Building Financial Energy | Dustin Serviss


How can you build financial energy?

My guest Dustin Serviss is a financial advisor who has been working with high net worth business owner families since 2005.

Dustin uses a combination of science and psychology to help his clients realize the dreams they never dreamed of—and in this episode, he’ll share his expertise with you.

We’ll cover:

  • Building a “portfolio of memories”
  • Teaching your kids values about money
  • Handling finances as a couple
  • Habits to put in place around money
  • The financial next steps for every age milestone
  • And more

Mentioned in this episode:


Dustin Serviss: What is, listener, your wealth edge? What are some things that if you utilize it, it would put you in a less risky position to make investments or go after opportunities?

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast with professional speaker, coach and consultant Nicole Greer.

Nicole Greer: Welcome everybody to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. My name is Nicole Greer, and they call me the vibrant coach. And today I have another amazing guest. I know they’re all amazing, but this one is extra special. Because A, he’s Canadian. B, he’s a financial advisor who has been working with high net worth business owner families since 2005. So he knows how the money works. He is the winner of numerous awards throughout his career, and years of community focus has earned him a Court of the Table seat in the Million Dollar Roundtable. What? 

He and his partners have generated over 400 million, 400 million people, in wealth for their clients across Canada. And with a background in civil engineering, he knows how to build things, we’re just saying. And he has used a combination of science and psychology to help his clients realize the dreams that they never dreamed off. What? 

And Dustin enjoys an active lifestyle with his family and participates in outdoor adventures. And he is an advocate, you’re gonna love this, for Fridays off. So now I know you’re in for the whole podcast. He’s going to teach you how to have Fridays off, and how to do more living right now. Please welcome to the show, Dustin Serviss. How are you?

Dustin: I’m good. Nicole. Thanks a lot. That was a great intro. Thank you.

Nicole: You’re welcome. You’re welcome. Well, I’m collecting definitions of leadership. And it looks like you do a little self leadership. You’ve got a little family you’re working with doing some leadership. And of course, you’ve got to have some leadership skills to get into, don’t miss this everybody, the Million Dollar Roundtable. So what’s your definition of leadership? We’ll put it on the list.

Dustin: Well, I think it’s, it’s something that can change over time. If you were to ask me this 20 years ago, when I was thinking about getting into business, it would have been most money, leader of the company, you know, the special parking spot in the parking lot. So now, it’s a lot different in having sort of a younger staff in a business that is not, you know, just going in every day trying to survive. 

And now it’s, you know, in a point where it sustains itself, and we’ve got options, it’s nice to be able to lead people and teach them things and not be in such a rush to get through the day. So you know, this morning was one of our podcast meetings. And so we just did simple brainstorming where in the old days, that would have been, you know, for me quite stressful to have a staff member just sort of thinking of ideas for a couple hours. 

Everyone thinks, oh, isn’t that what everything one does? Nope, that’s not what I did. I was more results, results, results. And so that’s, I feel very grateful to be at that point and be helping other people and help them make their own mortgage payments, but also learning to do things themselves for the future.

Nicole: Yeah, so don’t miss what he said, teaching people. And then I’m going to kind of dissect a little something you said, Dustin, you tell me if I get it wrong. But you know, he said, you know, my kind of my bent is I’m results, results. But then I have this idea person on my team. And that might have used to irritate me, but now I realize it takes all kinds and so our people have different personalities. And the smart leader recognizes the gifts, the talents, the personalities that are on the team. Did I get it right?

Dustin: Yeah, definitely listener, you’re getting some added value out of Nicole’s explanation.

Nicole: All right, good, good. Okay. Well, as many of you know, I have this wonderful, well, I think it’s wonderful. SHINE coaching methodology. And so I think it helps us kind of look at you know, our lives, right? And how could we let the most light out into the world through our being on planet Earth? How can we influence how can we light things up? 

How can we build a vibrant culture? And so Dustin, and I are going to work through that. Now don’t miss it, you know that he is a financial guru. And so we’re going to kind of look through the lens of finances and go through the SHINE coaching methodology. So Dustin, the very first letter in SHINE is S and it is self assessment. 

And so my belief is that you can’t really make significant progress in the future until you take stock of what’s going on right now. The current situation. So you have to turn that mirror inward and do self assessment. So in your work, when you’re working with people on their finances, how do they do self assessment? What should people be doing to figure out what’s up with them?

Dustin: Well, I can, again, listener, you may resonate with various different methods, but in our world, what tends to work, we tend to work with entrepreneurially minded people. There’s a growth component. If you can get someone to take a deep breath and sort of be present with you. We use something called a dashboard, or we now call it an asset map, which is just a simple, just tell me what you have. 

Nevermind, like, you know what’s going on. But what do you have for insurance? What do you have for investments? What do you have? And a lot of people say, well, yeah, financial advisors do that, because they want to sell you stuff. No, maybe some do. But the reality is for you, you know, we say to clients, we’re gonna build you this thing in this 15 minute discovery meeting, it’s no charge, and we’re gonna hand it to you at the end. 

You can take that tool, you can go to the mortgage broker, when you’re trying to get a house mortgage. You can take it to the lawyer, when you need to get a will. You gotta go hire a new accountant, they’re gonna ask you. So now you’ve got this document that is multifaceted, but that is your, what’s going on. From there, we would then have a conversation about someone’s lifestyle and their life stage. So where are you at right now. 

Everyone is at different stages, we’ve built this big visual, that’s called a journey map. It’s sort of like aged 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60. And anyone under, in your 20s. But there’s different milestones that happen in there. So once you start talking with someone, what’s their lifestyle, their stage, you start to recognize the gates that open. And those milestones are, you know, buy a house, have a baby, get a divorce, buy a business, sell a business. 

Nicole: Yeah. Don’t get a divorce. That’s messy.

Dustin: All those sorts of moments or milestones. And that’s usually when people come to us is when they’ve got a moment. It’s I’ve inherited money, or I’ve lost a lot of money, or I, you know, too far in debt, or I want to buy this house, I want to downsize. And so those are all kind of prompts to visit with people. 

But if someone doesn’t even go talk to an advisor, and they think of where, you know, where are we, and again, spouses that money, spouse one and spouse two, that can be a very difficult dynamic, if not coordinated properly. But I’ll give you a framework, you know, just in the essence of sort of time, I’ll speed it up. But imagine a pyramid. And at the bottom of the pyramid is that you know, the widest part, that’s your foundation, or what we call it, you know, your plan. 

Just even listening to this, you’re ahead of most people, because you’re going to get these tools. And inside the plan, it’s going to be goals, your dashboard, or what we just talked about of all your stuff, and your BAM, so your B A M. Bare ass minimum. These are the expenses that exist for you. So we’ve got the foundation.

Nicole: That’s a nice way to say it, in case your mother’s listening. BAM.

Dustin: Okay, so the next layer up is your risk management. This is what happens if you die, if you become injured, sick, can’t work, have a will. So you have employee benefits? And in the middle of there is leisure spending and connection to personal friends. And one thing often not talked about in finance is are you spending enough. I deal with a lot of high net worth clients. 

And what I see over time is they’ve built up this massive business, you know, sold it, say for 12 million. And they sacrificed everything. Weekends, evenings. Reinvested everything back in the business, age 60 sold for 12 million. I had another business owner who very conscious of time off valued learning and taking courses and weekends off. And you know, that sort of mindset. And you know, maybe she sells her business for 6 million. 

So that 63, they both die with money in the bank. And so you have this scenario where it didn’t matter if you had 12, or you had 6, one person had a diverse portfolio of memories. So we’ve got this sort of this risk management. Are you managing risk? Next layer up is accumulation. This is where you start to save, this where you’re starting to pay down your debt. And there also is something called mental health. 

Often not talked about by advisors, but this is a conversation we, I’m trained in, one of my other advisors is trained in, and we wade into this emotional health. What are you nourishing your mind with? Because wealth doesn’t just mean a lot of money, and you could be 60 years old with 12 million, have a crappy relationship with your kids, have a crappy relationship with yourself. 

And that’s not, that’s not very fun. And so from there, you know, is estate planning at the peak? That doesn’t necessarily mean you know, it does mean getting your estate in order and all that stuff. But really, what we like to talk about is a lot of our entrepreneurs are say 60 or 55. We still talk about estate planning in a different way. What are you teaching your children about money? That is, instead of just here’s a check, that’s gonna happen. 

But here’s some mindset principles that we want to work on. Just this morning, I was talking to a client and you know, he’s saying, we got to work on that stuff. You know, that stuff that you gave us last meeting? My kids think it’s normal to go to Maui three times in a year, and they’re 20 years old, roughly. 

Nicole: Are they adopting? 

Dustin: No. Yeah. But not that it’s bad. They say they’re super fortunate that this can happen and they want to go on trips and be with their family. So it isn’t, it isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a reality that their reality might be a little bit skewed. But at the same time, just talking about some simple things and including them in meetings is super powerful.

Nicole: Yeah, that’s awesome. All right, so self assessment. Ao he just laid down a lot of things. But I’m gonna, I’m gonna repeat it back because as you all know, I’m a trainer right. And so one of the things we have to do is when we’re learning is we have to do consolidation. So we hear something twice, we’re more likely to get it. 

So what Dustin said was, the first thing you need to do is have that foundation, you got to figure out what you got, what’s going on. Okay. And so I call that a personal balance sheet. Okay, so in business, you have this thing called a balance sheet. Well, you can have one in your personal life, too. And so you want to, you know, figure out what, you know, what, what, what do I have that are liabilities, which means I owe money on right? 

Or, and what are my assets? Right? So, I’ve got a tool that you can email me or email Dustin and set up a time to talk to him to get your journey map filled out, right. So self assessment is absolutely huge. The next thing that he said is that you’ve got to look at your mindset. And that is self assessment, right? Like, get your head in the game about what’s going on. Where are you going? What’s the future gonna hold? 

And are you going to have a vibrant life and 6 million in the bank or miserable life and 12 million in the bank? And then you know that the statistic is on fellows, Dustin? They retire, and they’re gone in three years, if they don’t have something to do. That’s the statistic. All right. All right. So that’s self assessment. Now, this is going to be really good, because I think you need really healthy habits. 

The H in my SHINE coaching methodology is habits. And so as you look at the portfolio of people that you manage these $400 million for, what are some habits, maybe even for somebody, it’s like, 400 million? I wish I had $40. So are there some basic habits that you encourage your clients to put in place around their money?

Dustin: Yeah, so they’ve obviously got to somewhere being successful. And they’re coming to us for sort of what’s the next chapter. And having an open conversation around what you talked about. Do you have your key doesn’t, you know, a lot of people are exiting, so they’re selling the business they come to us, we need to plan for after we sell it. Your key literally does not work in the door anymore. 

You don’t have the big cash flow. And all of a sudden, you have this money in a pot, and you’re drawing on it. It’s quite scary. So when you look at that, there’s a lot of emotional conversation in there about what does this look like? What are you going to be doing? And what does that look like? So, you know, I’m trying to think of a bullet list. But, you know, a lot of time is just spent on the emotional side of things.

Nicole: Yeah, yeah. And I think that like some basic habit things, correct me if I’m wrong, but one of the things is, I think you said earlier, something about, there’s a person in the marriage one, person in the marriage, two, right? There’s these two people in the marriage. And I think one of the things that married couples have to do is they have to kind of like set some ground rules, that’s a very good thing to do. Set some ground rules. You know, when David Greer and I were coming up, we had a couple of ground rules. 

You know, we’re gonna have one checkbook, we’re both gonna be responsible for it, we’re gonna pay our credit cards off in full, you know, like, we made some rules. So I think really putting some great rules in place, about your money is important. And then I think the other thing in terms of inside of a company, if you want to build a vibrant culture, one of the things that you can do inside your organization, before you sell it, like Dustin is talking about, is that I think you need to have open book management. 

Meaning that everybody on your team, understand how we make money, how we’re spending money, and what kind of money we’re making, and then how to improve that bottom line. Because here’s the truth folks about money. If the company doesn’t make money, nobody’s getting a paycheck on Friday. And so if everybody understands how money works, and I think really, that’s the best habit of all is to understand how money works, learn about it, read books about it. Watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts like this. 

And if you’re having a good time, go down and click Like and leave us a little love note. That’d be fantastic. Alright, so for your corporate world, open book management and for your personal life, put some rules in place about how you’re going to do money with the one you love. All right. Now the next thing we’re going to talk about is the I in the SHINE coaching methodology, and the I, Dustin is all about integrity. 

And so how important is integrity when it comes to managing your finances? Do you have a story of somebody who, you know, was such a man or woman of integrity, that they did amazing things with their money or a story of somebody who lacked integrity and like, blew the wad and messed it all up for everybody. Do you have any examples of how integrity is so important in the financial world?

Dustin: I think yeah. So I think of one story of well, there’s a couple stories I’ve got in my career. But the couple stories, the two stories, two different families, two different times. Two different amounts of money was inheritance scenario. And the integrity is, you know, they have the highest level of integrity. But I never realized you read about in books where the, you know, inheritance can be eroded and passed down. 

I speak with a guy named Tom Deans who is Dr. Tom Deans who wrote a book called Every Family’s Business. And he’s specifically talking to family run businesses. But if you think about it, every business involves the family. Whether it’s you, and you’re the sole person in the business, your wife or partner is part of that business. So every business is a family business. And in that regard, the intent of the parents or they left the money and put no trusts in place to kind of regulate, people get the money, and they have ideas. 

And they believe they’re good ideas, and they start implementing ideas. And there isn’t that same guts, or that same sort of fiber that’s woven into how that money got generated in somebody else. And so it’s easier to spend it, it’s easier to make a decision that, you know, maybe we should upgrade that, you know, big thing, because we can make more widgets, you know. 

There’s like, well, but we haven’t sold enough widgets like so maybe we should be selling to get the demand up and then upgrade, you know. Well, no, you know, it’s like, those would be crucial, this is where you’re scrutinizing the money first, versus just sort of like, well, just open the checkbook. And you know, that’s, you know, what, what was the acronym again? What was the word? 

Nicole: Integrity.

Dustin: Integrity. So integrity, in wealth, if I look at it with say, my top 10 clients, they all will, not my top 10. So seven out of my top 10 are married to the same spouse for more than 25 years. So maybe that’s the demographic we attract. Or maybe that’s what our brand attracts. But I look at that and find that very inspiring. Not saying you know, listener, if you’re like in a bad relationship. So I’m not giving relationship advice. 

But there is a common denominator around there of being integral, you and your husband talking about money, my wife and I, every September, get out three months of our visa statements. And we make it a safe environment that no one’s allowed to get mad at where the spending is going. It’s simply just to get awareness of hey, I’m just gonna show you and I don’t want to see your, I don’t want to police your spending, and my wife makes real money, and but we all, everything is shared in our world. 

And again, people do it different. But it is, I find it is easier when you’re doing planning if everything is in one place, and you are sort of open. It isn’t the you can’t have that, you can’t. It’s like, well, hey, let’s get it on the table. Let’s talk about it. And a lot of my clients do communicate with each other and are present at my meetings. So one of them usually is the dominant, interested party, like they’re more interested than the other. 

And some of them even, you know, control most of it. And the instructions come from one, but the other one is always there and aware. And where that becomes, everything is fine in the investment world when everything goes up. Because no one’s looking at anything. It’s like, oh, it’s great. It’s going up. But when it goes down during COVID, 35%, and the one spouse has been saying for years, I’m not interested, you just handle it, you just handle it. 

All of a sudden, they open those statements, fold it three times and open it and it’s like, oh my god, like, why does it say we’re down you know, hundreds of 1000s? Like, what did you do? You said you were in control of this? Now you got friction. And now that leaks into like all sorts of parts where decision making aspect I saw, you know, some clients where it’s like, we had to put new windows in the house. 

And it’s like it was a big expense. And that person is leading the charge on that. Now the other spouse is saying, hey, well, wait a sec. Is that a good idea? And now you’ve got this, this thing going on. And so yes, 100% the integrity of a couple is very important around the finances.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And, and I love what you alluded to there also is like, you know, the uninterested person, okay, that’s really important. Because you can’t do what Dustin said, turn around and like start asking questions out of the blue. It’s like, no, this is our money, and we need to understand it. And we need to be in this together. And we need to have a plan that’s unified. I mean, that’s what integrity means, like something coming together. So Dustin says integrity in the couple is huge, right? 

So I couldn’t agree more with that. And then the other little thing he slipped in everybody that I don’t want you to miss it. Is you need to know how the stock market works. You need to understand how these tools and instruments that Dustin puts in place in his clients’ portfolio, how they work. And here’s what I know. Tell me if I’m wrong, Dustin, you guys will teach all day long. 

Let me tell you what this one does and what this one does and where this is coming from and, and this kind of thing. And to be disinterested in it is really being out of integrity, because you know, I don’t know, but I’m sure this is what you’re doing. I don’t want to be a burden to my children. You know, when this is all said and done, I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be a burden. 

And in terms of a culture inside of a company, the people at the top of the company, have to, again, have open book management, teach business acumen, and make people more whole about where they’re spending money off of the profit and loss statement. Right? So just like you sat down with your wife, what about these shoes? And she says, what about those golf trips? Or wherever it all works at your house. 

You know, in corporate America, it’s like, you know, why is marketing spending this money? Why is sales spending that money? Why is operations you know, buying robots, you know, all the stuff that goes on, we need this business acumen. So we can have a holistic integris approach to the decisions we make. Because that’s what you said, it will really inform your decisions, which I love that you said that. 

That was fantastic. All right. So that’s the I in the SHINE coaching methodology. And the next thing, there’s two more Dustin. One is next right steps. So you already kind of alluded to this when we talked about self assessment, but people need to have an active plan that they’re working. And did you hear what he said, everybody? 

He said, there’s a plan from 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70. Okay, so that’s what I call next right steps. Like looking out the next space of time and figuring out where you want to go. Will you talk a little bit more about your 20, 30, 40, 50, 60? You know, the steps that you have people put in place. What people need to be thinking about?

Dustin: Sure. So, listener, if you are 30 to 40, think back to what I said about those milestones. So had a child, new career, you know, went from associate to partner as a lawyer, you know, maybe you’re a business owner, and now you’ve hired you know, your fourth staff member. These are big moments. Maybe you had a big contract come in. And so you’ve got money coming in and common for us is having a person come in with a company, they’re busy doing their thing. 

So listener, I don’t know if you resonate with this. Like, you’re doing your thing. You’re like, I don’t have time for finance stuff. I know, people, my soccer friend is knocking on my door, and they want to help me and I just don’t have time. And so, weeks, months, years go by, and now all of a sudden, you have 500,000, you’ve got 400, 200, whatever is a big number to you. 

You got 3 million in cash in your company, and you’re going and maybe your accountant is saying you better do something with this. Like, all of a sudden it’s a big decision, this is a big move, because you’ve saved this over time, you haven’t developed sort of. It’s like doing a yoga movement, you just go to the first class, and you’re just gonna do a freehand stand out of nowhere. It just, it’s difficult. Maybe you do it.

Nicole: No, you gotta downward dog first. 

Dustin: Maybe you fall over. So we use an analogy called the spending accelerator with people. And this was from my own story of being head in the sand, we had fertility issues at home, and I just was trying to bury my head. Like I can, I can be really good at business, or I can be a great dad. So the keyword was there. 

Or, you couldn’t be the best dad at all the kids’ stuff and be successful in business. You had to, in my head, this is how I built this whole belief. But that’s how I believed it. So in sort of this journey, we were on, I was burying my head in the sand. And I couldn’t take any more money out of the company, or I didn’t want to because I had to pay tax. So in the States, it’s the same. But if you leave money inside your company, it’s not taxed personally. And you can invest it inside there. 

So I was really making us lean, personally. So putting enough money, we’d have like $400 left in the checking account at the end of the month. First of the month, bang, a big drop would happen. We’d spend that money. And we NSFd like four times between January and April. And my wife was saying.

Nicole: That means non sufficient funds. Yeah.

Dustin: Yeah, you go to pay for something with your Visa or debit card, it would say you don’t have you know, any money. Which, in the company, we had lots of money. In our personal bank account we didn’t have a lot. So we had a big, it was basically a fight about that this is embarrassing. And so we went to my accountant and we built this you know, sort of model because I needed to figure this out. 

The spending summary really is imagine that downstairs in your basement or upstairs or wherever you would go in your house to find this little machine. And out the back of the machine is a conveyor belt. At the start of the month that conveyor belt puts $10,000 on the conveyor belt and it starts coming out on the conveyor belt. Then you’ve got little things little paddles that kick off a bit of money into a bucket underneath. 

I talked about BAM, so that’s you bare ass minimum expenses. So 10 grand is flowing along, you have to figure out what it costs to run your life. Maybe that’s 4000. Kicks it off 4000. And now you have six continuing on. Then you’ve got to have good insurance. So the risks that I talked about, gotta make sure we have some good insurance. So kickoff 1000 for that. Now you’ve got 5000 left. We need to have emergency savings. 

So let’s maybe kick off 500 a month for that, until that’s built up. Then you’ve got core investments that can, you know, again, don’t take this as a buy or sell recommendation, whether it be a balanced fund or dividend stocks or s&p 500, whatever your thing is. That’s something that’s pretty core. That’s not high risk. 

Then you’ve got real estate, so maybe you’re gonna put a little bit extra into a savings account to buy a rental piece of real estate, because in your BAM, your mortgage payment would be covered or your rent. So you have real estate, kicks off some money. Then you have a high risk, speculative, this could be your crypto penny stocks, whatever. $500, so a lot less than you’re putting into the real estate or the core investment. And if this is done, right, you should have a little bit left, that comes off the end of the conveyor belt. And that’s where you accelerate your spending. 

So I talked about leisure spending being something to pay attention to in your, what we call life clarity summit pyramid. So if you do it, right, maybe 500 comes off. And that’s where you purposely spend the money. Take it out of the company, out of your company, pay the tax. Whatever’s left, upgrade your lifestyle. And so, you know, for us, that was a major, you know, I had all this model mapped out. 

My accountant was the one that was like, well, what if you took 500 extra out of that, and then you wouldn’t NSF. And what had happened was we’ve put our second kid into daycare. And so that was hitting our BAM, and I wasn’t really, I was trying to just say, hey, we’ll just spend less, and trying to lean out like the spending.

Nicole: No, you have to have it figured out. Gotta have the next right steps figured out.

Dustin: That’s right. That’s right. So next right step, automate. And for older people, it would be doing exactly what we’ve talked about, it’s just getting organized, getting all of your, you know, what we see in older clients over time when you’re say 50 plus, multiple statements.

Nicole: He just called me older, everybody.

Dustin: Well, 50 grand here, 150 grand there. So multiple locations of money. And sometimes people do that over time to be safer, because you kind of spread out the money. Well, what if this collapses. And with the recent bank stuff that might be prudent. But there are ways to own different buckets of money that are safer in one place. So you know, if we say to clients, you can have it with us, it’s under one roof, but not all your eggs in one basket. 

But you can see it all. It’s just in different baskets. So you know, starting to consolidate that. Because some people say I got three different advisors for different strategies. Okay, the reality in the investment space is if you have the right advisor, you could get access to anything available. So if you got multiple advisors, you are banking on them coordinating their efforts. And especially if you’re in mutual funds, you will likely have overlap in the holdings. 

So why if you got this person and that person, why would they both own Wells Fargo? Why would you just have the best person that manages Wells Fargo type investments, manage owning Wells Fargo. Tell the other person don’t own Wells Fargo. So a lot of people don’t know the optics, or they just haven’t taken the time. So when you get older, you start to get a little more in tune and a little bit, you know, we you know, we go hire your accountant.

Nicole: You’ve got time because the children went off to college. That’s what happens with us older people. Yeah. So that’s great. And so for those of you who are going like, well, he keeps talking about, you know, a business, I don’t own a business. I have a job, I’m a leader inside of a company. Well, that same $10,000 that’s going down the conveyor belt, it may be what is your paycheck that you’re getting every single month. 

Dustin: Good one, Nicole. 

Nicole: You still have those same buckets that he’s talking about, right. So you’ve got to have your BAM and don’t say it out loud, your mother won’t approve. So have your BAM taken care of, you know, have the money that’s going into the rainy day account savings, right. And you’ve got all the different things down the line. So it’s all applicable if you’re somebody employed inside of a company. 

So very, very applicable. All right, awesome. So next, right steps have a plan. Don’t wing it. Don’t think you’re going to reduce your expenses. Actually get on the paper and do it. And then the final thing in the SHINE coaching methodology for us to kind of have the most vibrant life possible self assessment, habit work, integrity work, next step right work, then we need to stoke our energy. 

I don’t know about you, Dustin, but everybody I talked to, like people are tired, overwhelmed. COVID hit us hard. There’s a lot of like stuff out there. But here’s what I know you have a lot, a lot of control over stoking your energy and so I’ll just repeat many of you who listen all the time, you know that there’s intellectual energy, emotional energy, spiritual energy, physical energy, social energy and the energy of money. 

And so here’s what I know. If you are learning about money with your intellectual energy, right. And I tell people all the time, there is a financial advisor out there for you. Even if you don’t have any money, because they are great teachers, and they want you to get in a position where that you can give them a little bit of money to invest your wealth in Wells Fargo or whatever. And so emotional energy, he’s already talked about this people. 

You know, this is a very emotional thing dealing with money. And so you’ve got to have great emotional energy. Spiritual energy. Now, here’s what I believe about money. Money is energy. That’s what I think. Nicole goes to work, they give her a check. So I work all day, they give me a check. So its energy, and it’s moving around on the planet, it just happens to show up and dollar bills and coins, and, you know, with dollar signs, and whatever. 

And so you’ve got to really have a good attitude about money. It’s like, if I do really good work, really good money will come to me. So you’ve got to work on your spiritual energy, what do you believe about money? I believe it’s just a tool to help people and to get people taken care of. It’s a support mechanism, right. So then we have the social energy. And social energy is, you know, the people we know. 

So you need to know a Dustin who can help you with your money. And he said, you know, if you’re gonna have three financial advisors have one that does this good, and one that does get that good, or just hire the best guy or gal, to be your financial advisor, and they will help you. It’s social energy, you don’t have to know everything about this life. Go find an expert. And then finally, financial energy. So financial energy. 

So what are the ways people can energize their money situation? What would you say to that? I’ve got some ideas on my vibrant energy audit, which I’ll share in a minute, but Dustin, how do we get people excited about money instead of fearful? You know, a lot of people I know that, like, they’re scared of the money talk. They’re scared of all that. So what do you think?

Dustin: In today’s world, we’ve got so much vying for our attention. And we make a lot of decisions in a day, whether we realize it or not. And so one of the things we talk about is reducing the amount of decisions you have to make in a day, to give you the energy to then debate financial topics. So I won’t take credit for it, because it’s not my concept. But Neil Pasricha, wrote a book called The Happiness Equation. And so he talks about something called spousal influence awareness. We kind of changed it, and the acronym for that is SIA or seeah. 

So this concept he talks about is how happy, so listener, if you’re driving, or mowing the lawn, or whatever you’re doing. Think about how happy you are most of the time. Is it 10% of the time, you know, you’re pretty pessimistic person, or, you know, 80% of the time, you’re happy most of the time, but 20%, you’re kind of like, you know, not so happy. 

And then think about your partner, how happy are they most of the time. And so if you think of that on, you know, 10% to 100%, you’re always happy. Think about like, if you both your partner and you are happy 80% of the time, if you actually draw a chart, which I won’t bring up the screen, but I have done it that means that 64% of the time, you are both happy. That leaves like 32% where you’re in flux. 

And so what we find when people bring up the classic is, it could be you know, a lifestyle thing. I’m stereotyping. Man comes home and says, hey, I’m 41 and I want to buy a Harley. He thought about it for weeks and weeks and weeks, months, years, maybe. Done all the analysis in his head, and just laid this on his spouse, he’s found one, and they go, no. Like bad idea. No. And so friction.

Nicole: Don’t go kill yourself.

Dustin: So the other financial thing, you know, that we find is, hey, I drove by this house, I think it would be a great rental house. I think we should buy it, it would be good to you know, whatever. Same idea. Maybe it’s, we’ll do the woman this time, has thought about it, mapped it out, done spreadsheets, not really had open communication with these ideas. Come and been, you know, quite a bit of conviction. 

And the other person says no, when the person that’s saying no, it’s just usually coming from a place of fear because of something they either know or experience. And so what we say is when do you think the best time to talk about financial decisions is? When you’re both happy. You talked about an awareness and the S is like self awareness. Awareness in your relationship about when to identify is a happy place. 

When you’re both on vacation and you’re relaxed. Is that the place to talk about it? Or maybe some, your partner would say, I don’t want to think about that stuff when I’m on vacation. So you have to gauge it. My wife and I like road trips. You’re kind of sitting there, you got nothing else to do, it was like what about this idea? And you map it out. Or camping with a piece of paper. So you know whatever that is listener for you in your you know, your financial safe place your idea. 

But being aware of your partner. Is it when they come home from golf, or when your wife comes home from yoga, and they’re in just sort of a chill state, when is it or just start paying attention, when you find your partner the most receptive. Then it’s the time to say, hey, maybe we should have this idea. So back to what you’re talking about the energy, if you can figure that out, then you’ve got more bandwidth to have energy around those things. 

And so for business client, there’s a whole thing we coach on sort of business, but I’ll give you some of the highlights. Batching your emails, limiting the decision. So in our world, I get CC’d on a lot of emails from staff. I don’t necessarily need to read them. But I created an internal inbox. So in Outlook create a rule. If you get an email.

Nicole: Drag and drop.

Dustin: Well, no, I don’t even drag and drop anymore, it just filters. So if I get an email from my staff, it goes in there. I look at that at 12 and at four, and skim for my name in bold at the bottom. And that’s when I know I need to do something. But for the most time, I’m just skimming and deleting. Now all of a sudden, my email bin is less. So that’s one example. But where listener in your world, could you reduce, automate groceries online, in Canada that’s big. I don’t know if it is in the States.

Nicole: Yes, they do all that. All right. So I’m going to repeat what he said right at the top of all that all good advice right in there. So fantastic. But one of the things he said is, limit the number of decisions you have to make. I think that is pure genius, right. And other thing that he slipped in there is like figure out when you and your spouse are going to talk about money and make it when you’re happy, A. And B, you know, you’re both able to come into the process, and it’s relaxed, and you’re not in a crisis. 

I think a lot of times couples are only talking about money because it’s a crisis, or there’s something wrong or we have to make some kind of quick thing like you’re talking about. So if we can have a plan, it’s huge. All right, so let me just share with you what I have. And if you want this, you can email me and or go to my website, And I have the vibrant six energies audit. 

And financial energy, number one, you need to understand how money works in the world. If you don’t have the business acumen, or you don’t know how money works, you got to get a book, you got to talk to Dustin, you need to have a budget in this life. You need to have at least two months of salary in savings for an emergency, you need a personal balance sheet. Or you can have the journey map with Dustin. 

You need to give a portion of your earnings to somebody who needs it more than you. I am a big believer in helping others. I think it comes back tenfold in your life. Have investments that pay you long term over time. That’s what Dustin does. Actively pursue money making opportunities. You’ve got skills, people, let’s just stop there. You’ve got skills, talents, stuff you could be doing that would earn money, and you would love earning this money. 

So I think you have more earning potential than you think you have. I do a lot of career coaching with people. And then this is what Dustin said earlier. Reward yourself for your hard work. Spend some money, have a good time with it right? Pay off your credit cards in full. And then make sure what you believe about money is showing up in your habits. 

So those are my things on financial energy. That’s fantastic. All right, so Dustin, it’s the top of the hour. Everybody’s like oh no don’t let him go. But is there one more nugget you might leave with my listeners that they might use to help them increase their financial energy and SHINE?

Dustin: Sure. So one of the things that we coach is something called the wealth edge. So you mentioned it just made me think of it. Just with your kind of closing comments there. Listener if you are an employee or you run your own company, you likely have some skill or some thing about your life that if you utilize it, it would put you in a less risky position to make investments or go after opportunities. 

And the examples I like to use, my best friend’s a dentist. His unique ability is a higher than normal or higher than average income. So he doesn’t flip rental houses and go bang the boards. He buys investments where his income can be used to farm that off. And so that’s his wealth edge is the income. 

A carpenter is another good friend of mine. He is more into you know again he came to me said I need to buy more stocks. I need to get into stocks. My neighbor is talking about stocks. And the market is it down is it up? And when we got talking, you know he was coming asking for that when it didn’t really jive with where I thought had lower risk position. 

For him to buy a rental house and actually put a basement suite in it using his wealth edge so he knows when he walks into a piece of real estate, oh, move a wall, move the sink. You know, I look at it. I’m like holy crap, it’s a huge job and I’m gonna have to pay for it. So when that person you know does that, their ability to add sweat equity is a lot higher than mine. So the worst case when you buy a piece of real estate would be you buy it, and immediately it goes down in value. 

Well, if you’ve bought a house, an unfinished basement, you finished it yourself saved, say 30, 40,000, and the market goes down. Well, you’re probably still okay, you’re probably still above water. And again, there’s a lot of what ifs. Like, why do you need to sell the house right away all that kind of stuff. But everybody likes to make an investment and it go up right away. That’s just human nature. Yeah, we’re all for the long term, all that stuff. But it does stink more when.

Nicole: We all like to win the lottery, right? That’s the lottery thing, right?

Dustin: It’s easier when you start right out of the gate going up. And you don’t have to wait as long because we know that investments go up and down. And if it goes up first and then comes down, you’re probably not going below where you were. So you’re in, you’re in better shape. So what is, listener, your wealth edge? What are some things that you could utilize in your career that would put you in a lower risk thing? If you’re an IT person, maybe it’s investing in an IT stock that you understand way more than I do. So that’s my parting comments, the wealth edge. What is yours?

Nicole: I know you want to hear more about that. So Dustin, where does everybody find you if they want to figure out their wealth edge?

Dustin: Sure. So my website, main website is And that’s s e r v i s s. And we have a podcast called the Picture of Wealth, which you can listen to a lot of the concepts I’ve talked about here today. But in our website, there is a get started button. And, again, you could generate your own what we call asset map, you plug it all in yourself, we will then send you the PDF. And again, I’m happy to spend a few minutes and just chat with you to hopefully send you on your way. And if you’re in the States, I’m happy to help you pick an advisor or at least ask the key questions that you need to get ahead.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. All right. So he just offered to do the S and the SHINE coaching methodology or you can go there, you can click on get started. And you could start to self assess. Figure out your personal balance sheet. Thank you so much Dustin, for being on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. I had a ball talking about money. So come back and see me again another time and I thank you so much. Best wishes to you and your little family.

Dustin: Thanks Nicole.

Voiceover: Ready to build your vibrant culture? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference or organization to help them with their strategies, systems and smarts to increase clarity, accountability, energy and results. Your organization will get lit from within. Email And be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at

Posted in

Leave a Comment



arrow right down

Name the challenge you're facing in your culture, and I will help you solve it.

From executive coaching, culture-shifting workshops, or long-term partnerships, my work is to help you develop your next leaders.

I was fortunate to learn this early from an exceptional leader. She took an eager, overconfident new hire and developed me into a capable leader.

I went on to lead marketing & training for 80+ sites across the U.S. Later, I went out and got almost every credential in leadership development you’ve heard of. (see the list)

Since that time, I’ve joined organizations in almost every industry to build VIBRANT CULTURES where employees take initiative and true ownership in their work.

Let’s build your leadership development strategy together.



I'm really interested in...
(select all that apply)*