Dan Schwartz, on Essentialism
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What is an Essentialist? It is a buzzword in entrepreneur circles around the world today and the book ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown has been changing the way entrepreneurs tackle business and life. Essentially, an essentialist is a person that prioritizes his or her life focusing mainly on the essential things. Now, that can vary from person to person, but even Bruce Lee said: “It’s not the daily increase, but the daily decrease, hack away the unessential.”
Today’s guest is a natural and a master at Essentialism. Dan Schwartz has been on the show before, but we invited him back after he posted on Facebook about how he dissects and chooses to live as an essentialist. When I read it, it blew me away and we reached out to him immediately to interview him a second time on the podcast to talk about this post and to dive deeper into the study of Essentialism.
“Most of what people do are not revenue generating activities. They are just 100% time-wasting activities that aren’t going to affect their bottom line.” Dan Schwartz
Dan’s Essentialism Post from Facebook
I’m an essentialist…I don’t own a car. I don’t watch the news. I don’t have an office. I rarely buy clothes or shop for consumer goods. I only spend money on my health and in fleeting epic life experiences like travel, activities, amazing food, music, and recreation. I don’t have any social apps on my phone, so I only check social media 3-4 times a week on my computer. Most days I have zero plans. I only focus on and execute the most important thing and let my intuition guide my days. My business runs the day-to-day itself and is based on recurring revenue. I don’t have a 401K or fancy financial situation…just checking, savings, and basic investment positions.
I don’t let many people into my personal life (especially negative people) so as to go deeper with existing relationships and let new ones flourish organically. I don’t talk on the phone a lot, on average two important business calls a week. I only respond to texts so as to avoid spam. I don’t check business email as I have an assistant. I use a virtual postbox to receive mail so I can travel and still get important mail.
Day to day I literally just do what I want to do at any given moment, and trust myself enough to only want positive things…
All this comes at a cost. I often feel isolated, disconnected from the world, and blissfully ignorant, which is often perceived as apathy or selfishness. I sometimes feel misunderstood and I often feel a sense of guilt for not doing “more” with the freedom I have…almost an unfulfilled sense of obligation that’s followed me around my whole life, even after big accomplishments. I accept that. I accept myself and these decisions.
Luckily, I don’t really care what people think or how weird all these decisions may seem to the majority, as I’ve surrounded myself with people, like you all, that normalize the concept of “living life on your own terms.” Badass!
Perhaps, it’s an experiment in finding the edges of what freedom means to me, so that I can share these lessons with others who seek to explore what freedom means to them. I believe we are at the apex of human civilization, billions of years in the making. I believe that with technology and increased interconnectedness, we are entering a period where billions of additional people will begin to realize this potential for freedom as well. I am willing to fight for this.
Above all, I fucking love my life. I realize this freedom gives me the capacity to serve the world in a big exciting way. I accept the different seasons of my life. The ebbs and flows. I feel a calm before the storm, something big brewing, and I’m excited for what this upcoming “spring” season of life will help me manifest.
I’m insanely grateful for the lightness, peacefulness, and mental clarity that comes from living free from a lot of the shackles of modern day living. I wish more people chose less over more, the essential few vs. the trivial many, the 80/20 of living an epic life.
We are all blessed to live in the conditions that allow us to shape our lives as we wish. To choose how we want to be, feel, and show up in the world. So fucking blessed.
I’m grateful for you all for reading this and being part of this group. Please share more here if you haven’t yet so we can learn more about you.
Love your life. It makes things a lot easier. <3, -Dan
“I don’t really care about taking in more, I just only care about taking in the most important high-leveraged piece of information, and my brain will always find that.” Dan Schwartz
03:20: Freedom Shapers Post by Dan Schwartz
07:58: What is an Essentialist?
09:52: The Progression of Becoming an Essentialist
10:33: How an Essentialist Measures His Time and Mobility
15:02: Owning a Car vs. Taking Uber Everywhere
17:17: Running a 7-figure Business with No Office
19:18: Tips to Recognize if You’re Working on Time Wasting Activities
21:06: What it’s Like to Have No Social Apps on Your Phone
22:22: Dan on Not Having a Daily Plan
24:32: Dan on Non-Traditional Investments
25:49: The Criteria of Who Dan Allows Into His Life
29:27: Only Having Two Important Business Calls Per Week
32:49: Feeling Disconnected From the World and Blissfully Ignorant
41:32: An Essentialists on Spirituality
Dan’s 1st Podcast Interview on The Entrepreneur House Podcast
Ep.205 ~ Hitting High Six-Figures in Two Years and Zero Inbox Hacks ~ Dan Schwartz
Essentialism by Greg McKowen
Freedom Shapers Facebook Group
Dan’s Essentialist Facebook Post
Virtual Post Mail
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Turo App - Rent Better Cars
Abundance 360 ~ Peter Diamandis’ Digital Community