A few weeks ago, I did an episode of The Portfolio Life called "Don’t Build an Empire, Find a Few Friends Who Care." It was about how the secret of marketing and getting your ideas to spread is really just about having a few friends who care. You want to create remarkable work and put it into the right hands to get it to spread. So, in the email that I wrote for that podcast and blog essay, I asked people to email me a question, something that they were struggling with or need help with, and I got a ton of questions. Here I am a few weeks later, still not having answered those questions (sorry!) and so I decided to just turn on the old mike, pull up the inbox, and answer those questions in a podcast. Hopefully, these are answers to questions not just a handful of folks asked but maybe questions that you're wondering about. Often, when you're in a classroom or workshop setting, some brave soul raises their hand to ask a question. It's often something lots of other people around are wondering as well so hopefully, that's the case here, and you get your question answered, even if you didn't ask it.
Often, we think the way to stand out from the pack is to be better. And sometimes that is the answer: to become an improved version of who you were yesterday, to do what the “other guy” is doing with a few added features. However, this is often a losing strategy, as you are making iterative improvements on someone else’s work. A better way to become world-class at what you do is to change the game completely. Don’t be better; be different.
I've often wondered what would it be like to be a nomad and travel the world. I did this for a brief time in my early 20s and then stopped, and recently I've been falling back in love with travel. I’ve bumped into some really interesting people who have traveled the world. I've learned that travel is not so much about the places you go or the people you meet, but instead, it's about the person you become. In this episode of The Portfolio Life, I talk with Matt Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt. Matt spent 10 years of his life traveling the world. He's the New York Times bestselling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, as well as a follow-up book he just published called Ten Years a Nomad. In this interview, Matt and I discuss: How a movie changed Matt’s trajectory and a vacation led to a new career What is means to like the “art” but not the “job” of being a creative professional as well as the difference between a hobby and a profession How travel and a change of environment makes you uncomfortable and why you should lean into that Why you should travel alone at least once How familiarity leads to complacency Why one of the greatest gifts of travel is learning to be your own best friend
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