The Voluntary Life: June 2013

25 June 2013

114 Nomad Capitalist Report Interview

This episode is a recent interview I did on the Nomad Capitalist Report radio show. The interview is by Andrew Henderson and here's his summary:

"Live from Mexico, Jake Desyllas of The Voluntary Life podcast talks entrepreneurship and freedom. He shares tips to building a location independent business, being a global entrepreneur, and prospering anywhere in the world. He shares suggestions from his jet-setting life, talks about the best countries in South America, and dispels myths about Mexico “they” don’t want you to know."

Podcast Episode

22 June 2013

113 Freedom From Your Stuff

An episode about freedom from stuff. Topics covered include:
  • What I learned living from a backpack for 7+ months
  • Why owning stuff is not wealth
  • The hidden financial and psychological costs of owning stuff
  • How your stuff can control you
  • The goal of purposeful ownership
  • Strategies for minimalism: paperless, zero data and selling all your crap


 Podcast Episode

13 June 2013

112 What Business Should I Start? Part 2: Finding Purpose

An episode about finding and clarifying the purpose of your business. Why does your business exist? Topics covered include:

  • The limits of "Mission Statements"
  • The benefits of a really short elevator pitch for your business' purpose: encapsulating it all in just 3 words
  • It can often take a long time to move from intuitive to fully conscious business purpose. Don't worry, you can get going and discover it on the way
  • Three things to think about to clarify your purpose: What will inspire you? What will inspire others? What do you have the capability to deliver?

Show Notes
Episode 107 (Part 1 of What Kind of Business Should I Start?)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
Making It All Work by David Allen

Podcast Episode

6 June 2013

111 Money, Risk and Motivation in Entrepreneurship

An episode about the financial risks and rewards of entrepreneurship and what they mean for your motivation in starting a business. Here's some harsh data about the financial risks and rewards:

  • More than half of startups cease trading within the first five years.
  • Entrepreneurs on average earn significantly less income over 10 years than they would have earned in paid employment. There are debates about the numbers but one study (Hamilton) suggests a 35% earnings differential.
  • Entrepreneurs on average don’t earn a better return on their investment by founding startups than they would have by investing in publicly traded stocks (in fact they earn less from a risk return perspective).
  • Nevertheless, the majority of affluent people are self-made entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs make-up less than 20% of the workforce in America, but account for 66% of the millionaires. Of the millionaire entrepreneurs, 80% of them are self-made: they are first generation wealth holders (Stanley).

What are we to make of such statistics? I argue that the high financial risk (and potentially high reward) make it even more important to do entrepreneurship for intrinsic motivations:

  • Purpose: building a business because you want to make a dent on the universe and you believe that what you are doing will make peoples' lives better.
  • Autonomy: being an entrepreneur because it gives you freedom to live and work as you want to (not as someone else thinks you should)
  • Mastery: overcoming the challenges of learning how to build a business is rewarding in itself.

The episode ends with a discussion of the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for making money itself. The intrinsic motivation to make money is for the freedom (financial freedom) that it gives you.

Show Notes:

Podcast Episode