I thought I would start the year off by making a little time to unravel the cryptic phrasing in my LinkedIn profile summary:
My flexible career at The Interview Doctor allows me to pick up my roots to explore my other loves: boating, travel and writing. Sometimes you can find me on our boat Good Karma, working or writing while watching the scenery change around me. Since change is the only constant, I embrace whatever life sends my way with positive energy & enthusiasm. You should too!
I live on a boat! Yes, you read that correctly. Since 2012 I’ve spent most of the time living on our boat, Good Karma, sailing around the eastern United States. For much of that time we did not have a land based home or possessions except the boat and our cars.
Crazy? No, but it sure is an adventure!
I have been reluctant to share what that means until now. I feared people would think I am strange or that I was on a permanent vacation.
Not so. I am a hardworking, successful entrepreneur who happens to live on a boat! When you talk to me I might be on the ocean, in our apartment in Akron, cruising the Great Lakes, or even in the Bahamas.
Being laid off more than most, for years I had a tenuous allegiance to Corporate America. But it was hard to imagine another way. The corporate slog which fed my family so well finally became too painful in 2004.
So I quit. Actually a new boss helped me take the big step out of corporate America into consulting when he made it worthwhile for me to leave by terminating me. I am forever grateful to Gene Seashore for providing the incentive to step out into a new adventure.
That is the “why” behind my current living experience.
Most folks are curious about the mechanics of how it works. Making this lifestyle successful requires a balance, some specific tools and a lot of determination.
My husband, Kermit (yes, that is his real name!), is the captain. Having a supportive partner is the key to making this work. He manages the boat operations including maintaining the boat and doing most of the driving. I am responsible for cooking, cleaning and most of the navigation. I also drive most afternoons to give Kermit a break.
In return, Kermit makes space for me to work. I probably spend six to 10 hours a day, seven days a week on The Interview Doctor, either writing or working with clients on the phone. Over the years I’ve worked hard to position my business to serve almost all my clients to the telephone so I could work remote. Now I have clients all over the country.
The right tools make a big difference. With a good telephone, an Internet hotspot, a good headset and computer I am in business! I plan, organize and market just like any other small business. I just conduct most of my business virtually.
Kermit and I have been boating our entire marriage. Our kids were raised on boats. Various boats have been called “Good Karma”. We moved on to the first Good Karma with our 100 pound black Labrador retriever, Rusty, in 2012. This live-aboard boat was a 1996 Cruiser 3650 Aft Cabin power boat, a 36 feet long with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen.
We liked the experience so much that in 2014 we sold our possessions, rented out our home and moved up to a 2004 Cruiser 4450 Aft cabin power boat with our cat, Jack. This was the most beautiful boat in the entire world. Without a home base, we lived on the boat in Florida in the winter and took the boat back to Ohio in the summer. That trip got kind of tiresome so we sold that boat in 2017.
In 2018 we bought two boats for the price of one. A 1983 53 foot Hatteras Motor Yacht that will become our Good Karma South “condo” in Florida and a 1994 36 foot Four Winns Express that will be Good Karma North in Sandusky OH for the summer. We rented a small home in Akron as our home base. As I write this, we are on the Mississippi headed down the rivers towards Florida!
We are not rich. We saved money all our working lives so we would not be a slave to Corporate America. We structured our entire lifestyle to reduce our expenses to accommodate our adventure. Our living expenses today are not different from the expense of living in a house. They just go towards some different things that allow us to live in our boat-home, not a land-locked home.
I love the quiet beauty of this lifestyle. I love having the scenery change. I love solving the daily challenges inherent in boating with my husband. I love the wonderful, often quirky boating people we meet from all over the world. At the same time, I also love my clients and building a successful business.
I am coming out into the open with my adventurous lifestyle because I think there is a tie between coaching folks who are building careers and my career and lifestyle choices. Life is short and precious. I refuse to accept anything less than a full, rewarding life for myself or my clients. I want to share my genuine approach to my own life in the hope that others will find the courage to take a risk to live their passion.
I know that many people find my boating lifestyle confusing. Heck, our kids think we are crazy. But I know our kids appreciate that we live an honest, adventurous life fulfilling our dreams!
The journey is the adventure! However you translate that adventure in your life, it is my mission and the mission of The Interview Doctor to help you find as much fulfillment as I do in your career and life!
I invite you to read my boating blog, Good Karma Adventures, to learn more about what it is like to live and work on a boat. I would love to hear about your challenge in converting your business so your work to live instead of living to work.