I’m heading out to speak at a tech conference this week. The conference will undoubtedly have many smart people in attendance. In fact, I don’t think it’s self-depreciating to assume that most of them are a lot smarter than me. It's just true.Continuing with the theme of “Is this really what it’s about in the world of productivity?”, a common question I get at these events is “Tell us about your productivity hacks.” This question usually comes from someone who’s not only smarter, but also most likely far more organized than me. Read More
On an upcoming episode of Side Hustle School, I tell the story of someone who obtained a patent for a special kind of mittens for runners. Unlike a $100 Startup, getting a patent is not an easy or cheap process. It look several years and more than $5,000.Still, she stuck with it because she believed in the idea and was convinced of its value. When she asked one friend where she was going to get the money, he said, “Do you own any stocks?” She said yes. “If you can invest in someone else’s company,” he told her, "you can invest in yourself. Sell the stocks!” Read More
How to be Everything: A guide for those who (still) don’t know what they want to be when they grow up
It's a familiar question we're all eventually asked as kids. While seemingly harmless, the question has unintended consequences. It can make you feel like you need to choose one job, one passion, one thing to be about.
Guess what? You don’t.
Having a lot of different interests, projects and curiosities doesn't make you a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none." Your endless curiosity doesn't mean you are broken or flaky. What you are is a multipotentialite: someone with many interests and creative pursuits. And as Emilie Wapnick would say, that may actually be your biggest strength.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
It's tempting to think this is the answer. Just take it easy. It will come to you.And sure, maybe it will. I just know that for me, there’s more to it than "work in the morning, sit around and think in the afternoon." That’s how it’s always, always been. The answer isn’t only “work hard all the time,” because of course you can work hard all the time on the wrong things. But I don’t think the answer is to coast either. It’s more like: find the right thing, then give it all you’ve got. A two-step plan, essentially. Read More
On January 1, I began a new project: to publish a story every day of someone who starts an income-generating project (a "side hustle") without quitting their day job.The project failed and I decided to give up. Just kidding! We are relentlessly moving along, publishing story after story—and it's getting better and better! I recently completed the first 100 days. There's much more to come, but I'm excited about everything I've learned since beginning back in January. If you're just joining in, you can also catch up on any recent episode from the links below.
Download all episodes from each month:Read More
Have you ever wished that you could decode people? Do you want a formula for charisma? Do you want to know exactly what to say to your boss, your date or your networking partner? You need to know how people work.
As a human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards believes that people skills should never be considered "optional." Over the past decade, she's studied the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns in her lab, the Science of People, and she's developed shortcuts, formulas, and blueprints for getting along with absolutely anyone you may encounter.Read More
I recently recorded a Side Hustle School episode about Michelle D’Avella, a designer who spent several years building a blog before turning it into a full-time income.The first year she started her blog, she made $0. Last year, after experimenting with a series of virtual workshops and mentoring sessions, she made $50,000. The success isn’t just about making money, it’s also (maybe even more importantly) about finding work she believes in. Her advice to others is to create from a place of joy.
"Don’t put so much pressure on figuring it all out, but make sure what you’re doing is something you can feel good about. When we create from joy, people feel it. When we create from lack, people feel it too. We run away from desperation."Read More
Creative people usually have no shortage of ideas of things they'd like to do. The greater challenge is: how do you know which ideas are worth pursuing, and which should be abandoned or just put on hold for now?Here’s one way: consider the amount of time you spend thinking about the idea, even as you go on to other things. I don’t just mean when you have an idea and you think about it a lot the same day. I mean when you have an idea, and you think about it for a while before putting it aside... and then it comes back to you the next day. Then a week goes by, and you realize you’ve thought about it almost every day. Read More
What should we do about the world falling apart? You know—the rise in hate crime, marked partisanship, loss of democracy, weakened institutions, and so on?Yeah. It's tough. Let me know when you figure it out. In the meantime, I've been following a crowdfunding campaign for a product I really like. Check out the video to see what it's all about: Read More
Despite what Google or Wikipedia tells you, today (April 4th) is not my birthday. Last year on this day I got a flurry of messages from people all wishing me a joyous celebration.“Thanks,” I’d reply, “but it’s not my birthday." I finally developed a working theory of what happened. I’m not positive it’s true, but it’s something that feels comforting, so I’m going with it. Read More
Nate Buchanan and his wife Kara had been talking about traveling for years. They finally stopped discussing and started planning. Before they left, they travel hacked their way to 1.8 million frequent flyer miles, which they’re using to travel to 100 countries.
I had been mildly obsessed with the idea of full-time travel for a few years. But in January of 2015 we were sitting at Dairy Queen, and something was different about this conversation. We were seriously discussing what it would take to make it a reality, and not just dreaming about "what ifs." It’s so easy to discuss theoretically. Reality is, there's never an easy time, and we finally realized that there would never be an easier time than right now. We don’t have kids, we rented an apartment, and both of us were in a position where stepping away from our jobs wouldn’t be the end of the world. We finally decided we would take 2016 to travel full-time and see as much of the world as possible before we settled down.Read More
Sven Haltmann went from a miserable office job existence to living his dream life in Alaska, with not just one but two dream jobs. He now spends his winters mushing and his summers running a hostel, meeting guests from around the world.
I used to work for a health insurance company in Switzerland. Even though I loved everyone that I worked with, I hated the job so much that I wanted to shoot myself in the head every Sunday thinking about the start of a new week. Since I was only 20 and already miserable, I knew I had to do something different to change the path I was headed down. I applied as a tour guide in Greece, got the job and worked on the island of Crete for three years during the summer. Unsure of what to do during the winter, I applied to work for a dog musher who competed in the Iditarod trail sled dog race.Read More
Link: Freedom CalculatorWill you be ready to retire when the time comes? To some of us, it sounds like the beginning to an ad, or a question from another era. Personally, I don’t care much about the idea of retirement. I believe in finding meaningful work that you’re excited about! Why would you stop doing something you look forward to every day? Read More
When I started Side Hustle School, the main commitment was the daily podcast, which is still going strong 60+ episodes in. People are responding to it very well, and I’m having fun. Yay!But I don’t do small very well, so in addition to the daily show, there’s also a traveling workshop series and an upcoming book. I recently completed the first set of workshops and I learned a lot. Here are a few reflections based on stops in four cities: Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and Phoenix. Read More
On a recent trip, I had to get back to Doha from Paris, a 5 1/2 hour flight. I was transferring via an initial connection from Zurich, and I booked the Zurich flight to arrive less than an hour before the Qatar Airways flight departed.You might think that’s cutting it close, and it was. In the worst of times, Charles de Gaulle airport can be an absolute nightmare to navigate for transit. It’s not unreasonable to walk more than a kilometer between terminals, and some terminals are reachable only by an extended bus ride. Add long security lines (no PreCheck!) to that equation, and it’s not unreasonable to allow 2-3 hours for a connection. Read More