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Keep it light…

By June 26, 2008Uncategorized

Picture_4So yesterday I sold my house, which was sad because I loved that house and had a lot of great memories there.  But I was also very happy because I shed a major asset that I wasn’t using, and which it was costing me time and energy to maintain.  The process of selling it turned out to be much more daunting than I had expected (even factoring all the real estate industry woes).  I didn’t sell it for what I had imagined (and been told by so-called experts) that I would.  But that’s not important.  What’s important is that I’m free of something that I could not devote energy to, and which was taking energy to keep up.

After Katrina I spent a lot of time living a nomadic existence.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what was important and what wasn’t.  Family, friends and my personal outlook are the most important things.  Everything else is secondary.

Unfortunately, the secondary stuff does take some time to manage.  I’ll post some thoughts about that in a few days.  But for now, here’s my ideal approach to the ‘secondary stuff’: 

  1. Minimize the amount of stuff that requires three-dimensional presence (I have to have a house and car or scooter etc, but keep that stuff to a minimum)
  2. Mazimize the use of the Internet as a source for managing personal tasks, information, bank accounts etc.
  3. Constantly ask how to accomplish these goals, and don’t be afraid to try novel approaches; but don’t get bogged down experimenting with new approaches just because someone says they have promise.

In short, my goal is to keep as much of the secondary stuff in a form that lets me operate out of what I call "ATM mode".  ATM mode is what we all do now with our money.  Society has moved past the barter stage so I don’t have to carry cows or goats to engage in financial transactions.  And technology has made it possible for me to carry a small card that lets me access as much money as I need so I don’t have to keep it all buried in my backyard or under a mattress.

I want this ‘ATM mode’ for more than just financial transactions.

I want to be able to walk around with minimal stuff and yet be able to access key information from anywhere that has access to the Internet.  Obviously, I won’t be able to access my guitar through the Internet.  But I did read the other day about a hotel chain with locations in New York and Chicago that has guitars available for guests to use.  So, like I said in point #3 it’s good to keep an eye open for new ways to ‘keep it light.’

P.S. If you want a practice optimized for remote work & virtual collaboration, get this 24-page guide.


  • Larry Port says:

    Hi Ernie:

    Congrats on shedding your house. Your post reminds me of George Carlin’s rant on “Stuff” (definitely worth checking out – for the Carlin fans out there).


  • Kevin says:

    Probably why you use a Mac Air. 😉

    Congrats on the house and enjoy the summer.

  • M. Sean Fosmire says:

    I note the same thing about bicycles. Hotels like the in Milwaukee which make bicycles available for guests to use to tool around the downtown area will get my business every time.

  • Steven says:

    check out the “Life Zero” podcast, at

  • Chuck Newton says:

    I hear you brother. My wife and I sold our big house last October and we moved to a much smaller space, and in many ways a nicer space and more pleasant space because it just does require the upkeep that a big house takes. Part of it was that three of our four children are in college or law school. They want to be close to their schools. I feel really blessed because it substantially cut down on our personal overhead, and I guess business overhead in that my wife and I practice out of our home. Our old home sold in an amazing 48 hours for slightly more than list price. I say blessed because the market here is now crashing. I also do not think it was because of a big demand as much as the second family who came through our house has a lot of kids had been transfered to the area and had been living in a motel for over a month and they wanted to move. It was luck, but we are grateful. Best wishes to you in this regard.

  • Tom O'Connor says:

    Well glad to hear you were able to finally sell the house but I have to say it gave me a twinge to read that line … there are not many places about which I can honestly say “every time I went there I had a good time” (especially at my age) but your house was on that list. Thanks for all the good memories.

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