Did I Just Get Myself a New Job?

I read somewhere recently that no matter what stage of life you’re in, making a little money helps fulfill you even if you’re retired or don’t even need the money.

And as we settle better into WifeFI here I’m realizing just how true this may be!

Earlier last month a good friend reached out and asked if I wanted to help him with some projects over at a new board game publishing company he just signed onto. He recently came on board as their Director of Marketing, and as usual we try to rope each other into our new endeavors to continue the fun ;) Even if we have no experience in the fields we get ourselves into! I couldn’t tell you jack about the gaming world except that of course Monopoly is the undisputed G.O.A.T of all time (don’t @ me!).

But it’s been a blast so far, and true to that tidbit above, I’ve been very much enjoying the extra income as well. It’s hard to explain it exactly, but it’s a different kind of productiveness. One that feels distinct from a 9-5 or even a part-time job, but not nearly as rewarding as volunteering or being a Stay-At-Home Daddy (which ironically neither pays and one actually COSTS money, lol). But it does add a nice varied strand of productiveness that I didn’t notice was missing and will now have to incorporate it into my “ideal lifestyle.”

In fact, this new gig is a unicorn too and hits 3 out of 3 from the Triad of Hustling! My formula for knowing whether a project is worth taking on or not, or vice versa: deciding whether to KILL one or not.

The three variables of this triad are:

  1. The amount of TIME the project requires
  2. The amount of MONEY the project pays
  3. And then, sometimes most importantly, the amount of FUN the project is

Hit just 1 of the 3 favorably and it’s not worth pursuing at all. Hit 2 of the 3 and it’s a good possibility it’s worth it! But hit 3 of the 3 and it’s a guaranteed home run :) And, so far, this new board game gig has felt like an absolute home run. I get to work with my good friend and on *my own time*. It only requires about 5-10 hours/week. And, as we get farther and farther away from working full-time, it’s been nice dusting off my skills again and putting them back to use (I was brought on to help them build a community).

I’ll also admit I’m having a fantastic time learning about a whole other space out there that I didn’t even know existed! There’s soooooo many influencers in the gaming world just as there are in the PF space (maybe even more?), and again like the PF world they’re super inclusive and just trying to get people excited and learning *in real life*. From YouTubers to podcasters to TikTok’ers to bloggers it’s a pretty thriving community!

And then of course it’s always nice to get paid fairly for helping out. Making me feel even more secure in my decision to kinda-sorta-but-not-all-the-way retire, lol…

I plan on using this money to cover all the unexpected parts of life, like flat tires and medical bills (I just had to get another round of infusions* for my disease – ugh!) as well as the GOOD unexpected parts like shiny new “wants” or books or new places to donate to. We haven’t tapped any of our investments during this semi-retirement (my wife’s income pays the bills, thus Wife-FI!) but some months we do drain a little from our savings so this will be a nice way to stay topped off there too.

So yeah, I’m a game board nerd now – watch out! Anyone else immersed in this booming community?? Or attend any of the millions of conferences all around the world??! (That’s right – there’s even BOARD GAME CONFERENCES!)

Couldn’t have ever forecasted this one, but you never know what’ll come out of the Year of The Flow… Clear eyes, full hearts, baby! Anything can happen! :)


j. money signature

UPDATE: And now I’ve been laid off from said new board game gig!!! Lolol….  53 days into it and the universe taketh away almost as fast as it giveth 😂 Was fun while it lasted at least!

*Did I already tell you how much these infusions cost for my Pemphigus? $20,000 a piece! And I always have to do a round of TWO! Thankfully insurance pays a bulk of it (my total comes down to $1,600 out of pocket from the $40k+) but man, medications these days are no joke… Don’t ever get sick, OK? ;)

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  1. Susan July 7, 2023 at 8:54 AM

    Love it J! I smiled when you finally (?) told us what WIFE-FI was, why didn’t I figure it out. Perhaps not enough Java?
    Glad to hear you have another adventure in the works.
    Love and Peace to all, Ringo’s BD today, 7/7.

  2. Karen Rust July 7, 2023 at 8:54 AM

    Your new “gig” sounds really exciting and fun! I love it that you keep yourself open to many opportunities.
    My son is an IT Architect and really wasn’t having much “fun” until he took a job with a gaming company and not is having a blast creating for them. He said it’s not all about the money (although it’s nice) but he really enjoys what he does. It doesn’t feel like a “job” but more like entertainment. His “passion” is building things he sees. (dirt bikes, computers, furniture, etc.) His son is following in his footsteps: a lot of “wants” so he devises ways to make money to make the “wants” happen. Last week it was a lemonade stand. (he made $78 in about 2 hours and had to stop when the sugar ran out…)
    Anyway, I am always interested in your adventures. (and, so sorry to hear about your medical issues. That can be challenging but thank goodness for insurance!
    All my best to you and the family as you continue your adventures!

    1. J. Money July 7, 2023 at 10:21 AM

      Thanks Karen!! I’d get along well with your son!! Can he make me a skate ramp in my back yard pleassssssee???? 😂

  3. Lucas July 7, 2023 at 10:04 AM

    I think I would definitely count as a board game nerd :-) I might disagree with Monopoly being the GOAT but I guess i can still be your friend if you want to stick to it ;-) . I am actually in final stages on designing my own board game (have been working on the art work for the last 2 years and almost done). I haven’t decided if i am going to try to kick start it, or work with a publisher yet, so any words of wisdom you have their would be awesome, and appreciated.

    1. J. Money July 7, 2023 at 10:33 AM

      Oh man – that is sweet!! Will you DM me any links or images when they’re ready to be shown?!

      I’d 100% consider doing Kickstarter… I’m still learning the ins and outs here, but I swear that 7 out of 8 games I come across fundraised through them! Even some of the bigger names that don’t even need the money! (They do it all for marketing). So based on that alone I’d say it’s a good idea, but still very much getting my feet wet here :)

      Also be sure to *submit* it to other publishing houses too… from what I’ve seen that’s another route people have taken where they sell it/partner up with a publishing house to make it under their umbrella, and then of course they help get it to more markets and such as well… So you do lose some “ownership” in it, but on the flip side more people find it :) Just depends what your ultimate goal is of course. 👍

      1. Lucas July 7, 2023 at 11:23 AM

        Thanks for the info/thoughts. My day job keeps me pretty busy, so I may need some help getting across the finish line on the publishing, I will message you with a couple pictures. I think you will get a kick out of some of the art and what i am using for my game testing boxes ;-)

  4. Paula July 7, 2023 at 10:22 AM

    Hey, I’m also on infusion treatments. Not sure if you are aware, but every drug company that produces ridiculously-priced name brand drugs offers help with the copays, and the income max is pretty high. Just look up copay help and the drug name. Might be surprised.

    My infusions would cost 37 grand a piece, and about 12 grand with insurance, but the company is covering most of my out of pocket.

    1. J. Money July 7, 2023 at 10:35 AM

      OH WOW!! I did not know that – thank you!! Will go look it up right now!!!

      (And hope the infusions are working well for you!!!)

  5. Jamison July 7, 2023 at 10:36 AM

    Honestly, WifeFI doesn’t sound like a bad gig lol. Good for you though that you’ve found something that you’re enjoying and even pays a little bit. I’m not much of a table top game nerd, but if you want to talk videogames…I’m definitely your guy! haha

    1. J. Money July 10, 2023 at 7:43 AM

      Thanks Donna :) Hope the sun comes out for you all out there!! We need all your energy and creativity back into this world! 🌞

  6. Financial Fives July 7, 2023 at 1:55 PM

    Have a blast, J! Sometimes the best experiences come out of nowhere, good on your friend for reaching out to you and offering something that fits the trifecta. The best part of trying new gigs like this is that if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t matter! You’re not relying on it, it’s just the cherry on top.

    Thank you for blessing us with another update. Can’t wait to hear how this gaming gig goes!

    1. J. Money July 10, 2023 at 7:47 AM

      Thanks dude!! You’re exactly right – it’s all just fun and extra. A much better position to be in at a job than being forced into it for one reason or another!

  7. freddy smidlap July 7, 2023 at 3:31 PM

    sounds like fun to me, especially when you don’t need the money badly. our house is like your situation with me still working but mrs. smidlap fully retired teh past 2-3 years. it’s always nice when she can bring in something from either ebay sales or selling her art. we don’t strictly “need” it but when you treat it like a bonus the money seems sweeter.

    rock on!

    1. J. Money July 10, 2023 at 7:47 AM

      you know it, brother!

      would love to see some of that art? any place online she showcases it?

  8. Silke July 8, 2023 at 11:35 AM

    I am German and have a shelve with 30-40 Board games, only for the grown ups. The Kids have each about 20, fitted for age group.
    In think we are a bit above average, even for Germans. But most Germans will have 5-10 I guess.
    Germany is the World Center of Board games. So welcome in our World dude.

    1. Liz July 10, 2023 at 1:06 AM

      J, You and I must have a very different relationship with Monopoly. We were playing with friends and early teens our younger. Something set someone off and they flipped the board, pink and orange money everywhere, and they was hurling houses and hotels as I tried to get my sister and brother out of the room.
      Since then I am selective about who I play board games with.
      Friends got us one called “Smart Ass” (complete with donkeys as your pieces and donkeys on the board and question cards). It’s a trivia game but we decided we could ditch questions we didn’t think anyone else at the table would get. Good fun, but some odd questions too.

      Wishing you lots of fun and success with the new job!

      1. J. Money July 10, 2023 at 7:52 AM

        @Liz – sounds about right w/ monopoly 😂 Either ends with someone getting pissed or (more typically) taking too long and the other one just simply gives up, haha… But for those who finish it gracefully it is joyous!!

    2. J. Money July 10, 2023 at 7:50 AM

      @Silke Haha love it!!

      Y’all have one of the biggest conventions too over there – The Spieltage SPIEL! Would love to come out one year for it – would be such an experience I feel like :)

  9. Matt @ Menagerie Games July 11, 2023 at 2:17 PM

    You’re lucky your friend hired you. If Monopoly comes up as the GOAT of board gaming during an interview, I’m not hiring them.

    While the day job pays the mortgage and major bills, my wife and I have enjoyed owning and operating Menagerie Games for the last 6 years after August. Having a place for people to disconnect from their phones and technology is more relevant than ever. We like to think of ourselves as a board game shop, but Magic the Gathering is the majority of sales these days.

    If you’re looking for some good board game conventions check out GenCon in Indianapolis, IN (in August) and Origins in Columbus, OH (sorry just missed this one, it is typically in June).

    1. J. Money July 12, 2023 at 6:45 AM

      YES!! Disconnecting is fantastic!! Such a great way to bring community *together* too in a fun, healthy, way… Congrats on the 6 years!

  10. Rita July 13, 2023 at 3:22 AM

    Sounds like fun. I sure wish you and your friend and the other board people you’re working with can get kids off their phones. Or, are these board games on their phones now?

    1. J. Money July 13, 2023 at 6:56 AM

      HAH!! Definitely board games in real life :)

  11. Mel July 13, 2023 at 11:58 AM

    Very cool about the board game publishing job! I built an RPG with some friends from undergrad over the last year as a creative outlet besides studying and it has really been surprisingly fun. You’re right about how wild it is to learn a new community – the gamers are definitely an enthusiastic and welcoming gang.

  12. J. Money July 13, 2023 at 2:35 PM

    Awesome!! Do y’all still play it? Can you buy it anywhere?! Great way to pour in your creativity :)

  13. Amy July 22, 2023 at 3:25 PM

    You should check out the JoCo Cruise in the spirit of Board Game Cons. It is that and so much more.

    1. J. Money July 24, 2023 at 10:50 AM

      Okay wow – that looks legit!! you could even bring non-board game friends since it’s still a *cruise* w/ all those fun amenities :)

      Here’s the link to it if anyone wants to check it out: https://jococruise.com/


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