I bought my first site and started making my first fully passive income in December 2014. A year later (from what I saved up in that year from my salary) I bought another one, and mid 2016 I knew I would buy one more and I am done. Each year investing more, and in different types of websites as they evolved with their offerings, bringing bigger returns. And in the process I actually loved what I did as a PM! My boss was the best manager I've ever had in my life (that we no joke had great telepathy with, that gave me enough freedom to be at my best and was just a great person altogether!), work was fun (I had lots of fulfillment in managing people, being effective and organize things in the best way), and of course very fulfilling part of it was that it allowed me to get to my goal of retiring soon.
So my plan was to keep working there till the end of 2016 and then quit, but life had a different plan for me in store. July 2016 I went on a two week trip to Russia, and when I came back I knew something was different. I couldn't focus any more, I was sitting in front of the computer but couldn't concentrate or being as productive as I know myself to be. For couple weeks I tried to putt myself together and nothing I tried was working. I even had a chat with my boss telling her I am not at my best and not sure how to fix it. She said she noticed, but we didn't really find any solutions. Maybe a week later it got very clear to me: it was time. I had to go, I was done. Logical part of me didn't like that. As I didn't make enough money yet for the third site, and if I quit now I won't make it by Dec 2016 as I planned. But I knew as many of those other times: it wasn't logical, but it was clear on so many levels, and yet again I had to trust.
I gave notice end of August 2016. We worked it out as the best win-win possible: I stayed for another couple weeks onsite, then sometime remote part time (while I travelling in Europe) while they found me a replacement. I finished my knowledge transfer and then in early October I was fully complete. Right around by 34th birthday.
And talking flow: usually for my website investments it takes 3-5 months to get the site and start receiving monthly distributions. And yet again I got a synchronistic miracle. I reached out to Ken and Bill saying I am getting ready for my next investment site and asked what new and great options they had for me, to which I got the perfect answer: they had a website, in the new mix of regular site and facebook advertisement, that has the best growth potential they found so far. Plus they just bought the site for someone else, and that person all of a sudden wanted a different topic, so they were looking if someone wants to take this one over. As the acquisition process was almost done, it shaved off months for my timeline. With a little bit of creative borrowing from my friend to get the full amount needed (that I paid back within couple months), I got that site mid September with my first payment being in November!
So technically, I was done with my job fully by mid October and my income coming up to my goal in November/December. I retired even ahead of my planned date by December 2016! :) Universe again showed me a solution, when I stepped with trust following my intuition.
LESSON: when you get a clear intuitive hit, acting on it even if it doesn't make logical sense, follow it! It very often pays off. :)
So I retired even earlier than my planned two years! Crazy awesome, I thought. And then in November I went to my calculation to double check my numbers for whatever reason. And I realized I made a little mistake in the formula, and I was actually $2K a year lower a year on my income than was my goal. Interesting how our minds think. All of a sudden I went from celebrating the magic of my early retirement to "wow, I missed my magic mark by $2k. I failed", and I felt crappy. It thankfully took me little time to collect myself and get back into positive thinking and flow. First of all, I didn't fail yet as it's still November and even if I don't see how else I can create more passive income, I know it's possible. And second, even if I am $2K less by then, I didn't fail! I missed my $$ goal, but still retired and have my freedom! :) And of course then I remembered I lent some money to a friend with $200 monthly interest payments, which added up to a little over $2K a year. :) and it is passive. So I met my goal after all! :) And this year one of my sites made $1K more last month than guaranteed minimum, so I am sure I will even exceed my target goal before the end of the year in many other ways:)
As crazy as it seemed to a lot of people, as much doubt I saw around me. With my internal knowing that anything is possible that feels right and exciting to me, it only motivated me.
LESSON: Whatever you put attention on grows. When you focus on achievements and celebrate your successes, there will be more, going down the rabbit hole of worry and focusing on the negative isn't very productive and is not worth it. And anything that you truly want is possible, even if you don't see the how yet.
BONUS CREATIVE INVESTMENTS IDEAS
Other things that helped me along the way to create some $$ towards my investments was real estate.
I started renting my house on Airbnb many years ago when most people didn't know yet what it was.
I just got a thought one day: if I rent my house for the week-end, it will cover the cost of me to go on a trip somewhere. So I can travel for free :) That's how it started. I rented a few week-ends and went for weekend trips. Then I got someone who wanted to rent the house for the whole week for the amount equal to my monthly mortgage. Then it started to fill up more and more. Sometimes I rented the house and got out, sometimes I rented a room or two and stayed in. But very soon I got to the point that airbnb was covering my mortgage, and sometimes more. So I didn't need to come out with mortgage expense out of pocket, that very much helped with saving.
In a little while I was tired of being in and out of the house, as well as of sharing my personal space with strangers. Plus I wanted to get into remodeling.
So I got an old house which I remodeled to have two separate spaces and two entrances (like "mother-in-law). That way I thought I could live in half of the house all by myself, rent the other half and let that pay the mortgage, while I have my own private space. It totally worked out! I got an older house, remodeled it with this in mind. I of course invested significant money into remodeling but equity grew even more than that, and I got all my money back out through cash out refinance. I lived like I planned for some time (living upstairs, renting downstairs), until of course I realized that renting the whole house is making more money, plus I took off traveling, so I started renting it as a whole too haha :)
I did couple regular flips since then. As I am writing it, one has already offer accepted and in the process of closing, and another one just got on the market. Another chapter coming to completion.
THE END. OR THE BEGINNING :)
So now I feel like a big chapter in my life coming to an end. I retired from work. I am completing on my two flip projects.
I moved to live in Playa del Carmen Mexico for some extended time. I realized I LOVE hot weather and sunshine, and now that I don't have a job in Seattle, no reason for me to stay there.
Will I stay here for long? I don't know yet.
Do I plan to do nothing forever now that I am retired? Definitely not! It's just now I got to a place that there is NOTHING I have to do (well, maybe except taxes haha), and can now start focusing only on things I want to do! And that to me is freedom! :)
Do I have a plan? Nope, I don't. I am yet again at a point when I have no answers what I want to do next.
BUT this time is so different. I have no financial or time pressure to figure it out. Sure, the achiever part of me wants to set the next goal, but I get to tame this horse this time. :) Doing my best in taking this time to rest and recuperate, and celebrate this freedom I created for myself instead of getting into my habit mode of being busy haha. Enjoying the present moment. Having no expectation or plan for "the next thing". Having fun, meeting great people and enjoying amazing food!
Did I mention that a little town of Playa del Carmen has 5 restaurants that I discovered for far with dedicated raw vegan dishes?! (I am raw vegan since January 1 2015, but that's a topic for another post :) ). And fresh coconut water here costs $1.5 for liter!!!! Heaven on so many levels :)
Sure I still do things, like researching real estate investment opportunities in Mexico, finishing taxes for last year, dancing kizomba, but they are all on the back ground of space, joy, flow and freedom. I am looking forward to answers to my questions "what's next" revealed to me in perfect timing and in the flow.
Did retirement solved all my problem: heck no! Like the other day, I started to get stressed that I have nothing to do in the hottest hours of the day 12-3 (beach is off the table, and I can only do so much facebook and youtube haha, and I felt lazy to do anything else, even reading books or learning Spanish). I felt really off not being able to figure out where to direct my energy and do something forwarding for my life and other people. And then I reminded myself, other people would be jealous to have problems like that :D So I let it go, and decided to write some blogs ;)
CREDITS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Lots of people, books, trainings and workshops contributed to my journey here. Too many to mention.... But I will list the ones below that I think might be most supportive for your path, if financial freedom is on your list of goals.
I can't tell you what will be the path for you or what you should do (only you can know that).
Below are resources I that I think might be helpful, use the ones that resonate for you and ignore the rest :)
Mind expanding books:
Coaches (I worked with at different times in the last few years):
Investment vehicles (that I used):
Ahh life is so amazing!!!
Good luck on your journey, wherever you are and wherever you are going! I wish you the best, lots of magical moments and synchronicities, enjoy and have fun in the process!
Read the previous part of my retirement story here: Part 1, Part 2.