The original idea for Calm Simplicity was to set up a digital detox retreat in the UK, Spain, Portugal or France.
Somewhere where people from any walk of life could leave their stresses and anxieties at home and get away from their electronic devices, disconnect from the online world and and enjoy a long weekend of pleasurable activities in a non hippy, trippy way.
And then I realised something. Something so big and so obvious that it hit me like a ton of lead.
My anxiety and stress were not caused by my constant connection to the digital world, that was just a symptom of my lifestyle. It just dawned on me one day that there were three major issues causing my anxieties.
All three of them are linked inextricably so let me explain.
Most people worry about money and I’m no different (or rather I did worry about money). I used to worry about whether I would have enough to see me through to the end of the month, worry about having enough cash to cover Christmas spending, go on holiday, pay for car repairs, pay unexpected bills, support my daughters in University, etc.
This anxiety about money led me to also start worrying about…
The money issue was linked directly to my job, whether that was an employed or self employed role. If I didn’t have my job then I wouldn’t earn any money, right?
So I would worry about whether I would be laid off or sacked, or whether my boss was happy with my work. Even when I ran my own business I would worry about losing my biggest customer or a global downturn in my sector. The worry was constant and that didn’t matter whether I was employed or running my own business.
This led to me making poor decisions about my…
Because of the worry about work and losing my job or losing a large customer, I would take phone calls and react to emails pretty much 24/7, even when abroad on holiday with my family.
I would get up early (pre 6am) everyday to deal with work issues and go to bed at 11ish doing exactly the same. I would entertain clients after hours a few times a week and give up some of my weekends to do the same.
I would buy better cars to keep up with my colleagues and more stuff for my house to keep up with my friends. I wouldn’t eat properly because I was always ‘on the go’ and I rarely exercised because I was either too busy or too tired.
So in a nutshell…
I would worry about losing my job and not having enough money to pay my bills and buy things, so I would work even harder, have no leisure time and live on a poor diet with no exercise whilst still worrying constantly about money.
What a stupid state of affairs.
As I said earlier, the answer had been staring me in the face all this time but I was too busy (and worried) to notice and only when I became gravely ill did the answer arrive. Call it an epiphany, a sign but whatever it was, it provided the answer.
Be less dependent on one source of income
As simple as that.
I was worried about losing my job or my business and then not having enough money to pay my mortgage or other bills.
- I needed my job because it was the only salary coming into the house.
- I needed my largest customer when I ran my business because he produced over 70% of my revenue.
- I had only one product in that business which meant that if the recession hit that sector I was screwed.
The constant worry was driving me insane.
If I could create a few different income streams (or even one other) then the worry would largely disappear. No longer would I worry myself sick if my boss sacked me or laid me off. I wouldn’t be that bothered if my largest customer told me he was going elsewhere. I might earn less but as long as I could pay my basic bills then I would be absolutely fine.
The security that a 2nd income would give me would be huge in terms of my mindset.
I’m not talking here about becoming a millionaire or replacing your main income, I’m simply saying that developing a 2nd income gives you a peace of mind that (ironically), money can’t buy.
If you can create a 2nd income then there is no reason why in time you couldn’t create a 3rd or even a 4th income to take the pressure off even more.
My life now
I rarely worry and if I do, it is about my family or friends but never about money or work. I never suffer from anxiety as I now have 5 income streams that generate a very decent income each month, so if one of those income streams falls away, I have a number of others to fall back on.
To me, introducing calm simplicity into your life is about streamlining your possessions, reducing your financial outgoings, simplifying your day to day life so that the hard drive in your brain doesn’t overheat and you can enjoy being in the moment – not worrying about some yet-to-happen event.
Less things + a simple lifestyle structure + diverse income = happiness and contentment and most of all, less things to worry about.
Only you will know what level of simplicity you need to introduce into your life but please believe me when I say, that since I started doing this, I truly have never been happier and my life is definitely moving in the right direction to help me achieve calm, simple, uncluttered, contented clarity without the day to day anxiety that I was feeling before.
I’m not there yet and still have a long way to go but get there I will and I will show you exactly how you can do it too.
Welcome to Calm Simplicity.