"I find it to be really disconcerting." The Barefoot Investor on his struggle with fame.

Scott Pape‘s face ought to be everywhere. On TV commercials, on posters, the sides of buses and billboards, in your social media feed.

Instead, it’s in loungerooms, on bedside tables and in the bottom of bags, staring out from the cover of his cult financial guide The Barefoot Investor. A book that has sold more than 1.3 million copies across print and digital platforms.

And Scott wants to keep it that way. Mostly for independence – for the sake of the integrity of his advice. But also because, as he told Mia Freedman on Mamamia‘s No Filter podcast, he’s just a terrible celebrity.

This is a small snippet of their chat…

SCOTT: “I knew people would read it, right? So I was thinking maybe 20,000 copies. I didn’t think people really read books anymore or bought books. But I was like, you know, this is a good thing to do, because I went through a personal tragedy where we lost our home [in the 2014 Victorian bush fires] and I thought, ‘I want to get everything down,’ because I have so many people asking me questions. Basically it’s like me sitting down on a stool at a pub and telling my mate how to manage their money. I never expected it to go crazy.

Video by Mamamia

“I spend 90 per cent of my time on my farm with my kids. I don’t do a lot of public speaking anymore. I don’t do a lot of social media or anything like that. You know generally I’m happiest when I’m home with my kids. And I found it to be quite interesting, you know, like even to the point that I get recognised a lot more now.


“It’s kind of interesting the idea that a lot of people have read the book and it’s helped a lot of people, which has been really, really, really cool. But that idea that you then become a bit of a public figure, that has taken a while to adjust to. I never really wanted to be famous. Even though I’m sort of maybe C-grade famous now, I never really wanted to be; it’s not something that’s ever really interested me. I like helping people. But that idea of doing even the whole media thing, of talking about myself, I find to be really disconcerting. My wife doesn’t like it, and we’ve tried to keep the kids out of it as much as possible, because it’s just not who we are.

“I have an Instagram account, but it’s got three photos on it. And for me, in the little country town where I live, people are pretty cool to me. But you know, it’s like, ‘Here’s this big shot, look at him and what he’s trying to do.’ And generally I’m the opposite of that, I think.”

MIA: You’re a terrible celebrity.

SCOTT: “I am a terrible celebrity, because I don’t go to anything. My default is ‘no’. I just don’t like going to celebrity events or anything. It’s just not something that interests me at all.”

MIA: Have you started to get those invitations to be on reality shows like Survivor and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here?

SCOTT: “I did actually. Yes, I have and I’m just like, ‘no.’ Like I said, you got to pull me with pliers to get on ABC News Breakfast let alone going on Survivor. For God’s sake. Like I would be the worst.”

For the rest of the interview, listen to No Filter below or via your favourite podcast app.

Scott Pape’s second book, The Barefoot Investor for Families, is available now. $29.99. Harper Collins.

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