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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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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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“How could you go back to living a mundane life?”

Cassie de Pecol is on a quest to become the fastest woman to visit every country in the world. We sometimes exchange notes about visa issues, long flights, and drinking a bottle of wine while stuck in no-man’s-land transit zone for eight hours or more.

There aren’t many people who’ve gone to every country. Cassie is pursuing a Guinness World Record (I like those too!) but for me, I wasn’t trying to be the youngest, fastest, or any other adjective. In my case, I did it for myself.

She said something to me recently that I really liked, and I’m sharing it here with her permission. For context, we were talking about the dreaded “What do you do after completing a big quest?” question.

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Fun Project: The 2016-2017 “Get to Work Book” Is Now Out!

IMG_8127_copy Link: The Get to Work Book

Here's a fun project that a wish I’d made it myself. But even though I didn’t, some very good friends of mine did. It's like a journal or a planner, but better—and here's how the creator describes it:

GET TO WORK BOOK® is a daily planner + goal setting workbook designed to help you make progress on your big goals by taking things one day at a time. While (sadly) it can't do your work for you, every inch of it was thoughtfully designed to help you get to work.

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To Succeed in the New, New Economy, Don’t Mail It In

Ever since I wrote about The New, New Economy, I’ve been having lots of interesting conversations with people about it. Readers have also asked that I share more specific recommendations for “what works” now that a lot of online marketing strategies feel increasingly outdated.

I still stand by the general assertion that building relationships and producing quality work are the most important predictors of success, far more than any tactic or “hack.”

As a good way to illustrate this, last week I recorded a podcast for The Art of Charm, founded and hosted by Jordan Harbinger. I’ve known of Jordan for a while and we’ve emailed a bit, but I don’t think we’d ever spoken before. The hour-long conversation covered a lot of ground, and I was especially struck by something he said in the beginning.

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How Goals Change Over Time, and What to Do About It

The other day I was cleaning out my home office, and I found some old notes. The notes were from more than eight years ago before starting this blog. At the time I was planning to undergo some big changes and attempt a new career as a writer.

As I looked through the notes, I smiled in recognition of many of the items I’d listed so long ago. I’d been to about 70 countries then, and was officially beginning the quest to go to all of them (193/193). I achieved that goal almost three years ago.

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My New Travel Hacking Goal: Book an Apartment at 30,000 Feet

16256196535_84d50ed2e1_z It’s a brand new year, and that means it’s time for change—both in life (because why not?) and in travel.

Every year I earn more than one million miles and points, which I then use for free travel all over the world. For a long time, travel hacking was my primary tool for going everywhere.

These days, I don’t jet off to Kinshasa or Katmandu very often, but I’m still in the game. Even without paying attention all the time or doing crazy things like making a hair-loss appointment to earn miles, I’m still able to get more than enough miles and points to have experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible.

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“I Can’t Be Jealous of the Past. I Can Only be Jealous of the Future.”

I recently went to see Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, a curious film in the sense that it focuses much more on the subject’s love life than it does her love of art. Still, it was good overall and I’m glad I went.

The film showcases the development of several abstract and other non-traditional artists, including Jackson Pollack. I've always liked Pollack’s work, but I don’t think I understood the audacity of it until seeing this new film.

I often feel inspired when I hear about larger-than-life figures who pursued big ambitions. People like Pollack, and Peggy Guggenheim, did big things.

Then I went home and I thought: “What big thing am I doing?”

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Don’t Make a Bucket List; Make a List of 100 Dreams

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OK, it’s kind of like a bucket list. But it’s a really big one! From Laura Vanderkam:

In 168 Hours, I recommended creating something called a “List of 100 Dreams.” This exercise, which was shared with me by career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine, is a completely unedited list of anything you might want to do or have more of in life. It’s like a bucket list, but most people don’t get all the way to 100 when creating a bucket list. The point is to really think about what you might like.

I also wrote about these lists a lot in The Happiness of Pursuit. I call them "life lists," on the theory that the lists should be well-rounded and not only consist of adventure travel kinds of goals.

But hey, whatever you call it, make a list! I love the challenge of trying to get to 100 items.

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It’s Okay to Schedule “Real Life” Into Your Calendar


scheduling-real-life

While looking for people who have their "Dream Job" or career to to profile as case studies for my upcoming book, I came across a great quote from Kaitlin on one of the initial survey forms:

"I've accepted that it's okay to schedule 'call parents' in my calendar so long as it helps me actually do it. It doesn't make me a bad person for scheduling real life into my calendar.”

I completely agree with this. You shouldn’t feel bad about “scheduling real life.” If you thrive on business goals and struggle with relational ones (that was me all last year), try being intentional about the relational goals.

One of my relational goals this year is to write or call one friend every day. So far I’m well on track—and having it written down as a stated goal is what makes it happen.

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7 Alternative Ways to Evaluate Your Life Every Day

As regular readers know, I’m all about setting goals and working toward big projects over time. When you have a big goal, especially one with a clear end point, it’s easy to know when you’ve achieved it. But most big goals take time, and—as I’ve been learning—our lives consist of more than just a series of work-oriented projects that occupy our time.

No, to truly define success, we need to think of both these long-term goals and the actions we take every day. We also need to ensure our lives are in proper order. The challenge lies in the middle: how do we accomplish all of this?

Therefore, it may be more helpful to create an alternative method of evaluating ourselves as we go along. Here are seven different ideas to consider.

5549123_dd3e6c2b3f_z 1. At the end of the day, ask yourself, “Did today matter?”

Sure, you could spend a long time thinking back on your to-do list and reviewing your calendar. And what were all those emails about? But when you ask yourself this question, chances are you’ll know the answer intuitively.

Did today matter? If so, great. Do more things like it tomorrow. Can't remember anything in particular that made a difference? Well, better change it up.

Before you hit the ground running, take a few moments in meditation or thoughtfulness to decide what you’d like to see happen by the end of the day. Again, be sure to prioritize: it would be great to make a ton of progress on everything, but you probably won’t. What's most important? What is realistic to achieve?

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Arbitrary Numbers, Part II

After publishing yesterday’s post, I realized I also wrote about arbitrary goals in The Happiness of Pursuit. Here’s the story: I use an app on my phone to track my running, especially the longer runs that I do most Sunday mornings. On a recent eight-mile run, I noticed that my pace was consistently around 8:34…

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Your Goals Are Too Small

1. I want you to think about something. Maybe you’re like me: coasting along, doing okay, not lacking for anything material. You have a good life. What else is there? Oh, that’s right: everything. At a certain point you have you ask yourself, am I playing a small game or a big one? Am I…

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Too Late: Notes from LHR T5

Greetings from LHR Terminal 5, where I'm getting ready to fly to my final country.

Yeah. I know.

I'll share more about that over the weekend on Twitter, and of course next week on the blog. I've heard there's a cake and a champagne toast in Oslo on Sunday night, and a lot of fun people coming along.

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