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Transitioning out of the slowlane..

A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

safff

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So I've been putting off posting a progress thread, partially because I guess I wanted to absorb as much information as possible, partly because I didn't want to put too much out there, and partially because over my younger years I'd gotten into an aweful habit of not saying anything if I don't feel I'm qualified to ask or say what I'm thinking. So that in mind, I suppose me writing this thread is for my benefit as much as anything, as a point of reference that I can refer back to.

I actually wrote this a long time ago in my diary, and didn't post it, but as it's the start of my journey I put it here and put int in spoiler tags so you don't have to scroll through it all as it got a bit rambly.

At the part of my life that I refer to as wandering, I spent most of my younger years in a single mother environment where money was far from surplus. From the age of around 15, I used to buy and sell items mostly on ebay turning a profit of several hundred a month. Nothing major but at the time to be living at home, with a low-effort income while friends worked in shops etc for less - I was cemented in my thoughts pretty early on that I never want to be a 9 to 5er, trading my life away in exchange for a paycheque. I hated the idea of following the crowd, get up, go to college, do homework, get a weekend job and 'survive'. I'd spend time researching products, methods to get them cheap (in its infancy, I discovered that ebay was ripe for the picking, with people selling on it with mis-spelled ads with no information, with auctions ending at 1am on a week night, or during the day. I started sleeping as soon as I got home and getting up at 2am to bid on items, or sneaking off to the library, sending payments by means of coins taped to a peice of cardboard and posted because paypal wasn't what it is now) Typically at 15 the emphasis was on getting rich, buying gadgets and things for the house to help mum out from time to time. I had a dream that I carried since this part of my life, being able to earn a living without having to 'hustle' on top of doing a 9-5 (college then, but seeing my mum work long hours in a job she hated, I saw that to be 'work' so had no disillusions that it would change), having a toyota supra, and having a dodge viper or a lambo diablo(which became a murcielago) (both rarities here).

But from 17 I got the life plan sales patter from mum, the careers advisor, my peers. The part of my life I always think of as the sales pitch. I actually laughed when I read TMF and the references to the 'lie' as for me it was a true ''I KNEW it!'' type of moment where you've had a thought, but everyone is insisting to the contraire and you begin to let people viewing their goals and ambitions as normal so much that you start to think you're living in a dream world. The sales pitch to me was you MUST go to university if you want to get anywhere. You MUST then start at the bottom earning 30k a year. You MUST expect to work for 10 years before you start to capitalise on this. You MUST build your career off this 'exciting launchpad' and by the time you're 40 you will be able to afford a good house in the city suburbs with a nice audi. And I went along with it to a degree. I knew full time university just wasn't for me, I hated studying. Instead I found a small Project Management firm posting for a trainee quantity surveyor. I applied, and blagged my way through the first interview. I didn't know what the role entailed as such, but I knew I could probably learn. In this interview there were more sales pitches.. In the second interview, they asked what I wanted to do long term, possibly an ambitious career to someone who is 17 with no idea how an industry works. I replied with 'eventually I Want to be on top, overseeing and managing entire projects'.

The woman interviewer retorted 'you can't. it doesnt work like that, it's a different job.' I didn't get the job, but days later the male interviewer called and said he was impressed by my ambition and referred me to a HR consultant in one of the larger contractors in the UK. That same day I got my first full time slowlane job. Reasonable salary for the age, and potential to learn and study at the same time once a week. Did so for 5 years, and found myself making slightly over the average wage at around 23 but the 9-5 wasn't working, it was hard to get up in the mornings and face going in for more of the same crap, living paycheque to paycheque for the promise of advancement maybe not this year but next. I began to sell cars on the side. Buy one, fix it up, sell it, buy another etc etc. It meant that I always had a nicer car than people thought I 'should' have at that age, but also that some extra money was coming in. Mostly spent on indulgences to convince myself that the 9-5 can work for me and it's 'not so bad'. I have always said 'I want to retire by 30' but never knew how and resigned to the fact that the slowlane job might get me there, I just had to get paid more. At this point I decided it wasn't my future and once qualified, an old contact called and said there was a vacancy at a company he worked for, some 15,000 miles away. The CEO called me for an interview and made me an offer which I had a week to accept. around 4 weeks later, I had leased my appartment, sold everything I owned or given it to family and arrived in Australia with around $3500 in my account. Funny that. 5 years of my life, and although I enjoyed much of them, at the end of it I had $3500 and an appartment that someone else was living in to show for it. The catch was, that I wasn't going to get paid for two months, rent was a grand a month and that's without a deposit. The next two months were a struggle. I remember walking around 6 miles to find my first client's office in the rain, because I didn't want to have to spend $100 on a taxi.

The next two months were a struggle. I moved in with a few people who I didn't know under the false pretence of that instant freindship forged by people in a similar situation. I managed to get finance on a relatively decent car and once the pay started rolling in as well as payrises it started to pay off. I used the time to make contacts, and built on a good knowledge of databases and excel and vba and sqs coding which I picked up during college as I thought it would be much more beneficial and fun than learning about coastal erosion.. Turns out it was and clients kept me around for a long time because of the way that I could manage their projects in a lot of detail. I produced a few software based solutions for clients and in turn they often kept me around longer than their actual staff. When I moved on I still produced solutions for them to supplement my paycheque. The problem being, that I was still trading time for money. In the literal sense of actually billing for each hour I did.

I can't resent my slowlane life as it's led to me being 27 and taking home an extremely good salary with some great learning be it life lessons, relationships or general technical knowledge. Realisation? As many here can attest to, it's not fastlane, and it's not what I want out of life. I spend my life looking around at people in the 'this is it' stage of their journey, where they're aged 35-60 and beyond, still working away doing overtime, then bragging about how they ''own'' 3 houses, or a fleet of cars each worth 20k each when the truth is, (which again was another thing that really resonated with me from TMF ), they're a few paycheques away from disaster. Their lifestyle depends on their job, and high paying jobs are getting scarcer by the day here. It also gave me the realisation that these people may have one mortgage almost paid off and several other mortgages etc, but they are in no shape or form looking at retirement. So a few months ago I decided that I would start my own business, totally unrelated as soon as my residency status would allow me. I got the business set up but things were slow coming together, like a blank canvas that I Was too busy with the slowlane job to stare at it long enough to get inspiration, and not committing any resources to the cause. Then by chance I stumbled on TMF after seeing a Tai Lopez video and amongst other things perhaps the most powerful thing it has done for me is validate things that I had been conditioned to believe were crazy fantasies, and to start seeing the whole thing as a process rather than an event. I work a month remotely far away from home and then have a week off.

So basically my slowlane job has hit a point where it gives me a week a month to go full throttle with my fastlane, whilst preparing for it in the month in between. I won't go too far into what the business is in too much detail at this point for a variety of reasons unless necessary but I suppose recording somewhere gives me that nudge to not become complacent.

What have I realised?
Consultancy is nothing but a glorified slowlane pathway if done what seems to be the traditional way. IE it's very much a job with a better exchange rate on the time you trade.

The long term career is exactly that. LOooooong term.

What I want to achieve?

  • Get a bit of focus on my business, how I can scale it, how it can grow, how it can get off the ground.
  • Do something everyday whilst away from home that directly benefits my business in some way shape or form. That could mean taking on information, making plans or purchasing something to support it
  • Identify other revenues of income and take opportunities as they come
  • Grow my business and acquire or start other businesses providing a passive income
  • Be free financially - be able to retire by 30. By retire, I mean get to a state of being able to get up when I please, even if it still means stopping by an office or for a meeting, having passive income streams, having financial freedom
  • Purchase my dream car - I know that many will disagree with having it as an achievement - but as a self certified car nut, it's my true passion and a very important thing for me personally
 
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safff

Redlining
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So around two months had passed since setting up the company, until finding the millionaire fastlane and writing the above post but not posting it; and a month has passed since then. Ish.

So what's changed?

in the first two months I decided to take the plunge. I switched slowlane jobs to one that was better paid, working away giving me a week off; the reason being is that it will accellerate the funding for my fastlane. This freed up the funds to pay off credit cards and car loan on my bmw in a very short space of time, which in turn freed the funds up to set up my company and trust in the best way for tax purposes and pay all the fees etc. This in turn would mean that I have more money to play with each month to fund the business. It was tough committing to paying for incidentals and not seeing it as dead money and procrastination set in with that nagging voice telling me to focus on the 'day job'.

Then I read the book and spent a lot of sleepless nights browsing some of the incite here. After a week my entire perspective had changed; and I realised that the line between a dreamer and someone with ambitions is Action; Process. I woke up and immediately booked to get licenced to do what I want to do as the core focus of the business. There is a LOT of red tape and it wouldn't be easy, but in the meantime I could still come up with strategies, and acquire stock. So that's what I started to do.

I acquired 3 items of stock that I project will turn a 35% profit each once I'm allowed to start up. In the meantime I also had the realisation that there was a huge potential to diversify what I want to do.

The next month I tried to stick to the plan of doing something each day.

In the last 14 days
  • Set up a new website, to promote all parts of the business, purchased the domain name, set up some templates and got it off the ground.
  • Engaged 3 designers to produce me some logos to set up my identity, which I'm incredibly happy with
  • Enrolled in the second licencing exams that I need for the core business
  • Set up a second website, for a forum related to the products, long term I'll use it as a platform to subtly promote my business
  • Purchased a third domain which is as literal to the sense of what I'm doing as possible. EG TV-SALES.net. There is also a company by the name of "TVSALES" who own TVSALES.com.au, TVSALES.COM, TV-SALES.com but I've been advised if it's a general purchase of the domain to promote a related service then as it's a literal description of the service as opposed to buying it to bait the large company to buy it back. The traffic that it has is amazing considering I've not begun to explore the possibilities of SEO. The domain will link back to my website.
  • Purchased severable desirable items that I managed get for a fire sale price; which will be worth a lot to the right person so will put up for sale on the site with a view of taking a few months to sale at a massive markup.
  • Have been in talks with manufacturers in China, and possibly found an additional niche that I could provide at an attractive price point (hundreds less than competitors including immitation examples)
  • Had the idea that I can further offer them at a good rate with my Company Logo on, building on the brand, avoiding copywrite as I'm going for a customised design, and offer them at a cheaper price if the quality is good enough to get the name built up
  • Ordered a customised sample - I had received an item from the factory before that was basic, unbranded etc.
  • Pre-sold 10 of the product with an end of september delivery date, which I was looking to avoid in case it fell through but after the initial product page went up it snowballed. My first sales made to the value of around $16000 off an outlay pending of $7000
  • enrolled in a course here for setting up a website which I could already do and advertising it which is all new to me.
  • Read a few bios of two entrepenuers in the industry who has done something not too far removed from where I'd ultimately want to be with each line of my business which really fuelled my drive
  • Looked into outsourcing warehousing options to allow the website to operate whwen I'm away and not allow for such a slow turnaround - I've found people are willing to wait a few weeks for the product if the quality and price are right, I'd like to take that one further and surpass their expectations.
  • research into web-based merchant solutions
  • Ordered several sample products that I could offer as accessories
And as a bonus, the little profit from my initial sales have gone to a bit towards a dream event - As of yesterday, I've signed a contract to trade in my car and buy my dream machine in cash. Although it hasn't been completely due to the fastlane process, the changed perspective and thought process certainly lead to it. Things are starting to take traction, and I think the real key is going to be being able to optimise the time where I'm not around town.
 
Last edited:

safff

Redlining
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Jun 11, 2015
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Bit of a rollercoaster few days.. I've unfortunately broken up with my fiance which sucks. But she was making me unhappy; which resulted in me making her unhappy; avoiding lengthy phone calls, looking forward to having me time, biting my tongue.. It was a vicious cycle and ultimately I came to the conclusion that I couldn't allow it to continue despite loving her from the second I met her. She won't accept that she can change anything to at least make the arguements mutual discussions; and I can either keep quiet, argue back, or walk away.. It put me firmly on my a$$ for a day or two, so I had a steep hill to climb to pick myself up and see it as a positive. After both parents suffering with cancer over the past year, I thought this would be the final thing that keeps me bed in the mornings. It didn't take too long for me to stop seeing it as the end of my future and start seeing the begining of an alternate future.

Financially, my plans were no longer tied in trying to get a huge mortgage on a huge house to make her dreams come true. There was one less Mercedes to buy. My bills are halved. I can focus on my fastlane route without having to consider bathroom breaks for the passenger. It's an opportunity to go back to LA in a couple of months and to the UK next month for some down time. Reaching my goals before a relationship becomes a factor again is back in the forefront of my mind.

I received photographs of my first product which is weaning its way to me as I type which is exciting. The quality should stack up to expectations from first impressions, so I will follow up with a larger order if all checks out well.

I've also been exploring opportunities for additional products.

I also considered taking the plunge to lease a factory/warehouse/unit. This would provide a) storage for the business equipment, stock, vehicles; space is at a premium for me at the moment b) potential to move out of a rental altogether and simply enjoy living in hotels for a short period. c) avoid the losses to margin by outsourcing factory space. d)

It comes with complications; I'm away from home on other business for 75% of the month. This could mean that it's either necessary to hire a casual worker to manage stock in the prior 3 weeks. Which is fine but I don't have anyone trustworthy for that position just yet. It also means a large additional cost to consider.

I'm thinking of undertaking the lease and working out the details from there; as of next week I will have enough in the business acounts to cover the lease for the first year.

A strange opportunity has arisen in the form of a colleague who has a partner in the same business. The opportunity only arose as I'd been talking to her about the separation when the topic came up.. This could present a reliable, cheap, and mutually beneficial opportunity to staff my unit in exchange for allowing them to use a portion of my space for their independant (but could be linked) purposes.

The only real thing holding me back I suppose is over-caution; but without the unit the chance of the operation taking off is stunted..

Chips all in, time to commit.
 

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