#73: Money Update, Culture, Twitter Friends & More
😎 Navigating life, work & what matters
November 2nd, 2019:
Greetings from Taipei! I’m taking advantage of my company’s unlimited vacation policy and traveling the next few weeks with my mother, aunt and uncle in Asia. See you on the 29th!
👋 We had a bunch more signups this week via Holloway and some other sources. Welcome aboard Juan, Tao, Matthew, Desiree, Sid, Mike, Lance, Tyler, Ben, Nando, "quizaddict", Willem, Wendy, Corneliu, Beth, Zorica, Svetha, Bibek, Kevin, Gabi, Rich, Brian and a few more!
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💬 From a friend in Chicago this week: “I’m really just so exhausted from always having to talk about work”
#1 Checking In From Taiwan
Hey there friends! We’ve had a lot of signups in the past few weeks from various sources, so I thought I’d briefly check-in on where I am with some of my work (and if you’re wondering who I am, check out the link at the bottom).
I’m about to kick-off a 2.5 week “vacation” traveling with my Mom, Aunt and Uncle through Asia - their first time! I’m excited to see everything again through their eyes and to share the life I’m building over here in Asia.
One person said it seems through my writing that I am “thriving” - I’m not sure how to quantify that but it does seem to align with how I’m feeling these days. I feel damn lucky and so filled with gratitude.
I may not be succeeding on any traditional metrics, but in terms of being aware, connected, working on things that matter to me and being able to help people I am quite satisfied with how I’m spending most of my days.
Over the past year, I’ve gone through a pretty dramatic shift in the shape of my work, shifting away from consulting towards online courses and digital products. I’m wrapping two online courses I ran in October and I’m reflecting on how those might integrate into my work going forward.
Here is a money update and a couple new articles I wrote this past week:
💵 Money Update
I haven’t done the detailed update of my month to month spending, mostly because I have a good sense of what I’m spending living a pretty stable life in Taipei. Over the past 18 months, I’ve gone through a pretty dramatic shift in how I make money. Here is a breakdown of my Revenue:
This has been a pretty drastic shift, but one that feels much more aligned with my long term vision for the kind of work I want to do (teaching people, making sense of ideas through writing & digital creations & being engaged in communities that care about learning). Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the shift
When I first started freelancing, I wanted to figure out how to work in many different ways, with the hypothesis that this would build my confidence more than hitting a money goal and I’m finding that this has been a good mindset for the first few years of being self-employed.
Even though I’ll probably have my lowest earnings year as a freelancer this year, the ability to live & work anywhere and the options that seem possible for hacking a living seem greater than ever.
✍ Two New Articles! - “LIFE MBA” & Culture
First, my idea for a “one year life MBA” as an alternative to investing in jobs via tax handouts and as an alternative to UBI.
Next I did a deep dive into Edgar Schein's thinking on culture & anxiety, which most people in the corporate world just aren't aware of
#2 Shorter Workweeks 📅
Buffer has been an innovative company in terms of corporate culture. They recently shared the results from their half-day Friday experiment and found that people were more productive:
I’ve written about how other companies like basecamp have found similar results. Working less hours forces a deeper focus on doing work that counts and being more productive.
The employees at buffer want them to keep going:
If you have power on your team, what’s stopping you from implementing a similar experiment for a couple months and tracking results?
#3 PODCAST: Visa Veerasamy On Twitter & Creating His Own Work 🎙
Visa wants to connect friendly nerds around the world. We talk about our somewhat shared mission along those lines, how he uses twitter to make friends and how he created his own work before taking the leap to self-employment.
👍 A fun listen if you’re not familiar with Twitter and digital communities.
#4 Late Bloomers (h/t John M) 👴💡👵
This article argues for more space for cultivating late bloomers and acceptance that real “becoming” may only happen in our mid-life:
As you move forward, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s never too late to “become” yourself. Aristotle, for example, didn’t fully devote himself to writing and philosophy until he was nearly 50. There are also benefits to taking a long, winding path to self-fulfillment.
Remember that age typically brings wisdom, resilience, humility, self-knowledge, and creativity. This is one reason the average age of founders of high-growth start-ups is 45. Citing the work of developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, Karlgaard writes, the “ages 40 to 64 constitute a unique period where one’s creativity and experience combine with a universal human longing to make our lives matter.”
A short, but wise article. Highly recommended!
#5 “Generous With Their Precious Lives” (h/t Khuyen)
Charles Eisenstein, author of one of my favorite books, Sacred Economics, reflects on his own drives for “success” and how he thinks about generosity.
As I run into more such people and hear their stories, I realize that I don’t need to worry about the size of my audience or about reaching “people of influence.” My job is just to do my work with as much love and sincerity as I can. I can trust that the right people will read it. I am awed and humbled by people like Roy whom I meet in my travels and in my community. They live in service, in love, with great faith and courage, and unlike me they don’t have thousands of people telling them how important their work is.
In fact, quite often the system and culture we live in discourages them, telling them that they are foolish, naïve, irresponsible, impractical, and giving them little financial reward. How many times have you been told a life dedicated to beauty or nurture or healing is unrealistic? Maybe after everything on your farm is all ship-shape, maybe after you are personally secure with a solid career and secure investments, maybe then you can afford a little generosity.
So I admire people who are generous first, generous with their precious lives. They are my teachers. They are the ones who have eroded my ambition to make it big — even with the excuse of serving the cause.
The whole article is worth reading.
That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!
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