GHS 21 Johnny FD (Taiwan) single most important business advice (Pt 3 of 3)

Johnny FD podcast taiwan

Johnny FD is a prominent digital nomad who has built up the digital nomad community and openly shares business advice and earnings. He has been featured on articles like Forbes and Business insider. In part 3 of 3 Johnny shares his single most important piece of advice for digital nomads.

Johnny’s website

Johnny Forbes article

Antony’s dropship lifestyle

Johnny on Business Insider

Nomad Coffee club facebook group

My Taiwan Digital nomad Guide

Hosted By Greg Hung chicvoyagetravel.com
Produced and edited by Greg Hung chicvoyageproductions.com
filmed at Maker Bar Taipei

Chiang Mai, digital nomad, johnny fd, maker bar, Taipei, Taiwan

Johnny FD is a prominent digital nomad who has built up the digital nomad community and openly shares business advice and earnings. He has been featured on articles like Forbes and Business insider. In part 2 of 3 from Taipei Taiwan we compare food and rent in Taiwan vs Chiang Mai, food airlines in Asia, banking, and his business. The real gem comes at the end of this epsiode when Johnny talks about the abundance mindset.

Johnny’s website

Johnny Forbes article

Antony’s dropship lifestyle

Johnny on Business Insider

Nomad Coffee club facebook group

My Taiwan Digital nomad Guide

Hosted By Greg Hung chicvoyagetravel.com
Produced and edited by Greg Hung chicvoyageproductions.com
filmed at Maker Bar Taipei

Chiang Mai, digital nomad, johnny fd, maker bar, Taipei, Taiwan

GHS 20 Johnny FD (Taiwan) on food, business, & abundance mindset

Taiwan digital nomad

Johnny FD is a prominent digital nomad who has built up the digital nomad community and openly shares business advice and earnings. He has been featured on articles like Forbes and Business insider. In part 2 of 3 from Taipei Taiwan we compare food and rent in Taiwan vs Chiang Mai, food airlines in Asia, banking, and his business. The real gem comes at the end of this epsiode when Johnny talks about the abundance mindset.

Johnny’s website

Johnny Forbes article

Antony’s dropship lifestyle

Johnny on Business Insider

Nomad Coffee club facebook group

My Taiwan Digital nomad Guide

Hosted By Greg Hung chicvoyagetravel.com
Produced and edited by Greg Hung chicvoyageproductions.com
filmed at Maker Bar Taipei

Chiang Mai, digital nomad, johnny fd, maker bar, Taipei, Taiwan

GHS 19 Johnny FD on Taiwan vs Chiang Mai digital nomad lifestyle (PT 1 of 3)

Taiwan working holiday

Johnny FD is a prominent digital nomad building community and sharing business advice. He has been featured on articles on forbes and business insider. I discovered Johnny through his many youtube videos about Chiang Mai. Learn about Johnny and his journey, business, and thoughts on living in Taiwan Vs Chiang Mai as a digital nomad

Johnny’s website

Nomad Coffee club facebook group

My Taiwan Digital nomad guide
Hosted By Greg Hung chicvoyagetravel.com
Produced and edited by Greg Hung chicvoyageproductions.com
filmed at Maker Bar Taipei

#17 @NigelFish – Running man & Vancouver Digital Nomad

Vancouver digital nomads

Nigel Fish is a Canadian running junkie and location independent developer junkie that is living a pimp downtown lifestyle in Vancouver. He lived and ran in Asian cities such as Taipei, Siem riep, and Chiang mai. He is also the man who introduced me to the Digital nomad scene that eventually led to me to relocating to Thailand. We got together in downtown Vancouver to discuss running in Asia, dating in Asia compared to Vancouver, and even really good tips for digital nomads in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver digital nomads

In this episode you will learn:

  • Running tips while living abroad in Asia (Taipei, Bangkok, Chiang Mai)
  • Digital nomad Canadian customs experiences
  • Dating in Vancouver compared with Asia
  • Tips for being a digital nomad in Vancouver
  • Where to record a podcast for free in Vancouver

Links

Nigel’s Scirunner Podcast Page and Blog

Twitter @nigelfish

 

GHS 12 – Taiwan Working Holiday Pt 1

Johnny FD podcast taiwan

In this episode of the Greg Hung show I take a shift from the video world  to focus on travel and life in Taiwan. I used a working holiday visa to live in Taipei , study chinese, teach english and continue working on my video business. Later I came up with the idea for an ebook called  “Waiguoren” (外國人) The Taiwan working Holiday. The book was to be a compilation of stories about my 2.5 years living in Taiwan.

Taiwan working holiday

Some highlights of what you’ll hear in this podcast.

  • Good places to live in Taipei
  • Good destinations to travel to in Taiwan
  • Relationships and the dating scene  in Taiwan
  • Breakdown of local areas and what to do there
  • Good eats in Taipei. Yes it’s all about the food

Taiwan Digital nomad guide

The Taiwan Digital nomad guide is designed for digital nomads or on-line workers that are interested in working and living abroad in Taiwan. I’m a Canadian that visited Taiwan in 2012 for a wedding. I returned in 2013 for a 1 year working holiday and ended up living there for almost 2.5 years. Taiwan is a gem in asia that often gets overlooked for Thailand and Indonesia. There are many benefits to Taiwan like generous tour visas.

Taiwan Digital nomad guide
The digital nomad in Taiwan guide

Here are chapters in the guide

Why is Taiwan a great place to be a digital nomad (air, water, food, safety, rent etc

Visas

Sample monthly/daily living costs

How to rent an apartment and where to stay

Where to work

How to meet other entrepreneurs/friends

Survival Chinese

Where to go relax and exercise

Getting a sim card

Getting around

Greg’s favorite eats

Where to go to relax and exercise in Taipei, Taiwan

Where to go to relax and exercise in Taipei, Taiwan

If you are living in Taiwan and want to know where to go to relax and exercise in Taipei, Taiwan I got you covered. This article is targeted at the digital nomad on-line workers. I’ve met younger guys in their twenties that drink a lot, but don’t seem to exercise that much. As someone in my late thirties with a Dad constantly reminded me to take care of my health I’ve taken a healthy lifestyle to heart wherever I go. This includes exercise and eating healthy. I’m not a perfect role model by any means, but I believe I live a balanced lifestyle.

My first 6 months spent in Taipei were at the National Taiwan Normal University more commonly referred to by locals as “Shida”. If you are a student at the school you can purchase a monthly pass for 500nt. The gym offers free weights and some machines. There are limited hours for the gym, but the price is cheap and if you are studying it is a good option. The gym is located almost across the street from the Chinese school in the basement.

 Public sports centers

Where to go to relax and exercise in Taipei, Taiwan
The weightroom at the Zhongshan sports centers are modern, clean , and have good equipment

These are the equivalent of community sports centers back in Canada except you don’t need any membership. There are numerous sports centers throughout Taipei, but not are equal. The sports centers offer a pretty modern gym with most of the free weights and machines that you need. Depending on the sports center they may offer additional facilities like swimming pools, full-size gyms, or even yoga classes. To use the weight rooms cost 50nt and they all enforce a strict one-hour policy and mandatory towel. It’s amazing how productive you can be with a paid time constraint. All these sports centers offer free water and free and paid lockers. They even offer a weight machine and high tech blood pressure machine.

My favorite gym was Songshan sports center (臺北松山運動中心) located at the Taipei Arena MRT. They have a large but busy weight room. They have punch bags that I loved to use for a cardio workout as well as a stress outlet. Songshan sports center also has a running track outside that can be seen from the weight room’s patio. I also loved that there is an Olympic sized running track 1-minute walk away. You are also minutes away from the local hip area of Dunhua Sogo area and plenty of good eats. They have a swimming pool at this center although they strictly enforce that men wear tight speedos and hair caps. Even if you wanted to wear these speedos they are not cheap. One of my favorite places to work is also near here. They serve good coffee have comfortable seating and good desks with reliable Wi-Fi. I‘ll talk more about places to work in my digital nomad guide.

Zhongshan sports center (臺北市中山運動中心) located a 5 minute walk from the Zhongshan MRT is also one of my favorites. Located in a trendy area with good eats the gym is a little quieter, smaller, and harder to find. What I like about the Zhongshan gym is that is has a pretty good swimming pool and spa facility. I used to make a long journey to the Da-an sports center just to use their pool, steam room, and water massage machines. Zhongshan offers all these facilities and is usually not as busy. Best of all you can use this pool with western style swim-shorts.

Running tracks & trails

If the gym is not your thing Taipei have plenty of good and free options for you to run. As previously mentioned I think the Taipei arena at Songshan is a good option. In addition to the sports center just beside the center there are 2 cushioned running tracks. One is smaller and the other is an Olympic sized arena. I loved running in the Olympic area. It is a cushioned track with water machines and bathrooms. The stadium also filters out a lot of the city noise and wind. It closes at 10pm

Other running options and basketball

Where to go to relax and exercise in Taipei, Taiwan
The bike trail to Beitou

You can also run around Da-an Park and on the trails. Even though this is the largest park in Taipei there is a lot of people and bicycle traffic to compete with. There are many bike paths on the city outskirts by the riverside that are also quieter and serene.

There are many schools throughout Taipei with basketball courts and tracks. After school is finished (usually by 5pm) the public can use the facilities. The Taiwanese are crazy about basketball, so it should be easy to find a pickup game.

 Tennis

Being a formerly ranked competitive junior tennis player I became a pretty decent player and brought my tennis rackets with me to Taiwan. There are courts near the Dajia riverside and Guting Riverside Park with lights. It’s difficult to get to these areas if you don’t have a motorbike or bicycle. Even if you do make it there you need someone that is at a similar level. I was lucky to meet a Taiwanese girl through a site called Tennis tonic in Singapore who introduced me to some Taiwan friends that were good players. Once you find one good partner its not a bad idea to challenge other good pairs to doubles and expand your network.

 Biking

Where to go to relax and exercise in Taipei, Taiwan
ubike’s a great to ride for practical or exercise purposes

Biking can be a good way to get exercise in Taipei. New Taipei city tends to have smaller and crowded sidewalks. You can buy a bike or if you have an easy card you can easily rent a U-bike. An easy card is the public metro value card. The rate is 10nt for every 30 minutes for the first 4 hours. Once you’ve registered you just tap your card at the many bike stations throughout the city. Once you tap out it automatically deducts the value. You don’t need a helmet, but perhaps it is a good idea to wear one if you are riding in the city. The app lets you know where the bike stations are in the city as well as how many bikes are available. My favorite rides were along the dajia riverside where you get a nice view and it’s peaceful. If you want a nice long ride go from Yuanshan Park to beitou, but just be warned that there isn’t u-bike park stations there. For specific map routes and pictures you can see my digital nomad guide.

Hiking

Where to go to relax and exercise in Taipei, Taiwan
Enjoying some exercise and the view of Taipei from elephant mountain

Taiwan has many hiking routes. I’m not a regular hiker, but when I do I always recommend going up to the Elephant mountain trail (象山). There are no elephants here, but this is a well-paved 30-minute one way-walking trail that offers the best view of Taipei 101 and the downtown area. Lucky you the city recently built an MRT station (象山 Xiangshan in Chinese or Elephant mountain) a 5-minute away from the start of the trail. Bring a camera, water, towel, and maybe some beers to celebrate at top around sunset.

 Relax

I’m sure by the time you read this you would have heard about the Beitou hot springs located in new Beitou. The cheaper hotspring which is called Millenium is more backpacker style with a senior crowd and coin operated hot showers. The nicer hot springs are at the nice hotels, which are more expensive and require you to go nude with the same sex.

My favorite spot to relax and meditate was at the pool at Da-an sports center. I would use the spa area to water massages at the many machines. For about 110nt you can use the pool. I think it was either 3 hours or unlimited. Either way it is long enough to enjoy the water-bed and steam room.

The Dharma Drum center is a Buddhist organized offering foreigners free meditation classes in English. Don’t worry you don’t need to be Buddhist, but I recommend you try to respectful of the their beliefs and listen to the monk or instructor and you will be fine. The main center is near Taipei main and ximending MRT and classes are usually half day. I enjoyed just doing some light stretches and guided meditation in a group setting. It is very relaxing and a chance to work on your meditation in a comfortable environment.

IMG_1685
Enjoying some redpoint beer in Daan park. Yes you can drink beer or wine in the park just clean it up after and don’t cause chaos

I will mention a secret and quiet beach area in Taipei. It has almost nothing there, not many people and very peaceful. My ex-girlfriend introduced it to me and we had a beautiful day on the beach. Since it is past Tamsui you can head there after for a nice drink at sunset.

Taiwan is a convenient city and you can easily find many clean parks in your neighborhood with benches and pagoda’s. One of my favorite things to do was get some lunch and city at the park and watch the kids play at the playground. You can easily loose your thoughts and relax in the park.

Chiang Mai and Taipei Digital Nomad lifestyle

Johnny FD taiwan digital nomad

Chiang Mai and Taipei Digital Nomad lifestyle

IMG_4517
Greg Hung. SFU MBA Ex IT manager from Vancouver. Aerial Video producer and Digital Nomad in Taiwan learning Mandarin

In this 4 part video series I’m going to chat with Johnny FD about Chiang Mai and Taipei digital nomad lifestyle. If you read the current blogs on the web in 2015 and recent years there seems to be a consensus that Chiang Mai is the digital nomad capital of the world. Some of the factors include the low cost of living, weather, great food, and large digital nomad community. Taipei offers most of these benefits as well to varying degrees including friendlier visa policies. After my interview I came to the conclusion that the largest difference between the two was the lack of a digital nomad community.

My research about the Chiang Mai lifestyle led to me finding Johnny FD, and American who came to Chiang Mai and built his new life and business.

As March and April are the 2 months to avoid Chiang Mai I managed to connect with him during his visit to Taipei for a 4-part series video interview filmed at the Maker Bar.

I will be traveling to Chiang Mai during April/May 2015 to sample the lifestyle first-hand in Chiang Mai.

In the interview some of what you will learn are:

• Drop-shipping business model
• Cost of living prices of Chiang Mai and Taipei for apartments and foods
• Comparing Taipei and Chiang Mai as ideal destinations for digital nomads
• Where to get cheap flights from Chiang Mai to Taipei
• Food tips in Taipei and Chiang Mai
• Talking about co-working spaces in Taipei and Chiang Mai
• Visa-runs in Chiang Mai and Taipei

Please sign up to receive links to the 3rd and 4th videos as well as great footage and posts on Chiang Mai after my visit.

Resources for Chiang Mai and Taipei Digital Nomad lifestyle

Johnny FD – Our special guests shares his stories, income-reports, co-working space videos, and apartment tours

Neverendingvoyage – A detailed article on Chiang Mai written by a nomadic couple

Sebastian Johnsson – A recent and in depth, but well organized article

Taipei Digital nomad lifestyle – I breakdown the pro’s and cons and cost of living in detail for how to live in Taipei for under about $1000US

How I built an Internet business without a large audience

IMG_4517
Greg Hung. SFU MBA  Ex IT manager from Vancouver. Aerial Video producer and Digital Nomad in Taiwan learning Mandarin

How I built an Internet business without a large audience

I studied Chinese until the end of February and then took time to work on my business. I started teaching English in Taiwan during this period to give me more time to figure it out. During this time I discovered Internet Entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn that were providing the motivation and advice that I was looking for as an Internet Entrepreneur. For me this was a huge to realize there were like-minded people that were sharing great advice that I can relate to. The problem was that they encouraged the growth of an email list or an audience. I only began to set up my site to do this last month. I took stock of my audience across platforms.

General Vancouver mail list ~ 1000

Chicvoyage travel Email list: < 50

ghung twitter 110 followers

chicvoyage twitter 67

chicvoyage youtube 136 subscribers

chicvoyage fbook 261 likes

google plus chic 11

pininterest 19 followers

I know these are low numbers, but I still managed to build an Internet business . How did I do it? I used platforms and marketplaces with a built-in audience. Pond 5 is a market place where contributors can license their video clips off the Internet. Graphic design firms or media agencies can come here to purchase video clips for their video projects. Teaching platforms like Udemy are a place for students to come to learn from independent teachers that are teaching anything from IT certifications to yoga. How did I fare on these platforms and marketplaces. Well read on…


One of many video clips I have licensed over the Internet. This one was shot at the Kruger National Park in South Africa

In July 2014 I began to have some success licensing my videos over the Internet. The industry term for this is called Stock Footage. With Stock Footage I consistently reached $500 US (622 CDN) a month. In July I also discovered teaching courses on-line in September and that also become a regular income stream contributing about $100 US (124 CDN) monthly. In Canada this may not seem like that much, but in Taiwan living costs are cheaper, and because of better public transport there is no need for a car. It was motivating to begin to earn my income off the Internet passively and I began to think there may more a lot more potential here.

In September I had 2 video courses, and released a 3rd in October. In December I released a 4th course before going to Vancouver. Writing on Amazon kindle books also became a new revenue stream as well as a outlet to write about my personal travel journey’s. I released 4 books on New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa with the Taiwan Working Holiday in the works.

How I built an Internet business in without a large audience
I began to teach courses on-line like this one

At the end of the year I spent time to film new footage in Vancouver and make upgrades to my websites with a goal of building an audience. The Chicvoyage Travel will focus on Internet entrepreneurship, travel and the Digital Nomad lifestyle in Asia from a North American perspective. Chicvoyage Productions will focus on showcasing my video portfolio, how-to tutorials, and to showcase the stock footage collection. I also did my first paid talk in Vancouver as well as some Entrepreneur interviews and realized I really enjoy doing this and would like to do more of it.

How I built an Internet business in without a large audience
my old downtown apartment in Vancouver 2011

These years of being an Entrepreneur has been a humbling journey.  I lived a good life by Vancouver standards. I had a good job, downtown apartment, and a nice car. I now live a more simpler life, but still good lifestyle in Taiwan. After returning to Vancouver it was great to see my family and old friends after my longest time away from home. However I felt I must return to Taiwan and Asia to accomplish my goals. I want to learn Mandarin Chinese and build my Internet business.

How I built an Internet business in without a large audience
My simpler convenient apartment in Taipei Taiwan

 

How I built an Internet business without a large audience
2014 milestones as a digital nomad

Summarizing 2014

Going into 2015 the plan is to scale what I’ve done on a larger scale. I realized that I scrambled and hustled to get things done at the expense of quality. I would like to put more time into fewer things in 2015 and focus on providing better quality products. Here is a snapshot of my passive Internet Income.

Lessons learned in 2014

    • I should start focusing on building my own audience on my blogs
    • Although my Chinese is not fluent conversational yet, I made a large improvement in my Mandarin Chinese in terms of speaking, reading, and typing
    • I reached a new level of confidence and independence from being able to build a new life in a new Chinese speaking country on my own
    • I discovered people I can learn from on the Internet through useful blogs and podcasts from other Entrepreneurs
    • I made an Internet business in 2014 without a large audience that has room to grow!
    • Because Internet business allows you to reach overseas customers from a lower cost country this could allow me to combine with the best of both worlds. Earning American money from a low cost environment.

Resources mentioned in this article

(some of these are referral links where I may make an affiliate fee for clicking on them. Thanks)
Pat Flynn – success Internet Entrepreneur and coaching and teaching many on the Internet
Udemy – learn from instructors on the Internet
Skillfeed – One of the 2 platforms I teach to earn an income on
Shutterstock – one of the sites that earns me an income licensing my video clips on their marketplace
Pond 5- one of the sites that earns me an income licensing my video clips on their marketplace

Meditate for business success like Russell Simmons in Taiwan

Meditate for business success like Russell Simmons in Taiwan

meditate for business success
One of the other Dharma drum temples

Do you meditate or have you thought about meditating for business or personal reasons? Is it all wishy washy, foo foo, or fluffy stuff. In this article I’m going to explore how to meditate for business success like Russell Simmons. I’m going to share the experience of my full-day meditation and what tell you what I think meditation can do for you as a digital nomad and entrepreneur.

I’m a strong believer in a balanced life as an entrepreneur. Although my friends may think I enjoy going out socializing for drinks, which I do. I also try to strive for balance in terms of health and spirituality. I believe as an entrepreneur it is important to have a balanced and healthy life, and to try to evolve as a person.

Recently my friend Serena convinced me to attend a one-day meditation retreat in Taipei. She observed that I had too many things on the go (which I do), and I was making poor decisions and mistakes. I think in today’s world with smart-phones, email, instant messaging, multi-tasking, multi-tabs, and multi-social media platforms I think this is normal life. I think we are surrounded by distractions that sadly I surround myself with. Being an entrepreneur that spends a lot of time checking my phone with multiple Firefox sessions with over numerous tabs open I felt that I could use a digital detox and give my mind a vacation.

meditate for business success
A familiar pose for most people? Could meditation be the cure

I’ve flirted with meditation during my days working out in the Steve Nash gym in Vancouver. They had a meditation class that I would attend and even the Yoga classes would dedicate some time to meditation. I enjoyed these classes, but these were shorter sessions. Serena introduced me to the Dharma Drum Mountain group in Taipei. They offered free half-day meditation sessions, which I tried once. It was a good experience, but I found myself falling asleep a lot and didn’t get much out of it.

I decided to skip a Friday night out drinking and get some decent sleep. This retreat was scheduled for 9am on a Saturday in the North of Taipei near Qiyan MRT。A group of 24 of us were led to a large modern temple. As I looked at the schedule I was expecting a 3-hour commitment, but saw this was going to a 9am – 5pm affair. “I don’t do this this often, but I should. I’m here so I might as well make the most of it.” I thought. Besides they offered a free vegetarian lunch.

 

meditate for business success
exterior of the building

We went to the grand hall. A large impressive space and what appeared to be a large Buddhist statue with 24 meditation mats facing it. The décor was impressive on each side of the statue. I think there about 2000 mini illuminated Buddhist statues.   The meditation mat had a firm round cushion and we were given a towel. We were forbidden to use cell-phones, talk, or wear shoes inside. It was quite a structured day. For example, right side for men and left side for women.

The master was dressed like a monk and she gently spoke on the microphone to instruct us in English. We started the first meditation session. I crossed my legs, closed my eyes, with hands facing upwards resting on my knees. I was ready to reach my blissful state. There was no “ohming” or yoga music. Just silence. At first I was worried I was going to get bored just sitting there for 8 hours. Being in this space with these 23 other people put me in the right mindset to take this seriously. The master told us to get comfortable “not to get attached to the wandering thoughts” to “put them down”. We were here to let go of the garbage in our minds. Sounded purifying to me. It was very quiet and still except for the occasional scooter sounds outside. As I closed my eyes my mind started to wander from thing to thing. Constantly I would just try to blank out my mind. Think nothing. Simple. “Be still” I told myself. I think the session was about an hour. Surprisingly the time passed very fast. I actually got 6 hours of sleep the night before unlike the others so I would only sleep for short periods during the hour meditation.

meditate for business success
The meditation hall

We had 3 of these sessions throughout the day. The interesting thing was that various thoughts would pop in my mind during the day. Some of them were creative ones or solutions to problems that I had. I didn’t want to loose them. Since the goal was to put the thoughts down I would imagine I had a mental version of Evernote and park these ideas in my mind for later. We ended each session with light self-massage and stretching.

I’ll share one example of a creative idea or solution that I put into action.

Connect laptop to my 32-inch LCD TV.

IMG_0075
Before: working off the 15 inch screen
Implemented the idea from meditation
An idea during meditation to use the LCD tv with my laptop

I have been working from my apartment a lot lately. Since I work on a 15-inch laptop screen I’ve been interested in saving up to purchase a larger LCD screen. Having already window-shopped for monitors I know they start out at 5000nt or $157 US. I just don’t think it’s a priority at this point so I didn’t do it yet. Besides if I were to travel more buying more this wouldn’t be able to go with me. During the meditation I envisioned my work desk with the laptop connected to my 30 inch LCD TV screen. Brilliant I thought. This would be making good use of the resources I already had. When I got home I relocated my work desk in front of the TV and moved the coffee table. My gosh! the desk was the perfect height to use the TV as my external monitor for my laptop. This is going to make reading and working on the laptop so much enjoyable for my eyes. I had a couple of other ideas throughout the day that I’m looking forward to putting into action. It was an AHA moment to get a creative idea from meditation, do it and have it work out!

I thought this excerpt from Successful Hip Hop Entrepreneur Russell Simmons Entrepreneur.com’s article was spot on.

When you sit quietly and let your mind settle, all the innovative, inventive and inspired ideas that have been hiding out in the depths of your mind are going to begin to bubble to the surface.

We did other interesting type of meditations. We did a walking meditation where we walked slowly and in a clockwise direction. We meditated with out eyes open. We were reminded to adopt a feeling of gratefulness. We should be grateful that we are healthy enough to walk. I think gratuity is a great mindset to adopt. Instead of trying to think of things that we don’t have we can be thankful for the things we already have, but take for granted.

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The atrium of the meditation building

 

The lunch meditation was interesting. Women and men were separated across the dining hall facing each other. Men sat side-by-side as did the women. No talking was allowed and we were instructed to focus on chewing our food 30 times to enjoy it. This was an interesting experience. Usually when eating food I’m talking to someone or if I’m eating on my own I study Chinese or use my phone. This exercise forced me to focus on enjoying the food. “How voluptuous, big, and juicy the mushroom looked” I thought. It tasted great btw. How green and perfectly shaped the green beans were cooked an opened so I could see the beans. I don’t see any business application to this exercise, but I think it is good to be aware of what you are eating.

 

We also went outside to do what was called a direct contemplation. We stopped at a park area and were asked by the master to look at something in the park. Furthermore, we were asked to ignore distractions such as noise and avoid labeling the first things that would come to mind. For example, when I was staring at a lake I was supposed to stare at it, but not think of it as a thing called “a lake”. I think through practice this exercise could help to train your mind not to make quick judgments on things you see.

We wrapped up by sitting in a circle and sharing our thoughts about the day. Some people re-iterated the importance of getting the body comfortable to allow the mind to settle. One person spoke about how sore his leg was that it distracted him from concentrating on the remaining meditations. My legs would get sore so I would alternate once them once in a while to avoid getting them numb. Many people found the direct contemplation interesting because actually looking at something rather than closing their eyes allowed them to avoid wandering thoughts better.

meditate for business success
A view from the balcony of a nice small lake we got to enjoy during our break

 

Overall, with my experience and after reading Russell’s article I believe that there is value of regular meditation. I used to use a nap as my poor excuse for meditation. It is different. In meditation are you still in wakeful state to control your thoughts although you can sometimes drift into a sleep during meditation. The master mentioned that during meditation we learn about ourselves in that we learn what thoughts we might be attached to. She mentioned that we were trying to get to place where we could become unattached. I think there is some parallel if you read Russell’s explaination about how we get caught up in the highs and lows of our professional lives. We try to celebrate the big successes and throw parties and become depressed when we fail. He refers to neither reaction as sustainable as the journey of an entrepreneur will have it’s high and lows. He suggests focusing on the process of work and “not the fruit of our labor.”

I believe that we can learn a lot about ourselves through meditation and in my early experiences of meditation I see it as a way to exercise and control our mind and our mindset. If we can train our mind to be still and reap the ideas that are submerged in the depths of our mind we can unlock great creativity within ourselves.

Personally I don’t think I need an 8-hour 1-day or 1 week retreat, but the goal for myself in 2015 will be to try to make time to do meditation and do it consistently. All the talk of “being still “reminded me of Oprah, arguably the most influential women in the world. Specifically in her Stanford graduation ceremony address I remember Oprah encourages us to take time to “get still” and slow down and listen to our feelings. Could it be that Oprah’s “stillness” prescription and meditation are similar allowing us to literally “tap into our inner power” and reach our business success? Is meditation one of the missing keys I need for business success in 2015?

meditate for business success
I’ll try to mediate for consistently to try reach business success

I’m not sure, but one of the things I am good at is taking action on ideas. The challenge will be to do it consistently. For a digital nomad I’m sure you deal with numerous distractions working on the Internet and your smartphone. You also deal with a lot of change as a result of adapting and living in a new country. I can see how meditation can help you reserve time to help solve your own business problems. It’s also great for learning more about yourself and relaxing your mind. I think the idea of remaining unattached from successful and failures may be something great to strive for; however I do love the thrill of getting a sale from my own products. Perhaps for now this is something for me just to keep in mind.

Stay tuned. What have your experiences being with meditation as it relates to business?

Related links

Dharma Drum

Russell Simon’s Entrepreneur article on meditation