059 - Vincent Pugleisi

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51 - 97 Jonathan Mendonsa All right guys today we have a very special episode for you. We're going to be speaking with the author of freelance to freedom. I am unbelievably excited about this because I have read this book cover to cover and it blew my mind. This was the most relatable actionable book that I have read in the last several years. I mean this is something that you're going to have on your shelf like the simple path to wealth like Rich Dad Poor that this is one of those must read books. So excited to get a chance to bring Vincent Puglisi on this show to actually talk through his backstory. What inspired him to actually put this together. I think you're going to get so much value from his decision tree and the fact that he is not an overnight success. In fact his story is riddled with failure. You're going to love this and you're going to absolutely get value from this episode. So to help me with this I have Miko's Brad here with me today.
97 - 138 Brad Barrett Hey Jonathan Yeah I'm really looking forward to this. I actually kind of introduced to Vincent through a podcast and I've listened to calm the good dad project. He's been a guest on there. Think a couple of times at least. And he's very active in their Facebook forum and it's just the most helpful guy I reached out to him and we just became friendly. And I think he sent me his book a while back or at least a draft of it and we had the good fortune to meet Vincent at Fin con and luckily book this podcast and yeah it should be a really really good conversation. I know Jonathan when you read through his book you said to me instantly this is going to be a new york times best seller and you just you just loved it. So with Vincent welcome to the show.
138 - 142 Vincent Pugleisi And that a lot to live up to right there.
142 - 175 Jonathan Mendonsa Let's go. All right. This is something that I'm very excited about and what I loved about your story is it was just it was raw man. I mean you are sharing your natural decision tree which when you track it totally makes sense but it is not this you decided to start a company with the skill set that no one else possesses because you're this incredibly talented guy and obviously you became a tech millionaire or a billionaire. Rather it's the real story of what you go through when you decide to take something on that is so far outside of your comfort zone and be willing to make mistakes until it works.
175 - 254 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah it's funny because it was never a book in my mind. And even when I wrote it two years ago today like almost today we're on vacation with my wife. We have three boys and I have been talking about this book because people are asking kind of like how have you done this. How are you able to just take like a month long vacation or you know work when you want to work. And all know financial freedom and all that type of stuff. And I took notes for about three years and that's what you read it was notes and stories out wake up in the middle of the night and I just at the right that before I forgot it. We were going to the beach we're in Corpus Christi Texas. Elizabeth let me go. OK. Because I'm taking the kids to the beach. She goes I want you to go to the coffee shop. I want you to start writing the book. I'm so tired of you talking about it. Just go write the book. That's how it started in terms of even writing it because I didn't think anyone would want to read it. I'll be honest I didn't think anybody would want. Who am I. And I think a lot of us have that like who am I to do this. Who am I to write a book. I think it was raw because I never planned on anybody reading it like I knew my mom would read it. And my wife would read it. So I was able to kind of just write it out and once it was getting near the end I was like I was very happy with the way the story was portrayed it wasn't like you said it wasn't a get rich quick it wasn't a hack it wasn't a funnel that worked that all of a sudden you know living on the beach and doing whatever I want to do it's like this is what it's really like to go through this and I think so many people want it so quick that they don't deal with the struggles that come with it. And we all have those struggles.
254 - 265 Jonathan Mendonsa Well let's take you back to this moment at the age of 22 where you start you're screaming basically at your debt. What am I doing with my life. Can you walk us through a little bit of your backstory. What gets you to this point where you have this meltdown.
backstory, debt
265 - 395 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah. I was a thief. I was a terrible student. I grew I learned that I was going to graduate high school on the day before graduation. I still remember a friend of mine when everybody was planning their college and I was on Long Island New York. Everybody was like going to the ivy leagues or they were going into a brown and you're there. And I had nothing. And I was just hanging out with my friends. I remember friends said What are you going to do. And I said I don't know but I'll figure something out. And he looked at me like I was just an alien. And I still remember feeling like I really believe that this is not what I want to do. Like what they're telling me in school I knew that wasn't it. When I was with my guidance counselor she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told her I don't know but I know I don't want to wear a tie. I just don't want to go to work and wear a tie all day. She just basically kicked me out of her office. I was a lost cause to them. But that happened for about five years. I had about 12 different jobs. I got arrested for stealing from a job that I was at I was stealing from another job that I was at I had no morals no scruples and I had a nightmare that I got caught stealing at this job. It was a convenience store where I serve customers and I would and we would all like overcharge the customers. It was really just a terrible thing but it was like a dollar here two dollars there and we didn't think anything of it. Didn't think about what it was doing to us as people. And I woke up in the middle of night 2:00 in the morning and in bed sweat and I basically just said what. I had a nightmare that this woman caught me and I jumped out of bed and I went downstairs and I just sat at the kitchen table and was like What am I doing with my life like what has happened I'm 22 I work at a convenience store I'm a thief and my dad came downstairs and I didn't get along with my dad for ever he had a financial collapse when I was 15. We didn't get along since then I didn't go to college that you know let's Community College. And I told him I said I don't know what I'm doing with my life. And he looked at me and he said really simply he goes Well you like traveling you like taking pictures. I had a point and shoot camera and he goes you know you like sports. Why don't you take a photography class. And I was like it sounds awesome. I said I don't know anything about photography and I know I'm going to fail. I failed at everything that I've ever done. But at least I'm going to fail at something cool. And I went in I bought a camera the next day and that literally was one of the two moments that just changed my life because from that point on I had a focus and I changed all my ways and that just completely started a new life that night.
college, travel
395 - 405 Jonathan Mendonsa Why do you think that this stock when it seems to me like the history based on what you shared in your book is that you gave up every single every other thing that you tried. I mean didn't you burn through like five degrees.
405 - 412 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah. Everything. I literally got arrested while I was studying criminal justice.
412 - 412 Jonathan Mendonsa Wow.
412 - 446 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah and handcuffed and taken out in front of employees. I mean the whole the whole gamut. Why did that stick. Because it's kind of what I tell people now is people change when they're ready to change. Like I don't try to convince anybody. You can't help somebody that doesn't want to be helped. And I don't want to be helped. I thought I had it you know I was 21 I had a cute girlfriend. I had some money in my pocket. I couldn't be told anything at that point. So I learned I can't tell those people anything but I can tell somebody that wants to hear it. So at that point I was ready to hear it. I'm sure he gave me a ton of great advice over the previous five years. I just didn't listen to it.
446 - 469 Brad Barrett VINCENT Have you ever thought back to how supportive your dad was there. If you really think about it. You're 22. Seemingly you know you're describing it as you're a thief you're burned through things you have no idea what you're doing and your dad is still constructive and gives you this idea of hey go take a photography class. That seems pretty incredibly supportive to me.
469 - 562 Vincent Pugleisi It's both. You probably want me out of the house. You know I had moved back in. It was fantastic. And the amazing thing about it was me and my dad did not get along. Up until about five years ago. But when I started writing this book and this is really the power of this whether it's book sales or anything that comes with it. Writing your story out because when I first started writing this book to be totally honest I was mad I was mad because I had done this stuff and I'd become successful and there were so many people that I saw that didn't help me or support me. And it was kind of almost like thumbing my nose at the system. Like I could do this. And as I started writing the story and my dad was one of them to be honest we didn't get along that well. And when I started writing the stories I start that story when I was 22. I remembered that and I started writing it and then I wrote the story that happened 10 years later when he helped us start our own business. And those two stories were the cornerstone of this book in our life and up until that point that I started writing I didn't appreciate him for it. I saw the things that I think I didn't get at that point. I have an older brother and I kind of I was like Oh he gets treated better we were oil and water. Me and my parents. So I was always resentful about that and it wasn't until I wrote this that that started changing I started seeing my dad differently. And this is really in the last couple of years our relationship is better than ever and it's only because I changed the way I looked at him not the way that he responded to me because I know like I mentioned before he had given me a whole lot of other support. I just didn't see it. I was I just saw it differently. So that's the most important thing that happened in my life was writing this book from the way that I view other people in my life. Now.
562 - 577 Jonathan Mendonsa What is a story that you tell yourself about yourself. It seems like this this journalism practice that you then took the natural progression to turn it into a book. There were some cathartic elements there and it helped you basically form that story right.
577 - 612 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah. What I learned is you can't really build this Andy Andrews one of my favorite authors and he says you can't always believe what you think. That was true with me. I thought it was a certain way. I thought my brother got treated better. I thought that they didn't do for me what I wanted them to do and when I changed my thinking and what I believe and believe what I thought it was miraculous how my parents changed but they didn't really change. They were still who they were. It was me. And this isn't even like oh 20 years ago the story this is I mean going back to three Christmases ago. That's how amazing this is that you can change as this goes on.
612 - 634 Brad Barrett So Vincent and changing how you think. I assume that has far reaching consequences past just the relationship with your parents which I'll be it is a huge one if that's transformed it with you know potentially lifelong animosity into a better relationship. But can you talk us through your journey to how you change your thought process and where else you've seen it positively impact your life.
634 - 721 Vincent Pugleisi Oh it's branched out into almost every area of my life the way that I am as a husband the way I am as a as a dad as a friend. It was type a thing where you know the photography world was very much dog eat dog. I've got to get the shot. You know if I'm on the sideline of the Super Bowl or some playoff game like you're not getting a my way and I'm getting the shot because I have one job to do. So that's the way I thought as an employee was like I got to do my job I don't really care what happens especially maybe as the New Yorker in me a little bit like it's like it's eat dog. If I don't do it somebody else is going to get it. So it is very much me. First it was very much what I need and what I've learned in this process over the last 10 five 10 years. That's not the way it works. That's not the way that builds relationships friendships. And I've kind of really taken this to shift in terms of you know I need to train I'm naturally selfish. I think a lot of us are. But I really am and what I've had to learn is it's a give first type of thing if you want to have a happy life. So it's basically like. So I've shifted everything I trained myself to be a giver daily because it doesn't just sounds terrible it just doesn't come naturally to think oh whose book Can I review today or Who's Who could I send a note today to encourage them or something that that's something that I knew I had to get better at from this process. So now that's how I spend a good majority of my work day is giving back to what other people are doing. The amazing thing about that is how much comes back from that. But unintentionally I mean we could talk for 10 hours about what's happened because of that mindset shift.
mindset, relationships
721 - 744 Jonathan Mendonsa I love that I love that you started that paragraph essentially by saying I am such a selfish person and you finish that paragraph by saying I've realized that I have to always be giving for me that redirection has made my life so much better. And that's that's powerful and you've seen it. You've seen it work and you can't go into it with that. What am I going to get mindset. But you've definitely seen it pay dividends over the years.
744 - 780 Vincent Pugleisi I was on a coaching call right before this and I was explaining to them it was if you look at someone who is unsuccessful you will generally find someone that's thinking about themselves. They're worried about how they're going to pay their bills. What they didn't get what they need to get how somebody wrong them. It's all about them. I was that person for a long period of time. You look at successful people. I mean really look at them they are thinking of others first they were thinking how they could serve other people with their business how they could help them you know how they can just what they can do for others. I never had that. So I got surface level success and back in the day for what it was empty.
780 - 811 Jonathan Mendonsa Well shockingly you gave us a little bit of a head fake there when you said photographing on the Super Bowl sidelines and I'm sure somebody who doesn't know you is saying to themself oh well that's that's how he made it. That's the story of his success and that my understanding is that is absolutely not the story that we're about to hear. And would I be curious is can you help us bridge the gap between the point in time where you decide photography. That's what I'm going to pursue to this serious inflection in your life where you start going down this trail which you call the four years of freedom. Help us unpack that story.
811 - 938 Vincent Pugleisi From that time that night with my dad. I said I have a purpose on something I'm going to go do something. And it felt phenomenal for the first time in my life I had focus so I took my camera and I would when I was in New Yorks I didn't have very much money so I would buy the cheapest ticket like a Yankees game or a Met game or an islander game and I would sneak to the front row of almost every game I would watch the security guards and I kind of watched the way they moved and their patterns and I figured out that within you know two or three innings I could be in the front row of any game. So I'd buy a five dollar ticker and I'd be in the front row and I would go to where the photographer's pit was where the photographers shoot from and in between innings I would ask them questions you know what kind of film to use what kind of cameras who do you work for. How much money do you make. Like they must got so tired of me. But I would just every four or five nights a week I would go down there I'll bring my pictures I would show them they would tell me if it sucked they'd tell me if it was good. So it's kind of getting like a mentorship like in the front row at Yankee Stadium and that went on for about a year and a half. I would apply for internships and jobs and I got rejected. I think more than 100 times people said no even the free internships. But I would keep doing it and then I took a long trip around the Midwest and I got to Green Bay. This was kind of a turning point where I bought a twenty dollar ticket to a Packers game. It was from a old guy outside that his wife didn't want to go he got lucky. Sold out. And I was in the front row taking pictures before the game started and a guy came over and he sees me and he says What are you doing. You taking pictures. I said yeah. He said Can you help me out. So what do you need here. Well my my assistant didn't show up tonight. Can you come on the field with me and changed my film for me when you're not doing that you could take all the pictures you want. So literally I'm on the sideline he opens the gate like this magical yellow gate puts a press pass around my neck and I'm going the I'm on the sidelines of Lambeau Field. You know it's Brett Farve first MVP season 1995 and I'm in the huddle with him as he's getting ready literally my career like that night. I mean there's so many stories that came from when I walked out of there that night and I said this is what I want to do. This is what I would do for my life. So that came from just the constant pursuit of like chasing these different games. I wasn't getting paid anything but I didn't care. I was working side jobs to make the money but I wanted to do what I wanted to do on the side. So I don't know if that answers that. But that was a big part of it.
938 - 969 Jonathan Mendonsa Well it certainly yeah it absolutely tells us a little bit about your character and how much you are willing to put into something that you're passionate about. But my understanding is your life doesn't get significantly easier from here. I mean you'd have some massive hurdles you have to overcome and I believe at this point. Walk us through like what gets you to the point where you're saying to myself I have to make a change and now pursue getting out of debt. How do you get to that point where you're actually focused on this financial aspect of your life. Because right now it seems like your passion is purely photography and clearly the money isn't the driving factor because you're working for free.
969 - 1165 Vincent Pugleisi Not at all. I was 20 something I didn't have a wife we didn't have kids you know as long as I can buy a hamburger and a beer I was cool. I got to where I went to school. Ohio University for journalism I met my wife there. We both graduated and we both got jobs at a newspaper in Evansville Indiana in Evansville Courier Press and we became normal. From the moment I got the job there I became normal. I never had a car loan before I took out a car payment because everybody had a car payment. We had some student loans and we bought a house. So now we have debt and I was never a debt guy. I watched my dad's business crumble when I was a teenager and I never wanted to borrow money. So I was adverse to it. I'm like a lot of people but I got into it because everybody else was doing it. Everyone's got a job everybody else got debt and I was doing. Anybody else was doing. But I continue with my career. So now we have all those debt you know about 140 grand of debt. But I'm continuing doing well with my career and that's what I shot the Super Bowl than the World Series. The whole thing and I had just won international sports photographer of the year 2004. They called me in for my raise. Oh and on topic my wife was pregnant with our first son I win the biggest award in my field and I have a baby on the way and I go in for my evaluation where this is where everybody said this is where you're going to get your big pay raise. And they sat me down and they they listed all my accomplishments and my boss took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes and he said uhm the best we can do is give you three percent I tried to give you 4 percent but I gave you 3 percent. Nobody else got anything because the newspaper business is tough right now. But I got 3 percent and I remember saying to him no matter how hard I work no matter what I do know no matter how many awards I win. I stopped myself. I was like sweating. I was so angry. I walked out of his office and I said that's it. This career as I know it that I've been fighting for. It's over because I know that if I follow this path in 20 30 years I'm going to be that same angry employee out in the NEWSROOM like everybody else. And the story goes I went and I called my dad. This was ten years later. I told him and I asked him if I can go work for him because he had his own business and he told me no. He said I can't. You can't help me. He goes I have to retrain you. You have to come to New York. We can't do that. And he said something that changed my life. It is the cornerstone of my book. He said to me he goes I've been telling you to start your own business. You don't want to do it because you're comfortable in your job because you have a skill but you're not using it correctly. And I said What do you mean because you're doing this. Everybody loves your work but you're settling for 32000 dollars a year on their schedule when you can do anything you want with this skill and I said I knew nothing about business. So I just called Elizabeth I said you know I called different wedding photographers and see if we could work with them and they all turned me down and I took the phone book. I remember phone book and I threw it against the wall I was so angry. And I said well you can't beat them. They say you can't beat them join them. I said well you can't join them. We're going to beat them. We're starting a business. And that moment we started our business and that's when we got on the path. We found Dave Ramsey who I know you guys talked about. We followed his path and we just decided to do one thing that changed our life and that was we are going to Elizabeth was going to quit her job and be with Andrew. I was going to stay at my job and I was going to start this business and every dollar that we made in this business we were going to put towards our debt to get financially free and we were going to live off of my job and that was that one thing got us on our path.
career, college-loans, debt, ramsey
1165 - 1197 Brad Barrett That is really truly amazing. And what advice from your dad. And what an intelligent comment about you being comfortable in your job. How many people end up in a job for 40 plus years. Just because it's inertia they're comfortable it pays the bills X Y and Z right and they never take that chance. But that one meeting with the boss only giving you a 3 percent raise when you're at the absolute top of your field and then subsequent conversation with your dad just change your entire life.
1197 - 1232 Vincent Pugleisi Because what I thought about and I wrote about as if he wouldn't give me 10 percent I would have stayed that would've been more than enough. I thought for me then but we would have used that 10 percent you know with something it would've been gone and I would've still been disgruntled and I would've come home every night complaining about the way they treat me. And I have no control over this. I have no control over that. That's what we're doing already. My wife and I are already doing that. And so it was really uncomfortable and that's about life lessons. It was like you will be comfortable being uncomfortable and you hear it out all the time but that was like that was really like you have to constantly stay uncomfortable. So that was a big thing that I learned.
1232 - 1260 Brad Barrett So Vincent the ultimate difference there is about 2000 dollars right. Because you're saying if he would have given you a 10 percent raise on 32000 that's about three grand and he gave you 3 percent. So you're talking about two thousand dollars and that would have been it. Right. Right. That's that is amazing. What a fortuitous thing where you don't get what you want but it causes you to really jolt out of your life and and take that chance.
1260 - 1317 Vincent Pugleisi And that's so much for so many of us is like the best thing that happened to me is not getting what I thought I wanted. We think we want this but often it's not the best thing for us. So that was I mean it would've been the worst thing in the world if you would to give me give me 15 percent. I would have felt indebted to him for the next 20 years and I would never have made more than forty five thousand dollars a year. Fifty thousand. And the ironic part about it is and this goes to what can happen and we'll talk to them between it. I took those same skills the same mindset instead of trying to sell it to a newspaper. I teamed up with my friend Kyle Schultz who runs he runs an online photo school. He teaches parents how to take better pictures of their kids. We did a sports photography course teaching parents how to take better sports pictures. It's natural. There's somebody that wants it. We launched that in may. That course made 32000 dollars on the first day. That made as much as I made a year at the newspaper. These things would never even be possible if I continued on the mindset that I used to have.
1317 - 1361 Jonathan Mendonsa That certainly speaks to the power of the new economy and how much lower the barrier to entry for people to enter the business world. But I think even more than that what you are saying about the self worth and self value and then your mind going back to your story. You were at this point where your value was less than 3 percent and you are letting yourself be defined by just a boss who had his own budget constraints. Good bad or indifferent. That was how your worth was valued and then it's so easy for people to take that and then apply that to themselves when in reality that's a limiting belief. Obviously that's not true. And I love that in your case you just took the blinders off and you said what would my life look like outside of this construct.
1361 - 1424 Vincent Pugleisi And I would like to give myself credit that I saw that back then but I didn't. I was very desperate. I was very desperate. I knew I couldn't live like that. So that's why we knew that we were like we had no vision of a really successful business of like a six figure wedding but we didn't have that at all. It was like we need to make money to pay for diapers and they're not supplying that with us. And there's no other way and I can't get another newspaper job in Evansville Indiana. There were only five. It wasn't like I could transfer that job. Oh I'll go work somebody else work with somebody else for that like I had. Sometimes having so little options is the best thing you could possibly do because if I had four other jobs I can play back and forth and maybe they give me a little more money. I had no other option but to start something and thing I try to tell myself right now is I think everybody needs that because there's so many people that are comfortable in jobs but they don't really like it but they know it was at the start of their job. Maybe I could do this or can apply here. It's like it's almost like burn the boats. The whole saying like burn the boats. Do something just go get started right now because I really believe almost everybody needs a side gig of some sort. And that's the way it is right now.
1424 - 1449 Jonathan Mendonsa I love it we have a good friend Alan Donegan who has a business called pop up business school and right now he I promise you he's listening to this and he's standing up cheering. So that is amazing. But aside from that I wanted to highlight this almost designed your future type lifestyle that you talked about and specifically I want it as you're building this business from scratch and you're looking at the competition that you've decided you're going to beat. You have this red X moment I'd love for you to tell our audience about that.
1449 - 1536 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah I couldn't remember his name when I wrote the book and I actually just messaged him because when we do the next edit I had to put his name in there. But I did remember it like about two months ago. His name is Kevin Swan. He's a photographer in Indianapolis. I was looking at his Web site because we were just this crappy little business. You know we had this you know if you see our Web site it was brutal. How Bad we were when we started. We designed it ourselves and you know Dreamweaver. It's terrible. But I found this guy Kevin Swan really fancy Web site who's charging big money for weddings and corporate shooting like I want to be that guy. I want to do with that guy doing. And I looked at his schedule. So we are online calendar and he had December and we were you know busting our butts in December. We were just like any and we can get. And he had the whole month X'd out every every day and a big red X through it at the bottom it said we're taking December off to spend time with our family. You know my head almost exploded like I was like who can do that. Like who can really tell who can afford to take the entire month of just to spend time with them. I would love to do that. But there was no I couldn't even imagine it. But I never lost that I never lost that picture. That one thing shaped I mean we're in December right now and we live that life. We get to do what we want to do when we want to do and like. It was such a huge influence that it actually could be done because so many people were telling us oh the wedding photography business is dying. The money is going down nobody pays for it anymore and this guy showed me that that wasn't true and most people will tell you that you can't do it. And you have to follow the ones that do. So that was huge for me and for us.
1536 - 1566 Brad Barrett I'm always struck by these inflection points in people's lives where you know you've talked about three of them right. Two of them with your dad and then finding this this one photographer who took off the month of December and you see it modeled and you see it become real that could not have crossed your mind. Like you said that that anybody could do that but then you see this guy. And the proof is in the pudding and you know it's possible. So what did the next year of your life look like after that inflection point. How did you go about building your business. Where did you go from there.
1566 - 1664 Vincent Pugleisi There was a lot of learning those next two years were unbelievable. 2006 2007 it was a lot of mistakes. It was doing retainers that weren't good that we got you know we lost thousands of dollars because it's because of our our decisions that we made working with the wrong clients which was a big thing that we learned in terms of turning down what I learned around 2008. It's good for the soul to turn down bad clients. It's just good for your soul to say no to not do it just for the money because the first two years we did it just for the money. And then you wind up working with people that we were like I wish we would if we didn't need the money there's no way in the world we would be taking that job. And I think that can be reflected not only in the freelance world but also in the regular world. If it wasn't for the money would you really be in that job you're in right now and you'd be. I mean you guys probably know how many people say they would not be in that job but they've got themselves in such financial straits that they have to and to go off topic a little bit when you get that well paying job you're going to buy a better car in this world you're going to buy a bigger house. You have a baby you're going to buy a bigger house because you know Lord knows that six pound baby needs you know 12 foot ceilings because that's where we go in this world. So all of a sudden you know you used to make this amount of money and you can live off of it. Now you and your wife both have car payments and you both have student loans. You know you have a credit card and then you have a house payment and then you know she wants to stay home with your baby. How do you do that. Because now if she leaves now your salary has got to cover all that stuff and now you're stuck in a job that you hate and you don't even even though you're making 125 grand. You don't see any of it. And that's the way this has gone. No. Well that's what we were learning in this process to not do.
1664 - 1700 Jonathan Mendonsa So with your story at this point in time. You guys are at the point where you're living off of one income that's your income so. Thirty two thousand dollars a year one hundred forty thousand dollars in debt that you've made the decision because that includes your more mortgage you've made the decision we're going to have no debt in our life or on the Dave Ramsey train. We're going to get to absolutely 100 percent debt free and you have a baby now and you have a business that you're in theory going to be supplementing this income with but you're bad at it. You're still making all the rookie mistakes that come with this business and you're telling your friends we have to pay out all of our debt. What sort of pushback are you getting from your friends and family who frankly think you've drunk the koolaid and have lost your mind.
debt, ramsey
1700 - 1801 Vincent Pugleisi Tremendous pushback. I was stunned. I was stunned by how many people didn't agree with it didn't support it. How many family members didn't support it. Really disappointing. And as I look back and I talked to people about a lot of people feel the same way. I think this community that you know the Choose FI community we're an odd lot in this world. You know most people don't get it. Most people want you know the job and you know debt is normal and working for somebody else to 365 till 70 is normal and they don't get this. So it's kind of like you become like a cult because the people that got it got it they were few. So I had to kind of battle with people constantly with whether it was family or friends or whatever about what we're trying to do. You know you only live once and we had a vision. We had a 10 year vision of what we want our life to look like. You know our first son was born and we said what we wanted to look like when he's 10 or 11 he's 12 now and what we wanted was we didn't care about stuff. This was the big difference. We didn't care about the House or the big house or the cars. We wanted freedom we wanted not just money freedom. It wasn't like we wanted to be cared about being wealthy but I didn't want to worry about money at all. I don't want to wake up in the middle night thinking about money. What I wanted more than anything was time freedom. I didn't want anybody telling me what to do with my time. I wanted to control it. That was huge and I wanted to be able to travel with our family whatever we wanted to and raise them the way that we wanted to. And those are the three big things that we decided when we were broke with a brand new business that's what we wanted life to look like 10 years from now. So having that vision allowed us to hold off on all the things that the delayed gratification that most people weren't holding off on we looked like nut balls for three years. But three years later when we quit then everyone is like how did you do that. There were no longer making fun of it. Now there were cured.
debt, families, travel
1801 - 1817 Brad Barrett Vincent what was the pushback about. I mean when you're describing it like are you sitting people down and saying like we have this 10 year vision or are you saying hey we're going to pay off all our debt. And if so what was the pushback. You know what do you think people were thinking when you described this to them.
1817 - 1841 Vincent Pugleisi It wasn't blatant. It was more you go out to lunch. You don't use a credit card or you don't go on vacation or go out drinking. We're saving money or whatever you have it came up it was always kind of subtle and I'm like well what are you doing and I think when the word starts getting out you know and we were a little bit nutty. At least I was you know when you start doing this you get excited about it. So you want to tell people about it. I probably talked about it way too much at that point to other people.
1841 - 1844 Brad Barrett Jonathan is hearing his own life here.
1844 - 1859 Jonathan Mendonsa I do. I would love to hear not just on the paying off debt but what about the part where you start working on your own business and the people that you're working with in this news center surely you know they were aware of your plans to start a business where you get any blowback from that front.
1859 - 1959 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah because I mean first of all they made fun of us because when you come from the Newsworld shooting weddings that's like no that's that's crazy. You are selling out if you go shoot weddings. I'm a journalist. I'm too good to be a wedding photographer. That's the perception. So we're all sitting there making thirty to forty thousand dollars a year you know complaining about it but yet there's all this work to be had that these guys out here are girls out here shooting. We looked at it and they weren't very good like we were skilled journalists we could really bring something to the market. So we shot our first wedding. The reaction was overwhelming like we charge fifteen hundred dollars and they were like over the moon. Like wait a second wait a second if we and we see what people are charging if we charge three thousand dollars and we do 20 weddings we make as much as if we both work 240 days out of the year. I remember being in the bathroom the newspaper and calculating that and I always just just fell down. I was like same amount of money we control the time and what we learned was and everybody gave us this pushback was we got to tell the wedding stories the same way we did in the newspaper. We got to tell a story real emotion just exactly what we did. But just in long form. So it wasn't what we thought it would be. The thing you learn is the more success you have. I Remember here in Tony Robbins talk about this everybody wants to buy him dinner and he's like everyone's wants to buy me dinner now. But where were they when I was 19 and broke at Denny's. Nobody wanted to buy him dinner. Then when things started happening while they did the same thing when it's not going well people question you if I tried the same thing now people would be like. That's a great idea I guess because I've earned some trust with it but it's like back then nobody believed that we would do anything. So and I'm kind of that type of thing where I don't mind trying to prove people wrong. That's just my personality. So it didn't hurt me to go through that.
1959 - 1983 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah. Well you know one of the things about this you're starting this business and you've decided to at the same time make all the sacrifices to pay down a significant amount of debt at some point. There will be an example of something that it is very difficult to turn down an expense or a luxury that's very difficult to turn down. What was that point for you. What was the most painful thing that you had to say no to while during the time you were paying down debt.
1983 - 2104 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah I grew up a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan like my first two years of watching football. They won the Super Bowl. The late 70s steel curtain like they were my team the first game I ever went to was at Shea Stadium New York. Terry Bradshaw last game as a quarterback so I've followed them my entire life and if they ever made the Super Bowl I wanted to go to the Superbowl. No I wasn't in a position to get a press pass for it at this time I didn't cover the Steelers. But in 2005 they made the Super Bowl and it was unexpected. They made this last minute run and they made it all the way to the Super Bowl and I wanted to go and we had the money we were saving the money for the debt and it was like two thousand dollars for the ticket. It was what I had wanted to do you know as a fan. That was the ticket I wanted. And so I bugged and coerced Elizabeth into agreeing and she wasn't really on board with it. But she signed up. She's like I know you've been waiting for it. And she kind of begrudgingly gave the OK to go buy the ticket and so I had the ticket on the screen. I was ready to buy it at the button and I didn't do it. I couldn't do it. The problem was I knew that I was being a giant hypocrite because for a year and a half I was saying we need to cut budget we need to do this we need to go not go out to eat here. And what something that I so I could envision Elizabeth what I would have done to her has made her very resentful. Where a week from now or a month from now when I say oh we can't do this. Like yeah we have to sacrifice unless it's something you really want. So I didn't do it and that was painful to watch the game. I really enjoy because I knew I would have been there. What would happen. And this is really a big part of the story is we kept going and I kept that I still wanted to do that at some point and it never happened. Three years later we had paid off our house. We had paid off all of our debt. We had quit our jobs. And guess what steals were back the Superbowl. So this time I was looking up tickets to the playoff game. And Elizabeth comes downstairs and she said What are you doing. I said I'm looking for tickets. And I told her the price. She just looked at me and she said buy it. I said Are you serious. Just like that. She's like this is what we did this for. So I got to see the steelers during like the best Super Bowl ever. When they had a 100 yard touchdown return they won the last second. That was a fun story to live through.
debt, savings
2104 - 2116 Brad Barrett What does that conversation look like when you walk away from your computer in the 2005 season. You were just about ready to click buy. You decide not to. What's the conversation with Elizabeth like. After that.
2116 - 2145 Vincent Pugleisi I was resentful. I was like you you know the Steelers won the Super Bowl in any other situation. I would have been like having this part I was downstairs at our bar and I was just watching that celebration. I was kind of like I should be there. I didn't take it out on her. I didn't get mad at her but I was just like I really wanted to do that. But I just knew it wasn't the right decision to do it. Even though I didn't feel it I knew I couldn't have went. It would not have been right to do it. We're all glad they went back because I don't have to talk about that story. I got to actually see it.
2145 - 2180 Jonathan Mendonsa Well glad you had the opportunity. So is it in your mind. You had a four year process to pay down one hundred forty thousand dollars of debt on a thirty two thousand dollar a year salary with a business that at the time of origin was making nothing and you were reportedly just bad at everything. I mean you missed except for town. I mean this point you had a significant talent that was being brought to an industry that hadn't seen your particular skill set and background but you were learning the business side from the ground up. At what point did you realize my business has legs and it's just an iteration type process. When did it all really come together.
2180 - 2252 Vincent Pugleisi I'm not sure that was an exact moment. I just know within there. When we started seeing what we're doing and we started seeing how the rates were going up slowly but surely and the debt was coming down like we got her when we got our mortgage down below a hundred thousand dollars and then I think we had probably booked to 4000 wedding that same week. I remember being in the backyard with our dog and our son I remember thinking this is starting to work. I felt like we're going downhill now referrals were start to come in and we had built relationships with people other vendors we had kept on that we didn't give up on the path that was the first time it was like this is really start to work and then you start projecting and you guys know like when you start projecting this stuff it gets exciting. It's like wait a second. If we take on a little bit more we can do a little bit more. So you know every day is really a year and a half and then we can kind of go at our pace but we really have to go at it now. So once we got that momentum it was exciting so I didn't care if I was doing three weddings in a weekend. I didn't care if I was working because we actually had a purpose of what we're doing and a goal. The hardest part. We called 2007 the year of work that was considered the hardest part. It was the most exciting to me because all of a sudden everything we had envisioned the future was starting to become clear we were starting to be able to see what was going to happen. As painful as it was it was exciting.
debt, relationships
2252 - 2268 Brad Barrett Did you always prioritize debt. Was that always the goal. Just paying off that 140 K and then going from there or was it. Did you save an emergency fund. Did you do other type investing or was it all just plow that money into the into all the debt.
debt, emergencyfunds
2268 - 2359 Vincent Pugleisi It was really debt driven because I've noticed with me is when I have one singular focus I could pretty much do anything if I'm going to sit down to write a book. I'm going to get the book done. I'm not going to waffle and do the book and 17 other different things other projects get the book done then do the next step with us no matter how we projected it it was like there's such a mental freedom with getting rid of that debt that is hard to explain unless you get there. We never have to think about the mortgage again. The worry about whether taking any clients because of it. And that's when we started noticing the mental freedom was like we started raising our prices because we're getting better at it we need it less. Now all of a sudden said 39 weddings to 25 weddings that just freed up 12 weekends of our year. Amazing what you could do with 12 extra weekends of the year. What happened was this was really pretty incredible. Last year was really difficult. Kept paying down the debt we'd paid off that debt paid off the house and everything at that point. Our business because of four years of hustle and work we were the most expensive photographers in Evansville. So not only do we have no debt but we had a very successful business. That's what it's so hard to get anything through to somebody about this. If you do that work if you take that time all of a sudden there's this diminishing return where it's like it explodes. No more financial obligations for the most part that you need and you have all this extra money to do stuff with. And time all of a sudden it's like the world opens up. It was months after that when we realized we can do whatever we want every day. That was just enthralling.
debt, hustle
2359 - 2377 Jonathan Mendonsa So Vince it to me your story is the perfect example of how you keep putting the work in and it takes a while to see the results. Did you feel that as well just almost the aggregation of marginal gains where just the time you're putting in over and over compounds and the results just far exceed what you ever could have imagined.
2377 - 2440 Vincent Pugleisi It's exactly spot on. So I guess cliche know like Darren Hardy and the compound effect the same thing. Zig Ziglar like I wrote about in the book with priming the pump I don't think there's a better analogy than that where you know your priming the pump to get water and it's just constant and you're working and you're sweating and there's nothing that comes from it and you want to quit you just what's the point of doing it and you keep going and you keep going and then when you think you're about done there's nothing left the tiny bit of water comes out and it's not enough to do anything when even you know when you're thirst at all but like oh it it yielded something and that's what we felt that with the business. And then you keep going in that a little bit more and then a little bit more then it's sustainable then you're getting enough that you can get by then with just a little bit more effort and understanding the way even the motion of priming the pump boom the water starts flying out and then it's unlimited. And that really is what we've learnt. The hardest part. It's like the airplane taking off the most energy is during the takeoff and then it's easy. Not saying this is ever easy because you're constantly learning but man what a difference.
2440 - 2451 Brad Barrett Vincent was it always a photography business were there. Is it you found to scale it. Are there any kind of actionable takeaways the audience can get from the mechanics of your business.
2451 - 2516 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah it was up until three years ago it was strictly photography. And it's the same thing with the priming the pump. What has led to its success brings success. And I try to think about that all the time because what has happened from what we did wrong is we didn't teach this earlier. We never wanted to be teachers but we've seen so many people now with the online world explode kind of teaching this stuff and they've learned some of them have learned photography after we were even free from all this. They started they shot for two years and they did like an online course or a membership site. We didn't do any of that. That's a big mistake that we made because we had all the experience to do it. So we learned slowly in some ways that it's a mistake that we've had. But in the last couple of years between writing the book and coaching online courses membership site all this type of stuff it just branches out to different areas. We've learned so many different areas of business from it so we're pretty new and just kind of the new economy part of it but it's so exciting the possibilities out there so I'm like when people tell me they don't have time or whatever or it's hard. Now it's so much easier now that it wasn't 2005. And that's words like if we could have done it then we could do it now.
2516 - 2525 Jonathan Mendonsa What I thought was interesting is the title of your book wasn't the entrepreneur path to freedom but freelance to freedom and I was just curious how did you land on that title.
2525 - 2621 Vincent Pugleisi I liked the way it sounded. It was it was really very simple. It really is like like you said like it's not a get rich quick scheme and I think a lot of people are used to hearing that or want to hear that because I get people like that would have a hack. Are the quick tips. There's really no quick tips there's a lot of lessons learned. But this takes work it takes work and more than work it takes dedication. I mean one avenue of my book that was cornerstone was I wanted to work for the Associated Press in New York. When you worked at the AP in New York you get all the big assignments like I photographed the Dalai Lama every world leader you could imagine I'm right next to photographing them. I wanted that gig and I would call the AP and Rockefeller Center every week to go set up a meeting with them. Every week they set up a meeting and then they canceled six weeks in a row. I called back rescheduled they canceled did it again for the seventh week. I went to Rockefeller Center I brought my portfolio nervous as you can imagine. And he sat down with me and he looked at me and he said Vincent. He goes I want to thank you for your patience and your persistence. He said without both of those we wouldn't be here right now. That was 1998 and I've never forgotten that and I think about it every day because if I would have had patience without persistence I would have never done anything. When I got to get there. If I would have persistence without patience I would have been that annoying person that you see all the time that bugs everybody. But with patience and persistence you always stay balanced. So no matter what we do it's helped elevate all of our other businesses because I constantly think patience and persistence patience and anything will get done if you do it that way. But so many people are either too patient or too persistent and they don't put together well. So that was a big part of it for me.
2621 - 2660 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I love that and it's certainly those two together that the patience and the persistence and just being willing to iterate the process and continually get better. Honestly the second half your book is so packed full of just actionable tips for that freelancer that entrepreneur that slowly beginning their business and trying to figure out how do you go from zero to something that works and can put food on the table for you and your family. I loved how you brought it all together but since we don't have time to do six or seven hours to walk through that whole thought process what are some actionable takeaways that you could give to our audience especially if they're trying to tease out whether or not even pursuing something like this might be right for them.
2660 - 2729 Vincent Pugleisi There's so much I'll tell you one that's so simple but it helps me every single day. The main thing I hear are people that have their own business solopreneurs side hustles. freelance it's overwhelm. You know there's so much to do. You know and then they rattle off everything have to do and then they just throw their hands in the air and just don't do any of it. And the one thing that I learned and this is really more recent this is within the last five years is just to be better than yesterday. It sounds so simple but my goodness when I go I just need to be better than yesterday. All I need to do today is have a great interview with you guys. I need to do a great mastermind call with my guys and I need to reach out to ten people. Everything else is bonus. Now the more you do this the less becomes urgent. It's kind of like seven habits of highly effective people. You want to do work that is important but not urgent. That's quadrant 2 in that book. Well we always said we want our life to be in quadrant 2 of that book where everything is important but not urgent. The more urgent things you can get out of your life. Over time the easier it all gets and the better it gets. So being better than yesterday it's so simple but it works every single time I'm overwhelmed.
2729 - 2745 Brad Barrett VINCENT How do you focus on the important things like actually on a granular level. Do you sit down at the beginning of a week of a month of a day and decide what's important for you in that period of time or like. Talk to us about what that actually looks like in your life.
2745 - 2842 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah I've got to meet Tim Ferris last winter when his book released and got to talk to him a little bit and ask him about how he does things and he had mentioning approach. He said he does things in two week and six month intervals and I've never heard that before. So I kind of adopted that and it really has changed the way that I work because right now I'm rolling out a membership site for this platform and that is my focus. That is my 2018 focus. So I run a couple of Mastermind groups. I have my coaching that I do. And so everything is going into that. I'm not going to get distracted because I know that's the thing that's going to get us to the next level because I always I've also learned that you always have to challenge yourself. I don't want to keep doing the same thing. So I always got to bring new stuff in and eliminate the things that I don't want to do. So every year around October Elizabeth and I sit down adn go. You know what don't we want to do anymore. And let's start phasing that out. And what do we want to do. Because I know that I've been there. I had 20 weddings a year with no debt and money in the bank. I didn't have to do very much. And I see that a lot of times what people are like oh I want to work anymore. I want to be 43 and quit. Like that's boring. Let me give you one tip that's boring because I've got to do that and after six months it's really kind of empty. I always want to be growing somewhere. So that's where this thing comes from. So that's my goal. So I have one focus going into 2018 workwise which is to build and grow this Awesome membership site. So that's where I have that is my goal for the next year is very simple to break that down into three months and then one month and then a week and a day. So sometimes what I need to do in that one day only takes an hour to get done what I need to get done for that ultimate goal takes away all the overwhelm.
2842 - 2859 Brad Barrett Have you started to break that down in three month increments for 2010 or do you do it like Tim Ferriss said two weeks by two weeks. I'm sorry to keep drilling and that's why I think I need to get better at this in my own life. So this is really helpful for me and presumably for the audience out there obviously.
2859 - 2916 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah I'll break it down. May 2nd founding launch of my membership which is just people that are already in my community that I'm offering this to but may 2nd for instance. This site is going live. That's my dad's birthday. It's symbolic because of what he's done for me. So I chose May 2nd is the day that we're going to do that. That's essentially almost six months from right now. So it's very easy for me now because this is my new shift six months from today. What does that have to look like for me to be where I want to be with that. And then yeah essentially I break that down to three months and then a month. And then what do I have to get done this week. That's the chart that goes on the wall and then from what needs to get done that week it basically gets divided and what needs to get done today. And it's remarkable when you do that how little you actually have to do to get that done. We just get so frantic in so many different things that we get nothing done and I've been there and done that. And this is the school of hard knocks that I've learned from that. Not a university. We can go deeper into that but that's the outline of how I go about it.
2916 - 2951 Brad Barrett I love that because for me it seems like the urgent you know quote unquote fills up it swells to fill whatever amount of time you have because there's always Facebook there's always somebody asking that question via e-mail. And you know that stuff is important and obviously I want to get back to people clearly. But it swells to fill that time you have. So I love that singular focus. And then you probably feel pretty darn good about yourself and wow I accomplished what I needed to today as opposed to hey it's 8:00 o'clock. I look back on my day and I have no idea what I did.
2951 - 3008 Vincent Pugleisi Trust me I've been there. Both those places I've been both those places often this year. You know this month on the days that everything goes smooth I'm waking up calm and I'm ending work calm. That's the way I want to live because I've got three boys. It's more about it's not about the business it's about how I'm raising them and how it will kind of a husband and a dad on being there's no point in building a successful business. If I'm not here with my kids if I'm not here mentally with my kids and that was a big thing for freedom for us was I wanted freedom for somebody else's schedule. I want to be able to work from home. I want to be able to take off like the beautiful day. The book is we are we have a beautiful day rule which in Pittsburgh if there is a beautiful day which we get more now than there used to. We get to take the day off. If there's anything scheduled urgent we do it. Otherwise we have a free pass to take the kids to the park or to go wherever. And that was a rule that we wanted from the very beginning in our life. We did not want to be controlled by the business. But the business does give us so much satisfaction. So that's a big part.
3008 - 3018 Brad Barrett Yeah I mean that is the independence in financial independence. That's incredible. So that's what your life looks like. You have three kids. You and your wife are both in the house and you have this flexibility right.
3018 - 3077 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah. So what happened wasn't I having talked about this. I went to see Chris Guilbault about three weeks ago he wrote a book called side hustle. He wrote the hundred dollar startup a couple of years ago and he said how was his first book. He didn't have a big publisher. And he went to all 50 states and he visited people that read the book. He goes some places there were only two people so I looked at Elizabeth we listening to him and we were planning January 2nd. We are leaving and we are going for three months on the road. This was already planned. We've got a month in Arizona and a month in California and we're choosing the third month. And I said to her I said why don't we do a 50 state. Thank you tour. Instead of a book tour and then what do you mean. I'm like Let's see if we can go to every state this year. And we thank people and give the book to the people that have helped us out instead of doing book signings. Well maybe we'll do some of those. But it really is to the heart of everything we teach which is to give first and to thank people and everything comes from that. So that's what we're doing. January 2nd we hit the road and we're going to do three legs of the tour and that was our dream. So you know in three weeks we get to hit the road and do that.
3077 - 3089 Jonathan Mendonsa Yeah I love it man. I love everything about it. It's so consistent the whole way through. And so I hope that someone will absolutely go ahead and check your book out. I'm certainly going to put a link to it in the shownotes as well.
3089 - 3093 Vincent Pugleisi Thank you. I mean this is just a lot of fun. I love the conversation.
3093 - 3103 Jonathan Mendonsa It's cool to see the diversity of experiences of people that are in the FI community. And honestly what fi means to those individual people but it sounds to me like you are crushing the Red X game at this point.
3103 - 3156 Vincent Pugleisi It's funny because it's like I wonder if people feel this way to other people that are going through this. If you would've told me my life would look like this ten years ago I would have signed off in a second. Oh my goodness. But when you're there compared to ten years ago I don't feel like that. I feel there's so much more to do now. Not that I'm unsatisfied with it but I always think that no matter where you get when you're in by when you get there I truly believe that you got to keep pushing forward. You got to keep challenging yourself you always have to be uncomfortable in some area because that's how you grow. I always thought Oh if we get there the money we had the money we have the time it's just it's just paradise and it's good but it's not paradise. Paradise is growing and learning and accomplishing things that's to me at least. So I don't feel like I'm crushing her right now because I have so many things I have to learn right now the next year or two. So I feel like I'm in I feel like I'm in phase one without the same money issues that I used to have. That's how I feel.
3156 - 3220 Brad Barrett Vincent I hear you completely I when you said that 10 years ago you know could you ever imagine your life would be like this and I know I personally could not have I never could have envisioned this when I was sitting there in an office 9:00 to 5:00 filling out tax returns. And now here I am talking to tens of thousands of people about my passion in life right financial independence and the superpower that is financial independence. It's remarkable. And a quote that I heard about a year ago at a at a men's retreat that I went to is I never dreamed passed here. And I feel like that would really impact you. Because that's that is exactly what we're talking about. I never dream passed here. I looked at my life and I would have said this would have been like you're describing the end. You know this is what the culmination would be. But when you get there there's so much more to do. There's so much more to learn so much more to get out of life to build these relationships to meet people to help people. It's really truly remarkable. You know I think about that a lot. And it does stick with me. So hopefully it has some value for you as well.
3220 - 3276 Vincent Pugleisi I just love the conversation I love what you guys are doing. I love what you guys are doing in your community. I think it's such a blessing to have your voices out there doing and the community you're bringing together. I'd be so excited if I was you know 23 years old or 26 years old in this spot compared to honestly when I grew up there was none of this talk you'd be thrown into a psycho hospital if you talked about this 25 years ago. Nobody did this. I think the way it's evolved is so exciting it's so exciting for my kids that they don't. I mean we homeschool now we hold school for three years simply for the reason of we don't really want them going through the same thought process that we went through. You know they had their own little businesses already like they're already doing this up we're talking about this that they're not on somebody else's schedule. When the bell rings they don't just shoot off to another class mindlessly because somebody else told him to do it. Like we talk about this stuff so I'm excited for the way that that's going. People talk about the way the future. I'm I'm just so jacked up about it for. For anybody that gets this. So I commend you guys for what you're doing.
3276 - 3316 Brad Barrett Yeah thank you Vince I really appreciate it. And yeah I mean it's it's like you're normalizing and modeling this that other people can realize hey this is not anything crazy. You know like Jonathan I always say. And it's become kind of a thing here. We're just two regular middle class guys who were just living a normal life just a little bit optimized and anybody can do this. Anybody really if they apply some intention can save money can become financially independent in X number of years. Right. That's always going to change depending on people's lives. But anyone can do this. You can just be a little bit smarter and you know just move forward. So it's amazing.
3316 - 3363 Vincent Pugleisi And I argue with my brother about that because I say that to him because if we go back and forth I say not everyone will that anyone can. And it doesn't mean that everybody's going to do it. You have to want to do it but that's a big part I think. I agree with you. Anybody can do it and what we learned was a big thing for us. It was like Well how did you guys do it. The main thing is we don't need very much and that is our big thing Elizabeth and I don't need very much when it comes financially. So we've learned that we can live off of very little money when you don't have very much any debt and you don't have big expenses then everything's on the table for you to do. But when you need more when you need these things for all your kids and all these expenses that holds you back from the potential of getting FI. In my opinion that opens everything up. Is hard for people to understand.
3363 - 3370 Jonathan Mendonsa I feel like I have to take just a second and ask. You've helped your kids establish businesses can you tell us like What are they doing.
3370 - 3409 Vincent Pugleisi Oh they're not huge one is a pet sitting business for some neighbors down the street so they come out because you know there's advantages when you're home schooling when your home schooling everybody else is at work while they need their dogs to be let out. So take advantage of the situation you're in. So they go and they let the dogs out. Our kids are 12 10 and 6. They're in the beginning of it. Our oldest is starting a blog he is so into bugs. So we photographed them we go out to different parks and he's very much the praying mantises so we photograph and he's writing stories about them he's writing a blog that will be out soon just explaining this. I'm there following my book. You know I pay my son and he finds podcasts for me to be interviewed on he didin't find you guys. We did. This naturally.
3409 - 3415 Jonathan Mendonsa It would have been so much better if he had that would be the best ugh a missed opportunity.
3415 - 3445 Vincent Pugleisi So he goes an hour or so at a time and he'll go through online and he'll find you know business or money or entrepreneural podcasts and he lists them out for us and he gives the links and then we go deeper in terms of a spreadsheet. I mean I don't need him to do it we could do it or we can hire it out but I want to teach him how to do this. And so he's starting to recognize different names. He's like oh Pat Flynn. He's recognized the name so he knows who they are as opposed to being at school. I don't know what they're learning. So yeah that's a little part of it. We're we're talking about it.
3445 - 3453 Jonathan Mendonsa That's amazing. So have you started to figure out all the accounting and paperwork type stuff that goes along with that are you doing it like you know in the nails the whole nine yards.
3453 - 3489 Vincent Pugleisi You know we're figuring that out now. That's another beginning phase for us because we never like what we want to do it. And this could be a whole nother conversation Jonathan you and I talked about this. I believe when we talked about homeschooling was we're going to file tax return on them and we're going to have them open up a Roth because if you open up a Roth now and you put a couple thousand in there those first seven years if he'd never invested again he would still have over a million dollars at quote unquote retirement. It's hard to convince a 38 year old guy stuck in a job to do this sometimes. But it's really easy to teach a 12 year old and form them with this so that's really where I'll be going in the later years teaching this.
homeschool, roth, tax
3489 - 3505 Jonathan Mendonsa Love it. Hopefully we'll accompany you on that ride. So Vincent there should be a large percentage of our audience that this is the first time that they're hearing about your story and they're going to want to connect with you to tell you what they got out of this episode or maybe just ask you a follow up question what's the best way for someone to connect with you.
3505 - 3531 Vincent Pugleisi Yeah. Just go to our website. The freelance tribe dot com my email is on there me an email. The book's going to be on Amazon and if anybody wants to give you guys a PDF and basically people ask us so often about the whole making 30 grand a year to making 30 grand a day. So I put together PDF and the top 10 tips. Some of them we talked about today the top 10 tips that I learned in going from making 32 grand a year to making 32 grand a day.
3531 - 3538 Jonathan Mendonsa All right. Thank you so much Vincent Well normally that would be the end of the episode but on this show we'd love to give you the chance to tackle the hot seat. Are you ready for this.
3538 - 3541 Vincent Pugleisi I am ready.
3541 - 3569 Speaker In a world drowning in debt and rampant consumption. Trapped by the chains of lifestyle inflation. These questions highlight the secrets of those who have broken free. Welcome to the Choose F.I. hotseat.
3569 - 3573 Brad Barrett Alright Vincent question number one your favorite blog. That's not your own.
3573 - 3582 Vincent Pugleisi Seth Godin. I mean he is like who I follow so much in this and he publishes every day. He's patient and persistent. So Seth for sure.
3582 - 3590 Jonathan Mendonsa Yes that's amazing. That's a awesome recommendation. All right. Question number two your favorite article of all time.
3590 - 3625 Vincent Pugleisi Oh there's so many I feel like I'm going to leave most everybody out but Kevin Kelly's thousand true fans had a huge impact on how we run our business. Like everybody gets flips out about needing so many clients and a huge funnel and he basically explains in that article if you haven't read it you have a thousand true fans. Anybody can build you know if you have thousands of fans that pay you a hundred dollars a year. That's a hundred thousand dollars a year and you can break that down to even 100 true fans. So that article really shaped me in terms of really be able to scale the business and figure out how to how to really do this. Well in a relationship type of business.
3625 - 3632 Jonathan Mendonsa Well you've added two more true fans today. so you're doing great question number 3 your favorite life hack.
3632 - 3649 Vincent Pugleisi I think probably the point where I realized that I didin't have to trade my time for money that somewhere around when I was in the bathroom that time realizing if I worked 20 days a year on one thing I would not work 240 days on another. I think that was probably it that's done me to my core.
3649 - 3674 Brad Barrett Yeah just rethinking life. I love that and also that ties into your answer on your favorite article of all time with a thousand true fans. It's just looking at the world a little differently and also building those relationships. I read that article many many times I was introduced to it through the Tim Ferriss show and it's just so powerful. So yeah I'm I'm completely on board. All right Vincent question number four your biggest financial mistake.
hotseat-mistake, relationships
3674 - 3698 Vincent Pugleisi Oh man we need a whole other show for this one. OK. In the past when hurt was leaving thirteen thousand dollars worth of camera gear on the side of the road and leaving it there. And when I was broke that was hard but the biggest probably one right now was probably not investing in bitcoin back in 2015. When I looked at it and I was thinking about investing and now I look at the numbers and yeah it's probably a pretty big mistake that I made. But who knew.
3698 - 3720 Brad Barrett Yeah who knew indeed and I think we all have that right. My favorite one is I almost bought a couple of thousand shares of Priceline when I graduated from college and it was I think at that point it was the dot com bust and it was like a dollar a share. Now it's well over a thousand dollars a share. So yeah I think about that but you know you can't cry over spilled milk right.
3720 - 3725 Vincent Pugleisi No trying to think about those things because think about all the things you would have invested into that tanked right.
3725 - 3732 Brad Barrett Exactly. Exactly. So yeah not too bad not too bad. So all right the advice you would give your younger self.
3732 - 3744 Vincent Pugleisi Do not stop. Don't stop and don't listen to the cynics. If I would have listened to what the advice everybody was giving most people were giving me I never would be here right now. I would have a job.
3744 - 3745 Jonathan Mendonsa With a 10 percent raise.
3745 - 3749 Vincent Pugleisi With a 10 percent rate. Or if I wasn't laid off at this point.
3749 - 3751 Jonathan Mendonsa That's awesome man.
3751 - 3775 Brad Barrett Alright vincent we have a bonus question. We kind of changed it up a little bit. It used to be. What was your favorite purchase on Amazon.com. But I really came up with this question to focus on this is a financial independent show and we all talk about you know saving money cutting expenses et cetera. But like has there been anything particularly impactful that you've purchased in the last year or two that you look back and say wow that was a really good idea.
hotseat-purchase, savings
3775 - 3783 Vincent Pugleisi OK yeah. I bought a ticket to fincon and I got to hang out with you guys. And now we're talking here so that was it.
3783 - 3786 Jonathan Mendonsa That's awesome. I love it.
3786 - 3789 Brad Barrett What a great answer. Relationships that said that's what makes the world go round right.
3789 - 3802 Vincent Pugleisi And we didn't talk about it very much but that we could do that whole thing on relationships that is the key to this it's not about the money it's about building relationships real relationships. It's such a huge part of this. I can't emphasize enough.
3802 - 3841 Brad Barrett Yeah man. Well listen we'd be happy to have you back on and just to talk about that because I constantly harp on that here. And I think people are probably tired of hearing just me talking about. Relationships are everything but not the glad handing networking garbage in true human connection and like you said you give first you give give give you help people you're genuine people just latch on to that they see that you're a real person who is not just looking out for themselves not worrying how it's going to impact them or you know they're looking for that connection. And we all crave it and probably more so in this digital age right.
3841 - 3915 Vincent Pugleisi Yup first of all nobody does it hardly anybody does it. And second of all people ask me look it look like what do you do every day. I spend half of my workday simply on relationships with no endgame. I reach out to 20 people a day messaging or e-mail. You know I'll call a couple of people a day. I will leave reviews for people's books or products. That's what I do with half of my day when I'm working and that's how I started the hour of giving Jonathan you read the book. That's how I start my day. It leads to the amount of work that led to the amount of connections that has led to because first of all I try to help people. How often do you get. How often do you get a thank you card handwritten in the mail. It's pretty rare. How often do you send them up. It's probably pretty rare. Can you imagine how much you'll stand out in this day and age if you started doing stuff like that my Buddy Ken who's in my master mind Ken who he right starts every day writing out 10 to 20 thank you notes to people in his community. His business is booming simply because of the gratitude that he gives back towards the people better already in there. He's not worried about acquiring new clients. If you serve your clients really well and you give. They're going to tell people about it and I don't know how this isn't a bigger part of the business world right now because that is the number one key to what we've been able to do.
3915 - 3930 Jonathan Mendonsa Thank you so for coming on and being so selfless with your time and with your story being so vulnerable in your book. I can't wait to find out more about where you're headed. It just sounds like there's so much to learn from the action that you've taken and the action that you're going to be taking so congratulations and thanks again for coming on the show.
3930 - 3932 Vincent Pugleisi Thank you guys so much. been A pleasure.
3932 - 3988 Jonathan Mendonsa And to our audience. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen for being a part of our community. If you want to support us here for easy ways 1 leave us an itunes review you want to do that just go to choose FI dot com slash iTunes two use our page to sign up for travel credit cards. If you want to travel the world with miles and points instead of your hard earned dollars then just go to choose F.I. dot com slash cards and get started today. 3 If you're working on the milestones of FI set up a personal capital account to track your progress and use our affiliate link. It's completely free and just go to choose F.I. dot com slash PC P as in Paul C as in CAT and four and most importantly find your friends co-workers and family members who might be open to this message and tell them about the podcast. Have them start with episode 38 the Why of Fi and right behind that have them go Listen to Episode 21. The pillars of FI. It is a fantastic starting place. Alright My friends the fire spreading. We'll see you next time as we continue to go down the road less traveled. You've been listening to choose Fi radio podcast where we help middle class America build wealth one life hack at a time.
Jonathan_Catchphrases, families, travelrewards

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