Building An Airplane

In one week I will hop on an airplane to Istanbul. I have enough savings to get me through about one month of travel, but I know that I won’t be heading home for over half a year.

Running out of cash on the road is, of course, not an option. I’m making money online now, but it is currently not nearly enough to sustain me. As I begin my journey I am moving forward with the faith that I will be able to make up the difference.

There’s a quote that’s been on my mind for the past few months. It’s a quote about entrepreneurship, spoken first by DJ Patil in his commencement address at the University of Maryland.

“Entrepreneurship is jumping off of a cliff and assembling a plane on the way down.”

Taking my one way flight to Istanbul is my act of jumping off of a cliff. Building up my income is assembling my airplane.

Is this ‘jump first’ approach a smart one, or would it have been better for me to build up my income before leaping into oblivion?


To me, the answer seems very straightforward.

If I’m about to miss my rent payment in Chiang Mai I will spend the time to find $300 worth of work. (Even if it takes me over 10 hours)

If $500 is all that stands between me and a trip to South Africa I’ll be highly motivated to earn that money.

Jumping off the cliff is the best way to ensure that my airplane gets built.

As a human being, I won’t let myself starve. I won’t let myself get kicked out onto the street if the opportunity to make money is available to me. I’ll figure out how to earn a high level of income online if it’s necessary for me to do so.

If I was comfortably living at home I would be much less likely to be motivated to earn money. With no deadline or driving force compelling me to earn an income, I would also probably take three times as long to do so.

Even though I ‘could’ motivate myself to work from my comfortable bedroom at home (with mom making me breakfast every morning), I would find it much more challenging to get started.

With my rent on the line, a hungry stomach, and the potential for finding myself stranded in a foreign country, I know that I’ll build the airplane I need to avoid disaster.