I Love Bali
So Hard To
Enjoy Life In Paradise
Author: Klaus Forster
“Wow, are you on vacation?”
“No, I work here!”
In this book, the author Klaus Forster describes how a “workation,” a mixture of work and vacation, has changed his life, and he gives valuable tips on how employees, startups, or the self-employed can achieve the same. A laptop and a reliable, fast internet connection are the only tools many entrepreneurs require today. They can work as so-called “digital nomads” and live wherever they like.
To make the most of this independence and succeed as a business owner, you must learn to let go. Such a mindset prevents one from mistakenly believing that only one's efforts will sustain a business.
By optimizing and digitizing processes, Klaus Forster describes how he lives in harmony with his work and embraces the life philosophy of a digital nomad. This book is an homage to Bali and an invitation for you to join him on a trip to the island of the gods. Get inspired by his experiences to enjoy your own entrepreneurial life of freedom and happiness.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Which place can be your paradise?
- Think about the places you've always wanted to go.
- Write them down and make a list.
- Make it in written form because the written form is so powerful.
- Find out why you want to live abundantly.
- And write down the top three reasons for you.
- What is the next step you need to take in that direction?
- So, write down the next task that you need to do to move in that direction.
Table Of Content
Table Of Content
About The Author Klaus Forster
Dedication: For My Kids
Shock In The Morning
What Is A Workation?
Ready To Move
The Best And The Worst About Balinese Culture
Father, Forgive Them
What Is Financial Freedom?
Gain €16,164 Net Per Year
How You Can Save € 3,000 Yearly?
Am I Ready To Kill My Child?
Becoming An Investor
Why I Had To Write This Book?
About The Author Klaus Forster
The idea of taking a few days off seems impossible for many self-employed freelancers, startups, and entrepreneurs. Without working permanently in their business, they fear it will collapse. Klaus Forster experienced that painfully in the self-created hamster wheel of his self-employment.
The turning point in Klaus Forster’s life began with fate: after the death of his brother-in-law Mark, the self-employed man dropped everything to stand by his sister. He describes how he mastered a digitized world and automated business processes and found a happy and harmonious work-life balance.
He participated in a workation in Bali and moved his office to the island of the gods to exchange knowledge with other remote workers. This joint working holiday initiated disengagement from mundane everyday tasks.
In his book, he gives valuable tips and encourages employees, the self-employed, freelancers, startups, and entrepreneurs to get inspired by his story.
More information about the author Klaus Forster is available at Vitality4Happiness.com
Escape German winter
Winter in Germany was always hard for me because there wasn't much light, and the nights were so long. In November and December in Germany, the sky is usually gray, it rains a lot, and it sometimes snows. In the winter, the streets are frozen solid. I don't like how it gets very slippery at night and in the morning. When I lived in Germany, this was a time of year when I often felt sad. Also, I still don't like Christmas. I think it's too commercialized, and it makes me sick.
Anyway, for my own sanity, I felt I had to escape Germany during the winter and spend time in the southern hemisphere. The first time I escaped winter in Germany was after finishing my studies in 1988. I took some time out before getting a job and traveled to Australia, where I spent four months. I booked a six-week bus trip to travel around and absorb different places. It headed up from Sydney along the east coast towards Queensland. Then up to north Cairns, across the island to the center, to Tennant Creek, a tiny village well known because it's at the junction of two major highways. From there, I continued to Darwin, then traveled back to Alice Springs and visited Ayers Rock. From there, I took the train to Adelaide. So this bus trip gave me a taste of everything Australia has to offer.
As a musician who practices daily, I missed my guitar after just one week in Australia. One of my first stops on the bus trip was in a place called Byron Bay on the East Coast. There was a music store there called Byron Music. They had a 12-string acoustic guitar, so I bought it and took it on my bus trip. After Byron Bay, the bus went to Queensland and stayed the night in Rockhampton, which had a very good feeling for me. It was fun to swim in the ocean, and surfers liked the big waves. Rockhampton seemed like the best place for me because I played guitar and liked rock music.
I remember I had a dream flash before me. It was about laying in a hammock under palm trees and making money online while I relaxed. Since I first started having this dream, I've always thought of Queensland and Rockhampton when I think of it. I wanted to live in a simple wooden house and use a computer in my hammock to make money. I also wanted to be very relaxed and live very cheaply. I didn't even need a car in my dream because everything I wanted to get to is just a short bike ride away from where I lived. I could work out while shopping or hanging out with friends. Yes, that was my dream, but it took me a long time to make it come true.
After four months in Australia, I returned to Germany and got my first job. Every year, I saved up my vacation days and traveled to tropical regions or retreated to Australia to escape the German winter. I visited Central America: Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. Some Caribbean islands, e.g., Dominican Republic, Jamaika, and French Antilles. And then, I found lovely places in the Indian Ocean, such as Seychelles, Martinique, and Maldives. Even though the Maldives is more popular, I like Seychelles best. Almost every winter, I escaped Germany. Most of those countries were enjoyable, and I had a good time there. Despite this, none spoke to me as strongly as the image I had in my head of living in Queensland.
If you “Never-Never” go you will “Never-Never” know
After traveling to the Northern Territory and the Australian outback, which is called “Never-Never-Land”, something happened on the way back to Germany. I stopped in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for three days. In Australia, people did not recognize me as a tourist. Well, that's not the case in Malaysia. Western visitors are recognized easily. Kuala Lumpur is full of street vendors trying to sell tacky items. Everyone wanted to sell me something, and the sudden interruptions for useless trinkets and fake roses were annoying. The atmosphere there quickly made me angry and annoyed, and I couldn't take it. But to be honest, I wasn't at all ready. No effort was made to learn about Malaysia or read anything about it. I thought the pre-booked hotel would be fine, but I didn't feel good there. I finally concluded that Asia wasn't the right place for me. Asia was the first and biggest culture shock for me. Because of this, I didn't go to Asia for a long time. When I went to Australia or New Zealand, I sometimes had layovers in Asia, but I kept them to a minimum and usually didn't leave the airport.
After the experience of that stopover, I realized I felt so relieved to be able to walk around freely in Australia. Because as long as you are quiet and keep yourself to yourself, the Australians don't recognize you as a tourist. Australia is a colorful mixture of nationalities, mainly from many European countries. As a result, if any European shows up there and the Australians don't recognize you because of your accent, they assume you're Australian.
Since 1988, I've tried to escape the German winter almost every year and held on to my dream of living in Queensland. I've been looking for a place that matches my dream. But everything changed for me in 2016 when I got that message from my friend Kerstin that I've talked about before. Kersten told me about a workation in Bali and suggested I travel there. Even though I had a lot going on and the deadline was only two weeks from the day I got her message, this idea struck a chord with me. I had to do it because I knew I would regret it if I didn't. While in Bali, I almost forgot about my dream of living in Australia. It lasted three weeks, and I had to go home when it was over. At that moment, I realized how much I loved it. I didn't want to leave. The atmosphere, vibe, and environment were just like my dream. It matched every part of my dream, or at least it had the potential to, from living in a wooden house to making money in a hammock between two palm trees. In the end, Bali was my dream and met my emotional needs. And that's why I remembered that dream when I was there. After 27 years and 27 winters, I finally found my dream place!
The funniest thing about this story is: The accommodation we stayed at in Bali was called "Villa Mimpi Manis." Mimpi Manis means "Sweet Dream Villa!" in English. So, thank you, Bali, for giving me that special sign. Thank you for guiding me to my destiny and fulfilling my dream.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What is your escape?
- Which place, action, or activity do you avoid?
This might be where you may learn and grow the most.
For most people, it is hard to imagine leaving their job, their self-employment, or their entrepreneurship behind and staying in a foreign country or working from home. For me, fate had to intervene before I learned that not everything breaks down when I'm away for a while. And this experience gave me the courage to go on a trip to Bali and to participate in a workation.
A "workation" is a combination of work and vacation. So, it's a holiday - a working holiday. This is where I learned to optimize my business. To put in processes that are running by themselves. To delegate the work to other people who can do it even better than me. And you can learn that as well, and this book will guide you on how to do it.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Do the Letting-Go meditation
Dedication: For My Kids
Writing I Love Bali has been another life lesson for me. I've been able to remind myself of many of the ups and downs I've been involved in over the years. I know some of my family members and friends are decidedly nervous about what I might be saying. But am really grateful for those, who let me talk.
I’m dedicating this book to my beloved sister:
She is a beautiful soul, younger than me by about a year and a half. There is no doubt that she has tremendous mental strength... which she needed.
She is a small person, and she looks a little bit weak. She lived at our parent's house for a long time because she didn’t want to travel or live anywhere else. She brought up three kids. She loves gardening so much that she turned my parents' property into a park. After attending some seminars, she turned her life into an adventure. She came with me on a trip to South Africa. As a result, she has lived mainly in Cape Town, traveled the world, started her own business, and worked remotely during that time
Secondly, I’m dedicating this book to her husband:
He was physically strong. He inspired me to write this book. Thank you very much, Mark, for your motivation, even though the price you paid for it is much too high!
Further, I’m dedicating this book to my former employee:
Chris was working in my business. And he started as a volunteer. But his development during the time we worked together is simply amazing. It didn't matter if he broke his knee; he still made his way. Nowadays, he is playing with a very successful band in Germany, and they are filling the biggest stadiums with fans. Chris, I admire what you did and how you developed. My biggest congratulations are to you. That’s why I’m also dedicating this book to you!
She spiced up my life and was the catalyst for me to leave Germany.
And ultimately, my new and second wife:
She’s a beautiful soul. With incredible emotional intelligence, she is the most warm-hearted person I have ever met. Thank you for your love!
Finally, I realized that I am writing this book for my amazing kids. Even though I lost contact with them after living in Bali for five years, which wounds my soul. I carry both of you in my heart wherever I go. I have been hurt severely, but I have realized through this pain how desperately I need your love and recognition.
I’m writing this book for my son, Louis. He’s rather introverted, he’s quiet, and he’s very sensitive. But on the other hand, he is technically very, very gifted. One thing we did together, for example, was that he ordered the parts for a computer while I was traveling in New Caledonia. He had the parts for the computer at home, and one of his friends promised him, "I will help you put the parts together and make your computer run."
When the parts arrived, his friend was out of town and couldn't help Louis. Patiently, Louis waited for him to come back. Then I had a video call with Louis from halfway around the globe. I was proudly shown the boxes of parts by Louis, who took out the microprocessor, the power supply, and the memory and showed me each.
I said, “How about we put that together in a video call?” And in a two-hour video call on WhatsApp, over a distance of 18.000 km, we assembled the computer remotely. Can you imagine that, until this point, he already had the parts at home and was patiently waiting for his friend to return? That’s something that would never have happened to me!
Okay, my beloved children, I want you to know that I love you unconditionally. And from a distance, I wanted to tell you:
I love you. I’m sorry.
Please forgive me. Thank you!
I love you. I’m sorry.
Please forgive me. Thank you!
I love you. I’m sorry.
Please forgive me. Thank you!
I am grateful to my children for giving me a reason to do what I do, knowing that I am creating a better world for their future. I confidently know we will meet again someday and reunify peacefully in harmony.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Please forgive me.
The Island Of The Gods
I’d like to take you on an unforgettable trip; I’m going to tell you the story of how I came to be in Bali, which all began in October 2016.
My sister called me on the phone, and when I answered, I heard her sobbing on the other end of the line. She was on her way home from Croatia, where she had been on vacation with her husband. While he was driving the car, he abruptly turned around and said to her:
“I don’t feel comfortable. I need to take a break. “He stopped the car and jumped out of it. As he slumped to the ground, he begged her, “Please help me, Petra. Lift me up. I’m having trouble breathing! “
But because he was significantly taller than she was, Petra wasn’t strong enough to support him. She panicked and said to him, “How can I help you? You’re far too big. Please sit in the passenger seat and relax.”
With a struggle, Petra was able to assist her husband into the passenger seat, but as soon as he sat down, his face began to turn blue, and he soon lost consciousness. Petra went into a panic and called for medical assistance. When the responding EMTs arrived, they helped support Petra and immediately began performing chest compressions and electric shocks in an attempt to resuscitate her husband. This went on for about an hour.
Unfortunately, the electric shocks were unsuccessful. Despite their best efforts, he did not regain consciousness, even though he would occasionally open his eyes and return for a few seconds at a time. In the end, the emergency medical technicians declared that he had passed away. My sister lost her beloved husband.
When Petra told me what had happened, I was at a loss for words. You want to do everything, but you also know there’s nothing you can do. I wanted to let her know that she has all of my support. I told her, “I’ll leave everything behind and join you, and I’ll be there for you for as long as you need me.”
I had anticipated staying with her for three or five days. It took two weeks to arrange for her husband’s repatriation from Croatia to Germany, and I stayed with her until the funeral took place. As she made each hard choice during this time, I was struck by how strong she was.
Grief and gratitude
Eventually, I realized that her strength came from being grateful for the time she spent with her husband. I admired and envied her bravery and strength because I lacked this quality. I was in awe. The depth of her strength was a revelation to me. I was profoundly affected by what happened, and it soon motivated me to do something entirely out of my comfort zone.
A message from my friend Kerstin arrived around the time of the funeral: “Take a look at this: A workation in Bali!” It was a gathering of 12 digital nomads who would spend three weeks in Bali sharing experiences while living and working remotely in a lovely villa called “Mimpi Mains.” The meaning of that name is “sweet dream.” It warms my heart every time I think about it.
I checked my calendar and saw that there were only two weeks until the start of this workation; after some thought, I decided to go. It was a massive leap of faith, but I figured if I couldn’t leave behind my life and business in Germany and visit Bali now, when would I ever have the courage to do something crazy like that again? After seeing my sister take bold actions without hesitation or second-guessing.
This was the impetus I needed to leave Germany, begin working remotely, leave my business behind, and make a life-altering choice. I gave complete control of my business to Chris, my employee who already run and managed the company while I was helping my sister. While I was in Bali, he was made responsible for handling all operational details in Germany. From Bali, I focused solely on online marketing and controlling the business online.
I suddenly remembered that I’ve always had the fantasy of working in a hammock while connected to the internet through a modem. In my dream, the hammock was situated between two palm trees. A cable connected my laptop to a modem linked to a telephone line. Reading this, you can imagine how far back in time this fantasy of mine goes. WiFi was not even known in those days.
My mental image of where this dream took place was always in Queensland, specifically in the Rockhampton area. I pictured myself living in a very simple wooden house close to the water, within easy cycling distance of the beach and all the amenities. I associated this imagination and this dream with freedom, a frugal way of life, and living a life that satisfied my fundamental physical and emotional needs.
I finally had the chance to make that dream a reality. While I’m well aware that I’m not in Queensland, Australia, as I’d hoped to be, I can confidently say that I’m living my dream in Bali, and the vibrancy of Bali completely won me over as a place to call home.
Falling in love
I completely fell in love with Bali. In all honesty, I didn’t fully comprehend how deeply I’d fallen in love until the day that it came time for me to leave Bali after the workation. Until then, I had no idea how much I’d come to miss the island. When it came time to leave Bali, I struggled with whether to head to the airport or stay for a few extra days.
Ultimately, I concluded that the best course of action would be to head to the airport and take the booked flight back to Germany, as I had an engagement scheduled there. It was a meeting with Kerstin and some of an entrepreneur’s mastermind group. The brain trust of entrepreneurs met for a three-day intensive positioning workshop, and because I had already organized it, I felt obligated to attend. This time, I went with my head rather than my heart and boarded the plane back to Germany.
When I realized how much I would miss Bali, I burst into tears at the airport as our plane taxied from the gate to the runway. And it was at that moment that I concluded: I want to spend the majority of the rest of my life in Bali. Well, at least until I discover a new location that fulfills my dreams, wishes, and needs even more perfectly than Bali does.
My experiences have been documented in this book, “I Love Bali.” It tells the entire story in great detail, and I invite you to look at it and enjoy the story. I hope that my book will inspire you to make some big decisions, make some significant changes, and grow and use all the strengths already lying dormant inside of you. Don’t wait for an event like a friend’s or relative’s death or funeral to realize what you’re capable of. Anything is possible.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- Find out what “I Love Bali” means to you.
Picture this: It’s November 29, 2022, and it’s 4 pm. I’m meeting three musicians from the Udara Mantra Orchestra. We’re sitting together at the Shiva chalet for band practice, running through the chords and the harmonies for a gig tonight. Two weeks before, I bought a Gibson bass guitar and asked Adi, the manager of Udara Bali: “Would it be okay to join you for a session? Because the band doesn’t have a bass player.” He agreed, and I was more than happy.
Already two hours later, at 6 pm, our first gig started. Some guests came in, and we began playing mantras. There was a cacao ceremony and kirtan. Kirtan is a call-and-response chanting or musical conversation, a genre of religious performance arts that developed during India’s bhakti devotional traditions. We played all evening until 9 pm.
I sat next to the mixing console. While playing the bass guitar, I also handled sound engineering, tweaking the microphone and instrument levels. This helped improve the sound by giving the vocalists more bass and reverb when singing and less when speaking. By the night’s end, I felt so grateful for this experience. Since I haven’t been playing with a band like that for years and years, I enjoyed the experience of playing bass guitar.
More than 40 years ago
So, let’s think back to how all of that started. I was 15 years old, and it was the year 1980. My father asked me, “Klaus, are you ready to play music at a gold wedding in three weeks?” He continued to say, “A woman from the neighborhood asked me, ‘Johann, can you play some music at our golden wedding?’” My father asked her, “Would it be okay for you if my son join me in playing the guitar?”
He proceeded to tell me, “She agreed ... and I agreed. Now, it is on you to agree as well.” And yeah, I felt confident because I had already played music for a couple of years, starting with learning the accordion and organ, which were forced on me by my parents. Until I chose my first instrument: A guitar.
But I had only been practicing guitar at that point for, let’s say, one year, so... I was far from flawless. Still, due to a bit of understanding of music, I felt confident in agreeing. So, we had three weeks to prepare. My uncle Jakob gave us binders with the lyrics to German folk songs, drinking songs, and “evergreens” that he used to play when working as a musician. He even gave us one of his Guyatone amplifiers. In those days, this valve amplifier was a rather exclusive brand, with the fine valve sound of a Mesa Boogie.
Three weeks of practicing together later, we put all the equipment in my father’s car. Both of us, my father and I, were very, very nervous. I will never forget this because after we loaded the car and got inside, my father accidentally put in the first gear instead of the reverse gear. The car jumped forward against the wall in the garage. It got a little bit shorter! But it wasn’t dramatic. We were still able to drive it and go to our first gig.
We played all night, singing German folk songs, drinking songs, and some evergreens. It was my first paid gig! And in those days, I didn’t know that hundreds would follow. Additionally, I realized that playing music was something I enjoyed doing. But I was even more fascinated by sound equipment, such as amplifiers, speaker systems, and mixing consoles.
With all the colorful knobs, one can change the sound by adding effects, making the bass and treble louder or softer, and changing the volume. I loved playing around with that. But the equipment was so expensive back then that I thought: “How can I build things like that myself?”
Another 15 years before
Let’s go back to autumn in 1966 when I was one and a half years old. A little princess entered my life: my sister Petra. She was sweet, and when she was born, everyone in the family paid her a lot of attention. I was no longer the prince of the family, or at least being the prince wasn’t as important as it used to be! Now the princess gets all the attention in the family. I got so jealous and wanted the attention back that I started peeing my pants again!
My sister had a small body. She was skinny. But on the other hand, she soon became quite competitive. She had a strong will. My mother kept telling the story: “When she was a child, Klaus played with his caterpillar. Petra wanted to have it as well. She pulled his hair until he opened his hands and released the toy, and she kept playing with it.”
I got so desperate about that, but of course, on the other hand, I learned something about how to compete. But that wasn’t my character.
My family kept laughing about this story: One of my Christmas wishes was: “Please, Santa Claus, for Christmas, bring a caterpillar for my sister so that I can finally play with my caterpillar!” Another tale about my sister that my mother kept telling everybody is: “When Petra was ready to go to school, she had to take a bus there. Both of us had to ride on the same bus. But, before her first bus ride, Petra said, “On the bus, I will save the seat next to me for my brother.’” Even though she had never been on the school bus before, she knew she would be on it before me!
A couple of years later, I kept performing in a band. It was a cover band, and we kept appearing at Thanksgiving parties in front of hundreds of people. I played almost every weekend, sometimes over a couple of nights, and I loved playing guitar in that cover band. Once again, we had some top 40 songs, but most of the music was evergreens, folk, and drinking songs. My sister kept following me when I was playing with the band. She met friends there and enjoyed dancing while I was performing on stage.
Earning honor by being passionate
I felt her honor. She was proud of having a brother who was a musician in a band. I appreciated this honor because it gave me much more self-confidence. See, the stories about her pulling my hair to release a toy or her confidence in being on the bus earlier than me... do not tell the true story of my strong sense of self-confidence. But then, I appreciated that.
We went out to party on other nights when I wasn’t scheduled to play music. We went to a disco or live music event, and once again, Petra met with friends and danced. Meanwhile, I watched the band and talked to the musicians during their breaks. I absorbed information from the musicians, but not about the music!
The majority of what I learned was about the equipment they use. Being always interested in the technical part of sound engineering, led me to study electronics. So I became a telecommunications engineer, driven by my passion for speaker systems, amplifiers, mixing consoles, and sound engineering.
Then I got a call from another band, and they said: “We’re looking for a bass player.” I said yes! Because I always thought: “I can play guitar reasonably well, but I’m not getting any further at the moment in developing my guitar-playing skills.
When I started playing in bands, I was always fascinated by the bass guitar. It only has four strings, which you have to tune. The frets are wider, so it’s easier to find them. The tone is deeper, so it sounds more masculine. The strings are fat and don’t hurt your fingers as much as the thinner sharp strings of a lead guitar. Those were some logical reasons for switching to the bass guitar.
In principle, playing bass is pretty much the same as playing the guitar. So, I got my first Fender Jazz Bass and started jamming with the new band. Because this band was more modern, my sister followed me even more often. We played fewer drinking songs and more Top 40 and rock music.
I enjoyed playing that music much better because it was more passionate. This is because, after years and years of performing the German evergreens, especially the drinking and folk songs, I got so sick of it! I couldn’t hear it or play it anymore! The first thing I did was cancel playing with my father. Approximately two years later, after completing my studies and getting my first job, I also quit playing in the cover band.
Well, it didn’t take long until I wanted to play music again. But this time, I ended up in a soul and blues band. We played our own songs and cover versions of old blues and rock’n’roll songs. See, with drinking songs and Top 40 hits, it was easy to get money for a gig. However, as an unknown band playing their own songs, you have a long way to go before you become a musician so well-known that people will pay for your music.
But it didn’t matter at all to me this time, because I did it with passion. I was enjoying playing the music and hearing the sounds I loved. My idols were Bruce Springsteen and Brian Adams. I even tried to sing like them and imitate their voices. I never got there, honestly... In those days, I didn’t realize I had a unique voice. Everybody has one. To sound authentic, you must make the best use of it. But those days, I didn’t realize that.
Anyhow, it does not matter since our band embodied the feeling of The Blues Brothers or The Commitments. You probably have seen the movies and know the feelings carried out by their soul music. Yes, the Blues Brothers are a soul band. “Blues” is just Jake’s and Elwood’s surname. That was great, and it didn’t matter to me that I didn’t earn money from it. I had a well-paid job as an engineer.
My sister Petra’s life developed quite differently. At 20 years old, she married, had a family, and had three kids. She worked in an administrative office, like a civil servant. Her passion was raising children. As soon as her first son was born, she stopped working. In addition to raising her children, she took care of the house, family, and garden and made everything look nice.
My life approach turned out to be different: I looked for other countries and regions, especially in the southern hemisphere or tropical regions, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, Central America, and New Zealand. I spent my vacations in the winter escaping Germany and found that there are more things I am passionate about. Yeah, I traveled to them almost every winter on a different trip. I explored my new passions: travel and freedom. But I will tell you more about that in further chapters.
And now, it’s time for you as well, to find and follow your passion.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What is your passion?
Shock In The Morning
It was the 17th of September, 2016. My sister called in the middle of the night, and I answered the phone, still half asleep. “You’re calling early,” I muttered groggily. She said: “Yes, I’m sorry.” I heard a heartbreaking wail of sobbing on the other end of the line, and I sat bolt upright in bed to ask her, “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
She replied, “I’m just returning from a vacation in Croatia. Marc has just passed away.” I was stunned, shocked to the core, and speechless. I didn’t know what to say. “Marc said that he didn’t feel good while he was driving. Then he stopped the car at the rest stop and got out.”
I could hear the pain and sadness in her voice as she told me this. I could tell she was in pain because she spoke slowly and took deep breaths. After stumbling over her words for a while, she regained her composure and continued. “He told me that he was uncomfortable and needed a break,” she said. “He jumped out of the car when it came to a stop. He fell to the ground and asked me to pick him up because he was having trouble breathing.”
Marc was much bigger than she was, and Petra wasn’t strong enough to support him. She was scared and asked him, “How can I help you?” You’re way too big. Please take a break and sit in the passenger seat.”
Petra said she helped her husband get into the passenger seat, but it was hard. But as soon as he sat down, his face started to turn blue, and he soon passed out. Petra screamed out for help. Someone from the next car ran over and got him out of the car. They did mouth-to-mouth breathing and a heart massage, and of course, they called an ambulance. It took some time before the ambulance came. As they waited for the ambulance, the friendly people who had stopped to help fought hard to help my brother-in-law breathe. When the ambulance finally arrived, they gave him electric shocks and tried desperately to revive him. Sometimes, he opened his eyes again, even if only for a few seconds, and then he closed them again. They kept trying for almost an hour, but finally, they had to give up. That day, my sister lost her husband. They loved each other so much, even though they had only been married for about a year and a half.
When I realized what had happened, I told Petra, “I’ll be there for you as long as you need me.” I’ll stay with you at your place and help you prepare everything. When you get home, let me know. I’ll come over to help you out.” From my point of view, I was running my business, Rooms4Music. As a self-employed person, you have to be available at all times, but luckily I already had some systems and processes in place. I also had an employee, and all I had to do was give him a note saying, “Please look after everything. You can call me, but I won’t be there for a few days.”
So luckily, I was able to leave my business behind and help out my sister. I had planned to stay with her for three or five days. It took almost two weeks to get her husband’s body from Croatia to Germany, and I stayed with her until all the funeral arrangements were made.
Thanks to the automated processes I set up and my staff’s help, I could give my full attention to helping my sister. I didn’t need to think about my business, Rooms4Music, and worry about it. I sometimes used the internet to make phone calls or do other things, but it only took a few minutes.
Then I got that message from my friend Kerstin, who told me, “There is a workation happening in Bali, and it’s very similar to an idea you had. Take a look and check it out.” I did precisely that. Even though it was only two weeks after the funeral and I wouldn’t be back at work for another three weeks, I could still take part because I had already put processes in place in my business.
So now let’s talk about what I learned from this sad event:
Changes and decisions that matter can come from emotional experiences. As an example, I decided to help my sister right away. I wouldn’t hesitate to help, and I’m sure neither, would you? But when I said I was going to Bali for another three weeks and leaving my business behind, it was because I had learned a few things that helped me make that decision.
First, I was about two and a half years older than my brother-in-law. This experience taught me that death could happen to me, you, or anyone else at any time. No one knows how long they are going to live. Well, if you’re very sick, your life expectancy will probably be shorter than if you’re healthy. But we never know when it will happen, no matter what. Marc was a strong man in good health, surprising everyone. When something like that happens, it gives us a chance to rethink our lives and make choices we usually can’t make.
Secondly, after my brother-in-law died, I thought about many things and had many questions.
- Did Marc take advantage of every opportunity?
- Did Marc have a good time with his life?
- Did he accomplish the goals he had set for himself?
- What was his biggest interest?
- Did he experience it?
I asked myself all of these questions. I thought about what I would think if I were on my deathbed and could look back on my life.
- What regrets do I have?
- What decisions would I have loved to make in my lifetime?
There is a meditation on making decisions that answer these very questions. So you picture yourself on your deathbed with an hour left to live. During this hour, you think about your life and the choices you’ve made, even the big ones.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Picture yourself on your deathbed and look back on your life. As an introduction, think for a short time about the questions:
- Did you take advantage of every opportunity?
- Did you have a good time in your life?
- Did you accomplish the goals you set for yourself?
- What was your biggest interest?
- Did you experience it?
- What regrets do you have?
- What decisions would you have loved to make in your lifetime?
Utilize the last-hour meditation to find the answers. Close a friendship with death. Make it your consultant, your very best consultant!
Write down what you experienced during the meditation, in detail. And write it down!
Grief: The most precious time in your life
On September 15, my sister went to Germany after her husband Marc died. She went to their house in a small village 150 kilometers north of Frankfurt, where she and Marc lived peacefully. They had only been married for about a year and a half years, so they were still very much like newlyweds. Despite this, they had a very strong, loving relationship.
I gathered my toothbrush and other essentials and rushed to their house when she told me she'd arrived so I could be there for her and comfort her as she went through this difficult time. When I got there, I saw the pain she was in. I embraced her and cuddled her for a long time. She repeated over and over to me the details of how Marc passed away.
When word got around the village that a young man had died, many people came to see her and offered their condolences. A lot of them were crying, and so was my sister. After that, everyone started talking about her husband. Surprisingly, my sister often recovered from her grief quickly and was able to share her own stories about her husband.
For example, when some of his motorcycle friends came to pay their respects, she told them about Marc's love of motorcycles and his dream of riding Route 66. Now, the funny thing is that there is a stereotype that if you go to the southern states of the United States and want to ride as a biker down Route 66, you do it on a Harley Davidson. You might feel like that's the typical American dream, would you not?
Route 66 on a "Gummikuh”
Well, Marc had different plans. He did not want to ride a Harley-Davidson on Route 66. No! He wanted to do it on a BMW motorcycle, which has a funny name in Germany. We call it "Gummikuh," which translates to "rubber cow" in English! Due to the cardan-shaft which accelerates the back wheel, BMW motorcycles driving dynamics are different than motorbikes with a chain. If you accelerate it lifts its rear, like a horny rubber cow.
It might seem normal for most people to ride a Harley-Davidson down Route 66, but for Marc, it would always be a "Gummikuh." My sister smiled as she thought about the sweet memory and how thankful she was to be able to share this story, to know her husband, and to have had such a great time with him.
Also, Marc's son came to see my sister as well. He rides a mountain bike, which reminded my sister of her husband’s accident while mountain biking with his son. He fell off his bike, hit his head, and broke many of his teeth. He then had to get a lot of his teeth replaced. In all honesty, Marc's teeth were already pretty crooked before the accident. Marc's new teeth were so straight and beautiful looking. Marc kept telling everyone what happened after the accident: "There was nothing better that could have happened to me, than this accident because I never thought I'd have teeth that looked so good." After Petra had told this story, we were all laughing again! We were truly grateful for how she remembered that story and how he made us laugh!
I expected to be with my sister for three or four days until we carried him to the cemetery, but it turned out to be two weeks. There was a lot of paperwork to be completed to transport his body from Croatia to Germany. He arrived there after about ten days. In the meantime, we organized everything. For instance, placing an announcement in the local newspaper.
Mark also took care of many things that no one else did, such as online banking, key organization, bank access, and money management. When Petra got home, she had no idea where her husband stored that stuff. There was also the matter of his will. Petra knew he had written one, but she didn't know where it was kept. So she called their lawyer, but the lawyer was unaware of it. We kept looking for it, but we couldn't find it.
In the meantime, we made all the funeral plans, and I drove her around to get groceries and other necessities. One day, when we got home from shopping and went to put the food in the fridge, my sister saw a plastic bag inside the refrigerator. She was interested in what was inside. She opened it and found all the access codes, keys, and other things that a burglar trying to break into the house shouldn't be able to find. Marc put it in the refrigerator! So he made plans for everything and ensured his wife had everything she would need if something like this happened. That was a wise move on his part, wasn't it?
My sister felt another wave of gratitude. Marc was a public servant who worked for the German Postal Service. So we went there and asked, "Could he be keeping his last will here?" They let us look at his desk. Under the close watch of the other government workers, Petra looked at his desk and went through his binders and files. She finally found an envelope with the words "Last Will" on it. Even here, he had everything so well organized, and my sister was very thankful for her husband's thoughtfulness.
Later that week, we got together with his son and ex-wife to read the will as a group. Now, when other people came over to comfort my sister, she could have told them two more stories about what Marc had done for her, but she kept telling the same story over and over: how he died.
During this time, I began to see how gratitude can help you overcome sadness. Gratitude is the opposite of fear, but it also helps when you're sad. Fear and gratitude are two sides of the same coin: If you are afraid, you can't be grateful at the same time.
If you are grateful, you don't feel fear
Meanwhile, what I see here in Bali proves that this is true. The good news is that one can practice feeling grateful. Do you want to learn how to do it?
Well, let me tell you a story about the Hindus in Bali. Balinese people have a small temple in each of their homes and on every street. And they have temples in... well, they have so many temples that you can't keep track of them all! Balinese Hindus light incense, pray, meditate, show gratitude, and share some offerings as part of a small ceremony they do three times a day. They put the offerings in their temple and burn incense sticks to make it smell nice. The most amazing thing to me is the way the Balinese feel after this ceremony.
The first ceremony occurs in the morning, and if you stroll the streets or visit a market, you will see all the Balinese smiling. They have just returned from the ceremony and are seeking eye contact. This is in stark contrast to the Germans! In Germany, if someone is coming in the opposite direction and I want to say good morning, they always look away as soon as they realize I'm looking at them, pretending they haven't seen me!
After seeing how the Balinese try to make eye contact in Bali if you do the same, they'll give you the biggest smile you can imagine. And it's the same as shared love; it's like happiness therapy! I like how the Balinese do this. I've already said that you can teach yourself to be grateful and have gratitude as one of your main emotions. Let me explain how:
Writing down five things you're grateful for every morning is the easiest way to learn how to do it. "The Gratitude Challenge" by Deepak Chopra is a good way to get in the habit of being grateful. It's 21 days of practicing gratitude meditations every morning, which builds the habit of a gratitude practice in your mind and embodies it subconsciously...
So, I'd like you to join this challenge. I would suggest it. It will strengthen your mind and reduce your fears, worries, and even grief.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
The Last Hour Decision-Making Meditation
I'm going to take you on an extraordinary journey, and it might be emotionally a little bit challenging for you. I'm inviting you to think about your life from the perspective of your deathbed. So, picture yourself lying on your deathbed. Imagine your life is over, you've got another hour to go, and think about these questions:
- Did I always take the best opportunities life offered me?
- Did I live my life to the fullest?
- Did I live my passion?
- Which decisions would I love to have made during my life?
Just think briefly about those questions, and then utilize the last-hour meditation to find answers. And to find the right decisions, you would have loved to make during your lifetime.
Make death your consultant
Make death your best consultant. Yes, it might be challenging for you emotionally. But it gives very, very clear answers! If it doesn't work the first time, with this meditation, then continue and do it again and again, getting deeper and deeper into it. And after meditation, it's essential to write down what you experienced and the decisions you would have loved to make. Write it down. The power of the written word is so strong that it will guide you on your way.
What Is A Workation?
As we’ve already said, it’s a mix of “work” and “vacation.” The term “working while on vacation” or “working while traveling” is commonly used to refer to a “workation”. “Digital nomads” are people who do this all the time.
What are digital nomads?
A digital nomad is someone who can run their business from anywhere because they have made it digital. So, they can work while traveling or while they are in another country. This way of running your business is a very freeing and easy way to work and live. Most employers don’t like it when you work abroad because they like to keep an eye on you. They want you to sit on their lap for the rest of your life.
During your work time, they want to see what you’re doing, get results right away, and get in touch if something goes wrong. But recently, things have changed, and situations have developed. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people began to work online. Many people used the time when everyone was on lockdown to learn how to make money from home. People are much more open to the idea of working from home now, so nowadays, if you’re an employee, you can tell your boss, “I’d like to travel and do my work from afar.”
However, most employers are still not very interested in doing this. Most employers don’t like it when you work from home because they can’t keep track of how many hours you work. By pressing your fingerprint on the clocking machine or scanning your employee identification card when you clock in and out, your employer can figure out how many hours you work. Employers are not keen on you working from home because they know it will be harder to keep you in line if you work remotely.
So, rather than being paid by the hour, you should talk to your boss about how much you will be paid for work based on the results of your work... In the long run, this is the better choice for you. When you get paid by the hour, only your employer benefits from you being more productive and efficient. This is because you produce more results, which will give you a sense of job satisfaction, but your employer will be the only one to benefit financially.
You and your boss share the benefits when you get paid for results. I think this is a fairer arrangement than getting paid by the hour. Do you agree? Digital nomads work as freelancers, self-employed people, employees, business owners, or investors to make a living. But most of them still have a long way to go before they can truly call themselves “digital nomads” and travel the world while working from their laptops.
What happened during the workation in Bali?
Right after sunrise, many of us played sports or surfed at the beach nearby. After our morning sport, we all got together for breakfast. Then almost everyone took out their laptops and started working.
Surprisingly, all digital nomads used Apple Macbooks. At that time Microsoft made Edge the standard-browser for the Windows operating system, which could not be uninstalled, not even disabled completely. It behaved like a drowned corpse and kept coming up again and again. Especially if one needs it the least. I considered that as a reason to quit working with Windows.
I also bought a secondhand MacBook before I went for the workation. But the pain l experienced by migrating to the almost upside down behavior, different keyboard, and desktop layouts. Additionally, the keyboard shortcuts, which did not work anymore, were such a pain that I very soon regret what I did. I had the feeling it slowed down my speed of working by 80%. Which is a hardly bearable pain for somebody like me. I guess I already mentioned before, that patience is not one of my strengths!
Now I understand why the bitten apple is the symbol of expulsion from paradise. Funnily later I learned, the Buddhists claim, Steve considered becoming a Buddhist. Probably due to his insight, which pain he caused, due to this product misdesign. There was no space in Paradise left for him anymore.
There were 12 people at the workation, and they all worked in different fields. One of them, for example, used a service called Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). If you wish to use this service, you can buy products from other countries, such as China, and have them shipped straight into an Amazon warehouse anywhere in the world. Most of the time, you don’t even get to see what you’re selling. It goes directly from China to wherever you want to sell it.
You just choose the location where you expect your product to do well. Then Amazon’s FBA service takes care of everything else, like processing orders, shipping, packing, returns, and refunds. FBA is a business model where all you have to do is market it and ensure your Amazon shop ranks well and gets a lot of traffic.
Another person at the workation was a specialist in optimizing Amazon listings. He helped people, like those doing FBA, who already had products on Amazon. His primary focus was ensuring the products ranked well in Amazon search results. To generate sales and get reviews, he helped set things up for them. He continued to assist others throughout the entire workation.
One of the participants wrote blogs and put Google AdWords links on them. Their website has affiliate links, and they get a small commission when someone clicks on the ads. People who place affiliate links on their web pages get paid by the link page’s owner for each click on the ad.
A blog writer needs to know how to do search engine optimization for their website. But to make money with this business model, you have to get many people to visit the website and click on the affiliate link because the pay-per-click is low. To earn a decent amount of money, you need a lot of clicks!
Activities during the workation
A workation is like being in a mastermind group, or what is known as a brain trust, as some people call it. It comprises people who support each other, share the same values, and want to reach the same goals. During my workation, everyone’s goal was to improve their business skills. We also wanted to learn how to make the most of the freedom that comes with being a digital nomad.
We talked about travel tips, where to go, possible visa problems, and other things. But we were all there mainly to share business ideas and tips. We talked about how we ran our businesses and devised ways to improve, implement, and make them work better. We also gave each other plenty of suggestions for seminars, which I’ll discuss in another chapter.
In a workation, everyone benefits from learning from each other. You might wonder: If we copied each other, wouldn’t that eventually lead to the same business model and put us in competition? The short answer to that is, “In general… yes.” But if you learn from someone else, you’re likely to make a lot of copy errors, which aren’t mistakes at all. But those are rather ways to show your personality. Your business will never be the same as someone else’s. Your personality will always shine through, and that’s a good thing.
Let’s say you copy a real estate agent’s idea and business model, but you don’t even like that business model. Realistically, your real estate business will not operate the same way as his since you will see yours only as a soulless money-making machine. This won’t fulfill you long-term because you’re not doing what you’re passionate about and working against your values.
Because this business operates in a way you don’t appreciate, sooner or later, it will cause burnout for you. My health deteriorated when I got burned out shortly after starting Rooms4Music. Remember, if you’re starting a business, you’ll have to put in a lot of work initially. You’ll always lose energy unless your business reflects your passion or values.
However, you have the opportunity to work more or less permanently if you know your passion, know your values, and align your business with them. In my experience, if you’re passionate about your business, you’ll be in flow roughly 80% of the time; if you’re in flow, it doesn’t cost you any energy—it gives you more energy!
How do digital nomads create services, process customer requests, and sell them?
One of the digital nomads sold his services on freelancer.com, a site for people who work for themselves and let others hire them. People who buy his service give him their work to do. There are other places where people can order services besides freelancer.com.
Fiverr.com is another example. On Fiverr, you can buy services from a large number of different experts. Fiverr lets you order a wide range of services, such as search engine optimization, graphic design, image processing, advertising, translation, web page creation, and automation services.
Most people offering services on those websites are from low-cost countries in Asia. This means that their services are usually pretty cheap. When you order services from Asia and your business is in a high-priced Western country, you get a good margin on the work being done for your business.
Now listen to me carefully: I need to warn you: many of the services on Fiverr are of very low quality! If you want to give work to Fiverr sellers, I suggest you order about 5 test gigs with the same requirement. Pick the ones with many good reviews, even if they are often very busy and don’t give your order their full attention.
Or you could give new sellers a chance! Choosing new sellers without many reviews, you might find highly motivated people with good availability. However, if they have a few reviews, read them, and if they are unrealistically positive, you may want to take a closer look. However, if you consider the reviews fake, don’t order from them! If you trust your intuition, you’ll find out who works well for you.
Your feelings about it will help you get to know good services and the results you want. This way, you can hire the right people for your business and use their services as needed. I would recommend the same thing if you were still an employee. You should agree with your boss that you’ll be paid for the results you produce, not by the hour.
But western employees usually expect to be paid by the hour. If you pay them by the hour and can’t keep them busy, they are just sitting around doing nothing for you while still getting paid. So, paying only for results and using freelancing websites is a smart way to reduce employee costs and keep work costs low by incurring costs only when work is required...
Lessons learned at the workation
My main takeaway from experience is that sharing knowledge is a great way to improve your business and personal skills. See, it was a good way to broaden my travel horizons. During the exchange of travel tips and experiences of living as a digital nomad, we learned what countries to visit and where the best spots are.
Copying is not prohibited at a workation. I strongly recommend that you copy the ideas of others because you have proof that the concept works. You do not need to worry that your business will turn out the same as the business you’re learning from. It’s because you will always make mistakes, and these mistakes reflect your personality.
Furthermore, you will always seek to improve the presented ideas. In this way, you inject more of your personality into your business. I’m sure you understand now that the more personality you put into your business, the better, do you? Ensure that you copy the idea in a way that is aligned with your values and passions.
When trying to get your business to where it needs to be, outsource any tasks or duties you don’t like to Fiverr, a specialist, or even a supplier. For example, if you run a business with your warehouse and send your products yourself to the customer but you hate packing, shipping, and invoicing, consider using Amazon’s fulfillment service.
You can send your products to their warehouses, and they can handle everything you dislike. Your only concern will be finding products. If your passion is to source high-quality, in-demand products with high margins, I strongly recommend using this business model.
However, my advice here would be to source only what is in demand. You will always be able to meet your customers’ needs as long as you love your customers more than your product. It is common for self-employed people or entrepreneurs to only source products they are passionate about.
Can you see how this results in them loving their products more than their customers? Yes! You end up chasing customers all the time! Over time, if you constantly chase money and work against your values and main passion, you will burn out sooner or later.
Burnout is a terrible thing to experience. It takes a lot of energy out of your body. I’ve been through it, and it is a pretty horrible feeling. I will explain how I got sick, how I realized what was going on, and who helped me overcome it, and later, in detail, I will reveal how I made my passion my business.
Low cost of living and reduction of taxes
As a digital nomad, you can choose to live in a low-cost country abroad. The most important benefit is that you can reach financial protection, financial security, and financial freedom much faster if you still provide your service in a high-cost country. It is a very unique and relaxing feeling to be able to achieve that. Later, I’ll go into more detail about what financial security, financial protection, and financial freedom mean. It’s more or less the material side of abundance.
If you live in a low-tax country abroad, you might also be able to get some tax breaks and tax benefits. Moving to a country with low tax rates can be a big step, and there are several ways to do it. The first way is to go through the immigration process, which is typically hard and takes a long time.
The other option is that some countries have programs that let you get a passport if you invest there. You can apply for local residency with that passport, register your business or first residence there, and terminate your residence in your home country. You can avoid taxes in your home country this way.
Further, it is possible to have no residence at all. Then no state can apply taxes to your income. But this is a tricky process with many side effects, which has to be well thought out... And, of course, your business will be taxed in the country where it is registered. Anyhow, find your “Bali”!
The fallacy of intellectual property
What I'm telling you today is, of course, not all of my ideas. And whatever I'm telling you - if I only told you about my ideas, this book would be very, very short! Yeah, 90% or even more from what I'm telling you, and what I'm sharing here is the knowledge that I learned from other people. And those other people also shared 90%, or even more, of what they learned from other people. And those other people... Well, you can imagine how the story goes on! Yeah, most of the wisdom we see in the world today is Stone Age old! To be honest... actually, all of it because all of the knowledge we have today has been around forever! It's stored in the universe in the infinite field of information.
Nowadays, people think: "if I have an idea and I publish it, it's my idea. It's my intellectual property. The state should help me protect it. And I need to protect it! And I do not want to share it publicly! At least, if I share it publicly, other people are not allowed to use it or resell it. I think that's nonsense. That's complete nonsense because that reduces the speed of development. It reduces the awareness of other people. Intellectual property is a barrier to further development. And that's why I do not like the idea of it. Actually, in my opinion, intellectual property is like two fleas that live on one dog, and they are bargaining over who the dog belongs to. The dog is there for both of them, even if more fleas are living on it. Probably they will anyway!
So, there is no growth in available information. It always was there, and it always will be there. The only thing that grows is our awareness of it. Our consciousness and our perception of new information. But the information itself was always there, and it will always be there. But unfortunately, the growth in awareness and consciousness, in my opinion, is moving too slowly!
And intellectual property discussions cause this problem. See, the increase in awareness and consciousness is an E-function. Many people complain nowadays that the speed of change is so fast. I think it is because it is an E-function. The percentage it grows every year on average is pretty much the same. People have always been stressed about that. Since the stone age, I guess.
See, the son said to his father in the Stone Age: "Do you remember when grandpa was catching a rabbit? He had to pull off the skin with his hands because he didn't have any tools! And then you found this flintstone, and you were able to cut the skin of the rabbit! And also, you found out how to make fire with it! Wasn't that a revolution?? Nowadays, I have this metal knife, and I can easily slice the rabbit we caught. And thanks to the flintstone, we can light a fire and have a barbecue. Daddy, I'm so stressed about that speed of change."
Do you get the point? Yeah, it's still the same. The percentage at which consciousness grows is probably still the same as it was in the Stone Age. We are just starting at a higher level. We are aware of more information, we are aware of more facts and physical laws, and some of us even know about metaphysics. Yeah, but knowledge has always been around, and it will always be around. And so, there is no increase, and especially there is no need for intellectual property.
Modeling of excellence
Reusing what is already there and combining it in a new combination is called "modeling of excellence." I want to encourage you to do that. So, whenever you learn from someone, who has a good strategy, a good method, or a good idea, copy it. Put some of your new ideas on top of it and give it your character. Doing so is only a Quantum Leap. And there is a very common and big misunderstanding about Quantum Leap. Many people consider it a huge step, as a revolutionary invention. But it's not. A Quantum Leap is the smallest possible increase of an energy level, that's all!
I think the owner of an IP should not have an exclusive right to sell it. But anybody should be allowed to use and share that information. Whoever creates the best products and services based on it, and provides the biggest benefits to his customers with it, should benefit and earn the most from it! So keep on modeling, copying, and personalizing it. Create the best possible service, product, or information for your customers.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What are your most essential learnings from this chapter
- How will you integrate them in your life?
Self-employed: The German word for it is "Selbständig."
In German, we say that "Selbständig = Selbst und ständig arbeiten." That translates to "working yourself and permanently."
My brother-in-law Mark used this phrase quite frequently. Well, he was a safety engineer working for the German postal service, and he was teaching employees how to avoid accidents. By doing so, he had to apply rules and regulations to them. Additionally, he had to follow other rules and regulations that civil servants were required to follow.
But in his soul, he was a creative mind looking for adventure. He kept driving the motorcycle, dreaming of riding Route 66. And he wanted to be an individual: He didn't want to ride it on a Harley Davidson; he dreamed of riding it on a Gummikuh! A Gummikuh, as we call them, is the nickname for a German BMW motorbike. “Gummikuh” means rubber cow!
He must have suffered inside from the rules and regulations that he had to make others follow and those that he had to abide by during his work. His soul was looking for adventure, freedom, and individualism. At work, he had to unify people and make them follow all the rules and regulations to avoid accidents.
Once, while riding his motorcycle, he nearly had an accident with a deer at night. So he passionately thought about: "How can we avoid having accidents with deer when driving at night with a vehicle?" And he came up with an idea. He had heard that many animals could hear ultrasonic sounds. He thought about an ultrasonic sound device that warns deer or other animals, like dogs. They hear the car coming from a distance and get off the road.
He kept telling me about that idea, and he researched it. But he didn't explore a technical solution. He did some research to see if something similar had been patented. So he was researching the rules and regulations like he was used to at work. Unfortunately, he never got started. Following that, he had the thought, "Selbständig” equals working permanently yourself, which prevented him from ever starting.
"Working yourself and permanently" is often the truth for self-employed people. But you always have the choice of how you organize your work and entrepreneurship. Either you grow and develop and transform your self-employment into business ownership, or you get stuck and keep doing everything yourself. I want to encourage you to make the switch from being self-employed to becoming an entrepreneur who owns a business. A business owner has people with a passion for handling tasks for him, while he develops the business into a learning enterprise. This path is well described in the following chapters. So go on, keep learning how to transform your business.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What are your most essential learnings from this chapter
- How will you integrate them into your life?
I want to tell you the story of the darkest point in my life, caused by over-regulation. I will also tell you what I learned from it. We all struggle with the ups and downs of life. You can probably recall the darkest period of your life. Can you think about it? Well, you probably can. Maybe it also puts you in a bit of a sad mood. Yeah, at least it puts me in a sad mood when I think about mine.
It was the year 1998. I was in love with a woman, and we decided to get married. One year later, our first child was born. Sure, my ex-wife and I had a lot of love for each other at the beginning. However, I realized I could not afford the cost of living that marriage and a child would create. As a result, I felt like I was living in a state of scarcity. Further, I realized she wasn't the right one for me. Due to the marriage vow and the responsibility for the child, getting divorced was not something I considered. Therefore, I avoided thinking about it at all. As a result, I remained in scarcity. We got to know each other and lived in a small town called Marburg, a student town. About one-third of the population are students. It's a pretty town, and the prices are reasonable, so we were able to live there on our income.
Scarcity Munich Instead California
At this point, I had a working visa ready for relocation to Irvine, Orange County, south of Los Angeles. I wanted to move from Germany to California for my job. The visa, however, was only valid for me, not for my wife. So we were unable to move to the US together. Instead, the company I was working for relocated me to Munich. So we moved to Munich. Yes, we swapped our modest cost of living in Marburg, a small student town, for one of the most expensive cities in Germany! Munich was the third most expensive city in Germany at the time, after Düsseldorf and Hamburg!
As a result, I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into scarcity. And from there, it got even worse! My wife became ill and lost her job, and I became the sole provider. I had to bring money in. But I had the feeling she just kept burning it. As a result, I became even more shattered by scarcity. This was at a time when I was so concerned about taking care of my child and my wife. I already knew in those days that she wasn't the right one for me. But thinking about getting divorced scared me a lot. Due to the legal situation in Germany, divorce is very expensive for the one who is earning the money for the family!
Therefore, I kept working harder to make more money and tried to keep the money together. Well, after one and a half years, we got fed up with Munich. There, it's so critical to appear sexy and to act like you're more than you are. So we left Munich and moved together to a small town near Stuttgart called Ludwigsburg, and then we lived there. About six years later, our son Louis was born. Now, we had two children. Even though we managed to get by with the money, I still had a very unpleasant marriage. I knew that she wasn't the one for me. Also, when I moved to Ludwigsburg, I switched jobs and started working for a Bosch subsidiary, ETAS. It was a privately held company. But they act like civil servants, like dogs following any rule without thinking about it. So I didn't enjoy working there, because I always hated that civil servant attitude!
In Germany, we have some very funny words for them. We call them "Korintenkacker." Another word, which is the Swabian version of it, is "Dipfeleschisser." Well, they are "Bohnenzähler." "Bohnenzähler" refers to tax consultants, also known as "bean counters." Thus, they take everything very seriously and do not question the rules; they obey them regardless of whether they make sense or not. This environment drives me nuts! It's just following rules for the sake of following rules, neither thinking about nor understanding why the rules are there. Well, I don't have a problem accepting and following rules and regulations if they have a valid reason to be there. However, if you are applying a procedure because something is traditionally done that way, even if the tradition doesn't make any sense anymore, it's time to change the procedure! Most Germans are not willing to change rules, regulations, and procedures; rather, they like to stick to traditions. At ETAS, I was stuck in a business and working for a company that continued to use traditional procedures.
All of the old rules keep highwaymen active. A funny German word for that is "Wegelagerer." One example of highwaymen is the "Industry- und Handelskammer." This is an organization that takes money from businesses without benefiting the community. Another one is called "Gebühreneizugszentale," which means “central money collector.” It charges every person or business who owns a computer, mobile phone, television, or radio to pay the state-owned radio and television stations. There are thousands of privately owned TV stations nowadays. The privately owned operate on small budgets. However, you have to pay for state-owned TV and radio stations, even if you neither watch nor appreciate them. Those stations burn a very high budget. But in general, what they broadcast is no better than what is broadcast on privately run stations. So, in essence, you are paying the state to spread its propaganda. Privately owned stations rely on the advertising they get. Meanwhile, the government-owned ones are operating on the payments from the “Gebühreneinzugszentrale” and advertising. Their programs are not even free of advertising. Yes, they get their income from both sides! But the news on state-run stations is as far from the truth as on independently-run stations.
A traditional bank is also a type of "Korontenkacker." They stick to old rules and regulations. With crazy over-regulation, the state makes it difficult for them to provide effective services. So they end up charging high fees. Fintechs, however, are changing the game. Technology is moving fast, and traditional banks haven't caught up. I think they don't understand what's going on. Another example of this type of organization is the land registry, in German: “Grundbuchamt”. The land registry is an administrative office owned by the government that is extremely slow and outdated. It is the process of registering where one owns the property. They still do everything with paperwork!
Luckily, we can observe some developments in the world nowadays that will make all highwaymen obsolete. So let's think a little bit more about that. Highwaymen and organizations that are based on old rules and traditions manifest old rules. I do not like that at all! Because it stops development, it stops progress, and I can only think this about them:
"Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they're doing."
Those who are conservative and dogmatic stop society from developing. The good news is that blockchain will make a lot of those people obsolete. I can't wait to see how this comes to pass. For example, traditional banks will face strong competition from new fintech firms. For example, those who trade cryptocurrencies or provide international money transfer services, which are much cheaper and faster than theirs. Some examples are the fintech companies “WISE” and “Revolut.” Also, “PayPal” used to be one. But they also turned into a “Wegelagerer,” with unbelievably complicated procedures and high fees.
The traditional banks will have to change their business model, or they will likely go out of business. This will, of course, have some negative consequences for the people who have parked their money with them. However, we may not have a better choice to get rid of the old “Wegelagerer.” I see today that old traditional banks still do not understand what's going on out there in the world. They don’t understand how blockchain technology will change everything.
All of this is similar to what happened with Kodak. They invented the digital camera, but they didn't foresee the impact it would have. They decided to continue marketing and selling traditional cameras and camera films instead. They decided to put the digital camera on the side. Kodak did not push the technology they developed! Companies like Canon and Fuji picked up the new technology and made it a success. As a consequence, Kodak went bankrupt!
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What are your most essential learnings from this chapter
- How will you integrate them in your life?
Transform your business
Let’s go back to the year 2009. I was unemployed and thought, “What am I going to do with my life?” On the one hand, I applied for jobs; on the other, I thought about buying an apartment building and renting the apartments out individually. But I also had another idea. I was the bass player of the band Pleasure Pigs at the time, and our rehearsal studio wasn’t very spacious, but it was very expensive.
I realized that there was a significant lack of places for bands and musicians to record their music and do band practice. I found a building where I could rent space and subcontract it to other musicians. Due to its concrete construction, it was relatively soundproof. In principle, this kind of business is the same as an apartment building, but you have very loud tenants most of the time! Due to the scarcity of rehearsal spaces, my company grew rapidly in 2010. Südwestfunk, the local television station, picked up on this and covered it in a news segment!
It took me a year of planning to set up the business, which I did while I was unemployed. I was living on social security, but the state payments stopped after a year. However, if you start your own business, the German state will support you and help fund it for another year! I thought that even if I didn’t make a lot of money initially, I could still live the same lifestyle I had before.
A few months before I started my own business, one of my job applications got answered, and I was offered a job. I decided to work for that company four days a week while building my business on the fifth. So, I began working part-time, and that’s also what I would recommend to you. Do not start your own business full-time! It would be better if you reduced the hours you work at your current job. Slowly ramp up your own business and reduce your time working for your employer, step by step.
So, in the second year, I reduced the number of days from four to three and gained a little more time for my own business. Another year passed, and I saw that my business was profitable enough to support me. As a result, I decided to leave my job and focus solely on my business. Because it had decent growth, I was confident it would succeed.
For the first two years, I worked three or four days a week for my employer. I could concentrate on my business on the other two days of the week and on weekends. But at this point, I was now at the stage where I could end my employment and have the entire week available to focus on my business. However, I was still working 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, with no day off. Even if I was on a day trip with my children, I was still on my phone. I was still reading, learning, planning, checking lists, and doing many other things to improve my business. This was three years of very intense work.
I also started attending seminars and reading books about entrepreneurship. One book that helped me a lot was “Der Weg zum erfolgreichen Unternehmer” which means “the way to become a successful entrepreneur.” First, I read the book and then attended the seminar with the same name. Because of that seminar, I examined my business in detail.
Initially, I examined all my daily tasks and realized that everything I did was simply an employee’s duty. And then it suddenly hit me. You’re not working on your business, Klaus. You’re an employee. Your business employs you. You work IN your business.
I examined every one of my day-to-day tasks. I was filling up the fridge with drinks. I was cleaning the rehearsal studios. Among other things, I set up the equipment and replaced broken equipment. Also, I had managerial responsibilities, such as drafting contracts with clients, collecting money, and handling accounting.
From that seminar, I learned that I had to start automating processes to free up my time. I implemented systems, such as automatically withholding rent payments from my customers. Later, I delegated this task to my tax consultant because they needed the numbers anyway and because they are much better at dealing with banks and accounts and have all the fancy software required.
In Germany, there is fancy software called DATEV, which looks like a mess, but that’s another story! The tax consultants get around it, but it was a hassle to work with for me! This was a big step towards more effectiveness and efficiency and getting rid of a task that I really didn’t like. The tasks you must do in your business that you don’t like are the ones you want to look at first! Because they rob you of a lot of energy.
The rehearsal studios were another example of something I disliked doing. First, I got a cleaning service, and then I realized that this cleaning service cost me 250 euros a month. Then I found those automatic robot vacuum cleaners, which cost 250 euros each. I placed one of the vacuum cleaners in each rehearsal studio and told the band to run them by themselves after they used the studio. I got rid of the cleaning work, and the robot vacuum cleaners paid for themselves after three months because I no longer had to pay for the cleaning service.
You have to look at things that will have high effectiveness and replace work that you do not love to do. Another thing that always bothered me was all the paper that comes through the postal service. I don’t want to deal with that all the time! I found a service that scans my mail, puts it on the scanner, and sends it to me by email. If it’s a tax invoice, I just forward the email to my tax consultant, and it’s done, and I don’t have to do anything with the mail anymore.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What are your most essential learnings from this chapter
- How will you integrate them in your life?
Making yourself obsolete in your business
Another game changer was updating my website to list all my services. I implemented many things through web forms so that people just had to fill in their name, address, and bank account details. Upon receiving the email confirmation, they can read the contract and then come to the rehearsal studio, and we just sign the contract, and the deal is done!
I never reached the point where I had fully moved to electronic contracts. Well, at least not for regular, long-term studio users. But for those who were booked only daily, we just did it online. I did that simply by implementing Google Calendar on the web page. So, I had an overview of my clients on the web page, and I could synchronize it to my mobile phone. On my mobile phone, I could see which room was booked, at what time, by which band, and which client would use it. And that was another considerable efficiency and effectiveness booster!
So how do people get their keys to get inside the studio? Well, for permanent bookings, I used to give them a key which they keep permanently. But for individual bookings, I just put a key safe with a pin code outside the building. With the online booking confirmation, they get the number code, and that’s how they get the key to enter the building. When they had finished, they put the key back into the safe, and everything was done! I didn’t have to wait for their arrival, and I didn’t have to wait until they were finished rehearsing.
To select the duties and the systems you want to implement, you need to do a simple calculation: First, you must estimate how much time this specific task costs you each month. Second, there is usually an implementation or ongoing cost associated, and you have to invest some money into the process.
In the case of the safe with the number code, the safe itself will cost money. It will take some time to mount it, and then you will need additional time to set up the calendar and the booking system on the web. So initially, you will need to spend more time on the process than just doing it manually. Now you can estimate how long it’ll take to implement your chosen process.
And as soon as you have an idea of the process, calculate how much it will cost you to maintain the system. For example, online payment services may cost about one to three percent of your revenue because of credit card processing costs, so you’ll have a permanent additional monetary cost!
With a safe that has a numerical code, I can save time permanently since I don’t have to go to the rehearsal studio to get the keys. Purchasing the safe incurs an initial cost, but it does not incur additional maintenance expenses and does not create any extra permanent financial burden. And now, you can calculate how much time and money it will save you and what additional set-up and ongoing costs you will incur.
You should consider your salary when determining what processes you want to implement. With the example of the safe, let’s say I save one hour daily because I do not have to go to the studio to get the keys. Let’s also say I pay myself 30 euros per hour. I can save 30 hours of my working time a month by implementing the key safe, which equates to 900 euros in labor costs. Because it has no ongoing costs, the key safe pays for itself, allowing the business to save considerable money in the long run.
Learning how to lead employees and pay yourself realistically is another valuable skill, and it can also be a booster for effectiveness and cost reduction.
For example, let’s say you pay yourself 30 euros per hour, and your employee gets 20 euros per hour. Delegating some of your work to your employees will save you 10 euros per hour, so the more you can delegate, the better! Of course, you need to be able to afford to work less. But at that stage, you should be at the point where your business makes enough revenue and earnings for that.
In my fourth year, those processes’ financial and time-saving harvest began, and I made it a rule to reduce my working time by one day each month. I worked for almost three years in my business without taking any holidays or even a few days off. So, in the first month, I took one day off. This was followed by two days off in the second month and three days off in the third. After seven months, I could take a week off. I traveled to Bulgaria for a week and had my first holiday since I started my business. As I added days to my vacation each month, I was able to run my business remotely two years later.
When my brother-in-law passed away in 2016, I realized I could say to my sister, “Okay, sister, I’ll be there for you as long as you need me!” During the two weeks, I spent with my sister preparing for her husband’s funeral, I received a text from a friend; she said, “There is a workation in Bali that you might be interested in.” It was only another two weeks until the workation, and I had already spent three weeks with my sister. I needed to make a decision. The workation would last for another three weeks, could I stay away from my business for another five weeks? I felt so confident that my business could run without me that I decided to take the plunge.
During that time I became a seminar junkie, I also learned much about managing money from Bodo Shaefer’s course, “The Way to Financial Freedom,” and visited his seminar. Then I attended some Tony Robbins seminars, such as the “Business Mastery” seminar. I learned how to improve marketing processes through Business Mastery. I also learned about Rich Dad by attending his “How to Buy and Sell a Business” seminar. I will tell you later if you do not know who Rich Dad is.
One year later, I got a call from my business landlord, and my landlord told me, “We want to have the building back. We need to use it for ourselves, we hired 2,000 employees, and we need office space for them, so you have to move out, but we are willing to refund you for the cancellation of the lease contract.”
I first thought, “Do I have to kick out all of my bands? or can I find another building and move them there?” However, the seminars I attended the year before prepared me well for my landlord’s call. I simply told them: “I consider the building and the lease contract I have with you to be the most valuable assets in my business. To get me out of the lease contract, you have to pay for the entire business value.” They asked, “How much is it?”
The phone became silent when I informed them of the business valuation that my tax advisers had given me. They responded, “Thank you,” and we ended the call. Three days later, I received another call from them, and they said, “Deal, we’re in. We need the building urgently.”
Now I was in trouble, already living in Bali, Indonesia. I suddenly had to relocate all of my musicians to another building. However, I also faced an even bigger problem that I hadn’t expected.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What are your most essential learnings from this chapter
- How will you integrate them into your life?
Ready To Move
So now it was time to make my move and to prepare everything. So I put together a list of to-do's to prepare for my take off to Hanoi. And it was a long list. It contained the things I had to organize for my business. Like handing over the management to my employee Chris. We had to make some agreements with each other so that he was able to sign contracts in my name. And that he was able to make decisions on his own. The beautiful thing about that is if you give people more responsibility, you will learn and see how their intelligence explodes. And that's a wonderful thing to see! Giving other people more responsibilities, seeing them grow, and experiencing how they become better versions of themselves. It's a wonderful thing to do!
Another thing I had to do was make sure my mail reached me. So I had to move my official residence to my sister's place. She was so kind to scan or take a photo of the letters I received. She just sent me the scan or the picture as an email. And everything was organized. Then I reduced everything I had. I gave it away as a donation, I put it in the rubbish, and I gave presents to my friends. For example, my car: I didn't need it anymore. So I turned it over into the hands of my employee and gave it to him as a present. Well, not really. For some reason, we made a contract, and I sold it to him for one Euro! So he was able to use my car from then on. It was his car, and it belonged to him, and he was grateful. And I was happy to make him happy!
And so all of the rest ended up in the rubbish bin. Finally, I ended up with one box of clothes for the winter.
And I deposited that at my sister's place, along with the essential paperwork, I thought I needed to store. It later turned out to be pretty useless! You don't need that! Finally, I ended up with two backpacks, and that was all I needed to move to Hanoi.
Hell Broke Loose
But something else happened. Of course, I had to inform my children and my ex-wife. When she became aware of it, all hell broke loose! She became nuts! She sent me not-so-funny WhatsApp messages, so I had the feeling I could see her screaming on the other side. She was desperate about it. She kept asking: "Who is going to take care of the kids?" You see, I kept taking my kids on the weekends, and I spent some time with them. From now on, that wasn't possible anymore.
- And: "Will you continue to pay for the kids?"
- And: "if there are decisions we need to make, we usually take them together?"
- And: "Now, how can I reach you?"
- And: "who's gonna decide..."
- ... and whooooo!!
She really, really asked some questions that I didn't think about, honestly, hmm. But then, one day later, she came back with a message that surprised me. She wrote to me: "I can understand, and I know moving overseas was always your dream." Yeah, and in fact, before we got married, I had a visa to go to the United States. I stopped the job offer in California, and for family reasons, I didn't move. She remembered that, and she reminded me of that. I had already forgotten about that because that was almost ten years ago. After she calmed down, I arranged a meeting with her and with my kids.
We sat together and had coffee and a cake. We talked about how we were gonna resolve the situation. We thought it was wise to ask a consultant, so we arranged a meeting with a family consultant. We had a good conversation with them. We listened to their recommendations on how to resolve a situation like that. We came up with a contract between us that she's allowed to make decisions on her own about the children while I'm away. Of course, she was welcome to ask me, but I gave her authority. I allowed her to make decisions about our kids over my head.
During my remaining time in Germany, I had a few meetings with my children. The situation between my children and me, and also between my ex-wife and me, became much better. So, what a change in the situation! Before that, it was always difficult! Now, since I said: "I'm gonna move to Hanoi and later to Bali," the situation has changed. It became more positive! In the beginning, I didn't understand why. But well, as Albert Einstein already put it so nicely:
"Always doing the same and expecting different results
is a clear sign of insanity."
I did something different, and the results changed. Isn't that beautiful? It was completely unexpected for me.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
What Is Your Hanoi?
What is the next step you need to take? Hanoi wasn't the target. The target was to go to Bali. But I had to go on a detour. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the detour. It already was in the right direction. We need to understand, to get from where you are at the moment to your destiny is not traveling from A to B on a straight line.
Life will take you on a journey, on an amazing journey, and you have to accept that it's going up and down. And that it's going to turn around and lead You Through different experiences in life. That might be fear. It might be anger. It can even be sickness. It's gonna take you out of your comfort zone, out of balance.
You'll experience times of pleasure, times of pain, and Sorrow, along the way. But everything which brings you out of balance will be a growth impulse. Just make sure you're not all the time out of balance. Because that leads to permanent or chronic sickness.
But if you get sick once in a while, you hurt yourself, or you have an accident, it doesn't matter as long as your goal and your destiny are big enough. And as long as you still can see them on the horizon, it is a helpful landmark that guides you!
Now, imagine going all the way up to Batu Karu. It is not a straight line. It goes through valleys and it goes above mountains. It goes along the river, it goes through the jungle. Parts of it might be a paved Road. But other parts of the track up there might be slippery and muddy. And you get dirty there. Don't mind going for the challenge, enjoy the path.
All of that is the price you got to pay for your freedom! Or did you think you’d get everything like that for free? No, of course not! You have to go through those experiences, you have to grow each time you experience fear, you experience pain or sorrow. You’ll experience grief, but it's well worth it. I only can encourage you to keep on going. Take every day one step towards your big goal and enjoy the journey.
Hanoi, That Can't Be True!
Hanoi, that can't be true. Do you know that these Swabians are talking a lot about Hanoi? The Swabians live in the region around Stuttgart. That's where I used to live before I moved to Bali. "Hanoi" is a word in their accent, in their dialect, and it means "that can't be true." So they express themselves with the word "Hanoi," but they are surprised by something they learned from reading.
In this chapter, I want to tell you how life in Hanoi developed. So together with Becky, I lived in her house on the West Lake of Hanoi. It was right on the shore, so we had a nice look from the balcony over the water. We found Hanoi to be very pretty after sunset. Hanoi has a lot of lakes, and all of them look very green. It looks rather dirty. But as soon as it gets dark, you can see the lights shining over the sea. They mirror from the other side, and it becomes a really pleasant picture.
While I was in Hanoi, I got the screws and the plate removed from my foot, and I started walking again. And I started riding the bike, usually for my morning training around West Lake. And yeah, we enjoyed life, love, food, and travel. We traveled together to Japan or the Philippines. During that time, I also organized my first workation in Bali, and I kept inviting people. And my sister, her daughter, and her son joined it, plus a friend of hers.
The workation took place at Villa "Mimpi Manis," where we stayed together for three weeks. As an outcome of the workation in Bali at Villa "Mimpi Manis." Petra has become a digital nomad. She founded her own business, and now she lives most of the time in Cape Town, South Africa. She keeps traveling a lot and organizing her life as a self-employed entrepreneur on her own, something I never expected her to do. Her son used to work as a graphic designer as an employee. Meanwhile, he got a yoga teacher certificate. So he's also taking his first steps toward his entrepreneurship.
During the time of the workation in Bali, Becky also came to Bali, but she went to Ubud and stayed there. And we both realized during that time that we were good friends but haven't been a good couple anymore. Well, we gave our love one last chance and met a couple of times when we were together in Bali. But since we both realized our love had disappeared and it turned just into a good friendship, we both were willing to give up that. And it was a very harmonic split of a relationship, something I had never experienced before. After her booked holiday in Bali was over, we had a nice farewell and said goodbye. It was almost completely without pain or sorrow. Even if this relationship is over now, I'm very grateful for the time I had with her. And I'm especially grateful that she paved the way for me to make it to Bali, where I've been living ever since, for the most part. For the next three years, I traveled extensively. I had to go back and forth between Germany and Bali to organize the few things that were left for which I had to be on site.
I also became a seminar junkie. I attended, say, four or five different seminars per year and traveled around the world for that. To Australia for "A Date with Destiny" and to the US for "How to Buy and Sell a Business Seminar." And I participated in the entire Tony Robbins Mastery Program, which also brought me to Fiji. I calculated that I flew about three times around the world in 2018. So I put quite a bit of money into seminar tickets and airline tickets, but it was well worth it. And my business was running well, so I was able to pay for all of that.
And during that time, I stayed most of the time in Pererenan, near Villa Mimpi Manis. This is about two kilometers north of Canggu, which is better known then. And during the Visa runs and while visiting the seminars, I always experienced a feat of development in construction that deeply impressed me. So whenever I left Bali, I saw a construction site.
And four weeks later, when I came back, the building was ready, and the shops were open. And I thought, "How do the Indonesians do that?" If you get to see the workers during the day, they are sitting in the shade and smoking Sampoerna cigarettes. And four weeks later, they are ready. Even though they do not have any big machinery in place to do the construction work, they all do it by hand. I haven't found out yet how they do it, but I'm more than happy to learn. Actually, in Germany, they wouldn't even have begun the bloody paperwork for new construction!
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- Which detour do you have to take to eliminate a hindrance?
- What are you doing about that?
- Until when?
The Best And The Worst About Balinese Culture
Gratitude and knalpot terror
What are the best and worst things about Balinese culture? Caution: Reading this chapter can quickly become very addicting! It’s possible that after reading it, you’ll want to travel to Bali and check it out for yourself.
Balinese culture is primarily expressed by the mentality of Balinese Hindus. There are a few things that make them unique, including:
- How they think.
- How they act.
- How they navigate and orient themselves.
- And how they perceive your energy.
- First and foremost, they hold this ceremony three times a day:
They practice gratitude, share offerings, burn incense sticks, pray, and meditate during their ceremonies. When they are done, they have broad grins spread across their faces, and after the ceremony, you will always notice that the Balinese are trying to make eye contact and smile at you. If you smile back, it feels so good; they give so much love when they smile. It is like happiness therapy.
I can only suggest playing that game instead of the Russian game. What’s the Russian game? The Russian game is the opposite. The rules are simple: don’t make eye contact, and whoever smiles first loses. We Germans are pretty good at that game as well. But we have a hard time beating the Russians at their game. The Balinese do just the opposite. When they come out of the ceremony, they smile, look for eye contact, and share their love. And I can only tell you to join that game, too. Because it gives you so much energy. Love is the only kind of energy that gets stronger when you share it. So go for it; you have nothing to lose!
One of the many great things about the Balinese is their gratitude. In their daily rituals, they take time to practice their gratitude. Fear’s polar opposite is gratitude. I get the feeling that, compared to people in the west, people in Bali don’t have nearly as much fear in their lives. When there is gratitude, there is no room for fear.
They are also very courageous people... Sometimes, you’ll see construction workers climbing barefoot on a scaffold in a new building. They work without any safety equipment and even climb on the roof in flip-flops or thongs – which are what the Australians call the most common shoes here. Let me tell you, you won’t be able to believe it, but their risk tolerance is impressive. Often, it takes my breath away. They keep laughing their heads off when I tell them that people in Germany have insurance for their dogs!
The ceremonies are held three times a day at their temples at home. Each street also has a temple, where they hold one ceremony for a full moon and one for a new moon. Additionally, there are twice-yearly ceremonies at the temple itself.
Apart from that, they do have events like Ogoh-Ogoh or Nyepi. Let’s start with Nyepi because it is something very, very special. Nyepi is New Year’s Day in the Hindu calendar. In the western world, it is the day we cure our hangover from a New Year’s Eve party.
But in Bali, it’s a very special thing: it’s a day for quietness, and so it is also called the Balinese Day of Silence. People stay at home. You are not even allowed to go on the street. You are not allowed to light a fire. People even turn off the electricity. Since there shouldn’t be any light on Nyepi, it gets dark early because of the sunset.
Nyepi’s intention is simply to retreat to a quiet place, listen to your inner voice, and reflect on your thoughts. The Balinese stick to it. Except for those responding to an emergency, there is no traffic, and no cars are moving around. Even, the airport is closed. Hotels are almost entirely shut down and only provide the most basic services to their guests. The internet even gets turned off; yes, believe it or not: Internet service providers stop their service for 24 hours. Nyepi provides the best conditions to retreat to a quiet place, listen to your inner voice, and reflect on your thoughts. The experience is truly remarkable.
The day before Nyepi is called Ogoh-Ogoh, which is quite the opposite of Nyepi. It looks like a carnival. About two or three months before Ogoh-Ogoh, people start making big ghost sculptures and moving them through the streets. During a ceremony, they bring all these sculptures into the streets, where people shout, sing, and play traditional Balinese instruments while watching. It’s a really good show.
Those sculptures are huge. But because of the way the electricity is wired here, the wires hang over the street, and the sculptures are so big that it’s hard to get them under the cables. I have a video on my YouTube channel explaining what happens during Ogoh-Ogoh to make the sculptures go under the cables. And that also answers the question: Why is Bali not online on New Year’s Day, on Nyepi? Because they do so much damage to the cables that there is no longer an internet connection!
Further, the Balinese are living only in the here and now. They hardly have an understanding of the past and future. This is even represented in the Indonesian language. Bahasa Indonesia does not have a grammar to express the past or future tense. Verbs are always in the present tense. They can express the past and future in Indonesian, but only through phrases like: “in a week” or ”yesterday.”
But a translation for “will be” or “was” doesn’t exist; it only exists if you put a specific duration of time into the phrase. Since time only exists in the present tense, it is tough to make a date with a Balinese! Being on time is something only partially known here. I wouldn’t say that none of the Balinese understand the concept of time. But I would say that most Balinese people don’t take time as seriously as we do in the western world.
Another thing is that there is almost no understanding of technical things or ergonomy. Ergonomy is the study of how to build something so that it’s easy and fun to use. A lot of things in Bali are put together in ways that make you say, “How can they construct it like that? It’s a pain in the arse to use it that way!”
Probably the worst construction you can get to see here is plumbing. I assume, only the most hopeless children are allowed to become a plumber! It’s ridiculous that they build water pipes and drains without siphons. This is especially true if you come from Germany, which is a very perfectionist nation.
I have no idea how the Balinese maintain their orientation or sense of direction. Share a location on Google Maps? Oh, my God! If you want to read the map or ask someone, “Can you please show me where I need to go on Google Maps?” it’s almost impossible to get an answer. Also, when they drive around and see how they navigate, you’ll have a hard time understanding how they ever get where they’re going.
When I first moved to Bali and borrowed my scooter my girlfriend, I was worried I would never see either of them again. Because I was afraid, she wouldn’t find her way back to the house! So far, it’s always turned out that they came back. But the way they navigate makes it hard for me to understand how they do it
Also, there’s this thing about math: If you go into a store and buy two things, one for IDR 15,000 and the other for IDR 20,000, you already know how much you have to pay, don’t you? Yes, so you should have to pay IDR 35,000. Most Balinese can’t figure that out without a pocket calculator. They enter the entire numbers with all the zeros into the pocket calculator! So they’re not even abstracting to calculate 15 plus 20. They compute 15.000 plus 20.000.
Now, when you pay, if you give them IDR 50,000, you expect IDR 15,000 back, right? But before they start giving you the change, they use the pocket calculator again to figure out your change. People who can do that kind of math in their heads can only be found in two places: the market and gas stations. They keep figuring things out pretty well without a pocket calculator. Most of the rest of the Balinese, though? It’s funny to see, but you have to be patient until they are ready to figure out the result.
Waiting is also a big problem, at least for me, because I have a hard time being patient. Service is often... well, let’s put it this way: very, very relaxed! If you give them two orders, they will probably only do one. For instance, if you order a beer and a hamburger, it is likely, you’ll only get one of them. On the way, the other one got left behind!
Speed of development
On the other hand, even though the pace of work is slow, I’m impressed with the speed with which they produce results! Especially on construction sites, you can observe that! Whenever I had to go on Visa runs every other month. I visited Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, and many other countries in the region. When leaving Bali for a trip, I noticed a new construction site and wondered, “What will that be when it’s finished?”
When I returned from my visa run four weeks later, the building was finished, and the shops were open! However, suppose you look at the construction sites during the day. In that case, you will notice the workers sitting in the shade, smoking a Sampurna cigarette. I have no idea how they do it, but I’m interested in finding out!
Furthermore, the Balinese culture is resilient in many ways, especially against the influence of Western cultures. They tolerate visitors but refer to westerners as “Bule.” The word “bule” means “white person.” It is not considered racist to say so, as it is to call dark-skinned people “black” or “negro" in the Western world. That’s something I find absurd to consider not being politically incorrect. In Bali, “bule” simply refers to a white person. They accept us as we are.
Even in tourist areas, they maintain their culture and perform blessings and ceremonies. Even though they would have plenty of work serving tourists and visitors. They do the ceremonies, they still take their time to do them three times a day.
One aspect of Balinese resilience irritates me: their ability to deal with noise. Even though the noise can be deafening at times, Asians don’t appear to be bothered by it! A subculture in Bali is known as “Knalpot Terrorist.” The term “knalpot” is the Indonesian word for “exhaust pipe.” People ride around on motorcycles with a custom-made knalpot that has nothing inside. The motorcycles are becoming unbearably loud. Yuck!
There are so many of those loud motorcycles on the road that it is a pain in the ass for me. Because I am rather sensitive to noise, I enjoy quiet days like Nyepi. The noise from the motorcycles frequently made me very angry, and I despised the people who made that noise, especially at night. But I’ve recently discovered a way to deal with it and make peace with them, and I tell them:
“Tuhan, berkati kamu
dan knalpot baru.”
That means, “May God bless you with a brain and a new exhaust pipe!”
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Do you also want to give it a try? I invite you to join this blessing, to start laughing, and to feel good when you hear a loud knalpot.
“Tuhan, berkati kamu dengan otak dan knalpot baru.”
“Tuhan, berkati kamu dengan otak dan knalpot baru.”
OK? For the third and final time:
”Tuhan, berkati kamu dengan otak dan knalpot baru.”
Father, Forgive Them
How hatred made me sick
So in 1999, I started working for that Bosch subsidiary in Stuttgart. I soon realized that this environment wasn't right for me. However, it was a safe job. So it was like working as a civil servant. However, as I stated previously, I do not like the bastards; I rather hate them! I was now one of them!
My hatred for the Bosch bastards was mirrored, and I hated myself, and that was a kind of dishonesty to myself. As a result of this inner conflict, there occurred some psychological and health issues. The pain in my joints and muscles led to a diagnosis of rheumatic disease.
Then I got a prescription from the doctor, and I headed to a pharmacy. The owner of the pharmacy served me, looked at my face, and glanced at the prescription. He was shocked, so he asked, "Mr. Forster, may I ask you how old you are?" "Yeah, 46," I said. He looked at me and said, "Is it really necessary for you to eat such a shit at your age?" That woke me up!
He was living from his earnings from selling the pills, and he dared to tell me that I shouldn't take them. I realized something was wrong here. I am very grateful for his honesty and for his courage to tell me that. Because it woke me up, and I started looking for a different solution.
Soon afterward, I attended a seminar where I met Dr. Mario Krause. During the seminar, we had some positive contact with each other, and even after the seminar, he mentored me for a while. Due to my rheumatic disease, I also asked him: "Can you do a test for me to find out what's wrong?" So, he did a blood test, and we realized I had a digestion problem.
Dr. Krause treated that, and my symptoms almost disappeared. Well, at least for a year, then they came back! We did another blood test and had similar results. We repeated the same therapy with the same success, and it cleared for another year. The truth is, I still had this hatred for myself and for civil servants, as well as depression over my unsatisfying marriage as well as living in scarcity. I still had all of that in my mind. So it kept creating the same results over and over again.
Can you see now, if you treat the problem on the surface, it fades for a while, then reappears until you've learned from it? In any case, Mario and I are good friends, and we keep meeting once or twice a year. I appreciate his support and advice. He was laying the groundwork for me to understand and cure my health condition.
Healing without medication
So I am very grateful to Mario, whose prana therapy balanced my energy centers, and the pharmacist Mr. Steer, for making me aware that pills to treat the symptoms are no solution. They helped to heal my rheumatic disease in the long term. Nowadays, I can move freely. My muscles and joints no longer hurt, and I started running marathons and finished seven or eight.
Bean counters, Korintenkacker, Dipfeleschisser, and Bosch
So now, let me tell you a little bit more about civil servants and the “Korintenkacker”. I'll give you some examples of state-owned organizations or industries. So one of the organizations that are full of “Korintenkacker” is the Industry- und Handelskammer. They keep charging businesses without providing any meaningful service. They are only still there because the legal situation in Germany forces any business to pay for them. Nothing worthwhile can come out of them.
Another highwayman is the “Gebühreneizugszentale”. They collect money in Germany for state-owned radio and television stations. There was a sound reason for creating this organization when broadcasting came about. With the new technology, it became possible to broadcast news and music, inform, educate, and entertain society. In those days, the equipment to do this was expensive. It had to be financed somehow to build up the infrastructure.
To me, the initial idea of passing legislation requiring the public to pay for radio and television stations sounds like a smart idea. But nowadays, it's so cheap to start and run your radio station. It probably won't cost more than $100 to set up a streaming station and broadcast music over the internet. There are hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of private radio stations that do not get any money from this organization.
Therefore, this organization is very out of date nowadays. They collect money for the state to run an outdated system and broadcast the state’s propaganda. Private radio stations have a very small budget. Their main source of funding is advertising. They broadcast news and other stuff based on what advertisers pay for.
The state-owned radio stations, however, are just a combination of advertisements for the government and for the advertisers. Yes, even though they get paid by the “Gebühreneinzugszentrale” they additionally sell broadcasting time for commercials. They represent a mixture of the government's interest and the advertisers.
I doubt that the government's opinion, news, and propaganda are closer to the truth than the truth influenced by ads. Neither is better or worse than the other. There's only one difference: state-owned radio stations are expensive, while privately owned stations have a smaller budget and don't waste as much energy. It is an outdated organization, a parasite!
Let me give you a different example involving Nokia. Nokia used to be the world's top mobile phone provider. When the iPhone came out, Nokia kept thinking people would want to use a normal mobile phone just for making phone calls. Nokia didn't realize how much people would value having a toy in their hands and playing around with it.
Think about what you do with your phone nowadays. How many hours per day do you hold it in your hand and play with it? How many minutes per day do you spend talking or texting on it? As far as Nokia was concerned, they still thought people just wanted to use a phone to make calls.
Nokia produced a smartphone. Do you remember the Nokia Communicator? I bought all those Nokia communicators they had during the product life cycle and loved them. It was a small computer, rather a business tool than a toy! However, Nokia wasn't ready for Apple's plan to turn phones into toys.
A few years later, Nokia became bankrupt. A few years later, Microsoft bought Nokia for probably less than 1% of its peak value. Unbelievable, isn't it?
Protectionism’s limited lifecycle
Banks and the banking system are another type of organization that has not grasped modern development. Overall, banks follow the old rules and try to keep things more secure for you. But security is your business, not the business of a bank. As well as that, the government keeps forcing banks to make things more complicated and secure.
I think that's ridiculous because it makes everything more complicated and more expensive. Fortunately, nowadays there are fintech companies that provide financial services in a more convenient and easy-to-use way.
PayPal, for example, used to be one of them. But PayPal is aging, and it's now a pain in the ass. Better examples are Wise or Revolut, which allows sending money internationally for a relatively small fee compared to what a bank or PayPal transfer costs. Moreover, you get better exchange rates and a shorter time until the transferred money arrives. You can also monitor the entire process from your phone while it is transferred, for which rate it got exchanged, and when the other person received it.
Fintechs are doing a much better job than banks with their old-fashioned, outdated systems. Banks don't realize what's going on! A lot of fintech businesses use blockchain technology. That's the silver lining on the horizon, I think. My favorite part about it is that it's going to put a lot of Korintenkackers and highwaymen out of business, by simplifying the processes. We'll get rid of parasites in industry and state-owned offices.
Well, I assume traditional banks will either have to drastically change their business model to serve customers better or end up bankrupt. Unfortunately, the latter scenario may have some negative consequences for those who have parked their money with them. But perhaps that's the price we have to pay. Or we have to learn how to invest and park our money better than just keeping it in a bank account.
Traditional banks do not understand the impact of blockchain. Just like print media did when the internet came along. The print industry didn't understand what the internet meant to them. They kept printing books and newspapers and tried to protect their business. Many of them were forced out of business. As a result, print media makes only a small fraction of its revenue and turnover compared to the times before the internet. It's a positive development. In other words, it cleaned up an outdated business model.
I can also offer the example of German history as a suitable political example for non-sustainable protectionism. The East German communist tried to protect themselves by building a wall around the country. They tried to protect their socialist ideas from capitalism, and that worked fine for 40 years. That was the Cold War era. It was a very stable political situation between the East and the West, even if it was not a pleasant one. I grew up in it. For me, it was normal to live in a situation like that.
But at the end of the day, all of this protectionism doesn't help. It only works for a while. But what this protectionism does, is it blows up the system, It's like cancer. And sooner or later, all of those systems collapse. That one turned into the German reunification. A revolution in which no blood was shed, unlike other revolutions. Germany can be pretty proud of that. Because such peaceful revolutions didn't happen too often historically.
Another nice example where people tried to maintain the status quo was in England when they invented the railways. People started protesting against railroads because they feared trains. Doctors at the time even stated that: “If you move a person faster than 30 km/h, they will become insane.” Can you believe it? Yeah, they just wanted to keep their horses!
Recently, I had to make my tax declaration, and my tax consultant has been sending me paper invoices. He's advertising bookkeeping online and putting receipts into the DATEV software in a digital format. I hate the software, and it looks like shit and runs unbearably slowly. The license for the software is expensive, and for me as his client, it's almost useless. To understand it, you've got to use it every day. You can't operate it if you only look at it once a month.
Well, my tax consultant, the bean counter, is also one of these highwaymen. He keeps sending me his invoices on paper! I keep telling him to just email me a copy of the invoice and withdraw the money directly from my account. He says he needs to do it for legal reasons. I keep asking him how often I need to tell him to withdraw money directly from my account. In his DATEV software, the invoiced amount should be withdrawn at the push of a button on the day it should be paid. Done!
It is a lie to call himself a tax consultant because he is just a bean counter! To optimize my tax situation, I must come up with ideas myself! He never came up with an idea! He talks about the risks if we follow my ideas. When it comes to tax savings, he doesn't consult me on what's legally possible. There is always a little bit of a range in how you can declare taxes to put yourself in a better position.
My tax consultant never with consulting for something like that! When I sold my business, I asked him what the right way to do it was. He came up with a simple calculation that would have fit on the edge of a stamp. He charged me about 1,400 Euros for it! Well, that's his salary for his expertise; fair enough. As a tax consultant, I would have expected him to think ahead, and he would have done this before I asked for it. But, hey, isn't that the old highwayman mentality?
We talked about the cold war and the eastern and western conflicts in Germany after the Second World War. It reminds me that we have a similar situation right now. Nowadays, the United States is in a trade war with China. They accuse China of stealing their technology and ask their own companies not to do business with the Chinese anymore.
The real reason behind it is that they just want to protect the value of the American dollar. They realized the growth rate in Asia, especially in China, but also in India, Pakistan, and Indonesia, is much faster than growth in the West, especially in the U.S. I assume this trading war is basically about defending that.
The Americans have understood what is taking place, and by bringing up this trade war, they are attempting to protect themselves. That will work for a short while. But like the Cold War, it won't last forever. The economic growth in Asia will exceed in the next 10 to 20 years the growth of the western world. That's also something I see as having a silver lining in the future.
Did you also make these mistakes?
So let's review together what my most valuable learnings from these insights about the bean counters, Korintenkacker, Dipfeleschisser, and Bosch are:
Well, I had to understand that the rheumatoid pain I experienced was self-punishment. As I worked for this civil service organization, Bosch, my hatred of myself was a reflection of how much I hated working like a civil servant. My body was just reflecting my hatred, and the pain I felt was me punishing myself. I didn't understand that back then. It took me 20 years to figure that out.
Another key learning is my hidden agenda for this book, which is to help you understand mechanisms like that better. I wanted to serve you with that because I'm so grateful for what I have learned. I need and want you to do the same. Therefore, I'd appreciate it if you could pick up some of those lessons.
I need to come back to something else. I recently asked my son, "Did they teach you quantum mechanics or quantum physics in school so far?" He replied, "No, but maybe soon."
The knowledge about quantum mechanics and quantum physics is 100 years old, and they're still not taught at school yet. Today, we know, and it is scientifically accepted, that it explains 80 to 95 % of what we experience, which Newtonian physics cannot explain.
Despite being aware of quantum mechanics and quantum physics for more than 100 years, schools don't teach them to children. That creates creatures that believe they make decisions logically. Our emotions affect more than 80 percent of our decisions, and only a small part of them are consciously and logically made.
This hidden agenda is to make you aware of how much you rely on your emotions and how you can manage them. Then comes the third part, so the first one is the logical part, the second is the emotional part, and the third part is our ego. Sometimes your ego just wants to play. When you give your ego a playground that also supports your emotions and logical thinking, you'll be able to align all three forces. And that's what causes healing!
In the process of making my tax declaration, I thought for a very, very long time about my hatred for civil servants, for the “Korintenkacker”, and for the “Dipfeleschissers”. Well, I experienced some immediate healing. That was a wonderful experience. From the bottom of my heart, I believe this book will help you to experience the same.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- Which playground can you give your ego, on which it will support you while playing there?
- What does freedom mean to you?
- Does that mean you can do whatever you want?
- Ask yourself how free you feel right now in your life.
- Are you living out your destiny, plan, schedule, and goals?
- Or do you see boundaries everywhere?
- Do you follow other people's plans?
- How do you define freedom?
- What does it mean to not be free?
For me, freedom comes in four parts:
- The freedom of the mind,
- The freedom to travel,
- Financial Freedom, and
- Sexual freedom.
So let's go over each one.
Freedom of the mind
What does it mean to not have freedom of mind? A common saying is that the mind is a prison. Phillip Arnold calls attention to this:
"You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your false thoughts."
Most people's minds are like prisons, which is the opposite of being free. The biggest prison in the world is not Alcatraz; it's in your head, our heads, and mine too. I've been there too. My mind used to hold me captive. I kept seeing limits everywhere. Especially when I was married, many things kept me from doing what I wanted to do. I took on too many responsibilities and carried too much weight. As the saying goes, the weight of the world was on my shoulders.
Being responsible is the opposite of being free.
Responsibility and freedom are two sides of the same coin. The less responsibility you carry, the more freedom you have. The more you are responsible for, the less freedom you will have. From what I've seen, most people take on too much responsibility and have too little freedom in their lives. They depend too much on other people's opinions and follow other people's plans, which leads to scarcity, so they take on too much responsibility. It is common for this kind of person to have back pain. Back pain is the typical physical sign of taking on too much responsibility.
Getting your mind back in a balance between freedom and responsibility is a good way to live your freedom. It makes you sick to take on too much responsibility. All the rules, regulations, and limits you see in the world will make you feel trapped, and the lack of freedom will always make you feel bad. People often lie to themselves and say things like, "I love the freedom I have," but if you look at what they do with their lives, you can see that they have too many responsibilities.
So, if you experience back pain, you now know that it could be because you are out of balance, and due to carrying too much responsibility. You'll be surprised by how it works. It is meant to change the way you think about freedom and let go of some of your rules, regulations, and responsibilities.
At the end of this chapter, I'll show you an incantation from Tony Robbins.
The freedom to travel
I used to want to see all the countries in the world so I could enjoy the freedom of traveling. I traveled to about 100 different countries, some of which I liked and some I didn't. I finally made it to Bali, my real home and paradise. So now I don't feel like I need to travel as much. I'm not looking for my true home anymore, but I still love visiting new countries and places.
Now I have another dream, another goal, and another place I want to go: I want to go to Mars! Not only that but on my way there, I want to have sex in zero gravity and have two children. The first twins to be born on Mars. That's my new goal and my new destiny when it comes to the freedom to travel. So why not? I reached my original goal and found Bali, so why not twins born on Mars?
So now, think of a place you would love to visit. What is it, and where is it? Make that your destiny!
How does it feel to be financially free?
What does being wealthy mean to you?
How do you define abundance?
You are financially free when your assets grow faster due to interest and dividends than you need to spend to live your dream life. In another chapter, I'll tell you more about financial freedom, financial safety, and financial security.
Reaching at least a basic level of financial security is the foundation to start growing because no one ever became enlightened who didn't know how to pay for his next meal. You could say, "Well, I know some wise people, and they don't worry too much about money." See, those people can make wealth, abundance, and money out of anything. This gives them the security and confidence that they no longer have to worry too much about money.
If money is too much of a problem in your life, you'll still end up in scarcity. But if you can make abundance, wealth, and money out of every situation, that's a very good foundation for your growth!
I think that the idea of monogamy is against human nature. It is against nature because there are no monogamous animals. To be honest, very few people are monogamous, even though religion teaches us to be. Well, at least most religions, anyway.
I was raised in Germany as a Christian. People who have never done anything sexual are called "unschuldig." In German, "unschuldig" means "not guilty!" So, we consider that people who have never had sex are not guilty. This means, in a roundabout way, that you are guilty as soon as you have your first sexual encounter.
The Bible doesn't say that directly, but it does say that if a person loses his virginity, he loses his innocence and is, therefore, guilty of having sex. This makes people think of sex as something dirty and bad. I think that’s complete nonsense.
Sexual diseases don't come from having sex. You're receptive to it, depending on how you think subconsciously about it. Feeling guilty and dirty about it makes you more likely to get sexual diseases or cancer in your genitalia because you fear it.
There have been good reasons to encourage monogamy and say that polygamy and sleeping around are bad. For example, when sexual diseases like syphilis or Aids were killing thousands or even millions of people, it made sense. But you only get these diseases if you have a negative mind about sex. And the symptoms show clearly how you subconsciously feel about it.
Once you realize that sex is a good and clean way to get endless energy, you are no longer vulnerable to sexual diseases, even if you have sex with different lovers. But as long as you think having sex is dirty, you will have some kind of symptom or be prone to disease.
Enjoy sex as a good, clean way to get energy. Enjoy sex without feeling guilty!
Freedom should be one of your core values. Freedom is more important than responsibility! Especially if you put too much value on responsibility. If you have back pain, it's a clear sign that you're out of balance because you've taken on too much responsibility. So use the incantation, scream it out with Tony Robbins, and enjoy your freedom. You don't have to worry about what other people think about your life. You will get to your goal, where you can live freely. Create abundance out of any situation. So, you no longer have to worry about not having enough money, and you don't have to live in a state of scarcity. Have fun with good sex and use it as an endless supply of good, clean energy.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Let's end this chapter with a nice exercise. It's an exercise created by Tony Robbins. He uses this incantation at his "Date with Destiny" seminars. It's an enchantment for freedom! There's a video on my YouTube channel, and I encourage you to watch it and scream along with Tony.
Do the incantation with Tony Robbins shown in the video
What Is Financial Freedom?
In this chapter, you will learn about the concepts of financial protection, financial security, financial freedom, and absolute financial freedom. Let's start with financial protection.
The idea behind financial protection is that you have enough money to last you for six months, hidden somewhere under your pillow, in your bank account, in a safe, or even better, with a mentor who keeps the money away from you. This money should last six months if you live a very simple, frugal life. How much money do you need for financial protection?
Now imagine that you are only paying for your very, very basic needs. Let's say your basic needs are covered by €1,000 per month. That probably lasts for a couple living a very frugal and basic life where all the very basic needs are covered.
It means you have enough money, which lasts for your basic needs for six months, in your bank account, under your pillow, or that your mentor holds for you.
An example of financial protection is if you lose your entire earnings, which is a very unlikely scenario, but it is possible. You lose your job, your wife loses her job, or your spouse loses their job. Then you have no income. But suppose you have the money for financial protection on the side. In that case, you have six months to recover and find another job, start your own business, or find any other way to make money.
Okay? It's simple to figure out how much money is required. Do you understand the concept?
I'm saying: "Give it to a mentor," because you don't want to give it to a friend. You give it to someone you honor and respect. You give it to someone who won't be afraid to punish you or tell you no. You advise that mentor not to return that money to you unless it's for a very, very serious and urgent emergency. That mentor ensures you never touch that money.
We don't put that money into a bank account to earn interest. We are not interested in making money with it. It is just protection, and we want to have it in a rock-solid place where, in theory, we can access it every day. But we also want to protect it from ourselves. That's why I keep saying: "Give it to a mentor and he keeps the money in a safe place for you," and he only hands it out to you in the very, very worst-case scenario.
Now you understand the concept of financial protection. Do you? Excellent! Let's move on to the next level:
Financial security is when you have invested money, which pays you dividends or interest, and the interest pays for your basic needs. Consider the €1,000 per month example once more. Now we need to calculate how much we need to invest to earn €1,000 a month with it so that your essential cost of living is covered.
Financial security is calculated as 25 times the amount of money you've already put in place for your financial protection. We have €6.000 under the pillow or held by your mentor, and we need to calculate 25 times €6.000, which turns out to be €150,000. Did you get it? Okay!
Where will those €150,000 come from? As soon as you save €6,000, you can keep saving the same amount or increase it and invest it. This investment could be, for example, an ETF like the MSCI World ETF.
The MSCI world index usually grows about eight percent per year. If you calculate 8% of €150,000, which is €12,000 as its long-term average yearly growth, then you take the annual growth of €12,000 and divide it by 12 months, and you end up with the €1,000 a month needed for financial protection.
The nice thing is that if you take that money out, the base value of your ETF and your assets will remain the same. In other words, you don't touch the investment. You only take out interest and dividends. You do not touch the base; it can feed you forever!
But the idea here is that you don't touch dividends either. Because then, the €1.000 per month will be invested in additional savings, additional growth, and compounding. That's another delightful thing. If you don't touch it, it will grow by itself. Plus, you keep adding a little bit of savings on top, and you build that up over time.
How long does this take? €150,000 seems like a lot at first. But compounding will make you reach that point much faster than you expect now. That will surprise you! Are you looking forward to that surprise? Don't hesitate, go for it. You can make only one mistake: you don't get it underway. Start saving today for your financial protection. You should start investing and saving for financial security when you reach that milestone.
Every human on earth should reach that point during their lifetime. The earlier in life the better, because it's so liberating to know that nothing can go wrong financially anymore. For most people, thinking about money is a burden. But this will take that burden away because money is managed. You put it into a system, and the system works for you! Now, money is working for you, and you can stop working for money! That's a very, very liberating feeling. I believe, that nobody ever got enlightened before overcoming this point. Let's go to the next step, which is called:
A luxurious dream life is what financial freedom provides: everything. Let's assume that a luxurious lifestyle would cost you about €6,000 a month. That is equivalent to six times your financial security. You might think: For that, I need about six times the money from Financial Security. No, for financial protection, you invested your money very conservatively. You invested your money, for example, in an MSCI World ETF, which has very steady and calm growth.
I recommend you do it this way because it doesn't bother your nerves too much. It grows steadily, albeit with the volatility of the international economy. But now we can invest with a bit more risk, which swings up and down further. That means a higher volatility. For example: if you invest now in the NASDAQ, the American Tech Index, or the German TecDAX, you will earn approximately 50% more per year. You may expect a return of about 12 percent on a long-term average per year. Due to the higher return, it's not six times more. It's only four times more.
So far, we have invested €150,000 in our financial security. And now, it's four times that amount. We need €600,000 for financial freedom, which will pay us, with an expected growth rate of 12%, €6,000 per month. Do you think you'll get around and have a relatively luxurious and pleasant life with that? If so, get the process started!
And now, once again: if we do not touch that money, the growth we have from the growth of value, interest, and growth due to dividends is put into compounding. And once again: the wonder of compounding will serve you. You will reach the point of financial freedom much earlier than you would expect now! And you can still keep saving some money and put a bit extra into it to make it grow even faster! Ultimately, we come to
Absolute financial freedom
The concept of absolute financial freedom is easy: It pays for everything you can dream of. And it even more, in dividends, earnings, and interest...
Let's assume you have around €100,000 a month to live on. You could spend about €3,333 every single day! Can you imagine that? Wow, I think you can't!
Well, you could probably spend €3,333 on one day, and then the next, and the next again. But then it becomes boring. After that, you look back and want to live a frugal life once more. You're going to have a hard time spending that amount of money every day. But that's the point where you reach absolute financial freedom, which pays for everything you can dream of. Okay, now let's do the math on how to achieve that:
We have invested €600,000 in our Financial Freedom fund so far. Now we just multiply it by ten. So it's €6,000,000 that you need to invest. And with that, we can aim for even more risky investments. For example, we direct our investments into specific stocks or certain markets. At the moment, people are talking a lot about artificial intelligence. I believe artificial intelligence is a market that will continue to grow. So I'm looking for an ETF that represents companies that are actively developing artificial intelligence. I'm investing in that, expecting a growth rate of about 20% a year, including dividends and interest. But warning, I expect that it will create a bubble like the .com-bubble. So, as soon as it exceeds 20% a year dramatically, it is time to sell.
Since I have invested €6,000,000 and the interest is at 20%, I'll end up with €120.000 a month. To be honest, I'm having a hard time imagining that I'd be able to spend that. So now money is working for you, and you can't avoid getting even richer. It's a very simple concept. It will take some time for it to be implemented. But wouldn't working on that for 10 or even 20 years be a well-thought-out investment for the results you get?
Once again, the only mistake you can make is not getting the process started. Begin saving! Hand it over on the first day. Even if you put in only €100 a month, that's 60 months, and then you have your financial protection together. And then, from the 7th year on, it will start working for you because now you can start investing. When you invest, the money is compounding and working for you.
How do you get through the first phase of this process, and how are you able to continue with it? Getting something started takes some discipline. And discipline is a wonderful way to get something started. But discipline doesn't last long, unfortunately! Instead, you need pain and pleasure. And that's why I ask you to put the money under the pillow of your mentor and not under yours! He'll make sure you feel some pain if you don't save!
But now, where does the pleasure come from? It appears when you begin calculating your wealth and the value of assets you own each month. You can do it by using a spreadsheet or writing it in a book. While you're doing so, you have some fun and a feeling of success as you see that your assets are growing. This spreadsheet or this small booklet will show your progress. You will be very proud of it. You will have some fun with it. Instead of trying to make it all happen through discipline... just make it happen through pain and pleasure. You can also call it fear and greed. Your mentor can make you fear that. Fear is something that is not a pleasant feeling but is a very effective motivator.
But your spreadsheet or book, where you track how much money you've made, takes care of your greed. Also, greed is another good motivator. I prefer to call it pain and pleasure. Because that's easier to remember. This process may be stopped along the way. And the reason for that might be:
Feeling guilty for being rich
Many people feel guilty when they have too much money. They feel guilty because other people do not have that much money. And they believe that this is an imbalance and that it is not fair. If you see that your wealth is not growing anymore during this process, there is an easy way to get around it. You just express gratitude for your growth by donating a little money. You can start with, let's say, 1% of your income and give it away to other people. When you make other people happy, it makes you happy.
It's a sign to the universe: I'm living in abundance! And the universe will reward you abundantly for it! Let's get it started and also put down some donations, too.
The best is done right from the beginning. Make it a small amount at the beginning, so it doesn't hurt you. But that will build a habit. Automate this process, and set it up in your bank account. Every month, 1% of the money that comes in gets donated. And let's say 10% of that gets put into savings. And then, over time, maybe you earn a little more or learn how to live a more frugal life, at which point you can increase your savings and donations. And you'll be surprised how quickly that works! Are you ready for this surprise? Go for it! The only mistake you can make is not getting started! Set up this system now and take action!
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- Buy happiness by donating money
- Give it to someone who needs it
- Experience the happiness to see how it makes that person happy
- Feel and enjoy the gratitude for your ability to give
Gain €16,164 Net Per Year
Becoming an expat living in Bali, Indonesia
In this chapter, I will share how you can cut the cost of living by €16,000 per year. So let’s look into the details of where we keep spending the majority of our money.
For me, a big thing was always my health insurance. And of course, an even bigger issue was housing, renting a flat, and paying rent for that. Another thing is the vehicle. You probably have a car in your home country. Then, there is the cost of food, drink, and internet and phone connection.
Let’s just go through those five things, which usually create, apart from taxes, but that’s a different chapter, the highest cost of living expenses for you, at least that was the most significant chunk for me. Let’s compare how much I kept paying as long as I lived in Germany to what I pay now that I live here in Bali.
We start with health insurance. I was self-employed and used the standard German statutory health insurance. They kept charging me almost €700. But we will calculate €600 per month. I canceled that after leaving Germany, and when I started living permanently in Indonesia, I got private international health insurance. This costs me only €600 for the entire year! You can still keep German statutory health insurance, but you pause it as long as you’re not in your home country. That’s what I did in the beginning.
They charged me for this service for only €50 a month. That means it was €600 a year, which I paid for the German statutory health insurance while it was paused. Plus the €600 for the international one. Whenever I have a medical issue, I can use the international one. And when I come back to Germany, the German statutory health insurance gets reactivated for the time being, as long as I’m in Germany for a visit.
I used to pay €3,600. Now, I paid only €1,200, at least in the beginning. Meanwhile, I even gave up the €50 for the statutory health insurance to come back to Germany. Because I have no intention of going there anymore. And if I have to go, I just get a short time insurance from a private provider, and the problem is solved.
Apart from that, if you want to return to Germany and reactivate German statutory health insurance, you can go to the unemployment office and tell them: “I’m looking for a job.” Then any German statutory health insurance needs to insure your health. It’s pretty easy to get in there. It’s just a little administrative effort, which might be worth avoiding by paying €50 a month.
But I decided it’s not worthwhile anymore. Nowadays I’m only paying €600 for the international one, and I don’t have a German one anymore. I’m saving €3,000 nowadays on my health insurance. And even if I would still have this €50 monthly, it still would be €2,400 a year. That is pretty savings, just with one single step!
Subcontracting your apartment
But let’s go to another one: and that is housing. What do you pay for rent and auxiliary costs for the flat or the house you’re living in?
Let’s assume it’s in total €700 a month that you’re paying for a rented one-room flat in Germany. Well, that won’t be very exclusive, at least if it’s in a big city. If it’s in the countryside, you will probably get a 3-bedroom apartment! Let’s assume you pay €700 for your flat, including the auxiliary costs.
Now, if you want to keep that because that feels safe for you, then you might do that. Let’s do the calculation for that: You keep it, and you subcontract it on Airbnb for €40 a day. That turns out into a monthly rent of approximately €1,200. You might say: “If the flat only costs me €700 and I subcontract it, how should I get €1,200 for that a month? That’s not realistic!”
Prices on Airbnb are higher than what you usually pay for a flat that you find in the newspaper for long-term rent.
Let’s assume you’re only able to subcontract it for 10 out of 12 months a year because your prices are a little bit higher, but it’s well worth it. Your tenant does not have the hassle of taking care of auxiliary costs because it’s already included. The tenant does not have to take care of the furniture because you leave your furniture there.
And a pleasant thing about that is you might have an empty drawer, and everything you want to keep in your home country, you just put it in there and lock it, and you don’t have to pay for storage space. In the end, if you subcontract it for 10 out of 12 months per year, you end up with an income of about €12,000, and you just have to subtract what you pay in rent and auxiliary costs. This was €8,400. You end up with €3,600 in earnings by subcontracting your flat in your home country.
Now, we have a look at the cost of renting a space in Indonesia. I keep booking local accommodations, and they usually cost me IDR 5 million a month. That’s a small apartment, usually with a shared kitchen and room service. You get your towels provided. You get your bed sheets changed. You get the room cleaned. So it’s on a quite good service level. Some of those places even have a shared pool. I’m more than happy about that. You might ask yourself: “How much is IDR 5 million?” IDR 5 million sounds like a lot. This is only €300, what I’m paying for that here on average per month. So it will cost me per year €3,600.
Exactly the money you’re gaining in your home country will pay for your cost of rent here in Bali. So it’s a zero-sum game!
Further, you might ask yourself: “How do I subcontract my apartment in my home country while I’m in Bali?” There are several options:
Either you ask a friend to take care of it. Then you probably want to pay him a little. You might have a family member who’s willing to take care of that. And another option is, you give a professional service just give it to a real estate agent, delegating this to a professional service. And it’s in the best interest of the real estate service to rent it as expensive as possible.
What will this real estate service cost you? Nothing, because they usually charge the tenant for their service. And so, you just hand it over with full responsibility, and you allow them to make the contract in your name. Then, they take care of everything. So easy, with no extra cost, and you have some professional working for you, who has the best interest to get it booked as quickly as possible, and for as high a price as possible. Because they usually take two or three months of rent as their commission. So The higher the price they rent it for, the better for them as well.
Let’s go for an even better option: You give up your place in Germany altogether. That’s possible if you’re in a region where you might come back to but where the real estate situation is rather relaxed. Probably, if you come back after a while, you may find an even nicer place, and you can negotiate for even better prices than you pay currently. You’re saving the complete €8,400 a year, and you only have to subtract the €3,600. You can enjoy some pleasant savings of €4.800 a year just by canceling your lease contract and only paying rent in Indonesia.
Vehicle and transportation costs
Let’s have a look at the vehicle costs and transportation costs. If you have a car in your home country, you probably have costs of €300 a month. This is the depreciation of the vehicle, so it’s the loss in value. It’s the insurance for it, the tax for it, and its fuel.
Maybe you also have to pay for renting a garage. This all adds up to €300 a month. Which means it’s €3,600 a year. In Indonesia, the most common way and most comfortable way to get around is with a scooter. So you do not need a car here. Driving a car is a pain in the ass due to the density of the traffic. If you rent a scooter for the long term, you pay about €3 a day, which turns out to be about €90 a month. Due to the low cost of fuel, which is the only additional cost you will have here, you pay about ¢70 currently for a liter. Back home, it’s €2, or even more per liter at the moment. See, with a car, you probably burn fuel for €75, €50, or maybe €100 a month.
But I assume that was already included in €300 a month we calculated before with. But here, it adds up to €100 a month. Back home, you paid €300 for your car €300, and now you pay €100 for a scooter. Your monthly savings are €200, which means €2,400 in savings per year.
That’s another big chunk. But it’s not the end of the calculation.
Food and drinks
Now, let’s look into food and drinks. Well in Germany I used to go shopping once a week, buying food at the discounter. I paid €50, which is not a very big basket. And I even had to do that sometimes twice a week. But let’s assume you get around buying food and drinks, a box of beer, a box of water, vegetables, fruits, and some little snacks, meat, and fish. That adds up over four weeks a month, €200 a month, which I spent in the grocery store.
Here, I’m getting around if I go shopping three times a week for vegetables and fruits. I pay IDR100,000 each time. That means I’m paying €6 each time I go shopping. I go shopping more frequently here than I would in Germany because I want to have it fresh. Due to the mild and warm climate, the fruits and vegetables go off faster. Going shopping three times turns out like €20 a week. In Germany, I spent €200 a month on food. Here it’s only €80. I’m saving about €120 per month on food and drinks.
Then you might go to a restaurant. Let’s assume that when you’re in Germany, you go to a restaurant that is of reasonable quality. There you pay €20 each time. Here you can easily get around for a snack and a drink for IDR 100,000. If you go for street food, it’s only a fraction of that. But let’s calculate IDR 100,000 per meal when I go eating. This is €6.
Let’s assume we go eating in a restaurant ten times a month. In Germany, it would turn out like €200 - 10 times €20. And here, it would be €60 because ten times IDR 100,000 is about €60. So in total, for shopping for food at the grocery store, buying fresh food, and eating in restaurants, we only spend €240 instead of €400 a month. The savings are about €160 monthly. That turns out, times 12, almost €2,000 a year, what you save on food and drinks.
Well, drinks are another story: If you’re an alcoholic, it won’t turn out well for you because the beer costs about the same as what you would have to pay for it in Germany. And wine is usually three to five times more expensive. And the local wines are... Well, it’s not a very nice quality. If you want to have a really tasty imported wine, you’re looking at five times the price you’re paying in Germany at the discounter!
Cost of communication and internet connection
Now finally, let’s look into the cost of communication, internet connection, and telephone. In Germany, if you have a cheap provider for your mobile phone card and wired connection, you probably pay €25 a month each. It adds up to €50 a month. Which means it’s €600 a year. Here in Indonesia, internet connections with free Wi-Fi are available everywhere! Wherever you go into a restaurant and have a coffee or something like that, you don’t pay for it. That’s why you do not need a cabled connection. Plus your accommodation, if you rent one with service as I do, the internet connection is included in the price.
So, I don’t pay extra for that. Still, I want to have a mobile phone internet connection. If I go with the best and most expensive provider, I pay for the package IDR 100,000 equals €6 a month. This usually includes about 20 GB of data, a flat rate for telephone and SMS. So I don’t have to take care of it. I usually get around with a data volume of 8 to 12 GB a month. Because free Wi-Fi is always available, and you can use that for your work, and you do not even have to pay for that at all. Instead of paying €600 a year, I only have costs of €36 a year. My savings on the internet and communication costs are €564 per year. That’s a lot of money for that!
Let’s talk about the quality of connection. If you have a cable connection in Germany, The service is usually quite reliable. But you probably have a 20, 30, or 50 MB connection. Here a 50 MB connection is standard. And it’s symmetrical! In Germany, you usually have an upload rate of only 1/8 of the download rate. But here, the upload is as fast as the download, sometimes even faster than the download rate.
With the UMTS connection, the data connection on your phone is also pretty fast, but it’s not as reliable as you might be used to in your home country. Because of the long distances here in Indonesia, there are wireless transmissions, and if there is a big cloud in between or a heavy rainstorm, then the connection has a lot of dropouts. Those are much more frequent than you would experience in your home country. Anyhow, that happens during the rainy season. It’s more reliable during the dry season.
But if you go to a restaurant and they have a dropout, you always have a fallback by using your mobile phone as a hotspot and continue working like that. Most of the time, you have the alternative of switching between two different providers, and that can give you a connection that is almost always available.
Let’s add up how this can turn out for you in the best case:
- For health insurance, we had savings of €2,400 a year.
- If you give up your flat in your home country and you only pay here for a service apartment, you can save €4,800 a year.
- If you sell your car and rent a scooter here, you may save €2,400 a year.
- On food, you will save about €2,000 a year.
- And finally, on the cost of communication, the internet connection, and phone calls, you can save €564 a year.
That turns out into €16,164 per year of savings
Unbelievable, isn’t it? Let’s do the math for that saved money, which is the additional net money you got available. Saved money does not get taxed! Now imagine you want to gain those €16,000 by additional income so that your net income will be €16,000 more. How much do you need to earn before taxes to gain €16,000 net? Let’s assume you’re on a tax rate of 30%. To gain a higher net income of €16,000 per year, you would have to earn €24,000 more before taxes!
As an example: Now your income before taxes is €50,000 minus 30% taxes is €35,000. You would have to earn €74,000 before taxes, minus 30%, which turns out into €49,000! And in most countries, the tax situation is even worse. If you increase your income from €50,000 to €74,000 before taxes, your tax rate will increase.
Most countries do not have a flat tax rate, but a progressive tax rate: Higher incomes are getting taxed more percentage-wise than lower incomes. So, you probably will experience a new tax rate of 35% instead of 30%. So your additional income would have to be not only €24,000 but probably €30,000 more to gain the extra €16,000 after getting taxed!
Once again, saved money is money without taxes! What are you doing with this saved money? I would recommend putting it completely in your Financial Freedom account! See, if you put it in there completely, you will reach your financial protection within five months! With that, you have enough money in the bank that you can live for five months without any income on it, and find a new source, how to create income. And if you keep saving, you will reach your financial security within seven years.
Financial Security, as I explained before, is that you have so much money invested that you can live on the interest on a very basic level, And it’s only seven years with this to get there. That is a very, very pleasant situation because you do not have to take care of money or worry about money ever again!
So start cutting your costs. Go through each of those steps, and put all the money you are saving, or at least half of it, into your Financial Freedom account.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- What are your 5 biggest monthly costs?
- Which one are you going to eliminate or reduce this month?
- Which ones in the next months?
- Plan your savings
- Live your plan
- Put the saved money in your financial freedom account
Who's Rich Dad?
The name Rich Dad, of course, comes from the book: “Poor Dad, Rich Dad,” written by Robert Kiyosaki. In Rich Dad, there was a blueprint for it - at least, that’s what people say! This blueprint is based on Keith J. Cunningham, a businessman from Texas. He was born in 1950. At his age, he had already collected a little bit of wisdom.
I got to know him when he was teaching at the Business Mastery Seminar from Tony Robbins, in which I participated. I was quite impressed with the lectures he held. Actually, from his soul, he’s a bookkeeper. But he’s a funny bookkeeper. Most bookkeepers are introverted and not very emotional. He’s a little emotional, and he’s rather an extrovert and performs quite well on stage, though he is not as extroverted as Tony Robbins himself. But listening to him is fun, and he made looking at balance sheets interesting. Because as he puts it: “The balance sheet gives you optics on your business. So you know where you financially stand.”
He has a very nice way of explaining that and a brilliant sense of humor. It never gets boring, even if you’re looking at numbers. With the learnings from that, you get a steering instrument from your tax consultant for your business and your business decisions.
You learn how to interpret the numbers in the balance sheets and then the earnings sheets. With this information, you can make smarter decisions about your next steps in growing and developing the business. He also has written a book called: “The Road Less stupid.” In that book, he recommends having some thinking time every day. What he calls “thinking time,” and how he describes how he does it, he does it in a meditative mood.
Sitting down for an hour, he keeps thinking about his business, allowing his hand to flow and write while listening to his inner voice. That’s a nice method. He describes many questions that are quite valuable for entrepreneurs and business owners. Take one or a handful of these questions a day and think about them for an hour.
Using the business optics you developed as a result of your ability to read and interpret numbers from your balance sheet and earnings calculations is a very powerful tool. But in that book, one question touched me the most. It’s a rather controversial one. The question is: “How to ruin someone else’s business?” First, when I read that, I thought that it was weird and very destructive.
His viewpoint is: “How could I damage the business model of my competitor?” In the end, he approaches his own business from the perspective of his competitor. Suddenly, everything turns around. Now you see the weak points of your business.
See, the answers to your questions are usually already written on your forehead. The damn thing is, your eyes are looking the other way. But with this technique, you mentally go into your competitor’s position. From your competitor’s perspective, you are looking at your own business from the outside and trying to harm it.
That’s a smart idea! Because now you get to see all the things already written on your forehead ...in mirror writing.
Then, of course, you can take action in your own business to prevent someone else from damaging it. That’s just one example of the questions I read in this book. I already wrote a blog post about it. I will link to it below.
The curious thing is that this destructive question, “How to ruin someone else’s life or business?” as I called it on my blog, gets the most visitors on my web page. People are looking for such kinds of questions. And so I learned this is good for search engine optimization. Even so, I’m not feeling completely positive about it because my first impression of this question is, in my opinion, too negative.
How to Buy and Sell a Business?
Later in 2015, I visited his seminar, which was called: “How to Buy and Sell a Business?” held in Austin, Texas. I flew to the U.S. and participated. There I learned how to evaluate the value of a business. To make it simple, you can calculate it on the edge of a stamp!
You add the earnings for the last three years. I’m talking about the earnings before taxes after everything has been paid, including the business owner’s or entrepreneur’s salary. Whatever turns out on the balance sheet as earnings for the last three years, you just take the sum and divide it by 3. So you get the average earnings over the last three years. Then, depending on the kind of business, you multiply it by a factor of about 2.5 or 3. Now you have a very simple formula to estimate the approximate value of your business and for how much you should be able to sell it.
Of course, the more the business needs you to operate, the smaller the value. It is important to note that the more independent your business has become, the more easily it runs without your assistance and the more valuable it is. And then a factor of, let’s say, 4 or 5 could also be rectified. I learned a lot in that seminar. Still, it was a lot about numbers and calculations.
He also went through how to negotiate the price and how to find a business that is for sale. All of that helped me greatly with something that would come one year later. But that’s a different story. I will tell you about that in one of the next chapters.
When saying that he went through numbers because from his soul he’s a bookkeeper, we also need to take a look at the question: “What is the purpose of a business?” For most people, it’s just to make money. Well, that’s not a very good approach. So, before you go ahead and have a look at the next chapter, I want you to write down your thoughts.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- “What is the purpose of a business?”
- “What is the purpose of my entrepreneurship?”
What is the purpose of your business?
In this chapter, we’ll discuss your business’s vision. The vision of your business is expressed in its purpose. Earlier, I asked you: “What is the purpose of a business?” Did you do your homework? Did you record your ideas on paper? Let’s examine them and contrast them with what most people believe.
Most people see running a business as a way to generate money. In Germany, a business’s primary goal is to hire and pay people. For some people, the point of their business is to boost their ego and make them happy. Some people run a business to make sure they have enough money to pay all of their monthly bills, like rent and taxes.
Some say: “The purpose of a business is to provide services and products.” But if you think about all of that: what if you provide a service no one will buy from you? Or you provide a product, and if someone doesn’t need it, they won’t buy it from you.
Where does the money come from if you want to pay people to be your employees? Your customers! That’s the key to the only correct answer to the question, “What is the purpose of the business?” - to serve your customers and provide them with benefits.
How do you create customer benefits?
The answer is: solve problems for your customers. It’s about solving your customers’ problems, not problems you think they have. Suppose you serve your customer best by solving a particular problem. In that case, you will become the customer’s first choice to purchase that service from you.
With the purchase order, the customer has effectively said: “This is the most suitable service provider for me to resolve the problem I am experiencing right now in my life, in my business, in my leisure time, in my family, or for my health,” or whatever he deems his biggest issue to be. You get the order if you’re the number-one provider to solve that specific problem.
All the things, like earning money, having money to pay your employees, and serving your ego because you’re getting richer... all result from only one thing: “providing the most valuable customer benefits in terms of solving their burning problem.” Did you get it? Excellent!
Do you love your product?
Let’s think about the purpose of your business: You must analyze the people you want to serve because the number one thing that will make your business fun is: not to love your product! Because if you love your product more than your customers, you’ll have a problem: you’ll have to chase customers to get them to buy your product.
But if you are working for customers whom you admire and love, and you like dealing with them, you can find out their problems and if they share a common one. When you get to the bottom of it, you can be completely flexible with the service or product you provide them with.
That is a much more rewarding situation. Customers will feel that you care for them, that you care about their problems, and not that you care about your product just to make money. No customer is interested in making you rich! Well, there are some... like my girlfriend!
If someone comes in and looks poor and has some avocados to sell, she feels sorry for them and buys some avocados. But this is a very rare species of person, and you cannot rely on having customers like that. Don’t believe that you can fool people by pretending to be poor or telling them: “My kids need new shoes,” and then your customers will buy something they don’t need.
Now I have an exercise for you: Think about your best friends. Make a list of some people you know well and love. Make sure this list has no character types, only specific names. Find the 3 to 5 people you love the most, and then find out about their common problems. Then, you must be sure that your business’s product or service helps those people.
As the next step, think about your vision for your business again. Your vision is the ideal solution for your customers. This solution may be many years away. It could be up in the sky. The most inspiring vision is one you can’t reach in your lifetime!
In my business, I came up with a vision: “In the year 2022, the most talented bands from Germany will be from Stuttgart,” the place where I ran my rehearsal studios. See, most bands want to be successful. Since I was serving mainly musicians and bands from the Stuttgart region, I thought this would be a fitting vision.
Nowadays, I would have more courage, and I would probably say: “In the year 2032, the hottest bands in the world are from Germany!” So then, I have more time for a broader vision, and now I can break it down into my mission statement and strategy. How to achieve that? Your mission is one level below your vision. The mission always answers the question:
Do you love your customers?
Think about that question: What is the basic need you want to fulfill with your vision, with the purpose of your business? Only two weeks after I developed my vision: “In the year 2022, the most talented bands in Germany will come from Stuttgart,” I looked at the charts: And in the top 10, there were already three bands from Stuttgart! What a miracle, how fast it can happen!
There is another story that I need to tell you about. It is about my employee, Chris, who started working for me as a volunteer. He came into my rehearsal studio and was looking for a room. Fortunately, we managed to find a room that suited his needs quite well. He said: “I’m short on money, but if you give me the room for free, I’d be happy to work for you.”
I thought about it. We had equipment in the studios that required some maintenance and cleaning. The equipment needs to be checked. For bands that rent rooms by the hour, keys must be provided. If bands come in and want to take a look, someone will have to be on-site to show them the room. Chris had to explain the equipment and give them some time for a test rehearsal. Finally, they will have to make a lease agreement with the band or set a date.
I ultimately decided to accept Chris’ offer. I handed over all of those tasks to him. He wasn’t my first employee; I had already burned through three because I had assigned them a meaningless list of tasks they had to do. In the beginning, they followed the task list diligently, but after a while, they all got lazy. I didn’t understand it. Then I stopped working with them because I couldn’t get them to work reliably.
Likewise, Chris also got into that situation, and I was pretty unhappy about how he did his job. Then we had a harsh discussion, and I was ready to kick him out! He sat in front of me and was very, very desperate. He begged me: “Please, please, Klaus, give me another chance.” I replied: “You need to take more responsibility.”
I think he was asking for a second chance because he had already adapted some of my vision. His thoughts, he maybe didn’t even think about it, but he felt that continuing to work there would help him become a successful musician. So, I learned that instead of expecting him to work on a task list that makes no sense to him, I should ask him for results. I reformulated everything we agreed on so that all I have to do is check the results, and he is responsible for how to get it done!
We came up with another idea. I asked him: “Would you be willing to become an entrepreneur too?” He said, “Yeah, I’ve thought about that,” so I asked, “How about I give you full control of the fully equipped rehearsal studios, and you run it as your own business?” He thought for a while about it, and he agreed. We made a contract that he would take over the business, including all the equipment.
He paid it off over two years. He bought a running business, and he made it bloom! He did an excellent job setting up a new web page called Ready2Jam. And his Ready2Jam business and its website were better represented than my rehearsal studios. He made it grow, and he made the rooms more beautiful.
He added an online payment service. People who book the rooms directly pay when booking them, so he doesn’t have to handle the cash manually anymore. He automated the mail responses to send them the access code for the key safe and all those kinds of things.
Intelligence explodes with responsibility
He did a brilliant job, and I was impressed by how people’s intelligence explodes if you give them responsibility! He overcame his frustration, and I overcame my frustration as well.
Also, Chris’s creativity increased. He realized that now we get more requests from people who produce electronically, like him. With his insight, which I couldn’t see from afar in Bali, I had lost a little bit of the connection to the musicians he was able to see: that there is a change in our customers’ needs. Now, they would rather have recording and production studios than band rehearsal studios. So we decided, due to his recommendation, that we should change the image of our recording studios and production studios.
We attracted a lot of electronic musicians, and we were able to sell higher-quality rooms! For the rock and roll bands, we kept charging them €250 per month for a 25-square-meter space. For example, five people were in a band. Each band member had to pay €50 a month. There was always one student in the band who said: “I cannot afford the €50.”
But now, we let 20-square-meter rooms and 15-square-meter rooms, which last for an individual musician, and we were able to charge them €300 a month. They didn’t complain. They paid without haggling over the price. This was because he saw that our customers needed recording studios more than rehearsal studios.
That was a very pleasant success, created by an employee who was caught up in the vision: “In 2022, the most talented musicians in Germany will come from Stuttgart.”Currently, we’re in the year 2022, as I’m recording and writing this. Let’s look at what Chris does nowadays: He performs with a band called SDP. His band and colleagues keep filling the biggest stadiums and halls in Germany! I have a video of them on my YouTube channel; please watch and enjoy how Chris became a successful musician.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- Think about the vision of your business.
- What is the purpose of your business?
- Who are the people you love the most and whom you'd like to serve?
- What is their common and most burning problem?
- Choose a product or service that demonstrates your desire to assist, serve, and solve their problem as effectively as possible.
Okay? Go for it!
How You Can Save € 3,000 Yearly?
Making a one-time investment of € 750
Let me ask you two fascinating questions:
- How can you save € 3,000 yearly by making a one-time € 750 investment?
- What needs to be done to ensure that this will give you extra earnings of € 1,372 in the first year and € 2,229 in the years after that?
But first, let's think about what we're looking at and why we're looking at it before we do the math. As a business owner, you should look at all the tasks you have to do. You have a lot of tasks in your business. Since "time is money," there are many ways you can free up time and generate more income. Now, I'm about to give you a short, step-by-step guide on how to generate more money from your business.
- Step one: You should make a complete list of everything you do in your business. Estimate how many hours you spend on each task.
- Step two: Based on this list you decide if those tasks need to be done.
- Are they bringing in any money or benefiting customers in any way?
- Or is it just something you do because it's something you've always done?
- You may not even enjoy some of these things or find them pointless!
- Third step: Which of these things do you enjoy doing? Which one do you like the least? Evaluate each task. Taking this step is vital since you lose energy when you do things by yourself that you don't enjoy. Your energy is the most valuable thing you have; if you keep doing something you don't like, it will permanently waste your energy.
Here, the goal is to end up with only the things you love to do. Because that will give you more energy. You want to eliminate everything else you don't like during this process.
- Which tasks are necessary?
- Which tasks are unnecessary?
Now that you've made this list, it's time to evaluate it carefully. Now, let's go back to the tasks and look at which are necessary and which are not. Every task that isn't necessary should be thrown out. But most entrepreneurs never think about that because they are stuck in their habits. This list, which you just made, will help you sort out what you don't need to do anymore.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Firstly, you should drop and remove all non-productive tasks. If they are non-productive, then there is no point in wasting any time on them. Secondly, you need to spend time carefully considering all your necessary tasks. The things you need to think about are:
- Number 1: How much money does the task create?
- Number 2: How much return on your effort are you getting out of it?
Only if a task is productive, it is worthwhile to look into it. And the third thing you need to think about is:
- Number 1: How can I automate it?
- Number 2: Are there any things I can do to make it more effective and efficient?
Only optimize necessary and productive tasks!
You can't make it more efficient by optimizing non-productive tasks, which aren't needed, don't add value to your customers, don't generate earnings, or don't help your business move forward. So, only pay attention to necessary and productive tasks! You should eliminate all the others.
Automating productive tasks can make them more effective; however, it is not always possible to automate them completely. Then you have to delegate the parts of those that cannot be automated. However, delegation, in this case, means that you delegate it to someone and give them complete responsibility for the outcome:
The power of delegation
Delegate everything that cannot be automated to an employee, a service provider, or a supplier. They should be paid for the results, not by the hour. I know that employees usually get paid by the hour, and we'll even use this metric in our calculations. The objective is to compensate suppliers for the results they deliver, not the time they spend on the task.
Let's look at the math and numbers of the robot cleaner example now: I used robot cleaners instead of a cleaning service. Surprisingly, the robot cleaners became one of the things that made my rehearsal studio unique. There was even a news show about them! When the TV crew saw them running around and cleaning the studios, they were so amazed that they included them in their TV report. Robot vacuum cleaners are not used in any other rehearsal studios. This is what people smile about and remember. They remembered it and kept talking about it, which helped my business stand out from the crowd and that people kept remembering it. Here is the calculation for the three robot cleaners:
I bought the three robot vacuum cleaners for € 750. The robot cleaners would pay back the initial investment of € 750 in three months. This is because € 750 was saved on the room cleaning service over three months. It saves €3,000 a year with a one-time investment of € 750, which turned out into an additional € 1,372 in earnings the first year and € 2,229 the following years. Note that Microsoft Excel, which calculates the exact amount. It won't come out exactly that amount. But from this calculation, you can get an idea of the range of savings.
First year's investment
Let's take a look at the first year's investment. I paid € 750 for all three of those vacuum cleaners. Each one costs € 250. Three times € 250 is € 750, and that's how much we paid for the vacuum cleaners. There might be extra shipping costs, but the investment is in that range to order the cleaners. The next step is, to estimate startup costs, which I had to account for to calculate the earnings.
To get started, I estimated it would take an additional € 160. As a result, the initial investment's total cost is € 910. The € 160 comes from the following sources. Let's assume it takes one day in total to select a vendor, purchase the robots, order them, and then set them up and test them. Let's say we need 2 hours to find a vendor, order them, 4 hours to put them in place and make them work, and 2 hours to test them. In this case, if I had done it myself, I would have paid myself € 30 per hour. That would have been € 240. But by delegating this task to my employee and paying him only € 20 per hour, the eight hours will cost only € 160. That's the assumption I'm making here.
So let's get back to the savings from my cleaning service. I canceled this cleaning service, for which I paid € 250 a month. From my savings, I have to subtract my initial cost, € 910, as calculated before. Now we have to calculate ongoing maintenance costs. Of course, we have to do some maintenance on the vacuum cleaners. The dustbin needs to be emptied. Sometimes they don't find their way back to the charging station, so we've got to collect them and take them back manually. We need to ensure that there are no bottle tops or guitar strings inside and have a general look at them.
Finally, we have a depreciation cost for the vacuum cleaners, which means we have to replace them now and then. I assume they will run for 3 years before we replace them. So every year, I record the depreciation of one-third of my initial investment, which is € 250. That's the cost of renewing one vacuum cleaner per year. By the time they need to be replaced, I will have the funds in my pocket, ready to replace them.
For maintenance costs, I assume that there are three robots and that maintenance takes three minutes per day. However, we only do it three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My employee's task list now includes vacuum cleaner maintenance, which he completes 52 weeks a year.
This results in the following: We have three robots that need to be checked, which requires three minutes for each one. We only did maintenance on the robots three times a week and spent 27 minutes doing it. When you multiply 27 minutes by 52 weeks, you get 1,404 minutes. Which is how much time we spend on robot maintenance every year. Since this number is in minutes per year, we need to calculate how many hours that is. That comes out to 23 hours of maintenance work per year; paying my employee € 20 per hour adds up to € 468 per year for maintenance.
So, if I take this amount away from my savings of € 3,000 minus € 910 total investment cost, € 468 maintenance, and € 250 depreciation, I have an extra € 1,372 in earnings in the first year. This is additional money I made after I made the one-time € 750 investment for the robot cleaners.
We didn't have to make any more investments in the following years. Because the vacuum cleaners had already been paid for. But we calculate a depreciation to replace them every three years. And, we only need to calculate one-third of the time because we only need one replacement per year on average. In subsequent years, the initial cost is only € 53, or one-third of the € 160.
From the saved € 3,000 by canceling the room cleaning service, we subtract the initial cost. In addition, maintenance costs were deducted, which were the same as the previous year. In addition, we deducted the depreciation because we had to buy one new vacuum cleaner per year on average. So our savings in subsequent years amounted to € 2,229 in savings. Isn't that even more endearing?
And it's still the same in the third year, the fourth year, and so on. On my website, you can download a spreadsheet. With that, you can calculate how much you can save and earn additionally, by making your business's processes more effective, and efficient, by automatization and delegation. See, it does not have to be your business, that you optimize. It can also be something else you do privately. Have fun with your extra time and money!
The essential target for you is that you only do tasks that you enjoy doing. Because to learn and grow, you need energy. Either you grow with your business, or your business grows over you. If this happens, you become a slave to your own business. So, let's summarize the six steps once again you need to take to implement this plan.
- You have to trash all of the tasks that are not productive.
- Automate those that are necessary as much as possible. And if you can't automate them completely, delegate the rest. But delegate it, including the responsibility to the service provider or employee. So the person, supplier, or service provider is responsible for the results.
- Boost the effectiveness of tasks, for example: In the sales process, you may want to add an upselling product to the delivery chain. Or introduce a down-selling product into the sales process that creates additional revenue money. And then you put these things into action.
- In addition, you should make the process more ergonomic, so that it will be easier to complete, and takes less time. But remember, making processes more efficient is pointless if they are not productive, not needed, do not generate revenue, or do not provide additional benefits to customers. Because doing so means running faster in the wrong direction.
- Concentrate on doing only the energizing tasks by yourself.
- Use this energy to learn and grow alongside your business.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- Make a list of the tasks you do each month and estimate how much time you spend on each task.
- Remove all of the tasks that are not necessary and get rid of them.
- Do the calculation for the remaining ones, as I showed you before. You will find a template to download on my website.
- Start with the tasks you don’t like, those with the biggest savings and fastest results.
You can now optimize your business and earn more money by working less.
Am I Ready To Kill My Child?
At the beginning of 2019, my landlord offered to pay me the value of my business if I moved out of the property before the end of the lease so they could use it themselves. My immediate questions were:
- Should I agree to it?
- What will happen if I accept the offer?
I knew that to solve the problem right away, I needed to find a new building quickly or shut down the business. But do you think I was prepared to do that? Honestly? When I didn’t know what to do, an internal battle began within me.
- What kind of deal are we going to close?
- What does this mean for my bands?
The thought of canceling all contracts with the bands felt ridiculous after working for almost 10 years to get as many bands as possible into the building. And now, I’m supposed to kick them out all at once!
- I asked my tax consultant for advice. I asked him, “What would be the least expensive method of resolving this issue regarding taxes?”
He said, “You should sell the whole business to your landlord so that they can take it over and shut it down, use the building, and take all the assets inside with them. The other option would be to do an asset deal by compensating for canceling the lease contract early. But the money ends up in your company’s bank account. All of the earnings you make will have to be taxed at a rate of 30%. However, if you’re selling them your whole business, Germany has a very nice tax rule: you can sell your business for very low taxes once in your life. That’s what I would advise you to do for sure.”
After I talked with my tax consultant, I had a long series of talks with my landlord. But they told me, “We’re not going to buy your business. We are a software company. We are not interested in buying a business that runs rehearsal studios.” which made perfect sense, of course. Besides that, they would have also gotten all my business’s liabilities. When you buy a house or a business, you don’t know what’s inside. So, because it would be risky to buy the whole company, they refused.
So, in the end, we had to resolve to find a different solution. That’s when I asked my tax consultant, “Give me a rough number, how much more would they have to pay to compensate for the additional tax load if we do the asset deal?” My tax consultant began calculating. Finally, after a week, well, it felt like a week, but it was probably only 3 or 4 days, he returned with a letter, for which he charged me about €1,400. Knowing the formula, you can calculate what he did on the edge of a stamp. But that’s how specialists make their money: they know the formula! Anyway, it was an expensive letter for a minor calculation. However, it turned out that they would have to pay 50% more for the asset deal than if they bought my business, to end up with the same money after taxes. I forwarded this letter to my landlord.
The letter put me in a position to negotiate the price for the compensation. Still, in the end, they only offered about 10% more than the original price. Which was not enough to make up for the lousy tax situation. I was pretty desperate and felt hopeless about the situation. On the one hand, I had the chance to get compensated for the total value of my business. On the other hand, I was neither keen on spending one-third of the money on taxes nor canceling all contracts with the musicians! I did not know what to do.
The tough decision of selling your business
I took a break, removed myself from the stress for a little while, took a deep breath, and began using my decision-making meditations. I went to Lovina and spent an entire day there thinking about what I was going to do with my business when it was sold, closed, or relocated.
After some thought, I realized that my ideal scenario was for my employee Chris to take over the entire business. After a few years of working with him, Chris became the business’s good heart and soul. Many people even asked me, “Is Chris your son?” He looks and acts like you. “No, he’s not my biological son,” I replied, “but I feel a strong connection with him, and working with him is almost like working with a family member.”
Richard Branson, a blueprint for selflessness
I was in a terrible situation, and I remembered what I had read in a book by Richard Branson. When he got into trouble with British Airways over a legal dispute, they grounded all of his planes. He, too, was in a situation where he did not know what to do. That was around the time when the war in Iraq started. To solve his problem, he did something completely selfless. He just used a plane that was still allowed to fly, loaded it up with supplies for people in need, and flew it all to Iraq. Once there, he helped people from other countries get out of the country by flying them out. This was a completely selfless thing for him to do when he was also desperate.
This led me to consider starting a foundation instead of giving the money to the state as taxes. I would have rather given money to a charity, started my own charity, or changed my business from a commercial to a non-profit organization. I talked to my tax specialist about all of these options. But in the end, there was no way to get around paying taxes. Chris and I decided that it would be best to try to find another house or building—where we can keep running Rooms4Music and just move the bands there.
The long search for buildings started. We looked at many buildings. We looked at hundreds of buildings on the real estate market. We considered buying a building. We considered renting a building.
But we learned how fortunate we were with my old landlord because they didn’t raise the rent since I started renting the building. If I rented additional space, it was a little bit more expensive, but overall, they did not raise the rent. Now we saw that for all the buildings we looked at, we had to pay a higher price per square meter, than we charged our bands. And if we had done that, we would have had to get the bands to pay more in rent. So, in real terms, to keep the business profitable, we would have to raise the rent for the bands by about 100%! And that wasn’t an option! Because most bands have at least one student, and that person always complains, “I don’t know how to pay the rent.” Most bands wouldn’t have been able to afford the rent for a rehearsal studio if it had been doubled.
Aside from thinking about charities and making donations, I thought about how I could best help my bands find new rehearsal spaces. So, I got in touch with all the other rehearsal studio owners in our area and contacted the media. I sent out press releases about the situation and called the TV station. The story finally ended up in another part of the news show from Südwestfunk. They reported the situation, and we later got in touch with even more people willing to rent out their rooms to take over some of my bands.
We also set up a service for the bands that rented our studios to help them load all of their gear into a rented truck and move it to their new location as soon as they found one. For my contracts, I usually had a four-week cancellation period in place. However, we dropped the cancellation time for this situation. So, whenever a band found a new place, I was willing to let them go without a four-week notice so they could move out right away, saving me rent and paying for the new studio on the other side. As a result, we could get all the bands out of the building on time because our contract with our landlord stated, “the building must be ready to take over by July 31, 2019.”
Killing my child
In my marketing strategy, I used an email mass mailing service to send out my press releases, offers for studios that were open to anyone interested, and news to my clients. I had to use this mass mailing system to cancel contracts this time. We sent out 137 lease contract cancellations in one mailing shot! When I pressed that button to send the mass email, it felt like I was killing my child.
When you run a business for nearly ten years, it becomes a part of your character. In Germany, we have a word for a GmbH (which is the German version of a limited company). It is also called “Juristische Person,” which translates to “legal person.” After ten years, the business was no longer just like a legal person; it became more like a person with a very specific character! Of course, it reflects the business owner’s character—at least at first.
This is because while Chris was running and operating it while I was away, it started to reflect Chris’s personality, and our clients loved it.
See, I grew up listening to rock music, and because of that, my target audience was rock bands that played acoustic music and good old Rock’ n’ Roll. But Chris is a musician who creates music electronically, and as the business went on, we started to get more and more people doing the same thing. They needed recording studios, not just rehearsal studios. Over the last two years, my business’s character has evolved to be more like Chris’s than mine.
I lost some of my connection to my business from a distance, and Chris got into it. As you can see, I previously discussed my ideal scenario in which Chris takes over the company. That’s why I asked Chris, “Do you want to do so?” After some thought, he said, “Klaus, I enjoy my job, but it is just that: a job. My dream is to become a musician, which is what I intend to do in the future.” I asked him: “So, is it okay for you if we close it down?” He responded with another question: “Did you ever seriously consider that?” And I said, “No, I don’t want to kill my child. I want to find a different solution to keep this business going and provide space for musicians.”
A life-changing call we’ll never forget
At the time, I had no idea that my subconscious mind had already made a decision; after we learned that finding a new building was impossible, I agreed to the deal and decided to close the business. Within the same week, Chris got a call from a band, and they told him, “Chris, our DJ is sick, and this year we have 30 gigs to play. Would you happen to be available?”
Both of us couldn’t believe it!
We just decided to stop doing business with Rooms4Music, and then Chris got this fantastic offer a week later. The name of the band Chris got the offer from is called SDP. Now, Chris is a full-time member of this band, replacing the previous DJ. Nowadays, SDP plays at the biggest festivals in Germany, like “Rock im Park'' and “Rock am Ring.” They keep bringing tens of thousands of fans to the Munich Olympic Hall and the Stuttgart Schleyerhalle.
I’m so glad to see how he has grown and his dream has come true.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Which of your kids are you willing to kill?
Make a list of your tasks and duties:
- you don't like,
- not providing customer benefits,
- neither creating earnings,
- nor new products.
- Mindstorming is like brainstorming, but you do it alone, only by yourself.
- Listen to your inner voice and write down your ideas.
- In the beginning, you write down the numbers from 10 to 50. That tells your subconscious mind that it has to develop 50 ideas.
- Put yourself under positive stress and give yourself only 15 minutes for it. Because with the time limit the creativity explodes.
Musicians searching rehearsal studios
Unfortunately, the time has come, the rehearsal studio in the center of Stuttgart has to close. Due to the building owner's own needs, Rooms4Music will cease operations at the end of May 2019.
Over 100 bands have their rehearsal rooms, recording studios, and musical home here. We are now urgently looking for new premises for the musicians in Stuttgart. After a long and intensive search, we have unfortunately not found a way to continue at another location. I feel very sorry for the musicians. But the real estate market in Stuttgart is unfortunately not there at the moment to continue at a reasonable price.
We had a building in mind, but the conversion costs exceeded any reasonable framework. Unfortunately, we had to refrain from doing this again. And so unfortunately I have no choice but to stop operations here in Holderpark from the rehearsal studio center in Stuttgart after the end of business operations... And to close Rooms4Music.
Despite an intensive search, we, unfortunately, have no way of continuing it within an economically viable framework. I'm stunned, and I know that the bands are no longer able to rehearse and the producers are no longer able to record and mix.
I have to bury my child Rooms4Music. And my colleague Christian Böttcher is also affected. He's run the business for the last few years. I will have to fire him. He will also have to close his Ready2Jam rehearsal studios.
We are still desperately looking for studios, that we can convey to our musicians. And can offer them a new home. That's why we want to arrange as many contacts as possible between musicians, bands, and possible landlords.
So, if you know where something is free, or you have a rehearsal room yourself... Or if there is still some space in your rehearsal studio and you can sublet it to a second band, then write down below: your address and the size of your room. How much space it offers, the location... So that I can put you in touch with our musicians: Keep On Rocking For A Better World!
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
So if you are willing to share your rehearsal space, if you know where a recording studio or rehearsal space is available, please let me know and put yours below:
- the location
- and the key data of your room.
I will forward it to our musicians, and they can contact you directly. One more request: Share this page or this video on your social channels. So that we can provide as many new rehearsal opportunities as possible for our musicians at short notice. Thank you very much.
Becoming An Investor
Living financial freedom
After three years of heavy traveling worldwide, I settled in Bali. Then it was 2019, and I had this offer on the table from my landlord to take over my business and refund its entire value. And I did it. So, by the end of 2019, the money for the early cancellation of the rental contract of my business ended up in its bank account. With that amount, I was already financially secure! However, I was unable to invest it. I tried to open a broker account for my business in Germany, but the rules and regulations were so complicated. They kept sending me contract forms with 30 to 50 pages. I tried to open a broker’s account for my business with three brokers, but none worked. They all complained that something wasn’t filled in correctly, so I finally gave up. So, I held the money in my bank account, and it couldn’t work for me.
Then, the pandemic started, and Indonesia was smart enough to say that all visitors could stay as long as the pandemic was going on without getting a Visa extension. So, there was no need to go on Visa runs anymore. Still, most of the short-term visitors who had been in Indonesia left, so there was a lot of competition between places to stay, and the cost of living went down a lot. During that time, my cost of living dropped by about 50%. This means that Bali went through a deflation of about 50%. So, I was only spending half of what I usually did on living costs, and since I no longer had to pay for travel, I could live on a very, very small budget. And that was a nice thing!
How I retired with a guaranteed income for life
After the pandemic caused the market to drop sharply in the middle of 2020, I had an idea: I should just change my business, Rooms4Music, into my own bank. First, I converted it into a holding called “4ster Holding GmbH”. It just lent me the money in its bank account as a credit. See, now it was possible to invest it in my private broker account. Since then, I had invested it in stocks and ETFs at a time when most of them were dramatically undervalued. I also didn’t need a broker’s account for my business in Germany. This ended up in a pretty good situation because after the drop of the market, a lot of growth took place, stock prices rose, and I still lived on a very, very low cost of living.
Also, if I invest privately, the earnings are taxed at a rate of 25%. But if I invest as a business, they are taxed at the rate of the business’s earnings, which is 30%. But, well, there are different tax rules for both of them, so it only turns out cheaper or better if I’m trading with a slow hand, not turning over my assets very frequently in my private depot. But at least that was also a kind of optimization for the taxes.
In 2019, I also attended a seminar called “Steuern Klug Steuern.” It was about how to handle your taxes better, and of course, it was about the German tax system. I tried to use what I had learned at the seminar. But by the end of the day, it was almost useless. The most important thing I learned from this seminar was that I just needed to get rid of the German tax system because it’s so unbelievably complicated that you can only run away from it.
Here in Indonesia, the tax rules and tax rates are much better. For example, income tax is a flat rate of 10%, and small businesses are not taxed at all.
But what about the tax on selling real estate? When we buy real estate in Germany, we pay between 3 and 5% of the purchase price as a tax. It’s less pleasant in Indonesia because, first of all, it’s a sales tax, which means you pay the tax when you sell the property, which usually has a higher price and, as a result, a much higher amount of taxes. Plus, the tax rate is 10%, instead of 3 to 5% in Germany.
The tax situation for real estate is not as good here as it is in Germany, but the growth expectations are much higher. So, Indonesia has inflation of almost 10 percent a year. You can easily tell by the amount printed on the money. So, the smallest bill you can get is 1,000 Indonesian rupiah, and the biggest is 100,000, which is about 6 euros or 6 US dollars at the time this was written. See, those big numbers on the rupiah bills reflect the inflation they had in the past. Because of this inflation, the value of assets, especially real estate, has gone up by a huge amount. So, you can easily expect real estate prices to go up by ten to twenty times in the next ten years. In Germany and most of the rest of the Western world, on the other hand, prices probably won’t go up by more than 20, 30, or 50%. So, even though the result will be taxed more in Indonesia, the growth and earnings expectations are bigger.
Investing in Indonesia
However, I am unable to invest here directly or buy land. But it doesn’t matter. Because on July 7th, 2020, I met Komang at the cacao ceremony at the Udara Yoga place. We fell in love and have been together ever since. She now acts as my nominee. So, I keep giving her the money as a credit, and she invests in her name. In the end, we split the profits. That’s a very good thing because she keeps bargaining for local prices, which makes investments and buying things cheaper.
When I got married in Germany in 1998, my living costs increased by about four times! I tried to shovel money, but my wife kept burning it! And now, since 2022, when I got married to Komang, she keeps haggling over prices until she gets the local prices. Together, we live more cheaply than I could do on my own!
One year later, after we met at the cacao ceremony, we married on August 22nd, 2021. Well, ever since we moved in together, I’ve been helping my wife organize prana healing retreats, and since then, her business has gone through the roof. That is so wonderful to see.
Since I am an investor and can live off my assets, I have the financial freedom to work on whatever I want, as long as I don’t get paid for it here. And so, whatever I love to do, I’m doing it! And whatever my wife loves to do, she’s doing it! So she keeps teaching classes in prana healing, yoga, qigong, and, well, whatever! And that’s her passion. My passion is to help her grow her business, and, as I said before, it’s great to see how her business is going through the roof.
Komang is so good, and she loves to bargain with the locals. She gets the best prices here, which keeps our costs down and lets us enjoy our financial freedom.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
- Make a plan for how to invest
After returning from Bali, a lot of my friends, my parents, and my sister asked me: “how was it?” And I started telling them what I had experienced. Many of them responded with a statement similar to this: “if you’re talking about Bali, it sounds like you’re talking about a woman you fell in love with.” Yeah, that describes the feeling quite well. After coming back, I had the feeling that’s the place I wanted to spend the majority of the rest of my life. At least until I find a place that serves me better. Actually, even though this was already six years ago, I couldn’t find one! I keep experiencing homesickness in almost every other country apart from Thailand, and it comes the fastest in Germany! Meanwhile, after visiting Nusa Penida a couple of times, I found that the energy and calmness, due to its lower population density, might become an option, as Bali keeps getting busier and noisier.
But after I arrived in Germany, it was time to start the meeting with my Mastermind group, and we had this workshop about marketing strategies.
And we gathered together and spent three entire days working intensively on the marketing concepts of our business, exchanging ideas and learning from a learning program. Yes, the workshop was fantastic. One of the members was Thomas Kowol. He had already planned a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. I had never visited those countries before, so I asked him: “would you mind if I joined you?” He said, “of course, I’d be happy to go with a friend.” So it was only three weeks to go! And now I have just been away for three weeks in Bali for the workation. And before that, I spent three weeks with my sister. I only had a short time in between each time to take care of my business on-site. And now it was another three weeks until he had booked his flight. And so I kept booking flights for that as well. And soon I was booked on another trip for another three weeks after another three-week short break, during which I was able to take care of my business on-site.
So now I was almost in 50-50 mode. 50% of my time was spent traveling and 50% in Germany to take care of my business on-site. Three weeks later, I arrived in Hanoi together with Thomas, and we explored the city. Well, Hanoi was another culture shock for me. It was very busy, very dirty, very crowded, and extremely loud, and to be honest, I didn’t like Hanoi at all. So, due to that, what are you doing when you’re bored? Well, I spent my time on Tinder, and I made some contacts. One of them was Becky, and we arranged a meeting at the nearby Hanoi Social Club. And well, we enjoyed some red wine and some good talks. Becky had already worked remotely for a couple of years at an international school. First in Africa, Ghana, and now in Hanoi.
And I was deeply impressed with the courage of this woman. Just going to countries that I never considered as attractive for me to work and live there. But she did make quite a good living. And well, as I said before, she impressed me with her courage. And for some reason, something resonated with us. Well, we had a couple of red wines, my favorite kind of red wine: Merlot. And, well, we spent the first hot night together. Yeah, and after that night, it was time for me to go on a flight to Danang, on which Thomas and I were booked. And so it was time to say goodbye, but we both had the feeling we needed to see each other again. So I asked her: “Do you want to come over next weekend to see me in Danang?”
And she said: “yeah, I would love to see you, but I’m already booked on a flight for a weekend in Bangkok in Thailand.” So, first of all, it doesn’t seem like we will see each other soon. But then I thought and realized it is rainy season in Vietnam, and the weather forecast for Danang said it’s gonna be rainy for the next couple of days. And Danang was nicer and quieter, and more relaxed than Hanoi, but due to the rainy weather, there wasn’t much I could do there.
So I had a look at the flight schedules, and there were flights available to Bangkok. I didn’t think long, and I booked a flight to Bangkok to see Becky. So we spent the weekend in Bangkok together, and yeah, it ended up that we fell in love with each other. It turned out to be a very romantic weekend in Bangkok, and we spent all the time together and enjoyed our new love.
So then, on Monday morning, she had to fly back to work in Hanoi. And I found out that I needed to catch up with my flight from Danang. Otherwise, I would lose all of my flight connections. So I booked a flight to Danang and caught my flight from Danang to Siem Reap in Cambodia, where I was to meet Thomas again. Together we booked a tour of the swimming markets. And the tour agent picked us up. And at the travel agent, they said it’s about a one-hour drive before we can hop on the boat.
So, if you need to go for a pee or a poop, do it here, so we don’t have to stop along the road. So I went to the toilet. It was wet on the ground. When I left the toilet, my flip-flops, or thongs as the Australians call them, were wet, and they slipped away, and I went down to the ground. And I had terrible pain in my right foot. I didn’t know what happened then, but I told the other people: “folks, I’m not gonna join you for the tour today because that hurts so bad that’s gonna stop me for today.” I didn’t realize how serious it was. And soon later, I was on a tuk-tuk which took me to a hospital. And at the hospital, they did an x-ray of my leg and said: “That’s a pretty complicated break.
Either we need to do surgery immediately, or we have to put a bandage on it, and it needs to be done in the next two or three weeks at the latest.” And so that was the time to get in contact with my travel health insurance. They were quite cooperative and said: “Okay, we’re gonna fly you back home to Germany and get the surgery done there.” Okay, so I explained the unpleasant surprise to Becky, and she said: “I’m gonna come over the next weekend to Danang to see you there before you have to go back home.” And so a day later, she arrived, and we had another romantic weekend, and the broken leg didn’t bother me too much; they put it down with some painkillers.
And we even were able to visit, for example, a temple. The Buddhist temple of Ankara and a Buddhist monk blessed my leg for good healing. And yeah, we still enjoyed our love and a wonderful weekend together, and then it was time to hop on the flight to Germany.
At the airport in Frankfurt, an ambulance picked me up and brought me directly to a hospital in Stuttgart. A few hours later, I was in the surgery room. They opened up the leg and fixed the bones with nine screws and a plate. Now I was pretty much immobilized, and I had to stay for a couple of days in the hospital. I started working and writing from there and followed up on the learnings I had during the Mastermind Workshop.
I started developing my new web page, and I started developing Vitality4Happiness. And I started publishing all the ideas I had about Vitality4Happiness on my new web page. Working from the hospital was only possible over the hotspot of my mobile phone. Because in Germany, there are rules and regulations for a hospital to provide Wi-Fi. It’s ridiculous how over-regulated things are in Germany due to security constraints and considerations. It’s very different in Asia, where you have free Wi-Fi almost everywhere. There’s no problem with security there. However, Germans are so concerned about security that they punish themselves with rules and regulations. And I see how Germany makes much less progress due to that compared to Asia.
So apart from working on my web page on the telephone hotspot, of course, Whatsapp ran hot with communication with Becky in Hanoi. I told her about the situation and that I would be immobilized for about four to six weeks. And she was already booked on a flight to Bali for the Christmas weekend or the Christmas season. And she simply decided to change her flight to visit me in Germany, and so she did. So, from Christmas until the new year, we spent some time together and visited some friends. For example, Thomas, my sister, and my parents. And we made a round trip across Germany together and enjoyed our new love and our new life.
During that time, we came up with a target: We want to live together in Bali and do that as soon as possible. After New Year, it was time for her to go back to Hanoi to pick up her work. Well, for a while, WhatsApp was our only communication channel.
This was because she was bundled into a job in Hanoi. So, for our first step, we decided:: I’m gonna join her in Hanoi. And that was the plan. As it turned out, in the middle of January, I moved there to live together with Becky in Hanoi. Even though I did not like the city, I did like her love.
Now see what I’ve learned about that: if you have a big target, like living for the rest of your life in Bali, or at least until you find something better. Problems become small. The broken leg couldn’t stop me. That my new love was located in Hanoi, a city that I disliked, couldn’t stop me! As a first step towards Asia, that was still acceptable, so the only thing I would recommend here is to find your big target.
Follow your big target, and problems that appear on the way will become rather small, and you can still see the target back there on the horizon. And that the little challenges do not stop you from following up on them. Find your big target. Maybe you want to make it even bigger than you can imagine at the moment. And then follow up on it and follow this program. Because it will change your life forever.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
What are your big goals
- Think about you big goal, your vision, you want to achieve within your lifetime
- Think about your 2 biggest goals you want to achieve within 20 years to support you big lifetime goal
- Think about 3 goals you need to achieve within 10 years which are required to achieve your 20-year goals
- Think about 5 goals you will achieve within 5 years to achieve your 10-year goals
Write the answers down!
Mission to Mars
Hello, I'm Klaus.
I am just participating in the Millionaire Mind Intensive. Do you want to know what I've learned and what I’ve experienced? I doubt it! Do you want to know? Okay! I'll tell you!
So, first of all, this seminar is in Kuala Lumpur. I traveled to Kuala Lumpur, and this is what I learned during the seminar: I'm a Money Monk! The universe takes care of me. I don't need money! And well, I can live in complete serenity without worrying about money.
At the seminar, they asked me: "But why do you require money?" And I thought: "I don't know!" As a result, I sank into meditation to find the answer, and I found out: I want to go to Mars with my lover! And I want to come back with twins—the first twins born on Mars.
And then they had this fun incentive—they played the lottery! I looked through my lottery tickets. There was one that stood out to me. I had one with the number: "10 911!" And this number somehow resonated with me. I thought: "This must be a sign! The number 10 symbolizes a new start, and 911 is associated with emergency and rescue."
No, no, no, I thought of something else! Have you heard about the German car manufacturer Porsche? They have a car model called 911. So, I visualized a different kind of 911 when I read the number. I visualized the car! With this lottery ticket, I thought I was about to win 10 of those cars. I'll have 10 Porsche 911s! My imagination was running wild, and I began daydreaming about all the things I would do with ten Porsche 911s. Do you want to know how it turned out? ... I'm going to Mars!
Mission to Mars: Outer space experience
A dream came true, yes! This is Klaus Forster on Ocket ReX. I'm on my way to Mars! Melon Ask has been talking to me, and I told him: "I want to have sex in space without gravity and make my wife pregnant; then she will have twins on Mars!" And now, I'm on my way! I also told him that I was short on cash... Melon laughed and offered to give me a free ride! Can you believe it?
After a few days in space, I realized that we had a problem. So, I called the control center and told them about it: "Houston, we have a problem! First of all: The gravity simulator is still working. I can't have sex in zero gravity. The second problem: there are no women on board! I think making twins in one shot is enough of a challenge. Despite the absence of women and apparent gravity, I am still determined to make something incredible. Now I need to get pregnant by myself?!?!? I don't know how to do it as a man, but I am not giving up!"
It'll take a while for the radio waves to reach Earth due to the long distance. Then the people in Houston need to think about it. Even though I may not have all the resources necessary to become pregnant, I am determined to find a way. I will await Houston's answer and tell you about it later.
Mission to Mars: Ready for take-off
It's time to board the spacecraft. Okay! Wonderful! The boarding is complete. Please refrain from smoking until the captain has turned off the "fasten seatbelt" signs.
Mission to Mars: Experience on HBOT spacecraft
This chapter might surprise you! But not in the way you think. I am now on the spacecraft! I'm here for fun, but really to heal. I'm inside an oxygen chamber right now. But I'm not here for an emergency, just for prevention. Well, let's say it's for some healing.
A short time ago, I had an accident with my scooter. And since the weather is so warm here, one keeps driving around in t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. Well, when you fall off a scooter, you get some quite unsightly scratches on your skin. Most of them have healed now, but I have one problem with my foot that didn't go away. Well, as the Aussies say: "Shit happens!"
So, what is this oxygen chamber about? It increases the pressure inside to 50 kilopascals, as if underwater. That's pressure about half a bar higher than 1 atmosphere. So 1.5 atmospheres is the pressure it gets increased to. This is approximately the water pressure you would experience at a depth of 5 meters if you were diving. If you are scuba diving or free diving and you dive down to a depth of 5 meters, you have approximately 1.5 bars of pressure.
At the surface of the water, you are subject to one bar of pressure. That's from the weight and pressure of the air. Underwater, every 10 meters, it increases by another bar. So at a depth of 5 meters, you experience an increase in pressure of approximately half a bar. And that's the air pressure inside this oxygen chamber.
Through the mouthpiece, you can hear the airflow. And this airflow is pure oxygen. So you're essentially breathing pure oxygen. And you stay inside, let's say, for 60 to 90 minutes. That overloads your blood with oxygen. The pH value of your blood increases, and it gets more alkaline. Which is a smart thing because most people's blood is usually too acidic. Being more alkaline has a lot of positive medical side effects.
It even reduces your stress level; you can think clearer, and the healing process gets accelerated. That's always a good thing. So that's what I'm enjoying here. To be honest, I have not yet received the results. I'm also not wholly convinced. But I will do some more tests, and I will report back to you later!
Mission to Mars: Twins conceived in space under zero gravity to be born on Mars
I've been talking to Melon Ask. I told him that I wanted to have sex in space without gravity and make a woman pregnant! I am certainly excited about the prospect of being part of this project to conceive twins on Mars. I am hopeful that the results of the tests I am performing will confirm my commitment to making this mission a success.
And now I'm on my way. I also told Melon Ask I was short on cash, so he gave me a free ride! Can you believe it?
Houston, we have a problem ... on the mission to Mars
Where are the toilets? Let me call Earth. It'll take a couple of minutes due to the long distance. Radio waves have to travel all the way to Earth. Once they do, the people in Houston have to think about it... and then they'll come back with an answer.
So I'll tell you more about it later! I'm sure that we’ll receive an answer from Houston. And I hope it will be well worth the wait. And that I can hold my pee long enough.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
What is your mission to Mars?
- Think about something very big
- Something completely crazy
- Which seems to be out of reach within a lifetime
Why I Had To Write This Book?
HARD facts and HEART reasons
Yeah, I'm an ergonomy freak. I like to simplify things. I love effective things. That's why I keep simplifying everything. I hate double-handling and doing things twice. As soon as I understand how to do it, I try to automate it to make it easier to reproduce the same results with less effort. To put it another way, I'm lazy! I don't like doing things twice! I like a strategy that produces results. Yeah, "effectiveness" is the keyword for me behind that. Results only come from effectively doing the right thing. So, in the end, it means you’ll work got less and gain more time.
With the time you gain, you can travel. And during travel, you get a lot of inspiration, and that's a wonderful thing. So, in the end, ergonomy leads to less work and more time. Time to think. Time to travel. Fewer distractions so you can focus better. And, if you have more time to think, you will know what is essential for you, and you can focus better on the essential things. And if you have more time, you can travel. And traveling is a very inspiring experience. And with these new inspirations, your thinking time becomes more effective. And in the end, you produce better results with less effort by working less and even by having fewer costs. So you can even save more money and become financially free much earlier.
But how about gratitude? From my sister, I learned how she overcame sadness, grief, and the pain of sorrow after her husband passed away. And she did it by being grateful for the time they had together. And I learned gratitude is a habit that you can learn, you can practice and embody. People keep saying you can't buy happiness! You can buy happiness. I found a way to do so just by automating your gratitude by donating money! Just put an automatic money transfer in place to donate a bit of money. Let's say it's only a Euro a day, but it reminds you every day that you can afford it and that you can be grateful for doing so. And this is like buying happiness.
People keep saying it's better to give than to receive. But that's a very stupid interpretation of the original because it creates the mindset that people who give are more blessed than I am. You're stuck in a trap, feeling poor while other people are happy. But the original saying is it is better to be in a situation where you can give than to be in a situation where you need to receive. And that leads to a much better mindset for becoming abundant.
Become wealthy, become rich.
So the way to buy happiness is by regularly donating a little bit of money. And as soon as you can afford more, you can buy more happiness with that strategy. And it works. Apart from that, gratitude builds a very strong foundation for abundance. The beautiful thing is that your fear fades away if you feel grateful. You don't feel any fear at the same time. And here in Bali, the people practice gratitude with their little ceremonies three times a day. And you should have a look at their faces to see how they are smiling and how happy they are after doing so. The friendliness and their tolerance, especially their frustration tolerance! I'm always impressed by that. Yes, finally, they have less drama in their lives. They feel more secure because of that. They have less stress and more awareness. And more awareness leads to faster and better decisions. See, with better decisions, you go on a better road, and your life is a better Journey. The journey of your life is more pleasant because of that.
And now, how about love? Well, I love freedom. I especially love the freedom of mind. I love to travel. I love financial freedom. Yes, financial freedom is an abundance. It's about loving money. It's loving my assets. And, of course, I love my kids, and my kids are the primary reason I'm writing this book because I love them unconditionally.
And this book is also about a woman I fell in love with. She shared my love for Bali, and she shared her love with me. And I'm very grateful because she made me go and exit and escape my golden cage in Germany. She made me move to Hanoi. She made me move to Asia and travel and live overseas. And I'm so grateful for the encouragement her love gave me. And now, I want to give back.
That's why I want to give back gratefully, for what I have learned along the way. I want to help you move faster and live your dream earlier than I did. I want to encourage you to find your Bali. See, Bali in this book is just a wildcard, a placeholder. Bali can be your destination as well, but it doesn't have to be. It could be anywhere in the world. It can still be at the place where you're living. But to find your paradise - that's what this book shall serve you with.
For my beloved children who are adults meanwhile:
“I miss you, and I love you unconditionally. See, the lifestyle I'm living today goes back to a dream that started in 1989. That was more than 30 years ago. And with this book, which I'm writing for you, I want to encourage you to learn from my mistakes and not to hesitate for another 30 years until you live your dream. I want to help you with this book to understand what your dream is and to make it happen much, much faster than I did. I want to help you focus on your way to paradise to make it simpler to follow your heart's reasons and make better progress than I did. And that's why I'm sharing my learnings in this book with you.
I want you to build your wealth faster and better than I did. With wealth, I mean abundance: Inner abundance and outer abundance. So in your mind and in your financial situation, both spiritually and materially. So, my beloved kids, I want to encourage you to follow up on your dreams and make them come true. Learn from my mistakes, do better in your life, and find your own Bali, whatever that wild card in this placeholder means for you. Live your dream. Take the next step, and enjoy your journey.
Live abundantly in paradise
Your task for today
Buy happiness by donating money