Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Learning to Change Reality

Changing Reality

I'm not completely sure how to go about this post. I'm kind of hoping for short and sweet since I have a ridiculous amount of work to get done, but on the other hand I like to ramble and this is the closest to a break I get. I'm going to try to keep this post somewhat moderate - especially after the 5,000 word ramble at my freelance writing blog about freelance writing, momentum, and compounding. I think there was plenty of useful tidbits in there, but that was definitely a level of ramble I should probably cut back from in the future.

So the biggest struggles I've had personally in recent times have been a strange duality that at times seem to be punctuated with sudden mood swings. A lot of this I think is stress and emotional trauma catching up after everything that's gone on. Not only was there everything with my sister and the completely unbelievable BS with the way that turned out, but within a month and a half our grandfather died, Lanny Fintel, a great family friend and a major influence in me and my brother's life, also was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is going to be fatal. Another close friend of mine is fading out in Oregon after a long battle with HIV/AIDS, and a major writing contract I thought I had fell through.

Beyond this are the "normal stresses" like having to cover rent, student loans, credit card bills, medical bills, food, and having to take on more than my fair share of expenses in the apartment. With one roommate leaving for college, I'm looking at covering nearly 90% of the expenses of a 3 bedroom apartment until I can find more roommates. The business is growing well, but using every spare dime to cover for new expenses or expenses I should be getting help with instead of being able to pay off my own debt or medical bills gets really frustrating - which adds to stress.

The ordinary stress load I have is pretty ridiculous, and adding in all the recent traumatic instances, and to not being able to vent at the time of getting the news. I had to cram it all in, help others, and then cover everyone who didn't cover for themselves. It's been a frustrating process, especially since it has taken a huge bite out of the time I have to work on my businesses, on my projects. These have been quite literally a God send, and a really clear sign to me that things could be going great by the end of the year.

But even good things like new projects and new work still add their own stress...and I've been pretty seriously burned out since September of last year. That's an almost impossible place to start from before going through everything else going on, and today is one of the days where I'm feeling the weight of everything, as today the stress feels like an actual physical weight to the point where it takes more effort to lift my arms, to sit down and type more articles, to get up and keep moving to try to get awake. It's hard today. Tomorrow, I might be 100% focused on the good and it will be easy.

The last few weeks have been very much like that. In part because the stress, exhaustion, and general trauma is catching up to me at a time when actually a lot of things are going EXTREMELY well, and I think this is part of the reason why there is some degree of back and forth. Because I'm not doom and gloom right now, because a lot of the whole, "I can change my reality simply by willing it," hypothesis that I started this blog and this year with has actually been working in a lot of areas in my life fairly dramatically.

I make a lot more in my freelance business working less hours, and I have excellent 15% average a month (which the previously aforementioned rambling Master Dayton blog post alludes to as actually being quite a bit higher) growth in my passive income, which if that compounding keeps up through next year, I'll have the ability to retire by fall of next year, at age 30, even with my unwieldy debt loads from the combination of medical bills and the unwise decision of going to grad school.

I won't, because I have a LOT of awesome projects in the pipeline, because I'm just beginning to realize the potential of what I can pull of the next few years, and because I genuinely really, REALLY enjoy what I do. It's a powerful combination, especially with motivation and compounding on your side.

So where am I at now?

There's a lot going well. I'm on the low side of the 290's for the first time in 5 years, and pushing to get right at 290 by the end of the month. There's a pretty decent chance I could hit my weight loss goals by the end of the year, and the place I'm noticing it the most is with having to buy a lot of new clothes, because even with the belt all the way on its furthest loop, I've had one incident with my shorts falling right off in public. It was pretty freaking funny. If you can't laugh at yourself when that happens, when can you?

The freelancing ceiling has also shot up dramatically for me. If I worked the same number of weekly hours as last year, I could clear 60 grand this year. I'm not going to, because I want more time to work on my business start ups, my creative projects, and give myself some time to do some camping, work out, and take care of the other things on my wish list for the year. But I can work less (i.e. work very reasonable hours) and still make well over 30 grand a year while developing the rest of my projects that are really beginning to take shape. As my per hour keeps creeping up, those numbers are going to get even better.

My passive income is outright compounding, which Einstein once described as one of the most fascinating forces in the universe and I can definitely see why now that I'm experiencing how it can work first hand.

Also contemplating a possible move to Tampa, Florida, based on a job offer. I'm somewhat in the air on that one. I absolutely love the city of Tampa, and it is possible that I might have a great friend moving there, which would be a big shove for me towards the "Definitely" category. The job itself isn't impressive in and of itself, but the amount of work they expect per week and would be very happy with I could do in 20 hours a week, and I would have the ability to work off-site from the office - which is a HUGE plus for me because that leads to steady pay, gives me enough time to keep my freelance work where I want it, and still have time to work on my projects. The combined pay from all 3 would definitely equal a lifestyle upgrade, as well.

The biggest hold up for me right now is a combination of recognizing a need for stability, and also wondering how a move would affect some of my projects and burgeoning business plans. Most of what I do is online, which for freelancing means I don't have to worry (and ditto with passive income building) - but a lot of my developing business options involve partnerships, and until the foundation is solid enough, that's something you don't want to take a chance with. So that's just going to be up in the air until late August, because that's how long I have to decide on the job offer.

And if I decide later I do want to move, that's still a completely realistic option. It's very nice to control my own income and be my own employer.

Despite some unexpected medical expenses and having to pay a lot more of the apartment expenses than I had budgeted for, I'm still making really steady progress on the debts. Under $80,000 now, which is a ridiculous total number for not having a house or car, but that's reality after grad school and the American medical system. But I'm under $80,000, which still feels like a huge milestone.

And if you want any indication of how confident I am about how things are going, I expect all those debts to be paid off in less than 3 years.

The confidence levels are increasing, and I'm no longer wondering about if I'll ever make it big time with my businesses and my writing projects, it's only a when...and I'm confident the when is a lot closer than I originally would have thought.

So I hope everyone is doing well - and if you have any recommendations for how to quickly re-charge the batteries through burn out when vacation isn't an option and a day off isn't an option, I'm all ears.