Steal my process.
I wasn’t an energetic employee. I was super demotivated at work and I didn’t enjoy it. I also didn’t enjoy this entire game of playing politics to appear like a shining star in front of leadership.
All this for a 5% raise.
Felt like a waste of energy.
And I always questioned — is this the way to live? Is this how I’ll work for another four decades?
I was only 25 when I quit the corporate sector and thank god I did. If I couldn’t stand it for 2.5 years, how was I supposed to stay there forever?
14 months later, I’m living 4-hour workdays and it’s the best decision I’ve made for my mental health and my soul.
Here’s exactly how I did it.
There was a point when I felt guilty about having spent over $75,000 on my Master’s degree. With the salary I was earning (under $1000), it would take me at least a decade to earn back my ROI. Without accounting for inflation, that is.
I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong.
My high school and undergrad were from premier institutions, and my Master’s degree was also from one of the top B-schools in the world.
Yet life was just.. average.
For the longest time, I made peace with being average. I comforted myself by feeling this was the initial struggle before good things would come my way.
I then started reading about other people’s journeys who are genuinely happy doing what they do.
I was also tired of my chest feeling heavy every Sunday evening and anxiety all over me when Monday kicked in. I then realised:
- I want to do what I enjoy
- I don’t want to feel this anxious
- I want to work with people I look up to
- I want to make a lot more money than the stupid paycheck
However, I also:
- don’t want to be famous
- want to pursue my creative ideas
- don’t want to create the next big start-up or unicorn
I just wanted to sit in my room, as I am right now, and be happy. Work a bit, enjoy my days, and be at peace.
By now, I had quit Instagram and gotten rid of notifications. I got rid of social media for months and just read books and learnt from people.
I became hyper-focused, and I did the one thing I never had — self-reflection.
Ultimately, it comes down to finding what makes you feel alive instead of merely breathing.
I realised my core values, which are:
Both weren’t met at my job, hence the dissatisfaction.
So what would make me happy? Possibly:
- family time
I wanted to pursue a PhD after my undergraduate degree because I always wanted to teach, but I also didn’t enjoy studying. Weird combination, I know.
Things that I never imagined happened — teaching, passive income, a business.
Passive income requires active work. 4h workdays don’t always start as 4h workdays. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. I promise you this is the reality for me and many other creatorpreneurs.
I started to side hustle as a writer outside of my corporate job.
I started taking a few freelance gigs. And damn, the money tasted good.
But more than that — I was happy. I was genuinely excited to put in the work before and after my working hours.
It was the only thing I looked forward to all day.
Passive income requires active work.
What you read from now is what I have only done in the last one year.
I quit my job when I realised I won’t be broke, and that’s when it all started.
However, the journey isn’t close to what I imagined. I quit so I can be a freelancer only to realise I don’t enjoy freelancing as much.
And things that I never imagined happened — teaching, passive income, a business.
Here’s what I do now.
#1 A cohort-based course
Can this be pre-recorded, scaled up, and bring me passive income? Yes. But I do the opposite.
The reason is simple: I want to prioritise learning right now to set a better foundation. I can always make money later, but right now I want to learn and have fun.
So my cohort-based course on writing consistently with a sustainable system was downsized from 25 to 15 members so I can interact with all of them on a deeper level.
Time: It takes place 4 times a year. I spend roughly 20 hours on it across 6–8 weeks.
How to do it: I didn’t want to, it was a random experiment I conducted on a few people and the strategies I taught them worked. Solve a problem and see if your solution is helping. If it does, see if your target audience is willing to pay for it.
# 2 One client at a time
If I freelance, I take only website copywriting for one client at a time so I can deliver good quality content. Why do I freelance if I don’t like it? Because it challenges my writing skills.
Time: I spend under 5 hours a month on it.
How to do it: Take on one or two high-paying clients from LinkedIn or Upwork instead of spending all your day negotiating for $20/1000 word articles.
This is passive income. It isn’t as fancy as it sounds and takes a lot of work — primarily, audience building.
I’ve created guides to cater to most of the questions I receive. Since most people ask me about growing on LinkedIn, I released a guide about it two months ago which is performing well.
(Don’t worry, I won’t link it because I’m teaching you right now, not selling to you.)
Time: My first product was a free eBook that took 90 minutes to assemble. I used my existing side hustle articles and clubbed them into a PDF.
My other guides have taken me more time, say about 12–20 hours of work. I plug them into my mailing list once in a few weeks.
How to do it: for a freebie, use existing content as it’s low effort. For paid products, wait for the reaction after your freebie.
#4 Creating content
This is where most of my time goes.
Time: This is how much time I spend on a weekly basis:
- Articles: 10 hours for 5 articles
- Twitter: 1.5 hours for 50+ tweets
- LinkedIn: 2 hours for 3 posts
- Newsletter: 2 hours for 2 weekly newsletters
I create content in order to build an audience and sustain my current audience.
Good part? I love, love, love it.
How to do it: Hop on to a platform and publish consistently for at least a year to see some traction.
If you look closely, this is a journey of self-awareness and consistency.
I know 20-hour workweeks and earning way more than your corporate job sound amazing. But let’s not see this only through rose-coloured glasses, yes?
- Get to do what I love
- Have more time in hand
- The creator economy is super fun
- I’m not spending my waking hours only working
- Have experienced burnout often
- Since you’re all alone, it can get exhausting
- Few people around you really understand you
Another common thing that I don’t experience but many do is feeling terrible by comparing yourself to others. Followers, likes, etc – please don’t do it, it’s not worth it and isn’t in your control either.