I love books, and I especially love books that help me!
When it comes to remote working and preparing for nomadic traveling I have had a lot of books influence me throughout the recent year. When I think of some of the best and most helpful books I have read in the past year, there are many more than just four that come to mind. However, without these four main books that I am giving away to one lucky awesome life nomad, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be blogging here, I wouldn’t have quit my job when I did, and I certainly wouldn’t have clarity as to where my life’s passion is.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all need a little motivation from time to time to get ourselves back on track. Unless you are some weird anomoly that is 200% motivated, 100% of the time, then well maybe I am wrong.
Usually it only takes me one motivational video to get me back on track when I’m in a lull, but here are five videos that make my top list!
1. Hard Work & Patience
Gary Vaynerchuk can usually get me pumped. He just recently came out with a new video that is a bit different than his past stuff. I loved it. It got me back in the mood to dominate once more, and I think it will help you too!
2. What if Money Were No Object
I watch and listen to this a few times per week. It reminds me of what really matters in my life. I used to be a man that wanted to achieve a material wealth first, and this quickly opened my eyes to the importance of experiences over things and money.
3. GoPro Video’s in General
If I ever need a little motivation to be more active, GoPro Youtube’s channel is the place I usually visit. Besides the fact that I am sitting on my ass as I watch their videos, GoPro has a special place in my heart for motivating me. They can really capture unique individuals and groups that are following their passions in life (which I love). That alone makes you want to get out there and do it. So here is one of my favorite videos of theirs.
4. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Steve Jobs is a huge inspiration for me. Maybe not to you. But regardless of your opinion about this very important figure in the world technology, this speech will move you in some way to follow a path today towards what you love.
5. Tony Robbins For The Win
I used to always hear people talk about this guy named Tony Robbins, and I felt weird for not knowing who he was. It wasn’t until about a year ago when I started exploring and listening to some of his stuff. I will say, some may think some of his stuff is a bit cliche, but I love how clear he makes things. Listen to this video, and then explore some of his other longer talks when you get a chance.
There, I gave you what I believe to be a fair mix of different videos to pull different heart strings. If you had the chance to watch all five, I hope you feel motivated to follow your passions, energized to hustle and fight through, excited for new adventures, ready to shed societies norms, and humbled to find the line of your success and what you want.
I am interested to know what video you liked best!Let me know in the comments below.
If you found this montage of videos helpful, please share it with your friends. 🙂
Just recently, I had the itch to watch a favorite movie of mine, “Catch Me If You Can”Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.. It has been many years since I last watched this movie, and so many of the scenes I had totally forgotten about. The one scene that really stuck out to me is when Frank Abagnale Sr. won an award and gave a simple speech that about two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. It resonates so well with the theme of this blog.
Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.
To put it simply, it is a humble reminder that if you want to be successful in your pursuits you must never give up. You may feel like there is no way out sometimes, but if you keep on working hard the end in sight will eventually come.
You will eventually have your own butter and other’s will have drowned in cream.
I usually wake up in the morning and go directly to my office, which so happens to be the desk in my room, the local coffee shop, or some random bus or airplane terminal. Regardless of where I am, I have an odd obsession with breakfast. I end up pushing it back until noonish but have no fear, I always end up having my favorite breakfast snack, a bagel.
One day, as I unwound the bagel bag to pick a circle of deliciousness out for my sandwich in the afternoon, I was struck by something very odd looking. Yes, the bagel I had chosen was far from symmetrical and was actually awkwardly lopsided.
My initial instinct was to put it back in the bag and choose another more ‘normal’ bagel. As I began to do this I realized, “Why the hell are you doing this Ian?”. Besides the fact that you now know I talk to myself, at this very moment in time I was instantly taken aback by my actions. I had made such an incredibly rash judgement about a bagel that was just a bit different than all the rest.
I felt ashamed of myself, almost like I had let everything I stand for wash away into a bagel abyss. I took a moment and reflected on the incredibly small but reverent thought. I had just judged a bagel by it’s looks and not for what it stands for and offers the world.
Okay, so you may be a little creeped out by my personification of a regular ol’ bagel, but I think this small moment in my life can serve a much bigger meaning.
Sometimes you may feel like this lopsided bagel. You may feel like you don’t belong, like everyone is looking at you weird, and even perhaps that no one will love you or support you in your journey. To be honest, there are going to be times where all of that is true (well your family usually loves you). However, let go of what preconceived stereotypes people put on you, your confidence in being yourself will shine through and usually show to those you interact with.
Example land time
In my daily life, the hardest thing I try to shed from myself is my age. At the tender age of twenty-one, it is hard to get respect from some adults while doing business. Let me rephrase that, it is difficult if you let your weakness define you.
You see, I may be twenty-one but I provide valuable insight and partake in conversations with adults that have them question my age continually. I am only able to do this because I believe in myself and that I have value to provide. You should believe this about yourself as well!
We all have insecurities no matter how large or small, and we will always have things that work against us. Just know, that the quicker you face these insecurities or so called “disadvantages”, the quicker you will be able to grow as a person and as a professional.
Never allow a stereotype define you, the word disadvantage only exists for those who consciously decide to give up on breaking the standard mold. Being yourself is the first step to awesome, the second is embracing that being a lopsided bagel is a GREAT THING!
Key takeaways if you don’t read paragraphs:
Bagels are delicious
Being confident in your views and expertise will shed any preconceived stereotypes
Embrace that you’re different, and find a way to use it to your advantage
WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE? LETS HEAR IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW
Whether you follow my life adventures or not, you probably have seen or clued in that I am a huge advocate for following a path that you love in life.
Let me first take you back six months to set up the rest of this article…
Six months ago I decided to leave my startup, I lost my social media clients, and I had moved back home with my parents during the summer. In the short of it, I was living the exact life I told myself I would never live again. I was in a major entrepreneurial slump. I had no brilliant business idea to pursue, little motivation as to my own professional worth, and barely enough money to even get coffee at the local shop.
I was shit out of luck, and my ambitions and dreams seemed so much larger than my current reality at the time.
As the summer was quickly ending, I needed to figure out my next step. I set a goal that I would not live at home for longer than a month, so I quickly began to search for something, almost anything.
That’s when I came across a branding agency that was searching for someone just like me. A jack of all trades in the creative and marketing world. Don’t get me wrong, at the time this is where I thought I may belong.
Just like that, I was scheduled for an interview in a week. I had never experienced this world of interviewing for a job. I had always employed myself, and had to prove myself to clients and not employers. Luckily, it seemed that the few years I had in selling myself and my services paid off in the interview. I was offered the job a week later.
So there I was, now an entrepreneur/pilot/marketer with a job in branding. I was excited intially at the thought of the agency life. Sexy sounding, but far from it.
Again, don’t get me wrong there were great moments at the agency and I learned so much there. At the end of the day however, I felt empty and the sex appeal of being at an agency wore off. I thought the emptiness was just a feeling that would come and go.
I had the case of the Don Drapers
But it never left.
I kept feeling weighed down by a life of routine, a life of desk sitting, a life that was neither very entrepreneurial or aviation related.
I quickly began having multiple nights spent sad, some could say even a bit depressed and extremely unfulfilled. This feeling can be similar to entrepreneurial struggles, but this was a different kind of unbearable. I know, it may sound dramatic but this is all true. You need to hear this.
Luckily, whenever I hit extreme low points in my life such as this I do three things: I reflect, find a better way, and then take action. This is easier said than done, but if you hit low points in your life know that there is always a better way and it is never too late to change course.
So I reflected…
Photo by: Timber & Frame
I asked myself the 5 Why’s just like Ben wrote about in his article. I did this in hopes that I could find exactly what it was I wanted at my core.
I started with this: I knew I had to be around airplanes more.
WHY? Well, because airplanes are what makes me feel complete.
WHY? Because the community around airplanes is so positive.
WHY? Because pilots and aviation lovers all have a similar bond about the mission of flight.
WHY? Because aviation is challenging, but success in aviation is a culmination of so many different things coming together at once.
WHY? Because flying is challenging but so rewarding.
There! I had it, I had realized that I had been too afraid to admit to myself the one thing that had always been my deepest desire, flying as a career. I had to admit to myself that I was willing to sacrifice some of my entrepreneurial ventures, my job and current life situation in order to pursue my ultimate love which was flight.
For a time reference, this was a long time in the making, far before my job.
Found a better way…
So I knew what I wanted now, but I had to find a way to get there.
Here I was, a man who hated college but knew in order to fly for the major airlines I needed to get a degree and finish my flight training.
Me in my element 🙂
I also knew that if I wanted to finish my flight training AND finish my degree, that something had to give. That thing being my job.
I quickly began researching colleges and flight schools to get prepared for the massive change I was about to make. This was something that was big and I wasn’t about to mess this up.
This is also when I told my family about this change I had to make. As I expected they were all happy to hear that I was going to go back to college. I am also sure they are all apprehensive and cautious to see if I finish this time. (Don’t fret everyone, I will)
Over two weeks ago I left my 8-5 job at that creative agency. The weight that had hung over me for the better part of my stay there was instantly lifted. The negativity and cynicalness that I allowed to enter my life instantly washed away, and I was “Pilot Ian” again.
I took action and now I am working towards my shifted path.
This is why you’re reading this
There’s likely one of two reasons you’re still reading this article.
You love seeing my failures, my sporadic life changes, or my ability to fall and get back up by my own doing.
For those reading because of this, I am still hustling. Whether you think I am crazy, impatient, or just plain stupid I don’t mind. I understand one firm conviction in my life which is to never settle for mediocrity. I believe everyone should hold this conviction (in fact it’s the premise of this entire blog). The moment you settle for anything less than what you firmly desire in life, is the moment you fail. I believe in you, and I am here to help in any way I can in your pursuit as well.
You have a desire deep down to leave your own job. You likely feel unfulfilled in what you do and want to find a way to change course.
For those of you reading because of this, it’s time for you to make a change. Find a way. Follow the three steps of reflecting, finding a way, and then taking action. You can do it.
Life is never the way you plan it out to be, so stop trying to plan it. The moment you admit that life is fluid and ever changing, is the moment you can follow a path that you desire. Know your long term goals but keep them as broad goals. Limit yourself from concrete dates and life goals that could limit you from the beauty of spontaneity and maturity in your mind, body, and spirit.
I have changed my path many times in the past few years. However, I live with little regret and so should you. If you feel like you have changed or you want to change, know that it is okay to do so. There will be those who support you and those who do not. But at the end of the day, support your own vision and your own desires and you will make it. I promise.
It’s that time of the year again where the turkey is freshly carved, the cranberries are beautifully red, and the pies are being sliced.
Many of you will gather around a large table with your family of 5, 10, perhaps even 30 people deep. You will share stories and spend valuable time with each other.
We all get caught up in our own busy worlds during the year. Whether you’re focused on work, travel, or other obligations, we often don’t spend enough time reflecting on something that should be a focus in our lives, our family. The holiday season is luckily by default a friendly reminder of what matters most in our lives.
I challenge you to take this day to put down the devices and spend some valuable time with those who have been there for you through thick and thin, those who you have shared many laughs and tears with.
No one will ever be as supportive in your journey as those who have had a hand in you growing up.
If by chance your family isn’t around, spend this day helping another family in their quest to find joy in their life.
Be thankful that you have this time to share joy, food, and stories. Slow down a bit, work can be done tomorrow.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
If you didn’t know, I am running a Thanksgiving week book giveaway. It’s super easy to enter to win a copy of $100 Startup (a life changing book for me).
With the Thanksgiving season quickly approaching, I wanted to wish all of my readers and subscribers a happy turkey week.
“The $100 Startup” by: Chris Guillebeau changed my freelance and online business life. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to journey into the world of self-employment (solopreneurism) and remote work.
This is why, I have decided to give one lucky participant a hard backed copy of this great book!
The winner will be randomly chosen on Dec 1.
Don’t forget, if you share the giveaway to get other of your friends involved you can earn up to 3 additions entrances for EACH friend who enters.
To heal one’s self from the ailments of daily living, to create a constant state of active rest. This is the prescription to a subscription of livelihood: investing on being grounded. Be the one rooted in the nutrients that nuirsh the world.
It’s not about making the world a better place. It’s about making yourself the best self you can be. That is the hero’s journey. That is living with intent. To go from the depths of your human resource, to emerge as one of the beings which is being exactly what is was meant to be.
Living the bliss, being Buddha mind, or wui-wui (the uncarved wooden block). Caring for one’s self is not selfish- it is really selfless, for acts of self care benefit others, as taking care of others is best for of self care.
Well… thus means, not to be superficial, but you need to become a MAN. A real mother fucking man. With all the trials and tribulations of adulthood. Real relationships, be fit, eat well, take care of finances, have your shit together. Be that sexy ass man women find endeering.
Then- as you continue to be your mindfull, full, complete self, you will unlock being wui-wui, sailing lightly on life and finding flow amongst the waves of world.
Life, life is a lot like surfing. Catching the wave and riding effortlessly is not really what surfing is. Surfing is about pursuing the wave, being in the water.
Up in the Air is absolutely my favorite movie of all time.
Why? Because the over-arching message incorporated in this movie is extremely powerful. So powerful that I decided I should dissect just one point from the movie for you today.
For me, movies hit deep in my soul. I crave movies which have meanings that go far beyond just a fun plot line to watch. With Up in the Air, Ryan Binghamm (the main character) played by George Clooney, lives a very modern nomadic lifestyle. He travels over 300 days out of the year and is the guru of frequent flyer programs and knowing how to stay as remote as possible.
He loves almost every aspect of his way of life. In fact, he loves it so much that he even gives motivational talks about it at various events.
The video above is his “empty backpack” theory, but to grasp every word of what he says be sure to also read the script:
How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life… you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV… the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home… I want you to stuff it all into that backpack.
Now I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office… and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack, feel the weight of that bag.
Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake, moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.
His “empty backpack” message simply means: Don’t weigh your life down with non-essential obligations, things, and relationships.
About two years ago I watched this scene and it changed my life. The message he expresses is now a conviction that I carry throughout my life.
Now I ask you, do you ever feel like you are weighed down with too much “stuff”, too many “obligations”, or even too many people and relationships around you?
If so, why aren’t you purging all of this? In our society, it is natural to believe that more of everything is always better. It makes us feel good inside to know that we have more friends, more food, more calendar events, more cars, etc…. But what if you minimized all of it? What if you began to groom your lifestyle differently?
There’s something exhilarating when you imagine a moment in your life where all you have is yourself. It’s a feeling that few people allow themselves to have at some moment in their life’s journey. I beg of you, attempt this. You will be scared to, but you must.
Does this mean that a life alone is what you should desire for eternity? Absolutely not. In order to find where it is you need to go in your convictions and life quests, however, you must first strip down to an empty backpack. You must be able to reflect with no judgment from other outside forces.
Then, once you have found that intense burning conviction, let it lead you into your life. This is exactly the moment when you will be able to start packing your backpack with the right things, relationships, and obligations.
All in all, I believe that if the nomadic lifestyle is something you are looking to work towards, the first step is to watch this modern spin on the lifestyle. This movie changed my life, and I don’t expect it to change yours in the same way… but I am sure it will in some way.
1. Purge your life. Rid yourself of non-essential things, obligations, relationships.
2. Be alone. Begin to reflect on your empty backpack.
3. Once you find your life’s quest or conviction, begin to re-pack your backpack.
4. Invest in a copy of Up in the AirFull Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you., this movie is jam full of valuable quotes and convictions.
Let’s face it, budgeting your finances can be an extremely arduous and downright boring task to do. That is why many of us don’t waste time (especially in our early 20’s) setting budgets for ourselves. I once hated spending time on setting reasonable budgets for myself. I got discouraged at the fact that tracking how much to spend on everything is difficult during the month to month grind.
However, budgeting is a huge part to becoming a true life nomad.
Yep I just said it.
If you want to live the freedom that a life nomading lifestyle offers, you must first have your finances in check. Boring I know, but essential. For me, budgeting has quickly turned into a personal challenge. I have gone from not caring about my monthly spendings to monitoring it with a fine eye.
Now every month, I make it a goal to lower my monthly spending to smaller and smaller amounts so in turn it will eventually allow me to be as free as possible financially from external obligations.
This has dramatically helped me. Now I figure, hey why not share my tips with you!
These are the five tips I would recommend when you begin to budget your life for nomading:
1. Figure out what you REALLY need
My philosophy is to spend money on A. the things that keep you alive and B. stuff that can fit into your car.
If you have a smart car, this analogy need not apply. For the rest of the sane population, adhere to this.
I came to the realization that having the most freedom financially means you must ensure that the things you need are covered like food and rent (if it applies). Everything else needs to fit into your car. If it doesn’t, and if it lacks in priority to other things why do you still own it? Sell it. I bet you won’t miss those material items once they are gone. I say it must fit into your car because if you can consolidate your life’s material good to the essentials you can freely travel without worrying about liquidation of a bunch of stuff.
2. Prioritize your life goals
Too often people think that it takes an ungodly amount of money to survive month to month. But the truth of it is, that’s just plain wrong! You don’t need expensive party-filled weekends or fancy cars. If those are your goals, then great. I venture to guess that if you are reading this, you are looking to accomplish a much different goal. Be sure to prioritize your goals over anything that in the long-run is meaningless for your long-term conviction or vision.
For me, “going out” on weekends is fun. However, when the shit hits the fan I come back down to reality to realize that those dollars spent would be way better served towards the goals I have for spending it on a world quest.
Do your best to stick to a prioritized goal list and let those around you know you don’t dislike them drunk, you just need to save for that nomadic life. 😉
3. Use a budgeting program
I have used a program called Mint™ for about two years now. Mint™ is a free and easy way to view all your finances and set very specific budget goals for every aspect of your spending. They offer a mobile app that is great to work with when you are waiting in-line for Chipotle or doing some other menial task. [Leave in the comments below if you would like to see a tutorial on how to set up Mint to lower your monthly budget]
I have found that this is the single most valuable tool I use on a daily basis. Having a free solution for budgeting that is visually easy to digest makes the whole process actually enjoyable.
4. Throw a few dollars under the mattress
Contrary to most ideals that the life nomading philosophy holds, I highly recommend throwing a dollar here and there into a bank or investment account that isn’t your immediate spending account.
Be that a savings account (boring) or something fun like Acorns (check it out), you choose. If you’re like me, you may not like to sit on money very long. Personally I would rather use it as a means to explore and accomplish my personal goals. While my checking account may look weak to some, it is a humble reminder that I am debt free (article to come on debt) and adventuring in life.
All this being said, setting aside a few bucks a week into an account that isn’t touched unless absolutely needed down the road for the ultimate leap towards nomadic travel or other not so fun emergencies, is a great play for a life nomad.
Don’t be dramatic about this, just put money in there that you really aren’t worried about seeing for a little while.
5. Think ahead
What is it you really want to do? Is it traveling, biking, working from home, beginning a tech start-up perhaps? The single most important step in budgeting your nomadic finances involves taking a minute to think ahead.
As discussed a bit above, you must prioritize your goals. The only way to figure out what those goals must be require you to know, or think you know where you want to see yourself in the future.
I personally have “birds-eye view” type goals. They are very broad goals that still require me to remain goal oriented while also not locking myself into so many pre-determined scenarios. For me, this works well. I know where I want to head, but I am open to the different paths that will help me get there.
For you this may not be as effective. For most it is not. I would highly recommend setting short-term (in the 3 months), mid-term (1-2 years), and longer term (3-5 years) goals. I do this as well, and it proves effective when you have to get stuff done.
Take a breath and let this all soak in…
Now that you had a moment to let these steps soak in, I hope you are as excited as I am to put these into play.
For me, it has dramatically simplified my life. Budgeting is a core component of keeping in-tune with yourself. And being in-tune with everything about yourself is a huge component of being a life nomad.
So now let’s get started, put these steps into action and let me know how you feel in the coming weeks.