Say YES More! (And How I Went to Japan for Free)
One of the top questions I get asked when telling people about my story is how I became so adventurous. For those that don’t know, I didn’t grow up an adventurous person. I don’t remember ever dreaming of traveling the world until my early twenties and even then it wasn’t a top priority. But from my late teens and into my early twenties, I did crave change. I wanted to try more things and explore life’s possibilities. In essence, I wanted to live limitless.
So I did. I started trying new things. I said YES more often. If something piqued my interest, I said YES! When I noticed a poster at school advertising salsa dance lessons I said YES! When I noticed an ad for Olympic speed skating try-outs, I said YES! If someone mentioned something exciting, I said YES!
And ultimately, saying YES is what has changed my life.
Whether I said YES to my ideas or thoughts or to a friend’s proposal, everything changed. Suddenly I was trying new things and meeting new people. Suddenly I was becoming more confident and becoming more willing to say YES. Suddenly, nothing seemed impossible. As long as I said YES, I could try anything. Who knows what might happen or who I might meet. Life became one huge possibility.
Life became so exciting and fresh!
I looked around at others still living a life of NO. A life of stifled creativity. A life of fear. They followed the traditional path that was laid out for them by family, teachers, government or media without ever thinking of other possibilities. They stuck to the same old patterns passed down to them and didn’t question anything. It all seemed so boring to me. It’s not like our life is a practice round for the next one. This is it. Make it happen. Live life to the fullest.
How Saying YES lead to a FREE trip to Japan
Back in 2009, I was lying in my bed reading articles on the Four Hour Work Week Blog when a new post by Tim Ferriss really got me excited. He was releasing his updated version of the Four Hour Work Week book. I already owned the original version but loved it so much that I knew I needed the new one. Tim’s plan for reaching the New York Times Bestseller list involved asking readers to buy hundreds of copies, which came with unique gifts. As I scanned through the options, one really stood out. If I bought 100 copies of the Four Hour Work Week ($1500 USD) I would get a ticket to have dinner with Tim and attend a private party on a warship in San Francisco. The possibilities began swarming around my head. This was my idol in the business world. Even though I had $1500, I didn’t really want to be stuck with 100 copies of the same book. With the option being available to only 20 people, I questioned it for only one hour before reaching a decision.
I said yes. I clicked on the buy now button and a few weeks later had 10 huge Amazon boxes show up at my door. It looked so strange that I had to take a picture. A few months later, I was in San Francisco partying with Tim Ferriss and 20 others who bought all the books as well as Noah Kagen, Kevin Rose and Paula Abdul.
After the party, I had to try selling the books. I began searching Meetup groups trying to find business-minded people who might be interested and ended up stumbling upon a group called Junior Chamber International (JCI). I sent them an email and they invited me to come make a proposal at the their next meeting. When I showed up, I gave them a quick speech about the books and then sold a few copies. Then one of the guys made me an offer. He told me that a student membership was $50 per year (I was a student at the time) and that he would buy four copies if I joined the group. Since everyone was young and inspired, I said YES.
Next thing you know, I’m taking free public speaking courses, attending meetings and eventually taking a free trip to Japan. I didn’t realize how big JCI was on the international level but when the world congress was announced in Osaka, Japan, I knew I had to go. Since JCI Calgary is a non-profit organization who does work in the community in exchange for funding, my trip was fully paid for. 10,000 people from all over the world attended this event.
One YES turned into:
- Meeting my idol Tim Ferriss
- Partying on a warship in San Francisco with mega-entrepreneurs
- Joining JCI and improving my public speaking skills
- A free two-week trip to Japan
Since saying YES, my life has changed dramatically and for the better. So many things have happened and I’ve experienced more than most people do in a lifetime. It doesn’t stop with the Japan trip either.
Since saying YES!, I have:
- Traveled solo to Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia for six months.
- Sky-dived from 15,000 feet in New Zealand and Portland, Oregon.
- Bungy-Jumped off of the Auckland Bridge with a dip into the sea.
- Organized 20+ people to bungy-jump off a bridge in Washington.
- Scuba dived many of the worlds best diving locations up close with many sharks, turtles, whales, seals and countless schools of tropical fish.
- Spent more than a month in over 20 countries.
- Started an online business that helps Canadians travel around the world for almost free.
- Started a blog (actually, many blogs) that have introduced me to hundreds of inspiring people around the world, expanded my options in life and given me thousands of dollars of free travel activities.
- Met my wife (who is from Mexico) during one semester at university and after two years of painfully making it work through Skype, we are now married and travel the world together.
- Had a feature role in an independent comedy movie.
- Hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, the jungle trail to the Lost City of Colombia, the peak of mount kinabalu and through many villages in Myanmar.
- Finished my last semester of university on an exchange in Malaysia.
- Been featured in countless major media including the Toronto Star, Calgary Metro and MoneySense magazine.
- Lost 27 pounds of fat, gained 7 pounds of muscle and dropped my body fat % from 22% to 10% in just 12 weeks.
I could go on but I’d rather just give you some advice – SAY YES!
The next time you have an idea for an adventure or a business – SAY YES!
The next time you see an advertisement for something that interests you, whether it be salsa dancing or public speaking lessons – SAY YES!
The next time you feel like it’s time to do something new, SAY YES!
The next time you feel like you should ask someone out, SAY YES!
The next time you feel like losing fat and building muscle, SAY YES!
Say YES to Life. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s very powerful. Say YES and watch the opportunities unfold before you.
or Say NO and continue living exactly as you have without ever opening yourself up to a new world of possibilities.
Everything is a choice and the choice is yours.
I hope you make the right one.
I’d like to hear from you. Has saying YES changed your life? Is there something you’re going to say YES to after reading this post. Share in the comments below!
If you haven’t signed up for the VIP list, I highly recommend making that happen. You’ll get resources for traveling more and spending less while building an incredible life. You’ll also get exclusive content and deals. Sign up BELOW! Say YES!
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LL 009: A Live Limitless Interview with Srinivas Rao
In the ninth episode of the Live Limitless podcast I chat with Srinivas Rao of BlogcastFM.com and theSkoolofLife.com.
In this episode, we talk about:
- What made Srinivas want to take the unconventional path in life
- Why moving to Costa Rica changed his life and his mindset
- Turning down any kind of job that doesn’t fit our values
- What made him start BlogCastFM and some steps he took to grow it
- Digging into ourselves to find what we really stand for
- Challenges of living an unconventional life
- How social media can change our life
- His latest projects
- And MUCH more…
Listen below or download from iTunes by clicking here. (Please note: If you’re reading this from email, you may need to visit the site to listen)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Email | RSS
If you’re running short on time;
(1:35): What made Srinivas take the unconventional path in life
(4:05): Why moving to Costa Rica changed his life and his mindset
(6:00): Why more and more people are willing to give up high paying jobs that don’t fit their values
(8:55): What made him start BlogCastFM and some of the steps he took to grow it into the 5-star podcast that it is today
(11:55): We talk about the amount of work that goes into projects like BlogCastFM
(13:27): Tips for digging into ourselves and finding out who we really are
(15:35): The challenges of living an unconventional life
(17:30): The benefits of living an unconventional life
(19:00): How social media can change our lives
(21:00): We talk about his new Facebook essays
(23:35): We talk about his latest projects
(25:30): His advice for listeners wanting to make a change in their life but are finding themselves holding back
Hope you enjoyed this interview with Srinivas Rao.
Please leave a review at iTunes and/or share with your friends.
Want more inspiration to live limitless? Check out this interview with John Bardos.
Zero to 100: the Journey has Started
Today I was talking to a friend and mentor of mine who told me my “zero to 100” journey has started. He was telling me this because I started Canadian Free Flyers; a paid newsletter club that delivers deals and promotions to Canadians so they can effectively earn travel points and fly for free. Althought I haven’t actually launched it yet, I already have some people signing up. I have no idea how they found it, but it’s a great start!
I started CFF for a couple of reasons. First, I love the aspect of a membership site. I find them exciting and a great way of continually connecting with an engaged audience. I’m part of some membership sites (like A list blogging) and I think they are great place to learn things and meet like-minded people. Since I love travel hacking, it seemed like a great fit to blend this into a membership site.
For $10/mth, Canadians get their own personal assistant sending them weekly emails with deals and promotions to earn travel points in Canada. I also teach them some strategies behind it and guarantee them enough points for 2 flights a year. Not bad for $10/mth right? I’ll keep you updated as it launches and moves along. I’m super excited!
Aside from that, I’ve been trying a few other methods throughout the past few months (some for years) and share some quick insights below. If your new to making money online, below are some great ways to get started:
1. Affiliate marketing: This is a popular one with online bloggers and anyone new to online business. I love the idea of it and although I haven’t become totally immersed in it yet, I have made some sales using this strategy. This proves to me that it’s possible. Basically, I only promote products on AWOI that I have used and think would be beneficial to my readers. I’m also starting to make additional offers to readers who purchase through my links. I’ll report back if it becomes a success or not. Overall, people make affiliate marketing sound really easy but the true fact is few people become successful at it. It’s not as simple as throwing a page together with some links and watching the money come in. A lot of work goes into it but it is a great way to start your journey from zero to 100.
2. Ebay and Kijiji: I’ve made quite a bit of sales on kijiji and a few sales on ebay. This is not a strategy I’m using to make a living but just a strategy I’m using to get rid of things I don’t need anymore. It can be fun though and there are people out there who make their living off ebay so you might want to give it a try. It’s one of the easiest things to set up. It’s good practice and all you need to start is some personal items you no longer want or need. Ebay is best for offering it to the world whereas kijiji is only good for local offers since you’ll most likely need to meet the person to exchange items.
3. Niche sites: This is something I’m just getting into but it looks like a fun and interesting way to make some money online. It’s a little tough right now since my main focus is A World of Inspiration and Canadian Free Flyers but I’m setting up a couple small sites just to get some practice. I’m actually looking into partnering with someone for a friendly competition in making a niche site so “zero to 100” readers can get a great feel for building one from scratch. Stay tuned!
So as you can see, I’ve already surpassed the $100 mark (my first goal for zero to $100) for earning money online but it’s still very much in it’s infancy. Canadian Free Flyers and A World of Inspiration are definitely my top priorities since both are fun and rewarding to work on. A World of Inspiration isn’t really an income generator at this point but it deals with my passion of travel, adventure, and inspiring people to envision life as an endless possibility to do great things. Canadian Free Flyers is really fun because I’m dealing with something I love (travel and travel hacking) and I get to help others do the same.
I know there are many mistakes ahead of me but also many successes. Keep reading and you’ll learn a lot along the way.
Have you started making money online yet? If so, what have you been doing? If not, what strategies appeal to you the most?
New Series – The Most Important Word in the World
I’m so excited for this series to start.
It all began with a post I wrote a few weeks back about a time when I said “hello” to strangers in Indonesia and ended up having a great adventure with them. Lots of people said that they loved that post and I started to think of all the times I’ve had adventures from simply greeting other travelers. I wanted to inspire people to open themselves up to meeting new people and forming new relationships and potential adventures. Then I thought, how cool would it be to gather stories from other bloggers and travelers who have experienced this as well.
I wanted to hear all the amazing stories that people have from when they stepped out of the box and met some new friends.
I reached out to 7 awesome people to get the ball rolling. Each of them enthusiastically agreed to participate and thought it was a great idea.
The series was born. It starts this friday!
Each blogger will post their story on their blog at certain times over the next week or two. Each story will be about a time when they said “hello” to a stranger which then turned into an awesome adventure or a great friendship.
If you want to read these inspiring stories, just follow along by watching the “series page” or following me on twitter. Each time someone posts their story, I will link to it on the series page and tweet it over twitter. You can also like A World of Inspiration on Facebook and watch the wall, or subscribe to A World of Inspiration so you can stay updated all the time.
The following bloggers are part of this series:
Earl Baron of Wandering Earl
Matt Koenig of 1 Year Sabbatical
Rob Nights of Beyond Norms
Amy Scott of Nomadtopia
Niall Doherty of Disrupting the Rabblement
Robyn James of The Dropout Diaries
Steve Bloom of Do Something Cool
and of course, yours truly.
I can’t wait to read these great stories. Thanks to everyone involved and I hope you all feel the inspiration from the amazing stories we’re sure to read.
Do you have a great story of a time when you said “hello” to a stranger and it turned into a wicked adventure or a great friendship?
How to Fly Around the World for Free!
(This post is now being updated)
Being able to fly around the world for almost free has been truly life-changing. How in the world would I have been able to get on a $15,000 one-way flight with my own suite and on-board shower if it wasn’t for learning how to master the world frequent flyer miles? Instead of $15,000, the flight was $89 plus points. I’ve also flown around the entire world in business class, along with my wife who enjoyed the added comfort and pampering.
This is not some scheme. It’s called travel hacking and it’s the simple art of mastering the frequent flyer mile industry. If you learn the tips, tricks, strategies involved in becoming a pro travel hacker, you will be flying around the world for next to nothing. Guaranteed. All you have to do is learn the steps and then make it a priority. I have a number of articles that are free for you to read.
If you want to take it more seriously, I also offer some paid courses, offering you 10-100x the value of what you’ll pay. If you’re Canadian, you’ll want to check out CanadianFreeFlyers.com, which is specifically designed for Canucks. You’ll learn everything you need to know to start earning hundreds of thousands of miles each and every year and how to redeem them for world trips. If you’re not Canadian, I recommend my other course Zero to Dream Trip (www.Zerotodreamtrip.com), which teaches the same things but focused more on American deals. Whichever course you choose, you’ll be able to make your dream trips happen for a fraction of the price, each and every year.
Talk to you soon,