Dave Cornthwaite seems to have got it made.
He’s gone from being a not‐very‐good graphic designer (his words, not mine) with a mortgage, a Playstation and a permanently furrowed brow to a bloke who will say “yes” to pretty much anything — swimming 1,000 miles down the Mississippi with no training; pedalling an elliptical bicycle round Europe; kayaking the length of the Murray River in Australia; making the longest skateboard journey on record at the time; and staying awake for 72 hours straight, which is surely the most impressive feat of them all.
He’s even adopted the phrase ‘Say Yes More’ as a tagline for his own brand of motivational clobber. The idea behind it, as well as his talks, books and short films, is to help folk untangle themselves from constricting life circumstances and end up in a place where the world is one big happy playground. He’s been there, done it himself, and has poured remarkable energies into exploring the many ways in which others might do so too.
“What if you hate your job?”, he writes on his website (and, judging by the statistics, that’s a lot of us). “But you can’t quit because you need the dough. Rent, food, going out with friends, it all costs money… 50–50 is an attempt to find 50 very different ways of making some cash. It’s not a sustainable career choice, but it does show that one person can make money a lot of different ways, if only with a bit of invention.”
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll notice a familiar theme here. We must not let perceived obstacles — such as work commitments — prevent us from making once‐in‐a‐lifetime personal journeys which allow us to extract ourselves from this frenzied world for long enough to discover who we really are.
Like the free touring bike project I wrote about a few weeks ago, Dave’s project chips away at one of these perceived obstacles; specifically the dogma that without a fixed salary we are doomed to live out our days in misery in a cardboard box.
Dave aims to show that anyone can make decent cash quickly and easily if they’re willing to throw caution to the wind and get inventive. Yes, he’s not had a real job for 7 years, and so has had plenty of practice at being inventive, but his project is about providing starting points — points of escape for people who feel trapped.
Here’s something else to think about: if it’s this easy to make a quick (fifty) buck(s), what’s stopping him — or anyone else — replicating the concept during one’s travels whenever the need or opportunity arises?
(Like that time I worked for a day as a film extra on my way through Hollywood last year…)
Is it really set in stone that one must sacrifice one’s earning power entirely in order to travel?
If you had to make £50 cash in the next 24 hours (not including your day job, of course), how would you do it?