All You Need Is Less: How Can We Be Happier With Less Stuff?
Society teaches us that we need more money and more stuff in order to be happy. We haven’t found that to be the case. In this episode we crack open the idea that “All You Need Is Less” and that you need to get to the root of what will make you happy. Chances are it will be much more affordable than a beachfront mansion or a lamborghini.
Society tells us that we need to have more stuff to be happier, but me and Ben don’t really think that that’s the case. In this episode, we want to step away from the specifics of property investing a bit. We want to talk about this idea that “all you need is less” and that you can be happier, have a more fulfilled life without necessarily needing the Lamborghini and the private jet and the mansion on the water. So. Hey Ben, thanks for coming on today.
Thanks for having me man. I’m really excited about this one.
Yeah, so this one’s been a big journey for both of us to go from being young guns in late teens, early twenties, dreaming of riches and wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Thinking about how we’re going to make millions if not billions of dollars and how are we going to spend all our money. To progressing 10, 15 years down the track where are now family men with three children loving our family life and just doing work that matters to us and not needing all the riches and things like that. And so we kind of want to do this episode to redefine what you think is important and so this may resonate with some people that may not with others, but I see a lot of the message out there that you need more staff to be happy are you say the people on Youtube talking about their lambos and that’s just not us. And so we want to talk about how there’s another way and that way it can actually be easy to achieve and make you happier than being extremely wealthy. Wolf of Wall Street style.
I might talk about my, like 1969 caravan that I just renovated though, because that is sick. It’s like an old school kombi but caravan.
And my 1999 Mercedes sprinter. That I also renovated
The retrofitted van that won’t be named.
I’m just trying to go back to when this kind of came about for me in my life and I can’t actually pinpoint a moment, but was definitely a few years ago where I discovered tiny houses. And I’m not sure if you’ve seen tiny houses on Youtube. If you haven’t, go ahead and just go to youtube and search tiny houses and there’s people who give tours of these little houses. I got really obsessed with the idea that, oh, I don’t need to earn millions of dollars a year in order to afford a mansion and have to pay a cleaner and a gardener and a pool guy and all this sort of stuff to maintain this high flying lifestyle that I can be just as happy living in a tiny house on wheels that you can take with you wherever you want and have new experiences, but you’ve got this cozy little home to yourself. So I really got obsessed with that, which led me down the path towards vanlife would lead me towards minimalism, towards understanding that there’s a different way to live. What about you? How did you come across this sort of stuff?
Just share with everyone the awesome upside of Vanlife, like how was that experience for you? By the way? We’ll get to the positives of van life soon.
For those of you who don’t know, me and my wife did up a sprinter van and went traveling around the east coast of Australia with our kids. And rained straight for two months. It was horrible. It was absolutely horrible. It was not. We had some great moments. OK, those some great moments. But I got extremely depressed on the journey it did not turn out to be the bliss that we thought it was. And so van life for us did not work and we’re back in the house. So
what’s funny about like your experience was it didn’t actually rain for two months, like literally where you went rained for two months. Like you would come, you came to the Sunny Coast twice I think Queensland 3 times. And over that period of time it rained. And like literally the day you left it stopped raining. I was Like sending you text messages time. But you know like obviously tak everything with a balance too like sometimes we’ve both talked about this before. When you get everything that you think you want, there’s also like it’s, it is sometimes nice to have a home as well. Yeah.
Well, I think it’s definitely something that the van life made me realize and something that I want people to avoid is that you can have these goals and I’m seeing people have goals of financial freedom and have goals of riches that they work towards for 20, 30 years working in jobs they hate in order to have this elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And then the worst thing that happens. This is, I think just the tragedy to people in society, is that they spend their lives hating their life to get to this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And then they get there and then not happy anyway. And so actually that is where it came about for me because I achieved financial freedom through my online businesses and I got to the point where I didn’t have to work anymore.
So I got to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and I wasn’t happy. And I was like, oh, what the heck? And I was lucky because I did it in a shorter time period than most people, but it was just like, ah, being financially free is doesn’t equal automatic happiness and having money doesn’t equal happiness. So that’s what started the journey for me to be like, oh my gosh, there’s so many people who are going to waste their entire lives chasing this and then they’re going to get it and that will be 60 and they’ll, you know, it could have spent that time doing something they love and they’re not going to be happy anyway. It’s not worth it.
Right. This is so powerful. Like what you said, I really want to talk more about that because we both had that realization. If you’re not mindful, if you’re not present, if you’re not enjoying the journey, it’s honestly going from goal to goal is just ash in your mouth.
Like I actually went and saw a psychologist, the deputy sup. Never. Now I’m telling everyone, I’ve told her like one person about this because I was embarrassed about it for a period of time because I consider myself like a strong analytical person that can take on those stuff. But was when I was working for my previous boss, he was a young gun that had it figured out, man, like he was a 37 year old guy, a 36 year old guy when I was working for so many millions of bucks or you um, you know, really charismatic, like really cool. His daughter had a health scare and he um, just put everything in perspective for him and I was working for him and at the time I was really ambitious and I was looking at him and I’m like, man, I want to be like this guy. Like he was a massive inspiration for me and he was doing it or really what looked like easily. But obviously behind closed doors there’s always stories and stuff. But what, I don’t know where I was going with that, like where I’ve just lost my train of thought on.
Sorry, I’m saying you’re sort of psychologists. Yeah. So back to the psychologist, you know, I was sitting in the room with them and they said, what do you want? And I said, I want to be like, this is actually what I said, I can’t even believe I said it. I said I want to be a millionaire, I want to be rich. And she was like, OK, let’s like break that down. And she said, go stand over there in that corner, one corner of the room. And I did that and she’s like, go stand over there. And she’s like, when did you set this goal? And I said, well I was 19 years of age. I went to Europe with three mates for a two month holiday and you know, when you’re 19 and you’ve got the world at your feet and you’re excited about everything, you attract people that are a bit older, you know, if you’ve got a vision for your own future open at 9:00 AM like I had.
And so I met all these really wealthy dude’s and they would take their private boats and parties and all this stuff that we’re going to like in the south of France and Italy and like just cool people that were like 30 and now I look back there like 30 year olds. It didn’t have any real mates left because all their may take gone on with daily life and was looking for baby, like native does take, taken under their wing. They could like give them the energy that, that they want to. Um, but at the time, like I just looked up to this guy’s like, man, they’ve got it all together. Like some of these guys even had helicopters and stuff like that are really doing well. And I’m like, I came back, I’d never seen anything like that because I grew up in Sydney. But the place I grew up in was, it wasn’t what it is now, like million dollar homes.
It was the place to get started, like 100,000 dollar homes and housing commission and stuff growing up there. And not the, not the best place. And so way. Um, she said that’s where you were when you set this [inaudible], like where do you want to be in the future? That’s what the other side of the room, that’s financial independence being a millionaire and just like, where are you now? And I started to walk and she’s like, how can I, are you at the time? Like I was heavily into investing in owning pretty good money in the job. I’m well on my way to. My goal is I just couldn’t say that because I was so like I have to be here to be happy and it just, I only, I literally walk out of the session after 35 minutes. That was an hour session because that one thing just put everything in perspective.
Literally like weeks later on that you and you’re like, dude, why do you need 300 grand a year in passive income to leave your full time job? You know, why don’t you just leave it now because you’ve already got enough to survive. And that just was like, man, I had this goal that I needed three times my salary in passive income before I could leave my job and I don’t know why I like, it was just the number that you pulled out of the air or got from someone. So like at two weeks later I was out of that job. Um, and you know, that was, that’s the story, but it’s crazy. The journeyman, like, and then after starting the business and setting the goals that are set and find the properties that listen, I bought in that period of time since we started, like we’ve just gone full circle back to it is just about enjoying the moment, the day, the people that you’re with, financial independence is there.
Like for anyone that wants to put in the work and actually try to plan to achieve it, it is so simple to get financially independent. If you have a plan and you just reverse that plan back to daily, weekly, yearly activities that you need to take. It’s like showing up at the gym three times a week. If you do the same thing for your finances, five years from now, you’ll be exactly where you want to be. Twelve months from now, everything will have changed. So you know, that’s my psychology story. Evolve into a psychologist. It’s all right. I’ve been to a psychologist as well.
It’s all good. But yeah, I, I don’t know where to go with this because this is quite a hard concept to communicate to people who a lot of people are struggling and a lot of people hate their job and they hate their life and they do look at the places that well I guess we’re at and that we strive to get to and they do see it as this is going to make them happy. And so to try and talk about, well, if you’re in that situation, if you feel like that, what can you take from this and how can you learn from this? And one of the big ideas that I had, I don’t know how practical it is, but just the idea that it took me about 10 to 15 years to achieve the financial freedom that I wanted to achieve. Probably 10 years, let’s call it [inaudible], uh, and it was just like, could I not have worked that out earlier that I wasn’t happy at the end of it earlier. I had to wait 10. Some people have to wait 50. How can you work that out quicker? And the concept that I came up with is, is that if you have a goal of what you want your life to be, then you can save up a certain amount of money and have a go at that life and have some time trialing that and seeing if that makes you happy. But I don’t know how practical that is.
The thing is, man, it’s, it’s not about stuff like I do live in a really nice home and I do have a garden and a cleaner and a pool guy because my block of land is huge and I did it all myself for the first six weeks. And then I’m like, oh, I can pay someone else a hundred and 20 bucks a month in all of this stuff is done.
I on the other hand, don’t live in a mansion. I don’t have a garden. I don’t have a clean up, I do have a pool guy, but that’s only because I count people that working out how to do all the chemicals and stuff like that, so I also clean the pool, but he comes in and checks the chemical levels and stuff once a month.
I’m saying is like my house is nothing special. Like it’s a beautiful home. I drive like a really modest car. As I said, the only other thing in my last set of Hy-vee surfboards, skateboards, soccer ball in it, and a caravan like for me it was never about financial independence had nothing to do with more crap. Like I was never motivated by that stuff. I was motivated personally. This less is more concept of just being secure. Like I needed that financial security and you and I’ve talked about that a lot, but this concept of once you get money you should spend it. I talk to people earning a hundred or $600,000 a day every single day of the week. Most of the people learning more and doing anything more with it. They’re just blowing it. Man. Closed societies like, well now you’re earning 300 k, you’ve got to get a beemer or you’ve got to get like the tests that are, which is a hundred and 20 k life.
You’ve got to get some more stuff to show for that money to show people that you at that level but it doesn’t fulfill you and it doesn’t make you happy and you know, while I’m not a staff person I’m a extremely goal driven. Mofo that something and relentlessly goes in pursuit of achieving it. Like to the point where I’ve done some really bad stuff and broken relationships because of it and that’s stuff that I’ve had to deal with and go through and get to this point now, which is the only thing that matters for me is having the choice and showing up every single day. Like in the way that I want to show up, doing the things that make me happy. That makes me fulfilled life. You could save up and go live like a millionaire for a few days. That some absolute thumbs man. Like most of my friends that are fully financially independent, like don’t really well from businesses from cryptologic bomb right now.
Like man, maybe both live light buttons that were both wearing his shirts right now that costs seven bucks in bulk. You know what I mean? Like this choice I choose to invest because I enjoy investing. Like I choose to last longer when I do buy stuff because I don’t want to trash the planet. Like I buy care about spending time with my family because of it brings me into the present. When you hang out with kids, you’re in the moment life and I mean I take Fridays off work because three day weekends, maybe sharp Monday to Thursday, so much better and I think is so many things that we do that you can do. I wish I had known 10 years ago when I started on this relentless journey of just smashing my way through every brick wall in front of me until I achieved what I wanted to achieve. I could have done it so much easier working four days a week, earning good money, spending all the time with the people that I cared about at training, like traveling, doing all this stuff. Sometimes you know when you get there, it’s just, it’s what we’re trying, I’m trying to say is it’s not the rosy picture and every single person is still gone through stuff every single day they life. You know what I mean? Money doesn’t change anything.
Yeah. I think the focus that people have on staff and the focus that people have on accumulating 10 properties in 10 years or whatever it may be really sets people back. If you want a really simple way to achieve financial freedom. We just talked about in the previous episode, so four to [inaudible] eight and you can listen to that simple strategy over there, but we talk about just basically investing in four properties in order to achieve a decent level of financial freedom. Probably just replace your income and then have the time to do what you want and I think they’re probably when most people get caught up in just spending money on things that they feel they need to spend money on to keep up with the times or to keep up with people around them. Like you talked about buying the beamer because as you get more wealthy, you have friends who are wealthier than you who have nicer cars than you and you feel like you need to buy a nicer car to keep up with them.
Or maybe you need to buy nicer clothes or spend more money on hotels or whatever it is. Take all that stuff away. Forget about this stuff for a moment. No matter where you’re at in your life, whether you are well off or whether you are struggling and started to think about the things that you actually do that make you happy. So now the things that make you happy, but the things you do that make you happy. And so for me, when I did this and analyze what makes me happy, learning really difficult things makes me happy. So learning property investing that was really difficult for me, that made me really happy currently as cryptocurrency and all the inner workings of that and how that works. So learning really challenging things makes me really happy from a work perspective. So the most of the work that I do is focused around really challenging sort of stuff.
Um, I also really enjoy spending time with my wife and my kids. But then I also enjoy doing specific things with them. Going to the beach, going on adventures in the hinterland, going surfing, like anything about submerging myself in water, whether it be a pool or the beach, no matter what day, no matter how hot or cold it is. So there’s these things that I can do that make me happy or playing super smash brothers melee. So these things that I do that don’t necessarily cost me money, that’s what makes me happy. So go out and try and find the things that make you happy. And then you can work out how much money you need in order to be able to do those things. So rather than looking at the pot of gold being the mansion and the Nice car and thinking that’s what’s going to make you happy when you start to really analyze your life and say, what are the things that I do that I really get enjoyment and fulfillment from and you make that your focus, then everything else becomes superfluous, but you don’t really need it. And so your financial goal goes from hundreds of millions down to just like an average sort of wage but financially free. So you don’t have to work to earn it.
I love that man. Like what I wish I, you know, if I could sit and speak to myself, I wouldn’t have listened to myself. That’s the problem. Always such a noxious little shit, man. Just doing whatever I thought I needed to do to do what I needed. So opinionated as well. And like I don’t have an opinion on anything anymore because it’s just always learning. But back then I like, I knew everything. You know what I mean? You had a good investor these days it comes down to three things that daily rituals. I don’t even chase happiness, man. I just want to be content. Like happiness is temporary like that. I want happiness vc, so my daily ritual, my weekly and my annual rituals and breaking it down to a daily level, starting a diet. Well like for me is about waking up, doing five minutes of meditation just to cause my, my head races. Like I think I’m undiagnosed eight a day.
Yeah I do. My head doesn’t stop. I’ve been having trouble sleeping this way because the kids wake up at 5:00 AM and sometimes I go back to bed. Sometimes I watch TV and usually main Kelly just let it roll over and stay asleep for another hour or whatever. But every day this week I’ve been waking up at 5:00 AM and my mind is just racing with style so I’m in the same boat. I just can’t stop thinking
this is my, this is why I wanted to get on a daily rituals because I know so many people listening to this will be feeling the same way and I have like I’d say like mild anxiety about the future because I’m so excited about it too. I’m scared of it. So yeah, I would agree with that actually knowing you. Yeah. So like this concept of waking up and breathing for a few minutes. Then I get on the floor with the kids. I check on some music and I do like some stretching which brings a blood into my body. Have like lemon water or green drink and like just get some alkaline in there. Heaps of water, have a good brekkie rituals. So much better. That’s the ritual that I try and try it and I get that about three to four days a week. The rest of the week is just chaos with the kids and you know, I’m not strong enough to get up half an hour before them because they wake up super early as well.
Same as yours. But you know, like that ritual. And then setting, it sounds like every day, which is being grateful every single day for what I’ve got because I know that that just makes me feel good and in design. And then I always, before I started day work was like playing the day this is know my structure, this is what I want to get out of it. And that makes me productive, which makes me feel good. I try and train, you know, going up to the weekly level, at least three to four, even five or six days a week. Now training isn’t normal that it could be serve a walk, could be pilates or yoga or it could be like weights, whatever. Just movement and then spending as much time with my kids. Like from Friday to Sunday is just full family time. Like unless someone actively asked me to do something, I’m just like not scheduling anything in obviously like we’ve got good groups of friends and family around us so we spend a lot of time with those guys.
But weekly, always [inaudible] what I want to get out of the week and actually breaking my goals in my life. Which ones investing? One is business, one is family, one is healthy. The only things that I value making time in my week for all of those things so that, you know, I’m genuinely like if you talked to my wife, obsessed it out, one of them at the expense of everything else, health, family, wealth, um, but trying to find a tiny bit more balance in that so that my week without me even thinking about it sets me up for that stuff. And then annually starting the year knowing what I want to achieve this year, I don’t want to buy any more property. I want to finish the subdivision that I’m doing and build a couple of July.
You probably finish the year by somebody I just want to go on and I’m in consolidation this year. So that’s where my head’s at. Um, but yeah, like, you know, traveling, spending time with the family and the van, like catching up with mates and going for beers in like my favorite thing in the world is going to the opera bar in Sydney as the sun setting and then walking over to the rocks and sitting in a pub listening to like stuff from 200 years ago like the old Irish did in like the donkey as possible and just like having beers with the boys pub you’re talking about
in the wrong.
If there’s a few, there’s a few that you know, like doing those things that make you happy and make you feel productive and make you feel content is like what I think the journey is about. And then there’s the stuff that you would shave is just like the cherry on top of like a good life.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I don’t know. It’s hard to talk about. Right? Let’s talk about the concept. We understand it and then we’ve been going through this journey. I think I remember first talking about this with you over a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago where we’d kind of both reached this point at a similar time going, this is weird. This is strange. I’m not happy, and I got way more depressed as soon as I had financial freedom than before when I was striving to achieve that goal. I went through this huge like slump and not knowing who I was as a person and all of this sort of stuff, so it’s a hard journey, but I think the takeaway that I want for people because it’s so hard to communicate, is that stop thinking stuff will make you happy and stop thinking. Once you’re financially free, you’ll be happy, but instead look at the little things in your life that make you happy and try and work out ways that you can enjoy them now.
Still work towards financial freedom. Of course, why wouldn’t you work towards financial security, freedom for yourself and your family so you can do what you want with your time and that’s going to give you more choices in the future. Still do that, but still being unrealistic that things are going to make you happy, or when you finally achieve financial freedom or when you finally got $10,000,000 in equity or you’ve got 10 properties, then you’re going to be happy because really we’re just lying to ourselves if we think that’s going to be the case. Yeah, so try and find some of those things in your life to make you happy. Look into things like tiny houses and minimalism even if that’s not you at such a good concept to just understand and to think about and to see that there’s people that are living so differently to society as a whole, that there’s these people that are extremely happy with nearly nothing. I’ve got a couple of tee shirts, one pair of pants, one pair of shorts. All of my clothes fit on two shelves in my cupboard, so where are you using? Me and my wife used to fill up a whole cupboard. We’ve now got four shelves between us that fit all of our clothing, so we’re minimum. We’re not complete minimalist, but we’ve definitely taken principles from that to apply it to our lives, but I think people should explore that. Explore that tiny house living movement, explore minimalism and just think it’s on Netflix, right?
Yeah. It’s on Netflix and I think they’re even coming out to Australia this year. Lock Up. You can go check him out live.
Yeah, it’s called the minimalists I think it is. So there’s a doc or Netflix which is good to watch and just check it out because you take something away from it and that’s why I find the biggest changes happen in my life and it’s just like little things and you just see people living differently and you’ll like, oh my gosh, I could do that too. Or are you just thinking, oh my gosh, that makes a heck of a lot of sense. And so if you can expose yourself to some of these things, then I know. I feel like regular society just doesn’t give you that. They just give you all the advertising and that you need more and it’s just a hamster wheel that you get stuck on. Whereas if you start looking into these different ways people are living, it really opens your eyes and you can take pieces of, uh, to try and make yourself a happy life.
This is the thing about all of this, like when you start training and working out at the gym, it takes a load probably when you had your first heart attack or you know what I mean, like it takes a lot at the start to do anything. Like investing in property for me takes me about one hour a year. That’s how much time I dedicate to actually invest in those days because I know exactly what I want. All of this stuff I don’t want. Which is the biggest thing. When one great opportunity comes up, that’s it. Like because I built the foundation to be able to identify that opportunity when it’s there. This is what I mean. Like things get a lot easier. Like people get scared of starting businesses with both jumped out of traditional before will 30 and into these businesses. Like you feel like it’s this crazy stuff and then it’s like, it’s just like walking off together.
Once you’ve done it, you know, like same with investing in your first property or going to your second property, you know, same with taking, you know, the big jump that I made this year was going from five days to four days away from going from I think two weeks of holidays a year, which is honestly what I’ve taken for the last three years to I’m going to take eight weeks of holidays this year. Life. It’s in your mind like every one of these barriers is just self self created I think. And once you start, as you said, thinking in different ways and seeing other people like my boss in the last year that I worked, I think he worked three days. He came into the office three times and like he just had this great model that worked for him. Um, and so there’s just so many different ways to spend a lifetime.
What I would just hate to see is people listening to this, going through the next 15 years, hustling and doing it hard when there’s a completely different option to do it really smoothly in flow easily, which is the place that everyone ends up getting to. That gets financially independent. It just takes all different types of people, different times to get into that flow in life. Yeah. Yeah. Or the next 10 years hopefully will completely different to the last 10 years for me and it’ll be hopefully far more balanced. Lack is I learn more and find things that excite me. Like outside of work, like for a while there was nothing that gave me passionate set for coming into work and my family and I was just like, what do I even do on these Fridays? Like how do I not thinking that way if there’s all this stuff happening that needs to be done now it’s just the second I walk out on Thursday at 12:00 Friday I’m normal again. Lack of land down and I’m just ready to enjoy the weekend and whatever is coming.
Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Well I understand. We’re kind of coming from a privileged position in this discussion, having achieved financial freedom ourselves and looking on the other end of that which a lot of people don’t have the privilege of. So I hope this came across properly to you guys to kind of help you see that there’s ways that you can get happiness in your life without being really hard to achieve the financial freedom or in fact without even needing the financial freedom. I think it took us achieving financial freedom to work that out and we just want you guys to work that out before you have to work in something that you hate for 30 years in order to achieve it. We’d rather you work it out to that here rather than down the track. So yeah, I hope this came across it from our hearts that we’re trying to help you guys and that, you know, we didn’t sound pompous or arrogant or something like that. I’m hoping we didn’t.
So the place and there is accounting firm, man, lucky people have issues with that. That’s their issue. It’s got nothing to do with you or I like the reason I get out of bed is to help people and it’s the same for you hang ups, man, and I have the hang ups like gay gay. You could pick any channel over there and listen. Stop it at a care in the world about the person they’re talking to.
Yeah. Well that’s the thing. I care about regular people living regular lives and being happy with their lives. Mums, her single mom, taking care of their kids who want to enjoy some financial freedom or you know, dads who are part of the family that are unhappy with their job and feeling fulfilled and if they could get to that place and experience more things that they love that there would be a better father and a better husband. And so these sorts of things. What I’m passionate about, helping people just be happier with themselves and therefore be better to the people that are in relationship with. That’s. Yeah. That’s kind of where I’m coming from.
Yeah. You know, not everyone’s going to relate to this stuff and that’s OK. You know, I wouldn’t have related it to it three years ago, definitely not 10 years ago, and that’s completely fine as well. This is just us expressing some ideas in our lines and it’s a journey like I’m sure 12 months from now we’ll be having the same conversation in a different way once we both learned more as well. OK.
So we’ll leave it there today guys, thanks so much for watching. And until next time, stay positive.
Gotcha. And was.