Isn’t life funny?
One moment, you’re stressing about things in a major way and the next moment, opportunity lands right on your face. Or desk. Opportunity lands somewhere. And if things have sorted themselves just so, it’s sort of like being stuck in a hole and having a shovel fall in with you — not the best situation, and it won’t be easy getting out, but at least you have a way out.
So yesterday, after getting my absolutely final offer from the company I’ll be taking a job from, I had resigned to the fact that I’d be making a lot less money over the next year — again, somewhere around 35% (but closer to 30% because of the way taxes work out).
In fact, this is why my posts have been sparse. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking about how to reduce expenses, what that will do to my marriage, what that will do to my self-image. I know the amount of money I make shouldn’t be tied to my self worth and that’s quite often what I tell other people, but combined with a personal “crash” of sorts which has taken the FI Monkey “stock” down 35%, it’s much easier said than done. And that’s exactly what sort of hit me yesterday — my “portfolio” (income rate) is about to take a huge hit and because I am not diversified (having multiple income streams), I am feeling the full brunt of that impact.
And so I thought about that.
Now obviously I have promised myself (and my readers!) that I will start a side business (or side hustle, as they say these days) and I absolutely intend on doing just that. But as I said at the beginning of this post, opportunity landed. And that opportunity came in the form of a consulting agency that wants to farm part time work out to me at the rate I’ve been charging the company I work for.
And the more I think about it, the better it sounds:
- I get paid the same rate I was being paid before
- I can work at my own pace and on my own schedule
- I can deny projects if I should so choose
- I can even charge flat rates for projects
- I don’t have to work directly with clients and act like a project manager
- I don’t have to manage people
The trade-off, of course, is that I have to charge accurately and competitively. These guys aren’t going to pay a slow horse to do a fast horse’s job. But I can swing that. The trick is staying within those guidelines while keeping my main income stream happy, but what makes me most happy about this possibility is just that — I will no longer have just one main income stream.
As of next week (I believe), I will have become diversified. Naturally, having just two income streams is not really diversified but it’s an excellent start. It just means that starting (or buying) a business will become yet a third income stream and lead to an even more balanced “portfolio.” I’ll have my stable income (bonds?) and my volatile income (stocks!) that will hopefully both grow at different rates.
The side benefit to this (not that I want to try to predict the future so early on) is that, should it somehow work out that I get close or even hit my financial independence number, I will be able to transition away from my main income stream and then slowly ramp down this side work over time in order to focus on my main business. Or who knows, maybe I’ll continue. I should probably figure out what my ideal “early retirement” looks like before waxing on about it, but you get the point.
What I have to be extremely careful about is making sure that my main job is not impacted by work from the others. But I also have to make sure I can get things done in a timely fashion with my second job. Luckily, I took the job that allows me to do all of this from the comfort of my home office. And I’m beginning to think I won’t have to keep beating myself up over the choice I made.
As luck would have it, things have a way of working out.