Last week my wife and I achieved a huge milestone for our family. We finished paying off all of our non-mortgage debt and are now debt free except for our house! We paid off $67,000 in 8 months. We now are moving on to Baby Step #3 which is a fully funded Emergency Fund that is equal to 6 months of expenses in the bank.
How did we do this? In short, I sold my babies.
Before you call CPS and report me – I’m not talking about my kids, don’t be silly! We were making great progress on cleaning up our debt mess from the revenue of plugin sales combined with my job’s salary. Then last month we got an inquiry for the rights to two of my plugins. These two plugins were our cash cows and were bringing in between $4,000 and $5,000 combined recurring revenue per month. The plugins were the first two plugins I had ever built so that’s why it felt like a member of the family was leaving.
So how did we come to the decision of selling these plugins now? Why not wait 12 months to be out of debt and keep the assets? This is how we came to the decision to sell now.
We stuck to our one goal
At the beginning of the year my wife Amanda and I chose ‘Hustle’ as our word for the year. Specifically we decided to hustle to get out of debt as soon as possible. In past years we had tried to do multiple things at once which produced lackluster results. We decided that only laser focus on one goal would lead to success.
We were sick and tired of our debt hindering us from being able to follow our passion of slow travel with our family as digital tentmakers. Our one goal became cleaning up our financial mess and removing that hurdle. So when we received the offer to sell we asked “Does this get us to our goal?” and the answer was “Yes.”
We wanted to be in the sunshine
Using the classic metaphor of being ‘in the hole’ with money we had lived our entire married life as subterranean dwellers. We had tried climbing out of the hole, but it was a long and difficult climb. We could have made ourselves comfortable in the hole, but it’s not a very hospitable place. There isn’t much light, you can’t move laterally without tons of effort, and it’s prone to cave-ins.
With the sale we had the opportunity to be on the surface for the first time in decades. If we got up there and didn’t like the view then it wouldn’t be very hard to dig ourselves another hole. Something tells me we’re going to like the sunshine.
I can build more products
Change happens every day. There are changes in WordPress, there are changes in the internet, and there are changes in the world. With so much change happening I’m very confident that I can find a new niche to serve customers. The WooCommerce ecosystem is still growing every month as is the overall WordPress ecosystem. Opportunity abounds.
Additionally now that I don’t have any creditors demanding my attention I can build at my own pace. I can take a risk on a project that may take longer to pan out. I don’t have to work on things that translate to money quickly in order to make a monthly payment.
There is a next chapter yet to be written
We don’t know what the future holds. Our desire is to start traveling and connecting with ministries around the world. We want to experience first hand what it is like to live in other countries. We want to see how Christians are serving their communities and tell their stories. Now with the debt gone we can see the horizon and start moving toward it.