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After the Wave

Thanks to everyone who sent notes or sentiments or just thought about Ken and our family after reading yesterday’s post. I appreciate it all.

I’d also like to encourage you to not borrow trouble. This isn’t your burden, or at least it isn’t for most of you. I wanted to share what had happened for anyone who cared, but you don’t need to feel bad or think that there’s something you need to do.

In the best of cases, a story of loss can inspire you to live more intentionally and to not take your loved ones for granted. I’ve often felt inspired and challenged by stories of loss myself, so if that happens for some of you as a result of hearing about Ken, that’s great.

I’ll still be writing the blog, daily whenever possible, and I don’t want it to be all about sad things. As always, I’ll be writing about entrepreneurship and seeing the world and whatever life lessons I happen to pick up along the way.

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Let the Wave Crash Over You: A Letter for My Brother

Chris & Ken in the early years (ages 7 and 2) Dear Ken,

When I look back at all the memories we shared together, there are so many that stand out.

I tend to think of our childhood, which was not particularly a happy one for either of us—but my memories of you and me are consistently happy. I remember when we lived in different states and sent things back and forth to each other in the mail every week. We talked on the phone a lot then, too, but having something physical arrive in the mailbox was a fun thing that we each enjoyed.

I remember all the video games we played together. Well, I probably don’t remember all of them, since there were so many. But I remember going from console to console as we both grew up, sometimes competing against each other (you were always better at Sonic; I could usually beat you at Street Fighter) and sometimes cooperating.

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The Fear of Losing Prestige

2995435776_a6d1e63a54_zChiara Cokieng, born and raised in the Philippines, has been on a journey of multiple career changes. After graduating from a prestigious university program and landing a nice gig as an international consultant with assignments in America, she then quit her job to work on a business idea. The business idea didn’t pan out, at least not right away—so she took on a new role as a full-time employee for a startup. She plans to see this commitment through, but eventually wants to go back to her own thing.

In all of these changes, she’s had to manage the emotional labor of shifting directions, including telling people that what she hoped to do was no longer happening.

Here’s what she describes as the most important thing she’s learned...

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Pioneer Nation Returns in October: Here’s How You Can Join Us!

Last year we debuted an all-new event to serve independent entrepreneurs and anyone who felt underserved by existing business conferences. We called it Pioneer Nation—and the first gathering was a tremendous success.

We'll be returning in October (just two months from now!) for our second edition. If you'd like to hang out in a mountain resort an hour from Portland, Oregon and learn new skills for taking your business to another level, you can join us.

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Surfing the Entire West Coast of the Americas: A Quest of Love and Discovery

Conscious traveling, a quest to surf the entire west coast of all the Americas, a van, and a dog: Jade Heilmann's experiences on the road were too good not to share.

I'm Jade. Together with my better half (aka Gabriel), our Westfalia (aka BigBlu), and our pup (aka Phi), we make up the We Travel and Blog team. Currently, we’re on a mission to surf the whole west coast of the Americas, from Tofino to Tierra de Fuego.

As an added challenge, we’ve pledged to make it to creating zero waste by the time we reach the tip of Chile. Gabriel and I see all water as holy; surf is our baptism. That’s where the zero waste pledge comes in. We’re tired of seeing trash rolling in the waves with us.

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What Happened at WDS 2015? Unfiltered Attendee Reviews, Round II

Here's Round I.

After spending hundreds of hours in preparation and then hosting a week-long adventure for thousands of awesome people, I don’t usually say much about it afterward, at least not on the blog. I’m a writer who doesn’t do a writeup.

Thankfully, our attendees do a much more thorough job—and wouldn’t you want to read the unfiltered reviews anyway?

Every year we see hundreds of blog posts from attendees. Here’s the first second round of unfiltered reviews and opinions on a variety of topics related to WDS.

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You Can’t Live As If You Only Had Three Months to Live

4721798240_0beb2a46ab_z It’s a challenging thought: “How would you live if you learned you only had three months left?”

Most of us would probably make some changes, or at least we’d think long and hard about “what matters.”

If your job sucks, you’d probably quit. You might travel to that place you’ve always dreamed of. You might pursue a long-time dream that you never got around to until now.

And you’d almost certainly aim to restore harmony in any broken relationships, and perhaps say farewell to as many friends as possible.

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Sometimes It Doesn’t Work, But You Still Have to Try Anyway

16484981468_a7a7c1e677_z You always hear about the people who took a chance that paid off. You always hear the try, try again stories—those case studies of overcoming what seems to be an insurmountable challenge.

You know how the story goes: so-and-so encountered failure a dozen times, but on the thirteenth attempt, they made it!

Then so-and-so says, “Thanks, everyone. I’m so glad I kept going. Victory was never guaranteed, but look at me now."

Sometimes, though, you head into a situation knowing that there’s a high likelihood of failure. I'm not talking about the possibility of failure, I'm talking about odds that would make a free-wheeling Las Vegas roulette player back away from the table and head straight for the buffet.

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“There’s Nothing You Could Have Done … But What If There Was?”

15812627982_fe477f8cce_z Last week I wrote about the unexpected loss of my brother, Ken. I mentioned that when terrible things happen, people tend to say, “It will all be okay,” but unfortunately this isn’t always true. What’s okay about a premature death? There’s no way to bring back a loved one, and that’s just not okay.

Another thing people say is “There’s nothing you could have done.” But just like saying, “It will be okay,” this isn’t necessarily true either.

When you come to a situation you can’t change, it’s only natural to look back and think, “What if?”

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Limited Time: New 80,000 Points Signup Bonus for Marriott Card

Link: 80,000 Points for Marriott Card

While I was on blog hiatus and then hosting WDS, a big new offer landed that I haven't had a chance to write about. Fortunately, there's still time!

Marriott isn’t my favorite hotel program (that would be Starwood and Hyatt), but this new offer is worth a look for the free nights you’ll earn right away. They used to provide 50,000 points upon signup, but for a limited time—we don’t know for how long—you can earn 30,000 additional points for a total of 80,000.

80,000 points can put you in one of their nicer hotels or resorts worldwide for up to two nights. Marriott partners with Ritz Carlton, where awards can also be booked.

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A Story of Friendship and Values


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Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.

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