Your employer is not the enemy

TroopsHelicopterOK then. First one to leave a comment about Mike Ashley/Sports Direct wins a prize!

But seriously, I’m not writing this for people who are in an unfortunate economic position. This article is for the professionals out there.

You guys work in offices, you probably have degrees and I’d imagine you put the hours in. You are the engineers, the solicitors, the accountants and the consultants. You are the people who feel that ‘life is not great’ but you would not dare to utter those words in front of a group of young men who earn minimum wage for fear that you would be beaten to death for being such an ungrateful wealthy person.


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To free yourself from the grind, be defined by your strengths

MartialArtistHi, I’m Andy.

What do I look like you say? Well, I’m no oil painting. I’ve never been described as ‘the good looking one’. I’m too thin. I’ve not got manly shoulders.

Personality-wise, I’m pretty selfish and like getting what I want. I’m argumentative. I experience periods of quite bad depression and this leads to unpleasant changes in my behaviour towards other people. My mood swings cause trouble between me and my wife sometimes. When I’m down, I become more introverted and lose my confidence.


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Freedom business case-study 1: My computer business

NetworkCablesIt’s no secret that I make the majority of my income as a freelance embedded firmware engineer. I’ve written at length about how I go about making that pay here.

However, the seeds of the freedom that I now enjoy were mostly sewn a long time before I was experienced enough to do that.

One of the key factors that has helped me to break out of the daily grind is having confidence in my ability to start with nothing and use my skills to generate some income independently.

Today I’m going to talk about the business that helped me to nurture that confidence. (more…)

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Our money: The Tank and the Taps

TapsMy version of living a life of freedom and autonomy revolves around having and applying two complementary sets of skills: entrepreneurship and personal finance.

I believe very strongly that being good at both of these things is the key to quickly achieving the type of life balance you would like. Mastering either of these disciplines in isolation definitely has the potential to improve your life vastly (and eventually give you the freedom you desire) but putting them together is like pouring lighter fuel on a fire.


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Why the financial independence community is wrong

ArmWrestleWow! I can’t believe you fell for that clickbait title. But now I have you here, perhaps you’ll hear me out.

I have to start with a massive disclaimer in huge flashing neon letters. I am part of the financial independence community.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, we ‘FIers’ are interested in the concept of building up enough investment capital to allow us to live from the investment returns and make working for a living entirely optional from a surprisingly young age (e.g. 30). Most people achieve this by saving a massive proportion of their income from a professional job. (more…)

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How to work 33% of full-time

RelaxingWARNING: Basic arithmetic ahead.

Don’t worry though, there’s nothing too complicated about this concept. In fact, the first time I thought about this, it seemed far too simple. We all know that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is, right?

However, in this case, I think my logic’s pretty sound. Also, this is roughly how my family and I actually live and we’re…well.. still alive, so maybe it’s not so crazy.

I’ve previously written in detail about one of the specific ways I generate income: freelancing. I do that because it suits my particular skills and temperament. However, doing freelance work instead of being an employee in order to be able to work much less is simply one example of a general principle which I’ll explain here.

These are the 2 steps which you need to take to (reasonably) quickly allow you to work 33% of full-time hours. (more…)

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How I get freelance clients

NotepadPhoneLaptopSo far, I’ve focussed on trying to get my readers to see that, in order to build a life which doesn’t require a 9-5 job to fuel it, they need to be willing to put in the effort, and direct that effort towards appropriate actions.

Whilst these things are true, they are quite abstract concepts. Knowing that you need to put in some effort, for instance to sell your services to existing businesses, is not the same as knowing how exactly to go about doing that.

So, to give you some help in that area, my aim for this post is to take you through the exact process I use to find the freelance work I rely on to feed my kids.

Caveat Emptor

This is my process. I hope that taking you through what I do helps you to achieve what you want. However the things that have worked for me might not work for you. Your personality, family responsibilities, existing skills and professional network are likely to be completely different from mine.


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If you want to live free, your utopia is irrelevant

ParadiseHi there. Let’s have another chat about getting rid of that daily grind that you hate so much.

Right, I’ll begin with a bit of rudeness.

I don’t care about your ideology. I don’t want to discuss politics. I really don’t give a shit about what you think is ‘just’ or ‘right’. Of course, I have my own opinions about all of these things, and maybe you could even change my mind about them, given the opportunity. But I’m writing this post to help you with a very specific problem: you don’t want to have a 9-5 job any more. You want to be able to live life on your own terms.

Unfortunately, whichever version of the world not being ‘fair’ or ‘just’ you subscribe to, your opinion does not make a damn bit of difference as far as achieving that goal is concerned. (more…)

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Rolling a boulder over a hill

MountainHere’s my thesis: building a life of freedom and autonomy is like rolling a heavy boulder over an inverted parabolic hill while the villagers gather around laughing at you. That obviously sounds crazy but do bear with me as I meander towards the point!

I’ll start with a couple of observations.

Observation 1

First, life is usually hard in some way. You can have a large influence over exactly what specific challenges you’ll come up against, but there isn’t a magic way of making life easy. Learning to accept this fact was probably the single biggest personal development leap I ever made.

For example, if you had 10 million pounds, assuming you made reasonably sensible decisions, you’d be set for life (financially) but it wouldn’t ‘complete’ you. There would be no chorus of singing angels or sense of permanent fulfillment. Maybe you wouldn’t be able to think of what to do next. Perhaps you’d attract a load of shallow, money-grabbing friends who only wanted you for your wealth. Who knows? The grass would not be as green as you think it would. (more…)

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