Hi, I’m Brian Jenkins.
I’m here because I want to empower you to overcome whatever obstacles are keeping you from living the life YOU want to live instead of the predestined life you were likely told to live by your family, teachers, bosses, friends, and others.
I know what it’s like to be told that I “have to work hard” to be successful and trade all my time for that success (what’s the point if you don’t have the time to enjoy that success anyway?!?) and that I better just accept the fact that I’ll be a slave to some job 40+ hours per week and if I’m lucky I’ll be able to retire when I’m 65 or even 70 and then enjoy what little may be left of my life.
The problem is that since I was a child, following convention and doing “what I’m told” have never been my forte.
And it was that very problem that caused me to end up on the wrong side of the law in my late teens and early twenties.
I am here as living proof that you can overcome, that you DON’T have to live the life everyone else wants you to live, and that you can design and live the YOU want to live.
There is hope for escaping the clutches of the awful, rusted machine mainstream society uses to churn out “drones” and start living a real, fulfilling life.
So far, I’m not 100% of the way there yet, but I want you to join me on my journey in lifestyle design/hacking and also help you design the life you want to live along the way.
Each post is designed to give you practical ways and hacks to start living the life you want to live.
Technology, health, fitness, entrepreneurship, and continuous self-improvement are tools for designing and living a fulfilling meaningful, happy life. Those are the tools we’ll focus on to obtain the lifestyle we want.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you live the life you want to live as I embark on my journey to do the same for myself.
If you’re interested in hearing more about what lead me to start this blog, read below.
Being independent and thinking differently can be a good thing, but it can also be bad if used improperly. My desire to live life on my own terms made me a drug dealer in my late teens and early twenties.
I was living on my terms (mostly), but heading down the wrong path. After a few years (and a few run-ins with the law), I decided to turn over a new leaf and go to college. Electrical engineering was my major.
One thing I quickly learned was that being in college meant being broke – quite different from what I was used to.
Though I had gotten into lifting weights, I also ate whatever was cheap and available which caused me to gain a few pounds and shot my cholesterol level above the 200 mark.
My finances were not healthy and neither was my body.
The desire to start a legal business on my own was born out of frustration and, to a degree, envy.
My father had started a business selling medical supplies in 1994 after getting laid off. In the early 2000’s, the business was doing pretty decent, at least for one that revolved around one guy sitting in the basement answering the phone.
The thing was my father had no interest in getting me involved in the business. After all, I was “in college” and I was supposed to “get a job” after graduation, so the business was just “not for me.”
The problems with starting my own business were several. I was a full-time engineering student (with plenty of difficult curriculum to master), I had no idea how to start a legitimate business, had no support, and no money at this point.
In fall, 2006 I landed an engineering co-op job which turned out to be as interesting as watching paint dry. During my time there, I hatched my first real, legal entrepreneurial endeavor. I was 26 (soon to be 27), had 2 more years of college and didn’t want to go back to broke when the co-op ended.
And, like all my other jobs from the past, it had left a bad taste about working for someone else in my mouth.
In 2007, I opened a business in my area repairing computers while taking a full load of crazy-difficult engineering courses.
Graduation came in spring 2009, one of the worst economic times in recent years. Luckily for me, I had my business and was making money that way though I was living in my parents’ basement.
Everyone kept telling me that I should “get a job,” so in the spring of 2010 I landed a job as an engineer. “What the heck, I thought. I should at least give working as an engineer a try — I spent 6 ½ years getting this degree.”
I continued to run my business evenings and weekends while working full-time, which was a good thing, because the job turned out to be similar to my co-op in that it was boring and absolutely unfulfilling.
After four and a half months I couldn’t take it anymore and quit. I had done what everyone else wanted me to do and hated it. Time to start living MY life again.
Ups and Downs
It was now mid-2011. I had left my parents’ basement and gotten a place of my own the year before. Much to my surprise, my father announced that he was ready to retire and would let me take the business if I still wanted.
I was elated. I could finally stop fixing computers (which kept me stuck in an area I didn’t want to live in) and earn a decent income while focusing on other ideas I had.
I knew the business wasn’t doing as well as it did in the 90’s and first half of the 2000’s, but I was certain I could turn things around, even though I knew nothing about the industry.
In 2012, I got married and we honeymooned on a tropical island for 10 days. It was my first time leaving the U.S. and first vacation in 10 years.
During the same year, the wife and I did a detox together. I started eating healthier and the few extra pounds I had melted along with some of my cholesterol.
In 2013 we purchased our first home, a short sale we bought below market value.
In fall, 2014 my wife found out she was pregnant.
In mid-2015 our first (and only as of this writing) child was born.
The month she was born was also the worst month our medical supply company had in 21 years. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, 2015 was the worst year the company ever saw.
Shit. Now I have a kid, a mortgage, and maybe a failing business.
I had continued repairing computers but at this point the business was more part-time than anything else.
For a while things seemed to be going my way, but now there were some doubts, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.
So there I was in late 2015, still unfulfilled with my work, scared, angry, and worried that I was going to lose everything I’d worked so hard for over the past few years.
My dreams of living the lifestyle I desired seemed more distant than ever. I felt crushed and didn’t know what to do.
I decided it was time for a hard reset (I wrote a post about this here). I took a good hard look at why the lifestyle I desired had not come to fruition.
I changed my priorities. No more would I dump my heart and soul into a business which didn’t seem to be working and was something that I really wasn’t that passionate about in the first place.
Computer repair would remain part-time, but not a high priority.
I had also started a small eBay business in mid-2014. This business would have to stop, as it often caused me stress and unhappiness to deal with peoples’ frivolous complaints. Sourcing items to sell, then wrapping and shipping them was also a time suck and would not allow me to walk away from the business long-term, which was against my lifestyle design plan.
I would instead focus on making money in such a way that would allow me to live the lifestyle I want to live. I’d start working out more. I’d also take a look at what was lacking in my relationships and go to work fixing that.
And I decided to start this blog to bring you on my journey to design the lifestyle of my dreams and hopefully help others do the same along the way.
The Life Hack Guy articles may seem kind of random at first, but for me tech, health, entrepreneurship, and self-improvement all play a role in designing and living the life I want.
Technology helps you do more in less time and work remotely. Entrepreneurship makes your lifestyle financially possible (note that you may not necessarily need your own business to live the life you want to live). And what good are any of these things if you’re not around to see them or are too unhealthy to enjoy the life you created?
The community is here to inspire, support, and challenge all of you to reject the status quo and live the way you really want to live.
You deserve it.
I want to share my journey with you as I pick up the story where I left off and achieve the lifestyle of my dreams, and I want you all to be able to experience it too!
And always feel free to comment- this is a supportive, encouraging community that wants to help. It’s yours for the taking! I will comment back as much as I can to help you personally.