Episode 24: Travis Bell – Separate Your To-do List From Your Bucket List

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Gold Nuggets

  1. “A bucket list is a tangible life plan, where our career or business plan should fit in to our life plan – not the other way around.”
  2. “What is the point of having a bucket list if we’re not going to try to do some of it?”
  3. “There is no someday. There is no perfect time. We don’t know how long we have left. What are you waiting for?”
  4. “It’s about having people experience more of what brings them meaning, purpose, and fulfilment, before they get given a use-by date.”
  5. “A business should provide you with two things; and two things only: The cash-flow, and the time-flow.”
  6. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to separate our daily to-do list from our bucket list.”
  7. “Write goals down. You’ll have a 42% more likelihood of manifesting it. Worry about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’, not about the ‘how’.”
  8. “If the ‘why’ is strong enough, the ‘how’ will work itself out.”
  9. “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from that safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Meet Travis Bell

Our guest is Travis “The Bucket List Guy” Bell, keynote speaker, podcaster, blogger, and Certified Bucket List Coach. Travis has been doing the things on his bucket list since the age of 18, and he dedicates his life to getting others to wake up and prioritize their bucket list before it’s too late.

Smart Man, Smarter Woman References

We talk about a lot in each episode; however, we don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are some key items were mentioned if you want to take a closer look.

Website Recommendations:

Book Recommendation:
Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar

Stay Connected:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bucketlistguy.travbell/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/travis.bell.54
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/travbell/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TravBell
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBucketListGuy2011
Podcast: The Bucket List Life Podcast

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Steve Loates (00:00):

Hi, everyone and welcome to our podcast, Smart Man, Smarter Woman, a podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. Thank you very much for joining us today. I am Steve Loates.

Juliet Aurora (00:14):

And I am Juliet Aurora.

Steve Loates (00:16):

And we are your cohost. But before I introduce today’s special guest, let’s hear just a few words from my wonderful co-host, the smarter woman, herself, Juliet. How are you doing today, Juliet? You look fabulous. I’m liking that little bit of purple in there.

Juliet Aurora (00:33):

Now we’re starting to try something new. I am excellent, thank you. I’m actually going to keep my words at the beginning of this episode really short, because I think we’re going to have a fabulous conversation. I want to make sure that we leave enough time with our guests. We actually saw our guest live at an ActionCOACH Conference in 2018. Absolutely one of the most memorable moments of the conference for me, very inspiring and I think the audience, you guys are going to absolutely love our conversation today. I am going to turn it over to you so we can get started.

Steve Loates (01:08):

That’s awesome Juliet. Well, thank you very much for taking all of my introduction of Travis, but [inaudible 00:01:13] that’s okay. I’m sure I’ll find something to talk about.

Travis Bell (01:19):

[inaudible 00:01:19].

Steve Loates (01:20):

As our listeners know, our goal with every episode is to hopefully provide some entertainment. That’s usually at my expense, but that’s okay, but most importantly, we want to provide you with some value, some insights, hopefully some golden nuggets to help you on your own entrepreneurial journey. Today we do have a truly great show as Juliet mentioned, with our special guests, Travis Bell, the bucket list guy. He is billed as the world’s number one bucket list expert and I can back that up as a self appointed bucket list theologist, and I love that term. I’m not even sure if it really is in the dictionary, but it is now. It should be. Travis has obsessively studied the bucket list phenomenon and blended the world’s best positive psychology principles to create his own unique bucket list life philosophy. He’s designed life around his bucket list, and now we help bucket listers all around the globe, create and cross stuff off their own bucket list. Let’s bring in our guests for today, Travis Bell. Welcome Travis, and thank you for joining us all the way from Oziland today.

Travis Bell (02:35):

Steve, Juliette, I am so stoked to be on your show and hello everyone up in Canada there and the big, vast land of North America. Really happy to… I’m really start to reconnect with you guys after we hung out there in San Diego a couple of years back.

Steve Loates (02:53):

Absolutely. We’re looking forward to this as well. As Juliet mentioned, we first heard Travis, at a business excellence forum put on by ActionCOACH and we were really blown away with his presentation. It was funny, it was poignant and incredibly motivational. There were some great speakers on the stage that day, including Darren Hardy, but it really was Travis that we remembered.

Travis Bell (03:21):


Steve Loates (03:21):

When we started our podcast, he was on my list of people I was going to try to reach out to and see if we get an opportunity to get to know him a little better, and here we are.

Travis Bell (03:31):


Steve Loates (03:31):

Perhaps to kick things off Travis, if you could maybe just take a few minutes and just tell us a little bit about your story, how did you become the bucket list guy. How did you get to where you are right now?

Travis Bell (03:45):

Yeah. Thank you for saying that. It’s always interesting getting feedback when you’re in an event like that and you’ve got all these other speakers. Yeah, it was an awesome event. Someone actually called me the bucket list guy. So I didn’t call myself the bucket list guy, someone actually called me the bucket list guy. I’ve been running around the world as the bucket list guy for the last 10 years, but prior reverse engineering it, my first business was actually in the personal fitness training industry. I found it in franchise to chain of personal fitness training studios. That was my first business. I’ve never actually worked for anyone in my life. So hello, entrepreneur world. I know you, you are my brothers and sisters. I’ve never actually had a job. I’ve always fallen on my own sword, but believe me, there’s been times where I wish I had a nice, steady income job, but I don’t think I’m very employable.

Travis Bell (04:42):

The point being that I was the first to franchise personal fitness training in Australia. I was one of the first trainers running around Melbourne and I grew that into, I think there’s tens of thousands of clients, a chain of personal training studios, 2 million personal training sessions, but then the wheels started to come off as a few toxic people in my life went through some relationship issues. Things got on top of me, legal things. I found myself slipping into depression. Instead of going on heavy antidepressants because people around me who were on them were sleep walking through their life and I went, “No, that’s a bit of a bandaid effect. I want to get to the root cause.” I found myself in life coaching courses, personal development things, getting coaches mentor, trying to get out of my own way and really, I had to force it at the start to get help, to get to the root cause. I studied things like positive psychology, NLP, et cetera, to work myself out.

Travis Bell (05:48):

Then a friend of mine at the time said, Why don’t you teach this stuff?” And then helped me really compartmentalize what I was going through. I was like, “Hey, that’s why spending all this money, that’s why I’m reading all these books. I need to teach.” For me, speaking was actually the big domino in my life that I had to push over to get over my own self. I packaged it all up. I put it on a three hour seminar. I know you had to pay the 40 people to come to that seminar. It was crap compared to the one that you saw me do in San Diego. I’d like to think I’ve done my apprenticeship, but my first one, I started sharing my list to do before I die. I always had a written down list to do before I die since I was 18. A lot of people didn’t know this about me. This is 10 years ago, 47 now, so 37. I did that for a seminar that I had, one actually written down since I was 18 and this is my reason for getting out of bed in the morning. My reason for making decisions in business, my reason why.

Travis Bell (06:48):

I said to the room, the 40 people, “Who else has got one of these lists to do before you die actually written down?” And everyone was like, “No.” I was always the only freak in the room. I said, “Well, why do you get out of bed in the morning? What’s your goals?” And quite commonly, it comes back as, “I just want to pay off the house, put the kids through school, do a bit of travel when I’m older and probably sicker.” At the end of the dialogue, what else? It inspired the group. It went from a crappy seminar to not so crappy seminar. Joe, one of the people in the audience said at the end, “How’s all this list to do before you die stuff? It’s really inspired people. It’s like a bucket list. Now you’re like the bucket list guy.” That was my light bulb moment, went home and registered thebucketlistguy.com and I’ve been doing that ever since.

Travis Bell (07:40):

But when I was registering, I was on the Google machine, I was on social media at the time, I was like, “Who’s the Mac daddy? Who’s the expert.? Who’s the world’s… Oh look, no one.” I literally called myself the world’s number one bucket list expert because no one else did. Now, Steve, Juliet, we’re entrepreneurs, you’ve got to claim your space. If there’s not claimed already, claim it and tell as many people as you possibly can, which I’m doing right now. It’s really funny because people ring me up for media interviews and things like this and they’re like, I got this thing from Washington a few years ago and learned that I was in a magazine, they’d go, “Oh, we’re doing this big spread on bucket list [inaudible 00:08:20]. We’ve got all these other experts from around the world, but we really want yours because you’re the world’s number one bucket list expert.” I’m like, “Yeah. [inaudible 00:08:30].” Little did they know.

Juliet Aurora (08:34):

I love that.

Steve Loates (08:35):

Yeah. No, that is great. That really is great. No, you’re right. You got to claim your space, right?

Travis Bell (08:42):

Well, fake it until you make it. Here we are.

Steve Loates (08:46):

Yeah. Well, and it’s working. I also have to thank you on a personal level too Travis. I mean, after we saw you in February 2018, I mean, Juliet and I had been putting together our one year plan or five-year plan, et cetera. And we had a bucket list. We kept looking at this bucket list and we weren’t ticking things off it. I mean, it was there. Well, after we saw you, we made a commitment to each other and said, “What is the point in having the damn list if we’re not actually going to try to do some of it?”

Travis Bell (09:23):

There you go

Steve Loates (09:25):

Within I think, 12 to 18 months of seeing you, we had knocked some, well, pretty big ones for us anyway, off that list. We’d always wanted to go to New York City, never been in. I mean, we’re an hour and a half by plane from New York City. Never been. We went and we spent Juliet’s birthday in New York City with our daughter, had an awesome time. I am a Big F1 fan. I wanted to go to my first F1 race, but I didn’t want to go to the Canadian Grand Prix. My first F1 race had to be Europe. We raced to Europe. I went to the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. We went to Paris. We went to London, knocked all this stuff off. Juliet had wanted a swimming pool in our backyard, which is crazy when you live in Canada, but what the hell, we’re crazy.

Juliet Aurora (10:16):

Hey, I get [inaudible 00:10:17] that pool.

Steve Loates (10:18):

Well you do. It’s crazy. But after wanting one for like years and years and years, we finally dug the hole and had somebody put a pool there. I do have to thank you for that. You triggered it.

Travis Bell (10:31):

Well, that’s my job, man. We got to wake up before we get given a use by date. We want to wake people up. Underpinning everything that I do is positive psychology. Like you said before, it’s the science of happiness. I just put this cool brand over the topical bucket list, but it’s really about happiness. It’s really about having people experience more of what brings them meaning, purpose, and fulfillment and gratitude in life. That’s what it’s about, before they get given a use by date, before time runs out. If I’ve got to get up there and give everyone basically a virtual cancer diagnosis to wake them up, if you remember that 80 squares exercise and time’s running out, that does the trick.

Travis Bell (11:22):

But at the end of the day, it’s about helping people put their own oxygen mask on first before they can help others, to be, I’d hate to use the word selfish, but self-centered, but this is also a self leadership lesson as well. Be the example for your kids to follow. Someone that is glass half full, not half empty. What I call a bucket list is someone who’s engaged in life and this is really good for your people guys. I say a bucket list is a tangible life plan where a career plan or a business plan should fit into our life plan and not be the other way around. What I’m really centered around is that work to live principle. What I call right now is work life blend in this current climate.

Travis Bell (12:12):

Right now with COVID and the pandemic, everyone’s trying to figure out what is their new normal going forward, what is my work life blend actually look like from here on, what does my business look like from here on, but it’s not just about businesses and really about life. If you’ve got a tangible life plan and you’re engaged in that, you will be engaged in and you will be motivated. It will pull you out of bed in the morning and go after the things that you should be going after in your business because as you know, every business should provide you with two things and two things only, and that is to provide you with a cashflow. You guys know this better than anyone, the cashflow and the time flow for you to go and do the stuff that you want to do with you and your family before time’s up. I mean-

Steve Loates (13:01):


Travis Bell (13:02):

… The thing is what’s easy to do is easy not to do.

Steve Loates (13:05):


Juliet Aurora (13:06):

Absolutely. You really skimmed over this, but it was something that resonated with me very strongly, which is your 80 squares exercise that you had us do. I actually have my 80 squares still stuck on my wall since 2018.

Travis Bell (13:25):


Juliet Aurora (13:25):

Yes. I know we’re-

Travis Bell (13:25):

We’re getting tee shirts with that made actually right now as we speak.

Steve Loates (13:28):


Juliet Aurora (13:32):

… Excellent. Now that’s a great idea. I know it’s a podcast, so you don’t have the visuals that you did with [inaudible 00:13:34], are you able to explain to our audience what that exercise would look like and-

Travis Bell (13:42):


Juliet Aurora (13:43):

… [inaudible 00:13:43] do this?

Travis Bell (13:44):

Straight up. Look, yeah, and that’s good. Okay. I might get a little bit heavy, but look, at the end of the day, people are only here to learn and they’re only here to take action. For all of our entrepreneurs that might be in a space, it’s pretty hard to be an entrepreneur, pretty hard to be positive right now, the number one thing is, hey, switch off the news and stop talking to people about the pandemic every single moment of every single day. In Australia, the sad thing about all this is depression over the last six months has doubled, suicides, doubled. This is serious. We’re already in a mental health crisis. Now it’s even worse. Even got this thing called the loneliness epidemic now, which is the adverse effect of social media, google it, it’s a real thing.

Travis Bell (14:36):

With all this positivity and me running around the world doing my thing and all the positive names and whatnot on social media, still the stats don’t lie when something is broken. This might help just to give people a bit more of a hurry up because what I want for everyone through you guys is to help them separate their daily to do list from their bucket list. Right now, people are so busy being busy and it’s become very noisy, especially online. Every single business is going online in the last six months, every single business. It’s very noisy. It’s very busy. It’s very overwhelming. I like to help create a space for people to work on their lives rather than just be in it. At the end of the day, we’ve got to separate our daily to do this from our bucket list.

Travis Bell (15:37):

Right now, our bucket is just swimming up there with our daily to do lists and guess which one gets done first, it’s their daily to do list and especially in their business. At the end of the day, let’s separate the two and we separate the two by writing stuff down, getting out of their head. It’s a conscious exercise. Going back to the 80 squares, I don’t know the stats right now, the average age of death in Australia, which wouldn’t be that much different to Canada, although you guys have got bears, it could affect things the-

Steve Loates (16:14):

Yeah. We don’t have kangaroos though.

Travis Bell (16:18):

… Okay. This is a great leveler. I’m sure [inaudible 00:16:21] koala bears. I mean, that’s maybe, the point being the average age of death here in Australia is 79 for us guys and 83 for girls. When I talk, I put up 80 squares is really confronting. 80 squares, every square represents a day on earth. All right. Let’s call the average age of death 80 and then I say, okay. What I want you to do is cross out the ones that you’ve been alive. If you’re 40 something like me, half of them and a couple more are gone. All right? I’m closer to 50, to be honest, let’s say 50, actually let’s be really specific, 47 are crossed off and then I say, okay, look down at your piece of paper, look down and [inaudible 00:17:05]. Oh shit. Okay. Remember if you crossed out ones that are less than 40, there all good all the time in the world, but over 40 people are like, “Oh dear.”

Travis Bell (17:16):

Then I asked three poignant questions, which are a drive in the knife and here’s where I twist it is I say, and I’ve done this to rooms of a 1000, 2000, 3000 people. I did a TED Talk a few years ago, a TEDx Talk to 2000 people and did this with them, say, “Who in the room knows people who have been diagnosed or died from cancer?” And every single person puts up their hand. Just imagine a sea of people, a 1000 people put their hand and at home, you can put up your hand, how many people know the people who have been diagnosed or died from cancer? Pretty much everyone. Okay. The second question is how many people do you know have been diagnosed or died from cancer? Show of fingers. Imagine 1000 people putting up their fingers. Some are putting up 10 and feet. It’s like, “Whoa!.” Then I have everyone look around the room. You can just imagine what I’ll look at when I do this. People are like, “Holy shit. Okay.” Then I say, “How many of them that you just showed us, made their 80 squares, got to 80?”

Travis Bell (18:35):

Then you hear a pin drop. The answers, zeros, ones, and twos and I say, “Well, there is no someday that I die awake, that I do [inaudible 00:18:54] to die awake. There is no perfect time.” We don’t know how long we got left. What are you waiting for? Are you waiting to get given a used by date from a bloke in a white coat or a woman in a white coat to say, hey, guess what? You got a year. What are you waiting for? Hurry up, entrepreneurs, set up your business, listen to these guys, embrace the tools. Don’t fight it. Get off the freaking fence, make some decisions, hire that other person, get in the cloud, hurry the hell up. Hurry the hell up because we don’t know if or when. What are we waiting for? I want people to live a regret free life rather than regretful life. I’ve been doing this work for 10 years. I’ve been saying the same thing for 10 years. Now through, we’ve got certified bucket-list coaches now in 22 countries teaching this stuff.

Steve Loates (20:02):


Travis Bell (20:04):

At the end of the day, we’re waking people up. We’re doing our little bit to try and change the narrative. That is the matrix. Try to change the narrative around depression, trying to change the narrative about personal development and life coaching. We’ve got certified bucket-list coaches, which is a life coaching framework but without saying life coaching because that’s met with skepticism. We’ve got certified bucket-list coaches. We literally, from families to fortune 500 companies, which are what I’ve been doing pretty much for the last 10 years, helping people at all of different levels with bunch of different programs, helping them wake up in some form or another to go live their lists before it’s too late. It’s not just for them. It’s not just for us here on this call, it’s for the kids as well. If I want to do business, because I know you’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs that are listening and watching, I want to do business with a bucket lister, I want to do business with someone who’s enthusiastic about life, I want to do business with someone who is glass half full, who’s got always got a fun, adventurous tale of adventure story to share with me. I want to do business with a person like that. It makes sense. Doesn’t it?

Steve Loates (21:31):

Yeah, absolutely.

Travis Bell (21:32):

Versus someone who’s bitching about their lot in life, how sick they are, the pandemic and everything else is going wrong. Now, I want to do business with the bucket lister. What are we going to change? Well, first of all, what we’re going to do is get this stuff out of their head and onto paper. That’s the number one thing and actually writing stuff down. Writing goals down, you’ve got a 42% more likelihood of actually manifesting. Believe it or not. You must have wrote it down. Worry about the what and the why not about the how.

Juliet Aurora (22:05):

Yeah. Well, and it’s interesting that you said that you had your bucket list when you were 18 and most people at the age of 18, aren’t even thinking about things like that. But after we came back from listening to you and Steve and I formalized and said, “Okay.” And we actually broke our bucket list down to one year, three years, five years, 10 years. Our daughter at the time was 17 and watched us do this exercise. Then I remember her and I guess on her own, and she didn’t tell us that she actually made her own bucket list, but I remember one of her friends being over who was struggling a little bit about finding some direction in their life and she was walking him through how to create a bucket list and she was 18.

Travis Bell (22:53):

There you go.

Juliet Aurora (22:55):

All that is because she saw us doing it. [inaudible 00:22:59]. It’s not only important for you, it’s important for your kids as well.

Steve Loates (23:04):


Travis Bell (23:06):

It’s contagious in a good way. Let’s get our own pandemic gone. All right?

Steve Loates (23:13):


Travis Bell (23:14):

[inaudible 00:23:14]. This is a bit of a virus.

Steve Loates (23:15):

Yeah, for sure. Well, there’s such a need, I mean, the amount of entrepreneurs we meet who are just in overload, they’re working crazy hours, they’re working hard at their business, there’s no balance and they don’t take the time to breathe and just sit back and what the hell am I doing and why am I doing this. Something at the bucket list coaching, I think could be a life changer for so many people. I think that’s awesome.

Travis Bell (23:59):

Well, I mean, funnily enough, I’ve just literally finished a program with ActionCOACH Headquarters in Las Vegas. I run a 12-week bucket list life plan program for their head office and now we’re running a bucket list life plan for all their master licensees around the world. We start that next month. It’s all online because we have to, but it is exactly that. It’s about helping those people and they’re all entrepreneurs helping them take time out of their life to work on their life. And I’m very specific. I don’t want anything to do with your business. Your business is purely a vehicle to make this stuff happen, but people don’t give themselves permission to dream. They’re just so caught up. What this does, is it decreases noise and increases the focus on what actually makes us happy, what gives us that sense of fulfillment. It’s just so not what you think. It’s not about just travel here. You guys see that. It’s not about just running marathons and climbing Mount Everest and all that crap. It’s about gratitude.

Travis Bell (25:12):

We have this concept called the reverse bucket list as well and we’ve also got this concept called a future bucket list. Maybe there’s something that we can do for your community guys. Maybe we do a program for your guys too because if this got people thinking, then people can be left up to their own devices, but they do need some guidance because I know like Darren Hardy actually said it at that seminar. I remember this, the one that you saw me speak at, and it was 85% of people who go to a seminar, don’t do anything. They get [inaudible 00:25:57] and bulletproof and leave the room hugging it out and high fiving, and then just get onto emails and Facebook and internet and life just gets in the way. There’s only a chosen few such as yourselves, that actually do something. That’s a ray of braid.

Steve Loates (26:14):

I can tell you, we certainly haven’t done everything we had planned on doing when we leave those things, but we did come up, I think with a little, I wouldn’t call it a secret, but something that works for us. We decided a few years ago because we do, well, we used to attend a lot of conferences and events because we’re big learners. We love learning. We used to come away from them every time with all these notes and all these great ideas and Jesus, where do you start? We made ourselves a promise a few years ago and said that the one thing we have to do, usually on the plane on the way home is pick one or two, three of the maximum of all the things we learned, this is what we’re going to implement. Once we started doing that, we found that we were actually doing stuff and it was working. That was a huge thing for us when we started doing that.

Juliet Aurora (27:20):


Travis Bell (27:20):

Yeah. We do a lot of seminars and read the books and get a lot of shelf help. The old days books behind me, I haven’t read any of them. I don’t even know if they’re real. [inaudible 00:27:36] background.

Steve Loates (27:43):

It’s very good. I don’t know. That actually is 3D background that moves.

Travis Bell (27:47):

Yeah. All plastic.

Juliet Aurora (27:51):

And for those of you in the audience who can’t see it, it is a bookshelf [inaudible 00:27:55].

Steve Loates (27:59):

Absolutely. That’s great.

Travis Bell (28:01):

I look smarter though. Don’t I? Yes, I do.

Steve Loates (28:04):

Yeah, for sure.

Travis Bell (28:04):

[inaudible 00:28:04] Travis. Yes.

Steve Loates (28:07):

One thing I have to ask and that is of your adventures. Yeah, I know. Well, one that you can share with our audience. Okay? This is a family show.

Travis Bell (28:20):

But you are Canadian.

Steve Loates (28:25):

That’s right. We’re the nice people, right?

Travis Bell (28:29):


Steve Loates (28:29):

That’s what the Americans keep telling us anyway.

Travis Bell (28:32):


Steve Loates (28:32):

Of your adventures, what is one that sticks in your mind as, yeah, that’s got to be up there as one of the top things?

Travis Bell (28:44):

Look, there’s lots to share, obviously I’ve done over 300 things on my bucket list so far and it got heaps more to go. I won’t tell you about the time that I was a nude model for an art class. I will not tell you that and conquered that fear. I won’t tell you about that story.

Steve Loates (29:04):

Yeah. Thank you.

Travis Bell (29:05):

Yes. That’s all right.

Juliet Aurora (29:06):

Although, that sounds like a pretty interesting story.

Travis Bell (29:06):


Steve Loates (29:11):

Could you share the painting perhaps?

Travis Bell (29:15):

[inaudible 00:29:15]. No, it’s abstract [crosstalk 00:29:19]. That’s actually it. That’s abstract.

Steve Loates (29:24):

That’s awesome. I could tell.

Travis Bell (29:26):

Yeah. I’ll send you photos privately. [inaudible 00:29:29]. Steve, just a tip because I know you’re writing this down now as one of your bucket list items. Here’s the thing. Don’t do it in the middle of winter, just saying, all right?

Steve Loates (29:40):

Good advise.

Travis Bell (29:40):

[inaudible 00:29:40]. Don’t do it in the art studio that’s next to the coffee shop where you get coffee every single morning with, with respect, the local gay barista serves coffee every morning who also likes art.

Steve Loates (29:56):

[inaudible 00:29:56].

Travis Bell (29:56):

Just from there on just, let’s say I got a little bit of a sugar in my coffee from there on.

Steve Loates (30:11):


Travis Bell (30:11):

Yes. But now look, probably one of the most poignant ones. I mean, I went to Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side of Advanced Base Camp. I’ve done an Ironman Triathlon. I went to, you’d love this, Eurovision Song Contest final. I went to Burning Man, done a bunch of charity things as well. I spent Christmas in HIV orphanage for 250 kids. HIV affected kids, orphans in Cambodia playing a not so small elf over Christmas and packing stuff for them. They’re probably the most poignant things. It goes from I’ve surfed big waves, I’m a surfer and I’ve done all that adrenaline stuff, but now it’s all about legacy. Now, one of the ones that I’m building at the moment is obviously bucket-list coach all around the world, being the founder CEO of all that, but I’ve done a lot of adventuring with my dad.

Travis Bell (31:12):

I’m adopted, and one of the things on my list to do before I die, even before it was a bucket list was to do a hike with dad because, and I’m sure a lot of the entrepreneurs in your group could appreciate this, that he’s a man’s man. He’s a worker. He’s a diesel mechanic, fitter and Turner, in the same job since he was 16 through to retirement. He’s in the any unions, the whole bit. Here I am, his adopted son, a serial entrepreneur. I don’t think he still understands what the hell I do. “People pay you to come to speak in front of them. What the hell have you got anyway?” Because we spoke a different language growing up, we always locked horns and it wasn’t until I put a… To do a hike with dad was actually on my list of to do a big hike with dad.

Travis Bell (32:10):

I actually wrote it down because I knew that going forward, it’d be better if we got along. We did that in Tasmania. He’s a hiker, a bushwalker. He does sea kayaking and stuff like this. I found myself in a four seater plane with my dad, myself and each two best mates. We got dropped off in Southeast Tasmania in the old-growth forest area and our mission in Tassie is the Southern most part of Australia, Southern most state of Australia. Our mission that the plan drops us off and leaves and our mission was to walk back along the great South Coast track trail of Tasmania, walk back to a place called Cockle Creek, which is the southern most town in Australia. Okay? Have you seen the movie Deliverance?

Steve Loates (33:05):


Travis Bell (33:05):

Cockle Creek.

Steve Loates (33:07):


Travis Bell (33:10):

At the end of the day, we did this tour and we did this [inaudible 00:33:14]. They said, pack eight to 15 days with the food. It took us about nine days, river crossings up and down mountains. Nearly lost him a couple of times, pretty walled. We’re about 500 meters from the end and I was walking frustratingly behind him and I said, “Dad, I just got something to share with you. This has been on my bucket list.” This is just after I was named the bucket list guy. “This has been on my bucket list for the last five, six years to do this walk with you.” And what I thought was going to be a massive father-son hug it out, moving moment, he’s just gone, “All right.” And just kept walking. And I’m like, dad’s not a man of emotion. Then we did the selfies. We had lunch, the whole bit and then he said, “What you said before, what’s a bucket list?” I said, “Man, it’s all the stuff that you want to do before you die.” And then he turned to me with emotion, little not too many, with tear in his eye and he said, “Oh, I won’t swear, but this has been effing special.”

Steve Loates (34:27):

Very nice.

Travis Bell (34:27):

Still no father-son hug moment though. I’m still waiting. We’re on the bus back to the major city in Tasmania, they’re called Hobart, and he said, “Trev.” Just turned to me on the bus and he said, “What else is on this list to do before you die? What’s on this bucket list of yours?” I said, “Oh, I’ll get back to you. There’s heaps of stuff on it. It’s what I’m doing now. I’m out of personal training. I’m doing this now.” And he’s like, “Right.” Six months later, a friend of mine who’s in New Zealand, he’s a mountaineer, Grant and he’s got no toes in his left foot, all these New Zealanders think [inaudible 00:35:03] Hillary. I swear, all these mountaineers sit up at high camp and compare what limbs they’re missing around their little bunks and burnout.

Travis Bell (35:17):

Because I cycle with Grant and he said, “Look, I know that you’ve got this go to Everest Base Camp on your lists.” I said, “Yeah. I have not.” And he goes, “Well, in about eight months time, we’re going to Mount Everest and I’m like, “Oh, easy, I just want to go to base camp. I’m surfer not a mountaineer [inaudible 00:35:35].” He said, “No, what you can do, you can come along on our expedition. There’s 13 of us going to the top.” Grant said, “I’m going to peel off at a camp one, not going to the top, but you can join us and you can peel off at base camp or Advanced Base Camp. It’s up to you.” I said, “Oh my God, how much is it going to be?” And he said, “About 15000.” I said, “I ain’t got 15000.” He goes, “You know what? I know either way, you want to go that bad, you’ll find a why.” I’m like, “My true word has been spoken.” I found a why.

Travis Bell (36:08):

If the why is strong enough, the how will work itself out. This is what all the old guys are going to understand. Only worry about the what and the why. Don’t worry about the how. The funny thing about it, when you get more conscious around this process, we have a way of finding a why and we have to trust in that. The point thing, like I’ve got a call, “Dad, you know that bucket list?” “Yeah. I’ve been thinking about that.” “Well, mate, we got to Mount Everest through Tibet.” “Trev, where the [inaudible 00:36:43] is Tibet?” “Look, it’s part of China. Please don’t punch on it.” Look, either way, he’s going, “Trev, you realize I’ve never been out of Australia before.” I said, “Exactly mate. That’s what we’re going.”

Steve Loates (36:56):


Travis Bell (36:58):

True to the Advanced Base Camp, at the highest point in the world that you could walk to, since then, we did Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea together. We did Machu Picchu. We did the Inca trial. The morning of my 40th first day, there at Sun Gate at Machu Pichu with 10 other bucket list that took with us. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa, after doing a game drive through Kruger National Park, all with dad, now I took mum along with that one and now we’re best mates.

Steve Loates (37:31):


Juliet Aurora (37:31):

Very cool.

Travis Bell (37:33):

That’s why we do this stuff.

Steve Loates (37:36):

Absolutely right. Yeah. If you didn’t have that bucket list, you would have nowhere to go.

Travis Bell (37:40):

Nope. There you go.

Steve Loates (37:43):

That’s great. Well, that brings us to the part of the show that we call the Smart Man, Smarter Woman version of James Lipton’s Q and A from Actors Studio, where he used to ask every guest the same questions on each episode. We would like to do that now, if you are ready.

Travis Bell (38:05):

Down for it.

Steve Loates (38:07):

All right. What one word best defines an entrepreneur?

Travis Bell (38:14):


Steve Loates (38:15):

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

Travis Bell (38:21):

I was going to say something really funny then, but I will not because this is PG. I’ll go with what I’d love to do. I’d love to be a professional surfer. There’s this thing called skill getting in my way.

Steve Loates (38:37):

Practice. What profession would you like never to attempt?

Travis Bell (38:46):

With respect, accountant. I pay well, I pay the professionals. Get that stuff done.

Steve Loates (38:55):

That’s okay, Travis. You’re preaching to the converted. It’s okay.

Travis Bell (38:58):

There you go.

Steve Loates (39:00):

What sound or noise do you love?

Travis Bell (39:03):

Wow. The ocean.

Steve Loates (39:05):

Awesome. What book would you recommend every entrepreneur needs to read?

Travis Bell (39:13):

Look, I’m going to come back to and maybe for re alignment, but this is the one that is actually real. I’m reaching back to grab.

Steve Loates (39:22):

Oh, so there is one real book on that case. All right.

Travis Bell (39:25):

Well, there’s a couple of hundred books here. This one is actually a real, the others are fake.

Steve Loates (39:30):


Travis Bell (39:31):

But Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. He’s a positive psychologist. This is really pointing in my journey because it was actually given to me by a friend because when I was in an unhappy place, I was catching up with people for coffee, et cetera and they were like, a friend of mine said, “Look, look you miserable prick, here’s a book on happiness. Read it. We’re over it. It’s about time.” Right place, right time. All by some positive psychology. In here, was an exercise called the MTS exercise. Three intersecting circles in a Venn diagram. What gives you meaning, what gives you pleasure and what are your strengths and in the middle is your calling. I did this and actually, I got motivational speaker and I’m like, “Really? That’s my thing.” I stepped into it. It was a massive sign that I’m on the right track with this. I’ve encouraged so many people to get this book and I’ve gifted it a bunch of times as well. It’s called Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. It [inaudible 00:40:42] realign and I do say realign, our business owners too on what are their strengths, what gives them meaning, what gives them purpose.

Steve Loates (40:53):

Perfect. All right. We’ll have to check that one out.

Juliet Aurora (40:57):

And you can tell that that is a book that you have revisited because when he held it up, there are posted notes sticking out of it and you can tell that it’s a well warm, well loved books.

Steve Loates (41:07):

Those are the important ones.

Travis Bell (41:11):

Yeah. I’ll put it back in fake-

Juliet Aurora (41:14):

Into the fake [inaudible 00:41:16].

Travis Bell (41:16):

… Bookshelf.

Steve Loates (41:18):

[inaudible 00:41:18], you were destroying the image there [inaudible 00:41:21].

Travis Bell (41:20):

Yeah. That’s the one that I read. [inaudible 00:41:25].

Steve Loates (41:27):

Perfect. And our last question, when your own entrepreneurial journey is completed, what do you hope your legacy is?

Travis Bell (41:36):

Change the narrative around mental health.

Steve Loates (41:40):

Awesome. For any of our listeners who would like to reach out to you and connect, what is the easiest way for them to do that?

Travis Bell (41:48):

Well, look, people can actually send me an email if they want to trev@thebucket listguy.com and they can get in my website, the bucketlistguy.com. If you’re interested in becoming a coach, they can do that at bucketlistcoach.com. All the socials.

Steve Loates (42:05):

Yeah, [inaudible 00:42:06].

Travis Bell (42:05):

No, I’m not on Tiktok.

Steve Loates (42:08):

Not yet?

Travis Bell (42:10):

[inaudible 00:42:10]?

Steve Loates (42:11):

You’re asking the wrong person.!

Travis Bell (42:15):

What’s that dance that you do on social media, Steve? Is it… Anyway, probably Instagram. Instagram is a bucketlistguy.travbell [inaudible 00:42:24].

Steve Loates (42:24):

In the show notes, we will list all of your social channels, your websites. Someone wants to reach you and we’ll even put your email in there. That’s great. Before we wind things down, do you have any final thoughts you would like to share with our audience of entrepreneurs?

Travis Bell (42:49):

Yeah. Look, it’s not a final thought, it’s more of a challenge to them. Here’s the challenge. Write your bucket list down and actually send it to us. Now, I include myself in there. Send it to Steve, send it to Juliet and send it to me. I’m serious. Okay? Rather than just listening here and go, oh, that’s nice and then as soon as this episode finishes, you get busy in life. Go and wat my TED Talk. That’ll introduce you to a concept called the mind bucket list blueprint and you guys know that. In that I introduced and unpack this a 12 step process for how to write a personally meaningful and holistic bucket list. We’ll probably put that in the show notes as well. It’s called Life’s Too Short by Trev bell, YouTube it. Then have a watch of that, get this stuff head to head, get it on the paper, take a photo of that piece of paper and email it to us. I dare you.

Steve Loates (43:48):


Travis Bell (43:50):

You never know when you do this, there could be a prize for you if you do do this.

Steve Loates (43:58):

I like prizes. Okay. Well, that’s great. Thank you. What about you, Juliet? Do you have any final words for us before we wind down?

Juliet Aurora (44:08):

Not really. Again, so inspired. Going to revisit our bucket list I think to makes sure that it’s still on track. I mean, we usually look at it twice a year and I think June we missed because we usually do it when we’re away and we weren’t away, but I’d like the idea of the bucket list challenge and introducing it to our team and maybe doing a bucket list challenge with our team.

Steve Loates (44:33):

Awesome. Yeah. That’s a great idea. Okay.

Juliet Aurora (44:38):

Thank you, man.

Travis Bell (44:38):

Happy to help. Happy to be of service.

Steve Loates (44:40):

Okay. That’s great. Thank you, Travis. That brings us to our words of wisdom. As everyone knows by now, I am a quote nerd. I love quotes and so words of wisdom for this episode are from my good friend, Mark Twain. 20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do them by the ones you did do. Through off the battle lines, sail away from that safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover. Mark Twain. I thought that was appropriate for today’s conversation.

Juliet Aurora (45:25):


Steve Loates (45:25):

Again, thank you, Travis. This was fantastic. Thank you, Juliet. Couldn’t do this without you. Most importantly, thank you to you, our audience for tuning in and giving us a listen. We sincerely hope you found some value here today. I’m pretty sure you did. If you did, we’d love it if you’d subscribe to the podcast. You can find is in all the regular places, iTunes, Spotify or just go to the website, smartmansmarterwoman.com. Easy to remember. Thank you. Until well next time, take good care of yourself and those that you love. Bye for now.

Song by Adam Vitovsky / CC BY 3.0

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Episode 24