I just got this email from one of the most successful online entrepreneurs EVER: John Reese (if you don't know him, Google his name to learn about some of the insane results he has produced).
He has now, out of the blue, sold EVERYTHING he owns and is now living life as a 'minimalist' & will be traveling the world with only a backpack and a laptop and a passport, possibly forever...
I think its super cool for him to take this new challenge & experience on, when I was 19 years old I sold everything I owned, quit my basketball scholarship and took a year off school bought a one way ticket overseas and put all my belongings into one single backpack and traveled around the world for 1 year all by myself! It was epic.
Here is a picture of the backpack that has been my travel partner to over 22 countries and hundreds of cities over the past few years - this old mountain equipment co-op pack is probably my most cherished possession that I own & the one thing that I have had the most extreme experiences with.
It was easily by FAR the best year of my life! Period.
I learned about new cultures and customs, met tons of people, learned how to surf, scuba dive, camp in the desert and on the beach while sleeping in strange places with alot of strange (but cool) people.
Here is a beach that I camped on in Thailand on a Tropical Island with some other random travelers (yes, I used to have long surfer / hippy hair during my travels - so much so that my parents didn't even recognize me at the airport when I returned home to Canada after a year of traveling, they walked right by me! Yes, it was very weird to have your own parents not even recognize you :)
Most importantly, I learned how to SURVIVE & OVERCOME any situation or circumstance that came my way - and trust me, many did.
Here is a pic of my waking across the Egyptian Border with all my worldly possessions on my back in plus 40 degree weather! Incredible.
I wish John and all those adventure minded lone rangers / solo travelers all the best as they embark on their own epic journey - wow - I just suddenly got the travel but BIG time after reading his email that I copy & pasted below - leave a comment below the post and let me know your thoughts :)
John, if you read this, here is a song dedicated to your journey "Into the Wild"
John's Email ---> "I'll admit it. I'm a bit weird. I always have been.
And maybe you are too, and that's what makes us
"special." Or at least that's what our moms always
I like doing "experiments" on myself. I think it's
a great way to grow as a person and to learn more
about yourself -- which can help in one's personal
or business life.
I once read how Leonardo Da Vinci slept only
about 3-4 hours a day by taking short 20-45 minute
naps throughout a 24 hour cycle.
Many years ago, I tried my own sleep experiment
after I found myself pulling a lot of "all nighters."
I decided to go every other night without sleep.
So I would stay awake for stretches of 30-35 hours
straight and then crash for 9-12 hours. I got a lot
of work done by doing this.
And I was able to do this for about 3 months straight -
sleeping only every other night.
There was only one problem... it put me in the hospital.
It had weakened my immune system and I ended up
with a bad case of vertigo. Horrible, horrible stuff.
I was basically DIZZY all day, everyday, for about
2 weeks until it finally went away.
So I, obviously, went back to a normal sleep schedule
and refused to pull "all nighters" anymore. I had bad
insomnia for a long time but eventually got over it.
If you're pulling all nighters and going without sleep,
I recommend you don't. It's just not worth the damage
it can do to your health.
But I've done many other "full immersion" types of
experiments on myself over the years, and most of
them didn't have bad health results - thankfully.
My point is... you can learn a lot about yourself if
you take yourself out of your normal comfort zone
and really 'challenge' yourself by trying little experiments
and personal challenges.
AND I'M DOING IT AGAIN.
Check this out...
I just finished selling (or giving away) all of my personal
Not too long ago my life consisted of a massive 6-bedroom
house (with many rooms I never even went into!) and
5 cars. Yes, FIVE cars. I'm a car guy, what can I say.
I had accomplished what many consider to be the
"American Dream." I had the huge house and all the
toys. The Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMWs, a Rolex
collection, an expensive wardrobe, amazing furniture,
a massive home theater, a 1,000 gallon saltwater
aquarium, the works.
And now I have NONE of it. And I'll explain why in
Here are some "quick facts"...
For the first time in over 20 YEARS...
- I don't own a car.
- I don't own any furniture.
- I don't own a TV.
- I don't own any books.
- I don't own a huge closet full of clothes.
- I don't have a HOME. Not a house,
or apartment, or anything.
By now you're probably thinking...
"John, what the hell are you doing!?"
I decided to do all of this because I wanted
to do a new experiment on myself...
It's a challenge of MINIMALISM.
If you haven't yet heard about minimalism,
or read anything about it, you should. Not
only can it (I believe) improve the quality
of your life but it can also make your business
a lot more profitable.
Minimalism is essentially focusing only on
the 3-4 most important things in your life
(or business) and ELIMINATING THE REST.
There many opinions on minimalism and how
to apply it, and some approach it differently.
Do some Google searches for "minimalism"
and you'll find lots of great blogs about it.
It's really a growing 'revolution' of sorts.
I don't agree with everything he teaches, but a
decent book you can read is "The Power Of Less"
by Leo Babauta; and he's someone with 6 kids.
That will get you started.
Everyone will have their own take on minimalism.
But I'm willing to bet you can benefit from it.
WHAT I HAVE LEFT...
So you're probably wondering, if I got rid of
all that stuff, what the heck do I actually have
left? And how will I live?
Here's a full list of the only things I now own...
- A small 28L backpack (that holds everything below)
- 5 t-shirts (4 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 light jacket
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 1 pair of running/trek shoes
- 5 pairs of boxer briefs
- Assorted toiletries
- Clothesline & large ziplock bag (for washing clothes)
- 1 MacBook Pro 15"
- 1 64GB Wifi iPad
- 1 iPhone 4
- 1 Livescribe Pen & small notebook
- My passport & credit cards
THAT'S IT. That's all the 'stuff' I own. ALL OF IT.
Here's a photo of my backpack (with everything in it)
except for my 15" MacBook Pro which is in the photo next to it:
But it's also important to note...
I still have all of my money and investments. I didn't pull
a Christopher McCandless ("Into The Wild") and burn all
of my money. This experiment isn't about that. So I still
have all of my businessess (and their assets) as well as
a valuable .COM collection, etc. etc.
But as far as personal "things" go, I currently only have
what I listed above. I'll explain more as to the "WHY"
in a just a second...
WHERE ON EARTH WILL I LIVE?
The answer is... Everywhere.
I am just going to travel the world non-stop for awhile.
It may be for a year or for 10+ years. I don't know yet
and that's part of the adventure. I have structured
things so I can travel the world INDEFINITELY and plan
to do so for a very long time.
As many of my long-time subscribers know, I love to
travel. I've been to every continent in the world except
for Antarctica. (And hope to visit their soon.) But even
as much as I love to travel, I was only taking a few
trips a year. So now that's all going to change.
BUT TRAVEL ISN'T THE ONLY REASON I'M DOING THIS...
Here's what I've discovered about myself...
My level of happiness all comes down to my level of STRESS.
And my stress level is mostly due to having the feeling
of being OVERWHELMED. I had so many possessions
to manage and so many things going on in my life that it
was making me a bit crazy. (More than I already am.)
I found that my CREATIVITY has really suffered because
of this. It's like the brain only has so much available RAM
like a computer, and everything we own and do and manage
takes up that space. It doesn't leave a lot of room left for
So essentially, I wanted my brain back.
I wanted to have what I call "Freedom Of Thought." I want to
have so few distractions and things taking up space in my
brain that I'm free to use as much of my brain as possible to
think of exciting new ideas and fully appreciate new
* I did also realize that all of that "stuff" that I thought was
the "American Dream" was mostly based on EGO. But
that's a discussion for another day.
As many of my customers already know, late last year I
started a new company to develop Video Games. It's been
a dream of mine for many years and I finally decided to
pursue it. Well, this new business (along with other projects)
really demands maximum creativity from me. So I wanted
to try this new 'experiment' to give myself the best chance
at being able to come up with amazing new ideas.
AND IT'S ALREADY WORKING.
I'm currently on Day 3 of my journey. I moved out of
California about a week ago, then spent a few days visiting
my family in Florida, and then 3 days ago I 'officially' set
out on this "Minimalism Adventure" and flew up to
Toronto, Canada (where I am now) to visit my good friend,
In the first 3 days, I've already come up with some
unbelievable new ideas for my businesses. And this
is only just the beginning.
I would like to challenge you to look at your business (and life)
and see how you can apply the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)
and eliminate the things that aren't essential to your goals --
or things that take away from the more important parts of
reaching your goals.
I recently deleted my personal Facebook account (that had
5,000 'friends') and it was one of the best things I ever did.
I was finding that Facebook was one big waste of my time.
I was logging in multiple times a day and it was robbing me
of time I should have been spending on more important
Don't get me wrong, I think Facebook has decent marketing
uses, but I think for most entrepreneurs it's better used
for brands (with Business Page accounts) than as a personal
account. For me and all of the businesses I am involved
with, Facebook does not fall into the "20" part of the 80/20
rule. PPC, SEO, buying media (which includes Facebook Ads),
and other strategies out-produce it by a massive amount.
But that's a rant for another day. ;-)
After recently telling someone about what I am doing
"But, John, I gotta tell you... it really sounds like you're
just running from life."
To which I replied...
"No, you don't understand, I'm running TO life."
Okay it's time for me to go and pack up my stuff -- even,
though, it only takes me about 5 minutes. ;-)
I'm heading to Europe for a few months tomorrow as I continue
on my journey.
I'll be in touch soon.
Yours For Online Profits,
Soooooo, whats your thoughts on his new lifestyle choice?
My next post will be about what might drive / motivate people to pick up and pack up their lives to leave their comfort zones...should be a good one.
Friday, July 23, 2010
My New Hero: A "Minimalist" Enters The Wild
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