Using Crisis to Fuel Change

When crisis hits, do you take the easy route back to normal? Or use the crisis to justify a new direction?

A couple of years ago, we were in the thick of crises. We had a number of income streams (web development, training, and a book) that were all based around one software package.

The market shifted. Other products entered. The software we used lost market share.

During the first 6 months of 2016, our income had dropped 93% from where it had been 5 years earlier.

Ouch.

The easy answer? Swap the losing software out for the new winner, rebuild the training, write a new book, and keep going.

Business as usual.

Except.

Our heart wasn’t in it. We had done it once. The thought of doing it all again just sounded…boring.

So we didn’t. We used the crises to justify choosing a new route. We pivoted, and found new services to offer clients.

And Again

We’re in it again.

Our trusty truck of 7 years decided that 109,000 miles of towing us through 42 states was quite enough thank you, and it’s time to retire.

Buy Our RV!

Buy Our RV! Our RV is up for sale! It's a 2014 Wildcat 34' Bunkhouse.

Recent tires and house batteries. New curtains. Ikea furniture. Outdoor standup desk. Bitchin' logos and no ugly RV swooshes.

Buy the RV, get the truck for free!

The easy answer? Swap out for a new truck. And keep going.

Life as usual.

Except.

Our heart isn’t in it. We’ve been traveling in a truck and fifth wheel trailer for 6 and a half years. The thought of sinking that much money in a new truck and continuing to travel the same way just sounds…boring.

For Sale

This weekend we put a For Sale sign on the fifth wheel.

We had some people coming through as part of the RV tours at the RV Entrepreneur Summit - so thought we might as well take advantage of that visibility.

Here’s the formal for sale ad.

What’s Next?

We were planning to downsize. After Miranda was off on her own. We’re now accelerating those plans. And modifying them to suit a threesome.

We are now looking for a Class B motorhome - what some call a “camper van”.

Our main reason for this move?

We have gotten far too comfortable in the fifth wheel. To the point of complacency. Life these days doesn’t feel all that much different than our suburban life did.

Time to shake things up.

Other reasons include:

  • Being able to spend more time outside of campgrounds and RV parks
  • Being nimble enough to visit roadside attractions while traveling
  • Being shorter and narrower for use on backcountry roads
  • Having single rear wheels for better off-road use
  • Having a “house” that has steel floors and walls
  • Having a roof that isn’t a layer of rubber over plywood
  • Being able to go places and stay in places that we can’t with a big RV

Wanted

We’re shopping for a Class B Motorhome with:

  • A tall enough roofline for an upper bunk
  • An extended body van base
  • A minimum of changes/modifications

We’re on an admittedly small budget of $10K and under. But we’re good with something vintage. Ugly is ok.

And we know. It’ll be inconvenient for while. But we also know there is adventure in the inconvenience.

Our hope is to find the next rig with some overlap before our current one sells. I’m sure I’ll be wanting to do a few modifications to suit our needs.

And we’ll probably have to get a small cargo trailer for additional storage while Miranda is with us.

Yes, there are lots of questions. No, we don’t know all the answers. We are figuring it all out as we go.

Short Term

In the short term we’re making a temporary repair on our truck that will buy us a little time.

We’re in the Austin/San Antonio area of Texas for about 6 weeks, with flexibility for when and where we go from here.

If this post makes it sound like we are confident, have it all figured out, and all our ducks in a row, that’s not the case.

We are stressed, short on sleep from a long (but awesome) weekend, just back from a 12 hour day to go look at a van, and feeling behind on client work.

Needless to say - we appreciate your prayers while we work through this transition. And if you can help us find the next rig we’d appreciate that too!

NOTE: The Ditching Suburbia fifth wheel bunkhouse RV is for sale and we are searching for a Class B RV / Camper Van - can you help?

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18 Comments Using Crisis to Fuel Change

  1. Picture of De'Etta De'Etta March 01, 2017

    “Using crisis to fuel change,” what a great title and a great way to look at crisis.  Praying for you as you transition to a Class B and all that will entail.  Praying you find some fun and joy in the process….

  2. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink March 01, 2017

    Thanks De’Etta! I’m stressed..yet excited for the change.

  3. Picture of Jen Jen March 01, 2017

    Wishing you an easy transition that flows smoothly.
    We are juicing life’s lemons as we speak and planning to launch soon in our ‘87 34’ airstream. We just started following ya’ll and sadly missed the FTF rally!  We enjoyed the tour of homes Less Junk, More Journey posted! great rig, I am sure the right family will find it soon.

  4. Picture of Jamie Jamie March 01, 2017

    We landed on the road two years ago because of a “crisis” in our own lives, and now we have a similar truck issue that is changing our plans. We feel the same, we’re bored with the ordinary and want something different, but we don’t know what yet.

    Thanks for this post, it was very timely and glad to know we aren’t the only ones facing this issue!

  5. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink March 01, 2017

    Thanks Jamie - good luck on finding your new direction as well!

  6. Picture of Teresa Teresa March 02, 2017

    When I read your newsletter that linked me here my first thought was “Noooo – not the Mason jars!”

    After reading the post, I get it. Hoping your $10K RV shows up at just the right time. Good idea to put the word out. We’re shopping, but mostly not in the Class B category.

    Are you looking for gas? Diesel? Don’t care?

  7. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink March 02, 2017

    Oh - not *all* the Mason jars. We just have too many of them.

    On the Class B - in the years we are looking there are very few diesels so it probably won’t even be a concern, but at this point either would be find.

  8. Picture of Lisa McIntosh Lisa McIntosh March 02, 2017

    What a very timely article! I have been reading your blog and weekly posts for awhile now, but have not yet commented. I was recently laid off from my job and without any ‘bites’ for the last three months as far as substantive work is concerned, my dream (was not my husband’s but he has now come full circle) was to ‘ditch’ it all and RV it! We have extensive experience with camping, but this will still be new.  I love adventure!

  9. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink March 02, 2017

    Thanks for the commnet Lisa - good luck on your adventure!  I tried the job market for a while last year to little effect. It was soul-killing more than anything.

  10. Picture of Don Don March 02, 2017

    I love your approach of accepting crises and using them to fuel change. And your transparency in admitting that you don’t have it all figured out. But what a great way to embrace change! Start moving… figure out more as you go… make changes if needed… figure out some more… repeat :-)

  11. Picture of Trent and Siobhan Trent and Siobhan March 03, 2017

    Oh, we know this mixed feeling of stress/excitement so well!  It’s the feeling that Providence is causing change and we can either fight it or hold on tight and enjoy the ride.  You guys have our prayers and we hope that you will enjoy the ride as you wait and watch the Lord provide a way.  We will be on the lookout for you. You know we are all about vintage :)

  12. Picture of Reuben Reuben March 21, 2017

    Appreciated this post…and can empathize with what I can imagine is the weight of the stress, panic and pressures that this particular crisis creates for your family life. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all.

    There is a lotta truth in how crisis can be transformative for good too. In my own life I’ve seen the beautiful things that can happen as a result to how we’ve reacted to our own times of struggle, we’ve had more than a few “interesting” times ;)

    It’s def not easy, but looking back at it, often some of our best things have been born outta our difficult life circumstances.
    There was a point in time years ago where we’d lost our only means of transportation and while that really sucked, it lead to a period of time where we spent so much time walking and on public transit, that we got even closer as a family. Now all these years later it’s some of my favorite memories thinking about our times riding back and forth on the city bus, working the struggle together as a family and all that. It was never easy, I don’t think crisis is, but so far I guess we’ve been blessed enough to get some good good outta the bad too; hopefully that happens with the RV for y’all as well!

    Best of luck from our Fam to y’all on the new vehicle hunt and the nomad journey :)

  13. Picture of Heather Heather March 28, 2017

    Prayers for your family as you transition. May the Lord open all of the right doors at the most perfect time so Hos glory will shine and He will be praised! Thank you for all that you and your wife do for the RVing community! Blessings!

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