Why I plan to leave it all behind me in 2017!

Fun times with Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus.

This isn’t one of those crappy, “here is my resolutions for this year” kind of posts!

Why I decided to leave it all behind started this year. In fact, what I decided to do this year actually began in early December. In all honesty, it probably started with the result of the UK Referendum and the Brexit decision.

On the 24th June, I was renting a room in London (with an awesome couple of friends) and had taken office space in WeWork (amazing place to meet great people and get shit done)!

I had taken on staff, and the company was growing.

But it was all based on commitments, contracts and jobs that were lined up to start in the very near future.

The 24th June saw all that change. The UK voted to leave the EU. What followed was a calamity of errors.

Clients, most of which businesses that have no ties to Europe, other than potentially their owners’ holiday plans, decided to put a hold on marketing for the time being.

People were in shock! Some people were scared! Other people thought it was the end of the world!

They were wrong!

There was no impact to be had in the short term, other than potentially losing out on a couple of months of marketing and therefore sales.

So, the following snowballed.

1 client put a project on hold. 1 client cancelled a project altogether. 2 clients that had already signed agreements pulled out completely of their engagement. Suddenly our business was missing nearly £23,000 in projects.

Now, when you are paying for offices, a place to live in London, day to day travel costs and the mandatory pint here in there, you quickly find that money is tight. Followed by finding their is no money at all.

We tried everything to bring ourselves back, reducing prices, offering deals for new potential clients. But by the time we started to see the results, the house of cards was well and truly on it’s way down!

There was only one option!

It was time to shut down the nice offices, get rid of staff, leave the Big Smoke and head away somewhere cheap, where I could ride out the summer and figure out what was next.

It took everything I had not to throw in the towel. I wasn’t ready to give up and quit.

The changes were temporary. People would soon come back to their senses and realise that even if Article 50 had been triggered the same day, there was still another 2 years of “business as usual” to take advantage of.

In August, I sat on a terrace in the south of France (thanks to my dad for not charging me rent) and I set myself some goals and tasks.

The most important thing was to keep working. Keep momentum up! Keep building on what I had before, thinking of this “brexit” bump in the road as temporary.

I set up our “It’s All About Digital Marketing” Facebook group. (Now has nearly 300 members).

I focused on creating content. On a regular business. Again and again.

I invited a non-profit organisation to take advantage of my services. Online marketing and PR seemed to be what they needed most, so I helped them achieve the bestsellers possible results. Find out more about Ninth Wave Global here.

I focused a lot of time and effort on the last 2 clients I still had. One of which was nearing a contract renewal date. I did everything I could to make sure I was on top of them and what they needed.

For 4 months I kept myself busier than ever.

Leave it all behind - Laptop Lifestyle for me
Working on the terrace. Laptop means you can work ANYWHERE!

In 4 months I created content, I read up on latest trends, skills and tools.

I did everything in my power to bring myself back from the abyss. In one conversation with a close friends, he recommended I consider filing for bankruptcy so as I wouldn’t have to pay back my debts.

I kept going, with more intensity than possibly ever before.

This wasn’t “Rock Bottom” like so many great minds I’ve read about. I wasn’t starving and homeless! But I was behind on every bill, credit card and loan I had.

I had NO money in my current account, personal or business.

I had no promise of work coming in any time soon at the beginning.

But by slogging my guts out, creating and trying new things, I was able to make it back.

Slowly but surely, 1 of the clients that had put the project on hold after Brexit came back and started straight away.

Another local company in France asked me for some help whilst I was there and so another project started.

My client that was coming up for renewal, renewed, for another year.

And out of the blue, someone I had spoken to 6/7 months before got in touch and asked us to start asap on a new consulting project, followed by a 6 month contract.

The tipping Point!

I went from absolutely nothing and no idea how to pay my bills, to solvent again in 4 short months.

These past 4 months have been spent managing money tightly and paying off debts, making sure everyone gets what is owed to them.

It’s been really tough. With a lot of downs and a few happy highs.

But I’ve got there. Determination, hardcore will and a blind faith in myself and what I do!

This isn’t a success story… Yet!

I’m still paying off debts, I’m still getting back on track, but this fuelled my desire for one thing.

A cleaner, simpler and fuller life.

Cleaner in terms of debts. Simpler in terms of possessions. Fuller in terms of happiness.

This is why, 2017 is my VAGABOND year. I want to leave it all behind!

I’m going to move around, I’m going to work and travel at the same time, I’m going to live out of a bag for less than what it would cost me to live in one place (like when I lived in London).

And I’m going to try to document ALL of it as much as I can.

Earlier on, I mentioned that this started early December. I decided to head over the UK to see some friends, meet with some clients and spend some time back in London.

I wanted to see if I missed the place. If I wanted to go back.

Leave it all behind - Drink with a Stormtrooper
Out with a friend and a full size Storm Trooper (Trev) of course!

Most importantly, I wanted to make sure I was happy to move around, stay at friends houses, be put up in luxury (thanks to the Zimmers) and to rough it, with trains, car journeys, sofas and everything else that goes with being a nomad.

I started to like it.

Christmas I met up with my dad and spent some time in the Alps, followed with a quick stop off back in the UK, then on to Gibraltar for some work bits and pieces I needed to, followed by a stop off in Tarifa for a few days (It’s been  5 days already, and not sure when I want to leave yet).

But the idea sunk in.

The life style started and here I am. Doing it!

So, I’m gonna share how I get on! How I do it! What I do it with! and anything else that pops up as a result of moving around.

I’m even gonna share how much it costs. I think too many people believe it is VERY expensive to move around. I’m going to show that it costs less than living back in my old life in London, and, for those that know me, I’m not just talking about booze here

So if you want to keep up to date, sign up on the right. If you want to leave a comment, do so below, if you want to share my madness, there is a button somewhere.

Either way, I wanted to share this. What happened and why I’m doing this next!

Look forward to catching up with you somewhere off the beaten track!

Take Care.

Chris

Written 10/01/17 in Stoked in Tarifa – Great little coffee bar with remarkably nice owners and staff that don’t seem to mind I’ve been using their internet almost solidly for days now.

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