Consider a successful Hollywood actor. This actor likes to make independent, arthouse films. These films have special meaning to the actor, and he or she believes in them enough to give up a big paycheck to do them.
But this Hollywood actor also makes commercial, popular work. The actor has the prized opportunity to perform a major role in summer blockbusters, the kind of films that rarely win at the Oscars but regularly boost the actor’s stature, not to mention their bank account.
The clash of preferences and opportunities raises numerous questions—most of which miss the point.Read More
I spend as much time as possible working on things I believe in. It’s not all out of compulsion—it’s also because I’m motivated to create and share. I’m happiest when I’m making progress on projects that make a difference in the world, or at least the corner of the world in which I have influence.This post provides a review and critique of my overall work in 2015. Previous Posts Read More
We did it!Last weekend I worked with a small and dedicated team to produce our second-ever Pioneer Nation, a gathering of independent entrepreneurs. For the first time in any big event we’ve done, we took everyone onsite for the entire experience. The event was held at The Resort at the Mountain, a scenic setting near Mount Hood, an hour’s drive from Portland. Events are a ton of work, but they can also be hugely rewarding. Once again I felt honored and inspired to be surrounded by great people. Read More
Over the past few months, I've been interviewing people for my upcoming book on dream jobs. Many of the people I’ve talked to are really busy—they've found or created their dream job, but they also tend to do a lot of other stuff as well. Some of them have side businesses or run ultramarathons on the weekends. Some of them have active family lives. Some of them do all those things... and more. I don't always ask the same questions of interviewees, but one tends to come up pretty often: "How do you find the time?"
I liked this answer I heard yesterday:
"It's less about how do I find time and more about why do I find time. You'll always find time for things that have a strong enough why."Read More
Deciding how you value your time can help you make decisions. But how do you really know what your time is worth?
It’s partly a hypothetical question, because you don’t always get to choose how much money you'll make or how much free time you'll have.
And it’s partly a practical question, because sometimes you do get to choose. Life is all about making choices, some of which are exclusive and limit us from other opportunities.
A free tool guides you to your own answer of "How much is your time worth" in both hypothetical and practical scenarios.Read More
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. Read More
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I'm fortunate to work with great partners, including a wonderful design studio right in Southeast Portland called Jolby & Friends.I was recently with the Jolby crew on a site visit, and one of them mentioned something about how they deliberately operate their studio on an "80% capacity" model. The idea is that they schedule themselves only 80% full in order to be available for last-minute client requests, as well as their own work. I thought this was really interesting! I wrote to Steven, the studio manager, to ask more about how it works. Read More
I had coffee with an aspiring entrepreneur who was struggling with priorities.
“I worry I’m doing everything wrong!” he said.
Everywhere he went, people gave him free advice. They told him about email marketing ... and webinars ... and the latest new social network ... and all the things he had to do to keep up.
"I'm not sure I'll be able to do all these things," he continued. "I can hardly keep up with the list!"
Well, that’s the thing. First of all, it’s very hard to fully "keep up" these day. There’s always a new network to learn, a new tool to master. There’s always one more thing that can be done.Read More
Long ago, right before I started this blog and began the full-time quest to "go everywhere," I went through a six-month period of thinking about it. When I say I was thinking about it, I mean it occupied my mental world approximately 80% of the time. I was still working and going to grad school during the day, but my attention lay elsewhere.
Then, at night, I'd go to bed with a notebook on my nightstand. I kept it there because almost every night, I'd wake up feeling excited. I'd have another idea or something new to add to the outline.
I loved this story of Benny Hsu making $100,000 from his t-shirt designs—a huge entrepreneurial success on his own, no doubt. But I also related to how the project took over his life and became all he thought about.Read More
Something struck me as I glanced through the notes over the weekend. I’ve been paying attention to how people transition between different careers or jobs, and I've noticed a recurring theme.Read More
You’ve heard the conventional wisdom: never check email in the morning.That sounds great, unless your job involves communicating with people, or if you happen to care about what people have to say to you. In either of those cases, you very well might want (or need!) to see what's happened overnight just as you sit down to work. It's also true, though, that it's easy to get sucked into replies and never end up creating or building or just working on something that requires long-term focus, all because you can't get your nose out of the inbox. Years ago I found a better way that I still use most days of the week. Here's how it works. Read More