Phil Simon


Why I Moved to Las Vegas

Explaining the big move.
Jun | 16 | 2011

Jun | 16 | 2011

In 2004 I moved from Brooklyn, NY to Caldwell, NJ. I just didn’t enjoy living in an urban environment. I’m a suburban guy and, quite frankly, the cost, noise, expense, and overall intensity of the Big City was a bit too much for this simple man to handle.

Fast forward seven years. I love my place in New Jersey—other than insane taxes. Despite what Governor Chris Christie is trying to do and my recent tax abatement, NJ property taxes are still the highest in the country. On a professional level, I do alright for myself, but I know that I could save upwards of $20,000/year by moving to a less expensive part of the country.

A Change of Directions: The Phil Diversification Project

Back in 2004, I made all of my money by consulting, typically with large companies implementing big, expensive systems. I started the Phil Diversification Project in mid-2008. I knew that it was fundamentally dangerous for all of my income to stem from one source. I also thought that, like a friend of mine, I could make money from writing, speaking, and doing different types of consulting.

By 2011, I was making money from several different sources. I found myself less and less interested in those big consulting assignments with bureaucratic organizations. Writing The New Small and working with so many dynamic folks and companies made me less willing to take on projects that, in all likelihood, were going to be highly adversarial.

Life’s too short. Do what you want—as long as you can pay the bills doing it.

Why Vegas?

The short answer: It’s Vegas, baby.

The longer answer is, well, longer. For one, I can save a great deal of money. With fewer expenses, I can be pickier about the types of writing, speaking, and consulting engagements that I choose to take. For example, I no longer have the annual nut of $11,000 in property taxes and association fees hanging over my head.

Taking on better clients and speaking gigs means more personal satisfaction. Period.

Life’s too short. Do what you want—as long as you can pay the bills doing it.

Second, on a personal level, I like warm weather. A six-month maelstrom of record-breaking snow, winds, and rain has left a bad taste in my mouth. While Vegas can be oppressively hot, I suppose that I’m willing to trade three months of heat for five to six months of “unhot.”

Third, because it’s Vegas. “The City of Lost Wages” is home to a bevy of conferences and events, such as the recent Growco conference at which I spoke. Being local means that, all else equal, I’m easier to book than the NJ version of me.

Finally, technology has continued to improve at Godspeed. GoogleDocs, Video Skype, GoToMyPC and other screen sharing tools, and other collaborate applications make it extremely easy for me to support clients all over the globe with a simple Internet connection.

To paraphrase Pacino in Heat: Bon voyage, New Jersey. You were good.

Receive my musings, news, and rants in your inbox as soon as they publish.


Blog E Communication E Why I Moved to Las Vegas

Related Posts

Looking for Case Studies for My Next Book

A few days ago, I announced the upcoming publication of The Nine: The Tectonic Forces Reshaping the Workplace. The writing and research are going smoothly, and it's time for my regular post to solicit case studies. Make no mistake: Case studies matter and all of my...

Book Review: Wonder Boy

In 2011, I moved from NJ to Vegas. It didn't take long for me to hook up with the Vegas tech scene and the Downtown Project. Over the course of my five years in Sin City, I attended events, spoke at Zappos's HQ a few times, met plenty of smart cookies, and learned a...

Professional Scribes vs. Amateur Writers

Certain tenets apply to all vocations. The guys who play weekend hoops at the Y take a few jump shots before playing a game to eleven. They don’t practice like Steph Curry. Whether you get paid to play golf, belt out tunes, or give speeches, pros don't just wing it....


  1. Patti Bunker

    Good luck in Vegas Phil – and if it is just too hot you can always try Atlanta 😉

  2. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

    Congrats. Thought I would hate it, but lived there about six months and loved it. Actually, Henderson, but only minutes from the action whenever you want. Enjoy.

  3. Albert_Maruggi

    so you’ve been watching house hunters.  nice

  4. John Lynn

    We’re glad to have you in Las Vegas. It’s a great place to live (although, I technically live in Henderson as well). It’s always satisfying to think how big of an advantage it is to have no tax. Plus, the heat isn’t so terrible since there’s A/C everywhere. That’s better than scraping snow by far.



  1. Phil Simon: How Casinos Use Big Data to Catch the Bad Guys - […] The gambling industry has always fascinated me, and that certainly hasn’t abated since moving to Las Vegas. I’ve known…
  2. Small Business Website Tips - […] after I landed in Las Vegas, I started networking. Specifically, I attended a mixer, shook some hands, and picked…
  3. Phil Simon: Poker, Predictive Analytics, and Big Data - […] ever since I was a kid. Since that time, I’ve become pretty good at it. I moved to Las…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *