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Time is the most precious thing you have.

You can't make it, bank it, split it or stop it. You can't spend it in two places at once. And for most of us, we can't spend our time at work and at home at the same time because it's not the "same time". Most of us sell our time to an employer, which means that for most of us, our time and our money are intimately connected.

I spent six years of my time university. During that time, I alsp co-founded my first business. It was called "The Critical Thoughts Network": and started out as a tool for teaching critical thinking skills to kids in high school. Since we didn't have money to spend, I spent my time building our first website (which was terrible) but this was also 2002 so there weren't nearly the same kinds of tools and trades available to help a startup get online. That idea never gained much traction, but we did get involved in developing "deliberative dialogues" (a tool for collective critical thinking) for social, political and economic problems. We managed to raise $5,000 from VanCity, and then more from philanthropist businesses, and eventually secured a significant amount of funding from the Canadian International Development Association (CIDA) to run a series of "Deliberative Dialogues" across British Columbia, Canada. So we spent our time "doing good work".

I made $4.16/hour for my time, averaged out over the years. Living proof of this great quote:

‘Entrepreneurs are the crazy people who work 100 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40 hours for someone else.’

At the time, I felt justified in my work. It was work I believed in, work I wanted to do. But seeing that $4.16 made me reconsider how I was spending my time. Doing something I believed in wasn't sustainable at that rate. I picked up part time jobs as a barista or bartender while I worked on a new venture that was supposed to solve that problem. With Critical Thoughts, we spent a lot of time networking, connecting people and ideas to use "critical thinking" to solve common socio/economic problems. Conference after conference, I noticed how people would get together, talk about how to make things better, lose touch after the conference, and then repeat the process over and over again. It was like watching the ocean tide come in and out, in and out, leaving the same beach in its place.

So I started designing a new venture called "Edomnis". Edo is an obscure Japanese reference (which makes sense because I had absolutely no cultural connection to Japan) and "Omnis" is Latin for "all things". The idea was to build a community knowledge management system, a platform where people could post their profiles and connect with other people about the projects they were working on. The purpose and motto of the company was "connecting people, ideas and resources." Instead of fundraising, I was going to sell a product. "Don't spend money on conferences" I would tell people, spend it on building a network.

I was trying to sell people on being "linked in" to each other. I of course had no idea that LinkedIn had started and launched that year (and sold this year for $30B). The website I had built was about 5% less crappy than the first crappy site I built which was already 95% crappy to begin with. Plus, people thought Edomnis was stupid.

I had invested six years of time in university, four years of part time work trying to build an idea. I was in my mid twenties by this time. Most people I knew had jobs and relationships. Doctors and laywers, the kinds of jobs that make one very datable. I moved to Toronto in 2006, got a real job doing marketing and sales and spent my evenings and weekends trying to figure out how to build a business that worked. In 2007 I went back to Vancouver, back to bartending, and back to the whiteboard. This time the business was called "The WorkLabs Group" and it was focused on entrepreneurs like me who wanted to build a "Social Business System" around them. Point was to connect the tools, knowledge and support for building a business you love.

I was still so absolutely committed to this idea of making a living doing what you love. As a "freelancer" I was able to make better money. But it still wasn't what I would call a "real business". The money I made was dependant on the time I spent working, and the work I got was dependent on providing better, faster or mainly cheaper than the millions of other freelancers that were coming online through companies like Elance. Still, I spent hours and hours building this concept of "Business is Social" and integrating websites, e-commerce and social media together. By the time I saw IBM's social business platform and companies like Shopify just killing it, I gave up, drove to Whitehorse and kept going until I hit Dawson City... where I planned to stay in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with a woodstove for the rest of my life.

Technology moved too fast. I didn't have the time to learn enough, or the money to develop enough.

Between then and now life happened. I didn't stay in Dawson city. I met someone one christmas that lead to three kids, a house and a minivan. I spent more time at a real job. But during this time, the ideas kept creeping in. Except now, I was in "negative time". This is the time you have to do something different and crazy on top of a real job and a family. The only way you can make one thing happen is by making another thing not happen. A precarious position to be in when those other things are your family and your job that provides for your family.

This is where Fractionl begins. It isn't a story of "and now I'm a millionaire and you can do it too just buy my book to find out how". This is really a story about time, How I learned the value of time, and the key to separating the dependency between money and time. And about finding people and processes you can trust to build a thriving but sustainable business and a lifestyle.

As entrepreneurs we all see the stories of founders-turned-millionairs and billionairs. We see those events, but we don't see the process that led up to those events. And even less-so, we don't see the aggretate view of millions of people trying to do something different.

We just see these events, we see our goals whether they are financial or practical or philanthropic. Some of us keep driving towards them. Some of us continue to dream. Some of us stop beliving in the dream.

We live in a world where it's easy to go into negative money to build a lifestyle. You can't go into negative time. It feels like you can, you know, put in the extra time to get things done. But it's a deferred costs that you really, really can't afford to pay. Your mind, your body, your spirit and your relationships are the price you pay for deferred time.

This is where the Fractionl methodology was born. To examine and understand the process of building a good business and a good lifestyle, of separating time and money, of piecing together the next/right thing you need to do to focus on, and finding the right team, idea and market fit so you are spending your time with the "right" people and the "right" idea.

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Joe Bloggs


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