Meet Praxis advisor Ryan Ferguson.
Ryan is the co-host of the World Wanderers podcast, a travel podcast that provides advice about low budget, long term travel. He works with a cohort of Praxis participants to help them navigate the challenges of being a young professional. He’s visited 6 continents and 45 countries and shows no signs of slowing.
I caught up with him between his busy schedule to ask him a few questions about his life, his career, and his experience as a Praxis advisor. If you were looking for an inside look at the advisor experience and the value our advisors bring to our participants, this is it!
You actually went through the program — how did it help you get to where you are now?
I was a participant from Sept. 2015 to June 2016. Praxis and my work at my business partner, FEE, helped me get to where I am now in a lot of different ways, but the biggest is the network. Many of the things I’m working on right now come directly from connections that I made at FEE and through Praxis. It sounds like cheesy marketing language, but my Praxis tuition is by far the best investment I’ve ever made.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on this year?
On a small scale it’s the Yoga for Men course I just released with my girlfriend Amanda. Yoga has had a massively positive impact on my life. But for a lot of guys it just doesn’t make sense. Most yoga courses are taught by flexible women for flexible women, so we created a course that is kind of a cheat sheet for guys. It walks you through the most popular poses and shows you how to adjust them so you can get value out of any yoga class you go to.
On a bigger scale it is traveling Asia and creating podcast episodes about the places we’re visiting. We’ve been to nine countries since this trip started in October and created an episode around each of them.
What’s a cool story about a Praxis participant you’ve worked with?
The first one that jumps to mind is a story about Alex Hopper. Alex is a 18 year old Praxis participant working as an operations manager for a custom truck company in Normal, Illinois. The company that he is working at is likely going to be featured in a Discovery Channel reality show, but that isn’t the cool story. In the fall there was a viral story about Piñatagrams. A company that would send your friends custom messages in Piñatas. Alex saw the story blowing up, thought it was cool, but saw that not much was going on with their social media, so he reached out, offered to work for free and got to know the guy behind the project and that led to him managing the social media of another project that the guy behind Piñatagrams had created.
Many of our participants love travel. You travel almost full time it seems — what kind of work do you do outside of Praxis that allows you to do that?
My life revolves around podcasting. I create a weekly travel show with my girlfriend Amanda where we talk about personal development and travel. Then I do freelance podcast production and I’ve recently helped to launch two new podcasts. Outside of that I’m always working on side-projects, and the most recent is the Yoga for Men course.
People imagine that you need to be doing something special and making a ton of money to travel, but the reality is that if you do it right it is cheaper than life at home. We have been in Asia all winter traveling very slowly, so the cost of living is actually much lower than it is in the U.S. or Canada.
Do you have any advice for participants or followers of Praxis who want to do the same?
Stop making excuses and go do it. If you want to travel, but are waiting for the perfect moment, you are going to stay stuck where you are forever. The obstacles that are preventing you from taking action will likely solve themselves once you take the first step. If you pick the right place the cost of traveling is very low and if you want to freelance and work remotely there is a TON of opportunity you can find once you start.
One specific plan, if you have a little bit of savings, are interested in entrepreneurship, and want to travel and work remotely is to book a flight to a hub for expats and freelancers like Chiang Mai, Thailand or Medellin, Colombia. Find a cheap appartment, go to entrepreneurship meetups, offer to do free work, and you will find yourself with more remote work opportunities than you know what to do with.
What’s your favorite part about being an advisor at Praxis?
The conversations. Every week I get to have deep conversations with inspiring people. I get a front row seat to watch participants grow and accomplish their goals in the program. The cohort that I’m working with is close to finishing and it has been very cool to see the growth they have had over the past 9 months. The hustle and ambition that participants have is infectious and supporting them is fuel for my own life.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from being involved in Praxis?
It’s too hard to pick just one, so here are three quick ones:
- Don’t underestimate yourself. The things we are great at oftens seem boring and unimpressive to ourselves, but may be interesting and impressive to others.
- How to sell my skills. It doesn’t matter what you can do if you can’t sell others on your ability to create value.
- How to work and create when I don’t feel like working. TK has a metaphor about learning how to dance to any type of music and how to create in any mood. This self awareness about how I work is extremely valuable and the type of thing a lot of people never learn.
What are some of the participants in your cohort working on?
Each one is doing amazing things, but a few that jump to mind are:
- Morgan Aldous is growing a massive following with his short philosophy and politics videos.
- Evan Le has moved down to Houston to help author Alex Epstein grow his business.
- Alex Hopper has become operations manager at a custom truck company at the age of 18 while running a math tutoring business with two employees on the side.
- Tommy Prushinski is doing remote work from Vietnam for a company that sells supplements on Amazon while building a career as a stand-up comic.
- Hannah Phillips is running her own media company HP media
I asked Praxis participant Hannah Phillips to tell me a bit about her advising experience with Ryan and here’s what she said:
“Through my group mentoring sessions with Ryan and Amanda I’ve always been impressed with the insight and advice I’ve gotten on how to tackle my PDPs. They’ve helped me break down my projects into manageable steps while always motivating me to challenge myself.”
This post is part of an ongoing series cover Praxis advisors. Advisors at Praxis are typically a few years ahead of their careers than participants and are able to offer participants not only practical career coaching but invaluable life advice.
Praxis has a roster of multiple advisors, all of whom come from different backgrounds and have various areas of expertise, who meet 1-on-1 with our participants every other week for the entire nine months of the program. The participants get to pick who they meet with based on personal preferences and professional goals.