In the Spring of this year I finally came to the realization that the work I was doing, though rewarding, was at best a side hustle and decided to make some changes. Ideas of what to do are easy, ideas always are, but I didn’t really trust my own intuition and decided to ask for help.
So I started a design research project of sorts. Which though odd, makes sense to me since I use design thinking in most areas of my life. In total I interviewed about 12 different people, some of whom knew me, but none of whom have ever worked with me. Most were employed in tech, design, or were entrepreneurs. These were “casual conversations with a purpose”, short, and very open ended. I had no script.
The results were a wall of data which I further distilled to 2 categories, each with 3 data points each.
So I knew how and what to do. But I didn’t take action because all of sudden we started to make money podcasting.
The funny thing about living in Canada is that more money is not always a positive. It has to be a lot more money.
In our first year we made next to nothing, but had almost zero expenses. In our 2nd year, we doubled our income but we added a huge increase in expenses which negated the increase. In our upcoming 3rd year we see a large increase in revenue but now any increases will be absorbed by taxes, depending on how, or if I take a salary.
Yesterday over coffee we looked at the business, our finances and talked more about our future. We lead a modest lifestyle with the majority of our money going to support our mental and physical health. The thought of living here long term, leading the lifestyle we wanted, was a risk, the economics of which no longer exist.
I don’t know other families in Stratford well enough to ask how they manage, but I do know that we make far above the median income and just break even. We can’t approach the same lifestyle we had in Taiwan, nor could we survive on my wife’s salary like we frequently did there.
So we have started planning for an alternative future, one that includes living elsewhere, but also includes me working for someone else, which I admit is attractive, and/or working multiple jobs.
The future is basically more, not less work.