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Doing Business Your Own Way.. And Succeeding! with Kim Butler
Our guest is none other than a good friend of mine. She is my mentor. She is also a financial advisor. We’re part of something called The Prosperity Economics Movement where we essentially train advisors on the principles and strategies that we both practice. Kim was one of the first Rich Dad advisors to Robert Kiyosaki. She’s written a number of books which you can check out on Amazon. By far my most favorite is Busting the Financial Planning Lies, but she’s written several other books as well. She and her husband, Todd Langford, are great friends of mine. We’re business partners and we get to meet every single week. This is a little bit different meeting for Kim and me. She’s an incredible individual. She’s so experienced and she has had a lot of success in her field. I can’t wait for you to meet her if you haven’t heard of her before.
We do have a couple of episodes left if you are tuning in for the first time. We essentially have the show broken into three yearly seasons. We started that in 2018. Go and check out those past episodes. We have been focusing on the principle of entrepreneurship. It’s going to be over soon and I’m going to be announcing the new season, which I’m excited about. We also have some cool guests that will be appearing soon. Make sure you tune into those episodes. Without further ado, I’m going to introduce you to my great friend, Kim Butler.
Kim, it’s awesome to have you on. It’s always a delight for me to talk to you. We are part of a few different initiatives and businesses. At the same time, we don’t get a lot of time to speak on some of these higher-level borderline esoteric things such as what our theme, which is entrepreneurship. You have extensive experience and it’s interesting especially as we’ve come to know each other better where the business is such a fun and dynamic thing that keeps the entrepreneurial spirit alive for a long time. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t get the experience that you do because you have been heavily inspired by Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach, not only as a student but also as a teacher and mentor. There’s something about being able to teach principles and teach about certain concepts, especially as it relates to a business that starts to become part of you, your nervous system, your emo, how you’re wired, how you respond to certain things versus react to certain things. Walk everyone through your experience in business and what are the events that shaped the way you look at it. Define how you look at it first and then talk about the events that helped to shape that and continue to shape it.
You do know we have to start with fourth-grade in milking a cow. My parents bought me a cow to milk and I sold the milk. From fourth grade all the way through twelfth grade, I earned a lot of money enough to put myself through a private college for four years. That entrepreneurial experience shaped how I think and how I look at things. My parents are not entrepreneurs and yet they were. They were teachers and principals of schools. They had a farm and they certainly saw the value of forage and teaching me and Tammi, my sister, all of the good that goes with building a business.
They gave you this experience. They didn’t necessarily give it to you based on their experience in it. It was more to provide you with an environment and an experience. What do you think was the cause of that? Have you ever asked them like, “Why did you buy me the cow? Why did you let me do this and sell this and go to forage and continue to support that?” I’m assuming, there was some support on their end for you to do the business.Mindset determines 99% of the deal. Click To Tweet
In the early stages, there had to be a lot of support because of the nature of it. A fourth-grader is a pretty small human being and a cow is a big animal. My dad was a farmer and a forager as a child. He very much wanted Tammi and me to have that experience and we have talked about it. It’s been a while but I definitely know the story. He wanted us to learn business principles. You and I know and talk about how important principles are and how reflective they are in all of our lives if we can just pick up on something that teaches principles. Because when we have good solid principles, they impact our entire life and that’s what he wanted us to learn.
Now you may be graduated from school when you left home and how your experiences to get into the business that you’re in and to become part of Coach. Describe some of the experiences in which you were able to take what you learned growing up and apply that to that next phase or next level.
There’s an important detour that I took that I’m almost a little embarrassed about, but I want to share it because it has such an important message. After graduating from college, I did not want to be involved in sales in any way.
Why is that?
How sad that is because entrepreneurship, frankly just being human requires selling.
You sold milk.
I know, as I said, I’m embarrassed by it. You ask why? I don’t know why. I don’t have a good answer for that. I did go to a liberal arts school, but I don’t think that was it. Something in my experience turned my perspective and maybe it’s because I didn’t know any better. I’m not sure. I remember very clearly that I wanted a job in management. I didn’t want a job in sales. Yet one of my favorite books now is by Daniel Pink and it is To Sell Is Human and it is. It’s something that we do every day. We sell ourselves on our own ideas. We sell others on things that we want to be done. We sell our family on where we want to go to dinner that night. We’re selling but for whatever reason, I had this bizarre detour.
Most people have that and I don’t want to go into the psychology of it because I’ve thought the same thing and felt the same thing. At the same time, there are some principles behind providing some products or services that inspire you through that awkwardness. I don’t want to go on that tangent necessarily. Go to ways in which you overcame that and then maybe transition to how you became involved with Rich Dad and then going into Coach from there.
Very quickly in my first corporate job, I did realize that in order for a business to make progress and a profit, selling was necessary. While I did have three years as an employee, I very quickly realized that the ability to get results, to get paid for my results instead of my time and effort, that is a Dan Sullivan thing, to cross over the risk line from time and effort to results was absolutely necessary. Fast forward a little bit to continue to address some of your questions on the entrepreneur side, getting involved with Robert Kiyosaki and Kim Kiyosaki and their perspective. Also right around the same time getting involved with Dan Sullivan and Strategic Coach and his perspective and also at that same time getting involved with Kathy Kolbe and her perspective. You certainly have your Kolbe profile and know the value of the Kolbe profile, which indicates how you get results.
You put all of that together and I became a very focused, very on–point person/entrepreneur as it related to my passion that I think did start way back in fourth grade and that was money. I loved personal finance. I loved money. I loved making money. I loved all of the aspects of money and how it flows through economies, both nationwide, worldwide and also down on the small side to our own personal level. All of these things contributed to that. An entrepreneurial environment with money, those two things go hand-in-hand and the good that can be created from understanding principles that relate not only to one’s personal economy but also to any business that you’re going to operate.Our businesses are either growing or dying. There is no such thing as maintenance. Click To Tweet
It sounds like you had three events, Rich Dad, Strategic Coach and Kolbe all at once and then everything from that point forward was complete euphoria, wasn’t it? Walk us through what happened from there at a high-level and how the principles that you were learning, identified or clarified and then reinforced and then became part of how you started to operate differently.
What was very gratifying now that I can look back on it is the various things that I was involved with were all sending the same message. As an example, I had always been working on what I now call typical financial planning. This is the early ‘90s for about five years. I had a nice practice. I was very good at it and yet I wanted more, which got me to Strategic Coach. I had always been working on typical financial planning and yet I wanted more. That led me to a conversation with Robert and Kim who at that point, Rich Dad Poor Dad book wasn’t even out yet. It was a conversation and yet it was a reinforcement of principles because I had started to learn from a lot of my other real estate clients. Robert at that point was another real estate client that there were fundamental personal financial principles that I was not being taught in typical financial planning with the designations that I had and the training that I was going through. I knew that these principles existed because I had worked in that entrepreneurial world for so long.
As I joined Coach and at this point, I was a student of Coach and I still am. I still attend every 90 days and yet I hadn’t started coaching at this point. As I’m learning from other entrepreneurs and other real estate investors in my own what was at the time a face-to-face practice, these entrepreneurial principles align with these financial principles in very clear categories on one side of the table. The more typical financial planning type thought process, I don’t even want to use the word principles in the typical financial planning space, aligned more with the corporate employee world that I did not want to be a part of. There was a very clear division there and thankfully everything that I was doing was supporting that more entrepreneurial principle-based, as we use the term now, prosperity economics. Because of Coach, I was led to coin some of the words like prosperity economics to identify some of those principles and then everything else did support it. Yet there are still challenges because as you know now, you and I spend every day fighting the battle of Wall Street, the banks and corporations and the typical financial planning message that is so prevalent in our society.
Think about it, you’ve hit on a couple of things which are going through my mind. One, in particular, is the idea of what you were driven to do as a result of your college education, which is, “I want to become a manager.” I don’t know if kids wake up and say, “I want to become a manager of something.” I look at how our school systems are run, I look at how society is run, I look at how most corporate businesses are run. It’s very hierarchical and also there are managerial principles there. You’ve seen a lot of decay in that world in a lot of different respects. It has become so ingrained in us based on the different stages of our life that it followed a very similar structure. Whether it’s an elementary school, middle school, high school, K–12, then you get into college. You’re taught to do things this very methodical way. Go to school, get a job, get a degree, get another job, go up the corporate ladder and get benefits.
There are always these boxes to check in order to achieve success. Most people check all the boxes and are suddenly like, “This is not what I thought it was going to be.” A lot of people are realizing that the corporate world is changing. It’s so ingrained in us to think a certain way that when there is a different idea such as prosperity, economics, doing things in a different way or just because it’s different, it makes people concerned and ultimately feel threatened to an extent where you’re challenging the status quo.
It’s been interesting for us to have that experience together because a lot of the work that we do together is with financial advisors. They are now taking what they have given as advice and suddenly being in the position to say, “I probably shouldn’t have done that.” Because of saving face, reputation and identity, they have a challenge in shifting gears. With business, let’s go back to that. When you look at business, business is always evolving. It’s an infinite game as we talk about, the way in which a business is run or an entrepreneur sets his vision and establishes a business and carries forward that message. Tomorrow and next week and next year, things adjust. You being involved in Coach for the many years. I don’t know where you’re at right now. What has been your experience in seeing the different types of economies and different shifts and how entrepreneurs and businesses have essentially either succeeded or failed and why?
One of the singular messages that I love that comes from Dan Sullivan and down to all of the entrepreneurs everywhere. One of the cool things about coaches is that you get to share so much wisdom with entrepreneurs, which then get to share that wisdom with their employees and their families. That is the importance of mindset, especially as it relates to what’s going on in the economy with which your business is operating and what you can and cannot control. The overriding message and this was super clear in the 2008, 2009 era. I believe it was also clear in whatever the recession was before that, I don’t remember the exact years.
That’s the early 2000s.
It is that you don’t have to participate. You as an entrepreneur, like your family, as an individual, as a salesperson, even as an employee do not have to participate in whatever the recession/thing that’s going on in that larger economy. People hear that and think, “I’m stuck. I don’t have a choice.” I have fallen subject to that same mindset. There are times I forget that I do not have to participate in whatever is going on out in the mindset of the economy and the actions of the economy. You and I’ve had conversations that I’ve gotten off the phone and thought, “Here I was in scarcity mode talking with somebody that’s important about whatever it was that I was afraid of at the time.” I too forgot that I do not have to participate in whatever the mental climate is of the worldwide economy, the nationwide economy, even down to the state and my personal businesses, which then affect my personal finances economy. Overriding principle if you will, message if you will, that individuals can focus on the one thing that they can control, which is their mindset. That mindset determines 99% of the deal.
In the end, it’s what everyone is essentially looking for, a mindset. The material world has to be aligned in a certain way in order to achieve that which is interesting. It plays into what we were talking about before, which is that’s how we’re wired. That’s what we’ve come to believe collectively. There are a lot of individuals that are writing and talking about very similar things because there is an aspect of the future that you can probably predict, but there’s so many that you can’t. All that exists is right now. Talk about, as you’ve experienced other entrepreneurs, their businesses and Strategic Coach covers an array of different businesses and industries and even countries. How have you shaped your business and your life based on what you’ve learned and/or taught?You don’t have to do business the same way that everybody else is doing business. Click To Tweet
The ability to work virtually as in over the phone on the web, but also with the capability that it comes with. For example, flexibility around hours and physical space, etc., that’s something that many strategic coach entrepreneurs are pursuing and loving. The internet was a big part of that and the realization that you don’t have to do business the same way that everybody else is doing business. Strategic Coach and my Kolbe profile gave me the freedom to be myself. Kathy’s definition of success is the freedom to be yourself. The vision is to realize early on the creation of the internet and the capability that it enabled to be able to work that way. Strategic Coach is giving you the support that you can do it, go for it, think big, think differently and get different results accordingly.
As I look at the other entrepreneurs inside Coach, there are under 60 some different industries in there and the ones that are doing the best are creating the businesses on their own terms. They’re building the teams around their own vision of what they feel like their business is capable of, regardless of what their industry is doing, regardless of what other businesses like theirs are doing or regardless of what the accountant says should be done. They’re basing it off vision and a set of principles that may be different than our principles, but their own set of principles and their own skills and talents identified sometimes by Kolbe and other profiles out there that help them do that. It enables them to love their work and to have worked not be so all-consuming 24/7 like you might think is happening in a virtual firm, but to have it limited within a particular window so that love is getting the top skill and capability of an entrepreneur. That entrepreneur’s family and church community and whatever else is involved with are also getting the top skill of that entrepreneur.
There’s been this gravitation going from working to live versus living to work. It’s interesting where these up and coming generations, Millennials and even the generations after that have figured out ways in which to do things differently and more efficiently. Ultimately, it comes down to the experience of life. In the end, that’s what everyone is looking for. They’re looking for a sense of happiness, a sense of fulfillment. I think work is a part of that. At the same time, if they’re connecting that all happiness, fulfillment, success comes from work, then that’s not necessarily the most principled way to look at it based on the experiences that I’m sure that you’ve had over the course of time. That’s where you look at in our day and age and what exists as a possibility when it comes to designing your life and designing the rules for that.
There’s something that Andy Tanner had taught me regarding getting to where you want to go with whatever successes, however, you define success. There’s where you’re at and there’s where you want to be. There are usually two variables that prevent you from getting there. It’s ignorance or discipline, but then I threw another one at him, which is most people don’t know where they’re going. They don’t know what that end result is. They haven’t written their rules are defined, “This is what I want, this is the lifestyle I want to live, this is where I want to live,” and then figuring out a way is the gap, ignorance or is the gap, discipline? Ignorance means do you have the knowledge? If you don’t have the knowledge like, the knowledge is there. What is available at our fingertips possesses pretty much all the knowledge you need in order to make that a reality, but then it comes down to discipline.
I look at discipline as one of those main variables that prevent a person from living a fulfilling life, which is being able to identify that they have a specific makeup and structure of their nervous system, of their belief system. How that dictates the direction of their life and having to replace a lot of those beliefs and replace them with new beliefs and then being disciplined to execute. It’s interesting where you’ve been able to do that. That’s what I’ve respected about you and Todd for so long. You’ve said this is the life I want to live. This is where I want to live. You live in a beautiful location in Texas. When I first walked into your house, I was like, “That’s Kim, that’s Todd and that might be a combination of Kim and Todd.” You’ve designed your life and that’s so admirable. Talk about whether I’m off or on there and then what are you focused on right now to continue to shape this life and shape your business.
Thank you for the compliment. It’s super cool that you can see that in our home, which is our business also. In answer to your question, what’s interesting to me about discipline is and I’ll quote Dan Sullivan again, “It’s more to me about habits than it is about discipline.” The Dan Sullivan quote is, “You are 100% disciplined to your current set of habits.” I look at my habits a lot and as you know, we are in the habits of controlling our thinking. Whether you are doing a lot of that or a little of that, that’s having an impact. We have certain habits about how we eat. Good or bad habits, they’re habits. What are you doing around that area? Certain habits around what kind of input we have to our thinking. For example, Todd and I choose not to watch TV because we do not care what that input is.
We watch movies but not TV, there’s an important distinction there. The controlling of habits is something that we can all do and look at our habits and how they’re serving us. To pick up on your second question more about the vision is something that Todd and I are adamant about and we talk about it more and more every day. It’s that human beings or business owners cannot coast. There is no such thing as maintenance. I’ll give you an example on the physical side. I’ve worked with a personal trainer for many years. She’s the same gal and we do our work now over the web because she still lives in Arizona. At some point in our relationship, I said, “I’m good. I just want to maintain.” I want to be in maintenance mode with my weights and my cardio. That didn’t work. You can’t maintain. There is no such thing as coasting. You are either growing or you are dying. That might be abrupt language but I fully believe that it’s that big of a dichotomy and that we need to be focused on growth.
One of the questions that Todd asked me when we first started dating is, “What are you all about?” Without even thinking the word “growth” came out of my mouth. It’s something that we are very conscious of. Our businesses are either growing or dying. There is no such thing as maintenance. Our lives, our mindset, our spiritual approach, our inspirational if that works better for people, our work, everything is either growing or dying. That vision is part of that growth and a vision is very different than a goal. A goal is specific and measurable. We can achieve it, it has a timeframe and it’s realistic. A vision is out there a little bit more in the future, a little fuzzier. Yet to me, it’s that vision that I’m always striving for. Goals too but I prefer to focus on the vision.
I was thinking about something and it plays right into what you’ve been talking about. I’ve mentioned this to you before. Blair Singer, another Rich Dad advisor, he explained at one of his events the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is the idea of entropy. The theory states that if you completely remove a system from the environment, it doesn’t die. There is no system without an environment that exists. The environment is going to dictate going from one stage to another stage. He explains it as the higher the pressure of that environment, the more success is going to come out on the outside or growth or enhancement.
He explains it with if a tree falls in the forest, what will it become? It will become part of the forest. It will become the food for the trees or whatever. If a tree falls in a different environment and goes from one stage of life to the next, if it falls into a swamp per se, where there are lots of pressure and organisms. A lot more is going on than if it fell into the forest, then it becomes over the course of time, coal and then it becomes a diamond. It shifts to different elements, a much different outcome than if it fell in the forest. The idea is, from what you’re saying, we live in an environment. We can’t control that.Vision is part of growth and it is very different than a goal. A goal is specific and measurable. Click To Tweet
The environment that we live in requires growth. Things are growing, they’re dying and they’re taking different stages. When it comes to our life, there’s a lot of similarity and parallel where the environment is going to dictate where we’re at the next level. If it’s the same environment that exists right now, then as we go into different stages, it’s going to be the same and there’s going to be such a lack of fulfillment there. I’ve correlated to the best thing that you can do in order to achieve different results is put yourself in different environments and the environments which are conducive to the growth that you want.
Sometimes that means being uncomfortable.
It always means being uncomfortable and maybe not because it’s friction. Friction is where all the opportunity exists. That’s another principle, the more pressure, the better the outcome in the end. Kim, this has been awesome. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I was excited about this conversation. It was perfect. Why don’t you tell our audience, if they’re not already following you, where they can pick up some of your books, how they can follow you on social media and pay attention to what you’re up to?
Thank you for that. The best place I do believe is our main website Partners4Prosperity.com. We do have a podcast called The Prosperity Podcast. We have quite a few books on Amazon as well. Lookup for Kim Butler as the author and you can track those down. We have a social media presence primarily on Facebook and LinkedIn. I love what is available in the blog and the podcast, because those are able to go a little bit more in-depth. I do believe that sometimes social media is a little too sound bite-ish. I encourage people to dig in.
Kim, thank you again. It’s been such a pleasure.
I’m happy to do it, Patrick. Thank you.
- The Prosperity Economics Movement
- Busting the Financial Planning Lies
- Kim Butler
- Strategic Coach
- To Sell Is Human
- Kathy Kolbe
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- The Prosperity Podcast
- Amazon – Kim D.H. Butler
- Facebook – Prosperity Economics Movement
- LinkedIn – Prosperity Economics Movement
- Blog – The Prosperity blog
About Kim Butler
Kim Butler is the founder of Partners for Prosperity and Co-founder of Prosperity Economics Movement. She is the host of The Prosperity Podcast; author of the bestselling books Live Your Life Insurance: An Age-Old Approach Revitalized, Live Your Life Insurance: Surprising Strategies to Build Lifelong Prosperity with Your Whole Life Policy, and the new book Busting the Real Estate Investing Lies: Build Wealth the Smart Way: Through the Most Time-Tested, Least Volatile Path to Financial Freedom.