Sounds great right? Most people disregard such a statement as unrealistic or overly-optimistic. “This is poppycock!” they say. For the most part these negative nancy’s are right; there are a very few people that will achieve the title to this blog post. The problem with negative nancy’s logic is that there are very few people that will actually try to make it happen. I’m talking about sitting down, writing a list of what you want out of life and detail a step by step plan to get you there. The vast majority of people’s brains shut off at the thought of doing this exercise. It’s way more comfortable to continue working at your same job, letting others determine your career advancement, value, and flexibility in life. It’s also much easier to not have to step outside of your comfort zone.
I have a problem with those that want the title to this blog post but never try. The problem I have is that it is really hard to work 40+ hours a week at a job you’re not passionate about. The way I look at it I can either 1) do nothing and progress slowly in a career I’m not passionate about- a hard option, or 2) try to achieve the title to this blog by detailing a plan and putting in some initial extra work- another hard option. To me either choice is hard, however, the latter is so much more fun and fulfilling.
If you are currently working in a career you are passionate about then do nothing- you’ve won!! You are one of the exceptions that was able to identify where their passions lie and monetize them so the bills get paid. I believe that not being able to monetize passions is main reason why so many people can’t align their passions with work. Are you a passionate painter? Unless your one of the best you better get a day job as an accountant. How about passionate about running? Unless you are a world-class sponsored marathoner you’ll be limited to being a weekend warrior. Should people not be able to follow their passions because they are not world class? Of course not.
So I started my plan. I detailed it out a few years ago and have been executing on it. My passions are music/singing, writing, running/hiking and personal development/speaking. It is very difficult to monetize these passions without being world-class, and I am NOT world-class. So how do I do it? After reading a few different books, the most important being the 5 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, it became clear that establishing income that is self-sustaining with my limited involvement is the best approach. The goal I’ve set out for is to create something that doesn’t require all my time that will fund the things I want to do. That way can complete a 12 mile hike in upstate NY on a Tuesday and not worry that I’m not making money doing it.
My plan consists of buying and renting multi-family real estate and forming a small product based business. Last year I bought a two family property; I live in one unit and collect rent on the other. There is very little that I must do on an ongoing basis to earn that extra rent. Just like monopoly, the more properties you have, the more rent you collect. At a certain size I would be prudent to hire a property manager so I don’t have to worry about the day to day.
This year I formed a small product based business, along with my fiancé’s support. For now I will keep the company name undisclosed but it is involved in the running supplement business. To limit my ongoing personal time requirement, we are using a co-packer to produce the product, a fulfillment center to package and ship the product, and shopify to execute all sales via the website. My involvement will be limited to executing marketing campaigns at 5Ks and online. The good news is I love running so it’s easy for me to participate in many of the events that I will also promote the product at. The site will be up and a product available in Q1 2015.
The thing I want you to take away from this long post is that I knew nothing when I started this process (3 years ago). I knew nothing about real estate and nothing about supplements or starting a business. I learned it all as I went along after I decided that I wanted to give a new life a try. I did it after my day job and on some weekends. It’s not that much work and it’s a hell of a good time.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and I’m happy to dive deeper into my approach and plans if you would like. To quote Steve Jobs- “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.
PS- Finally my first post where I could work in “poppycock”. I’m sleepin easy tonight.