Mar 16

The world done changed this last week… still wrapping my head around how fast this COVID-19 thing has mushroomed into a pandemic.

A week ago Christina, Helen and I were munching JFC (yes it’s KFC but one louder) on the way to…

a remote part of the island to capture footage for @east_bali_poverty_project and what we’re doing for them via @charitymakeover_

We got to meet their students…

and see a part of Bali I had not yet experienced.

EBPP is doing amazing work in the jungle. They have a for-profit arm building bamboo bikes and the latest is this entirely-bamboo wheelchair they’ve put together. The proceeds from the sales of these items go to fund their non-profit effort that is educating youth and providing toilets and clean water to rural villages nearby. It’s an amazing operation and we were very fortunate to see it firsthand.

We have refined the CM format and did a better job ramping up with team leader engagement leading into the weekend event. We threw our biggest ever Charity Makeover on Saturday with a total of 32 volunteers supporting 6 different charities with workers spanning 5 different timezones. I have not had the chance to comb through all the assets developed but I am incredibly proud of the effort and energy of the volunteers this weekend. Thanks to our sponsors, mentors, the @canggucamp308 venue and everyone who mobilized to make this work.

Guys, don’t worry. I’m still crushing desserts in spite of the virus. I have a theory I’m testing now that it avoids chocolate cake. I will report back on how this pans out.

Nothing changes for me gym-wise. My gym has been this tree since I got here.

And long-time friends will be happy to know that not even a pandemic can stop The Tierney 51st St. Patty’s Party in Phoenix.

Be safe y’all. I don’t have answers but I know for the first time in a long while the world is rallying as one around this common enemy. Turn the media off, be with loved ones and take care of each other. We are all in this struggle together. (at Canggu)

Mar 09

Can’t believe we’ve been here a month already… A group of us went to a different water park on Saturday.

This is not me hahah.

This is more my speed. This place is a giant circular lake with a cable system running above it that tows you around and lets you wakeboard, kneeboard, waterski and/or drags you through the water when you fail to let go of the handle.

Prior to that I took advantage of the alternative healing scene here and had my first “live blood analysis” to see how healthy I really am. So crazy to see the cosmos of all the little microbes moving around inside of one drop of blood… one of those moments of zoom in via microscope to think about that universe then zoom out with a telescope and realize how incredibly vast the actual universe is. We’re the little microbes in someone else’s plasma basically hahaha?
We made the most out of a visa run and I got to have an incredible lunch with one of my favorite people in a magical place. I’m taking Nikki through “Start With Why” – this is one of the most powerful exercises I believe one can undertake. If there’s something that can yield a higher return in terms of being a force multiplier for one’s own impact, I have yet to find it.

We went to a villa party on Sunday in a place that could be on MTV Cribs. Unbelievable what you can get here for $1k/mo.

Ben and I are now in full-on attack mode with @charitymakeover_ #7 approaching this weekend. We have a sellout event of 30 confirmed volunteers for this one serving 5 charities making it our biggest event to date. We also should be having a nice little PR piece hit this week which will give us a stress test of the nocode application we recently deployed. Fingers crossed it weathers the impending PR storm.

Our workdays are punctuated by the occasional Balinese parade by the workspace.

This place continues to impress. I’m a big fan of Bali at this point and can for sure envision making this a regular stop on the yearly global circuit.

If you enjoy these weekly updates from me, you’ll love my bi-annual email update. Signup for that here:
Or subscribe to my weekly podcast: (at Bali)

Mar 02

I’ve been in Bali three weeks now and I understand the appeal of this place.

These are some shots I took this morning on my 3min scooter commute to the workspace.

I pass 4 different Hindu temples on the way to work each day and all of them have intricate stonework.

Speaking of scootering, I picked up this stowaway the other day. He just jumped on my scooter and sat there like “where are we going?” Adorable.

This place has torrential rains most days around 4pm. It reminds me of the way the monsoons used to be in Arizona way back in the day before Phoenix was a concrete jungle.

I took this video yesterday while I was working on the Esperanca mobile app. It probably rained 3” yesterday in this storm. No wonder it’s so lush here.

It’s been Galungan and Kuningan holidays recently and the roads are lined with these giant bamboo poles with offerings on the end of them. Every doorway has a little tray of cigarettes, coffee, candy and incense. And at any given moment you’ll be driving and the road will get blocked off with a procession of people playing percussion instruments and dressed up like a life-sized monster.

Food here continues to impress. Their produce is next-level and everything is served with bamboo straws and wooden spoons.

I can definitely see how people come intending to make a brief visit and end up staying years here. My Portuguese residency requirements dictate that I need to get back to Lisbon in a month but 100% this will not be the last time I visit Indonesia.

Our Charity Makeover event is at full capacity with 2 weeks to go. We’re focused now on forming teams and laying the strategy for what we’ll be doing for each charity at the upcoming event. If you want to follow along with that effort follow @charitymakeover_ or visit and sign up. (at Canggu)

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Feb 23

We’ve been here in Canggu just over two weeks now. My favorite thing so far was the long, winding drive yesterday to Udara. There was this giant temple in the middle of the rice paddy.

Perfectly paved and shaded road zigzagging through the countryside.

Every Sunday they have morning lineup of yoga, ecstatic dance, sound healing and chanting. The DJ yesterday was playing these hypnotic tribal beats and there must have been 300 people there.

The food has been excellent so far. I get this breakfast and a juice pretty much every day for 100 IDR (~$7).

Our coworkers are a little noisy in the workspace but we tolerate them because they’re so adorable.

We’re here during the rainy season which means almost every day around 4pm these massive thunderheads roll in and dump rain on us. You have to time your scooter rides accordingly and keep a poncho under the seat.

This reincarnation of Jimmy Hendrix melted my face last weekend. Speaking of face-melting: I’m excited to be playing my first open mic here tonight. I’m dusting off some old original tunes. Love that the venue is named after a Ben Howard song – that bodes well.

Our next Charity Makeover event is less than 3wks out and we’re in full prep mode. We’re supporting 5 different charities (2 of which are local Balinese ones). ?@charitymakeover_

I’m using this opportunity to build out the tooling necessary for running events exclusively through our app. The “Nocode” movement is a game-changer for entrepreneurs. The goal is to be able to be a consumer of this app and use it ourselves for everything. Once we can run things entirely without cheating and updating the site manually or opening direct access to the database, we will have reached v1 of the platform and it will be fully possible for anyone to bring Charity Makeover to his/her town using our platform.

Some exciting news: there is a high likelihood we’ll be accepted into Portugal’s most renown incubator program with CM. Fingers crossed we should know shortly on that. (at Bali)

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Feb 23

About 50 people from Nomad Cruise have reunited in Bali, Indonesia and are roaming around. This was a
reunion gathering on one of our very first days in town.

I’ve only been in Bali a week now but it’s long enough to vouch that it is truly a magical place and I totally get the appeal now. I’m super glad I learned how to ride a scooter in Koh Tao because it’s pure chaos on the roads here.

The sunsets rival those of Costa Rica.

And they have these elaborate Hindu statues in random places.

I recorded my last podcast for Pagely on the rooftop of our cowork space this week with the amazing @poondingo. Could not have asked for a better last guest.

My transition out of my role there is now complete and thus ends a 4.5yr era. I was reminiscing back through my photos from Remote Year and subsequent travels at some of the amazing places it’s enabled me to work.

They are hiring for a couple positions. If you want to apply for the opp to work in this amazing culture visit to see what they have available.

I told myself I’d take some time off before going heads-down on @charitymakeover_ but the reality is I’m freakin’ excited to make this thing go. This is one of the
charities we’ll be working with at our next event: East Bali Poverty Project. They are doing amazing work in remote villages in Bali and are helping solve sanitation, clean water, education and work needs. They empower the locals to make these bamboo bikes which are then sold and the revenue of which goes to fund their development efforts. Win win.

We went to a waterpark yesterday and spent the day trouncing around like 5-yr-olds hitting all the slides. I can’t remember the last time I went to a water park but it was such a great day up until the last run when someone in our crew hit her head on the slide and broke some teeth. Be careful out there. This quarter pipe shoots you 40’ completely vertical before swooshing you down into the pool. I’ve never done anything like it.

Super stoked to be here in Bali for a bit and have control of my days. If you want to follow along as we turn CM into a global grassroots movement sub
@charitymakeover_ (at Canggu)

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Feb 14

There comes a time when you take all the skills you’ve acquired over a lifetime, all the connections you’ve made, all the unique vantage points you’ve had the good fortune to have and you go all-in on your Ikigai. For me, that time is now.

I read two books over the holidays: “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and “The Courage to Be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi. Both were profound in their own ways and the net result was that they tipped me to make the decision to leave an amazing job that has allowed me to work with incredible people doing interesting work from all over the world. By every stretch I had achieved the grail of employment and I’ve just decided to let it all go.

Pagely has been the best job I’ve ever held. Culture-wise it is bar none the best organization I’ve had the pleasure to be involved with. It has allowed me to live in 38 countries in the last four years and has given me a virtual family, stable income and purpose (they’re hiring BTW). But I realized over the holidays that a) my heart is now elsewhere and b) I am likely no longer what the company truly needs. It was not an easy decision but I’m taking a leap of faith here and committing all my energy to a cause that I believe is the highest and best use of me for generating maximum positive benefit for the world.

Charity Makeover is a project I started as an experiment way back in 2013 to test the idea that we could tap into the unique talents of knowledge workers and assemble temporary teams to help local charities overcome the main challenges that hold them back. Think of it like a virtual Habitat for Humanity, a “digital barn raising for non-profits” if you will (hence the barn logo). We get the right set of smart people in the room and build game-changing digital assets for the local charities of their area which are poised to have incredible impact but lacking the in-house resources to overcome their hurdles on their own.

This effort was back-burnered for a number of years but always lingered as being the one thing I felt I was born to bring to the world.

I was a participant of a conference at sea called Nomad Cruise back in April of last year and on a lark decided to pitch this idea at their “Piraña Tank” mini replica of Shark Tank. You can find my pitch here:

That led to me reviving the effort and organizing an event in Lisbon which then led to a friend I made on that cruise gaining interest in being involved at a core level. On a visit Ben Lakoff made to Lisbon over a series of conversations we decided to partner up and work together to advance the idea. We executed the next event in Barcelona successfully and we felt the momentum.

Fast forward to today on my last day for Pagely… I stand on the precipice of leaving the safety of the company I’ve known for my entire remote existence and am diving head-long into the uncertainty a project with no proven revenue model nor investors but represents the single greatest lever I can think of to move the world.

If you want to follow our journey with this our Instagram will have updates or join my bi-annual personal email update. For now we’re busy preparing for our next event in Bali, Indonesia on March 14th and laying the foundational platform and playbook so that this becomes essentially “wikipedia-like” in the ability for anyone to extend it to his/her town. I’m taking all that I’ve acquired from my 25-year career in the way of knowledge, connections and passion and assembling the crew and tech to turn this into a global movement.

There’s a quote by Tim O’Reilly I put on the T-shirts for the Lisbon event. And it is our mantra:

“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.”
-Tim O’Reilly

I’m confident we’ll zigzag our way to a sustainable revenue model with the runway we have. We have a hypothesis now would love an intro to people who work in HR and Corporate Social Responsibility for Enterprises to validate or refine this. In the event of some catastrophic scenario where we fail to make this effort sustainable, it will still have changed many lives for the better in the process and therefore cannot ultimately be a failure.

Thanks to my parents, my friends who have encouraged me to make this leap, Pagely for being supportive and Ben for being the first follower as we morph this into a movement. To the charity founders in the trenches who are fighting the hard fight without reinforcements, air support is on the way. Hang in there.


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