Sabbatical year in 2008?

Several people I had a beer with at a4uexpo got around to asking me the questions of ‘why aren’t you…’ or ‘when are you…’ leaving the current day job.

I was totally frank with these people, many I’d met for the first time and gave them honest insights into my life.

My business is currently performing to a high standard and it’s all the more impressive for me, seeing as my site updates have been very restricted lately with holidays, attending a4uexpo and latterly no phone line at home.

Then taking into account the previous 12 months, the question has to be asked – and is being asked of me every week, “When are you leaving to run your sites full time?” This is not just from people in the affiliate industry but my colleagues around me who keep up to date with my developments.

John Lamerton has wrote some excellent posts on the pros and cons of affiliate marketing and why he took the plunge and gave up the day job.

I’m in a job that pays a healthier salary than he was earning 6 years ago but I have considered his steps, including working at the day job part-time.

Could I live off my own business profits? Yes, based on the past years performance but I have some financial commitments too.

There’s also the benefits that working in my current job bring. I currently get 7 weeks off a year in paid leave, having been there for over 10 years service.

My monthly phone bill, which can be a substantial payment for others, is a few pence per month.

And as well as the nice salary there’s bi-annual bonuses – which have helped pay for 2 of my holidays this year.

I am also surrounded by very talented and friendly people who I can bounce ideas off and get support from. In another post John says:

Affiliate Marketing is lonely. There’s no doubt about it, AM can be one of the loneliest jobs going – Sitting at home in front of a computer all day with no “real” people to speak to is no life for anyone. Prior to 2005, I had been known to go a whole week without leaving the house, or talking to anyone apart from on Messenger!”

That is a fear I have and it’s an issue that is just as important than the level of revenues made.

Going back to the perks of my current job, there is one other benefit that could make my transition from part-time affiliate to full-time, so much more easier.

As I’ve done the time I’m allowed to take between 3 to 9 months unpaid sabbatical. There are lots of terms attached but the crux of the matter is that I could be in a no lose situation.

For example, I could decide to take 3 months off work and then crack on with my websites at home, as I would if my life now depended on it.

I would lose those 3 months salary but my business account has the savings to help me there. If at the end of the period it was clear I wasn’t making enough money or I decided that I was too lonely, I could return to work to my existing role.

If I were to run my business full-time then on paper I should be working 3 to 4 times more than I currently do. Would my revenue have to increase by 4 times to be measured as a success?

Well not really but I know the daily and monthly targets I’d like to achieve.

There are restrictions in taking a sabbatical. For starters a line manager and a VP of the company need to approve. However, if you were planning on leaving the company anyway then this step may be just a formality.

You also can’t use the time to compete against the company but this is as currently. I’ve already made sure that I don’t have any conflict of interests.

You also have to request for the sabbatical 6 months in advance. This seems a long way off but it makes sense if the company have to replace you or your position.

If I were to take this option it would be approximately 9 months away anyway, allowing me to build on my 5 point plan. If I say a Facebook application is 6th on my list, then Sabbatical is certainly there at number 7.

For those in affiliate marketing you may be seeing more of me in late 2008.

I didn’t want to die on Corona and fish fingers

I currently live alone and whilst harmlessly cooking myself fish and chips in the kitchen on Monday evening I became trapped. The inner kitchen door suddenly wouldn’t open.

In normal circumstances there would be no need to panic but a quick realisation took over. I had no door or window keys on my possession or in the room.

I had no mobile phone on me because I was only wearing shorts and t-shirt and I was also barefoot.

I had no access to a landline because my landlord had just moved out and BT disconnected the line.

So I was home alone, in a room with no visible means of escape. I didn’t panic as I’m sure I’d just be able to push the door open. Little did I know.

A-team style I quickly took stock of what tools I had to my disposal. I found a broom, a mop and a powerful torch.

I checked the fridge. No food but there was a dozen Corona and a bit of milk. There was some frozen veg and fishfingers in the freezer. Still no panic. I’ve got enough to get through the night and into the next day if need be.

I pushed the door and managed to get a gap at the top but for some reason the bottom just wouldn’t budge, no matter how much strength I applied.

I opened the kitchen blinds hoping to get the attention of the neighbours and thought I’d try a bit of SOS. I shone the torch directly onto their back bedroom windows and bathrooms which were occupied. Not one looked outside.

I banged on the neighboors wall next door but I knew that was false hope as they were away. Panic became creeping in, so I went to smash a pane of glass on the door.

I used the back of the broom at full force and there wasn’t even a budge. 3 more attempts and I knew I could soon be sleeping on a cold kitchen floor until the next house visitor.

Panic really set in then. Who shall that visitor be? Do I have to wait 12 hours for the postman to arrive and just hope that he hears me shout ‘help’ when he delivers the mail?

Or do I have to wait 3 weeks when the window cleaner comes around? Do they even window clean during November? I wasn’t in the mood to wait another hour.

I just knew I had to get through it, even if it meant cutting myself to bits.

Back in A-team mode I found a strong spare cupboard door and used this to wedge in the little gap that I created at the top. The top of the door had a gap but not enough for my frame.

So I went back to SOS mode and wrote on a piece of paper ‘SOS – Trapped’ and at one point was going to write the same using washing up liquid on the window. It was pitch black and nobody would have seen it.

I banged on the UPVC window and put the radio on full but still nobody looked out of their windows.

It was then fight-or-flight kicked in and I went for the door at full strength. I knew the only option was to push it from the top until it finally cracked.

Soon I could hear panes of glass cracking and shards sprayed everywhere. Now I had hope. It was then that I could see what the problem was.

The wall had recently been plastered and the skirting board hadn’t been secured properly. As the kitchen door shut, the vibration made the skirting board to fall and this lodged the kitchen door firmly shut.

I grabbed through a whole in the door to move the piece of wood but this itself was firmly lodged.

90 minutes later I could see the light but there was still not enough for me to get to the other side of that door.

So I smashed and removed a few more panes and once I saw a suitable hole I raised myself through and came out the other side.

I was so relieved. Even on the other side of the door it took me a while to remove the skirting board, which I later found had fell before, trapping someone else. In their case, they had a kitchen door key so didn’t think anything of it.

So here I am now. Alive and almost well. I have a bad back but I’m booked in for a massage at the end of the week.

I am still without a BT phone line and that could have been a life saver. So come on BT get it installed.

All the Corona remains in the fridge, at least until I buy some lime.

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