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A 40,000 Foot View of Your Practice – Episode 198

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Do you believe “the grass is always greener on the other side?” Not so fast my friend. 

On this episode of the Dentist Money™ Show, Reese and Ryan discuss how your perception of success might be a little misguided. 

Do you wonder if the size and scale of your practice is big enough? While the stress and pressure you may be feeling is real, it might be time to step back, take a deep breath, and see the bigger picture. Learn how you can start making your own grass look greener in this thought-provoking episode.

Podcast Transcript:

Reese Harper: Hey there, Dentist Money Show listeners, it’s Reese Harper here. This week Ryan and I have a great discussion about how you can avoid always feeling like the grass is green. We talk about certain ways in which dentists look at their practices and their lives in areas that they feel like the grass is greener. We talked about different ways in which they compare themselves. We also talk about ways you can avoid doing that, have a more healthy and balanced outlook on the way that your life is progressing. You think this is a really important topic and occasionally we like to dive into these behavioral psychology issues that we think are really the core of what good financial planning is all about. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as we do. Enjoy the show.

Announcer: Consult an advisor or conduct your own due diligence when making financial decisions. General principles discussed during this program do not constitute personal advice. This program is furnished by dentist advisors or registered investment advisor. This is Dentist Money. Now here’s your host, Reese Harper.

Reese Harper: And welcome to the Dentist Money Show, where we help dentists make smart financial decisions. I’m your host Reese Harper here is my trusty old cohost, Sir Ryan Isaac.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, I’m back. You brought me back to the show. I appreciate it.

Reese Harper: One more episode with you.

Ryan Isaac: I don’t know what episode number … I don’t know the numbering because we have a few in the hopper before they get numbered. I think we’re getting close to two hundred.

Reese Harper: Yep. It’s the 200 anniversary. It’s the 200 year anniversary.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, what do they call that? The Dual Centennial or something.

Reese Harper: Yeah. We should do that instead and just subtly kind of make it be like it’s the 200th year.

Ryan Isaac: 200th year that we bet the Dentist Money Show it’s-

Reese Harper: We will be as transparent. We’ll just try to find a way to confuse the viewer. So we really think we’ve been around for two … This is the second century that we’ve been doing this.

Ryan Isaac: Started with the founding fathers.

Reese Harper: Some people would actually be like, “Oh that’s cool, they’ve been doing it for 200 years. That’s way cool.” You know, there’s at least a handful, they’re the cuff or they like, dang, that’s a long time ago, podcast around that long. And this is hard.

Ryan Isaac: That’s on us. That’s on us.

Reese Harper: It’s a hard life.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, it is. Okay. So today we’re going to do … We have one question that structured today’s entire discussion, and it’s honestly one of the coolest, like most self-aware questions I’ve heard somebody ask me. This was in a conversation, it was a dentist I’d never met before. We got on the phone last week. And he’s just kind of checking us out, and we’re learning about him and seeing it for a good fit to work together. And he asked this question, and he is younger, he is in his late 30s doing really well though in practice.

Ryan Isaac: So here’s his question and then before we like jump into it, I’m going to answer this question with an old timely song describing a picture of a cow. Well, that’s how we’re going to start answering this question, which you perked up when I said, cow. You’re like, what type of cow are we talking about? The land boce, the green bovine or the multi spotted gumshoe or the … I don’t know if those are-

Reese Harper: For those of you who know cows, you know that both of those are not actual cows.

Ryan Isaac: So the question, he’s talking to me and this person done some investing on his own before, and his built up a little portfolio running a good practice as disposable income, all that kind of stuff. And he asks a question, he says, “how do you get people to stop having the grass is always greener mentality?” He’s like, “how do you do that in life?” He’s like, I do that with certain things, and he’s like, I know it’s a problem and it creates bad behavior and poor decision making. But he’s like, “how do you get someone to stop doing that?”

Ryan Isaac: And I kind of just sat there for a minute and thought, man, I’ve never been asked that question before. And that’s a really self-aware question early in career to go, man, as I’m making more money and I’ve got these big decisions to make and I need to invest in all these different places, like how do I avoid one of the biggest landmines of self destruction of grass is greener? How do I do that? If I tend to think that way already in my life. Like how do people get over this? You know? So that was the question.

Ryan Isaac: And so we’re going to talk about … Today’s whole topic is, the grass being greener and characteristics of people that get over that and some actual practical take aways, that can help someone get over that, you know, did not like, have that be an influencing factor in their decision making in their life. But first, I have a little story about an old song and a cow, unless you want to interject anything right there. Unless you want to say something? Speak your peace.

Reese Harper: No, I like it. I saw the cow picture you sent me yesterday, and I’m excited about the story.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, here’s what we can do. Well I’ll start with the song. So I was actually curious about the … Just the phrase itself, what’s the history of the grass is greener phrase. I think you’ll like some of these, because these sound like things that you would probably say when you give me farm analogies. These sound like things you would say. So one of the earliest ones was like one BC and it was this poet.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: And he had this line where he said, “the harvest is always richer in another man’s field.”

Reese Harper: Totally.

Ryan Isaac: That’s like one BC. It sounds like something you would have said actually. I think it could’ve been like Reese 2006 and that would have stuck. There was another one, early poet. Let’s see, 1545, the corn and another man’s ground seems ever more fertile and plentiful than our own does. Here is my favorite though. After I tell you about the song and describe the picture, you need to push pause on this when you’re listening and just go listen to it. It’s on like YouTube. It’s so awesome. So there’s this song in 19 … It was like 1924.

Ryan Isaac: I’ll give you the people’s names that wrote the lyrics. Raymond B.Egan, E-G-A-N and Richard Whiting. They wrote this song about this couple who’s fighting about like they both want all the things the other neighbors have, including the neighbors, spouses and their clothing and their cars. And the chorus says the grass is always greener and the other fellers yard. And that was like the first instance of … You got to hear this song though. I mean that, we’ll probably close the show with my favorite line. There’s six verses in this thing. I mean, it’s a serious song.

Reese Harper: It sounds like an epic song for like a mountain biking playlist potentially.

Ryan Isaac: It is honestly, so cool. I was listening to it last night. Okay. The other thing that you need to push pause in google this, I can’t believe how many pictures there are of this. And maybe Reese, you can give some context here. Having spent a good part of your life on the old homestead ranch farm situation. But if you google the grass is greener cow, you’ll find like a hundred pictures of cows standing on perfectly fine, lush green grass, but bent in the most awkward positions under barbwire fences to stick their heads under and eat the same grass on the other side of this uncomfortable fence.

Ryan Isaac: Their legs are bent and they’re like awkwardly positioned in there eating across this barbed wire fence, but their feet is standing on the same grass. They’re like eating on the … And if you google grass is greener cow. There’s like a hundred pictures of multiple cows doing this. Do you have any comments on why cows have this behavior, first of all? Because it’s really made me wonder what’s the deal with cows and fences and grass?

Reese Harper: Well, it depends on the picture. In some cases, the grass on the other side might not be mowed down quite as much, and they’re sticking their neck through to try to get to the grass that’s a little taller. In the picture that you’re showing me right now, you could just see they’re just a teeny, teeny bit.

Ryan Isaac: It is. You’re right. It’s longer on the other side.

Reese Harper: Yeah. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: Its thicker.

Reese Harper: They’re trying to get thicker grass, so technically the grass isn’t greener though. It is longer because they haven’t eaten-

Ryan Isaac: But its longer.

Reese Harper: But another supports or detracts from the analogy, but it’s-

Ryan Isaac: It’s so.

Reese Harper: I think that is one of the cases, but it’s also true that sometimes cows do really unusual things. Like I can tell you I’ve found cows in the most awkward of places. I’m like, “Why are you there right now?” That is really weird. I think I’ve shared on the podcast a few different birthing stories where cows would like go down into the river to do a water thing instead of like on the perfectly flat nice grass that they could have done it on, and they just get pushed down river.

Ryan Isaac: Shout out to cows. We appreciate you. Cows maybe have contributed more to the content of this podcast than you and I could buy.

Reese Harper: Thank you cows for what you’ve delivered. It depends on the country or the state that you live in and you know what your environment is, you’ll find cows in the most awkward of places, they’ll-

Ryan Isaac: Well, google grass is greener cow and you’ll find another series of these awkward placed cows. That’s how it goes. All right, so to answer this awesome question we’re going to … I want to talk about this in three different ways, but we’re going to kind of just … We’re going to discuss like what ways we typically hear dentists have this behavior. Because this is one of his concerns too, he’s like, “In what ways do your clients feel that way?” That the grass is greener? Like how does this get them, you know.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: Where does this create problems? So first we’re going to talk about the ways in which we see this happening. Then we’ll talk about kind of the characteristics of people who tend to not feel this way. This might be more anecdotal just from having watched dentists make financial decisions for the last 12, 13 years. But I think that’ll be helpful. And then we’ll kind of end with some of the things I told them and love to get your feedback Reese, on practical things any dentist can do, whether they have a tendency to have this mentality or not to avoid making decisions based on this kind of thought process. So the first thing is, what are the ways in which dentists view the grass is greener? I’ve got a list of five here. But how would you start? Yeah, you just start. What would you say?

Reese Harper: Maybe I’ll hit some, maybe I wouldn’t so I’ll throw a few out. I don’t know what your list is, but I’ll throw a couple. This morning I was listening to, two different podcasts that-

Ryan Isaac: Cool.

Reese Harper: I listen to. One is called the Startup Podcast by Gimlet. It’s like a network of podcast, and it’s pretty popular Startup Podcast about different things that businesses face. And I’m going through a kind of second stage, this my second kind of, we’ll say start up with the technology that we’re working on. And I felt a lot of different emotions going through that and one of them is definitely been, like am I doing this the right way? Am I the idiot that just doesn’t go as fast? Like why did DoorDash go really fast and mine goes a little slower, right?

Ryan Isaac: It’s because they bring people tacos, man, you’re trying to bring financial planning to the masses, and they bring people tacos like that question. Next question please.

Reese Harper: I have to like back up and like really assess this rationally, right? And go like, “Okay I can’t compare myself to DoorDash, have I?” Yeah, there’s been some times where I’ve like looked at how fast they scaled up their infrastructure and I’m just like blown away because I’m like, it wasn’t like when they started that it wasn’t even that great, there were a lot of problems with the app. Like couldn’t hardly find any restaurants. The food was always late.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah. Order’s messed up every time. Yeah.

Reese Harper: Like it was a horrible.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: But it’s like eventually they worked through their bugs and they done a pretty good job and they’re still around and it’s still functional. And anyway, I listened to another podcast this morning called Startup Therapy. So there’s like, Start up Therapy is one of them and Startup is another podcast. The episodes I’ve listened to, coincidentally … This is not like … This is just random, but both of them, maybe this is why every episodes is going to be about for the next few months. I don’t know. But I just happened, listened to episodes today that were largely about comparisons.

Ryan Isaac: Cool.

Reese Harper: The exact title of the one is, Stop comparing yourself to other Startups. That was the one I just listened to.

Ryan Isaac: Oh cool.

Reese Harper: And the other one was, How to not pitch a billionaire. But it had a lot to do with what you’re not supposed to be feeling when you go and share your business story with someone else. You’re supposed to not reference other startups. You’re supposed to compare your success to yourself and kind of focus on what you can accomplish and not be burdened by other people’s issues. How does this relate to dentists? Like I’m just saying, it isn’t just a dental issue here. This is a human nature issue to compare.

Ryan Isaac: Interesting.

Reese Harper: What you’re doing, what you’re building the business, the practice of the size. Like in startup culture it’s like, how many employees did you have? How much did you raise? What was your round raised at? What was your valuation? How fast did you get there? What are your KPI’s like? It’s like a complete comparison festival. If you go to a startup meeting of 50 startups, they’re just all comparing and measuring, sticking their KPIs on how fast they got there, what’s your employee count, how much revenue are you doing? What was your valuation?

Reese Harper: These standard measuring sticks and they’re very superficial. They’re not actually … They don’t measure the satisfaction level or happiness level or impact level, like nothing. None of that is necessary, all of the things that are fulfilling and rewarding. We’re not measuring that. We’re just measuring these external validator that in some cases are helpful.

Ryan Isaac: They mean something. Sure they have some meaning to them.

Reese Harper: But man, we base all of our identity on this crap. I don’t really feel like I struggle with that as much as I used to. I mean part of like maturing and not having this mentality is like getting to that point where you’re just like, okay with who you are and you’re just like, this is the life I’m picking to live and I’m living it and I’m embracing it. But man, I think that’s one area that I would have said and I don’t really have one to add. These are just major one is like we compare our … Well I have a bunch but this is all. I’ll let you go on a few.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Is the size, the scale, our practice like is my practice as good as your practice?

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: That’s a big one or is my practice as big as you asked? Does my practice make as much money as yours.

Ryan Isaac: Exactly, yeah. That was the first one I listed actually. I got a list of five of them here. That’s the first one I listed was just business.

Reese Harper: Okay.

Ryan Isaac: [crosstalk 00:15:19] totally content being an associate for a long time starts to wonder like maybe my owner friends are better than me. Maybe that’s a better life. Or the owner’s got a totally great single location, highly productive, high profit location starts to wonder, maybe I should have ten. Maybe that’s better. It doesn’t end.

Reese Harper: Am I the idiot?

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, am I the dumb one here because the gal down the street. She just built a 20 location DSL and sulfur, 40 million bucks. What am I missing?

Reese Harper: Yeah. Like-

Ryan Isaac: Because I’m over here just making like 600 grand a year, working three days a week, go into tee ball games in the middle of a Thursday afternoon. And am I dumb for doing this?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: So, that’s the first one I listed was business. Another one, It’s kind of an obvious, this isn’t limited to just that. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Reese Harper: Hold on, hold on. Wait, wait, wait. Since I don’t know your list, this is kind of fun for me, since I don’t get to have fun on the podcast, I’ll throw one more out there and see if it made your list.

Ryan Isaac: Cows and guessing games.

Reese Harper: Okay. Second list. Second item artist said was that in no particular order.

Ryan Isaac: Yes.

Reese Harper: I would have said toys/-

Ryan Isaac: [inaudible 00:16:34].

Reese Harper: Storage/houses/.

Ryan Isaac: Houses is my number four.

Reese Harper: Okay. I wouldn’t have separated those. I was just going to say physical things that other people have that you want. And I would have said like boats, vacation property, cabins, houses, any kind of real estate, just like real estate and toys.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, that’s mine. That’s mine like-

Reese Harper: That’s one area out of group.

Ryan Isaac: Okay.

Reese Harper: That I would have said vacation, like vacations out of totally … Put that one down because … Did you list that one or not?

Ryan Isaac: I did not list lifestyle vacations, but that’s like the thing I’m always jealous of.

Reese Harper: That’s right. Bro.

Ryan Isaac: I don’t care what people live in or drive or even make, but when I see travel I’m like, “Ah, I’m a loser.”

Reese Harper: Yeah, I don’t personally. The car thing is not motivating to me. I drive a truck, but it’s a nice truck.

Ryan Isaac: Fine.

Reese Harper: I don’t aspire to … The vehicle, but I do like … The vacations are tough for me. Like I like-

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, me too.

Reese Harper: I like one to have a decent vacation schedule.

Ryan Isaac: Especially with kids. When I see people are like … They’re three weeks in Europe with their toddlers and their 7-Year Old. I’m like, “man my kids hung out in San Diego for two days.” We ate a continental breakfast at The Holiday Inn.

Reese Harper: My kids are like in their 20s and we do it to Disneyland like one time, right? Or whatever.

Ryan Isaac: [inaudible 00:18:12]. Kids are very well-traveled. Yes. That’s totally lifestyle. Here’s, the thing, we all know to be true and there’s so much interesting, fascinating science around this now and studies, but the world of social media, which is basically everyone’s highlight reel.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: That’s all we see now, just everyone’s highlight reel and we’re always like, “Man, that person just live in the life.” And it’s made it harder.

Reese Harper: Yeah. People keep coming up to me this summer. I probably went on like three vacations, maybe four, I don’t know. A lot of them weren’t big, I went to Moab twice out of my four.

Ryan Isaac: Three hour drive.

Reese Harper: It wasn’t a big deal, but I probably posted those because I was like, “I’m finally on vacation.”

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: This is what I do, I’m on vacation. I post my pictures, I don’t post like the horrible days I have in between those times. I just posted a vacation and so yesterday I was like … I think I was at the U and I had someone come up to me and they were like, “Man, you must be living a life bro.” A dentist came up to me like, “Every time I see you man, you’re just like living it.” I’m like, “what?” I am so stressed out right now. You have no idea … It’s 9:00 PM and I’m like speaking into a university class because I can’t say no to things and I still worked at 18 hours a day today.

Reese Harper: And that’s how I’m really feeling and the dude is just like, “you’re just living it, man.” I wish I had a lifestyle like you. And I’m just thinking, where did he get this? And I started happened to go back in my mind like where do I go in the last three or four months that was so Epic or what did I post that they didn’t have this take away?

Ryan Isaac: And then you’re up in Idaho once.

Reese Harper: I’m like social media. I’m like that’s it.

Ryan Isaac: That’s it. Yeah.

Reese Harper: That is it.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, lifestyle travel. That one gets me, I put investments on this list. I think that’s the … This dentist who asked the question, that was one of-

Reese Harper: I would have said that, I would have been when I said big like your big got a big return on an investment. They did something that just made them $1 billion.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah. And the problem is with investments there is no such thing. It’s such a myth of the best investment. The best investment is such a myth because you only know what that means in hindsight. And then there’s multiple facets of what best could mean. It could be like the most optimal return or the most optimal risk or the most optimal tax efficiency or the most optimal liquidity. The myth of the best investment, which is probably another podcast episode. It’s such a myth. But he was saying how do you … When you’re globally diversified investment account return eight percent for the last several years, but your buddy killed it with something else. How do you keep yourself … And we’re going to get into this, but that’s another one.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: We recently did an episode number 195 on taxes. Taxes feels like the grass is always greener thing too, you always know someone who supposedly makes more, pays less.

Reese Harper: Yeah. I had a conversation with my CPA yesterday and even after a massive tax bill that basically just wiped me out, right. Of my liquidity, which is normal for most people.

Ryan Isaac: Sounds about right.

Reese Harper: He calls me up again and he’s like … This is how it gets when you start paying more taxes. So I’m sorry, but we did a little calculation, look, see, and I still need you to write another big check. And, I was like, “why? It makes no sense.” He’s like, “yeah, this is what happened.” And basically explained me the rationale and I was like, “yeah, I know that.” But for real, do I-

Ryan Isaac: Emotionally, it makes no sense.

Reese Harper: Do I have to pay this? You get to a point to where when you pay a lot of taxes, you get to a point where you just like, you know it wasn’t fair. It doesn’t feel fair and it never feels right.

Ryan Isaac: You know the math is correct, but it’s just not right.

Reese Harper: You’re just like-

Ryan Isaac: The math is right, but it’s just not right.

Reese Harper: I know this is … Instead start asking things like, what if I just didn’t pay it? What are my options here?

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I don’t agree with this.

Ryan Isaac: I don’t agree.

Reese Harper: Philosophically and I believe this is an oppressive system.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I don’t think I should pay it. Okay. Well that’s not an option.

Ryan Isaac: Yup.

Reese Harper: You will get arrested and put in jail. Okay. Okay. Let me take some time to think about that option.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah. Well and that’s when you start going through your little mental directory of friends who make more and pay less.

Reese Harper: You’re like someone else just-

Ryan Isaac: Hey that woman makes a lot more money than I do and she pays less in taxes too.

Reese Harper: Yeah, I don’t really get it. Okay, how does Warren Buffett do it then? Mitt Romney doesn’t pay any taxes, right?

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: What am I doing?

Ryan Isaac: You go through the motion taxes.

Reese Harper: You just go through that little Rolodex. It took me about a half an hour. I went through it myself yesterday. I had to get talked off the limb by one of our financial advisers had to help me out.

Ryan Isaac: All right.

Reese Harper: Like talk me through this. Like, hey, you know what? This is how things work and this is the way you’ve minimized your taxes as much as possible. See all these things you did to do a good job.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And look, the future’s bright. You saved this money and-

Ryan Isaac: And hey you chose an industry and to build a business that kicked off net income instead of capital gains. And so it is what it is, buddy.

Reese Harper: Yeah. Carry on young guy.

Ryan Isaac: Carry on. One more. I think is really common is income.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: And it’s really easy to look at income. If I only made … Fill in the blank and then life would be better, it must be better.

Reese Harper: It’s the illusive seven figures these days for everyone. You used to be amazed.

Ryan Isaac: Illusive seven, that’s a podcast.

Reese Harper: You used to be fine. You just make a six figure income. I mean that was the six figures.

Ryan Isaac: The six figures is so 90s, so 2003, six.

Reese Harper: That that should be the life, that’s great. It should be amazing.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah. But now people are selling DSOs now it’s eight.

Reese Harper: Yeah. It’s the eight figured. Eight figure income.

Ryan Isaac: The eight figure life but hey, we should start making tee shirts. The eight figure life.

Reese Harper: For the average listener listening out there, just know your income is … If you’re at the median income level, you’re also the same as the average listener of the Podcast. Don’t feel like you’re on an Island here. Ryan starts throwing out income numbers.

Ryan Isaac: It’s not real, don’t worry about it.

Reese Harper: It was 1999 and we’re in the tech boom.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, it’s fine. So let’s take a little bit of a break. When we come back, we’re going to talk about some of the things you started talking about earlier, which are the characteristics of people who don’t really worry about the grass being greener.

Reese Harper: Get into it.

Ryan Isaac: Have you been enjoying our Dentist Money Show Podcast? I think so. I hope so. Let’s set up a consultation so you can find out how our services can help you. It’s easy to do. And Reese, it’s completely free.

Reese Harper: Really?

Ryan Isaac: Did you know that?

Reese Harper: Not for me. I’m paying these guys to answer the phones every day.

Ryan Isaac: All you do is go to the website, and click the huge green button you cannot miss called book free consultation or call us or text us at 833 DDS plan.

Ryan Isaac: Okay. We are back folks. We’re back and Reese early. You were starting to say how over time as you gain a little bit of call, wisdom or experience or maturity in a certain subject, maybe you just … You see things over and over after a certain point, they don’t affect you the same way. Let’s talk about what are some of the maybe personality or mental emotional characteristics of a person who doesn’t easily fall into the trap of grass is greener?

Reese Harper: I can’t say that for me I’ve mastered it. So that’s first of all, I’m still like … I feel like it’s a constant-

Ryan Isaac: Think of someone else.

Reese Harper: Yeah, other people that I could admire.

Ryan Isaac: Think of other people who you can look up to?

Reese Harper: I got to be able to relate to this in my own life. And I would say that one of the things that I think I’ve observed and that has helped me is to never think of this like elusive place you didn’t arrive at where there is no difficulty, where there’s no pain, where there’s no tension. This world where there’s no stress.

Ryan Isaac: Finally better.

Reese Harper: I think that’s a very elusive feeling that doesn’t exist in my experience in my experience it’s a cycle similar to weight training or exercise where you’re either progressing in your health and fitness or you’re regressing somewhat. Because you don’t just get to like not do anything. The ideal thing in wellness, fitness and working out and exercise would just be I don’t have to work out anymore.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Right. Like I don’t have to work out anymore because I’m done now. I did it.

Ryan Isaac: If I could just grind really hard and then like hurry and build enough muscle to last me in the next 60 years then I’ll just stop working out. I’m putting enough cardio to last me.

Reese Harper: Yeah. I don’t know that there’ll be a point in the future where … I love the feeling of how I feel when I’m done exercising because I’m able to like face my day with a little bit more-

Ryan Isaac: Bigger.

Reese Harper: Rational thinking and not be depressed and freaking out. I liked that about exercise.

Ryan Isaac: All right.

Reese Harper: But I don’t like look forward to it, the same I look forward to vacations.

Ryan Isaac: Spending the time on it is tough for you to be like, “Oh an hour today, geez it’s going to.”

Reese Harper: My point in this, the point when you embrace that your life is a series of climbs and plateaus and that those climbs are tension and that it’s okay to feel stress and pressure. I think there’s something about our society now where like we’re rich, we’re starting to … A lot of people are rejecting a conflict tension. They don’t want it. It’s just like, I don’t want tension. I don’t want conflict. I don’t want any discomfort. I just want maximum easiness and I worry about that a little bit because that isn’t how people will grow and develop and make progress in their lives.

Reese Harper: That’s kind of one principal I’d say mature people that don’t compare, the grass is greener. They get to a point to where they’re okay with the tension and the pressure that they’re going through because that’s what makes you look around and start comparing is when you’re in a moment of that climb, you look.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah. That’s it. Yeah.

Reese Harper: You start to go.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, that’s the thing that starts to make you be like, oh, there’s something wrong with what I’m doing because it’s uncomfortable or painful or it doesn’t seem to be working right now. So therefore-

Reese Harper: Yep.

Ryan Isaac: It must not be good for me. Think about clients that you know, that are probably a little bit older, that have experienced a couple of recession’s few bear markets and along the way just kept a diversified portfolio and had a good savings rate. People who have done this for 20 plus years. What do you think mentally or emotionally happens when those people … Here we are 2019 and it’s been a long bull run and everyone’s like it’s the four year cycle of like, here we go, everything’s going to end and blow up and explode.

Ryan Isaac: Think about those people that you know, those clients that you know, that don’t buy into that they’re just … Kind of just shrug and be like, I don’t know, I’ve got 20 more years on this money anyway. And they keep going like, well, what’s happening mentally or emotionally? Is it just like anything else in life? Once you’ve gone through it enough times, it doesn’t feel as threatening anymore as it did the first time. Is it just being new versus being experienced or … What’s mentally, emotionally happening with those people versus like a newer investor who here’s for the first time in his or her life that a recession could be and coming and they want to like just do irrational things.

Reese Harper: When I see people that are natural … People hit an area where they’re uncomfortable, maybe it’s investing. They just punt that and they forget about it. They’re like, “I don’t do my own investing.” And they literally just never go back to even assessing that decision again. It’s like I don’t do my own stuff and I see that in startup world where someone starts a company, they know, they know one thing. As soon as they don’t know anything about marketing, they just be like, “I don’t know anything about marketing, I guess not my job.” And they just depend 100% on the marketing person.

Reese Harper: To some degree, that can work if you happen to hire the right people and these … Or it can kind of blow up if you’re too disengaged. But I think people, the reason they’re able to just let it go and delegate is sometimes they just … They don’t want the pressure of making those decisions and they feel good knowing that they’ve allowed someone else to handle that and feel that pressure for them.

Ryan Isaac: Okay. So you’re actually kind of tying into something else. I’ve always been really drawn to. One of my favorite financial writers out there right now is a guy named Morgan Housel. He writes a lot about behavioral financing, human behavior with money. If you don’t follow this guy, go find him on twitter. He writes two, three articles a week on his own blog and they’re just such cool stories. Great storyteller. Anyway, he frequently uses the word humility when he writes about investing and it’s not something I’ve ever heard any other financial writer talk about, but he uses it all the time.

Ryan Isaac: There’s this article he wrote called getting rich versus staying rich and he says, just this is an extract from it. He says there’s a million ways to get rich, but there’s only one way to stay rich, humility. And then he goes on from there and talks a little bit about that. Then there’s another part where he says there’s a strong correlation between knowledge and humility. The best investors realize how little they know. So when I hear you talking about these brilliant founders who are building billion dollar companies who are getting people on their team to just hand them projects and things that they know they’re not good at, they know it’s outside, but either though realm of expertise, their realm of interest or the realm of the time they have to deal with it.

Ryan Isaac: That just strikes me as kind of what Morgan Housel talks about. It’s just this humility when you’re building something or investing in something, we just kind of know your limits and it might not even be your limits of intelligence. I think some people here outsourcing and they think like, well that’s for people who don’t know how to do it.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Ryan Isaac: But I think a lot of a lot of that is just humility and knowing like, I don’t have the time for this. Or like I know I don’t have the time. And just being like, honest and candid about that and then getting off your plate.

Reese Harper: And I’m worried that even if I do try to dedicate the time, I’m not going to execute it as well and I won’t be as good at it. It takes a lot of humility to just let someone else do their best job and trust that their best efforts are going to be more efficient and more effective than your kind of partial efforts, right?

Ryan Isaac: Yeah. Cool. I like that. Okay, so let’s just wrap this up with the last thing I was trying to think a few ways that someone could practically implement. What could someone do … What could a dentist do in their lives to get rid of this grass is greener mentality or kind of keep it at arms length. You just mentioned one which is outsourced. I think that’s a huge way to do that. Number two was, when you having context, so these are the answers I gave this dentist. So he asked me like, how do people get over this mentality? I feel like that’s something that’s kind of ingrained in me. I told them like, I think context plays a massive role in this. Reese, you were talking about health and fitness earlier.

Ryan Isaac: Have you ever met someone who’s been like on a health and fitness kind of path in their life now, like a lifestyle, like eating healthy and exercising and being active. It’s not the thing they’re doing or a habit. It’s a lifestyle they’re doing versus someone who’s brand new and kind of, they’ll hear some fat diet and they’ll be like, “Oh my gosh, is that the diet I should go on?” Is that the one that’s going to do it for me? And the difference between those two people is just context. One person seen so much more or they have just some so many more inputs to know what works, what doesn’t. They’ve seen things come and go. So one of the things I told this dentist is, in your financial life, having a lot of context around decision making can get rid of that grass is greener.

Ryan Isaac: And a lot of people are making decisions in isolation. Should I invest in the stock market or no, should I buy the building or no. But if you know those questions in context of your taxes and your income and your spending and your net worth growth and how your insured and your profitability, then you’re more likely to just not fall into that grass is greener trap. Does that make sense? So I think that’s a job that we do for people, right? We provide context by getting people really, really organized and showing them their whole zoomed out, big picture of their financial life as opposed to just isolated incidents of decision making.

Reese Harper: Well, and the context of how did this thing … You think this thing happened one way, here’s the context of how it really happened.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah, great.

Reese Harper: Right. You think that this person has experienced this thing that got them rich and this is how it happened. But really.

Ryan Isaac: Yes.

Reese Harper: It was this other way that really happened, which is very different than the way you’re thinking about it. Because sometimes most … In many cases like the economy just rewards people in exponential ways and sometimes unfairly, it’s not a fair capitalism, it’s not fair. It doesn’t reward, the smartest, the hardest working-

Ryan Isaac: No.

Reese Harper: Like all the time. On average it does but there’s all these outliers of like events that are just theft, borderline stealing, lack of disclosure, lack of information, a marketing efficiency, a large company buying another company that they just had to, for legal reasons that created a massive valuation that was not rational.

Ryan Isaac: For sure.

Reese Harper: It’s luck. Some of it can be just lucky timing like there’s a massive shortage in Madagascar Vanilla beans right now and you happen to be the only exporter-

Ryan Isaac: Is that real?

Reese Harper: Yeah. Go to Williamson Omer right now and try to buy yourself some Massey pure vanilla Madagascar bean extract. And it’s 80 bucks a bottle right now. And it used to be like $12.

Ryan Isaac: Hey, you want to impress your friends this coming weekend, get a jar of that on the counter before the next barbecue.

Reese Harper: So like … Anyway, they got context around why some things happen. It’s really helpful. The other thing I would add that I think is really helpful is have some gratitude for your own journey and find ways to look at your own path and recognize how far you’ve come.

Ryan Isaac: Which is also context.

Reese Harper: That always helped me the most.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah.

Reese Harper: That’s helped me the most to look back. And last night I was presenting it to you to a venture capital class. And on one hand I was just really anxious and frustrated that I had to go do this last night because I felt like it was … Of all the things I’ve got to do this is not the way I wanted to spend my evening after having already worked a full day. But when I got there, I was like, okay, I’ve got to have a good approach to this. I’ve got to find some … At the end of the day, I’m like burnout. I’m lecturing at 7:00 PM. There’s 100 people there. What can I do to like make this worth their time?

Reese Harper: And I just started thinking about how far I’ve come in my own life and how grateful I am for this experience to the point where I can be a person even that would be asked to come give a presentation that, a hundred students are going to be really getting value from and they asked questions solid and were just really … It was really valuable to a lot of those students. And I guess taking a moment to recognize that I used to be one of those students that needed that help and I used to be one of those people that didn’t. Even though if I would be able to get into school and I was the person that didn’t even know if I’d ever be able to own my own company and I was the person that was uncertain if I could ever be an entrepreneur period. It just caught me to a really happy place really quick.

Ryan Isaac: That’s awesome.

Reese Harper: And I was just like, man, I’m grateful for what I have in my life is good. That’s the key ingredient for anyone who wants to find happiness in their current path. Just examine where you used to be and how far you’ve come, what you’ve learned. Don’t just look at your career as a measuring stick. Look at all the non career issues, the experiences you’ve had, the places you’ve got to see the fact that you have like a functional, hopefully most of you listening, a functional set of two legs, two arms, some limbs, sight, hearing, taste, smell, these are all the gratitude to work to me. It just makes a huge difference in how you see your life.

Reese Harper: And I don’t think you’ll ever be happy, unless you find … I just finished a book called, Zen mind, Beginner’s mind, which is a really kind of American Buddhism, one of the main books that started bringing Buddhism to the US and I guess that’s kind of why I’m on this kick right now is I feel like I’ve found a lot of value in some kind of meditation, some kind of gratitude work and it just made all the difference in feeling my life is more rich and fulfilled and happy if I don’t take the time for that. It’s just a constant comparison game and grind looking for the next thing. Where is the grass greener? What could have been easier? I want more stuff. I need more things. I wish I was making more, I wish I was bigger.

Reese Harper: But if I take the time to like just actually pause and reflect on my own journey and all the things I have that make my life so rich and abundant, man, it really just takes me to a place where I’m content and I have to do that on a daily basis in order to be able to stay positive and happy and I think that’s really important.

Ryan Isaac: Oh yeah. That’s cool man. Yeah. Just for anyone listening. Episode number 190, we talked a little bit about this … What’s your happiness index, talked a lot about that. I think that’s awesome advice. That reminds me kind of like on a more side, it reminds me of … In the last 30 days we just sent out all of our clients. Our quarterly net worth progress reports, basically little report card on everyone’s net worth to see how their net worth has changed. We do that every three months. I spend quite a bit of time all our advisors, we all look at them and spend time and try to quantify the ways in which people’s networks have grown or liquidity that they’ve been able to save up.

Ryan Isaac: I always like reach out and comment. Let everyone know like, hey, you hit this milestone or look how much net worth grew just because you made minimum payments on your practice loan for the last 12 months. You added 50 grand of net worth and every time I do this, it’s really amazing to me to see everyone’s progress. But it’s even cooler because when we’re able to just write this down and put it on paper, put it in front of someone and do it frequently, it’s kind of amazing how that … It has that effect that you’re talking about on people. I had multiple conversations just this week about people saying like, I’ve never had a hundred grand in liquidity before and when I met you I had 10. And it just feels so good that like small, steady things help you make progress.

Ryan Isaac: But also just having a way to recognize that because like you said, it’s easy to not recognize things. You just get into your daily grind and you go through the motions and emotions take over. But that’s what’s so cool about documenting things, having context, having data and then just comparing where you used to be. Like you said, you look at the things I’ve been able to accomplish and do it. That service we’re providing for people in our business is showing people that kind of like progress in context of where they used to be and where they’re at now. And it makes a big difference, man. It changes your psyche when you’re like, “Oh yeah,” saving that 2 500 bucks a month did help, and it didn’t feel like it. Or just making my monthly payments on the practice on did help. I didn’t feel like it, but wow, looking back, that’s pretty cool. And then it gives you … You’re kind of like recharge to keep going.

Reese Harper: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s great. That’s really good insight.

Ryan Isaac: All right. Well we can end there. I said I was going to end with my favorite line from the song. I’m telling you. Please go Google this song. Go find it on YouTube. That old 1924, the grass is greener song. It’s hilarious, it’s got a catchy little tune, so it’s about this married couple and I think it’s like Maggie and Mike, I think that’s their name.

Ryan Isaac: But here’s the line that says, you always see the fine clothes. Maggie’s hanging on her back and never see the mortgage that is hanging on their shack. Mike is buying fancy bonnets just to decorate her dome, but he hasn’t got a single drop of rye at home. So good. The grass is greener man and because I live in Arizona and I’m a big fan of turf. I will also say that sometimes the grass is greener because it’s not real on the other side it’s actually fake.

Reese Harper: Yeah, it is.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah. So with that couple invitations for everyone, number one, we get out and we see the country a lot or mentioning one of the things you’re grateful for. I love that. I love getting out and seeing people and doing these events that we do. Got to we’re likely to be near you pretty soon. It’s usually a couple things a month that we have going on. So come see us. Come visit us in person. We love to do that.

Reese Harper: Go to it. Go to to see all of our upcoming events. It’s pretty.

Ryan Isaac: They’re all here.

Reese Harper: Jenny’s got us going on a lot of places.

Ryan Isaac: Yeah there’s a lot on there, so this fall is going to be really busy. Come see us in person. Join our Facebook group. We get a lot of questions and content for the Podcast and have cool discussions there. It’s and last but not least, if you want to talk about any of this stuff about your own personal situation, you want more context in your life, more accountability. You want some kind of system to help you not make decisions in that grass is greener mentality. Then let’s talk about it and just go to our website, click on the book free consultation link and we’ll have a chat some time. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for listening. As always, we’ll talk to you next time.

Reese Harper: Yeah, yeah

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