I read this term the other day on the web site of a dot com blogging mogul, John Chow. He had a short video clip posted that showed him and his delightful daughter spending time down the park at 3pm. They had the park to themselves and if he had been swapping his hours for dollars in a ‘real job’ he couldn’t have enjoyed those priceless moments. I hear you brother.
I have five delightful daughters and a delightful wife and I would rather be with them than working for ‘da man’. I did that, swapping my time for his dollars and I have to say I hated it. I still work for other people, my customers, but I do so at my discretion. In fact because I do what I love for a living I have to schedule time away from the computer and classroom and allocate it to the family. After all, they are the reason why…
I like to be at my desk by 9am following a leisurely breakfast with my wife after I get the two eldest off to school. Pack their lunches and feed our chickens, clean the coop and so on. Then I settle down to a solid four hours work, then lunch. I follow that with another three hours or so, unless I have things to do in which case I will put the time in that night. To make sure I am as productive as possible, because it is easy to wander off and waste precious time, I have a whiteboard by my side I use to schedule tasks. Nothing like having it right there next to your iMac.
I have two iMacs in the house, my main unit and the spare one the kids have in the toddler’s room. They go through keyboards and mice. It is there as a backup but mostly it keeps them off my work unit. I also have an IBM ThinkPad the eldest has as her own and my Samsung Netbook PC. This is my true back up and the one I take with me when I travel or go to lectures. It has built in internet access as part of the monthly deal, all of which is totally tax deductible. At present I am a Sole Trader but I plan to register as a Pty Ltd company (I think Plc in the UK and LLC in the US) because despite the extra paperwork that is where the real tax deductions lie.
Of course the DCL is not just about having plenty of time for yourself and your loved ones but it is the big attraction for most. This week I have done a fair amount of work but I have also remodelled the backyard, sorted out some car repairs, organized swimming lessons for the girls and put all the Xmas toys on Lay-By, read some books and hugged my wife. And it is just thursday morning. I always spend Saturdays doing the grocery shopping (we shop to a menu and list and save a bundle by patronising ALDI almost exclusively)then take #2 to dance class then a walk with my Dad and a coffee with Mum when we get home, pick up daughter and evening with family. Sundays I pack a picnic while the wife gets the kids ready and we go out somewhere near the beach, a river or the bush and have a family picnic. Mondays it’s back to work. The Dot Com Lifestyle.