FIRE or PE? What does freedom look like for you?

In my research about how to become independent from employment slavery, I frequently come across articles about FIRE. I was told that if I have not heard of FIRE I must be living under a rock. I actually live on a rock but that is a whole other story. Apparently FIRE is all the rage now it stands for Financial Independence / Retire Early. At first glance I thought, yes that is what I am looking for. But is it really? Looking at Financial Independence literally it means having all the money you need without doing anything more to get it. For example, retiring with a big pension, being the beneficiary of a trust fund, saving and investing boatloads of money or winning the lottery.
This is the dream of many, retire early and start living the good life. For many people in my age group, living in the fourth quarter, if you don’t already have at least a couple million dollars in the bank it’s probably too late to save for true lasting financial independence and early retirement. To be realistic in my personal plans, I am working towards an independent lifestyle where I can earn enough through entrepreneurial endeavors to live comfortably and be able to enjoy a retirement like lifestyle while I am young and healthy enough to enjoy it. Rather than retiring from working; I am working toward breaking away from confining clock in and clock out employment and going independent, working on my own terms through entrepreneurial pursuits. That is what I call PE or perpetual entrepreneurship ; the idea is to develop the independent income streams through entrepreneurial endeavors to the point where they are generating steady income while personal involvement to work at it lessens with time. Ideally to have a business that can be run by employees while you take a cut of the profit to live off of. Or build it up to the point to where it is marketable to sell the business at a good price and live off the proceeds.
Currently I have an e-commerce business and I am expanding my business to meet a need that I see in my community. The very notion of entrepreneurship is finding a need and building a business that fills that need. Catalina island is a resort island off the coast of Southern California. The only town or city is Avalon; 2.9 square miles with a population of approximately 4000. Avalon is a beautiful hamlet that is well marketed as a weekend escape vacation destination therefore the primary revenue to the island is through tourism. During the busy summer season there will be hundreds of temporary workers that will move in and work for 4 to 6 months. One of the challenges for temporary residents on an isolated island is getting mail and packages. Avalon has no mail delivery, the only way to get mail is through a USPS provided PO Box and only full time year around residents are allowed to have one. Temporary residents can receive mail addressed to their name , General delivery, Avalon, CA. 90704. Then they can pick up mail at the window. That works to a point, but they can not order things online because most online retailers will not send product to a general delivery address. Plus some online retailers ship via UPS or Fed Ex. In Avalon a local company delivers parcels from those major carriers but temporary workers often live in bunkhouse type of workforce housing complexes and that creates challenges for receiving their parcels. Therefore I am working on opening a mailbox rental company similar to mailboxes etc. or the UPS store. Anybody, year around residents and temporary residents will be able to rent a mailbox and receive their mail and parcels securely and reliably at Avalon PASS. I looked into buying a franchise but they are very expensive and I would have to pay for services that the franchise requires that is not necessary  in our small community like big advertising and marketing campaigns. If you live an a large town or city on the mainland a franchise may be a good option for this type of business.
Avalon Packaging and Shipping services aka Avalon PASS is being modeled after a UPS store or mailboxes etc., but I am building it from scratch. Avalon PASS will fill another need in our community; packaging and shipping. Often visitors overpack or over shop and end up with too much stuff to carry home with them, so we can ship it for them. Hotels, restaurants and tour operators find items that guests leave behind. Most will be happy to send the lost item to its rightful owner but that is time consuming so Avalon PASS takes care of packaging and shipping items or merchandise for them. We have all the packaging materials and facilities to pack and ship easily and efficiently as I am already operating an e-commerce business and I ship product daily. There are many other income streams that will be included in the business including various business services for local businesses and travelers alike. I have been operating the business on a small scale with only a few clients for over a year now and I am gearing up to launch it full scale by the beginning of 2019.
I will make regular blog posts to document the progress. I hope my readers will find it informative and encouraging to anyone who has an entrepreneurial drive to start a business. Perhaps following my development of the business will be useful to anyone who dreams of starting any business weather it be pack and ship or something else. Years ago I built a successful vending business from scratch so this isn’t my first rodeo. Look for my blog about starting a vending business coming soon. Please follow my blog and feel free to comment, ask questions and share.

Follow on Facebook too: AvalonPASS or click the Facebook link on my blog sight.

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Tim Sanchez

Entrepreneur operating a Packaging and Shipping Services Business and an E-commerce business in Avalon, California on Catalina Island.

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