Intangible Balance Sheet Episode 17: Matt Gilbert

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Most people are aware of their own financial balance sheet as soon as we buy our first car or house.

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We become aware of it, if you're of a certain personality type, you may track it quite a bit.

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But I'd submit to you that we're also unconsciously aware of another balance sheet, and this one is sometimes tricky

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to measure and even harder to manage. Sometimes we often find it hard to put into words

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But it's real nonetheless. Call this our intangible balance sheet.

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What I mean by this are those life principles, experiences, memories and stories that given any amount of money

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we wouldn't trade. They're the memories that bring tears of joy to our faces, because we simply can't

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imagine life without them. We feel fortunate to have had them. It could be our first jobs, proposals,

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wedding days, burdens, struggles, anxieties or fears, and maybe even some hindsight.

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It's all those things that melt into a memory that bring a distant stare to our face and maybe even a smile.

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We feel lucky to have had the, because they're what has made us us.

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So that's what I'm talking about. When I talk about the intangible balance sheet, it's those moments in life that may be

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financially irrational, but which are indispensable parts of who we are.

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So, these episodes are focused on the stories that bring us joy, happiness, fulfillment, and ultimately may hold

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necessary keys that will direct the future for our family friends and maybe even neighbors. So, listen in with us as

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we discover some of those stories that are meaningful to our guests and maybe you'll even uncover hidden value on your

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own intangible balance sheet. Welcome again to the Wisdom and Wealth podcast and another Intangible

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Balance Sheet episode. I'm Josh Cluse, the senior wealth planner here for Carson Wealth in the Woodlands, Texas. Our Guest

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today is Matt Gilbert, a founding partner of Gilbert and Pardue Transaction Advisors. I'm so excited to dive in

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and learn more about Matt's intangible balance sheet. Matt, welcome to the podcast. Hey! thanks for having me Josh I

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really appreciate you inviting me on. Yeah, pleasure is ours, and so Matt you

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help people through Gilbert and Pardue unlock value on their balance sheet, or I think

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pent-up value is the term I think you guys use, and the goal of this podcast is to

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encourage our guests and our listeners to unlock value on their intangible balance sheet. So

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similar but one's you know tangible and, in a business, and one's kind of built up over a period of years.

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You know spiritually and live out through your life principles, but I'm

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curious to dive into some of those stories. For table setting, could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you grew up?

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Oh yeah, we're gonna go way back then. So, I grew up in West Texas, kind of in

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a cotton farming community, however, we were not involved in farming

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at all. So, it was interesting to be the outsider kid in that community.

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I got to do a lot of cool things with friends and whatnot, but we didn't

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really understand it, and so if you fast forward all the way to today, I actually have a farm because you know those

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early experiences were very formative, and I just always felt like that was something that was in my blood.

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You know, we didn't have it, in hindsight, we didn't have it bad at

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all. It was a fantastic upbringing. While I was going through it, I thought it was pretty lousy

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and you know, I think that's a thing most kids probably feel.

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You know, we were probably

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one of the families that wasn't as affluent as everybody else, at least in my circle

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and so, when I was in junior high, I asked my dad for a lawn mower, an edger, and a weed eater, and I went out

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and started kind of making my own way in the world.

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He advised me a lot, and there was a very formative moment there.

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It got to the point after two or three years of doing mowing, edging, and stuff to where we were making

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significant money. I was in junior high headed into high school.

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I had bought cars and trailers and paid cash for everything you know, and money was good. Awesome. I learned

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a lot there, you know we would go out, I say we would go out and knock-on doors. Door-to-door sales to get clients, you know, walk them around their property, talk to them about what

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we could do to help them. Convince them that we're the right team to do it. Then you know the mowing

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season is only so long - from Spring to Fall. So, I would Circle

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back around and shovel snow, sell firewood, all kinds of stuff during my

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years in junior high and high school, and there was a moment.

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Not exactly sure, I was probably a sophomore in high school, and I was meeting a realtor at one of

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their vacant properties, and I learned (because I didn't really know) that Texas Instruments was the

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largest employer in town. TI was moving people in and out of town all the time, so there were a lot of vacant

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houses and a lot of turnovers with TI, and this particular realtor had that account, and so I was walking around

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talking to her, and I'm a high school kid, right? I'm a sophomore in high school. I'm trying to convince her that you know

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what I could do to help for this one house, and it kind of dawned on me

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that they were asking for the grass to be cut, and I was like, "Look if you really want to move this

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house, you've got to do the flower beds. We've got to hit the alley that pile of firewood's a mess. Let me spruce the

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whole thing up and you decide what it's worth. At the end, if you only want to

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pay me for the part of doing the grass, then that's an agreement we have. But if you think it's worth more

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than that, let's have a conversation". She was like "okay young man, let's try that". So, I brought my crew over. We

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cleaned the whole place up, we did a better job than normal, you know, trying to impress her, and when she came back

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she was blown away. So, she tried to offer me 120 bucks, which back then was a lot of money. I'm 54 years old right now

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and I was like no ma'am. You know, I'd like to talk to you about that pile of firewood. I said if you would let me come

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in and do this to every one of your rent houses or your transition houses

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for the very first service then I'll trade that service. I'll do it at no

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charge if you'll allow me to take the firewood, and she thought about it. She made a call

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or two to make sure that owners moving up didn't care enough, but if they

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did, they would have taken it. Right? It didn't seem like an asset to anybody, so she made the deal with me.

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That summer, we ended up with a mountain of firewood over at our

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staging place, and from then on, I began to trade the first service for

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the pile of firewood. Then in the winter, we would load the pickup trucks up with firewood. We'd go

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door-to-door selling the firewood for about 10x what we would have been paid to do

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the lawn. Pretty incredible that all the pieces came together. You know,

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in the spring, people want to change out dead plants or spruce up their homes. So, in view of this, we

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cleaned swimming pools, we fixed fences, and we began to meet the needs

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of our clients basically. So those formative years for me as a teenager were just me figuring out how

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to talk to adults, how to talk to people with a need, and the means to have a third party take

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care of that need. I just began to learn how to interact on human nature from a sales standpoint, and then of

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of course, there's quality control, follow-up and collections, and all kinds of safety. I mean, it all

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kind of fit in there, and so that was a really formative experience, and I share that story with a lot of youngsters and

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and people that we speak with, but literally

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the principles that I learned then I have applied every day in my life since in my work life

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So, you mentioned your crew, did you ever have to fire somebody? How did that go? Yeah, so

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here's what - I have to back up before I answer that. Okay, so when I first started, I didn't have a

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driver's license, so I would have to hire my older friends who had pickups, or one guy had a station wagon and a trailer

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and I would have to go sit down with their parents and say, "Hey, I'd like for

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Timmy to work for me, and the reasons I want them to work for me are number one, we're friends, and number two I need that truck.

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So, you have to allow him to work for me and use the vehicle you're paying for as a work vehicle. So that he can

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move far away and pull lawn mowers, and take stuff to the dump, and bring wood back for fencing or whatever". So,

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I had to convince the parents that I was a decent employer. Nobody ever asked me about insurance or anything

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like that thank goodness, and then when it came around, if Timmy did a lousy job or he cussed at the old lady

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or if he didn't show up, then I had to fire him. Well, then I had to go back to the parents and explain

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what was going on. So, I learned a lot of lessons there dealing

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with people because I was hiring my friends. Yep, and I was accountable to their parents

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and my dad was pretty heavily involved in coaching me

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through all that. Not letting me take shortcuts and not letting me skirt the accountability or

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anything. So, between that and oftentimes giving

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a free service to gain a relationship or to show our value

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those things are just irreplaceable. How

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my career has gone since then is amazing. One of the themes

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that we talk about a lot is the idea of earned success, and I get the term from Arthur Brooks. He used to run the

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American Enterprise Institute and it's just the idea that "hey! I'm valued for what I'm doing, and I'm depended on, and

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it's not so much the transaction that we get gratification from, it's the idea that someone else needs us. So, it

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sounds like you got that pretty early. Yeah, it was kind of self

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inflicted I would say. I had friends working at McDonald's and at

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the mall and places like that, and they weren't in the weather. I had other friends who worked on the Family Farms, and it was a working

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Community. There were a few kids who didn't. They sat around and played video games and stuff, but for the most part

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by the time you were in seventh or eighth grade in that community, you were expected to be working, and so we learned an ethic and we learned a way of dealing with peers, who were generally adults when

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we weren't and things like that. I look at my kids, I have four daughters

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and I'm incredibly proud of how they turned out in their lives that they've made for themselves. But

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they didn't grow up in that kind of environment. They didn't grow up in that kind of a community, and so to see the

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differences in the path that I had to take versus the paths they got to take

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is an interesting contrast. They grew up with opportunity

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and those kinds of things. Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I always

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find fascinating. Do you remember, and I'll go ahead and ask you, and if you don't remember, it's fine.

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But do you remember the first person that stood out to you like, Man! That person really enjoys what they do?

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And I've got a follow-up question, but do you remember the first person that just stands out to you, like gosh! That's really cool. Yeah,

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I think it was a junior high coach. He was just passionate about

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his players and the sport, and he was also a History teacher.

He couldn't care less about history and what happened in the classroom and

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when I was in the class, he didn't care if we learned any of it. When we

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were in practice or on the field, I mean a switch flipped in him and he was just

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so passionate about teaching the game that he loved.  I totally remember that.

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When was the first time you realized there was a difference between working for yourself and working for

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somebody else? Because you know your experience is very unique. Yeah, it was during those same

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years. Again, I was maybe in early high school

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years. It snowed in West Texas, and so in the winter I decided to go to

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Western Sizzlin and get a job and I was either on the

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schedule as a dishwasher, or I was on the schedule as the cheese roll maker. I learned quickly, in

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that I'd already had my lawn care business up and running for many years,

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and I learned very quickly there that trading my time for a few dollars

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just wasn't going to get me where I needed to be in life. That's probably the last real job I ever had working for someone else.

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It's you know seven dollars an hour, and then the government's got their hand in there for some of it, you know and

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who is FICA and how do I find him? You know, all those things. It did not

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take me long, I probably worked there six months through the cold months, but it did not take me long to

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figure out that, you know, for me, I think there's a different path for everybody, but for me, you know I wanted

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to be in control of the deal and the profitability of the deal, and how those

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profits got distributed, and so I went right back to what I knew.

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And I have kind of been doing that ever since in different iterations. What would you say professionally was

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the next formative experience or even personally was the next formative experience?

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In life, yeah, there was a big one. So um my first daughter was born

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when I was 19 and we decided

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probably, you know, in hindsight I'm not sure this was wise, but we decided that community wasn't

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the best place for our future, so we moved to the Houston area as teenagers pregnant

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and had our first daughter here, and you know, now all of a sudden I'm in

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the big city where I don't know anybody, I don't have any contacts, I don't have any money.

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We didn't have a place to stay, I mean it was pretty desperate. We actually had 63 dollars when we arrived, and

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we just we just put our heads together and started a little catering company.  I

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went out and I started doing manual labor until I could acquire some tools and just

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kind of built back up what we knew, and during that process

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I ended up working for a kind of mom and pop shop, probably six or seven employee environmental

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company. This was back before environmental was a thing, and I stumbled into it. I was 20. I

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stumbled into a relationship with a guy who became

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North American Environmental senior manager for one of the big oilfield companies

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and he gave me a shot. A couple of years later, we were doing

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millions in revenue and had employees, and you know trucks and all kinds of

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stuff, so I think the Lord's really taking care of me and kind of had a hand in my life, but

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there's also this element of yeah, I got to get up and go, I gotta get

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up and go get it, right? It's not gonna be handed to me, and I'm not gonna find it at a job. I

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mean, I've always felt that since I didn't get to go to college.

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I've always felt like I've had to work harder than others to achieve a certain thing, and there was

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something to prove, and now that I'm a little older, none of that is probably true, but it drove me. Yeah, right.

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And then having to buy diapers and formula, and do something with a kid when all my friends are

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playing baseball, goofing around and fishing, those were different experiences as well. Yeah absolutely. So

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for our listeners that may not be as in tune to the the local

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industry explain what environmental entails. Yeah, at that time

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we were handling waste for the Houston area Industrial Service

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businesses. So the waste is generally putting 55 gallon drums or bigger

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containers called totes, and that was a small enough package that I could

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go around with a few hundred or a few thousand dollars and broker the

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waste from whomever created it to wherever it needed to be disposed.

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That grew into us having a soul remediation business, we had a tank

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cleaning business, we had an industrial labor business, we had a hazardous waste transportation and disposal business

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that morphed into a recycling thing. So from that very small beginning, I

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stayed in the environmental business in and out buying and selling companies for several decades

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But it's handling, in our case, mostly industrial and hazardous waste

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or contaminated soil from spills or pipelines or things like that have had

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issues. Yeah, were there any difficulties along the way

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that you encountered that were formative as well?

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Yeah, there were lots of difficulties. My not

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having been formally trained in accounting and running organizations with

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hundreds of personnel in multiple States and different divisions and locations, and a tax return in each state and

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partners and then buying and selling companies.

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We sell a company that's a tremendously complex transaction, we buy a

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company there's a lot of risk, you know, and did we do our due diligence right? The accounting side has always

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been something that I knew I didn't

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have. The formal training I didn't have the chops for, so I learned accounting and to

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this day I even do math for my daughters in school. They come home with

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math homework, I look and can tell you the answer, but I can't get to it the way your teacher wants you to get to it.

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Right, so I'm gonna figure out the answer my way, and then we're gonna get on YouTube and watch videos to

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figure out how to do it the way the school wants it right? And I kind of do that in business

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still. So one of the things I've always had to do is to surround myself with really strong accounting

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people and I learned very early from the accounting thing that hey if

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you don't understand marketing, surround yourself with really strong marketing people. If you don't understand regulatory issues, get a couple of super Lawyers.

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Don't try to be that guy that figures it all out for himself. I think you can

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go further faster, or at least I was able to, by really attracting

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fantastic talent and incentivizing them to see the vision that I had for the

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business and jump on the bus to help us get there. So you know, I've been fortunate that

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all of my ventures have been very collaborative with partners and key employees. They carry much of the

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load so that I or a partner were able to trust that

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we could spread that load over multiple shoulders, rather than just carrying it on our own shoulders.

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Absolutely. Is there a time that stands out to you where you remember whether it was a mistake or it was just

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a pain point? They were just, "hey, I've learned about as much of this as I want to be an expert in, but I really

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need somebody to manage this for me". Was there a pivot point that stands out to you? Yeah,

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there's two. The personal one is while all that stuff we've been

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talking about is going on, I'm still trying to be a father and a husband and whatever and so

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when you're giving attention to one, the other one's lacking attention, and it's the struggle  between

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personal and professiona,l so you know as a parent, in hindsight,

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you look back and you go man! I wish I could have a do-over on some of those things, and then as a business

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person I think learning to

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trust somebody to do something, maybe at 80 percent of the

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quality and efficiency that I would do it at is good enough.

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That task will be handled, and I can turn my attention, and oh by the way, if it's 80 the first time once they've kind of

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figured it out, they get better, and eventually they surpass my hundred percent, right? But having the

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trust to let people have that professional growth and all that in

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a small family island or just a

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smaller business. Now those people are my clients, and I see that it's pretty rare

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when a business owner or shareholder gives that much trust out of the

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gate and grow as a management team. So

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probably regulatory in the environmental days was just over my head and

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so I had to put together teams of people who understood that better than I did

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and could counsel us, and then we would make business decisions off of that. So one of the things that I

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learned to do is have an A team and a B team working on regulatory issues, and if they conflicted with each

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other then something's wrong. We're not moving forward, and they don't really know each other exists in the

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beginning, so they're working independently. And I'm like wait a minute, you're not saying the same thing. I don't

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want to go to jail, you know, let's put the brakes on this idea until we figure out what's

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accurate here. So those regulatory things were probably the toughest, and then accounting has always been that way for me too.

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The tax code, I don't know if you've seen it, but it's fine print double-sided, don't drop it on your foot! Yeah,

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so tax advice has been the same way for me my whole career. You could go

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through, I'm in Houston, you could go around town and find somebody to tell you what you want to hear from a

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tax standpoint all day long, but the truth is what do we need to do to comply? Pay the least

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and be able to move our business forward, and that's always been a struggle for me as well. As you know

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there may be the best tax advisors in the state, with a big huge firm and a

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giant army and him telling me one thing, and then the second best Tax Advisor in the

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state with a big huge firm and a giant name that everybody knows, telling me the exact opposite on a tax issue. I'm like,

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why is it this complicated? So those have been

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things where I'm not willing or capable of figuring out the issue on my own and

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we've got to trust somebody else to help guide us. I've learned that trusting one resource on something that

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big probably isn't the right thing to do. I like to have a couple of teams working

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on it, but then I've also learned that if you get too many opinions, it just becomes

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muddled, and ultimately the decision is mine or the shareholder group that

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I'm a part of.  We can't study it to death. We've got to study it just enough to make a decision to move on.

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Yeah, I don't know if that answers your question? No, it absolutely does, and Matt, one of the things that I think comes

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through is you're an incredibly motivated individual, but also the thing

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that comes through is you seem incredibly content, and I really admire that about you.

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One of the themes that we talk about in this podcast again and again is what Arthur Brooks wrote in his book from strength

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to strength. He talks about something called the happiness portfolio, and he says that studies have shown that a person's

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happiness can depend somewhat on their genetics, somewhat on big life events, and also

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on their habits, and we can really only control the habits. Within that, he talks about how

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there are four quadrants to your habits indicated in the happiness portfolio, and it's your faith,

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your family, your friendships, community and then meaningful work.

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How are you able to keep those four things in balance, or have you found a

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way that helps? Yeah, I think it's maturity right?

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I wasn't always in the spot you find me in today.

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There have been a lot of struggles that form my character. Struggles, frankly,

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that some of them I wish I didn't have to go through, you know? I'd rather have a lesser character, I guess.

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But you said faith, family, friendships, and work endeavors

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Right. And I would say the first two are definitely in the proper order.

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You know, my faith, above all else, is important to me.

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After that is my family, and then probably third for me is

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work endeavors and business things. The fourth would be other relationships.

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Most of those other relationships are either faith, family, or work related, because that's where I

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spend all my time. So, you know how do we keep those in balance?

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I don't think they've ever been in Balance. I think one always is

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screaming loud I need your attention, and the others kind of have to allow you

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to give your attention there. So, your attention is always just moving around.

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You know, as you get older, three of my daughters are grown, and I've got grandkids. They're out on their own with their

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careers and things like that, so they need less of me. At least most of the time, but some

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time in their lives, they may have a crisis where they call on me and I have to drop

28:28

everything and help them deal with it. But for the most part, I think the faith component

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drives what happens in the other three quadrants.

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It's Integrity, it's servanthood, it's giving back, it's

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wisdom and there's continual learning in there. One of the things that

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all businesses have, all entities have, all families have, is this thing that I

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call tribal knowledge, right? It's not written down, it's not

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really well communicated, but everybody knows the rules and

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so, part of that is my tribal

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knowledge. It hasn't always been, but is definitely, at this time, driven by faith.

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So, I have a lot of friends who cuss like

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sailors. When they're around me, they don't cuss, and I recognize that.

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They're trying to respect who I am and what my tribal rules are

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when they're around me, and I appreciate that. It's their character, and I love those people.

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I know they cuss like sailors, and that's okay. I love them anyway. I cuss occasionally, I'm

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not perfect. Anybody that knows me well at all

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changes their language. That's just what I call a tribal rule.

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I don't even know if I got anywhere near your question and answered. No, that absolutely did. So, side note, I don't

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know how sailors became the colloquialism for cursing. As an infantry officer, I don't know whether to be offended by that or just anyway, whatever LOL

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Yeah, agreed. So,

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a couple things I'm really curious about. I plan on working to the day

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I die, right? I love what I do, but there probably, realistically

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speaking, it will come to a point where the market may not value what I have to give anymore, and so the meaningful work for me

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will have to shift at some point in my life, right? Have you given any thought about that?

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And what that looks like? Because I truly believe that it's just woven into the way our creator made us.

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We want to feel needed; we want to feel like we're contributing. What will that

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look like for you, when that shift happens? I'm going to take two steps back and then come

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forward. Your listeners don't know this, but the first real company that

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we had run, the environmental one I told you about earlier, and the last one that I

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was the CEO of; both of those businesses were sold to public companies.

31:37

Okay. Two other businesses that I was a founder or co-founder of in the middle

31:43

were grown and sold to private equity buyers. To make those businesses what

31:50

they were we had acquired our vendors, smaller companies in other

31:56

geographies and things like that to grow. So, each of those four exits came

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with a non-compete. Every time I bought a company that seller was

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agreeing to a non-compete, and so for me my whole career and we're talking

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those four business creations and exits came over a 29-year time period,

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my whole career has been constantly changing because of the rules placed on

32:30

me by the buy and sell purchase agreements. I can't be in an environmental anymore, I've got to go do something else.

32:37

So, we start a construction company and then can't compete in construction anymore. I've got to go do something else. So, we start an M&A

32:43

advisory firm, and the whole reason we started this firm seven or eight years ago was to

32:51

kind of give back, you know? Bret and I have this strong desire to be

32:56

servants. We've also done something multiple times that most people only do once in

33:02

their life, and we've personally experienced the mistakes made in my four transactions. If I knew then what I

33:10

know now I could probably put eight more figures in my pocket. So, we're

33:16

applying that wisdom to our clients, all this collective

33:22

wisdom we've accumulated through those business experiences. And then I've got to tell you my family experiences.

33:28

The owners, founders, and shareholders of businesses are our clients, and they have families.

33:37

And they struggle with the same thing that I struggled with, which is, the business needs attention, so the

33:42

family doesn't get it. The family needs attention, so the business doesn't get it, and so on for decades. We just relate to each other really

33:49

well, and then we become friends, and so the future for me has

33:54

recently maybe shown up.

34:01

I've kind of recognized it and there are two companies who have

34:08

asked me to mentor their management teams, and so I've started doing that and

34:14

the results have been off the charts for both of them in different ways because they need different things

34:20

and it's been incredibly fulfilling for me. So, I've done that a little bit in the

34:27

non-profit world. We've turned around some entities, including a church,

34:33

including a medical nonprofit for children and things like that, so

34:38

being in that decision-making loop, the visionary loop, and then how do you build a stairway to reach that

34:44

vision as it were. I've spent my whole life learning skills, and I feel like

34:51

certain ones of those skills can help other folks, and I just

34:58

love contributing, it just brings me a lot of satisfaction that all that

35:06

toil that I went through for three decades is valuable to somebody else for their next three decades.

35:12

Maybe they can sidestep some of the issues that we went through because of the mentoring or advice I'm providing.

35:21

There's tribal knowledge shared when you are the bridge to that

35:26

family or that business, and then within that tribe it gets passed on so

35:32

maybe far longer than 30 years. That's really neat! It's just super

35:40

fulfilling I think, but number one I have to be receptive to it. Because I see some of my

35:47

peers and people I work with that are pretty closed off to those things and

35:53

I'm almost inviting it. I think with my spirit that I want to help everybody. I

35:59

want to be a servant.  I want to roll up my sleeves and participate, and I don't know what

36:06

that'll get me, but it brings me a lot of personal satisfaction. And, oh by the way, it usually leads to a relationship

36:13

somewhere else where we could send an invoice, or we could

36:20

move into the next iteration of a deal. So, to me, it's

36:26

something I wish I would have figured out long ago and had been applying way back

36:33

even in my 20s and 30s. Absolutely.

36:39

So, I want to be respectful of your time. I'm coming up on the end of my hour here. So, there's a ton of things I want to ask

36:46

though. When you think about some people, call it your ethical will meaning

36:53

"Hey, I want to pass on my beliefs to my kids and my grandkids."

37:00

Obviously, you're 53 and Lord willing you've got 50 years ahead of you, because they're going to figure out how to keep us alive way past our

37:06

hundred, but what if you had to write down are the things

37:12

that I want my grandkids to live by, or these are the things that have served me well.

37:18

What would be in it today? Yeah, that's such a wonderful question. I will answer like this.

37:26

On my birthday last year, that had been gnawing at me for five or

37:32

six seven years and before I had grandkids, it was kind of to my daughters and their

37:37

husbands, right?Bbecause their husbands didn't come from where I came from. They came from another culture and they didn't really know mine.

37:45

So what are they going to become, and that was gnawing at me for a long time. So last year on my birthday, I

37:52

finally said "I'm going to do something about this", and I decided to sit down and write for 30 to 40 minutes

37:58

every day in four different quadrants. Vry

38:05

close to the four quadrants that you just mentioned, so every day for over a

38:11

year I have written a journal entry to them that hits on each one of

38:16

those four topics. Just my thoughts of that day with them

38:22

in mind, and as we've gotten grand kids, we have four grandkids now,

38:28

it's a different group of people in mind as well. So the thoughts are kind of changing, and you can see

38:35

that and my wife wants to turn it into a book that we give to them at Christmas or Valentine's Day or something one of

38:41

these years, but there's literally about 375 entries in that

38:47

book of my thoughts about them and what I wish for them. We don't live together, you're not with me at work, you're not with

38:53

me at church, we live in different communities. So you don't know me, and this is what I want you to know or what I want to

39:00

impart unto you. They may never read it. It may never get finished, I might die today and nobody knows it's on my computer unless they

39:06

listen to this podcast or talk to my wife and grab it, but I think at some point, it's going

39:13

to be really cool to turn that over to them, and maybe they put it on their coffee table or somethin. And every

39:20

now and then, it's got, I'm all over the board here, sorry. No, no, this is

39:25

perfect. You know, it took me 35 years or more to figure this

39:33

out and even at 54 years old, I don't practice it 100 percent. But when you have a

39:38

problem in your life, like a big problem, something that's perplexing, and you can't sleep and you're not sure what to

39:44

do and whatnot. We're always trying to figure it out ourselves, or we're trying to turn to our friends or family or a mentor or

39:50

someone who's been through that problem and ask, "Hey, can you give me some advice or whatever the truth is?" You can turn to

39:56

the Bible, and you can find the best advice on most topics right there.

40:02

And that's probably a terrible analogy, but at some point I would love to see my kids and grandkids and others

40:10

turn to that coffee table book and go "hey, what would dad  have done?  Let's see, I bet

40:18

it's in here because he wrote us a lot" and make sure there's a glossary to make it a little easier for them.

40:26

Something to pull it all together, but yeah, so I think it's important.

40:33

And you reach a certain stage in life. You're probably not there in your 30s, but you reach a certain stage in your life where

40:38

you start thinking about what was it all about?

40:45

Was I just here to pay the bills for us to eat out and have Christmas, and go on vacation? Or was

40:52

there something bigger and a lot of people want to leave stuff.

40:58

We have material stuff we've accumulated, a lot of stuff, um, but I don't think it's

41:04

about the stuff, I think it's about the principles behind what it took to accumulate, assemble, manage, and enjoy the

41:13

stuff in such a way that you're honorable, and that

41:19

it brought value to the world. Yeah, at risk of going a little bit

41:27

too deep theologically, but I think we were given the dominion mandate right from day one

41:36

and not everybody knows that. And the stuff can have dominion over us,

41:42

or we can have dominion over it. To your point, in the teaching of

41:49

having dominion over this stuff is how we gain meaning in many of those relationships, and it's so much fun.

41:55

I'm nowhere near where you're at right now with stages of life, but you know I have four kids of my own

42:02

ages nine to 18 months and it's a ton of fun,

42:08

but I probably woefully describe what I'm trying to describe to you to

42:14

them and they roll their eyes at this point, or just like okay, let's get on to something else, but eventually it

42:20

will stick. Oh that's the best lesson at those ages. All of those ages I think because

42:27

it's pulling them off into so many fantastic conversations, if you can

42:33

begin teaching them probably through their own little accounts how

42:38

compounding works. So it's compound interest, its compounding relationships, it's compounding your influence,

42:46

it's compounding everything. Well, the easiest way to do that with kids is with a little account of

42:53

some sort where they can watch how compound interest works and see what happens when

42:59

they pull from that account, and the compounding reverses or slows and

43:05

when they invest in that account, the compounding accelerates, and then you can do that in all four of those quadrants.

43:11

You mentioned with your faith, with your family, with your friends, and with your business, it applies so well I think. The

43:18

formative years that that's something that has really served

43:24

my kids well is, they understand a lot of things

43:30

having grown up in this house. The way we just did life unconventionally.

43:36

When they were growing up, and so to their in-laws, to their employers and

43:42

to their friends. Especially when you get to college for the first

43:48

time. You're out of your parents' house, and you look around at how everybody else was raised and lived, and you go "Oh wow!"

43:56

And you have to ask yourself, why are we different? Do I like that we're different? Do I want to go that way and conform? You

44:02

know, and so those were a lot of really cool conversations with my kids as they entered those college years.

44:09

And the early years of being married. Their spouses asked those questions

44:16

and a lot of it took me years to figure out, but it kind of went back to that principle of

44:23

compounding in all aspects of your life, and so maybe it just gives out some thought

44:30

I could give. Absolutely. No, I love the idea of compounding, because it totally applies. We assume that

44:37

it can only happen in the world of Finance, but it happens everywhere. Everywhere

44:43

and it can spiral out of control in a negative way too, so it has to be managed.

44:50

Absolutely Matt, thank you so much for your time today. If listeners want to get in touch

44:56

with you and buy your future book -just kidding - but if there's a workbook too?

45:05

It's almost finished. How would our listeners get in touch

45:10

with you  if they wanted to? If they had a further question? The best way is to email me.

45:17

I assume you'll put the email in the show notes or something, but it is MGilbert @gap-advisors.com

45:26

Excellent! Easy! Easy! I respond to my

45:33

emails quickly. Call me. I don't know if you want me to put my phone number out there?

45:40

No, that's fine. Text and phone. Look, I'm at a point in my life where I just love

45:46

to serve, and I love to have opportunities to serve. I have to be

45:51

pretty judicious in the ones that I accept, because oftentimes opportunities are

45:56

brought to me that I can't accept, but I know somebody who's way better than me and would love to help with that, and so

46:03

being a facilitator of those things is really important. So, anybody wants to

46:08

talk I just encourage you to call. You can also contact me on LinkedIn, but I don't check that as often. When

46:14

I do, I usually just throw out my email address or phone number and say let's move to another

46:20

medium, but yeah, please reach out, because I'm all about helping people take it

46:26

to the next level. Thank you so much Matt for your time. It's been a pleasure. Great! Josh, thank

46:32

you. Thank you again for joining us for this week's conversation. We trust that our

46:37

time has left you both enriched and inspired to better invest in your own intangible balance sheet. As always, we

46:43

wish you and your family continued truth, beauty and goodness on the road ahead.

46:48

The opinions voiced in the wisdom and well podcast are Josh Cruz's and are for general information purposes only and

46:54

are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Past performance is no

46:59

guarantee for future results. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. No strategy assures success or

47:06

protects against loss guests are not affiliated with Carson Wealth Management LLC. To determine what may be appropriate

47:14

for you please, consult with your Attorney, Accountant, Financial or Tax Advisor prior to investing. investment

47:19

advisory services are offered through CWM LLC, an SEC registered investment advisory. Our address locally is 1780

47:26

Hughes Landing Boulevard Suite 570 The Woodlands, Texas 77380

47:33

[Music]

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