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How One Woman Started a Location-Independent Company Right Out of College

http://chrisguillebeau.com/files/2016/12/Michelle-1.jpg Michelle Rødgaard-Jessen went from a corporate gig, to a social change organization and finally landed on running her own business from the road. As an online marketer, she's narrowed her target audience and grown to the point where she's had to hire employees to keep up with the demand.

My name is Michelle. I'm from Denmark, and I’m a location-independent online marketer. I’ve had a lot of different jobs before this, including supermarket clerk and cleaner when I was in high school, and volunteering in a hospital in Costa Rica. During university I worked for a pharmaceutical company and focused on preparing myself for a job in the corporate world when I graduated.

The last year of my university studies I decided to study in Beijing. When I was in China I was lucky enough to be offered a remote job at a small Danish company who needed market research in China. It was this remote job that opened my eyes to even more possibilities. I hadn’t realized it was possible to create and work remotely.

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Limited Time: Born for This Is Just $1.99 from Major Booksellers

Link: Get Born For This for $1.99

I just heard from my publisher that they’re running a promotion to discount the digital version of Born for This to just $1.99. The book has never been discounted before, and it won’t be repeated anytime in 2017 (and maybe not after that).

This is my most personal book yet, but it’s not really about me—it’s about how to find the work you were meant to do.

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Advice for Students and Jobseekers: When Experience Comes Your Way, Take It

Whatever hands-on experience you can get, take it, and take more than you think you can handle. Don’t limit your writing experience to the typical classroom workshop environment, where egos can be fragile and stakes are low.
In this advice, Jane Friedman is specifically referring to undergrad students who are pursuing a creative writing degree. It’s good advice for them, and there’s more from her here.

I think this lesson applies to beginning careers of all kinds: When you’re starting out or trying to establish yourself in an unfamiliar industry, whatever experience you can get, take it.

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Brand New: Get 50,000 Southwest Airlines Points with the Just-Announced “Plus” Card

Link: 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points (Brand New Offer)

Out of the blue—we just heard yesterday—Southwest Airlines has introduced an all-new awards card, the Southwest Airlines Plus.

This card offers a a 50,000 point bonus after a low $2,000 minimum spend. Southwest also promises that these points will count toward Southwest's always-popular Companion Pass, where you can take the companion of your choice with you on every trip for an entire year.

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How an Investment Banker Quit Her Job to Travel the World Solo

Kristin Addis seemingly had it all: lucrative banking job in sunny Southern California, and all the things that go with that life. Yet something was missing. The money and apparent professional success weren’t as fulfilling as they were supposed to be. So she saved up some money, quit her job, and bought a one-way ticket out of the country.

I was by myself on the side of the road, in the snow, in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of China with my thumb up. I was there because I wanted to trek the surrounding mountains. They were rumored to be beautiful and didn't disappoint. I'd had a continuous run of luck prior to that getting around the country by taking rides, and decided to try hitchhiking from there back to Chengdu.

After about 20 bone-chilling minutes, a couple of guys picked me up and drove like mad men through the mountain passes. When we stopped for lunch, they ordered a feast that even six people couldn't finish, let alone three. One item was a famous steamed fish in the area—a fish with a strange bone in its head.

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Announcing SIDE HUSTLE SCHOOL: A Daily Project for 2017

Big news!

I’m starting a daily podcast called Side Hustle School. It’s for everyone who wants to create a new source of income without quitting their day job. It will be published, well, every single day in 2017.

I’ve been working on this for a long time and it will be my #1 project in 2017. I’d love for you to be part of it—and if you’re not interested yourself, I’d be grateful if you’d tell your friends who need a side hustle.

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Instead of Manufacturing Hype, Just Start Doing Great Work

I got a call to do some filming for a marketing agency in Los Angeles. I had the date open and it sounded interesting, so I decided to go.

The filming took place in a Beverly Hills mansion, probably the largest single-person home I’ve ever been in. On the way in I waved awkwardly to the car valet who was hosing down a Porsche, then said hello to the personal chef chopping vegetables in the kitchen.

All over the studio, which looked a bit like what I’d imagine a porn set to be, there were whiteboards set up with verbal cues. Most of them related to the science of persuasion: scarcity, limited-time offer, feel better about yourself.

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2016 Annual Review: Let’s Look Forward to Big New Things!

In this (very abbreviated) Annual Review series…

I’ve never really had writer’s block. I think it was Seth Godin who said something about how writing is the only profession where it’s acceptable to stop working because you can’t be “creative.” There’s no such thing as nurse's block.

But … for much longer than usual, I didn’t know what to say about my review! I really didn’t.

One thing I know is that it’s important to pay attention to how things make you feel. If you look forward to something, that tells you something. If you dread something, or even if you just don’t feel that excited about it, that gives you other information.

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Ultimate 30 Day Challenge: One Man’s Quest to Eat and Train Like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

One of the best things about embarking on a quest is that it forces you to change your routine. Or sometimes, it forces you into a new routine. For 31 days, Mark Webster went from "ordinary tech guy" to "following in The Rock's fitness regime guy."

At the end of 2015, I read Jesse Itzler’s Living with a Seal. Itzler wrote: "I felt like I was drifting on autopilot in my life. Wake up, go to work, go to the gym — repeat. I wanted to shake things up. I wanted to get better." And that resonated with me.
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Looking Back on 2016 (All in One Post!)

I mentioned that I felt some resistance to this year’s review, so I ended up doing it differently. Not surprisingly, some things will be different about my recap process as well.

The biggest difference is that I’m pretty much entirely focused on the future at this point. I call it the review, but it’s much more of a forward-looking, goal-setting practice. I typically spend one day looking back and the rest planning ahead.

This time I didn’t even look back at all. It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realized I had spent the time only looking forward and working on my new project (more on that in a bit).

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Why I’ve Resisted My Annual Review for the First Time in 10 Years

I can trace whatever success I’ve had to instituting and diligently following the practice of completing an Annual Review. It’s helped me write books, travel to every country in the world, start various businesses, produce events for thousands of people, and so on. After feeling that my life wasn't well-aligned, I recently added more categories focused on wellness and relationships—that decision helped a lot too.

But for some reason, as this year’s review time rolled around, I felt some resistance to it. I didn’t look forward to it the way I always have in the past.

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Decide Now How You’ll Evaluate Yourself Next Year

For the past 10 years, I’ve conducted an Annual Review each December to look back on the year and plan ahead for the next. During this time I set a number of goals in different categories of my life.

I’ve written about the review extensively on the blog, and over the years many people have completed it for themselves or adapted it in their own way.

This year I’ll be doing something a bit different. The review is still relevant and very much part of my life, but I’ve felt for a couple years now that something about it needs to change.

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Man Celebrates 60th Birthday by Running 525 Miles Across the Spanish Pyrenees

To celebrate his sixtieth birthday, Andrew Townsend ran from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea – 525 miles across the Spanish Pyrenees climbing a total of 104,000 ft (4 Everests!) in 27 days. If that wasn’t enough, in 2015, he ran 8 marathons, in 8 countries, in only 8 days! Surprisingly, he spent most of his life behind a desk and didn’t start running until he was well into his 50’s proving once again that it’s never too late to get started.

It was day eleven. I had already run 227 miles and climbed 49,000 feet, but I still wasn’t even halfway there. It was just after 5:00am, but I was already up despite not having an alarm set as my aches and pains provided the necessary wake up call I needed. After a quick shower and with teeth brushed, I was ready for the next onerous task of the day – trying to find some clean running gear or perhaps I should say the least dirty!

Next up was the rucksack ritual – working out what I could discard to reduce the weight, followed by deciding I needed everything and re-packing it. Each day it felt like I had accumulate more things although I knew this wasn’t possible. After all, there were no shops.

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If You Can’t Learn Math, Maybe It’s Not Your Fault

My experience in higher education was unusual and erratic. I eventually earned a master’s degree in International Studies, but long before that I was a high-school dropout.

One thing I haven’t talked about much is that I’ve never been able to learn higher math: algebra, geometry, calculus, or anything of the sort. It’s not for lack of trying, or at least it wasn’t for a while. (I have zero interest in trying to learn it these days.)

No, I tried and I just couldn’t learn. I tried over and over and it never got any easier. Lots of people tried to help. I read books and went to study groups. But no matter what I did, it didn’t sink in.

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