Jasper Ribbers Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Jasper Ribbers
Jasper Ribbers is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots Podcast interview.
He is a man who has learnt the secret of travelling the world, whilst being funded by something he already had.
If that sounds a bit cryptic all will be revealed in the show.
But its true to say that Jasper does not follow a normal path in life
Starting his adult working life after finishing his education in the Netherlands, he worked for an arbitrage trading firm for 6 years.
It was a normal kind of job that many of us have endured. Long hours, boring work, but hey at the end of the day it paid.
And isn’t that why most of us started going to work in the first place anyway.
But Jasper Ribbers knew that he wanted more.
How The Dots Joined Up For Jasper Ribbers
So at the age of 32, he reevaluated his life goals and came up with a question to ponder.
Did he want to slave away at a mildly stimulating profession so he could perch atop a pile of assets at the ripe age of 65?
And after asking himself that question he knew it was time to leap into the unknown.
So in March of 2010, with no backup plan or prospect of gainful employment, he quit his job to pursue his lifelong dream: ultimate freedom.
How exciting is that?
So how many of you listeners would be brave enough to do just that, and of course was our guest brave or simply frightened that life was slipping away?
Well lets find out, as bring onto the show to start joining up the dots of his life, the one and only, Jasper Ribbers
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects such as:
How you don’t have to have a fixed idea of what you want, you just need to know that you want something and work towards it!
How Jasper Ribbers took the leap of faith because he didn’t want to face the thought of living a life of regrets!
Why you don’t have to have a job filling your day, you can see opportunities that you would never have seen before!
How you don’t have to quit your job to push against the comfort zone, but you must push against it whenever you can to grow!
How it takes time and practice to build a vision, and that time is going to pass anyway so you might as well get started!
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Audio Transcription Of Jasper Ribbers Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Good morning, everybody out there listening to another edition of Join Up Dots. It’s nice to have you on board. And of course you wouldn’t go anywhere else not when we’ve got amazing storeys like we’ve got today and I be honest with you, I kind of like the kind of the the travel he kind of storeys when somebody has done a leap of faith and they’ve quit their corporate job. And then they’re literally navigating through the countries of the world with their laptop. I kind of get inspired by those and I’m sure you’re going to be inspired by today’s guest, because he is a man who learned the secret of travelling the world whilst being funded by something he already had. If that sounds a bit cryptic, all will be revealed in the show. But it’s true to say that today’s guest does not follow a normal path in life. starting his adult work in life after finishing his education in the Netherlands, he worked for an arbitrage trading Burnley for six years. It was a normal kind of job that many of us have enjoyed long hours boring work, but at the end of the day it paid. And isn’t that why most of us start going to work in the first place anyway. But he knew that he wanted more. So at the age of 32, he reevaluated his life goals and came up with a question to ponder, did he want to slave away at a mildly stimulating profession, so he could purchase a top of pile of assets at the ripe age of 65? And after asking himself that question, he knew it was time to leap into the unknown. So in March of 2010, with no backup plan, or prospect of gainful employment, he quit his job to pursue his lifelong dream, ultimate freedom. How exciting is that? So how many of you is this would be brave enough to do just that? And of course, was our guest brave or simply frightened, but life was slipping away? So let’s find out as we bring on to the show, to start joining up the dots of his life, the one and only Jasper Ribbers. How are you?
Jasper Ribbers [2:13]
I’m great. Thank you for having me on the show
David Ralph [2:15]
is lovely to have you and where is life at the moment?
Jasper Ribbers [2:21]
Life is currently in Los Angeles.
David Ralph [2:23]
And have you chosen back? Or is that just where it’s happening? Because you can literally lay your head anywhere I imagine.
Jasper Ribbers [2:30]
Pretty much Yeah, yeah. The reason why I came over here to LA is working on the fruit products with a friend of mine who lives here. So and I’ve, you know, I’ve always found that when you’re working with somebody, it’s far more productive. If you’re actually in the same location, then if you’re on the other side of the world, and trying to communicate over Skype, and just timezone differences and all that kind of stuff.
David Ralph [2:55]
So what are you working on? Because? No, actually, I’m not going to ask that. I’m going to build up to that question, because that’s the big question. But the question, first of all, is, have you gained what you were looking for? ultimate freedom?
Jasper Ribbers [3:10]
Absolutely. I am pretty much location independent. I can work from anywhere in a world. As long as I have internet connexion. I do everything I do on my laptop. And, you know, I should know these days, you can go to the most remote little islands in the South Pacific. And you’ll still have Wi Fi. It’s everywhere. So So yeah, absolutely. I feel like I can do anything I want. I can spend my time with whoever I want. And I can be anywhere in the world. That
David Ralph [3:47]
doesn’t amaze you though, that Wi Fi is literally everywhere, because I I can’t get my head round it really how it works. First of all, because I this time, last Saturday, I was talking to a gentleman who was I was living on his own island in just outside Panama. And he said to me, he you know, he was on a shack or a little house on this island. And he had internet and he could sit there watching Netflix and on Facebook and all that kind of stuff. And it blows my mind. But you are literally wherever you are on Earth, you can get the football scores, he’s beyond belief.
Jasper Ribbers [4:22]
Yeah, no, it’s, it’s absolutely amazing. And, you know, I don’t understand the whole all the technical stuff behind it. But you know, we can hopefully have an expression and it goes something like, don’t ask why just take advantage of it. You know what I mean? So, you know, I was just watching the World Cup from my laptop, you know, just a few weeks ago, and I’m using a VPN, which allows me to sort of fool the internet into believing that I’m actually in Holland. So I can watch the football games with Dutch commentary, which, which I really enjoy. So you know, these days, with, with all the technology in place, it doesn’t really matter where you are you can you know, as long as you have internet connexion, you can you have access to Africa.
David Ralph [5:14]
Of course, being from Holland, Bo, you did actually have a World Cup this year, didn’t you? Don’t think as English people actually got involved in it at all, we stopped before it even started for us.
Jasper Ribbers [5:26]
Yeah, it’s a it hasn’t been a great success for you guys. So I suppose, though, you know, I have to say Costa Rica, you know, that’s a pretty good team, you know,
David Ralph [5:37]
I er but we should still be Jim way, we should still be good.
Jasper Ribbers [5:43]
And then it really well this year. And I was actually in Costa Rica, like a few months ago. So I did have some sympathy for the country until we were facing them, of course,
David Ralph [5:53]
who do the Dutch like beating more than anyone? Is it Germany is your Nemesis?
Jasper Ribbers [6:00]
Absolutely. We don’t get there’s nothing that we get more pleasure out than beating Germans.
David Ralph [6:06]
Yeah, we’re a bit like that. Really. He just really just rarely happens. That’s the problem.
Jasper Ribbers [6:12]
That is the problem. But when it does happen, it’s, it’s it’s very enjoyable.
David Ralph [6:17]
We were still talking about five one about, I don’t know, eight years ago, or 10 years ago, when Michael Alan’s got a hat trick, or whatever we do. And we still run. Yeah,
Jasper Ribbers [6:27]
I was actually living in England at the time.
David Ralph [6:29]
It was a big night. For us. It was it was one of those days that we were going to take on the world and and beat them in their own backyard, and we just never kicked on from there. It’s just dreadful. Anyway, I’m not gonna get depressed on that. Yes, but that’s not what we’re here for. This is about positive motivational speaking. And we don’t want to talk about the English football team, and just bring us all down. So you were you was a man who lead you left, basically, there’s no doubt about it, you wasn’t in gainful employment. In the Netherlands, as an owner arbitrage trader, what is bad for people who are sitting there listening to this storey, what actually is an arbitrage trader.
Jasper Ribbers [7:10]
Basically, an arbitrage trader is somebody who takes advantage of small price differences between different markets. So just to give you a quick example, you know, British Petroleum, the big English oil company, they are listed in London, but they’re also listed in New York. But it’s the same chair that’s listening. So if, if the share trades a little higher in New York than it does in London, the you can sell the one in New York, buy them on in London, and you make a small profit. And then if you do that, a couple hundred times, 1000 times a day, then in the end, the small profits add up, and you go home with a nice, sort of that cash.
David Ralph [7:50]
So So why did you have to go to an office to do that? Couldn’t you do that now, in your web or laptop, wouldn’t that be something that with your, your history of doing it and your expertise, but you could still do now?
Jasper Ribbers [8:04]
It’s definitely possible. But the one of the most important aspects of being successful with this kind of trading is the speed and the software that you have. And, you know, it’s competing from from your laptop against, against all the big guys in the US and in Europe is, is going to be very difficult. I mean, it’s, it’s possible that I, when I quit my job as a trader, I chose not to do it, because I didn’t want to have the stress that comes along with trading with your own money. Because what will happen is, you’ll 24 hours a day, you’ll just be thinking about the positions you have. And you’ll be thinking about how your day went? And, you know, it’s a, I didn’t want to do that.
David Ralph [8:53]
But it must have been a job that you wanted to do at the beginning. Was it something that was, you know, was it the kind of Show Me The Money kind of job? Or was it a path, but you’ve seen other people go into how did you actually end up in that career, which, ultimately, at the age of 32, which is probably kind of prime age really made you think, hang on, there’s got to be more to life than this?
Jasper Ribbers [9:16]
Yeah, I definitely enjoyed my job, if I didn’t hate it at all, you know, I’ve always loved playing games. And I, to me, it was just playing this big game with people from all over the world, you know, mean, so I was just sitting in front of a bunch of flat screens. And, you know, the screens were full of numbers. And it was my job to, to make the right trades and to make money for the company, and, you know, eventually for myself as well. So it’s a it was definitely something that I enjoy doing. And it wasn’t just the money that made me get into it, you know, I wasn’t really looking for, for to having a job with like, lonely meetings, and like documents review and all that kind of stuff. The you know, the idea of the sitting behind the screen, and playing like this big game really appealed to me.
David Ralph [10:10]
I was a trader for a little while, and it bought me stupid I did it for about, I went through my training, I got trained up on it. And I think I did it for about three months. And then I quit. And I was just sitting next to blokes basically looking at screens with their hands behind their head, waiting for a moment that I could leap forward and press a couple of buttons. And I just I just thought I can’t do this. This isn’t stimulating for me. And it seemed to be, you know, hours and hours of inactivity, for that one second of leap forward and bang that button and make that trade.
Jasper Ribbers [10:47]
Yep. I mean, that’s a pretty good description of what it is, you know, a lot of people think it’s really exciting and hectic and like everyone’s screaming all the time. But in reality, 80% of the time, or maybe even more, there’s just not that much going on. And you’re Yeah, you’re kind of kind of feels like you’re just wasting your time behind a desk.
David Ralph [11:07]
So was it something that was an epiphany, when when you decided to leave? Or was it something that gradually built up on you until you thought now I’ve got to really do something where you going in every day, so thinking for another day in the office? Or did he just hit hit like a bolt?
Jasper Ribbers [11:25]
No, definitely build up. The first three years, I was extremely excited about about the job. But after about three years, so I didn’t really learn much, much new. So it kind of became really repetitive. And I kind of started feeling like I was kind of a looking monkey is doing the same trick over and over again. And after five years, I I already got quite bored with it. But then I got the opportunity to move to Chicago and trade in the Chicago office. And that kind of gave gave me an A little little bit of motivation to keep doing it. At least for one more year.
David Ralph [12:08]
And what was Chicago like for you? It was it was it, you went from Amsterdam, I imagine where you were trading over to Chicago, so it was a world apart. And it was just that that change of scenery event a little bit of spark back into you.
Jasper Ribbers [12:23]
Yeah, that’s like a different trading strategy that you’re using, it’s a different market. So the you know, different environment, different people that you’re working with. So that all you know, all that new input, definitely, you know, sparked, give that extra spark to, to what I was doing. And, you know, I enjoyed my time in Chicago a lot. But, but I still knew in the back of my mind that this wasn’t like, I wasn’t going to do this forever. You know, it’s, I knew that the fingers, I didn’t really know what else to do. Because this training thing is the this really specific, I didn’t really have any other level work experience, other than like delivering water bottles when I was a student. So I had no idea what else to do. And because the money was was really good, I just followed be stupid to not, you know, sit it out for a few years and pile up a little bit of savings.
David Ralph [13:23]
So So when did it happen when when was the leap of faith.
Jasper Ribbers [13:28]
So in 2009, the after the, after the crash, the markets really slow down. And the our our sort of earnings were very much related to how much the markets were moving. So the at that time, the the future didn’t the deadlines for our company, at least for the next few years. So I just figured this was the perfect time to make decision, you know, and I was 42 at the time. So I also felt that if I wasn’t going to make the decision at the time, then it was going to only get harder and harder to make it as you’re getting older and you’re getting more sort of settled into into that frame that I was in. And you know, maybe I’ll settle down with a with a with a wife or have kids and stuff like that. So I really felt like it was an hour and everything.
David Ralph [14:30]
And when it when it happened that the fascinating thing from what you were saying there was you had no backup plan, Evelyn delivering water bottles, you had nothing else to do. And that must have been terrifying. Knowing that you’re walking away from this salary. You’re walking away from a career that most people would look at and go. That’s that’s a great career, you know, you’ve already done well for yourself, and you haven’t got anything to back it up the other van delivering water bottles, and you still walked away from it on, you know, it’s obviously panned out well for you, which is, which is marvellous. And that’s why you on the show now, but it must have been classed as madness. There must have been so many people in at that time going. Yes, but what the hell are you doing? Think what you’ve got? How did you overcome that?
Jasper Ribbers [15:11]
Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. For me, the most important thing is, I was imagining myself growing older, and not having taken that opportunity to sort of create the perfect lifestyle for yourself. And I did not want to cope with the regrets that I saw coming. You know, it just, that just seems such a horrific fall to me that I just felt like I didn’t have an option. Yeah, I mean, I had a lot of doubts, for sure, I didn’t know there was going to do. And, you know, I knew that at some point, my savings would would start running out. So I you know, I couldn’t just sit on, on a beach for the rest of my life and drink cocktails and serve, I knew that I do something. And I kind of just trust it in the fact that I will eventually figure something out. And the good thing is I did have a fair amount of savings. So I knew that I had some time to to figure things out. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t just about, you know, the money and like worrying about like, hey, am I going to get a new job or what I’m going to do it also I just wanted to be by myself and just explore the planet and sort of, you know, have time to kind of reflect on on my own life and figure out what I really wanted from it
David Ralph [16:39]
was wasn’t any time during that when you had actually left and you walked out was there any time within this or first two or three months that you almost felt, right, I’m going to go back to corporate land is what I’m comfortable with. I’ve known it for last six or seven years. That is what I’m going to do. I’m just going to step back and say, okay, I’ve had a moment of madness, or was it totally one way once you did that, you knew that you had to do everything in your power to make your future become reality?
Jasper Ribbers [17:08]
Yeah, absolutely. The second one was was the case, I did not intend to ever go back to an office. And I really promised myself that I will do everything in my power to create a different sort of lifestyle. So now I never had any sorts of like, intention to to go back into the corporate world at all.
David Ralph [17:36]
This this is amazing, partly your, your journey. And this is really what I want to emphasise to our listeners, because we do have these conversations on a daily basis. We have successful people that have taken the leap of faith, they found their path, they they’ve moved into areas, but they’re not comfortable with and overcome that fear. But so many people that do that haven’t got the answers. And so many people that are I’m willing to do that, I think that you have to have the answers before you actually start. And it’s just simply not true, isn’t it? It is the ability to just keep on moving and trying things and having successes and surrounding yourself with other like minded people. That gives you an impetus. But perhaps you couldn’t have perceived when you actually took that first that first step away from corporate?
Jasper Ribbers [18:23]
Yeah, absolutely. You know, the funny thing is, once you don’t have a full time job, that to occupy your mind, suddenly, it feels like the world just opens up and you start seeing opportunities everywhere. And one of the mistakes that I made was I, I just jumped on tonnes of opportunities that I saw at the same time. So I was doing like five things at the same time. And I was doing none of them really well. But all of them sort of like half. And, you know, therefore a little things that had that I tried, didn’t really work out. But in during the process, I learned a lot of things about you know, doing like online businesses and stuff. And it’s sort of like guided me in that direction. And through that process, I ended up where I am now. And now I have a very good idea about what I want to do. But I didn’t know at the time when I quit my job. So it’s Yeah, it’s definitely you don’t need to know what you want to do. Because even if you do it, that might change in the year because you might find something else and you jump on it and then suddenly realise, wow, I really enjoy doing this. For you know, just to give you an example. I never knew that I enjoyed writing. You know, I was always about numbers and mathematics and that kind of stuff. So if you would have told me a few years ago that I was going to write a book, I would have told you like you’re crazy. You know, that’s that’s totally not me.
Does that make sense?
David Ralph [20:02]
He totally does. But was it you when he was a younger boy? Did you like sort of writing little storeys and making towels up when he was a youngster?
Jasper Ribbers [20:10]
Not really No, I never saw myself as as a writer, and I never knew I enjoyed it so much. Yeah, and that’s what I’m trying to say like it’s, it’s a once you once you have the freedom to sort of engage in any type of activity that you want, you know, you’ll you’ll find things that you really enjoy that you’re passionate about that you would never have guessed. And that’s sort of the point I’m trying to make
David Ralph [20:37]
it let’s play a little snippet of some motivational speech that was done recently. And I played this on most of the shows now, because it really emphasises the point you’re making. I’m just going to play bass. And I’d like to get your thoughts afterwards. My father
Unknown Speaker [20:50]
could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [21:16]
That kind of says what you’re saying, doesn’t it?
Jasper Ribbers [21:20]
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, another way to look at it is, I mean, most successful people have failed many times. And, you know, I really like this, I heard, I don’t want to remember who said this, but somebody wants told me, you’re going to fail before you get be successful. So you might as well fail fast. You know, get those failures in because that’s the success lies behind those failures. And so yeah, I I definitely, that the little snippet that you play doesn’t definitely resonates with me very well.
David Ralph [21:59]
I think what you’re saying is so true, because it resonates with me as well. When I left for my corporate job, I’d actually been on a journey for I reckon about five years building online sites and working in an online environment. And it was that kind of that that hobby, really, that made me see what other people were doing in the world. And thinking this is got to be better than sitting in an office every day. There’s people you know, literally taking their laptops around and plunking them down and picking up the Wi Fi and doing this, why the hell am I coming to this desk every day. But my journey is actually about five years. And when you were saying that you did loads of things, and you were failing, or you didn’t quite do enough of them. I was exactly that as well. And I would work really hard on something. And looking back on it, I think it was almost near the tipping point of being successful before I thought, Oh, it’s not quite working, I’ll try something else. And I look at them now. And they’re still floating around the online space, these websites in there. Funnily enough, a lot of them have become more successful, since I’ve done nothing with them at all, when they were when I was actually sort of pushing on pushing on pushing on thinking this is the key to my freedom. But you find through that, through those failures, you do find something or it starts getting a plan in your head. And when you find that and you follow that one course until success, as I call it focus, you really do get a head start and everybody else. So I don’t think what you ever did was failures in any shape or form. I think it was just a stepping stones towards finding something that feels naturally good to you plays to your strengths and fills your passions.
Jasper Ribbers [23:39]
Yeah, that makes sense to me. Yeah. I mean, there’s different ways of looking at it. And, you know, I like the way you look at it, because it’s much more positive. Because, you know, failure sounds very, like negative and dark, you know, and people are are, are afraid of it. But, you know, in a sense, I feel like it’s also it’s something that should be embrace, because, yeah, just like you said, it’s more like a stepping stone towards success. So, you know, one of the things I’ve learned is not to be afraid of failing, because it even if you either fail, and then you’ve learned something, or you succeed, and then you’re successful. So, you know, always kind of a positive outcome.
David Ralph [24:21]
He must have been scared of failing when he was an arbitrage trader because it was playing within the margins, wasn’t it? And you can fail big time, I used to sit there almost giving myself a stomach ulcer thinking, is this the right time? Is this the right time? Is this a boom, I’ve been doing it. And afterwards. And it was bad, as I was saying, You sit there all day doing nothing at all. And then suddenly, you’re almost doing your nuttin trying to find the right time to press this button. And it is it’s just living on the edge of failure all the time in being an arbitrage trader.
Jasper Ribbers [24:52]
Yeah, absolutely. I was I was really, really frightened in the first few weeks of my career, when they threw me in front of the line and, you know, just have to start trading. And, and yeah, it was it was very, very scary. And also knowing that most of the people who started at my company didn’t make it for the first six months. So and then there was like, the competitive environment, where people were very sort of direct in their communications and not really forgiving if you if you make some mistakes, you know, I got yelled at quite a few times in my first few months. So it’s Yeah, it’s not the definitely not a very comfortable environment to be in, when you’re just starting out.
David Ralph [25:41]
But But did it train you looking back on it? Did it train you to overcome the fear of failure?
Jasper Ribbers [25:49]
Yeah, I mean, it definitely, it definitely did. I definitely build, build some confidence, when you trying something that’s, that’s not that easy, and it really, really scared. And then after a while, when you get the hang of it, and you become successful at it. That’s definitely like a good sort of positive reference experience, that it can help you in future
David Ralph [26:13]
is amazing to me boba. Every time I had conversations with people on this show, they all have that ability to overcome the fear, they all have that ability to live just on the edge of their comfort zone. Because if they know, by stepping past that comfort zone, they’re going to improve, and they’re going to go into areas I’ve never been to, and they’re going to meet people that are ahead of them. And they’re the exciting movers and shakers that can show you the path and show you the possibilities of what’s gonna be happening. Now you take it away from these conversations, and I talked to, you know, the people in the street, but normal people to nine to five type of people, they’re totally a different ballgame, very much just keeping to what they’ve got. They don’t want lose it. Wow. It’s just it’s just a job. It’s just employment. And we’re lucky to be in a job and might not have a job next year. But all that kind of stuff is a totally different mindset to the successful to the maintain is, I would say they who maintain just what they’ve got.
Jasper Ribbers [27:17]
Yeah, absolutely. We agree more. And, you know, they say that learning happens outside of the comfort zone. And that’s, that’s definitely, that’s definitely true, I think. And, well, they don’t they could they call it a comfort zone for a reason, you know, it’s very comfortable to be in the comfort zone. So it’s, it can be a bit scary to step out of it. But I think, I think it’s something that you can, you can kind of train and it’s not even just about quitting your job and doing your own thing. I mean, even within your job, you know, you can step outside of your comfort zone, you can take on tasks that you are not sure about if you can, if you can do them and and that way you can grow within an organisation as well, using that same mentality.
Does that make sense?
David Ralph [28:09]
It makes total sense. It does make total sense. And so when you you first sort of started finding your freedom, do you remember sort of meeting somebody about you kind of went, Oh, my God, this is like meeting Yoda or something, this person seems to have all the answers. Because we all benchmark ourselves against success. And when we see these people, we kind of get our, that’s what I want to be. And I also write for them. Because you know, it’s just naturally easy for them. Because you don’t see all those those dots, those stepping stones leading up to it, did you have any of those kind of moments when you saw somebody and you were just in awe of them? Because they just seem to know everything?
Jasper Ribbers [28:49]
I wouldn’t say it was like one person I felt was doing everything right, I kind of just took a small bets from a lot of different people. You know, I mean, one of the great aspects of travelling is that you get to meet a lot of people, and often you meet people who are in a similar boat, or even even when I was travelling in the holidays, when I was still have my job I I sometimes met these people who were, you know, just travelling the world and working laptops. And that’s kind of how I, you know, develop this idea as well like, meeting other people who did it. So I would just every time I would meet somebody, I would just think, like, hey, what, what’s what is this person doing right now? What can I learn from this person, and then just kind of trying to implement that. And if you if you meet, like, 50 people, and you implement every single person what they’re doing right, then, you know, you’re at some point, you’re going to do a lot of things. Right, right. Yeah,
David Ralph [29:48]
yeah, absolutely. You can’t fail to improve, can you?
Jasper Ribbers [29:53]
Yeah, and it’s, it’s just really, it’s really inspiring to meet people are doing different things. And it’s just a, you know, everybody has, like really good insights, you know, every single person that you meet will have a few good insights that you can learn from. So I actually started focusing a little bit more on spending time with fellow entrepreneurs, because I’ve really seen the value of it. So what I do now is I try to be locations where a lot of like minded people typically reside, or hang out. And I tried to really connect with with people, you know, try to find people through common friends and see in, you know, trying to sort of like extend my network and meet up with people and talk to them and ask them questions like what, you know, what did it take for you to, to reach this point and be successful, and really, consciously try to learn from them?
David Ralph [31:00]
Those four people in a corporate world, or they’re just in a job, or they’re in a situation where they want to do something like yourself, but they haven’t got that ability of surrounding themselves with like minded positive individuals? Are there any tips that you could suggest that they can find those Connexions and build up that network?
Jasper Ribbers [31:22]
Yeah, I mean, the most important thing is to be really proactive, you know, I would suggest to go line and just find a bunch of people that inspire you, and then literally just shoot them a message, because you’ll actually be surprised how often people will respond. You know, that if you, if you even if you think it’s like a really big name, you know, I mean, you know, if you if you hit up Tim Ferriss or something, then, you know, maybe this is this a smaller chance, but you never know. Right? I mean, one of the things I’ve learned as well as not to make negative assumptions, I used to make them all the time, and I think a lot of people do. So instead of thinking, Oh, I’m not going to hit up this person, because he’s never going to respond. You know, you don’t know, like it does. It’s disempowering to make negative assumptions. So if you don’t know something, you might as well make the the assumption that empowers you. So if you think like, yeah, this person is definitely gonna get back to me, then that empowers you to actually send the message. See, I mean,
David Ralph [32:26]
no, I agree with that. Totally. And you do rarely get a no. And that’s been a thing, getting this show off the ground was the was the Achilles heel, really, of my fear of reaching out to complete strangers and saying to them, Look, I’m creating a show, I’ve never recorded an episode, would you be on it? And you think to yourself, Why the hell would they do it? You know, that there’s no reach, there’s no audience, there’s no way of selling their products to it? And they would say yes, and they would. And I think the success people and the entrepreneurs, like the fact number one, that you’re trying, because they’ve been through it themselves, and by you going to give something back as well. And I, you know, I’m still a nobody compared to the like, the online giants, but I’m starting to find traction in my life, where people are coming through to me and asking questions and stuff. And I always, you know, whether it’s the right answer or wrong answer, I give them my honest opinion, because I know what it feels like to reach out to somebody. And it’s, it is probably the most important thing you can do. If you have got an idea, if you’ve got a passion, if you’ve got a dream that you want to actually achieve, look online, because that’s the best place, you can just look online, and you can check across the world and find like minded people that are already doing it, and ask them, How did they do it? How did they feel if they got any tips for you, and I guarantee, you know, 90% of the time, probably more valuable come back, and you know what you’ve done, then you build up a network and you build up a connexion. And as long as you don’t keep on hassling them all the time. It’s very, very useful.
Jasper Ribbers [34:10]
Absolutely. Another thing you can do is go to conferences, conferences are great opportunity to meet a lot of people. Like, for example, I went to a travel bloggers conference in October, as because I’m, I am doing a travel blog, some and I met so many people there and you know, it’s, that’s just like, you can make so many connections in just a few days. And when you’ve actually met somebody in person, you’re also much more likely to build a connexion with the person and, and, and that way, you can just get a lot of value.
David Ralph [34:49]
So so if we sort of step back to your ultimate freedom plane, we we now know that you’ve had this leap of faith, we now know that you jumped without any backup plan, you didn’t have the answer. You just thought, Oh, my God, I’ve got to figure something out. Did you then have a plan of where you wanted to travel to? Or did you find yourself in an area for a while before the actual travelling Dutchman sort of brand became a reality?
Jasper Ribbers [35:19]
Yeah, the first country I went to was Brazil. And the reason I I went there is because I had a friend who was in between jobs. And he was going to spend a few months in Brazil, and he invited me sounds like hey, if you’re, if you quit your job, like when she’s come over, and we’ll hang out on the beach, and, you know, I’ll show you around. And so that was kind of my first step. And to go to Brazil.
David Ralph [35:50]
And you stayed there for a while? Or was it just for a few weeks?
Jasper Ribbers [35:54]
Yeah, I ended up staying there for three months. And that was actually, that was a great experience, because psycho like Lou fell in love with the country. And I’d say Brazil, still my favourite country. So I was definitely like, a great place to start.
David Ralph [36:08]
And then what sort of made you move on from there?
Jasper Ribbers [36:13]
Well, I didn’t just want to be in one country. You know, my, my aspiration was really to, to learn, like different cultures, to explore different countries, like I had this curiosity about the world, that I just wanted to go to places and see what it was like. So after, after my first few months in Brazil, I think I’ve been over 50 countries in Latin in the last four years or so. So I definitely for few years, I was just bouncing around like crazy, you know, going to this place for a few weeks and then go to the next place. And
yes, kind of like global travelling
David Ralph [36:55]
around the world, went to any countries that you went to an almost a soon as you got there you for hanging on, don’t think I like this. I’ve spoken to quite a lot of people who say, if you’re travelling around the world, you’ve really got to go with gut intuition. And they’ve been in certain places where people have gone, that’s a dangerous place to go. And I’ve gone there and I thought, No, this is all right. And I’ve been in other places where they just say the Bible Belt wrong, and they moved on very, very quickly. Did you have any of those kind of experiences?
Jasper Ribbers [37:28]
You know, it’s, I actually enjoy going to lots of different types of locations. And I’ve never really had that experience where I arrived in a country and I was like, Oh, this sucks, you know, I don’t want to be here. It’s I think it’s because I’m just really curious about about places. So even if it’s the most not the most sort of flashy and exciting place to be, I still enjoy just walking down the street and just getting a sense of what people are about and what, what local life looks like. But the one place that I thought was pretty dooming was a city in China that I went to, it’s called crunch. Joe. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. No, I haven’t. It’s, well, it’s I went, I was there because of the Canton Fair, which is like the one of the biggest, if not the biggest trading, trading fairs in the world. And seriously, Kwang Joe was so depressing, it was completely grey, like the sky was filled with smog. And I think there’s like 15 million people living there. But I don’t have you ever played this game? Sim City? Yes. So it almost seemed like somebody literally just created one grey, like very cheap, sort of concrete apartment complex, and then just hit the copy paste button for like 2000 times. It was so depressing. That I was I remember when we when I left, I was with, with my friends. And we’re sitting in a taxi back to the airport. And we’re discussing, like, how much money would somebody have to give you to spend like one year here? You know what I mean? And I was just like, wow, I don’t even know if if there’s any amount that will that will make me stay in this place for a year. It just, it just feels so depressing.
David Ralph [39:33]
But that’s the beauty of your life, isn’t it? But you can make those decisions, and you can move to where the sun is shining brightly. And that must be Yeah, that must be liberating.
Jasper Ribbers [39:43]
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, just the fact that he can escape the winter. You know, like, when I found out, like, after a few years of travelling, I found out that in the southern hemisphere. When it’s winter in the north, it’s somewhere in the south. So you, so I decided, Hey, I’m never going to I’m never going to have a winter again in my life.
David Ralph [40:03]
And have you not have you not had snow? You haven’t had us all of the European winter.
Jasper Ribbers [40:08]
Now, the only time is when I go back to Europe to go skiing with my family.
David Ralph [40:12]
Which obviously you want winter, you want snow, but that would just be stupid, wouldn’t it?
Jasper Ribbers [40:16]
Yeah, it’s I mean, I’ve tried skiing on the grass. But no, it doesn’t really work that well. No, like the lifts are closed as well. So you have to walk up the hill. And it’s kind of tiring, you know. So yeah, I definitely recommend for people who want to go skiing, and I would recommend snow.
David Ralph [40:33]
So just before we play the Steve Jobs speech, which the whole theme of the show is based around, has it been, as we call a big.in your life where you look back? And you go, yes, that was the moment that yes, but rivers really started to come of age. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be the leap of faith. It might be after that leap of faith it might be performing. But you look back and you go Yeah, that that that that was it. That was the moment when things changed for me, did you have that big dog?
Jasper Ribbers [41:02]
I think it was when I started my travel blog. And the reason is, I was very apprehensive about starting it because I kept worrying about what other people would find it interesting, like what people would want to hear my storey or if I was, you know, I didn’t see myself as a writer. And then I was going to write in English as well, which is not my native language. So I was really sort of apprehensive about starting this blog. And I postponed it for for for a long time, actually. And at some point, when one of my friends just told me to just launch it. And I, I remember, I created a Facebook page for the blog. And I wasn’t even, I wasn’t even planning on launching it yet. But the Facebook page, for some reason it went live. And I didn’t realise it, but people were able to see it. So suddenly, like, I go on my Facebook, and I see that people are liking my page. And I go Oh, shit, like, now I kind of have to launch it. Because, you know, yeah, so then I just like quickly, you know, I spent a few days and then just, you know, sort of made everything look sort of acceptable and quickly wrote a bunch of extra storey. So I wouldn’t have just one blog post. And, and that was sort of a really interesting moments. And for me, because, because that’s when I sort of got over the fear of just, you know, putting myself out there. If that makes sense.
David Ralph [42:38]
It makes total sense. And I have exactly the same storey when I decided to do this show. I first of all, had the fear of reaching out to people. And then when I started coming back to me and going, yes, we’re be on this show. It was like, Oh, my God, I’m gonna have to do this. I don’t know anything. I don’t know how to structure show, I don’t know how to do an interview. Right? Okay, I’ve just got to do this. And when I started recording, and I got 30 recorded, and I thought I’m going to launch. And then I thought I don’t want to launch, this is going to be bad. And you have all worked out, you have all those things in your head, until you actually launch. And nobody notices. And this is that this is a key message really, I want everyone to and I pretty much say the same thing, every single episode. If you’ve got an idea, a dream in your life that you want to do, especially in the online environment, hardly anyone’s going to notice when you first do it. Yeah, so it makes no difference when you launch. Once you start getting a bit of momentum and stuff. Hopefully by that stage, you’ve done it consistently. And you practice and you built it into something that you’re proud of. But when you first start, I spent more time in the first 30 days looking at something and thinking oh my God, I’ve gone that route, done that wrong and having to go back and change 30 episodes, but anything else. Now it’s a lot more streamlined because I know what I’m going to do, but you can start ugly Can’t you can start ugly. And it’s done awful website, awful blog, the awful product or whatever. And it really doesn’t matter. There’s no one’s going to notice.
Jasper Ribbers [44:07]
Exactly, yeah, it takes a long time to build a substantial audience online. And, and also, like, you know, we’re, we’re naturally always worried about an older people think right? And it’s very hard to sort of get it get rid of that. But But yeah, you’re absolutely right. I think the best thing you can do is just go ahead and launch it, you know, whatever you’re you’re planning to do. And it’s funny. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about Jim the luminous his storey? Yes. Like he’s, so he has an Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, which is a very popular one. And I really like the way he started because he had a mentor. And he had the same fear as as, as we all have, you know, he felt it wasn’t good enough. And he didn’t want to launch it. So he kept postponing it. And at some point, his mentor told him, okay, you’re going to launch lunch today. And if you don’t do that, I am going to fire you, I’m not going to be your mentor anymore. And that created so much fear within within themselves because he’s thinking, Oh shit, if this man, my mentor quits, then what am I going to do? So this created such a sense of accountability for himself. And so he just launched it this the day that she told him that. And it’s funny, because now he calls it the hundred thousand dollar mistake, because he’s that he didn’t start it a month earlier, because now he’s making like, $100,000 a month of it. I think he’s Yeah, he’s probably making more now but but the interesting thing is, he’s, you know, he calls it the hundred thousand dollar mistake that he that he postponed his podcast lounge for for one month. And that just shows that, you know, the, the best thing you can do is just get it out there, you know, and you can improve. Later on with this, it doesn’t really matter. No, it’s the same. I mean, I’m about to launch a podcast in a few days. And, you know, I already know that the first five episodes, I just listened to them. And I cannot really come up with like 20 things that that aren’t perfect, you know, but instead of instead of spending like, way too much time trying to perfect every single episode. I’m just gonna launch this. And then I’ll just make the improvements in the next 10 episodes.
David Ralph [46:27]
Yeah, absolutely. Well, congratulations on that. Because it’s an absolute ride doing this is the most amazing thing that I’ve ever done in my life. And I was exactly the same when when I launched, I didn’t hold back on launching, I had certain things that stopped me, but I was ready to go. It was just the way that life was sort of occurring. But my problem was different. In my head, it was going to be the most brilliant podcaster anyone had ever heard. And I couldn’t get my vision out. And that was the problem. So the first sort of five, I’m a member I hate about Episode 35 when he started to ping, yeah, this is starting to get close to what I first envisioned. And now into 150, I would say that we’re, you know, with with 70%. Bear, but there’s still like 30% that I can kind of almost picture in my mind. It’s like I’ve created this amazing Symphony. That’s so perfect. But when I actually sit down and play on the piano, it’s not as good as I can get in my brain, you know. But I just think that is that is practice. I think it’s practice, and I think it’s momentum, and then you start getting guests who already know what you’re about. So you don’t have to go in cold, and you just build it, build it up, build it up. I just released Episode 82 today, and I can already see a momentum happening, but wasn’t visible 30 episodes ago. Now I’m having people coming to me saying could I be on the show? That was really hard. At the beginning, I was just chipping away, chipping away chipping away. So if you know what we’re saying, it’s not overnight, you have to have perseverance, you’ve got to try different things. And if you fail, fail fast, and then get the next one. And just keep on failing fast, until you find something that you think hang on this, this kind of bills, why I think I might be able to do this, and it’s got legs, and I can do the passion inside me.
Jasper Ribbers [48:20]
Yeah, you don’t learn anything before you start. So you know, it doesn’t really make sense to try and come up with this perfect product that you envision and spent months and months like trying to perfect it in your mind. Because once you put it out there, there’s always going to be things that you want to improve. But because it’s impossible to to create something perfectly or in your head, right? It’s, it’s just much faster just to come up with something, something simple, put it out there and then build on it, you know, and you’ll get feedback from people. And you. And that’s where the learning curves really really Stephens when you when you actually put something out there?
David Ralph [48:59]
Well, I’m going to play your speech. I’m Steve Jobs now. And I’m going to ask your point of view on it. And then I’m going to ask about the product that I’m aware, and the book that you’ve written recently, because it is a fascinating thing. And as I said in the introduction, it really has helped you travel the world whilst being funded by something you already had. So this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [49:19]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [49:54]
So all those words true to yourself. Yes, but
Jasper Ribbers [49:58]
yeah, absolutely. What I, what I think about when I hear it is, is the idea of, you know, sort of carving out your own path. And I remember we talked about we talked earlier about when you when you’re starting something new, often it’s hard to get support for your environment, like your family, your friends. And, and that’s because they don’t, they don’t see that path yet, because it’s not there. But the interesting thing is, once you’ve created that path for yourself, and you connect the dots, then suddenly people around you can see that you’ve managed to create your own path, and then suddenly everyone becomes way more supportive. You know, and then suddenly, people will will say things like, wow, that’s, that’s awesome what you’re doing and like, you know, I, I always knew you had it in you and, and stuff like that. But when you’re actually starting the journey, most people will say, well, you crazy like you just leaving everything behind. And now you’re giving everything up. And that’s because they can see that path yet.
David Ralph [51:05]
I had a chap at my old office, and I won’t mention his name, because I’m sure he’s not listening anyway. But I was always the guy with the sort of self development books the thinking Grow Rich, change your life in in one week, that the four hour workweek, all those kinds of books. And I had one and it was something like, expand your mind and create amazing futures or something like that. And this chap picked up and he didn’t realise I was just behind him. And he said, always this one of the David’s baulks Yeah, Trouble is, he never does anything amazing. And he never will. And I remember hearing him say this. And then I kind of held back for about two minutes. And then I walked back. So it was like I hadn’t heard this. And it really that was one of my thoughts as well. That was one of the moments that I thought to myself, you know, in the nicest way, screw you, you don’t know anything about me, and you don’t know what I’m doing. And you don’t know what I’m going to be achieving. You’re just basing your, your statement on yourself. And it really did power me on. And I was pretty burnt up by it for a while. But I look back on it now. And I think I’m glad you said that. Because that is one of those things that drives me on to do this, and put myself out there. But it’s absolutely true. What you’re saying as well. Once you start getting out there. Somebody said to me the other day, it’s like a success vacuum. At the beginning, no one comes anywhere near you. And as you become more successful, they start gravitating towards you. It’s like you’re sucking in success. And when you find yourself surrounded by success, which brings more success, and that momentum just carries you forward is fascinating to see it happen.
Jasper Ribbers [52:42]
Yeah, I mean, they say that you are about as successful as the five, the five closest people around you. So one way to, to sort of help you being successful is just to surround yourself with successful people. And you’re absolutely right. Once you once you become your successful yourself, then you see other people trying to be around you do the same thing.
So it’s a quite an interesting sort of dynamic,
David Ralph [53:09]
it’s kind of like personal. I don’t know what it is, it’s not becoming a personal magnet, no one wants to know you. Steve Martin once said, be so good until they can’t ignore you anymore, or something along those lines. And it really emphasises this conversation, where at the beginning, no one’s going to pay any attention. But once you start getting it going, and you’ve really put in the hours and you practice vain, you create a force that can’t be reckoned with, and you basically can’t fight it, it becomes bigger and bigger and bigger, and almost becomes effortless. But it’s only yet effortless because you have spent the hours the weeks the years whatever, building those foundations to make it seem effortless.
Jasper Ribbers [53:51]
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, it’s what’s interesting about being being with with successful people is, first of all, obviously, you can shave a little knowledge. But I wouldn’t say that’s even the biggest thing, the biggest is fate is just trying to sort of figure out what their mindset is, you know, and what is it in them within themselves that that makes them successful and, and trying to, like, just kind of by Oprah, Moses, Moses, trying to like, you know, like, like, become, become more like that person. It’s like things like, what I’ve noticed in people that are very successful is their drive, you know, the effort, like it’s, it’s often not so much about talent and luck, it’s more about just determination, and share effort, you know, like hard work, and pushing through not getting up. And having that right mindset of, of positive thinking and not making excuses for yourself doing the right thing, even though it’s uncomfortable, or it’s scary, you know, and, and that’s probably the biggest things I’ve learned from, from surrounding myself with, with, with successful people.
David Ralph [55:10]
Just before we get to the end of the show, and we put you on the mic, and we send you back in time to have a one on one with yourself. Just before the Steve Jobs speech, I was talking about the product you created that has funded you’re travelling around the world, and I believe it’s called air b&b. Is that right?
Jasper Ribbers [55:26]
Yeah, that’s correct. I started renting out my apartment in Amsterdam about two years ago on Airbnb, and I was absolutely swept away by the results. Within a few months, I was I was having like almost 100% occupancy, and I was waking, like two to three times more than I was when I was renting it out the long term. So it was so mind blowing to me that I, I decided that I wanted to spread the word. And it was also such a great experience to share my house in my neighbourhood with people from all over the world and, and meeting a lot of people making friends. You know, I was just so excited about this whole Airbnb thing that I rented wanted to write a book about it. And I’ve also noticed that a lot of hosts were kind of missing out on, on like, creating, like the best guests experience and, and therefore being successful with their listing. So I kind of wanted to teach people how to do it, because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out like, well, what’s the best way of doing this Airbnb thing, you know, I had so much fun with it. So I really dove into all the materials I could find. And I experimented. And I asked guests for feedback. And at some point I’ve, I felt like I’ve created such a such a great system to put in place and running your Airbnb listing. So that’s really what the book is about. It’s, it’s kind of an all encompassing guide to starting from scratch. And, you know, just creating that successful Airbnb business and making either a side income or even, you know, almost a full time income, like, whatever, whatever you want. But it’s just about teaching people how to make the most out of a listing and creating the best guest experience as possible.
David Ralph [57:24]
It must be amazing sitting on a beach in Bora Bora thinking, some complete strangers paying for this.
Jasper Ribbers [57:31]
And it’s what’s more amazing is that when a person leaves, and you read the review, and you see that the person had a great time, and it’s very, very happy to have the opportunity to stay in your house. I can’t think of anything that’s more of a win win situation than that.
David Ralph [57:48]
So where can people buy this book.
Jasper Ribbers [57:51]
So we actually are giving away the first chapter and as well as the prologue and the introduction of the book for people who want to sort of check it out and get a feel for what the book is about. So people go to get paid for your pad calm, they can leave their email address, and we’ll send you the free sample pages. And we also sent you a free part email training course with all sorts of tips and advice on how to improve your Airbnb listing.
David Ralph [58:26]
We will have that on the show notes. So bringing us to the end, yes, but this is the motivational powerhouse ending when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and have a chat. What kind of age would you choose? Would it would it be a much younger? Yes, but totally up to you. But I’m gonna play the tune. And when it fades out your lap, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Here we go. With the best beer on the show.
Jasper Ribbers [59:12]
Nice to meet you young Yes, for you who are now 15 years old. And this is older, yes, for speaking who is 47 years old. And in the last 22 years, I have learned a lot about life. And I wanted to give you five pieces of advice that will help you reach your full potential.
Don’t worry about what other people think of you
only make assumptions that are empowering. Don’t set your own limits, push ahead and find them. In every situation, take right action in spite of your fears. And the last one, focus on the things you fear most because that that’s where you learn the most. And that’s where you grow.
David Ralph [1:00:03]
And if you had to choose one, yes, but what would be the main one, the real one that you’d want the young Yes, but to focus in on
Jasper Ribbers [1:00:10]
I would want him to focus on the assumption aspect because I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned in life is not to make a negative assumption. Because because it just holds you back and it prevents you from from reaching the your goals and doing the things you want. So it just makes a lot of sense to me. You know, if you don’t know something, then you might as well just believe whatever empowers you to take action and improve.
David Ralph [1:00:40]
I’ve loved having you on the show today. How can they connect with you
Jasper Ribbers [1:00:44]
there’s there’s a few ways you can connect with me. You can go to the travelling Dutchman calm you can download my my free travel ebook, Paris, if that’s something that you were interested in, it’s kind of talks about all the things that I’ve learned throughout my journey around the world, and a lot of practical tips and tricks on how to make your travels as smooth as possible. So travelling Dutchman calm, you can also go like decided I mentioned earlier, get paid for your pad. And once you sign up for my free sample chapter, so you get a few emails for me and feel free to ask any questions about Airbnb hosting, and I will answer every single email personally so. So those are the two places that are that you can find out more about me.
David Ralph [1:01:35]
We will have bows on the show knows. Yes. But thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Yes, be with us. Thank you so much.
Jasper Ribbers [1:01:52]
Thanks, David. It was my pleasure to be on the show. Thank you very much and good luck.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version, the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.