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Link

Hey, I know many of you thought I died in Asia and left no trail.
Not the case, I have just been hustling like a madman.

But I didn’t feel like writing so I opened up via video instead. Take a look at:

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Achieving happiness – How to turn around a shitty mindset

This is something quite personal that I wrote to myself. I know that I am not the happiest most grateful person in the planet and have a lot to improve on this area so I wanted to distill everything to the core essentials. The ABCs of what it takes to be happy and I wanted it to be done in a way that is memorable and sticky. In a way that anyone can take and instantly implement.

I am sure if we all live the 5 keys that are in this post we will have lives that are way better than they would be otherwise.


Read this sentence with care and take a moment to take it in:
‘To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want’.

Think about that…
If we look at it only from the surface level it appears to be a pretty simple statement and the way people would typically think about it would be via material things.

But I would argue is that it applies more to emotional states.

Now, think of this:
‘To get happiness, you have to deserve happiness’.
Or put more accurately.
‘To be happy, you have to deserve happiness’.

What that actually means is that deep within you, you have to want to be happy.

Let’s dive deeper in to things.
IF the above statement is true and in order to be happy, you would have to deserve happiness.

THEN in order to be really happy we would simply need to deserve it.

Now the question becomes:
Who is deserving of happiness?

That is a big question.
Probably too big for one man to answer.
What would be a lot easier would be to invert the problem and try to nail who is not WORTHY of happiness?

We could probably form a list of universal characteristics and traits of unhappy people.

Unhappy people:
-Are ungrateful.
-Find ways to complain.
-Turn small problems in to big problems.
-Focus on problems NOT solutions.
-Are reactive as opposed to proactive.

Obviously there is more and this kind of list is FAR from being conclusive. BUT for the sake of simplicity, lets focus on these because these are the BIG and universal ones.

Now, these traits will not kill you instantly but instead they will suffocate you slowly in to a slow and miserable death of all happiness.
But why specifically are these traits so problematic?

It comes down to two reasons:
1st reason: They are habitual and work under the surface and this makes them almost impossible to spot. So they run subconsciously and largely on autopilot.

2nd reason: They are both causative and correlative. Meaning that the more you engage in to these behaviors the unhappier you will be and as a result you are more likely to engage in these behaviors. This will form the unhappiness loop that can be near impossible to escape from.

So, now that we have nailed what causes unhappiness, we could probably get what causes happiness.

IF we assume happiness works on the opposite spectrum to unhappiness then happy people would have the opposite characteristics and traits.

Happy people:
-Are grateful.
-Find ways to NOT complain.
-Turn big problems in to small problems.
-Focus on solutions NOT problems.
-Are proactive as opposed to reactive.

And why are these traits potentially so powerful?

Two reasons:
1st reason: Just like unhappiness, happiness can run on autopilot which makes it effortlessly to engage in.

2nd reason: These items are both causative and correlative. This means that just like a person can be in the unhappiness/misery/victim loop, they could also be in the happiness loop.
In conclusion then:
-Happiness is a skill that can be trained and conditioned through awareness and focus.
But most importantly
-Happiness is not about ‘faking it’, it is not some kind of positivity parade where people are smiling on the outside while feeling negative on the inside.
And
-Being happy is up to you. And since it is up to you, it is your responsibility to fix it if you truly want it.
Because remember:
‘To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want’.

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Economics 101, how to actually get results from your work.

It is well known that I am selfish and I like to write for myself.
And what I am writing is what I think I need to most hear in my own situation.

In essence it could be viewed as me advising myself.
Because we often know what to do but all the ideas are cluttered in our heads.

So if I write like a know it all.
It is because I have went and analyzed the concepts in my head so many times.
Over and over again.
To gain clarity.
And only then do I go to the world and state my view.

I am in Taipei. It is foggy in the hills =)

I believe there is enormous power in giving yourself advice.

If we just ask the right questions and stay open minded.
We can find the answers.

And it isn’t actually all that difficult.

You most of the time know what to do if you just open your mind to it and seek clarity.

And that is where personal journals can be really powerful.
That is why a lot of successful people do it.
It helps seeing patterns in life.

For me a pattern I have noticed lately:
Whatever work I have, it will fill the time allocated to it.

And that seems to be consistent, every time.

I can go and find assistants etc.
But I will always find a way to be busy.
That part seems to never change.

So.

I’ve more and more come to realize.
Your input is not just the work you put in.

But:
Input * efficiency = Results.

We know this from economics 101.
So knowing this. The way you do your work matters a lot.

Think about global competition.
A lot of people, Chinese, Japanese etc.
They can work 12 hours a day.

But, fortunately we live in a knowledge work society.
So it is not just how long and much you work. But how smart, how good is your efficiency.

And yes, on a certain level you should work a lot. I would never dispute that.

However what we traditionally think of as work, might not be the most efficient way to go about it.

Because you also need to make sure that there is no wasted activity and that the direction of your work is spot on. That you are working on the right direction and doing the right things.

And almost certainly there is going to be a lot of waste if you are doing 12 hour work days.

It is impossible to do your best work while being super intensely focused and smart about it.

That is when proactive recovery comes to play big time.

My Sunday relaxation destination

You have a choice: You could put the blinders on and just put your head down. Do a shitload of work like a typical small business owner. End up working 12 hours a day with around 50% waste.
OR
You could work 7 hours really smartly. Aim to be as purposeful and planned as possible.
And instead of doing 12 hours with 50% productivity you could do 7 hours with 80% productivity.

The productivity is almost the same 6 hours of productive work versus 5,6 hours of productive work.

However one strategy is sustainable and will give you a lot better of a life.
Furthermore, if you use even part of these extra hours in active recovery.
You are well ahead of the grinders.
Taking off time will also make sure that you have time to be strategic and zoom out from the business. You will have time to really get clear on what you are trying to achieve.

And then whenever you do work, you are in that achieving mode.

So it is not about working ridiculous hours.
But its really about minimizing waste.
Still working but finding ways of doing everything just a bit smarter. With a purpose and aim.

You use your brain to escape hard labor.
You are the operator with intense realism. A general who sees the battlefield as it is.
One who is able to take advantage of opportunities and avoid the pitfalls.

In order to get to this point.
You have to start valuing inputs over outputs. And initially this will be difficult because these things will often be difficult to measure. Everybody can measure the amount of hours you put in but that is fools gold. Your goal should be the opposite, achieving as much as possible with minimum inputs.

Putting in your best work will be more and more important in the knowledge economy. We live in an environment where the perks go to the best. People don’t care about merely very good, they want and talk about only the best.

Look at the best athletes, CEOs, actors, consultants. There is huge wage gaps between the best and the tenth best in any position. The tenth best player in a football team is almost as good as the best player but he gets paid only around 20% of what the best gets paid.

So everyday.
Be less busy and a bit smarter about the way you do things.
Make it your purpose to show up with your best possible performance.
Fresh and super focused and clear on what you are going to do.
People don’t want the second best and neither should you.

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Taking my company public

Every year I want to try out something out that is a little bit different to what I have been doing.
For 2015 it was starting a web-development agency business.
For 2016 it was focusing on Shopify Ecommerce.
And since its now 2017 I want to try out some thing new again, something different, challenging and interesting.

So I am starting to push out a lot of content for my business. So in a sense I am taking my company and myself ‘public’.
This means I will be pushing myself out there and generating inbound leads for my business and really aim to position myself and my Shopify agency as top experts in my field.

So I thinking and planning of the best way to do this and decided that I am going to be pushing content on YouTube.
And then shamelessly promote that content throughout the Internet.

I believe in this plan because in my mastermind group this has been proven to be a good (Although very time consuming) way to get new leads for business.

I hope and believe long-term I will be a lot better off because of this.

Initially with content marketing it is most likely going to be like a J-curve. It can take a long time and a lot of effort to get noticed but once the work is done it should eventually reap continuous benefits.

And that is the aim here:
1. Create content that speaks to my target customer.
2. Position myself as an authority.

So the goal is to drive leads through that.
Not to grow a subscriber base but to get the right people on the phone with a right mindset.

Check out my YouTube channel here.
Check out my companys website here.
If you haven’t yet, you can also connect with me via LinkedIn.

Lots of cool stuff coming up on YouTube.
Ecommerce is always interesting and it is more relevant than ever so keep in touch 🙂

Thanks
Samuel

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2017 is here!

A new year is always a chance for a fresh start.
And whilst any moment is a good moment to start a better life it is a psychologically good to put something behind you when starting over.

So why not plan and refocus.

I know my 2017 will be focused on running my company. It will be a very important year. Probably the most important year so far.

In 2017 I look forward to having every process fully automated. I just need good commitment for a few more months before it can be feasible reality.
Now I have automated lead generation and project management to the point where they are running around 80% without me. I want to get close to 100% and stable before hiring my first salespeople. After that I should be free from the day to day operations.

Now, I got to say that 2017 didn’t start too gloriously for me.

In the morning hours I ended up puking in the toilet from too much beer.

That is why I am taking 100 days break from drinking.
So no alcohol for 100 days.

In exactly 100 days I will be flying from Taiwan back to the philippines. So that is actually very convenient.

Apart from these things I think it is good to just map out priorities so that they are clear and concise in my mind.

2017 Focuses:
1. Build a lasting agency. Focus on inbound and delivery more than outbound and sales. Running my agency will be a lot more focused on content marketing and I on the other hand will seek to be the main expert in the company. This means that there will be all the bells and whistles of online marketing soon. Traffic, a tripwire, lead magnet etc etc.. 🙂

2. Become a master delegator. With so much cheap labor, I shouldn’t do things myself. I am going to be a leader, use others, not being the hero.

3. Take better care of myself. This is a bit related to the last point but I want to make sure that I do my evening meditation almost every time.

4. Take care of my diet. Lets bring back the healthy diet. No drinking for the first 100 days, but also I want to average at least one healthy meal for every day. I will also be stricter in eating my vegetables.

5. Take time to exercise. Now, it is difficult to put goals and promises to these because situations vary a lot when you travel.

So those are five focuses of mine. Seems like they are all long-term oriented.

—-

Now the 1st of January also marks the end of my dieting 10% bodyfat challenge.

I definitely lost a few kilos.

However I am very much in the dark regarding this because I haven’t seen a single scale in Asia.

The last time I measured was in Warsaw 40 days ago.
And I was couple kilos from my goal.

So I think it is fair to say that I missed it by just a kilo or so.

However, commitments are commitments.

So, I am going to get to 10%. And I am going to record it.

That is not really even important for my body but for my resolve.

You cannot back down on your commitments.

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Moving from entrepreneur thinking to executive thinking

At some point in any successful entrepreneurs life comes a moment where they have to start delegating things because they can’t be doing everything by themselves. This is a pivotal moment in the early life of an entrepreneur. Delegating tasks to others brings with it possibilities where the company is now capable of producing an output that is more than just a single person could produce.

So in essence the entrepreneur is multiplying his systems and having it run at least partly without him doing the work and thus taking a little bit of load off from himself.

Sadly this is a point where a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck. Hiring that first person to work for you can be such a big leap.

To be frank. Hiring for the first time takes balls, ambition and humbleness.

Balls in pulling the trigger and not procrastinating on the decision or waiting for the perfect moment.
Ambition to grow bigger than yourself.
And humbleness to admit the limitations of your skills and work output.

Essentially when you make your first full time hire you are committing to taking someone under your wing and making a statement: This company can support two people now.

This has been on my mind a bit lately since I just did my first full time hire.

The differences between an entrepreneur and an executive:

1. The executive makes decisions for the company – The entrepreneur makes decisions for himself.

It is a switch in thinking more and more about my company’s finances as it being company’s money and making decisions accordingly. The money is there for the company to do well, it is not the entrepreneurs retirement fund as long as it is in the company. As a result the executive invests the money more objectively and coldly without being too attached to it, the money is less personal.

2. The executive is no longer trying to find a working business model, he is trying to test direction.

This is probably the biggest distinction there is. Whereas the entrepreneur is looking to validate and test his grand ideas – The executive is looking to position his company. The goal of the executive is to make sure it is run by good processes etc.

The executive already has a working business model so instead of exploring options he is exploiting the business model.

3. Leveraging people to run the company.

The executive is using mostly other people to get what you want. Instead of doing things himself, the executive uses delegation and leadership, he uses his brain instead of his muscles to get  to the point where he wants to go.

As the entrepreneur phase is over, they are less and less involved in the day to day operations . The executive has his company work without him. It is the difference between being the COO and the CEO of your company.

4. The executive doesn’t have the focus on himself.

The products need to be deliverable without the executive. You will not see a real CEO next to a production line putting pieces together. That is not the work of an executive.

Instead a CEO will focus on two things:
1. Provide company with direction and identity.
2. Enable people to do their best work.
That is it.

When one becomes an executive and a leader it actually becomes less about them and more about the people. The job will be more about developing people, showing them the road and getting the maximum out of them.

It is in this phase where entrepreneurship becomes more about how to be an awesome leader instead of how to be the best operator you can be. This means that your internal qualities actually start to matter more because they will form the expectations and the standards for others to follow. As a result of one being a founder and a leader his values and attitudes will be reflected through the whole company.

It is not so much about what you do anymore but more and more about who you are.

Once you enable people to do their best work and to take risks you will be delighted about how much talent there actually is around.

It is just common that most people, even if they would make great business people just want the steady paycheck. However in their heart they still love testing ideas, looking at what works and can think a bit outside the box.

These people are golden as they are your front level soldiers that you can grow and work close together with.


So that being said, the goal is actually pretty simple. Become an executive and have a company that can eventually run without you.

Personally I want to get to a point where I invest a focused 135 hours on business.
And that is it. That is the kind of company I am looking to build.

I have noticed that with people the pressure will be on me as the leader in a way that it has never been before. After all I am adding fixed costs to your monthly expenses. And in a sense upping the stakes voluntarily and once you up the stakes you either deliver or you pay for it.

It is a different kind of stress to doing it all yourself but at the same time, I would say it is definitely worth it since with responsibility also comes the perks:
-Work with people that you like and trust.
-Make a BIG impact on peoples lives.
-The ability to delegate activities that aren’t really producing for you.
-Building a team will make you feel less like you are alone in this.

So essentially it makes running a company more satisfying.

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The six month vision for my company

Lately the future of my company has been on my mind a lot and I have been thinking hard core about what I want from my business. As some of you know I run a web-development agency.

And the last few weeks I have been going all out on business and have had that laser focus on it. So, it makes a lot of sense to reflect and map out a bit and get my goals right.

I know that personally I tend to be a bit more instant gratification and tend to be motivated by short-term goals so I created a six-month business vision. It’s really a vision of where I will be at the start of next summer and how I am going to get there.

Here goes.

Positioning:
I will continue to drive, sell and produce relatively simple Shopify eCommerce sites that don’t contain fancy design elements or aren’t too complicated.

Our competitive advantage:
Because our offering is focused and specific in a somewhat narrow niche we are in a position where we are able to deliver these with both expertise and cost-effectiveness. It is this cross-road that leads to our high profit margins and relatively easy delivery. We are a boutique agency that is able to be efficient because a lot of the work will be based on specific mapped out processes and repetition.

Main points of the vision:
-Create a business that will both support my lifestyle but also be easy to run. This is done via a full-time project manager who will handle repetitive and low level micro managing tasks freeing more and more time for me to do other things and run the company.
-Reputation as a reputable vendor with more long-term clients, referrals and inbound clients. We want to have an upsell strategy for every client. There will be a referral process in place and I will focus on building more of an authority and presence throughout the web in order to gain some profitable inbound leads.
-I will be the main mastermind behind the organization having eCommerce specific knowledge that I then pass on to people.

Workforce:
-The workforce will exist in the Philippines with a strong in-house virtual workforce. We will mostly avoid working with freelancers as they tend to be difficult to manage, unreliable and expensive.
-We will deliver our eCommerce solutions at least 80% by our full-time employees that are working virtually on regular working hours.
-The workforce itself will be mainly consisted of relatively poor mothers who are hard working and obedient. They will work hard to not get fired because their families would starve and they will be eternally grateful for the company for being saved from the slums.

Individual positions:
-I will have one girl working for me who already has experience on project management and HR (Ready to pay a little bit more on this). She will be able to bring some knowledge and leadership to the organization. Most of her work will be consisting of being a key account manager. This is the only senior position in the company, the only person who is allowed to be in her thirties (Rest of them need to be younger).

-I will have another woman who is more introverted working on the code side of things. She is more of an entry entry-level developer who is hungry to learn and develop. There are some things she can’t probably do at the beginning and those things will be outsourced until she learns them.

-My cheap lead generation girl who is a part timer. She doesn’t have much of a brain but puts in the effort and doesn’t complain.

Project management:
-I have 1-2 project managers.
-IF I have more than 1 project manager there will be a lead project manager that will be the only one I communicate with regularly. I will only lead one person on project management.
-We have reached a point where the company can deliver its projects and communicate with clients 100% without my involvement. I can take a vacation and projects would still get delivered.

Sales:
-Outbound contacting is done in-house by people other than me.
-On sales, we have moved the focus to be more balanced with referrals, building relationships and warmer sales. We have a relationship strategy in place to squeeze every penny out of our clients.
-Sales calls is still done by me (But we have got to a point where they are ready to being outsourced after $10k a month revenue is consistent.)

My personal input on the company:
-Show up on sales calls that are scheduled by my assistants and close deals.
-Monitor the efforts and results of the project manager. NOTE: Not managing the projects but the project manager.
-Continue to make sure that the lead generation is running smooth. (Easy)
-Be a strategic leader guiding the ship and shining it. People outside need to know that I am a captain. It is my own personal brand, (outwardly it appears to be a Finnish company).

Financial goals by June 1st 2017:
-Monthly revenue $10k with a solid 60% profit margin. Profit is consistently over $6k a month.
-Cost estimation: Fixed costs: ~500$ a month maximum + employee costs: 2500$ a month maximum + alternative costs.

So that is the 6 month vision.

Here is the 2 year vision:
-After everything is running somewhat smoothly I will put my time and focus on improving lifestyle and further free up my time from day-to-day operations.
-I want to keep this easy to run for myself but to still grow the company. Eventually I want to have 10 people on regular payroll. The reason why I want this is mostly because it is going to bring stability to operations so that if one person drops or something it will not be a big deal. This will lead to less fire killing.
-The company is 100% capable of running 100% without me. I want to act more as a board and have a COO & CEO who are 100% responsible for the results that they and their underlings provide.
-The goal is to run a company that is easy to manage (Micro management is one of my biggest pain points.)
-Profit margins are consistently 60% with a minimum $10k revenue and I can scale operations with sales people and step away from the company.

-If after 3 years I am not enjoying and having fun anymore then I will be looking to sell and do something else. I will be 30 and will not want to be doing anything that I don’t enjoy.

Immediate action steps:
-Flying to Manila in 10 days to train a full time assistant in person (Having part time assistants never really worked out). Going to provide her with thorough training so that she can take off the micro-management tasks from me. She is going to be instantly able to free up at least 15-20 hours of my time and most of the stress which will have a significant positive impact on my life.
-I will continue to sell a standardized product that I will be able to replicate very cost effectively with cheap labor force. I will expand our documents to include some specific areas and put more focus on working the systems during the next couple months.
-After the assistant is trained I will have her look for potential developers and will hire a full-time entry level developer that I aim to train in to a star and keep her around for a long time to come.

Was very helpful to take the time to write these down. I have more focus on where I want to go now.

Cheers

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Feeling down? Take ownership of your thinking

awesomeMost of the time when we are all stressed out and exhausted it seems to be a lack of mental ownership and direction. I wrote this as an internal note for those moments when I feel overworked a bit tired and I want to yield and give up under pressure.First of all it comes down always making sure that we are fucking sharp. We are performing on your best. You want to always have that mental edge over people. Peoples interests don’t usually align 100% with yours and that’s why its important that we as hustlers and leaders are capable of outwitting and outsmarting people. And I don’t mean this as a shady way but we are sharp enough to take advantage of peoples weaknesses and then we can strike on that.
Whatever it is.
A salary negotiation. A sales call. Persuading your employees to work harder. Making sure you are not taken advantage of.With most people you should be able to run mental circles around them, having more awareness and focused on what is important. Being clear headed when they are clouded. You should have clarity of what you want when they are hesitant. You are proactive when they are reactive. You are just more alive and focused when they are distracted and all over the place. This is the mental edge. Just this kind of general sharpness.
And this kind of sharpness can be applied to your own thinking.You thinking that you are feeling sad or overworked means that you are not being sharp.
You are focused on the completely wrong things. It is reactive thinking, it is not going to help you. Instead you need to be tough and focused like a laser beam.

I noticed most of the time when I feel down its either of the two things:
1. I lack my WHY. I am not operating with a clear sense of reason which leads me to not be engaged.
2. I am not moving towards my why (Not getting results). This leads to the chasing of why feeling purposeless.

This is also which leads to inaction.

Laziness is stemming from couple of things. Not seeing the results or not being fully connected to the why.
-Me

Instead you want to quickly reframe all of you thinking, just shut the fuck up when you are having those internal complaints about some bullshit and get to the point.

In a western modern world, there is nothing to complain about and nobody gives a shit.
So stop telling yourself that you are tired or some bullshit like that.

You are good to go. There is always more energy that you can tap in to.
If you are having problems with anything there is always a solution.

In life this is what I have been training for. I have been going after my goals hardcore for a long time so that I can take it without flinching.

My hero’s wouldn’t be wimping.
Nobody I admire would crack under pressure so I am not going to do that either.

So even if I am not connected 100% to my why, I am still doing it just to do it.
And doing it feels good.

Focusing on doing feels good.
Actually, focus alone feels good.

Once you loose that, your mind starts to wonder too much.
You can have stupid thoughts like:
Am I depressed?
Why am I unhappy?
Maybe I don’t really like my life.

And once that happens you are in risk of feeling bad or not being fulfilled or bullshit like this.
Shitty questions lead to shitty stated. Ask better ones and you will feel better. Be focused.

Keep your focus. Take ownership and responsibility of focus.
That is how I have got my victories by being ridiculously focused and connected to that.

And one thing I love about life is that it is an arena for me to live out my values.
Life is where you put everything to practice.
It gives you real time feedback and sharpens you like nothing else.

Here is some things that I have been focused on the last few days. These alone have brought me a lot of fulfillment:

First thing: Stop resisting anything that happens to you.
If things are difficult just make sure to never ever complain. You are making it 10 times harder than it needs to be with your own bullshit stories.
Be really careful if you label something as bad. Things themselves can be challenging enough without you labeling them negatively (resisting).
So just shut up and do it. Don’t focus on the pain because there is nothing you can do.
It is not up to you. It is outside of your circle of influence and it shouldn’t concern you.
It comes down to being proactive in your thinking, having an ownership of your mind.

Second thing: Reframe everything that goes on.
Instead of having to do anything, you get to do it.
The same things can be seen from different lights, we want to focus on the most empowering view.
If things are difficult. I am thinking: this is how it should be. I am living on the elite level. Bring it on. I’m fucking stronger than this and its not going to break me.
It should become a game, you will see all the positive things. This will transform you in to a killer.

Why would I burn out?
I’m not a candle!-Grant Cardone

Third thing: Live with virtue.
Life is an opportunity for you to practice virtue.
Everything is an opportunity to live with virtue and see the benefits of it.
You get to practice right thinking and you get to put it in to practice with action.So just a very simple 1, 2, 3 process you can do to feel a lot better about everything that happens to you.1.Stop resisting.
2.Reframe.
3.Live with virtue.

or

1.Disconnect from your pain.
2.Find the pleasure in it.
3.Reconnect.If you do this. You own yourself and you will be a fucking hero in life.

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Challenges in Hong Kong

So I left Europe for a few months and flew to Hong Kong. This sunset was the last I saw on my home continent for a long time

So I left Europe for a few months and flew to Hong Kong. This sunset was the last I saw on my home continent for a long time

Business challenges:
-My main source of leads dried out pretty badly for me. A good lesson of how relying on a single source of leads can be dangerous. However I believe good things can and will come out of it, within my circles we were always talking about how we need to get the heck out of freelancer sites.

Life challenges:
-I validated what I already knew. It is difficult to work from hostels where everyone around you has a travel mindset. I very much feel I don’t belong on these places anymore but I thought it would okay since at least this time I had offices that I could work from. However it is still challenging since I often need to work around normal hours (especially here in Asia!). I can’t really make it work, so I am heading to a hotel in just a few days.

Overall I feel damn great being here. This is the adventure I have been craving for and I feel that at least for now I am on the path that I should be on. And it is definitely a bit scary, the safe feeling thing would be to go back to university and study to have a degree but I don’t think about that anymore, in a sense you could look at it as burning the boats. I know I will be okay and I am really happy about the path that I am on.

Even if the work I do is not always necessarily the most fun but I aim to do it in a fun environment and in a fun way. But one thing that has kind of been creeping on me lately has been cash flow. I need to stop using my personal savings and get my cash flow in good order soon. It is easy to be comfortable when you have cash in the bank but the flip side of it is that you essentially have very little pressure to produce results.

Working from the 31st floor, overlooking the Hong Kong skyscrapers

Working from the 31st floor, overlooking the Hong Kong skyscrapers

Almost everyone needs people to push us forward and help us to be more accountable in our lives. When you know that you can always sell some stock and be okay it makes it feel like more of a hobby because you don’t need the results.

It might take you ten years to find your place in the business. In the mean
time you’ll have to find a way to pay the bills, and you’ll have
to do anything and everything you can to be around people
practicing your craft.
-Dustin Hoffman

The problem is that as an entrepreneur or a salesman you should need the results a little bit. You should have that fire under your ass that forces you to produce results, otherwise nobody does. And that little bit of extra pressure is often the one pushing you to do the little bit uncomfortable things: Charging what you’re worth, going for that sale one more time, closing harder, aiming to finish projects quicker. In general I see it as only a good thing.

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So, I think it is time to finally start paying myself a salary.
The problem is that both my living costs and the fixed costs of my business are pretty high at the moment and I am actually burning through more cash than I thought.

For a person who is traveling on short term the rent will always be a major expense.
And even in Manila I am expecting to pay around 800€ month for my total living expenses.

I have to go for something a little bit nicer since I need to have nightly salescalls from my apartment which means that I need to have a nice room with good soundproofing and a solid internet.

That’s why it looks like I am going to live in one of the famous skyscrapers of Manila. Right there in the heart of the city.

But I think the monthly expenses will be something like:
800€ for the flat – Including utilities, gym and pool.
600€ for food, drinks and going out.
300€ for transportation and airplane tickets.
200€ for other expenses.

That is already 1900€. And although I am living nicely, that is the living costs in one of the more cheaper cities.

20161119_084011So I guess we can conclude couple of things:
1st: If you live in a relatively wealthy country, you are unlikely to save a lot of money on rent by moving short term to a poor country because you need an upscale local apartment and upscale always costs money.
2nd: Setting up for short medium term is probably a lot smarter in terms of rental prices and hassle. With monthly deals you don’t have all that much negotiating power and its not worth your time to haggle endlessly.

But overall an entrepreneurs life shouldn’t be about worrying about costs and saving money on every turn. That will be poisonous to your mindset, it will make you think small and that small thinking will probably put a bit of a ceiling on your achievements.

Anyway in four days I am off to an actual hotel and can do sales calls and cold-contacting from there. Take care.

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Bucharest – Warsaw – …

My time in Romania has now been over for a week, I had a good 48 days there, now it is time to move on from there. I just don’t think Bucharest has too much to give me anymore.

Overall I would say it was a mix of some good and some bad things. As a country it is a bit communist looking and poor. Cool people, really friendly, easy to open girls. But overall I never felt at home there. Sometimes it is not easy to explain why but I just didn’t feel the fit personally.

So…

I ended up choosing Warsaw as the next place because its an opportunity to live with people doing the same thing. It was never my intention to spend my winter in a cold country but I got an offer that I just couldn’t refuse.

I am still at a point where I am learning massively about business and I need to keep going. I need to think about going forward and the next steps.

I know from experience that if I have hustlers around me pushing and vice versa it is going to make a massive difference. Right now I am hooked on business and learning everything I can about my craft (Ecommerce). Everything feels almost effortless because the WHY I am doing it is so clear in my mind so I know that a month in Warsaw is going to be worth it because I only need one of two good ideas from there and it is going to be massively beneficial.

Now, 1 week ago I just had a one week semi-vacation in Romania. And a great thing about vacations is that it gives you time to reflect and reflect and readjust.

I always end up becoming more grateful on vacations and I now realize that my life is already pretty damn good. I don’t have to worry too much about money, freedom or any of the basic needs. I got all that.

Nicolae Ceaușescus palace in Bucharest

Taken from Nicolae Ceaușescus palace in Bucharest

So I guess I am sometimes having existential struggles (Got some white man problems).

For me to figure out what I really want from life is an incredibly difficult equation to solve because getting to the root cause of your unbiased wants is super complicated.

Every time I take time off from hustling I start to get deep and ask what I actually want out of life now?

When you are working hard, you get the feeling that you really must want this because you are doing this. It is almost like you look at your actions and reflect back, I must want this because I have committed so much time and effort to it. I have sacrificed this much, of course I want this.

Another issue is commitment and consistency. Once you have committed to a path, you really don’t want to give it up. Turning back would mean admitting that you have lost, it would mean that all that work you put in to it was a waste.

And a third big thing is the peer group and the influence of its values on you. If you are hanging out on Wall-street you will start to adopt those values, if you hangout in Hostels you will start to adapt to those values. So the best thing with major life decisions could be to try to remove yourself from outside influences as much as possible for a short period of time. You want to have a purity of mind.

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Brasov, Romania

So what did I find out from my vacation?

The following things.
-It is good that I have been pushing it hard on business, that is awesome but I have done it with a price that is a bit too high to pay. After all I am not in a massive hurry to get there, I need a tiny bit more balance and not work my self to the ground. With this improved balance I will get my personality back and it will be an opportunity to develop a bit more of a lifestyle where neither the girls or the money is neglected.

I go to the point where I was super committed to business but my lifestyle and personality became dull. I became less and less social and more focused on making it on the detriment of everything else. My social life really suffered and I started to think that it was a bit too much of a sacrifice.

So, I want to have adventures and fun in my life too and not just work 0n the computer all the time.

Unfortunately the week of did answer one burning question, could the business run smoothly without me?
And the answer was no.
So at least so far I have created a business and a system that is dependent on me (A job). I need to be there for things to happen.

I know at some level, when starting my company the point was to create a job to make a living (I am not going to retire at 27). But if I create a job and take all this risk and effort to do so, I want to create a really damn good job that I enjoy.

After all I took the risks and put in all the work so of course I want to be well compensated for the work as well. I wanted to create a freedom to travel anywhere and live a lifestyle that very few people get to live.

If I wanted to stay in Finland I would have started something local.
Now I am probably playing on a field that is a bit tougher but I am doing it because I love traveling. I want to see almost every place in the world that is possible to see.

And the world for me is just getting better, right now there is A LOT of places I can’t yet go because of poor internet. However in the next decade there will be very few places in the world that I couldn’t live in.

Think about that for a second.

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Warsaw life

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If the aim is to have an experience rich life, not necessarily financially rich life. This is the best time ever to be in online business.

At the end of the day there is very few people I would switch spots with.
I am on an awesome path and I can only see it getting better from here.

Being at a position where I am able to do spontaneous things without asking anyone. is awesome. And I want to use that right I have created for myself 🙂

So I just went ahead and booked flights from Warsaw to Hong Kong.

Its going to be quite a big change but I have been in Europe for so long that I started to crave new experiences. And that’s why I am heading over there.

Really have no plan except to stay in Hong Kong for at least three weeks.

After that, I have no idea.

And that’s how I like it! 🙂
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