Project Amsterdam: 2 Years in 2 Weeks (+ Video)

I found myself browsing around on Facebook yesterday which is probably because I’m coming to the end of my 6 week challenge. I noticed under my profile picture the ‘Videos of you’ section and decided to click on it to refresh my memory about what is there. The first video was of myself and a friend, Candice, in a bar not long after I arrived in South Africa.

I remember this night so perfectly, as if it was last week, and was completely shocked to see it dated: November 2007. Knowing it has been two years since that video was taken makes me realise how fast life can fly by without us even noticing and how the next two years will be pretty much the same.

It got me thinking about what I’ve managed to achieve over the last few years. Looking back, I’m actually proud of myself and my accomplishments. From leaving the country and moving abroad, to quitting my job and now working for myself full-time, I’ve crossed off quite a few items on my goals checklist.

For the last two to three years, my whole life set-up has been focused around one main goal: earning a living online so I can go anywhere in the world for as long as I want. I’ve been making enough money to support this lifestyle for quite a while now, but what’s even better is that I’ll be doing this journey with one of my best friends, Diggy.

Our plan is to go to:

  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Stockholm
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Berlin
  • Bangkok
  • Milan

and probably a few other places I’ve missed off the list. Our base for at least 2 months will be Amsterdam though, where we’ve (I saw ‘we,’ but I mean Diggy) sorted out an awesome two-bedroom apartment. Diggy is joining me on this adventure for 3 months, but my plan is to continue for about a year. I do have some UK returns planned (for example, for my Mom’s 50th) but the next 12 months will be mostly spent on the road.

“You’re So Lucky”

People tell me all the time (mostly via email) how lucky I am about being able to do this. How some people are tied down with their job, kids and so on and don’t have this opportunity. The first thing I say is that when I started learning how to build websites and make money online, millions of other people had the chance to do the same.

Millions of people my age could have worked hard to “get this down” – but they didn’t. They didn’t put the time and effort in to get what they want out of life. I will spare you the label of being ignorant, but if you think I’m lucky, then maybe you’ve just seen too many scams promising you overnight riches or success.

It has taken me over 2 years of hard work to get to this point, and I’m going to start reaping those rewards in two weeks. You don’t see the nights when I was up at 1am (when I had a full-time job) finishing off a 3,000 word blog post or building minisites in industries I didn’t care about. You don’t see where I turned down nights out with my friends so I could finish projects to get me to where I want to be. You didn’t see me quitting college not sure if I would be back in the UK with no job and no qualifications.

Because I turned down a few nights here and there, I don’t have to turn down a night ever again. My job works around me, not the other way around.

Your Own Mission

Wherever you are now (Point A) and wherever you want to be (Point B) is more than likely going to involve a lot of work. Seriously. I’m sorry if I’m the one presenting you with this harsh reality for the first time, but it’s the truth. Show me a few people out of the billions on this planet who have experienced overnight success and I’ll take it back.

Not only will it involve hard work, but you’ll face a lot of hurdles along the way. As Randy Pausch wrote in his book, The Last Lecture, these hurdles are simply there to prove how badly you want something. They’re there to keep out the other people — not you. The list of hurdles I’ve jumped or risks I’ve faced are endless, but just like you can, I found a way to get past them.

If you really want to completely turn your life around, there are just 4 steps involved:

  1. Do what you love. No excuses. I don’t want to hear them
  2. Keep doing it despite criticism and doubts from people around you or society in general
  3. Be willing to make sacrifices (nights out, heavy spending, social status and so on)
  4. Read no.2 again. It’s crucial

I’ll leave you to fill in the gaps; one of them is action.

Video of This Post

I’ve said pretty much everything I’ve written here in video form (I did the video first, without rehearsal) which I hope you enjoy.

If you can’t see the video, click here to go to the post.

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