Your Relationship with Money: Will I Win or Lose? Interview with Richard Hansen
Money and your relationship with it will ultimately dictate how you live, who you help, and how much you receive.
If you view money as a scarce resource, it is! If you view money as an abundant resource, it is!
We are taught that it is better to give than to receive, so are we giving enough? Are we being too selfish with what we have? As leaders we have to be the BIGGEST givers, we have to be the BIGGEST examples of success, and we have to be the BIGGEST advocates for change!
Change your mindset about money, and you’ll change your mindset about money.
Richard Hansen was born into poverty, chose poverty by becoming a teenage father, then decided to make a move and join the Middle Class and now onto Wealthy America!
Hansen spent 11 years working for a Fortune 100 Bank and in 2016 became an entrepreneur and started his own financial firm.
Married to his high school sweetheart, father of two amazing teenagers, and looking to serve the Lord each and every day!
Read the Interview
Hugh Ballou: Greetings, it’s Hugh Ballou. Welcome to another episode of The Nonprofit Exchange. We are in our seventh year of weekly interviews with fascinating people. Even though two people may talk about the same topic, there is different wisdom to share. We all have a unique perspective. We have all had individual experiences. Many times, we have nonprofit leaders telling their stories, or we have business professionals helping us learn sound business principles that we can install into the culture and systems of the tax-exempt business we run. We call it a nonprofit; it’s a social benefit, tax-exempt business to create proceeds and provide impact for those who need it the most. We are called into service and helping people.
One thing that holds us back is our relationship with money. Today, I have a new friend. We are members of a networking group that meets of people all over the world. Richard has quite the personality and has lots of things to share. Richard’s profession is helping people with their finances. We are not going to do that today. He is licensed and restricted, and that’s not what we’re here for. We are here to talk about leadership principles and our relationship with money. Richard Hansen, tell people about who you are and what is your passion for the work that you do now.
Richard Hansen: Good morning from sunny California. It’s definitely a pleasure to be here with you, Hugh. Your reputation precedes you. I have had many powerful people in my life speak highly of you and what you have done in the nonprofit community. Kudos to what you have done and what you’re doing. This guy is a stud and a half.
My name is Richard Hansen. I am a millennial. I am an elder millennial because I was born in the early ‘80s, but I don’t identify as a millennial. I identify more as a Gen X. I say that because most people have a pretty negative viewpoint on millennials and how they are living their lives right now. The millennials obviously have their own view on why they act the way they do because of the world that has been handed to them. Don’t let the fact that I am a man or a millennial or have brown hair and blue eyes deter you from the fact that we are here to serve one another. Whether you are in a for-profit company or nonprofit company, that’s what we’re here to do.
A little bit about me. I am born and raised in southern California. This is all I know. I thought the entire planet was sunny and 70 all year round. My buddy Hugh being on the east coast, I hear stories and see pictures of this white stuff on the ground that comes from the sky. I hear it’s called snow. I have seen pictures of it. I have read about it, but I have never seen it here in southern California. Maybe up in the mountains.
But I was raised by a single mom. My mom raised me and my two brothers all by herself, and she did a phenomenal job. Mom, if you’re watching, you’re a saint. Growing up with a single mom raising three boys, I am responsible for a third of her gray hair and the medication she is taking right now. I was definitely the hardest to raise out of the three.
One of the most valuable pieces of financial advice my mom gave me was, “Richard, don’t do what I do.” How many of you listened to broke family members on their financial advice? My mom told me, “Don’t do what I do.” Okay. She laid the path of what not to do. That actually served me well. Did Mom make this decision? Yes? I should probably do the opposite.
Being raised by a single mom, I grew up extremely poor. I don’t remember ever going to school not hungry. We were going to school through high school every single morning with not enough food in the house. The welfare food stamps would only last about a week or two during the month. It was tough growing up. I made the decision to become a teenage father, so that continued the generational issue of poverty. I grew up in poverty. I was now creating another generation in poverty. Even though my grandparents worked hard, they never really got ahead financially in life. That was the perpetual poverty going on. I had to make the decision that I was going to break those chains.
Everything comes down to a decision, Hugh. You have to decide that you want better for your life, that you want better for your family, that you want better for your patrons, that you want better for your community. I am a huge financial ally to a lot of communities out there. Being raised in southern California, there is a lot of viewpoints that I see that most people don’t. The blending of communities and cultures and religions out here.
I started my financial career about 15 years ago. I served in for-profit corporate America for about 11 years, serving wealthy business owners and well-to-do nonprofits. Just like people are experiencing right now with COVID, I actually lost my job in 2016 simply because the bank didn’t want to pay me anymore. It was cheaper to hire labor in another country to do what I was doing. I found myself collecting unemployment and lost all three of our pieces of real estate, my 401(k), our savings. Why? Because I had a horrible relationship with money. Even though I was making good money, I still had this poverty mindset of debt, debt, debt, leverage, leverage, spend now because you don’t know if you’re going to have it tomorrow.
Because of that catastrophe in my life, I made the decision not to be financially destitute ever again, to let my family become a statistic. My wife Amanda who is the absolute love of my life, and I made the decision we are going to start educating ourselves by reading books about rich people. Dale Carnegie has a phenomenal book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. There are ton of books about money out there, like Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. That was a big one as well.
I am not with corporate anymore; I am an entrepreneur in the industry. It was nonprofit at the beginning, a lot of giving, not making anything. We have crossed that threshold. I have been doing the financial stuff for 15 years: educating, coaching, mentoring, and building leaders, helping them sharpen their axe so they can go do better for what they do.
Yes, I am a millennial. But don’t look at me as a millennial because you’re actually going to get more financial education today than you have probably ever had in your whole life. I am so excited. Thanks, Hugh, for having me, and I hope to add value to everyone.
Hugh: You will. You have already. Being broke is a temporary condition. Being poor is a mindset. Did I hear you right?
Hugh: You were broke. Maybe you were poor. You and I both married up. You work through it. I have been through bankruptcy. I’ve lost businesses. I’ve lost everything. Success is when you get up one more time than you fall down. People introduce me as an expert when I speak. I used to say I am a student of leadership, which I am. However, I declared this year (I’ll be 75 in September) that I am old enough to have made enough mistakes that I am an expert. Those are learning opportunities.
Let’s talk about money as a resource. We tend to have a different view. What is the myth around money? We as leaders, especially in the nonprofit sector, nonprofit is a lie. IRS doesn’t use that anywhere. It’s a tax-exempt C corporation. We run a business for proceeds that help people, not profits for our pockets. In some senses, it’s a for-purpose enterprise. We need to change our minds about money to get that out of the way so we can do the work we are called to do. Talk about that for a minute.
Richard: Everything starts with a scarcity mindset, especially if you grew up working-class or poor. We are taught these habits by our parents, grandparents, family. There is this scarcity mindset. When you think you’re not going to have enough money, guess what? You never do. When you think you’re not going to be able to reach that goal, you won’t. You have to make a decision that you’re going to make a difference, not only in your life but in others. That starts with your mindset about money. If you believe you have a lot of money, then you will. If you believe that you’re broke, you are. I have met many people with a lot of wealth who are broke. I have met many people who appear to be poor but have an astronomical amount of wealth. It goes back to their relationship with money.
You can view money as a god in your life. There are many scriptures that say don’t do that. I am speaking from the western world, from that of someone in America. We are taught that we need to spend, spend, spend. Social media is all about advertising to get you to spend your money. But you have to be the one to make the decision to start looking at money differently.
It’s just a tool. It’s not different than a hammer is to a carpenter or a wrench to an auto mechanic. Money is just a tool. When you treat it as a tool, it can build houses. It can build people. it can build communities. It can build futures. But if you treat it as this god in your life that you have to hoard and hold, it will rule your life. When catastrophe comes, you will be depressed and anxious. Your physical wellbeing will hurt and suffer, and that of everyone around you.
I know that because I have been through it. I myself have been through bankruptcy. It’s public information because of my career. You can go to FINRA and look me up and find me. Sure enough, Richard has a negative marking. Because of the industry that I serve, that information has to be public. I’m not ashamed about it. Most people have gone through financial catastrophe. You can either let that define you or use it as a way to springboard into a better future.
Yes, you have to do the work. Just believing that you are going to amass wealth and that money is going to be a tool doesn’t mean that it’s going to be there. The belief is going to empower you and strengthen you to go out and do the work that is needed to generate revenue not only for yourself but for your family, organization, communities, and generations. That is a Biblical principle: to create generational wealth. It’s huge. More people need to change their minds about money. Once they do, all of a sudden, the world is their oyster.
Hugh: Absolutely. We are focused on the today. If we are doing worthy work, we need to be focusing on today as well as the long-term future. We are creating a legacy project that should go on long after we’re done with it or no longer in this world. You talked about educating us about money.
What are some of the misconceptions? I am sure there is one or two more that people need to embrace. I am thinking also about the work of Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, which is ultimately not about money. When he lists the 13 attributes of wealth, money is last. Ability for applied faith, personality, sound mind, good health. There are all these attributes. He listed money as last. However, it is on the list. It is a resource that opens up other resources. What are some of the challenges of people you have spoken to and helped come around to a new mindset?
Richard: An old mentor of mine told me something when I was a young father, a teenager at the time. He said, “Rich, you need to live for today, but you need to plan for tomorrow. You can’t ignore today. You gotta live for today. But use the resources that you have been given to plan for tomorrow.” If more people understood that, they would make better decisions.
As far as challenges go, the nonprofits I have served over the last 15 years, the biggest thing is, “Hey Rich, how do we get more patrons? How do we get our patrons to open up their wallets more?” That is the #1 question I get. How do we get more people to donate, and how can we get them to donate more? My #1 question to them is, “Well, what do you donate? How do you manage your money?”
Actions speak louder than words. I can’t tell my kids to tithe and save for my future if I’m not doing it myself. My mom said, “Don’t do what I did.” And I didn’t. The first thing I ask leaders is, “What are you doing with your personal finances? Are you tithing?” It’s Biblical. Even in the Qur’an, it talks about that. You need to give charity. You are expected to. That is the first challenge I have. How are you doing with your personal finances? You can’t expect someone to open up their wallet for your cause if you’re not doing it yourself. You will attract what it is that you are looking for. If you are looking for people to give and donate and find more people who have a spirit of generosity, that has to be you first.
No one wants to hear that. I am a big guy. I don’t want to hear to eat less and exercise more. But I know that’s what I have to do. I go to the doctor. The doctor says, “All of your problems will be fixed if you do two things: eat less and exercise more.” Ugh, I knew that.
Guess what, patrons, leaders? You know this. You know this. You know you need to have your ducks in a row before you start telling someone else to get their little duckies in a row. Once you change your mindset on how you personally treat money, all of a sudden you will be able to talk with more conviction, share more about your cause and crusade, and not come off as salesy. That is the last thing a patron wants to hear. When you go to church, you don’t want to hear the preacher talking about opening up your wallet to give to the church. They talk about what it’s going to do for the community. They talk about what it’s going to do for God’s purposes. Whether you’re a religious organization or not, you need to get your own house in order. From there, that will change your mindset. You will be able to start speaking with more conviction, speak from a place of your heart versus your head. That is where I have grown the most. Instead of speaking from my head, I speak with my heart because I have changed the way I look at things. I don’t look at them through my eyes; I look at them through other people’s eyes.
Hugh: There is the when myth. I am going to give money when I make more money. I am going to behave differently as a leader when I have a platform. I am going to act like a leader when I get the position. Those are all lies we tell ourselves. They are myths. When is now. There is this reciprocity of giving that is fulfilling when we are able to do that. There is no substitute for it until you write the check or push the button on the internet to give. That is a strong principle.
The other principle is that the conductor models what they get. The saying is, “What they see is what you get.” It’s a reflection of the leader. Everyone will respond to us. They know somehow if we are doing that or not. That’s very clear. We all know that board members must be givers. Most granting organizations won’t even go past looking at the board if they are not givers. You won’t qualify. This is a new piece. The leader also needs to be disciplined to give to others. James Allen in his classic book As a Man Thinketh says, “We don’t attract what we need. We attract what we are.” That’s real good wisdom. What’s another piece of learning you have for us?
Richard: I like that when myth. When I have a fat bank account, I will be happy. When I get that college degree, I will be happy. When I get that beautiful girl, I will be happy. When you put all of your energy and emphasis on something or someone, guess what? You’re going to be disappointed. It’s not going to happen the way you want it to. I am a recovering control freak. If you try and make it happen the way you want it to, not only are you going to hurt yourself, but you are going to hurt other people. I find I’ve had multiple people win the lottery.
Hugh: Wait a minute. You mean friends or clients?
Richard: Clients. I have had many clients win the lottery in my 15-year career. Some people who do what I do never come across a client who wins the lottery. I’ve had three of them in the last 15 years. What I found is that money doesn’t change people. It’s an amplifier. It amplifies who you were before you got the money. If you’re a generous, loving, fun person to be around, money is going to make you more generous, more loving, and more fun to be around. If you’re a tight, selfish, hostile individual, money will make you worse. It will make you more hostile, more self-centered. Money is an amplifier. That’s why when lottery winners win the lotto, they usually go broke quickly thereafter because all it did was amplify who they are. The money didn’t change them. They are still poor-minded or broke-minded. All the money did was go out of their hands quickly.
Same thing with sports athletes. Some of them get injured early on in their careers, and they are broke soon thereafter. Or retired athletes. They never learned how to manage money, so they go broke quickly.
My challenge to people is to earn your money. I am not condoning the lottery. That is not a retirement plan as I hear so many people joke. “I am investing in my retirement.” “Where are you putting it?” “The California lottery.” That is not a retirement plan. I am not kidding. The number of people, especially baby boomers, who say that is mind-boggling. Guess what? If you win the lottery, you will be broke a year or two later quickly.
That goes back to when I get this. No. it’s now. If you want something, you have to go after it now. The time is now. It’s not later. It’s now. Procrastination is the biggest killer, even when it comes to money. If you have two people saving for their future, and someone starts two years earlier, they could essentially have hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the person who started just two years later. That’s huge. Procrastination is not good for anybody. We’re not going to talk about food and dieting; of course, I am going to procrastinate on the health side. But I am working on it.
Hugh: Raise your hand if you’re working on it.
Richard: I have not arrived in every area. I am getting better. I am taking my strengths and making them better. But I am working on my weaknesses little by little. I have to change my mindset about health. I can’t say, “When I make enough money, I will do something about my health.” No, I have to do that now. My babies are graduating high school in a year or two. My wife and I are going to be empty nesters. Am I waiting for that? Richard, what are you waiting for? That when myth is a killer. It’s a dream stealer, too. If you are always waiting for when, you will be waiting your whole life.
Hugh: Those same principles could be applied to individuals doing their own retirement planning. It can also be applied to an organization. I can’t tell you how many organizations spend, spend, spend, and they don’t put enough money into an endowment fund or talk to people about funding an endowment fund. What is behind this reluctance to talk about money? It’s just as bad in the religious sector. Synagogues talk about it more directly than churches. It’s your tax; you pay it. But Christians are averse to even talking about money because it’s not polite. What is that all about? It’s really part of our stewardship to talk about those resources: time, talent, and money. We need to be able to have a substantive conversation with somebody about planned giving so they can help us with the long-term funding that will be sustainability for us.
Richard: Colleges are funded because you have people who pass away and leave a large portion of their estate to a university or nonprofit organization. I have coached many nonprofit leaders in my career and told them, “When you are presenting to your patrons, yes, they are potentially going to be contributing money to your cause and organization now. But you also have to say, ‘Did you know that you could leave a portion of your life insurance to a nonprofit of your choice as a beneficiary? You can earmark a portion of your estate to go toward a nonprofit of your choice.’”
There was a gentleman up in central California who I worked with. It was funny. It was sad but funny. We were doing a rather large life insurance policy for him, to shelter cash. I said, “I have to fill out your beneficiary. Are we going to leave this to your nieces, your nephews?” He wasn’t married and didn’t have any kids. He said, “Heck no. My family didn’t help me. They get nothing.” I said, “I have to put somebody on here. Who do you want me to put?” He thought about it. He is a very conservative individual. He said, “How about the NRA?” I said, “Okay, cool. We can add the NRA.” He was like, “What?” I’m like, “Yeah, the NRA would love to have your money when you die.” He said, “Put the NRA on here!” He’s a teacher. Most working Americans don’t know that you can mark a portion or in this guy’s case all of his life insurance proceeds to go to the NRA when he passes away.
When educating people about what they can do for themselves or contributing, yes, they can leave money now, but they can also leave people from the grave, from heaven. They can leave their assets and resources. It doesn’t have to be all of it although that would be nice. But they can break off a portion of it. Give 20% to one kid. Give 20% to another. The remaining 60% goes to the Red Cross.
Hugh: We’re not endorsing any particular gift or nonprofit or philosophy. That was the story of that person. What is the hang-up for nonprofit leaders? They say, “I don’t want to ask people for money. I don’t want to beg for money. I don’t feel comfortable talking about money to people I know.” What’s behind that?
Richard: It’s fear. It’s fear. Let’s be honest. You’re scared, just like I’m scared to talk about things that make me feel uncomfortable. By the way, rich people love talking about money. They love talking about business and revenue. If you are talking to people who are broke-minded and working class, they hold onto money very tightly. They don’t like talking about money because they don’t want people to know that they don’t have as much as they pretend that they have.
Hugh: That’s interesting.
Richard: People like to showcase that they have a lot when in reality they don’t. Who are you trying to impress? You’re trying to impress someone who doesn’t really care about what you’re doing anyway. What’s the point? But what I was trying to say is that if you’re a nonprofit leader, first of all, if you make it weird, it’s going to be weird. If you think talking about money and giving is going to be weird, it’s going to be weird. So don’t make it weird. You’re not going to be telling them to open up your wallets. You can’t do that directly. I can’t tell my wife, “Hey baby, come over here and kiss me.” Although she probably will reluctantly. No, she wants to be wooed. She wants to be enticed. How do I do that? I have to be presentable.
Make sure you’re presentable. You have to share your vision with your patrons. Share with them what your goals and plans are. This is where we’re going in the next three to six months, in the next five years, 10 years, 20 years. By the way, it does cost money to do these things. Look at the lives we’re going to change. Look at the impact we’re going to have in the community. Look at how many babies we’re going to save, how many foster kids we’re going to enrich, whatever it is that your cause is doing. When you share a vision, people are going to be like, “Wow, that’s fantastic. You’re right. I want to be part of that cause.” People will ask, “How do I do this?” You can say, “If you want to learn more about how to be someone who is making a change in this community, let’s talk.” It doesn’t have to be about money. Don’t make it weird.
Hugh: Don’t make it weird. *Sponsored by Wordsprint*
Richard, about being clear on what we’re doing, that’s very hard. I’ve worked with business leaders, entrepreneurs, and social entrepreneurs, those who launched or are growing a nonprofit. We come at it without the necessary skillset. We have a vision. We have something worthwhile. But the Ballou 10/90 principle, different than the Paredo 80/20 rule, is that it’s 10% of what you have, and 90% allows you to deliver that. We don’t really focus on the skillsets, the team, the substance, the plan that will enable us to deliver. There are a lot of things we need to be able to learn to deliver them.
One of them is really how money works. We’re in the South. You’re in California. We in the South think California is another country, as we have our own language. When Richard talks about patrons, some of us call them donors. The generic term would be supporters. There is a number of ways to describe our tribe of people who share the passion. Is there any more you want to say on these relearnings we need for our attitude on money?
Richard: I’m thinking about a friend of mine who has a global nonprofit organization where he sets up prosperity centers all across the world. He’ll find a community that has an orphanage but no medical, no education. He’ll fund those other two. He’s done this in Africa. They are working in Cambodia right now. Once things settle down in Venezuela, they’ll go down. What’s interesting is this gentleman is achieving his philanthropy goals based on what he did in the for-profit world. He got the business education, the financial education by partnering with for-profit companies, by learning what these companies are teaching. He built a business, and that business now funds all of his philanthropy goals. He sounds like he will be soon transitioning, not working in the business at all, and going to put that on autopilot, which will continue to fund all of his philanthropy goals.
It’s interesting to see people who plan ahead to set up their nonprofits and strategically position themselves to be successful. If you have a great idea to start a community organization or to do something in your neighborhood or for a particular cause, you need to surround yourself with people who are going to help you learn what it is that you need to learn. Whether you’re a great visionary and lack the administrative skills, you will have to learn them. Maybe it’s the other way around. You’re phenomenal at the administrative skills, but you lack the leadership, you lack the vision. You will want to put people around you who have those strengths. You will want to learn from them.
Guess what? There are a ton of books out there for you to read. We are all social distancing because of COVID right now. A book is your best friend. You can get in the head of Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Hill, and spend one-on-one time with them. You definitely have to surround yourself with people who are going to help you increase the belief that you have in yourself. I know it’s corny, but what you believe, you can achieve. I know that. I have experienced that multiple times in my life. I am really excited for the people who are watching this who are hopefully getting some seeds sprinkled on them of encouragement and prosperity, that they will go out there and make a change for their organization, their community. That starts with you. You have to turn into Hugh 2.0. I have to turn into Richard 2.0 in order to reach those goals.
Hugh: Somebody said that they have donors who don’t appear to be cheerful. Do you have any advice for that? Sometimes we are guilty of beating people into submission by pleading our case and saying how we are in trouble and need this money, it’s tragic. So people give reluctantly. There are probably two sides to this, aren’t there?
Richard: I think about my personal experience in tithing at church. There was a season where we didn’t tithe. Life seemed to get worse. Then we started to tithe out of obligation. Nothing got better. It wasn’t until I made the decision to change my mindset and my view on what that money was going for. Sure, it’s going to church. It’s going to a particular organization. But I had to choose to look at that money. Thinking about how is this $100, this $1,000, this $100,000, this money going to impact the community that I am going to be supporting?
Being a cheerful giver as a leader, you want to encourage your people to be cheerful givers. It is okay to let them know, “We want to give you the opportunity to give, but if you’re not going to be cheerful, if you’re doing this out of obligation or compulsory, don’t do it.” I know you’re probably thinking, What? Did Richard say don’t ask for the money? Check it out. If you’re going to get someone who is reluctant or bitter, “I gotta give this money again,” that won’t go far. They’re obviously not going to talk to their family members or friends or colleagues about this. You want your patrons, donors, supporters to be cheerful givers.
A cheerful giver is going to attract other cheerful givers. You need to help them remember that the money they’re contributing or leaving is going to be used for a purpose. You want them to be generous. You want them to be cheerful. Encourage them to seek their own heart. Do you feel that this is the right place? Do you feel that this is the right thing for you to be doing with your finances? That might be a hard pill to swallow for some leaders. Let me ask you: If that’s a hard pill to swallow, what’s your viewpoint on money?
Hugh: Richard, would you like to hear questions from our audience?
Hugh: One of our advisors and collaborators Bob Hopkins is on the line. He knows the most about philanthropy, so I say. He is the editor of Philanthropy Misunderstood, whose mission is to help people understand the power of philanthropy. Bob, do you have a thoughts or comment for our guest?
Bob Hopkins: Yes, I love this topic, of course. No, I don’t. I don’t like this topic. When I first heard what it was going to be about, I thought, oh, God. I just hate talking about money. There are two different kinds of heads people have, I’ve learned. They have a nonprofit head and a for-profit head. It just depends on what head you’re wanting to talk to about money. They respond differently. They think differently. When I’m asking for money for nonprofit organizations, they turn on their head that says, “I want to be a giver.” When I say, “Okay, now I’m talking about my for-profit entity,” all of a sudden, they want to see statistics, a business plan, how much I’m going to get out of this deal. I didn’t know that until I went from the nonprofit sector to the for-profit sector, and people started asking me these questions. It depends on how you talk to the people and what is the topic that you’re talking about.
As far as personal is concerned, I never had to support anybody. I have always been on my own. I have never had to ask anybody for permission on what to do with my money. I hear all these people out there talk about, “You need to have a retirement plan.” Why? Where am I going? Why do I want a retirement plan? I am not planning to ever stop working. What do you think about people like me who don’t have a plan, who have never had a plan personally, but I run with nonprofit organizations and usually talk to people with heads who say, “I want to be a giver?”
Hugh: You have two hours to answer that question. Go ahead.
Richard: Thank you for that question. People think with their heads, and people think with their hearts. The nonprofit is going after their heart, and the for-profit is going after their head. You don’t know the people that you’re talking to, whether they are talking from their heart or their head. So you want to talk to both at the same time.
You want to share your vision. You want to help them understand what it is this is going to be doing for the community, and for them. Show them the statistics. Show them what the organization was able to do last year, last quarter. You want to touch these individuals on both ends. You want to scratch their heart itch and their brain itch. Whether they have this nonprofit mindset or this for-profit mindset, you have to speak to both. There is wealth on both sides of the spectrum. You will find rich people who have big hearts, and you will also find rich people who say, “I want to see the numbers.” They are both willing to give, but you have to speak to them in their language.
The golden rule is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The platinum rule is do unto others as they would want you to do to them. You have to speak to them in their language. Just like the audience today, I don’t know how many out there are statistically driven, emotionally driven, passion driven. As a speaker, I have to speak to everybody in the crowd whether they are ready or not. I hope that answers your first question.
The second question about the retirement plan. People want to enjoy their golden years. Okay, cool, how much gold are you going to have in your golden years? There is nothing more sad than seeing a baby boomer being a Walmart greeter. If my grandfather was a Walmart greeter right now, and he is really susceptible to COVID, and he is out there in the public. As far as not having a plan, yeah, man, it’s your future. You do what you think is best for you. But I can tell you that where there is no vision, people perish. You have to have a vision for your future and what that looks like. You have to have a plan to achieve that vision. If you are going to work until the day you die and don’t need a retirement plan, good on you, man. Go for it.
My challenge to you, Bob, is to have a written-down vision of what you want your life to look like. Start with your eulogy. Work backwards.
Bob: I am finding other people from other countries have a different experience with money. It’s hard to get them to give money. They will give food and time, but not money.
Hugh: Bob is an eternal influencer. Retirement is a word not in our language. Bob and I met 11.5 months ago back when we could travel to Texas. Bob, thank you again for being here.
Richard: I’ll admit I am pretty ignorant when it comes to non-American culture. Being in California, there is a heavy Hispanic influence in the community here. The African American community is huge here as well. There is this trifecta where you have the co-mingling of white America, African American America, and the Latino culture.
What I found is that one of those groups is extremely generous. They are probably the ones who are the least well-to-do. You look back at the culture. You look back at what do their families teach? What does their culture teach? Is there a sense of community? That community has absolutely won my heart over. No, it’s not the white community, surprisingly. You would think that the people who have the most money give the most money. No, not at all. The widow gave her two mights, and she gave more than everyone else.
The culture of giving has to start at home. That is where everything starts. In my opinion, that is everything that is wrong with America today: the home is not what it needs to be. Like what our last question was about, teaching these kids about philanthropy, it starts in the home. I can’t expect a teacher to teach them how to read and not encourage that behavior at home. Yes, I am going to get support from the schools out there. But it starts at home. If you have a culture of giving in your home, you will produce children who have a much more generous spirit about them than someone who isn’t. You can be extremely generous and have very little funds. In fact, some of the most generous people I have ever met are the ones with the least amount of money.
Hugh: Absolutely. Back to your earlier principle that leaders influence others by who they are. There is an authenticity to who we are, showing up. It doesn’t matter what you say; it matters what you do. It’s like the sermon, “You preach with your life much louder than the one you preach with your lips.” I don’t care which faith you’re from. We’re a tossed salad in America. We have lots of interesting pieces in that salad and lots of wonderful wealth and diversity in relationships. I do find that there is a culture. Sometimes it’s by state or by county, not necessarily by ethnicity. Some areas, there is more of a culture of engagement in the community. Is there something I didn’t ask that you want people to know about their relationship with money?
Richard: You need to get rid of the fear. People fear what they don’t know. Why was the earth flat? That’s all they could see. When people started to discover that the world was round, that was heresy. You fear what you don’t know. Money. You fear money because you don’t know money. You need to make sure that you’re financially educated. Please, dear Lord, not by your banker. I will get off my soapbox. But you need to learn the principles of money from people who are equipped to teach you and resources out there. Keep an open mind. Just because you hear a particular name over and over again doesn’t mean you take what they teach for gospel. You can’t. You have to have multiple inputs about money. You will start to see a common theme through the different speakers, teachers, authors. You will be able to discern truth from fiction.
It’s really important to get a financial education because then it won’t be scary, because you understand it. How many people don’t invest in the stock market because they’re scared of it? They have heard that their grandfather lost everything back in the Depression. Okay, that was how many generations ago? If you kept your money in the stock market during the Depression, you’d be having generational wealth forever. It all comes down to you fear what you don’t know. So fix it. Start learning and getting a financial education.
Hugh: You become like the people you hang around the most, so you want to hang around successful people. if you want to be broke, hang around broke people. I gotta stop doing that. That is why I am hanging around people like Richard. Please give us your website.
Richard: I am part of a big financial company, and I own my own agency. It’s Revolution Financial Management. You will find me on Facebook, Richard Hansen. You will see this beautiful mug on there. Instagram is a good way to get ahold of me, @RichardAnthonyHansen. Yes, I am Danish, not Swedish. You can direct message me. Any way you want to get ahold of me, I’d love to connect and build a relationship. Even my dog is excited.
Hugh: What is the generic description of what you do?
Richard: I would say I am a financial professional. I have a gazillion licenses. You can call me what you want. At the end of the day, I am a financial professional/educator.
Hugh: I think everybody who has a board of directors needs to have a Richard Hansen clone on their board, someone who understands the things you’re talking about, how money works and how to have conversations. I don’t think we purposefully think about that skillset. Someone in the business who knows how to talk to people can at least influence us in our courage to have those conversations and dispel a fear which is absolutely stupid. We all have it. When I was in high school and calling a girl for a date, I had sweaty palms. She’d say yes or no. What’s the big deal? On to the next.
Thank you for lots of things to think about today and to help us change our mindsets. Do you have a quote or thought to leave us with today?
Richard: Mahatma Gandhi said it best, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Whatever you want to change in this world, you be that change.
Hugh: Love it. Richard Hansen, thank you for being our guest today.
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