How To Monetize A Blog

How To Monetize A Blog

Humans tend to overcomplicate things and making money is certainly on top of the list. But it’s not rocket science. Generally, you have two options: build your business or work for someone else’s business. Either you create value or help someone else create value. Those two paths summarize my early years. When I was in my teens and twenties, I alternated between running my own businesses and helping someone else run theirs.

Blogging is a different beast. I started mine completely by accident. Mostly out of sheer curiosity and boredom. It was sometime in 2009, and I was living in a small apartment in Rio de Janeiro’s colorful Copacabana neighborhood. I was living alone. I was lonely and bored. Naturally, I figured sharing my thoughts on the Internet would help me connect who were in a similar situation. Making money with my blog was the absolute last thing on my mind.

Over the years, I kept working on these two interests in parallel. I kept writing about my experiences in Brazil. I also kept building different businesses. Gradually, both things started to grow. My blog started to attract more and more readership. My businesses started to generate more money.

Then, one day, something unexpected happened. I had just returned back to my apartment after a morning swim in the Atlantic Ocean. I opened my laptop and loaded my favorite email client. There was an email waiting for me from an unrecognized sender.

The email was short and straight to the point.

“Hi James, I really enjoy your blog. I’d love to schedule a call with you over Skype. I will pay you for your time.”

I thought it over and agreed. Moments later, I received the payment. Few days later, I advised him on a specific issue he was having. (We quickly became good friends and still keep in regular contact after all these years.)

“That was interesting,” I remember thinking myself. “Someone agreed to pay me for my words and thoughts, for my bits and zeroes that I had plastered all over the Internet.”

“I finally monetized my blog,” I thought to myself.

I was wrong. There was no moment. There was no epiphany. Nothing really happened.

What I didn’t realize is that I didn’t just start ”monetizing” my blog the moment someone paid for my services. I was ”monetizing” my blog the entire time. While I wasn’t being paid directly, I was being paid in another commodity: attention. People discovered my content and found it useful enough to continue reading instead of doing something else with their time.

Attention is a much more important commodity than money. If you can capture someone’s attention, money will soon follow.

Capturing value

The whole notion of monetizing anything is misguided. You don’t “monetize” anything—you either provide value or you don’t. A table that I’m typing this article on right now provides me with value. So is the laptop that helps me craft my thoughts and convert them into zeroes and ones so that I can shuttle them onto the Internet for all of you to see. Then there’s my apartment that’s keeping me warm and safe from all the predators so that I can live long enough to hit the “Publish” button.

All of these things provide value. That’s why I purchased them and own them. That’s why the person or company who created these products or services are duly rewarded with my money.

Of course, the things I mentioned above are all physical products. Blogs are not. They are digital products. And, as it happens to be, words and thoughts are much more powerful than the chair, the table or even my apartment.

Blogs are personal communication mediums. And communication mediums are an extremely powerful way to connect with people. Instead of having some end product that you can touch and feel, words and thoughts are the atoms, the building blocks of life. They can influence emotions and get people to think in a radically different way.

That’s because humans are irrational and emotional beings so thoughts, feelings and ideas always come first. Physical products evolve later.

Writing is like having your own virtual factory from which you can produce anything in the world. If you write about travel, you take the reader on a journey to some distant and mysterious land. If you write about productivity, you help the reader master their time and achieve more. If you write about different tables and how each can help become more creative or more productive, you help the reader choose the right one for their unique situation.

Before I went to Bali for the first time last year, I had no idea where it even was (pretty embarrassing for a geography nut like myself). I had no idea that it was a true tropical paradise on earth. I had no idea that it would be one of the most amazing places in the world to visit and live.

So, I immediately did what I always do when I don’t understand something: I began educating myself. I found a couple of good Bali blogs. I started learning more about this region of the world.

Most importantly, I studied how this region of the world can benefit me, and what I was looking for in a vacation destination. There are plenty of amazing places in the world. But that doesn’t mean I’d like to go to Siberia, Tierra del Fuego or the Galapagos Islands. While all of them are interesting in their own right, I had just spent a freezing winter in Eastern Europe and the only thing on my mind was sun and relaxation. Siberia was out. Tierra del Fuego was out. Galapagos islands, maybe next year. Bali was the overwhelming winner.

Two days later, I bought a one-way ticket to Bali. Two weeks later, I had rented a scooter and was busy exploring this amazing island. I stayed for an entire three months and can’t wait to go back. None of that would’ve happened if someone didn’t educate me on this amazing country by helping me see how it was the perfect solution to the winter dread I was experiencing through the use of their crafty use of words on their blog.

Printing money

David Ogilvy, one of the most successful copyrighters and advertisers, once said that if you can write a good copy, you can print money. I couldn’t agree more. I would even take it a step further and say that if you can write anything well, you’re monetizing your very own words.

Naturally, when people think about “monetizing” their blog, they start thinking about all the products they can create, whether it’s some eBook, a course, or something else. That’s the obvious path because people just want answers handed to them on a silver platter.

Unfortunately, they’re missing the forest from the trees. It doesn’t matter what “premium” product you create, whether it takes the form of a book, video or a workshop. Everyone can do that. You can outsource book publishing and course creation to some guy in Bangladesh or Jakarta. You can outsource software creation to some guy in Kiev or Minsk. You can outsource article writing on any topic under the sun to anyone in the world who can stitch two English words together. The problem is that if everyone can do it—and they can—the end result becomes a commodity. Commodities aren’t worth much.

But you can’t outsource thoughts and ideas. You can’t outsource original value. You can’t outsource your experience of living in another country while struggling to learn the local language in order to integrate yourself into the confusing culture. You can’t outsource failing for the twelfth time and finally succeeding on the thirteenth with a business that finally gets traction. You can’t outsource helping someone overcome procrastination and laziness so they can finish their first book, the one they’ve been putting off for twenty years. You can’t outsource helping someone quit their shitty 9-5 job and allow them to discover true freedom. You can’t source the pain, the suffering, the triumph, the jubilation. You can’t outsource making a person feel one way one moment and then something completely different another moment.

Monetizing products is about demonstrating how they will benefit someone. Monetizing words is about making someone feel something. Whether it’s getting someone to buy a one-way ticket to Bali, or getting someone off Facebook so they can finish an important task first. The person must impact someone. They must be able to connect to those words in a profound and meaningful way. They must want to take action.

If you can’t do that, then none of that matters. In that case, you might as well sell me a finished product that serves a specific purpose like a nice table or a comfortable chair, and let someone else’s words, thoughts and ideas inspire, motivate and ultimately affect me in ways I didn’t think were possible.

The Most Important Rule When Starting Your Business

The Most Important Rule When Starting Your Business

I recently decided to expand the way I spread my message by creating various videos on YouTube. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million words. So far, I’m enjoying the journey and plan on creating different content and different channels.

Spending lots of time on YouTube while viewing all kinds of interesting content has allowed me to discover creators that I wouldn’t have discovered any other way. The majority of these creators don’t have their own blog or any other channel (or at least don’t market them on their channels), so their main presence is exclusively on YouTube. Many of them aren’t selling their own products either; they’re creating videos for fun. Nevertheless, one nice thing about a huge platform such as YouTube is that there’s an automatic way of making money: become a YouTube partner.

Earning money with YouTube is simple. Make a video, toggle the setting so the ads appear and wait for the money to come in. Advertisers pay Google/YouTube for the ads to be shown, Google keeps a portion and the rest goes back to the video creator.

It’s a win/win for everyone, especially for people who’re starting from scratch. That means you don’t need to spend years building out the brand and then creating products; advertisers simply pay per video views, regardless if the channel has 1,000 subscribers or 1 million. Naturally, the more people see your videos, the more money you make. (Although, because advertising is based on supply and demand, the amount you per view is largely dependent on what kind of content you have.)

Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll become automatically rich. First of all, if you don’t have a large following, the amount of money you’ll make will be very little. It takes a relatively decent audience (typically, more than 5-10k subscribers) to see a steady income that can cover your cable bill.

The second problem is much bigger and negates the benefits provided above. It’s the fact that you’re using YouTube’s platform for your content instead of building on your own platform.

When you create your own content and then host it on another platform, your content is governed by the platform’s rules. This forces you to abide by the platform’s rules. The first issue is that you give up some of those rights to the content. The second issue is that  you’re dictated a certain way to make money and no other way.

So, if you create the best videos in the world and put them on YouTube, you can no longer charge whatever you want for them.

Last week, YouTube introduced a new monetization policy. Starting next month, people with less than 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of views will no longer be able to monetize their videos. Once you reach those thresholds, you can reapply to the program for a chance to be able to show ads on your videos and get a portion of the profits.

This announcement affected thousands and even millions of creators out there. Although creators that don’t meet those thresholds weren’t making much money to begin with, it still signaled that YouTube was becoming more picky about the videos it wanted to be associated with.

But, mostly, this was a signal of something much more important: YouTube is now more concerned with its advertisers than with its up-and-coming creators. YouTube had grown up. Not everyone was automatically welcomed to its gated garden. And if you want to be part of the club, you need to go through strict checks. It’s like going through face control at a posh club instead of a cozy coffee shop that’s open to everyone.

This underlines something I’ve been talking for a long: it’s very risky to build important things on someone else’s platform. You’re building a dream house on a land you don’t own. Thus, you could have the most amazing content, but you’ll always be rewarded according to the most common denominator: in this case, specific ad rates that advertisers negotiate with Google, YouTube’s parent company.

Own the platform

Building your dream house on a land you don’t own is always a poor business strategy unless you make a little tweak: build that dream house on a land you do own. That means owning the platform.

Creating your own platform should be the cornerstone of any business, especially online businesses. I’m no exception. My own platform is Maverick Traveler (and some of the other sites I own). This is where all my content resides. This way I’m in absolute full control of the content I create, how I choose to present it to my readers, and how I monetize my products and services.

When you create content on another platform or channel, you’re powerless to do anything if those platform’s owners deem it unsatisfactory for their audience. If they don’t like you or your channel, they can flick a switch and make you disappear. That will destroy years of hard work and eliminate any revenue.

But when you own that platform, nothing like that can happen. Unless you screw up technically and delete your own site (and there’s backup for that), your site and your brand (along with your products and services) will always be online, 24/7, 365 days per year.

Hard questions

One of the side-effects of building on your own platform is that you’re forced to think through difficult problems. First of all, you need to decide what your brand is all about. If you’re just creating random stuff on YouTube or Instagram, you don’t really need a specific strategy; you can create random videos or post random pictures, but when you create your own platform, there needs to be a unified theme that generates serves a specific objective.

Creating and uploading a video to huge platforms like YouTube is straightforward because YouTube is an already establishment video platform, a problem that was solved when the company was being built. There’s also no discovery problem because your video is simply a search away from the site’s visitors.

On the other hand, when you create a brand tomorrow on your own server, nobody will know about it. Thus, you need to worry about how others will discover it and why what you do will be relevant to them. It’s much better to solve these problems in the beginning than after five years of fruitless labor where you’ve created lots of videos or written many articles but nobody knows who you are.

Leveraging other platforms

While it’s critically important to build your own platform, don’t simply discount other platforms. They have their uses as well. In fact, the best strategy is a hybrid one where you cultivate your own platform and leverage the other platforms to spread your message.

For instance, you can have a main authority site or a personal brand that hosts your articles and other types of content. And then you can use other platforms for spreading that message. It’s a strategy I’ve been using for more than a decade for great results. My main site is hosted here along with all the articles I’ve ever written. But, I also leverage other platforms, like YouTube for reaching new types of audiences.

To be sure, building your own platform requires an initial investment. You must provision a server to host your own content. You must design and build a site. Build products and services. Do marketing and customer acquisition.

But, all of this is something must do anyway in order to be successful. It’s not a question of “if” these questions need to be addressed—it’s a question of “when.” And, it’s much better to address those issues now while your brand is evolving, and you have an array of options than in some distant future when your brand has matured and your options are much more limited.

How To Lower Or Eliminate Your Taxes As A Digital Nomad

How To Lower Or Eliminate Your Taxes As A Digital Nomad

Disclaimer: this article is not financial or tax-based advice and should not be taken as such. I’m just sharing with you things I learned while researching taxes and other financial matters.

For most of my life, taxes were a complete mystery. That was fine because I never needed to worry about them. I was either employed by others or made too little on my own, so doing them myself or using a piece of software usually sufficed. Then, as my income rose over time, I simply hired an accountant to solve this problem. In both cases, I was successfully shielded from needing to understand this important part of any business.

Until now. Late last year, I partnered with another entrepreneur on a new business. For this company, we decided to incorporate it not in US—where we’re both from—but in another country, mostly because of better legal protection and lower taxes. This was a wise decision. This decision also prompted me to finally understand taxes on a much higher level.

In the simplest sense, taxes are a way for governments to take a cut of the action. It’s a form of exchange. Governments provide basic services such as police and paved roads so that you can get to work and build businesses and, in exchange, you give them a percentage of your salary or profits.

There are all kinds of different taxes, and to complicate things even further, the specific cut the government will get depends on the entity that’s being taxed.

Individuals are taxed differently from corporations. Different corporate structures are also taxed differently.  So, if you’re operating as an individual, you will pay taxes at a particular rate, and if you’re a corporation, you will pay taxes under a different rate.

To complicate things further, each country, state, and other jurisdictions have specific tax rates. In America, individuals are taxed on a sliding rate that varies anywhere from as little as 10% to as high as 39%. The American tax rate for corporations is a fixed 39.1%, making it one of the highest in the world.

Most companies typically don’t pay those rates because as a business you have perks like deductions and credits, which allow you to lower your taxable income by “deducing” things like business expenses and other items, things that aren’t available to individuals or employees.

Taxes get more interesting (and complicated) when you become a global citizen. Usually, moving overseas exempts you from paying taxes in your former country. For example, if you’re a Canadian citizen and move to China, you no longer need to pay Canadian authorities a part of your income, regardless where that income is coming from. (Although depending on your status in China, you may be liable to pay taxes there.)

If a country stops taxing you when you move out, the country implements something called a “residence-based taxation.” Only the residents of the country are taxed. Germany is an example of a country with residence-based taxation. Anyone who’s a resident of Germany—regardless whether they’re a citizen or not—is liable to pay taxes in Germany. This means if you move abroad, you no longer need to pay taxes there.

Many countries around the world are like this. Canadian residents citizens only need to pay taxes if they live in Canada. Danish residents and citizens only need to pay taxes if they live in Denmark. If they move abroad—or remain abroad for the majority of the year (usually more than six months, but depends on the country), they’re essentially exempt from paying taxes in that country while still remaining to be the country’s citizens.

Another type of taxation is called “territorial-based taxation.” In countries that implement this system, you have to pay taxes only on the income that originates from inside the country. So, if you’re living in a country like Georgia (Republic of Georgia, not the US state)—a country with territorial-based taxation—you’ll only have to pay taxes if the source of your income is inside Georgia.

Territorial-based taxation is great because you can leave a country with residence-based taxation that taxes everyone who lives there and move to a country that only taxes local income. It’s specifically advantageous to nomadic entrepreneurs who most of their income from customers in other countries and, thus, don’t need to pay taxes on this income.

Finally, there are also countries that don’t have any income taxes whatsoever like Dubai or Bahamas. It doesn’t matter if you’re a citizen or a resident. It also doesn’t matter whether your income comes from inside the country or outside. No taxes means no taxes.

Unfortunately, the only people that can’t take advantage of the different tax systems abroad are American citizens. America is the only country in the world which taxes its citizens (and permanent residents) on their worldwide income—regardless if they reside in America or somewhere else. Americans must file their taxes every year even if they’ve been living abroad for the last decade (or more). That’s because American tax system is based on something called “citizenship-based taxation.” As long as you’re an American citizen, you must file your taxes yearly.

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Nomadic advantages

Fortunately, being nomadic offers many advantages even to American citizens. The first is the double-taxation treaties. American tax authorities (like most other countries) perfectly understand the fact that other countries may tax you because you’re living and work there. Thus, the amount that you pay elsewhere is used to offset your tax obligation in America. For example, if you’re living and working in Denmark (a country with resident-based taxation) and paying taxes there, that money you pay to Denmark’s tax authorities is used to offset the money may need to pay American tax authorities. That makes sense, otherwise, you’d be paying taxes twice on the same income.

For American citizens, the other nice perk of living abroad is that you’re granted with huge exemption that reduces your taxable income. As an American taxpayer, you’re granted an exclusion (the first $100,000+, it’s adjusted yearly for inflation) if you’re not living in America. So, if you’re not present in the US for around eleven months out of the year, you can use this exclusion to reduce your overall tax bill.

While it’s certainly not the same as not needing to pay any taxes when you move out, it greatly reduces your tax bill if you’re traveling around the world and not really living in America. There’s little reason to pay for things like government services when you’re not in the country to take advantage of them. That partly explains why lots of American location-independent nomads limit how much time they spend in America to less than a month per year.

All of these different taxation systems are options that you can leverage once you unchain yourself and embrace the freedom to live and work anywhere in the world. Once you’re not tied to a particular country, you’re free to live in a low tax country or even in a country without any taxes.

The holy grail of legally lowering your taxes is by mixing and matching the right countries and their requirements for becoming a tax resident. Although American citizens must file (and possibly pay) their taxes regardless where in the world they are, living outside the country can significantly reduce your the amount of taxes you’ll need to pay to Uncle Sam.

Things get really interesting when you get into more advanced stuff such as forming a foreign company and becoming an employee of that company. This allows you to do even more interesting tax and legal optimizations.

What was once a boring and mundane topic, taxes and legal planning are gradually becoming an integral part of my overall nomadic strategy as I’m traveling around the world and looking at countries with not only a pleasant quality of living but also ones that aren’t burdened with high taxes and ineffective legal frameworks. After all, taxes are important. And while you don’t need to become a tax attorney, having a basic understanding of different tax systems will help a great deal. Or, as one wise man once eloquently said: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

What Do You Want To See In My New Book?

What Do You Want To See In My New Book?

For a good portion of the past year, I’ve been busy working on a new book. Unlike my previous books which were mostly about mindset and self-improvement, this one will be primarily about travel, location-independence and entrepreneurship.

The objective of the book is to show you how to travel and build businesses around your passions and interests. The first part of the book is all about travel: where to go, where to not go, how to meet like-minded people, how to establish a productive routine (super important on the road), and how to pickup foreign languages very quickly. Plus a lot of my cool travel hacks that I’ve picked up over the years. You’ll find these applicable regardless if you’re looking to backpack around the world or simply move to another country for several months.

The other part of the book is about my passion, which is building agile businesses in areas that I’m interested in. In the book, I spent time talking about  background story behind my business ideas and very quick ways of testing and implementing them. I talk about some of the motivations behind each idea, expectations for the project and how it all went happened.

While I’ve written several books before, this should’ve been my first book because it perfectly captures the essence of the brand and everything I stand for: a junction of entrepreneurship and freedom.

Although I feel like I’ve included everything that I wanted to cover in the book so far, I would like to ask you what kind of information you’d find valuable.

For instance, the other day, I was chatting with a long-term reader and he mentioned he’d like to see more travel stories.

What about you? What kind of things do you want to see in the new book? What kind of things do you want me to cover? What kind of things should I omit?

Travel stories? Living experiences? Business building? Mindset?

Let me know in the comments below.

Why Do People Still Have 9-5 Jobs?

Why Do People Still Have 9-5 Jobs?

New York is a unique place. As known the world over, it’s truly a city that never sleeps. It’s also one of the few cities in the world where people are endlessly hustling. There’s an energy in the air unlike of other cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Kiev or Chiang Mai; other fantastic cities where I’ve lived and dream about returning from time to time.

As time went on, I’ve also discovered something else interesting and unique about NYC: it’s the only city in the world where I interact with people who work at 9-5 jobs. Everywhere I go, whether I’m in Belo Horizonte, Bali, Barcelona or Kiev, the Big Apple is really the only place in the world where I meet people who—like clockwork—wake up at 9 in the morning, commute to some distant office, usually on the other side of the city, and then return home at 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening. To an untrained eye, it’s almost like the city is populated with an army of robots.

So, who are these people that I’m meeting with regular 9-5 jobs? They are mostly my old childhood with friends with families (some with kids) who live their lives exactly how society wanted.

The other day, I met such a friend for coffee after work. We were scheduled to meet at 6 pm, but at the last minute his boss forced him to work more, so he showed up an hour and a half later. When I saw him, he was completely exhausted. He told me that he’d been working 16-hour days for a few weeks now because they were nearing the competition of an important project that was being delayed a few times.

After seeing him in this lifeless state, I took mercy on him and cut the meeting short so that he can return back to his wife at home.

Everywhere else around the world, the people that I deal with on a constant basis are never 9-5 employees, but other self-made digital entrepreneurs. The South African friend who’s running a six-figure business in Thailand. The British expat whom I’ve gotten to know when I lived in Brazil. He recently bought a lavish beachfront condo in Rio and has no plans of going anywhere else. Then, there’s a guy in Kiev who found me via the blog. He’s from The Netherlands and has spent seven years living in Bali, but recently decided that Ukraine is a fantastic place to be in the summer. Naturally, we quickly became good friends. And, how can I forget my old friend from Lithuania, from when that country was my home. He has a small but thriving business that allows him to spend summers in his own country while bicycling around Southeast Asia in the winter.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the new normal. I’m surrounded by people who’re hustling and running their own businesses, whether they’re in Ukraine, Lithuania, Brazil or Thailand. Everyone is hustling. Everyone is experimenting. Everyone is endlessly hustling, experimenting and building new business.

I used to think that business and entrepreneurship was something that was exclusively reserved for the “used car salesmen” type or just plain insiders. However, as I quickly discovered, I was very wrong. Actually, dead wrong. In fact, it’s as though my reality has been turned upside down; the world that I inhabit is made up of nothing but entrepreneurs, meeting someone who isn’t experimenting with a new product or service, or a new marketing campaign is now strange and unusual.

Five people

They say that you’re the average of the five people you interact with on a constant basis. That has been absolutely true in my experience. Sure, you can become a lone wolf and learn everything on your own. I’ve done that for many years. I’ve gone the solo route, devouring information and endlessly experimenting. While it’s not easy, it can definitely be done.

But it’s also helpful when an event happens that shifts your reality in fundamentally new ways. About fifteen years ago, one fine afternoon, I made friends with a guy who was selling t-shirts out of his locker in high school. I was immediately impressed. We became friends. He introduced me to his other friends. They were more successful and ambitious than him. Let’s just say they were selling much more than t-shirts to high school students.

Seeing these men build value and literally print money spoiled me for life. There was no way back. From that point on, everything to me became about building businesses. And I’ve done it all. I’ve built websites. I built e-commerce sites. Created my own software company. Wrote and marketed iPhone and Mac apps. Imported phones from China and hustled them on eBay (This was before the iPhone ruined my market). I’m currently running several businesses and very close to launching the “business of my dreams.”

When you’re surrounded by hustlers and go-getters, your mindset and thinking shifts and what was once some aspiration or ambition becomes the new normal. As a result, what were once insurmountable challenges and struggles instantly become more natural, seamless, easier and frictionless.

That’s because a big part of trying something new is actually changing the way you think. It’s about shifting your perspective. As humans, we tend to mimic others and naturally move towards a path of least resistance.

If you’re surrounded by people who’re all working at a soulless corporation, then you’ll find nothing strange about working at a big corporation. If everyone around you is working 100-hour weeks at a startup, you’ll find nothing strange about working 100-hour weeks at a startup.

And, if everyone around you is an entrepreneur who’s juggling several online businesses and easily clearing five-figures per month, you’ll begin to view everything except business building as strange and unnatural.

Perspective

This is precisely why, knowing what I know now and seeing the experience of others with my own set of eyes, I can never work at a regular company ever again. These were my beliefs ten years ago when I embarked on this journey. And, not only have these beliefs persisted since, but they have become even stronger over time.

One of the reasons these beliefs have strengthened over time is because becoming an entrepreneur in today’s hyperconnected world is literally a matter of clicks. Everything that’s needed—from researching a new market, making a product to selling it—can be done on the Internet in a matter of hours, not days or weeks as was the case before.

Then, there are the unstoppable economic forces that, depending on whom you ask, are either slowly eroding the labor workforce or outright crushing it through automation and artificial intelligence. In twenty years, children will ask their parents to define the word “job.” Indeed, we’re in a middle of an important transformation of how we work, create wealth and live.

Spending time in New York is making me see that, for most people, a job is simply the “default” path. It has nothing to do with intelligence or ability. There are plenty of smart people who’re working boring and monotonous jobs, people that, with the right motivation, can easily start a simple business, automate it and enjoy a new stream of income—income that didn’t exist before.

Ultimately, what is life? Life is short, yes. We’re born. We live. We learn something. We use our skills to cooperate with others and create something bigger than ourselves. Then we die.

We can’t unborn ourselves and we can’t escape death. But what happens between those two important events is up to us. We can use that time for meaningful purposes or we can simply let our society and culture erect that purpose for us. We can serve ourselves or we can serve others. We can choose to find our own path or follow where society takes us.

The only meaningful life is a productive one, a life of never-ending hustle. That’s why my biggest culture shock is no longer going to a favela in Rio de Janeiro. It also isn’t passing by a rough and decaying Soviet-era neighborhood in a Moscow suburb. It’s not fishing with the locals in a tiny village on the island of Bali. It’s also not getting lost in Mumbai, India and being surrounded by crowds of people and cows as I’m rushing to the airport to catch my flight to Thailand.

My biggest culture shock is New York City after spending time with people who work 9-5 jobs. They seem so lifeless, pale, and devoid of any ambition or interests. They’re the modern day robots, specifically trained to perform tasks in a predefined, predictable manner.

But they’re not robots. These people are just like me and the other entrepreneurs I know. They look like me. They talk like me. They are also intelligent and capable. And since we’re all really the same, then what remains is a subtle matter of perspective, environment and your definition of reality. And, maybe, just, maybe, meeting the right person in a high school locker room.

How To Jumpstart Your Inner Entrepreneur in 2018

How To Jumpstart Your Inner Entrepreneur in 2018

In this mega episode of the Maverick Podcast, I talk about how to jumpstart your entrepreneurial plans in 2018. I discuss lots of interesting things that are happening that make becoming an entrepreneur easier than ever in our history.

WARNING: This podcast is NOT intended for those who are super happy with their 9-5.

There are lots of gems in this podcast, including:

  • The bromance love story of how Amazon Prime became my new wingman
  • How to easily make $200-$1,000 this weekend with your first-ever side hustle
  • How to participate in the greatest wealth transfer in history
  • How to easily turn your “dead personal capital” into “live personal capital”
  • Why random guys are making rap music videos in Brooklyn
  • Why there are no vbloggers in Ukraine
  • How to not only save time but buy future time
  • The biggest difference between USA and my favorite countries outside the West
  • Did I decide to remain and live in NYC full time?
  • Why you must play 3D chess in 2018 instead of checkers you’ve been doing all along
  • My overuse of tired baseball analogies even though I never played baseball in my life
  • If I was starting out today why I would do everything differently—and what exactly would I change
  • And, as usual, many more amazing and interesting things

As always, if you have any questions/comments/criticisms, leave a comment below.

Enjoy!