I’m through being in debt.
I’m through feeling forced to make the 45-minute commute that I’ve done for over eleven years.
I’m through sitting here watching other people become successful.
I’m through dreaming of a time when I can earn a little money on the side while just barely making ends meet.
I’m through barely making ends meet.
I’m through living paycheck to paycheck.
I’m through saying, “I’m going to start my own business.” Or “I’m going to improve my own business.”
I’m through letting myself fail to keep a steady weight
I’m through yo-yoing my weight to the highest it’s ever been.
I’m through becoming out of breath from climbing stairs.
I’m through wasting my time and money.
I’m through telling my children “I’m too busy.”
I’m through watching too many movies/shows/videos.
I’m through coasting through life.
I’m through spectating life.
I’m through consuming life.
I’m through living the consumer lifestyle.
Today I start producing.
Today I start The Producer Lifestyle.
I bought this domain a few months ago to start a blog where I share, discuss, and learn from others, ways to improve my life by actually producing something. But, then I stopped short of following through.
The Back Story
A friend of mine, Mikey Borup, was telling me about the fun time and little bit of extra money his YouTube channel and website were earning for him. Mikey sells presets and creates tutorials for the video effects program he and I both use, Adobe After Effects. He does this as a side project in addition to his day job as a video editor. At the time he had 3,500 subscribers, was producing about 1 video every week, and had just been picked up doing tutorials for another company.
Fast forward nearly a year and he’s pushing content to 41,000 subscribers, producing usually three videos every week, he’s an Adobe Certified Instructor, and is set to present at the After Effects World Conference next month. He’s still not earning enough to do this as his full-time gig, but anticipates that he will before the year is out.
What I Want
That’s what I want…no, not to create after effects tutorials. No, I want to do what I enjoy doing and am good at. I also want to learn new things, expand my talents, and make my life more enjoyable. I don’t want to be a slave to the bills coming due next week.
So, TheProducerLifestyle.com is only part of my master plan. This is the motivation part. The document-it-for-posterity-and-anyone-else-who-might-be-a-little-too-much-of-a-dreamer-like-me part. This is the part that hopefully opens me up to the myriad possibilities in the rest of my life that will enable me to get to that point where I don’t have to commute 40 miles…but I do it because I want to. Where I earn a PhD to prove to myself that I can and to add meaning to research. Where I make a difference in someone’s life just by my example. That’s why The Producer Lifestyle exists.
Why Haven’t I Followed Through?
So, I bought this domain in February and it’s already almost August. What have I done in the last six months with it? Nothing. Why?
Business. Well, no. Not that my business hindered my website. That’s ridiculous, especially considering the motive. No, business as in busy-ness. I’ve made myself busy. Some things I could do better. Some things I could just omit. Instead of watching movies, reading the news or following Facebook, I could have taken probably hundreds of hours in the last few months and been more productive.
Back to Mikey. When he told me he had only spent a few hours a week to produce the video tutorials that he posted, I told him I didn’t have that kind of time. Did I have a few hours per week? I probably did. No, I know I did, even while I was attending my classes.
A few hours every week would have given me time to produce tutorials for Adobe Photoshop tips, other graphic design tips, website development tips, 3D modeling tips, instructional design tips, or any other of the skills I have been developing and using professionally for the last couple of decades. With this as just one example, I might have gotten to the point where I produce as many videos as Mikey every week. I’m not saying I would be in the same position, or even that I want to do YouTube videos. No, the point is that instead of producing something in my spare time over the last six months, I have consumed the Facebook walls of friends and family, consumed the news, consumed movies, and consumed way too many calories. Yes, I finished two doctoral level university courses toward my degree, but in the off time, the expendable time, I have produced nothing of real value for my family, my community, the world, or myself.
I don’t mean that I have to earn money from every aspect of my life, but I want everything I do to be productive. Call it a mid-life crisis if you will. I just want to stand for something, to know that the next chunk of my life was spent doing good for others, good for my family, and good for myself.
Well, I take it back, I haven’t only consumed. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. In one example, I was formerly a Cub Master for our local Cub Scout pack. I put my heart and soul into every pack meeting. I enjoyed spending time working for fun events for those boys to enjoy. I even worked to clean up my yard so we could have a place to hold our Cub Scout Olympics. It was a blast and I really sweat a lot cleaning up and putting it together, so yeah, I’ve already produced some things of benefit to others.
Yes, Mikey’s example of earning enough to make his fun part-time gig become his full-time gig is part of what I want. He is working his hobby into something productive.
Success, to me, is being productive with every hour of my day, doing something good all day long. It doesn’t have to be for money. I have a quote that I put on the back of my business cards and the bottom of my resume: “From the moment I wake, I devote myself to the perfection of whatever I pursue.”
I was reading about the Japanese samurai and their code of bushido—a code of honor that directed their life of service. This particular quote was taken from the movie The Last Samurai, spoken by Tom Cruise’s character about the Samurai people with whom he is living in the movie. As he sees their devotion to service and to each other he states, “From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue.” I made it my mission statement by changing his use of “they” and “themselves” to “I” and “myself”.
The Objectives of The Producer Lifestyle
I’ve come up with these objectives for myself in no particular order.
I will be more productive in my finances by:
- Reducing my debt
- Increasing my wealth
- Using my resources more effectively for good.
I will be more productive with my health by:
- Reducing my weight to a healthy (non-obese) level
- Increasing my ability to “run, and not be weary…walk, and not faint.”
- Building lean muscle
I will be more productive in my family by:
- Spending quality 1-1 time with my spouse and each child.
- Being a leader in integrity, honor, and spirituality.
- Showing happiness with true joy and love.
I will be more productive in my work by:
- Ensuring each hour that I devote to my employer/clients is worth their money.
- Finding ways to build my next career move.
- Capitalizing on my hobbies, interests, and talents.
I will be more productive in my education by:
- Finishing my PhD strong.
- Making my research meaningful for the common good.
- Sharing my knowledge with others.
Again, these are for me, but you may take from it what you will. Add what you want to improve, skip those things that you honestly don’t need. Make it yours.
I think those four areas make a good start and those statements fit my position for each area right now. I will go into greater detail into each of those areas in the future, but for now, I’m going to say it again. I’m through being a consumer! Today, I start The Producer Lifestyle.
As I move forward with this website, it is my intent that I will open a dialog among us—you, the readers, and me—to discuss ways to manage and handle these objectives. I’m not the only person in the world with an opinion or experience in any topic. Further, I obviously haven’t done everything perfectly, or I wouldn’t be posting my desire to improve. So, please, join in the discussion in the comments area below.