In this episode, we hear Brandon go into depth about his book and the ability to scale your lifestyle while still finding joy. He also talks about how he dedicated his life to teaching people about wealth consciousness while keeping empathy and compassion in mind.
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Anita Ward 0:00
Welcome to Working On Wellbeing, where we share stories of purpose-driven people doing good in the world. We'll meet change agents, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, and big thinkers to learn about their wow moment and how it got them to where they are today. This show is brought to you by Salary Finance. And I'm your host Anita Ward, cultural anthropologist, and Chief Development Officer at Salary Finance.
Welcome to Working On Wellbeing, everyone. I'm really looking forward to today's podcast with Brandon Hatton. His books include Conscious Wealth: Money, Investing, and a Financial Awakening for the Person Who Has It All. This is a book you won't be able to put down, I guarantee you, I opened it. Who puts money investing and financial awakening in one title? I was enthralled from the first page. As you all know, I am a huge fan of personal stories. Brandon also discusses his life experiences in this book. He discusses his travels, his teachings, and his trips to Egypt and Brazil. And I'm not going to give away any of the details because this is a story that deserves to be told. Brandon is a financial advisor at the moment. He is an investment advisor, but he has an entirely different perspective on money and scarcity than I am about his work as a teacher, photographer, and everything else. Like me, he is a conscious capitalist, but he is also a leader, a group of people who are all committed to the greater good through conscious riches. And I've been waiting a long time for a chance to put it all together in one place. So, welcome to the show, Brandon. Since you agreed to do it, I've been looking forward to it all week. As a result, I'm grateful that you're able to join me today.
Brandon Hatton 2:03
Thank you. It's great. Thanks for the enthusiasm and the support.
Anita Ward 2:08
You're in trouble. Because the next 30 minutes, I'm not sure I'm going to come down out of the clouds.
Brandon Hatton 2:14
Bring it on, let's go.
Anita Ward 2:16
I was thinking, "Oh, this is going to be about money and investment", when I picked up the book. Then I had a mentality that, “Well, riches and advising mindful capitalism, I get it, this is going to be same old, same old.” So different. It's a whole new level of experience. Brandon, halfway through the book I guess I had a revelation. I was ready to make a shift. I was enthralled by it. So let's see if we can get everyone else to experience the same kind of enlightenment or awakening today. So, first, let's get the obvious out of the way. Conscious wealth: what is it and how can it be used to your advantage? What's all this fuss about scarcity and riches, as well as the framework you're proposing? What about the four levels of conscious wealth, which we might travel through? But first, let's clarify what it is.
Brandon Hatton 3:06
Thank you for asking that question first. Because I'm a poke-the-bear type of person when it comes to looking at book covers. If someone says, "Don't poke that" or "Don't tamper with that person," I've always followed through. Because nobody loves to talk about money, I reasoned to myself when I was trying to come up with a title for the book. Nobody loves to talk about riches because no one is wealthy. Whether you ask someone if they're wealthy, they'll answer, "No, I'm not wealthy, but the guy with 5 million, 10 million, or a billion dollars is affluent.” Nobody, on the other hand, wants to claim consciousness. I'm a little cautious of the ones who do, right? The people will be affected by it as a result. And I thought, "Let's just put it on the same cover and see how it goes." And the public has reacted with a lot of fervor. Nonetheless, there's something about the concept of riches, which may be defined in a million various ways. There is no doubt that money is man-made, but there is no animal going around with dollars in the first place, right? We've built the most man-made item we have as if they don't have it. And the only reason it exists is that it is allowed to exist by our minds. On the other hand, isn't this concept of consciousness the polar opposite of that? It's not the same as the rest of the globe. One of the obstacles we always face is navigating between the two poles of consciousness, which is the most worldly thing we have, and wealth, which is the most worldly thing we have, which is the most worldly thing we have. And that's what the book is about: negotiating the polarity of these two things being in and out of the world.
Anita Ward 4:56
This is why, in many respects, today's discussion will continue to focus on social good and what the end goal of riches really is. Is it even possible that it exists in some ways? As a result, this would be a bit of a serious and existential dialogue. So, if it's good with you, I'm going to start with something a little more realistic, because what you're talking about in the book, Conscious Wealth, was heavily influenced by your journey. I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, about an hour away from you in Cleveland, and you and I grew up in the same part of the country. And my circumstances were similar in some ways. But I grew up a homeless kid and my family, not homeless in the sense that we lived on the peninsula, but homeless in that we couch surfed among family and friends. So we lived with relatives, we lived with friends, my parents didn't understand anything. I have so many triggers that got set off in this book because those early years really shaped for me what you call money memory. And I'm wondering if maybe you could share a bit of your journey, and those same kinds of experiences that led to your money memory, because I think the first lesson you're giving all of us is to understand that you have that money, memories acknowledged. And know that they're there. And your book made me do that. So maybe talk a little bit about your early journey. And what are some of those that made you think about money memories? Or what kind of memories do you have from those?
Brandon Hatton 6:36
What was obvious to me when I was writing the book was that money memories were important, and it was going to be a big part of the book. What wasn't obvious, is that money memories are memories, and my memories differ from the rest of my family's. So when this book got published, it brought up a lot of conversation and my family say, "That wasn't true." And I said, "Well, maybe it was or maybe it wasn't. But the purpose is, it's what I remember." And that's really key. So what we thought about money as a kid, whether I was always afraid of money and had a reason to or not, passion has nothing to do with it. So, my story growing up is that I was always afraid of not having enough money. We did always have a roof. And we felt secure in that way. But I felt insecure in many ways. So that was like the scarcity mindset that we had my mom had four kids in four years. It's like we say the Catholic version of 101 Dalmatians, full house.
Anita Ward 7:40
Four kids in four years.
Brandon Hatton 7:47
Yes. So it was dinnertime we raised to the table you ate as much as you can, I am constantly telling myself now slow down and chew. And so that's like a simple example. But I did grow up thinking that money was a zero-sum game and that the only way I could make money is if somebody else didn't, or that I had to make it. I always had to make more, and I couldn't ever let it pass me by an opportunity. And that desire to be wealthy or to have money as a kid got me to where I was in life where I ended up eventually getting it and getting so much of it that I realized ”I think I went too far along the spectrum. Again, I think I went a little bit too far.” I was the person who always wanted it. Now that I got it, I had too much. I pause there because the question that we get all the time is like how much is enough? And people always ask how much is enough money? And it's a very valuable question. It's tough to get to the end of it. But the way that I found it, and most people find it is they have too much when they've got the financial assets, but they're alone, or they have a health scare, or maybe they have some family issues. And whether it be a type of divorce or disengagement with family members, we see substance abuse within the family or individuals. And then you know, you have too much. And that's a really important moment. It was important for me as I navigate it still to this day is, okay, I know what not enough was I know what too much is. But then where do I want to be at this very moment in regards to that?
Anita Ward 9:25
You talk about in that very first level of conscious wealth in abundance. And admittedly I don't know that I would have expected that to be level one, right? Because I operate in fear that so much of what I experienced gave me worthlessness. And your very first question is around this idea of being worthy, or not being worthy, and that really hit home for me, because those are barriers against abundance in many ways. So you know, this osmosis of living in lots of places and not having security in that. I think I grapple with that every day. So how did you heal your thinking? And how does someone create a sense of abundance, when, in many ways, I still live in those fears, and thinking about abundance triggers all kinds of emotions as you go through it? What advice would you give someone? How do you create a sense of abundance? How did you do it? How did you heal you're thinking?Brandon Hatton:
So the first level of conscious wealth is this embracing abundance, this knowing that you have enough. You can embrace it with your mind. You could write mantras in your mirror. And while I'm shaving every morning, I could say, “I'm enough, I have enough, I have enough, I have enough” or I could just act as I do. And I can create that type of muscle memory. I'll give you a simple example. And I see it all the time. Let's say you go to Whole Foods, and you're going to get a buffet. And everything is the same price. Like I don't know what it is 10.99 a pound. Like, I'd really like egg salad, but that's a lot of money. Even though I really want to eat that, I'm gonna go over there and grab the whatever, which is clear, I'm just gonna grab the whole thing of cashews. But actually, like stopping there and saying, “Wait, that's what I want, who cares what it costs?” Or when I'm giving a gratuity to somebody who has literally served me, I don't need to take out the calculator and get this thing down to a penny and I can give until it hurts. I can give without counting the cost. And not only does that serve the other individual, but it reinforces my belief that there's more out there and it'll come to me.Anita Ward:
You have this really interesting formula in the book. And I think it's called How to Measure Enough or The Enough Equation, right? Now that I think back on it. Could you explain that to people? Because there are pieces in there that I think are interesting behavioral pieces that I didn't expect to see when I expected sort of a financial equation that said, I've got my assets and minus my expenses, and whatever. In your case, it's behavior-based and mental. So would you walk us through enough equations?Brandon Hatton:
Sure. So I think that starts with that basic formula that every financial planner can get you. And we've done it a million times, we look at all of it, we put it into a system, we run the formula, and it says you're funded or you're not. And, somebody could be 99% funded. That means the only way we could make them more funded in our system is if we were willing to get sued and say they were 100% successful. There's no doubt they're never gonna run out of money. But they still may have fears around it, right? So that's only one piece of the formula. It doesn't matter how much our mind tells us that we aren't going to run out of money. And like mine is important because it's important to plan and you want to look for red flags. But the other part is our sense of abundance, our sense of optimism, and our ability to make more money. So for instance, I joke if all of my clients went on a cruise, and I missed the plane, and it was the Titanic, and they all died, and I had to start over. I would be heartbroken. But it wouldn't be about not having a business, I'd find a way I know I would. And in many ways, I would enjoy the journey of rebuilding, even if it looked completely different as I rebuilt that building, that structure. And so you have to take into account your ability to do that your ability to spend less, to downsize, if needed. I give some examples of this idea of being rich enough to rent. One of the biggest things I've seen in my career is the minute somebody has enough money to get a second house they buy it. And now that may be changing with Airbnb, but it has been something where this and there is so much freedom in throwing somebody back the keys, whether it be a boat, or a house or something, and just your ability to scale your lifestyle and still find joy in it. And then it's divided by your money memory and or your expectations. And I don't expect to be in such an abundant situation as I am now that I realistically on a day-to-day basis, I don't worry about money. And so for me, anything I have, based on where I came from, is just over the top, and in many ways, that's the blessing that I have from my upbringing. There are other blessings too, but that's one of the biggest blessings and I've seen dollars for doughnuts many successful financial people in this world have gone through that same journey, not having enough work in all else just to get there. And then figuring out, might have been a little bit off when I have to reset this plus how much money you spend, or can downgrade and your optimism, the future divided by your expectations?Anita Ward:
I don't think you got off track because that, and that confidence piece really comes from a lot of that history that you're carrying forward, right? So in addition to your money memory, so you're sharing that, I was thinking your dad was a small business owner, right? So how much of that confidence comes from having watched him work so hard and run a successful small business? How much does that carry forward into your thinking and your mindset? How did it shape the way you approach this? I think some of that confidence of an entrepreneur is a secret sauce, and those who are successful and those who might struggle.Brandon Hatton:
I can never account, I cannot account for confidence. I don't know how to account for confidence. Not to detract from all of the good experiences and lessons I've learned from my dad, but I was born with it. And it got me to it all. And I've achieved so many things I never thought were even possible, or even dreamt was possible without even planning it. And it's one of the reasons my confidence gets me in situations where I'm like, “What did I just start? And then I just, “Well, I'm in it, I might as well finish it.” So it is a blessing and a curse. I can account for it. And I know people more competent than me without that confidence. And I can't account for that either. It's a tough one. I think about it a lot.Anita Ward:
I do too. Sometimes it comes off as arrogance or brashness, or I am confident to go way beyond what it probably should be. But it has gotten me in situations and out of situations. And, here I am today loving and enjoying life. One of the things that you talked about, and I think it's in the abundance piece, I'm pretty sure, but it's this idea of rewriting your narrative rewriting your own story. And I will admit that at the conscious capitalism summit this year, I authentically shared that story that I just shared with you about how I was brought up because I hid that, it is embarrassing, right? I don't want anybody to know that, you know, sort of ugliness. And I laughed when you said, your siblings might recall it slightly differently. Mine does as well. They're like, “What the hell are you doing?” I was there I know. But this is this idea that you can rewrite your narrative. And you did it through. I'm an anthropologist. So you did three adventures in Egypt in Brazil. And but I was hoping maybe you could share a bit about how did your life change through these adventures? You worked on cruise ships, you taught in Egypt, you taught wealthy kids, the children of wealthy folks in Egypt, but you taught them empathy and compassion. So this whole idea of rewriting your narrative or thinking, I am passionate about teaching, I'm going to go do this. How did you get to that point where you've decided I'm going to write my story. I'm going to figure this out. And I'm going to do it through adventures or was that strictly accidental, because accidental is good, too.Brandon Hatton:
So what I know now, or what I tend to believe is true now is that I went into college with a desire to make a bundle of money because I didn't like not having money. And I signed up for accounting. I assure you, I am not an accountant. But I signed up for accounting, and I joined a fraternity.Anita Ward:
You are a man of contradictions.Brandon Hatton:
Yes, I got out of the fraternity and I quit the fraternity and I got out of business. If you would have asked me back then “Why are you getting on a business?” I would have said, “Well, I just don't like it.” But what I know now about my history, and this is a bit sad was about the same time that I left the business and went into education. So my brother took his life. And so what happened was, as much as I wanted to be in the money game at that time, I wanted to opt out. And so I went into the education field and I was a healthy dose of self-righteousness about it. I was like, I'm doing this to help everybody else and I don't need money. And I don't need to give to charity, because my life is being a servant leader. And a lot of that was true, but I took it to an extreme, but it was me completely opting out of the money scenario. And I did that for seven years. And then I continue to work after that just opting out of money. But what that allowed me to do was to live a lot of different lifestyles in a lot of different places and work as a teacher. And so I lived in Egypt. And there, they didn't call it minimalism, they just called it life, and sometimes poverty and I lived in Lebanon, and I had those got to see family connections, like where my ancestors were from, and see where my great grandfather was, when my grandfather was born, actually. And so all of these types of experiences in interacting with people without the mindset of money like the United States, and with an oftentimes, without the resources of even the common person in the United States, I was given an opportunity to see something very different. And I got to live on the other side of that spectrum of really wanting money and not having any and not wanting any, and not having any. And it was really interesting. I remember, we used to sit around and wonder, would I rather be poor in the United States or Brazil? Now in Brazil, they live in the slums that are called favelas. And there's the run by oftentimes run by drug lords and their sewage running down the street. But they have fun. They have community, they have a sense of safety when they're in their own neighborhood, they can go to the neighbor's house and ask for rice. They know everybody who works there. And there was no answer. But it was a study of expectations, and what poverty means in one country and another. And in Lebanon, they don't have nursing homes. At least when I was there, which was a while ago, they didn't have nursing homes. And so, they don't have the financial assets to put their family in a home but they don't also don't have that drive that we do. They have a healthy respect for their elders. And I didn't know at the time I was doing it. But it was a beautiful, graceful study of money in different cultures.Anita Ward:
So on the back of a tragedy, like your brother, did you find the sort of passion and purpose through teaching? Or was this just this all opened your mind to another way of life? This is your first time you'd actually been traveling and mixing it up in other cultures and countries?Brandon Hatton:
I love teaching so much that I'm opening an education endeavor now or opening a school now. I'm passionate about teaching. It's probably what I love most about my work is teaching my teammates, teaching my clients. And so there was a lot of passion there. I took it to the extreme. And the problem with taking it to the extreme was I burned out in seven years. But that's what you do in your 20s. I was an idealist. I just always want to be perfect. But I was an idealist. And I wanted everyone else to be perfect, too. It was hard.Anita Ward:
So that moves us straight into purpose, right? Because that's your second level of conscious wealth. And when I was reading the book, I found myself stopping and I don't stop easily, Brandon. Literally stopped, rereading, thinking, I might have cussed you a couple of times. You're making me think and I laughed, I cried. I mean, but there was one point on page 80. It is dog eared. And it's where you talk about Siddhartha. And you talk about how you know, there was this realization that life is he knew it was done that I wish I could quote it properly or open but basically said he had tasted all of that existences as you do it. It sucked everything out of it. And he was disgusted or something. I've just paraphrased.Brandon Hatton:
Suck everything out of it until he was disgusted with it.Anita Ward:
It made me pause and think so hard about purpose. And what it is because, the purpose is also one of those things when you talk to people about we're a social purpose company, and they say define that. So purpose to some people is almost like this wishy-washy thing. And more than anything, I felt like, I knew that time that you were describing with that Siddhartha passage, and I wondered what made you pull that one in particular and dive a little bit deeper on, did you come to that realization as well that life is you knew it, you had sucked it out until disgusted you and you knew you needed to pivot?Brandon Hatton:
I've come to that realization a couple of times. That time was the first time I really did. I had started traveling, I started working on cruise ships when I was a junior in university in college. And then seven days after graduation, I worked on cruise ships, and then I traveled all the way up until 34 years old, so I lived overseas for that whole time. And I was sitting in a Starbucks in Avenida Paulista, which would be like the Wall Street, kind of, of São Paulo, Brazil, and drinking a coffee and reading Siddhartha. And I don't even know how I got this book. And I read that passage. And I was kind of going through this phase where I just didn't know what I wanted to do next. I was no longer a teacher, I started working as a photographer, I was no longer working as a photographer, I was working as a tutor. But as an SAT tutor, it is not the most rewarding work. And I came across that and I said, “You know what this phase is over like this phase is over.” And so that's what the reason it's in that chapter, this idea this book is about, it's kind of like alchemy, taking money and transforming it into something besides lifestyle, right? If you talk to people who say the money should be transformed into lifestyle, and I agree with that, because that's you we want these types of conveniences, but they're in it on the spectrum is between conveniences and things that provide us purpose, or enrichments and enhancements. You can get off whack, you can get a little too far if you don't have any conveniences. When you spoke of that, it's really hard to find purpose takes a really strong person, to really have a sense of purpose. And if you have all conveniences, you might not have room for purpose, if you're always just trying to make your life easier. And so many times in my life, I've had to recalibrate my spending. And because every day, I'm transforming money into a lifestyle, because that's how money works in our society. But say, recalibrating it into purpose. And it is a hard word to define, primarily because we use our mind to define purpose. And our mind is not a nice person all the time. And so it can tell you it can lie to you, or it can give you unclear messages, what I do is when I'm trying to find my purpose, is I am trying to find I'm listening to and checking in with my body and saying, when I met this four-hour dinner, sitting down with all of these courses, do I feel alive? And I say that in a way that you get to know the answer for me it's no. But it could be for other people, their total passion for the chef, there has a purpose by designing that. But to me, I don't like to sit for four hours and get coursed out this meal and just like my hips start to lock up. So but there was a lot of money. So I transformed money into an experience that may not be providing me the purpose that I want, I have to recalibrate. How do I feel? I just ride before this call, I just rode all around town on my bike for an hour really didn't cost me any money. I already bought this bike 10 years ago. So it's like, transforming my time in this case, which is money right into a purpose. Because I know that activity makes me feel alive. So an absence of being able to find purpose, which is so darn hard. How do I feel connected to myself and to others?Anita Ward:
Hey, there's something that really struck me in the conversation around this where you said that you moved from “I have enough” which is the abundance to “I am enough” which is aligned with the purpose. And so that mindset shift or the alchemy, if you will, that you just described, of putting those two together of I have enough and I am enough, is really what I've now started to embrace as you know, that mantra coming out of the book. But there's a piece in there, Brandon that I don't know that you know Steve Barha but he's from Atlanta. He's the founder of a company called Instant Financials and he and I are friends. We did the podcast together as well. But he talks about how he ruptured his retina, I think, and he was without sight. And he had this incredible experience of what was it like to be in darkness for an extended period of time? And he had epiphanies, he actually started Instant Financial, he had an epiphany about it while he was living in darkness for weeks, you also had something a bit similar in that you couldn't speak so you lived in silence. And I think there are epiphanies to be found in the absence of light and sound. And I was hoping maybe you could share with everybody the story that I read about how the visit to the dentist was this sort of pivot point in your life.Brandon Hatton:
What's interesting is we know in nature, that when you create something, something else is destroyed. It's a law of nature. It's irrefutable. And so if we have wealth creation, there is a form of destruction along the way. In my case, it was the destruction of my health, my relationship with myself, my relationship with my friends, my family. I was working 14 hours a day, five days a week, and then still putting in some hours on Saturdays, and sometimes Sundays because I was just so driven to get this thing done to build this career to get this client-based. And so then, along the way, I really beat up my body a lot. And so when I went to the dentist, the dentist saw irregularity on my mouth and said, “We're going to need to do a biopsy. And we're going to need to - if you've ever done any type of procedure, you always have to have a friend has to take you there and take it home.” And, I had no problem, I get back in my car. And I'm not even worried that I might have cancer because I was so on top of the world. I had achieved all these things that I wanted to, I had all these forms of success. So that wasn't it. I think what shook me to my core was, I don't really have anyone to take me to the hospital for a day. I'm going through my phone and can’t ask anyone from my contacts. And it was a very lonely time. But it was also a wonderful opportunity for internal transformation. And so when I went back to the office, nobody knew that this was happening in my life. Because I was working in a very traditional firm, which we’ll just say wasn't a caring and loving place. It was what you might imagine some financial firms would be.Anita Ward:
Caring Financial Services, that's an oxymoron.Brandon Hatton:
So nobody knew this was going on with my life. And so I just sat there, and I was quiet. And I couldn't talk and nobody really asked, or I could just do that, that guy nod if they did, like, yes. So you're reevaluating your life, and then you're looking around at the people you're working with. And honestly, I was pretty disgusted with what I saw in the industry at the time. And some of the practices that I saw. I remember, one of the young bucks came in with a Rolex and he was showing it off to everybody. And then one of the senior partners turned the corner and said to the other senior partner, “Now we got him, boys.” And in the implication was, oh, this person stuck working here because he just bought, you know, a 27-year-old just bought a $10,000 Rolex or whatever it was. And I knew I didn't want to be in there. Luckily for me, I didn't jump and pull a parachute. I stayed in it, I watched, I listened. And I found a way to kind of transform and carve out my own niche in the industry that is meaningful to me. And I know my clients do, it is meaningful for them as well.Anita Ward:
So that silence in many ways gave way to this new world that you've created. And had you started thinking about the third level, which is impact, maybe one of my favorites. But admittedly, Brandon, you had met Jerry Maguire. I used that quote, “We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business.” I mean, that is a manifesto for all of us, right? Why do you think impact is so fundamental to conscious wealth?Brandon Hatton:
So what impacts the transforming money into impact or time into impact? One, it's important to know what your money is doing on your behalf when you're not watching it. Where is it? What's it invested in? And there are no perfect solutions, but there are better solutions and solutions that are aligned with your family. Moreover, just the exercise of a family sitting down and saying, “Hey, this is what we believe in.” And our money that we're not currently spending is only going to support this to the best of our ability. Money is a beautiful platform for determining what a family cares about and then putting it into the world. That's one reason why it's important. But not everybody in the family can have an impact with money at all given times. And of course, we know not everybody in life can. So using our work as a vehicle for positive impact, or reforming our industries, being part of the reform in your industry, whatever part that is, is also important and is accessible to everyone. Unlike some of the stuff in this book, admittedly is not accessible to everybody.Anita Ward:
Well, but I also think, though, those three principles that you use for investing around transparency and confidence, and is its predictability? I think those are important, whether you're investing or living, right? Know why you own it, know your numbers. You could take those same principles and just about implant them in other places. So I think the advice around transparency and impact holds true whether you're an investment and wealth advisor, or you're a teacher, in many ways. The part that intrigued me so much and I find so fascinating is the fourth level of consciousness around unity. Because I didn't know what that meant. And so I walked into this fourth section going, “What is unity? And how did you arrive at this place of unity?” So I was hoping that we could get a little outside of the box, and maybe talk about non-dualistic thinking. And is I really we? And how does that inform philanthropy and strategy and even ESG frameworks that we all tout as business people these days? So could we talk about unity, which may not come quite as naturally to those of us in financial services? Because now you're asking us to go in a very different direction, for this part of the conversation.Brandon Hatton:
Sure. So to recap, the first step within this journey, from going from rich to moving towards this conscious wealth is to say, I have enough, right? And it doesn't mean that I don't ever need to work again. But it's just I have enough now, and I will have enough and will be provided for. And the next step is I am enough like I'm worthy of spending money on my own purpose. Because if I invest in my own purpose, it will help others. But then as we move to the third and fourth levels, it becomes more questions than declarative statements. And so instead of declaring, “I have enough,” you say, “Do I have anything at all? Is it really mine?” Because we can't take it with us. We know that. It's a fact. And so if I can't take it with us, if I can't take it with me, is it really mine? And if it's not, then what is my responsibility? What is a custodian way of investing for impact? And then when we move towards the fourth, which is in unity is like you start to question not just do I have enough, but is there an “I”? And so one of the things that many of our clients really struggle with and I'd say everybody struggles with or not everybody, but a lot of people struggle with is like, how much do I give my kids? Because I'm not going to spend all this in my lifetime. I like to and everybody says they want to bounce their last quarter, bounce their last check, or swallow the last quarter, but many of them don't. And so how much is enough to give my kids and because you want your kids to either your kids, so you'd want them to be able to be successful, but you might not want them to have too much. And then if it's not your kids and if you accept that to be the truth that maybe they shouldn't receive everything. What about a kid you've never met before? And how was that really different from your own? And how can we expand our thinking to if this isn't mine and it isn't necessarily only my family's, then how can I use this money to unify others? Unify me with them. And so by me admitting that this doesn't mind in that, maybe there are fewer barriers between me and someone I've never met on the other side of the Earth and not just saying it and meditating it. But putting my money where that is, is a step in that direction. It's an aspirational level, but it's something I believe in inspiring too.Anita Ward:
It's really shifted my thinking, and admittedly, I can't resolve it yet. So I continue to think in question around it. The fundamental question being, “Can I really be successful if everybody around me isn't?” And so I continue to think through what does this mean, you know. I'm so committed to the Woodruff Arts Center, but in giving to the arts, it's important to me, but even with all of this and make, okay, there is a social return, all these people exist and succeed. But, is there an economic return as well? I think about everything within this context now Brandon. So it has definitely made an impact on this notion of, did you say spiritual beings living a human existence? I forget who the quote was. But then, if that's the case, then are we just caretakers of wealth? In which case, you know, can I give you anything? Can I give anything away if I don't really own it? And it's like that Skittles commercial where the brain gets popped and the juice flows. That's how my head, I think, through this whole notion of unity. And I believe that to my core that this is right, it's sort of next-level thinking. So thank you for that, first of all, because it's been a long time since I've really thought about money in a very different fashion. So I'm still not sure I have totally figured out this last part around unity. But I can tell you, I'm going to be calling you with like questions all the time. But I do have one question about it is if conscious wealth is if you put all of this together and all four levels if it's a path, is there a destination? And is that destination tied back to Unity?Brandon Hatton:
Is there a destination? Is it tied back to Unity? Well, I think so there's one group of people that has too much money. It's non-debatable. Do you know what group that is, Anita?Anita Ward:
No, I have no idea.Brandon Hatton:
Dead people. Dead people definitively have too much money, like we know that. And so when we die, I believe that we are united with some force. And that is the end goal. And so working along these spectrums or these polarities between abundance and scarcity, and all the way through unity, and disunity, we're looking to approximate it within our lives. This is not a book to find enlightenment. Because I wouldn't know how to write that. But it is a book about approximating more light. So I think that is the purpose, just like everything in life that is made by humans. Everything that's made its purpose is to make us more loving, right? I see it as the purpose of everything is to make us more loving, to make us more unified, make us more whole, to make us more integral. And so money is an opportunity to do that. And otherwise, why are we making it? And it can have other impacts to have fun, but then it's still fun creating this ability for me to be more loving, kind, and generous. So I think that is the destination. So thanks for helping me kind of work through that.Anita Ward:
I'd love to keep that conversation going. Tell me what's energizing you now, you said you're working on an academy or school? Did I hear you correctly a minute?Brandon Hatton:
I'm really excited about that. So I'm taking the book and turning it into a four-module course. And it is a teach the teacher type of course. So we are teaching chapters within conscious capitalism and working with some companies to teach these leaders how to go back to their families and have discussions around some of these pain points around these four levels. The pain point, of course, and the first one is there is still sometimes a lot of fear in families around money. There's a lot of scarcity even though they have it. And so how do they do the work themselves and then bring that to their family to have discussions? So I'm really excited about doing that.Anita Ward:
I can't wait. Where can people find out more about it? And where can they buy your book?Brandon Hatton:
So the book is on my website, which would be brandonhatton.com. And the course will be up there soon. It's still in the beta stage, but it'll be up there soon.Anita Ward:
We'll make sure to have that as well as people listen to this. They'll be able to access it. I have a couple of favorite leaders. I've to save stories for later. One of them is Seth Godin, a dear lovely friend of mine who thinks incredibly out of the box and you remind me so much of him in the way you address this in the same way that he addresses marketing and storytelling. So I'm super grateful for that. And another one is Jack Ma, and he talks about LQ. So he says there's EQ, IQ, and LQ. LQ is the love quotient, and what you talk about is gratitude and love in business are unique concepts. But I want to share my love and gratitude with you for being so generous today, with your time, but importantly with your authenticity. Because if we can come to terms with this, I believe that we can close a lot of those divides that exist and we can get to unity as idealistic as I am. But if you'll allow me, I want to share that I've learned so many lessons through the book, and I've become so introspective about myself. But there's a piece of it when you're talking about investing, and I've turned it into sort of my life mantra, so I'm going to share it with everybody. Here's how it goes. My task in living is not to avoid risk. Nothing will achieve that for me. Thank goodness, because without risk is certainty and certainty is boring. And certainty doesn't allow for growth. So, Brandon, you have very much touched my life. As a result, I appreciate your mantra. I appreciate you sharing your tale with us. I also appreciate that you are a spiritual being who is sharing this human existence with me so that you can always count on me to be there for you. And I strongly advise you to read this book because it will change your life. Thank you so much for joining us today.Brandon Hatton:
I feel very embraced by you, so thank you.Anita Ward:
Thank you very much.
Thanks for joining us for today's episode of Working on Wellbeing brought to you by Salary Finance. I'm Anita Ward. At Salary Finance, our mission is to improve the financial health of working Americans by providing access to socially responsible financial products in the workplace. You can learn more about how you can partner with us to help improve your employee's financial well-being at salaryfinance.com. Don't forget to subscribe or follow so you don't miss an episode.