Personal Odometer Hits Half-Century Mark

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[I had considered posting this in the Main forum, as it is actually quite on topic up there, but I guess I much more appreciate the folks "down here" in the bar.]

Fifty years old today. I guess it's as good an excuse as any for a perspective-style post. :-)

My work/financial side is finally back on an upward slope. That's what I wanted to talk about today.

It's been 19 months now since I voluntarily dropped my day-job (tech support/sales) hours in half, with the intent of transitioning back into eventual full self-employment. For the first half a year or so, I wasn't earning any self-employment income, as I tried a whole bunch of different business ideas, all to no avail. I wasn't too worried, as I hadn't planned on seeing money at first, but of course, it was still mildly frustrating. Despite tightening the belt, expenses still outweighed income, and of course, that's not sustainable forever.

I do still have visions of continuing with my long-term plan of developing AboutTh.is, but as my savings started to evaporate, I had to make a conscious decision to put that plan on hold until I could build a reasonable cushion and ongoing income stream again.

Two successful business models did finally appear this year, and the corresponding income is now starting to solidify. For now, both of these activities are still in the category of trading time for money. While that's not terrible, it also means that I'm ultimately just trading the day-job for a better "job" (or two), and so, for both models, I'm also working on ways to leverage the work into investments that can pay me back later over time.

So, what is working for me? The first business activity goes back to my original roots of software development. Starting this past January, I've been designing and maintaining a relational database and highly-customized back-end website for a small investment firm. While it's a ton of work, it's also been rather satisfying intellectually, which was the part that I had missed when I had made the decision to walk away from writing software about 17 years ago. I'm learning a lot about MySQL and database design, and I'm really liking it. :-) The project's grown to 25 tables and 35 relationships at the moment, and the complexity can be very engaging.

Our current contract only calls for one year of monthly payments, and I'm not entirely sure that I (or they) will want to renegotiate at the end of that period, so this single client does not equal longer-term stability by any means. Yes, I'm looking for other ways to leverage the relationship. (More about that in my signature below.)

The other activity is something that I'd toyed with for a while, but finally got serious with in October. So many of my day-job customers (and even supervisors) have told me that I should consider voice acting that I finally took the plunge and hung up a shingle on oDesk, (an outsourcing marketplace), to see what would happen. To my pleasant surprise, in the space of two months, I've been able to build up a voiceover business to the point where I'm actually running out of time in a day, and am slowly raising my rates to balance that situation accordingly. It's quite clear there's a demand for my services here.

In a very related vein, I'd like to see if I can realistically quit my day-job in the next few months. That'll be a scary step, of course, but I did it once before, (in 1998).

One wouldn't necessarily think that voiceover work could be anything other than trading time for money, (except for those seriously successful performers who can actually live on residuals), but even here, I'm finding that there's a chance for a longer-term income stream, in the form of audiobook royalties. I'm not putting a ton of eggs in this particular basket, but it's certainly interesting to explore. I already have two book contracts in place, through Amazon's ACX marketplace, and this just started. :-)

So, yeah, overall, life is (finally) looking good again. It's been a long time since I've been able to say that.

Here, enjoy one of my recent voiceovers, for a tour of the area where the Godfather movie was filmed:

#birthday #perspective #self-employment #software #voiceover
  • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
    Happy Birthday, David!!

    Oooh, you have a very nice voice. I'm not surprised you are doing well with your voice over service.

    Best wishes and success for the upcoming new year!


    Terra
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    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Yes, nice one, hope that you do well, voiceover work on Fiverr can be profitable as well, but the pay is less!

      I interviewed someone over there that is one of the most successful vioceover artists on Fiverr!


      I take it that Audiobook is similar to Audiojungle?

      I am putting all my efforts into Graphicriver, which also owns the above one.

      Well that is after l bombed out with Fiverr!

      Early days yet, but the new years eve flyer is selling well, and my follower, or friends base is slowly growing.

      Each flyer makes about $120 a year, so if l keep the quality up and reach my first target of 100 flyers it will certainly give me more options online!

      I believe that you are on the right track, getting traffic is the biggest hurdle to online success and finding a site that generates their own traffic overcomes that!

      Signature
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
        Happy Birthday David, as a treat I'll be visiting your WF account page so my name is in the list of recently visited for the day! Least I could do after you visited mine once.

        Well done for a refreshingly honest post and I'm pleased you've turned the year round. Well done and best of luck in 2015.
        Signature

        Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

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    • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
      Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

      Oooh, you have a very nice voice. I'm not surprised you are doing well with your voice over service.
      Thank you, Terra!

      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Secondly - you have a perfect voice for documentaries. Who cares if it's a "job" or a "business" if you have fun doing it and make good money at it = as long as you get to break from it as convenient, it's all good, huh?
      Thank you, Sal. In one sense, yes, you are right. I am happy getting to this stage. But I am also always looking one (or three) steps ahead, and hope to have larger businesses as well as more passive income moving forward. Plus, one's voice (as well as every other body part) doesn't last forever.

      Originally Posted by tagiscom View Post

      I take it that Audiobook is similar to Audiojungle?

      ...getting traffic is the biggest hurdle to online success and finding a site that generates their own traffic overcomes that!
      Well, an "audiobook" (with a lower case "a") is simply a book read aloud, and there are several large aggregators selling these.

      As for traffic, yes, well agreed that these marketplaces are one significant component towards helping one get new clients.
      Signature
      Put MY voice on YOUR video: AwesomeAmericanAudio.com
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    First off - Happy Birthday. It's good to hear you're getting things settled now that you're finally an adult.

    Secondly - you have a perfect voice for documentaries. Who cares if it's a "job" or a "business" if you have fun doing it and make good money at it = as long as you get to break from it as convenient, it's all good, huh?
    Signature

    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Happy birthday David. I'm glad to hear that you're doing well. Thank you for sharing.

    RoD
    Signature
    "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
    - Jim Rohn
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Fifty years old today.
      You kids crack me up
      Happy birthday David, may you enjoy many more.
      Signature

      Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
      Getting old ain't for sissy's
      As you are I was, as I am you will be
      You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Happy Birthday David. Sounds like you have a couple of things going to ensure that you will be able to break free of your day job.
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  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    Welcome to the club David.
    Signature
    Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon.
    It'll just knock over all the pieces, poop on the board, and strut about like it's won anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
      Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

      Welcome to the club David.
      Which one? AARP?

      [For those outside of the States, the joke is that 50 is the minimum age one can join the American Association of Retired Persons.]
      Signature
      Put MY voice on YOUR video: AwesomeAmericanAudio.com
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      • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
        Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

        Which one? AARP?

        [For those outside of the States, the joke is that 50 is the minimum age one can join the American Association of Retired Persons.]
        50?!?!?!?!?

        We have to wait until we're 60.



        #$%&^@(*& lazy Americans.




        Signature
        Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon.
        It'll just knock over all the pieces, poop on the board, and strut about like it's won anyway.
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        • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
          Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

          50?!?!?!?!?

          We have to wait until we're 60.
          Actually, I know of very few people who either intend to or have the means to retire at 50. I think it's much more a simple matter of AARP wanting to be able to recruit as many members as possible, and not actually a reflection of any other definition of "retirement".
          Signature
          Put MY voice on YOUR video: AwesomeAmericanAudio.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Happy Birthday, young'un.
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
    David

    Sorry I missed it.. Happy Birthday!!!

    Now is the time to consider:
    Wearing socks with sandals.
    Clicking the "favorite" button on the AARP site.
    Going outside in nothing but a robe to yell at the neighbor's kids, is perfectly acceptable.
    You're need to have a perfectly manicured lawn, will grow! <-- see what I did there?
    Scratching yourself in public, just won't matter as much.

    On a serious note, great post!

    To the next 50 years!!!

    ~ Theresa
    Signature


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