Small Footprint. Big Shoes.

Published in Geek Health by

The mirror has been my best friend lately.  That sounds pretty vain right?  Well, the mirror is my best friend because the mirror holds the one opinion lately that I actually listen to: my own.  If I like who I am when I look at myself in the mirror, I’m doing pretty good right?

Ever since we moved into our downtown office a lot of people have been super complimentary, it’s like suddenly we have 500 new friends.  There are certainly folks we talked to before but when we “made it” and started hiring and started expanding it brought with it a lot of attention.  I wanted to write this to really look back and talk about where we’ve been.

In April of 2009 I moved to San Antonio and knew one person in the whole city.  We started with his realtor, we moved on to his realtors interior decorator, from there we worked with home cleaners and landscapers, we grew.  We spoke to anyone we could.  I was living in a little one bedroom apartment and doing my best to keep the lights on.  It was the Wild West and I loved it, every day was an adventure.

Eventually I decided that I should peel back, hold onto as much cash as humanly possible so I could invest more in the business, more trade shows, more seminars, more training, etc.  I rented a room for $200 in a house with three other guys.  Geeky guys not unlike myself, gamers, we had a good time.  I liken that time to living in a frat house.

People tell me I’m in demand, they tell me I’ve changed, I’ve been asked what the secret was, that one move was probably the most important.  It’s all about footprint.  How big is your cost of living footprint?  When I reduced my cost of living to pennies of what it was, it freed up so many options for me that I hadn’t considered.

For the first time, I’d had the funds to go to those conferences, take that training, enroll in that online class, or sign up for that Pro Membership.  I had the funds to better myself, because let’s face it so much of the best educational resources out there aren’t free.  You can’t exactly go to school for SEO as by the time you graduated the information would be out of date.

Reduce your footprint, go without TV, go without those fancy things and just like Dave Ramsey says “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else”.  I’ll tell you, I went without for so long that I second guess every purchase even now.  It’s fantastic, I save a fortune.

I am sitting on my Mac Mini right now typing this in my living room, the Mac Mini is plugged into my TV and I’m typing from a Bluetooth Keyboard on my lap, on the couch.  Feet up and all.  I didn’t need to buy a big computer for the house, I didn’t need to get another laptop, I just needed access to the internet in some form.  I did what I needed, not what I wanted, and it freed me up to do other things with those dollars.

Yesterday I paid off 90% of my worldly debt.  Old credit cards, some student expenses, you name it.  I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t peeled way back.  So when you ask me why things are working out for Image Freedom, when you’re curious why Matthew has that big stupid grin on his face, it’s because I decided that only my opinion mattered when it came to my life.

Don’t worry about appearance, don’t worry about the shoes you wear or the car you drive, worry about taking action, about being the example of excellence you want to set.  Make a product, offer your service, plant your flag and declare yourself for who you are.  The second you stop, the second you look back, or God forbid let someone SHOULD on you, that is time you’ll never get back.

Pick a direction and act.  You’ll fail only until you succeed.

What are you waiting for?