Two interns and myself published made.men.com back in 2013. The archives of it can be seen on the wayback machine here.
Since that period I’ve had 6 other interns and 3 lookyloos living the dream here in Indonesia.
I’m going to repost my last post from made-men.com, but first I’ll detail some ways that my thinking has been evolving.
- I still want to set up a lifestyle/business oriented community. I’d like to build a brand around it, and that means that at least some of the people who come out are going to need to be able to boast of the great income that they are earning. Everyone should have opportunities to boast about the lifestyle and environment. We’ll set up a website where we can share videos and pictures of the life and money we create.
- I will want to set up compounds of bungalows in several different cities in different countries. The first compound of 5 luxury bungalows is in Bali, and we’ll make a 2nd larger compound here. Other cities to be considered could be Chiang Mai or Ko Chang in Thailand; Somewhere in the Philippines (preferably on the beach with good diving); Saigon Vietnam, Sophia in Bulgaria, Some place in Morocco, at least one place in Central or South America; and possibly locations in Japan and China. In common gathering areas we’ll have large screen TVs and cameras so that the common areas in each city can video conference.
- The interns will have the opportunity to travel and spend time living in the different cities. Some will choose to rotate between the cities, perhaps every five months. Travel makes the environment weird and fresh, which is a lifestyle improvement. I think it also will contribute to creative thinking and neurogenesis.
- It is possible for me to take any smart man off the street and guide him to creating a lucrative location independent business. I started off as a solo entrepreneur, so it was natural to think in terms of expanding on my original approach by having more of me doing more of similar things as I had been doing. But now I’ve changed my thinking and want to do much more than that. I want to set up lucrative organizations, and for that we need specialists. The bigger money is in organizations. There are no multi million dollar corporations with a staff of one.
- I’m going to have staff focused on outreach and marketing to attract men with education and experience in fields that we require help with. We will advertise to universities, on job boards, and possibly on entrepreneurial forums. This is a big change from the past where I would accept anyone who showed smarts who was willing to work. I’ll follow the corporate model more closely, and have positions to fill, such as video producer, copywriter, telephone sales marketer, lawyer, engineer, programmer, and so forth. There will still be some flexibility to allow talented men to learn a skill on the job if enough potential and drive is demonstrated.
- The work schedule and expectations will be in line with what “real” businesses have. The emphasis will shift from having a party while doing some work sometimes to working while having a party sometimes. See the first bullet point “some of the people who come out are going to need to be able to boast of the great income they are earning.” If the group culture is not one of taking the work seriously and bringing in the profit, the brand will have no value.
Here is my post from July 2013:
There are two fundamental ways to approach life satisfaction;
1) Lower your expectations, limit your desires, and be satisfied with the present moment.
2) Harness your ambition and work towards goals to realize pleasures that are currently unattainable.
People generally emphasize one approach or the other, and will associate with like minded fellows. In Japan the growing number of men who have opted to forgo ambition are called “grass eaters”. They will content themselves with making the minimum amount of money necessary, and many stay home and play video games, making no attempt to better their position or attract women. The status game is not one they want to compete in, and they take their pleasures from the low hanging, most easily attainable fruit. There are similar movements and crowds in the west.
Foregoing status and living the easy life can be good way to go – at least for a time, but bands of men who opt out can be seen to have a pity party mentality, and complain of not receiving as much respect and social perks as those who deliberately seek the respect that status brings.
It can feel good to have a community of peers who care about you and support you, when most of the worlds attitude to those who don’t impress is this:
But commiseration is only of minor use. Made-Men seek compatriots who add even further value to our lives. Sometimes that value is even in the form of criticism. We choose companions that add value to the team.
If guys who forgo the game required to build status, wealth and access to women are at one extreme, the other extreme would be guys who play the status game with tunnel vision, and are heavily motivated by getting gold stars on their life report cards for all to see.
We at Made Men see that there are many ways that we find fulfilment and happiness. Some of those ways are not the low hanging fruit. So we’ve decided to make a fun game out of the process of having as much of the good fruits of life accessible as possible.
It’s not just about the goal, it’s also about the process. We’ve designed a holistic system to make life as good as possible, in all possible ways. To that end we work and apply ourselves, apart and in a team. And we play and socialize in private and together. It’s fun and inspiring, and we get to watch our seeds and talents and resources and social connections grow and enrich our lives.
And we’re not afraid of being awesome. It’s true that being awesome arouses jealousy and contempt, and haters are going to hate. But we’ll take that risk and stand out. We’re about self development, and are mindful of the value of tactful displays of our hard earned skills and resources.
And furthermore we play to our strengths, maximizing our advantages and minimizing our weaknesses.
But happiness comes from many directions and has many flavors, so we’re careful to avoid tunnel vision. It’s not all about one goal, and the ends don’t justify the means. We have to enjoy our work, and be satisfied broadly.
So we don’t just aim for a distant financial freedom.
Alongside our work efforts we try to structure in group trips. Our last was a 5 week trip to Bali. The jungles of Borneo will be next, and on the agenda is China and Eastern Europe.
We’d like a varied, stimulating life. Some days will include being in places like these:
But broad goals are not what we are about. We are about realizing broad goals. To that end we must learn new skills, and apply them. Recently we’ve been learning about marketing.
We’re going to try our hand at viral marketing too
And we are always on the lookout for untapped markets.
Happiness also comes in the flavor of that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you help others. It’s therefore built into our system of thoughts and actions that our work should be of broad benefit. This will make us happy, to do good work. We put up a glass wall between ourselves and unethical ways to fulfill our desires.
But while we want to feel good through helping, we want to choose how we help by ourselves. We therefore take steps to avoid oversight of our private matters.
And while we recognize that a reality based view is the most pragmatic, we also see how our attitudes and perspectives can shift the direction of things.
It is for this reason we screen for positive, ambitious, cheerful and forward looking men. The best and the brightest. We are exclusive.
Being backed by a tribe is big all around plus. A tribe with shared interests a bigger plus. A tribe of guys who also self improve as a lifestyle choice helps each individual reach potentials he didn’t know he had. And these small changes in one area of self improvement that we pick up from our mates can bleed over into other areas.
They say “you are the average of your 5 closest friends”. But social life is only part of what makes up our influences. The environment we create for ourselves can have a big effect.
But making big changes to our environment is not a matter of just dreaming about it, or making good intentioned motions.
So we aren’t satisfied with “faking it until we make it”. We are not about creating an illusion around our selves and waiting for that to become something solid.
And it’s not enough just to have a dream and go for it. It’s important to have a mature, considered, realistic dream with broad all around long term benefits.
One of the benefits of working for a dream is the pleasure in doing so. The thrill of puzzling things out. The child-like enjoyment of playful creativity. Entrepreneurial-ism is a fun creative art.
We get to create cool things, and then share them for profit.
In becoming an effective entrepreneur one must harness a world of elements. Through small tasks we embrace big things.