Looking backwards in the last 2,5 years I can now connect the dots, like Steve Jobs had explain in his renowned Stanford speech (and no, I’m not an i* fan).
Here the video with the excerpt, it’s worth spending the 26 seconds:
I can now clearly see the path I followed.
September 2009 – Dakhla, Marocco
Between the Sahara desert and the blue lagoon of Dakhla, I’m reading the classic book 4 Hours Work Week from Tim Ferriss (forever thankful to Emilio for giving me that book!). This book challenges the normal assumptions about work and lifestyle and shows new possibilities.
“The Book” is great but I’m skeptical. I think it has good ideas but everyone has to elaborate, evaluate and explore to see if they can work for themselves.
Reading this book wasn’t enough, but was the first of a series of actions towards freedom.
November 2009 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
I resume my old passion for websites and following a set of very well done online videos about Internet Marketing I launch the blog Percussion Conga, my first marketing experiment talking about conga drums.
March 2010 – online
Someone buys Mel Bay Art of Bongo Drumming DVD and I make my first (of few) dollar with my experiment.
I’m 100 times more happy with this dollar than with the salary from my day job. It’s the proof that the system WORKS… it’s just a matter of order of magnitude 🙂
May 2010 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
I change role and move to the Consultant department of the company. In the months after both personal and professional life deeply change.
I have to quit eStilo, the dancing group I was performing with, as an intense period of (very) frequent travels begins.
Europe but also Middle East, I’m often home only on weekends, or not at all. The good thing is that I love it! It’s new, challenging, exciting.
Another taxi, another flight, another city, another hotel.
It gave me lots of time with myself, for reading, writing, thinking (“What could be more stimulating than thinking about your own life?” said Harry Browne) and completely free me from the office life. Yes, ‘cause when not traveling, I’m working from home which I really enjoy.
September 2010 – All around
I read the book Your Money or Your Life from Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. This book really changed my relation with money, and open my eyes on personal finance and financial independence.
The really powerful lessons are that spending more is not synonymous of living better and happier, and that financial calculations must be based on how much you spend, not on how much you make.
Enters the word frugal in my dictionary.
October 2010 – Fuerteventura, Spain
I read the crazy book Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Fisker. It was an eye-opener about becoming financially independent and achieving early retirement through an (extreme!) frugal lifestyle.
The lesson I got from this book is not how to save money by making your own soap, but rather how to work out the math for financial independence.
This is why I laugh when people tell me we need 4.000.000 euro to retire.
December 2010 – Albiate, Italy
I enjoy so much being a frequent traveler (and travelling light) that during the Christmas lunch with my family and relatives I make an important and unexpected announcement.
I’m not getting married like the aunts were expecting, but instead I announce the decision to take 3 months off work in 2011 to travel South America.
It’s basically what Tim Ferriss calls a “mini-retirement” – I spare you the reactions from the aunts.
June/August 2011 – Panama & Colombia
I have the time of my life Vagabonding around (another great book, from Rolf Potts).
In this mini-retirement I had learnt a lot.
Especially, I came back with a clearer idea about what I want in my future: more freedom, more independence, more experiences And about how to get it: go back to my online businesses experiments I had abandoned.
October 2011 – Berlin, Germany
While guest of a friend for the Berlin Salsa Festival, I read on my BlackBerry a post called I Just Bought My First Website.
I realize that buying an already established website can be a great idea to become an Internet Investor.
December 2011 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
I’m in the game, with a website about job opportunities in México, Colombia and Perú.
I had to take care of my knee to fix a broken ligament. In the long days and evenings at home I spend time on my websites and damn, I love it! It’s creative, it’s challenging, it’s fun and I have a lot to learn.
Me like it!
I expand my online activities with another job board dedicated to International Development Aid and NGOs careers.
I just feel a great energy working on my websites and I want to know more and more.
I decide to give a real go in this new World and see where I can go: my finances are in good order, I can live in a cheap place if I want and I have no commitments.
The first day of Spring 2012 I write my resignation letter.
I’m leaving the company, I talk with more and more people about my resignation and my unclear plans.
I get very interesting reactions, ranging from “I wish I could do that!” to “don’t do it! there’s recession!” or “you’ll eat my garbage” or again “good that you can try!”.
I let everyone talk and I listen. I listen to their fear, and their concern.
I feel I don’t have to convince or even less inspire anyone.
I just do what I love and I believe every free person should do the same.
In few days a new chapter of my life will open, I’ll write to share how the first weeks will be and to elaborate about freedom, personal finance or maybe mini-retirements.
Thanks for reading and comments are welcome!