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You Asked, We Answered

 

Isaac Morehouse and I just released the final episode for Season 2 of the Office Hours podcast.

For this episode, we did an “Ask Me Anything” edition where we covered as many questions as possible.

Thanks to everyone for supporting the podcast and submitting questions for the episode.

To check out the show, you can watch the video below or listen on iTunesYouTubedirect download and all major podcast platforms.

Full List of Questions Answered:

  • What do you hate about Christmas?
  • In whatever project/opportunity/job you’ve been given a chance to take, what were your non-negotiables that would make you either take it or reject it?
  • If you weren’t doing Praxis, what would you be doing now?
  • If Praxis failed tomorrow what would you work on next?
  • I just want to write, though I understand at my current skill level I can’t support myself solely with writing. How do I get past hating day jobs?
  • Isaac you have lots of kids which means many long spans of dealing with the challenges of babies. What are the biggest challenges that babies and kids have presented for your career and what perspectives have you found useful for handling those challenges? Particularly the challenges of both parents working if you can shed light on that.
  • What is your favorite dairy product and why?
  • Are concepts simply another type of experience?
  • If you and TK got in a fist fight who would win?
  • Are either of you religious/spiritual? Do you think living a devoted religious life can be a rational life?
  • What’s something small you changed/did in your life that had a large positive affect?
  • With Praxis obviously all the participants are gonna do great things, but has there been a participant who’s gone on to do things that make you “holy shit”? The guys who have gone above and beyond after they’re out of the program.
  • You guys never discuss and which is a true barrier to entrepreneurship his health insurance. How do you deal with health insurance when starting your own business?
  • When did you and Isaac know you were going to be best friends?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • I had a conversation with an individual who was in their early 30s a few nights ago. He just finished his degree and was encouraging me to do the same because he was “…sick of seeing people dumber than {him} get better jobs than {him}…” he went on to say something along the lines of “There’s very few rockstars out there like {individual}, very few, that can pull off not going to college and make a significant living.” What would you have said to him?
  • Good Morning T.K., I so much enjoy your commentary – it is thought-provoking, encouraging, and motivational to me.  So, here is my question…How does one move ideas and into action? How does boldness become a lifestyle, a constant?  Please share your personal experience in this area of your life. Thank you in advance.
  • I’m a big fan of what Praxis is trying to do. However, I came across an article recently (see link) on why the humanities are important. It makes the case for why humanities are important not for business, necessarily, but for humankind. This exposure can only come from certain courses we take in college. If a young person goes the Praxis route how will he or she get this exposure that seems so critical?
  • I have been following you for about 7 years now, I signed up for your 1 message a day and have learned a lot from them when applying it to my life. I also grew up in Chicago -area and went to college in the West Michigan area as well. My question who is your favorite bulls player past or present? ( Go Bulls!)  and second, what is your advice on dealing with colleagues that you work with who use ageism to make the working environment uncomfortable when working with them?
  • Can you give your best pep talk?
  • I’ve joined Toastmasters and one of their things is to weed out filler words such as um and ah.  I consistently am the worst offender, but I don’t personally notice it. First, do you have some tips for changing speaking “ticks” and is there an acceptable threshold for filler words?
  • A college degree is disproportionately high in cost for its value. What’s something you see as disproportionately high in value for its cost?
  • What does your morning routine look like? And/or do have a routine when you get into the office that gets you in the right headspace for the day?
  • Both you and Isaac Morehouse preach about daily blogging and to my knowledge, this activity was a huge factor in the project that ended up becoming Praxis. I’m curious about any other unexpected benefits that came about due to your daily blogging habit?
  • How are you celebrating your birthday? I hope it’s a great one!
  • Why do you share so many of your writings for free-of-charge?
  • Is there any good for the general public that comes out if modern education? If so, what?
  • How can you tell when someone’s exploiting you?
  • If LeBron is the third-best player ever, does that make Jordan fourth?
  • Do you think Upwork will be the main platform for many types of remote “jobs’ in the future?
  • As I research I’m finding that online education is becoming more prevalent. I’m thinking that in 10 years or so it will replace brick and mortar and know how to compete in the marketplace of ideas at a lower financial cost. Any thoughts on this?
  • How can you persuade your family that actually working in the job market can be more efficient than attending college? I still am getting downplayed and shamed into attending college just because “I’m smart and better than my current job” which is Lyft currently.
  • If I worked for you (this is hypothetical, obviously) would it matter to you what my motivation was? Would it matter whether I did the job for the pay or because I loved the work? I guess you’d prefer an employee who was mainly motivated by the work rather than the money. But if the pay means I can support my family, and if that’s my main motivation, wouldn’t you agree that’s completely okay?
  • Do you believe in any NBA conspiracies?
  • Say something nice about universities and the types of people who benefit from a traditional undergraduate experience
  • I’m inspired by the way Praxis creates a freer world and “criticizes by creating“. What other businesses inspire you in the same way? Besides education, what other fields do you see as ripe for liberty driven entrepreneurship?
  • How do you prevent spreading yourself too thin while letting yourself try out doing/learning different things?
  • I was wondering if you guys could dig deeper into your feelings on election day and voting in general. If we don’t vote, how else can we have a voice in government and society?
  • What are your thoughts on psychedelics and other consciousness expansion practices such as meditation, breathing exercises (like Wim Hof’s), and how this can deepen your self-knowledge and improve your performance, clarity and happiness at work?
  • Why didn’t you guys choose to accelerate Praxis’ development with external investment?
  • Do you think Praxis has what it takes to be the number one educational institution of the future? Is that the goal?
  • Do you know anything about MissionU? Why do you think they had trouble growing after having a lot of visibility, building partnerships with companies like Uber, Spotify, etc and receiving $11.5m in funding? And why do you think they decided to be purchased by WeWork?

How to Get a Fight with Mayweather

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I recently heard a sports commentator report that Floyd Mayweather had been very annoyed with many of his opponents in the past because of their lack of effort with promoting their boxing matches with him. He even mentioned one instance in which Floyd is alleged to have phoned Manny Pacquiao begging him to “talk some sh*t about me so we can sell this fight” only to have his concerns downplayed.

When Mayweather inked the deal to fight Conor McGregor, he reportedly said it was the first time in his career when he wouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to promoting. It was McGregor’s marketing skills that got him the gig.

Wanting to fight Floyd Mayweather isn’t unique. Everyone wants to fight him because everyone has a whole lot to gain by getting a big payday and a prestigious title shot against an undefeated champion. But Conor McGregor was the one guy who actually got Floyd to come out of retirement at age 40. Why?

Because he had traditional boxing credentials? No.

Because he was respected by the boxing experts as a legitimate contender? No.

It’s because he honed his craft, developed a solid body of work, built a compelling brand, and dared to try something that others told him he had no right to do. And even though Conor McGregor didn’t win the fight, he won a lot of respect, a lot of new fans, a lot of future opportunities, and a lot of money.

Keep that in mind as you move about in a world where most people will tell you that you’re not special enough to create your own non-traditional path to wealth or success.

Change the World for Fun & Profit

Howard Thurman wrote: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

And yet, that is precisely the opposite of what most people do when they strive for social change. Contrary to Thurman’s advice, societies tend to tackle problems by either legislating solutions into existence via politics or by pleading with the rich and powerful to share their resources via philanthropy.

Doing things like starting a business or pursuing a career in the arts is usually regarded as selfish and greedy. And even when we do support the people who pursue these things, we’re still hesitant to think of them as revolutionaries and freedom-fighters in the same way that we’d think of politicians and philanthropist.

As materialistic and consumeristic as everyone says our country is becoming, we’re still by and large a nation that thinks a little bit less of those who do what they do for fun and profit. While we may not believe that money is evil, we certainly don’t regard the pursuit of it as being on the same plane as ventures that claim to be “not for profit.”

As odd as it may seem to someone who understands the economics of customer accountability, telling someone “I won’t make or lose any money from this transaction” is still a more effective way to build trust than saying “I care very deeply about my bottom line.”

As odd as it may seem to someone who understands public choice and the nature of incentives, telling someone “I’m running for office” or “I’m going to work for a think tank” is far more likely to make you sound like someone who’s interested in doing good than saying “I want to follow my dreams” or “I want to work for a cool start-up.”

This weekend I’ll be giving a talk at the Young Americans for Liberty Denver Spring Summit about “Changing the World for Fun and Profit.” In this talk, I’ll make a clarion call for young people to return to the wisdom of Thurman’s advice. I’ll dismantle common arguments about why profits are bad and I’ll show how our individual passions and priorities are more of a powerful force for liberty than what we’ve been previously taught.

The optimal path to creating a freer society lies in following your own self-interests. If you want to change the world, stop trying so hard to change the world and start paying attention to the things that fire you up. That’s the punchline with which I’ll begin tomorrow’s talk. If you’d like to see where I take it from there, come join me at The Summit Conference & Event Center at 2pm. You can find out more information about the summit here

To learn more about how I’m changing the world through fun & profit in my everyday life, check out the work we’re doing at Praxis.

Also check out some of the links below to see some previous talks by my colleagues and I on how to adopt this strategy for changing the world:

Criticize by Creating – Derek Magill

People Over Politics: How to Change the World | Isaac Morehouse

Education 2.0: How Philosophy, Not Tech, is Disrupting How We Learn (TK Coleman)

Entrepreneurship As A Theory of Social Change: T. K. Coleman

You Belong Here. Act Like It.

The world isn’t doing you some kind of great favor by letting you exist.

You have as much of a right to pursue happiness as anyone else. You have as much of a right to carve out your own path as anyone else. You have as much of a right to form your own ideas as anyone else. If you don’t have a right to be here, no one else does. If everyone else has a right to be here, so do you.

Hold your space with confidence. Stand your ground with poise. When you walk, walk with dignity. You don’t need to avert your gaze when standing in the presence of others. You don’t need to bow your head and whisper softly when you ask questions or express opinions. Be who you are without apology.

No one owns the air you breathe. Inhale it freely. No one owns the thoughts you think. Dream freely.  No one owns the convictions you feel. Feel what you want to feel. No one owns your body. Stand how you wish to stand. No one owns your voice. Say what you truly want to say. No one owns your capacity to choose. Live as you believe.

Some people say you only get one life to live. Others say you’ll get an afterlife when this one is over. Then there are those who say you’ll get many lives after this one.  Here’s my question: which life do you have to be in before you give yourself permission to live with a little self-respect?

All you will ever have is the present moment. The future is an idea that you’re contemplating right now. The past is a memory that you’re contemplating right now. The notion of another life at another time is an idea that you’re contemplating in this life at this time. When the future finally gets close enough for you to actually experience it, it will become the present moment. Whether you have one life or many lives, you always have only one moment in which you can live it: now!

Always keep working to increase your future value, but don’t wait to start carrying yourself like someone who has current value.

Start respecting yourself now. Start thinking for yourself now. Stop putting other people on a pedestal now. Stop waiting for external validation now.

You belong here. Act like it.

Now.

Prospering as a Franchise Entrepreneur with Terri Jacques | Small Business Edge Podcast

With the rise of outsourcing jobs overseas, automating jobs, and rapid advancements in technology making certain industries obsolete, many people feel helpless in their careers.

Terri Jacques, a prolific Massage Envy franchisee, knew that her job in IT would someday be outsourced and decided to go into franchising to build her own career and her own life.

Terri went from struggling to get a small business loan to now having 100+ employees, and is going on four (extremely successful) franchise locations.

In this episode of Small Business Edge, Terri talks with me about her path to franchise entrepreneurship, the difficulties she had to overcome, and the period of her life when she worked 100-hour workweeks.

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