The Voluntary Life


17 April 2014

151 Your Own Moral Compass

An episode about developing your own independent moral compass. Topics covered:

  • The huge influence of morality and moral arguments.
  • Examples of different approaches to morality.
  • The real purpose of shared moral rules.
  • The benefits of developing your own moral compass.

Listen to Episode 151

14 April 2014

150 Becoming an Entrepreneur

An episode about my new book Becoming an Entrepreneur: How to Find Freedom and Fulfillment as a Business Owner. Topics covered include:

  • First reviews of the book from readers. 
  • What the book is about and why I wrote it. 
  • The process of writing and self-publishing, including my struggles along the way. 
  • My experiment in crowdsourcing feedback with "beta-readers" from TVL listeners. 
  • Future plans. 

If you would like to review the book on Amazon, or your blog, or your podcast, or anywhere visible, I will happily give you a review copy. Just write to me at jake [at] thevoluntarylife [dot] com and ask for a review copy.

Show Notes:

4 April 2014

149 Career Breaks and Travel: Interview with Pete Blacow

Pete Blacow has taken two career breaks to travel the world. In this episode he shares his experience of long-term travel and taking time out from working. Topics covered include the practical issues of taking a career break, the pros and cons of long-term travel, and Pete's recommendations for anyone interested in travelling the world.

Show Notes
Listen To Episode 149

31 March 2014

148 Mental Decluttering

This episode is about freeing your mind by decluttering all your mental baggage on a regular basis. Topic covered include:
  • The benefits of going on an information and media diet
  • The importance of having a trusted system for how to declutter your mind and control the information buildup around you.
  • The role of a weekly clear-out, as part of a weekly review 
  • Applying the "inbox-zero" approach beyond email to digital inboxes, physical inboxes, social inboxes, and life in general.
Show Notes

19 March 2014

147 Out Of The Box Interview: Financial Freedom and Personal Development

Comedian Rosie Tran (@FunnyRosie) interviews financial freedom advocate, investor, and host of The Voluntary Life Podcast, Jake Desyllas (@thevoluntary). They discuss the various ways to escape the rat race. Jake talks about the different techniques he has discovered, including unjobbing, extreme saving, business ownership, investing, and more. Also, in depth discussion on the importance of personal and self development in the process of financial freedom.

Listen to Episode 147

13 March 2014

146 Freedom Lovin' Interview: Living In Mexico

This episode is an interview that I did with Kevin Koskella from Freedom Lovin podcast. Kevin and I talk about expat life in Mexico: the pros, cons and experiences.

Listen to Episode 146

7 March 2014

145 Win-Win Negotiation Part 2: Strength and Value

Part 2 in a series on win-win negotiation. This episode explains the process of principled negotiation and answers two key questions for any negotiation:
  • What determines your negotiating strength? 
  • How do you create value in a negotiation? 
Show Notes
Listen to Episode 145 

26 February 2014

144 Win-Win Negotiation Part 1: Communication

Part 1 of a series on win-win negotiation. This episode covers communication as an integral part of negotiation. Jake highlights some useful techniques from psychology to help you communicate productively in negotiations.

Show Notes

19 February 2014

Special Announcement: Seeking Beta-Readers for "Becoming An Entrepreneur"

I welcome feedback from anyone who would like to be a beta-reader for my new book "Becoming An Entrepreneur: How To Find Freedom and Fulfilment As A Business Owner". I'll acknowledge you and give you a free copy of the final version too. If you're interested, please fill in this form:

Listen To the Special Announcement

7 February 2014

143 Breaking From Your Parents: Interview With Daniel Mackler

An interview with Daniel Mackler about his new book Breaking From Your Parents. Daniel talks about why he chose to tackle this taboo subject, based on his own personal experience and that of many others. The interview was recorded in January 2014, and the book has since been released. 

Show Notes:
Breaking from Your Parents ebook by Daniel Mackler 
Daniel's videos on confronting your parents Part 1 and part 2 

1 February 2014

142 Extraordinary Time: An Interview With Augusto Pinaud

An interview with Augusto Pinaud about the concept of Extrodinary Time. Augusto is the author of 10 books including 25 Tips for Productivity. In this episode he explains his technique of devoting dedicated time to working on extraordinary challenges. He provides inspiring suggestions for how to push yourself beyond the comfort zone of doing good work and get to truly great work.

Show Notes:

26 January 2014

141 No More Waiting For The Epic Fairy

"Most people think that they need to be tapped on the shoulder by the Epic Fairy if they ever hope to be epic, or if they're ever going to have the audacity to do something truly epic. But it's not true. Want to be epic? Just do epic shit. There's nothing else to it." Johnny Truant

An episode about ideas to help you make a habit of doing epic things.

Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 141

New About Page and new video: Four Ways To Quit The Rat Race

Here's a quick update about two new resources. I've finally put an About Page on the website, do check it out at Also, the video of my talk from Libertopia 2013 is now available:

The audio of this talk was released as Episode 124 in the podcast feed.

Here are links mentioned in the video:
Michael Fogler's book Un-Jobbing
Linda Breen Pierce's book Choosing Simplicity
Elliot Hulse
Your Money or Your Life
Amy Dacyczyn's book The Complete Tightwad Gazette
Early Retirement Extreme blog and book
Mr Money Moustache
Introduction to the Permanent Portfolio
Smart Passive Income
Tim Ferriss' blog and book The 4-Hour Workweek
Laura Roeder
Derek Sivers' book Anything You Want
Podcast Episode 124

18 January 2014

140 A World Of Entrepreneurs

This episode provides some thoughts on common objections to entrepreneurship. Topics covered include:

  • The myth of an entrepreneur "personality type".
  • Entrepreneurship as a personal development programme that can benefit anyone
  • The possibility of a world where everyone is an entrepreneur

6 January 2014

139 How To Build Your Network

This episode is about how to develop and strengthen your network of business contacts. The ideas discussed are also relevant for friendships. Topic covered include:
  • Following Through on Commitments
  • Responding in Time
  • Making Introductions
  • Referrals and Recommendations
  • Acts of Kindness and Helpfulness
Show Notes
Photo Credit: Paul Watson

Listen to Episode 139

26 December 2013

138 Open-Source Money Part 2

Part two of an in-depth discussion about Bitcoin with Stephanie Murphy, co-host of Let's Talk Bitcoin. Topics covered include:
  • The skewed ownership of Bitcoin: is it a problem?
  • Bitcoin and holding assets outside your own country
  • More on Bitcoin vs Gold
  • Bitcoin price volatility: experiences and techniques for planning around it
  • Bitshares and other advanced possibilities with Bitcoin
Show Notes:

20 December 2013

137 Open-Source Money: All About Bitcoin With Stephanie Murphy

Episode 137

An interview with Stephanie Murphy looking in-depth at Bitcoin. Stephanie is co-host of the Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast. Topics covered in the interview include:
  • An overview of what has happened to Bitcoin in 2013
  • Bitcoin as open-source money
  • Does it matter that Bitcoin is "not backed by anything"?
  • Deflationary currency: are people "hoarding" bitcoins, or simply "saving" with them?
If you would like to donate a bitcoin tip to The Voluntary Life, the address is 1HVwpbwsYsj7Tndsj6NTQ9BYPdEZATAePW

The Voluntary Life Bitcoin QR code is:

Show Notes:

Listen to Episode 137

15 December 2013

136 Your Purpose In Life

This episode is about identifying your purpose in life. Topics covered include:

  • The concept of Horizons of Focus used in David Allen's "Getting Things Done"
  • How to manifest your life's purpose in every action that you do. 
  • Identifying and addressing gaps in your integrity
  • Identifying the level of integrity shown by other people in your life. 

Show Notes:

Listen to episode 136

26 November 2013

134 Employee Conditioning

The biggest challenge to becoming an entrepreneur is overcoming your conditioning. It's never been a better time to start your own business, yet we are all conditioned to think like worker drones. This episode is about how to break your employee conditioning.

Show Notes
Episode 111 on Risk in Entrepreneurship
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley
The Peter Principle

Listen to Episode 134

14 November 2013

133 Going Minimalist

An update on my experience of going minimalist. Topics covered:
  • The benefits of minimalism
  • How it feels getting rid of stuff
  • The downside of minimalism?
  • Some suggestions for going minimalist
Show Notes

  • It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh
  • Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

  • Listen to Episode 133

    3 November 2013

    132 Perpetual Travellers Part 4: Interview With Andrew Henderson

    Andrew is the founder and host of the Nomad Capitalist website and radio show. In this interview he describes his life as an expat entrepreneur, including:
    • travels through South East Asia
    • Becoming a nomad capitalist
    • different opportunities for investment abroad
    • Diversification: do you need it?
    • Dealing with the practicalities of doing business on the road
    • perpetual travel: the good and the bad

    Show Notes
    "Passport to Freedom" Event In Las Vegas January 2014
    Nomad Capitalist Website

    Listen to episode 132

    25 October 2013

    131 Perpetual Travellers Part 3: Interview with David Kahn

    David is an entrepreneur and perpetual traveller. He is the founder of a successful technology consultancy and has been travelling around the world with his family for many years. In this episode he shares his experience of perpetual travel and entrepreneurship, including:
    • The idea that got David and his wife travelling.
    • The influence that The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber had on him
    • How David turned an IT consultancy into a passive income business
    • Experiences of living in Argentina, Spain and Thailand
    • The benefits of minimalism and travel
    • The psychological rewards of travel: learning to live more freely and operating without the rulebook you were given.
    • The challenges of travel and how they are part of the experience
    Show Notes:
    The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
    David's Company
    Family Kahn Blog
    Email David

    Listen To Episode 131

    20 October 2013

    130 Perpetual Travellers Part 2: Interview With Pete Sisco

    Pete Sisco is an entrepreneur, blogger and author of The Freedom App. In this interview, Pete talks about his life as a perpetual traveller including:

    • Long term travel with a family
    • Self-publishing
    • Passive income businesses
    • Working with people all over the world
    • Dealing with bureaucracies when travelling
    • Perpetual travel as the ultimate personal freedom
    Show Notes
    Pete's website and blog
    The Freedom App book

    Listen to Episode 130