Don’t Bust a Shin

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When I was in my early 20’s I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to travel. I’d hustle them up any way I could. One of my biggest coups was using student loans to go live in France for 2 months. At the time, two months abroad was an eternity.

I loved it.

Nowadays there are very few reasons I’d ever take a loan, but that’s one I’m glad I took. It was a major step forward for me in coming to terms with my deep desire to continue to explore the world– sadly, one which I have often tried to rationalize away. For a long time, I could not imagine the possibility of earning a living from anywhere in the word. For most of my early twenties, the idea of permanent nomadism seemed impossible.

“If I have romanticized nomadism it is because nomadism is a fundamentally romantic state of being. If you can sustain it, it is somehow fulfilling without any further need for achievement or accomplishment….

…Geography is just too fundamental to our psychology. If we aren’t moving, it is because there is too much friction and cost. Wanderlust never goes away. It merely becomes too costly to sustain as you age.”

–Venkat (@Vgr) from “On Being an Illegible Person

That’s good stuff. You might consider going back and reading Venkat’s article.

***

I was thinking about France today when one of my internet marketing mentors asked me what the most important piece of advice I had was.

My first thought was “Don’t bust a shin.”

That’s something I started saying on that trip. Outside of my apartment, my buddy and I would commonly debate topics while standing on top of two small walls. They were both about 4 feet off the ground. We’d pace back and forth on our respective sides. The two walls were about 6 feet apart or so– exactly the distance you could comfortably make if you fully committed to the jump.

If any part of you tried to plan for an alternate outcome, like pulling up and landing on the ground, you’d bust your shin on the short wall.

“Don’t bust a shin” stuck ever since.

There were a few things that finally made me really believe it was possible to be an entrepreneur, make money on the internet, and travel. One of them was the archives of the Internet Business Mastery Podcast. Those guys really got in to my head. They talked me through it so thoroughly that I believed it was possible.

The moment I knew I could do it, I quit…

So what’s my advice?

Being an entrepreneur is possible.

Making money on the internet is possible.

Kicking ass, taking names, and changing your life for the better is possible.

Don’t bust a shin.

Cheers,
Dan
@TropicalMBA

 

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Published on 08.06.11
  • http://damianthompson.com Damian Thompson

    Great stuff, I wish to post an addendum to your mantra:

         Don’t bust a shin, but bust your ass!

    Work hard, work smart, and f*ck anyone who tells you success is impossible online.

  • http://www.andrewemmett.co.uk Andrew

    Hi,

    I’ve been devouring the articles on your blog for a week now and I’m subscribed. I just thought I would say hello, plus mention I’m enjoying the content.

    All the best

    Andrew

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    I can dig that addition sir! 

    It’s amazing how many people busy themselves with trying to keep you stuck in the mud.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Hey Andrew, thanks for poppin’ up to say hi! I appreciate that… let me know if there is anything you’d like me to write about, I’m currently collecting ideas from readers. 

  • http://www.moneyspruce.com/ Jeffrey Trull

    I def like the “don’t bust a shin,” and I think it’s going to stick in my mind. Your story gave me a great visual meaning of the phrase.

    Awesome point with taking the loan to live in France. I would tell most students to never do something like this, but I think something like this can be a much more valuable use of a loan than simply attending some $50k a year college.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thanks for that Jeff. Agreed on the loan, it worked out well but in some ways thats counterfactual thinking… wouldn’t recommend that kind of lending to anyone. 

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