Is Life Happening?

It has been some time since I wrote anything here, and I feel like I owe the place a normal post. So I’ll try and be normal.

Life is frantic at the moment, in spite of my best efforts. I feel like I have developed a work and not-work balance that is desperately against me as an individual, but as an individual that is involved in lots of other people’s lives and businesses, is relatively profitable. And yet, what amazes me is that I think I have actually reduced the amount of hours I’ve been working.

In line with my previous posts, I have been trying to do other things outside of work hours, more sociable. I would say in terms of doing things in real life that involve other people, that bit hasn’t actually happened at all. But it has, to some extent, involved people. People that I wouldn’t normally have been talking to, and one of whom has actually turned into something of a long distance friend. So broadly, despite its very tangible negatives to my mental health at times, it has brought something different into my life.

Work meanwhile continues. My IT business is now disgustingly busy, so much so that I am once again thinking about what I can do to tame it. Do I increase the prices and get rid of the customers I don’t want? Or do I have the guts to try again and employ someone? I have been thinking about recruiting an apprentice, but that means I must commit to my IT business for at least another year, something I wasn’t keen on doing. But it is so busy, and the prospects remain good, and I am still in need of earning this money, that I think I should do it…

The other business I am part of is going through something of a rut, but you wouldn’t think it. It is at the mercy of the political masters, and, unfortunately, they are in the midst of electoral rubbish at the moment. It is also the end of a financial year, and I think that inevitably has meant all of the money has already been spent.

But it’s still all systems go. We are in such an intriguing scenario at the moment, so keen are we to take advantage of new opportunities, that we are considering moving on to our property development ideas, and installing a manager into the company so that it can carry on moving along without our day-to-day to involvement. This has coincided with a friend and former colleague becoming available to work for us. It could all connect quite well. But it is a risk. We are ready to take it, and introducing this person to the office has already improved the office dynamic and made it feel a really professional place to work. I like feeling like I’m part of something bigger than me. It is a world apart from my one-man-band IT business…

So that is two risks. One risk for my business, and one risk for the business I am part of, and both of it coming from having to employ someone. Employing people is weird. Keeping them busy and occupied and earning you money is something I haven’t quite worked out yet.

Then there is the risk of the property business. Which is starting, hopefully soon, with the purchase of some land 80 miles south west of me. Land. Not a building. Because we are planning on building it ourselves. We must be mad. But we sense a longer term vision. I sense the opportunity to get properly on the housing ladder by building up a property portfolio. It all sounds very unlikely, and highly adventurous. And super risky.

2015 has become the year of the risk for me. Impending mid-life 30 crisis perhaps?

108 days until 30

Will The New Plan Go Anywhere?

In my life there have been various moments when I’ve decided that it’s a good time to answer one of the most important questions there is.

What’s next?

The context… it’s nearly the end of a year, which is usually a good time to evaluate anyway. But on top of that, the forthcoming year, 2015, contains my 30th birthday. Surely, then, no better time for a mid-life crisis?

Perhaps not yet. Right now I am feeling remarkably philosophical about the forthcoming year. I’ve been feeling “old” for at least the last five years now, so adding a further year is not going to make a difference. It will, of course, be sad to leave the 20s behind, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I am getting further and further away from the youth demographic, and it’s tremendously depressing when I stop too long to think about it.

So I try not to. Instead, I contemplate the future.

The new plan, which is to run in parallel with current businesses, is to consider a third venture. One which is a bit more reliable from a long-term perspective: property.

I have secretly always wanted to be a property tycoon. I like the idea of having a property portfolio. I reckon it was too many student days catching rubbish like Homes Under The Hammer, but the prospect of the returns that can be made is quite enticing for someone like me… I like to think of myself as a very modest entrepreneur.

It seems to make sense. I have spent my entire 20s saving and saving, living a pretty rubbish, frugal existence, which very little in the way of outside interests. As a result, I have some money that I would like to invest. I would very much like to start my 30s owning my own home, but frankly I don’t really care that much about it being my home. I would be just as happy if it were a home that I built (with assistance of course) which was then sold on to make a profit, before moving on to the next one.

And so the plan begins. The idea being that me and my business partner (for my second business) are going to commence a self-build house project. I bring the finance. He brings the building knowledge.

The trouble is, the prospects are limited. Where we are… well, let’s just say land doesn’t come up very often. Demand is phenomenally high. And my finance is not limitless. In fact, it might not be enough.

It could be a long time waiting.

Which is problem, because I am starting to get impatient.

I am hardly a showy or flashy individual, and status symbols like cars, houses, expensive possessions and jewellery generally have no impact on me whatsoever. I have never desired any of these things. But, to some degree, I am seeing the house project as a life milestone. Everyone remembers buying their first house. I want to do the same, but build it myself. It will be quite the marker for a 30th birthday.

It’s nice to have goals, though. I feel like I have been drifting somewhat for the past year… so I am ready for a new challenge.