April 30, 2008
1. Find a subject you care about
2. Do not ramble, though
3. Keep it simple
4. Have guts to cut
5. Sound like yourself
6. Say what you mean
7. Pity the readers
April 28, 2008
I can’t remember exactly how I originally came across Chris Guillebeau’s blog, The Art of Nonconformity, but it is very cool. Chris is a writer and entrepreneur whose goal is to visit every country in the world, and he is writing about his experiences (along with tons of other interesting things) along the way.
My favorite post is 100 countries or an S.U.V.? As you might guess, it is about choosing to spend money on travel as opposed to a more typical expenditure, like a pricey car. I completely agree – I’d much rather spend on travel (and I travel cheaply) than pretty much anything else, especially an expensive vehicle (granted, I do live in a city where it is very easy to get by without a car – and hey, one less car on the road is better for the environment and all that). And I quote:
“But for me, I feel much more comfortable valuing life experiences. I value meeting people all over the world. I value stamps in my passport and real-life adventures I would have missed if I would have stayed home.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
April 23, 2008
“Paul Allen, the Microsoft cofounder, has a yacht that is 416 feet long. It cost something like a quarter of a billion dollars. It carries two helicopters. It’s so large it cannot dock anywhere on the French Riviera. (That’s why it needs those helicopters. They are the only way to get to port.) The “Octopus” seems to be a perfect example of way-too-much. Possessions of this kind act like barnacles that slow movement and limit freedom. “Going for a sail” must seem to Allen like something that requires him to mobilize a third-world country, an event so wearying that it must seem better, most of the time, just to leave the thing be. Allen’s Octopus is really an Albatross.”
There’s more to the idea than just a Fight-Club-esque sentiment – it’s the notion that “just enough” is actually just about perfect; that it is better to be small, mobile, and independent than anything else.
“In the case of an entrepreneur, “just enough” is about control. Staying small(ish), staying private, supplying your own capital, all these mean calling your own shots. Venture capitalists and Wall Street can drive someone else crazy. The just enough entrepreneur can take his or her own chances. When it comes time to choose between interesting and profitable, you can go with interesting. Just enough in this case is about control.”
In fact, this applies to me (as well as many other writers and entrepreneurs I’m acquainted with) – by keeping my lifestyle streamlined I can work with the people and companies I find interesting/valuable/challenging. Also, as one of the commenters on the original post pointed out, small firms (perhaps ones that focused on local goods and services) and the whole concept of striving for “just enough” – as opposed to aiming for billions and worldwide acclaim – seems much more sustainable and environmentally friendly in the long run.
April 21, 2008
Although American football will always be my first sports love, the sport that the rest of the world calls football/futbol is catching up, especially after attending two La Liga games in Spain (Real Madrid vs. Sevilla and FC Barcelona vs. Valladolid). The atmosphere is akin to a college football rivalry game – it’s amazing how passionate the fans are.
April 15, 2008
(un)Happy Tax Day to all the Americans out there – and if you’re in need of some kind of treat, please refer to my delicious sangria recipe here, which I developed after extensive testing in Spain. It’s cheap and easy to make, and if you put enough fruit in it, it’s kind of healthy!
April 6, 2008
It’s been a while since I last posted (I’ve been on the road), and I’m taking a bit of a break at the moment, but I’ll be back and better than ever with new plans and projects soon.