I’m just a regular person with a few life experiences and happy to share with others. People who know me closely will know I do enjoy offering my unsolicited opinion on various subjects. I followed a conventional life for a while. University degree, steady job, house purchase and more. Now not so much. I still have the degree, I don’t have the steady job and I don’t have the house. So I have experienced both sides.
Not really knowing what career I wanted to pursue, I completed a accounting business degree. Then I sort of fell into a couple of roles at local chartered accounting firms. Insolvency and tax work didn’t really appeal to me and I moved into a more internal role at a law firm. I grew up in a smallish city in Australia and like many there, also longed to get to the big smoke.
The plan was to get experience and small, medium and large professional service firms supporting management from a financial perspective. I achieved that moving from firms of a dozen people to a global consulting firm with tens of thousands of people.
After achieving this I realised it wasn’t exciting me like I hoped. The 24 hour nature of a global consulting firm provided me with a wealth of experience. The problem was it also enlightened me to the fact you need to turn off. That was not happening.
It was great to fire off a bunch of requests at the end of the day knowing you would have the answers first thing in the morning. Of course it meant everyone else was doing the same thing. So the inbox was full of answers to my requests and just as many requests for answers from me.
I had already decided I didn’t want to climb the professional service firm ladder. This usually involves working insane hours for a possible pay off many years down the track.
I was then a victim of the first dot com bust in 2000. So that gave me the opportunity to assess a few things and make a more informed decision about my future direction. Of course I had to get that clarity by travelling to Canada and the United States. The book What Color Is My Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles was a game changer for me. I moved my thinking from who would want me, to what do I want to do and where do I want to work.
At the same time I created my first website and earned a few dollars learning affiliate marketing. It was great back then with everyone else also learning and we would happily share knowledge. Search engine optimisation was so easy. All that would change.
Needing to sort out a few personal things about a year later a secured a 6 month contract with an accounting firm. The work involved reviewing, designing and building processes for one of their business units. Eight years later I left. You do know what they say about letting consultants in the door don’t you? What started as a 5 day a week contract ended up being 2 days a week by the end. This allowed me to explore other ideas whilst still having an income to cover expenses.
Of course travel was the interim solution once again and began in May 2009. The thing is, I’m still travelling. When I stopped the contract, my income took a 75% hit. My expenses also dropped significantly. No more suits, city parking, house to maintain and mindless consumer spending.
In the years since I have lived in numerous countries and moved my base to the US in 2012. I’ve ticked some things off my list such as road tripping across the US, seeing more of Australia than I had before, living on a Caribbean island for a few months, seeing parts of Eastern Europe and many more.
I now earn an income from a few sources. Some of the early websites are still going and provide a passive income from hard work done years ago. Others such as options trading take a bit of work each day. Not a lot though and it leaves time for travel, exploring new project ideas, constantly improving my skills and spending time with family and friends. Oh yes, plus a bit of time at the beach.