Over the last several months of traveling I’ve found that the people that are the happiest, are often the people with the least.  What does that say about entrepreneurs who often strive to have it all?

People in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and where I am right now in Indonesia, enjoy drinking out of a coconut under a palm tree just as much as the wealthiest people in the world.  Except, these people most likely have a lot less stress.  It’s like the old adage of the capitalist on vacation who tries to convince a happy local fisherman to start the next big fishing empire with him… all so they can make tons of money, and hopefully one day retire to an island, have a quiet life, and spend their days fishing.  What’s the point?

How does an entrepreneur find something to work on that truly brings them happiness?  While nobody can be sure, here are 5 things that should be part of your plan…

Way 1: Start Something That Matters

You are going to spend your life working.

It might as well be something that makes you money.  It might as well also be something that makes the world a better place. Lastly, if I’m going to work as hard as I do, it might as well be from somewhere amazing.  See Step 1 of my 5 Steps to Going Location Independent: Do Meaningful Work.

When all is said and done, your life’s work can be spent working on small ideas, or it can be spent working on big ideas.  That is up to you.

Way 2: Become Clear on What You Want

Write it down.  Make it your goal.  Visualize it.  It’s not the formula that’s tough, it’s the hard work and execution.  At least make it this far.

When we’re young, it’s important that we get as many experiences as possible. If you’ve never had a crappy job, how are you going to appreciate when you find a good one?  If you were never exposed to the world of entrepreneurship, you would have probably never considered it.  If you’re reading Under30CEO you probably go see the speakers, attend the seminars, read the books, and watch the videos.  You had the exposure to taking an alternative path and learned that striking out on your own was a viable career option.

Now, become 100% clear on what you want out of your life and stick to it.  You’ll be happy you did.


Way 3: Get Exposed

While I’d always dreampt of making millions of dollars and traveling abroad, I figured that I would be too busy running my business to have the time to see the world.    Until I read the Four Hour Work Week, I never realized that you could run a business and travel at the same time.  Not to mention, that you didn’t need a lot of money to do it.  Thanks for the exposure Tim.

But until I got a taste of it in Costa Rica this summer, I didn’t realize that this was something that I would actually pursue.  A huge component of becoming a entrepreneur who knows what they want is being exposed to new people and new ideas that will get you on the right track.

Way 4: Increase Your Education

Okay, okay, I’m not talking about an MBA.  An entrepreneur’s education should be something can make them money.

The best entrepreneurs are always looking for new opportunities and investing in self education.  It’s the reason Mark Cuban reads three hours every day.  If you are looking to start a business, work from paradise, penetrate a new market, or find a new challenge to conquer, you’re going to need to learn from people who can help you make it happen.  When an opportunity arises to learn how to get what you want, the most committed entrepreneurs take it.

Education is what Under30Media is about with Under30CEO, Under30Careers, and Under30Finance.  Now, with our new brand Under30Experiences we’re designing educational experiences for young people to go explore developing markets.  We’re helping make a lot of people happy.

Way 5: Meet Meaningful People

Our education partner for the GREEN Business Tour to Costa Rica Mikhail Naumov was smart enough to build a business that allowed him to spend 7 months in Costa Rica last year, while finishing his degree at Rutgers University.  Their company, the Global Renewable Energy Education Network all started with one trip to Costa Rica…

I saw what Mikhail was doing and thought there must be a way that we can work together on a project that gets me closer to my goal: to find opportunities in amazing places around the world.  If you want to build a business that allows you to live the lifestyle of your dreams, you need to connect with others who are doing it.

The Costa Rican School of Happiness

What amazes me about Mikhail’s story and so many people I’ve come across in Costa Rica, is how grateful they are for what they have.  When I heard Costa Rica is Time Magazine’s Happiest Country, I had to experience it for myself.

Luckily for you, we found a way to pay it forward and have designed our GREEN Business Tour to allow you to do just that:  meet meaningful people, who can increase your education about opportunities in an amazing part of the world.

Our adventure will form lifelong friendships in our community of attendees who are looking to start something that matters.  Costa Rica is a leader in clean technology and alternative energy, they are the first country to pledge to become carbon neutral by 2021 and we’ll be meeting with some of the world’s leaders in sustainability and design.

There are approximately 22,000 American expats living in Costa Rica and so many of them are living completely organic lifestyles, living off the energy grid and investing in real estate at the heart of eco-tourism.  They have become clear on what they want and found a way to make it happen.

To attend the GREEN Business Tour to Costa Rica, December 5-9 2012, email matt (AT) under30ceo.com with a paragraph on why you should be considered.  For information on this trip and our Microfinance Surf Camp in Nicaragua and Startup Iceland Adventure in 2013 sign up at http://under30experiences.com

… and remember without action, these 5 Steps won’t make you any happier.

Author bio: Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and is looking to help every young entrepreneur on the planet.