One of common threads that runs from E-Myth to Rich Dad, Poor Dad to 4HWW is the encouragement to get yourself on a path of passive income; move away from income sources that require you to work for every dollar. I agree with the goal in general, but I’m taking a slightly different approach to achieve it.

Part-timer

When I resigned from my job last spring, I spent several weeks working part time instead of making a clean break. This was a great opportunity to see how it felt to only show up to the office half the time. I skipped meetings (and was encouraged to do so). I took less breaks and rarely surfed the web. I found it easier to focus on work because I knew I had so little time to get my deliverables finished.

So in addition to the “hourglass” and other approaches Tim suggests for implementing 4HWW in a corporate setting, perhaps you can manage to set up a part-time arrangement for just a week or two. Both you and your boss can see how it feels to put some limits on your office time.

Split Personality

Another side-effect of my part-time arrangement was that it allowed me to put a hard stop on the number of hours I worked per week. I essentially shifted from a salaried employee to an hourly contractor. Don’t let the corporate man fool you into thinking salaried is better: it’s just his way of saying “you get to work overtime for free.”

When I transitioned into being completely on my own, I had two options:

1. beg, borrow, steal, and chew into our meager savings while I devoted my full effort to building up my own businesses.

2. pick up some hours doing freelance consulting (Flash and Flex development).

In my ideal world I won’t work on anything but my own projects. Until then, I think I’ve come about as close to an ideal situation as I can possibly ask for:

  • I have a set and steady 20 hours a week consulting for a single client
  • That client is fantastic to work with: a small company of 3 friendly, funny, professional fellas.
  • I can work remotely (which will soon come in handy)
  • At the rate they’re paying me, I’ll make slightly more by working 20 hours a week than I did working full-time for my previous employer
  • The rest of my working hours (however many or few I choose to have) can be spent building up my own projects

I hope that doesn’t sound boastful. Rather, I’m just happy to report back a little bit of success for anybody considering trying to set up a similar arrangement. I’ve had dozens of “what if you could…” conversations with co-workers in the past several years, and most of them ended with a skeptical “yeah, but it wouldn’t really work out that way.” Well, it can.