How do I have to think about money differently to start creating remote streams of income?

Let me be honest…

None of you asked me this question.

So, why would I spend an entire once-a-week-blog-post answering a question that none of you asked me?


It’s absolutely critical to the fulfillment of your freedom-traveling dreams that you start thinking differently about money than you do now.

Of course, you’re probably thinking…

What do you mean? I have a fine relationship with money — I don’t have to think any differently.

Okay — fair enough.

Let me prove it to you.

How much money do you have in savings?

Most of you are going to say one of two things…

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  1. You have some money in savings that you’re holding on to for a “rainy day.”
  2. Or you live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have any money in savings.

This might surprise you, but both of those situations represent a misguided way of thinking about money.

You have some money in savings that you’re holding on to for a “rainy day.”

Problem with this is, you don’t have enough money to be putting away in savings. Not, at least, if you want to chase after your dream of traveling the world and making money while you sleep.

Here’s the deal: in the early stages of building your freedom-traveler lifestyle, you’ll need money.


Because building new streams of income will always be an investment. Some types of streams are more expensive than others, but it’ll always dip into your wallet or purse.

That mindset shift, though, is easier said than learned.

Everyone has taught you (thanks Dave Ramsey) that you need to be debt free, that you need to have at least 6 months of income in a bank account, that you need to put away 10% of your money every single month…

Problem is, that takes foreverrrrrrrr…

Think about this.

What if, instead of paying off your debt over the next 10 years from your 9–5 job, you built 3 new streams of income that helped you pay that debt off in just 2 years?

What if you made so much money from those new streams of income that you could pay off your debt in just 6 months?

And here’s the kicker question…

What if, instead of putting money into savings every month, you invested that money into a new stream of income, giving it the chance to multiply itself?

For example, my wife and I invested $500 into an Amazon selling training 3 months ago. Since then, that training has made us $3,514.74.

But I know what you’re thinking…

What if I lose my job and I don’t have anything in savings?

That’s always the fear, isn’t it?

That your boss is going to fire you, cold turkey (or you’ll get laid off) and you’ll have to go buy a good ol’ cardboard box for you and the family…

Except that’s a false fear.

Let me ask you this…

If you lost your job tomorrow, what would you do?

Would you sit at home and mope about it for two months without applying for any other jobs?

Would you give up, eating Doritos in the evenings and watching Wheel of Fortune during the day, all day?

Because that’s exactly what it would take for you to start living in a cardboard box if you lost your job tomorrow.

Let me say that again…

In order for your cardboard-box fears of losing your job and being the next street hobo to come true, you’d have to become a fundamentally different person.


Because there’s always a new temporary job to get.

And if one job won’t pay the bills, you’d get a second job.

The reality is, in that terrible situation, you’d do what it takes to pay the bills…

Even if that meant going door-to-door, mowing lawns.

You’d figure it out.

And chances are, you’re not going to get blindsided by your work…

And you’re definitely not going to become infinitely lazy or drug-addicted overnight…

You’re willing to work for it, which means you’ll never be out of a job for very long.

If you are, you’ll find a new one.

So, how should you think about money differently?

Well, if you already have money in savings, then — instead of saving it for the rainy day that’ll never come — consider investing it in creating a new stream of income where you give that money the potential to multiply itself.

You live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have any money in savings.

If you don’t have anything in savings, then look at your finances and figure out where you’re spending your luxury money…

Do you buy a coffee every day? Do you go out to dinner most nights? Do you rent movies a lot? Do you buy a lot of video games?

Then cut something out so you can save a bit up for startup capital.

Now you have another concern, though…

What if the new stream of income doesn’t work out and you lose your money?

My answer is going to sound a bit unhelpful at first, but follow me here…

Who cares?

Who cares if you try to invest money into yourself and your first stream of remote income doesn’t work out?

Who cares if you “fail”?

Who cares?

After all, would you pay $500, $1,000, or $1,500 to learn something about yourself and your business-building skills that you’ve never learned before?

I would. Every. Single. Time.

And you should be willing to, as well.

Because the more that you fail, the closer you are to succeeding.

Cue a cliché graphic about entrepreneurship and failure…

Point is, you have to stop being afraid of failure, because it isn’t failure, it’s a learning experience.

When you invest in a new remote stream of income, try to make your money back, but don’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t work out. Take a deep breathe, figure out where it went wrong, save up, and try something else.

I literally can’t count on one hand the number of things I’ve tried to do that completely failed…

Here’s a list of my own failures off the top of my head.

  1. Quest — A church I was trying to grow.
  2. Booktrep — An email list I was trying to build.
  3. Swanky Sweetums — An e-commerce store I was trying to start.
  4. MB Content — A content-creation business I tried to get off the ground.
  5. New Life Church — Another church I tried to help grow (it never did).
  6. Codeless — A job I thought would work out but didn’t.
  7. Paper route — This was a terrible idea from the beginning and I’m not going to go into detail here.
  8. AngleTangle — A blog I tried to get off the ground.
  9. Facebook Ads Business — This didn’t last long at all.

And there’s plenty more (just ask my wife).

But here’s the thing: even though every one of those undertakings failed, I learned something valuable.

Booktrep taught me, for instance, that I always need to try and make money from the beginning of starting a blog.

Codeless taught me that I’m more interested in quality of life than I an in hours worked and money earned.

And Swanky Sweetums taught me that, in e-commerce, you should always order your own products before delivering them to a customer (I know… seems like a no-brainer).

We’re all going to have failures…

But the trick is to let those failures teach us a lesson rather than using them as an excuse to quit altogether.

Truthfully, they’re just an important stepping stone along your journey to financial independence…

To traveling the world.

And you have to embrace them just as much as you do your successes.

Maybe more.

So, in a nutshell…

  1. Don’t save. Invest.
  2. When things don’t work out, learn from your mistakes and try again.

And lastly, view your money as an asset to building the life of your dreams.

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Do I have to quit my current job to create remote streams of income that allow me to travel the…

When I tell most people that I’m going to travel the world for a year, they respond in one of several ways…

“Oh — are you in the military?”

“Wow — are you independently wealthy or something?”

“Soooo, what are you going to do for work?”

Then, I tell them that all the work I do is remote and the lightbulb goes off…

“Ohhhhhh, I get it.”

And here’s the cherry on top…

“You’re so lucky to be able to do that.”

Oh boy.

I hate when people say that…

Look, I agree that my position is quite enviable — being able to travel the world and work from anywhere with four different streams of income backing me up… that’s pretty great.

But claiming that I am lucky to work remote is like claiming that a marathon runner is lucky to run a marathon.

The runner trained day after day to get to the point that his body could endure 26 miles of shin-pounding hell.

And I actively worked to create remote streams of income that would allow me and my family to travel the world.

I set goals, I determined how much money we’d need to make, and I pursued those goals with laser focus.


The bad news is you can’t say I’m just lucky.

The good news is that anyone can do it (yes — even you).

But when people start setting goals and trying to determine how to create remote streams of income, they often ask…

“So, I guess I’d have to quit my job then?”

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For obvious reasons, that thought paralyzes most people. They don’t take any steps to build remote income because the prospect of quitting their job cold-turkey and pursuing something else is absolutely terrifying.

Fortunately, you don’t have to quit your job — and you probably shouldn’t. At least not right away.

Here are 3 remote income options you have if you’re nervous about quitting your job immediately to pursue your dreams, luck-free.

1. Negotiate remote working conditions

This won’t work for every job, but it will definitely work for some.

If you want a shortcut to creating remote income and traveling the world, then negotiating a remote work agreement at your current job is a fast-track to paradise.

Of course, if you do something that requires your physical presence, then you won’t be able to negotiate much of anything. You might, though, be able to try and move into a different position at the same company with remote work potential.

If your position is completely digital to begin with, then there’s a chance that your company will give remote work a go.

Just make sure you propose a trial-run period — most bosses will accept a trial period better than they will a sheer-cliff proposition.

Consider something like this…

I’d like to try transitioning my current position to remote work rather than in-office work. I think this will increase my productivity and my focus. Plus, my family and I have a dream of traveling the world and this would allow us to do that.

But, I understand that that would be a big change.

So what I’d like to do is transition to remote work starting next month. Then, we can do a trial period for 3 months and see how everyone feels about it. If you don’t like it or you feel that my quality of work has decreased, then I’ll come back in the office.

If my quality of work and productivity has increased, though, then we can keep doing remote work.

What do you think?

If your boss accepts the proposition, go above and beyond over the next three months to prove to them that you’re more productive outside the office than you are inside a cubicle.

If they see quality results and higher productivity, they’ll likely continue the remote work agreement since it’s in their best interest.

And you’ll be sipping on a Pina Colada while you work on the beach in Puerto Vallarta.

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2. Apply for full-time remote positions

If you’re stuck in a cubicle during the day but dream of beaches in Rome and wine in France…

…then one way to escape is by dedicating one hour every evening to applying for remote jobs.

In today’s world, there are TONS.

Plus, getting hired for a remote work gig could jumpstart your traveling dreams faster than trying to build your own streams of income. Once you’re having the time of your life, then you can start creating independent income streams on the side.

But there’s no time like the present, eh?

You could get hired for a remote gig next week, give your two-week notice, and be on the road in a month.

Here’s a list of sites where you can find businesses looking for employees (you) — who’ll be totally remote.

Of course, this is where most people throw in the towel. It’s where excuses flood your mind…

Ehh, but I DO like my job. This can wait.

I don’t know… do I really care about traveling that much?

I’m kinda busy at work right now… maybe I’ll do this next month?

What if I end up in a job I hate?

Here’s my only follow-up question for you…

What does it hurt to apply? It’ll take you 15 minutes per application and you can always say “no” if the gig seems terrible.

More importantly, though, if you do find a remote gig that’s awesome, how might that change your life?

3. Start a 1-hour per day side-hustle

How much TV do you watch every evening?

How many fiction books do you read?

How many video games do you play?

How many tiddle-and-taddle pointless tasks do you engage in?

Pick your poison…

We all spend the 5 to 7 hours after work every day doing something. And for most of us, it’s not a productive something.

What if you sacrificed just one hour (or even just thirty minutes) every single evening to build a new stream of income for you and your family?

What if, after a year, that stream of revenue allowed you to quit your job and travel the world?

Would that one extra hour every evening be worth it?

Heck, most of us don’t even really enjoy our evening routines, we just do it because… well, it’s a routine — it’s what we always do.

Fortunately, you can break that pattern and start investing a bit of your time into something that could change your life rather than just entertain you.

Because here’s the deal: even if you have a remote full-time job, you’re going to have a boss who tells you what to do. For most of us, that isn’t the dream. For most of us, the dream is making our own money, on our own time, from anywhere we want.

That, though, will take commitment, persistence, and grit.

More specifically, it’ll take about an hour every evening (5 days a week) for the next 6 months.

But it’ll be well worth it once you’re making money while you sleep.

Only question is, what kind of revenue stream should you start creating?

Here are a few options to consider…

  1. Freelance work
  2. E-commerce selling
  3. SaaS (Software as a Service) company
  4. Consulting
  5. Blog monetization
  6. Podcast monetization
  7. Real estate investing

Those are just a few ideas. Hopefully, though, it’ll get your mind stirring to find the perfect option for you.

In the end, the decision can’t be mine. It has to be yours.

You can do it.

But you might not.

That is your choice.

Tell me in the comments what your decision is and how you’re going to start really pursuing your dream of personal and professional freedom, without having to quit your job right away.

What’s your game plan?

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My beautiful wife admiring Roma from the top of the Spanish Steps while our 1-year old sleeps.

What kind of remote streams of income could a person like me create?

“woman using her MacBook Pro inside white room” by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Excellent. Question.

There’s a certain hurdle that gets in the way of creating new steams of income.

You’re you.

You’re not me.

You’re not Tim Ferriss or some other genius online money creator.

And you’re definitely not anyone special.

At least, that’s how you think about yourself: No one would be interested in listening to what you have to say. No one would trust you enough to pay you for a product.

Here’s the good news, though: You’re wrong.

Here’s the bad news: You’ll have to think differently about yourself and how the world turns if you actually mean to make money on your own and travel the world.

How do you have to think differently, you ask?

One fundamental change…

NEVER think: “How does someone like me do this?”

Think: “How does this happen?”

Remove the actor from the sentence. If the thing you’re trying to do has already been done by someone else, then you can do it as well. End of story. Bye Felicia.

To prove to yourself that the remote stream of income you’re working to create is profitable and can change your life, go search online and find one example of someone else doing it.

That’s all the proof you need that the way you’re planning to make money is possible for you — someone else is doing it.

Still, knowing what to sell or how to make money in the first place is tricky.

Partly, because there’s sooooooo many options…

It gives you a good ol’ case of analysis paralysis.

Which is why you need set your very own quitting date for wahtever it is you choose to pursue (more on that in a minute). First, let’s talk about 3 remote income options at your wallet’s fingertips.

1. Amazon selling — anyone can do this

This is one of my favorites.


Because practically anyone can win at ecommerce. You don’t need any past experience, any unusual skills, or even — in some cases — any ability to advertise your own products.

Dropshipping on Amazon, for instance, is a beautiful, hands-off business model.

All you have to do is list products consistently (about 30 minutes a day once you get good at it) and buy products after your customers have already paid for them.

Which means there’s virtually no financial risk involved.

My wife and I do this and we’re currently making about $1,200 net profit per month with a commitment of about 30 minutes per day. We’re actually hiring a VA right now as well to scale that income.

And I would not recommend doing this without a coach. We used Katie Melissa’s course (← AFFILIATE LINK).

Now, I know that me being an affiliate probably makes my recommendation seem biased.

But it’s not…

When we bought her course, we paid $500 for it. We made that money back in profit in just two weeks. Our first month, we tripled our money and made $1,500.

And we didn’t do anything special – we just did everything she told us to do. Then, when we had questions (and you will have questions) she answered them quickly and completely.

Now, we’re making $1,000 extra per month that we wouldn’t have if we hadn’t bought her course. Honestly, this course is a steal for the price it’s at (I told her she needs to raise her price since we made our money back in just two weeks – that’s crazy).

And anyone can do it.

2. Freelance work — turn your existing skills into cold, hard cash

Have a skill that you could monetize?

Not sure?

Here’s a list of remote-work-capable skills that people in the business world are constantly trying to hire freelancers for (from my own experience).

  1. Writing sales copy
  2. Writing long-form blog content
  3. Video editing
  4. Photo editing
  5. Website design and creation
  6. Virtual Assistance — anyone with basic data entry skills and good communication could do this.
  7. Social media marketing
  8. Accounting
  9. Graphic design
  10. Video transcription — anyone with good english-speaking could do this.

Now, we have a few options if you want to go the freelancer route.

If you already have developed one of these skills, then the trick is finding clients.

To do that, reach out to your existing contacts and ask them if they know anyone who might need your service, or if they themselves do. Do this on Facebook, text message, email, Twitter, and LinkedIn…

I guarantee you’ll have your first client by the end of the week (if you don’t, consider the format below to get the ball rolling).

If you don’t have any of these skills, then consider the VA (Virtual Assistant) and video transcription ideas — practically anyone can do those jobs. You just need hustle and persistence.

Or you can spend the next few months developing one of the other skills…

Here’s a format for doing that…

  1. Read the top three bestselling books about that skillset — After that, you’ll know more about it than 90% of the population.
  2. Work for free — Find people that need your skillset. Tell them that you will work for free for two months since you’re still new. If, after two months, they aren’t pleased with your work, then you’ll go your seperate ways. If they are, though, then they will start paying you $X/hour. This is your opportunity to prove yourself and get your first client!
  3. Use your first few clients as case studies — Save the work you did or the results you pulled from the first clients you worked with. That way, when you’re trying to find new clients, you can prove yourself without working for free.

Before you know it, you’ll be knee-deep in remote work territory and you’ll start to establish yourself as the expert in your field. In time, clients will come looking for you and you’ll have to do less hunting yourself…

And you’ll be free to do more traveling.

3. Blog monetization — making money by writing

Monetizing a blog is a great way to create a new source of income…

But maybe not in the traditional way that you’re thinking about it.

When I say “blog monetization,” a lot of people think “ads.”

They assume that by publishing a blog, writing consistently, and running ads on their blog, they’ll start raking in remote cash.

The truth is, ads suck.

Using affiliate links or creating and selling your own products are two of the best ways to monetize a blog.

Here’s a high-level view of the process.

  1. Choose a niche — Decide what you’re going to be talking about. What do you know a lot about that other people don’t? What skills or knowledge do you have that other people would even pay you to learn?
  2. Build your audience — There are a lot of different ways to build your online following. For a blog, though, one of my personal favorites is to simply republish your content on Medium and LinkedIn and add in a “Subscribe to My Email List” CTA at the end of each article.
  3. Monetize — Either become an affiliate for products that will geniunely help your audience (ideally, stuff you’ve tried that worked for you) or create your own physical and/or informational product. This could be an e-book, course, consultation, guide, or something else.

Depending on how you set up your blog, you should be able to write once per week and watch your bank account continue to grow. It’ll take time, but do it right and the consistent payoff will be well worth the time you invested.

Especially when you’re lounging on the Amalfi Coast, sipping on Italian wine.

A quick note about quitting…

— — The importance of having a coach

— — Which is why you need set your very own quitting date for wahtever it is you choose to pursue (more on that in a minute)

I have no idea how to create remote streams of income. How do I get started?

That’s a great question. And it’s one that several of you wanted me to answer.

Honestly, though, that wasn’t a big surprise.

It’s kind of like learning a new skill, isn’t it? Take a skill you’ve learned recently as an example. Maybe it’s snowboarding or surfing, writing or painting. If there’s nothing recent you can think of, then just imagine back to when you learned a new skill at some point in your life.

It could be anything.


Riding a bike…

Writing a book…


Or getting on a consistent exercise plan.

Before you started any and/or all of these things, you had no idea how it was going to happen. Heck, you probably didn’t even know where to start. And you sure as hell couldn’t imagine being on the other side of it.

Now, you’re in the same position.

You know you want to create remote streams of income and you want to travel… but there’s so many variables, so many unknowns.

How can you make money online?

How can you ensure that that income is consistent and predictable?

How do you make enough money to support yourself and your family?

All of those unanswered questions can work wonders to paralyze you into inaction. So here’s your first step.

Don’t let them.


By finding your “why?”

And I know that sounds cliché, but stick with me.

Most people will tell you they know what they want in life, but 99% of people have no idea what they want. They simply like the thought of certain things. Ask them…

Would you like to travel more?

Would you like to create a remote stream of income?

Would you like to spend more time with your family?

Would you like to make more money at your job?

And they’ll say, “Yes, Yes, YES!”

But ask them exactly what they want in detail and they will probably say something to the effect of, “I would like to make more money and maybe get more PTO to travel and maybe learn to surf and spend more time with family.”

Those are all good desires…

But they are wayyyyyy too vague.

Here’s how you’re going to avoid being like 99% of people: Set REAL goals.

First, determine what you really want. Talk with your family, meditate, and read a good fiction book — do whatever it takes to figure out what. You. Want.

And make sure you’re ambitious and selfish.

Your ideal life: go — write down some notes right now of what that looks like.

Answer these questions: In your ideal life…

How much money do you make per month?

Where do you live?

How many months out of the year do you travel?

How many hours are you working every day?

What news skills that you’ve never taken the time to learn are you now an expert at?

Take a few minutes to really dream, to figure out what your ideal life looks like.

Then, iron those out into more defined goals.

Answer these two critical questions:

By what date do you plan to be living that ideal life?

How are you going to get there?

Then, add on a list of things you’ll need to do to stay positive and keep your energy up.

Goals are hard to keep, after all. And if you’re not healthy, it’s going to be even harder.

Here’s what all of this might look like.

My ideal life: I travel the world for one year with my family and, at the end of that, decide whether we want to keep traveling or settle down somewhere that we’ve been. During that time, I only have to work 2 hours every day to make $6,000 per month. I learn to surf, eat amazing food, and don’t have to worry about bills.

Accomplished by: August 15th, 2019

The game plan: Over the next year, I will work to create three streams of revenue that pay me $2,000 per month with only 10 collective hours of work per week.

This means: 1) I’ll work 2 hours every evening toward creating a new stream of income. 2) I’ll exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes to make sure I have energy and a healthy mindset. 3) I’ll only eat carbs on the weekends to avoid feeling bloated during the week.

Of course, this is just an example. Your “worksheet” might look very different. You might not even be interested in traveling the world, but just having a little extra money to travel more than you do now. Or maybe you just want a remote full-time job rather than your own streams of income.

Whatever it is, write it down and talk with your family members about it.

Get their input, too. Chances are, you’ll be traveling with them as well. So make sure everyone is on the same page.

This is the first step.

I know it might not be what you wanted to hear.

I can almost hear you saying, “But I just want to get started on creating a new stream of income!”

I know. I get it.

And I’m going to help you do that — there are TONS of different ways to make money online today.

For now, though, take a week to iron out your goals and determine exactly what it is that you want. Then you’ll be far more committed to building remote streams of income that support you while you travel, even when it gets hard.

And it is going to get hard.

But you’re going to be prepared. 🙂

You shall never see anything more adorable than a baby standing in the ocean of an island on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (Green Island).

From Ministry to Marketing: A Bizarre but Inspiring Journey

I remember sitting on the floor in November of 2016. My wife sits on the couch, listening to my rantings about why I want to quit ministry.

She says to me, “I think you’ve wanted to quit for a year. And you’re just now admitting it to yourself.”

She was right. After a close friend of mine accidentally (we think) drove off a cliff in April of 2016, my faith and all the things I thought I knew about myself plummeted with him.

Being the guy who speaks on Sundays about the importance of a sustaining faith and describes to people the hope found in God throughout the rest of the week, my positivity certainly wasn’t what it once was.

It was hard. But I thought I’d recover.

So I preached sermons, taught small-group Bible-Study, and did everything in my power to maintain the faith I thought I had — the faith that God is good, that death isn’t the end, that life isn’t meaningless, that I wasn’t alone.

Ya know? The thoughts that plague all of us and occasionally, keep us up at night: What happens after death? What’s the point of everything I’m doing? Is my life significant? Will I at least be remembered?

During the day, they fade. Probably because we’re busy. But at night, we just try to fall asleep fast.

After 4 full years of “fighting the good fight,” I was broken. I lacked direction, meaning, and a reason to wake up in the morning.

Laying on the floor, I said to Micaila (my wife), “But if I quit ministry, what will I do? It’s the only thing I know.”

She said, “I think you’d be really good at marketing.”

“Eh. Maybe,” I responded.

That December, I quit ministry and pursued content marketing — something I literally knew nothing about.

I reached out to everyone I knew in the marketing space. To start, that was two people: My father, the businessman. And long-time friend and content marketing genius, Aaron Orendorf.

From there, I reached out further and further, meeting loads of people in the marketing space, including Michaela Alexis, Jeremy Miller, Ulyses Osuna, Jeremy Ge, and Cherie Aimée.

Now, 7 months into content marketing, I write, I market, and I meet whoever I can.

If there’s one thing that ministry has to teach marketing, it’s that everyone is looking for a savior. As marketers, it’s our job to provide that savior.

And if marketing has anything to teach ministry, it’s that love, hope, and purpose don’t need to be found in a weekly service.

In the end, marketing isn’t all that different from ministry.

In content marketing, I provide real solutions for real people. In ministry, I provided hope to struggling people.

If ministry is measured by lives touched, hope given, and love spread, marketing might just be the most religious thing I’ve ever done.

The Steve Perry Guide to “Believin’” in Your Business (Even When You’ve Lost Faith)

He left for over a decade. Burnt out from the music industry, family tension, and an ill mother.

More significant than his departure, however, was his return. In Steve Perry’s case — the lead singer of Journey and recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — what appeared final, wasn’t. Still, for the man who adamantly sang “Don’t stop believin,’” that’s a long time to quit.

At times, we’re all tempted to give up. And some of us do. But losing faith can be the very thing that teaches us about the power of believing. In fact, Perry’s story contains four lessons on what it means to believe, even when you’ve already given up.

1. Be Flexible

Perry’s story was a mess of untimely deaths, debilitating burnout, and lost passion.

In 1977, he was set to become the singer for Alien Project, when a fatal car crash suddenly and permanently disbanded the group. Later that same year, Perry joined Journey and produced “Escape,” with hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Open Arms”, selling over 7 million copies.

In 1987, Perry’s mother fell ill and his love for singing diminished. Stubborn as ever, he rejoined Journey in 1996, but health problems soon plagued the singer and Journey continued on without him.

His 1994, Perry reemerged with “For the Love of Strange Medicine,” but never regained his past popularity. Until, just last month. Steve Perry reunited with journey to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In all of it, Perry’s story illustrates an important lesson. Rather than try to predict and control his journey, Perry embraced life and all its detours, relentlessly pursuing his passion, regardless of the obstacles. As he put it:

“One must learn from history so as not to repeat it, but one must not waste one’s energy or time worrying about what might have been.”

Rather than control the unknown, plan for it. Set aside daily time — an hour or two — with nothing scheduled, allowing you to embrace unexpected daily tasks.

Plan, and you’ll be flexible to change. Control, and you’ll be lost to it.

2. Don’t try to be cool

As a performer and musician, Perry has always been more interested in living meaningfully than being liked. In 2013, Jessica Radloff, a Glamour reporter, started their interview gushing at the seams, “You are the one person I’ve always wanted to meet and interview.”

Confounded, Perry responded, “I find that fascinating! I don’t understand that!”

Reflecting that same ethos but from the opposite direction, in response to an interview with GQ accusing his band of not being cool, Perry said,

“That’s right. We did get a little bit trendy in spots, we all occasionally got a bit funny with our dressing, but we did not follow the New Wave thing, or the punk thing. We didn’t go nowhere near the disco thing.”

For a man who has every right to consider himself cool, he doesn’t.

In a world awash with social media and gurus, the temptation to “be cool” is constant. And yet, there’s no better way to ensure that you won’t be cool than trying. Instead of following the crowd — mimicking the latest successful trends — listen to your heart.

What is the reason you became an entrepreneur? Success is distracting, but remembering why you started in the first place — your first love — is the path to becoming cool, without ever trying.

3. Accept conflict

Many entrepreneurs allow conflict to get in the way of greatness, forgetting that anything great will only be met with excessive opposition. The greater the goal, the more vehemently people will fight.

This is true externally. But it’s also true internally. As Perry says when asked about conflicts within his band, “Disagreements are part of life! Anything worth anything goes down the path of discussion, disagreement and greatness.”

Conflict is a part of life, art, and business, especially when done with passion. Don’t be discouraged by disagreement. Take it as a sign that you’re on the right path — one not travelled lightly.

When conflict arises, recognize the potential for growth. Encourage appropriate disagreement, let it flourish, and argue progressively. The more you do, the more polished your product, operations, and vision for a better world becomes.

Conflict is the natural path from mediocrity to greatness. Embrace it.

4. Don’t miss out on life

Success consumes. As any project flourishes, it demands more and more. More time. More energy. More attention. Ironically, only later do you realize that you enjoyed none of it. Business is only a means to an end. An end that allows you space to live.

Commenting on why he took such a long break from music, Perry says,

“My mother had passed away the year before and family stuff was going on, and I just didn’t want to miss life. There’s a whole thing called life, and it’s not just about the entertainment industry. There’s more to life than singing and touring.”

Stopping completely could be the answer. But maybe not. Recognizing that life isn’t just keyboards and cubicles is a step in the right direction. Whatever you do, take little moments — daily, monthly, yearly — to step away, spark your passion, and return when the time is right.

Losing faith is inevitable.

The question isn’t whether you’ll quit, it’s if you’ll return afterward. To prepare for giving up and coming back, plan flexibly, give up on being cool, embrace conflict, and don’t miss out on life.

The “journey” is long. Pace yourself.