My Story

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more stuck than in December of 2016. 

I was fifteen years into a successful career I thought I enjoyed – I loved the people I worked with, and the money was good.

But I had just spent eighteen months struggling to survive an abusive boss.

A co-worker and I were discussing our shared frustrations, and I remember his exact words, “What can we do? Think about it; we’re stuck!” 

Climbing Down the Corporate Ladder

I mumbled something in agreement – but inside, I refused to be stuck and decided to do something about it. At that moment, I resolved to plan my escape from the 9-5. I would create another path.

My colleague and I tossed around the idea of jumping ship and going to a competitor. But I had vowed never to leave a good organization and people I care about because of a bad boss.

After all, every workplace has its fair share of crappy bosses. Would another company be any different? 

Things started to improve at work, but I knew I couldn’t forget the promise I had made to myself. After all, the situation could change anytime, and I’d be back in the same place, feeling hopeless and stuck.

But there was one problem.

My motivation to leave the 9-5 was rooted in a bad experience and general negativity, which I knew wasn’t healthy.

Dreaming

Around the same time, my wife, Laura, and I began discussing what life might look like a few years down the road. We planned coffee dates where we would dream together – big-picture stuff. We avoided numbers and getting lost in the details.

In discussing the future, we realized that our family dynamic was about to shift.

Our kids were getting older. Our son was almost out of the house (he’s now married), and within a few years, our daughters wouldn’t be far behind. 

My job was going to get in the way of the future we were dreaming about. Laura and I wanted to spend more time together, travel more, and be there for our parents and our children.

You see, when our kids were young, the 9-5 made sense. We were a single-income family, and we needed a steady paycheque. Flexibility in my work schedule wasn’t important because we weren’t going anywhere.

The pattern was the same. Every day, the kids went to school; I went to work and was home before dinner (most nights).

But now, having time freedom was a top priority, and for that, I needed my work to be 100% remote.   

I don’t mean “employee who works from a home office,” remote. I didn’t want a regular job anymore. I wanted to be self-employed and be able to work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, aka the laptop lifestyle. 

Yet, here I was, staring down another 15 to 20 years of 40-hour weeks working in an office to secure a pension. 

Life is way too short for that. 

But how can a 40-year-old married father with three children, working a regular 9-5 job, without any prior business ownership experience or strong online and social media skills, create a brand-new online business from the ground up and achieve a six-figure income that surpasses their successful banking career?

A Turning Point

With the help of YouTube, I taught myself how to build a WordPress website, and I started a blog. I then wrote, wrote, and wrote some more and began to build a small but engaged community of readers.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, as I blogged, I was picking up many of the skills I needed to run an online business.

I learned how to create content that ranks on Google (SEO), the basics of email marketing, and how to build digital products. I also experimented with a few side hustles; I did some music production work and helped a friend start a logo design business. But I wasn’t making much money.

So in June of 2018, I pivoted and began selling my content creation services (writing, editing) to larger websites. In my first month, I made $200. A year later, I made $2000/month, on top of my 9-5. Along the way, I shared my progress with my blog community, who encouraged me to keep going.

By late 2021, my side hustle income had increased to almost $5000 a month. Laura and I used the money to build the safety net I would need to leave my job.

Finally, on October 1, 2022, two weeks after handing in my resignation, I left my office for the last time.

I had escaped the 9-5.

My side hustle income had surpassed that of my job, and I could no longer balance the two.

It took me four years to leave my job, and I learned countless lessons along the way. I also had the support of many incredible people, especially Laura and the kids.

Are You Feeling Stuck?

I’ve been fortunate to build a fully remote business and gain complete control over my income and time, and I want you to be able to do the same. 

Stay tuned as I share the strategies I used (and the lessons I learned) here on the blog. I’ll let you know what works and what doesn’t. I’ll share my best advice and be there to encourage you in your journey.

To get started, check out this six-step roadmap, which can help you build a business that fits your lifestyle so you can leave the 9-5 behind.

I’ve experienced how it feels to be stuck, but I’m here to tell you there is a way out.