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Chelsea speaks with @TheMinimalists about minimalism, consumerism, and how not everyone can actually benefit from buying less.

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Hello, everyone and welcome back to an all new episode of The Financial Confessions.

It's me, Chelsea Fagan, your host, founder and CEO of The Financial Diet, and person who loves to talk about money. And if you've seen the title or the thumbnail of this week's episode, you might be a bit surprised at who I'm speaking to.

I'm someone who on this channel and sort of in my own personal life has been a bit critical of minimalism. Not of the art movement, of which I really don't have an opinion, but more sort of the life ethos. Particularly as it intersects with politics, policy, regulation, and how we perceive the various struggles that we live with in American consumerism.

We talk a lot on TFD about the choices that we make in terms of our purchases, our spending, our consumer habits, and it can be very easy to frame those choices through individual preference. We decide what we want to buy. And of course, there is also an enormous impact of things like advertising, marketing, the people that we're living with, the standards we might feel we need to live up to.

But there's also an enormous policy impact. For example, I live in New York City. I live in a two bedroom apartment, I haven't owned a car in 10 years.

And those are choices that feel in many ways natural to me, and on some objective scale are probably more minimalist. But I also live in a city with incredible bike and walking infrastructure. I live in a city where I don't need a car.

And it's important to remember that these choices didn't happen in a vacuum. They're policy driven, they're political, and they're also much more about the collective than the individual. I often think about the fact that when I was living the most objectively minimalist lifestyle was when I was a child, and my family was extremely low income.

The fact that we wore hand-me-down clothing and up cycled, and only bought what we absolutely needed at the grocery store, wasn't a lifestyle choice. It was something we were forced to do. And beyond that it wasn't looked at positively.

We were judged for it. We were shamed for it. And it's for those reasons that many people feel like minimalism is at some level just another luxury of who can afford to choose it, and who is living in an area where it's even achievable.

Now I want to say all of this with the caveat that I do believe that minimalism can be a powerful lifestyle choice. We've hosted a lot of content on TFD from people who objectively choose that lifestyle for themselves, identify as minimalists, and believe it has completely transformed their relationship to money. We recently hosted a four week mini series here on the channel from Hannah Louise Poston, which many of you watched, all about her no buy year, which changed her life in every respect, and led her on a path to more general minimalism.

So I want to be clear that if you're someone for whom minimalism has been life changing, I have nothing but respect for that. But I also think from a financial and socioeconomic perspective, it's important to pull the lens out a little bit and look more at what the structural cost is of turning minimalism into an individual lifestyle choice. With all of that said I'm quite honored and flattered to have my guests here today who have not only built a staggering media empire-- I mean, you should see the setup going on over on their end of the Zoom-- but who also create content with a very powerful ethos and sense of mission, something I enormously respect even if I don't always agree with every individual point.

So without further ado, I'd love to welcome my guest today to talk about all of that and more. Josh, Ryan, and TK, hosts of the Minimalist and the Minimalist Podcast. Thank you so much, Chelsea.

Really appreciate you. Yeah, thanks for having us. It's going to be a great combo.

I think so too. I know that was a bit of a long winded intro, but I wanted to make sure that we all have the context going into it. With the pause on student loan repayments ending on June 30, refinancing your loans could help you save thousands and get back on track.

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Void where prohibited. So first and foremost, before we get into the nuances here, I would love to hear from all three of you, or whoever wants to take it, how you define a minimalism both as a lifestyle, choice but also a sociological phenomenon. So minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things to make room for life's most important things, which aren't things at all.

So for me, the reason why I looked at this minimalist lifestyle 12 years ago-- we've been doing this a long time-- it was really because I was lost in this sea of consumerism. And minimalism, for me, was kind of this compass that helped guide me to go a different direction in life. Yeah, a few events happened in my own life.

Ryan and I were sort of living the American dream. I've known Ryan since we were fat little fifth graders, and we were really poor when we were growing up. Ryan lived in a trailer park, I lived in a low income neighborhood.

We were on food stamps, government assistance. There was a lot of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, physical abuse in the households that we grew up in. And we thought the reason we're so unhappy growing up is we didn't have any money.

And so we spent our 20s climbing the corporate ladder, and by the time we were 30 we sort of had everything we ever wanted. The six figure salary, the luxury cars, the big suburban house with more toilets than people. We had all the stuff to fill every corner of our consumer driven lives.

But those things weren't really making us happy. The average American household, according to the Los Angeles Times, has $300,000 items in it. And how wonderful would that be if those things made us more joyous, more content, more tranquil?

But often it's doing the opposite. It's increasing our discontent, increasing our misery, our stress, our debt, our overwhelm in life. And so two things happened to me.

My mother died, my marriage ended, both in the same month. And I started looking around and questioning everything that had become my life's focus. I realized I was so focused on so-called success and achievement.

In our culture achievement really has to do with the accumulation of stuff. Do I have the status symbols of success. Then I'll be happy, right?

Well, no. I was overweight. I was stressed out.

I was working up to 80 hours a week. And man, I kind of lost myself. I lost what it meant to live a meaningful life.

In fact, I could have told you what my values were. But I wasn't living by those values. And so I started letting go.

I stumbled across this idea of minimalism, and I found a whole community of people who were simplifying their lives, and they seem freer and happier and lighter, not because of what they were bringing into their life, and also not because of what they were doing. But because of what they were letting go of. For me, minimalism encompasses three things.

Number one, the decision to live intentionally. By that I mean, identifying what are the kinds of experiences you want to create with your life. The second thing is, the commitment to cultivating an attitude of mindfulness towards the things that are within your locus of control.

There are some things you can't do anything about, but there are a lot of things that you can do something about. What's your relationship to those things? And then the third element is establishing a relationship to things, both tangible and intangible, that keep you from being weighed down, and that free you up to pursue the healthiest version of your life that's possible for you.

So the most important feature of minimalism to me is that there is no universal number that applies to everyone for the amount of things that you should own, or the amount of things that you shouldn't own. It's no-- what does it mean for you to be free, for you to be successful, for you to be healthy. And then how can you relate to things in a way that's conducive to that.

Yeah, Chelsea, the only thing I want to add here is we don't go around judging people for their things. We don't talk poorly about a relative that maybe has boxes that have been unpacked and sitting there for-- I mean for us it's not a matter of convincing anyone of anything. It's really about Josh, TK, and I kind of sharing our story of how this tool, this compass, has kind of helped us live a meaningful life.

So yeah, there's no there's no judgment on our end. I know we call ourselves The Minimalists, but that that's because the domain was available for $7. Listen, I am no stranger to the importance of branding and getting a good domain name, and we-- I settled on the fight-- my co-founder and I settled on the Financial Diet eight years ago, and looking back I don't know if I would have chosen Diet as a word.

But once you get it, you kind of roll with it. But you know, I personally resonate with a lot of what you guys are speaking to. And I do think, as I said in the intro, like there are a lot of objective ways.

So one of the things that we talk about quite a lot on the channel is things like how the suburban sprawl and car culture in America really undermine a lot of people's day to day abilities to have that level of autonomy over their own lives, and to live with less. And lead them into all kind of spending traps, and credit card debt, and all of that kind of stuff. And I do think that there is a way in which even wanting to rid yourself of a lot of things outside of a few concentrated areas in the US, it's not impossible, but it's very, very difficult to downsize in very meaningful ways.

You can't get around without a car, most of the single family homes that are available are objectively larger than the average family needs, all of that. To what extent, I believe you guys are all based in Los Angeles, is that right? Yes.

Yeah. To what extent do you believe that geography is, to some extent, destiny when it comes to the degree to which a person is going to be consumerist? Well, TK, he's our resident suburban here.

We brought him on the team because we needed a little diversity, and by that I mean we need a suburban perspective. And so TK, what are your thoughts on this question? Oh, that's funny man, the suburban perspective.

Representing Chicago. So the first thing I'll say is, geography absolutely has a huge impact on the kinds of things that you'll need, right? Because geography dictates in so many ways what your lifestyle is going to be.

If you're living in New York or Los Angeles, those kinds of environments place very different types of demands on you than if you live in Charleston, for instance. And so the first thing I would say about this is that we teach people to never apologize for the things that you need. This is why I made that point in my definition of minimalism, that there is no one universal number for how many things you should own.

Oh, it's a mortal sin for you to ever own more than five t-shirts. Oh, there's something wrong if you own more than 20 books, or if you have a second car. Well, I don't know about the details of your life.

Where do you live? What are your family commitments? What kind of work do you do?

What constitutes happiness for you? For some people can have a lot of things, and it might still not be enough, because of who they are, and what they're supposed to be doing with their lives based on their own preferences, principles, and priorities. And some people can have a few things, and it can be a whole lot.

But we have to look at more than just the quantity of things that people own, and we have to look at the quality of life that they want to live as defined by them. But to your point, geography absolutely makes a difference. Does it determine destiny?

Absolutely not, because there is always something within our locus of control, and to me compassion is about equipping people with the conceptual and practical tools that allow them to take control of their lives gradually, even if it is not going to be easy. So that they can rise above those limitations. So it has an impact, but I wouldn't say that it determines a person's destiny.

Yeah, Chelsea, I wish it was that easy to just write like a list of 100 things. And say, here is what you-- if you live in New York City, here's the 100 things you need. And if and if you live out in the boonies, here's the list of 100 things you need.

And you know obviously, we can all realize that life doesn't work that way. And everyone has different circumstances. So I think minimalism shows up differently for different people.

Their different socioeconomic backgrounds, their different geographical locations. I mean for me, yes, I was living in the suburbs, in Ohio, I was making really good money. So I fall on that side of the spectrum where you talk about someone with money choosing to be a minimalist.

So for me it did start with the stuff, because I was overwhelmed by my stuff. And what I quickly learned, and this is why Josh and I started the Minimalists,com is that minimalism goes so much more past this stuff. So much further.

So after I was kind of confronted-- the way I started my journey is with a 21 day packing party journey. So Josh and I, we packed up all my belongings. I pretended like I was moving.

And then I unpacked things as I needed it day by day for 21 days. And I was just shocked after those three weeks, I had 80% of my stuff left in my boxes. But what that experiment did, yes, it helped me downsize my things.

But it really helped me to get clear on what my values were. Because what I saw in front of me is really where I put all my time and effort. It was into racking up debt, and making a bunch of purchases.

And I really had a question what my life's purpose and what my values were. And for minimalism, it's about using things deliberately. And I clearly was not using my resources deliberately.

And that's what I would say just for anyone who's looking at minimalism, is just look at it as a tool to kind of help you be deliberate with the resources you do have. And money's an important resource, but there's also our time, there's our attention, our creativity. There are so many more important resources that we certainly have some choices over.

Yeah, what I would say is because part of this question is like, hey, is there a type of person out there who can't maybe afford to be minimalist? Because of their geographical location? And what I would say to that is, look, you should never get rid of anything in life because you feel like it's morally wrong to own possessions.

You only get rid of things because what you're getting rid of is holding you back from being a healthier version of yourself that you want to be. Not that I want you to be. And so when it comes to our relationship to stuff, right, it's what we ask people to do is, hey, let's think strategically about the good life as you define it, and then let's take inventory of your life and ask yourself, are any of these things holding you back, whether it's beliefs, relationships, commitments, things, is any of that holding you back?

Is there any room to let any of those things go? Because the goal here isn't to have a closet with nothing in it. The goal is to have a life that's open to possibility, no matter where you're from.

Yeah. You bring up a great point here, also, that consumption isn't the problem. Consumerism is the problem.

Right? Because we all need some stuff. And so as the minimalists, we're not ascetics, we're not monks, we're not saying get rid of everything that you own, live in a cave, or live with no possessions.

We're not saying you will own nothing, and you will be happy. No. I mean, that can be true, right?

But consumerism is the real villain here. Consumerism is the ideology that buying more will make me happier, or a more complete person. Now many of us have tried that, and realized that oh, well, maybe I didn't buy the right things.

So I need even more things. And it's sort of the disease of more. More, more, more, more.

That's what consumerism does. Consumerism is really seductive because it over promises on what it can deliver. That's what seduction does.

It's saying you can be happy, you can be complete, and then you get the things, and you end up with a sort of consumption hangover, especially when that credit card statement shows up. And now we're going into debt to buy things that we don't need to impress people we've never even met. The word consumerism I think is very interesting.

We at TFD are, I would say equally critical of I wouldn't say necessarily consumerism point blank, because at the end of the day literally to survive we need to consume something, right? We need to consume water. So not all consumerism is inherently bad.

But mindless consumerism, meaningless consumerism, the kind of consumerism I think that you're talking about, I think we definitely share a belief that it is pretty inherently negative, and if it can be avoided should be avoided. And I think there's all kinds of nuances there in terms of, for example, we talk a lot about the destructiveness of the fast fashion industry. But are also aware that for many people those are some of the only affordable options for them.

Or they maybe live in an area where there are only these big box stores. A lot of people, their only local grocery store is a bodega or a dollar store. So we want to be careful to talk about the problem without, as you guys mentioned, stigmatizing the individual for making these choices.

But I'm struck by something in the term consumerism. So I'm personally of the belief, and I would say in general our company is kind of the belief that consumerism, this sort of mindless race to the bottom consumerism, is an inevitable outgrowth of very poorly regulated capitalism. Right?

Like capitalism which by definition prioritizes profit in the case of publicly held companies. The profit of the shareholders over things like employee compensation, or environmental practices, or things like that. As long as perpetual growth by these companies is what is most valued, based on their own sort of internal metrics, and as long as the regulations around them are pretty insufficient, you're going to have a SHEIN, you're going to have a Walmart, you're going to have these absolutely destructive environmental practices, and amongst other things, we're both of us work on social media, extremely poorly regulated advertising, especially on places like the internet, that are driving people to consume these things and prioritize them over a lot of other values in their life.

And I noticed in watching your documentary, which was obviously beautifully made. You guys killed that thing. There's a lot of talk of consumerism, but by my count there was never a mention of capitalism.

And I'm interested to know where you believe that consumerism, as an individual practice, ends and capitalism begins, or even how it fits into the picture. I'd like to make a distinction between consumption and consumerism. Consumption, you're right, we all need to buy some things.

And so I'm not against consumption. It's about identifying what is the appropriate amount for me, for my family, for my community, et cetera. And I think that varies greatly from individual to individual, from household to household.

Yes, we all have some certain commonalities, but what is enough for me might not be enough for you. And so I want to recognize that, because I'm not prescribing a particular set of beliefs that everyone needs to subscribe to. Rather I want to identify the things that add value to my life.

But constantly question those things as well. But I also agree with you with respect to advertisements on The Minimalist Podcast we've never done a single advertisement or sponsor. We think advertisements suck.

We think they're awful. We think they are one of the-- and this isn't a moral stance, by the way. It's just we're grossed out by the amount of advertising, because advertisers do a really great job making us, as individuals, as consumers, feel inadequate.

And the way to be adequate is if you were to simply purchase my product or service, then you are worthwhile. You are a better human being. I'll let TK talk a bit about regulation and capitalism, with respect to minimalism.

Yeah, so I talk about this all the time. And I'm game for this conversation any day of the week. I think about the proponent of capitalism, Milton Friedman, who said something very interesting about the version of capitalism that is rightly demonized today.

He said that in a truly free market a business is not only free to succeed, but it is also free to fail. And we live in a society now where businesses can totally dissatisfy their customers, completely disregard their customers, fail them in every way, and still be bailed out in a way that you and I, the individual, the so-called little guy, would never be bailed out. That lack of accountability to the customer is the true heart of true capitalism.

But I agree with everything you said about capitalism. My only difference is I would call that something like corporatism, or crony capitalism. Because we truly do live in a society where people are-- where profits are not only prioritized over people, but people are able to pursue profits in a way that is at the expense of people without being accountable to the very people that they're profiting from.

We agree 100% that absolutely is a problem. One of the things that I do regularly, and I have a bias towards this demographic, I'm in inner city schools, talking with young minorities, talking with young poor people, and talking about things like economics. Talking about things like entrepreneurship.

Because we live in a society where there's this kind of like stereotype that thinking intentionally, or minimizing excess, is only for the privileged. Like our only concept of handcuffs today is the golden handcuffs. The person that's making like $250,000, they're like I'm swimming in money, I have too many things.

How do I deal with this having so much stuff and not knowing what to do with all my bank? That's our only concept of handcuffs. But there are psychological handcuffs, mental health handcuffs, relationship handcuffs, philosophical handcuffs.

We have so many things that are holding us back. And when I talk with a lot of my students, one of the things I find is that because they have been given a consumerist notion of success with so the important intangible elements left out of the equation, because they don't have any role models to mentor them, they don't have any positive influences in their lives, they're just looking at things on TV that says buy this, and you'll be cool. Own this and you'll be a player in the game.

And then by the time they turn 18, they're given easy access to money. Right? Here's a $2,000 credit limit, here's a $5,000 credit limit, with a really high interest rate, and you're about to be a debt slave.

Why? Because you've been sold on a vision of reality that says you get to be a player in the game if you own those shoes, or if you own that stuff. And very few people are talking about that aspect of poverty.

Like that is a huge tragedy. We need people going into these communities saying, hey, look, I know you want that. I know you need that.

But there is a better, healthier, albeit more painful way to go about doing it. Well, that's easier said than done, TK. It's easier said than done.

But all the good things are. Anything worth having is easier said than done. And not only is it easier said than done, but it's better done than said.

And I think the conversation around minimalism centers on economic thinking, and entrepreneurial thinking. Because without those two tools, we're bound to just look at minimalism as some sort of mathematical game where it's just about, hey, I own three things. I'm better than you for owning five.

That has nothing to do with it. When it comes to the economy, if everyone stopped spending money right now, today, in the United States economy, it would crash. When we spend too much money, as we saw in 2008, it crashes.

And minimalism to me is kind of like that middle ground. I know it sounds maybe really extreme to say to consume like a minimalist, but it's actually kind of falls in the middle there. Because minimalism is buying, purchasing, bringing things into your life that add the most value to your life.

Does it serve a purpose? Does it bring you joy? And that's going to be different for everyone.

So yeah, I know minimalism kind of sounds extreme, but I would posit that it's almost the middle ground when it comes to the economy and spending. I think fiscal policy, regulations on things like advertising, when it comes to things like taxation and all of that stuff. I think those are sort of one set of policy positions that can have a really, really immediate impact on the degree to which Americans consume.

But even kind of setting those aside, so as I mentioned in the intro, there are a lot of ways in which my life is more minimalist than the average American. I personally consider myself much more minimalist when it comes to my use of time. As I mentioned, our company is quite small.

It's only 11 total. But we do a four day workweek. We're all women in the company, and we offer a very competitive maternity leave.

And these policies are possible for us in large part because, for example, our company is based in New York State, which offers a huge subsidy to small businesses offering maternity leave. Or it's about 12 weeks of it is covered for us by the state. Or even in something that's not necessarily related to work, but I mentioned I bike everywhere for the most part, which I didn't do even as of a year ago, and a large part of that is because in a very, very short span of time where I live in Manhattan, they've added however hundreds of miles of new protected bike lanes.

And so these are relatively small changes, but they have a very, very tangible impact in not just the average-- not just the consumer choices that I'm making, or the choices that I make as a business owner. But the framework in which we're making these choices. So from your perspectives, whether it be about the more sort of economic or transportation or infrastructure or housing, any of these things, are there specific areas of advocacy that you guys really believe in in terms of these smaller tweaks, can make massive changes to how and what Americans are consuming.

Absolutely, several of them. But my number one, if I had to order them by priority. I would say education.

Who gets to control your definition of what it means to be educated? Who gets to control the options and resources that are available to you in the formation of your mind, in the development of your concept of the good life, has all the control over your destiny. And there is a gross lack of school choice, of optionality, when it comes to how we are educating their children, how we are educating our children.

And I'm a big advocate of parents having more say, having more control. We live in a country where you want to talk about geography being destiny, so much of what educational resources are available to you, not only in terms of influencers and mentors and people that are in your life, but in terms of the quality of teaching, the quality of your access to technology, the kinds of things that you're studying, how passionate, even, the people who work with you are about what they do. So much of that is heavily influenced by where you live.

Which is why many adults, when they go looking for a home, they pick it based on the zip code, because of what school district they can be in. Because they know if you live in one place, you don't have options for your children to get an education over in that other place. Even if you want them to go there, it's actually illegal for you to educate your children there.

So we've got a lot of problems there. I'm a huge advocate of creativity in education, in entrepreneurial approaches to education, alternative forms of education. Apprenticeships.

All of those sorts of things because I believe that parents need to have as many options as possible for how they can educate their children. So many of these problems flow downstream from that. Yeah.

Chelsea, you brought up a really good point. I think you at least alluded to it. You talked about being more minimalist than a lot of the population, because you've dealt with clutter, but not just physical clutter.

When we think about minimalism we're often thinking about physical clutter, our material possessions are sort of a physical manifestation of what's going on inside us. So as we start dealing with that external clutter, what happens? We start looking inward, and we see the mental clutter, the emotional clutter, the spiritual clutter, the psychological clutter.

But then we start looking at other areas of our life, right? The financial clutter. Look at all this debt I have.

The average American household has somewhere around $97,000 in non-mortgage debt. And so we have a lot of financial clutter. There's advertisement clutter, which you alluded to.

We have career clutter. We certainly have calendar clutter, right? We're so busy, busy, busy, busy, is the worst four letter word in the English language.

And yet we do it to ourselves. We use it as a status symbol even. Oh, what are you up to?

Oh, Ryan, I've just been so busy. As though Ryan's going to congratulate me for my busyness, right? Well, when I say I'm busy, what am I really saying?

My life is out of control. I've allowed everyone else's urgency, everyone else's emergency, to become my urgency. Right?

So everyone else is dictating what is on my calendar, or in my inbox, and that's creating a lot of inbox clutter. And of course, with social media, and our smartphones, and all of the glowing screens in our lives, we have a ton of digital clutter in our lives, as well. And so minimalism, yes, it starts with the stuff.

But then it permeates all of these other areas of our lives. Education clutter is another one that TK just brought up. Right?

And so we talk about letting go what we're really talking about is making room. Making room in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives for the things that actually amplify or enhance or enrich our lives, and letting go of the rest. TFD believes that having a good understanding of your student loans is essential.

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No purchase or refi necessary. Void where prohibited. One thing that we hear a lot from our audience when we talk about consumerism in general, but specifically as it comes to aspirational spending, spending on luxury items, on clothes, on driving a nice car, on all of these things that really mess up a lot of people's finances, and you guys are absolutely right that being caught in a cycle of debt is incredibly common, and some of it is unavoidable, right?

I mean, some of it, people have very little chance to opt out of, especially when it comes to things like higher education. But then there are also a lot of consumer choices that aren't necessary. That could be opted out of.

And when we talk about those things, obviously we will often get the push back that again as I talked about in the intro, and as we've talked about already a bit, like there is an inherent level of luxury in the ability to opt out of certain things, to have that choice. But kind of on a more psychological level, and I would say sociological level, there is a certain pressure, the less you have to appear to have more. And it's something that is increasingly stratified in how people can opt out of it.

So for an example, I'm familiar enough with your work to know that the black t-shirts are a bit of a signature. It's definitely-- it clearly echoes your brand ethos, and it's also a really strong calling card of the brand. And there has been a lot of really interesting sociological research in the past decade or so about how increasingly while it used to be that the wealthy, and I'm sure you guys are all doing great for yourselves, about how the wealthy used to increase-- used to more prevalently sort of demonstrate their wealth and declare their social status by having very overt symbols of luxury.

And we especially look at the tech boom, and Mark Zuckerberg, and his t-shirts, and Steve Jobs and his simple black turtleneck, and all of this. And it really has become a documented sociological phenomenon in the past several years and in recent decades of now discretion being an even more powerful status symbol. To be able to walk into an elite space and be dressed in an extremely casual way, wearing athleisure, or wearing something without a label on it, and still be able to assert social value and social class is increasingly prestigious, and is something that even the wealthiest in society now sort of go actively out of their way to embody.

So to a lot of people, when we talk about opting out of status markers and these luxury symbols, we'll hear commentary of like, sure, if you're well off, and you don't have to prove yourself to anyone, that's something that you can do. But if you don't have these things, if you are kind of struggling to get by, you're applying for a job, you are needing to assert your value, it can be incredibly difficult to opt out of those sort of, quote unquote, superficial markers of success and value. So what is your message to people who feel that they don't have the ability to not seem like they have it together?

Yeah, I mean, Chelsea, I wore a black t-shirts because they're slimming. That's what I feel best in. I never even looked at it as kind of like a status symbol.

It's interesting. But I totally see what you're saying, and I could see where it would go that route. I mean, for Josh and I, and TK, like we don't have anything we're trying to prove.

So we're not trying to display or flex any type of style. But for someone who, let's say, works in a corporate setting, and they have to wear a suit and tie. That's appropriate.

Someone who wants to go to church and wants to look their best going to church, great. Like wear the suit and tie. It's again, like there's not a specific set of rules.

There's not a specific dress code. Anyone who's in that position where they feel like they can't opt out of, let's say let's just go with a suit and tie example, then yeah, I would have them ask themselves, like is this something that I need for my job? Is this something that is giving me a front that I can go to work, and make money to provide for my family?

I would try and help that person not feel so guilty about not having the option to opt out. Yeah. I think I would call this in some ways the layer cake of consumerism.

Because I think you bring up a really important point here, Chelsea, is that when we acquire a bunch of things to try to look as though we are successful, we do this at some of our live events sometimes, I'll say, hey, can you describe for me a successful person? If I took a picture of a successful person, what would they look like? And it's the same no matter whether we are in Sydney, Australia, we're in Saskatoon, Canada, we're in Austin, Texas, or we're in New York City, they describe the same person almost every time.

And it generally looks like an advertisement of some sort. It's usually a guy, that's the successful person. People-- he's wearing a suit.

He has an expensive watch. He has a luxury car. Sometimes there's an enormous boat in the scenario.

A large suburban house. Right? 2.3 kids or whatever the stat is. People start throwing out all of these sort of statistics, and all of these status symbols.

Because in our culture we've been taught that we can buy things that make us look successful. We are signaling success. And as you brought up, then there's the non-materialist who shuns all material possessions and says, look how virtuous I am, because I don't own any of those things.

I don't need to be impressive. I'm impressive because I'm not impressive. Right?

And it becomes a different type of consumerism. And that can be a type of problem. I know when Ryan and I grew up really poor, when we thought we were unhappy because of the lack of stuff, the lack of money, yes, I mean there was a lot of discontent in our household.

But when we started climbing the corporate ladder, guess what happened? Throughout our 20s we dragged our habits from childhood forward, and that money merely amplifies some pretty poor habits. And so I was broke when I grew up, but when I was successful and making a lot of money in the corporate world, I was way more broke, because I leveraged.

Leveraged, that's a fancy word for saying going into debt. I borrowed from my future. I went into debt to buy a bunch of things to make me look successful.

And I think that's a giant problem. Because if we have money, it's going to be an amplifier. It's not going to solve all our problems.

It might solve some of our money problems. But if I'm carrying forward the same poor habits from a previous life, or from a previous experience, then that money is going to be disastrous. When it comes to minimalism, you have two kinds of people, broadly speaking.

Some people feel a need to have less. Some people feel a need to have more. Both of those are equally legitimate.

If you're poor and you have a need to acquire more, or if you're wealthy and you have a need to have less, both of those are legitimate. Interestingly enough, however, the path forward both of those groups is the strategic art of letting go. Well, what do you mean?

Well, if you're poor, there are three things you need to do. Number one, you need to learn. Number two, you need to earn.

And number three, you need to invest. You're not a bad person if you don't know how to do those things. You're not a bad person if no one's ever taught it to you.

But we absolutely have to teach it to you. There's a difference between saying, here's something that you need to know, and you're an idiot for not knowing it. No, you're not an idiot for not knowing it.

Unfortunately no one taught it to you. But let's talk about it. In order to learn, have to minimize, because learning means that you have to subject yourself to the discomfort of feeling incompetent.

You have to sacrifice the opportunity to do things that might be more convenient and more fun. You have to be willing to look like someone that doesn't know what they're talking about in order to become someone who knows what they're talking about. Learning is a huge sacrifice, it's an incredibly difficult thing to do.

And you've got to be able to know what to minimize in order to do it. In order to be able to earn, you've got to make tough sacrifices. One of my mentors, he spent his entire 30s working 16 hour days, but then coming home every night, reading for an extra two to three hours, just so he could learn basics about financial principles.

It's tragic that he even had to do that. It's tragic that nobody taught him how to do that earlier. But sometimes that cost of earning what you need, and learning as you earn, it's incredibly difficult, because you've got to say no to fun, you've got to say no to comfort, no to convenience.

It's another aspect of letting go. Investing, it's all about deferred gratification. I have some money in my hand.

I've worked hard to get this money in my hand. I could use it to enjoy something pleasant, but I'm going to go without because I want to apply what I have learned about investing in order to get that money working for me. Even though the results are not going to be sexy overnight, I'm playing a long game.

I'm playing a game of legacy. I'm playing a game of building generational wealth. All of those types of things require the minimalist mindset of saying, let me look for things that I can let go of, or live without.

Let me look for those aspects of discomfort that I can endure for a time. Let me do something that I hate in order to create a future that I love. And that's the way out.

So whether you want to get less, or whether you want to get more, it still requires that art of learning what you need to let go of so that you can create better possibilities. I mean, for sure. And those are, I mean, things that we talk about a lot in our channel as well.

And I should be clear, by the way, I want to stress that I love the black look. I think it's very cool and chic. And more importantly, I think the broader point for me is that you guys have achieved a level of success where you no longer have to impress someone when you walk into a room.

Your work speaks for itself, in the way that a lot of people's simply doesn't, right? And I do think that there's an important-- it's important to remember that opting out of a lot of consumer choices can be very difficult on the individual level, when there is such a massive societal pressure to display a certain level of competence, or wealth, or value. And I want to be-- I mean listen-- Chelsea.

Yes, please. Really quickly, just because I want to make sure I'm giving my mother proper credit here, I have not achieved the level of success that has given me that permission. My mother taught me to give myself that permission when I was broke.

I know what it's like to not be able to get a date. I know what it's like to not be able to get a job. I know what it's like to not be able to impress people because I was broke and I didn't have the status symbols, and I had somebody in my life who taught me how to respect myself before that.

I had somebody in my life who taught me that if you want other people to respect you, you've got to learn how to respect for yourself. Respect yourself. And this is something that I teach, and this is something that we need to teach our young people.

It is a shame if no one respects you, because you are intrinsically dignified as a human being. However, when you wake up in the morning, and you look yourself in the mirror, know that you are somebody that is beautiful, and brilliant, and powerful, and filled with potential, even if you don't have anything. Is the world going to agree with me?

No. But you need to agree with yourself. There will always be people who look at you as a loser, who will look at you as somebody that's not worthy of their presence, of their time.

But in order to grow, you have to learn to love yourself, and to respect yourself, before the world gives you permission. None of us are ever going to get anywhere in life if we wait for the world to say, yeah, you're worthy to enter into the room. Success starts with learning the self-respect of saying, no matter where I come from, I'm not apologizing for how I dress.

I'm not apologizing for my existence. I am here, I am an entity in your world. You will reckon with me whether I have status symbols or not.

That's the message we need to be teaching the poor. That's the message we need to be teaching the rich. And I just want to make sure that I don't get lumped into the category of someone who needed to become successful in order to respect myself.

I'm blessed to have mentors who taught me that a long time ago, and I dedicate my life to being that mentor to people who don't have it. Yeah. Yeah.

And Chelsea, I'll tell you, I do think a lot about the impression that I make on people. I mean it's not about impressing, it's not about being better than, it's not about wowing someone. But in my everyday life with our podcast, whether it's with our listeners, whether it's with your listeners, whether it's with my friends, Josh and TK here, and everyone else in the studio, with my family, like I'm always worried about that impression that I'm making because what Josh and TK and I do, we really go out of our way to kind of offer people a recipe to heal their relationship with stuff.

And having that responsibility I don't take lightly. And TK mentioned role models. And I know that there's at least one person out there that might look up to me as a role model.

So I'm very, very concerned about the impression that I make on certain people. I think the impression that I'm worried about making, though, you are correct in the sense that I don't have to wear a three piece suit, or flex a watch, or drive a certain car to make that impression. But I certainly am thinking about the impression that I'm leaving on people, for sure.

And it wouldn't be morally wrong if you did wear a three piece suit in here, also. I think that's the other key, because we don't wear what we wear, do what we do in order to impress upon other people a specific prescription. Here's how you should be living your life.

I think the world is too full of shoulds. We're should-ing all over ourselves because we are prescribing things as though it will it's a one size fits all lifestyle. And I think many of the misperceptions about minimalism have to do with the sort of caricature of minimalism, that it is legalistic, or that it is heavily prescriptive, or it's mostly about the material possessions.

And while it's true that it does often start with the stuff, because that's one of the biggest problems we have in the Western world, rich people and poor people have that problem alike, we are so consumerized by corporations that we feel inadequate. And no amount of consumption makes us feel more inadequate. In fact, it widens the void.

Well, what's the antidote to that? It's understanding the void isn't actually a void. It's a beautiful empty space.

We don't go into a museum and say, oh, my gosh, look at this place. Why is it so empty? There's only a few paintings on the walls.

We say wow, what a beautiful aesthetic experience. What a meaningful experience. We don't go to an open field near the mountains in Montana where Ryan and I used to live and say, oh, we need to fill this place with condos.

No, we look at it and say, wow, isn't it awesome that we have this great National Park that we get to visit. All this beautiful open space. We don't say it's a void.

We say it's boundless possibility. Totally. And I fully believe.

I don't think you guys are rolling into meetings like flipping people the bird and stuff. I totally know that you guys care about the impression that you make on people. It's just that you can pitch a Netflix show without having to put on a suit, where I think some people-- and they're maybe wrong for thinking it, but I do think a lot of people do feel that external pressure, and don't feel that they can opt out of it.

But I'm glad that you mentioned the Western world, because as kind of a more overarching theme, like you talked earlier about you can be cluttered in time, you can be cluttered in work. In all of these different areas. And you can also over accumulate in all of those areas.

And my personal belief is that the most toxic over accumulation is of money. I believe that wealth inequality is the greatest issue in our country economically. But also from a more sort of philosophical perspective, the unbridled accumulation of wealth, like we know that for people who are earning enough to meet their needs, who are not getting themselves on the hamster wheel of over consuming, and therefore living paycheck to paycheck, who are able to focus on other things.

There are diminishing returns after a certain point where more money doesn't make you happier, right? And beyond that there's also increasingly high costs to the sort of boundless accumulation of more and more and more wealth. And I think we now are starting to have a more broad cultural awakening, I think in the US, that hey, it's kind of strange that we now have comparable levels of wealth inequality to the Gilded Age, and that there are a small handful of people who have more personal wealth than the nation of Bulgaria, like some of our favorite billionaires.

And are starting to look at that and say, not only is that in and of itself a form of hyper consumerism, but also when you look at, for example, like I think it was Taylor Swift went viral earlier this year because she alone through her private jet use was responsible for like, I don't know, a million times more carbon emissions than the next highest person or whatever it might be. Don't come for me Swifties, I don't the exact numbers. But point being, I think people are starting to kind of realize that money is something that can also be over consumed.

And I would be really interested to hear what you guys-- all three of you, your relationship is to when money and the accumulation of it, and the spending of it becomes in and of itself a form of hyper consumerism. Yeah. So economically speaking, wealth is a reward for creating value.

The way that we make money is we have to use our talents, our abilities, or our skills to solve a problem for someone who's willing to pay us for that solution, or to meet a need, or fulfill a desire for someone who is willing to exchange their resources for it. So if I'm a mechanic, and you've got a car problem, the wealth that I receive from you is a reward for my ability to solve your car problems, and so on. So whenever we give someone money, even if we give it to a stand up comedian to go watch a show, it's because they're solving some problem or fulfilling some desire that we're willing to give up our resources to have.

Now with that being said, I don't think there is a morally wrong amount of money to make. Because if money is a reward for creating value, then that means I can make as much money, you can make as much money, as other people are willing to give you in exchange for the services that you provide. And so if you make a billion because a billion people want to pay you $1 for something, or you make $10 billion, I've got no problem with the amount of money that you make.

The problem, however, is that we don't live in an economy where freedom is fully respected. Because we are allowed, for instance, to create unfair advantages by using policies to make it artificially difficult for the poor to be able to create wealth, and making it artificially more easy for already big players to hold on to their wealth. So those types of things are a real problem.

In addition to that, there's plenty of room for criticism, for what we do with that wealth when we have it. Do we use it to exploit other people, or to harm other people? I believe this is where the issues lie.

But in terms of the amount of money, I'm all for people being able to use their gifts and talents to be able to solve problems for other people, and be able to be rewarded with their wealth. I just want the poor people to be free to enter into the entrepreneurial game as well, and not be artificially insulated by policies that are designed by big players to insulate them from consequences and competition. I think the other question is, what do you do with that money once you get it.

Right? I know over the last dozen years since we started The Minimalists, Ryan and I, and I don't like to do this as a sort of virtue signaling thing. But I like to show that it's really possible.

When he and I walked away from the corporate world, we were making a couple of $100,000 a year in Dayton, Ohio, by the way. You were the Kings of Dayton. I took a 90-- what's that?

Oh, I'm sorry. I was like you guys were the Kings of Dayton, Ohio. Right, yeah.

That's right. For the price of a parking space in New York City, you can buy an entire village in Dayton, Ohio. But what I'll tell you is we walked away.

I took a 90% pay cut. I made $23,000 that first year after we had both walked away from the corporate world, and Ryan made the same because we were 50% partners in the same business. And so making $23,000, here was the weird thing about that.

Two things. One is I was more financially free that year than I had been the previous decade. Now that's weird.

Why is that? Well, first off, I got my spending under control for the first time in my adult life. That was important.

But also I got my desires under control. The sort of mimetic desires. The society and culturally created desires that told me I should consume these certain things in order to improve myself, better myself, complete myself.

Those things weren't working. And once I got that under control, I sort of decluttered the mimetic desires in my life. I was able to let go of the things I thought I needed because I realized they were nonessential.

Not only were they nonessential, but they were junk. It was someone else's junk values that were thrust on to me. But also that same year, we contributed more financially, and also through our time, our energy, our attention to charitable causes that year, and every year since we've contributed more to other people who are in need, whether it is we've built a few orphanages now.

We built a non-profit grocery co-op in Dayton, Ohio, which has the second largest food desert-- well, had the second largest food desert in the country. The entire West side of Dayton where about 40% of the population lives didn't have a single grocery store, so people were buying their quote unquote food from liquor stores, or really terrible fast food. And not only did we provide the space for them to shop for healthy food, but the food education, diet education, health and nutrition education to help people better understand how to make those choices.

And so we've been able to do that. Each year we focus on one philanthropic project. This year, in fact, we supplied financial education for every high school and middle school student in Dayton, Ohio, giving them the curriculum to understand they don't want to borrow from their future.

And so setting them up for a life of success now. Now how are we able to do that? Part of it is because we've made more money, and so we can contribute more money to things like that.

But part of it has to do with we've recognized what it means to live a meaningful life. And living a meaningful life for me, has not-- it's not just about living my meaningful life, but it's how can I contribute beyond myself in a meaningful way. And if I can answer that question, not only do I help other people, but it's not completely altruistic, because I feel more fulfilled as well.

Yeah, well, I mean, listen, some of the-- and even if they're not necessarily the most altruistic, a lot of these ultra billionaires are engaging in wealth redistribution by going through really messy divorces, right? There bequeathing tens of billions of dollars on their ex wives. Yeah, well played.

It's a good point. I mean listen, is it Mackenzie Bezos? Either way, she's now like the richest woman in the world, because he had a wandering eye.

So there you go. All right, so before I let you guys go, I know I just have a couple of minutes left with you. We have a couple quick rapid fire questions from our audience.

A lot of them are again, my audience is always down for the revolution, so a lot of them are about capitalism. But we're going to go ahead and choose some non Marxist ones. OK.

You can get as spicy as you want. We're fine with that. Yeah.

We enjoy that. Yeah, OK. Well, this one's like semi spicy, but I'm also as someone who runs a media company very curious about it myself, because I definitely-- and I actually have a little addendum to this question as well.

How do they reconcile building a brand with being minimalist, as building a brand is a pretty inherently not super minimalist activity. But also as an additional question to that, so how do you reconcile those things, and how do you make your money as a company if you don't do ads? So man, minimalism, again, it's not about being poor, it's not about showing that we have nothing.

So Josh and I, as far as a brand goes, we go out of our way to put our best foot forward. And it does create a certain aesthetic. But branding isn't what comes first.

What comes first is adding value to other people's lives. So we do that through, yeah, high quality video, audio. We make sure that we look nice.

My hair is a little off today, but usually it looks pretty good. I mean, I'm going out of my way to do that. But here's the thing, is labels are important.

It's very important. This is a microphone. This is a shirt.

So in certain aspects labels are very important. And I think that they can be used in a good way. But yeah, I mean as far as reconciling our minimalist principles with building a brand, I guess the only thing I could say really is, Chelsea, everything-- when you call yourselves The Minimalists, everything you do is steeped in irony.

Chelsea, it's the first time you've interviewed three people, and it's with The Minimalists. I know, no effing kidding. I've never spoken to more than one person at a time, and now I'm like, OK, The Minimalists are coming with a football team.

Anyway, sorry. Right. Please continue.

In terms of advertisements, like we've just decided from day one that advertisements are-- they don't align with our preferences. And so what we've taken it off the table. And as soon as you take something off the table, those limitations breed creativity.

Our show is audience supported, and we have thousands of people who subscribe to the private version of our podcast. We also have a free public version of the podcast, as well. And so we give people some options.

Obviously we've written a few books together. We do some other things. I teach a writing class.

But when you understand what enough is, then I don't need to constantly get more, more, more. We're not sitting down talking about the implications for our brand. I don't think with our team here, I've never used the word brand once.

Right? Because we're not a brand. We're some human beings who come together with a common cause.

And by the way, all three of us we have different political beliefs. We have different religious and spiritual beliefs. We have different personalities.

And that's what makes our podcast, our show, and our friendship really dynamic and interesting. We can get really curious about the other person's point of view, instead of just shunning them because, oh, I can't believe TK voted for someone different from me in the last election. And as opposed to shunning someone, I welcome it.

And I show up really curious. And it helps me better understand my position, as well. Absolutely.

Yeah, I mean just to reiterate what Ryan said, minimalism is all about how can I minimize the things that hold me back, so that I can maximize the things that allow me to be a blessing to the world, and the way that I want to be. And to enjoy life as much as I can possibly enjoy it. And so you can be a millionaire and be a minimalist.

You can make $100,000 a year and be a person living in excess. Why? Because it's not about the number.

It's about the mindset. It's about your relationship to the stuff. It's about what you do with this stuff.

And it's about whether or not the stuff owns you, versus you owning the stuff. And so that would be my thought on that. But one example of the branding question, which is pretty interesting, and you can talk about this a little bit better than me, Josh, is the community experiences that we create with our Sunday symposiums, as an example.

This is something that we not only don't generate revenue with, but we actually lose revenue with. And so it takes a brand to be able to put on events like this, to be able to let people know that we're out there, and that we're making this available. And so sometimes you invest for something other than getting money back, but being in a position to do that might require you to minimize other areas of your life so that you can create the kind of wealth that you want to share with the world.

So that's why we prioritize some of the branding things. Yeah. The one thing I want to add here is like, none of us are millionaires.

Like my sister, she's like, oh, you must be a multimillionaire now. You got your documentary on Netflix, and I'm like, oh, honey. Like it just doesn't work that way.

So I just want to throw the caveat out there, like none of us are millionaires. Sitting on a big stack of money or anything. But I'm an entrepreneur.

And I want all of my students to be millionaires. And I would never apologize for them or for myself if I was. It's a good thing.

We can't demonize wealth if we want the people who have it to distribute it. Because for me to demonize wealth is for me to say, hey, I'm going to give you this, hey, poor person I'm going to give you this piece of poison. No no, wealth is a beautiful thing.

We can do evil things with it, but it's a tool just like anything else. So we shouldn't apologize for wealth. We should do good with it.

Well, I will say I am quite impressed that you guys are-- even if it's a relatively small operation to be running at all in 100% DTC revenue is no small feat. So hats off to that. That's very aspirational.

This will have an ad on it, because if there's one thing I love, it's the brands that support this show. And keep it free for all of you guys at home. So we have time for one last quick question.

Oh, have you ever gotten rid of something and then later regretted it, slash, tried to get it back? Oh, this is a good one. So we hold on to a lot of things in our lives because of these three really dangerous words.

In fact, I would say are the three most dangerous words in the English language. Just in case. We accumulate entire junk drawers, closets, basements, cabinets, bedrooms, spare bedrooms, garages, attics, et cetera, et cetera, full of what?

Just in case items. A few years ago we put out a free rulebook which you can download. It's called The Minimalist Rule Book it's on our website,

It's 16 rules for living with less, and one of those is the just in case rule. Ryan and I, we figured this out early on when we were doing our first book tour. And we showed up, we were The Minimalists, but we had an entire trunk full of stuff.

Well, why did we pack so much stuff for a little small little book tour? Well, we packed a lot of just in case items. And what we realized is, oh, wait a minute.

I don't need any of these just in case items. I pack them so I felt some sort of sense of emotional security. But they weren't actually serving me.

In fact they were clutter. Why were they clutter? Because they were getting in the way.

So the just in case rule says, if I'm holding on to something just in case, I can let go of it because I can replace it for less than $20, in less than 20 minutes, from wherever I am. We also call it the 2020 rule. Now at first that sounds like an incredible rule of privilege.

I don't want to go around spending $20 every single day on replacing my just in case items. Well, guess what? In the last 10 years we've had to use that rule five times, because you never end up actually having to replace these just in case items.

So there are few things. There was a pair of scissors I got rid of. A pair of toenail clippers.

A pair of shorts. There were a couple of things, that, oh, yes, that actually did add value to my life. But what I've spent hundreds bucks or so replacing some of those just in case items over a decade, but that rule, as well as the 15 other rules in the minimalist rule book, they gave me permission to let go of tens of thousands of just in case items that were actually getting in the way.

You know what stands out for me, man, is cardboard boxes. Like, I'll get something delivered and it's nice. It's this nice little box.

And I know I'm old, because I'm like, oh, that's a nice box. I should hold on to that, just in case I have to ship something. And I'm like, no, no, I'm going to get rid of it.

It's not that big of a deal. And then I've done this a couple of times where a couple of weeks later I'm sending my mom something or whatever. And I'm like, oh, I should've hung on to that little cardboard box!

But yeah, I mean that's what's nice about the just in case rule. $20, and less than 20 minutes, and you can usually replace any of those items. Stuff you've given up that you regret. So as one of my old professors used to say, I have regrets but no doubts.

So when I moved, I remember back in school, like people used to give me books. Like my professors, they would often publishing companies would basically send them books, right? And the hope was the professor would read that book, like it, and then use it for their class, which would mean every semester 200 to 300 students are buying copies of that book.

So they always had these books, like, right? And I would go into office hours, ask questions a lot, and a lot of them, they like me, and they give me books. And so man, like I was a broke dude, but I just I was wealthy in books.

I had so many books you couldn't move around in my apartment, because people would give them to me like that. And when I had to move, when I moved because I chose, I wanted to follow a dream, and I just-- I couldn't afford to move all those books with me. And I had to let them go.

And I cried. I cried when I had to let those books go. And even to this day when I think about them I think, oh, my babies.

Like I miss those books. But this is what I want to say about that. Because I do have regret, but I have no doubt.

And when I say that I never gave those books up because I felt like it was immoral, or wrong, or non-minimalistic to have them. I gave them up because I wanted to create space for something better. I wanted to move across the country.

And I wanted to pursue a dream. And in order to do that, I had to let those books go. And so even though when I think about those books, I feel a little sad, when I look at what I learned by going after what made me come alive, I say to myself, oh, I have no doubts.

I miss those books, it brings a tear to my eye. But thank God I took a chance on my possibilities. And I bet on myself and I went after the things that I wanted to do with my life.

And I got the answers that I needed. And I think if you live life that way, you don't give it up because somebody made you feel like you had to, but you only give something up if it's holding you back from going after who you truly are, and what makes you come alive. You do that, even if you do have regrets, you won't have doubts.

OK, so no one was like tossing out like a locket that their grandmother kept with her through the war, and then we're like, no, I probably should have kept that. That's the thing about sentimental items. When my mom died, this was my first foray into minimalism, I started with her stuff.

I had to let go. And I realized when I got down-- she had just retired on Social Security, and she found out she had stage four lung cancer, and a few months after that she was gone. And when I went down to the little assisted living place that she was living in at the time, I had to deal with all her stuff.

She had a one bedroom apartment filled with 65 years worth of accumulations. A lot of sentimental items, right? But of course if everything is sentimental, nothing is sentimental.

And so yeah, I let go of a lot of her things. Well, how did I do that? I realized that the memories aren't in the things.

The memories are inside us. Just like with TK, the knowledge isn't inside the book. There's a lot of information in those books, right?

But the book itself isn't where the thoughts, the memories, the knowledge is. And the same thing is true with any of our material possessions. Yeah, I took pictures of some of mom's stuff before I got rid of it, so I'd have access to those memory triggers.

Those memories are still inside me. But then I held on to a few of her things. And by having fewer things, I actually got much more value from those sentimental items, because they weren't watered down by tens of thousands of useless trinkets that I was just holding on to in a storage locker somewhere.

Yeah, I definitely need to downsize some sentimental things, for sure. This is a wake up call. Well, listen.

It has been such a pleasure. I admit I was a bit intimidated to manage a conversation with three people, but you're all like, you guys have a real rhythm going. Like you are very balanced in giving the answers between the three of you, and you may not know this, but about 90 plus percent of our audience is women, and so is all our staff, and most of the guests, so you guys being three at once has also really radically altered the gender ratio of our guests in one fell swoop.

So that's fun as well. But I really enjoyed this conversation. I feel like I got a lot out of it.

I think our audience will as well. If people want to learn more about you guys, where's the best place for them to go?

You can find everything right there. The brand is strong and simple. Well, thank you all three so, so much for being here, and thank you guys all at home for tuning in, and I will see you next week on an all new episode of The Financial Confessions.