Saturday, January 3, 2009

Excitement and what I'm missing

While traveling through my hometown on a relatively mundane errand, I happened to notice a subtle indication that there was a portal to the Hedge in the vicinity. My errand could wait while I investigated further. To mortal eyes, it was merely a fenced-in vacant lot, with various pieces of junk scattered here and there. A pile of broken shipping pallets and what might have been furniture at one point pushed against a utility pole, the shadow hiding a gap in the cyclone fence. It took a few moments glancing at the wreckage to spot it: a battered but still whole trash can lid balanced on top of a large, bald truck tire. I fished out a piece of paper and a pen, pretending to copy down the name of the property management company offering the land parcel for sale or rent, in reality making notes about the portal. When had it appeared, I wondered, and where would it lead?


I'm reading through Timothy Ferriss' "4-hour workweek" in an effort to figure out why my life feels like I've become an NPC waiting for some adventure to need a pushing-40 slacker as a human shield or victim or other tragic placeholder. Aside from the rather interesting notion that most of the boring parts of people's lives can be subcontracted, Mr. Ferriss offers the idea that the exciting activities and goals we dismiss as impossible or impractical or otherwise too expensive are usually nothing of the sort. The trick is to figure out the most practical steps necessary to achieve them. For example, suppose that my goal is to not only own a Phoenix 1000 luxury sub, but to make it pay for itself. As this vessel starts at $78 million USD, that would probably be a wise way to go.

The trick, then, would be to figure out who would benefit from access to such a vehicle and why. The Monterey Bay Aquarium might be one option, for exploratory and research purposes. Another might be any of the various private agencies that offer tours of San Francisco from the bay, for a tourist attraction like no other currently available. A third might include various businesses who need to monitor and occasionally inspect or repair underwater facilities, such as pipelines, cables or bridges. And other options may arise during the research phase. While it's easy to imagine all manner of illegal usage for such a vehicle, such as smuggling narcotics in or criminals out of the area, they are not a business avenue I would ever pursue.

Anyway, the next step would be to research the legalities of the situation and arranging a business charter, at least getting the relevant pieces of the puzzle onto paper. U.S. Subs offers such a thing, for a starting price of $25,000.00.

At this stage, I would have to actually do some research and consult with experts. Where else to go? Should I involve the investors-to-be prior to buying the business plan, or after?

The point that Mr. Ferriss makes is that it is not, in theory, completely unreasonable for me to own my own luxury submarine. It is simply a matter of composing a plan and adjusting it as I go along. Which, in turn, suggests that very little, if anything is completely out of reach for purely economic reasons; they remain on the far side of a properly-researched and -initiated plan.

Now that I wish to become a published author by the end of 2009 (if not sooner), I suppose that I will have to focus on a plan to achieve this. The first step, of course, will be regular writing, to simply get in the habit of doing so. I've kept journals, of course, as well as two other blogs, but that will only sustain me for a short period. Similar, in its way, to using a kick-board while learning to swim; the tool is useful during the early stages, but must be abandoned when it is no longer needed. Daily writing, no matter what, for at least the next month is my goal at this point.

Wrapped around looking for "regular" employment, of course...

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