Social Good

My Biggest Failure

Many of you have been asking for more practical how-to make money content and more of my personal stories. I’m going to combine both of those topics by sharing some of the projects I’m working on.The best starting point for that discussion is the biggest business failure of my life.

How to Not Succeed at Business

I wasted many tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of work on a project that never went anywhere. Certainly there were problems with execution, but the main reason was that I tried to tackle a monumental project, while running a full-time business at the same time and I just burned out.

ABCfrog

My Biggest Failure

Here is it is. My biggest failure is ABCfrog.com. It’s a children’s educational platform to teach English to non-native English speakers. I have a full learning platform developed in ASP.NET, about 20 game engines that can be repurposed for various language targets with multi-language support built in, hundreds of professionally illustrated images including a great logo and character. This represents thousands of hours of work from dozens of outsourced professionals over the years.

It’s not my biggest failure just because of the amount of money and …

A Not So Merry Christmas

Christmas in ThailandFor hundreds of millions around the world, Christmas is the most important holiday of the year. It’s a cherished time to spend with family and friends enjoying great food, drinks and abundant consumer goods. For billions of others around the world, Christmas is not so merry.

Poverty and abuse in other parts of the world don’t really matter, as long as we have our oversized houses, gas-guzzling SUVs and an over-abundance of goods produced in factories on the other side of the planet.

Life is Damn Good.. if you are one of the Haves.

If you’re reading this post, your life is pretty damn good. You are in the top 10% of the wealthiest people on this planet. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how lucky we are.

All the opportunities I’ve had in my life were because I was fortunate to be born in a wealthy country. That only happend because my great grandparents, on my mother’s side, and my father escaped communist Eastern Europe for a better life.  If I were born in Haiti, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, North Korea or most countries in Africa, my life wouldn’t be so good.

You Are What You Buy

We don’t really …

When Capitalism Stops Working and Traffic Jams in Thailand

Free market capitalism has done a pretty good job of improving our quality of life. Compared to the alternatives, there really is no comparison, however, it also breaks down after a certain point. Individuals acting in their own self-interest create a big mess where everyone ends up worse off.

Bangkok Traffic Jam

Chiang Mai Traffic Jam

The other day, I was riding in a taxi truck in Chiang Mai, Thailand when a thunderstorm knocked out the electricity and traffic lights. At a major intersection, traffic from all directions got all jammed together in the middle because everyone was trying to push forward. All the cars trying to squeeze ahead without yielding to others, prevented everyone from moving ahead. We were stuck. This was a prime example of how Adam Smith’s Invisible hand doesn’t always work. When everybody gets greedy, most end of up suffering.

When Breaking the Rules is Good

Make no mistake, acting selfishly does accomplish a lot. In a city like Bangkok, if everyone strictly obeyed traffic signals and laws, I have no doubt the city would grind to a halt, even worse than the normal traffic patterns. The chaos of motorcycles, Tuk Tuks, cars and every other form of transportation …

Interview with Travel Blogger, Author, Volunteer and SEO Consultant – Shannon O’Donnell

In this interview, Shannon O’Donnell, author of The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook offers some great advice for those looking to do good on their journeys. Shannon funds her travels as a SEO consultant and more recently as a travel speaker. She also talks about her annual travel costs, homeschooling, SEO freelancing, and more in this monster interview. Enjoy!

Please tell us about yourself?

I am a rarity in the United States in that I am a native, born-and-raised Floridian—I grew up in St. Petersburg and lived there until I left for college, at which point I moved about two hours north to attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando. When I entered college I decided to pick a “useful” major rather than my passion, so my degree is in Advertising and Public Relations but I used my four-year scholarship to take advantage of all the acting, theatre, and foreign language classes I could also fit into my schedule.

After graduation, I immediately moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, and it’s at that time that I began to learn about SEO and started consulting and writing on the internet. Those early years when I lived in LA, I …

Making a Difference in Bangkok – Interview with Dwight Turner

It’s easy for a new university graduate to go abroad and spend all their free time partying and socializing. That’s what I did when I first moved abroad. There is so much to see and do in a foreign country that it’s easy to get caught up in an exciting new lifestyle. Then there are people like Dwight Turner, who realize that they have the power to make a meaningful difference in the world. Dwight is the perfect example of what I call a JetSetCitizen. In Bangkok, Dwight ended up creating his own non-profit that helps refugees in Bangkok which he runs in his free-time. He dedicates countless hours of his time with no salary to providing food, housing and education for 13 families who would be other be subject to prison and other depravities in Thailand. We need more Dwight Turners in the world. I hope you get inspired to take action from this interview. It would be great to get some more donations to Dwight’s charity.

Dwight Turner Bangkok

How did you end up in Bangkok?

Basically, I studied intercultural communication at the State University of Sacramento. I really loved it and had great professors. One of them, an associate …

The Biggest Difference – My Most Important Blog Post Ever

Writing this blog post, and taking on this challenge was difficult for me. What if I fail? What if no one cares? It’s difficult to take risks and challenge ourselves but that is precisely why I need to do this. I hope you read to the end.

Before you continue please take a moment to share this blog post on your favorite social media sites with the icons on the left.

Make a Difference

What is the most effective investment you can make you improve the lives of others? Whether you give $5 or $500, what donation will have the greatest impact on the world?

I know we are all inundated with requests to donate, but not all causes are equal and that is a very important consideration. It’s a very complex issue, and people give for different reasons, but if you are donating your hard earned dollars, it’s prudent to maximize the net benefit of your investment.

All Charities are a Rip-Off

It’s easy to get cynical when non-profit CEO’s make half-million-dollar salaries or when fundraising and administration expenses take up 40% or more of total donations raised, but again not all charities are equal. Some are much more …

World Domination Summit 2012

Travel AND Make a Difference in the World: The Muskoka Foundation

A travel focused lifestyle can be incredibly rewarding and life-changing. It is great to experience exotic cultures, unwind on tropical beaches and party in funky bars and clubs. However, something more is needed. Even paradise can get boring if you are not working on something meaningful and challenging. Wouldn’t it be great to travel the world and make a real contribution to the communities you visit? The Muskoka Foundation was created to offer those volunteer opportunities. This guest post is a short introduction to their organization.

DO GOOD Muskoka Foundation

The Muskoka Foundation

The Muskoka Foundation is a non-profit foundation based in the USA. Their vision is to have a world where ethical and responsible traveling is a standard part of every traveler’s itinerary, with the hope that it will create a fleet of intentional explorers that leave a wake of positive change.

The foundation was founded by Jay Shapiro and Alice Gugelev, who are overlanding-enthusiasts. When they were living in South East Asia they were unable to find volunteering opportunities suited to overlanders that wouldn’t cost any volunteering fee. Right there and then was the birth of the vision and the foundation.

The Muskoka Foundation

The name “Muskoka” itself is the name of a region in …