Category Archives: Inspiration

Living a Better Life; Determining Your QTR Factor

Have YOU figured out one of the most important things to consider in life – your Q-T-R Factor? It’s a straightforward way of putting ones life goals into perspective and is well worthy of consideration. I have figured mine out, and I’m not the same!

Profound Outlook on Life

Sometimes, just as suddenly as one is thrust into a scary situation, a shining light seemingly comes out of the blue. In my case, it was a casual (and somewhat sideways) search on the Interweb that brought me to this profound way of looking at my life. You know how Google works; occasionally search results aren’t spot on to your query, but I’m OK with a happy discovery like this one being tossed into the mix. Geez, it’s almost like Google purposely plants these things to get us all coming back to search for more – or get lost on something else ;-)

I consider myself somewhat of a fan of a gentleman by the name of Mike Joyce, the CEO of Hargrave Yachts. Well, more appropriately, I should say a fan of his style. I think it was a few years ago when we were looking into a winter escape to Fort Lauderdale for the first time that I initially came across some YouTube videos for Hargrave Yachts, who are headquartered in Lauderdale.

Some of The Acres of Gelcoat in Fort Lauderdale :-)

Some of The Acres of Gelcoat in Fort Lauderdale :-)

As part of my happy diversion into the world of big yachts and the acres of gelcoat that includes, I found myself impressed with Mr. Joyce’s down to earth, plain talking style as he discussed the ‘Hargrave approach’ to selling boats. I was hooked. After all, here’s a guy sitting on multimillion dollar yachts but making the viewer – me – feel like he was just another guy talking about the joys of boating. I mean, this stuff was really compelling. By the time I was done watching a few of his videos, I felt like I should be on the next plane south to buy one of these big boats. And he hadn’t even shown me around ONE boat!

OK, so we weren’t (and aren’t) in the position to actually buy one of those beauties. And with our current plans to slow down and take it easy, it’s more than likely that the Boogaboo Crew won’t be seriously perusing the used mega-yacht market any time soon. But hey, never say never. . .

Meeting The Man

That said, I wouldn’t mind at least meeting Mr. Joyce, shaking his hand and having the opportunity to let him know what a great job it is he’s doing. I actually saw him at the Yacht And Brokerage Show In Miami (not to be confused with the ‘Miami BOAT Show’, which takes place in an entirely different venue) this past February, but he was busy with ‘real’ clients and I didn’t want to disturb him. Next time.

mansion with yacht

Mansion + Yacht = A Perfect Combination.

QTR. ‘Quality Time Remaining’

So, you are asking yourself, what the heck does all this have to do with that Q-T-R Factor that I asked you about? Well, if you’ve never had to look at yours, this may come as a real eye opener, so sit down.

Last week, I was looking up info on the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) and saw a video by, you guessed it, Hargrave Yachts. Again it was starring non other than Mike Joyce.

As part of the hook to get prospective clients to come to the show, he recalled a talk he had with a colleague (Dudley Dawson, formerly of Hatteras Yachts and current technical editor for Yachting Magazine) about this Q-T-R, or ‘Quality Time Remaining’. In other words, what is the expected extent of your quality time that is remaining in your life – and how will you make the most of that time? Good marketing angle, Mike!

Applying The Message

Boat shows aside, that basic question was suddenly and very bluntly slammed into our faces not too long ago and resulted in putting everything into a new perspective for me and my lovely Anchor Girl. Besides being a little older than we used to be, our future years have become something a lot different than we had ever even thought about. To be diagnosed with a condition that was straight out of left field initially left us scared, confused and for me, pissed right off.

Now that we have had almost three years since the first suggestion of my MS, we are in a far better place, emotionally. To put it bluntly, we can no longer ‘expect’ to simply carry on the way we have before all this. Some would argue that we could, like most do, but not us – not ME. We have had too many great times over the past few years and we aren’t going to be robbed of the opportunity to experience even more and that’s why we are making dramatic changes for our better good. It is amazing how things like money, and plain old STUFF suddenly loose their importance completely. And it’s awesome! It frees our thoughts to those of the new memories we are going to make through our new adventures :-)

Free Choice

Whatever your current life situation is, whether still young or not so much anymore, I urge you to consider where you might be in the all too soon future and how you will ENJOY that time. We all have the freedom to make choices that will make us happy in what we are and what we are experiencing. For us, it will be enjoying sunsets on our boat in the summers, and walks along southern beaches in winters. For you, well, you will have to figure that out on your own. But do it while you still have a chance to make a free choice. . .

Anchor Girl on a beach

Strolling With Anchor Girl on a beautiful Florida Beach.

So, when I do get around to meeting Mr. Joyce in person, I look forward to thanking him for relating that story and putting it into terms that many can relate to. I hope most will ponder, take stock and ultimately make positive, forward thinking changes in their lives to get the most out of the quality years that we all have left.

And if that involves living on a boat, so be it. And I know just the guy that would be happy to sell you a new Hargrave ;-)

Book Review; ‘Leap of Faith, Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat’

I don’t recall when I first came to hear of the book ‘Leap of Faith, Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat’ (Leap), by Ed Robinson, but I’m sure it was during one of those times when I was dreamily pondering our own upcoming move to the boat. I was most likely searching for stories of folks who took their own ship’s south to escape the increasingly unpleasant winters we are forced to endure. . .

Cover of ‘Leap of Faith – Quit Your Job & Live on a Boat’

Liveaboard State of Mind

Whatever my state of mind, it must have been that ‘live on a boat’ part of the title that caught my eye. Now, before we dive into Ed Robinson’s tale, I should let you all in on a little something; ‘Leap’ represents only the fourth book I’ve read in my 50 years on this planet. Don’t get me wrong, I actually read quite a bit, but my attention span is for more of the bite size chunks, something that I can get through in one sitting. So, to say that I actually read this book from cover to cover really speaks to the strength of the author to keep a reader like me engaged, entertained and ultimately, inspired.

Photo: Ed Robinson.

‘Luckiest Man in The World’

Ed refers to himself in the book as ‘the luckiest man in the world’. Quite a statement and reason enough to read on to find out why he can say that . . .

Like many of us, he began to feel trapped in a never ending rut of going to work, coming home to bitch at the wife about the day’s stresses, go to bed and start it all over again. And again. And again. As he says, it was sucking at his soul. It wasn’t as if he was struggling with a lower paying job that was stressing him out, but rather that he had a management position, bouncing between babysitting staff and kissing ass with clients.

Sounds all to familiar with my own experiences.

Beyond  the work related stress, he found himself increasingly frustrated with the endless BS he was bombarded with in the news. Crap that seemed to be piling directly on top of him; political fighting, financial crises, American Idol and all the rest of it. There is an entire chapter on the madness of the world that we live in that is more akin to an extended rant. I found myself reading this chapter in a hyper fast way, not missing a beat РI could have wrote it myself!

You can now see how I was drawn further into his tale . . .

Photo: Ed Robinson.

Don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. In fact, apart from those two segments, you’ll find it increasingly uplifting as the story moves us past the virtual despair and frustration and into hatching a plan to move Ed’s life forward and away from the madness. Initially, escape came in the form of the musical storytelling from the likes of Jimmy Buffet and all those great Trop-Rock singers. Songs of passing the days in hot tropical climes, palm trees and boats. I mean really, who wouldn’t find escapism in a song that spoke of ice cold Corona beer and sunsets on the beach?

Did I mention I was really getting drawn into the book?

Photo: Ed Robinson.

Selling EVERYTHING

Now that these visions of a new life in flip flops and Hawaiian shirts had planted themselves in his mind, the next thought was how he would make it become a reality. Naturally, any sane person would come to the conclusion that selling everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) and moving to a boat full time would be a logical course of action. . . Or not. Apart from his wife, Kim, pretty much everyone around him thought he was crazy. Perhaps not only because he didn’t have a boat, but that he also had a big debt load to overcome before saying adios to his job.

How would he move the plans for his wife and himself from a fantasy of tropical escapes to the reality of living feet up on a boat in the middle of south-west Florida? It was very simple, actually; make a firm plan, and work it with disciplined resolution to see it through. The carrot on the end of the stick would ultimately become a goal of not running Away from a world that was crushing his spirit, but rather running To a new life of utter contentment.

Photo: Ed Robinson.

Freedom

Even if chucking it all and living in the shade of palm trees isn’t your speed, this book offers compelling and practical insights as to how any one of us can better our current financial standing and enjoy the freedom that being debt free allows. That said, I might offer a word of warning before you read the book yourself. You may end up being so moved by the enticing world they have discovered that you could find yourself perusing online ads for boats that could one day become your own piece of paradise :-)

Photo: Ed Robinson.
The book is available at Amazon.com – both in print and Kindle e-reader versions.
¬† A big thanks to Ed for being good enough to allow me to share some his beautiful photos in this review, all of which have been taken during his enjoyment as ‘happiest guy in the world’.

Boating to Florida From Canada?

A question came to me the other day about whether we have ever considered taking our current boat – or any boat for that matter – south to Florida for the winters. Given the fact that live aboard our boat for the summer months, it seemed logical to this person that we just fired up the engines when it got cold and pointed it south towards the palm trees and sandy beaches. . . Here is my reply.

Summertime Boating

Yes, we currently call ‘Boogaboo IV’ home from May to October and love the lifestyle. It’s a bit of effort to make happen, as I still work full time in my own business and have to commute daily to and from the boat. The good part of that is I get to travel mostly through country roads, so it’s quite scenic. As for taking her to Florida, we have discussed that possibility, but not any time soon. Again, I have a business to run for now and being away toooooooo long, or having to commute back and forth to Ontario throughout the process is not something I would entertain at this point.

That said, we are unsure as to which way the fickle winds of fate may send us as we travel through this plane of existence. Ultimately, we would love to be able to step off the boat at the end of the season and head south for the ensuing six months until the boating season resumes the following spring and that is something I am working towards. To that end, I have just released my first, feature length travel video ‘Cruising The Trent Severn Waterway’. If you visit my web site at BoatsBeachesAndBars.com you can see the two minute long intro/teaser clip to get an idea of what it is all about. One can purchase the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack or even a digital download version right from my site.

A Second Boat?

One other option we toyed with was to buy a second boat to keep in Florida, but the overall costs currently make that prohibitive, but something we may revisit down the road. Despite the life of Riley that many folks may perceive from my endless postings, we are like most of the rest of the working world; car and credit card payments, a mortgage and all the rest that comes with every day living. The one major difference is that we have made a solid decision to live more on our own terms and take advantage of the good days as much as we can. With my MS diagnosis a few years ago, we learned quickly that good health is precious and not to be taken for granted. We have worked contentiously to reverse my condition and a huge part of that has been stress reduction and, like I said, living life on our terms – even if it does mean maxing out the old credit card once in awhile ;-)

Lighten Up
Laughing at ones’ self is also paramount to a healthy life, so thanks you for recognizing that. I stopped taking myself too seriously awhile back and that helps to lighten the load, so to speak. As for the lovely deck hands you may have spotted some of in my videos, I’m not sure on their availability, apart from my own Anchor Girl. She’s got her hands full with taking care of me and the MAJOR reason I am working at making our lives more fun. And that, is the funnest part for me . . .