At 29 years old, Adrienne was starting out with a good income as a supply chain analyst for a large paper manufacturing corporation. However, she couldn’t accept that it would take 25 years to repay her $45,000 student loan debt — so she started looking for alternatives.
To accelerate her loan repayment, she cut her expenses and increased her income. She was able to save close to 85 percent of her income and pour it into reducing her debt.
It wasn’t easy, but she began to realize something:
“Your expenses reflect what you value — this realization makes your spending intentional.”
Once she got clear on what she valued, it fueled her: “I didn’t eat out, and I didn’t buy unnecessary things (clothes, knick knacks, and coffee) like I had previously. I switched my phone provider. I didn’t have cable. I didn’t travel.”
To increase her income — even though she still had debt — she decided to start a side business.
By using her experience and skills in business, leadership, technology/social media, networking, and communication, she started a leadership and personal development blog. This blog led organically into a coaching business. For seven months, she worked her day job and her side job at the same time. After seven months? It was time to say goodbye to the day job.
Starting a business while in debt seems challenging, maybe even ill-advised. How did she find the extra money to get started when she was still trying to pay down her student loan?
Adrienne explains …
“I was bootstrapping in the beginning and, since it was a business that didn’t need much capital, I got creative and did a lot of the work on my own. I created my own website on SquareSpace at first and sold some pieces of furniture and a TV to create the funds for some of the other systems I needed in place.”
Running a side business in addition to working a full-time day job requires careful planning and scheduling. To meet all her commitments, Adrienne started waking up at 4:30 am and moved her workouts to the morning. She did a little work before heading off to her day job. She also worked during her lunch break, after work, and on the weekends. “I worked a lot so that I could get out of the day job faster.”
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