What Not To Do on Your Death Bed …

July 11, 2011 at 9:26 pm

…. let your dreams go unfulfilled.  

Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

From Bonnie Ware’s blog Inspiration and Chai 

I was very inspired after reading that article.

My passion is to travel and live in other countries.  I can’t work in an office for 30 years and be free only to spend a week or two on vacation.  I prefer to focus on vocation.

Working every day means that you miss seeing your family and friends due to your work schedule, but you can’t see much of the world – until you retire.  But by then, you’ll be spending all of your hard-earned savings on an RV and health care.

Retire now!  When you’re in the grave does it matter how much you worked or how much you accumulated?  Stuff is stuff.  We are so lucky to be able to experience life.

Live life now - don't wait to retire when it's too late - AnywhereProfessional.com

Happiness is about living right now.  We are willingly imprisoned by our ‘shoulds’.

“It’s not that easy.”  Yes, it is.  It’s scary but much more rewarding to be laying on your death bed, muttering ‘I did’ versus ‘I wanted to, but…’

We have two choices:  Do or Don’t

The reason there is so much pressure not to follow our wants is because most people aren’t, and we are living in the proverbial crab pot.

I heard a great quote once that basically said – people shrink their dreams to match their income, versus pursuing their dreams and reaching for the income needed to attain them.

It doesn’t have to be income-related but the point is don’t shrink your dreams because you think there are limitations.  Don’t let the kid inside you down!  The only limitations are the ones you put in place.

Sure, there are challenges, and you have to make extreme sacrifices.  Are you willing to make those sacrifices so you’re not lying there, on your death bed, with tubes up your nose and a pocket full of regrets?

I made a decision that, since I was unable to afford just traveling as a lifestyle, that I would work as I traveled.  While still in good health and being able to experience things and absorb languages and try new foods, I decided that I would travel and work simultaneously.

Instead of going to dinner in Seattle every night, I could be working from a cafe in Buenos Aires, enjoying a tango show, speaking Spanish, and having steak and wine for dinner – all while getting my work done that day.  I could visit my family – not for a weekend but for 2 weeks – and not skipping a beat.

My goal is to travel the world and learn about other cultures/ places/ foods/ histories/ people/ languages, etc.  I’ve been told by others that that means a lot of vacation time and a lot of money.

But on Anywhere Entrepreneur I blog about my journey and how it can be done, how you can live out your dreams – not always the way you expected, but with enough desire and guts, anything is possible.

Cell Phone Contracts Are a Thing of the Past

July 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Ditch your cell phone!

Your cell phone plan, that is.  Pay attention AT&T, the world is getting more connected.

One of the most challenging things about traveling is international roaming on your cell phone. Why can’t the phone companies all just get along?

As soon as I cross the border from Seattle to Vancouver, I will be forced onto another cell network and forced to pay double the price.

I’ve been starting to use my Google Voice number more often, which is a Seattle-based area code. It’s currently forwarding to my cell phone, but if I’m not available, it takes a message and sends me an email letting me know.

I open the Google Voice app on my phone or via web browser and find the voicemail has been transcribed to text!  It’s not 100% accurate, but I get the gist.  If I want to hear the message, I just hit the play button.

Pretty great stuff – I no longer have to pay an expensive telephone bill.  But, what if I’m out of the country and I can’t forward to my cell phone?

Google Voice only lets you forward to another US number.  How can I talk with anyone on my phone?

The best solution I’ve found, if you want to be ‘in the office’ and not force someone to leave a voicemail is to purchase a Skype online phone number.  For $60 / year and 2 cents / minute, I can be making and receiving phone calls to/from any US number from my own US Skype number.

Even for business lines, at Beer2Buds, we use RingCentral.  RingCentral allows you to get a toll free number and fax for $100/year.  You can forward your number, and/or any extension, to a cell phone or… a Google Voice or Skype number.

My last AT&T phone bill was nearly $200.  For around the same price, even though it’s less convenient (you need wifi, but that’s increasing every day – I even carry around a Clear modem when there’s no wireless but there is 3g/4g), you can still be ‘connected’.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention – SMS is such an integral part of our lives.  WithGoogle Voice, you can also send AND receive text messages!  And you don’t pay $19.99 / month like you will with AT&T.

This is a text message I got today that popped up on my phone from Google Voice.

The world is becoming more connected.  The cell phone giants will have to start playing fair or the growing VoIP services of the world will be the dominant players, which is already starting to happen. 

Digitize Everything! Simplify your Life by Going Digital

March 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm

This is a follow up post to my posts about 4boxes, Dropbox, and Google Apps.  

When making a change to simplify and become more mobile, it’s time to go through those old photos, cd’s, dvd’s, and other types of media, and to DIGITIZE!  

Cd’s become mp3’s.  DVD’s can be streamed by using a Netflix or iTunes account.  

Here’s a system.  Import cd’s into iTunes Library.  Back up that library using Dropbox. Same with DVD’s.  Then, you can donate them to Goodwill or you can get money for them using CD Exchange or other media exchange outlets.  

Using a service like ScanCafe, you can have your photos scanned into a complete digital format.  Use services such as Picassa (a google app) or Flickr, or even Facebook to show photos online.  My suggestion would be however to always have a backup on a file storage service like Dropbox then select and showcase your photos online.  

It feels great to simplify and digitize and of course another benefit is that everything stays with you, no matter where you are in the world.  

Google Apps and Why They Rock

March 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Because everything I do has completely morphed to online.  I haven’t lost a file, thanks to Dropbox, and with Google Apps have been able to:

  • Create and Share Company Documents
  • Maintain and Share Spreadsheets
  • Create a mini-CRM system
  • Connect a Domain Name from GoDaddy and create company email account
  • Use Google Sites to create company wiki pages to manage daily operations manuals, sales sheets and employees, human resource and legal documents, and the list goes on and on

Google Apps makes it possible for you to truly run your business from anywhere.  I use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to create documents sometimes, but as often as I can and especially for collaboration, I’ll use Google Apps.  I post my MS docs, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoints into my Google Site wikis.

When traveling, from any computer, you can be instantly working and collaborating online.  I’ve tested this in Argentina, Hungary, Costa Rica, and all over the US.  By slowly switching everything over to Google Apps and Dropbox, your files will be completely mobile!

Files on the Go – Mobile File Management for the Busy Traveler

March 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

About two years ago I was introduced to two file sharing services have that saved my life.  

Box.net and Dropbox.com (formerly getdropbox).  Countless number of files lost after computers hard drives simply crashed, or having laptops stolen, or even external hard drives going bad – or quickly going out of date!  —— then I found Dropbox. 

Dropbox is a service that allows you to store your files online.  I pay for their 50gig service which runs me $100 / year – better than having to replace laptops and external storage drives, and I never have to worry about anything going out of date.  Best of all, with Dropbox, you synchronize your folders online with your local folders, so it’s a seamless experience.  You use your folders like you normally would, then when you connect to the Internet, everything syncs back up to the server and stored automagically.  If your laptop is stolen, as mine was, you can un-sync that computer on dropbox.com.  

Why didn’t this happen sooner?  A breath of fresh air!  Get Dropbox here – you’ll be helping me out by giving me extra storage if you sign up using my link, and you get extra space for accepting my invite (another thanks Dropbox for the great affilate program).   

Box.net is another great service but less for the independent traveler and more for the corporate group looking to share files.  There’s no desktop component (that I’ve seen yet and as of this writing).  The biggest plus to Box.net in my opinion are its easily shareable links to files.  As a company, we store information both on Dropbox and Box.net that is accessible and editable, and secure, to others we work with outside of our company.  

The shift to mobile file storage makes it possible to be working from a desktop computer in an Internet Cafe in Argentina, from your iPhone in NYC, your laptop in Seattle – and stay on top of it all.  

What Matters – Using Tools to Free Ourselves and Follow our Vocation

March 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

It’s becoming increasingly apparent why I need to write about ways to live/work anywhere.

A friend called last night, distraught, and said ‘I feel like my life is empty. Can you help me do what you did?’. I’ve always wanted to travel. I feel like I’m doing what I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing. I have a good job, car, etc, but… my life feels so empty. Can you help me put a plan together?”

I was shocked.  This girl is tough. Everyone is intimidated but respectful of her. To see her break down, I actually asked her if she was kidding, to which – of course, she said ‘no’. There are so many people that have fallen prey to a system that doesn’t work anymore. Or to a system that is fake with so many ‘rules’. But all the rules were invented, they are part of a game.   We allow others to take control of our strings like a puppet.

Everybody was meant to be free, to live life the way they intended – not sitting in front of a tv but going out and experiencing our passion, unleashing our creativity, and following our vocation.  Instead of taking control of our lives, we allow systems to manage our life for us.  The world is becoming increasingly borderless and there are tools that we can use to build the life we want, including especially not being limited to a particular job or location.  

As this blog continues I hope to provide more tools and tips on how we can live and work anywhere we choose.  Follow me also at libtuck.com and twitter.com/libtuck (@libtuck).  

Temperature and Productivity

December 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm

As I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires meandering nonchalantly like a fly in winter, I thought about the concept of Productivity and Temperature, and their c correlation.  Why is it that cities that have seasons or are in colder temperatures tend to be larger, have more companies, more business, more wealth?

But if the summer heat slowed me down so much, then my theory about different seasons didn’t hold.  Then I thought about air conditioning.  I decided to look up the effect on temperature and productivity to which I found a lot of information. For example 1/3 of participants in a CareerBuilder survey said their productivity was affected by temperature.  Too hot or too cold and it’s impossible to concentrate.  I found the same when traveling in Central America.  If the wi-fi was working, still all you could think of was the beach and fast-melting ice cream.

Below is a productivity graph from productivity-science.com.  They say

As you can see, the productivity changes significantly and highest performance achieved in relatively short peak between 70° F (21° C) and   73° (23° C). Outside 63° F (17° C) and 82° F (28° C) temperature range the productivity decreases more than 5% and significantly impacts on workers ability to work and even can influence health”

This makes sense now, as I searched for a place with air conditioning to dry my sweat beads and allow me to concentrate, as though I were in the perfect temperature all along.

Temperature and Productivity graphic

Henry David Thoreau

December 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined.

Traveling again por fin! Bs As, Argentina

December 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Buenos Aires!  Launching out again – another test in life, knowing myself, and working and living virtually from another culture, another continent, another history, new rules, new foods, and a whole new set of experiences!  A dream come true… on purpose.

Someone said to me recently

“… remember, you’re very luck to be experiencing all of this.”

Though I fully agree I have to say it has nothing to do with luck.  I carefully planned, prepared, notified business associates, coworkers, family, tenants, etc of my absence.  I set up my Skype phone, my Google Voice number, my International plan for my iPhone, got a SIM card for my local Argentine phone, searched for and set up an apartment via Craigslist before I left.  I have been no less available to anyone away then I was when in Seattle.

This is the 3rd test so far and each time I learn something new.  My only criteria:

1) a quiet place, with my own keys

2) with Internet

Sounds simple enough?

So far, from staying between hostels, friends’ houses or hotels, to renting a shared apartment – I’ve learned what works and what does not work.

Wi-fi being ‘available’ – if you’re in Central America, it can be like dial-up, with 8 people sharing the same connection, and maybe just maybe the power won’t go out for hours.

In Eastern Europe, they may have wi-fi but if the cafe is open until midnight, they might decide to cut it off (just because?) around 8 pm.  It’s probably great to turn it off so people will relax and enjoy life, but, some warning helps.

Buenos Aires is a city that is always connected, unless the neighbor decides to do construction and cut the power lines.  A quiet apartment in a city that never sleeps isn’t impossible, but noise canceling headphones for Skype turned out to be an invaluable purchase.

I’m learning that I need:

- a private apartment

- noise canceling headphones

- a dedicated Internet connection that can’t be turned off

- an environment with good temperatures (not too hot, not to cold, or the ability to moderate – see Productivity and Temperature)

Still sounds simple and I think we’re very lucky in the US that we have this, and also it’s something I’m accustomed to.  But Buenos Aires has been a great experiment in living/working virtually.  I’ve been able to have some of the most important business meetings and conference calls while experiencing Bife de Chorizo, Tango shows, Christmas in 80 degree temperatures, Empanadas, nightlife that goes until 6 am, speaking Spanish every day, a mix of European and Central (and North) America, theaters, the widest street in the world, great parks, and everything great about a new culture – while still being in the office.

Lion in the Wild

August 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm

One of my favorite articles is by Paul Graham, entrepreneur, investor, founder of Y Combinator. I quote it often and I wanted to give it a shout out.

It’s called ‘You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss’

Paul likens an entrepreneur to a lion in the wild. He says:

“I was in Africa last year and saw a lot of animals in the wild that I’d only seen in zoos before. It was remarkable how different they seemed. Particularly lions. Lions in the wild seem about ten times more alive. They’re like different animals. I suspect that working for oneself feels better to humans in much the same way that living in the wild must feel better to a wide-ranging predator like a lion. Life in a zoo is easier, but it isn’t the life they were designed for.”

My interpretation:

It’s much tougher to be out in the world of the unknown. It’s wild. It’s scary. And on any given day it can eat you alive.

But… it engrosses you. You love it, because of one thing – you are free. Or as Paul Graham says “Ten times more alive”!

Humans weren’t designed to be corporate machines, slaving (voluntarily) away to build someone else’s dreams, to feed someone else’s family. You may not know if you’re going to eat the next day or not, but it’s your choice, not someone else’s rationing to you.

Being wild, free, undaunted and passionate amidst daily challenges are characteristics of both the lion and the entrepreneur.

Human beings were meant to experience life by being alive. Ten times more alive.

Kudos to the entrepreneurs!