. Thank you so much for coming here and speaking to us.
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[0:48:18] TD: I think for me, it’s just not much more different than kind of being conservative with investing. I certainly consider myself an entrepreneur but it’s hard to leave that day job because it is a bit of a safety net. Even if you’re making more online, in our case or any business. It’s just easy to kind of keep that as well. I still fit everything in, I just don’t sleep a lot, but I fit everything in just fine.
[0:48:48] GC: Yeah, that sleep is a hard one. Peter, what’s your final word on your day job?
[0:48:55] PA: It really is just a personal decision I think. For me personally, it’s great having two full time incomes, we like to talk about diversifying when we’re investing. For me this isn’t diversifying my day job income. It gives me a lot more options of things that I can do and allows my wife to stay at home and the benefits are good at my day job. Those are the things you need to take into account when you’re considering whether you’re going to leave and before you do leave, make sure you have some sort of a plan if you are planning on living.
Maybe sit down with a mentor or somebody that’s done it before you, talk to people that have done these kind of things on their own as well and they can give you advice and have a contingency plan in place in case things don’t work out.
[0:49:42] GC: Miranda, what’s your final word?
[0:49:44] MM: I think you really just always have to make sure that you understand what could change about what you’re doing. What we talked about and how the environment’s always changing, Steve was talking about how there’s new competition coming in and Amazon and all of these stuff and then if you make money from a blog, you have to be aware of the changes in Google and how that might impact your income.
Just always being aware of that and being willing to make changes whether it’s redesigning your site or changing your approach all together, you need to be ready to make those changes if you’re going to be able to stick with it.
[0:50:23] GC: Steve, as our guest, if you’ll close out the final word on how to decide to say that.
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[0:50:30] SC: I’ll just keep it short. If you like your job, just stay. Seriously, if you like it, just stay and on the side, I would just cook up a little something, something even though you like your job. Just cook it up as your insurance policy so to speak. In the event that anything does happen, you’re not freaking out.
[0:50:51] GC: Some good words there. Steve, for people who are out there that may not be familiar with all the ventures, can you give a little bit of a shout out as to what you do and where people can find you?
[0:51:02] SC: Yeah, you can find me at Mywifequitherjob.com. I also have a podcast on that set as well. I teach a training course on teaching people how to start their e-commerce stores at profitableonlinestore.com and in the event that you just happen to be engaged, I can hook you up with a good set of hankies at Bumblebeelinens.com.
[0:51:29] GC: Sounds great. Really, all those are highly suggested from us. Go out there and give him a look. Thank you again Steve for joining us tonight and sharing your expertise and until next week, be good with your money.
[0:61:30] GCL: Sounds good guys.
[ANNOUNCER Thanks for joining us on the Money Mastermind Show. Get more information at Moneymastermindshow.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to this show on iTunes and YouTube and follow us on Google plus.
Important issues discussed in this episode:
- How do you know when it’s time to quit your job?
- Tips for deciding if you really want to leave your job.
- How can you prepare to quit your job and devote more time to your business ventures?
- What are some of the downsides to running your own business?
- Are you really cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Panelists In This Episode:
- Special Guest: Steve Chou |http://mywifequitherjob.com | http://profitableonlinestore.com | http://bumblebeelinens.com
- Glen Craig | Free From Broke
- Kyle Prevost | Young and Thrifty
- Miranda Marquit | Planting Money Seeds
- Peter Anderson | Bible Money Matters
- Tom Drake | Canadian Finance Blog
For a quick bio of each of our show participants, head on over to our panelists page.
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