Wow! I’ve been publishing these reports for a year already. Amazing how time flies. I must admit it’s been interesting and a blast at the same time to share my trials, tribulations, and successes on the freedom lifestyle pathway.
No, the journey isn’t over yet. If anything, it’s just getting started. I still have a lot of work to do before I wind up at my freedom lifestyle destination.
And I hope I can help you reach your freedom destination along the way. Let me be your guinea pig — join me on my trip as we see what works (and what doesn’t). Let me help you increase your freedom along the way.
Since it’s been a year I’m going to do a special report this time. I’m going to go over the highlights from the past year and look at the progress (or lack thereof) that was made on some of the key things from my earlier reports.
My Facebook Page Life Hack Guy (Oct 2015)
Oh, Facebook — how you’ve ruined pages — mainly to wring more profits out of people. Greed ruins everything.
Since Zuck. & Co. have made pages’ organic reach almost irrelevant and shifted custom tabs into obscurity, they just aren’t like they used to be.
I wish I had known this about a year ago, before I dumped a few hundred bucks into getting more likes for the page. Of course, with 3,282 likes there must be someone paying attention, right?
If I pay Facebook to reach them again, then sure.
Groups seem to be where it’s at right now if you want to build a community and engage your followers. Had I known this, I would have instead invested those ad dollars into growing my Facebook group.
Oh well, maybe this shameless self-promotion can help make up for it: apply to join my Facebook group here.
Fitness & Health (Oct 2015)
I completely fell off the wagon with my flexibility experiment. The rope ended up hurting my hands. To make this more bearable, I wore gloves which helped. But for some reason I just stopped. No excuses. I need to block out 5 minutes a day to do this.
I am glad to report that I’m still lifting weights with a friend. There are many days that I either don’t feel like working out or I’m busy and having a workout partner has been a tremendous motivation. Now if I can only get off this plateau…
Nose Job (Nov 2015)
A lot of people thought I was a few cards short of a deck when I told them I had elective surgery on my birthday.
The recovery wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be (even more nasal swelling for 3-4 weeks after the operation), but since then I have no regrets. The quality of my life has increased and I’m breathing easier. The kicker is it cost me nothing since my insurance deductible had been previously met.
Sleep Hacknea (Dec 2015, Aug/Sept 2016)
I’m listing this because I consider it one of the more important ones. However, I did an update in the Aug/Sept 2016 Report so go check that out if you haven’t already.
Website Makeover (Jan 2016)
This was another important one, since a good chunk of our income depends on it. Our ecommerce site (not this one) was completely torn-down and rebuilt.
Unfortunately, the freelancer that helped us build the site and optimize it recently went AWOL on us (presumably because we could not agree on how to do email marketing, though I’m not completely sure).
Here’s a tip on how to be a decent person: if you decide you no longer want to work with somebody, give them notice, or better yet, try to talk your differences out. This works both ways; if your freelancer isn’t cutting it either talk it out or give them notice that you’ll be finding someone else.
Many supposed “self-help” gurus advise dropping people with no explanation if they “bring you down” or stress you out. This includes associates, friends and even family. It’s just a shitty thing to do, period. Karma has a way of coming back to you.
Anyway, we’ll be looking for a new freelancer.
Killing a business: an important lesson on focus (March 2016)
What could be more important than focusing on the tasks that are more likely to catapult you toward your ultimate goals?
Few things aside from health, family, and relationships.
And that’s why I chose to abandon a business that may have had potential: selling tablet PC parts on eBay.
Having to constantly source the tablets, dismantle them, pack and ship them, and then deal with people who either can’t read descriptions or want their item in five minutes was a hassle and source of stress.
The business just didn’t fit in with my freedom lifestyle goals, so even though I was making some money I decided it had to go.
Seven months later I can’t say I regret this decision. I’ve reduced the amount of stress in my life and have freed up more time to focus on things that may not be making money now, but have far greater potential in the future. These are things that can make my freedom lifestyle dream a reality.
Brew You Can Do (April 2016)
I love good beer.
Yeah, I know I’m part hypocrite for expounding the wonders of living a healthy lifestyle while guzzling a tasty brew, but everyone has a vice — right?
For the record, I usually do not drink much beer during the week. All good things must eventually come to an end…until next Friday night J
Anyway, after a 3-year brewing hiatus, I decided to start again.
The sad thing is I haven’t had the time to brew since April and have recently polished off my last clone brew, Alaskan Smoked Porter, which cannot be found in my area. It was delicious by the way.
Now that fall is here and winter is on the way I think I’ll be able to spend more time brewing once I put the lawn mower away. In fact, I’m going to make this a goal.
Making beer is a time-consuming process, often taking 6-8 weeks from the brew date until it’s drinkable. Keeping the pipeline full by brewing every so often will guarantee that I always have a fresh supply of home-brewed craft beer.
Take the Time (May/June 2016)
This nugget was about one of the best time management books I’ve ever read in my life: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
My words won’t do it justice, but let’s just say it makes Tim Ferriss’ account of 80/20 and time management from The 4-Hour Workweek look like he just found out about those things a week before he wrote the book (Tim: if you ever read this know that I still think you’re the man).
If you’re serious about achieving your goals, this book is a must-read. It’s that simple.
Fencing It In (May/June 2016)
This managed to keep the deer out but the rabbits crawled right under the fence and had a free-for-all. Back to the drawing board next spring.
Hacking My Vacation (July 2016)
Vacation was a blast, and saving over $650 without sacrificing fun made it even better.
This was all possible thanks to credit cards and their rewards.
If you try this be sure to pay off your balance every month.
Bonus: I also learned (the hard way) to let some air pressure out of the tires when driving on sand.
Distract Me Not (Aug/Sept 2016)
Our world is literally littered with distractions. The advent of email, social media, and the ubiquity of mobile devices has exacerbated the problem.
Once, we could disconnect and relax while at home in the evening or waiting at the airport. Now, our attention is on call 24/7. And many of us have brought this on ourselves!
I love technology, but I decided a while ago that I was going to use technology, not the other way around. So, my smartphone was void of any email or active social media apps – on purpose.
Though I still do not use social media apps, I did cave and put email on my phone…with a twist.
I wanted it to be available to me if, say, I was waiting for a doctor or whatever, but I didn’t want the constant distraction that usually comes with blinking LEDs and audible notifications every time I get an email.
To prevent this, I simply turned off email notifications on my phone. Now I can check it when I want without the constant distraction.
Unless you’re born into privilege, obtaining a freedom lifestyle is a difficult task that requires intense focus and discipline.
If you want to be free and feel like you can’t get anything done, I strongly suggest either eliminating email and social media from your phone or at least turning the notifications off.
Bonus: your personal relationships are likely to improve.
Some Important Going-Ons From Oct 2016
[Update 2] Tennis, Anyone?
This past October saw my battle with tennis elbow rage on. After seeing a physical therapist in late Sept, I did the exercises I was given very religiously twice per day through all of October. This generally took up 1.5-2 hours of my day.
Though the therapy did help a little it did not cure the condition.
Late last month, I decided to go to another physician to see if I could get a prescription for prednisone, which is known for fighting inflammation.
I was given a week’s worth of pills which only cost me a few dollars.
I’m now happy to report that (so far) the condition is MUCH better; possibly even gone all together. I’ve since stopped the exercises given to me by the physical therapist.
I was only able to work out once since finishing the drug (at the time of this writing), but the workout was an arm workout. So far so good. Hopefully, this is the end of that chapter.
Doing the exercises mentioned above was both boring and time consuming, leaving me without the ability to do much of anything else while performing the moves.
Back in September, a friend lent me a series of DVDs and a book by financial guru Suze Orman.
Since I couldn’t do much of anything else during exercise time besides watch TV or listen to music, I decided to start watching the videos.
After watching Suze talk to (and often yell at) dozens of people who called in for advice, the content in the videos got me thinking about my own financial situation.
Were we saving enough? What about retirement? Should I refinance my mortgage? Do we need to reassess things?
All the above and more buzzed though my mind while watching her wax manically about finances and savings.
We needed a new plan.
Financial planning is scary, so on Halloween a list was made of several items that needed attention. But, since that was the last day of October, we’ll have to pick up on the progress in November’s report.
Until next time, go out there and get the lifestyle you want!
P.S. If you’d like some help designing that lifestyle, feel free to request to join my free Facebook group Life Hacker’s Mastermind.