FF 033 - Blockchain, How I Traveled the World for 5 Months and Made Money Doing It, How to Pick a Career That Actually Fits You, 6 Life Principles

 
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Hello from Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Paris! (last week was busy... too busy 😴)

I will be launching a new FREE (for a limited time) online course called: From Dropout to Entrepreneur - How to Find a Profitable Idea and Work on Your Side-Business Without Quitting Your Day Job, in about a month; if you're interested sign-up here.

Welcome to the 33rd Edition of FRIDAY FAVORITES!

Check out this week's list of things I've learned, how I've implemented them, and what I'm enjoying or pondering.

If you're also on the adventurous pursuit of smart passive income it'll come in handy 😉.

All the best,
Enjoy,
- Adrien
P.S. If you're new, sign-up here.
P.P.S: Don't know who I am? Look at this.


 by Mark Bivens, Millennium 7 Capital

by Mark Bivens, Millennium 7 Capital

This is a really cool book. It combines two things I'm very fond of / excited about so maybe I'm biased, but Japan has some seriously interesting opportunities for the application of blockchain technology to disrupt huge long-standing industries.

As I mentioned in my post about Japan, they are incredibly slow innovators in some ways because of the need to preserve social harmony over radical progress, but that's changing.  The government is now extending a large percentage of their finds to startup development as a means to innovate quickly and effectively.

This book talks about a lot of the ways blockchain tech could be used mainly in Japan but also touches on global applications too. It was written by Mark Bivens, a partner of Millennium 7 Capital (probably the coolest sounding name I've ever come across in tech) makes me think of Star Wars...

 ... I hope you enjoyed that because I enjoyed putting it here.

... I hope you enjoyed that because I enjoyed putting it here.

Maxwell Weiss, the venture capitalist I met in Japan, is also a partner at Millennium 7, which is, as of yet, is the only VC firm I'd consider working for because they're doing some revolutionary $h*T. He recommended the book. It's a great book. Thanks Max! 😉

It also inspired me with a BIGGG new idea. One that I doubt would be feasible for me right now, but something I will be attempting regardless. I'll let you know how it goes 🤞.


2. What I Am Doing: Being exhausted... and finally going home!

Me being exhausted and headed to my last flight! Finally going back to New York City!

It's been nearly 5 months since I started this journey around the world, and I've learned so much.  Instead of repeating previous lessons shared or digging deep for each, I'm going to attempt synthesizing to the core PRINCIPLES as Ray Dalio would.

Suffering + Resilience = Strength & Perseverance: This may seem obvious but no harm being reminded of it.

Temporary settling can be a necessary recharge tool: When feeling overwhelmed and nearing burnout, I've found it extremely important to give myself a break by doing low-effort things that bring happiness: e.g. hot baths, Netflix binging, walk in the park, meditation, reading fiction, etc.

Attention is your most valuable resource, not time: Time spent without attention is useless. Life can be extremely short and being able to live mindfully / in the present / fully, so as to be your best self for the maximum amount of time possible, is paramount.

Careers take up wayyy too much of our lives to be anything but what you love doing: Settling for a comfortable job that pays the bills or a job you hate but stick to out of laziness can be the worst decision you ever make. I explain why below.

Approaching exclusively from First Principles guarantees authentic experiences: Biases exist for all of us. It's hard work to catch them and even harder to eliminate them entirely. More on this below as well.

Social harmony is ultimately more important than progress: Japan taught me this. Before reaching any decision, everyone is consulted and needs to be onboard. This makes for extremely slow progress and goes against nearly every operational philosophy of startups in the west: "Move quickly, fail fast, ask for forgiveness not permission".  While I agree with that in many cases, I would apply Japan's perspective on social harmony in the grand scheme of your life. Using others to get ahead or ruining relationships for expedited success are common practice because of the overwhelming pressure to progress quickly.  This principle is meant to state that you should never do anything you'd regret long-term for something you'll gain in the short-term.

Recruiting is the goal, not hiring:

  • Hiring is interviewing people who come to you because they want to work for your company.  Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll have top performers (A-players) come in through those channels, but most of the time that's not the case. 
  • Recruiting is specifically going out of your way to find the best possible people for your company (A-players) and convincing them to stop doing whatever great thing they're already doing (whether that's at their already awesome job, or running their own awesome business) so that they can start helping you instead. It's a lot harder to convince them, but recruiting even one A-player beats hiring tons of B & C players because those will slow down so much of your progress and cost you so much more time and financing in the long run.  Wait to recruit the right people, don't succumb to the easy hire.

A long-term culture fit is more important than any other aspect for new recruits: I've had to cut more toxic relationships than I'd like to remember. Most of them because of an innate culture misfit. It's hard to tell someone talented that they can't work here anymore (especially if you have a personally close relationship), but, in the long run, it's best for the company.

There are so many more principles I'd like to include, but that will be for another time later down the line.


 Tim Urban - Wait But Why

Tim Urban - Wait But Why

I personally struggled with this question for a while after dropping out.  Eventually, I cobbled up a pretty good system for figuring out what you want and why from a variety of different sources.

I've since used that system to help my friends, family, clients, students, and even acquaintances successfully find something interesting and viable for them to pursue.

This blog post is the single closest compiled resource to my system and offers so many more interesting perspectives on considering the question of what to do with your life and why.

I'll be applying so much of what I learned from it to my system as well.

When you read it, which shouldn't even be a consideration because it's so damn good and important to consider, I would HIGHLY suggest scrolling to the bottom and downloading the worksheets offered BEFORE reading, so that you fill them up AS YOU READ, rather than having to go back through the post with the worksheet afterwards, which is discouraging.

P.S. If you've been reading my stuff for a while you probably know how much I love Tim Urban and Wait But Why. Ironically, that is a bias I am so happy to have 


4. What I Have Learned / Applied: Everything from Tim Urban's post and nearly everything from Ray Dalio's Principles

Some people use a religious tomes like the Bible, Torah, or Quran to guide their values and behaviors throughout life, I use 6 things:

 This book changed my life by giving me a dream to strive for after dropping out as well as a clear plan on how to get there with the necessary action steps.  It also reminded me to keep questioning everything.

This book changed my life by giving me a dream to strive for after dropping out as well as a clear plan on how to get there with the necessary action steps.  It also reminded me to keep questioning everything.

 Changed my life by getting a much clearer and deeper understanding of where we're heading as a species and the radical changes we'll be dealing with in the near future.  Both the positives and negatives.  Understanding how to navigate the already extremely invasive tech world we live in is invaluable if you start now.  It may already be too late for some aspects of life, but learning about what we'll face is the first step in discussing and coming up with the best solutions.

Changed my life by getting a much clearer and deeper understanding of where we're heading as a species and the radical changes we'll be dealing with in the near future.  Both the positives and negatives.  Understanding how to navigate the already extremely invasive tech world we live in is invaluable if you start now.  It may already be too late for some aspects of life, but learning about what we'll face is the first step in discussing and coming up with the best solutions.

  How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You) by Tim Urban does such a great job explaining how and why you should pick a career you'd be proud of when you die. It taught me how to find and eliminate my biases, approach everything from First Principles, and categorize my deepest fears and desires into a much more digestible format. 


How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You) by Tim Urban does such a great job explaining how and why you should pick a career you'd be proud of when you die. It taught me how to find and eliminate my biases, approach everything from First Principles, and categorize my deepest fears and desires into a much more digestible format. 

 Meditation is the other 50% of why I didn't quit. I use Headspace but it probably doesn't matter as long as you find a method that you can keep up consistently and works effectively for you.    Nothing allows me to audit and correct my emotional state better than meditation. It has taught me so much about myself and how I've been programmed to react to certain things.  It has also given me the most effective method of overcoming burnout and recharging both my mental and physical energy.  There's a reason nearly every top performer in the world practices some form of mindfulness. 

Meditation is the other 50% of why I didn't quit. I use Headspace but it probably doesn't matter as long as you find a method that you can keep up consistently and works effectively for you.  

Nothing allows me to audit and correct my emotional state better than meditation. It has taught me so much about myself and how I've been programmed to react to certain things.

It has also given me the most effective method of overcoming burnout and recharging both my mental and physical energy.

There's a reason nearly every top performer in the world practices some form of mindfulness. 

 This book changed my life by educating me on the "entirety" of human history from a scientific and psychological perspective rather than a biased one.  It helped me understand why things turned out the way they are today and how we, as a species, evolved to this point.   Nearly everything we know was made by us and can be changed. Steve Jobs told us this before, but I didn't understand how to apply that lesson until after reading Sapiens.   It also gave me a much deeper appreciation for our shared humanity, which reassured my idealistic beliefs of potentially arriving at some form of utopic peace in the far future.

This book changed my life by educating me on the "entirety" of human history from a scientific and psychological perspective rather than a biased one.  It helped me understand why things turned out the way they are today and how we, as a species, evolved to this point. 

Nearly everything we know was made by us and can be changed. Steve Jobs told us this before, but I didn't understand how to apply that lesson until after reading Sapiens. 

It also gave me a much deeper appreciation for our shared humanity, which reassured my idealistic beliefs of potentially arriving at some form of utopic peace in the far future.

 Taught me how to think like a "shaper" (people who change the world), be radically honest, radically transparent, and run an idea meritocracy in both my company and personal life.    Having the distilled perspective of a single (successful) life (and its principles) is also incredibly interesting because it means we can distill everything we learn into a digestible and actionable format for future generations in a way I haven't seen before.

Taught me how to think like a "shaper" (people who change the world), be radically honest, radically transparent, and run an idea meritocracy in both my company and personal life.  

Having the distilled perspective of a single (successful) life (and its principles) is also incredibly interesting because it means we can distill everything we learn into a digestible and actionable format for future generations in a way I haven't seen before.

 Stoicism is 50% of why I didn't quit entrepreneurship. I had unknowingly learned the lessons of the stoics when I was in survival camp at the recalcitrant age of 13.  Some lessons were branded into my psyche forever, but some were forgotten. I was reminded of those again on the summiting day of Mt. Kilimanjaro at the slightly less recalcitrant age of 15. Being weak and sick from the altitude, plus nearing frostbite on two of the toes of my left foot. Again, some lessons were branded forever, some forgotten. Finally, when I dropped out and was introduced to stoicism through Ryan Holiday and later the greats themselves (Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Cato, Epictetus, etc.) I was reminded of the lessons lost, AND found a way to never forget them again. First reading the book above. Second reading the daily stoic newsletter every day. Third, and most importantly, doing the 5-minute journal (practicing gratitude) every day.

Stoicism is 50% of why I didn't quit entrepreneurship. I had unknowingly learned the lessons of the stoics when I was in survival camp at the recalcitrant age of 13.  Some lessons were branded into my psyche forever, but some were forgotten. I was reminded of those again on the summiting day of Mt. Kilimanjaro at the slightly less recalcitrant age of 15. Being weak and sick from the altitude, plus nearing frostbite on two of the toes of my left foot. Again, some lessons were branded forever, some forgotten. Finally, when I dropped out and was introduced to stoicism through Ryan Holiday and later the greats themselves (Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Cato, Epictetus, etc.) I was reminded of the lessons lost, AND found a way to never forget them again. First reading the book above. Second reading the daily stoic newsletter every day. Third, and most importantly, doing the 5-minute journal (practicing gratitude) every day.


5. Thought(s) I Am Pondering:

I will be doing a monthly or quarterly self-audit to reevaluate my path and remove biases. Would you be interested in me sharing that information?

Thanks for reading, have an awesome weekend! 😁

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