Once I had figured out that I was never going to be financially free if I depended on a 9-5 job, I began looking for places where I could get training to start making more money.
I took courses in real estate, online marketing, and also joined a network marketing company. While I did not make much money right away, I got some first-rate training through these programs, which I needed because I had no idea on what I wanted to do—at all.
During that process, I also researched opening a bakery, but I tossed that idea out quickly after realizing that I had to be in town all the time and that I had to start baking at 2 a.m. (and I am not a morning person). I looked at real estate investing, stock market investing, and any conceivable method of making money. After each one, I evaluated each opportunity based on the following four criteria:
- Can the opportunity make a great deal of money? (By design, certain niches, and ways to make money can only make a small amount of money and are not easily able to scale up from that.)
- Can it create passive income? (Passive income is where money comes in over longer periods of time without me actively having to do anything.)
- Can I do this remotely? (Remember that I had to travel for my job from Sunday to Friday each week, and I never knew where I would be three weeks into the future).
- Can it be done part-time? (For residency reasons, I could not yet quit my job).
Looking back, I am happy I could not quit my job immediately. I simply wasn’t ready to do it. I wasn’t ready in my financial education, I wasn’t ready in my ability to see opportunities, and I wasn’t ready in just about any other way you can think of. If I would have quit and cashed in the little bit that was in my 401k (and my now almost-worthless stock options) I would have most surely burned through that money looking for a business idea, and—at the end of it all— I probably would have ended up broke and looking for another job.
But, because I did have a job, I was able to use that as my launching pad toward being able to climb out of the hamster wheel in a matter of a short time.