Under30CEO » Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Under30CEO interviews successful young entrepreneurs to hear about their story and journey while starting their company. These young founders have over a million dollars a year in revenues and have been through many ups and downs to get there. These stories are meant to inspire, educate and motivate more young people to take a leap and do what they are passionate about. Under30CEO clean Under30CEO jared@under30ceo.com jared@under30ceo.com (Under30CEO) Under30CEO Interviews with Young Entrepreneurs on Starting Businesses entrepreneur, business, interview, young entrepreneur, business advice, startup advice, founder interview, ceo Under30CEO » Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/u30logo300x250.png http://under30ceo.com How I Stopped Mismanaging My Finances and How You Can Too http://under30ceo.com/how-i-stopped-mismanaging-my-finances-and-how-you-can-too/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-i-stopped-mismanaging-my-finances-and-how-you-can-too http://under30ceo.com/how-i-stopped-mismanaging-my-finances-and-how-you-can-too/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:00:14 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=40412 Hey Under30CEO, Two weeks ago I sent an email talked about some honest truths about looking at your financial picture…. and guess what happened? It was the lowest response rate to an email I’ve had in months. Why?  Not because you all have it all under control… No– it’s because of what everyone told me who […]

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financial mismanagement

Hey Under30CEO,

Two weeks ago I sent an email talked about some honest truths about looking at your financial picture…. and guess what happened?

It was the lowest response rate to an email I’ve had in months.

Why?  Not because you all have it all under control… No– it’s because of what everyone told me who did respond to the email.  It sucks to look at this stuff.  

About 50 people spilled their guts about having huge mental blocks around money and personal finance including:

  • Fear, stress, and procrastination about looking at your bank account
  • Not knowing where your money goes and fear of sorting through your issues
  • Not liking money and simply not wanting to deal with it

Look– I have a confession to make.  

I was the same way for years, and even still I struggle with it at times.  Quick story:

After my galavant across six countries this spring, it was time to do my expense report for Under30Experiences.  (yes, we have expense reports)

I was absolutely *dreading* calculating how much money I had spent.  I know it sounds douchey to say that, but this is how these issues start.  We’re not allowed to talk about money, and unless we do, we’ll never come clean.

I put off the simple task of reconciling my American Express bill into our accounting system for THREE MONTHS.

Not only was this financially irresponsible, but every time I thought about it, I procrastinated and didn’t want to look at it.  It caused me a huge amount of stress and mental energy.

“Sh*t I really need to look at my AMEX bill,” was probably repeated 200x in my head over those three months.

When I realized this mental block could be causing strain on my relationship with my co-founder, I finally cracked down.  AND, once I calculated it– which took me only twenty minutes, the amount I had been fearing was thousands less than I made it up to be in my head.

All that anxiety, stress, fear, and bullsh*t for nothing.

I don’t want to have these mental blocks anymore and neither should you.

In the Under30CEO insiders program we’ve been working a lot on this stuff (opt-in for free here), but seriously, now is the time in our life that we need to do the work.

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to be WAY worse including:

  • Hundreds in overdraft and late fees
  • Thousands because of my high APR credit card I never could bring myself to investigate
  • Black marks on my credit report b/c I never open my f*cking mail

What I did to solve my problems with money that you can put into action:

  1. Harness the mentalities of wealthy people.  Read: Think and Grow Rich.  It’s a lot like the old expression “dress for the job you want”, but this time you think like the people who have money like you want.
  2. Start examining your deep rooted beliefs about money.  Write down all the stuff about growing up that might have made you the way you are when it comes to finances.  Most of these beliefs are from your parents, not you.
  3. Get your sh*t together when it comes to managing your dollars.  Sign up for mint.com and figure out where your money goes!
  4. Read Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You to Be Rich and his six week program on getting your finances together.
  5. Do some meditations around abundance and attracting wealth.  It sounds hokey, but you are re-programming your subconscious to think and act like someone who is wealthy.  I used Mindvalley’s free Omvana App.

It’s no different from Snoop Dogg saying, “Mind on my money, and my money on my mind”.  If all you think about is getting paper, then it’s going to be imprinted in your subconscious to always be seeking financial opportunity.

Homework: Leave a comment and I’ll respond today.  What tools have you used to manage your finances? and 2) What action steps have helped you or are you taking today?

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at the travel company Under30Experiences.

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Travel Hacks: How to Save Money and Find Cheap Airfare http://under30ceo.com/travel-hacks-how-to-save-money-and-find-cheap-airfare/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=travel-hacks-how-to-save-money-and-find-cheap-airfare http://under30ceo.com/travel-hacks-how-to-save-money-and-find-cheap-airfare/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:00:29 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=38574 Finding cheap flights is a science.  As the co-founder of a travel company, we bring our team all over the world, and try to do it as wisely as possible.  We take travel hacking very seriously.  The more money we save on flights, the more money left to spend on incredible experiences. Here are ten […]

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Cheap flights and travel hacking Matt Wilson

Regional flights can be a lot of fun. I scored this seat on Cape Air to Nantucket…

Finding cheap flights is a science.  As the co-founder of a travel company, we bring our team all over the world, and try to do it as wisely as possible.  We take travel hacking very seriously.  The more money we save on flights, the more money left to spend on incredible experiences.

Here are ten awesome travel hacks to help you find cheap airfare:

First off:

Expedia has a best price guarantee.  If you find something cheaper anywhere else, Expedia will match it AND give you $50.  So I’ll let it be known upfront that we’ll be using Expedia.  Our goal now is to beat Expedia…

1) Book during the right time of the month

If you are booking on your credit card, you should be paying attention to your cashflow.  My billing cycle turns over on the 28th of every month, so you’ll almost always find me booking flights after that day.  Through American Express, I will have nearly two months to pay that off…

I just booked my flight for our Under30Experiences April 2-6 trip to Costa Rica.  Luckily for me, March’s bill will come to me at the beginning of April, and I’ll have until the end of April to pay it.  Pretty sweet.

2) Book during the right time of the week

By looking at historical data and watching trends over the last several years, you’ll notice that sitting down to book flights in the middle of the week, Tuesday – Thursday is most economical.  FareCompare.com did a study here and said Wednesday at 3PM ET is the best time to book flights.

3) Find off-peak flights

Most people need to fly home on Sunday afternoon to get back to work on Monday.  But if you have more flexibility, why not fly home off-peak hours?  Nobody wants to fly on Saturday night, or on red-eyes, or super early in the AM.  Be sure to use the +/- 3 days button on Kayak.com to see what day is cheapest, and you can save a fortune.

4) Search other destinations and buy a connecting flight

Flying to Asia or Europe?  This works really well.  If you are flying to Bali, first research flights that fly in to the Bali’s DPS airport.  Then, compare those prices with flying to other cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai. These major hubs are going to be way cheaper, so, search a local carrier like AirAsia to get you the rest of the way there.

For our U30X trip to Bali, I found JFK to Taipei nonstop for $1000, and then TPE to Bali for $300.  Even more fun I’ll get to check out Taipei for however long I want… remember… it’s all about the experience!

Superhack: Search your flight to Bali, and then see through what airports the cheapest flights connect in.  This is how I found Taipei– not a city in Asia I would ever thought to fly into, but it’s where most of the cheap flights were stopping. I’ll buy a second ticket and get my to Bali for less.

5) Take advantage of free-stopovers

A lot of the cheapest flights are the ones most people consider the worst–with long layovers.  This mindset is for people who simply aren’t good at life.

Last year, I found myself flying Emirates Air (amazing) with a long layover in Dubai.  I called the airlines, and arranged an even longer, 24 hour stopover, and had a blast.  I rode camels in the desert, swam in the Persian Gulf, saw the Burj Khalifa, Palm Islands, indoor skiing, and had dinner with a friend from college.  Not a bad day.

Icelandair offers up to seven days free stopover if you connect in Reykjavik.  Flying to Europe this year? Book your flight on Icelandair, and go spend the day relaxing in the Blue Lagoon. It’s natural beauty will blow your mind, and it’s very close to the airport.

6) Watch the price predictors

Many sites including Kayak and Bing Travel use data from past flights to predict the prices of upcoming airfare. For flights to places that are undiscovered like Nicaragua, we always notice that the price predictors say to wait.  It’s not uncommon for flights to go to Managua only half full, and get cheaper as time goes on.

Keep an eye out, because on any given day flights can jump up if it gets too close.  I recently couldn’t get on a flight from Miami to Managua, because our attendees bought up all the flights.  I had to pay a lot more on another airline and travel alone.

7)  Buy travel insurance ASAP

This one sounds obvious but you need to protect yourself against flight cancellations, or unforseen circumstances.  We suggest World Nomads Travel Insurance to protect yourself against trip cancellation, if you or a business partner get sick, a relative dies, or your trip gets interrupted because of inclement weather.  This might not save you money off your flight, but it’ll save your ass in an emergency.

8) Find the right credit card for you

My life and business is devoted to travel, so I choose to pay for an expensive charge card with American Express Platinum. This isn’t an article about selecting credit cards, but yes, I did get 30,000 miles just for signing up… Find mileage bonuses on a low APR credit card theoretically will let you travel with no money down for a year or two… Be careful here.

9) Know your frequent flier alliances

Mainly, be sure you are signed up with one of the big three airline frequent flier groups, Star Alliance (United, US Airways, Copa, Luthfansa, SWISS, EVA Air)One World (American, British, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN, Qatar), and the new Sky Team (Delta, KLM, Aero Mexico, Air France, China Airlines…)

Try to book with them, even if they are a little more expensive. You’ll make up for it in the long run with free flights.

I prefer Delta because when I book via American Express Travel I get triple points. Yup. Double points for every travel dollar I spend with AMEX, and then the frequent flier miles with Delta on top of that. You get this deal with any airline on AMEX, but the nice thing with the Delta / AMEX partnership is that you can transfer your points between the two programs.

10) Know your booking sites

With Kayak they let you compare to the big guys like Orbitz, Expedia, Booking.com, etc… but don’t forget about the other sites like CheapOair, Airfarewatchdog, Skyscanner, and Google Flights. Of course, you should always check the airline’s website directly, and local regional carriers.

11) Setup price alerts

You’ll be able to setup fare alerts on a lot of these sites, and they’ll notify you via email of any price change. You want to watch the flights for a little while, but in general, the earlier you book the better. You’ll be able to wait until the right time of the week or month (as mentioned in tips #1 and #2), but don’t wait too long or you’ll miss out. Price predictors (as mentioned in tip #6) rarely say they flights are going to come down in price.

Superhack: Put it all together. Here’s my general process when booking flights:

Search Kayak for the flight you want, and check the price predictor.  If the flight is more than 3-4 months away, I’ll set a fare alert, and watch the price. On a Tuesday or Wednesday, at the beginning of the month, after my credit card is on a fresh billing cycle, I’ll check the flight on the search engines again, and then head over to American Express Travel where I can pay with as many points as I have, bringing down the fare, and put the rest on my card.

Happy savings… and when you do, be sure to get that $50 from Expedia!

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at the travel company Under30Experiences.  Read his free e-book The Escape Manual, the secret to temporarily escaping your job, living a life that makes your friends jealous and making memories that last a lifetime.

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Why Risk Isn’t Real and What it Really Means http://under30ceo.com/why-risk-isnt-real-and-what-it-really-means/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-risk-isnt-real-and-what-it-really-means http://under30ceo.com/why-risk-isnt-real-and-what-it-really-means/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 14:00:23 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=38201 What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? What would you do if you were fearless? You may have pondered these questions before, but have you really ever explored the edge?  Do you really know the answer to these questions? Everyday at Under30CEO we give you advice on how to escape from the […]

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What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

What would you do if you were fearless?

You may have pondered these questions before, but have you really ever explored the edge?  Do you really know the answer to these questions?

Everyday at Under30CEO we give you advice on how to escape from the grips of society.  How to hone your decision making, leadership, marketing, and financial management, to successfully build your own venture, and give you the freedom and security you’ve been dreaming of.

It’s all bullsh*t.

What you really need is a lesson in assessing risk.

People have so many excuses.  They care what their friends think.  They care what their bank account says.  They care about their credit score.  And my personal favorite, they care about “the gap in their resume” when they went out and failed at starting a business or traveled the world.

But guess what?

None of this is real.

Your friends opinions are just words.  Your bank account is just a number that reinforces your limiting beliefs.  Your credit score is just another electronic number, certainly not backed by gold.  And, the gap in your resume… are you kidding me?

What about the gap in your life?

Is what you are doing today, true to your personal sense of integrity?  If you are like most of our generation– it probably isn’t, and you’ve probably vowed to change it…

Many of you are familiar with the story of the trip to Iceland that changed my life.  The moment when I said “life is too short to sit behind a computer”, and started a travel company.  (See the Under30Experiences travel story here)

I came home, after being totally blown away by a place on earth I never dreamed I’d visit, and sat down Jared my Co-founder and had a talk with him about integrity.

Every month close to a half a million people read Under30CEO, I told him, and we sit here and tell people to follow their dreams, take risk, and reach beyond their own personal boundaries and what they think is possible…

I needed to be true to myself.

Something inside me was calling me to travel.

I’ve dreamt of exploring the world since 3rd grade Social Studies class, hearing about famous adventurers navigating the high seas in search of trade routes.  I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by.  

Especially not in my twenties.

After Iceland it was Costa Rica, and then across the border to Nicaragua, then across the world to Dubai, Indonesia and Bali…

I learned to surf, speak Spanish, practiced yoga among rice patties, discovered spirituality by way of Balinese Hinduism, and for the first time in my life saw true poverty, and realized what it felt like to make a difference through microfinance.

Go ahead, ask me about risk.

Most people’s risk breaks down into one of two categories: either financial or social.

First, for those of you taking home less than $75K in a major city like New York or San Francisco, you probably aren’t saving much anyway.  My roommate and I were paying over $3K/month to live in a fancy place in Manhattan and buying $12 cocktails downtown.

Trust me, living off 4-star villas for $50/night in Bali, or $1.50 Imperial Beers in Costa Rica, won’t put you in the hole like a weekend out in NYC.

Second, is social.  Guess what?  My best friend was heartbroken.  Dude, we’re probably going to be friends for the next 50 years.  My step-mom told me my family felt abandoned.  Um, remember the time I went to college and didn’t come home for months?  How is this any different?

Real Risk is Not Being True to Yourself

Through my travels I’ve seen sh*t in the world, that truly puts in perspective what people are afraid of when it comes to risk.

How about the Balinese woman who I rented the motorbike from for $5/day?  That morning she put a traditional Hindu offering on the bike, and told me how grateful she was for the bike allowing me to pick her children up from school (all 3 of them on the little moped).

It’s unbelievable how happy she is, I thought as I rode away and saw an entire family next door bathing in the stream on the side of the road.

And people in the Western world are worried about the financial risk of living out their dreams?!

I am no longer afraid of risk.

As an entrepreneur, I’m not afraid of sleeping on couches, because I’ve done it.  As a traveler, I’m not afraid to walk across the Nicaraguan border at night, because I’ve done it.

I’ve leaned into the fear, I’ve tip-toed the edge, and I’ve made all the mistakes.

Learn them at a young age and be forever fearless.

At the end of the day, let there be no gap in your life…

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at the travel company Under30Experiences.  Read his free e-book The Escape Manual, The secret to temporarily escaping your job, living a life that makes your friends jealous and making memories that last a lifetime.

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Why Gen Y Needs to Build Something That Lasts Forever http://under30ceo.com/why-gen-y-needs-to-build-something-that-lasts-forever/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-gen-y-needs-to-build-something-that-lasts-forever http://under30ceo.com/why-gen-y-needs-to-build-something-that-lasts-forever/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 13:00:38 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=35105 I’ve been off the radar for a little bit.  Not writing much…. In the depths of summer, grinding it out in New York City building a company. Sometimes I ask myself, is this for me? This week I lost my voice.  Why?  Because I didn’t sleep much.  I was at the office at 7:45AM, back […]

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Magellan Voyage

I’ve been off the radar for a little bit.  Not writing much…. In the depths of summer, grinding it out in New York City building a company.

Sometimes I ask myself, is this for me?

This week I lost my voice.  Why?  Because I didn’t sleep much.  I was at the office at 7:45AM, back to back to back sales calls, two meetings, being interviewed on a podcast, more decisions and discussions on the phone, interviewing a new graphic designer, a 9PM call with our team…

Last year, I was on the beach in Costa Rica, writing, drinking coffee, and exploring the world.  How did I get back to this grind?

…To Build Something That Lasts Forever…

When I ask myself, “What did I want to do when I grew up?”, or “If I could have been anyone who would it be?”, hands down when I was young I would have selected famous men in history.  Explorers, great leaders, and captains of industry… people who did something so special, we are still talking about them today.

“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”– Benjamin Franklin

As someone who tries as hard as possible not to disappoint that little kid inside of me, it’s no surprise that I work everyday to be an explorer, leader, and captain of industry.  And what’s even more important than what building a travel company like Under30Experiences gives me, is what it gives our team and customers: the opportunity to learn about the world and themselves through our journeys.

Building a mission driven company that makes travel more accessible to young people is something greater than myself.  Everyday our team imagines giving our generation the opportunity to gain a broader perspective on the world, while also bettering themselves.  We wake up thinking: how do we create a company where Zappos meets National Geographic… and most importantly, how do we create stories so powerful that people are inspired for generations to come?

This is the type of impact that I hope keeps people talking forever… 

In Jarad Barr’s ”Before We Can Make a Difference We Must Change The Way We Think“, he shares a very honest story about how his boss found his blog that ranted about how much he can’t wait to do something meaningful with his life and start his own business.  Jarad expresses his deep inner conflict with not being the same person that sits in his cubicle all day.  Which leads me to the question:

Is Our Generation True to Themselves?

Lets face it, what you do everyday when you wake up, is who you are, whether you like it or not.  If you go to a job you hate, you’re going to start to hate your life.   It’s like my buddy who works on Wall Street and describes the people he works with everyday as “empty-suits”.

It really makes me wonder–is our generation the same set of people in real life that they are in their cubicle?  

Are you waking up and being true to yourself?

I’ve written about legacy many times on Under30CEO and what it means to our generation.  It’s been said 1000x over, follow your dreams, life is too short not to do something meaningful, or as Gary Vaynerchuk said, “stop doing sh*t you hate.”

If we’re going to be the generation that changes everything, we need to listen to ourselves, and actually follow the calling inside every one of us.  We need constant reminders from people like Jarad and Daniel DiPiazza, challenging us to create something larger than ourselves.  When all is said and done…

Are you going to be an empty-suit, or your authentic self?  Start creating, keep building, pour yourself into your writing, and do something that matters.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences. Join them this winter in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

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How to Deal with a Kick to the Nuts & What to Learn From It http://under30ceo.com/how-to-deal-with-a-kick-to-the-nuts-what-to-learn-from-it/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-deal-with-a-kick-to-the-nuts-what-to-learn-from-it http://under30ceo.com/how-to-deal-with-a-kick-to-the-nuts-what-to-learn-from-it/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 13:00:18 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=32859 Stay Humble My Friends. Just when you think you are crushing it, just when you think that you have it all figured out, just when you think nobody can stop your confidence, someone serves you up a slice of humble pie… I was pretty convinced that I have a lot of awesome stories that other […]

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Most Interesting Man

Stay Humble My Friends.

Just when you think you are crushing it, just when you think that you have it all figured out, just when you think nobody can stop your confidence, someone serves you up a slice of humble pie…

I was pretty convinced that I have a lot of awesome stories that other entrepreneurs can learn from… Going from digging ditches in the global financial crisis, to building a full on movement of 500,000 young entrepreneurs reading Under30CEO every month, to starting a really cool travel company at Under30Experiences.

I wrote for Forbes this month. My grandma read about Under30Experiences in Sunday’s New York Times…

I even found time to do fun sh*t like drive the Oregon Trail after World Domination Summit in a bright red C-Class Benz and pickup hitchhikers.

But Is That Enough?

Mixergy‘s host Andrew Warner didn’t think it was.

So here I am, sitting in Timberline Lodge, ontop of Mount Hood with an epic backdrop, about to go on air for my Mixergy interview, ready to share my story with thousands of listeners..

This is of course after his Producer was practically drooling after a 90 minute call with me and booked me for this interview months in advance. I was ready to go.

But instead, it was a swift kick to the nuts.

Here’s what happens next…

Andrew goes on to tell me, that Under30Media isn’t quite ready for Mixergy yet.

I could have interpreted this as Andrew saying: “I exited a $30 million dollar business and have interviewed the founders of LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and Sun Microsystems… You only have a six figure business and a measly half a million monthly readers…”

Of course I wanted to think: f*ck me: Forbes and New York Times love us… screw this guy Warner.

But instead, I swallowed my pride and used the opportunity to learn…

It turns out Andrew is actually a really gracious dude.  I listened as he spoke candidly for the next 35 minutes and got tremendously humbling advice and insights from him.  He is one of only four people in my life who have ever shot me down…  All four people are multi-millionaires.

I told Andrew that our 35 minute conversation would prove to be worth far more to me than being on his show.  We all need people like this in our life.  A little chip on the shoulder builds character.

So what can we all takeaway?

Just because you have an awesome website, a life that far exceeds most people’s craziest dreams, and inspire thousands of others, doesn’t mean that you are above being served a reality check.  Screw your ego.  Use humbling experiences to make yourself better.

Do I think I deserve to be up there with the people who have been interviewed on Mixergy? F*ck yes. Tons of people whom I consider my peers have been on Mixergy, and next time I’m at some ego-fest cocktail hour, I’m sure someone will give me a hard time about it….

I put myself out there every single day and often times I am afraid.  I worry that by writing this Under30CEO readers won’t think we’re awesome anymore.  I worry that Warner will tweet this article and haters will flock to the site and tell me I suck.  It’s not easy being this vulnerable online.  But this isn’t about me.

What I really care about is making this community better.

Andrew Warner doesn’t think that the movement at Under30CEO is strong enough.

There are a sh*tload of 20somethings out there, who are stuck in their cubicle, hating their lives, who need to be reading Under30CEO.

If we going to lead, inspire, and educate the next generation of young professionals we are going to need your help. If you believe in our mission, help us build a stronger community that reaches millions of people, and has the best damn content on the web to make our generation successful.

Here’s what you can do today:

Drop a comment on Under30CEO.

Your voice needs to be heard. Love what you just read? Share with our community how this relates to your life. We need a community full of vibrant discussions. Every article should make you think enough to make a comment.

Become a contributor.

We’re not interested if you just want to write once or twice. We want people that want to inspire our generation several times each month, become a thought leader, and share amazing ideas. Email jared (at) under30ceo.com

Sign up for our newsletter.

We just held events in New York, Portland, and Chicago. Why weren’t you there? Stay in the loop.

Under30CEO is hiring.

But we only hire from within our community. Make your name known on our site. Email your resume to jared (at) under30ceo.com and get involved with writing / community management opportunities.

Travel with Under30Experiences.

We started a travel company because our generation needs to see the world. Get out from behind your computer and go somewhere awesome this winter.

Let’s go.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.

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Zen (Business) Habits: Stop Stressing and Enjoy the Ride http://under30ceo.com/zen-business-habits-stop-stressing-and-enjoy-the-ride/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=zen-business-habits-stop-stressing-and-enjoy-the-ride http://under30ceo.com/zen-business-habits-stop-stressing-and-enjoy-the-ride/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:00:01 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=32687 I wrote “You’re Already a Millionaire, All You Have To Do Is Show Up”. How many successful people have you heard say: I always knew I was going to be successful? Maybe it’s supreme confidence, or maybe they realized that they were put on earth to do something and executed upon it, but my article came […]

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keep-calm-and-be-present

I wrote You’re Already a Millionaire, All You Have To Do Is Show Up”. How many successful people have you heard say: I always knew I was going to be successful?

Maybe it’s supreme confidence, or maybe they realized that they were put on earth to do something and executed upon it, but my article came to one important conclusion– if you know you are going to be successful, then you will be successful. You just can’t quit. If you show up everyday, do the things it takes to be successful, then you will be.

The takeaway: stop stressing about it and enjoy the ride.

I’m guilty of trying to muscle my way to where I want to go. You know the type– if you’re late, you hurry, if times are tough, you work longer and harder, and when things go wrong, you are extra hard on yourself….

Where Are You Rushing Anyway?

Everyone says it’s about the journey, not the destination. Either that’s bullsh*t, or everyone just seems to forget to practice this critical little cliché. I look around (and inside myself) and see a hell of lot of stressed out people in our goal oriented society…. Wherever they are going– they are certainly in a hurry.

As I’ve been learning for myself, and trying to pass on to our readers at Under30CEO, enjoying the journey is extremely difficult when you always have your eye on the prize. When you are so focused on where you are going, you forget to keep calm, and be present. If you truly believed that the journey was the fun part, you’d stop worrying so much about the future .

If you’re like me, you’re in a hurry to live up to your potential, meet expectations, and “be all you can be” like we’ve watched one too many US Army commercials. Well, my potential isn’t a destination. My potential does not have a dollar sign in front of it. And my potential certainly isn’t dependent on whether 500k people or a million people read Under30CEO every month.

What I do know is that I want to inspire and lead people, be creative, build something that makes impact on the world, and have a positive influence on the people I come into contact with. And I know damn well that I’m better at that when I’m relaxed, engaged in the present moment, and not stressed out.

It’s About the Process

This Fourth of July I hit the beach with my Co-Founder @JaredOToole for a little rest, relaxation, and “board meetings” out on the water. Serendipitously, “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvonne Chouinard ended up at the beach with us, where I promptly read the first 120 pages. The very answer I have been looking for appeared– it’s all about the process.

Yvonne Chouinard, the Founder of Patagonia talked about how he never tried to build a massive outdoor equipment empire, instead, just like surfing or climbing, he focused on the process, not the destination. In surfing, you don’t know how big the swell is going to be, or where it is going to take you. Instead you focus on the mechanics of getting up on the board, and having a fluid technique for catching the next big wave that comes your way. To Yvonne, it wasn’t about the size of the company, it was about the process of delivering a quality product over and over again.

Hold On For the Ride

By focusing on the process and not the destination, you spend your time and energy solving sizable problems, instead of being overwhelmed, stressed, and worried about where you are going. You focus on the present and the things you can solve right now.

As my friend @ItsRayLand told me, when you’re in a tailspin, just like a fighter pilot, you just have to let go and stop fighting it.  Just like the stock market, you’ll figure out how to get going back in the right direction somehow.  An experienced trader would tell you that historically the market has always gone up over time, if you look at the big picture.  If you take this approach through your own business and life, we can all learn to stop fighting it, and enjoy that feeling in the pit of your stomach– it’s why we ride this rollercoaster anyway.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.

Need a new outlook on life?  Apply to travel with Under30Experiences to Costa Rica,  as seen in the New York Times and Forbes.

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You Are Already a Millionaire: All You Have to Do Is Show Up http://under30ceo.com/you-are-already-a-millionaire-all-you-have-to-do-is-show-up/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=you-are-already-a-millionaire-all-you-have-to-do-is-show-up http://under30ceo.com/you-are-already-a-millionaire-all-you-have-to-do-is-show-up/#comments Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:00:57 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=31880 I just got back from an inspiring couple hours with my friend and Under30CEO contributor Michael Peggs.  Throughout the course of a couple beers, we got into some pretty deep, philosophical stuff about life, business, and the future.  What came of it was this: Whatever you believe your future to be is true.  You just have […]

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run_the_day
I just got back from an inspiring couple hours with my friend and Under30CEO contributor Michael Peggs.  Throughout the course of a couple beers, we got into some pretty deep, philosophical stuff about life, business, and the future.  What came of it was this:

Whatever you believe your future to be is true.  You just have to show up.

The problem is: most people just never show up.

Lots of people have big dreams and ambitions, but it’s only the people who execute them who are actually successful.  Everyone else quits, stops showing up, listens to the naysayers, or throws in the towel.  They never push through the struggle or truly act upon what they want to do in life.  Their dreams, stay dreams…

It’s all about your beliefs.

In the most humble way possible, I know what I am “destined” to be.  Not in some bullsh*t way– but I know who I’m going to be because my mind is made up.  Why?  Because my parents raised me with the confidence to make it happen.  My dad always told me “whatever you want to do, you can figure out a way to do it,” and my mom has always thought everything I’ve ever done and will ever do is amazing.  So, as a five year old kid, crushing it at the lemonade stand, I pictured myself in the boardroom overlooking my empire.  Because of these beliefs I know I’m well on my way.

When P. Diddy was asked if he ever doubted himself, after about a three second pause, exuding confidence like only Diddy could, he flat out said no.  The man has never shown doubt in himself.

As Thomas Edison said, “The most certain way to succeed is always just to try one more time.”  

It’s the damn truth.  You just have to show up and try one more time.  Sure, being successful takes incredible sacrifice, the ability to go through hardship, and a high tolerance for pain…. so, if you don’t believe that you have what it takes to go through this, then give up now.  But, if you’ve always truly believed you were going to make it big, then you are already that person.  Congrats.  You might not be to the end goal yet, but you’ve made it.

Stop Stressing

Over the last six weeks, I’ve never been more stressed in my life launching our members-only travel platform, Under30Experiences.  When Peggs asked me why I was so stressed, I had no answer.  We came to the conclusion that I want it to be successful so badly that I was literally working myself to the point of insanity.  If you’ve read my health and fitness content lately, on going beast mode, or increasing productivity, you know I believe as much as anyone that stress will kill you.  I sure as hell don’t want to grow old quicker than I have to.  So it’s time to stop stressing.  Here’s how…

First, understand where stress comes from.

It’s quite simple– stress comes from thinking about things in the future that you can’t currently control.  You’re late for work.  Well, guess what– you’re already late.  Sure, you can control how late you are by blowing through traffic lights, but guess what, it’s already been decided– you are going to be late.  You have two options at this juncture– stress about it or don’t.  TRY your hardest to chose the later.  Remember, you are already that insanely successful person if that’s what you believe– you don’t have to stress about it.

Secondly, understand that you’re already late for work and what is done is done.

Want to understand this concept?  Educate yourself and watch the Buddha documentary on Netflix.  There is a part where the narrator says, “If you understand the glass is already broken, then each moment with the glass is precious.”  That’s what Buddha believed.  Just like when Neo goes to see the Oracle in the Matrix.  The Oracle already knows the vase is broken and doesn’t care.  You look at the world a whole lot differently when you have the mindset of a person who already knows what is going to happen- in this case– that you are successful.

Lastly, understand the concept of being present.

I used to think this hippie term was some esoteric thing, until I read Leo Babauta’s post via Zen Habits on being mindful.  It’s all about focusing your thoughts and energy into the present time.  Instead of thinking about how your boss is going to yell at you, suck it up, and enjoy the ride you are on at the present time.  Appreciate the fact your car is working, and that you are blessed to even have a job.  If you are present, then you’ll again remember– you are on your way of becoming that successful person and this is just a bump in the road.  Enjoy the journey.

Imagine a world where you believe you are successful.

All you have to do is show up and execute.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.

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Building a Business You Love with Joe Knoernschild, Co-Founder of Hurley http://under30ceo.com/building-a-business-you-love-with-joseph-m-knoernschild-founder-of-hurley/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=building-a-business-you-love-with-joseph-m-knoernschild-founder-of-hurley http://under30ceo.com/building-a-business-you-love-with-joseph-m-knoernschild-founder-of-hurley/#comments Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:00:43 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=31753 Matt Wilson: When you started Hurley you were 26.  Can you tell us a story from the early days living the surf entrepreneur lifestyle? Joe K: 1980, 26 years old, happily married with Cindy and our young son Joel, teaching Junior High 4 years, waiting tables, exporting surfboards to Japan and managing Hurley Surfboards.  And, I […]

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Joe Knoernschild

Matt Wilson: When you started Hurley you were 26.  Can you tell us a story from the early days living the surf entrepreneur lifestyle?

Joe K: 1980, 26 years old, happily married with Cindy and our young son Joel, teaching Junior High 4 years, waiting tables, exporting surfboards to Japan and managing Hurley Surfboards.  And, I was still able to surf just about every day; albeit in an exhausted state.  Fast forward 4 more years, now we have a daughter; an ex-hoarder’s home we bought in Costa Mesa, CA — and out of many, many prospective candidates approaching Gordon & Rena Merchant (founder and owners of Billabong in Australia) — we picked up the license for Billabong USA.

All the partners were approximately the same age; and we all were doing what we needed to do to provide for our families.  Bob Hurley was shaping boards under his own label, Hurley Surfboards – which I was exporting to Japan; also for Wind-an-Sea and Lightning Bolt; Mike Ochsner was a senior cost accountant at Hughes Aircraft, Bob Rowland a pastor at Calvary Chapel Huntington Beach….  and Billabong USA was starting to really catch fire.

My main focus was product.   Many days I’d be running out of my classroom at 3PM in south Orange County along with my students; jump in my little 1300cc Blue Honda Civic hatchback; blast up to downtown LA to push and shove my sewing contractors and load the back of my car up with boardshorts, jackets,  walkshorts, whatever I had in production at the time.  I was the first partner to quit all my jobs and focus on Billabong USA.

The day before one of my first of many trips to Australia; I picked up a load of 2,000 walkshorts; the snaps were not set properly and I had to drill through the posts, remove the snaps and take them all up the sewing contractor for repair, jumped on the plane; slept, got off the plane; surfed Burleigh Heads, met up for dinner with the Billabong crew at the owner’s home down the way from Burleigh; famous pro surfers Occy and Pottz were there, take away Chinese food was ordered, and I promptly passed out; face forward into my plate of food.  Embarrassing…

MW: In the early days, what was the biggest challenge building Hurley into a sustainable business?

Joe K: In 1998, we notified Billabong that after 15 years we were not going to renew the USA license agreement due to business and creative differences.  All our employees stayed with us.  However, sales reps were outside independent contractors.  The sales reps all pretty much elected to stay with Billabong.  We had to hire new sales people; this was a huge challenge.  We (Billabong & Hurley) agreed to a one year transition in 199 where our Costa Mesa team would do double duty and run both businesses.  This was extremely tricky and essentially doubled our workload; but we had a wonderfully committed and talented crew of approximately 150 employees; and by the grace of God we pulled it off.

Another big challenge was from a business planning vantage – how to budget for year one at Hurley International? We created three 1999 budgets, worse case ($5M in revenue); mid ($9M) and best case ($15M).  In 1998, we were at $70M in annual revenue with Billabong.   Stating the obvious, all plans had attendant staff reductions and radical expense cutting.  Again, by the grace of God, our first year of Hurley saw $25M in revenue with no staff reductions or radical expense cutting; and we were off and running…

MW: Hurley went from surfboards to licensing the Australian surf brand Billabong.  How did you know you could build this new business arm successfully?

Joe K: We certainly did not know we could build this new business arm successfully.  What we did have; all of the partners, was an extreme passion for surfing; for truly living the life.  All partners brought a unique skill set to the table.  Bob Hurley was legit in building surfboards; a good surfer, and a natural salesman.  Mike Ochsner was great with numbers, accounting, business planning and computer literate.  I was organized, good at calendar creation and able to execute on the vision we all shared.  We also were able to leverage Billabong’s 10 year track record in Australia;  and they lent a helping hand to the tune of financing our $1M in orders we rec’d from our first USA trade show.  We all knew how to work hard, and work hard we did.

From a production perspective (my responsibility); I knew nothing about fabrics, patterning, sewing, costings.  But, my wife’s auntie ran a floor at a Los Angeles sewing contractor.  I asked her for help; she made an introduction to an old N.Y. Jewish garmento, Harold Koenig who mentored me.  Harold did not suffer the fool and I had to be a quick study.  I asked many a dumb question and Harold patiently answered – but only one time.  Harold gave me a huge leg up when it came to navigating the nutty, crazy rag trade world.  Lastly, a man’s tallest when he is on his knees, and we all prayed.

Joe Knoernschild

MW: Surfing is a sexy business.  What are some of the marketing strategies / campaigns you are most proud of?

Joe K: Well, I suppose being so close to surfing as a way of life, I’ve never thought of surfing as sexy..?!  More of an art form; arguably a form of worship IF placed in the right context; i.e. worshiping the Creator rather than the creation.  To your question:

Filthy Habits:  Australian slang is wonderfully descriptive.  “Filthy” is Oz slang for bitchen, cool.  “That wave was just pure filth, mate!”……  From early on, we made surf videos as a marketing tool.  In 1989, while trying to come up with a title for our latest  movie, I came up with the title Filthy Habits during a license meeting.  The name stuck; we made graphics, built an entire campaign around the slogan; which even as of last year (2012) – was still being used.

Quiet Riot Art Show (1999):  This was the 1st promo and marketing event for Hurley after we transitioned from Billabong USA.  My son Joel; who worked at the company since he was a wee tyke — pulled this one off for under $5K.  Joel bought 30 police plexi-glass riot shields and got them into the hands of artists with lots and lots of street cred (Shepard Fairey, Haze, Stash, Sam Flores, Andy Jenkins, Bigfoot, David Cho… ),  All artists painted the shields as a canvas; an abandoned building in downtown Long Beach was rented for the night — party ensued and we stopped counting at the door at 1800 guests.  It was an amazing evening; the shields were auctioned off to the highest bidder and proceeds went to the SurfRider Foundation.  Nike was more than a bit concerned with the renting of an abandoned building (liability); but —   they green lighted it.  And after, Nike claimed it was one of the most successful event/party they ever threw, ever – for any amount of money.

MW: Can you walk us through the decision to sell Hurley to Nike?

Joe K: We realized that our skill sets and resources were perfect for  a start-up — up to $100M in revenue; but after that, we were surfing in waters we were unfamiliar with.  The way Hurley caught fire so fast to us was evidence we were on to something way bigger and the opportunity called for a strategic alliance.  Billabong was all about surf.  Hurley represented youth culture (skate, surf, art, music); we soon came to the conclusion that the playing field was BIG; and we sought out NIKE to help execute on the vision.    MOSS ADAMS accounting had done our books since the early days of Billabong; they had contacts at NIKE – and they arranged for a face to face meeting September 10, 2001.  We met with Phil Knight (Nike founder), Mark Parker (Nike President), there was great chemistry, but we all know what happened the day after.   We thought that was that;  game over, but September 12th we got a call from Nike and it was game on.  Within six months the deal was done.

MW: You built a business doing what you love.  What advice do you have to young entrepreneurs wanting to do the same?

Joe K: Being passionate is great.  But.  Not enough.  You have to be able to work insanely long hours; but because of the passion, time seems suspended.  Don’t quit your day job until the business can afford to pay you.  Take small, acceptable risks, step by step.  Assemble a team where there’s alignment; not only in skill sets, but values.  All bases need to be covered, from creative design, production/supply chain/logistics, finance/operations, sales and promotion and marketing.  There cannot be ANY holes.  Acknowledge your weaknesses; find (and reward) mentors.  Also, as much as your business is design driven (and it must be); admit from a finance vantage you are sales driven and revenue forecasts must be made and met – all business plans start with a sales forecast.

MW: You’ve traveled all around the world for business and pleasure.  How has this inspired you to be creative and build Hurley?

Joe K: Perhaps it’s not as insular now as it was for us starting Billabong USA (pre-fax, internet, e-mail) – but – there is a tendency to think the world revolves around us.  The world is a huge place with many, many creative facets.  It’s quite humbling.  Travel opened my eyes in the extreme.  The surf industry ground zero is south Orange County, CA.   This was, and is, terribly limiting and arrogant.  I think the current state of the surf industry is suffering from these self-imposed guardrails.    The first time I saw aboriginal (dreamtime) art in Australia and how Billabong was using aboriginal graphics was eye opening to me; I loved it.

International opportunities are really the mainstay for any business plan today.  The internet has broken all boundaries.  However, there’s also a tendency to homogenize the creative process; the blender is whirring and what comes out can be fairly boring and not unique from a “point of view” vantage.  The first question I ask an entrepreneur after they’ve pitched their idea is, “just what do you think will make people take their wallet out and buy your service/product over what’s out there in the marketplace now?”.

Global business and environmental issues as well just cannot, must not –  be ignored.  The mantra, “think globally, act locally” is still very much in force.

MW: If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Joe K: Hindsight is 20/20 and this a patently unfair question – but the most important and vexing question you posed.  When you are young (under 30) and it’s all coming at you so very, very fast with hardly a moment to catch your breath –  it’s quite hard to be reflective and think clearly.  There’s a tendency to “go along to get along”.  Certain core values have been sacrificed in the surfing universe I helped create.  I retired from Hurley in 2004; but I had opportunities to speak up, cross swords with the powers that be; yet – I sometimes did not.  “Going along to get along”.  For example, in the early 1990’s I wanted to start a recycling program at Billabong, was denied by one of our partners who signed off with a cheeky “yours in ecology”; and I could have/should have drawn a line in the sand, but did not.  It’s good to be flexible, good to be a team player, but, it’s also important to stand on principle and not surrender core values.  Ecology to me was and is much more than “just” the environmental box the word usually resides in, but the big picture interwoven interactions from a social, spiritual and business milieu.  When the line’s been crossed and your core values are compromised – looking back – – I would most assuredly be more assertive and uncompromising…..  for better or for worse.

I also say this in light of the current debacle over at Billabong; with the stock today @ $.18 (from a height of $14).  Surfing and the lifestyle can be so pure, so true, so real, so artful and soulful, yet — its descended into a worship of profits at all costs; a complete disrespect of the soul — and heavy is the cost being paid at this time.  Not my original intention of the use of “Filthy Habits” as a marketing campaign, sort of a double entendre with a self-fulfilling  prophetic ending.  Hmmm….

To end on a positive note — there’s great opportunity now; not just in the surf world, but in all business niches, for realness and purity of purpose.   What would I do differently?  Well, B-corps are a recent legal creation – I’d certainly strongly consider organizing under that legal designation.  Of course a business must and has to be profitable, yet there’s a lot more at stake than just profits.  It doesn’t have to be, “what profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul in the end”.  It should be, “…and gains his soul in the end…”

My title of this interview would be: No to “Filthy Habits”, Yes to “Yours in Ecology”.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.

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25 Ways To Live Differently http://under30ceo.com/25-ways-to-live-differently/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=25-ways-to-live-differently http://under30ceo.com/25-ways-to-live-differently/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 13:00:43 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=31469 If your goal is to live a boring life and be like everyone else, you are probably well on your way. However, if your life goal is to make your own decisions and live on your own terms; look at what the masses are doing, then start doing the opposite. Changing your life isn’t difficult. These […]

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

If your goal is to live a boring life and be like everyone else, you are probably well on your way. However, if your life goal is to make your own decisions and live on your own terms; look at what the masses are doing, then start doing the opposite. Changing your life isn’t difficult. These 25 straightforward ways to live differently are small changes that result in a big difference. Try giving them a shot. 

25: Think Big

Most people aim for what they think is attainable, but in reality, they are only giving in to limiting beliefs. It’s just as easy to think big as it is to think small; it only takes a small shift in your mindset. Besides, when you think small, you have to compete with everyone else who thinks that way. Think big, and you’ll be in a class of your own.

24: Make yourself wealthy, not someone else

Who owns the company you work for? If it’s not you, then you are working to make someone else wealthy. If you’re going to work hard, why not work hard for yourself?

23: Get inspired daily

Most people go through life without ever getting their heart pumping. Figure out what makes you tick — what gets you going — and drink from that well daily.

22: Get out of your comfort zone

Do something every day that scares you. Better yet, put yourself in the position where you have no choice but to be scared. The higher your tolerance for fear and uncertainty, the more likely you are to be remarkable.

21: Travel

The percentage of people who never see the outside world is staggering. If you want to understand how the world works, you need to get outside your bubble.

20: Refuse planned obsolescence

Consumer electronics companies make it seem like they worked all fiscal year to come up with these brilliant innovations for the next product release. The truth is that it’s all a ploy to get you to wait in line for a few lousy gigabytes of memory. These companies purposely release new features very, very slowly.

19: Explore medical tourism

Guess what? The best doctors in the world are not necessarily in your country. I had $3,000 worth of simple dental work done for $400 in Costa Rica. My dentist spoke perfect English, studied under American professors, and used the same materials as my dentist in New York. Better yet, he gave me a free initial consultation and was open to negotiating on price.

18: Stop commuting 9 to 5

Sit in traffic? Be jammed into the subway? That sounds like the rat race to me. Find out when you are most productive and where. Go to that place at that time. Maybe it means you’re in bed on your laptop until 10 a.m.

17: Don’t rely on doctors

Health professionals with PhDs are products of the machine — a reactionary health care system designed to make a profit. It’s not their fault — they were taught in school how to fix you once you’re already broken. True health means being proactive.

16: Don’t rely on the government

Want to take life into your own hands? Don’t leave it up to a bureaucracy. If you expect the government to take care of you, it’s simply not going to happen. If you want to live differently, remember that nobody will look out for your well-being like you will.

15: Stop eating food that’s killing you

It’s pretty plain and simple: We all know that the food we are eating will eventually kill us. Yet we all sneak french fries, sugars, excessive animal products, and anything with terrible chemicals in it. No, moderation won’t kill us, but why do we succumb to what the rest of the masses do?

14: Do you

Between society, your family, and your friends, everyone has their own agendas for what they want to see you do. We live in a world where we strive for others’ approval without truly asking ourselves what we want. “Live the dream” means your dream, not someone else’s.

13: Untrain your mind

Bigger isn’t better when it comes to material things. As Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.” Bigger salary, bigger house, bigger car: it’s more stuff occupying a BIG part of your life, and it’s probably financed by mo’ debt.

12: Stop paying for education

All the information we need to educate ourselves is out there. Matt Damon said it best in Good Will Hunting: “In 50 years, you’re gonna start doing some thinking on your own, and you’re gonna come up with the fact…you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you could’ve gotten for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.”

11: Only buy stuff you can afford

It’s a shocking thought, I know. Stop with the retail therapy at the expense of your credit card. Just because the rest of America lives beyond its means doesn’t mean you have to.

10: Work out for 30 minutes, max

Most people go to the gym, mess around for 60 or 90 minutes, do something half-heartedly on the elliptical trainer, and roam from machine to machine. Work out at full intensity, pour sweat, and feel the burn! You’ll see twice the results if you actually push yourself instead of just showing up.

9: Work for 90 minutes, max

Studies show that your brain can only focus for an hour and a half, so don’t force it! Work as hard and as fast as you can for 90 minutes, and then take a break. When you “work” aimlessly for hours on end, you never really accomplish anything.

8: Work outdoors

Sure, there is a tremendous value in showing up to the office and being with your team every day, but this doesn’t mean you can’t sit in the park for an hour and answer emails. Take your phone calls to a quiet place in the sun to get vitamin D and fresh air.

7: Stand, don’t sit

Our bodies were simply not designed to be hunched over a computer all day. Make yourself mobile, and walk around when you have a phone call. Try out a standing desk, which many leaders, including Jack Dorsey, have transitioned to.

6: Go minimalist

Seriously, you don’t need all that stuff. You don’t use it, and it weighs you down. Sell items that you don’t use on eBay. Getting rid of your excess baggage is an extremely freeing feeling.

5: Stop drinking bottled water

Again, you’re wasting money and destroying the environment. Get a water bottle with a filter, and take your first step towards living a sustainable lifestyle.

4: Use reusable coffee cups

Think about all the Starbucks cups you’ve sent to the landfill. Starbucks will give you a discount for bringing in your own cup, so take advantage. Save the environment and save money. It’s a no-brainer.

3: Stop push notifications

Why do you get alerts every time someone comments on Facebook, sends you spam, or “likes” your Instagram picture? If you want to be productive, check these means of communication on your own terms and turn off all push notifications on your phone.

2: Become cell phone-free

You don’t have to disconnect your service, but why not try “Cell Phone-Free Sundays”? There is no one more important than those you spend your Sundays with. Do yourself and/or your family a favor and disconnect.

1: Cut your cable

Stop being brainwashed and getting sucked into channel flipping. If you really want to occupy your mind with something worthwhile, start building up your book collection. Turn your living room into a library.

Find your next adventure with Under30Experiences.com.  You must be on the members-only list to attend our exclusive experiences.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences. 

This article originally appeared at List25.

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Build a Machine: The Key to Creating Systems in Your Business and Life http://under30ceo.com/build-a-machine-creating-systems-in-your-business-and-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=build-a-machine-creating-systems-in-your-business-and-life http://under30ceo.com/build-a-machine-creating-systems-in-your-business-and-life/#comments Wed, 12 Jun 2013 13:00:18 +0000 Matt Wilson http://under30ceo.com/?p=31383   Last week, you read about #BeastMode.  How to have more energy than ever.  While energy is great for hustling, for grinding, and being ontop of your game, let’s face it– your own personal energy is only going to get you so far.  What you really need is to be a machine. A well oiled […]

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BMW i8 concept

Last week, you read about #BeastMode.  How to have more energy than ever.  While energy is great for hustling, for grinding, and being ontop of your game, let’s face it– your own personal energy is only going to get you so far.  What you really need is to be a machine.

A well oiled machine, requires very little energy to run.  A machine produces output with little to no effort on behalf of the operator, and keeps momentum even during the toughest of times.  A machine, or a business system, makes you money while you sleep– one that doesn’t require you to trade your time for money.  A human being who you’d describe as machine, cranks out work, beasts through workouts, and is productive without even thinking about it.  This is the kind of machine I want operate.

The kind of machine I want runs on it’s own, so I can use all the excess energy to go beast mode to solve even greater problems and to create.  All the logistics, and the operations should happen on their own.  It’s like the first day working out–it required all your mental and physical energy just to get out of bed early, much less work out.  But once you’re a machine and you do this everyday, you don’t even think about it, and you free up your energy to be more productive in other parts of your life and work.  In the business world, if you are a one man operation starting your business, you have no systems– you do everything yourself, and nothing is automated.  The key to success is building a machine where everything just happens.  

How to #BuildAMachine

If you want this to be the year to go from hustler to entrepreneur it’s time to get disciplined and automated.

It starts with yourself and your habits.  It’s the foundation of your machine–if you want to perform like a BMW, you need to invest in high-test octane and maintain by the book when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and productivity.  Think of eating organic foods and extra sleep as investments in yourself.  Once you invest the time, and start automating these processes, they require little or no effort.  My groceries show up every Monday morning to my doorstep.  I don’t have to spend any extra brainpower picking them out, because I have them delivered with a simple click.  I don’t have to ever set foot in the grocery store, wait in line, or carry them home.  The machine just operates on it’s own.

When I first started doing yoga it was a big undertaking.  Now, it’s something that happens naturally several times each week.  I automatically put my gym clothes in my bag everyday…  I know what the schedule is each week, I walk in, I’m automatically billed for my session, my mat is ready, and I get all the benefits of my practice–without any extra brainpower.

When things get crazy, my machine doesn’t crash–sometimes I miss sessions, but these are habits I’ve built over time.  I’m not overwhelmed by working out, because it doesn’t take much effort.  It’s not a yo-yo diet, that overwhelms me and bogs me down, it’s a machine that is part of my life.

Discipline is easy.

Discipline is easy if it’s a habit.  Most people are just “discplined” to habitually sit on the couch and flip on the television when you get home.  I don’t have a television.  Habit broken.

But it didn’t happen overnight.  If you want to be disciplined, focus on forming one new healthy habit each week.  Somehow I got out of the habit of drinking tons of water, so, this week’s habit is remembering my waterbottle.  It’s not going to change my life, but my life is going to change.  Gradually.  Easily.  Without too much excess brainpower.  Hopefully, for the rest of my life, you’ll see me with a waterbottle.  (wow, what a nerd…)

Plan out your next 4 habits.  Take it a month at a time…. a year from now and 52 habits later, I think you’ll be in pretty damn good shape.

Your Job as CEO Is NOT to Hustle

Yes, you should be ontop of your game, but your job as CEO is to think–not to grind.  Meaning, you should not be getting paid to perform tasks in your business– you should be working to build the machine.  It’s what Michael Gerber talks about in The E-Myth–you should “work on your business, not in your business.”  An entrepreneur builds a machine, and gets paid to be creative, to lead the team, to communicate, and to automate a business system.  Bonus points, if you empower others to be creative, lead, and automate– now your building a smarter machine.

Don’t get me wrong– entrepreneurs need to work hard, lead by example, and show up ontop of their game, but the difference between hustling to make a dollar, and building a machine that makes you dollars is a big one.

What habits will you build today, that will increase the output of your machine?

Find your next adventure with Under30Experiences.com.  You must be on the members-only list to attend our exclusive experiences.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30Media and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences.

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