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Pandering Never Builds a Legacy

I’m as guilty as anyone else who says that to build a business, or a blog, it’s good to ask people what they want and then give it to them. It works!

But there’s another side to this thinking, and I heard the counterpoint presented beautifully last week by Paula Pant.

For years, she's published a popular blog about personal finance. But as she shared in a talk, after starting down the familiar path of "Hey everyone, what should I write for you?" she realized that maybe it was better to ask herself what she wanted to do.

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“We’re not supposed to fit in, we’re supposed to stand out.”: Agapi Stassinopoulos at WDS

Agapi.Stassinopoulos.WDS.2017.speaker Agapi Stassinopoulos is a best-selling author and speaker who inspires audiences around the world. In her previous book, Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love, she shares the wisdom from her life’s adventures and experiences. In her new book, Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life, she takes readers on a journey and inspires them to let go of what doesn’t work and instead create the lives they really want.

Beginning and ending her keynote with joy and dancing to the delight of the WDS 2017 community, Agapi challenged us to claim everything we want with 'chutzpah' because we're good people and we deserve it. Agapi shared her belief that each of us carries the light that the earth needs right now.

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“Don’t ask if you should give up, ask if you should try something different”: Benny Lewis at WDS

Benny.Lewis.WDS.2017.speaker Benny Lewis is the language hacker, National Geographic Traveler of the year, and author behind the hugely successful Fluent in 3 Months blog and international best selling book. For a decade and a half he has traveled the world, immersing himself in local cultures and learning local languages. He can speak 7 languages fluently, and can get by in many more, despite the fact that he only spoke English at the age of 21.

In his opening keynote for WDS 2017, Benny Lewis emphasized that logic trumps luck. Luck is actually beating the odds, seeing the whole picture, and having an open mind. Benny encourages people to make their own luck, to gravitate to situations with unpredictability, and to use math and reasoning to understand situations—rather than listening to the universe or relying on destiny.

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WDS 2018 Tickets On-Sale Now: Join Us Next Summer for an All-New Adventure

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Tickets are on sale now --> Join Us in Portland for WDS 2018!

Each year 1000+ adventurers from 40+ different countries journey to beautiful Portland, Oregon for a summer gathering known as the World Domination Summit (WDS). It's an event unlike any other, all focused on a central question, "How can we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?"

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Welcome, New Readers! What The Art of Non-Conformity Is All About

37847813471_2cfc03e1df_z I’ve had a lot of new people join my blog recently, mostly from all the media coverage about my new book. Welcome!

If you’re just joining, here’s a quick explanation of what all of this is about. I started this blog wayyyyy back in 2008. My mission is to help people live unconventional lives, especially through self-employment and travel, but also the general theme of non-conformity.

At the time I started, I was pursuing a big quest to visit every country in the world by my 35th birthday. I achieved that goal and wrote a book about it called The Happiness of Pursuit. I also wrote a book called The $100 Startup, and my newest book is SIDE HUSTLE.

But enough about me. What can you find here on the site? A lot of things, but let’s focus on three areas.

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“It’s not about dollars or followers. It’s about long-lasting impact”: Mohammed Faris at WDS 2017

mohammed.faris.speaker.WDS.2017 Our second superhero in our WDS 2017 speaker video series is Mohammed Faris.

Mohammed is an international author, speaker, and leader of a community with more than one million people. He started his journey in 2007 when he became obsessed with the question: "Can faith boost productivity?" Mohammed has since spent the last decade trying to answer this question—from his own Islamic faith tradition—his popular blog, ProductiveMuslim.com, and his new book The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity.

At WDS 2017 Mohammed taught us about the missing soul of productivity—leveraging spirituality to boost our productivity. There's a hidden element of success that, in the Islamic tradition, is called "Barakah." It can help you do more with less and live beyond your expectations.

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“Worrying is Not an Investment in Failure Prevention.”: Vanessa Van Edwards at WDS

Vanessa-Van-Edwards-WDS-2017-Speaker Big news: we'll soon be releasing tickets for WDS 2018, our 8th annual gathering of creative, remarkable people taking place next summer in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I'd love to see you there!

For the last 7 years tickets for WDS have sold out, so make sure to join the waiting list to be the first to get notified. The next ticket sale is Wednesday, October 25th!

Leading up to the sale, I'll be sharing speaker videos from this past year's 2017 event—and here's our first, Vanessa Van Edwards.

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For All the Things You Can’t Control, Remember “This Too Shall Pass”

elijah-macleod-400010 Just as there are some things that can’t be fixed, there are also some things you can’t control. This fact can be hard to accept for those of us who like to both fix and control things.

You might have a lot of influence, all the autonomy you could wish for, and independence for days—but when it comes to things you can’t control, none of that matters.

I was reading a thread on Quora recently and noticed a recurring theme in what people mentioned as being outside the realm of control.

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Making Money From More Than One Paycheck Can Help You Follow Your Dreams

36793093064_e8ac576920_z This year I’ve been focused almost entirely on helping people take action. Side Hustle School, my daily podcast, shines a spotlight on people who are creating freedom and security for themselves (and making more money, too).

In my new book, SIDE HUSTLE, you’ll get a 27-day plan to go from idea to income. It’s meant to be as straightforward as possible: follow this plan and you will have something to show for it within a month.

A few people have asked: why is everything so practical? What happened to “follow your dreams”?

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Thirty-Four

A man in San Francisco jumps or falls on the subway tracks. As the train approaches, the passengers all around him unite to warn the train's conductor, who’s able to slow down and prevent disaster.

The man’s life is saved—maybe not forever, but at least for a day.

I recently saw this video of CCTV footage from the incident being passed around, showing exactly what happened. There's no audio, but you can perceive the commotion and urgency of passengers frantically waving for the train to stop.


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Going Back to a Hard Place

Imagine revisiting a place you’d been long ago during a hard time in your life. Maybe that time was long, long ago, and the place far, far away. Or maybe it was last week, and the place is the coffee shop down the street.

Whatever the story, you walk in and experience an unpleasant flashback. You remember what happened when you received bad news, that thing that someone said, or whatever the hard time was about. But it’s not just about the memories. You can feel it. The anxiety tightens, and maybe you’re short of breath.

There's no doubt about it: that thing was hard! Not just a little hard, but hard in a life-changing way. Back then, during the time of the hard thing, you had no idea how you'd recover. You couldn't fathom ever being "okay" or normal again.

But maybe there’s also something good about this experience, the one that feels so unpleasant at first.

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Evening Rituals

I have one or two drinks with dinner, rarely any more.

Before bed I make a cup of herbal tea and take magnesium. Sometimes I have a square of dark chocolate.

I sit with my thoughts and my calendar. I look at my tasks. I do this in digital and analogue form. There is pen and paper and phone and MacBook Air.

I determine the priorities for the next day, with the knowledge that there can only be so many. There may be thirty things to do, but only two to three are truly critical.

In fact, it’s hard to do three. Often it’s just a maximum of two. Choosing more is a recipe for procrastination, if not outright failure.

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Stating the Obvious: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

"We'll have to repent in this generation not merely for hateful words and actions of bad people, but for appalling silence of good people.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’ve been traveling this week but also seeing the news from home. I’m not sure I have much of substance to what’s already been said. I just want to affirm the obvious: perhaps America has received the leader we deserved, not the one who was competent, but that doesn’t mean the good people of our country should go down without a fight.

I don’t support this administration and I wish I'd done more to stop it.

To those like me with all the privilege in the world, try to consider how you’d feel without it. And if it’s impossible to have that kind of empathy, at least acknowledge your privilege. It's a start.

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