World of Words: From Auction to Awesome

Whatever happened to that English guy in Australia who sold his life on eBay? He moved to the Yukon and wrote a book about it.

In November, A Life Sold by Ian Usher went on sale via Amazon, and is now available on Kindle. It recounts Usher’s adventures to sell his life and achieve 100 goals in 100 weeks.

A Life Sold starts with Usher’s motivation to auction off everything, lock, stock, barrel and friends. “Well, introductions to friends,” who, along with family, were very supportive of Usher’s plan.

They were all caught off-guard by the swell of public interest and the flood of media attention, especially from breakfast news shows around the world.

“It was a quirky idea that resonated with people,” says Usher. Bidding went wild.

“I didn’t put a price on my life,” Usher writes. But, after weeding out fake bids, “the final one was for less than the value of my house.”

Does all this sound like the plot of a lifestyle comedy? Usher’s story is under option to Walt Disney Pictures and he’s spoken about it with Wedding Crashers director Andrew Panay.

Although the eBay auction didn’t go as planned, Usher wasn’t discouraged. Instead, the experience proved his belief that it’s possible “to go to Plan B and overcome hurdles. There’s an element of freedom and people should take advantage of it.”

Ready or not, on August 2, 2008 Usher embarked on achieving goal one of 100. His weekly travel blog is at

Whether he was serving in a Vancouver soup kitchen on Christmas Day, making it to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or meeting British adventurer Richard Branson, Usher’s end goal was to write the book.

“The blog writing was rougher and quicker,” says Usher. Deeper content he “wrote down and kept for the book.” After two years on the physical journey, Usher spent four months writing about the personal one.

Then he established himself as WiderVision Publishing to become a customer of Lightning Source, one of the largest self-publishers on line. Among the many advantages of e-publishing and self-publishing is that Usher sets his own discount on Amazon. “It’s been a steep learning curve,” he notes.

Now, Usher puts in eight hours a day maintaining his internet presence, remarking that he treats it like a full-time job. His partner Moe Boska, a Yukoner who keeps a dogsled team, takes the notoriety in stride.

It was Boska who co-ordinated Usher’s Goal 25: “Go on a dogsled ride in the wilderness.” Their friendship grew and after Usher’s adventure was over, he returned to the Yukon to join her.

On top of completing the outstanding goals from his list, Usher has three new ones. One is to raise research funds to cure bowel cancer, which took his father. The second, after years living in Australia, is to protect whales from Japanese harvest.

His final goal, stemming from the soup-kitchen experience, is to actively reduce homelessness.

To help others achieve their goals, Usher has gathered sponsors to stake ten annual draws for $10,000. Visit to fund your goal or donate to one of Usher’s.

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