Hey hey Getting Gooder friends! What's good? I'm Parker Hewes, the founder and CEO of the Getting Gooder brand, but that makes it sound like this is a large organization. It's not. I'm just a dude with a $200 computer. In fact, I'm not even writing this article on a word document; I'm writing it on the free PC program called WordPad. That's because I can't afford to buy the Office 365 program for myself right now, so I'm using this free program, which is pretty much the equivalent of an erasable typewriter.
I'm going to give it to you straight. Right now, I am about to spend the last $1,000 of my checking account on a credit card bill that's a little more than $1,500. It will be the first time that I haven't been able to pay my entire credit card balance. And I plan to take out $1,000 from my Roth IRA just to get by for the next month (mind you, taking money out of my investments is essentially sacrilege for a guy like me).
Don't feel sorry for me, though, because I have also been sitting on a sailboat for the last 3 weeks as I've been sailing across the Pacific Ocean with my friends. And two months ago, I was chilling on the beaches of LA for a week. And in the fall, I spent 3 months working only on building myself a tiny house (check out the video below or the longer version here).
I didn't work for money at all during the building period. In fact, I still don't have a day job. I quit my job about a year ago. I've been doing random things instead, like coaching a soccer team, babysitting, and other low-paying options that look pretty lame for someone with a doctorate degree.
It's fair to say that my financial struggles are completely self-imposed. I admit that, and I'm okay with it. Because over the last 10 years, as I've studied personal finance, health, and happiness, I've begun to concretely define what an ideal life looks like to me. More importantly, I've become very affirmed in my convictions about how I want to spend my time. From a health and happiness perspective, I know what activities will give me the most success. I am clear about the things that will make me both happy and healthy at the same time.
However, I am currently struggling with the question of how I will trade my time for money. After all, I need some money to pay for the things that keep me healthy and happy. And I have a lofty goal of being financially independent in 10 years or less. But, I don't want to sacrifice my time doing something that doesn't also add to my happiness (in my opinion, happiness is really the only value that matters, all other values are pursued in honor of achieving happiness/fulfillment). So, I'm not willing to go get a typical 9-5, full-time job because I value freedom and travel more than making money. I don't want to work on someone else's schedule, doing what they tell me to do, or working on projects that don't completely support a vision I care about.
In short, I want to have my cake now, and I want to eat it right now, too. Better yet, I want to have my cake now, eat it now, and then watch my cake magically grow in size so that I can eat more later. Let me repeat that in English. I'm saying that I want to live my ideal life now while also building a bigger and better ideal life for the future.
I want to live my ideal life now while also building a bigger and better ideal life for the future.
A lot of you might scoff at that idea and say it's wishful thinking. And even more of you will state the obvious and say, "That's why you're broke, dude!" Don't worry, I've told myself these same things, too. But, I'm forcing myself to deal with the consequences of my have-it-all mentality, because I believe in this vision. I'm wholeheartedly convinced that we can all have an ideal life RIGHT NOW while building a more ideal life for the future.
I reject the notion that you have to suffer now so you can reap the benefits later. My vision is that we can all thrive, all the time. And I'm forcing myself to be the guinea pig for that vision, even if it means that I make a shitload of mistakes along the way and end up broke. It's not that I'm purposely martyring myself for a noble cause, either (I'm not broke on purpose, of course). But I leaned into the pain and discomfort of completely giving up on a life that wasn't ideal, and I jumped out of the plane. Now, I'm diving headfirst toward rock bottom, confidently hoping that my parachute will catch me before I crash.
It's not like I changed my whole life, though. My life was pretty great before, but I completely gave up on a job that wasn't ideal. Better yet, I gave up on the idea of a job (which, to me, is different than work). In the end, that's what holds most people back from pursuing their ideal. They fear what might happen if they quit their job for a "pipe dream." They fear they will lose the stability and comfort of their regular income.
I understand those fears. People have families to support, and people who count on them.
But as a single guy with no kids, I'm willing to be the guy who runs out on the battlefield, recklessly abandoning all my inhibitions with the willingness to accept the fate that comes my way. I quit my job with nothing more than a vision of the life I wanted to design for myself. I had no other plan in place for how I would make money, just the faith that if things really went south, I could fall back on the standard path of working for someone else.
But I wouldn't have had that faith without the confidence and preparation that came from the last 10 years of studying finance, health, and happiness. My assurance in myself wouldn't exist if I hadn't acquired the skills or developed the qualities that I now apply to all areas of life. That's also why you are reading this blog. I created Getting Gooder to give you the confidence, the agency, and the practical steps for designing your ideal life.
Not only is Getting Gooder a public diary where I work through ideas and get feedback from others, but it is also a consolidation of the things I've learned over the years that have helped me charge fearlessly into the unknown, to careen headfirst towards financial ruin while still having the utmost confidence in myself that I will soon be on a financial mountaintop.
So, I've adopted the role of the guinea pig, the lab rat, the ant under the microscope. In pursuit of the have-it-all mentality, I've come to terms with the potential for total failure. Heck, I'm pretty much staring at it as we speak. But I do it because I see a turning point on the horizon. I'm on the precipice of something incredible, and I want to share it with you.
From the perspective of happiness and health, I feel like I'm on top of the world. I can help you if you feel like you're not there yet. That's why the philosophies of happiness and the basics of health are foundational to the Getting Gooder brand. From the perspective of finances, though, I'll admit that my bank account says I'm going in the wrong direction. But, I am positive that I still have something to offer in this department. I've learned so much from studying personal finance that I feel like a wingsuit flyer. My knowledge has given me wings. So, even though I'm moments away from faceplanting the ground, my wings keep me in the air. I may be barely skimming the surface, flirting with a catastrophic crash, but I'm more amped about life than ever before. And if you'll hear me out, I think I can actually offer some financial knowledge to you, too. From an outsider's perspective, it may look like I'm just a guinea pig without a parachute, but I think I can prove to you that you can jump out of the plane, too.
With that said, I want to share my goals with you. Getting Gooder's mission is to help you grow wings of confidence. These wings are built out of knowledge and experience, and they allow you to jump out of a plane without a parachute. Of course, we will try to keep you from experiencing the same trajectory as me. But, if my story is going to be proof of anything, I want it to show that you can jump without fear. You can create your ideal life right now, even if it means leaving a perfectly good plane. AND, you can live your ideal life now while building a bigger and better life in the future. You can have it all, and I'm going to show you that it can even be done when all the signs are telling you to give up, turn back, or just be a little bit smarter.
I've heard those warnings a lot in my life because it's in my nature to be a little reckless and stupid. But I'm going to be living proof that you can still thrive in life, even when you make all the reckless and stupid mistakes that I've made. Because when you're recklessly in love with someone, you do whatever it takes to be with them. And I'm recklessly in love with the vision of designing my ideal, and I'll hit rock bottom before I give up on that dream. I'm not saying you have to join me, but I think you can learn from me.
Let's Get Gooder together.
Written by Parker Hewes, a chiropractor, author, American Ninja Warrior, and serial adventurer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Parker believes learning and growing are the keys to living a full life. He started Getting Gooder to help others learn and grow, so they can create the happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest lives imaginable.
Parker also knows that our ideal life gets even better when we have others to share it with. So, keep following Parker and the Getting Gooder community as we build our ideal, together.