Boundless Financial Center
Why I'm Sharing My Finances
In 2017 I quit my job and focused on becoming a freelance consultant. I was lucky enough to make a decent amount of money after not landing any gigs in the first couple of months. During this stretch I kept finding myself called to do more creative projects and even explore what it might feel like to not orient my life around work.
In early 2018 I started writing more seriously, launched a podcast and built the Future of Work Mindset Assessment. I only ended up landing one gig in 2018 and if you ignore when the money was actually "earned" I probably only made $22,000 in 2018.
This was pretty scary as I definitely earned less than my cost of living but it also made me comfortable with the idea that the purpose of life likely has nothing to do with earning a steadily increasing income. I also took practical steps to dramatically cut my cost of living from when I was working full-time and making a lot more money. Overall both of these have enabled me to worry less about money and to be happier with what I have.
This has also enabled me to have the courage to say no to paths which might lead to guaranteed financial success but might undermine the whole point of being self-employed in the first place.
In an effort to further the conversation around how much it costs to be self-employed, chronicle some of my gift economy experiments, and to help track my effort to live a simpler, minimalist life, I am sharing a high level perspective on my financials here. I'd love if this both helps make self-employment seem less scary while also help people start to reimagine ways they might design their life to do what matters to themm
My money principles below
Monthly Earnings (a rough "target" income for perspective based on living a pretty simple life)
Share of Income (How my income sources have shifted over time)
Income Streams (I've optimized for experimenting with more income streams over any one area)
My Guiding Money Principles (Evolving Over Time)
- Minimize the number of things that I consider "necessary" by experimenting going with less and seeing if it really makes my life worse
- When I am experiencing good times look for ways to be generous to others and give money directly to people that need it
- Focus on income over 12-18 month periods, not on a month to month basis
- Focus energy on the fear of going broke rather than channeling energy on trying to make a ton of money (which will only ever numb that feeling)
- Minimize long-term fixed expenses and focus on variable spending that can be adjusted rapidly (housing costs, for example)
- Be willing to go extended periods without income especially if it means I can spend quality time with people that I love or if they need my help
- Become more comfortable with investing in my work and business if there is a good opportunity that presents itself
- Avoid building businesses or doing work that rely on the low-cost labor of others. If I work with others look for ways to be generous, support their lives and possible become friends
- There is no amount of money at which I am a "success."
- Avoid lifestyle creep but be aware of what I am spending every month. Have a good understanding of what a "minimum viable life" costs and aim to make that amount on a 1-2 year basis with the intention of keeping this journey going