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Podcast Guesting Pro founder Graham Brown joins podcast hosts Shannon and Gerry Arner on the "A Spark in Our Lives" podcast to discuss living location independent. The following is a transcript of their conversation. For more tips on podcast guesting success, go to our podcast guesting resources.

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Shannon Arner 00:02

Hi, we're Shannon and Gerry Arner 

Gerry Arner 00:04

And our dog, Betty White

Shannon Arner 00:05

your host of the Arner adventures podcast. 

Gerry Arner 00:04

Can we have named something more creative? Probably. We're just the name of our blog. It's our last name. We're on an adventure, yada yada yada, AONE our own business working 24/7. 

Shannon Arner 00:18

And don't forget a mental breakdown in between.

Gerry Arner 00:21

We made a lifestyle change and decided to make the most out of life. 

Shannon Arner 00:24

We sold our house. Most of our belongings downsized and moved to the coast. 

Gerry Arner 00:29

We live life minimally, but fully. 

Shannon Arner 00:30 

We live each day as an adventure. 

Gerry Arner 00:29

This show will help you learn how to live life more fully with more intention by experiencing more and with less stuff.

Shannon Arner 00:39 

We'll talk about our own experiences, interview others who have much to share by creating a spark in our lives. 

Gerry Arner 00:45

Some days we'll share real life ongoings with what we're going through and others we'll talk about our favorite flavor of waffle. 

Shannon Arner 00:51

Come join our adventure. It's the Arner Adventures podcast.

Gerry Arner 00:58

Hello everyone. I'm Jerry and I'm Shannon. Our little furry gal, Betty White is hanging with us of course. And we are back for episode 28 of the Arner Adventures podcast.

Shannon Arner 01:07 

Yes, she's snoring. So forgive the snores if you hear her. Today, we have a spark in our lives episode with an adventurous story that we can't wait to tell you about. But first let's get to our review of the week. 

Gerry Arner 01:22

Today's review comes from Tyson 65. Tyson says this podcast is amazing, great, useful information. Thank you for putting this together. 

Shannon Arner 01:30 

Thank you so much, Tyson. We appreciate that. If you'd like to be our review of the week and get the chance to receive a gift from sugar wish, please take a moment and give us a five star review or rating.

Gerry Arner 01:43

We have an easy link for y'all to follow it's Lovethepodcast.com/arneradventures, but no worries, we'll link it for you in the show notes, your reviews and ratings keep us motivated and amped to continue this podcast week after week. So thank you for taking the time to do it. 

Shannon Arner 01:58

And while you're at it, be sure to hit that subscribe button in the platform you're listening to us on so that you'll be sure to be notified each time we have an episode drop.

Gerry Arner 02:08

Well, speaking of keeping us amped and motivated, our guest today is really special and our conversation may get you amped and motivated to do a few things. Our guest today is Graham Brown. Graham is the author of the book - “Fire Your Boss, Sell Your Car, Travel The World: A Guide to live in location, independent”.

Shannon Arner 02:26

Graham has such a unique story and is such an interesting guy. You're really gonna love this episode. We really love spending time with him. Should we just go ahead and get to the episode? Our guest today is gonna have you so inspired that if you're driving to work while you're listening to this, you may walk into work, and you may fire your boss. You may list your car for sale by this afternoon, and you may make a plan to travel the world because if that's your goal, or if you're teetering on that idea, contemplating it, he is going to get you amped to do just that. Our guest is Graham brown and he authored the book - “Fire your boss, sell your car, travel the world, a guide to living location independent.” Graham is a world traveling storyteller, author, and entrepreneur. He is a renowned public speaker, a thought leader and an expert on personal branding. We are so excited to dig into this more. Graham, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Graham Brown 03:29 

Wonderful. Thank you for the invite. Thanks Shannon and Jerry looking forward to this for spirits, different sides of the world. 

Shannon Arner 03:38 

We are, we have a lot of synergy, 

Gerry Arner 03:41 

might be one of the closest things we've had as a guest to our personal experience. 

Graham Brown 03:46 

That bit where it starts. We sold everything, you know, that's the beginning of an interesting story, you know, that's a story you want to hear, isn't it? Because that person has given up quite a bit to get there. Yeah. I saw that on your website and was following your story as well. I thought, wow. Oh, not many people start with that as an opener. 

Shannon Arner 04:05 

No, it always makes for great conversation though. . 

Graham Brown 04:08

Yeah, exactly, well, that's a great way to start, you know, people ask you that the worst question I think for me, and I'm one of these people, if I go to a cocktail party or one of these networking events, I'd rather be at home, I'm much more comfortable there, you know, in front of a microphone maybe, and people ask you, Graham, what do you do? I don't have an answer for that question, because it's not like I'm an accountant or I'm a lawyer. It's a very complicated question. I'm sure it's the same with you guys as well. So when I talk to people about this, you know, I do a lot of podcasting. Mm-hmm people say, how do I answer that question? Don't say, don't say, what's on your business card instead, tell them what you're building, tell them what you've done. So, you know, I sold everything and traveled the world and you're gonna get people react in a different way. The ones that you don't wanna have a conversation will sort of go “Uh Huh Uh Huh”. That was stupid. And then walk off for the ones that you do once go tell me more, tell me more. I wanna know how was it? What was it like? 

Shannon Arner 05:08 

No, that's a good point. Yeah, that's really neat. It is interesting because I think when we first and we talked a little bit about this before, but when we first did, when we first sold everything, well, I'll speak definitely for myself. And I think I'm speaking for Jerry too. I do think we were a little and I think maybe shy, embarrassed was the word. I think we were a little fearful about what was people's reaction going to be. So we didn't even talk about it. We were just like, oh no, let's avoid the, let's avoid the topic. No, one's gonna understand.So let's just, don't tell anyone, you know? 

Gerry Arner 05:43 

Well, and it seemed like we got more positive then than we did negative. And it was like a lot of people, it was sort of always the, yeah, you know, if the kid wasn't still in junior high, I'd do the same thing. 

Graham Brown 05:55 

That didn't have to pay the bills. I'd be out there on my motorbike, you know, in the Himalayas. That's it. The point about people maybe being critical of making these big life changes. And for us, it was the same, you know, we sold everything in 2012 and everything, you know, a business included, but it was a whole process. It wasn't really, you know, we were going to sell everything. It was starting that process of selling a business, then selling a house and then looking around thinking, what else can we sell? Because actually the process of decluttering for your mind is a very powerful one. And we all go through these sort of fantasy conversations. So what are they gonna say? How are they gonna think about this? And actually most of them are in our head. People maybe think these things about us, oh, look at them. They don't have a car they're sort of unsuccessful now. Not in the sort of script of how success is defined because they don't have all these items or these objects around them. But I think that's mainly it when you actually do this stuff, it does polarize people you'll find that the ones who get it, like you say, the positives will gravitate towards you because they'll feel that energy that you give off because it's a very much lighter existence, isn't it? You know? Cars, houses, stuff, you know, or even down to, you know, all the junk that we accumulate in our lives and our garages. Right. Getting rid of those stuff. It changes you because you, you really do focus on what's important.

Gerry Arner 07:31  

You do and the things that you already valued just became exponentially, you know, more valuable. And there was always those things that keepsake valued but they were usually tucked away somewhere in a particular part of the attic. And then they kind of, since you didn't have so much, they came out more in the forefront. And I did find that it's like the, I really looked at little things that a lot of people might not, they might be sentimental but they might not value so much. Man, I started to find greater value in some of these maybe older sentimental things, if that makes sense. 

Graham Brown 07:31

But those are meaningful. Probably the sentimental because they're an experience that you've had or a memory of somebody. And that's what it's about. Isn't it? That in our case, for example, I'm sure we go into this in the podcast is at one point we were living on the island off Africa, the Canary islands, which are part of Spain, but they're actually geographically part of Africa. So it's a Spanish culture. So you've got all that kind of very relaxed island lifestyle, drinking coffee out in the sun. Very nice. You know, we just had like three suitcases, three of us, me and my wife, my boy, who was six at the time. And all we owned was three suitcases. That's it? Everything, there was a storage with, you know, some photograph somewhere in London, but nothing else. And when you're like that, you are very vulnerable. That's the, I think the reality of this existence that we've all experienced is that you strip away the clothing if you like of society. And a lot of that is, you know, your, for example, your job title, you don't have that anymore. You don't have a car, you don't have this place you live and you don't have this community that you're surrounded by on all these objects. You strip all of that away. I mean, it's great to be then in that kind of Zen existence of, oh, I can really focus on what I want, but the downside is is you have that vulnerability because now you don't have that armor. So, you know, the existence, the reality of this location, independent nomadic lifestyle, wherever you are, is that, you know, whether you're on the coast in North Carolina or on an island somewhere is that the highs are gonna be higher, but the lows are gonna be lower. And that's, that's why it it's a journey worth documenting and sharing because doc documenting and sharing, it helps you deal with that, you know, because it's not all sunshine and rainbows. 

Shannon Arner 10:00

Well, and that's what I read the book first. I was doing some traveling at the time and I kept reading it and I had it, I was reading it like on my phone, on my Amazon Kindle app or whatever. And I came home and I was telling Jerry about it. And I was telling him, you know, oh my gosh, like this is of course, you know, on a much smaller scale, how we sold all of our stuff and our, you know, our house and all of that and the business, and then came to the coast. And I said, but, oh my gosh, I can totally relate to this. I said, the difference between other things that we researched and read and people that paint these pictures of how wonderful life is gonna be. I said the difference between all that and Graham's book is that it's sort of a handbook. That I wish we would've read at the time. And also you do paint the picture of, okay, these are the pros and these are the cons. This is why you should do it. This is why you shouldn't do it. If you're here, Hey, this is why you should, if you're here, this is why you should not do it. And I love that you did that because I think that there's so many people who have these, I would never talk somebody out of doing it. But I think that there are people who think, wow, yes, he lives on this island. Wow. It's so great. And they don't think about, gosh, this is gonna be really hard. And the one thing I loved that you say, and there is, and I think you mentioned a few times, if you're worried about what people think don't do it, because if you're gonna constantly be worried about what people think, or you care about what people think, then this is not for you. Because, you know, if that's what you rely on, what feeds you is constantly, what people think then you can't live this lifestyle. You just, you just can't, you know, I just think, I don't know, it really is a handbook. But I do wanna get to it and talk about, you know, going back and you sort of let us there a little bit back in the beginning when you did sell everything kind of a cliff notes version, cuz I want people to read the book what was the thought process had you always had the dream of doing this or were you just sort of like, you know, did you and your wife say, okay, let's do this or were you kind of like sit down, have a family meeting? Like what was sort of the thought process behind doing it? 

Graham Brown 12:22 

The cliff notes version. Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? And I mean, one of the reasons I do podcast is really to make sense of that question. Because it wasn't so clear at the time. And I don't think everybody is, you know, there's a lot of talk these days of finding your why. But I really don't believe in that. I feel that most of us discover it by accident almost as an afterthought, like the philosopher Sean Kard, that Danish philosopher says we live life forwards, but understand it backwards. And at the time there wasn't really a great why that we were gonna sell everything and pack it into three suitcases and travel the world. But at context, we were living in London at the time I had a telecoms business and I had lived abroad before in the nineties. I lived in Japan for a short period. Very much fascinated by you know other cultures, different world. So I was curious, I think that's the starting point. I think if you had that curious energy, you know, I was the little boy where people say, don't look through the hole in the fence. I'm like, okay. Yeah. I gotta look through the hole in the fence. Kind of like a Tom Sawyer type story, isn't it? So that was me. And I think that's the energy, which then propels you through life, to live life, really as a traveler, as opposed to a tourist, which I think is a big difference. And, you know, if you think life as a tourist and we've all been on these tours, you know, you end up on a coach and you are looking at life through the safety of the glass window. Right. And you know, not many things can go wrong, but a traveler really is about getting off that coach and getting lost in the back streets and getting lost in the back streets is where the magic happens. Right? You know, we've all been somewhere where you are, you know, you are in a town or a place you don't know, and you're, it's not on the map like this bit, where are we? And you're trying to figure it out. And then little bit of scared, you know? And then you, you bump into somebody, you have those random encounters and those are the things you still talk about today like, or you discover that little tapas bar, you know, where there's just this old guy's 80 years old running it. And there's two seats and you sit there and have a wine. Those are the memories that you will never discover living on the bus, right? Yeah. Right. But you have to kind of put yourself out there. So the process like you ask is, you know, what were the thought process? I know you talk a lot about, for example, mental health and you know, which really is about, you know, living life on your terms. Isn't it a lot of what causes the issues that we have today. And if people talk about stress and anxiety and mental health is we end up living lives for other people. We end up absorbing these definitions and stories of success, which are written for us.You know, it's the old Harley Davidson advert is that, you know, when writing the story of your life, make sure nobody else is holding the pen. And many of us end up in that situation where we absorb these ideas of success. And that could be the traditional career, or even as business owners, we absorb these ideas of success and we live out these stories to fulfill the expectations of other people, not ourselves. I think one of the biggest challenge for us entrepreneurs is that we start a business thinking that we're gonna do this for ourselves because we are not those gray faced gray suited career people that we see every day. We're gonna go and make our own lifestyle. We're gonna design our lifestyle. And then we start this process and we end up being motivated and shaped by the same forces that everybody else is being shaped by, which is trying to impress other people. You know, I've got a successful business. Look at how many people we hire, look at the size of my office. And, you know, then living that lifestyle, whether you are being paid as an employee or whether you are being paid as a business owner, it's the same. And so for me, you know, it's constantly looking at and saying this isn't right. Something must, you know, and something, it's the hole in the fence, poking and trying to find a way. And it never is obvious. And then, you know, taking small steps, like, okay, what have we didn't need an office. That was the starting point. And then everything kind of unravels. We had an office in London got rid of that, started working remotely in 2007, 2008. And then when you didn't need an office, we didn't need all these people. And then you don't need that car. And then I don't need to work with these clients cuz I don't need to pay all these bills now. And then the thing starts falling apart beautifully. And it's a process. So I mean to your listeners, it's a very long cliff notes answer. You know, it's a process. It's not like one day you were, you know, this career accountant, the next day you were living on this tropical island. It doesn't happen. Like it's, it's small steps and the more you sort of push in that direction, the more the truth will reveal itself. 

Shannon Arner 17:44 

You know, you're interesting. You're right. I mean, I think, you know, now that you're saying that I think we can sort of pinpoint a conversation that we had. I felt like we were pushed to a breaking point, but we were sitting, we were sitting in the ocean, the waves were sort of breaking on us and right down the road. Yeah. And I remember saying something has to give, I mean, it has to give, and I can't keep living like this and we both felt that. But it, it was a bunch of little things and it was sort of the mindset of we're living this way.We're pushing, pushing, pushing this business because it was the expectation of what you think the business should be and what everyone thinks the business success should be. And it wasn't what we wanted success to be. You know?

Gerry Arner 18:32

Well and you go into it thinking, you don't have to answer to a boss, but all your clientele becomes your bosses.

Shannon Arner 18:36 

 But you have a thousand bosses.

Gerry Arner 18:39

 You got a thousand of them. 

Graham Brown 18:40

But that's the reality, right? Gerry, that, and you know, it's an important conversation to have. Because it's harder maybe for entrepreneurs to talk like this, because it's almost like if you do talk like that, you're a failure. You know, you see the material, we are being bombarded by this carousel of imagery about entrepreneurship, which can be, for example, you know, the laptop on the beach blog, you know, we see all that or those kind of like, why aren't you sort of living this lifestyle where a hundred percent passive income and, you know, trading an hour a day or whatever, or it can be, you know, people like Elon Musk, like, you know, when you're a billion ad, you've got. The right to speak like this until that point. You're nobody, but that's, you know, kind of the Hollywood mindset, isn't it? That, you know, you go to Hollywood and 1% of people make it. Everybody else is hustling. Yeah. And for us, that's the challenge, isn't it? Because most people will end up hustling and having those conversations that maybe the biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur is that actually the reality is that you are gonna do this for the rest of your days. Very rarely will you get to a situation where somebody will come and acquire your business and you'll be out. This is it. So I think that was for me the reality and, and obviously, you know, we will all be touched by our mortality or the mortality of people around us, which makes us ask Shannon. Like you say those questions, something's gotta give because you know, for me personally, it was, you know, losing some of my family and then thinking actually that could be me next. Yeah. You know, you look at the statistics. That's it is that if you look at the stats that, especially if you're a couple as well, you know, there's two people in the equation now. That we are more likely to hit retirement age 65. I mean, we're lucky even to be 65 as a retirement age, by the time we get there that keep moving it don't, they, I know we're lucky to 65 where both of you were in full health and that's the scary fact that, that you're more likely to get to that point where one of us, one of in a couple has some kind of critical illness or immobility or mental, you know, for example, degenerative disease, for example,a 65. So that scared me. And I thought that's the reality is that I'm gonna work all my days. Like my dad did. You know, I worked all his days. He got to 64 the year before retirement and got diagnosed with terminal cancer. And that scared me so much because he'd grown up with this, you know, that generation, they grew up with this idea that you're gonna work all your life. It's like, you know, love and marriage all your life. You'll get a 65 and then you'll be able to enjoy the rest of it. And so he gave up 45 years for that. And then he got to the last point and it was pulled away from him. You know, he only lasted about another 18 months. And you could, that affected me obviously, you know, with, I grew up thinking that that was the option. And at the time I was an entrepreneur, so I was thinking, actually, that could be me now. Yeah. And it scared me to take action. You know, I feel death shouldn't be something that influences or shapes our lives or at least determines it. But it's an amazing teacher that tells you, look, this is the reality that a lot of us will face and what are you gonna do about it. Right. And most people just kind of hide that away. So, you know, I'm worried about that when I get 65.

Shannon Arner 22:19

Why do you think it is that people are so stuck in that definition of success? And let me give you a scenario that sort of resonates with your lifestyle and semi hours and what we hoped to accomplish at some point. But when we sold our house, I remember the next question was going to be, well, you're gonna buy a house when you moved there, right? No, no, because we don't know where we're gonna end up being. We might go here to here to here. Well, you know, no renting is wasting your money. And I heard a quote or a read a quote somewhere that said, no, when you pay rent, you're paying for the opportunity to be able to leave and go wherever you want anytime. And I'm like, yes, that's exactly what we're doing. Why do you think that people are so stuck in the beliefs that they're in, whether it's that you have to own a house or that you have to work a job for a, you know, a certain amount of time to be successful? Like why do you think that that is.

Graham Brown 23:20

 That's a really powerful question. And you're gonna make enemies asking that kind of question. 

Shannon Arner 23:25

No, I know a lot of real estate agents don't like me when I say about the rent thing.

Shannon Arner 23:29

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Gerry Arner 23:36

Sugar wish is definitely one of those businesses where you ask yourself, why didn't I think of that?

Shannon Arner 23:40

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Gerry Arner 23:49

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Shannon Arner 23:57

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Gerry Arner 24:20 

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Shannon Arner 24:34 

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Graham Brown 24:51

 I think you've gotta ask these questions as well, because that's why questions are really what gets you to the truth. And so the question is, is that, why are people stuck in that? Why isn't it? Okay. It's obvious just do this right. I had a similar situation like you did where people were often a little bit challenged by that reality. I remember somebody when we sold our staff, somebody, all the eBays turned up, you know, taking all our life away from us, all these, all these objects, my poor wife, she spent like six months just answering the door to these strangers. Yeah. And this guy turned up, took our TV away. We sold that. Obviously it was one of the first things to go, not, didn't miss it much at all. And then I remember my neighbor found out that we'd sold our TV and he says, oh, what are you getting? I said, have a TV. I remember him saying exactly. He says, you don't have a TV. Well, what are you gonna do? That was his question.

Graham Brown 25:53

And I was like, I didn't even answer it. I thought, actually, I'm gonna rephrase that and think about it for the next 10 years. Because that was really powerful. I still think about it now that's the answer to your question is because we are very much conditioned, you know, you think TV, advertising media, coworkers, aunts, and uncles, family. Society's extremely powerful. To make us believe in these stories. And we all maybe think that we are beyond, oh no, you know, I'm not, I'm not influenced by all this stuff, but it does it work billions and billions of dollars convincing us of this reality. Um, we buy into it and if you take, we chatted off air about it, the car is a great example. Is that if you sell a car, then you feel, I mean, for a generation, the car defined class and status. Right? I know we like to think we don't live in those kind of worlds anymore, but that's the reality, you know, you think about great media movies, like, you know, American graffiti and stuff like that, where the car became a, if you were a teenager, it became symbol of independence, didn't it. And for that generation, it was. And yet, if you think about it, most people, if you look at the stats, most people will spend 60% of their disposable income on maintaining and owning a car. And 95% of the time, it doesn't move. You know, it stays stationary, losing value. And when it does move, often, it only at 20% occupancy, you know, five seats, one person, but it's constantly costing money, insurance, taxation, et cetera, et cetera. Plus the repairs, the lobes, all these kind of things. That cost money. And yet when people, when you ask somebody, why do you need a car? They said, well, I need a car to drive to work. And they said, well, why. Need to work over there. I said, well, because I need to buy a car. I need to afford this car. And you know, that becomes a thing. You earn the money and then you get a salary raise and then you go and buy a car with it or buy a better car or you, you know, even rent a car. So that's the reality. And to make that whole thing work, you need advertising agencies to spend billions of billions of dollars convincing us that the car isn't a means of getting from A to B because you've got Uber and you've got transport for that. Right? You've got taxis. The car is about how people will see you and you see every single car advert is about how people think about you. You know, are you a family man? Are you a successful man? Are you, you know, a considerate mother, whatever it may be. Defining people through these stories. And that is the longer answer to your question. Shannon is. The reason why people are stuck in it's because of the power of story. Is that these stories are extremely powerful and we grow up believing in them. You know, this is a successful person. This is an unsuccessful person. If I want to be loved and accepted by other people, I need to be more like a and less like B. And only when you grow up and you realize, and you start challenging these stories, do you realize actually how powerful they really are? You know, it goes in and to be able to live beyond that is gonna cause issues with people like the house or the car or the TV story, right? I'm gonna bring up a Bob Dylan quote here. I think it's kind of relevant. He says, you know, a man is a success when he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between he does what he likes.

Shannon Arner 29:29

 Yeah. That's in your book. 

Graham Brown 29:32 

But if you live that life, can you imagine being at school and talking like that? They'd be like, get out. You're in trouble. Right. It's kind of the Ferris Bueller type character, isn't it. But only, you know, we are brought up to believe and conditioned because that makes everything work. And to be the one who asks why, you know, you have to be informed. That's the great thing about, you know, your podcast, your blog, and you know, all the material out there of people living this life, because you have to know that you have what the alternatives are. Otherwise you'll just kind of be marginalized. You know, you may be curious asking these kind of questions, but you don't have answers. You don't have stories to pull on and say, actually, these people are doing it and they seem happy. Why don't I do like that? Because we don't have those alternatives in the mainstream.

Shannon Arner 30:27

Right. You know, I have a question for you, but now I, I feel like I have all these now they're turning into these bigger questions, 

Graham Brown 30:34

That's life. You're going down the rabbit hole. 

Shannon Arner 30:39 

I know. Yeah, my question was gonna be, but now I, now I, why don't we rephrase it? Let me tell you what it was gonna be, my question to you was going to be because of your lifestyle. Do you consider yourself a minimalist, but now I'm even like rethinking, you know, I've always said, oh yeah, we're minimalist, we're minimalist, but now I'm like, maybe none of us here are minimalist. Maybe we're just sort of, we live life the way that life should like getting back to basics the way it should be lived. Like maybe minimalist isn't even the lifestyle. You know what I mean? 

Gerry Arner 31:13 

Yeah. We sort of stripped it back a little bit. But yeah, I don't feel, we really.

Shannon Arner 31:19

 Like, what are your thoughts about this term minimalism?

Graham Brown 31:22

It's attractive, isn't it? Minimalism, but you also set yourself up don't you? That you're kind of replacing one lifestyle with another. Which is fine because you need it because when people ask you, you've gotta have an answer. Right. you know, what box do I put you guys in? Right. Are you in that box or that box come on. I need to know. And you could give them the long answer but life isn't like that, you know, it's just okay. Yeah. I'm a minimalist. Just accept that. Yeah. I think that makes sense for those kind of dinner party conversations, which just keeps it easy where you say I'm a minimalist.

Graham Brown 31:54 

Exactly. That's the challenge. Isn't it? Is that actually, if you replace, for example, being a careerist or an entrepreneur with something else, you end up with the same forces that drive you, you're trying to live this lifestyle for other people. That's the challenge. And I think I love the idea of minimalism. I would accept it and take bits of and then play with it. I think all these kinds of labels you've gotta play with them. You know, when people ask me, what do I do instead of saying, you know, I run a podcast business, you know, I tell them I'm a storyteller. I just play with it. I feel that's the kind of, we've kind of earned the license or the ability to play with those stories now. So yeah. Tell them you're a minimalist. Have fun with them. Yeah. I think that's the key, isn't it? Because you'll get the reactions you want out of people, because somebody's gonna go ‘puh, minimalism what's that’ and walk away or they're gonna say, oh, that's great. You know, I wanted to do that. I've got too much junk. I always feel that I could really kind of Delo in my life. I think the answer, I mean, I don't have a black and white answer to that, but that's probably the reality, isn't it, is that play with these terms. Because life is absurd. Let's face it. And I think you get people to maybe get curious in what you're and maybe want to know more. 

Shannon Arner 33:21

 I was gonna tell him the story about, we were talking about dinner parties. We were at a dinner party. Someone was asking us something about our lifestyle and they were a fellow entrepreneur. And for a little bit, we thought that the person was really understanding like, oh yeah, you know, this is what we were going through, and this is why we make these changes. And, and I was really like, wow, okay. Yeah, he's really getting it. And now I've realized he was sort of pacifying us. And so we were sort of having the conversation and then he just said, mom, now you're living on love. Aren't ya?

Gerry Arner 34:01

 It was such a little down.

Shannon Arner 34:04

It was a jab. It was sort of a jab. And then I was like, okay, this conversation needs to end. Like there's no point in even going any further, but it was one of those things where I now I'm realizing, Yeah, I should have just given the little version. Yeah. We just down five.You have to sort of just pick.

Graham Brown 34:21

 You, just tell them we've got this love Fest community, Ashram down on the coast. Like, you know, it's Midsummer come down for celebrations. We're all gonna be dancing around naked. 

Gerry Arner 34:30

Oh, I was just gonna say, we told them this is actually the first time we've had clothes on too much. Say you don't close. We realize absolutely. 

Graham Brown 34:41

 Well, living in love is actually not a bad thing to do if you think. But it's funny how that's become a negative isn't it in life. Right? 

Gerry Arner 34:53

 Like a complete, like backlash of the culture of the sixties. Early seventies, you know, and it's been that way since like the eighties, you know, it's just, yeah.

Graham Brown 35:00

They probably then go to church and listen to sermons about Jesus, you know, and, you know, listen talking about love. They probably accept all that and then go out and criticize people for actually doing it. Right. That's the irony of it. You know, there's a scene isn't there in, I remember the movie wall street. Was it Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen. I can't Charlie sheen. Wasn't there? There's a scene in that, where he's working in this boiler room outfit, you know, where they're making the phone calls and pitching people a hundred a day and selling stuff. And I've actually worked in one of those. Ironically, I've done that and I've experienced it. And there's a bit in it where his girlfriend is asking you, like, when are you gonna get out of this? Because he's clearly unhappy. You know, he's making money, but he's clearly living a bad lifestyle, very toxic. And there's a bit where he says, I think that if I can make a bunch of cash out of this, then I'm gonna sell up and I'm gonna buy a motorbike and ride across China. This is in the eighties. And the irony is, is like, how much does it actually cost to buy a motorbike and ride across China? Probably right. Maybe a thousand bucks. You know, most people can do that. But we would rather hang onto these ideas, like the living on love ideas which have been indoctrinated in us, which really at the end of the day and this is about fear. Isn't it? That if you think about it for almost everything that we've ever done, that's amazing in our life, lay on the other side of fear, you know, that could have been getting up on stage and doing that talk. It could have been starting the podcast. Who's gonna hear our story. Let's do it. And then you commit, you press record and you are then out there, you're beyond, you've broken through or selling your house or moving to the coast. These were all scary decisions. And yet we can all do them, but the reason we don't do them, it's not fear of failure. Like failure's nothing it's like, you know, from the moment when you're in the kindergarten, you fell over or you dropped something or you banged ahead with another kid you've experienced failure and you've understood it. It doesn't kill you. The real fear that we have is what other people think about us, that they think that, well, we're a bunch of hippies now. Yeah. Or maybe we weren't actually cut out for this entrepreneurial game after all right. Maybe we were just kind of faking it and then we broke and then we had to kind of go back to our hippie roots, you know, and start, tend the farm, whatever it maybe. But that's the reality is it's, it's all about fear. And then when you talk about this, you have to understand the reason why people react to us like that is because they feel it deep down. Everybody wants to live like that. Everybody would like to live or love, why not what a great lifestyle that would be. You know, that's the challenge. And then when you talk about that, it's almost like, well, for weeks and weeks, I've buried this idea. And then now you're kind of bringing it up, which is what happened to that guy. It's kind of, you are kind of point needling. You're pulling at my heartstrings and I want to keep that thing shut. So I need to shut it down. We have to realize the reason why people react like that is because you're talking the truth. And it hurts. And there's a great, I think it was a, a newspaper survey done some years ago, daily mail, which is a, you know, sort it's popular online and they surveyed people and they said, what's the number one thing that you do if you won the lottery or the lottery or the power war, whatever it may be. And number one, answer, people gave almost unilaterally 81% said, go and travel the world. And that's really, I find that really fascinating is because 81% of people think that you have to be financially well endowed, millionaire, billionaire to travel the world when you could do that with a few hundred bucks. And that's the reality is that we're all kind of sold on this idea that it may be something that happens in the distant future. If this impossible event happens, like I win the lottery or I sell my business and that's the reality that keeps us all happy and numb. I say not happy, but numb, sorry to the reality. And your guy at that event is, that's why it's not because you are wrong. It's because you're speaking the truth to him and he can't handle it because you're exposing him. He could do that. And the only, you can't say the reason I can't do this, the reason I can't do this is because, you know, I'm not an entrepreneur like you guys, he was an entrepreneur, which is even worse for him. Right?The reason he can't do this is because he's scared. And the only way that he can shut that down and accept it is to come up with this nonsense idea that you're just a bunch of hippies, right? 

Shannon Arner 39:58

Yeah. I love to, I was just sitting here thinking too about when you were talking about the cost of travel and I'm not gonna keep talking about things in your book, cause I really do want everybody to go get it. But the thing I loved too, we were talking about this earlier, before we even got on here with you is that probably one of the greatest things I think your book has as a resource is you talk about, if you have this much money, this is how far it will go in these areas which I think is brilliant, like this will last you three months here. This will last you a week here. I love that, it opened my eyes. I had no idea that you could live in some places, you know, if you had a thousand dollars, it would last, you, you know, a month in some places where it would last, you, you know, two days and others and the book, yes. it's your story. And it's wonderful, but it's also such a great handbook resource. And I just think that's amazing. I wish we'd known about it earlier, but we know about it now. So it's great.

Graham Brown 40:59 

Well, I was saying those kind of things, when, you know, I started out as well. It's like, I wish I'd known about this. You know, you read somebody else's book or somebody tells you why didn't they tell me this at school? That's the whole point, isn't it?  You're always learning the point about money is really interesting because you have to be curious about that. You don't understand, we don't understand the reality is out there. You know, you could be in a situation like if you move to the coast or you move to an island or you move somewhere else, it changes the economic pressures, doesn't it? But if you think about a lot of people have to live in the city because they have to be close to work. And so therefore they will pay double for their rent or their mortgage alone for that privilege. So they then have to have an even higher paying salary. So they end up the same, you know, I discovered this is that in the very beginning of my career, I was a financial advisor, there was no other jobs going. So I found one where I could actually get, you know, if you, if you studied and you took the certificate, become a financial advisor, it was pretty easy process, six months and one of the first ever clients that I had was a doctor. Now I think doctors should be, you know, financially well off secure, you know, six figures easily as a doctor. And he came to me. And one of the things I do as a financial advisor is do, you know, like an audit of their, you know, I'm not a full sort of accountant's audit, but just, you know, let's go through all the numbers with you. So there was a doctor, you know, young doctor in his late twenties and just starting out earning six figures easily, like more than double the average salary easily. And yet he was about $250,000 in debt. And I was looking at it, thinking, how is this possible? Doctors are like the smartest people out there. These are really intelligent people, but he's got $250,000 of debt more than me. And he's just working to pay this thing off, right? And that really stunned me because that's the trap that he's in. There may be reasons why he got into that. We don't know, obviously there's lots of things at play, lots of forces, but even that word, if you think about debt itself and it comes from German, even in German, the word debt should then which means guilt, you know, guiltiness. And if you think about that is that that's the system that people have. The whole money thing is like, get a job, get a car, get into debt. Student loans, personal loans. And it's guilt. It's a form of, you know, control or slavery if you're like in the modern sense. But if you can break out of that, you know, I don't need to pay all this in my rent. I don't need such a higher salary now. I don't. Well, if I'm not commuting, don't need a card. Don't need, I can just dress in a t-shirt like you guys. Yeah. You know, don't need to expensive office suits. Lunches at work, spending all that money on yoga classes with the, you know, because to de-stress from work and all these kind of things. Right. But once you get out of that, you realize actually, you know, you don't need a lot of money to live and be happy. That's the irony, because it seems, you know, when we're caught up in it, we just need a bit more, you know, you're six figures and I just need a bit more, I need another 20,000. I need another 50,000. If I can earn that 50,000, then I can be happy. Then I can afford these things. What happens is you, do you get that extra money and you just end up worse off you're so right. And that's the, and you don't realize it, you say, oh, okay, next promotion, next deal. Doesn't happen. Which it's a trap. The whole thing is a trap. And you look at that doctor, it made me realize, but you step out of it and then you realize actually I can do this a different way. 

Gerry Arner 44:52

When we were running the business too, the first thing we realized was, you know, we never turned down a client and when they're building and building, it's building and building and we're working more and more, that led to more impulse spending because you're constantly, you're eating on the run. You're just, you're just throwing your money around. Because you really don't have time to think about what you're buying, you know? Because you don't have any downtime. You're just, we were just throwing money all over the place. Yeah. And it was just a vicious cycle.

Shannon Arner 45:23 

And it was, and it was also, we were paying attention to that number and going well, when we hit this number, we'll stop. When we hit this number, we'll stop, when we hit this number and it kept going up and up and up and up and the business on paper kept making more and more money, but that wasn't helping us, just wasn't, you know?

Graham Brown 45:43

 Did you realize it at the time, always thinking that it kind of lay on the other side of this next level that you were gonna get to, did you actually stop and realize before you had that kind of conversation by the coast?

Gerry Arner 45:56

 No, we didn't. You don't do anything? No, we weren't.

Shannon Arner 45:59 

We weren't stopping. We just kept thinking there's some sort of threshold where it's going to get better. Like we just. 

Graham Brown 46:05

And then you sort of, that's where 65 comes, isn't it? Oops. Falling off the cliff air guys. That's the, I mean, even for like you, your entrepreneurs, you kind of, you assume that entrepreneurs are smart and savvy and you know, they live the exam life, but even us, we don't see that, that's the irony, isn't it? And that's a challenge that you think it's there. I need to just work a little bit harder.

Shannon Arner 46:41

 And you're complimented on your drive and your hard work.

Graham Brown 46:41 

That's the story.

Shannon Arner 46:44.

That's what we were told constantly. Oh my gosh. You guys are such hard workers, you're you guys are doing so great. I mean, that's what you win. That's what the accolades come from, you know? Meanwhile, you're breaking down physically and mentally and your life is miserable.

Graham Brown 47:03

Yeah. And you can't complain because you don't have a boss to complain to, even less. And you can't talk to people and say, oh, I don't like my job. I think that is why the stress front entrepreneur is even harder. Because you know, if you worked in a company you could easily complain, you could play the I'm trapped, I'm a victim card, right? Or I, you know, I'm gonna get another job or I don't like my boss, but as an entrepreneur, all those people are saying, oh, you guys look at you, you're amazing. You work so hard. Look, all these things that you have, all the, all these privileges that come with being an entrepreneur. And that's really hard because you can't then turn around and go. Actually, it's not what it seems. Right? And that's, you know, we look at mental health in society, all those people that looked externally to be successful in everybody's fighting a war and a battle internally. Right? They're on they're one client email away from a meltdown, you know? How it is for most people. 

Shannon Arner 48:06

 Well, at the beginning of your book, you have some advice from Henry Rollins who we love and he essentially tells us the reader about how everyone should travel, have your mind blown experience, different cultures, because you see the country, well, your own country, the world differently. We 100% agree with that. We say all the time, how we think that traveling makes you more human, it makes you more compassionate, even though your, you know, your knowledge expands, your world becomes, you know, it's like you see the world bigger, but your world becomes smaller because you truly have like this better sense of what other people are going through. And it's like, your lens becomes more clear. And I think we as people, whether you have children or not, you need to do it, but you have a son. So do you feel that this is this wonderful advantage that you've given him and you know that you're able to do this for him? I mean, do you think that's just wonderful? I think it's wonderful. We don't have kids, but I think it's absolutely phenomenal that you're able to give that to him. Do you see it that way?

Graham Brown 49:12

Yeah. There's a lot of questions in there. I mean, the bit about I come to the idea of travelers education, I mean, it's education for us as well at, you know, from kids age 4 to 94. Really? That's the reality. And a bit about Henry Rollins as well. You know, getting out and traveling, let's put it out there to your listeners as well, that travel doesn't mean going, living on an island necessarily. It can be, you know, moving state, right? Different part even within, I mean, look at the US, the states are so big, even within a state, it's like two different countries, right? In some cases, upstate, you know, different to where maybe out in the more country areas. So that's the reality travel really means change. It means changing the lifestyle, moving somewhere else. So you can experience travel even in the same state, same country, same city, maybe who knows. So let's put that out there first and I think, you know, it does blow your mind, that is important because that's what life is, is just a collection of stories really. That's all we remember at the end of the day, when you sit around the table, is that all that's left is those moments when your minds were blown, right? Yeah. Those are the ones you remember, you kind of put it together. I mean, there were two instances that really reconfirmed it for me. The first one was I was just recently graduated backpacking at the time, backpacking around the islands of Indonesia, which I wanted to do. And so I was hanging out with all these kind of travelers, other 20 year olds, which was quite cool. You know, everybody kind of, where have you been? Oh yeah, I've been up to Thailand, been at the Philippines, went out to these mad islands where you can hire a boat and sail around for three or five days, whatever, it's all those kinds of stories. And then I remember because when you're traveling, you live this very fluid existence, which is, you know, there's two of you, there's one of you. And then there's like, you join up with this other team of people. Then there's like four or five and you go to dinner and new people join at this cafe one evening sitting there in this cafe with all these 20 year olds. And I was one of them and then this 70 year old couple turned up and that was unusual. And they came and sat and said, can we sit with you? I'm like, yeah, be my guest. So they came and sat with us, you know, moved our stuff. They sat down this 70 year old couple from Australia, they'd retired and they had been retired for a number of years now. And they've been living in Australia, retired and they got bored of that because you can imagine you just kind of hang out with your community and nothing to do same, same, same, play golf, whatever it may be. And then they decided at some point that they were gonna do something new. So one of them decided let's take up body boarding, which is, you know, like the mini surfboards, you know? They're about three foot surfboard, you know, you kind of lie on them rather opposed to standard. Yeah. they said, yeah, that's a really good art. You could imagine this sort of retirement community. It's like, yeah, let's go body boarding. So they, they bought these body boards and they bought this one way ticket to Indonesia where they started and they said they'd spent the last, when I met them, they spent the last 10 months body boarding around Southeast Asia, just two of them together, you know, husband and wife. And I thought that was, I was so inspired. I was like, you know, I wasn't thinking about life partners. I wasn't thinking about my life. Yeah. But that really. That touched me. And I remember them because it was for the first time and it was through travel. That ever experienced somebody who looked really happy and was living life on their terms, you know, they weren't driving around in a big car. They were just like, you know, and they were sitting with 20 year olds as well. You know, the fearless, you know, they, weren't this sort of big, you know, public speaking type couple, they just quite timid, shy and they just sing and they're holding their own. And all these, you know, these 20 year olds were like, wow, like you are like for me, the north star now. So that really inspired me. That was the story that planted a seed in my head and it, it didn't go away. Yeah. Whoever they are out there. Thank you very much for kinda inspiring. So that was the first one. The second story, very short one is that when I moved to Japan in the nineties was actually before that slightly teaching English. And I remember. When I arrived in Tokyo and this was very exciting. Tokyo was, you know, still like the, you know, future back in the nineties is different now. But back then, you know, it was like TDK tapes and TBA and Sony. These were a big deal. So I remember landing in Tokyo, got whisked away to the office. You know, I was gonna be indoctrinated onboarded in the new company. And I sat there waiting in the office and, you know, the manager was gonna come and see me. So I was sitting there a little bit nervous, young guy, new job, and I was looking around and I, as you do, you're sort of scanning the walls. Most of it was in Japanese. I couldn't read it. And then there was this map sitting there in the office, just on the wall. I was kept looking at this map going, something's funny about that map. And they kept looking at it and thinking that's not right. And you and I, and the listeners, we've all seen the map of the world. Right. And it's the MEKETA projection, right? Which it has sort of New York on the left and London in the middle, on the right Atlantic in the center and then sort of pushed out to the right you've got Asia and if you're New Zealand, New Zealands are off the map at the bottom. Right? But this map was different. This map had Tokyo in the center, Japan in the center. So you've got, if you have put Japan in the center of the world, what it looks like is like London is pushed right to the top left and New York is pushed right to the top. Right. And there's this big Pacific right in the middle. And it looks really, really weird. And when you look at it, you start asking questions that actually. Maps are interpretations of the world. And every single one of them is correct. That's how they see it. That's how they see it. We've seen it this way for all our lives at schools. And you see it on the wall. You see it in a book. You, wherever you look at the world, you see that image. Yeah. And yet. Here's another version of it. And that just blew my mind. And if to your listeners, here's the challenge. There's actually something called the south up map. Right. Go and Google it. A south up map actually is what we would think is upside down. So if you have a look at the world, looks very, very different. You've got like Africa and Australia on the top and you've got us all at the bottom there. And the interesting thing, if you tell people about the south up map, the first thing they'll say is it's upside down. And if you resurrect your sort of high school physics lessons, like in space, there's no up and no down. It's actually correct. And they say, no, no, no, no, no. The compass points north, compass doesn't actually point north, the compass points north and south. At the same time. That's the reality of magnetism again? Physics lesson. That's all I remember. and then you they'll say no, no, no, no, because the red point, you know, is north, it's got like a red dot on it, on your compass, right? Even on your app, on your phone, north has got like a little red on it, but that's because somebody, hundreds of years ago decided to paint the north tip to the compass red. And we've stuck with that ever since. And very roundabout answer. But my point is that you think about maps and you start seeing different maps of the world. It blows your mind because it's not just. Oh, look, you know, that country is a lot bigger than that country and that's not how I thought of it, but you see different representations of the world and projections, you realize that everything, what we're being told about the world is an interpretation of that world and somebody sees it differently. And that could be, for example, you know, if you look at, look at the size of Greenland on a map, it's huge. That Greenland is not that big folks, like Greenland is not bigger than Africa, right? If you look at a different projection, Greenland is very, very small. So obviously it's favored interpretations of history. You know, and world geopolitics, you know, we're all much bigger than you guys down here. That is the kind of truth seeking that, I think that it hurts some people and it will get some people riled when you start looking at this. It's not just about maps, maps, or stories, and you can apply that mindset to many, many different things like career or happiness or success. So go out there and Google the south thought map. 

Gerry Arner 58:04

You know what I love about water. Well, other than living by it.

Shannon Arner 58:09

Well, there are a million things to love about water, the sea life, the healing properties, part of the earth. 

Gerry Arner 58:15

 Okay, all that. But I love drinking water.

Shannon Arner 58:17

Well, of course. But did you know that humans can only live a few days without water? 

Gerry Arner 58:22

Yes, so many people live a hydrated lifestyle.

Shannon Arner 58:24 

Well, liquid I.V. makes it super easy to stay hydrated. 

Gerry Arner 58:28 

Hey folks, liquid I.V. isn't scary. There aren't any I.V.s involved.

Shannon Arner 58:31 

No, liquid I.V. is a hydration multiplier. It's a powder form. And electrolyte mix that you just add to your water. It delivers two to two and a half more hydration than water alone. 

Gerry Arner 58:42

They have all kinds of flavors you can choose from. And they have some with energy multiplier and immune support, also benefit, they are non GMO, gluten free, soy free and dairy free.

Shannon Arner 58:53 

If you're someone who either has trouble getting your water in, or maybe just wants to get an express lane with your hydration, you should definitely try liquid I.V.

Gerry Arner 59:01 

Or our listeners,if you go to their website, liquid-iv.com and use code arner adventures, you can save 25% off of your order and get free shipping.

Shannon Arner 59:10 

That's awesome. We'll link it in the show notes too. Liquid I.V., fueling life's adventures. 

Shannon Arner 59:11

Okay. So before we get to our rapid fire, I wanna ask you one more question. Is there somewhere that you want to live or that you want to go, that you haven't?

Graham Brown 59:26 

North Carolina. Oh, down by the beach. Sounds like there's a love fresh down there at the moment. Yeah. I mean, there's no short answer to that question, Shannon. There's many, many places, life's too short to answer that one, I think. Yeah. Just keep moving. Just keep experiencing. 

Shannon Arner 59:50 

Yeah. Okay. All we would love to have you in for our love Fest. So our rapid fire, we're ask 10 questions is kind of a, this or that.

Graham Brown 59:58

Yeah, let's do it. 

 Shannon Arner 59:59 

All right. Okay. Sunrise or sunset? 

Graham Brown 01:00:07 

Sunrise. Yeah.

Gerry Arner 01:00:09

Book or audio? 

Graham Brown 01:00:08 

Ah, these are unfair. These are like, life's not binary folks. What about audiobook? 

Shannon Arner 01:00:19 

We feel like we get to know people through these. 

Graham Brown 01:00:22 

Yeah. But you know, like you're talking to somebody who's gonna try and answer in the middle, so why does it, why does it have to be zero or one? Well, I do, books. I'm a big fan of books. Audio too. So I've covered both bases there. 

Shannon Arner 01:00:43

I know. Okay. Boat or plane, 

Graham Brown 01:00:47

Plane. I know it's not ecologically the best answer, but I do get seasick. Seasickness is the worst.

Shannon Arner 01:00:56

I know, and I have to live on Dramamine and it's my whole thing. 

Graham Brown 01:01:00

When you're seasick, you want to die. It's actually worse than death, the worst. 

Shannon Arner 01:01:03 

And I love boats. I love the idea of a boat. I love the ocean.

Graham Brown 01:01:07 

Romantic. I know this is the quick fire round, so I'm gonna make it the long fire. We went out to Australia and you know, the great barrier reef is beautiful, beautiful. Like one of the world's great treasures. We went out there, took the family out there. All three of us, we went out on this kind of like super jet speed boat. All three of us got really, really seasick . Wow. And it was, I can remember, like they were whales and everything. They went, we did whale watching out there and all this stuff was going on. And, oh, wow, look at the, you know, humpback whales and then down to the barrier reef. Amazing, beautiful, you know, this beautiful Azu and like greens, coral and stuff and I'm in the bathroom. And then my son's like, and the other one, and everybody's just like so ill and we've got photos of it. You know, they've got these sort of photo opportunities where you can go to this place and, you know, the heart reef and stuff like that. And we just let miserable. It's so funny. That's like the memory captured, you go out there with expectations, maybe like going to, you know, the Eiffle tower and then the reality is like very different. So I'd say plane.

Gerry Arner 01:02:12

Okay. Mangoes or pineapples.

Graham Brown 01:02:15 

 Mangoes. Yeah. 

Shannon Arner 01:02:23

 Can we ask that cause of the island thing, you know? 

Graham Brown 01:02:25 

Yeah, yeah. Pineapples are too acidic for me. 

Shannon Arner 01:02:28 

Oh, okay. Okay. I do love my ghost too. Okay. Free time or sleep. 

Graham Brown 01:02:34

Is that a choice? Sleep because you don't have sleep, eventually free time won't mean anything. I think sleep's like the bad. I do like sleep. I think there's a lot. People. Oh, you only need six hours a night, that kind of macho stuff is that I like to get a good seven or eight hours a night. Don't you feel? It's kind of sleep's underrated. I think sleep needs to come back. He does need to come back. We need to put it phone center and say folks it's okay to sleep eight hours a night. 

Shannon Arner 01:03:09 

Okay. Free time is nothing if you don't sleep. 

Graham Brown 01:03:11

Exactly. Whoever invented that alarm clock, it's like these two things they put together, you know, like time and alarm wake up. There's probably Thomas Edison or one of those guys invented that, we've got a lot to answer for. 

Gerry Arner 01:03:23

Sleep under the stars or in a five star hotel. 

Graham Brown 01:03:28

Under the stars. Yeah. Direct few times. 

Shannon Arner 01:03:09

Yeah. We knew that answer. Okay. 

Graham Brown 01:03:34 

But I do like buffets and a five star so maybe you could do both. You could go back and then yeah.

Shannon Arner 01:03:38

 You could go back and forth do that.

Graham Brown 01:03:39

 But the thing about sleeping under the stars, if you do that, like, especially on a beach, you wanna get eaten alive. 

Shannon Arner 01:03:52

I know. We have to be careful. I have some netting. 

Graham Brown01:03:54

That's the reality. Isn't it. You get bitten and it's not as romantic as it sounds. I know, but I mean, if you can actually see the stars, it's phenomenal. It's amazing. You get to one of these islands where it's like, I know you maybe get it in like Utah and places like Bryce Canyon in the US, but it's quite rare to actually see the sauce, as a kid I remember actually seeing the Milky way. My parents' backyard. You don't see that anymore

Shannon Arner 01:04:19

 A lot of light pollution color. Okay. Dine Alfresco or indoors 

Gerry Arner 01:04:25

Alfresco, every time. I'm not a fan of air conditioning. People think I'm weird because you know, I live in Singapore. Everything's like 18C, which is about, I don't know, what's that in old money? About 55, 60 Fahrenheit. I just open the window. People think I'm weird. I like draft coming in, right? 

Shannon Arner 01:04:51

 I would love that. 

Graham Brown 01:04:53

 So put that room with the alarm clock, air conditioning, these sort of who invented that thing? We need a fan. 

Shannon Arner 01:05:08

 But it's in the nineties here right now. 

Graham Brown 01:05:09

We, yeah, but you adapt to it, right? Don't you feel like if you live with air conditioning, you get soft. I mean, I've got it on now. You can't, it's like 96 here, right? So, you know, you gotta have it, but yeah, outdoors, you know, when I lived in Spain, here's one thing I observed for your listeners to think on. But I lived in Spain for about three years, two and a half, three years. And not once did I see one person and they love their coffee in Spain. Like the Italians, they love coffee. I didn't see one person walking and drinking a coffee. That's like, you know, in the US or UK, walking around with your Starbucks. It's like, oh, on the phone, you, one of those big brick phones in a Starbucks something out of wall street. Right. You know, one at the movie. I never once saw it and it really made me think. There's a word actually in Spanish called Sabra Messer, which doesn't have any direct translation. It means around the table. So, you know, when they finish eating lunch, you know, for us lunch was always grab something or power lunch, or if you're lucky to have lunch, but for the Spanish, it was sit, talk, have your lunch and enjoy. So that's an hour. And once you've done your lunch, then it's coffee and sit with your friends. You talk about stress. There's no stress that I didn't see any road rage. Didn't see people shouting in public, just sitting and sitting and having a coffee and talk, actually talking, not looking at their phones. And not walking with this thing in their hand, I thought, wow. We've got a lot of things, that we look at these people and think that they're backward.

Shannon Arner 01:06:58

 No, we're backward. 

Gerry Arner 01:07:00

 Yeah. I don't, no, not at all. Okay. Oh yes. How do you recharge socially or alone? 

Graham Brown 01:07:02

This is recharging for me, these conversations. I think this is a great way to, I feel inspired. This feels like a recharge to me too. Some people you talk to and then negative, right. And positive conversations you feel. Yeah. It's like with clients, isn't it in work, you're gonna have clients who, yeah. I want to talk to that person. 

Shannon Arner 01:07:40

 Or clients are like, it's draining. there's some people it's just, it's like, there's some people you talk to and you hit that off button. You're like. Okay, lemme get my mouth together because I've been, 

Graham Brownr 01:07:53

Yeah, it's too early for the wine. Yeah, absolutely. So that's what it's about. Isn't it, you know, really like bring this full circle back to why become an entrepreneur is because really you can choose. And if you do it properly, you can choose to hang around with more of those people than the other people. Because if you're employed, you get less choice. You get kind of thrown together. It's like a family. You don't choose your family. You have to kind of tolerate them most of the time, same as working in an office. But if you start your own business, you can create your own and you can surround yourself with the right people and that then becomes recharging because if you are with a good team and you have, you know, maybe I don't want that client, maybe I don't want that business. Maybe I don't want to do that. Yeah. And even get rid of clients that are negative for you, right? Fire your clients as well. I advise people to do that. They can have a whole different outlook, you know, you're surrounded by people. It's not always gonna be perfect. Yeah. But the more you can surround yourself with those people, the more you are gonna enjoy it. 

Shannon Arner 01:09:01

 Okay. Number nine, would you prefer an in person meeting or virtual? 

Graham Brown 01:09:08

In person, I think. I think we all prefer it. Don't we? Unless convenient this way. Networking events. I'd rather the ground opened up and fell into it than that. So, Graham, what do you do? I can't stand those. I hate them. People say I'm extroverted, but I'm actually an introvert who's just kind of discovered extroverted channel. I think everybody is aren't they, you know, that 

Shannon Arner 01:09:34

I found that COVID and the whole pandemic, I always thought I was extroverted, but there's something that happened. I either discovered how much of an introvert I am or that something happened where I was just like, wow, I really like, I don't know, I just, I really like what this is, I like having my own terms of when I can, or maybe I learned how to have better boundaries with when I can see people when I can't, I don't know, something happened. There was a shift. 

Gerry Arner 01:10:03

I've always  been more of an introvert. Definitely. Like I need my alone time, you know, and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, she did seem like a natural extrovert, 

Shannon Arner 01:10:08

But the networking event's 100%. If I never have another networking event, the rest of my life, I will be fine with that. 

Graham Brown 01:10:14 

Yeah. Wow. Surprised. 

Shannon Arner 01:10:18 

Oh, put a sticker on..

Graham Brown 01:10:19

 Love Fest Full 22 is off folks. Tell your friend at the party, ain't happening. We're all gonna do it virtually. Yeah. I think the idea of boundaries is what it's about. Isn't it? It's about control. You know the great thing about what's happened with the pandemic and a lot of people working online now is we can choose a lot more. But then obviously it's affected other people other way that they don't get to choose. It's kind of in their face all the time now, but that's it it's like you, you have to exercise choices every time to put boundaries up saying no more at the end of the day, all of this is about saying no more. We are conditioned in a society to say yes to things. Yes, to progress. Yes, to growth. Yes, to money. Yes, to jobs. Yes, to clients. Yes, to everything. But we've gotta learn to say no, because happiness lies on the other side of no, right?  Because saying no to doing that meeting or saying no to going to that networking event or saying no to getting on that call, whatever it may be. That is exercising control. The boundaries that you talk about. And that's what makes us happy.

Shannon Arner 01:11:25 

Yeah, you have, and we've talked about boundaries before, but it's a struggle I have had for a long time. But you learned that not only are you happier with yourself, but the people that you set the boundaries with, you're happier with them because you ended up having all this resentment towards them, because it was your issue. Like you're the one who didn't set the boundaries, you know? You're just happier all around. When you say no and you put them there and then everyone is happier. 

Gerry Arner 01:11:49

 We both learned happily and know a lot better in the last couple years. Yeah. That's such a great lesson though, right? We're gonna dig a little bit deeper with this wrap up question, Ketchup or mustard. Don't have to be brand specific either. 

Graham Brown 01:12:09

Damn product placement. It's always difficult for me to do A or B. I do like mustard. I like spice, spice and ketchup. Is that the wrong answer?

Shannon Arner 01:12:22 

Do you mix, do you mix them?

Graham Brown 01:12:31

No. That never works out. 

Shannon Arner 01:12:33

 Okay, I mix them. 

Graham Brown 01:12:33

Really? Yeah. That's kind of like mixing, you know, like some things mixing it with chocolate, never works. Isn't it?They kind of, for example, chocolate and coffee. Doesn't work. I do really love chocolate and coffee, but mixing 'em together. Never works for me. Oh, so those kind of thing.

Shannon Arner 01:12:50

I like 'em really mocha 

Graham Brown 01:12:53

I love a mocha, a mocha. But that's kind of a mocha is coffee with a hint of chocolate, right? It's not trying to be anything else. It knows it's boundaries. It set the look. Okay. Chocolate. You just stay back there. We're gonna be a coffee here. Nothing else. 

Gerry Arner 01:13:06

Alright. And it is still all liquid form. There's nothing solid about it. That's right. The chocolate it's set out. That mocha is liquid. That's true.

Shannon Arner 01:12:50 

Okay. Well question, we ask everyone, and this is the important question is what does a life well lived mean to you? 

Graham Brown 01:13:29

Yeah. What does a life well lived mean to you? I think life is an adventure and to accept it as an adventure with all the risks, downsides and the upsides, as long as it was her life. That you felt was one that was rewarding. I think at the end of the day, if it makes you happy, then that's a life well lived and happiness really isn't something that's achieved. Happiness is not state or something that you get, you know, happiness. The life well lived is being happy. Nothing clever about being unhappy. I think that we have to put that out there. You know, all those people are unhappy that there's no medal for it. You're not gonna get rewarded for it. It's wasted. It's a life not well lived. So happiness is really what it's about. Love if you dare say, but that's ultimately what it is. Isn't it being with people you love doing what you love. That makes me, you, us, all of us, me happy. If I could say one thing it's this is that, you know, really a life well lived is one in pursuit of happiness. That's what it is. And. What I've learned personally is that all these things, all these experiments in living and happiness, I discovered that it wasn't all these things I thought would make me happy. Right? Those are what I thought would make other people happy about me, but that didn't work. And actually happiness is doing more of what makes you happy as simple as that. So for example, if your definition of happiness is riding a bike like me, for example, then design a life where you get to, you know, get to ride a bike more. That sounds so crazy and so simple, but that's an adventure worth taking for a life. Isn't it? How do I do this more? You know, for me, it's like, okay, it will come up to like 10 o'clock, I'll get on my bike and go out for a ride for an hour.  And whilst other people are working, that makes me really happy. That keeps me sane. I enjoy it. I enjoy the challenge and the exercise. So how can you have that kind of lifestyle? How can you build around that? And many, many things, like, for example, how do I design a business where I'm not having to be on 24/7? How do I not work for somebody else? How can I live in a place where I can ride a bike? And if that makes you happy, then that is happiness. And your definition of happiness. And my definition of happiness is not the same. And that's absolutely fine. But the point is, is that design a life where you get to do more of that is really what's success is that's a life well lived and don't let anybody else tell you otherwise.

Shannon Arner 01:15:57

Yeah. I love that.  

Gerry Arner 01:15:58

It is one of my favorites. And you're talking to me specifically when, when you're talking bikes, because I love bikes. 

Graham Brown 01:16:07

Oh you're, okay. And then comes an age of a man's life or doesn't have enough bikes either.

Shannon Arner 01:16:17

Well, Graham, how can our listeners find you, purchase your book and get in touch with you if they would like to?

Graham Brown 01:16:23

Yeah. So my website is the best jumping off point. So if you go to Graham D brown, so grahamdbrown.com without the D it's a different experience. It's the wallpaper website. Graham Brown is a wallpaper company. They got it before me guys. I'm Graham D - D for David Brown. Okay. All my stuff's there, my writing, my businesses, so if you wanna find out more, that's a good place to start and feel free to pin me any questions. I'm happy to chat with people, anybody on the journey, any point, whether they're looking out the office window or their body boarding around Indonesia. You know, this is what it's about. This is what makes me happy is talking to other people. 

Shannon Arner 01:17:08

Well, we're gonna put all of that in the show notes and I gotta say, this has been wonderful. I have loved every second of this and we really appreciate you hanging with us today.

Gerry Arner 01:17:20 

Oh, yeah. I think I could relate to. I found a lot of these stuff just more relatable than, and we've had all good podcasts, but this just so many relatable things, what you're saying for us and what we're trying to do.

Shannon Arner 01:17:32 

Yeah. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you. 

Graham Brown 01:17:34

 And thank you for doing this, like trying to do it. Yeah. And I think that's it, you know, taking the risk and building a platform, putting yourselves out there and being vulnerable and inviting other people to share that story. That's fun, but it's also what it's all about. Isn't it? And I think that you've done that when many, many people kind of looked at it and thought, oh, what if, but you are actually doing it and in that process, so thank you for doing it.

Gerry Arner 01:18:03

 Yeah. Thanks. Thank you. That's inspiring to hear that from you .

Shannon Arner 01:18:05

 yeah. Wow. I mean, I feel like every time we have one of these spark in our lives episodes, we are always like, oh my gosh, that was such a great conversation. But this one was just, it was really special. Right?

Gerry Arner 01:18:22

 Well, I, yeah, I think both of us agreed. It really just hit on some really strong points with us. He's just a really engaging guy and somebody I found really relatable as well. 

Shannon Arner 01:18:34

Yeah. And one of the things that you said was you felt like we had somebody over to our house yeah. You felt like we had somebody over

Gerry Arner 01:18:40

 I don't know if I've really felt that yet, but it felt, we felt like we were sending him off and like we had had a house guest.

Shannon Arner 01:18:48 

With leftovers. Yeah. And I don't know if we've talked about this during the episode, but, you know, I know we talked about, he was in Singapore, but it was, we recorded this at 7:00 PM, our time. It was 7:00 AM his time. So it was very different timing. We're so grateful that he gave us his time at 7:00 AM and you know, seven in the morning, but it was just for us to be on very different time zones. We just really connected really well. And that doesn't always happen. 

Gerry Arner 01:19:17 

 No, it doesn't cuz one person's waking up and the others are winding down from the end of their long day. So it's kind of an odd mix. Seemed to work out really good, didn't it?

Shannon Arner 01:19:25

It did. It did, but we had such energy, I think just with our lifestyles, our beliefs, but I think sometimes, and we've talked about this a little bit since that we have, you know, with the lifestyle that we have and our beliefs, sometimes you can, and not that it's a discipline at all, but sometimes you sort of need reminders of what's important. And, you know, I can speak for myself that I've felt more stressed lately and sort of feel pressure of certain things. And I can say, oh my gosh, I can feel that, you know, things are starting to pile up and clutter a little bit more. And I just need a little bit of a purging and I can allow things to kind of come in and I realize, why am I allowing these things to come into the house? And why am I allowing these things to matter when they don't, you know, and having a conversation with Graham about, not just the material things, but allowing these other things to be a reminder that they don't matter so much, it was just another conversation that was great timing. 

Gerry Arner 01:20:39 

 It was a little reboot for us to get back to some of our fundamentals that we set out in the beginning with our adventure. So that was yeah. Nice little reboot. And it was great to have him in the house, so to speak. 

Gerry Arner 01:20:44

 Yeah. yeah. It's actually inspired us to declutter again, you know, we were in a Noby year, last year and this year we have, of course not, but it's not like we're buying things, but we just are not saying no as much, you know? And we've allowed some things to come in. So we're, he inspired us to sort of come up with a plan to declutter and yeah, it made me reevaluate that big topic of the, sort of the label of minimalists, you know, why are we saying we're minimalists when that's just. I don't know, like it's just our lifestyle. We just don't live with a bunch of crap. And why does that, why do we need to say that we're minimalist? You know, we're not, I mean, it's just why, right? 

Gerry Arner 01:21:26

 Yeah. We went through that with him, I think. And seems like he had an interesting take on it and then it got us thinking. Yeah, but it's just another label. Like we need labels. For some reason, but we should just say, Hey, we're people that just don't buy as much things as other people maybe, but yeah. You don't really need to label.

Shannon Arner 01:21:46

Another big takeaway that we really enjoyed was Graham saying how, you know, when you have conversations with people about your lifestyle and not that we get, we really don't get a lot of negative conversations or negative responses about our lifestyle. But when we do that, that's really about people maybe being scared of maybe taking that step or wishing that they could take that step. Because most people who, if it's not for them, they wouldn't poop all over it, you know? 

Gerry Arner 01:22:20

 Yeah. They might say, well, that's interesting. That's interesting to me, someone's living your lifestyle, but if they're absolutely kind of scared. They might come at you with a negative reaction cuz they know themselves. They couldn't do something like that, you know? But they'd be scared to do something like we don't. 

Shannon Arner 01:22:36

And it's also made me research the cost of living on certain islands. So we need, you might be thinking that maybe right. Might be having a plan, but anyway, yeah. That's well, listen, if this episode resonated with you at all, please share it with a friend. If you'd like to know more about Graham, his book - “fire your boss, sell your car, travel the world - a guide to living location independent” . We're gonna have all of that information for you in the show notes. As always, you can find us at arneradventures.com, on Instagram at arner adventures, also linked in the show notes. 

Gerry Arner 01:23:08

So until next time, enjoy the journey that you're on. We're wishing you lots of adventures. Bye.

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About The Author Graham Brown

Graham Brown is the founder of Podcast Guesting Pro. Graham is a published author on the subject of Digital Communication and Personal Branding (Amazon titles include "Brand Love: How to Build a Brand Worth Talking About" and "Mobile Youth: Voices of the Connected Generation). He has produced, project managed and guested on over 2,000 podcast episodes.