Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Mike: This is episode number eight of the Future Thinkers podcast. Today we have two guests: Terry Lin and Jon Myers. We’re going to talk today a little bit about the future of work and what it means to be your own boss and the necessity of becoming your own boss in the future. Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about what you do?
Jon: I’m Jon Myers and I’m a designer and [00:02:00] entrepreneur. Been working on start-ups for a number of years. I’m actually losing my nomad card a little bit. We’re here in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and I’m actually getting married and I have a house and a dog.
Terry: By the time this posts, you’ll be married.
Jon: Yeah. I have been working from the road and working for myself for about 20 years. I’ve seen this evolution of the idea of work, [00:02:30] of location and independence, of gathering in hubs like Zigong, Chiang Mai, Medellin. Excited to talk about it and learn more about what Terry and ya’ll have to say.
Terry: Cool. My name’s Terry and I just got into this game almost a year ago, actually. I have two websites. One is buildmyonlinestore.com, that’s an e-commerce podcast. I also have my own men’s accessories business called Baller Leather.
Mike: This lifestyle is not something [00:03:00] we’ve really talked about whatsoever – business – not very much on this podcast. The whole idea of a digital nomad is someone who works online, they can be working for someone else but usually the people we meet are entrepreneurs. They’re able to leverage communities and the internet to be completely locationally independent. Often, these guys will travel and be in a new location every three months or so. I think what people would be interested in is what is your lifestyle like and how did you actually make the leap [00:03:30] to do what you’re doing now.
Jon: I grew up in countercultural scenes. I knew from a really young age that I would be unemployable. That was just a fact. I was very anti-authority and didn’t like the idea of having a job or being told what to do. Entrepreneurship was something natural for me to explore. I got involved in college in entrepreneurship, started my first businesses where I was doing import/export. [00:04:00] It just kept snowballing. When I was younger, I took my first trip – it’s now been over 20 years ago – to Taipei, Taiwan. I taught English there. I kept thinking, “How do I just keep this going?” I just kept exploring entrepreneurship. I started a lot of businesses that failed.
In the meantime, I started acquiring a skillset which is that of a designer. I functioned as an interface designer, web designer, designer of you name it. That skill has just snowballed [00:04:30] and became this thing that’s really a huge part of my life now.
Euvie: What about you Terry?
Terry: Yeah, me, I grew up in Asia and the US back and forth. I always had the mindset that you go to school, get a job, go to a nice job, and retire was the path. Until about three years ago when I had a revelation that working at a large bank wasn’t really the most happiest thing in life. Then I think around that time, you started hearing about people making a living online, [00:05:00] either selling products, doing design, [inaudible [0:05:02], or media editing like what you guys do, multimedia stuff. I realized, at some point, you can dick around, read blogs, listen to podcasts, but at some point, you just have to leap. Last year, around August, I made that leap. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
Mike: Jon, you’re telling this story of the Earth on Fire and you’re capturing what you see here. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that?
Jon: The Earth on Fire. The Earth on Fire is describing what I see [00:05:30] as the burning of the old scripts, of what we’re supposed to be doing, like Terry was saying – you go to school, you go into debt, you get a job to service that debt, you get married to double your debt and consume more and buy a house, then you just hang out and retire. I took the script a little later in life. No, really, I think the idea of the Earth on Fire is that there’s just other options available. When something else is fading away, [00:06:00] there’s something else rising out of the ashes.
The idea of the Earth on Fire was that we’ve all heard of the four hour work week, we’ve all heard of Thomas Friedman’s the World is Flat, that was a huge book that described the forces of globalization – outsourcing, virtual assistance, all that stuff that’s commonplace now. The Earth of Fire is the evolution of all those ideas and the idea that you can start a more serious business on the road with a distributed team and [00:06:30] be taken seriously and make real money. I wanted to describe that movement and also just plant the seed that this is another option that’s available.
Mike: It’s not just all sipping coconuts not the beach and getting passive income.
Jon: Yeah. I feel like a lot of the stuff out there is really scammy, it doesn’t have any longevity attached to it, it’s not about quality or craft. The evolution of what I see of that four hour work week mindset is that there’s something new going on, [00:07:00] they’re something that we should all pay attention to, that the types of people that are showing up in these hubs like here in Zigong or fanning out to Medellin and Berlin, they’re working on more serious businesses, they’re higher achieving individuals.
Terry: I think the interesting thing is that if you look maybe 15, 20 years ago, there was such thing as a digital nomad, but he was an offline guy, he was a guy that had an import/export business. He didn’t have to be in one city or an office, but we just didn’t know about this. Maybe they were a really small population that was doing this, but we just had no idea [00:07:30] until the internet came about and maybe you start hearing things foreign work. Anyone else really can just get started today.
Euvie: Do you guys think that this could actually be the average type of work in the next few years, or is it just something that is reserved for a very specific type of person? What do you think?
Terry: There was an article by Paul Graham, I think it’s called Software Is Eating the World, have you guys read that? Basically, jobs are either getting automated by software now or they’re getting outsourced. [00:08:00] If you don’t want to be on the losing side, how can you leverage that into an advantage for you? I think, as an entrepreneur, digital nomad, whatever you want to call it, when you can play jiu jitsu with that, that’s where you want to be.
Mike: It was interesting last night, we were with someone else, she wasn’t really an entrepreneur and she had these ideas about making money and working as a team and becoming very narrowly focused in what her craft is. The whole idea of monetization was [00:08:30] almost dirty.
Euvie: It was a dirty word.
Mike: A lot of people are going to have to learn how to wear those hats and take that initiative and own their future. It’s interesting seeing people get scared about the future and scared of watching their wage drop and watching their hours go up.
Euvie: “They took our jobs.”
Jon: I think, too, if you can’t sell, if you don’t have the social intelligence to sell in a contemporary fashion, if you don’t have the social [00:09:00] intelligence to build an audience in a contemporary fashion, you’re kind of screwed. It doesn’t matter what your skillset is. If you can’t connect with people and form close ties and distant ties, you won’t have a shot. There’s no way.
Mike: Yeah, you were saying earlier how you think entrepreneurship is born out of necessity for a lot of people. Looking around in Vietnam, so many people are entrepreneurs here – but it’s because they have to be, they don’t have anything else. What do you think about that as far as what’s going to happen in America?
Jon: I think it used to be in America [00:09:30] more prevalent. I don’t know what happened. My mother was an entrepreneur of necessity – single mom, had a couple of kids, and didn’t make enough to make ends meet. She sought out other business opportunities. We’ve had everything from little pizza shops to making signs, you name it. She was an entrepreneur of necessity to make ends meet. Definitely not a new concept. It’s just one that’s coming back again, [00:10:00] because corporatism and the idea that the corporation is the primary vehicle of wealth creation for the masses, that’s fading away. That’s not always going to be there.
Like Terry was saying, any job that can be digitized will be outsourced or done by software. It’s always in a race to the bottom if it can be digitized. That’s something to always keep in mind.
Euvie: How do you guys see the future? 10 years from now, what do you think people will be doing for work?
Terry: [00:10:30] I don’t think there’s trends going anywhere, but I think you’ll see a hollowing out of the middle in terms of boring admin jobs, middle management things. It’ll either go to the top or to the bottom. You’ll have people that are really unequally wealthy, like what you see in San Francisco now a little bit – you see there’s a big gap and it’s having some social repercussions. I think that’s only going to get bigger as time goes. If you want to choose the right side, it’s starting your own business. What are you going to do, count on the corporation? No thanks, buddy.
Mike: We see the world [00:11:00] as a world of abundance and a lot of them look at it as, “The jobs are disappearing, everything’s going away, there’s less and less available. I’m not trained to be a knowledge worker.”
Terry: Say, for example, say a big company has a new software that makes their HR more efficient or accounting, then you don’t need them in accounts. You just have part-time jobs now and you see temp agents, their hiring is going through the roof. Once the software’s in place you’re not going to suddenly remove it and hire 10 more people to deal with the software. It’s just going to keep getting worse and worse.
Jon: The thing is, you as an individual – [00:11:30] you’re talking about how we all see opportunities – your brain and sense of curiosity is a muscle, it’s just like going to the gym. If you’re not training that muscle, if you’re sitting there in a job then that muscle is in a state of atrophy. Once the rug does get pulled out from under you, which will be inevitable, then you’re out there with a big flabby brain muscle that just can’t react. It’s a lot better to start training your mind now to have a ferocious sense [00:12:00] of curiosity and be scanning for those opportunities all the time because they’re always out there.
Terry: Before you get there, the first step is to take ownership of your own life, whether it’s your finances, bad relationships, things like that. That’s when you realize, “Hey, I can actually change things in my life,” before you tackle building a business. I think there’s these little things that you need to take care of first, in your own head.
Jon: Personal financial responsibility is huge.
Terry: Yeah. Being able to learn things – if you don’t know something, figure out how to learn it and have that thirst for something. [00:12:30] Things like that.
Mike: That seems to be the key thing is that we’re all just consuming books like our lives depend on it. That’s something I see missing all the time back home, like, “Hey, what are you reading lately?” That’s an easy question.
Jon: Usually, it’s nothing.
Jon: Yeah, I’m ready cat videos.
Terry: Just to give everyone an idea, what podcasts or audiobooks do you guys have in your arsenal right now? What did you listen to in the past?
Mike: I started off pretty heavily in self development. I viewed myself as the tool to do all the things [00:13:00] I wanted to do. I might as well work on myself first, figure out how to argue better if I need to, or how to talk to people better, how to like people, how to be effective in communication. There’s lots of books like How to Win Friends and Influence People, Nonviolent Communication.
Euvie: That one we read quite recently. It was really, really good.
Mike: There’s a lot of books, Four Hour Work Week was a huge thing to get me to take the leap to come to Asia.
Jon: I would also say read as much about psychology as you possibly can. The best primer [00:13:30] on psychology I think is Influence, by Robert Cialdini, which breaks down in a very every man’s way the idea of influence, what influences people. It’s a huge book.
Euvie: I like Malcolm Gladwell because he takes complicated ideas in psychology and puts it down to a regular trucker level.
Jon: Yeah, he really does. Those are good books to train your mindset. I think if you’re getting into business and you’re serious and you want to make the jump, the number one you have to think about is differentiation. [00:14:00] Differentiation is everything. People used to think about creating a business by imitation not innovation. The best book you can read to learn how to differentiate – it’s a bit complicated but if you can get through it – it’s Blue Ocean Strategy. That book’s been around forever now. Essentially, it’s a book about differentiation, where you create the market for a product or service that you have in mind, you don’t try to grab existing market share. I think differentiation is a huge factor in business.
Terry: [00:14:30] There’s a book called Zag that’s along the same lines, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that. I heard that on Six Pixels of Separation. I want to check out that, it’s a lot shorter I think. We can go on, there’s so many books.
Terry: We can go on for an hour.
Jon: The key is to start cultivating that mindset and training your brain to scan for opportunities. When I read the New York Times on a Sunday, I’m scanning it for, “How do I create solutions for these thing that I’m reading? How do I react to these situations?”
Euvie: [00:15:00] Yeah, I think that’s super key, looking for solutions instead of complaining about what’s wrong. We were actually talking about that last night, as well, that so many people complain, they’re like, “The government’s not taking care of us, they’re taking away our benefits at work, they’re taking away our jobs.” What you were saying, Terry.
Terry: Why don’t you take care of yourself, right?
Jon: I think the number one thing, this is what I wanted to say, stop making fucking excuses. Just stop it. Don’t make another fucking excuse. If you’re really serious [00:15:30] about taking care of yourself, stop the excuses. Everybody has problems, check them at the door. Check your ego at the door and admit you don’t know shit – I still don’t know shit – and start to feed your brain and be active. Your education doesn’t stop at 21 when you exit the college doors. It’s a lifelong thing if you want to survive in this game. You have to check that ego at the door and admit you don’t know shit.
Terry: And if you don’t know anything, you can just go to Google. There’s some book [00:16:00] that has about it, unless you’re trying to do quantum physics.
Euvie: There’s lots of books about quantum physics.
Terry: That, too. If you want to invent math, that’s a whole different level. Everything basic that you don’t know, you can find it online.
Mike: You’ve read enough books, you’ve seen enough success stories of other people that have done it. It seems just possible, it doesn’t seem like something that’s worth being afraid of anymore. That seems to be the biggest motivation for people not to do something – I’m afraid. “I’m afraid of what would happen if I quit my job, went off on my own,” that sort of stuff. How do you speak to fear?”
Jon: Actually, I think a lot [00:16:30] of people are worried about what others think too much. There’s a lot of forces that are conspiring to keep you average – your parents, your friends. You got to look around at your peer group, do you want to be like your parents? I never wanted to be like my parents. I appreciate my parents and admire them, but I had a different idea in mind of what I wanted. Same with the friends I surrounded myself with when I was younger. I actively sought people that I wanted to be like, that I put myself around. That’s it.
Euvie: [00:17:00] Yeah, I think measuring yourself by other people’s standards is something that we see sometimes and that came up last night, as well. Comparing yourself to other people, “I’m more creative than this person but I’m more irresponsible than this person. Less conservative than this person.” Why don’t you just define yourself on your own terms?
Jon: Who cares?
Euvie: And learning how to fail, as well. You were talking about exercising your brain muscle, I think you also go to exercise your fail muscle. Failing is not a big deal. If you don’t learn how to fail, you’re never going to succeed.
Mike: [00:17:30] For the person listening to this who’s looking at their future and looking at the script they’re currently living in, and, “It’s not what I want anymore,” what do you think they need to have to move on? What skillset?
Terry: There’s no guarantees. I think if you’re sitting at your office – at some point, you’ll entertain this idea. You’ll be like, “Okay, this looks cool. These guys are living in Vietnam, Berlin, Colombia, wherever. It looks cool. Who am I to do this?” At some point, you have to say, “Alright, it’s either I’m going to quit by this day or I’m just going to sit here and waste [00:18:00] my life away and just be a daydreamer that I want to do this.” Until you get to that point, you’re just wasting time. The sooner you get to that, either by making money right away or having some kind of runaway in your bank, whatever, I think that’s the way to go. If you just sit there wasting time, a year or two can pass by.
There’s plenty of people who we know who follow these gurus who have not quit their job in four or five years. What the fuck are you waiting for? The thing is, to the guy sitting in the office now, you’re thinking quitting [inaudible [0:18:28]. No, you’re fucking wrong. Quitting isn’t shit [00:18:30] once you leave. Once you leave, that’s when you really start getting scared, because when you don’t make money and you fucking go broke, that’s when you’re really scared. Just quitting is a little tiny, tiny, tiny thing in the whole scheme of things.
Jon: It’s worth it.
Terry: Yeah, of course.
Mike: How is it worth it?
Terry: We have to do it to know it though, right? If you’re just listening to us talk and you don’t do anything, well…
Jon: Business is a canvas. You can paint whatever picture you want, that’s the beauty of it. It depends on your skillset. You have to shift your mind from being [00:19:00] a consumer to a producer. I start to look at the world as a creator, as a producer, “What can I create and built,” not, “What can I consume?” When you have a job, you’re just buying shit.
Mike: You consider yourself to be an artist?
Terry: We’re all creating things, right? We’re creating something now by talking into this mic.
Jon: Yeah. Business is really just a canvas to make these creations come to life, that’s how I really think about it.
Mike: It’s interesting that so many artists have this thing [00:19:30] about their art – if they get paid for it, it’s dirty. They view money as supposed to be kept separate. That’s another thing that came up yesterday. How do you speak to someone who thinks that profit is about ripping people off?
Jon: Fucking drop it. Just knock it off. That’s just dated countercultural garbage. That’s it. It’s just dated, it’s pollution, it’s toxic. There’s nothing wrong with making a profit. If you’re the most [00:20:00] brilliant artist that works at Starbucks – nothing wrong with working at Starbucks, but if you think you want to go onto bigger heights and places, then get your ass together. Money is just a vote, that’s it. Someone’s voting. The number of votes you get, that’s how it tallies up. That’s it, it’s just a vote. You want to get as many votes as possible.
Euvie: I think in business, like in any relationship, it has to be a win/win situation. [00:20:30] If you’re working with clients who are not happy to pay you for your services, you’re not working with the right clients.
Jon: Yeah. You’re not working with the right people, you’re not positioning yourself the right way. There’s a lot of different factors.
Terry: I think everyone has this fantasy about the starving artist thing, it’s really weird. I never understood it. It’s over-glorified, like, “Hey, I’m a guy painting shit in my garage and I’m living on tuna cheese sandwiches.” Where’s the fucking glory in that?
Jon: Dude, I grew up in that scene. [00:21:00] I was a skateboarder, punk rocker, band front man, the whole nine yards. A lot of my peers that stuck to those ethos – they’re like the guys I saw in the 80s I saw growing up with the mullets and jeans jackets, they’re talking about the good old days, about how it was awesome. But they didn’t really do anything with those ideas, because they’re not scalable ideas, they’re not ideas that are relevant. You’re building a wall around yourself with these ideas, you’re not reaching out and connecting with others. [00:21:30] If your ideas are so awesome, you want to be as accessible as possible, not shoving people away with your wall. I think a lot of those people are really afraid.
Terry: I think people need to realize that money is fundamentally an exchange of value, right? When you go to the grocery store, you buy a can of grapes – the money is actually for the value of the grapes… You’re giving it to some business but the value you’re getting is in the grapes, right? I think when these people have weird concepts of money, it’s like, “I’m just taking someone’s money but I’m not giving anything back.” [00:22:00] When you actually have something, whether you’re selling multimedia services, design work, you’re providing some form of value, right, and you’re trading that for money.
Jon: Even… Have you guys seen the potato salad thing?
Euvie: Yes, yes.
Terry: I think it’s at $50,000 now.
Mike: Yeah, $60,000 now.
Jon: It’s trucking along and it’s only six days old. You never know. It’s whatever gives people amusement, right?
Terry: Let’s look at that thing. He had a goal of $10. He has $60,000 now. [00:22:30] The value we’re getting is this joke we’re having. It’s a topic to talk about and to joke about with your friends, I think that’s something maybe we’ll give a dollar to just because, “Hey, I’ll just give to the guy for fun, because it’s funny.” That’s a value you get, you get that emotional value. I think, a lot of the time, people don’t see the value they get when they get money – they think it’s just a one-sided transaction.
Jon: They’re fixed on the number, right.
Terry: Yeah, exactly.
Jon: “Wow, $60,000,” but no, there’s a collection of thousands of people that put that money together. It’s always, in business [00:23:00] when you’re getting money, you’re solving pain or you’re entertaining to the point where someone gives you money. That’s it. Enough people found that entertaining enough to give that guy a couple bucks.
Terry: I would say this is assuming you’re doing something legit, you’re not…
Jon: Involved in deception.
Terry: Yeah, involved in deception, crazy drugs or anything else.
Euvie: Or you’re doing slave labour.
Terry: Slave labour, yeah, prostitution. We’re talking about legit businesses that offer legit value.
Mike: The internet is causing a lot of light to be shone on those types of businesses. It’s almost [00:23:30] becoming more difficult to do the shitty quick money thing than it is to actually just make a real business and do the right thing, provide real value. I struggled way more when I was just trying to sell something that I wanted to sell and not create a valuable product that people wanted – they beat my door down to buy.
Terry: What’s funny is that when you read about that, it sounds so easy until you actually start calling people and you get doors slammed in your face. You’re like, “Wow, is there something wrong with my product? Is there something wrong with my marketing? What the fuck am I doing wrong?”
Jon: [00:24:00] Actually, I’m going to circle back because the topic of this is the future of work, right? You’re talking about starting a business or we’re talking about our craft that catapults us into a business. First of all, the first thing you have to stop saying is the word ‘career.’ Erase that from your vocabulary, don’t ever say that again. Don’t ever do a resume again, that stuff is stupid. Your life is a body of projects that are successive. [00:24:30] You should be constantly focused on getting to higher and higher places. It’s not about that one job or that one thing, it’s a serious of successions. I’ve been really fortunate to have these successive projects and they just keep snowballing, you have to trust the force. You don’t know where they’re going to come from but when you’re starting out, you’ve got to think of it as this progressive thing. I think that’s really important.
Mike: I think also just having [00:25:00] a belief in what you’re doing that you’re going to do it regardless, you’re going to be doing for a long time. You’re building this body of work. I can’t count how many times I got discouraged when I was just starting out and then switched and did something else. I could have continued building this body of work and I didn’t, I ended up having to start over again each time.
Jon: I think it’s okay to quit stuff. You have to know when to fold them, know when to hold them. I wasn’t a great guitar player but I like playing guitars and playing in bands. [00:25:30] I’m glad I quit that, went onto entrepreneurship. You got to know yourself well. What do you want to live with for the rest of your life?
Terry: Some things you’re good at, some things you won’t. You just have to live with that and focus on what you’re good at.
Euvie: Yeah, I think that’s another thing that some people get stuck on. They feel like they have to sacrifice something. They either have to do what they love or they have to make money, like they can’t do both at the same time. That’s such a silly and limiting belief, [00:26:00] because it’s not true.
Jon: It usually requires a reorientation of thinking. There’s a niche for everything out there. Just shaking it down and figuring who’s got the money to pay, who’s got the willingness to pay. Also, being open. I’ve worked on projects that involve DNA analysis, visualizing big networks to consumer internet companies to whatever. There’s like a thread that runs through all those things, which is about the space to [00:26:30] execute against my craft, to do excellent design. I work with people that get that. It doesn’t matter what protocol I’m in, I get pleasure out of working in all those things.
Euvie: Today we just heard about there’s a website called Clown Dating or something like that. Clearly, somebody saw a need and created something.
Jon: Clown Dating, holy crap.
Euvie: I’m sure they can monetize it, I don’t know if it’s monetized or not. I haven’t seen it.
Jon: Paid profiles [00:27:00] or see who’s looking at your profile to pay.
Mike: Digital nomad dating.
Jon: Yeah, exactly.
Euvie: Will robots takeover jobs in the future?
Jon: Yes, there’s no question.
Terry: I think so, yeah. I think so. I read an article the other day. They were saying by 2040 your definition of human will be a little ambiguous, because we’ll all have, say, if I blow my leg off I can get a mechanical leg. Maybe we’ll have heart rate monitors or nano machines in our body. Where do you define human [00:27:30] and cyborg? Is it 50 percent of your body? 20 percent? Is there even a definition for that? I have no idea.
Jon: Yeah. I think robots will take over manufacturing, just because of economics. There’s a race to drive those types of tasks to a net zero cost, where it’s just copying an MP3 file on the internet where there’s almost a net zero cost, it’s a material cost. [00:28:00] I think that race is inevitable. I think it’s going to go down, there’s no question. I think, like Terry says, it’s just what the timeline look like. If you’re out there and you’re listening to this podcast, your brain is probably in a different place – you want to tell the robots what to do, you don’t want to be told by the robots what to do.
Euvie: Or maybe you want to be a robot.
Jon: Or maybe you want to be a robot, yeah. That’s definitely a thing. Yeah, there’s no question.
Terry: Yeah, but how can you leverage robots to have a [00:28:30] lifestyle that you want or to provide value as a business. It’ll be like, “The robots are taking my job, what am I going to do?”
Euvie: Get a neural implant.
Terry: Yeah, exactly.
Euvie: Become better.
Jon: I think it’s funny. This idea that something is destroying jobs has been out there. I grew up with that because I grew up Midwest and east coast, that sort of pro-American, “The Japanese are taking our jobs.” [00:29:00] They were the villains in the 80s when I was growing up.
Terry: It’s more like it’s shifting, right, because you look at the music industry. They tried to fight against MP3s for their life, but now they’re finally like, “Alright, we can’t do anything.” Music money has shifted to live shows and concerts. A guy that’s running stages probably has a great business for the past 10 years. Whereas, the guy that was a radio DJ in Idaho is probably not doing anything now. Then, on the other side, you can have a podcast, right? What we’re doing, anyone in the world can listen to this now. There’s always winners [00:29:30] and losers, you just want to have that mindset to be like, “Hey, I can actually make the jump, I don’t have to just sit here and lose. I can actually wiggle my way, figure out a way to get to the other side.”
Jon: I also think, too, the way to look at the world, it’s not static. A lot of people also look at past performance as a predictor of future results. That’s not accurate and the world is not static. It’s a system. All these things you’re looking at are systems that are always in a state of contraction and expansion. Music industry is a [00:30:00] great example. The MP3 disrupted the music industry, Napster destroyed it and iTunes came around and centralized it. Now Spotify is eating Apple’s lunch. Then something else will come along. These systems are always expanding and contracting. You could say the same for cryptocurrencies and the idea of central banks. We’re in an expansion phase right now that’s going to contract and someone will centralize, it’s inevitable.
Many of us are societally conditioned to follow a certain life script: go to school, get a degree, go into debt, get a corporate job, get married, buy a house, go into more debt, be unhealthy, retire, do some things you’ve always wanted to do, and then die. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having this life path if that is what you truly want, but many people end up conforming to it even if that isn’t their idea of a perfect life.
On the other hand, there is a growing number of people who are going against this status quo and writing their own life script. Call them digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, or lifestyle designers – people who make their living online, often running their own businesses, while traveling the world. This is not backpacking: these are people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who are building successful businesses and leveraging their location to do so. There is also a strong self-development aspect to this movement, with people optimizing themselves in terms of health, productivity, and self-education.
In this episode, Mike and I are joined by Terry Lin and Jon Myers, two online entrepreneurs who have turned their passion into their business. We talk about the digital nomad movement, self-optimization, and how technology and robotics will affect the future of work.
In this episode of the Future Thinkers Podcast
- The future of work, entrepreneurship, and location independence
- The disappearance of jobs and the rise of the digital nomad
- Online entrepreneurship: what it is and what it isn’t
- How to make a living from your craft and your passion
- Cultivating a mindset that focuses on solutions and opportunities
- The brain and the self as tools for development
- Becoming a producer rather than a consumer
- Why the ‘starving artist’ fantasy is over-glorified and outdated
- Why robots will take over your job
Mentions & resources
- Terry Lin, Build My Online Store & Baller Leather
- Jon Myers and the Earth on Fire movement
- Software is Eating the World
- Potato Salad on Kickstarter
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
- Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier
- Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
- Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
- The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
More by Future Thinkers:
- Shaping Our Own Future with Nikola Danaylov (FTP010)
- Smart Cities of The Future with Aric Dromi (FTP032)
- Blockchain: Building Blocks for a New Society with Vince Meens (FTP0)
- Mapping the Mind and Finding Meaning with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson (FTP038)