Today I deleted a page from one of my websites. It was the page where I outlined the terms and prices and took orders for the face to face consulting work I do regularly for a small number of clients in my original field of expertise building and managing sports grounds.
Why did I delete the page? Because even although the work pays a decent fee, my longer term desire doesn’t include this kind of time hungry activity. After all I only have 168 hours a week available to me. So, although I wont be cancelling contracts with any current clients, I wont be taking on any new ones, meaning that eventually (probably within 2 years) I wont have any clients in this field.
Why the hell would a restless peasant who needs to make money from somewhere do that? Why, after encouraging readers to do similar work i.e. tap into their previous networks and do freelance work based on their previous career…why would a guy that previously said that, now say that it isn’t such a good idea?
I still think it’s a good way to get started on your freedom quest, but not necessarily the only way and not inevitable that you have to use it either. It might still work fine for many readers, but my reasons are clear and you should be clear on this too.
I’ve made the decision based on 2 things.
By the way, have you noticed how many times that happens? How many times you say to yourself, there’s two ways to look at this…or…there’s two things to think about here! My theory is that most decisions bring us up to a metaphorical fork in the road and at any fork in the road, there are only two options…I think this is significant. This makes me glad I didn’t ever break through with my guitar, as I might have been “going down to the crossroads” on a regular basis and would have at least 3 and on occasions up to 4 things to think about:-)
Anyway, back to my two things I based this decision on:
- This doesn’t make financial sense due to the fact that I have to travel and spend a significant amount of time and money doing that.
- This doesn’t fit with my intention to be free of constraints of place and time. I want to be Steve McQueen eating lobster on the beach with Faye Dunaway, then fly to Paris.
Nuts and bolts are physical entities and income opportunities that rely on nuts and bolts resources (sometimes referred to as bricks and mortar) are difficult to grow and sustain in the longer term and quite often have hidden costs that cut into their efficacy. These hidden costs can be down to one or more of a multitude of problems like:
- An overly optimistic view of how much time will be spent on each project, making the hourly rate of return much lower than anticipated.
- Difficulty in determining an average cost for travelling, equipment and resources.
- The effect of Parkinson’s Law on face to face meetings and report writing
- Extra pull on your time that wasn’t factored in at the start that you feel can’t be billed
- WIP…Work in progress that can’t be billed and sometimes never is.
- Nuts and Bolts resources like your car, tools and even lunches literally eating into your profit margin.
However, more troublesome than any of the above is the fact that they tie you down to a place and a time…ughh!
But, wont I just be dumping ready cash by doing this? No…I’ve already established a lively website for this industry with 10 different money making resources that allows me to reach customers world-wide and although I am committed to it and love my customers and support them like my life depends on it, the income from the site is otherwise passive income and even though at busy times my time commitment is significant, it is low cost and on my terms always.
Nuts and bolts income can fool you into thinking you are freelance, working a freedom business or even that you are free. Fact is, if you have to be somewhere at a time specified by someone else for a pre agreed fee and you don’t know how long you’ll be there…you’re taking orders again.
Beware of nuts and bolts.