Hi, I’m Joe Balcom.
Welcome to my online home. I write about living life against the grain, rejecting conformity, and battling complacency in the pursuit of meaningful work and financial freedom. This is what I like to call the Unparalleled life.
Each week, I write a popular and fast-growing email newsletter, where I share a collection of the coolest things I’ve learned or experienced, along with ideas and tools that will challenge you to think in new ways, try new things, and embrace your unique authenticity.
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The purpose of this blog is to share the story of how to live life on your own terms, independent of external and mental constraints. In my mission to achieve this ideal, I focus on four core themes: Work, Travel, the Mind, and Leadership.
I write about Work because I have spent half of my life searching, unsuccessfully, for meaningful work. From selling fidget spinners to building and managing a multi-million dollar restaurant, my working life has amounted to little more than paying the bills. I no longer believe that is the best way to live the most capable years of one’s life. I no longer believe in working a job just for the money. I no longer believe income has to be linked to one’s time. We are entering a new age and new ways of thinking about work. We are entering a time when every single person has the potential to do meaningful work and become truly financially free. Through writing about Work, I intend to help shed light on the infinite possibilities available to each and every one of us.
Here are some of my best Work essays:
- 12 Favorite Problems: A Practical Framework for Discovering Your Purpose
- Why You Need to Bet on Yourself Now, More Than Ever
- How to Make Time to Reinvent Yourself
- 12 Lessons from Saying No to a Life of Mediocrity
I write about Travel because I have spent the better part of the past decade discovering its incredible value. I’ve walked 500 miles solo across northern Spain. I’ve done an 8400-mile road trip across the American continent and back. I’ve experienced the unique lifestyles of the forest-dwellers of Costa Rica, the farmers of Southern Italy, and the seafaring Bermudians. Seeing new places, meeting different people, and understanding new perspectives has taught me not to run from unfamiliarity, but to embrace it wholeheartedly. Immersion in the experience of travel beats anything you could ever read in a book, watch in a video, or see on a map. I want to inspire you to see more of the world, so you can see more of yourself.
Here are some of my best Travel essays:
- Driving Coast to Coast (to Coast): How to Take the Road Trip of a Lifetime
- A Road Trip Across America: Reflections from a Week of Vagabonding
- Skip the Vacation. Take a Road Trip Instead
- The Power of a Forcing Function: How A Plane Ticket Transformed My Life
I write about the Mind because this is where my story begins. I was born to two parents, of little means and of lesser opportunity, both dealing with lifelong and often unmanageable mental illnesses. Growing up, it was up to my grandparents to instill discipline, and up to me to instill the rest. While I do not suffer from mental illness, I have a deep understanding of how it affects one’s life and the people in it. Mental health is a subject with a lot of questions and very few answers. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a unique perspective, with experiences and ideas on practical philosophy and mental performance that will be a large part of the fabric of this site.
Here are some of my best Mind essays:
- Growing Up with Two Mentally Ill Parents
- 3 Powerful Tactics for Hacking Procrastination
- Crossing Your Rubicon: Give Yourself Permission to Write History
- The Magic of an Orthogonal Mind
I spent two years building and leading a 100+ employee, multi-million-dollar restaurant. I’ve spent over 10 years serving in leadership roles, both academic and professional. And I’ve spent my lifetime studying, emulating, learning from, and interacting with the likes of successful business owners, professional athletes, four-star generals, and political leaders. I’ve seen what excellent leadership looks like, and I’ve seen what poor leadership looks like. At the age of 30, I’d like to think that I’ve seen and experienced more than most when it comes to leading and empowering people in a productive and principled manner.
Here are some of my best Leadership essays:
- Permissionless Leadership
- Wear the Purple Tunic
- Want to be an Effective Leader? Get a Dog.
- The Mimetic Theory of Leadership
Unparalleled Live: A Digital Course
In addition to this blog, I’m on a mission to teach thousands of people to take their destiny into their own hands, use their unique strengths and abilities to create value for the world, share that value, and build their own audience of 1,000 true fans. In order to do that, I am building an ecosystem through my online course called Unparalleled Live. With a supportive community of like-minded creators and explorers, you will have all the tools and the resources you need to say no to the status quo, take the risk you’ve been holding off, and truly live an unparalleled life.
You can also find me on Twitter.
Or contact me here.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin
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