Update: New post, two years later *** On any given day I’m anxious about any number of things. I don’t relax very well. I feel tense and unsettled at least a couple of times throughout the day. And I worry, because generally I think worry is good. Of course, not all worry is good, and…Read More
Once in a while (thankfully not often), I look back at some of the posts and articles I wrote in the early days. What in the world was I thinking? Most of them are riddled with errors, typos, and sometimes just bad writing. For both The $100 Startup and my new book (more news on…Read More
The drugstore in my neighborhood has a deliberate policy of wasting every customer’s time. If you arrive to pick up a prescription, you’ll wait a minimum of 20 minutes, guaranteed. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting a refill. It doesn’t matter if your doctor’s office has called in your prescription. It doesn’t matter if…Read More
People often think ‘Oh, I really want to go to some far-flung destination like Thailand or Mauritius and write about it,’ but if you’re a beginning writer you need to start with what you know.Read More
After losing things in hotel rooms over the years, I learned a critical rule: be careful about spreading out. If it’s just a one-night stay, I unpack immediately after arrival, but almost everything stays in two places: bag open and on the floor with the clothes I need for the next day. Laptop on desk…Read More
You don’t write a book because it’s a good thing to write a book. You don’t write a book to “build your platform.” You write a book because you can’t bear not writing a book. You have something to say and you’re willing to put in the effort, day after day, to craft that message in the best possible manner.Read More
It’s a common myth, yet at first glance it doesn’t make sense: booking plane tickets on short notice should be cheap. If there are empty seats, why wouldn’t the airline discount them as the flight approaches? But as you may have discovered if you’ve ever tried to jet off on a whim somewhere, you’re inclined…Read More
Amy wrote in and said she was struggling with writing her book. “I know I have something good to share with people!” she said. “But I’m having a hard time just getting started.” I’ve written about working through process a few times before—see how to make decisions, starting a business, and how to finish, for…Read More
Those of us who are self-employed, as well as anyone who performs intellectual work of some kind for a living, are continuously faced with a dilemma.
The dilemma can be stated in the form of a two-word question: What's next?
Many of us encounter this dilemma numerous times a day, whenever we first approach the machines that guide us through our work.Read More
The words we use matter. Here are some examples of words or phrases that are especially powerful.
Once upon a time. The most powerful words in storytelling. No matter how long the story goes, or how complex it becomes, every story has a beginning.
You. Because in business or in life, the more you can focus your efforts on other people, the more they will care about what you say.
“Yes and ...” The two words that keep improvisation going. Hint: they can also keep any conversation going.Read More
Since posting the 2012 Frequent Flyer Challenge, I've fielded a ton of queries from people about how it works, which cards are best for their needs, and the occasional complaint from someone who feels like this information is too good to be shared. The short response is: it works very well. I'll be receiving more than 200,000 miles from my recent applications, in addition to several million miles over the past few years. These opportunities aren't going away anytime soon, so you might as well get in on them if you can.Read More
This post is relevant for readers with U.S. passports who travel frequently. If you don't fit in that group, feel free to skip this one – or just read it for the entertainment value.
I've mentioned a few times that I have two U.S. passports, and each time at least one person asks me how that works. Well, I'll you exactly how I got the second passport, and what you need to do if this would help you as well.Read More
The title comes from Haruki Murakami, who in turn took it from Raymond Carver. *** Since I started this site in March, I’ve been to more than 20 countries in pursuit of my goal to visit every country in the world. It’s going well so far, and I've made even more progress than expected. Next year I suspect it will get much harder, but we’ll take things one trip at a time. As the community here has grown, I’ve noticed that I receive at least several emails a day with the same kinds of questions about travel. I’m making a full FAQ later for the upcoming site redesign, but I thought I’d go ahead and publish this one now.Read More
When you first head off to places in the world that are a lot different from where you live, a number of things change. You have to learn to adapt. I still make a lot of mistakes everywhere I go, but I try to learn from each of them. Here’s a short list of things…Read More