Ever since I moved from Seattle to Scottsdale, Arizona in July of 2006, I have been living in small, cramped apartments with my business partners and best friends since high school, Josh Mullineaux and Matt Blancarte. While living with my best friends and business partners is awesome, they will both agree that three guys living in a small apartment has not been the ideal situation.
Our first apartment, The Palladium, was located right in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, right across from several upscale nightclubs. For a first apartment, it was very nice, especially given that it was situated directly across the street from the happening Scottsdale nightlife. I believe the square footage was around 1200 square feet, which for two guys (just Josh and I, at the time), wasn’t bad by any means.
You might think that being so close to so much nightlife, I must have spent a lot of time partying. Nothing could be further from the truth! During my first six months in Arizona is when I really started spending ALL of my time working to develop a sustainable online business. Needless to say, given our goals at the time – to create a sustainable online business – we didn’t get much use out of the local nightclubs. During the eight months we lived at The Palladium, I think we went out less than half a dozen times. Josh and I eventually figured out that if we were going to spend all of our time working on the business, we may as well move to a cheaper, quieter location.
As a result, in March of 2007, Josh and I moved to a less expensive, more suburban apartment in North Scottsdale. Even though at this new apartment we were paying half of what we paid before, the quiet and somewhat suburban location made it much easier to consistently work without being distracted by the local partying and nightlife. Not to mention how we saved a lot of money by downgrading our living situation.
In August of 2007, when we started UBD, our other business partner (and best friend since high school), Matt, moved in with us into our 900-square foot apartment. Why did Matt move in (and more importantly, where did he sleep!)? Matt moved in because previously he had been living in Tempe, a 45-minute drive away, and given how crucial his role in the business quickly became, he started spending all of his time up at our place in Scottsdale. Prior to that, Matt was commuting 5-6 days a week. We finally managed to save up some company dollars and bought Matt a futon, so he has been sleeping in the living room for the past six months. Talk about boot-strapping!
As much as I enjoy working full-time with my business partners and best friends from the “comfort” of our own place, “comfortable” is NOT the word I would use to describe our living situation over the past several months. We have made a lot of sacrifices over the past 18 months, including saying goodbye to partying, living in a relatively uncomfortable situation, and working long hours with no end in sight.
Finally, however, the day has come! We are moving out of our apartment into a real, live house! Not just any house, but one in which we will all be able to be in the kitchen at the same time. In our current apartment, our kitchen is so small that it is nearly impossible for us to have the oven and fridge doors open at the same time!
Anyway, we have been planning and saving to move into a house for the past several months now. As far as our requirements, we needed four bedrooms and a three car garage. Why four bedrooms? We can use the master suite as our office design and write off a hefty portion of the monthly payment.
Not only is this house perfect for our current situation, but the location could not be better. The best part about it is that it has a pool and yard, so now Matt can finally move his puppy, Jojo, in with us (Josh, and I, and my two cats). Anyone who has ever lived in Arizona knows that if you plan on spending any time outside in the summer, you’d better be near a pool. Summer temperatures typically range from 100 F (37 C) at night to 115 F (46 C) during the day.
We are moving in this weekend, but I will definitely post some pics as we get set up!
What has everyone else been up to? At least it looks like we won’t be seeing a Microhoo anytime soon…
Here are some pics from the surrounding area we are moving to… Looks kind of like another world, doesn’t it? The third pic down is a crazy rock mountain called Pinnacle Peak.
Making sacrifices in the present in order to benefit in the future can be dicey. You really have to carefully weigh what you’re giving up and what you have to gain. Right now our “sacrifice” for the past few months is feeling like it was justified: we like the position it has put us in, and we all feel like we can see the benefits. However, it is a subtle proposition that only each individual can negotiate with confidence. I look forward to hearing what your own challenges in that regard are.