A Transhuman Business Model – Make Yourself Scalable By Using Technology and Upgrading Your Efficiency

By on December 14, 2014

I earn a living predominantly as a copywriter and an app developer (with a little extra coming in off the side from this blog). I’ve gone over it before in other articles on this site, but I genuinely believe that being self-employed is one of the very best things you can do for your productivity, your self-development and your health and fitness.

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Most people want to be stronger, smarter and happier. To do this they would need to spend several hours a week working out, a few more reading and learning new subjects or in creative pursuits and then a whole bunch taking walks on the beach and chatting with friends. Problem is that we work 8 hours a day and thus we get home feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. We have no energy or will power left to do anything we want to and so we just collapse into a heap on the sofa and watch reruns of Modern Family (not that there’s anything wrong with Modern Family!).

“Being a sole trader is scalable now thanks to technology. Instead of increasing turnover by hiring more people or opening more branches, you do it by upgrading yourself. This is the transhuman business model.”

During the renaissance we saw great advancements in art, philosophy, science and culture. Why? Because they had more time and fewer distractions.  This was the age of the ‘polymath’.

Today though, the thought of sitting in a café and reading a book for an hour is out of the question for most of us because we have no time. And the thought of working out after an hour’s commute home is even more off putting. Point is, that we would be healthier, happier and more creative if we weren’t forced to sit at a desk for the majority of our lives. If you want to read more then read this post – it’s quite brilliant. The basic gist is that we only complete about 3 hours’ worth of work on average during an 8 hour working day – the 8 hours is arbitrary but happens to be convenient for certain parties so it persists.

What is Lifestyle Design?

The good news is that a few people are breaking out of this horrendous cycle, particularly by leveraging technology, brain hacking and productivity tricks. This is sometimes called ‘lifestyle design’ and one of the first people to popularize this (and I believe the first guy to use the phrase) was Tim Ferris – a personal hero of mine. A ‘digital nomad’ is someone who takes this even further and uses the same strategies to travel the world while earning a living online.

I actually started making money online long before I’d even heard of Tim Ferris though. It was a challenge I set myself to have a viable online income before I finished University. Through good fortune and lots of trying I managed to do it and haven’t worked a job since my placement (my placement was awesome too to be fair). As such, I’ve managed to travel more than average, teach myself Android development and program a hit app, maintain my workout routine etc.

The cool thing is that this kind of job just wasn’t possible 20 years ago, so it puts you right on the cutting edge. And today there are more tools than ever before available to us to help optimize our workflow and get more done.

Thus you can shrink those three hours of productivity working on your own down even more. In my case, I’ve gradually evolved from writing about 4,000 words a day to about 20,000. Yup, 20,000 words with my maximum being 30,000. Going this fast I can earn £100 ($200) by about 11am and then I have the choice to carry on working and earn more, or to chill/workout/work on my own products.

I’ve accomplished this partly through practice but also through brain training, nootropics, technology and the right ‘hacks’ and systems. Being a sole trader is scalable now thanks to technology. Instead of increasing turnover by hiring more people or opening more branches, you do it by upgrading yourself. This is the transhuman business model.

So work for yourself, then start improving your own workflow and you can save yourself huge amounts of time in order to do more for yourself or to start earning more money. Get it right and you can produce more output as one person than a team of people. In the future, technology is only going to make this more possible (think virtual reality offices and writing with our thoughts). Technology and transhumanism could one day bring back the polymath and certainly help to end our constant, meaningless grind to some degree.

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For now, here are some of my favorite tricks that I’ve been using to ‘scale’ myself lately:

Powerful Ways to Use Technology and Self Development to Increase Productivity

Use a Virtual Assistant: This is one of Tim Ferriss’ favorite tips but I’ve only just started doing it. And boy do I wish I started sooner! I’m currently using a virtual assistant for $3 an hour who can do things for me like collect e-mail addresses, do keyword research, check facts in my articles and find me new clients even! There are tons of services out there and for these kinds of rates they more than pay for themselves. The end result is that you can drastically cut back on your administrative work and spend more time on output thereby getting much more done while removing the stressful aspects of your job. In theory you can even use them to help with your administrative work in your personal life. I suggested using them to help organize our wedding but Hannah said she didn’t want to ‘outsource our wedding to India’. When you put it like that…

Use IFTTT: I am constantly recommending IFTTT (If This, Then That) to people because it is just completely brilliant. The way this service works is that you can set up triggers and results that work between social networks, web apps and even some physical devices. So a simple example of this would be to make a ‘recipe’ (that’s what the app calls them) that posts to Facebook whenever you post to Twitter. If you run a business that has a Facebook and Twitter profile, then that would right away save you a ton of time.

But that’s kid stuff. How about getting PayPal payments to get logged in a Google Drive spreadsheet for you automatically? For someone who works online, that’s pretty much just saved you hours when it comes to your tax-return date! I run a Sub Reddit and I get e-mail notifications whenever someone posts to it. You can also use your phone’s GPS and get an SMS with your to-do list whenever you get home. There are just countless things you can do with this tool and together they can save you hours.

Learn Programming: One of the projects I’m working on that I’m proudest of is an AI that writes articles for me. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but basically I ‘teach’ it a subject and from that point on it’s capable of churning out articles on that topic with a little input from me.

Previously I made a program that would go through my writing and increase the word count. It did this by looking for phrases that could be made longer and I called it ‘Word Boom’. I might share that one on the blog in future.

I originally made myself Multiscreen Multitasking so that I could do my writing on my smartphone by viewing a text editor and a web browser at the same time. Handy when your laptop dies or you’re going camping and want to work out there.

Point is, learning to program is incredibly powerful stuff because it gives you the ability to create software that only you need. Coding gives you exponential returns and frankly it’s too powerful for you not to do it. Ultimately, with the right combination of hardware and software you can create an ‘exocortex’ – an external extension of your brain that you can off-load some of your mental work to.

Shorthand: Everyone who works in large volumes should have their own shorthand. These are symbols you use yourself in notes and annotations that you understand and which can save you time writing. In a digital age, shorthand annotations can work incredibly effectively when combined with the good old ‘find and replace’ tool. Often when writing or coding I will use the word CABLANGA (I don’t know why) which means ‘come back to this later’. That way I can write or code with no need to stop to do revision, and then just search for that term at the end to make sure nothing is missing.

I’m going to be doing a post on shorthand for writers and programmers soon, so stay tuned for that!

Nootropics and CBT: Nootropics are ‘smart drugs’ and I really believe that some of these supplements have helped me to work at the rate I’m currently working. If you are alarmed at the word ‘drugs’, then you should be: some nootropics are pretty risky and a lot of people play with fire when they use them. I have experimented with quite a few, but I believe I’ve come up with a combination that is not only safe and healthy but also genuinely effective. These aren’t really ‘drugs’ because they don’t mess with your neurochemistry. Instead these are supplements that increase cellular energy – the result is more energy and focus and the ability to switch focus resulting in an ability to instantly switch my state of mind. Here’s my stack.

I combine this with CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – which is essentially just a certain type of brain training for mental discipline. I use it to give myself the ability to focus 100% on the task at hand with no distractions. Literally: I sit down at 8/9am and start writing and I don’t even check e-mail until 1pm. Usually CBT is used to help people with anxiety disorders and the like, but I believe the same principles can be applied to increase focus and discipline and even to access flow states.

The Right Devices: The right devices make all the difference to your workflow. I have my Surface Pro 3 which I absolutely love and I recently upgraded my phone to the Galaxy Note 4 which is super handy for taking handwritten notes and managing my to-do list.

In future, I also hope to add a smartwatch of some sort to my list of devices, because it would be very useful to be able to check e-mails on my wrist without having to change the screen I’m on. Having a ‘battle station’ set up is also on my to-do list, complete with multiple monitors and a mechanical keyboard. The right hardware makes a big difference if this is what you work on every day.

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So that’s just a few examples of how I’ve been generating several times more output with the same amount of time and effort. Work for yourself and you can use these strategies to ‘scale yourself’ and to cut your working hours, increase your profits and ultimately improve your quality of life. Really though, the take home message is that improving yourself is a viable way to scale a business. As more transhuman technologies become reality, this may become more and more common to the point where those 8 hours are completely left as a thing of the past.

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About Adam Sinicki

Hi there! My name is Adam Sinicki, I'm an entrepreneur, psychology graduate and amateur bodybuilder interested in fitness, self improvement, technology and transhumanism. I run an online business (NQR Productions) which allows me to live the lifestyle I want: getting time to hit the gym and to work on my projects and apps. Stick around and I'll be sharing my experiments and adventures in brain training, bodybuilding, productivity, business and technology.