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Untemplater | Shatter the Status Quo

by Ryan Yates

What do you want to be when you grow up?

If you can’t view the video, here’s a written snapshot of it. The video is a commercial that aired in 1999 during the Superbowl. The commercial was produced by and is titled “When I Grow Up.” It shows a few kids talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Below are my favoirite quotes from the ad.

“I want to be a Yes Man”
“I want to be in Middle Management”
“I want to be forced into early retirement”

This ad was produced over ten years ago. A lot has changed in our world since then. The “Tech Bubble” burst on March 10, 2000. We were attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. We’ve been fighting 2 wars. We’ve seen the economy tank to levels not seen since the Great Depression (according to some). I believe the biggest change to happen is that the internet has become a great place to do business. Whether you use it to purchase products from “Brick and Mortar” stores that have gone online, or stores that have be created completely online. Whether you use the internet to pimp your business, or use it to pimp other people’s businesses (affiliates). The internet has openned a beautiful new world to people. With all the layoffs and downsizing of businesses during this latest economic downturn, many people are seeking a way to make a living online. With cheap/fast internet access avaliable almost everywhere around the globe, people can live in other countries while working for US dollars.

Have you heard about Untemplater yet? Untemplater is a joint effort that launched January 5, 2010. The team of founders is made up of young Generation Y people who are looking to breakdown the status quo of life. Not just in the “working” world, but also in the more important “living” world. They are a motley bunch. They’re a group of people who have shattered the mold and are making their living by using technology in new and interesting ways. Some live in other countries, some are married, some have kids, some have excellent educational backgrounds, some quit high paying elite jobs, all are making a living by following their hearts. Sound interesting? Good, lets take a look at who these people are by reviewing the Manifesto that they’ve published on the Untemplater website. You can download your own copy by following this link The Untemplater Manifesto On the website they are 4 major topics (Business, Mobile Lifestyle, Personal Finance, and Self Improvement).

Being a young Generation Xer (34-born in 1975) I’m at a stage in my life that where I have been questioning life and everything that goes along with it. I’m married with two kids, two dogs, and a steady job (if there is such a thing), and a mountain of debt. Am I living the “American Dream?” To some people I might be. First we need to look and see what the American Dream really is. Wikiepida defines the American Dream as …the opportunity to make individual choices without the restrictions of class, caste, religion, race, or ethnic group. Commonly used as a synonym for home ownership since homes have historically been seen as a status symblols… So I guess by definition I am living the American Dream. Well, I’m not happy with that dream. I want do something different. I want to be the master of my domain (Seinfeld). I too want to break the mold of society. But how?? That’s where Untemplater comes in.

Untemplater is all about waking up one day and realizing that the status quo isn’t going to work anymore. Not unless you are happy walking through life listening to the media about what you should and shouldn’t do. What you should and shouldn’t own. I sure as heck am not ready to be “forced into early retirement”. I want to do something with meaning and inspiration. I want to JUMP out of bed every morning and do something that engages my mind and body. After reading the The Untemplater Manifesto, I believe this crew of Gen Yers can help us. No matter how old you are, the spark is in there somewhere. If you want that spark to ignite than start by reading how Jun, Monica, Cody, Adam, Andrew, and Carlos have broken the mold. Yes they have made mistakes along the way, but they have all learned from those mistakes. They want to teach us how to get there, using each one of their real world struggles to untemplate their lives. Ok, Ok, this may not be right path for everyone, but I sure would like to learn about. The only way to understand an new outlook on life is to learn about it.

The UnUsual Suspects

A significant portion of the untemplate lifestyle is leaving what you HAVE to do for
what you WANT to do. In my case, I broke my template by having the courage
to leave my corporate job and pursue my startup dream.

Jun will use Untemplater to help us blast apart the entrepreneur templete by disspelling 3 common myths of entrepreneurship.

    1. Their can be no balance better work and life.
    2. You must use social media to market your startup
    3. You must seek funding to pay for your dream

Here is Jun’s personal promise to all Untemplater readers:

All advice that we give on Untemplater comes from actual experience. You will find no
theories or untested advice here. We will cover the following topics in excruciating
detail so that you can have a chance at building a successful startup:

    1. How to test if your startup idea is viable
    2. How to build your team
    3. Do you need a business model from the very beginning?
    4. How to drive traffic to your site
    5. How to get funding
    6. How and when should you incorporate your company
    7. And much more…

Jun Loayza blogs at where he writes about being a young successful entrepreneur. He has some great posts that take advantage of his Gen Y roots. Check out this great piece titled Why I Can’t Do what I’m Passionate About

In 2009, I decided to fulfill another lifelong dream—I wanted to write a book. I
found a market for the knowledge I had acquired over 3 long years in small businesses,
like private practices, hair salons, and restaurants. I decided to write a book aimed at
small businesses who wanted to use social media and digital marketing to
promote themselves. Rather than get a traditional book contract, I opted to start my
own publishing company and bring the product to market myself.

Here is Monica’s pledge to all Untemplater readers:

My hope for Untemplater is that we can help all types of people find their paths in life, no matter what that path is. Self knowledge is key, and most of the time, you just need to follow your heart.

Monica Blogs at Social Pollination where she writes about Marketing and strategy. She has written/published a book call Social Pollination (Small Biz, Big Buzz). I love this post How to Combine Personal and Professional Online Without Pissing People Off

Cody’s life has be impacted by two great books-The Brand You 50 (link)by Tom Peters and The 4-Hour Workweek (link) by Tim Ferris.

the first one being Tom Peters’ short but impactful Brand You, which opened my eyes to the emerging “free agent nation” where even as employees, we need to build and maintain a great reputation and brand ourselves to stay competitive in a crap economy where job security no longer exists.

The second book that radically changed the way I look at life was Timothy Ferriss’ The 4 Hour Work week. When I read Tim Ferriss’ lifestyle design bible, I learned that all the rules of traditional business had changed. Working 40? to 60?hour weeks and waiting until retirement to do what you really want to do—what Ferriss calls the “deferred life plan”—isn’t the only option.

Check out the manifesto for 10 excellent thought for creating your own untemplated lifestyle from Cody.

So rather than waiting for retirement and dreaming about my ideal lifestyle, I decided to
create my own Untemplater lifestyle where I could work and travel at the same time. I spent a year and a half building a business that I could run remotely from anywhere on the globe—making my business “location independent” and becoming a digital nomad freelancer.

Cody blogs at Thrilling Heroics which is designed with his free WP-theme. Here’s a cool post to help research the lifestyle of untemplaters 14 Mandatory Manifestos For The Lifestyle Design Journey

My path was clear… Honors Engineering. It just seemed like that was what I was supposed to be doing. This was my nextstep. Why? Not because I chose it, but because it was the accepted path on my current life template.

Before making the change to the Untemplated life, Adam managed fast food joints, ran poker rooms, was into real estate. All the while knowing in his heart that there was something more, something different, something better out in the world. He and his wife and daughter have broken the template. They are traveling the world exploring things most of us can only imagine doing. What’s different about Adam and his family from our own? They just did it. They took the chance and are living the Untempleted life.

All I can tell you is that we are having a blast, learning a ton, and growing more
than we had thought we could.

Adam can be found at ManVsDebt blogging about his adventures living the Untemplated live as well as personal finances. I have a couple favorite Baker posts. The first one Tyler Durden’s Guide to Personal Finance is my favorite. Adam uses the movie’s quotes to give you a deeper look into his life. The second is the one that introduced me to ManVsDebt, The Debt Tsunami which is a creative way to pay off debt.

Prestige doesn’t fulfill the soul. Neither does money. Following your dreams
does. I tried to maintain a bit of individuality, but the tattoos underneath the suit
didn’t do much to help me stand out in a way I felt comfortable.

Andrew doesn’t know what the world will bring him, and it just doesn’t matter to him. The untemplated lifestyle has help him to become a better man.

Only time will tell. But in the meantime, I get to be a better father, husband, and friend. I get to be content with the work I am doing. And I get to be the tattooed nerd in jeans and a t-shirt that I always knew I was.

Andrew blogs at Restless Like Me and AndrewNorcross. I really enjoyed reading the post titled Social Media is not the Problem – You are

Carlos tells us that untempler’s are a happy bunch of people who enjoy their lives, like what they are doing, and continue to grow every single day.

The only thing you need to have is independency of ideals. Since everyone can be affected by changes happening in any place on Earth, you might as well take your life in your own hands and enjoy
while you are at it.

Now, let me explain to you something very important, maybe the key element of every
untemplater: you have to live one day at the time. You have to trust that as long as you
bust your ass going after what you believe in, things will fall in place.

Carlos wants to help Untemplater readers join the club:

I am very passionate about Untemplater, not only because of the amazing people
behind it, but because I can’t tell you how sad it is to realize that few people are
smiling their way through life like we do. We need more company.

Carlos blogs at OwlSparks where he likes to dig into the philosophy and psychology of things. From reading some of the post he loves to question the status quo. Check out The End of Education to get a sample of Carlos style.

To get a feel for the writing on Untemplater, check out a post from the site. This post is from Jun and gives you a head start on investigating Untemplater –Which Path Should You Take, Corporate Professioanl vs Entrepreneur

I wish you luck with your journey…


Carrie @ Make Mine Happen January 12, 2010 at

Excellent resource! ‘Tis true that careers, families, technologies, communities and all of the status quo methodologies behind them are *poof*… just about out the window. I think it’s okay to change it up. There are a lot of traditional things I love and support, but if people want flexibility in their lives, they have to support the change that allows for flexibility. I’m a 1980-er, which really puts me at the X/Y cusp, and I see the huge sense of entitlement that my generation and the younger folk have. The great How To-ers of this decade will be exploring more about implementing boundaries and holding each other accountable in a new and blended life.

Jeffrey Kosola January 13, 2010 at

Very well put Carrie. Even though I’m not that old I see a huge difference better the Gen Xers/Gen Yers/Boomers. I work with all three everyday. The boomers are happy and content, they’ve established the middle class for us and are living it. The Gen Xers seem to want to live the one-upper lifestyle. Hey look at me, I’ve made it in the world and I have the cars/clothes/and house to prove it. Yes I’m in debt but so is everyone. And the Gen Yers just want it all by doing it their way. They are the ones making the changes needed to live differently. I like that approach. If I’ve learned anything in the last 2 years it’s that any type of security that people thought they had is just isn’t real.

Baker January 13, 2010 at

Thanks, buddy! (I typed your name, but then removed it… I forget whether it’s *public* info)

This is one of the most thorough, and complete posts we’ve been featured in as a group. I appreciate all the work it took to write this.

You know, I’m around anytime. Hit me up if you need me!

Thanks again!

.-= Baker´s last blog ..Not Another Post On This Blog ‘Til First Guide Is Finished! =-.

Jeffrey Kosola January 13, 2010 at

Thanks for the kudos Baker. It’s ok to use my name (Jeff). I’m a pretty transparent person, kinda like you 🙂

Yeah, the post did take some work but I think it turned out good. I’ve been waiting to use that video and I felt it was the perfect opening for a review of Untemplater.

I think you guys are doing some great work now, and 2010 will bring some awesome posts. I’ve been planning my Untemplated life ever since returning from my assignment in China. After moving up the ladder and really seeing what the next 30 years looked like I just couldn’t do it. I learned to stop and take look inside to see what makes me tick. It is suprising and grounding all at the same time. My current plans are to eliminate the debt and be able to pursue some passions. I’m hoping to get some unique insight and idea from your joint venture.

Keep up the great work.

Jun Loayza January 13, 2010 at

Jeff, thank you so much for the awesome review. This is the first time I’ve run across your blog, and I’ve added it to my reader to make sure that I keep up with it.

Love the concept. If I was in your town, I’d order a pizza and invite you into my home so that we could sit down and chat over a couple of beers.

I made a promise on Untemplater, and I plan to keep it. Be on the look out for my posts in my series.

Hope to chat soon

– Jun
.-= Jun Loayza´s last blog ..Get ready for your socks to be blown off: the Launch of Untemplater!!! =-.

Jeffrey Kosola January 13, 2010 at

Jun – I too had never come across your blog before Untemplater. I really enjoyed reading through your posts. I’ve been highly focused in the personal finance area of the blogging world lately. It was great to see how your making the Untemplated lifestyle work. I really enjoyed reviewing all the founder’s sites to dig in and understand each person’s point of view.

The chat and beers sound great, too bad the midwest is far far away 🙂

I’ll be reading your series, and posting some good comments when needed.

I’m glad you liked the post, that MBA course sure sounds good (wink, wink)
–Hey Baker with your help maybe I can get two votes–I’ll have to work on the rest of the crew.

Take care, Jeff

Money Funk January 13, 2010 at

Jeff, You do realize that we are Gex ‘X”ers? Untemplater doesn’t apply to us. LOL. j/k.

My feeling sync with Untemplater, too. I feel the same as you said in this (awesome) post. I think this is going to be a great year for us, but only if we are willing to roll with the punches.

Can’t wait to see you mold your version of the American Dream. 🙂
.-= Money Funk´s last blog ..iPhone vs Blackberry: did I get the wrong phone? =-.

Jeffrey Kosola January 13, 2010 at


Did you miss the (I’m 34 and a Gen Xer) part? I may be that old, but I really only feel 25. I’m glad you feel similar, I too believe we’ll have a great year. I think after reading your 2010 goals post Surreal Feeling that you NEED to find a way to Untemplate. Those ideas are awesome, but I think you’re American Dream Job might get in the way 🙂

Continue to Crush-it Christine, hey that sounds cool.


Money Funk January 13, 2010 at

LOL. I did see the Gen Xer part. Just messing with you.
I do need to Umtemplate. And I have lots of ideas in my head to go into that direction. I think this would be prime time to build on those ideas and transition out of the American Dream Job. May take me a couple years, but it’s worth it right.

Think I could meet Brad for lunch in Thailand? LOL.

Yes, Crush-It yourself too. 🙂
.-= Money Funk´s last blog ..iPhone vs Blackberry: did I get the wrong phone? =-.

Jeffrey Kosola January 15, 2010 at

Very cool story Forest. What made you move to Canada? What made you move to Egypt? It sounds like you ARE living the untemplater lifestyle. Keep up the good work my friend.

Jeffrey Kosola January 15, 2010 at

Oh, the old follow the partner bit eh?
It’s really cool that you are able to pick up and move with much headache. Now make sure she gets that master’s so you can have a sugar mama 🙂

Financial Samurai January 15, 2010 at

I have an honest question for you Jeff, because I fear that the Untemplater movement MIGHT seriously blow up a lot of starry eyed youth, who just spent 4 years, and tons of money going to college (or not).

I know Jun, who finished up at UCLA, and seems to be doing some great work with his company. What I’m wondering is, how many of these Untemplaters (Gen Yers who are contemplating this movement) simply just don’t know what they want to do in life?

Who wouldn’t want to not have a care in the world, travel, and earn some income on the side or online? Wouldn’t everybody? So, I’m curious to know whether there is this movement because there is deep disatisfaction with the normal 9-5 job they got? Because frankly, there are A TON of really exciting and lucrative jobs, but of course, they are some of the hardest to get, hence most people can’t get them.

.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Where Americans Pay The Most To Live And Why =-.

Financial Samurai January 16, 2010 at

Also, just want to clarify, that what I think what many of them are doing is absolutely rock awesome! I just hope everyone does well, just wondering what was the catalyst of this movement.

The video you highlighted Jeff is spot on excellent.
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Where Americans Pay The Most To Live And Why =-.

Jeffrey Kosola January 16, 2010 at

You bring up a good point Young Samurai,

Here’s my take. I think that if someone just coming out of college has NO idea what they want to do then trying the Untemplater lifestyle might be a good idea. One way to find out what you like and don’t like is to try a ton of different things. My worry for young people today is that they get a “safe” job and don’t really do anything else just because it is safe. They just plug along doing what’s necessary to get little promotions and retire with regrets.

My world was a little different though. I knew what I wanted to do from the age of 10. I wanted to be an Engineer. So guess what, I am an Engineer. I worked my butt off to learn and move up in the company and switched jobs to get even higher. I reached my goal of becoming a manager by 32, a full 8 years before I thought I would get there. The problem was, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Instead of being able to be a super engineer and make some sweet changes, I was stopped by all the politics. I’m not a political person so I hated the job and took a step back. Now I’m sitting here at 34 looking at a life sentence of doing my current job for another 30 years.

I’m looking to the Gen Yers for some ideas and inspiration to jump to a new path. I know I can’t just try the lifestyle right away because of debt and family obligations, but I love to learn. And if I can get just a few nuggets of wisdom from the “kids” than I will.

Yes, the Untemplated lifestyle is NOT for everyone. But I think it’s worth investigating further. I think alot of college aged kids are seeing how unhappy their parents are and just want something different for their own lives.

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