Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
~ Mark Twain
My wife Theresa and I have been fascinated by the growing trend towards more freedom in virtually every area of lifestyle, business and spirit. We are both naturally skeptical of the status quo and love challenging the supposed “rules” which permeate culture and society.
As a former pick-up artist (long story…), I had experienced both the upside and downside of looking for advice online, learning and applying techniques, meeting the real people behind the screens, and subsequently becoming an expert offering advice and selling products.
Once I read Tim Ferriss’ seminal “The 4-Hour Workweek” in 2007, I realized that this online business “thing” was becoming a very big deal. More importantly, it became clear that technology was quickly reshaping virtually every area of life.
Quite naturally, I found myself fascinated by people who lived in RVs, or who became full-time nomads, or minimalists, or who learned photography, meditation, cooking (you name it), all online and on their own time.
In 2010, I started the Ownstream podcast and got exactly 2 episodes in when I realized something – I was still a prominent dating coach, with a good deal of money left on the table.
So, I spent a few years cashing that in and completing the large circle of my long-tenured love of the performing arts by building a successful 5-year performing arts festival in Brooklyn, NY. I was a successful entrepreneur, 2 times over, but neither project fully scratched my itch.
Neither seemed like the perfect fit, neither felt totally….right.
In late 2014, Theresa and I left our home in Brooklyn and traveled for 6 months. Half of this time was spent crossing Asia and the other half in the USA, and mostly in the gorgeous, laid-back seaside town of Encinitas, CA.
We had dreamt of this sort of travel for a long time and the experience of it was truly greater than our expectations.
(NOTE: If you live in New York City, and have an inkling that the lifestyle there is just a bit askew, travel for a few months and see how it changes you. For us, it ruined NYC forever…and in the best way possible)
I was struck at how easy it was to work while away. At the time, I was still running my old dating podcast, and recorded episodes from the beaches of Thailand, to Siem Reap, to New Delhi. I conducted client calls from hotels and beachside restaurants. I answered email and posted to social media from vans and cafes. I was a digital nomad, and loved it immensely.
Meanwhile, Theresa had just left her full-time job in New York City, and was able to experience the dramatic contrast of going from working 60+ hours per week to full-time traveller. Quite literally, she gave up her Blackberry one day and we boarded a plane the next.
When we returned, we first decided to focus on beginning our family and on May 2nd, 2016 welcomed our beautiful daughter Sofia into the world. Needless to say, we are bowled over with love for her and hang on her every move.
Around this time, I began to look to the future and one that now included a child. More than ever, I wanted to create something impactful, contemporary, scalable and attached to this vibrant movement away from the mainstream.
I hired a coach, my (now) friend Val Dufour. He suggested I read the book “True Purpose” by Tim Kelley. This excellent guide led me back to the project I had haltingly started back some 6 years prior, Ownstream.
The book leads you through a series of very powerful, intuitive exercises designed to reveal a portrait of possibilities to pursue and explore connected with some innate desire or “purpose”. For me, the process directed me back to the Ownstream idea but now with more flesh, clarity and experience.
Looking back, I now see that my dating coaching business and the performing arts festival I founded both intersect beautifully with Ownstream. They provide the perfect education for this next, exciting project.
The name “ownstream” is a play on the word “mainstream”. More and more, people are moving away from conventional structures of living, making money and religion, creating their own paths, which arc toward more freedom and empowerment. Largely due to the internet, individuals are now able to connect and communicate with each other in new and expansive ways, revealing to one another empowered models of living and being that are often radically different from the norm.
Ownstream is meant to be a platform to reveal and amplify these dynamic and exciting new paradigms being created in virtually every area of life. Each share a common thread: freedom. Freedom from the mainstream (and often unfulfilling) ways of doing, being and living, towards something more personally meaningful, flexible, empowered and…fun.
Both Theresa and I are irresistibly drawn to this powerful movement. We are riveted by those creating wildly different lives than those so typical to the mainstream path, and have experienced tremendous expansion ourselves in what we have learned and implemented.
To us, things are moving forward along three fronts: Lifestyle, Business & Spirit.
Each is fueled by technology – specifically the internet and mobile technology – and the ability for people to share their discoveries with others so easily and immediately.
Within these three fronts are specific niches of dramatic transformation which we are keen to amplify, namely:
- Housing: tiny houses, RV & van-living
- Minimalism: reevaluating our relationship to material goods
- Diet: away from the unhealthy standard American diet
- Travel: round-the-world travel, Airbnb, woofing, points
- Education: home/road/world-schooling
- Healing: alternatives outside of the traditional health care system
- Internet entrepreneurs: information products, affiliate marketing
- Online stores: Etsy, eBay & more
- Freelancers: location independence
- Yoga & meditation: alternative ways of worship
- The mind: new thought, positive thinking, law of attraction
- God: emerging definitions unfiltered by the traditional church
The Ownstream project and podcast seeks to become a focal point for these people and ideas. A podcast is the clearest way to begin featuring these mavericks, delving into their worldviews and paradigms of thought and living to amplify and share them with others.
Also, we’re excited to co-host these conversations. There are many single hosted podcasts in the area of self-improvement and discovery, but having a male/female blend will offer something unique. Plus, Theresa and I have different points of view and diverse areas of interest across this spectrum. She is more drawn to the food, diet and healing side whereas I am more focused on productivity and business.
Through many other areas though, we have an equal fascination for what lies beyond the veil of many mainstream structures and how, now more than ever, the individual and his/her private discoveries can have a profound impact across populations and cultures due to technology and the ability to rapidly disseminate information.
Ultimately, Ownstream is about uncovering the truth about what is truly possible and rests on the suspicion that what has risen as “the way things are” might not indeed be the “best” way, at least today.
Our aim is nothing short of uncovering these new paradigms, revealing them, and – hopefully – inspiring and empowering others to venture forth in a way which is authentic and real to them – carving their unique and vibrant paths.