The Voluntary Life

26 October 2014

178 Upgrading Habits

This episode covers everything I've learned about upgrading my habits to improve my life. Here's a brief summary of the points covered:

  • Habits are the most important demonstration of your character: you are what you do repetitively.
  • By consciously upgrading your habits, you have an opportunity to implement your vision of who you want to be, in your day-to-day life.
  • Habits are powerful because steady persistence always beats the mad dash.
  • Habits dramatically reduce the amount of willpower and brainpower required to get things done. Once you have implemented a habit and can do it on autopilot, you conserve willpower and brainpower, helping you get more done.
  • Habits are easiest to adopt when they are simple to understand, when you minimise any friction at the start of the action, when there are clear environmental triggers that tell your unconscious to start the habit, and when you have feedback (rewards) for completion.
  • I recommend the use of a habit tracking app like lift.do. In the podcast, I provide some examples of  habits that I am currently working on and describe how I use this app to help me implement them.
  • The episode covers the best books to read more about habits (listed in the show notes below) and I talk about many of the tips that I've gathered from these resources.

Show Notes:


17 October 2014

177 The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality by Ludwig Von Mises Part 2

Why is there a lot of resentment towards entrepreneurs among intellectuals, white collar workers, extended members of successful business families, and artists? This episode is Part 2 of a discussion of "The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality" by Ludwig Von Mises.  In this episode, I explain Mises' own theories about resentment towards entrepreneurs from specific groups.

Show Notes
The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality by Ludwig Von Mises (free ebook)
Becoming An Entrepreneur by Jake Desyllas

Listen to Episode 177


10 October 2014

176 The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality by Ludwig Von Mises Part 1

Why do some people hate entrepreneurs? This episode explores some answers to this question put forward by Ludwig Von Mises in "The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality".

Show Notes
The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality by Ludwig Von Mises (free ebook)
Becoming An Entrepreneur by Jake Desyllas

Listen to Episode 176


3 October 2014

175 The Culture of Entrepreneurship

In this podcast episode, I outline the mindset that is most conducive to becoming a successful entrepreneur.  This mindset is the culture of entrepreneurship. I provide a contrast with the culture of politics, to show what's special about the culture of entrepreneurship.

Show Notes:

25 September 2014

174 Fail-Safe Investing Part 2

This is part 2 of my review of Harry Browne's book Fail-Safe Investing. It contains a discussion of the rest of Harry Browne's rules for financial safety:
Rule #11: Create a bulletproof portfolio for protection.
Rule #12: Speculate only with money you can afford to lose.
Rule #13: Keep some assets outside the country in which you live.
Rule #14: Use tax reduction accounts.
Rule #15: Enjoy yourself with a budget for pleasure.
Rule #16: When in doubt, err on the side of safety.

Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 174


19 September 2014

173 Fail-Safe Investing Part 1

This episode is the first in a two part review of my favourite investment book, Fail-Safe Investing by Harry Browne. In this episode I discuss the background to this investing approach and provide an overview of Harry's top 10 rules of financial safety:

Rule #1: Your career provides your wealth.
Rule #2: Don't assume you can replace your wealth.
Rule #3: Recognize the difference between investing and speculating.
Rule #4: No one can predict the future.
Rule #5: No one can move you in and out of investments consistently with precise and profitable timing.
Rule #6: No trading system will work as well in the future as it did in the past.
Rule #7: Don't use leverage.
Rule #8: Don't let anyone make your decisions.
Rule #9: Don't ever do anything you don't understand.
Rule #10: Don't depend on any one investment, institution, or person for your safety

Show Notes:


14 September 2014

172 Personal Finances Vs Other Personal Development Goals

There are many aspects of life that you can work to improve, in order to create the life you want. In this episode, I make the case for prioritising your personal finances, before focussing on other personal development goals.

Listen to Episode 172 

4 September 2014

171 From Million Dollar House To Tiny Home: Interview With Jacki Rigoni

This episode is an interview with Jacki Rigoni, who blogs at Post-Consumer Life.  Jacki and her husband realised that their million dollar house was really just a million dollars of mortgage debt which they would have to work like crazy to pay off until the age of 75. So they decided to sell the house, get rid of the debt, buy a plot of land, build their own tiny home, and live off-grid. Listen to the episode to hear Jacki describe her inspiring story.

Listen to Episode 171


31 August 2014

170 Asset Protection and Internationalization: An Interview With Bobby Casey

This episode is an interview with Bobby Casey, founder of Global Wealth Protection and many other internationalization businesses. Bobby talks about his own background as an entrepreneur, how he became interested in the internationalisation field, and his life as a perpetual traveler. He explains some of the key ideas of asset protection, such as the role of offshore trusts and companies. He also discusses the opportunities for establishing residency in different countries for tax benefits, as a place to live and in some cases to gain a second citizenship.

Listen To Episode 170 


23 August 2014

169 Two Crucial Questions

An episode about two inter-related questions that are crucial to your happiness in life:
  • How will you achieve financial security and/or independence?
  • How will you find fulfilment?
It's your responsibility to find your own answers to these questions, repeatedly throughout your life. Nobody can answer them for you. This episode provides some suggestions about how to think about these questions, to help you develop a more conscious strategy to address them.

Show Notes:
Episode 124 Four Ways To Quit The Rat Race
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink

Listen to Episode 169

17 August 2014

168 Win-Win Negotiation Part 3: Resolving Disputes

This episode is about the most powerful technique I know for overcoming deadlock in negotiations and resolving disputes, both in business and in personal relationships. The technique involves a very straightforward concept that everyone understands, but it is often ignored or usually only tried when it is already too late.

Show Notes
Previous episodes on Negotiation

Listen to Episode 168

7 August 2014

167 Radical Personal Finance Interview: The Permanent Portfolio

Joshua Sheats invited me onto the Radical Personal Finance podcast to discuss the Permanent Portfolio investment strategy for individual private investors. In this episode we talk about many aspects of the PP strategy including:
  • my own reasons for choosing this investment strategy
  • the design of the portfolio
  • the philosophy behind the approach
  • strengths and weaknesses of the PP

Show Notes:
As always regarding investment, do your own research. I am not a financial advisor and this isn't advice, it's my own experience and opinions. My intention is to encourage you to think for yourself.

Listen to Episode 167

30 July 2014

166 Retired at 33: Interview with Justin from Root of Good

Justin retired at the age of 33. He writes about his journey to financial independence on his blog Root of Good. In this interview, he discusses his path to financial independence from intensive saving. Topics covered include:

  • Saving all salary increases and avoiding lifestyle inflation
  • Cost-effective housing, transport and food choices
  • The importance of having agreement with your spouse towards your financial goals
  • Children and financial independence

Show Notes


Listen to Episode 166


23 July 2014

165 Radical Personal Finance Interview: The Positive Power of Entrepreneurship

Joshua from Radical Personal Finance Podcast invited me on his show to talk about entrepreneurship. We talked about learning entrepreneurial skills, voluntary versus compulsory education, the importance of selling in life, the ethical nature of business, and the positive power of entrepreneurship.

Show Notes



Listen to Episode 165

17 July 2014

164 We Plan To Retire At 30: Interview with Mike and Lauren

Mike and Lauren have average-income jobs, no big inheritance or bonuses, and they plan to retire at the age of 30. They share all the facts about their journey to financial independence on their youtube channel. In this interview, they talk about the practicalities of intensive saving, the challenges of making unconventional life choices, and their dream to sail around the world.

Show Notes:

Listen to Episode 164


9 July 2014

163 Thinking Like An Entrepreneur: Discussion With Jeffrey Tucker


Jeffrey Tucker interviewed me about my book Becoming an Entrepreneur. We discuss how to think like an entrepreneur and the amazing potential of entrepreneurship, both for personal growth and for a better world. Jeffrey is the founder and Chief Liberty Officer of Liberty.me, Distinguished Fellow of FEE, head of LFB.org, and founder of CryptoCurrencyCon.com.


Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 163 

5 July 2014

162 Spend Little, Save More, Travel the World: Interview with Go Curry Cracker

This episode is an interview with Jeremy and Winnie, authors of the blog Go Curry Cracker. In the interview, Jeremy and Winnie share their inspiring journey to financial independence through intensive saving. They describe the lifestyle choices that enabled them to retire early in their 30s and travel the world.

Listen to Episode 162

25 June 2014

161 Review of Built To Sell by John Warrillow

This episode is a review of the book Built to Sell by John Warrillow. The book is about how to sell a business, including how to transform your business to make it sellable.

In this review, I discuss a central idea of the book: productising your services so that the business can work without you (the entrepreneur). I compare this with Michael Gerber's idea of creating a "franchise prototype" and the idea in my own book of  "making yourself redundant" using proceduralisation and standardisation.

Show Notes


Listen to Episode 161

20 June 2014

160 Choice Conversations Interview: Financial Freedom and More

This episode is a conversation I had with Chris Stefanick on his podcast Choice Conversations. We planned to talk about financial freedom, but ended up covering many topics including childhood influences, entrepreneurship, different approaches to investment, and much more!

Show Notes:

Listen to Episode 160 

14 June 2014

6 June 2014

158 Entrepreneurship is Embarrassing And That's OK

A podcast episode about how becoming an entrepreneur can be pretty embarrassing, and how that's ok.

Show Notes

Listen to Episode 158

29 May 2014

157 How To Go Paperless Part 2

This episode is the second part of a series on how to go paperless. It explains how to digitise your paper books using destructive book scanning.

Show Notes:


Listen to Episode 157

23 May 2014

156 How To Unleash Your Creative Thinking

This podcast episode presents a range of techniques to support your creative thinking.  Some of the techniques covered are outlined below:

  • The focussed journalling technique called extraordinary time is great for thinking creatively about challenges in life. 
  • Another productive method of focussed journalling is the use of regular creative review questions for supporting ongoing creative thinking. 
  • The practice of noting and reviewing someday/maybe projects nurtures your dreams and helps you turn them into plans.
  • Affirmations help you to be the best version of yourself by reminding yourself of what you have committed to do and who you are committed to be.
  • Various other techniques are presented in the podcast, many of which come from the creative review part of the weekly review in GTD (Getting Things Done). 

Show Notes

Listen to Episode 156 

14 May 2014

155 Review of A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel

This week's podcast episode is a discussion of Burton Malkiel's famous investment book "A Random Walk Down Wall Street". Malkiel's key point is that stock market prices are inherently unpredictable. He further argues that investment advisor techniques such as technical analysis and fundamental analysis cannot be used to reliably beat market averages. In light of this, he recommends the alternative approach of passive investment.
In the podcast, I summarise the contents of the book, discuss the main arguments, outline some criticisms, and suggest other books and ideas that may be of interest.

Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 155