Book Review: Overlap

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When I was younger, I would spend hours upon hours reading books. All sorts of books from YA fiction to biographies to random books like Monopoly strategies (I needed the help- my mom is killer at Monopoly!). This love of reading continues today, even though I don't get to get lost in a new book for hours anymore.

So, when someone emailed me and said, “hey, I have a book coming out soon, want to read it and review it?”, I said of course! If it was a bad book, I'd waste a bit of my time and send the book to a friend who reads bad books on purpose for the explicit purpose of reviewing them. If it was a good book, I'd get to read a good book and then share the results with you, my readers!

Fortunately for my limited time, it was a good book. It's called Overlap by Sean McCabe.

The entire purpose of the book is to get you thinking about what kind of business you want to run and getting it off the ground – before you quit your day job.

As someone who's dabbled in monetizing various side hustles while working, this book is priceless. I love to read about other people's experiences so I don't have to reinvent the wheel (and make the same mistakes).

There was one part that really stood out to me. I was listening to the audio book version during my car rides while feeling so many emotions. I literally wanted to quit my job right then and there and get started…. but that would kind of defeat the purpose of overlapping, so I haven't. Yet. I also got kind of upset I couldn't do the exercise while driving, so this is me, doing the exercise in the book. It's going to get really personal….. but that's the whole point of this blog!

The Exercise

“Take a step back from thinking about your passion. Imagine all the money you need is in your bank and you can snap your fingers and have whatever you desire. Remove all limitations and fast-forward ten, fifteen, or twenty years into the future. Project a vision of the life you want. Spare no expense. Really think about this for a moment.

If you can have anything you want, then:

  • What is your perfect life?
  • What is the life you want to have?
  • What is your health like?
  • Where are you living?
  • What car do you own?
  • What does your ideal day look like?
  • How much money are you making?
  • What are your goals?”

My Response

My perfect life doesn't involve me working a traditional 9-5 for someone else. I'll be working on things, but it will be things I'm interested in and passionate about. My perfect life would be me married to a great guy with a cat and maybe a few kids. We'd have a charming bungalow with space for a workshop for me to explore said interesting passion projects. I'd have the freedom to visit friends and family far away while also being able to host anyone coming through town.

In an ideal life I'd be in prime shape. With no 9-5 job to take up time and mental energy, my health would be a priority. I'd be nothing without a healthy body. We'd be eating food grown on our property (garden, fruit trees, and chickens come to mind).

We'd live somewhere incredibly walkable so we can walk and ride our bikes as much as possible. It wouldn't be a big city, but it wouldn't be a tiny town in the middle of a cornfield either. I'd love to live in a community of like minded individuals so we can share and pool our resources. If this is my list of wants for a perfect life, an FI-based commune is definitely on it. I'd love to live somewhere either by ski areas, or close to a big airport so I can easily and cheaply fly to ski. This would also come in handy for the aforementioned visiting people.

If I have a car and don't bike/walk everywhere, I'd have some sort of economical and practical car that can transport everything from people to 8 foot boards from Home Depot. Something like a Subaru Outback or similar small SUV/hatchback.

My ideal day would look something like this: wake up, work out, shower, write/read, eat breakfast, work on a project for a few hours, eat lunch, do some chores/work around the house/run errands, play some video games, eat dinner, hang out with family, and go to bed.

We'd be making just a bit more than we needed to live off of so our investments could continue to compound for the future. I don't think I could put a dollar sign on that amount without knowing a ton of different variables. Ideally this would come from a variety of sources like rental income, passive investments, and project work (think speaking fees and stained glass commissions).

My main goal would to be living a happy and stress free life. If we have kids, I'd want to raise them to be responsible, productive members of society. Another goal would be to gain some form of publicity and recognition for my creative endeavors.

Everything Else

This is a huge book, and I'm afraid I can't do it justice in a short blog post, but I'll do my best to hit the highlights. Just check out some of the chapter titles:

  • Defeat Scarcity Mindset
  • Don’t Poison Your Passion
  • Stay Motivated
  • Increase Your Focus
  • Practice Deliberately
  • Cure Perfectionism
  • Get to Your New Zero
  • Sell Products
  • Choose What to Be Known For
  • Rule with Reciprocity

I didn't even include all the sub-headings! This is not a book to read once and forget about it. There's so much useful and actionable information in this book that I couldn't even take it all in the first time through. I will be referencing it over and over again. I have a feeling I'll be coming back and referencing each chapter as I advance in my side hustles. I know next to nothing about contracts or marketing, so those sections are incredibly useful.

He also just has really great advice in general to give on everything from promoting your work to how to price things. I think my favorite section was on curing perfectionism. I definitely struggle with perfectionism when it comes to doing things for other people.

The book is now available to the general public and I can't recommend it more. You can find the book at his website, Overlapbook.com.

Have you ever tried to start a business? How'd it go? What's one thing you wish you had known before you started? Sound off in the comments below!

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: Overlap

  1. Oooh thank you for featuring this. I’ve been trying to get my own online business off the ground for a while now, but it’s no easy feat with the darned full-time job getting in the way. 😉 I’m actually going to do the “ideal day” exercise now, because I think there’s a lot of value in mapping out what life you want to have. It’s the first step to actually getting there.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…Wait–So What Is Non-Consumerism?My Profile

  2. Sounds like an interesting read. I just checked and it is $29 for the kindle version (the only written version available). That is a bit much for me. I may have to wait until a better option comes out. In the meantime, I’ll continue to languish in ignorance 🙂 Thanks for the informative review, Gwen. Your effort is appreciated.
    Oldster recently posted…What I Read This Week of September 3, 2017My Profile

    • There should also be a paperback and hardcover version available on his website. I agree though, they aren’t priced like normal books. I got a lot of value out of it and bought the ebook version.

  3. I’d love to read this one… but I think it would put me over the edge… I want to leave my 9 to 5 really badly, but know I shouldn’t until I get my side income streams to a similar level as my 9 to 5 income.

    This was a great post of yours – I really like your writing 🙂

    • Thanks Erik! Yes, I’d recommend holding off reading this book until your finances can handle leaving your job. He makes quite the convincing case to leaving your job!

  4. Sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for passing it along. The “Ideal Life” is something that Mr.Wow and I talk about a lot. It is so easy to get caught up on the hamster wheel of life and be uncertain about the decisions that you make. But if you can have a plan as to where you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years and then make your decisions based on how best to get there, you’ll have it made.

    • I have a post about my decision making process in the works! Stay tuned!

      Also, less than 3 weeks until we get to meet in person!

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