Mostly Money

99: Cait Flanders on the Adventures in Opting Out

June 28, 2021 Preet Banerjee
Mostly Money
99: Cait Flanders on the Adventures in Opting Out
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Mostly Money
99: Cait Flanders on the Adventures in Opting Out
Jun 28, 2021
Preet Banerjee

Cait Flanders is back. Previously my guest on episode 63 in March of 2018, she is the author of Wall Street Journal bestseller, THE YEAR OF LESS. Described by Vogue magazine as “a fascinating look into a living experiment that we can all learn from,” it has been translated into 10 languages, and sold more than 190,000 copies.

Her new book, ADVENTURES IN OPTING OUT, is a field guide to opting out of expectations, changing paths, and leading a more intentional life. 

Cait joins me again to talk about how her life has changed since writing her first best selling book, and explains what her newest book is all about.

Instagram: @caitflanders
Website: CaitFlanders.com


Show Notes Transcript

Cait Flanders is back. Previously my guest on episode 63 in March of 2018, she is the author of Wall Street Journal bestseller, THE YEAR OF LESS. Described by Vogue magazine as “a fascinating look into a living experiment that we can all learn from,” it has been translated into 10 languages, and sold more than 190,000 copies.

Her new book, ADVENTURES IN OPTING OUT, is a field guide to opting out of expectations, changing paths, and leading a more intentional life. 

Cait joins me again to talk about how her life has changed since writing her first best selling book, and explains what her newest book is all about.

Instagram: @caitflanders
Website: CaitFlanders.com


Preet Banerjee:

You just it just completely left your mind. You've never thought about slap chops ever again.

Cait Flanders:

Never again. You know, I'm a woman who I can feel it pretty quickly if I'm interested or not.

Preet Banerjee:

Cait Flanders is back. Previously my guest on episode 63 in March of 2018. She is the author of Wall Street Journal bestseller, the year of less described by Vogue magazine as a fascinating look into a living experiment that we can all learn from. It has been translated into 10 languages, and is sold more than 190,000 copies. her new book adventures in opting out is a field guide to opting out of expectations, changing paths and leading a more intentional life. He joins me again to talk about how her life has changed since writing her first best selling book and explained what her newest book is all about. This is mostly money and I'm your host Preet Banerjee, and I'm very happy to have my friend Cait Flanders back on the podcast to talk about her latest book, adventures in opting out a field guide to leading an intentional life. Now, in our last conversation, we talked about her previous book, the year of less, and in that conversation she denied having ever owned a slapshot. Kate, welcome back to the show.

Cait Flanders:

What a great intro. Oh my gosh.

Preet Banerjee:

So, I mean, the question that all my listeners have for you. Have you acquired a Slap Chop?

Cait Flanders:

I have not. I have not restored

Preet Banerjee:

the club. But for real, this is a legitimate question. Have you thought more about slap shops? Since that conversation? I'm gonna say No, really. So that you didn't think after that conversation? What a weird question to ask. And then to ask it twice. And then you just it just completely left your mind. You've never thought about slap chops ever again.

Cait Flanders:

Never again. You know, I'm a woman who I can feel it pretty quickly if I'm interested or not.

Preet Banerjee:

Okay, I'm just saying like, you know, as far as kitchen innovations go, I mean, I feel like it didn't get enough attention. I mean, you know, you're bringing some fun into the kitchen. you slap things it chops it's gotten utility. Yep. By the way, I've never I've never used this like the number one spokesperson because your your big fat. You use it every day. Number two, no one can talk that guy. I think his name was Vince who sold the Slap Chop anyways. Alright. Oh my gosh, enough about that. You will never opt in to a Slap Chop. Got it.

Cait Flanders:

Thanks. I'll say I didn't buy an interesting like small appliance, I guess. Do tell I bought a blender that obviously blends cold things, obviously. But that also actually works as cooking Blender as well. So it has like built in heating. Oh, like it gets

Preet Banerjee:

so hot that you can like make soup and stuff like that. Yeah,

Cait Flanders:

yeah. And so I'm like, I made so much more soup this year because of that thing. Because I could put everything in and it was done in 30 minutes. Interesting. So okay, this is so off topic.

Preet Banerjee:

How does it like does it have like a heating element? Is it just the friction that builds up? Or is it the heat of the motor? How does that work? How does it blend? And it's why we talk

Cait Flanders:

I'm not an engineer, but what I would say based on looking at it it does have a heating function because you can even just keep it warm think about the blender how you can don't refresh

Preet Banerjee:

okay okay let's let's let's bring it back on course hear a little bit enough about kitchen innovations. Let let's do talk about what has happened since that that interview and since that last book, the year of less, leading up to your your latest book, which is adventures in opting out. So tell us what's happened in your life because when that book came out, it became an international bestseller how many languages is it available in now?

Cait Flanders:

It's in 10 languages and I only get numbers like every six months. But last September, they told me it had sold over 190,000 copies in English. Wow. So yeah, it's it. I just like it's so funny. That book I just look now like, it's just like doing its thing. It's just like living its own little life that I never would have imagined for it. That's so cool. And it's on its own adventure like I just let it you do you book in that was used a traditional publisher right? I did. Yeah, I'm for that one. I mean, for both I did. That one I published with Hay House, which is very much in like the self help space. And then for adventures. I'm with little brown Spark. So which is a

Preet Banerjee:

that's my nickname. Oh, yeah.

Cait Flanders:

Good. Good word. Good. We're already working together. Yeah, but there. I'm like losing the word right now. Like, what is the word under publisher of like, imprint? There we go. Right, an imprint of Little Brown, which is under the larger company of Hachette.

Preet Banerjee:

Okay. And, but but tell me about how your life has changed. You know, you've written this book. It's done so incredibly well. How has your life changed since then?

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, I mean, probably a few different ways. I think that on, maybe like the book or work side of things. And actually, it leads into also money stuff, too. So that book was so interesting, because I'm, I got sort of a smaller advance. And the beauty then of it, doing really well, which I mean, you never, you never imagine that kind of thing. Like, I kind of thought, you know, it'll sell three to 5000 copies, maybe? I don't know. And, yeah, so the the beauty then of getting a smaller advance is that I out earned the advance, which means I now collect royalties throughout the year, and still do. And so for, like, for work, and then also for just finances for the past few years, I've been able to only work on like my next book, nice, like, it's been okay, that the only other big job I've done was write another book proposal, sell that, and then get, like my three payments for that advance. That plus collecting royalties has been, I've actually had the two best earning years I've ever had. Amazing and amazing. I also like knew this going into 2021, I'm like 21 will be different because I don't plan on working on like another book right now. So I'm like, 2021 will be like the year of figuring out what I wanted.

Preet Banerjee:

But I think I saw you did you put out a cold somewhere. Maybe he's Africa, where you're saying you're you're interested in hearing if there are any opportunities, because you're looking for the next thing to do, right?

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, I'm just at a spot where I'm like, you know, the, the sort of path that we've been shown about sort of content creation online and the ways you can make money online. It's, that's never felt like the one I wanted to take fully. Like, it's so funny too, because, and that meaning things like I could do online courses, or this or that and, and I actually have a background in that I did, I literally designed and set up online courses for the Ministry of Education and BC for five years. So I I know everything that goes into that. And it's still like, maybe one day it like still just doesn't feel like the thing for me. And so I'm, yeah, like this year in general, I'm really exploring, I've been just having different conversations, I was connected through my literary agent with a screenwriting agent who encouraged me to write a TV pilot, which essentially is like your resume into screenwriting.

Preet Banerjee:

Hold on a second, hold on a second. A spark is going off in my head right now, because I have a little grantsburg Yeah. Is there gonna be a movie made about the year of less? You know, I, I don't know. I genuinely don't know, come come approaching you saying oh, my God, this is this is perfect material for a movie right now.

Cait Flanders:

So I wouldn't say that that has happened yet. I would say my agent has had conversations where people have shown interest but it's, it's just never gone anywhere. And so I don't have this expectation that it ever will. I could it's funny, I could write a TV pilot or, or a film script that would make that a thing or like could make it more possible. Like if you'd give someone an option of what it could look like it couldn't make it more possible. But yeah, I don't know. So I'm like, I'm just kind of exploring other writing for myself right now. It's like the idea of doing another nonfiction book doesn't feel like the thing for me right now. And I, I'm just learning this about myself in general with work, I am someone who I want to, like, learn something new, try it go through the process of of it being hard at times, and like the growth that comes with that. And then once I've learned how to do it, I don't want to just keep doing it. Right. So if I were to do another nonfiction book, I would feel like I'm just sort of, like churning it out. I don't want that I don't want to just do more of the same, I want to do something really different. So that's why this idea of like, maybe it's a script, or I've been reading a lot of kids books this year, and like, maybe I read a kid's book just for fun and see what that's like. And I don't know, I'm just I'm, I'm exploring right now. And this year feels like the year it's fully okay for me to do that. Because financially, I could still be fine. If I didn't make a ton of money this year, I saved fortunately, because we couldn't travel last year, I saved a lot of money. And so yeah, it's like 2021, I can just kind of explore and so I'm enjoying that for what it is. Okay, so

Preet Banerjee:

let's, let's talk about your last book, adventures in opting out a field guide to leading in intentional life. Can you sum up in a nutshell, what is the premise of this book?

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, I would say, that's funny, if if we had or changed the, or actually honestly used one of the more original ideas for the tagline, it would have been more like a field guide to changing paths in life. Because I feel like that's really what it is. Like, if you really simplified it, that that is what the book is. But I would say the reason I wanted to write it, and the main takeaway from it being are who it's for is, it's for the people who they're making a change that maybe they don't have anyone else in their life who has made a similar change. And so you really feel like you're sort of walking into or stepping out, and you're, you're going to be the odd one out now. And so you don't have anyone to look to and say, you know, is this gonna work? What happened when you tried this. And instead, you probably met with a lot of hesitation from other people who are really, either they wouldn't do it, or they're just like, family, they're just nervous for you, and they want you to be okay. But I thought, there, there's something incredibly isolating about that journey. And there's a lot of inner work that I think needs to happen. And in order for you to go through with it, if it feels like the right choice for you. And the biggest piece I thought was that we don't talk about is the downs of that, like the the ups and the positives of doing what's right for you can be endless, but there are hard parts that come with it, depending on the choice that you're making. Right? Like, depending on how big it is, it's like, you know, maybe you lose some friends, maybe people just don't relate with you anymore. You could Yeah, I feel ostracized by people. There's, there's just, there are hard parts to it. I don't think a lot of self help books talk about that aspect.

Preet Banerjee:

So okay, so let's, let's peel back the layers a little bit and talk about, you know, what are the things that people are opting out, and I think you kind of explained it by sharing what one of the original subtitles would have been, which is changing paths in life. So if someone is down, or living their life, right now, the path that they're on? How does one identify like, is there? Are there some kind of signs that say, How do I know I'm not, you know, leading the path there? What other than sort of a general? I don't know you're just unhappy or whatever. But is there some kind of like, how do you diagnose that? Okay, this is something I need to consider, like, what is that process of diagnosing whether or not you would even need to opt out of something?

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, I think it's great. You said the word unhappy because I actually think that there's, there's things that you might be feeling or experiencing that could be under that realm of being unhappy or actually you opt out sometimes when things are pretty okay. And, and you still just get a sense that there's something different that you want to try. So I would say one of the coolest parts I almost wish I had it in front of me, but one of the coolest parts of working on the book was that I talked to a bunch of friends who just live life a little differently than they used to. That could mean anything from you know, smaller ones being like they they used to use social media and now they don't, or it could be quitting a job or changing career paths. entirely. It could be like one, like the first one I ever did really was deciding not to drink anymore. So getting sober in some way. It could be big it could be moving to a new city or a new country. It could be like the one I talked about in the book is that I gave up my apartment to travel full time. And and yeah, so just that they can be really big and small. But But the best part was asking everyone kind of like, what were the signs? Like, what were the things that you notice that you were experiencing or feeling that helps you get to that place of making that decision. And so like under unhappy, there were a couple common ones. One just being it's like something that you've been doing literally feels like it's out of alignment now. Like it used to be totally fine for you. And now you're like, oh, like morally or, like, ethically or something like something's like not feeling right here anymore. I just this, this is not feeling like, like, maybe you've changed in some way, and you didn't even realize it until you start feeling those things.

Preet Banerjee:

Well, I'll give you a perfect example. And I think you talked about in your book, it's the shame of flying, huh, yeah. 100% 100% I think this is something that more and more people are cognizant of the impact to the environment of flying, and now that we've had the pandemic, and this, this throws so many wrenches into the mix, because on one hand, we see, okay, look at the impact of kind of like reducing the carbon emissions severely for a short period of time, we saw these positive benefits to the environment. And all of a sudden these climate change targets seem a look, it is possible. But that was sort of forced through lockdowns. But at the same time, there's been a rise in how people think about the environment, and what they're willing to do. As we see a demographic shift to people who are maybe willing to do things differently than previous generations, more more people are either thinking about buying offsetting carbon credits, or just stopping flying altogether, or at least being more intentional about, alright, well, if we're gonna go, let's fly across the pond, but then take the train, or public transit or whatever. And so we're seeing this big change. And for me, you know, a few years ago, I was averaging 75 flights a year. And I kind of like airport life and flying and all that. But in the last two years, you know, you feel not only this pressure from people around you, but you also feel like yeah, I mean, we've seen now that we can get so much done virtually. So there are maybe a lot of trips that don't really need to happen. So it's definitely changing. I don't know if I would call that so much opting out, like, maybe I don't know, you tell me. Because it's kind of been this slow boil. Right, that's led to this behavioral change, as opposed to Okay, I'm sitting down, I'm making a plan of things I'm not going to do. So. is there? Do you make a distinction between whether it's kind of like a clean break or something that manifests over time?

Cait Flanders:

Oh, I, I mean, I definitely think it happens over time. And also that the, the, yeah, the change does not have to be all or nothing. Right? I think that to also if it if we make something have to be all or nothing, that's then so hard for us to imagine that we won't make any change at all, because it's too scary. And and so maybe it's experiment for a while, maybe eventually, you get to a place where things are all or nothing like I was really confronted by that, especially because I've been traveling in the UK where, you know, extinction rebellion rebellion was born out of and

Preet Banerjee:

what is its rebellion?

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, it's just I don't know how to describe it other than like, a massive protests that would constantly happen. And so you'd be in London. And, you know, the protests would get so big, they would shut down bridges or shut down some of the main streets of London. And, and this was just growing quicker and quicker and quicker in 2018 when I was there, and then 2019 still, and, and, yeah, so I feel like Europe was just ahead of the game, maybe in sort of like the climate change protests. And so then going over there and spending a lot of time there, seeing this movement, meeting people all over the UK, who were vowing things like I'm never going to fly again. And I'm just sitting there thinking, Oh my gosh, could I ever do like, and right now I don't think the answer is I'm never going to fly again. But like you having a lot of thoughts. I'm just like, what does it mean to be more intentional applying? I was so confronted by though when I was there and got really uncomfortable and then for me just had to get a place of like, what does it mean because the end of the day too, is Flying is quite literally the worst thing individuals can do for climate change. It's literally the worst thing that we can do. And there's so much systemic stuff that like is not our responsibility, or we literally cannot change. So you're kind of like, you can't put all the pressure on yourself, but it is about figuring out what you're comfortable with. Yeah, I mean, that's the same thing, like sort of the moral stuff. It could be people who are deciding they want to go vegetarian or vegan. Yeah, it doesn't have to be massive changes. But there can be just these feelings that are coming up thinking like this isn't working anymore. There could be bigger ones, like you're not sleeping at night, maybe your anxieties really high. You know, or smaller, like you go to work every day and you're just counting down like you literally walk in and you start counting down like, okay, eight hours, seven hours, 55 minutes, seven hours, 45 minutes. Like, there, there can be orders noticing maybe who you become when you're at work, like maybe you become more angry, more toxic. Like there are a lot of things under the unhappy realm that could be coming up but also the happy like, you could still be okay and want to make a change. And that for me was the decision to travel full time. My life was fine. Like I was living in Squamish, British Columbia. I loved it there.

Preet Banerjee:

Where are you now?

Cait Flanders:

Well, I gave up my place so that I could travel full time and then and then the pandemic happened and I'm hanging at my dad's house. Oh, next. That's been me and my dad and my my sister kind of having to like, become much better family in the last year and a half. Right having to get really, really comfortable with hanging out together a lot. Also, my dad's gone like probably more than half the year for work.

Preet Banerjee:

The conversation with Kate Flanders continues in just a minute. But first, a few thank yous to listeners who left comments on Apple podcasts. Thank you to Arvind who appreciates that the podcast isn't just the same old spend less than you earn advice. Well thank my guests for that. I'm lucky to get some pretty interesting guests on the show for sure. Que no Nick is upset that I don't post weekly. I'm going to disappoint you my friend I probably going to piss you off. Do you want to tell you this after Episode 100, which is the next episode I think I'm going to take a short hiatus. Apologies, and Danny's iTunes and he likes all the episodes but in particular, really enjoyed Neil Pesce riccia. Neil was a guest on episode 79. Fascinating guy. And if you want to hear more from Neil, he has his own podcast called curry books, which I highly recommend. To everyone who leaves ratings and comments on Apple podcasts. I appreciate them. And I do read them all. And now back to the conversation with Kate Flanders. Now, when it comes to your be effects of the pandemic, we had a lot of people who had, you know, white collar jobs working at a computer, they were able to work from home. And now that we're starting to enter reopening, there are a lot of people who are, you know, kind of opting out of commuting and saying, hey, it's great that the office is going to be open. But I'm kind of cool with like staying home from working. Not everyone feels that way. But there are a lot of people who are opting out of that commute. And is this is this an example of something that people are opting out of because they've now discovered that there's a misalignment? I think before it may have felt like there was no choice you had to have that commute if you wanted to not have a mortgage that was super unaffordable, just slightly unaffordable, but not super unaffordable. So you have to live away from the office until you commute and you know, it slowly suck the life out of you every day, for years and then getting those two hours back, even though it's been replaced with some other you know, things to deal with because of the pandemic. think people are looking at life differently because now they realize like hat looks like the world can actually keep on turning. If I work from home from a laptop and keep on doing what I need to do without having to be in the office. Have you noticed any other changes in people's behaviors as a result of the pandemic and wanting to take different paths in their life?

Cait Flanders:

A lot. I mean, we could joke about one which is that divorce rates seem to go up last year. Oh, I think so i think so I

Preet Banerjee:

wouldn't be surprised. That's one of those things where it could could you could tell me the numbers. And if they went either way, I would believe you. Because one, things are getting so unaffordable for people that ending a relationship can be prevented because of financial reasons or like, Listen, we can't afford to get divorced, we're just gonna live together in misery. Or because people are now forced to spend more time together, and they're reevaluating their goals spending more time, whatever it is, I can see them being unhappy to the point of ending relationships.

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, yeah, I've heard of Yeah, a lot of people who have ended relationships in the last year, I think has been one. people wanting to move to different cities, I think on the commuting side of things, actually. And for affordability, there's been a lot of people moving to smaller towns, right, I understanding like, well, I can work from home that I'm going to go somewhere where it's cheaper to live, and I have a better quality of life.

Preet Banerjee:

Yeah, I mean, the main point for a lot of people is what's the internet speed? It displays? Like, could I actually work from here? Because if so I'm there. Right? But if it's spotty, then you know, I can't put on my list of places I would live. That's how important the internet is.

Cait Flanders:

Yes. Well, and then it's been so hard, obviously to because so many people are moving to small towns, and all those prices are going up. But anyways, yeah, I think that, you know, the pandemic was so hard for so many people. And then for those that it didn't impact too negatively it it really was a period of a bit of a reckoning and also like, how would it not happen? you're forced to slow down if you've never slowed down before and sort of asked yourself, like, what am I doing? What? I've just been going going going with this for so long, I didn't really think twice, like, what do I want to be doing? How do I want to spend my time, I think that it's been a reckoning for a lot of people,

Preet Banerjee:

you know, to your point. So my partner, she was living in the UK, and then during the pandemic, and it being locked down here with me, which is fantastic. It was the longest stretch of time we've had together continuously, just like 14 months. Amazing. She got a job back in the UK, and she just left couple weeks ago. And when she was you know, applying because she finished her postdoc, and she's looking to get, you know, a tenure track position at, at universities anywhere, right? early stage careers, there's like, I'll take a job anywhere. And so she applied to a university in the UK. And she got the job. And well, they offered it to her, and she was nervous about what my reaction was going to be. And I think because partly because of the pandemic, and also because I've never had a five year plan like I've never I mean, listen, neuroscience, auto racing, finance, all this other stuff. I mean, I've never had to plan the same. And so she was worried that I would be maybe hesitant to to possibly move. And so she was like, oh, should I take this job? I was like, What are you talking about? I've already started looking at places, I cannot wait to sort of explore more of the world. And I feel that the pandemic was a bit of a wake up call in that respect. I'm very privileged, very lucky, I haven't been negatively affected. And I don't want to get to the end of life and say, yeah, never lived in another country. And it's interesting, you I believe you referenced Ronnie wares book regrets of the dying. Funny story about that I was asked to give a commencement speech at U of T. And it was back in I think it was 2009 2010. And I just read an article by bronnie ware, about where she talked about. For those who are not familiar, she wrote a book called regrets of the dying. She's a palliative care nurse. And she basically collected these stories about what people expressed in their last weeks of life when they knew it was the end. And there's a level of you'll have to mute me when you're Yeah, no worries. Wow. I would say that the bail ladies here. Typically what that means, no problem. Oh my gosh. So there's this, you know, this moment at the end of people's lives where they open up to a degree that maybe they never have before, and they open up to her. And so she compiled these lists of of these regrets. And I had read that article before she wrote her book. And I was like, man, I can't wait to check out that book. But at that article, she summarized what those top five regrets were of the dying. And those things really resonated with me what she said and since that time, and that made it into the commencement speech, because I was like, I'm too young to have any life advice. I have to get some from someone else. So I put in my speech, but I never want to go back and think about all the things that she said and some of the things that she said was people you know, they all See, I wish I'd spent more time staying in touch with friends, you know, college buddies, whatever. No one ever says, oh, man, I wish I spent even more time at work, that is not a thing that matters in the end. No. And so that coupled with, you know, but 15 years ago, I was pretty ill coupled with me being a hypochondriac, I thought, you know, I was done. And so that changed my perspective on life from that point forward. And so I feel like I opted out of the traditional paths in life A while ago. But I don't know if that was, I opted out of things where I just have not opted into some of those traditional paths. Because again, I've never had a five year plan.

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, you just are the, the person who like knew that you just knew, whereas like, I think on on my end, I was so influenced by my family and the things that they had said to me, and, and, you know, honestly, a large one being, I remember growing up and being told over and over again, that like, travel was just not really an option. Like I had to work and save and do the things by the place. That was the thing. And so no one presented the option to me of actually, you could work, save instead for like retirement so that you're comfortable later in that way. But that, like there is an option where you can just work to live. And that it doesn't have to I don't have to accumulate maybe physical assets, I can accumulate money instead. So that I'm comfortable later in a different way that I can live my life in whatever way I want. Like they could have just encouraged the savings portion. And, and suddenly, you know, if you're doing that great, go go do whatever you want. Yeah,

Preet Banerjee:

I think that's that's a really important point. Because one of the things that I've noticed with people who have maybe trouble getting started saving for whatever future medium term long term is that they see savings as some kind of expense, they don't connect it to some kind of future outcome. And I think when people make more of that connection, it gets, I wouldn't say it's easy, but it's a little bit easier to sort of cope with that reduction in spending now. Because it's tied to some kind of future outcome that is going to have more purpose, drive happiness, or what have you. And again, these can be long term goals, they can be medium term goals, for some people at saving up just enough so that they can opt out of whatever career trajectory that they're on, because the reality is it does take money to exercise some of these choices. Yes. But along that vein, and tied to that, you mentioned homeownership. We know now that there are a lot of people who are just they're frozen out of homeownership in some of the big cities in Canada, pretty much forever. Like it's we've passed the point of no return for for a large number of people. And yet there still exists the societal and generational pressure to say, well, you're not an adult, unless you're a homeowner, or what have you. And you talk about how some of the hardest parts of opting out is dealing with the pressure around you. What's your advice to people who are making big whether it's, you know, resigning the fact that they're just not going to own a house in certain cities? Or maybe they'll never be a homeowner, or anything else that they might be opting out of, or changing paths to? What's your advice with how they can be more successful?

Cait Flanders:

Oh, my gosh, I mean, I could give a very short answer. And and a longer one, I would say the short answer is, most of the time, whatever people are saying to you is just what they would be saying to themselves. Meaning that, you know, if someone's pressuring you to do one thing, or if you say, you're going to do something different, and they're trying to, like, say things to stop you or to scare you from it. It, it's just because they couldn't imagine doing that for themselves. There's also an aspect I think, with parents, where parents just have this, it's just built in, they worry, they want you to be okay. You know, they just do and so it's scary to, for a parent to hear that you're gonna do something that they again, it's they just don't get it like it's just not something that they would have chosen for themselves. And so they can't really imagine all that goes into that decision making. But yeah, it's like often times it has almost nothing to do with you and everything to do with what they would or wouldn't do for themselves. Whoever it is that is giving you this advice or just kind of adding this pressure. I look at things for myself. I look at things for myself from a place of awe, honestly, like What am I going to feel most comfortable with homeownership does especially like I'm in BC, it's not an option. Unless I buy with someone, it's just not, I guess I could buy a condo just doesn't really interest me. And so why would I pressure myself? When it's, I don't know, I look at it like, what is the thing that would actually excite me? Like what would feel exciting to me instead is to kind of live and travel the way that I do. But to save for the future, so that I because I'm self employed, I'm like, I have to be able to help myself later in life. And but like to like to speak to bronnie ware stuff like to enjoy life now. I it I don't know. It's like, we are because of Canada's on affordability is that piece of what can you afford to do? And what would actually excite you to save, like, savings or, or investing in any way including property? It's like, if it doesn't excite you in some way, or if it doesn't energize you, or feel like you're moving forward in a way that you want to? Like, how can you do that I didn't know how to save for things until I had a goal that excited me to quit my job.

Unknown:

For myself,

Preet Banerjee:

I think there's a lot of people who share that goal.

Cait Flanders:

I had to save up, you know, months and months of living expenses and lineup work as well. And so I did not feel comfortable quitting my job until I knew I could cover myself for you know, like six months. And I had six months of work lined up. And so I was kind of like, Listen, if I get to do this for six months, that will be so cool. Like, I will not regret trying that for six months.

Preet Banerjee:

And so how long ago was that when you left the corporate job?

Cait Flanders:

Actually, it was I was thinking it was a to the day, but it was the 26th of June, six years ago. Wow. So 2015

Preet Banerjee:

Yeah, gene regulation. So when you when you did make that leap? What did you did you have any idea what the next six years would have looked like for you? Oh,

Cait Flanders:

my gosh, no, talk about not having a five year plan. I had a six month plan for you. I had work lined up for six months. So I knew I had pretty solid income for six months. And then I knew I had savings as backup. And no and also to like I that first year, I worked a lot because I think you have that like early self employment fear. If you say no, all the work is going to dry up. When you learn like no, it's okay to say no to the things that don't feel good. And, but stay open and things will come and so I worked like too much in that first year. And then July of 2016. So a year in is when I got my first book deal. I got it the day before my birthday. And, and everything. Everything changed. Like that financially. I still had to freelance and do stuff like that, because like I said, my first book, the advance was smaller. It wasn't enough to like live off of. But yeah, everything about work and projections forward was like, Well, I didn't know what I was doing before. But let's see. Let's see where this goes.

Preet Banerjee:

So the advance on your next book after that as a multiple of your first advance how much bigger was the second advance?

Cait Flanders:

It was three times and I'm not afraid of numbers, though. My first one was 35,000. And my second was 100. Oh, nice. And yeah, nice. Although, like it comes with its own thing of I have to it's gonna take so much longer to outline that now. Right. So yeah. Really? Yeah,

Preet Banerjee:

you'll go I know what you mean, I know what you mean. And I, I've never put too much stock into the advances only because, you know, the amount that a publisher takes book and with the author gets, I mean, even if you never out earn your advance. They're doing fine. Yes. So I was never really concerned about that for advances for a book. But I can certainly see when you get to advances of that level, a six figure advance, you probably feel a lot more pressure, right?

Cait Flanders:

There's more pressure, but also like I was really proud of that. There was also some interesting stuff for me mostly in my head and also because I know a lot of guys and a lot of white guys who have gotten book deals. And like their first book deals being 125 real is also the Yeah, so there's also this

Preet Banerjee:

pink celebrities are just no unknown.

Cait Flanders:

No total unknowns are people like I'm like I have a much larger following I like I do not know how that happened. And so just there's this piece of me that's like, almost like I want more for women. Like it's not even a like it's an I was not ungrateful, but there's just this piece of being like, How fascinating that my first book did so well, and I can't even get what those guys are getting on their first ones. That's fascinating. Fascinating is a charitable word.

Preet Banerjee:

Yeah, that's, uh, yeah. I think the best word.

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, more more pressure, for sure. I think at the same time, it's like, like you said, publishers are doing okay. And also, they take their own calculated risks. Right, like, Yeah, so? Yeah, absolutely. I worked for it. So,

Preet Banerjee:

yeah, good for you. I'm so happy for you and your success with with writing and whatever you're going to be doing next. And I have to thank you, for the signed copy of your book for Cheryl's mom, she's over the moon about that. And I think you just started a podcast. So this is the you know, this is the part of the podcast where you get a commercial to talk about remote, whatever you want. Right. And if I'm not mistaken, you just started a new podcast where you're out in nature, I hear it is the most soothing podcast on the internet. So tell us more about that.

Cait Flanders:

Yeah, you know, I will say that this project felt like an opt out in the sense of, like, I've never heard anything like this. Thinking that I just want to go outside and share a little bit of like, where I'm at, or something I'm learning or a tool that's like helping me that week. I think that I haven't shared publicly other than through the two books. It's like I stopped blogging, I kind of stopped doing everything that I used to do. And I haven't really shared publicly in about three years. And I think I've also like, in that time, I've done a ton of therapy, I've just explored so many different things and traveled and done done all these things that I'm like, I don't think that I've like integrated all of that and who I am now into my work in a way where were people know, came to get to know me again, almost. And I thought I, I, my original thought for the podcast, and I do believe we will be able to do this one day was to go outside with a friend and record a conversation with a friend and not an interview. Not like, tell me all these different things. But like, let's just like explore where we're at right now.

Preet Banerjee:

Oh, I think that would be very successful. for a couple of reasons. I don't know what it is. But the more connected online we are also feel the more alone people feel. And there's so many places where I've seen where people just, for example, there are people who continuously watch the same syndicated TV shows over and over and over again, because they are people that kind of feel like in their little world like friends, there's tons of people who watch friends, many, many times over Seinfeld, another example. Are you familiar with the concept of MCQ bangs? Oh, tell me. So these are videos on YouTube, where people just take a giant meal and they eat it on video, and then talk. And you're just kind of hanging out with them while they eat. I think I haven't watched a lot of them. I've been told the concept and these videos are insanely popular. But that's all is I'm thinking to myself, why the hell whatever. Yeah, but it's a big thing. And so I think yours actually makes a lot more sense because it's a conversation you're exposed to the sounds of nature, super calming things that we don't take the time to enjoy. Because the world is so electronic and connected and we don't have a say I would say this is free time, like you know, just where you would go out and just do nothing. Right and you just sort of be an exist in the world without checking your phone without, you know, reading something on Twitter or a website you just there. And so I think having that experience with people especially live in such a beautiful part of the world. I think that's something that would be very attractive to people. So I'd be interested to to hear those those conversations with friends in the in the wild.

Cait Flanders:

Yeah. And like I said, the conversation piece of it feels so important. Like, what does it look like to drop into just a conversation that two good friends are having where rather than an interview where a person especially because I want to do them with like friends. So it's like I don't want my friends to feel like they have to be on a pedestal and be some kind of expert on something All right, I'm just like, we have interesting conversations. Is it okay if I hit record on one of them? And, yeah, I think it'd be like he's like soothing or calming. So just think there could even be things in it up like, think you could learn a little bit about, you know, what it takes to be really present in a conversation. You can learn communication, like there's a communications aspect of it. And yeah, but I anyways, I couldn't do that now. And I don't really think I'll be able to do that until like, 2022. And that's okay. But I, I just kept sitting with it being like, I want to start something like I want to start. And yeah, so I started opting out the podcast, they're usually typically short, like 2030 minutes. So it's been a couple that have been longer but and it's just me outside, essentially talking to myself. 20 or 30 minutes. I think I'm enjoying it on my end, both because actually, I find it quite relaxing. But going back to the first point, like I feel like I'm expressing myself more fully than I have in the past. And it's just nice to feel comfortable doing that.

Preet Banerjee:

So what's the podcast called opting out, opting out, and I guess the title of the book is clear, it's adventures in opting out and you can find that anywhere books are sold. And Kate, I just want to say it's a pleasure as always chatting with you always have a blast.

Cait Flanders:

Always Always. I can't wait till we can hang out and honestly, it'll probably be in the UK because my ultimate goal is to get over there sometime next year as well. Like on a more permanent basis.

Preet Banerjee:

Nice nice well, things go according to plan I should be there probably in the spring maybe earlier because Canadian winters are you know, pretty brutal. And UK are still miseries but it's not. Bc winter do, which is Yeah, it's still doable. All right. Well, I'll see you then. Thanks so much, Kate. Thank you. If you want more personal finance content or you have questions for me, or topic suggestions for the podcast, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram and ask away. It's the same handle in both cases at Preet Banerjee, also have two YouTube channels, you can subscribe to my main channel which covers personal finance and investing topics that are global in scope, and a Canadian specific channel as well. That's it for this episode. Thanks as always for listening