Three years ago, we had well paid careers with a large multinational corporation and then one day, we left it all behind.
I loved my job. I worked for a great company, run by people I admired.
But there was problem. We were money rich but time poor. Many of my colleagues found themselves is similar situations. By rights, no one had any grounds for being unhappy. But yet many were.
Those who command large pay cheques don’t do so by chance. They’ve worked hard to develop the skills and experience that makes them valuable employees. And there’s a deep satisfaction from knowing you’ve gone from “little ol’ you” to “Manager”. But this satisfaction is addictive. Once you get it, you crave more. Respect, reputation, impact, money. Why stop at Manager? Why not Director, Vice President? If hard work and ambition is what got us here, then we needed more hard work and more ambition. Or did we?
We were already living a life neither my wife nor I could have dreamed growing up. Expensive holidays, business class flights, room service, “You get to keep the slippers!? Oh my!”. “What about the towels?”
But there was an incongruence we couldn’t resolve. It was becoming increasingly unlikely that our children would have the same values or appreciation of what it took for us to get to this point. We had the means to give our children anything they desired but realised, in doing so, we were actually being selfish.
Money is just a technology, one that serves as a store of value and the means to trade those things we value within our society. Everyone, without exception, desires to feel valued. By making money, or the trappings of money easily available to our children, we rob them of the need to discover their own value in this world.
We can convince ourselves that our children “deserve the best”. But if you really want to give your kids the best. You don’t give them money or the things money can buy. You give them you. Teach them, encourage them, talk with them, love them sympathise with them. Play, invent, laugh, cry and debate with them.
So rather than continue to work to get paid more and more, we took a different path. We traded in a pay check – for time (1 Million Minutes).
It wasn’t easy! There’s a lot of fear when you give up everything you know for everything you don’t.
We had a plan. We decided to design a house. One that we could build ourselves and show our children what real work looked like. And of course a house is so much more than just somewhere we live. It’s shelter. It’s warmth. It’s protection. And by designing a home we could build ourselves, we tapped into a primal desire to do the exact sort of things that make us feel valuable. There’s a profound satisfaction that comes from teaching your children the things that will create within them, a sense of value for themselves.
We’ve got a philosophy that underpins everything we’ve done to date. It’s not just about kids, or houses, or money. One that we’re still kind of testing out. Iron Matrix is a manifestation of it and we’ll continue to share our journey. We got a bit of publicity this week. So to all of those who have joined us here, welcome to Iron Matrix – 1MillionMinutes. This is more than just your home….