The Salary Replacement Myth

How long does it take to replace your income?

There’s a question that I keep seeing over and again posted in Facebook entrepreneur groups that’s driving me crazy and I feel that I need to put the truth out there, once and for all:

“How long did it take you to replace your income?” i.e. How long after starting your business did you manage to make the same amount as you were earning in your 9-5?

I want to tell you that having to replace your income dollar for dollar is a myth. You can do it that way if you really want to, but it isn’t necessary.

(I think Tim Ferris even mentions this in his 4 Hour Workweek.)

I know so many people – myself included – who used to earn a packet in corporate yet are now living a way, way better lifestyle on a fraction of that money.

How do you know if what I’m about to say applies to you?

You need to look at your REASONS for wanting to get out of your 9-5.

For A LOT of people wanting out of the rat race, you want to quit your job because the 9-5 doesn’t only represent what you’re doing between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, but it represents the whole of your existence.

The mortgage
The car payments
The commute
The bills and insurance
The crap telly on a Saturday night
The weekly supermarket shop
The mindless consumerism
The fucking soul-sucking, pointless drudgery of it all.

If your ONLY reason to get out of your 9 to 5 is to earn money in a different way in order to continue living the same damn lifestyle, what is the point? How is it going to be any better for you?

You’ll have more time? No, you won’t. The first few years of your new business will be all-consuming. You’ll be doing WAY more than 9-5, believe me, and anyone who tells you differently is outright lying to you. That’s why it’s important to do something you love in a way that sits in line with your own personal values, otherwise you’ll hate it and you’ll quit.

You’ll feel fulfilled? You bloody-well won’t, I’m telling you now! If you’re not happy in your life NOW, you won’t be happier in your life when you’ve got an affiliate site.

The ‘secret’ is in changing your “spending” habits. And I don’t just mean your money, I also mean how you spend your time and energy as because, ultimately, money is just an energy credit.

I absolutely do NOT advocate a poverty lifestyle. There’s nothing worse, believe me. It’s miserable, you’re scared, you’re always “doing without”. It’s not what I’m talking about at all.

What I advocate is an EFFICIENCY lifestyle. Let me explain what that means:

Look at every single aspect of your life in detail, from the pasta in your food cupboard, to your socks, to the people you hang out with, to which bus stop you stand at in a morning. Analyse everything, and make sure it absolutely works for you. Make sure it’s benefitting you. Make sure it is EXACTLY how you want it. Get rid of anything that’s not serving you, making you feel like shit, taking up unnecessary resources (time/money/energy), upgrade it for something that will make your life easier or more in flow or happier or more fulfilled, and keep or do more of what is already working.

Get rid of all that crap in the loft or shed, declutter the living shit out of your surroundings including toxic people and habits, and only keep what is absolutely brilliant and ideal.

When you do this, you’re designing a lifestyle that ONLY includes what makes you happy and NOT all that shite that you’re paying for (in time, energy and money) that is keeping you miserable and trapped. A happier lifestyle costs A LOT less than a typical “9-5 lifestyle”.

I repeat: this is NOT about poverty, it’s about EFFICIENCY. Get rid of what’s not serving you, upgrade what needs upgrading, keep and do more of what’s working. This way, when you do take the leap to working for yourself, you’ll feel happier AND it’ll cost you a fraction of what you’re spending at the moment to maintain your 9-5 lifestyle.

There, I’ve said it.

Ready to start a business doing something you give a shit about? Good on you! The world needs more people like you. Download my free worksheet to help you discover what type of business will make you happy.