When my wife and I left our home in the US for Ecuador, we weren’t too worried about our finances. We had just sold our business and were receiving monthly payments from our buyer that well exceeded our monthly expenses. I did some freelance work and thought about all kinds of projects I could start, but at the end of the day, I mostly just binge watched television and played my xbox. The problem was that even though I had tons of free time, I was too comfortable in my situation.
Fast forward a year… my buyer has unexpectedly stopped paying his debt and I am forced to sink a big portion of my bank balance into retaining legal aid to begin a lawsuit to recover the money owed to us, a process that will likely take over a year to be resolved and is not guaranteed to succeed. Even just typing all that makes me a little sick to my stomach.. and I’m starting to view that as a good thing.
Since things got uncomfortable, I got productive… no, scratch that… super-productive. I went from working 15 hours a week to over 40. I picked up new freelance work. I got back to building my portfolio. I started new, long term projects. I starting holding myself accountable to a higher standard of work, both in terms of a quality and quantity. Basically, everything I told myself I was going to do here in Ecuador, I am now doing… and more. And all of it is because I stopped being comfortable.
Comfort is the mother of complacency.