Dan Andrews Is Stalking Me

A friend of mine recently suggested I check out a site called Tropical MBA. I finally got around to giving it a close read, and had one of those nights where you burn through a blog’s entire archive, then the archives of the author’s friends, and their friend’s friends, and so on. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, travel, and the nexus of the two, you need to click that link. This post will still be here when you come back at 4am.

Tropical MBA is a particularly interesting read to me though, because the author appears to be stalking me. Or more likely, he put a virtual assistant on the job.

Want proof? Here is an excerpt from Dan’s post on the 1000 Day Rule:

“In my experience, here is what those 1000 days often looks like…

Before Your 1000 Days (the yearning**)

  • You are writing a blog about YOU. The reason you do it is “networking.”
  • You are hating your job.
  • You quit your job and travel on savings.
  • You are buying products from blogs that make a little money on how to make a little money with your blog.
  • You talk about this stuff with your family and friends.
  • You are failing at affiliate marketing.
  • You try to partner up with your best friend or girlfriend.
  • You are buying a bunch of domains, staring a bunch of projects, and stopping when competition shows up.
  • You check out the 30 Day Challenge.
  • You love Zen Habits. You think you could probably do something similar.
  • You write bitter blog posts about 4HWW.”

(Read the rest of the post for the context. Bottom line, ‘The Yearning’ is the time before an entrepreneur gets serious and starts grinding.)

My response to reading this list was something along the lines of this:

 

Let’s do a quick inventory:

  • You are writing a blog about YOU. The reason you do it is “networking.”

Partially true. I am indeed writing a blog about ME ME ME, but my primary motivation is to measure and record my progress in various self-improvement projects, and to share what I learn with like-minded people.

  • You are hating your job.

True, until I quit. I had a desk job that offered me the rare combination of good pay, easy hours, and interesting work. I still hated it. God knows how I would have felt about a more typical job with actual supervision and crap work.

  • You quit your job and travel on savings.

Greetings from Chiang Mai!

  • You are buying products from blogs that make a little money on how to make a little money with your blog.

Partially true. I don’t buy many information products, but Art of Non-Conformity, Advanced Riskology, Gary V, and Hugh Macleod are all regular reads of mine. They’re smart guys, and I’ve learned a lot from them, but they are all primarily in the business of teaching people how to make money online, by teaching people how to make money online.

  • You talk about this stuff with your family and friends.

True, before I left home. Since then, I’ve been hanging with a few smart guys out here who’ve asked me some hard questions about how exactly I’m going to make money with my collection of unfocused, undefined projects, and lack of total commitment to getting them off the ground. In other words, the best kind of hard questions. (Thanks guys!)

  • You are failing at affiliate marketing.

True. Had an idea, built a Cafepress store. Realized 100+ other guys had the same idea, and had the artistic/graphic design skills to do it 10x better than me. Tucked tail and ran.

  • You try to partner up with your best friend or girlfriend.

Nope. Lone wolf, baby! I assume this is Dan’s attempt to throw me off the trail.

  • You are buying a bunch of domains, staring a bunch of projects, and stopping when competition shows up.

Buying domains, check. Too many ideas, not enough focus, check. Running away from a market because of competition, check.

  • You check out the 30 Day Challenge. [Referring to this, I believe, a 30-day low-carb eating challenge]

Well, I committed to living a ridiculously healthy first month in Thailand. No alcohol, 100% fresh, healthy food, Muay Thai several hours a day. Mission accomplished, and I’m in the best shape of my life. Prior to that, here’s one of my first posts on this blog: The One-Month Paleolithic Challenge. Really, my life is best understood as a never-ending series of one-month challenges.

  • You love Zen Habits. You think you could probably do something similar.

I do love Zen Habits (the early archives anyways), and I did do something similar, i.e. build a website that is a broad collection of articles on self improvement and information overload. (With, uh, slightly less success than Leo of course.)

  • You write bitter blog posts about 4HWW.

This final bullet point is the only reason I’m not filing for a restraining order against Dan and his network of private investigators, for I am as unabashed of a fan boy of 4HWW as any man that has ever walked the earth. In the Freedom Twenty-Five Book, I have called The 4HWW “quite possibly the most important book of our generation.” If Tim Ferriss errs in overstating the ease with which location independent businesses can be created, his optimism is a necessary counterweight to the barrage of negativity budding entrepreneurs will encounter from the rest of the world.

So I guess Dan Andrews isn’t stalking me after all. But whatever the case, I’m grateful for the advice. I needed the kick in the ass. I needed to be reminded that I’m still in a phase of my life that is well-characterized as “The Yearning.”

In the past couple of days, I’ve been feeling eerily similar to how I felt just over a year ago, right before I started Freedom Twenty-Five. I’ve made a ton of progress in my life since then, and I feel much better about my adrift-ness than I did as a bored, chubby cubicle drone. But I also know that it’s time to do some thinking, to take a walk in the snow.

The core message of the Freedom Twenty-Five book is that once you take control of the lower-order needs of your life (health, money, sex and focus) you are free to identify and pursue your purpose. Well, I did it! So, here I am Purpose! Come find me! Whatchoo got?

But of course, it doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t find you, you find it. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe there is no “it” and life is just doing the best you can, with what you have, where you are. I don’t know. Certainty is hard to come by. We should celebrate it when it does however, so here are four things I am certain of:

1) Tropical MBA is the best blog I’ve come across in a long time. Read it.

2) If you’re going to be adrift, you might as well be healthy, financially secure, and getting laid like a rock star while you float. Check out Freedom Twenty-Five: A 21st-Century Man’s Guide To Life, available wherever fine books are sold.

3) I’m going to spend the next year traveling, reading, partying, learning, making connections, and frowning at random objects with my hand on my chin:

 

4) Other than that, I have no fscking clue what direction my life will take over the next few years, or decade. Should be fun.