I have been struggling with the issue of needing to get a job but also needing the flexibility to be available for the things I have to take care of for quite a while now.
Getting a regular job means that I have to report to a “boss” about everything. Whether it be being sick, helping my Dad, taking care of the family business, and being available to work on the upcoming estate settlement as my Dad’s assistant for his duty as Executor of an estate…all of these things would require me to “ask off” be told no, and then have to scramble somehow to make it all work.
Then I finally had a conversation with my accountant and she said that when I work as an individual contractor you have to report for “Self-Employment” taxes.
I asked, “What’s that?” She said, “It pays your social security and Medicare “taxes”.”
I was stunned! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I thought the only way to get credit for social security and Medicare was to work for an employer. I had never heard of the Self-Employment tax.
I had been worried about this for such a long time and took a job teaching adjunct at a university mostly because of the payment into the Social Security and Medicare system in the USA.
Learning that you can earn your own money doing anything and just report and pay “Self Employment” taxes felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of my shoulders. This meant I could teach voice, mow yards, clip hedges…whatever I want to do as an independent contractor and be able to pay for my own benefits.
Now, I know what you are thinking…”You mean you didn’t know this already?”
How would I know? I’ve always been an employee. I’ve lived in Europe for half of my life and know nothing about US taxes and how business works in the USA. Nobody ever told me that I could do my own thing and still be privy to the same benefits as employees. Sure I have to pay “all” of it, but I remain in control.
This has led me to completely change the way I look at earning money. I started looking for ways that I could earn money on my own terms. There are opportunities out there galore for that.
So, I decided to start adding ways of earning income. My first stop was UBER. You know the car service.
So, I have been driving now for 3 days, and the start has been about what I expected in a town the size of Bowling Green, KY. But, I have gotten several rides and am beginning to pile up some income from it, as well as drive count, which is really the goal in the beginning. Getting used to doing it. But, it is definitely user friendly.
So, I will drive for UBER, maybe add Lyft to it, and do UBER EATS and so on. I know people think this may be seen as a demeaning job, but actually, I have found it to be a lot of fun so far.
But, the best thing about it is that I can switch on and switch off when I want to work. So, I have full control
What I am finding is that I can log on and go about my life, work in the office, do errands, and when I get a ride, I can immediately accept and go pick up the ride, deliver them and then recontinue my day.
I learned quickly that sitting around waiting for a call isn’t the way to do it during normal days. When there is a high likelihood of rides, then you can go to the hotspots and wait for some, and it makes sense. But, during slow times it makes sense to just live life and leave the option open.
Now, I am going to try other types of independent contractor work. One thing is to teach Chinese kids English online using VipKids. The pay I think is $20/hour tops, which isn’t much to write home about, but do a couple of hours a day, a session is only 25 minutes, and you are done. Again, here you are in control of your schedule but do have to schedule. The other drawback is that it often can mean being up very early, or late, depending.
Still, it is a way to build a consistent income on your own terms, which for me is a thousand times better than going to a job. Plus, you can do it at home or anywhere you can get a hotwire to connect to. Hotwire means to have a cable connection to the internet and not Wifi.
Finally, I should work on my own expertise. Teaching voice to anyone who wants to take it, is probably the most lucrative for my income. I charge $50 an hour for lessons, which is really reasonable considering my resume and experience. When I set up a contract with my students/parents for a certain period of time and agree on a payment schedule, then the money goes directly into my account, and I can then predict my income.
Those are three completely independent streams of income I can have control over and not be always having to haggle with my boss about my schedule, hour, and how much I make.
The thing is, there is no limit to the number of things I can do independently as a service to others and grow my income.
Several different ideas I have had to earn other types of income are to buy a Motorhome and rent it out. I have also discovered that you can also rent out luxury types of cars such as a sports car like a Corvette to people who want to use them for special occasions. Not only that but doing this sort of thing for Real Estate is also a good possibility for adding extra income to your portfolio of ways to earn income.
However, better than all of these ideas is building residual income streams using internet-based products online designed for that purpose.
What is the difficult and great thing about doing this? Sales.
You have to make sales to earn commissions. Like the above ways of earning income, sales also takes time and always will. But, with commissions, you are adding sales to your income, not having to remake the money every month. With subscription products that are billed monthly, you make sales and earn commissions monthly automatically for as long as the customer stays subscribed. Meanwhile, you are working on making more sales. This compounds your income while doing the same work.
What are the great advantages of all the above?
- You can start immediately
- You can control your schedule
- You can make as much as you want
- You can do these things for the rest of your life
- You can do these things anywhere you want
- You can quit anytime you want
- You don’t have to answer to a boss
Now, all of this is work of course, but it is work you determine. Most of it is work you do and then forget about when you aren’t doing it.
Basically, what I have taken to heart are a couple of principles made famous by Jim Rohn.
- Work full-time on your living and part-time on your fortune
- So, I will pay for my living expenses with Uber, VipKids, teaching voice, etc and part-time on renting an RV, building internet-based residual commissions.
- Profits are better than wages
- I will work hard to make a profit on my businesses
- Build assets that make money
- Networks of people
- Real Estate – Airbnb, and rentals
- Bonds, Stocks, IRAs, etc.
Finally, I love writing. I want to earn income writing books on whatever topics I choose, and selling them using a lucrative affiliate system, so that those who like my books, can also use them to create an income for themselves, even if it is small.
All I can say is that this has completely transformed me. I no longer have to find a job, I can build my own income, anyway I want or can. I can provide my own benefits. I can determine my life.
To be perfectly honest, whatever depression I had is gone because I now am on a mission. To do good works, to get paid good money and to build my own financial fortress.
But, it all started by talking to my accountant and working with her to set up an accounting system and giving my money and numbers a place to go, so they can be managed, and planned and get all of the taxes reported and paid correctly and on time. I am going to give it to her to do that job because I can’t, and that will free me up to work on my income streams.
This idea all comes from a Real Estate teacher I had once who said, “I have about 9 little pots of gold where I make my income.” I had that class almost 20 years ago.
In the future, I may just re-evaluate teaching adjunct at universities, but only if I can do it online. Because it would be another “Little Pot of Gold.”