How to save the world (and yourself)
People are worried about the world. Climate change. Inequality. Poverty. They want to change it. But how? At the same time, and living in Ubud I see this a lot, how do you reach your full potential? how do you fix yourself? change your life for the better? Spend more time with your kids? Work less or quit work? Be healthier? Be richer? Be the best that you can be?
My good friend Will Travis helps people do this through the Elevation Barn retreats. How to be the ‘super you’. There are other ways to do it but this is a good start: First go somewhere else and think about it. Bali is a great place. Come visit me here.
But how can you be introspective when the world around you is crumbling!?
The way to solve the world’s problems is decentralisation. Many small things. Not big things. Decentralised communities and companies governing themselves in a self sustainable or regenerative way. Many small communities. Many small companies. Smaller government. Smaller things.
In the business world that means deconstruction of the big company into its smallest component parts, all working independently but inter-dependently together to achieve what the big company was achieving. Many startups working together like organs of the body working together to keep a human walking around. The CEOs of each little company or organ know what they have to do and are passionate and motivated to do good quality work. They are working in (far more nourishing) smaller startup teams, and they are rewarded for their work.
Start many small companies. When you have many small companies you get more employment, happier people, better economy, less big company bad behaviour. This is so well researched that I don’t need to go into it. Monopolies turn bad. Google and Facebook are no longer the good guys. Many small things.
So to be part of the solution for the world and for yourself the answer is to start a little company that you love.
Joe Rogan and Dan Carlin talk about it in this excellent video please watch it. To be a great furniture maker. Make quality furniture that you love, and then sell it. That is purpose. Being a banker isn’t purposeful.
Here are 3 steps that can apply to everyone no matter what your situation is.
Step 1: Start by supporting small local companies with what you buy. Buy from Etsy instead of Amazon. Buy locally from the market not the supermarket. Don’t buy low quality shit. Don’t use BNPL or credit cards. Buy way less, but higher quality. buy things you will give your grandchildren. This is the least you can do. Encourage friends who have started a company or gone out on their own.
Step 2: Quit your job and start your own small company doing something you love, and get a small team of passionate people to help you. Focus on increasing the quality of whatever you do so you can increase your prices to make more money, rather than trying to sell many things cheaply. There has never been a better time to start your own company. you can sell stuff all over the world (but preferably locally) and building websites and supply chains isn’t as difficult as it once was. Note: your own company is not drop shipping crap from China or selling plastic crap on Amazon or being an instagram influencer. It is something meaningful. Some craft that you do. Making furniture. Making a new food or drink. A restaurant. Leather bound books. making skimboards. Designing T shirts. Art. Music. Ceramics. Something that someone else will interact with and be happy.
My wife Lydia did this from the beginning. She is an artist. She did other jobs like waitressing and massage therapy and artist assistant to pay for her life, but she is an artist. One day she will die but her art will live on and be loved on the walls of her collectors. She doesn’t go to any of the “what should I do with my life” Ubud groups because she has found what to do with her life. You can do this too. Decide to do something you love and then work hard at it. Nothing comes easily you may have to do shit you hate to pay the bills for a while. A nice by-product of this is you will be so busy running your company that you will forget that you have no friends and hate yourself.
Step 3: If you are in a position to, you should invest in small companies doing purposeful things. Help other people do step 2. The catch here is that most investors want a big return so the companies have to work out how to grow massively and sell or IPO for big returns. This can be ok, nothing wrong with making money, it lets you invest in more of these companies, but sometimes it means that the companies are forced to get big. If you want big returns then companies like Etsy are good as they support many many small companies. We are trying to do this with Lucy, a digital bank that helps women grow and run their businesses. You could argue that Google is doing this too I suppose, helping small companies reach an audience.
But what if life is expensive and you need to get a good paying job to live!? The answer is move. Move out of cities and into the countryside. Move to cheaper countries to live in. Spend less on crap. Have a simpler life.
Easy for me to say? yes. But you should still try it. Quit your job and try it for a year. Take the kids out of school and home school them for a year. Rent out your house you would be surprised how long you can last living in Bali on the rent of your house back home. The first 6 months you can chill / holiday, the next 6 you can start the company.