I started writing this post while sitting in the local pub in Ohakune on Friday, a small New Zealand ski village, sipping on a cold cider and listening to some chilled out background music. I finished it off in the Brisbane airport after an awesome 36 hour short holiday. That is what I call being truly location independent and why I feel it’s time to write the truth.
It’s been on my mind for some time you see. I believe there are one too many people lying about their designer lifestyles. About their ability to just work when they feel like it because they only need to send one email to rake in loads of cash. People who try to make us believe there is such a thing as the Four Hour Work Week, when even Tim Ferris doesn’t work that little.
Those people who like to conjure up images of them sitting on the beach, sipping on a cocktail while making millions from affiliate advertising, outsourcing everything to the Philippines, several niche websites or a series of information products they’ve produced.
I’d like to call them out on it. I’d like to state publicly that I believe they are lying.
They are lying to you, they are lying to me and more importantly they are lying to themselves. It’s time to call bullshit on the countless con-artists who are trying to make a buck out of selling the designer lifestyle, the location independent dream when in reality they are either just struggling to make ends meet, or they’re working like dogs to make big money.
You see I am set on living my life by these values – creating freedom in business and adventure in life. Not working as little as possible and becoming a millionaire. Life would be very dull with all that money and time on your hands. Half the excitement and sense of fulfillment is in the challenge of continuing to reach your potential, and then extending yourself even further – don’t you think?
If you’re like me and other location dependent freedom seekers, then you work hard but usually smart. You create systems (that work for you), that make you more efficient so you can work on what you love doing more often. You choose where to travel next based on whether that makes you feel happy, energized and alive. Sometimes you do it for the challenge, or the adventure and sometimes because it’s practical.
You are equally as comfortable sleeping on the floor or a couch as you are staying in a swanky 5 star hotel, because in reality it’s the company you keep, the people you meet and the attitude you choose that counts, in business and in your personal life. It’s the things money can’t buy that truly make you feel lucky to be alive.
The Truth Is You Choose Your Own Reality
If you aspire to earn millions and own a luxury yacht, million dollar mansion and have a new pair of designer shoes each week then good luck to you, and might I suggest you’re in the wrong place if you’re reading this.
This blog is all about making the most of every single moment, not wasting time stuck in a situation you hate, and instead choosing to live your best life, by doing what you love, turning that into something you can profit from to the extent that you will be ridiculously happy and make others feel the same.
Business and pleasure can and do mix very well – if you choose to let them. Here’s the truth:
There is no such thing as a four hour work week
Really, there isn’t. I’ll tell you why. Who on earth only wants to work for four hours in a week? What can you possibly achieve that would be meaningful, and make a difference in your world and that of others? If you love your work why would you cut it down to 4 measly hours?
Why on earth would you outsource everything you love to do (and the stuff you don’t) so that you can sit on a beach, telling people you’re sitting on a beach with no work to do? Who else is sitting on that beach with you? I can guarantee no one you’d really want to be sitting there with as they are all off working or playing!
Perhaps it’s just me but the day I have it so sorted that I no longer need to work will be the day I stop living a life that matters. I am definitely not condoning 70+ hour work weeks where you slave away and realize that you’re only paying yourself $4 per hour.
I do believe you should choose to spend your hours on this earth pushing yourself to live your best life and constantly innovating, producing, shipping and achieving as well as having a ton of fun. If that’s 10 hours per week working and 20 hours per week playing and 10 hours per week giving then you choose. Just know what your ideal lifestyle is and then set your goals to head towards it each and every day.
Money Is Not the Be All and End All
I feel rich, yet I’m not – not in the sense that other people would judge by. And I’m happy to say I don’t hang out with those kind of people where they judge by what material possessions you have and what you earn. More and more people seem obsessed with money, wealth and earning as much as possible with little regard as to what this actually buys them.
Yes money can buy you independence, it can buy you a sense of freedom, it can buy you a whole lot of things that you don’t really need (property, fancy cars, designer clothes, kitchen gadgets, extra shoes, the latest gimmicks). But it can not buy you happiness.
That honestly comes from within. It comes from accepting that without all matter of material possessions, titles and status, you are just another human being who loves, eats, sleeps and shits like everyone else. The best thing you can have in life is your health, your happiness and your loved ones.
Having No Fixed Abode Isn’t Always That Sexy
Living in different countries, travelling when you feel like it, cruising the world on a yacht, buying an island to party with your friends all sounds pretty awesome – and to be fair those things are the major benefits to being location independent and designing your own lifestyle.
True it’s great to know you can work from anywhere you choose, when others are slaving away at a 9-5 job or still roaming the streets they grew up in, having never set foot outside their city let alone their state.
What people tend to dismiss is the constant state of being packed, of living out of a suitcase, of not having one home base. You neglect to think about the friends you may make on your travels that you then have to leave behind, of constantly having to discover where your local services are and establish a routine for yourself that works for you.
It’s about the challenge of setting up in a new location, it’s about learning new languages, discovering rich cultures, figuring out what to do when the local bank doesn’t recognize your bank cards, when the local restaurant won’t serve you a vegetarian meal, when you’re left stranded in a location you have no idea about.
It’s also about appreciating what you have when you’re back home, or the last location you lived in, and being grateful for what you do have when you visit places where they have so little.
Is this Your Ideal Life?
The next time you say to someone who seems to be living the lifestyle you want – ask them what they think is the best thing about their life and decide whether it’s really for you, or whether the thought of that life is what appeals most.
If their eyes light up when they describe their passion for what they do, how much they love how they live then you have likely hit on a true location independent, digital entrepreneur with the right mindset and sense of fulfillment you desire. Buy them a drink and find out how you can join them.
PS If you meet me around the world feel free to buy me a drink and I’ll happily tell you why I love my life!