Life hacking; lifestyle design; geoarbitrage; digital nomad. Hot, hot terms out in the entrepreneurial blogging world right now. And man, do I hate them . . . maybe because I’m not a real fan of the whole ‘being labeled’ thing. But what musician is, right? However, it’s impossible for me to deny the fact that these words and concepts partially embody the direction my life is headed.
Speaking of being labeled, the number one comment I’ve gotten from friends recently is, “but you’re a drummer.” I know, I know . . . what’s a guy whose job description involves hitting stuff with blunt objects doing with a virtual assistant in Bangalore, multiple eBooks in the works, and a penchant for becoming ‘location independent‘? Wad’up wit dat, yo? Easy answer. I find no reason why I can’t do the performing, studying, teaching and writing that I do anywhere, regardless of locale. From (or, in) any spot on the planet that I happen to choose! Furthermore, I see no reason why anyone with a similar yearning can’t do the same.
A quick online search will provide you with loads of sites and coaches eager to help you break away from the 9-to-5, develop your own business, conquer the power of social media and ‘brand’ yourself. There is a wealth of knowledge available . . . some for a nominal cost; some free for the taking. My problem with many of these resources is that they often tend to feature MBA-holding business-types who have quit cushy jobs in search of something more. They were in $50-100k corporate positions, working their way up the career ladder, before the decision was made to leave that all behind and work for themselves. They had amassed the personal connections, business know-how and financial resources necessary to begin their own startup (or several) and get on that road to freedom from ‘the man.’ Don’t get me wrong . . . I applaud that wildly. No matter what, that takes foresight, courage, strength, hard work , determination and faith. But what about you and I? What about the creative-types of the world- the musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors?
My passions for traveling the world, researching percussion and its role in other societies, meeting and learning about new people and their cultures, dabbling in foreign languages, and returning to teach and write about these experiences, are just as strong as my passion for the act of playing drums. Performing, traveling, studying, educating, writing, creating. These are not simply a list of random things that I do. These have (and, continue to) become what I am. The combination of all-of-the-above is what makes me tick, keeps me continually excited, and motivates me to work even harder. Again, why can’t I create a lifestyle that allows all of these to happen on a regular basis? One that brings sufficient income to sustain more of the same? I can . . . I am . . . and I will! And so can you, if you so desire.
In a recent meeting with friend/guitarist/postal worker Steve Prager, the conversation gradually morphed from the bulk mailing options he was presenting, to developing products, order fulfillment, travel, lifestyle design and VAs. He called me “the Tim Ferriss of the music world.” Yikes! While that is far from the case at this point, I am intent on doing the work necessary to forge further ahead on this path that continues to unfold before me a little more each day. As I’m able to make progress myself, I will post the steps taken, and lessons learned, right here. The process will certainly involve some guessing, experimentation and mistakes. But I promise to ‘walk the talk‘ . . . no preaching B.S. ideas that I am not proving are possible to implement.
I honestly have too many friends and acquaintances who say that they ‘live vicariously’ through me and my adventures. My one wish is that anyone in that position would STOP doing that. Now! Instead, evaluate the fears and obstacles standing between you and the life you secretly fantasize about, and start living it.
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