Episode 103: Creating Work Optional Income to Live your Best Life Now with Curtis May- Transcript
Rennie Gabriel 00:09
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 103 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration around your business and your money. I'm your host, Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 - 10 seconds, what determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. And last week, we had Joe Apfelbaum, a LinkedIn expert who trains hundreds of coaches, consultants, and sales professionals each month. Today, we have as our guest, Curtis May. Curtis is the host of The Practical Wealth Show Podcast, and the creator and owner of Practical Wealth Advisors. Curtis has been providing financial planning for individuals and families for more than 35 years. His focus is to support people to become financially free by following the principles of wealth creation that have endured for centuries around the world. Curtis, welcome to the Wealth On Any income Podcast,
Curtis May 01:31
Rennie, thanks for having me. Excited to be here.
Rennie Gabriel 01:34
Terrific. Well, let's get right to it with some questions. The first one might be a little tough, but why do you do what you do?
Curtis May 01:44
You know, I like helping people. All right, I like, from a profession I like the freedom of doing what I want to do. But really, I'm upset. Because I, you know, I was taught a certain way, you know, when I first got into the industry, and then I read a little purple book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad, realized a lot of stuff with what rich people do, what institutions do, is different from what I was teaching. And I'm honestly, I'm like, was it Saul from Tarsus, I'm mad, now I'm mad. And now I'm on a mission to just get the word out to people about really what's going on with their finances an how they can be in control. So that's, I get a lot of satisfaction from when I see the light bulbs go on for people where they feel like they can be a little bit more control of their money and how they think and that's why I do it.
Rennie Gabriel 02:33
Terrific. I get that, believe me, I do because you and I are on the same page.
Curtis May 02:38
Rennie Gabriel 02:39
Now let me ask you this because, you know, I try and lead by example. I donate 100% of the profits from the work I do to charity. Tell me what particular charity is the most important to you and what do they do?
Curtis May 02:51
Yeah, you know, it's funny, I... reading your stuff, I was like I we have to step it up. But outside of church is like one of the things that, and I usually let my wife direct the giving, but we'll support HBCUs, Historically Black Colleges, so we'll read an article about that. So we really enjoy that. And then I'll send them hats or masks - they're really thankful if you only send them $100, $500, it's like, Oh, thank you letters from the President. I mean, it's you know, so we, you know, my wife is a big, I should have her on to talk about this part because she's like, Look, you got to, especially we'll talk to and I'll go there for a second African Americans, you got to learn to support the organizations that are important to you. And outside of tithing to the church, right? And so HBCUs are our big one. I went to private Christian schools that I think helped make me the man I am today - part of it. So I give to that. I used to play in the alumni game, and my wife said 'Listen, they don't need you to come back playing that alumni game. They need your money'.
Rennie Gabriel 03:58
Yeah, I get it.
Curtis May 04:00
I know you're feeling like you're living your glory days, but they need money. So you send them a check. You can play but send them a check. Right? So I do that.
Rennie Gabriel 04:07
That's the important part. It's the money that makes the world go around. And I've gotta tell you, my TEDx talk was at Wiley College in Texas, which is a black college, and I was treated like royalty there. It just was the most wonderful experience I had. So I am thrilled that you are supporting them in the way that you do.
Curtis May 04:32
It's important. I think that giving as a wealth principle I don't think is taught and so let you know that. And I've you know, I'm saying this because I have to get better at this also, but you could always do more and so it lets you get you out of what I call scarcity thinking, knowing that if you let it go, it will come back to you - and it's a biblical wealth principle. So that's important. Yeah. It works.
Rennie Gabriel 05:00
People either have scarcity thinking or prosperity thinking, and you can just turn the switch and move from one to the other when you're conscious of it.
Curtis May 05:10
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Rennie Gabriel 05:11
Well, let me ask you, I said, you know, you work with individuals and families, but who are your target markets or target market?
Curtis May 05:11
So the people that, like me are, tend to - so they aspire to what I call work-optional income. And so they can live off . . .
Rennie Gabriel 05:28
Say that again. Work-optional?
Curtis May 05:29
They want work-optional income. So we call it being financially free being that you can, you can live like you want to live from the income from your personally invested assets. So we tend to focus on things that send you a check every month, right? And where people are... most people in typical planning are told to put their money away for 30 years. So what happens is, but that's an easy message to a real estate investors, because they already get that, right? And they want liquidity use control of their capital, so I kind of support them in that, and show them how to lean into that. Where typical advice is teaching them to send their money to some fund manager they never met, right? And, you know, you can make you know, and they already know, they can make their money, make more money at Vanguard, you know, or Fidelity, not that, you know, where some fund manager you never met, let's say.
Rennie Gabriel 05:29
Curtis May 05:29
And hoping the market goes up. And the other people that really like me, and my message are entrepreneurs and small business owners, because they know that, you know, I'm telling them that your best investment is not putting $500 in a ROTH or something like that. You need to invest in your business, and then people that aspire to that. So let's say they're working, and they've got two or three investment properties or taking courses, and they're trying to learn how to do e-commerce or they're doing network marketing or selling real estate on the side. I mean, they're hustling, trying to generate income outside of the thing so they can... I tell people, 'Look, you got to sell something, you save your money up, that's your down payment for whatever'. And you know, Rome wasn't built in a day, but you have to have a focus. One of the things that we teach, Rennie, is investing is not about buying something. It's more about becoming something right. Right? And so it's, become. Right? And so the three rules of investing we teach is invest in your expertise, invest in what you can influence the outcome of, and don't chase returns. And so most people are chasing returns. So people I'm talking to, they kind of get that, I can maybe clarify it for them a little bit, because they're hearing a lot of noise.
Rennie Gabriel 05:29
Curtis May 05:34
You know, because they're doing what the world does. But your financial plan is different for business owners. You can't do what everybody else does, because your life is different. Right? So you... and they don't really get that because all the marketing, you think you're an outlier doing something different, and you're crazy, but you're not. Okay? So I let them know, 'Listen, you're not crazy - okay'. So that's the people I work with, they get the madness that is Curtis and we kind of speak the same language.
Rennie Gabriel 07:59
Yeah. Now that makes so much sense. I mean, when you're talking about 'Johnny Paycheck', he's got a different approach to investing than an entrepreneur who has control over their income. And yeah, it's a whole different mindset that needs to be created. Because you're right, all the marketing is to 'Johnny Paycheck'.
Curtis May 08:16
Right? That's, that's where most of the people are employees. So...
Rennie Gabriel 08:20
Curtis May 08:20
From a business standpoint, you're going to, you know, the middle market, and people that are working is most of the marketplace. And so you're going to, you know, you're going to sell to the masses. If I'm a mutual fund company, I want to mark, aim my marketing, with the people that have the money, just sitting on the sidelines or have jobs. And the message is you don't have the time, the training, or the temperament to personally manage your own money. You're not smart enough. That's the investors message, right? And so the basic message is give your money to us, and let us worry about all that kind of stuff. But where has that worked in any other area of your life, where you don't focus on it, we don't learn anything? It doesn't. And so you don't want to wake up 35 years later, and found out you're building your ladder, climbing the ladder up against the wrong wall. And that's, so that's what a lot of people are doing.
Rennie Gabriel 09:10
Those are the perfect analogies. Let's talk about, well, this may be sensitive, but what would you say your biggest failure was whether it was in personal, your personal life or your business life?
Curtis May 09:24
So I'm a second generation entrepreneur, right? So my family was in business at a supermarket and then we were, we had a fire and then my dad got into the tavern business. So I was kind of doing this and then I kind of got - it's like the Godfather Three, just when you think you're out, they keep pulling you back in. I kind of moved out of it, but then he got, he actually got shot. Someone tried to rob us and he got shot in the robbery. So he lived, but he never was able to work again. So I'm the, there's just my sister and I. I'm the oldest and I was running one of them but then I took over both and it was already, we had a good manager. And we had properties and I'm thinking I know, I actually don't know that I thought I knew everything but we clashed, right? And so humility, okay, and just leave stuff alone and watch it. That was the mist... the biggest problem was trying to take over. We had properties. I didn't know about property management, how to get good tenants, cash flow was all jacked up. I didn't know about inventory control - if you do X amount of sales, you should... like if you sell this much liquor or beer you should have X amount of money. So I got a crash course in the numbers of the business - cost of goods sold versus how much money should be in the register. That kind of stuff. If I had of did that and up quicker and then kind of left well enough alone and just had a better... bookkeeping, you know, is good. I didn't know anything about that stuff, right. And that was painful lesson and so now I am anal about cash flow management, about know your numbers. I tell people I do my books weekly. Okay, if not daily. I reconcile, I might reconcile daily, or every other day. And I do I our P&Ls is like every Saturday. I pick a time we go over our numbers because that's what gets measured, we teach our clients, get it done. Right? And you have to measure, you got to know where you are. And I'll talk to a client, I was, she was, she owned a restaurant, like well, when she, 'When do you talk to your accountant?' 'I don't, my partner does'. 'When do you do your... do you have a P&L?' 'No.' 'Do you look at your numbers?' 'No'. 'Maybe about three months ago.' I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' Don't get me started on her. I'm having flashbacks. She had properties with no insurance. I was like, 'Oh my.. I don't even want to talk to you. Okay, here's, call this person. Call this P&C guy, Les, because you got a couple 100,000, you got $250,000 properties with no insurance. You are insane'. And I talk like that, right? So . . .
Rennie Gabriel 11:56
Curtis May 11:57
I will listen, I'm going to let you, and now I've got enough rapport with them to get away with that. I mean, I don't just start out, 'You idiot.." I don't start that way, but, I get to know our people. They know I care. So if you know you care you're not, there's nothing for sale initially. I'm just seeing where you're at and where the inefficiencies are, and where you're vulnerable, and I try to shore that up. And so they know my heart's in the right place.
Rennie Gabriel 12:20
So I'm going to guess, well, I think you've already answered it, but I'm going to make it clear for the listeners, is that from the way you started in the business, in your family's business, and the things that went wrong - apparently, you're doing things differently now. You are paying attention to the cash flow now. So your biggest insight and the reason I was hearing it this way, is that if you're not managing your inventory and measuring against the cash in the till, people could be skimming the money off, and you wouldn't even know it. You could be having people embezzling from you, and you wouldn't even be aware of it.
Curtis May 13:00
That's everything. Like that was what was happening. I didn't know. I couldn't see it. I just didn't understand it and that was frustrating. So a lot of people, like if you're like an online business, you really see all the money but you don't really track, like I'll talk to real estate investors like, 'All right, well you did this marketing and how does that show up in conversions and revenue and if you're spending money on this, how much does that make? Because you might be doing a lot of stuff but you don't know what's working, what's not, because you don't track your numbers.' So I've really started, most financial advisors don't like being bothered with cash flow management. And so to me, that's where the rubber meets the road. Most wealth is lost by how people manage cash flow and you got to start there. I mean, you got to pay you know, basically people said what do you do? I teach chapter two of the Richest Man in Babylon, basically, right? The first cure for a lean purse. I mean, that's when when I say I do principles based - principles that don't change, right? And It has nothing to do with products. It's all about your, as Jim Rohn would say, your philosophies. He says most people don't have a money problem, they have a philosophy problem. And I get a little excited when I talk about this stuff. But that's it and you know, if people knew basic stuff, or like I'm trying to you know, my kids are 21 and 18, so I'm a little late but I'm working on them. I got a 10 year old, so I was like, 'All right, we're going to play cashflow. I've got to make sure you get this'. Because all they're being taught, they're not being taught anything about money.
Rennie Gabriel 14:25
Curtis May 14:25
It's and they might come out making hopefully 80, 100 grand. One time I did talk at Penn for this sorority and they were sophomores going to be juniors, I said, 'How many of y'all have ever had a class on money management?' None of them, right? And so they expected to come out of school making 80, or 100 grand a year so you have no instruction, the ones that you know, I gave them a little quiz, the ones that knew a little bit, families were self-employed, right? So yeah, a little bit more financial literacy, but most of them were, and so they're coming out with debt and just no financial literacy. And financial literacy is accounting, right? It's not investing. It's accounting. It's knowing your numbers, right? That's the language of money. It's accounting. And you know, the numbers tell a story. Most people don't know their story. Okay. And I can talk to them for five minutes, and I can tell you if it's going to be a happy ending or if it's going be a nightmare, right? It jumps out at you, once you read it. You know once I started paying attention to it and learning how to read, I tell when I refer to Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I, you know, I was, did you ever see the end of the matrix? Like when at the end of the Matrix 1, when Neo could see the matrix. Once, I used to hate accounting, but after the Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I could see financial statements, like the Matrix, everything I saw, I could see that, oh, I love accounting now, right? And just draw those little two boxes, and I was like, okay, and then if I'm looking at something, I go, income expense, asset liabilities, boom boom boom, money's going in/out, into debt, you know. And that's, that really simplified it for me. So I try to simplify it for clients. Because you know, a confused mind does nothing.
Rennie Gabriel 15:58
You're absolutely right. A confused mind cannot make a decision. Curtis, I love what you've shared. Let me ask you this, is there a valuable free resource that you can direct our listeners to that could further help them? Or have them get in contact with you?
Curtis May 16:16
Yes, I will give you . . . I don't know the . . . So I'll give you one, and I have another one I'll give to you put in the notes. But there's a, there's a pre-report call. We're big on liquidity. So it's called the Value of Liquidity. A lot of people give that short shrift, so to speak. And so if people text BETHEBANK to 55444. And then I also have... so that's BETHEBANK , all one word to 55444 and you'll get the report, PDF report. And It'll put you on our mailing list if you want to stay in touch of us. There's another one I have where I go over the cash flow management it's called, Budgeting Stinks. There's a lead page, which I don't know by heart, but as I said, it'll be in the show notes.
Rennie Gabriel 17:01
Yep, I've got that. You emailed that to me. So I'll put that in the show notes as well.
Curtis May 17:07
And that's about it. Check out the show and hear more about the madness that is Curtis, okay. You know, it's fine. We just we were trying to get people and let them know, look, there's a lot of ways, just basically like, what you do. I bought the book, right? And so I've learned a lot.
Rennie Gabriel 17:20
Yes. Thank you.
Curtis May 17:21
And I think I got to get it again, because I bought it in a PDF. I need the book, this book. Like certain books, you've got to get what you need to get the hardcopy and take notes. And I put those little tabs in it and that. Your book is one of those books where I got to go back through it as like a workbook, right? A reference book to go back through it. So you know, you got to read. I make our clients - make is a strong word - but you got to read at least a book a month on money.
Rennie Gabriel 17:47
Yeah, or a book a month on anything if you want to grow your life.
Curtis May 17:52
Rennie Gabriel 17:52
I just completed two books. One of them was called 4000 Weeks - Time Management for Mortals. The other was called Happy for No Reason. So yeah, and those are the last two months, the last two books I can remember.
Curtis May 18:08
I need that - alright...
Rennie Gabriel 18:10
Curtis, this has been a great interview. I want to thank you for being on the show. I will have the stuff that people need in the show notes. Again, thank you for being on the show.
Curtis May 18:21
My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Rennie Gabriel 18.23
And to my listeners. Thank you for tuning in. Next week, we're going to have Bob Wheeler, who's going to talk about how you can conquer any money shame over poor financial decisions you might have made and how to make better choices. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform. And please rate, review, and subscribe. And if you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TEDx talk and can request the free 27-Page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice®, and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your well and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program, Wealth with Purpose, obviously on the wealthonanyincome.com website. Until next week, be prosperous. Bye bye for now.