SEP Episode 33: Creating a Contagious Vision for Your Business with Garrett Gunderson

 

Hello, and welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray, and today, I’m really excited to share something special with you. Today, my guest on the show is Garrett Gunderson. Garrett is the founder of Wealth Factory, a company that’s been making big waves and innovations in the financial planning industry, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs, but it’s not just his methods that are unique. Garrett also has a unique and powerful business vision, which he’s built his company around. You can see it in his unique and viral marketing, his highly-committed and loyal team, and his own personal energy and creativity in everything he does.

 

Podcast

Key Takeaways

[1:12] Garrett’s defining moment growing up

[3:30] Recognizing your limiting beliefs and working on them

[6:37] Defining true success

[10:09] How you can utilize your money more efficiently

[13:27] How Garrett’s used his passion for comedy to enrich his business

[17:00] Garrett’s business principals for Wealth Factory

[19:50] How Garrett and his team generate great content that creates high engagement

[27:54] Garrett’s unique future plans for Wealth Factory

[30:42] How Garrett is able to find and hire the very best

[36:25] Garrett’s vision for improving the financial industry

[42:20] Garrett’s core values that allow him to live his best life

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Wealth Factory

Wealth Factory Articles

Wealth Factory Facebook

Wealth Factory LinkedIn

Wealth Factory TV on YouTube

Garrett’s Books:

Killing Sacred Cows

What Would the Rockefeller’s Do?

5-Day Weekend

The Financial Freedom Mastery Course

New Rules to Get Rich

Other Resources:

Landmark Worldwide

Betterment

Gobundance

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Total Money Makeover

 

Transcript

Kyle Gray:

For this episode, I was able to interview Garrett in person, so we set up a few cameras and recorded this full interview on video as well. If you’d like to check out that video, go to thestoryengine.co/garrett, and you can watch this full interview in video format. There are multiple cameras. It’s professionally done. It looks awesome. With that, let’s take it over to Garrett.

Kyle Gray:     

Garrett, thanks so much for joining me.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Hey, it’s good to be here with you, man. This is going to be fun.

Kyle Gray:     

So I like to start this off by just introducing the audience to you a little bit, and I would love to hear about a defining moment in your life that has lead you to create Wealth Factory. And then, of course, tell us a little bit about it just in case anybody listening or watching doesn’t know you.

Garrett Gunderson:    

I think what started me out in, like if I go to a defining moment early on, the earliest I can remember is I was in kindergarten in Ms. Ashcroft’s class, and we were doing this project where you got to drink your chocolate milk but then you turned your chocolate milk carton into a replica of your home. And for me, I think it was my best art project to date. I still remember it. I couldn’t wait to go show my mom. And then she said, “Look, here’s the deal. I’m going to take these from you, and you go home and memorize your address. When you memorize them, I’ll give them back to you.” Well, I was a little boy. So I went home and played. I didn’t even remember whatsoever. The next day I think every girl in the class got theirs back, remembered to do the assignment. All the boys are like, “Ah, crap. We forgot.” So then the next day, most kids memorized it. Well, I went out to the front of the house. It was freezing cold. So I looked real quick. It was 326 Carson. That’s all I had to remember. And I went back and I totally forgot. Right? I think I transposed the numbers or missed some things.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So now it’s like the final day of the week. It’s on Friday. So I and this one other kid are the only ones left. So I’m like really focused in on it. I really feel like I’ve got it dialed in, and then we come back and he gets his right out the gate. So now the entire class is looking at me and I freeze. So I can’t get this. So she grabs it off the shelf and throws it in the trash. Dude, at that moment, I told myself, “I’m stupid.” I really thought I was stupid.

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j3baojCBvQ[/embedyt]

 

Garrett Gunderson:    

So I think when some people get that belief, they kind of crumble and they kind of prove that. For me, it was like trying to prove everything but that. And I thought, at one point I got in my head, like, “What would show the world that I’m not stupid?” And I don’t think this was the best ambition. It was just the start was, “Well, if I could have a million dollars doesn’t mean I’m not stupid,” right? So it’s not accurate into the real world, but in my mind at some time maybe as a 14-year-old or 13 years old, that’s what I came up with, and I launched my first business at 15.

Kyle Gray:     

That’s really cool. It’s funny because there’s these little like defining moments in our lives that keep coming back, we keep revisiting. How has that story impacted you from maybe 15 and beyond starting businesses and have you done some work to kind of integrate it and rebalance it in your life?

Garrett Gunderson:    

Oh, I’ve done some work on that for sure. Like one of the biggest pieces of work I did was I recognized that when things weren’t going my way, I felt out of control, they weren’t working the way I wanted, is I would throw a temper tantrum. And I didn’t really recognize this until my very assistant. One day she wrote me this letter, and she says, “Hey. If I’m going to continue to work here, you’re going to have to do something about your temper.” I was like, “Dude, I never thought of myself as having a temper at all.” But if something didn’t go right, I used to get really like animated. I’m all loud anyway. And I never yelled at her, but the fact that I’d be upset stressed her out. And so what would go on is every time life wasn’t going how I wanted it to, the five-year-old took over. The five-year-old that thought he was stupid came in and was like throwing a tantrum. And so I’m living my life this way until I went through the advanced course of Landmark and recognized that this had happened, and that was the beginning.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Then later, one of my friends Gary, he and I had this accountability call every week, and we’d kind of coach each other as peers. He recognized because he had done a lot of work. He goes, “Dude, you need to have a conversation with your five-year-old.” So he made me go get a picture of myself as a five-year-old, right? And I just sat it on the couch on this pillow. He’s like, “You need to tell him that you’re capable, but you got to speak to the terms a five-year-old would understand.” So first, I’m uncomfortable. I’m on the phone and I’m trying to talk to a picture of myself. I’m feeling embarrassed as hell, and every time I go to talk he goes, “Dude, you really think a five-year-old knows these vocabulary words?” I’m like, “Damn it. No.”

Garrett Gunderson:    

So finally, I start doing this real conversation with a five-year-old and I start crying. My wife happens to walk out of the bedroom at that time, sees me bawling, like just bawling because I’m realizing like every time I’m beating myself up is I’m beating up this five-year-old. I’m really getting present to it, and she thought there was something major going on in our lives. Like, “Are we okay financially?” I was just having this major breakthrough of like recognizing that that was an initial ambition but it was a limiting belief. And that I would be very … Rather than being fully expressed, I was very like limited and controlled. Am I smarter than the person I’m talking to on a topic? Great. Then I’ll speak up. If I’m not, I’m just going to be quiet. So I felt introverted at times. I felt like even awkward in social settings at times because of that incident with the milk carton, and really doing that work and having that conversation was so healing that even in one of my offices, I still have a picture of me as a five year just as kind of a reminder.

Kyle Gray:     

That’s really cool. And I think a lot of us … I mean, all of us have these stories that are defined by us, and you mentioned your first conclusion was like, “If I make a million dollars, that’s what will make me smart.” And you now with Wealth Factory, you’re working with hundreds of entrepreneurs around money. And I would love to know what a lot of these people coming to you if they have kind of … What are some of the most common kind of inner child stories with money that people bring that a lot of entrepreneurs are facing right now that you like help correct?

Garrett Gunderson:    

Look, man, entrepreneurs feel broken in a lot of ways, right? Tons of them were high school dropouts or no college education or had a rough relationship with a parent that was important to them or major incident, and so a lot of them are trying to fill that void with business success. The problem is what is success? Like if we let society define success, a lot of times it’s how much you have, do you have more than everyone else, are you on the cover of a magazine, having all these accolades. It’s so external, and that external validation is never truly fulfilling because it’s hard to love yourself if you’re looking for other people’s approval. And all you have to do is go to social media to see there’s plenty of people that are really, really good at being negative and only looking at what’s wrong. And so entrepreneurs, when it comes to money, they usually look primarily at revenue because that’s kind of the ego bragging rights, and not as much about what they keep and if they’re building a business that’s congruent with what success really means to them.

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzUwAgEyJMo[/embedyt]

 

Garrett Gunderson:    

Like I really encourage entrepreneurs to use money as a benchmark but always have a second benchmark for success at a minimum. Right? Which could be anything from quality of life to time away from the business to just things that really fulfill them. Like I’m taking up archery right now. I’m taking up fishing right now. I just did a cooking lesson last night. I have an archery lesson coming up. I’m doing standup comedy on a regular basis. I’m looking for things that are really cool hobbies that actually can enhance the experience and quality of life along the way because I never really planned on retiring. But I had to stop comparing myself to others, and I had to really get clear about what success meant to me and make sure that I was creating a game worth winning because just working harder, just making more money, I was checking off those lists but I’d always find someone who had more. And I would find jealousy, I’d find envy, I’d find that I’d look at them differently or treat them differently or want something from them versus just saying, “No. Let me get grounded. How can I love myself? How can I love my life?”

Garrett Gunderson:    

And one of the things that are ultimately important, not like because if I look back in my 20s, if I would have told you what was important, I was pretty clear. It was like a business. Like when people say, “Hey, you live in Utah. Do you ski?” I’m like, “No, man. I own a business.” They’re like, “Well, what about like what are your other hobbies?” I’m like, “Business.” I’m like how do they not get it? Just work and when that’s done, I think about work. When I go on vacation, I’m not on vacation, I’m thinking about work the whole time. And back then, when I’d go to church, I thought about work. Now I can actually leave the computer at the office, not have the cellphone at night, and actually feel like I can create this cool quality of a relationship that has a presence versus a distraction, right?

Garrett Gunderson:    

So when it comes to money, most entrepreneurs are kind of a mess when it really comes down to it. They’re stuck on this treadmill thinking if they work harder, that it’s always going to pay off. But hard work with the wrong philosophy can still equal bankruptcy. They’re like on that treadmill where they run faster. They don’t always get further ahead. And honestly, the think that if they just make more money, it makes everything better. And that’s great if they can continue making more money by adding value, but what if they could actually just keep a lot more of what they make and have a lot more stability and security because if they’re married, usually their spouse feels like they’re a little bit too risky, and the spouse is looking for a little bit of safety and security. At Wealth Factory, we help them get economically independent so that they can be supporting each other without compromise.

[bctt tweet=”Hard work with the wrong philosophy can still equal bankruptcy. -Garrett Gunderson” username=”kylethegray”]

Kyle Gray:     

On top of that, as far as like people’s strategies with money, I think a common one these days is kind of put a bunch into Betterment or some broad allocations.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Some Robo Advisor or hedge fund.

Kyle Gray:     

Yeah. And you’ve got a lot of really unique ways that people can use the money that their business is making or I assume even in a non-business, just a salary situation. What are some of the ways that you think people can utilize their money better?

Garrett Gunderson:    

Well, this especially works for business owners, but it could work for anyone. Before they’re risking money or locking it away in a retirement plan, we’re like, “Why not just be more efficient with it? Why not keep more of what you make?” And there’s four I’s to do that. One is the IRS, especially business owners, 93% overpay tax. That’s money that’s rightfully theirs, they just aren’t in the know. The second one is interest. This applies to pretty much anyone with a loan. If they have more than one loan, it’s like an 80% chance they’re overpaying on their interest. If they haven’t restructured, renegotiated, figured out if they have under providing assets that can pay that off and improve cash flow, there’s so much money that’s in that.

Garrett Gunderson:    

The third I is investments. There’s a ton of nonperforming fees. That’s why something like Betterment or index funds becomes really popular. There’s expense ratios, 12B1 fees if it’s in a retirement plan. There’s legal fees, admin fees, all this stuff adds up, and it confiscates massive amounts of wealth. But more importantly, market changes confiscate a lot of wealth, and people, unfortunately, participate in the downside. They don’t need to if they know how to have protection mechanisms. And then the fourth I is insurance, which a lot of people just have duplicate coverages, improper structure, and therefore they’re paying the insurance company more than is necessary, and so we’re really good at showing them how to get that money back because if you can boost your bottom line by 10% or more through a few hours of knowledge and maybe a weeks worth of execution, that could save you 10, 20, or 30 years of just scrimping and saving and sacrificing, trying to build up that amount of cash flow that you could get because of that insight.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So I’m an efficiency nerd. I love finding cash and putting it back in their lives. They can reinvest it in the quality of life, they can reinvest it in their business, and I feel like business owners have a really cool advantage that they can grow that business and see really a lot bigger returns than most stock markets because stock markets are already pretty established companies. Where most small businesses still have a lot of room for growth. They haven’t saturated the market yet.

Kyle Gray:     

I love that, and I think a lot of business owners never consider these things because I mean, most of the time they’re worried about, again, revenue or how do I bring in more revenue, how do I solve a problem. They’re usually good at one particular thing or a couple of things and managing their finances is usually the thing that they want to do the least.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Then they know that they should do it, but it always falls to the bottom of the task list. Understandably because there’s horrendous advice out there because most of the time it’s the pain of, “Oh, I have to spend less and enjoy life less,” which I’m against. I’m about living wealthier along the way. That’s why efficiency is so important. And there’s so much conflicting advice out there. They’re like, “What do you listen to or what do you do?”

Kyle Gray:     

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So you’ve been talking about living life along the way and some of the hobbies that you’re doing right now. I would love to hear … So you were mentioning even before we got on the show, talking about standup comedy, and I think it’s really interesting because you also … One of the main growth drivers for your business is speaking onstage and presenting your ideas, which can make a really big impact and share. I would love to hear like about how your work in comedy right now is impacting kind of your presenting onstage and how is that evolving because it’s fun to see one of your core business skills and then a side passion really synergizing.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Yeah. I spoke at this event Mastermind Talks back in 2014, and then I’ve been doing round tables at it ever since. But this year I actually did standup comedy. So I did a round table one day teaching, and then at the end of the event, I did standup comedy. And someone else was in the crowd from Go Abundance, Mike McCarthy, and he had me speak at his event the year before. And he’s like asking me to come back this year, and says, “Why don’t you speak, but then would you do standup comedy.” So I’m actually doing standup sets at events I’m speaking at. I’ve done it at some of our events, not most of them.

Garrett Gunderson:    

But yes, by doing standup, one, I was uncomfortable. I was nervous. I wasn’t sure how it works. It’s a different skill set I’m developing. So it’s good to kind of get uncomfortable. You grow a lot that way, and it was like releasing of endorphins after doing it that first time. So now I’m integrating it more into my speaking. One of our mutual friends, Reagan Archibald, like I said, I spoke at three or four of his events. It’s like half comedy, half content, but people enjoyed it a lot. They’ll actually listen to finance at a totally different level with it.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So I want to be the most impactful speaker in money and finance in history, and the way to do that I feel is making it more entertaining so it’s less threatening, it’s more digestible so that people can get value. So I’m turning a hobby that’s very near and dear to me because it was something that connected me to both sides of my family, the Gunderson’s side and the Aquino side. My mom and dad side because they used to, from the time I was a kid, say, “Oh, Garrett’s here. Why don’t you get around and tell jokes?” And I’d tell the whole family jokes. Even when my grandpa got like community awards, “Ah, my grandson tells funny jokes. Come on up here.” And so I realized it was this familial thing.

Garrett Gunderson:    

And actually, it’s funny because right when I started doing standup, my wife saw I got the bug. She goes, “Next thing I know we’re going to be traveling, you’re going to be traveling.” I’m like, “No, no, no. I’m just doing it in Utah.” Like honestly days later I got offered to do something at the Mesa Theater in Grand Junction. It was right after Thanksgiving where my family on the Gunderson side was having Thanksgiving in Grand Junction. So I said, “Yeah, we’re going.” So I booked flights for everyone, and she goes, “See, I can already feel it. Here we are.” But I got to have almost everyone but my grandma from that side in the crowd. I did five of my 20 minutes just on making fun of them. They were hysterically laughing. So like I’ve got this legacy connection to it, but I also can use it in what I do to really get a message across that I think is imperative for people to understand their finances in a non-threatening way.

Kyle Gray:     

I really like that, and what you’ve done really well with your speaking is you’ve positioned yourself as very different than most kind of financial advisors or anyone in that space. And I’ve worked with a lot of people that it becomes very dull and dry. And through I think your speaking and presenting and probably just your methods, you’ve really differentiated yourself in a crowded and extremely competitive market. And I would love to know kind of how Wealth Factory has evolved and how you’ve found your unique voice and your unique position in this marketplace, and maybe there are some nuggets that other people in different industries could use to differentiate themselves.

Garrett Gunderson:    

I’m still feeling like we’re trying to connect who we are online to who we are in person because I once did this video and I don’t know if you know Ian Stanley, but he does standup and he’s a copywriter and he’s like, “Yeah, I saw the guy on video, and it’s not Garrett. It’s Garrett trying to be what the world wants,” because he had seen me speak in person. And I realized I was just a little bit more formal, not as much like humor, not as easy. So I’m looking at I don’t want Wealth Factory to ever feel corporate because I don’t ever want to take Wealth Factory corporate. Like Wealth Factory isn’t here for money management. You can go to Betterment or you can go to Wealth Front or you can go to these other organizations, Robo Advisors, and they’ll manage your assets and invest your money. We’re here to get their financial house in order, create economic independence, do they have enough cash flow to cover their basic expenses and change their family’s financial future and financial destiny because they can build a legacy to last. That lights me up, right?

Garrett Gunderson:    

So even though any consultant if they come and looked at our organization, they’re like, “Oh, you’d make so much more money.” I’m like, “Yes, but you think that, but we’d have to give up our core values to do it.” So at Wealth Factory, I like that we can have a little playfulness. I like the culture here within our organization. I love that almost every month we’re doing Wealth Acceleration Workshop at our headquarters where we’re at right now. We’ve got Legacy events, Soul Purpose events. We’ve got strategic business forms.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Like we’re doing two to three workshops per month here, and in that, people get to see our team, and then there’s joking and there’s fun. But they’re really good at their craft, and they’re here because they love it, not because they have to be here to get a paycheck. Because honestly, we’re more of a production-based economy than time and effort. There’s not a lot of salaries in this firm, but there’s a lot of people making six figures. So it’s because when they contribute to the bottom line, we share in that. We give them unlimited upside potential without the downside of being an owner, which includes cash flow issues or if this building were to flood or if there’s an issue, there are things that happen with the business owner.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So at Wealth Factory, we’re really looking to serve the right customer that is willing to do the work. Like I got to have lunch with one of the people who just joined our program today. He flew in because he was dealing with some stuff that he wanted to get done before he came to a workshop, and I just happened to get done with my filming early. So we had lunch, got to know a lot about him, and that’s what I love that we do. I get to meet people. I would say of the people I spend the most time with, I met two-thirds of them through going through my program. Like that’s cool. You don’t get that with a mutual fund. You don’t get that with traditional investments, but you get that with a program that’s working with people to actually get implementation and results.

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJlHhxCViRg[/embedyt]

 

Kyle Gray:     

I love that you say you get to meet people, and that’s what lights you up. That’s one of the reasons I love this show, that’s one of the reasons I’m also a big content creator. I love doing a lot of writing, making videos, and all kinds of things like that. Just walking through your office, you’ve shown me you’ve got this really cool film studio set up too, and you’re always … You’re prolific. I want to hear about kind of your plans for your podcast, but first, I think tell me, you’ve got a great video studio set up just next door and you’re doing a lot of recording. How do you decide what you make, how you put it together, and what’s your process for really creating great content that’s spreading this online brand?

Garrett Gunderson:    

We have an awesome marketing team. We have a CMO who’s a business partner who really thinks through things even deeper than I do. We’ve got two copywriters. We’ve got a web developer, and we’ve got a customer service person. So they’re really good and in touch with all the issues that are going on not only in the marketplace because they read so much and research so much but all the feedback we’re getting from people that we’re reaching out to. Because Wealth Factory, even though we want a million people to be economically independent, I’m doing that by licensing my content to even other financial firms that share our values. The way that we’re casting our net wide is everything from our weekly publications and our video courses. So we have a video course on step by step way to economic independence. Well, there’s this one topic inside of there called Cashflow Banking where you kind of cut out the middle man, you rig the game more in your favor where it’s rigged against you, you earn interest rather than pay it, and it’s been kind of my never filming strategy from the time I was 19 years old. And we get tons of feedback of people wanted more. So I ended up filming a separate course of 42 videos on that, right? And that was a team. Like our whole team came together and said, “I feel like this is something we need,” right?

Garrett Gunderson:    

Or another thing is people were when they think about scaling business were running too fast and running out of steam and harming themselves or finding that they were being eaten up by their business rather than having it improve their life. And so we filmed a course on that. So I get a lot from the team, and then I still keep an oar in the water by doing One Day Emergence. So do these One Day Emergence where people hire me just for the day to work through their chaos, work on their creation, and I get a lot of understanding of what people are dealing with in those one-day things because I don’t like to do the one on one followup. I got an amazing team that’s way better at it than I am because I want to stay on the creation side. But that helps me understand it.

[bctt tweet=”Your business should improve your life, not run it. -Garrett Gunderson” username=”kylethegray”]

Garrett Gunderson:    

Now today when I filmed, I filmed for three hours. I filmed the video for an event that I can’t be physical attendance. So I did a video for it. I filmed a lot of social media because I’m starting to actually do more social media stuff since I’ve neglected it my entire life. I’m hesitantly getting into it to be candid. But the social media firm asked my opinion on a ton of stuff. So I just did really short segments on that. I film a lot for our existing members of people that are working with us on all the additional benefits and the workshops and the things that are included in what they do that we didn’t announce, which is exciting for me to do, right?

Garrett Gunderson:    

So like today wasn’t as much content creation. It was just kind of connecting with a lot of people. But right now, like last year we filmed a ton, and a lot of it was version three of some of our things. So I can make it really current and up to date, and some was just version two and one of the courses was just the very first time we did it. But that was about I would say 75 hours of edited content last year. And I look at most of that as like it was supplemental resources for people that are getting one on one from us. So that’s kind of collaboration. But right now writing my book, there’s just so much new content to share, and this content I’m writing right now like you can research it on Google and so much of it doesn’t exist, even the terminology. And so I expect the next book to be my perennial bestseller, the main kind of key books that’s like the Rich Dad Poor Dad was for 20 years or the Total Money Makeover for Ramsey. Like this is the change in the game book. This is the reinvent the industry book.

Kyle Gray:     

I think that’s really cool, especially since you’re creating so many things and you’ve been able to build a team outside of your core kind of office team. You have so many different content creators working with you. And you mentioned before we got on camera a little bit about the challenges of having so many people working with you but staying true to your own voice. And I’d love to hear about how you manage that and some of the ways that you make sure that now 100% Garrett’s coming through.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So when Wealth Factory writes an email, it’s from Builders at Wealth Factory. Builders mean our writers and our team. If it’s from me, they always send it to me even if they wrote it, and I get to rewrite and make it mine and in my voice. So that I think helps out. In writing my books, I enroll like Steven Palmer who wrote Killing Sacred Cows, a New York Times Bestseller together. He’s working with me on the new book. So he knows how I write and how I think and how to take me… Like I just put bullet points and he knows how to write that in the paragraph. But then I kind of rewrite it to make it more my voice because he’s more intellectual than I am. He’s more well-read than I am. I’m more kind of straight forward, coal miner kid at the time, even though I’ve gotten a lot of knowledge in the financial world. So I really feel like as my books have gone on, they’re more and more in my voice.

Garrett Gunderson:   

And I wrote this thing called The Wealth Book, which is 140 pages. I think it’s the best writing I’ve ever done. I wrote over 90% of it. Some of our writers at Wealth Factory wrote about 10%, some portions on legal and accounting because they did some interviews and everything. So it’s a little bit dryer in that part because it’s just stuff that people need to know. But it was like hard for me to write in a punchy way. And man, that took me a long time because I’m good at getting it 80% of the way, but to get it to 100% of the way. So I ended up bringing in Steven Palmer to help touch it up at the very end and paying him, and I had another editor. But that was all. Like when you read that, it sounds like me from the stage. You can tell it’s directly from my voice, and I felt more connected to that project, and I also put a video in that. And I think it was the first time that the writing was better than the video.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So that was really cool on the content side, and the social media firm I hired, I rewrite everything that they write unless they just nail it. And a lot of times they say things a little differently than me or a little more harsh than me or not quite grasping the concept 100%. And I’ve met with a few of them, and we talk not every week if I’m out of town but most weeks and talk through things. And then I film videos for them and then they take segments from that.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So I really want to make sure it’s authentic. I want to make sure that … Like I don’t want to become so corporate that I’m disconnected from the people or disconnected from society or all of a sudden our clients are numbers. If our clients just become numbers, it’s not a business I want to own. I want to be connected to them, shaking their hand, hearing the story, building those relationships. Like I got an email two days ago from one of our clients, her name’s Karen, and she just said, “When are you coming to see the dream home?” Like within weeks of our program, they got their dream home. You might know who she and her husband are because they’re big in the health space, like really well known. And I was like, “That’s really cool.” That’s cool that she sent me an email and when I go to Phoenix, I’m going to go see this dream home because I get to see it come to reality. I’ve made bets with my clients on how much tax we had saved. If I had won, they owed me a football game.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So it’s like I get … I like that. I like that there’s like people come to the Wealth Acceleration Workshops, I’m leading half of it. So I’m meeting them. I’m shaking their hand, I’m hearing their story, right? There’s a connection. I realize we’re helping individuals. We’re not dealing with spreadsheets. We’re not dealing with robots.

Kyle Gray:     

Garrett, you’ve mentioned several times that you don’t want to get too corporate. You want to keep this a nice kind of boutique operation, and a lot of what you’re doing, your videos are around you, speakings based on you, your business is very much driven around your personality. A lot of entrepreneurs want to create something that an asset that they can eventually sell one day. But this doesn’t exactly sound like your plan because you also don’t want to get corporate. What’s your long game vision for this, and how do you see yourself fitting in, especially like bringing in more elements of just living your life?

Garrett Gunderson:    

Well, the good news is we do have some other people at the firm that speak. A guy by the name of Tim Carden and Brandon Allen and Demi McConku so we’ve got the speakers, and a lot of times I might be the first speaker at an event, and then a year later one of these guys come. So we can kind of build a long term relationship when I go speak somewhere. But having the organization we do, I freed up my time to create content, to write like books, and then to speak on stages. So that’s been a lot of fun.

Garrett Gunderson:    

But my plan with Wealth Factory is to be an ease up, employee stock option program where the way we sell it is to the people that work here, and then we all just own it together so that we can all be entrepreneurial and they’re entrepreneurs within the organization. And they can benefit even more form the upside. If I were to sell this to another entity, there’s a lot of ways they can monetize it. there would be against the core values of who we are and what we stand for and the commitment we made to our clients. Look, I look at Wealth Factory as like this art lab for me.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Like I don’t consider myself as much an entrepreneur as an artist because I’ve been doing this for 20 years now in the same industry, just keep evolving. And so whether it’s creating a wealth book, which you get a wealth book right over there if you grab it. This, to me, is the art, right? We’ve got videos that we film. We’ve got the great magazine that I think is super sexy and all the writing in it. Like putting that together to enhance the experience, that’s not a marketing tool. That’s an enrollment when someone’s already enrolled, an experienced tool, and so that’s part of the artistry. I want to continue to create this art for this organization, have it be as sustainable as it can.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So my CMO and I have this really healthy competition of who is more responsible for getting people in the program. Them doing all their media buys and all their marketing initiatives or me being on stages, and that’s one of the games I’d love to lose. I’d love for them to beat me, and they just keep gaining ground and I love it because then I can say, “Well, I want to speak 10 to 12 times a year, and I want to be really selective with those stages that I’m on so I can spend more time at my cabin and more time writing a book.” I mean, when I wrote my first book, it took me years afterward because I was so entrenched in operations and sales. I don’t do the sales. We got a great sales team. I don’t do operations. We have a COO. So I’ve been continuing to build a life I love by having an organization that I love, and I’m only doing the things most of the time that I really want to do and that I really enjoy.

Kyle Gray:     

So one of the most essential things about honing in and doing only what you enjoy, which I think is critical for an entrepreneur to be really successful …

Garrett Gunderson:    

And sustainable.

Kyle Gray:     

And sustainable, for sure. You’ve got to find that your vein, where you add the most value, and you love what you’re doing.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Yeah.

Kyle Gray:     

But I think it’s really challenging. A lot of people don’t make it, especially you get limited in operations and by your team.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Right.

Kyle Gray:     

And you’ve already mentioned you want to have employee stock options. You want to co-own this business with your team members. So you’ve got to get amazing people in here, and you’ve got to create. We’ve already talked a little bit about your culture, but I want to know like from the job application or from the first time somebody touches your brand as far as becoming a team member, what’s that process like and how do you get the best pick?

Garrett Gunderson:    

Because this is the game changer right here. The game changer is hiring the right people. I mean, IBM says an A team is 50% to 100% more productive than a B teamer. 50% to 100%. Where else are you going to get that return, right? Steve Jobs said he got 100 to one return on a good employee, right? Think about that. That profitability. So this is what we do. They have to read Killing Sacred Cows and give a book report. They have to do a cover letter with a resume, and they have to give us three times they can speak for 15 minutes the next week. If they don’t follow that precisely, the don’t get an interview, they don’t get a callback. The first interview’s always over the phone, never in person. We don’t want them to totally feed off our energy. The biggest way that we get candidates is we go to our quality relationships and we ask them who they know, and we get those introductions. I just hired writers that came from Hugh Stewart, a guy that I’ve known for seven years now. Just an amazing prince of a man that he’s like, “Oh, I think this could be a good fit. She wrote for me in 2012,” and then he just … I thanked him, he thanked me because he cares about her. Like she and her daughter are now writing for me, and it’s phenomenal.

Garrett Gunderson:    

But I bring them to our three-day workshop before I hire them. They get experience. They get to see like who we are, what we stand for. They get to meet with the rest of the team because the team kind of endorses them. But I’ll tell you the number one way to hire, killer vision. If you have an amazing vision and a great culture, people are seduced by that. They want to be there. Even more than the money they make, they want to be around that energy. They want to be somewhere that they really enjoy and feel like they’re contributing and making a difference. And if you can help them see how they’re impacting the bottom line and give them that upside potential, that’s not built for everyone, but people here it is.

Garrett Gunderson:    

I looked at our payroll, our payroll last year was just under $5 million on an organization that every account that if they looked at it, “Oh, you can cut payroll down substantially,” and we could if we went to salary. But we wouldn’t give them as much of the benefit and we wouldn’t get as much of the benefit either. So we’re paying a lot compared to our ultimate revenues. We’re in the low eight figures as a revenue company, and ultimately I feel good about like who’s here. We’ve got people that have been here since 2005. I can think of two people right there. We’ve had coaches that have been with us since 2009. I mean, our turnover is ridiculously low. The last time someone left, we asked them to go not because we didn’t love them, they didn’t love the culture, we just couldn’t find exactly the right fit for them and felt like we were holding them back. And I’m still really good friends with them.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So I think that you got to get rid of the cancers in an organization because they drive away the very best, and that’s unfortunately what people miss out on. And you got to get really good at hiring or have someone on your team that’s good at hiring, otherwise, you’re going to stay stuck where you are where it’s all about the hustle and the more work that you can do to get more money. Hiring the right people allows you to step back. And when you’ve hired the right person, you can 100% delegate and have them own it like it’s their own business and free you up, no worries in your mind. Like if you’re worried about someone when you’re at home, it’s time to fire them.

Kyle Gray:     

Wow.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Like and I’ve had to fire people after getting that advice. I was at an event where one of my camera guys was late, and I had just told someone that was one of our clients … He was like, “What about this?” I’m like, “They’re not going to be an A team. You’re not going to groom an A-teamer. They’re already in a negative place. Just cut your loses.” And then I’m up there going like, “Where’s Andrew?” And couldn’t find him. So when Andrew finally showed up, I said, “Hey, man. This’ll be your last event. Go ahead and finish your filming but we can’t work together anymore. I can’t be worried about your whereabouts when I’m up on stage supposed to be focused with people.”

Kyle Gray:     

That takes a lot of strength and a lot of courage.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Firing sucks.

Kyle Gray:     

Firing sucks.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Firing sucks, man. But dudes cry in front of me during firing them. It’s no fun. It sucks to have people not do what they’re best at and have them rob your clients of experience and your own pocketbook in the name of providing for their family. It’s not principled.

Kyle Gray:     

No. No. But I think what drives that and what enables you to do that well when challenged is your vision again. You mentioned your vision is the ultimate way to attract A team. So tell me a little bit about your vision. I think you’ve mentioned also in this interview economic independence and how you want to create that with people. Tell us about that vision and how you created it, how you came across it, how it evolved over these years.

Garrett Gunderson:    

I look back at like the very first mission I wrote when I was the only one in the business. I was just a financial advisor working inside of a firm structure but had a little bit of autonomy. It was something about being the preeminent organization for financial services in the state of Utah. Something like that. Like it was wordy, it was standard like being good at customer service. Then I looked at the next iteration, it was really being a leader for individuals, families, our community, and this nation by teaching financial principles that lead to material and spiritual prosperity. So a little bit better, and I kept going. And then in 2014, having a lot of conversations with the team and letting them be part of it, we came up with, “Liberating one million people by creating economic independence.” And then that evolved last year to be, “Changing families financial futures and destinies through economic independence.” We’re like we’re focused on legacy. We’re focused on the individual. And it just feels inspiring. It feels right. And you get people like, “Hey, I’m going to be one of the million, and I’m going to get other people on board.” The people we’re working with feel like they’re a part of it.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Now, to get there, we decided Wealth Factory would have to go to a bigger place than we want in these walls with the number of employees, and that could lower quality and intimacy because I feel like we’re a customer intimate kind of company. So we decided let’s start licensing and teaching this to financial people that align with our values. So we’re starting to give what we do to improve the industry, and we teach this to our clients. When they hit a ceiling, like Dr. Corzana who connected us, you hit a ceiling and having the biggest practice in history or at least in North America. And you’re like, “Okay. Should I open another office?” We decided with him no. Why don’t you show people how you did this? And you actually start improving the industry. So you move from B2C to B2B, and that’s what we’re doing right now because I used to train financial advisors. I have a lot of equity and value and goodwill in that world, and we’re just going to show them exactly how we do it.

Garrett Gunderson:    

I used to have people that watched and shadow me. I taught Chris how to do this too. They just come and watch me meet with clients, and I was in my 20s. So it brought me credibility when a person’s like, “This guy’s 30 years older and I get to work with you?” So it was kind of cool, but it also helped me monetize that time at a different level. And then I had this mission-driven advisor thing that I co-created with another individual that trained them twice a month on conference calls before it was teleseminars or webinars way back in the day. I had an annual event that grew to over 100 advisors. I’m a 20-year-old teaching, and then I end up bringing in joint work. So I can take all that I learned from being abundant back then, improve an industry, and I’m going to reach the million through helping other people that are getting one to one because we’re better one to many. And if we team up, now they’ll be more efficient and effective with every person they meet because we can position them properly, give them the equipment and tools to educate people even more deeply and show them the lessons that we’ve learned.

Garrett Gunderson:    

So like that’s an exciting future for me. And it’s fun to talk to financial guys, like, “Wait, you’re not trying to compete with me. You’re trying to help me. And why would you share this with me?” It’s almost like takes them aback at first.

Kyle Gray:     

I think especially in the financial advising market, people tend to hold their cards really tight to their chest, and they don’t want any kind of competition to know what they’re up to …

Garrett Gunderson:    

We share it all.

Kyle Gray:     

Yeah.

Gunderson:    

We’re letting them come in. We’re doing an event where they get to watch the first two days of the workshop that we have 80% to 93% people join our program after the workshop, and we don’t sell the workshop inside or the program inside the workshop. We do a bonus session at the end of the second day. So far we’ve been getting like 100% attendance. So they’re going to watch that, and then on Saturday, I’m going to meet with the advisors the whole day and say, “Here’s how we did this. Here’s how we did this, and here’s what we might be able to do to collaborate. We’ll plugin where it makes sense. Where you already have it handled. Don’t worry about including us, and how can we create a winning scenario together.” That’s how we get to the million.

Kyle Gray:     

I love it.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Sure, we didn’t know how to get to the million when we first said it. But that’s what makes it a vision and not a goal. You know how to get there, it’s just a goal. A vision is beyond your reach.

Kyle Gray:     

And a vision, I think, especially something that you’ve just outlined there, saying something like kind of your first one where it’s like, “I want to be the best in Utah,” then that’s like, okay.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Then you go.

Kyle Gray:     

I’ll watch you do that. But when you get a client that says, “I want to be one of those people to achieve that thing,” there’s something bigger than yourself and something quality. Again, a legacy in a different sense, and that’s what really makes it stand out to me.

Garrett Gunderson:    

I got to talk to I think it was seven of our clients for a half a day earlier this week, just one on one over the phone that had just joined our program in November, and one of the bonuses if they joined because it was all something we said online where we normally enroll through a sales team, was they could do a 10 minute call with me. And I ended up doing mostly 20 minutes calls. I blocked off 30 minutes for most of them. But it was really cool. Like some people’s questions were just about like me and my background, some had real business questions, but we got emails particularly from one. I’m talking about the impact that 20 minutes had. So that felt really good, man, because I don’t get a lot of that anymore. I get like the general feedback of when I speak on the stage and there’s feedback forms or Amazon reviews on a book, which fortunately I don’t pay as much attention as I used to.

Garrett Gunderson:    

My very first negative review of Killing Sacred Cows, I read many times, and my coauthor, the first negative review in the St. Petersburg Times I think it was, he wrote a letter to the editor. I was like super thin skin and sensitive, and now I’m like, “If we don’t get some pushback, we’re not doing enough. We’re not taking it far enough.” So it’s a little different now.

Kyle Gray:     

That’s funny. Yeah, I can remember some one-star reviews for me on Amazon, and I’ll go and like look at the person. I’ll be like, “They just leave one-star reviews for everything. They’re just assholes.”

Garrett Gunderson:    

What’s funny is I look at some of the feedback years later, I’m like, “Yeah, there was some wordy chapters.” Yeah, I was making fun of what would the Rockefeller’s do when I record the Audiobook. In case you didn’t hear this last chapter, I’m just going to say another paragraph of the same thing I said before. So I would catch that. There’s some real feedback in there, and then there are just some people that feel threatened, and there are some people that it’s just not the right concept for them at that time. So it’s like it’s fine.

Garrett Gunderson:    

I only have one one-star review for Five Day Weekend, and I just feel like why only one? There should be more.

Kyle Gray:     

Yeah.

Garrett Gunderson:    

It feels almost like we should be skeptical that there are 70-some five stars and only one one-star. We got to get some more like fours and threes and twos because you can’t have … Because I could give it a four because I could look at that book now and say, “Ah. Section four of that book was too fluffy,” right? Or whatever. So anyway …

Kyle Gray:     

What I love about even what you’re talking about right now is, and the whole theme of this is at your core, you’ve been an artist and how you’ve created and how you’ve moved and even what you’re doing now in your company, how you built your company to facilitate you creating art. And I’d love to kind of bring this all back around with kind of your own personal values and your own vision for your life. And, again, how you’ve set up the business to really bring out the best in yourself. I think that’s it’s a fascinating journey you’ve had.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Soul Purpose is the core value. Soul Purpose is values, abilities, passions combined for that vision, right? It’s who we are when we’re at our best. That’s Soul Purpose. So that’s the core value. So Soul Purpose is about building a life you love because you’re really congruent and true to yourself. So I really encourage that in my kids.

Garrett Gunderson:    

And the second thing is quality of life. So in 2017, we spent two months in Europe. Took the kids and my wife. We had tons of friends come and visit along the way. We had a villa. Like we’re not waiting for retirement. We’re having these experiences and then coming back into the world of value creation. Right? Then last year we went for a full month, and that was great. And then this year we bought … Or just at the end of last year, we bought a legacy cabin that we can go up and have these great experiences. So we’re living wealthy along the way. Like I got to practice what I preach. And so economic independence allows that and having an organization that can operate without me. Our numbers weren’t awesome during the two months I was gone, but they made money because we have a team and they’ve got videos and they can leverage technology and we got great marketing minds to bring that out and we’ve got resources like a book.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Like my marketing team sold 2100 copies of What Would The Rockefellers Do? in the last 30 days. That’s phenomenal. Like I sold 22,000 copies of Killing Sacred Cows over nine months before it ever came out, and I was just on the phone, dialing, and selling 100 at a time or 500 and doing a speaking gig for it. That was just part of what they were doing, not even like as much time as I was spending. That book came out almost two years ago. So that’s really exciting to have those kinds of people around and having that kind of freedom that my wife and I just booked a trip. We’re like let’s just go have a fun weekend. And then we’re going to the Indy 500 because one of our clients, her family owns the Indy 500. So we get VIP Access. We’re just doing all these things to enjoy life along the way, but I like coming back, being engaged in what I’m doing. I think that’s a big test. If you were away for two months, would you still want to come back to what you had created?

Garrett Gunderson:    

And being away for two months helped me dissociate me and the business. Like I’m not one and the same. It’s an asset I have that I can express my artistry in, but it doesn’t define who I am. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs are still in their business to find who they are because that’s part of the broken … Like I’ll prove or what do other people think. Like I don’t compare my revenues to other revenues. My life to other lives because people tell part of the story. Cocktail party stories, they highlight the best a lot of times, and they don’t tell you about the worst. My best entrepreneur friends, we share the scars, the mistakes, the mishaps, the bad partnerships. I really learned a lesson from him. I think that that realness, you learn better lessons from it, right? Because you’re creating a bond or you’re creating jealousy. Are you saying something out of ego or are you saying it out of accomplishment? And I think that there’s a difference between that you can appreciate something or you can push something. There are those nuances.

Kyle Gray:     

That’s a subtle, subtle thing, and yeah, I feel like a lot of people do come from a place where they want to position themselves where it’s not fully authentic and it’s not fully vulnerable. And, again, I feel like every time I’ve seen you speak or wherever you show up, I love to see the authenticity. So yeah, thank you so much for joining us today.

Kyle Gray:     

If anybody listening or watching right now wants to learn more about you, what you’re doing, and tell us about your next book coming out too. Yeah, where can we learn more about you?

Garrett Gunderson:    

I think Wealthfactory.com/podcast is the best because there are actual real, relevant, great resources that they can put on the ground to improve cash flow today, to get depth to some of the topics we talked about, and we’ve created like a what we call the 7-7-7 but it’s seven months that our intent is let’s give seven major categories of value and give seven touches per month. So yeah, every now and again there’s a, “Hey, you can buy this,” but we’re really trying to build that relationship through that. So that’ll be great.

Garrett Gunderson:    

Win and Play, I’m going to start pre-selling that book and giving a lot of core resources. I film three webinars and have transcripts that are being kind of tidied up, and I’ve been writing a keynote on it. But I think that’s the game-changing philosophy that shows people how to profit first from their ideas and make money now without raising money or without taking a risk and how to be a lot more resourceful. If they think they have a money problem, it’s just a symptom of two more precious forms of capital being mismanaged, and they’re just one idea or one relationship away from that next level of prosperity. It has, I mean, legacy components, cash flow components, and a lot of business components that I think are going to give really big insight.

Kyle Gray:     

Garrett, thanks so much for joining us today. It’s been a lot of fun.

Kyle Gray:

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned in this episode and every episode at thestoryengine.co. If you want to tell better stories and grow your business with content marketing and copywriting, be sure to download the content strategy template at contentstrategytemplate.com. This template is an essential part of any business that wants to boost their traffic, leads, and sales with content marketing. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.

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