A lot of the time, people get so caught up preparing for the future and leaving a legacy that they forget how they’re living right today is what leads to that. Here to remind us is today’s guest, Freedom Street CEO Scott Danner. Scott is a financial advisor that’s a cut above the rest. He helps other financial advisors build relationships with clients because he understands that money is not the bottom line. Together with host Dr. Patty Ann Tublin, Scott guides you on how to reprioritize your life with insights from his bestselling book, Freedom Street: How I Learned to Create a Rich Life, Live My Legacy, and Own the Future as a Financial Advisor. Start living your legacy today by tuning in!
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Freedom Street: Start Living Your Legacy Today With Financial Advisor Scott Danner
We have an amazing guests for you. Before we go any further, since I know you are going to love this episode and this show, make sure you like, comment, share and subscribe. In this episode, we have a man who is a financial advisor. I know you know plenty of financial advisors, but this financial advisor is about a gazillion cuts above the rest. Scott Danner is better than anyone else. Why? Because he helps other financial advisors make you money because he focuses on the relationships that he helps his advisors develop with their clients.
All of you reading know that I’m a relationship expert. Scott is singing my song. He is the author of a book called Freedom Street: How I Learned To Create A Rich Life, Live My Legacy And Own The Future As A Financial Advisor. Buckle up because Scott is about to take us for a ride. Welcome, Scott. Thank you so much for agreeing to be on this show.
Thank you so much for having me. What a great introduction, I love it.
Share with us your story. You are such an interesting guy. I’ll be totally honest. I think of financial advisors, I’m like, “Snooze.” You are different than that.
One of the biggest things that even overcoming this when you launch a book and you are doing podcasts everywhere, you have to overcome the immediate financial advisor mentality that everybody has from the elevator pitches they have received 1,000, the sales calls. It’s not just you. Our industry had gone through so many changes that the reality is I got to start in this industry decades ago when everybody had different names. They were brokers, sales representatives and all these different words, but the reality was, which you’ll appreciate this, I learned quickly in the early 2000s that if I didn’t establish and develop relationships with the human that I was working with, I would never have a business.
Going through the downturns of the early 2000s, then again in 2008 and 2009, the difference between my career and people from years earlier is all they had seen are ups. They had seen nothing, but things go well. People were sold something. They made money and felt good. That’s not the relationship that’s developed in our practices. That gave us an advantage. It gave me the advantage to be able to develop that level of aptitude in a business that was able to then do something that’s unique.
In our industry, when you are developing relationships, you are in a full-on every single day conversation with people about their lives or struggles. Money is just a by-product of what they’re talking about. It’s one of the things, but usually, you are helping a couple figure out where they are challenged when it comes to money, what they are going to do when their kids go to school or how they are going to retire. One wants to be in one place and the other wants to be in another.
To make a long story short, this relationship driving mentality is something that I have taken into now helping advisors across the country and other businesses as they go into their next chapter. The transitioning advisor, as we call them or the transitioning business owner, is someone that’s been doing something their whole life. In order to be successful, you have to identify what a rich life is. You have to understand that you are living a legacy, not waiting to leave a legacy. That will allow you to own your future. The truth is that’s what Freedom Street was all about. That’s what we’ve done in the book and what we’re about getting the message out.
It is funny you said that about living your legacy because out of the title of your book, the subtitle part, Live My Legacy resonated with me. You don’t want to wait to die to lead your legacy. It’s almost an oxymoron to live your legacy. I love that. How do you bring the relationship piece into a capo or a business owner that wants to prepare for their future and yet still live for now?
First of all, it’s important in any relationship to be understood. It’s not me, but for me to understand the other person. The very first thing I have to do is to listen. I have to open up and understand what they are telling me. I empathize with what’s happening. What are we discussing? What do they want? I have been this for many years. I trained hundreds of advisors across the country. Here is something that I have to teach. Life is not about transactions. Life is about building a relationship. In order to understand that other person, you have got to develop rapport, trust and understanding.
You have to understand that you’re living a legacy, not waiting to leave a legacy.
Once we’ve done that, now I can start to help them prioritize what’s more important. Sometimes living for today is more important because today won’t be there tomorrow, for example, with your children. I have a 12 and a 15-year-old. The reality is my fifteen-year-old will be out of this house in the next three years. There are certain things that I don’t have time to wait for to do with my children because time flies.
If I’m advising a client in that capacity, or we’re having this conversation, we are talking about prioritizing what relationships, what things are most important in their world now and how we can guide them through that next step. Second of all, we figure out how the money works for that. That is the least of the conversation because the most important thing is to help people understand what they are aiming for. What are their goals? What are their dreams? What do they want out of it? It’s helping them prioritize from there.
Are most of your clients are people that are not in a relationship or are you mostly dealing with couples?
For the most part, couples. There are probably about 20% or 30% that aren’t couples. In my consulting, I am always dealing with the individual. In coaching and consulting, it’s different. I don’t really know the spouses, but it’s helping the individual understand and prioritize what’s most important. Many of us say what’s most important, especially to a coach, but then every action step that person’s doing doesn’t line up with what they are trying to accomplish. Those are some of the things that obviously are important, but spouses, a lot of times are tend to be successful, especially financially successful. Having each other can sometimes be a benefit financially.
In terms of what you said about the individual in your coaching consulting business, there’s an expression, “Show me your checkbook and your calendar. I’ll show you your priorities.” Where you put your time and your money is evidence of your priorities. At times, we all know that we have to spotlight or focus on something that maybe isn’t our life priority, but it’s a priority at that specific moment in time. That’s okay. If you say that you prioritize your family, you look at your calendar and you spend less than kick the number two hours a week with them, even if you’re giving them money, you need to re-evaluate that.
I talk about this in the book because life-work balance, to me always comes down to self-awareness because we all understand that if you are trying to accomplish something, you’re going to become imbalanced at times, but if you’re not aware that you’ve become imbalanced, that’s where it becomes dangerously close to an edge.
If I’m traveling a couple of weeks in a row in a month than did the last couple of months, for example, I was out and traveling a little bit more, you definitely have to make more time of those moments because they have to count more. You might become a little imbalanced. I’m not perfect either. Just because I write about it, doesn’t mean I don’t have to also check myself and make myself aware, but the truth is that life-work balance when we’re talking about trying to find that imbalance is looking at the calendar and where we are spending our time. If you want something to matter, you give your time and money. Where are you spending some of your checkbooks? The checkbook may be outdated, but we might have to update it to Bitcoin or something funny or funky that people would be excited about. It’s a great point you make.
I love what you said about the whole work-life balance because people love to say, “There’s no such thing as work-life balance.” My second book is about money and teaching women to negotiate called Money Can Buy You Happiness: Secrets Women Need to Know To Get Paid What They Are Worth! There’s a little story behind that because some people got angry at me. They sent me scathing emails, “You know nothing about happiness if you think money can buy you happiness.”
My comment was, “Clearly, you didn’t read the book because what I was talking about when I said happiness is it gives you options and choices that would otherwise remain close to you. If it doesn’t matter, then how come a rich person would want to change places with a poor person?” I rest my case on that one.
My first book focuses on helping entrepreneurial couples be successful in their personal life, marriage, family life and business. I feel that there is a false choice out there that you have to choose between happiness personally or professionally, especially for women. When we talk about work-life balance, what I like to say and I’d like to know how you feel about this, is it’s balanced throughout your life. It is your lifetime. It’s not a specific moment. There might be decades where you are grinding professionally.
Let’s say you are going to medical school. Everything is out of whack. Your focus is completely on becoming a physician. It is your heart and soul. It’s the only way you can get through it. You might have a spouse that supports you through that. You have children and then things might shift. We make a mistake when people count the hours as a way of demonstrating their balance in life. How do you see that play out with couples when it comes to their time and their money? What kind of advice would you give people to help them not even feel bounced about it, put in sync with each other, if some of their values are different?
Great marriages are often made with people that are different. My wife and I are different. She is a wonderful teacher. She has a schedule every day that’s the same. She can eat the same thing and be fine with it. She can work out to the same video and do the same. It is unbelievable how successful she is. She also loves being home more than just about anything. What do I love to do? I love to travel, be gone, be busy and high energy. What makes our marriage successful is often, we stretch each other. My wife could say that she has always wanted to ski in Vail.
I make the trip happen. She’s like, “I don’t know if I want to make it. It’s a long trip.” I’m like, “No. We are going to stretch each other.” There are other times where I’m like, “What are we going to do tonight? What are we going to do today? How are we going to get this?” She’s like, “Today, we are going to chill. We’re not doing anything.” From a relationship standpoint to your point, understanding what’s important to my wife, quality time, being home and rested is valuable. To me, high energy, being active, being around other people. I draw a lot of energy from that. If she and I don’t acknowledge what’s important to each other, money doesn’t have anything to do with any of that stuff.
The part about money that I find interesting is there have been times where I get a little imbalanced. When you are writing a book, running a company, launching the book, being a father, a husband, taking care of the dog, moms do this all the time. No different. Sometimes life gets imbalanced. Every once in a while, our joke, Adrienne, will say to me, “I don’t know that I didn’t like the old version where you had lots of time, but maybe we had a little less success.” I understand that. What she is saying is, “I want you around a little bit more.”
Does she say about time versus money?
She doesn’t care about the new car. She doesn’t care about stuff.
She’s not going anywhere. She likes to be home.
The other side is she also helps me calm because you have to know what you need. I love the question and the thought process because I feel like so much of our success can be had with that self-awareness of not only understanding what we need, but our own children, our spouse, individually setting the tone of who is your priority, not just what is your priority.
This might sound crazy, but self-awareness is also being aware that we don’t know what we don’t know. If you have a partner dialed into you, they can help with that. What you said earlier, and I say this and talk about this in my first book, where I help you create a family life that compliments, not compete against your business life. You can only do that if you know what you want in your business and in your family. Many times, especially as entrepreneurs, we feel as if we’re competing to be successful in one over the other because we haven’t been clear on the goals for each. Many times, entrepreneurs focus on the business.
The next thing you know, the personal relationships are on life support kind of thing. When your wife says, “I’d like a little bit more of the time than the success,” she’s giving you a red flag saying, “I know the business is important to you, but this is important to me.” What you said about you stretching each other, what I love about that also is that when we grow, and this is true for businesses, because I work with business partners too, because it’s not all that different than a marriage. It’s a little different, but not too much. You stretch each other outside your comfort zone but within your comfort zone. Your wife wants to ski. You’re stretching her to ski in Vail, even though she said, “I changed my mind.”
Life is not about transactions. It’s about building relationships.
You are like, “You threw this out there.” It’s not like you would tell that you are going to take her to fly and do heli-skiing. That would be a fate worse than death for her, but you took her up on her wish. You are an entrepreneur, so you are a little wild and crazy. She is a teacher. She’s structured and steady as you go. You know the assignment and when it’s due. She can be counted upon. I love that, but I would imagine that it also creates some tension. How do you work through that?
You have to tell yourself, “Nothing is permanent.” The question is important because a marriage or a relationship without tension is not real. There is always some level of tension because it’s two different humans who are having a conversation.
When someone say, “We never fight.” I’m like, “Then someone lost their voice.” If there’s no time tension, someone gave up themselves.
There are always going to be somethings that are tense in a marriage. You have to know when it’s okay to assert what you think is extremely important. You also have to know when to dial it back. In a good relationship where communication is key, there are times I’m willing for our children. I’m willing to stretch myself significantly for practices and training.
It derails us occasionally as a family because it’s very hard. It’s hard if you’re making a great dinner. You have done all this in the day. You have got a schedule and then I commit to these things, then I’m out of town for three days. Guess who has to pick up the slack? That would create tension in our marriage or a discussion of which we would work out.
A lot of times, I will say, “Don’t worry about it. I have already coordinated. My dad’s going to help us with this. My brother’s going to do this.” That way our normal roles can continue. We are helping each other out, but I have to be aware that it’s a challenge. She’s stretching because she also doesn’t want anybody else to have to do anything for us. I love that in a relationship where it’s not permanent. It’s a temporary discussion or a temporary tension.
It’s like working out. Anytime you work out, you temporarily have small tears in your muscles that then come back stronger. The only way to get stronger muscles is to stress them, develop them and continue to grow through that tension. That’s what our relationship has done in many years of being married and we started dating when we were very young. We have grown up together. In doing so, it allowed us to also help in other things we do.
What I tell people, especially business owners, too is, “The key is to grow apart while you still stay together and grow together.” How does that apply when you’re giving advice to couples business owners, people that work in a business and one wants to grow the business and make $1 gazillion and the other one’s like, “I’m good here.” How do you balance that? Negotiate is a better word.
It starts out with making sure people are on the same page. In business, the thing that you have to remember is marriage is something that I look at as a lifetime. Every decision I make is about a lifetime. It’s not about the transaction of the business. The business can move in different directions. At the end of the day, if we were married in a business form, businesses would simply identify what’s most important to the path. If one person doesn’t want to take it to the next level, maybe they want to be an employee and function through. Maybe the other partner buys out their shares and gets to continue to do what they’re doing. There are so many different facets.
It’s just a relationship. You have to understand what’s most important to those other individuals. It’s a lot harder in a business partnership because communication can often get lost. We see it a lot. This is a great point and it ties this in. I talked to a lot of financial advisors, that the average age of an advisor is 62 years old.
Is it a White male?
Yeah, the majority. We’re talking about less than 19% on average women and even less minority. That is changing. Some of that is because of where the wealth, degrees and all kinds of other things are. That’s a whole other conversation. The relationship part is interesting. I deal with a lot of the older advisors between 65 and 75 that want to stop, but don’t want to stop. You didn’t say this specifically, but this is what I understand. Entrepreneurs tend to be more comfortable at work than they are at home.
Part of the reason that they tend to be more comfortable at work than they are at home is everybody does what you say at work. Nobody does what you say at home. In fact, you are completely mitigated. You are just another voice and an equal voice. No matter how good you are at something, it doesn’t make a difference because you are just a dad, spouse or partner.
Going back to the 65 to 75 year old, somewhat retiring or stepping down advisors, I can’t tell you how many times I have said to them as they are challenged with this of whether or not they stop or leave, “What does your spouse want you to do? What is your partner want you to do?” Usually, it’s their wife because they are predominantly men, “What does your wife want you to do?” I had one conversation where a gentleman in his 70s told me, “I’ve never asked my family and my wife what they want to do.”
I said, “What a great starting point? Start there.” I came to find out the next follow-up conversation, his wife wanted to pursue some career opportunities that she had in something she had been studying for a long time. They created a pathway for that. That was a breakthrough all because of the question that was simple that he asked all the time of his clients. He helps people with this all the time but didn’t think to ask his own family.
What you described is like the shoemaker whose kids have no shoes. Here’s what I would challenge to what you said. I would suspect that this man that you were coaching, his spouse did, in fact, tell him what she wanted him to do, but he did not actively listen. He wasn’t tuned into it. Perhaps, in fairness to him, he never asked the question. Knowing spouses and women, I would suspect she gave him plenty of hints, if not a billboard flashing lights.
It’s why I tell my friends, “When you’re going through life’s most challenging timelines as a married couple, you have got to have other friends around because your friends will call you and your spouse out on things that do not work in the real world.” The truth is all I was doing was creating a frequency that maybe he was for the first time in his life, listening to or for. He might have been off the frequency because he doesn’t want to change what he’s doing.
Most of the time, they don’t want to change. They have been allowed to do whatever they want to do for all these years. That messes up the whole mojo of the family when you do come back into the fold. I guarantee that you are 100% correct. It was brought up, discussed and wasn’t tuned into, or maybe he wasn’t ready to listen. I feel from that conversation and from the follow-up that he was at this point in time, and it’s never too late to listen.
I would suggest that COVID, where people are out and about and spend little time with their family, they have all been requested. That’s created a lot of shifts in the dynamics in couples, especially if you have kids whose job is more important. You said your wife is a teacher. I can imagine what teachers went through during COVID, especially if you have little children.
You are trying to be a professional teacher while you have your children. It is trying to fly and walk at the same time. It is an impossibility. What happens with entrepreneurs and successful people, from my experience, also is the person doesn’t want to give up their career because it’s how they define themselves for real, even though they know they might be a spouse or parent.
If your impact is tied to what you do, and only what you do as a job, then you are empty when you try to leave it.
Especially in the States, the first question you ask when you meet someone is, “What do you do?” Europe doesn’t do that. I had someone once tell me, “A position is what I do, but it’s not who I am.” Most people aren’t that self-aware. If you only identify yourself as your career, the chances are that’s also where your ego is in a positive way and how you define your success. If you remove yourself or pull back from that, now, all of a sudden, all you’re lacking comes to fruition.
I have raised four kids. I could hone that from traveling. I am feeling like, “I set the world on fire today,” and you walk in the door, the dog is barking, somebody is going up, kids are fighting, “Mom, what are you making for dinner?” It’s hysterical because I call it the great democratic equalizer because your kids, they don’t care about anything other than waste their food. In my kid’s case, waste my jockstrap, “Who’s taking me to practice? Who’s dropping me off? Picking me up.”
What you are describing is exactly what I talk about in the book. You defined a rich life, but in living a legacy, this is the key. If your impact is tied to what you do and only what you do as a job, then you are empty when you try to leave it. There are times when the time has run its course, and you know it’s time to leave it, but your only impact has been tied to that. Everything you do in charity, every event you go to and all your friends are through your business.
This becomes a big challenge for entrepreneurs because they don’t know how to function outside of that world. I also bring this up. This is the key. I have had the pleasure and honor of doing a eulogy for all four of my grandparents. Unfortunately, they are all gone now, but I got to be the one. I was chosen to do the eulogy for all of my grandparents.
Why you? There’s a reason for that. There must be something special.
I’m a communicator. Ultimately, they were all different. In every one of them, I created a different message and purpose. Some of them, for my grandmother or my mom’s side, who I was extremely close to, 100% Sicilian. I’m the oldest grandson in an Italian Catholic family.
You walked down on water practically.
That’s how my book starts. If you want to know what it feels like to be Simba. It was 6 women and 1 boy. I hit the lottery. My mom wrote a letter to my grandmother at the end of her life to read to her, they all decided that they couldn’t read it, but they knew I could. On others, I did a full presentation. Here’s the point. In that letter, none of my conversations, not on me honoring those people, talked for more than ten seconds about what they do.
I talked about who they were, what their relationships were like, the impact they made on humans, on people, on their families, their examples. When you are gone, all of that stuff is meaningless. It’s not all for nothing. I’m not diminishing that. I’m just saying that with that perspective, you can often balance getting too over-weighted and overbalanced in the wrong area. That’s the key. When you find yourself caught up in the crazy of work, you are missing the very daily impacts that you could be making. The habit of daily impact is what I call living a legacy versus leaving a legacy where you work your whole career and then decide you want to do something for the future of the world, your family and whatever it is. It’s a change of shift.
It’s interesting because as a career woman her whole life, with work and kids, my work was always important to me, but I shifted my work and prioritized it differently based upon the ages of my children. I would not travel when my kids were little because it was my thing. My husband was traveling a lot. Somebody needed to be home.
I gladly was the one that wanted to be home, although that doesn’t mean that I wanted to be with them every waking minute of every day. Let’s be honest. It’s interesting because that’s such an independent woman and a business owner. As I’m getting older, I realize how important a grandmother’s role is in society and in life.
You said you’re Italian Catholic. The grandmother, on Sundays, is doing the family dinner is making sauce, you call it gravy. There’s a lot to be said for that cohesiveness. You can’t put a price tag on that. I feel like we have lost it. Perhaps one of the silver linings, and I believe there are many silver linings to COVID, is that people are reprioritizing and re-evaluating how and where they want to live their life, and what that will look like. I have a question for you. Can you talk about good friends, good Bourbon, and then an epiphany story?
Sometimes, in our lives, we get so busy that our careers have taken off. I’m in my 40s. This was the 40th birthday that I use this story.
When did you lose your hair?
Early. I’m completely bald. I have two nephews that were out of town that came in to visit because they hadn’t been in since Christmas. We got in the car and my six-year-old nephew goes, “Uncle Scott’s bald. Why are you bald?” That was the first thing that he asked me when we got in the car. I said, “God made me this way. I can’t change it.” I started embracing the bald early. As soon as it started thinning, I shaved my head.
Good Bourbon, good friends and an epiphany was at my 40th birthday, my wife knocked it out of the park. I don’t care too much about regular birthdays, but decades have always been important to me. I feel like it’s a turning point in life and it’s a good way to refocus. She did a surprise birthday party for me. At the party, she gave me a video that had all of my close friends from different parts of my life that were going to meet me in Louisville to do Bourbon tasting over a long weekend.
This is the power of your spouse. She got them to say yes to something I couldn’t do in 1,000 years. There’s no way. My one buddy runs a pizza place. He never misses a day. He was there. She worked with the wives, the spouses and my brother was there. I have a much younger brother and he came, my best friend’s from this part of my life and from college. It was 9 or 10 of us in a bed and breakfast in Louisville.
Here’s the key. The Bourbon was good. The trip was fun. The best part was we sat around and caught up and had adult conversations. I realized how much I was missing my friends. I have prioritized my family, career, extended family, sister, brother and parents. Sometimes there’s not a lot to give leftover. You have friends that you are close to in the cycle that you are in your life, but you miss parts of your life. We’ve laughed so hard that weekend. I got to listen to my buddy, who’s a Navy SEAL and an unbelievable human talk about the mindset program with the Navy that he had helped develop.
We’d hung out for years and I didn’t know that he was a part of that. We all started talking about meditation and how each of these guys who never would have mentioned this stuff years ago were talking about it. The epiphany was that it was important to reprioritize on a regular basis. Every year, I write down a list of names of people that I want to spend more time with this year. People that have impacted me, I find to be interesting, I want to learn from, I love and I’m not giving enough love to them.
I do that every year because it’s something that I feel can get lost in the mix. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. The epiphany was it was nice to look backward and forward at the same time without our partners. It was separate and different. My wife was the reason I had it. I’m very grateful. I don’t know that I’ll get that, yet while our kids are all at the stages, they are. For that to come together, she was a miracle worker.
You are where you’re supposed to be.
That is amazing because there’s nothing like old friends that knew you went back in the day. I grew up in Brooklyn. We grew up on a block. You played streetball, coco ocolivia, triangle, stickball, depending upon which block you were on. You called it something different. We couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. You can’t afford to live there, but that’s a different conversation. There’s something about those friendships where nobody had anything financially, but we all had everything we needed. I can remember when I’m going to date myself. I can remember when the American hockey team beat the Russians. It was 1980.
I can remember being at a block party or something. You would have thought it was the end of World War II. It was an amazing sense of family, community and patriotism that you don’t get in the suburbs when we’re all isolated. I feel as if we are also in our heads and in our lives that growing up, you might not have known where your kid was, but you knew everybody was okay.
You were at somebody’s house doing something. The mother would yell at you like she’d yell at the other kid. Nobody was calling anybody’s parents saying, “I hurt my kids’ feelings.” Tell me how you feel about this from a communication perspective. I feel that the more we all connect with social media, the more disconnected we become from each other. Tell me how you feel about that and how you work that into your work?
I completely agree. There’s a real-world and a fake world. I always like to start with the positive. What I love about it is I do get to see my buddy that lives in Louisiana and his three kids growing up. I know that they went skating the other day and I watched his daughter skate. All I could think about is, “It looked like him skating. This was hilarious.” That made me feel good, to be able to see that and be a part of it without being there. Here’s the challenge. You don’t get the real connection. Even our children, through the X-Box, FaceTime and social media, most of them don’t even spend time one-on-one.
Every weekend through high school, my buddy Josh and I spent the night at one of each other’s houses. We talked about girls, music and everything that you can think of. You said old friends or special. My favorite thing that you don’t get back is when you’re a constant grower, especially an entrepreneur and you run at a fast pace, sometimes your old friends remind you of something you loved and you had forgotten. They bring back something in your life in a way that you shared.
My buddy Josh, sent me a podcast of Bill Simmons interviewing Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows. I can remember when that CD came out that we couldn’t wait to go to the concert that we listened to every song on repeat 1,000 times. We knew every word. We talked about it. Our first girlfriends loved that music. Everything we did revolve around that. I didn’t just listen to the podcast and then send him a thumbs up. I picked up the phone and called him. I was like, “Remember this? Remember that? My favorite part was this.” It’s a lost art of communication. It’s not enough.
You relived a moment of time in your childhood. It wasn’t just the song.
I feel like I could hear a song and think back to where I was. I never meditated growing up, but I realized as I got older that when I listened to music, it was a form of meditation for me because I was separate, one, present and I got into it. My buddy is the same way. I also love this and this is key. I don’t think people have enough people in their lives or maybe they’re not paying attention enough to those that are happy for you when good things happen. Here’s what I mean. When something great happens to you, there are very few people that most people can call that is going to be excited. You can get tickets to see your favorite team.
For me, it’s the Dallas Cowboys. I was going out to the playoffs game. I’m in Virginia, but my dad’s been a fan of the Cowboys since 1965 because that’s all he could watch on TV back then. The long and short of it is when I got a ticket to go to the playoff game, I started to think, “If I call that person, they hate the Cowboys. All they’re going to do is tell me about how much they hate the Cowboys. If I call this person, they’re like, ‘Getting to go to another game, sitting on the 50.’” People respond in different ways. I picked up the phone and called one of my best friends, the same guy I was talking about.
He’s a Niners fan. They ended up winning. The whole game was texting each other. It was absolutely great. There are several people in our lives that when you call them, they are happy for you. You need to be that person to other people. When you’re doing that in business, when you are the kind of boss or entrepreneur that people call when something good happens to them, you have got a culture, something special. I believe that this is one of those powerful relationship things that can develop somebody in life at a much higher level and a higher frequency when you start to pay attention to that stuff.
I’ll give it a full disclosure here. I grew up in a New York Giants family. My brothers and my brother-in-law are all-season ticket holders. For the most part, they are struggling to pay these bills, but it’s important to them and then I met my husband. He’s a Dallas Cowboy fan. I went to the dark side, but Roger Staubach, America’s team, we are a Navy family. I enjoy. I have a couple of friends that besides family, are huge Giants fans. When the game comes on with texting, it’s so much fun because as much as I love it, until it starts paying my bills, I only take it so seriously.
I love sports because I feel like they are an analogy for life, but I do think that’s interesting what you said. People confuse Facebook friends with friends. Somebody said once, “If you put up on Facebook, ‘I’m moving on Saturday, 9:00, come and join me, see how many people show up.’” That’s disconcerning. There’s probably a connection between people that have a significant amount of wealth, whatever that means for you. There are several clients I have that are wealthy. It’s very much a burden because there’s a sense that people always have it and they have used the word, “They have a hidden agenda.” People always want something from them. How do you help your clients differentiate that?
You brought up two awesome things. Number one is I didn’t post on Facebook, Instagram or anything that I went to that game because, for me, when it’s real, I am hesitant to post it because I’m prioritizing the relationship, experience and the actual moment. When I go to a concert, I like to listen to it, not record the whole thing with my phone because if I’m doing that, I can’t be present.
That’s crucial. The other thing that is interesting is we mentioned wealth. It is hard when you grow up without a whole lot, it’s easy when your mom or dad says no to understand it. When my mom or dad said no growing up, I understood it immediately. No meant no. There was limited wiggle room. When you have more than you need and people know it, no becomes a decision.
As opposed to a fact.
No goes from a fact to something that you are describing why. If you say, “I need money,” and I have it and can help you, I choose to say no, now I have to give a reason behind why I chose to say no. There is a severe burden. When one person makes it, in a lot of families, everybody thinks they make it. If you are a great giver, the truth is you probably want everybody to make it with you. In a great company, as you earn more, everybody should be earning more. These are all great things. When someone asks you for a raise or a bonus, you always feel the need to do it, especially when no doesn’t mean no.
When my son say, “I want these cleats for soccer.” They’re the top-of-the-line cleats. I grew up where my dad said, “You can have $30 towards whatever you have.” I might have been getting it on the Roses, Kmart, Zayre or whatever bad and low-grade department store existed. They might have been football cleats that worked for soccer. They were what they were. When I say to my kids, they go, “Why, dad?”
I have often made them cover a percentage and I have taught them over the years. The reason is just because I want them to have some level of ownership on it, but I have to create all these caveats because there’s always a why. It’s not just because I said so, which was easy when you grow up without a whole lot. This happens a lot when people are trying to sell their business.
What do most people that have a business want to do when they have built a successful business? Most people want to pass it onto their children. Their children have no concept on average. This is not the 10% to 15% that get it and have changed the business and made it better, but 80% to 90% will never run it the way that you did it.
It takes three generations to run it into the ground.
Start right now with where you are and where you want to be. Start charting the course and making it happen. Don’t spend time worrying about the things that have happened.
It won’t take long, but your whole goal is not to give them the business. Your goal is to leave a legacy in some capacity. If you sell the business and you have the money, they’re going to get a portion of that at some point in time. You can go on family trips every year with some of the earnings. There are a million things people can do, but they usually think singularly. They’re disappointed when their children don’t have a work ethic and don’t want to do it because there are too many whys. They know too many things. When my dad said no, I didn’t ask again. In fact, I only asked my dad for money one time throughout my whole eighteen years that I remember.
My sister said, “If you ask dad for $20, he’ll give it to you.” I thought, “No way.” She was getting $20 all the time. I was going to a football game. I had no cash. I was paying him to drive a car plus insurance, plus my own gas. I walked up. He was outside of the garage and I said, “Dad, can I have $20?” He opened his wallet and gave me $20. I didn’t ask again because I was so grateful that I knew what that $20 meant to him, but that I never asked, so he knew because I never asked, it was powerful. We had this unspoken value. It’s easier without stuff sometimes. As you accumulate things, it does create a little bit of a burden and no starts to be attached to why. Now you are justifying it. Whether it’s your children, friends, family, a business investment, that can be a little extra burden.
There’s so much to talk about with that. I want to be respectful of your time, but there are a couple of entrepreneurs that I was speaking with. One of them is incredibly successful like yourself. He’s very cognizant of having his children have the values that he has with money. This is a wonderful man. He was going to tell the kids, “Yes, we are rich.” I said, “No. Separate them. Your kids are not wealthy. You and your wife are wealthy.” He loved that. It’s funny you said about the $20 because we had nothing growing up, but it meant nothing to my parents. I remember walking to the grocery store and losing $20.
I remember being petrified because I knew. I went home. She goes, “What’s the matter?” I said, “I lost $20.” She goes, “Here,” because it meant nothing to her. I don’t mean in a good way. Whereas I would have been like, “$20? Be more careful next time.” My siblings had stories like that as well. I have two more questions before we say goodbye. The first question is, what is the most important thing you’ve learned in life that you want the readers to know?
This is a simple thing, but you are right where you’re supposed to be. This is a challenge because many people spend most of their time thinking about whether it should be, where they could be, “If this, then this would have happened and that then this,” but you are in the right place. The short answer is to start right now with where you are and where you want to be. Start charting the course and making it happen. Don’t spend time worrying about the things that have happened. Do you have a bad relationship with your family? Develop a better one.
Do you want to be more successful in your career? Start putting the time, energy and effort into it now. Do you think you should have graduated from this program? Go back to school and learn now. You are right where you’re supposed to be. In writing a book, this is the key. I went through three major edits. By the third edit, I almost had changed some of the things in my brain because I was learning from my own experiences.
It was amazing, but this was the coolest part. As I looked at each of the stories, each story was in the right spot for me. I met my wife at the right time. I chose to do certain things at the right time. We sacrificed in these ways at the right time. We could have done these things, but we didn’t. We bought this car at this time and it worked. Our children were born at this place. I used to believe that I would never pay for college because I didn’t have mine paid for. I don’t believe that anymore.
There are a lot of things that have changed over the years. I’m grateful because growing is about learning from where you’ve come from and then using that to catapult into the future to where you want to be. I always say, “You are right where you’re supposed to be. Where are you going to go from here?”
I like that it’s not the victim. It’s, “This is where you are. It’s a product of your past experiences,” and now, “How are you going to write your future? How are you going to script that out?” I love that. The last question and I make this different for everybody, but for you, it will be this. Out of all the money people throughout history, people that had money to spend, that helps people with, anything from a money capacity, since we’ve been using some type of currency, who would you want to interview and why?
These are very challenging questions because as an entrepreneur with ADHD, my brain goes in seventeen different directions. I would always go back to any of the Founding Fathers. It is what would come down to me because I believe that capitalism and freedom are two things that in the book, I talk about walking with my dad while he rode his bike to work in 105 degrees, him and me sweating. The ability for our family to thrive over time, to come from nothing and then become more and be able to make an impact on so many other people, I believe that we live in the greatest place in the world. I’m grateful. I would say, whether it be John Adams or Thomas Jefferson.
Maybe George Washington because he was the first and he seems like a stalwart. He’s the only one that people don’t get mad if you pick. If you pick Jefferson, then there’s a problem. I would start with the first president, George Washington, who was there right in the beginning. Freedom Street is the name of my book. Freedom Street Partners is the name of my company. I believe everything we have is because some smart people got together and devised up a plan that worked for people like us, entrepreneur-minded individuals who believe that anything is possible. If you do good things with that mentality, you keep it going.
You develop the next generation. You give back to the people that helped you get there. You love your family and you are grateful that freedom isn’t free. You realize that it’s not free. It has nothing to do with money at all because I think if you’re not in the right economy, world and government, money means nothing, but freedom means everything. That’s my feeling.
Ben Franklin said, “We have a republic now if we can keep it.” I always say, if I wasn’t born as a woman, don’t forget there’s that factor. I have traveled the world. I have been to Saudi Arabia and these countries. In any other country in the world, I would be in someone’s basement doing their clothes, folding their laundry. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but only in this country can you have the opportunity.
I’ll end it for you here. This is my favorite Founding Fathers’ quote, and it’s attributed to the Founding Fathers. They think John Adams may have been the one that said it, but he said, “We are soldiers so our children can be teachers, so their children can be artists.” Guess what almost always happens to the children of artists? They have to become soldiers again because you get closer to beauty, art and feeling that you eventually have to fight for it all over again.
Artists often aren’t known for making a ton of money. The starving artist, their children are soldiers to have more and to be more and often then end up helping the next generation. I love that pathway because in order to be a teacher, you have to not be concerned about the amount you are making. You have to be concerned about the impact you are making. That’s a beautiful thing. I personally want my children to be whatever they want, soldiers, teachers, artists, but I love that was the mindset we were working with when we founded this country and we started with what we’re doing now. What a great conversation, it was awesome.
Americans don’t know and understand enough about history. When you go back and look at what the Founding Fathers did and their whole concept was to uplift and freedom of religion, of everything, it is an amazing country. They say, “Nobody is lifted people out of poverty like capitalism.” I’m not a money person. Even I, know that. This is incredible. Thank you so much, Scott. Where can people find out more about you?
Number one is ScottDanner.com. My books are on Amazon and almost every major thing. We hit number one bestseller on Amazon, which was awesome in a couple of categories right out of the gate, which I’m very grateful for. I have launched a YouTube channel, ScottDanner. If you like the things we talked about, I spend a lot of time diving into these topics. That’s what I do on YouTube. It’s what I love. We launched it.
If you go there, please subscribe and check us out. Give me ideas of what you would like to hear about because I think that the way that we think in a positive manner and the way that we just had this conversation now is what more people need to listen to. The more we focus on relationships, developing that and all the good things, the better we are going to be. I’m grateful for you having me.
I highly recommend Scott’s book and checking out his YouTube channel. That concludes this episode. As I promised, Scott took us for a great ride. Make sure if you did, you like, comment, share and subscribe to this show. We’ll see you next time.
- Freedom Street: How I Learned To Create A Rich Life, Live My Legacy And Own The Future As A Financial Advisor
- Money Can Buy You Happiness: Secrets Women Need to Know To Get Paid What They Are Worth!
- Three Decades of Counting Crows With Adam Duritz – Previous episode on The Bill Simmons Podcast
- Freedom Street Partners
- ScottDanner – YouTube
- [email protected]