Over the past 12 months, I have been lucky enough to receive many inquiries about entrepreneurship, blockchain, travel, and more.
During the 15-hour workdays of 2017 and 2018, I had a personal philosophy of answering every inbound message from people looking for advice, help, or a simple intro. As time-consuming as it was, it was also highly rewarding.
While I can humbly say I am not a big deal, I do think I have figured out a way of balancing work and life through life experiences abroad. This quote by Naval Ravikant on a recent Joe Rogan podcast pretty much sums it up:
This philosophy is what I have felt for nearly 10 years as I continuously pushed myself to try new things, move as much as possible, and collect new experiences. So far there have been no regrets.
The following article contains some of the common questions I get asked both by friends, new contacts, business acquaintances, and more. Thank you to my unnamed close friend for pushing me to articulate and publish this!
Question 1: What are you currently reading?
Jared Polites: I usually read multiple books at the same time to keep things fresh. Below is a list of books that I am currently reading and have queued up for the next few months:
- A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre
- A Man for All Markets by Edward Thorp
- Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez
- Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Six Days of War by Michael Oren
- Unmasking the Social Engineer by Paul F. Kelly
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
You will notice all are non-fiction and there is a mix of intelligence, business, and philosophy. Most were recommended by friends and minds that I admire. The few on war history in the middle-east were inspired by a recent trip to the region as well as a general interest in spy literature.
Question 2: What apps do you use in your everyday life?
Jared Polites: I try to be as much of a digital minimalist as possible. Most of this is done through a general personality trait of being hyper-organized.
For example, my desktop does not have one folder or document on it. The toolbar at the bottom has always less than 10 icons or applications running. My bookmarks are organized by category. You get the point.
Some apps that I use often include:
- F.lux: this helps reduce blue lighting on your devices as the day progresses which can radically improve your sleep quality at night.
- Habit: this is a simple checklist habit maker where you can track progress on any customizable habits over the course of a week, month, or year.
- Insight Timer: meditation app with daily courses and music
- Rain Rain: sounds such as thunderstorms that are perfect for planes, noisy environments, and to help you sleep
Question 3: Where do you see yourself living in 5 or 10 years?
Jared Polites: This is a tough question, but there is a high likelihood that it will be in Europe. There is an even higher likelihood that is will be abroad. I currently travel about 10–15 days per month and am based in Europe so I would not need to make any transition from my current situation.
Life in Europe is overall better in my opinion. Sure, the entrepreneurial capacity in the United States is superior, but for quality of life, Europe takes it hands down. Healthcare, vacation time off, culture, ability to travel cheaply and quickly to nearly 25 surrounding countries, etc. The list goes on and on.
There is a reason Spain has the highest life expectancy in the world and the US continues to decline.
Question 4: What are you lacking in your current career?
Jared Polites: This is a tough question and one that I get asked more frequently than expected. To be honest, there is a mix of a lack of creativity and widespread social good. The latter, I try to improve on a daily basis by being a person people can rely on and by observing the world around me more to see where I can make a difference. I do want to positively impact as many people as possible and that can be done through social entrepreneurship.
The lack of creativity refers specifically to my professional life. I have studied business education my whole life and worked in typical companies and startups, minus the FBI which would be a “typical” government agency, up until two years ago when I decided to take a leap of faith.
I find myself completely in awe from successful creatives like photographers and designers that have careers that depend on creative thinking. Entrepreneurship is creative in its own right, but it is not the same. The good news is that these creative pursuits can still be obtained outside of work.
The other ironic thing I find is that my creative friends tend to want more of a business-savvy foundation. I would assume the perfect balance is the mix of both, whether individually or as a result of a well-built team. Airbnb’s founders are a prime example of this mix.
Question 5: What are your favorite quotes?
Jared Polites: Some recent ones that I enjoy include:
“Narcissism is the death of empathy.”
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
“Happiness is a state of mind, not the state of your current situation.”
“Less thinking, more doing.”
“True nobility is being superior to your former self.”
“Discipline is greater than motivation.”
Unfortunately, I don’t have all of these sourced but these include Jocko Willink, Casey Neistat, and others that I jotted down.
Feel free to reach out below!
Angel List: https://angel.co/jared-polites