Oct. 26, 2021

50 : My Story & Vision for The Mindful FIRE Podcast with Adam Coelho


"I want Mindful FIRE to create opportunity for people to live meaningful and fulfilled lives, aligned with their values and purpose, by connecting them with the ideas of mindfulness and financial independence. " - Adam Coelho

Welcome to the mindful fire podcast where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond. I'm your host, Adam Coelho and I'm so glad you're here.

On today's episode of the podcast, I'm excited to bring you my first solo episode. I've been doing the mindful fire podcast for almost a year and a half now and have produced over 60 episodes in meditations. But I realized I haven't truly introduced myself to you or talked about why I'm doing the mindful fire podcast in the first place.

 And so that's what I want to get into today, who I am, why I'm doing The Mindful FIRE Podcast and what my vision is for the podcast.

And at the end of the episode I make a special announcement and share details for my upcoming Life Envisioning Workshop happening in January. If you'd like to be notified when registration opens for that workshop you can sign up at MindfulFIRE.org/vision.

I also just want to say thank you so much for listening to the podcast and supporting my work. The podcast recently surpassed 5,000 downloads and I'm absolutely blown away and so excited that people are finding the content valuable coming back to hear new episodes and sharing with your friends.

And if you're reading this, you're one of those people. And so I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate you and to say thank you  for all the support you've given me in listening  to the podcast and sharing with your friends.

Sign up to be notified about my upcoming Life Envisioning Workshop.

Full Show Notes | https://bit.ly/3CgzLMK
More Inspiring Interviews | https://bit.ly/3GoxXnq
More Guided Meditations | https://bit.ly/3nr4H6F



Each Tuesday I release a guided meditation or inspiring interview on the topics of mindfulness and financial independence. Subscribe for future meditations and episodes!

Transcript

[00:00:00] 

[00:00:04] Adam Coelho: Welcome to the mindful fire podcast where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond. I'm your host, Adam Coelho and I'm so glad you're here. 

[00:00:15] On today's episode of the podcast, I'm excited to bring you my first solo episode. I've been doing the mindful fire podcast for almost a year and a half now and have produced over 60 episodes in meditations. But I realized I haven't truly introduced myself to you or talked about why I'm doing the mindful fire podcast in the first place. 

[00:00:33]  And so that's what I want to get into today, who I am, why I'm doing the mindful fire podcast and what my vision is for the mindful fire podcast. 

[00:00:42] Before I jump into that. I just want to say thank you so much for listening to the podcast and supporting my work. The podcast recently surpassed 5,000 downloads and I'm absolutely blown away and so excited that people are finding the content valuable coming back to hear new episodes and sharing with your friends. 

[00:00:58] And if you're hearing this, you're one of those people. And so I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate you and to say thank you for all the support you've given me in listening to the podcast and sharing with your friends.

[00:01:10] all right. Let's jump into today's episode. 

[00:01:13] 

[00:01:25] Adam Coelho: All right. Welcome to my first solo episode.

[00:01:28] I'd love to start this solo episode by sharing with you a little bit about who I am and what drives me. It's funny because I've been doing the mindful fire podcast for almost a year and a half now, but I've never formally introduced myself. So here we go. 

[00:01:42] When I think about who I am, there are really so many aspects of my life. I'm a father. I'm a husband. I'm a son. I'm a brother. I'm also an entrepreneur. And I have a full-time job as a Googler where I've worked for 11 years. 

[00:01:55]  I'm also a mindfulness teacher, a facilitator and an emotional intelligence trainer. For the program search inside yourself. 

[00:02:02] And at my core, I'm a connector, a relationship builder and an entrepreneur. Nothing makes me feel more alive than connecting with people and coming up with new ideas and seeing connections between ideas that create opportunity. 

[00:02:16] Whenever I think about what's most important to me and what drives me, my purpose can be summed up as creating opportunity through connection. That's what guides me through this one life I have to live. 

[00:02:27] When I think about what that really means, first and foremost, it means building connection. Building connection between myself and others and building connection by bringing people together and through those connections opportunity is created.

[00:02:41] And I've seen this throughout my life. Many of the biggest opportunities I've had are because of the connections and relationships I've built. 

[00:02:48] And so facilitating that for others is one of the most important things for me. And when I look back, it's always been there even when I wasn't aware of it. 

[00:02:57] That could mean helping friends get jobs or start new businesses or connecting people with new ideas like mindfulness and financial independence that allow them to create freedom, security and possibility in their lives. 

[00:03:09] I've come to see an unlimited number of opportunities for me to live my purpose of creating opportunity through connection at work and at home.

[00:03:18] Speaking of work after building a startup while in college at the University of Florida, I ended up getting an opportunity to apply to Google. 

[00:03:26] I was working on my startup CitiSync, which helped connect people with their friends and things going on in their college town. And I wasn't really looking for a job after graduation. But in the back of my mind, I always dreamed of going to San Francisco and being a startup founder in Silicon valley and had in my mind I'd really only worked for two companies, Apple and Google. 

[00:03:46] So when a friend of mine named Jocelyn who interned at Google for two summers sent me a Facebook message about a job on her team at Google, I decided to pay attention. 

[00:03:55] She helped me fix up my resume and apply. And I ended up getting an interview. Another friend of mine, Beth, who worked at a startup in town called Grooveshark which was the Spotify before Spotify. Taught me everything she knew about online advertising. So I could prepare for the interview. 

[00:04:10] I ended up doing pretty well on the interview and got invited out to California for four in-person interviews. I ended up getting the job. And a month later I was living in California and working for Google. 

[00:04:21] Looking back at that experience now I realized that was a huge example of something I talk a lot about on the podcast envisioning. Which I'm excited to share more about and make an announcement about later in the show. 

[00:04:33] I had a clear vision of wanting to be in San Francisco and work for Google and the universe seemed to align to help that happen. 

[00:04:40] And I've been at Google since coming up on 11 years next month. It's really crazy to think I've been there for 11 years especially since I originally thought I'd spent two years working there and then go work for a startup or start my own company again. 

[00:04:53] But I've really grown up at Google and I'm truly grateful for my time there, all the things I've learned, all the friends I've made. And all of the incredible opportunities that came from answering that Facebook message from my friend, Jocelyn, and going for the opportunity, that seemed like an incredible long shot.

[00:05:09] And looking back, it's unbelievable how my life unfolded after that single decision. 

[00:05:14] Because of that decision. I moved to California where I met my wife. And we have a son. Because of that decision. My brother also works for Google. 

[00:05:22] It's really impossible to think about all the things that would be different had I not chosen to do that. So I'm very grateful for that. 

[00:05:28] The last 11 years have really been a wild ride with many ups and downs. There's been some really challenging times like that time. I envisioned myself right out of a job and had just a couple months to find a new role or leave the company. 

[00:05:41] But on the other hand, there have been some incredible opportunities, like getting the opportunity to go for three months each to Portugal and Asia to do rotation projects that are perfectly aligned with my interests and skills at the time. 

[00:05:54] Because of Google, I was introduced to mindfulness, which has changed my life in so many ways. 

[00:05:59] I was first introduced to mindfulness by a friend of mine at Google during a particularly challenging time when I was resisting and complaining a lot about all of the things that weren't going my way on my team and in my organization. I was really trying to make things happen and it just wasn't happening. And I was totally resisting and complaining constantly. And I was quite unhappy. And in this one conversation with my friend, I was complaining about having to ride the shuttle from San Francisco to mountain view every day, which is about an hour and a half each way. 

[00:06:30] And he said, Hey man, you have all this time on the shuttle. You should try meditating. And I was like, what are you talking about, man? What is meditating? I have no idea what you're talking about. Makes no sense to me. And he basically hit me with a sales pitch. He said, meditating makes me a better father, better at work, a better husband. And I had to cut them off because I thought this guy was about to sell me a timeshare. Like he was really going on and on about him. But I had all this time on the shuttle, so I decided, let me give it a shot. 

[00:07:00] So I started meditating with these. Recorded guided meditations. He shared with me and within a few days, one thing was absolutely clear. I was terrible at meditation. My mind was all over the place and I was absolutely convinced I was doing it wrong. And I gave up. I said, you know what? This is not for me. 

[00:07:19] Fortunately, I ran into him a few months later and he doubled down on the sales pitch and told me that what I was experiencing was totally normal. Our minds create thoughts. Our minds are all over the place. And mindfulness allows us to train our attention. 

[00:07:33] And around the same time I went on a meditation retreat with my wife. This wasn't one of those 10 day silent meditation retreats, which I did later and can talk about another time. This one to be real was more of a group on that I bought for my wife for Valentine's day. 

[00:07:47] At this retreat, I learned that what I was experiencing was completely normal and I learned a little bit more about the process of practicing meditation and that made it much more accessible for me.

[00:07:59] And That retreat allowed me to have the confidence to keep practicing. And I've basically been practicing now for the last nine years or so. 

[00:08:06] And I continue to invest in practicing mindfulness and going deeper. Because I've seen how much it has allowed me to get to know myself better by developing greater self-awareness and I've developed more self-compassion. I've learned to be more kind to myself. 

[00:08:22] Mindfulness really helped me to see the negative self-talk. The negative stories that I was telling myself constantly. That it was completely unaware of for most of my life. Once I was able to bring those stories into awareness, they had less power over me. They still come up, but they don't control me the way they did when they were under the surface. 

[00:08:43] And I'll be honest, I'm a work in progress. Some days I feel like I'm not mindful at all. Especially when I'm dealing with my toddler around bath time in the evening. And he does not want to do anything I'm saying. And so it's important for me to remember that this is a lifetime practice and I'm really grateful to have it in my life. 

[00:09:03] My interest in mindfulness has also grown into a huge part of my life not only as a practitioner, but also as a teacher and facilitator.

[00:09:11] Over the last five years, I've had an incredible opportunity to be deeply involved in the mindfulness community at Google leading guided meditations, and as a facilitator for the Search Inside Yourself program.

[00:09:22] Search inside yourself as a program that was developed at Google that teaches emotional intelligence and leadership skills through mindfulness. 

[00:09:30] And not only did I get an amazing opportunity to learn these skills from some of the leaders in the space, while getting paid, but I've also been able to teach this program to over a thousand Googlers all over the world over the last five years. 

[00:09:43] And over the last few years I've been developing my own programs and approaches. Leading courses around mindfulness resilience and envisioning for teams, organizations, and individuals.

[00:09:53] And this work in the mindfulness space, which I jokingly call my on the job side hustle really gives me that sense of purpose and that sense of fulfillment at work and to see real impact on people's lives. And the more I'm doing this, the more aligned I feel with my purpose of creating opportunity through connection. 

[00:10:10] Having grown up at Google also means that I've learned about managing money during my time there as well. 

[00:10:16] My interest in financial independence in the fire movement also grew out of my time at Google. 

[00:10:21] And I'll be honest for the first four or five years at Google, I basically ignored my financial life. I just made money and spent money and whatever I didn't spend just sat in my checking account. 

[00:10:32] Luckily, I had enough knowledge to max out my 401k and to not spend every cent I made, but I didn't know anything about investing and to be honest, I was afraid and I thought it was too complicated. So I just figured out later I kept kicking the can down the road for years. 

[00:10:46] After a few years of ignoring it, I realized I needed to do something with the money I was making. 

[00:10:50] My roommate at the time, Marc suggested a book called the elements of investing. Which advocated to invest in simple, broad based low cost index funds. Which is now the core of my strategy. It was working for him. So I decided to give it a shot. 

[00:11:04] I essentially took everything that I had saved divided by 24 months and set it to invest every month automatically. That single decision to set my investments that would happen every month automatically change, my financial life and my pursuit of financial independence. 

[00:11:19] A couple of years later, another friend of mine, David, who started the same day as me at Google told me he wanted to do a side hustle but didn't want to do anything related to work.

[00:11:29] I said, why don't you learn about investing? 

[00:11:31] And so he went and learned everything he could about investing. And ended up finding the financial independence retire early movement. And he stumbled upon all the content from Mr. Money, mustache, Choose F I, the mad scientist and others. 

[00:11:44] And he came back and taught me all about it. And explain the whole philosophy behind FIRE. 

[00:11:49] At first I was a little skeptical because I thought you had to have millions and millions of dollars to retire. But when he explained you just needed to be able to live off 4% of your money and that the investments could replenish that 4% each year, I was hooked. 

[00:12:02] I dove into the deep end, learning as much as I could about this. And the more I read, the more I realized there was a lot more, it could be doing to save and invest in tax advantage ways. 

[00:12:12] If you're listening to this, David, thank you so much for doing this research and getting me excited about the financial independence retire early movement. It changed my life and I'm really grateful. 

[00:12:21] And that brings me to the podcast, which combines my passion for mindfulness and financial independence. 

[00:12:26] The podcast started last year and I recorded my first episode just before the pandemic ramped up. 

[00:12:32] But the idea for the podcast or a blog or something, looking at the intersection of mindfulness and FIRE was an idea floating around my mind for at least a year before that. 

[00:12:42] This podcast was yet another example of envisioning at work in my life. But unfortunately it was also another example of my perfectionism. And my tendency to overcomplicate things and procrastinate. 

[00:12:53] Another friend of mine, Rishan who I also met at Google joined me for lunch at the office. He was probably the last person I had at the office for lunch before the pandemic. And he has a real gift in helping me see how I'm making things more complicated than they need to be. 

[00:13:08] In this case, he said, which format are you more excited about the blog or the podcast? I was excited about the podcast. So he said, just do that. Book, your first guest and record the episode. So I did, and the podcast was born. 

[00:13:19] At the beginning, well, I knew I wanted to explore the concepts of mindfulness and fire, the podcast really started as a way for me to have conversations with people, to figure out what I would do after reaching fire and leaving Google. 

[00:13:32] So my early episodes were with people who teach mindfulness for the profession. Since I love doing this at Google, I was curious to learn what it was like doing this full time. 

[00:13:41] And that curiosity is there each time I speak with a guest. I'm always refining my vision for the future. As I'm exposed to new people, ideas and information. 

[00:13:50] Doing this podcast and facilitating and developing mindfulness related programs has made me realize that yes. Doing this, it's aligned with my purpose of creating opportunity through connection and it's definitely something I want to do at least some of the time when work becomes optional.

[00:14:05] When I really reflect on why I'm doing the podcast, it comes down to a few things. 

[00:14:10] It started as a way for me to explore what I might want to do after I reached financial independence, which I think is something that's really important for all of us to do. We don't want to get to financial independence, leave our jobs, and then realize we have no idea what we want to do. 

[00:14:25] And so the podcast is really a way for me to explore what I might want it to after leaving full-time work. 

[00:14:32] Not surprisingly, the second reason I'm doing the podcast comes back to creating opportunity through connection. 

[00:14:38] Turns out that podcasting is a great way to build connection with people. It's a great way to connect with people who I've never met and it turns out that most people will say yes, if you ask them, if they want to be on a podcast. And so that's been really cool to connect with new people and learn about what they're working on and what they're excited about and to bring that to the audience.

[00:14:56] It's also been a really great way to connect with people who I already know, but. Having talked to in awhile. A lot of the people on the podcast are people who I've worked with at Google in some capacity, or that I've met, through mindfulness communities around the world. Bringing them on the podcast has allowed me to build a deeper relationship with them and to learn more about their life and their story and to bring that to the audience.

[00:15:19] And of course the podcast is also a great opportunity connect with you. The listener. And I hope to do a lot more of that in the future. 

[00:15:27] So now I want to talk a little bit about my vision for the mindful fire podcast. 

[00:15:30] I want the mindful fire podcast to be a catalyst for creating opportunity through connection. 

[00:15:35] I want mindful fire to create opportunity for people to live meaningful and fulfilled lives aligned with their values and purpose. by connecting them with the ideas of mindfulness and financial independence. 

[00:15:47] I see an incredible possibility for people to create the life of their dreams, in alignment with what they really care about, without having to worry about money. 

[00:15:57] If we can get the money piece figured out, we can create a world where everyone can live in alignment with what's most important to them creating the impact for themselves, their families and their communities. 

[00:16:08] And that's you, those people that you are, the people. At the most basic level, I want mindful fire to create opportunity for you listening to this, to live a meaningful and fulfilled life without having to chase money for your whole life. 

[00:16:22] In fact, this is one of my main reasons for pursuing fire myself. As I mentioned at the beginning, I've always wanted to pursue entrepreneurship, but the idea of going all in financially on a business, especially now that I'm a father with a family to support really doesn't seem to make sense to me. 

[00:16:38] And so I see pursuing financial independence as a way to get my money life taken care of so I can pursue ideas and businesses without the risk of not being able to put food on the table for my family. 

[00:16:49] This is true now with my job at Google funding my life as well as giving me the space to pursue my interests, both at work and on the side with the podcast. 

[00:16:57] I see an incredible opportunity for each of us to get our money situation figured out so that we can do the work we were put here to do. That's aligned with our purpose. That's aligned with our values. And that creates the opportunity for our families, our friends, and those around us. And to make the impact that we really want to have. 

[00:17:15] And I want to help you create that life for yourself by connecting you with yourself through mindfulness and financial independence and the simple approaches that we can take to get our money situation figured out so that we can live more in alignment with what's truly important to us. 

[00:17:31] And I want to do that by connecting us with each other. We're all on this path together. There are ways that we can help each other create opportunity in our lives. By connecting people with people who can help them with new ideas, new ways of thinking. And so my vision is to create a community of people who are supporting each other and creating opportunity.

[00:17:50] I'm really excited about this and I hope that you are as well. And. I'll just put it out there. If there's any way that I can support you, if there's any way that I can help create opportunity in your life, reach out to me. I want to hear from you. 

[00:18:03] As I mentioned. This is what drives me. Nothing gives me more energy and makes me feel more alive than helping people. 

[00:18:10] I wouldn't be putting in all this time and effort into making the podcast. If I really didn't care. Because it is a ton of work. 

[00:18:17] And so if you're hearing this, if there's any way I can support you, if there's any way I can help create opportunity in your life. Please email me. My email is mindfulfirepodcast@gmail.com. And let me know how I can help. I really mean it. So I hope to hear from you. 

[00:18:34] And as we move forward, I plan to really solo episodes from time to time sharing a little bit about my perspective, my thoughts and practices that I'm learning around mindfulness and financial independence. 

[00:18:46] And so that brings me to an announcement I'm excited to make. If you've been listening to the podcast for a while, you've probably heard me talk about envisioning quite a bit. 

[00:18:54] Envisioning as a practice, that's had an incredible impact on my life. It's a practice that I've used in my life to create some pretty incredible results. There's a ton of examples, including the house. I'm now living in the job that I'm currently working in. The fact that I even created this podcast in the first place. 

[00:19:13] It's a concept that I learned in Search Inside Yourself, that I've explored quite a bit more. And if you've been listening to the podcast for a while, you've probably heard me talk about wanting to create a workshop around this idea of envisioning. 

[00:19:25] And I'm excited to announce I did it. I created a two hour workshop focused on envisioning that's designed to help to get clear on what it is you envision for your life. And then we learn how the brain works and how we can use that to create this life that we want. I piloted this program recently and I got incredible feedback and I'm excited to bring it to the podcast audience for the first time. 

[00:19:49] The date is going to be sometime in January. 

[00:19:52] If you want to learn more about the workshop and get on the email list so that you're notified when registration opens. You can do so at MindfulFIRE.org/vision. 

[00:20:00] All right. Thank you so much for joining me for my first solo episode. I'll be honest. It was a. At work. I procrastinated a lot. I recorded multiple hours of content to get to this. Shorter version. 

[00:20:13] I hope it helps you get to know me a little bit better and why I'm doing this and what my vision is for the future. 

[00:20:19] So if you're inspired by this vision and the power of mindfulness and financial independence To allow people to live the lives they were meant to live. I want to invite you to join me in this vision. 

[00:20:30] I don't want to do this alone. I want to do this in community with like-minded people. And so please join us by joining the email list, subscribing to the podcast and sharing your favorite episode with your friends and family. 

[00:20:44] I send out a weekly email and I'd love to hear from you and what you're doing in your life to live more mindfully and to create opportunity for you and your family and your friends. 

[00:20:54] It'll mean the world to me and I can't do this alone. So please do join me.

[00:20:59] And again, if there's any way that I can support you. If you want to work at Google, if you want to learn about podcasting. If you have any questions about personal finance. Anything. Really, anything. Reach out to me at mindfulfirepodcast@ gmail.com. 

[00:21:14] Thanks so much. And I'll catch you next time on the mindful fire podcast. 

[00:21:19] Thanks so much for joining me on today's episode of the mindful fire podcast. 

[00:21:23] If you got value from today's episode, please hit subscribe wherever you're listening to this. This just helps the platforms know you're getting value from the episodes and you want to be here when I produce additional content.

[00:21:32] And if you're enjoying the podcast, I'd love to ask you to do me one favor, and that's just a take your favorite episode and send it to a friend or two who might get value from listening to it.

[00:21:42] Doing that will help the podcast, reach new people and would really mean the world to me. 

[00:21:47] Thank you so much for all your support and I'll catch you next time on The Mindful Fire Podcast. 

Adam Coelho

Host of The Mindful FIRE Podcast

Adam Coelho is the founder and host of The Mindfulness FIRE Podcast. He's also a father and husband and has been at Google for the last 10 years. He has been facilitating mindfulness and emotional intelligence courses at Google including the popular Search Inside Yourself (siyli.org) course. Adam is a commitment to creating opportunity through connection. He does this by connecting with others and by bringing people together. I'm excited to have you join me in this exploration by joining my email list. No spam I promise.