I’m flying to Tokyo for the weekend, which I’d say is a long story but it’s actually a short one. I have a meeting with my local publisher and I need miles to requalify for American Airlines elite status—so I’m heading out for a super-quick Japan adventure. On my connecting flight to LAX this afternoon…Read More
1. I want you to think about something. Maybe you’re like me: coasting along, doing okay, not lacking for anything material. You have a good life. What else is there? Oh, that’s right: everything. At a certain point you have you ask yourself, am I playing a small game or a big one? Am I…Read More
Greetings, fellow introverts. (Is that not you? Then you can safely skip this post. Everyone else, keep reading.) At every meetup I host, and most of the events I’m invited to speak at, I always mention that I’m a natural introvert. I know that there are likely many other shy, quiet, or introverted people in…Read More
In thinking through how to make some changes in my business, I’ve been thinking about identity in general. One of the strongest drivers of our behavior is to comply with the person we believe ourselves to be. If you want to do something different, you have to adopt the identity of the kind of person…Read More
Over the next few weeks, I'll be touring India and then traveling elsewhere in the world. While I'm away, we'll be publishing a new series of Questions and Attempted Answers (Q&AA) from readers. I'll share my answer, and you're invited to share an answer of your own as well.
Today's question comes from Jan, who writes in from Belgium.
“I understand the importance of focusing on a valuable skill, but I'm not sure that I have any such thing. There are a lot of things I like to do, but nothing I feel especially passionate about or think that I do better than anyone else. I went to university and earned a degree, but I didn't have any business training. What do I do?”
Great question. Here's my attempted answer →Read More
I said recently that I felt frustrated with myself due to poor focus and lack of attention to “big things.” Of course, whining doesn't get us anywhere—action is much better. Complete with built-in accountability, this post outlines a few things I'm working on. It's also a public commitment to correct my shortcomings through the process of continuous improvement.Read More
Whenever things are going well, it's always good to ask yourself “How could I improve? What could I do better?” Never rest on your laurels! Always be thinking: OK, great. What's next? Yesterday I woke up early and went for a quick run around the park. Then I went for a morning biscuit at Pine State, where I visit a couple of times a week whenever I'm home in Portland. Then I came back and got ready, and then we sold 1,000 WDS 2013 tickets to fun people all over the world. I looked back at the screen and thought, wow, that was exciting. Then I went for sushi.Read More
This article doesn’t have much to do with travel hacking or unconventional work. And in fact, it will only apply to a minority of the people who read it. If you’ve always had a great life and nothing truly unfair has ever happened to you, feel free to skip this one. There’s lots of other great reading out there elsewhere. But for the rest of you—this one goes out to everyone who has had terrible things happen to them that weren’t their fault.Read More
Here's a simple, powerful tip for blogging, creating, storytelling, or whatever your art form may be: Always share the best work you currently have. Never save it for later. Earlier this year at SXSW I told a story about driving home late at night ten years ago and coming across a set of train tracks. It was a good story that I could have used for a few different purposes, and I wanted to save it for another talk happening two months later. I couldn't think of a better one that would work as well ... so I told the story. Then I had the problem of needing a different story for the other talk, but that was a future problem—plenty of time to figure it out.Read More
I visited a large company to give a talk about non-conformity and adventure. From all appearances, it was a well-run company doing good things. Many of the employees came up to me afterwards to chat, and I asked each of them, “How are things at _____?” Most of them said that things were good, and I had no reason to doubt them.Read More
I did a media call for a journalist on the subject of “time management” recently. When I heard the topic, I was worried: one, I don't think I'm that great at time management ... and two, I'm not even sure such a thing exists. You can't manage time; it exists independently of any choice you make. I tend to think more about managing energy and managing projects—as for time itself, that's another story altogether.Read More
I like thinking about hypothetical questions, and this one is a good start. Most of us have some kind of dream trapped within us that has somehow become stifled by the fear of failure. So, yes, it's good to think about this question and bring your answer to the surface. The problem, though, is that most things that are worth doing involve a real possibility of failure. Marriages fail, other relationships falter, businesses close their doors all the time. A big goal, like the ones we looked at recently, always involves a certain degree of risk.Read More
Visiting every country in the world is getting difficult. I've almost completely ran out of “easy” countries. These days I spend as much time arranging visas as I do planning the actual trip. It takes time, energy, and money: even with my best travel hacking strategies, I expect the overall cost to increase in the final two years of the project.Read More
The day before leaving on my final international trip of the year, the FedEx guy showed up at my door. Unfortunately, he did not have a package with my passport from Washington, D.C., which led to my just-barely-made-it excursion to Algeria. Too bad—but it all worked out in the end, as it usually does. Instead of a passport, I received a small package from Penguin Books. I get review books all the time, so I assumed that's what this one was. But then I opened up the package and saw my name. At first I thought it was an impostor, but no impostor would choose the name Guillebeau to write a book. (He would probably choose a name like Godin or Grisham instead.)Read More
A couple weeks ago I went to Powell's and heard J.D. Roth talk about taking personal responsibility over your financial life. “No one will ever care about your money as much as you do,” he said.
Very true. And you can say the same about your career, your dreams, your goals, and pretty much anything else that is personal and important. When we stop waiting for someone else to come along and make something happen for us, everything moves a lot quicker.Read More