In this episode, I am joined by Matt Sapaula is a Marine veteran, insurance executive, radio host, YouTube personality, and bestselling author. He is the host of the YouTube Seven Figure Squad and the author of Faith-Made Millionaire. After getting out of the Marines, he started working in the financial services industry. Sapaula was successful in the industry, but he realized that he didn't want to do it for the rest of his life. In 2015, he joined PHP Agency, which is a financial services company that is much more efficient than the traditional insurance company.
In this episode, you will learn the following:
"Being broke is temporary but being poor is a condition of the spirit. Being poor is a condition of the heart, it’s an attitude." - Matt Sapaula
[00:00:36] - Episode intro
[00:01:17] - Introducing today’s guest, Matt Sapaula
[00:02:17] - What is Matt reading or learning right now?
[00:04:38] - Matt’s journey and the lessons he has learned
[00:08:32] - Matt’s experiences in the Marine Corps for 8 years, and the lessons he learned about leadership
[00:11:04] - Matt’s career in the financial services industry and how he found success there
[00:17:07] - After Matt talks about his experience with power tripping, Joe tells his
[00:20:14] - Matt’s Four Levels of Entrepreneurship
[00:25:44] - The importance of insurance
[00:27:01] - Why is now the best time to invest in yourself?
[00:31:08] - Matt’s book, Faith-Made Millionaire
[00:35:30] - The entrepreneur-athlete mindset, as mentioned in the book
[00:39:49] - Selfish goals, emotional goals, and stability goals
[00:45:34] - Generational wealth
[00:46:19] - Matt encourages people to vote and promotes his social media accounts
[00:00:00] Matt: And so I think in the pursuit of your goals, in the milestones, you're gonna start discovering that purpose. I didn't discover my purpose in excitement to the insurance industry until I was three years into it. When a consultant asks you, "Why do you do what you do?" I said, "I really love teaching people about money, and their eyes going like this, and they're jumping out the board and talking. 'That's the way money works!' I'm like, 'Yeah, that's the way money works. Let me get a policy. Let me shov more cash inside these things. I can plan for retirement now.'" You know? And so that's what jacked me up about the insurance business.
[00:00:36] Joe: Hi, I'm Joe Temple, author of the Amazon Kindle Number one, new release, Everyday Excellence and Human Swiss Army Knife.
[00:00:44] Joe: This is the Human Kaizen Podcast, a conversation with interesting individuals that embody excellence and help you be better today. The Human Kaizen Podcast is brought to us by Gateway Financial Advisors. When the economy's in our rough patch, you need to have somebody give you the kick in the butt or pull you back from the ledge. You need to have a plan and the right people to have your back. Gateway Financial advisors, I've known them for decades. They are the right people to help you out.
[00:01:17] Joe: And now my guest today, He's a Marine, and I say Marine because once a Marine, always a Marine. He is an executive of PHP Agency. He's a radio host and now the host of the YouTube Seven Figure Squad. He's a father. He's husband to Sheena, who is a badass, brainy, beautiful woman. Best sales job he ever did. And now he is the best selling author of Faith-Made Millionaire. I still need to get this copy signed. My friend Matt Sapaula. Matt! Brother.
[00:01:54] Matt: Joe. Great to be here, man. Nice to reconnect after all these years, and congratulations on your continuing success over the last past decade through this damn pandemic, man. Good job.
[00:02:04] Joe: Man. You know, I look at you and what you've accomplished and where you've come. And inspires me and there's that old saying of "iron sharpens iron and eagles fly together". And you are a great example of it. So what are you reading or learning right now, Mike?
[00:02:20] Matt: Well, we're reading this book right now, How The Mighty Fall by Jim Collins. He talks about five different things right now about, you know, cuz you know, we just got acquired a couple months ago by IMG Integrity Marketing Group. And so that was a big acquisition we were acquired by the largest privately held business in all of Texas.
[00:02:42] Matt: And if Goldman Sachs were around here they put us at a top five list of companies that are trying to woo, to potentially go public and go from Main Street to Wall Street. And so we wanna make sure that at this level of this milestone that we've reached that don't do anything stupid because, you know, sometimes at this level, you don't know what to expect.
[00:03:03] Matt: You don't know what you don't know. And so by seeking wisdom from people that been there, done that, I mean, they bring up many different experiences. Inside that book, you talk about a blockbuster, they bring up a circuit city. So how these big name companies back in the day are no longer names today?
[00:03:18] Matt: Why? Because they had thing called hubris, which is basically arrogant confidence thinking that nothing's gonna happen to you. So we are, we are very much aware of this. This moment not only just made us not only aware, but also be a little bit more humble. Because we're about to take the next launch and the next step.
[00:03:33] Matt: So we have a leadership retreat in Palm Beach. We're going to the Breakers this Thursday through Saturday with our CEO Patrick B. David, our new leadership team that we're building up to next level to take us to the next milestones of the company. So we're very excited about what's coming ahead in the short and long term future.
[00:03:50] Joe: That's awesome. That's absolutely awesome. And one of the things, I've started reading that book a little bit too, among the other books that I'm reading right now, and it reminded me that success is one of the most dangerous things that you can have. Robert Green Talks about it a lot of his books where you start winning and you don't know when to stop. And you become arrogant, as you said of what you have already done, assuming that the new levels that you're at, what worked previously is going to continue to do it. And you know when you had the success that you guys have had. You know, the head can start getting a little swollen, so you know that's when life comes along and says, Knock that down's, or that's why kids are good cuz they'll all.
[00:04:33] Matt: Here's some humble pie. That's right. Sure.
[00:04:37] Joe: Awesome. So, you know, I want my listeners to hear a little bit about your journey because you've had not an easy road to be quite honest about it. So from the early days, you know, when you were in high school up to the point where you took the uniform off, can you talk about that time period and some of the lessons that you learned there?
[00:05:00] Matt: Yeah, I mean, the high school I went to, you know, it's in the city of Cicero, Berwin, Stickney area. This is a direct west suburb of Chicago, I'd say about maybe eight miles of downtown Chicago. So you talking about a very long distance. But you know, you're talking about a big city like Chicago, eight miles you know, 10 miles, 15 miles.
[00:05:20] Matt: It's kind of like, you know, that's a 30, 45 minute drive with all the traffic and everybody, you know, packed on top of each other. So, you know, I was, I was that Filipino kid that was raised around a Italian, Mexicano, Latino, Puerto Rican, black type of neighborhood, and Greek neighborhood. You know, everybody, it was so, it was so segregated.
[00:05:39] Matt: Everybody had their own little set. They had their own little gangs and I never fit anywhere. And so the reason why I participated in a lot of sports, because after school, my freshman year, you know, the Latin Kings were outside of high school, just swinging. Remember back in the eighties and nineties, they had these big long tube socks that go all the way up to your knees.
[00:05:55] Matt: Well they put up, they put like a combination locks. You know, if you hang for a locker at the end of these socks, and they're just swinging, they're just swinging around, hitting people. And I'm like, "Yep, I'm going this way", you know? And what sport is trying out now? Okay. Football. Okay, Swimming. Go be basketball. Okay. Track. So, I never wanted to be discovered in a neighborhood after school. And I, you know, I wanted to go home around 5, 6, 7 o'clock because practice was done. So, you know, that was me.
[00:06:23] Matt: So I think the benefit of that, it taught me competition. It taught me, you know, how to navigate through situations where I may have been broadly accepted, but I was still trying to find my way.
[00:06:35] Matt: I'm a first generation immigrant in the Philippines. My parents don't know anything about how to Americanize their kids. They have zero climb figuring out as much as they're figuring it out. So my senior year, I listened into Marine Corps, spent eight years in the Marine Corps on active duty, three deployments two combat tours.
[00:06:50] Matt: And I remember onee year I came back and said, "Mom, I'm getting married. I'm 21 years old. Don't tell me what to do." And I got married and this girl I met at a club and I thought the think was gonna be you know, fairytale and happily ever after. Not man was just, just chaos after that, married the wrong woman.
[00:07:06] Matt: And so I got married, I stated in the book, Faith-Made Millionaire. I got married, had a kid, got divorced, filed bankruptcy in pretty much, you know, a 12, 14, 18 month period. And my life is just spiraling around. I can't even concentrate being a Marine. And so thank goodness though, Joe, somebody thought enough of me to start striking up a conversation with me about financial services.
[00:07:31] Matt: Get involved in the insurance industry, get involved in getting my series 63 license. Of all rooms? The bathroom of a Best Buy. Right. That's where I, that's where I got prospected. We exchanged information. Guy was a retired marine and get outta here, dude. Anyway, we exchanged information. Didn't hear from him for three months.
[00:07:49] Matt: Back then, there was no social media. There was no cell phones. Back then, it was '99, 2000. And so anyway, he found, he called the base locator, described me, they found me, we reconnected. Had that guy not done that and followed up and discovered me. I wouldn't be here today.
[00:08:04] Joe: So that's one lesson for our listeners is don't be afraid to take the shot and follow up on it cuz you could get the rebound and still get the point.
[00:08:12] Matt: Right. And he blessed my life, man. And that's why today—
[00:08:15] Joe: Let's call this guy's name so that he gets the proper shout out.
[00:08:18] Matt: Oh, this is Carlton Enlo. Carlton Enlo, Retired Master Sergeant United States Marine Corps. Carlton. Love you, brother. Thank you.
[00:08:26] Joe: So when you were in the Marines, I mean, you actually saw combat. You know, we've talked about, and I've read some of the things that you encountered there, and that is one of the highest risk return arenas for leadership. So from that time period, what lessons can you bring to civilian life or people who are not in necessarily the same sort of situation, but could learn from your issues?
[00:08:59] Matt: You know, I'm, I'm gonna throw out the cliche, you know, teamwork or throughout, you know, the cliche hard work and discipline, dedication, spree, decor, patriotism. I'm gonna assume that that is pretty much the experience for a lot of veterans.
[00:09:13] Matt: My unique experience that I would say is I remember sitting in on a deployment and Roy, Roy, if you're listening out there, Lance Corporal Roy forgot what his first name was, but anyways, Lance Corporal, the way, you know, that's our, our first name is our rank.
[00:09:27] Matt: And Roy looks up to me, looks up to another Lance Corporal named, Cooper. He was a brother from Texas and from Dallas. I'm from Chicago. He goes, "This is the first time in my entire life I've seen somebody that's not white." And we were looking at him like, Cooper, we looking at him?
[00:09:44] Matt: What? Anyway, we went through training and you know, we were kind of curious why the guy said that and what type of world he's been living in. He saw somebody that, that wasn't white. Anyway, we, we thought it was a concern, but we trained together, we bled together to cried together, we fought together. That guy's a brother.
[00:10:02] Matt: And so if there's anything that the military experience trained me is how to get along with anybody from any upbringing who they pray to, who they love, who they worship doesn't matter. If we have one mission. It doesn't matter the color of your skin, doesn't matter on the outside, I care what's on the inside.
[00:10:20] Matt: And in the Marine Corps, we said you got two shades of green. You're either light green or dark green, but bottom line, Marine, you're green. And so, I took that lens of looking at people. Now sadly, the world today doesn't look at people that way, but that's the best military Marine Corps experience I'd take from eight years into Marines to look at people as people on the inside is, as Martin Luther King's King says, "The content of the character, not the coverings." But but that's what I would get from it Joe.
[00:10:51] Joe: That is awesome. Thank you for that insight, my friend. So, you know, you get on out, you've been recruited into the financial services industry, you know, and it's not easy beginning in that profession, having been there, done that train , you know, you, you wanna tell a horror story so that people can use that as a benchmark as to the success that you have earned afterwards.
[00:11:15] Matt: Yeah. You know, I I, I remember very early in my career, I mean I had a so Carlton got me. Okay. But after about a year, year and a half, I relocated from California back to Chicago. So I really had no local mentor. So I'm trying to figure this stuff out my own. And next thing you know, because I've, I'm licensed, I get publications sent to me in the mail and one of 'em is a magazine called Annuity Match.
[00:11:35] Matt: I look at this magazine and this guy named Tim Tremble, he's selling annuities. He's got a registered investment advisor license. Guy plays football guy, looks like a stud, right? I'm like, eh, how can I, you know, join a company like that? So I became part of that company called Annuity Masters. And they eventually sold that company to Allians and they renamed themselves to by the way, the guy, the owner was named Chuck Lucius, and then he sold it to Allians and Allian renamed it to personalized broker services.
[00:12:02] Matt: So these insurance companies would be swallowing up these other financial marketing organizations of independent agents. And I remember just having to buy manuals and tapes and CDs. I dunno if I have any of these up here, but I remember just having to buy these tapes for like $3,000 binders and I had to do a first and second appointment. $3,000 for an annuity sales system, $3,000 for a life insurance sales system. $3,000 for a long term care sales system. Because that was my mentor guy by the name of Larry Klein, who's not in business today. But this guy, Larry Klein from Contra Costa County who was in Walnut Creek, California, was a CPA turned financial services guy who's coaching the industry of independent agents to buy his course.
[00:12:49] Matt: And we take his course, his lead generation system. We incorporate, put ads in a newspaper, get people to get our booklets. We follow up on them. We do dinner seminars, 5,000 piece mailings, five zip codes, spend $7,500 on zip codes and mailers and food. And I had to do that for 12 years. And, and so I was somewhat successful at it.
[00:13:10] Matt: My, my whole thing I asked myself, it was 2010, 2011, I asked myself, "Do you really see yourself doing this for another 10, 11, 12 years?" I said, "Man, if I can find a better way of doing this thing, I will." But depending on leads and buying leads and depending on people that show up to my dinner seminars, after sending up 5,000 pieces of pieces of mail, like nothing, Joe was becoming built organic.
[00:13:30] Matt: I always had to feed the machine. I always had to go out and feed it because, and that's how I got into radio because I thought if I do radio, maybe exponentially that number would go further.
[00:13:43] Joe: Your exposure.
[00:13:45] Matt: Great. Right? And so I got a media coach to teach me how to do TV. Sang You can Calloway boys shout out to her. And so I got you know, six weeks of coaching what, just to know what, what a TV appearance is all about and how to talk differently on a podcast slash radio show segment versus 2, 4, 5 minutes on TV. So to compress this conversation, Joe, into a 3, 4, 5 minute conversation, that's what I got TV training for.
[00:14:12] Matt: And so that was the journey of a typical independent agent. And since partnering on this platform with PHP agency in 2014, 2015, brother, I can't tell you the last time I sold the policy, but we sold 24,000 policies last year.
[00:14:30] Joe: Wow. That's a lot of good you guys have done.
[00:14:33] Matt: You know why? Because I've taken my best practices and learned scale, so now I'm paying forward recruiting people into this industry that's changed my life. But the big difference is people aren't having to buy leads. We've taught them a referral based marketing system. Do workshops, you know, go to in-service trainings at companies. You know, we, there's many different, You ask, here's how to ask for referrals. You don't have to go through leads like I did and cold call strangers like I did. And so we have a different system now. We put inside a blueprint so our news agents can learn and we can be duplicatable.
[00:15:06] Joe: And it is just so much more efficient. I saw some statistics that, an introduction is roughly a hundred times as effective as a cold call for same thing. So instead of making a hundred cold calls, one introduction will be worth roughly the same and certainly a lot less stress.
[00:15:26] Matt: Here's a horror story for you. So I, I do my dinner seminar and I met, her name is Bernadette. She says, "Matt, I really love your seminar. You know, I have $500,000 in a bank I wanna put into an annuity, but you're not a CFP. You're not a certified financial planner. I know you're going through the course here at DePaul, but you don't, haven't taken the exam yet. You're not a certified financial. I'll do business with you. However, I gotta make sure a CFP signs off on your recommendations." I said, "Great, Bernadette, do you have anybody in mind?" She goes, "Yeah, I do. Call 'em up and see what can, see what it can do." I call his guy and his name's Fred. "Hey Fred. I know you don't know me, but you're a certified financial planner. I'm not. I just did an annuity seminar. And I got a client here who wants to put money away. Now, you know, as well as I do, the annuities I represent are solid companies. They're, they're appropriate, they're suitable for her. She just needs you to sign up on them. Could you please do me a favor? She come to the office, she'll pay you whatever fee that you ask for, just as long as you sign off on it."
[00:16:32] Matt: The guy says, "No problem." And I said, "Okay, Fred. There's not gonna be any hanky panky when we get to the boardroom, are we? You're not gonna try to submarine my deal now, are you?" "No, I'm good. I'm just happy to, to work alongside you and then the fee I collect." I appreciate that. Well, guess what happened, Joe?
[00:16:51] Matt: He finds out it's a half million bucks and hey, you know what, that three 50, you could put that with Matt, but there's one 50 over here, do it with me. So he screwed me. Right? He took advantage of this situation. And Fred, I hope that you hear this and hope that your career is in a toilet and life gives to the givers—
[00:17:12] Joe: That's a violation of CFP ethics right there. So I was, I had a meeting with retired Marine, had a company and his CPA and his attorney and I had talked with each of them individually and I was quarterbacking everything. And so the CPA and the attorney and I get there and we're presenting what we think we should, the client should be doing at a quarterly meeting with him.
[00:17:40] Joe: You know, he had built a really successful business during the pandemic and everything. The attorney, former Marine also, and I, in complete lockstep, we had hashed everything out. We had, you know, talked about all sorts of potential different scenarios. So we had explored this from, you know, multiple, multiple angles.
[00:17:59] Joe: Same thing with the CPA. We get into the meeting, and again, the CPA pulls that same sort of crap like you're having there. And, you know, submarines and it wasn't even, you know, product type stuff. It was planning things that like, Ah, I don't know about this. I'm like, Okay, you had signed that this was okay previously. I put my stuff in writing and signed off on it. The attorney put his stuff in writing and signed off on it. We want your stuff in writing. And you signed off on it as your professional opinion, not your personal opinion.
[00:18:30] Matt: Yep. Yep.
[00:18:31] Joe: And he refuse to do it.
[00:18:34] Matt: Yep. It's a power trip. You know, it's a power trip for a lot of these guys. And you know, I'm, it's a way of saying I'm important. I'm more important than you. Right? Yeah. Whatever, dude. You know.
[00:18:46] Joe: And, and with this Marine, I always went back to the fact, what is the commander's intent? What is the goal for you and your spouse, and your company and your family? What are the goals? Because you are the commander in chief, we work for you. And so as long as we know what's important to you, we will work towards that. That's all that matters. And so that's one of the things that I remind young professionals, whether they're financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, coaches, whatever. Your job is to make sure that your client achieves their goals.
[00:19:25] Joe: And if you need to step aside or you need to bring in other resources to make it happen. Don't try and let your ego get in the way. Do the right job for the client because you know what? It will pay dividends long range.
[00:19:36] Matt: That's right.
[00:19:39] Joe: So that's awesome. I love these stories. You got more? So you know, you, you guys have had this transition where you've been bought on out. You're building and growing you. I mean, you guys are a national level organization. You are literally all over the place. Talk to me a little bit about some of the lessons that you've learned through this, that somebody who is early stage in their career, whatever their career is, you know, but they're basically working on themselves and selling themselves that they can learn from Matt, the money smart guy.
[00:20:14] Matt: I, I think there's four levels to entrepreneurship and you know, the first level is you're a sales leader. Right? And you can be recruited into real estate. You could be recruited into business consulting. You could be recruited into becoming a sports agent, and you gotta be the top dog in your stable and that, that establish you as a sales leader. People try to follow your numbers and people try to cracker records. People model your behaviors, right? So you're a sales leader.
[00:20:43] Matt: Second phase you'll evolve to is now sales manager. So can you recruit, train, build a mini team? Are you duplicatable? Is your practices duplicatable to other people? Cause now you're skill, now you're putting more hours in your day.
[00:20:58] Matt: In the third phase, then you're gonna evolve into becoming a business owner. I didn't say CEO yet. You're a business owner. Now you got multiple VPs. And those multiple VPs have multiple mid-level managers, and those mid-level managers will then have their, their associates working together for them and then you evolve to becoming a CEO.
[00:21:17] Matt: Quite frankly, Joe, I, I see myself in my evolution as much as I've been in this industry for the last 23 years. I don't necessarily see myself, oddly enough, Joe, as a CEO. I see myself more as like more of a business owner slash number two for, in other words, gimme my damn marching orders and I'll run through the wall, but I'm not necessarily the guy that's gonna be the CEO type.
[00:21:38] Matt: And thank God the platform that I'm on in building a business, I'm not required to be a CEO. I'm not required to be a full, full-fledged operator. I'm a field leader, right? I'm not a president, I'm a field general. And so, so like Patrick, he's a president, right? So when I, I understand my spot and sometimes guys think they, they're the CEO when they're really not.
[00:22:03] Matt: Right? And sometimes that creates conflict and there's ego and pride involved. I'm very comfortable being a number two. Now there's situation where I have to be number one. For example, my YouTube channel, I gotta be number one than that. I gotta operate my YouTube channel. But my YouTube channel is this very small, It's 3, 4, 5 employees versus the 3000 agents that I have here at PHP Agency.
[00:22:24] Matt: Much, much different levels of scale, right? I start scaling this thing out. I, I want to eventually create a production company where we create movies that highlight, I wanna create movies like, you know, Pursuit of Happyness with Chris Gardner, I wanna create more movies that entertain and educate and aspire. People watch em say, "Oh, I wanna be an agent one day. I wanna be an entrepreneur one day." Right? It's more than just, you know.
[00:22:45] Joe: The head from Groundhog Day and all the other.
[00:22:49] Matt: Yeah. I want, I want entrepreneurs being people looked upon in these movies. Right. And funny, entertaining, may not be the Wolf of Wall Street type, but definitely a Wall Street type-esque, type of iconic movie. Because I mean, Joe, we've been in insurance business. What's the iconic insurance movie of our field, of our endeavor? Is there one? What's an insurance movie out there?
[00:23:10] Joe: That, that's why I say Ned the Hedge, because that's the only insurance agent anyone think about from Groundhog Day. That's awesome. I, I feel that you need some, whatever was trying to show at that point.
[00:23:24] Matt: That's, that's it. You know, the legendary Glen Gary, Glenn Ross, I mean, those guys are selling you know, times shares. Land. Right? But there's no life insurance agent that's a hero. The life insurance agents, in my experience the last 23 years, do some noble work. I mean, we're in the middle of this recession right now.
[00:23:42] Matt: None of our clients have lost any money through their cash value life insurance policies using whole life Universal Index, Universal life, or in index annuities. Nobody's lost that dime. My mother's been a client of mine for the last 21 years, and my mother is on a fourth annuity. My mother's relocated here to Dallas from Chicago, relocated. And guess what's paying for her senior living community is $6,500 a month. Her long term care policy will be bought in 2000. Why? Because an insurance agent taught me and I taught my mom. Yeah, but nobody, nobody's talking about those stories. And so, and.
[00:24:15] Joe: You know the stories like when I was sitting there after my best friend's funeral and he was 42 years. Okay, five boys and I'm sitting there with his widow and all the friends, you know, the godparents and everything, and she looked right at me and she's like, "Thank you, Joe." Because of the work that you did 20 plus years ago when we had nothing. You got us to start buying the term insurance, start buying civilian insurance.
[00:24:42] Joe: Disability insurance, pay the entire time that he was in chemo life insurance is already taken care of the boys will be able to go to college. I don't have to worry about money. The only thing I have to worry about is they grow into be good young men. And that's part of your job as the uncle.
[00:24:59] Matt: That's right.
[00:25:00] Joe: I, I literally cried. I mean, I was already absolutely racked.
[00:25:03] Matt: Yeah, for sure. Great job. It's a great job. What, what a no professional part of.
[00:25:12] Joe: And it's the sort of thing that, you know, even though I don't write insurance anymore, I write books. I, I do training, I do development. I help people understand if it weren't for insurance, You know, well, let's put it this way.
[00:25:28] Joe: The lack of insurance costs us our family farm, which is the reason why I entered the profession in the first place. And insurance has helped take care of my dad after my mom passed. It has helped cover costs for my friends. I get calls, you know, every single spring from former clients', kids calling me to thank me because they went to college because of the work that I had done 20, 22 years earlier.
[00:25:56] Joe: And so having a good insurance agent, having a good advisor, having somebody there to hold your hand in the rough times and prevent you from making mistakes and getting people to have financial discipline is critical to long range success because we ha hire trainers to yell at us in the gym. We hire, you know, people to teach.
[00:26:22] Joe: How to take care of our health to cook for us, to coach us at our sports, to guide us in our careers, to do all these other things. But it's that one component that drives all the other components that people overlook for a lot of reasons.
[00:26:39] Matt: That's right.
[00:26:40] Joe: Actually, here's a question I, I'd love to hear your answer on, my friend. Why is now when the world is in absolute, probably the best time for anybody to invest in themselves and start a business? Whether it's in insurance, whether it's in another field. Why is today amid the absolute doom and gloom the best time possible?
[00:27:04] Matt: Yeah, I, I think what happens you know, you had a lot of fake money during good times, right? You know, what happened to the stimulus money? A lot of fake money was in the marketplace. A lot of stimulus money was in the marketplace. A lot of unemployment money was in the market. I remember going downtown in Chicago. I went to Neiman Marcus, and I was talking to the person that was selling shoes and selling suits.
[00:27:24] Matt: He goes, "Bro, I haven't sold anything in the last two months", but as soon as this COVID check's coming in you got people from the hood buying Gucci shoes and you know, Louis Vuitton this, and blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? And instead of investing that money, they're blowing it. So what happens when, when a recession hits, there's a pullback. You know, kind of like the a forest fire, Right?
[00:27:42] Matt: Why are forest fires healthy? Well because a forest fire's healthy for the new growth of the new trees that never saw light, because the bigger trees that's been there forever, they finally burned down. Nature has, its way. And when those bigger trees get burned down, it now expose the younger trees, the younger saplings that's on the ground looking for light in life.
[00:28:05] Matt: Now they get nourishment, now they get access. And so new businesses, smaller business that may not have ever seen the light of day during the dominant players in that particular industry because they're just hovering over everything. They're just dominated in competition. Now, some of 'em pulled back, now new entrepreneurs come into marketplace.
[00:28:22] Matt: The age of innovation continues to thrive during, during recessionary periods. So many, so many companies were born during recession. Our company was born during recession. You know, look at '08, '09, You could look at you look at Uber, was birth. Birth, then a Groupon was birthed then, you know, so many different companies were birthed during tough times. When, when there's tough times, you know, tough people are built and tough people is require, is what's required to actually run a company.
[00:28:47] Joe: And in those tough times when capital is not easy to get to, people have to be innovative. They have to be smart with the dollar that you know, money smart to use your phrase, and they have to look at solving problems in a different way. Having grown up on the farm, there was never enough resources, whether it was time, money materials. And so you had to figure out ways to do things, which helped me as an entrepreneur. And I remember in the aftermath of 2001, the.com crisis when everything got wiped out, when we saw, you know, the NASDAQ lose 70%, where all these you know, dot com millionaires, it was disappeared.
[00:29:28] Joe: All of a sudden you saw the real companies that had a viable product, that had a real business model, depending on sales and creating value for others, as opposed to, "Oh, we got eyeballs." You can't pay with eyeballs except around Halloween. So and then you get in trouble for it, but it's the sort of thing that it clears out the draws and makes things function properly.
[00:29:56] Joe: It's basically like doing a fast, cuz I remember in your book you talk about it a little bit, you know, doing a fast. Clears the system and one of the things that that does on a cellular level is broken pot proteins. The body, if it's doesn't have a source of protein because of consuming food, is looking for whatever it can get and it takes those second rate broken.
[00:30:19] Joe: You know, throw off pieces that are floating around the body that can cause harm and actually utilizes them in the most efficient manner and integrates them to building muscle and maintaining. And so it allows the junk to get outta the system and everything else to be reused, and that's what the economy is dictating to us now, and will for, you know, a little while longer for it seems.
[00:30:44] Matt: Correct.
[00:30:45] Joe: So, you know, this is something that I wanted to now transition into, cuz I brought up, Let's talk about your book, Buddy.
[00:30:53] Matt: Okay.
[00:30:53] Joe: By the way, I need to get this signed as I said.
[00:30:56] Matt: Sure.
[00:30:57] Joe: What, what was the impetus behind this?
[00:30:59] Matt: The conversations where I stop every workshop, you know, every client conversation, every recruiting interview, hiring interview. You know, people are always asking me, "How did you start your business?" So people kept asking me that over and over. How, how did you get where you're at. So, so you know what, why don't I just talk about my two minute story real quick and then, and talk about some of the pits and and failures that I had in my entire life so people can avoid those mistakes that I made.
[00:31:23] Matt: So therefore they can get a heads lot further in life, faster and quicker than I did and avoid a lot of the, the nastiness I had with, with picking the wrong spouse and the nastiness I had in family court. The nastiness, since I had filing bankruptcy and the nastiness that I had with, with depression and PTSD and all that stuff, all that stuff is in the book.
[00:31:39] Matt: And it wasn't because I filed my fears. It's all because I knew deep down inside I was better than the situation that I was in. I just didn't have a platform. I just didn't know who was gonna help me all just know deep down inside and there's something that I was meant to do. And so I think people during tough times, they slide into very tough, difficult moments in the mentally they're alone and isolated, but you just gotta know deep down inside.
[00:32:06] Matt: You know, you're meant for something special. You know, you're not supposed to go through all this stuff. You know, the stuff that you're going through right now is temporary. Like being broke is temporary, but being poor is a condition of the spirit. Being poor is a condition of the heart it's an attitude.
[00:32:22] Matt: And so I knew that my situation was temporary. I just needed a way to get out of it. And that's where the insurance industry and the world of entrepreneurship saved my life. You know Joe, I've got I've got in my jewelry, I got 12 policies. Right? You can probably see right there in the camera all my policy. There's not client policies. Those are all my policies.
[00:32:42] Joe: And on top of that, I've got my will and my estate plan right here in my office. So in case something happens to me on travel, there's no, there's no looking around into my stuff. They know exactly where it's at, right? Do not resuscitate. Last will and testament. All this stuff is right here. Excuse me.
[00:33:02] Matt: And so when, when, when I go about with my story and getting involved in insurance business, it's an opportunity for me to create generational wealth. And so that's really the impetus of of this cuz oftentimes during tough times, people instead of following their faith, they follow their fears.
[00:33:17] Matt: And if you're gonna follow your faith, it's not necessarily a religion book. Often times people think it's a Bible book, it's through finding faith in myself, they always able to find the church. I was able to. Biblical principles that have stood at test of time. It was that process of leaning on faith versus fear that have found Proverbs and, and Ecclesiastes in the Bible that was written by the richest and wise king, whoever lived, who documented what he needs to do in terms of pursuing wealth and pursuing prosperity. Pursuing generational wealth is pursuing wisdom, and so during.
[00:33:51] Joe: Avoiding hubris, like you talked about at the beginning of our conversation today.
[00:33:57] Matt: That's right. And so that's really the motivation behind it. And I had a book about 10, 12 years ago. Joe, for some reason it didn't get, it never got published. It was a Christian book publisher company. They just never published a book. They had me buy my rights back to the book cause I didn't want 'em publish a half cook piece of, piece of a rough draft. And it's probably the best thing. Because that book is supposed to be launched in '09, 2010.
[00:34:20] Joe: And the next book that you write four or five years from now will be even better. And the one after that even better because that's what happens. We grow and we develop. You know, I look at that book that I sent to you years and years ago and I'm like, "Man, this is crap."
[00:34:38] Matt: With the financial nerds?
[00:34:39] Joe: Yeah. Financial mistakes of new college graduates. But we evolved and we get better and better, and that is part of the process. Of being a professional. And it doesn't matter if you're a professional that wears a tie like I do, you do usually too. Or if you're a professional athlete. And so one of the things that you mentioned in the book you called it the entrepreneur athlete mindset. So talk about that a little bit, because that I loved.
[00:35:09] Matt: Yeah, for sure. I mean I'm a frustrated jock Joe. I mean I, I love the game of football. I was just too tall, too skinny not fast enough in high school to ever be looked at by scouts or taking anything seriously by any division three, two, or one college. But I love the game of football, the preparation behind football, the condition behind football.
[00:35:28] Matt: And by the way, I'm just saying football. I'm including sports in all this, whether it's basketball or tennis, or golf. I just love the way athletes go about life and the fact that they have to go through periods of resistance, that they have to go through periods of pain and suffering, and that the winning moments are just this for a, just a flicker of time, but it's so worth it, you know?
[00:35:51] Matt: And so when you're, think about an entrepreneur path, I want to treat business like an athlete treats their sport. So combined together words entrepreneur and athlete entre-athlete.
[00:36:01] Joe: And one of the things that I learned years and years ago is that game time is not practice time. And so I see a lot of young professionals who are winging it too often. They show up to the meeting, whether it's court or you know, presentation to a client or what have you. And it's the first or third or fifth time that they've seen the thing. They have not gone through this a hundred times in their mind. They haven't done multiple calculations as Sun Zoo talks about in the Art of War to see, you know, okay, if we change this, how does that change the outcome?
[00:36:36] Joe: So they're not comfortable to the level of professional as Lenny Moore, the great wide receiver for the Jets, said an amateur does something until they get right. A professional does something until they cannot do it wrong or they Yeah. They, they cannot do it anything other than Right. Or something like that.
[00:36:57] Matt: I, I, yeah, I was, I was going over my, my notes and my new guys. I'm coaching a new guy, right? I said, You know, bro, are you winging your scripts to the, I actually told the guy, this is what I would do. Study your game tape. So he, he got this app downloaded on his phone and he's got it transcribed. He's got my script transcribed.
[00:37:13] Matt: He's looking at the camera, he's practicing himself going through my scripts while looking at the camera, straight in the camera until he can do it without the transcription. So he is practicing this, he knows how to run illustrations. He knows all, knows how to do all the nerd work. But now it's talking about can I sell this?
[00:37:30] Matt: Cuz one thing to run an illustration is one thing to do the analysis, one thing to go through the recommendations. Can you sell? Can you present? Can you ask questions about the problems? And you can provide a solutions in a way that they'll accept it because they have a sincere belief that you're try and help them through their problems. The answer is yes if you're gonna buy from you. And that's because you treat your business like an athlete. Practice over and over.
[00:37:55] Joe: Yeah. And I tell this story, I used to have a fishbowl in my office. And every single morning I would practice my language on that fish. I would practice asking for introductions. I would practice my appointment saying language.
[00:38:10] Joe: I would practice on that fish. And the younger guys, my peers in the office would laugh at me doing this every single morning before I really started meeting clients. And they laughed at me. But they were all gone within three to six months cuz they had this immense God given talent, but they didn't harness it.
[00:38:30] Joe: I mean, I always joke that I'm more athlete than athlete because I'm not naturally gifted. But I will practice and practice and repeat and repeat. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hour rule to have mastery. My tai kwon do master taught me that 30 years ago that he needs to do a technique a hundred times to get it, a thousand times to understand it and 10,000 times to master it.
[00:38:53] Joe: And so as you're getting those reps in over, and over and over, you notice the subtle differences and you build the intuitive feel for what's going on, and that is the difference between somebody who is starting to succeed and somebody who is excelling in whatever their field is. So, you know, we've talked about a lot of different things here. Do you have any closing comments or insight for people as to how to prepare themselves, how to be more resilient, how to be position? To truly succeed over the next two to five years?
[00:39:32] Matt: Well, you know, it is life goes in cycles and you know, the question you gotta constantly ask yourself is, if I find myself in a position in my life where out of the 10 decisions I've made, money has been a factor of 80, 90% of them, then you gotta make a change.
[00:39:49] Matt: If you're in a position right now where you're just not happy about your condition of your finances, condition of your quality of life, the condition of inflation's kicking your tail, you know you gotta find something that fires you up. I I'm constantly asking my guys, What fires you up? What excites you?
[00:40:04] Matt: And one of my guys says, Well, I'm just fire kicking everybody's ass here in the office. Okay, that's one area. But what's, what does really excite you? And what really excited him was the fact that he had, he had to provide enough resources to care his father who's dealing with dementia, because he said his mother the other day showing a picture of her son and he didn't recognize him, didn't know his name.
[00:40:25] Matt: And I said, How much, how many days do you have now with your father? Because I'm not sure, bro, but I'd wanna make sure that he's around me as much as I can. So I said, Man, now that's your, that's your goal. So therefore, what, what he thought was gonna take 12, 24, 36 months, now he wants to get it done in 90 days. So it's about compression of timeframes.
[00:40:41] Matt: And the cool thing about being in the insurance business, what I've realized is I sell life insurance. I own life insurance. Life insurance hasn't changed my life yet. I'm still alive. I'm still here, right? And outside of me withdrawing from my policies a couple times by a couple of exotic cars, the finance three different offices, to the major extent life insurance, the actual product has not changed my life.
[00:41:07] Matt: What has changed my life is entrepreneurship. What has changed my life is capitalism. What has changed my life is free enterprise, but it's changed my life in making sure it's some values and principles is my Lord and savior in heaven. It showed me, Man, this is the way you run your life. You don't ask for money.
[00:41:21] Matt: You don't ask for how to. You ask for wisdom, and when you ask for wisdom, then all those things follow. And so when, when you're going about 2022 going in 2023, you know, you got, you have to, like I said, three different types of goals for us all the time. Dude, what's my selfish goal? What's my emotional goal? What's my stability goal? Right?
[00:41:42] Matt: A selfish goal, a new car. For example, Joe, right? My right in my desk right here. I got a picture of the new house we're looking to buy. Okay, we got this, I got this. I wanna look at a new private school. I wanna send my kids. Right.
[00:41:56] Matt: Emotional goal, making sure my mom is taken care of. Emotional goal for me last year was making sure my mother had an opportunity to go to Israel. And she went to the Jordan River with her church and she'd scooped up a bottle of water of Jordan River Water, the same river that Jesus was baptized in. She goes, "Hey Matt." She FaceTimes me from Israel, says "Matt, your son is gonna be baptized with the same water that Jesus was baptized with from the river Jordan."
[00:42:22] Matt: Jordan, your son. His name's Jordan. He's gonna be baptized from water from the river Jordan. Those are emotional goals.
[00:42:28] Joe: That's cool.
[00:42:29] Matt: You know?
[00:42:30] Joe: That is so cool.
[00:42:31] Matt: And so that, that something that was inspired by her. You know, stability goes when you have to move. My parents, you know, retiring, retiring my in-laws. So whatever it is that you have to do, you have to have those things right in front of you.
[00:42:42] Matt: Otherwise, you're gonna go with your life aimlessly. You're gonna lose purpose, you know, in the pursuit of your goals and dreams. Guess what's gonna start getting more and more clear? They say the two most important days of a man's life is the they, number one, that he was born. And the second one is the day he realized why he was born.
[00:42:58] Matt: And so in the pursuit of your goals, in the milestones, you're gonna start discovering that purpose. I didn't discover my purpose in excitement to the insurance industry until I was three years into it. When a consultant asks you, Why do you do what you do? I said, I really love teaching people about money, and their eyes going like this, and they're jumping out the board and talking, I, that's the way money works.
[00:43:15] Matt: I'm like, Yeah, that's the way money works. Let me get a policy, maybe shove more cash inside these things. I could plan for retirement now, you know? And so that's what jacked me up about the insurance business. I'm educating people about, It's what it jack up about entrepreneurship because it teaches people how to control their income.
[00:43:32] Matt: And that's my last thing. If you don't have a plan in this year, completing next year, beginning years ahead of controlling your income, doesn't matter how great your insurance policy is. Doesn't mean matter how great your real estate equity in your home is. It doesn't great how much a mutual fund or 401K is it, but if you somebody prematurely cuts off your income and all your savings wrapped up in equity in your home, and all your savings wrapped up in your 401k, and all your savings wrapped up inside insurance policy, those will unwind because now you're in panic mode. But the moment you as an individual start controlling your income, he or she that controls your income, controls your life, and the decisions that you make in your life and the quality of life that you're able to have.
[00:44:16] Matt: So I haven't worried about this inflation thing. I haven't worried about this raising rising interest rate. Matter of fact, the more the interest rates rise, the more this property I wanna buy. The price continues to fall because less than less offers are made for this house. And I'm having a, I'm just playing a patient game with my realtors.
[00:44:35] Joe: Yep. And as an entrepreneur, you just go make more. You've got that capability versus somebody who's working for XYZ company and you know, they're hoping one to not get fired. Two, to get a raise that keeps pace with inflation. And three, maybe if they do a good move job and can beat all the other people, that they can get a promotion and get a little step up as opposed to those of us in the entrepreneurial world who it's, what time is it now? Like eight o'clock here on the East coast. I've got two more meetings after this because I love what I do in terms of helping people, but I'm controlling my own destiny, as you said. Creating generational wealth. Being able to give things to our kids that we want and we are doing it out of an absolute passion as opposed to some, you know, snotty nose boss telling us, "Ross, do this. Please work this weekend. I'll give, you know, an extra pizza for it."
[00:45:30] Joe: You know, I worked over last weekend cuz I wanted to, cuz I had stuff that I needed to accomplish because it helped move my mission of helping people. And that's exactly the same thing that's resonating with you. So brother, I know I've taken a lot of your time.
[00:45:45] Joe: Do you have a call to action for people you know, something that you want people to be aware of where you can help them out? Whether it's book or.
[00:45:53] Matt: Yeah, I mean, if, if people don't have a way to say, "You know what, I don't have a strategy. I'm winging it." I hope this is what's gonna help out in 2022 or 2023 or 2024.
[00:46:03] Matt: If you don't, not a hundred percent certain, please go follow me everywhere. I'm @moneysmartguy on Instagram. I'm moneysmartguy.com. I'm @moneysmartguy on Twitter. I'm money smart guy everywhere. And if you wanna follow my YouTube channel, you follow a Seven Figure Squad, both on Rumble and on YouTube. A channel dedicated helped you think like a millionaire to strategize like a millionaire, so therefore you can become a first generation cash flow millionaire.
[00:46:29] Matt: If you don't know where to start, talk to people that has been there, done it. I throw free game. There's no membership to it, there's no Patreon on to it, there's no cost to it. I got nothing to sell you outside of my book. That's, that's $17.99 if you wanna pick that up. But I've got no course to sell you. I got no masterminds to sell you. People inside, even my company qualify for masterminds. There is no cost for it either. They just gotta qualify with their perform.
[00:46:54] Matt: We, we have, for example, we got a conference in February, 2023. We got 2000 people showing up in Orlando, Florida. We got agents whether I mentor them directly or indirectly or show 'em to that thing, there's no cost for me to mentor them. It's 20, 50 bucks interest for the guys that we mentor.
[00:47:09] Matt: But I'm not trying to sell a 5,000, 10,000 packages. So, so this is a scenario where we want people to be fruitful. Why? Because if we start making our own money, the less we gotta lean on each other, the less we gotta lean on the government, the less we gotta lean on church in charity. The less we gotta dip into our 401k, the more we happier cuz we're self-sustaining and we know we got our money working for us versus the other way around.
[00:47:33] Matt: So that'd be my call to action Joe, is go out there and don't wait for the government to change your life. No matter goes on in the White House. The most important thing, what goes on in your house, I know the elections are coming up here in the next three weeks. And watch, by the way, watch after the, here's my prediction, Joe.
[00:47:46] Matt: Watch what happens to the economy after the election. Watch gas prices skyrocket, watch interest rates skyrocket, watch cost of things and inflation rising up again cuz they've been trying to do everything right now to get people to still vote Democrat. Right? And people know that listen I don't care if the Democrats in a White House or Republicans in a White House.
[00:48:08] Matt: I made money with both. But I care more about what goes on in your house. And so but however, there's certain things that I don't agree with. By the way, with both sides, what Trump did with Biden there's certain things I, I agree with, with on both sides. But please, a smaller government in my opinion, it is a better government. I don't need government to be in my pocket. The less, the less government is, the less small government is, the less money they put that tap into our pockets, the more we're able to sustain ourselves. And that right there is a compensation plan to be an American citizen.
[00:48:40] Matt: So anyway, I don't wanna get, I'm wanna get off my political soapbox there and but I doesn't want people to know that everything can't be in your control. If you shift your mindset tonight, depending on anybody else, stop blaming everybody else. Something that anybody owes you anything. You owe you, and the answers are gonna come from you, and the answers are gonna come from you seeking the right people, the right podcasts, listen to like yours, Joe. Through the books that you read, and the people that you're surrounding yourself with, and the conferences and the meetings and the hands that you shake that will start changing your life.
[00:49:11] Joe: Awesome, Matt, Thank you so much my friend. The Human Kaizen podcast has been brought to you by Gateway Financial. Looking out for your financial future. I'm Joe Templin. Be excellent and grow today.