Author Topic: What Would It Take?  (Read 3556 times)  

Offline AisFor

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2018, 04:18:58 PM »
I quit when I was making about $5000/month & never looked back. But I've got a pretty high risk tolerance. Also I figured that that amount was a lot more than many people make at their day jobs. When I read numbers like $10000 or more a month I have to wonder what ya'all do for a day job! Mine made good money but nowhere near some of these levels being mentioned.

 I get that a job feels more secure than self employment but I came of age in my career during the recession so I know from experience than a job does not equal security. Sadly it can be gone tomorrow w/ not so much as a 'thank you for the time you spent being our wage slave.' I get that some jobs offer benefits & I had those as well but again once the job goes, so do they. I find true security in being my own boss & making my own money, rather than in making money for other people.

I don't regret a thing & I've never been happier. To me, pursuing what I loved with all my energy was worth more than the soul sucking career I gladly left. Of course, I did have some fear & doubt but I just told myself I could always head on back to said soul sucking career if god [Zon] forbid I should ever need to. Luckily that has never happened & if tomorrow Zon decided to shut down KDP I would likely try something else before going back to what I was doing before. I've learned a lot about business & marketing from this gig that I think I could apply elsewhere if need be. Maybe a combo of my old career & my marketing knowledge would work out for me. But I honestly can't see myself ever working for anyone but myself ever again.

 I don't post here much but I just felt like encouraging those of ya'all who might feel discouraged by some of the posts in this thread. I know that other people posting are more level headed or practical & that a lot depends on your own personal experience & responsibilities & goals. But I just think life is too short to not do what you love so once I found out self publishing existed & that I was half decent at it, I was all in. It was perfect for me since I always said I wanted to be a published writer. But I assumed that meant a starving one or a hobbyist. Ironically only once I let go of my fear that I wouldn't be successful at doing what I loved & that I wouldn't have enough money, I became even more successful at it & made even more money. Probably because I had to, since the alternative was going back to that soul sucking job & admitting failure.  Good luck to everyone else going down this exciting path. I wish you all the best!

Nice advice, Writerlygal. This sounds a lot like my experience. As soon as I had one month where my earnings were equal to my salary, I quit my job.

I was very determined to make a go of things and was willing to write to market and understood the requirements of marketing. I also hated my corporate writing career. I just wish I'd known self-publishing was a thing several years earlier, and grasped genre fiction in general.

Online kw3000

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2018, 04:19:29 PM »
A huge issue in the states is health care. OP, you have no idea if you're in Canada. It's really expensive here, and you can go bankrupt quite easily even if you have insurance. Some of the plans have super high deductibles. Sometimes insurers won't pay if they feel like you shouldn't have gone to the emergency room. Sometimes you can wind up in a feud with your insurance carrier if the ambulance took you to an out of network hospital when the insurer feels like an in-network hospital was equidistant. It's a total mess. (For the latter occurrences get on social media and cry your heart out, make sure to contact your senator, too, and of course, file an appeal ... you may also need legal representation; I'm not sure if paying one bill automatically means that you acknowledge you are at fault. Of course, this will kill your credit.)

Holy cow, this seems untenable. I'm not sure how you guys do it. I mean, I guess we're spoiled up here with our system - which is not to say it's perfect - far from it, but at least I don't have to worry about bankruptcy especially when health worries are stressful enough let alone the financial considerations. I know we're not supposed to get political here, and I'm understating things a little, but uh, you may wanna look into tweaking your system here and there. Not saying you necessarily have to emulate what we do, but the potential for bankruptcy and fighting with insurers and hiring lawyers? For health considerations that may have come up in your life through no fault of your own? Yikes.

Ken Ward

Online Becca Mills

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2018, 05:06:15 PM »
Holy cow, this seems untenable. I'm not sure how you guys do it.

It's a major concern for self-employed people here, for sure. I went to the ER a couple months ago for something that seemed scary but turned out not to be a big deal. Had maybe four hours of monitoring and an ultrasound. Just got the largest statement in the mail: about $21,000. My insurance had negotiated with the hospital and brought the bill down to $7,000, which they'd paid. I only had to cover a $50 co-pay. But if I were uninsured, you bet the hospital would be trying to get $21,000 out of me right now.

Buuuut ... it's not something that can be fixed on KBoards, and the issue is extremely contentious here in the U.S., so let's not get too into the political weeds. :)

Offline storyteller

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2018, 10:47:06 PM »
Canada has about the same rate of medical bankruptcy as America because it's being unable to work that makes you bankrupt, not medical bills (which in America are frequently written down or written off in such cases).

I agree that people tend to underestimate self-employment costs, but health care payment in America is a complicated thing (basically 50 different approaches and about as many kinds of safety nets) and bankruptcy or difficulty paying is sufficiently infrequent that I don't even consider it relevant to going full time. 

Retirement is very relevant, though, because the easiest way to have enough money to retire is to save enough money each year that you can afford to stay in lower-risk investments.  Chasing returns is time-consuming and a lot of people undersave for retirement thinking they can just chase returns.   

That said, it also depends on if you're going full time by yourself or with other people.  Having a writing partner(s) can smooth risk, but it adds another layer to earnings issues.  But a lot of people also try that one, rushing into full time because they can split up the work.  I've been seeing more partnership approaches to self-publishing among people interested in doing it full time.

I have two numbers for going full time, the "full time as fun paying hobby" number and "full time as a real business" number.  One is substantially larger than the other, and if I go with the bigger one, the small number works as a good test case for doing full time effort.       

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2018, 11:21:14 PM »

But if I were uninsured, you bet the hospital would be trying to get $21,000 out of me right now.

Actually, the hospital probably would be trying to get $42,000.

Save up a year's living expenses before you quit your day job. Then save up three years of capital expenses for your writing business. THEN quit your day job. New businesses fail because they're undercapitalized. If your job pays badly and you hate it, that's different.

Offline It's A Mystery

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2018, 11:26:28 PM »
There's a rapidly diminishing list of things I'm proud of in Britain, but the NHS is probably our greatest achievement.

I can't imagine worrying about health care bills like that.

Just to chip in on the going full-time thread. I had a 'ful-time before 40' plan which gave me three and a half years. I've started better than I expected though so I'm starting to dream it could happen sooner!

I'm aiming to sell 20,000 books a year before I seriously consider it.

Offline RightHoJeeves

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #56 on: March 09, 2018, 01:03:49 AM »
Sorry was not clearer. I meant that Americans can go bankrupt and often do when they are uninsured or underinsured, because not only do we lack universal health coverage, our health care is also twice as expensive as in Australia on a fee for service basis. (Such as a non-Australian would pay in Australia.) Not only do we pay a ton in insurance, even an insured person can easily be on the hook for an additional 5k or 10k a year. So for somebody like me, I could pay $36k a year to insure my family and another $10k that year if we maxed out the out of pocket expense. I have one medication that costs me $300 a month WITH insurance.

The government was trying to help with that with the Affordable Care Act, but now its provisions are being stripped. So, folks--do not underestimate how much health care can cost you when you run your scenarios. Make sure you can cover both your premiums AND your out of pocket max before you quit a job with benefits. Especially if you have kids.

I understand now. Thanks for clarifying.

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Offline grimshawl

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #57 on: March 09, 2018, 04:03:26 AM »
Personally I would seriously think about it when/if I hit 7 K a month and can do so for every month for six to eight months. Both me and my wife work so I could get health care through her job so it would be doable at that point. It would require some serious adjustments to our schedule and lifestyle to adapt to me being a full time writer though.
Marty Myers, Fantasy indie author of The Dungeon Con, One Foot in the Grave and Loki's Daughter, The Opal Dungeon

Offline Kay Bratt

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Re: What Would It Take?
« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2018, 05:47:11 AM »
Besides hitting a certain threshold for at least a year, I'd advise having a big savings put aside before leaving your outside job. Just this month I had $3k in bills come up for a septic tank problem and an unexpected legal issue, which will probably continue to cost me money for some months. You just never know what is going to come up in life so don't cut it too close. 

Kay Bratt, Capturing the Heart of Humanity | author website | facebook | twitter | goodreads