It was a dream job. I got to create a brand new radio station from the ground up and build it into the Radio Station of the Year (2015, Alabama Broadcasters Association). I chose the music, gave opportunities to my friends, enlisted advertisers, had my own morning show and supported community organizations that needed publicity. What could go wrong?
I found out what could go wrong when my coworkers on another radio station owned by the same family told me they weren’t getting their paychecks on time. At first it wasn’t happening to me but I knew that it probably would – and even if it didn’t affect me it still wasn’t right. I told my boss that if others weren’t getting paid it should be across the board but that it was not acceptable. He called me a “good guy” and kept doing what he was doing. For years I stayed with that company thinking that, because I brought in a large percentage of the income, everyone else would suffer more if I left. Eventually my mindset changed to “I’m enabling him to take advantage of people” and I was gone. My lawyer is currently trying to help me collect on the $48,000+ my court judgement says I am owed.
So, I’ve made the decision to leave my job without lining up a new one. I had faith that the offers would come – and they did. I was contacted by almost every radio company in the region but none of the full time offers got me excited. So I chose another route. A combination of part time employment and self employment. Recording a daily radio show for one station out of town, selling advertising to a few key connections I had in town, hosting some television shows for a local TV station… and selling my services on a website that a friend had told me about.
Fiverr.com seemed like a very unlikely way to earn my keep. $5 per job? I’d need a lot of people lining up for my services. Turns out, though, that you can make more than $5 per job. In fact, my average job on Fiverr.com pays $34 at last check. And there are a lot of people lining up for my services (voiceovers mainly). Do a Google search for any service that can be provided digitally and see if Fiverr.com shows up in the results. If they aren’t at they top they’re probably very close to it. As a seller on the site I am personally receiving well over 40,000 impressions with interested buyers each month. Multiply that by $34 and you see that I’d be in over my head (but very rich) if 10% of those impressions turned into actual business.
So how is my business model working? Let me put it this way – I quit one of my part time jobs because I no longer had time for it and the return I was getting from it was okay but not stacking up with the others. Last month Fiverr.com was my single largest source of income and this month is looking even better. Am I ready to be 100% self employed? Not yet, but after just a few months it looks like that may be coming a lot sooner than I had ever expected.
How does this apply to you (or does it)? I can’t say. But I can say that where I once felt like my fate was tied to other people that I didn’t trust it is now squarely in my own hands. And it feels great. If you are good at something then someone needs your help. If you can find a little time away from your full time job to explore offering your services to a larger community you might soon find that you no longer have time for the full time job. And wouldn’t that be great?