In looking at my finances from last month, I noticed that, for the first time, the income from website advertisements, affiliate sales, and donations exceeded my monthly income as a cop. Considering that it’s the month before Christmas when most companies spend a lot of ad money, I’m not expecting cash flow at this level to be permanent.
Despite that fact, it’s an incredibly freeing feeling to know that I can make a decent income based solely on my ability to create content for my audience and market that content via the internet.
I’ve taken home more income from my training classes than I have from my cop job for the last few years now. That took over a decade of preparation and five dedicated years of hard work to make happen. It’s taken me seven years of writing 20-30 hours a week to build my website up to the point that it brings in some decent cash.
How many of you have side hustles that provide more income than your “professional” jobs? What’s stopping you from creating one? If a stupid cop from Ohio like me can do it, you can too.
Why haven’t you tried?
In today’s uncertain economy, having a full-time job does not bring financial security. In fact, it can quickly lead to ruin if you are fired or laid off. It’s prudent to start working on growing a side hustle that will provide you with some income in the event you are no longer able to work your current job.
Given enough effort, you can turn that side gig into a money maker that equals or exceeds the revenue you are currently bringing in with your full time job.
Having multiple streams of income is critical to surviving our upcoming economic uncertainty. Anyone whose income is limited to a single source will be at risk, especially if that “source” is a corporate, non-profit, or government entity.
Besides providing a comforting level of financial security, my side gigs give me “fuck you money.” At any time I want, I can say “fuck you” to my full time employer and walk away knowing that I’ll still be able to live a comfortable life. That is an indescribably freeing feeling.
My cop and fire fighter friends are working tons of overtime to make extra cash and pad their pensions. At any moment, any one of you can be unjustly fired or be injured to the point that you are unable to work all those overtime or special duty gigs.
What happens then? What happens when you are fired and aren’t old enough to collect your pension? If you get fired from a police or fire job, you likely won’t be re-hired in that career field. Even if you aren’t fired, are you content to live your life on a 40% disability pension in the event of a serious injury?
You have to invest in yourself. Stop working all those easy money overtime gigs and use that time to create an unrelated business instead.
Most of you are planning to work a couple more decades before you retire. Use that time to build up your side hustle. If everything works out according to plan, you can transition into that gig full-time after your retirement. If something unexpected happens, with a side business you still have the ability to make enough money to pay the bills.
Most of us fail to truly recognize just how much longer we have on this planet. Even most of you who are like me, pushing 50 and feeling older. Do you realize you still have 30 more years to do something useful? That’s a long time. The sooner you get started, the better.
Every extra hour you work in overtime is an hour you aren’t building a more sustainable life.
Your employer considers you a completely replaceable cog in the machine. Your job will be filled within hours of your disability or termination. Are you sure you want to put all your eggs in that basket?
Here’s my advice…
Don’t give your primary employer any more loyalty than you get from them in return.
Take a look at all the cases when your fellow cops have been fired for just doing their jobs. Having defended several officers in that position, I can assure you that you don’t want to be there. The only way to avoid that dismal future is to begin investing in yourself.
Develop your skills. Learn new things. Invest in a future independent of your primary job. Start a business that isn’t dependent on your good health or your badge.
It’s really the only way out.
Time to get started.