Learn More about Slykigai or Die

My Slykigai or Die Journey

21 Days to Discover, Productize, and Power my Purpose.

Tim Parsa
12 min readMar 14, 2021


[Update: (4/21/21) This journal is going to lag behind the Slykdays. I’m catching up on my Slykday journal and loving the exercises. Hope you are too! Stay tuned for Slykday videos too.]

First you build the better mousetrap.

Then you build the better memetrap.

Slyk is the better mousetrap — easy e-commerce for hustlers looking to take the next step on their entrepreneurial journey.

Slykigai is the better memetrap — productizing your purpose online with Slyk so you can get paid for doing what you love, what you’re good at, and what the world needs from you.

Slykigai is Slyk’s go-to-market philosophy: our vision is to ensure that humanity passes the great filter of Fermi’s Paradox by empowering hustlers to create wealth to maximize the potential of their families and communities.

We go together. We grow together.

Read About the Evolution of Ikigai to Slykigai.

Slykday 1

Meditation: I find it difficult to sit still. My mind is like a humming bird on fire.

I find it easiest to meditate by focusing on my breath to drop into a peaceful state.

This morning I reflected on all the people I’m grateful for, even those who I no longer have a relationship with — estranged family members, ex-girlfriends, old friends.

I also wanted to say that nothing about wanting to help people achieve slykigai means that I am enlightened or wise or perfect in any way. I am flawed. I just am composed in such a way that I love most of all challenging people to realize their potential.

My goal in meditation is to achieve a deep and true gratitude, even for those I have grievances with. Because even the negative interactions represent the gift of experience, learning, and wisdom.

Those that make our life harder are our greatest teachers. If everything were easy, we’d have nothing to transcend. We’d be very bored, like AGI or GOD.

Discover Purpose Exercise (Gratitude): The three people to whom I’m most grateful are my mother, my father, and the mother of my sons.

My mother encouraged me to develop my skills and follow my passions. She grew up working class in Brooklyn and is the reason I love cultivating gardens. She taught me by example the importance of offering help to people perceived to be in need. I’m grateful to her for teaching me the importance of doing what you love and contributing to the community.

My father taught me the importance of having a bias toward action and to hold myself to high standards. He was an immigrant from Iran, a tireless worker, rising before we kids woke to drive to his research lab at a NY hospital, returning home after my older brother and younger sister and I had gone to bed. On the weekends he too showed the importance of following your passion, expressing his love of landscape architecture and DIY architecture. For the 19 years that he was with me, our home was constantly expanding, stone walls rising, new rooms appearing. Anything was possible if you worked hard enough and were creative.

The mother of my sons gestated and co-created the two souls that inspire me to take all my talents, passions, and personality to be the best possible example as a man to them that I can be; to express my values in everything I do so my sons have a clear example to follow. My sons inspire me every day to create the world I want them to live in and to include them in every aspect of my journey as an entrepreneur (we launched a startup together on Slyk: Vival. Backyard veggies and honeybees: easy and abundant.

Running Vival

Purpose Diagram: I didn’t use the Mural or Notion templates provided in the Slykday 1 email (found them tricky to edit), but rather edited a google slide, which you can find here if you want to copy and edit it for yourself.

You can Use this Template Here.

Arguably, Slyk is the first startup to bundle all these commerce media and digital money tools into a product to power hustlers to make money online.

Thanks to my mom and dad, I’ve always pushed myself to excel on multiple vectors simultaneously, monetizing different talents and contributing to the world in different ways. My dad died when I was 19, changing my family’s circumstances, and thrusting me into the position of hustler-in-chief.

I studied biology in college (medicine was the “family business”) but also committed early to becoming a famous writer, a mash-up of Hemingway, Nabokov, and Hunter S. Thompson. I went to the Peace Corps for adventure and to give back to the world, but also knew that the solitude would be ideal to develop my writing chops. I attended Law School, but also became a widely-published writer of provocative essays, gonzo journalism, and humorous short stories. I moved to Mexico City to work for one of that country’s greatest entrepreneurs, Ricardo Salinas-Pliego, but along with internet, telecom, and media startups, I continued to publish in newspapers and magazines, as well as experimenting with short films.


SOD-21 is the program I wish I existed when I was:

13 hustling with a yardwork biz, 16 aimed like a missile at the Ivy League, 17 selling Cutco knives, 18 studying biology at Yale, 20 planting trees in Guatemala, 23 grinding for the bar exam, 27 building web 1.0 startups in Mexico City, 40 starting my first bitcoin company, Bitreserve.

But of course the tools didn’t exist at any of those ages to make it so easy to productize yourself online. Arguably, Slyk is the first startup to bundle all these commerce media and digital money tools into a product to power hustlers to make money online.

Learn more about why Jorge & I (with help from Thomas & Winston) built Slyk?

Podcast: Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose had a powerful impact on me when I first read it twenty years ago. I probably never would have heard about the book if it hadn’t been popularized by Oprah, but I felt a Jonathan Franzen-like chagrin about being associated with her brand/audience so I covered her logo with a sticker.

The Oprah/Eckhart podcast collaboration (a pod for each chapter of the book) has been a profoundly enjoyable companion while doing my Cadoo step challenges.

I forgive my younger self for the obfuscatory sticker.

The part that resonated most with me was how important it is to achieve a depth of presence in all your activities, because without it, you are likely to bring negativity, drama, and pain into the world, even as you pursue a worthy goal.

I have certainly been guilty of this especially while building startups — a sense of urgency often begets an anxious impatience and anger at the less urgent output and disposition of others.

Like Naval says — it’s not the 10,000 hours of practice that make a master, but rather the 10,000 experiments and iterations and the learning and the honing.

I especially enjoyed being reminded of Eckhart’s definition of enthusiasm.

Listen to Chapter 9 of the Oprah/Eckhart Podcast here.

The Slykgai-or-Die challenge is a work in progress, but I’m glad we didn’t wait to refine or perfect it before sharing it with the world. We find our path by walking it, and in startups (probably in most of life) it’s best to have a bias toward action.

Then you can learn, reassess, iterate.

Like Naval says — it’s not the 10,000 hours of practice that make a master, but rather the 10,000 experiments and iterations and the learning and the honing.

Slykigai is the mindset and action of iterating to that sweet spot of getting paid well (preferably in BTC!) for doing what you love, what you’re good at, and what the world needs.

Slykday 2

Meditation: I find it easier to meditate when I’m not distracted by noises in my environment — the auditory version of meditating with eyes closed. I really like sounds like this:


Discover Purpose Exercise (Talent Stack): I remember hearing a podcast in which the spiritual philosopher Alan Watts once said that the eye cannot see itself, nor the tongue taste itself. In the same way we often don’t see our natural talents as clearly as those who know and love us. We are often guided by the opinions of peers, the pressures of what we perceive to be the opportunities we need to pursue, and other external factors. Asking someone who knows us well and cares about us what they think our top talents are and what they think our purpose in life might be is a powerful exercise.

I spoke to a good friend who has known me for 30 years. He said my talents are creating (writing, movies, ideas), building (startups, gardens), and selling (persuading people that what I’ve conceived is worth their time to contribute to, what I’ve built is worth their money to invest in, and what I’m selling they should use).

I told him about Slyk and #Slykigai and SOD-21. He said that sounded like the purpose I’d been cruising toward my entire life.


Podcast: Naval’s wealth creation framework and his podcast with his collaborator Nivi has had a profound influence on the creation of Slyk. I find myself quoting him a lot and sometimes just straight-up parroting his compressed and wisdom-packed insights.

The internet has changed the opportunities that everyone has to create wealth with their individuality. This is the most profound insight of the first hour of his How to Get Rich podcast for me. This quote sums it up:

Gold mine of wisdom @ Nav.al.

I love listening to podcasts when I’m walking. I find it harder to do when I’m riding my bike (attention required to stay safe makes it harder to absorb). And I cannot do it if I’m running. But walking and listening to great podcasts is a delight — exercise for the mind and body.

I’m grateful for Cadoo, which I built with Colm Hayden and Daniel Avila — two young entrepreneurs who are going to transform how everyone thinks about motivation and incentives.

If you didn’t get a chance to join the Cadoo step challenge for the first cycle of SOD-21, you can join the next one. Stay tuned!


Slykday 3

Meditation: I’ve never guided meditation before SOD. I once taught a 90 min intermediate yoga class to a twenty students when the teacher didn’t show up. This has the same energy of — hey it’s free and you can leave if you don’t like it.

I talk too much about stuff other than meditation. And my tone vacillates from fm radio shock jock to telemarketer to yoga instructor to thought leader.

I’d like to have more organized and shorter intros and outros, better music, and adopt a more neutral tone. Work in progress.

But it’s helped me meditate on the longest streak I’ve had in a few years. So… it’s guiding me to more meditation.

Hope it is others. We turned off comments on the videos. We’ll turn them back on when I get better at this. By Week 2.

Do you even SOD-21, bro?

Discover Purpose Exercise (Talent Stack): I’ve always been equally adept at words and math, identical verbal/math scores on my SATs, AP Calculus and English in high school. But the path to creative expression using words was always very clear to me, using math was not clear at all. My 5th grade homeroom teacher, a marvelous man with a lush head of pony-tailed hair and a big bush black beard named Roger Meyers praised my writing often and loudly, I loved to read and loved especially writers who wrote about writing like Hemingway, adventurers in life and on the page (this was pre-screens). If I’d been encouraged by my calculus and science teachers (all awesomely weird) to express myself via computers, I’d maybe have more of a Paul Graham or Naval-ish trajectory. Instead I was a sort of expat startup artist.

It’s okay. I’ve dialed in my slykigai at last. Or at least am trying to, which is the point of slykigai. The intent, not the destination. The journey.

I talked to my co-founders at Airtm and Cadoo. I explained the purpose diagram and Slykigai. They mostly tuned me out. But they seemed pleased that I was so enthusiastic about Slyk and Slykigai and SOD-21.

Seems a bit ageist TBH.


Naval Tweets: Early iterations of SOD had a more curated selection of Naval-isms, incorporating stuff from the Navalamanack and his podcast transcripts. But it started to feel very edited and adulterated. So we decided to go for the straight shots and in their original order. I like how he gets out big concepts up front and encourages big examinations of biases about wealth.

For sure SOD-21 participants will come back to ponder some of the bigger ideas as they iterate and experiment on their entrepreneurial journey to create wealth.

I can imagine a Slykigai Academy with a course dedicated to Naval, another to Scott Adams, another to Jordan Peterson. Exercises that distill the essence and go deeper into the meaning via real world praxis.

Cadoo is launching on Product Hunt Thursday which is exciting.

Alan Watts

Podcast and Cadoo Steps: Alan Watts is like Eckhart Tolle crossed with Austin Powers. Just kidding. I love how much fun he seems to be having and how his voice goes shrill when he’s making a point and his phlegmy smoker’s chuckle. It’s cool that people had the forethought to record his talks. Imagine how rapt and attentive and open and present all those seekers in attendance were, no smartphones, a special occasion to access wisdom in some way other than from a book.

Ot maybe it was just one of many many many lectures and talks and symposiums that people chose from because without on-demand video and audio there was more demand for it.

Alan Watts Podcast could be easier to use but great content nonetheless.

Slykday 4

Meditation: I suck at this and need to prepare better. Probably need to meditate before I guide the meditation. Hope people aren’t annoyed or dismissive.

Discover Purpose Exercise (Hourly Rate/Monthly Goal): this is based on a Naval tweet and experience with Slyksters. Time is the most precious thing we have but we don’t value it. We treat it like dirt. We squander it. But it is in fact infinitely valuable. And so we are unique. So our rarity and finite working hours should command a high price.

And then there’s the reality of hustling to make money before you’ve fully developed your talent stack or achieved slykigai. So you set a monthly goal and that will also help you improve to the point where yoLu can get paid your aspirational hourly rate.

Slykigai or Die!

Naval Tweets: Long term games/long term people is hard advice to follow. Because you are necessarily iterating if you are trying to line things up and you might start out way unaligned and need to shift your focus to achieve Slykigai.

I had the dream set up in Mexico City working for Ricardo Salinas Pliego. But I wasn’t taking risks under my own name and so wasn’t able to shoot for the big upside that startups promise when you are a founder. I was always working for Grupo Salinas, even as I experimented with new tech startups.

I definitely disrupted compounding in my old position, but I broke into a better game, one more aligned with what I wanted to give the world or what the world needs from me. Fintech startups and crypto.

Podcast and Cadoo Steps: What an interesting character is Jordan Peterson — his rise and fall and fugue state and Lazarus-like revival from an induced coma. His worldview is grounded in ancient biological truths of our species. But I can also understand why people who feel we’ve transcended those old truths via the surplus creation of our minds might feel threatened by Peterson’s views.

We have public taxes and public charity and public incentives. It should all be voluntary, private, and decentralized. Our system is designed to serve everyone and ends up serving best (not only, but best) free riders.

I like doing my Cadoo steps and love listening to podcasts when I do them, but I find that when the boys are with me (half the time), I get busy biking around with them and getting my steps in feels like a chore.

Slykday 5



Tim Parsa

Founder/funder of early-stage fintech/blockchain ventures. @airtm, @cadooinc, @slykhq, uphold.com. 20+ years building startups. U.S.-trained lawyer. Father.