This is actually happening now. It doesn't feel real just yet, but it soon will.
A couple of months ago I told my manager that I had plans to do Kindle Publishing full time as the income was starting to become more significant. She had previously talked about creating a role within the office for a manager who didn't 'people-manage', but took care of reports, research, tasks etc. I said that if she was still interested in creating the role, and felt I was a worthy suit, then I would be more than willing to put my name forward for it. Taking a step away from the full time 9-5 lifestyle is a huge step for most people. I felt a transition to 3 days a week in my current office, would allow me to keep working for a company I love, whilst I could take my Kindle business to the next level by putting in a couple of extra days.
It become clear in June that the suggested move to 3 days a week, might not be a good move for me.
I needed to quit altogether!
How did I come up with that idea?!
I paid for my first ever 1-to-1 Coach to help me with my Kindle business on Friday 29th May, and that's where it all changed for me. Half way through June, I took stock of where my sales were and predicted that if I were to repeat what I did for the first half of the month, I would make just over £500, which I would have been delighted with. It actually turned out that I made an 'unconfirmed' £749 instead! This is twice what I earned in the previous month. This was a real game changer for me.
For those of you that have followed me for a while, you'll be aware that I run a fairly tight ship when it comes to expenses, and even though I've been less concerned with driving my expenses down this year, they're still below £900 a month. My Kindle Income is now getting to the stage where it will cover my expenses and continue to rise to a level of what I'm earning in my day job. I've only just learned how to do this thing properly, and I'm doing it part time. What could I achieve if I went at it full time?!
I sat down with Lou, got my spreadsheets out and went through what I could earn, conservatively, from Kindle over the next few months. What I was scheduled to earn in my day job and if I was in a position to leave my job all together?
The Kindle income is close to covering all of my expenses, and if I can increase my kindle income by 20% over two months, I should earn enough from Kindle alone to cover my average monthly expenses. My month to month increases from Kindle have been no lower than 65% currently, and they've tented to be closer to doubling each month.
The timing right now is great because I've got 2 bumper pay packets coming up in August and September, which should provide a nice surplus of disposable income for investing in Kindle and covering any shortfalls in any expenses.
Some might say my expenses are low, but they could be lower. If it were a competition, or something on the line, I could get it down to £750 on average in my estimation. If I need to curb spending for 2-6 months, I will!
Lou has been unbelievable throughout all of this. She has not once told me not to go for it. She backs me 100%, and has even said she'll cover me if needed, if it gets a little rough. What a lucky guy I am! She couldn't be more supportive.
They always say behind any good man is a great women. Now I'm not a great man, but if I were, this statement would be right! :-)
After all of the analysis and reviewing the 'what ifs' it was clear that it was not only a distinct possibility, but I should probably go for it!
The Cautious Huw was telling me to work part time in a non-management role at my company. I enjoy working there, it would cover my expenses and I could ramp things up with Kindle at the same time. I'd get the best of both worlds without the risk.
The Adventurous Huw was telling me to go for it full time. If I worked part time for now, I probably wouldn't need the security in 6-12 months with what I could earn with Kindle, so why not go full steam ahead and make it your life now. Find a way to make it work!
They both had good points......
.......I went with Adventurous Huw!
Handing in my notice
I talked to my manager about my 'new' plans to quit my job altogether at the end of August. I was concerned that there would be a lot of work involved for her creating a brand new role from scratch, and I didn't feel comfortable knowing that I might leave when my Kindle Income surpasses my current income at work. If she wanted to do the role regardless then it would have been fine, but I didn't want her doing it just to accommodate me.
She's one of the best manager's I've ever had, and stood true to that fact by offering her support and encouragement to follow my dreams and do what I needed to do. She asked me if she could have a couple of days to think about how we could wrap things up and I happily agreed.
She came back to me 2 days later with a counter-offer. August is a very quiet time in our business, and September/October is one of the busiest periods of the entire year. She asked me if I would be willing to stay on in September, work 2 days a week, to help train my replacement, as it was a crucial time for them. In turn she would grant me a 3 day a week working schedule in August. I talked to Lou about the proposal that evening and within minutes I knew that the offer made sense. I told my boss the following day that I was happy to agree to those terms and thanked her for helping me out. I said I would be willing to stay on as long as it took (working 2 days a week) to train the new person up. I would change working days as required, and if it went into October then I was fine with that as well. I want to leave that office in a better place than I came into it. I even offered to help out in a consultancy based capacity as and when they needed me from October onwards. I know that I don't need to do that, and many others wouldn't, but it's important for me to know that the company can count on me if they need anything.
Some people might use the opportunity I have to go into their managers office and have the big "F U" moment. Nothing could be further from my mind. I love the company I work for. I work with some great people and there is a part of me that will be very sad to leave it all behind.
So why leave?
With all that I've said above, nothing will replace working for myself. I'm currently paid based on the performance of my team. I have some unbelievable staff working for me, and I have people that aren't that fussed about the job. Their priority is socialising or having fun over results. I'm very complimentary about my job, but it isn't perfect. It's a big company that has it's share of bureaucracy, frustrations and limitations. I wouldn't want to work for another company, but I hope I can create a life where I fully support myself and don't need to go back to 9-5 security. I won't say 'never', but I hope I can work this out myself.
I want to do the things that I'm passionate about. Life's too bloody short and I want to do something I'm truly proud of. I want to help change the lives of others, spend time focusing on my passions, and working towards FI before I'm 40. I feel going it alone gives me the best chance of that happening.
Telling The Team
As I write this post now on Tuesday 14th July, my boss and I will announce my decision to the team. None of them know about it, and I think they'll be shocked. People know that I invest and that I'd like to retire early, but that's about it. I here people mention that I'm a 'lifer' with this company, and if I cut myself I would bleed the colours of the company. They won't see this coming!
We'll announce it at 10am, and I have to say I feel really nervous about it. I'm going to face a lot of questions, and possibly some upset people. My boss thinks that some people are going to struggle with me leaving, but I'm sure that won't be the case. It might be a little sad initially, but I'll still be around for a few months yet, and I might even be popping in to help every now and then too. It isn't goodbye forever.
With all that said, there is something quite sad about the whole thing. I've been there over 7 1/2 years now, and I have changed more in my life in that time than I can remember. I'm a completely different human being now. My employer, colleagues and managers have all had a big part to play in my life and I will be eternally grateful to them.
I wouldn't be surprised if my plans alter between now and September. I really don't know what's going to happen to be honest. It's all very exciting (and scary)!
These are my next steps currently:
- Tell the team
- Start working 3 days a week in August
- Go down to 2 days a week in September
- Support the office until a suitable transition has been made
I have a whole list of things to keep me busy of that period away from work including - Finialising location for the York Gathering, setting up a FFB40 Blog on a Bloggerless platform, set up a Kindle publishing company, start coaching, upscale my current Kindle business, start creating a Kindle Publishing course, start a Youtube Channel for FFB40, set up the Down South UK Gathering in Sep/Oct and I'm sure there's some other stuff too.
Wow, I'm going to be busy! York is right at the top of my list currently people, please don't despair at my lack of communication on it. I can't wait to meet you all again and see what you've all been up to over the last 6 months or so.
Thank you all so much for the kind words of support through this transition, it's amazing to receive such encouraging messages.
I'll let you know how today goes with the team, and the latest on the York Gathering. Stay tuned!
What would you do in my situation? Is this all crazy or does it strangely make a lot of sense? I'd love to get your thoughts on it!
Labels: Blog Update, Early Retirement, Financial Independence, Goals, Personal Development, Strategy