Two Years Into a Seven-Year Plan
By Jason Holland
A degree in electrical engineering meant that Jill Schaumloeffel was always able to find a relatively well-paying job. But over the years, as she saw colleagues promoted past her and her own chances for advancement dwindle, she realized that she had to shake things up. Her old habits weren’t going to get her the management position and higher pay she wanted. And without a couple of streams of income outside of her day job, her wealth-building goals weren’t going to go anywhere either.
Two years into her seven-year plan, she has doubled her income with a new job, started a small business offering Web and IT services (set up to provide her with an automatic wealth stream), and created a plan to eliminate a sizable debt that had collected over the years.
With new investments on the horizon, including real estate, and that automatic wealth stream, Jill is aiming for seven figures in seven years.
“I’m on my way, thanks to good advice from Seven Years to Seven Figures, Automatic Wealth, and Early to Rise,” says Jill.
When Jill decided to change her life, she was working two part-time jobs as a network engineer for a pair of small businesses – a manufacturer of shipping containers and a medical facility. No longer content with splitting her time and efforts, she analyzed which company had the most potential to provide her with a higher salary. Soon she was buckling down at the manufacturing company, which is about an hour’s commute from her West Virginia home.
“It was a difficult process for me, as I had to change my way of thinking and viewing my work and skills. I very carefully took the first 10-15 minutes of each morning to write up a to-do list for the day. Each day, I worked on a task that would teach me something I could use to accomplish both my personal goals and the company’s goals,” recounts Jill. “First, I talked my way into designing and laying out all the handouts used by our marketing group. My next project was putting up the first Web page for the company. Then I stepped up to producing the company newsletter. Not only did these projects give me the opportunity to learn the software programs to do them, it gave me the skills I needed for my own business.”
Jill’s bosses noticed the change, and her efforts to become a better employee paid off. Three months later, she was offered a full-time position reporting directly to the company president and a higher salary. In some cases, such a situation could breed resentment among co-workers, but Jill found that the people around her actually appreciated the extra help.
“My co-workers were instrumental in helping me get hired full-time. They were really excited about being able to get graphics done inside of a day and have a new brochure printed and ready to go in short order. The boss, especially, looked upon my position as an asset instead of overhead, since I saved the company money by doing a lot of things in house,” says Jill.
Jill then moved on to augmenting her income with her own small side business, and because of her expertise, Web design and creating customer marketing materials seemed to be a natural fit. She had always done freelance IT work when she had time, but now she dedicated herself to finding new customers and expanding her business.
Jill squeezes in time for clients after work, and sometimes doesn’t get home until late at night. She is halfway to her goal of making $1,000 a month with her side business.
Meanwhile, she is picking up new skills with the American Writers and Artists Inc. copywriting program, and hopes to expand her business in that direction as well. With her schedule packed with a full-time job, household chores, and clients, she studies copywriting every available moment, usually during her lunch hour and about three hours on the weekend.
“My business is going well. I am focusing on acquiring contracts to assure me of a ‘fixed’ monthly income. This also allows me to manage when, where, and how I provide my services,” says Jill.
With all this activity, you might think Jill has no time for anything except work in her life. However, she realizes that as she works on wealth building, she also has to make time for improving her health and mental well being. So she has started an exercise program, including Pilates and Tai Chi. She is also a volunteer at a local church, which gives her a charge she feels nowhere else.
“My ultimate goal is to spend April to December in West Virginia and the rest of the year in Texas. I haven’t found any way of doing this other than with a ‘portable’ business. The Web design work and copywriting can be done from anywhere, as long as there is an Internet connection. It will also allow me to work early in the morning when I’m at my best,” says Jill.