Escaping the 9-5 sounds great right? Everyone we ever talk to agrees that they would like to have fewer obligations and be freer. They want to make their freedom lifestyle a reality.
At the same time, they think it is impossible.
It’s just a fantasy to daydream about. After all, how do you even start to escape your 9-5?
Here’s our advice on what you should and should not do to escape your 9-5.
Don’t start running up the mountain
If you want to escape the 9-5, don’t just start working towards it today. That is too stressful and might lead you to give up quickly.
Sure, escaping the 9-5 sounds like a good target on its own. Yet, it is not a real target. It is rather a means of getting somewhere. Your achievement should not be that you escaped the 9-5.
There should be something on the other side.
Escaping the 9-5 can seem like a huge mountain. Just starting to run up the mountain will not get you far. You will run out of breath quickly, and motivation will start slipping away.
The first thing you need to do is to understand your WHY.
Why do you want to climb up this mountain? What is waiting for you up there?
In other words, you should define what your ideal freedom lifestyle looks like. How would your life look like if you didn’t have to work?
Don’t fall into the trap of jumping too quickly to thinking about ways how to do “it”.
Become very clear about WHAT you want.
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Make your freedom lifestyle tangible
Envisioning your life without the 9-5 obligations will create a real target to pursue.
A good way to make your freedom lifestyle is to create a vision board. A vision board is a creative way of making your dreams tangible and keeping the focus on your targets.
If you make your ideal lifestyle tangible, you can get excited and motivated to start working towards it.
Your motivation will then be pushing you forward. You might not know the steps you will need to take yet. But your target will be your north star that will lead the path.
Having a clear idea of where you want to get to will help you when challenges and push backs arise. There will inevitably be hurdles in your way.
Sometimes, it would feel as if escaping the 9-5 is a myth that can’t be achieved. But as long as you have a clear vision of why you are working to escape the 9-5, you will have the motivation to continue.
If you don’t create a vision of your ideal freedom lifestyle, you won’t know where to navigate. You can’t get to a place if you don’t know what that place is.
It will always seem scary and unapproachable. You will get easily overwhelmed by concerns and all the reasons why you can’t do it.
Start by eliminating what you don’t want in your freedom lifestyle
Often we hear from people that they want to escape the 9-5, but have no clue what they want to do instead. That is completely normal! We were in the same situation once.
Another way to approach defining your freedom lifestyle is to think of all the things you don’t want.
It is easier to think of all the things you don’t want in your ideal lifestyle since you are already familiar with those things.
What is bothering you about your current lifestyle? Is it your 9-5 job? The routine? The lack of time to enjoy your hobbies?
Making a list of things you don’t want and writing them down is part of envisioning the freedom lifestyle.
It is a great way to start defining your freedom lifestyle.
As you envision eliminating each thing that you don’t like about your current lifestyle, you will start to see there is more time available.
Then you can start to imagine what you may do with that extra time.
A student at one of our workshops told us they’ll want to use the extra time to sleep.
This is completely fine!
You don’t have to be productive all the time
It doesn’t have to be something ultra-productive or a new career. Maybe you need some recovery time. Time to think about what you want to do.
When we first escaped our 9-5 grind, we used the time to travel and relax. We had weeks that we have done nothing productive. Relaxing at the beautiful beaches of Thailand.
We needed that time off. Our lives were very busy, working day in day out. We had no time to think of what we would do once we would quit our jobs.
The time off helped us realize what is important to us, what makes us happy, and what gives us energy.
What you do with the free time you have may change in the future. It is not set in stone.
Taking time to think and reflect on what you want to do can be one of the most productive things you can do in your free time. We strongly recommend taking some time off before moving on to a full-time project or hobby.
How much does it cost to do nothing?
If doing nothing can be productive because it gives you the mental space to think of what you want to do, how much does it even cost?
You can make a definitive calculation of how much it will cost you to do nothing.
By doing nothing, we mean maintaining a certain lifestyle where you take time off to figure things out. Not working on any new projects or starting new hobbies.
To calculate how much it costs you to do nothing, you can calculate your current living expenses. That is your current monthly budget.
Reduce all work-related costs. These are the cost of transport, outside lunches, and any other costs associated with going to work.
The result would be what it would cost you to keep your current lifestyle without having to work. You might be surprised that it may be lower than you expected.
If you would like to reduce the cost of doing nothing, you can start to think creatively about options. Moving to a country with a lower cost of living for a few months can save you a lot of money.
The cost of living in South East Asia is a third of the cost of living in Western Europe or Northern America.
If you think creatively, everything becomes affordable.
Questions to define your freedom lifestyle
You can start defining your freedom lifestyle before escaping the 9-5 or after you do. Here’s what you can do to make your freedom lifestyle tangible.
Ask yourself the following questions.
1. If you received your salary for the next 6 months but didn’t have to work for it, what would you do?
Would you still want to go into the office? Would you start a new hobby? Start a business?
2. What makes you have a great day?
Think about what makes you look back at a day and think it was a great day. Is it achieving many things? Is it doing nothing? Spending time with family?
3. What gives you energy?
Think of activities that give you energy rather than take energy.
4. When do you feel most productive?
Are you more productive in the morning or afternoon? When do you have the most energy to complete tasks?
5. Who do you look up to?
Do you have any role models? Someone that lives your ideal life? What are they doing that you are not?
Your freedom lifestyle is more attainable than you think
By envisioning your ideal lifestyle, you will be able to start planning towards it.
After you have a list of the things you don’t want to do and a list of the things you want to do, you can start researching the details.
For example, if you wish to travel the world full time for more than a year, research it.
Which countries do you want to visit? How much is the cost of living in those countries? How long do you want to spend in each country?
If you want to start your own online fashion boutique store, research it.
Start thinking of what will be your investment? What costs will you need to cover? How long before you expect it to be profitable?
We are not saying that you should know all the details in advance. That is impossible. But, it is good to have a good estimation of what you need to achieve those dreams.
In most cases, the actual cost of our dreams is much lower than we think.
By going through the exercise of researching, estimating, and planning, you will start to see how much your dream costs.
Then you can start thinking about how to get there. Think creatively of the different options of achieving your dreams.
Make a plan for your freedom lifestyle
Once you have a clear idea of what your freedom lifestyle looks like and en estimate of what it would cost, you can start planning towards it.
Before you start taking action and climbing up that mountain, make sure you have an idea of how you want to do it.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Set yourself goals, milestones, and mini steps you can start doing today. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged Gantt chart. Yet you should have a direction and some deadlines for yourself.
Your plan should not be set in stone. You will discover new challenges and opportunities along the way. These are things you want to be open to.
In other words, your plan will not be 100% perfect. At the same time, it should not be completely replaced every month. Some elements should stick throughout your journey.
After making a plan, it is time to finally take action and start moving towards your freedom lifestyle.
Take action to reach your freedom lifestyle
When you talk about something it becomes a dream.
When you envision a dream it becomes exciting.
When you plan for it, it becomes possible.
Finally, when you take action, it’s REAL!
Taking action is perhaps the most important part of chasing our dreams. Yet without all the previous steps, taking action could lead to running around in circles.
Once you have a clear plan, you simply have to follow the steps. It is like following the instructions of a recipe.
As said before, you might adjust your plan once in a while. But to know what to change, you have to take the first steps of your plan.
To help you escape your 9-5, we have created a course that walks you through all the necessary steps.
We walk you through everything you need to do to eliminate the need to work for your money. You will learn to automate your income. This way you can choose what you do with your time.
If you are interested in taking the course, sign up to the list below and we will update you once the course has launched.
If you doubt whether this is possible for you, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what’s holding you back.
We’ll work together with you to figure out how YOU can escape the 9-5.