This is the fifth edition of the What I learned interview series.
Here’s some quick stats about his site,
If you follow me on social media you know I’m a big fan of Freedom.
If you ever worked in corporate America you know that Freedom is not part of ‘their’ vocabulary.
Shout out to the movie Office Space.
This is what I love about Leaving Work Behind.
First the premise, which is the idea that one day Mr. Bossman, I’m leaving you and all your bull crap behind.
Adios annoying alarm clock, see ya later aggravating commute, peace out office politics.
Second is the fact that this blog isn’t a rant and rave fest, it’s actually a detailed step by step journal of the steps that Tom took to escape the cubicle conundrum and break the chains of salaried servitude.
The third thing that makes this site one of the MOST important blogs out there is the fact that Tom is good enough to share his progress financially as well. You can watch his earnings grow month by month starting from nothing.
Ok, that’s enough of me, let’s go to the interview with Tom Ewer the founder of Leaving Work Behind.
Darnell: This summer will mark the two year anniversary of LeavingWorkBehind.com. What have you learned about growing your blog in the last two months that you couldn’t have imagined when you started out in 2011?
Tom: How much of an impact getting a mention in a popular blog can have. I was named as a 2013 “Blogger to Watch” by ProBlogger. While it didn’t bring in as much direct traffic as I expected, the less tangible benefits in terms of brand exposure have been pretty huge. I seem to be “known” a lot more around the blogosphere compared to just a few months ago and I put that down in no small part to my mention in ProBlogger.
Darnell: Your income reports tell the story of most successful start up businesses. In the red at first but now in the black consistently. What do you feel made the biggest impact on turning the income corner?
Tom: Finding a viable business model! It was freelancing that got me to where I am now and although I am now looking to expand my business well beyond freelance writing I will never forget that it gave me the push I needed. My advice to anyone struggling to “turn the income corner” is to consider a more practical business model than the usual passive income dream. There is a lot of pretty easy money out there to be made if you’re willing to look.
Finish this sentence: __________ motivates me to blog, NOT _________. Explain.
Tom: This reads like an exam question!
Inspiring topics motivate me to blog, not the usual boring crap you read so often around the blogosphere. I love writing about personal experiences and case studies — areas in which I can bring something unique.
Darnell: After you “left your work behind” and finally fired your boss did you have moments of regret? If so how did you pull yourself through the tough times before you started making money?
Tom: Never. I was lucky in that my income steadily grew from day one and I never regretted my decision. There were of course times when I was a little worried as to whether or not the business would develop into something truly viable but I just stayed the course and stuck to my plans.
Darnell: If your old employer called and said, “Hey Tom I’ll triple your salary if you come back to work but you have to get rid of your website.” Would you return? Why?
Tom: No, because I’m confident that I’ll be making a lot more than that within the next year or two. But that’s not the main reason — in reality I am so much happier in what I do now. I feel far more fulfilled than I ever did working for someone else and I couldn’t imagine going back for any amount of money.
What I learned from Tom Ewer the founder of Leaving Work Behind:
#1 – It’s worth it.
If you are willing to commit to doing what it takes to become successful in the end it’s all worth it.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’
#2 – Take every opportunity seriously, you never know WHO is watching.
I remember an old Michael Jordan interview where he said that he would play his games for the one or two people in the crowd that he knew had NEVER seen him play.
Tom was mentioned by problogger as a “Blogger to Watch” only six months after registering his domain. That’s an amazing accomplishment. Want to know HOW he did it? Read the first 6 months of his blog or buy his book.
#3 – It’s chess not checkers.
When it comes to firing your boss and leaving work behind it’s all about strategy and timing. Quitting your job before you’re prepared could be a disaster for your finances. You need a plan.
Thanks Tom for taking the time to do this interview I really appreciate it.
I know you could have used this time to make some MORE money instead of sharing your experiences.
I want you to know it’s awesome that you’re cool enough to help other people out. Thanks for your time.
That’s it for this episode.
Now it’s over to you.
What did you learn from Tom?
Are you planning to leave your work behind?
What’s your plan?