How to Escape the City

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  • This is what I’ve done in the past and how I landed here. Planning to train to become a psychologist or coach because really enjoy helping people through transition.
  • Tonight is about you.
  • You didn’t have to come – but you did! Well done. Here’s why you came.
  • 1. You want to quit your job…
  • …but you’re not sure what to do about the money question.
  • 2. You’re interested in finding your passion or building a more fulfilling career…
  • …but you don’t know where to begin.
  • 3. You want to change careers…
  • …but feel like now that you’ve trained in a certain path, you don’t want to start from the bottom all over again.
  • 4. You want the kind of job where you can’t wait to get to work in the morning…
  • …but you have no idea where to find those jobs or whether you’re qualified.
  • 5. You want to build a life that you’re proud of, where you feel inspired and energised each day…
  • …but you feel like you’re getting in your own way.
  • 6. You’re interested in meeting like-minded people who are in a similar situation.
  • Let’s start with that last one first. Turn to the person next to you and ask. {Then ask room – what did people say?}
  • Most of you came because you know that there’s more to life, and you’re the one getting in your own way. There are risks that you can take now, and the risk that if you don’t take them now, in 5-10 years you’re going to be in an even worse place.
  • [ASK AUD] --- What makes us who we are at our core?
  • What makes us who we are?
  • [ASK AUD] -- Who are we paid to be in our jobs?
  • We’re often there for the company’s objectives.
  • When what we stand for individually starts to clash or not match what we are being paid to do every day…. That’s where the problems start.
  • And our heads can start to look like this.
  • Most work dissatisfaction comes from the gap between who we are at our core, and who we are being paid to be in our jobs.
  • And that’s why we can start to feel a bit low, like we want to hide under the duvet. Richard Alderson of Careershifters gave a talk where he said he used to hide under the duvet of life – both metaphorically and literally. And it’s no wonder.
  • The things that make us feel alive, like life is worth living – are getting buried. And the opposite of vitality is depression.
  • The main message…
  • This is the book that Rob wrote for members, and it’s excellent. It ties in all the things we’ve learnt from dealing with Escape members, and it’s also the story of how the founders started. I’m going to be referring to it a lot tonight.
  • One of the most unhelpful myths is that there is ONE passion – that once you find it, everything else will fall into place. This is so false. And you can feel so silly for not knowing what your one true passion is. THERE IS NO“ONE” TRUEST SELF
  • The truth is that work satisfaction often comes from having autonomy, mastering a set of skills or a certain area, and feeling like your work is connected to a greater purpose.
  • The truth is that work satisfaction often comes from having autonomy, mastering a set of skills or a certain area, and feeling like your work is connected to a greater purpose.
  • YOUR PASSION IS CREATED, NOT FOUND
  • The trouble is, we spend all of our lives being customers. To find our dream job, we need to start thinking like a supplier, but we’re never taught to think that way.
  • Instead, we shoot off job applications waiting for someone to GIVE us what we’re looking for, again with the customer mindset.
  • You become a more powerful supplier when someone will pay you for what you’re looking to supply – when someone needs what you can supply. You build up leverage when you have competence. Instead of trying to find your passion, focus on building your competence in certain areas.
  • You might not know what you’re passionate about but your interests will typically lead you towards your passion.
  • But where do you start? What if you have no idea what you’re into. If you’re in a bookstore, which sections are you drawn towards? If you had a spare day to do nothing but read, what would you read about? I personally found that I was interested In business, startups, digital media, sociology, psychology – and so I started following industry leaders in that space, getting on Twitter, following their blogs and just educating myself about this space so that I could learn my place within it.
  • Go back to your values and the place you want to move into. And start remembering stories that have resonated with you and notice what those stories have in common. For instance, I’ve heard of members talk about Tim Ferriss; how, through following his blog, they’ve found someone who they want to emulate and follow. Finding your heroes in social enterprise or whatever industry it is that you want to move into, can help you move forwards when you’re not quite sure where to start.
  • If you don’t know where to start, start surfing with purpose – surf the web for people whose biographies jump out at you. Ask around – tell friends, I’m interested in food businesses or I’m interested in learning more about tech startups – and you’ll be surprised what comes back.
  • So when it comes to switching careers, it’s not about finding some magical job or solution. It’s about asking yourself – what makes you come alive? What makes life worth living for you? Is it money? Is it adventure? Is it balance? Is it family? This is where the decision process starts – coming back to values.
  • Listing your five most important values can be a useful step in determining where you should go next. Your values are your compass, and if things feel confusing, it’s often because your compass is broken.
  • A great book on changing your story is WORKING IDENTITY.
  • We start to make change as ‘we start doing new things (craft experiments), interacting with different people (shift connections), and reinterpreting our life stories through the lens of the emerging possibilities (make sense)’.
  • Focus your attention on which of your many possible selves you want to test and learn more. By far the biggest mistake people make is to delay taking the first step until they have settled on a destination.
  • Question then act. You cannot discover yourself solely by introspection. First, ask who might you become? What are the possibilities? Which among your various possible selves should you start to explore now? How can you do that? Work these into specific hypotheses or educated guesses. Then, take action, test your hypotheses and find your way into a new way of thinking and being.
  • Look for small wins rather than untested leaps. Defining a problem as ‘big and serious’ can make us feel overwhelmed and helpless. Identify projects that can help you get a feel for new work. Try to do these as extracurricular activities or parallel paths so that you can experiment seriously without making a commitment. Think in terms of side projects and temporary assignments, not binding decisions. Try out possibilities by simply writing a covering letter, going to interviews and talking to others. Pursue these activities seriously, but delay commitment.
  • Build a new network. Find people who are what you want to be and who can provide support for the transition. Branch out and be socially promiscuous focussing on distant acquaintances not close contacts. They are more likely to know different people from you and, therefore, bump into different information. What’s more they are less likely to doubt you and feel betrayed.
  • To build a network, you need to be useful.
  • Now that you have an Escape fund saved up or some idea of how to make one work, the question is finding out what you want to switch into.
  • First of all, let’s start with the problem of the golden handcuffs. Can anyone explain what that term means? What is the risk of the golden handcuffs?
  • Of course money is important. But not when it is costing you too much. And only you know what that line is.
  • Your personal finance is a personal matter. And escaping can take years. So it’s important to know what the role of money is in your life – what you’re willing to give up for it.
  • To start with, look at how you’re currently spending and saving. Does anyone do this?
  • Track your income, expenses, investment, and debt.
  • Sorting out the money question for yourself can free you up mentally to focus on the other aspects of your escape.
  • There are four numbers to pay attention to.
  • The magic number is D –your target savings amount. If you are serious about escaping then the easiest deadline to set yourself for resignation is the day that you hit your magic number – D – the number that you need to cover you through the hit
  • The minimum acceptable amount to resign on is A x B. The amount you need per month multiplied by the number of months you think your transition will take. Then you tell yourself that after “B” months you need to be at “C” otherwise you’ll rethink your plans or go back to your old job. NB: You may have a part-time work plan for the transition. This can further extend the period you have to make your escape work.
  • Dom wrote a great post on how he lived on 10 pounds day while starting Escape. He had some tips for minimising costs.
  • Read Dom’s blog post – from Escape Manifesto book
  • Self-described “professional nerd” Brett Kelly wrote Evernote Essentials, the first English-language manual for the popular Evernote software. Brett was hoping for a $10,000 payday over the course of a few months—enough to pay off some bills. Instead, he received $10,000 in two days… and then the sales kept coming. Originally conceived as a hobby that Brett worked on during nights and weekends, Evernote Essentials now earns more than $160,000 a year in net income. Here’s what Brett says about the results: “The unreal success of this project has not only freed our family from a decade of debt and financial instability, but has also given us the freedom to pursue the kind of life we want.” Lesson: Simplify things and cash in. Brett developed a comprehensive resource with lots of screenshots and detailed, highly actionable tips. More than 10,000 customers later, it’s still going strong.
  • Now that you have an Escape fund saved up or some idea of how to make one work, the question is finding out what you want to switch into.
  • You didn’t have to come – but you did! Well done. Here’s why you came.
  • We distort our view of the events in our lives in order to maintain the validity of our schemas. Schemas may remain dormant until they are activated by situations relevant to that particular schema.
  • Hank is a member who was a lawyer and hated it but didn’t know where else to go. He started coaching with Phil Bolton and now runs his own startup in the adventure and travel space.
  • 1. You want to quit your job…
  • …but you’re not sure what to do about the money question.
  • 2. You’re interested in finding your passion or building a more fulfilling career…
  • …but you don’t know where to begin.
  • 3. You want to change careers…
  • …but feel like now that you’ve trained in a certain path, you don’t want to start from the bottom all over again.
  • 4. You want the kind of job where you can’t wait to get to work in the morning…
  • …but you have no idea where to find those jobs or whether you’re qualified.
  • 5. You want to build a life that you’re proud of, where you feel inspired and energised each day…
  • …but you feel like you’re getting in your own way.
  • 6. You’re interested in meeting like-minded people who are in a similar situation.

Transcript

  • 1. HOW TO ESCAPE THE CITY
  • 2. WHY ARE YOU HERE?
  • 3. who we are at our core
  • 4. VALUES (GIVE US MEANING) who we are at our core DREAMS (GIVE US HOPE) GOALS (GIVE US MOMENTUM) RELATIONSHIPS (GIVE US CONNECTION)
  • 5. who we are paid to be in our jobs
  • 6. SHOW UP BOSS‟S GOALS COMPANY OBJECTIVES who we are paid to be in our jobs
  • 7. who we are at our core who we are paid to be in our jobs
  • 8. who we are at our core who we are paid to be in our jobs “WHAT‟S THE POINT?” BORED LETHARGIC FRUSTRATED
  • 9. "The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” - Andrew Solomon
  • 10. VALUES (GIVE US MEANING) who we are at our core DREAMS (GIVE US HOPE) GOALS (GIVE US MOMENTUM) RELATIONSHIPS (GIVE US CONNECTION)
  • 11. YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.
  • 12. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
  • 13. YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
  • 14. HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR PASSION, AND WHERE DO YOU START?
  • 15. YOU WANT TO QUIT, BUT HOW WILL YOU LIVE?
  • 16. WHO‟S STOPPING YOU?
  • 17. HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR PASSION, AND WHERE DO YOU START?
  • 18. FOCUS ON COMPETENCE
  • 19. 1. Competence comes from interest. 2. Mastery takes time. 3. Values evolve.
  • 20. The bookstore exercise
  • 21. FIND YOUR HEROES
  • 22. 1. Who makes you jealous? 2. Who are you in your parallel life? 3. Acknowledge your invisible army.
  • 23. COMPETENCE + VALUES = PASSION
  • 24. “To know what a good decision looks like, we first need to determine the criteria for what constitutes a good decision.” - Rob Archer
  • 25. Exploration Discipline Freedom Security Prestige Flexibility Excellence Teamwork Collaboration Transparency Authenticity Autonomy Creativity Independence Self-expression Harmony Democracy
  • 26. CRAFT EXPERIMENTS
  • 27. “Stop trying to find your one true self.”
  • 28. “Question, then act.”
  • 29. “Look for small wins rather than untested leaps.”
  • 30. “Build a new network.”
  • 31. 1. Let go of the customer mindset. 2. Brainstorm what you might like to supply. 3. Test demand. 4. Reach out to people at appealing companies. 5. Get to know them without any expectation
  • 32. YOU WANT TO QUIT, BUT HOW WILL YOU LIVE?
  • 33. “To state the obvious, personal finance is personal. Just as you shouldn‟t let anyone else determine your goals and values, you should also seek to maintain control over your own financial priorities. More than almost any other aspect of identity, if you don‟t have clarity of purpose over how you view the role of money in your life, you‟ll likely end up going along with what other people do.” - Chris Guillebeau – The Art of Non-Conformity
  • 34. CONDUCT A PERSONAL FINANCE AUDIT
  • 35. INCOME (REVENUE) EXPENSES (COSTS) INVESTMENTS (ASSETS) DEBT (LIABILITIES)
  • 36. CRUNCH THE NUMBERS BEHIND YOUR ESCAPE
  • 37. A. THE MINIMUM YOU CAN LIVE ON PER MONTH (DURING YOUR ESCAPE) B. HOW MANY MONTHS YOU THINK YOU‟LL NEED TO LIVE ON IT FOR (THE HIT) C. YOUR IDEAL RECURRING INCOME AFTER THE TRANSITION (POST-ESCAPE) D. YOUR TOTAL ESCAPE FUND (YOUR PREESCAPE SAVINGS)
  • 38. A. THE MINIMUM YOU CAN LIVE ON PER MONTH (DURING YOUR ESCAPE) B. HOW MANY MONTHS YOU THINK YOU‟LL NEED TO LIVE ON IT FOR (THE HIT) C. YOUR IDEAL RECURRING INCOME AFTER THE TRANSITION (POST-ESCAPE) D. YOUR TOTAL ESCAPE FUND (YOUR PREESCAPE SAVINGS)
  • 39. A. THE MINIMUM YOU CAN LIVE ON PER MONTH (DURING YOUR ESCAPE) X B. HOW MANY MONTHS YOU THINK YOU‟LL NEED TO LIVE ON IT FOR (THE HIT) {INFLATE BY AT LEAST 25% AS INSURANCE} C. YOUR IDEAL RECURRING INCOME AFTER THE TRANSITION (POST-ESCAPE) D. YOUR TOTAL ESCAPE FUND (YOUR PREESCAPE SAVINGS)
  • 40. SEE YOUR ESCAPE AS A STARTUP
  • 41. 1. KEEP YOUR COSTS AS LOW AS POSSIBLE WHILST YOU‟RE FINDING THE WAY THAT WORKS. 2. GET SOMEONE TO PAY YOU FOR SOMETHING (ANYTHING) WHILE YOU FIGURE THINGS OUT. 3. KNOW WHAT YOUR MONTHLY BURN-RATE IS (THEREFORE KNOW HOW MANY “MONTHS-TILLDEATH” YOU HAVE). 4. PLACE SMALL BETS AND TEST TOWARDS THE WAY THAT WORKS (RATHER THAN GUESSING OR PLANNING YOUR WAY THROUGH UNCERTAINTY).
  • 42. MINIIMISE COSTS & SAVE INTELLIGENTLY
  • 43. 1. BUDGET 2. STRIP BACK 3. GIVE YOURSELF A DAY OFF 4. AVOID BRANDS 5. HUNT FOR DISCOUNTS 6. AVOID PUBLIC TRANSPORT 7. AVOID TAKING CASH OUT 8. MAKE YOUR OWN LUNCH 9. SAVE UP FOR NIGHTS OUT 10. DEAL WITH RENT 11. MOVE ABROAD
  • 44. “PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS TO SAVE NEVER SEEMED TO WORK OUT AS I COULD NEVER FIGURE OUT AN EASY WAY TO TRACK HOW MUCH MONEY I HAD AT ANY GIVEN POINT IN THE MONTH (GIVEN DIRECT DEBITS). HOWEVER, I KNEW I NEEDED TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. THE ANSWER, I FOUND, WAS TO HAVE THREE ACCOUNTS INSTEAD OF JUST ONE.” - DOM JACKMAN, ESC CO-FOUNDER, OCT 2009
  • 45. ACCOUNT A: FIXED COSTS ACCOUNT B: MONTHLY BUDGET ACCOUNT C: WHERE THE REST OF YOUR SALARY GOES
  • 46. EARN CREATIVELY
  • 47. PART-TIME WORK: Strikingly Odesk Elance Crowdspring
  • 48. RENT STUFF OUT: Airbnb
  • 49. SELL STUFF: Ebay
  • 50. WHO‟S STOPPING YOU?
  • 51. THE OTHER VOICES
  • 52. “You are never alone in the room whenever you are making a big decision.” - Timothy Butler, Getting Unstuck
  • 53. 1. Who are the other voices in the room with you? 2. What are they saying? 3. What would your best self say back to them?
  • 54. MALADAPTIVE SCHEMAS
  • 55. “Schemas are belief systems we have built about the world.” - Reinventing Your Life
  • 56. 1. Approval-seeking: “Excessive emphasis on gaining approval, recognition, or attention from other people, or fitting in, at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self.” 2. Unrelenting standards: “The underlying belief that one must strive to meet very high internalized standards of behavior and performance, usually to avoid criticism. Typically results in feelings of pressure or difficulty slowing down; and in hypercriticalness toward oneself and others.” 3. Punitiveness: “The belief that people should be harshly punished for making mistakes” [JEFFREY YOUNG, PHD – „REINVENTING YOUR LIFE‟]
  • 57. HANK
  • 58. TOOLS
  • 59. 1. Do a digital detoxor microadventure (http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/category/microadve nture/) 2. Date yourself: make time to read 3. Get a coach: Charly Cox, Phil Bolton
  • 60. REVIEW
  • 61. HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR PASSION, AND WHERE DO YOU START?
  • 62. YOU WANT TO QUIT, BUT HOW WILL YOU LIVE?
  • 63. WHO‟S STOPPING YOU?