What holds you back?

What is it that is truly holding you back? That is the question you need to ask yourself consistently, and it’s a question I asked myself this weekend just gone. The answer is going to be different for everyone, but for me, I just found out that it was the polar opposite to what I thought.

It’s not even the end of February and already, 2017 has been monumental! Those of you who read my last post will be familiar with the intentions I set for myself at the end of last year. But if not, basically (amongst other things) I wanted to pay off all my debts, become more authentic to myself in order to inspire those around me to live a better life, to semi-retire from plumbing and create a new source of income. Nearly all of these have been accomplished and it’s not even March.

I realised early in the year that plumbing was holding me back in a big way and to only semi retire was to only go forth at half throttle. I’m not one to do things half arsed. So two weeks ago I made the decision to completely retire from plumbing. This was a not a decision I took lightly and I sat with it for a few days. But once I had made up my mind I felt incredibly empowered and ready to move mountains.

The past couple of weeks have been about finishing up my last jobs and tying off loose ends in the plumbing world. But it’s also been about diving into a whole new world manifested by yours truly to give me maximum freedom and plant the seed for wealth. This, my friends, is the beginning of an entire new chapter in the Adventures of Earthboy. No 40 hour work week for me.

To sum it up I have been teaching Cert II in Plumbing twice a week, I have started working for an online life coaching program and have opened the door to the world of network marketing. The latter two being sources of income that are directly related to the amount of work I put in. Thus enabling me to dictate my own work week, make more money and stop hammering my body being a tradie.

So as you may know, starting one new job can be stressful. But wrapping up a business whilst starting THREE new jobs is a quantum leap into the deep end. Full immersion into the unknown! I found myself starting to lose track of time, getting busy in the mind. This is something that I mastered last year; time control. When you are present in the moment, (that is not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future) Time slows down! It took me a week or so to tune in to the fact that I was losing this, but I called myself out on it. When I thought about it, I realised that I was worrying about money too much. I was so focused on paying off my debts and paying off the final bills that come with wrapping up a business, that I had lost touch with my most precious value; freedom.

You may be thinking something like “But hang on a second. You have to pay off your debts, they’re not going to disappear like magic, you can’t just ignore them” I’m very aware of that, and I have a way out that doubles up on the outcome for maximum gain.

Q. Why do we accumulate debt?
A. To pay for shit we can’t afford.

Bonus points if you answered – To pay for shit we can’t afford in an attempt to buy our happiness and justify locking ourselves into a career until we’re old and decrepit.

What I realised was that it isn’t just a lack of money holding me back from paying off my debts. It is in fact very reciprocal. My debts are overwhelming me and taking away my time and money! And it’s always been that way! I got my first loan as a first year apprentice while I was earning $200 a week and have been just behind ever since. No matter how much I earned, always living just out of my means. It’s like a never ending whirlpool and I’ve been trying to swim against the current. I’ve decided to give in, I’m going to let the whirlpool take me back to zero… This thought has been reoccurring in my mind consistently for the past 10 years. And if I’m honest with myself, the only reason I haven’t put it into effect is because I’m afraid. Afraid of what true freedom is going to feel like.

So I’m doing it. I’m selling all my belongings. All my material possessions, all my plumbing tools and equipment, my car, everything that isn’t necessary for me to exist. This is going to pay off 100% of all my debts meaning that every single dollar I earn is mine! (Except for the tax man, he probably wants some, but we’ll see what happens)

I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous! Not because I won’t have any belongings any more. But because for the first time in my working life I will be absolutely free to do what I want. To work where I want and to live where I want.

It’s funny, I thought it was my debt that was holding me back, but it was only fear. I’ve known this life for so long that had become comfortable, content and complacent. I have been trying to win at the game, but it’s not built for us to win, us winning is not in the rules! I’m going to take my little thimble back to GO and re-write the rules. I’m going to create my own wealth. But wealth to me is not just about money. It’s a collection of essential human needs, consisting of these five elements:

  • Love, free-flowing universal love
  • A connection with nature and the Earth
  • A connection with myself, my brothers and my sisters of this world
  • Money with no chains attached
  • And time to allow all this to happen

I’m excited for the new adventures that await, excited to see what this world has to offer a free man. I’m proud of myself that I’ve finally decided to take the bull by the horns and let him know who’s boss. I feel empowered and ready to own this life. I am ready to be better than the person in the mirror, but love that person at the same time. I’m ready to go forward, full power and enjoy the ride. Because the ride is the best bit.

2 0 1 6

I have managed to support myself for almost a year now, relying only on the income I generate for myself.

Seeing January trough employed full time; in February I stepped out into the world and started Gully Plumbing Services with a childhood friend. The Plan was to start a business that would support us both to be able to work part time and still earn a half decent wage.

My plan was to study psychology in preparation for a career change in 5 years’ time. Late February I received a letter of offer from Swinburne to study full time. But the schedule was too intense and I wasn’t able to afford to attend uni 5 days a week and still run a business. I reluctantly declined the offer, which in the end, turned out to be a blessing.

By April, the plan for Gully Plumbing Services fell through and, as it eventuated, so did a friendship. And I stepped out of the business to start my own. This was a huge setback financially, but an even bigger leap forward in terms of personal progression. Hence we have the birth of Stag Plumbing.

The business started slow, developing a logo, letterheads, business cards, bank accounts, everything you need to run a business. For the second time this year. But by early May I had work rolling in and booked out for 2 weeks in advance. Come mid-May I had an accident and slashed my wrist open on the job. This resulted in surgery and not being able to work for 4 weeks. I guess we can call this setback number 2.

By mid-June I was back on the tools and earning money. The month ran at a loss after paying a back catalogue of bills and forking out a large sum of money for car repairs (setback 3) but still, overall had a good turn over.

July, the business really started taking off and I am finally making half decent money.

It really took the first six months of this year to find my feet in the world of self employment. But since finding my feet, I have been able to focus on giving myself more free time to live as opposed to just exist. With a plumber’s income I have been able to survive with only 2-3 days’ work per week. And as a result I have learnt what it means to be, what I call, ‘time-rich’ I feel like I’m now living a far more intentional life, instead of just participating mindlessly in society. No more 9-5 bullshit. When you’re time rich, your money goes further, you don’t have to buy lunch and you don’t have to buy happiness.

I finally have a grip on life. This year might just be the year where I finally get some traction, instead of spinning my wheels as I have done for the previous 28 years, trying to find my way amongst the expectations of societal standards. I pledge to not be a slave anymore.

October saw the passing of Poppy, a loving man I drew a lot of inspiration from in terms of his integrity, creativity and adventurous spirit. His passing served as a reminder that we are only on this earth for a short time. And we are here to live, not to pay bills for our whole lives in the hope that one day, when we retire. We can finally rest and spend our last decade or so enjoying our previous 65 years of hard work.

What have I done with all my spare time? I have been able to focus on myself, to mindfully contemplate who I am, what I desire, and how I want to live. I have been able to slow down life and as a result, slow down time! When you start to realise who you are, and when you start to listen to your soul. The universe will provide. In fact, upon reflection I have learned that the universe will always provide. The only thing that changes is whether you listen or not.

Since connecting with my inner self and listening to my heart, some of the most inspirational and amazing people have entered my life. And they just keep coming, keep gravitating towards me. I have drawn inspiration from everyone I’ve ever met in my life, but these people have truly inspired me to pursue my personal legend. From this I have learned two things.

  • You are the product of your environment, and the people you surround yourself with.
  • You attract the energy you put out, positive vibes attract positive people and positive situations.

The latter is a segue to the most recent occurrence of the year, and this is a clear example of the law of attraction. I have been offered a position at Kambrya Secondary College as the VET Plumbing teacher. Teaching year 10-12 students plumbing, 2 days per week. This opportunity will provide me with a regular income and the flexibility to work as much for myself as I would like. While also allowing me to focus on the transition to the next stage of my life.

My goals for next year?

  • To pay off 100% of the debts I accumulated while working my 40hr a week job thus freeing myself to live a more minimalistic and purposeful life
  • To focus more on my personal development with the aim of being truly authentic to myself
  • To inspire and to improve the lives of those around me
  • To semi retire the plumber’s boots, create a new source of income and generate wealth whilst maintaining freedom