Living out-of-bounds is certainly not just a frame of mind, it’s also a lifestyle. In my book, The Dog Walker’s Startup Guide, I mentioned a great book which has become even more important in light of the current economic times. The book is Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. The premise of the book is that you exchange “life energy” for cash. I think that’s a fairly accurate way of looking at it.
Sure, most people know at least at some level that they are exchanging their time for money, but from a broader perspective we become acutely aware that unlike money, we don’t have an infinite supply of time from which to trade. What generally takes place when a supply is limited? The value increases. When looked at in that light, time or life energy becomes much, much more valuable.
The trouble is, humanity, blessed with intellect, knows that death comes for us all but lives in denial of this fact. Which is why we continue to undervalue our time in relation to money. We just don’t want to think about the truth so we close our eyes and pretend that it’s OK to spend hour after hour, day after day, and year after year, doing the same soul crushing work.
If you’re like me, and resist traveling the well trodden path, then you will immediately appreciate any process, plan, or style that takes an innovative look at how to live, not just survive. Since technology has always been a game changer, and since we’ve had some of the largest technological advancement periods in human history in the last couple of hundred years (not coincidentally coinciding with the birth of the USA and for the first time in human history true liberty), then we must understand that the standard by which most people live must change also… but it really hasn’t has it?
Since the industrial age your average worker has been tied to a schedule of about 8 hours per day, Monday thru Friday, with slight variations depending on profession and education. By and large that is the standard work-week and has been for over a hundred years. The plan then, as it is now, is to work till you’re 65, buy a house, raise a family, take a 2 week vacation every year, and then live off your savings and social security till you die. Anyone who thinks that this is going to be an effective strategy going forward—it’s time to close your eyes now, cover your ears, and start humming. The rest of you, read on.
A real eye opener for me was Timothy Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Work Week. In it he describes a landscape of perpetual travel once the traditional tethers of job and location have been severed. He calls these mavericks “the new rich” because they are now free to do on a regular basis the things a wage-slave must wait 65 years (or more) to do. It’s a great read and it’ll get you motivated to start thinking about living out-of-bounds.
Looking back I realize that starting a dog walking business was just the first step in a progression toward a new way of life. It was an easy decision since I love dogs. At the time, I didn’t know where I was headed, only that I needed to get out of where I was! I needed to sever the chains that kept me rooted to a life that wasn’t mine. I needed to find myself, listen to my own heart, and walk my own path.
Undoubtedly, if you’ve read this far, you understand this necessity in your own life. Stay tuned, in the coming weeks I will post more about my own experiment in living outside the mainstream. Topics will include travel, living, entrepreneurship, business, investing, mental attitude, and more.