Until recently I thought the two main choices that I’d be faced with after leaving uni were;
a) chase down a graduate job, perhaps have a fun and exiting role for a few years before inevitably being positioned behind a desk as I sought to hold a position with a greater earning potential
or . . .
b) choose a ‘lifestyle job’ where I’d be doing really fun things most of the time but earning peanuts before eventually living to regret my decision as I got older due to the grass looking greener on the side with all the money.
I had always leant firmly on the side of lifestyle anyway but now I’m not so sure the prophecy of me living a life of poverty and thus living to regret the decision is true. I increasingly believe that there are loads of ways to generate revenue from the things I enjoy doing without committing to laborious tasks where my productivity is directly governed by how many hours I’m willing to work. Take this blog for example, if enough people are interested in how to live a life where success is measured by happiness first and finances second there could be a, more serious, revenue from CycleFar in the future.
Seasonal work might also fit well into my lifestyle design; in the not to distant future I imagine that I could operate cycle-tours for people, after all I’ve been doing this for free with friends from home and uni for years and I’m certain that with a hint of comfort it could become appealing to a large demographic. There are already loads of cycle-touring companies doing well and I think the demand could be stimulated further.
Another key aspect of this lifestyle would be living cheaply so that even on a smaller income it’s possible to have the feeling of financial security and well-being. Having a pimped out inner-city crib and a flashy car may make some people happy but not me, I couldn’t care less. I’d much rather use my bikes at every opportunity, and any car I have will have to be able to carry a canoe on top and be suitably dented that I won’t feel sad when I add yet another, and as for the inner-city crib the biggest problem would be where to put my beehive and vegetable patch! By the way if that last part struck a chord with you then you’ll probably like to watch The good Life.
Another term I hear bandied about is the ‘passive income’ which is really about creating revenue streams that don’t require continuous input, so anything that’s not your 9 to 5 and anything that keeps ticking over without your constant attention to maintain it. Examples of this are incomes from property, investments and internet sources. Internet business lend themselves particularly well to passive income projects because they enable the same material, (again) such as the content of this blog post, to be replicated without limits to a potentially infinite audience, once you have traffic it’s then not too difficult to capitalise on it without becoming a complete ‘sell out’.
The more I think about it, this is definitely the way in which I’m going to earn and live, lifestyle and seasonal work matched with a passive income and low expenses. Forget Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the aim should be Gross National Happiness instead. I’d love to hear any of your related stories or example of this way of doing things so please leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – especially if you have a beehive!
Trivia: The term “gross national happiness” was coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who has opened Bhutan to the age of modernization soon after the demise of his father, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. He used this phrase to signal his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values (according to Wikipedia).