Rice and Fish Heads

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A lot of people I know seem to be barely keeping up with life.

I suppose there is a lot going on! I’m sensing a lot of breathlessness out there, but I don’t see a strong correlation between the busy busy busy and those who are building interesting projects, lifestyles, and businesses.

There is a reason for that. Having that busy feeling requires standards that are outside of your own.

You can’t be late meditating on a beach.

You can’t be behind schedule on a walk, listening to your favorite podcast.

You can’t be wrong about what you want.

It only occurred to me 4 years ago that it was possible for me to be an entrepreneur. When I realized I could do something in the world that wasn’t handed to me or “delivered” by some mysterious process I didn’t yet understand, my life got a lot slower.

I’m not sure it works this way for other people, but the opportunity to do something interesting with my time was a far greater luxury than almost anything else I could imagine.

Those standards I had previously let plague my days are going away. I excitedly exclaim to my friends when I discover that some moral overlay, some big ugly “YOU SHOULD DO THIS DAN!” in my brain floats away.

An example– I’ve always known I’m a nomad. I don’t know why, and I can’t yet explain it. I just like to move around a lot. Here’s the f-ed up part: I never accepted this about myself. Talk about lame. Such a simple and wonderful pleasure to enjoy and I’m busy trying to figure out how to justify it to the world.

Well, I just got over that last week. :)

I’m not saying things aren’t crazy. Our business is selling a lot of products. We’ve got a bunch of employees. A few plane tickets in the bag, and a month full of meetings.

I’m not looking to hang on the beach. I want to push it. But I’m not anxious like I used to be. I’m not worried about it all going away.

I think the reason is I’ve got a very basic set of needs. A very simple foundation. Everything above and beyond this is an incredible gift.

What inspired me to quit my job was that I realized I didn’t need anything it gave me. What I “needed” was simply:

  • $500-1000 bucks a month,
  • a backpack of stuff,
  • a laptop,
  • and the ability to keep moving around.

My luxury item is my desire to keep our team together. It would be a real tragedy to me to have to throw in the towel on our business. That said, I’m sure I could just turn around and score a job with one of them ;)

It makes sense to figure out what you really need.

The shorter the list, the better.

My favorite way to put it is from a friend who is an entrepreneur with a big stack on money in his bank account. He couldn’t be more adamant about how little it’s about the money. It’s about freedom, having a good time, and doing cool stuff.

“If it all falls apart” he says, “no problem for me…. I don’t mind eating rice and fish heads.”

Want to see something like this in action? Check out Vekat’s excellent: “Where the Wild Thoughts Are.”

Have a great weekend,

 

Dan

@TropicalMBA <—- I like to tweet a lot.

 

 

Published on 03.03.11

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