Making It Happen
I’ve waited a long time to write this post…… For nearly three years now I’ve been trying to sustain progress on the project whilst balancing the demands of full time employment, family, friends and a ‘normal’ life. For the most part I think I managed fairly well but, as regular readers will know, this last 6 months or so saw things change. It started with frustration at lack of progress and developed into a burning desire to change things. I realised that if ‘Gleda’ were ever to be finished and, even more importantly, if I was ever going to go sailing seriously, then I had to achieve two things. I needed more free time and I needed more money. Not much to ask for eh?!! It would probably be easier to find the Holy Grail! My old self would have said “dream on…. and keep buying the Lottery tickets because there’s no other way sunshine”. Well I’ve changed, I’m no longer prepared to accept that, I’m no longer prepared to be one of the ‘unlucky’ ones watching with envious eyes those who have it all. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can get to where I want to be, it’s just a matter of wanting it badly enough…. and I do!
So how do I get more time and more money? Well time is fairly easy isn’t it? Where do most of us spend the bulk of our waking hours? Working for ‘The Man’ so as to have enough money for shelter sustenance and maybe a bit of pleasure. Now I know that’s not true for those who have a vocation and truly love what they do, but I submit that the majority of us would quit tomorrow if we had enough money in the bank. How did we get to a point in our civilisation where it’s considered admirable to defer real freedom to enjoy life until the age of 65 or later! I thank Tim Ferriss for illustrating this point so well in his book The 4-hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich. In the book he describes retirement as ‘Worst-Case-Scenario Insurance’ – Here is the exact text:
Retirement planning is like life insurance. It should be viewed as nothing more than a hedge against the absolute worst case scenario: in this case, becoming physically incapable of working and needing a reservoir of capital to survive. Retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed for at least three solid reasons:
- It is predicted on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a non-starter, nothing can justify this sacrifice.
- Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hot dogs for dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4% per year. The math doesn’t work. The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That’s a bittersweet ending.
- If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hard-working machine. If that’s the case, yes, what? One week into retirement, you’ll be so damn bored that you’ll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You’ll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kind of defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn’t it?
By the way I read Tim’s book some time back and it’s really thought provoking. Although there’s some stuff in there that may be difficult to go with, the basic thrust of his theories, as can be seen from the text above, actually fit perfectly with those of us contemplating a long term life afloat. I recommend it, without doubt it was the starting point for where I am now.
Anyway to get back on track, the answer to finding more time was obvious….. give up the day job. That leaves a bit of a glaring problem however, I don’t have money in the bank. That led me to start thinking about alternative ways to generate income that allowed more flexibility, and did not demand my constant attendance or attention. This is what I have been working on over the past months and although I have yet to earn a penny I now know what I need to do and more than that I know without doubt that it will work (more on that later). All that was required was for me to take massive action and make it happen. So, last week, I gave one months notice to quit the secure, well-paid day job! I can tell you that it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, my self belief is high, but a decision like that is contrary to every rule in society’s book. If people doubted my sanity when I announced I was building a boat they now have no doubts that I should be sectioned immediately! Strangely once the deed was done, my overwhelming feeling was one of relief. At last I was free to be honest and open about my plans and to focus on achieving them. An hour later, however, there was an unexpected twist. my employer, who to their credit, claimed understanding and acceptance of my reasons for resignation, suggested that a compromise could be reached. The end result is that I have signed a new six months rolling contract to work part time three days a week. To be honest, it was a bit of a no-brainer and works well for both parties.
So there we have it. A new chapter commences. I have shifted the balance towards my final goal, and I am free to make the best use of my time and free be more open about my plans. There are some scary times ahead and I’m under no illusions that it will be easy, but as I said, my mind is set and I will get there. If you’ve read this far, you have my thanks for your interest. Over the next few weeks, I will be working towards the change and I can promise many interesting things ahead for those that choose to follow me.