Start Up Blog

De Gearing

Posted in Business planning, Journey, Venture Capital by Steve Sammartino on October 17, 2006

Last week I blogged about risk. Some of my detractors would have come through with the counter punch of something like “I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay.”

As you can’t really argue with what was proposed as your true risks, I can’t argue with your real commitments. It’s all a question of gearing. What’s your life geared towards? Maybe you have a large mortgage. Maybe you have an investment property. Maybe you take an annual overseas holiday. Maybe you have a car lease.

I know you deserve nice things.

I know you work hard.

I know your job pays for all this.

I know you deserve a reward.

What is the solution? De-Gearing. You need to de-gear your life. You will never get off the treadmill unless you de-gear. Your lifestyle keeps you on the treadmill perpetually. What could you achieve if you didn’t have any debt? What if you didn’t have a mortgage? What if you sold your house banked the net proceeds, quit your job and backed yourself to make something happen in 12 months? What if you used a portion of your money to feed, clothe and house yourself / family for a year, then you focused all your energy on your start up? What if money was not an issue and you worked on something you were passionate about for 12 months? What if you or your partner quit while the other worked?

This is not a fanciful “if”. Work out your net worth if you sold out all things that cost you money every week. How much money, no freedom, would you really have? What if you de-geared your life? What interest would the freed up assets generate for you on weekly basis? $100, $200, $500? It really opens up some options. The mind boggles.

Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work. You go get a job, probably a better one with more pay. You learn more in 12 months than 12 years. You have a great story for any interview. You’re seen as a pathfinder, a leader, courageous. The type of profile companies are searching for. You live the dream for at least 12 months (1% of you life if you live till 100). You have a great pub story. Cool.Tyler Durden

It’s really a choice.

I can’t coin this any better than Tyler Durdin from Flight Club….  

“The things you own, end up owning you.”

6 Responses

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  1. Ben Rowe said, on October 18, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    Great advice here.

    The thing is, a lot of the things you have in a high-geared lifestyle amount to nothing. Like three blade razors, premium ice-cream and expensive sunglasses that you inevitably lose at the beach.

  2. Muji said, on October 18, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    Hey, what’s with the assumption that your readers have wives?

  3. Stevie said, on October 18, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for pointing out my prejudice…I’ll ensure future references to people are non descript. See above

  4. film dude said, on January 21, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    everyone should make at least one stab at their true passions at least once before they die

  5. Quit your job « Start Up Blog said, on April 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    […] your job, de-gear your life and do something something of value. To further encourage this process I’ll leave you with one […]

  6. Overcoming fear « Start Up Blog said, on January 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    […] written about this a few times. And I’ll start by siting my entry on De-gearing, Quit your job and The number 1 reason being an employee sucks. But to make things contemporaneous […]


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