I’m Chasing a ‘Buy a Farm and Build a Sustainable Business’ Kind of Rich
There is nothing wrong with chasing money. I get it. Money is a vessel to a new life. It’s a vehicle to getting where you want to, to a life that you want. But sometimes we chase money mindlessly. We get as far as thinking ‘I need to be rich’ and that’s about it. Because we think that somehow money will fix all our problems.
When I see people buying more and more material things I always wonder who that’s stuff is for. I don’t care for $400 jeans, $500 trainers or a $20,000 car. My car has 107,000 miles on the clock, I buy clothes once a year and I have 4 pairs of trainers. Still too many.
My aim is to accumulate less, not more.
Wealth is a matter of opinion. To me wealth is freedom, it’s doing what you want every day and getting paid to do so. It’s spending your time on this earth in the way you desire. It’s not being under someone else’s thumb, it’s not nodding your head because it’s the right thing to do and it’s not buying dumb stuff to impress people you don’t like. It’s living unapologetically by your rules and your rules alone. It’s being true to what fulfils you.
I’m chasing a ‘buy a farm and build a sustainable business rich’ kind of rich.
Why is less good? A more wholesome life
A fast-paced, traffic-ridden, high-flying life looks good in the movies. Sure from the outside looking in, it can seem like those people have their life together. It fits the American dream right? To look smart, sound smarter and get paid the big bucks. It means you get a nice car, a nice house and a fancy watch. You can buy nice dinners, network work with high-flyers and fly business class. You feel busy, important and successful, oh to feel successful. But the pace makes you dizzy.
You drink coffee to stay awake long enough to attend the meetings, make notes, have phone calls and ‘network’. You eat rubbish food, skip the exercise you should be doing and drown it all out to the sound of Netflix as you fall asleep on the sofa. The next day, you’ve had barely any sleep, you pull yourself up, wipe your eyes, yawn. The first order of the day? Coffee.
Those fancy dinners? You’d rather buy a burger. Those high-flyers? You get lost in the infinite buzzwords. And business class? You hate flying.
Buying a farm and build a sustainable business rich is a different way of thinking. It’s a shift in aspirations. It’s not less ambitious, it’s more ambitious. It’s as ambitious as one human can possibly hope to get. It’s the ambition of daring to live the life that you want.
A slower pace, a wholesome life. A life where you walk to work by opening your front door. Where you work with your hands and see the labour of your day immediately. You make relationships with nature. You feel the mud in your hands, the sweat on your face and the dirt on your shirt. You work hard and that work pays you back in buckets. The world around you is healthy, natural and honest. That’s the rich I want.
Materialism and why I’m chasing a farm life
A new car is old as soon as you pull into your drive. A new car still only gets you from A to B. $20,000 for a hunk of metal that’s old as soon as you drive it out of the sales lot. New clothes, new watches and new anything else all fall into this category too. Materialism is fleeting. It’s a short term hit of dopamine. It’s not sustainable.
The other week I watched a documentary about a guy who didn’t spend any money in three years. He lived off the land, he worked locally and lived on a boat. He read, he wrote and he lived. That’s really living, isn’t it? How much joy does a new pair of shoes give you? Especially if you’ve already got 17 pairs. Are you really in need of another pair? And hey, maybe that won’t work for you but I’m sure it’ll work for me.
I can’t help that feel that somewhere along the way we’ve lost ourselves a tad. You know, ten years ago we’d fix things if they broke.
We’d spend hours tinkering, sewing, fixing in order to get some more life out of our belongings. If you ripped your shirt you wouldn’t throw it in the bin, you’d get out the sewing kit and stitch it up. If you broke your phone you’d work out a way to fix it, not just get a new one on contract.
Today we live in a throw-away society.
Commodities have become so cheap that the value of them has dropped too. Finance options make a new car, a new phone or a haul of clothes as easy as pressing a button and worrying about it later.
Materialism is boring
And where’s the fun in keep accumulating stuff? You only have so much time. I don’t have enough time, inclination or creativity to find outfits for 32 pairs of shoes. I barely have enough of that stuff for the 11 pairs I have. In fact, I avoid wearing my ‘nice’ shoes because I don’t want to get them dirty. How funny, I’m not getting the use out of an item through fear of getting it messy.
Who could I possibly be waiting for?
It’s always perplexed me as to why we seem to upgrade the stuff we have when there is little to gain and a lot of money at stake. How much happiness is an extra camera going to give you? A high definition thing, a 5G that, does anyone stop to ask if we actually need these things? You would think the hefty price tags would catapult our brains into a higher order of thinking, to understand how this $1000 purchase may add to our life. But we don’t. Clicking ‘add to basket’ for a $1000 item is as easy as ordering a takeaway.
Accumulating stuff might fill as space but it doesn’t fill a human. Not in my experience anyway.
What is fulfilling though is repairing a broken pair of jeans, writing an article from scratch and finding the words to portray the thoughts swirling in your brain. It’s fulfilling to plant seeds and watch them grow, to spend your money on the things that bring you joy or not at all. It’s fulfilling to build a sustainable brand that you are proud of.
Fulfilling is choosing the hard option:
- It’s cooking instead of ordering a takeaway.
- It’s repairing instead of buying new.
- It’s sticking with what you’ve got instead of seeking more.
Maybe we need to choose hard more often. After all, the effort is the reward.
In summary: a farm life
I don’t know about you but I want a life of purpose, fulfilment and joy. I don’t want to save for a year in order to buy a new car to impress people I don’t know. A random stranger thinking I’m cool has no bearing on my life fulfilment.
What seems cool though is to create a lifestyle that gives me joy and to spend my time building a brand that I’m proud of. Being rich is a matter of opinion and having money to buy shiny things no longer lights me up. It seems a waste to me.
What seems more sensible is to live a life in line with your values, who you are and what you want out of life. So, what kind of rich do you want to be?