All posts by Jordan Laubaugh

Fear And Self Loathing In Las Vegas | The Girl & The Pho

5:10 PM PST, A Few Weeks Ago On A Monday, Pho Saigon 8, Las Vegas, NV

Enter Jordan. Hungry and eager for some savory pho. My host/waiter silently directs me to a solitary table against the wall, as had become our weekly routine. He knows my order by heart.

“Numba Fifteen Large? Thai Tea? You want boba, no boba? Extra Meatball.” He confirms before I speak.

“Yes, #15 large. Thai tea, no boba. Extra meatball.” I recite to ensure proper pho-munication.

We both nod in mutual pho-nderstanding as I hand him my menu.

With the logistics of our meeting decided he scurries away and I have 5-7 minutes to wait before a steaming bowl of happiness will arrive at my table.

pho

There is another piece of intel that you’ll need to appreciate my little story… Sitting directly across from me, 1 table removed, facing me, is a very cute girl. Continue reading

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The Hustler’s Ego

Everything they told you about ego is wrong. Your ego may have trouble accepting that. If it does,  I’m right.

Ego is used to describe all sorts of things that have nothing to do with the ego. When someone describes a person as having a big ego or being egotistical, they are saying that the person has an overly inflated sense of self. Anyone who is self absorbed, narcissistic, or conceited gets labeled as egotistic. This definition of ego is false. It’s just lazy linguistics.

For this psycho analysis, it’s better to stick with Freud. From his studies, discovering the ID, Ego, and SuperEgo, it’s safe to say that my presentation of ego has some scientific backing. Though I haven’t rigorously studied it. I just have one special benefit that comes with my understanding of ego. It actually works in real life. Continue reading

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How To Be The Coolest Guy In The Bar

Introduction

12:33 AM, Green Mango Club, Koh Samui, Thailand

Loud music is interrupting what would otherwise be the shocking silence of my new life. For 3 months now I’ve been out of my country, in a strange solitude, the road my single and constant companion.

I’m not sure why I’m here. Vacation? Mini-Retirement? Some desperate attempt to find meaning and fulfillment?

Why am I so unhappy? 

At 22, I’ve officially “made it.” I’ve built my own business from zero, and now it’s doing quite well. It provides a comfortable monthly income and, being entirely internet based, allows me to travel & live anywhere in the world. Despite this, I find myself utterly depressed.

When you think you should be happy, but you’re not, you end up miserable.  Continue reading

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The Hustler’s Expectation Management

Expectation management (EM) is simply the process by which we manage our expectations. More advanced, it’s a lens with which to analyze the world, life, and our influence in it.

This article will cover 3 aspects of EM that I apply daily. May it serve you well.

  1. Managing your expectations of yourself.
  2. Managing your expectations of other.
  3. Managing other’s expectations of you.

Nail these 3 and you’ll be die happy.

#1. Managing Your Expectations of Yourself. Personal-EM

When Personal-EM is out of whack, we experience all sorts of nasty things. Negative stress, worry, anxiety, disappointment, exasperation, low self esteem, and on and on and on. This is an epidemic in our society. Continue reading

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How To Bootstrap Any Business Idea

My hope is that this post will save some real hustlers a lot of time. Deep down, I think plenty of people have “good ideas” but most people never take even the first step towards executing on them.

That being said, 99% of the ones that do make the first step, make the wrong first step, and after going down the wrong path, they fail for long enough, then they quit.

My philosophy is that, as soon as you have a product that people give you money for, that’s a business. It isn’t necessarily a good business, it might not be sustainable, or stable. But it’s there. It is a business.

So the first thing I always ask myself when I have a new idea is, “would someone pay for this?” Continue reading

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Why I Don’t Consume Stimulants On A Regular Basis

This scene with Chandler in Friends pretty much sums up my view on smoking (and all other stimulants).

That hilarious nugget being unearthed and shared notwithstanding. I recently stopped all of my addictions to stimulants (stimulants meaning caffeine, adderall, nicotine, etc. Anything with a stimulant in it). This was easy for caffeine, and I never really used adderall regularly, I just mention it because it’s such a commonly used stimulant. Nicotine was harder just because of the triggers, but I’ve pretty much kicked that too.

Now here’s why. Continue reading

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The Build It Before You Need It Strategy

I heard this line from Keith Ferrazzi while he was talking with Gary Vaynerchuk in this video while he was answering a question from an audience member about scrambling to get results on social media during the closing days of some contest (mostly irrelevant to this article). But it triggered a thought in my brain, and reminded me of something I said a while ago. That 53 people have now watched.

The advice Keith gave was basically, “your situation is a good example of why you build it before you need it.” I’d never really heard someone put it quite that way and as soon as I did it opened a whirlwind of thoughts, which then made me write this post.

This was something that I actually realized for myself about 6 months ago. I knew that I needed to be hustling my fucking face off on social media and building a community around myself, but I wasn’t totally sure why. More importantly, I always struggled to come up with content because I didn’t have an end game. I didn’t have a book to sell, or a product to move, or some big ask to convert on. Continue reading

Vientiane, Laos

Vice in Vientiane: A Slightly Darker Guide To The Capital Of Laos

Vientiane by mypuffin, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  mypuffin 

 

Why am I writing about illicit activities in Laos? If you’ve traveled around SE Asia then you already know the reputation of the countries. Thailand is the best: anything you want to experience can be had in Thailand. Malaysia kind of sucks but Kuala Lumpur is awesome. Singapore is very nice and high end, also quite expensive. Cambodia is on the rise. Vietnam has a lot of great stuff to explore, good mix of activity, great food.

Laos, however, is that boring, sleepy, landlocked country where there is not much going on. As far as travelers that love it, they are all the hippie stoners (weed is very cheap and easy to get here). It’s the poorest country in SE Asia. No night life. Maybe a nice break from the craziness that Thailand can be, but all in all, best to make it a short trip.

I’ve been to Vientiane on three separate trips now. The first two occasions were bad experiences. I was just here to get a new visa for Thailand so I could get back to the fun country. On both previous trips I’d heard that “Vang Vieng is fun” and always just flew into Vientiane, dropped my passport off with a visa agent (someone who will go to the consulate for you and get you a new visa – AKA sweet deal), stayed one night in some lame hotel and caught the dawn bus to Vang Vieng. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t a bad routine. However, before coming back for the third time I decided I was going to try and do an in-and-out within a few days and skip Vang Vieng.

In deciding this I asked myself, “What if there is actually some cool stuff to do in Vientiane? I’ve never actually checked.” Just having the idea that there might some fun to be had, led me to decide to explore this slow-paced little city.

I know a few things about people and cities. First, no matter what “the law states,” vice and corruption will always find a way to exist. Second, in a city of more than 50,000 people there will always be drugs and hookers. Continue reading

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How to Travel the World for Less Than it Costs to be Poor in America

I am writing this post so that I have it to reference in the future. A lot of my friends may read this and say “yeah duh.” Most of my friends these days are frequent travelers. It’s easy for any of us to forget what it felt like before we got out and saw the world. Most people who are stuck in their ways really have no clue that the types of things I’ll be discussing on this site even exist. When I mention the things I do in my normal life, jaws often drop. The other party often leaves with a palpable air of disbelief, as if they are thinking, “there has to be more to the story than he’s letting on. It’s not that simple.”

Sorry, it IS that simple.

The view from the balcony of my private room in Vang Vieng, Laos. Double bed, A/C, hot water, fridge, $9/night.

The view from the balcony of my private room in Vang Vieng, Laos. Double bed, A/C, hot water, fridge, $9/night. Read my Vang Vieng post for more details

Have you ever wished that you could travel all over the world? This post is for you. Here is a no B.S. guide to your first major world travel experience.

It is a lot easier than you might think. For me it was like having sex: after I did it for the first time I thought, “Why the hell did I wait so long? This is the coolest thing ever!” And I haven’t quit either activity since.

But I think going places is way way better than that. I mean anyone can have sex, and most people do at least once in their lifetime. Less than 1% of people will ever truly experience the joys of extended world travel.

Continue reading

Mountains in Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng, Laos: Southeast Asia’s Still Kind of Hidden Backpackers Haven

Getting to Vang Vieng.

In Vang Vieng, there is a feeling of remoteness that overwhelmed my American spirit. First, I flew 12,000 miles to the other side of the planet to land in Thailand. Then a month later I took 2 more flights (from Koh Samui to Bangkok and Bangkok to Vientiane). After 2 days in the very strange (to me) Vientiane, I boarded a bus that looked like something out of 1972.

The drive was very deliberate. Through the city at first, then it gradually becomes less of a city. The buildings go from very crowded to normal, to a bit of space, to more space, to much more space, to no buildings. Every so often we hit a village and cruised on through.  Continue reading