Stuck in a rut?

A couple of strange things I have noticed recently is that you sometimes realise that time passes and you haven’t really got anywhere. Allow me to explain. The presenter of the UK version of big brother, Davina McCall, was interviewed on a talk show the other night. Big Brother has been a painful fixture on the TV schedules for 11 years and I can remember the first series. It is not something that I waste my time with now, but I realised that it felt like only yesterday when the show started and it is insane to think that over a decade has passed. I think that it is worth taking a look at what you have and haven’t achieved in that time and contrasting where you are now to where you want to be. In another ten years will you have taken the necessary actions to get you to where you want to be or will you be looking back at another decade of your life that has slipped away whilst a poor TV programme has been recommissioned each year?

One to ponder…

Overdue Update | Lifestyle Design in Action (soon)

Hello everyone – I know it’s been a long times since I’ve done and update, in fact nothing since my blogging birthday, but I’ve been very busy with various projects. There are now less than four months until my fiancée and I quit our jobs and head of for an extended career break. I decided that I need to do everything I can to create a location independent income so I’ve been working on a number of projects and taking everything I’ve learned and taught myself and taking action to make real progress. I’m pleased with the work I am doing now, but have a long way to go to start making an income. The target is that I will be able to in part fund our trip with an income earned online and remotely. The way I see it is that the more money I can earn online the longer our trip will be.

What I’ve been up to

I’m not going to reveal everything, because a) you probably won’t be that interested and b) I have no interest in pushing products or services on my readers. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring options for making money online, and one thing I have identified is that whilst there are a lot of opportunities out there it is important to establish a number of different income streams to establish a more reliable income source. So there are simple things like promoting affiliate products, to more complex activities like providing consultancy and services within my skill set. Needless to say, I have been working hard on both research and more importantly implementing these income streams. Whislt I’ve probably been running at 50% learning 50% doing, the balance is tipping now and I’m aiming to focus my time 75% on doing action orientated, money making activities whilst ticking over 25% of my time on exploring new opportunities and learning. As each day passes I learn more and it I think that it is important to keep learning to maintain interest and grow.

Lifestyle Projects

My main focus at the moment is the above activities related to quitting the 9-5 and establishing an income through other means. I am still focused on fitness too, though as always envisaged that is more of a habit that I maintain than a particular goal at the moment. I’ve dropped being in a band as a project now as it doesn’t fit too closely with traveling but I have plenty more to keep me going. I’ve got research to do for my trip, preparations for leaving to take in to account so I’ve certainly got plenty to do.

I’ve got a lot more to say, but I’ll get back to working on the above. I’ll post updates here on progress and other snippets of useful things as I see fit. Hope you are all well and taking action!

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Before I go I’d like to point you in the direct of the latest copy of Total Anabolism from Mark at the excellent Musclehack blog. This all natural muscle building system is the best resource I’ve ever found about weight training, fat loss and nutrition. I highly recommend you check it out it’s FREE and Mark’s blog is the best source of information on these areas I’ve ever found. This eBook is a well research, refined and proven method that I use myself.

Initial Concerns about leaving the 9-5 (and how to see the bigger picture).

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There comes a day in the life of many 9-5 workers, when you realise that staying static, doing the same job, traveling the same stretch of tarmac to work every day only to be delegated meaningless tasks and earn money for someone else, is not enough. We are conditioned from an early age, throughout our education and into the working and tax life, to strive for success and to follow a culturally acceptable path.

Realisation
This is not how life has to be. The greatest thing about living in the free world is the opportunity it affords us, and if we don’t stop dreaming and grab on to the life it is possible to have, we are destined to look back in five, ten or twenty years time and wish that we had made the most of the opportunities we have today.

The Questions Start
So you’ve decided that the 9-5 is not for you, and then the questions creep into your conscious thought. Some of these will be from friends and family in whom you have confided your plans, others will be pondered sub-consciously.

Money
For most individuals, the primary concern is likely to be financial security. Can I afford to quit the comfortable lifestyle I have now and risk not being able to earn in order to do this? The question should be, can your life afford to not to do this? Start saving now. If you are planning to run your own business to finance your lifestyle, you need a certain level of intelligence, and I’m sure that as a by-product of this requirement you will be able to set yourself a budget and start to understand what it is going to take to be free. Of course you may have to quit your job, if you are not in a profession where you can negotiate a remote working agreement, but you’ve held a job before and reached where you are today so there is no reason why you couldn’t do it again.

Family & Friends

No doubt you will have concerns about missing family and friends, and absolutely you should take into consideration your feelings for these people. A head-strong, independent person will be the kind of person who can fend for him- or herself. Technology is advancing all the time and staying in touch is easier than ever before. If you think about it, a lot of the communication you have with friends and family will not change from the phone calls, email, twits, IMs etc. that you do now – it’s just that you have more exciting stories to tell of your new lifestyle.

Life out of the office
So you’re accustomed to your big screen TV, your dishwasher and all the mod cons you currently have. You like your comfy bed and the fact that your local take-away knows your usual order when you call. Although there is comfort in routine and familiarity, this is exactly the lifestyle rut you have already identified that you don’t want to be stuck in (not that there is anything wrong with that if it is what suits you) and you are ready to make a change. Ask yourself if you can pack your life up into a single suitcase and say goodbye to your home comforts. I feel that you should look on this as an opportunity to simplify and refine your life – a lot of people find that this provides them with mental clarity and self-exploration like they have never found before.

Can I Make Money?
Can you work for yourself and run your own business? I’m tempted to go with a cliché and say that you don’t know unless you try. The fact is that you know your own strengths and weaknesses; you just have to admit them to yourself. Although, for cost reasons, often you will need to do a lot of tasks outside your skill set, there are support options out there. You can hire remote workers to take care of specific aspects of your business. Make sure that you network with people who already run their own businesses, or are in a similar market and who could therefore offer advice and support. Like many things, you really need to believe in yourself and trust your instincts. Make sure that you can work independently and put in the effort required to make it work.

Taking the Leap & The Bigger Picture
If and when you take the leap it will be scary, yet it is likely to be like ripping off a plaster. The anticipation is worse than the action and once it’s over you will wonder what you were worrying about (even if it hurt like hell for a few seconds). Try not to get bogged down in the details, but focus on the bigger picture of what you want for your life now and in the future. Don’t live in regret; grasp the life you want now.

What concerns have you had on the road to independence?

Image by Jef Safi on Flickr via Creative Commons
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  • Yep, I know my posting and Twittering has dwindled slightly recently. I’m still here, I’m just slowing things down, really. Interesting stuff coming!

Guest Post: Why I Blog, my Lifestyle Project by FrugalNYC

I’m very please to feature this is a guest post by my Twitter friend FrugalNYC. I’m looking for more guest posters to share an aspect of their Lifestyle Project. If you are interested please let me know!


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Why I Blog

So what is the definition of Frugal Living? To me, it is living below your means. Taking less from this blue planet than you give back. Spending less than your make so you have something for a rainy day. Better yet, it is about having a purpose and a goal. For me this is part being environmentally conscious.

Being “frugal” also means making the best of a situation with what you already have, and appreciating the fact that you have so much more than many people living today. Many people forget that Life is a “Gift”, and you need to live each day knowing this. You never really know whether you will still be around tomorrow. Just don’t let this fact stop you from living or preparing for the future. It’s all about having balance in life. Balance, in health, finance, spiritual and every other aspect of your life.

To really succeed, you have to be extraordinary. You need to believe that “YOU” are special and unique. You are the only one who can do things your special way. I’m not talking about self conceit. In a way, you have to fool yourself into being someone better than you are Today. That’s the journey I’m taking with my latest blog – Frugal Kaizen, and with all my other blogs. I aim to help and to be of help to anyone who find my writing useful.

Typical Tips From FrugalNYC

So what kind of tips do I usually have on my blog? I write about things that come across in my life. Things that inspire me to think and then write. Things that I can share and others in similar situations can benefit from. Some of what I write about are things that I find helpful as references for others as well as myself. I write a good deal about things to do in NYC for free. Public parks, Libraries, computing and I also delve into career and health. Frugal lifestyle practices are one of the staples of my blog as well.

FrugalNYC is part Travel blog, Finance blog, Tech blog, and little bits of other aspects of me mixed in. Initially, I had content about nearly everything of interest to me. Currently, the focus is more on Frugality, Finance and NYC as a destination for both visitors and locals.

I hope this post helps you identify who I am and what I believe in. I hope you’ll have a chance to drop by my blog and leave a comment or two on topics of interest to you. My blogs are in part, my “Lifestyle Project”.  I welcome any constructive criticism and ideas for improving my blogs.

I would like to thank Chris for giving me this opportunity to guest post on his blog!

For additional links to frugal tips and tricks follow me on Twitter. If you would like to contribute to FrugalNYC in any way feel free to contact me via email. Click here to add FrugalNYC to your RSS reader or Subscribe to FrugalNYC by Email.

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5 Ways to Begin your Digital Nomad Lifestyle Today

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Where you live as a digital nomad is flexible & fun!

When I look at the Lifestyle Projects that people share on this blog, there is a common theme of wanting to quit the 9-5. People have many reasons for wanting to do this, and it is not necessarily that people don’t want to work, it’s more about escaping the confines of the 9-5 environment and being free to live anywhere, work when you choose and be your own boss. As I transition to travel based blogging, and look towards my own break away, I have come across a variety of phrases such as digital nomad, location independent or flashpacker. The bottom line is that there are all people who work (usually online), but on not confined to a single office, desk or even country.

So you’ve made the decision that you want to transition into such a lifestyle. Unfortunately it won’t just happen overnight. By choosing to become location independent you have already realised that you will be working whilst changing your home location. This is probably for a number of reasons, but mainly because you understand that you are going to have to earn money to eat, and because you want to run your own business and hopefully will enjoy doing it. Just because you can’t start the location independent lifestyle overnight, doesn’t mean that you can’t start to make progress towards living that lifestyle now.

Here are 5 ways you can begin your location independent lifestyle today.

1. Brainstorm Ideas

You need to come up with a business that will support you. To do this you need to understand that the work you will be doing requires the need to be remote and be able to work around the globe with clients in different time-zones. I would suggest that you should see these elements as opportunities rather than constraints. With this in mind jot down all of your skills and take a look at what products and services your location independent business should be able to offer. Think about what you enjoy doing and where you talents lie.

2. Build your Online Presence

There is nothing stopping you registering a domain and knocking up a quick website (or hiring someone else to do it for you on a site such as Elance), to get you started. This will enable you to do a few things. First there is the psychological edge that you have a business to run. It will enable you to start practising the elements of running the business without quitting your day job. Secondly, you will be able to test markets and any work you do take on will be an important lesson in time management which will stand you in good stead when your next meal depends on it.

3. Build your Business Plan

Start your business plan today. A business plan – if done correctly – is an evolving document that not only sets out the framework for your business, but also evolves with it. Focusing on getting this important document done (which many business owners neglect) will focus your mind on what you want to achieve and enable you to start ironing out and issues and refining your business offering now whilst you have all the resources you need available to you.

4. Research Potential Locations now

Start researching locations now, even if you aren’t planning to go there anytime soon. This will make you aware of how to research accommodation and the office facilities that go with them. Make a few calls, try and get used to communicating with other cultures and whet your appetite for the lifestyle you are working towards. Build up knowledge of where to find this kind of information and the things to look out for.

5. Be Frugal

In the initial stages of your location independent lifestyle, as you build up a client base, and also later on with any changes in the economy or seasonal demand, there will be times when you have less spare cash. Adapt this way of thinking into your lifestyle now, so that it becomes second nature down the line. Once you take the plunge you won’t need many of the possessions you have now, so ask yourself if you really would want to carry that extra gadget etc. For an extreme exercise in this aspect of the lifestyle pack up all your belongings in a suitcase and set yourself a budget. Try and live within that budget and only use items in that suitcase for a couple of weeks and see how it takes your fancy.

Whilst your mobile lifestyle may not be here yet, you can certainly start living the lifestyle now and preparing for the road ahead.

What tips do you have to start your journey to independence?

Image by /ltus