Do you have a boring, unfulfilling job? Do you wish you had more freedom to live the life you wanted?
I know how you feel…
Two years ago, I quit my soul-sucking job as a door-to-door salesman.
I had very little money saved up – enough to scrape by for 5-6 months while living with my parents…
I had no plan – all I knew was that I wanted freedom.
I always hated people telling me where and when I had to be somewhere. I wanted to be anywhere and everywhere – on dates, traveling the world, netflix and chilling, etc. Not in some office, working some shitty job I hated.
So, I had two goals: 1) Figure out how to become location-independent (i.e. be able to make money on the internet from anywhere in the world), and 2) Do work I care about.
Fast forward two years later, and I’ve achieved much of the freedom I craved. I’ve lived in 3 different countries (Vietnam, Spain, and Colombia), made hundreds of amazing friends, and saved a comfortable amount of money.
The crazy part? It only took a few months of hustling to put myself in this position.
So today, I want to give you a basic framework of how I did it – so, if you want more freedom, you can start achieving it a lot sooner than you might think.
Shift Your Focus
What do you focus on more? The things you DON’T want (i.e. that shitty job, annoying friend, jealous ex, bills) or the things you DO want (i.e. freedom, money, great relationships, adventures, etc.)?
Unfortunately for most people, it’s the former. But there’s truth to the saying, “What you focus on expands.”
Instead of focusing on the shittyness of the present circumstances, focus on how to improve those circumstances, and on the direction you want to move towards.
Action item 1: Write 5 things you’re genuinely grateful for every morning. This will help you focus more on the positives and develop the abundance mindset that’s necessary for success.
Action item 2: Change the way you view problems. Instead of giving up and feeling hopeless (like, “UGH, this job sucks. I hate my life!), ask yourself questions like, “What can I do to make this easier”, and “What’s the first step I can take towards a solution?”
Develop Better Habits
You are only as good as your habits. Small habits may seem trivial, but they are crucial in changing your mindset and becoming a more motivated person who takes action.
For me, the biggest habit has been setting a solid morning routine, and the most important habit within my morning routine has been meditation. Just 10 minutes of meditation with an app like Headspace helps me to stay calm throughout the day, and open to whatever happens.
You have thousands of thoughts every day, so if you can quiet the mind – even for a few minutes – it can make a huge impact on your life and your relationships with other people. And in turn, it can help you carve your path to freedom.
Action item 1: Develop a morning routine and stick to it every day. For this routine, consider doing: meditation, cold showers, reading, and journaling.
Action item 2: Start going to the gym 3-4 times a week. Exercising will make you feel better and help you destress.
Learn a Marketable Skill
A marketable skill is any skill that’s in demand and people are willing to pay you for. I chose to learn copywriting, because I love to write, and I knew that it would help me build and develop my own businesses in the future (it has).
So, I buckled down, hand-wrote a sales letter every day to internalize the patterns of master copywriters, and read 6-7 books on the subject. Within two months I was proficient at copywriting, and that helped me to earn enough income to move to Vietnam and get my journey started.
There are plenty of marketable skills to choose from, like:
- Project management
- Social media master
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- E-commerce (dropshipping, selling on Amazon, etc.)
- Product creation
- Affiliate marketing
- PPC (Pay Per Click)
Hell, even dating is a marketable skill. As I got better with women, guys were willing to pay me to help them improve. Really, any area where you have expertise, people will pay to learn from you.
Action item: Choose a marketable skill, start learning it, and read 4-5 books on the subject in the next month
Start a Blog
Whether you’re learning a marketable skill or trying to teach people an expertise, you should start a blog.
This blog is primarily about dating and self-development, but it’s led to tons of crazy and unexpectedly awesome things, like:
- Working with Simple Pickup
- Earning my first copywriting gigs
- Helping me reach hundreds of thousands of people
- Developing my ability as a writer
And all those are just the beginning.
It’s easy to start a blog, and it will keep you accountable to your goals too. You can use it to tell the world what you’re doing, gain recognition for your skills, and make money.
Action item: Start a blog, write your first post, and share it on Facebook. Let the world know you’re no longer fucking around.
Get an Apprenticeship
As you develop your marketable skill and tell the world about it through your network and blog, you should come across some apprenticeship opportunities.
Apprenticeships can help you optimize your career and accelerate your trajectory faster than most anything else. They give you an opportunity to work below an expert, and learn how to do what they do, while building your skills to new levels and learning a ton.
Apprenticeships allow you to make money while building that skill. It’s like getting paid to to learn.
For me and many of my now successful location-independent friends, apprenticeships helped us to 1) develop the discipline to be able to work from anywhere (this can be more difficult than you think) 2) get a glimpse of the opportunities further along our paths, 3) grow our networks tremendously, and 4) start traveling around the world. All of that was only the beginning.
Action item: Start applying for location-independent apprenticeships. A good way to get started is to 1) ask your network and 2) sign up for a newsletter like Taylor Pearon’s GetApprentice, which sends you emails with new apprenticeship opportunities.
Find Your Tribe
I’m guessing you’ve heard this quote: “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
What does your current circle of friends look like? Are they lazy, negative, and settling? Or are they motivated, positive, supportive, and taking action?
The first time I quit my job 3 years ago, I was surrounded by fraternity guys. Cool dudes for sure, but they also questioned my motives and encouraged me to get a “real job,” not believing the location-independent thing could work. I failed miserably the first time.
But the second time I quit my job, I surrounded myself with different people. I joined a weekly mastermind of 7 guys all trying to improve themselves and crush it in business. Then, I moved to Vietnam, where I was surrounded by nearly a hundred entrepreneurs from all over the world, and they became my closest friends.
I attribute a large part of my success to my circle of friends. Whether I’ve been in Vietnam, Colombia, Boston, or Spain, I’ve been close friends with people who constantly motivate me to be better just by being around them. I strategically choose to live in places where I’ll be around these types of people.
Start surrounding yourself with supportive people who are striving for similar goals, or who have already accomplished those goals. And if you can’t find a “tribe” like this, start your own, and invite people to join you on the journey.
Action item 1: Connect with people who are striving for similar goals. An easy way to do this is to start or join a mastermind with like-minded people through online forums around your marketable skill, and/or through your current circle of friends.
Action item 2: Stop hanging out with people who bring you down.
A lot of people think you need to spend decades toiling away until you finally achieve freedom. But that’s just not true anymore. Me, along with thousands (maybe millions) of people have figured out how to become location-independent and live anywhere in the world.
It doesn’t have to take years. I did it in less than six months. You can probably do it quicker.
Achieving time and location freedom can be amazing – but it certainly doesn’t solve all of your problems. Don’t think of it as the be-all, end-all to your happiness. It enables you to do many things you want, but if you’re miserable now, you’ll still be miserable, just with a lot more freedom.
And I’d like to leave you with this last point: Odds are, you don’t want a cookie cutter life.
Your dream life doesn’t have a place in some normal job or as some normal part of society. It’s unique, it’s what you want – it’s you, at your highest potential.
In order to get it, you need to veer off the beaten path, and live life as an adventure. To take risks, to feel scared, to dive into the unknown. And it will be scary for a while – and not always fun.
But in the end, this journey will change your life.