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Being happy with “less” is a topic I’m really passionate about.

So many people measure success based on money or materialistic things. I measure success based on happiness.

Recently, I received an email from a guy named Derek – he’s been following my content for a while, and he sent me a very moving email about how he found happiness by selling his house, car, garage sailing, and following some of the advice I’ve been talking about for the past few years.

I get so many of these moving, emotional emails in my inbox every single day, and I want to share more of them with you guys.

Here’s Derek’s:

Hey Gary,

I know you probably get a 100 of these emails a day and may never even read this, but I just wanted to share my story and what your advice had done for my life.

I live in western Canada where my life basically consisted of life on the road in the middle of nowhere in the Alberta oilfield working as an electrician being the most miserable piece of shit ever. In October 2016 I started into affiliate marketing or basically online sales as it should be called for a company. It’s in doing that I realized how much I hated my life, how badly I needed a change and I was on the path put forth for me on the opinions of others, which as someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression his whole life spent many days wondering if life was worth living.

I did alright with the company making a decent chunk of money in the first little bit and learning a bit about the online world, but I had no passion for it, felt like it was more of a world of fake people and fake it until you make it, which I’ve learned is the worst fucking advice ever. 

I had never felt more lost and the depression I deal with started to creep back in, the idea of going back to my old life, with my old job, I felt I would rather die than go back to that. I had followed so many in trying to change my mindset, but everyone spoke about the same shit with a super pricey upsell after to learn more about their methods. Just buy my program, for $10,000 and change your life, blah blah and their advice never stuck, go to a hyped up convention, get pumped, 2 weeks later be back being lost in life.

Now to state for the record I had created a life that was extremely overleveraged still trying to live like a Rockstar with fancy unnecessary shit because I was making upwards of $125,000 CAD a year as an electrician thinking that money and trinkets would buy me happiness, which it obviously didn’t and combined with a lack of work here my monthly bills were insane. And that’s where you come in as I had heard of you but had no fucking clue at all what you were about or had ever watched one of your videos until June 2018. Someone I knew posted of one yourvideos and the swearing and keeping it real without wanting anything in return attitude had me hooked. I found your YouTube page and from that moment on every morning while working on trying to find my direction and gain the strength to push forward in life your videos and advice would be playing in the background.

It was in August 2018 that I shutout everyone else’s opinions, was on the brink of being broke and realized my true passion was inspiration and motivation and that I would try to spread that message via starting a small clothing brand focused around those topics. I know a hard market to bust into and I was scared shitless, but my gut was telling me to go for it. My gut feeling combined with my new mindset and work ethic from your advice completely transformed me from a scared depressed mess who considered suicide at least once a day to someone determined not to fail. With your advice I created the first 10 designs, really learned the value of social media platforms for marketing, taught myself how to build and create my own shopify site and basically took over all aspects of the business to gain the knowledge and cut costs wherever possible.

I officially launched online in late November 2018 with high hopes and in the first 2.5 months fell hard on my face with virtually no sales, except instead of letting the depression sneak back in and having a pity party, I dug down deep, watched you and put forth new methods and ideas to increase reach and potential customers, improvements to the site and whatever else I could find.

I have never been busier, sometimes stressed, yet happier than I am right now as sales have started happening in the last month. Now not breaking any sales records and obviously only 3 months in, but it’s your constant reminder that shit doesn’t happen overnight, takes time and hard work to achieve success that keeps me pushing forward. I have completely cut down my expenses by not buying dumb unnecessary shit anymore, sold my snowmobile, my $62,000 brand new truck I absolutely needed goes away next week to be replaced by a more cost effective, older and fuel efficient SUV I have purchased and yesterday placed my house on the market and will be going back to renting as of April 1st.

I will be using the $30-40,000 equity from my over the top priced house to live and grow my business while living in a much smaller and cheaper place. I don’t think I would be where I am now, maybe not even alive if it wasn’t for finding you and all of the value you bring daily and for that I say thank you sooo much. I know the road ahead is a long one if I want to see success with my business, but my mindset shift has me fully prepared to deal with that thanks to you.

Oh and before I end this let me touch on trash talk as I started flipping shit on EBay, mostly just stuff I already owned, just recently started hitting thrift shops and stoked for garage sale season. I’ve made $4069 CAD after fees and everything the last 3 months, it was from making that I realized how over leveraged I was from bills and decided to cut down on expenses.

On top of that my dad has also really gotten into it, mostly loves the shopping part, but we have never been closer thanks to the time we spend together out looking for stuff to sell. So thank you again and I hope someday to be able to hit an event where you’re speaking, hopefully meet you in person to shake your hand and be able to tell you in person thank you. Anyhow back to the grind.

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Derek Todd

HPI Apparel


I asked my team to put together a new podcast series called “From My Inbox To Your Ears” where my writer narrates this email with additional context – check it out on Spotify here.