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This is part two of a series on the transformative power of mentorship with Brandon Neely. We continue where we left off to talk about key qualities to look for in a mentoring relationship, where Brandon found his first mentor, the mission to solve financial poverty plus a whole bunch more.

Show Highlights Include:

  • How to find a great mentor for life (1:00)
  • How to ‘pick someone’s brain’ the right way (8:10)
  • The state of financial poverty in the modern world today (21:10)
  • The book that made Brandon reevaluate his life (22:00)

Find out more about Brandon over at www.grandmaswealthwisdom.com where you can learn how to unlock your financial future and build wealth Grandma would be proud of.

How would you like to spend more time with your family and less time in your business? Go grab yourself a copy of my Digital Daddy’s Toolkit where you’ll get my top 3 speed-influence tools to make you a trusted expert in any market. FAST. Go to www.daddysworking.com/ddt

Read Full Transcript

No don't go in there, Daddy's working.

Jonathan: Yes, yes, y'all - it is another edition of the Daddy's Working podcast. If you were listening week, then you heard part one of the interview, and I left you hanging - gosh, I'm such a tease. But we're here, and we're ready to rock and roll. So let's dive back into part two of the interview.

So here's - I want to shift gears a little bit because I hear you using this word a lot. I'm sure the daddies working, the daddies out there understand it - but you keep talking about mentors. So what is mentorship and how do you find good mentors?

Brandon: I think you always have to be learning and finding mentors. You don’t have to … in our world, man we don’t have to actually physically meet somebody for them to be a mentor. [0:01:09.6]

I love that we are in this podcast world. I'm listening to people all the time. They're my mentor and I've never actually talked to them. I've had, recently this year is all about nutrition. So I was like "Man, I suck at nutrition; I suck at that. I need to get a mentor that helps me and actually builds accountability for me." And so I think there's certain areas that we know where their specialty is and we know where our weakness is, and to find people who excel in that area. For me, now in finance and then the world that we're in, I see that most businesses fail because of cash flow, because of those challenges. I wanted to help them and so where I've been helped, I have had a mentor in that world. He's still my mentor. He's still a coach here. He leads another podcast, but I'm like, "Dude, I want to be like you, Yoda." And so I'm learning from Yoda to do whatever I can do. But you have to be looking for them. [0:02:17.0]

Jonathan: When did you first discover that you needed mentors or how you could use mentors or how being in a mentor relationship could benefit you?

Brandon: So, I think it goes back to my childhood. I mean, a lot of times people take for granted that they have mentors around them. Right? I mean, it's their parents and either they're good mentors or bad mentors. I learned a lot of great things from my mom. She was a salesperson, so we would go out and sell these paintings of people's houses out in the country and we'd be listening to Zig Ziglar - old school …

Jonathan: Really?

Brandon Yeah, old school. Yeah - old school, cassette tapes. And I would be listening to that stuff. I'd be watching what she was doing and learned. I think I learned my work ethic from her, but then at the same time, I also realized and learned I don’t want her to be mentoring me on what it means to have a healthy marriage. [0:03:12.7]

I need to find other people for that. And I think by not having those solid people really made me aware that I needed to put people in places around my life to help me, excel me in that. Does that make sense?

Jonathan: Yeah. I'm thinking about it here. I don't know why. I have this buddy, and I actually recorded a couple of podcast episodes for Daddy's Working where I mentioned cassette tape and mentorship and all that. But I'm thinking about my buddy who, he's done so well. We have been friends for a few years, and he's done so well and all he is obsessed with is money. He's got this obsession with money and dollar amount and "I need this much residual income," and that's all. Every day is a grind. He hates life and all he thinks about is money, and he's like "I can't"… I'm like, "Why are you so obsessed with money?" And he says to me, which was I felt so bad for him when he said it, but he says, "Look, I've worked really hard over the last 15 years to get where I am and I know in my heart that I don’t have it in me to rebuild it, so I need to keep stockpiling money." [0:04:20.4]

And I felt really bad for him because I'm like, you know, I've never been motivated by money and the only thing that really motivates me is relationships, the relationships I have with people. I said "If I lost all of my money today, I believe that in the next six months, I could build it all back and better, just because of the people I know." And that's how I feel about mentor relationships - having the right mentors, having the right people. They are all leading the path for you to live in excellence. Maybe I'm over thinking it here, I don't know, but I'm with you. Those mentor relationships are powerful and important and I don't know why more people don’t realize this.

Brandon: I think it means you have to actually be in a relationship. I feel like some level of the mentorship, again, I think there's guides that you can watch by afar and listen to them, but it also requires people in those kind of roles saying, "Hey, how are you doing? No, how are you doing, really?" [0:05:20.1]

Jonathan: Yeah.

Brandon: And holding you accountable. Like when you go and you have a fitness coach, well they're going to know if you haven’t done it over the course of a few weeks and you meet up with them because they're going to be able to tell, well you haven't done your exercise or homework because you're worse than before. You gained five pounds. I tell them …

Jonathan: Muscle weight.

Brandon: Yeah. I think sometimes we need those… we do need those people. The reality, though, it's hard to build that and in our Facebook world, we would rather show our fun Instagram pictures of ice cream versus the actual "hey, life sucks right now" or you know, and "I need your help." [0:06:04.3]

Jonathan: That is… dude, you don’t even know this - two shows before, I did a show on vulnerability. So you wouldn't know that, of course, because it hasn’t come out yet, but I recorded that. That brings up an interesting question - so, yeah, "life sucks right now." I've always felt like people sharing that kind of stuff are like attention whores, like "look at me, pay attention to me, feel bad for me." How do you strike a balance then? Because I don’t want to be putting all my garbage out there, but I know that part of that is necessary.

Brandon: First you have to have the relationship. Right? And I think that's the key thing - you have to be in their world, being friends or somehow, and it's not all about helping me. I think it should be a win-win scenario. I want to promote my mentors. I want to promote what they're doing. I think that's just as valuable, but also I would say when we were having that challenge in our marriage, calling them up and saying, "Man, things are hard; help us out." [0:07:10.8]

And I knew they wouldn't have answers, but it was good to have somebody that at least was there and could pray for us, could walk alongside us during that time. The same with fitness, same with business as you… With my mentor in this financial world - helping me figure out problems, but also not taking up all the time on my problems. Being able to say, "Hey and how are you doing?" and "How can I learn from your experience?" I think that's called a relationship.

Jonathan: That's the other side of it. Right? Because people always have their big giant hands out looking for something, but what are you also bringing to the table, and that's what I've found has helped me find most of my mentors. A lot of the guys that you know, it was just like that. Like Ben Settle, my relationship with him started, "Hey dude, love you. Would like to do some stuff with you. Here, I saw this and I can bring this to the table." [0:08:03.9]

And then when I needed something, he naturally was there to help me. And I didn't do that to get anything from him. It was just to tell him, "Dude, I appreciate you - let's do something together." So how do you define mentorship? What are you doing to get those guys? Are you paying them or are you just creeping on them on social media? What do you do?

Brandon: I think there has to be some degree of reciprocity. Right? Some of them, I pay and I think that's a good way of saying, "Hey, I don’t have… I'm not at that place of being a Yoda to you or whatever, but I value you and so I'm going to pay you." I think that's one. And looking out and listening to the thought leaders, being a part of their world. If you are a part of their world and they have a business and you like their stuff and you share their stuff, oftentimes, they see that and you're going to be in their circle and then it builds from there. I think it does take time to build that but I think it's, again, it's important. And one of my biggest pet peeves, and I had this at the coffee shop all the time - because we had this hybrid coffee shop. [0:09:13.4]

People would come and say, "Yeah, you know, can I just come and pick your brain," and I hate that. I hate that with a passion when people would just… they wouldn't even buy a coffee when they come in or they would call me and ask for advice and I'm like, "You know, I'm going to charge for this. I'm going to become a consultant at some level." I learned in some of this industry and why we even went into coaching is because I had a professor tell me, "I teach entrepreneurship because I can't do what you do, so can you come teach my class, and I'll give you a mug?" And I'm like, "Are you serious? These people are paying a lot of money for this education. You don’t even know entrepreneurship. You're having me come and you give me a mug?" That frustrated me. So that kind of led me to say "How am I just asking people, can I just pick your brain?" I think that's not a good way to go. So, if you ever - listeners, if you're ever at that place and you're just going to ask somebody for something and try and get all their gold and try and circumvent the pain or their 10 years of pain, maybe buy them a coffee, at least. Buy them dinner before you're asking them, you know, "How can avoid all your pain?" - I don't know. [0:10:27.0]

Jonathan: Nice. Nice. I'm not a fan of the "pick your brain" thing either.
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Jonathan: So let's… You guys create this coffee shop. It takes everything out of you, but you build it up; it's successful. How do you get to the point where you're deciding alright, we want to sell this and do something different?

Brandon: We went into coffee because we wanted to change the world through the coffee farmers. We realized that poverty was increasing and it was increasing with a lot of coffee farmers and so… or poverty was with the coffee farmers and so we wanted to change the world through coffee, ethical coffee. But when it became not fun anymore, when we had a flood in our business and a lot of frustration - also, we were expecting a baby. [0:12:09.5]

We realized, "Hey, we need to make some changes" and so it was at that point. We were on a year-to-year lease in the coffee shop and we're like "We can't take this any further and our priorities need to shift." So we sold that business, which we were lucky enough to do, and moved into this new world. Actually when we sold the business, we didn't know what the heck we were going to do. I was like, well, I guess I'm going to go get a job or something, but that doesn’t sound fun. I've been an entrepreneur for eight or nine years at the time, and now I've got to go work for somebody? But then, working with my mentor, that's how it kind of transitioned to working with him. Actually I applied to work with him, and he said, "You're too entrepreneurial; I can't hire you." So he fired me before he hired me, which is kind of strange. [0:13:01.5]

Jonathan: For your own good.

Brandon: Yeah, yeah.

Jonathan: So your mentor is a guy in the financial world. So you were working with him when you had the coffee shop? How did that come together?

Brandon: Yeah. So we thought we were awesome. You know. I mean, we had a business and we, my wife has listened to all of Suzy Orman's stuff and she loved her I guess at the time. We used to host film screenings in our café behind, there was an auditorium that we would film, and it was all about justice. That was the main thing. And so we had met him through a church connection. He was in their office. We had built some relationship. We were looking for experts. We knew he had a documentary that he, I think it was like Bank On Yourself Revolution or something - I don't know the book, or the movie by Nelson Nash. We said, "Hey, could you screen this film and you be our expert?" And so we had him do the filming or do the film screening. We watched it. We had never saw it before. [0:14:10.5 ]

We realized our whole concept of money was wrong and there were a lot of things we needed to learn. So, he became our financial advisor. Over the course of that second year of the business to our seventh year, the only debt we owed was to ourselves. We were able to sell the business and get out of the business debt, credit card debt, because if you open up a café, you know - it's very much intensive on cash. We were able to sell that and actually have an asset. So, that's how I met him two years and why we're in this industry now because we are influenced by it. Does that make sense? Did I answer your question?

Jonathan: Yeah, absolutely. So what is - let's talk about it a little bit because I'm still reading up and I'm still getting familiar with the idea of Bank on Yourself. Can you just kind of give us maybe a high-level overview of what that means? Because you just showed us proof that it worked for your business. [0:15:07.0]

Brandon: Yeah. So, you know how we think about investments, and we put all this investments in 401K and all this other stuff. Well, as entrepreneurs, what I've realized and thought about is: The biggest investment is us, is myself and my business. I would say within Podcast Factory and some other things, your biggest ROI (return on investment) is going to be what you put into it and how you can leverage and grow that. For us, we didn't have a retirement strategy. We didn't have an employer matching it. I mean, like how would I? Would I match myself in a 401K, and that would be stupid. With him, we set up this policy and it's weird because it's not what Dave Ramsey loves to hate. It's a whole life insurance policy - well, he does love to hate it - but it's categorically different, using high cash value. So we increase the cash value and we increase a lot more savings. [0:16:06.3]

So we were trying to do savings and leverage our savings, both to grow our business and realizing it's all one wallet, to take care of those debts. Right? So if you have all your money in a 401K and you're in credit card debt, well it's all one wallet. I don’t care how much rate of return you get on your 401K. If you have 25% interest on your card, it doesn’t matter; you actually lost money. We were able to think through that and create a strategy. That's the Bank on Yourself idea - using whole life insurance, high cash value, to create an asset. Again, realizing I am my greatest asset, and if I'm gone, how's that going to affect my family? We insure our phones. We insure our cars. We should insure ourselves and we shouldn't just insure it for a time, 30 years, and say, "It's there. Well now I'm done with it." Well wouldn't you need that insurance more when you're older? Isn't that the chances of it breaking going to happen in the later years as opposed to the earlier years? [0:17:09.9]

You know how the warranty is on a car - you have insurance on a car and then the car breaks two months and one year after. And you're like, dude, what happened? The warranty is gone. I can't go and get it back because it's not a lifetime thing. Right? I get frustrated by that, but it happens.

Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah. I've been fascinated by the concept since you guys introduced it to me. I actually - it's so funny - I talked to my insurance guy yesterday, the guy that I have my whole life policy with. He's never heard of it. I'm like, this, like you know, like high cash value, something I can use other than insurance and his mind was always "Insurance is only death benefit." But the way that you guys think about it, it's actually, I would say it's like a life benefit. Isn't it?

Brandon: Yeah. It's all about the living benefit. What we want to do is shrink the death benefit as much as possible to create a higher living benefit. [0:18:07.4]

And tax implications, right, like by using this - people think well hey, I'm putting it into tax deferred. When I think about with the 401K, people put in tax deferred. What do you think? Do you think taxes will go up or down in the future?

Jonathan: Well, they're likely to go up, but they're banking on the idea that they're going to be in a lower tax bracket.

Brandon: Yeah, theoretically. But then I look, and I've done math on this and I'm like, well a lot of people are in higher. So then we don’t know. That's the challenge. So how about, as entrepreneurs, you can take 100% responsibility for everything, control what you can control, and how do you create leverage. And oftentimes, the rich people have leverage and when an economic downturn happens, well guess what I have? I have a whole lot of cash that I can leverage whenever a correction happens and make a lot more money. So it's all about how you think. It's not just about death benefits. It's about living. There's only 200 Bank On Yourself authorized advisors out there, so you're not going to see it from your State Farm or whatever else. [0:19:16.2]

Jonathan: Yeah.

Brandon: That's why you got to find me.

Jonathan: Well that's… I'm saying all these things that I learned from you guys. And he's like, "Huh?" Dude's made a living off insurance - great guy - I mean legacy insurance, man. His dad was in insurance and he's like, "Huh? What?" - and I'm like, oh no. I explained it to him and he is just giving me back this thing and I'm like, "No, that's not the same concept. That is not the same thing at all." But you know, I feel lucky that I met you guys and you've introduced me to this concept. You know who else is a big fan of this? You know Greg Smith is one of your people there that…

Brandon: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Jonathan: Big time. I did not know that.

Brandon: So Greg Smith actually sent me this book. He gave it to me. We just met through mutual connections with you. It's by Garrett Gunderson, What Would The Rockefellers Do?

Jonathan: Yeah.

Brandon: All about this whole concept and I'm like, man, this is great. I've referred to this book so many times and if anybody - again, this is a mentor - I don’t know Garrett Gunderson and I don’t get any money if you go to his site and buy his books - but again, I've been listening to his videos and saying, hey, how do I learn from him. [0:20:27.4]

The same with Nelson Nash, who just passed away. This guy was 90 something years old who created the concept. I'm like, man, this guy is - he was like - watch some of his videos. He's a really old guy but you can take a lot from learning just online for those guys.

Jonathan: Excellent, man. So let's see - we have talked about all kinds of goodies here. Is there anything that maybe I didn't bring up that you were hoping we'd talk about?

Brandon: Well, no. I don’t think - I think one thing I would like, even people to realize is poverty and why I'm in this financial work - poverty is increasing. I'm seeing it increasing amongst seniors a lot. They didn't make a plan. They didn't make a strategy and now they're in a financial poverty mindset. And what I really want to do is help people realize that poverty, it's financial - yeah, we want to realize that, we want to fix that, we want to create a plan and a strategy around your money. [0:21:26.9]

But poverty isn't just money. It's in your relationship. Like if you are married but you don’t actually take her on a date or have that strategy set up, there could be a poverty in your marriage or in your family and really be intentional is one of the things that I've learned, and I was talking to my wife about this and saying "We're very intentional people." And as entrepreneurs, being intentional, I think you're very much in those lines, very intentional in how you market, how you send us books and things like that.

Jonathan: You think there's some thought behind that, eh? Not really. I'm just making stuff happen.

Brandon: I was going to say you sent the book The Alchemist …

Jonathan: Yes.

Brandon: It was on my "to read" list eventually, but I never had a copy of the book, so I was like, oh, I'll get it. It's a novel, so I'm not going to get to it very soon. But he says it's a, what is it? Your personal legend.

Jonathan: Yes.

Brandon: And finding your personal legend, all of these little stories that I had was still leading to Grandma's Wealth Wisdom or this idea. [0:22:32.2]
This is just the - we have only been doing this business for a couple of years. Where it's going to go from there? It's going to be bigger, but we were seeking that and I felt like that book kind of captured the little stories in our life.

Jonathan: Yeah. And it was the right time.

Guest: Yeah, yeah.

Jonathan: It is a great book. So, Brandon, if people want to get to know you or Grandma's Wealth Wisdom Podcast, what's the website?

Brandon: GrandmasWealthWisdom.com. It's really easy. GrandmasWealthWisdom.com and we're on Facebook, Twitter. You can find me at Brandon at Grandma's Wealth Wisdom. I, again, I don’t think - obviously, I'm not Grandma - but I think she can teach us a lot of things and there's a lot of things, historically, that we can learn from the greatest generation. I also think sometimes intelligence skips a generation. [0:23:24.0]

Jonathan: Yeah.

Brandon: Possibly that happened. Ask your parents. Maybe not. You might to edit this out.

Jonathan: No way! I love that one. GrandmasWealthWisdom.com - look for them on anywhere that you listen to podcasts - Grandma's Wealth Wisdom, Brandon and Amanda Neely. Brandon, thank you so much. It was so much fun to have you here and we got to do it again, brother.

Brandon: Awesome. This was great. Looking forward to talking to you soon.

Jonathan: Yes, sir.

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