Todd: Go Hunt Life listeners. This episode is a little different.
We’re now just over 50 episodes and coming up on our one year anniversary of the launch of the Go Hunt Life podcast. Every one of my guests has impacted my life in some way and I will be forever grateful for that. This episode is dedicated to my guests so far that have allowed me to ask them questions about some of their most personal life decisions and then given me the privilege to share those stories.
I’ve learned more than I ever could have imagined and I feel like I’m in the middle of getting my Ph.D. in really living a passionate life.
And I have each and every one of my guests to thank for that. So thank you. If you would like to support the Go Hunt Life podcast and help us get to the one hundred episode mark please visit www.Patreon.com/gohuntlife
So in this episode I ask my buddy, Moby who hosts the Austin Fire Show podcast, to sit down with me to recap what I’ve learned and discuss my personal journey of sharing stories on the Go Hunt Life podcast.
Our conversation starts right now.
Moby: Hi Todd.
Todd: Hey Moby! How are you?
Moby: I’m doing great man. How are you doing?
Moby: Good. Good! This is a big milestone for you. Tomorrow it’s going to be one year from when you launched your podcast Go Hunt Life.
Todd: Yeah, I’m looking at a year. I can’t, I can’t believe it actually. It’s gone super fast. I launched with three episodes live on. ..actually on July 1 is when I officially launched.
Moby: July 1, OK
Todd: But I launched with three episodes live on like June 30th and then I’ve dropped one every Tuesday morning at 5 to 6 am for the last 48 weeks, 49 weeks, whatever it’s been. So, I just put out yesterday my 51st episode of the podcast. Random, random.
Moby: And it’s called Go Hunt Life.
Todd: It’s called Go Hunt Life.
Moby: I like that name because, for example my show it’s “The Austin Fire Show”. It doesn’t stand for something. Go Hunt Life is a real action which is like, “Go. Hunt. Life.” How did you come up with that name?
Todd: Yeah I go back and forth on that too, like it’s a little bit arrogant for me to say, “Hey, I know what you should do. You should Go Hunt Life!” Like it’s a little bit, like I struggle with that a little bit. It’s meant to be like a positive thing. Like, “Hey man, let’s all go hunt live together! Let’s frickin’ go do it together!” I was rolling through all of the different url’s that were available. I came up with my idea for the show and then my name. And then I started interviewing people and I’ve learned that that’s actually not 100 percent required in that order before you launch.
But I was going through all these different words. Why not now? Why not yes? Why not today? All these things and a buddy of mine, Cam at Galvanize, walked up to me and I had 30 of these things out there and I said, “you know, these url’s are available. These aren’t. What do you think of this?” And he said, “What about Go Hunt Life?”
And some of them were a little bit close and I frickin’ tore the sheet up. I’m like, “Done!” URL available. Locked in Twitter handle, Facebook handle, Instagram handle within an hour and that was on April 26, 2016. I’ve got it…I’ve got that date locked in. When I read it I reserved the url.
Moby: So, it’s great because the names you had you know some of them probably sounded really… how would I say this? Really, like “Oh follow your passion!” and all that soft skills which people think, “This guy is just a motivational speaker.”
Todd: Yeah, I didn’t want that. I’m not that. I don’t relate to that. I relate to drawing inspiration out of drawing the story and drawing the inspiration out of someone else. I’m way more comfortable doing that than me standing up on a stage preaching about, “Here’s what you should do. Do this.” That’s not my vibe. So, yeah I had forgotten about most of those, most of those titles and I just owned Go Hunt Life. And then actually one of the things that has come out of it and I can’t remember how many episodes I was in when the word and the verb “ripcord” came out. And it’s just something that came out. It’s that lightning strike moment, that ripcord moment in your life where you are one person one second and you pull the ripcord and you’re at totally different person on a totally different path that next second.
Moby: Can you give some examples of like that switch from what to what?
Speaker 1: Yeah. I’ll give an example of a guest first and then I can back up and for me personally one of my guests and Scott Willis a local guy here with the Tequila 512 and I read an article on him two years ago probably in the Austin Business Journal. He was on the concept of Go Hunt Life is that you’re on the normal, predictable, safe path and you’re doing everything that society said you should do. You’ve got your house, you’ve got your cars, you’ve got your tools in your garage, you’ve got all these things and you’re still not fulfilled. You’re not happy, you want to either out of frustration pursue something else or out of hope or inspiration or whatever it is. But you’re hitting that moment like, “There’s more to this. There’s more to this.” And Scott shared the story and he was at the Austin airport and he was a normal sales guy. He had a wife and kids and a house and all this stuff and he was at the airport. Simultaneously for seven years he was building Tequila 512.
Moby: Seven years?
Todd: Seven frickin’ years. He was building a company and he was like, “If I would have known how difficult it is to start a tequila company in Texas, I would have never done it.” So seven years in, he’s juggling family and job and company and plant exploding in Mexico with his first products and all those variables. And he was in the airport on the phone with his wife, his partner was on the plane, they were flying to Mexico for another business trip for his tequila business and his wife was like, “You’re driving everybody crazy. You’ve got to quit your job. Call your boss and quit.”
He’s like “OK I’ll talk about that when we get back.” She’s like, “No. Hang up the phone. Call your boss right now. Quit.” He hangs up the phone, calls his boss, quits, steps on that plane like frickin’ ripcord…Steps on that plane from employee, he is now a self-employed entrepreneur running in a tequila company.
Moby: That’s scary.
Todd: At that moment with that phone call and he hasn’t looked back. And now he just rebranded right around when we launched the podcast episode last fall. He is rockin’ and rollin’ all up and down the 35 corridor and so I pursue people that have had that self-propelled ripcord moment versus…I do have a few guests where it happened to them. Like a health issue or you know something where it happened to them and they had to recover.
I pursue more of people that have had a like, they’ve done it to themselves, for themselves really is a better way to look at it. They’ve pulled the ripcord on their own when society, logic, spreadsheets, all of the normal things that are telling them, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. You’re walking from a salary and 401k and benefits and security and safety?” There’s a zillion reasons why not to do it, yet I’m still going to do it.
So looking back on when I changed my life was, my wife Allison and I were living in Dallas. The normal house mortgage, house insurance,
Moby: Car payments…owning a lot of stuff…
Todd: Tools in the garage and a 4-wheeler. You know two living areas with stuff and all the things that are normal. And we reached a point of like, “Man there’s got to be something more.” We don’t have kids so sometimes that ripcord moment is having kids for most people in their 30s. We didn’t have that impact on our lives, but it wasn’t like we weren’t yearning for that.
So we pulled out an idea of moving abroad, just moving somewhere and Mexico was on our mind. And we’re like, “OK, let’s look at this for a two-year span. We’re going to move to Mexico.” And then something drastically changed with her job. And it came down to the moment when I came home and she was having a conversation with her boss and I knew if that conversation went south, we were liquidating everything and going to Mexico right then.
Moby: That one conversation?
Todd: That one day…it was down to that. So, I walk in I walk in the front door after a run and she’s having the conversation and I can tell she’s into the conversation. I don’t know if it is going bad or good, but it’s intense. And I take the dog and we go for a walk for like 15 minutes and I walk back and I remember this frickin’ vividly I’m walking up the sidewalk and I’m looking at the front door. And I’m at the front door and I’m like, “My life can change right when I open this front door.” And I open the front door and Allison came walking around from the kitchen towards me in tears. And was like, “I’ve got to quit my job.” And that was the lightning strike in our life. That freaking moment right there. That one phrase out of her mouth was like, that’s it. And then that was the first domino.
And then it started rolling and we moved to Mexico five years and then we moved here a year ago. And that was the personal inspiring situation for us. And then when we were living abroad we met people that had had many different lightning strike moments in their lives and I always was just like, “Frickin’ like no. Walk me through it step by step. I don’t want the over gloss. Give it to me.” And so that drew me into digging into the podcast medium, to share those stories, to learn more about those stories, to draw inspiration from them and then certainly to have the privilege to share them.
Moby: And that’s how a lot of really good podcasts start. When people want to have those conversations and they want to have more of them and want to have them published to other people. Yeah. That’s how Tim Ferriss started too.
Todd: Exactly. I don’t know how many episodes he came up with, but he’s like, “Man, I’m going to just do it for whatever it is, it was a low number, like I’ll do it for ten.”
Moby: Yeah, yeah.
Todd: “I’ll do for six. See what happens.” He’s hundreds. He’s the King. He’s the King. He’s the Oprah of podcasting and he’s awesome and he’s a good interviewer and all that. And you know what? I haven’t listened to any of his. I don’t know if I’ve listened to any of his first 10. I might want to go back and see like how he’s evolved.
Moby: So on the first one or the second, he’s with Kevin Rose, one of his friends and they get super drunk.
Todd: OK. That takes the edge off.
Moby: They’re just doing like tequila shots.
Moby: And it sucks! It’s so bad. So everyone’s nervous at first. Right?
Moby: So, you mentioned the guy who owns Tequila 512.
Moby: So he’d been working on this for seven years.
Moby: And so a question for you, too is when you had that rip cord moment where you said, “I’m going to change my entire life. This is going somewhere else completely.” How much preparation or years or even months of changing your mindset goes into that?
Todd: And I ask this a lot. Us? Probably not long enough. But I hear this in the startup world here in Austin and all of the time is… “If you’re ready, you’ve waited too long.”
And so we waited…it was it was kind of ripcorded on us for a little bit. We had already put a plan in place and we already knew what we were going to do eventually, but that eventually just freaking sped up on us. But we were already prepared. It wasn’t like, “Oh my god, what are we going to do?” That moment motivated us to do it much sooner than what we would have. And a lot of times the people that I interview that make these drastic decisions is that what’s leading up to it you’re frickin’ petrified. Like you don’t know what you’re like, “What am I doing? My family is telling me I’m nuts. Some of my buddies are saying Hell yes. Some of my other friends are saying you’re frickin’ crazy!” Like you’re trying to deal with all these influences coming at you and then your own mind and emotion and, “God, how am I going to pay the bills?”
I want to do a lot of my conversations or I try to have all of my conversations drill into, “Yeah this is all friggin’ great. Quit your job and move to Mexico. How are you going to put food on the table? How you gonna pay for this?” And so you know Scott, they had to sell rental house to buy him one year of time to continue to get his tequila company up. So there are a lot of sacrifices that go in.
Common themes that have come out with leading up to pulling the ripcord. And then on the other side a lot of it has to do with I don’t know if this is like the world coming at me with these stories more than others, but it’s selling all of this stuff that doesn’t matter. And that’s a lot of the stuff. That’s 90 percent of this stuff. So a lot of the themes that have come out of I would say 90 percent of my conversations stems from like, “I had all this stuff that I thought was going to make me happy…that I was told I need to go load up on furniture because I got a big house. So I got to go fill it up. And man, I could really like a newer pickup truck and all those things. And then the breaking point is like, “Man I just want to go travel or I want to bootstrap a startup or I want to open a bakery or want to jump on a sailboat. And most of those decisions come down to, “But how am I going to afford this?” Well number one, I can live smaller. I can spend less. I don’t need all this stuff. And so that’s the minimalism piece of it. And The Minimalists’ Podcast right now is rockin’ and the documentary is rocking because it’s like people are reaching that point in their life like, “What am I doing with like this 4,500 square foot home?
Moby: Mine’s not that big.
Todd: No, it’s not. It’s 43 and it’s so, yeah. So, the minimalism piece has percolated to the top in a lot of these conversations.
Moby: Things don’t make you happy?
Moby: Surprise! Imagine that!
Todd: Imagine that!
Moby: A bigger tv, bigger couch, a nicer place won’t make you happy.
Todd: Faster car, fancier car, imagine…
Moby: Maybe a faster car?
Todd: And you know I don’t know…I like fast cars…
Moby: Of course. Passion. People have this passion, for example, I meet a lot of people in my age group and they want to travel. It’s kind of a cliché. “Oh I want to travel the world.” And they have passion around that. And later on, of course, people have that too. What you think is the successful balancing of passion plus understanding, “This is how much money I need. And do I have the skills acquired over time to make money or to sustain my travel?”
Todd: OK. So, one of the quotes that’s…I’m going to probably butcher this quote…Anthony Rigolosi who was homeless in New York and working retail and living out of his car because of some bad decisions, not bad decisions, just circumstances. Nothing drastic that he’s like, “Man, I don’t have a house and I don’t have a place to live, but I’m going to live out of my car for four months and save all I can and I’m going to Thailand.” And so he lived out of his car and he moved to Thailand and then traveled, but ran out of money, but he found somebody over in Thailand…Chiang Mai. He had an internship with this guy and so he had an internship and then he started editing podcasts. And it all came down to him, like “as long as I was following my passion, I felt like the world was conspiring to support me.” And he just kept going and he just kept following that. And that’s what he’s doing right now. He’s got a podcast editing and production company because he kept just following his passion. I haven’t interviewed a single person yet that was like, “Man I was going to follow my passion and I just went all in and I kept following it and then I hit a wall and I realized I was doing something dumb. Not found it. No way. I mean one of the other drastic decisions was Roz Savage who’s um…
Moby: Who has a great name, by the way.
Todd: I mean Roz…Rosalind Savage. She goes by ROZ, of course R-O- Z. She was making bank in London, mid 30s, Management consultant, had a big house and in her words “kept buying more stuff that I didn’t need.” She kept making more money to buy more stuff “that I didn’t need or didn’t want.” She walked out of that, traveled for a year, wrote a book on her travels in South America and then got on a rowboat. She had rowed when she was in college, but back in her mid-thirties and she got on a rowboat and rode across the freaking Atlantic Ocean.
Moby: Holy shit!
Todd: Rode across the ocean. Finished. Rode across the Pacific, then rode across the Indian. First woman to solo row in a 23-foot rowboat across those three oceans. First Woman to win a world record. Now she’s got four World Records and she’s got books, she’s friends with Richard Branson, like she’s got sponsors. The world conspires to support someone with the guts and the courage to not be fearless, because she was full of fear. Like she was scared to death and she’s almost died many times in the middle of the ocean by herself in a freakin’ 23-foot rowboat. And so, she fights through it. She fights through it all the time and that’s what I interview.
She’s an athlete of course, interview people that have left the norm to pursue athletic pursuits, like ultra-distance running, running marathons or rowing oceans. I interview people that pursue business and entrepreneurial aspirations or people that just want to travel and try to figure that out. There are a million travel bloggers and travel vloggers and all of that. I’ve interviewed a number of those people and they’ve figured out a way to monetize it in their working points to buy tickets plane tickets and all that kind of stuff. If you just keep going with the Internet and with social media and with people loving cool stories and supporting those people. Patreon.com is a website that is on Go Hunt Life and a lot of the people that I interview have Patreon accounts where their supporters can donate two bucks for every YouTube video that they publish.
Two bucks for every podcast that is published or whatever. So there are ways to make money. And then what they’ve found is that it’s not as expensive as it is to live in Austin, Texas as it is on the road if you’re house sitting as an example. A couple of my guests are house sitting internationally, so they’re living in someone else’s home watching their house while that person is on vacation. Typically revolves around watching pets. Eighty percent of the time it’s, you come in we’re out of town for two months. You come in. You live in our house you watch our dogs you take him out. You feed him. This house is yours for two months. They don’t pay a dime. The homeowners don’t pay them a dime and these people can be working on any sort of you know online businesses or writing books, writing blogs or whatever they may be, they can work out of that person’s home living for free.
Other than obviously food and clothing and stuff like that, but other than that these people’s biggest expenses on an annual basis are the plane tickets to get from one stint in Mexico to the next one in Bangkok to the next one in London.
Moby: That’s it.
Todd: That’s, those are the biggest expenses for those people throughout the year are just simply plane tickets which is just freaking outstanding.
Moby: But a big variable of being successful at doing something like that for five years is your ability to monetize and so the people that you’ve seen who have followed their passion…they’ve acquired real skills that they can help other people with. Right?
Todd: Yeah. And a lot of it, like me as well, like I was able to continue to make money online. I do digital marketing and so I can do that from anywhere. And so us pulling the ripcord and going like we had an idea as to how we were going to pay the bills. You don’t just like, “Ok I quit my job. Todd said quit so I quit. Now I’m hunting life. But, shit, you know the cell phone bills due in three weeks!” You know there is some planning that goes into it whether it’s working off of savings. That’s a lot of the time is like, “Man I could live for a year and then figure it out. I could just like I had some time to figure it out. I had saved for a year. I moved away from a more expensive area. So that was going to save me money which bought me time to figure things out. And so some people have utilized their existing skills, whether it be graphic design or you know whatever it may be to do it online. They’ve utilized their existing skills to then turn that whether it’s content writing a couple of different people write content for blogs or you know for companies to write for their company blogs. So they’ve turned their skills or maybe they weren’t using them in their real job they’re like, “Man, I loved writing in college and I haven’t written for 10 years, but I really like doing that. And I can turn that into a monetizeable position if I just quit this insurance job and did what I really wanted to do and companies will pay for that. Definitely.
Moby: And what was your thing when you quit?
Todd: When I quit I was doing AdWords marketing. I had AdWords marketing and I was a partner in a in an online job board. And so I had those two things to go down to Mexico with that both separately gave us enough income to comfortably live in a much cheaper environment. There with cheaper healthcare, cheaper rent, cheaper everything and we had some savings. So our ripcord from a financial perspective, we didn’t have like you know six months or we had to really, really figure it out in six months or we were going to be in trouble. We had a little bit of a cushion. Money in the bank, money coming in.
Moby: Because you sold your stuff…
Todd: We sold all of our stuff and we had saved money over the years. And so we had some money in the bank to just like give us a cushion. And then and then I was still making more money than we were spending there so that enabled us to like OK, we can breathe we can go.
That’s what I’ve learned from like the guests a lot of the stories from the people that I’ve interviewed: our friends from Merida, Neal and Sarah, I mean they moved to Merida from Toronto and they had textbook Toronto jobs…sold everything and moved to Merida to open a hotel. They plunked a bunch of cash in this hotel and they had a run rate of 12 months. They had to figure out a new business in a new country with a new currency, with a new language, with new everything. A boutique hotel in Merida. They had to get that baby up and running in 12 months or things were going to get really freakin’ stressful. And so I’m like, “Dude, you’re freaking kidding me. I know this guy personally and I didn’t know that until I was interviewing him and I’m like whoa!” So the stories that I have been able to uncover. Yeah. Inspiration abounds.
And somebody gave me a quote early on. And Tom Singer, actually local podcaster here, is like, “If you if you want to be inspired, interview 50 inspirational people. And if you want to inspire others, share those stories.” That along the way….it’s one of the things that has stuck with me more and more and now I’m 51 in.
Moby: Now you’re done. Now what?
Todd: I’m inspired, man. Now what? Now I’m just going to keep going. I’m just going to keep going.
Moby: I really enjoy the tactical stuff. I really enjoy when people say, “OK, here’s what I did, right. But before six months before I sold my house I sold this. This is how much money I had saved the bank. And then I had sort of a plan”, because you can’t have a perfect plan…
Todd: No definitely not.
Moby: Were you ever surprised that everyone was afraid of pulling that ripcord?
Todd: No. I was too. I mean it is scary. There’s something to be said for a comfort zone. And we were in our comfort bubble and almost all of the people that I’ve interviewed, certainly all the people that I’ve interviewed at one point in their life they were in a comfort bubble. They were going you know like us all day. They went to the same grocery store and they knew where to get their car repaired and where to go to get their dry cleaning done. And where did you know all of those things and then their friends are around them and their support system and if they need a ride to work because their car is in the shop, like all of those things are comfortable.
And when you implode that and you do it… there’s fear. Like, am I screwing up my life? Like, I’ve worked X number of years to get to this point. I thought you’re supposed to get to the point of comfort and you know celebration and all of that stuff. And, but us and the people that we talk to, it’s just, it’s not that it’s not enough, it’s just like, “Yeah, I know where to get my car repaired. Like that’s kind of cool. But what if I didn’t have a car? Then I wouldn’t care about where to get my car repair, because I won’t have a frickin’ car!”
And so those things start rolling. And one of my most recent guests who actually is from Dallas and now he’s a big startup guy in the in the community, Michael Sistazewski, brought up to us by a mutual friend of ours, Paul O’Brien. He went a year and a half living in Dallas Texas without a car.
Moby: Oh wow.
Todd: And I’m like, “Dude! I’ve lived in Dallas, Texas for 18 years. How, how do you do that?” And they sold their big house in one of the northern suburbs and they moved down downtown. And he had a bike and he rode the bus. I’m like, “How do you get up to McKinney?” Like in Austin terms it’s like, “How do you get to Round Rock?” He was like, “Well, why would I want to go to McKinney? My life was downtown Dallas and I would uber it and I would take the bus and I would ride my bike…” And he went a year and a half living in Dallas, Texas with no car and that like that one little thing in his life that was one domino and then it just like well then do we really need cable TV in the house? Why don’t we just stream it? And then do we really need more clothes and do we need a house that’s 3,500 square feet? No.
They went down to sixteen hundred square feet. Two weeks ago they went down to 350 square feet. Two parents, one daughter, two dogs, 350 square feet in an RV. They rolled out of Dallas in an RV and he’s going to run his. He’s got a startup and he’s running it and building it from his RV. And right now I think they’re in Wisconsin from Dallas.
Moby: That’s fascinating.
Todd: Yeah. And so he yeah, he built… a lot of the things… it’s so much like, “There’s also another piece of this.” And so one of one of my guests brought up the identity, like you’re losing your identity.
Moby: I’m going to pause there and ask you a question that builds onto that. The identity question. So I can walk out of this apartment, hit up 20 of my friends and say hey do you want to have lunch? Do you want to have dinner? And I can go to the places that I love, that I post about on my Instagram, on my Facebook, that I know people at. That’s me. If I rip the cord and two months later I’m in a place…it’s 4:00 p.m… I don’t know anyone… I’m done with my job…Who am I in that city?
Todd: We ha. Yeah that’s a.. OK so you’re assuming you’re single…which you are. You’re in a new city. You don’t know anybody.
Moby: The identity question, yeah.
Todd: The identity question. Luckily now, you pull up a meetup group and in an hour there’s something, there’s a marketing meetup, there’s a New- X Y Z city meetup. There are all kinds of Meetup groups every single night. Unless you’re in a really small town then maybe just go to the convenience store for a couple of hours. But if you are in a town with 50,000 people or more there are Meetup groups multiple times throughout the week. And when we moved to Merida there was a meet up group and then my wife actually created a Facebook group around just the local ex-pat community in Merida. So between Facebook groups and meetup groups, there’s no reason for you to have dinner by yourself for two weeks.
There’s no way there’s too many things. And coffee shops galore. Go to coffee shops and just start. Just start talking. That’s assuming that…I mean there are a couple of assumptions in there… where are you? what are you going to do? why are you there? You’ve got a plan, but you could plunk yourself down in Bangkok. You know, where you don’t know the language, you don’t know anybody, you look different than everyone else. Everyone there has a reason to be there. You know you’re there!
Like, we moved to a city where like we mentally had to fight through…like there’s no reason for us to be here! Like, there really is no reason…
Moby: You have to wanted to be there
Todd: You have to want to be there. And that’s a whole different thing. When we move around the United States, most people move around the United States, it’s typically job related. Typically. Like, so that’s the reason. So you don’t ever have that thought of like, “Wait. Why am I here? Well, I’m here because, you know, EDS moved me.”
But this is and certainly this was rolling into more of that self-employed people like us… is that you can want. And you can want to be somewhere just because you want to check it out. What’s the worst-case scenario? It’s that you just simply don’t like it. It doesn’t click. You don’t sync up. Whatever it is, you go in, lean, you know? And then you just…when we moved out of the country a person told me you figure out 60 percent. That other 40 percent you’re going to figure out along the way…because if you’re back in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and you’re trying to figure out 61 percent to 100 percent…you’re never going to pull the rip cord because there’s no way. There are way more reasons not to pull it.
Stay in the house. Stay in your life. Stay in the job.
Moby: Stay in your life! I like that!
Todd: You know there are way more reasons to do that. Honestly like when you’re looking at it from a logical perspective there really is. But if you just like, “No. I know there’s more. I don’t care. I’ve always dreamt of opening a bakery or I’ve always dreamt of us selling everything and getting on a sailboat and sailing out into the sea and down into the islands and we’re going to do a YouTube channel and we’re going to blog and we’re going to do things online and we’re just going to figure it out. We’ve got 60 percent of it figured out and then let’s just go with the other 40 percent along the way.”
And that is a real example of a guest that had a hundred thousand dollars saved. They’re a young couple. Around 30. They’d worked their asses off and they had lived frugally and they had $100,000 in the bank. They bought a sailboat and they sailed out on Lake Michigan down through the Great Lakes out into the ocean and they’ve been out for four years.
Moby: Four years, wow.
Todd: Four years and they get YouTube channel and a Patreon page and sponsors here and there and they are part of their…they are their story. You know, I mean people support them because they are their story and it works
Moby: So you said 60 percent preparation, right. That’s enough. Otherwise you’re never going to pull the rip cord. When do you know…I know, you never know, how ready you are? And there’s always going to be that fear. But if I want to do that…if I want to, say I want to move to Mexico in a year and when do I know that I’m ready enough? I accept the fact that I’m always going to be terrified. I’ve almost kind of wanted to stay in my apartment, this apartment and not leave. How do I know if I’m like 60 percent in?
Todd: That’s a great question and I don’t know…I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that. It’s a personal, it’s a gut feeling, personal question where, “OK, am I going to be safe and am I going to have money to eat, to live on for something that makes me comfortable?” That could be three months or it could be two years…it depends on that person. And then once they get where they’re going…what are they going to be doing? where are they going to be living? are they going to be safe? And then after that it’s figured out along the way and our mentality and the mentality of the people that have left the comfort zone and actually moved….it’s “We can always move back or we can move somewhere else.”
Todd: Those are always on the table we can always move back and we can always move somewhere else. But to even add multiple layers to that…add in the kid factor. Many of my guests have kids. Not many of them. I would say third, a third of them have kids. Whole other ball game. Screwing my own life up is one thing. If I’m screwing up a person or people that I’ve brought into this world…that’s a whole other thing
Moby: That’s pressure.
Todd: And the parents that have been on this show that go through that. Here here’s the kicker though on that. See I’m looking at that decision like a non-parent, right? I’m thinking man, I don’t want to screw up my kids. Are you sure this is right? Are you sure this is right? Self-doubt, self-doubt, self-doubt. What I learned from interviewing guests that did this is that the decision was based on them. They’re like, “No. I want to show you a better life. This suburb in Houston, Texas is not what it’s all cracked up to be and I don’t want you growing up thinking that it is.”
Todd: Michael with Priority Bicycles in New York. He had a young son and he was a CEO of a software company making bank. New York City, wife, young kid. The whole thing. And he left all of that to build bicycles. To build freaking bicycles, because he worked at a bicycle company when he was 20. And he’s a cyclist and he’s like, “All my buddies when they were getting ready to buy a bike, they come to me like ‘dude what should I buy? What should I buy?’ Well, what are you going to? What are you going to do? You’re going to commute on it? You’re going to do triathlons? Whatever.”
Speaker 7: He’s like, “Man, I kept coming home thinking how can my son live an inspired life when he sees me coming home uninspired.” So his decision was for his kids and the other his child. And so for the other people that have gone even more drastic…another couple out of Philadelphia got on a sailboat with two kids…another couple out of Houston moved to Costa Rica with their three kids. It was because of the kids. I looked at it like oh you know I’d be screwing my kid if I left like safe public schools in Texas and took them where they don’t know the language and all that. No, it’s totally flipped. They did it for them like, “No, we’re going out. We’re showing them. We’re going to get them a different way of life. They’re going to learn Spanish. They’re going to learn culture. They’re going to go see the world versus their world right now or the suburbs of x y z US city.” And so they did it for them. Huge. It took me like two guests for that to hit me like, “Whoa, I’m just a non-parent interviewing parents looking at this totally wrong. It’s totally flipped. That’s the reason they’re making the decision.”
Moby: That is fascinating
Todd: Just awesome.
Moby: I never thought that would be the case. I actually have this couple of friends who moved to Turkey and they have a daughter. They have a son. And it’s really cool to see that they’re from Texas, I think. Their kids are growing up in Turkey and they’re learning Turkish and like they know these two different worlds completely. What a difference that must make on a mind
Todd: And for their entire lives it has just been blown open. And so those kids, I mean would be curious to talk to them when they’re 30…what would their definition be of their comfort bubble.
Moby: True, because when you’re always traveling… and it’s two very different cultures. Wow.
Todd: Yeah yeah.
Moby: The question is what are they afraid of?
Todd: Yes. You know, we’ll see. I don’t know man it’s… what are they afraid of? I mean, the fear factor has been there the whole time…just about every conversation that I’ve had. And one of my guests, her and two kids, husband, wife, two kids got on bikes from upper US. Actually, they started in Alaska on four bicycles and rode bikes all the way down to the tip of South America.
Moby: That’s a lot.
Todd: Took three years.
Todd: Three years on bikes and she has a TED talk. And it is called ‘What If You Are Not Afraid?’ Like…what if you weren’t afraid…is her whole premise. And when they were starting in Alaska they were afraid. And there were multiple times throughout that journey that they were afraid. They were through the mountains they were in ice and snow and middle of nowhere and flat tires and all of the things you can imagine over the three-year period of time with a 9 year old and a 12 year old that grew up three years on the road and her thing is like, “What if you were not afraid?”
The theme is you’re always going to be afraid. I mean there’s always fear there, but fight through it and then realize on the other side of it like, “OK that was actually easier than I thought it was going to be.” It’s always like the thought of what could happen….absolutely always easier. Even the family out of Philly on the sailboat that was the whole thing and they had you she was a nurse and he had a motorcycle repair business and they had two kids and they had a nanny and they had all the stuff. They’re like, “Forget this! We’re getting on a sailboat. And then looking back six months like you know we just like one right decision just make the next right decision. And then the next in the next and when you’re 10 down the road you can look back and be like all right I’m better off than I was at Decision number one. Let me just make one more and then ten more.” And then he said it, he’s like, “It’s easier than we thought. It’s easier than we thought.” And so, that’s comforting. You know I mean that’s comforting to our next big random crazy decision and anyone obviously listening…
Moby: Or watching
Todd: Or watching and you know one of my one of my guests was living my life in Dallas, Texas commuting. He and his wife and child sold everything, packed up what they had left and moved to the mountains of Colorado. Like there’s a lot of people are like man I wanted to live in the mountains. I’m here in Austin or Dallas or Chicago or whatever. God, wouldn’t it be cool to live in the Rockies? They actually did it and they sold everything except they kept one car I believe. And packed up a moving van and went into the Rockies and they did it also because of their child. They’re like, “Man, the Dallas/ Fort Worth traffic metroplex is not what it’s all cracked up to be. Let’s go raise our family in the mountains of Colorado and live differently and have to chop wood and in the summer to get through the winter and all of those things.” And one of the defining questions is at the very end of that conversation…I’m like, “OK, there’s somebody right now driving on Interstate 30 in Arlington Dallas/Fort Worth area in an F-150 pickup truck in traffic. It’s 100 degrees right now in Dallas and he’s commuting home and he’s miserable. What advice if you could sit in his passenger seat for one minute and talk to him? What advice would you give him?”
And my guest was like, “That was me! That was me! That was me and you just got to do it you just do it!” And then there was his father passed away within weeks of them moving up to Colorado. There were an unbelievable amount of variables that were telling him, “Dude. Universe. Like come on man, universe is sending you some signs. Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?” And he kept going through it and they’ve been up there now for three years.
Todd: Yeah, and so they’re always going to be people giving you advice and signs saying ‘Are you sure? Check your gut! Check your gut!” It just if you’re if you’re sure and yet you’ve figured out 60 percent and you’re pursuing a passion like they were they were like, “No, we’re going to, we’re going to go, we’re going to see this through, we’re going to go to Colorado. You know what? Dallas-Fort Worth is always going to be there if we get up there and we live there for six months or a year. We can always come back cuz Dallas/ Fort Worth is not going to go away.” And so there’s always that safety net of we’re in America. You know there’s always a safety net to come back home really. And so what’s stopping you?
And not all of my guests are from the U.S. There’s plenty of people from London and from Canada and Australia. You know, there’s always you know “quote unquote home” to come back to if you want to. If you get out there you’re like, “Man I don’t know. I made a mistake.”
But I don’t know. I haven’t talked to those people yet. I don’t know. I haven’t found them which is pretty cool. Yeah I keep finding like, “Yeah I went through this and I was in a hospital in Costa Rica because of a bicycle accident and I was in there for two months and cracked my ribs and all that, but I was just like well you know I got out of the hospital and then I just kept going and then I kept going and then I kept going.”
Moby: You got to keep going.
Moby: Forcing mechanisms. So we’ve talked about this idea that “passion” and “keep going” and “being 60 percent ready”. In my life and these are much smaller things, but I’ve noticed a theme that when I want to do something it’s better to have kind of a mechanism that I say even if I’m afraid, I’m going to do this. If I want to do a speech, schedule it. When I launched this podcast…I booked a booth at an expo seven months in advance. I had no idea I would do a podcast. No idea. I went through two ideas.
Todd: You booked it first before you had it?
Moby: Yes. I was like I’m going to have something. I don’t care. I want to have something in my life which is more than just going out and eating and kicking it with my friends. So have you noticed that that is a thing or would you recommend that people do that they buy a ticket six months down?
Moby: Hundred percent, that’s it.
Todd: One hundred percent. You book something that you couldn’t get out of. And so then you like tipped one of the end dominos first. And so then you had the tip the first one to catch up which is another way to do it for sure. Definitely buying the plane ticket…a friend of mine here in two days is moving to Bali. No he’s a traveler. He’s actually a new friend and he’s a traveler anyway, but he was deciding on what country to move to. He’s got an online business as well. And this is back at the end of April. He said, “I bought a plane ticket on June 2nd. So now between now and June 2nd, I’ve got to freakin’ figure it out. And so he…line in the sand…like I’m getting on the plane. Now I need to figure out what I need to do to get ready to get on the plane.”
And so then at that point you were you know I don’t know whether you call it like you’re working backwards or what, but you’re making all the moves because you already know the end game…stepping on the plane. Take care of what do you need to open another bank account or do you need to move money into one bank account to consolidate if you got now you’ve got one of the logical basic things is like… what about your mail? your mailing address? like where’s your stuff going to? where’s your cell phone bill get delivered to? where’s your health insurance get delivered to?
Open up a UPS store. If you have a business and an LLC in Texas, you can’t have an LLC headquartered at U.P.S. store…can’t do it. Gotta have a physical location. Well, there are companies out there that act as physical locations for LLC’s for people that don’t have a permanent home. So there are other options that you can go through to change where your mail goes. Get all obviously online stuff and clean out all of the all of the logical clutter. Health care…another situation. Big variable for United States citizens. If you are in the United States for I believe it’s 35 days or less annually. The first ninety five thousand dollars of your income is tax free. So if you live 11 months out of the year outside the United States and that can get broken up two weeks here two weeks there whatever. If you live outside of the United States for 11 months out of the year you do not pay income tax on your first ninety five thousand dollars in income. That’s a big pay raise when you think of it that way.
So there are a lot of factors and reasons that are that are helping you do it. You know it’s just figuring out like what’s the solution on that next domino getting the LLC headquartered somewhere, you know getting all of those variables in place. But booking the ticket…booking the booth…Hell yeah that is the way to do it. One of the ways to do it. It was it was a little bit more sudden than what we had expected. And that was just
Moby: But it worked out.
Todd: It worked out yeah it was just the way the way it…You know it’s not always planned and it just it just worked out. And you know we are sitting here talking and then we’re going to publish this. And like, “Does anybody really care? Is anybody listening? Like, is this like hello?!?”
Moby: We’ve got viewers.
Todd: Is somebody… is somebody listening to this? Does somebody care about this story that I’m sharing?” A couple of like reminders along the way is that I have a friend of mine Janell and she and I grew up together went to high school together and hadn’t seen each other since high school graduation. So 20 years go by. Hadn’t seen her. And I start the podcast and I’m about 10 episodes in and we’re connected on Facebook and she sent me a private Facebook message and said, “Man I’ve been listening. And if you’re interested, I’ve got a story in my life too. If you’d like to know more.”
And she gave me a little bit about it and it was an unbelievably powerful story about her young 13 year old daughter was getting stalked on Instagram and it motivated her to quit her safe comfortable sales job and start a company…an app…a group messaging app for teenagers for a safe environment for them to communicate with one another, share videos, share photos, all that stuff in a safe parent-controlled environment. It motivated her to do that. Number one: incredibly powerful ripcord situation and the fact that it reconnected us after 20 years. I’m like, “oh my gosh I’m only 10 episodes in!” And she didn’t see it on Facebook…she said she saw it in an article on a medium that I put up. Wasn’t even Facebook related.
Speaker 1: Like number one: incredible that somebody is listening. Number two: like something that I publish up every week when I go, “I don’t know who’s reading, but I’m going to do it” and BAM. And then another example of that was actually Cam, the guy that came up with the name, I was maybe 20 or 25 in and he walked by me at Galvanize one day and he was like, “Man, that episode about you know Where’s My Office Now!” The young couple that sold everything and they’ve been in a Volkswagen van for a year actually three or four years and he’s like, “I thought about that episode for three days.”
Like you gotta be kidding me, dude. Three days? He’s like, “Yeah I listened to…like the first 20 minutes of it on the way home. And I thought about it that night and I listened to the rest of it on the way back to work the next day and I thought about it for three days.” and he’s like, “It was interesting… like the emotions that I went through. First were like whoa that’s awesome, inspiring, cool.” Then he’s like, “Then I kind of felt myself being a little bit jealous and looking at it trying to like poke holes in it. Like oh they could do that, but I can’t. They could do that. They don’t have kids. I have kids…so there’s my you know excuse I guess.”
And I’m like, “he thought that’s like a conversation that I loved and published and thought whoa these people are awesome…it impacted somebody for three days.” Whoa…that is just keep going. They just told me just keep going.
Moby: Just keep going. And you’re only 50 now.
Todd: 50 now. Yeah 50. Yeah. It’s still like I’m I always come back to the you know humbleness of these people…now that I’m at 50…when I’m reaching out to new guests certainly… credibility as you know… like the more episodes you have out there…OK this guy is he’s in it you know. And so as far as like percentage of guests that are like, “Yes I will come on your show.” is getting it’s very high. But the fact that they take 30 to 45 minutes out of their day to let someone that’s just emailed them a couple of times…Stranger most of the time…I’ve never talked to them. Stranger across the world, cross country, whatever… to allow me to have 45 minutes of their time asking them about incredibly like personal life changing, life altering why. Like, Why, Why, Why, like what about the money? What about the safety? What about health care? What about your daughter? Like what about your wife or husband? Like all of those personal, real, tangible things for them to share that information with me and then allow me to then share it with dignity is just incredibly inspiring. It’s awe inspiring that I got the privilege. It is truly a privilege to be able to share that with whomever is wanting to listen.
Moby: I have got to finish the rest of your episodes now. I’m really curious. Now I want to know every single detail about how they did it. Because we’ve been taught going back to something you mentioned five minutes in, that this is how life is supposed to be. Once you have a kid or once you do this, once you’re married, once you have a job you’re supposed to live within these lines and you can’t get out. But that’s not true and that’s what I love about sharing content and sharing stories of other people… is how someone who’s watching this live on Facebook right now or listening to this can say, “Wow I never knew that. Maybe I’ll just go back and look at content from Todd. Maybe I’ll read the book ‘Four-Hour Work Week’. Oh yeah maybe I’ll go read the book ‘Vagabonding.’” And just go through and find out how can I live the life I actually want. How can I hunt the life I actually want.
Todd: So the book that is brought up more recently than any other book is ‘Four Hour Work Week’. No doubt that has…there are two things that I think have impacted most of the people that I’ve interviewed: Number one is reading that book and sometimes that book in a combination of the 2008-2009 economic downturn in the United States. And it’s interesting that in that ‘09 downturn impacted our decision and it’s really interesting to see how frequently that comes up as a, “What am I doing? I’ve worked all this time. Now my 401K just cratered. My e-trade account just cratered and now I’m worried about my job and now the value of my home that we just bought two years ago is upside down…” Like all of those variables…that hit all at once the mortgage crisis and the Bernie Madoff hit all of those things… just triggered right there in ’08, ‘09. And it’s interesting how many people how many decisions were made because of that…that forced people into, “Man, you’re really not as comfortable as you think you are.”
Moby: You’re not as safe.
Todd: You’re not as safe.
Moby …as you think you are and that’s scary. That’s very scary. Anything around you can be taken away not based on your actions…
Moby: But just on circumstances
Todd: On circumstances that you do not control. The cards that you are dealt at a particular time, whether it’s financial or you know as I said earlier, I try to stay away a little bit away from health although I’ve got some decisions that were made based on pretty drastic health related things that happened to people. But yeah, we are not is as safe as we think. And you know and that’s reinvention man. It’s reinvention time and it doesn’t matter how old you are. My oldest guest is in his early 60’s and he and he was 54. He was working. He was working all the time in his words he was way overweight. He had worked himself into having arthritis. He was 54 years old and he started crying at his desk…wept like, “What have I done to myself? I have nobody else to blame but myself. What have I done to myself? Now what am I going to do?”
And within two years after that he was an ultra-distance runner when I interviewed him he had ran across the Spanish Pyranees. He’s written books. He is an ultra- distance running bad ass all over all over the world and he’s turned his passion for health and saving his own life into living. Monetizing is what I almost said, but the monetization piece is like that’s like fourth in line…like, “I’m alive!” That’s his argument first! “I’m alive! I’m not dead from working myself into a grave!” So yeah, yeah.
Moby: That’s cool. This has been one of my favorite conversations. Because you know the feeling that I get from this is “I can do this too.” You know it’s possible
Todd: For sure. Yeah
Moby: Go Hunt Life. Todd, congratulations on 50 episodes. Thank you for sitting down with me and I’ll hear this when this comes on the podcast.
Todd: Moby. Thank you.
Moby: Thank you.