Unshakeable by Tony Robbins – Book Summary

Ben WorrallREVIEWS

Unshakeable Tony Robbins

One of the main priorities in my life recently has been improving my financial situation and ultimately taking the first few steps towards achieving financial freedom. This week I have been listening to the audio version of Tony Robbin’s new book “Unshakeable”. A book full of practical advice on how you can achieve financial freedom.
The book lays the ground for building and maintaining an effective investment portfolio in both bull and bear markets.
In this post, I want to outline the five most important concepts that Tony discusses in the book. The aim here is to give you a condensed version of Unshakeable so you can internalise the knowledge in a short amount of time and start applying what you have learnt immediately.

1) Invest in Index Funds

The point that is hammered home on multiple occasions throughout the book that most people should investing in index funds. I had never even heard of index funds before I read this book – not that I had much financial knowledge.
The basic idea with index funds is that your money is spread to match a market index (like the S&P 500). You are investing in a wide range of stocks and are essentially waging your money on the success of the market rather than individual stocks.
One of the main advantages of investing heavily in these funds is that you are more far more protected from fluctuations because you are investing in such a diverse range of stocks.
Another huge advantage of investing in index funds is that there is minimal trading with your money (it’s more of a buy and hold approach) meaning that the fees and taxes that you would be forced to pay in other types of funds are dramatically reduced.
There is much discussion in the book about the hidden fees and taxes in many people’s investment portfolios which are shredding a large percentage of their potential earnings. The long and short of it is that these hidden expenses are bad news and make it much harder to reach the goal of financial freedom. The main reason for this is that these hidden costs reduce the power of compounding. Which brings me onto the next point…

2) The Power of Compounding

Investing money early in life and adding to it on a consistent basis can pay back dramatically over time – this is due to the power of compounding.
Here’s the example of compounding provided in Unshakeable:
If you invest 300 dollars per month from the age of 19 to 25 and then leave this amount to compound. You would have over 1.5 million dollars by the time you were 65.
The key here is to begin investing early and on a regular basis. If you can do this, you will easily achieve financial freedom by retirement age.
However, the only way a compounding strategy can be successful is if you stay in the market regardless of the economic conditions which are bound to fluctuate over a such a long period of time.

3) Stay in the Market

You need to stay invested in the market.
Having your wealth in cash not only means that you are not utilising the power of compounding but you will also be losing wealth due to inflation.
This is easier said than done as it takes discipline to stay in the market in time of economic downturn
The important thing to remember is that the bad times never last for ever and pulling money out of the markets as they are crashing is the worst thing you can do. The reason for this is that you will make a loss and when the markets inevitably rebounds you will have no chance of getting back in. The best strategy is to hold and ride it out.

4) Diversification

Diversification is a key strategy for making yourself financially unshakeable. If you diversify correctly you will give yourself the security to ride out any dip in the market.
Diversification basically boils down to spreading out of your wealth into a variety of different types of assets rather than bundling them all in one place where they are vulnerable. As we talked about in point one, investing heavily in an index fund is a good starting point. Some other ways to diversify your wealth includes investing in a variety of different markets, countries and currencies.

5) Invest in time of Gloom

‘Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful’
One of the main points made in Unshakeable is that you should be willing not only to keep your money in the market when the value is plummeting but you should buy more stocks when it hits rock bottom.
Investing in stocks in a time of gloom and fear is a huge money-making opportunity. At this time, stocks are going to be at an ultra-low bargain price. When the price inevitable rises again you can make a fortune off these well-timed purchases.
The key here is to have some of your portfolio invested somewhere where it can’t be touched by an economic crash, such as low risk government bonds. When the market plummets, you can use the money you have stashed in bonds to buy these bargain priced stocks.

Bens thoughts
I agree with Tony that investing early is important but I do believe that you need to take your own situation into account. If you are in a similar financial situation to myself and have very little money to your name, investing may not be the best first step for you.
Instead of investing right away, you should focus all your attention on increasing your income. This could be done by improving your position in your current job, or by creating alternate streams of income or possibly both.
I do think that the internet is a great place to start when looking to increase your income in creative ways. Consider what value you can personally bring to the market and come up with a way to deliver this value to the right people. Your income will increase from there.
Once you are at a comfortable income level, investing becomes far more practical and lucrative and you can use the five tips above to become financially unshakeable.

You can buy Unshakeable by Tony Robbins here.

Ben Worrall

How to Travel on the Cheap

Ben WorrallTRAVEL

travel on the cheap

Despite popular belief, it doesn’t have to be expensive to travel for an extended period of time. Last year, I spent roughly 1500 GBP travelling around South East Asia for 2 months (flight from the UK not included).

This isn’t exactly a high price to pay for a once in a lifestyle experience and believe it or not, I didn’t spend the entire time poverty-stricken either: I travelled to five different countries, ate out three times a day and could afford to so some amazing activities –  such as swimming with whale sharks.

So, how did I do this for such an affordable price? In this blog post I going to be sharing with you three tips on how you can travel on the cheap.

Before we get into it, let me just point out that the travel destination will play a large role in your expenses. South East Asia is a notoriously cheap place to travel and this gave me a huge advantage going into trip. I was also ‘backpacking’ and not just going on a standard vacation. I had a budget mindset and was purposely keeping an eye on how much I was spending.

Anyway, below are the 3 tips, if you stick to these I can guarantee that you will be able to travel on the cheap:

1) Stay in Hostels

This one is HUGE.

I think one of the most common misconceptions people have if they have never been backpacking before is the way in which they view hostels.

This applies to me too. Before I left on my travels, I was under the impression that hostels were going to be ultra-basic and not very enjoyable to stay in. While I was more than prepared to do this, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it either.

I quickly realised that I had been totally wrong about them. Not only was every single hostel I stayed in liveable, but many of them were closer to hotels than what I mentally projected staying in a hostel would be like.

I stayed in hostels with roof top pools, double beds, pool tables, games consoles, bars, free breakfast, incredibly friendly staff and more.

You have to keep in mind that in these areas that run off tourism, there are a huge number of hostels available and all of them are competing with each other to bring in as many travellers as possible. Therefore they will often try to make their hostel as nice as possible to build a positive reputation and attract more people in.

Sure, you have to share the room with others but the standard room only contains 4-8 beds and I personally found that most of the time these rooms didn’t fill up. There were even occasions where I was the only person occupying the room.

It’s also worth noting that staying in hostels is by far the easiest way to meet people, which is nice if you are travelling alone.

I’m sure that there are bad hostels out there but remember that there is plenty of choice and you can pick out the best ones in the same way you would with a hotel.

Staying in hostels are an amazing way to save money. In the two months I was out there, I never paid more than $8 per night which is a huge discount compared to the amount you would be shelling out on hotels.

I now love staying in hostels and I think that you will too.

2) Pick your activities carefully

If there is one thing that can drain your money in a blink of an eye while travelling; it’s organised activities. By organised activities, I mean paid for activities that have been specifically designed for tourists.

Now this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do any type of activity that involves pulling out your wallet but just be aware that constantly doing this is going to play a big role in increasing the overall cost of your trip. What I would suggest is picking the activities you want to do carefully.

While some of these activities can get a little expensive, the overall cost of the activity will still be a hell of a lot less than it would be in a western country.

The point I’m trying to make is that you that you should do the paid for activities that you are keen on but don’t get carried away with them if you want to travel on the cheap. You can find plenty of enjoyment travelling without constantly having activities planned. For me, just the act of travelling and exploring new places was all the experience I needed. Anything else of top of that was just a bonus.

 

3) Haggle Wisely

It was almost midnight when I collected my baggage at Manila Airport in the Philippines. I was ready to begin my adventure and had a quiet optimism that this trip was going to be a success.

Five minutes later and I was being ripped off by the taxi driver outside the airport. Paying WAY more than I should have for the short journey to my hotel. I remember being really annoyed at myself and thinking that if I can’t even make it through the first five minutes without losing a chunk of money, how the hell am I going to make it through the entire trip.

Well, long story short, the first few times I found myself in haggling situation after this were kind of awkward but soon enough I was used to it and determined to get the best possible value on everything. In fact, I started to really to enjoy it. There was a (probably unhealthy) satisfaction in being able to haggle someone down to an awesome price.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I saved quite a bit of money by having this hagglers mindset. The main things you can haggle on and get good prices are products, transportation and accommodation. However, your ability to do this is going to really depend on the situation.

While you should always be haggling on products, the best time to haggle on transport and accommodation are when you think there is more supply than demand. For example, if you are in a place with loads of hostels/guesthouses crammed into one area, you can quite easily play them off it each other and get the lowest price possible. The same applies for local transport.

 

That’s it for now. I’m sure there are loads more ways you can save money when travelling that I will think of later, so I will most likely make a follow up post at some point in the future but this just sticking to these effective tips will dramatically reduce your costs and allow you to travel for longer on the cheap!

 

Ben Worrall

Developing a Personal Brand Online

Ben WorrallUNCATEGORISED

Developing a personal brand online

In this post, I want to address the key issue of what it is that I’m trying to achieve here with my website and my YouTube channel. Why am I bothering to put all time into creating blog posts and videos? Well there’s a couple of reasons.

One reason is that I like the idea of having a personalized space on the internet, one where I am fully in control and can leave a legacy of my existence.

The main reason, however, is a practical one. What I am trying to do is develop a personal brand.

What is a personal brand? And why the hell would I want to develop one? Hmmm…let’s see.

Let me start by answering the first question. A personal brand, to put it simply, is a brand developed around a person – obvious, right? The idea is to use social media and/or your own website to promote yourself and your work. When you create “online content” which could be in the form of blog posts, audio, images, video, etc. (and on any subject which has value to others), you give yourself the opportunity to begin building a following of other people who like your work and therefore become interested in your brand. Be aware that with a great proportion of the population now taking their internet savviness to the next level, you are going to see more and more average joes, like myself, jumping on this opportunity and creating online brands around themselves.

So, that gives you an idea of what I’m trying to do, but why would I want to do it? What are the benefits of developing a personal brand for you and I? Well, there are a few.

1.   It’s a Marketing Tool.

One of the greatest advantages of developing a personal band and attracting followers to your social media accounts or website is that you can then use these platforms to market your products or services to potential customers.

As I have said before in one of my previous videos – attention is money. The more attention you have directed at your brand, the greater the results when it comes to promoting and selling your work online.

Using myself as an example, my plan is to grow the Ben Worrall personal brand to the extent where it can be used to sell the books (and various other products) that I plan to write in the future.

By building up a powerful online brand around your work, you can literally make a living by creating the things you want to create for the people who get the most value from them. For me, setting up this type of situation is important as it gives you true career and lifestyle freedom.

2.   It’s a Resume.

If you are not so interested in becoming an entrepreneur and just want to land yourself your dream job – don’t worry! Creating a personal brand is still as valuable for you as it would be for anyone else looking to make a go of it on their own.

The reason for this is that creating a personal brand can act as a powerful resume if done correctly.

Most people have heard of LinkedIn, which is quickly becoming a replacement to the traditional workplace resume. Taking websites like LinkedIn seriously and using it to make connections, give updates and provide free content is an example of using social media to create a personal brand. Developing your online professional identity in this way gives you a huge advantage in landing that career you have always wanted.

The same thing applies for creating a website about yourself and your professional life. For the creators and artists out there, making a website as a creative portfolio to display your best work is a MUST if you want to show a potential employer what you are capable of.

 

 

 3.   It Gives You a Voice

Probably the greatest advantage of creating an audience around your personal brand is that it gives you a unique voice that people care about and helps you stand out from the crowd in a world that is becoming more and more crowded every day.

Once you have a platform and the attention to go along with it, people start to become more interested in what you are saying and you will be granted the magical ability of being someone able to influence.

Overtime, you will come to be viewed as an expert in whatever subject or subjects you talk through your brand. In other words, you build trust.  You may find yourself being called upon to give an in person talk or contribute to someone else’s brand on a similar subject. You may also find that having this type of attention will provide you with opportunities that would have never otherwise come your way – suddenly you have access to people, places or things that were previously out of reach.

 

To Sum Up

I hope this article gave you more of an insight into why I am doing what I am doing and why it could be a good move for you to set up something similar for yourself, also.

Keep in mind that creating an online personal brand is a long-term opportunity and not a short-term venture. I don’t think the internet is going anywhere anytime soon and it’s for this reason that establishing and an online home base is so valuable. It’s not like my website or social media channels are getting a ton of attention right now but I am thinking in the long-term, and my long-term plan is to build a structure that allows me to go on and achieve the things I want to in life.

I am going to be creating more posts and videos about personal branding soon. I think this is a topic that is going to be valuable to many people. I will go into more detail on the various aspects of developing a personal brand and may even provide some tutorials on specific ways you can go about doing things e.g. setting up a website.

Thanks for taking the time to read and make sure to become a subscriber of my website for more great articles like this one and much more!

Ben Worrall

 

 

 

How to Declutter your Mind – Mindset Minimalism

Ben WorrallUNCATEGORISED

decluttering your mind

The mind is a powerful tool. It is also an adaptable tool. The best way to develop yourself and find the peace of mind that you have been seeking is by decluttering your mind. If this is something you are interested in, then keep reading as I’m about to explain how you can declutter your mind by adopting mindset minimalism.

 

I have already covered minimalism in a previous post but this time I will be taking the concept in a different direction. When it comes to mindset minimalism we are not so concerned about becoming free from possessions. What we are looking do to is free up our minds from the mental noise and distractions that have built up over a lifetime.

Let’s examine three different ways you can go about declutting your mind.

 

BECOME LESS BUSY

Being busy is the norm nowadays. One way of decluttering your mind is to reduce the amount of stuff you are doing on a daily basis. This could mean opting out of your hectic job or just taking more time off.

When you make a point of becoming less busy, you free up space in your schedule to be with yourself. For some people being with themselves might sound like a hellish nightmare (which is a big problem) but spending time alone allows you to contemplate and solve internal issues. You remove yourself from the rat race and suddenly your mind quietens.

Some might argue that ‘not being busy’ is a luxury that only those with money can afford but I tend to lean toward the belief that selecting this type of lifestyle is a choice. There are so many options out there for work that doesn’t necessarily require you to spend your whole life in constant go mode.

It’s not something that will happen overnight but working towards developing this type of lifestyle is what you should be striving for if you want to be in the best position to completely declutter your mind.

I know from personal experience that giving yourself space is an amazing advantage as you move forward in life, even if it’s just temporary space. When you allow yourself the time to reflect, the stresses of your former life begin to dissolve, it’s from this place that you can begin to build up strong foundations once again.

This new-found time can be used to focus on human priorities such as diet, exercise, meditation, human interaction and fun!

 

BE AWARE OF CULTURAL INFLUENCES

We are living in a world where everyone is out to get your attention and to influence your behaviour. This is especially true when you the consider overabundance of information on the internet and that most of it comes with along with some sort of agenda.

To declutter your mind, you should be selective with the type of influences you are exposing yourself to. Set clear boundaries on the type of information you are prepared to take. If you can do this then not only will your mind slowly begin to drain of all the negative influences but will be replaced with positive influences that can impact your life in a positive way.

 

 

 

 

ORGANISE AROUND SIMPLICITY

A great way to declutter your mind is to become more organised in your life. A lack of organisation, leads to a lack of direction and a lack of direction leads to clutter.

Try to figure out your priorities. What are the main things you value? What are the goals you want to be working towards?

Once you have figured out the most important aspects of your life, you can concentrate on becoming organised and creating habits around these.

With this being said you should always keep it as simple as possible. Being too rigid with your organisation can also create problems. Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t become obsessed with your own routine.

The point I’m trying to make is that having simplified organisation in place will reduce the unknown, reduce mental noise and clear your mind up for the important stuff.

 

Ben Worrall

 

 

 

Best Laptop for Travelling/Backpacking (on a budget)

Ben WorrallTRAVEL

best laptop for travelling

In this post, I’m going to be briefly reviewing what I believe to be one of the best laptops for travelling if you are on a budget – the Asus T100TAF. This is the laptop that I relied on throughout my entire backpacking trip and for six months afterwards as I set up a life in Taiwan.

To get straight to the point, this is by no means the best all-around travel laptop. I’m sure you could find a variety of better products if money is not an issue for you. However, I’m writing this review for people who are planning to travel for an extended period and want to pick up a portable laptop which they can take with them for a minimal investment.
I remember that in the couple of months before I took off travelling I was looking everywhere for a portable device that I could buy for my travels and use on the road. I considered buying some type of tablet but most of the options were out of my price range and didn’t really meet my requirements. I would have loved to take a 13 inch MacBook, but again this was way too expensive for me at the time.
I stumbled across the Asus Transformer T100TAF and realised it was the perfect option for someone in my situation for three main reasons.
First off, it is $200 mark which was very affordable. I had spent the last year saving up and barley had enough money to take off travelling so spending as little as possible on a laptop was ideal.
Secondly, this laptop is small at 10 inches and lightweight at just over 0.5 kilograms. The last thing I wanted was to be carrying around a heavy electronic device in my bag while travelling – it was my goal to be as free as a bird! You can’t even notice the weight of carrying the Asus Transformer in a backpack which is amazing considering the laptop that provided me with so much value. Because the laptop is so small it might take a little while for you to adjust to typing on the keyboard but it really is fine once you get used to it.
Thirdly, the Asus T100TAF has a touch screen that can be detached from the keyboard and used separately. This was fantastic as it allowed me to use the device as a laptop for working and as a tablet for general browsing. I was able to read books and watch movies as a tablet, while also do more serious tasks such as make bookings, write and even teach English online!

 

Another thing to mention is the battery life which is obviously important if you are on the road. There’s good and bad news here. The good news is that the battery life lasts for a while – but remember to turn on flight mode when you are not using it. The bad news is that it takes quite a while to charge (at least in my experience) I think this is because the device comes with a tiny phone like power adapter. Having to deal with a 4-hour charging time did get slightly frustrating but wasn’t a big problem if you charged overnight.

So, should you get the Asus Transformer T100TAF for your travels? I would say it depends on your usage requirements and the money you are prepared to shell out on a device. One of the main flaws with the Asus Transformer is the lack of space. At only 32BG I found myself running out of storage space often which did get a little bit frustrating. It’s for this reason that I wouldn’t recommend this laptop for anything involving video or any other task that is going to require a large amount of storage.
With that said, this is the perfect purchase if you are in the same poor man situation that I was in before travelling and you are planning to use the device for basic tasks rather than anything that is going to require a lot of processing power.
You can find the Asus Transformer T100TAF here. There is also a newer (but more expensive) model available which can be found here.

Ben Worrall

How to choose a career path?

Ben WorrallUNCATEGORISED

how to choose a career path

Choosing a career path is going to be one of the biggest decisions of your life but what exactly do you base the decision on?

There are normally two standard types of advice given when it comes to choosing a career. One revolves around finding a secure and financially lucrative job which will set you up for the rest of your life. The second focuses on pursing a career based on your personal interests and passions. Both are important but I want to offer a third option which I believe to be a crucial aspect – if not the most crucial aspect – of choosing the right career path for you.

My suggestion is that you take some time to dream up your ideal lifestyle. Once you have an ideal lifestyle in mind you can base your career choices on building this type of lifestyle!

Let’s think about this.

Using a financial measuring stick as the basis of your career choice won’t necessarily make you happy and doesn’t really make sense. After all, the amount of income that is going to fulfil you will be highly subjective and based on the type of things you personally want out of life, in other words – your ideal lifestyle. There is no point blindly going after more money when you don’t want or need it. If you choose your career path in this way you are basically taking one “happiness” factor into consideration and ignoring the rest. To me this seems kind of stupid and will probably lead you to choosing a career path that isn’t right for you.

On the other hand, following a passion can also be a difficult path for a few different reasons. Firstly, you might not be good enough at your passion to compete in a competitive world. If you love doing something but are not good at it then you are going to need to invest a lot of time into getting good at it (time which you may not be want to sacrifice). Secondly, you have a passion which you are good at but that passion doesn’t offer any value in the market place and therefore it isn’t financially feasible as a career, at least not in the short term. Finally, you might simply just not now know what your passion is at this point in your life.

Focusing all your attention on building a career based around your envisioned lifestyle means that you are always going to moving forward towards that envisioned goal rather than getting stuck in a rut. The career you pick should be something that you enjoy but also something with the long-term potential of realising the type of the lifestyle you want. It doesn’t necessarily mean picking a career that is going to offer you all the benefits of your ideal lifestyle immediately but one that will give you the opportunity to build that lifestyle with hard work and patience.

The great thing about this career strategy is it gives you the opportunity to take control of your life and attract the things which are important to you. If you don’t think about career in this way you are forcing yourself into a narrow and well-trodden lane which might not suit you.

If I look at myself as an example, I want the type of lifestyle where I have the freedom to live on my own terms, make my own decisions and create my own work that’s meaningful to me. It’s for this reason that I don’t think a corporate career path is a good fit and I tend lean towards entrepreneurial pursuits. By choosing this path I am sacrificing certain securities, willing to embrace some personal hardships and am prepared to make less money in a trade-off for more time. With this being said, I have never been that bothered about being super rich, I don’t know what I would do with the money, so this is a choice that makes sense for me based on my lifestyle preferences.

It seems to be that when you base your career choices around your perfect lifestyle everything seems to fit nicely into place. If doing something your passionate about (or finding your purpose) is important to you then your ideal lifestyle will allow the time to practice or search for that thing. If being extremely wealthy is important to you then your ideal lifestyle will reflect this and the pool of potential career choices for you to pick from will narrow. If you feel spending time lots with your family is a high priority, then certain doors will close but to you these will be worthwhile sacrifices.

By focusing on lifestyle when choosing your career path, you allow yourself to embrace the bigger picture. Making the important choices becomes simpler because while you may not have an end game in mind, you do know that the lifestyle you are building will allow you to use your precious time in a way that best suits you as an individual.

Ben Worrall

What to Bring Backpacking Southeast Asia

Ben WorrallTRAVEL

What to bring backpacking

What to know what to bring backpacking? In this blog post I am going to briefly cover the items that I feel are good to bring for a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. This list is based on my backpacking experience and is flexible depending on the type of person you are!

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