Have you ever felt trapped in a career that doesn't align with your true passions? In this episode, I'm with Kyle Timmons, a financial planner with a background in engineering who found his way to financial planning, and explore the pivotal moments that led him to make the leap - the challenges he faced in making the transition, and the unique needs of analytical-minded clients like engineers.
Kyle shares his approach to financial planning, emphasizing the importance of building trust and helping clients align their financial goals with their values. He also discusses how he integrates financial planning into investment management, surprising clients with its value. Listen as Kyle and I reflect on our experiences working with clients and the changing attitudes toward money and financial planning, particularly among engineers who may be first-generation high-income earners.
Tune in to gain insights into the world of financial planning and the unique dynamics of working with analytical clients in this engaging episode.
About the Guest:
Kyle Simmons, CRPC™, worked for over 13 years in the tech industry as an engineer. When you work with him, you’re not working with a product salesman, but rather someone who works and talks like you, taking a logical and efficient approach to investment management and retirement planning. He understands the financial and intellectual benefits of working in the industry as well as the challenges and frustrations. He thinks like an engineer and has the integrity of one too.
Fast Five Questions
Jeff spent the early part of his career working for others. Jeff had started 5 businesses that failed before he had his first success. Since that time he has learned the principles of a successful business and has been able to build and grow multiple seven-figure businesses. Jeff lives in the Austin area and is actively working in his community and supporting the growth of small businesses. He is a board member of the Incubator.Edu program at Vista Ridge High School and is on the board of directors of the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation
Connect with the Freedom Nation podcast at https://freedom-nation-podcast.captivate.fm/
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FN Intro/Outro: Welcome to the Freedom Nation podcast with Jeff Kikel. On this show, Jeff shares his expertise in financial and retirement planning from a different perspective. Planning for Your Freedom Day, which is the first day that you wake up and have enough income or assets and do not have to go to work that day. Learn how to calculate what you need, how to generate income sources, and listen to interviews from others who've done it themselves, get ready to experience your own Freedom Day.Jeff Kikel:
This Jeff here once again with the freedom nation podcast, and today we have Kyle Simmons, odd, Kyle's in a very similar business to me, and we have some really interesting, very similar kind of pathways and feelings. So this is gonna be a fun conversation. Kyle, welcome to the show. ButKyle Simmons:
Yeah, thank you, Jeff, appreciate you being here.Jeff Kikel:
Glad to have you on. I'm really excited to talk about this. I think we've got a lot of stuff that we discovered cre this that we can have a good conversation on. But why don't we get started with your story? What tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, so I went to college at the University of Colorado for electrical engineering. And like most people, I really did not know what I wanted to do with my life at age 18. I was pretty good at math and science. And I thought engineering would pay well. So off, I went into engineering. And as soon as I graduated, I found that engineering as a job was very different than engineering. As a student. I went to work for a fortune 500 company, and had a really nice set of benefits. And it was through those benefits that I realize, oh, I have a 401k What is a 401k? I had no clue what that was because my parents didn't talk about it. My high school didn't talk about it. And definitely my college didn't talk about it. So I started doing a little digging into what this thing called personal finances. And I found out that I loved it. I loved personal finance, I just started digging into books about investing, about retirement, reading all sorts of popular blogs, which we all have heard of and know about. I actually ended up writing my own blog for a couple years. So dug really deep into it. And then I realized, Hey, I could make this my profession. Yeah, I don't really like engineering. I don't like working in a cubicle. I don't like staring at a computer screen all day long. You know, I thought I was gonna be doing something else, right. And so I looked into financial planning. And I interviewed with a few companies. And I realized it really wasn't what I wanted to do that at least the way that it was presented, the opportunities, the entry level opportunities that were available. It was mainly selling insurance, or annuities on a commission basis to my 100 favorite friends and family.Jeff Kikel:
And we're down until he burned through that list. And then yeah, yeah, yeah.Kyle Simmons:
So it never took that job, I stayed in engineering. And this whole time in the background, I was like, ah, you know, I don't like engineering. I'm not really enjoying it. And I really liked this personal finance thing. But I don't know how to make it happen. So eventually, about two years ago, I started up my current firm. And I worked concurrently in both jobs in my engineering role and in as an investment advisor. And then finally, this February, I went full time as a as a financial planner.Jeff Kikel:
Really, really? Now do you do money management as well? Or do you just do straight up, you know, the fee only financial planning?Kyle Simmons:
I do. So I do. It's fee only. But I also do investment management on a AUM basis. So for my clients that have money that they want me to manage, I will invest it for them. I also do the financial planning side, which, to be honest, both are very interesting to me. The investment management side kind of tickles a certain part of my analytical brain. But the financial planning side is actually the more fulfilling part of the job because especially as I work with folks that are a little earlier on in their career, in other words are still working. There's a little a lot of opportunities for life planning, for talking to them about what they really want in their lives. For talking to them about why we're actually saving like, what are we saving for? Is it just this this idea of retirement at 65? Well, where did you get 65 from Why do you want to retire at 65 and travel? What does that even mean? Those types of conversations I find really fulfilling because usually we come out of it with a lot better definition of the client's goals of what they value and also usually some sort of change in their life to go and get and achieve those goals and values sooner than they would have otherwise.Jeff Kikel:
So let's talk a little bit about your transition there. I mean, it took you a while. I mean, it was same thing for me. You know, I think you put it before was the golden, or the silver handcuffs.Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, the silver handcuffs.Jeff Kikel:
You know, what was it? What? When did you make that decision? Okay, it's now tie.Kyle Simmons:
You know, it's funny, I told you, I started my firm two years ago, but I didn't actually make that go decision until about a year and a half. And so you know, if you know, engineers, you know, we're very risk averse. We're afraid of change. And we want to make sure we've thought through every little thing before we do anything. And so that's, that's what I did. I signed clients, I made sure that I liked the job. And even after that, I still felt those. So what I call the silver handcuffs, which is, hey, I was getting paid really good money. I was working from home a large majority of the time, I enjoyed my coworkers, and I had a great manager had good benefits. If I just rode that train, things would be pretty good. You know, and they had provided a lot of things for me, you know, my home, and for my family. And so it was very hard to to jump from that known, stable, secure place that I was successful and fell confident in and drew my, my require, frankly, my value, my self worth, from being defined as a successful engineer into jumping into something completely new that could fail. And so it took a long time. But I think, in my head, I made the decision, maybe about September of 2022, to go to completely quit. However, I didn't actually tell my manager till January. And I could tell you over Christmas break, I went back and forth about 10 times. And so it was still a very difficult decision. Even though I had the business up and running. I had clients, I had a funnel, and I still struggled with it, which a lot of my clients do, too, when when they're looking at their own changes.Jeff Kikel:
Yeah, well, I mean, you know, I think that's the it's that's making that decision. But in the end, you knew okay, I you know, the way I looked at it when I left corporate and I launched my businesses, you know, for me, it was, you know, what's the worst case scenario? Okay, I'd been in the financial industry for, you know, almost, what, 20 years, 22 years at that point. So I was like, Yeah, worst case scenario, just go back to I find another job in the financial industry. Yeah, so worst case scenario, you go back to being an engineer? Yeah, IKyle Simmons:
know. I know. And there's opportunities. You know, I live in a part of the country where there's a lot of opportunities to go back. But, you know, that kind of logic doesn't always enter into the decision. There's a lot of fear and a lot of fear of change, and just fear of failure. I think so. Well, fortunately, I was able to climb that mountain. And I was able to put in my two weeks notice. And it's been great. It's been amazing. I wish I would have done it sooner. I wish I would have done it two years ago, I wish I would have done it. 10 years ago,Jeff Kikel:
I said the same thing. I mean, I you know, I knew for years, I wanted to be my own boss, I knew I wanted to get out of the corporate world. But you know, I did it for almost 22 years, where I made that jump. So you know, don't feel bad if you could be worse. I got to do it. And I tried multiple times to start businesses. But you know, when you have something you're getting paid really well doing. It's like, okay, when something gets hard, you're like, you know, I don't I don't need to do that anymore. It's not it wasn't my passion. And really, it wasn't until I actually went out and built businesses, I found out that was my passion, was actually building businesses and, you know, building streams of cash flow and things like that. Well, I couldn't really do that inside of corporate. So there was no real other option for me at that point. And you know, as I've told my wife, I, I would live in a car before I go back to work for somebody and she looks well, I think that's a good idea for you, but it ain't gonna beKyle Simmons:
So you're living in the garden on me.Jeff Kikel:
I'm not even in the house. So you just keep making money. So, you know, let's talk a little bit about your process. How do you approach financial planning when it comes to let's say, I'm a new client coming in? I'm an engineer, how do you really approach it in your worlds?Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, so I try to focus or I try to work on are with engineers, tech professionals, and basically analytical type people. There's a reason for that it you know, when I was starting my business two years ago, and I told some, some mentors and some other people in the industry that that was trying to focus their niche on engineering. Is everybody told me it was a horrible idea? Well, first of all engineers are do it yourselfers they're not getting they're not going to be willing to pay for help. Number two engineers are horrible, horrible clients, because they asked too many questions. And so I thought, well, you know what? That's okay. Because I have solutions for both of those things. I have answers for why I want to work with both of those things. And what I found is engineers and other I use the word engineer just to refer to mentality.Jeff Kikel:
Yeah, real way of thinking it's in that analytical kind of profession.Kyle Simmons:
You got it, you got it. So engineers, we, when we will look to hire somebody, especially someone like a financial planner, who's going to be you know, large cost, I'm going to have a lot of access and information about us. We want to trust them. And trust isn't established with a suit and tie, or with a fancy Porsche, at least for the analytical types. Trust is established by being able to answer questions, answer technical questions, and to show that you have the knowledge and the capability. Ads, what I've found is yes, engineers do ask questions. But if you answer them, if you're willing to go deep with them on whatever thing that they want to know about, eventually, you establish trust, and you don't have all the questions, they just trust you, they're willing to do what they hired you to do, which is to take this off my plate, I'm too busy, I want to focus on something else, please take it on my plate, but I need to trust you first. And so that's been, you know, kind of part of my my marketing is that, hey, I'm an engineer, I work with people like you. I'm not afraid, you know, I'm not afraid to work with you. And so, in terms of my process, that's a lot of what we do. I spend a lot of time upfront, in meetings with my clients. I was talking to someone who works at a large national firm, and I think they, for Don, or their clients, they spend maybe three, four hours in front of the client. At a minimum, I'm spending 16 hours with the client, sometimes longer. And that part of that process is to establish the trust. I also do that, do we deep dive on the goals in the values discovery process? So that's at least four hours of just deep diving into? Why are you saving money? What do you value in life? And oftentimes, there's a couple, and they may have different values. They're trying to figure out, where's the middle ground? You know, it's not actually it's not unusual for one to not want to work because they hate their job, and the other one, to love their job, and to keep wanting to work. So oftentimes, it's they see that as black and white, we don't have mutual values. But there's usually a way to craft a lifestyle that works for both of them. So that's I spent a lot of time and that what I call goals and values discovery process.Jeff Kikel:
Yeah. Well, I think you know, that the fact that you're willing to put in that kind of time, you will win the clients because most people aren't willing to put in the time. And I think it frustrates and pisses off a lot of engineers. You know, I find myself doing something similar. I grew up the son talked about, you know, you you went to school, and you're like, Okay, this is what I wanted to do. I got about halfway through school and realize there was no way in hell, I wanted to be an engineer. You know, I grew up as the son of an engineer. So I understand that, that logic based mind and you know, having to kind of prove everything. I always tell people, you know, it's like, with my engineering clients, I'm like, hey, it took almost 14 years to convince my parents to actually become clients. My dad was, yeah, like, Oh, I'm creating spreadsheets and all this and I'm like, You do realize I have a software package that I can do that and like four and a half seconds. But you know, he had to, he had to prove it himself. And he he still to this day, runs his own side, you know, spreadsheet plan, just so that for him, it's like okay, I understand how the numbers work. Once I understand the numbers and and I think that's the biggest thing with engineering clients that I think frustrates a lot of people in our industry, who you would say their financial minded people but we're in some cases not I mean, your your salespeople, and a lot of then you don't think in that kind of logical step by step mindset. And, you know, the engineering clients I've had, I just know, we're gonna have to put in a little bit more time for them to understand how everything works. And then once they do, it's like, they're loyal as hell, they never go, you know, they're gonna stay with you as a client forever once you gain their trust. So, you know, yeah, you might have to put in a little bit more work upfront, but that's okay. Yeah, Do you know that you're not going to have to be on the back end and getting a few of those very highly paid clients that stay forever? Build a long term business for you?Kyle Simmons:
Yeah. And I have to admit, a little confession. I are obviously I pay for all the financial planning software, I have two or three packages that I paid for. Yeah, I also have my own spreadsheets. And, and I have a pre retirement spreadsheet, you know, that helps calculate when they can retire. And I also have a post retirement spreadsheet. And I always run what the software does by my own spreadsheets. And just because, you know, I want to know how the numbers are working.Jeff Kikel:
Yeah, well, I will. But once again, that's that's how it works. That's how your mind works. It's what you are training to do. So why wouldn't you do that? Exactly. I mean, I have to admit, I do kind of the same thing. And a lot of cases, especially if somebody presents something to me, where it's, you know, Oh, it's this amazing return and all that. Okay, let me dig deep. And I want to understand how the numbers work. Before I'm willing to talk about this with the client, you know, and once I understand the numbers, we're good. And we can go from there. Yeah, yeah. Back toKyle Simmons:
real quick, if I could just comment on the DIY portion. So a lot of engineers are DIY errs. And that's okay. Yeah, my job is not to work with every engineer out there. I myself was a DI wire in a lot of areas. And then I got busier. And then I had three kids. And then I started doing really things that I would have rolled my eyes at and called myself stupid, like paying for my lawn to be mowed. Yeah. Because I was a DIY er, why would you ever pay for your lawn mowed? At some point, I found that I was too busy. I was overwhelmed. I needed to offload something, where can I pay for time. And so there's some people that never get to that overwhelm. And that's great. And I'm super happy for him. And I don't try to I don't try to work with him. But there are people, even engineers that are eventually gets overwhelmed, or they eventually just don't like dealing of money, that they don't want to take care of it. And one more thing about that don't wanting don't want to deal with money. A lot of engineers I've found are actually first generation. I won't say wealthy, but first generation high income earners. Yeah,Jeff Kikel:
yeah. They're they they went to school, and he didn't realize, Hey, I got a great income. Yeah, what do I do with it? I'veKyle Simmons:
never, you didn't have that family? Side? Exactly, exactly. And not only do they not know really what to do, but some of them, a lot of them. They they have some internal what I call invisible scripts, you know, you've probably heard that term, based on things running around in their head, that they have a negative relationship with money, right, because of the way that they were raised, whether they were raised, you know, poor men, so they're afraid to spend money, which is not an uncommon thing. Or they're raised in a way that they, for their family spent all the money. And so I think that's another reason why there there's a group subset of engineers that are willing to offload and outsource financial planning, because they have those, there's kind of that feeling that just money just stresses me out. And I don't want to deal with it.Jeff Kikel:
Well, I think, you know, the other side of the coin, too, is, you know, I think for a lot of my clients that end up coming over that are, you know, that they've been di wires for a long time, there's a there's a certain dollar amount, I think it's $1 amount in a certain time of their life, that all of a sudden, they start realizing, hey, crap, this is real. At this point. I mean, it's, it's a real amount of money. I don't want to live with it. And I really need somebody's help to guide me along the paths. You know, and I think everybody reaches that point. I mean, I don't, you know, I think somebody who's young and getting started, they don't need me, you know, they don't need somebody's got 30 years experience doing this, you know, they they just need some guidance. And you know, for me, a lot of that is the books and the the online programs that I've created for those people that are kind of getting started or, you know, they're trying to retrain their brain to think more like a business owner than an employee. And you get to a point where it's like, okay, this got real. Yeah, now, it's like, okay, I'm 10 years out from retirement. Am I on track? Yes, I've put my little spreadsheets together, but I'm not sure if my spreadsheets completely right. You know, what am I That's exactly right. You know, it's, we're always gonna be there and not everybody's gonna be your client. You know, I think I've learned after all these years, I turn more people away than I bring in as clients just mainly because I don't think they're, I am not a good fit for them. They're not a good fit for me. And that's Okay, I'm still gonna try and help if I can. But, you know, I mean, some of those people just hire me to do straight up financial planning. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's why our model works a little bit better.Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, well, yeah, it is, it is nice to be able to kind of offer what the client needs instead of what, you know, having one hammer, and just trying to make a solution for everything. Behind behindJeff Kikel:
door number one is an annuity behind order to do an annuity.Kyle Simmons:
Exactly, exactly.Jeff Kikel:
So what you know, when you look at now, two years into it, especially this year into it, would you done it would you have done anything differently?Kyle Simmons:
So, there's some interesting things to say about this. So what I left out is that I actually started a small financial planning firm for about six months, right before I had this firm. And it was focused purely on the financial planning portion. So and it was a retainer model, I don't know if you're familiar with that word, maybe the audience isn't. But basically, people would pay a monthly amount, what I found was, in the idea of real buy big deal was to actually work with younger folks, where we could have a larger impact on their life trajectory, by offering this retainer model, because it didn't matter how much assets they had to actually manage. This was being pushed really strongly at the time. And what I found was this interesting kind of dilemma, which is that the people that I think would really benefit from the life planning, they just aren't willing to pay for it. And the people that are retired, that they've already had their life planning, you know, we could talk a little bit about how much you know what we're doing in retirement, maybe we can encourage them to spend more or less, they really value the financial planning, because it's very quantitative, you can actually show them how much you're gonna save them in tax planning, like this year, you know, potentially. And so, I ended up shutting that firm down. So the lesson learned was you need to understand what your target audience wants, and what they're willing to pay for not just what you think they should they need. And so I've tried to build my second firm Semmens investment management, I've tried to build it in a way that they come to me it's called Semmens investment management, they come to me for investment management, to manage their assets, because that's what they say they need, and they do need it. But I, what I say is I surprise them with financial planning. And that's the way I built my model. So if they have over a certain amount of assets, I include financial planning for free. And at the end of that process, every single one of them goes, Oh, my gosh, I love this. I'm so glad we went through the financial planning, I've never done that before with any other investment manager. And so that's, that's the new model, right? I'm still giving them what I think they need. But I'm letting them come to me and pay for what they think they need. And I think that lesson could could be applied to any job or any career in any field. Well, and I will tell you, I mean, that's been my process for, you know, going on 30 years, at this point. SoJeff Kikel:
You know, I mean, financial planning is just part, but financial planning is the required portion of the process. So when I'd sit down with the client, I just tell them, you know, we're gonna do financial planning, whether you want to or not your best. So you're basically asking me to show for a car for you, and then not tell me where you want to go. And so if I don't know where to go, how am I going to really manage account for you? So it's just part of the process. And you know, quite frankly, whether they come to you for investment management or come to you for planning, I mean, it should be the same process. Regardless, this is what we do. This is how we do it. This is how I help you achieve what you want. And I mean, what it does, is it it market downturn proofs, your portfolio of business of clients, because when the market goes down, you can go back to that financial plan and say, All right, well, remember in this financial plan, I told you, there were some outlier years, well, this is an outlier here. Look at the plan and see that, okay, it's x, you know, it's still on track, regardless of what happened. And you know, 99% of the time there, you know, if you're using a Monte Carlo analysis model, it changes maybe one or 2% on either side of the piece. And every time I do that with the clients, like, oh, look over the financial plan, what if we're on track number? I told you, we're gonna have some great years, we're gonna have some bad years and we'll have a lot of them in the middle. Well, this is just one of those outlier years, so don't sweat it. Hey, you're gonna manage you know, just let it go ball One blow up, you know, we're also not going to go to cash and then sit around and wait and then loot and miss the upside of the market. Yeah, yeah,Kyle Simmons:
I do a lot of client education up front part of the onboarding time is client education, I find that's really important. Because otherwise, if you haven't done it, then people start freaking out. But if you have done it, people understand, okay, this is just part of what investing in the market means. And so, yeah, ultimately, I find that after I do that education, clients are fine. through the ups and downs. You know, again, I've only had a few clients through COVID. But those guys that I did have that I did the education with, I went well,Jeff Kikel:
Well, but I mean, you know, you look at last year's market, and that was a pretty big whammy for you to jump in feet first and two. So I mean, if you if you made it through last year, you know, the rest of it's kind of a breeze because I mean, last year was a pretty bad year, you know, when it comes to pretty much everything. That's right, yeah. 6040 portfolio was down. 16%. Yeah. Yeah, that was that was really rough. And luckily, I didn't lose any clients to do it. Yeah. Well, I'm at and they stuck with you throughout. So I mean, that's saying a lot. So just Yeah, I mean, it's sometimes the best is to be in the middle of a firestorm and go from there. Well, good. Well, let's, let's switch gears here, Kyle, and talk a little bit about the Fast Five questions now. You're ready, sir. Yeah, absolutely. All right. So you wake up in the morning business is gone, you have 500 bucks in your pocket and laptop computer place to live? What do you do first?Kyle Simmons:
Okay, so I have two answers to this question. I don't know if the first one is cheating. But, you know, developing your skill set and your connections. So is is the way to go in life. Right? When I went to college, and I started being an engineer, and I came out my mentality was, everything's a meritocracy. It's what you know, that's important. And what I've since found out is what you know, is very important, but who you know, is even more important. And so, you know, I would probably just go to my friends that own businesses, my former managers and try to find a job. So I have those previous skill sets of previous connections. Let's say that's not the case. Because that to me, that's, that's the cheater answer. Well, I would probably do, honestly, I would probably start mowing lawns. I'd probably buy a lawn mower, and start mowing lawns. I, I'm always shocked at how much people are willing to pay to get their lawns mowed. And the people that do it, they don't run their business the way that I would. They don't have automatic payments, they don't have, you know, good communication. And so I would start there. That might not be where I end up. But I think no matter what your interests are, there's probably a way to develop that into a six figure business. Maybe not a seven figure business, but you could probably develop almost anything into a six figure business if you have the right business mind for it. And and you do great customer service.Jeff Kikel:
Yeah, I mean, especially if you can get yourself out of the mindset of, well, I'm going to be the one that's always doing all the mowing, you know, out there, or mowing just to start generating some cash. And then I'd be starting to hire people and I'd become the marketer for the business. And you know, I'm not going to be the one sweating out there.Kyle Simmons:
Absolutely. I mean, that's the eventual path of most businesses, right? You end up doing the bidding work, and you hire people to do the labor.Jeff Kikel:
Absolutely, absolutely. Okay. So next one, what's your biggest business mistake that you've ever made?Kyle Simmons:
So I'm lucky that I haven't had huge business mistakes. So I'll tell you some little ones, but I'm lucky that I haven't had major mistakes, you know, whether that's investing mistakes or in other in my previous companies, or roles. The minor mistakes that I've made so far in my new business is I've spent way too much money on marketing that didn't work. And I actually don't think it's a huge mistake it's more of a lesson learned. I mean, as long as your that's right as long as you're not you know hurting anyone doing anything unethical or going to jail. It's probably a learning lesson more than a mistake, man so that's what this has been. I still trying to figure out the marketing game. It's always an easy like a you know, they say a boat is a hole in the water you throw money into. I'm pretty sure marketing is the same way until you find the thing that works for you. And so it's not really a mistake, but that's that's what came to mind.Jeff Kikel:
Yeah, it is it I will tell you I've I've been there done that and have the the scars on my back to show off of the amount of money that I've spent on marketing and of course there is a bazillion people in our industry or in the marketing industry that think they know how to generate business. financial adviceKyle Simmons:
Oh yeah, you contacted me Multiple times a day on LinkedIn that seemed to specialize in your exact thing.Jeff Kikel:
If no, everything here is about generating leads, yeah, thanks. So what's a good book that you'd recommend for our audience?Kyle Simmons:
Okay, so there's a couple great books. I thought a little bit about this when he sent me over the question. And I think I think specifically said for entrepreneurs, so that's what I thought through. I have a million great books. And maybe I'll recommend a couple other ones too, but specifically for entrepreneurs. The first one that comes to mind is Dale Carnegie, how to make friends and influence people. I remember with that book,Jeff Kikel:
I love it. It's one of my top fans. Yeah. Okay, awesome.Kyle Simmons:
So that's a great book to read. And similarly, How to Stop Worrying and start living, I think, is what it's called. Yep. How does that worrying and start living by Dale Carnegie, also another great book, one more for entrepreneurs, you know, I really sallow the book, but the way that just the thought process and the way that you can think through things, and it really evaluate your business, and it's an oldie but a goodie to all the Now Is The Four Hour Workweek. I love that book as well. So, I know they're kind of older books, but those are the ones that I would recommend for an entrepreneur I didJeff Kikel:
I think it was a 2021. So i my i got my grandfather's library when he died. So I had just grabbed all the books, and I kind of just put them on a bookshelf, I didn't really do anything with them. And I just happened to be going through my bookshelf like right during Christmas time, kind of figuring out what I wanted to read and found that book and I've got an original copy of the book.Kyle Simmons:
So it's great. Which one grandfather? Yeah, the How to Win Friends and Dale Carnegie. Yeah. And,Jeff Kikel:
And so I mean, it was, you know, so it was written got, I think I can that early 1930s or something. And what I did, I mean, it's got 26 principles in there. So what I ended up doing is, I decided that I would live one of those principles every two weeks, and report back on on my results on YouTube. So if you guys go out there and look at my YouTube channel, you could see it, but there's, there's like a whole series of like, every two weeks, I would do one of these and talk about the experiences I had and all that it was the greatest year of my life.Kyle Simmons:
Razon is great. I'm gonna have to check that out and duplicate itJeff Kikel:
Cool. Yeah, it was just such a cool experience. You know, and I mean, they're common sense things. I mean, it's like you should treat people the way you want to be treated. Just don't bring things in there the year like, when you got done, you just felt good. You know, I, when I came out of 2021, I just felt great doing that. So I mean, I I'm right there with you. I love that book. Four Hour Workweek people on here know, I've literally read it 1000 times, I read it already to four times a year, because I really want okay, you and I'll see if it helps me to go, oh, shit, I keep getting into this same loop of, you know, I've got all this email on my stuff. Okay, wait a minute, gotta get more efficient again. And so back and I just love the book. I think he did such a good job. I I realize he was a little wordy. Now that I go back and read it, but I mean, it's it's just, it's good stuffKyle Simmons:
Yeah. And you have to, you have to remember when it was written too, because he talks a lot about getting into like industry magazines, which I don't think really works anymore. Yeah, the ideas, the concepts of how do you rethink what you're doing, I think are timeless?Jeff Kikel:
Well, I mean, even the principles that he has been there. I mean, it was it was so it was so much less complicated back then to run Google ads and things like that. The principles, he talks in there about how to test, you know, kind of market test, even how he market tested the name of the book. You know, he just ran Google ads to see what attracted people at that, you know, he finally found the four hour workweek was he's like, has nothing to do with anything he's talking about. But that's the title that resonated with everybody. And, you know, okay, throw it on the book, and then it sold, you know, multi multi billions of dollars over time. SoKyle Simmons:
Yeah, yeah, it's a great book. I'll give you one more book. It's not for entrepreneurs. But with that, just the bonus plan today, oh, man, I can't help it. I have so many books I love. But a book that I'm reading, actually just finished, it's the most recent book that I'm recommending, is called die with zero. And it is by Bill Perkins. I highly recommend that book. It talks a lot about this concept of Alternative Retirement. Okay, we were kind of talking about in the pre show. So you know, not just working till you're 65 you know, hopefully in a job you don't hate and then retiring and playing golf and you know, watching TV, this is my spin on it, right? My spin is out are we just eliminate the need to retire. What if What if I told you that you had to work until you died? So that's not so much his book, but it leads in the same way. So if you had to work till you retire, what would you do? What job would you do? Because well, we don't have to save for retirement if we work forever, and ever work until we die. And we obviously want to save in case we're not able to work, you know, we have some health issues or whatnot. But having that mentality of not work and not retiring allows us to really think through what do I really want to do with the rest of my life, and try and identify a job that you really may not be your passion, right, but it's something that you enjoy doing. It's something what I you know, what I think through when I think these things I recommend, you know, people, they look for something that that they can do as they age, right, and so reroofing people's houses is probably not something you can do, and when you're 70, but is that really is the thing that you love, you know, maybe you can build a business out of it. But trying to think through these types of things that way, over time, you can slowly roll off your career, as opposed to just taking this huge, you know, stair step down into not doing anything at all, and losing. You know, you're the reason that you got up in the morning for the last however many years losing your social status when seeing your friends, because a lot of our friends we make through our work, how can we kind of eliminate this concept of retirement and actually do something that's fulfilling? And we can give back and that sort of a thing?Jeff Kikel:
Yeah, absolutely. I love that. Yeah. I mean, it's in it gets to the point, if you if you love what you do, you're not working. At that point. I've always said, Alright, what's a what's a tool that you use in your business every day that you might recommend?Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, so the tool, you know, I've fought it for two years now. I didn't want to pay for it. I thought it was silly. It's really not that expensive. But I'm an engineer, if I'm trying to cut, you know, everything needs to be maximized unless I like it myself and snap out of it. But the tool is Calendly. I have used CalendlyJeff Kikel:
So I'm the same way for years. He bought and bought and bought it. Because I had you know, I had an assistant. And so I'm like, Well, you know, I thought it was much more personal to let Cindy deal with you know, okay, scheduling all this stuff. And then I would find that I look at my calendar, and there's all these holes, hole hole hole hole hole, and I'm trying to find a spot to put an appointment in and I don't know which ones are going to be which and where and all that. So it was really during the pandemic. And I think a lot of people kind of migrated. Yeah, during that time. And I use it exclusively now.Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, I've tried. Gosh, it can you remember all the companies that have tried that offer like free or cheaper versions, including Microsoft as their own bookings. I've tried probably three other ones. And I just, you know what, I have to just go back to the one that is really good, which is Calendly. So highly recommend it for any entrepreneur,Jeff Kikel:
It works. I think the thing I love about it, too, is the ability for it to set up the reminders and all that stuff. So I mean, for something that was booked, you know, by a computer basically, that ensures that I rarely rarely rarely have people not show up to Oh, yeah, yeah, it's great. Yeah, and I mean, I would find that when I needed people booking stuff for me i i even find it now it's my assistant that books appointments for me I find that people it's like, okay, you spoke to a human you book the thing and then you didn't show up to it but if if the computer book that you're good so I just whatever I'm happy with it. But yeah, I ownership maybe however and it was had nothing to do with costs, it was just like, I don't want this kind of just passionate thing doing the you know, I mean, it makes me happier, by all means, and it made me happier in the long run. So yeah, yeah, great till the last question for you is what is your definition of freedom? Well, I thinkKyle Simmons:
I went into it a little bit there earlier without, without trying or without being prompted. But my definition of freedom is not what I would have called it before, which many years ago, I would have called it financial independence. You know, being able to have a certain amount of money that I could take withdrawal off of and bail my expenses. That is no longer my definition of freedom. My definition of freedom is synonymous with the word opportunity. And so I have the opportunity to do what I want to do. Whether that is start my business, or you know, whatever, go on vacation with my family, or I have the opportunity to go on a bike ride with my children. That Freedom. And so, you know, finding a career that allows me to do those things, I think is the definition of freedom for me. And it's not something that I want to leave. I hope I'll be doing this job when I'm 70 and 80. And maybe longer.Jeff Kikel:
Hey, we don't dig ditches for a living man's life. Yeah, Kyle, thank you so much for being on the show. I really, truly appreciate it. It was a fun conversation. And, you know, me being in a similar role as you it's fun to have these kinds of conversations and see that we're kind of you know, we're on the same path, just different, different, you know, target clients, but the same path, and I appreciate you taking your time today.Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, likewise, man, it was really good. I try not to talk shop too much, you know, but really appreciateJeff Kikel:
What he did, man.Kyle Simmons:
Yeah, exactly.Jeff Kikel:
Thanks a lot for being on folks. As always, we do these shows Tuesdays and Thursdays. The whole idea is to help share different paths with you to share different stories. And I think Kyle's has a great story of someone who really was the cubicle warrior who died a little bit every day at work, until he found something that he was passionate about, and he loves and will do it probably for the rest of his life. So you need to find your passion as well. Make sure that if this resonated with you, share this with your audience, share this with your folks on social media. And make sure that you hit that little up like button, subscribe to the channel, all that kind of good stuff, but hit the like button so we know you exist out there. And if you've got the guts, I want to see some comments on the show. Thanks a lot. And we will see you guys back here the very next time.Jeff Kikel:
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