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Why Ideas Are Not Enough (Or: How to Sell Out Like Iron Maiden)

Link: Perennial Seller

"What if I'm not good at making ideas happen? I just like to have ideas!"

Ever since I started Side Hustle School on January 1, I've heard this question a surprising number of times. And believe me, I know it would be nice if you could just have ideas and then someone else does things.

That's not how it works for most of us, though—even those who are successful writers, entrepreneurs, or artists of all kinds. Ideas gain value not through brainstorming but through the getting-it-done phase that all good work needs.

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”If You Can Invest in Someone Else’s Company, You Can Invest in Yourself”

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!”

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“People Are Seen As Part of Your Wealth”: A Quest to Interview 365 Strangers

Ebele Mogo stepped outside herself—way outside herself—when she decided she just had to know what people around her were thinking. So she grabbed her iPhone and asked.

I am a scientist, writer, and entrepreneur originally from Nigeria. I am both analytical and artistic, and I tend to be childlike—so I’m always laughing and I’m always curious.

My curiosity is actually what led me to my quest: to interview one stranger every day for a year.
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4 Lessons Learned From 4 Years of Being a Creative Nomad

Becoming a nomad isn’t always a conscious choice. For Nathalie Sejean, it was the culmination of moments out of her control — but those moments changed her life, and today she shares what she’s learned since then.

Los Angeles Airport. December 24th 2011. 8pm: I was waiting at a Turkish Airlines counter, armed with a Persian cat, a camera and three overweight suitcases. After a few years growing as a filmmaker, and a whole 365 days trying and renew my visa, I had to depart from the United States with what I could physically carry, leaving everything else behind.

I spent Christmas Eve flying over Earth and wondering what my next step was going to be. I had no plan. I had no money. And, though I didn’t know it back then, I had no creative juice left in me. I was in full creative burnout.

The idea of chasing money to make rent had become the reason I would take on projects, and the justification behind the shrinking time I would spend creating for the sake of it. And I couldn’t take it anymore.

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Exploring Global Subcultures from New Orleans to Tokyo: On the Road with La Carmina

LA3 This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

A law student turned global storyteller, La Carmina has put her love of seeing the world through a subculture lens into books, articles, and television. Her stories just might inspire you to see your travels a little differently.

I'm La Carmina, a Goth girl from Vancouver, Canada. I started my travel and fashion blog in 2007 while studying at Yale Law. I loved connecting with people online, and sharing my passion for subcultures and alternative beauty around the world.

Over time, my site grew from a hobby into full-time opportunities I never imagined: publishing books, writing for CNN Travel, and hosting TV shows on networks like Travel Channel, Discovery and National Geographic.

Recently, I've put my focus on travel-related projects. My film team and I visit about one destination each month, and tell stories that appeal to millennial travelers—such as Korean cat cafes, Budapest music festivals, Cape Town drag queens, and Israel indie designers.

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Around the World on a Yellow Motorcycle: Leon Logothetis’ Quest

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Some people like a challenge. Some like a really big challenge.

Leon Logothetis went for big when he decided to travel around the world, fueled only by the kindness of people he'd never met.

I was born in London, where I worked as a broker. But I felt disconnected and uninspired with my pursuit of a traditional life. So I quit my job and moved to America.

My quest was to travel from Los Angeles all the way around the world, returning to LA, on my vintage yellow motorbike named Kindness One. There was a twist: I had to make it around the globe without money. I had to ask for help from people I met along the way.

The journey was not just about my traveling the world on the kindness of strangers. I also wanted to show that by truly committing to living our dreams, anything is possible.
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The Art of Unplanned Travel: On the Road with Carole Rosenblat

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

A quester and traveler, Carole Rosenblat decided to take a deep dive into rarely explored territory: the art of unplanned travel. She runs a blog and lets her readers choose where she travels, giving herself only a few days to get from one place to another.

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I write as I travel so readers - who I call my Virtual Travel Buddies - get to be on the road with me. I include readers in on my quirky observations and my challenges and mistakes along the way (I get lost a lot).

While traveling, I find organizations or projects with which to volunteer and I profile them on my philanthropic site, Rebel With a Cause, to give them exposure to a wider audience.

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No Money, But a Rich Life: On the Road with Nate Maingard

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

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What's it like to live and work as a nomadic, traveling musician who relies on crowd-sourced support? We found a guy doing exactly that. Here are his stories from three continents and counting.

I was raised barefoot and wild on the tip of South Africa, in a little village called Scarborough. My early days were spent in my father’s guitar making workshop as he crafted some of the world's top custom guitars.

My boundaries were the ocean and the mountain, and my whole life has been shaped by those first years of raw nature and unfettered adventure.

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How to Join “The Amazing Race” for Regular People


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Have you ever wanted to be on The Amazing Race?

I’ve never actually seen the show—I preferred to focus on my own race for ten years—but one time J.D. Roth and I got up early to stand in line for auditions. After waiting for two hours, we were told that the line had closed and there would be no more auditions. Reality star #fail.

Fortunately, I know a guy who helps regular people with their own amazing race, every summer in Europe. Steve in Washington, D.C. is a full-time travel hacker. Competitours is a fun side project for him, and I thought some of you might be interested.

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Taking an Upright Piano Around the United States: Dotan Negrin’s Story

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This is a reader story. (Read others or tell us yours.)

Dotan Negrin likes a challenge. Three years ago, he started taking his upright piano with him everywhere he went. Here's how he tells the story:

I didn’t know piano playing was a goal of mine. I didn’t even learn to play until I was 19, and when I hit the road I was in no way ready to start performing. But I did it anyway because I realized the biggest thing standing in my way from living an extraordinary life was myself. Once I became determined to live differently, it was impossible not to.

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“Normal Guy” Pizza Manager Stays Overnight in 48 States


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This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Currently a manager at Sbarro, Chris Strub is a be a pretty "normal" guy who had an idea - to spend at least one night in the lower 48 states - and made it happen. Here's how:

Introduce yourself and your quest.

I'm a 29-year-old native New Yorker currently living in Greenville, South Carolina. As I grew up, I was constantly told I could “be whatever I wanted to be.” I sat at my college graduation listening to successful people offering vague advice like this, rife with buzzwords. But I’d never pigeonholed my career goal. Even though I’d had great jobs, I felt like I still had an open book ahead of me. I didn't want to be defined by my vocations - I wanted to be defined by my dreams.

And pushing the limits of social media through travel was my calling. So I decided to take a 90-day solo road trip around the lower 48 states, staying a night in every state.

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The New World of Passport Tattoo Art: Possibly Illegal, Definitely Awesome


Léonard_Combier_Illustration_04 I'm proud of my stamps and visas, and I often get a double-take from immigration officers around the world when presenting my passport—but this guy has gone much further.

French illustrator Léonard Combier sent pictures of his work to Doodlers Anonymous, where he offered anyone to send him their passport to "tattoo."

Is this legal? Well, apparently it's an open question, since technically the work involves "defacing" a government document, and some countries have more of a sense of humor than others. Fortunately, most people report that most immigration agents have enjoyed it thus far.

Here are a few examples:

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