Bushy Martin and his wife, Sonya, are living their dream. The couple has custom-built an enviable lifestyle, on the back of income generated from their property investments and business.

But Bushy didn’t reach this position without losing it all first. By his mid-30s, he was burned out, broke and divorced.

“When things went belly up, that forced me to totally review my whole outlook on life,” Bushy told Mike Reid on the Dichotomy podcast.

“Most of that was internal. It was really looking myself in the mirror and going, ‘ok, how are you going to change the way you think and approach life, to make sure that you don’t do the same thing again?’”

After a period of brokenness, self-reflection and healing, Bushy met Sonya, now his wife, and started talking about what it would take to ‘live by design’.

“The first thing we did was to sit down and get really clear about ‘how do we want to live?’ It’s the concept that we now refer to as ‘living by design’, so it’s designing your life living by intent, not by default,” Bushy said.

“Once we got clear on exactly how we wanted to live, (we) visualised that really clearly. I’m one of these guys that’s got vision boards and whatnot, because I’m a very visual person, so a picture speaks a thousand words to me. We got really crystal clear on that. It was really easy to then monetise that – this is that ‘how much is enough?’ question. It’s ‘right, this is the way we want to live’ then ‘how much does that cost?’ Once we know how much that costs, all we need to do is create the assets that are going to produce that income, and the job’s done.

“The real benefit is that it has given us a really strong compass to make decisions, day-to-day. Every decision that comes my way – ‘is this taking me closer to or further away from exactly how we want to live?’ It also acts as a really strong magnet to keep us focused on that end-game. In doing so, we don’t get distracted and go off on tangents on things that might look shiny and sweet right here, right now, but if it’s not going to achieve the long-term plan, we just don’t do it.

“Once we’d done that, the vehicle that was going to create that income for us was property, and I looked at investing in anything and everything along the journey. I’ve been involved in quite a diverse range of (investment) exercises early on, but property has proved to be the vehicle that has seamlessly given us the best results.”

When many people make the shift towards an intentional, designed life, they often hope or expect it will happen overnight. For Bushy, it has taken 15 years to this point and is an ongoing process.

“One of those dichotomies for me was that feeling that I had to do things fast,” he said.

“That I wasn’t a hero unless I’d done it in rapid time. You can wear yourself out bashing your head against a brick wall doing that. Whereas, if you accept that success is a long-term journey that never ends, then embrace time as your friend, a couple of things happen. You actually relax and enjoy the journey.”

Listen to the full podcast interview here.

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