About 8 years ago, someone called Trav Bell “The Bucket List Guy” because of all the crazy & interesting things he’d done in his life up until then.
From getting to the advanced base camp at Mt. Everest, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, completing an Ironman Triathlon, to even the simplest things like being a model for a life drawing class – he’s done it and crossed it out of his list. He did it because it made him whole and happy in life.
But the true gemstone in this episode is how Trav got to stand up in the international stage by just being himself and doing his thing. Find out how you can reach the world with your crazy ideas, how to pitch them and how to build yourself up so you too could go beyond your own borders.
Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation, what’s happening on Victor, he penny back for another episode of public speaking secrets and today I have got you’re very, very lucky because this is probably going to change the path of your life. I’ve got bow and he is the number one, the world’s number one bucket list expert and he is a self, a pointed bucket listologist is going to have you could have been a bit more clarity with where your bucket list is, how you make it a tangible plan for your life. He is a fellow Tedx speaker and author with the my bucket list blueprint is a thought leader and here’s a globally recognized certified speaking professional, which I know will perk your ears up because many of you are either on their path or looking to go on it, but most importantly he’s ceo of bucket list coaches that are on a mission to help 10 million people just like you create their bucket list and tick it before you kick it, which is a #kickout because I absolutely love it and I just want to welcome to the show.
Trav Bell: Hello everyone.
Victor Ahipene: It’s a pleasure to have someone else in the southern hemisphere. It means I’m not up at four, 5:00 AM in the morning trying to get energized feeling for everyone out there. Can you just give us a little bit of a background on you? How did you kind of become the world’s number one bucket list expert because that doesn’t sound like something that you finished school and your career advisors said? Yeah, that’d be a pretty awesome, pretty awesome thing to say. So how did that come? How did that all come about? What was your journey to kind of get here?
Trav Bell: Anyone at school like career advisor had given that to a, uh, a graduate. They would have got the sack on the spot. I might, I’m a, funnily enough, or someone called me the bucket list guy after I very, very ordinary first seminar that I did. I had a, a history and personal training. So I was one of the first to franchise personal training studios around Australia. I did that for a builder from one client, did about two and a half million personal training sessions over the course of 20 years. We had 21 personal training studios and did that, sort of started the speaking Korean. Funnily enough for the Australian Institute of Fitness. I was one of the senior presenters down here in Melbourne and was very, very involved in that world and I know you’ve got that physio background and that was kind of my life for the degree. I was a jock my whole life. I’d come into personal training. That was a natural thing for me and I didn’t get the marks to get into physio mate, so I’m very jealous, but here I am. Probably a good thing.
People kind of started there and my love of coaching people. I love speaking because I can coach one, you know, there’s nothing better. Nothing more satisfying than having the uncle of popcorn happen when people, you know, you get like a thousand plus people and you just hear the pop, pop, pop, pop, pop up around the room and there’s nothing better than I think, you know, coaching one to many and by the stage and a look for me, I got out of the personal training, went through depression, found myself every weekend at self-help seminars. I going out and high fiving with the best of them because I didn’t want to go on heavy anti-depressants and through a series of events someone said to me, Mike, why don’t you teach this stuff? You know, you’re in the seminar was spending a small fortune, why don’t you teach this stuff?
And this is positive psychology business. I just signed up for everything and it was all about, you know, all about me. And then someone sort of helped me I guess compartmentalize everything and what I was going through. So you should teach this stuff. And I went and stuff that I did and put on a seminar about 40 people a mum and dad were at the background. What the hell’s he doing now to pay the people to be there? To be honest, it was shocking. It was when I looked back at it now as a globally recognized, certified speaking professional, uh, when I look back on my first seminar, it might even be footage of it somewhere in the depths of the Internet. It was shocking and about halfway through I started talking about my list to do before I die. I had one since I was 18 and I asked the room, who else has got one of these lists to do before you die?
And no one was the only freak in the room. And then I say, well, what the hell? Why are you here? Why, why you’re working on one and in money, what do you want to do before you die? I was just really curious. And everyone started to come alive and the Shit seminar went from not so shit. And then at the end of it, uh, Joe, one of their old personal training clients at the time, she goes, no list to do before you die stuff. It’s like a bucket list at the back of this guy went home and registered the domain name, the bucket list guy. I had no idea how I was going to monetize it. But, um, me being me made are always on the internet and I was like, who’s McDaddy? Who’s like the king of bucket list in the. I’ll look no one. So I called myself the world’s number one, but six.
Victor Ahipene: No one’s going to dispute you.
Trav Bell: I know your listeners right now. I’m either like, Oh my God, I’m really listening to the world’s number one. Yeah. At the end of the day, it’s, in all honesty, it’s been the filter, the lanes that I have always looked at my life through. It’s, it’s, you know, I say a bucket list is a tangible life plan where our career planning or business planning should fit into our life plan, not be the other way around. So when I speak, I really bring home the principal or what I call work life blend of them, work-life balance and um, it’s given me, uh, the absolute amazing life and being able to run around the will do stupid shit on my bucket list. Some that very meaningful like orphanages and stuff like that in Canberra through do all the stupid shit. So I’m being a speaker. The cool thing about that is every, yeah, every year I update all my stories on my speeches because they’re always fresh. So it’s given me crazy ammunition, but more importantly, my highest value, if not, it’s my health. My highest value might is helping others and this has given me an absolute unbelievable platform to be able to do that.
Victor Ahipene: And I mean we’ve all heard the saying if you want to make more money, help more people. And I mean obviously there’s, the leverage was been able to get in front of people and speaking. And you said when you first started the bucket list guy, you didn’t know quite know how you were going to make it back from it. But yeah, the, the, the North Americans, North Americans love to say there’s riches in the niches and um, obviously you know, you’re, you’re out there going, hey, I’m going to be, yeah, I’ll run one of these seminars. I’ll be Tony Robins teaching NLP. And then you found this kind of awesome niche where you can really create something of your own to be able to, to be teaching them how, how did you then go, okay, cool, I’ve got this thing. I’m going to start figuring out a way to monetize it and to systemize it into something repeatable.
Trav Bell: Well, my main modality is always been speaking. I’ve got really no fear around public speaking. And when I was growing up, I really did. So after years and years of just doing little gigs and screwing things up along the way, you just build this muscle of, of just not caring, you know, of, of just don’t fear, embarrassment. And if anyone’s, you know, your audience might be looking, becoming speakers or attempt established space is the only way to get good at speaking is to speak. You’re going to have some horror stories. We all have stand-up Comedians, you know, they tell us some of the best in the world have all gotten stories and actors and they’ve all got stories of where performances have gone pear shapes, speaking is going to be no different, but when you come out the other side and you really signed to help people with your method message and be really authentic, it’s unbelievable.
Really, really Cathartic for us. So, um, what was I going with that I’m missing here? When I started, when I started, I had no idea. Like my limiting belief was who the hell is going to pay someone to write a list? Why would someone, why would, what would a company pay me to write a list? So I, I really created this whole lifestyle design client element around it and coming out of the blocks and Matthew Robbins. I know being around his will it be and others I came out as a public speaker rather than a professional, private speaker, keynote speaker. There’s two types of speaking, by the way, this public speaking and what I call private speaking. So public speaking is where you run your own events and people pay for their own seat and you’re normally go that ascension model kind of built in from free to fee and then you’ve got the professional speaking or the keynote speaking, which is essentially you’re a gun for hire for different conferences and you, you, you have a keynote fee, um, and you might add best be able to sell a book or you had mentioned some of the course that you got.
Um, so I came out of the blocks limiting belief that my message had nothing to do with corporates whatsoever, but it was all about running your own, running personal development events. So having a lot of positive psychology and NLP and whatnot and every course that I could get my hands on. Um, I did. I ran a course called the bucket list experience for three and a half. It went for three and a half days and I ran that for about three and a half years. Did the tour around Australia really badly sell, sold from stage to get people to come to my bigger, more expensive event. Um, but filled rooms every time, you know, and then from there then took people around the world to do my, to do their bucket list with me. So I took people to Kokoda, Machu Picchu, Everest and Kilimanjaro, you know, basically took them all along for the ride.
And so going back to when I started, I had no idea how that was all kind of panning out, built that public speaking business up pretty good. But it comes with this pros and cons to it. There’s a lot of stress involved. Um, but meanwhile I was getting asked to do a lot more keynote speaking, not just here in Australia. My First International Gig was New Zealand over there in Oakland, you can call yourself international. Um, but that’s, that’s when it started. I started getting more and more opportunities, uh, from different companies and organizations like, and then before now the message, uh, took a more corporate, you know, team engagement, kind of angle life engagement kind of angle.
Victor Ahipene: And that’s really interesting. You say that like initially the limiting belief because I, I, uh, no, no, some house professionals they do business coaching for other health professionals are in their businesses and one of them, I think he had a clinic for three and a half years before any of us thought he had like 30 something staff and none of them left in the three and a half or two and a half years or something. And the whole thing was he sat down every three months with them and from, from day dot. What are your goals? What are your aspirations, not just in business and in work, you know, do you want to buy a house, getting married, is it going on a holiday? And then redesigning all of their, their business and work stuff, how do we make sure that this gets achieved and then every three months checking it off and yeah, there are, there are achieving more in six months. And that achieved in the last six years from just having those, those goals, like you kind of, I would hazard a guess that you help people break down in and design their life around, which is um, yeah, it’s really cool.
Trav Bell: It’s an incentive program that we run for a, for employers to extract and articulate eight every question, every employee goes through one of our programs and this is what somebody I coached, facil facilitate, is a, is to get their bucket list, get every employee’s bucket list and use that as an incentive, as a motivator. And it really works. And some of expensive, of course, some involve family charity challenges team come together and do things together. It’s a really good culture builder as well. That’s been a real surprise. It’s been cool.
Victor Ahipene: And so like listening to everything you’ve said, you’ve obviously like, I don’t know whether you’re a fan of it. I do. You had a photo with Tim Ferriss, but the whole 80 slash 20 and leveraging and, and changing things. You’ve done that with your PT business in the past. And what I haven’t seen a lot of people be able to successfully do maybe that’s probably it, is being able to create not just the ascension model but also having coaches out there. And so leveraging your own time. So it’s not just you. So you talk kind of the aspiring speakers and even those out there at the moment, where did that idea come into the model of, of you going into it and how have you kind of fleshed that out and turned it into reality?
Trav Bell: We’ll strike out. Did my ted talk and if anyone wants to go and have a look at that school launch too short by track bell. Um, it was actually straight after that that I flew to South Africa to do a keynote for action coach global. So they had their top 300 coaches there in South Africa. I spoke, I rocked up thinking that I was going to do an hour, an hour and a half and I rocked up and they said, no you’ve got three hours. I had to readjust some slides. Their business, I think they’ve got about 1200 franchise coaches around the world in about ID countries. The founder franchise, or is Brisbane guy and gave a talk. Did well. Apparently I had a heap of people. You know, who the coaches are actually written my stuff off as well. That’s not on me. Said, no, no, no, that’s good.
And while we’re on that and let’s talk about licensing what you do, I think you’re onto something. This is a guy who’s regarded as the world’s number one business coach and author of writing books and, and I said, well that’s okay. Let’s all fly to Vegas and let’s do it. So I flew over there and within about 15 minutes of the two days that I spent over there, we had a business plan. So Brad and I went into business together and now I’m the global CEO of bucket list coaches around the world. And with that we’ve, I guess I’ve had to leverage, let go in trust other people are. The people right now are teaching my staff all around the world. Why is that? Why did I go for that one? Yes, leverage to when I speak about bucket lists I also speak about legacy.
Legacy is a big thing that comes up in a lot of discussion that I had with people. You and I both know that when we’re speakers, we’re gun for hire and in this crowded marketplace is very busy and noisy. We can be like that. My biggest fear, and I told this to a lot of speakers who are coming through, you can be forgotten about really quick. It doesn’t matter how great your speech might be, but you know, they might take time. The participants might take time out of their lives to work on their lives with me in the seminar room, but as soon as I leave my gig it back into their to do list and not their bucket list and a buck, you know, the bucket list guy could be a flash in the pan. I was uh, you know, it was hot.
The light two thousands and know where it is now. So I’m very conscious of that because I’ve been around. I’ve been a president of the National Speakers Association of Professional Speakers Association down here in Victoria before, been on the board of, of the PSA as well, and there’s been a lot of people that I know who’ve gone before me who have been hot 10 years ago, heavily booked 20 years ago and it’s still reaching for that. They didn’t leverage their business model. They didn’t leverage their IP. So as a result, with all that combined, you know, I agreed to go into business and um, and really leverage and know we set up a company there in Nevada and made in, in 10 months, uh, since starting to sell licenses for people to become a certified bucket list coach. We’re in 10 countries in 10 months and we got like literally today getting all my shit translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese currency exchanges. And I’m like, it’s super weird to go into Cambodia and Vietnam this year and I don’t know what they’re signing is a translator at the back of the room, Gigs by translation.
They are, it’s like, you know, I try and be funny. Try and for the listeners at home, I did that, I did the quotation, but you’re like delivering a message and you know where you normally get laughed at him and then you’re like, you dropped the joke waiting for the punchline. You know the punch down, you’re waiting the last that you’d normally get on and you send me a gun and this my joke, ha ha ha. Like this five second delay and it’s like you’re standing up on stage. Super Awkward, but to hear, you know, in their native language, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah. The bucket list guy, you know, branding rider in the world is still bucket list because if you actually translated the word bucket list into Vietnamese, Spanish, it makes no freaking sense at all. So that’s a good testament to what we’re putting out there and our coaches are really taken, you know, taken the baton, the baton and helping people where I could never help.
You know, it’s so cool and extremely humbling that someone is invested money invested in this little idea and it freaks me out every day, but it’s never been opened in South Africa and some people and it’s really cool. It’s really cool. We got business coaches, life coaches, people who have been through cancer coming out the other end adventures leadership people, the youngest coaches, 21 and he lived in a van for three. You grab this big Instagram following and lived in a van and he’s, he’s a list coach now and it’s just, you did this to monetize his following. Interesting.
Victor Ahipene: Yeah. And that’s what it is. It’s that legacy pointe and then their leverage like you and I speaking you and I speaking one to one is yeah, is great. You can have an impact on me, but then you know, we put this podcast out to the world and you know, impacts x amount of people and you get in front of a stage. But then if you can turn that into your message so powerfully given through the right systems and stuff set up, I think it’s so cool. And, and even just the looking of the franchisee model, I think shouldn’t really spark a, hey, does this fit what I’m currently doing in my business, whoever’s out there listening to the, to the intake, be able to take their message, the impact and, and just the business to a whole another level. I think it’s super cool.
Trav Bell: Yeah. And it really is. It’s, um, it’s extremely humbling. And I guess the biggest shift for me is, and it sounds paradoxical, when I sat, I’ve got a run on the speaker still and I love it. I love being up on stage. It’s a paradox when I say I’ve actually got to let go of my ego in order to do that and let other people run. Sure, I’ve protected my IP and that sort of thing. But it really is humbling when we’re coaching people in Mexico and never come into contact with and coach down there is just killing it, you know, and helping people that I’d never get through two in my lifetime. So that some leverage one-on-one made. And I don’t think there’s too many other speakers who have gone down that path. But, um, I guess the validation from, from my business partner, you know, and seeing it actually come to fruition is, um, yeah, that’s what it’s all about for me.
Victor Ahipene: With chicken ego at the door. What are you looking for the next couple of years that you’re a speaker, but you’re also a CEO of a natural come, like not just that, I just call myself a CEO and I’m the only person in the company. So how do you, how are you looking to balance that? Like what is the business plan look like or is it a process?
Trav Bell: Yeah, that’s a good question. Um, well, basically you could look behind you want, we’ve got cameras on while we’re talking that you’ve got a map of the world and in front of me you’ve got a map. Have you had a map of America with all, if you can say that? Well, the states in America and basically, uh, the, the, the real expansion plan is to sell off the master licenses or master franchises to each country and get a champion within each country to then sell licenses. And that that’s how you leverage it. Makes sense, but finding the right people, the right kind of mindset, and I do say no to a bunch of people as well because they’re just.
And at the end of the day it’s just getting those right people on and I’m sure we’re going to make some mistakes along the way, but for instance, we’ve sold the rights recently to Australia and New Zealand, so there’s going to be someone running Australia, New Zealand for me and I still live in Australia and they’re going to be doing what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years. It’s, it’s a kind of weird that puts me in a position where, you know, being the CEO, managing their KPIs and that sort of thing, but still, you know, we’ve got some amazing things coming down the pipeline in terms of what we’re going to be doing with in schools. Our LB84K program back at this for kids. I’m working with some people in the education space at the moment and getting this tied into some curriculums around the world, which is so exciting. Which every coach’s absolutely flopping over. Take a ticket before you kick a club as well, which will happen. And, and so, um, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s an amazing to sit or roll out.
Victor Ahipene: My previous podcast that had a couple hundred episodes of was the youngpreneurs podcasts. So it was all these people going, we need entrepreneurship and skulls that I want to do it and I want to help it and everything like that. So if that helps give people a bit more guidance going into an ever changing world in a more behind you. So just to wrap up, just to wrap up a couple of questions for people who were probably where you were. We’re, all of us were at some stage in our life we were scared of public speaking. What’s the best tip you’ve ever been given? Or the biggest observation you’ve seen from good or and slash or bad speakers while you’ve been on the circuit?
Trav Bell: Yeah. Look, I think the road to authenticity is, is a must. You must get as authentic as you possibly can as fast as possible. Don’t try and be someone else. Don’t try and be, you know, I love the saying, you know, we’re always comparing our behind the scenes footage with someone else’s highlights reel and what we’ve got to do is be yourself prior to I’m 45 and up until a year ago, I don’t know, my girlfriend’s like he’s got a mobile and so and I, I purposely had that because I just love going against the rules to be honest, but here’s the thing, if a corporate, and I’ve spoken at ICIC, I’ve spoken at the Australian Big Investment Securities Commission, the government, all these highfalutin sort of organizations that are all buttoned up than suited up and Iraq in there with, with literally Jane’s on Mohawk earrings, tats the whole thing and at the end of the day tee shirt, the end of the day, speakers who are listening to this be yourself because what they don’t want when they go and hire you as a speaker, as a thought leader, is they don’t want to shoot them.
They don’t want someone that’s like them. Your, your, your ideas, your intellectual property is designed. Should be designed to go in there and disrupt. Not an anarchy and it can’t stick a, I’m saying that right, but, but um, but at the end of the day mate, you know, it’s to give them another lens or another filter, another perspective to look at their life through or their business or their business. You’ve got to go in there and give them. Otherwise you add no value. Right? The other thing that I wanted to add is the founder of the Professional Speakers Association of Australia. Winston Marsh said, you’ve got to be a better marketer of what you do than a doer of what you do. Better marketer of what you do than what you do. So don’t think that you just being a great speaker or writer from stage is going to cut it. You know, my advice to everyone is pick a highway, and then pick a lane, own the lane. Pick a highway and pick a lane, own the lane.
Lastly is just speak the yes man, and just don’t think that your Auntie Robin’s coming into blocks. You’re not, um, and you need to go out and speak and I can look at any up and coming speaker and whether they’re going to be good not, but just looking at the calendar, are you doing the cheap rotary 20, we know the plot and the and the, you know, the rubber chicken and uh, you know, you’re doing this, you gotta do you gotta do that Hustle in order to work your speaking muscles. And I didn’t mean to run that at all, but you know, at the end of the day you’ve got to go out. Even the best speakers in the world is still doing freebies. And this is the good thing about freebies is where you can go out and really hone your craft, see if your jokes, metaphors, stories pop or absolutely, you know, bomb. So go out there, speak as much as possible.
Victor Ahipene: We’ll link all of those tips and public speaking blueprint.com. Trav, thank you so much and I just want to welcome you to speak a nation. If people want to find out more about you or what you’re doing, where can they go? What can they do?
Trav Bell: Pretty easy night. They just go to www.thebucketlistguy.com and uh, pretty much go from there and I’m all over the socials either as bell ash, the bucket list guy.
Victor Ahipene: Cool. Well we’ll link all of those in the show notes, publicspeakingblueprint.com as well as tribes Ted talk and uh, all the links to get in touch with them. So thanks again. And it’s been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to touching base when we happened to be in the same city around the world or even more likely around Australia now.
Trav Bell: Thanks.