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Why the death of Anthony Bourdain should mean something to you

The last article I wrote on here was about how the death of Anthony Bourdain should mean nothing to you. In a sense I was wrong.

The article was written as a (perhaps knee-jerk) reaction to all the posts I was reading about how the death of the TV Chef would leave a hole in their life. This, experience tells us, is probably going to be untrue. For a moment you may worry that there will be no new shows of Bourdain’s. Maybe you will binge watch old ones. But someone else will come along to fill your time, if that was what you are worried about.

At the time of his death, I had literally never heard of Bourdain. I don’t live in America. I am not American. I do not watch a lot of American reality TV. But in the weeks and months since his death I’ve read a lot about Bourdain and this article is about why his death should mean something to you.

Bourdain (it seems) was a restless traveler. A troubled person with an immense appetite for life. If his death – and life – are to mean anything it should be not that all of a sudden there is one less TV show in the world but that all of a sudden there is one less explorer. One less person looking to understand the peoples of this earth. One less person not driven to isolate himself but – even against his shy nature – to embrace the world.

I ask of you – what are you doing to honour the death of this man you mourn? Are you getting out of your comfort zone? Seeing more of the world – and not from the deck of a cruise ship? Talking to more peoples of the world – even the ones who you can only communicate to in gestures?

Recently I spent 6 weeks living in a remote Maori village in New Zealand. It was an exchange, of sorts. I was there to spark ideas about using the internet for autonomy and they were there – perhaps unbeknownst to them – to spark my heart and soul back into reality. Away from the myopic focus on my business to a more holistic – and whole – view of what this world can offer me and what little I can to give back to it.

I’d like to think that a small, shot-glass, sized amount of the spirit of Anthony Bourdain has crept into me.

I am grateful he was in the world, not as a maker of TV shows but as an example of living. That he couldn’t take it any more should not be a detterent to those of us left behind.

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There Are Many Languages in the World

Following up on my last post – about there being many countries in the world – you should also remember that there are many languages. Just take a look at this:

There are 6,800 known languages spoken in the 200 countries of the world. 2,261 have writing systems (the others are only spoken) and about 300 are represented by on-line dictionaries

So – don’t think that your target market has to be in English. Even if you live in America remember that a huge section of the population speaks a language OTHER than English as either their first or second language.

I think that bears repeating:

In America remember that a huge section of the population speaks a language OTHER than English as either their first or second language.

1 in 15 in America doesn’t speak ANY (or very limited) English.  There are loads of stats I could throw your way, but basically, don’t think you need to do a site in English, even in America.

But, take a gander at these numbers:

Top 10 Languages On The Web

  1. English – 479mil
  2. Chinese – 384mil
  3. Spanish – 137mil
  4. Japanese – 96mil
  5. French – 79mil
  6. Portuguese – 73mil
  7. German – 65mil
  8. Arabic – 50mil
  9. Russian – 45mil
  10. Korean – 37mil

I think those are some pretty impressive numbers. And I can tell you from personal experience that the kinds of information that you can find on the web in English is sadly lacking even in the other top 10 languages.

Try looking up affiliate programs in a language other than English. Or Print on Demand. Or anything! Even with these staggering numbers (the top 10 represent 1.4 billion people) remember that those top 10 languages have 4.5 billion speakers! In other words, even in those languages, not even a third of them are online.

I hope you see what I am getting at.

If you string together my last post and this one it becomes – to me – clear. Learn the lessons of online business and development from the English speaking Americans. And apply it to other languages and locations.

Because remember this: your goal is to create a business you love and to make an income and a lifestyle. And, if you are a market leader in your country a larger company from a larger country may come along and snap you up when you get big enough to register on the radar.