We put up with a lot to fulfill other people’s dreams, don’t we? Employment gives us a sense of security, a regular paycheck, health and life insurance and other perks. How much do we give up working for someone else dream, though? No more! We’re quitting the beige cubicle to travel the colorful world.
One Bad Boss and One Beige Cubicle Too Many
I once had an angry boss. She didn’t disagree with you, she “violently disagreed” with you. Her colleague, my senior, confided, “Your boss is difficult.” My fake grin suggested I agreed. I was stressed and depressed.
In my last performance review, I realized I was working in an alternate beige cubicle reality. The feedback that I received from this boss was contrary to the feedback I’d received all previous bosses (and those since), from current colleagues and awards I was receiving at that time. I was being pushed out and knew if I didn’t quit, I’d be fired. To protect my resume, I chose the former.
I spent 13 years of my life dedicated to a company. Until then, it was a mutually beneficial relationship. I was in senior management and on course to move higher. One bad boss and my trajectory ended. I learned that as long as I worked from someone else, my relationship with them could turn on a dime.
A Non – Beige Cubicle Dream
Over the next few days after I was pushed out, David and I discussed how what seemed like an unfortunate event could be an opportunity.
We paid off $51,000 in credit card debt and wrote a book about how we did it. When we started this dream 10 years’ prior, our goal was to build a company where we could help others with their finances from anywhere in the world. We wanted eternal travel, geographic freedom and financial independence.
Whether true or not, gay men are known to live well, dress well and travel well. The problem is that we often don’t budget well, spend well and earn well. Our goals are to do all these well and help others do so likewise. To that end, we’ve embraced the gig-economy.
Making Our Dream a Reality
There’s a lot of concern about the gig-economy. While we’re open to opposing views, we’re excited about this new economy.
Since we started Debt Free Guys and turned our side-hustle into a hustle, we know the opportunities of today’s ever-changing technological and work-life balance paradigms. We know many people who have their own businesses through websites, podcasts, freelancing, consulting and more. This new economy offers a wealth of freedom and income to those willing, brave and smart enough to take it.
As Tim Ferris shares in The 4-Hour Work Week, established companies are open to contractual, part-time and remote (beige cubicle – less) employees freeing employees to pursue all sorts of dreams. The barriers of entry to start a business today, too, is lower than ever – financial independence.
Millions of dollars from venture capitalists are no longer required to launch businesses. All that’s needed is a tablet, a website and a few social media accounts. With a few hundred-dollars spent on recording equipment and basic editing knowledge, the right person can create a successful podcast or YouTube show to record at anytime from anywhere in the world – geographic freedom.
These mediums can be monetized with affiliate marketing, sponsorships and branding that provide multiple streams of income diversifying the risk of the single income stream that comes with most beige cubicle jobs.
How We Built Our Dreams
We love personal finance, investing and financial planning. Because of our experiences and fulfillment with helping others with their money, we’ve turned our passion into our business. What do you do now that you enjoy or even love? This could be something you do at your current job, something you’ve always wanted to do or is currently a hobby.
While our passion is our guide, it won’t be our demise. When we decided to turn our side-hustle into our hustle, we saved an additional $10,000 as a cushion to our emergency savings. We did this by cutting back on non-essential spending and putting it in an account that’s “at arm’s length” – or without check writing or debit card features to make accessing these funds inconvenient.
Building Dreams is Hard Work
None of this is to say it’s easy to build a business today, just easier. There’s a meme we frequently share on social media of an iceberg. Only 10 percent of the iceberg is above water and represents the “overnight success” that people see. 90 percent of the iceberg is below water and represents the work no one sees.
We’ve embraced hard work. We wake at 4:30 in the morning and work late most nights. Weekends aren’t to kick back and relax but to roll up our sleeves and put in back-to-back 12-hour days.
This is temporary and we know we can do it because we know how strong our dreams of eternal travel, geographic freedom and financial independence are. Jim Rohn said, “When you know what you want and you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.”
Success will be when we spend the month of my 45th birthday in two years in Sitges, Spain. With me recently quitting my beige cubicle to focus only on our business, we’ve taken a big step towards that dream. The fact that we’ve built our business to a point where I could do this says we’re on the right path. The fact that we’ve built our business to a point where I could this means you can, too.
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