The Voluntary Life: 2012

24 December 2012

89 Financial Consciousness: An Interview With Mike

Mike talks about how he saved his way to financial freedom, without a college degree or a high-powered job. He shares his thoughts on how to be conscious about your relationship with money and explains some of the methods for saving your way to wealth that work for him. As always, do your own research- we're not financial advisors and this is just our opinions.

Podcast Episode

17 December 2012

88 Why I Feared The Free Market

Some thoughts on what it is that frightens people about the free market, based on my own experience of what frightened me. The fear of the market is often expressed in very abstract arguments about whether free markets would really work (if we had them) and what their relationship is to poverty etc. However,  at an individual level, I believe people fear markets because of how vulnerable you can feel when taking part in voluntary exchange:

  • Trade on the free market involves selling to others. This opens you up to the potential for rejection and failure, which can be scary.
  • The division of labour involves choosing to specialise in some skill or area of work that might one day become obsolete, which can feel vulnerable. It also involves taking responsibility for specific outcomes- the buck stops with you- which challenges any defences against the fear of responsibility. 
  • Respect for private property rights involves looking after your stuff and respecting other people's stuff. This opens you up to the potential for feelings of humiliation if you don't understand how or why others have made a success of selling when you have not yet been able to.

It's understandable to fear the free market. It can be scary to launch yourself into entrepreneurship, as well as being wonderful. However, some people project their personal fears of the market into abstract theories: they blame the market itself for the world's ills. That approach will prevent you from overcoming your fears and limit your potential.

Podcast Episode

13 December 2012

87 An Expat Entrepreneur In Chile

This episode is an interview with Edwin, an expat entrepreneur in Chile. Edwin talks about his experience on an entrepreneurship visa in Chile and shares his thoughts about the pros and cons of Chile as a place to live and to create a startup in. He discusses other things to consider regarding coming to Chile as an entrepreneur, including his views on the Start-up Chile grant, some comparisons of cost of living and considerations on quality of life in Chile as an expat. You can contact Edwin at edwininchile@gmail.com.

Podcast Episode

3 December 2012

86 Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids: An Interview with Eduardo Marty

An interview with Eduardo Marty, who founded Junior Achievement in Argentina and in many other Latin American countries. Junior Achievement is a charity that teaches entrepreneurship to children and young adults.

Eduardo has also held academic posts as professor at the University Francisco MarroquĂ­n, Guatemala, and the University of Buenos Aires. He is one of the few academics who is truly passionate about the need for young people to learn the practical skills of entrepreneurship. As he says in the interview; "the problem with intellectuals is that they are always running out of money".

In this entertaining interview, he discusses his experiences and his adventures in a life dedicated to helping kids realise their entrepreneurial potential, including a narrow escape from being imprisoned in Cuba when he tried to establish Junior Achievement there.

Podcast Episode

27 November 2012

85 Freedom From Intellectual Heroes

This episode is about gaining freedom from intellectual heroes. I share some thoughts about how to extract the best ideas from thinkers that you admire, without relying on someone else to think for you. I talk about some ways I have found for gaining intellectual independence, including:

  • Taking apart the "package deal" of a set of new ideas to use the ones that work and discard the ones that don't.
  • Learning to trust your own judgement: if an idea doesn't make sense to you, it's probably because the idea is incoherent.
  • Starting from the assumption that "everything is a remix", even if an idea appears to be very original or is presented as very new.

Ultimately, I believe intellectual independence is about giving up the emotional search for leaders. It is a part of growing up and being an adult to stop looking for intellectual heroes and to treat every thinker as someone who puts their pants on one leg at a time, just like you and me. A really important aspect of intellectual freedom is to give up deference to our heroes- to take what we can from their ideas and own those ideas for ourselves, so that we truly think for ourselves. That's what free people do, they think for themselves.

Podcast Episode

20 November 2012

84 Interview With Joel Bowman

This episode is an interview with Joel Bowman, the managing editor of The Daily Reckoning e-newsletter email and former managing editor of the Rude Awakening. After completing his degree in media communications and journalism in his home country of Australia, Joel moved to Baltimore to join the Agora Financial team. His keen interest in travel and macroeconomics first took him to New York where he regularly reported from Wall Street, and he now writes from and lives all over the world.

Joel currently lives in Buenos Aires. In the interview he gives his perspective on life as an expat in the city and provides an overview of what has been happening to the economy in Argentina recently.

Apologies for the technical problems with the recording: the audio cuts out very briefly intermittently throughout the interview, but it is still possible to understand the interview.

Podcast Episode 

11 November 2012

83 Introduction to Investing

This episode covers a lot of questions I faced getting started in investing as a private investor and my own experience in tackling these questions:
  • Why invest (i.e. why not just leave your money in a bank)?
  • Who is going to manage your investments, an external manager or yourself?
  • Are you going to be an active investor (e.g. analysing individual securities for value and trading more often) or a passive investor (e.g. using index funds and trading less often)?
  • Which asset classes are you going to invest in (e.g. stocks, bonds, precious metals, cash)? How will you allocate and balance assets in your portfolio?
  • Which individual securities are you going to select within each asset class (e.g if you decide to buy bonds, which individual bonds will you choose)?
  • When should you start investing, within the context of your overall personal financial planning?
  • When should you buy or sell individual assets? Will you try to time the market or will you automatically rebalance a portfolio based on an asset allocation strategy?
  • Where should you invest? Should you have geographic diversification and if so, what kind?
You can also get more information about the concept of the permanent portfolio discussed in this episode in Harry Browne's book "Fail-Safe Investing" and in many of the previous Voluntary Life podcast episodes on investing.

As always regarding investment, do your own research. I am not an advisor and this isn't advice of any kind, it's just my own opinions based on my experience.

Podcast Episode

30 October 2012

82 Savings Vs Wage Slavery


This episode is about saving money and it's relationship with freedom. Many people are trapped in a "wage slavery" lifestyle, living from month to month. Although their income rises during their career, their expenses scale correspondingly (or even lead ahead, creating debt). There are two approaches to developing the savings that allow get you out of this trap:

  • One route is to increase earnings without increasing expenses, creating savings. The difficulty with this approach is that the higher the income, the bigger the tendency or temptation to spend more on a more comfortable lifestyle.
  • The other approach is to decrease expenses without decreasing earnings, by focussing on minimising living expenses as much as possible. The challenge with this approach is to do so without losing income (for example, moving to a low cost location might not make it possible to keep a well paid job).

Jake talks about his experience focussing on the first approach and discusses some of the benefits in terms of freedom that saving provides:

  • Developing an emergency fund of approximately 3 months expenses reduces a huge amount of stress associated with living month to month and enables you to cope with unexpected expenses or irregular cashflow.
  • Developing savings to cover 1 year of expenses opens up a huge degree of freedom, for example to start your own business, to leave a job if you don't like it or even to change your life in other ways such as by emigrating to another country.
This podcast and blog summary contains only personal opinions, it does not constitute financial advice and I am not a financial advisor.


Podcast Episode

22 October 2012

81 Freedom From Debt

This episode is about the freedom that comes from getting out of debt.

We live in a time when being in debt is the norm in our society. The basis of the debt culture lies in government policies (such as inflating the money supply and artificially lowering interest rates) that actively incentivise individuals to get into debt. These government policies filter through into opportunities for debt everywhere that are encouraged by mainstream culture. For example: student loans for college, credit for consumer goods,  the mainstream ideal of home ownership and the mortgage debt that goes with it. Debt becomes a way of life for most people, which can lead to rationalising it and being over-optimistic about it's impact.

Ultimately debt always reduces your financial freedom. It is always restricting the freedom of action of  your future self. Jake talks about his experience of being in debt and getting out of debt. The podcast goes on to focus on the benefits of being debt free:

  • The main benefit is in increasing your freedom of action when you are out of debt
  • When debt is cleared it removes a constant source of worry
  • Deciding on how to use your money can be a pleasure again and an aspect of freedom
  • Removing debt is an aspect of self-care: it is financial self-care
This podcast and blog summary contains only my personal opinions, it does not constitute financial advice and I am not a financial advisor.

Podcast episode

15 October 2012

80 Financial Freedom Milestones


This episode is a about the significant milestones along the way towards achieving financial freedom. In my opinion, reaching each of these milestones brings you closer to being financially free and it is useful to take a step back and consider what the steps along the way of your journey will be. Some milestones to consider are suggested:

Financial independence or "paying your own way", whereby you are sustaining yourself from your job or work income on a month to month basis. You are not living off parents, not living from significant subsidies from your family, not accumulating student debt and not accumulating credit card debt. It's important to note role how going to college significantly delays reaching this milestone and how many people do not achieve this milestone until they are in their 30s or later.

Achieving positive net worth, whereby your assets are greater than your liabilities. This is often what people mean when they talk about "getting out of debt" (although that is not exactly the same). It is important to be aware that consumer credit and mortgate debt can significantly hinder or delay you reaching this goal.

Making your first investment, for example by purchasing an income producing asset like shares or bonds.  The key distinction is that this is not just money you haven't used yet which you are putting aside until  you spend it, it is money you do not intend to ever spend. You are putting this money to work for you creating income. Although a lot of people consider purchasing a house with a mortgage as their first big investment, a property for your own use is really a consumption item.

Net worth surpasses annual expenses- in other words, your savings (assets) could keep you going for 1 year if you needed to. This means you have a significant safety buffer, but if you did have to use your savings it would mean that you consume your capital and you would be back to square 1.

Annual passive investment income becomes larger than your annual expenses: this is real financial freedom, as  you can now live off your passive income. For this to be sustainable it needs to take into account the effect of inflation, taxes etc. However, once you can sustainably live from your passive income, you are financially free.

This podcast and blog summary contains only my personal opinions, it does not constitute financial advice and I am not a financial advisor.


Podcast Episode

8 October 2012

79 Entrepreneurship Part 11: Free Your Ass And Your Mind Will Follow

This episode is about the entrepreneurial mindset. What kind of thinking do you need to be an entrepreneur? More importantly, how will doing entrepreneurship change the way that you think? Jake talks about some key aspects of the entrepreneurial mentality including:

  • cultivating optimism and perseverance
  • using the trial and error method
  • acceptance of failure and the possibility of failure
  • a deep rooted focus on sales
  • a results-oriented outlook
  • thrift and developing a reluctance to spend time or money without demonstrated good value
  • being market oriented and having a tendency to look for voluntary solutions in all of life

1 October 2012

78 Entrepreneurship Part 10: Going Into Business With Others

This episode is about the issue of shared ownership in business. It covers key questions that anyone considering going into business with others will face, including:

  • Should you go into business with others or be a sole owner-entrepreneur?
  • If you do go into business with others, how will you split ownership?
  • How will you ensure that the owners are all incentivised to add value to the business? In other words, how will you avoid the free-rider problem?
  • How are you going to make decisions together efficiently and avoid deadlock?
  • What will you do if the owners no longer want to work together, or one of them wants out?
Jake provides his own experience in facing these questions and summarises some of the options available to consider. It's up to you to decide what the best choices are for your own business. This podcast will help you make these decisions.

24 September 2012

77 Internationalising Yourself

This episode discusses ways in which you can overcome the limitations of the country in which you happen to have been born and, as much as possible, live with the whole of planet earth as your homeland. The topics covered include:

  • Travelling and seeing the world, to help you make conscious choices about where you want to spend your life
  • Taking the opportunity to live abroad for extended periods of time so that you can experience life in different parts of the world
  • Learning another language and giving yourself different tools to think with
  • Internationalising some of your assets, as geo-political diversification in case of catastrophic events such as a war.
  • If you have the opportunity, taking advantage of the chance to obtain dual nationality to further extend your flexibility in terms of where you can work or live. 

Podcast Episode

17 September 2012

76 The Permanent Portfolio: Author Interview With Craig Rowland

This episode is an interview with Craig Rowland, who is the co-author of a new book called The Permanent Portfolio: Harry Browne's Long-Term Investment Strategy. Craig is also author of the Crawling Road blog and host of the permanent portfolio forum. In the episode we discuss the Permanent Portfolio strategy and many of the insights from Craig's new book. We talk about the way in which the Permanent Portfolio approach differs from other investment strategies including:
  • The choice of being an independent investor as opposed to entrusting your money to someone else
  • Achieving diversification in investing, as opposed to the Warren Buffet quote of "putting all your eggs in one basket and watching the basket very closely".
  • Using an asset allocation strategy based on identifying how assets react to each of the possible economic conditions, as opposed to asset allocation based on correlation studies.
  • The problems with trying to time the market in investing
  • The benefits of a passive investing approach that rebalances according to a strategy of maintaining diversification.
We also talk about some particular practical issues relating to the portfolio including
  • Creating your own portfolio versus using the Permanent Portfolio fund (and differences in the fund's approach to the classic PP strategy)
  • The growth of passive indexing strategies in stocks and how this aspect of the Permanent Portfolio approach is now more mainstream
  • Craig's thoughts on how best to own gold bullion and the tradeoff between convenience and safety.
  • How the permanent portfolio can help independent investors in the current context of artificially low interest rates and Quantitative Easing.
You can also get more information about the concept of the permanent portfolio in Harry Browne's book "Fail-Safe Investing" and in many of the previous Voluntary Life podcast episodes on investing. Neither Craig nor Jake are financial advisors or dealers of any kind and this podcast only expresses our opinions.

Podcast Episode

11 September 2012

75 The Most Advanced Democracy On Earth (Probably Not What You Think)

This episode is about the most advanced democracy on earth. It is about the most effective system we have for letting everyone have their say, working together to change society in a non-violent way.... Oh and it's probably not what you think.

Show Notes
Ludwig Von Mises' "The Anti-capitalistic Mentality"
Churchill's quote on democracy
Karl Popper's views on democracy can be found in The Open Society and Its Enemies


Podcast Episode

4 September 2012

74 City Air Makes You Free

This episode is about where you choose to live and the impact that this choice can have on your level of freedom. Many people who have written about personal and political liberty have suggested a link between where you choose to live and how free you are. In the podcast we explore 3 different ideas about this choice:
  • The ideas in "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau: finding freedom by living self-sufficiently alone in a rural setting
  • The idea of 'Galts Gulch' in "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand: finding freedom by living in a small community of like-minded people (again in a rural setting with an emphasis on self-sufficiency)
  • The idea that 'City Air Makes You Free' (expressed by writers such as Jane Jacobs): finding freedom in the division of labour and diversity that cities provide.
Arguably, the benefits of self-sufficiency have been overestimated in books like Walden and Atlas Shrugged, whereas the benefits of interdependence in cities have been under-appreciated by previous writers on liberty. It is suggested that Galt's Gulch wouldn't actually work in real life because it would lack the division of labour of a big city that is necessary to support the kind of advanced and specialised roles of it's inhabitants. In contrast, living in a city can provide many opportunities for greater work and personal freedom because of the benefits of the division of labour in cities.

Show Notes
Origin of the phrase City Air Makes You Free
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Previous episode of The Voluntary Life about Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Previous episode of The Voluntary Life about Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Podcast Episode

28 August 2012

73 A Review of The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

This episode is a review of the book "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich" by Tim Ferriss. It is a skype conversation with a group of friends. The ideas that we discuss include:

  • taking mini-retirements and getting out of a one-track career mentality
  • extended travelling
  • testing new entrepreneurial ideas with sales pages on the web before starting
  • outsourcing tasks to a virtual assistant
  • Tim Ferriss' personality and how it influences the style and content of the book


Podcast Episode

21 August 2012

72 How You Can Help End Poverty

This episode is about how you as an individual can help alleviate poverty in a non-political, principled way. It's an economic view of how you can reduce poverty through economic development and the wealth that it generates. Jake presents ideas of the economist Ludwig Von Mises about how you can create economic progress and development, focussing on three key activities:

  • creating technical innovation, which helps to make everything cheaper for everyone within the economy
  • being an entrepreneur, which creates new value and wealth in the economy
  • being a saver and investor, which provides resources for the future economic development (either of your own business or that of others)

The podcast discusses how each of these activities help reduce your own poverty and that of the world as a whole.

Show Notes
Ludwig Von Mises The Anti-capitalistic Mentality
Stephan Kinsella Against Intellectual Property

Podcast Episode

15 August 2012

71 Computer Security and Privacy For Everyone

This episode is an interview with Kristov, an application security specialist, about what kind of measures individuals can take to ensure a level of security and privacy for their computers and their online life. In the interview, we cover security and privacy for a range of topics including:

  • email use
  • web browsing
  • malware and viruses
  • password managers
  • data storage 
  • use of torrents
  • VOIP and chat
  • application security for entrepreneurs

7 August 2012

70 Becoming Who You Are Interview Part 2

The second part of the interview from the Becoming Who You Are Podcast. We talk about a whole range of topics including:

  • The fear of criticism that can come up when putting creative work out there
  • The challenges of being yourself at work
  • The future of The Voluntary Life podcast
  • The difference between abstract business planning and being conscious of what's really happening in your business now
  • The balance between having dreams and staying in touch with reality
  • Getting support from the people in your life
  • Doing what you love


Podcast Episode

1 August 2012

69 Inflation: The Hidden Tax

This episode is an interview with Marc de Mesel, who was previously on the show talking about investing in Europe. Marc runs a blog on investing in Europe in dutch and also an investing blog in english.

In this episode, Marc talks about the hidden tax that is inflation. We discuss the difference between official inflation figures and the real loss of purchasing power that ordinary people experience. We also talk about ways in which an individual investor or saver can cope with inflation, including the advantages and limitations of precious metals as an inflation hedge. The discussion is opinion only and should not be considered any kind of financial advice.

For more information about the concept of the permanent portfolio mentioned in the discussion, see Harry Browne's book "Fail-Safe Investing". You can also hear more about the Permanent Portfolio concept in this previous episode.

Podcast Episode

24 July 2012

68 Becoming Who You Are Interview Part 1

This is a repost of the latest Becoming Who You Are Podcast, where I was interviewed by the lovely host of BWYA, my partner Hannah.  In Part 1 we talk about how The Voluntary Life began and about feeling free to be yourself in your friendships.

Podcast Episode

23 July 2012

67 Success Is The Best Revenge

This is a short spontaneous speech by Jake taken from the Porc Therapy appearance in last week's show (see episode 66). It is about alternatives to political activism for getting more freedom in your life. I hope you enjoy it!

Podcast Episode

17 July 2012

66 Living Free Now: Porc Therapy Show

This is a repost of an episode of Porc Therapy hosted by Stephanie Murphy that Hannah and I appeared on.
"My friends Jake from The Voluntary Life and Hannah from Becoming Who You Are join me today for this fun podcast-only show where our discussion centers around living free – now! We begin with a PorcFest 2012 wrap up, then talk about connecting over shared values, immigration issues, the Free State Project, civil disobedience and political activism (and our disagreements with both), Jake’s amazing impassioned speech on living free!, intentional communities, permanent tourism and heading south to find freedom, living on a boat, someone who made his own island out of soda bottles, division of labor/going “off the grid,” and Leonid Rogozov’s famous self-appendectomy."


Podcast Episode

16 July 2012

65 A Review of The Virtue Of Selfishness By Ayn Rand

This episode is a review of "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand. It is a group discussion and the guests include Stephanie Murphy from Porc Therapy, freelance writer Greg Minton, George the expat auditor (from episodes 58 and 59and other friends. Here are some of the things we cover in the discussion:

  • The book's gutsy title and the controversy surrounding it.
  • The pros and cons of Ayn Rand's morality and her own moralising.
  • Aspects of the book we found unconvincing, such as her dismissal of voluntaryism and her idea that no conflict of interest is possible between rational people. 
  • Rand's convincing takedown of ethical lifeboat scenarios.
  • The fact that Ayn Rand is ignored in universities.
  • The impact that some of Ayn Rand's contradictions (on intellectual property and on non-aggression) have had on the objectivist movement's development, especially it's pro-war stance on foreign policy.
  • Her deconstruction of other moral theories that were around during her time.
  • Plus, we have a lot of fun talking about her strange views on tapdancing and morality!


Podcast Episode

11 July 2012

64 What They Don't Teach at School Part 2

This episode is a continuation of the discussion I had with Brett Veinotte about how entrepreneurship is not taught at school and why. It was recorded live for the  School Sucks Podcast at Porcfest. We talk about why it is that teachers are usually the last people who you would expect to learn entrepreneurship from and what you can do to learn it yourself. Sorry about the audio quality, it is a little choppy but still listenable.


Podcast Episode

10 July 2012

63 What They Don't Teach at School: Discussion With Brett Veinotte of School Sucks

This episode is part of a discussion that I had with Brett Veinotte from School Sucks Podcast at Porcfest. Brett and I talked about how entrepreneurship is totally alien to compulsory schooling. School prepares you for a life of working for someone else, whereas goals like working for yourself, growing a business and obtaining financial freedom are never discussed. We discuss things that you can do to overcome the conformity that school sets you up for, such as starting a business as young as possible (even whilst at school) and working to become financially independent of your parents as soon as possible. Here is a video of the full presentation, which you can also hear on Brett's podcast for the full discussion.

Podcast Episode

2 July 2012

62 What You Can Do To Live Free: Porc Therapy Interview

This episode is an interview that Jake did on the Porc Therapy Podcast, recorded live at Porcfest 2012. In the interview, Jake talks about some of the things you can do to live more freely whatever society or economy you find yourself in, such as investing in friendships and living abroad.

Podcast Episode

26 June 2012

61 Entrepreneurship Makes the World a Better Place: Free Talk Live Interview

This episode is an interview that Jake did on the Free Talk Live radio show. Jake talks about entrepreneurship as the best way to achieve more freedom in your life and to make the world a better place.

Podcast Episode

18 June 2012

60 Unschooling Year 1

Matt and Molly have been unschooling their two children for a year. In this episode, they talk about their family's experiences during their first year of living as if school didn't exist. If you are interested in finding out more about unschooling check out the previous episodes on the topic.

Podcast Episode

11 June 2012

59 What Happened To Greece?


George is a professional auditor who grew up in Greece and emigrated to the UK. In this episode, he provides a background to the current economic crisis in Greece. He shares his thoughts on what life is like for ordinary people during the economic deflation and what the prospects are for the future.

6 June 2012

Emigrating in Europe

An interview with George, who emigrated from Greece to resettle in the UK. George provides many suggestions that will be relevant for anyone considering emigration, even if you are not in the EU. If you do live in the EU, it is very much worth considering the opportunities of doing what George has done and relocating to a place that might better suit your needs.

Podcast Episode

28 May 2012

Chris Guillebeau on "The $100 Startup"

This episode is a recording of a talk given by Chris Guillebeau about his new book The 100 Dollar Startup. The talk took place in Shoreditch, London on 25th May 2012 and Chris kindly gave permission for me to record it for this podcast.

In the talk, Chris shares some of the stories of the many "solopreneurs" and small business owners that he interviewed for the book, all of whom are using creative self-employment to give themselves more freedom in life.

Podcast Episode

21 May 2012

The Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg

This episode discusses ideas from the book "The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age"by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg.


"In The Sovereign Individual, Davidson and Rees-Mogg explore the greatest economic and political transition in centuries -- the shift from an industrial to an information-based society. This transition, which they have termed "the fourth stage of human society," will liberate individuals as never before, irrevocably altering the power of government."

Podcast Episode

17 May 2012

Entrepreneurship Part 9: Financing Your Startup



How will you finance your startup? This episode presents some thoughts on the issue of financing for entrepreneurs based on my own experience, including:

  • Why bootstrapping your business with revenue finance is the best way to fund your own startup, if you can do it
  • The benefit of having some personal savings and no major financial commitments, if you want to start a business
  • The role that loans can play in funding your venture and how taking out loans for business is a far better use of debt than taking out loans for consumption items
  • Why selling equity in your company (taking investment from VC or others) is ultimately a very expensive way to fund your venture
  • Why Business Development Grants are never "free money" and have serious drawbacks
  • The importance of looking long and hard at whether you really need the money to get going. You probably don't need nearly as much as you think

Podcast Episode

8 May 2012

Entrepreneurship Part 8: Selling Your Business

Every entrepreneur will ultimately exit from their business, in one way or another. Unless you plan to just wind it down, one day you'll probably want to sell your company. In this podcast, Jake talks about his experience of selling a business and answers some key questions about the process, including:

  • Why sell your business? 
  • How do you find a buyer? 
  • When is the right time to sell? 
  • How do you value your business? 
  • What happens in the negotiation process? 
  • How long does it take? 
  • What happens after the sale?


  Podcast Episode

30 April 2012

Freedom From School: An Interview With Laurette Lynn

An interview with Laurette Lynn, author, speaker and host of the Unplugged Mom internet talk show. Laurette's work emphasizes the need for families to unplug from mainstream assumptions in learning and living, disconnect from the artificial process of life and discover the freedom and joy in learning and living more authentically.

In the interview she talks about freedom from school for kids and families. Laurette explains the choice that she made not to send her kids to school "because they don't need it". She shares her thoughts on how you can raise your kids free from school too.  Check out the previous episodes related to unschooling.

Podcast Episode

23 April 2012

Entrepreneurship Part 7: Negotiation

This episode is about negotiation for entrepreneurs. Some basic practical tips are provided about negotiating, such as:
  • The benefits of writing everything down (even though it seems obvious)
  • Why it's better to be explicit about how you want do business, such as with a simple set of standard terms
  • Negotiating about all the terms and avoiding the pitfall of focussing narrowly on price
Some of the deeper principles underlying negotiation are also explained, such as:
  • The concept of your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) and how it determines the dynamic of the negotiation
  • The value of appealing to objective standards and avoiding a "contest of wills"
  • Why win-win negotiations are the only way to get any lasting agreement that will work
  • Why it makes sense to adopt the premise that you'll never be able to rely on enforcing legal contracts
The excellent book on negotiation recommended in the podcast is "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In" by Fischer and Ury.

Podcast episode

10 April 2012

Self-Publishing: An Interview With Tarrin Lupo

An interview with Tarrin P. Lupo, about how he become a self-published author and how you could to. Tarrin is best known for being the author of the historical fiction series "Pirates of Savannah" and his children's book "Catch That Collie". He has successfully published thirteen eBooks and short stories. He is also a liberty activist who runs a news service called The Low Country Liberty Report and co-hosts the Wheels off Liberty podcast. He currently resides in Savannah Georgia and is a member of the Free State Project, spending time in New Hampshire promoting the ideas of Freedom and Liberty.

In the interview Tarrin explains the difference between self-publishing and traditional routes to publishing for authors. He talks about the business of self-publishing and provides guidance on how to successfully market your work. He shares his thoughts on the skill of writing and on what it takes to write commercially. He also provides his views about intellectual property and the publishing industry and his thoughts about where the industry is going.
Podcast Episode

3 April 2012

Financial Preparedness: An Interview With Medium Tex

This episode is an interview with Mike, one of the moderators and main contributors to the Permanent Portfolio discussion forum. Mike, or "Medium Tex" as he is known on the board, is an independent investor and co-author of an upcoming book on the permanent portfolio approach to investment. In the interview Mike explains a simple way of understanding all the different economic conditions we might face and how to be financially prepared for any of them as a private investor.

You can get more information about the concept of the permanent portfolio in these two previous podcast episodes, in Harry Browne's book "Fail-Safe Investing", on the permanent portfolio forum and on the Crawling Road website.

Podcast Episode

26 March 2012

Author Interview: Jeffrey Tucker on "It's A Jetsons World"


An interview with Jeffrey Tucker about his latest book "It's a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes" (available online for free). Jeffrey is the executive editor of Laissez Faire Books. He is past editorial vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and past editor for the institute's website, Mises.org. He is also an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and an Acton University faculty member.

"It's a Jetsons World" is about how we are surrounded by miracles created in the private sector, particularly in the digital universe, and yet we don't appreciate them enough. Meanwhile, the public sector is systematically wrecking the physical world in sneaky and petty ways that really do matter.

Jeffrey discusses these themes further in the interview, such as the global communication revolution that we are living through and it's amazing impact on all our lives. He also talks about the destructive role that the State is having during this time of great progress. "We are very fortunate to be living in a social, cultural and economic transition that makes the industrial revolution look like nothing by comparison. The amazing irony is that it is happening exactly at the same time when Leviathan, at least in the developed world, is on the march as never before". Jeffrey Tucker (from the interview)

He discusses some of the ideas from the book in more detail, such as the negative impact of Intellectual Property law and the moral hazard that it creates, as IP corrupts the outlook of entrepreneurs.  The interview is full of Jeffrey's brilliantly optimistic and positive outlook.

"We shouldn't be afraid to read things that are utterly contrary to what think we believe, because it's only going to strengthen us. If we are fearless intellectuals, which we should all be- to the point where we are utterly fearless, then we shouldn't be afraid of any writer, any genre or any political point of view. It just makes us better thinkers." 
Jeffrey Tucker (from the interview)


Show Notes:
The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created
A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World
The Ultimate Resource 2
Steve Jobs: "we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas"

Podcast Episode

19 March 2012

Entrepreneurship Part 6: Getting Things Done

A podcast about freeing your mind to get things done. A big challenge with time management and productivity that I experienced was how to overcome that feeling of being overwhelmed.  How do you free your mind from the nagging thoughts of all the things that you need to do, so that you can get on with actually doing stuff?

In this podcast I discuss my journey through trying many approaches to time management and the value that I found in David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) approach. Unlike traditional personal productivity systems, GTD helps you harnesses the creativity and intuitive power of your unconscious to work with you, rather than interrupt you. I outline what I think are the most helpful concepts in the GTD approach and how it might help you.

Podcast Episode

12 March 2012

Investing In Friendships

When it comes to friendships, are you investing wisely?

Podcast Episode

5 March 2012

Investing in Gold and Silver

Meet the gold bugs! An international discussion among friends who all invest in precious metals. The discussion covers some important questions that all private investors face:
  • Which do you invest in, gold or silver? If you hold both, do you have a strategy as to how much gold vs silver you hold?
  • What percentage of your overall portfolio do precious metals have?
  • How will you know when to sell your precious metals?

In the discussion we refer to the book "Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver" by Michael Maloney.

Podcast Episode

27 February 2012

Entrepreneurship Part 5: The Unexamined Business Is Not Worth Building

This episode is about the amazing value that comes from tracking your business. Whereas 'business plans' are really just 'business guesses' and can often be a waste of time, tracking the reality of your business is always incredibly useful. The data that you have about each aspect of your business (your sales opportunities, your contacts, your cash-flow and many other aspects) is the most valuable asset that you have. Podcast Episode

20 February 2012

Living And Parenting Free Of Religion: An Interview With Carisa Brewster

An interview with Carisa Brewster, author of the Cup of Curiosity blog. Carisa describes herself as a writer, mom and nappy chick with way too many interests. In this interview she talks about the experience of breaking free from religion and choosing to parent and unschool her children free from any religion. Her blog covers many diverse topics from books, natural hair, living in Oregon, interracial issues, breastfeeding/parenting and pop culture. She is also a (self-confessed) huge Star Wars and Star Trek geek, but only a moderate comic book geek.  Podcast Episode

13 February 2012

Investing In Europe: An Interview With Marc De Mesel

This episode is about investing inside the Euro zone as an independent individual investor. It is an interview with Marc de Mesel, who runs a blog on investing in Europe in dutch and also an investing blog in english. Marc talks about his experience applying the Permanent Portfolio strategy in a European context. He also provides his thoughts on speculating in gold and other precious metals. The episode is provided as food for thought to encourage critical thinking and independent decision-making in regard to investment: it is opinion only and should not be considered any kind of financial advice.

For more information about the concept of the permanent portfolio see Harry Browne's book "Fail-Safe Investing". You can also hear more about the Permanent Portfolio concept in this previous episode. The book that Marc mentions in the episode is "Tomorrow's Gold" by Mark Farber.

Podcast Episode

6 February 2012

Author Interview: Paul Rosenberg on A Lodging of Wayfaring Men Part 2

Part 2 of the interview with Paul Rosenberg about his novel "A Lodging of Wayfaring Men". Paul shares his thoughts on many of the other themes covered in the novel: sexuality, relationships, the unconscious mind and religion. He explains his view on intellectual property and why he chose to release the novel using the creative commons license. He also gives an insight into his upcoming books.

Podcast Episode

31 January 2012

Author Interview: Paul Rosenberg on A Lodging of Wayfaring Men Part 1

This Part 1 of an interview with Paul Rosenberg, author of "A Lodging of Wayfaring Men".

Instantly named Freedom Book of The Month and a major influence in the Cyber-underground, A Lodging of Wayfaring Men is the story of freedom-seekers who create an alternative society on the Internet - a virtual society, with no possibility of oversight or control. It grows so fast that governments and "leaders" are terrified, and fight to co-opt this cyber-society before it undermines the power of the governing elite.

In this interview Paul talks about his intellectual development, his influences and the background to writing the book. He discusses the parallels between the novel and recent developments in crypto-currency, such as Bitcoin. He shares his thoughts on the current state of the internet, prospects for liberty and the potential for developing communities of people with shared values.

Podcast Episode

24 January 2012

Financial Independence from Parents

This episode is about the freedom in adult life that is gained by achieving financial independence from parents. Jake talks about some of the findings of the book "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas Stanley. Dr Stanley surveyed people in America who had become millionaires within one generation and collected data on many aspects of their lives.  One finding that he identified was that adult-children who continue to receive economic subsidies from their parents tend to be much less successful in developing wealth within their own lives. Those who don't receive "economic out-patient care" end up wealthier and also have better relationships with their parents.

Podcast Episode

16 January 2012

Entrepreneurship Part 4: Profit is Sanity

A podcast for entrepreneurs about getting your business to profitability and making it more and more profitable once you get there. The title of this podcast comes from the saying "turnover is vanity and profit is sanity". Some of the topics covered in the episode include:

  • The unjustly-bad reputation that profit has in our culture and it's origins
  • The other motives (unrelated to profit) that entrepreneurs have and the problems that they cause for their business
  • Profit as the truly rational measure of how healthy your business is
  • Two approaches cutting expenses to increase profit
  • The value of measuring profitability at the project or product level
  • The necessity of measuring all aspects of operations to find out where you make a profit and where you don't

11 January 2012

Entrepreneurship Part 3: In Praise Of Selling

In this podcast, Jake talks about the most important responsibility you will ever have as an entrepreneur: selling. He talks about how to overcome the barriers to selling that most entrepreneurs face:  the cultural prejudice against sales, ignorance about what selling really is and the psychological barrier to selling (the fear of rejection).

Stages of Selling To Learn More About:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Contacting
  3. Qualifying
  4. Presentation
  5. Handling Objections
  6. Closing
  7. Referrals

Checklist for New Entrepreneurs:
  1. Have you started selling yet? 
  2. Are you setting aside specific time within each day or week devoted only to selling?
  3. Are you measuring everything that you can measure about your selling activity?

Show Notes:
Glengarry Glen Ross (great movie, but also an example of how negative the representation of selling is in our culture)
How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins (a recommended book).

Podcast Episode

2 January 2012

Psychological Freedom: An Interview With Daniel Mackler

An interview with psychologist and filmmaker Daniel Mackler about the subject of psychological freedom. Daniel shares his thoughts on what psychological freedom means: the healing from past psychological traumas. He identifies the root of trauma in unhealthy parenting and talks about his own journey towards more psychological freedom. Podcast Episode