Become a Writer Today

Put Writing a Book on Your Bucket List with Travis Bell

January 03, 2022 Bryan Collins Season 2
Become a Writer Today
Put Writing a Book on Your Bucket List with Travis Bell
Show Notes Transcript

Many of you who listen to Become a Writer Today want to write a book and take action and do it. 

Others say they want to write a book or have a book inside of them, but somehow, that goal or that intention never actually happens.

The best way to start writing your book is to think about your intention. 

Do you want to be more creative, build a business, make an impact or share your stories? 

Or is it simply something that you want to tick off your bucket list? 

Travis Bell is known as The Bucket List Guy, and he has built a popular business around public speaking and teaching other people how to tick items off their bucket list. He’s also the author of the Bucketlist Blueprint.

Travis describes how his focus has helped him become an author, build a profitable public speaking business, travel the world, and serve his audience.

In this episode, we discuss.

  • Where the name The Bucket List Guy came from.
  • How to get started writing your book
  • Using a book to build a business
  • Motivational books to read
  • How Travis structures his day
  • How Travis built his business


Support the show

Travis: Stay in your lane, like pick a highway and pick a lane then own the lane. The problem with being an entrepreneur is we’ve got bright shiny object syndrome and we jump from thing to thing and we confuse our market. There’s one thing that I’ve done well, I think, is just stayed in that lane of going an inch wide and a mile deep with my thought leadership, with my content, and everything like that. Not an inch deep and a mile wide. Not trying to be everything to everyone.

Introduction: Welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast with Bryan Collins. Here, you’ll find practical advice and interviews for all kinds of writers.

Bryan: Is writing a book on your bucket list? Hi, there. My name is Bryan Collins, and welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast. 

Now, many listeners and followers of Become a Writer Today want to write a book and are taking action and doing it. Many other people say that they want to write a book, they have a book inside of them, but somehow, that goal or that intention doesn’t actually turn into something that’s published on bookstores and on Amazon. Why is that?

Well, I was thinking about this question recently and when I was in my 20s, for years, I wanted to write a book, I wanted to become an author, and I remember when I was in college in my early 20s, I would come home and, late at night, I would take out a notepad and I would sit down and I try to write some fiction. 

But the only problem was, I would sit there for five minutes and then I’d say to myself, “I don’t know what I’m doing,” or, “I don’t have any good ideas,” or, “I’m not inspired,” and I’d put it away.

I didn’t write much during my 20s and I never really achieved my goal of becoming an author before I was 30. It was only after I turned 30 that I discovered self-publishing and I decided, you know what, I’ve said this for long enough that I’m gonna write a book and I keep putting it off. 

So, eventually, I took some short stories that I worked on and I decided to turn them into something that I was gonna self-publish and then, much later, I turned to nonfiction. I guess it helped a lot that writing a book and becoming an author is easier than ever today.

Years ago, you know, you have to find an agent, you have to get a book deal, and, basically, you’re gonna have to get somebody else’s permission to publish your book. Now, if you do the work, if you produce 500 or 1,000 words every day, if you do that for a week and for a month and for several months, you’ll have a first draft. 

And then thanks to services like Reedsy and NY Book Editors, you can find an editor who will take you or help you turn that first draft into something that you could publish if you’re prepared to invest in good editing. And if you’re also prepared to invest in a good cover and in some of the other nuts and bolts of self-publishing, you can publish your book and you can become an author and tick it off your bucket list.

Now, some people just want to write one book and that’s okay, because you can build a business around a book like this week’s guest. Other people want to write a book because they want to become more creative or they want to start and build a business around writing and they may go on to write several books. 

So it’s always good to figure out the reasons why you want to write a book in the first place. Do you want to make an impact? Do you want to share your stories? Do you want to earn more money? Or is it simply something that you want to tick off your bucket list? Or perhaps you want to use it to build a business for yourself.

Figuring out why you want to write a book, figuring out who it’s for, and then sitting down and doing the work will help you become an author. Those are some of the ideas in this week’s interview.

I caught up with Travis Bell, he’s also known as The Bucket List Guy, and Travis has built a popular business around public speaking and around teaching other people to tick items off their bucket list. He’s also the author of the Bucketlist Blueprint.

One of my key takeaways from this week’s interview is how it’s possible to build a business around a single book, a business-like public speaking. Towards the end of the interview, Travis also talks about the importance of staying in your lane and of focusing. 

And if you want to start a creative business, it’s easier than ever to get distracted by all the different shiny objects that are out there, and Travis describes how focus has helped him become an author and build a profitable public speaking business and travel the world and serve his audience.

Now, if you find this interview helpful, please consider leaving a short review on iTunes or you can just hit the Star button. It’ll only take a few minutes and it’ll help more listeners find the show. And you can also share the show on Overcast or on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you’re listening. You can also consider becoming a Patreon supporter. For just a couple of dollars a month, I’ll give you discounts on my writing courses, software, and books. 

And, finally, if you’d like to get in touch, the best way to do that is on Twitter, it’s @bryanjcollins, and just let me know what you’re up to, if you enjoyed this week’s episode, or if you’ve got questions or feedback for future guests or future topics for the show.

Now, let’s go over to this week’s interview with Travis Bell, also known as The Bucket List Guy.

Bryan: Travis, I’m 40 this year so perhaps I’m gonna have a midlife crisis, something you talk about in some of your content, but before we get into the things on my bucket list, could you give listeners a flavor for who you are?

Travis: Yeah, Bryan, stoked to be on, mate, and, yeah, I am from, well, about an hour and a half southwest out of Melbourne here in Australia, which is the southern part of Australia and we’re just coming into winter over here and I, for the last 10 years, I’ve been running around the world as The Bucket List Guy after someone called me the bucket list guy after the first seminar, sort of public seminar that I put on. I had a list to do before I die, actually written down since I was 18, and then during this seminar that I put on, I started sharing this list and I thought, you know, everyone had a list written down before they die and I quickly realized that I was the only freak in the room.

And, at the end of it, it really inspired the group and some of the things in the businesses that I built to support it inspired the group. It was, you know, it’s always been my reasoning for getting out of bed in the morning. Then, right at the end of that first seminar, Joe, one of the participants said, “Oh, this list to do before you die stuff, it’s really inspired us. It’s like a bucket list.

You’re like the bucket list guy.” Ding, lightbulb moment, went home and registered, but when I was — from a content creator’s point of view, from a marketing point of view, I was online and I’m like, “Who’s the mac daddy, who’s like the king of bucket list in the world? Oh, look, no one.” So, I literally called myself the world’s number one bucket list expert because no one else was doing it. Boom.

Bryan: So this was 10 years ago.

Travis: Ten, probably a little bit more than 10 years ago but, yeah, that was it. So I’ve been doing that ever since.

Bryan: Yeah, ’cause I feel like that will be a domain name and a brand that would have been taken so you got in there quite quickly or quite —

Travis: It was not. It was not.

Bryan: Yeah.

Travis: So, now, people put me on their podcast, Bryan, and people put me in the media and they’re all like, “Hey, you’re like the world’s number one bucket list expert.” I’m like, “Yep, you’ve got me. Yeah, I call myself that.”

Bryan: What type of things are on your bucket list, Travis, or have been on it?

Travis: What types of things on my bucket list? Oh, look, I’ve done over 300 odd things and I’ve got a whole bunch more to go as well. So it’s, basically, you know, it’s been — I did the TED talk, I wrote the book, the My Bucketlist Blueprint, and the My Bucketlist Blueprint, in essence, is a 12 — it’s a 12-step program, sounds a little bit like AI, but it’s a 12-letter acronym for how to write and how to unearth personally meaningful and holistic bucket lists. It really helps you to extract and articulate a bucket list. So I leave my message and, as a result, you know, I’ve let that be my life’s work and, you know, for my last 10 years, my bucket list has literally been a tax deduction. So, my accountant still to this day says, “You’re not as dumb as your look, are you, Trav?” 

So, but, no, everything from the classics of running the marathon and going to basecamp, skydiving, all that sort of stuff is great but it’s, you know, in the early days, man, it was all about me but now it’s really about what sort of legacy, what sort of climax for others can I do and, you know, how can I take more people along on the bucket list journey and, you know, oh, I say a bucket list is a tangible life plan where a career plan or a business plan should fit into our life plan and not the other way around so it really does give a reason for people to, you know, get up out of bed in the morning, go optimize their vehicle to produce the time flow and the cash flow that they need to support their bucket list. That’s what it’s all about. And to help wake people up. That’s what it’s all about too.

Bryan: Yeah, and I’ll ask you in a moment about how you built a business around it, but —

Travis: Yeah, for sure.

Bryan: So, if somebody’s listening to this, they’re saying, “I really wanna write a book. It’s inside of me. It’s on my bucket list, but I just can’t seem to do it.” What would you say to them?

Travis: Get a coach,, training, and get it done. I spent 10 — all these years, right? And I’m a professional speaker so every stage I went to, they’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, where’s your book? Where’s your book?” Like, I tell you, I left so much money on the table by not having a book because I was a speaker and they, you know, like what goes hand in glove with speaking, being a professional keynote speaker is like, “Where’s your book? We want more of you. 

We want more of this message to take home with us,” and I’m like, “Oh, it’s coming. It’s coming.” I did that for 10 years, man. And so I finally got it done and I’d written it up to the best of my ability but then, in the end, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, thank you, COVID, because I wasn’t traveling anymore, because none of us were traveling anymore, there wasn’t any big speaking gigs overseas so I didn’t have that as an excuse anymore, I had to get it done. 

So, literally, I published it just two weeks before Christmas last year. Right in the end. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was sick of myself. I was sick of the excuses. I couldn’t go into 2021 without it getting done. It’s literally — like it took 10 years to write a book that is literally a centimeter, not even a centimeter thick, it is pathetic, but talk about a battle of procrastination and perfectionism. 

Every devil, every, you know, emotion in writing it, guys, get help. If you haven’t done it by now, in essence, if you haven’t done it by now, then you’ll probably never do it. But get, you know, get it written, get it — and then just give it to someone, pay the money if you have to, get a mentor, get a coach, get whoever, you know, just put a nice bow on it and just get it done, you know? And that’s what it’s all about. So you need — I believe every writer needs that pressure, that coaching.

Bryan: Yeah, I would agree with that. I would also say get an editor.

Travis: It could be your publisher, it could be the editor, could be someone but just someone to make you accountable to it.

Bryan: Yeah, I think when you’ve got an editor and you’ve said to them, “Look, I’m gonna send you a draft of my book by the end of May,” even if it’s not ready, you’ll send them something because you’re not gonna want to, you know, miss out on that deadline.

Travis: Yeah.

Bryan: So, I was curious, you said there about your public speaking and that’s one of the main ways you’ve built your business and getting your message out into the world. Is your plan to now use the book as kind of a business card for more public speaking gigs or to sell the book at public speaking gigs?

Travis: Both. I wanted to write my book as, literally, as, you know — I know a lot of people have knocked out books, just because it becomes an expensive business card and, at the end of the day, I wanted it to actually be something that people read. I really don’t give books away at all. I don’t give it away. I make money from the book, I don’t just give them away for the sake of giving it away because people can, you know, watch me online and see what I do if they really need to, you know, make a decision on me as maybe a speaker for their gig but, yes, it is a tool to get more clients, get more speaking gigs, but there’s a whole bunch of money for a speaker, there’s a whole bunch of money if you sell books at the back of the room at the end of the gig or you package it in with your speaking gig. 

So I’ll go, for instance, I’ve got a gig tomorrow, I’ve been paid my speaker fee for that, plus they’ve already pre-purchased the book for everyone in the room to be put on everyone’s seat, which is pretty cool. So we did a discount on that group so I’m taking up a whole bunch of books with me or I can get those books drop shipped and get them printed and then drop shipped to the conference venue to the conference organizers if the order’s too big. Luckily, this crowd tomorrow isn’t that big and, therefore, I can take them up with me in my luggage. But they’re already, you know, pre-purchased, which is really cool so there’s no, you know, awkwardness of trying to float the book at the end of it.

Bryan: Had you used Amazon to get those ready for the gig or do you use a local company?

Travis: Local company that uses, yeah, I think they’re working with Amazon and drop shipping and all sorts of — I actually don’t know but I just bring them, with my publishers now and they handle it all. So, it’s kinda like a self-publisher’s publisher and they’ve been absolutely awesome. But they, you know, I pick the book up for maybe seven bucks or something, might sell it for 30, you know? So it’s pretty — there’s a pretty decent margin in it. I’m sure I could get it cheaper somewhere but they handle all the other logistics and stuff like that.

Bryan: So when the time came to sit down to write the book this year during the lockdown, did you find, because you’ve been teaching these concepts for so long, that you knew what you wanted to say or did you still need to think through the ideas in the book?

Travis: No, it was more about — look, I’ve had this book on my laptop literally for 10 years, man. Like I’ve been just adding stories to it. It’s pathetic, but if I’m going to be honest, it’s — I’ve been adding to it. 

It’s just one of those things that just got, you know, like other stuff was a higher priority and I just went, “Oh, yeah, one day, I’ll get around to it. I’ll get around to it.” The book thing wasn’t a big deal for me and — but enough was enough. There was a line in the sand drawn and that’s when I, you know, that’s when I finally got it done. But so I got my publishers on board there and they just helped — her and the team just put it all together for me and just, you know, we went for it, you know, I just put pressure on myself because, again, I had the time to do it so it was a blessing in disguise.

Bryan: Yeah, yeah, that’s probably one of the few good things about the lockdown is maybe people have had time to reflect on things on their bucket list, like writing a book, that they haven’t been able to do. So, up until you wrote the book, how did you build up your business? What was the main channel for you or the main platform?

Travis: Well, for me, I guess I’m an educator, you know, by trade. I’m a coach by trade and I, you know, my previous business, I was — I found a franchise of a chain of personal fitness training studios around Australia so I was the first to, you know, first in Australia to franchise personal training. So I did that for 20 years.

Started with one client, tens of thousands clients later over to me in personal training sessions. Got 300 personal trainers working under that brand. And I always love helping people but I’m not — I’ve got this piece of DNA where I’m not happy just helping a handful of people. You know, I really wanna change the game, I wanna change the narrative, I wanna solve a problem, a bigger problem, and so — or at least contribute to it in a big a way as I possibly can.

So, rather than just be a one-on-one personal trainer back in the day, our franchise got a whole bunch of others and to leverage through that so the same goes, in a sort of a micro sense, speaking is, for me, coaching one to many. I just don’t talk about personal training anymore, it’s more about personal development and positive psychology really with this bucket list brand over the top of it to help people live, you know, live a more fulfilled life. That’s what it’s all about.

But speaking, for me, didn’t come naturally. It’s been a work in progress and, you know, every gig has got its own little challenges but, for me, you know, I’ve been through some, you know, some stuff in my life, albeit quite mild, through depression and that sort of thing, and I — now when I came out and did my first ever sort of public seminar, that was, for me, the big domino that I had to push over that really affected a lot of other areas of my life and I saw a few speakers so in between that story. Personal training studios going really well, things happening in my life, some toxic people were part of it, it led me down a bit of a rabbit hole, a bit of a, you know, a downward spiral in terms of depression but instead of going on heavy antidepressants, which is kind of like a Band-Aid effect, I kind of forced myself to go in, you know, just trying to understand my own psychology so I went into personal development seminars, learned about NLP, life coaching, positive psych, [inaudible] principle, law of attraction, all of that, the big soup of personal development stuff and it wasn’t — about a year, year and a half, I’ve worked through some stuff and a mate of mine at the time said, “Hey, Trav, why don’t you teach this shit?” and I went, boom, lightbulb moment and that’s when I summed up the courage.

I’d worked through some stuff so I was ready, and I put on a seminar and then that was the one, at the end of that seminar, someone called me the bucket list guy, and around that time, you know, Tim Ferriss came out with his 4-Hour Workweek, because that was, you know — and I’m like, you know, around that time, I had all these corporate leases around Australia, all these gyms and stuff, it was just a big burden on me and the thought of, you know, Tim Ferriss, you know, running an online business, running ship from a hammock somewhere in Thailand or Mexico sounded pretty freakin’ cool so —

Bryan: Some people would say Australia.

Travis: Yeah, yeah, and I’m like, “This online world sounds really cool,” you know? Like if I could, you know, and I saw some speakers in that time and, you know, some absolute amazing speakers and I thought if I could do that, I reckon I could do anything. So I started the process of becoming a professional speaker and when I say professional, that’s literally been my full-time gig, which is, you know, they say speaking is the hardest way to make easy money. The hardest way to make easy money. 

And because you get paid quite well per hour, you know, from a company through, you know, doing a conference keynote or something like that, but the lead-up, the content, the books, the freebies, the things on social media, all of that build-up, you’ve gotta constantly gonna do to build up that momentum, that profile, all that brand presence to then get the big money and that’s what breaks a lot of people. 

But, for me, I really wanted to do it, you know, it was always my goal and on my bucket list was to get, you know, I remember getting my first gig and I was like, “400 bucks.” I was like, “Whoa, that’s amazing!” I sound like a prima donna but I wouldn’t even look at that now. And, you know, it just build up and build up and build up and the muscle gets developed over time. But, for me, speaking was a really free way to travel the world, to inspire one to many, to get this thought leadership out, and that’s what it’s been.

Bryan: Did you work with many coaches on improving your public speaking? You said — you described it like it’s been a journey.

Travis: I got some help but not really. I mean, I’m a part of Professional Speakers Australia. I’ve presented, you know, to other speakers. I’ve come up against all my fears, you know? I’ve done the TED Talk, which was actually on my bucket list as well. I did my TED Talk, it’s
on YouTube, it’s called “Life’s Too Short” by me, Trav Bell. And, you know, my first international gig, the TED Talk, the book, these are all things on my bucket list so it’s kinda like I’ve been living my bucket list through speaking, to a certain extent. My speaking has allowed me to travel the world, you know? Because what’s really cool about being a professional speaker is you can get paid, you know, what you get paid in an hour is like the equivalent to what someone else might get in a month and then, for me, I’m like, “I like that, I like that. I don’t wanna work too hard,” so, you know, woke up, woke up, get paid well for an hour, and then piss off and do some bucket listing.

Bryan: I like that. So, one thing with writing is it’s something you have to do relatively consistently or, otherwise, you kinda lose your ability at the craft and you find it a lot harder when you get back to it. So like during the lockdown, how does a public speaker practice or keep up?

Travis: I’ve been doing a lot of these, you know? Like a lot of virtual, you know, virtual keynotes.

Bryan: Yeah.

Travis: And my own podcast as well called the Bucket List Life Podcast. But I, you know, now that I’ve got the monkey off the back in getting the first book done, it’s really, I mean, this is what I encourage all the people listening here is get this monkey off your back, get this first one out of the way, because my writing and my wanting to write is just so much more freer, I’m just so much more free, you know? 

It just flows through me a lot more than me blocking it. And so I’m writing all my content now, I’m consistently, I’ve got daily posts going out. I’m writing everything right now too. And I enjoy it. And, actually, fun fact, one of the things on my bucket list right now, I’m actually reading, one of the ultimate challenges I’ve set for myself is reading 52 books in a year, right? So, so far —

Bryan: That’s a lot. That’s a lot.

Travis: Yeah. So, so far, I mean, people won’t be able to read this but, so far, if you look through here, from there to there is what I’ve read so far and you’re looking at my bookshelf right now so that’s what I’ve read so far.

Bryan: Could you name some of the books that you’re pointing to?

Travis: Last one I read, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller —

Bryan: Yeah, good book. 

Travis: From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years, that’s one in Aussie. Man’s Search for Meaning, I’ve read that again —

Bryan: Another good book.

Travis: The Obstacle Is the Way. Atomic Habits by James Clear. Now, that’s a good book.

Bryan: Yeah, it is.

Travis: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss —

Bryan: Good book.

Travis: — and negotiating — I’ve led, I know Chris and we’ve talked on stage together. Well, back to the fear — Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway

Bryan: Yeah.

Travis: The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham. Think there’s a theme here. 

Bryan: I can see it connecting between the books —

Travis: So, [inaudible] The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I love this one. Someone Has to Be the Most Expensive Why Not Make It You? by my mate, Andrew Griffiths. The typical — The Perfect Week Formula, Craig Ballantyne. The Path to Freedom by my mate Barry. So got — so what am I reading right now? I’m reading Dave Ramsey’s the money book, God, I can’t even think of what it is. Anyway, reading that. And then next is Jim Kwik’s Limitless and then The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

So, these are all, you know, why I’m telling you that is because here’s the habit. The reading habit has really enabled my writing habit. So, every morning, what I do, at the moment, in order to get these 52 books done, it’s now a habit, it’s locked in, I’m not just doing it for the challenge but I’m getting so many more benefits out of this. 

So we wake up at 4:30, have a coffee in bed, I read out loud and my partner, Tracy, she learns — she’s an artist so she draws and sketches while I’m reading out loud. So, by reading out loud, I’m actually retaining the information a hell of a lot better. She’s learning, I’m learning. I read with my four-colored pen here and read a couple of chapters and then put the book down and go for a walk or go for a bike ride or do whatever. But what is that — what that’s allowed me to do is write better —

Bryan: Yeah.

Travis: — for some reason. It’s had this crazy effect that, actually, I can sit down and just write better because I’m reading how other writers are writing and it’s helping me write. And I’ve really found a hell of a lot of flow with it. It’s been fantastic. I’m not saying I’m the best at grammar or best at putting sentences together or anything like that, but it’s just a lot freer. I feel like I’m a lot more — a lot less blocked because I’m reading.

Bryan: What about the rest of the day? What does that look like?

Travis: Read, bike ride, then — oh, obviously, breakfast. Well, I don’t really eat breakfast until about 11 because I sort of fast and that’s a whole other conversation, but then I do four hours on my, boom, one thing.

Bryan: Yeah.

Travis: Whatever that big domino is that I wanna push over for the day so I just lock himself in for four hours and whether it be at the coffee shop or whether it be here at home, I don’t schedule any meetings or really podcasts, you know, around that, or any kind of media or anything else. I just get that four hours done and then, by lunch, that’s probably from sort of 8 to 12, and then by lunch, I now worry about everything else after that. But, you know, it’s just a real — but that four hours is a complete compression session.

Bryan: You mentioned you’re getting up at a half four. So I used to get up around five but not at the moment. You must go to bed quite early to get up at that time.

Travis: Yeah, yeah, so, you know, and then the kids get home from school at about 3:30 so, certainly, in the afternoon, that’s when I do a lot of — I still do a lot of coaching and I’m also founder CEO of Certified Bucket List Coach as well so I, you know, can talk to my team members who are running that for me and we’ve got certified bucket list coaches in, what? Twenty-two countries now. 

So, I’m having team meetings and stuff like that, you know, in amongst all that and I try and knock off at about 3:30 when the kids come home. Plus, you know, that last sort of hour, two hours, I’m, you know, really unproductive, I end up screwing around so I just thought, you know, if I do a hard cut off about then —

Bryan: Yeah.

Travis: — then I can compress what I have to get done by the day. If I haven’t done by then, just forget about it. But then, of course, now we go to the — so, Tracy and I, my partner, we hit the gym at about 4, half past 4 now, get that done for about an hour, we both work out obviously and then we have an earlier dinner these days and then that flow on effect gets you into bed early too.

Bryan: Yeah, I like that. That’s a nice, consistent routine that you described.

Travis: Because we’re working from home, you know, I’m very present conscious of my energy levels during the day, you know? If I’m gonna concentrate, wanna make sure I’m not tired, I’m hydrated, you know, eating the right foods, etc., and that I’m exercising in the morning — no, cardio in the morning and then weights at night and that just sets me up for a great sleep and a really productive day.

Bryan: I like that. I like that. You mentioned that you’ve got coaches in 20 countries? Was that right?

Travis: Twenty-two countries right now, about to be a few more.

Bryan: Did it take you long to build up the business to that level?

Travis: Yeah, well, here’s the thing about the whole bucket list, you know, like when I — going back 10 years, when I registered, I really had — I was gonna be — I knew I was gonna do some speaking and this is, I guess, a lesson for everyone listening is stay in your lane, like pick a highway and pick a lane then own the lane. 

The problem with being an entrepreneur is we’ve got bright shiny object syndrome and we jump from thing to thing and we confuse our market. There’s one thing that I’ve done well, I think, is just stayed in that lane of going an inch wide and a mile deep with my thought leadership, with my content and everything like that. 

Not an inch deep and a mile wide. Not trying to be everything to everyone, and that’s where I find my float, that’s where I’m most congruent as well. I can talk about this bucket list all day every day and have now, you know, developed some deeper, you know, philosophy around it rather than just what, you know, on the surface. 

So, the cool thing is, is that has strengthened my brand more and more by just staying in that lane. Now, being a speaker, coach, and all that sort of thing, I was invited to a keynote presentation for a company called ActionCOACH down in Johannesburg, South Africa, and this was about three years, just over three years ago. 

ActionCOACH is a big business coaching company, one of the top franchises in the world, and I think they’re in about 70 countries, 1,500 coaches worldwide and they invited me down there to do a keynote. I thought I was going down there to do an hour keynote. I rocked up, other presenter didn’t show up so they said, “Oh, Trav, can you — you know that hour? Can you make it three now?”
Okay. Because I knew content, I knew my content, I could easily do that. The point is did a good, did right, they loved it, then the founder CEO of that, who’s also an Aussie, said, “Trav, have you ever thought about, you know, like allowing other people to teach your stuff?” and that’s when I went scarcity mind — I just went full scarcity, I went, “No, this is my thing. This is what makes me special out there in the world.” He said, “Well, you love helping people, don’t you?” Yep. “I reckon you can help a lot more people by having other people teach your stuff.” Haven’t think about it because I reckon you got something here. This is like a life — it’s like life coaching but without saying life coaching.

Bryan: Yeah.

Travis: Thought about it and then a couple months later, launched January 2018, launched Certified Bucket List Coach, packaged in there all the intellectual property, created the agreements, got my legal team, got the accountant, you know, all the team around me, and I launched that, and now, three years, three and a bit years later, we’ve got coaches in 22 countries all teaching my stuff which is pretty cool. 

Bryan: Fantastic. That’s amazing.

Travis: Purely because I stayed in that lane, man, you know? Like that’s the thing. That’s where a lot of people jump ship.

Bryan: Yeah, it can be hard to focus sometimes.

Travis: Yeah, it is, and I think that’s the hardest thing about writing a book, right? Because of our distraction muscle. That’s why I recommend people read The ONE Thing, it’s really cool, you know, like Atomic Habits. These sorts of things, this distraction muscle is what doesn’t allow us to finish these sort of projects.

Bryan: So, Trav, where can people find more information about you or work with one of your coaches?

Travis: They can go to If they wanna get a book, If you wanna suss out, you know, coaching or the Bucket List Coach stuff, go to or hit me up on Instagram, @bucketlistguy.travbell, I think that’s it. That’s the only one I’ll give out at the moment. People can watch me on YouTube as well and see that — see my TED Talk and see me tick that off the bucket list and, mate, that was, you know, that was a big one on the bucket list. 

Going for 18 minutes at about four minutes, I started to pace out, I was so nervous. In front of 2,000 people on a three-by-three red dot with four cameras on me. I was like a caged monkey, so I don’t normally run around like an idiot when I speak so they can find me and, yeah, feel free to reach out and ask any questions.

Bryan: I’ll put the links in the show notes. Thank you, Travis.

Travis: Cheers, Bryan. Thanks, mate.


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