Colin Wright’s escape from the 9 to 5 began about 7 years ago when he was running a branding studio in LA. He realized that the path he was on, “the pursuit of money for the sake of money and professional success doing work I wasn’t particularly proud of ” wasn’t fulfilling him the way he thought it would. “I have exactly one life in which to do everything I’ll ever do, and I allow this to guide my actions”.
Taking a step back for the first time since he started his first business at age 19, Colin realized that he was forsaking the things he actually wanted to do with my time. In particular, he’d always wanted to travel and experience other cultures. At that point he had never left the US because he had always been too busy.
Colin gave himself four months to streamline his business into something he could run from the road. He started a blog and got rid of everything he owned that didn’t fit into a carry-on bag. He had his blog readers vote on which country he would move to, and that worked so well, Colin still moves to a new country every four months or so.
Most of Colin’s choices are based around his most valuable resource – time. “I can always make more money, but I can never get more time. That’s become more and more apparent the older I’ve gotten. I smile every time I realize that I get to spend my days and my energy following my curiosity and happiness. I get to pursue the projects that intellectually grab me, sharing ideas that I think are important with anyone who cares to listen”.
Less than a year into his travels Colin realized that the way he wanted to travel and the work he was doing didn’t line up terribly well, so he took a career leap into publishing, handing off his brand consultation clients and started writing books for a living. In addition to being an author, Colin is also starting to experiment with video and other platforms which leads him to new audiences. “I think it’s important to find a lifestyle rhythm that works for you. I see a lot of people promoting concepts — lifestyle hacks, growth tricks, etc — that supposedly work for anyone and everyone, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many people who follow those roads end up either not succeeding and having their application of the tricks blamed by those who promote it (the old ‘your faith wasn’t pure’ argument), or succeeding in some way, only to find that they were following a map that took them to someone else’s idea of happiness and fulfillment”.
Colin’s journey has been a lot of trial and error. “I used YouTube to pick up any skills I didn’t have and failed a whole lot to learn the ropes of everything else. Twitter is how I keep up with fields outside of my own, as I follow a lot of people who know more than me about all kinds of things. It, and other social networks, has also resulted in a lot of my most valuable relationships”. Colin’s travels have exposed him to a variety of ideas and experiences that have been woven into his own ideal lifestyle. “Don’t feel that you have to live up to someone else’s standards of success, happiness, or productivity”.