In 2020, I wrote over 100 articles online; I made over $3,000 from a single article, started investing, helped a brand new hospital move its physical business online, tried freelancing, got two lovely clients, and a lot more. The most important thing that happened to me in 2020 was the mindset shifts that helped me manage two more side hustles alongside my full-time job and double my income.
It wasn’t always like this though. At the end of December 2019, I was writing my year-end reflection and planning the upcoming year. I felt a bit sad. It seemed my life passes by, but nothing happens.
Every time I wanted more, I achieved less. I wasn’t in control of my life; I went with the flow like many other people I knew.
I didn’t know how to start changing my life, but I was eager to take action. Without having any concrete idea of what I wanted, I concluded my year-end reflection with a powerful phrase:
The next year will be totally different. I’ll make it, no matter what.
Back then, I couldn’t even imagine to what extent 2020 would be a challenging year for everyone. The global pandemic and the rise of the home office granted me the best gift I could ever ask for — extra free time.
But this free time allowed me to finally slow down and use this time for personal and professional growth. It gave me the chance to try side hustles, new opportunities, and eventually double my income.
I don’t force myself to work overtime anymore. I love what I do, and I know why I do it.
If you’re looking for options to make next year different, look no further than the mindset shifts that helped me double my income in just one year.
1. Those Who Work All Day, Have No Time to Earn Money
That is a powerful quote by John Rockefeller that tells the bitter truth. Young people want to become independent from their families, live a life they want, and afford what they could not before.
However, only a few people realize that they’ll end up working all day, 5–6 days a week, without a chance to stop and reflect on the past. If they stop — they lose their primary income source.
I’m not suggesting that the 9 to 5 lifestyle is ‘bad,’ but it definitely exploits brain power and leaves almost no energy for personal development and creative thinking.
This year, I realized that my full-time job would not allow me to scale my finances as much as I want.
I could find a better job, but would it make any difference? Would it correspond to my bold financial plans and a desire to leverage work-life balance?
My answer was no.
Here is what I did
In April 2020, I decided to try blogging. Having a degree and three years of marketing experience, I decided to share expert tips, project case studies, and how-to guides.
I wrote over 100 articles, which earned me $4,183.11 as of writing this.
With an extensive writing portfolio, I started freelancing up to 5 hours a week. I aimed to work with great people, be valuable, and deliver value to them.
The financial reward is the ultimate result of being helpful to others. The more value you deliver, the higher your return will be.
Here is a tip: If you have a strong desire to work for yourself, overcome the common fears, handpick projects that excite you, help your clients, and get fantastic feedback in return, like this:
2. You Will Only Put 100% Effort If You Feel Fully Responsible For the Work You Do
I used to believe climbing a career ladder is the right way to grow professionally and financially. I used to have one full-time job without any side hustles because I wanted to dedicate 100% of my effort to achieve the goals no matter what.
It was often challenging and stressful; I worked overtime, and my mind was occupied by work even on the weekend.
I managed to improve my professional skills, but I was growing slowly financially. I put 100% of my effort, while the outcome wasn’t the one I expected.
People often say remuneration should not be the primary reason why we do what we do.
However, we all live in the market economy, where every product or service has its price. Thus, remuneration is an essential part of the working relationship that should not be neglected.
Here is what I did
I wasn’t completely fine with my former lifestyle; I forced myself to manage my full-time job while having other side hustles. Doing this is one of the major factors that helped me double my yearly income.
Over 60 hours working weeks taught me the following:
- You might be happy doing your work, but if it doesn’t satisfy all your life areas, you will sooner or later lose your motivation. Consequently, lack of motivation will have an impact on your productivity and the outcome.
- If you’re enthusiastic about building a bright future and your current income level doesn’t meet your goals — you either should find a better job and start all over again or become self-employed.
I will keep my job for now, but I have already realized that working for myself makes me more motivated, takes less time, and brings the same income level as my full-time job.
“Dreams are not easy. Dreams are painful. They force work and commitment. They are challenging and motivating” — Robert Kiyosaki.
I don’t encourage you to question your current work, but if your gut feeling tells you that something isn’t going well, it might be the right time to take action.
3. Relying on a Single Income Source Is Risky
It seems evident that several income sources are better than a single one, especially if you’re trying to double your income.
So, why don’t many people have emergency funds?
In March 2020, the unemployment rate skyrocketed from 4% to 16% in the USA alone, according to the Labor Statistics Bureau.
Perhaps, I was luckier than many others. I switched to remote work in March 2020 and continued working from home. This year taught me that I should never rely on a single income source, no matter how reliable it seems.
Here is what I did
Since January 2020, I created several expense categories and allocated a certain amount of my income to every area of my life, including long-term savings and investment.
I altered the plan several times during the year, but this is the one I followed by now:
Every month, I put 20% of my basic salary for long-term savings. These funds should allow me to back up myself if I quit my job.
Besides, I spent most of my side hustle income for online education and investment. I used to receive payouts to Revolut, where I invested all my money in the following:
- I bought bitcoin and ripple in the middle of the year. Bitcoin grew by 228,48%, according to Revolut stats in 2020. It helped me to triple my investment by doing nothing. Cryptocurrency is risky, and I might have been lucky. I always keep in mind that my humble portfolio can lose its value at any time.
- I created a vault on Revolut. Every time I make purchases using my Revolut card, it rounds up my spare change and places it into my vault. It saved 4% of my total card balance that I can spend or invest in cryptocurrency at any time.
I’m not an investment expert. Thus, I cannot give you proven tips on where and how to start.
I see investment as an opportunity to make all my income work and establish a passive income one day.
I started small to achieve big!
Every little step makes a difference if you dare to do it.
4. Tracking Your Monthly Expenses Prevents Overspending and Teaches Planning
I feel ashamed to admit that I never tracked my expenses until January 2020.
My full-time job guaranteed me financial stability. I didn’t realize that I can easily lose this stability if I quit.
Besides, the more I earned— the more I was willing to spend. There was almost nothing left at the end of the month, and I had to repeat the same rat race over again.
A lot of people fall into the same trap of overspending and living as there is no tomorrow.
Sujit Lalwani, a businessman, a writer, and an inspirational speaker, once said:
“Failure to plan your finances is the doorway to mediocre living.”
Would you be okay living a mediocre life? Tell the truth to yourself. I answered — no.
Here is what I did
Before finalizing my financial plan, I tracked my transactions.
I did it to understand where my money goes, which areas of my life require the most investment, and how much money I can save without harming my comfortable lifestyle.
You will never be able to double your income until you learn to track it effectively.
You might be surprised how much money goes nowhere once you start checking your finances.
I realized that over 50% of my income goes to entertainment, shopping, and food. I could either disregard this fact or plan my finances wisely to fulfill every area of my life. It is exactly is what I did.
According to my financial plan, a certain percentage of my income goes to every expense category, and I stick to it.
If you tend to spend more than you earn, you will have to either increase your monthly income or plan your expenses wisely.
Success takes time and effort beyond your limits, but this is how people challenge the status quo and create a better future. Remember, the best moment to work on your future self is now.
Imperfect action is better than no action at all.
Time, money, and energy are the most valuable resources in life. Use them wisely to manage your present and build a bright future, and even double your income.