For too long, early on in my life, I thought that one of the major parts of being happy was being rich. I think back on it now and realize that all the things I thought one had to be rich to enjoy were actually just things you had to be FREE to enjoy. Like taking long walks on crowded city streets (I’m not much of a nature person) or eating yummy hot dogs from a food cart (again, my desires are simple & urban). When I hit this realization it changed everything for me, I got rid of tons of crap I kept for no reason other than the fact that having more stuff made me feel wealthier.
Today the start up diet, as I call it, is one of my secret weapons that I use whenever I’m starting a new venture or getting ready to embark on a new adventure. The start up diet consists of going through all the physical things you have and slimming down a few sizes, thus keeping only what you need and use the most. Not only does this do wonders psychologically (having less makes you feel freer, more agile and more empowered) but it does wonders when you need a little infusion of quick cash or want to get mobile to make your travel dreams come true.
Most of us won’t get rich of the first business we start, but we don’t have to live in poverty while we try to make our way to ultimate success. Instead I suggest people focusing on what they love, use often and need, then getting rid of all the rest.
Tightening your belt this way will free up funds for you to do what you really love instead of spreading yourself thin keeping up with the Jones’. It also allows you to be very mobile (I make sure I can pack all I own in my car at any given time) so when opportunity comes a knockin’ you can greet it with a smile.
To illustrate here is the latest start up diet I’ve been going through:
- I realized that my beloved Lexus was too much car for me and that if I was going to have a luxury car I was going to own it outright. So I am in the process of selling it (if you know any buyer’s I’ll throw in some free consulting and even road trip it out to you!) and putting a plan in action that will get me a new Prius (far more fuel savvy) without having to spend a dime on my end (more on that later).
- I decided that I had too many techy gadgets, like an expensive podcasting microphone, a new camera and a flip cam (when one will do the same job as both) etc. So I’m debating whether to eBay them in a bundle and promote it on this blog or to just sell them one by one.
- I went through my closet and executed the 80/20 principle. Clothes went flying and the only things left were the stuff that I use regularly and really love. Now I realize that I can spend more money on a few items of clothes that are versatile vs. lots of money on tons of cheap clothes which will go out of style and shred up fast.
- Now every time I seem to hit a glitch in my start up I “self medicate” by going through my kitchen, bedroom or vanity and chucking everything I don’t absolutely need into the “buh bye” bin (also known as the salvation army bag).
I know that I am doing this, possibly subconsciously, in preparation for my next big move. I don’t know where I’m going to go, I don’t know exactly when, but I do know when the time is right I can chuck everything I own into my soon to be hippy mobile (i.e. Prius) and hit the road.
I hope that as you start up a business that will hopefully change your life you remember that entrepreneurship is only one part of living an extraordinary existence. Freedom is the true goal and less really is more at this stage. So tighten your belt, free up cash for what you really love to do and stop buying into our more is more society. I’m no hippy (seriously I have like 5 silly expensive hand bags and love guns), but I do realize that the old Warren Buffett quote about looking at what everyone else is doing and doing the opposite applies to not only business, but to your life. Don’t try to catch up the Jones’ they don’t live extraordinary lives and are probably neck deep in credit card debt instead be like the odd balls out there who have just enough to make them happy & all the freedom in the world to enjoy it with.