Challenge #4: Removing the Middleman

I told everyone that I would work to create a simple summary of my current life plan. Well, my two weeks are up!

Making a life plan: Why you should try this 

Writing notes in a notepad

We all want to achieve something in this life. While it's difficult to conquer our goals, it can be nearly impossible when you don't even know what the goals are! The difficult part isn't desiring something, but staying on track and reaching the endpoint. The first step to overcoming this problem is to clearly understand what exactly you want. Keeping your answer short and simple is a good way to remember it.

My book-length version

Of course, my ultimate wish is to be happy! To that end, my life plan's number one goal is to establish a flexible life. Everything else dangles off the thick branches protruding from that one towering trunk. 
In pursuit of that goal, I became a self-employed businessman and blogger. I founded the company as a way to learn about foundational business concepts. It's also teaching me how to design a life around my ideal work-life balance. And I publish the blog to document the journey. You can read more about the idea behind the project on "About This Blog."

Interest and necessity

Clicking around that page, you can see reasons behind the project like "travel," "language skills," "[this kind of work] can be done anywhere," and "[there are] two paths [for next year]." Many of the goals in my life plan revolve around these basic ideas.
Part of this is interest. Travel and learning foreign languages are integral and irremovable parts of my life. For me, a life without these is not a life at all. I'm helplessly yanked towards alternatives because these two interests furiously collide with most people's norms of work
The question I asked myself is, "How could I possibly travel 3 months a year, aggressively forge ahead in learning languages, and still hold down a well-paying job?" 
row of doors, lots of choicesPart of this is necessity. I cherish flexibility and autonomy. Flexibility creates choices, and autonomy allows me to pick what's best. Researchers discovered the importance of autonomy on people's happiness decades ago (Psychology Today, American Psychological Association). Not only is it fundamental to human happiness, it's simply more enjoyable. And also less stressful! That's because flexibility eases the tension between work and life. Overall, it already feels more "human"--my schedule revolves around life itself, not around the artificial schedule of the international 40-hour work week. Whether starting a company in Singapore, a family in America, or a new travel adventure in Africa, flexibility leaves the door to fulfillment and enjoyment open a little wider
The question I asked myself is, "How can I possibly find the time to do everything I want to do and not completely burn out?"

drawn to it like a moth to a flame

Long-term rationale

Business offers opportunities for flexibility that most other professions cannot. It inevitably draws me in like a moth to flames. Whether acting as an independent consultant, continuing my work as an entrepreneur, or assuming a more traditional role at some point down the road, business is ripe with suitable possibilities.

Adding specificity

I'm satisfied to leave my life plan in its current generalized form. I'm already proficient at setting out smaller goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It's the long-term goals that challenge me! But for those who are looking for something a little more concrete, here are 5 specific goals to tide you over:
  1. Travel to 3 countries every year (2 must be new) 
  2. Always be enrolled in at least 1 online class
  3. Practice each of my 3 foreign languages at least once a week 
  4. Start a master's degree program by 30
  5. Always keep my current weight ± 10 pounds

My 4-sentence version

More than anything, I wish to be happy. For me, that means building a life that is flexible enough to accommodate my mixed bag of desires and needs. I'm pursuing entrepreneurship so I can design a life that gives me the freedom to travel, learn, work, and live as I see fit. I started this company and blog as the first step toward building that life.

My 1-sentence version

I started my company and am pursuing entrepreneurship because I want to have a life that gives me the freedom to travel, learn, work, and live as I see fit.

eliminate the middlemen

Challenge #4: Eliminate the middleman 

In Tim Ferriss's book Tools of Titans, he offers up plenty of questions to ask yourself. The point of this is to 'exercise your creativity muscle.' Over the next 2 week, I want to focus on this one: 

10 industries where I can remove the middleman

I don't just want to come up with 10 quick answers and walk away. Rather, I want to briefly pursue each of the 10 ideas and then share any insights with everyone. 

Until next time!


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Posted in Challenges, Lifestyle.

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