When I was 25 years old, my father and I purchased a bar-restaurant. At that age, it was a dream come true. I mean, what twentysomething doesn't want to own a bar?
At least, that's what I thought at the time.
It turned out to be a total grind and not nearly as fun as I had hoped.
I was there first thing in the morning and was the last one to leave in the evening (or early morning). Many times, I would just sleep in the dungeon that was disguised as an office.
My friends had fun. They'd come in and mooch beer and food.
But not me.
Between cooking (for the cook that didn't show up), pouring drinks (for the bartender that didn't show up), and driving customers home (for the cab that didn't show up), I was neck deep in the grind of being an owner-operator.
About nine months later, we sold it.
We never bought the bar with the intention of making it a family business; it was simply a flip. Buy low, sell high.
I personally walked away with a check for $20,000.
Nothing too substantial, but also not irrelevant for a twentysomething.
The next thing I did was what any single male in his mid-20s with $20,000 would do--retire.
For the next four months (which is roughly how long the money lasted), I basically did nothing. Rented an apartment with some friends. Drank beer by the pool. Visited friends in California--basically anything that had nothing to do with work.
Until I got bored.
Looking back, there were better ways to spend my time and money, but that turned out to be one of the most enjoyable summers of my life. Plus, it was also the time I met my wife, which made it money well spent.
While at the time, I told people I was retired (for fun), obviously I knew that the money would only last so long and eventually I would have to figure out what I wanted to do when I "grew up."
I didn't have the wherewithal to know it at the time, but what I did that summer was hit the Reset button. I was burned out and needed time to decompress before moving on to the next thing.
Two weeks ago, I found myself resetting once again. This time, however, it was under entirely different circumstances.
As I mentioned in my post last week, I recently returned from a trip to Haiti. A life-changing and eye-opening experience, to say the least.
I went on the trip to serve the people of Haiti. However, what I wasn't prepared for was that Haiti, and the beautiful people that reside within, served me.
They reset me. And I didn't even know I needed resetting.
The people of Haiti gave me perspective. They also gave me graciousness, warmth, patience, and peace.
They gave me retirement and all I gave back in return was my time.
Whether you feel it or not, everyone needs to retire and reset every so often. Drink beer by the pool, serve people in need, visit friends in a faraway place--just remove yourself from the grind and straighten your path.