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End-of-Year Giveaway (Plus! New books from Seth and Dan)

Greetings from the Pacific Ocean! Happy New Year's to everyone in advance. I'm currently flying over the water and will miss New Year's Eve (all of it) due to crossing the international date line today. Don't feel bad for me, though—I'm en route to my penultimate country. If all goes well, tomorrow I'll be on Tuvalu and only one country away from ... all of them. (Also: I like the word penultimate. I think it means “almost there.”)

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2012 Annual Review: Travel Roundup

Where did you go in 2012? Feel free to share with other readers … my own notes are below.

Every year as part of the Annual Review, I look back on where I've been. As usual, this year's list is fairly long—though not as long as some previous years in terms of new countries. This year has been more of a clean-up mission, where I've visited a number of places that have eluded me over the previous few years.

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2012 Annual Review: Overview

Greetings! Every year I devote an entire week—and usually several weeks of blog posts—to an Annual Review, where I look back on the previous year and make plans for the coming year. Many of our readers now do the same thing, some by following the same structure I use and others by modifying it to suit their own needs. This year the review is considerably abridged, mostly due to my recent tour of India. When the option came to decide about the trip, it was a tough call. I don't think it would always be the right decision to shorten the important Annual Review process, but in this case I was so excited to visit India that I decided to switch it up a little.

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A Challenging Question

In talking with Chris Brogan for his new podcast recently, he said something I've been thinking of ever since. It was a question that you ask yourself when evaluating new opportunities. This question didn't actually come from Chris—I believe he said it was from one of his other podcast guests—but Chris is the one who implanted it in my head.

The question is: How will this new opportunity help me serve the community I already have?

Wow. Tough question.

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Getting to Guinea Bissau

The biggest challenge was the uncertainty. Stepping onto the transfer bus for Heathrow Airport's Terminal 1, I considered the journey thus far and the upcoming adventure that the next few days would hold. I was coming off two weeks in India with events and media every day. Then I flew to London after two other quick stops in Singapore and Hong Kong. After making it to London I camped out in Heathrow airport for a few hours—due to flight schedules there wasn't room for a day off where I could go to the city—and then I flew down to Lisbon and eventually Dakar, Senegal.

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Famous Last Words

Soon I'll begin an abbreviated version of my Annual Review, where I look back on the events of this year and make plans for the next. In recent years, many of our readers have completed this process in their own way, and everyone is welcome to join in. This year my own review will be a bit shorter than previous years due to a lot of things being stacked up—the India tour finished a few days ago, and then I went to Singapore and Hong Kong for meetings. Now I'm heading to Africa via Heathrow and Lisbon. Blah, blah.

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Q&AA on Finding a Valuable Skill

Over the next few weeks, I'll be touring India and then traveling elsewhere in the world. While I'm away, we'll be publishing a new series of Questions and Attempted Answers (Q&AA) from readers. I'll share my answer, and you're invited to share an answer of your own as well.

Today's question comes from Jan, who writes in from Belgium.

“I understand the importance of focusing on a valuable skill, but I'm not sure that I have any such thing. There are a lot of things I like to do, but nothing I feel especially passionate about or think that I do better than anyone else. I went to university and earned a degree, but I didn't have any business training. What do I do?”

Great question. Here's my attempted answer →

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Q&AA: How to Plan for Your First Big Trip

Over the next few weeks, I'll be touring India and then traveling elsewhere in the world. While I'm away, we'll be publishing a new series of Questions and Attempted Answers (Q&AA) from readers. I'll share my answer, and you're invited to share an answer of your own as well.

Today's question comes from Carrie, who writes in from London.

Next summer I'll have the chance to travel for several weeks, but I don't know where to go. Aside from school trips to France and Belgium, I've never been out of the U.K. before. Where should I go?

Great question. Here's my attempted answer →

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The $100 Startup Goes to India

Greetings from Hong Kong. I made it in from Vancouver last night and will be flying on to Mumbai shortly to begin the first leg of an extended tour in India. I'm very excited about this trip. I haven't been to India in many years—in fact, the last time I was there was right after I started writing this blog way back in 2008. This is also my first experience in presenting the ideas and stories from The $100 Startup to a crowd that is primarily cross-cultural. I don't expect that everything from the U.S. or “the western world” applies elsewhere, and I try to position myself as a learner. At the same time, however, I also believe that the ability to start a successful microbusiness and earn a good living on your own is increasingly becoming universal.

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Unconventional Guides Mega-Sale (“Everything Must Go” Edition)

For everyone in the U.S., I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. For everyone elsewhere, I hope you enjoyed having the internet to yourself. Over at Unconventional Guides, we host a sale only once a year—and it's this weekend! This sale is different from all others. As alluded to a few times in recent months, we're making some big changes. Among other things, I'm going all-in with the new course we're building, Adventure Capital. We'll be launching in beta right after the holidays, and then more publicly about six weeks later.

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