Welcome To The Join Up Dots Business Coaching Podcast – How To Start Living Rent Free With Ian Usher
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Introducing The Living Rent Free Expert Ian Usher
Living rent free is the dream for most people across the world.
You have a roof over your head, but someone else is paying for the majority of your expenses.
Seems too good to be true?
Well back on episode 138 of Join Up Dots I first interviewed a guy who had an amazing story of action taking.
Which has pushed him into living a rent free life across the world.
It was eleven years ago in 2008, when he made headlines across the world.
This was action taking born out of desperation and despondency.
How The Dots Started Joining Up For Ian Usher
He auctioned his entire life.
His car, home, job and friends all went on eBay, after his marriage collapsed six years after leaving the United Kingdom and setting up home in Australia.
He earnt £192,000 and instead of settling back into domestic life with the sudden windfall went for adventure.
He created a bucket list of 100 things to do and went out and did them.
If you want to hear how that all continued then jump over to the interview
After all the publicity died down, using an additional windfall from the Disney Corporation he bought an Island.
This wasn’t quite living rent free but was one of the dots getting him there.
Yes instead of slipping back into the typical life style of a northern Englishman he continued the adventure.
In 2011 he bought a small island off the coast of Panama in the Caribbean, which he later sold to Graham Hughes.
As he says “Once again, as I did in 2009 when my house in Australia sold, I find myself without any ties, no property, and very little in the way of possessions. And I feel incredibly free.”
How Do You Start To Living Rent Free
So what do you do then on the road to living rent free?
How do you take this feeling of liberation and freedom and create additional income streams for yourself?
Well as we tackled on his second visit to the show, his action taking moved him into the wonderful world of house-sitting.
Upon a chance meeting with Nat and Jodie also previous guests on Join Up Dots his living rent free lifestyle started taking shape.
He now lives a life travelling the world.
Living rent free as he stays in properties everywhere, experiencing a lifestyle that others crave.
And now will be a simple step to start enjoying yourself.
So when he started house-sitting was living rent free the first thing that occurred to him, or a forgotten perk?
And how can be get involved and start living a similar lifestyle?
Well let’s find out how to start living rent free as we join up even more dots with the one and only Ian Usher.
During the show we discussed such subjects with Ian Usher such as:
Why house-sitting is an amazing way to experience life across the world whilst being free from major restraints.
We discuss the restrictions that appear in your life time and time again that aren’t there.
Why the life you take is always based around action taking first and foremost. No one can stop you other than you
Ian reveals how his dad showed him experiences were worth so much more than money in so many ways.
We talk about the effort that is involved in making something seem very very easy.
We hope that you enjoy this podcast episode and got inspired by the content we presented to you.
Thank you so much for listening to the show and we hope to have you back with us too soon.
How To Connect With Ian Usher & The Housesitting Team
Other Tips For Living Rent Free
There are of course loads of ways to start living rent free if you think about it.
- You can always rent out your room on airbnb.
- How about jam your house with mates who help you cover mortgage costs.
- This is the house-sitting gem that really is rent free.
- Find a Rent-for-Work Situation.
- Find Work as a Live-In Nanny or Pet Sitter.
- Manage an Apartment Building.
- Live with a Relative and Do Chores for Rent.
- Move Back in With Your Parents.
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of Living Rent Free With Ian Usher
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 and 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, good morning to you. Good morning. And welcome to another edition of the motivational inspirational show which is Join Up Dots which is of course, in its fifth year now and very few times has a guest really not just changed the episode that they’re in but actually changed the direction of Join Up Dots. But this guy certainly did. So let’s give him the big build up that he deserves. Now, living rent free is I suppose the dream for most people across the world. You have a roof over your head but someone else is paying for the majority If your expenses seems too good to be true, well back on episode 138 of Join Up Dots I first interviewed this guy who had an amazing story of action taking which has pushed him into living, rent free life across the world. It was 11 years ago in 2008 when he made headlines everywhere. Now this was action taking bone out of desperation and despondency he auctioned his entire life. He’s car home job and all friends went on eBay after his marriage collapse. Six years after leaving the United Kingdom and setting up home in Australia. He earned 192 grand and instead of settling back in domestic life with the sudden windfall went through adventure, he created a bucket list of 100 things to do and went out and did them. Now if you want to hear how that all continued, Ben jumped over to that interview. But the second time he was on the show, we tied into what happened after the publicity died down using an additional windfall from the Disney Corporation. eople an island now it wasn’t quite living rent free, but it was one of those dots getting him there. Yes, instead of sleeping back into the typical lifestyle of a northern Englishman. He continued the adventure and in 2011, he bought the small island off the coast of Panama in the Caribbean, which he later sold to Graeme Hughes, the first person to visit every country on Earth, and also paid as a two part visit on episode 117 and 116 of Join Up Dots. As he says, once again, as I did in 2009, when my house in Australia sold, I find myself without any ties, no property, and very little in the way of possessions and I feel incredibly free. So what do you do when on the road to living rent free? How do you take this feeling of liberation and freedom and create additional income streams for yourself? Well, as we tackled on his second visit to the show, he’s action taken moved him into the wonderful world of how sitting and upon a chance meeting with Nat and Jody, you guessed it, they also appeared as guests on Join Up Dots. He’s living rent free lifestyle started taking shape, and he now travels around the world living in properties We were experiencing lifestyle but others crave. And now will be a simple step to start enjoying yourself. I imagine. So when he started house hitting house sitting, I had to be careful. I said that the first thing that occurred to him was this is brilliant, or is this just you know how life is going to be from now on? And how can you get involved and start living a similar lifestyle? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show, to start joining up even more dots with the one and only Mr. Ian Usher.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [3:35]
Very well, thank you. I’m very honoured to be back again for a third time.
David Ralph [3:39]
Yes, you are the first ever third I am person. And generally I get a lot of people saying, oh, David, I feel I should come back. And I always go, Well, why do you feel that and it’s generally that they’ve got a book out or something that they’re sort of voting. And so I normally say well, it’s not quite right at the moment with yourself. May yet I was going through that introduction and doing the research on you once more, I’d forgotten how big apart you were with Join Up Dots, not just the fact of you being on three times, but the guests that you’ve met that you’ve introduced and stuff. So I’d like to say thank you so much, you made it a lot easier for me.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [4:19]
Well, thank you and thank you to where, you know, it’s the connections you make and the people you meet along along the journey. I think what what a part of the fun of living an adventurous lifestyle and and you You must get to meet some amazing people in the interviews using the connections you make is different.
David Ralph [4:39]
I meet them through the podcast, but I very rarely meet anybody in real life. If
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [4:47]
Ah, that’s so we’re similar. We’ll get to our guest shortly but it is a very sort of transient lifestyle and a lot of our connections with other house sitters who who Maybe in Australia or the states or other parts of the world and, and we sort of we have this online connection with a lot of people. And we do get to meet some of them in real life, which is a real pleasure. But a lot of our connections to are online, but it’s still, I think, equally inspiring to see how others that we live in living a life that’s different to the norm, and how people can step out of the rat race and live a little bit differently.
David Ralph [5:28]
But one of the things obviously we will be talking about your house sitting because you know, living rent free is an amazing bonus for so many people. But one of the things that I realised I had to be very careful about because I kind of overstepped the mark once or twice when you meet somebody on like a podcast and you had this amazing connection with them for an hour. And I always feel that at the end of there. I’m best mates with them and we we’ve connected and then down the line, I would connect with him again and be sort of flippant and a little bit cheeky in places. And I realised I hadn’t I hadn’t breached that I felt that I had. Do you feel that with yourself? How many friends would you really say that you had in your life now, based on that ability to keep on moving around as you do?
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [6:18]
Yeah, that that is one of the bigger challenges and I think it’s a small number. I think I’ve always been the sort of person who’s who’s had a small circle of people I’ve considered really close friends. And those friends are the ones with you through your whole life, you always maintain some kind of connection. And when you come back together, it might be 123 years since you last saw each other, but within a couple of minutes that all connection is there and the only is there the old leg pulling and it you are just reconnecting with the same person neither of you have changed and with true friends I think you very quickly build that connection again. And that can be I think he can I think you’re right, he can sort of develop that in the online world in that when we’ve chatted, you are you are speaking, you’re not just speaking on a very shallow level about what the weather’s like today while you went yesterday, you really talking about your beliefs and your dreams and your attitudes. And I think you do get to know people even just chatting online for an hour or so you do get to know people when you talk like you do to people at a much deeper level and much on a much more personal basis.
David Ralph [7:38]
So let’s get you into where you are. Because when you was last on the show, you were saying that you had fell into house sitting and basically for the listeners out there. People have houses they need to go away for a period of time they have dogs, they have pets and they don’t want to just leave it they don’t want to put their dogs in kennels They want to have a sort of a normal lifestyle. And when you first spoke about it to me, I thought to myself, I don’t know if I’d like face going into people’s houses and sort of, you know, mooching around, even though they’re not there, but moved into the world now of thinking, see what opponents This is somebody’s bear and they’ve got like a mortgage, and by learning earning income online, and so they can stop paying the mortgage. I live somewhere else rent three and put all their money into paying the mortgage and get debt free really, really quickly. It seems to me, this is the way that most people should be thinking.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [8:42]
Yeah, there’s there’s certainly many different ways of incorporating housesitting into whatever lifestyle it is that you’re wanting to create for yourself. And there are people who do exactly that who, who will have sit, stay at other people’s homes. Well Maybe they’re saving up a deposit to to begin their journey at on the ship. So or other house sitters who still have a home base, but they rent that out. So the rent from their home that they have pays their funds, they’re sort of living expenses as well at work and travelling. So there’s how sitting isn’t really the end goal. It’s just part of a lifestyle option that you can incorporate into whatever way it is you want to live in what you want to achieve for yourself.
David Ralph [9:35]
So say there is let’s let’s move through the demographics. Okay, so you’ve got a young couple, you got a young couple, and they work in London, and they want to buy their own place and at the moment, all their money is going on living in London, so it is prohibitively expensive, so they could join a community, join your community, and then find property teas within London is not suddenly that they’re being told that they’ve got to go to Bora Bora or something they can find places locally to them and locally to their work so that they can then start trying to save up and stuff.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [10:13]
Yeah, it’s not quite as straightforward as that. Because you mentioned pets before, and almost every house it come, it happens because there’s pets to look after. So it’s very rare that someone’s just going to hand you over the keys of a central London apartment for six months without any kind of ties and responsibilities. So that’s the key thing that we try to get across to people is it’s not just about free accommodation. It’s it’s about the responsibilities that come with that. So if you’re working full time, then you’ve really got to sort of think well, would I have time to take these dogs for a walk or twice a day we don’t have time to fulfil the responsibilities So every house is is unique and different. The other problem with the sort of full time working person is that you’re not always going to get back to back houses. So you may find one for two weeks. You may get something for a moment. But then you might have, particularly if you if you have to go to the same work location every day, you might have have a period where well, I can’t hide ABS if it’s near enough for the commute is possible. So two people working in traditional jobs. I think housesitting perhaps fits better as a holiday option that allows you perhaps long holidays, you know, you can go away for six weeks instead of just for
David Ralph [11:46]
a while. Okay, so I didn’t realise this. So you could do this instead of hiring out Airbnb, whatever. You could, you could do this, but then again, you’ve got the hassle of the dogs and stuff, you know, yeah, you must have had some dogs that you hate. Ladies growl at you as soon as you walk into the house
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [12:03]
um most dogs are pretty well trained and we I think we sort of look for the house sits where you can read between the lines and you think well you know these people really do adore bad dogs and looked after them and train them. And it’s very rare that we’ve had really any any kind of problem dogs or any difficult dogs. Sometimes you might have a dog that you know when it meets other dogs it’s it can be a little bit tense or aggressive or something and you just then have to go on a different walk on or just been a bit more considerate about where you go and and how you look after the dog. But that’s that is that is really, in a way your house It is almost like one of our jobs that because there are ties to it. So we always try to tell people that you know the reality of this is it does come with ties, it does come with responsibility. And you, we try to educate people and make people aware of these rather than just saying, Hey, this is all about free accommodation and saving money. There’s more to it than that. And you really have to decide, is this lifestyle for me, you know, am I going to enjoy
living in other people’s homes and looking after the animals?
David Ralph [13:22]
Well, let’s take you back. And then we’re going to come back on to sort of house sitting as well, because I was over on your blog yesterday. And I always it’s one of those blogs that if I go, I end up reading loads of pages. Because it’s just like, I know you now and then I find a doorway into what you were thinking at that time. And one of the things that I found fascinating was the fact that when you bought the island off of the Caribbean, you you were quite intoxicated by the thought of saying to people, I own my own island. Actually, you got to a point where you fall. Actually, all I’ve done is restrict myself. Having this was that a big wake up call for you that emotionally, you can’t be tied down you need to be on the move.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [14:09]
It was that that was like learning the same lesson a second time over I think for me in that when when I first did the eBay sale and completely freed myself up from everything in 2008 I thought this is it. This is the life you know, travel freedom adventure. And then in 2011 bought the island and I did I did have a lot of pleasure from developing building the house and developing the off grid lifestyle on the island. But yeah, then yes, once the challenges are overcome and the newness of it as well. I did think Wait a minute, I am trapped here. And I knew I needed to find people to look after my property so I could go away and then sort of find that freedom to travel again. So It was Yeah, I do think that ownership of big things like that is such a tight such a tie down.
I went less than a second time but yeah,
David Ralph [15:14]
well I went to the Isle of Wight this weekend and which is an island in England for over listeners and I went out there for the first time ever last year. I loved it. I’ve always brilliant and I had a great time. It was lovely weather, which always makes a difference. This time I went there and I thought I’ve done it. I’ve done it. Yeah, what am I seeing this time? I it was a totally different experience. And now my wife saying, should we go next year I’m now seeing it next do something else. So that that isn’t in your life. Ben, at the moment you literally are having adventures every day you take the dog out of a new property you think should I go left or right and you’re seeing new stuff all the time? Yeah, absolutely. And you know, every house is different every time I’m all different every every couple of family that you have set forward. So what what in you let me just ask you a quick question then what is it in you because I asked myself this what is it in you that makes you want different experiences? Why can you not go back to the island Wait a second or a third time? Why do some people thrive on change and difference and yet other people can go to the same holiday year after year after year? Many, many years, I travelled the world as a single guy, I used to go everywhere and we would just fly off for the bizarre things I can remember like the other 92 or something. I was sitting in a bar with a guy and he said arland Star Wars film comes out two weeks time. He said it’s out in New York now and we went Let’s go. And in the clothes we were in. We just went to the airport and we just went out and we landed in New York and basically bought some clothes. You know, I used to basket and I love that Kind of adventure. And when kids come along, and then you start having family holidays and stuff. Now this year, I’m taking my family on the first road trip. And my son is thriving on the thought of surviving on what he’s got. But my wife is freaked out big time. And she’s already going as a hair dryer, do I have towels and all that kind of stuff. I like the ability in a very small way of challenge myself, and even going to say like the Isle of Wight, this classic example going to the other way and been driving home without putting a Sat Nav on frees me up. I like the thought of going Am I going the right way is this, you know, should I be doing this? I should be doing that. And I think at my core, it’s a challenge and it’s an adventure. It’s not a travel, you know, because you know, you could go anywhere you want. It’s the challenge and the adventure of testing myself I think.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [17:57]
I think that makes you work and myself. As well different to many people. Because my feeling would be that that New York suggestion, let’s go to new. Let’s go to the airport right now in the clothes we wear. I think most people go, Oh, no, I can’t do that I’d have to go home and pack a bag and I’d have to make some preparations. Should we think about it a bit? So
David Ralph [18:20]
it’s not third world countries it I would say, okay, we’re going to America shops. As long as we’ve got our passport, and we’ve got our credit card. We’ll come back. All right. Well, yeah, yeah. My wife loves bat preparation. And if now, as you said to me, you know, and it’s difficult because I’ve got kids and different things. But if you said to me now, let’s meet up in Paris Saturday afternoon to watch something and I had no restrictions at all. I’d be there. You know, because I just think, yeah, brilliant. You know, let’s just do it. And yeah, things cost, but things don’t have to cost a that much. There are time time restraints, but things are generally here when you get back. So all the kind of restrictions that you have in your head, which is where I’m fascinated with you, because you are a northern guy and northern guys have a kind of, well, in my experience, almost a dour way of thinking of things. It’s almost like there’s a cloud over them. But you you have shifted back and now you see opportunities everywhere.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [19:29]
I know plenty of people from back home where if I go back now after being away 15 and 20 years, we’ll still be sat on the same bar stool. Yeah, moaning about the same things and living the same life and going Oh, it’s alright for you and you’ve been lucky. So you’re absolutely right about the down ordinates. But you think you said something just sort of heard something. He said that it’s very interesting about the restrictions in your head. And that’s so true. I think that All of these reasons people have been not doing it. I couldn’t do that, because it’s all in your head. Most of the reasons you can’t do things are just you telling yourself stories about why you can’t do it. And if you push past them or ignore them, like I said, you know, getting on a plane and going to America tomorrow, or this afternoon, you can do that, because you can pick up it’s amazing how little you need, and how you can pick up what you need. You know, if you find Oh, I haven’t got a toothbrush, it’s gonna cost you $1 to buy a toothbrush. It’s not a big problem. We’ll use your finger. I’ve done that many times. Yes, yeah. But it’s based on your finger that travel is standby, isn’t it? Yeah. Okay. a twig or something, you know, and you
David Ralph [20:44]
can do that. But yeah, it is. It’s restrictions in your head. Because even though I say yeah, I’ve got kids. I’ve spoken to so many people that have gone around the world on a boat, with their kids, homeschooling them, and you know, so there’s just really Uh, no restrictions other than, as you say the stories are in your head, which takes me back to your big story and in many ways it’s the boring part of your story because I’m so far beyond that. But that that eBay moment when you created that, that global store stone, and it wasn’t so much what you did, it was more that you did it as in who ever thinks about that? What Why Why is no one ever done this before? That was the inspirational bit, wasn’t it?
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [21:34]
Yeah, I think I the the interesting thing is that when I actually did it, and put it out on the internet, and this is what I’m doing, this is what’s happening. I had so many messages from people who said, Oh, I thought about last year and that you know, who’s going to do that? And the key thing is, you didn’t know you didn’t do it and that I think that’s what makes the difference in in In the life you get to live is actually taking action because we all have the ability of everyone has grand schemes and million dollar ideas and businesses and goals and dreams. And if you don’t act on them, it’s never gonna happen. And they keep taking action. That’s the key step to changing your life to make building creating the life that you want to live.
David Ralph [22:26]
Well, let’s hear some words now. And then we’re gonna come back to inertia.
Jim Carrey [22:30]
My father 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 [22:57]
Now in that conversation, bear by Jim was having with the audience and of course he’s dead. He’s dead. Believe it was for him. Now, you Mr. Ian ATIA, I would say that many regards you are remarkable. But in many regards, you’re just a normal guy who’s just been doing stuff. So why did you believe? Why did you not, you know, end up working in HSBC in in Yorkshire for 15 years or whatever? Why did you believe that your life should be different?
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [23:31]
I think I’d have to refer to my father to us as Jim this does. In his talk. My father had a big influence on me because he was a believer in a life of experience and a life of adventure and a life. He was he came from a much more sort of traditional generation where he had a full time job, but with the spare time he had, he was travelled to Eastern Europe on a motorbike on dry drive down through island on a holiday or government and hang gliding or buy a little sailing yacht. So I saw this sort of adventurous streak in my thought, and an attitude of, I could do that there’s nothing to stop me buying a sailboat and learning how to sail. So, I think that I’ve got to credit my father, so much of that attitude of, if you want to do it, don’t do it because no one’s gonna do it for you, but no one’s gonna stop you either. If you you know, if you want to achieve this, go and get on with it, find out how to do it by yourself.
David Ralph [24:38]
Now, one of the things we talk about is how important it is to surround yourself with people who are like minded and inspirational or motivational if you want to change. Now, I’ve spoken to you three times I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned your dad as being the Kind of Adventurous person but you really do need that in your life. Don’t you need to say Somebody that makes it okay to be different.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [25:04]
Yeah, it’s like being given permission, almost like being given permission to live your life you want. And I think that that’s what part of what Vanessa, my partner and I do with the magazine we produce is just to encourage people with this is your life, you’re only going to get one shot at this and down, burn it away doing stuff you don’t want to do. So yeah, seeing my father live that he really wanted. And they gave me permission to go well, I don’t want to work at HSBC and spend 40 hours a week in the bank and, you know, two weeks on holiday in New Yorker each summer. So with
David Ralph [25:48]
the magazine because the magazine in many ways, I’m going to do a very quick summary of your life but the reason is because there’s parts but you know, we’re missing out many, many dots. But Ian was a northern guy. He van went over to Australia, he’s married went a bit pear shaped. He went onto eBay sold his life made national news, international news, then made a lot of money from Disney bought an island. It led all the way through to I think one of the fundamental parts was you connecting online and you started teaching people how to speak English. Online having conversations now, but at that time, I thought to myself, I can say this totally, he can go wherever he wants. This is a you know, a job as such space is an income producing, where you have conversations, you get people to practice English, brilliant. You’ve been took on this magazine, the house sitting magazine, why did you decide to in many ways have something that wasn’t as flexible. You have to have timescales you have to produce at certain time in many ways. It’s like a podcast and people will say to me, you know, it’s easy. You just, you know, swipe up in our conversations. There’s a lot behind the scenes. So I know we’ve your magazine, finding the stories and the content is difficult. Why did you do that?
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [27:13]
I think it’s because of the nature of the work or the nature of the work the way the income is sourced, and for us teaching online, it really was a bit of a lightbulb moment, like you say, but for us, our lifestyle came together when we got the online teaching jobs. And I always talk about the three parts or three sort of pillars of our life, having no debt so you know, once you get rid of the property, and there’s no mortgage and no debt, that’s one help sitting for the for the free accommodation and the flexibility to travel. And then the online income being able to teach online was a great That’s it, you know, everything comes together. We can do this for as long into the future is that fair to look. But the the teaching is, it’s also a slightly sort of traditional style of income in that you work for one hour, and you get one hours pay. And at the end of this week, you get paid for this week, but next week after start again and you have to do more hours of work for more hours of pay, and the minute you stop, the money stops coming in. Now with a with a different sort of income model, something like the magazine, then we have advertising and affiliate sales through the magazine, you can create a more residual style of income where if you take a week off, the money keeps sort of dribbling in different directions. So I think that was sort of one of our dreams was to be able to make. I see what you’re saying that there’s less flexibility but in many ways that Also more flexibility with the magazine so
David Ralph [29:03]
because with my podcast in many regards now, I don’t have to do a great deal of work on the podcast that’s fine that runs people listen, that’s great. Behind the scenes with all the website design, the SEO, the coaching you know, I have to structure my life. I have flexibility but structured flexibility where I cannot just say oh, let’s go out on Friday. I have to look at it now. I can’t because I’m doing some coaching on Friday and I can’t do you know it’s it’s not an open door for me to the swan about like a like
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [29:40]
I don’t know that though it I don’t know that there is a perfect open door to Swan around as you like because unless unless you were retired and have a retirement income but actually is purely hands off. I don’t have to do anything in every month. Check loans in my account. that’s big enough to Living without any worries about the future, then it’s all sort of a trade off, isn’t it, there’s still some element of trading your time for some money in some sort of way. And I think that, you know, our, the magazine model is very similar to your podcast model. In that you build up, you have a great back catalogue of interviews that people will are always going to come and listen to. And we’re building up that back catalogue now of magazine issues, which is there as a huge resource, which is always building but get on. On the other side of things. There’s always new projects and new things and like you say, the SEO and the Facebook group and all of the other things you have to look after the plates you have to keep spinning to, to keep it all rolling forwards. I
David Ralph [30:48]
met a guy the other day, and he used to be, well, I met a guy, it’s my son in law, and he was telling me a story because many years ago he was a French horn. And he got really good at this. And he became one of the best ones. And he got onto the, the BBC, young, French wholeness of the year, whatever. And he met a guy and the guy was saying to him, I had a bit of a windfall and he said, What was this? He said, Well, years ago, he said, I was a jobbing musician, and I was the seventh clarinet or something down the line, you know, he didn’t play the sexy tunes. He just played the bits that filled out the holes over everything else. And he said, we used to get jobs, and we used to go down and play in an orchestra for whatever it was. And a lot, a lot of film work would come his way. And you had two options of actually gaining income, you’d either be paid for the job you did, or you would get residual income for the film. And more often than not, he said, you know, most of the time we would go to the payment of the job because you’d never heard of This film and you just you know you want the money. And he said there was this something about the tune that I was playing, but seem to feel inspiring. So instead of doing that, I said, oh that the residuals and he ended up playing on Star Wars. And what we hear from then on for the last 40 years, he gets about 52 grand in his bank account as a chat just from Star Wars and all he did was played that seventh clarinet. Now that is the kind of you know, land on the doormat kind of income that really does change lives, doesn’t it?
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [32:33]
That is that is life changing.
What what a good analogy that is as well for how people live their life, it you know, it seems safer and easier to take the steady paycheck to go for that sort of security of the paycheck that comes every month. And I wonder how much he would have got paid if he just took a single payment but nothing up and playing his clarinet. But sometimes you know it can drop into your lap like that I guess and that that is I think I could use the whole it’s not lucky because there was something he recognised something in that tune that he thought this is a bit different this is going to be something
David Ralph [33:20]
I still guess isn’t it it’s still you know now we go our Star Wars it you know that they’ve got another three coming out now, you know, yes, he’s got another hundred and 50 grand coming.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [33:29]
And it is it’s a guess and it’s a little bit of a gamble. But then, you know, it’s it pays off or when it pays off when you decide like like we spoke I think the last last in the last interview we had of setting the intention that I am going to be number one at this, I am going to work at this until it comes comes true to my dream comes true. Then if you have that kind of attitude, and you you shoot for the result You income. I think you know if if and when you get there you truly have created something that is worthwhile having but you have to put in the hard work and you have to spend the time and you have to go through the in most cases you have to go through the learning process to get to that point when everything clicks into place and you go aha is now starting to work like I hope like I hoped it would.
David Ralph [34:25]
Yeah, but not view. You’re lucky in Russia. Oh, yeah. Everyone points their finger at you and God. He is living the dream life. It just fell in his lap.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [34:35]
I’m sure you get the same day with Lucky lucky Oh, David Ralph with his easy podcast to do there. I think the harder you work, the luckier we get. I think to misquote somebody. I’m not sure who it everyone sort of looks at where you what you’ve achieved after five years or 10 years ago. You’ve been so lucky, haven’t you? Yeah, after five years of hard work. I’ll be lucky if you want to use that word. But it’s, I really do have to pick people up when you use the word looking go, we’d have any issue with that slot. Let’s just have a look at that in a in a bit more detail and see how look at how much luck it is and how much hard work and preparation it is to
David Ralph [35:19]
looking back on it because I am very much in the reflective stage of Join Up Dots because I’ve been doing it five years now. And I would say I would say probably 70% of the effort that has brought me to where I am now. If I had the knowledge, I wouldn’t have done it. You know, it’s glitchy 30% effort would have got me here. If only I knew. When you look back on what you’ve done. Is there a similar way you think God, I could have cut off years of air and I wasted all that time doing that and I wasted all the money doing that and actually I could have just gone the easy route got to where I am.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [35:58]
Absolutely. I think that’s true. In fact, almost everyone in almost everything that there’s that famous 8020 rule or a 7030 rule, and yeah, you can, practically anything that involves learning a skill or of developing a business, there will be shortcuts. And that’s, I guess that’s where mentoring comes in, isn’t it? You You need to find a mentor who’s who’s walked that road before you and can save all that heartache. Because if you’re the pioneer, the first person to walk that route, then you aren’t going to make mistakes and you are going to look back later and go What was I thinking? Why did I do it that way? Yeah, it could have been so much easier.
David Ralph [36:42]
Now. You’ve got Natalie, you’ve got the lovely Natalie, who you kind of you collected on your journey. She wasn’t there at the beginning. But now I’m sure you can’t live without her.
Unknown Speaker [36:54]
David Ralph [36:56]
In most couples, there seems to be a pragmatist and a dreamer. Is she the one that will rein you in and say actually in I know it sounds a great experience, but let’s think about it or she’s somebody that is really the wind beneath your wings as well.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [37:16]
Yeah, so mine is Vanessa. Natalie is you mentioned Natalie and Nat and Jody, my apologise.
David Ralph [37:27]
lessons as far as I know, there’s no other person when you’re out walking the dog. He does he doesn’t get he doesn’t get around.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [37:34]
Who this naturally you’ve been seeing?
know, I think we’re both sort of instigators of the life life that we lead and neither of us is this sort of pragmatic. Well, wait a minute, let’s just think about this. We’re both like, oh, I’ve got an idea. We could do this. Why don’t we do that? and Vanessa comes up with as many of them as I do, and I think we do We sort of feed off each other and in partnership, perhaps we we go even further and do even more things that maybe on your own. You might say, Oh, well, I don’t want to do that on my own. But as a couple, let’s, let’s go to Africa, let’s go to the Caribbean, let’s say like, let’s do this. Let’s do that, you know, we were sort of at each other on a bit, which is a lot of fun to be in a partnership like that.
David Ralph [38:24]
And who’s got the strengths and the weaknesses, what part of the business does Vanessa operate?
Unknown Speaker [38:31]
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [38:34]
She sort of website and community she looks after the magazine and does the SEO and the articles and brings all the people together who write for the magazine, you know, each month she gets people and much more behind the scenes of tweaking the websites or building the next website or planning the routes from A to B and doing the practice. practical stuff. And yeah, it’s a good partnership at work. We and it takes, I think when we first got together, because we’re both quite competent at a wide variety of things, it took a while for us to figure out well, maybe it’s better if you concentrate on that. And I let you run with that. But yeah, now I can go over here and concentrate on this. And it took there was quite a bit of sort of butting of heads early on, because we, I think we both thought we could do it better. And then as we start to realise, actually, she’s great at doing that. I can just leave her to do that. He’s great at doing this, she can just suddenly do that.
David Ralph [39:41]
Because I had quite a few people in the early days of Join Up Dots that would laugh and they would laugh in my face about you doing what what you’re doing. And now I when I meet them every now and again like I’ve had a great idea. What about you and me host a show together and I think why Why would I do that I’d spent five years doing this. And you just want to come in at the very last minute and sort of take the rewards the success. I’m very protective about it. And I really am. I have done I won’t allow anybody to sort of get involved, which probably will hold me back in many ways because you can’t do as much on your own as you can with two people.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [40:25]
I think there’s there’s also a great satisfaction in that sort of ownership of this is mine, I created it and it exactly what I wanted to create. So yeah, there’s good and bad in both ways of doing it that the collaborative or the solo.
David Ralph [40:43]
So let’s bring it back to the sort of the starting point because I was excited, but I was going to offer the world of rent free experience how to live and rent free. Yeah. Are we still back on that? Are we still going actually If your situation is right, and you can be flexible and you don’t have to commute to a job, this is the way to go.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [41:08]
I believe so I have become very evangelical about how sitting and if anyone asks me anything about how do I travel, how do I go to Australia? How do I do this? I can I can assume How long have sitting into the, into the answer in one form or another? Because it really for me is the key that has has opened the door fully to the to the lifestyle of freedom that I always wanted and was always trying to create. And it is, it is, you know, to stress again, it is just part of the lifestyle. It’s not our end goal isn’t to be house sitters. our end goal is the lifestyle of freedom to live as we want, but how sitting is certainly What are the major tools in our kit that allows us to do that?
David Ralph [42:04]
And are you? Is there some kind of quality? Did you end up staying in the right skanky place that you think, Oh my god, we’re here for four weeks.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [42:14]
And that’s certainly possible and you do read. We have a Facebook group where people discuss, you know, the good things and the bad things about how sitting and people do end up in situations where you think, oh, how did this happen? And, and they’re angry at you and go,
David Ralph [42:33]
Asha. Asha wouldn’t have got involved in this unless you told me about this.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [42:38]
This lifestyle you told us about. Yeah, that’s part of what to go back to the mentoring You know, this. This is part of what we try in the magazine to help people with and in the Facebook group to help people with is is to be able to look at listings of houses. No, wait a minute that I’m not so sure about that. How so there’s no pictures of the beans Perhaps it’s like a little red flag. So because we’ve been doing this for so long we’ve now since we last spoke, we’ve done three years of full time house sitting and travel. Vanessa does most of our applications and she’s very, very good at reading the hormone profiles that they list and the pet profiles and going, No, not interested in. Nope, not that one. No, that one looks interesting in that one. So you have to sort of learn how to pick the houses that suit your own personality and you pick the best ones.
David Ralph [43:35]
Did you give it like a charity shop that the good stuff coming in the staff get it first before it goes out to the customers?
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [43:43]
So it can Yes, that’s a good question. It can be a little bit like that in because we’ve been doing it so long. We now have a profile on trusted house sitters one of the houses and websites with 50 reviews on all of them. five star reviews. So when someone when a homeowner is offered a choice between two house sitters, they’ll look at us with 50 reviews and look at someone else with three or four reviews. And maybe they’re going to be swayed to look towards us and think, well, they’re, you know, they’ve got that much more experience. So there is a little bit of that. But we also tried to teach people you know, we started with zero reviews. And we sort of teach people how to begin from that point and how to create your profile and set yourself up for success so that you can you can choose the better houses and the luxury properties and so on. Because it doesn’t start you know, you’re not, if you start have sitting, you’re not going to be helped or you’d be very lucky if you did, you’re not going to be sitting in a mansion with a, an Infinity Edge swimming pool in the Caribbean To start with, but those houses are there and if you persevere and build up your profile and build your expertise Against credibility, then there is an amazing lifestyle that opens for you. sort of build is this.
David Ralph [45:09]
I knew 20 years ago that year 2000 or so. And I was working in an office with him and he was just a normal guy. And one night, we were going out for a few drinks. And he said, Why don’t you come back to my place? And I went now Now, I’ve got to get home. And he said, Oh, it’s only around the corner. And I thought, is it because normally when people say that you ended up somewhere, God knows where and you’d have trains and tubes and stuff. And I went, how close is it? He said, just around the corner? It’s just on the river about where the Eagle River place. So that piqued my interest. And yeah, we went to it and it was like a penthouse looking over Tower Bridge right on the river. And I said to him, how can you afford this? This dish was like amazing. And this is the first I suppose experience of house sitting that ever come into my life. And he said, Oh, it’s a Saturday. American millionaire who has this as his place and I just look after it for him and when he comes back I then have to clear off the two weeks or something and I booked into a travel lodging I live there and then when he leaves I go back in and he was paying some he was actually paying the guy but it was about 200 pounds a month or something which was you know, nothing. But yeah, it’s it’s doable and I was blown away, but I never once thought I will do that. It just seemed like something that other people were lucky to get. But now with yours opens the doors to everyone.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [46:34]
It does. It really is. I think, you know, the, the idea of house sitting now is growing and and seems to be growing quite quickly and that seems to be a lot more information and articles in the newspapers and so on. At do we you know sort of feels like it’s per purchase on the on the edge of a perhaps an explosion because it is such an amazing way of living in it is such a versatile tool to use to to create a lifestyle. And we have some we stayed in some amazing places one that we have at the moment we’re going back to next year is in the Caribbean, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And it’s this beautiful house up on a hillside, looks down over the Marina and has this beautiful Infinity Edge swimming pool. You’re not making friends.
David Ralph [47:31]
You’re not making friends that is the only the audience you’ve lost to them at this point.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [47:36]
Come and visit us when we no I can’t I can’t say that you have to have of course the permission to have people to visit but you know that that that is available once you develop a Palm Pilot and get some experience then the this these people travel and they have cats and they want people to look after their home and that doesn’t matter. many possibilities like that. So I would have thought I’m making more friends by showing that this is possible. You know, anyone can do this if it’s if it’s something that appeals and you’re prepared to learn the best practices and become a responsible, while sort of well qualified house,
David Ralph [48:20]
when you invited people to the Caribbean when I opened my window, and I could hear the chance of party party party brought you back to Yeah,
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [48:31]
but I did backtrack. You know, one of the obviously you have to be respectful of the fact that you’re in someone else’s property. And we would always clear it with a homeowner. If I did, my brother said, Oh, we’d love to come and visit you there. Then we clear it with the homeowner. Is it okay? If my brother comes and we always say look, it’s you know, it’s your home. If you say no, you’re not comfortable with that. That’s absolutely fine. So sound sounds
David Ralph [48:58]
blissful. Well, I’ve been wondering whether I’m going to send you back on the Sermon on the mic. And I don’t mean I am I don’t think it really fits in to this conversation. But certainly in you are going to be you’re not only the first guest to be the third, but I think you’ll be the first guest to be the fourth. I think this is going to be a theme that we’re going to sort of keep track with air. So for all the listeners out there so they’ve been listening to this conversation and there is a pricking up thinking actually, I think this might be a better fit into my lifestyle. Yeah, how do they find the magazine? Is it an online magazine? Did they go to wh Smiths if that still exists, and, and and by you
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [49:39]
know, like most things, it’s all digital now. So they would go to the website, which is house sitting magazine. com. The magazine itself is free. So there’s an app for Android. There’s an app for Apple. You can download the app and read the magazine, it comes out. We didn’t We did used to produce it every month, but it really was becoming a full time job. So we’ve stepped we’ve dialled it back a little and produce every two months. three episodes a week,
David Ralph [50:09]
three episodes a week or a batch.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [50:12]
Job still powering on.
David Ralph [50:14]
See, that’s why you look so young and youthful and you can have multiple women in your life all over the place. You see, you buy energy.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [50:22]
good lesson, Natalie the two of them. Yeah,
David Ralph [50:25]
it sounds a dream life when you say it like that. It sounds the perfect existence. So people can come onto the website. And what’s the other? Is that just the best way to connect with you now?
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [50:36]
Yeah, the website Vanessa runs our Facebook group that helps housesitting magazine Facebook group, which is apply to join it. So again, free to join the Facebook group and there’s a lot of chat and a lot of new starters come there to begin and, you know, how do I get started? There’s a lot of info on the website itself. We have a whole series of our articles on how to get started. And the best suggestion I have for someone who really thinks, wow, this this sounds like who could be for me. This year we’re partnering with a Canadian company called housesitting world. And in the UK, we’re putting on the world’s first house and sitting conference. And it’s 21st 22nd of September in Swindon, just off the airport, so anyone who thinks, huh, I’m sitting, that sounds interesting, I can guarantee it will be a life changing weekend. If you come along in September to Swindon.
David Ralph [51:38]
I’m sure it will. And let us know. And I will promote again on the show near the time, so we will get that sorted, boy. And thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining out those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got even more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures in Asha. Thank you so much.
Living Rent Free With Ian Usher [52:00]
Thank you, David. Once again, great fun to chat.
David Ralph [52:05]
Mr. Ian Asha? Yes. So that’s a that’s a three parter. If you want to go back and listen to Episode 138 of Join Up Dots, you can go over to the archives and see all the shows. I mean, just look for Ian, as he spurts story, and it really has been an amazing story, but one that most people can take as he said, he had the idea he did it wherever people are thought of doing that I thought of doing that. And how many times do we have ideas in our head that we then see down the line, but somebody else has created? You know, I do it all the time. I think once an hour. Yeah, what I should do is that but I don’t I just leave it and it floats past like a twig on the mighty stream of life. But yeah, living rent free. I think that’s one of the ways that you should do and so if you’re in a house, that he’s bringing you down financially, maybe you’ve got a kind of business, a lifestyle that you can Be more transportable Kinect will be in at house sitting magazine.com. I think that is the URL. But certainly the show notes will have their link up and hear tell you more. But until next time, thank you so much for listening to Join Up Dots. And I’ll see you again. Cheers. Bye bye. Are you ready to make a full time living online? Check out the following student who’s already on their way, thanks to the amazing Join Up Dots business coaching.
Marni Spicer [53:26]
Hi, I’m Marni and I am a co owner of table fables and another business called dyscalculia.me. My business partner and I kind of hit a little bit of a kink in our road. And we were kind of really lost at where we were going to go and what direction we were going to take with the business. And I think that’s a really easy place to get to these days when you feel like you’ve developed a product and you’ve got a product that you’re quite happy with. But then it’s like well now how do I sell the product? Becky actually discovered David from listening to his podcast. And she was on his podcast as well, which was really great. And, and then she suggested that we use him for our business coach, and I thought, What the hell? I think so yeah, let’s do it. And we’ve never looked back to be honest with you. And I have to say, David, pretty much he must have done a little bit of research on us before he spoke to us. But he knew what was wrong with our business from the get go, which was kind of, you know, he just kind of asked us Do you have a product? Or do you have a business and it was like, we have a product? And he’s like, exactly. And we’re like, oh, my God, that is amazing. So yes, and then he has been helped us grow and develop a business, which is how we came up with dyscalculia.me, which is kind of the business that encapsulates all the products that we’re hoping to create to help children learn maths in a much more fun and engaging way. So yeah, thank you, David. For all your amazing help and support which keeps on going. And we certainly couldn’t be where we are today without you so you’re awesome.
Head over to Join Up dots.com To find out more and register for the free 100% live masterclass. It’s your chance to become the world’s next online success.