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74. Ending a Cycle of Dysfunction with Anthony Spark
Episode 7421st April 2021 • The Imperfect Pod • The Imperfect Pod
00:00:00 00:58:40

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What do you do when you come from a family of dysfunction? How do you learn to be a man when your father is a serial cheater, drug dealer, gambler and prisoner? How do you navigate that life? How do break that cycle of poverty to create a life of wealth? These are some of the topics and themes that we discuss on this week's episode.

Other key themes of the episode include:

  • His family history and the trauma surrounding it
  • What is was like navigating the impact of his father's life
  • Being a logical person rather than emotional
  • How he responded to being called like his dad
  • Ensuring the choices he made were different than his father's
  • Creating a life of wealth so that his children can have a different life
  • Why judgement of people in pain his wrong
  • His close encounter with divorce
  • Why counselling has been his saving grace
  • What he's done to learn more about emotional wellbeing
  • And much more

About Anthony: Anthony Kenneth Spark is a successful Serial Entrepreneur, Money Coach, Philanthropist, Author, and Personal Development Specialist. At 18 years old, with a vision to change his family legacy and positively impact people in need, he was searching for a career . With a clear picture of the life he truly wanted, he began building a company of his own. That company has evolved into several industries and now does 7 figures of revenue involving an organization of over 250 people. We have as of November 2020 helped people pay off $3 million in Debt, earn over $3 million more per year in annual salary and save/invest 1.6 million. He had his first book, Phoenix Manifesto, published in 2018. Updated Audiobook to be released December 2020! Anthony is the cohost of ExtraOrdinary Excellence Podcast with over 21,000 downloads in its first year. He is the visionary and founder of Kickstrings - a social entrepreneurship project which raises funds and awareness for charities. You can connect with Anthony at his number 1-631-327-2241 (It's an iPhone too) or at his email Anthony@phoenixevolution.co. You can read more about his company Phoenix Evolution.

As always, feel free to follow me on Instagram @theimperfectpod or shoot me an email at luke@theimperfectpod.com

Transcripts

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Anthony 1: [00:00:05] I'm uh, excited to be here and I'm looking forward to hopefully be insightful and a worthwhile finalist. And for this group of people, thanks for having me.

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Anthony 1: [00:00:36] uh, who would I like to have over it's dead or alive? I mean, these are like, you know, I'm not going to over fate, Alize this cause normally that's like, just like a huge question, you know? So since it's not actually happening, I'll just give somebody good. Um, and you got Hamilton in the back. So we'll rock with Alexander Hamilton.

I like to see if that level of ambition was really burning him out in an unhealthy way or not, and really kind of get a feel one-on-one rather than the other stuff. And what would I make? What would I make? Um, you know, I think I probably make beef, Wellington, Wellington cream, spinach, mashed potatoes.

That's what I would make.

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Anthony 1: [00:01:20] Yeah, my dad's a chef. So I grew up in a kitchen and a, you know, I've been cooking, uh, you know, I don't walk, I don't cook often. I don't really like to eat what I'm cooking, you know, it's cause like you're around it so much. So it loses like all of the gratification, but I can pretty much cook anything on a first pass. Very well.

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Anthony 1: [00:01:45] If I'm, if I'm making something I've made before, then I usually have an idea. Otherwise I can just rock off of a recipe, but I'll never follow exactly the recipe. The recipe is kind of just like a guide, you know? And then I'll kind of little of this little of that kind of thing. I feel like when you, when you cook enough, it's, it's kind of a feel, you know?

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Anthony 1: [00:02:12] secret.

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For a time your father was in prison. Your father was a serial cheater, but he had his own business too. So that there's some sort of responsibility there kind of fill in the dots, connect the dots about the environment that you were raised in. And then we'll, we'll ask more questions about it.

: [:

So my dad grew up and my grandma was just. First of all, she was 15. Second of all, she'd been abused her whole life. So it just was not a healthy way to grow up. Um, so he ended up going into, he went into branch of the military at like 18, I think. And then he got kicked out for insubordination gambling, carousing, you know, so he got dishonorably discharged.

So he ended up in Texas and then he lied about his background and became a chef in Texas and was like sleeping with this way. Older woman. Um, so he's like entire life from the beginning was just built on lies and dysfunction, you know? Um, so he met my mom when they were like in their late twenties and it was just, he just always struggled.

He cheated all the time. Um, like he would cheat, like, and not like, like, like what's not like, uh, infidelity, like, you know, something happens and it's like this whole thing where it's like, okay, like it's totally wrong, but you could see something happening. It's just like over and over and over and over and over again.

My, when my sister was like, just born my grandfather on my mom's, my mom's dad hired like a private investigator. And then like, my dad had borrowed my grandpa's car and he was like running from this private, a guest investigator because he was cheating on him and he ran, he totaled the car, wrapped it around like a telephone pole.

Um, my, my mom, when my dad, when my grandpa died, they bought a house and some cars and a deli. And then when my dad was running, the deli hired a cokehead. He was sleeping with, it was stealing from the drawers. Once he lived in this house. With this couple. And he was banging the guy's wife in their house, renting their apartment, and then he was in a gang and he hit him over the head with a pipe and like got in an alley.

And then, you know, then he was in like, uh, I don't remember some type of a Latin gangs orders of protection. I mean, this, he ran up like a $5,000, one, 900 sex line, phone bill on cell phones and like the early, you know, late nineties, early two thousands. I mean, it's just like. Thing after thing, after thing, and that culminated into him getting addicted to Vicodin and then eventually selling Vicodin to support that habit.

So when I was probably, I think I was about 18, he ended up selling an undercover cop and he ended up going to prison. I think it was probably four or five years. So that's a, that's a quick summary. Also on weekends, he would be the bouncer for my cousin's strip club that they had opened and they were laundering drug money through. So that's just a quick, uh, just a quick synopsis of the background

: [:

It's, it's almost like boring, really on entertaining compared to that. And it seems like almost the way you're brought up is a not normal, but it's a really large portion of society that I'd say grows up more in dysfunction than in peace and harmony. So. Where you con how conscious of this as a kid, were you?

I know kids learn a lot from the environment they're grown up and like, how much were you aware of, of what was going on?

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So he would give me like existentialism and, you know, really the high level. We'll stop for like a 13, 14 year old. So with all that, I was very aware of pretty much everything that was going on, which did give me a very inverted type responsibility parenting situation, because I was, you know, the eldest of three and I was really a father figure for my brother.

Who's significantly younger. He's I think nine years younger than me. Um, nine or 10, maybe nine and a half is probably why I'm thinking it's in between my sister's two years younger. She was much more like shelter. Like you just never knew what was going on in the same, but I was very aware of a lot of the things.

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Anthony 1: [00:07:26] Um, at that time, I just was, I mean, I'm a pretty logical. A person. So, and I'm blessed with a pretty good ability to, to look through emotions, uh, which can be a positive and a negative. It's probably part of my dysfunction, but for me, it was just like, this is just really stupid. You know, like I, I worked in the deli with my dad and then like when he lost that business, I was working in a kitchen hand with him cause I was 14, 15, and there's not that many job opportunities, you know, unless someone's going to pick you up and drive you kind of thing.

So almost every morning, particularly in the summer, my dad would be falling asleep. While driving like multiple times on the way to work. So it was never like for me, it was always a great example of what not to do, because you could directly see the immediate devastation and consequences for all of these different choices playing out in real time.

Around you. So while it does, it does become something that you need to deal with. And you know, anyone that has a dysfunctional background, if you don't go to counseling, I find by the time you're about 25, shit's going to start hitting the fan maybe a little before, maybe a little after he can only hold it together for so long, but, um, It gave me a really good perspective.

Like I wasn't going to be a drug dealer, you know, like I'm not, I wasn't looking to go to prison for four or five years. Um, I wasn't going to do a lot of those things and I actually made a lot of those judgements and like, like I'll never do those types of things, which I do feel can become real challenges for you.

You know, particularly when you don't deal with the things and you start to see those tendencies and some of those dark that darkness in you later, because now you get this compounding issue of. Making choices that might not be the best, but also feeling unbelievably, guilty and shameful on top of it, because you said I would never be this way.

So, yeah. Uh, so that was kind of what it was like.

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Anthony 1: [00:09:24] that was unacceptable. There's like nothing that would be more offensive in doing that, you know, like, no, Not really because that's literally calling you an asshole. Like, you know, no one in my family was looking to say, you're a piece of shit asshole. So no, that never really happened. Um, do I have similarities and do all of us take some good and bad from our parents?

There's no doubt about that. I don't care what anybody says. That is absolutely factual, but that would, that would be like cursing out a kid, you know, in my

: [:

Not that they were that level of extreme, but I'm like, I don't want to be compared to them because in that context, we talk about them very negatively of how you're. Talking about me. Right. So I was really interested in hearing and I'm glad that it wasn't weaponized for

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Cause there's nothing that would be more offensive.

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What did you take on, like, what were some of your responsibilities that you felt were yours that your father, especially wasn't providing for your siblings.

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Position, you know, I was filling in a lot of degrees. Um, I wasn't maybe dispensing punishment, but I was, you know, talking about what's right. And what's wrong. And you know, I was doing all of those things, spending time, building relationship, all that.

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I, I should be able to dip into maybe these unethical type behaviors. Was it ever a time when you really thought that you might go down the wrong path, that you might be too far gone?

: [:

That terrible. It was, he was making terrible choices and doing terrible things that created collateral damage, but it wasn't like I was being abused. It was very different. It was always like, I'm basically an asshole and you're going to do much better than me. You're better than me kind of a thing. Um, so that definitely insulates a little bit.

Uh, I was lost my train of thought. I got the COVID

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Anthony 1: [00:13:09] Oh, I'm going to get to that. The other thing I was going to say was I didn't have someone in my life that was making like, Ethically, you know, questionable choices, getting positive results. I had, I had someone making clearly ethically wrong choices, getting immediate bad results, being hated by everyone around them.

So for me, it became so much like, can I can't die because if we're going to go that route. I feel like I can do anything. I'm the guy that's not going to stop at a stop sign. I'm not going to stop at a red light if there's nobody around, because I'm not going to be a sheep to just follow a rule because it's a rule of a rule. Doesn't make sense. I'm not going to follow it, particularly if you can't give me any type of negative consequences.

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Anthony 1: [00:13:56] A hundred percent of the time. One that doesn't, I find they, they that's sociopathic. I disagree sitting at a red, red, little light bulb. That's stopping you, wasting a portion of your life for absolutely no reason.

That's sociopathic, in

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Anthony 1: [00:14:12] Yeah. So I, that probably affected things, you know? Cause some people operate like there's things you can do and you can't do. I've never operated like that. You can do whatever the hell you want. I operated in. There's very clear consequences in what you do. And what you don't do.

So it wasn't for me, like, can I the answer? Sure, sure. I can start a drug ring. Sure. I could steal things and I did a few of those things, but for me it was the consequences morally ethically. And the thinking that would come along with it, the conscience that would burn you up. And it was just like, I'm not, I'm not going to do these things because I don't want to end up with the consequences, you

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Cause I think a lot of people, whether it's, and you've mentioned abuse in the home abuse in the home was almost never reported because of fear. And so there is no negative feedback loop and that's, that's really interesting that you identify that and you've been able to use it throughout your life.

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So when you look at it and I looked at it through that lens, it's more so just something that's so sad. I would. See how much it would tear my dad up that he couldn't see us, you know? And he, it would be like these, just these really emotional negative situations that would be gone through over and over and over again.

The reason I mentioned the divorce is because as I got older, I did develop more empathy because I saw the. The traumas and the impacts and the issues that caused some of the decisions that caused the destruction. So it went from this makes sense. And doesn't make sense. I want these consequence. I don't want these consequences, which does make us legalistically judge the people.

It's the people that are judging an addict. Judging and adults who are judging and saying that's wrong. I would anyone that says I would never do that. I know has absolutely no idea what they actually could and would do because they've never been in the situations that cause a lot of those behaviors.

So as I got older and being emotionally unhealthy, And not knowing how to be married and not having any type of understanding of myself, not sharing, not having any level of emotional intimacy in my marriage where I ended up drifting too, is because there's a lack of, of intimacy. And there was a lack of.

Um, proper relationship, you know, Calen had issues. I had issues and we weren't willing to acknowledge them. We went to counseling, it was kinda just like surface little nonsense. And we're like, we're fine. And we'd project this really great image. But eventually what that led to was me having conversations with just some girl that I had met in networking for business.

And she was super far away and there was nothing that ever really happened, but I knew. That if this person was here, I could make choices. That would then make me like my dad. And because of that and saying, I don't think that I'm going to be able to be the person I'm supposed to be, and I'm not going to be somebody that breaks down a relationship.

So then I just made a unilateral choice in my head that blindsided Callen caused ripple effects and negative trauma for years that we needed to really work through lack of trust. I just one day said I want to get divorced and that's it. And there's no discussion. You know, after being married for several years.

So in having those situations happen, it gave me a lot more empathy and understanding not to make it right, but to understand some of the things that can cause choices and behaviors that tear our lives apart.

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And I'm like, how would you know, like, how would you know, you go into a party in university, you thought you'd never drink. You thought you'd never drink person. And here you are Downing like four shots of vodka within five minutes. Like w let's let's not talk about. I feel like right now, especially there's a lot of moral superiority that we're trying to flex on other people, rather than trying to really understand where they're coming from.

And so I empathize with that. You know, you probably thought that you'd never, you would never be able to, uh, Wanting to get a divorce. I, I think I would, I would never ever think about cheating, but realistically I, 100% think about cheating like that. That's something that we think about all the time. And it's part of admitting that to ourselves.

That is the process of going beyond and, and

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Faith to be able to live. The life that I live is I am, I do suck and I am capable and probable to do all the terrible things that people are pretending. Like I would never do. That's the whole point that I would could and do continually do wrong things that make no sense and are totally selfish and deplorable.

All the time, whether it be in thought and sometimes, unfortunately, an action. So I think that that, that feeling of, you know, the straight judgment of choices and people never leads to change or growth or anything good for either party.

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And I'm like, where's the dis where's the connection there of what you're actually going to do. And. Why aren't you admitting it to yourself, but I've always thought, you know, why does the church look at this one issue one way, but this other issue a completely different way when like they're always trying to preach empathy and understanding.

I'm like, none of it has really made a lot of sense to me. I've always been like, you know, the church is a flawed institution, just like most institutions are flawed. Um, but yeah, it's a really interesting connection.

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Luke 1: [00:21:44] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And grace is a really powerful word for anyone that knows or grew up in a Christian home. They know that. Um,

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Luke 1: [00:21:54] Yeah, exactly. So you did talk a little bit about counseling, which I'm really interested in to you. I think you talked about it more on the personal side and on the relationship shot side, did you go through both like personal counseling and therapy for yourself and then for your relationship after?

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But he's somebody that's. That's been married for 40 years and has really worked through a lot of things. So I think he's like expert level, which is super rare to find. Um, but outside of that, I also have seen other counselors, you know, cause I'm, I've been in this place where some of my choices, I have a lot of mental illness.

That runs in both sides of my family. And I I'm torn. I don't know if it's behavioral thinking, causing chemical or is it chemical causing behavioral? I don't know. I think it's probably a little bit of all those things. I think it's the traumas and the thinking patterns. I think it's chemical as well. So I've seen lots of different counselors because the reality is I am not.

Perfectly balanced. And I need to make sure that I keep myself on track with proper regimens and habits and different things, because I can go from ridiculously nihilistic, like nothing matters, difficult to do anything to, you know, hypo kind of manic where not manic, you know, hallucinating, but like, let me just work for 48 hours kind of a thing.

So outside of, uh, counseling, For our relationship, which we still see. And I think it's one of the most important things. I recently did a live with our counselor about the process and you know, us working together for the last six years, her and his name's bill Hoffman. I use a book out called the process, which is tremendously helpful and has really made a big difference for my emotional health.

I've been really working on emotional health and counseling for really six years. And I really feel like I'm just getting to the point to be pretty emotionally healthy. In my own life, dealing with these traumas and these different things, but counseling, in my opinion, I don't know how anyone successfully is married without getting counseling, without dealing with things, without having mediation, without getting the proper tools.

It's like saying you want to, you want to, you know, be like, uh, 20 year athlete with no coaching and no condition, strength, strengthening coaching. It's just makes no sense to me to even expect that. Unless both, both people come from like really faith filled solid, successfully married with like your parents, like no divorces in your family then.

Sure. I mean, it's kind of baked in to your experience a little bit more, but I don't find that to be most people scenario or situation coming from where they've never any traumas they're entering into a relationship in a way where they haven't had any abuses or. I don't meet that very often. So counseling is a, is a, is a necessities in my world.

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And I put like a ring on it and, or propose that's when I want to start couples therapy, because it doesn't make any sense not to pursue couples there. Like it just doesn't even cross my mind to not do couples therapy. And, and people seem to have this so reactive approach to living life. And I want to be extremely proactive in living my life.

So I read books, memoirs. I read a lot of nonfiction. I talked to a lot of people because I do I'm on the one hand. I want to make the mistakes that. That, because I learned through mistakes better than reading books at the same time. Why not be aware of what might come up, so you know how to navigate it?

Should it ever exist? Like there, the two things can co-exist at one time, which a lot of people refuse to see or acknowledge. So I've all, I'm I'm with you a hundred percent. I've always wanted to do couples therapy as soon as I propose and, and know that I'm going to be or believe I'm going to be marrying that woman, uh, because.

I, I, I want to make sure that we do stay together and do create a healthy environment for ourselves and for our potential kids.

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Luke 1: [00:26:21] So there was another thing that you mentioned earlier in terms of emotional health. Like what does emotional health mean to you? I'm really curious about if you could paint us a picture or describe what that looks like now, six years in.

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It's like the medicine that you take, that's got like the laundry list of negative side effects. That's the way I find most people are approaching relationship from their intimate relationships in their marriages, to their family or their friendships. You know, some people are codependent. Some people are, counterdependent where some people are, have a hard time letting go, and they're trying to fix people and their emotions get unhealthily intertwined with someone else, smothering them.

Some people are protective in there, like in Oasis where they're not having any related or counterdependent, they're not trying to, they're making sure that no one can get. Close to them. And now that they're there, they're suffocating from a lack of intimacy and being known, being seen because they don't have anyone that they're letting be seen.

Some people tend towards like super oversharing that makes people uncomfortable. And it's like almost this weird mechanism that's in one extreme others never share how they're actually feeling. So being emotionally healthy in my opinion means that you know what your needs are in relationship. You're, you're fulfilling them in a healthy, sustainable way for all the parties involved.

And you're, you're having the proper boundaries with people and things where you're able to function in a healthy, holistic manner with the people in your life, from your people that you're working with, people that you're interacting with, even the unhealthy people, you're, you're able to effectively work through and put up boundaries and properly, um, interact with them in a way that's not harming you.

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Anthony 1: [00:28:34] I guess maybe

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Um, or is it more like, is it self-awareness what would you more define it as in terms of like that approach?

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So knowing that self-awareness certainly is an important starting point. Um, it's also important that you're able to properly feel emotions and have a healthy, emotional spectrum. You know, that you're, you're not flying off the handle that you're able to create safety. And you're not, you know, sorry, I don't know if you can hear, can you hear that screaming? I'm gonna pop out really quick at a second, just to see if I could handle that. Um, but self-awareness is a really important starting point. I have three year old twins, everybody. So I apologize for any noise.

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How do you, how have you made sure that that cycle of dysfunction hasn't transitioned to your home and your kids now?

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So the emotional work and what we do in our marriage and me personally is the most important thing. And the only way that those, those things don't get passed on, in my opinion,

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Anthony 1: [00:31:10] Only 16. So me and Callan have been together for 10, 11 years. Um, so that was probably five ish years into our relationship, maybe three years into being married. Um, and then we had another rough patch right after the kids came. Um, so that was. Three years ago, and our I'm more proud of our marriage and I am of the companies that we've built, the vocational success, the financial success, you know, all that organizational success we've built.

I feel like your marriage is more important, more difficult, more rewarding

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Anthony 1: [00:31:57] It was improper meeting of needs because I wasn't putting myself in a healthy position to be able to be the consistent in the way that I needed to be. You know, if we don't fix the root issues, we end up using the same unhealthy mechanisms to fulfill our needs needs are going to be met. And you're either going to meet them in a healthy way or an unhealthy way.

You know, a lot of people try to attack a behavior versus it, getting to the root of the need that it's fulfilling. And if you try to just remove a behavior, you're not going to be able to will yourself into removing something that is, you know, it's going to, you're going to find the path of least resistance if you don't feel the need in a healthier way.

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Anthony 1: [00:32:44] Uh, no. So I needed to find a way to get proper emotional. Um, I needed to be emotionally available and to be emotionally available. I needed to really work through my own issues and intimacy and sharing and not. Not like suffering in silence and, you know, being like this, you know, person in this version of, you know, you just need to handle everything kind of a deal.

Um, and you know, sometimes I feel a lot of people are afraid to be seen and to be authentic and to be vulnerable, uh, even in relationship because you feel like you're, you're not worthy and you're going to be judged because of the thoughts or the things and the, you know, types of things that we deal with.

Um, so because I wasn't doing that, I wasn't, we didn't have. Any of the needs really being met properly in our relationship, um, which spilled over. And it, it put me in a pleasure type of seeking space where I'm, I was fulfilling my needs in ways of her super unhealthy

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I don't like a lot of attention, but I do like being seen. And I don't know if that I'm still navigating what all that means in my journal and on my walks and stuff. But I do think I am someone who can overshare and be too vulnerable because I do want to lead by example. At the same time, I find that when I am upset, I really shut off.

Like I don't want to talk. I will open up eventually, but my, one of my main criteria. In a relationship in the future is that there is that space. There is that healthy. Atmosphere where you can share. And I find so many men are afraid to share, and that has always been part of the premise of this whole podcast is how can we get a generation of men that haven't been told they can share to share.

So, and you talked about it a little bit earlier in terms of your more natural, rational way of thinking, logical way of thinking, what were some tangible ways that you. Learned to, to express emotionally and be emotionally available.

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Um, so, you know, tools. You need to say how you feel and you need to actually share, you know, and you need to find a way where you're not lashing out in anger, and you're not like trying to sarcastically, passively say things, you know, people don't know what you need, unless you clearly are open about it and you need to reciprocate and listen and, and fulfill the needs of your partner.

So, but, um, There's a tool that, you know, our counselors use that I find to be pretty effective in getting to know. I think the most important starting point is knowing who you are, your propensity is your strengths and your weaknesses. There's lots of versions of it. I'm pretty skeptical of most of these things, even as I use this and I've had the results, I'm still skeptical of the things, you know, even I've had such results in my life with them, but we use the Arno profiling system, which I have found to be very insightful.

And, um, helpful in understanding your partner. Cause very often we don't share, we can't share effectively what our needs are in a way that the other person can hear. Um, so that's a really important starting point, but getting to the point. That you can work through disagreements and arguments. You can give space for someone to see things in a different way, because you have two different people.

Also, I find that a lot of times people are, they get my deal, that they think that they want a partner and they try to squeeze this person into this fake mold. And they're not loving the person that they're with. They're just trying to scrape their edges off and squish them into this preconceived mold of how they should speak to them and what they should do and what their know should be and their preferences and their physical intimacy and all these different things.

And if they don't match the thing that you decided you wanted, then people are mad and upset and act as if their partner's wrong when you're not starting from the right place, which is loving and appreciating and getting to know the person you're with.

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The way they classify are, is pretty different. You're either like loyal or you're not, you're not loving or not loving. Like there's no, there's a lot more gray. In love. And it's been something I've been thinking about quite a bit, and I love how you worded it there because it is true. We almost always fall in love with ideas, even like business people, creative, we all fall in love with ideas, but when it comes to the work we actually have to put in, that's when we're like, all right, maybe I need to take a step back.

And, and people, I was always raised in an environment where. Marriage and love is work. It's like hard work. It's not seen as something that isn't a 24, seven job. And my only, and I think that's helped me a lot in understanding what I need to understand going forward when I look for a relationship. But, you know, I still, as we talked about earlier, I don't know actually what I would do because I've never been in that situation.

I've never been in a relationship I'm 24 years old. So there's just a lot of, I can say as much as I want. Without actually ever having been through it.

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Luke 1: [00:39:03] Yup. It is just fantasy. Romcoms had put a hard expectations out there for both women and men in terms of their performance and how to express love, but, uh, kind of the, the last part of this. Uh, episode that I really wants to talk about was the legacy that you're now creating for your children, for your family.

Um, and I'm really interested in that because I, you, through our other conversations, you know, you wanted to be retired young. You want to be able to set your kids up for a position in life that you never really had. So

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Anthony 2: [00:39:43] For sure. Um, yeah, I mean, you know, I think it's most important, at least for me in a parent is. Not deciding what you're expecting and wanting, uh, for your kids. You know, I feel like that that bad mindset of having like an image of what they should be to be successful or loving for a partner, it's the same thing people do to their kids.

So I don't have expectations for what my kids should be. My goal is to support who they are. And help them become the version of themselves to pursue their passions and to be able to have the financial ability to do so. Um, I was blessed where, you know, I had always been looking for alternative ways to create, um, a different sort of lifestyle.

And when I was 18, I met some people that are retired in their twenties or internet entrepreneurs, and just had a life where they were able to do charity work and travel and, you know, had a life that was really second to none. I mean, there's, I think it's like, 4% of American households are, um, I don't know what the Canadian stats are, but it's like 4% of American households are millionaires, but it's way less than 1% of anybody that's below 35, hasn't seven figure net worth.

So, you know, I started to pursue him and because of that, I was able to leave my full-time job at 25, my wife was able to leave. We're both able to both be, stay at home full-time parents. Um, so, you know, I read a autobiography biography rather, um, about. Teddy Roosevelt, the rise of Teddy. Roosevelt's the first one's by a South African guy.

I think it went to an award, but his dad, Teddy Roosevelt's dad put him in a position to be able to do the politics and all the different things he did because he financially set them up. He had the money where he fixed the money problem. You know, you know, Teddy was super sick growing up. They went like a year sabbatical in Europe, like in the middle, like one year is that just took the whole family to Europe.

I mean, that kind of level of wealth. They had. So really what our goal is is financially is whatever it is that my kids want to pursue, whatever passion that is, whatever difference they want to make, whatever art they want to create. If they want to do business, whatever it is they can, but it's not based on finances.

We're financially. We took and we were prudent and stored at our finances and our impact and took advantage of all these massive changes in the financial economy and all the different things that are going on to put ourselves in a position where our kids not, um, I don't stand for. Cook for, um, conspicuous consumerism, just to be clear, you know, like I, I mean, I'm not, I have lot, most of my friends do, you know, and that's totally fine.

I'm not judging people if they want to do those things, but for us in our family, luxury brands and this, all this stuff, that's not what wealth is for wealth is for creating the impact you want to see in the world relieving and alleviating human suffering and giving options and choices to self-actualize and pursue the values and the art you want to create.

So, um, so yes, that's kind of our spot, you know, I'm pretty, uh, pretty atypical. We don't really, I don't really like traditional schooling. Um, you know, our kids will probably do something with unschooling, which is just learning. I mean, I, I haven't, I didn't go to college. I've read hundreds and hundreds of books the last 12 years and learned so many different things.

I mean, we have. You have full access to almost all human knowledge and Ivy league level coursework online. So if you're driven to learn and you Abe, you're able to, to curate that M that curiosity and that desire of learning and that intrinsic reward system of the. Feeling of learning and pursuing knowledge.

I feel like that to be significantly more important than these standardized tests, I don't care who you are. There's no civilized human being that is going to not be able to read, write and communicate effectively if they pursue learning. And they all, everyone will like, no, one's going to grow up and be, you know, illiterate.

So anyway,

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Anthony 2: [00:43:38] It's usually what I'm reading, that's impacting me. You know what I mean? So, um, I really love the infinite game by Simon Sinek. I find that to be a tremendously great book. Um, I really like awareness by Tony de Mello. I find that to be a tremendous book as well. Uh, ruthless trust, um, I'm reading, which is by Brennan Manning, which is the kind of the kind of Christian I like super deep, you know, addict, like multiple relapses of being like on the side of the road, like in a binge, you know, like homeless, you know, like super, you know, Real real, you know, like talking about, you know, he tells this story in one of his books.

I think it was the ragamuffin gospel of this guy that, and I, I, I struggle with the books now. So it's like a book that I struggle with, no matter even talking about it. So don't be like, wow, this guy's like really deep, you know, I struggle with it, but tells this story of. This guy's an alcoholic. And on Christmas Eve, he has his daughter and he stops at the bar and it's like seventies status.

And like he leaves, I think he leaves the windows open and she basically is, has brain damage and he gets drunk at the bar, leaves her in the car and she like freezes. And like loses her fingers and is like brain damage, like ridiculous levels of forgiveness and grace and these different things. It's like, what?

So anyway, I really liked to read those things. Cause I feel like that's real that's life, you know, it's not this first world, you know, like gilded life that most of us live. We're just kinda like. But having like these basic pleasures of buying things and eating and hanging out where we really have no need to eat survive.

It's, you know, I really like to explore the human condition and what's real. And unfortunately, a large portion of that is how do we deal with suffering? How do we deal with terrible atrocities and tragedies that happen in our lives? That sometimes we're the architects of.

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Project in university with some people. And we design a school in which it's not really a school it's like Mon it takes for like Montessori takes from ideas, from homeschooling and, and lots of different methods of learning to create a different environment for learning. Cause I also think, you know, university, especially now, especially through COVID when you're just paying for a zoom license basically is way overpriced.

Like it. I don't agree with it. I don't, I don't like it. Um, I did do university of myself, but I didn't actually see it as useful beyond the social construct of a university, not the actual in class ability, too much.

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Is that the experience and the connections for sure. Everything else you can get

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Anthony 2: [00:47:13] yourself for free

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Anthony 2: [00:47:22] sounds terrifying.

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Um, Yeah. So I did want to ask a follow up questions to your raising your kids in a way that nothing is financially out of their reach. And I know that you only have a few minutes left here, but you know, a lot of the ideas is that wealth and growing up in a wealthy home will infringe on those kids' ideas of wealth of hard work.

Like, are you, are you concerned about that at all? Are you worried that. By creating too much of a cushion. They might live too easy of a life. Cause you just talked about suffering and all that. And are you trying to shield them from it too much?

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And I don't believe in the caste system that gets created with people with money. So why I don't feel like that ever will happen is because when you look at money as capital to be used to make more money and create change, There is, it's a very, very different mindset than this Nuva fake rich. Now that you think money is to make other people think you're more important by buying a more expensive new car and a bigger house and having, you know, luxury brands.

I don't, I, again, I don't judge anyone, but for our life and our family, I don't, you couldn't, you won't be able to ever tell our net worth by what you see. And our net worth in almost every instance will be greater than almost than the 99 plus percent of people, because the way that we use money and the way that we live on such a small amount.

So when my, if my kids were to interact with neighborhood, kid, XYZ, soccer team, whatever, they won't. Because they're not going to be positioned. Societaly as if they are better than because of their financial resources, because we get all our stuff used from Facebook market or the thrift store, and we make a lot of money and we're continuing to build longterm wealth.

So it changes the dynamic. I think of how people are being approached when you're not flaunting money to make the other person when you're not signaling, because that's what luxury stuff is signaling. I'm better. I have more money and resources so much that I can waste them on this bullshit when you're not doing that.

I don't think that you intrinsically believe you to be more valuable than anyone else. And it alleviates the problem that we're asking about.

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I know that we probably have a lot of men who do like the self-improvement aspects of it. What are some ways that if they want to become wealthy or see their capital as a propel, a propulsion to wealth, like what, where could they get started and how could they get started?

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But yeah. The three steps. I believe that everyone needs to take, to get to financial independence, which is really, for most people somewhere between two and $3 million of money invested in a conservative manner is number one, learning how to interact with money and how to properly budget and learning financial fiscal responsibility.

The fact that. You know, Cal and I, I mean, we make well over $300,000 and it's all business incomes. We keep way more of it than you traditionally would our companies do a few million dollars, you know, and that's just some, that's our base income. That's outside of any appreciation of investments that we're doing or outside things.

That's just my main base company. Our car is probably one 10th of the value of most people listening, you know, so learning how to take money and budget properly and learn how to look at money and interact with money is the most important starting point. Because if you make a million and spend a million.

You are less, you are, have a lower net worth than someone that makes 50,000 spends 40. I know people that make 50 grand a year that are millionaires. I know people that make $500,000 that have $0 of net worth because they just buy expensive things. And they think that it's, money's made to be spent on liabilities.

So that's the first step everyone needs to take second is to then appreciate and value where you acquire skills to make more money in your core competencies and you get management positions, negotiation skills to make more. And you also should, you should build something outside that you own some type of a side hustle.

In my opinion, it could be a second job, but again, you're going to take a huge amount of time for a long period of time to do that. But either way you need to. Increase your earning potential because if you set your lifestyle at a conservative level and then you increase your earning power, you can then number three, start to take 20, 30, and eventually the goal is 50% of your income.

Invest it in a healthy, proper manner where you're able to diversify it from some of the things that are more speculative and have huge earning potential. Like some of the hedge funds and the infrastructure of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency itself. Uh, angel type investments, and you can also have huge amounts in an index fund or ETFs.

You can have a real balanced portfolio. So over the, the 10 and 15 and 20 years, you put yourself in a position that you have a three or $4 million nest egg, and you buy the rest of your life back. So that's kind of the, the, the path and it's super boring, the saver investor path to go down and it takes most people, you know, 20, 30 years to do that.

But if you increase your earning potential and you're really. In you're really smart with what you do. I don't think there's a single person in a first world country hearing my voice with the proper advice or the proper program behind them that in a five to 15 year period, can't be permanently, financially independent and build legacy.

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Anthony 2: [00:54:12] Yeah, I've been coached and mentored at for the last 15 years. Um, my business partner, Tony was just on, um, uh, Necker Island with Richard Branson and a privately invited 20 couple, uh, group. Um, so I'm connected to people that have tremendous connections and insight that have been coaching and mentoring, Cal and I, and that's that, there's a, there's a, a chorus of people that have been coaching and mentoring us that have specific results in different areas.

And I've aggressively read. I've been reading an average of a book a week since I'm, you know, 18 years old. Um, so we have really worked hard to do that, and we worked hard on building a company. You know, I mean, our companies are really starting to grow exponentially now, but it took a long time. It took a decade of working hard consistently to get to the point where over the last five years, I mean, it's replaced both of our incomes and now is becoming very significant.

Um, but yeah, a tremendous amount of help. That's why we're passionate. About helping people. We love the industry that we're in to be able to do so. So I don't think there's anything else that's worth it other than making a difference. I mean, all the stuff, all the money, all the things we do, it's all forgotten a hundred, 200, 500 years.

It's meaningless. It's the only thing that's meaningful is how are we treating people? And are we alleviating other people's suffering? Are we helping people further along? Are we developing, you know, true fruitful relationships because that's what matters.

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Anthony 2: [00:55:43] Yeah. Um, I do webinars pretty regularly, but you could reach out to me. A spark is born underscores between the words is my Instagram. Um, you know, you could shoot me a text. I mean, I don't know how many people are listening to this. I find that even if I speak to groups of 20, 30,000, most people don't have the guts to text me anyway.

But if you want to text me, certainly feel free to reach out. My cell is six three one three two seven. Two, two, four, one. You can email meAnthony@phoenixevolution.co. Um, and yeah, I mean, we have a, we have a podcast. You can check out extraordinary excellence. If you want to check out another cool podcast since Luke West going to be paused, you might need something to listen to.

So you can always head out over there. But yeah, I'm happy to help. Please reach out. We get so much meaning and purpose and fulfillment from helping other people happy to help you on your journey. However weekend.

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So, uh, you could have him on your podcast potentially. I don't know, but, uh, thank you, Anthony so much. I appreciate you. And, and, uh, proud of the work that you're doing and, and the, the man.

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Luke 2: [00:57:06] Thank you.

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