The “Do Shit You Love” Show: Episode 1 – Karol Gadja

I’m excited today to announce a new series I will be putting together.  Most of you have known this was in the works in varying forms, but I’ve finally put together a rough guideline.

It’s going to be a ongoing series of unscripted, live, part-interview, part-conversations between myself and people I meet on the road or at special events.

The interviews will focus on different parts of ‘doing what you love’ and the intricacies of balancing work, life, and passion.  Obviously, this is a big part of my own life and thus a major part of this site, as well.

I’ve decided to call the video series… The “Do Shit You Love” Show.

My plan is to have 2-3 interviews a month, the far majority of which will be live and range from 10-20 minutes.

As with all projects on the site, you’ll see the evolution as I learn and grow (with video and interviewing skills in this example).

Ep. 1 with Karol Gadja from

[If you can’t see the video click here to visit the page directly]

Episode 1 was filmed at a park in downtown Auckland.  Unfortunately, we waited a tad too late to start filming and it got pretty dark.  I had to add just a touch of brightness effect, but once again am impressed with the Flip’s ability to take decent video even with limited light.  🙂

Episode 1 Content Guide:

  • Karol Gadja from
  • [01:10] – Intro to Karol and the goals of Ridiculously Extraordinary.
  • [02:30] – Why Karol ditched most of his hugely-profitable internet marketing business.
  • [04:50] – How we are both exploring balance through travel.
  • [05:20] – Karol’s lightweight traveling set-up and gear (Vibrams, quick-dry, etc…)
  • [06:45] – Why selling his dream car (BMW) was one of the best feelings of Karol’s life.
  • [07:40] – Blenders.  Everything you wanted to know about them.
  • [10:15] – I ask Karol if traveling has lived up to his expectations.  [Good discussion]
  • [13:30] – Karol asks *me* about traveling/pursuing passion with children.
  • [16:40] – Karol actually pronounces his name (the real Polish version).
  • [17:50] – Karol’s question for you!  🙂

If you didn’t have debt in your life, what would you do differently?

Go back to school?  Travel?  A specific hobby? Invest it all?  🙂

For those of you that are already debt-free, is there anything that you do know that wouldn’t have been possible with a bunch of debt?

49 thoughts on “The “Do Shit You Love” Show: Episode 1 – Karol Gadja”

  1. If I didn’t have debt in my life, I’d learn more. I love learning. I’d take dance lessons, Alexander Technique lessons, personal training, college classes. (Haha, even without debt I don’t have enough time/money to do all that!) We don’t have a lot of debt and we don’t have any high-interest debt, but half of our combined salary pays for the mortgage, his car, my student loan, and one other small (interest-free) outstanding loan.

  2. to play along and answer the question…if i was debt-free right now, i would take a few years to go live in several countries (i.e., move to a country with the intention of staying 3-6 months, before moving to another one), really getting to know the country, the language, and the culture; giving back of my time and any useful/relevant skills i have (when possible/if needed), amongst other things. why i’m not doing it now: 6-figure student loan debt is really overwhelming, and i have not figured out the best way to get my income mobile.

    well done on the video. i’m a fan of both blogs (MvsD & RidiculouslyExtraordinary). look forward to future episodes.

  3. i am glad you and Karl verbalized this. i have been trying to get on the path to doing what i want with my life even though i am still working my way out of debt. this doesnt mean taking on new debt necessarily (even though i am planning to take some classes – which i can hopefully pay cash for). it just means that i needed to start working towards stuff that i kept telling myself i would do one day.

  4. The only debt we have is our mortgage and it was a deliberate decision based on wanting to have a long-term home for our children to grow up in. Our plan is to pay it off early (around the time our kids start college) so we’re in position to help them pay for college if necessary. I’ll be around 50 by then, so maybe we’ll want to travel more, start a business, or semi-retire. The point is we’re trying to keep all options open while providing a nice home for our family.

  5. He seems like a nice enough guy and all, but nothing in the video made me think “that’s ridiculous!” or “wow, how extraordinary!”

    “Do what you love” is a great message, but it’s starting to get a bit repetitive. Especially when “what you love” always seems to be “run a website while traveling.” When are we going to see the interview with the guy who loves rehabilitating injured eagles, or restoring old cars, or whitewater rafting?

    Here’s a picture of SpaceShipTwo, funded by Richard Branson and designed by Burt Rutan, it’ll be the first commercial vehicle to take paying customers into space. They love building spaceships — now *that* is ridiculously extraordinary.

    1. SpaceShipTwo is, indeed, Ridiculously Extraordinary. I don’t know much about you Tyler, but being a software engineer is extraordinary too. (I know because I have a CompSci degree, and there’s no way I could have ever continued in that field.) A person doesn’t have to build a spaceship to be extraordinary. Don’t be so hard on yourself Tyler.

    2. Hopefully, I’ll be running across some people like you mentioned! (Well the kicker is getting to know them well enough to let me tape an interview/conversation).

      Once we hit Cali, I know a specific surfer/programmer/minimalist possessions type of person I might try.

  6. Thank you for a terrific blog, Baker! I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, especialy the last question(s). If I were debt free, I would give more. I’d start with those organizations that have fed me (emotionally, spiritually, etc.) over the last 10 years. Then I’d expand to other needs I see around me. I’m almost giddy with anticipation for that day! ; ) I give now but not nearly to the extent I hope to do in the future.

  7. I’m already doing what I love, before I had consumer debt and after I cleared my debt. Debt never stopped me doing anything I wanted to do, I always was a risktaker!!

  8. Tyler — For all intensive purposes, when people ask what I like to do my simple reply is, “I love racing my cars.” The looks I get are often priceless! Racing cars? Most people think they can’t do it, or it’s too expensive, or a whole host of other things that just aren’t true.

    So while others find it sometimes extraordinary that I race cars, it’s completely normal for me. I love everything involved in autocross and road racing, and am eager to get into drifting when my project 240SX is up and living. (Turbo problems have kept my darling down and out for almost a month now… It sucks.)

    I’m not even out of college yet, with some massive student loans, but I’m totally doing the shit I love. 🙂 That’s racing cars, building cars, writing about cars and taking pictures of cars. Not getting paid for any of it, but I’m working on finding a way to do that… I have a while yet — Planning on a five year stint or so in a “traditional” job, probably in HR, to pay off my loans, sock some money away and throw myself fully into cars.

    Travel is nice, but I will never, ever be able to give up my cars… And those I can’t put into a backpack and take with me. 😛

    (Oh, and I can’t wait to watch the video… Just don’t have the time right now, sigh. Almost time to go to work.)

    1. ‘Kay, now that I watched it… Awesome job, both of you! 🙂

      Have to say, though, that ya missed the great part of Karol’s question, Baker — Why aren’t you doing that now? I like it because even if you aren’t in debt, you can substitute whatever it is you feel that’s “holding you back” in for “debt” and the question remains valid.

      That being said, I certainly am living with my cars even though I’ve got a mighty fine pile of student loans. I don’t feel like living up to the saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I want to enjoy my youth too!

  9. Already living debt free and sleeping better than ever! Hubby and I took a few years to travel around the world (just returned to the US this Summer), but we did not wait to be totally debt-free to do so. Yes, ridding ourselves of the debt we had (primarily a mortgage) was always a priority, but we didn’t let it stop us from going ahead with life and our goals and other priorities. I encourage other readers to set priorities and make them happen…now! You never know when your last day on earth will be.

  10. Let’s see…my family’s mission in life is to help others. Specifically orphans in SE Asia. With no debt, we would funnel the debt payments to them instead and travel to see them a couple times a year. We already so some of this, but with no debt, it would be several times more than we do now. We are paying off debt from a failed brick and mortar business (housing related in the US) and are discovering the magic of doing with less, loving friends and family more and planning for the day when we are totally free!

  11. I would travel some more with our kids if we were debt free

    My wife and I many years back (before kids + mortgage ) travelled extensively through Europe and Thailand. To be able to share some of these experiences again with our kids would be fantastic.

    Looking forward to the next episode Baker, this is a great idea.


  12. Adam and Karol-

    Great job guys!

    I agree with your point Adam around minute 15. I think leaving your base and going and doing something so unfamiliar in other places will either open your eyes to other possibilities or enforce your desire to stay where you originated from. I left my stable 40k/year 9-5 in March because I had the same ‘What if’s” gnawing at me and if I didn’t go and experience my dreams, then I would still be in that 9-5 wondering “what if”.

    Anyways, you guys are awesome and Adam, I look forward to more episodes in the near future.


  13. Great intro on what Ridiculously Extraordinary is all abouit!

    There’s something about going after what really matters, what really connects. So to both of you – you are doing that, and it is good to see.

    My debt currently is only my home mortgage. So…I suppose I could be debt free if I sold my house. Hmmm…. Still, I think I’m at a good place in life right now. Having three school-age kids, there is very much this connection for them, with the life they have right now. And I do value that. Perhaps I would travel more. Perhaps I would write more. And I am doing both – I guess it comes down to the degree to which I am doing that. Great question to think about. Especially, this has me thinking – about the idea that I could be debt-free without the home I have now.

  14. Forgot to answer your question Karol….

    If I didn’t have debt, well, I would be doing the exact same thing I am doing now.

    Being debt free is freedom. Has been for centuries. To those who haven’t read The Richest Man in Babylon, it is a must read. I am sure Adam would promote it as well.


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  16. Well, Karol, this question has kind of bothered me lately. I am a full time student with loads of student loans. I have another year and a half until I graduate with a Masters in Structural Engineering. When it comes down to it, I really want to travel. I intend to travel even while I am paying off all the student loans. Being in debt (and eventually paying it off) shouldn’t drastically change this.

    It is hard to articulate it… but…

    I made my way down to a convention in Denver last year. I will make my way (even further south) to Guatemala. So I am traveling. Then by logic, debt is not holding me back. Unfortunately, I still feel like I am being held back. If I had no debt, I would probably be more apt to travel.

    I think when it comes down to it… my frustration spawns from a few things. I am not able to pay down the loans (see full time student) so they are constantly nagging the back of my mind. I am not entirely pleased with my degree of traveling. I would like to go more often than once a year. Again, I am being held back by school/loans. In essence, I think it is more of a restriction then something holding me back.

    This leads to the second part of the question, “why are you not doing anything about it?” I think this really is the root of everything. While I would like to pay of my debt, I can’t. While I would like to increase my traveling, I logistically can’t. If I attempt to increase my traveling, it would probably not be with a large group leading to higher costs and not help my debt situation at all.

    Yeah, I might have rambled, but it is hard to put it into words. Basically, I wish I could do more, but I don’t think I can. I am not entirely happy with my situation, but I do not see any way to improve at the current time. This is where I fall back into the thinking that I should just barrel through the last year and a half of school and then start to worry about it, but then I am not doing anything to make myself happier.

    Hmmm, rock and a hard place…


  17. Thanks Baker… The thing I totally love about your site and blogging is the exposure to some amazing people I get. I had never heard of Karol and now I completely look forward to following his blog.

    As for the question… I am about a $500,000 on debt from a failed business and failed marriage. I’m at the bottom of my financial barrel with less than a $1,000 to my name. So I am on the true journey, at 40, of creating a debt free life that will allow me to travel. My goals for 2010 are to generate income from then internet and to begin traveling. I’m scheduled to go out to San Francisco and run a half marathon with a friend of mine and looking very forward to that experience.

    I’m designing 2010 to be a year of growth financially for me.

    The debt? Not so worried about that. My life is more important than the banks holding my school loan or the business expenses. I’ll get to them in time. First, I want to find peace and happiness. Hopefully they’re not reading this…

  18. Sounds like a lot of people commenting if they were debt free would simply borrow and get into debt. No wonder so many people are in debt in the first place. Why not try living with you own means (spending less than you make) and save for those rainy day get-aways? It’s not like it’s rocket science. You don’t need to sacrifice that much to put together a little bit of savings. Try to skip that coffee on your morning break for example, do that 20 times in a month and you have saved $20 and do that for 1 year and there’s $120. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but say you up the ante and brought lunch from home for a year for a savings of say $8/day, which works out over $2000 a year.

  19. I’m looking forward to seeing the video.

    Regarding “doing shit you love” – I don’t think it should be necessary to quit your job, sell your house and travel in order to do that. I have a full time job but I still do stuff that I love – I just don’t do it 24-7.

    For example I have a blog/business that I really enjoy – the fact that it is only part-time doesn’t really matter. If anything I suspect that I wouldn’t love it as much if I spent 50 hours/week on it.

    Last weekend I took my son skating for the first time – it was a huge thrill for me and we both enjoyed it quite a bit. Having a regular job meant that I could buy the equipment (skates, helmet) without much thought for the cost and there is plenty of time on the weekend for that sort of thing.

    I’m not suggesting that everyone should do “shit they love” part-time, only that you don’t have to be doing exactly what you want, all the time, to be enjoying life.

  20. I love the “Do Shit you Love” idea! Life is waayyyy too short to not take advantage of every moment. And when you add kids into the mix, it’s even more imperative to do it now – the kids will grow way too quickly and be out of the house before you can even blink your eyes.

    My husband and I made the decision to quit our jobs and take off with our children to ride our bikes around the world. We have had a blast during these couple years on the road and our boys have learned WAY more than they ever would have in school! We made the decision to spend part of our retirement account in order to travel now – if we wait it’ll be too late!


  21. I would travel around the world, a few months in each and every single country. I will make (short) documentaries, preferably one per country and then a few global ones. I will write blogs, books, travel articles, etc to share my experiences with the rest of the world.

    Why am I not doing it right now? The debt is the least of my worries. Family, career, job (which I don’t hate), professional reputation, time … not very good reasons individually, but taken together they have been enough to slow me down. But thanks to both of you and many other similar individuals who have taken the unconventional road, those times when I do what I really love to do are coming … soon.


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  23. If I had no debt, I would be move to a country South America (Venezuela, Peru) to learn Spanish, continue searching for the correct career for me, and take in all the culture the place has to offer. After staying for a few months, I would then evaluate what is best for me personally and professional (whether it is staying, moving to a new country, or back to the US). I am fortunate because I will have my student loans paid off by August, and I will continue with my job for another year. After this, I will have enough saved to support myself for a year or so, if I have no income at the time. Looking forward to the day with absolutely no debt!

    1. haha, nobody has ever told me I look like Will Arnett…but I think he’s married to Amy Poehler and I love Amy Poehler…so I’ll try to use it to my advantage somehow. 🙂

  24. What would I do … umm that is all I ever think about! I would love to just travel the world and learn about different cultures. I feel so confined here in my life and would love to just kick down these walls and leave (maybe even permentely, who knows). But what is stopping me, DEBT. Unfortunately, I have a lot of student loan debt (not six figures but it is way more than I can afford) and I recently bought my first house. Well just six months after buying the house I’m ready to sell it and leave lol (crazy right); it’s not that I don’t like the house but my urge to travel is intensifying by the day…minute…second! Another thing, I’m getting my MBA and my company is paying for it (I don’t think I can turn down free money either).

    So for now, I live vicariously through these blogs. I am working towards my goal though. Right now, I am throwing as much money as I can afford on my student loans (about $1000 a month) and am planning on selling my house in 2012. I also plan on quiting my job and just packing up. Hopefully I can get better at this blogging thing and maybe make a little money (fingers and toes crossed).

  25. I like those shoes, I will check them out!:) Great video, too, I look forward to checking out your site, Karol. Thanks for another great reminder to keep moving towards doing what we want…. but you know, first you have to get into the space where you can figure out what that is. And for many people locked into routines they’ve never stood outside of, it can be hard to see that. For me, my first travel experiences helped me get outside of the basic routines – then you can go from there – it can still take a while to figure out what you really love doing because it can keep changing. I think it comes in layers, but each new layer is an important step.

    1. Yes, it may take time to figure out what is really important to you. I know it took me a long time. In addition, like you said, it’s somewhat everchanging.

      Thanks for watching and commenting!


  26. I like to follow the ‘do shit you love’ philosophy. What’s the point of spending all day doing something you hate? Life is too short to do that. In my view, the only point of making money is to give you freedom. I had been focusing on making money with my online business but, like Karol, that’s not what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve now created websites about things I’m passionate about and even though they don’t make that much money at the moment I’m convinced that they will, purely based on my passion and persistence.

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