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The ultimate 9-5 escape plan

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Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) once said “Entrepreneurship is like jumping off a cliff and building a parachute as you go down.” 😅🪂

I don’t know about you, but that sounds stupid and dangerous. 

It’s much simpler to build a side hustle alongside your day job, hit your freedom number, and then jump ship if you want.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Believe it

Write out your Dream Year

One of the biggest things I notice when I speak with people is they DON’T BELIEVE they can live their dream life.

A few years ago I didn’t think my life could be where I am today. The more you write it out, look at it, and think about it – I promise you – you deserve and can have that life!

You need to get clear on what “freedom” actually means to you. 

On your phone, voice memo, or old-school pen-n-paper write out where you want to be on Dec 31 of this year – the more detailed the better.

When you realize you are the author of your life then you realize you can make it a true story. 

It’s easy to get what you want when you know what you want.

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Let your Hate, motivate!

Next, write out everything that irritates you about where you are right now.

  • My boss keeps interrupting me while I eat my tacos
  • My work doesn’t give me the creative freedom
  • I hate having to wear business professional clothes (boo Intel!)
  • The traffic to work SUCKS 😤

These are all motivational reminders for you to start your side hustle.

Step 2: Set your Freedom Number

Your Freedom Number is the amount of money you need to be earning on the side to quit your day job comfortably.

My monthly Freedom Number was $3,000. Why? Because when I added up my ideal living expenses, that’s what I got.

  • Housing (rent at my apartment): $1,000
  • Food and travel (tacos/steak/wine and working abroad): $1,000
  • Savings and investment: $1,000
  • Total: $3,000

The power is finding out your Freedom Number is LOWER than you realize and also SMALLER than you expected.

It helps show that your dreams are not as far off as you imagine.

Start with your zone of influence

A mistake I see people make is trying to start a business in a completely unrelated industry to what they’re familiar with.

They have a job as an accountant but try to start a business making software for Content Creators.

Why make it harder on yourself?

Use your pre-existing skills, knowledge, and network.

  • What do you get paid for in your day job?
  • What have you gotten paid for in the past?
  • What hobbies or things have people commented positively on?
  • Who do you have access to in your network?

And if you don’t already have a network or skills – a day job is the perfect place to gain experience, connections, and save money.

Give up 1 Netflix show a week.

I hated my job at Intel. But during my nights, lunches, and weekends, I wasn’t worrying about my job whatsoever. It gave me space to work on side hustles.

Block off 1 hour in your calendar each week to change your life.

What can you do during your day job to start planting seeds?

Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you can’t start your business right NOW.

Step 3: Make your first $1

The validation stage is about speed. Don’t overthink the design, name, or logo. Just focus on seeing if you can get people to buy your product!

Make it easy: start with your best friends and family members who might be interested.

Collect money upfront: the promise of payment is not validation… that’s a polite rejection. Everyone’s “interested” until they have to pay.

Views rejections as a GIFT: every rejection is an opportunity to take a deep dive into customer problems.

Many struggle to make their first dollar because they are so focused on how to make their first million.

Think NOW, not HOW.

Test, then invest

At the start, most people don’t test enough things.

Then when they find something that works, they quit and move on too soon.

The solution? Set a constraint on your experiments.

I find thirty days is more than enough to get results from your marketing experiments.

Find what works and double down on it; find what doesn’t work and kill it.

Step 4: Be smart with your finances

Live a Low-Cost Lifestyle (LCL)

I saved money by staying in my aunt’s basement 🙏. I even slept on couches for a whole year and rarely ate out.

Most people spend money they don’t have on lifestyles they can’t afford. If you want to build wealth, do the opposite.

If you’re interested in learning more about personal finance, Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You to Be Rich is great for this.

Step 5: Keep going

Persistence beats resistance

It took me 10 years (!!) to create the company and life that I wanted with AppSumo.

It’s cliche, but good things take time.

Creating your own path takes more than just skill – it demands grit.

Obstacles are bound to arise. It’s your persistence and willingness to adapt that will determine your success.

Enjoy the journey

I didn’t watch the movie Titanic until a year ago because I knew the ship crashed and sank.

“Why would I want to watch something where I know the ending?” I thought.

But the movie is actually phenomenal. The whole point was the journey.

The same thing goes with our lives.

In my 20s, I allowed my negative emotions from getting fired from Facebook to make me miserable along the journey.

I was so fixated on proving others wrong that I didn’t allow myself to enjoy the process.

I was always rushing to have everything figured out.

I wished I had just enjoyed being there.

It will be challenging.

But the rewards are worth it.

If you’re serious about breaking free and want to start your dream business this weekend, there’s ONE resource I can’t recommend enough…

Million Dollar Weekend is the business book I wish I had when I started my entrepreneurship journey. 

I promise you: Who you are, what you have, and what you know right now are more than enough to get going.

The life and business of your dreams are within reach.

Now, get out there and START!


Rooting for you,

Noah 🌮


PS. There are 2,640 billionaires in the world. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with/interviewed 25 of them (1%!!) – My latest YouTube video reveals the TOP 6 lessons I’ve learned from them. Check it out! 💚

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One response to “The ultimate 9-5 escape plan”

May 10, 2024 at 8:36 am

I read your book and absolutely love it! One question though, I already have my product that I have been working on for the past 20 years (I’m an artist) it something I love and am passionate about. But I don’t know how it solves a problem. Please Help! You can check out my business here at

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