In Paul Jarvis’ book, Company of One, he tells a story of his accountant friend who made enough money by August to take the rest of the year off to go rock climbing. He figured out how much money he needed to be comfortable, made it and then went off to pursue his passions.
It’s not every day you come across life changing stories, but for me, that was one of them. I remember putting down the book that same day and making a list of my financial goals, setting ideal deadlines and figuring out just how much I’d need to make to achieve them all.
But unlike Paul’s friend who front-loaded his year and then took the rest of the time off, I wanted to figure out how much I needed to make monthly to cover expenses and save. Then I set about finding the work that would allow me to make that money in the least amount of time possible. Right now, I’ve managed to bring that time down to 4-6 hours per week.
That means the income I make from working for 4-6 hours (from retainer clients) is all I need to live and achieve my goals. Anything I do beyond that can be purely for fun or passion. I can take the day off to read a book or go to the beach on a Tuesday. I can choose any additional work I take on based on my desire to do it, not out of obligation to arbitrarily grow my business or increase my income.
I acknowledge the privilege it takes for me to say this. I have the benefit of living rent free. I freelance and work from home, so I don’t need to own a car. I’m a minimalist and my hobbies are free or super cheap. And most importantly, I have a career that’s flexible and pays well enough to accommodate this.
I get that.
Yet, I still believe it’s beneficial for everyone to find their “enough”. Put dollar amounts to your goals and dreams and figure out exactly what it takes to get there.
Not only will you gain clarity on what’s realistic and what’s not, it will help you tremendously in finding and choosing the right opportunities in the future. You will finally know for sure how much you’ll need to work, how much you’ll need to save and identify what it takes to get you there.
What’s your “enough”?