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Never Normal Newsletter

Home-as-a-Service? Living in Airbnb vs Buying a House for 1 Euro

Airbnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, tweeted: “Starting today, I’m living on Airbnb. I’ll be staying in a different town or city every couple weeks.”

As longtime readers know, this is something that I started doing in 2012. Since then, I’ve lived in Airbnbs (as well as other short-term rental apartments and the occasional hotel room) in hundreds of cities across 50 countries.

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Never Normal Newsletter

Become a Digital Nomad, Pursue your Dreams, and Connect with More People

Last week I wrote about the self-tenured class, the pursuit of wealth, and working on what you love.

This week I’ve got a three new podcast interviews related to becoming a digital nomad and launching new ventures to share with you (plus a crazy love story).

What’s it like becoming a digital nomad these days?

In the past, one of the biggest challenges of becoming a digital nomad was finding a way to make money without being tied to a single location.

Now, since the pandemic hit and remote work has become much more common, there are new challenges and opportunities for those who want to go nomadic.

But at least one thing remains the same…

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Never Normal Podcast

Becoming a Digital Nomad with Justin Gary (Episode 017)

What is it like becoming a digital nomad these days?

Over the past year, Justin Gary ditched his office, moved out of his apartment, and got rid of his car to become a digital nomad. Now Justin runs his businesses while traveling and living around the world. 

Justin Gary is an award-winning game designer and entrepreneur.

He started his career in gaming at the age of seventeen when he won the Magic: The Gathering US National Championships. Justin then escaped from NYU Law School to pursue his dream of becoming a professional game designer (we discussed Justin’s journey in a previous interview on Never Normal).

He’s since made games for global brands including Marvel, DC, World of Warcraft, and Bakugan. In 2010, Justin founded his own publishing company, Stone Blade Entertainment and released the hit deck-building game, Ascension. 

 Justin has also taught creativity principles at the Wharton School of Business and to companies including Twitter, Zillow, and Google.

Earlier this year, Justin and I launched Quality Questions together, where we collect and send questions that help you apply the key lessons from self improvement books and lectures to your own life. 

Justin’s latest project is the Level Up habit journal

In this episode we talk about:

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Never Normal Newsletter

Moderate Hedonism, Peter’s Mystery Box, and the Self-Tenured Class


How I got wealthy without working too hard

This “here’s how I did it” guide written by a pseudonymous Italian software developer advocates “a sort of Moderate Hedonism”:

If you are a Software developer, it’s easier than ever to become a millionaire. What most haven’t figured out yet, is how to become wealthy without working too hard.

It’s full of life, career, and investment advice, plus little gems like this:

Money is literally defined as exponential so, don’t sit on your linear ass.

But the idea that stuck out to me the most is this:

When making life decisions, going in the direction of more money can be wise. However, we must keep in mind that when we choose money, we don’t choose much. We just decide to decide later.

That’s a really good way to frame it. Reminds me of the “deferred life plan” Tim Ferriss wrote about in the Four-Hour Work Week.

That kind of logic also reminds me of this bit from Family Guy. It’s silly, but: How often do we make ‘mystery box’ decisions in our own lives?

Rise of The ‘Self-Tenured’ Class

Sam Lessin tweeted a mini-essay highlighting The Power and Scale of The Crypto ‘Self-Tenured’ Class.

In academia, tenured is shorthand for “unfireable.” In this case, Sam is pointing out that there is now a big group of young and very smart people who have made enough money in the last few years (thanks to building or betting on crypto) that never need to work again.

That gives them the freedom to work on whatever they want to, without worrying about pleasing a boss, hitting quarterly numbers, or needing to make a profit ever.

When I read the phrase self-tenured, the first person who comes to mind is Elon Musk. The story goes that after Elon netted $180 million from selling PayPal to eBay, he invested $100 million in SpaceX, $70 million in Tesla, $10 million in SolarCity, and had to borrow money to pay his rent.

Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, you might say that those were obvious/easy investments to make, but at the time, they were anything but.

I wonder what interesting things will the new self-tenured generation will build?

Which Should You Choose? Advice from a Billionaire…

You could read the two sections above as somewhat conflicting advice about work and wealth.

One is saying, “don’t waste your life working too hard, just earn enough to live well” and the other is saying, “if you make enough money early on, you can spend the rest of your life doing whatever you want.”

So which should you choose?

Enter Ray Dalio (billionaire and head of the world’s largest hedge fund).

In his best-selling book, Principles, Ray encourages us to, “figure out how you can have as much of both as possible”:

How can we apply that logic here? In this case, choosing both means:

  • Working on whatever you want to work on
  • Earning enough money to live well, and
  • Having enough time outside of work to enjoy life

Doesn’t that sound like the ideal work/life plan?

(see also: my chat with Paul Millerd and post on time millionaires)

Think it’s too good to be true?

These People Chose “Both”

Ryan Hoover, founder of ProductHunt, recently asked on Twitter:If money was no object, what would you do with your life…

It’s fascinating to read the responses. Especially the number of people who said something along the lines of, “the same thing I’m doing now.”

What would you do?

If money was no object, what would you do?

If your answer is something other than what you’re doing right now, then:

a) Good for you for being honest
b) Good for you for having some ambition, and
c) You should ask yourself: Is there some way I can do that thing now?

Even if you can’t magically flip a switch, closing the gap between how you spend your days now and whatever you’d like to do instead should be at the top of your to do list.

Is there something holding you back?

Send me a DM and let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Maybe there’s some way I can help…

That’s all for this week. More soon!

Featured images courtesy of SpaceX

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I write occasional emails to share what I’m thinking, learning, and doing. It’s all related to the idea of breaking free from the “default plan” in life.

Want to learn along with me? Join my Never Normal Newsletter:

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Never Normal Newsletter

Mozart’s Farts, Becoming a Better Dad, Tensegrity, and American Anarchy

Last week I wrote let’s meme the world a better place. This week I’ve got a new podcast episode and an assortment of related things I’ve been learning, listening to, and thinking about.

It all starts with a tiny push

Even though you know exactly what’s going to happen, it’s still pretty amazing to watch this short video (dripping with high school science class vibes), and see that it actually works.

Beyond the physics, there’s an important lesson here about the power of taking action — even a very small action — that kicks off a chain reaction.

Can you apply this to your life or business? What’s the first domino that you need to knock down on the path to achieving your goal? 🤔

BTW – If you like thought experiments like this, check out Quality Questions. Speaking of asking lots of questions…

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Essays Never Normal Newsletter

Let’s Meme the World a Better Place

The world has changed, and we have a choice to make:

Should we focus on the bits or the atoms?

I’ll do my best to explain what that means and how it ties together my nomadic lifestyle, the metaverse, crypto, cows, and a radical plan to buy the constitution.

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Never Normal Newsletter

Exploring the “Pathless Path”, Time Millionaires, and Antiwork

Last week I wrote about how to solve shortages, sell $3B in a few hours, and have your most productive day ever.

This week I’m excited to share a new episode of my Never Normal podcast with Paul Millerd.

In 2017, Paul decided to leave his successful, predictable corporate consulting career (working for the likes of BCG and McKinsey) behind to embark on what he calls “The Pathless Path.”

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Never Normal Podcast

How to Earn Six Figures without a Job — Freelance WordPress Developer Tom Hirst (Episode 014)

Tom Hirst consistently earns over $100,000 / year, even though he’s never had proper job. Tom’s found success as a freelance WordPress developer, working on projects for the likes of England’s National Health Service, sportswear brand Umbro, and Facebook.

Tom also writes about the business of freelancing and mentors other freelancers. Tom is the author of two eBooks: 10 Steps To Becoming A Better Freelancer and Pricing Freelance Projects, and the creator of the video course, The Personal Website Playbook.

You can find all of these resources and more on Tom’s website.

In this episode we discuss:

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Never Normal Podcast

Creating Community Wherever You Go with Digital Nomad Alex Salinsky (Episode 011)

By day Alex is a fractional COO who helps technology companies grow quickly without falling apart.

By night he’s a “curator of people” who builds communities wherever he goes around the world, from impromptu 14-person dinners at conferences to a pop-up co-living space in Colombia.

In this episode we discuss:

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Never Normal Podcast

How to Make Money Online with Niall Doherty (Episode 007)

In this follow-up conversation with guest Niall Doherty (eBizFacts.com) we discuss strategies to get started making money online.

In This Episode We Talk About:

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Never Normal Podcast

Niall Doherty is a Man on a Mission (Episode 006)

Niall Doherty left his last office job in 2011 and set off on a mission to travel the world while making money online. Since then he’s been to over 50 countries, written a couple of books, and started several businesses. His website, eBizFacts is the best place to find information, reviews, and a much more to about making money online.

In This Episode We Talk About:

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Never Normal Podcast

Taren Gesell is a Triathlon Influencer (Episode 004)

Taren Gesell, better known as Triathlon Taren, is a former financial advisor based in Winnipeg, Canada. Not exactly a stereotypical social media influencer (aside from his fondness for posting photos and videos in skimpy bathing suits). But over the past few years Taren has amassed something of a cult following of “Traniacs” (as his devotees are known). In this episode we discuss how Taren managed to turn his passion for triathlon into a successful business via social media.

In this episode we talk about: