How I Went From Quitting 9-5, To Hanging Out With Rockstars, Punching My Mates Wife, Putting My Son in Prison & Body-Poppin' My Way To A Goonies Way Of Life.
Since starting the revolution back in September, I have been pushing myself to do more 'firsts'. To stop doing the same old pointless nonsense that I know is no good for me and start saying 'Yes' more. It's a simple thing saying yes, but it takes some doing. It is so easy, especially at this time of year, to sink back into the cosiness of the sofa and think 'Fxck it, I'll start tomorrow.'
But here's the payoff, you start saying yes and good things start happening. You see a lot of those firsts have opened up opportunities and put me in situations that have impacted most of the areas of my life.
From spending my son's first morning at pre-school getting bullied by his new classmates to interviewing and hanging out with some legendary rock stars.
Going Back To My Roots.
Thinking back, one of the main reasons for quitting my last job was that I realised that I wasn't spending nearly enough time with my son.
Since my dad passed away, one of my biggest regrets was that we didn't spend nearly enough time together having adventures. I look back now and remember some quite legendary 'Jolly Boys Outings', day trips and holidays away. But most of these happened when I was in my teens or twenties.
I want my son to look back and his earliest memories to be full of 'our' stories. Who knows that maybe in the years to come he can learn from them and even, tell his son about how his dad was around to spend a couple of hours in the afternoons throwing stones in the sea, making magic potions and building secret camps in which to lock each other up in.
Take yesterday for example. My son's dance class was hip-hop related. Last week he kindly told his dance teacher that his daddy likes hip-hop dancing. His dance teacher said 'Oh you should bring your daddy along.' So you can guess the rest.
Me, a gang of four-year-olds, some dodgy body-popping and it was so much fun. Judging by the hug I got at the end, it meant so much to my son and reminded me exactly why I am doing what I am doing. An hour later I am in a new client meeting pitching, and I'm killing it because I am so buzzed up!
I can do that by managing my own time better and not being confined to a set 9-5 in one place five days a week. This means I am more flexible in my approach, being flexible means less stress, so I am ultimately happier as is everyone around me.
I also have more time to do the things without having the guilt attached that, if I want to do something for me, it's ok.
One of those things is that on a Weds mornings I pay my mate's wife to come over so I can punch her.
-Now, I know this sounds well dodgy, but let me explain. Dave's wife, Hanna is a personal trainer and boxing training is something that she can do very well. I mean to the point that now I ache in places that didn't know existed. I have always hated exercise, but doing this means I save money by not taking up expensive gym memberships and never using them.
How I Do It
When it comes to working, I have clear project deadlines and as long as the work is completed on schedule surely it doesn't matter what time of the day it is produced?. Collaborative working tools mean I can be working on the same item with other people and not have to be in the same room or even the same time zone.
I can get more done by cutting out all the crap. I'm done with the pointless ego-driven meetings, office politics, eye-bleedingly soulless spreadsheets and making polite chit-chat with colleagues I can't stand, not to mention the dreaded commute.
I now work from my office at home surrounded by things and people that inspire me. By changing my view, I am soaking up different conversations, sights, smells and influences that ultimately spark some truly strange and wonderful opportunities. This wouldn't have happened if I was confined by frankly outdated concepts.
Like what I hear you ask? ..Well I am now putting on my own music events and have been commissioned by a major brand that works with the likes of Marvel and the Discovery Channel to be the Creative Lead for the ultimate event for dads. (This is possibly the most fun thing I have ever worked on..)
This last came about as a direct result of a the project that I was working on with a friend and fellow blogger, Jim @BewilderedDad over the Christmas period. Jim is based in the Yorkshire Dales; I'm in Sussex, our catch-up's and creative brainstorms conducted over Skype after the kids had gone to bed.
So there I was a few months ago, making myself ill. Selling-out my creative soul to work on brands that I couldn't connect with and who and tied me up in red-tape. Now I can work on projects that I am passionate about, that make a difference and the world a slightly nicer place.
I'm a massive fan of the Do-Lectures. If you are unaware, it's a series of events where people stand up and tell their own weird and incredibly inspiring stories. The running theme is how the universe has a strange habit of working sh*t out if you are brave enough to take the leap of faith. Why spend the next fifty years doing sh*t you hate, day after day and then look back and think 'What would have happened if.."
One of my most favorite films of all times is The Goonies. You recall the scene where Mikey, discovers the map of One-Eyed Willy's rumored 'rich stuff' and says the immortal line 'What if you guys, just what if'?
Well, that's me all over. I'm proud to say I am a Goonie, and I will always wonder 'What if?'. So here's to p*ssing off the Brad's of this world, out-running the 'Fratellis' grabbing the map and going for the treasure.
What does your treasure map look like?