ENGAGE WITH YOUR INTERESTS and Do What Makes You Happy to Create a Better Career w/ Ash Jurberg

Jan 19, 2022
 
 

Welcome to episode 31 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It’s all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.

Episode 31’s guest is Ash Jurberg. He’s currently a writer but previously led a global cultural exchange business which meant he has traveled to over a hundred different countries across the world. He gave up his business because he wanted to have greater control over his own time and share all the lessons he has learned from all of his travels. He has had a busy life and he also founded Australia’s first-ever home delivery service way back in 1995. On top of all of this, he likes to do a bit of stand-up comedy on the side.

I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels. 

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How to build a better career.
  • Why it’s important to follow your own interests.
  • Why it’s important to do work that’s meaningful to you.
  • How to build a better career.
  • Why you should follow your curiosity.
  • How to align your career with who you are.
  • How to turn your personal interests into a career.
  • How to be more energized by what you do.
  • How to change your career according to your interests.

Keynotes:

  • Introduction (0:00)
  • The push to have a routine (1:33)
  • Trusting others from a business point of view (7:02)
  • Talking about balance and lifestyle (15:37)
  • Removing temptations (19:59)
  • Shifting to online interactions (25:01)
  • Do what makes you happy (28:47)

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Intro Music:
“Himalayas” by Mona Wonderlick — bit.ly/youtube-monawonderlick
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free download: bit.ly/himalayas-download

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Transcript

 

[00:00:00] Ash: People say, Hey, I made this and I’d be earning half of that and be frustrated or, Hey, look, I went viral off it. Look at my views. And it’s still about keeping up with the Joneses. It’s about doing your own thing. And as long as I’m happy and content, and that’s the mindset I took becoming a trader, like a lot of my friends were saying, why don’t you go and get this? 

[00:00:16] If you don’t want to start a business, why don’t you go get a high powered job? You know, CEO of a company here you’ll have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. I said, well, I don’t care. This doesn’t interest me just because, you know, you’ll learn X amount. Doesn’t mean I have to. So it’s about doing your own thing and what makes you feel happy? 

[00:00:38] Amardeep: Welcome to the mindful and Driven podcast, where we help you decide what’s really important whilst chasing your dreams. Today’s guest is Ash Jurberg, a writer from Australia. He previously ran a global cultural exchange business which meant they’ve went over a hundred countries across the world. It’s here that he learned many of life’s greatest lessons, and this is what he applies in his writing today. 

[00:00:57] He also started Australia’s first ever home delivery service way back in 1995. On top of all of this, he likes to do a bit of stand up comedy on the side. I hope he enjoyed today’s conversation. Welcome Ash. It’s great to have you on mindful and driven. 

[00:01:09] Ash: Thanks. It’s good to be here. 

[00:01:11] Amardeep: I’ve edited you for over a year now. That’s part of the Entrepreneurs Handbook. So we’ve had our little chats in the private notes and I’ve got to understand a bit of your personality and one thing has always amazed me is the amount of travel you’ve done from your previous business. 

[00:01:24] Ash: Yes. 

[00:01:25] Amardeep: So you’ve seen lots of different parts of the world, got to experience different parts of culture. Along that journey, have you found common advice that you disagree with from people that you hear often and then from your travels, you’ve discovered that’s just not true? 

[00:01:37] Ash: Yeah. I mean, something I’ve discovered, not necessarily through travels, but just through life is the push to have a routine. So it’s very big, you know, the morning routine, the afternoon routine, you get up at 5:00 AM, you do four hours of yoga and meditation, and you do this and I’ve tried routines and I just don’t work, so I’ve come to the realization that routines are for some people, but not all people. As long as you achieve what you need to achieve, it doesn’t matter if you do it the same way every time or a different way, it’s just whatever works for you, so I’m a very anti routine person. 

[00:02:09] Amardeep: I’m the same way, so I have routines at work for a while but then one thing I think people do sometimes stick to the routine for too long and they’re forcing themselves to do it even though it’s not really working for them, so I used to, when I was working in consulting, I used to wake up at six o’clock every day, go to the gym from six to seven, then I used to read until eight o’clock and then I used to leave for my job and that worked for a bit and then I used to keep telling people I was doing it even though I’d maybe do two days out out of the week, and then I just realized that this is just fake. I’m not actually doing it anymore. I can’t keep up. It’s not making me happy. Why am I doing it? Why am I forcing myself to do this? 

[00:02:47] Ash: Absolutely. I mean, I guess bring it back to travel, you get the people who would go on a vacation and it’s like, 9:00 AM breakfast, 10:30 AM. Museum 12, midday. Number one, restaurant on TripAdvisor 2:00 PM. It’s this, this this, and I literally booked out every minute of the, of the whole day. I don’t do that. I go, okay. There’s a few things I want to do, but if I sit at a coffee and Hey, Emma was at the next table and we struck up a conversation, what are you doing? Let’s have a chat. Let’s walk around. That sort of stuff. What have you done? Oh, if you go on this little alley way, you’ll see this little coffee shop that’s run by an elderly couple. Sit down there, that sort of stuff, so yeah, routines don’t work for work and I don’t work, definitely, don’t work on vacation. 

[00:03:26] Amardeep: Yeah. I think this idea of routine and productivity, sometimes I think people get it wrong where they think the end goal is to be productive. Whereas to me being productive isn’t about that at all. It’s about, if I can get my stuff done, that means I’ve got more time to do the other stuff, and like I said, if you’ve got a slack in your schedule, that means you can just have a chat and you don’t need to think about, oh, I need to do this, I need to do that, and that’s the position I want to get to where I can get some of the stuff done faster so that I have more free time and that it can go out and I can chat to people, and I can just go for a long walk and decide, oh, actually, I’m going to go down that week because I’ve never been there before. Whereas if I’m too scheduled, I lose some of that spontaneity, and I think life is about that spontaneity in many ways. 

[00:04:10] Ash: Absolutely. I’m going to misquote this, but I think it was either Anthony Bourdain or Paulo Coelho. I can’t say his name, who said, you know, routines deadly or dangerous, you know, you do, I stuffed that quote up, but you know, Google it and you’ll find that, oh right, your routine is deadly. Some people like my father is going to the same restaurant on the same day of the weekend and order the same thing every day since he’s retired, I’m going, ‘did you try something else on the menu?’, ‘No, no. I like this.’, ‘But we have something else.’, ‘But I like this dish.’. It’s like a Seinfeld episode. 

[00:04:41] Amardeep: Yeah, and I think that’s where maybe it comes into favor of, a routines has got to work for you. If it makes you happy, then do a routine, but don’t feel like you have to have a routine just because other people have it. They use the whole Robin Sharma 5 a.m. club. I know so many people who read that book, and were super motivated for a whole two weeks and then realized they really don’t like waking up at 5:00 AM, but there’s this whole cult around it, and yeah, it might make you be able to get more done before the beginning of the day, and that works for some people. What I found is that in the summer, I’m way more motivated to do stuff out in the morning because the sun is shining. I can go to the gym. I can go for a walk. In the winter, I don’t really want to do that. So I rest a bit more. I give myself more sleep because that’s what I need, and it’s understanding yourself, I think is the key thing underneath all of this is that if you’re making a routine, it might be that that works for specific period in your life, but it doesn’t work for other periods and it might be my routine for one summer. It doesn’t work the next summer either, and I think there’s a constant adaptation needed to like, listen, like you got to listen to your own body and then, that’s the key here. 

[00:05:51] Ash: Yeah, yeah. So, I’ve, I’ve got twins and when you have a kid, you know, one of the thing, when you first have a baby, the first thing you’re told is, you know, you have a routine , you’ve got to feed them at the same time. You sleep at the same time, that sort of stuff, and I got emailed and you know, this is the routine, is the routine and my kids just, it didn’t work for them, and I got hounded saying, well, they’re not sleeping because I have a routine. WellI was saying they have a routine that doesn’t work. That’s why they’re not sleeping, but it was just amazing how every parent said, you have to have a routine. I guess my kids are like me and they’re just not routine kids. 

[00:06:21] Amardeep: It’s discovering that about yourself is quite difficult because everyone told you you need a routine and you feel lesser, I think, if you can’t have a routine but that’s fine, like, it’s just about what works for you and like, in your past, like you’ve done so much of into like over a hundred countries, you’ve run your business. Was there a time that you got your routine wrong and you were just struggling because there was too much going on and you couldn’t quite find the balance? 

[00:06:47] Ash: Yeah. I guess when I started my most recent business, it was trying to be everything to everyone and taking on too much and the routine just became, well, you just work. It’s work 24 7, so it just all blended so it wasn’t a strict routine. It was just work enveloped everything and that became too much and it wasn’t til much later that I realized that just because you run a business, you don’t have to do everything and it’s hard to let things go and it’s hard to delegate and give people independence and authority but that’s what I struggled with and that really impacted me. 

[00:07:22] Amardeep: How did you come to a realization that’s what you needed to do? Was it a simple epiphany or did it take a bit of time? 

[00:07:29] Ash: I did that for probably the first three or four years and it was actually my business partner who made the suggestion thankfully and said, we need to get a manager to run the business and to take over this stuff and let you be the trader while I’ll be the entrepreneur one, because you know, you doing the micro tasks, doesn’t work and you’re trying to take onto everything and you’ve got to trust others. Which from an emotional standpoint, but from a financial standpoint, she also said, if we ever want to sell this business, we can’t because it relies too heavily on you and no one’s going to buy this business without you. 

[00:07:59] Amardeep: I’m the same process myself at the moment. It’s that, I’ve kind of got my different income streams and the different partners I work with and if it’s all down to me, then I’m screwed, right? Because then I’m not really free by working myself because everything depends on me. So what I’m doing now is I work out like my systems because if I can work my systems and like, I’ve got virtual assistants who’ll be editing this podcast and there’s a document now it says every single thing about the process and because she’s got that document and then she can talk to me, the idea is that I don’t need to do this to myself anymore which frees up my time and I can just focus on stuff that is just me because only I can have this conversation with you. I can’t outsource that but that’s why I want to, that’s the part I enjoy. So how can I systematize the other stuff? And I think it’s for people out there as well. Sometimes they think, I would know because it costs money and yes, it does cost money, but you’ve got to work out how much is that time worth? Like, do you want to be doing something that you don’t enjoy doing because it saves money? If you’re doing a K and you’ve got enough money to be able to outsource it because there’s another whole point of life to be able to spend time how you want to spend it and to enjoy it. So people put themselves in their own prison because they’re worried about the financial side. 

[00:09:17] Ash: Absolutely. So I’ve fully recorded this podcast and unfortunately you missed out some gold nuggets. I mentioned I’ve been doing a bit of business coaching and it’s come out of my writing, and one of my clients, actually someone you know, a writer on medium has asked me to coach him and I was going through this, my past, and what I failed to do and though they’re going through the same stuff now, as it’s kind of ironic if Ash, 10 years ago, could sit in this conversation to hear what you’re saying because he did everything the opposite of what he’s telling you to do but I want you to learn from my mistakes and I’ve done the same sort of things and you guys, in the process of writing, standing, operating procedures, and manuals, and processes, and hiring VAs and just removing all that stuff. It’s easy to say, see, and say, when you’re outside the business, looking from a hundred feet above, but when you’re in it, it’s really hard to let go. So it’s great that you’ve recognized that already and you’re taking steps towards it. 

[00:10:05] Amardeep: And it’s an exercise I always recommend to people as well is that, imagine that your problems, aren’t your problems and somebody else’s and I get somebody else to role play it so that you pretend to be me and then I’m going to give you the advice you gave me and when people try to start making excuses, you realize how lame they sound because I would tell other people to do this, but oh, no, I can’t do this because of these reasons but if my friend said that to me, I’m like, no, that’s that’s rubbish, like you can’t say that and I think sometimes that switching roles just make you realize how irrational some of your excuses are for why you can’t do things that are healthy for you because there’s always a reason. You always find a reason to make excuses. Oh no, this is the right thing for you to do but I’m different, I don’t need to do this. Yeah, that’s what I’m coming to now. 

[00:10:52] Ash: That’s very true. People tend to do it more with relationships. Like if you’re in a relationship, you might go to a friend saying, hey, this is what I’m going through. What do you think? Or I like this person, what’s your advice? But people seem more reluctant to do it for other personal issues or for business issues. 

[00:11:06] Amardeep: I think the business issues is that. It’s saying, I think it comes down to insecurity, right? It’s that, you don’t want to seem like you don’t know what you’re doing and most of us don’t know what we’re doing. Right? We’re all building this ourselves. You go from mistakes and that’s so you learn if you did. Do you find the coaching, the stuff you taught to people is also then got a good feedback loop to your own business because you tell somebody else to do something and it’s like, wait, I should be doing that myself. Has that helped you a lot in terms of varying understanding of the right way to do things? 

[00:11:35] Ash: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So it’s, you know, it’s always easy to, you know, do, as I say, not as I do. So you’ve got to take on your own advice. So again, when I have got these few coaching clients and I say things, I go, actually, I’m not doing that a hundred percent. I should probably do that more and even in this conversation with you, I’m thinking, well, I’ve never had a VA, but maybe I should really look into that about passing over some of the admin stuff because as I said, like you, I enjoy the creative component. I enjoy talking more. What are the less fun, mundane tasks that I can pass over? 

[00:12:05] Amardeep: It’s a trap of you’re doing well and you can like, appreciate you’re doing well. But I think whenever you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve always got that way, that things aren’t going to be good in the future and that sometimes stops you from making those longer term decisions because, oh, I can’t take ascendancy that this is going to work out. So it’s an investment, right? If you train somebody up to do things in the way that you like, then you need to still be doing it a few months time, because that initial period is quite difficult and it is difficult to train somebody up and there’s no point of me saying to people we’re listening. Oh, if you just hire somebody, they’re going to fix all your pump rooms. It will take a little while. Like when you had your manager in your previous business, how has that relationship? Did you find at the beginning, you a bit defensive about handing things over? 

[00:12:48] Ash: It was really hard and actually at one point might have been after six months, she said to me, she goes, do you want me to be the manager or not? Or we call a CEO. It was a fancy title. Do you want me to be the CEO or not? Because if you want me to, you’ve got to step back and you’ve got to listen to what I say, and you will accept my decisions and that was hard. And she found, conversely she found it hard. I n effect, she became my boss and she goes, well, this is the guy who owns half the company. This is the shareholder, this is the director, and I’m the boss. How do I manage that relationship myself? And I had to recognize it was hard for her and I put her in an awkward position. So probably took 12 to 18 months and even then it wasn’t perfect. 

[00:13:25] Amardeep: What changed relationship? So you said that she’s stood up and said, I need this to change. Did you do anything in particular to make the relationship easier? Was there any like any tactics you’d give other people who are listening? 

[00:13:37] Ash: One thing, and I shared with other staff, I said, cause I kept, not all of them, but some of them, kept coming to me and I would offer advice or so yeah, you can do that or not, and I had to say, don’t come to me for anything. This is the authority of command and I don’t like it, you know, structures that match your hierarchical superiority, but I said, you’ve got to go to this person. Don’t come to me, just think of me as Ash and I’m just another employee. So that was. The easiest change to make in terms of don’t come to me and just readjusting my mindset to say, okay, I’m not running the show now because of, well, you know, scalability and gearing up to potentially sell and finding out my lifestyle and it was a mind set, more than anything else. 

[00:14:20] Amardeep: So now you’re a full-time content creator. Have you found the balance easier now that you’re, you don’t have a company behind you, you don’t have employees, you don’t have a CEO. Is that easier now or are you still struggling for balance in different ways? 

[00:14:34] Ash: So it’s, it’s easier overall. So one of my coaching clients actually said, can you come on and manage a team for me? I’ve got, you know, seven or eight people can you manage them and do that sort of stuff. I said, I’ve been there before. I don’t want to do that. And you know, when you’re just graduated from college,everyone wants to be a boss, everyone wants to be a manager. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be. I mean, I’ve done it for a long time, but not a fit, I think. So I love not having other staff to worry about or this person’s called in sick or this person’s just resigned or I have to hire this. It’s just all on me, but like yourself, it means it’s all on me. Yeah. So if I, I can’t really take a month off without taking a big dent in my, you know, revenue and earnings. So it is it is a balance but overall I’d say it’s a much more positive one. The lifestyle is much more. It’s much better. 

[00:15:22] Amardeep: Is there anything that you want to change at the moment with your lifestyle that you’re trying to make those changes to make it more sustainable? Because I just said the same thing with me. When I take time off, I can’t fully switch off but for me, that’s a flaw. I want to be able to switch off because it’s not really healthy. If I can’t take a week off where I completely enjoy myself and you’ve been in it for longer than I have. Have you got any ideas of how you’re going to be able to do that? Where you can just take time off and go on holiday, a vacation and enjoy yourself? 

[00:15:55] Ash: Like I said to you beforehand, next week will be the litmus test because of the first time that Australia has had their borders closed, pretty much since March last year and it’s just opened up. So this is the first time I’m actually going to be able to travel. I’ve been, we’ve been the lockdown and stuff, so there hasn’t been other opportunity. So it’s going to be a litmus test, but even on the weekends, I’ll say I’ve got to my partner saying, oh, I didn’t have a pretty good week this week. I do a lot of articles. I did this. Someone at right today and she always says, are you asking me for permission? And that’s, that’s the thing. It’s like, I feel guilty. Like I justify to her. I’m not going to work today. It’s just, you didn’t have to, A, I’m not your boss and B, this is why you chose this life. So I’m interested to see how I go over the next two weeks. I’ll probably do a bit of work, but I want to wind down and take the time to relax because you know, our vendor, your vendor, we all work hard. We need to take that time. 

[00:16:41] Amardeep: I think it’s one of the traps as well of content creation, which people who are on the outside don’t necessarily realize when they look at the lifestyle and think is very glamorous. It’s that, it’s quite hard to switch off because you’re at an impasse, if you don’t do things. So I think you popularize it is maybe people are very young and they say about the nomadic lifestyle and that they’re traveling and writing but when you’re a little bit older and you’ve got two kids, you’ve got more responsibility. If you’re not earning for a month, or things aren’t going so well, that has like impact on you and it’s different because you’re a content creator who’s got two kids which means that you’ve got to provide for them, you’ve got responsibility. If there’s a bad month, it’s not just you that’s affected. There’re other people too and how do you find that? Like, does it scare you or are you quite comfortable and you feel secure in what you’re doing? 

[00:17:32] Ash: It does scare me. Like, I think, well, what if Medium shut down tomorrow? I can lose X amount. What if user rates shutdown? I’ll lose that amount? You know, the things I can’t control. I’ve got other investments and my finances are okay that I can survive for quite some time. So I’m not a hundred percent reliant, but it’s scary. You know, when you’re in a job like you did, you know, you go, okay, I’ve got a contract on many X amount per year, and that happens until I leave the job. That doesn’t happen. So. It can be scary and you know, it’d be, oh, a lot has been occasions. I’ve woken up at 3:00 AM in the morning. What’s what’s this month looking like, but you know, you’ve got to put that behind you and my partner is actually, again, is good at that. She’ll go, you know, you’re going to have good months. You’re going to have bad months. You don’t have a fixed income. You take the good with the bad. So, you know, celebrate, you know, when you have a month, which is, goes off, celebrate that and remember that when you have a poorer month and that’s something which I’m getting better at, but I still need to improve. I think we all need to do that. 

[00:18:25] Amardeep: I think there’s a weird psychological thing as well. It’s like, [unintelligible] says I worked in consulting for seven years before I quit my job so I’ve got savings. Like I said, if I didn’t earn anything for the next year or even two years, I’d probably be okay but I think there’s a mental thing about if I’m dipping into my savings, then it’s just scary, even though there’s enough there and this is weird scarcity mindset, which I can see myself, I’m self aware of it but even though I knew that it’s the wrong mindset to take, I can’t help myself and it’s something that I’m working on myself with being more accepting where, like I said, if I want to take a couple of weeks off, it’s fine if I don’t do anything for two weeks because that’s the whole reason I’ve been working good at this time, so I can enjoy myself but there’s something different about when you’re the sole point of contact. Like, I think you’ve done some for earmarks, right? As well. You switch off for certain parts of the day? Has that helped you? 

[00:19:17] Ash: It will tell us when I was in my business. So when I worked in my business, I said I was 24 7 we’ll base, or I was based in Melbourne, Australia. I had an office in Austin, Texas with a hold of staff. And then contractors selling our product over in the world, which meant at any hour of the day I was getting emails. I was on Skype calls and we’ll Skype back then and then Zoom calls, you know, with the U S or Europe or Asia. So I never switched off and again, it was my manager and this is one of the first things she said to me, she goes, you’ve got even a cutoff. So I actually physically took email off my phone at 7:00 PM each night and put it back on again at 7:00 AM in the morning so for 12 hours because I’m one of those people, if a notification comes up, I have to look at it. It’s like an addiction. And sometimes on the iPhone, you wouldn’t be checking your email, we actually hit a button and then all these notifications pop up. So I physically removed it. Again, it took me three or four years. Yeah. That’s the step I had to take almost like, you know an alcoholic, just removing alcohol from their house to remove temptation. 

[00:20:15] Amardeep: I’ve done the same thing with my phone, with the social media apps. So, if I want to check this out at social media, I have to go to either the mobile internet, which is always really annoying and buggy, like, there’s a reason why these apps want you, well, these companies want you to buy the apps or use the apps because they can make the experience so much better for you, which keeps you engaged when you use the mobile app, it’s like fiddly, the things don’t quite work the same way. So I find that’s helped me from stopping myself from getting addicted so much and what I have to do is when I wait, when I start with. I’ve got a bookmark saying that I open that and it’s like 12 tabs and it just has a kind of a dashboard that use the different things I work on. So in the morning I can just see, okay, this is what this looks like. This is what that looks like. I don’t have that on my phone. So the only way to check is once I actually start working and go to my laptop otherwise I could just be checking when I’m out and I don’t want to be in that scenario. 

[00:21:09] Ash: Yeah, and that’s what I used to do and I actually would, you know, I would be out and it’d be a Friday night and I’d have a few after-work drinks and be like, and I may not want to hear him and the guy cables them Friday morning in the U S and I’d be drunk in all my emails and I’ve sent nothing inappropriate, but I’m going, you know, this is not good. I’m pretty drunk and I’m sending business emails. I can easily make a mistake. That’s how addictive it got. But the one difference, I would say now, being a content creator and not having to worry about staff and partners and that sort of stuff is I actually look forward when I turn on my phone in the morning, because generally most of my emails or comments and readers you know, notes from editors such as yourself, so it’s very much positive. Before was, you know, here’s a fire to put out. Here’s someone who’s resigned and here’s a client who’s unhappy, here’s a refund I’m going to have to do it. From the very start of the morning, it was in a negative mindset. Now it’s almost like endorphins kicking in the straightaway. Huh? and I left early last night and my article is going to run it tonight or this, or this person, you know, likes my article, wants to have a chat. It’s a very different mindset. So that’s the most positive thing I’ve found out about being a creator. 

[00:22:09] Amardeep: I think it’s just, I’ve got the awkward problem of having too many people that I want to talk to reach out to me. It’s like, I want to talk to all of you but I can’t talk to of you. I’m thinking, for example, I’m thinking I want to put into place next year is to put in, I have certain days where I reply to emails, so I only reply to emails on say Tuesdays and Fridays, and that way it’s like dedicated time where I can sit there and go, this is my task. Like, I don’t need to worry about anything else. I’m replying to everybody because when I’m doing it throughout the day, it can add up really quickly and I always feel like I’m behind so that’s one way I’m trying to put into place and if something is urgent or time sensitive, I reply straight away. If it’s not, I want to build in that boundaries where I can say it’s okay for me to reply a few days later, like nobody’s going to, it’s not going to end the world. Like some people might want me to reply instantly, but then if they’re kind of putting those demands on me, then that’s a bit unfair and it’s trying to set that, that healthy level of how available I am, because I think I make myself too available. You might have the same problem with time zones. Because of times zones, most of the people that contact me are America based, so that becomes like early afternoon to the evening is when they’re most active so I tend to get most of my emails in my evening time, which is when I want to be relaxing but I can’t help but I can’t help but see those emails.. 

[00:23:39] Have you put anything into place with that where you say these are my working hours and you don’t go outside of that? 

[00:23:45] Ash: Yeah. Well, that’s what I, like I said, what I did with my business, where I turned off so it was 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, which is obviously 12 hours and outside that I switched it off now I try not to check my emails after I’ve had dinner, that sort of becomes my time. Thankfully like you, most of my contacts are in the United States and that generally, that’s in the morning, my time. So it works out well for me. I’ll wake up, I’ll have a few, and then I’ll filter in and then by lunchtime, they sort of die off. I don’t have too much out of UK, Europe so it’s not as bad for me as it would be for you. But yeah, after dinner, I don’t email. 

[00:24:19] Amardeep: Yeah. Cause for me, L.A. is eight hours behind so they start their day when I’m finishing my day. So whenever I’ve got to jump on a call with somebody from LA or California, then that’s always going to be at the end of my work, which is sometimes quite frustrating because then it means that it extends my work day almost naturally. So usually in the mornings, I get my own time to fix my own stuff before emails start coming in and the requests are coming in from the States. 

[00:24:50] Ash: It also depends how you see what, like, for example, this is night time, my time now, but it’s something I enjoy doing. It’s just talking. So I don’t mind it if it was, you know, having to write an article now, I probably wouldn’t because it’s different. So it also depends on the type of work. 

[00:25:05] Amardeep: I think what I’m trying to put into place as well, is that in the pandemic, I had no boundaries because I’m assuming the same for you. You didn’t have anything else to do. You’re at home all the time. So I can take calls at 11:00 PM and I was doing that earlier in the year, whereas now, I want to try it, well, at the moment of recording this, things are going a bit backwards again, which fleeting, but things were open again so I would still have my evenings free. So I could go out and meet my friends and do things in real life as well and so this is a question for you is that most of your business and most of your history was based mainly on real person interaction, like in real life. Did you find the shift to more Zoom calls and more online interaction tough? And you prefer like working with the community who are near, by you as well? Where you can meet them in person? Have in person meetings? 

[00:25:57] Ash: Yeah. So, I definitely like yourself, would be more extroverted, so I enjoyed being around people. 

[00:26:01] The one thing, cause I had half, my staff were in the US so that was over via Zoom and my clients are in the world. So I was still doing probably two or three hours of Skype or Zoom a day back then, but it’s, I’ve missed being able to bounce an idea, turn to the person, you know, few meters away and say, hey, what do you think of this? So even now when I write, I, you know, a couple of days a week, I’ll go into a cafe nearby where I know, you know, little staff versus, and have a chat to them and they’ll show him an article I’m writing. So they’re not work colleagues, but I feel like that’s that interaction and just the buzz and so when we were in lockdown and we couldn’t go out, I’d just go to YouTube and type, you know, cafe scene and it’d play and it’d be like eight hours of noise cause that’s sort of what I feel. 

[00:26:43] Amardeep: Yeah, I think it is the same thing as like the Ambient coffee shop thing it’s very Christmas themed, so that’s quite nice as well. But yeah, I’ve in the last couple years, I’ve started going to a co-working space. Well, I was going to a co-working space before in the UK had been ordered to work from home again, so it’s bad timing for me because I had just started going out and now I’ve got to go back home, but I find that really hard. I just like the environment of being around the people and I think we mentioned earlier, most of us online is really pushing remote work because by the nature of it, most people who write articles are likely to be introverts who want to work alone, who don’t want to have that interaction. So I think there sometimes is bias towards that, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the average person. So if you’re listening and you enjoy working from home, you don’t want the social interaction, then do that, but if you do enjoy that social interaction, then you shouldn’t feel guilty about that, because I think there’s kind of a blame culture goes on sometimes where people who like working from home say, oh, people that go to office, just chat at the water cooler and they don’t like work that much. So what! If that’s what make them happy? And they get their work done? What does it matter if they enjoy social interaction in the workplace? And at the same time, if people don’t enjoy that, then that’s fine too. 

[00:28:04] Ash: You know, when you’re creating content, you always look for ideas. I think the more you’re out and about, you’ll see more things, then you’ll get spark buddies, you’ll have a conversation with someone who’ll come up, who’ll tell you a story or mention something they’ve read, so it’s a lot easier. You get a little more stimulation or more ideas when you’re out and about. 

[00:28:20] Amardeep: Yeah, because I know a lot of people who will use YouTube, for example,who’ll watch what kind of videos and they’ll get adage that way but it depends on what stimulates you as well, right? Because, I think most of my best ideas have come from conversations with other people and they’ve had different opinions to me and because if I had a different opinion to me, it’s forced me to explain myself to understand why I think the way I do and sometimes I change my opinion. Sometimes that actually what I think isn’t quite correct and I’ve take on their view and understand that points and to me, that kind of interaction of people not fully agreeing with each other, that’s where my ideas come from because then if I’m in that scenario, I think that’s other people also in that scenario. where they’re not sure between two different things and I can try to explore the nuance of that. 

[00:29:05] Ash: So yeah, I’m definitely a people person. 

[00:29:08] Amardeep: So for the people listening to back home today, what’s one mindset shift do you think they make that’ll make a positive difference in their lives? 

[00:29:15] Ash: One thing I’ve said is and it’s hard, is not to compare yourself to others so when I first started becoming a writer, you it’s your selfie. You go to these Facebook groups and people say, Hey, I made this and I’ll be earning half of that and be frustrated or, Hey, look, I went viral off, but look at my views. And it’s still about keeping up with the Jones’s it’s about doing your own thing. And as long as I’m happy and content and that’s the mindset I took becoming a trader, like a lot of my friends were saying, why don’t you go and get this? If you don’t want to start a business, why don’t you go get a high power job? You know, CEO of a company here, you’ll earn hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. I said, well, I don’t care. This doesn’t interest me just because, you know, you’ll learn X amount, doesn’t mean I have to. So it’s about doing your own thing and what makes you feel happy? So if you’re happy earning $30,000, great. If you’re happy doing $3 million. Great. But as long as you’re happy doing that was my biggest mindset shift. So that’s my advice to Ash 15 years ago, and Ash today, and the people listening is yeah, just focus on yourself and don’t worry about others. Social media is the worst for this, yeah. Everyone looks fantastic, Everyone posts their best life, but the reality is all too different. 

[00:30:19] Amardeep: I’ve got a friend recently who got a job offer for another country but in the other country, their freedom to be severely restricted. And they were deciding whether or not they’re going to take it because it was significantly more money and it was, it was a difficult conversation to have with them because they’re already doing very well, but therefore, if I get this more money and that elevates them. I said, you don’t need that money, so why are you going to put yourself in a scenario where you can’t have so many things in your life that you enjoy just for the money? And it’s a difficult scenario, because I think it comes down to comparison where if she went to the other country, then she’d be in the top 0.5% whereas now she’s ending the top 1%. You’re comparing yourself to a very small bubble and now she has decided not to take that because she has more freedom and that’s what’s important that she can live a life that makes her happy but the money side of things did tempt her and I think it does temp a lot of people, they know deep down what they want or they tell people in an interview, oh yeah, this is what I want from life, but when it comes down to it, the money’s on the plate. It’s hard to reject. So it was really good that you were able to do that you were able to reject that offer and not take that path, which would, you would make you tons of money because it wasn’t what’s right for you. 

[00:31:41] Ash: It’s the same. You know, I’ve invested a lot of money in travel and I could have had a bigger house and a fancy car and that sort of stuff and I’ve got friends who’ve never traveled and you know, they got huge mansions but I would rather say it like, before we recorded it. I’d rather talk to you about, you know, the experience that I had a Butan or how I did this on the Inca trail rather than, Hey, look, I’ve got an extra bedroom in my house. That’s cool. 

[00:32:02] Amardeep: It’s like, some people really value travel and like, I’m the same. Like I’ve been to half the amount of countries you have, but still more by many people’s standards. 

[00:32:10] Ash: Hey you said take my advice. Don’t compare yourself to others. You’ve been to a lot of countries. 

[00:32:15] Amardeep: Yeah. But what I mean is that like, I’ve been to many places, but then I’m not trying to outcompete you. I did not say, oh, Ash has been to 105 countries so I need to now book a holiday so I can catch up with him. Like I’ve been to many places and these places have added value to my life and some people have only been to five places, but they’re remember these experiences so strongly that it adds so much value to their life and they go like. I love going to this place. I know some people go back to the same place every year because they go there and they just love it and they have the staff, the hotel that they know, and it’s like their family. And it really depends on the kind of person you are and what you find you enjoy and you don’t need to be like, oh, I’m not going to go to this place that I love because otherwise I’d probably been to five countries and Amar’s been to 50 countries and actually been to a hundred countries, so it’s really hard to break up with that because like I said, you see on social media, but you’ve always got to ask, why am I doing this? Is it because I want to do this or is it because that person’s done it. 

[00:33:17] Ash: You know, it’s funny because I’ve been to a hundred countries or whatever, and whenever I tell someone that, or they ask the first thing they do is let me look at how many I’ve been to, and they start counting. Like, it’s, it’s a natural reaction and often it’s, most times it’s less than I felt disappointed. I’ve only been to 20th and then it doesn’t matter. It’s not a competition. I didn’t get a medal. If you’ve been to 20 countries and had the time of your life. Fantastic. If you’ve been to two. Fantastic. If you’ve just traveled around your own country and been to lots of different towns. Fantastic. As long as you’re doing something. 

[00:33:48] Amardeep: In a place to talk to you, Ash, where can the people listening hear more from you? 

[00:33:51] Ash: They can read me on Medium, a lot in the Entrepreneurs Book. That’s probably the best place to find me. I’ll put the links up. I’m also on News Break. I’ve had my own podcast and I’ve been guest on other podcasts. Thank you so much. We could’ve talked for hours. We could’ve made a whole series out of this but it’s been fantastic. You’ve asked great questions but a lot of podcasts and you’ve asked some really good questions. 

[00:34:09] Amardeep: So there’s one more question, which I endup on for everybody and that’s, what’s one small thing that’s brought you joy recently? 

[00:34:15] Ash: My dog. I was talking about this with my kids tonight over dinner actually, is that, he’s the one who’s always happy. Whenever I come back home, his tail wags. He doesn’t care if I had a bad day, how much I’ve earned, what I’ve done. It’s just, he has the same joy every time. So I always look at him when I’m feeling down and he wags his tail and there you go. He’s happy, I should be happy. 

[00:34:37] Amardeep: If you’re listening on apple podcasts, I’d love it if you could leave me a five star review. It really helps to get the message out further. Wherever you’re listening, it would be awesome if you could subscribe and to share in your social media channels, if you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes. 

[00:34:57] Thank you again for listening. I hope you have a lovely day.

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