Episode 113: The Formula for a Happy Life with Rob Dubin – Transcript

Episode 113: The Formula for a Happy Life with Rob Dubin

Rennie Gabriel  00:10
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 113 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information and provide inspiration around your business and your money. I'm your host, Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 - 10 seconds, what determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. And last week, we had Daniel Aaron, a Spiritual teacher, Author, Entrepreneur, Yogi, and single father. Today, we have as our guest, Rob Dubin. Rob is a serial entrepreneur who created multiple 7-figure businesses before retiring at age 42 so he and his wife could spend the next 17 years sailing around the world on their own sailboat. Rob went from sharing his life with billionaires and CEOs to meeting barefoot villagers in over 100 countries, and learning from both groups. Rob interweaves lessons learned while sailing with his business experience, resulting in memorable talks. Today, Rob gives back by teaching courses in employee happiness. Rob, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast.

Rob Dubin  01:42
Thank you for having me, Rennie. I'm a big fan of yours and a big fan of your message. Way more people could be financially secure and financially comfortable, if they just put a little bit of focus on it and, and had a little bit of the kind of information that you put out there. 

Rennie Gabriel  01:59
Terrific. Thank you. Let's start with some questions. Why are you doing what you're doing?

Rob Dubin  02:05
Well, as you mentioned, I retired when I was 42 - and I'm now 69. And I was very comfortably retired and enjoyed sailing, as you mentioned for many years. And then when we moved back to the States, I live in a beautiful place in Colorado, and I get up every morning and decide if I want to go skiing or mountain biking or do something fun like that. And the pandemic was very, very easy for us, we're retired, we didn't have any kids to worry about homeschooling. We didn't have any financial worries. And so the pandemic was very easy for me, but I have a lot of younger friends and I really came to realize how difficult it was for so many people. And then when I started hearing more and more about the great resignation during the pandemic, and even as the pandemic winding down, so many people examining their lives and finding out they were unhappy with the life they were living. And I realized I have a solution for that. I have focused all my life on being happy, how to be happy. I've mentored others in that. And I just felt I needed to be out there in a space when people were hurting. If I had a solution, I should be doing it. So I started a motivational speaking business in the last 18 months. And I worked a little bit of how I wanted to do what I was going to do, how I could reach the largest group of people. And so what I do now is I consult with corporations who are having trouble with employee engagement. And we have this new term that's been coined in the past month, called, "Quiet Quitting", to go along with "The Great Resignation". And "Quiet Quitting" is people basically doing the minimum possible and to still keep their jobs and I guess it's maximum disengagement and still having a heartbeat. So I have a solution to that. And a lot of people don't realize that work, I mean, we don't want to work and be burned out, but work also gives us a huge sense of purpose and part of being happy is having a sense of purpose. So people that quit during the Great Resignation, a lot of them found they were more unhappy after they quit. They were less burned out but they weren't, they didn't find the happiness they were seeking. So anyway, I have a formula for teaching people how to be happy. It's a result of my living that way for 70 years, nearly 70 years and studying the science of positive psychology or the science of happiness.

Rennie Gabriel  04:43
Terrific. I love what you're doing. You and I are pretty much on the same page. The only difference is that when I ended up with Complete Financial Choice®, I call that instead of financial freedom or retirement or any of that stuff. Yeah, without a purpose I had, I felt just like I was floundering. And so I'm getting to donate 100% of the profits from the work that I do to charity, which is giving me purpose and continuing to educate people about money. 

Rob Dubin  05:16
So commendable. 

Rennie Gabriel  05:17
Thank you. That leads me to my second question, which is, what's the charity or cause that's most important to you? 

Rob Dubin  05:25
Interesting, my wife started a nonprofit here in our small town about seven or eight years ago, to help seniors stay in their home, it's kind of a neighbor to neighbor thing. So lots of neighbors help their senior friends get to doctor's appointments, or grocery shopping or gardening and that kind of thing. So my wife started that, she just stepped down from the board. But for the last seven or eight years, that's been her focus and I've spent a little bit of my energy there as well. But the key thing that we've done similar to what you did, when we were sailing around the world, our sailing kind of had three, three phases, I would say. The first year or two was what I call the don't-die phase. And that's when we were learning how to handle the boat, how to be safe, how to not hit a reef and reef our sails and do all the things you need to do. And our focus was very, very inward. We were focused on ourselves. We had just retired. We were living this great life. And it was really an inward focus. I don't know if the word selfish is the word, but it was definitely inwardly focused. And then we had a the next period of our lives. And all of the other sailors doing what we were doing went through the same periods, I would say, and we all became very focused on helping the people in the third world countries that we visited. So we always carried school supplies, and I carried fish hooks and tools and batteries that I could give to the men and we carried sewing supplies for the women and lots of extra clothes. And we always donated all those things. And that was kind of, I don't know, for lack of a better term, a mutual benefit phase, we benefited them but they opened up their lives and their homes to us. And so we got to see how they lived. And it was really a wonderful part of our sailing, but eventually, we decided that just wasn't enough on multiple levels. It was helping others but it was a band-aid. All the, you know, the school supplies that we brought this year, they needed more next year. And many of the places that we sailed to, they needed large infrastructure projects, which we couldn't really do much about. But we sailed into this sort of medium-sized city in Indonesia, the first port of call we had in Indonesia, this place called Kupang. And a young woman approached us on the beach and asked to be our guide so she could practice her English. And we spent several days with her, she was so amazing, and smart and incredible. If she'd been in the US, she'd been on a full scholarship to Harvard, and she had wanted to go to college, and luckily, she had gotten one of the very few scholarships available to go to college. Her parents made about $200 a month by selling vegetables. And we knew that there would be so many other young women like her that for lack of a few $100, or whatever a college education cost over there, wouldn't have that opportunity. So inspired by her, my wife and I, in one week set up a college scholarship program. And we met with the headmaster of the local teachers college, and he agreed to waive all the red tape for anybody that we would sponsor. And then we met with the headmaster's of several of the high schools and we set up a criteria based on both educational ability and financial need. And we went to all the other sailors like ourselves, and we're just itinerant sailors passing through. It's on the route. If you're sailing around the world, the next year, it would be a different group of sailors, none of whom we knew. But we knew they would all feel the way we did about wanting to contribute. Because that's really the ultimate goal when you, as you found with your own life. And so we set up a college scholarship program. That was 13 years ago and we've now put 29 kids through 5 years of college.

Rennie Gabriel  09:23
Oh, that's so fabulous. Bless you. And one of the things that I always talk about is that wealth creation, and it doesn't matter if it's wealth creation, relationships, business growth - it's a team sport, not a solo sport. And it sounds like you banded together other wandering sailors and really benefited the people of these areas. So bless you for that.

Rob Dubin  09:49
Well thank you. It's certainly, in the happiness courses that I teach one of the end goals, the final thing that you find out that you need to do to be happy is contribute to others. That's really the biggest one of them all. I mean, there are lots of, there's a framework that I teach for happiness. And there's a number of things that go into it. But one of the biggest ones that we all eventually get to whether it's Bill Gates, or you or myself, is contribution to others.

Rennie Gabriel  10:15
Exactly. Well, let's get to something else. What would you say was your biggest failure or learning experience, whether it was personal or business? And what insight did you gain from it? How did you use it?

Rob Dubin  10:32
Well, I started, one of the businesses I started, I raised money for, and we did a sort of a private stock offering and raised about a quarter million dollars. And in no time at all, we had spent that quarter million plus another 50,000 that we didn't have. And about that time, I became acquainted with Tony Robbins, and I'm going back about 30 years now. And I was able to do some things have benefited Tony and he then invited us to be his guest at all the seminars that he was doing. And one of the ones that made a huge impact on us was his financial destiny seminar. And it's really where we took control of our financial destiny, because my actual business was making movies and this business that we started was just a different way of making movies. And as I started my business at age 22, all I wanted to do was make creative movies. And if I made enough to pay the crew and keep the lights on, I was happy. And I was that way for a number of years but then I decided I wanted more. And I wanted to start building a better financial basis. So that's what I did. And unfortunately, this business never really made the kind of money it could have. We were not able to return revenue back to our investors. But the things that happened through that allowed me to at least keep my head up high. So the, this was in about 1990, that we - 89 or 90 - we started that and my wife and I were each supposed to get a $60,000 a year salary out of this business and we weren't making enough to do that. So I wanted to be able to look my investors straight in the eye and tell them I was doing everything I could. So I took zero salary for the first year, while I was working about 80 hours a week. I would work all day in the business and then we were editing these, this, these films that we were selling and we could get better rates at the editing facility if you work from 6pm till 3am. So that's what I did every night. I worked from 9 to 5 in my office. And then at six o'clock, I was in the edit facility till 2 or 3am. Then I slept for a few hours, I was back in my office. And I did that for a good part of the year taking zero salary. So we lived completely on, and my wife only took half salary. So she took 30,000. So we were living on her $30,000. And we did that for the first year. The next year, I radically increased my salary and I took $16,000 the next year, while still working 50 and 60 hour weeks. And what we had learned in the first year was that we could miraculously live on my wife's 30,000, which was, by the way, way less than we had made all the previous years doing our regular filming business. It was this new thing that we started it was not taking off, like we thought. But what we learned was that we could live on her 30,000. So the next year, we took, we lived on her 30,000, and we put my little paltry 16,000 into investments. And then the next year when I actually started, when we both started paying ourselves, I think we upped it to 40,000 even though we were supposed to be getting 60. We still took even each 40. So I can still look my investors straight in the eye and say, 'I'm feeling the pain more than you are - I'm doing everything I can to make it work.' And we took my entire salary and invested it. And we took a little portion of hers because we knew we could still live on this 30,000. So maybe we lived on 35 or 40 but we were still, of the total we were taking out of the business, 50% was going into savings and investing. And we did that for a few more years. And at a Tony Robbins event I had written that I wanted to retire in 5 to 10 years, I think 10 years on my 10 year plan. And at the time I had about maybe $50,000 net worth. We had a little bit of investment and we had a little bit of equity in our home. And from what I had about 50 grand, four years later, we retired and took off to go sailing.

Rennie Gabriel  14:41
Hmm. I'm stumbling over what to say because it's amazing to say that at age 42 that you were able to create Complete Financial Choice® and go sailing for 17 years with a base of $50,000.

Rob Dubin  15:02
Well a little caveat there. When we left to go sailing, we thought we had enough, I figured we had enough to go sailing for three or four years, plus a little cushion to come back and get re-established and go back to work. But the stock market was very good in those years. And at the end of four years, our nest egg was bigger than when we left. So I couldn't afford to go back to work. I had to continue to sail because it was more profitable. And so we sailed for about seven years, and we had sailed all through the Caribbean. And again, at the end of seven years, our nest egg was bigger than when we left. And at that point, my wife wanted to sail around the world. So we came back to the states and did a little refit on our boat. And then we took off for what turned into a 10 year circumnavigation of the world. So all in all, it was 17 years. And when we came back, we still had a far, far bigger nest egg. And we came back and for the next eight years, lived comfortably not working until as I explained earlier, I felt a need to go out and try and help more people be happy human beings.

Rennie Gabriel  16:05
Terrific. Well, let me ask you this, because I'm sure the people who are listening to the podcast will want to learn more, they want to get in touch with you, is there some free resource that you can provide that would direct people and provide more value to my listeners?

Rob Dubin  16:26
Absolutely. I will tell you, we have a PDF that they can download about what worked for us financially. And I'm just going to tell you really briefly, the four steps that are in that PDF. And the first thing we changed was how we thought about money. And we all have these limiting beliefs about money. If you believe it's scarce is going to be scarce. If you believe that only spirit - you can't be spiritual and rich, and if being spiritual is important to you, you're not going to find abundance. And you're a living example that that clearly is possible to be both spiritual and wealthy. So we changed how we thought about money. We started spending less on frivolous pursuits and saving more. And this is a really a key thing because I rewired my brain to where spending money was painful, and saving was pleasurable. So if you think that not buying that new outfit you want, you're denying yourself, it's going to be hard to do it. It's like dieting. We talked about, you and I talked about that before the phone call started. So I rewired myself to where when I spent money that was painful to me. And when I saw my nest egg on my statement in my investing portfolio larger every week, that was way more fun than buying a new Porsche. And so that's what I did is I rewired how I thought about money. I saved more than I spent. And then I started earning more. And then I invested wisely. So it's four steps that I outline in great detail in a PDF that people can get. They can go to my website, it's just my name, R, O, B, D, U, B, I, N, dot com - robdubin.com. And go to the frequently asked questions page, and there's a little form to fill out and they'll get an email that they can download this financial recipe of ours. They can download and it's something we always get asked is how did the two of you do so well on a 40 foot sailboat, 24/7? I'll tell you, we just celebrated our 40th anniversary last Sunday. And we have some relationship advice there, as well as my formula or the framework I teach for in my happiness courses that I do for businesses to help their employees be happy and stay on the job. So that's all available as a resource there. 

Rennie Gabriel  18:48
Great. Well, I'm going to put that in the show notes, so people can just click on it. Congratulations on the long marriage - that's fabulous. Very proud of you for that. And I guess the last thing, I'm not sure if we have time for this last question, but is there something I should have asked you that would give some great value to the audience? And what the what would the answer be? 

Rob Dubin  19:12
Well, I know you and I are living our purpose. And we're very firm in that and confident in that. And people always ask me, How do you do that? And I have to quote a friend of mine because she said it's so much better than I've ever said it, but people ask me this all the time. How do you get on purpose? And I, what she says, my friend Gabrielle Boche says, "Your purpose is the best of what you have to help others". So if people are wondering, you know, it's it's very easy for you and I to do what we do because, well we're totally on purpose. The fact that we make money doing it for both of us, I imagine is an aside. I know you donate all your profits, so that's terrific. And when you're on purpose so many things fall into place. So your purpose is the very best of what you have to help others.

Rennie Gabriel  20:06
That is such a great way of easily determining purpose. Rob, I want to thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate the opportunity to meet you this way.

Rob Dubin  20:22
Thank you very much for having me. I know we're kindred spirits. And I know that's why we clicked right away when we met earlier.

Rennie Gabriel  20:30
Thank you, Rob. And to my listeners. Thank you also for tuning in. Now next week, we're going to have David Jenyns who created Australia's most trusted digital agencies, Melbourne SEO Services, which he systematized himself out of in 2016. Again, it's the working on the business, not in the business. Now you can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform. And please rate, review and subscribe. And if you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TEDx talk and can request the free 27-Page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice® and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your wealth, and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program, Wealth with Purpose, again on the wealthonanyincome.com website. Until next week, be prosperous. Bye bye for now.

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