How many hours a week does your rat race job take you away from your home and family? Including drive time I’m currently clocking in at 55 hours. Add on top of that errands to run and a house to maintain and suddenly there isn’t much time left to pursue the things that I hope would some day allow me to get out of the rat race. I sometimes catch myself thinking that it would just be so easy to not care and resign myself to a life of meaningless work and look forward to coming home each day and simply relaxing with my family. Not always striving for more…maybe there isn’t anything more that I’m supposed to have? It’s times like these that I have to remind myself that the potential reward for my perseverance far out ways the inconvenience of the efforts put in at this very moment.
In some ways this brings us back to what I wrote in my article entitled Trimming the Fat, Even if it Hurts. When society has already placed such a premium on your free time how do you determine if the things you are spending your time on are leading you towards your goals or are just another distraction? That’s a tough one. I started this blog simply to chronicle my journey towards self-employment and self-sufficiency. Along the way though I learned some different things about promoting and monetizing websites so I decided that if I was going to make the website anyway I might as well try and make a little bit of money with it. So now I’m writing about three articles a week for this website and I have to admit that there are times that I question the time spent on it. For all the writing I’ve done during my lunch breaks on this blog I could be about 1/3 of the way finished writing a novel. With the time I’ve spent at home developing and promoting the website I could certainly have gotten some recording work done on my music.
So should I kill this blog simply because it is not taking me directly to the goals I desire? No, sometimes you need things that can lead you to where you want to go in a round about way. If a truly miraculous thing would happen and this website would start to generate some income, well then I am partly on my way towards self-employment and in the process I have put many hours of practice into my writing skills. Running I’m Not A Rat also forces me to sometimes try things that I wouldn’t other wise put the effort into. So I’m also learning and becoming a more well rounded person thanks to this website.
Let me give you one more example. When I started my new job a few months back there was another guy that started at the same time as me. From the very beginning it was clear that he wasn’t a good fit for the company we both worked for. He revealed to me that what he really wanted to do was own a tanning salon. After two weeks of complaining about the company he came back from a long weekend and told me that he had purchased carpet cleaning equipment for a couple grand, incorporated a business, and secured several large contracts for cleaning apartments after people move out. In one weekend he created a business with enough income generation to get himself out of the rat race. He had big plans for this cleaning business too. Within two months he hoped to have his operation large enough to hire a couple of employees and soon after that have enough saved to start that tanning salon that he dreamed about.
My former co-worker was willing to put in the effort in a big way to achieve his dreams even if that meant deferring them for a while so that he could develop another business as a means to an end. These kind of stories inspire me to push on and stay the course even when all I want to do is relax. I don’t advocate pursuing your dreams at all costs to time spent with family. I’ve seen other authors that would seem to suggest just that. The point of all this in the end is to spend more time with my family not less, so it would seem contradictory to spend no time with them now. Incidentally I got up early in the morning to get this typed before the rest of my family work up. I see them little enough thanks to my job, I don’t need to ignore them when they are awake too.