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
Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points (with $75 annual fee)
Link: Get 80,000 Hilton Points (with no annual fee) There's big news in the travel hacking world this week: a limited-time offer to earn a lot of hotel points has arrived. To be precise, there are actually two offers, one for an increased signup bonus amount (from 40,000 points to 75,000, which is great), and an even better one that gets you a whopping 100,000 Hilton points. Yeah, no kidding!
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
Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. About 250,000 of them come through actual travel, but the rest come through travel hacking: the art of seeing the world on a budget.One of the easiest ways to earn a lot of miles all at once is through credit card signup bonuses. When managed carefully (i.e., you pay your bills on time), there's no downside and you can keep the miles coming for a long time. We've had a bunch of new offers recently, and it's been a while since I've done a roundup. This post contains the best current card offers. If getting each one, you'd earn 430,000 miles! 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
I just heard from my publisher that they’re running a promotion to discount the digital version of The $100 Startup to just $1.99. The book has never been discounted before—not once in 5 years!Read More
I recently had the honor of introducing Emily McDowell and facilitating a Q&A session with her at Powell’s for her new book, There Is No Good Card for This.You probably know Emily’s work even if you don’t know her yourself. She’s the creator, designer, and entrepreneur behind a line of greeting cards and related products, all with the goal of serving “the relationships we really have.”
Here are a few of her popular cards (order yours online or from one of 2,000 stores around the world):Read More
Rosie Yakob calls herself an accidental entrepreneur because she’s loved nearly every job she’s had, so never really considered starting her own business. But eventually, the constant busyness of life in NYC became too much.
I loved my job right up until the very end. Which meant I had a lot of explaining to do, as my now husband and I were preparing to leave NYC. “You loved your job!” my friends exclaimed. “Where are you going? For how long? What’s next?” everyone asked, both thrilled and frustrated with my vague response of “Traveling. Who knows!” When we left NYC, we were surrounded by people who were constantly busy. This culture exists in many places, but we found the answer so unbelievably common in NYC. Even I found myself responding to “How are you?” with the dreaded “b” word. While I loved my job, I always clarified to those who commented on my love for the work that I was “working to live, as opposed to living to work.” How quickly we trade happiness for business, or busyness, especially when it comes to work and salaries.Read More
If I’ve done my job well and managed my time properly, most of the crunch time work has happened in the morning. I work every morning, afternoon, and most evenings, but in different ways.
The afternoon is a slower form of work. I have at least 40 minutes for lunch, which I usually read with the New Yorker or Economist or (when in my hometown) the Willamette Week. Afterwards, if the weather’s nice, I might walk for a while. I run an errand or two. Eventually, I end up at a coffee shop, or I pick up a pastry and head home.
The 2pm-4pm work period is nice and easy. I might have deadlines but I usually avoid calls or interviews. I plan ahead and do some editing, a bit of writing, maybe some business work. But it’s thoughtful. I’ve already read all the news in the morning, but I might read more analysis or an article on Longreads with my coffee.Read More
I used to read the news every day—a lot of news, from a lot of different sources. But after the election, quite frankly, reading the news made me depressed. I went on a media fast and put my head in the sand, largely out of shock and dismay but also for general self-preservation.As time went by, I struggled a bit with this position. I definitely felt better in not knowing which particular racist or anti-science person was being appointed to various positions of high influence on any given day. And all of a sudden, I had a lot more time! Still, I didn’t want to be completely uninformed, especially in the midst of our country’s institutions being torn to shreds. Read More