by Bobby Casey, Managing Director
December 12, 2012
- Minimize or eliminate distractions and negativity from your life as early as possible. This goes along with my minimalism concept I discussed in a recent article titled, “The Minimalist Manifesto.”
The idea is that life is too short to waste on things that don’t bring joy and thus they need to be minimized or eliminated. For me this meant getting rid of all the stuff in my life that had begun to consume my existence. The houses, cars, motorcycles, etc. My life morphed from one of ‘owner of stuff’ to ‘owned by stuff’.
For me, life experiences, relationships, and productive work were much more important than things. This is certainly one of the best decisions of my entire life.
Additionally, this also requires minimizing or eliminating negative relationships in your life. This can be difficult and painful, but ultimately it is your life to live and you only get one shot on this roller coaster. Make the most of it. Negative relationships are a drain mentally and emotionally and you don’t deserve it. There are plenty of amazing people for you to spend time with.
- Find your passion at work. As previously stated I found productive work to be hugely important in my life. It is critically important to be passionate about what you do for a living since it does consume so much time in your life.
This is not the typical, “do what you love” mantra because truthfully, that is complete bull$hit. I love riding and racing motorcycles, but if I had to rely on “do what you love”, I would be homeless living behind a supermarket dumpster.
The idea is to find ideas that you can be passionate about and develop your work life around that passion. For me, I am passionate about free-market capitalism. My job is to educate my readers and clients about how to best accumulate and protect your own productive capital.
I am not passionate about opening offshore bank accounts, offshore trusts, or asset protection planning. However I am passionate about the results of properly using these tools, which allow you – the entrepreneur and investor – to keep as much of your productive capital as possible and keep it out of the hands of the parasites.
What is your passion?
- Travel the world. I cannot express to you how much this has changed my life. My first trip overseas was a school field trip to Switzerland, Austria and Germany when I was 12 years old. I had a social studies teacher who was passionate (there’s that word again) about educating her students on other cultures.
This trip was an eye-opening experience for me. I was very sheltered as a child, living in a bubble. All I really knew was my hometown, DisneyWorld, Myrtle Beach, and the Baptist church.
It was exciting and fantastic to experience other countries and cultures at such a young age. I was hooked. I knew from the moment I set foot in that first small town in Germany that I wanted to see the world.
Now I visit dozens of countries every year. Seeing other cultures and people can be a huge shock for some. And some need that shock. Living in a bubble like I did as a child, I had no idea that there were Russian villages completely inaccessible to the nearest town for more than half of the year.
I had no idea there were billions of people on the planet who had completely different religious beliefs that what I grew up with. I had no idea that in some countries children learned 2, 3 or 4 languages before they graduated high school. I was eye-opening.
Once you step outside of your comfort zone and visit other cultures your eyes are opened and the world becomes a much smaller place. It is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and your kids.
- Start your own business. I realize this is not for everyone. Not all people are cut out for entrepreneurship. Running you own business can be very rewarding. It can also be very stressful.
It seems the perception of a successful entrepreneur is that we make tons of money and never work. Sounds nice, right?
For those entrepreneurs out there reading this, you will know this is far from the truth. Most of the time we work much harder than the average person. At times we make significantly more money as well.
There are also times when we can barely afford our rent or mortgage and we sit by the phone waiting on the ring to awaken us and hope it is a paying client on the other end of the phone and not a bill collector or sales call.
For me though, it is a lifestyle. I have been an entrepreneur my entire adult life. Every week has been an “eat what you kill” week. As an entrepreneur we don’t take 2 hour, 3 martini lunches on the company expense account because that company is our own and we pay the bill on that expense account.
However, the work makes the success that much sweeter. We get angry when some parasite like the Obamessiah says, “you didn’t build that” because we did build it. We built it despite the government’s efforts to crush us at every turn.
Entrepreneurship is tough. But it’s worth it. Aren’t all great things in life?
- Spend time with your kids at all ages. This of course should go without saying, but in truth, how many of you are off to work before your kids are awake and home from work as they are off to bed?
Maybe not, but do you wake up in the morning and spend time talking to your kids before they go to school? Do you take time in the afternoon to talk to them about their day? Do you take them on trips that not only opens their minds, but yours as well?
I am fortunate to have my life structured in such a way that allows me freedom to spend time with my kids. Yes, I work a lot, but I have flexibility there as well. In the morning I typically spend time with my 5 year old wrestling or playing games before he is off to school.
In the afternoons I have the chance to spend time with the older kids (as well as the little guy) talking to them about their day and school and other daily experiences. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
If I were offered a corporate job tomorrow paying me 4x what I earn today I would refuse it. No amount of money is worth losing that quality time. They only grow up once.
- Educate yourself on personal finance early. It is funny to me how many people are so completely ignorant on personal finance issues. I guess we shouldn’t be so surprised considering the leadership of most western countries have absolutely no semblance of fiscal responsibility though.
Ironically, it seems that everyone “thinks” they are financially intelligent. My 13 year old knows more about economics and finance than 90% of all adults however.
It is really a very simple mathematical equation:
Income – expenses = savings
Not complex, but most haven’t grasped this yet. Most have little or zero savings. This is one of the keys to wealth. Make your money work for you.
Savings x % return = money that you don’t have to trade hours for
This equals financial independence. And yet nearly everyone on the planet works paycheck to paycheck barely scraping by. I think it is fundamentally an education problem.
Stop waiting on some sheeple factory (aka – school) to teach you or your kids financial intelligence. Take the ram by the horns and pick up some books or attend some seminars about economics, investments, and money management.
Early on in my life, I had relatively good business success, but I was not terribly smart with my money. I wasted a lot of money and could have easily retired (whatever that really means) by the time I was 30 if I really wanted to.
In my 30’s (I’m 38 now) I found some mentors who helped guide me along the way and developed good money management and investment skills. This now has led to a financial independence that has provided significant comfort in my and my family’s life.
I’m glad I learned this at a relatively young age, but had I learned it about 10 years sooner, I would have been significantly better off.
- Never accept mediocrity. This should carry through to all areas of your life. Have you ever been to a cocktail party where a group gathered around the plain looking young man who tells the tale of stocking shelves at the supermarket all day?
Did you ever sit at the bar on a Saturday night and see the most beautiful women flock to the guy in work boots and a flannel shirt talking about his weekend mowing his yard and watching SportsCenter?
No? I wonder why?
There is no respect for mediocrity. It’s a tough life, but so be it. You should never life a life full of regrets due to inactivity.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “you never regret the things you do, only the things you don’t do.”
Most people live a life of mediocrity out of fear and laziness. They are either too afraid of failure, or too lazy to want to make the effort to succeed.
If this describes you, you have clearly subscribed to the wrong newsletter. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Go straight to the end of this email and click, ‘manage subscription’ and unsubscribe. You don’t belong here.
- Never stop educating yourself. If you are reading this newsletter now and are the person who hasn’t picked up a book since high school or college, I want you to do something right now before you continue.
Go to the nearest person and have them slap you across the face as hard as possible. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
We’ve all heard the expression, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Well guess what? Like your muscles, your brain needs exercise or it will atrophy.
Not to mention we are living in a rapidly changing world. You cannot expect to survive and thrive in tomorrow’s world with yesterday’s knowledge. It just won’t work. You will get left behind.
You will be the proverbial buggy whip salesmen. Outdated and expendable.
There are many ways to educate yourself. Formal education is but one way, and not likely the best option in today’s world. Read books, go to seminars like our upcoming Global Escape Hatch in Belize, learn a new language, travel, or get a mentor.
Of course I am a voracious reader so I would recommend that everyone set a goal for at least one new book per month. For some that may seem like a lot, for others it seems not enough. Whatever your current level of reading is, I am sure you can increase it though.
- Open your mind, open your eyes. Having been raised in a family where the social contract included the requirements for being conservative republican, Christian, and vacationing at Myrtle Beach – my upbringing was not very conducive to open-mindedness.
The hardest thing for me to overcome personally was judgment of others. I would like to say I am fully recovered from this affliction, but I would imagine my wife and kids may disagree here. Regardless, I am considerably more open-minded than before.
I can honestly say that perpetual education and travel have open my eyes tremendously here and shown me that not everyone needs to fit inside the same box.
In my earlier years I would quickly judge others for their differing views thinking that my outlook was the only one that mattered. If you weren’t a Christian, you were wrong and going to hell. If you were a Democrat, you were the scum of the earth….and also going to hell.
In hindsight, I realize how incredibly naïve and immature that viewpoint really was. At this point in my life, I realize that human beings come from all corners of the planet from all (or no) religions, all cultures, and vastly different environmental circumstances.
Ultimately we all want the same thing – happiness and meaningful relationships with family and friends. As long as your relationships are voluntary and you treat others as you wish to be treated, you are living a good, moral life.
- Spend quality time with your significant other on a regular basis. Everyone knows this, very few actually do it. I was recently speaking with a good friend of mine who is having troubles with his wife and is currently separated.
He told me their biggest problem was they never spent quality time with one another. Once they had kids, even when they were together without the children, the conversations always turned to the kids.
This is problematic. You relationship with your significant other should be nurtured just as your relationship with anyone else. To do that it requires spending time together without distraction that allows you to develop and strengthen that bond.
Without that, your relationship is built on outside influences. In my friend’s case, they seem to have grown to the point where the kids were the only common denominator. Couples need to have adult conversations about adult things.
Early on with my wife, we decide we would allocate time together at least a couple of times per month where we would just go out to dinner, or the movies, or something with just the two of us. We have since expanded that to include trips out of town together without the kids. I highly recommend it.
- Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. I was fortunate enough to have several other entrepreneurial friends growing up and in our early 20’s we all started our own businesses.
We were goal-oriented and success minded business people. We pushed each other. We all achieved more.
Over the years I have found this to be one of the most crucial elements of success in any endeavor. I have made it my life’s mission to surround myself with successful people who are positive, uplifting and goal-oriented.
If you take your 5 closest friends, and average their income and net worth, I would imagine you would not be an outlier in that data set.
Most likely you fall within the same range of income and net worth as your peers. Why? Because you will only push each other to your own outer limits of comfort.
If you want to achieve more in life, expand your network to people who have achieved more than you. They will push you. They will motivate you. They will teach and pull you up to their level.
I seriously cannot recommend this enough.
- You only live once – enjoy the ride. So many people have struggled since the beginning of time to find the meaning of life. I don’t know what the problem is.
It is really quite simple – joy.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines joy as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.”
In my opinion people deep down know that the meaning of life is the pursuit of joy, but most people just have no idea how to achieve joy in their lives.
They are fed wrong information and lies their entire lives and chase unobtainable dreams only to give up and fall into the life of mediocrity. This is just one step away from living in the coffin.
You should pursue joy in your life as if it’s your life’s mission…..because it is. If you find something in your life that robs you of joy, you need to reconsider whether this person or thing needs a place in your life.
Your life is too short for wasting on dead-end jobs, negative relationships, failed businesses, a negative environment, or any other thing that distracts you from what truly matters.
Find a way to eliminate what doesn’t matter, and you can focus on what does matter.