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a blog by Chris Barrow

Letters from a perfect imperfectionist: Learning to live with less

Sunday morning and I’m in The Bunker, reconciling my personal expenses for the previous 7 days in my “Mother of all Spreadsheets”, a habit of many years.

I reflect upon an interesting analysis.

If we take my living expenses in January 2012 as a numerical “100%”, then look at what has happened since then:

January 2012 100

January 2013 90

January 2014 68

January 2015 40

So I’m living – very happily – on 40% of what I was earning 3 years ago.

A part of that has to do with 7connections being a “lean start up” and all the members of the business managing their expectations accordingly.

Irrespective of the business performance, overall circumstances, both macro and micro economic, necessitated a long hard look at my lifestyle and the consideration of how much I actually did need money to make me happy (no guesses at the answer).

Children becoming adults and fending for themselves is a small part of that overall process and I’m blessed with 5 great kids who appreciate what they have had so far and know how to build their own financial independence.

My experiences on a desert island last year were synchronistic to say the least.

Here’s what I’ve re-discovered in the course of this journey.

The less money I need:

  1. The less time it takes on a Sunday morning to manage it

  2. Which gives me more time to do other fun things

  3. The fewer irritating people show up in my life

  4. The easier it is to close my submarine air-locked door if I wake up at 03:00

  5. The more I appreciate the simpler things in my life

Last night I came home after a challenging 6-day week, satisfied and exhausted.

80% of the time (because that’s life), I work with a brilliant team, the best business partners I could ever have wished for and a client base that are easy to love working with. I coach, write and speak, fulfilling my unique abilities.

As I walked in the door at 20:00, the aroma of dinner cooking in the oven was like a signal leading me from the vast ocean into a safe harbour.

As soon as the door opened, 2 ridiculously excited gun dogs, waggling from head to tail in excitement, created a rosy glow in my heart.

A glass of good red wine, poured and waiting in the kitchen was a reward for a tired mind.

And the unconditional love of a good woman, glad to see her man home, was food for my soul.

Less is more.
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