What do you want out of life? Like, what do you actually want? Humor me for just a moment. Close your eyes and visualize your perfect day, down to the smallest of details. Remember, this is the perfect day that you’d want to live again and again and again. Not just as a one-off event. Imagine what it looks like when you wake up. Who is with you? How do you pass the time? What do you eat? Where do you go? When you go to sleep for the night?
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I imagine my perfect day, the day that I would want to relive (in some fashion) over and over again, it’s one with a more relaxed pace. It’s one where I’m not bound to anyone’s schedule in particular and, in short, I can “do what I want.” I might spend a couple hours working on a passion project, not because it pays the bills, but because it’s something I enjoy doing for its own sake.
It probably won’t take you much to realize that what I’m essentially describing is the dot com lifestyle. You see, what the dot com lifestyle is all about is this sense of personal freedom. The freedom to enjoy quality time with loved ones without the pressure of work nagging at your back. The freedom to be unhindered by time or location. The freedom to move through life at the pace I find the most comfortable.
And this seems to be in stark contrast to the “hustle” mentality that is often associated with people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Casey Neistat. But let’s face it. The culture of hustle is overrated, because it means you’ll just keep working more and more and more.
Some people will say that if you want to get ahead in this world, you need to hustle. You need to work insane hours and be constantly thinking about work, because it means that you’re willing to do what so many other people are unwilling to do. That may have some truth to it and some of the world’s most successful people approach work in much the same way. Hustle. Do work. Grind it out.
But is that really what you want? Is that really how you picture your perfect day?
Don’t get me wrong. Living the dot com lifestyle doesn’t mean that you’ll never work another day in your life. Not necessarily, anyway. As much as you might love blogging, you might not enjoy all the business aspects that go along with it, or all the technical upkeep it may require. That’s true. But it also means that you’re going into this with the perspective that you want to work less and earn more.
Sure, you could put in more hours and potentially make more money, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could put in fewer hours and still make more money? That’s part of the power of passive income.
And while it’s true that the most elite of the elite, especially when it comes to ventures like professional sports, have to put in some insane hours in training, you don’t need to be the absolute very best to lead a very happy and fulfilling life. A very happy and free dot com lifestyle.
My thinking is this. For people who choose to embrace the hustle lifestyle, all the more power to you. With that mentality, you have the potential to reach great heights and go great lengths. You’ll probably get there more quickly too, because you’re climbing or running when other people are sleeping. That’s true.
But all that strenuous activity necessarily puts a strain on your body, both physically and mentally. It’s necessarily draining.
Instead, what if we considered the alternative where we allowed ourselves to take more breaks and be more forgiving of ourselves. It’s not that those who embrace the dot com lifestyle are any less ambitious; it’s just a different mindset. In a Scientific American article, Ferris Jabr explains why your brain needs more downtime. You may think you’re being more productive by hustling all the time, but you could actually be more effective if you let yourself take a nap or meditate or go on a nature walk every now and then.
Recharge those batteries, clear your head, bolster creativity, and solidify those memories. By taking a break. Sure, hustle when you must, but remember that you need room to breathe too.