Take a blank piece of paper and write down your goals. Do the top 5 look like the following below:
- I want to be rich
- I want to travel the world
- I want to spend more time with family
- I want to do what I like most (This varies from painting, dancing, cooking to..seeing all episodes of of House MD season after season back to back..)
- I want to drive a Mercedes-Benz/Ferrari/Buggati Veyron
80-85% people in the world probably have these goals. Most have the same two-three excuses as to why they can't achieve these: "No Time", "Low Paying Job", " In debt due to house loans", "children's loans" etc.
In the 1990's, these excuses would still be valid. However, the advent of the internet and technology has bought forward solutions that can help achieve some if not all of these aims for an average person.
I am really impressed by the work of Tim Ferris as outlined in his book "The four hour work week". He surmises, that technology can be used to give you control of two things: "Time" and "Location" or space. These, two things when combined can be used to generate economic benefit far beyond what is imaginable.
While, Tim talks about how to make money automatically, I shall be the pragmatist and look at simple examples of how time and space can be used to save money.
The internet allows a knowledge worker to work from anywhere in the world. Telecommuting, work from home, outsourcing are sides to a similar phenomenon where talent does not have to be co-located with demand. However, all these have viewed the problem from the side of the "corporate". There is much more potential if the same thing is viewed from a "personal" front.
A small example, can demonstrate how technology can help you achieve all your dreams. Assume, you live like me in a city like "Mumbai". (It could be New York, Tokyo, Delhi or any other city here).
Say, you have to purchase a house.
A spartan 2 BHK flat in an upmarket area of Mumbai will cost you anywhere between 50-80 lakh rupees (1 lakh=100,000). Add to that the general cost of living , children's school fees etc and you will spend the better part of your life repaying loans to the bank and working your ass out. (No wonder, these "retirement plans" are becoming so popular). Add to this the long commutes, pollution, traffic jams and all the problems that come with living in a large city and it is no wonder that the number of suicides in cities have steadily been going up.
However, consider this scenario. What, if out of the 50-Lakh rupee loan you have taken, you buy a "Bunglow" in a Tier-II city like Nashik. It would probably cost you around 20-25 Lakh rupees.
You invest 1 Lakh for internet and network connectivity with your office in Mumbai. Say, you spend another 1-2 lakhs for a weekly commute to Mumbai(or bi-weekly).
Net-Net you end up saving 25 Lakh rupees which if well invested(and if those call-center people are to be believed) could make you very rich in a very short period of time.
Add to that all the advantages of living in a small town, easier education, lower cost of living , cleaner air and atmosphere etc.
By keeping the town near to the city (like Mumbai or Pune) you can be sure that you do not miss out any opportunities in those cities and yet spend a lot more time with your family and doing things you like at lot cheaper rates and keeping your job. !!!
Sounds, like a dream come true isn't it. !!!
At the core of it, it is simple economics. If one views himself as a business entity, providing services to his company and receiving a profit(his pay) in return, things become amply clear.
Every business entity must either increases his sales and revenue or cut costs to increase his profit. Since, increasing sales and revenue is much harder(especially during recessionary times), it follows that one must cut costs.
By, choosing when to work and from where to work a person can cut his personal costs much the save way the Americans cut the costs of IT Projects by out-sourcing to India.
I believe that this is a powerful idea, whose time has already come. I would explore the steps on how to make this possible in later posts, but would for now like to leave you with an image of you living in a beautiful hill-station enjoying the glorious beauty of nature and having the time of your life with people you love. (And when, you have had enough of that you do a little work as a side activity!!!).