How many lunches would look like this?
It is tough to make major changes to your life at the same
time as working a full time job, having a full time girlfriend and also trying
to have a bit of a social life. This process is going to be a journey of
sacrifice as well as development, so if you are planning a similar thing then I
would get yourself in the mind-set early doors that you are going to have to
give up on one or two things that you want to do, safe in the knowledge that it
will all be ok in the end! Well, at this stage we are hoping it will be, but I
am sure you will have more of an idea as to where you are going than I do right
now, that will evolve over the coming weeks and months. Amongst the daily grind
and domestic commitments (she will love being called that), I have made a
couple of progressions this week. The main research I have been doing is
surrounding building a website as I see this as a key area of development for
me. So much of our lives are online these days and for location independence to
work, an online presence is essential so far as I can see, so I think it is
vital that I put some serious time in to make sure I can function at a
reasonable level in this area. I don’t need to be Bill Gates, but at the same
time I need to be able to present both myself and my ideas in such a way that I
can offer value to clients, whoever they may be. Thanks to a few google
searches and a bit of reading around various article comments I have set my
sights on KompoZer to start with. It is billed as a “what you see is what you
get” web design tool which should fit my needs for the time being. I haven’t
spent too much time with the actual program itself as yet but the videos I have
watched on youtube are enough to suggest that I may be able to construct something
useful with it initially and we all have to start somewhere right?! This video
was the first that I watched and used as I started an initial dry run.
The other major decision I have made is to commit to
personal development, although this blog acts as a record really of this
process, I think it is important to be able to allocate resources where
possible to this kind of thing so I am setting aside a bit of money each month
to spend purely on furthering my quest. Now, some people might be able to
afford a fair bit each month on this, so the extent to which you can take it
will be personal to you, you might be able to blow £2,000 a month on going to
listen to top notch speakers giving away their best advice, or pay to have a private
audience with a particularly successful entrepreneur. My budget is more modest,
£50 per month. I think with a combination of a few books here, the odd coffee
or lunch meeting there and a lot of dedication to finding answers, I should be
able to garner enough information to put me in a decent position on most
subjects. I will offer a bit of context here as well, I don’t have an extensive
network of contacts that I am able to call upon. The majority of my friends
work for corporations, none of them are self-employed, none of them have
followed the path that I am looking to follow and none of them have ever built
a business, this is really a start from scratch project and hopefully I can
prove that if I can do it then you really can do it also.
I have been reading and fantasising about being location independent and working for myself for a few years now. When I first read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris it was a real light bulb moment for me. What he was saying and doing was what I had always wanted but had never really had the ability to visualise, or felt like I could afford to do it. I now regularly read Tim’s blog and have consequently started reading and following people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Kevin Rose, Ramit Sehti and Cody McKibben and sit in front of my screen with a sense of excitement tinged with self loathing as I realise how kick ass all these guys have been over the time I have been reading and how, well, just shit I have been in the same time period. Since that first reading 3 or 4 years have passed and I am still working the rat race, sitting behind my desk speaking to people who don’t really appreciate the hard work I am putting in and getting paid less than you would deem acceptable for the stress and pressure I have to endure. It feels like now has got to be the time.
So here we are, this is the moment where I start the wheels in motion to get to my destination. I have a little over 6 months until I turn 30, by which time I want to have a firm idea as to how I make my escape and in 12 months time I want to have made huge strides towards it. I have no doubt got a huge amount to learn and really that is what the next 6 months is about. I wanted to put it all up on screen so that I am accountable to my actions or inaction, and I can document the things that I learn along the way. I am determined that this blog will document my path to success, showcase my failures as well as there will be many, but ultimately act as a constant reminder of what I am working towards.
Let me give you a bit of background so that you can understand my situation, my limitations and responsibilities. I am 29, I live in Kent which is about 40 minutes south of London. I live with my girlfriend and we rent. I have a mortgage on another rental property that just about cleans it’s own face although the housing crisis has wiped off enough of the value to put it in negative equity for the time being at least. I, ironically enough, work as a mortgage adviser and have done for 6 years pretty much straight from University. I am a huge football fan and my team is Aston Villa, perennial underachievers but as I tell my friends, if you support a team that wins all the time you don’t get the same passion and excitement as those who really strive to succeed against the odds, still it would be nice if we won something, anything, even a crossword competition would be a start. I am an amateur photographer thanks to my girlfriend inexplicably buying me an expensive Canon camera earlier this year, I think she wanted one as well! Travelling is something that I love and wish we could do more. I missed opportunities when I was younger to spend long periods of time abroad which I regret to an extent, however I think visiting new places holds greater importance for us now. I have a general grasp of computing but I am a million miles away from being able to do anything myself that is technical, this in itself is going to be a major area of learning for me as I try to make this blog look presentable and not like an 8 year olds IT homework.
So I hope you can join me for the next few months, hopefully I can write stuff that you want to read and will enjoy commenting on. I think finding similarly minded people is hugely worthwhile. Your friends are your friends but it doesn’t automatically mean that they will be interested in all the same things as you are, so casting that net a little farther is no bad thing.