The Voluntary Life: December 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

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