"What? Me get certified and go diving? I don't think so - I don't want to see any sharks!"
That was my reaction when my boyfriend (now husband) asked me if I wanted to take scuba classes and get certified with him.
I thought he was crazy - it was nothing I had ever considered before.
And I never wanted to see a shark, that was for sure.
Well, since you are reading this website, you can guess what happened.
So how did I get from being somewhat afraid of scuba diving to loving scuba diving to creating a website about it?
Well, if you really want to know..grab your beverage of choice, settle in and read our story...
We started dating while we both were living in Manhattan in New York City. Right after we started dating, he popped the question - no, not that one - the one about getting certified.
(The other question took 4 years. I guess I'm patient if nothing else!)
So I bit the bullet since I really liked this guy and got certified. We did the book and pool portion in Manhattan and the open water dives in Antigua in the Caribbean.
Nothing like having a good excuse to go on a tropical vacation with a new beau than having to do open water dives.
Plus, travel is always a good test of a relationship, don't you think? Obviously, we both passed that test.
Fast forward a few years and we were getting married in Antigua. Seventy of our friends flew down for the wedding (that's a whole 'nother story but rest assured it was a fun time!).
After we got married, we continued to live in Manhattan for the next several years. I worked in the corporate banking industry and my husband worked in the insurance industry.
While we loved the city, after years of working hard in our jobs, something was just not right.
We would find ourselves living for that weeks vacation.
Do you ever find yourself doing that? Planning a trip or a break from work and then counting the days until you are free?
And doesn't it seem like it takes forever to get to your week off, but once you're on vacation, it flies by in two seconds. What's up with that?
Of course, our trip was usually a dive vacation. It's what made the work and stress worthwhile.
You know that feeling of pure joy you feel on Friday at 5:00 knowing that you were free and wouldn't have to come back for another 7 days. I can imagine we would have the same feeling if we won a lottery.
Of course, leaving for vacation was contrasted with the dread and depression of the following Sunday evening when we had to go back to the "rat race."
And of course that's when we would start counting the days until our next vacation. Sound familiar?
So there we would be, back in the j-o-b after our vacation. After a couple days back, it usually doesn't even feel like you had a vacation.
I would wake up to that horrible alarm and think "Will I be getting up early 5 or more days a week, spend 8 or more (usually more for me) hours a day working for someone else, go home, collapse, only to get up and do the same thing once again?" And with no end in sight.
I'm sure many of you can identify with that.
Plus we were always at the mercy of our employers.
There were lots of rounds of layoffs in the banking industry while I was there. With each one, I held my breath and counted my savings while I waited to see if I would make it through (luckily I did).
You were actually thankful that you were able to be a "slave" for someone else.
In addition, my job was very stressful at times and some nights I would end up nearly in tears and vowing to quit my job. All I could think was:
There has to be more to life than this. This is not how life was meant to be lived.
Coupled with this were events in our lives that also made us question what we were doing.
My father had died of a heart attack at the age of 45 (I was 17). Tim has had 2 sisters die from cancer at age 50. In addition, I was diagnosed with an early stage of cancer (I had an operation and everything is fine). But it certainly puts life in perspective.
We knew we had to change something.
We were well aware that this life is precious and you only get one shot at it. One of my favorite sayings is "Life if not a dress rehearsal." We both agreed that life is way too short to spend it doing something that you don't love.
But what could we do about it?
This is the question we started asking ourselves (and I highly recommend you ask yourself.)
When we sat down and thought about it, it was actually very simple.
We wanted to spend more time with friends and family and we wanted our time to be our own.
And we wanted to travel.
Not the 1 week vacation we were used to. We wanted to be able to travel for an extended length of time if that's what we felt like doing.
So we made a plan to escape the 9 to 5 and move back upstate to where we were from and where our family lived.
Our initial ticket out was property management. We ended up leaving our full time jobs in early 2001 and moving upstate. In the beginning, we both worked part-time in NYC.
My part-time job in NYC ended after 9/11. I saw the towers burning from the window of the bus as I was on my way to work.
I knew we had made the right decision.
We spent the next several years managing rental properties. While it was a heck of alot better, it was still like a j-o-b. And getting calls from tenants at all hours of the day and night can get old very quickly.
We had to find a better way to make some passive income.
That was our goal - to find something that would be able to run without us and continue to make money for us while we were off scuba diving or just traveling and seeing the world.
And it had to be something we enjoyed doing.
So the research began.
Nothing really grabbed me at first. I wanted something that I would enjoy doing - I had enough of working in jobs that I didn't love. And I wanted to work from home or wherever I happened to be that week.
While online researching ways to generate passive income, I came across references to Site Build It which helps you build a website. I took the plunge and this website was born.
(If you want to know more about SBI, you can check out our review and read our experience here.)
We generate income from this site with our reports, ads and affiliate sales. We now make a few thousand a month from our sites. We are in the process of building even more sites for our portfolio.
We just add content to the websites. We don't have to deal with shipping, handling or anything else. For us, it is the perfect passive income stream.
Being your own boss and making your own schedule really is priceless.
If we want to travel or spend time with a sick family member, we don't need to get permission from our bosses.
We just do it.
That is worth everything to us.
And as an added bonus, when we do go on a dive vacation, it is a tax deductible work expense for us! So when we are diving, we are working. How nice is that?
It is something that we can work on from anywhere. Whether it is in our office, on our deck or in the internet cafe in Central America or Southeast Asia (just 2 of the locations where we spent months backpacking), we can easily work on the site.
Or not work on it if we don't feel like it. That is the beauty of a website. It keeps on working for you and generating income even if you aren't working on it.
It doesn't get much better than that.
So to make a long story short (or shorter anyway), that is our story and how we came to build this website.
If you ever feel the way we did about our jobs and have a desire to be your own boss, you can make it happen. It will take some time and dedication, but it is well worth the effort.
Whether it is with a website or some other way, I sincerely hope you find a way to make your time your own. Find something you are passionate about and go for it.
Life is too short not to live it to its fullest.
We did it and there is no reason that you can't do it too.
We wish you all the best in whatever you do. Enjoy your life!
Dianne and Tim
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Want to stay down longer and improve your buoyancy control and other diving skills? Our free report "Increase Your Bottom Time" along with our practical, weekly actionable tips will have you looking like a seasoned diver in no time. So come join us and see improvement on your very next dive!
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