More Than Being Productive

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My Story

My Story

MY NAME IS JOHNNY T. NGUYEN, AN ENTREPRENEUR, LEADER, ARTIST, AND WORLD TRAVELER.

We need to be more productive than ever to keep up, but are we better for it? That’s why I started the Venture Out, to help transform our lives to be both productive and positive, and do it by living smarter.

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Things I Love

  • Been running with these for a couple years now.  Based in Switzerland, they’ve won innovation awards for their design and professionals have worn their shoes to win some big races.  I won’t ever come close, but I’ll treat my feet (and knees) like a winner.

    Some of the things I like most about these shoes are:

    • Extremely light weight, compared to past shoes I’ve exercised in.
    • No laces.  Unless you need a tighter feel on our feet, the elastic laces that come pre-installed work great.  You can always switch it out for regular laces anytime though.
    • Antimicrobial. I’ve ran in these while in the Florida afternoon rain and they’ve dried up great everytime, with no smell!

    What I don’t like:

    • A drawback of their innovative design is that small pebbles or rocks could get stuck underneath the shoe. That just means every once in awhile I need to pop out a few rocks.

    Might be a tad more pricey than other shoes, but I’ve had them for a couple years now and they’re still fantastic.

    Amazon Men or Women ($130)

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    On cloud shoes
    On Cloud running shoe
  • Had a hilarious exchange with someone I just met. We marveled at how we were willing to pay like $2000 for this camera, when we have a $1000 phone that takes prob just as good pictures. And yet, I won’t pay $1000 for a new tv when my current tv has a solid green bar on the left side of the screen. Worse yet, good luck getting me to pay for $5 for an app! Bottom line, this camera is amazing. (Amazon, $2000)

    For me, before I gave myself permission to buy this cadillac of a camera, I took a couple photography classes to get the basics. I landed on this camera because, once again, I trust the Sony brand. The reviews for this was stellar with the latest in technology, the mirrorless makes it less bulky than others. Lastly, I just dropped my camera on the driveway concrete… and it still works great. Whew.

    Amazon – $1800

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Sony A7III
    Sony A7III
  • My last over-the-ear headphones finally broke, and so it was time to get new ones. I wanted over-the-ear because I fly on planes a lot and want something that would provide maximum coverage. I’ve been a fan of reliable Sony and this time I splurged and got noise-cancelling. Overall, stylish, sounds great, and doesn’t break the bank.

    The headphones also have Alexa, which I don’t use yet. It’s got great voice confirmations, for when you turn it on and off. The ears swivel, which allows for easy flat packing. I’ve used it on the place several times now and it does a sweet job of cancelling out noise. I got these on sale for roughly $90, so I’d add it to your wish list and see if you can wait it out.

    Amazon – $130, in black or blue

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Bluetooth Noise Canceling Over the Ear Headphones with Alexa Voice Control
    Sony WH-CH700N Wireless Bluetooth Noise Canceling Over the Ear Headphones with Alexa Voice Control
  • One of my resolutions this year to be more sustainable. One thing that always bothers me is throwing away food scraps. Bought this and it’s been great. I was worried it stink up the house, but so far, no problems!

    It took awhile to train myself to throw appropriate trash into this bin instead of the trash can, but now it’s automatic. About once a week or so, whenever the bin gets full, I take it out back and dump it into my composter. They say it’ll make for beautiful soil that I can then use in my garden, or maybe to even fill holes in my grass. I’ll let you know how it goes and if the soil comes out good. Oh yeah, one more good thing about this bin is that the lid is easily removed and the entire thing is “slick and smooth,” which makes it extremely easy to clean.

    Amazon – $20 for 0.75L or $30 for 1.75L (how big is that space under your sink?)

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin
    OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin
  • My lightweight shoes started falling apart, so it was time to find new ones. But I didn’t want any ordinary shoes; I wanted something stylish but not too much of an attention-getter either. Enter the Nike Metcon 5. Recommended by GQ as one of the best cross-trainers in the gym, I’ll be wearing these in the workplace, paired with some dress clothes.

    A tad pricier than I would normally spend at roughly $150, I decided to splurge because, well, I’m going through a midlife crisis in fashion. At 40 years old, I feel like tshirts with loud statements aren’t me, but I don’t want to be relegated to old-man polo’s either. I plan on redefining my style that’ll probably take me into the rest of my life, so, yeah, I’m gonna spend some time being intentional about it.

    Amazon – Mens or Womens, ~$150

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Nike Metcon 5
    Nike Metcon 5
  • Gimmick or backed by science? Most of us stare at screens all day, and it’s appealing to think glasses like this could help reduce eye strain, glare, and enhance focus. Plus with all the research on the importance of sleep, these type of glasses filter out the blue light that tells our brain to stay awake.

    They say it’ll:

    • Gunnar produces the only blue light blocking computer and Gaming glasses with Patented Lens (#9417460) Technology that is recommended by doctors to protect and enhance your vision.
    • Gunnar developed the Blue Light Protection Factor, telling you exactly how much of the peak blue light spectrum (450nm) We’re blocking. Not all blue light glasses in the market protects you from the strongest high-energy visible light.
    • Gunnar improves performance while viewing tablets, smartphones, TV & computers to reduce Digital Eye strain, fatigue and headaches.

    I’ve used these glasses for over 6 months now, and the most profound benefit for me is the greater focus. I think it’s more of a habit that by putting on the glasses, it tells my brain it’s time to ignore the world and get down to work. I figure if it also has the healthy side-effects it advertises, that’s just a bonus. Def worth a try.

    Amazon, wait for it to be on sale for $60 or less!

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Gaming Glasses | Blue Light Blocking Glasses | Razer/Onyx by Gunnar | 65% Blue Light Protection, 100% UV Light, Anti-Reflective To Protect & Reduce Eye Strain & Dryness by Gunnar Optiks
    Gunnar Optiks Glasses
  • Played this at a friendsgiving and am convinced this is a great game for groups, cause it’s easy to learn, has enough strategy but also leaves room for fun banter.

    I even brought this game home for Christmas with the family, and ended up playing it for hours with my elderly parents, who were able to learn it and have a hoot while playing it!

    Amazon, $23. I actually have a more expensive set with a case, but I’m not happy with the quality of the dominos or center piece. Try this one out and let me know what you think!

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Mexican Train
  • I just turned 40 and although my body hasn’t fallen apart yet, I can feel my skin not being as moist as normal. Plus a lot of the articles I read over at GQ and Esquire say I need to invest in good moisturizers. My first moisturizer to invest in the future.

    Been using this for over 6 months and I swear it’s making a difference. Like most of you, I stare at a computer screen most of the day, so the idea of supplying “fuel” to my eyes sounds appealing. Plus this feels like one of those long-term investment ideas, like our 401k. We always hear from old people how they regret not saving earlier in their life. I imagine using moisturizers is like 401k for your body. Here’s hoping this is more reliable than the stock market.

    Amazon, $30. I know, pricey for a tiny thing! But I’m 6 months in and it’s still lasting.

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Kiehl Eye Fuel
  • I bought a Filson watch years ago and still love it. My go-to watch when on travel and adventure, mainly because it’s meant to be rugged and has a great company history to back it up. Everything about it screams functional and durable, plus it’s made in the USA.

    The version I have also has a 24 hour hand, which means I can keep track of the timezone back home when traveling abroad. Illuminated hands means I can tell the time even when cabin lights are off. Get the nylon nato strap to change the look and feel of the watch entirely. Lastly, I won’t deny I like to wear brands that align iht my values. In this case, the Filson brand represents, “tough and comfortable, for engineers and explorers. Reputation for honesty, quality, and durability.” I’ll take that.

    (Amazon, $350)

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Filson Field watch
  • At the risk of being too hipster, here’s a convenient little device to hone your skill at making coffee by the pour-over method.

    Why pour-over? Think of it as 3 minutes of meditation and focus. And the reward is a nice cup of coffee, which all know Is fuel for productivity. I’ve used this for a few months now, especially during the colder months of Florida, and appreciate the intentional process of making coffee. I also find the Fellow products very stylish and worthy of being on my kitchen counter.

    (Amazon, $70)

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    Fellow Stagg [X] Pour-Over Brewing Set for Coffee
  • A bit pricey at $179, but rated one of the top speakers for streaming by Wirecutter. Stream meditation sessions from Headspace or simply listen to your playlist anytime in the house.

    Why this one over the multitude of wireless and bluetooth enabled speakers, like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s Homepod, or BOSE? Bottom line, most important aspect is GREAT sound quality. All the other features like being “smart” is secondary (or maybe even unwanted because it’s always listening). Lastly, I want to walk into the room and be positively reminded that it’s a great sounding and great looking speaker, with potential to be expanded for surround sound purposes.

    (Amazon, $179)

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. CommissionsEarned

    SONOS One SL
  • I didn’t want to buy tiny earbuds for fear of losing them and wasting all that money.  Finally convinced myself to get these when I saw them on flash sale for under $30.  Love these now because the case itself is a charging station, so the buds are ALWAYS fully charged when I take them out of the case.  No more cords + easy pairing = more productivity! (Amazon, $50)

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. #CommissionsEarned 

    ENACFIRE Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphones
  • Too many cords? So get a cord divider bag and keep it all organized!  My friends got me this and it worked like a charm.

    There are tons of cord organizing bags out there, and the Wirecutter even does a review for this specifically. I’m just saying for what you need it to do, this bag does not disappoint. The orange color makes it just slightly more noticeable, in case it’s buried in your bag, and it’s simple enough that it doesn’t have excess weight.

    Available on Amazon for under $12, and there’s even a coupon for it right now!

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. #CommissionsEarned

    BUBM Travel Organizer Cable Bag
  • WHY? Been using this for years after the Wirecutter.com recommendation. Takes 24 hours to make a perfect batch of cold brew coffee, and save money in the long run.

    (Amazon, $50)

    OXO Cold Brew maker
  • WHY? Now that Disney has acquired the rights to X-Men, I see that Marvel comics has rebooted the comic books with a great creative team. Jump in now and see your favorites like Wolvie, Professor X, and Magneto.

    (Amazon, $35)

    X-Men comics
  • WHY? Absolutely mind blowing to hear this side of human history. Contemplate with fresh eyes why our society is now the way it is, and better understand the way we are. Download the app, link to your library, and hopefully listen for free.

    (Overdrive app or Amazon $14)

    Sapiens
  • WHY?  I wear them at home to stay comfy, but also when I’m traveling on a flight.  Breathable, stylish, and has a hidden security pocket for important docs.  And FYI, the term “joggers” implies the pant legs are more form fitting than regular sweatpants.  And now you know.
    (Amazon, $110)

    Nike Tech Fleece Joggers

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