Decision Day is here. I’m up early. I’m excited! My taxes cancel my out my bank balance. I have no job. I have no fear, and a whole lot of freedom.
About a month ago I decided that I would give myself some extra time to see what I wanted to do with this year. I was working my ass off on an incredible show at the time, and knew I would need a little recovery time from the burnout I was about to experience. I marked January 15th as my D-day, and promptly excused myself from all big decisions and commitments until then. I figured I’d know what to do when the time comes, and stressing about it was unnecessary. Good plan.
Within the last year, I’ve paid off all back taxes for my business and personal debts to state and country. I also paid off all my credit cards and loans. I have just enough set aside to pay all my taxes for 2014, but not much more. I have finally succeeded in working my way back up to zero from…well, tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Doing so has given me strength, and faith that I can work myself out of any future financial problems. It has also given me a very strong desire to avoid them.
I am thankful to have the skills and the good fortune that I do. As an educated white man in my thirties in the US, there are opportunities that are afforded to me which the vast majority of the world struggles much harder to attain. I am a lucky one, and I do not take this for granted for a second. I also don’t have kids or responsibilities like most, have no criminal record, and am in excellent health. I have gratitude for all that supports me, and appreciate my many blessings.
So on to the Decisions:
- I’m not taking any of the big, shiny, Silicon Valley offers that are currently on the table. I’m going to continue consulting because it leaves me nimble. I’m also going to do a lot more with my own company, and likely restructure it to focus on amplifying its success.
- I just closed my California everythings, because for the first time ever I’m no longer a resident. I’ve moved to Salt Lake City to be with my girlfriend. Utah drivers license and voter registration happen tomorrow.
- I’m selling my sailboat/base of operations in the San Francisco Bay for the last 4 years. I’m condensing my distributed, globe-trotting “Life on the Cloud” down to a fixed location for the first time in 7 years. The boat simply no longer serves my lifestyle, I’m sorry to say.
- I’m selling the best car I ever owned. It’s seen better days, though I’m keeping it in the family by selling it to my brother. Yes, it still gets around 50MPG, but so does the motorcycle I started riding in 2014. In the last year also inherited a gas guzzling 4WD Suburban that comes in handy for Utah winters and other non-motorcycley and non-two-seater-hybrid times.
- I choose to live well within my means. To prevent against future financial perils, I will live on an annual income of $40,000 a year or less until further notice, no matter how much I actually earn.
- I’m returning to my experiment sprints and daily defaults. First up, for the next 35 days I’m doing the Four Hour Body diet, a modified version based on my previous experiences with it. This includes a scripted opening 2-hours of my day, and a general schedule that can be adapted as needed.
- I write stuff weekly. Stuff like this, stuff like songs, stuff like scripts or screenplays or books. I don’t really care, I just know that writing is the thing I need to do. This may turn into a daily practice, but I’m not committing to that just yet.
- My total consulting advice to friends/family is capped at 90min/week. That is my limit, beyond which I will stop. I want to be good friend and support my family in a way that is unclouded by getting overly-involved in their businesses. Sorry folks, the line forms to the left and the clock is ticking.
- My music career is done. I still love to perform and teach, I love to improvise and to create, and I will certainly do plenty more of this. But there are not so many solo music careers to go around in 2015, and I’ll leave it to the fine and talented people who actually want one. Truth is, I never really did.
- I’m going to say yes only to the opportunities that produce an internal “HELL YEAH!“ and no most anything else (exceptions may be granted for family & friends in need).
The last one is the real kicker. The BIG DECISION for 2015 is no more doing things because I think it’s a good idea or have been advised that it is. That stuff just never seems to work out. I now go with what my insides & spirit guides tell me. However that stuff works, I don’t pretend to know, but the last decade of experiments has proven to me that it does indeed work whether I understand it or not, and that I have enough personal anecdotal data to conclude that particular study.
I’m also leaving my life wide open to say HELL YEAH to stuff I can’t even see yet. And this is freedom indeed.