[TSE 16] Become Happier Than A Billionaire Working A Zero Hour Work Week

Posted on /by Natalie Sisson/ in Podcast / 14 comments
Nadine Pisani Hayes Costa Rica

“How many times have you heard someone say I’m quitting my job and moving to an island.

I did…sort of. I moved to Costa Rica, and although it is not an island I did find my own paradise.

I’ve been bitten by a bullet ant, slept with scorpions between my sheets, and hiked into a cave where a frisky crocodile was waiting for me.  And you know what?  It is still better than a day in the office.”

That’s what Nadine Hays Pisani has to say on her about page, and her decision to quit the rat race surviving on the hard earned savings she and her husband earned from their days as chiropractors.

She’s since gone on to blog about why she is happier than a billionaire and published a book that explains exactly how they did it and why they think it is still the best move they’ve ever made.

What’s different about this story is Nadine did not quit her job, move to Costa Rica and become location independent with the idea of starting her own business to survive. No, they decided to just not work anymore and see if they could live a life where happiness was the key factor.

They’d experienced working 70+ hour weeks for years and years in bustling New York City and they knew there was more to life than work. They knew there was more to life than simply earning money to spend it on material things.

Now their alarm clock is the ocean by the house they’re renting in Tamarindo, and they do what they want during the day like surfing, eating fresh fruit, writing and spending time with the locals. It sounds idyllic but there have been some challenging times and Nadine explains what it’s really like to live the Zero Hour Work Week in Costa Rica.

In this interview with Nadine Pisani Hays you’ll learn

  • What you need to consider before you make a life changing move
  • How you can live on less than $1,000 month and feel like a billionaire
  • How to use social media to connect with people and grow your blog by sharing your unique story
  • Why one email from CNN changed Nadine’s life more than she could have imagined
  • How to go about self-publishing your own book and proving the publishers wrong you rejected you!

Click on the play button at the top or download this in iTunes or Stitcher Radio (and don’t forget to leave a review!).


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  • Kimberly Cogswell

    I’m a 38 year old wife and mother of 3, my husband is disabled and I tried really hard to run a housecleaning business here in NY. It just isn’t working. I work my butt off and have nothing. My car is being repossessed, business not making it. There has to be a better way.

  • I don’t mind working long hours while building my new business. But I don’t want to do that forever. It would be amazing to build my business, and then have enough time to do important work, like service and volunteering for worthy causes.

  • For as long as I can remember, it has been my passion to travel. I also would quite like to not go bankrupt in doing so. I recently started up my own business so that I can work from anywhere in the world. I’m just getting started… and I would LOVE to hear what Nadine has to teach me!

  • Tammy

    I have read Nadine’s book and it is very funny. Definitely required reading for anyone thinking about moving to a foreign country.

  • Natalie thanks so much for this podcast.

    I listened to it this morning, and the minute it finished, I ripped off my headphones and went to Nadines blog and left her a comment.

    It was uncanny, the conversation you had with her, you could have been you talking to me.

    Right down to Nadine saying ” I am the serious one, my husband is the funny one and people like to talk to him at parties”


    I had the same conversation with my doctor as she was handing out the anti depressants and I knew there was another way… just had to find it.

    So from idea to arrival in thailand it has been 6 months exactly.

    My husband and I both reached that point where it was “change something or else.. ” our marriage had suffered very badly during 2011 purely because of the stress and strain of not living a “true life” and being on the wheel of work for 30 years.

    Neither of us could go on for another 15 or 20 years like this..

    We sold our home in uk, had money enough to live like Nadine for a period of time, but not masses by any stretch but with no urgency to have a lifestyle independent job.

    In fact my top want in life was “not to have to work again for someone else” – but not necessarily not work.

    It has taken me 30 years to figure this out!

    In the month we have spent here after purchasing our ticket to thailand, my mind was relaxed and open to new ideas and I have since started a FB page, twitter account and website about thailand, as we are going to travel around on our backpackers budget but maybe have 2/3 months in one place rather than 1 or 2 weeks.
    We do require a little comfort in life these days..lol

    Everything fell into place the minute we let go of the pressure and strain and made the decision.

    We took everyone out of the equation except us..

    And to anyone who may think “its ok for you because…” I had a call centre job in a bank, nothing corporate, high flying or a big salary and we had a large amount of debt.

    I recommend to anyone who is struggling with things in their head – mindset change is fundamental, really really deciding what you want is the hardest thing to pin down.

    Anthony Robbins helped me a lot via his books and talks. He really nails it about how we make excuses for everything.

    I guess I was a willing student when the teacher appeared.. I can’t tell you how fantastic our life is now, living in one room for now and not having to think further than meal times.

    We have never had so little, yet been so happy!

    Best Wishes



    • Natalie

      Jackie great comment. I too love Anthony Robbins and equally get very frustrated by people who have an excuse for absolutely everything. They’re making a decision to not go after having their best life because it’s too much hard work or they don’t have a clear picture on what it is. Congrats on you two for just doing it. I admit Thailand makes it so easy to relax (aside from Bangkok which is 24 hours crazy and I really love). Plus it’s much cheaper to live there and the people are genuinely friendly. And you’re right it is ALL about the mindset. Looking forward to seeing your blog and social media presence grow and help other people to take the leap too.

  • Mercedes

    Hello there. Your words are inspirational. I started my business about 1 year ago and I wanted to make it about fashion because that is the one thing that I love doing the most, I can read fashion magazines all day long and could not be happier. The issue is that the business model is affiliate marketing which as you might know takes A LOT of sales to be able to quick your job and live off of the profits. A year later I had to go back to work because simply I needed more money than my business what producing.
    One of the main mistakes I made was to go at it aline, I had no mentor and no one who was doing the same thing I was doing so I only had so many ideas and got to a halt.
    I have not completely given up but now with working I have less time to dedicate to my business and that makes me terribly sad.
    I hope to apply some of the principles from this website and it would be great to get a copy of your book. Keep up the good work!

    • Natalie

      Hey Mercedes.

      Lovely to see you on here again. You gave your fashion site your best shot right? And there’s no reason you couldn’t go back to it – if you for example you found a great partner to do this with. It’s definitely easier with another person to bounce ideas off and keep you going on days when you doubt everything. Mentors are also super useful as are accountability partners and coaches. At the end of the day it’s about finding your team – the one that propels you to greatness. Just wanted to clarify your comment below – it’s Nadine’s book – and hopefully both our websites help you out 🙂

  • Very inspirational interview. I loved how you both shared, not just the fun, but also the specifics of how to pull this off!

  • Hi Natalie, really enjoyed your podcast with Nadine, thank you!

    I too “dumped” life in the western world for something better and now live in Kuching, Malaysia. Should have done this well before I did, but I have NO regrets otherwise!

    A few years ago, this was merely a dream for me, which really started to hit home when I was stuck working in some horrible warehouse in central England in the UK.

    I’d urge anyone who is merely dreaming about doing something life changing to take action, and don’t merely continue to dream.


  • I think what you did was great. We often get stressed for not having any money and strive to earn more but we rarely take time to spend with our families and people we love. Money is not everything and we should not let it spoli our lives. Thanks for your great inspiration!

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