Everyone thought I was nuts, lucky, or both…

Everyone thought I was nuts, lucky, or both… post image

“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” – Howard Stevenson

A few days ago one of the new guys in the DC stopped by to chat about business and life. As the evening wore on, we found ourselves discussing a familiar topic– entrepreneurial loneliness. His friends and family think he’s nuts!

I could relate to him. When I got started everyone thought I was nuts too.

He asked what my people thought of me now, 5 years later.

I guessed: Lucky?

“Yeah it was easy for you because…”

Way back in 2006, after doing a little web marketing and reading a bunch of blogs, a simple idea got stuck in my head: you can make a living from your laptop.

The more I learned about entrepreneurship, the less it seemed crazy, risky, or even weird. It was just an option.

The opportunity to make my way around the world as an expat was something I valued more than living like the others around me.

I was also at the point where I didn’t feel like I had much to lose. It would have been at least another 5 years until I made my way to the corner office– and nothing against the guys who made it there, but I didn’t really want to be like them anyway.

Why pick a script when you can write one?

Every time you want to make any important decision, there are two possible courses of action. You can look at the array of choices that present themselves, pick the best available option and try to make it fit. Or, you can do what the true entrepreneur does: Figure out the best conceivable option and then make it available. – From Breakthrough Entrepreneurship (ref) by Jon Burgstone

That has a hell of a ring to it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could move around the planet when you wanted and take on projects that interest you?

I think so too.

Of course my friend and I have been on the winning end of a million lucky breaks. You gotta be. So does the doctor, the lawyer, and the new father with the corporate gig.

When we heard about the opportunity to make money from our laptops, we believed it. We made it a daily priority and, one way or another, we made it happen.

I can understand how these things look like luck when you don’t see them coming.

But like I said, there’s a couple blogs out there that made it clear:

You can make a living from your laptop.



PS, I micro-blog on Twitter.

PPS, you can hear about the products I’m creating for entrepreneurs (including residence for entrepreneurs in South East Asia) by putting your email into the form below:

Published on 06.06.12
  • Great post Dan! I too have had the same situation- people start out thinking you are crazy, then call you lucky if things work out. I don’t believe in luck- I think it’s all about seeing opportunities for what they are (a lot of people have tons of opportunities come their way, they just dont see it that way) and grasping those opportunities and turning those into your luck charms. No such thing as luck! “The harder I work, the luckier I get”

  • And the harder you work……the luckier you get! :)

  • I’ve only recently started thinking about my life as an entrepreneurial pursuit. To me, that word is still very much exclusively connected to “business”, though.

    But, looking at it from the angle of “Figure out the best conceivable option and then make it available”, well, it makes a little more sense.

    And looking at it all with the “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled” lens and the snapshot of your life becomes a little more focused and little more clear.

    With the risk of invoking the dreaded cliche curse, and making a re-worded statement that is so general it’s almost meaningless: in both business and life, an entrepreneur sees an image of an outcome (however vague?) and then develops it into a sharper, clearer picture (a piece of reality). You start with the outcome, regardless of how nuts and crazy it may be.

    Quoting Elon Musk: “Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.” http://dcurt.is/elon-musks-determination

  • I’m glad I’m surrounded by all you crazy people on the Interwebz.

    I know my family think I’m nuts. I don’t care if people call me lucky when I make it. I won’t be able to hear them from my hammock on a tropical island :)

    I guess it’s taught me not to think strangely of other people if they like to live their life a certain way. We all follow our beliefs and who cares what others think.

  • Matt

    I completely agree. Everyday people are telling me, “I could never do that” or “You’re so lucky.”

    Luckily, I have an awesome family, and some great friends that share the same vision as I do. I’ve always wondered why I bounced around through different groups of friends. It’s all clear now. A completely different mindset.

    It’s definitely lonely at times, but that’s why I found it important to join mastermind groups, join the DC, and start developing relationships (which I need to do better at).

  • Tristan King

    Great short post Dan. I think some people think I’m a bit nuts, but more than that, most people just don’t “get it”. It’s hard to explain what one does all day, “working on web projects”. Nice to be around so many others who have that same challenge ;-)

  • Justin Miramontes

    It’s amazing how lucky you get when you just go for it, isn’t it? We’re so lucky to be in a position to try these things in the first place that you almost owe it to yourself (and everyone who’s made it possible) to just give it a shot if it’s what you want.

    I think you and all TMBA readers will really enjoy Michael Lewis’ recent speech at Princeton. http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/87/54K53/index.xml?section

    This new Disqus is NICE!

  • JustinWCooke

    Great post, Dan…

    We were just talking to John The Intern about what things were like before he moved here to the Philippines. He’d mentioned his family/friends were really confused about why he’s picking a job in the Philippines and really thought it was a scam. They asked him if he had to “pay any money” or if it was an MLM, lol. Definitely fringe stuff, here….

  • I’d rather not be normal. And I’ve found that joining groups with other like-minded people helps ease the loneliness. So, I kind of like being crazy.

  • Agree with you on the new Disqus layout. Might start using it on my blogs.

  • Dan

    Thanks Carrie!! It is amazing how when you see things as a possibility for yourself, the way you see things/people change. I wonder how many people in your life see you the way I do– as somebody who works incredibly hard to build businesses, not somebody who hit the lottery. Well…probably a lot of people.

    You did hit the lottery with David. Just sayin. :P

  • Dan

    Agreed. Took me a while to get there.

  • Dan

    I really enjoyed the podcast you guys did contrasting what he thought vs. the reality. I often ask people who meet me reality in person vs. blog stuff, and the most common thing I hear is that I’m more laid back in person. I guess TMBA makes people think I’m all business?

    Here’s a link to that cool episode for others in the comments:


  • Dan

    Thanks for the link! Yeah, it’ is pretty slick eh? Had 1 or 2 integration hiccups but mostly I’m loving it.

  • Dan

    yeah man, when you find a good answer for that let me know!! i could use one…

  • Dan

    boom!!! the tough thing with relationships is i think we are taught or conditioned most of our life that that stuff just pops up naturally, but I’ve found you gotta get on your bullhorn and go out there and build the social circle that you want. DC!! :D

  • Dan

    agreed. us crazy folk can’t afford to be judgers :)

  • Dan

    ha great link there. I agree with your basic rewright. It’s “entrepreneurial” in my view to start a school group, or to organize a community coalition. now if you can focus it on market problems at scale, people will pay you for what you did in school for free! :D

  • Dan

    i hope so!

  • Adrien

    Spot on Dan. Brilliant post. Such a cool concept and definetly the way forward. Status quo thinking gets you status quo results. I have been thinking outside the box since I had my first business at 14 and wouldnt have it any other way. Has payed off for me in so many ways. People laughed at me six years ago when I started buying Northern Balinese property. Just finishing up my infinity pool and heading ther to work on my business for two months.

  • Dan

    haha balla! Looking forward to checking it out !

  • Well, I’m not saying they AREN’t scammers. Just the other day Justin told me I am now part of Damian’s downline – yikes!

    No, seriously.

    I think a lot of folks feel held back from pursuing these opportunities (or let themselves feel that way) because, as Justin said, it is ‘fringe’. To us, it seems normal – but the percentage of people floating around the globe and running businesses, as of yet, is pretty small.

    I can’t really blame family and friends for thinking I’m nuts. Anyway, I’m rambling.

    To anyone reading this, you have to do it your way. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re the only person in the world who thinks/operates from this mindset, but you’re wrong. Find some friends and mentors you can work with (in person) to support you in the process. It’ll make all the difference.

  • Perseverance. Well done Dan!

    Everybody says I’m lucky too with Financial Samurai and to that I tell them “thanks”!


  • Dan

    haha. yep… not so bad being lucky :)

Next post: