In honor of reaching the 100th post milestone, I’d like to share some thoughts on the potential direction of the site, my new “helpful Mondays”, and to celebrate the people, businesses, or things over the last few years that have inspired me to all new levels. What better way to say thanks than to share them with more people.
To begin, A World of Inspiration has changed a little over the years. I first started the site with the intention of interviewing inspiring people. Although that’s still part of the plan, I realized I also enjoyed sharing my own thoughts and travel stories. Now, after returning from another 11-month trip, I feel the title of the site is fading away. Whenever I think of the name, although I like it, I don’t feel it speaks to me anymore. I have since been creating a “storyboard” of sorts to come up with my vision for the site and a suitable name to carry it into the future.
My goal is to inspire people to think creatively, live an exciting life, feel super-human, and then use those powers to help others around the world.
With that in mind, I’d also like to introduce Helpful Monday’s! I’ve been helped and inspired by so many people throughout life and I’d like to start giving back. I don’t really have any rules but basically, if it’s monday (normally known as a down-day for those in the “work force”) and you need my help with something, let me know. You can contact me through this site, through Twitter, or even through Facebook. I obviously can’t help with everything (due to geography and such) but I will do my best to help or find someone who can. Maybe you need some advice on blogging or traveling around the world? Maybe you need some help with marketing or with Twitter and Facebook? Maybe you just want to chat and get some motivation for a project? Maybe you live nearby and literally want me to come help you get groceries. I don’t know but I’m game to hear about it.
I’ve read a fair share of awesome books over the years and here is a list of the ones I highly recommend you check out:
- The 4-Hour Work Week
- The Art of Non-Conformity
- Zappos: Delivering Happiness
- The 4-Hour Chef
- Poke the Box
- The Tipping Point
- The $100 Startup
- Steal like an Artist
- Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
- Crush It
Below is a list of some people, businesses, and even some simple video clips that have inspired me over the last couple years.
Malcolm Gladwell & The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell is an amazing writer who has been so influential in my life. One of his books, The Tipping Point, literally became my tipping point for reading non-fiction books, thinking bigger, thinking differently, and realizing how small things really can make a big difference. I highly recommend all of his books but The Tipping Point will always be my favorite.
Tim Ferriss & The 4-Hour Work Week
If I had to list one person as single-handedly inspiring me to finally take a big leap and travel the world by myself, I’d give the credit to Tim Ferriss. On top of this, he also inspired me to think completely different about my life and the world in general, as well as my thoughts on entrepreneurship and creating small businesses. His book, The 4-Hour Work Week, changed my life dramatically and after buying 100 copies of it, I even met Tim at one of his parties on a warship in San Francisco. Although I had no idea what to talk to him about at the time (like a kid trying to ask an NHL player how to play hockey), my thinking has changed for the better and will dramatically improve my life. Thanks Tim.
John Wood & Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
This book inspired me to all new levels and also brought some tears to my eyes. The fact that John left a high-paying and highly sought after career to start a non-profit and help educate less fortunate children in developing countries made me realize how much good is out there. The book is compelling and has opened me up to philanthropy in many ways. Room to Read, the amazing organization he started, is an inspiration to the world.
When I first heard about Kiva, I remember thinking how amazing and brilliant the concept was. Kiva is one of those organizations that make me smile every time I think about them. It’s also inspired other similar organizations that are helping out humanity and the world in different ways.
I’m a big fan of any organization trying to help out the world and all the organisms that thrive in it but when it comes down to it, it doesn’t get much more important or basic than the need for clean water. Charity: Water is a wonderful organization bringing clean water to developing nations and 100% of your money donated goes directly to projects. Amazing.
This 12-week fitness program changed my life completely. I had been “wanting” to do it for years and kept putting it off. When I finally took the leap and began the program, it not only changed my physique, but also my outlook on life. In 12 weeks, I lost more than 20 pounds, went from 21% body fat to less than 10%, and gained more than 7 pounds of muscle. You can see my before and after photos here. To start and complete a 12 week program with such amazing results made me realize all the possibilities in life when you actually follow through something. Thanks Bill.
Chris is the man behind The Art of Non-Conformity. His blog and business practices inspired me to finally start writing. I met some people through his comment section who remain friends to this day. I was inspired that he would take the time to respond to emails and he also kickstarted my love for “travel hacking”. A lot of his mindset melds perfectly with my own and I’m drawn to his entire business framework. He also has two amazing books and a really kick-ass yearly event called the World Domination Summit. I attended the first and hope to do so again.
Matt is one of the first guys I met and befriended online. He is one of the guys I contacted through Chris Guillebeau’s comment section. Matt runs a photography site and has since left his job and his country to move to Indonesia for three months with his family. I’ve kept in contact with Matt for a few years now and finally met him in person at WDS. He’s a great guy and we continually keep each other on the ball.
Mark is a cool drummer I met through Matt Koenig. After the introduction, I couldn’t help but stay friends with this guy. Super cool, laid-back, and full of inspiration. He drums all around the world for charity and is one of the friendliest guys a person can know. Mark also joined a bungy jumping event I organized near Portland and was the catalyst in getting many more people involved and making it even more awesome!
I met Aaron through Jonathan Mead’s blog. His course, Unique Genius, was the first course I ever purchased online. I met a bunch of cool people through the comments and even met some of them in Japan. I also met Aaron a couple of times on trips to Los Angeles.
One of the guys I met through the Unique Genius program, Phil is a real inspiration to me. What started off as a “coach” in one of Aaron’s programs turned into more of a closer relationship via email and Skype. Phil hired me for some website work and is consistently inspiring me to work on my businesses or ideas. I haven’t had the chance to meet in person yet but I know we will one day.
Corbett is another cool dude from San Francisco. I watched him as he started Think Traffic and his professionalism has always had an impact on how I think about my owns sites. I enrolled in one of his courses on creating niche sites and thought it was an amazing introduction to building a simple niche site or any site for that matter. I met Corbett at WDS 2011 and he was also kind enough to meet up for beer one afternoon.
I met Trever through a course by Corbett Barr. We were both interested in SEO and niche site building at the time but have since become friends through Skype, email, and Facebook. I know I’m gonna meet this guy at some point on a beach in Costa Rica but until then, we share business advice, travel tips, and anything else that comes up. I’m always amazing by the people I meet by simply signing up for courses or just contacting people through comment sections.
Wandering Earl has also been one of my greatest inspirations for travel writing and online entrepreneurship. He has a great personality, has answered so many of my questions via email, and helped a lot when I was interested in working on cruise ships. His business has inspired some ideas of my own but most of all, his attitude and friendliness has inspired me to apply the same in my business and online life.
I met Caralee on an “audition” of sorts for an independent music video in Calgary, Alberta that never happened. As a professional editor and writer with interests in acting, we had lots to talk about. She has always inspired me and continues to push me forward when I’m feeling low. When she told me that my writing had inspired friends of hers to change their life, I felt so happy that I had started the blog. She’s also been a tremendous help when I have any advice involving media and public relations and since she lives in Calgary, it’s easy for us keep connected.
I met Noah at the Tim Ferriss party I mentioned above. He thought it was super cool that I flew all the way to San Francisco just to meet Tim and his circle of friends. I helped Noah a little with a niche site of his and learned a lot from him. He was always quick with advice and a kick-in-the-ass when I needed it. It was very cool to hear about AppSumo when it was just a seed and to see how awesome and HUGE it is today. He also dispels his wisdom at OKDork.
Tyler started out not to long before me and created a very cool blog around the topic of taking risks. Being a risk-taker myself, it was great to see someone take charge of the subject and really create a name for themselves. His advice along the way on top of a beautiful site to dig into provided encouragement for my own writing and development.
Also met through a comment section, Raam was one of the first people I ever contacted online. He’s always been there with advice and although I missed him at WDS 2011, his powerful writing continues to inspire me.
I’m not sure if anything has inspired me as much as travel. Since deciding to take my first long-term trip to Australia and New Zealand back in 2009, I have since been all over the United States, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, philippines, Thailand, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Myanmar. I’ve jumped out of planes, jumped off bridges, rafted the white-water rapids of the Canadian Rockies, swam with elephants, dived with sharks, went to university in Malaysia, started a couple businesses, watched wild elephants forage in Borneo, climbed mountains in Sabah, kayaked to secret islands in Thailand, crashed a motorbike in Laos, scaled volcanoes in Indonesia, and looked over my shoulder to see a beautiful Manta Ray eating plankton in Komodo National Park.
I’ve seen the most beautiful landscapes, witnessed some amazing sunsets and sunrises, and gazed upon a canvass of shooting stars while lying on a white-sand beach. I’ve met some incredible people along the way as well. People from all walks of life. Some traveling alone at the age of 75. Some who literally live in a hut with a dirt floor but are still willing to share dinner with us. Some who are creating a living with online business and some who would rather start a career and settle down in one city. Others love adventure like myself and some just like to eat their way through countries.
Whatever it’s been, it’s heart-warming to think about the amazing people and places I’ve seen while travelling the world. Even all the animals I’ve been able to come into contact with in rain-forests, seas, or at home have really etched themselves in my memory.
The education that I have received thanks to real-world travel and open-minded people are one of the reasons I wanted to blog in the first place. To inspire others to think creatively and to get out and actually experience life and this amazing time we have on this planet. Life is short and I’d hate to waste it.
Aside from those online personalities, bloggers and my own travel experiences, I can’t write a list like this without saying thanks to my offline friends who are just all-around amazing people. My parents who are quite possibly the most loving, friendly, and helpful people on earth. My brother for occasionally editing some drafts. The very interesting people I have met and become friends with who share the most interesting stories about life and history. My fiancee who came all the way from Mexico to be with me, who has to deal with me being on the computer quite a bit, and who shares the experience of world travel with me.
And on top of all that, I’d like to say thank you to all the people who have read this blog over the years, subscribed, commented, and contacted me. Your the reason I continue writing and thinking of ways to help out in some way.
I have some prizes I’d like to give out. Nothing huge but I think they’re cool none-the-less. I might even include some little things not mentioned. All I ask is that you comment below. That way, I know who you are, can do a random paper draw out of a hat, and display the winners in the comments below.
- 3-months of Evernote Premium
- 3-months of Clear (Advanced Airport Security in the U.S. and used by Tim Ferriss)