(Breather) Pursue your passions, be of service, make a contribution to the planet aligned with the
highest expression of your talents! Don’t you love all the high minded talk that’s come out these days about having your cake and eating it too?
I’ve always been good about pursuing my passions and not settling for a miserable existence in the name of economic security or consumerism ideals. However, there is a fine balance to strike between irresponsible surf bum and becoming consumed by unhealthy wealth ideals, isn’t there? In this Breather show, I share some of my personal journey as a writer/content creator as well as some insights from investor legend Warren Buffett, as detailed in a great article on the Medium.com. Buffett has long been the poster boy for minimalism (in life and in investment strategy), focus, discipline and long-term vision. You’ll get some memorable insights that might help frame not only your investment strategy, but how you conduct yourself in other areas of life, such as relationships and your diet/fitness regimen.
One of the most inspiring things you can take away from today’s show is the idea that competition is good, even helpful. Don’t feel let down by those moments of extreme struggle and difficulty strewn along your path, because those hindrances are exactly what help you grow and achieve your goals. Take Mark Sisson and his super popular website, MarksDailyApple. It’s not like Mark started his blog and it was an overnight sensation: BAM, one blog post, and millions of readers! Instead, Mark’s blog was his passion project, something he did for many years before it became what it did. But when you have this kind of high-minded motivation and intention when pursuing your passions, things always seem to work out.
Another great idea to take from Buffet is the importance of saying “No.” Don’t waste time doing unnecessary things; instead be committed to staying focused, and prioritize things on your to-do list. Discipline and minimalism will take you far, and creating strict boundaries for yourself in all areas of your life is something you should view as a necessity, not an option, because it’s in your best interest to be strict with how you spend your time. Try implementing just a few of Warren’s tips into your daily life/habits to see for yourself just how much your life changes, and stay tuned for a piggyback show where we’ll cover 13 practical tips to be like Buffett!
Find the balance between pursuing your passions and the work you do to contribute to society [5:53].
Why so many similar stores are within such close proximity to one another (theory of abundance) [7:00].
The truth about our current economy. 50% of Americans have zero net worth and don’t own anything [11:30].
How MarksDailyApple went from being a side passion project to a super successful blog [13:00].
How to find a happy medium between minimalism and consumerism [15:55].
Why Warren Buffet famously says “No” to almost everything [18:01].
Warren has no computer, no smartphone, and doesn’t even monitor the stock market [22:01].
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 01:19 And here we go with the show.
Brad: 04:10 We’re trying to be all that we can be on the get over yourself podcast covering those broad topics of diet, exercise, peak performance, personal growth, happiness, relationships and longevity. Does that sound like my uh, Promo? I think I memorized all the adjectives or those adjectives. I don’t know. I never really paid that much attention in school, but trying to broaden the conversation into all manner of things that support living a healthy, happy, balanced lifestyle, not just the diet and exercise focus that I’ve been known for, especially on the primal blueprint podcast going for I think six years now talking about this stuff to death. Always an important conversation of course, but hey, if your relationships suck or you got issues in your life, does it really matter that much if you’re going to sleep on time and eating the cleanest diet? That’s what I’m trying to do on this show is broaden the conversation.
Brad: 05:11 And today I thought I would talk about this dude, Warren Buffet, world record, superstar investor guy. Why? Because this has been an area of my life that I would admit to having neglected for let’s say the first 50 years. So the next 50 years I have some new goals. Uh, some of them include getting over the high jump Bar, running the 400 meters and under 60 seconds being all that I can be, uh, to my family, friends, relationships and in my career contribution, but also taking a different perspective and a different value of, uh, economic consequences of what you’re doing. I’ve always been really, really good at pursuing my passions and being in alignment, doing that’s meaningful, important, fulfilling work. But a lot of times you can take your eye off the ball and be completely consumed by passion and become a surf rat in Baja bum and quarters a to go buy some fish tacos on the street.
Brad: 06:12 And that’s not a bad lifestyle. And a lot of people thumbs up for choosing out of the economic experience. And the, uh, all that goes with it, all the responsibilities and hassles and headaches. But we’re always trying to find a beautiful, a wonderful balance where you can pursue goals like a wealth and the freedom, uh, that comes with it and also be true to your passions and be, uh, from a mindset of wanting to make a contribution to society rather than just take something away. Uh, as an economic student at UC Santa Barbara, that was my major, I’ll never forget this wonderful concept they taught called the economic theory of abundance. And we had these concepts where if you go to the shopping mall, you know that there are usually five different shoe stores. Why would five different shoe stores come to the same mall and theoretically compete against each other and, uh, lessen the sales of any potential individual store?
Brad: 07:12 Why not build a shoe store five miles down the road and be the, uh, the western edge of town shoe store where everybody can go there. And the reason is this theory of abundance where people go to the mall, uh, because they associate the mall with a place where they can buy shoes and you get this spill off benefit of, uh, being one of the shoe stores at the mall and all the consumers are going there and maybe one store doesn’t have what they initially wanted. So they go down to the next store and everybody wins in a sense. Same deal with, uh, going to the, uh, busy, um, corner on the boulevard and you see four gas stations and four fast food restaurants all in proximity. So the Carl’s Jr that came in there right next to the big shots: McDonald’s and Burger King, why would they pick that property rather than going five miles away? Because that’s the fast food corner that everyone associates with a toxic, disgusting garbage food. Oh, I just lost three potential sponsors of the show. Sorry about that. My sponsors are in alignment with my mission and my personal living choices. So too bad anyway, you get the economic theory of abundance.
Brad: 08:24 Same with a great quote. I remember from, uh, one of my first sponsors when I was a professional triathlete, yet it was Power Bar, sorry to say I was chowing that stuff down, but that was part of the part of the scene back then. We were carbohydrate dependent athletes. We needed those snacks. And, uh, I remember Brian Maxwell, the founder of Power Bar, the late Brian Maxwell, tragically he died at a young age after selling his company to Nestle. Uh, so he had the wealth thing down, but obviously, um, some other parts didn’t fit in very well. Hopefully not too much work stress, uh, combined with running stress of being a great marathon runner. But he had a heart attack in his early fifties. Anyway, he was describing how when he first came out with Power Bar, he had apparently a 93% market share, if I remember the story. Right. Wow. Amazing. But guess what? The energy bar category was basically created by him, uh, and it was needing to grow and become a widespread, uh, consumer category in order to really thrive. And for a company like his to prosper at the next level to where he could sell for hundreds of millions to Nestle. Right? So he said, as he watched his company grow over time, let’s say a decade or however long it took, he saw his market share decline steadily. So you have a graph up on the whiteboard in the office and it says market share 93% exclamation point.
Brad: 09:48 And then it’s going down, down, down, over time to where I think he settled. Uh, and you know, let’s say Power Bar had 23% of the market share, still a massive thing. But of course, what happened to the market? It grew a 10 fold, a hundred fold, whatever it grew. So he was ecstatic to see his market share decline because of the growth of the marketplace. So all new power bars, energy bars that came out, floated the boat, especially of the kingpin in the category. And there’s some good books about that where they’re talking about, uh, you know, competition really, really helps the top couple of dogs and then it gets kind of tough for ’em everybody else that’s trying to, to scrape up.
Brad: 10:30 Maybe that’s the case for the podcast category too. Cause there’s now a over a half million podcasts published on iTunes and the top one, the, the favorite ones that we all listen to or we all know are a top ranked like the NPR podcast or the serial podcast with the murder mysteries and things like that that have millions of listeners. Probably a few years ago they had 2.7 million listeners and now they have 27 million listeners. So great to see all manner of growth in the podcast category. And I’ve tried to formulate and honor this, uh, this insight, this theory throughout my life rather than seeing a, a pie of a certain limited size, I realized that all quote unquote competition can help, uh, form a bigger pie. Cause remember the, uh, the exchange of money in the economy. It’s just a, uh, uh, an exchange resource and it’s renewable. So we can always grow, grow, grow and see this economy growing and being healthier and healthier for some people.
Brad: 11:31 Don’t get dissuaded, uh, as the election cycle comes into play now that, uh, the economy’s fantastic, it’s wonderful, the stock markets, uh, record numbers, but guess what? 50% of Americans have zero net worth zero. They don’t own any stocks, they don’t own anything. They’re just afloat. So however great the economy is, Huh, we have to expand our lens to the big picture. If I can depart a little bit into the political realm there and realize that it’s great for a lot of people but doesn’t float every single boat. So the rising tide floats most boats, especially the biggest boats. How about that for a new quote? Okay.
Brad: 12:13 So pursuing my passions, loving my work, writing books for the sake of writing books. And you know, I’ve written about 20, 21 books right now. Some of them you’ve never heard of and no one has ever read, a couple of few of them. Some of them were read by very few people, but I was totally committed to the process and enjoyed it so much and felt like it was my calling and my destiny. So I have always written, because I’ve had a story to tell and felt compelled to sit down and type it out and make a contribution to the planet in that manner.
Brad: 12:47 A certain books that Mark Sisson and I have worked on together have been really successful and that’s wonderful. And I attribute the entire journey, uh, to the ability to have achieved that success. Same with Mark’s journey of starting the blog at great personal expense with zero income coming in for several years. The Mark’s Daily Apple was just his passion project, trying to spread the word and challenge a flawed, conventional wisdom in that health diet, exercise space. So when you come from that high-minded, uh, motivation that direction, uh, oftentimes things work out. And I love listening to people, uh, share those success stories and having them be part of the conversation. Now, uh, the guys at Google, Larry and Sergey started out trying to become the world’s most kick ass search engine. And if you recall or not familiar with the story, uh, the.com boom occurred in 99, 2000, 2001 then a great crash occurred after that and Google was on the sidelines refusing to go public because they didn’t want to pollute their main focus in their journey of just building a better search engine.
Brad: 13:53 Remember the blank screen that still prevails today as the homepage, not taking any advertisements in comparison to the crazy stuff that you saw on yahoo.com and other big leader of the time where there’s all kinds of distractions and things that are trying to monetize every little cent that they can possibly get. And so the guys that at Google that continued to stay focused on their journey, big George included, Yo man, listen to that show. That was good stuff. One of the earliest Google employees, a good friend of mine, we did a great show. If you want to hear more about the origins of, uh, the company that has, uh, dispensed information to the world, that’s their mission anyway. When they finally went public and everything worked out well, uh, for the people that built it, uh, it was not motivated by profit incentive, otherwise they would’ve caved during the.com time to that quick money.
Brad: 14:43 So there’s a lot of wonderful stories like that. Sometimes there’s too many wonderful stories, right? You know, you know what I’m talking about when people are saying, yeah, I’m just wanting to be of service to my community and I’m so grateful to have hit $2 million in gross revenues this month. You know, that kind of thing. Okay. Anyway, uh, it is nice to know, especially for you young listeners out there who are trying to make your way and figure out all these confusing messages and pressures placed on the young human to have an economic impact to everything you do, especially your college major. Oh, philosophy. What are you gonna do with that? Ah, worst question of all time, what you’re going to do with that as get an education. And then go forth in the world and try to pursue your passions. But again, back to the theme of this show, uh, having an eye on the ball and understanding the importance or the, the right that you have a to also have an economic impact to what you’re doing and afford the freedom and the flexibility that that creates.
Brad: 15:45 So buying shit is cool. I would say I’m somewhere in the middle of the consumerism spectrum where I really like going on Ebay and finding used pair of, uh, my favorite running shoes or five finger toe shoes or cool golf shirts and things like that. Love buying stuff at a discount. Hate buying stuff at full retail. But I’m still in the consumerism mindset cause I’m goofing around, buying junk on Ebay, right? So I can’t be, uh, calling myself a minimalist like our carnivore, our friend Dr. Paul Saladino, another great show listened to him. Uh, but he showed up at my, uh, my mom’s house in Los Angeles, uh, on his odyssey, uh, moving from the Pacific northwest Seattle area to San Diego. And he had his entire worldly possessions, uh, in his pickup truck. And this is a prominent figure in the health scene. Um, I’m sure he makes a good living as a physician.
Brad: 16:39 He’s a psychiatrist and a functional medicine specialist, but he has a need all that crap. And he was heading down to a small apartment by the beach in San Diego, dreaming of catching the waves. Love that guy’s style man. So cool. And boy, the minimalist experience, downsizing, downsizing, which I’ve done recently in the last few years. It feels fantastic. Who needs all that crap? And then we head over to Warren Buffett’s certainly you’ve heard of him, one of the richest men in the world. And there was a couple of cool articles, uh, featuring his strategies and his mindset and his approach to investing to wealth and to living his life that I got a lot of value out of. So I’m going to share these comments from these articles that were found on the medium.com. A great place for open source, great information from numerous columnists. And then the people that you like you can read more on.
Brad: 17:33 And, uh, here we go. So there’s, uh, this overview of some Warren buffet tips and then the writer provides his own 13 step analysis to get the most that you can out of the tips that were mentioned on the article. We’ll put the link in the show notes. So, uh, coming out with the big one out of the gate, and this is what Warren Buffett’s famous for, is how he says “no” to almost everything. So his company, one of the big investment firms of the planet holding more wealth and more money, uh, in, in one spot. Then these giant high rise buildings in New York filled with investor people. Uh, he’s based in Omaha, Nebraska. He has a very small operation, um, at headquarters right there. He owns a bunch of companies like the real estate firm, Berkshire Hathaway home services, and there’s a total 400,000 employees working for Buffet owned companies.
Brad: 18:30 But at headquarters, there’s a couple of dozen people. They all fit in the same picture for Christmas photo. Can you believe this? The Berkshire Hathaway investment giant has a Christmas photo of people standing there in the foyer. Yay. Oh my goodness. Buffet has one house. He’s lived there for 60 years. He spends less than a hundred thousand bucks a year according to the article. A guy making billions. Anyway, so he’s a very minimalist living person, especially with his business mindset. This includes making very few investments. You might read the business sections and see these headlines, stories like Buffet buys, stake in Blank Airlines or uh, increases his stake in apple computer. But these are very thoughtful and informed decisions and he’s not out there trading like crazy. He’s going in for the long haul. So he wants you to kill your busy work and have fewer meetings, less contact, do your thing, focus. Quit just wasting time, uh, doing all this unnecessary communication and zone in a little bit. Uh, stay focused on a highly prioritized to do list, only work with people you can envision that you can work with forever. Oh Man. How bout that? Uh, I wish I could reflect on that over the past 30 or plus years of, uh, associating with people where you knew it wasn’t the greatest fit, but right then at that time, whatever it was, you were desperate. They were the best candidate around you needed somebody quick. How about that? Only work with people that you can envision working with forever. Keeping things super, super simple with low bureaucracy and focusing on just those few high quality investment opportunities in, in, in Buffett’s example. But I’ll bet you can reference different examples yourself, especially if you’re an entrepreneur and near that mindset of wanting to jump on exciting new opportunities.
Brad: 20:26 Boy, focus in do things right. Article claims that Buffett makes only a handful of investments per year. Meanwhile, day traders make a handful of investments per hour. Uh, the author of the article was Michael Simmons. I think I’ve mentioned him before on the show, putting out some good stuff. Here’s a quote. Uh, Buffet’s repeatedly told students that their investing results would improve if at the beginning of their careers they were handed a 20 hole punch card representing the total number of investments they could make in their lifetimes. Quote from Buffet, we believe that a policy of portfolio concentration may, will decrease risk if it raises as it should, both the intensity with which an investor thinks about a business and the comfort level he must feel with its economic characteristics before buying into it end quote, okay, okay, this is not an investing show.
Brad: 21:20 And what about the quote though? Wouldn’t that apply to every thing including your racing schedule for the year? If you’re an athlete, including a relationship that you decide to get into, think longterm, go for it all the way, do things right, do things correctly and don’t flimflam around doing half-assed, uh, involvements and engagements in life in general. Buffet’s investments average 20 years in length. His activity is so low, it’s bordering on sloth and that means that he’s avoided, uh, the tech bandwagon and these things that, uh, we’ve seen these, uh, rise and fall cycles and speaking of tech, he has no smartphone, no computer, and doesn’t monitor the stock market. Wow. Trip out on that. And think of the many, many analogies. I’m thinking of some in the relationship realm where you have an argument and we can all a reference this or have had conversations with friends that we’re supporting through things like this where an argument occurs and the prospect of a divorce, separation, breaking up is brought up just because you brought the car back late and there’s a little dent on the side.
Brad: 22:34 What it’s just a small dent come on a bit. Anyway, keeping that perspective and not monitoring the market every single day, every single second and engaging in panic behavior and all those things that go with it. So that’s the setup show. A featuring a little rant from me at the start about my writing and about my journey and through my life and my, uh, trying to reprioritize my goals as I get older, uh, emphasizing that, um, desire to be financially responsible, economically successful. So I will pair this breather show with another one. Uh, referencing the great article by Michael Simmons where, uh, this is some tips how to apply the core model, uh, of Buffet that you just learned about with 13 steps. Good stuff coming up. Thanks for listening to this one.
Brad: 23:28 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at email@example.com and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to. Thanks for doing it.