People often ask me how I manage to accomplish so much while leading such a rich, passionate life as illustrated by my 2023 year in review. In this episode I share all my secrets. I will cover everything from general productivity tips to how and what you can outsource in your professional and personal life.
For your reference I am including the slides I used during the episode.
If you prefer, you can listen to the episode in the embedded podcast player.
If you prefer to read the content, here is a transcript of the episode:
Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you had wonderful holidays and that the beginning of the year is treating you very well. So, there’s been a recurring theme over the last few months where people keep asking me, How is it that you seem to have this Super passionate life where you can do all these different types of activities and play with your son and frankly live life to the fullest and yet be extraordinarily productive when it comes to work and get so, so much done.
And I decided that it warranted sharing all my tips and secrets with all of you. And, you know, to illustrate that perhaps probably worth, showing an example of what I do in a given year for a brief moment. Let me show you this. So, this is my year-end review where I review everything that I did personally and professionally throughout the year.
From adventures, playing with Fafa, to going to different locations. And also review what happened in the speeches I gave, what we accomplished at work and my predictions for the year. So, this is my blog. It’s called 2023 and Angel is born as a homage to my new dog Angel, which you can see there.
But how to do all this, how to lead this passionate life is something I want to share with, with all of you. So with that, any further ado, let’s get going. Welcome to episode 44, unlocking productivity. Streamlining your days for passion and purpose.
Now, the main reason to do this, by the way, is not to improve productivity, right? Like, you’re not being productive for the sake of being productive. You’re being productive for the sake of living your best possible life. So obviously, to some extent, it starts with understanding what is it that you love to do?
What is it that you are extraordinarily good at and focus on that and everything else, you know, don’t focus but generally speaking there are three types of tricks or tips for productivity. So, I’m going to Separate this presentation in three parts. One is general tricks and tips to how to outsource all the things you can do online, and you can ask for us more than you think And then three, all the things you could add source offline and along the way, we’ll discuss some of the life setup choices that I’ve made.
Which again, these were more personal choices, but it goes to show you can lead non-traditional lives that are still amazingly effective. Let me start with sharing my screen. Oh, one second. We set it up. Okay, perfect. The presentation is ready to go. So, I’ll start with the general productivity tips.
I’ll spend a fair amount of time here because some of these things seem easy to describe, but I think we’re fundamental. So, the first thing is spend extraordinarily little time following news writ large. And by news, I mean everything, you know, newspapers, radio news, TV news you name it. I don’t actually even follow politics.
So I actually take this to an ultimate extreme. I don’t follow news at all. And I’ll talk about why that is, how you stay informed when you’re not following news. And, and what and how do you allocate your time otherwise? So, the first thing you need to remember is news is the news is not actually meant to inform you.
It is created by media companies. These media companies are trying to capture your attention, and they’re trying to capture your attention in order to sell you advertising or to sell advertising. And the best way to do that is to focus on negative things. Information because your amygdala is hypersensitive to negative information.
So, the way your brain works is obviously tend to up to 10,000 years ago. If you saw a ruffling in their leaves or whatever, it could be a tiger and it could eat you. And if you were not focused on the negative news, you would actually not be able to survive. You would be eaten by the tiger. And as a result, humans are hypersensitive to negative information.
And media companies have realized that, and they’re focusing on outrage, and they’re focusing on all the things that can annoy you to capture your attention. But it’s actually extraordinarily terrible for your mind, and when you look at it on a day by day basis, if you follow the news, It feels to me that the news has this eye of Mordor where they focus on one thing, whatever is capturing the current zeitgeist, whether it’s COVID, whether it’s Ukraine, or more recently Gaza, and it’s trying to provoke outrage.
Regardless of your point of view, the media outlet you follow is going to try to create outrage for you to keep track, keep your information, or keep your attention and sell you advertising. The issue with that, beyond the fact that it’s a massive waste of time and it’s negative for you, the not much really happens.
You know, if you take a step back, if you read the newspaper every day or follow the news every day, how much marginal incremental news is there on a daily basis? And you realize it’s highly repetitive and at the same time, in addition to being highly repetitive. It often is, highly sensationalistic.
It’s not where the actual information is. You know, when the Wright Brothers flew a plane for the first time, it actually wasn’t reported in the news. It was reported the, the only thing that was reported were like, whatever, the train accidents and murders and whatever of the day. And these types of break, breakthroughs are happening every day, and they’re not really covered.
So when I think about, like, what I want to be informed on, you know, it’s actually not the day-to-day coverage. So, imagine what happened in COVID. When COVID first happened, it was like scares. Oh, we’re all going to die. And where people were following who got COVID and who was violating the restrictions, etc.
It was like entertainment. It was not news per se. What you really want to know, which of course is a book that has not been written yet, is, what would have been the policies that would have decreased mental health and physical health outcomes or, like, led to the best ones without impacting the economy?
And maybe the answer changes over time before and after vaccines. But that is not what was covered. It was all, like, sensationalist bullshit that’s not that interesting. Likewise, okay, once you have the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, you know, the play by play, minute by minute is not all that relevant.
What matters more is like, okay, what are the consequences for Europe, for the U.S., for the Cold War II setup that we have. And these things are better to look at with like six month or 12 months. The minute-by-minute outrage, not all that relevant. And so, I actually consume zero news. Don’t read newspapers, don’t watch TV news, etc.
The way I stay informed is I partake in a few groups. Ergo, ERGO is one of them, Green Mantle by Neil Ferguson’s is another, where every few months, at least once a year, we meet with, like, policy makers and people that are analysts to think through, okay, what are the conclusions of all these things that have been happening?
The one exception to that, which is why I say spend ten minutes per day on news, is, in my case, Tech news. I, it impacts my life. And it’s important to know what are the trends, who’s raising, who’s failing. And so I actually do spend 10 minutes a day reading Techmeme and Techcrunch, or CNET, Engadget, and Tom’s hardware.
These latter are more entertainment. Like what gadgets would I like. I spend de minimis time consuming news writ large. Instead, I focus on analyst reports with the direct primary sources and with six month or a year of like of outlook in terms of like, okay.
This is what happened in the last year and this is what we think probabilistically could happen in a go forward basis that this guy can impact you. This is how I stay on top of, like, my macro predictions, for instance. It doesn’t, you know, it comes from following what’s happening at FOMAC, etc. Not by reading newspapers in any way, shape, or form, which, all of which are negative.
And this applies to news writ large, so, you know, don’t follow Twitter, for instance. I think it’s also very bad for your Mental health and internal health. Number two, compartmentalize, meaning be present in whatever it is you’re doing. People are terrible at multitasking. You want to be monotasking and doing one thing and being present in whatever task you’re doing.
Now, sometimes it’s easier to say than to do, but once you’re done with work, you know, when you’re playing tennis, play tennis, focus on the next point, not thinking about like, oh, what you didn’t do, what you need to do tomorrow. Otherwise, you’re going to be terrible at tennis, and it’s going to be way harder for you to fall asleep.
So be present. You know, leave things in one activity for that activity and go back to it when the time comes, but don’t deal with it while you’re doing something else. Number three is people have a tendency to procrastinate. And, it’s very easy to put off things. So, to get things done, actually set deadlines.
With short time fuses. I put it as a deliverable for myself in, in my calendar and I’ll talk about how I manage calendar on soon in order to get things on, you know, if I want to write a blog post, I’ll actually block time my calendar for writing the blog post and make sure that it, that, that it’s that it’s deliver it on time this way I can publish it on time because we live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with information.
It’s actually good to take time off, right? Like, yeah. If you are doing, you are not thinking. And so, it is good to have time to be reflective. I try to have Fridays where I have much fewer meetings than other days, or ideally no meetings. That doesn’t always plan out that way, and I try not to work weekends these days.
But actually having time to think and reflect is very important. In fact, my entire life is structured around, okay, when I’m in New York for like a one month or two months, it’s all on all the time, be it intellectual salons, dinners, etc. And then when I go to Turks and Caicos, because in the evenings there’s nothing social for me to do there, that’s when I’m more reflective.
I read, I write, I publish many more blog posts, I, and I’m trying to be more thoughtful. Next point is limit meetings. I think that’s a generally accepted rule, but meetings need to have a purpose. Like if you’re taking a meeting, you need to know what, why you’re meeting, who you’re meeting with, what you’re trying to get out of it.
So, it needs to be a clear agenda. It should have as few people as possible in the meeting. And I try to keep them to 30 minutes or less. Now, I’ve realized that when I’m evaluating a startup, 30 minutes is usually too short, so it’s more an hour that I block just to be safe and make sure I have the time to go in enough depth to make a proper investment decision.
But in general, the tip is keep meeting short and, and try to get to the point of them. And as a rule, what I’m do, what I do is my meetings are back-to-back in 30-minute increments. So, in a given day, I could have 14 meetings. If someone shows up 15 minutes late, they only get 15 minutes. If they show up 31 minutes late, they get no minutes.
I’m not, I’m going to be on time for every one of the meetings. I think punctuality is a mark of respect, and you want to be on time. And in fact, the number one complaint many founders have of VCs is they don’t respect their times when they’re late. Show up actually one to two minutes early to every meeting.
And respect and respect the time to the other. And so, if you show up 31 minutes late, you aren’t going to be rescheduled for a future date, and maybe never rescheduled, depending on how I feel and why it happened. Next point is make very quick decisions, right? It’s better to make a quick decision and be wrong because you can course correct.
Then don’t look for perfection. It’s definitely true in, in business settings. In startups where you’d rather make a decision, throw the spaghetti on the wall. See if the spaghetti is sticking and if not, you know move on and try something else. Time blocking, so what I do, and I, I will demonstrate that shortly with an example day in my calendar, is everything is in my calendar.
So, if I need to do emails, it’s in the calendar. If I need if I’m going to go to the gym, and in fact if it’s there, it gets done. If it’s not in the calendar, it does not exist. Next point is more tactical. You want to be focused and present in whatever activity you, you are doing. And so all notifications should be off.
So, my phone does not ring, does not vibrate, doesn’t have anything showing up on the screen ever. It’s on permanent do not disturb. The, you cannot get through to me from that perspective. So, if I want to go check messages, I will proactively at a time that I choose. Go to check my Instagram or my WhatsApp or my text messages.
But even vibration, which feels perhaps as in intrusive, if the phone is in your pocket and it vibrates, it takes your attention away from what you’re doing, and all of a sudden you have, you know, FOMO. It’s like, Ooh, what is it that I’m receiving? What is it I should be checking? So, you should not be getting any pop ups, notifications on anything.
New emails coming in should not be bumping, beeping. Nothing should beep. Nothing should vibrate. Nothing should, should show up in any way, shape, or form. Now, if you have kids and you’re worried that they need to be reached by the school or whatever, you can create a rule where even though you’re in do not disturb two, three or four people create a very big list.
Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of this can get through to you. And I do have that in my case, given that father is going to school, but in general, you don’t want any distractions whatsoever. Again, as I mentioned earlier, humans suck at multitasking. You want to be monotasking. If I block an hour for emails, I’m doing emails then.
I don’t want to be doing anything else. If I’m on a call, I want to be present and focused on my call and taking notes and thinking not being doing other things. Otherwise, you’re not going to have the most thoughtful analysis and presence for whatever it is you’re doing. Next point is general life advice, you know, and basically you want to be in life penny foolish and pound wise.
So, you want to be extraordinarily careful on large decisions, on large purchases, things that are going to impact you financially. So, buying a house renting something that perhaps is too expensive for you, buying a car, and definitely avoid luxury items. They’re pointless, you know. I don’t have a watch.
I have a smart watch, but I don’t have like any luxury items like art, etc. They don’t bring me pleasure. They’re not really useful. I’d rather splurge on experiences when travel with like friends and family rather than, than physical goods in general, which probably makes a lot of sense. And, last but not least, you know, you need probably way fewer items than you think you do.
And that means it is very healthy, at least once a year do a pruning. I just give away things I don’t use. So, every spring, I do a spring cleaning, where most of the things I haven’t been wearing, clothes wise, for instance, I will give away to charity. You know, if you’re not using it, most likely not going to continue using it, you will not miss it.
And so you lead a lighter life. I wouldn’t try to avoid purchasing things in the first place to avoid this, but regardless, very healthy to do on a general basis. Now let’s talk about, like, much more specific, how to, I mean, doing what I’ve just described makes you more productive already, and not consuming any news saves you a lot of time, but how do you, like, multiply your horsepower in general?
This brings me to point number two. So, what’s actually helped me the most, by far, is outsourcing. I outsource. everything I can in life and everything that, that I don’t love doing. Now, you may think, hey, I can type faster than my assistant. Why would I want an assistant? Well, if you’ve studied economics at all and Ricardian theory of comparative advantage, is even if you are better than your assistant at everything that she does, because you make more doing whatever it is your core activity is, you’re better off still having it.
Still, still having an assistant, even though you may be better than her at her tasks. And that’s okay. Now, the key superpower we’ve found and discovered is using remote assistance, especially in the Philippines, which we’ve been working with for, like, probably around 20 years here at FJ Labs. And well, personally, and then at FJ Labs in the last decade, we have 10 of them at FJ Labs, and I have a personal dedicated virtual assistant.
I use YRA, but a friend of mine who’s a genius at outsourcing. His name is Jonathan Swanson. He built Thumbtack. He had like thousands of like people in the Philippines for Thumbtack just created a company called Athena actually to help people become master delegators as well. So, these two companies are great.
YRA is about $1,500 a month full time. And so, this is someone extremely qualified working at your hours, whatever time zone you’re in, in English. And Athena I think is about 3, 000 a month. But you can also buy quarter time or half time. And I’m going to show you that you can outsource a lot more than you think.
So, in my case I have a dedicated assistant, her name is Rose. Probably not a real name, but that’s okay. Maybe a team and not one person, that’s also okay. And actually, the funny thing is, I’ve actually never spoken to her on the phone. I’ve, I don’t know what she looks like. And, I’ve never even interviewed her.
The way I recruit people, in general well, in YRA, they just find someone for you, and then you decide if you like them or not, and then you, and then you decide, and if you’re not happy, they’ll change. But when I hire people in Upwork or elsewhere, which I will describe later for the other activities that I outsource, I usually hire like 10 people for the same task given that it’s like a buck an hour or 2 an hour.
It’s not a big deal. And then I see the one I like best, and then I keep that person for the rest of these tasks, not just this time, but on a recurring basis. And so that process works reasonably well. It saves you a lot of time of having to do interviews and filtering.
So, work outsourcing. Now, a lot of this is probably going to be more basic, but basically this is an example of the email Rose sends me every day at the end of the day of what she did during the day. So, it shows all the pending meetings that she has yet to confirm and schedule, and then number two, all the confirmed meetings.
That she scheduled she in that same email, and she also covers all the personal tasks, etc. So, it’s an email that she sends me daily of all the things she did for me. And during the day, we typically interact by a combination of WhatsApp and email on things to be done, whether they’re urgent or, you know, things that can be scheduled for a later day.
Every day, and this is a prototypical example of what a day looks like for me. She sends me my calendar for the next day. Now, if I know what it’s about, she doesn’t put more details, just a zoom link. You know, so Zimozi is my Indian team that helps me with my blog from a design perspective or coding perspective and with Trident’s website.
We’re doing a monthly check in to see how things are going. We’re currently launching, that was the 9 am. meeting. We’re currently launching a new incubation company and so that’s the 10 am. meeting, doesn’t need more detail. Quick check in with Martin, he’s on a 30-minute call, that’s the founder of Mundi, we’re checking out how things are going.
And then for Midas, this is meeting. I added myself to the calendar, which is why there’s no context. But I was meeting, I think, potential employee or potential partner, and then I have a bunch of meetings with, I think, VCs or partners for Midas. And then later on with my co-founding partner at FJ Labs, Jose, to discuss different things.
See how the rest of the day goes. So, you see, it’s kind of like back-to-back to back to 9 to 10 to 11, 11 30 to 12 30 to 1 15. VC meeting for Midas, which is the new stablecoin or yield bearing stablecoin that I’m currently launching to try to compete with USDC, USDT. Another. Then I’m meeting a founder actually at my place just to catch up.
Like she, she left her old company. She is thinking what to do next. And so, it’s interesting to figure out and see if I can help her and also think through what she should be doing. Is she creating a new company? Should we be investing there? Etcetera. And that is full context. Same thing. Meeting another VC for Midas at 2 pm. 3 pm, meeting another founder to get an update on what they’re up to and how they’re doing more fundraising, founder calls, and then going to a speaker event for a speech I was giving the next day at the Transatlantic Leadership Forum. And then I’m playing paddle from 9pm to 11pm with my brother, Olivier.
So, everything is in here, whether I’m doing a meditation, whether I I’m playing tennis or paddle. Everything is the agenda, and this way I have a clear action plan for the day. And that is sent the night before when Rose signs off at like 6 or 7 pm. every day. Perhaps the place or the thing that you can outsource way more than you think is actually your personal life.
So Rose, in addition to managing my business life, manages my personal life. So, here’s a few examples. In New York, I love hosting salons and, and founder dinners, intellectual dinners, etc. So, I have a list of a whole bunch of people that I invite for different dates. And so, we will discuss who we’re inviting.
She’ll send the invites and then we’ll create, create a, an email with like this venue, some of your dietary restrictions. These are the topics. And the topics are far ranging. It could be like, oh, how do we reinvent politics for the 21st century? What are the ethics and morality of torture? What or even personal, like, you know if you were to write a, a book on any 72-hour period of your life, what 72 hours would it be?
So, we track, I mean, she tracks who the, the guest replies are. We try to be eight for these dinners. But we also do these things with you know, founder dinners, et cetera, on a regular basis. I host multiple dinners a week. I hosted a post exit founder dinner last night, for instance doing another dinner tonight.
Next thing is, there are a lot of things that take a lot of your time. You know, so for instance, if you want to book doctor’s appointments, if you want to fill in all the forms. On medical forms, I’d rather do it ahead of time. She can do all that for me. And these things you have to wait online, wait on the call, etc.
She can pretend to be me. She has a Google phone number in the Philippines, so she has a U.S. phone number. So, for instance, T-Mobile had disconnected my international data. It took her four hours on the phone with repeated calls to fix it, but she was able to fix it. Again, it’s four hours of my life that I would have never gotten back, and I’m very grateful that she is actually in a position to do that.
Same thing, she books my meditations, she blocks all my gyms and, and, and buys whatever the trainer needs to buy. And for tennis, like, she knows I like tennis. So, if I’m traveling to a new location, and there’s tennis or paddle, she will look at all the clubs around me, look at availability, find either people at my level, or book me lessons.
This way, already for two, three times a week, wherever I’m going, I already have tennis organized. And I don’t need to do anything. I didn’t pick the club, I didn’t call them, I didn’t find the partners. Everything’s organized. In the calendar, I guess I’m not doing it more right now, but in the past, I even asked for things like dating where with my assistant back in the day when I, when I was on online dating apps.
I first like we did a call. We’re like, okay, this, these are the people I like or don’t like. So, this is I would swipe right or left. Now use a VPN, connect as me, and you can swipe for me. Then, okay, this is how I, and, and then she would do it. And we would agree on. Course correct, what made sense or not, then she would look at how I would chat and she would replicate that.
And then finally, I’m like, okay, I’m happy to go on a date, you know, once a week, Friday and maybe whatever, Tuesday, twice a week 8 pm, or 7 pm, or 9 pm. Here’s the slots in the calendar. Go and book them. And so, she would like then swipe for me. match me with a potential date, schedule the date, it’d be in the calendar, and then the day before, I would look at, like, the profile of the person that she matched me with, and I’d decide if I’m interested in going or not, right?
Like, if you’re trying to go on online dating, at the end of the day, the rest is not interesting. The only thing you want to know is, do you like the person you’re meeting? So let’s get to a meeting as fast as possible. So, if you can avoid the entire tedium of swiping, chatting, etc., and get directly to the last point, great.
And if I disagreed with a choice, you know, I said, no, I don’t actually like this person for whatever reason, which of course corrects her. She would just cancel the date and that was it. And so, it didn’t take any time for me, other than showing up at the date, which was always literally in the bar across the street from where I live, at whatever the set time was.
And so even an activity that seems to take a lot of people a lot of time, was de minimis from a time perspective for me because it was all done for me and it worked extremely well Now as many of you know, I love writing. I love writing on my blog. I Blog in a regular basis. I share things about my life now.
I do the writing myself because I love it, I do the research, etc. But the rest that is and many about it, which is actually putting in a WordPress replicating on soft stack creating the newsletter sending the newsletter All of that, she does for me and again, saves a huge amount of time. Write my, the value creation is in the creative genius of writing and what I want to share and thinking, etc.
Not at all in the admin type things. You know, let’s go to WordPress and, and, and upload it and send it et cetera. So, I like the writing, not that other part, and she does that for me as well. And by the way, all this is one person doing all of us. She buys things for Angel, my dog. She will also research, like, entry requirements, and I get passports for a dog.
She will buy things if I need for Fafa. She there’s an app that the school, the Equal has, which is amazing, where there’s all the photos of the day. She will download the photos. She’ll like, pay the nannies, like, everything needs to be done. But, like, even researching things, like, oh, how do I get someone a birth certificate or a passport?
You know, she will research, which is also a massive time saver. By the way, noticing all the questions that people were asking, I will address them at the end, one by one. So, we’ll do kind of a Q& A at the end of when I’m done presenting everything here. So, she signs documents for me.
But the documents I would say that are not the most important ones, right? I, if I rented a, a house, you know, rental agreement or need to do KYC, so things like that, that are not really important, that I don’t need to be doing myself. She has my digital signature. I say, okay, sign this. Poof work. I, for, she has actually, also probably worth mentioning, she has access to my email and she has access to my credit card.
But she has one credit card, and so what I can do is every month I can log in on that one credit card and see where the purchases are and make sure everything’s okay. So that’s the safety control mechanism if you want. But she has access to my email and she’s like, all the legal documents are sent to legal, so I don’t need to deal with them.
All the all things that look like spam are moved in a folder called potential spam. So again, I don’t need to deal with them. But I am the one replying to my own emails because many of them need my thoughtfulness. But she will, you know, if I need to find out how to get a police form for a friend, for some whatever reason or KYC someone asks, she will like to figure out how to get the data and, and help me get it.
So again, online. General admin docs, etc. Now, continuing on like things that most people don’t outsource that they probably should is like figuring out how to have a more rich life and wherever you live. And so, for instance, in New York, I love magic. I love Broadway. I love off Broadway. I love comedy clubs and you don’t want once you’ve done the basics like going further off the beaten field, you know, going to House of Yes for a dirty circus show or whatever. We’re going to company 14 in Bushwick to see the there are various shows. And so, I have her before I go to new city task. We’re like, what are the things that are happening right now? So, this is an example of, Oh, and actually, might as well, there’s a lot of chat here, so might as well add the chats.
And this way the community can see the conversation that’s going on. So this is an example of when I came in September to New York, she researched all the different musicals that were like Broadway, Off Broadway that are in, A bit off the beaten path, including reviews, suggesting the ones I would like, the nice I could do.
And from there, I actually ended up booking multiple shows. I, I took my son to a balloon museum, which is so much fun. I’ll be posting the photos of that on Instagram in a few days. Took my son to a train show at the New York Botanical Gardens. I went to see like an off Broadway, like, musical parody of Friends.
She ordered my, like, Halloween costume. They’re like, there’s so much that you can ask for us to make sure that your life is rich, as rich as possible. And in New York, I try, there’s so much to be done that you can have a very rich life. Again, New York is my haven of, like, social, artistic, professional endeavors.
And things like, you know, conferences I need to go to. Same thing. She’ll send the bio. She’ll show me the agenda. She’ll add it on my calendar and make sure that, that, that I show up. Next thing is she helped me create my 50th birthday invites, so I’m celebrating my 50th birthday next august 3rd in 2024 and so help design the invite on paperless posts, we’re sending it, we’re tracking who’s coming, we’re figuring out like all, how many rooms we need, where et cetera.
And so, she helped design it. She said it. She’s tracking the replies to make sure that everything is structured correctly. But even for that, for instance, I also hired a party planner to help me with like the vision of the night and what’s going on and everything happening. So, I don’t need to deal with it.
All the amenities things, from that perspective, now I also have a travel agent for booking flights, but beyond the travel agent, Rose will help me on like everything around. How do I get there? Hotel rooms getting upgraded, getting reimbursed. So, Burning Man this year was supposed to fly out. On Sunday, but of course it was muddy, so it got canceled.
So, I walked out of Burning Man, like getting reimbursed for the flight that I didn’t take and, you know, adding Heli skiing to the agenda, notifying people that FJ Labs are not working these days. All these things, you know, need to be done. And again, none of them seem particularly big, but they add up.
And the more of these things you ask for us, the more free time you have, to do what you want. Now, you can have, beyond Rose, as I said, I already have a travel agent. I have a party planner. But I hire other people for other tasks. So, every year, for instance, I like to create, and maybe let’s just go to me here.
I like to create an album. This is a photo album of the, of what happened during the year. It starts with a timeline, with every date chronological from beginning of the year to the end. And then for each section, there is photos of, of, of what’s going on. And it’s a beautiful album, it’s a paper, it’s a memento to the year.
Now the reason I do that is parents don’t deal with digital very well. And, and actually creating the album allows you to relive the year. So, I love it, it’s all over my library, I give it to my mom, I give it to my dad. They, they love it, it’s a way to connect with the story I have. And so, I went on Upwork.
I created a post saying, hey, I need someone to help me with this. And I got a lot of replies. As I said, I hired, I hired like 10 people to do the job. And ultimately, one person in Bangladesh, was the best for these and I, and, and, and one, well, originally someone in Russia, but then I couldn’t pay them anymore because of the sanctions.
So, someone in Bangladesh. So, the way we work together is. Actually, let me take a step back of how I organize my, my photos. So let me share my screen again. Not necessarily the easiest to see. Let’s see if I could go full screen. Okay, so during the year, and this is all the photos I’ve taken during the year, you see all the dates, you know, January 1 to February 22, February 23 to February 27.
For each of the locations I am, I create a folder. And in that folder, I have a subcategory of what’s going on there. Cross country skiing, February heli skiing, FJ Labs, etc. Which can then be used to create subsections in the album. And so, I don’t do, and by the way, I do this along the year as the year is coming along.
So, if you wait until the end of the year, you won’t remember anything. Creating this structure will be impossible. So, I take the photos of my phone. I get photos from my friends through AirDrop or whatever. And then I, I create the folder. So, for instance, I already have in 2024, January 1 to January 7, Turks and Caicos is where I was.
And now January 7 to January 14 in New York, where I am currently, where I’m uploading photos little by little. And I delete them from my phone once I’ve uploaded them. So, this is all in Dropbox. Then I share the Dropbox link let’s go back to 2022, because that was the example I gave you with my, Charmin, who’s currently in Bangladesh.
And then we have interactions on it. So, she does a first pass as to what she thinks makes the most sense. And let me go back here and go back to full screen. Okay, perfect. So, she does a first pass and let’s go back here, see if this can read. Yeah. And then after she gives me the first pass, I give her a lot of feedback.
You know, date format looks wrong or, oh, I don’t like this photo. So, for each page, there’ll be like, Photo 6. It’s like, oh, replace photo 1, replace photo 2. Oh, I look fat. I don’t like this angle. This is not that interesting. Oh, you’re forgetting something. I don’t like the quote. Whatever it may be. And so, this is, I’m the creative director for, for this endeavor.
It takes a lot of iteration. I’m currently working, for instance, on the 2023 album. Which I hope will be done in a few weeks or a month, which I will then gift to my parents, but also put my coffee shop coffee desk and you saw the result of it is after many iterations, the album that I showed you with the timeline and photos again, no one needs to do this and not everyone used to do this, but I find that it’s an amazing way to relive the year.
And it’s an amazing gift to give to your parents who love it or are not great with digital and giving them a link on whatever Dropbox. I do the same for videos I create. I’m going to share a video. So, at the end of the year, I create a video. Now I will play an example of that video.
So, I will go, oh, one minute and 15 change this. One minute 17 do this. It’s the same thing. I found someone on out on. And I found someone on Upwork, and we edit videos. Again, someone other than Rose. This is what it looks like. I’ll give you a quick example. Let me minimize this. Let me give you a quick example of what that looks like.
Let’s see, 20 videos, pretty cool. Year in review video.
Let me make sure there’s no sound because it’s copyrighted music. I don’t want to get a copyright strike. Perfect. So, let me play a few seconds of this. Maybe I’ll make it even full screen.
And same thing, it follows the year, so it starts in January, in this case I was in Rubble Soak. Shows, it’s set to music. It shows the adventure and then it goes through the rest of my year and I play that at the family gatherings at the end of the year. I send the family, I send the friends and family, et cetera.
And it’s pretty amazing. You know, you see the first increment, but then it ultimately it totally moves to, you know, I was at the upfront summit, and then I go and hosted things and then the covid, etc. Pause this video here, and we can go back to the next type of things that I outsource. Let’s go back to this. And let’s go back to the presentation.
Okay, so next phase of things that I outsource. Now, I realize this next phase is not necessarily possible for everyone. I am extraordinarily privileged from a financial perspective to be in a position to outsource things in the offline world. Now, the online world, I think it’s with, it’s within reach for most people.
As I said, it’s like 1500 a month. And 1500 a month to outsource as much as I’ve outsourced is actually pretty extraordinary. W when you, the bang for your buck that you get is amazing. And I’ve gotten more out of doing things online with Upwork and your remote assistant, etc. than you know, with in person assistance from that perspective.
That said, in at FJ Labs we have an office manager that does a lot of the offline things, but. For the things I described the virtual assistants of the Philippines are actually better. As I said, I’m also in a privileged position to outsource things in my offline life. Now, this is way more expensive and so not. within reach for everyone.
But I have an estate manager. This is Paul. We’ve been working together now for 80 years. And in addition to being an estate manager, he’s a chef. In fact, I’ve organized it. That’s very often. The same manager is the chef and does anything. So, he manages all the other property managers. I have three properties.
I’ll go through that shortly. He drives me, if need be, organizes like the housekeeping staff. If I’m hosting a dinner, if it’s small dinner, I’ll just cook and take care of it himself. But he will hire waiters, if we’re catering, you hire the caterer, like anything, like getting, car insurance, car maintenance, picking up packages, dealing with the mail, anything that’s like in person.
Now, in my case, I don’t actually like cooking. So, for me, I want to outsource it and I tell them to have, he knows my, I don’t also plan my meals. I don’t tell them, oh, this is what I want to eat. It’s like, these are the things I like. Just go, go for it. Be creative. Feed me healthy food that, that I’m going to like.
He doesn’t run the menus by me, he just does it. And I trust him to do things I like, and if I don’t like it, you know, I’m just actually going to, to give him feedback. Now, I have this kind of setup for each of my three locations. I have three core locations where I spend my time. And for each of them, I have a property manager who also is a chef and manages the rest of the staff, handles the licenses because I sublet them on Airbnb if I can, which I can’t in New York or Revelstoke, but I can in Turks and Caicos.
And their goal is to delight me and or whatever guests I have, be they my family or renters from the Airbnb equivalent. Now the reason I have three homes is I’ve made a decision to structure my life in a pretty nontraditional way. Two realizations. Realization number one is each city has a very best moment of time to live in.
So, New York is extraordinary in the, in the spring and in the fall, right? Like you want to be in New York in September and October, in April, in May, and maybe the first half of June. It is way less compelling in the summer. It’s too hot, it’s humid, it’s way less compelling, and like January, February, December. And so, I try to go to the places where there’s, where it’s the best time to be there. So, my year is typically structured with January, February in Revelstoke in British Columbia, where I like to go backcountry skiing on weekends, and, and snowshoeing, and ice climbing, and dock sliding, et cetera, but it’s mostly a brand backcountry skiing, heli skiing.
March I go to Turks and Caicos to thaw and like kite surf and play tennis and play paddle, et cetera. As I said, April, May, June in the New York area, and then I start heading to Nice to see my family in the south of France. Before usually going for my birthday in, in Turks and Caicos, and then all of August I go to Revelstoke in the mountain where I like to go mountain biking and hiking and rock climbing, etc.
Then I go to Burning Man, and again, September, October, New York, and then November, December, Turks. Though, to be exact, I usually go to Turks until December 26, and then New Year’s I spend in Revelstoke. That’s why I have snow for, for New Year’s and in the holiday season, in addition to having the sun.
Now, in addition to that, every year I like to add a two-week trip somewhere where that is new and, and, and a massive adventure like Antarctica in 2023, that is often off grid and adventurous, you know, where I’m like just a backpack and a tent and a water filtration system. Beyond that, so that, that’s core setup.
And beyond the fact that each place has a best time or location to be there. My perspective is that each, you want your work life balance. And so, New York, as I mentioned earlier, is a place of professional, social, artistic, intellectual, it is busy 24/7. I’m going out. I’m meeting friends. I’m hosting dinners.
I’m going to events with founders. It is so busy that after a month or two, I am completely burnt out. And I’m tired and I need a place to recharge. Now, in Revelstoke and Turks, I’m not on vacation. I actually work during the day. So, Revelstoke, typically, I will only do the backcountry skiing, etc. on the weekends.
And or if there’s a day off, like this month, we have two days off in January. So, I’m taking the, and I think there’s a Friday and a Monday. And I’m heli skiing those days in addition to the weekends. And same thing in Turks, I’ll work during the day, but when the day ends, whatever time that may be, I’ll go kitesurf and play tennis and play paddle and read and write and meditate.
And so, the you know, New York I’m doing, and in Revelstoke and Turks and Caicos, I’m being healthy, I’m being reflective. And it’s a combination of a place where I’ll either be alone, to recharge my social batteries, or I will bring a huge gathering or spattering of friends and family. So, for instance this year, and I’ll go back to for a quick second if it’ll open to my blog.
I brought 50 people; I brought 50 people for Christmas and New Year’s which was like the gathering of my family. Yep, and this is. This is our new year photo. 50 people of both the family I have and the family I choose. Which has been absolutely amazing. Like, going back here. So, it’s kind of like the life setup in terms of like moving around.
So, continuing of the things I outsource. I also outsource the, so I’ve separated for Triton, for instance, which is rented out when I’m not there and generates millions of revenues a year, the guest services local in person versus reservations. So, I have a reservation manager, Rae-Anne, who helps like create the pricing manage the different channels and do all the reservation part of the experience until it is Handed over to Lori and her team to do the actual guest services experience.
She also usually or sometimes has someone from YRA to help. With the work that she needs to do. As you know, I got a dog this year, Angel. And for Angel, for at least for the first few years, given how busy I am otherwise, especially in New York, I have a full-time dog walker, dog trainer, travels with me everywhere, takes care of Angel, gets the vaccines up to date.
Yeah, it gets all the papers and everything that needs to be done. And that’s Mike. And it helps, especially when you live in a place, you know, like New York and when I’m busy in New York obviously when I’m in Turks and rubble, so, you know, Angel can be roaming free and we can be playing all day, but even then, I want her to be very well trained.
I want to be able to walk with her off leash and her not to, and just follow the directions. If I want her to play, she goes play, and if I want her to come back and pay attention off leash, regardless of distractions, squirrels, other dogs, cars, whatever, that she listens. And so, I want her to be very well trained, and Mike is amazing for that.
So, nannies, actually before I talk nannies, maybe I’ll go back to the, the, the travel setup for a second. Now that I have a son who’s starting to go to school, instead of doing two-month, I don’t want to be away from him too long. I’m actually making sure that, A, obviously we spend all of our vacations together, and when we’re in New York, we’re together all the time.
But when I go to like Turks, let’s say, December 1 to 15, it’s like two weeks, I’ll still spend a week in New York. To make sure that I’m around them at the right time. So, I’m changing the, even though it’s a bit more travel, I’m changing the two months, two months to more like two weeks, three weeks, one week, two weeks, et cetera, to make sure I spend more time with them.
So nanny setup. So we wanted coverage seven days a week from 7:45 am to 7:45 pm. So, we found, a bunch of nannies on care.com mostly, some Facebook groups as well. The core mission or the core vision was that one of the nannies to be. In fluent accent less French who can travel internationally, so I have a passport, and can drive which obviously creates a number of limitations. And the reason for the French, by the way, is obviously I’m French. My family mostly is French speaking. We live in New York, so he’s going to be getting English. In general, even though he’s in a bilingual school called the École, which is absolutely amazing. It’s like the Rigor of the French system with creativity and public speaking and teamwork of the American system, because school, TV, friends, whatever, and living in the US is in English. I figured, let’s have the nannies only speak French to him. Now, what I have the nannies do is, when we travel, it’s only one nanny that travels with us.
And, but if it’s multiple weeks long, maybe they’ll swap. There’s a WhatsApp group for the nannies to coordinate between each other. So, the reason it’s four of them, by the way, and you can meet them here, you can see their little bios and who’s doing how many days, etc. As they, well, French nannies, I guess, don’t want to work too many hours in general.
And so this is kind of the amount of hours they wanted to work. So, someone would work once a day, two days a week. And so actually having four part time who agree between themselves, who’s traveling, who’s taking what days, et cetera works really well to give us full coverage without any issues.
They’re paid on a per hour basis, or an hourly basis based on the hours worked. So, there’s a Westside group, they coordinate, they train they tell each other what happened before, what needs to happen. And they have a calendar called Cozi where all the doctor’s appointments, et cetera, that they populate, and they know what tasks need to be done.
And they do everything from preparing one meal a day to buying groceries. Well, diapers not really needed anymore, but medicine, bath supplies, I mean, whatever needs to be taken care of. They do in addition to taking care of Francois, picking him out of school, dropping off at school, et cetera. Now, in addition to that, Let’s say there’s a date night or I need to go out or whatever, and I need coverage beyond 7:45 pm.
Add the slot requests and the calendar and they between themselves agree who’s going to take it. So again, it doesn’t require me to do anything. Now realize this is a pretty expensive proposition because I have essentially seven-day coverage 12 hours a day. There is a cheaper way for people to do this.
Which is if you have an au pair, now an au pair, the issue is a, they need to live with you, so you need to have room for them, which is not viable for everyone, and typically it’s only one or two years, and the number of hours they work is capped. So, what you can do for you to be a cheaper alternative than this is au pair plus daycare.
If you do au pair plus daycare, you can get something not quite as bespoke, but rather effective for a fraction of the cost of what I’m describing here. Now I have a nanny handbook, which shows all the rules. You know, you need to speak to them only in French. When my daughter’s coming, you’ll only speak to her in French.
What you need to cook. What Francois likes et cetera. So, everything is kind of like explained in the nanny handbook. This is only two pages of it, but it’s actually like whatever 20-page handbook that’s prepared for any new nanny to be on boarded automatically and be able to be effective.
So that’s basically it in terms of what I have towards how it’s outsourced, which is way more in general than you think you can. So let me go cover some of the questions that were asked. And take it from there. Okay if you’d like agendas for the startups, you’re interested in investing in so the time is managed properly.
Question from Payum. So, I don’t need an agenda for the startup. I’m investing. I’m going, I’m considering investing in as long as I have the deck ahead of time and I’ve read and I’ve reviewed it. So, I’ve won the deck for sure, because I want to make sure that I’m ready and I’ve prepared. So, when I typically take second calls, which is what I usually do, I have read the first debrief.
And so I’m not going to have the founders re repeat the full story over again, over and over again. As a founder, when I was raising money, it drove me crazy that VCs regularly would be just making me repeat the same story over and over again. I’m like, do you not guys not read each other’s notes? Do you not want to go deeper into it?
It feels it felt shallow every time. And so, I will read the debrief by the first debrief of whomever wrote in the took the first call on the team. I will read the deck and I’m going to go straight into Q and A. I don’t need the entire story repeated to me, which I think is also a courtesy of the founder, but it also leads to a deeper, meaningful interaction.
So, no agenda other than that. Let’s see. What else? How do you quantify like time saved? How to be sure that scheduling actions do not consume as much time as you would have not outsource the task itself? I mean for low value task. I don’t quantify it. I can feel it and how much time I have to do the things I love.
You know, so for instance it’s not all that hard to buy things on Amazon, but if I have like 20 things to buy, it’s way easier to like, you know, send Rose. Oh, buy this, this, this, this, this, the link and like she deals with that. It’s not a huge amount of time, but like little by little it adds up. So, I’m not quantifying it.
In general, I just realized that in a given year, I can do so much and so much more than most people because I am fully levered up. The other, you know, I guess, superpower user of outsource people, Jonathan Swanson from Thumbtack or formerly Thumbtack, now creating Athena. I think we’re going to do a joint session.
We’re going to like see our best practices and see if we can learn anything from each other. To figure out what, if anything else, we should be doing and whether or not it’s worth quantifying. At the end of the day, I’m not doing this to be more productive, as I said, which is why I’m not trying to quantify it.
I’m doing this because I want to lead an amazing, fulfilled life. And so, for me, the proof is in the pudding. If I’m actually spending my time with my son and playing video games and reading books and doing things I love doing rather than things I don’t like doing, It means it’s working. And so that’s kind of the way I think about it.
Not reading news. What are your favorite analyst’s source of insights? So, I love Noahpinion. Noah Smith. Let me let me share that here. He’s on Substack. Let’s see. Noah Pinion. Of course, I have my microphone in front of me, so. Oof. Oof. Thanks. So, of course, we share a lot of, like, similar. Oh, wait, I need to share my screen.
We share a lot of, like, similar, philosophical alignment in terms of, like, techno optimism and, and we’re both economists by formation, so I read, I read Noahpinion. I think it’s really interesting and the other things I’m the members of or I don’t know if they’re a actually, let’s see ergo, maybe it’s a consultancy, okay, maybe doing this live is not the best, which we’ll see.
Yeah, so this group and they have like a lot of thoughtful analysis of what’s going on and everything from politics, geopolitics, macroeconomics, et cetera. Actually, talking about it for a quick second, when it comes to politics, I don’t really follow it. Because if I, if I take a step back.
I don’t think it matters all that much. And actually I would argue politics have been, in a way the political system in the U. S. which seems so broken, and like the making of the sausage is awful, actually kind of works. You know, if I go to the 1950s and I’m like And I’m a Democrat and I’m like, Oh, what do I want to see in 70 years?
You know, so in 2023, I want desegregation. I want women in the workforce. I want general, I want like IVF and the pill and a lot of like these social, socially liberal trends that have actually happened. And yes, it and flows and there’s setbacks in the Roe v. Wade, etc. But for the general part, it actually, if that’s what you wanted, you’ve gotten it, right?
And we’re seeing right now like drug legalization etc. Or at least decriminalization. And if you’re a Republican and you’re like, well, I want the, and you’re in the 1950s and I want a lower marginal tax rates and less regulation of industries like airlines, et cetera, the reality is you kind of got that as well.
And so over the long period of time, this isn’t works, but the day to day is acrimonious and awful and it’s not that relevant. It doesn’t change my life in any way, shape or form. So following politics is literally, it’s like negative entertainment. It’s like a form of religion. People follow it. And they feel so passionately about things that I think, ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, don’t matter all that much, right?
As a kid, my ambition was to be in politics because I looked at, like, the people that impacted the world in the past, like Augustus, or Octavian, or Alexander Hamilton. But in the world we live in, politics really doesn’t change all that things too much and I don’t think it’s a bug, I think it’s a feature.
I think the founding fathers created a system that was balanced where it made things hard to change out of by design. And, and so it takes a long time to get there. But I think ultimately you get the right outcomes with like yeah, populous here and there and things that ebb and flow, but it gets there.
I mean, Churchill once famously said that the U. S. can be counted on doing the right thing after all other options have been tested and I think that tends to be very true but ultimately does get there after many, many mistakes and meanderings. And so I’m profoundly optimistic, actually, on the fact that we will get ultimately the right outcomes, even though the day to day can feel weird and scary, etc.
But, by the way, isn’t that much more acrimonious than the past? I mean, you need to remember, the U. S. had a full-blown civil war. We had political opponents that used to shoot each other in duels. I mean, I’m very, you know, sad, like, that Alexander Hamilton died in a duel back in the day. We had, like, massive, civil rights riots race riots.
We had an entire war movement with riots. If anything, it’s less violent today than it was. 30, 40 years ago. And so it feels worse, but I think it may very well be recency bias. And so yeah, don’t follow politics. Waste of time. Don’t follow news. Focus on things you can control in your life that make you happy and focus on positive things.
Because if you take a step back, most things are amazing and like getting better every day. And, and when I look at the life we led, like, when I was a kid and today so many things have gotten better and cheaper. So, I’m profoundly grateful and optimistic to grateful to be living now and optimistic about the future.
So Thomas is asking me if I worry about potential fraud, given that she’s access to my information, emails, etcetera. The reason I don’t worry very much is first of all, she doesn’t have access to she has a credit card to pay, but that’s it, right? She doesn’t have my she can’t send wires. She doesn’t have access to my banking information.
And in credit card, you’re not with a credit card, you are not liable for credit card fraud. And so all I need to do is every month go through the credit card receipts, make sure I approve of all the credit card purchases. And if not, I dispute them and then see where they came from which has happened multiple times, but not actually from my assistant, from people like, you know, somehow getting a credit card number and trying to buy things with that.
But actually, the credit card company is reasonably good at detecting weird patterns or behavior and blocking transactions. And regardless, they reimburse you when fraud happens. So hasn’t been an issue. So yeah, it doesn’t really have access to anything other than that credit card, which is kind of itself a control mechanism.
And in terms of emails, you know, most things that are really secure, you use a ledger or a YubiKey or a two-factor authentication, right? Like email doesn’t really give you access to these things. So, all of my really secure things are fine. And, and if I think of the cost benefit analysis, the risk of fraud versus the time I’m saving, it’s completely worth it.
And also, I don’t give her access to email directly, I think there’s a way to delegate so she can reply on my behalf and see emails or whatever. I’m not the one who set it up, it’s my good friend William, I don’t know exactly how it is, but it works pretty well. I’m thinking of another question that was sent ahead of the episode by Saeed Jabbar.
How do you learn how to break into flow states as well? Perhaps, a I think I’ll do another episode on flow states, but obviously part of the objective of these things to be present and to be in a position to get into flow states. And so, for me, it’s combination of meditating and I have a meditation practice.
It’s 20 minutes a day, sometimes 30 minutes that I do every day that I will share in probably an upcoming episode of like, what is my meditation practice? And maybe I’ll broaden it to flow states because flow states you can get through mastery, right? Like I would argue possibly in a flow state right now presenting this.
I could be in a flow state playing tennis or kite surfing. So if you’re really good at something and you like it, You can enter a flow state through the mastery of that. You can get through flow states through meditation, you can get in flow states through psychedelics, which I like partake in several times a year.
Not often, but like, you know, with set intentions, setting, you know, like LSD or psilocybin, or it could be an amazing way to do that. So, I will do another episode, I think, on flow states, meditation practice. And cover that there, but perhaps the way it relates to this episode is this episode is how do you free up time to do other things?
And one of those things you can do is actually get in a flow state, see what other questions we have. Okay, Charaf from DHARMA, a portfolio company, well hi Sharaf, I’m glad to be an investor. So transparent and super helpful. Do you ever get professional imposter syndrome choosing to live with such radical transparency and need and with what makes you personally happy?
I’ve never had imposer syndrome. So maybe this is like, takes us to a different topic on like happiness in general. Many people I talk to, they have this, like, little voice in their shoulder, which is like, Oh, you’re not good enough. You’re not this enough. You’re not smart enough.
You’re, you don’t belong here. If anything, as a kid, I was really Sheldon Cooper and in college, for sure, Sheldon Cooper. I had the opposite problems. Like I, I believe you thought I belong there even when I zero. So, for me, it was more like, Oh, obviously I’m amazing. I’m extraordinary. Everything’s. And so, I never had imposter syndrome.
From that perspective, I felt I belong. Now, the difference is, as a kid, it was delusional. I thought I knew everything. And then, of course, as you get older, you realize how little you know. And once you fall flat on your feet on your face and you get your teeth kicked in, you realize that how little, you know, and you approach life with way more humility.
I was a definitely arrogant before and now I’ve come to realize how little I know, but I know some things and that’s what I’m trying to share here. Now the beauty or not the beauty is like I’m actually not famous, right? Like it doesn’t sharing all these things is my way of giving back to founders and people out there want to live a better life.
But I’m and it connects to those it connects with and it’s a very small subset of people. I don’t have a publicist I’m not trying to be famous I’m not trying to be a public person. I like sharing what I learn, and it helps the people it hurts. But I am not going, I don’t want to be, I don’t want to have the public profile to be Elon.
I could argue I have more impact on the world than Elon, in terms of like, changing the lives of people today, right? Like I’m an investor in 1100 companies. They’re highly deflationary. They touch the lives of billions. You know, how many people have gone in space with SpaceX so far? Yes, it makes you dream, but it’s not changing the lives of people on a day-to-day basis.
You know, millions of people make a living off of OLX, the company I built. And to me, that’s real impact. Both are useful in their own way. But regardless of impact, would I want to be a public persona? And the answer is no. I have exactly the level of visibility I want to have where Marketplace founders come to me for advice and come to me for investment.
And I can raise funds to do whatever I need, but I don’t want more. More than that would probably be an impediment on my quality of life. I can lead the life I lead with no restrictions. I don’t need bodyguards, no one bothers me, no one recognizes me. Being anonymous is amazing. So, I share out of love for writing, speaking, sharing, learning.
It’s also a way, like kind of part of the reason I write publicly is it’s a way to think through and for myself and to learn what I’ve learned. It structures my thoughts. So, as I think through what things I want to do in the future, I usually write them down. I weigh the pros and cons and publishing them leads to conversations, which I think are interesting.
But because I’m not popular, I’m not famous, and I have no intention of being famous. This works, and it’s okay to be transparent. Now, it’d be possibly different if I, you know, if I was walking down the street, people would mob me, or I’d go to restaurants, or whatever, it’d be, it’d be an inconvenience and lower my quality of life, then I wouldn’t do it.
But as is where it’s just sharing life lessons, it works and it has not impacted me, at all. And by the way, I like doing this. Like, I get pleasure out of, like, sharing, speaking, thinking and I’m very good at it. Like, as I said, it’s possibly one of the ways in which I’m in a flow state. I love writing, love speaking, and it comes very naturally to me.
You know, none of this is scripted. Like, if you look at the speech, I gave at the Transatlantic Forum on the 15-minute speech with no pauses, no hums, no has, no hesitations. And I just gave it and the speaking of it came to me naturally. Now, of course, practice makes perfect. I practiced that many times.
I had to learn the quote by Mark Twain, but it ultimately worked. Okay, next question. So, Sam on YouTube what’s the craziest thing you’ve outsourced? I mentioned earlier, it’s a, I outsource my dating life where I train my assistant to swipe for me on like Bumble and Raya. I showed her, okay, these are the people I like, okay, now for one hour, then, or 30 minutes, then, okay, you do it, okay, I agree, I disagree, so we iterated, get to the point of 95%, then I’m like, hey, we match, this is how I would chat with this person now you do it, and then, okay, I agree, this is how I would speak, okay, now here’s my schedule for the next few weeks set up a date, these days, these days, these days, and she would go ahead and schedule dates with people, and the only thing I needed to do would show up on the date with obviously I would have a printout beforehand of like who the person is, what we talked about. And if I didn’t like the person because she chose incorrectly, A will refine the process on a go forward basis. But B, I would just say cancel the date. And so, it took no time for me. And the date will always be at the bar literally across the street, actually from where I live here, like literally across the street behind me.
So it takes very, very little time. Thomas, one more question regarding the virtual assistants. How well does it work with their support in countries with other languages? So, the Filipino assistants don’t speak French. So, she uses Google Translate. So, if you’re in France or French, I would use a different company.
I don’t know what company to recommend. I’m sure one exists. Maybe they can find someone who’s French speaking. I didn’t ask them. Most of my interactions were in English. And for the things that are in French, I do get emails in French. I think she uses Google Translate and it’s good enough. So, but I’m, the model I’m sure works and I’m sure there are people probably in, I don’t know if it’s Algeria or Morocco or Tunisia that do these types of things for French speaking people.
Regarding outsourcing, what are the two companies that you mentioned? Let me reshare my screen for a quick second up to the presentation. And maybe I’ll full screen it while we’re at it so you can look at it. But the two companies, I actually, I’ll full screen it for a second. Poof. YRA, it’s literally, it’s yourremoteassistant.com. So put it maybe here up. Voila! They have several hundred of them. We have 10 of them directly. Let me go back to the presentation. Oops, wrong window. Up, up. And the other one is Athena, which I mentioned is the Jonathan Swanson. Company from Thumbtack, who’s a master outsourcer. They’re more expensive, possibly a higher end.
I have not tried them, but I trust Athena Virtual Assistant. Let’s try that. Oof. And voila. These are the two. I have not used Athena, but I, as I said, I trust Jonathan to do this to me, to be amazing at this and to make sure that it works very well. Okay. Going back to the questions.
Okay what did you have these Thank you for this transmission? Super clear. Thank you. Okay. I think I kind of covered everything in terms of why to do it. What to do with the time you’ve had when you can ask for us. what? And I How not to follow the news, etc. And so, I’ll take it from there.
Thank you for joining this show. I think I’ll do another show on flow state, my meditation practice, because it’s rather productive. It’s not a point to be productive, but it doesn’t take that much time, and works rather well for me at some point in the future. And yeah, we’ll take it from there. So, thank you all for watching, and I will be posting this, including the presentation on my blog, probably next week so you can rewatch it and have access to the direct PowerPoint, and I’m available as usual for questions by email.
Thank you. Thank you all of you.