8 Month Itchy Feet

I find that with very few exceptions I don’t stick around at a job for more than 8 or 9 months. Maybe it’s a generational quirk. My parents stuck with jobs for 5 to 10 years, and their parents even longer.

Most recently I’ve been getting sick of constantly writing articles, day after day. Not mind-block sick of it, like the way Taran gets when looking for jobs, but “what a chore” sick. To me it means the clock is winding down. In a month or two I might loathe what I do. The same kind of thing happened at Pedal to Petal. I was doing the minimum amount of work I absolutely had to keep the company running and to keep enough money coming in. The difference there is that I stuck with that gig for 18 months, a good deal longer than the mean for me.

So it’s time to start considering new projects. This most recent one was the smartest thing I could do with 8 months ever before in my life, because the system I spent that time building won’t go away. Unlike when I unplugged from the UBC system and those fat paychecks were cut off completely, this time I’ll hopefully see an ongoing benefit for years – or decades even – into the future.

Maybe this is the psychological profile of a serial entrepreneur. Build a system, replace yourself, and move on.

Not to say that I’m any good at entrepreneurship. I’m actually shockingly bad at motivating people; I think I’m too easy going. I let things slide and by no means demand the best of people. And if I never have to do a cold call or bring donuts to an office in the hopes of future clients, I will die a happy human.

Blogging Dates!

You’ve probably read all about “cheap date ideas” – but we’ve gone full circle and are going on dates that pay us! 

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We try to go on blogging dates every weekend. We take ours at the coffee shop but you could go anywhere with internet access. It’s fun to go out somewhere instead of doing this at home.

Sure each date costs 4$ in coffee, but we write so much on these dates that they pay for themselves in just 2 weeks – then for years after we will keep seeing benefits!

I’ve found that blogging dates are a great way to encourage ourselves to get out and write. It’s too easy at home to get tied up watching YouTube videos so we try to change up the environment and it really helps our motivation.

I use blogging dates to write my daily blog post and catch up on maintenance operations which I tend to put off. Today I spent it setting up the W3 Super Cache plugin which is something I should have done ages ago. Before I set it up my main website was performing better than only 42% of sites on the net. Afterwords, I was testing better than 99% of sites!

My fiance uses blogging dates to mass produce content for her beauty blog. She has a jobby career so she writes between 3 and 5 posts on our weekend dates and schedules them throughout the week.

I’d really like to involve more people on our weekly blogging dates – we just gotta find some people in our town who will commit to them! Maybe we can rename them to “blogging meetups” or something…

What to Do with too much Free Time?

I find myself poking around on job boards just to see what’s out there. If the right thing comes along I apply for it.

I’ve written crazy alternative resumes before, just to gauge response. Since I’m comfortable in the blog format, that’s usually what they look like. Imagine getting sent a blog post in PDF format for a job opening. Side note, is “PDF Format” redundant? I have yet to hear back from someone who was unlucky enough to be sent one of my hipster resumes.

Too much free time is certainly a first world problem. You have to know how to keep yourself happy. That’s never been a problem for me personally, but I know certain humans who aren’t happy unless they’re working their asses off. I know a lot of people like that actually.

Buddhist monks don’t give a shit. They’ll meditate for decades at a time. Some stand in the same place so long they start to sink into the hardwood floor. Do they ever get bored? I assume not, otherwise they would just leave and do something else, wouldn’t they?

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I find time harder to fill out here in the far-flung prairies than I did in the thriving coastal metropolis we lived in before. In Vancouver, you’d take visiting a coffee shop for granted. Here we have to plan cafe visits, it’s a once a week at most affair that requires shifting 2 tons of pickup truck down a highway far too busy for a city this size.

Fortunately even in tar sands country, the internet is always on. So that’s how I’ve been filling all this free time for these past 6 months. It’s the cheapest entertainment, education, and business incubator mankind has ever come up with – thanks Al Gore!

I read a lot of these early retirement websites like ERE and MMM – and I guess this site is just a slightly different angle on the same subject. My experience has been that you don’t need to accumulate even the lowball quarter million that EREman saved up before he quit his job – I quit my job 3 years ago with a net savings of just a few thousand, and have more today than I did then. That’s another thing I love to spend all this free time doing. Finding ways to make more money than I spend, month after month after month. It’s a fun challenge and it gets easier and easier.

So here’s my one-item list of stuff you can do with more free time:

  • Do what you like to do now, but more of it.

I’m not a gym bunny, but if you like going to the gym, you can go more often. Cyclists can go on longer bike rides, even multi-day if you care to. If you like raising kids, well then, go whole hog and join a homeschooling circle.

Hey, it’s a crappy answer I know, but I know nothing about your life and what charges up your batteries. Go on a vision quest or something.