I’m excited to bring you Gladice’s story from Earn More Live Freely. After a tough wake-up call, she took control of her financial future and is living out her dream. Here’s how she did it!
Our Wake-Up Call
In 2012, the company my husband and I both worked for unexpectedly shut down. We were both out of a job with no income stream. Luckily, we had some savings to live off of while we quickly figured out our next steps.
Losing our jobs was a big wake-up call for me. From a young age, I was taught by my parents to study hard, get good grades, go to college and find a well-paying job. And for most of my life, this plan worked out great. But now what?
I realized that I had to take control of our financial future. Losing our jobs out of nowhere was crazy stressful and I never wanted to put ourselves in that situation again. For me, this meant taking control of our income and starting our own business.
We needed to make money quickly to pay our bills. After a little research, I found that a service business can be started quickly and doesn’t require any capital. At first, I thought I would offer a service via freelance portals, but what service would I provide?
While browsing the freelance platforms, I noticed a lot of talented graphic designers offering up their services at low rates. I knew that small businesses needed marketing materials to promote their products/services, but professional graphic design agencies were too expensive to use. I figured this could be a good opportunity to start a graphic design business, meeting the needs of small local businesses. I hired the freelance graphic designers at their usual rate and pitched their services at a higher rate (still significantly less than the large agencies). Slowly, but surely, I built up my little graphic design business and started making consistent income every month.
At first, it was very manual. I would email local businesses with my offer and arrange a call with them to discuss how I could help them with their graphic design needs. I still remember my first sale for a logo design. It was only $50. Not much. But, it was still a small win. Slowly over time, I started to raise the price and expand my service to higher ticket packages. I got this idea from one of my clients who asked me if I could help them with brochure and poster designs.
Over time I built a client base and formed a few strategic partnerships that regularly sent leads my way. This is when I started to make consistent income. It took me about 7 months before I consistently made $4,000/month.
After running our little graphic design business for three years, I found my excitement for my work fading. This wasn’t something I loved doing or something I wanted to continue in the long term. I wasn’t sure what to do and then I read this quote from Steve Jobs:
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Not only was I ready for a change, we needed to take the steps to make the change we wanted. My husband and I have a deep love for travel, adventure, and freedom. This passion helped me realize we wanted to pursue a location independent business, allowing us to live the kind of life we had always dreamt about.
Tackling Another Transition
Once again, we jumped right in to making a fast transition. Our son was almost two years old and we knew that our years of freely traveling for long periods of time were numbered. Once he started primary school we would be more focused on following his school calendar.
I started to scale down my graphic design business so I could allocate more time to building my new location independent business. Although it meant less income for us, we felt that it was the right thing to do to accelerate our progress.
We also started to aggressively cut down our spending. That meant more home-cooked meals and limiting our purchases to essentials only. We had to do this because we knew that building an online business takes time. By planning our finances properly, we could give ourselves the time we needed to work on our new business.
I decided to create an online course, sharing how I built my graphic design business. I researched, read books, watched videos, and took a few paid courses to learn how to start an information product business from scratch. Our goal was to have our new business up and running within 6 months, replacing the graphic design income.
Along this new journey I was constantly battling against my own self-doubt and fear of incompetence. A little voice in my head would try to hold me back, tell me I’m not good enough, and have me believing that I couldn’t accomplish my goal. Luckily, my husband supported and encouraged me to overcome these mindset issues. We started a morning mindset routine. For Example:
- 10 minute Priming Exercise (from Tony Robbins)
- Read our Goals
- 30 minutes of reading self-improvement books
- 5 second rule technique (from Mel Robbin’s book)
This has helped us start the day right, stay focused on what we want to achieve in our life and business, and overcome our fears.
I also read a lot of inspiring stories about families traveling around the world while running their business from a laptop. Reading about their adventures and experience made me feel more certain about what we really wanted our life to be like. You see that these people, who are not following the standard path, living their dream life are just regular people like you and me. If they can do it, so can I!
Our New Lifestyle
We’ve been running our online business now for two years. It’s doing great and I’m now working on my third course. The courses are fully automated, allowing us to still earn an income while traveling.
We own a small home and are mortgage free thanks to our frugal lifestyle and diligent savings. Our combined income is able to more than cover our normal living expenses, allowing us to set aside 15% of our income every month for our travel fund.
Every three months we travel to a new place for at least two to three weeks at a time. Earlier this year, we traveled to China for three weeks. Our next destination is Australia - My husband went to university in Melbourne and we plan to meet up with his old friends! The experiences we are having as a family and the memories we are creating are simply invaluable.
When you pursue a new job or lifestyle, you move into a world of unknown. Is it going to work out as you hoped? That’s a scary question, but you’ll never get the answer if you don’t try. As we worked towards our goal, we got our answers - this IS the life we want to live, traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures as a family, while working remotely from our laptop.
Pursuing The Dream
It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and do nothing about your freedom dreams. But if you really want to achieve location independence, you need to start planning now. Take one step at a time and do it consistently over time. Just as Robert Collier once said, “success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”
If you want to transition to a location independent job, start building your business on the side while working your full-time job. If we had done that, we would have been living the dream location independent lifestyle much earlier.
As we continue following our dream, we know that we want financial freedom in our future. Our small daily effort to achieving this is building a portfolio of dividend stocks that can give us at least $50,000 a year in passive income when we both turn 50 (I am 32 and my husband is 35). With this stable passive income, we could work less on our business if we want to.
We created a plan to make this happen and broke it down into three steps: learn, plan, implement. We are currently working on the first step, learning as much as we can from successful dividend investors. We’ve already got our hands on a few really good dividend investing books. From here we can then create our plan of attack and implement it with confidence. Just like Tony Robbins once said, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
Thank you to Gladice for sharing her journey. We love her mindset routine and feel inspired to create one as well! We love that they travel every three months, can’t wait to hear about their trip to Australia, and wish them the best was they move towards financial freedom!
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