Just before the financial panic of 1893, Elbert Hubbard went out on a limb for a career change. He didn’t plan to leave during an economic downturn. He gave notice and drew up his separation agreement with his partner, John Larkin, in the fall of 1892. Hubbard, having been a partner at a very successful soap company had options and money available to him that may not match the average Joe’s circumstances today, but he was not assured that this new venture as a writer would be a success. It was still a gamble.
When Elbert Hubbard decided to leave the Larkin Soap Company, his share was bought by his partner John Larkin. With that money he made investments to provide for his family while he went to college to prepare for his career change. As described by Elbert in a letter to his parents, "I have placed my funds even beyond the reach of my own indiscretion on long time mortgages on real estate in different localities (so the eggs are not in one basket) and only the interest will be paid to me. This will yield about $3,000.00 a year. My expenses of household, etc., are 2,000.00, so you see I will still have a thousand a year for whoever needs it most. In addition to this I have our little farm at E. Aurora, a thousand acres in Kansas and Colorado and 80 acres in Orange trees in Florida."
He was remarkably well diversified - especially geographically - and was able to live on this income while he worked at his writing and drummed up business for himself as a publisher. His planning, creativity and dogged determination made his dream a success. Those elements can work for anyone in today’s market too.
Excerpt from As Bees in Honey Drown by Charles F. Hamilton, p 54