Find out how. Let's Talk


How to be Semi-Retired: Step Two

Posted by kdadmin on July 25th, 2015.

How to be Semi-Retired: Step Two

Who doesn’t want be Semi-Retired?

Work as much as you want, when you want, have the time to travel, enjoy your hobbies, play with friends, connect with family, but still make a meaningful contribution to the career, or cause, that you love. It’s a sweet life. No question. In this series, we’ll cover the “how” of this process, one step at a time.

At the end of Step One, I gave you an assignment. If you can’t remember what it was, click here. Do it. Then come back. It’s pointless to continue until you’ve done the exercise.

Still here? Great, read on to Step Two.

Now that you’ve identified your one, two, or five somethings, it’s time to test them. GO DO EACH OF THEM, and pay attention to HOW you FEEL when you’re doing them. Specifically:

  1. Are you giddy with anticipation? Do you catch yourself drooling with excitement?
  2. Does it scare you a bit? Is there risk? Will you get immediate, constructive feedback if you make a mistake? If you’re stupid or careless is there potential for serious consequences?
  3. When someone asks you about it, do your bore them with details, because you Just. Don’t. Care?
  4. Will it take you several years to master the art of your something?
  5. Could you take your hobby WAY TOO FAR? Do you have the potential to get tunnel vision and obsess on it in a way that would cause you to neglect your responsibilities or relationships?
  6. Could you “go pro” in your hobby if you spent enough time? Could you get good enough to hob knob with your heroes?
  7. When you nail some new level in your hobby, does the glory consume you? Like, are you almost desperate to stand on the hood of your car, in your underwear, and do that horsey dance? Extra points, if you’d be willing to hold up traffic to do it.

Let’s run through this using my kiteboarding example.

  1. Yes. I have been caught drooling when I see high wind conditions.
  2. Yes. If I make a mistake and crash immediately. If I’m careless I could get seriously injured.
  3. Yes. For example, B3 on the technicalities of the that huge air landing shot above.
  4. Yes. I’m at least five years away from being able to do my ultimate goal.
  5. Yes. Just ask my wife.
  6. Yes. I’ve met several. If I can pull off my five year goal, I should get to know most of them.
  7. Yes. I’ve done this. That’s how I know.

Now, if you think you have several somethings, pick the one that you’re most jonesing to do.

Step Two: Eliminate All Distraction.

If you thought Step One was hard, this is even worse. The hardest part about How to Semi-Retire is ACTUALLY SEMI-RETIRING. It’s so stupid. But there are always a thousand excuses about why you can’t do your something. I’ve come up with them all. The only way past this is to use some of that tunnel vision obsessiveness to just force it.

Most people think “focus” should be step two. This is false. You could be the most focused person on the planet, but if you don’t have the time to enjoy your something, because of a billion and one distractions, it doesn’t matter. You need the mental space, and the physical time, to do your something.

Pretend your something is the ONLY THING you have to do in your life. What, in your current life, gets in the way of your something? Make a list. Brainstorm, do a brain dump, whatever.

Once you have your list, organize it in order of the difficulty you’ll face in eliminating each distraction, from hardest to easiest. Then, start at the bottom, with the easiest. Eliminate one of those things now. Just do it. Don’t give me any bullshit. Then set yourself on a schedule to eliminate every single one of the other issues. Maybe it takes you years to eliminate all of them. It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that NOW you have:

  1. Something you love to do more than anything else on the planet.
  2. A plan to eliminate any distraction that could get between you and your something.

In other words, you now have a REASON to Semi-Retire.

In preparation for the next “How to Semi-Retire” segment, take some time, now, to imagine how you would change your life if the only thing you had to do was your something. At the level of greatness to which you aspire. Where would you go? With whom would you spend your time? Where would you live? What significant parts of your life would change to accommodate a life centered on your something? In other words, how would you incorporate your something in your plan to Live the Life You Love?

If you liked this post, please share it using the links at the top. Or, if you’d like to know more about how this could affect your situation, click here to drop me a note, or setup a time to talk.


Minneapolis, MN | St. Croix, USVI
(763) 577-1900