By Kevin Muldoon

Happiness

Make money. That is what we are all trying to do, isn’t it?

Whatever your career may be, we are all looking to make more money; whether you are a lawyer, a real estate agent, a policeman, or a mechanic.

If you are looking for ways to make money online, you will not have to look far. There are countless blogs online that focus on making money on the internet. Some are good, some are bad.

Those who are making a lot of money online rarely give good advice about how to do it yourself; either because they are too busy or because they do not want to give away any “Secrets”. The reality is that there is no real secret to making money online. All you need is a good idea and a willingness to work hard to turn your idea into a reality.

Happiness. Photo by Guy Kawasaki

It is easy to put the pursuit of money ahead of everything else and forget that currency is nothing more than a means to an end. It is nothing more than something that enables you need to enjoy the life you truly want.

An Offer of Work

Finding the right balance between work and play is important to your happiness. All the money in the world will not help you if you are overworked, tired, and unhappy. That is why I place a higher priority in my life on lifestyle than money.

I was recently reminded of this.

I got a call two weeks ago about a position that was available for a large internet company based in Glasgow called Equator; a large company with over 100 employees that has clients such as Disney and HTC.

They were interested in me for one of two roles: SEO Manager and SEO Team Leader. The team leader role was more senior as you had to manage a team of people.

I was not searching for a full time job, however the prospect of working for a respectable internet company intrigued me. Despite me having a great knowledge about most aspects of working online, I do not consider myself an SEO expert. Therefore, I would undoubtedly learn a lot in such a role.

From a social aspect, I was keen on working besides people who share my passion for working on the internet. I have been working from home alone for years and I do sometimes wonder if I would be happier if I was working with others every day.

Equator

Equator a large digital company that have been operating since 1999.

Last Wednesday, I travelled to the Equator office for an interview with the head of the SEO team and head of the marketing team.

I was really impressed with the company. The two people I met were very nice and it looks like they have created a professional environment that is also fun to work in.

I have no doubt in my mind that I would enjoy working there.

The next day I got a call from the job agency advising me that Equator wanted me back for a second interview.

I declined.

There were a few reasons I made this decision. The first one being money and the second one being how much the job would have affected my lifestyle.

The manager role that they wanted me back to interview for offered £25,000 per year. According to the Salary Calculator, that works out at £77.26 per day. However, when you take off my £7.50 train fare and at least £5 to buy lunch, I would realistically be earning around £65 per day.

It is not a lot of money for someone with my experience and someone of my age. At the moment, I can earn double that amount in just a couple of hours by performing reviews and freelance writing for other blogs. I would effectively be spending three to four times as many hours out my house to earn half as much money.

It just doesn’t make sense financially to take the job, however taking a drop in income is something I was willing to do in the short term if it created more opportunities for me in the long term.

Whilst I pride myself on being someone who works hard, I also greatly value the time I am not working. I was simply not willing to take a job that would ultimately leave me tired, stressed, and unhappy.

Man snoozing

Overworking can have a detrimental affect on your life.
Image Copyright: Bark

At the end of the interview last Wednesday, they advised that the working hours were 9 to 5.30pm with an hour break. This is not ideal. I worked in Glasgow for years and always enjoyed flexible working hours that allowed you to work early, work later, and take a longer lunch if necessary.

Sticking to those fixed hours would be a big problem for me because of where the office is based. It takes a ten minute drive and two trains for me to reach their office. My journey to the interview was longer than expected because the delay in my first train caused me to miss my connecting train. Realistically, working in that job would require me leave the house at 7.30am and get home at 7.00pm.

I am used to being able to start earning as soon as I am ready in the morning. If you look at the job as earning around £65 per day and add in the time to commute to my total working hours, I would be earning less than the UK minimum wage.

Getting home so late would mean that I effectively have to give up Brazilian Jiujitsu training as I would arrive home too late to make the classes I go to. It would also mean that I would have to go to the gym to do weight training early in the morning or very late at night.

My initial thought was that I could accept a job with an internet company and top up the lower income by continuing to work on my websites when I am home, however it would be difficult for me to do that. After getting home at 7pm, I would have to eat dinner and then work a couple of hours at night on my own websites.

This was something I did for years in my early 20s as I was trying to establish myself online. I put in the hard work those years so that I could establish myself online doing the thing I loved. I therefore have little incentive to work such a long tiring schedule again.

It did not take me long to realise that I would not be happy if I took the job and that declining their offer was the best thing for me to do.

Life is for Living

I have been making a living on the internet for so long that is sometimes easy to forget how lucky I am.

I am lucky enough that I can fit work around my life; not the other way around.

I am lucky enough that I can do additional work when I need more money for a holiday.

Scottish Hit Squad in Newcastle

In July I returned to Martial Arts after a long absence.

Is my situation perfect? No. Far from it. I do believe I would have enjoyed working with Equator. If I lived closer to their office, I could have easily have juggled the job, my training, and the maintenance of my websites. Unfortunately, the travelling that is necessary for me to get there from my house is too much.

Exercise and martial arts are a big part of my life and not being able to train the way that I do now would have made me unhappy. Likewise, commuting every day in crappy weather is something that would have slowly drove me crazy.

I love working online. I love exercising. I love doing martial arts. And I love travelling. Working online allows me to do everything I love. Working in a job that is far from my home means making sacrifices.

We all come to a crossroads in our lives every few years. If you are considering taking on a job that requires you to work excessive hours or requires you to spend a lot of time commuting, take a step back and ask yourself whether it is worth it. Ask yourself whether your lifestyle will be negatively affected.

Ultimately, your happiness is more important than your bank balance, so find a rewarding job that pays the bills be sure to devote time to the important things in life.

Thanks for reading.

Kevin

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