How to Earn an Income Without Traditional 9–5 Job?

For most people, there is just one life and job model. Go to work 5 days a week, do some stuff, get paid an amount at the end of the month. But how can you truly make an income without a traditional job?

Of course I got this question before going into self employment, it’s legit. And for most people, it might even look scary to be completely self responsible for all your income and insurances.

This post is not a “magic 5 step formula to success” but more a report how it can look like. It should inspire you to think about your situation, your skills and possible areas to create your own income without a 9–5 job.

If you are still dreaming about becoming your own boss, you might ask yourself similar questions. This post gives you an idea how I construct my new income by combining different skills and sources of income, digital and offline.

All of this is stuff I like — so basically I get paid to do work which I actually even enjoy doing!

Digital Income (“Passive Income”)

The first source of my income is from my digital assets, projects, call them whatever you like. Since 2014 I’m running a blog for software developers called Devdactic.

This blog is still my main hub for all the services and products I sell. But the blog itself is barely bringing in any money — a few dollar from Adsense, just enough to cover my hosting expenses.

Over time different ways and sources of income were added to the blog, for example:

These products currently create a solid source of “passive income” — a term I generally like, but people have mixed feelings about.

I don’t see passive income as something that’s completely automated — but making sales and not being involved in anything is quite passive for me. Of course there is work before, or still inside the membership which is not so passive.

Anyway, it’s sort of background income which I’m currently growing so it can cover may basic income and one day my full income.

Doing stuff like this brings a ton of joy — even if your home setup looks like this.

Tinkering stuff together, building your own products and helping people brings enormous satisfaction, more than a traditional job ever gave me.

Consulting & Services

When the first income is not yet covering all of your expenses you don’t have to feel bad. It’s a process!

But I guess you have more than a few skills — and some of them will be good enough that people pay you for them.

For me, this means work in different areas and forms like these:

This area is more flexible and I do take on the work I want and like.

I’m not limiting myself to stuff here, if opportunities arise that fit my general schedule and expectations I’m always open to add something to my basic income.

Please don’t tell me you don’t have any skills.
 What are you getting paid for at your job?

Of course you have skills that people need! That should never be an excuse.

And even if you can’t figure out what to make with your existing skills, there’s always room to learn new skills in a matter of weeks.

What else?

As I’m just in the transition phase, I brainstorm a lot what income streams I might add as well to the previous ones. There are more than enough hot and interesting topics out there right now, for example:

Perhaps one of those ideas is something for you if you just start out?

Always be open for new adventures, you never know what road they might take you.

There are plenty of ideas out there, and a great source of inspiration is the Side Hustle Nation blog and podcast.

Why you don’t need to do everything

Most of the time there are more ideas than time. You see how other people make magically money almost overnight and want to jump on the same train.

But beware!

As you might have read on the first page, I’m (and hopefully you too) looking for ways to build a business around my life, something called a “lifestyle business“.

This transition won’t work 100% in the beginning, but you should never let go of your focus.

Don’t take on too much work just to make more and more money — that’s not what a lifestyle business is about.

We are looking for freedom and flexibility, but not at all cost.

Income Without Traditional 9–5 Job? Yes!

Actually, I’m currently quite confident about my different sources of income. All areas are growing, but of course the first area where we are generating passive income is the most interesting here.

If you are able to create different sources of income, you are not completely bound to one project. If one of my endeavours fails, there are plenty of others and more ideas to cover my income.

So what about you, what are your streams or ideas to build your own lifestyle business? I would love to know!

I’ll keep you updated on my progress, and in case you have questions (or just kind words) leave a comment or tweet me @schlimmson

So long,

Escape the Rat Race

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Originally published at on April 13, 2017.