How I got off the hamster wheel and created a life of freedom?
Today I’m sitting on another beach in Tugan, Queensland. It’s a delightful 21 degrees, the sun is shining and the day is filled with the promise of freedom. I can do whatever I want. How did I get here? How did I get off that endlessly spinning hamster wheel to create a life of freedom?
18 years ago, I was working in a busy office and had no idea how to create the life of my choosing. I’d been working for too long with the same old belief, that this is what people did. With crusty eyes and a look of bewilderment, I would wake-up at 6:30am, stumble into the shower. Then after breakfast I brushed my teeth and hurriedly jumped into my car and into the bumper to bumper city traffic, because being late by just 5 minutes meant another 10 to 15 minutes stuck in traffic.
I was a part of the human race, but I was coming last.
Arriving in the office an hour and a half before I needed to was the norm. It was expected and leaving at 7pm or sometimes 9pm was typical. Finally, at home in the evenings, I was too tired to do anything but have dinner and go to bed. On weekends, the highlight was a breakfast out somewhere and perhaps a zombie stroll through the Botanical Gardens. I was tired all the time yet, I had to appear like I was at least partially interested in what I was doing – but really, I just wasn’t. Life at the time, felt like I was dragging myself across a cheese grater. I used to think, “Is this what living is supposed to look like? Surely, there must be more to life?” I was a part of the human race and sadly, I was coming last.
The thoughts in my head weren’t pretty, but thankfully, no-one but me knew it. I had to start asking myself better questions, but I just wasn’t. It was actually my wife Rebecca who did.
It was a Saturday and I was laying on the couch waiting for my family to get themselves ready to go out for breakfast, thinking, “Another weekend and all I want to do is nothing but rest.” When my wife said, “You know how we love going to warm places near beaches on our holidays?” At which I agreed in a drone. She continued, “What if we started living that resort lifestyle now, instead of just on holidays?” To which I dejectedly replied, “How?”
Sometimes, when your energy is low, the last thing you want to do, is work out some complex or near impossible solution to an unfathomable outcome. I think you get where I was at. On reading my response, Rebecca began reciting some of our friends and even two of my mentors who had created freedom in their lives. She then set the challenge. She said, “You’re just as smart as they are, why don’t you just ask them how they did it?” Not a bad strategy, I thought. So I did and here is their advice, which I followed. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I decided that I’d had enough and from now on, it was going to be “Beach or Bust!” Let me share how I did that in 7 simple steps. Not easy steps, but simple to do.
Here is how I created the life of my dreams.
STEP #1: Work out how much money you need to survive, not thrive.
Tony Frederick wasn’t just my best friend, he was also a clever man and mentor with a ‘can do’ attitude. I shared our idea with Tony and he said, “The first thing that you need to do is do the numbers. Work out how much money you need each month to survive, not thrive. Get rid of all of those needless expenses that are not needs, but wants. You know, the extravagances that are nice to have, but not necessary. Reduce your overheads so that financially, the transition is simple.” It was great advice and in the first month, I was shocked at how much more money we had in the bank. Tony said, “Build a financial buffer that might equate to about half a year of your normal income.”
STEP #2: Start researching a mobile business and study that business or get the skills you need.
These days, there are so many ways to make money, without having to go into an office or be located in the one spot. These days, you can search Google for “mobile business ideas” and you’ll get 800 million results. Now, I had completed my life coach training and I could coach anyone from anywhere to improve their life, all on Skype! That was truly a mobile business. (In fact, today from the beach, I’ll be coaching a client in China.)
STEP #3: Start your mobile business now and keep your full-time job.
This was sensible advice. Tony suggested that I continue my job AND build my mobile business in the evenings and on the weekends. Sure, I was going to be one busy guy, but the mission after all, was “Beach or Bust.” Tony insisted that if it was a true mobile business, I would be able to create it from anywhere at any time. Life Coaching was perfect, because most of my clients wanted to work with me out of working hours.
STEP #4: Prove your product and master the marketing.
Starting a business is one thing and building your skill is another, and mastering getting clients or customers is something altogether unique as a set of skills. Now I was already a good marketer, however most of my skill was offline, not online. So I started some extra study to master the online game. (As a trainer of Life Coaches, I also built an online program to show coaches how to get clients and build a business with my Business of Life Coaching program). In just four steps, I was almost ready to launch my laptop lifestyle. But Tony suggested one more step.
STEP #5: Make a third of your current income in your new business and bank it as a business buffer.
In just 3 months, I had money coming from everywhere! I had my regular income and my business income coming in. I did what Tony suggested and I banked the money and built a buffer. After 6 months of starting my new venture, I was ready to quit my job. I remember it was March 2004. It was the first day of my life where I felt truly free. No bosses. No bureaucracy. No reports and I could design my business and my life, however I wanted.
It’s now October 2019 and I’m heading into my seventeenth year of freedom and you can too – if you want it? You just have to follow these five steps.
R!k Schnabel is Australia’s #1 Brain Untrainer – if you want to achieve anything in your life that you haven’t been able to on your own – have a complimentary chat with R!k to see how he can help you.