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Focus: The Mantra of Success

I spent many days toiling at jobs I was never fully invested in. There were many times I just wanted to quit. I remember the first time, I thought it would be better to just build a raft and sail into the ocean for the rest of my life, fishing and purifying water really seemed ideal. But after spending many evening trying to find ideal work I stumbled across freelance.com and things surely changed.

For those who don’t know how it works, jobs are posted online and like just like eBay, you bid on jobs. Who holds the best qualifications or will do the job the cheapest secures the contract. It was based on this, that I soon realized that I could be my own boss. I had the arrogance to believe I could be my own boss. But I didn’t yet believe I had the skills to pursue enough work on the site. I looked through the main list of job categories and picked the first five that caught my attention.

Starting a Career

Flash forward, six months later I hadn’t started my own firm, hadn’t gone much farther than my original epiphany. I told some friends and seemed to let the idea stew. One day, I broke down and started to think, “Why hasn’t there been any change, not in my mood, my career, or my drive”.  When I sat in the calm and let my mind go blank, I had another realization: I needed to start my career. As simple as that is I hadn’t thought through a plan. So I got out a notebook, and started to make a plan. Here, I quickly wrote down my business plan, and after reordering it a few times, this is what it came down to:

  1. Make skill sheet with your desired job fields
  2. Learn a new skill by taking classes, and conquer your goals one at a time
  3. In the meantime, build a website for my business
  4. Start taking free jobs on Freelance.com (this will help build a portfolio)
  5. Fill in the blanks on your skill by doing portfolio work for the site
  6. Get out there! Make yourself known on social media
  7. Start taking real clients
  8. Manage a work flow

Free of the Nine-Fiver

From here I managed to enact the plan, and in one year I had clientele coming to me. But it wasn’t easy, the list didn’t go as planned, but I made it work. First I found a site to host my work, and started doing everything I could think of. I had been taking photos on disposable cameras for quite some time, so I downloaded Photoshop and went to work on them. Once my platform had been developing I started to upload my work. I thought I looked like a legitimate graphic artist by then. I also started to track my time and expenses in a Google doc too. This was very interesting and helped me budget my time until I was free of my nine-fiver.

However, I forgot one simple thing, I was still in debt. I worked through college and my pizza parlor position never quite paid off my student debt. Like most debt-suffering college grads, it went to collections and became an overarching burden for the remainder of my early twenties. I looked into negotiating this with a firm that specializes in debt, and soon I was making plans to accommodate a single payment into my budget. This meant longer days, and more focus and that day job I talked about before, it was time to kick it to the curb, and be my own boss. This is when I figured out the mastery of the four hour work day.

One day, just for fun, I took my expense doc and plugged in four hours a day, four days a week. That’s right, only sixteen hours a week. Here’s what happened, I realized that if I completed a set amount of work and focused completely on these tasks, then I could make my desired amount. Just as my original realization came: I needed focus. Once I had this set of realizations I was knew I was truly self-employed and set for success.

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