I've been a very high level copywriter/digital marketer for about 15 years now and I'm sort of at a crossroads. After having the heart attack last year and losing my biggest clients from being out of work for a few months, I've scraped by while slowly getting my finances back in order. The early months are always slow for me- I usually make $2-4k/mo up until April or May and then I start having $10-15k months, working around the clock and debating whether or not I need to hire a few assistants. I never actually do though because of the instability...and now I realize that my health is more important than spoiling kids and taking amazing vacations. I've averaged around $80k a year up until the heart attack....it's always massive ups and downs with income levels though and I think it's time to do something different. So I have four options at the moment and I honestly don't know what to do. I'll run through them real quick and hopefully you guys can help me decide. Option #1 is to keep doing what I'm doing, only smarter (focus on high end clients with monthly retainers/guaranteed work). I can piece together close to a six-figure income working for 3-5 large marketing firms but I still have the same problem- one week is 100 hours and the next month I have nothing. Even though this is the most profitable route, it's also the most stressful since I frequently get laid off/picked back up. If one of these clients gets slow, the freelance folks are the first to be placed on hold. I have a current project of $250/day (starting this week), plus 3-5 other side jobs that have averaged $600/wk. over the past few months (w/ very long-term clients). All of this income could disappear in a few months though...or it could double...that's just how it goes. Option #2 is ghostwriting memoirs and self-help books for a variety of clients. These jobs are $20-40k for 3-4 months of work and they're extremely hard to come by, but I'd realistically only need to write 2-3 books a year. Still, there's a lot of chasing work, consulting, etc before I actually get hired..sometimes it takes months. So it's tough to commit to full time but this is also what I'm the most passionate about. I have a $25k book to start in about 10 days with an old friend/colleague if I want it. And I really freaking want it! The book also pays 33% up front and that would save our broken finances immediately. Option #3 is to take a job at a rising online eCommerce store- I think I have the job at $65k a year plus ridiculous benefits. This would be a full time, work from home job with unlimited vacation, profit sharing, 401k, premium insurance, etc...it's an absolute dream job for someone like me and I love the leadership/company culture here. This is the obvious move and probably the smartest choice, but it pays the least and I'd have to get rid of most/all of the side jobs. I would have real balance though, awesome job security and I could work from anywhere. Option #4 is another old friend- I signed an NDA so I can't talk about his business. It would pay around $5k a month salary & no other benefits, but the goal is to ultimately sell his company in the next 6-18 months for a very, very big number and take a hefty commission. It's low risk/easy schedule with an extremely high potential reward at the end...possibly in the low/mid 7 figure range. The downside is that I'd also have to be exclusive since this is a ton of work, but it could also lead to me being semi-retired in a year or two from now. So this one is almost impossible to pass up. So what do I do? I'm thinking of taking the regular job (#3) and doing the book as well (#2), which means 100+ hour weeks for the next few months (which was common for me pre-heart attack). It solves my money problems today and gets me caught up quickly...but I'd be a fool to pass on #4 since this person/company is the real deal with an amazing opportunity. Or do I just keep doing what I know being 100% self-employed with the ups and downs? It will pay the bills....but it will also eventually kill me.