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Join business strategist Tina Tower as she explores how to build your empire by packaging your expertise into online courses, speaking, content, podcasting and credibility.

Tina has over 17 years of experience in starting, building and selling companies, she's a speaker, teacher, mama and world traveller.

She's unapologetic about living an intentionally big life and if you want too, this show is designed to show you many different options to help you gain clarity over YOUR version of awesome.


  • Learn how to live a meaningful life without long-term plans for greater fulfilment.

  • Discover the benefits of minimalism in entrepreneurship for streamlined success.

  • Understand the importance of saying no to maintain focus and achieve your goals effectively.

  • Recognise the importance of saying no to maintain focus and achieve your most impactful goals.

  • Gain valuable tips for parenting while pursuing personal goals to achieve a balanced lifestyle.

You’re listening to my most favourite interview I have ever done on my podcast. A mega 2.5 hour sit down with incredible author, deep thinker, TED speaker and all round awesome human - Derek Sivers!

He’s my fav all time author and His books 'Anything You Want' & 'Hell Yeah or No' and ‘How to Live’ are the absolute greatest. He’ll be putting out into the world soon, his new book, ‘Useful Not True’. Every time I read his books, listen to his TED talks or hear him speak, I am reminded to question my own beliefs, to walk my own path and to feel more joy.


We talk entrepreneurship, living a meaningful life, money and chasing joy. 
I hope you love this episode as much as I did! what a freaking joy it was to sit down with him for this conversation. 


Where to find Derek Sivers: 

Email Derek and say hi: 

Where to find Tina Tower: 

Her Empire Builder: 



For the past episodes of the podcast visit

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I know that you're the expert and you've got all of your subject knowledge nailed - now it's time to build the business behind your online course and stop being the worlds best kept secret. 


Notable timestamps


Portugal citizenship in 2014 25:00

Malta 800K euro 26:00

What you do daily 34:00

Writing a new book 35:15 multi warehouse in Germany 35:48

Daily habits 37:32

You cant be a musician without going on tour 38:50

Don't just tell me what to do 40:20

How do you stay in highest priority 44:20

Chapter in new book (need stubborn inappropriate flirt) 46:53

Can you cohabitate? value system for parenting (always do the right thing) 49:15

How you hold your priorities?moved to pacific island 52:25

What does a meaningful life look to you 55:20

Anthony Robins days (ninja level planning) 56:35


Do you live in a meaningful/chapter kind of life? 59:30

Folder on computer "possible futures" 1:01:15

Met Stripe creator in SG 1:05:00

Struggle of going too fast all the time (Tina) 1:07:30

How do you discern when enough is enough? 1:08:15

Minimalist things 1:10:00

Awaken The Giant Within book 1:14:49

Useful Not True book 1:15:20

Distribution of books? 1:16:50

What is your #1 goal when you put the book out? 1:17:50

Your Music and People: Creative and Considerate Fame book 1:18:00

Hell Yeah Or No: What's Worth Doing book 1:19:40

How to Live book 1:20:05

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman 1:20:10

Tina will put pictures of the images from Derek's book 1:25:00

Duck or bunny optical illusion 1:27:00

Every book has a different goal 1:29:40

Belief that you challenged or changed while writing the book 1:30:30

City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism: Jim Krane 1:31:25

Movie: Huma romantic comedies 1:33:15

Poor things: Emma stone movie

Jazz playlist mentioned

Interview with Mark Manson: do you get tired of thinking about thinking? 1:34:10

When thinking of successful, who's the first person that come in your mind? 1:36:05

What's your stand on "Money doesn't buy happiness" 1:42:30

Richard Branson | Biography & Facts

The psychological effect of not being desperate 1:52:10

What can you say about "People driven by money" 1:54:05

Do you think Entrepreneurship is for everyone? 1:58:30

How do you balance programming and writing a book 2:01:00

Derek's greatest moment of joy? 2:05:30

Fear of putting overthinking thoughts to the world? 2:06:22

Books Derek recommend? (Booklist on his website) 2:08:55

Fave book? Awaken The Giant Within

The Magic of Thinking Big: David J. Schwartz 2:11:00

Stumbling on Happiness: Gilbert, Daniel 2:11:24

The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want 2:11:30

Be Your Future Self Now: The Science of Intentional Transformation

Best advice for boks (get a collection) 2:13:00 2:17:25

Derek's favorite TV show? Poor Things (film) 2:18:00

Do you have a question that you ask people? 2:21:20

Is there a product you can't live without? 2:25:00

Quotes we love:

"long term plans are who you were, today's plans are who you are"

"businesses should be short term focused"

Show transcription 



Hi, friends. Welcome to this very special episode of her Her Empire Builder. Today I have, oh, my gosh, the most incredible guest part of my dream 100 list of podcast guests that honestly, I sent the email going, I'm not going to hear back from this. But then he said yes. It was like, and we've just done it in person.

It. And it's absolutely phenomenal. It is way longer than what our normal episodes are, but we couldn't cut any of it because it's all just so good. So talking everything from business and life and entrepreneurship and money habits, minimalism, there's some weird things in there, some different things in there, some fascinating things in there, and I hope that it will help you to question the beliefs that you have around business and life. So if you haven't seen Her Her Empire Builder before, he sold CD baby for $22 million a while ago.

He's sitting right there and put it all into a charitable trust and now lives a very minimalist life being an author and is based out of New Zealand. So I hope you enjoyed this chat as much as I did. Okay. Welcome, Derek. Thank you, Sivers.

See, we're beginning just like that. I know. No intro. Hello. I'm doing a little bit of a happy dance.




Main episode 

I'm going to intro you. Yeah, yeah. So you don't know why I first asked you to come on the show today, so I want to share that with you first because I kind of alluded to it just before, is one of the things that I did when I started my podcast five years ago was I made a dream 100 list of, like, hundred guests that I would love to have on my show. And there are people that I'm like, you can't just pick up the phone and say, oh, hi, Her Her Empire Builder. I'm Tina Tower from nowhere.

Will you come and talk to me? And so I've been waiting to go. I've got to have some invisible line that I need to make it to before I am worthy enough of emailing and asking to come on the show. And this year, when it clicked over, I was like, this is the year I'm just going to start and ask the people on my dream 100 list to come on. And you were my first one.

And you said yes, which I'm so happy for. You want me to help with the rest? Sure. I mean, some of them you might know. I mean, Celine Dion is on there.

I'll ask her. She's having a little trouble these days, but, you know. Yes, I have some very obscure ones of just people that I'm like, I want to ask all of the questions and have interesting conversations with. So thank you for being the first one. You know what's really cute?

My kid, who's twelve, asked me just last week, he said, you know famous people, right? And I said, yeah. And he goes, I mean, but do you know, like everybody? And I said, well, depends who. And he goes, I mean, you don't know Bill Gates, right?

I said, actually, I met him twice. I said once in the men's bathroom at the Ted conference and another Tinae at a bar in LA. And he's like, you're serious? You met Bill Gates? And so, because that was the first one he asked.

Now he has the impression I really know everybody. What was Bill Gates like? Oh, just, yeah. And on with it. Yeah, we're not friends.

Okay. So the reason, caveat, the reason why you made it to my dream 100 list was the books that we have here. I love them. Well, I'd say I love them all, but the fourth one I haven't read because it's not aimed at me. But you've said, read it now.

So I will definitely read it later today. But I love that they're digestible like that. Anything you want is my absolute favorite. How to live is probably the most frustrating book that I have ever read, but the most. Thank you.

Interesting in going there, but with all of the books that you have written and all of the different things that you've said, I'm not going to quote. I said I should have bought my original book because it's got so many underlines and postit notes in it, it looks bordering on ridiculous. And I stopped highlighting when I got to the third one because I'm like, it's all just so good that I'm not going to quote any of it except one Tinae, just this one thing. So you wrote in anything you want. Most people don't know why they're doing what they're doing.

They imitate others, go with the flow and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want without realizing it won't make them happy. I read that and was like, the reason I started reading that was I was at a really pivotal moment in my life where I was going, I don't even know what I want anymore. When people say, what do you want? I'm like, I don't know.

What is your advice on breaking life's rules and living on your own terms if you're going this direction? I want to change?

Talking with friends. I think when you realize that the way that things are going now are not working for you in some way, whether you're just feeling lost or it's like that feeling of, like, every door you try to open is locked metaphorically, then I think, how else could I be thinking about this? What's another perspective I could take? And even if I need to put on an alter ego or ask myself, what would this other person think? Like, what would my hero think?

What would this fictional. What would samurai Jack do? What would. I don't know. Pick whatever your fictional hero might be.

Whatever it takes for you to think of your situation from another perspective. But then when you find one that you think like, ooh, I, like, know that's a new angle I hadn't thought of. I could think this way. Then it's talking to friends for me, as I call up a friend and I'll say, hey, what do you think about this? Instead of thinking of what I'm doing this way, what if I looked at the whole thing that way?

And then a friend will help echo this back to you, making it like a social reality. You know what I mean? So friends do this all the Tinae. Let's just go down to the most base, like, teenage level. Yeah.

Like, you. You meet a boy, and your friends as a teenager would be like, oh, my God, he is great. You two are perfect together. Oh, my God, you look so good together. You're so happy.

It's nice. And then two years later or two months later, you break up, and your friends are like, yeah, he's awful. You were so much better without him. And so friends already do this. They help echo back a way of looking at something, and that starts to.

It takes the faint idea and starts to make it feel real. When you get the social, like, echolocation. Right? And then you talk to another friend, you say, hey, I'm thinking of taking this new approach to what I'm doing. And your friend says, yeah, you know, and if you do it that way, that means that this and that you go, yeah, I hadn't thought about that.

And pretty soon, these all start to feel like realities instead of just an. Idea and, like, sitting in which one you think feels the most comfortable. Yeah, not comfortable, exciting. Well, I mean, I guess it depends on your value system. For some people, yeah, it would be comfortable.

For somebody else, it might be exciting. For somebody else, it might be like, I need to make a real change in my life. What's the viewpoint that feels like the biggest change from how I currently do things. That's what I did after I sold my company. Yeah.

I was going to ask you, have you had the existential crisis at different points in your life where you're, like, mentioned before? What got me here won't get me there. When you get there and you go, I want to completely throw out every rule that I've lived to by now, and let's write a new set all the Tinae. Yeah. I don't talk about it publicly much, but in short, I got into a really bad relationship that has.

And then we had a kid together.

A lot of my philosophical deep dives have come around, like, how to deal with my situation and my restrictions in life. I would like to be doing this. I am doing this. How can I be able to get yourself into that? Come on.

The way it normally happens.

She's hot.

That was distracting. Sorry.

So many Tinaes, whether it's, like, financially or it's not, something in your personal life takes a major change, or you're feeling, like, done or stuck, and you think, all right, I need to make a real change. So, okay, let's pick a better example. So when I sold my company, you could say that it was like a success moment, but for me, it felt like a failure moment, because the only reason I sold the company is that things had gotten so bad that I sold. It's like I was such a bad. Same reason that I sold my company.

Really? Yeah. You're the only person I've heard say that. Really? Yeah.

By the Tinae I sold my company, I couldn't remember a day where I didn't feel nauseous or had a headache. Wow. And I probably didn't have a week without crying for a year. Wow. Beforehand.

Yeah. I built a beast that was wrong way. Go back. And I couldn't go back. Wow.

That's why you sold. And that's why I sold, yeah. And then people say, congratulations, and you go, I guess. Yes. But, I mean, it's helped.

Now I've built a beautiful company now that doesn't have all of those things. But this is not about me. This is about you. Well, no, this is nice. When you sold CD, baby.

Well, so literally, the day after I had a deal to sell the company, it was my sister's birthday. So January 18 was the day that we had this handshake deal. And I went to bed with an empty head and a smile that night, like, whoa. Done. I am no longer [email protected].

Wow. How nice. The next morning, I woke up I was like, oh, my God, my next company. I know what I want to do. And I dove into it.

I started programming it right away, called the person I wanted to work for me. I was like, you want to be the manager of this thing? He said, yes, let's do it. So for three months, I started this new thing. It was called muckwork.

And I believed in it, completely sketched it all out. We got three months into it, and then I went, wait a minute, hold on. If I do this, I'm going to be following the same trajectory I've been on for ten years already. I want to make a real change in my life. Sorry, this has been a long answer to your original question, is that I.

That's why we're here. I started deliberately saying no to everything. I used to say yes to saying yes to everything. I used to say no to deliberately going against my instincts over and over, someTinaes multiple Tinaes a day at every. Turn, to just see how it felt.

Yeah. So, honestly, that's when you asked your question. I guess I'm answering two questions at once. You said, how did you get into that relationship exactly like this? I was passing through New York City and we had been dating for a few months.

And she said, oh, well, my parents said that we have to be married if I were to come travel with you. And everything in me said no. So I said, and, you know, it was a good way to shake life up, to break your. And when you went traveling, did you go wide traveling then, or was that when you went to New Zealand? No.

Went wide traveling?

Yeah. No, New Zealand. Wasn't until a couple years later my son was born when I was living in Singapore. And then I just wanted him to grow up in New Zealand. Why New Zealand?

Nature. Isn't it beautiful? I really do think it's one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Probably the most beautiful country in the. World if you had to pick the.

Rain pouring down here, which is lovely, it's great. So all the clicking you hear recording is the rain.

I think that's what I do. SomeTinaes the new values you need can just be anything to scramble your old habits, the opposite of whatever you did before. SomeTinaes your value system might be like, all right, you know what? I've been running too ragged. I want to take it easy.

I've been pushing myself too hard. I need to go for a value system now or a lifestyle design change that's going to be easy and comfortable. But whatever it is, yeah. I do highly recommend, as you can tell, journaling a lot works for me. I spend hours in my journal just kind of turning ideas into reality in my head and then calling friends.

Getting that kind of echolocation back from friends helps. I love that. Makes things real. Yeah. How much internal conflict happens for you when you adopt that new belief system that is so different from something that you've carried for a really long Tinae that you no longer want to carry?

For me personally, when something feels unnatural, I feel like I'm on the right track. Really? Yeah. But that's just my weird personal belief system because it's like one of my favorite joys in life is changing my mind. So when I'm reading a book, what I'm hoping the book is going to do, obviously, is change my mind.

That's why I'd be reading the book. It's because I want you to. Don't tell me what I already know. Well, I mean, that's what Hadaliev definitely does. Thank you.

Change my mind on something. That's what I'm here for. That's what I want. And so I feel that in life, too, that I want to try on a new way of thinking. Yeah, that's my greatest.

So before we hit record, we were talking about changing and people changing because I pointed out that my enneagram had changed. And you said, do people fundamentally change rare. So would you say you change through each of those Tinaes? Yeah. When somebody asks why I don't make music anymore, that was previously me.

Same name, same bones, but very different soul. Because I would say, I mean, I've been with my husband since I was 18. We have our 20th weding anniversary next year, which I'm very happy with. But I go, we are also. I think it's nothing but luck because I would say he's a wildly different person than when we met.

Wow. I'd say I'm a wildly different person, but it's like each evolution we've really liked, and that's been nothing but luck in the amazing. But we talk about it someTinaes and go like, if ten years ago could see what I do, she would have been going, no way. That's not what we do. I've become a lot more introverted as I've gotten older, which I think I always was, but masked quite a lot.

And I think that's a lot of what we do in our twenty s and thirty s, that we mask a lot of our natural tendencies to try and fit in with everybody. But what is the biggest thing that you think that. Did you do that as well, like when you ran CD baby and you were going like, more and more, I want to conquer the world. Was that innate? Was that innate?

No, I think that actually the want to conquer the world thing, that was more my musician years. I was trying to be a successful, famous musician. Then when I started CD baby, I felt more like the metaphor of the athlete that used to be in the spotlight and is now on the side of the court just being a coach. Yeah, right. No, CD baby.

To me, I was very unambitious, even. Though the success you had there was probably way more than 99.9% of musicians. Oh, yeah. Well, I'm saying that my drive was from the very start. Literally three months into starting it, I realized, like, oops, I've started this thing.

And so I said, okay, well, since I've started this thing by accident, which I didn't want to distract me from my music career, I thought, well, as long as I'm going to do it. Sorry, I haven't read the book in a while. I'll bet it's in there. But I kind of set this criteria. It's like, well, in a perfect world, the perfect music distribution company would look like this.

Give me the full name and address of everybody who buys my music. Never allow paid placement. It's not fair to those who can't afford it. Never kick me out for not selling enough. And I want to get paid every week.

That would be my dream come true as a musician. And I knew that by doing this utopian ideal that I would be limiting the growth of the company. Because if I allowed paid placement. Yeah, bring it on. Just pay me.

If you want to be in this thing, then that would have grown the company bigger. People later came to me and saying, hey, as long as you got this infrastructure in place, you could be selling porn and you could make a ton of money. I was like, I don't want to make a ton of money. What do you mean? Wait, what?

Hold on. I think I might have heard you wrong. I said, no, look, I'm not doing this for the money. I'm doing this because I'm making this utopian ideal of a thing that should exist. I think my city baby years were very unambitious.

I was trying to limit the growth. I find that so interesting. I used to hear people say things like that, and I used to think they were lying. If I ever heard someone say, I'm not doing it for the money, I'd go, yeah, right. And now I don't work for the money.

But I wouldn't have believed me before. Right. Was that always, like, when you say you wanted to be a musician and you wanted to be successful and famous, did it have anything to do with the money? No, not the money. No.

Never wanted. Had the financial goals? No, I don't think so. I think at one point ever, in one early little brainstorming session, probably when I was, like, 21, I think I might have written a million dollars by the Tinae I'm 30 or something like that. But it was just one of 100 things I wrote down when thinking it was nothing, I took very seriously.

To me, the dream was always to be great. It was always what I wanted to be, in fact. Oh, okay. So did you ever read any, like, Tony Robbins, awaken the giant within? I was like, tony Robbins when I was 18.

I thought I would be the next Tony Robbins. Right? Yeah. I was a damaged teenager. I found Tony Robbins like, people find religion, and I was like, in.

Yeah, me, too. So the thing that bothered me the most about his message was where he goes on and on about the things you want to have, where it's like, don't you want to have a castle? Don't you want to have a helicopter? Have your own private plane? And with everything, I was just like, oh, God, no.

It sounds awful. Even as, like, 17 years old, I. Was like, no, see, I thought I did. When I read that, I was like, yeah, you're right. Yeah, I do need that.

Even this morning, I went onto Facebook and I read in, I use Kajabi as the software for my courses. And I read in their Facebook group, someone that had just made $10 million and was sharing their tips, and one of their tips was, buy the Ferrari, not the Hyundai. Because of the respect you get from people and the people you meet, it doesn't matter if you go into debt. Wow. Because you can pay it off over 40 years.

And I was like, oh, no, but there'll be a lot of people that read that, that go, all right, that's what I have to do. And that is one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you. I'm like, that needs to be amplified more as multiple ways of success. That doesn't only look like a private. I mean, why would you want a plane, really, if you're Taylor Swift?

I understand she's flying everywhere for her job. Totally get that. But for most people, I don't think that that's. Yeah. And most people listening to this probably aren't trying to decide whether to get a plane or not.

No, but it can come down to anything. Yesterday, I was sitting with a group of people at this event I'm at, which are a bunch of, like, millionaire coaches.

Okay? So I'm sitting with this group of five guys, and one of them sitting next to me says, hey, do you have a watch? And I went like this, I pulled out my phone, I said, it's twelve. And he goes, I know what Tinae it is. I was asking if you have a watch.

I said, and then I looked around because he said, you're the only one here without a watch. Like a fancy watch? Yeah. And I looked around and sure enough, all five guys had fancy ass watches. And I went, why do you like, I just never really looked at men's wrists.

Yeah. And I was like, why do you. All never looked at men's wrists? I was like, do you not have phones? And he's like, oh, it's not about that, mike.

It's about that. And he gave me his thing. He's like, and what was it about? He said, it's something you get yourself to say that you've arrived. Do you know that once I make this much money, I'm going to get myself a nice watch?

It's like a status. Like, I've made it. I got this watch, and I was just like, I was just sitting there feeling so alienated. I was like, I've never owned a watch. I can't even imagine.

Why do you have any jewelry on? None. Because I get too philosophical about anything. It's like, why would I need a watch? Like, I would never just go get a watch.

I think, what would I need that for? Telling or. Okay, no, it's not about telling the Tinae. It's a piece of artwork. I was like, well, are there different kinds of artwork I could wear on my body if I wanted to wear artwork?

Do other people, like, why would I want to wear artwork?

Because it will communicate status. Why would I want to communicate status? Would somebody do something for me because I'm communicating status that they would not if I did not? Probably. But are those the kind of people that I would want to work with?

Who am I trying to attract? Somebody that would be impressed by a watch? I don't like those people. And so to me, I get too. I'm feeling judged by my watch right now.

No, but see, that's a functional. I wear this watch purely because I've just decided to hike Mount Kilimanjaro in October with my friends as part of our work for wellness. This ass is currently not getting itself up Mount Kilimanjaro. So I'm really trying to increase my steps, okay? I'm data driven, and I like the data.

It's my defense of my wife. Well, no, see, look, if for maybe the other five guys that were standing there with their fancy ass. Yeah. Philip Petik. Whatever.

I don't know. I only know old school, like Rolex. Rolex? Yeah. Mind you, I did see an ad in the airport, and I took a photo of it because I thought it was one of the most beautiful ads I'd seen.

That was a watch ad not long ago. That was. I can't even remember the words now that I've brought it up. But it was like a father and a son, and it was the watch, and it said, what will you pass on to him? And it was like that sort of rhetoric.

I was like, clever. You're clever. Clever, clever lie. Nice try, mark, but I can see how it worked. I was like, I can see men seeing that and going, yeah, I want to pass my watch on to my son.

Okay, on that note, since we've totally. Taken a fun tangent, I know I'm totally off. We can come back to the track anyTinae we want. I thought, oh, God, I'm about to reveal something a little embarrassing. So I thought it would be good for my kid to have an EU passport.

Yes. To just open up opportunities for him. So there are a few ways to do it. So, starting in 2012, when he was born, I tried the first way, which was to become a legal resident of Belgium by incorporating a company in Belgium, spending enough Tinae in Belgium and paying your taxes there for enough Tinae that Belgium will make you a citizen if you've been doing that enough. I did that, but my immigration lawyer didn't tell me that I had to file a certain form, and suddenly, poof, my Belgium visa was gone.

It was like, damn it, I would have had to start all over again. So I looked for other options. Portugal came up, and so in 2014, I became a legal resident of Portugal. The deal in Portugal is show up for two weeks per year for six years in a row, and after six years, you're eligible for citizenship. I'd go to Portugal every year for six years?

Yeah, for sure. Oh, you would? I thought you said, okay, good deal. So 2014 plus six is we're at 2020. Oh, no.

So, with New Zealand with its closed borders, I couldn't go back to renew. So after, on my 6th year, when I was finally eligible, that's exactly when COVID began and New Zealand borders were closed for two and a half years. So I could have left, but I couldn't have come back. And so after six years, my Portugal thing disappeared. So then there's one other option that somebody said.

They said, you know, in Malta, you can. Another beautiful place, you can pay 800,000 euro. So basically a million dollars, that sounds. Like a green card in America. Essentially, if you have a good background and you're a good person, they will make you a citizen of Malta, and then that will pass down automatically, not only to your kids, but to their kids.

Whatever. So for a minute, I considered it, and I was talking with a friend of mine. See, I like to do echolocation thing a lot. So I was like, hey, what if. What would you think if I did this for my kid?

And he goes, well, your kid might enjoy having an EU passport. And he said, I think he would definitely enjoy having a million dollars. And I was like, enough said. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. The winning answer has been reached.

So as for the fancy ass Rolex to pass down to your son. Yeah. I was like, yeah, how about the $40,000 that you would spend on the watch? I think your kid would like $40,000 better than your fucking watch that he did not choose himself. Anyway, this is why I don't have nice things.

Yeah, I have a question about that later, but I'm going to try and stay on track. It's very interesting. Like, I am off track already. But that's okay. We can follow whatever tangents you want.

Everything you say, I'm like, but what about this? So what does your daily life look like now? Because you're working on what you feel like you've got your useful. Not true. Yeah, right now I'm just writing.

I mean, I answer emails, but that's just like half an hour a day. So let me ask about the email thing. Sure. Because you put your email address in your books and you say, email me. And I love it.

My email box is so wonderful. How do you keep up with that? It's manageable. I'm not a Hollywood. I would expect, like, you're getting hundreds of emails a day.

No, I get maybe 50 a day. 50 to 100 a day. Still a lot of emails. Yeah, but most of them are just sweet compliments.

And you write back to everybody? Yeah. Wow, cool. But, God, someTinaes I don't do social media. So a lot of the hit that people get from swiping things and scrolling things, it's all in my email inbox.

So I just yesterday got an email from a musician in Turkey, that we were having this interesting philosophical conversation about beliefs and choosing beliefs and whatnot. And then the next email was from a writer in Gaza, born and raised in Gaza. And he had just told me last week, he, like, introduced himself and said he's a fan of my writing and told me more about his life. And then I asked something about, oh, my God, you grew up in Gaza and how is it now? And he said, well, my two cousins, my childhood friends were both killed in the war and so far we're only, whatever, months into it.

And I said, oh, my God, I'm so sorry. That must have been so devastating. And he replied back, saying, actually, my home had already been destroyed and a lot of my friends were killed. And so, honestly, by the Tinae I got the news that my two cousins had died, I was already pretty numb. And we were talking about that.

What do you say to that? We talked about it. I don't remember what I said, but I was just sitting there going, God, I love my inbox. This is amazing, because in that same email, he was saying, anyTinae you come to Gaza, he said, please. He said, let me tell you the better ways to enter now.

Go to Jordan first and come in over. If you're going to the West bank, come in from Jordan. Or if you want to come see me in Gaza, come in through Egypt. He said, come to my home. We will take care of you.

He said, I'm the only one that speaks English in the family, but I've told my mother about you and she can't wait to make you the best hummus you've ever tasted. Whatever. You come stay with my family. And I'm like, oh, man, I love this. Yeah, I love my invoice.

That must feel incredible to have reach globally. Yeah. I mean, it's one of my favorite things. I think it's the reason I'm always giving my email address, saying, everybody email me. I really love meeting these people.

Okay, the Gaza guy, that's extreme. But even just meeting know, hey, I'm a swimming instructor in Vietnam. I'm like, cool. I know a swimming instructor in Vietnam. That's so cool.

And then what I love is that when I go traveling, I contact these people and I'm like, hey, I'm in Bangalore. Let's meet. They're like, cool. I get to meet up with a bunch of people in Bangalore, India. Now I've got friends in Bangalore.

It's a wonderful feeling. Impulsively. When I lived in England a few years ago, I impulsively was like, I've always wanted to go to Finland. I've never been to Finland. Going to Finland tomorrow night because it was, like, $30 and 1 hour.

That's amazing. So, I popped over to Finland and arrived at midnight, sent out six emails to six people I know in Finland, and the next day, I'm sitting naked in a sauna with a dude from Finland that brought me to his favorite sauna on the coast. I mean, it's what you do in Finland, right? Yeah. And I was just like, I love this.

Yeah. So, yes. That's why. Yeah. Anybody listening to this?

Email me. Yeah, we'll put it in there. I just think all the Finland flashbacks coming through magic, magic place. So, no social media. Why no social media?

I just don't like it. Yeah. It's like, why no reality tv? Once or twice, I would pass by one of those reality tv shows. They're like, edit, flash, flash, flash.

I'm like, look. So I kind of feel the same way about social media. I just don't like it. Interesting. And you've never felt like you have you ever felt like you should or that you needed it for something and it wasn't there, or you just totally switched off from it?

It was invented after I was successful. I didn't need social media every now and then. Okay? Such a good life. Invented after I was successful.

I was already there. This event that I'm at with these coaches, people, like, the humble dude sitting next to me, makes $20 million a year advising australian ecommerce businesses on how to opTinaize their Facebook ads. Yeah. Wow. That's all he does.

And makes 20 million a year doing it, which means they're making more than 20 million a year doing it. And I'm listening to this going like, I think I need to adjust my beliefs someTinaes. If your beliefs are too far from reality. I don't know. I was about to try to.

I mean, it's like a dream to drop off the grid. I did 90 days without social media. That was it. When we traveled around the world for a year. Okay.

I did 90 days and switched everything off, and it almost felt like. It felt wonderful. Was one thing that I was like, I would love to live without social media, but there is so much that I think that I would miss business wise, connection wise, relationship wise. So many friends that I have met have been through social media, that we started out like mutual fans and then become friends from there, as well, that I would miss that part of it. But, yeah, the constant connection wouldn't miss that at all.

So that's why it seems like, well, if you feel it's important for your business, maybe it would be good for an assistant to do that instead of you. But on the other hand, like you said, if you've got some pleasure out of it, especially personal, if you're not just saying, well, I have to do this for my business. Yes.

And maybe social media does have a little bit to do with this, too. You do keep your head in the clouds somewhat, being able to think the big thoughts and do all your philosophizing. Sure. What's the word? Sure.

Yeah, why not? Philosophizing, sure. I don't think so. But doing that, how do you keep your head in the clouds? And do you succumb to the daily stresses of life?

That's right. I didn't answer your question about what I do all day. Oh, yeah. It's the same kind of question that I wake up and I write, okay, I wake up with my son most of the Tinae that, you know, he'll either. He'll jump into my bed at 06:00 a.m.

Or yell for me to jump in. So we always kind of, like, cuddle and talk first thing in the morning and just kind of, like, talk about life or whatever. And then he goes off to school. Is he a big thinker, too? Yeah.

I mean, in his own way, yeah. It's really sweet. He will be out playing and he'll be like, hey, dad, can we just sit down here and talk about life? Yes. Then, yes, be wonderful.

But, yeah, he goes off to school, and then right now I'm just trying to write the new book that's like, monomaniacal focus is like, okay, every now and then I want to lift my head up and go, oh, what else could I do? I'm like, no, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up. Got to finish this thing. Are you on a Tinaeline for it, or you just want it done? I just want it done.

I feel like ten months pregnant is my metaphor of just, like, get it out? Yeah, I'm done.

But there are other Tinaes. Okay, so say once the book's done, then I can imagine throwing myself into another thing. Like, say, I'm going to make my bookstore be multi warehouse. So I'm going to have a warehouse in Germany. I mean, it's already ready to go, but I'm going to have to make it.

So when you buy my books, it's going to ask you, where do you want it from? And so now I've got to do the coding that's going to manage inventory in multiple locations. It currently doesn't do that. And so I know I'm going to be programming for a couple of weeks. I'm going to be programming a thing for the trend.

You still want to do all of that yourself? I enjoy it. Yeah, I have actually. A few Tinaes I considered outsourcing it, but I really enjoy it. I said, no, this is the thing that I love.

It makes me happy.

So then I'll just throw myself into that for a while and then that'll be done. The thing I don't like doing is like, I'm going to do this for an hour and this for an hour, this for 2 hours, and then 30 minutes of this. And when I have a day like that, I just feel like today sucked. And the days that I'm happiest are when it's like I wake up at 06:00 a.m. And I do one thing all the way till midnight, and I go to sleep and I'm like, oh, my God, that was amazing.

And it was sweet that I've got good friends that I've known for so many years, and a few of them have said back to me, like, you know, in all the years I've known you, you always do this. The days when you do one thing from, like, 06:00 a.m. To midnight are the days that you tell me you were the happiest. It's been really consistent through the years. Yeah.

So now I know that it's a good reminder to steer my life that way. So one of your questions we kind of hinted at but haven't dove into yet is like, making these life decisions, like, how do you know what to do? SomeTinaes you just look at your past and you notice things about yourself. You're like, I could do this or this or this. But then it's like, you know what?

Every Tinae I do this, I'm really happy.

Follow that path. Learn that about yourself. Do you have, like, you, a daily habits person? Like, you've got to wake up and do this and then this and then this? I used to think.

So I read Robin Sharmer's 05:00 a.m. Club book like, many, many moons ago and was like, okay, successful people get up at 05:00 a.m. So I did that. And then I did, like, worked out and did meditation and journaling and all of these things. And I did it for about six months.

And I was miserable. I had a headache every day. I was cranky and I was like, I can't be successful because I can't do the daily. You'll never be a success, I'm never. Going to make it.

And then realized, actually, I can wake up really slow and I can hug my kids in the morning and lay there and chat in bed and then sit on the back deck and just slowly drink my coffee and that's totally fine. So I was curious if you had habits. Not at all. Really? None?

No, I think it's none. None? None. Wow.

Yeah. Not a single one. I mean, there's some things that I generally do. I generally like to make a cup of tea in the morning. How's that for success?

So the key to success, generally make. A cup of tea. It says, Her Her Empire Builder, always a good. The. Okay, so in the music business, there's a beautiful metaphor or comparison that they would say for years, you can't be a success in music unless you go on tour.

But then hip hop artists would just, like, release a single with no tour, and it would be like instant smash hit. Okay, well, they say, well, you can't be a hit unless you're on radio. And then these heavy metal bands would, like, sell out arenas all the Tinae. They've never been on radio in their entire history. Iron Maiden or Judas Priest or whatever.

And so anyTinae somebody tells you, no, here's what you need to do. It's like, that's one way. It's not the way, but the person saying it believes it's the way. Usually out of self interest. Somebody who's involved in video editing will tell you what you need to have is well edited videos.

You cannot be a success without well edited videos, and somebody else will say, no. The key to it is self publishing books. That's the key to success anyway. It's probably the most difficult thing that I find about being a coach. And I think probably the most frustrating thing about people that work with that people that work with me would find is I don't have the one way.

I don't think there's ever one way. I think it's different for different stages and how you want to live and what you want to do and what your natural tendencies are, which can be really frustrating for people. So just tell me exactly what to do. But there is no exactly what to do. And I think it changes all the Tinae.

And it should change all the Tinae. Although, okay. But I also get this desire to just tell me what to do. I often want that for things that I don't care about that much. If I really want to nerd out on a subject, then I don't want you to just tell me what to do.

I want to explore this. Yeah, but for some things. So for me it was like, let's say diet. I don't care to read a 900 page book about the science of protein. I'm not going to read that.

Just tell me what I'm supposed to be eating. Just tell me what to do. Yeah, that's true. And I don't need a custom diet. Just tell me.

Wake up, make black beans with a chicken breast like this. That's your breakfast. No, I'm just saying, if somebody were. To tell me into Derek sivets. No, I'm just quickly say, for example, if somebody would say the opTinaum diet is for you to just wake and eat this and this and that and twice a week do this, I'd say, okay, thank you.

I don't even need to hear your rationale. Sure, you've done. I see your PhD. Okay, just tell me what to do. So I understand that I did that technology wise.

When I wrote this page on my website, it was dozens of hours of my life making this thing called tech independence. And I very deliberately did the just tell me what to do approach because there are unlimited numbers of articles saying, well, there are 15 different hosting companies you could use. It's many different options you can use for software. I'm like, okay, here's a path. This, go here, type this at this site.

Do that. Voila. Look, you now have a working email server, web server, DNS, calendars, da da da da. And people say, well, why did you choose that one company to recommend? I'm like, it was just the one.

I've used them, they work. And the whole point was to just pick one. So I do think it's really handy to just tell people what to do. Yeah, but things like that. I was having the conversation with Dan, who's videoing us right now before, and saying, I need to set up this sort of setup at home.

And I was going, I have everything. I have my tripod, my cameras, my screen, the mics. Like, I've got it all. I don't know how to put it together and I don't know how to make it all work. Like, the camera store saw me coming and I was just going, yeah, I need everything for the setup.

And then was like, well, I'm like, you should, should do the process going, this is exactly what you need, how to set it all together, how to do it and I just follow it step by step. Yes. And then you'd be. Yeah, yeah. So we need that way.

But how to live? Probably not. Although Brian Eno, who's a wonderful music record producer, said that the job of being a producer is having strong opinions. So a band like you two or Coldplay, will hire him to come into the studio and have strong opinions. He'll say, no, I think we need to completely delete the drums from the middle section.

And they'll say, what? No, the drums are important for the middle section. No, it's crucial. He'll say, okay, great. Glad I could help.

Now you know that the drums are crucial. The fact that you disagreed with me so strongly, I've just done my job. Conviction. Yeah. So if you could just come in and say, all right, here's what you need to do.

05:00 a.m. And if somebody says, like, I can't do it, I want to die, it's like, great. Okay, now we know. I knew I was never a morning. Person again, but at least we started with strong opinions.

And now you know that that won't work for you. But I guess it takes some self awareness to know that's not working for you. Yeah, totally. So, self awareness segues beautifully into self discipline, which you have a lot.

Don't. I mean. Didn't mean to interrupt. Go ahead. Well, I would mean from reading.

I mean, I have gone down the Her Her Empire Builder rabbit hole pretty far, and you do seem to say yes to the things that are important to you and say no to everything else so that you can leave that Tinae to create the things that are important to you. How do you stay in service to that highest priority? Because I imagine you would get invitations to do different things and different opportunities and partner with people for different companies and all sorts of things that are spread everywhere. How do you keep it true to what you want to do? Mostly it's the same answer when you asked why I'm not on social media.

Yeah, you just don't want to. I just don't like it. I just don't want to. I don't want to live that way. Like I said, I don't like those days where I do a little of this, a little of that.

I like to throw myself completely into one thing at a Tinae.

But even the, like, I just don't want to. And, I mean, maybe this is a character flaw of my own as well, but there's plenty of things that I do that I don't want to do. Why? Why? Obligation okay, wait.

Social opportunities? Personal obligation. Yeah, personal. Like I said, I've become more introverted as I've gotten old. Like, I said, say yes to a lot of things because I know it's good for business.

I know it's good for relationships. When really, I'd just love to sit at home with my kids and my dogs and do nothing and write romance novels. You can do. I was having this conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He's like, what if you did, though?

I'm like, well, that's easier said than done. Like, there goes our home, our school. Like, the school, the kids so much. Our life as we know it would have to change. Yeah.

So you sit there and you go, like, you actually, if you feel like you're like, well, do I want to do this? Maybe not. You'd just go, no, and not worry about any of the follow on consequences. That's so cool. I think not many people would do that.

I think it's a nice thought that most people would want to do, but I don't think many people in practice would actually live like that.

I think it does require the self introspection to know what works for you and what doesn't. So I think I've tried lots of ways of being. Yeah. I tried starting a record label to help other musicians. I tried running a booking agency.

I tried doing this. I tried doing that. I tried lots of things. And I just notice in myself, like, I don't like this. And you never feel selfish?

Oh, often being selfish is not a bad. Okay, wait. Let's talk about this in a second.

Wait. There's a chapter in my new book called.

Oh, damn. Sorry. Never mind. I'll get back to that in a second. Inappropriate.

Needy, stubborn, inappropriate flirt. Needy, stubborn, inappropriate flirt. And I think selfish would be in that list, too. That adjectives that we act as if they are facts, as if they are traits of someone. That person is blonde and selfish.

This guy has red hair and he's needy. But if you dig into those words for a second, you find that they have hidden judgments inside them. That. I once had to pick apart the word needy because somebody said needy and I kind of stopped. I was like, wait a second.

What does that really mean? We looked at it, and what needy means is they act like it's a trait of the other person. Needy just means somebody wanted something from me that I didn't feel like giving. Yeah. So now I'm calling them needy.

I'm super needy. You're saying about I'm super needy. Okay, well, but see, that's your. You're making like all earned judgment.

You're saying when people call someone else. Yeah. When you say that judgment is needy, they act like it's. But what they're really saying is I couldn't give that person what they wanted. And so I'm going to call them needy to make it their problem, not mine.

Yeah, I'm righteous and perfect. They're needy because they want something from me. But. Okay, so selfish to me is like that, is that it's secretly passing a judgment that you shouldn't be looking out for yourself. You should be beneath others.

How dare you not be beneath others. Yeah. And I'm like, I don't know, selfish to me sounds like a pretty positive adjective. So it's smug. Smug.

I know it's meant to be negative, but I think you. Smug is when you said the word smug, then I could just imagine like a meme of you. Like, yeah, that is the smug, isn't it? But smug means that you're living in alignment with your values. Yeah, like, I'm walking the talk.

Yeah. Here. I'm happy with my life. I'm happy with my life. I'm proud of my actions.

I'm making choices that I feel good about. And then smug is the result of being happy with your actions. Yeah. So why should that be a bad thing? I don't know.

It's od that we have these. So cohabitating. Can you do that? So when you're cohabitating with someone, that means living, right? Yeah.

Like you've got a kid. Do you live with a partner at the moment right now? No. So you've got a kid there, though. So you can't be making selfish decisions all the Tinae.

Right? So a friend and I were talking about parenting last night. Yeah. Like say you're head deep in the book and you're like halfway through the chapter and you're in flow and it's your jam and you're thriving. And then your kid's like, dad, we want to go here and explore this thing and you want to do both.

So right now my value system for parenting is I've done this since he was born. Like I said, he's twelve now. So for twelve years I always just do the right thing whether I want to or not. So I catch myself for a second, oh, I know why. Because it's friend of mine is pregnant and we were talking about what's to come because it will be her first.

And she was saying that everybody's scaring her. I said, look, it's. Oh, really? Yeah. Wonderful thing ever.

Yeah. So I said, look, there's this moment. That people scare pregnant women. There's this whinging. Do we use that word here?

Whinging? Yeah. Okay. It's a good word. So people, I think, like to kind of complain to get the little sympathy.

Just wait till they're two years old. That's going to be hard. Oh, just wait till they're six. I'm the parent that parents hate because I love it. And always I raved about, and they were like, just wait till they hit the terrible twos.

You'll see. And then the twos came and they were like cute little puppies, and I loved it. And then they were like, just wait until they start school and they'll get all Brady. And they were wonderful. And then they were like, wait until they're teenagers.

Teenagers are a nightmare. My teenagers are freaking awesome. And it's only now that they're old enough that I feel like I can say, we did good. Because you always live in fear that maybe we're not done yet, that this could turn. And then the heroin.

Now I feel like I'm far enough to go. No, we did okay. Yeah, I'm the same. And that exact same thing you said, too, that when the terrible twos didn't come, they said, well, I'll just wait till he's six, then you'll see. Okay, we shouldn't do that to each other.

My current approach, well, my approach to parenting is when he's like, dad, come crawl on the floor with me. Or whatever. My head is like, oh, I fucking don't want to. And I just take a second, I'm like, okay. Because I know it's the right thing to do.

Yes. So you're right. That is not selfish. Okay, maybe I wasn't. Because the value becomes higher when it comes to your kid.

Right? Yeah. So maybe I'm not saying everyone should always be selfish all the Tinae. I'm just saying it shouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. Yeah, I feel like we have, like three open tangents right now.

No, I'm good. Wait, but hold on. You were asking about. I was asking, what was the context of that last. The context of it was, how do you hold yourself to your priority when it's so noisy?

So I moved to New Zealand so that my kid could grow up in nature. But maybe even more importantly, I'm sure there's a place in northern California that has a lot of nature that I could have lived. I deliberately put myself on a Pacific island, far from everybody to help me say no to everything. So I knew that I wanted to create an environment where people wouldn't be inviting me to things anymore. Because he's in New Zealand.

He's gone. And sure enough, I'm glad I don't have the FoMO thing much because. Yeah, really. Some dear, very well connected, successful friends stopped calling when I moved to New Zealand because I used to be in the game and suddenly I wasn't in the game. I had dropped out and moved to a Pacific island and had a newborn.

And they're just like, they stopped calling and stopped inviting me to events. Stopped, yeah. And I had to be totally okay with that. But I created the environment that I knew would work for me. So we can do that with our own homes, with where you keep your phone.

I mean, can you imagine if, how by the front door, how someTinaes there's like a little bucket where you drop your keys? Yeah. Could you imagine if we just like, just dropped our phone there? Like. No.

A mobile phone is something you need when you're not home. And just like, that's it. And in the home, we don't have phones. Some people leave their shoes at the door. We leave our phones at the door.

Should definitely do that more. But you could choose to do that if you knew that that's the environment you needed to fit your value system. Because some people don't value that. They say, no. It's important to me that I'm connected and available to my team.

All the mean. Some people that works for they. That's what I didn't get to. I forgot to finish. The people with a Rolex watch.

Yeah, it doesn't work for me, but for some of them, it works for them. They might have even asked those philosophical questions about, like, what is it for? And they're like, well, to me, maybe. It can improve their perception of self, which then gets them to perform right. Or they could say, whenever I was a kid, I dreamed that someday I would look like this.

And now I'm being my highest self, wearing the best watch. That's a piece of art. And it reminds me to be my best. Whatever, if that works for you. I must say, when my last company got towards its end in the last couple of years, I got a BMW.

Like a fancy, sexy car, and I did love it. And then I wondered what that meant about me, that I loved it so much. And I'd walk up to it and go, damn, it's a sexy car, and I loved driving it. Would never buy one again. Don't need it in my life, but it was fun.

Yeah. So I kind of get it. Kind of get it. What does a meaningful life look like to you?

I don't think in those terms at all. I just do whatever's interesting me most right now, really. I think to say meaningful is to ascribe a plot. And again, for some people, feeling like their life is an epic tale that has great meaning and started here and is currently here, but it's going there and it's going to circle around. For some people, that story helps guide their actions and means a lot to them.

And I've considered it, but no, for me, I've just found what drives me best is to follow whatever interests me most, and I don't think of it. For that next little bit. Yeah. I don't think of it in terms of meaning at all. Yeah.

So, interesting. Yeah. A lot of these questions I'm not asking for a friend. Also, they're for me, but that's a big one that I have. The Anthony Robbins days.

I always had, like, life plan, life purpose, ten year plan broken into five year plans broken into one year plans broken into 90 day action steps, weekly KPIs, and then daily tasks like ninja level planning. So it was no wonder that I hit the wall with that. But since I've let that go, the reason I wanted to ask that question was, I have gone. Well, in the absence of that, do we really just go, all right, what's next? And just do the next thing.

It feels almost free fally without having that plan in place. Want to hear a big idea? Yeah. I haven't dove into this yet. Long term plans are who you were.

Today's plans are who you are. 100%. Isn't that badass? Yeah, I didn't come up with that. I just heard it, a version of that today, and I was just thinking about that.

Like, that's right. Long term plans are usually what you thought before. Yeah. And then today's reality can be different. So if you follow today's reality 100%.

Sorry. Even in a business, even, like, we're making our long term plans for a business, like, okay, but our clients are asking for this today, or things have happened in such and such in this way, and this is what our business needs today. Really? Business should be short term focused because it keeps it more, like, practical and attuned to the current reality of your clients. Yeah, this is very true.

So the other day, I was cleaning out a cupboard as you do, and found I wrote this book, like 101 dreams book that I had that was like a stationary thing that had it all written out, and I had the 101 goals. So talking about your plans are who you are then, not who you want to be in the future. And there was a ton that I have achieved and a ton that I have no interest in achieving anymore. And it was a really nice, I filled it in probably. I hadn't given birth yet, so I was 22, maybe, and I was looking at that and going, like, the chapters, everything that I wanted then is so different to what I want now.

Like, one of them was I wanted five investment properties and I wanted to be worth $10 million. And I had all of these set things that were so important at that Tinae of what I thought we needed to have. And I was really looking at that and going, how much? The chapters of life that we lead. And that was really written from the point of view of, I was newly married, didn't have any kids.

The whole life was stretching before me. I was a new adult and then looking at the chapter where I had babies, and that was a very different, limiting sort of existence there. And now I have man children, which is wild to me. And then soon they're going to be gone. And it's only now I've started thinking, well, what next?

Like, life as I know it is not going to exist anymore. Do you live in a chapter sort of way? Because, I mean, you're in New Zealand, right?

I mean, you nailed it, same as you just said. It's definitely. There's these errors in your is. Do you know what the chapter will be once your son grows up and moves out? Yeah.

Despite what I just said about long term plans, I make hundreds. I'm sitting there in my. Isn't that fun, though, having so many different realities in going, we could do this, we could do that, we could be this, we could be that. And then I'm like, I want to be it all. Yeah.

I don't know if you've done this. I used to dive into one at a Tinae. I'd be like, oh, my God, I know what I want to do. I'll just make up one sail around the world and I'll just get into. And let's just say I imagine I dive down the rabbit hole on this kind of boat and this.

And the plan, do you start to this? I do that and I might even go tell friends, guess what? I've decided that this is what I'm going to do. And then say, like, it's two months later and you're like, I want to have investment properties. Something that conflicts with sailing around the world.

Right? Yeah. And then that sailing around the world idea kind of fades and you go into the new, I'm going to be a dog trainer. See, that would conflict with sailing around the world. I'm going be to a dog trainer.

And then you kind of feel bad, like, oh, I'm an idiot. I changed my mind too much. So my solution is I made a folder on my computer called possible futures. And now every Tinae I have one of those, I fully realize that I open a new text file, and in the possible futures folder, I'll make sailing around the world. And in that file, I will dump all of my plans, my detailed sketches, exactly what boat I'm going to buy.

By the way, this actually helps me, that sailing around the world has never been one of my actual ones. It helps me to detach. Like, if I were to talk about one I really wanted to do, I wouldn't be able to talk with such detachment. But then in that moment, it feels like, oh, my God, I'm going to do this. But yet, just the fact that it's in a possible futures folder helps me either dive in or detach guilt free.

Because it's like, all right, this might happen because now there's like 120 things in there. And then when I get to a certain point in life when, say, like, I finish a project, I finish a book, I wrap something up, then I'm like, so what next? I'm like, all right, possible futures. And I'll open the folder. What is one that's in there?

That's really exciting.

I top my head right now would be to move to either Bangalore or Dubai. Wow. Two very different places for two different reasons. I already have a lot of friends in Bangalore, and I just went to Dubai for my first Tinae last year, and I'm currently fascinated with it. It is the bar in.

So more far removed from where you currently live. Is that the go? Let's just go crazy here and go from one extreme to another. I mean, it's still.

Talking about, okay, just like the state of Nevada has the Las Vegas Strip. But then there's also. Okay, that's the only Dubai I've seen. Have you been? Yes.

Okay. I've only seen the bougie. Okay. I will not look that direction. The only Dubai I'm interested in.

Okay. My good friend there, his grandfather built the first building in Dubai ever. Wow. He's an Emirati guy. That his great grandfather came up with that original tribe, like, 150 years ago from Abu Dhabi because they were having clashes between the Bedou tribes.

And they came up there to this little fishing village. It was like huts, and decided to make it their new place. And he's been teaching me about Emirati cultures and traditions, and I was like, that's the side I'm interested in. And I think it's interesting. I'll stick with the bar in Star wars metaphor that these strange creatures from around the galaxy come to Dubai, and you'll have the Nigerians with their green robes and then the Russians with their bellies hanging out and the sunburned Brits and then the Indians and the Pakistanis all together in one place, I guess, to conduct some trade and then get on their spaceship back to somewhere else.

And I just find it so culturally fascinating to talk with everybody there. So just one of the best days of my life was at the Dubai mall, sitting at the second level, where there's an escalator going up to the second level, an escalator to the third level. And I sat in a little tea shop there at the second level, and just, like, sat there for hours just watching these people in their different garb and their traditional robes and all that, just going by, just like, oh, my God. And for every muslim woman that was, like, completely covered, where you can just see her eyes, and then the next one comes by with, like, boobs out to here with the lips, and they're like, the horrifying plastic surgery, and it's like, this is fascinating. But to live there just because of that, I would let people know that I lived there, and I would try to meet all the people passing through.

That's what I did in Singapore for two and a half years. I was very public. Like, I live in Singapore now, and I got to meet everybody that was passing through Singapore. Even, like, the founder of Stripe was passing through Singapore. I was the only person he knew in Singapore that Tinae, so I spent the afternoon with Patrick Collasson, and then Kevin Kelly, one of my heroes, was passing through.

I was the only person he knew in Singapore, so I got to spend the day with Kevin Kelly. I spent his 60th birthday with him. So that's the strategy. Just position yourself at, like, a layover space. Yes.

You get to meet so many people, but just the mix of cultures. Like, when you're in Dubai, you could just literally, you just turn to anybody and you say, where are you from? It's like, I'm from Cameroon. Yeah, it's a different story. That's amazing.

Yeah. So anyway, sorry, that's one of my possible futures I might not do.

Yeah. It's still six years until my boy is done with school in New Zealand. So see how I feel in six years very fast. It's not very far away, but I'll. Keep that in possible futures.

I don't know. Wait, did that answer your question you asked about? Yes. What was the actual question? The question was meaningful life.

That's how we got there. Okay. Yeah. Which was really good. Yeah.

In what to do next with chapters. That's what we were looking at. Chapters, right. Yeah.

I would highly recommend that. There are very few things that I will say. Everybody, you should do this. Yeah. I think keeping a possible futures folder.

I love that idea. I think everybody should do that. Let yourself dive. I have too many that I. But that's what I mean.

It is the solution to having too many, to keep them all in a place. And then actually, let's say, I'll just pick another. The dog trainer went, say, like three years ago, you thought it would be a great idea to be a dog trainer. And then suddenly in 2024, you're just like, yeah, now you get to go back to that file, add on to it some more, add to what you've learned, and then maybe you leave it, and suddenly in 2027, you're just like, now that we're living off in this rural space, I'm going to do it. I've been thinking about this for years.

This idea won't go away. I really want to be a dog trainer now. And now you can refer to years of notes on it and the other 112 things that you're not doing, you can feel okay about. Yeah, this is the one for now. So I was talking to my coach the other day, and he's wonderful.

And he was telling me, though I struggle with this, not taking it slow, but going too fast all the Tinae. He's like, you've got to look at your Tinae, just even in a weekly view, not even in how many possible futures you want, but even just like, in a micro level, and only do the things that you value the most. And I'm like, I value all of it. I love all of it. There's none of it I want to say no to.

And you're super into stuff, too. Like, you get really excited about what you're doing, clearly, which I love. I am overly enthusiastic about all the things that I'm doing. So when I look at my schedule and look at what I want to say yes to. There's usually too much in there for the actual logistical Tinae and energy available.

So when you want to do more things and to talk with more people and to get into life, how do you discern when enough is enough?

I'm not sure if I'm understanding the question correctly. Again, the possible futures thing is, that was my way of managing the idea of wanting to do too much. Yeah. It's like, by knowing that I've saved all my thoughts about it. You can park it there and then.

You'Re like, it's good metaphor. It's parked there. I've got the keys to that car. I can go pick it up anyTinae. It helps me get, like, peace and closure to say, like, all right, I'm going to come back to that.

It's not that it's gone, so it's not like choosing one thing doesn't mean that the rest will never happen. It's just I need to do this one now to completion. I'll come back to that one later. Somehow that gives me peace of mind to throw myself into one. Yeah, because I'm just choosing it for now.

Yeah, because it's. For now I want to do things to completion. Right? Yeah. Like, when I have an idea for a book, I'm like, head down.

I'm just doing this. And it's like, oh, Tina, there's so many other things I'd like to be doing right now, but I'm like, I just have to finish. What am I typing? Like, I don't actually type like this. It'd take a while, but it's cute.

I feel like Linus at the piano, but I'll just throw myself into one thing, knowing, like, okay, this is for now, and I want to finish it. And then I'll lift my head up, look at the other things and pick another one. Okay, so that's with Tinae, with things. The minimalist thing. I have to ask you about the minimalist thing.

Do you really only have, like, two cups and, like, a few outfits of clothes? You do, actually, and you never go, I wish I had more variety. How many Tinaes have you moved house? Many. Really?

Yeah. We moved eleven Tinaes in 17 years. And now we've been in the one place for three years and we won't move until our kids are done. Okay. But despite that, I mean, each Tinae you pack up all your stuff and you don't resent it.

Well, I don't. I had a really interesting thing. We redid our wills, all our estate planning and everything. Like, a couple of months ago. And one of my best mates is moving house.

And he moved and left everything, sold all these furniture and just moved into the new house with, like, a suitcase. And I'm like, no moving trucks, no nothing. Anyway, the moment that I had when we were estate planning was I was going through and I was looking around my office, just my office, for example. There are beautiful trinkets everywhere. It is like, from my travels, I'll usually buy one thing that means something to me, and I put it there and I love it.

And I'm looking around and going, so what will happen to all of this? And so I asked my kids, I was like, is there anything here that you would want? And they both said one thing, neither of which was the thing that I would have ever thought that they cared about. And I'm like, what would you do with the rest? And they're like, give it away to someone that would like it, I guess.

Maybe take it to the nursing home. They might. And I was like, all of these treasures that I have collected mean nothing. But then I was looking at it going, no, I still love my things. Love my things.

I'm intrigued. Proven to have a powerful effect on your mind, to have certain things around. Even in academic situations, they did very subtle, almost subliminal things around the room, then asked people a questionnaire, and their answers were predictable based on the subtle things. Really. They would hide subtle little dollar signs done in an ambiguous way and then ask them questions.

Their answers were more selfish than if they had showed photos of nature or whatever. Then their answers were more like, and see, the. The stuff that's around us affects how we think. And so that can be a beautiful reason to have these trinkets that mean a lot to you because it's, like, helping you and you don't have that. I don't, no.

But someTinaes I think I should, like, oh, okay. I hear it's good for me to have trinkets around. Or even I went to a. So senTinaentality is, like, not a thing. It's mental, not physical.

Yeah, I'm very senTinaental with many thoughts and people and all that, but, like, the physical stuff, I think I just moved house so many Tinaes. I just. Yeah, I do it like a bigger truck every Tinae. Well, no, every Tinae I move, I do it like your friend. I always bring nothing with me but the.

Oh, I was in a. I was in a hotel once that recently had the big bookshelf with, like, 200 books on the wall. And I went, oh, God, that's nice. Like, right now, I just do ebooks. I have no.

You have no book? I don't have any books. You have no book? No. Even Derek.

Wow. So I actually thought of maybe going to a used bookstore or basically presenting a list of my favorite 200 books to a used bookstore and just saying, here, find them. Yeah. If you find these, I'll buy them from you. But I would only do it as visual props because I've already read the book.

I already have my notes, so I would do them as the visual props, like somebody putting pictures of nature around them, too. Wow. I have that in my office. Like, books, and they're color coded in a rainbow. All right.

You're not surprised, you nerd. Yeah. But I will go back, like, I have the notes from your books, for example. But I will go back and I will read it again, the whole book. Okay.

Because I don't just want the cliff notes someTinaes. I want. And what I find is there's another book that I just read that I hadn't read in ages, and 1 minute millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen. Love that book. But I read it, and I haven't read it for ages.

And when I read it, it means something different, or I pick different things up that I wouldn't have read and took note of before. I have reread, like, three or four of my favorite books ever. Yeah, it was weird rereading awaken the giant within last year. I might do that, too. Oh, it's so dated.

It's so weird. Yeah, I read it in 1989 or 90 when it first came out. It's referencing O. J. Simpson as a role model.

Michael Jackson, all these, like, 80s business role models, like the old president of Chrysler or something like that. I'm like, wow, these references. Nobody under 50 would know who these people are anymore. Yeah, but there's such a good message in the book. I feel like his team should rewrite it for him.

Strip out all the old references. Yes. Okay. I'll try and stay on track here. So useful.

Not true. Is coming out soon, which is. Yay. I'm still writing it. Do you know when it will be released?

Oh, there's no dates. We can't keep it. Sorry. And you self publish, too, right? Yeah.

Because you like the control over distribution or why do you go self published? That wasn't one of my questions that I'm curious. I did my first book self published because I couldn't get a publisher, because I was a no one. But then I did my second one published, and there's fours and against for both of them that I found. I was mentioning that my first book is the one that you can see the screen of, not the other one, because that's the COVID I designed.

My second book, Million Dollar micro business, the publisher designed. And it's cream, and I don't like cream. Right? Yeah. It feels weird to like something writing.

And I'm like, really? And it's about online business, and the icon on the front is a mouse with a cord.

Anyway, that's why I didn't love the publisher. But next Tinae I will get a deal to say that I have creative control, right? Yeah. I just found that my little nerdy reasons don't matter. I built

I was like, I can build a little store. Distribution wise, do you put it in all major bookstores or you mainly sell online?

Actually, for the first year or so, it's only on my website. I don't even put it in Amazon. Really? Yep. I'm like, no, screw Amazon.

I don't need to give Jeff any more money. Because you're famous. You can, right? Yeah, but I mean, we all mean, okay. It's easy to dismiss it and say, like, okay, but that's because you're famous.

But no, even me deciding to do that, I'm sure I'm cutting my sales in half by doing it, but it makes me happier. I've just noticed I am happier selling half as many books, but entirely through my store. Yeah. I mean, hell, even if it's a 10th, maybe I could sell ten Tinaes more books if I put it on Amazon from day one and did the whole thing people do. Like, hey, let's get the lead up to the first week of sales so I can be on the charts, so people can discover it.

I'm like, I'm letting go of all of that. Yeah. I will not be number one ever. And it's okay because it makes me happier to do it this way. What is your number one goal when you put the book out?

To be done with it.

Okay. What's number two? What is the number one goal when you write a book? Oh, it's different every Tinae.

All right. Okay, so check this out. Your music and people. I actually wrote first, and that was written from 1999 to 2005. It was my ongoing advice to musicians when musicians would say something like, hey, how should I price my music, actually?

And I'd write something to address that. And then musicians would say, let's just say whatever questions would come up. I'd write an article addressing that in a way that wasn't Tinaely, but more like philosophical. And then later, I put all of those together. I think there were like 88 of them or something like that, into a book called your music and people.

And so that had a goal of just. That was just collecting something I've already done. Then Seth Godin called and said, I'm starting a new publishing company and I want you to be my first author. And what can you say to that? But okay.

Yeah. So anything you want was written in eleven days because Seth asked me to. You wrote that in eleven days because. Those are stories I had already been telling to friends and at conferences I'd been on stage. Some of them were already written on my blog.

About half of them were already were. The other half I'd just been telling anecdotally at dinners and whatnot. And so when Seth said, put it into a book, I'm like, oh, all right. It's just telling my story. That's easy.

So there was no self discovery or learning in the writing of that book. It was just telling my story of what's happened in the past and the lessons I learned from it. Hell yeah or no was crazy book. Thank you. This one, how to live the crazy.

Oh, no. Yeah, no, sorry, we're talking. Hell yeah or no was again, just collecting up. People have been asking my advice about general kind of how do I make decisions in life? So again, I just collected together articles I'd already written and I just wanted to put it into one.

Like, there we go, it's done. So then how to live was. It's more of an art piece.

Did you read some by David Eagleman? No. No. Okay. So it helps to know on the first page of the book, it says, this is an homage to some by David Eagleman.

So David Eagleman is a neuroscientist that wrote a beautiful little fiction book with a weird format called sum spelled su m. And the subtitle is 40 tales from the afterlives. And it's 40 little two to three page long short stories that say, what happens when you die? And each one disagrees with the rest. So it's like when you die, you awaken to find out that in the last life you chose to be a human, but you could have chosen any animal.

And now it's your turn to choose again, to choose to be any animal you want. So you decide to be a horse. And then it's a fascinating little story, but then the next chapter, it'll say, when you die, you find out that you are an artificial intelligence program, that what you knew of as your life was actually the running of a program that is you. And now the program has ceased running. And the little cavemen type creatures that created you want to know the meaning of life, but everything you try to explain to them, they're too dumb to understand.

Then the next chapter will be like, when you die, you're in a giant mansion that is uninhabited, and you walk around for days and days like there's nobody there. Until you finally find somebody else and you say, excuse me, what's going on? And they said, oh, well, turns out that God is a creator, not a manager. He created life billions of years ago and forgot we exist. And everybody's waiting for him to come back, but he's not a manager.

He's not here. So that inspired you to write? Okay, so, yes, so this format of like, oh, my God, I love this. It's like every chapter disagrees with every other chapter. What a fun way to spin your head around.

And what a beautiful format it's like, because it's also like there's a piece of artwork in Wellington, New Zealand, where I live, right downtown, across from the new world supermarket, where there are, like a hundred sharks drawn by a hundred different artists, beautiful on a giant mural. And so every shark is, like, completely different. Like a different artistic rendering of a shark. But they gave them a certain, like, it has to be maybe 1 meter by a half meter, and it has to be facing left. Go.

And I just love that format of, like, having 40 different artists give the same challenge. So to me, the book sum was like 40 different answers to one question. What happens when you die? I love that book so much. I read it twice.

And one day I was, like, driving down the highway in South Island, New Zealand, and I went, oh, my God, I want to write a book called how to live in that format. Oh, my God, this is brilliant. I was like, and then every chapter is going to disagree with every chapter. Every chapter is going to say that it has the answer on how to live, and it's going to disagree with all the other chapters. I was like.

And I just started just typing. Seriously, feeling ever love it when you get that feeling? This is what I'm going to do. But then it ended up being this. Like, I want to put everything I've ever learned in my life into this book.

And so, Tina, I reviewed all of my notes from every book I've ever read, all of my diaries, everything I ever wanted my kid to know in case I die before he's older. I poured everything into the book, and the rough draft was 1300 pages. Wow. And then I spent two years editing it down to 112 pages because I like short books. Yeah.

So incredible that you wrote the others so fast. But then that one, did you care more about that one, or was that. Yeah, because it's more like poetry. It was such mindfuckery to read it. Thank you.

It was because I was telling you this before we hit record. But the others, I read, like, reading them. Not guru esque, but like that. Yes. You tell me, Derek, like, I'm ready.

I'm ready. And I was highlighting, and I was like, yes, I agree. This is amazing. And then I had that when I got that book out, and I was like, yes, I read it. And I'd read some, and I'd go, this is fantastic.

And then I'd read some, and I'd go, oh, we've taken a bit of a left turn here. This sounds a little bit different. I'm not quite sure on this one. And then it had completely disagreed with that. And I'm like, oh, I see what you're doing here.

But it was really good to sit. I have never read a short book so slow as that book. Cool. When I read each chapter and then sat there going. Just staring off into space, like, good.

What do I actually think? And do I agree or do I disagree? And it was beautiful for that. Thank you. Yeah.

What did you take from the last two pages with the two images? Oh, I can't remember the last really? Pages. So to me, it was the punchline. So that's what I was also stuck with for, like, two years.

How do I feel? Awful that I'm like, what? I don't know. The last two pages. How do I finish a book of this format?

Oh, yeah, the orchestra. So to me, the orchestra. So that is like, I'm going to put a picture of that in the notes below so that you can see it. But I was like, that went right over my head. Oh, good.

I was like, I don't think I'm not smart enough to get that. Okay. To me, the most beautiful. You'll have to explain it. Yeah, I'm about to.

Yeah. So to me, the most beautiful movies are the ones that when it's done, you kind of go.

I did do that. And it sits with you because you're like, wait, did he die or not die? Yeah. Wait, does that. What does that mean?

And I like when you kind of walk out of a movie with a question and ideally, a book could do that to you, too. But the thing is, unfortunately, no nonfiction books do that these days. They're all just like, well, here's the answer. Cut and dry. Here's the seven step program, and that's what you should be doing.

I know everything now. You know, go get them there. It's like you do it well.

There's no artistry who is just like, fucking business. And I was like, I don't want to write fiction. But you want it to be a bit whimsical. Yeah. Or, like, song lyrics that.

When you read Leonard Cohen song lyrics, that make you go like, that's an interesting metaphor. Why that. The tortured king. What is that referring to? I miss that artistry.

So it was actually a songwriter friend of mine that gave me a little encouragement to do this. When I said, what if I just left it open? And she's like, yeah, okay, so the whole point of the duck and bunny. Yeah. It's both, right?

Yeah. The question that the optical illusion asks you is, is this a duck or a bunny? And you're supposed to kind of, like, either pick or you're like, oh, well, at first I saw the bunny, but now I see the duck. Yeah. But then to me, I looked at this for a while, like, wait a minute.

It's not. Or. You don't switch from duck to bunny. It is a picture of a duck and a bunny, both at the same Tinae. I was like, that's like, how to live.

We don't say, okay, I did get it then. Okay. I think it meant more than what I. But, yeah, we don't say, is selfishness good or is it bad? Yes, can be.

Depends in some situations. And this and that. Should I be following my dreams or should I put my dreams on hold to serve others? Yes. Both in different Tinaes your life, different situations.

So the orchestra seating chart is the metaphor for the different Tinaes because music is Tinae and combining. So if you were to ask an orchestra conductor or say, composer, what is the best instrument in the orchestra? It's a moot question. What do you mean, the best instrument? SomeTinaes I need the violas.

SomeTinaes I want the Tinapanies. SomeTinaes I need all the brass. SomeTinaes I'm going to combine the piano and the cellos. So there are 27 instruments here. 27 that.

I've got you to explain that because I didn't get any of that from that. So that's so good. So it's like, there are Tinaes in your life when you need your trumpets to be playing. There are Tinaes in your life where you need to go get famous and try to get success. There are Tinaes in your life when you need to mute everything and go to the slow, steady pulse of a predictable, comfortable life.

There are Tinaes when you want the entire orchestra to play at once. And someTinaes it could even just be in the course of a day, you can wake up and have a very selfish hour to yourself before the rest. Of the very selfish day. Yesterday, I loved every second of it. Oh, that's right, you indulged here in Noosa.

It was so good. At a day of nothing in Noosa. And it was just like. I'm like, I should do that more often. Okay, all right.

Going to go over to money. Okay, wait, there's one last useful. Sorry, I accidentally nerded out on my books themselves. But you asked, what are my goals that I'm trying to write. I was really trying to say in the big picture that every book has had a different goal.

Yes. And so my next book, useful, not true, is a. I didn't start out knowing what I wanted to say already. I said, I want to learn more about this subject. So I've spent the last two years learning more about the subject.

So the purpose of writing this book has been for my own self. How long have you been writing this book for? Two years. Two and a half. Yeah.

A long Tinae. Yeah. And so staying on. Useful. Not true for a second, because I do think it is intriguing and I think it will be another similar to that in that it'll mess with our minds, hopefully a little bit.

What is a belief that you have had that you challenged or changed through the process of writing it? Was there one? Oh, always.

I mean, ideally my dream life would be to have a belief changed and challenged daily or weekly? Okay, let's just pick, because we mentioned it earlier, Dubai. If you would have asked me a year ago today, Dubai would have been on my top ten shit list of places I hope to never go in my life. Fuck that place. Shallow.

Would you call it the glitz bougie? Yeah, the bougie glitz. Hashtag Instagram influencer bullshit. Millionaire pandering. Fuck that.

And then I had an airplane layover, and instead of just 2 hours, I decided to make it two days. Then I read two books about United Arab Emirates and then one book that was fascinating about the history of Dubai itself, called City of Gold. It was really well written. It's like a page turner. Had me up all night.

I was like, oh, my God, this place is fascinating. Then I went there, then I met this Emirati guy that was teaching me more about the arab culture got me to go to the Alshandaga cultural museum, where I went to the perfume house, and that changed my life. Did you buy a perfume? Perfume has different meaning there. Homes are perfume.

Every home has a unique scent, and it's a big part of the character. And then when you have guests over, whether it's for hours or days, when you're ready for them to leave, you put on a different scent, which subtly kind of says, like, it's Tinae to go. Kind of the equivalent of.

Andy. And since I read, like, three more books about arab culture and I took something that I was prejudiced against a year ago and am now straight up prejudiced in favor of. And that's one of my favorite things. We take something that used to know nothing about or used to even be against, and you suddenly the world would. Be a much better place if more people did that.

I think, yeah, once again, something we can wholeheartedly prescribe. Everybody should do that. Yes, you should all. Not Dubai in particular, but we should all steer towards the things that we feel an aversion towards. Yes.

If you hate opera, you should get to know opera better. If you hate sports, you should get to know sports better. Drive into your blind spots. Yeah, I mean, I have pretty much in Spotify. Had my same Spotify wrapped every year for the last three years.

Same songs, same things. Very boring. Same with your movies should end open ended. I watch Hallmark romantic comedies. Don't know what that says about me, but love them.

Tinae to switch it up, right? Make yourself. Did you see poor things yet? No. Oh, that's Emma Stone's movie.

One of my favorite movies in years. Okay, I'll have to watch it. It takes repeated watchings, too, especially if you can rent it. Yeah. The first Tinae you see it, it's like, whoa, what the.

And then you watch it again. It starts to make more sense. Yeah. Okay. See, I love these things.

See, my younger son is into jazz and the distinguishment between New York jazz and New Orleans jazz. So he's been making these playlists, and now I'm listening to all of his music and love it and would have thought never anyway, so little things that can work as well. Question with useful. Not true. And I was listening.

My favorite interview I think I listened to of yours was the one you did with Mark Manson. It was with and reading a lot of the chapters that you've published on your blog as well. Do you ever get tired of thinking about thinking?

No. You never wish you could just shut it off and go, enough of the examining. You just want to just chill ignorantly. No, it's just my favorite thing. I just love thinking of different perspectives.

Yeah, it's one of the greatest choice in life. And it never switches off in your brain? No, not really. And that doesn't get exhausting? No, because it's just my favorite thing.

It's the thing I love most in life is thinking. It's interesting. Yeah. I've been doing a lot of work on it in the last few years, but one thing that I said to my coach is, some days I just want to stop thinking about thinking. I'm now thinking so much about thinking and what I'm thinking and questioning what I'm thinking that I'm like, oh, my gosh, enough.

Okay, look. Every week I reliably spend 30 hours a week, one on one with me and my kid. And when I'm with him, my own ambitions are on pause. Parked. And he leads the way and I just follow.

And if he wants to go surfing, then we're going surfing. If he wants to play in the forest, we play in the forest.

He last week decided he wanted to learn to sew. We started sewing last week in a way that kind of turns off my brain because I'm just there fully engaged in whatever he's doing. Yeah, that's good. Okay. When you think of successful, who's the first person that comes to your mind?

Me. Smug?

No. Sorry. That's just ridiculously honest. I'm not saying I'm the epitome of success, but aren't we all thinking of ourselves first? With almost anything in life?

No. Okay, but hold on. No, I don't think we are. Okay. But if you say something like, who's the first person that comes to mind when you think of watches, then wouldn't you just kind of think kind of consciously, your brain is thinking, well, my watch, because you're thinking, like, because everything's kind of filtered through my desires.

So my honest answer with that is like, well, I think of myself first because I think, wait, successful compared to water, who? What is my definition of success? Oops, I'm thinking about me now. So my brain didn't just jump immediately to Richard Branson or something. My brain thought of myself first, and then it's, wait, wait.

What is my definition of success? And then there's the answer to your question. I thought of myself first. Yeah. What is your definition of success?

Just achieving what you set out to achieve. That's it. That's it. Yeah. If you set out to write a great poem or bake a great cookie and you did it, then that's the success.

That's it.

Sorry. Probably not because you've got a different definition of success, but was there, like, a point that you felt like you made it like you are living and you did achieve what you set out to achieve?

Probably when CD baby got momentum. Meaning when it was clear that people really like this thing, because it was the first Tinae in my life that I felt I was rolling downhill instead of uphill. And I mean that as far as eaves, like, all my years trying to be a musician, I mean, I was trying to be a successful musician. It just felt like every door I tried to open was in Australia, we. Say pushing shit uphill.

There you go. Yeah, I was just about to say it just felt like everything was uphill. Yeah, I was pushing shit uphill for years, and then at the age of, what, 28, 29? I started CD baby when I was 28 or so, and then just, like, people just started signing up for it and then more and more, and then people telling their friends, and suddenly everybody was, like, banging down my door to do this thing that I did in three days as a hobby. And, sorry, I guess it took two weeks to set it up, but that was the first Tinae I felt like maybe once that kept going past two weeks, and then it was, like, three months into it and people keep coming my way, I was like, wow, I've really made something people love.

Yeah. And from that point on, you're like, I'm my own version of success. Oh, I'm my own version of success. Yeah, I love that.

Yeah. I guess a lot of my actions have been filtered through that. I mean, I'm being stupidly honest here. I know. Like, I'm saying things that we're not supposed to say.

Why aren't we supposed to? Even when I heard myself say that thing earlier about, like, well, social media was invented after I was successful, it's like, fuck, that's honest. But, yeah, I guess that's true. I mean, it's a reality. I'd be doing some weird lie if I said otherwise.

I love that. Yeah. So I guess since then, it's like, well, I've got my own version of success that I know people are happy with. Ten years of running the company, I knew that my clients were really happy. The fact that I didn't drive a fancy car or have a fancy watch was a good thing.

Maybe I even added to my brand or whatever, even though I didn't think of it that way, but maybe people saw that. It's just like added to my brand. You know what I mean?

I haven't done it in years, but for most of my years at CD baby, I had a really funky haircut. I had really long dreads in back. Have not seen that picture for 14 years. Yeah, there aren't many pictures of it online, but there are a couple. It's because you don't have pictures on your website.

No. Why? I don't know. I don't have pictures of my phone either. What?

Yeah, I don't take pictures. I'm just not into it. Really? Yeah. I think I have maybe half a million pictures on my phone.

I'm sorry to hear that. No, my kids were asking me about this the other day because they're like mom, always with the photos. I picture my old age sitting in a really comfy chair, just reliving my life, watching my photos. I don't have a great memory. And I love photos.

Love them. I will watch, like, every plane flight I go on. I sit there and I flick back through there through life. And I love it. See, I do that with my diary.

I've kept a diary every day. Are you ever afraid of someone finding it and reading it? No. It's like super encrypted on my encrypted hard drive. Of course it is.

You don't write it. You type it. Yeah. Lock it away. Locked inside an openbsd.

What about when you die? Will it be made available or. It's going forever. Maybe just my son. Yeah, I would let him have it.

You don't write naughty stuff in there. Even if I did, he'll be old enough by then. Hopefully.

But I relive my past through my diaries. It's really interesting to see my inner dialogue. Monologue. Dialogue. Whoa.

Wow. Inner monologue would just be what? Inner dialogue is talking to yourself. I know mine's a monologue. My inner monologue, dating back decades now.

It's fascinating to not just look, but to see what I was thinking inside back then. So I do go through this. Yeah. With money. Oh, right.

You kind of mentioned this a little bit before. One of my most disliked sayings is money doesn't buy happiness. Because I think that if you've been broke, there's a very big difference. Where do you stand on that? And is there a level, do you think that it's easier for you now?

But you already said that you're very disconnected from money and the financial gains before the success of CD baby. But is it easier now to not worry about money now that you've got your trust set up? Or do you want to explain what you did with all the money when you sold CD baby as well? No, I think that we all have a set point where we're happiest. Something that feels, know, these clothes fit me.

And I mean that metaphorically. Like, this amount of money feels like who I want to be. And for some people, let's say, Richard Branson, I mentioned him earlier.

I think he's got two or three autobiographies. Like one or two that's like him personally and one or two that's like the history of virgin. So I read all three, and it's interesting that over and over again, he seems to find great fun in sport into getting his back against the wall in some sort of desperation, like borrowing money from the bank and then getting it till the final hour to having to quickly find a way to pay back the bank. And that's what made some of the most amazing things in his career happen, was the desperation of needing to pay back the bank. And he seems to just be having fun with it.

So to him, I think money just represents a kind of scorecard. No, I think it's just he likes the action of doing things, and then if it's making money, then it's doing the thing he set out to do, but it seems to all be fun for him. Right. But then there are other people I know that they're just not. Even if they've got a million dollars or whatever, it's just not enough, man.

I'm just really trying to get here, and they're, like, unhappy with themselves until they get to this point. But then, I don't know many people this way, but I've read stories of the people who say, like, win the virtual lottery, and they instantly blow it on this and this and that. And they come down to here, and the argument is like, well, that person's set point was probably more like, this is how they see themselves. And so if the world gives you this much, you knock yourself down to how you see yourself. So, in my own case, yeah, I might be a little bit like one of those knock myself down types, but instead of blowing it on stupid things, once I had enough and then way more than enough, I just reorganized my stuff so that I haven't made money.

Last Tinae I made money 2008, and we're 2024 now speaking. And books? No, all these books. I haven't made a dollar off any. It all goes straight into a charitable foundation I set up.

And so I set it like, my Sivers, Inc. Publishing company is owned by the foundation. So it's like, not a single dollar ever comes to me. But that was my way of saying, like, okay, I'm happiest with this set point. So, yes.

So money did. Fascinating. Thank you.

I think too much. I've thought a lot about this stuff. So when it happened that say, like, the. The. I remember the first Tinae.

So when CDbaby was happening for ten years, I was just. I wasn't looking at the bank account. I was just head down, focused on my clients and trying to run things. And I'd look at the bank account, and it's like, whoa, I've got $100,000 now. Wow.

Because before that, I was, like, a broke musician for ten years, just, like, working hard to get another $500 to pay my cost. I remember when I had $10,000 in my bank account and went, oh, my gosh. Yeah. Thought that was a dream. Yeah, me too.

And so I was just head down and working. When the bank account said $100,000, and then it said 200,000 and then 300,000, I was like, wow. And I remember right around somewhere, like, around 200,000 or 300,000, I thought, I think I'm set for life now, because that amount, like, I know that I've lived on $20,000 for it. $20,000 a year. Yeah, I've lived on 20,000 a year.

Wouldn't cover my kids grocery bill. Yeah, I lived very cheaply for years. Like, I had three roommates, and I just ate peanut butter sandwiches, and I just never took a taxi. I just kind of lived simply. But the point is that around that point, I thought, wow, okay, so I could invest this money.

If I put it into etfs or whatever, it would do about 8% per year. And now that it's $250,000, that would be about $20,000 a year, just in interest. I think I'm all set now. And so everything after that point, after 250,000, felt like just cherry on top, whatever. And so then the bank account became, like, 1 million, then 2 million, then 3 million, then 4 million.

And I was like, jesus, man. And I had about 4 million in the bank when I sold the company for 22 million. So that gives a little more context for what's in the story. When I was like, wow, okay, so I've got 4 million. I've already paid off all my debts.

I've even helped my parents pay off their debts, not mortgage. Everything just paid off. And I still have 4 million in the bank. So when the company buying my company said we had the price of 22 million, it's like, wow, what the hell am I going to do with $22 million? And I really spent hours and hours and hours in my diary asking myself, what should I do?

What could I do? What's another way I could be thinking of this? I thought I could buy many homes. And I was like, but I'm only. I could buy many homes.

I could get a fancy car like, you couldn't pay me to own a Ferrari.

So then I just really thought, like, yeah, the only rational thing to do is to give it to people that need it. If I'm sitting here trying hard to figure out how I can spend it, take a hint, like, there are people that really need it, and if I'm trying to spend it, that's just rationally stupid. I can't rationally live that way. But you live on more than $20,000 a year now. I guess with good luck.

Sorry. It was lucky that my lawyer at the Tinae that was putting together the whole deal to sell the company had a background in tax law. So he said, basically, eric, congratulations. You're going to have $22 million soon. I went and he said, what are you going to do with it?

I said, I'm just going to give it away. He said, are you serious? I said, yeah, I've thought a lot about this. I'm just going to give it all away. And he said, how serious are you?

I said, completely serious. He's like, irreversibly. I went, yeah. And he said, because in us tax law, there's a way that we could set this up so that your. Instead of $22 million coming to you, you pay $7 million in taxes and give 15 million to charity.

We can put the whole company into a charitable trust. Now, the entire $22 million will go to charity. And never touch your hands. I said, that's what I want. I want it to never touch my hands.

So you don't live off that at all. Okay, so the whole $22 million went into a charitable trust that then pays me out a bit for you while I'm alive. Yeah. Interesting. Which even then was more than.

I only wanted 1%, but the US minimum was 5%, so then I just reinvest. Whatever. Do you travel economy or business class? Economy. Yeah.

Like, of course you do. And I drive the cheapest electric car on the market. Yeah. So money is definitely not a thing. Well, it's okay.

No, but I still. Look, I don't want to sound like I'm not trying to look at me. Look how minimalist I am. It's really more like it makes you happy. Well, you said, okay, the money can't buy happiness.

It absolutely did for me up to that point, yeah. So one Tinae, a dear friend of mine was, this is years and years ago, we were in Portland. This is like, back when I had, like, $2 million in the bank account. And she was somebody that was, like, 22 and ambitious and wanted to get successful. I remember that.

We were good friends, and. Yeah, you know it well. She was a lot like you, I think. And she kind of looked at me, and she's like, but we weren't talking money at all. We were just talking about life.

And she asked me a question. I said something that she thought was like, wow, that's a really good answer. And she goes, how are you so happy all the Tinae? And I went, well, first you get a million dollars. Yeah.

She just thought that was the funniest damn thing. She laughed so hard because money often has these loaded connotations. I was like, well, it's honestly helped a lot. Having a million dollars in the bank gives me this crazy sense of security of, like, you know, it's going to be all right no matter what happens. I could have a major medical problem.

That's what it was to me, is the psychological advantage of not being desperate. Yes. To me, that's still what it represents. Money represents status. To some people.

I have no associations with status. To me, it's all about protecting the downside. It's all about, like, I just keep it there in a little account, doing nothing. I live as cheaply as I can so that if something terrible happens, I can feel okay. Yeah.

But it's also like my son at the moment, my oldest son, he has his sight set on being a professional golfer, which the ods are very small. There's not many people that make it. But he's very determined and planned and going for it, which I love him going for that dream. But it's an expensive sport. You've got to pay to play with that, to get into the right places at the right Tinae.

And we have had massive discussions on. Both my kids had jobs as soon as they hit 14, so they could go and get their casual jobs, but he can't play tournaments on the weekend with that, so he's had to stop his job, which means we financially support him. And I'm going, like, the whole lessons around money and what it takes and how much you need to be able to do the different things. What do you think on that? Oh, I mean, if that's.

That's like one of those. I'd put that in with the downsides. Like, yeah, okay, well, you know, if I have a major medical problem or if I have a kid who wants. Whose dreams is something expensive, well, because. We'Ve been there going, you know, we could make him do, like, get him to do night jobs and different things, like, really get his grit on.

But then is it not our job to try and open as many doors for him as possible? It's a really difficult. There's no right answer. Yeah, right. And it's to do with a lot, with his nature and disposition and your situation.

Yeah, totally. Anyway, found that really interesting. Okay, so with people that are driven by money, do you see a point in their lives that it no longer becomes the thing? Or has everyone got that different set point? Or have you known people that.

So what I'm asking, actually, I'll rephrase the question. So I have my number. I know other people have their number. I know people that have got to their number and gone, done great, safe, right? And they then set about the whole, do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

And then they go and they live this beautiful life. And then I've known other people whose bar just keeps going up and up and up. What have you seen most?

Wow, that's a good question. Let's just say that I've got a couple good friends that got rich and then just kept raising the bar. And it really frustrates me because I can't relate at all. And they say it like, well, you know how it is. I mean, you just want to get to the next tier.

I'm like, no, I can't relate. At mean, that, to me, is as foreign as if you hear some crazy belief, like, well, women in India, if their husband dies, they'll throw themselves onto the burning fire. I'm like, in what world would that ever happen? That's how I feel about people who pursue more money than they need. I'm like, I do not understand that.

I'm a thoughtful person. I try to understand this. I can't imagine somebody who has 10 million thinking that they need 100 million. I just can't fathom that. To me, it's like, if you have $10 million, fucking stop.

You've won the game. Quit playing. Put down the dice. You've done it. I'm actually thinking of like a board game.

As if you play Monopoly and it's okay, you've won. It's like, no, keep playing. Seriously, go to sleep. You've already won.

That's how I think about it. I don't rationally get it again, unless somebody. It's like pure joy. Like the Richard Branson just wants to keep making companies. Who knows if he's looking at the bottom line, it seems like.

But I do know I have a few friends that keep wanting to raise that target. And again, I'm trying to understand that. I'm trying to understand that maybe we'll put it in the frame of my useful. Not true. Maybe that's a useful belief for them.

Maybe to feel alive is to have a pursuit. And we all want to have a pursuit. And maybe there's nothing more depressing to them than the thought of feeling done. They never want to arrive. They always want to have the carrot.

And that's where that metaphor comes from, right on the stick, that you never quite get to. Maybe they just like the feeling of continuing to go. What do you think the commonality is between the people that set their bar of enough, reach it and go to sleep. They've won the game. I'm the only person I know, really, my good friends that has done that, really.

But hold on. But then I have lots of friends that just money is just not a thing. Like, they're pursuing other things. They're trying to be great musician as long as they've got. One of my best mates just sold his company for a lot and now he's writing novels.

Okay. And he would go in your camp. Okay, cool. Yeah. I haven't met many like that.

So Morgan Housel, who wrote the psychology of money, he and I have been emailing about. He's one of those people that said, like, well, everybody knows the feeling of you always want more. It's just human nature. And I was just like, Morgan, no. This is not true.

I was like, come. So he actually said, well, then, congratulations, Derek. You're the only person I've met that hasn't. No, come on. I can't be the only one.

Okay. But I do have a lot of friends that are just. They're living their life. They're being. One of my best friends is a therapist.

Another one of my best friends is an illustrator. It's fine. They're earning enough to pay their cost of living and they've got some savings. It's fine. We never talk about money.

But then I do have a couple of their friends that are really, like. They're really driven by money. Yeah. Okay, I want to ask my final chapter in our conversation, entrepreneurship. Okay.

Do you think entrepreneurship is for everyone? Do you think they're born or made?

I mean, not for everyone. I've never really understood that you say that. Oh, good. I mean, I've never really understood the born or made. Definitely not for everyone.

I mean, everybody has different values, and that's so wonderful that we don't all value the same. Some people really just want to be, like you said, at home with the. Kids. Or they just want to be comfortable, or they just want the security of a steady paycheck. They want this number to come in every Friday exactly as such.

They want to know that that's there. They want no risk. Yeah. Everybody has their different values, and it's wonderful. So it's definitely not for everyone.

I ask because I know recently, like, probably in the last five to ten years, entrepreneurship has been really glamorized in a way. And there's so many people, and our failure rates for businesses starting and ending are so high. And I wonder if that's because people think that they're being told entrepreneurship is for everyone. Everyone's got a business in them. Everyone can do it, and it's just like a field of broken dreams everywhere.

That messaging is a bother for me, and the messaging that by you kind of have been this is that it just happens by accident, and you can work for 15 minutes a day and become rich, of which I don't think is true in any way, shape, or form.

Yeah, everybody's got their different nature that works best for them. Even the whole. I mean, let's. Let's use a famous example of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. That's like, I know a lot of Steve Wozniak types, and I'm kind of one of them.

I think if I would have been in that situation, I would have rather found a Steve Jobs. You go do the onstage salesy shit. I'm really enjoying being in my Unix terminal, nerding out on my postgresql database. I don't know what any of that. I just.

I really love the nerdy side of it. A few different Tinaes, I've tried to hire a programmer to hand off my programming, and just even in the act of preparing my project to be handed off to somebody, I'm like, no, I love it too much. It gives me such joy, actually. That's one of those other things when I said, my friends have told me that I'm happiest when I do one thing all day, my friends have also told me that they've heard me for years being happiest when I'm programming all day. I love programming.

Yeah. How do you reconcile that with, like, when you put a book out and you. Well, maybe this is wrong also. So my question was going to be, but correct me if I'm wrong, you've got to promote the book, and you're doing many interviews and you're doing speaking, putting your face out there. How do you reconcile that with the programmer deep thinker that wants to be by yourself?

I like the balance. I think if I was only programming all the Tinae, I'd get really lonely and I'd want to book a flight to Dubai and go meet 100 strangers. But if I had been in Dubai, talking to 100 strangers every day for 100 days, there'd be nothing I want more than to be alone in a forest in New Zealand with my unix terminal. Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense.

But everybody has their own. Okay. My problem with some of this advice giving, like, all right, what's your morning routine? All right, you heard that, everybody? This is what your morning routine should be.

It's just everybody has such different natures. You just got to be listening to yourself, to notice when your heart is singing versus shrinking, and to look at your past behaviors. This is one of the biggest insights I've ever learned is your actions reveal your values. So no matter what you say value, just look at your past actions and it'll tell you what you value. If you say, I really want to start a business, I really want to start a business.

I really want to start a business. But you've been saying that for years without doing it. It would be the right thing for your friends to say. No, you don't. You do not want to start a business.

Please stop saying that. If you wanted to start a business, you would have done it by now. And same thing with anything. I want to get fit. I really want to get fit.

No, I really, really want to get fit. No, you don't. Yeah. That's not really your value system. Yeah.

As a result. Don't want the work. That's the situation I've been in for a lot of it. Right. Which is okay, because some people, they hate a day without going to the gym.

Yeah. I'm not one of those people. You're not one of those people. Great. The different values.

So I highly recommend to everybody, look at your past actions to see your values, notice what you've done in the past that made you the happiest and remember that and use that. Or just notice what you've steered towards in a way that obviously not the things where you're like deeply embarrassed and gritful. I used to keep grabbing the whiskey bottle. Okay, that doesn't mean that's what you should keep doing. Yeah, good distinction.

Thank you. But God, it's been so helpful to me to know myself better through looking at my actions instead of my theoretical. I do think someTinaes we're too busy in daily life to notice all those Tinaes that our heart sings and sinks. Right. I think that's to take pause and notice.

That is a really valuable skill that would probably become come very naturally to you. Did it come naturally personally? Yeah.

No, I don't think so. I think I overthink things.

In all the right ways. No, in the wrong ways. An old, old, old friend, it's actually my old boss at the circus, I've known him since I was 1718 and yeah, he always would tease me when I start doing something new. He goes, now Derek, don't overthink it. He goes, you always overthink things and wreck them.

Just try not to overthink this. And it's something I've heard a few different people that know me well say, so. No, I think I overthink to a fault. Have you tried to change that or you can't change that? Unless I really wanted to.

I guess I could, but I'm happy with it and maybe it's just enough correction.

So I don't think I'm a natural at noticing what makes my heart sing. I think I have to almost stop and pay attention to that. Yeah. When you reflect on the business that you built, what was your greatest moment of joy that you had? Is there one that stands out?

I think it was that thing I said where I stopped. What did you say? Pushing shit uphill. Yeah. Was that a moment or was that more an error?

It was almost a moment. There was like a certain month when suddenly just, I went from getting two sign ups a week to getting ten sign ups a day or whatever. I was like, whoa, this is still rolling. I was like, people really like this thing I've made. Yeah, that felt like the biggest moment in my entrepreneur history.

Wow. With you putting so much of your beautiful overthinking thoughts out into the world, do you ever get worried about negative backlash? Do you ever get any negative backlash or any sort of like. I know for most people that I work with. It's the fear of putting themselves out there that stops them from spreading their ideas.

Do you ever feel that? Yeah, I have an about page on my website. I don't know if you saw it, it's long. And I say some stuff in there that felt almost too personal. It was like an experiment to put that on a page and I put it up there and nobody said anything.

And then I started to get a few emails like, wow, this really meant a lot to me that you said this online because I feel the same way and I've felt so bad that I feel this way. And the fact that you said it on your about page was really like the most heartwarming thing to me. I was like, wow, okay. So I guess I just started getting rewarded. It's going to say rewards, rewards.

Rewarded for the Tinaes when I said a little more than I thought I should have said. Yeah. And so sorry to be meta here for a second, but even in moments like this, you asked me a couple of questions today that I just, it's like my brain quickly went, like, I could say the thing I'm thinking or dodge the thing I'm thinking. I was like, fuck it. Let's see what happens.

I'm going to say the thing. Maybe somebody will get upset, we'll find out. But so far, every Tinae I've said the thing that seemed too personal or too audacious or too rude or too direct, and I had a couple of those today, people will later pull that out as like a funny pull quote. Yeah, all right, fuck it. If that made for a more interesting, if I could be a better entertainer that way.

Hey, great. So, no, I've been rewarded for putting myself out there. Yeah, I've tried it both ways. I've tried to be aloof and I've tried to be too personal. Just I've experimented with both and go with it.

Being a little too personal seems to work for people. I mean, that's what people want, right? Yeah, totally. That is all my big questions. Now I have a couple of quick questions.

Great. To finish us off, what are the top two to three books that you recommend?

Okay, well, my real answer is to go to my book list on my website. Yes. And I don't mean to just do. You know, I love how you do that. A couple of the conversations that we've had and you've like, pulled in the different articles that you've already written on your website, it's like a systems manual for you.

Thank you. Yeah, I like this. I need to do this myself. This is great. Here's an answer that I've already answered 100 Tinaes before.

Take it. This is no new information. My illustrator friend that I mentioned earlier often will ask me something, and I'll answer with one of my URLs. And that's why, if you notice, like, all my web articles have really short URLs, it's because I memorize them. So I know that.

So you remember everything that you've written in the past? Mostly, really, but I memorize the URLs of the one that especially mean the most to me. So I know that if she said something like, if I'm talking about parenting, I know I type s I v e r s p a send is my article on parenting. The pa I know is. So I made it that way on purpose.

She laughs that she'll ask me some random question by text, and I'll answer with a URL. And she'll always reply with a little ha ha. Of course you have a website about or of course you have an article about that already.

Book list. My book list. It is the best answer to I could tell you two books right now, but it would be like, I want. To know your favorite. Do you have a favorite?

Well, the one that changed my life the most was awaken the giant within. But that's because I was 19 and I wouldn't say it's a great book. When I reread it last year, I was like, ooh, wow. Incredibly verbose. It's like 700 pages or something, but there's a lot of good shit in it.

But years ago, when I met Tina Ferriss for the first Tinae, I told him I loved that book. And he went, he said, I read that book. It did nothing for me. He said the book I loved was the magic of thinking big. Yeah, I love that book.

But I read the magic of thinking big. I went, oh, I love that. It did nothing for me, but I thought it was. Maybe it's because I've already read enough books that were similar to it. And then, so it's really interesting.

The order that you read in makes a big difference. So I read a fascinating book called stumbling on happiness. I loved it so much that I read another book about happiness called the how of Happiness by Sonia Lambersky. And I loved that one. And then I read a third book on happiness that everybody was raving about, and I was eh.

And it's because it was covering the same stuff I just read in the other. But if I had read them in the other order, then the book that I went would have been my favorite. And the book that was my favorite would have been the, eh. So that's why I feel weird about saying like, okay, everybody, here's what you need to read. Totally.

At the Tinae, I took a month off over Christmas, which was glorious, and I read, I'm going to get the title wrong, Benjamin Hardy. It's like, be your future you now, or future you now, or be your future self now, something like that. One of those. It was. I was like, this is the best book I've read in a long Tinae.

But after I was like, it is a brilliant book, but it was the brilliant book that I wanted to read. Right at that Tinae. Right? Yeah. And had I read it when I was in hectic day to day life, I don't think it would have had the same.

Right? Yeah, same with your book. I picked up anything you want. A friend of mine had recommended it, and I picked it up on the aeroplane and went on, read it on the plane and just read it and read it again and sat there staring out the window, looking at the clouds going, thinking about all the things which I think would have been different had I not actually had my head up above the cloud. Right?

Yeah. It's different books for different chapters in your life. My best advice for books, instead of having somebody say, these are the two best books you should read, my best advice is to get a collection. Whether you just put them into like an Amazon wishlist or you just go buy the paper books and keep them stacked up, the book you need next can someTinaes be like almost down to the hour that there can be a certain book that you need right now, that you're hitting a real frustration or you're trying to make a big decision and you think, you know what I need right now? I need to lay on the sofa for 2 hours with a book about decision making right now.

That's what I need right now. Or you asked about the stopping thinking. Yeah, I just want to lay down and read a book about chinese culture right now just to get my head out of the other thing I've been doing. Do you read a lot of fiction? No, I watch a lot of movies.

To me, movies are my fiction format.

Books are my only nonfiction format. I don't like podcasts, I don't interesting like videos, because for both of those I hear these brilliant ideas and then they just kind of like keep going in the stream of Tinae and going, oh my God, I'm on this walk in the forest and I know I did that. Last weekend, I was listening to a podcast episode, and it was so good that I had to sit down. And then I went across to the cafe and got some paper and a pencil, and then I just sat and listened to the rest of it. Without walking.

Yeah, because I was doing a walk. Exactly. And I was like sitting there listening to it. I'm like, I almost need. This is like a classroom situation.

It was such a good episode. Do you remember what it was? Yeah, it was your friend Tina Ferriss interviewing the CTO. Okay. Okay.

It's amazing. I have to read that one. Yeah, but that's my problem. No, I listened to Tina's interviewing the Spotify person straight after. It was the Lenny podcast interviewing the Netflix CTO.

Okay. Yeah, Lenny. I'd never heard of it before. A friend of mine sent the episode and I was like, because I'm trying to be a better leader at the moment to learn to manage people. And she was amazing and I needed to take many notes.

Not that anybody needs to hear this from me, but I think whatever format works best for people. You shouldn't think that you should use some other format because other people are. If you just love short form videos and that's how you learn, and if that works for you, then don't think that you're supposed to be reading books. Like, oh, I'm a bad person because I don't read books. Well, if it doesn't work for you, yeah, talk about actions revealing your values.

If you just don't want to read books and you think, like, I should read a book, then just don't. Just go with whatever is working for you. To me, laying down or sitting down and reading a book is like the most indulgent, decadent, delicious thing. That's why I was so surprised you don't have a bookshelf. To me, like, a tablet is not the same as picking up a book.

And the smell of it and the feel of it and writing notes in there and the back pages, I write all my thoughts and I love them. See, my system is in my ebook reader. I have a thing where every Tinae I read an interesting idea, I hold my finger down on it. I drag over the idea I liked, and when I let go, it creates a highlight. When I'm done reading the book, I connect a USB cable.

It connects a highlight, and then I go through those highlights and I put them into my own words. And then now they're in a system in text files that I review. Often I come back to this often they're all searchable by word or phrase or date. So I can say, show me all the books that mention commitment. Oh, that would be cool.

That's why I love digital, why I love my text files. I said this idea of, like, I do that with my diary, too. Yeah.

Show me all of my thoughts on Erica the week we met. And there it is. Right away. I don't have to. Erica is your ex wife?

No, no. Who's Erica?

Okay. Actually, you want to know one of my favorite people I've ever met? Maybe even my hero, Erica Lemay, You could see her. I will.

She is an aerial artist that I got to know in 2017. Oh, cool. And just one of my favorite people on earth. Yeah, she's a superhero. I love that.

She's like a living superhero. She's like the nietzsche talks about, the Ubermensch. She's living it. She's amazing. Favorite show you've recently watched?

We know it's not reality tv. Do you watch tv? Just movies. Just movies.

I will translate your word show to mean movie. Poor things. Yes. That's my candidate. Yeah.

Different people take different things out of this movie. Is it? Yeah. Yeah. Probably not for me.

But Bella, the main character that Emma Stone plays, I saw as a wonderful role model of learning. The movie starts when she's basically a day old, and you watch her learn and become sophisticated and go from mentality of a one day old into being really sophisticated. But it happens quickly.

No, I can't wreck the spoiler. Okay. But other people say, oh, yeah, poor things was a brilliant metaphor of how women are treated in the media as how they're infantilized. Is that how we pronounce it? By some and respected by others until they prove themselves.

Whoa. I didn't get that reading. Wow. So it's one of those movies that can mean different things to different people. But I saw it in the cinema in New Zealand.

I just walked out, just like, whoa. I, like, thought about it for days. I kind of want to have a little Bella action figure on my desk, which is just like, yeah, her character was really inspiring, too. I might try the dark. Is there a question that you ask people to get to know them without too much small talk?

That was a good one.


Because you don't strike me as, like, much of a small talky guy. I can really? Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

I mean, it's. I'm not good at small talk. Well, my friend Tina came to visit from America. He came to visit me in Wellington. I think he was just passing through for a day or two.

And Tina calls himself an extrovert, and I've always called myself an introvert. We hung out for, like, three or 4 hours where he met me at my apartment in central Wellington. And we walked around for a bit and met somewhere and then went back to my house. That's it. We just kind of went out to get something to eat and then came back to my apartment.

And as we came back to my apartment, he goes, I think you just talked to more people in the last hour than I've talked with in weeks. I went, really? And he goes, dude, you talk with everyone everywhere you go. I guess so. I think I kind of make chitchat with people around me.

I think I talk to strangers with cute dogs. I talk to just people I meet. Yeah. So I. So I might be more of an extrovert than I realized.

So, yeah, I'm okay with small talk. So your real question, do you have. A question that you ask people or. No, not a set one. No.

You know, this reminds me of is years ago, a friend of mine who was dating said, what is your sense of humor? I said, what? She said, well, how would you categorize your sense of humor? Yeah. She said, because I met this guy that said that.

He asked me that question, wanted to get to know what my sense of humor was. And he said that his sense of humor is sarcastic. And he wanted to know which of the five categories my sense of humor was in. Was he being sarcastic when he said. No, he was trying to get to know her quickly on a first date.

And I said, I don't like this question because it assumes that your sense of humor is the same no matter where you go or who you're talking to. But to me, the whole thing about humor is it's kind of responsive. It plays off the scenario. If you just barged your way through life with the same sense of humor, no matter what the scenario was in, you would not be very funny. And so I think it's maybe the same thing with conversation.

There's some people that asking a get to know you quick question would be a horrible way to get to know them. Yeah, like, you'd have to, embarrassingly so. My sense of humor is I laugh when I get videos of people hurting themselves. All right. A lot.

Did you ever watch jackass? Not for a long Tinae, I haven't. But literally, I think my husband and I, our main form of communication is him sending me videos that he knows will make me crack up. And I try not to laugh, because I know it's awful. People, like, accidentally getting hurt.

Like, when they slip over, when they're walking down the street looking at something, playing on their phone, and then they hit their head on a post. I love it. Dogs. When dogs slip off. I have three dogs.

I love dogs. But when dogs do funny things. Oh, my gosh. I think one of the funniest videos, I think I've laughed harder than I've ever laughed at. One video was.

It's an old one that's probably been around for, like, 15 or maybe even 20 years now of a guy that is so drunk. It's like the security camera captured this. He's in a supermarket or whatever, and he's so drunk that he can't get himself to open the cabin. He's, like, trying to. I'd love that.

And then he falls over backwards. And seriously, it's like two minutes of him trying to get up, and he can't remember how to stand up, but he keeps trying. And that's my sense of humor. I was just, like, cheering and crying and laughing at this, and a more sensitive friend of mine was standing there just going like. It's horrible.

Yeah. How could you find this funny? Poor man. I know. It's like, get your fucking.

Because at one point, he does stand up, and he's like, tries to get it together, and he collapses into the bag of chips and. Oh, God. Yeah, I should just download that. There's a great little script that you could do. You use Mac or windows?

Mac. I told you I'm cliche. Oh, I didn't say that when we. You didn't add that in your list of cliche items. But there's something called YT DLP.

I don't even know what the DLP stands for, but the YT stands for YouTube. YT DLP. You can use it to download any YouTube video, so you can just keep a local copy. So if there's something you're going to watch again and. And again, again and again and again.

You don't have to keep watching all the ads every Tinae. You can just own the little mp4 video file. So that's what I do for my favorite videos of all Tinae. So I should go find that video again. Yeah, I hadn't thought about it.

I'll see if I can find it. Okay, last question. With such few things that you own as a minimalist, is there one product that you have that you can't live without?

Okay, assuming you don't mean can't live without literally. Not like an essential. Like your toothbrush? No, like I mean something you don't need. I'll distinguish it with that.

Right. A product you don't need for everyday life. Do you have one?

I have a really nice keyboard that I find makes a massive difference in my happiness.

So I have two computers. I have a desktop and a laptop. So like when I'm out on a trip like this, I'll bring my laptop with me when I'm at home. Everything else I do is on my desktop. And for the desktop I just a couple of years ago got a mechanical keyboard from a chinese company.

I forget the name of it. I have a users page. So it's on my website somewhere. Of course I know the URL. S I v e r s u s e s.

Uses. Like Derek uses this? Yes, it's what Derek uses. It's actually a common thing. A lot of people with personal websites.

It's kind of like how many sites have a slash about. Yeah, mine's tools, but users is way cooler. Well, I think users, I actually probably would have chosen tools tool, but users has become a bit of the norm. So in this case, I just went for the norm. Yeah.

Do you have a now page? Now page? No, you need, what's a now page? It's the page like what I'm working on now. Oh, I like that.

Because social media doesn't cover that. If I were to tune into your feeds right now, I might kind of see what's kind of interesting. But it wouldn't give me the gist. Like what you're reading and what you're thinking about. It's what you would tell an old friend that you haven't seen in too long.

And if they were to say, like, what's been up with you, what you've been doing, it would be one page. It kind of says like, my kids are 15 and 16. This one's really into golf. I've been working on this.

I like that. We're going to make a now, right? We've been at this home for three years. We're planning on staying. Yeah.

So now and then if you do that, then email it to me. And I have a website called where I collect all the now pages from. So there are like maybe 2500 personal pages where people have created a now page on their site. So I put that on Yeah.

Okay. So anyway, your product, your keyboard keyboard. With, it's called midnight silent switches. So it's like, it just feels so nice. I just noticed my fingers don't want to stop typing.

When I'm typing on it, I'm just like, keep. Oh, it feels so good to keep writing. Because it's smooth or because it clicks. No, because it doesn't click so much. Yeah, I used to have a click.

Yeah, I used to have one of those, and it physically felt nice. But I'm not an abrasive person. I don't like to be loud. Yeah. So I found that I was actually subconsciously typing less because I didn't want to create a racket.

Yeah. Nice. In the house. So that's why I bought the silent switches. And I just noticed, like, God, look, there are things, like, I love good black tea.

When I drink good black tea, almost everyone. Oh, God. I just like, oh, man, this is good. The way that people are with their morning coffee, that's how I'm with, like, good black tea. But even not in the morning, just always.

I love my wonderful black tea. But when I type on this keyboard, it's a little bit like. They're like, God, I love this keyboard. God, it feels good. So I'd just give that as my weird item.

There's things you're attached to. If you moved, would you take it with. That's. See, there is a good question. Yeah.

All right, Mr. Minimalist. If you were to move with one suitcase, what would you take? Yeah. Then the other thing would be my Berkey water filter.

I got it when I moved to England. You know how they have. You spent Tinae over there where they have the hard. Yeah, yeah. If you try to make.

Not a long Tinae, but, yeah. It has a film on top. Yeah. So I got it because of. And so that would be on my shortlist.

I mean, even America. Really? Yeah. Water that comes out of the tap there's real weird. I mean, from New Zealand water to american water.

Right. I went one direction. You haven't been back? Not really. Really?

I left in 2010. I've been back a few days since. Oh, wow. When's your next trip back? Don't have one.

Never? Wow. Interesting.

There's a burrito place that I would miss if I never went to America again. But other than that, I'd be all right. Yeah. Amazing. It's just there's so many other places I want to go on earth.

Do you keep track of how many countries you visited? I do. I haven't counted, but I have a file. I thought I should start doing this before it gets too late. Yeah.

Starting about 15 years ago, my file is the year and the country that I've first entered on that year. So, like, if I go back to a country multiple Tinaes, it still only appears once in the list. But I try to remember the year that I first went to a country. So, like, last year, I went to Cyprus for the very first Tinae, but I also went to Israel, but I had been there once before in 2004, so Israel did not. Yeah.

So it's still up there in 2004, but last year was Cyprus and United Arab Emirates and Oman for the first Tinae. I love that. Well, that is all of the questions. That's everything. You know everything about me.

Now, there's many more I could ask you for the rest of the day, but I am conscious that I have taken a lot of your Tinae. I appreciate it so much. Thank you so, so much. I know that you get a lot of offers, and this one, you would have gone, who is this person? And you said yes, which made my.

I was going to say made my day. It made more than my day. It made my hour. It made my hour. It made my week.

But it's pivotal in that you were the first one on that dream 100 list. And now I will try and do more interesting conversations with interesting people because I really appreciate it and sharing your thoughts and hopefully everyone being able to question some of the beliefs that we hold, as well as me selfishly asking a lot of questions that I wanted to know. Thank you. Well, I'll get Celine in next. I think she's waiting outside since you've got the nice studio set up so much.

But, yeah, I've never, I shouldn't say never done this, but this thing with the lights and three cameras. I know. Cool, right? I haven't done this in. This is really, really rare and wonderful to do this.

So thank you for this fancy setup. Well, I mean, this was also, Dan was asking me how far through the podcast you are, and I'm like, this is episode 260 something ish. He was like, oh, wow. So you're used to this. I'm like, this is the first Tinae I've done this.

Cool. I have never done this. But you're Her Her Empire Builder. I'm like, I'm not going to bring my little canon and set us up on our road mics and be like, hope the sound works. Yeah, this is why this.

So, thank you. I've been standing in my sound booth in Wellington a lot, and so it's really sweet to. Yeah, it's much better. Yeah. Thank you.

Thanks, everybody.