The Wiser Financial Advisor Podcast

Get Real. Get Honest. Get Clear.

Success in Business and Life with guest Randy Woo

Recently, host Josh Nelson, had the opportunity to sit down with a great friend and business associate, Randy Woo. Randy has a wide variety of experience in government and business and also coaching in the Tony Robbins Organization. Their conversation provides close looks at into things that concern us all about life, business, career, success, and includes some very sensible tips for getting through tough personal and professional times.


Wiser Financial Advisor – Success in Business and Life with Guest Randy Wu

Hi, Everyone. Welcome to the Wiser Financial Advisor with Josh Nelson, where we get real, we get honest, and we get clear about the financial world and your money.        


This is Josh Nelson, Certified Financial Planner and founder and CEO of Keystone Financial Services. We love feedback and we’d love it if you would pass it on to me directly: . Also please stay plugged in with us, get updates on episodes and help us promote the podcast. You can subscribe to us at Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast service. 

Let the financial fun begin!

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with a great friend and business associate, Randy Wu.

Randy has a wide variety of experience in government and business and also coaching in the Tony Robbins World. He and I had a great conversation about life, business, career, success, and how to get through tough times.

But first, this show is brought to you by Keystone Financial Services, a wealth management firm based in the land of Love, Loveland, Colorado. At Keystone Financial Services, our mission is to bridge the gap between knowing and doing in the financial lives of our clients. We are here to provide unbiased advice and guidance. We are an independent fiduciary and all of our wealth advisors are Certified Financial Planners, the gold standard in the financial planning industry. Our goal is to replace uncertainty with confidence and clarity in your financial life by planning with somebody who has experience and has your best interests at heart. That is hard to come by these days with so much information out there and so much uncertainty in today’s world. Take the guesswork out of your financial future and contact us today by visiting .

With that, enjoy the conversation.

Josh: Randy, welcome to the Wiser Financial Advisor. We’ve gotten to be great friends over the years, but before we dig in, would you share a bit of your background and where you come from.

Randy: I have over 20 years in government and business, primarily coaching government folks around US and China relations, and then in my other businesses I’ve helped other enterprises work with their specialized teams to coach them to be at their peak performance. I was fortunate enough to be part of a Tony Robbins’s coaching team.

Josh: I bet that was quite an experience, because not only were you a participant in a lot of his events, but also you got trained in coaching and got to be around the big man and had some experiences with that.

Randy: There are some stories to share in that process alone.

Josh: Anything that pops into your head as far as any interesting stories that you remember, please share.

Randy: Every coach that goes through Tony—and I don’t know if I’m supposed to give it away—but it’s always different. I thought survival training during my time with the government was pretty tough–you know, fending for yourself, finding food and surviving the wilderness for a few days. Well, Tony challenged us too, something I didn’t anticipate because I thought, “This is enterprise business coaching.” Part of our graduation for coaching was to essentially go out into the public without any identification and no financial assistance. We had to get from point A to point C without any friends or other resources. What he wanted to address was, How resourceful are you? I mean, it’s like what you and I do in terms of business, right? We have to earn trust and show that we’re authentic and genuine.

Josh: Now you’re back in the corporate world. How do you translate the work you did with Tony into the corporate world?

Randy: So, working as a coach for Tony, I was very fortunate to meet a lot of folks from different fields of life, whether that was from a personal life coach aspect or business coaching to build their businesses. So transitioning back into the business world, it’s still coaching; it’s just a different flavor, whether that’s in the tech world, which is where I’m at now, or whether that’s helping businesses on their cloud journey or helping them innovate because of what we experienced with the pandemic, it’s essentially coaching. It’s about customizing to whoever I’m speaking with.

Josh: You’re on a team now. What is one of your favorite tools you learned from coaching that you train your team with now?

Randy: I’ll never forget Tony saying to us, “If you can only have one session or one call with a client, what would you want them to leave with? The one thing I would like for every client to know is for you to share the triad.” And I thought, The triad. What is this triad?

If you draw a triangle on the center of a piece of paper, on the base of that triangle, you write ‘physiology.’ “It all starts with our bodies,” Tony said. “You need to focus on your physiology. And on the left hand side of the triangle, you’d write ‘focus.’ Then on the right side of the triangle, you write ‘language.’ Physiology, Focus, Language. These are the three components for the triad.” He went on to say, “If you know this, you can feel any way you want to feel at any given time.” And as I listen, I’m thinking, How is this possible?

He further explained physiology. He asked, “How does a sad, depressed person look? That individual is looking downward, shoulders slouched, almost in a fetal position. That’s physiology. And if you wanted to feel amazing and fantastic, what would that person look like? Head up, eyes forward, chest out, shoulders back. So, it’s a matter of changing your physiology. That’s the first. If you know you can change your physiology, that’s the fastest way to go from sad to happy instantly. And now if you take the next step, focus. When you’re sad, what are you focusing on? Probably inward things. All the things that are about you. ‘Oh, my life isn’t that good. Oh, I don’t get paid enough. Oh, I’m hungry.’ But if you shift your focus to more outward things, like the people you care about: ‘Look at that child who’s smiling, running carefree,’ you can change instantly, right? Imagine just smiling and then looking at your goofy face like I look at myself in the mirror.”

I instantly laughed. So, we have physiology, focus, and lastly language. Language solidifies how we feel. When I say, “I’m feeling fantastic, I’m feeling phenomenal, I’m elated,” I’m going to feel that way. Language can drastically go from a negative 10 to a positive 10. It’s a full spectrum. So, choosing the right words can determine how you feel.

Physiology, focus, language. This is what I did for my team, because in this day and age, as we’re going through a pandemic, working from home, being isolated, it’s easy to lose yourself or focus inwardly. You’re losing those connections, but if we focus externally on the possibilities and the resources we have, then we can feel even more connected and happy. And it’s great to know this in theory, but how can we apply it? What’s the secret sauce?

The secret sauce starts with “I am.” I am confident, I am strong, I am articulate. What are you going to do with these “I am” abilities? Back when I first started coaching, I wasn’t very confident. I knew that I wanted to help people, but could I help the average person? Could I help that CEO—or that bus driver who spends every day putting themselves on the line to get us from point A to point B? I wasn’t sure. So, part of the triad is not just knowing about physiology, focus and language. That’s just the beginning. How can we incorporate it into our daily life?

Tony mentions doing inCANtations rather than inCAN’Tations. We can say, “Oh, I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough.” Those are inCAN’Tations. To be more positive, we need to focus on inCANtations and they start with “I am.” When I first started coaching and I shared this with the team, I wanted to be powerful because I wanted to be able to break through any resistance. I wanted to be able to help anyone—rich, poor, young, old, challenged, not challenged. I want to help anyone, so my incantation was “I’m powerful. I can help anyone, anywhere, anytime.” And as humans, fear creeps in, right? Yeah, I want to do that, but am I sure? Yes! I’ve got this. I had to put an exclamation point on it. Some people say, “God help me.”

What’s the difference between this incantation and an affirmation? Tony puts it into your body. So I’d start with a bump into my chest (strikes hand on chest). “I’m powerful, I can help anyone, anywhere, anytime. I’ve got this!”

Coming from the triad to your incantation, I suggest starting with “I am…what?” Do you want to be more confident? Do you want to be more extroverted? Do you want to be more playful? Spend 30 seconds and write down a whole list. You can have repeats. Circle the ones you really want. You can be any way you want, anytime, with whoever you want. This “I’m powerful” incantation works when I’m helping coaching clients and in business, but I can’t bring that home to my wife. Before I get through that door, I say, “I’m calm, I’m patient, I’m loving, I’m here to listen.” I’m not there to solve. You’ve got two separate types of incantations, one for one persona, another for your personal life. You can have as many as you want or need. This just sums what I did for my team so we’re ready for our customers, but also ready for personal life and work-life balance.

Josh: All right, so switching gears a little bit, Randy, when you look over your life, you’ve had a lot of different experiences—with teams individually, with government—so how has a failure or maybe an apparent failure set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure that pops into your mind?

Randy: The failure I had early on in my career in the government actually led me to my dream government role. We were doing some technical IT with the Chinese language and that wasn’t my forte. I had focused on the Chinese language and culture and I thought I was going to use that to help Chinese refugees come to the US. Well, in the first six months that didn’t happen. It was obvious I was not excelling. And for obvious reasons, I was concerned. This was the first time in my career that I didn’t achieve or exceed, but fortunately I had some good senior leadership that said, “Hey, you’re really good with languages. Let’s move you to where you want to be, where you get to have more customer-facing and use your language ability.” So because of that failure, I ended up getting to use my skills at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where I got to be around delegates and take them to 10 gold medal matches where nine were US gold medals. That failure turned into this Beijing Olympics that I would never have imagined. I was pretty excited that I got to spend 42 days there doing my dream job.

Josh: Yeah, what an amazing experience. So, what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? It could be an investment of money, of time, of energy. What pops into your mind?

Randy: Well, being that I’m here with you today, I’d say the best investment of money throughout has been the Tony events, especially the business mastery one where I got to transform my business and then become a coach and learn all the things to be here with you today. And here’s a funny story. At that time I was leveraged so much with my businesses that I took my Rolex and pawned it to pay for Tony. So, that was by far one of the best investments.

Josh: Yeah, investing back into yourself, investing in your own growth in other words.

Randy: Also taking what’s made from the businesses and investing like what you’re doing, planning for a rainy day, allowing money to grow without having work for it.

Josh: Yeah, and ultimately, wealth management is about building up something—whether it’s a business or real estate, portfolio or other types of investments, tech, things producing incomes. But the way you get that income in the first place is, you gotta work for it, right? And be creative and able to start a business and have the acumen to build up some type of a portfolio that’s producing income. But eventually, we don’t want to have to work for the income. We want to get to the point where it’s just paying us.

Randy: Work for it once and let it keep growing.

Josh: Yeah. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the real world, getting into their first career, their first job?

Randy: Build your confidence, build that mindset that whatever comes—like myself with that failure—good things come along. Because if you fail fast, you’ll be successful even sooner when you take what you learn and you grow. I don’t want to say ‘fake it till you make it’ but grow yourself to become more confident, even if you’re not currently confident. As you make progress, you’re gonna feel better. And as you feel better, you’re gonna build that confidence. And while you’re building your mental and emotional capacity, take that money you earn and put that away so it can grow exponentially. It took me longer than it should because I was more frivolous in my youth. So, as you’re building your emotional and mental capacity, build your fiscal capacity by socking away at least 10 to 20%. I know that sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. Ask for advice on where to put it. Nowadays, being in tech you can put it in a fund and buy fractional shares of things, right?

Josh. Yeah, you know, here at Keystone we talk to people at various stages of their life and the first conversation, whether they’re 30 or 60, everybody says the same thing. “I wish I would have started sooner.” You mentioned failing faster. That’s an interesting concept because I think in a lot of ways we’re conditioned to try to avoid failure. But what you’re saying is that if you’re failing faster, you’re learning more. You’re going to grow more by failing.

Randy: Yes. If you’re failing faster, there’s a term called the two way door, meaning take the chance rather than wait for the opportunity to pass. Because if you take that action and you move forward and it doesn’t work, you can always go back through that same door. It’s not a one way door. It’s a two way door. You can pick the next route that may be better for you, and if you take that approach, not only are you going to get your exercise, you’ll be more fit than the next person because you have more of those experiences. Whereas if you’re only taking a chance here or there, then compared to the person who’s gone faster 10 times, they’ll have 10 times or 100 times more experience in that same short amount of time. If I had to go back, I would have failed even faster. I’m grateful for that big fail, but I would do more over these last 20 years.

Josh: Yeah, and if you talk to people or hear them speak—successful people like Richard Branson or Elon Musk, they’ll readily say how many times they’ve failed—and it was a lot. In fact, often it seems like the people that do fail the most end up being the most successful.

Randy: One great win, well worth 1000 failures.

Josh: There’s a lot of anxiety around, especially right now where we’re paying attention to the news and what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine and other stuff out there trying to grab our attention. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or if you’re coaching somebody else on your team who’s in that spot, what do you do? What questions do you ask to get yourself back on track?

Randy: You know, if your current life conditions don’t mean current success blueprint, one or both should change. And the first step is to look at, what truly is your outcome? You know you want to be successful on all these different things, but if your life condition means you have minimal time and you don’t have time for this or that, how do you get more time? Let’s start with one or two outcomes.

The difference is, if you’re focusing on outcomes, it’s not so much about the outputs. You might be thinking, ‘Oh I have to do these 20 or 30 things to get this one outcome,’ but if you’re focusing on that outcome, you can ask what are the one or two things that’ll get me 80% of the way there? You know, Pareto’s Principle of 80/20. What’s the 20% that will get you the 80%? You do that and anxiety goes away. You’re not focusing on the 30 things you think you have to do to reach the outcome. You focus on that 20% and you get 80%. Then you’re golden. You’re going to feel more confident. You’re going to have more time, and you’re going to accomplish that outcome. So, I always say start from your outcome. Work backwards through what you need to get there, and then you know how to minimize those outputs and have the outcome you’re looking for.

Josh: Let’s say that you’re the end of your career. Maybe there’s a young person coming on board that’s going to be taking your position. What would be your advice to them as you’re retiring and handing the baton to them?

Randy: I would say be resourceful. Be your genuine self, flawed and all, because that’s what makes us approachable and accessible. It goes back to my high school social science teacher, Mr. Janus. He said that if you don’t remember anything from this whole entire year, sophomore year in high school, just remember this formula: Progress equals interaction and accessibility, meaning to have progress you need to interact with others and you have to make yourself available—your true self. They need to know what Randy is about. So be your genuine self. Be ready to interact with others, and I think you’ll have a brilliant and resourceful career.

Josh: With that, Randy, thanks so much for joining me today.

Randy: Thanks for having me Josh, it’s been a pleasure.

This episode has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors. Investment advisory services offered through Keystone Financial Services, an SEC registered investment advisor.