Autonomy: It’s kind of like “Fuck You Money,” now.

I have a few friends that simply don’t understand the changes Heather and I are exploring. The more we learn, read, watch, and share experiences with people that are on a similar path, the more we want from life. Today.

Listen, I was the king suburban champion just 5 years ago, walking through brand new $750k houses thinking to myself “One day!” Oh the things a big exit could buy. Toured the Aston Martin dealership, got his card. We’re taught to want more, bigger, better, faster. It’s the north star on the path to success. My dreams were big, and it all centered on FUM: “Fuck You Money.”

“Who wants to come with when I rent out Mugello or Misano for a track day with MogoGP bikes at our disposal? Or take the helicopter for lunch in New Orleans?”

What is FUM? Loosely, it’s never having to answer to anyone for anything about anything. You’ve made so much loot that you can do whatever whenever. You “can’t possibly” run out of the fuel of life… money. It affords a lavish and care free life. FUM’S grand appeal to me, in retrospect, was autonomy. Ok, sure, maybe “lavish” was a nice idea, too.

Let’s look at practical autonomy. The kind of autonomy that doesn’t require 80 hour work weeks for decades to build a unicorn.

First, both Heather and I have crafted incomes that don’t require us to be in a physical space for any extended period of time. For me, maybe that means a meeting here or there as Epic closes larger and larger customers. Heather’s professional life centers around entertainment and Disney travel planning, so at most it’s a trip to a park or learning up close and personal about a newly remodeled Disney cruise line.

Second, a smaller footprint means that we can live in a smaller space, and if you take that to a logical conclusion, it may eventually mean a mobile scenario, or an even smaller permanent space. Today we live in about 1,650 square feet. In Flower Mound, we had 3,500, our largest ever. The goal is to get to a point that we can live in 350 sq. ft., comfortably. Things, when looking through the lens of autonomy, have a strange way of becoming a tether.

Third, with an intentional footprint as small as we’re aiming for, the income we’ll have will go much, much further as compared to traditional American lifestyles: “The American Dream.” Imagine being able to put 75% to 80% of your income into investments, savings, and “entertainment.” How long before your vision of autonomy becomes reality?

This is the path we’re exploring. We’re not looking for permission, we don’t have employers to ask, or schools to clear it with. We don’t have any of the traditional tethers. What we’re building toward is autonomy. You can do this too… and we’re here to pass on what we’ve learned.

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michael

Husband, father, epic adventurer, perpetually curious, rule breaker, startup guy, innovator, maker.

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