E182- Spencer Lum from ExtraBold

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Denis O’Brien [0:43]
Hey Money Clan! A very warm welcome to the Chain of Wealth podcast. I’m your host, Denis O’Brien.

Katie Welsh [0:48]
And I’m Katie Welsh.

Denis O’Brien [0:49]
So Katie really cool episode with Spencer chatting all about entrepreneurship, and really diving into a lot of details as to how you can break the mold.

Katie Welsh [0:58]
Yeah, I loved how he really talked about his struggle and holding true to himself.

Denis O’Brien [1:2]
Yeah, so if you guys haven’t already, we’d love you to join our Facebook community. Head on over to chainofwealth.com/group. We’d love you to join our community and come and say hi,. Alright Kate, ready to dive in?

Katie Welsh [1:14]

Denis O’Brien [1:14]
Fantastic. Let’s do it.

After graduating from law school, Spencer Lum spent the next 20 years of his life hopping from one business to the next. Mostly because he was unemployable and needed a paycheck. He quickly realized that there’s only so much time and that running a business and dealing with that overhead can get really exhausting. Spencer came across an ad telling him how to get rich and just 60 days, the 60 days became six years but eventually he put the pieces together and figured out how to build a business around his needs. Instead of building his needs around his business. Spencer now coaches and creates courses full time while working with his wife. Welcome, Spencer.

Spencer Lum [2:11]
It’s so good to be here. Thank you for having me.

Katie Welsh [2:13]
Yeah, we’re so glad you’re here. So like then said you went to law school.

Spencer Lum [2:19]

Katie Welsh [2:20]
But you did not seem to really use your law degree. Why didn’t you go and work for a group of attorneys or a big law firm or anything like that?

Spencer Lum [2:30]
This is one of those things where, you know, you don’t want to do something. And yet you do it anyway because you don’t know what else to do. And I think it’s kind of, like so much in life where if you don’t trust where you are and what you want, you just kind of get lost in it. And that’s exactly what happened for me in law school. So I’m like, I don’t know what I wanted. Well, actually, I did what I did know what I want to do. To be honest, I wanted to be a photographer. That was my thing at the time. And I knew what I didn’t want to do, which was law school. But what I couldn’t figure out was how I was going to make money as a photographer, which is funny, because later on many, many years later, it would become my job. And that was exactly what would become my source of income. But at the time, I was in law school, I just couldn’t figure out like, how do I make an income as a photographer, and I didn’t have that trust. So I’m like, Well, you know, people tell me it’s a good background have and I’m thinking, Okay, why not? But I just didn’t think about the fact that it’s costing me three years of my life. And of course, law school is not inexpensive. And so it was a horrible decision. And my mom’s Listen to this. I’m really, really sorry to say that. But it was just one of those things, I took the path that I knew I shouldn’t have. And that’s why as soon as I got out, it was so easy to say, Well, I don’t think I’m gonna do this.

Denis O’Brien [3:53]
You know, it’s actually really funny. So I work in an accounting job and my day job, and I actually interviewed a candidate today to sort of be working underneath me. And she said to me, oh I just fell into accounting. You know, I’m like an arts major, and I studied, like political science or whatever it is. And, you know, I was kind of like, what are you doing here? This isn’t what you want to do. And she’s like, yeah, like someone got the resumes mixed up, and I ended up in accounting job, and that’s basically where she ended up and she she hadn’t really given a thought to, “Where do I actually want to go”, she kind of just fell into the job and kind of just stayed there. And you know, like going back to your point, it’s very easy in life to sort of just follow a trail without really knowing where it goes. And I think really taking a step back and knowing or being able to realize that you’re going down that path is critical to do it as early on as you once you can.

Spencer Lum [4:53]
Oh, yeah. So much. I’m going to throw this out there. And people I know, they won’t have the context. But we just talked about this before hopping on about the fact that the two of you that you’re getting married, and having been married, and and having had this little chitchat, you know, we were just talking about the fact that weddings, they have this tendency to kind of fill up whatever amount of budget you give it and however much time you choose to allocate the planning. And so the way you keep that down, of course, is exactly what you said, you become deliberate. And you say, Well, this is my budget that I’m giving it and this is how much time I’m going to plan. And if you say that ahead of time, then miraculously, it will fit, at least approximately within those constraints. But if you don’t, then it just keeps ballooning, and it spirals out of control. And I think that’s a perfect metaphor for, well, actually, it was really, I’m stealing Katie’s like, Katie said, that’s kind of like all of life. And I totally agree. I think that’s a perfect metaphor for everything. And that’s actually exactly what happened with my work. I didn’t have a place I wanted to go, I didn’t pause and say, This is what I’m going to do. And so you know, life just winds up becoming whatever it’s going to become. But suddenly, you’re along for the ride instead of kind of trying to direct the ride. And yeah, it was exactly like what you described, about the person that you’re working with. And I would sit there all day long and say, why am I doing this? How did I wind up here? It’s like, this was not what I meant to do.

Katie Welsh [6:28]
Well, I totally can sympathize with where you’re how you were feeling back then. Because I would imagine if you absolutely hated doing it, the idea of doing it for the rest of your life is quite daunting and pretty depressing. But we live in a society where being a lawyer is, you know, looked upon as a great job. You know, if you’re an attorney, you’re going to make a lot of money or and have a happy and comfortable lifestyle. And I think that takes a lot of courage to be able to walk away from that and pursue something else that you wanted to do, such as your entrepreneurial lifestyle. I wanted to ask you a little bit about it, kind of what drew you towards that kind of lifestyle and a bit about some of your past business adventures?

Spencer Lum [7:20]
Yeah, I mean, I’ll tell you, it didn’t feel courageous at the time, it felt like sheer terror at the time, and you’re kind of like well I don’t want to do this. So I guess Let me see what happens. But I think I had always loved the idea of just doing something. It was my own. I think kind of having ownership of your actions, and feeling deliberate about what you do is a big part of what makes something feel satisfactory, because then at least you can say, this is what I meant to do, whether it worked or didn’t work. I did it with intention. And you know, I can take responsibility for the fact that didn’t work. And that’s okay, because I tried it. And I have to admit, it took a long time to feel any sense, like everyone talks about freedom, and starting your own business is equated with this idea of being able to live the life you want. And it took a long, long time to ever get it to that point. And it became its own version of it becomes its own prison. And it was the same thing because I said, Okay, I want to do this. But then I didn’t stop and I didn’t say where do I really want to go with this at first, and so it was kind of out of the frying pan into the fire, but at least it was a fire that was kind of moving in the direction I wanted to go. So it was a start.

Katie Welsh [8:42]
I appreciate the fact that you said it was… It took a long time for you to get to that free feeling. It’s not an overnight thing, because we talked to so many people. And you, I personally read so many blogs where, you know, they start a new business or they start a blog. And it’s like, you start a blog on Monday, and by Friday, you’ve got $100,000 in your bank account. And that’s really a lot of times what it looks like, when people are talking about their new financial freedom that they have for themselves. They don’t talk about the hours and hours and days and months and probably most likely years of slaving away. They just say Op Nope, I started a blog and now I’m a millionaire or now I’m making six figures and life is great. And that miserable, terrified working part seems to get overlooked a lot.

Spencer Lum [9:42]
Yeah, there’s a lot of that. There’s a lot of that that goes on. Right. I think kind of invariably. I mean, it’s funny as I’ll tell you, I do a lot of copywriting. And so as a copywriter, any copywriter knows that if you want to create intrigue, you just tell people the before and the after state, and you just don’t spell out what happened in the middle, which is kind of exactly what you just described, right? You talked about Okay, before I was struggling, I had no job. The after stage is I hit like my six or my seven figure income or whatever. And suddenly, life was perfect. And invariably, like if you introduce those two facts, and you skip over the middle, people are just dying to find out well, how did you do it? What was the secret? But the funny thing is, it’s the middle. It’s like, if you tell people the middle for first, almost no one would ever jump in. Because they would realize, oh my god, it takes that much. And I feel like kind of this journey, a large part of the journey is going through this process of understanding the middle that you want. And kind of learning to love the middle along the way so that you can say, I want to do this, and I want to stick with this. And this is worth it for me. And I got to admit, you know, when I heard all those stories about people having businesses, I thought, yes, you know, I’m going to get in there and it’s going to happen. And man, that was so not true. It was like the exact opposite.

Denis O’Brien [11:7]
Yeah, I can imagine. I think one of the things as well as that success sells. So if you look at someone and you think that they’re successful, you’re more likely to buy into what they’re trying to offer you or sell you. And I’d like to actually go back to a word you mentioned earlier, and that’s copywriting. So, first off, what is copywriting and how can you use it to build business?

Spencer Lum [11:32]
So, copywriting is basically just, I just described it as writing for business. And so I say that in contrast to regular writing, which is kind of, I don’t know, high school, English, college English, all that stuff that everyone, either you love it or you really, really hate it, but most people are kind of under really, really hated and get filled with anxiety side of things. And so to separate the two, I mean, the whole point of copywriting is to kind of further your marketing and to communicate with your audience. And so it’s very functional. It’s all about like, how do you achieve whatever result you want by began to people to buy, it might be getting people to download a podcast, but whatever it is, it’s all about achieving that objective. And so the beauty of it is, it’s mostly strategic. It’s not about like sounding good or know how to do your punctuation. It’s about kind of how do you create a process that gets people really interested and to create an experience that makes them take action And that kind of is, in a nutshell, how I describe copywriting. Other people may have slightly different descriptions. But that’s how I think of it.

Denis O’Brien [12:38]
Cool. So you had a ton of businesses before you really got into what you’re doing now. And I read through your bio, and like one of the things you said is that a lot of these businesses, one of the biggest problems was that they had a lot of overhead. And yeah, first of all, I want to ask, what did you mean by overhead? Is that sort of your fixed fixed costs? Or is that more the time that you having to invest constantly?

Spencer Lum [13:1]
All of the above both, although, when I was saying the word overhead, what I was thinking of is fixed costs, but I think actually your definitions even better, it’s really all of the above. But I think there’s this thing, it’s a little bit like I’m going to use a comparison with what happened when I had a wedding photography studio. So when I had my wedding photography, business, this is something that’s very unique. Well, I don’t know if it’s unique to wedding photography businesses, but it’s it’s different from a lot of businesses because you’re always taking your bookings for some something that’s happening, like about a year in advance, because people get engaged, they book you, but you’re not actually providing the services for another year. So you don’t really actually earn that money for a full year in the future and sometimes even further, because a lot of times you’ll be selling something like let’s say, an album, which they’re going to buy maybe three months after the wedding. And so you’re getting a payment for something that’s well in advance and invariably what happens with every wedding photographer in the world, is they spend it and so what’s happening is you’re collecting all this money from future work to support your life right now.

And that’s actually I think, kind of what happened with in a different way, but it’s kind of something that happened with a lot of my businesses. I would come in and I would say, Okay, this is my idea of how you’re supposed to run a business. This is what success looks like because this is what other people told me that I should be doing and these are and I would have this idea like to be successful. It means blank, like, I need a big company, I need a lot of people, I need an office, I need an office to be well decorated so that people come in and they say, Wow, you must be really successful. I mean, whatever it is, but it was always stuff like that. And you would say, Well, you know, I’m going to put this investment in these things. And I’m just going to assume, even though I haven’t really earned the money yet that they are smart, strategic decisions, and in the future, they will pay off. But the thing is, they don’t, because you’re not basing these things on other things that fulfill you, or things that are profitable, which are, of course, I know two very, very different things. But it’s neither you’re kind of basically these things on let’s say, vanity metrics and preconceptions you have about what you’re supposed to get.

And so pretty soon, what’s powering your business is it’s all sorts of things that really you don’t need, that don’t pay you back in any sort of way. They don’t further your own personal growth and and because of that, you never actually get to a point where they become what an investment should be where it’s something that actually gives you a real return and pays back more than you spent. And so an office is a perfect example. Like for so long, I like the very first office I had. I had a company, this is one of the first job I had out of law school, I started a brand new agency. And so I had a peek, I had 10 people there.

But I had an office that could have house like 20. And I thought, well, this makes me feel more successful, and I’m planning for the future. But what’s really happening is I’m eating up all my profits, I’m causing stress, I’m making bad decisions, because I’m getting stressed. And that’s making it less likely that I’ll ever even get to 20 people. So that’s kind of I mean, that’s what I meant when I was thinking overhead. But without a doubt, like what goes along with it is just with every action you take, there’s a certain amount of time that’s required to kind of fulfill something so if you say I’m going to go on this venture and I’m going to work on, like, I’m going to start selling x, like, a lot of times you focus on Well, how much money does x make me but you don’t think about like how much time it costs to make that happen.

And so kind of over and over, I wouldn’t just acquire like financial baggage, I would actually also acquire time baggage. And then pretty soon you kind of run out of both time and money, and then nothing, nothing works anymore. Because if you don’t have time, you can’t make money. If you don’t have money, then you can’t compensate for the time and then pretty soon, you’re in bad shape. It sounds like the old chicken before the egg scenario. Totally. So yes, you said so much more concisely than just say that I speak to 13 nine year olds all day long. So I have learned to make it short and to the point. I love that.

Katie Welsh [17:17]
So with all of your overhead and all of your chickens and eggs and everything was there kind of like a defining moment, either in business or your personal life that made you look for another kind of business but didn’t have so much overhead?

Spencer Lum [17:33]
Yeah, it was when there was that promise. It’s like oh, and 60 days, I’m gonna get rich gonna hit six figures. And I’m thinking, Okay, that sounds great. Let me do this. And really, I mean, that’s exactly I was transitioning from my wedding photography studio into starting my first blogging business. And so I thought, this is the dream, right? You sit home in your pajamas, and you’re sitting around typing out stuff, and you get rich. At least that’s how it sounded in my head. And so that was kind of I think, the first deliberate attempt, I really, I mean, every attempt, every new business was to some extent, and attempt to kind of figure out how to get a balance that worked for me. But I think that was the first one where I looked at the working conditions and what was required to run my photography studio. And I realized it just wasn’t sustainable. And I thought, Okay, what do I need to do?

And so even though was kind of an impulse thing where I said, Okay, let me Become A Blogger. It also wasn’t coincidence. And because I needed to find something that would get me time with my family, I needed to get something that I could run and stay small, but get enough to be happy with. Because I realized I don’t like managing. I don’t enjoy kind of dealing with large teams. And that’s exactly what it happened with every previous job because that was what I thought success was supposed to look like. And so when I started becoming a blogger, that was when I finally said, Okay, let me try to scale down instead of scale up and let me try to get more efficient and find a way to get things to work. Although 60 days that didn’t quite happen, but at least kind of you know, I started thinking about it.

Denis O’Brien [19:12]
So your 60 days didn’t happen. It actually became six years. So what exactly did happen? And was it just that the product was incorrect and what they were trying to sell you? Should they have said become rich in six years, or did you just follow a different route or, you didn’t follow the directly, like, where was the disconnect?

Spencer Lum [19:32]
I think the number one thing is that I didn’t focus on getting profitable fast enough. I was actually just looking at it sounds better, say six years is actually like five years and x months to be precise. But But you know, I mean, obviously, there’s a big difference between that and 60 days. And so the thing is, like, no one really tells you kind of how many skills you need to have to run a business and everything that’s involved. And so you get a certain sort of blueprint. And the information I actually I To this day, I don’t fault the information that I got. But it’s kind of what happens, well, you know, people will pull out the best case possible, and they’ll pull out kind of the few times that someone managed to make it work. And typically what’s involved is a combination of luck, and the fact that they have to be kind of a perfect fit for whatever system you’re buying into. And so if you have the exact circumstance with the exact same time and you have just the Right skills. I mean, things can you know, there is always a case where someone will achieve success very, very quickly. But the thing is, that’s not like what happens to normal people. That’s not what happens to most people. Most people aren’t a perfect match. And most people don’t have all the skills that are kind of assumed and baked into, like a promise like that. And so for most people, the results take way longer. But I think for me, in particular, there was just a lot of reticence about kind of pulling the trigger. I kept trying to make everything perfect, it’s that chicken or the egg thing, I kept saying, I gotta have the perfect product, I gotta know this is going to work. And you know, now kind of in retrospect, I you know, what I always tell people is the same, which is that you want to get profitable as quickly as possible with your business. And if you’ve got something you’re going to sell, you know, sell it as soon as possible, sell it to a small audience, sell it, whatever it takes to start selling it so you can see if it actually works, and you can start understanding how to actually get people to buy

And I think for me, I kept trying to find that answer in advance. So instead of putting something out there and saying, okay, here’s an offer. Let me see if anyone’s attracted to this. And let me see if it’s going to fly. I was so afraid to fall flat on my face that I kept saying, No, let me this needs to be more perfect. Let me get more questions answered ahead of time. And actually, what I did is I just kept signing up for like course after course and listen all these webinars and I mean, I still got like piles of them on my hard drive. And the truth is, like I I became like this information addict, because I still wanted to figure out predict what was going to happen in advance instead of just doing it and getting good at it, seeing what was going to happen.

Katie Welsh [22:12]
I was just curious to know and all this struggle because it seems like you really worked towards where you are today. With your law degree. Were you ever feeling like maybe I should just quit and go back to doing law?

Spencer Lum [22:30]
My parents, my parents do

Katie Welsh [22:34]
I’m sure along the way, somebody probably said that to you.

Spencer Lum [22:38]
It’s it’s bits at a time or two. I mean, no, it was a pretty, it was pretty definitive for me. I just knew law wasn’t what I wanted to do. So I think kind of I never ever really looked back. Because it was one of those decisions where for all the things I fell into kind of randomly, and where I didn’t know, I was getting into. I just knew that I didn’t want to do law. And so my parents actually specifically they have tried to convince me many, many times. I mean, you know, I think for a good like, 10/20 maybe even now, my mom would still tell our friends. Yeah, you know, my son’s a lawyer, and I’m like, Well, not really, but I guess you know, if it makes you feel good, okay. I mean, technically. So, um, you know, Funny enough, I didn’t, but I mean, I thought about taking the bar for fun in New York just to see if I could pass so you know if that counts, but I don’t think I ever really seriously thought about kind of returning the law as a career.

Katie Welsh [23:38]
Yeah, I was just curious.

Spencer Lum [23:39]
Yeah. No, it’s a good question. Because it comes up a lot. You’re absolutely right. People always say like, Don’t you ever think about it, or whatever they say, you know, think about what you where you can be. But you know, it kind of like, you know, I look at my friends and how much time they put in. And I’ve realized that law and you know, actually most jobs, like, you only have so much time in life. I mean, you know, I mean, it’s a cliche, right, but I mean, times all we’ve got, and there aren’t very many jobs that are really that easy. And there are many jobs that don’t require that much commitment. And the truth is like, usually to get to a point where finally you can start to build a space where you’re working, let’s say maybe part time you’re working 20 or, you know, 10 hours or 30 hours or whatever, but where you’ve got it stabilized, I mean, it takes a lot of work to get to that point. It doesn’t happen quickly. And so It’s just too much to give up just to kind of go back to something that gives you like some semblance of security but doesn’t really get what you want to do.

Denis O’Brien [24:37]
Right, so talking about what you do today, you’ve essentially help coaches, creatives consultants, basically run their business in a more effective manner and be able to do it’s essentially on their pajamas.

Spencer Lum [24:50]
Yes, yes. It’s kind of I figured that was my dream. So I figured there’s gotta be other people.

Denis O’Brien [24:57]
So what exactly do you teach?

Spencer Lum [25:0]
It is, I mean, it’s not terribly unique. But, you know, it works. And so mostly, I teach people I mean, copywriting is the key thing, right? I teach people how to write, and I show them how to write persuasively so they get people to, again, kind of take action and do what they need them to do. But kind of in a bigger picture. I mean, I help people set up kind of the strategies that they need in place to make all that work. And it’s one of those things like this particular industry. I’m in information marketing where people are teaching things like everyone’s got their own system. And everyone. I mean, I’m sure you see the Facebook ads all the time, right?

I mean, everyone’s promising these crazy results, and everyone’s got their own way of achieving it. But I think kind of what happens over and over is that you get these blueprints. And people talk about locate, you know, follow these steps. But they don’t prepare people to do the thinking and the work necessary along the way. And it tends to fizzle because you start to once you start to realize the result is maybe six months away, or even two months away, sometimes I mean, it becomes the motivating because you don’t have that direct connection anymore. And you’re just staring at like lots of hard work with an uncertain result. And then people they just kind of it fizzles, they give up and they quit. And so what I what I work on specifically is I try to give people kind of the strategies and the thought processes and kind of a path to wealth. The word I use is practice. Like the way I see life is that I tend to think people have life a little bit backwards. And so I, I trained in this martial art is called Aikido. And one of the things my sensei explained one day is he’s like he’s been, he’s like, you know, basically when I when I started this dojo even though I love I keto I didn’t do it. Justice spread Aikido I did it because I just want a place where I could practice every day. And that was all they cared about. And I thought that was so interesting that he didn’t scribe kind of maybe the success of the dojo or some accolade, or some target or getting some belt level or something he just said he wanted to practice. That’s what I try to pass on to other people a way to kind of practice because my feeling is that people tend to evaluate life by certain milestones and they say if I make X amount by this point, if I win this award by this point, if whatever if I hit these achievements and I have nothing against milestones and kind of having targets I think targets are great, but they last for a split second.

Maybe a split second and a half. And after that, you have to go back to regular life. And so my feeling is if you kind of spend all of your life only trying to get to a particular milestone, but not kind of enjoying the practice along the way, then it becomes empty. And so I see practices kind of the, like the real living and the real part of life. And I see kind of the milestones you hit is kind of these nice little pleasant blips that let you know that well, that you feel good about yourself. And they say, yeah, you know, I got that. But I mentioned that because I really focused on trying to give people a way to use strategies, not as kind of one off solutions, but as ways where they can use it like over and over and over integrated and get good at what they do. Because my feeling is well you know, if you’re good at something, you’ll figure out ways to apply it to all different sorts of situations. But if someone says like, here’s a formula or here’s a little trick you’ll only know how to apply it in one place at one time, and you won’t be able to use it elsewhere. It’s kind of I guess this is a long tangent. But I guess the answer is, well, if you ask me what I do I teach people to write. But if you ask people ask me what I really think makes good writers, it’s having a way to practice methodically so that you can kind of really invest yourself and care about what you’re doing kind of like the way you know, the two of you, you’re so invested in looking at finance, that it’s not just kind of like, okay, here’s, I mean, you give great tips, but it’s very clear, this is something that you have a real connection to, and a real interest in. And it’s kind of based on a belief and a way of living. And and once you kind of take it into that into your life, that way things they they got a life of their own right. I mean, they become kind of part of you. And once that happens, you actually start to engage in this process where it becomes more important to kind of live a certain way and do certain things than just gonna say, Okay, did I get super rich super fast?

Denis O’Brien [29:33]
Right, yip. And that totally makes sense. And that’s exactly how we feel about it. So you literally hit the nail on the head there.

Spencer Lum [29:38]
That’s good. You don’t like pick it up like okay, I’m you know, I’m hoping this isn’t just conjecture.

I mean it really through and you know, I’ve listened to so many of your talks and I just feel like I’m like there’s so much commitment there. It’s not the type of thing where people are like just saying, Hey, you know, I’m putting this out there because it’d be great to get a little bit of attention and get people on a list or sell a product or whatever. I mean, those might be things like, for example, I know, somewhere along the way, I’d heard like, kind of, you’ve talked about product, but you have a real commitment to the subject. And I think that’s what you want in life, like when you can have a real commitment to what you do. It doesn’t make everything fun, always. But it kind of makes things meaningful. And I guess that’s why I never really thought about going back to law school because you know, it might have gotten the money that I just couldn’t see how it could make things meaningful, and I couldn’t see how it would be something where I would want to really kind of commit to it and practice.

Denis O’Brien [30:34]
Yeah, that makes sense. So Spencer, would you like to give us a 30 second elevator pitch for extra bold?

Spencer Lum [30:40]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, again, extra bold is really at the end of the day, it’s about influence. It’s about kind of understanding how to use writing to get people to take action. And really kind of my goal is to bring it at a level where it’s about kind of the underbelly of how influence and persuasion works. Like I teach people. Not like, okay, here’s the tip, and here’s what to do. I mean, I’ve got that too. But in my mind, if people learned that that’s not enough, what I want people to do is understand the psychology of it. So they they know, okay, if I want people to feel this way, I say this, if I want people to do this, I say that. And so that’s what extra bold is dedicated to. It’s really kind of putting out what you do in a way that changes like as a business owner, like creating something that’s meaningful and that changes your audience beliefs so they get excited about it and you connect with them and eventually of course, they also wind up buying your product. So I guess that’s the quickie overview. I just made that up on the spot. So that’s all new. haven’t said that before. You know, let’s give it again.

Denis O’Brien [31:42]
Very good, Money Clan we’re just going to take a quick break and they will dive right back into the value link round.

Kate, I’ve recently started diving into the Great Courses Plus, and it’s been life changing for me. They have absolutely amazing videos about a whole bunch of different topics. I’ve really, really enjoyed going through their courses.

Katie Welsh [32:3]
Yeah Den, then the courses that are talking about money management skills have been my favorite because they really narrow down and they help you look for pros and cons of big decisions like homeownership or what kind of car to buy or retirement finds it really helps answer some of those questions what you didn’t really know that you had.

Denis O’Brien [32:27]
Yeah, and something else that I love is that the lectures are given by professors from some of the best universities in the world or experts from the National Geographic and the Smithsonian. I think that level of expertise in the quiet comfort of your home is super awesome. What I love as well is that you can use their mobile app, any other device, you can stream it on your TV or wherever else it makes it super easy to use.

Katie Welsh [32:50]
And it comes without any student loan.

Denis O’Brien [33:21]
Yes, and it comes down to super affordable. So speaking about affordable if you guys would like the Great Courses Plus has recently teamed up with us and we can give you a month of free access head on over to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/WEALTH. That’s TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/WEALTH.

Katie Welsh [33:13]
Okay, Spencer, so I know before the show you were like I’m not like a super personal finance guru or anything.

Spencer Lum [33:21]
Yeah, definitely.

Katie Welsh [33:22]
But I think that the best way to learn about money is hearing other people are doing. So I’m curious to know what your retirement plan is looking like today.

Spencer Lum [33:35]
Yeah, it’s pretty boring. But, you know, basically what my retirement plan looks like is max out my IRS, which, by the way I didn’t do when I was younger. And that was a huge, huge mistake. And then every month, I do two things, I stash a certain amount into conservative stocks, not aggressive ones, but actually kind of like just kind of more tried and true and blah, blah, blah. And then the other thing is I just put away a certain amount into the bank account that I simply that’s kind of my rainy day slush fund. And so it mostly it keeps on growing. I rarely actually ever take anything out from there. But I’ve kind of found that it’s one of those things like if I have money that I feel like I can use, then I wind up spending it, I just put it away in a place in its own account so that I can’t touch it, which goes also true for the IRA. And that’s my rule for the stocks to it’s like these are things that I like I can touch the stocks if I’m shifting it around and changing the investments. But I never take it out for my own personal use. And so, you know, not super exciting and other people I know they have like these way better plans. But that’s what I do.

Denis O’Brien [34:43]
Nothing wrong with that. Sort of stashing stuff away really does make sense, because if you can’t see it, you can’t touch it. That leads into my next question, do you have a favorite book that you’re into?

Spencer Lum [34:52]
The book that I’m into, I mean, I really like the Power of Habit. But I’ve always been a person lacking in willpower my whole life. And so kind of looking at this idea of the world is habit and looking at change, as affected by habit, not kind of this idea of mind over matter. It really, I mean, I read it a while back, and I’m rereading it now. But it really kind of changed the way I see behavior. It’s helped me a lot with everything like finance and everything else, because it’s Let me see that, like, I need to build patterns and structures and things to force me to think kind of differently over time. So anyway, yeah, that that’s what I’m into at the moment. That’s what I’ll put out there.

Katie Welsh [35:30]
Okay, great. And do you have a favorite quote you try to live by?

Spencer Lum [35:33]
Yeah, I’ll go back to Quito and kind of what I’d said there’s a phrase called dying on the mat. And basically what it means is, well, what I thought it meant is that you got to give it your all every time you train. And then one day, I realized that has nothing to do with it, or maybe it does. But that’s not really what it means. What it means is like, anytime you step onto the mat, in the dojo, you let go of your entire self. That’s why it’s dying. And you come on with no assumptions and no preconceptions. So that that way, you can learn fully and you can absorb everything around you. And so I just love that idea. Because I feel like if you accept life as it is in whatever’s in front of you, it will give back and it’ll give you everything you need. But the catch is, you kind of have to let go of all your preconceptions of how you think things should be. And you have to let go of things like your ego and all these other ideas, and if you do, you’ll find out like, like life and the universe and everything else, it’s there for you. And it’ll take care of you.

Denis O’Brien [36:36]
So true. Spence we absolutely loved hanging out today, do you have another last parting piece of advice for our listeners, and then we’ll say goodbye.

Spencer Lum [37:13]
I mean, my number one piece of advice for anyone if they’re thinking about starting a business like by far is just work on getting profitable, fast and stay within your limits. It’s a long haul journey. And the sooner you can get connected with generating a profit and making things work, and the more you can keep costs down and overhead down and everything else, the more you’re able to find a life that actually works and lets you do what a business is meant to let you do which is kind of have freedom.

Denis O’Brien [37:13]
Money Clan, we’ve been hanging out with Spencer, you can check out his website, it’s goextrabold.com and definitely figure out how you’re going to build freedom in your life. It’s definitely going to change everything for you. We’ll catch you on the flip side Money Clan!

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The Chain of Wealth podcast is a biweekly podcast boasting over 500,000 downloads. We interview inspirational guests about money topics. You can learn more about us here.

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