I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m slowly burning out. The great thing about running a website is that our demand curve is unlimited. Basically anybody who reads English and has an internet connection can be our next reader or client. The problem with unlimited demand is that in order to realize our full potential, we need to work an unlimited amount of time!
One of the mantras I’ve told myself ever since learning that grades carry over starting in the 9th grade is, “Do not fail due to a lack of effort. Just try harder.” It is OK to fail for being an idiot as I often was and still am, but it is absolutely not OK to fail because I didn’t study every single night long after tennis or track practice was done. Even for tennis, it was fine to lose to a more talented player. It’s just not OK to lose because of a lack of conditioning.
THE ONLINE WORLD MAKES US SMALL
When you’ve got all your blogging buddies and Facebook friends telling everyone how awesome they are doing and sharing their latest purchased toys and amazing photographs of St. Tropez vacations, it’s hard not to get motivated to try harder if you want what they have.
But what if you reach a point where you are already satisfied with what you have? Do you start getting annoyed by ubiquitous show-and-tell? Do you write a long post trying to understand why people like revealing their incomes? Or do you become ambivalent to the progress of others? Each person’s response is different.
I’ve been hanging out with several friends who have hardly anything. My friend Jaabir drives a rusty 1996 Honda Civic that just broke down the other day. He also lives in a cramped two bedroom apartment with his wife, daughter, and mother. We go cruising the city looking for open tennis courts after I finish up my writing in the mornings. You’d think we were a couple vagrants with his beat up ride, our disheveled hair and raggedy clothes. But we don’t care what other people think. We just want to get out in the sunshine and hit!
I haven’t changed the design on Financial Samurai since 2009. For the past year I’ve been thinking about changing things up, but I’m tired and don’t really care. The layout is good enough so why change? Most of the visitors are new anyway.
When I first started blogging I thought what fun it would be to get 10,000 visitors a month. After reaching 10,000 a month, I then thought how nice it would be to get 30,000 a month. When I reached 30,000 a month then I imagined how great it would be to have 60,000 a month. Now I’ve become disinterested. The growth rate is slowing down so those good ‘ol rocket rides are no longer.
The same concept pertains to money. How much money do you really need to be happy? Researchers who make $75,000 a year say $75,000 a year is the maximum income where happiness levels go no further (surprise!). I say the figure is closer to $200,000 a year because any more and the government starts going after you. Whatever the real figure is, there is an income level specific to everybody that’s good enough.
IT’S UP TO YOU TO DECIDE
One could literally work 24/7 online and still not do enough to grow their online endeavors. At least with a physical activity there’s only so much you can do before your body breaks down and you have to rest. As we enter into a rocky period for the stock markets and the long months of summer, I’d love to turn things down a notch and unplug more. Perhaps I’ll finally schedule all 30 pending posts in my queue at once, not respond to anything and come back in two months all tan and refreshed.
Balance has always been about finding a mental to physical connection for a healthier lifestyle to me. But right now, all I’d like to do is get a massage, eat some key lime pie, and then take a nap.
RESOURCES FOR A BETTER LIFE
Manage Your Finances In One Place: The best way to build wealth is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 28 different accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to track my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing, how my net worth is progressing, and where I’m spending my money.
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Updated for 2015 and beyond