2012. The year of the black dragon. 6 am, on the train on my way cross country to the first board meeting (im a shareholder in a small legal services business) of the season. I'm sitting here wondering what kind of year it will be. 2011 was a watershed year for me, a year where my wife and I defied the economic trend and spent/invested like never before, we got involved with a couple of businesses and they were, on balance, successful. I released myself from some of my old demons and could, for the first time in a long time, get a decent nights sleep without worrying about EVERYTHING and nothing. To all those aspiring entrepreneurs out there, who can build great things but forget all the smaller bits in the process, my advice is; get yourself a good wife (or husband) and a good accountant and let them manage what you can't or won't, it will do wonders to your sanity. It's been 2 1/2 years since I quit my job (one of those jobs where you spend most of your time on office politics) and turned myself into what some would call an entrepreneur but is much better described, by one of my customers, as a middle class hobo. For two and a half years, I have not had a week with 5 days in the same office, I have worked less, earned more and spent an enormous amount og my time in coffee shops. During this period, I have worked for 3 different employers simultaneously. I dont have any debt and I rent EVERYTHING, so its very easy to pick up and go somewhere else. When we have more, we spend more, when we have less, we cut down a bit. When there is work, its 24/7, and when there isn't we spend time together. We have also had a freedom to travel a lot, start new businesses and generally do what we want to do. However 2011 ended with a stark reminder that we, perhaps, can't live this way forever. We have illnes in the family now and it will require our emotional and financial support and I therefore started to consider taking a full time job again to get some more regularity into our life.
Financially this year could really go either way. Judging by the amount of communication, I have received over the christmas holidays and particularly the first few business days of january, my business partners have decided to come at 2012 all guns blazing. I hope we will all do that. Do what we do just a little bit better, and let our optimism rule the fear. Lets tame the dragon and ride it to more prosporous times. The Chinese certainly think it will be a lucky year and 1 billion optmistic workers and consumers might be just the medicine the world needs.
Officially the year of the black dragon doesn't start until February, so I will continue my hobo lifestyle a while longer until I get a chance to gage what kind of beast we are dealing with.