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Lobbying For Liberty: How To Use Psychology To Sway Lawmakers Towards Impactful Change With Connor Boyack

TWS 83 | Lobbying For Liberty

 

Since 2011, the nonprofit think-tank Libertas has been gaining traction in lobbying for liberty and pushing gainful legislation in Utah and other states. For its President, Connor Boyack, a big part of that success comes from a clever approach that sways even the politicians who are most resistant to new ideas. Connor is a prominent free market and civil liberty advocate who has authored over a dozen books in that space, including The Tuttle Twins Series. Having been on the show with Patrick Donohoe before, Connor explains why knowledge of the law isn’t enough to make someone an effective lobbyist. He then provides some examples of how lobbyists can use clever ideas borrowed from marketing and psychology to sway lawmakers into making decisions that ultimately benefit society as a whole.

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Lobbying For Liberty: How To Use Psychology To Sway Lawmakers Towards Impactful Change With Connor Boyack

I wanted to start off by saying how grateful I am for a platform such as this to be able to express myself and my thoughts. I make this statement because I know that this opportunity is not available everywhere. For whatever reason, I felt grateful this episode. Also, I extend that gratitude to you in hopes that there’s some practical value you’re finding in this show. I had in a sense a bit of a roller coaster of emotions. There was an event that I attended and I’d like to use some of those experiences as a way to set some context for the interview with Connor Boyack.

These experiences led to an amplification of my intrigue and drive to understand Connor’s core motivations and core driving and also, what he’s been able to discover in getting his ideas across to people in two challenging arenas. Number one, with the political arena. Connor is the President of Libertas, which is a nonprofit think tank that creates legislation. It lobbies on Capitol Hill here in Utah, and it’s extended now to dozens of states where they are using some of the legislation that Libertas creates and has been gaining traction. It’s impressive.

Connor has also been able to sell millions of books in a space that is challenging, which is the free market philosophy, civil liberty philosophy and economics philosophy. He’s been by far, in my opinion, one of the most successful in influencing those that may seem at first, which is most adults, resistant to new ideas. This intrigue led me to want to understand Connor’s psychology because there are two forms of psychology that prevent us from getting to the next level and gaining what we believe we are capable of or even though we don’t believe what we’re capable of.

The psychology of ourselves is understanding our own psychology, those limitations that hold us back and then it’s the understanding of others’ psychology of whom we do business with. This extends to investments because investments, in essence, are a business. Understanding how to influence people especially ourselves and then extending out to others is important because there is a lot of societal influence. There are ideas that are being communicated. They’re not thought through. They are taken at face value and associated with the person speaking them and their positioning, title and degree of influence already acquired.

At the same time, when beliefs and ideas are understood without question and analysis, that can get dangerous. With that being said, Connor is an incredible man and father. He’s the President of Libertas Institute. He’s the author of over a dozen books, including The Tuttle Twins series. I hope you guys enjoy this interview. Connor is an amazing man. Please visit his website, Libertas.org and TuttleTwins.com. He’ll mention some of those resources on the show. Here’s my interview with Connor Boyack.

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Connor, I remember seeing you at FreedomFest. It was 2011 or 2012. You were doing a debate and I was like, “He’s getting pummeled.” The guy that you were debating with was a jackass. You were logical, calm and stoic about the way you responded and how you backed up claims that I was like, “That guy is going somewhere.”

It’s been a while.

The best way to teach something is to learn it. Click To Tweet

Look at you now.

That was the year that I started Libertas on paper. In 2011, I filed the articles and we didn’t fully launch for about a year. It’s been about that long.

A lot has transpired since then. We’ve done a couple of interviews. We’ve talked about The Tuttle Twins and what Libertas is doing. I want to step back and I want to identify some of the drive behind that, what’s creating the momentum. I want to speak to where society is with the way in which decisions are being made with the social narratives and how they’re changing and your perspective on that. The reason why I brought up FreedomFest is that it was a divisive environment. I’m not sure if that’s just natural to you or if it’s something that you learned how to do overtime but you approached the situation in a respectful, logical way and you won my respect.

I’m not sure about the rest of the audience but it seemed that way, given my memory. That’s where I wanted to start. There’s a cool saying about how wisdom begets stoicism. Stoicism doesn’t beget wisdom. Where would you associate your knowledge and subsequently, the wisdom that you’ve gained? How that allows you to be inspired by something that comes across oftentimes as divisive but do it in a way that makes a big impact on people’s mind being able to ask questions and want to pursue truth?

That’s a deep question. Let me give some thought to how I want to approach that. As I think back to that memory and try and draw from it something that would be relevant now, as I reflect on where I was at in life at that time. I feel like one of the challenges a lot of people have nowadays is a lack of confidence in their understanding of the way the world works and what is happening. People are quick to draw an opinion often on little fact or bias or what they heard on the mainstream or whatever. People are quick to assert things, defend arguments online and state their opinion but if you peel back that superficial layer, there’s a lot of uncertainty and confusion about what they believe, what is going on in the world and the things that they’re even debating about.

I feel like for a lot of people that I’ve interacted with, even in the decades since that leads to a paralysis of sorts where people don’t want to get involved. They don’t want to speak out. They don’t want to try and make a difference or go to their city council meeting or write a letter to the editor or whatever it is because of that paralysis of feeling like they’re not an expert. They don’t quite understand. They don’t have all the facts. You asked so here’s your answer. For me, at the time and in the years prior, I was such a voracious reader. You may remember, I used to be a web developer and, on the side, I started reading and learning a lot of this stuff.

I felt like I had accumulated so much knowledge that I had a degree of certainty in my beliefs. That’s not to say I am correct in all things but it at least enabled me to have confidence about the positions that I was taking. It’s funny that you say that I had this more rational approach and I could back it up because I was going through my own transformation at that time, which was a struggle for me. That same year, I was starting Libertas Institute. I got our board chairman, John Pestana, and at the time I was a machine gun warrior on Facebook. It’s like, “You’re wrong. Here are all these facts.”

You had Connor’s Conundrums before that.

We had the blog and I would tell everyone why they were wrong. It was the comic, maybe you’ve seen this, of a guy hunched over his computer and it’s dark and the computer screen is glowing in front of his face. His wife is opening the door in the back and says, “Come to bed.” The caption reads, “Not now. Someone’s wrong on the internet. I’m going to resolve this problem.” That’s where I was in life because I was perhaps overconfident in what I believe and felt motivated to go and correct people’s misunderstanding.

TWS 83 | Lobbying For Liberty

Lobbying For Liberty: One of the challenges a lot of people have nowadays is the lack of confidence in their understanding of the way the world works.

 

It was John, as we started Libertas, who’s like, “We’ve got to moderate this a bit because I’m seeing that you’re harming some relationships that could do some good if we had a more collaborative approach.” It’s funny to me that you say that about FreedomFest because I was still going through that phase that I hadn’t quite learned then. It came the following year. That gentleman that you refer to who we were butting heads with, I had been butting heads with for a number of years. Maybe it was that tolerance I had accrued where it’s like, “You’re going to say what you’re going to say. I know not to react to you because you’re just trying to get a rise out of me.” Why is that relevant to anyone here that we’re talking to? I feel like it boils down to an obligation to seek understanding and try and get to the bottom of things.

Peel back those superficial layers about what’s being said and find that deeper understanding that’s going to give us confidence in our beliefs, not in assertive, cocky like, “I’m right. You’re wrong. I know all the things and you can never learn it.” Nothing like that but putting in the effort to learning and not just relying on other people to do the thinking for you and then tell you what to think, which I feel is what a lot of people do nowadays. They’ve delegated that responsibility of education and listen to what they’re told and what the experts say.

They are doing it at a subconscious level where the education system has conditioned people to understand facts and not understand truths per se. I also look at how reward happens in that same space and it even carries to the workplace where people are rewarded for specific things, which reinforces the behavior that governs those things. I look at school and you’re graded based on your individual knowledge and failure. Being wrong is bad and you’re punished for that. That superficial layer that you refer to where a person understands facts, ideas and talking points, it’s the layer between that and the actual truth behind it is getting thicker it seems.

It’s interesting because what you’re saying prompted a memory of mine where I cheated a lot in school. Sorry to all the teachers out there. Incentives matter and to your point about the superficial and everything else, as I remember school, it was not about what I wanted to know, what it meant for me and what it empowered me to do in my life and my curiosities. It was, “Here’s the information you have to learn. You have to get a good grade to move on to the next step.” For me it was like, “If that’s the whole goal, I’m going to figure out a shortcut to get there.”

This is crazy. I remember I had a belt buckle with a little bit of space in between where I created a little tiny paper where I wrote super tiny. I slipped it in my belt buckle and no one was going to look down there. That’d be awkward. It’s math formulas and stuff like that. Anyways, I cheated because school maybe incentivizes people to pump and dump. In other words, we call it cramming. “You got to cram. You got to memorize all this stuff. You got to take the test,” and then you dump it because it’s like, “I achieved this arbitrary test score.” I feel like nowadays, what type of precedents does that set where people in their lives are accustomed to learning as a task and not learning for self-fulfillment and personal achievement and growth? We see some of the byproducts of that now.

The reason why I bring all that up is that this layer is governed in a sense by the fear of being wrong and the desire to be right. It goes to that reinforcement. The reason why I’m going all over the place here is that Libertas has its mission and drive, and it’s made a massive difference. You found an angle into teaching and there are others that have found it as well like Tom Woods in a sense and Ron Paul, where’s an angle in which you create a narrative or an environment where somebody can discover the truth. Writing is a place but you found it in children’s books and The Tuttle Twins have been wildly successful. You sold more than one million books in 2020 alone. What have you discovered about this new, different dynamic of the environment? Children are the target audience in a sense but adults have started to discover truths about whether it’s the economy or politics or monetary policy.

This is a great question and a fun one for me because most of your readers will know from past interviews that Tuttle Twins are these children’s books that teach the ideas of a free society. When we started, we were making children’s books. We wanted to teach kids and that’s what we did and aimed to do but we realized that we had this secondary audience that we never planned for and it was the parents. Easily, a majority of these parents might consider themselves freedom-minded or conservative or they like free markets or whatever. That’s the superficial beginning and end of their understanding of these ideas.

Easily, a majority of our audience gets messages from these parents that are like, “I learned more in these books than I remember learning in school,” which is an indictment of the robust, heavily taxpayer-funded education that we’ve all had. What’s interesting and you may know this, psychological studies bear this out, is that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. What’s interesting here is when you place parents in the mindset of being the educational providers for their children, which a lot of parents outsource and delegate to other people especially the schools.

To the extent that parents recognize that it’s their responsibility to teach their kids about free-market ideas, property rights and entrepreneurship because the schools are not doing it. If anything, they’re teaching opposite ideas. We placed parents in the role with The Tuttle Twins books to say, “This is up to you and we’re here to help. Here are these books. Here are these discussion questions. Here’s this curriculum.” It places parents in this mindset of realizing that they need to learn, too.

Politicians respond to narratives, not facts. Click To Tweet

By no means, this isn’t master-planned or whatever. The accidental genius of The Tuttle Twins was because it’s in this simplified fun format, the barriers are low for parents. It’s not like handing them economics in one lesson like, “This was written 70 years ago. Here you go. Good luck trying to get through it.” Our English is a little dumbed down these days. Few parents are going to get through that. Here’s this fully illustrated fun story creating a shared bonding, reading opportunity between parent and child, which they’re naturally seeking anyways.

Added bonus, they can learn these amazing ideas at a level enough where the parent is not putting walls up and being like, “I don’t want to learn?” Almost sinisterly, we’re getting the parents to learn a lot of these ideas as well in a way that they value and welcome because they’re able to teach their children and that’s their primary value. They might feel like, “I got a job. Life is good. I don’t need to know these things,” but they want their children to know them especially with the way the world is going and how crazy socialism is.

When you give those parents those opportunities, they don’t realize in many cases that they are learning as well and it’s creating value for them. Let’s say they’re at the grocery store with the kids and the child is like, “Why are there eighteen kinds of potato chips?” “Remember, in The Tuttle Twins book, we talked about the division of labor.” Because the parents are learning as well, it gives them a common language. Imagine if this was just a school program. We’ve tried and we do a little bit of school stuff, too. Now, we’re mostly direct to consumer, direct to family.

Initially, it was like, “Let’s get into the schools.” The challenge there is that we would reach these students through their teachers. “Here’s your Tuttle Twins book and here’s these lessons and activities and whatever. Let’s learn about free markets.” They go home and there’s no fluency in the home. The siblings and the parents don’t know so the kid just pumps and dump again. By going directly to the family and having parents and children learning together, you get that self-reinforcement. In informal experiences like at the grocery store and running errands, you hear some politician on the radio and they’re like, “That’s central planning.” Suddenly, there’s a common language for the family to reinforce these ideas together.

There’s something I heard one time and it was an overview of a book by this guy named David Deutsch. He wrote The Beginning of Infinity amongst other books. He made a comment and what it did is it separated information from knowledge. He said that we have equations that say you can time travel and go back in time but we don’t live in an environment where that information works or is relevant. That’s where I look at. The information is taught in schools or reads in a book. It’s not real in a person’s life unless there’s practical application, it works and it benefits them first and foremost. We’re wired right to look after ourselves first. I’m going to pivot a little bit because we live in an environment, a society where there still is a lot of divisiveness and competing against narrative and it’s at that superficial level.

Few instances, at least the ones that I’m seeing, where somebody steps back and questions their beliefs and assumptions. This could be a total tangent. When a person is wrong in something that they believe, what it does is it trickles down into all the other things they ever said and did and puts those in jeopardy. I don’t want to go down that tangent. My point is when you start to seek truth, you have to confront being wrong. That’s why the environment of a children’s book or teaching within the family or teaching period or explaining something helps it become more real and then the actual physical circumstances of life where it’s practical makes it even more real.

Every year, you have a forum or a luncheon where you do a debrief of your experience at the Utah legislative session. You talked about some of the wins you’re having and some of the difference that you’re making but you made a comment that I still think about and maybe it wasn’t you. It was Catherine or it was someone else. They said that the intentions of lawmakers are typically genuine but yet, how they understand things is where the flaw is where sometimes that understanding is narrative, not fact. Narrative or speaking point, not truth.

This is where I want to get to how have you been able to take your understanding of the law, your understanding of why laws are created especially with COVID and a slew of measures were taken with little questioning. What have you started to understand about how our society is working in relation to the laws that are being created and why is it necessary the truth is understood? We’re going down this path where it may not work out the best for people in the long run. Even though on the surface, it may seem like, “That’s going to be an awesome thing.”

I feel like the answer to the question doesn’t have to do with the question. Here’s what I mean by that. It’s much less about the law than it is about incentives, political pressures and appearances. It’s not like elected officials get together in a robust debate and they’re advancing legal arguments, making these amendments and debating the merits of the wording and the substance of the law. Far more often, elected officials are responding to the narrative. They don’t want to appear weak. They want to appear like they’re a problem solver and they know what they’re talking about.

TWS 83 | Lobbying For Liberty

The Tuttle Twins

They want to look smart to their constituents. They want to be able to go back to their district and say, “I stood up for you,” whatever that means. “Farmers, I got you a subsidy. Single moms, I got you a tax write-off.” They want to be able to go back and say they did something, good or bad. They have these incentives in the political system that encouraged them to do or to not do certain things then they have pressures on any given issue. It might be responding to a number of stakeholders.

I’ll use an example. When we work on criminal justice policies, often we’ll have the ACLU and the criminal defense attorneys on the same side but who’s on the other side? It is all the taxpayer-funded law enforcement institutions. That’s the police chiefs, sheriffs, attorney general, the cities and all these groups that are being paid for by our taxpayer dollars to fund lobbyists to lobby against what we believe is the just, true and moral position.

Lawmakers are in the middle of that and they’re facing these pressures like a vise from different sides. It becomes this question of, “Can we pressure them more? Who has more leverage? How do we get them to listen to us than someone else?” To answer your question, I feel like I have to say that it’s far more about tactics and strategy game theory almost than it is about the merits of the law, which sucks as an idea person. I want to get up on my soapbox and say, “Let’s talk about philosophy, political science, economics and history. Here are the facts. Here’s the rational argument.”

Honestly, you use that and you get looked at by a loon. People are like, “Mr. Constitution.” It’s like Mike Lee at their wave in his pocket constitution and half of Congress is looking at him like, “Whatever.” I hate it. It’s the system though. If you have a marketing background, I feel like you’re going to be a far better lobbyist than someone who understands the law. You don’t have to be an attorney to be a lobbyist for liberty as we like to call ourselves or a lobbyist for anyone else. You got to understand how humans act, how you can get them to nudge in a certain direction and how you can help an organization.

We’ve talked before about how we got medical marijuana done in Utah and one of the groups that we had to fight was my own church. How difficult that was. At the end of the day, they wanted to save face. They didn’t want to look like they lost so we had to structure a deal where it looked like it was a win-win. Even though we got almost everything but we wanted them to save face because we wanted them to be able to come out together and take down their opposition. Otherwise, human behavior and incentives would have dug in their heels and felt like, “They’re not going to give us a little bit of a win or compromise. We got to fight to the end.” If you know how to play chess well, a good strategist and you know marketing then you can move the needle far more than someone who has a law degree or something like that.

Especially if you’re able to anticipate their moves.

It is that strategic decision like, “We want to pass this law or we want to get this law repealed. Who’s going to fight us? What are their talking points going to be? How can we rebut those talking points? How can we assert the moral high ground from the outset to shift?” Are you familiar with the term the Overton window? Have you heard about this? Joe Overton was a fellow think tanker out in Michigan and he created this concept where there’s a spectrum of ideas within which there’s a narrower range of opportunities that are within the realm of political possibility. In other words, if you want to pass a law, as long as it’s within this box, it makes sense. If it’s out here as an outlier, it’s never going to happen. To get to that point, if this is where justice is or truth or whatever, you’ve got to shift the Overton window so that the public and the legislature that’s feeling those pressures feel like that’s within the realm of political possibility.

It becomes this question not of individual policies and their merits. When we had to try and decriminalize polygamy, we were in the New Yorker and they did this big, long article about the fight for polygamy freedom or whatever, which is truly a Utah issue. Welcome to Utah, everyone. No one else would have an issue like this but Utah’s a weird history in that regard. Here you go again like, “That’s a weird issue.” How do you shift the Overton window? By reframing the issue. Not as like, “Polygamy is freedom.” That’s how we started at the beginning, not having a good strategy.

We realized, “There’s an opportunity here.” I’ll continue using this example since I brought it up. Not that it matters other than pointing out the example to answer this question. The way we achieved success on that issue is we reframed the debate to say, “By keeping polygamy a felony, you’re pushing everyone into the shadows because they don’t want their children taken away. They don’t want their licenses, jobs and guns to be taken away so now they’re hiding it. They’re going to keep doing it because they want to and it’s part of their religious practice for these small little offshoot groups.

If you have a marketing background, you’re going to be a far better lobbyist than someone who understands the law. Click To Tweet

They’re going to keep doing it but now you’re going to push them into the shadows where abusers can take advantage of them because those abusers know that they’re not going to go to the cops. If they’re inviting the government in and calling the cops, their brother, uncle and everyone else is going to get ratted on and maybe turned into a felon and take into prison, etc. There are all these real examples in the past of abuse and in the presence of abuse that we’ve collected, shared and said, “This law is guilty for all of this abuse to happen.” Everyone was like, “I don’t want to contribute.”

You’ve got to make them look good. This was always Ron Paul’s problem I felt. Hallowed be his name. I don’t want to say anything too bad about Dr. Paul but one of the challenges was he was called Dr. No. People don’t like saying no to things. People want to say yes to stuff especially if you’re a politician. You’ve got to find a way to say, “What can we say yes to? How can we look like we’re achieving success and doing good and doing right by people?” I had to learn this too. Early in Libertas when we got started, it was always like, “That’s a bad law. You shouldn’t do that.”

We went nowhere. We spout it off our opinion. We’ve had to learn, “Strategy comes from giving good solutions that are within that Overton window that makes sense, possible and let the other people that we may not agree with feel like they are still protecting their turf or doing something good. That’s where we’ve been able to achieve a lot of success because of the psychological, marketing and strategic types of thinking and less about, “I’m a student of the law.” It doesn’t matter as much.

I still remember one of the debates that Ron Paul did where they were asking, “If you’re going to go home from the debate and you’re going to spend the weekend, what are you going to do at night?” Everyone’s like, “I’m going to watch the football game.” “I’m going to go hang out with my family.” He was like, “I’m going to go read economics books.”

Who does that? Dr. Paul.

We don’t need to go on that tangent. This is why I’m posing these points and this is what it means for you, readers, in regards to what’s going on in society. We’ve had this massive stimulus bill passed and we’ve had some sweeping legislation as a result of COVID. Elizabeth Warren is starting to push forward some tax legislation that audits business disruption based on some funding for the IRS, 10x the funding or something like that. The reason why I’m bringing this up is when we hear things on the surface especially from a political sphere, most people take that at its word, at what is said and few people question it.

When they do question it especially for those that understand the principle behind it, it goes back to this idea of trying to push forward what you think is right by making other people wrong. The reason why I was going to The Tuttle Twins then going to the success of Libertas who’s been able to bring forth legislative ideas to either help refine law or to remove the law that infringed on personal liberties. The way in which it was done has been successful. Looking at those who understand what’s going on and also those who want to be able to capitalize on the environment. They don’t realize that what is coming forth in these different legislations and laws is creating a precedent that is not going to end well because it’s been tried before.

When you are able to solve a person’s problems when they are fully capable of solving them themselves, you’re preventing them from learning a lesson. You’re preventing them from feeling rewarded by reliance on themselves, being able to figure out their life and being able to accomplish something especially in the face of hardship. You’re removing that. Now you have set a precedent where you’re helping all these people. Some of which need desperate help and a lot of which don’t need help. What you’re doing is you’re rewarding behavior and creating more reinforcement to their future behaviors and expectations from the government.

Same thing with business. As you’re introducing some tax legislation and those ideas, on the surface, it’s like, “We should tax the rich because the wealth gap is wide and it’s not fair.” On the surface, there are compelling arguments of people but at the same time, what’s being brought forth has many unintended consequences and we know based on history what the consequences are. The idea is this is here and I look at whether it’s entrepreneurs or investors or those who believe in certain principles and truths and want those to be understood by others. You have to use a different set of tactics and behaviors. It’s confronting it head-on is no longer the way to get something achieved in an easy way.

TWS 83 | Lobbying For Liberty

Lobbying For Liberty: You need to find a way to say, “What can we say yes to? How can we look like we’re achieving success and doing good and doing right by people?”

 

You got to recognize the Elizabeth Warrens of the world don’t care about the unintended consequences. I dispute the idea that they’re all unintended. We call them unintended consequences but I feel like sometimes, they’re okay with those consequences. They anticipate them. They get it. They’re not brain dead. Therefore, there’s some intentionality there. “$15 minimum wage sounds good. It’ll keep getting me reelected. It may cause a whole bunch of teenagers to lose their jobs but we’ll just do another stimulus or I’ll do the Teenager Employment Act. It’ll give us more work to do and more problems to solve.”

I feel like sometimes, it’s unintentional and that’s the challenge. You can talk economics all day with Elizabeth Warren or with AOC or whatever. You can have all the rationalities, studies, statistics and everything else. That’s not going to change anyone’s mind. They’ve bought into this narrative. They are emotionally attached and we’ve cultivated a dependency mentality where people are increasingly looking to the government for the problem. We’ve skewed the incentives. People are not feeling the consequences of their own decisions. They’re being bailed out non-stop.

They’re being told, “We’re from the government. We’re here to help,” which Ronald Reagan called the nine most terrifying words in the English language. Even the Mitt Romneys of the world are saying, “We’re here from the government. We’re here to help,” which is ironic. It’s funny to think what Ronald Reagan would be saying now. That’s the challenge we face. We can sit down and try to talk smart with all these people and give them all the data in the world. It’s not going to move them. It’s the narrative, message and emotion and that’s hard to combat.

Let’s end with a couple of things. I know we’re well into the interview and there are some good nuggets here. What would you say is behind your driving force? What’s driving you? Why do you get up in the morning? What are you trying to accomplish with Libertas? What do you see that others may not see? We see the actions but we don’t see the motivations.

I feel like I’ve been blessed with a certain set of skills that allows me to be effective. I sound like Liam Neeson right there. I’m good at what I do. I’m in an area of life, an industry and a role that allows me to be effective. Here’s why I bring that up. Not to sound arrogant, although I probably often do. The reason why I bring that up is that the biggest complaint I hear from people who like you and I care deeply about these ideas and probably many of your readers have said this, “I’m just one person. What can I do? I don’t know how to get involved. I don’t know where to start. I can’t make a difference. I’m going to go about my life.” Many people burn out, don’t even try, don’t even start and don’t know where to go.

I feel like I’m in a position where I can do something about it. As a result, I get many messages. Our organization does have people saying, “Help me.” Here’s why I bring all this up. Every day, I get messages from people who need help and I’d say about 1/3 of them are absolute sob stories. Back when we’re doing medical marijuana, those stories were heart-wrenching and then more so meeting those people face-to-face and seeing the injustice of government. It wasn’t these abstract ideas that some lawmakers are tinkering around with and then they go back to their lives. This is real and this impacts people’s lives.

If you raise the $15 minimum wage and all these companies automate these jobs, that causes real-world problems for people trying to get a start in life and getting a leg up. This impacts real people. There’s this deluge of messages to us of people sharing their problems so that motivates me. It’s what gets me up in the morning. I can’t help all those people. I can’t do everything but for at least some of them, I can do something. I’ve done this long enough, for more than a decade now, where I’ve seen the impact that my team has had on people’s lives.

It’s not theoretical. It’s not in the abstract out there like, “Maybe we help someone.” I’ve been with people who have melted down in front of me about what our work means to them. Anyone in my position would feel deeply motivated. Anyone who’s done service knows how this feels. If you go help the little old lady cross the street or anything like that, you feel good about yourself. You get that oxytocin kicking in. You feel good and you want to do it more. With The Tuttle Twins, there are these parents reaching out. I feel like I’m on good drugs where it’s like, “I want to keep doing more of this.” I want to share the drugs with other people. Other people need to feel these things, too because there’s a lot of problems and increasingly so with all the mess that’s going on.

If you’re in an area of life where you can do something about it, even for that one person, maybe there’s an organization in your area, it has nothing to do with politics and economics. People are struggling and they need jobs. It’s working at the soup kitchen or donating to the food shelter or food pantry or whatever. It is going to collectively take more of us trying to solve problems and helping people out and showing them that the government is not the solution to the problem. It’s private associations, voluntary charity and humanity coming together and not the state through taxation. It’s good to be on good drugs and a lot more people need that experience too.

Some of us can do more than others, but everyone can do something good that adds to the aggregate. Click To Tweet

A couple of things and I’d love your thoughts on this. If you look at the natural drives of human beings, it has been studied and iterated on for hundreds of years. Maslow created an interesting construct as far as describing it in the hierarchy or the sequence of things starting with physical well-being and then going into safety relationships. If you look at the safety component and the physiology, that’s where the government has been proven to be effective, protecting the rights and the safety of individuals. Going beyond that is when you get into relationships and going beyond that, you get into self-esteem and then self-actualization.

I look at starting with self-esteem, people need to experience where they’re relevant in the world. Sometimes, people get it from selling or getting a good job or getting an A in school. Those are reinforcing chemicals that are happening in your body. Preventing that is harmful. Oftentimes, when somebody has achieved self-esteem, it’s because they solve a problem themselves. They go through a hard time and they are the resource that was used to overcome. Robbing a person of that prevents them from getting to this self-actualized phase where people seek to make a difference.

I know most people on the show are in those two arenas. They’re trying to achieve, be independent and make a difference and then getting into that self-actualized phase as well. There are principles behind this that sometimes, we gloss over. This has been something that you can look back on in history, books and stories and see evidence of all this. If we look at the role of government and you look at the role of laws, people have wanted the easy way out. They’re seeking the easy way out instead of having to experience what humans are meant to experience.

It’s an interesting time whether it’s technology or government involvement where people don’t have to do much to be alive. There are sustenance levels that continue to come down to an extent. We have amazing technologies that allow for entertainment that kings are nowhere near the degree of entertainment where we have nowadays. Having a good time, having fun, being able to get together and the conveniences of life. My point in bringing all this up is we’re getting closer to this point where people are going to want to seek meaning.

They’re trying to seek meaning in their life whether it’s the financial accomplishments that they’re a part of or whether it’s them making a difference. I look at where government resides and the mix of things is there trying to facilitate that without people having to take responsibility for themselves and that’s a slippery slope. It’s something that we all should be paying attention to. We may not think we can make a difference. We may not be able to affect millions of people unless you’re Connor Boyack or someone that has a popular podcast.

You can affect a neighbor, impact a neighbor, and do and make a difference with a stranger at the coffee shop. Never write off the experiences you have on a daily basis and your ability to impact and influence the life of somebody else. I heard a story with a professional speaker. There was a Thank You card he got from a reputable person and it changed his life. It probably took 60 seconds to write that Thank You card but it changed that person’s life.

There are moments that happen to us every single day where we can bring our best selves to life. We can come and we can make a difference whether we believe it or not. That’s what people seek in the end. Whether the government is involved in all of our lives, you can still do that but at the same time, humanity has a purpose, in my opinion and in my experience. We’re here to experience certain things and when those things and experiences are prevented from happening, it has negative consequences,

I like that you brought up the impact that one person can have. You never know what that’s going to be, which is the hard challenge. It’s always this calculation of like, “Is this worth my time? Should I do this? It’s only one person.” I’ve had the good fortune of having a good relationship with Ron Paul in the past few years. One time, we were chatting and he says, “Connor, as I was winding down my presidential campaign, a lot of people were saying, ‘What should I do? What’s the next step to continue this on?’” Dr. Paul told me, “I would tell everyone who asked, ‘I have no clue. I don’t know what your skills are and what opportunities you have.’”

He never got any laws changed. He didn’t have any success by that measure. I’ve told him this several times that I would not be doing at all what I’m doing without Ron Paul. The introduction to him woke me up to free-market economics, American history and all this stuff that sent me down the path. Maybe I would have found some other way but I credit him with everything, for being that person teaching these ideas and waking me up. He throws it back at me, “Connor, if you would have asked me like, ‘What should I do, Dr. Paul?’ I never would have thought of starting a think tank or writing children’s books and yet, there you are doing all this good.’”

TWS 83 | Lobbying For Liberty

Lobbying For Liberty: All the data in the world are not going to move the Elizabeth Warrens of the world. It’s the narrative, message and emotion and that’s hard to combat.

 

The good that Ron Paul did, at least in my role and he can claim credit for influencing certainly a lot of other people as well, is that he extended his legacy and his impact. It’s something that I honestly think about often. I’m writing all these books and all these kids are reading them. Who’s the future Ron Paul or Thomas Jefferson or whatever? My efforts would not have gotten onto their life’s path that they needed and we’re uniquely suited to get on. Some of us have larger soapboxes than others. Some of us can do more than others but everyone can do something and it can be even just your neighbor, starting a little book club or doing monthly service projects. Do good. That adds up in the aggregate. Who cares about the aggregate? It matters to the person that you do it to. We need a lot more of it and then you get to enjoy the good drugs that your brain gives you so enjoy that.

Tuttle Twins has impacted a lot of people. In the last interview we did, there are a lot of readers who bought books. You continue to come out with more. You have the famous Harmon Brothers, marketing videographers who are doing some things with The Tuttle Twins brand, which is exciting. How can people connect with you, connect with the news that’s going on in that regard? The point in that is if you see an opportunity to gift a book for the holiday or a birthday or someone that you care about, these are things that have made a difference. How many millions did you sell in 2020 and how many in total?

It’s 1.3 million in 2020, which was more than all previous years combined. 2020 was a big year of growth for us so now we’re over two million in total. It’s crazy. We’ve got books for teens and for toddlers. We’ve got a curriculum and we’re doing a cartoon. TuttleTwins.com is where you can find everything. We’re on all the social media platforms where we post updates and some of the behind-the-scenes stuff as well. You can find us there. If you want to look up our think tank, Libertas Institute, it’s Libertas.org. We’d love to have everyone’s support and keep talking to people. I appreciate you having me on to share the good word.

Libertas is also nonprofit, so you accept donations.

We work in Utah but now we’re scaling our work to other states as well because we’ve had a lot of good success and we don’t want to be greedy and selfish and keep it here in Utah. Whatever state you’re in, we’d love to be talking to folks about how we can help.

Let’s do a show some other time about some of the legislation you guys have been able to bring forward and also, other states being able to leverage that and bring that to their specific state. Thanks for the conversation. Best of luck. I’ll have you on again next time.

Thanks. See you.

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About Connor Boyack

TWS 83 | Lobbying For LibertyConnor Boyack is founder and president of Libertas Institute, a free-market think tank in Utah.

Named one of Utah’s most politically influential people by The Salt Lake Tribune, Connor’s leadership has led to dozens of legislative victories spanning a wide range of areas such as privacy, government transparency, property rights, drug policy, education, personal freedom, and more.

A public speaker and author of 21 books, Connor is best known for The Tuttle Twins books, a children’s series introducing young readers to economic, political, and civic principles.

Connor lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and two homeschooled children.

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Diving Deep Into The $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

TWS 81 | $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

 

Just recently, the House passed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in the hopes of rescuing America from the economic damages brought about by the pandemic. But what does it really entail? What are the underlying consequences of putting out all of this money? In this episode, Patrick Donohoe flies solo to share with us his thoughts about this new bill. He takes a look at it from different perspectives and then offers some insights on how you can best navigate your wealth and more.

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Listen to the podcast here:

Diving Deep Into The $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

Thank you for supporting another episode. I’m glad that you’re here. I’m going to freestyle it, I’ll be by myself. I’m going to bring on some cool guests to speak about some of the points I’ll bring up. I’m going to make some comments regarding the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. There’s enough information out there in other podcasts that analyze the details. I’m going to approach it from a couple of different angles in hopes of inciting you a different perspective of what’s going on so that you can best navigate your wealth, your business, your profession and the enjoyment of life. I believe that is what wealth is. It’s to extract, to experience the joy in life, regardless of what’s going on, tall order. Wealth is something that most people pursue. Oftentimes when they associate it with money and material things, they come to find out that it is not what they wanted.

Best to start with what wealth truly is, which is mindset, being able to look at your circumstances, look at your life and extract the good, the beauty, the gratitude, which if you think about it is all around us. I tried to approach this $1.9 trillion bill from a more neophyte position, meaning 8-to 10-year-old who understands ideas at a certain level. I look at the $1.9 trillion package from an economics perspective, a legal perspective, a precedent setting perspective. I stepped back and I look at the first idea, which is the surface, especially the title, the American Rescue Plan is pitching this $2,800 per family and also extension of unemployment benefits. I look at how much of the bill that amount is. I’ve seen figures around 9%, 10%, even if it’s 15%. That’s where the focus has been.

It’s unfortunate because in the end, when an 8-to 10-year-old see’s candy, they see an amusement park. They see the surface benefit and don’t necessarily have the experience to look at the unintended consequences. It makes sense to me. Majority of Americans do support the bill. At the same time, I believe if they took a shovel deep look into the other points of the bill, tenets of the bill, where money is being spent, it would cause even the young person to scratch their head. $1 billion here, $10 billion here, $500 million here, things that are unrelated to COVID, but at the same time are being pitched under this umbrella that it’s necessary to rescue America. That’s the first thing that I observed is looking at this from a psychological perspective and how a bill that is monumentally massive in size.

TWS 81 | $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

$1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill: The government was not set up to take care of people. It was set up to protect the rights of the people.

 

We’ve become desensitized to the language of money. I’m sure $1.9 million to most Americans is a lot of money. 1.9 trillion seconds ago is 60,000 years. This is a massive amount of money and it is going everywhere. If money were free that grew on trees, if it’s what most 8 to 10-year-olds think money is where you swipe a card and you get stuff, it makes sense. Who wouldn’t want all of this stuff? There are consequences for spending this money because it’s not free. Interest has to be paid on it. Principal has to be paid back. For those of you who are interested in economics, monetary policy, and monetary theory, this idea of MMT, Modern Monetary Theory, which removes some of the responsibilities associated with spending money at a government level, it’s something that is happening in a sense. This $1.9 trillion, the amount of debt that’s being piled up, it’s not possible to payback without some significant dire changes.

We’ll get into some of the precedent setting. A couple episodes back, I talked about some of the points of Biden’s fiscal ideas and specifically taxes, what’s going to change in that respect? I believe that because of how this bill was passed, $1.9 trillion, the majority of Republicans, all of them I think opposed it and all of Democrats were in favor of it to an extent. It was right down the line. It’s interesting where this sets a precedent with all their laws that are going to be pushed forward through the House, the Senate and then signed into law. It’s interesting to look at what Biden wants to push forward is going to be an inevitability. That’s the precedent that it sets. It may not be 100% absolute but close.

Going back to a couple episodes ago, whether it’s higher taxes, whether it’s removing step-up in basis for real estate, whether it’s eliminating capital gains, meaning capital gains will be treated, especially for high income earners as ordinary income. These are sweeping changes, changes to the debt tax, the estate tax, the lifetime exemptions that are available and what can be included. It’s crazy. It’s time to pay attention. There is going to be an impact. This is the precedent that it’s setting. It’s setting another precedent as well, which is one that’s way more philosophical. I’ll end with this, making this a shorter episode.

The precedent is that American people are not creative enough, hardworking enough to take care of themselves, to solve their own problems, to exercise their ingenuity, which is deep inside of everybody. This is where the precedent is dangerous. An example is an article that came out a few years ago, it was a study. It was done in Europe, somewhere Sweden, I believe. The study showed that if families had one less child, it would make a huge difference as far as the carbon footprint human beings leave. It’s an incredible claim. You can remove people and we wouldn’t have any carbon footprint. You look at the human ingenuity specific to this claim. The inventor, Bill Gross, you can look him up, has a project called Carbon Capture, which is an economical way to remove a toxic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If one of those children that weren’t born wasn’t Bill Gross or was Bill Gross, there’s no solution at that magnitude.

The point I’m trying to make is that when we’re put in predicaments of challenge and difficulty, we can take the easy way out and most people would, if that hand is extended. We can take another way out, a route that allows us to understand ourself at a deeper level, to understand what we’re made of. Think of the loss of fulfillment, the loss of self-respect, self-esteem knowing that you overcame challenge. It’s the feeling of rising above adversity. It’s a feeling of conquering something on the surface that you did not believe was within you, what you weren’t capable of. To me, these are the massive losses that are impossible to quantify. The precedent that’s being set is that, “When there’s challenge, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to do anything. You can sit back and relax. We’ll be there to help you.”

I don’t believe that this is an environment of growth that leads to what we’re looking for, which is a sense of self-understanding, a sense of self-reliance, respect, and having the understanding, having the knowledge that we accomplished something. We overcame something. That to me is sad. I look at the genius in everyone and how that genius is being put on the altar of sacrifice. I believe that there are circumstances where people find themselves in challenging times, maybe impossible to fend for themselves. At the same time, I think that is the exception, but we are making it the rule.

There are a couple of interviews I’m going to link to as I conclude this short episode. They were done a couple of years ago, one with Greg Lukianoff, who’s the author of The Coddling of the American Mind, another one, which is a follow-up to that book with Andy Tanner, talking about what we teach our children, the importance of challenge, of difficulty, of overcoming, and the sense that comes from overcoming, the muscle that builds. It’s important especially with what’s going on now.

As a recap what to take from this episode, number one, I look at it’s a clear path to higher taxes, to inflation, and ensuring that you ask yourself the question, “How is my wealth, my portfolio, my financial future impacted by inflation?” I’ll give you a short crash course on inflation, this $1.9 trillion in addition to the north of $100 billion that hasn’t been spent from the previous COVID stimulus bill. This is the money that will go into circulation even though it goes into areas that would make you question, “Why would we do that?” Go look at some of the details. That money is going to find its way into the business’ pockets. That business is going to buy stuff. They’re going to pay their employees, maybe give them a bonus or raise. Those employees are going to go out and spend money. This money came out of nowhere. The money was not earned. Now, we have that much more that is circulating in our economy.

When you have more money circulating and a seemingly finite amount of goods and services, what ends up happening is that more money bids up the price of assets, of goods and services. We’ve seen that already and we’re going to see even more of that. What that means is that the money you have, the money you earned, the value of your assets, your wealth will be buying less stuff in the future because those things have gone up in price. That’s the nature of stimulus and inflation, higher prices. You can also define inflation as the devaluation of the dollar. That’s the first thing.

We have a prime opportunity as human beings to grow, to thrive, and to learn. Click To Tweet

The second thing is legislation that is coming down the pipe, whether it’s taxes or otherwise that is being pushed forth by the administration. We see that a precedent has been set where they can pass laws that are highly controversial. They can pass measures that are highly controversial. Pay attention and start setting up your tax strategy to help you keep more of the money that you’ve earned. Finally, it’s the context of challenge and hardship. I’m not debating that there isn’t hardship. I’m not debating that COVID hasn’t made an impact or the response to COVID has not made an impact. It has. It is evident, not just the United States but around the world.

I remind myself that government was not set up to take care of people. Government was set up to protect the rights of people. People have done some incredible things over the course of time. In this day and age with access to limitless information, resources, knowledge, we can debate the definition of knowledge, but finding solutions, whether it’s YouTube, books, blogs, podcasts, the majority of which is free if not insanely inexpensive. People have the resources to solve problems. At the same time, when resources aren’t needed, they are rarely taken advantage of. Water is not valuable until you’re in the middle of a desert and thirsty, or running a race. It’s the environment where resources become valuable.

We have a prime opportunity as human beings to grow, to thrive, to learn, not just for our own betterment and the remuneration that comes tangibly materially but it’s the feeling, the sensation. It’s the understanding we have about ourselves about what we’re made of. I think we all thirst for that. In essence, we’re being robbed of that because of what’s going on, where governments are taking care of us. They’re solving our problems. They’re giving us handouts. As I look at it from an 8 to 10-year-old, I can see on the surface that the bill makes sense, the narrative makes sense. As 8 to 10-year-old, maybe 12-year-old, when you realize you’ve been deceived or screwed, you’re going to be pissed. I look at the emotions that are going on in the social and political atmosphere. They’re high, it’s tense.

TWS 81 | $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

$1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill: People have the resources to solve problems. At the same time, when resources aren’t needed, they are rarely taken advantage of.

 

This is by no means to incite more of what doesn’t serve you, but it’s to make you even more aware of what’s going on, to navigate your life where you’re not dependent on others, you’re not dependent on handouts. You’re dependent on yourself. It’s to take actions, to make efforts to those ends. Thanks for reading. I appreciate the support. Tune in to the next couple of episodes. We’re going to be talking politics. We’re going to be talking tax strategy and some investment strategy given what’s going on with our environment, specifically how the tax implications could impact your investment strategy or wealth strategy, and some ideas of how to remedy that. Until next time, take care. Bye.

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How To Bring Your Life To The Next Level

RTW 43 | Commercial Real Estate

 

We will not succeed if we simply stay where we are and refuse change or improvement. But trudging the path to the next level of your life means facing your anxieties, financial challenges, and personal issues. To address this, Patrick Donohoe presents his course, The Wealth Standard, which focuses on helping people embrace a better version of themselves. He concentrates on getting rid of the thoughts that limit our beliefs, finding your true value as a worker, and looking at leadership from a brand new perspective. Self-fulfillment can only be achieved if you know where you are leading your life, and it starts by transforming yourself.

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Listen to the podcast here:

How To Bring Your Life To The Next Level

I’m grateful to share some thoughts with you. It’s been a while since I made an episode, especially a solo one, but I’m back. I’ve spent time developing and creating content for the new digital course that has officially launched. You guys can get more information about that course by going to Go.TheWealthStandard.com/freedom. What I like to do is talk a bit about the course, how I came up with the content, but then also unpack and dive into some of the primary themes in the responses you gave me through your candid feedback, as well as thoughtful responses to questions. That’s where I’ll start because the course is something I could have assumed I knew what you needed, what you would have valued, what was holding you back in your particular situation.

I’ve done that in the past. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This go-around, I decided to get responses from you to understand your world, what holds you back, and what are some of the obstacles that you’re facing. I’m humbled by the hundreds of responses I received. It made me dig down deep to understand the true root cause of those challenges, obstacles and limitations that are holding you back. What I discovered is that these are some things that have held me back in the past. These are parts of the human experience. We’re faced with similar obstacles, at the same time, the situations are all different.

I’m grateful to you. I’m grateful to have been able to think through the way in which the curriculum is created and the exercises were formulated. If you want to take your life to the next level, then this is a course that is for you. It has a 30-day money back guarantee. If you buy it and you hate it, don’t like it, too intense, too much information, I didn’t even give you all the information at one side to stagger it out week upon week because of how much is in there, but I’ll give you your money back, no questions asked. What I’d like to do is get into a couple of the primary themes that I saw in the responses that you gave me. I believe that this will give you insight into how I developed some of the information as well as exercises.

RTW 43 | Commercial Real Estate

The Next Level:  Today’s society wants things quick and fast, and with the snap of a finger or a click of a button.

 

A Year of Disruption

Thank you for investing your time and your energy. It says a lot about you and it means a lot to me because I’m inspired by those who are driven, those that are seeking information to improve their lives. I’m grateful to you. 2020 was a year of disruption. This season has been disrupted, especially here in Utah, and we weren’t able to gather as we have in the past. It makes you think about how grateful you are for the things that you have, because when they’re taken away, that provides that polarity. 2020 has been full of those opportunities. I hope you have passed your weekend grateful and had a wonderful experience. I haven’t done an episode in a while. Many of you know that I have been working on a digital course since I’ve been neck deep in recording, re-recording, and it’s been a great experience. This go-around has been different because of your involvement. I had reached out to a number of segments of the audience and pulled them, and requested feedback and answers to questions. This go-around, I wanted to create content, create a course that served you at a higher level by addressing your primary concerns, your anxieties, the things that are holding you back the most from achieving that next level of life, that financial freedom or financial independence that you and everybody else is ultimately seeking.

Your responses were heartfelt and your candor was incredible. I’m appreciative and grateful for that. What I’d like to do is give you a snippet of what the course is going to entail by addressing one of the patterns that I’ve seen throughout the responses. These are patterns are everywhere and they’re in greater magnitude these days. I believe we live in a society that wants things quick and fast with the snap of a finger or a click of a button, and looking at freedom and achieving that level of life, and then continuing to achieve it because it is not a one-time event. It’s challenging for most because they see it as a possibility, whether it’s what they see on social media, whether it’s what they read in books.

That pursuit and desire is amplified. I have had the fortunate opportunity of working with a lot of people with their personal finances. I’ve come to these conclusions or these realizations that ultimately, money is a part of the equation, but it is not the primary variable to freedom and independence. Hopefully, that comes out in what I’ll talk about. There are practical strategies, things to do, things to do differently, things to stop doing, things to start doing, but there is a mindset shift that is necessary. The variables or the components of that mindset shift will be evident because not only do I want to go through a specific response to a question. The question being, what are the primary obstacles that are holding you back from living a life at the next level? It pertains to a person, but you can substitute any obstacle that you have, where you stand in a specific place in life.

RTW 43 | Commercial Real Estate

The Next Level:  If a business wants to grow, it has to innovate and find better ways to meet the needs of their customers.

 

There is a future that you desire and you yearn for. There’s a gap or an in-between. There is what needs to take place in order for you to be at that level. Our psyche often times puts these barriers in place and prevents us from taking risks because naturally we want to avoid fear, and that fear is embedded in our DNA. Mostly it’s irrational at the same time because it’s built into us. It’s challenging for us to rationalize being able to confront it and overcome it. Let’s get into this example. I hope you find some meaning and some value in it. The course is life. Version one is up. I plan on doing lots of iteration and that’s why I kept the price point on the course low so that I can get a bunch of users experiencing it, giving feedback with both the exercises that are there, as well as the content and continue to iterate and make it even more valuable.

You can go check out version one. If you buy this first version, even though the price is going to go up in the future, you can get all those different versions, those upgrades for free, but you can go to Go.TheWealthStandard.com/freedom. This is the obstacle that I’m going to be addressing. The question, what are the primary obstacles that are standing in the way between where you are now and where you want to be in the future, that life at the next level? This specific response was short but I saw this pattern in dozens, if not more of the responses, and there were hundreds of responses. This one was, “I don’t have a business. I am an employee.” These are obstacles you can replace whatever obstacle you have as you ask yourself that question, what is the primary thing that is in the way of me achieving that life at the next level? “I don’t have a business, I’m an employee.”

There could be a multitude of meaning within what they have responded. I’m going to get into a few of them, but it’s an obstacle. The first thing is having a business. If that is the barrier that’s in the way to achieving an amazing life, business is a masochistic and risky way of doing it because the majority of businesses do not succeed. The majority of business owners who get divorced lose their relationships with their kids. They put huge investments and lose those investments, and put people’s lives on the line.

Money is a part of the equation, but it is not the primary variable to freedom and independence. Click To Tweet

Achieving Financial Independence

It’s stressful. I’ve been in business for several years and almost going out of business a number of times. There’s a deep desire inside of me that pushed me through and had me persevere through some challenging times where I wanted to be done, but going to life at the next level as business owner, there are even more opportunities and possibilities to achieve financial independence and meaningful life by being an employee. That’s what I’m going to focus my attention because in the end, I believe that successful business and being a successful employee have same dynamic. The only difference is scale, because a business provides a service. An employee provides a service. If a business wants to grow, they have to innovate and find better ways to meet the needs of their customers.

If it’s an employee, it’s a great way to innovate where you can look at the service and the value you’re being paid for, and find ways to improve the value to reach and meet the needs of the person that’s paying you. It’s a different perspective. Sometimes employees look at this entitlement where they should receive a raise for doing nothing. You can flip that and ultimately get even more money through bonuses, raises and position increases. They allow you to make more money and with that additional money, it’s making investment. It’s saving and establishing what I define as financial independence. For those of you who have read the book, you are familiar with this. It’s when 50% of your income comes from the cashflow of investments. The other 50% comes from doing meaningful work on your terms.

Fifty percent can be established by making a lot of money as an employee, but along the way, the resume you build, the human life value balance sheet that you create by your experiences, by the relationships and the network you’ve built can position you to spend twenty hours a week doing meaningful work, and being paid a multiple of what you are paid now. That’s what I’m going to get into because the dynamic, the components, the variables of success of both a business and an employee are the exact same thing. The only difference is scale but I’m going to give you some ideas as far as scale is concerned and how to scale yourself as an employee. The first thing I’m going to do, and this is where I took a direction with a course based on the responses you gave me, because there are many different tactics, strategies, ideas, advice and insight I could give you, but unless there is a breakthrough with your psychology, then all you’re going to be doing is looking for what’s wrong.

RTW 43 | Commercial Real Estate

The Next Level: 50% of income comes from the cashflow of investments. The other 50% comes from doing meaningful work on your terms.

 

Limiting Belief

You’re going to be trying to find this confirmation bias, it’s finding the evidence of why your obstacle and what you’ve stayed as your limiting belief is true. Until you can start to question the validity of your limiting belief, no solutions are going to resonate. That’s where I’m going to start. There are some exercises in the course that facilitate the breakthroughs that you can have in order to look at yourself, your beliefs, and your limiting beliefs differently, creating empowering beliefs, and positioning your psychology so that you can be open to the slew and myriad of opportunities that are all around you. I’m going to use a simple example, but there are much more deep and profound experiences within the course that you are going to find fascinating. These are the experiences that I’ve had over the last few years that have given me tremendous breakthrough in my own personal life and my own happiness in my business.

I replicated those for your benefit, but I’m going to go through one. If I was talking to a client, an employee, a friend, my wife or my kids, and we were having a conversation about something that is holding you back, what I would first do is to address the feelings and emotions associated with that limiting beliefs. In this case, the limiting belief is, “I have to have a business. I’m an employee. I have to have business in order for me to be free.” When you think about that, financial independence and life of the next level isn’t possible because in order to do that, you have to have a business. You have to do your own thing.

How does that make you feel? The response is, “I feel held back. I feel frustrated. I’m not motivated. I’m challenged.” I would follow up with, “When you feel this way, do you even want to pursue anything that could potentially get you there? The answer is, “No way, I don’t even want to take that first step.” When you tell yourself this story that you have to own a business in order to be financially independent, in order to achieve the next level of life, you have all the information and you’ve pulled everybody. Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that statement is true? That in order for you to be financially independent and live a life of the next level, you have to own a business.

Unless there is a breakthrough with your psychology, all you're going to be doing is looking for what's wrong. Click To Tweet

This is where the eyes roll sometimes, but that’s intentional because what it does is it gets a person to say that “No, I don’t have all of the information. It could be possible that life of the next level is there, and I don’t have to own a business in order to achieve it.” First, it interrupts the belief or that confirmation bias. We’re looking for information to validate what we already believe. What this does is it opens our mind to this new opportunity that it is possible. Simply saying the words that, “I don’t have all the information. It could be possible.” It’s associating the emotions with it. The emotions are those agents of confirmation.

The emotion is if it were true that you didn’t have to be a business owner. You could be an employee to achieve that level of financial independence. How does that make you feel? That’s when they say, “I’m optimistic. I feel that it’s possible. I believe that there may be somebody out there that can help me or give me some insight or give me some information for me to believe that even more.” That’s where it starts. That’s the first domino that needs to be knocked down in order to start positioning strategy. That’s where limitations are concerned and why I positioned the first part of this digital course as breaking through the limiting beliefs.

Following that up with the actual strategies, a person can pursue to make changes, to make adjustments, to get more information, and to execute on that information. I know that if I started with that like I have in the past, most individuals are not in the mindset. They don’t have the psychology of making changes. In one episode that I did, the biggest fears that people have are being wrong and having to change. This is one of the exercises that could potentially work. In this digital course, there are a few other exercises that help you navigate through some of those limiting beliefs and start to replace them with empowering beliefs. Let’s get into solutions because psychology is one thing, but if you’re open to new possibilities and to having additional information, change is likely not to occur.

Value As An Employee

RTW 43 | Commercial Real Estate

The Wealth of Nations

A business and employee are similar. They both provide a service of value in which they’re paid for. The only difference is scale. In a business, multiple people are involved. A famous definition of scalability is by Adam Smith when he talks about the pen factory in his book, The Wealth of Nations, where he identified that one person making all the different parts of a pen and putting it together has a certain amount of output at the end of the day. If you divide that labor, the division of labor, where multiple people are involved, each of them is responsible for one piece of the assembly, then you’re able to have scalability. The output is a multiple. That’s the idea of scale. There’s scalability possible for an employee, but you first have to identify the value that you provide as an employee. We’re all wired to look at ourselves and to come to a determination of why we’re valuable, rarely do people step outside of them and define, “Why does an employer think I’m valuable? What do I do? What is it about what I do that I’m paid for?”

This comes down to doing an audit of the different tasks and responsibilities and where you spend your time during the day. There are tasks that are meaningless or tasks that have low value. There are the tasks and the value that you’re paid for. In the process of doing this, you’re starting to look at yourself as the customer or the client. The patron looks at you, in this case, it’s your employer. This is a key to business. Peter Drucker says that to grow a business, you have to have focus on two things, innovation and marketing. Innovation is constantly finding even better ways to serve and meet the needs of your customer or client. Marketing is getting people to do more business with you. Looking at employee and employer relationship, this is where you start to understand the needs of the employer. What are they trying to do? What’s their revision? Were they trying to achieve? What are they trying to accomplish? How can I do something potentially different to bring even more value to them? If you go through this process as an employee and bring that success to a business, you’re going to have a much higher likelihood of being a success in business.

You might as well figure out how to do it as an employee first. I look at being an employee as one of the most incredible ways to experiment and to do things that potentially could be incredibly risky as a business, but doing it as an employee, there’s more agility and resilience because you can try things. If it doesn’t work, try something else. The worst thing is you can get a slap on the hand or get fired, but then you can go find another position where as a business, there are people’s jobs that are on the line. There are expenses, leases and other commitments that you’ve made that are on the line. Whereas an employee, there’s more resilience associated with experimenting on the ways in which you can create even more value. Coming from an employee, it’s finding leverage in the tasks that you’re already doing and defining all the different things you do throughout the day and what you’re paid for. As you look for more ways to scale, that’s an easier way to scale.

Identify yourself as the asset, find out why you're paid, and figure out how to make that asset even more valuable. Click To Tweet

Looking at it from a position standpoint, are there other positions that you would be better at, that you could be paid for? This is going to, what’s your skillset? What’s your experience? What do you love doing? That’s going to give you those nuggets where you can start to look for other positions, whether it’s inside the company that you’re with or within the employee base of another company. Nonetheless, it’s starting to identify yourself as the asset and find out why you’re paid and figuring out how to make that asset even more valuable. There’s an eBook that I wrote a number of years ago before my official book came out and it’s essentially how to invest in a $50 million asset, which is you.

A Look At Leadership

What it does is it shows the math behind instead of getting a 3% raise per year, which is customary, you get a 10% raise per year. That 10% doesn’t come about by entitlement. That 10% is going to come about by you being more valuable and demonstrate that in the digital course as well. Let’s segue into an essential variable or dynamic of a successful business. It’s also an essential component of a successful employee. This is leadership. We are conditioned in our society to look at leadership from a hierarchical perspective. There is tenure within the public-school systems. There is the vice principal, the principal, the superintendent, the same structure exists in government. In corporations, the same structure exists.

We get this idea that leadership is management, but I believe that management in and of itself is a horrible way to get leverage. Leadership-focused management is an empowering way. Management is getting people to do things whether it’s usually by a stick. Rarely it’s a carrot, but I believe that even stick and carrot are limiting. There is a way in which you can empower people to do good work. Leadership is a huge opportunity because the majority of employees are conditioned to look at leadership as a hierarchical management structure. I think that’s limiting. It’s figuring out how to hone in on your leadership abilities, your ability to involve others in projects and get scale. Use that division of labor dynamic. This could come from reading books and taking courses. It’s the experimentation side of things. It’s learning how to be a good leader, finding mentors whether it’s direct or indirect, and incorporating their style of handling meetings, their style of executing projects or being part of a project.

RTW 43 | Commercial Real Estate

The Next Level: Focus on the areas that you’re best at and allow others to fill roles that they’re best at.

 

The leadership dynamic is huge because it’s empowering people, especially in our day and age, when you have a fleeting employee base, where employees are jumping from company to company for a 2%, 3%, 4% raise. Maybe a little bit more benefit here. What’s going to keep them is good leadership, which is caring, empathy, but also instilling in them a desire to do good work and even more good work after they’ve done the initial good work. Leadership is huge because that’s when you can work in teams and get way more done. You can focus on the areas that you’re best at, and allow others to fill roles that they’re best at.

A Meaningful Life

That right there brings about a greater output. That is essential for scaling as an employee. I know a lot of people that make high six figures and even seven figures in the employee world. This is where sometimes research into, what is the maximum income that you can earn in your position or a position that you desire? What does that look like? Start to define what is inside of the gap between where you’re at right now, what you’re paid for and what a person at that caliber is paid for. All along the way, you’re making more money. The point is it’s not to solely reliant on your profession to achieve that end result, that financial independence or a meaningful life.

It equips you to, number one, establish an asset base that is providing cashflow that covers your lifestyle. Second, it’s to be able to evaluate what you’re doing inside of your work as an employee and always, either find ways to have more enjoyment, success, achievement and fulfillment. If you don’t, you have a lot more latitude because of how you’ve established your assets to either move to a consultant position or to a part-time position. Move from company to company, if that environment is not suitable to the terms and conditions you set up for yourself as far as defining a meaningful life and a meaningful career.

In the end, retirement is a flawed idea, which is 100% living off your assets. We’re wired to create value. We’re wired to contribute and improve the lives of others and in the process, improve our own lives. That’s a natural occurring energy that keeps us alive, happy and fulfilled. Without it, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, fulfillment is unlikely. Looking at the continual pursuit of improving yourself as an asset, whether you own a business or not is going to be vital to achieving this financial independence, whatever that next level looks like for you. This is where it all end. Even if you get to that 6, 7 figures and you’re a highly valued or highly paid employee, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in those positions. You can look at consultant positions and being on boards.

You could be part-time. You could be a contractor or a free freelancer, and do work from anywhere in the world on your terms. That’s where a big piece of the course comes is to help you define what are the terms. What is the criteria? What is life of the next level look like? You can define that first and have that end result always in your mind. More often than not, people don’t necessarily come up with a clear definition of what they’re after or the results that they want. They go through the motions on a daily basis without the milestones that are necessary to get to that end result. The clarity that one can get from establishing that ideal life and a life on their terms is powerful.

Unequivocally, I see individuals coming to the conclusion and realization that to live life at that level, it doesn’t require what they thought it was going to require. It’s a lot easier. At the same time, this is a process. There are many people that are struggling because of our environment. I empathize with that. I understand that there is disruption. At the same time, there are incredible opportunities for those that exercise the fortitude of a healthy and abundant mindset because opportunities are everywhere. Thanks again for reading. Thanks for investing your time into educating yourself. Hopefully, this message has resonated with you. Go check out this new course called A Path to Financial Independence. It’s at Go.TheWealthStandard.com/freedom. Next, I’m going to be tackling another insightful obstacle that many of you had expressed in relation to achieving that life at the next level, and that is taking time and money away from family. In this case, wife and children. It’s the confidence to commit more time and money into a business, but also keeping spouse and children in mind. That’s what I’m going to tackle next. We’ll see you next time. Bye.

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