SBI! Reviews: Rental Agency
Update #5

by Fiona McCardle and Jim Andrew

Keeping Warm in Tuscany...
But Trying Not to Sweat It

As I sit here, frozen index finger frantically tapping away at the keyboard, decked out in those donkey hair, fingerless mittens much favoured by characters in novels by Charles Dickens, the past globally-warmed year sinks down over the snow-covered Chianti horizon.

How should I describe our life here in Tuscany?

I am tempted to say "nothing special" or "normal stuff" or even "business as usual."

OK, some details...

On the Personal Side

  • I did reach a landmark birthday. (Can't say which one but it involved the number 5!)

  • Our "dream home/abandoned farmhouse" took another step nearer to looking like something you'd see in a magazine, thanks to my dad.

  • Sure, I was proud as punch when Rosie our "10 going on 18 year old" won a cup on the ski slopes and...

  • We had great fun building sandcastles on the beach in Sardinia (actually it was a crocodile and a spaceship and it's me who loves playing in the sand).

Good family stuff. But visits from friends and relatives over the past year made me realise that for many people "stuff" was not normal and "business" wasn't in any way usual.

It was a real shock to the system to hear friends say things like "the boss decides when I go on holiday," "I hate my job," "I feel trapped," or "I'm just hanging on in 'til I retire." Many of them were unable to make any plans for the future because they feared for their jobs.

Listening to them, it dawned on me that (not) surprisingly I don't think any of those things.

What struck me most was that they had lost control of their lives. Sure, many of them are earning big bucks, but at what price?

When chatting about our life here in Tuscany, our friends tell us how lucky and fortunate we are or bemoan that "you're ok, you don't have my boss" or even "this must be your dream come true." When we tell them it's due to SBI! that we have a flexible lifestyle, the majority of my friends list the reasons (excuses) why it just wouldn't be possible for them.

After nearly 8 years of using SBI!, I know that if I can do it, so can they! SBI! can become the key that unlocks the door to freedom - freedom from letting multinationals decide your future, freedom to create your own life, freedom to build a business that provides for you and your family.

On the Business Side

Rent a Villa in Tuscany is weathering the storm, thanks to SBI!. We are collaborating with other companies, using the SBI! tools to our advantage and doggedly creating our own reality.

I also plan to be a lot lazier this year. It's never been one of my strong points but after a visit from fellow SBI! case study "Cool Elad" Shippony, I saw the wisdom in not trying to do it all myself. You can't squeeze more hours out of a day, days out of a week or weeks out of a year.

Leverage and delegate is my new mantra.

So what does next year have up its sleeve? Who knows? Any major economic crisis always ends, so better times are always ahead. In the meantime, I'll keep reminding myself...

Work smarter not harder.

Best wishes, Ken!

Fiona McCardle and Jim Andrew