Let’s take a step back and think about what the American dream really means. And yes, this is still relevant if you’re not an American (like me), because the fundamental philosophy behind the American dream has very much become a global phenomenon. You can probably thank the pervasiveness of American culture and the rapid expansion of multinational corporations for that.
The White Picket Fence
If everything goes according to plan, you will steadily climb the corporate ladder, working your way through middle management until you end up with the corner office with the view. But if you’re like a growing majority of people, you’re probably starting to get pretty dissatisfied with your job.
You’re working a job that you hate, so you can pay for a car (whose primary purpose is to get you to the job that you hate) and a house (that is used for little more than just sleeping) and a bunch of toys like a big screen TV (that you never see because you’re always at the office) to impress people that you don’t actually care about.
And when it comes to any other personal commitments, like birthday parties or dentist appointments, you need to fit those in around your growing work schedule.
Working Now for Future Returns?
Following this paradigm, your personal life is being dictated by your work life. Your personal life consists only of those little slivers that slot in the gaps between shifts at work. But hey, you’re living the American dream with your fancy car, fancy house and fancy toys.
That’s okay. After you put in a couple more decades at XYZ Consulting, you’ll finally be able to retire with a comfortable pension. Then, at the ripe old age of 65 (or even later for a growing number of people), you’ll finally be able to live your life, explore your hobbies and travel the world… except your mind and body are severely worn out from all those years of turmoil and dedication. Vacations aren’t very fun when your bones ache and you’re tired all the time.
This is fundamentally the vision that the vast majority of people have in regards to their career and their working years. I say 95%, but the number is likely even higher than that.
But what if this way of thinking is completely backwards? What if we were to think about it in exactly the opposite way? Instead of allowing work life to dictate your personal life, what if we allowed your personal life to dictate your work life instead?
Dot Com Freedom
That is precisely what the dot com lifestyle is all about. There’s a common misconception that to live the dot com lifestyle means that you never work at all. This is hardly true. You still have to put in the hours and you still have to put in the effort, but the important distinction is that you choose to work smarter and you choose to allow your personal life to be your priority.
This means that you can walk (or drive) your daughter to school in the morning, instead of getting her to walk herself or hiring a nanny to accompany her. This means that you can do your grocery shopping or your visit with the dentist at 2 pm on a Tuesday, when everyone else is too busy at work to take that appointment. This means that when you have a family friend in town, you can take a casual three-hour lunch with them on a Wednesday. This means you can hop on a plane on a moment’s notice to take advantage of an excellent vacation deal on some tropical island.
You work where your life schedule allows. This might mean that you’re working on a Saturday night when your mates are trying to fight their way into a crowded pub. This might mean that you wake up extra early in the morning to get in some work before making breakfast for the family. But this flexibility, this time freedom, means that you are in control of your schedule and no one else.
Live for the Now
Instead of waiting until you are old and gray to finally enjoy everything that life has to offer, you can enjoy life all along the way. This might mean that you will never truly retire, but if you are truly dedicated to the dot com lifestyle, maybe you never really want to retire at all. You are already doing what you love and the money is a happy byproduct of that.
Also remember that you are constantly investing in your future by developing increasingly diverse passive income streams so that you keep making money even in your sleep. That’s the power of the dot com lifestyle. Forget about the corner office and the American dream. Live your most authentic life and live it to its fullest now.