How I make 6 Figures Working Only 16 hours/week

Ms 99to1percent

Blogging about Personal Finance along with a little touch of humor. Immigrant who started from the bottom and now I’m here…to tell my story, inspire and learn from others. Paid off $40K in student loans before graduating. CPA. Saved a $100K emergency fund in my 20’s. Hopping to pay off $500K+ mortgage within 5 years at 39. Hopping to become financially independent at 45. Happily married. Mom of 1.

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36 responses

  1. Good post with solid, core advice. The need for re-tooling skills is only increasing, so that’s where I’m personally focused, but I really like the point about “What lights you up inside.”

  2. Steveark- this is such great advice. I started a couple of side gigs in 2017. It would be great to replace my income with only three best parts of my current job.

    Mrs. 99to1 – Nice job snagging such an esteemed guest post. Steve seems to be all over the PF community and always has something interesting to say. Your work this year has been an inspiration. I can easily see how you have been as successful as you are.

    Happy New Year to you both.

    • Thanks Jason, you are too kind 🙂

      • Steveark says:

        Thanks Jason and Ms 99to1percent, It was an honor and a lot of fun to write. It also increased my respect for the blogging community by showing me how hard it is to write a post! I thought I’d just knock it out in fifteen minutes but I spent hours and started over five times before I had something that actually felt like said what I was trying to say. And to think that real bloggers like this site post frequently, well, they really are working hard for the benefit of the community. It reminded me that over my career I came to notice that everyone, including me, thought that everybody else’s job was really easy. Except on that occasion when you had to try to do their job and you realized you had no idea how much they were doing behind the scenes to produce the visible results you thought were so easy!

        • Thanks Steveark. Yes, blogging is hard work, but don’t let that deter you. You can post once a week like us or even once a month. A lot of successful bloggers out there who only post once a week or month 🙂

  3. Thank you for being truthful. You will agree with me that you didn’t earn that kind of money overnight. You must have spent number of hours developing yourself before you started to enjoy the rewards. Now it is even possible that you will soon be earning $500/hour.

    • Yes, rooting for him all the way to $500/hr and more 🙂

    • Steveark says:

      Absolutely true, I’m in a narrow niche and that is why my fees are almost absurdly high and I did spend decades working on getting ready for my life now. However I had enough freedom in my job that I was able to get paid to learn the skills. The only cost to me was working some extra hours but since it was on things I enjoyed and saw as an investment those extra hours were meaningful. The fact is I’m enjoying the work now and if it paid much less I would still be doing it. For most people even earning 10 or 20% of their expenses in retirement would be a nice boost and in some cases take them from a nice level of having enough to a level where they could throw in a few more trips or splurges. The size of the earnings were an attention getter but the the part that is most important to me is that the side gigs add quality to my life, and that adds quality to my wife’s life.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the tips Steveark! How inspiring!!! Looking forward to following your journey through here and/or your own blog.

  5. JoeHx says:

    Being a professional expert witness seems interesting. Has it ever backfired on whoever called you to be a witness? I.e. the prosecution or defense wished they never asked for your help because your testimony ended up helping their opponent?

    • Hi Joe, that’s a very good question 🙂

    • Steveark says:

      Not yet but I’ve only been at this for a little while and a case eats up a year or more in small chunks of frantic activity. The most interesting and edgy part is when you are in front of hostile lawyers and a video camera for hours gettting deposed with the opposition team’s main goal of trying to make you look like you aren’t a real expert or that you made mistakes in your testimony and report. They hire their own experts to try to counter every point you make so it turns into an interesting high stakes debate. It makes you very careful about every single word you say or write!

  6. Great guest post! I have seen quite a few people take that route. I work in consulting and several of my colleagues have made successful transitions to working part-time as consultants (and getting a much better hourly pay than before). The most important elements are to build your network and be patient, because building relations take time, but good relations can give you work for a lifetime 🙂

    • It’s so true. Even if you are not ready to go part-time yet, you can do it full-time and double,triple…your income.

    • Steveark says:

      That is great advice Carl. Throughout my career when I would go to training seminars I always tried to buy the speaker or instructors drinks at the end of the day and get to know them. Most industries are kind of small communities where over time you can get to know a lot of the big players and even though it may not be fair most business decisions come down to a combination of profits and relationships. You can’t necessarily control the economic side of the equation but you can hustle on the relationship side. You have to be real and sincere, you can’t build good relationships with a mercenary attitude of what is in it for me, but if you genuinely like people that will show and you can make some friendships with like minds that enrich your life and usually help enrich your income as well.

  7. WealthyDoc says:

    Very Inspiring! Thanks for sharing.
    As this shows, we often have more options than we realize. With a little creativity and a lot of courage, one can create revenue streams that serve you instead of the other way around. Too many workers feel trapped in a little box they just can’t get out of.
    Also, note FI can really help with the courage, negotiation leverage, and time to consider/develop side gig options.

  8. That is great advice. I often think about what I do not like about my job, but maybe it is time to think about the good too…By focusing on those things we can create a job worth working and continue the path to a life worth living.

    • That’s so true DDD. Focusing on the positive and turning into consulting is a great idea. Also consulting inherently comes with less office politics, less useless meetings,…since they pay you for every minute you work.

  9. Jason says:

    It definately helps to have a profession where you have enough expertise to create side gigs. Many of us in the medical field have the versatility to reduce our hours once we are FI to make extra frivolous spending money like i have done. I work an avg 10 hours a week and still bring in 100k in income. I still have the enjoyment of making a difference in peoples lifes w/o the stress and unbalance of a 5day/40hr work week. Choose your profession wisely for those just starting out….

  10. Steveark! Welcome to the blogging community! You’ve been around for awhile, and if you keep writing posts like this – you won’t have to mess with Pinterest or Tailwind like the rest of us! I agreed with a lot of your points. A few echo strongly with me. I never understood it why a company decides to put people underneath an awesome, self-motivated, highly performing individual…when under-performing people can take away the time of that person being great in their job. I’m glad your company had an outlet for you that led you where you are today. About testifying at House and Senate committees – it made me reminisce about an old colleague I had. When I met him in mid 2000’s, he was a hardened old man from having to testify for similar situations back in the 80s & 90s. I eventually befriended the guy, learned his story – and how much emotional & physical wear and tear it took on him and his marriage. It definitely takes the right personality to be able to stay mentally strong and come out OK after those events. Looking forward to seeing more from you in the future.

    • lol I look forward to the time I won’t have to use Pinterest and Tailwind.

      About your ex-colleague, I can see how it can take a toll on someone especially if the testimony might put a company out of business, or put someone in jail or on death row 🙁

  11. I definitely agree with the philosophy of investing in yourself and your skills. It doesn’t have to cost money, it can be as simple as – like Steveark said – volunteering, networking, keeping up with news/trends in your industry, reading, and just putting yourself out there and being open to personal growth.

  12. Great thoughts Steveark! You’re a good writer for sure.

    I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to seek out ways to “Volunteer for every possible task that lets you enjoy meeting those needs.”? That’ll be different for everyone but do you have any thoughts on ways you opened yourself up for those opportunities?

  1. December 31, 2017

    […] If you’re not ready to retire from a six-figure salary, consider semi-retirement to a six-figure salary. At 99 to 1 Percent, guest poster Steveark discusses How I Make Six Figures Working Only 16 Hours Per Week. […]

  2. January 12, 2018

    […] Work that is challenging and significant but not work that beats me down and kicks me in the teeth. I have clients that respect me and look up to me. I am no longer a Sisyphus facing a never ending and impossible task. I’m in control and the freedom of being my own boss is almost narcotic in its power. The knowledge that I have the time and money to reinvent myself as many times in the future as I want gives me a safety net under my high wire act. I don’t want to fail at anything but if I do, it is more of a shrug than a death. And instead of crazy 60 to 70 hour weeks I usually only work about two days a week.  […]

  3. January 14, 2018

    […] Work that is challenging and significant but not work that beats me down and kicks me in the teeth. I have clients that respect me and look up to me. I am no longer a Sisyphus facing a never ending and impossible task. I’m in control and the freedom of being my own boss is almost narcotic in its power. The knowledge that I have the time and money to reinvent myself as many times in the future as I want gives me a safety net under my high wire act. I don’t want to fail at anything but if I do, it is more of a shrug than a death. And instead of crazy 60 to 70 hour weeks I usually only work about two days a week.  […]

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