The Voluntary Life: May 2015

24 May 2015

206 Luck In Business

Are successful entrepreneurs just "lucky"? This episode is about the role of luck in business. Here are some of the ideas discussed:
  • The main job of the entrepreneur is to minimise chance and uncertainty. "Luck" is not the basis of success, it is the enemy. 
  • People confuse the success or failure of a business idea with the success or failure of an entrepreneur's career—they are not the same thing. Successful entrepreneurs have many failures behind them. 
  • A business is not static. It is not a matter of chance whether it succeeds or fails. You can adapt and change everything about your business as you go, and thereby improve your chance of success with every step. 
  • There will always be influences that are entirely outside your control. But even those things outside your control can be managed and adapted to. 

Photo Credit: andyburnfield

17 May 2015

205 The Most Powerful Planning Tool I Know

This episode is about the most powerful tool that I know for planning anything. A process map is a tool for visualising a workflow. It's also called a workflow map or a network diagram—there are many different names for this tool.

It's a way of clarifying exactly what has to happen to in order for you to get all the way from where you are now, to your final goal. The map shows the dependencies between all inputs, processes, and outputs. This identifies the logic of all the work ahead of you.

You don't need to be involved in project management to benefit from creating workflow maps. Visualising your workflows can help you achieve your goals in any aspect of life. However, a workflow diagram is also the basis of many useful project management tools, like a PERT Chart or Gantt chart. If you want to get more into project management, you can use this tool to identify the critical path and critical chain.

Show Notes:
Listen To Episode 205 (19 mins)

10 May 2015

204 Making Sense Of Frugality And Minimalism

This episode is about making sense of two important concepts: frugality and minimalism. Frugality means to be economical or sparing with regard to money, but this definition prompts the question: what are the criteria for deciding if a choice is economical?  Similarly, the definition of minimalism (to own the minimum amount of possessions) also prompts a question: what are the criteria for deciding what the minimum is?

Both these ideas only make sense if they are defined in relation to your goals and purpose in life. Using examples from entrepreneurship, I suggest ways to define frugality and minimalism in relation to your goals.

Show Notes:
Listen To Episode 204 (24 mins)

3 May 2015

203 Early Retirement And Housesitting: Interview With Sarah Burch

In this interview, Sarah tells her early retirement story and talks about life after quitting the rat race. We discuss why she has chosen housesitting both as a lifestyle choice and as a great financial benefit. She discusses the pros and cons of housesitting and provides some advice for people thinking about making the jump to early retirement.

Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 203