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I used to be a public school teacher. Now I work as a 'middleman' government contractor and can travel when I want to.

Ana Altchek   

I used to be a public school teacher. Now I work as a 'middleman' government contractor and can travel when I want to.
  • Wes Fisher worked as a teacher when he signed his first government contract in 2020.
  • Fisher spends about an hour a day managing his contracts — he now has 14.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Wes Fisher, a 35-year-old government contractor. This essay has been edited for length and clarity. Business Insider verified his identity, contracts, and earnings.

I used to be a special-ed teacher at a public school in Ohio, making around $50,000 annually. I worked with students who faced a wide range of challenges and it was tough work.

During the pandemic, I decided I would use my stimulus check to invest in a course. I looked into Amazon, crypto, day trading, and Airbnb.

One day, I stumbled upon someone in a podcast interview talking about working as a "middleman" for the government. The rest is history.

Working as a middleman

There are different kinds of roles involved in government contracting. I work as a middleman, which means I'm the prime contractor and I bid on the opportunity. To do so, I go to and register my company.

The government then gives me an identifier called a cage code, which is attached to my company. Then I bid on the contracts myself by submitting a proposal, which explains how much I plan to charge and how I will do the work.

If I win an opportunity, I hire subcontractors to do the work.

For example, if I were to get a contract for chimney cleaning, I would partner with a professional chimney cleaning company. They would do the work and I would manage the deal.

The middleman strategy works because the government is looking for value-added services. A company may be great at what they do, but it may not know about government opportunities or how the bidding process works. My role is to get in touch with companies that can do the job and then make sure they complete it.

I manage the team's schedule, invoice their hours, and do the administrative tasks.

People are attracted to this job because it can be done here at my house with my computer. I have contracts in California, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Florida and Louisiana. I have a contract in Louisiana for pest control, but I'm not the one setting up the traps.

I don't physically do it, but I add the value of coordinating the deal and making sure the job gets done.

I've signed 14 contracts

I've signed 14 contracts since I started in 2020 and I have five active contracts that I'm running and getting paid for. I've signed contracts in all kinds of sectors, including landscaping, HVAC cleaning, and construction.

My first contract was for Catholic services in the federal prison in California. I'm not Catholic and I don't live in California, but I won a five-year contract for Catholic services.

So I found a chaplain to do the job. I've only spoken to him on the phone and I don't even know what he looks like. But when he goes to that prison, I get paid.

Eventually, I signed a five-year contract to lease fleet vehicles to Forest Services in Utah, in which the government could request up to $1 million in vehicle orders.

As a pre-approved vendor for this contract, the government could choose my company to carry out the orders over a five-year period and pay up to $1 million. I get paid in increments depending on the length of my contracts and I also have to pay my subcontractors — so I don't get a $1 million paycheck from that contract.

But overall, I'm managing the deals from afar and made a profit of around $75,000 last year from government contracting without doing the physical work.

I put in about an hour of work on government contracting every day

I spend about an hour a day on government contracting. I'm not the one cutting the grass, so there's nothing for me to do on a day-to-day basis with my contracts.

I have a team member that I work with now as well, and we work on finding opportunities, getting quotes, and submitting proposals. I submit one proposal a day to the federal government because it's not about getting rich tomorrow, it's about securing as many contracts as possible.

It takes me about two or three minutes to find 10 opportunities available, then about 10 minutes to look up companies that do the job, and then I spend the rest of the hour calling them and seeing who would be interested and available for the job.

I'm not always submitting the proposal that same day, but I'm in a continuous cycle of identifying opportunities and I always have companies in the pipeline for proposals.

The mobility freedom has been a game changer

The biggest difference with my lifestyle now is I can stay at home and make more money while doing so. That's a level of freedom I never had before.

Now that I've won multiple contracts, I also have time to work on other personal projects. Since starting this work, I've been able to create my own online course in government contracting.

The lifestyle change has given me the opportunity to travel at my own discretion. Dubai and Jamaica were my biggest highlights last year.

I recently went on a spontaneous train ride from Chicago to San Francisco. My friend texted me and asked me if I wanted to go, and I thought, why not? I'm currently on a trip in Panama.

Have you found success in government contracting? Email the reporter at

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