- Grant Sabatier went from $2.26 in his bank account to a net worth of over $1 million.
- A key step in his wealth building process was to increase his sources of income.
- He believes anyone can start a side hustle and start earning more today.
Grant Sabatier started with virtually nothing before achieving financial independence.
In August 2010, two months after he was laid off from his first job, his checking account hit an all-time low: $2.26. “I took a screenshot of my account to remember this feeling and to serve as motivation for the future,” writes Sabatier in his book “Financial Freedom”. He was 24 at the time and lived with his parents.
Five years later, thanks to a seven-step strategy of getting organized and controlling expenses, Sabatier
exceeded $1 million and considered himself financially independent, he writes in his book.
A key step throughout the process was to supplement his salary — he got a job at a digital marketing agency earning $50,000 — with other sources of income.
“If you want to achieve financial independence as quickly as possible, you will need to up your side game,” writes Sabatier, who has done everything from pet sitting to selling concert tickets to vintage mopeds. . “No job was too small.”
Two of the most lucrative ways he generated extra income outside of his day job included building websites for businesses, which earned him up to $50,000 per project, and flipping domain names. . He could typically buy a domain for $50 or less and resell it within a year for upwards of $2,500, he explained.
Sabatier, now 37, says the strategies he used a decade ago to achieve financial independence are still valid today.
Plus, “making money has never been easier in history,” he told Insider. “The internet has really leveled the playing field – it’s so easy to reach customers via social media, websites and email – so the barrier to entry is extremely low when it comes to is about starting any kind of business.”
It also means there’s more competition than ever before, he added: “So it’s very important, whenever you start something, to think about what unique advantage you have and build on it. to lean on.”
If you’re not sure where to start or what kind of side hustle to pursue, Sabatier advises making two lists: one of things you really enjoy doing and another of things you’re good at. Next, look for overlaps between your lists and think about how you could monetize your interests and skills. Maybe you’ve been playing music for years and can start teaching lessons or playing gigs. Maybe you love to travel and can become a consultant and help people plan their trips.
If you’re pursuing something you actually love, chances are you’ll stick with it. Plus, it will feel less like “work,” Sabatier said.
Once you’ve selected a side hustle you’re passionate about, whether it’s blogging, coding, teaching, or selling your art, focus on becoming the best at that particular skill. That’s what the most successful entrepreneurs do, Sabatier said: “They become the best at it, and people recognize them as one of the best, so they’re able to add more value, charge higher prices and, naturally, it creates this cumulative effect.”
Focus on one really good thing, rather than a bunch of decently good things, he advised. For him, that means focusing on writing and building websites. “I suck at social media. It stresses me out and I’ve never been able to make any money from it, so I don’t put any effort into it,” he said. “But what I do really well is build websites to rank well on Google and write content, so I spend my time doing that.”
Once you’ve honed a skill you want to monetize, work on your side constantly. Don’t expect to make money overnight, he added: “A lot of people, whether they’re starting a blog or a YouTube channel or starting a greeting card company or a grooming business for dogs, don’t realize it very early on. , it’s a chore and it’s not always easy. The vast majority of business growth will occur during the second, third and of the fourth year.”
If you’re starting to earn income from your side hustle, don’t increase your spending, especially if you’re looking for financial independence. Take your extra money and invest it, pointed out Sabatier, who has saved and invested almost all of his side income. After all, “if you’re making money on the side, but not investing it, then you’re wasting time by not making as much money as you could,” he writes.
He doesn’t believe in creating a strict budget — he thinks tracking every dollar creates a scarcity mindset and can foster feelings of guilt around spending. Plus, focusing on small expenses and indulgences probably isn’t going to necessarily boost your savings rate significantly, he adds: “You save the most money by controlling your biggest expenses – at namely accommodation, transport and food – and you can do this without using a formal budget.
Reducing these large expenses requires sacrifices, such as living with roommates or trading in your car for public transport or cooking instead of going to restaurants and bars.
“A lot of people thought I was crazy, and even my girlfriend wouldn’t come and see my crappy but cheap apartment,” Sabatier recalls. “I definitely made decisions that a lot of people wouldn’t even consider.”
Another trick he used to save more and spend less was to think critically about every purchase. Especially today, with the ability to tap and pay with a credit card or shop online with the click of a button, it has arguably never been easier to pass money.
He learned to become a more conscious consumer. “When you spend money, you’re not just paying for something with dollars. You’re also paying with your time and the potential future value of those dollars,” he writes. He used mental tricks before buying anything, like wondering how happy certain purchases would make him or how much recurring expenses would end up costing him for the rest of his life.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that “saving money is making money. Every purchase you make is a trade-off – spending money on one thing is less money that you can save or spend on something else”.