Shifting Your World View to Make More Money

Last time, we answered a listener’s questions about making money vs. saving the world. In this episode, she’s joining me on the show to discuss her questions and concerns.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • How your unsupervised brain can drain your energy
  • Why energetic drains from an unsupervised brain also drain your MONEY
  • Ways to shift your world view so that you can make more money

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE:

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TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome to Episode 23 of How to Make More Money, a podcast that helps you get seriously good at the game of making serious money. I’m your host Kelly Hollingsworth, and I’m thrilled you’re here, because today we’re continuing our discussion on making money vs. saving the world. If you were with us last time, you heard the Q&A for our listener who was concerned about making money vs. saving the world.

In today’s episode, our listener is joining us to follow up with what we discussed in that episode, and get some help on additional questions and concerns.

In our conversation, we talk about how low-profit thinking is an energetic drain. Money is a form of energy, and when you’re experiencing energetic drains, money flows right out of them, away from you, like water draining out of a colander.

The two energetic drains we discuss in the interview today are her concerns about how children are faring during the pandemic, with schools closed. That’s one concern that she raises during our conversation. And we also discuss her concerns about the Gamestop trade, another energy drain. This one she emailed me about before we had this conversation. In that trade, a bunch of hedge fund managers got squeezed out of their short positions, and lost billions of dollars, because some ordinary investors got together and decided to drive the price of the Gamestop stock up, so they could make money as the hedge fund managers lost money.

The mechanics of the trade aren’t important, although we do discuss them just a little bit today. If that part isn’t interesting to you, don’t worry about it. it’s not important. What is important for this conversation is how her concerns about the trade were consuming her attention, and draining her energy and preventing her from focusing on her own business. The same thing was happening with her concerns about children’s well-being during the pandemic, and we discuss both of those today.

What I hope you’ll see in our conversation is how our brains can lead us astray if we believe everything they’re offering to us, without inquiry.

Before we go into the interview, one thing I’d also like to clarify that there’s a segment of the conversation where I offer my thoughts that the majority of children who are home from school during the pandemic are doing just fine, and probably happy to be out of school. If you know kids who are struggling during the pandemic, this part of the discussion may feel inaccurate or unsatisfying to you, and this is one of the things I’d like to address before we go into the interview. It may be true that some kids are suffering during the pandemic, and this conversation is an example of how a thought can be true but not useful. I’d also like to offer that what we as adults think about situations colors our children’s experiences of the same situations. If we had, as part of every child’s planned educational experience, a year off from school called “pandemic” in which they could focus on things that they enjoy rather than the teacher’s agenda, our kids would likely find themselves experiencing “pandemic” much differently. Kids pick up on our anxiety. They pick up on our depression. When we alleviate our depression, theirs goes away, too. There’s a famous study on this, that found that when depressed moms went on anti-depressants and started feeling better, their depressed children rapidly felt better as well with no treatment. In other words, what moms are feeling, kids are feeling. We can discuss this more in an upcoming episode, but for now, I just wanted to flag this part of the discussion, because if it feels unsatisfying to you, that’s because it’s incomplete.

I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy this conversation. I think this listener was doing us all a service to come on the show and share what her brain does to her in the context of her money-making life, and get some help. I’d like to do a lot more of this going forward. One thing I’d like to do with the podcast is offer a place where folks who aren’t my clients can get help, and with this episode, we’re kicking off that effort. So I hope you enjoy it, and now here’s the interview!

Interview:

Kelly: Hello, how are you today?

Listener:

I’m great. Thanks for having me.

Kelly:

Good. I’m so excited that you’re on the show. This is the first time we’ve ever done something where we have a Q&A, and then the listener comes on and says what the heck they thought about it and how they received it and they get some additional help if they need it. We’re pioneering into new territory and I want to thank you for going here with them.

Listener:

Yeah, good. I’m happy to be a part. I feel very lucky to be the first one to be on it. Yeah, very excited.

Kelly:

Great. Okay. Let’s just dive in. How did you feel when you heard the episode? You sent me such amazing questions. How did you feel when you heard the last episode? Did it shift some things for you or did some things still feel sticky?

Listener:

Yes. Okay. I like many of your listeners, and I know other people in your Facebook group and your coaching clients, there is a way you have of completely reframing things that really I don’t hear anybody else talking about it like that in that way. And so yes, of course there were major aha moments for me. However, I still feel well, like I said, in the email to you, to use your lingo, it’s like a thought error and I’m in the beta mode, not the alpha mode in the way that you define those terms. And I want to get out of it. I feel like I’m close. I feel like I’m close, but I want to get to the point where it’s second nature, where like you, when you think about these things, there is not a second thought.

Listener:

It’s just, well, yeah, of course. Of course, I’m going to make money. I’m not going to have a fear of inequality. I’m not going to have this fear. I’m not going to have like, of course and you just go from there. I expend all this energy with these questions. Well, and it was a long list of questions and you were very patient and gracious to go through all of these questions, but that’s what’s running through my mind, all of these questions. And I know that if I can get out of that, then I will free up all that energy basically.

Kelly:

I love that you are noticing the energetic drain when you are struggling with the way that you’re thinking and you’re asking yourself all these questions. Money is a form of stored energy. And when you’re in these modes of thinking it’s an energy drain and money leaks right out of those energy drains. It is exhausting, isn’t it?

Listener:

Yes.

Kelly:

Okay, great. How about if we use the session to talk about maybe the top two or three things that feel draining to you this week, since you heard the episode, and we can just see if we can plug some of those up for you?

Listener:

Okay. My initial question to you about saving the planet versus making money or making art versus saving the planet. I know, I’m well aware how dumb it sounds to say like, “Oh, I feel like I have to save the planet.” I am very aware of how that sounds, but I’m just being honest with, that’s how I’m thinking about it. And I don’t think I’m alone in that. I think there are other people who go through a similar thing, but what you were saying is that, that goes back to a fear of inequality. Right?

Kelly:

It’s a very unique form, but let’s clarify our terms first because this is the first time I’ve heard you use the phrase, saving the planet, which to me has an environmental connotation versus saving the world, which is we’re helping the humans on the planet. Which one are we talking about this morning?

Listener:

Well, to me, they go hand-in-hand. It’s the same thing to me.

Kelly:

Okay. All right. We’re focusing on what’s happening in the environment and we’re focusing on what’s happening with the humans in the environment. They are a little bit different. Let’s take them one at a time. Which would you like to discuss first?

Listener:

Well, for me, what it always comes back to is, children and how children are being affected, the health of children, the well-being of children, how like we were discussing before, inept politicians. Well, I don’t like … Okay, to give an example, with COVID now with schools closing and how bad of an idea that was and how so many schools are still closed. And now finally, they’re finally coming around to say, “Oh yeah, maybe we shouldn’t have closed schools for so long. Oh, yeah.” Now, we’re seeing and on all the science behind that, but it’s things like that, that have such a harmful effect on kids that they have no control over, but it’s politicians or someone in the government or somewhere in the bureaucracy that makes decisions that negatively impact children.

Listener:

My degree, so I have a Master’s in Public Health and Maternal and Child Health. And throughout my career, it’s been something having to do … I’ve done different things, but it’s always coming back to moms and babies and families in some capacity. That’s what’s on my mind, is those type of top-down decisions that can make such an impact.

Kelly:

And that’s one of the energy drains for you since the last episode, worrying about the way children are interacting with schools because of government decisions?

Listener:

Yes.

Kelly:

Okay. And what’s the concern?

Listener:

The concern is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Kelly:

Okay. But if the way it is, isn’t problematic, it doesn’t matter how it is. What is wrong with the way they’re doing it?

Listener:

Well, since the pandemic child abuse has gone up, suicide has gone up. Kids are at home with abusive families and bad situations. They’re not getting meals, not getting food that they would otherwise in school.

Kelly:

The concern is that if the children are not in school, they’re being mistreated?

Listener:

Yes.

Kelly:

Is there any concern that if children are not in school, they’re being treated better? I didn’t say that very well. Are there children who are treated better when they don’t go to school?

Listener:

Probably.

Kelly:

What do you think the proportion is?

Listener:

Hmm.

Kelly:

I like that smile on your face.

Listener:

Well, see, here we go. I never thought about … I don’t know. I have no idea what the proportion would be. That’s a great question. Yeah, that’s a great question. I wonder kids who are bullied, the kids who hate school, the kids who are going home, and they’re just reading books and doing crafts and loving it and have healthy families and they’re actually maybe like, “Hey, I’m not going to go back to school. We’re going to homeschool. We’re going to do our own thing.” And that’s a very positive for our family and for our children. Yeah, that has gone on too, I’m sure. I guess I’m just like, “Yeah. I’m just looking at the negative.”

Kelly:

Yes. And what I’d to offer to you since we recorded the episode, you did send me an email with one concern and you said, “All right. Right now, the thing I’m obsessed with is this thing where these youngsters are taking over Wall Street and $2.1 billion is being lost in a hedge fund.” I can’t remember the exact excerpt you sent me, but you were talking about the short squeeze. There was also a concern there that people I think are suffering or be mistreated. What was that exact concern?

Listener:

That it’s like, it’s a similar concern where I feel the rules and the design are not fair and there’s no reason for it. And it needs to be fair. It is great, yeah. If kids go home and they’re having a great time. Yes, that is great, but for the kids who are not, there should be a system in place that is fair for them. The Wall Street thing, don’t know a whole lot about it. Don’t know a whole lot about hedge funds, monopolies, that connection between big government and big corporations and all of that. But it’s this sense that there is something about the way that system is set up that is not fair.

Kelly:

Perfect. Let’s talk about the hedge funds in the Wall Street thing, because-

Listener:

That’s your [crosstalk 00:09:36], right?

Kelly:

Yeah. What part about it feels unfair?

Listener:

Well, yeah. I don’t want to get too in the weeds about it, but if bigger corporations are sort of colluding to help one another at the expense of individuals, it’s not good, basically.

Kelly:

Okay. But what we saw with that trade where these youngsters drove the price of the market up and giant hedge funds were squeezed out of those short positions at massive losses. That was David versus Goliath. Wasn’t it?

Listener:

Right.

Kelly:

David won.

Listener:

Yeah. But just the whole thing, that’s even, I don’t know something about it just doesn’t seem good.

Kelly:

I think what feels not good to you is a feeling that someone is suffering, someone is being mistreated.

Listener:

Yeah. If any of that is even going on, if that’s the way the whole system is set up for things like that to happen, yeah, it doesn’t seem good.

Kelly:

Okay. What’s the problem with that going on? What’s the exact problem in your mind? Can you pinpoint it? Is it that people lost money?

Listener:

Well, just what good. I don’t know what good is any of it do for humanity, kind of?

Kelly:

The reason people can short a stock is because the market is among other things, a price discovery mechanism. And when everyone can either buy the stock and drive the price up or short the stock, which is a bet that this company is going to decrease in price. Every person in the marketplace is expressing their opinion about what they think the price of that stock should be. And the collective opinion is the market price. So, there are some countries that do not allow individuals or companies, any investor to short certain stocks and bubbles are created because there’s no downward pressure. When you think that a financial instrument is overstated in price, you can sell it and get out of the market, but you can’t exert downward pressure.

Kelly:

You can’t express your opinion that it’s overpriced and have it decrease in price by shorting it. One of the things a public market does is price discovery. And when everyone can express their opinion about what they think the price of an instrument ought to be, the theory, and it works pretty well in the long-term, maybe not in the short term, but in the long-term is that when all market participants can express their opinion about the price of an instrument, we have a better idea of what that instrument is actually worth. That’s why people can short a stock. How does that feel for you?

Listener:

That sounds good.

Kelly:

Perfect. So, where did things in your mind go wrong? In other words, what were you thinking happened that shouldn’t have happened that week?

Listener:

I can’t really think of anything else that makes sense.

Kelly:

I have some thoughts. Would you a cafeteria plan?

Listener:

Sure.

Kelly:

Okay. It feels like there’s some elements that are wound together that feel upsetting. It feels out of control. It feels like people are losing money and suffering unnecessarily. It feels like this just shouldn’t be happening. It’s just messy. Who’s watching the store? Where are the grownups? What’s going on here?

Listener:

Yeah.

Kelly:

And it also feels there’s an element of, why is it so complicated?

Listener:

Yes, that too. Yes.

Kelly:

The average person can’t understand what’s happening here. Why is this so complicated? It feels like that’s all bound up together. What do you think?

Listener:

Yeah, that is very true. And actually, something I thought of recently that I was like, “I just need to remind myself of this. Life is entropy. It’s increasingly disordered, increasingly expanding and I need to get over it probably.”

Kelly:

That doesn’t feel very good to you though. Right?

Listener:

Well, no.

Kelly:

Yeah. I don’t really the idea of taking a thought and saying, “This is the way the world works,” and just jam it down your throat, just get over it, swallow that bitter pill and move on. It doesn’t feel good, does it? So, let’s not do that.

Listener:

Okay.

Kelly:

Let’s not use thought work to make ourselves miserable and just go sit in the corner and take it. Just stand it. Here’s how I think about it. This is a very, very, very orderly game.

Listener:

What’s the opposite?

Kelly:

Yes. The players decided to play this game. Have you ever bet $5 on whether something was going to happen or not, and it was just luck?

Listener:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kelly:

Exactly. And you lost your $5 and you had fun playing the game, or you won $5 and you had fun playing the game, but either way you were just playing a game. They were playing a billion-dollar game. And that is truly how they think about it. We’re going to short this stock or we’re going to buy this stock. And if we’re playing the game well, we make money.

Kelly:

And if we’re not playing the game well, if somebody else is playing it better than we are, we lose money. I don’t know who the person is on the Reddit thread or elsewhere, who decided, we’re all going to collectively drive up the price of this stock and squeeze the shorts out of their stock and they’ll lose money and we’ll make money. But they were all just playing a game and it was a big game, but that’s all they were doing. What do you think about that?

Listener:

That makes sense. That’s not the way I was thinking about it, but I see what you’re saying though. It’s an orderly game for them. I may not be playing the game, but just because I’m not playing, doesn’t mean that they’re not in on it.

Kelly:

Yes. They’ve all decided to play the game. And one of the options on the cafeteria plan that I didn’t give to you yet, is the idea that people shouldn’t suffer the consequences of the games that they choose to play. I think that’s present for you. We should save people from the natural consequences of their own voluntary actions and the wins or loses they have in the game. What do you think about that? Am I right or wrong?

Listener:

Well, but are you thinking, going back to my idea of how society is set up to either protect or not protect children or for optimal growth of children and their development and all of that. I go back to, there’s some people playing the game that they’re not choosing to.

Kelly:

Yes. If we stay with our hedge fund example and then extrapolate it back to children, I think that will be helpful. Is there an element in the GameStop trade where you were just uncomfortable that some people are losing money because the system is set up in a way that they can suffer a consequence that maybe they shouldn’t have to suffer. Is that there for you?

Listener:

Well, I don’t feel bad for anyone who’s in that, but just generally, it felt like, well, these people are … Okay, so they’re playing this game. They’re all aware that they’re playing the game, but at what cost, they’re all playing this game? And at what cost for the rest of the world? They’re playing this game, meanwhile children are dying in Chicago. You know what I mean?

Kelly:

Do you see that those things are completely unrelated?

Listener:

I really don’t.

Kelly:

Okay. How are they related?

Listener:

Because I feel as a society, we should be looking at those issues.

Kelly:

Okay. Are people not looking at those issues?

Listener:

I don’t think so.

Kelly:

What’s an example of people not looking at them? For example, let’s start over. We’ve got some hedge fund managers who are short GameStop, and we have some youngsters, millennials, whatever you want to call them, the Davids versus the Goliaths who are a long GameStop. Are they not concerned about the welfare of children?

Listener:

No.

Kelly:

How do you know?

Listener:

I guess I don’t.

Kelly:

Right. Of those human, is it likely that there’s any single one of them, if you got off a bus and threw a baby at one of them, they wouldn’t catch him?

Listener:

Okay. This goes back, I guess to the original dichotomy between making money and saving the world. How could they possibly care if they’re focused on making money?

Kelly:

Why do you think they’re focused on making money?

Listener:

Because you would have to be.

Kelly:

Because they have children, they’re humans, every human, animal focuses on making money for the protection and safety and care and feeding of their children. It’s why they’re motivated to make money.

Listener:

Yeah. By the way, I’m aware of how bad this all sounds. Anyone listening to this podcast, I realize how crazy I sound. I told Kelly before we started like, “People are really going to find out what a basket case I am.” I’m just being honest with the way that I’m thinking about it. And yeah, when I think about when you’re focused on making money, how could you? And then I guess if you’re concerned about your own family though, you’re only concerned about your own family.

Kelly:

How do you know they’re concerned about their own family exclusively?

Listener:

I don’t.

Kelly:

Right. Every wealthy person I know gives money to their family members who want to send their kids to a good school, but they live in a bad neighborhood. They give money to foundations that help children. I think you are truly in a thought error that the people who are focused on making money, don’t care about the welfare of children and mothers. And I’ve been in that world and they care more than anyone. That’s why they’re motivated to make money. That’s why they set up foundations. One of my wealthiest clients sets up hospitals and schools in Africa. That’s the main reason he makes money is to … Actually have two clients who do that. You just have a thought error that those people don’t care about children, and it’s really shutting you down and it’s not true and it’s not useful.

Kelly:

It’s the definition of a thought error, because what is actually happening when you’re boots on the ground is, there are just humans. And the more resources a human has, the more they act to better the lives of the other humans around them. Once in a while you catch a crazy by the tail, you’re dealing with someone who’s a sociopath and they don’t respond to human situations in the way other humans respond, but it’s rare. It’s like, if there’s a field of daisies, once in a while, there will be some random genetic mutation in a daisy where it doesn’t respond to soil, sunlight, CO2, and water the way all the other daisies respond. For the most part, money to a human is like sunlight. It’s energy. And you do things that humans like to do with it.

Kelly:

Just as all the daisies grow when there’s sunlight, when there’s money, all the humans act the same way. They do good things for children. They do good things for society. That’s generally the way it works. And I love the humanity and candor that you’re bringing to this call. I realized how crazy this sounds, but it actually doesn’t sound crazy. There’s a villain in your narrative. And the villain is the way that money is depicted in mainstream America. I can’t speak to other countries because I don’t live there, but I see the narrative in popular culture, in the news in movies, for example. Movies are stories that are crafted by Hollywood to grab at our brains in a particular way. Storytelling is the most powerful form of communication that there is because the human brain is designed to consume story just the way the human mouth is designed to consume a milkshake.

Kelly:

We get the straw in our mouth and we consume it without question. It feels so good going down that we don’t even stop because our brains are designed to consume it. We love it. And so when we’re fed stories, where for example, one of my favorite movies is a movie called About Time. And it’s a charming movie about the male lineage in a family who have the ability to travel back in time and how they use this ability to better the lives in their families. And there’s this little, teeny bit in the movie where the son, when he learns of this superpower that he has says to his father, “Well, we could obviously use this to make money, right?”

Kelly:

And the father says to the son, “Money is a mixed bag. I’ve never known a truly happy wealthy person.” In the meantime, they are living in a seaside mansion. Nobody seems to work. They frolic on the beach all day as a family. They sit by the picnic table and have charming three-hour lunches during the summertime. It’s obviously a wealthy family and they’re all very, very happy. And the father is admonishing the son, “Wealthy families aren’t really happy. It’s a mixed bag.” This is the kind of mixed narrative that we’re getting in the milkshakes that we’re consuming, in the stories we’re consuming from Hollywood and elsewhere. I’m not singling out Hollywood, but there is a narrative that the person with money is usually the villain.

Kelly:

The person with the money is usually the unhappy person. And it’s a thought error planted in story to create a David-Goliath situation in many stories or to create a narrative that you’re not really going to be happy when you have all this money. And the crazy thing about this narrative, it’s created by people who have a great deal of money and are usually very, very happy. What do you think about this?

Listener:

Yes. Okay. A question for you. You said the billionaire, that game is they’re all choosing to play. They know what game they’re playing. It’s a very orderly game. You’re saying that it’s very orderly. And do you feel that way just about all of money making in general? The entropy of it doesn’t bother you at all because there’s an order to all of it because of the energy exchange and because money is a form of energy and it’s flowing and that whole process is orderly?

Kelly:

It feels very orderly to me. And this is how I picture it. When I’m serving people, picture like a cartoon dog that’s digging a tunnel and you can see in the cartoon how deep and far the tunnel is, you have a cross-section a sideways view of it. This is how I view it. I’m like a dog in a cartoon and I’m digging and digging and digging and that’s helping people. And the tunnel is getting deeper and deeper and deeper as I go deeper into helping them. And the money is the dirt that is piling up behind me. It’s not the point of helping the people. I’m just digging and helping people and helping people. And the by-product of that is money just piles up behind me. And whenever I’m making a lot of money, this is how I feel. I’m just deep, deep, deep in the flow of helping people.

Kelly:

And when I look up, I’m like, “Wow, there’s a lot of dirt back there. A lot of stuff has piled up.” I think this is the way people who make a great deal of money really feel about it. They’re just engaged in the thing that is their unique gift to the world. And they look up and they go, “That’s a lot of money that has piled up there behind me.” It’s never the point, it’s the by-product. That’s when making money feels really, really good. And you can find some people who make some money who are focused on the money. And so it may look like that’s the way money is made, but that’s not the way serious money is made. Serious money is made by focusing on a serious problem with a real solution and just being immersed in it. And when you are immersed in it, the money just piles up because it’s the by-product of truly helping the world.

Listener:

Did you just think of the dog analogy just now?

Kelly:

No, I’ve used it a couple of times before.

Listener:

Okay. I like it. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And it’s orderly because it’s not a scattered process digging a tunnel.

Kelly:

Right. Your people are here and they need a path to get to the solution. And when you’re digging a tunnel … There’s amusement park in our town and the parking lot is across a busy highway from the actual amusement park. And for a while, whole families were crossing this busy highway and people were getting hurt or killed. And the owner of the amusement park dug a tunnel from the parking lot under the highway to the amusement park. And he paved it and he put an espresso stand and balloons in there.

Kelly:

And now it’s a lovely place that people can travel to, to get where they need to go from an unsafe situation, from a problematic situation to a happy ending. And that was the image that caused me to think of the dog. You’re just digging a tunnel that helps people and it saves them. And that’s what he did. And it protected his guests at his amusement park and obviously reduce liability, which he should, of course do. And everybody was better off as a result of digging this tunnel and he makes more money as a result of doing it.

Listener:

Okay. Like I said in the email, I want to know how you think. I’m really trying to get a handle on how you think. When you think about politics and “saving the world, saving the planet,” why is it that you feel no draw towards becoming involved in politics at all? Or do you?

Kelly:

In some ways what I do is political. If you consider that helping women close the gender wage and wealth gaps is a political issue, I am performing a political act because closing those gaps is something that politicians talk about. It’s something that policy makers talk about.

Listener:

Yes.

Kelly:

I was looking on the ACLU website the other day, and they said that their mission is to protect the provisions of the US constitution, and they have 17 or 18 areas in which they work. One of them was closing the female earnings’ gap. And what I was thinking about that is, this feels like a political issue. It feels like perhaps even a constitutional issue, but from my unique vantage point, I don’t think it is. And here’s why, you can mandate into law women get equal pay for equal work. You can mandate that into a workplace. You can mandate that into an individual relationship between an employer or a company and an employee or a contractor, but that doesn’t fix the under earnings’ problem that has been baked into women’s brains.

Kelly:

One of the problems that we’re talking about, that’s been baked into women’s brains that you’re so bravely coming on the podcast to talk about is, “Wait a minute. How can I be thinking about making money when I should be thinking about the welfare of children?” That’s a narrative that women have been fed since dirt. You’ve evolved to believe that if you’re not focusing on the welfare and wellbeing of children, you’re harming society. We’ve been hearing that since Betty Draper days. Before that there was a New York administrator called Frances Perkins who baked into New York state law about 100 years ago, married women are not allowed to work because if they work, they’re harming families. They’re harming breadwinners from getting jobs. They’re harming single women who need jobs and they’re harming their children.

Kelly:

This is a narrative that somebody came up with and they’ve been feeding it to us so long, we’ve accepted it as the truth. We’re swimming in an ocean of it, but we’re the fish. We don’t know that it’s water that’s even there. We just think this is the way the world works. And so to the extent that I’m bypassing all of that, and when I say something’s baked into a woman’s brain, here’s an example. My mom works for me once in a while. I have my own hedge fund with just my own money in it. And she works for me to do accounting for the portfolio. She knows how to read the statements. She knows how to figure out the profit and loss each month for the different traders who are working for the fund and trading the money.

Kelly:

I give her a raise from time to time. I’m like, “Mom, I’m going to pay this now. Mom, I’m going to pay you this now.” And the last time I give her a raise, every single time I give her a raise, because I know what it would cost me to go into the marketplace and hire this service, if I give her a raise, that’s equal to that amount she argues with me. “No, no, no, I don’t need any more money. I’m slower. I’m this, I’m that.” And it might seem like she’s doing that because she’s my mother, but she’s not. I listen to podcasts where I hear women who are CEOs, titans of industry talk about their backgrounds.

Kelly:

And what they say is when somebody told them, “Here’s the thing you’re going to do,” that was like the entryway into their big thing where they made all their money, inevitably the woman says to the person who’s offering them the opportunity, “Are you crazy? I’m not the person you give this opportunity to. I’m slow. I’m not all the things. Don’t pay me that much money.” That’s a female thing that’s baked into their brains. Politics doesn’t fix that. An act of Congress doesn’t fix it. A constitutional amendment doesn’t fix it. I know that we can fix it on our own. It may seem a political act to work on this problem, but it’s a very individual act because it’s a thought process where you for example, are really focused on what’s happening with children rather than focusing on your own earnings life.

Kelly:

Now, let’s bring this back to you. I love that you’re curious about how I’m thinking, but let’s clean up how you’re thinking, so it feels better for you. How does that sound?

Listener:

Good. Yes.

Kelly:

We talked about the hedge fund managers playing the game of shorting GameStop against the millennials and the youngsters as Wall Street is calling them who beat them at their own game this month. And it’s a game and it feels very orderly. And one of the sticking points for you is, well, they’re voluntarily playing that game. What about children? They’re not voluntarily playing the game. In a way, you’re right. You’re born into a family that maybe you didn’t choose. We don’t know how children come to be in the families that they come to be in. Maybe they actually do choose their family.

Listener:

Well, I kind of think that they do actually. That’s so funny that you should say that because after I was just saying they don’t choose it, but I literally do believe that they do.

Kelly:

Right. Okay. If they chose their family, no matter how “bad it is” when you’re concerned about their suffering in that family, I think it’s deeply human and it’s lovely that every lovely thing has an unlovely side. It’s like a coin, there are two sides to it. And the unlovely side that no one talks about is the human spirit. What I mean by this is the ability to thrive in any situation. There’s a dandelion in my driveway that has busted up out of the middle of the blacktop. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Listener:

Yes. Yeah, I do. Well, I think about, there was a book I read called. I Got There by JT … I forget his last name, but he’s the head of this company called Scribe for self-publishing with another guy, author, Tucker Max. Anyway, in his book, he went through almost anything you can abuse and neglect and just anything you can imagine. In this book, his uncle would pay him 25 cents for a day of really gross labor, cleaning out these old rental properties. And his thought was always, “How can I turn this into 50 cents?” It was never, “Ugh. See, he only gave me 25 cents. I can’t believe that I do this. I can’t believe this has …” He never wallowed. He just talked about how he didn’t wallow in being a victim about it. He would just think, “Okay, I have 25 cents. Now, how could I turn this into 50 cents?” Of course, he’s probably a multimillionaire by now. I don’t know for sure, but he’s successful in business at least. I think that’s related.

Kelly:

When we’re looking from the outside at someone’s situation and thinking this is harming them, what we’re not looking at is the truth that hardship is where humans grow stronger. I am more successful than any of my friends from my younger days who were “living in stable households” who were treated well, who had that foundation that they need. I’m more financially successful. And maybe that’s not the only measure of human strength, but I think it’s one of them. And I also feel people feel sorry for me. When they hear about my childhood. They’re like, “You sat alone in the lunchroom when you were in grade school.” A friend from high school heard that story the other day and she was crying for me. She was so sad about it.

Kelly:

And was it pleasant at the time? No, it wasn’t, but it taught me things that make me stronger as an adult. I would never go back and change it. When you’re looking at children who may or may not have chosen to be in a situation that is “harmful” when I say you I mean everyone, when we’re doing this, what we’re not seeing is that there is strength that’s born of that hardship and the people who go through it wouldn’t change it. And what we’re also not seeing is that there’s almost nothing that can happen to a human. Perhaps there is nothing that can happen to a human that we can’t feel fine about with the power of our brains.

Kelly:

For example, there was a flight surgeon named Rhonda Cornum, who went down in a military exercise. I think she was in Iraq. And when she was abducted, her helicopter crashed. She broke her back. She broke, I think her leg. She was abducted and held a prisoner of war and she was raped and tortured repeatedly over the course of her captivity until she was rescued. And when she came out of it, she was interviewed by the New York Times. And she said, “People are making so much about this indecent sexual assault and the torture. And what I realized is that the only thing that makes it indecent is a thought. If it’s consensual intercourse, it’s because my thought is, yes. If it’s “rape” that’s going to harm me for the rest of my life, it’s because my thought was no. I realized that I could make myself a victim or a victor in my brain.”

Kelly:

Those weren’t her exact words, but that’s what she was thinking about it. There’s really nothing that you can do to harm a human if in their brain, they choose not to be harmed. Children can be in situations that are harmful and in their adult life, they can learn to feel very strong about those situations by seeing how they can use their brain in their own thought work, to create alpha energy for themselves, and then they become unstoppable. This is the way I feel in my own life. And they can do that in hindsight, and they can even do it during the process. There were things that happened in my childhood. This is a crazy example that I grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. And when my dad was still around, it’s a lake town, we would go out on the lake all day.

Kelly:

The amount of beer that was hauled onto that boat, in modern times we would look and think, “what was going on?” Literally every adult on the boat had to be just plastered. And so, we were hanging out with drunks all day long, but we didn’t think a thing of it. We were having a blast. And if we look back on that, we think, “Oh, the ’70s, everybody was an alcoholic. We were harming children.” We were fine because we didn’t have a thought that that wasn’t the way it should go. In the present, we can feel fine about something that is theoretically harmful. And in hindsight, we can become fine about things that were theoretically harmful. The power of the human spirit is so much stronger than I think you are giving credit for. What do you think?

Listener:

Yes. Yes. I think that all makes sense. The thing that I go back to is, the things that happen and it just seems like it’s so unnecessary. It could have been avoided. It could have been different. It could have been avoided if people did what was right or did what they were supposed to do, et cetera. I get stuck in that and I’m not taking the next step. Yeah, that’s true, but the next step is the power of the human spirit.

Kelly:

Let’s go back a step further.

Listener:

Okay.

Kelly:

You’re thinking something bad has happened that could have been avoided, but the human spirit can overcome it. And sometimes that is what happens. But for the most part, I think your brain is thinking something bad has happened that could have been avoided, when in fact nothing has gone wrong, everything is going perfectly.

Listener:

Do you really think that though?

Kelly:

Absolutely. Nothing went wrong in the GameStop trade. Some people lost $2.1 billion. Some people made $2.1 billion, whatever the amount is. Nothing happened bad in the pandemic. Kids got to stay home. Even if you don’t like the way their household works, most of them, the vast majority of them were happier staying home than going to school.

Listener:

But even if they weren’t though, it doesn’t matter.

Kelly:

They are in the situation of something went wrong, but they’re going to forge through it and become stronger as a result. That’s the isolated situation. For the most part, when your brain, your particular unique brain is thinking something has gone wrong here, absolutely nothing has gone wrong. It’s been by design and it’s something that actually furthers humanity. I think when you’re thinking something has gone wrong and I just need to get over it, actually, absolutely nothing has gone wrong.

Listener:

What about in your own childhood? It’s the same for that, like thinking about your dad and the house with the freeway. It wasn’t that it went wrong.

Kelly:

Right. Every heroic journey, every story of human achievement and growth starts in a place where you want to leave. It’s the beginning of every story, every heroic journey necessarily begins at a place that you wouldn’t want to stay in, or there’s no growth. If you start in a place that’s perfect, you don’t grow. It’s perfect that we’re starting out in places that we don’t want to be in.

Listener:

Okay. And you really feel that? You don’t wish it was different?

Kelly:

No, absolutely not. And there’s no one who’s gone on a heroic journey and gotten to the end of the tunnel to the amusement park on the other side of the highway, who feels like, “I wish I wouldn’t have been there,” because they get to experience the growth and the energy from the growth that comes from leaving the unhappy starting point and going to the happy ending. I always go back to the movie, Legally Blonde. Elle Woods boyfriend broke up with her. That was her unhappy thing that happened to her, but look what she got as a result of the growth from that thing happening. If you don’t know, every business problem can be solved by a lesson from the movie Legally Blonde.

Listener:

I did not know.

Kelly:

Yes. I hope this helps you so much. We’re running out of time, but are there any questions you want to ask before we close? We have about a minute left.

Listener:

No. I’m going to listen to this when this episode goes up and I’m going to look at my notes and everything. Yeah, just very grateful for you taking the time to do it because obviously I haven’t thought about these things in this way. It’s all new to me and I know it’s very good and very healthy.

Kelly:

I am very grateful for you being the first, very brave listener to come on the show. I think this is probably the most helpful episode that we’re ever going to air. And it’s because you were willing to just say, “This is what my crazy brain is doing to me. I need some help.” I love that you did that. And we can even do this again, if you want to. You can listen to this episode, you can think about what’s going on here and you can come back on the show at another time and say, “All right, what about this?” And we’ll sort through that as well.

Listener:

Sounds good.

Kelly:

Okay. Thank you so much for being on the show.

 

So that was our first interview for the podcast. I hope this process, and listening to this conversation, was helpful for you. I think it was helpful to our listener, because afterwards, I received an email from her in which she shared her biggest takeaways. This is what she had to say:

  • The first thing she said was, “We choose to play the games we play, perhaps even children, in that they choose their parents.”
  • The second thing she said was, “When I feel like things are out of control, messy, and that feeling of ‘who’s minding the store!?” comes up, “then I can remember that … what if there’s nothing actually problematic? And then from there, remember the POWER of the human spirit.”
  • She also wrote, “There’s nothing you can do to harm a human if in their brains they don’t choose to be harmed. There is NOTHING problematic about our childhoods if we decide that there’s not.  
  • “What if things aren’t “fair” or “unfair”, but rather they are the games people are playing? How do I feel when I think that thought instead?”
  • I love this point she made. “Business is political. Therefore there’s nothing to be guilty about. In fact, it may be the ONLY thing that’s truly effective.”
  • And then the last thing she wrote was, “Making money is like a dog digging a hole. It’s the way to make SERIOUS money. Solving a SERIOUS problem with a SERIOUS solution, and immersing deep in the flow of that. The money accumulates at the top, but it’s not what [we’re] focused on in the moment.”

I love all these takeaways that she shared with us, and as I said in our last episode, this is a woman on the verge of busting into high profit thinking. Want to give it a try for yourself? You can ask questions to be answered on the podcast, and then come on the show and have a chat regarding your thoughts, questions, and concerns, just as we did with this listener in today’s episode and in the last episode. Do you want to play? If so, send your questions to kelly@kellyhollingsworth.com. I hope to hear from you with all of your money-making questions and concerns, and thank you so much for being here today.

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