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440 | Past Failure Does Not Define Future Success | Amy Minkley

Mon Jun 05 2023
financial independencescarcity mindsetcareer decisionsBaligap yearstraveling with purpose


Amy Minkley shares her diverse journey towards financial independence, including leaving a high paying job, teaching in Japan, multiple retirements, international teaching, slow travel, and finding fulfillment in Bali. She discusses overcoming scarcity mindset, transforming money mindset, navigating career decisions, embracing change, exploring opportunities abroad, practicing gratitude, and living life well. Amy also highlights the importance of rediscovering Bali, building a community, creating meaningful connections, embracing gap years, and traveling with purpose.


Overcoming Scarcity Mindset

Amy's journey highlights the importance of addressing childhood experiences of scarcity and subconscious beliefs to achieve financial independence.

Embracing Change and Navigating Career Decisions

Amy's decision to prioritize her mental well-being and leave her teaching job in Bangkok showcases the importance of being true to oneself and embracing change.

Finding Fulfillment in Bali

Amy's experience in Bali demonstrates the luxurious yet affordable lifestyle, personal and professional growth opportunities, and sense of belonging that can be found in the FIRE community.

Embracing Gap Years and Traveling with Purpose

Amy encourages more people to consider gap years for personal growth, reflection, and experiencing different cultures. Slow travel and living somewhere can provide a deeper understanding of a place.

Living Life Well and Practicing Gratitude

Financial independence offers more choices and freedom, regardless of income level. Reflecting on the end of our lives helps clarify values, and practicing gratitude for modern conveniences is important.


  1. Amy Minkley's Diverse Journey
  2. Overcoming Scarcity Mindset and Achieving Financial Independence
  3. Transforming Money Mindset and Finding Fulfillment
  4. Navigating Career Decisions and Embracing Change
  5. Exploring Opportunities Abroad and Practicing Gratitude
  6. Embracing Financial Independence and Living Life Well
  7. Rediscovering Bali and Building a Community
  8. Creating Meaningful Connections and Embracing Gap Years
  9. The Value of Reflection and Traveling with Purpose

Amy Minkley's Diverse Journey

00:00 - 06:44

  • Amy Minkley has a diverse story with topics like leaving a high paying job, geo arbitrage, teaching in Japan, many retirements, international teaching, slow travel, gap years, Bali, one more year syndrome, finding phi, and attending phi in person events.
  • The host met Amy at an economy conference and they became fast friends.
  • In-person events like the economy conference allow people to connect and form deep friendships based on shared values.
  • The fire movement has grown from a handful of people to millions across the globe.
  • Amy found ChooseFI during a dark period in her life and it provided hope and guidance for her financial journey.

Overcoming Scarcity Mindset and Achieving Financial Independence

06:29 - 13:20

  • The Chuzawai podcast was the first resource the speaker tapped into in the fire community and made a difference in their journey.
  • The podcast provides hope and certainty, changing retirement and money from nebulous concepts to manageable goals.
  • Internalizing the concept of financial independence (FI) allowed the speaker to overcome stress, anxiety, and self-blame for past mistakes.
  • Understanding both the nuts and bolts of money management and addressing subconscious beliefs are crucial for achieving FI.
  • Childhood experiences of scarcity and witnessing money fears in the family influenced the speaker's mindset about working hard, saving money, and being independent financially.
  • Early lessons on budgeting and working multiple jobs served well initially but became a burden later on.
  • Anxiety about money stems from a brain's attempt to safeguard against future uncertainties but can make one miserable in the present moment.
  • Despite being a super saver with good financial habits, it took decades for the speaker to unwind their scarcity mindset rooted in childhood experiences.

Transforming Money Mindset and Finding Fulfillment

12:57 - 19:34

  • The speaker reflects on how her previous money-saving strategies led to burnout and a lack of joy in her life.
  • Finding Phi (financial independence) was a gradual process that helped shift her money mindset.
  • Living in Bali before working at international schools allowed her to have a fulfilling life, but she turned her back on it for money.
  • Moving to Bangkok with her partner made her anxious and unhappy, impacting their relationship.
  • She had been single for many years due to trust issues and the belief that she needed to be strong and independent.
  • Overworking and saving became patterns in her life, leading to loneliness and exhaustion.
  • Learning financial principles, understanding how much she actually needed, and examining subconscious beliefs helped improve her health, relationships, and peace of mind.
  • Going through the process of preparing to leave her job multiple times contributed to her transformation.
  • Taking a job in Bangkok for the money did not bring the expected zen-like experience; instead, she fell back into old patterns.
  • Her partner noticed the change in her behavior compared to when they were in Bali together.
  • Despite experiencing imposter syndrome at first, she decided not to renew her teaching contract after realizing it was negatively affecting her mental well-being.

Exploring Opportunities Abroad and Practicing Gratitude

25:03 - 31:26

  • Living with a roommate in international schools can provide rent-free accommodation and other benefits.
  • Search Associates job fairs are recommended for those interested in working at international schools.
  • Expats can also explore opportunities abroad in various professions.
  • Fear setting involves imagining worst-case scenarios and considering potential solutions.
  • Visualizing the worst outcomes can help appreciate what one already has and open up to possibilities.
  • Practicing gratitude for the conveniences and advances of modern life is important.

Embracing Financial Independence and Living Life Well

31:10 - 37:51

  • Despite the doom and gloom in the news, the world is pretty wonderful for most of us.
  • Reflecting on the end of our lives helps us clarify our values and live more intentionally.
  • Even in the worst-case scenario of financial independence going wrong, you're still better off than if you hadn't pursued it.
  • Financial independence benefits everyone, regardless of income level.
  • Saving money and achieving financial milestones along the path to FI gives you more choices and freedom.
  • No matter where you are on your journey, focus on what you can do now to change your future.
  • The FI community is about more than money; it's about time freedom and living life well.

Rediscovering Bali and Building a Community

37:29 - 43:58

  • The speaker chose their life over money, leading them back to Bali.
  • Initially, the speaker didn't know that Bali was the place for them, but after experiencing the community and finding like-minded people, they decided to stay.
  • The speaker loves routine, community, and deep conversations, which are hard to find while traveling fast.
  • Bali offers a luxurious yet affordable lifestyle with plenty of personal and professional growth opportunities.
  • The speaker felt a sense of belonging in both the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community in the US and the community in Bali.
  • The speaker started their own FIRE event called Phy Freedom Retreats in Bali, which sold out quickly and attracted participants from around the globe.

Creating Meaningful Connections and Embracing Gap Years

43:39 - 49:57

  • The speaker loves Bali and wants to bring people there to experience it
  • In-person events have been valuable for the speaker, as they have received support and learned from others
  • The speaker feels honored that many people want to attend their event in Bali
  • The event will feature amazing speakers and high-quality participants
  • Small conversations at these events hold a lot of value
  • Gap years are something the speaker believes more people should consider
  • Taking time off can lead to unexpected opportunities and personal growth
  • Slow travel and reflection during a gap year can provide clarity on values and save years of regret
  • Even if a full year is not possible, taking some time off for reflection is still valuable

The Value of Reflection and Traveling with Purpose

49:42 - 55:18

  • Taking time to reflect and slow down while traveling has value
  • Traveling just to check boxes doesn't allow for a true cultural experience
  • Living somewhere allows you to understand the heartbeat of a city or town
  • A gap year or shorter period can be used to try out retirement plans
  • Amy can be reached through her website for advice on Bali and Southeast Asia
  • The podcast has made a difference in Amy's life and is appreciated
  • Listeners are encouraged to subscribe to the podcast and newsletter, join local groups, and explore resources for getting started with financial independence