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In case you missed it, recently on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast (JRE) #739, Christopher Ryan, Joe Rogan, and Duncan Trussell spoke at length about the new, growing class of Western technical professionals quitting their 9-to-5 jobs, some of them RVing across the USA, or even becoming permanent travelers and “digital nomads” — pioneering a new way of living beyond borders.

I still highly recommend you pay your taxes, but this is an interesting conversation nonetheless!

Dr. Chris Ryan is a psychologist, speaker, and author of New York Times best seller Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships, and also host of his own podcast “Tangentially Speaking”. Duncan Trussell is a stand-up comedian, and host of his own podcast “The Duncan Trussell Family Hour“.

Watch the full JRE #739 episode here (Highly recommended!)

Learn more about 61-year-old fitness trainer and perpetual traveler Steve Maxwell here.

 

the King must Rise

This is a guest post from Charlie Houpert of Charisma on Command. He helps people to create their dream lives by practicing courage and improving their charisma.

Ever wonder what allows some people to live the dream?

I’m talking about breaking out of the 9-5 office life, traveling the world, and pursuing projects you genuinely care about. Have you heard of people doing that and though “Damn, I wish I could do that?”

Then buckle up.

I’m about to share with you a powerful mindset that will enable you to finally set up your life so that you can escape the corporate grind. If you’re 100% fulfilled by your job – perfect. This post isn’t for you. But if part of you longs for that world traveling, self-employed dream, I want you to know you can have it literally within the next few weeks.

But before I talk about the mindset, first watch this scene from Batman: The Dark Knight Rises…

Why? Because it’s a metaphor. You are Bruce Wayne. The prison is your job. And the rope is everything you think you need.

You’ll see how soon.

My Story

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I have an apartment 2 ½ blocks from the beach that I share with 5 of my best friends For half of what we spent in NYC, we eat out every night, spend part of every day on the beach, and are healthier and happier then ever.

And we all work for ourselves.

People assume I must have had some charmed background to live like this. Mom and Dad must be supporting me or I must have sold my company for a crazy exit.

Not at all.

I moved to Brazil five months ago with $20,000 in the bank, $100,000 in debt, and no job prospects. That’s a net worth of -$80,000 for the numerically challenged.

Chances are you are not in financial circumstances worse that that. So if I can set up the dream with such dismal financials, you can too.

You just have to shift your mindset. Make the shift and you can be on your own beach – wherever that may be – by the end of the month.

What’s the mindset?

Make the Climb Without the Rope

What is the rope?

The rope is everything that feels like your lifeline. The things that guarantee you’ll wind up right back where you started if you should take a risk and fail. The rope represents certainty and security.

The rope is your paycheck.

The esteem of your colleagues.

The flawless resume.

The comfort of continually saving, month after month

As long as you insist on having those things, you’re tied to the status quo. You’ll stay in the corporate world because it is the ONLY way to maintain them. There is no monthly salary for traveling the world and pursuing what you love (at least not immediately). Plus, if you leave your current job, you’ll miss the upcoming promotion and the glowing HBS recommendation from your boss.

If you want to get out of the corporate world, you need to be willing to leave the corporate world behind. Sounds obvious, but people forget that also means leaving the security of the corporate world behind. That means leaving behind an ever-increasing bank account, the adulation of your colleagues, a sure-fire 3-year plan… all that gets temporarily tossed out the window. And the more you insist on not leaving behind those things, the more stuck to your current situation you become.

Which reveals the paycheck/the resume/the rope for what they really are… they’re not safety nets. They’re chains. They might keep you safe from catastrophe, but they also ensure that you’ll never break free to live the life of your dreams.

If You’re Still in the Corporate World, Maybe You Can Relate

Maybe you’ve heard yourself say:

I don’t have enough money

I need someone to go with me

I’m not as brave as other people

Life isn’t about goofing off

What would everyone say?

Every one of these excuses says: “I NEED MORE CERTAINTY THAT THIS WILL WORK!” The irony is that it is only by giving up certainty and security that you can achieve something greater.

So what should I do?

Try this. It’s an exercise from The Four Hour Work Week called fear setting.

What if you stopped caring about all the things that give you security today?

What if you cut the rope?

Seriously…

Ask yourself: what would happen if you HAD to leave work in 90 days to chase your dream for at least six months?

List it out.

  • Your bank account would take a hit, that’s for sure.
  • There’d be a gaping hole in your resume.
  • Some people would think you were crazy (and some people would think you were a hero).
  • You’d piss off your boss and your family.
  • You’d have to find some other way to pay for yourself.

Not ideal. But not terrible. You could get another job. Earn money doing side gigs.

And if things went belly up you could come back on your hands and knees and beg your way into a similar position, given the skills you’ve developed.

All in all, pretty recoverable.

And what’s the upside?

Worst-case scenario, you’d be living the dream for six months. Then back to the doldrums to save up enough money to take another crack at doing something you love.

Best-case scenario, you find a way to make the dream sustainable by working for yourself. That decision to leave could be the best decision of your life.

But you won’t make that decision as long as you refuse to take a risk. You won’t make it out of prison if you insist on wearing the rope. That’s not how the climb works.

So Are You Still Committed to Getting Out?

Seriously?

Then do what I did. This is what got me out after 2 years of talking about it and not doing anything. And it worked the first try.

Set a FIRM date within the next four months to leave your job. A specific date – i.e. April 5th. Take into consideration bonuses, and projects and all that good stuff, but absolutely do not postpone it until next year. It needs to be real.

Then schedule time to talk to your boss and let him/her know. That will force you to stay committed to your pursuing your dreams. If you keep it as an internal commitment, you may waver. Tell your boss you’re leaving and you’ve got no other option.

You can even pitch it to your boss as a necessary six-month sabbatical. If you like, you can leave the door open to return. Though remember, you’re not asking permission to leave. You’re telling your boss you’re leaving and offering him the chance to get you back at the end of six months (if you decide that’s what you want).

The point is: stop waiting for a perfect fall back plan. Put a date on the calendar and force yourself to do what you know you should, come what may. Like Tim Ferriss says:

“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

To get out, you have to make the climb without the rope.

Watch it again.

Now, rise.

Anyone motivated to be successful—to really make an impact with your life—has a list of important things they want to do. Things to have, things to be. Places they want to go, people they’d love to meet.

You may not have a list of life goals all written down on paper. You probably keep an immediate to-do list, you might have some of your long-term life goals written down on scraps of paper or word doc lists on your computer here and there, but you know at the very least you have those things somewhere in the back of your mind.

I’ve challenged myself with yearly goals in the last couple years, and I’ve mapped out plans for my businesses and different projects. I don’t frequently achieve everything on my lists, but as my friend Ramit Sethi once told me, if you’re not failing at a couple things each month, you’re not trying hard enough.

And I’ve found that sharing those goals publicly gives me additional motivation and accountability to follow through, and sometimes friends and readers can offer words of advice, help, or partnership on some goals.

I’ve had some pieces of the puzzle in the works for a long time, but I hadn’t put together a comprehensive “bucket list” of things I want to do before I die until recently. It wasn’t until Sean Ogle recently wrote about bucket lists, and how to identify the most important life goals that will enable you to achieve the other items on your list—the travel goals, the possessions, the fun stuff—that I finally got motivated to really solidify my whole life list and put it out here to share with the world.

Several friends and bloggers have compiled great bucket lists that have helped inspire some of the things I decided to put on my list. There’s a mix of places I’d love to jet set, landmarks I’d like to see, adventures I’d like to have, experiences I hope to share with specific friends and family, and of course I immediately took Sean’s advice and prioritized the importance of the enabling goals that will make everything else possible.

So without further ado, here’s my bucket list—or, 84 adventures you can follow me on here at Thrilling Heroics:

Enabling Goals

  1. Develop an online business that earns over $3000/month in passive income.
  2. Build a blog with 10,000+ subscribers.
  3. Write an ebook or launch a digital product that earns $6,000+.
  4. Publish a best-selling book.
  5. Achieve 100% freedom from all debt.
  6. Get an article published in the print edition of Esquire, GQ, Wired, Details, or Maxim magazine.
  7. Leverage my blog audience to make a major positive impact in at least 10 peoples lives (we’ve already helped my friend Ryan, and Tim & Rodrigo (two scholarship awardees at Digital Nomad Academy).
  8. Speak at South by Southwest Interactive and stick around for the music festival in Austin, Texas.
  9. Set up a Hong Kong corporation.
  10. Make at least $200K in a given year.
  11. Get a second passport, and maybe a third too.
  12. Complete my Personal MBA.
  13. Attend an official TED Conference. (Already had the honor of helping plan the locally-organized TEDxBKK!)
  14. Sell my photography and other creative artwork.
  15. Organize a lifestyle business summit (March 2014 in Costa Rica! – a 5 so far SE Asia)

Adventures to Have & Things to Do

  1. Learn to rock climb in Railay Beach, Krabi.
  2. Climb up to the mountaintop Wat Tum Sua Temple in Krabi, Thailand.
  3. Learn to sail.
  4. Climb a volcano.
  5. Eat slow-roasted crispy suckling pig in Bali (delicious babi guling).
  6. Spend a week with friends at Burning Man in the Nevada desert.
  7. Go skydiving. Go skydiving again.
  8. Learn to play guitar.
  9. Reactivate my French and achieve fluency.
  10. Learn to speak conversational Spanish. (half-way there in Colombia 2014)
  11. Get in the best shape of my life with my trainer Tom Frearson.
  12. Replace my morning coffee with Yerba Maté for at least a week.
  13. Get a tattoo with a design from my best friend.
  14. Take my dad to eat real Kobe beef at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant CUT in Los Angeles.
  15. Spend a whole lot more time with my grandfather and learn about his life before he leaves us.
  16. Raise another dog.
  17. Take my best friend Patrick to a Daft Punk concert.
  18. Share a beer with Carlos Miceli in South America. (Sept 2013 in Santiago, Chile)
  19. Settle abroad for at least 3 months elsewhere in Asia, in Central and South America, and Europe.
  20. Live at least 3 months in San Francisco, San Diego, and Austin, Texas.
  21. Work for a month at a winery—like, in the fields, growing grapes—in California or France wine country.
  22. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible Lamborghini.
  23. Camp under the stars on the beach and see the sun rise. (2009 in Prachuap, Thailand)
  24. Participate in the world’s biggest water fight during Thailand’s New Year’s festivities (Songkran).
  25. Do a beach photoshoot with a swimsuit model.
  26. Go to a shooting range and fire off a Kalashnikov rifle and a Desert Eagle .50 Action Express. More importantly, learn to disassemble & reassemble them.
  27. Drive a Tesla Roadster.
  28. Take a gondola along the Venice canals in Italy.
  29. Ride camel back across the Sahara desert.
  30. Take a Serengeti safari in Tanzania and Kenya.
  31. Trek through the jungle on the back of an elephant.
  32. See the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (twice).
  33. See the view from the top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  34. Party on Ibiza for New Year’s Eve in Spain’s Ballearic Islands.
  35. Go to the Glastonbury Festival in England and see Stonehenge.
  36. Participate in the Brazilian Carnaval celebration.
  37. See what Mardi Gras and Voodoo Fest are all about in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  38. Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with my son.
  39. Learn to surf (took lessons in Bali 2010). Learn to surf properly!
  40. Learn to DJ or mix electronic music.
  41. Own a Ducati motorcycle.
  42. Buy and restore a 1965 or 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350.
  43. Stay in an over-the-water bungalow in beautiful Bora Bora in the French Polynesian islands.
  44. Spontaneously walk into the airport and randomly buy a same-day ticket to wherever looks appealing.
  45. Drive the Amalfi coast near Sorrento, Italy.
  46. Rent a villa on Lake Como or Lake Lugano with friends.
  47. Own a small bar or restaurant with live music.
  48. Leave any wealth or assets I have when I go out to people who really deserve and need them.

Places to Travel & Landmarks to See

  1. The ancient temples at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  2. The Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece
  3. The Sistine Chapel and Vatican City in Rome, Italy
  4. The pyramids at Giza, Egypt
  5. Machu Picchu in Peru
  6. The home of the Oracle at Delphi, Greece
  7. The Taj Mahal
  8. The ancient city of Petra, carved into canyon walls in southern Jordan
  9. The Karnak temple and the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt
  10. The Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza near Cancun, Mexico
  11. Iguazu Falls on the Argentina/Brazil border
  12. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
  13. The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  14. The Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines
  15. The Borobudur stuppa in Java, Indonesia
  16. Gorgeous Zion National Park, Utah
  17. Niagara Falls lit up at night
  18. Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
  19. Jerusalem’s Old City
  20. The Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
  21. The abbey of Mont-St-Michel in France

You’ll notice I’ve included a few things I’ve already accomplished (plus I come back to update this list every few months, so things are continually getting crossed off).

I’ve also taken Sean’s advice to have a few things that will be easier to achieve, and a few goals I can obtain in the very near future.

I think when you make your own list it’s important to recognize the big things you’ve already done that you’d always dreamed of, and include a few “gimme” goals so you can start off strong and stay motivated.

Of course I expect that my feelings about some items on the list may change throughout the course of my life. I may not achieve everything, some of my goals will change, or I may add new items to the list. But, it’s a starting point and it’s something I can always refer back to to remind me what I want to accomplish.

Of course if there’s anything you can help me achieve, or something you want to join in on, leave a shout out and we’ll talk! 

What’s on Your List?

Take a look at my in-depth breakdown of how to establish meaningful personal and professional goals for yourself in all the important realms of your life. It’s written to help you establish yearly goals, but the principles can be applied to building your own life goals list too.

If you have a bucket list already, share it. If not, take a look at the above articles and get on it! Your time here is short, so remember to value every day you have and make the most of it.

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.

personal finance wealth

Ramit Sethi was one of the earliest bloggers to inspire me when I first started writing my original site ‘Thrilling Heroics’ and building my professional network.

A Stanford alumni who studied technology and psychology, Ramit was one of the original co-founders of Silicon Valley startup PBworks, and runs the hugely successful I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog to help college students and young professionals take control of their personal finances and succeed with entrepreneurship.

I first met him in person in our hometown Sacramento, California, one chilly winter day in 2006 when he was home to visit his family, and I had the opportunity to interview him about his education, entrepreneurship experience, and his perspectives on new media.

One of the first bold moves Ramit made in his career was to call up Seth Godin and negotiate a job opportunity with him. He later consulted with Omidyar Network, the philanthropic social innovation firm started by Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar.

I Will Teach You to Be RichIn March 2006, Ramit published his definitive personal finance book, which immediately hit #1 on Amazon and made him a New York Times bestselling author. His educational background in social psychology translated well into a thorough guidebook that helps readers make real behavioral change:

At last, for a generation that’s materially ambitious yet financially clueless comes I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi’s 6-week personal finance program for 20-to-35-year-olds. A completely practical approach delivered with a nonjudgmental style that makes readers want to do what Sethi says, it is based around the four pillars of personal finance—banking, saving, budgeting, and investing—and the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship.

This week Ramit is adapting his bestseller into a six-week online bootcamp

After meeting recently with him in San Francisco, I’ve been wanting to bring him on for a video interview to share what has changed in the last three years. Here’s our fascinating discussion:

Check out the full video interview here for the following:

  • How Ramit turned his writing and personal expertise into a 6-week personal finance training program
  • The massive importance of TAKING ACTION
  • The value of FREE content versus INVESTING in your success
  • How to use a blog as a laboratory for launching your own business and life experiments
  • What defines a RICH life? (what Ramit values most)
  • How to leverage failures to reach SUCCESS
  • How Ramit made the leap from blogger to NYT best-selling author
  • Personal finance & entrepreneurship tips for travelers & expats

lifestyle design Ramit Sethi interview

To learn more about Ramit Sethi, social psychology, technology in business, scrappy startups, and x-man abilities, make sure you also read my 2006 interview with him.