Never Normal

Never Normal

A show about living life on your terms. Because life is too precious to waste it waiting for the weekend! Join me, Neville Andrew Mehra, each episode for conversations with people who have escaped from the boring "default life plan" to find freedom, success, adventure, and more. Get inspired as we explore their journeys and discuss the lessons they’re learning along the way.

Episodes

February 11, 2022 70 min

In this episode we discuss:

  • How do you survive during an unpaid sabbatical?
  • The psychological stress of not having a salary
  • What Vikram learned about psychology from Elon Musk at University
  • The 2,000 year old ritual that Tim Ferriss still practices to prepare for adversity 
  • If you want to start something new, should you burn your bridges or leave yourself an escape?
  • Overcoming the limiting belief that you are your job
  • The massive lie hidd...
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    Jonathan Hillis is the founder of Creator Cabins. It began as a single cabin in the Texas Hill Country, a place for creators to gather together to work on exciting projects 'IRL'. They've since launched a token and formed the Cabin DAO and now they're expanding into a decentralized city.  

    Prior to founding $CABIN, Jon was Director of Product, Shoppers, and Marketplace at Instacart, where during the pandemic, he grew...

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    In this episode we talk about:

  • “The Great Resignation” happening now. Why are workers quitting jobs?
  • What is a sabbatical?
  • What forced Vikram to re-evaluate his life and confront his own mortality
  • How do you arrange a sabbatical with your boss?
  • The two things you need to do before you can ask for extended time off
  • “Hunting like a lion” at work
  • Managing your schedule and your energy to do your best creative work
  • How to play to your strength...
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    Justin Gary is an award-winning game designer and entrepreneur.

    He started his career in gaming at the age of seventeen when he won the Magic: The Gathering US National Championships. Justin then escaped from NYU Law School to pursue his dream of becoming a professional game designer.

    He's since made games for global brands including Marvel, DC, World of Warcraft, and Bakugan. In 2010, Justin founded his own publishing company, S...

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    November 19, 2021 58 min

    Kevin Maguire writes "The New Fatherhood" a weekly newsletter dedicated to "Helping dads be better dads."

    Kevin is also a former Google employee and the founder of QuickHatch (https://quickhatch.xyz/) where he uses Design Sprint thinking to help bold companies solve complex problems in record time.

    In this episode we discuss:

  • The three phases of scarcity that we experience throughout our lives
  • What's missing from th...
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    November 1, 2021 58 min

    In this episode we discuss:

  • What is the Pathless Path?
  • Why Paul left his dream job
  • A letter Paul wrote to himself
  • How do you get started on the Pathless Path?
  • What quitting your job teaches you about yourself
  • If there's no path, how do you know if you’re on the right track?
  • Dealing with uncertainty
  • What's next for Paul
  • Further Reading:

  • Nat Eliason on "Reclaiming the Joy of Work" (https://www.nateliason.com/medley/283)
  • What Ben...
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    In this episode we discuss:

  • How Tom got started freelancing
  • Landing the first client
  • Do you need to be able to "sell yourself" to make it as a freelancer?
  • Getting out of the "feast/famine" cycle that traps many freelancers
  • What are the biggest mistakes that most people make when first starting out as freelancers?
  • What would Tom do if he was starting over again today?
  • Should you use marketplaces/platforms like UpWork to sel...
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    In this episode we talk about:

  • The difference between being a "digital nomad" versus actually settling into a new home in a foreign land
  • What Serenity's life is like as a kid growing up in the Canary Islands
  • Why Serenity started blogging about her adventures around Gran Canaria
  • Why Shane (and Serenity's mom) want their kids to have the experience of growing up outside the United States
  • Links:

  • Serenity's Blog: Travelin...
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    Amanda Goetz is the founder of House of Wise, a luxury CBD brand for women. She's also the part-time Chief Marketing Officer for Teal. And she has a popular account with a very engaged following on Twitter. On top of all that, Amanda is a single mom with three young kids. 

    In this episode we discuss:

  • How Amanda launched House of Wise while she was still VP of Marketing at The Knot Worldwide 
  • Building something new versus managing ...
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    In this episode we discuss:

  • What pushed each of us to become digital nomads
  • What's holding most people back from going nomadic?
  • Will there be a new wave of nomads post-COVID?
  • What people struggle with once they go nomadic
  • Alex's experience traveling abroad during the pandemic
  • How our travel styles change after years of being digital nomads
  • Traveling to countries where you don't know anyone and dealing with loneliness on the ro...
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    In this episode we discuss:

  • Reviewing 2020 and setting goals for 2021
  • What do you do with goals you set for 2020 but couldn't accomplish?
  • How Justin conducts past year reviews (and why it takes him a lot less time than it used to)
  • "Aggressive but achievable" goals
  • What it means and what to do if you have a goal that just doesn't get done
  • Why you should beware of chasing "Laser pointer goals"
  • How to make difficult t...
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    Jonathan Stark is a former software developer who is on a mission to rid the world of hourly billing. He is the author of Hourly Billing Is Nuts, the host of Ditching Hourly, and he writes a daily newsletter on pricing for independent professionals.

    In this episode we discuss:

  • How Jonathan Stark went from working a typical job to becoming coach for independent software developers
  • Why is hourly billing so bad?
  • The problem with growing y...
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    In this episode we discuss:

  • How Francis manages to hike through snow without a warm jacket (or underwear)
  • Practicing discomfort and gratitude
  • The two traits Francis learned from spending five and a half years in Africa and traveling to all 54 African countries
  • Falling in love and getting married in Africa
  • The benefits of growing up with exposure to multiple cultures
  • Collecting "cultural souvenirs" as we travel
  • Why the idea of "...
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    In This Episode We Talk About:

  • The best way to get started making money online
  • The mistake we both made when we started out and what we recommend doing instead
  • How to build a "bridge" from traditional 9-to-5 work to working online
  • How to approach freelancing and whether or not you should be willing to "sell your hours"
  • The 6 levels and 19 types of online businesses according to Niall's framework
  • Why online contests ar...
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    October 28, 2020 46 min

    In This Episode We Talk About:

  • After traveling to 55 countries, where is Niall considering making his "homebase"
  • Why Niall chose to travel around the world for 44 months without flying
  • Writing a book while crossing the Pacific Ocean on a cargo ship from Japan to Peru
  • The teenage dream that led Niall from Ireland to living in New Orleans
  • Why Niall eventually left that life behind and gave up a U.S. green card
  • Niall's fallback ...
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    October 15, 2020 49 min

    In this episode we talk about:

  • What is graphic recording
  • How Verity got her first gigs as a graphic recorder after studying textile design and working in sales for 20 years
  • Blogging from an iPod touch in Argentina and how Verity rediscovered and reignited her creativity in South America
  • The benefits of solo travel with no set itinerary 
  • How to build your portfolio before anyone is willing to hire you
  • The power of constraints - "You b...
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    October 2, 2020 90 min

    In this episode we talk about:

  • Why Taren left his original career as an investment advisor
  •  How trying to "beef up his resume" while applying for (and getting rejected from) MBA programs started Taren on the path to social media success
  • Why Taren doesn't advise people to "follow their passion" and what he did (and recommends doing) instead
  • Our shared belief that traditional resumes are obsolete, and how to promote y...
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    In this episode we talk about:

  • How Anna went from growing up in the poorest country in Europe, having "never seen a lawn mower or a laptop" in her life, to becoming the successful online entrepreneur based in Australia that she is today.
  • What it was like going to high school in rural Virginia for one year as a foreign exchange student
  • Anna's experience moving to Malaysia for her first job straight out of university.
  • How bre...
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    September 3, 2020 53 min

    In this episode we talk about:

  • How Valerie went from being an adult who had never set foot on a plane or ship to visiting all 50 states, going to dozens of countries, and becoming a travel writer.
  • Some surprising benefits of cruising and Valerie's favorite cruise routes and ports 
  • Valerie's quest to visit 100 National Park sites in honor of the centennial anniversary of the NPS
  • Tips for making the most of any trip to a National...
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    August 25, 2020 58 min

    Justin Gary is an award-winning game designer, author, and speaker. He started his career in gaming at the age of seventeen when he won the Magic: The Gathering US National Championships. He went on to play Magic professionally for several years, winning a Grand Prix, Pro Tour, and World Championship along the way.

    Justin dropped out of NYU Law School to pursue an opportunity as a game designer. He went on to lead-design the DC Comi...

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