A Crash Course in Lifestyle Management: Part 1

In January 2010 I told my wife that I wanted to see where the world of whitewater kayaking could take me. I said that in 5 years if I didn’t have a plan that:

  1. did not have me working as an instructor, video boater, or something that kept me on the same river
  2. allowed to me travel
  3. live at an income level that went below my standard of living

I would pack it in and continue the rest of my life working as a fairly successful financial advisor.

As of January 2015 I found myself as a cameraman on one of Red Bull’s biggest shoots of 2015. By July of 2015 I had officially started the process to sell my financial practise and take a leap of faith into the world of adventure filmmaking.

Essentially this life path all boils down to a fateful night at an Ottawa Senators game but I will get to that later. However, the point of all this is, at one point I said to myself:

 I want this enough to go out and give it a try.

And with that, here I am blogging about the life I chose over 5 years ago. I know I will never be a rich man. I know I will likely not have a life full of possessions. But I do know that I will have some incredible experiences, a life rich of amazing people, and an adventure along the way.

I often tell people that I am officially retired as of 2016 because the path I am taking makes me so happy that it seems crazy that it can be work. However, video production and filmmaking is some of the hardest work I have ever done.

In 2008 I was taken to an Ottawa Senators game by a former client of mine. He was the first to really introduce me to blogs, cross-fit, and all sorts of ideas that I had never even heard. He really opened up my eyes to some really cool things. Most of all he introduced me to Tim Ferris. At the time Ferris had just written The Four Hour Work Week.

My client recommended that I take the weekend and really get into that book. I took his advice and by Sunday evening the book was practically unrecognizable with notes, folded pages, and tabs. It really opened my eyes to the idea that what I had been doing with work and my approach to lifestyle was all wrong.

Basically that Monday I was on my path to a new life. And while it did not happen overnight, I was also on the path to what I feel has truly made me happy.

The biggest revelation at that time (and keep in mind that I was a successful financial advisor with staff and an office) was that I just didn’t need to be working all the time. That through automation, training your clients, and the use of various forms of technology I was able to really start designing my lifestyle around what I truly wanted to do… which was not talking about mutual funds all day.

Nowadays I often hear things like “Man, you got it good” or “Must be nice” when I am packing up for a kayaking trip to Ecuador. I sincerely believe that anyone can do this and really chase their dream. Most people are too afraid. 

In March 2009 I took off to Ecuador for a month. At that time wifi wasn’t everywhere and it was a lot more off the grid than it is now. My plan was to start to learn Spanish, kayak everyday, and basically test out the idea that I could work from anywhere. Here’s the kicker… I didn’t tell anyone at work I was going to do this.

I will go into more detail about what I learned from this experiment in my next post. Stay tuned.