I idolize Tynan as much as the next reader, and I think his lifestyle is kickass. Yet even after reading his books and being a blog reader for years, I still can't figure out how he makes money.
We know that he gets a couple of bucks when people buy his books on Amazon and when people sign up for SETT, but that's a pittance compared to a living wage. We know he used to be a professional gambler, likes to save, and lives incredibly frugally, but we also know he lost a large part of that money in some kind of overseas account mistake. (He's not clear on what it was, but he did say that he lost most of his earnings)
Is he living off of the leftovers of his gambling days? He's written a few blog posts concerning money, how he doesn't have to pay for most of the things normal people pay for, like rent, alcohol, mortgage, etcetera, and thus his day to day cost is incredibly low. But the man has to eat. And he pays for his RV parking spot, and he buys expensive travel gear, and flights that , even after his tricky discounts, aren't chump change. I find it hard to believe that all of that is still coming from years old gambling money.
We know he loves poker and is pretty darn good at it - perhaps he goes to some tournament whenever he needs cash and plays until he is satisfied? Tynan hasn't spoken much about poker in recent years as he used to, so maybe he's just focused on SETT, but it sounds to me like it's not a big part of his life anymore.
What do you think, fellow readers? (and/or the man himself) How does Tynan make money?
I was in Berlin for an extended weekend recently, and the whole time I found myself agreeing again and again with what I had read about the city in Maneesh's (hackthesystem.com) post about it. It's a great post and introduction to Berlin, even if he oversells his reasons a bit. Below is his article, with some of my additional thoughts in italics.
It had been a long time since I’d stayed in one city for so long, but I’d engineered it so I could spend my final quarter of Stanford abroad…and receive financial aid at the same time. I’d heard nothing but great things about Berlin, and when Stanford offered me a paid summer internship, meaning I’d be living scot free in the city, I couldn’t say no.Within weeks of arriving, I understood why Berlin had received so much praise—the only other city I’ve ever seen as revered is Buenos Aires. Let me tell you now exactly why you should log on to kayak.com and buy a ticket to Berlin, Germany.
I was blown away when I saw the prices in Berlin. Living expenses are as cheap, or cheaper, than most cities in South America! (Buenos Aires included). I could afford dinners an the nightlife—Berlin is by FAR the cheapest capital city in Western Europe. Here are some examples of my costs (everything is converted into dollars at 1 € = $1.50)
[Side note: one time I only had 1EUR on me, and I entered a gas station to buy water. Water cost € 1.25. Beer cost € 0.60. Needless to say, my decision was made for me]
If you've been paying attention to your life activities, you've already noticed that there is a general maxim for activities: if it is easy and entertaining now, it will probably be detrimental in the long run, and if it is hard and boring now, it will help you out down the line. Obviously there are exceptions - playing with a pet is easy and fun, yet has documented positive psychological effects, and doing something like fitting a lightbulb in your mouth doesn't sound fun nor is it easy, but that's not going to do much for the future you.
But those are dramatic, and rare exceptions. Scrolling your Facebook newsfeed, watching your favorite television show, tearing apart a fast food burger. These are all easy to do, and are very fun while you are doing them, but once they are done, you don't have much to show for the effort other than those fleeting moments of entertainment.
Meanwhile, think about writing something, about working out, about doing language grammar drills, or choosing to eat healthy. These are things that are classically difficult and often boring - everyone always tells themselves excuses in order to get out of them. However, after those actions are completed, you always have something to show for your time, be it a blog post, toned abs, or a better understanding of how to conjugate things in Portuguese.
There's the Past, Present, and Future, and the things that feel good in the Present look silly and trivial in the Past. The more work you put into the Present, the brighter the Future becomes. Our minds are just hardwired to seek pleasure not pain, even if the pain is just the monotony of forcing yourself to do something without an immediate payoff.
So how can you buck off your brain's whims and choose to do what's important? It's simple - choose to do the activities which will still matter in one year. One year is a long time - long enough to make you forget all the little silly things you did last year, but not so long as to be unimaginable. You could possibly scale this time period down to as low as 3 months, but the point is to have an interval that is long enough to make you forget the things you did in the day. Let's stick with a year for this example.
I've been delaying making my own personal blog for a while now, and now that SETT's online, I figured it's a good time. Right now I fear I may have jumped into the adoption cycle a bit too early, what with the difficulty in completing very simple actions, but for the time being, I am willing to try it out. Bear with the ugly background for now - it's not exactly clear which photos go where, and what size works best for each one. *cough*tip for Tynan*cough.
As to what I'd like to see out of SETT, I'd hope that you can change the look of things more than simply the color of stuff and header photo. For example, I like the SETT bar up top always being there, but the grey text on a dark background doesn't pop very much. It'd be nice to be able to make them more obvious (white on black, perhaps?) - otherwise new visitors to the site (who aren't familiar with SETT) may miss them, and for me a website with pages is very important. Yes the time dated blog has it's place, but there should be parts of the website that are static and never change - many readers are not going to scroll all the way through your archives to find stuff. Websites are more than just a blog. Scott Hanselman's site is a good example of this - it autodirects to his blog, but there is much more available than just that on his site.
Being able to mondify those little boxes to the right is very important too, like adding in a little shoutout to a book or link, like Sebastian has done with Ikagi.
That "What you should read next" popup better be optional. The modern web surfer doesn't like gimmicky pop-ups - I don't want to be associated with something like that.
But these are just gripes and things to work through. The actual construction of post looks very easy and straight forward indeed. I'm very excited to see what this baby can do.