On June 23, 2010 Amara and I had sold almost all of our possessions, quit our current jobs and moved to Europe for an indefinite period of random travel and life experiences. Part of my intention in coming here was to simplify and get away from the daily distractions of regular life. To have the mental space to really consider how I wanted to live in the next 5-10 years.
About a month into the trip I realized we had been so ‘busy’ trying to ‘simplify’ our life that I hadn’t taken the time to invest quality thought into what the heck I actually want to to.
Now I am living (by myself) in a house in Paris while Amara is in Berlin for the month of August. During this time I’m learning French during the week and have the evenings/weekends to myself. This is where I am finally easing into the mental space needed to get this thinking started.
Living in this house, completely alone, has been a pretty interesting experience. For the first week I was paranoid at night time. Being in a completely foreign house with weird sounds coming from all over made my imagination get a bit active, however it calmed down soon enough and now I’m much more comfortable here.
There is a lot of time spent in complete silence.
Some days I wake up motivated and ready to take on the world. I get up, do some vigorous exercise then head to school with a great attitude. Other days I drag myself out of bed, do no physical exercise and end up being late for school… with a much less-than-great attitude.
It’s only been today (after living here for 15 days) that I finally ‘get it’. It happened while I was doing internet research. I was looking for buddhist retreat centres near Berlin and was thinking about spending a week at one of these places. The goal was to take time to have mental space to think about life. Then I realized that I’m living that life this very minute.
I have a very peaceful, comfortable environment, all the amenities I could ever need., lots of physical space and lots of time to devote to quiet thought.
So here I am. Thinking. Of course I need to write down what I’m thinking because I forget. This is where the blog comes in.
Things that are important:
- Being free of monthly bills is a great feeling. Something I like to the idea of keeping for a long time. Yet at the same time I do want a house one day (whether it’s a rental or purchase I’m not sure yet).
- Having the time to pursue passions, spend time with friends/family, is awesome.
- Being able to inspire others through action/idea is vitally important.
- Literally ‘creating’ how I live is important.
- Having the money to do whatever I want is important.
Things I love:
- I love the topic of motivation,
- I love the topic of psychology,
- I love learning,
- I love using my body kinetically,
- I love adventurous stuff (skydiving, scubadiving, etc)
- I love thinking
- I love doing
- I love creating
- I love learning about nutrition and fitness
- I love teaching/instructing
- I love making money
- I love working really hard
- I love playing really hard
- I love time by myself
Things I will not tolerate:
- Living the way I’m “supposed to”
Working as an employee scratch the ’employee’ thing and read this post. What a good lesson.
- Living without questioning everything (starting with myself)
Amara and I have talked about joining forces on a new project during (or after) this trip. We both value a flexible lifestyle and figure that if we can build a business together it would be the best option. That being said, we haven’t come up with a ‘plan’ yet of exactly what that would be, or how it would work.
Here are some ideas:
Start a website (this is a given).
I’ve purchased a bodybuilding-related web domain and am thinking about what to do with it. Ever since leaving Canada I’ve craved a gym so bad (they’re not that accessible in France) and have thought about the kind of growth I experienced while training for the last competition. It left quite an impression on me.
This website may just be a bodybuilding-related blog, yet there is potential for other directions as well. It could sell vitamins and natural supplements, there could be event listings for bodybuilding competitions across Canada, it could showcase competitors, it could sell ebooks, have audio programs, offer virtual personal training. There are so many options. In one way, I want to do all of them and at the same time I know that focus is what brings success. More thinking to do here.
Become a Personal Trainer (virtual and/or in person)
Virtual requires time in front of a computer, which would be great to minimize. Yet it also provides location flexibility. In person is more active. Yet is very location specific and requires more marketing effort. Amara would also need to fit into this somehow. She’s not a numbers person, so she wouldn’t do the books. We would have to figure something out.
This is a great way to make passive income. Once the book is written it pays for itself within the first few sales. There would be a TON of time investment to research topics and create an effective collection of marketing strategies. I estimate 200 hours of effort to go from zero to having a complete book written, marketed and sold.
Open a store/franchise (ice cream store or something)
A bit more traditional and, well, the idea just feels nice. There’s something about going to work every morning that makes me warm and fuzzy inside. My favourite thing is to actually be the person that opens up the shop/store, turn on all the lights and warm the place up. I like routine. And just the idea of running a little ice cream shop (or something similar) feels good. Of course it means we would either be: location dependent, or have to have excellent employees. Realistically it would be a combination of both. The first year would like be lots of overtime on our part as we got trained, then trained a team of people to take over for us while we traveled.
Provide personal life coaching
This goal is more oriented to me specifically than to Amara and I both. It’s been a goal of mine for about 5 years now and was planned to be pursued in another 10 years. I used to think that a person couldn’t legitimately claim such a title without having at least been alive for awhile. That being said, this is a potential option. I’m not going crazy over it yet because I still feel it should be awhile before I would be qualified. It’s just that I’ve helped SO many people in the last year with all kinds of personal issues that maybe it’s time to start considering this.
I’ve got stupid amounts of motivation sometimes. When it burns, it burns red-hot. This is what makes businesses get off the ground. I’ve done it twice and will be doing it a few more times before I kick the bucket. I’ve considered helping new business owners by running their company for the first 1-2 years then stepping back as it grows. My only compensation would be a share of ownership and some ongoing income AFTER the business is profitable. It’s an idea.
Of course I could just start my own businesses then take on CEO’s to manage them for me as I pursue other passions. In general, I love business. But I don’t want to sell them. I think they can be an excellent source of ongoing revenue, and provide all kinds of opportunities for creativity. I picture having 4-5 businesses all running in the next 10 years and being able to jump into one (as an employee or contractor) for a couple months at a time, work my butt off, and have fun.
Grow or Modify Blueline Safety Ltd.
My current business. It was incorporate just before we left Canada. I put some trusted people in place to manage things for me and, at this time, I can actually work from my laptop in France and have services being provided to clients in BC while making money. It’s not huge by any means, but there is potential there. I just need to think more about how/if I will improve this model.
Start a Fitness Retreat Cente
I LOVE being fit, and I love helping others get fit. This could be a great way for Amara and I to live a healthy lifestyle while helping others. I picture a place where we would teach classes on nutrition and various types of exercise. It would be coupled with hikes, runs, yoga, weight training or any other physical activity we wanted to host.
This would also open up the idea of having ‘experts’ come onsite to run specialized workshops for meditation, vegan cooking or any number of health/fitness related ideas. It would also open up the opportunity to offer ongoing in person/virtual personal training services for people that wanted ongoing support after their retreat stay.
We could live in this place as our home base, and travel as we liked as long as there were trusted people to run the place while we’re away.
That’s all for now. There will be more soon.