Can Life Kill Your Dream, ProBlogger?

Recently some of my favorite bloggers are leaving the working world and taking a shot at making a living online. Doing what you love, working for yourself, and being location indepedent all make for a dream life. I had these visions myself, but a funny thing happened on my way there. My current reality may have altered my dream.

Escape the Rat Race

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Beating Broke, So Over Debt, Invest It Wisely, Retire by 40 and Financial Samurai all are making a living online or leaning toward this lifestyle. They all have one thing in common. Their jobs were far from ideal. Doing something other than their day job was a no brainer. The only exception is Financial Samurai who makes a great salary, but he himself only likes his job. Why do a job you like when you could do something you love? I asked myself, do I love my job? I wouldn’t go that far, but I would say I am very passionate about my work. Using my own criteria, could I do my job for hours on end for free? The answer is a resounding yes. Since I work in IT, I make a decent wage, I am constantly learning new skills, improving myself, and am part of a great team.

Return Of Investment

I’ve been blogging for a year and a half. Although I now make more than two cents from AdSense, I am still years away from making money that would make me leave my day job. With the little one on the way, I cannot afford to go all in for a ProBlogger career. Car seats and diapers aren’t cheap and it would take years for me to make even a fraction of my day job’s salary.

Assess Your Situation

Where are you at in your life? Do you have a mortgage to pay? Do you have a kid on the way? How bad is your day job? If you can barely get out of bed to go to work, you owe it to yourself to get out. If being a full time blogger is your best course of action. Go for it. However, if a lateral move or finding another job with the skills you have accumulated over the years is more feasible, do not discount it so quickly. Just because everyone is doing it, please remember that everyone’s situation is different and everyone’s outcome will greatly vary as well.

Final Thoughts

Don’t misunderstand this as raining on the parade. I truly believe every blogger I mentioned will obtain their dream. My message is for those who are on the fence. What is the best way to escape your rat race? Get a job you love or turn a hobby you love into a job? Second, what is your ROI if you go into blogging? Do you have a plan to get there? Visit Online Money Bloggers for ideas. Finally, realistically review your situation. Will you truly be happy with a fraction of what you were making? Once again, I apologize for being a downer and a worry wart. This is probably a rant to myself. Everyone is expanding their blog empires, but should I feel bad for finding a day job I wouldn’t mind doing for free, that provides for my growing family, and that improves me as a professional and a person?

Stay Inspired!
Buck

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62 Responses

  1. Davina says:

    A very great and direct to the point post. This will really make any problogger do some serious thinking before they make their hobby as their primary source of income.

  2. MoneyCone says:

    Doing this full-time never occurred to me, but I do see why this is enticing to so many bloggers!

  3. AverageJoe says:

    Your ROI comment hit the nail on the head. I think anyone looking at ROI would go a different route.

    The reason that blogging success is so difficult I believe is the same reasons why most MLM’ers fail: whenever there are low barriers to entry, lots of people flood the field, then it’s a fight to reach the top.

    What you don’t pay in dollars to blog, you make up for with sweat. So, to be successful, you’re going to have to be prepared to battle in the trenches for a long time. I don’t think most people recognize the poor ROI until you reach an extended period of time.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Well said Joe! I think initially sweat equity is not counted much because it’s so much fun and something we love doing. But everything needs serious consideration, even sweat!

      • This post hits home for me. While I am retired & don’t absolutely need extra income from blogging, it does cross my mind. I AM doing what I love for free: blogging. What is the ROI? Now we’re getting to the nitty-gritty! I think I have a bit of an OCD personality. (Is that like being a little bit pregnant?!) I tend to put in a lot of time on blogging & the ROI is negative. I’d rather blog than clean my house. No biggie. I’d rather blog than exercise. Is losing your health too big a price to pay? Certainly. So I have to get after myself to get off the couch, go outside, get some exercise and sunshine! After all, would you willingly shorten your life just to blog? I won’t. So I have to back off my obsession. Yes, it gets to be an obsession sometimes. I don’t need that kind of ROI!

        Sorry for my mini-rant. You are at an age when things are kept in perspective by the immediate needs of your family. Rather than see it as a bad thing, I see it as a good thing. Peace out, my friend! And be careful what you wish for!

        • Buck Inspire says:

          Mini rant all you want Maggie! Interesting point about negative ROI, but since we get so much enjoyment and value out of it, you get intangible positive returns. I agree with you on balance. If you go too far the deep end, you have to bring it back. Your health is too important. Like I said, rant anytime. That’s what I’m here for!

  4. Buck, you forgot to mention me. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I think being a part time blogger is perfect for me. Even when I leave my job, I won’t be a full time blogger. I’ll be a full time dad and a part time blogger.
    Cheers

  5. Jon Rhodes says:

    You’re absolutely correct. You must decide what it is that YOU want, not what others are doing or what others say you should do. For me quitting my job was the right thing to do, but that’s not for everyone. Follow your heart and do whatever it is that will make you happy.

  6. krantcents says:

    Entrepreneurship is not the only road to happiness. Life is exactly what you make of it. Even a “teaching” job can be happiness, if you like what you are doing. A lot depends what your goals are, where you are in your life and what is important.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Great point KC! Since I was spending a lot of time online and most of the blogs I visit focus on passive income, being an entrepreneur, and escaping the rat race, I was sucked in as well. I can’t lose sight of what I makes me happy. Thanks again!

  7. It never occurred to me to leave my full time job and immerse myself into blogging. Wouldn’t I want it? Of course, I would. But I need to make more than I am making in my day job plus some more for at least a year or so BEFORE I even start thinking about it. And honestly, I don’t think it is feasible for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Buck, I didn’t know you were in IT? I was too….

  9. Hey, you’re not a downer at all. I believe people make too big of a deal about it, but the truth is, you gotta do what makes the most sense for your personal situation, and at that point in time. If I got an excellent job offer I would not rule out returning to the work force. I’m taking this opportunity to learn new things and get into new projects, but for me it’s one new adventure and a new stop on the never-ending journey.

    P.S. Do you have an Android phone? I, too, love IT, and I just updated my app. I’m going for the freemium model — something great that’s free, and without spammy ads, and then upsell to a pro for additional features after I’ve impressed my customers. Let’s see how it pans out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for the inclusion ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks IIW! You’re right. Everyone needs to look at their situation. Like I said before, I am too easily influenced by others around me. Bad Buck! I’m excited about your new adventures! Sadly I have an iPhone. Will you be working on an iPhone version too? Good luck and don’t mention it!

  10. I think it truly depends on what you’re leaving behind. Many bloggers have great careers and would be foolish to quit. In my case, the most I ever made in 6 years was $42,000 and there wasn’t much hope of ever making more than that (thank goodness for low COL areas!). So it made a lot of sense for me to quit and spend my time on something I love – it’s not like I was walking away from a wonderful, high paying field.

    While I hope I never have to return to my field, I’m spending a lot of time evaluating what I might want to do with my life if writing doesn’t pan out long term. If nothing else, quitting gave me the opportunity to break out of a career that made me miserable.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      “What you leave behind”, great point. You sound much happier than when you were tied to your previous job. Also, you are absolutely right. No matter what happens, this was a terrific career break opportunity. However, I know you’ll make it especially with all your extra media coverage!

    • This is the ironic beauty of not making much. The hurdle is lower, and there is no curse of making too much and not following your dreams!

  11. My goal is the same as Joe’s – part-time blogger (3 days maximum). I plan to go full-time for a while to set myself up, but I think I can get there by the end of the year. With that said, I choose this way (or it is easier to choose it) because I don’t have a high-earning income.

  12. I always want to be a part time blogger! I like having multiple incomes streams because if it is a bad month on the site, I won’t pay too much of a price!

  13. Nicole Schuman says:

    It’s really nice to know that your job is the thing that you really love the most. Through that, you’ll be motivated to work every day. Thank you for sharing this..

  14. Crystal says:

    Yep. leaving an unfulfilling job making $35,000 a year for a business of my own that looks to be making at least $180,000 a year was a pretty easy choice. Having my husband decide to quit his day job as a school librarian making $48,000 a year to join in…yeah, that was hard. But overall, we are happier (even if we are overworked…60 hour work weeks are a light week for either of us now). Can I trade with the ones that only put in 3 days a week? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yep, the grass is always greener elsewhere, lol.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks for being so transparent Crystal! You and your husband deserve every success. My guess is there are a lot of people out there who want your kind of income without putting in those kinds of hours. Is there anyway you can tweak your system to lower your hours per week? Glad to see your hard work paying off!

  15. I’m certainly am not considering going it alone, but I certainly wish all of those who are well. There is much value in what they are doing, and I think it will literally be the experience of a lifetime for them ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Jai Catalano says:

    Well I will see where it all goes. I make money doing other things. I am not rich but I am happy. One day I will be both so I continue to blog. I do want to get back into video making more regularly. That brings in more money than blogging for me… At least it does now.

  17. Shilpan says:

    ” Using my own criteria, could I do my job for hours on end for free? The answer is a resounding yes.” — this sums up the touchstone one should use to decide to keep pursuing the day job or to plunge full time into blogging. Well said.

  18. I am like you, Buck. There is no way that I could ever come close to making enough with blogging to support my family. For me, it is a fun hobby that pays me back and is being used to keep my mind active and challenged.

  19. Don says:

    I have no mortgage or any debt really, and I’m starting a decent dividend stream, but I’m still only about half to three quarters of the way to the point where I can have enough financial security to leave my employer. I’m a techie too, and overall I’m at a good company, but I do feel like I’m getting stale. Luckily blogging and online activities has changed that. I feel right as rain again.

    Another thing about blogging is that it can be gone tomorrow, there is no history around it.

    So while I might not exactly want to be a full-time blogger, I would eventually like to become a full-time entrepreneur (online or otherwise)…

    We’ll see, someday ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Feeling stale is not good in any job, especially in tech. Any chance of moving companies or departments or are you purely focused on your online opportunities? Good luck to you!

  20. Interesting post Buck, I like the way you approached the subject. Many variables come into play when one thinks of this venue: income, debt, how much you like your job, etc. This is not a suitable route for everyone and no everyone will make it. Yet, many bloggers seem to be selling the dream…nice wake-up call Buck!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks BTI! What is that phrase? Selling picks to mine for gold? I’m glad this post is helpful to others. I initially wrote this to wake myself up as I was falling under the gold rush spell, too.

  21. SPBrunner says:

    I started blogging as something to do after I quit work. I have other income so I do not much care if I make money blogger or not.

  22. I understand your point of view and it certainly is an eye opener. We all know of so many bloggers who made it big when they made the decision to turn pro. But what about those who failed? What about the bloggers who gave it their best shot and it did not work out? I love blogging, but I would prefer to have some freelance work along with it, before I quit my job. That’s my way of playing it safe…

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Guess when we are involved with something, it’s easier to focus on the success stories than the failures. I needed to clear things up for myself. Good luck with blogging and your freelance work!

  23. Interesting article. I wish I had the option to quit my job, but right now I not making any blog income. If I had the option, I wouldn’t quit my job at the moment. I like my job now, and I am learning new things everyday.

    I like this article, you present a cool situation to think about.

  24. I am FAR away from ever making enough blogging to replace my income. Although the idea is very enticing, I think there is a lot more to give up than people think. Iโ€™m not defending jobs at all because I know some of them REALLY stink! But Iโ€™m afraid people go into this with the โ€œI make $2,000 a month from my paycheck, so if my blog makes $2,000, itโ€™s time to quit my job!โ€ mentality. What about your retirement contributions, taxes, cash flow stability, and not to mention all the time you spent building a career? All the respect to people who get out there and try to make at as an entrepreneur. But itโ€™s easy to see why entrepreneurial efforts fail when things like this arenโ€™t considered. I wrote a post about this not that long ago:

    http://www.mymoneydesign.com/lifestyle/career/dont-quit-your-day-job-yet/

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Great points MMD! Sometimes the bright lights of being a pro blogger blinds all logic. Retirement, insurance, cash flow, career, and other important factors get thrown out the window. Boring and not as sexy?

  25. Hey Buck, No FT blogging for me! Thanks for putting it out there! Just want to keep educating others in PF and make some side income.

  26. Hola Buck,

    Don’t know how I missed this post.

    I would say this… do your job for 10 more years and write a post and tell me whether you still love your job and will do it for free. Chances are, your interests will slowly fade, just like mine has.

    If all goes well, I’m taking the leap by mid July, and finishing up my book on how to profitably quit your job and do the things you’ve alway wanted. It’s 35,000 words, full of examples and action points. Hope you’ll buy it and support it!

    Haven’t decided on the marketing plan, but am happy to chat after you’ve read it!

    Best,

    Sam

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Hey Sam,

      No worries. You’ve been busy with your book and globetrotting! Good advice. We’ll see where I am 10 years from now. Make sure to check back in. Exciting stuff. Of course you have my support. Good Luck!

  1. March 2, 2012

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  2. March 3, 2012

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