Remember when I quit my job and vowed never to return, because the modern workplace is a soul-sucking black hole of hope? Because my destiny is to be a globetrotting author/entrepreneur? Yeah, me too.
And yet, here I am, trying to decide on an optimal chair backrest position and wondering if I should get a plant to liven up my office. Cue the violins.
There are a few attitudes I could have about my current situation.
The easiest would be anger: Fuck all this lifestyle design bullshit! Fuck Tim Ferriss, Sean Ogle, Tropical MBA and all the rest! Selling pipe dreams, those cunts are, to gullible young knuckleheads like me who lack the maturity and wisdom to understand that, truly, the only way to make money online is to teach other people how to make money online.
The great thing about this response is that it absolves me of responsibility. I’m just a good kid who got caught up in a fantasy created by those who profit from it! There’s certainly a large and growing community of lifestyle design haters who would welcome me with open arms.
But here’s the cold hard truth: The dream is possible. Southeast Asia is full of people who are living it. You want to know the main reason I’m not? Simply, I didn’t work very hard at it. There is definitely a lot of bullshit, hype and posing in the lifestyle design community. But, there is also a core of smart, hard-working guys making it work. I’ve personally met no fewer than twenty of them.
The reason I’m not frolicking in cash on a tropical beach is that I didn’t put in the time. I spent my hours in Asia training muay thai, partying, and writing my second book. If I had committed a solid six hours a day to building Adsense sites, information products, affiliates, and whatnot, I think there’s a very good chance that I wouldn’t be here right now.
Another alternative would be to feel regret, for not working harder to reach passive income Nirvana during my year off. But I wonder what experiences I would have had to sacrifice to make time for that? Roads not taken and all that.
One thing is for sure though – I’m not yet resigned to life as a wage earner. There are fortunes to be made in niche sites, info products, blogs, and all that good stuff. I’m getting mine, even if not right this minute.
So how does it feel to be back?
It’s a question I get all the time. The honest answer is, it feels pretty good. My year of traveling has been incredible, but there are drawbacks to the transient lifestyle as well. Maybe I’m just a natural rationalizing optimist, but I was happy to be traveling while I was traveling, and I’m happy to be home now that I’m home.
In any event, I am where I am, which is basically the same position I was in exactly two years ago. I can’t deny that the twenty-five year old who wrote this post, or the twenty-six year old who wrote this one, would be disappointed to see me back in an office today. But twenty-seven year old Frost feels OK about it. My expectations were too high, for the effort that I was willing to put in.
So what now? Well, first order of business is to grope awkwardly for a new title, pseudonym and layout that matches the direction I want to take this blog in, despite not being entirely sure what that is, before settling back to the tried-and-true. Check.
Third – and last, for this post at least – is settling some unfinished business with an old friend, one evening in the coffee shop at a time.