Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why I Have to Leave the Country for Two Months

A few weeks ago, we were having dinner with some friends and joked about skipping next winter and going to Costa Rica instead (my brother built a house down there). Our friends looked at us squarely and said, "Why not?" We started thinking... why not indeed?

Last September, I started working for myself full-time which has been incredible. If you want to build a business, look for a recurring revenue model allowing you to work from anywhere. I love starting the day at my own pace, eating meals with the family at home and putting my kids down for their naps. I've learned a lot about working from home (I put together a 3-part series, if you're interested) and think it's one of the most fulfilling ways to provide for your family.

But, if I'm honest with myself, I'm still not used to it. I still don't give myself permission to take full advantage of my situation. I'll take breaks here and there to play with my children, but I don't often adjust my schedule completely by taking the mornings off and working late or spending the day with my family at the zoo. I love the work I do, I love serving our customers, and I love building this business. Sometimes I love it too much, clocking too many hours and not fully appreciating the flexibility I have. That will change this summer.

The next day, after having dinner with our friends, I called my brother and he was incredibly encouraging. He really wanted us to visit the property and see what he built. A week later, we had some other friends over who reminded us how they need homes for students enrolled in Every Nation's School of Campus Ministry. So, we'll be renting out our house, giving us built-in house sitters. My high-C, detailed-oriented wife's brain was now firing away in overdrive.

The more we looked into it, the more it became a reality. The renters would cover our plane tickets and our rental car. We're getting the literal "bro deal" and paying next to nothing for our stay. I can work from anywhere and the rest of our team is already all over the place (Russia, Australia, Pakistan, California, etc). There's literally no reason not to go!

So we got the passport process going for the kids and bought the tickets. We're heading to Costa Rica, near Tamarindo, to stay at the beautiful home you see in these pictures (by the way, they are selling if you're interested: We'll be there from mid-June to mid-August, living an adventure we'll never forget. Blessed beyond words.

By now you may be thinking, "Lucky! How come everyone else gets all the breaks?" I like Obi-Wan Kenobi's view of luck.

Things happen for a reason, and I think this is part of our "living like no one else" story. We spent years living like no one else, paying down debt and working like crazy. How many people spend 3+ years working a full-time job and then adding another 25 hours a week on top of that at night and on Saturdays to build a business? How many people are willing to skip dining out (along with just about everything else) for years to pay down school loans and second mortgages? How many people invest in hobbies which have income-generating potential?

I may be wrong, but I think rewards come with living your life the way it was created to be lived. You are completely unique in all of history. You were created for a purpose, designed by a loving Father who knows the number of hairs on your head. I believe fulfillment in life can be found by living it on purpose, putting in the work and doing the things you know you're supposed to be doing.

Will it always be "fun" or "easy"? No. Living on a boat for two years taught me that. Will you always have the opportunity to grow and learn? Absolutely. In many ways, the key for my life to date has simply been to give up control to the One who made me and say, "Here I am, use me as you see fit."

My family is incredibly blessed and we're going to make the most of those blessings as they appear. What opportunities are waiting for you? Each breath is a gift, a chance to add a new chapter to your story and to re-focus on the reason you exist. I hope you're making the most of the blessings you've been given so we can all celebrate your "live like no one else" stories as well.

Thanks for being a part of our story.

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Laura Click said...

This. IS. AWESOME! I'm so excited for you, Luke. I think this is one of the toughest things of entrepreneurship - learning how to take advantage of your flexibility. When you still have that fulltime job, it's easy to dream about how you'll take off in the middle of the day to go for a walk in the park or work from a random location. But, when you get into it, it's hard to pull away...especially when you love what you do!

I'm glad you that you are doing this. After all, why not?! I'm certain it will be an experience you'll never forget and there will likely be all sorts of lessons that come out of this. I can't wait to hear all about it!

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Laura! We're all so excited. :)

Unknown said...

Praise God! Thank you both for your inspiration. This is amazing and it is only the beginning for your family. And thank you for the reminder of the overall goal- to live this God given life to the fullest.

Annette said...

Very, very excited for all of you! Way to go. Will look forward to hearing all about it when you get back....IF you come back!! ;)

Nicelle Priebe said...

What an amazing opportunity! I LOVE your "why not" attitude about it, and we hope to connect with you before you go!! I'm looking forward to your blog posts from Costa Rica. Exciting!!!

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Nicelle! Yeah, I'm hoping to have some great adventures with the kids. I was talking with my little brother last night who spent a few weeks there after graduating high school and he told us stories of hitch hiking with some random french people to get the to beach. Great story, but I'll be glad to have a rental car. :)

Dave Delaney said...

I love this Luke. Congratulations on making the decision to get out of dodge. It's a wise one. Life is too short not to change the scenery from time to time. Add a different language and culture to that new scenery and you're in even better shape.

Way to go! Literally! :)

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Dave! :)

Joel Fortner said...

Jealousy abounds!!! Man have a great time! Looks amazing!