Goals for 2016

2016 is going to be the year that it all happens.

By the end of the year I’m going to quit my job.

I’m going to jump off the hamster wheel and burn it to the ground.

I’ve spent way too much time daydreaming about it. This is the year that I actually DO something about it.

Replacing a full-time income

I work in the service industry as a bartender and restaurant manager. This means that my income varies week to week. I have a base salary as Assistant GM, and I get to keep the tips from the two or three bar tending shifts that I get. At the end of the year I’ll probably end up making around $50,000.

My bare-bones living expenses are around $640 per week. This includes all of my bills and spending money. Before taxes this is about $915 per week. I’m just going to round up to $1000 and keep that as a benchmark.

By the end of 2016, I need to be making $1000 per week outside of my regular job.

Multiple income streams

My approach to this goal is going to be to build multiple streams of income. Creating something that can generate $1000 per week seems a little daunting, but creating four things making $250 per week doesn’t seem as hard.

I believe that money is made by selling either products or services. Products require varying amounts of capital to invest, while services can be offered for little or no start-up costs. One of my first goals in the year is to figure out some kind of service I can provide that will net me $250 per week.

As the money from my service business starts rolling in, I can invest that into other business ideas.

Service business ideas

When I think of providing a service I think about freelancing and consulting. My skill set is fairly limited. I don’t have a college education, but I consider myself pretty intelligent. I’ve been working in the restaurant industry for over six years. I’ve also done low-level freelance writing on and off over the past several years.

One idea I’ve been mulling over is a cocktail consulting business. I would offer my services to restaurants in my city who might need their cocktail or bar programs revamped. Over the last few years my knowledge and skills in creating new cocktails has really taken off. I’m not exactly sure what the market is for this type of service or how I would market myself, but it’s one of those situations where there is literally zero risk.

I really started thinking about this when I read Neville Medhora’s post on consulting as a side job. I sat there wondering what kind of consulting service I could offer and thought of my old bar manager who was hired by a restaurant that was opening soon in New York. He went in, designed their cocktail menu and trained their staff. I’m not sure how much he was paid, but he did all of this while managing our restaurant full time.

I’m not nearly as good at cocktails as he is, but I recently moved to a city where the restaurant scene is still very up-and-coming, and I think I can leverage the knowledge and skills that I do have.

My other avenue to explore is freelance writing. Like I said, I’ve done this before and I always end up quitting. I think it’s because I always end up taking low-level work, writing articles or blog posts for $10-20 a pop, when I typically make $20-30 per hour at my regular job. Therefore, in order to make freelance writing stick I think I’m going to have to shoot for higher paying work, even if it means having less work overall. I’m thinking I should shoot for projects that I can estimate at earning me at least $40 per hour, since all of this is going to be done part time in between my 50 hour per week job schedule.

My fledgling eBay business

Another thing I’ve got going is an eBay business that is still very much in it’s infancy. I first got interested in eBay about two years ago when I stumbled upon Reddit’s flipping community. The basic idea behind flipping is that you go out and buy items (usually used) from places like thrift stores and garage sales and sell them on eBay for a profit. I dabbled in this for a bit and of course never stuck with it.

I came across a podcast that had an interview with a guy that bought and sold coins on eBay. He did all his sourcing from eBay and never had to leave the house. He would find coins that were selling for way below their value, purchase them, get them in the mail, take a few picture and put them back on eBay for their true market value. I thought this was brilliant and started thinking about other item categories I could do this with.

I finally decided on a category and tested it out. I made a purchase and managed to sell the item less than 24 hours after listing it! The business never took off though, I ended up liquidating my PayPal account after falling on some hart times.

Now I’m back in the game.

In December I invested $50 in my eBay reselling business idea. My initial plan was to just use the $50, re-invest all of the profits and just keep rolling it over. However, the product category I am in isn’t exactly the hottest niche on eBay, so sales take awhile. Starting in March I’ll be investing an additional $50 per week into this business while re-investing any sales that I make. I won’t go into what product I’m selling, but there are plenty of niches I think this method could work in.

Summing it up

As of now, my goals for the year are –

  • Grow my eBay reselling business to $250 profit per week.
  • Earn $250 per week freelancing or consulting.
  • Come up with ideas for two more income sources that can pull in $250 per week.
  • Quit my job by December 31st.

This list is subject to change as the year goes on. I’ll probably also dig deeper into each goal and break them down into smaller, short-term goals.

That’s it for now. Today is March 12th. I have 293 days to accomplish these goals and burn the wheel.

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