Tom Kerr writing on independent lifestyle…

Whatever independent lifestyle you choose, you get to decide for yourself what you want to do and when you want to do it. Go for a hike…catch the next plane out to visit friends or family…take two-hour lunch breaks and enjoy three-day weekends.

Or do something crazy like I did recently…when I declared a holiday to become a ditch digger.

Yep…during Hurricane Irma I spontaneously took two days off to help a friend whose home was in the path of the storm.

On the first day, I helped repair her gutters and trim tree limbs that were leaning across the electrical lines. The next day – after sleeping like a baby from all that strenuous work – I dug a drainage trench through hard clay and solid rock using a pick axe and shovel.

But never has unpaid labor been more rewarding.

As that trench diverted water safely away from my friend’s house and into her garden – instead of potentially flooding the basement and living room – we sat inside the garage, watching it rain, cracked open some beers, and had our own little tailgate party.

I was exhausted, but it was the biggest thrill I’ve had in weeks…and the whole experience was only possible because I’m my own boss.

There are many reasons why you may need to skip work before, during, or after a hurricane or other natural disaster.

You’ll need time to clean up the mess left behind. You may have to suddenly relocate or go buy a car. You may want to help a family member in distress.

But miss work for too long and your employer could have the legal right to terminate you.

I don’t mean to say that you’ll be fired for complying with a state-ordered evacuation. Your boss cannot legally fire you just because you refuse to break the law…and it is illegal to ignore a mandatory evacuation.

But as Hurricane Harvey began to flood the Houston area, there was no mandatory evacuation order in place. In the absence of that kind of official order, missing work could put your livelihood in jeopardy.

Your company may also have a financial incentive to kick you while you’re down. Profits suffer when disaster strikes, and one of the easiest ways for them to trim their overhead is to issue pink slips instead of paychecks. All they have to do is call it “downsizing.”

One time I got laid-off from a job while cleaning up after a ceiling collapsed in my home after a hurricane-induced storm.

But eventually I learned my lesson, and decided I’d never put myself in that vulnerable position again. I’ve been happily self-employed ever since…and my career has blossomed in ways it never would have if I had remained corralled inside a cubicle.

These days, you can make that kind of successful, lucrative transition much more easily than I did.

Launch your own e-commerce store…

Start a goat farm and sell cheese…

Become an Airbnb host…

Exercise your freedom to live more self-sufficiently. You may be surprised how satisfying and fun the simplest, most spur-of-the-moment things in life can be.

Plus, next time disaster strikes you won’t be forced to risk losing your livelihood just so you can avoid losing your life.

P.S. Discover how you can enjoy a more laidback, authentic, independent way of life in Truth & Plenty. Sign up below to have it delivered – free of charge – to your email inbox.

Image: ©iStock.com/EvgeniiAnd

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