How to travel 6 months a year while inspiring hundreds of thousands of people

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(Literal) Text Transcription of the video :

Hello! My intelligent rebels.

Today, I share with you a conference I did at the end of 2017 for Japanese entrepreneurs in Thailand. Yes, it seems like the Japanese like to go to Thailand to attend conferences.

But, why did I do a conference for Japanese entrepreneurs?

I’m glad you asked because actually it’s just because I went to Tokyo in March 2017 and then, I met quite a few entrepreneurs and one of them ask me what I do. And, when I told him what is my lifestyle, the fact that I travel six months a year and I focus more on the quality of my life than to make money but I try to do both, he told me “Oh, you should totally, totally share that to the Japanese because Japanese, most of them, they are very, very career-driven, they work like crazy and sometimes they really sacrifice their life for their job. So, they need to hear that.” That’s why he invited me to do this conference.

So, here is how to inspire hundreds of thousands of people while doing anything you want for six months a year.

Olivier Roland: Hey, Ki.

Audience: Ai.

Olivier Roland: It was not too fast. Okay, let’s do it again. Ki.

Audience: Ai.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, awesome.

So, how to do anything you want six months a year while inspiring hundreds of thousands of people?

I’m… Clara already presented me fast, let me add some information about what I do. I’m a French YouTuber, blogger, author. I inspire hundreds of thousands of people every month, I feel very blessed by that. I mostly speak about entrepreneurship and personal development.

And, I have today, I’m very pleased to say I have the biggest YouTube channel in French about entrepreneurship and personal development and I just published a book last year, I just did the anniversary a few days ago, that’s all 35,000 copies in the first year so it’s very good.

French is not as big as the US so we consider in France that a book is a best-seller when it reaches 10,000 copies. So, I did three times that and more for the first year so I was very happy and that’s great. I have a business that allows me to help a lot of people to earn a lot of money but that’s not the whole story because this business gives me also a lot of freedom.

I travel 6 months a year, since 2011. I usually work between 10 to 15 hours a week when I travel and when I don’t, I work 30 to 40 hours a week. So, when you do the calculation for the average on my number of hours of work per week on the year, it’s not too bad and it’s very, very relaxing. This is my favorite activity when I’m traveling: relaxing on the beach.

What is very important to understand is that’s what I want to share with you, is how to have a business that is in service of your life instead of your life being in service of your business? And it’s a very important distinction to have because so many entrepreneurs: yes, they are successful; yes, they have great businesses but usually they work too much. They work 60 – 70 hours a week and it’s not really pretty common to see that.

And so, they get stressed, they get burned-out, sometimes they have to quit their business. So, it’s a mess.

In this presentation, I want to share with you how you can achieve also this kind of freedom? How you can build a business that is in service of your life? And the first step that’s where most people get it wrong because the first step is counterintuitive.

Because, most people when they want to have more freedom in their life, when they want to have more free time, what do they do? They try to be more productive. And, it seems very logical at first sight but there is a problem with that.

The problem with that is as humans, we fear the void. We hate the void. What do I mean by the void? It’s simply that we hate to have nothing to do, we hate to be at home and be bored. We need to do something to not be bored.

And so, I have a question for you: what do you think happens if you become more productive and you gain, let’s say two hours per week and you have nothing outside of work to fulfill you?

If you become more productive and you gain two hours a week and you have nothing outside of work to fulfill you, what you will do is more work? Because it is just the simplest thing to do.

When you are in front of your computer and you have nothing else to do, it’s just so easier to stay in front of your computer even if it’s not really important, even if it’s not something that will bring value to your business and your life. You can, for example, I don’t know, sort files on your computer. You can check Instagram and Facebook again just to make sure that a customer didn’t send you a message or something like that. You can check your emails again and again.

So, the first counterintuitive step: it’s not to be more productive, it’s to find something outside of work that really fulfill you. And when you do that, it’s almost magical because when you find something you’re passionate about outside of work, automatically you want to work less and you want to be more effective and you want to be more productive.

And when you gain two hours in your week, you know why, you know what you want to do with these two hours. You want to, I don’t know, you want to have house lessons, you want to learn a musical instrument, you want to practice yoga or do something that really makes you full in your heart.

For me, the activity I found that really fulfill me outside of work is traveling. That’s why I travel so much. When I travel, I want to do so many things besides working. I want to relax at the beach, I want to do activities like here you see me on a plane when I was taking flight lessons. I want to have fun with my friends, I want to discover new things. Here, you see me with a Japanese master in Kyoto and with my girlfriend.

samurai lesson how to meditate

It was amazing, we had a samurai lesson. We learn how to cut bamboo with Samurai’s World. We learned how to meditate like Japanese samurai and we even did a bit of music with this bamboo flute. So, I want to do a billion things besides working. And so, I’m way more effective.

So, the question I have for you is: what kind of activity can you find or explore that will fulfill you outside of work? That’s the first step.

Now, let’s talk a bit more about what we can do? How you can set up your business so it gives you more freedom? And, let’s talk about what almost every company does now in the world.

Most companies follow this model, what I call the synchronous model. And for most companies, it’s still unconscious. They didn’t think really about that but their whole business is built following this model which means basically that all exchanges have to be done in real-time.

So, they set up their whole business with this foundation, this idea as everyone has to exchange in real-time which means phone calls, meetings. They ask people to be at the same place, in the same place, at the same hour, so you have office hours. They ask people to exchange in real-time full chat, etc., etc.

And, to be fair, for centuries, for millenniums, it was the only way to have a business. You couldn’t do anything else besides having real-time exchanges.

But now, with the tools we have and the internet, it is possible to have a new model to build your business on something new, what I call the “Asynchronous Model”. And with this asynchronous model, I built my company following these. It’s very simple, nobody needs to communicate in real-time. It’s just unnecessary.

So, you don’t ask people to do phone calls, or to do meetings, or to be in the same physical place. You don’t care. Most of the exchanges are made asynchronously. So, in my business, almost all the exchanges are made through emails and task management, software called “asana”.

Who knows “asana” here?

Yeah, a few people here.




Olivier Roland

Okay, you’re still following. Great, awesome.

how to travel and work from everywhere

Also in my business, we don’t have offices because we don’t need offices. So, there are a few advantages to this model.

The first one is, there are no office hours because you don’t want people to exchange in real-time so everyone can show up at work when he wants. We don’t have an office anyway. So, people can work following their own schedule which gives people a lot of freedom. They are not accustomed to in most jobs.

Also, because we don’t have an office and we don’t need real-time communication, everyone can works from everywhere he wants. You don’t need to be somewhere, just have to be in a place which has internet which today is a lot, lot, lot of places. So, you can give your employees and your freelancers the freedom to travel or to live in the countryside, remotely for example.

And also, what is so good with this model too is, because you don’t need real-time exchanges, people don’t need to be in the same time zone. They can be in Africa, in Brazil, in the US. Everywhere in the world, it doesn’t matter. So, it gives them even more freedom.

Here, I have an illustration of the process I use for my YouTube channel, it’s in French. I let it in French on purpose because it doesn’t matter what are the details exactly. But, I have the biggest YouTube channel in French about entrepreneurship and for 465 days, you know, I did one video a day. So, it was a lot of videos.

And because I don’t like to work too much and I didn’t want to die too, I had these very precise process where basically my team do most of the work. I just shoot the video and then they take care of everything else.

So, let me show you on this map where my YouTube team is in the world. First, my video guy, the guy who is editing my videos, he lives in Paris. He is a real French guy living in Paris.

Then Younès, the guy who does all the annotation, all the… like day to day work for my YouTube channel. He’s Moroccan, he lives in Morocco.

Then, you have Melek who does some translation when I need that and Melek is a Tunisian, she lives in Tunisia.

My administrative assistant is Alexandra. Now, she lives in France but when she started to work for me, she was living in China, then she lived in Brazil for few years and maybe next year, she will go to live in South Africa because her husband builds factories everywhere in the world. So, she’s very happy to work for me and to not have to be in a place, in a particular place.

Then, I have my Ironman assistant Elisabeth who is like my super, super assistant who takes care of my personal stuff, she lives in London.

When I want to do a really, really, really amazing video, I hire François. François is a French-Canadian, he lives in Quebec.

And also, I hired a branding specialist for video, Yves and Yves is a French living in Japan.

It’s just to give you a picture of my organization and I have more people working for me now, and I don’t have… Just for the record, I don’t have any employees. The people who are working for me are only freelancers and they love the freedom I give them through this model.

Oh, oh yes, I almost forgot. I have people doing text transcription of my videos and it’s a company in Madagascar.

That’s one of the big advantages too of this Asynchronous Model. You can have people from everywhere in the world working for you. Also, when you don’t have meetings in your company, who has a meeting in his company now? Who had meetings before in his company? Yeah. Okay, almost everyone exactly.

So, the problem with meetings.

There was a very serious study made in the U.S. a few years ago and they asked people what did they think about meetings in their business. So, 91% of people answered that: most of the time, they daydream during a meeting. Who already had daydreamed in a meeting before? Yeah, right. Almost everyone, exactly.

45% of people said they feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings they had to do. 47% think meetings are a waste of time and there are a lot of studies that show that usually meetings are not efficient at all in an organization. So, when you remove meetings too because you don’t need real-time exchanges, it gives you more productivity in your business too and less stress for everyone.

Also, with this model, you have way less interruptions and it’s very important. Why? Because, when you focus on something like, I don’t know, you’re writing an article or you work on some specific task, any interruptions really significantly increases the time needed to finish a task as well as a risk you make an error.

Basically, for example, if you’re writing an article and someone call you, okay you do the call, you hang up the phone and then you need on average 64 seconds, 64 seconds to focus again and to be productive on this task. And, it doesn’t seem much when you look it like quickly but when you do a quick calculation, you realize it can really waste a lot of time.

So, let’s say for example you have in one hour two cores of two minutes and for each course, you waste two minutes and also you need every time 64 seconds to refocus on your task. Also, you have 5 SMS and 3 Skype messages and you waste one hour 23 minutes. 23 minutes with just two phone calls of two minutes and a few messages. So, it’s a huge, huge, huge, huge waste of time.

And when you don’t need real-time conversations, we don’t need to be interrupted. You don’t need someone to call you, you don’t need to have your notification on your phone because you can choose your own interruptions. So, it helps you a lot to be more productive and also to be happier to give you more freedom for your mind.

In fact, my business is designed to give maximum autonomy to its members. It’s impossible to have an urgency in my business. Enough, everything is designed so urgencies don’t exist at all. And even in the case an emergency happens, my team knows how to manage it.

I want to share with you something that usually like really shocks people but I have maybe 12 people working for me right now. Nobody, nobody in my team has my phone number. They don’t have my phone number. Why? Because they don’t need to call me. Why they don’t need to call me? Because there is no urgency in my business and we don’t want to exchange in real-time anyway so, who cares.

The only exception is my super Ironman assistant who lives in London and she knows exactly my lifestyle. So, she has my phone number and she knows how to use it efficiently. Just imagine what your life would be if your phone never rings. How it will bring you more peace and productivity and happiness. And not only it never rings but also you’d never have any interruption from your phone, your phone cannot interrupt you. You don’t let your phone interrupt your life. You choose when you want to focus on your communications.

So, I’m not saying it’s like the perfect model ever and it doesn’t have flaws, it has some inconvenience. So, I want to share them with you because it’s clear this model is not for everyone. Because, some people, well, they need guidance to work.

If you give some people the freedom to organize themselves as they want with no office hours and they can work remotely where they want, some people, they will don’t do anything. It just so happens. So, it’s not for everyone, it’s for people who are autonomous and love their freedom.

And also, because you don’t have an office, you don’t have a physical location where people can meet, well for some people it can be hard because some people really need the kind of automatic socialization that an office gives. Every day, they go to the office and they see people and they feel good about it. If you give them the freedom to work without an office, to work from home, for example, they will feel alone and depressed and sad because they don’t see many people. So, this model is for people who love freedom and can also socialize outside of work.

But the fact is, today, I mean internet technologies are very recent in human history and it just seems like maybe 10 or 15 years that this kind of model is possible for most people. But the fact is, a lot, a lot of people still go to work, to the office every day more by tradition than by reflection.

And what I mean by that is, basically if you work on a computer today with an internet connection, in an office chances are you don’t need to be in the office. You can just work on your computer from home or from everywhere else. Who works here on a computer with an internet connection? I’m waiting for the… Only? Okay.

Ki Ai

Audience: Ai

Olivier Roland: Okay, let’s do it again. Ki

Audience: Ai.

Olivier Roland: Okay. Who works here on a computer with an internet connection? Yeah, like a lot of people normally. All right.

And the question I have for you too: in your business, in your daily tasks what tasks can be done remotely either partially or completely? And when you ask yourself this question, it can give you an idea of how you can implement this model into your business. This is the first pillar to have a business that is in service of your life, the asynchronous model.

Let’s talk now about this guy. Who knows Pareto? Who heard of him before? Nobody? Okay, a few people, all right. Pareto is, he was an Italian economist and he discovered something very very odd at the beginning of the 20th century and it was that no matter where you look, no matters when you look in history you have 20% of the countries that has 80% of the wealth of the world. And when you look in the countries, it’s the same. 20% of the people share 80% of the wealth of the country.

In the beginning, it was just like a kind of economical law but in the 40s – 50s people realized more and more that actually this principle applied to a lot of different fields. And, people realize that, for example in a company, 20% of your tasks will give you 80% of the revenue and the contrary is of course that 80% of the tasks gives the company 20% of the revenue.

And it’s the same, usually you have 20% of the customers that will bring 80% of the revenue. We have 20% of the product that will bring 80% of the revenue. Of course, it’s not always exactly 20% and 80%, just a general principle. But, it’s a tendency that is true in a lot of different companies around the world, in a lot of different fields.

Actually, when I discovered this Pareto law, I did the calculation in my first business and I discovered that, I told you I will tell you just later because I have a PowerPoint slide about that.

And also, what is important? It doesn’t apply only to numbers. Usually, 20% of your customers will create 80% of your stress. 80% of your problems will be generated by 20% of your customers too. So, the general law is 80% of effects are made by 20% of causes.

And when you start to see the world like that, you begin to understand that a majority of your problems are created by a minority of people. And also, a majority of your happiness is created by a minority of people you connect with and it’s a very, very, very interesting exercise you can do today or tomorrow like asking yourself this question: who is my life creates 80% of my problems? And who is my life creates 80% of my happiness?

pareto law majority of happiness

And when you do this analysis, you can do the obvious thing. If you have the freedom to do it, of course. You just remove or at least try to not see too much the people who bring most of the stress in your life and you try to see more the people who bring more happiness in your life. It’s so simple.

And you just… And you become instantly happier and I’m speaking from my experience because it’s exactly what I did when I decided to start being a slave of my own company and stop working 70 hours a week and I did this analysis and I saw that 20% of my customers were bringing so much stress, I just fired them. I told my customers, “Sorry, we cannot work anymore together, you have to find a new provider”.

And I can tell you, it’s an incredible feeling when you fire your bad customers. It’s amazing. It gives you this feeling, this sensation of freedom like nothing else. And also, it’s very universal. A minority of films, music, books, shows, plays is demanded by a majority of the public.

So, a minority of causes creates a majority of effects. And, when you have this law in mind, you can use it to have a more happy life, a more relaxed life and still have the same, almost the same impact and the same amount of money you earn.

I love this quote by Ben Johnson “Many people could go to heaven by working half as much as they do to go to hell.” It’s such a wonderful, interesting quote because it’s so true. So many people, work too much and they are stressed and burnout. But, they don’t realize that if they would focus on the 20% of customers that brings them 80% of the revenue and happiness, they would be so happier with just a little less money but so much more free time and happiness.

So, when I analyzed my first company, I was shocked to see that 81% of the revenue was generated by 17% of the customers. So as you can see, it was not exactly 20 and 80 but it was very close, so close. I was shocked, I was like for a few seconds in front of my computer, I was like… completely like… Yeah, I was like “Shit, it is true”.


Audience: Ai

Olivier Roland: Yeah, exactly. And yes as I told you, 80% of my stress was generated by 20% of my customers.

So, how to gain time?

It’s simple. 20% of the tasks you do bring 80% of the results. So, the first thing to do is to identify and eliminate the unnecessary ones. And it’s true, it sounds may be more easier to read than to do but it’s like an ongoing process that I encourage you to try and to really integrate into your daily life, your habits, your mindset and it can really, completely transform your life.

You can ask frequently this question: why do I do that? Is it really necessary? It’s such a great question to ask yourself because sometimes you know, you do the task by tradition because you did this task like two years ago, and maybe two years ago you needed to do this task. But maybe now, you don’t have to do it anymore so you can eliminate it or you can delegate it or you can automate it with a new software that allows you to delegate it.

So, what you can do is, for example, you decide to do one week, one week of analysis and you set up a reminder on your phone and that’s one of the times you’re gonna allow your phone to interrupt you. And every 30 minutes, for example, you ask your phone to pop this question out like “Why do I do that? Is it really necessary?” and it will force you to think, really think about why you do the things you do.

And sometimes you realize you’re like “Oh, but I don’t need to do that. It’s not necessary, it’s not part of the 20% of the tasks that brings 80% of everything so I can get rid of them”. And you can ask this question too: what do I want to do with my time? What is the 20% of my work on which I should focus?

So, that’s the second pillar of having a business that is in service of your life. First pillar: asynchronous model; second pillar: 20/80 analysis constantly. And so, pillar is habits.

Habits are very, very, very important for productivity. In the beginning, when you try to have this kind of lifestyle, it’s a bit hard to “Okay, I need to think 20/80, I need to think and why I do that” and it’s a bit hard. But, you need to… like force yourself until it’s a habit.

And let me share with you a story, a true story of what happened with my book. With my book, it took me 4 years to write it and my goal was to write 1,000 words a day. So, 4 years and the book is 230,000 words total. So, I’ll let you do the calculation.

Did I succeed in my goal of writing 1,000 words a day? I failed miserably, completely. And to be fair, I wrote more than this number of words because, of course, I also eliminated a lot of stuff but still, I was not as productive as I wish I was. But, there was a period in my life, during these 4 years that was the most productive. It was when I was living there, El Nido.

El Nido, it’s a small village in Palawan, an island of the Philippines and it’s literally like paradise on earth. It’s like, as you can see, beautiful beaches, incredible sunset, transparent waters, incredible. And, I had a very, very, very consistent habit there, I had a routine every day.

I was waking up when I wanted to wake up usually around 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. Then, I would go to the café in front of the sea to eat breakfast and just after that, it was an iron rule, I couldn’t break it. I would write my 1,000 words a day, no matter what. It was the first thing I would do in the morning after breakfast, nothing else.

Then, I wrote 1,000 words, and sometimes it could take half an hour, sometimes it could take two hours. Okay, it depends. But, I didn’t care. I wanted to write 1,000 words. Then, I would work for, my business, for maybe 30 to 60 minutes. And then, I would have lunch and enjoy the rest of the day.

So usually, I would have finished everything around noon, noon thirty, and then had the whole afternoon and evening to enjoy my life. And indeed, I went to the beach a lot, I had fun with my friends. If you can spot me, you can bonus point. I even celebrated my birthday there with my friends, we went to do camping on a remote island and it was amazing. I even did my second level of paddy for diving.

And so, I had the blast. It was maybe the best moment of my year. And, what is so amazing is that it’s also when I was the most productive in the entire 4 years of writing this book. Why? Because I combined everything there, I share with you. I had habits, I had a 20/80 analysis of what was really important in my life and my business, and I knew I had a lot of activities to fill the void. So, I was extremely productive and I had a great time. And, you can also, if you combine everything like that, be extremely productive and have a great time.

So, I want to leave you with this last question: and you… what can you achieve if you combine habits, 20/80 analysis, filling the void, and also the asynchronous model?

Thank you.



Audience: Ai.

Olivier Roland: So, my intelligent rebels, I hope you enjoyed this video. So, let’s talk a little bit about the influences, all the… Not all but the main sources of my lifestyle too.

The book that really influenced me the most is “4-hour workweek” by Tim Ferriss. So, click here or on the link in the description to go to see the 4-hour workweek on Amazon if you didn’t read it yet. And also, “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber is recommended by Tim Ferriss at the end of his book.

And you know, nothing really replaces practice when I read the 4-hour workweek, I decided to have this lifestyle. A lot of people read the 4-hour workweek, were inspired but didn’t do anything. So, don’t be part of these people, be part of the minority of people who act.

And also, feel free to receive a free extract of my upcoming book in English “Tout le monde n’a pas eu la chance de rater ses études”, which is the best-seller in French and will be very soon published in English. So, the extract is “Three principles to succeed in any field in your life”. If it sounds too good to be true, well, be a good skeptic and see by yourself.

So, to receive it, just click on the thumbnail which appears here. Don’t forget to watch this complementary video. Click on the button to subscribe to the channel and not miss the future amazing videos.

Thank you for watching, see you next time, don’t forget to be intelligent, be a rebel, be part of the people what.


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