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[LONG] Risky Business: Why I Chose the 9-To-5 Again, Writing for Fun and Profit, Q&A, and Other Shit

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Sherbert Hoover, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    TL;DR: I'm risk averse, life has changed a lot in five weeks, I'm going back to the 9 to 5 life, my content service is not going anywhere, my projects are all still chugging along.

    This is the third warning that this is a long thread. This one is even in bold. If reading is not your strong suit, get the fuck out.

    The month of June and the first week of July for me have been a complete and total whirlwind of 16-hour grinds, home purchasing, lawn mowing, job applications, long distance runs, expanding my business, writing a (technically) Amazon bestseller, starting new projects, exploring an incredible new city, helping keep a new doctor sane through her 80 hour workweeks, and of course, writing writing writing.

    In the midst of all of this, I have been doing my very best to respond to all questions and inquiries via PM, email, Slack, Skype and any other potential medium. It's been difficult, and there have been a lot of questions that have come up multiple times, so I figured answering them all in one big Lounge thread would be the best option, as the Lounge is my home here on BHW (check that post count to likes ratio... that's good quality posting, but not from only 866 posts I promise you that).

    Let's dig in on this self-interview:

    SHERBS, ARE THE RUMORS TRUE THAT YOUR BUSINESS/WORKLOAD HAS GROWN SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS?

    Absolutely. My reputation management workload is larger and more profitable than ever, which is both good and bad. I'm starting to score some branding/marketing clients as well, and am working on getting solid leads gathered together for local SEO in the city I am in, as well as direct mailing, directory building, and local area offline marketing.

    I've begun bogging my Web Property Consultant with massive monthly task listings, and recently hired someone on as a Social Media Manager to handle a large batch of Twitter automation processes that I have set forth. They are both a godsend, as if I was having to do all of these things that are in my head myself I'm probably have suck-started a shotgun by this point.

    In addition to the above-mentioned projects, I've been working on web projects as well such as my Iceland site (mainly), and a massive updated digital marketing strategy guide (as in over 500 pages worth). Having left a full-time office job at the end of May, it's been easy to pour 16-18 hours a day into this work while my wife is out there saving lives and whatnot. And of course, on top of all that, I've been writing my ass off...

    WHY WOULD YOU ADD A CONTENT SERVICE ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE?

    Some of the major points I've hammered home time and time again on BHW are: 1) Put a dollar amount on your time and stick with it, 2) Keep track of your income and expenses, 3) Do what you enjoy, and drop what you hate before it makes you hate the whole industry, and 4) If you have the means to go to college, go to fucking college. This question falls into points one, two and three.

    My wife and I recently bought a house. I made a thread about this shortly after we did it. I love this place. It's massive compared to what we are used to, the neighborhood is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the state, we are surrounded by old millionaires and retired lawyers and doctors. The kind of people who walk their dog at 6:30am and wave to you like you're an old friend, even when you're the new house on the block and 50 years their junior.

    We earned this house, but damn if it isn't almost triple what our old apartment was, once property taxes and homeowner's insurance are factored in. As I have always been transparent about finances on BHW, I was under the impression that I would eventually find a job making ~$50k per year. My wife is making around the same, so with those two salaries together, we would be able to pay all our bills and monthly expenses, her student loans, and then have a good $2,000 per month to play around with, save, accelerate payments on student loans, travel, make improvements to the house, etc etc.

    It still wasn't enough. Before this my wife was full-time medical school, and I was the income earner of the household. I hit the grind every day and crossed six figures in 2015 and 2016. I grew accustomed to the concept of saving well over 50% of my income and investing it into a savings account or a Vanguard or a 401k or pushing it towards the mountain of student loans.

    I still want that 50% savings rate. Shit, I want more. So I started up that content service, because I missed writing, and I knew I was good at it. Really good at it.

    HAS THE WRITING BEEN AS GOOD AS YOU WERE HOPING IT WOULD BE?

    It's been great thus far. It's a great and challenging mix of researching and learning new things, communicating with adept, polite and interesting BHW members I probably would have never talked to otherwise, performing customer service like a goddamned champion, making revisions based on customer suggestions, and leaving people happy with the finished product.

    I also get to see what kinds of things other members are working on. I've got to say, thus far I've been extremely impressed. People on here, at least those willing to pay my exorbitant rates for content, are true professionals. Some of them are working on some incredible projects. It's truly amazing and inspiring, and an honor to get to have my words be a part of their long-term cash-pumping projects.

    Currently, I spend a couple of hours each day on writing. It means longer turnaround times, but my customer base is aware that they are getting the Quality corner of the IM triangle, and that comes at a higher price (obviously) and a longer turnaround. There's a reason my thread doesn't lead right to a payment form. I try to have conversations with my customers to figure out exactly what they need and try to meet and exceed those needs while still adding that hot hot Sherbs touch to it. I have been told that my customer service and ability to ask and answer the right questions are second to none. I appreciate that more than the money, which is why I've been randomly approaching people to offer them review copies.

    But damn, if that money isn't nice. I'm already getting to the point one week in where the mortgage, property taxes, and homeowners insurance can be covered by the content writing alone.

    So, to answer that question and the question before it, I got into writing because I missed the world of writing-on-a-deadline, I wanted a solid challenge, the money is great for the time input, and my ego feeds off of the stellar feedback I've been getting. This is turning into a promotional pitch, so I'll move on to the next question.

    I HEARD THAT, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE RAKING IN THE DOUGH, YOU STILL TOOK A 9 TO 5 AGAIN. WHY THE HELL?

    I am so risk averse that it is problematic. For as long as I have been working on IM things, it's always been a "side gig". These past five weeks it has become my main source of income, and things have been going great. It has been cool to get a taste of what full time IM is all about. It's encouraging, and it's fucking terrifying at the same time. It's not for me. Not yet. One Google update could destroy hundreds of hours of work. I spend several hours a week hunting down sketchy reputation management clients so I can persistently tell them to pay me. I analyze statistics so much that I want to puke most hours.

    I missed the 9 to 5. I've always been very much pro-job on a forum and in an industry that's all about escaping the rat race. This doesn't jive with most people, and it shouldn't. An office job isn't for everyone. But it is for me. So I've been taking interviews and chugging through job applications when time has allowed.

    Last week, I took two back to back interviews for great positions.

    One was for an analyst role where I'd spend my days building reports and digging into the data of a multibillion dollar corporation. The job role was something I've been wanting to do for a few years, and allows for creativity, face to face human interaction, and room to grow. Plus the benefits are incredible. Google level shit (six weeks off per year, free insurance, 401k match at a high percentage, a solid pension plan, stock options vested after a few years, the list goes on). It's a mid level role in a large company, though.

    The other was for a smaller, ~$5 million a year firm that did exactly what I've been doing for fun for years. I got an interview before they even looked at my resume. It was for a digital marketing manager role. The CEO got wind of my resume, brought me in, talked to me for a good two hours, and told me he was going to offer me the role of Director of SEO. I was pretty starstruck. However, there were next to no benefits, lots of risk, and a good bit of responsibility. At the point I am at in my career, my age, my skill level, and my abilities, I had a feeling like a director-level position was getting in way over my head.

    So yesterday I received offers for both positions. The pay was the same. I think I'm going to take the more solid analyst role over the Director of SEO role.

    WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU TURN DOWN A DIRECTOR OF SEO ROLE AT A MULTIMILLION DOLLAR IM COMPANY TO BUILD REPORTS AND BE A CORPORATE DRONE?!

    Risk aversion. I want the ability to have some fun, but still separate myself from SEO, ORM, IM, and the other fun acronyms to do something for the good of a large company. If I took this director role, I would be working ten hour days 5-6 days a week on super high budget SEO... then I'd come home and do more of the same. A good percentage of my income already is dependent on what Google decides to do with their algorithm, I couldn't imagine of my real world job hedged on that as well.

    Burnout is real, and is compounded greatly once you cross 70 hours a week doing the same thing without some kind of rift between. This analyst role is a risk-averse anxious kid's wet dream. I'm efficient, and I'm confident I can get 40 hours of work accomplished in 25. My life consists of 70-80 hours a week of "killin' it" and has for years now, so that's a good 20 hours a week available for reputation management, 20 hours a week for content writing, and 10-15 hours a week for fun projects for passive income, as well as shitposting essay-length garbage on BHW for free.

    That's four jobs. Count 'em.

    SO IN THE END IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY?

    It's 50% about the money, and 50% about doing what I enjoy. That's why I'm trying to slowly push away from reactive reputation management and more towards individual and small business branding and local SEO. It's still a hobby, and will be for at least another five years until my wife is raking in a half million a year, winning awards, and sewing limbs back on car crash victims.

    I don't want a flashy guru life. I don't want the Ferrari in the driveway with a $5,000 a month car payment. Leave that for the guy down the street from me with the four car garage. I don't want the 9,000 square foot house on the ocean. That kind of upkeep would drive a man insane.

    Eventually, I want the modest house here in Florida and the solid, fast Mercedes and the little condo in Seattle and the cabin in Maine close to Acadia. I want a good job with a normal workweek where I am respected and known for my abilities and approachability. I want to be financially independent and retire at 50 and travel the world and write for fun until I die. But that takes money, and that takes hard work.

    BUT WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?

    I want to wake up at 4am with my wife and chat with her until she leaves for work. I want to walk my incredible little dog to the bridge with the skyline view of the city as the sun rises. I want to go for a run and then come back and write an article for a successful BHW member on a mission to change their niche for the better. I want to drive down back roads to avoid morning traffic and then go into work happy, refreshed, and knowing that I've been productive for four hours already that day.

    I want to sit in a cubicle and rip through my entire to do list for my day job by lunch, and then spend the afternoon going back and forth between day job work and my own projects. I want to come home and play fetch with my dog and get a few more hours of work done. I want to greet the wife and hear about her day and then eat some dinner, start a movie and go to bed.

    I want to spend my weekends exploring the city and traveling to new destinations and tearing through a to-do list. In the end, it's all about that to do list of accomplishments. I get high off the check marks. The money is just an added bonus that allows me the freedom to do these things without wanting to jump off a bridge.

    And that's why I chose the safest 9 to 5 again. At least for the next few years. Maybe I'll revisit full time IM in 2022. For now, the grind continues. I hope that answers some of the questions I've been getting. Carry on.

    -SH
     
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  2. nikchaing

    nikchaing Jr. VIP Jr. VIP UnGagged Attendee

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    smells like its almost time for a vacation in the keys
     
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  3. MisterF

    MisterF Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Are you just a fucking machine, Sherbs?
     
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  4. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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  5. MisterF

    MisterF Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  6. nikchaing

    nikchaing Jr. VIP Jr. VIP UnGagged Attendee

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  7. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    From what I hear, the cost of living there is insanely good, and the amenities and services are on par with the first world. But the roads, humidity, spiders, scorpion armies, intense weather, overcrowded tourism and such are turn offs.

    Shit, that cons list just described Florida without the cost of living.

    Hmm.
     
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  8. wkcalvin

    wkcalvin Regular Member

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    Good, you just wake up from drunk. Be normal will happy.
     
  9. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I... don't know what you are trying to say here.
     
  10. Neon

    Neon BANNED BANNED Jr. VIP

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  11. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well there goes that secret, Neon!
     
  12. bonerlicious

    bonerlicious BANNED BANNED

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    I did the same thing on and off from 2008-2014. My last real job was feb 2015 and I decided I don't want to go back. But I did enjoy on and off 9-5 life if anything to have a guaranteed paycheck. I got the taste of sweet american freedom and I don't think I want to go back again.
     
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  13. rafark

    rafark Regular Member

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    Lolwut?
     
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  14. sturose

    sturose Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    tl;dr








    Just kidding, haven't read it all yet as I'm trying to just chill out after the day I've had.

    Hope you're happy with whichever choices you make, I'll bet it's earlier than 2022 when you decide to go full time IM again though.
     
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  15. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is just a testament to how much you rock.

    Now stop talking about yourself.
     
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  16. Zbigniew

    Zbigniew Registered Member

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    Motivating to hear about your work ethics. I wish you all the best! I will check your previous threads. You have a nice way of writing!

    When will your book be released?

    Best post I ever seen. "Be normal with happy" :D
     
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  17. issorc

    issorc Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You're my spirit animal. How many hours do you sleep each day @Sherbert Hoover ?
     
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  18. BloodyNinja

    BloodyNinja Power Member

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    I am just happy you didn't announce the closure of your writing service here.
     
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  19. tux

    tux Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    It's one of the best posts I've read in a while. You emphasised on going to college before anything why?
     
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  20. kittykut

    kittykut Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    As inspiring as always, Sherbert!

    Keep it up.
     
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