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ATTENTION FELLOW FATHERS!

Join a crew of proud dads for the first Heroic Dad Challenge – a fun, free 30-day habit change challenge for fathers (or uncles/grandpas/other care providers) and their little ones to get some fun recreation together! Try father-kid pushups with us, EVERY day for a full month.

We’ve gathered a small private group of over 60 dads around the world, and we’ll help keep each other accountable by checking in with a video or photo evidence each day in our private group, or if you want to spread the fun, feel free to share YOUR posts publicly on your Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #HeroicDad and #30dayHERO.

It doesn’t matter if you can only do 1, or if you can do 100; if your child is 1 year old or 10 (as long as they can hold onto you), but if you make it a regular daily practice, then over time you will slowly build increasing strength and provide a great example for your kids too.

Milo of Croton

We officially start this Thursday, July 20th and go through August 18th, but please don’t hesitate to post YOUR pushups anytime you’re able to participate.

5 easy steps to join the fun:

  1. Please RSVP and get the details here.
  2. Join our private dads group on Facebook here to follow all the action and get daily accountability prompts.
  3. PLEASE help us spread the word and invite your father friends using the “Share” button in the right sidebar on this event page OR by clicking any of the share buttons on THIS page.
  4. Sign up for my email updates to be sure not to miss a thing (and get lots of resources for the fatherhood journey) by filling the email form at the bottom of this post.
  5. Stay tuned for our official launch THIS THURSDAY, July 20th, and post YOUR videos and accountability updates inside our HERO Dads group for your chance to be featured!

Recommended tags include #30dayHERO #heroicdad #30daychallenge #HEROdad #pushupchallenge #HEROproject #dadfitness #30DC #pushups #fatherson #fitness

See you this Thursday!

If you’re someone who’s tired of living from one paycheck to the next, want to build a solid safety net, curb impulse spending and increase your earning power, then Adam Baker at Man Vs. Debt is someone you should be listening to. He and his wife paid off about $18K in consumer debt, sold all their belongings, and were able to travel the world for over a year (with their 22-month-old daughter!). With a little hard work, they have been able to achieve some incredible things, and because he’s done it, Baker has become a huge authority in the online personal finance world who shares credible advice that will help you eliminate financial stress in your life.

I’ve known Baker since early on after he started his blog in 2009. Since then, he’s quickly amassed a loyal following, joined forces with some of the biggest forces on the social web (Leo Babauta at Zen Habits, J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly, and the team at WiseBread). He and I partnered together with a great team to start Untemplater, and finally got the chance to meet in person when he visited Thailand in January on his year-long location-independent world tour! I’ve been looking forward to doing a video interview with him for quite a while now, and this week we were finally able to sit down for a great conversation.

Baker just launched his first ebook guide, Unautomate Your Finances: A Simple, Passionate Approach to Money , which lays out his holistic approach to personal finance. I know from interacting with him on a weekly basis that he’s spent the last several months toiling away on this guide, he’s gotten a tremendous amount of positive feedback, and this is something that is sure to transform people’s relationship with money. Watch our video conversation below to see why you should un-automate your finances, how you can build a more conscious, simple, sustainable financial life, and get the scoop about his world travels since freeing himself from debt prison!

Click here for the full video interview.

  • 0:55 – Baker’s college experience, business background & financial history
  • 2:15 White picket fences & opting out of the template life path
  • 4:54 Unconventional approaches to eliminating debt
  • 6:45 Deliberate, effective budgeting
  • 8:13 – How to plan for income fluctuations & irregular expenses when you’re a freelancer
  • 10:20 – Couchsurfing & backpacking through Australia, New Zealand & Thailand
  • 13:38 – Traveling the world with young children
  • 16:07 – More about Baker’s new ebook Unautomate Your Finances
  • 20:36 – Cultivating a conscious mindset about personal finance & money
  • 22:12 – South by Southwest Web Awards & where to find Baker

UPDATE: For more from Baker: check out his Sell Your Crap guide to learn how his family got rid of all their belongings before they went traveling around the world, and how you can sell all your stuff on eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon to make some extra cash. Also, if you want to add a guaranteed $12,000 to your online business over the next 12 months, you might want to grab a seat in his course with Corbett Barr, The Hustle Project. Corbett and Baker are both Faculty members at Digital Nomad Academy, regular recurring mentors for our students inside the Academy, so I can speak personally to the high quality of their coaching.

I’ll be honest: I’m someone who hates to sit down with spreadsheets and budget out my finances. I don’t even like to look at my bank statements every month! With student loans, a lot of random business stuff going on, and the fact that I’m a lazy excuse for a human, my finances are a damn mess, but Baker has developed a product that has fundamentally changed the way I think about money, and he and his wife Courtney are proof that you really can get conscious about how you spend, escape the debt “game” that the rest of the world is stuck in, and start to build the lifestyle you want now! Forget dreaming about retirement, if he and his family can eliminate their debt and go globetrotting, you can get control of your finances and do whatever you dream of doing too.

Here is what you get if you purchase a copy of Baker’s Unautomate Your Finances:

  • A comprehensive 83-page eBook. In “The Unautomation Theory” section, Baker relates his experience climbing out of the debt hole and the way that has transformed his family’s lives. He goes on to explain how to avoid financial burnout and unlock conscious financial awareness by un-automating. In “The Science of Unautomation” he’ll help you take a hard look at your priorities and figure out how to budget for what you really want in life. Lastly, in the “Applying Unautomation” section, he focuses on application, showing you how to actively manage your finances with a simple 2-page minimalist budgeting system and apply his “Debt Tsunami” tactic to rid yourself of debt.
  • A 27-minute video interview with Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net. Baker interviews Leo on how he applied the principles of simplicity and minimalism to dramatically turn around his financial life.  Powerful insights from a leader in simplicity, blogging, and productivity.
  • A 29-minute audio interview with J.D. Roth of GetRichSlowly.org, one of the top personal finance blogs on the web. J.D. joins Baker on a call to discuss his own financial recovery story and what it’s like now that he’s in the “third phase of personal finance“.
  • A 2-page, custom-designed PDF version (printable) of the minimalist budgeting system discussed in the main guide.
  • A simple Excel template for those who want to take the minimalist budgeting system digital.
  • Free Extended Updates! Get on the exclusive email list and over the next 6 months, Baker will be releasing sample case studies, FAQ’s, and exclusive interviews… for free!

At just $17, I honestly thought he was nuts for giving away so much hard work, but it just goes to show how dedicated he is to providing real value and helping those who need financial guidance. This is a truly impressive product that would typically go for at least $39 if you look around at other bloggers online, and it comes with Baker’s “as long as I have a pulse” money-back guarantee. So if you need to learn how to get the best of your personal finances, start an emergency fund, successfully get out of debt, and create a realistic budget that will let you achieve your financial and life goals, then Unautomate Your Finances is definitely something you need to check out.

This is a guest post I’m excited to host from Dwight Turner, founder of In Search Of Sanuk.

You’re already en route to your thrilling lifestyle so why are you still giving the same way? In the footsteps of Jesus, Ghandi, Spiderman and all four Ninja Turtles, here are three steps to make your giving as revolutionary as your lifestyle.

Stop Giving Only When It’s Convenient

The template lifestyle dictates that you should probably begin thinking about what you can give back a few years before you expect to die. How much have you bought into that mentality? Have you repeatedly postponed giving until you have more money, more stability, and more success? My first big project last year was to design a fundraiser for Bangkok’s Refugee Center. I ended up throwing an art show that provided much needed funds for the center and got more people in the city talking about my initiative. However, had I let the unpredictability of my personal life govern the decision to be involved, it would have been scheduled for 2030. To play a role in social change, we can no longer conceptualize giving the same way we think about clipping our toenails or doing our taxes. Break the mold and transform giving from a mundane task to a part of your thrilling lifestyle.

volunteering Thailand orphanage

Embrace Risky Giving

As a society we have bought the idea that giving should be feel good and secure. Sometimes it can be, but we are wrong to believe putting others’ well being before our own will be all smiles and rainbows. My hunch is this is because we’re not giving for the right reasons to begin with. I cringe when I hear, “Give and you WILL RECEIVE.” How much of what you give is steeped in what you’re hoping to receive? Are you doing it so more people will buy your product or read your blog? In reality, the people giving the most are hardly recognized or rewarded. Stop and think about your teachers and I know you’ll get my point. Why then do you expect some selfish reward for doing what we know is right? Really want to be an unconventional giver? Try this:

Give when no one is looking. Give and expect nothing. Be risky, be taken for granted and give purely.

Give From the Bottom of your Hurt

Your parents tried it. You tried it. So where did giving from the heart get us? Well, besides forcing smart non profits and NGOs to scramble, rearranging budgets or compromising their services for overpaid marketers who know how to tap into our vanity. To our detriment we’ve created an environment where cause marketers have to dupe us into repeatedly buying a latte laced with ‘feel good’ to do something noble like saving the rain forest. It works, so everyday we fall out of bed and into line for innumerable magic lattes until we’ve purchased such a monstrous caseload of feel good that we honestly believe we can end poverty without ever changing our daily routine. Nothing wrong with a laced latte, right? But, if you’re reading this it’s because you’ve already fallen off the bandwagon. So I challenge all former bandwagon riders to start giving from the bottom of your hurt. You don’t have to be hungry for long to have enough of an idea of what starving might be like. Likewise, you don’t have to travel to countries where every meal is an appetizer just to realize more should be done to relieve the suffering of those less fortunate than us. Pain is universal. Give when it hurts and because it hurts.

Thrilling Heroics Consulting is a regular supporter of In Search of Sanuk and fully sponsored their December teaching initiative in the Bangkok slums. Begin your unconventional giving by donating today.

My friend Dwight is slowly convincing me that I’m a philanthropist.

I’ve talked before about the impact Dwight Turner is making in Bangkok—making it easy for people to volunteer and contribute to charitable causes in Thailand. We have gone to hand out food to the homeless near Democracy Monument here in Bangkok, we’ve taken the great kids at Chonburi Children’s Center to the beach, we’ve volunteered with the infants and toddlers at Friends For All Children (F.F.A.C.) nursery, we’ve held events to raise money for an urban garden installation project here in Bangkok and for medical aide for refugees. Dwight’s hard work has even earned him the attention of CNN’s new local Asia site.

I’ve met incredible people with touching stories. I’ve made incredible friends with some of the other volunteers.

To commemorate September 11th this year, In Search of Sanuk hosted Bangkok’s Twestival celebration. Twestival is a Twitter-inspired social event where attendees can meet other Twitter users (much like our monthly Bangkok Tweetup), but also be a part of a global awareness and fundraising campaign for charitable causes around the world. We raised money for two orphanages near the Burmese border—Baan Unrak and Baan Dada.

The event was spectacular. Over 350 people came out to party on the Fraser Suites’ poolside rooftop bar and support our cause. People recorded and shared our social media-powered event live. We raised over $2400 US, which can go a long way in Southeast Asia. The founders of Digital Democracy even showed up to interview volunteers Jen, Danielle, and myself about emerging technologies in Thailand and about how the global Twitter event was helping make a social change:

So here’s the secret: Some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had have been volunteering with children throughout Thailand.

A few days after the event successfully wrapped, Dwight and I took a 7-hour van ride to hand-deliver donations and visit the two children’s homes with our travel buddies Mark, Joel and Agnes.

Baan Unrak and Baan Dada educate and empower orphaned or otherwise impoverished kids—not only Thais but also Karen and Mon refugees who’ve been driven from their homes and persecuted by the Burmese military dictatorship. The children are instructed in playing musical instruments, sewing, fixing motorbikes, art, languages and technical skills. They’re taught to respect all people, creatures, religion and to practice vegetarianism. The homes also provide jobs for refugees and local families who help care for the children, assist with farming, construction and weaving projects.

Wandering through Sangklaburi farmland with the Baan Dada children

Hanging out with kids like these is a transformative experience. They are some of the poorest people in the world, often living in crummy conditions, many have lost their families, yet they are the most cheerful and gracious little people you’ll ever meet.

Words cannot describe, so I’ll let this video do the job for me. This is a montage of many of the great kids I’ve had the opportunity to share time with while helping out at Baan Dada, Baan Unrak, F.F.A.C., Chonburi Center, and more.

Whatever you do, watch this video.

Spending time with children in need will change your life. Once you begin to understand the loss some of them have experienced, the disadvantage they are at—and yet they still exude love—it should cause you to reevaluate how you look at your own life. You can’t help but smile around some of these kids.

The only activity I’ve found yet that is guaranteed to keep a smile on my face.

Find children in need (they are everywhere, unfortunately). Go and give generously with your time and any other resources you can share.

Some of the awesome kids at Baan Unrak

Some of the awesome kids at Baan Unrak

This message is dedicated to a gracious, playful little tyke who lost his life way before his time. Ali Baba lost a battle with disease on Thursday, September 17th, just two days after we said goodbye to him and the other children at Baan Dada. The loss was unbearable and affected a lot of us. Rest in peace, friend.

Cody with Ali Baba

If you’d like to make a donation on his behalf, the home is building a new medical clinic and needs your help. You can sponsor a child’s food and healthcare needs for three months for only $187. Donate to Baan Dada.