Author Topic: Need advice from people who've been there before  (Read 2410 times)

Gavin

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Need advice from people who've been there before
« on: May 03, 2013, 12:17:15 PM »
Hey all,

My name's Gavin.  I've been reading the MMM blog for a few years now, but I just joined the community today.  I recently decided I need a life change, and I'm asking for advice. I'll lay out my situation below (I hate braggarts and one-uppers, and my intention here is to tell you the complete truth so I can get some honest help and advice).

I'm blessed and I know it.  I'm 25 years old, recently married with a 4 year old step-child, living in a small southern Ohio town (with low cost of living).  I've always been a saver, so I naturally adopted frugal-minded behavior with little to no resistance.  I got through college (state university bachelor's degree in Logistics/Transportation mgmt) with no debt through scholarships and part-time work.  I have no mortgage since I bought my house in cash for $43K.  I enjoy a 6 minute bike ride to and from work everyday.  We're a one car family, using it mainly for church and short trips to family/parks/fun etc. on weekends.  And we are also a one income family. 

Our expenses are low, compared to the average American household, but so is our household income.  Our projected yearly expenses total to around $20-22K.  I work at the headquarters of a medium sized housewares retailer as a Purchaser/Inventory Planner.  I have an after tax income of $26K/per year.  Doing the math, this savings rate does not look good for early retirement, but I know I'm in a great position to start.  Here's my problem:

My job is alright, but its definitely not what I want to do with my life.  I would love to start my own business, but I can't get past the first step.........actually coming up with a viable, profitable idea.  I have so many interests in life (personal finance, nutrition, sustainable living, sports, music, travel, outdoor activities), that I don't know where or even how to start.  I know I need to focus on one thing, at least for a time, but I don't want to take too much time to act in the process.  I just don't want to wake up one day 30 years from now, still working behind a desk, from 8-5 everyday, wearing a collared shirt staring at a computer (no offense to you who are reading this on your computer, while wearing a collared shirt).  Are there other ways to increase my income? Should I look to move to another part of the country......or another country?  There is no off switch in my mind, and these thoughts consume me sometimes........is there anyone out there that has felt like this before?  If so, did you do anything about it?  and what did you do?  any advice is greatly appreciated.  Thanks

the fixer

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Re: Need advice from people who've been there before
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 12:35:56 PM »
If it's any consolation, I think this is a common problem. I've known lots of people who aren't happy with what they're doing with their lives. What's important is to act on that instead of letting yourself get trapped in routine for another 30 years. I don't think you have to do anything drastic immediately, just start with some baby steps. They'll give you the inspiration and encouragement you need to keep going.

Maybe start by finding a group of like-minded entrepreneurial people in your area? Meetup might help you find something. I think that one of the best ways to solidify what you want out of life is to associate with people who have similar goals. It helps fill in the "love and belonging" level of Maslow's heirarchy.

mlipps

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Re: Need advice from people who've been there before
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 01:09:40 PM »
I have nothing to add, except a Howdy to a fellow Ohioan! I grew up in Washington County. :)

swick

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Re: Need advice from people who've been there before
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 01:13:23 PM »
Hi Gavin,

Welcome to the boards, I think you could find a lot of people here int he exact same boat, might be worthwhile to actually start a thread for all of us to connect.

I have so many varied interests I have always had a hard time narrowing down what I would like to do. I have discovered that being in a small town is actually a blessing because it allows many more opportunities to branch out and try new things you wouldn't get to to in a bigger place, simply because there are not 100 other people who are more qualified on paper to do those things - and people are often desperate for help with things that aren't their direct skill set.

In my case I run an oral history department for our local museum, manage our local arts centre and take contract work for our city doing website design and running community safety campaigns. I have been able to take all of my experience and interests over different areas, my small town contacts and fashion an extremely flexible job for myself where I can set my own schedule and hours. Now I'm not the primary income earner in our house but all the extra works makes our FI goals  arrive much quicker.

In a small town or anywhere your best bet is to specialize though and if you have a background in Logistics/Transportation mgmt. perhaps there is an opportunity to build your skills, specialize in an aspect that people need help with and then run a consulting gig on the side.  I don't know much about the field but it looks like it would translate to many different areas of industry and if you can come into a company, solve their specific problems, offer training or put a system in place for them that only requires  the occasional support from you but offers big returns it would be easy to build your client base. You wouldn't necessarily have to travel if you offered online help and digital products. Don't know if that would be a possibility, but it's an idea :)