March 02 2024

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The sky is falling, you’re standing on it.

If you haven’t already noticed, the MAGA movement and the over-printing of money here in Canada over the past three years has started to wreak havoc on our economy. Long ago we wouldn’t have noticed, we were too busy trying to make a living. But now it’s more apparent that what goes up, must come down.

Should we blame the government? How about covid? Maybe we should just blame ourselves. 

You’re thinking, how does this creative guy have any sort of window into our economic future and sustainability? Well, I’m not Bill Gates but I’m also not blind.

If you’re anything like me, you overthink. I sell it as strategic thinking, as I’m always trying to solve the problems I see in front of me.

As a kid I read “choose your own adventure” books, and would always try to solve the problem of the entire story before I risked choosing the wrong path. Even when I had taken the wrong path, I felt as if the time spent on problem solving was worth it.

So when the pandemic was first mentioned, you could only imagine what my mind was doing. On a business level, I made very quick decisions, avoiding what I thought was inevitable. People looked at me like I was a crazy person, more about this later.

Most of my worry had always been in the category of business. Because I didn’t know much about it (money, business, or anything outside of playing music and having a good time) I monitored everything I did closely, and made judgment calls accordingly. Unfortunately for me, I had to go through the problems first to learn from them (visit: failureclass.com). My wonderful wife was in charge of our finances for years, I looked to her for everything. Not a bad deal, unless you start a business without her and she’s at home with the kids. No one was there to help me, I was trusting my gut. And instead of having a tight, 6-pack of knowledge…a gut it truly was.

I was learning everything alone, I was trusting a lot of people, and I was doing a terrible job at it. But, wisdom comes from experiences good or bad. This was where the strategic focus came in, help me avoid the bad or get me back to what I had, the way I liked it.

This is the statement of the world right now. “How do we get back to what we had?” Trust me, what we had wasn’t all that great either.

In China they have power and control, you can see it when it comes to manufacturing and government rules. I’ve been there, you can feel it when you get off the plane. In Nicaragua there’s a sense of chaos, every man and woman for themselves…you can see and feel that too. Other countries present who they are out of the gate, while others hide it well. 

We’re in the group of countries that hide stuff well. 

Our biggest secret is to keep citizens’ heads down working so hard, that they don’t look around and notice anything else. Keep pumping the message that more is better, otherwise, we may stop working so hard

After years of being strategic, finding money, making money, etc. I always felt that once I had money, it went quickly. This cycle bothered me and I started asking myself “Why do I even work? It’s almost better to do nothing”. And that question is what started me on this path years ago. I need more money because I spend too much money, we’re in a never-ending cycle of overspending.

I then asked myself the question when covid hit, “What if I just made enough money to survive?” This is of course the mantra of a failure. Why wouldn’t you want more? What about savings and your family’s future?

We grew up in the western world with a path set out for us. We go to school to learn how to be good citizens and pick up a few skills on the way. When you get older you dive deeper into a skill set so you can…become a professional! Skills aren’t enough these days, you need to be the absolute best at what you do.

Hmm, something seems fishy here.

You know the story after that, we’re all just working all the time to be better than the other guy. Looking to our left and right to see if we’re ahead, looking forward desiring to be the person ahead of us. Mainly because we’re told that’s success, but mostly to pay off our debts.

This never-ending cycle has caused us to lie, steal, cheat or borrow in order to get there. This desire to “want more” and “deserve better” is what causes us to be unhappy and compare our lives on a day-to-day basis.

Since 1990 we saw a slow growth of family income over the course of 12-15 years. In the last 12-15 we’ve seen it almost triple. This isn’t because there’s more money in the world, it’s because we need to feed the fast-paced, big business life we all try to live.

Remember I said people thought I was crazy? In February 2020 my family and I made the call to live less for the business life, and live more for the people of the world. Could we care for people more, care for the earth God gave us more, take less, and provide more?

We decided to close the business, make a life change and move to Prince Edward Island. Here we could enjoy a different pace of life, stress less over the business I was “suppose to be” and build a richer community of business that takes less and gives more. People still think we are crazy, but living this dream for over two years has shown us we’re doing the right thing.

If you look around enough and make your own judgment calls (turning off the social media voices telling you what to do), you may start thinking “crazy” like us too. If you really want to solve some problems in your life, and in the world around you…it all starts with you. 

My wife and I started noticing what we spent, what we ate, and where it came from. Let’s just say our carbon footprint was more like a crater in the GTA, now it’s like a football feild (and slowly getting smaller). On the business side, it was even worse…a huge office, tons of staff, and tons of costs. I was spending over 100k per month just to cover the basics. So again I made changes. 

Those changes led me to work way less, conserve way more, and have money left over. What a concept!

So listen, you can fight with the crowds, hold up your flag, and write a letter to your government, but the real issue is with us, not them. 

Yes, the sky is falling, ’cause you’re standing on it. 

The way to really help your business these days, and even your personal life, Is to step back from what you think you need to accomplish. The common “How’s Work?” question is usually answered with “Busy!” then followed by “Well busy’s good right?”. 

I’d say no, if you’re too busy, something is wrong and we need to fix that.

The world will never be the same again, the time is now to make some big changes in your life. 

We shouldn’t desire to go back to what we had, what we had was a joke. More importantly, we should look to the future, and how we can change and enjoy it much more!

Todd Neilson – Considerate Agency


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