I recently received an email from a young man just setting out on his own path. He’s questioning conventional education and conventional career choices. He’s looking to create a business that would allow him to travel and pursue his passions without succumbing to the daily grind and instability of traditional jobs.
I was moved to answer his questions in my latest video. I know there are others out there who are also questioning society’s expectations to choose a career, go to school, get a job, and work to save for the day when you can finally retire.
In this video, I give three pieces of advice to the young entrepreneur. This is advice that I wish someone had given me in my youth (if I lived in today’s world), to help me in my own lifestyle design and entrepreneurship goals.
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Hi, Everybody! It’s Brandon Pearce and I’m here today in beautiful British Columbia, Canada in Nanaimo. I want to share with you an email that I received from a young man named Michael, who is 18 years old and is wanting some advice for his life. I think there are a lot of people in similar situations to Michael, so I’m going to read his email to you and then respond to it.
Hey Brandon, just wanted to let you know you’re a big inspiration to me. I’m 18, and want to implement the 4-hour work week into my life.
Travel has always intrigued me, and the college degrees my parents earned (programming and medical) do not seem to be doing them any good. My dad can’t find steady work, and my mom is always stressed from the hospital. It’s been years since we’ve vacationed even, and I’ve never been outside of the country. The problem is, I have no source of large income, aside from being overworked in restaurants.
I was wondering if you had any advice for me, or if there is anyway I could help YOU out in my spare time in return for business knowledge. I’d love to follow in your path and have the time and money to pursue my adventures and passions. We recently had to get rid of my piano for money. I have time, but no money, and passions (like piano) are dying out.
If there’s anything I could do for you or place you could direct me, I would really appreciate it. I plan on saving a little money from a new bank job to start a “muse.”
You’re in a great position, with so much opportunity and adventure ahead of you! If I were to offer any advice, it would be this:
1) Realize that starting any business or muse is a LOT of work, and it never ends. Yes, you can reduce it, and yes, I work basically 4 hours per week on my main business. But because businesses exist to provide valuable services and products for people, it’s an important responsibility that always needs attention in order for it stay relevant and helpful, and to keep generating income. So, I recommend choosing something that you’re excited about working on for a very long time, and that you strongly feel will contribute to improving someone’s life. Otherwise, it’s very easy to lose your motivation and burnout. In other words, don’t just see your business as an income source, but as a service opportunity and a career.
I appreciate your offer to help me, not because I need the help, but because that’s a focus that’s likely to lead you to success and happiness. Looking for jobs and profitable business opportunities is good, but you’ll get farther by developing skills that interest you, increasing your wisdom through experience and trying new things, and then using those skills and wisdom to serve the people around you (as you continue developing skills and wisdom).
2) If you want to travel the world, do it. And do it soon. You’ll learn so much about yourself and the world that will enrich the rest of your life. As a single person, you could travel around Southeast Asia or Latin America (or even parts of Europe) for a year, and spend a fraction of what you’d spend living in the states. Utilize couchsurfing.com, trustedhousesitters.com, helpx.net, wwoof.net, or other sites that offer free accommodations, and sometimes food. Or stay in hostels for $5-10/night, and eat amazing street food that costs less than $2/meal. It would be a year well-spent. Find online jobs through sites like upwork.com and freelancer.com to supplement your income, or pick up skills and work odd jobs along the way. When you’re in a foreign country with little money, you get pretty resourceful and start to see opportunity everywhere, which is good training for an entrepreneur.
3) Finally, look for ways to enjoy your life right now. If piano is a passion for you, don’t let it die. Sure, it’s fine to intentionally put it on hold for a while to bring time or money for other passion projects. But make sure you’re not filling your life with tasks that only serve to make you happy in the future. Do something that makes you happy every day, even if it’s just something small and simple, like taking a few deep breaths or taking a moment to look at the sky, and appreciating the gift of being alive. Because once you finally achieve your 4HWW dream, if you haven’t already developed the habit and skill of enjoying life along the way, you won’t necessarily be any happier than you are right now. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s a lesson that many people learn the hard way, myself included.
Those would be my three pieces of advice for you. I am really excited for you and all the opportunities that you have moving forward in your life. I wish you the best of luck on your journey.
Thanks for watching and remember to live well and enjoy life now.