Imagine your readers voting on which country you have to travel to and working from wherever you end up. What if your life revolves around experiences, writing, speaking and podcasting? This is a lifestyle many crave for but fear working towards.
Meet Colin Wright, a 33-year-old traveler, author, speaker, blogger and minimalist. He hosts a fascinating podcast called Let’s know things , runs a blog by the name Exile Lifestyle, cofounded Asymmetrical Press, an independent publishing company and author community along with The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
Here’s a quick Q&A into the psyche of this disruptive thought leader:
1. How challenging was it to sell everything, quit a thriving career and live out of a suitcase?
The greatest challenge was adjusting my perspective of what I was allowed to do, what was possible, what goals were the correct ones to aim for, and how I perceived myself and my metrics of success.
Once I’d worked through those, the practical realities of getting rid of my stuff, building a new business model, and learning to live with less was relatively simple!
2. You let your followers decide your journey! What’s the idea behind this?
Initially it was because I had never left the US, and decided that most other people in the world would have a better idea of where to go than I did.
Later, it became a useful way to get people to think about where they wanted to go, while also allowing me to randomize the selection process to include places I didn’t already know about and wouldn’t have thought to visit, myself.
3. What are some problems you faced during your stay in India? What were your takeaways?
There was a lot of of paperwork to fill out and get signed by various officials, and a lot of it was lost several times. I also found that getting from place to place could be an adventure, depending on the type and quality of infrastructure available. There are challenges anywhere, of course, but each place has a few that stand out in memory.
Most of my memories from my time in India revolve around trying to get things done and it taking a lot longer than I would have guessed, and trying to keep myself from eating too much food all the time—it was all just so delicious.
4. You briefly lived in Calcutta for a while and acted in a Bollywood commercial. How do you get to say ‘YES’ to such experiences?
I try to remind myself that I have exactly one life in which to do everything I’ll ever do. Thinking in those terms, I’d almost always prefer to do something interesting (if not always enjoyable) rather than something predictable and unmemorable. I like to have the chance to learn and try new things, even if the resulting experiences aren’t always pleasant or comfortable.
5. How has minimalism changed your approach towards life and consumerism?
I try to buy exactly the right things for me and my goals and preference, and no more than that.
As a consequence, I spend a lot less time, energy, and money on random things, and more on the things that are most important to me. And that tends to result in owning fewer, but better, things, overall.
I apply the same to the work I do, the way I spend my time, my relationships, and everything else. Less of the inessential and things that drain me or don’t make me happy and fulfilled, and more of the stuff that does.
6. What role can minimalism play in the world of entrepreneurship?
Focusing on what’s most vital is a great way to reduce expenses and apply a version of the 80/20 rule. It’s also a wonderful way to figure out what you, the person behind the business, actually want out of life, so you can spend your time, energy, and resources appropriately, rather than working toward goals that aren’t actually important to you, but which you’re told you’re supposed to care about.
7. What’s your motivation behind starting your podcast, ‘Lets Know Things’?
I wanted to put the news into broader context. Rather than just saying what happened and delivering some facts (which is very useful), I wanted to explain to people why they should care about these facts, and how they can influence our decisions, our broader view of the world, and things we’re hearing about in completely different industries, parts of the world, and so on.
8. “Less is more” is your approach towards life. How sustainable is this lifestyle in a capitalist world like ours?
It’s immensely sustainable! The unsustainable part is the compulsory consumption we tend to be told is the right way to do things.
There’s nothing in true capitalism that says ‘buy stupid stuff you don’t care about because a billboard told you to do so.’ If we buy more intentionally, we adjust the market to produce better, more effective and efficient things. That’s true capitalism at work, in a way that doesn’t destroy the planet while making us all unhappy because we’re pursuing cookie-cutter goals that don’t fulfill our own, personal, individual needs.
9. There is an observable wave of renewed consciousness across the world. What might have started this?
I think the internet and accompanying technologies have played a huge role in this. Yes, it’s easy to become distracted and saddened by what we see, and all the comparisons we make between ourselves and what we see elsewhere. But we’re also more aware of our potential, of others ways to live, of people who live in other countries and cultures—all of which contributes to our understanding of our context and possibilities.
10. Recommend three books for your Indian fans and followers.