Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Living the Perfect Life

Finding peace and satisfaction in a stress-free quality of life. Sounds great doesn't it? Too good to be true? It's all in how you look at it.

This morning I was reading the latest blog post on Copyblogger by Johnny B Truant (here).
There was a paragraph about a guy who gave up his big city job, moved to the country, and actually made more money by working less.

It reminded me of one of the many detours I have taken off the traditional path.  I arrived in a small blue collar town full of hard working folk, still recovering from the last recession.  
I came from the big city.  I had a Liberal Arts degree with a background in art and photography, and a dream of opening an art gallery. 
While I did make an effort to fulfill that dream, after 18 months of struggling I realized I was just in the wrong place for this. 
I needed income and a friend suggested the cleaning business.  While not so glamorous, it was a job where I could stay self employed.  This friend became my mentor who taught me tricks and tips that wouldn't make house cleaning seem like housekeeping.  (Never underestimate the value of a mentor by the way!)

In 2 years I built my clientele up to a full time income and was able to move to a lovely rural area in lush natural surroundings.
I commuted to all my jobs but it was a different drive every day - through the countryside, or even to the next town.
I know my attention to detail, my integrity, and reliability were some of my keys to success.  I treated it like a business, and not just a job.
Even when the economy bombed I still had work, but more importantly I had the quality of life I had always dreamed of;  no stress, enough income, low overhead, because rural living is more affordable, not to mention more peaceful.  I have enough free time to continue with my art and photography as well as gardening and being outdoors in nature.

Now, 20 years later I am still supporting myself this way.  More commercial work has replaced the residential, but even the residential has evolved into cabin care-taking and landscape maintenance.  Not to say that I haven't tried replacing some income with other pursuits, I even ran a small art collective while still doing the cleaning business.

My point is that you can create your own life - whatever it is you need to feel fulfilled.
It's about being at peace, finding joy, because you live a slower lifestyle.  Enjoying better health, better relationships, more hobbies, whatever.

I own an older mobile home which I got for a steal.  My expenses are ridiculously cheap and my business overhead is low.  It really takes the pressure off my earning commitment.

I did have a plan, and I followed it.  I lived in rentals, took on extra side jobs, and even lived in a travel trailer for 9 months just so I could get into another part of the county.  It still took 2 more rentals after that before I could buy my first house on a lease option.

I'm not done yet.  I still want another house and a less physically laborious business, but I have the formula and the desire, which is all I need to get there.

You can have any lifestyle you want - but you may have to break free from traditional methods and societal expectations.
Only you know what you really want, and at the bottom of the list - or the bare-bones desire - is peace.  Isn't that the real goal?  To feel good about yourself, living the life you choose?

I look forward to your comments about this.  If you have a similar story I would love to do a guest interview about you!!


  1. Nice post! Very inspiring! I can't wait to hear what others have to share on this one. Thanks for the great post! :-) Jennifer

  2. Great post... thanks for sharing your story. Inspiration!

  3. Its awesome..
    I really love it..

    Regards from India,

  4. Thank you readers for your awesome comments!!


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