Last Updated on Apr 15, 2020 by James W

How to Escape the Rat Race and Start Living

If you’re hoping to leave the grind of your 9 to 5 and escape the rat race for good, you’re not alone. According to research from Deloitte, 44 percent of Millennials say, if given the choice, they expect to leave their current employers in the next two years. But in today’s competitive marketplace and rising inflation, it can feel daunting to make the jump and leave the rat race for good.

To quit the rat race and empower yourself, you need a plan and a strategy. Fortunately, there are more opportunities than ever to create a side hustle to tapping into an existing business. Here’s how to get started:

Create a Side Hustle

Side hustles are trending with nearly 44 percent of Americans reporting that they have one, as reported by Bankrate. The best part about a side hustle is you can work one while still working your 9 to 5 until you’ve validated your idea and grown it to sustainable income levels before it becomes your main source of income.

To quickly leave the rat race, start by marketing the skills you already have to gain traction in a service business quickly. Whether you want to run boot camps in the park on Saturdays, offer bookkeeping to small businesses, or run social media campaigns for boutiques in your neighborhood, you can start small and scale as you work with more clients and iron out the kinks in your business.

Tap into an Existing Business

Direct sales have come into a resurgence over the last few years with opportunities to sell clothes, oils, and fitness programs to name a few. Test drive the idea of a direct sales business by consuming videos and educational resources. Amway’s YouTube channel gives insights into what it’s like running a business as an independent distributor instead of a traditional 9 to 5 employee.

There are also businesses out there for sale ranging from online service businesses to brick and mortar options in your own neighborhood. Of course, balancing your time commitment and financial investment involved with the payoff of transitioning out of your 9 to 5 is crucial to longevity and success. Consider working with a business partner to step into an opportunity without assuming the same level of risk.

Leverage Your Own Network

Your own network is a treasure trove of business opportunities and income streams to get out of the rat race. Ask a friend or acquaintance who has already left their 9 to 5 to meet for lunch or a coffee to pick their brain on what to do next. You can also make a list of people in your life or social media channels that could use the skills you already have and pitch them to beta clients to test drive your idea.

Your network is also just a smart way to spread your self-employment gig word-of-mouth and introduce you to new contacts to drum up business quickly. In fact, according to Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement company, 92 percent of consumers trust referrals from people they actually know.

Slash Your Expenses

There’s another way to quickly escape the rat race that often goes unnoticed by the waves of social media posts announcing their side hustles and new business ventures. When you slash your expenses and downsize, you’re freeing up more income that allows you to work less.

Living expenses are usually the quickest way to free up lots of money quickly. But if you can’t downsize and sell your home, you can also turn it into a money-making machine and rent a room or basement out to a traveler on Airbnb. Cut back on major expenses like your car and look to public transportation, carpooling, biking or Uber instead to ditch the expensive car insurance and maintenance. And don’t forget to look at your smaller expenses like cable and trim it from your budget and stream your videos online instead.

As you gear up to leave the rat race and ditch your own 9 to 5, focus on the areas of your life from income to expenses that make the biggest, most immediate impact. From launching your own direct sales or service business to getting brutal with your budget, leaving the 9 to 5 is within reach.

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