Here’s an email I received last month…
Will you give me some insight/advice on career/life development. I believe we share similar ideals and interests. Hearing your perspective may help me set some goals and develop a plan.
I am 24 y/old sales professional living in a downtown area of an east coast capital city. I’ve developed my game from reading and practice. I own and have read Bang. I’ve acquired a beautiful and amazing foreign girlfriend, she’s well out of my normal league, but she’ll never learn that.
My problem lies in that I can not find any passion in my work. I am on my second job from college. Every day I come in and day dream of doing something else, along the lines of entrepreneurship and running my own show, ideally location independent. The problem is I do not have the resources to leave my current job.
What I’d like to hear from you: Your advice or ideas of what you would be focusing on if you were 24 y/old and had the knowledge/experience you do now.
My strategy for living is very simple. I live so below my means so instead of working much I can spend time on other things I rather do, that while not extremely exciting (e.g. reading books, sitting in coffee shops all day, learning a new language, writing), is far better than working for someone else.
Depending on which part of the city you live and how often you go out, doing these things in Medellin, Colombia will cost you about $1,000 to $1,500 a month, an amount that is definitely not unattainable for a lot of people. Sure I’m not living like a king, but it’s impossible to have my own place and go out regularly in the U.S. on $1,000 a month.
There is a common theme of other guys I meet abroad: they all have some sort of business that can be operated with a laptop computer (I’ve met a lot of affiliate marketers). This gives them the freedom to work wherever they wish. Having a business is great, but having a mobile business is even better. I have a great friend who owns a successful restaurant, but he hasn’t taken a vacation in years because he’s tied to his store. He’s making money but he can’t enjoy it besides buying toys, which only give short-term happiness. My friends at home have money and comfort but are stuck. I don’t have a lot of money but I’m free. The dream is to have both.
Knowing what I know now, if I was 24-years-old, I would change one thing: I would have used some money to buy internet sites that I further developed for advertising revenue, something semi-passive so I don’t have to keep at it every day. But that’s just me. I think you should have a regular job along with a side business while saving as much money as you can, because a pile of money is a pile of freedom. There’s nothing worse in life than being in a job you hate with no money in the bank and no options besides getting another crappy job. Nothing will change unless you save money. This may mean making drastic changes to your lifestyle to reduce expenses.
One last thing: Be careful about asking for advice from others. If I listened to all the well-intentioned people who told me what to do, I’d never be living in Medellin right now, doing exactly what I want. Take a risk and carve your own path.