Whats Going On? A Quick Life Update…

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You may have noticed over the past few weeks that the website updates are a little less frequent than they have been in the past. A lot has been going on both with Well Driven and in my personal life in the last few months and as a result I have not been able to update the site as much as I would have liked to. There is still plenty of fresh content on the way including my week with a Subaru WRX STI, the Land Rover 70th Anniversary Parade at Goodwood Festival of Speed and much, much more!

Back in September last year, after a particularly stressful job change, I had a long conversation with my family and decided life was too short to be miserable every day, dreading waking up on a Monday and tackling that commute to the office where we feel overworked and underappreciated and it was time to make some changes that would not only benefit the website, but also my mental health. With all this in mind, I set about leaving the company I was working for. It was all a bit terrifying as I had never made a leap into the great unknown like this before. Looking back, I was very underprepared and very naive, but I’ll get to why in good time. The biggest obstacle I faced was the one that stops everyone from doing what they really want to do in life – money. I had gone from a steady and very reasonable income to nothing and I still had all the same bills and outgoings, so the very first thing I had to do was free up some working capital. Fortunately enough, after the recent impulse purchase of the Eunos Roadster, I had 2 cars so 1 of them had to go. As much as I loved my Discovery 3, the combination of terrible reliability and high running costs (and of course it’s much higher value compared to the Roadster) meant that it was for the chop. After a couple of weeks, I had sold the Land Rover and I had a nice little nest egg to get started.

That one time I got lucky with a car investment…

To say had no idea what I was doing was a bit of an understatement. I’ve spent my whole adult life knowing that at the end of each week/month, there would be a paycheck to see me through. Over the next few months, there was a lot of change with Well Driven including the completely rebranded and re-launched website, a bit increase in social media activity and most importantly, a lot more time behind the wheel of some wonderful cars. Where I used to spend my weekends trying to blag extended test drives with dealerships and begging people to let me drive their cars, I found myself at media drive events at Millbrook Proving Ground, Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit and also gaining access to press cars. It was like a dream come true for me, I was finally being recognised for my work and as a result, people were letting me loose in cars like the McLaren 720S and AMG GTR, cars I could have only dreamt about driving just a few years ago.

So far so good, and drunkenly stumbling across a too-good-to-be-true Jaguar XJ Sport on Autotrader also helped my situation as, after only 2 months of ownership, I managed to double its value by booking it in for a service and giving it a good clean. It’s a shame really, as I loved that car – I wanted one since I was about 19 when I had my XJ40 Sovereign, but when you’re trying to save as much as you can to keep the bills paid, you have to make some sacrifices. This has been the running ethos over the last 9 or so months, it’s given me a whole new perspective on material goods. I’ve always been into watches and tech and cars and all sorts of things like that, so I’ve never wanted to get rid of anything, but all they are are objects. In the last 6 months, I have sold my favourite watch, my Gibson SG that I bought in America 13 years ago when I was still in a band, various pieces of tech and anything else that I didn’t “need” anymore. I’m always sad when I package something up to send out to someone, as I know they will have no idea what that object has seen, or where it’s been, or what it meant to me when I got it, but that’s what life is all about. My outrageously supporting girlfriend has always said that these changes aren’t permanent, and if I really want them again, I’ll find a way.

One of the highlights of 2018 so far – road testing the Caterham 310S

As I just stated, it’s now been around 9 months since I left the 9-5 and even though I’ve had an amazing year so far with so many incredible experiences and opportunities but I am now at a cross-road where I either need to push the website and the writing as much as I can to make a living or I need to get back in to a “normal” job for a while to keep that money-hungry wolf from the door. I feel very lucky in the way that I know exactly what I want to do in life, I’m just not quite in the position to make it a day-to-day reality yet. I love cars, I love everything that goes on around them and most importantly, I love writing about it all, and I would love for this to be my life but it seems that right now is not quite the right time. If I could go back to September/October last year and do it all again, I would definitely make a few changes. The first being I would ask people for help. I’ve always been stubborn when it comes to asking for anything, if I can’t do it alone, it’s not worth doing… I’ve since learnt that that definitely is not the best to go about things. I’ve met some amazing people this year that have all been more than happy to give me some advice, I just wish I’d asked them sooner. Another thing I would do differently is plan and prepare more. If I’d known how hard it really is to turn your passion into a lifestyle, I would have spent a lot longer planning what I was going to do and how.

Now, this isn’t all doom and gloom, and it’s definitely not a quest for sympathy, if you follow my social media, you’ll see that I am still working away in my free time to do as much as I can with cars and anything associated with them and the website is far from over, this is still just the beginning of what I hope is a long and wonderful story. This is more of an update and a piece to give you an idea of what is going on behind the reviews and the events. I am currently looking to go back to the normal working life for a bit while I step back and take a long hard look at where I want the site to go, but there’s still plenty of good stuff on the way! I love this website, and I love all the doors it has opened for me in such a short space of time in the grand scheme of things, I just need to spend a bit of time sorting out other aspects of my life that, right now, are more important.

As far as cars go, the Eunos is staying as it has just had another year’s MOT slapped on it but it still in desperate need of a respray and some interior work, but it’s doing more than enough for me at the moment. I also have some great new stuff in the pipeline for the next few months including some more road tests and reviews, and hopefully some other slightly different changes!

I know this hasn’t been as entertaining to read as the usual reviews etc… but this is more of a cathartic venting session for me, so thank you for reading and as always, thank you for the ongoing support I have received from every reader and every follower since this journey began. we’ve come a long way but we still have so much further to go!

Here at Well Driven, I’m always looking to collaborate with like-minded people and businesses, so if you would like to see what we can do together, please do get in touch at james@welldriven.eu 

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