I vividly remember my wife and myself taking a 2.5-hour ferry ride to an island off the coast of Croatia about 7 years ago.
What we thought would be a pleasant journey ended up being a sweaty, frustrating, horrible, nasty experience.
We were travelling with our then 2-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son, and we were thrown onto this ferry by our cousin who thought it would be the perfect trip for us.
He obviously forgot what it was like having small children, so he forgot to mention how long the journey would be.
And because we were literally the last people on the ferry, the only seats left were on the lower level, enclosed entirely by windows that didn't open.
We quickly learned that when it's 42 degrees outside (Celsius) and you find yourself sitting for 2.5 hours on a rocking ferry that has no airflow, no food, no air conditioning, no anything, the beautiful day-trip turns into a parenting nightmare.
Our kids got hot, then hungry, then extremely bored... Then we got hot and hungry.
The whole situation turned into one nauseating mess.
When we finally arrived at this island is was 100% beautiful.
The little coastal town was amazing. The sunshine and fresh air were perfect.
And then the next hurdle hit us.
The whole point of visiting this island was to check out one of the most famous beaches in all of Croatia, Zlatni Rat, and we discovered that it was a very hot and sweaty 20-minute walk away.
Remember, it was 42 degrees and not a cloud in sight.
Being fully loaded up with my 2-year-old hanging off me and all the gear that North American families travel with, we were like fish out of water.
Now, I fully realize I'm complaining about being on vacation, with my family, on an island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea... So it's completely unfair of me to complain, but someone out there in Internet-land reading this can relate I'm sure!!
And stick with me, there's a point to all of this coming up, promise...
Discovering that we had this walk in front of us after battling the ferry ride was too much to handle.
I found a water taxi and we loaded up our stroller, beach bag, sweaty backpack, camera, towels that we were lugging around and hitched a ride.
And it was so worth it.
The beach was amazing.
The water was clean, there were fresh fruit stands and Nutella crepes and smoothies and we were happy.
We got to stay for all of 2 hours (120 minutes) before we had to head back to the ferry for the 2.5-hour, hot, sweaty, ferry ride back.
It may have been the slowest ferry in all of Europe.
The whole thing was exhausting.
We got great pictures though, LOL.
And I vividly remember taking one last long look along the beach before we headed back and I noticed a bunch of boats anchored close by and people were laughing and eating and diving off the boat to swim ashore.
And I thought, "Wow, who exactly are those people who pull up to a beach like that in a boat and live like that?"
I mean, I figured we were pretty fortunate ourselves to go on a 12-day cruise followed by a 7-day stay on the coast of Croatia... But who were THOSE people and how did they get on those boats?
I was thinking this while all the kid gear in my backpack was causing a nasty, sweaty heat rash on my back as I walked in the scorching sun back to the ferry.
Fast forward 7 years.
Nick and I literally just got back from Croatia a few days ago.
We now own a 2-bedroom condo on the coast.
It's freakin' amazing.
We've gone every year for the last five years with both families... Every time for a month, except for this year (2.5 weeks because of our son's sport/team commitments - which is a totally different story!)
This year while we were there, on a whim, we decided to rent a 30-foot boat, with a captain.
This boat had two 5.7 litre Corvette engines in it... It moved.
We arranged to have it pick us up right from our condo on the coast and whip us over to the same island we had journeyed to years earlier.
Instead of 2.5 hours, the trip was 40-minutes of pure joy.
Music playing, drinks flowing, kids laughing... My wife and I were feeling blessed and grateful.
And you know what we did?
We anchored off that very same beach.
That's a picture of us pulling up at the top of this blog post.
We jumped off the boat.
We swam ashore got some fruit cups, had a couple of amazing smoothies, and the entire family played on a WipeOut style obstacle course in the water and took some amazing GoPro footage of it all.
There were two other amazing components to this:
First, our father was with us, so we got to experience it all with him.
Second, Andrew Palhetas, from the Rock Star team happened to be vacationing on the same island. We asked him and his wife to meet us at the very tip of that beach at 11 a.m. ... And they did!
After hanging out for a bit, Andrew and his wife spontaneously decided to join us for lunch so we all swam up to the boat and scooted over to the island next door where we all ate like champions.
A seaplane landed behind us as we were pulling up this island... It was amazing.
After our 2.5 hour lunch, we boated them back over to their island and began our adventure home.
Halfway back, we found a little bay and pulled in for an impromptu swim to cool off.
And you know who we passed on the way back?
That original ferry.
Packed with people.
We waved and smiled.
It was crazy.
I'm sure some reading this will think we're sharing this as some way to "show off" or "brag" but that's not who we are... Not at all.
The reason we're sharing this is because your life can change much faster than you think.
I had no idea we'd be one of THOSE people I was looking at just a few years earlier.
I wasn't jealous of THOSE people back then, I didn't want to be them or anything like that.
I was happy then and I'm happy now.
I was just curious about how they got to be doing what they were doing.
And here we were just a few years later doing exactly the thing I was thinking about.
There are many things that allowed it to happen.
Working with my brother, quitting my job, starting Rock Star, etc.
But the biggest thing was putting things in place in our life that created cash flow for us.
The things we put in place in our lives several years ago were changing our life today.
The relics of our past were creating cash flow for us.
Back in my days working in the software world at Oracle and NetSuite, I was already investing in income properties that produced income for me then, and still continue to do so today.
Then I began to create a business with my brother that has been creating income for us for several years now.
Looking back, spending time not only on "immediate income," aka my job, but also spending time building things that would produce income for me immediately AND in the future has been hugely beneficial.
Whether it's been a property, a business, a website... When you begin it doesn't really feel like much, but when you decide to see things through, these types of assets can change your life, give you freedom, and help create some amazing memories.
So if you find yourself today focusing solely on your career, perhaps use this as a reminder to spend some time building assets in your life that will give you personal and financial flexibility in a few years down the road.
It may be a simple rental property or a website that attracts an audience, or your own business.
Focusing solely on progressing in your career that only makes you money while you're in it is not the highest use of your time.
And over the next few years, going down a "career" path solely is going to get a lot more dangerous we feel.
Ask yourself today...
Are the relics of my past creating income for me today?
If not... Why not?
Are you focusing and working on your highest value activities for even a percentage of the week this week?
If not, why not?
And if you are, keep at it! Things sometimes feel like they're taking forever but one day you look up and your life has changed dramatically.
We'd love to meet you on a beach in Croatia for lunch one day!!
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms.