Elite Property Manager - - Contents - TARA TYRRELL

Trav Bell, The Bucket List Guy

Trav Bell is widely known as The Bucket

List Guy. Be­liev­ing life is def­i­nitely too short, he rec­om­mends that ev­ery­one writes down a list of things they want to do be­fore they die to help them work out their pri­or­i­ties in life.

LIFE IS TOO SHORT – we all know that. But with our busy busi­ness lifestyles, how many of us take ac­count of it to live our dream, reach our goals and ex­ceed all our own ex­pec­ta­tions? We met the self-pro­claimed ‘World’s Num­ber One Bucket List Ex­pert’, Trav Bell, at this year's PPM Con­fer­ence, who in­sists that tak­ing care of your own needs and do­ing things that are fun from time to time will ac­tu­ally help you be­come more suc­cess­ful in busi­ness.

Af­ter 20 years in the per­sonal fit­ness train­ing in­dus­try, Trav had 21 per­sonal train­ing stu­dios fran­chised around Aus­tralia. For Trav, though, sit­ting in an of­fice man­ag­ing these gyms was not enough and he ended up feel­ing un­happy and iso­lated.

“They say choose a ca­reer you love and you never work a day in your life, but I was work­ing re­ally hard and not en­joy­ing it. I started to re­alise life is not about this, so if I was go­ing to change any­thing I had to do it my­self.”

It was at this point, feel­ing mis­er­able, that he de­cided to make a change. He read a book by Tal Ben-Sha­har, Hap­pier, which he says changed his life. The book pro­vides a three-step process, three in­ter­sect­ing cir­cles: what gives you mean­ing, what gives you plea­sure and what are your strengths. Once you work


those out, in the mid­dle you’ll find your ‘call­ing’. When Trav com­pleted this, his knew his ‘call­ing’ was to be a mo­ti­va­tional speaker and took that as a sign.

“Re­ally I was try­ing to heal my­self rather than ev­ery­one else. I stud­ied. Put on a talk and had 40 peo­ple there. It was crap when I look back on it (laughs) but I was pack­ag­ing all the per­sonal de­vel­op­ment stuff that I learned, busi­ness mo­ti­va­tion the­ory and the like. I got about half­way through and I started talk­ing about my list to do be­fore I died... Since I was 18 I’d al­ways had one.

“So, I started talk­ing about that. I said, ‘Who else has got one of these?’ All hands were hands down, so I said, ‘Look, what would you like to do be­fore you die?’ Ev­ery­one went nuts and started shar­ing. At the end of it a lady came up to me and she said, ‘That list to do be­fore you die stuff, it’s like a bucket list. You’re like the Bucket List Guy.’”

And the rest, as they say, is history. From there, Trav went home and reg­is­tered TheBuck­ He be­came the World’s Num­ber One Bucket List Ex­pert and has never looked back.

Ac­cord­ing to Trav, to make a bucket list you don’t have to make sac­ri­fices. It’s sim­ply about chang­ing your pri­or­i­ties.

“A bucket list is a tan­gi­ble life plan, where our busi­ness plan or our ca­reer plan has to fit into our life plan. It doesn’t have to be to climb Ever­est or go up the Eif­fel Tower. Just choose life be­fore busi­ness.

“I know for a fact that most peo­ple could run their busi­nesses, prob­a­bly in half the time that they ac­tu­ally do, and get the same re­sult. We all know that we pro­cras­ti­nate and waste a bunch of time.

“The fact is, when you’re not clear about your bucket list, and you’re not ac­tively pur­su­ing all the things you want to do and build­ing up your list, of course you’re go­ing to fill your time [with other things]. It’s the vac­uum ef­fect; you’re go­ing to fill your time with work, rather than life.”

Trav says it’s im­por­tant to dis­tin­guish a ‘to do’ list from a bucket list. So how do you go about sep­a­rat­ing those? He sug­gests get­ting it all down on pa­per and mak­ing it real, writ­ing your list and mak­ing a con­scious ef­fort to dis­tin­guish the pri­or­i­ties.

“If we don’t write them down and make [the bucket list] even more con­scious, we tend to pri­ori­tise and go with what’s the most im­por­tant thing on our to-do list.”

Look­ing at all the tasks and to-do list items in your busi­ness, Trav be­lieves you need to start with the things you’re strong­est in. Del­e­gate as much as you can and fo­cus on your strengths, rather than try­ing to fix your weak­nesses. And know your value – don’t work for $5 an hour when your value is $100 an hour. He rec­om­mends fill­ing your days with the most valu­able pri­or­i­ties and then out­sourc­ing the rest to peo­ple who are bet­ter at the work than you, but who are cheaper, so you can get a clearer mind on your day-to-day tasks – at the same time giv­ing you more hap­pi­ness.

“At the end of the day, a bucket list is a re­ally cool way of goal set­ting and, I dare say, a more spe­cific and more per­son­ally mean­ing­ful way of goal set­ting as well.

“There’s a pre­sup­po­si­tion where you need to cre­ate time-flow and cash-flow in or­der to do a bunch of the things on your bucket list. Get re­ally clear on what you want to do and, ob­vi­ously, why you want to do it – be­cause it gives you more fun, ad­ven­ture, ful­fil­ment in your life. It gives you that sense of per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion.” So what holds peo­ple back? “In­er­tia. In­er­tia is cre­ated by ‘that’s all well and good for you, but not for me’. The thing that cer­tainly shocks them out of their in­er­tia is if some­thing un­for­tu­nately goes wrong. To put quite a neg­a­tive spin on it, if we were given a can­cer di­ag­no­sis, we would cer­tainly re-pri­ori­tise life over work, wouldn’t we?” But Trav’s mes­sage is sim­ple. “This is re­ally about get­ting a piece of pa­per out and writ­ing. I know it seems re­ally, re­ally sim­ple, but get it out and write on it and think ‘what do I truly want to do be­fore I kick the bucket?’ My mis­sion is to help peo­ple live a re­gret-free life, not a re­gret­ful life. The last thing you want to be do­ing is get­ting to 80 or 90, or what­ever it might be, and then look­ing back on your life and go­ing, ‘I wish, I should have, I could have...’.

“Cre­ate a bucket list, but go one step fur­ther. Take ac­tion.”

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