YES, I DO WORK! Or do I…
None of my mates believe I work. In fact, most of them think I have NEVER worked! That’s despite the fact that I have co-founded 6 businesses that I still have shares in…and one now defunct startup. I’m just as confused about why they think this as they are confused about what I actually do!
I decided to put it to Shane…a friend I have known since high school. Shane works in an office in central London doing accounts for a billionaire Saudi prince. Twelve hour days are the norm for him.
“Stu, most of your mates don’t think you work. Perhaps that is what is the beauty of what you do. You literally blurred the lines between work and play. It is difficult to describe it as work when it does not seem like work. I think you retired early and get paid for it. You are paid to be on holiday…remarkable.”
As an owner of multiple businesses I feel like I have worked my butt off over the years. Have I worked harder, or longer hours, than your average person? I have no idea. I have never paid too much attention to how many hours of work I do in a day. When you’re not doing 9-5 then it is hard to measure. I have tended to work in bursts throughout the day. Working according to what needs to be done…and when I feel like doing it.
I’ve never really been too much of a person for routine. Like most people I appreciate routine, and feel like it gives me some structure and a feeling of comfort. It also enables you to develop habits according to the lifestyle you want to lead. However, I am definitely pretty flexible with my routines!
A couple of hours down at a local cafe in the morning, followed by a jog whilst I still have some caffeine in the tank…breakfast and brainstorming…a couple of hours of computer work, a hit of tennis or a walk to wherever needs walking to…an evening glass of wine whilst reflecting on decisions that need to be made, out for dinner and some emails when I get home. This is a sample day. The next one will probably be different.
Sure, I’ve mixed up the day…and, yes, I tend to follow my biorhythms and listen to my states and moods in deciding what work I will do, when and from where. But I still work! How productive it is…whether it is comparable to what Shane and others in corporate roles work…well, that I am not too sure Yet it feels right. Working like this keeps me motivated. I wake up most mornings feeling excited about the day ahead. I’ve never said “thank God it’s Friday” nor dreaded Monday.
Maybe I have attention deficit disorder. I don’t know, but I struggle to sit in the same spot for a couple of hours or do repetitive tasks for hours on end. I admire those who can sit in an office for a whole day. I’m not confident I could do it…day in, day out. Actually, who am I kidding…I KNOW I couldn’t!
I like the freedom that my work gives me. I appreciate that I can be spontaneous. I enjoy the fusion between work and play. I enjoy my work equally as much as I do to play. Is my life, as Shane says, “like a permanent holiday?”. I don’t think so…although I can understand from an outsider’s perspective it may appear like that. After all, I work from different counties, in traditional holiday destinations, in mountains, by the beach, beside pools…
Last year I travelled around Colombia (amazing country, by the way!) stopping off in some of the spots most visited by travellers. At the same time, however, I needed (and wanted) to work. So I did. I bailed myself up in cafes at times and went sightseeing at other times. On another occasion I went to Mauritius and rented an apartment for a month from where I worked. In fact, during that month I worked a LOT. Yes, from an idyllic setting, but it certainly wasn’t a holiday.
I have a passion for travel and I am passionate about my work. I love the fusion of these two passions. I like the freedom that my work gives me. I appreciate the spontaneity it affords me. I rarely go on a traditional ‘vacation’ where I totally disconnect from work. Why would I? Work is almost like a hobby. Some might say that I am a workaholic. Others might, and do, say that I never work. I could choose to live a more ‘normal’ life and go on ‘traditional’ holidays for 2 weeks or 1 month a year. However, I elected to be able to travel for 3, 6 and sometimes 12 months of the year…
Is my life, like my mate says, like a permanent holiday? Personally, I don’t think so…although from an outsider’s perspective it may, and probably does, appear that way.