Being self-employed can be very empowering, no strict working hours, you can sit at your desk in your PJ’s if you like, you don’t have to answer to a ‘boss’ and many other benefits.

All these things are good, but what if you end up working more hours than when you were an employee? You can’t just walk away from work and forget about it until 9am the next morning.

I have been working for myself for nearly 18 months, when I sat down and looked at my bottom line a few weeks ago while writing down my 2013 goals, I realised that I am working more hours but earning quite a bit less than in my last job! I’ve managed, I had savings and living in France isn’t as expensive as England, but it’s got to the point where I need to think about how I am going to earn a reasonable income but not work so many hours.

Regular Clients

As my business has progressed I have been doing more and more one-off jobs, mainly eBook formatting. This makes me a reasonable amount of money, if I added up all the hours I spend on formatting and divide it by the income it produces I’d be getting my hourly rate or more, which is great. But having one-off jobs is ok, if you have regular clients to keep the money flowing in when you don’t have any one-off jobs. You end up in a vicious circle of one-off job, looking for work, another one-off job, looking for more work… In fact many self-employed people are looking for work for as many hours as they’re working, and it soon adds up!

Being a virtual assistant I do have a few regular clients, but certainly not as many as I’d like. Ideally I would be happy with 2 or 3 regular clients who pay me a regular retainer package each month, at least then I would know my bills were covered. I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be able to live within my means and not have to worry where the next job is coming from. 

Passive Income

So, in search of others ways I can work less hours and earn enough money to live on I decided I would go down the route of passive income. It’s something I have been thinking about for some time, and 2013 is going to be the year I put all my ideas in to practice.

Just last Friday I spent the whole day working on my first product which I am selling on my eBook formatting website. It’s a Microsoft Word template and it’s set-up so people can use it to type their manuscripts and use the various styles I have created to hopefully create an eBook which is suitable for uploading to Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. I have kept the price low, and there are some extra incentives which go with the template itself, which I hope will appeal to the authors/writers that would like to have a go at formatting their own eBook.

Some of the other products I hope to be launching this year are:

  • an eCourse for authors (on eBook formatting website)
  • an eBook of blog posts
  • an eBook (and possibly a paperback) – topic yet to be finalised
  • possibly a paid eBook review service

So I have been pretty busy thinking of ways I can earn some money while I sleep, which means I won’t have to work all hours just to pay the rent.

I love being self-employed and I love the feeling when another client pays an invoice, I know that the money is all mine and I’ve earn’t it. What I don’t like are the times when there is no work and my hours are spent looking for work, it’s a very precarious situation to be in when you’re self-employed, but I wouldn’t change it now.

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