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Make The Break - Start Your Online Business


What You Need to Know to Stop Working for Someone Else and

Start Living the Life You Want and Deserve


Introduction


Have you ever had a bad day at work? So bad that you felt like you could just

walk out the door, and never come back? Were you ready to tell your boss

exactly what you thought? You've had enough! One question...


What stopped you?


Did you...


• ...calm down before you had a chance to leave?

• ...swear if it ever happened again, you would really do it then?

• ...wonder what would really happen if you left?

• ...wish you would win the lottery so you could fulfill your daydreams?

• ...worry about what your co-workers would think?


Each one of those reasons seems logical enough, but dig deeper and you will find

that the real reason you stayed was that you didn't have a better option.


In other words, those "valid reasons" were only excuses in disguise. If you only

had a way out you would take it.







Hi there, my name is Michael Oksa and I worked in factories for years before

making my exit. There were days when I felt the same way. The dingy gray

surroundings were sucking the life out of me, and I was struggling for a way out

of the daily grind. Fortunately, after a lot of trial and error, I was able to find the

things that made it happen.


I'm not telling you any of this as a way of bragging. My intention is to give you

hope. But, let's face it, hope is not enough. That's why I am also laying out a

plan that you can follow. A way to go from working to make somebody else rich

to making a living doing something you enjoy.


You have most likely spent many countless hours daydreaming about being your

own boss, and having nobody else to answer to but yourself--doing what you

want, when you want, how you want. Believe me, I get it.


In fact, I used to get somewhat amused at all of the different "be your own boss"

books and websites I read. It always seemed as though they were written by

people that were already at the top of the ladder. To be blunt, there wasn't even

a ladder for me to climb at most of the places I worked.


Still, I did my best to glean as much useful information from them as possible

and applied whatever I could. Yet, there was a bit of a disconnect because their

backgrounds were so different from mine.


That being said, while this guide is coming from a blue collar perspective, it's

principles apply to anybody looking to make the transition to finally breaking

free.


So, what finally happened?


To put it simply, I reached my breaking point. I was fed up.


I had been working on a plan for a while, but my departure date was still several

months away. As I was driving home one crisp and clear Friday afternoon in

October, the same thought kept playing over and over...


"I'm not going back. I'm not going back"


Even though I had knots in my stomach, I couldn't make that voice go away.


In the long run it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. My

sincerest wish is that this report will show you how to say goodbye to your boss

forever. So one day you too can say:


"I'm not going back. I'm not going back"







The Choice


Having certain thoughts go through your head is one thing, acting on them is

another. You have to make a choice about whether to act on them or not. This

can seem scary to a lot of people, and was the source of the knots in my

stomach.


You make choices every day. Some require so little thought that you may not

even be aware that you are really making a choice. Others require you to use

massive amounts of brain power to reach a decision. These types of choices don't

typically have a major impact on your life, especially in the short term.


Then there are the choices that have a long term impact on your life. When you

think back to some of the things you've done and say to yourself, "If only I had

kept taking piano lessons", or "I wish I would have tried harder in school", or "I

shouldn't have listened to my friend's advice"; you have a good idea of how

these types of choices assert their power over our lives.


The problem is that you don't know you have made a poor choice until it is too

late to change it. That's why you start to second guess yourself after the fact.

Right now you are at a point where you have to decide if working for yourself is a

good choice.


The best I can do is share my experience and lay everything out step-by-step,

but I can't make you do anything. The choice is always yours. So, now it is

decision time.


Are you willing to do whatever it takes to start living the life you have always

wanted?


Don't just answer as a matter of reflex. Take some time to really think about it.


Be honest.


You may be lazy, or may lack motivation. Maybe you need somebody to tell you

what to do, or enjoy the comfort of someone else deciding how much you earn.


Perhaps you just function better with a boss and a job. If so, that's okay, I'm

letting you off the hook. You know yourself better than I do and the choice is

yours. However, there may still be valuable information in this report that you or

someone close to you can use.


What counts is that you make the right decision for you. Some of the steps you

see here may make you a bit uncomfortable, at first. You may encounter road

blocks along the way. The only way you will follow through with your plan is if

you are willing to do whatever it takes.


That's why it's so important to be honest with yourself. At this point nobody else

needs to know what you're contemplating. So go ahead and make your choice,

regardless of what it is.


Great! You've made up your mind, so let's get started.







Getting Started


The first thing you need to do is make a list of what you can do, what you like to

do and what skills are involved with each. Below each heading you can add

possible ways you can think of to make money from them. Keep in mind that this

is to give you ideas for your future options. It does not have to be perfect or

thorough. You can add to, or make changes to it at any time.


Though yours will be different, here is a copy of the very first list I made.


What can I do?


A: Write.

1. Skills

a. Writing in fluent English.

b. Communicating ideas in writing.

c. Good use of spelling and grammar.

2. Possibilities

a. Articles

b. E-books

c. Reports

d. Basic sales copy

e. Blog posts

f. AR series

g. Proofreading


B: Advise.

1. Skills

a. The ability to help others identify areas that need improvement.

b. Communicating in a direct, tactful, and helpful way.

c. Generating specific ideas to help reach goals.

2. Possibilities

a. Success

b. Business

c. Ideas

d. Mentor

e. Partnering

f. Teach others how to make money


C: Design

1. Skills

a. Using graphics programs.

b. An 'eye' for what looks good.

2. Possibilities

a. Logos

b. Basic headers

c. Basic websites

d. Formatting e-books


What do I like?


Writing: Same skills as above.

Humor: A sense of timing. Making people laugh.

Music: Listening with a critical ear.

Learning: Curiosity (really a skill?). Ability to process information.

Working from home: Staying motivated. Organization.

Reference books: (I did not come up with a skill for this one, but wanted to leave it here to show it is okay to write down anything)

Movies: Identifying different film styles and techniques.

Playing guitar: Practice. Ability to play.

Reading: Comprehension. Knowing how to read effectively.

Trivia: Memory system. Fast thinking.


Doing this exercise for the first time can be tricky. Some of your skills may be

hard for you to identify, so ask trusted friends and family if you need more ideas

because they are second nature to you. Eventually you will find a marketable

skill, and marketable means potential income. What makes this exercise

important is that it will help you to identify ways to make money by doing

something you enjoy.


In the next steps you will discover how to make a plan for success.







Budget Your Time


Before you make the break you will have to develop a schedule. This may sound

like a bad thing. After all, you want to be your own boss! Exactly. Keep in mind

you won't have a boss to answer to, so it can be very easy to get sidetracked.


Having a schedule will help you stay on task. Any time you look at the clock you

can refer to your schedule and see if you are doing what you need to do.


You are going to be your own boss, so guess what? You get to decide how many

breaks you take, when to work on each task, when to start and when to quit. You

get to decide how flexible it is.


Here is a sample of the first schedule I made when working from home.


  6:00 -  6:30: Check messages and reply as needed.

  6:30 -  7:30: Write. New projects. Projects for others.

  7:30 -  8:00: Morning break

  8:00 -  8:15: Check messages and reply as needed.

  8:15 -  9:15: Learn. Read. Research.

  9:15 -  9:30: Check messages and reply as needed.

  9:30 -10:00: Write.

10:00 -11:00: Break/Errands/Fun

11:00 -12:00: Learn and/or develop new ideas.

12:00 -12:30: Lunch

12:30 -12:45: Check messages and reply as needed.

12:45 -1:45: Develop new websites.

  1:45 -2:00: Check messages and reply as needed.

  2:00 -2:30: Break

  2:30 -3:30: Write (or until youngest gets home from school - shift remaining slots ahead as needed)

  3:30 -4:15: Break

  4:15 -4:30: Check messages.

  4:30 -5:30: Learn. Read. Research. (Supper may happen in this block, if so shift others)

  5:30 -6:30: Develop new ideas. Chat. Work on site.

  6:30 -????: Done. May check messages and other 'fun' at this time.


At first glance that may seem like a long day, but it always went by quicker than

any day working for someone else. Also, notice that there are 3 hours and 15

minutes of break time.


As you can see most of the tasks are repeated throughout the day. That was

intentional. It can keep you from getting bored on any one thing. You may be

just the opposite, in that you would rather work on one thing for a few hours and

be done with it. Perfect! It's your schedule - you don't work for your schedule,

your schedule works for you.


It is a good idea to have some built in flexibility in your schedule. Things always

seem to happen when you work for yourself. Be prepared to move things around

or change your overall schedule if needed. For many people, this type of

flexibility is very liberating.


In fact, it was a major relief for me. Earlier I mentioned working in factories, but

I didn't mention that I would get up at 3:00 or 3:30 in the morning! For me,

starting my own day at 6:00AM was a break. That was then. Since then, I don't

use an alarm clock to wake up, so my start time varies. I should also mention

that my scheduled tasks and times have changed a lot and my "work" day has

been shortened significantly.


That covers budgeting your time, now on to the topic of money.







Budget Your Income


You will be working from home so there will be no boss to go to for an advance,

nor will there be an opportunity to work overtime whenever you need to.

Generating your own income means you have to be extra careful in how your

money is spent.


First, you have to draw up a household budget. You need to know your expenses,

and how much you need to earn to cover them. Do this ahead of time.


You may not know what your work-at-home income is going to be from week to

week. So how can you figure out what you will have available to spend? In this

case you really can't. But there is still a way to determine how to allocate

whatever income you receive. A percentage based budget is the answer.


With a percentage budget you do not use dollars, but rather percentages. Here is

a simplified version to help you understand the concept.


50% -Reinvest in business

20% -Taxes

10% -Savings

10% -Charity

10% -Fun money


Let's say you get $60. You would then set aside $30 for your business, $12 for

taxes, and $6 each for savings, charity and having fun.


This type of budget is the most flexible and will most likely change as your online

business grows.



Balancing Work and Family


People that work for somebody else have an advantage over those who work

from home: They have a clear distinction between the workplace and home.

Being your own boss means your office will be in your home, and that can blur

the lines between work and family.


It can be a difficult thing to try to keep your family at bay when you're working.

After all, one of the main reasons people like to work at home for themselves is

so they can spend more time with their family. However, you still have to make

money, so don't feel guilty when you have to focus on work.


A good start is to schedule your day in a way that takes advantage of any time

other people are out of the house. For example, if you have kids in school, try to

do as much as you can while they are in school. Of course you would have to

make adjustments once school is out.


You will have to make some ground rules for both you and your family to abide

by. Let them know that when you're working, you are not to be disturbed. If you

like, you can make a sign to hang on your door that lets other people in the

house know when you are in work mode.


The tricky part is that they will always know you are close by. This can make it

difficult for them to not come running to you for the smallest thing. You may

have to keep reminding them that you are, indeed, working, but over time they

will get the message.


There is a saying a lot of work-at-home people use: If it ain't broken or bleeding,

then I don't want to know about it. You may not want to go to that extreme, but

you will need to take a stand at some point.


However, there may be times when you need a break from work, and will

welcome the intrusion. That's great! It's one of the best things about working

from home. I used to get up and give my wife and kids a random hug during the

day. Why? Because I could.


Despite your best intentions, there will always be sick days, family emergencies,

home repairs, important phone calls, temptations, unexpected interruptions and

anything else you can imagine.


All in all it is very possible to effectively work from home, but it will take a lot of

self control and some training when it comes to showing those around you that

just because you are home, doesn't mean you aren't working.







Making the Break


There will come a time when you know deep down that the time is right to leave

your job. You may feel excited, anxious, or scared; but you will feel something.

There are a few things you need to do, however, before walking out the door for

good.


Talk it over: If you are married it is important to discuss this move with your

spouse beforehand. The sooner you broach the subject the better. Don't be

surprised if there are a few serious discussions. Your spouse may not understand,

or may be concerned about the future. All of this is normal.


Show your spouse anything you have written down. This helps to show you are

serious about working for yourself. Explain your plan in detail for the same

reason. Ultimately, you should get as much support form your spouse as you

can, even if they don't completely understand your plan.


Build up savings: Even the best plans will have setbacks along the way, more

so during the beginning stages. Think of it this way, the more money you have in

savings the more secure you will be during these setbacks. Three months of your

current salary in a savings account is a good start. Do whatever you can to get to

this point.


NOTE: If you have a retirement plan at work, you may be able to roll it over into

a private account. Think of this money as untouchable. It is for retirement, and

does not count toward your savings, but will be there for a real emergency.


Tell your boss: For me this was the hardest part, because I worked for my

family. It is highly recommended that you give proper notice based on your

company's policies. You may be entitled to severance pay, but only if you quit

with proper notice. Talk to your boss face-to-face. This is not the kind of thing

that should be handled through email or a telephone call. Remember, the worst

that can happen is you will get fired from a job you no longer want.


Talk to human resources: Find out about any continuation of benefits, what

will be put in your employment record, how to handle any current pay you have

coming, and how to handle any pension or retirement savings.







Going Back


This is something other work at home guides will not discuss. But it is always a

possibility, so it's better to talk about than it is to pretend it will never happen. All

in all, though, going back to work for somebody should not be taken lightly. Still,

it's best to know how to handle it if it should happen.


You may come to a point when you really think working for yourself is too

difficult. And it is, at times. The urge to be cradled in the security of a regular

paycheck may seem like the best option, but is it really? Only you can decide

that for yourself, but here are some things to think about first.


Will you go back to your previous employer? If so, do you think you will return in

the same standing? Is it possible that you will feel, more than ever, that your

boss has the upper hand or somehow "owns" you? After all, you are the one who

couldn't make it work, and now you are crawling back. These are not judgmental

questions, but rather ones you must answer honestly before you even think

about returning to your former employer.


Will you get a part-time job? This may be okay for true emergencies. You would

be able to choose any temporary job you like, along with the hours that fit your

new schedule. Keep in mind that much part-time work can be quite menial. You

will have to weigh the pros and cons based on your reasons for seeking part-time

work.


If you choose part-time work to fill some gaps in your income, then set a goal for

how much you would like to earn. Add enough to that goal to give yourself some

extra cushion, then move on.


Are you willing to lose it all for a chance at true freedom? Your gut reaction to

this question may be no. Dig a bit deeper and you may discover it is your best

option. Being your own boss can be risky. Before deciding to work for someone

else again, you have to ask yourself if you have really given making money on

your own everything you got. Everything. Are you willing to lose? If so, delve into

every corner of your psyche and see what you can do to keep being your own

Boss.



Things  to Come

 

Your future lies ahead. You are the one who controls it. Hopefully you are at a

point where being your own boss is now a reality. If not, that's okay. This guide is

meant to be a useful tool to help make your dreams a reality.


If you have just made the break from a job, then I congratulate you. There is no

way to express the deep feelings this can bring. A mix of excitement, fear, and

freedom all in one is about as close of a description as possible. You have to

experience it personally to really know.


There will be bumps on the road ahead. Plan ahead for some of the bad stuff that

can happen, but do not dwell on it. Focus on the things you want and why you

are doing this to get over the bumps when they happen. There are many stories

of people being faced with a crisis right after making the break from their jobs.

Those who decided to hang on have often went on to achieve even more than

they thought possible.


You deserve to have the best future possible. Being your own boss gives you the

freedom to make that happen.


Michael Oksa is a web consultant living the dream.






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