Retiring Early The Problems I Faced
What no one ever tells you when you plan to retire. Is that retirement life isn't like what it's portrayed as and I wasn't prepared mentally for it
QUALITY OF LIFE
What Do You Do When You Retire Young
At the ripe old age of 52, 3 months, and 21 days old. On the date of Dec 2nd, 2018. I officially ended my working career. I was done, I was finished, and I was out of there. I had a 33-year working career that didn’t turn out as I had originally planned. During my illustrious career, I had 18 jobs working for 16 different companies. The reason why I had so many jobs. I chose the manufacturing sector for my choice of employment. While working in this sector, I went through 4 plant closures and 12 layoffs. On Dec 2nd, 2018, at 5 pm. Being a slave to the grind officially ended, and I officially launched my new life plan.
Many factors led up to this day. The biggest being I wanted to live life on my terms. I also had a dream, and I needed to pursue this dream while I was still healthy and I’m still young enough to be able to enjoy living my dream. I took the chance, and I did just that. I decided to pursue my dream life. If you have read any of my previous blogs and or articles on various websites. You know what that life is. If not, it's living in a small beachside community where it's warm year-round.
Now that I could wake up when I wanted to. I now faced just one big problem. What am I going to do? Since I worked so much. I never really had a chance to develop any hobbies, as work had mostly defined who I was. I felt it was the perfect time for me to find something to do that I liked and enjoyed. I needed to discover who I was not only outside of work but also to develop some interests. It was a great problem to have in my eyes, and I was looking forward to solving this issue I now face.
In my dream life of what I would now refer to as being semi-retired. I pictured myself sitting on the beach in front of the ocean, sipping on a Pina Colada with my (once I find her) wife by my side, having a snooze in the hammock midafternoon, and essentially taking it easy and enjoying life. Sounded good to me.
In reality. My dream was only good for several hours of the day, and the day had 24 hours in it. I also faced another reality check concerning what I envisioned. I rarely drink outside of special occasions, and sitting on the beach every day sipping on Pina Colada just wasn’t going to happen. I needed something else to occupy my time.
I started watching YouTube, searching for ideas and new things to learn. While doing this. Most things I discovered. I wasn’t interested in it, or it would cost too much money to start; after all, I was now on a strict budget, and I no longer had what my friends would refer to as "a real job."
After a little over a month of unfocused research, I came up with the idea of why not challenge myself. I was always interested in various business ideas, and I now had an idea that started to form in my head. I wanted to see if I could create a passive income source that I could work at whenever I wanted anywhere in the world. Now the catch is, it had to cost me nothing, as in 100% free, and no, it wasn’t starting a YouTube channel, at least not right away
I looked at various side hustles: blogging, affiliate marketing, and dropshipping. None of these fit the criteria I had set out for myself. All of these needed some sort of capital to get started.
Amazon kdp Side Hustle
Then I discovered what is referred to as low-content book publishing. Due to my working background, I was very good with Excel, so I could design the interiors without a problem. I also had a working knowledge of basic graphic design, so this helped me when it came time to design the covers. Seemed like a no-brainer to me, so I got to work, or should I say, I started creating. This wasn’t working for me as I had also officially ended my working days. This is now freedom of choice
I signed up for an Amazon KDP account and got started. I would design books like journals, logbooks, tracking books, and daily planners… All while learning everything I could concerning this side hustle. In the first month, with a very relaxed creating schedule. I uploaded 30 low-content books to Amazon. I then fell into the habit of several times a day. I would check the analytics for any sales only to see absolutely nothing. It took exactly 47 books and three months before I received my first sale. I had sold one book and had made a commission of $2.14. It was now time to celebrate, so I went out and purchased an extra-large coffee at the drive-through, spending my entire sales commission. I initially wanted a Starbucks, but I didn't have enough money. Though I had made $2.14 it told me I now had what is referred to as a proof of concept model. I was now making money, and I was already making a profit. Other than my time, I had lots of available time. This creative venture cost me nothing.
Over the next two years. I would just casually upload content basically whenever I felt like it. There were numerous times when I wouldn’t upload anything in a month, but I was still making sales. I also expanded on my book inventory as well as the content. I was now uploading coloring books and kid's storybooks, which sold for a higher price, paying a larger commission. In 2 years, I had an inventory of over 200 books.
I am now three years into this side hustle. I haven’t uploaded a new book in over ten months. I am averaging around 340 book sales per month and receive a commission payment to my account every month from Amazon for these sales. I can say I am now making a truly passive income due to this side hustle. I average between $800 and $1200 per month for an income. I have also paid $0 in Amazon advertising. As a total investment, I have not spent a single penny whatsoever on my creative project.
I know this money isn’t life-changing, at least not for me, It isn't. It will seem like it’s not even worth the hassle of doing this to most. So why did I decide to do this challenge? For me, this is simple. It gave me something to do, which is critical when you retire. When I went after my dream life and relocated to enjoy a much simpler life, I did this to have choices. As I mentioned, these funds aren't life-changing for me, but to others, they could be. With these extra funds coming in, I decided to put them to good use. I decided to give back and donate 100% to various causes and to help others.
While I am sitting on the beach with the Pacific Ocean in front of me, feeling the warm ocean breeze, sipping on a Pina Colada while watching the sunset into the ocean. It enables me to ask myself. What do I want to do tomorrow, or do I want just to do nothing? It also gives me the option of who I can help in this beautiful country by donating my time to various causes. This is simply because I no longer need to work, as I live within my means, and I only work when I want to, and I now work with a cause and purpose in mind.
When you do something you love, that happens to make money. You will never work again