This is the fifth in a series on Stylish Entrepreneurs (sponsored by Gillette!). For this one we’ve chosen serial entrepreneur and full-time traveler Colin Wright, who moves to a new country every 4 months based on the votes of his readers. While he travels, he run a handful of businesses and projects from his laptop, which is also how he funds his lifestyle. Before he started traveling, he ran a successful branding studio in Los Angeles. He’s been offered a TV show 3 times by 3 different studios but says, “all of the ideas sucked.”
We’ve written about the serial entrepreneur twice on The Next Web. First, for his recent venture Ebookling, which is due to become the disruptive darling of indie publishing and second for his new site called “Most Interesting People in the Room,” which is a new, incentivized way for highly intellectual and curious people to communicate, forum style on the Internet. We caught up with the debonaire over email to find out just how he makes the style in lifestyle look so damn good.
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CBM: How do you balance being stylish and working so hard?
Colin Wright: To me, style is about conveying to others who you are and what you’re all about without having to say a word. As a brander, this is something that I focus on quite a bit in every aspect of my life, so the balance is achieved quite naturally; I love what I do and spend a great deal of time on it, and what I do is communicate.
I’ve also found that being aesthetically acceptable in many different kinds of situation is incredibly valuable in putting other people at ease, networking and being able to see the world from a different perspective. People also tend to trust you more and want to help you succeed. Even without my passion for communicating, these reasons would help me justify spending time looking as good as possible, even when I’m crazy busy.
CBM: How many items do you own at the moment?
CW: At the moment I own 54 things in the whole, wide, world.
CBM: What are the things you can’t live without?
CW: Honestly, a part of my extreme minimalist experiment is to see if I need ANYTHING, or if I’m talented/hardcore enough to make life work with whatever is on hand at the moment.
So far, I haven’t identified anything I absolutely, positively couldn’t live without, but I do have a much better grasp on what I would very much prefer to have, given the option.
My 13″ Macbook Pro is my constant companion while on the road, and I run my many businesses and projects from it, while also remaining in contact with my friends and family all over the world, no matter where I find myself.
I’ve got a Slim Slimmy Front Pocket Wallet that has kept me from being pick-pocketed more times that I can count. It also keeps me from carrying too much in my pockets, which is a tough balance to achieve when you travel as much as I do and carry everything you own with you.
My Canon SD1400IS point-and-shoot camera is a fantastic gizmo, and probably the most useful non-laptop gadget I’ve got with me. I use it as a scanner when I’ve got illustration projects I need to get onto my computer, to show taxi drivers where to take me if we don’t share a common language, and to take photos of whatever I want whenever I want, since it fits easily in my front pocket.
CBM: If anything, what might be your next big purchase?
CW: I may replace the Macbook Pro with a newer model sometime in the next year or so, and I’m always keeping an eye out for devices and services that will make it easier for me to back up my data (both locally and to the cloud), since hardware is replaceable, but losing my work would be much harder to cope with.
CBM: Do you have any favorite tech gadgets?
CW: It’s a little dated at this point, but I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the Android OS on my Nexus One. I’ve been bouncing between phones to try out the different options available today (iPhone, Blackberry, Android…I even went without a phone for a while, as an experiment), and I’ve been really happy with this one so far. The iPhone is still pretty dominant in my opinion, and does most things better, but I think over the next few years, Android may actually take the lead.
I broke down and bought one of the newer model 3G Kindles a few weeks ago, and though I already read most books I buy from mainstream publishers through Amazon’s Kindle software on my computer and phone, reading on the Kindle itself is a really great experience. It’s nice to have a free Internet connection, too, for when my other devices are out of juice, or when there are no open WiFi signals available. The experimental browser is pretty shoddy, but it’s better than nothing in a pinch!
I guess the things I mentioned on the last question are my favorites, as well. The camera especially has been super-useful for me, especially since it shoots 1080 video as well as nice-quality stills.
CBM: What’s your style advice for the budding entrepreneur in a digital world?
CW: I would give the same advice I usually start off with when taking on a new branding client: figure out who you are, what you stand for and why. Build your life around that, and make sure that every aspect of your life shouts your message loud and clear. The gear you carry, the clothes you wear, the style of your hair, this is all part of that total picture.
Be practical (whatever that means for you, your life and your profession) and own it.
Don’t follow trends, unless you want to look like everyone else who follows trends. Uniqueness doesn’t have a season or go out of style.
The clothes don’t make the man, the man makes the life that’s emphasized by the clothes. A style without purpose is like a person without content: interesting for a few minutes, but incredibly dull once you make it past ‘hello.’
CBM: Single? Taken? …
CW: Haha, single. I date while traveling, but my lifestyle doesn’t really allow for anything long term.
For more on Colin Wright, check out his blog at ExileLifestyle.
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