Epic World Journey to Chicago Entrepreneur

Epic World Journey to Chicago Entrepreneur

Written by Mark

Topics: Uncategorized

I’ve had a complete change of plans.  I am taking a new direction.  I will be staying in Chicago indefinitely.

I’d been planning a bike journey across Africa and “French Holiday”.  My original plan was the following:

  • Fly one way to Paris using United Airline miles
  • Improve French, and spend time with friends in Paris, Dijon, Lille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Tours, and Chateauroux to name a few.   (Yes, I know a lot of people living in France!)
  • Practice cycling in France and other countries.  Open ended plan, let random chance dictate the route
  • Check for cheapest flight and departure city to Cape Town, South Africa.  I figured I’d find an extremely cheap flight since I could fly anytime and from anywhere.
  • Spend an open ended amount of time in South Africa, before starting the bike trek north.

While the allure of the African Bicycle trip and Francophone adventures still thrives, there was an opportunity that I just could not pass up.

I am starting a new business.  I guess I’m an Entrepreneur?

There was an opportunity to start a business with my friend Jeremy Smith, that I just couldn’t pass up.  This business is called Spot Hero and that is what has been taking up a majority of my time lately.  The decision wasn’t easy.  When you’ve had your heart set on doing something for so long, it’s hard to change direction even if that’s what feels best to do. These decisions are possible because of the flexibility I have designed into my life.

When I started saving and retired at 24, I was arranging things so I could have the freedom to do what I want.  In the beginning I wasn’t sure what I would use this freedom for, but just wanted the freedom so I could decide later.  Right now, I have the freedom and flexibility to make decisions based on what I want to do.  I can fly to Los Angeles for a week to visit a friend, or help another friend move in on Tuesday in the middle of the day.

Starting a new business isn’t easy.  It takes a lot of hard work, and motivation.  It can be easy to let days go by without getting any work done.  I have no boss looking over my shoulder to see if I’m staying on track. I am my boss.  I do what I want when I want, so I have to stay focused. Working on SpotHero is awesome.  I have complete freedom to let creativity run wild.  It’s exhilarating!  I’m doing real work now.  My era of fake work is over!

I don’t really like life labels, but for now nomadic entrepreneur will do.  If you were planning on seeing me on my travel journey, I’m sorry but you’ll have to wait.  If you’re in Chicago and were planning on seeing me leave, I’m sorry but you’ll have to deal with me a staying a little longer.

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11 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Joel Runyon says:

    Dangit. Now I don’t have an excuse to fly to france and hang out with you! Maybe I’ll just have to settle for Chicago :)

  2. Jeff Lane says:

    This is my favorite post yet! Finally a post that is congruent with my goals and thoughts at the moment. We only have one life so for me the only option is to live it under MY TERMS. Like Tony Montana said “First you get the money, then you get the women.” He had the right idea but his thought process was a little blurry from all the drugs. I think you first need to get money since in our modern society you need it to pay for food and shelter. Once you get enough money to where you do not have to worry about providing for yourself I think life really begins. You can enjoy life on your own terms without a boss or deadlines given to you by someone who does not care about you. I can identify with the Africa trip as right now I have enough money to watch the entire Formula One circuit (20 races for 2011 in dozens of countries). I am waiting at least another year to develop my business (yes I am an entrepreneur as well for those of you who do not know me…yet) and then I can spend the money on my trip (and more importantly the time) and I will be able to enjoy it much more. The more responsible decisions we make (for ourselves) the more we can make in the future. I think this is a good decision for you and the rest of your life. Marclar.

    • Mark says:

      Jeff, glad this is your favorite post. I think your entrepreneurial drive and development of your business is uncanny and incredible. I am happy when my friends are successful, and I wish you continued success as it grows. I agree that we need money in order to have more freedom and flexibility. However, I disagree that someone has to “have it made” before they start living life. Everyone has their own path and way of doing things. It’s possible to live life at any moment whether you are financially stable or not. If you add the component of travel or nomadic endeavors then yes some money is necessary. But there are many global vagabonds that are able to travel and find work on the road, or use a little ingenuity to stretch their travel savings. Thanks for the support in this decision Jeff. Can’t wait to see where your journey takes you too!

  3. Mark, I’m proud of you for continuing to be intentional about your life. I love that you have thought this out and are going for it after having planned!!

    You’re so right about how hard it is being your own boss. I think too many people just assume that you get to lounge around all day and do nothing. There’s so much that is difficult about it but the rewards are equally as amazing. I’ve felt more rewarded in half a year of blogging than I have in half a decade of corporate work…and I’m good at what I do there too. Just very different when you know that your work directly benefits you and your loved ones.

    Congratulations, my friend. I love watching your excitement for your life and the things you are doing. 😀

    • Mark says:

      Thanks for the support David! The own boss thing definitely has its perks. (That’s why I’m designing my life, so I can be my own boss). But yes, there’s this assumption it’s all pure bliss, perfection, and easy. It takes not just hard work, but an undying and constant self motivation. I have seen how you have connected and grown in the past 6 months, (wow time flies), and I can understand how rewarding that process has been. Best of luck in your endeavors as well my friend!

  4. Steven says:

    Retired at 24? I believe Uncle Mike put it a little better when he called it “willful unemployment”…I guess this also means no car. LOL, live the dream!

  5. Jennifer Engelhart says:

    First of all M I’m glad you’re staying in Chicago because I wouldn’t know what to do with you so far away! And I’m really excited to see you start up your business (and also to become a customer). You have always had the most unique and creative mind and a go-getter attitude that makes you so successful in everything that you do. I agree that when you have your heart and mind on something it is hard to change direction to do something completely different than what you originally planned. The best thing about your situation is that you don’t have to abandon one set of plans to “settle” for something that sucks in comparison! (like fake work at a crappy job) I wish you and Jeremy the best of luck in your endeavor, and by the way I love the picture for this post….Grand Canyon good times!!

    • Mark says:

      Follow your heart and your dreams no matter what. It will all work out in the end. Whatever your dream is, go for it. You’ll know when it feels right. The original plan never plays out how anyone would have originally thought. The direction change can be hard, but once the fears are put aside and you follow what you really want to do, the benefits greatly outweigh the sacrifice and safety of the original “plan”. Jennifer, thanks for such support. And yes, the Grand Canyon was good times!

  6. Caroline says:

    Hello Mark! it’s the 1st time i comment on your blog but i havent reading lots of your posts for the past few months, as well as some other location independent guys! I’m myself in the process of working towards my goals to get the life i truyl want…and im so amazed you know some people in Tours! Im from there actually, living and working near London at the moment, but my heart belongs in France:) Such a shame you are not going there at the end…i would have loved to meet you :) Maybe for another time!

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