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Tyler Tervooren
Lives in Portland
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Tyler Tervooren

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“What’s that?” I ask myself as I pore over my time sheets. “I’m making hundreds of dollars an hour doing this, but only a few dollars per hour doing that?”

I’ve been working hard this year to increase my income, and this is my new hobby—figuring out how much money the different things I do make over time. I use a timer to track and record each of my business tasks so that, every so often, I can look back and see what work is most productive for my bank account.

But just as interesting as peeking at the inner workings of my business is the effect it’s had on other areas of my life. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been great. The more I increase my hourly wage, the more irritable and stressed out I get when I feel like I’m using my time unproductively.

Not just at work; everywhere. Watching a movie with my wife. Wasted time. Taking the dogs out. Wasted time. Driving into town to see friends. Wasted time.

When you’re working to increase your income, there are tradeoffs to make—you don’t get to just snap your fingers and make more money—but what I didn’t realize as I started this experiment is that I was falling into a subconscious trap: putting a dollar value on every hour.

Ever felt like you were in the same trap? The more you earned, the more stressed out you became? You’re not alone, and here are some ideas to solve the problem.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/hourly-wage-trap/
Focusing too much on productivity can stifle your creativity, which is what makes your work worth doing in the first place.
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Tyler Tervooren

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Little 11-year-old James had a big, very impractical idea. He was going to graduate from high school. Before you dismiss what would seem a pretty average accomplishment for most, consider his story.

James lived in rural, war-torn Uganda. He lost his entire family to disease by the time he was six and was raised by his poor grandmother who didn’t earn enough for the $130/quarter tuition.

A high school diploma was not in the cards for James.You could hardly blame him if he saw his goal as impossible and gave up to go work in the fields.

But he didn’t. Instead, he and his grandmother devised a crazy plan that would secure the financing he needed to finish school. All he needed to start was a goat to sell. His grandmother was able to sell one of hers and, with the proceeds, James was able to buy shoes, a change of clothes, and a ticket for an 8-hour bus ride to the capital city where he’d stay with his aunt.

That’s where the plan gets really interesting. To get the money necessary for school, he needed to sneak into the president’s compound and ask for help. He’d have to scale a barbed-wire fence and get past the armed security guards but once inside, he learned, he’d be greeted warmly and given money for tuition.

So that’s what he did. And—to everyone’s amazement—it worked. Today, at age 32, James has two masters degrees and a great job. [1]

Making excuses and giving up would have been easy. The hurdles between 11-year-old James and James of today were immense. But something deep inside compelled him to take responsibility for his life and do whatever it took to realize his goal.

At the age of 11, James had mastered his psychology and brought his dreams to life. His story is heroic, but it’s also well-explained by science. Regardless your situation in life, there’s a direct link between the excuses you make for yourself and how much success you achieve.

If you have big plans for yourself—but you see immense hurdles in front of you—you’ll need to learn to be like James.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/making-excuses/
When you master your psychology, nothing can get in your way. These two stories prove it.
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Tyler, I would argue that James' story is one of the Human Spirit also; I believe more so than Psychology and Science. The reason I say this is that what I see in the recurring discussions of Psychology are more methods and/or plans of discipline of mind and body.  Discipline is a great way to achieve growth because of the habitual nature of things such as exercise and doing your homework immediately after school instead of waiting (that'll get you straight A's :). It's been said in not so many words, by some active in Psychology, e.g. Pearson's Interactive, that Psychology is in need of serious revision. Science on the other hand, applied, is doing all one can ethically do with what one is certain of. All too often I've come across Scientists going beyond what they cannot know, things that require the substance of faith. Hope is one of those good things that can't be quantified with precision. It is nurtured through the human spirit. I imagine James in the nice words you used above, and I see a story, perhaps subjective to me, but one of hope.
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Guys, let’s level. You can argue whether or not Valentine’s Day is an illegitimate holiday designed for emotional extortion, but the fact you’re reading this is evidence that your other half does not feel that way. Maybe she does, but she wants to celebrate anyway.

Either way, you’re on the hook for a Valentine’s date and, as long as that’s the case, you might as well get it right. Thankfully, science can lead us to the perfect answer.

As my wife will (sarcastically) tell you, there’s nothing as sexy as having your romantic desires explained away by psychology and base animal instincts. But there is a connection between these things and, the better you understand it, the better your Valentine’s date will be.

Thankfully, we have many decades of research and hundreds of studies about human courting behavior to lead us to exactly what your partner wants on Valentine’s Day. Of course, we all want different things at different times in our lives for different reasons. So, to say exactly what the perfect V-Day date is, we have to make a few assumptions. Here are mine:

1. You’re a man, and your partner is feminine. In most relationships—regardless of sex—one partner typically has more masculine energy and the other has more feminine. Research has shown desires and motivations around Valentine’s day are different for men than they are women[1][2] (surprise!).

2. You’re in a committed relationship. Based on this, we can assume you’ve developed a sort of “life routine” with your partner.
We also have to assume some goals:

3. You want to increase your partner’s long-term commitment. You want your date to show them you’re “in it for the long-haul.”

4. You want to increase attraction. You’re hoping your efforts will also have some immediate benefits.

When you control for these assumptions, you can reference a lot of data to explain exactly what it is your wife/girlfriend/feminine partner will most likely find to be the perfect Valentine’s date.

Let’s dig in.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/scientific-valentine/
By understanding the science behind attraction and relationships, you can craft the perfect Valentine's Day experience.
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Of all the ways to travel hack, one of my favorites is to eat my way to free trips.

If you follow the world of travel hacking at all, you already know about credit cards, bonus miles and manufactured spending. But did you know many major U.S. airlines also offer a dining program?

Tomorrow, Friday, February 6, I’ll be joining my friends Chris Guillebeau and Stephanie Zito, travel hackers extraordinaire, as I eat my across Portland in attempt to reach VIP status with the American Airlines dining program in just one day for less than $50. If I make it, I’ll earn 5 miles per dollar (!) every time I eat out for the rest of year.

We call this fun and gut-busting foray the #DiningDash challenge. You’re invited to join us from wherever you are and, if you do, we might send you 2,500 miles.

Read on for details.

(Attn. Portlanders: Join us for our final stop of the night at the Triple Nickel—a ridiculous dive bar—on SE Belmont at 9:00PM)

Continue Reading: http://riskology.co/dining-dash-2015/
Here's how to earn massive amounts of frequent flyer miles and stuff yourself at the same time. So fun...
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Building a new habit is incredibly hard work. You set out with the best of intentions, you make a plan, and you try to set yourself up for success.

At first, everything goes great and you feel on top of the world. You’re motivated, you’re succeeding, and you can see how  it’s going to change the way you live.

Then, without fail, something gets in the way. Work gets busy. You have a family emergency. You have to take your dog to the vet. And you slip.

The fact that you slipped, I believe, is not important. But what happens next is.

After looking at dozens of cases of my own and those close to me, I’ve learned that those who succeed and those who don’t at building a new habit often experience the same number of failures and disappointments along the way. The only difference is where those failures occur.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/forget-perfection/
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Let’s play a quick game. If I asked you which of these movies you’d rather see, how would you answer?

1. Revenge Of The Dinosaurs (rated 4 stars by other viewers)
2. Revenge Of The Head Lice (rated 2 stars by other viewers)

You’d probably choose the dino flick, right? I would.

Let’s add another layer. Now you’re the only one who knows about the dinosaur film and all your friends are watching the lower-rated head lice movie. Which would you pick now?

If you’re like most people (myself included), Revenge Of The Dinosaurs just got a lot more intriguing. Higher rated and I’m the only one who gets to see it? Sign me up! Right? Well, not so fast.

You may have a taste for adventure and exclusive experiences, but do you also want to build strong connections and friendships? If so, you might have made precisely the wrong choice according to a fascinating Harvard study.

If you’re the type of person who wants the best of both worlds—to lead a life of adventure and build meaningful connections with lots of people—you might need to change how you make decisions.

Here’s what the researchers found, and here’s my strategy for filling life with amazing experiences and also building strong connections.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/impressing-vs-connecting/
If you feel like your life is epic—but you're lonely—this could be why. Here's how to turn it around.
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Tyler Tervooren

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A home down the street from me went up for sale the other day. It’s fun to keep track of the market activity around me, so I stopped by the open house to meet the realtor. When I got to the door and saw the asking price, though, my jaw dropped.

They’re asking how much for… that!?

Since I keep track of real estate activity, I immediately knew they were asking at least $30,000 too much. “How could they possibly think they’ll get that much for it?” I wondered.

The realtor greeted me and told me a bit about the owner. She had the home built herself and customized every aspect of it to her taste. She picked the carpets, countertops, fixtures, tiles, and paint colors. She’d really poured her creative energy—and a lot of labor—into this place. She saw it as a masterpiece.

Unfortunately, I saw a house like any other but with paint colors I’d never choose.

The seller was suffering a case of what’s know as Ikea Effect—a psychological phenomenon that explains how we come to love and value the things we put effort into.

In this case, our home seller was experiencing the negative side of the Ikea Effect, but there are a few positive ones you should know about because they can, in fact, save you a lot of money (or even make you a lot) and add an extra layer of happiness to your life.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/ikea-effect/
Research shows we love what we labor on the most. That's important to know if you want to be happy, but it can also make you rich.
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A few weeks ago, I tried a new method of making money. I built a simple, 21-day course containing quick, daily actions anyone can take to build stronger connections and then put it up for sale. 700+ buyers later and I was completely floored. I did not expect such a response.

That little experiment reinforced something I’ve always known, but often forget: Most of us are sitting on a gold mine of useful ideas and skills that could quickly be turned into cash if we were motivated enough to do something with them. In fact, it’s almost impossible to get to adulthood without learning something you could turn into a business if you were so inclined.

But, of course, our lives are usually filled to the brim each day with other thoughts, responsibilities, and daydreams. When things are comfortable, it’s easy to ignore opportunities to improve.

That’s why, years ago, I created this little game for myself. Whenever I find the time to think about money, I ask myself: “How could you make $500 by the end of the week if you really needed it?” The answers range from “Why aren’t I doing this right now?” to “I will never do this, but it’s good to know I could if I had to.”

You can play, too. Here are the rules.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/500-this-week/
We're all sitting on goldmines of skills and ideas that could quickly be turned into cash. Here's a quick game to get you started.
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Congrats. :)
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Tyler Tervooren

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Part of being a smart risk-taker is seeing and acting on opportunities. That’s why I’ve always been attracted to the points and miles game of travel hacking.

The big travel companies of the world have worked hard to build loyalty programs so you’ll spend more money to use them. But if you study their offers, you’ll find lots of ways to reap the benefits of these programs (read: free travel) for a very small investment of time and money.

Oh, and it’s also a lot of fun to game the system.

That’s why I spent last Friday going on a Dining Dash Challenge all over Portland with my colleagues Chris and Steph from the Travel Hacking Cartel.

Here’s how it turned out, and the big travel benefit you can get from it.

Continue reading: http://riskology.co/dining-dash-2015-report/
Just one epic day of eating can provide a free plane ticket every year. That's a win/win if I ever saw one.
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I have some networking advice for you: Don’t do it. At least not the way you’ve been told.

As an introvert, I spent most of my life trying to figure out why building and maintaining connections was so hard. My process looked like this:

- Read generic networking article
- Practice techniques
- Come home feeling like a sleazeball and wanting to give up.
- Repeat steps 1-3.

I was desperate to get better at building connections, but none of the advice I could find worked. I spent a long time thinking there was something wrong with me. That I just wasn’t meant to be a “people person.”

Years later after learning about introversion and the science of personality I realized it wasn’t me. It wasn’t my fault I wasn’t getting results. It was because I was following advice that was never going to work for me.

There’s no lack of advice explaining “how to network” (a quick Google search returns 1.8 billion results!)—how to rack up piles of new connections and collect business cards like they’re going out of style. Gross.

That’s not what I wanted. And if you’re an introvert like me, it’s not what you want, either. What you and I want is a simple system we can follow that will help us build better connections, not more of them.

I spent years putting my system together, and today I’m tremendously proud of the people who surround me, prop me up, and help me be my very best self. Any success I’ve had in life or at work, I owe to them. But it took me years to build that.

What if you could take those years of work I did and boil them down to a few steps? Would your life be better if you knew exactly how to start (or end) a conversation with anyone? Would your career improve if you knew how to turn your co-workers and potential business partners into deep, life-long connections? You tell me.

Today, I’m proud to partner with the incredibly smart folks at Coach.me—the world’s best habit tracking app—to release my connection-building system for introverts. It’s a 21-day, action-oriented course, and you can get it for just $9.99 for the next 24 hours ($29.99 starting tomorrow).

Join now: https://www.coach.me/plans/385901-for-introverts-how-to-build-strong-connections-in-21-days
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There was no script. There was no prompting. No cue cards, no visual reminders, no lines at all. The only direction? “Pretend like you’re a child, living out your biggest sports fantasy.”

That’s everything Bill Murray had to go on when he created this scene, which has become one of the most famous improvised movie scenes in history:

Click here to watch the video: http://riskology.co/bill-murray-technique/

Beautiful, isn’t it? Two minutes before he shot that scene, Murray had no idea what he was going to say. But when the lights came on and the camera started rolling, the story flowed like it were there all along.

That skill has taken him—and plenty of others who’ve mastered the art of improv far in life.

And if you’ve ever been caught with your pants down, unable to come up with the right words when you needed to the most, there’s much you can learn from the greats.
Just 4, simple things you can practice every day will help you master the art of always finding the right thing to say in any situation.
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In September of 1967, a 38-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took the podium in front of a crowd of psychologists and delivered a riveting speech. It was popular for many reasons, but the reason I appreciate it is for his coining of a new phrase that explains, so well, what it means to be a smart risk-taker: creatively maladjusted.

Here’s the passage: http://riskology.co/maladjusted/
Normal does not equal right. May you always be the one who questions the crowd.
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Writer and course creator
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Founder of Riskology.co
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Writer, adventurer, and chief imperialist at Riskology.co.

I spend my days traveling to strange places and thinking of strange things to do.
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I organized a successful world record attempt with more than 600 people floating on inner tubes.
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Portland
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