Once upon a time, I wanted to be a karate teacher when I grew up. This epiphany hit me when I was 23 and just finishing up a Psychology degree. I spent the next half decade working my way up through the ranks and volunteering to teach at a karate academy in New Mexico. I saved money for starting expenses, then spent two years in Japan — where I got a job coaching a local karate team.
I came home. A year later, I owned a karate school. I loved lots of it, especially the relationships I formed with my students. There were aspects I didn’t love:
- Making $20,000 a year.
- Working 80-plus hours a week.
- Dealing with the hours of daily scut work involved in running a brick-and-mortar business.
- Rarely having time for vacation.
- Working evenings with kids at home.
- Firing people.
- Collecting on bills.
- Paying merchant services fees, especially the lease on the credit card machine (seriously, those guys are like the Mafia without any of the grace and charm).
- I make three times the money, working an average of 15 hours a week.
- My schedule is completely flexible — meaning I can volunteer for my oldest son, and be home for the baby.
- I have time for my hobbies, including martial arts.
- We go on three or four vacations a year.
- My billing is all by check or Paypal, and I rarely have to chase clients.
- A writing business is simpler than a brick-and-mortar shop.
- I can write from anywhere in the world.