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Breaking away from the 9-5

October 22, 2010

One of the big aspirations in my life (and indeed the theme of this blog) is to break away from the 9-5 and never look back.  When I say “9-5” I don’t mean I want to stop working.  On the contrary, I know the things I want to accomplish in life means I’m going to have to work hard.  Probably even harder than when I’m working for “the man”.  But I’m okay with that.  There is a huge satisfaction I get when working for myself.  Setting my own goals, my own schedules, and being accountable to myself.  What I really mean, is daring to work for myself.  Daring to put myself on the line, follow my dreams and live the life I know I want to live.  Pretty simple right?

I have tried both lifestyles in the past

I used to own and operate a high tech recruiting firm for about 5 years.  I remodeled the garage behind my house into a fully equipped office and started “commuting” to work in my sweat pants and slippers.  It was awesome.  Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I gave it up.  But I did.  I wanted to try something new, and at the time I only equated that to a different job.   So sad…

In hindsight I should have moved to South America and kept working, all the while traveling and experiencing new places.  After all, I had a location independent business!  Why not take advantage.  Instead, I shut down the company and took a J.O.B. with a local software company.  3 years after that (again needing something new) I moved to Denver and took another job with a systems integration firm that lasted another 2 years.

5 years have gone by and now it seems like I’m back where I started, both physically and mentally.  Through a series of weird events I find myself back in Fairfield Idaho, without a full time job, and without a clue as to where my next check is going to come from (unemployment maybe?).

For some strange reason I’m okay with that.  I actually feel a profound sense of peace and optimism about the situation.  It’s almost as though someone somewhere is forcing me to stop dreaming about the life I want to live.  That someone is telling me to get off my ass and actually start making it happen!

Sure, it’s a little scary.  But beyond being scary it’s exciting, empowering and a challenge I’m ready to take head on!

So what am I going to do?

This is what all my friends and family have been asking me.  I’m sure its perplexing to all of them that I moved back to Fairfield, a place with zero jobs (but tons of hotsprings!) and still expect to be able to provide for my family.  Honestly, I’m a little worried myself.  But! (and this is a BIG but) I have some killer inspiration and heroes that are proving to me that my dreams ARE possible.  These heroes’s have set out on similar paths ahead of me and are kicking ass and taking names along the way.

Where I draw my inspiration from

Corbett Barr – This guy’s story seems so much like my own that I was naturally drawn to his writing.  Like me, Corbett is creating a location independent business that allows him to work anywhere in the world.  Well, he has already done it.  Corbett writes on strategies for working for yourself and living the life you want.  The name of his site is Free Pursuits and it has really inspired me to take the leap I know I need to take.  He is also a freelancer & consultant helping people build high traffic websites at ThinkTraffic.  Very similar to what I’m trying to accomplish with BizEvolution.  I like Corbett because he not only is making this whole “Solopreneur” thing happen, he is doing it relatively quickly by actively working on two projects at the same time.  I admire that dedication and passion to making things happen.  I only hope I have the same drive and stay power as he does.

Chris Guillebeau – If you want to talk about inspiration, look no further than Chris’s Blog, The Art of Non-Conformity.  Ever since I was introduced to him through Seth Godin, I’ve been hooked.  Chris makes traveling the world, working for yourself and setting your own rules look like child’s play.  He has released two awesome (and free!) manifestos that I’ve read at least three times each.  He also has a huge collection of “Unconventional Guides” he’s written covering topics on travel, working for yourself, and living the life you want.  Do yourself a favor and check him out if you haven’t already.  But be advised, a severe case of wanderlust may follow.

Seth Godin – Put quite simply, nobody does it like Seth.  I have been a fan of Seth Godin, his huge list of best selling books, and his blog for many years now.  His short daily updates always have killer advice and insights.  Above all, Seth really understands the new world we are living in and works hard to help people understand the new “rules” of the game.  If you want a highly relevant and timely business advice, I suggest you subscribe to his blog or get his most recent book, Linchpin.

And the list goes on…

Of course there are many more writers, bloggers, artists, non-conformists, travelers and more that I’ve been drawing inspiration from.  People like John T. Unger or Hazel Dooney who prove that artists can survive and thrive on their own without middle men.  World travelers like Jodi Ettenberg at Legal Nomads and  Benny Lewis of Fluent in 3 Months are proving that traveling the world is possible to do and more fulfilling than run of the mill corporate jobs .  I’m also highly encouraged by people like Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt & JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly.  I’m learning a great deal from them in the realm of personal finance, letting go of material possessions and what the definition of “true wealth” really means to me.  The list could go on and on, but I’ll stop there for now.

The point I’m really trying to make is this:

It really is possible to break away from the 9-5.  Not only that, success on your own is possible and even probable if you are willing to put in the time and stick to it.  There are countless others out there doing it already.

Not to sound self absorbed or anything, but I don’t think any of these people have more than I’ve got.  They don’t have some god given talent that is unobtainable by me or anyone else.  The main difference is that these people realized their dreams and actually went for them.  They ignored the nay-sayers and friends who told them it wasn’t possible.  They put their head down, got to work and kicked some ass!

Now it’s time for me to follow suit, but in my own deliberate and very “Bryanish” type way that I do things.  It is time for me to roll up my sleeves, get my game face on, and start following my own dreams.  I can’t wait to share the experience with you.


So how about you?  Have any dreams you want to go after but haven’t made happen quite yet?  Feel like you need a little encouragement.  Use the comments section below and I’ll make sure to pump you up – whether you deserve it or not.  Oh and Cheers to following your dreams!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Amie permalink
    October 22, 2010 9:52 pm

    Bryan you are so encouraging! I’ve always dreamed of living a similar lifestyle! Can’t wait to hear more of your journey! So go kick some ass!!

  2. Jillian Jackowski permalink
    October 23, 2010 4:21 am


    I was just writing to tell you that your blog was truely inspirational. I am proud of you. I hope all of your nittengritten stick-to-it-edness pays off for you and yours! Question… Why are all of the Wilsons so amazing in their own right? Your family has definitely got it! I can honestly say I have never met such a wonderful mix of people under the same roof.

    Go for it! I look forward to reading about the progress along the way.

    • October 23, 2010 2:41 pm

      thanks so much for the kind words jillian that is awesome. really appreciate the encouragement.

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