Why Read (1300 Words)
This is a guest post by my good friend and rival for economic gain, Tim Good. He’s also an English lad so you American lot should love him. Tim runs a highly successful padlock company, lives in awesome digs and basically lives an insane lifestyle…oh and he recently bought a Yacht. Tim is a guy you can be envious of and not feel too bad about it. Here he gives some lifestyle design advice and it is well worth listening to. Thats him on the side of the mountain.
How To Create A Yacht
I’ve known Jonny since he graduated university. I was running my design agency in Liverpool (UK) and to be honest I can’t quite remember how we met but I think he sent in his CV. At the time he was dabbling in some design and marketing. We met for brief chat and I think we both realised we we’re on the same path in terms of creating a business that would both fund and allow the lifestyle we wanted.
At this point I had the design agency of 3 years and working on 2 other projects whilst Jonny was looking for some additional income and developing his first venture. I’d had a couple of year’s head start but we we’re basically going down the same path. He came to work for me a couple of days a week and we quickly got developing ideas and sharing our goals for the future.
We are a couple of years on and Jonny is swanning around enjoying himself and I am now in Bristol running a venture that was merely in the planning phase when I met Jonny back in 2007. Sorry Jonny but we need to catch up and until then you look like you’re having too much fun!
Anyway Jonny asked me for a piece about lifestyle design and my current situation/outlook. So lets get down to business. I would say there is two ways in life:
1. Live Your Work
You work and generate a living from something you love. With this you don’t need to generate a huge amount of cash to remain perfectly enriched and happy. The danger however is two-fold. It is possible that your passion becomes your bête-noir which is tragic. The second issue is retirement or changing life goals. If you have been living every day as it comes for 30 years without any assets or cash in the bank then you may face the next 20 years paying the price for good old days.
This is also rather tragic considering there are people aged 70+ that are currently sailing the world, climbing mountains and riding backcountry through Yellowstone on the back on funds accumulated 20 years earlier.
2. Money is Time
Time is money is time. I have always held true to that statement. I am not but the basic principle is that I earn money to afford more time to do the things I love. The beauty is that I am not bound to any one passion or activity. They change all the time. For me climbing mountains & kayaking in far flung places and jumping out of perfectly good planes is currently what I like to do. This will change.
But if I spend all the time making money then how to do I afford the time to actually do a do them? Simple. Create your very own lifestyle business. If you want an extended read on the subject then get Tim Ferris’ book – 4 hour working week.
A lifestyle business is something that allows you to make money, build value in the business (for resale later) and also let you to take time away of the business regularly.
Everyone has a different skill-set and each business will be different for each person. There is no fixed way to making a lifestyle business succeed but there is one fundamental issue to consider.
If you want to start business and have very little start-up capital then most people will look at what they can do personally and sell their skill as a service. This might be web design, marketing consultancy, accountancy etc. Straight away you’re going down the wrong track. By providing a service you are building a business that will depend on you. This will not build value into the business and it will not generate cash whilst you spend three weeks exploring the Northern territories of China.
I’m not going to explain how to make a lifestyle business but I can explain how my situation came about and my ideas for the future.
A Business on a Yacht
As I mentioned I have a branding design business and as a result I know how to spot a gap in the market and create a suitable brand. That is what I do. Everyone else will have something else they have been trained for or know well. In my case I needed a business that would run itself, create a good income and build value.
For a business to run itself you need to be able to outsource and as I have already said that I didn’t want a business that consists of me providing a service. E-commerce was the natural way to go. I knew the web well already and I had suppliers in place from my design business. I simply had to pick a market. I chose padlocks. You’re now thinking “what the hell”. If you are then www.nothingbutpadlocks.com should make it clearer.
Yes I sell padlocks on the net. I am the no.1 place in the UK and Europe for padlocks and although I can’t quantify it, I’m pretty sure I sell more than any other company. No I didn’t have any experience in selling padlocks and no I didn’t have any experience in distribution or online payments but those things can be learnt very quickly.
In short I outsource everything. I have a warehouse managing my products and dispatch them daily. I pay Google to drive traffic to my site and pay developers in India to upgrade my site as I need it. Ok it isn’t as simple as it sounds but the bottom line is that all the work I put in builds value and does not depend on me.
My business will turn over the same amount of money and grow at the same rate whether I am working at home or half way up the Matterhorn.
At the moment the business is affording me a lot of time but I am not where I want to be yet. I am 29 and still have expansion plans for the next 3 years. Within this time I plan to expand, diversify and automate. The end goal is to have the business running totally on autopilot with a small amount of management required via email and the net. As a result my lifestyle is currently designed around being close to my business but taking regular trips and taking part in the things I like to do without taking months out in one go.
Over time my business will become totally automated I will switch to 90% lifestyle and 10% business. I don’t mean to sound cliché but my ambition is to sail to various places in the world that are extremely hard to explore on land. I have spent the past year becoming a yacht-master and recently bought my first boat. My first trip in 2013 will be to go from the UK up past Norway and then across north Russia and down to Japan.
The only minor hiccup is internet on a yacht. I will need broadband, I will need a telephone and it will need to be connected 24/7 I can micro manage my business stress free. The current cost of such a setup via satellite rings in at about 45k a year. A small price to pay for my dream.
To Sum Up
Tim lives and awesome life. You can to. It is all about having the right vision and creating the right plan to get there. Are you going to invest in a job or a lifestyle business. The yacht kinda swings me towards the lifestyle design business personally.