Do Not Let Technology Take Your Life

Technology has been on a path of freeing individuals from repetitive work, making our lives safer, and opening up a new world of connectivity to us.  Tech, has turned poor college students into billionaires.  Tech is on a rat race to automate as much of our world as possible while making as much money possible.  This race is a good thing for everyone.

Find Moderation

No Tech Zone for sanityHowever, we can’t let Tech push us aside. we cannot let Tech increase the income gap.  We can’t spend our lives living behind a computer. We can’t spend our days a slave to our smartphones and notifications.

My friends think I am weird.  I have turned off all notifications on my phone.  I have deleted numerous social media accounts.  I rarely do anything with Facebook these days. I don’t play games.  I do use my phone to glance at email. I do use my phone to make phone calls.  I do all of my planning in my own version of a Bullet Journal.

Time Slips By

About a year ago, I realized how much of my life was spent behind a computer. You wake up, go to work and spend the day behind a computer in the name of accomplishing something.  Then you commute home and find myself again behind a computer for a few hours to accomplish the personal stuff.  Before you know it, the neighbors have moved out, Donald Trump is President, and my awesome car has hit nearly 130,000 miles.

Life can get away from you.  You can watch it from behind a computer melting your eyes or you participate in it in real life.  Find a balance. The real world isn’t for everyone.  Actually talking to people outside work is a scary thing.

Your Challenge

I challenge you to do one or more of the following at least one per week:

  • Turn your phone off for 24-hours – it is hard, but I assure you the world will not end
  • Go for a long hike – Vitamin N is a mineral we don’t get enough of, so get more of it
  • Have a picnic in a park – Sure, there are scary homeless people at the park, but a picnic can be a peaceful, sublime experience
  • Drive to a new town and explore it – A change of scenery is good for the soul
  • Paint, doodle, dance, or just observe – all of these can meditative and help to rebuild the soul

Try it out and report back what you did and how you felt.  We can’t let technology steal our lives from us.  There is an analog world out there to enjoy.

The DIY Employment Economy Is Here

The DIY Employment Economy Is Here

We are in a new era of America’s economy and it will take your breathe away.  Jobs are a thing of the past.  Earning money is now up to you.  You must find a way to offer a service on the open market in exchange for money to survive.  Corporate America, technological innovation, and global immigration have scalped the American workforce.

The Economic Shift

With the economic decline of 2009, Wall Street and the corporate world sent the citizens of America a clear message: jobs are a privilege, not a right. No longer was the massive corporate engine driving America going to give Americans jobs for the sake of employment. Profits are number one, not national employment rates. While I was lucky to stay employed throughout the economic decline, I watched many of my friends lose their jobs, their homes, and the alleged “American Dream”. America was changed forever.

At the same time, corporations started the conversation of revising the immigration policy to make it easier for American based companies to employ “talented” foreigners. Add in the tech sector’s quest for automation and America’s unemployment situation seems irreversible. Jobs filled by human beings are being replaced by software programs. Jobs which require specialization are filled with foreigners and corporate profits are now at record labels. Either you are a have (job) or you are a have not (unemployed).

Solution

The solution? The solution is DIY employment, create your own job! With sites like Freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour, and Fivrr, access to paid projects is very good, albeit competitive. In addition, solutions like vTiger, FounderSuite, and even KickStarter enable anyone with a decent business idea to take control of their lives and create their employment/business.

How do you know what business to start? Pursue your passions. Books like the Lifestyle Entrepreneur have a great set of tools to help you identify the intersection of your passions, hobbies, and interests. For me, I love data, finding the patterns in the data and producing visualizations to communicate findings. I also love measuring businesses (I develop KPIs for executive teams). I also have a soft spot for fitness and helping people become healthier. The intersection of all of these is the quantified self and creating a business around self data. TrainingMetrix is my first company and focuses on analytics for triathletes.

You also have to decide which type of business to create and how involved you want to be. A restaurant will likely be a 24/7 “job” until it is established, profitable, and you are able to hire managers to run it for you. On the other end of the spectrum, potentially a much more hands off type of business, is a tech company where you can outsource development, customer service, and marketing. With just an hour per day, you can run a successful and profitable online tech business.

Empowering Yourself

DIY employment is not as scary as it may seem. Today, it is easier than ever to start earning money for no one but yourself. Every action you take when you create your own business is all about you. Empower yourself today, embrace the DIY employment economy and create a business to change the world, or just your part of the world.