There’s a recurring theme here. Five weeks ago to the day I uploaded my last update which coincidentally was also written during a day off. I’ve started to struggle a little in this job. I must preface the bad by saying that the work is fairly comfortable and I must admit that I’m more content in this position than I have been in plenty of previous jobs. I’m generally not great in the winter and while I don’t think it’s any kind of medical problem I know I find working in the cold and dark so much harder than in the summer. Also after three months or so I’m getting sick at the monotony of waking up to my alarm at the same time each morning, getting up alone, driving the same hour long drive and it still being pitch black dark even after I clock in and start working. If I leave after ten or nine (or god forbid eight) hours jokes are made by colleagues and bosses as if I’ve done a half day. With traffic my hour long journey home can be a little longer and usually when I get back the kids aren’t far from bedtime. That can be difficult. After a 50-60 hour week I want to relax on the weekend but also I want to go out and enjoy it, I just don’t have the energy. Add to that if I work on a Sunday I can earn around a third more than on a weekday and it’s a shorter, easier day with no traffic. That’s why I often work Sundays but it doesn’t half make the rest of the week difficult. Some of the guys I work with will do twelve hour days and work for thirteen or fourteen days straight. The only advantage they have over me is the majority of them either live, or are staying in hotels, very close to the job. My week started on Sunday and I was determined to work six days straight, even if I leave a little early on a few of those days. I managed four. Don’t get me wrong on Tuesday I wasn’t feeling great, maybe some throwback to this bad flu that has been going around for a while (I struggled for a good two weeks with it but only had one unplanned day off from work), and on Wednesday I really wasn’t well so I left early and reluctantly took Thursday off. Knowing I was having both Saturday and Sunday off this week I decided why not take Friday off too. I’m not 100 percent but I am better. These four days are for me.
Despite that huge opening paragraph of moaning and whining I didn’t come here to chastise my work. It just seemed to flow out of me. I guess I’m harbouring a little more resentment than I realised. As mentioned above I am on day two of four off from work. Yesterday I had a great day with my girlfriend and daughter (step-son was in school) before a nice family night. Today the girls have gone out to playgroup followed by what the American’s call a play-date. Tomorrow the girls and I are going to Manchester (gutted my step-son is at his dad’s for the weekend and missing out) to do the Old Trafford tour my partner got me for my birthday last month. We were meant to be staying over but our babysitter had to cancel so instead we’re just going for the day and taking Rosie. Would have liked to stay over and have a date with my partner but on the upside it’s saving us £200 on the hotel and maybe another £100 on the night out with food and drinks and all that. Sunday there are no plans. Just a relaxed day to get ready for a full week at work.
On the way to work on Wednesday a few lines of dialogue between two characters that did not exist previously popped in to my head and throughout my journey I played this out and felt my eyes filling with tears. This dialogue grew in the complex characters and a loose outline of their stories and relationship over a period of roughly twenty years. There is more such as whether at ends where I was thinking or if it goes on a little longer, exactly where the story starts and also if enough happens. What I mean by that is the story feels very linear and lifelike. It’s not some whodunnit, it’s not mind-blowing drama at the turn of each page, it doesn’t have a huge twist that nobody saw coming. In it’s essence it is a young boy meeting a late-twenties woman living on his street and their friendship growing as they go through different periods of their life. I love it but my self-doubt tells me nobody else will. I’m gonna write it anyway because why not?
In other news I have made plans with my partner for our next business venture and we’re going to start making moves on that shortly. We have talked about this for a couple of weeks and discussing finding out more about the industry. Then what happened a few days ago? A new guy started at work and was put with me and this guy has three years of very recent experience in the exact industry that Penny and I want to get in to. I’ve been talking a lot with this guy and he is very similar to me. He is very ambitious and shares my desire to stop trading time for money on a 1:1 ratio like we are now. I can train and go on courses and get my hourly wage up substantially but there will always only be twenty-four hours in each day. I will earn money while I sleep, I will have multiple income streams, I will automate, I will have a system in place to earn the money we need while I learn new skills and try new ideas. It is great working with somebody like this and while my mind is on my greater goals most of the time working with him means I am more focused than ever. I am attempting to work on my goals on my break and when I get home from work but with these early mornings and long days it is very difficult. I’m just doing the best I can.
I’m currently trying to decide what the order of actions should be. My original plan was to do what I need to be a fully qualified electrician (cost is roughly £1500) and will raise my hourly rate by 25-50 percent but will also greatly enhance the number of job options whenever I need them. Then once I’m qualified start looking in to really getting this new business venture with partner started and hopefully that will get to a point where I don’t need to go to work and trade my time for money day in day out anymore. Now I’m thinking I should start making moves on the business venture now with the aim of having everything in place ready to start making money after the new year. Then I could use that new income to get my qualification, or if the business does well enough maybe I won’t need this qualification at all (but I’m still thinking I’ll do it as a safety net, once I’ve got it I have it for life and if needed I can always find work and bring money in quickly). Now, on the advice and insistence of the new guy at work, I’m thinking my focus should be on a fairly quick turnaround regular income creation or a ‘side-hustle’ if you will. Vending machines for example; buy one, stock it, put it in a decent place and go back regularly to re-stock and collect income (though ideally I’d have one with a card reader as well as taking cash), from this you end up buying another and another. Then if I’m out of work or whatever I’ll always have this regular income. I’ve already worked out that because of the good work Penny and I have done on our finances over the last year or so I only need to earn £40-60 per day (including weekends) to ensure all bills are paid and there is money for luxuries and/or to put aside. If I had something (or a few things) in place to bring in this amount then any work income would be a bonus and I could be a lot more selective with my time knowing my safety net is taut. This would mean I could spend a few full days or even a few week putting in the groundwork for our new business venture rather than after work when I have the energy or the odd day here and there (while I’ve got other things to do at home on that one day, and also need to rest after/before a few tough days at work).
I think I definitely see sense in that last model. It’s like having properties you rent out and (hopefully) each month that rent comes in. I just need to find something on a smaller scale or should I say lower cost. Something online would be the absolute dream. For as great as a vending machine (or similar) would be there is only a limited number of people that will walk by that machine, there is only so much stock that machine can hold and realistically there are only going to be sales during certain times of the day. If you create an online setup where somebody buys something from you not only does it have the capability to reach an incomprehensibly massive number of people worldwide it is also possible to make sales at any time day or night and if you have an e-product it can be sold an unlimited number of times after being created once. That’s all well and good but now for the million pound question: what is that thing? What is my side-hustle? Where do I start?
I’ve been told to do something I love or I’m passionate about as that will carry me through if the money isn’t there or if times are hard. Well I love to write fiction but the plan has always been for that to be my hobby that I do in my spare time. Once I have an income generating system or systems in place I will have more time to write and if that ever makes money great but that’s not my aim. I also love, live and breathe football (soccer) and would love to start a blog, write articles for sports sites and create a YouTube channel. This is more financially viable and as a fan I haven’t found a specific blog I love nor a channel that offers what I believe I could. As things stand if I wanted to begin doing this it would be around work and a struggle to find balance and create content consistently. If I was to take time off work to do this then there is real added pressure as no work currently means absolutely zero income. As mentioned previously if I have a side hustle or side hustles bringing in upwards of £40 a day then I can take more time off or have a little bit more time between jobs to do what I need to do.
Well my aim coming in to this was to write a journal entry followed by the outline of the story I mentioned and maybe an excerpt to post – I was thinking of the initial dialogue that popped in to my head, the one that bred this whole story. But now all I’m thinking is to research this side hustle thing and try to find something I can start straight away. What can I sell once per day for £40 a pop, twice for £20, ten times for £4 each and so on. Unfortunately online there is a hell of a lot of opinions and ideas but for every good piece of advice there is a plethora of nonsense or more to the point people also trying to make money by selling you something. Time to grind. And I am not talking grind like going to the gym or working a job for ten hours or writing a properly sourced and formatted ten thousand word dissertation. The grind I have is essentially wading through mud looking for nuggets of gold. Scouring the internet for ideas and possibilities. Wish me luck. I promise I’ll try to write more soon, both updating the journal and the story mentioned, as well as others occupying my head and notepad. In fact I’m setting an alarm right now for next Saturday to write an update to ensure it isn’t another five or six weeks until the next one. I’ll see you next weekend.