This week’s interview is with Colin Wright, author, entrepreneur, and full time traveler.
Colin is an incredible Goal Achiever who moves to a new country every four months or so, based on the votes of his readers. He’s lived in Argentina, New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, India, Romania, and Czech Republic. He’s visited the 48 contiguous US states twice (once in just two months, traveling exclusively on Greyhound buses), roadtripped through South America, rode the rails through Southeast Asia, and visited about 30 other countries.
Colin has written Amazon bestsellers and has been featured in numerous publications such as The Huffington Post, Shift Magazine & The Next Web.
The Achievers Story
Tell us who you are, where you’re from and something that people would find interesting about you?
My name is Colin Wright and I’m an author, entrepreneur, and full-time traveler. I move to a new country every four months or so, based on the votes of my readers. In between countries, I’ll often undertake other adventures, and from time-to-time I manage to stop in at the office of a publishing company I co-founded, which is based in Missoula, Montana.
Give us a brief overview about the goal you achieved and why it was so important?
I pulled away from a lifestyle of excess and full-throttle entrepreneurship in Los Angeles, where I was working 100+ hour weeks and making gobs of money, in favor of a simpler life on the road. I make less money now, but I get far more out of life, and have far more options and opportunities. I’m also far happier and healthier.
I have absolute freedom of how I spend my time. I wake up when I want, live where I want, and invest my time in whatever project(s) seem most interesting. It’s been incredibly liberating, and has allowed me to really focus on the things I think are most important, and the things that make me the most happy.
Every story has a beginning, middle, and an end; where we’ve been, where we’re going, and everything in between. Give us an example of what your life was like before achieving this goal?
I was sleeping maybe four hours a night, working all day, going out only to network and get more clients, living in a townhouse near the beach. My girlfriend and I were living together, but never really saw each other…we were both too busy. It was an ostensibly successful existence, but one that was going to kill me, eventually.
Help us understand what caused you to move in a different direction?
I was on the tail-end of a road trip to Vancouver, stopping through Seattle with my girlfriend. We were having drinks, and she said, out of nowhere, that she wanted to move to Seattle. I blurted out that I wanted to leave the country, and we realized at that moment that the relationship was good, but not great. We discussed the issues we were both having individually, and what we actually wanted to be doing with our 20’s. We decided that four months from that night, we’d have a breakup party, after which we’d go our separate ways and pursue these dreams we’d been putting off. It was wild, because we kind of needed each other’s permission to have these thoughts, in a way. Like we were both holding back, afraid to lose ‘good’ in pursuit of ‘great.’
We had four months to think things through and allow ideas to percolate. In that time, I started up a blog, handed off many of my clients to other people I trusted, and got rid of everything I owned that didn’t fit into a carry-on. That last part took AGES. It was nearly a full-time job just getting rid of all the crap I’d acquired.
After those four months, I hit the road. It’s been an ongoing transition since then, and I’m certain will continue to be an ever-evolving thing.
Give us an example of what your life is like today, since achieving the goal?
In every way, and for the better. I have all my time to do what I want with, plenty of resources to live the lifestyle I want, am much happier and healthier, and have opportunities I never would have thought possible, way back then.
Overcoming The Obstacles
If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that obstacles like fear, time and money among other things can prevent us from or motivate us towards achieving goals. What are the top 3 obstacles you faced, why were they obstacles to begin with, and how were they conquered?
I was worried about doing something so non-standard, and that it would kill the reputation I’d built as a businessperson. Thankfully this didn’t end up being an issue: people were largely supportive, and those who weren’t at first became so, later, when they saw how much fun I was having.
I didn’t know how I would make money on the road, and ended up transitioning from branding to publishing, because the former wasn’t sustainable from overseas. The transition was eventually successful, though, once I’d worked out all the quirks and details.
I didn’t know how relationships would work on the road, since I’d always been kind of a traditional sort when it came to such things. I had to adjust my approach to such things, though, opting for long-term open relationships rather than the standard model of date-marriage-married life, and it actually suits my philosophies and ideals much better this way.
The next part of the interview is the Triumph. The triumph is all about taking the success of achievement to the next level of personal greatness. The idea of greatness can be different for everyone. For me, greatness is all about the pursuit rather than the destination. What does greatness mean to you and how has achieving this goal contributed to that idea?
To me it means figuring out what you actually care about and pursuing that in some way, full-throttle. I care about learning and experiencing new things, and sharing that knowledge and experience with other people. I’ve never been happier than I am today, and that’s because I’m able to do something I truly believe in with my life. Freeing up my time and untethering myself from that money-focused lifestyle has allowed me to focus instead on these pursuits, and the myriad ways of achieving them.
Roadmap To Goal Achievement
What is the best advice you ever received that helped you clarify and/or achieve this goal?
Act as if this is normal. I have to remind myself of this all the time, especially when I find myself is some novel, strange situation.
What are some of the resources or tools that helped you achieve this goal?
Social media and blogging technology in general. Being able to connect with anyone from anywhere in the world is, essentially, magic. Use it correctly and not as a distraction, and you’re golden.
What did you do to stay motivated throughout the process?
It helped having a community of people online who were just as excited about what I was doing as I was. Having folks vote on where I’d move next helped, because it allowed them to be part of the process, even if they couldn’t do the same thing I was doing, for whatever reason.
What is your favorite book and why?
I can’t choose a favorite…I read a few books a week. I recently read a book called The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson that was really interesting. It was an in-depth background, told as a story, about how the internet came to be, including all the technologies and personalities that led up to it. Very compelling and thorough, and told well.
What blogs and podcasts do you recommend?
If you were advising someone on how to achieve the same goal or something similar, what specific steps would you have them follow?
Take some time to figure out why they want to do it, what priorities they’re chasing, and where they’d like to be in a few years. Then figure out what the first step to accomplishing that might be.
What’s the best way for people to connect with you?