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12 Ways to Remake Your Boring Old Self


  1. 5. HIT THE ROAD

    (1) Locate an RV rental ( found a 24-foot Winnebago that sleeps five for $3,870 a month out of Peekskill). (2) Rent it. (3) Discover that it’s impossible to park. Gasp at how the hike in gas prices will affect your ten-miles-to-the-gallon supertanker. Confirm that RVing requires personally evacuating the waste-holding tanks into the campsite sewer. Thank the RV-rental folks and ask your travel agent to investigate camping in Costa Rica.


    “I don’t mean to sound arrogant,” says Chris Richards, owner of the Academy of Aviation at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Long Island, “but once you learn to fly, you’re not like everybody else anymore. You’ve experienced freedom and exhilaration that not many other people have. It changes you as a person.” Angelina Jolie has been flying high since she bought her $400,000 single-engine Cirrus SR22. Other celebrity pilots include Harrison Ford, Patrick Swayze, and John Travolta, who owns a 147-passenger Qantas Boeing 707 jet, which he lands at a runway outside his home in Ocala, Florida. At Richards’s school, it takes 50 to 70 hours and about $17,000 to learn to fly a two-seater Cessna 150, a standard starter plane that goes 300 to 400 miles, at twice the speed of a car, before you need to refuel. Once you’re licensed, renting one runs about $94 an hour, and upgrading to a four-seater Cessna is $150 an hour. Or buy your own Cessna 150 for $20,000 to $30,000. The parking space is extra.


    To land a spot on a reality show—and you can find out who’s hiring at—you need a video as gripping as the Jacko baby dangle. “You must make the first twenty seconds really count because some casting directors only watch that much,” says Ken Duphiney, a freelance casting director who has worked for shows for CBS and ABC and competed on The Amazing Race 3. (He and younger brother Gerard came in third.) “Never say, ‘I plan to fly under the radar.’ That’s so uninteresting,” he advises. Instead, pick a personality trait and magnify it. If you’re stubborn, sell yourself as Mr. My-Way-or-the-Highway. If you have a hot body, show it off. And if you have a brain, show that off, too, says Duphiney: “Viewers love to watch smart people fail.”


    If you’re not already doing money management at Fidelity or Putnam, try mowing the lawn—the right lawn. “This business is all relatives and friends of friends and networking,” says an analyst at a $1.5 billion hedge fund. “In fact, we just got rid of a kid who used to do odd jobs for our boss. Literally, he would do landscaping. The kid was smart, he went to college, so the boss threw him a bone”—a six-figure bone, mind you—“because he thought he could do it. It took a year for them to decide it wasn’t working out.” Given that amount of time to prove yourself, though, you might do better.

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