I'm forever thankful to VIPKID and today I'm going to explain to you how it changed my life for the better. VIPKID is an online teaching platform that I worked with as an independent contractor from 2016-2019. They paid $22+ an hour at the time and were my reliable, rent money while I worked on building my websites and YouTube based business.
With VIPKID I was able to work on my own stuff during the mornings and afternoons while living abroad and then teach online 3-4 hours in the evenings. Making an income, I could 100% rely on while I was growing my own business.
Because I was able to free up so much of my time and live in a low-cost area of the world, I was able to achieve escape velocity.
Self-employment secrets no one tells you
The process of becoming self-employed so you never have to have a job again comes with a big secret and that secret is you need to find an "edge" an advantage to leverage to free up your time to work on other things.
Yea, you see a lot online make it seem easy and that they just started a blog and made a ton of money in a few short months or that they were some brave soul that risked it all. The truth is usually more somewhere in the middle.
Bold and determined
One of my favorite (now defuct) blogs was BoldandDetermined.com. Nick Kelly (who became a millionaire from his website) in a few podcasts revealed how he had success. He lucked out with landing a lazy insurance job for six months in Texas where he was able to start his blog, have time to write and publish content that ended up laying the foundation of his business.
Then he went to teach in China for one year and by the end of his contract, was making a full-time income from his site. No it was not overnight success, no it was not a straight and narrow process.
But his edge was getting two jobs where he could free up his time.
Create and Go
Other creators like Alex Nerny and Lauren McMannus built their first blogging business called Avacadu.com by quitting their jobs and living at home with Lauren's parents for months on end while working non-stop on this website.
Could you see yourself doing that?
Would your parents be fine with you not working a job, living at home and blogging all day.
I know my parents would not be so supportive.
But that was their edge. I know you want it to be more like "hey" they had jobs, then they started this blog on the side, it grew to a point where they didn't need jobs anymore then quit, but nope.
They quit first, and focused all of their energy second. Freeing up their time to work on something (a theme you'll notice) was what it took.
Find your edge, enjoy life
There's a reason the tagline for this site is "find your edge, enjoy life" and no it's not simply because it uses the word "edge" to match the domain name. It's the secret to living a life of self-sovereignty and freedom.
For me, my edge was going abroad to teach English. This allowed me to work a job from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday with weekends and holidays off. Not only was I having more fun and enjoying life abroad; this move also allowed me to have more time to try and fail at things while living in a low cost of living place.
As such, during my few years as an English teacher in Thailand I was able to lay the foundation of what supports me now. After four years of being stuck in Ratchaburi I was finally making $2K a month roughly from what I was doing online (and growing steadily).
However, even though I was making money online; I just did not feel comfortable enough going all in. I was actually at that proverbial crossroad. I was now making enough to cover my rent and living expenses but $2K a month was still just cutting it close.
But because of one of my close friends who started teaching online with VIPKID, I decided to try it too and after a few months of online teaching I was free from ever needing to be in a classroom again.
VIPKID was my bridge to the other side
I could now make $2K a month from what I was doing online (and growing like I said) and a consistent $2k monthly from VIPKID. I was now making $4,000 a month or so, living in Thailand and was free from having to teach English during the day.
My time freed up, my income going parabolic, I was able to make the full leap to self-employment. In big part because of VIPKID. Without it, I would have 100% resigned my teaching contract for another year:
Another year of being in Ratchaburi.
Another year of working in a classroom.
Another year of my ideal self and real self being misaligned.
But because of VIPKID, I was able to have that safety and security of a stable income for a few years as I eventually got to a point where I was making so much online, I didn't need to teach online anymore too.
You have to free up your time
If you want to be self employed, you need to find an edge. If you're stuck in a high cost of living place like I was in Connecitcut, it will be a tough go. If you're stuck working a demanding career or job like I was at PWC (12-14 hour days - no exaggeration ) it's impossible to have enough time.
This is why you have to take a risk and pay your dues. Everyone who's done it before you was not handed anything. You have to work hard for years, take risks, fail and try and try again before you find your thing.
But I can say it's totally worth it on the other side. I live a life of freedom and self determination. The cost however was to work hard and struggle financially for close to 7 years.
But I can say I enjoyed the process. Just because you're not where you want to be yet does not mean you need to be sad or miserable. I think I already wrote this perfectly in my dream killer post which I'll share again:
It was madness because I did not know how things would pan out. One thing I did know was that I would rather be doing what I choose to do and not know when my dreams would come true instead of doing what I'm "supposed to do" and knowing for sure my dreams will remain as such, a dream.