117| Making The Case For Part Time With Bradley Rice

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Reclaiming Your Time with Bradley Rice

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Bradley has successfully reclaimed the hours in his day by transitioning to part-time work. He made this unconventional choice to take back his time when his daughter was born to spend more time with her. He works 20 hours a week, while still earning a high salary. Bradley openly talks about the path that allowed him to reclaim his time and how you can recreate a similar journey.

We All Have Choices Along The Way

Each of us makes different choices throughout our lives. We do so hoping to march closer to our long-term goals. Everyone has to make choices that align with their values, so each person’s journey will be different.

Having a high paying job certainly helps you reach your FI goals, but if it's taking away time from your life, you may question its true value. In Bradley’s opinion, time is our most valuable resource because it truly is finite. Many of us would prefer to use that time to enjoy the important things in life, like our family. The pressure becomes especially noticeable if you have young kids because the time you have to spend with them while they are young is limited.

Even if you agree that that time is your most valuable resource, you may feel trapped in the mindset that there is no way to earn your current income while transitioning to part-time work. Caught between the fact that you have to work to provide for your family and the need to spend more time with them, the dilemma continues to grow more real every day.

Our guest, Bradley Rice, was faced with the same dilemma when he had his daughter. He knew that he didn't want to continue working full-time while his daughter was growing up. He needed to find a way to spend more time with her during her childhood. Bradley was able to make the switch to part-time and maintain a high salary in the process. It was an unconventional choice, but it worked out exceptionally well for his family. Let’s dive into his inspiring story!

Related Podcast Episode: Mindfulness And FI With Cory Muscara

Bradley’s Story

When Bradley was starting out in the working world, his goal was to retire at 59.5. Although he and his wife had always been frugal, the idea of early retirement had never been presented as an option. When he graduated college with a degree in economics, he quickly landed a job in a lucrative field as a junior Salesforce administrator making $40,000. Within two years, he was making $100,000 as a Salesforce consultant. At 24 years old, he was making $110,000 plus bonuses.

His young career was continuing to grow, but it was taking him away from is home for around 60 hours a week. At 27, the focus of his world changed when his daughter was born. He realized that he needed more time to spend with his daughter. Based on his work schedule and his daughter’s sleep schedule, he would only be able to spend up to two hours a day with her if he continued working this schedule.

Bradley wanted to find a way to raise his daughter in a “100% parenting” way. 100% parenting is something that each parent should decide on for themselves because it is a very personal decision. However, Bradley knew that only a few hours a day to spend with his daughter during the week was not his definition of 100% parenting. He chose to cut his income in half by working part-time to spend more time with his daughter.

Salesforce 101: How To Earn More through A Salesforce Career

Salesforce is a widely used CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform that is used by large companies around the world. According to Bradley, it is absolutely possible to replicate his success in this field even if you are starting with no knowledge of the industry. In fact, Bradley came into his first job with no idea where to start.

One of the reasons that Bradley made this choice is due to the high earning potential of his job. Before you decide that working part-time is completely impossible, let’s walk through how Bradley excelled in his lucrative career path.

The Secret to Bradley’s Success Through Salesforce

The best part about this success story is that there is no secret; anyone with the motivation can excel in this career path. The “secret” is to hard work and excel in time management.

Bradley decided that to outrun his peers, he would actually work from 8 AM to 5 PM every day. Instead of filling his time with chats at the water cooler and extended coffee breaks, he decided to spend any downtime he had working on new skills. During downtime at work, he was able to earn several certifications that allowed him to quickly outpace his peers.

Anyone can do this if they use their time wisely at work. Bradley mentioned that he was always someone that took the path of least resistance, but a combination of mentorship and the pressure of his first professional job led him to put in the effort at this job. If you find your own motivation for achieving similar success, then it is entirely possible to replicate it.

What I was doing different from my peers is that when I came into work and worked from 8 AM to 5 PM I actually worked from 8 AM to 5 PM. So if there was downtime at work, I didn't go hang out at someone else's desk, or go get coffee for an hour…If I had downtime I actually studied material online in order to get certifications. So instead of goofing off, I just put my head down and decided I was going to get really good at this.

How To Replicate This Success?

The first thing to realize is that you do not need to be techy or knowledgable about CRM platforms to replicate this success. However, you will need to be driven and reasonably intelligent. Do not be afraid to try replicating this success, even if it feels a little bit outside of your comfort zone.

Once you decide you are ready to give this a try, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Create your own instance of Salesforce.
  2. Log into the training with your training org credentials from the first step. 
  3. Complete your first set of training. Start with the Trailhead Basics and the Beginner Admin courses.
  4. Now, you can choose to take any courses that interest you. Bradley recommends taking the Intermediate Admin course.
  5. Once you are comfortable with the skills, your first tangible goal is to pass the Salesforce Administrator exam which costs around $200. Here is a link to a PDF study guide to prepare you for the exam.
  6. Now you are ready to start job hunting with these skills!

Of course, your first job with these skills will likely not be extremely lucrative, but there is ample opportunity for upward mobility within this industry. The income limits of these jobs are phenomenal and have the power to supercharge your path to FI.

Your Income Potential With Salesforce Skills

At Dreamforce, an industry conference this year, the recruiting company Mason Frank performed a survey of the average salaries of the attendees. The survey was divided by roles, which will give you an idea of the earning potential for anyone with these skills.

Here’s a look at the roles within the industry and the income limits associated with each:

  • Administrator roles are generally considered the easier Salesforce positions. They understand what employees need and find ways to automate complex business processes. Generally, the earning potential is between $80,000 to $100,000
  • Developer roles are more involved in writing the Salesforce code. The earning potential is upwards of $130,000 to $200,000.
  • Salesforce consultants work with several companies on different projects. Due to the higher level of responsibility, consultants can easily make between $100,000 to $150,000 plus around $30,000 to $50,000 in bonuses depending on performance.
  • Salesforce team managers work with a team of people to deliver Salesforce services. At this highest level, the true cap is around $250,000 for someone with several years of experience.

As you can see, the earning potential as a Salesforce expert is high. If you choose to pursue this career, then you will have the potential to supercharge your journey to FI. However, you may decide that working full-time to maximize your income is no longer your priority. At some point, you may be forced to make a big decision between a high salary and more time at home.

How To Transition Into Part-Time Work

Before you automatically assume that working part-time is not an option for you, allow yourself to really think about the possibility. In many situations, your employer may be willing to work with you. At the very least, it doesn’t hurt to ask. In most situations where you are contributing value to an organization, they will not fire you just for asking about a part-time opportunity.

However, transitioning to part-time may not happen overnight. You may need to execute a very awkward conversation about your desire to spend more time at home. The transition will likely be uncomfortable, but it may be worth it in the end.

Related Podcast Episode: Drift With Dominick Quartuccio

Why Bradley Did It

Before Bradley went part-time, he decided that he valued his time more than his current high salary. After all, we each start with only 24 hours in a day. Eight of those are for sleeping and 10.5 goes towards working and working related activities like commuting. We are left with just 5.5 hours for other life obligations, which may sound like a lot. However, when you factor in things like chores, preparing food, and side hustles, there is really only an hour or two of downtime to enjoy.

Those precious hours of downtime were not enough for Bradley, so he decided to make a change.

Once he determined his values, the next step was to find a way to reclaim his time. The natural solution was to transition into part-time work. Based on Bradley’s earning potential, he had the luxury of making this incredibly unconventional choice.

How Would His Income Be Affected?

Of course, he also had to get comfortable with the fact that cutting his hours also meant cutting his high salary. Luckily, this was a relatively easy decision for him. He was earning more than he ever expected to. Combine that with his frugal lifestyle, and he knew he would be fine with half his current income. Luckily, his wife was on board and together they decided to pursue a better work-life balance.

How He Did It

After deciding to go part-time, the next step was actually getting there.

First, he applied for full-time jobs that he was slightly overqualified for to get started. Next, he contacted the company’s recruiter and explained that he would like to perform the job duties part-time and from home. After convincing the recruiter to put him through to the hiring manager, he pitched his case:

Look you have someone in the office 8 hours a day… they are standing at their co-worker's desk talking about the latest trending YouTube video or how terrible the Superbowl was and taking half hour coffee breaks and hour and half lunches… and they are 30 minutes late to work everyday and they are really checked out at 4 PM every day… So what you are really only getting out of someone is maybe a five hour day… I'm sit down at 8 AM and I'm going to work until noon and I'm actually going to work. I'm going to take zero breaks. I'm not going to leave my computer and I'm going to knock this out for you. I'm going to be 100% responsive, I'm going to be the best employee you've ever had.

He's made this pitch twice and been hired both times. It's a win-win for everyone since the company gets the same job done but at half the cost.

Can You Transition Into Part-Time Work?

First, you need to be in a position of power. If you have nothing to lose, then there is no harm in asking. If you are not in a stable financial place, then you will have to take the job you can get. A solid financial foundation will allow you to make a power play for the work schedule you desire.

Most people are open to interesting and unconventional ideas, so it is worth asking for a part-time or work from home transition. However, not every job can be done remotely, so you need to consider that before asking for work from home arrangement.

If you are considering following Bradley’s path with Salesforce, then you will need two innate skills. You must be a self-starter that can work without anyone watching you. And you should have a mind that enjoys thinking about how a business works, even if you do not have experience in the field.

Life After The Transition

Now that Bradley is working part-time from home, the way he spends his time is much different.

The transition came with a pay cut that would push their FI date back into their mid-50s. They were willing to make the switch to maximize their current happiness. Although the Rice family made this decision knowing that they could live on half of Bradley’s income, he ended up making even more than his full-time salary in 2018.

Related: What Have You NOT Sacrificed On The Journey To FI?

Bradley was able to move to a local company that allows him to work remotely on a part-time basis after a two week trial period that sold them on his abilities. Even though they weren’t even hiring when he reached out, Bradley started messaging everyone he could find on Linkedin. In the end, the company turned out to be a great fit. The company gave him W-2 status which brought benefits like healthcare and retirement accounts.

After a few weeks, he realized that he could do the job in less than four hours a day. So instead of sitting idle, he used his downtime to start a consultant company on the side. After around two hours of paperwork and $200 to file it, he was officially an LLC in Florida. Quickly, he had clients to work with. In total, he spends around 25 total hours of work each week.

Here’s the best part: in 2018 he made $170,000 even while working just 25 hours a week. That’s $110,000 more than he thought he would make as a part-time worker! With that higher income, he ended up fast-tracking their FI date while transitioning to part-time work. However,  this process has shown him that he enjoys working for a few hours a week, so will probably continue working around 5-10 hours a week even after they hit FI.

Bradley says he owes all of this success to getting his priorities in order. Taking the time to think through what he valued gave him the guiding light he needed to make the transition. After reclaiming an extra 5.5 hours a day, he has around 12 hours of flexible time to spend each day. Most of that time is spent with his daughter on outings to things in the Tampa area.

Last year, the family even tried out a year-long road trip! After around four months, they decided to stop their RV trip and had the choice to travel or live anywhere in the US but chose to visit family and friends. Bradley plans to return to Tampa with his young family soon.

How To Connect With Bradley

If you would like to learn more about how to replicate this success story, then reach out to Bradley. The easiest way is through Facebook in the ChooseFI Facebook Group. Just search for “Bradley Micheal Rice” to connect. Feel free to reach out via messenger to talk through anything you’ve heard today.

The Hot Seat

Favorite Blog: What's Up Next podcast.

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Favorite Life Hack: Working part-time. If you can find a way to work part-time or work from home, then take it.

Biggest Financial Mistake: A series of car buying mistakes for a second car that eventually decided we didn't need.

The Advice You Would Give Your Younger Self: Be more aware of house hacking or real estate as a path to long-term income.

Which purchase have you made over the past 12 months that has brought the most value to your life? Percolator, which is a type of coffee maker, because it makes strong coffee by recycling the water over the grains. It was only about $40 on Amazon.

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New to FI? Be sure to check out Episode 100: Welcome To The FI Community!

Making The Case For Part Time With Bradley Rice

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13 thoughts on “117| Making The Case For Part Time With Bradley Rice”

    • Steve, I don’t know how you can get a hold of Bradley outside of Facebook. Could you use a friend’s Facebook account? Otherwise, you may be able to reach out to ChooseFI (https://www.choosefi.com/contact-us/); and they may be able to get you connected with him….

      I’m assuming you’re like me in that this episode peaked your curiosity. I would love to build a lifestyle like Bradley’s…. I’ve been struggling for sometime to figure out how to do it. It seems that Bradley may have given us a model to follow…

  1. He was really lucky to have to have gotten into a great company. Reminds me of the dotcoms where 1 of 1000 companies actually flew–lucky if you found the 1.

    • This interview was so inspiring! I agree with Bradley that working part-time and remotely offer a type of freedom. I work remotely most days days and this set up will allow me to work a lot longer than if I had to be in my office everyday. Unfortunately Am on more of a traditional track to retirement. However, I plan to use FI hacks to back this track more tolerable and still make the most of my time.

  2. Enjoyable interview with lots of great tips.

    One thing I wasn’t that agreeable with was his strategy for negotiating with the bosses to go part-time. “Everyone else is watching YouTube all day, boss, or drinking coffee and I’m so efficient…” sounded more like the office snitch to be honest. I’m sure his co-workers were delighted. Not sure I’d approach it from that angle if I were to do the same (even if what he was saying was true).

    Glad he ultimately got what he wanted though. Fair play to anyone redesigning their lives.

    • Totally agree, I never would’ve done that at my own company, certainly wouldn’t throw relationships under the bus to get a leg up. That was strategy used when applying at a company I had no prior experience with, more of an interview technique. If it were an internal move from full-time to part-time at a company I already worked for it would’ve been more along the lines of explaining inefficiencies in my current role and by correcting those inefficiencies I could get my job done in half the time for half the pay. No one wants to let you work a half day… but when they hear it’s half price their ears perk up.

  3. Having moved to part-time in 2018 this was interesting to me. I do think that paring down to 60% for me has been a great way to “tip my toe” as a early retiree so to speak while still accumulating in my retirement accounts. Those extra 2 days off per week have been so good for my mental/physical health.

  4. Once again I reluctantly listen to an episode which I initially believe to be irrelevant to my situation in life…. and pleasently discover it turns out to be an excellent choice. Hearing Bradley’s story was highly inspiring. It is truly awesome that he was able to build a customized lifestyle which allows a focus on his family, time to develop a successful side hustle and sets them closer to FI. I also appreciate the knowledge sharing of exactly how it was achieved.

    A couple of the many things I appreciate most about the FI community is the generous knowledge sharing and focus on what’s really important.

  5. A great episode and one I can relate to. Five years ago my wife and I each moved to a 4 day work week (different days off so only 3 days of childcare) to spend more time with kids. We never looked back.
    It was slightly unconventional at the time (I’m male and work in management consulting in financial services in London) but since then more people have followed suit.
    I posted a short article on LinkedIn with tips in case it helps anyone: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hard-core-project-delivery-four-day-week-daniel-birchwood

  6. I think pursuing a SFDC certification is a great option. As a sales manager I’ve used and trained others on the platform for years. Although I feel the last two episodes glossed over the fact Bradley gathered skills in SFDC in its early years. Doing the same thing today will yield different results. Now there are 10’s of thousands of people with qualifications and hundreds of thousands of sales people who would be extremely valuable potential admins. Still think it’s a great approach and worthwhile certification but let’s be realistic with Bradley’s experience and what others can expect.

    • I agree that getting in early was different, however by the time I swapped to part-time work it was 2016 when Salesforce was well saturated with certified employees. The fact remains more and more companies are using Salesforce, the company is growing exponentially and there is a shortage of qualified work in the field. You can be certified and be an awful worker, so if you’re certified and a focused hard worker you are better than 70% of your peers already. I have a friend I helped learn Salesforce in 2018, it took him 6 months to get reasonably comfortable, he hasn’t quit his day job yet but did make over 40k working side jobs as a Salesforce Contractor just last year. Did it take work and focus? Yes. Is it repeatable today? Yes. I live it, work in it and see it every day. Be aware of limiting beliefs!

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