I love Lewis Quartey's Bucket List - it's a set of goals he's got. It's massively inspiring. Here's his list of things he wants to do:
Give A TED Talk
Make £1000 a day for a week
At one point in my life, have a six pack
Live in another country for a year
Do a cart wheel, hand stand, front flip or back flip with no assistance
Write a book and have it published
Complete a 26 (or more :-s) mile marathon running/jogging the whole thing
Bench press 200kg
Complete a comedy stand up routine in front of a crowd of more then 10 people (who I don’t know)
Own a restaurant or hotel
Own a car worth more then £50,000 (Ideally a used Audi R8 a few years down the line)
Be featured in a movie or TV show, or record my own film
Learn to ride a 250cc or more motorbike
Now, when I see a list like this, the gears start turning and whirring in my head. This is the sort of thing I love, figuring out how to systematically do and achieve things. I mean, that's basically what a strategist is, y'know?
I start thinking, hmm, what's required to do these things? What could Lewis check off first? I wonder if there's any ways I could assist at all, hmm. I like assisting virtuous and enterprising people. It's what I do instead of play video games, and Lewis seems like a strong and enterprising dude.
So I think, hmm, what's required for each one of these goals? All of them might require a bit of skill, but additionally there's primary things that are needed - connections, resources, or consistent application of time. Let's categorize a little -
Requires connections (and skill) - Give A TED Talk, Make £1000 a day for a week, Write a book and have it published, Complete a comedy stand up routine in front of a crowd of more then 10 people (who I don’t know), Be featured in a movie or TV show, or record my own film
Requires resources - Own a restaurant or hotel, Own a car worth more then £50,000 (Ideally a used Audi R8 a few years down the line), Learn to ride a 250cc or more motorbike
Requires consistent application of time - At one point in my life, have a six pack, Live in another country for a year, Do a cart wheel, hand stand, front flip or back flip with no assistance, Complete a 26 (or more :-s) mile marathon running/jogging the whole thing, Bench press 200kg
It strikes me that the fastest/simplest one is probably "Learn to ride a 250cc or more motorbike" - it requires only resources, and I guess you could get a motorcycle crash course for pretty cheap. I did about three minutes of googling and there seems to be plenty of motorcycle schools in the Philippines, and I'd guess other places in SE Asia too. It looks like in Western countres motorcycle school only costs around $100 to $150 per day all-in, so I bet it's even cheaper in SE Asia. I bet it'd be possible to go get trained and certified for under $1,000 USD and have a lot of fun in the process. (Hmm, maybe I should do this too...)
The whole "consistent time" category is all relatively straightforward. The travel one is already happening, it looks like (congrats). For the six pack abs, I've leaned out a lot by going on a basically-no-carbs diet. It's amazing, actually. I'm skeptical at how easy it is. Six days per week, almost no carbohydrates. Cheat day once per week. I just eat vegetables, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, plain yogurt, beans, and lots of water/tea/coffee. Saturday I eat anything. That's it, that's all I eat. It's super straightforward and easy to do. It actually massively simplifies eating since there's only usually 1-5 choices in any restaurant or convenience store. I reckon this diet would work for you, it was put together by my friend and biomechanist Marcus in Japan. We could discuss the finer points if you like, but that's the whole way to a six pack - just lean out a lot.
The rest of the resource-based category seems straightforward. Not necessarily fast or easy, depending on how business is going for you, but pretty straightforward. Bank relevant cash, buy relevant stuff that you want. If you were very creative about it, you could probably pick up an ownership stake a restaurant or hotel for not that much money. I know a girl I was dating became a partner in a hotel by working in hospitality for one year, studying everything, and then took over as GM of a hotel in a developing country, so that she became a part owner of a hotel at age 23 or 24. So, that's very possible. If you're willing to put in the time, the cash required could come way down.
Then, finally, there's the connections category. This is the trickiest, I think, because a lot of these are non-obvious on how to do them. But some rapid fire thoughts on it:
Give A TED Talk: Start by giving a talk/talks anywhere to get your public speaking up. Then approach organizers of a TEDx conference. I actually know a great guy who organized one of the TEDx's, I'll put you in touch with him after you go do a public speaking event somewhere, anywhere (just so you can self-evaluate where you're at in speaking skill right now - if you're "almost there" then let's move it along and figure out where you can speak, if you need practice it'll be good to know about it before approaching people).
Make £1000 a day for a week: Okay, I think in USD, so let me convert... okay, that's $1600 per day for 7 days. Okay, first let's do the basic multiplication exercise (which is surprisingly useful despite its simplicity):
$1600 is... $100 x16, $200 x8, $400 x4, $800 x2, or $1600 x1.
That should give you an idea of the rates you need to command and get, and then you'll just have to schedule a lot of the work so it happens all in the same week if you want to do it for goal reasons. (It'll be a frantic-but-exciting week, I imagine.)
Additionally, you could have some mix of fixed bid projects or whatever, plus some hourly.
On a quick glance and going by intuition, that $400 x4 looks pretty good for the space you're in. If you've got a mix of good code and systems so that you can implement things quickly, I think getting rates that work out somewhere in the $200 to $400 per hour range is not unrealistic. You'll need to be at the top of your game and you'll need to work for clients where having someone at the top of their game pays off big for them. To that end, you probably want to start working jobs where you quantifiably increase ROI/money gotten for clients in lucrative industries. If you can move the line 2% for a $300,000 business, you've added $6,000 of value. If you can document that you can do that consistently, you'll be able to command somewhere from $300 to $1500 pretty easily for that. Play with the numbers and think on it, but any mix of improving margins, conversion rate, average transaction value, lifetime value of a customer, or so on would help. Pick an industry that's very lucrative, that's used to paying large dollars for professionals (perhaps an industry that regularly employs lawyers would be good, then you can compare yourself to a lawyer to benchmark high hourly rates as not that crazy) - and is underinvested in technology. There's dozens and dozens of these industries, so it comes down to your taste, current skills, and where and how you want to work.
The challenge doesn't seem like it'd be getting that money, but rather scheduling it so it all comes in at the same time if this goal is particularly important. But it seems totally doable. Again, you've got to command rates like this over a seven day period: $100 x16, $200 x8, $400 x4, $800 x2, or $1600 x1.
For the book thing, I'd strongly recommend "The Essential Guide to Getting Published" which is incredibly comprehensive and valuable reading. It covers the whole process thoroughly.
Comedy seems another straightforward one - identify a club with an open mic night, prepare some jokes, go. Done.
For movie/TV, start hanging out in that world and going to casting calls. I think that one's pretty straightforward too, actually, if being an extra on set would qualify as reaching your goal.
Yeah, all the goals seem doable and the list is super exciting. Drop a line if I can assist at all. My big recommendation would be to pick one and bear down on it until it's done. Of course, keep your eyes open for another thing, but I think many of those goals can be easily completed in the next 3-12 months if you focus on them and complete them systematically.
Godspeed and best wishes.
Interesting way to group a bucket list. I've had a list for a couple of years now and slowly knock an item or two off of it. However, I can certainly see the advantages to this approach. While I have known that I could reach my goals faster if I was more active in pursuing them, it's great to see the thought-process behind doing so.
Off to re-do my list now. :D
I have to agree with Algis. I'm going to take a look at my bucket list, which is a bit old, and try grouping it this way.
I'd like to also add that the diet Sebastian is recommending really does work. I wouldn't agree that it's super simple if you have a wife that constantly bakes. But, you'll see results in two weeks, guaranteed. On top of that, avoid all dairy. The type of sugar (lactose) in dairy can be harmful for a diet. Go easy on the beans (higher in carbs - but good carbs), but spread them out over breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, avoid them for dinner. Eat six meals a day. Stick to that for at least two weeks, have one cheat day on Saturday to eat ANYTHING you want.
Your breakdown of Lewis' bucket list is very insightful. The way you grouped the goals under separate categories depending on what they require is something I will apply immediately to my own goals.
This got me thinking about my own bucket list. I've always looked at these kind of lists as setting yourself up for disappointment when you don't reach your goals however lately this has been changing. A bucket list isn't an absolute, much like ourselves they can change over time based on circumstances with which we lived.
As a teenager my bucket list would have resembled something like this.
Serve in the Military
Get a degree
Start a career
Make a video game
Start a business
See the world
Now it's not so simple. Some of those things I've done, and some of those things I can never do. And quite honestly I have grown and my priorities have changed. Today it looks more like this.
Buy a forever house (wifes idea that I liked)
Put my kids through college
Take a hot air balloon ride
Own a 67 Shelby GT500
Get a 6 pack (been fat all my life, don't want to be fat when I die if I can help it)
See the world
Fast for 40 days (Many believe in christ, few live as he did and I'd like to try at least once if possible)
Own a successful web based company
Finish a Triathlon
Learn a Martial Art
Learn to speak Polish
I received a thought-provoking email from a reader about the nature of the internet. Here's the key quote that I think many people with empathize with:
I feel like a big luddite for saying this, but I hate the internet for what it brings out in me.
... I am trying to deal with what can only be described as an addiction.
Addiction to high-stimulation-distraction is quite common for intelligent people in the modern era. Surfing the internet, video games, things like that. There's sort of a natural selection websites go through, where the more addicting sites win out and spread and take marketshare and mindshare away from less addicting sites. Paul Graham wrote about this in, "The Acceleration of Addictiveness."
Three key thoughts for you, and then I'll share some of my experience with it -
I don't want to turn this place into a tech deals accumulator site but DDR3 ram memory for computers has been going up in price apparently due to production slowdowns. Why they're slowing down production when DDR4 is still kind of far and away I don't know but it's probably a colluded grab to make some dinero for the RAM manufacturers :D.
Regardless DDR3 RAM prices have peaked 25%+ since I did my last computer fantasy build in Sept. 2012. 4 2gb gskill ripjaws were 38$ back then now they're approaching 55+ yikes. Similar sticks are showing a 25% or more increase. I don't plan on building another system soon but I'm thinking of buying some DDR3 ram in order to avoid 'the drought' which happens if I decide to build a new system in the next 3 years but with limited supply stock of memory (driving prices up through the roof). I'll be hedging 8 gigs to keep it usable for light gaming and switching between tons of programs and hoping I can craigslist another 4 gigs if I need to in the future.
In other news I got some e-mail today - you can get Windows 7 from newegg 64 bit edition for 99.99 then use code EMCXSTX22 to get 20$ off! I don't know how long this lasts - maybe it's just one day - this was written April 30, 2013.
In retrospect I might just wait a few more years and stick with my new salvaged creation beast thing - 8gb ddr2 phenom ii x4 with 8800 gts. That should last quite a bit longer. I don't need fancy graphics anyway (I play dwarf fortress [albeit with the tileset]). Games are becoming hardware hogs though and it'd be nice to have but I think I can make do.