I suspect the title of this post leaves you thinking “huh, he wants me to work more and less, how does that work?”
Well, let me explain how this works. My friend Joe, who has only known me for a few months, somehow managed to crawl inside my brain and figure out what makes me tick (perhaps even better than I have it figured it out myself). In the span of a few days he suggested I read two books Crush It! and The 4-Hour Workweek. These two books put into words many of the things I have been doing in my life for years and provided a clearer picture of where I need to go now.
When you read these two books you will find what on the surface appears to be two entirely different philosophies for business and life. That’s what I thought until 3am this morning when I woke up staring at the ceiling and it all came together. (Well, really it’s coming together while I write this – that’s why I write by the way, this is where/when I do my best thinking and capturing of the uh-huh moments).
For years I have said I WANT IT ALL AND I WANT IT NOW! Those close to me thought I was kidding or at least half kidding – here’s a news flash….I was never kidding. Fourteen years ago I had just the right combination of courage and stupidity to stop working for “the man.” I ventured out on my own for the same reason many entrepreneurs do, I wanted to be rich, very rich, super rich. Fourteen years later I am. Huh, I didn’t see Jim Raffel on the Forbes list of 100 richest people?
No, I don’t have piles of money (I have enough for now and more will come later), what I have is the following:
1. Personal Freedom – I used to joke that this meant picking which 12 hours to work each day. You know what it really means? It means I choose when and how to work period, end of story. But you say, Jim that’s so obvious? OK, if it’s so obvious are you doing it? If you are doing it please comment below and lets start a conversation.
2. Work in Energy Fits (at what you are best at) – I have always known in my heart that I am a “project guy.” I excel at identifying a need, selling a dream and making sure the dream gets built. Then, I get bored, very bored. Please don’t ask me to do to repetitive day-to-day tasks. Each day I am focusing more and more energy on what I do best. As for the things I’m not so good at – I’m out sourcing them! If your greatest skills are writing, selling and public speaking, why on earth would you spend time doing invoicing at 6pm on a Saturday night? That’s what I did last Saturday and I have already sent the emails out to several virtual assistants. One of them will be hired within a week or so. That time spent invoicing will soon be my time. I am pretty sure I learned this lesson for good a couple of months ago when my wife Cheryl and I hired a cleaning lady. (IF we ever have a lean month again, we would do without a lot of things to make sure we can pay her).
3. Chill Time – I got off a plane in Mid-December and didn’t get back on one until Mid-January (yesterday). In the last 30-days I enjoyed a lot of downtime (don’t believe me ask my wife). It was great. Not saying I didn’t work, because I did. Have you ever heard the saying “eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty, sleep when you are tired?” I worked when I felt like working and I chilled and relaxed when I felt like that was what I needed. The cool thing is that by working when you feel like it, it does not feel like work! (Hint: You need some self-motivation for this to work out, but I know you have that because you are reading my Blog!).
4. Work Anywhere – This is different than personal freedom. It means that I am working on this blog post from a hotel room in Naples, FL. The beach is about 100 steps from my room, and trust me when I get done with my speaking engagement at 2:30 this afternoon I will be back here (link to YouTube Video from last night).
5. Personal Attraction – As your success (defined by you) grows, some around you will be jealous when you start living this life. All they will see and remember is your YouTube videos. They won’t know or care you lay awake thinking about work, then got up early, worked, went to a meeting, gave a presentation, closed the big deal, whatever it is for you. I’d suggest spending less time with those people. Surround yourself with positive encouraging engaging people like my new friend Joe. When you speak with a real authentic and sustainable voice about your passion … pay attention here this is REALLY important … those who share your passion will be attracted to you and you to them.
NUMBER ONE: Out source anything and everything in your life that you are not passionate about and don’t love to do. (Hint: Out sourcing does not always mean paying someone. I have an amazing wife and we have been tossing tasks back and forth to each other over the last several months. Our goal is to find a balance where we are both doing what we are best at in our personal life. The only thing we had to pay someone to do is clean our house).
NUMBER TWO: Try out working anywhere and give your passion a kick start at the same time. Stop what you are doing right now (you can finish reading this later), and book a minimum 1 week (2 would be better) “vacation” for yourself ASAP to your favorite destination. When you go, take as little as you can with you. When you work on your passion or figuring out what your passion is, you must cut the electronic umbilical cord. You don’t have to totally disconnect all day every day, that would be insane (for me anyway). I suggest picking 1 or 2 times each day that you will look at email for a limited amount of time. (This is how Cheryl and I vacationed with our kids for years – I like to think I managed it pretty well).
NUMBER THREE: Expand your social circle. I have figured out that my passion extends way beyond my chosen industry. Through the miracle of Twitter I have expanded my social circle at a pace and scale that was simply not possible even 12 months ago. Speak about your passion with a real authentic and sustainable voice in this new circle of friends and pay attention to who is paying attention to you. It will change your life, simple as that.
NUMBER FOUR: Come back here and tell us all about it. You could send me an email, but a comment below that we can all share would be so much better. Let’s build the real authentic and sustainable community!