I started this site because I know that one day I want to work for myself and I think four hours a day is the ideal work day for maximum efficiency and happiness. I will never understand people that kill themselves at their day job: working long hours, weekends and overtime solely for the money. And that is why they’re doing it, what other reason could there be? I would rather work less, spend less and live more as this site’s tagline would suggest. The world that we live in has so much to offer and I can’t think of one good reason why I’d want to spend a majority of my day cooped up inside a cubicle.
With that being said though, it doesn’t always make sense to just jump right in to working four hours a day. There aren’t many high paying jobs that allow you to work a half day and then go home. I think the best path to a four hour work day is by eventually working for yourself and working hard early on in your career so that you can build passive income later. It really is a simple concept but it’s not one that everyone will eventually grasp.
The Savings Epiphany
When you figure out about the power of compounding interest I like to call it “The Savings Epiphany.” I had my epiphany early on when I started playing around with retirement calculators and researching how to invest my money. It seems so simple to me yet most people will never come close to having their own epiphany. If you save more money now, the less you’ll have to save later AND the more you can spend later. It really is that simple.
We live in a world of instant gratification and it’s hard to think about the future. I know that if I delay a trip to Hawaii this year and save that money instead, that means I can take 2 trips down the road. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever take a vacation, but I will find a balance that works for me. Saving money is tough and it takes a lot of sacrifice – you can’t always do everything that you want to do.
People like to think that once they make more money, they’ll be able to save more but that’s just not true. As you make more, you’re going to spend more. So you have to learn how to save with your current income.
Is the Income Enough?
Obviously one of the biggest hindrances to my four hour work day was the income. I have a wedding coming up next summer and a fiancee that is racking up thousands of dollars of debt by the month(she’s in med school!). In my last month working online I actually did pretty well while still only working about 4-5 hours a day. Even though that was the most I’ve ever grossed in a single month, unfortunately, the income history was just not there yet. I would need at least 6 months to a year of steady online income in order to feel comfortable that those levels would continue.
If I could get a few more months of consistent online income then it would be tough to give up my current lifestyle. And if I was a single dude living on my own, I would seriously consider making the jump to a four hour work day right now. But I also have to consider my family and the opportunities that would open up in the future from working both jobs at the same time right now.
Active Before Passive Income
One of the biggest myths of passive income is that it’s easy to achieve. Passive income will always require a lot of upfront investment – whether it’s time or (generally) money. Things like real estate actually require both. In order to get a $500 cash on cash monthly return you have to know what you’re doing and you have to have the cash to buy a property(a little luck doesn’t hurt either).
At this point in my life, there’s a ceiling as to how much I can make working online. I only have so many hours in the day and I can only grow my businesses by a certain rate every month. In order to meet the income level I want to be at(and still maintain a four hour work day) I need some extra sources of passive income. I’ve worked hard to build my extra sources of income but a lot of them are still active rather than passive. I am a firm believer that real estate is the best way to build truly passive income but it requires a lot of active income first.
Day Job Stability
One of the nice things about my day job income is the stability. Even though I took a pay cut at my new job, I still think I’m overpaid for what I do. I sit at a desk for 8 hours a day and play around on a computer – there are much worse jobs for much less pay in this world. I consider myself lucky.
I’m actually looking forward to doing my day job and my online activities at the same time. I know it’s going to be a lot of work but in a few years I’ll have enough to pay off my fiancee’s medical school debt or invest in another property or business opportunity. Ultimately, I’m willing to sacrifice my free time right now so that I can switch to a four hour work day in the future and maintain the same income that I get at my day job.
Readers, what do you think about my choice to give up on the Four Hour Work Day and go back to my day job? I’ll be the first to admit I’m doing it for the money! But I’m going to make good use of all the extra money I make now so that in 5 or 10 years I might be able to make the switch.
-Harry @ The Four Hour Work Day