Hello readers, My names Jonny, I’m 24, retired and currently fighting off swarms of advancing fire ants in the South of India. So now you know a little more about me I am sure you will feel more comfortable reading this post.
Being a reader of this blog I guess you are keen to break the mold and live a slightly more unconventional life than most, and kudos to you.
For my first post here, presumptuous to think I’ll get another I know, I thought I would give you a run down of some very different but quite possibly genius advice for breaking free of the rat race which will help you, as Cody puts it, live life on your own damn terms.
Just so you don’t think I am just writing crap or am a raging egomaniac, it’s worth knowing that I quit my boring ass but stupidly high paid project management job around 8 months ago, started a company and went off to travel the world and haven’t died yet, so I do have some experience in what I say. This is what worked for me.
1. Go Babylonian On Their Asses
The Babylonians knew how to party, they also knew how to create incredible wealth. Sure their wisdom is 6000 years old but that doesn’t dilute the awesomeness of it.
Babylon had no natural resources, no decent trade routes and no defining advantages when it was in it’s infancy, but very soon it became the richest city in the known world. How did they achieve this? Well, they had a system. Agree with it or not, they used it and millionaires today use it. Its a multipart system as all good systems are, but one of the fundamental principles which we can apply here is that they kept a percentage of all they earned for themselves.
“But Jonny”, I hear you say, “I keep everything I earn mate.” WRONG. The council owns some of it, the tax man owns some of it, the supermarkets own it, the clothes stores own it, credit cards own it, etc. Most people don’t actually own anything they earn, it is gone almost as soon as they get hold of it.
If you are serious about breaking free you need to create a stash of cash to either buy you some time or invest. Over 18 months I saved enough to survive a year abroad without a job so I could build my business. Without this stash, I would never have been able to leave, unless I robbed a bank.
2. Talk The Talk BEFORE You Walk The Walk
You see what I did there? It’s important. Too many people try to walk the walk and then talk about it, but this is very risky because it is too easy to bail out on your dreams.
I advocate that if you want to do something then tell everybody, even before you have bought the tickets. When I was thinking of quitting my job, a big decision because by doing so I not only lost my income but I had to pay for the additional degree I was studying towards but wouldn’t complete, which cost me serious amounts of cash. To make sure I didn’t back out I picked a country, Thailand, and then proceeded to tell anyone who asked that I was quitting my job and moving to Thailand. This was before I had booked any tickets or even handed in my resignation.
I knew that the chances of me bailing on my dreams of being an entrepreneur and becoming wealthy because of doubt were huge and so I reversed the tables and by telling everyone what I was (thinking of) doing, made it a much bigger risk to not make good on my plans, as I would be losing face with a lot of people that I respect and that respect me. Don’t bail on our dreams, tell others so you can’t.
3. Don’t Punch Your Boss In The Face
In fact, this doesn’t just go for your boss, don’t punch anyone in the face…unless they really deserve it.
Of course I don’t mean this literally, but I use it as a metaphor for not burning bridges when you leave your job, you never know when you might need them.
4. Get Really Pissed Off With Life
Sometimes the only thing that is going to get you out of a rut is if you get really, really mad.
The thing that finally pushed me over the edge was when the worst thing that could happen to me in life happened.
My mum died. Overnight nothing seemed to carry the importance they once did. Not a job, not what people thought of me, not even my future security. I got pissed off with life, ditched everything and went to live life how I wanted, damn the consequences because frankly, life is too short. Love those that are dear to you, because I learned the hard way that you are never sure how long you will be lucky enough to know them.
5. Burn Everything
Right, let me clarify before the pyromaniacs out there go nuts. I didn’t actually burn anything, I just threw a lot of stuff out. Big difference.
Before I left England I took an inventory of my life and realized I had a lot of crap. Over one weekend I ditched more than 90% of it. Clothes, gadgets, watches, bags, sports equipment. Anything I had duplicates of or I didn’t ever use or were just low quality, was ditched. I kept only the very high quality stuff and only stuff I actually used. True I probably chucked away hundreds, if not thousands of pounds but I can tell you it was one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life. Not only does it completely de-clutter your life, it de-clutters your mind and revolutionizes your concept of an object’s value. Now I invest in quality and I invest in the long term, not tons of useless junk. I challenge you to do it, it’s hard, not many people can be emotionally detached to chuck most of their possessions away, even if they have never used them – try it and see. Colin from Exile Lifestyle is a good example to follow.
6. Live The Movies
Sure Hollywood is over exaggerated and it’s just a script and actors, but how awesome are the lives they lead? Start making your life more like a movie, why not? Most things are more possible than you think.
I love movies and I love taking elements from my favorite characters and trying to weave them into my makeup.
Now I am not saying it is always possible as to date, I still can’t fly, however it is an interesting angle on developing yourself. Study the characters you want to emulate and act like they would. In big decisions I come across or if I have massively messed up I always think “What would X do?” WWXD. And you know what, it helps. Just don’t try and be impervious to bullets, that just doesn’t work.
To Sum Up
Re-read these pointers and try applying some. Get yourself up and away from the screen and make a start on changing your life. It is not as hard as you may think.
Great Resource: My good friend Sam was able to negotiate a severance package equal to six years of living expenses and break free! Imagine being able to quit your job with money in your pocket and insurance to cover you for months. Learn how to negotiate a great severance for yourself in Sam’s book How to Engineer Your Layoff! Never quit, always get laid off so you can collect a severance, health care insurance, deferred compensation, unused vacation days, and be eligible for unemployment. If for whatever reason you do not find the book helpful, Sam provides a full refund!