Progress Towards Sailing Away – December 2014 Update

Beautiful grotto at Monterosso - Kodak Ektar
Beautiful grotto at Monterosso – Kodak Ektar

Another month has come and gone, and while we haven’t made much progress financially on the sailboat fund, there is progress none the less.  The most significant event in November happened while I was in France on business.  Mrs. Outspoken has started sharing what started as my dream – to retire early and live on a sailboat –  as our dream, and share it quite openly.

While dancing with some of our friends during our weekly ballroom dancing outing she mentioned the idea and discovered one of our closer friends used to race J22’s on the West Coast when he was younger and has a pretty extensive sailing background.  She talked about our plan to learn about the lifestyle, explore boats, and take sailing classes and he and his wife were very supportive, saying it was a good plan and that it was critical she learn to sail too.

Later that week we also discovered another of our casual acquaintances has three sailboats and was a member at the club we are planning to join next year, and they extended an invitation to use their boats and visit them at their new home on a nearby lake they are currently building. As our network grows and other people share their sailing experiences and say things like “wow, I wish we could do that some day”, MO seems to be getting more excited and is now more interested in the monetary progress as well, even though there’s not much progress to speak of this month.

Current Sailboat Fund balance: $4200

For those paying attention, yes that’s the same as last month.  We made a charitable donation that exceeded what we typically gave annually from the coffee business and had some minor expenses, but I really didn’t have time to do much in November, but the one day I did have was enough to break even for the month.  🙂

Unfortunately it doesn’t quite scale in a linear manner, so full time wouldn’t equal 20-30 times what I did last month.

Aside from money, we also found a hotel for the Miami Boat Show, so we’re going to attend that to check out some sailboats and also attend  a cruising seminar aimed at couples called Two Can Sail.  I still need to book flights, but we’re taking advantage of my points and miles from business travel for work to minimize the expense so no damage to the sailboat fund will be incurred during the planning of this trip!

We’ve also got our membership application printed and ready to complete for Moraine Sailing Club, which seems to have the most comprehensive club in our area and is on what is really the only sailing-friendly lake within and hour or so – Lake Arthur.   Hopefully participating in their Learn to Sail and Learn to Race programs we can gain an appreciation for sailing this year while we work towards finding a boat for us to use to begin spending nights and weekends aboard as we learn.

One final step in November towards our dream:  I’ll be launching a product line soon. I’m not ready to share much yet, but the intent is to generate more independent revenue from multiple streams to support this sailing dream.  We won’t be ready to “sail away” for a few years at the earliest, but we’re still doing this relatively young, so if I can develop a few sources of revenue it should help us sustain the lifestyle once we make the transition.  With this in mind, everything we do needs to be semi-independent of our physical location.

Hopefully I’ll launch in January and I’ll share the info once I get everything squared away, but it won’t be a sales pitch.  I just secured my manufacturer pricing agreement for the products last week, so all that’s left is final “artwork” on the products and then marketing.  This will have a hit on the sailboat fund in the short term, but hopefully adds another 50-75% to the monthly revenue with minimal time investment from us.  If I recoup the investment in 6 months I’ll call it a win.  And then I’ll be looking for the next step to take for income generation.  (Update: Chinese influence rendered our line of Guitar Pedals marginally profitable, the first group was great, but prices dropped by 60% within months as others flooded the market.  We did well on our launch, but decided not to continue).

Keep chasing your dreams.  Once you catch one of them, all the others seem more possible, and you might find more and more of them turn into reality.

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5 thoughts on “Progress Towards Sailing Away – December 2014 Update

  1. Aaron and Kristen, it’s good to hear you’re making progress toward being water-borne! Go to the boat show and have great fun looking around, and ask the sales people about everything! It’s good that you’re meeting people who believe it’s a reasonable idea; just wait until you’re on the water and start meeting all KINDS of people afloat and you’ll probably feel that you have “found your tribe.”
    I’m curious to see what your January launch is all about – have you read Jeff Walker’s “Launch”? A lot of info, all of it believable, much of it the kind that makes you say to yourself, “Of course! That makes perfect sense, and it’s been right in front of my face for years, and I just haven’t seen it! D’oh!”
    Also, and for you, too, Rebecca, join the liveaboard site WeFloatThroughLife.org. There’s all kinds of info there – articles, links, videos, books (including a list for Newbies), and more – and it is growing. You can promote your blog there now and advertise your launch products when they’re ready (and ya, it’s free.)
    As I’m typing this, the wind is swaying my boat against her dock lines, the rain is pattering on the deck, and I’m as comfortable as I can be, and I’m afloat!

    Like

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