Wiser Financial Advisor – The Art of Fulfillment with Guest Mandy Schumaker
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: firstname.lastname@example.org . 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 senior business results trainer and results coach Mandy Schumaker. Mandy is with the Tony Robbins organization and among the top 1% in the coaching community worldwide. She spent over 20 years working as an executive in sales, marketing, human resources, and corporate finance. She has also owned her own business. I think you’re going to find our conversation interesting and helpful, not only because it covers a lot of different areas from life to business to success, but also how to take your career, your business, or your personal life to the next level. This episode is not only for you, but for your friends and family. Please pass this on to anybody you know that could find it helpful.
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 www.keystonefinancial.com .
With that, enjoy the conversation.
Josh: Welcome to the Wiser Financial Advisor, Mandy Schumaker.
Mandy: Morning, how are you, Josh? Great to be here.
Josh: I’ve been looking forward to this. You and I know each other through Tony Robbins and we’ve been involved in Tony’s community for a number of years, not just on the event side, but we’ve done some coaching and sessions and things like that through the organization. We’ve gotten to know each other a bit through that, and you’re one of Tony’s top business strategists. I think you work with his most successful people, his coaching clients, right?
Mandy: Yes, he attracts a lot of great clients, so I’m really blessed and fortunate to be able to work for him and have some really terrific clients, so it’s a fulfilling job for sure.
Josh: Not everybody knows about Tony Robbins, but he’s one of the world’s top business strategists. He is a partner in multiple billions of dollars of companies and has had the ear of top CEOs and top economists. There are all kinds of people we’ve been able to interact with beneficially by being in that Tony community, so that’s been great. But as we get going here, you’ve had a number of successful roles throughout your career. How did you get to be a success coach involved with Tony Robbins?
Mandy: I came out of the newspaper industry. I was there on the sales and marketing side for about 20 years, and my dad was in the business. What I really loved about that particular role was helping people get to the next level. I would go into a newspaper market and have some new managers, and the team would need some help. I absolutely loved doing that. I’d never heard of coaching as a profession or industry but I guess I was doing it. And in 1999 I read an article in the Boston Globe about a coach, Cheryl Richardson. She’s more of a life coach, but anyway, it was an interview and I’m reading this thing saying, “Oh my God, this is what I want to do.” She mentioned the coaching school or certification program she went through, and I signed up for it. I stayed in my newspaper job for a while after that, to finish my certification. But I did end up starting my own coaching business in 2003. I’ve been with Tony for a little over seven years, now. So I’ve been a coach for almost 19 years. I had a friend who worked for Tony Robbins and I had followed Tony since my early 20s. I knew a lot about his tools and technologies and the way he worked with people. I’d already integrated a lot of that in what I did. It was pretty serendipitous. I’m just very fortunate to be able to be in that community and serve his clients.
Josh: Maybe you could talk a little bit about what that experience has been like being involved in the Tony Robbins community.
Mandy: Tony Robbins has been around for about 40 years, and his mission is to change as many lives as possible. That is our mission and so it’s awesome to be in a community where everybody is pulling in the same direction. There are about 100 of us coaches around the world and it’s a very positive, supportive group of people to be a part of. We get to change lives but we also get to change our own lives. It’s a really good fit for me to be there.
Josh: There’s never been something in any of our lifetimes that’s impacted everybody on the planet like the COVID pandemic has, and most of the people that you’re working with are top business leaders, CEOs of major companies. What has that experience been like? You’ve been coaching people through a turbulent time. It’s not all bad, right? There have been good things that have come from it as well, but certainly a time of massive change. What has that been like, guiding people through this time period?
Mandy: You know, when COVID first happened, there was a lot of stress for all of my clients. I was working 24/7 trying to support everybody in this humongous change that was coming down the pike. And of course, none of us thought we’d still be working with all of that or that it would still be around. I think it’s interesting that my clients were not too wigged out because they did rely on the things they had learned from Tony, things like how to manage your emotional state, not get ahead of yourself, not get overwhelmed or see things worse than they were.
Most of my clients (not 100 percent but most) used it as an opportunity to drill down on the things they had learned. I would say 80% of them did a really good job. It was an opportunity. They asked, “Where can I find the opportunity in this adversity? How can I see where the opportunities are for me to grow?” And many of my clients did pretty well during the pandemic. I did have a handful of clients whose businesses went under, though. So it’s been dealing with a lot, for sure. But overall, I would say that it has been pretty heartwarming and uplifting to see my clients dig deep into what they’ve learned and be able to apply it to the situation and also to work with their managers, executives, leaders to help keep everybody calm, cool and collected. Not saying it was 100% but overall, I’ve been really proud of my clients.
Josh: Let’s spend some more time there because not every story ends up being successful. And certainly, bad stuff happens in the world, in the news, in peoples’ lives. Divorce, death, all kinds of stuff is just part of being a human. But some people make themselves even stronger with it, right? And move forward. Other people get taken out. What have you seen with that over time? What’s the key differentiator between those people that take a bad thing and thrive from it versus people who get taken out by it?
Mandy: You know, I’ll probably quote Tony a lot today, but he says, “What’s wrong is always available and so is what’s right.” A fundamental piece of Tony’s work is around managing your emotional state. We teach this as coaches—that 80% of everything you want is learning to do that. And we weren’t taught that as kids growing up. Instead, we heard things like, “He made me mad.” “She ticks me off.” “My husband drives me crazy.” We learned it’s about somebody else triggering our emotions, so we’re not responsible for it, right? Somebody else made us feel this.
Josh: Becoming the victim.
Mandy: Yeah, becoming a victim. And people who have more of the victim mentality are not able, as we say in the Tony World, to tell themselves a better story. Because when you come from a disempowered state, feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, victimized, sad—you tend to tell yourself a story that says, “This is happening to me,” and “This is even worse for me than for everybody else.” Then you can’t get ahead of that, to implement strategies that might be right in front of you that would shift all of that for you. So my clients who really learned to manage their own emotions did well. And again, not 100%. They could still get triggered. It’s not like they lived in Lala land. We’re all human beings. This is not about being perfect; it’s about taking what they’ve learned about managing their state, staying positive, seeing things better than they are, keeping a vision, being grateful, coming from a place of gratitude, looking at what is going right and building on that versus getting so focused on everything that’s going wrong. That was the difference between those that made it and those that didn’t.
I’ll tell a quick story. I had a client in the LA area in California, a big catering company. All of that stopped for them. They lost their entire business. It had been a very successful business with something like 80 or 90 employees. They had grown it in the last five or six years. They lost everything and still were able to manage their emotional state to see what was going right about it. There were hard times, but they turned around and pivoted. They have a new business now. It’s not exactly what it was before. It’s something slightly different. And they’re not where they were financially, but they will be, all because they kept their eye on asking, “What’s the next step?” Not getting stuck in “Woe is me,” or “This is unfair,” or “Look what happened to us.” They kept taking action, taking the next step, looking ahead. It was pretty astounding.
Josh: For us, going through a really difficult environment, it’s been key to be willing to change and change quickly. Certainly, that was all thrust upon us in March of 2020 when things shut down. Thankfully, our wealth management business had its best year ever in 2020 and then 2021 surpassed that. And we expect that 2022 will surpass that. I think every business had to change. I don’t know any business that wouldn’t have been impacted by it. And what we’ve been noticing with business owners is that the most adaptable ones are the most successful.
Mandy: Yes, I think that’s true. I have more than a handful of clients who had their best year ever in 2020 and then a better year in 2021. I think they surprised themselves over that, but it was about pivoting and being flexible and grateful for what they did have. It was about appreciating what was going right for them. All of those things really do make a difference in not only our businesses, but in our lives.
Josh: You’re one of Tony’s top coaches and you’ve worked with some incredibly successful people, so pivoting a little bit here—we’ve all heard stories of celebrities, very wealthy people who are extremely successful but they’re also extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with their life. What do you think is the differentiator for people that are very successful and just not happy?
Mandy: I know you’re familiar with this, Josh, that Tony talks about the science of achievement and the art of fulfillment. You need both of those things. I’ll define them as he does: The science of achievement is that there are success measures; if you follow a success plan or the recipe for a particular path or a particular business plan, you can become successful. Well, those are the clues that successful people leave. Then there’s also the art of fulfillment, and that is feeling like you have a purpose; you have a fulfilling and purpose-filled life. Oftentimes, you don’t have both of those things. I do have a lot of clients that have been very successful, but it’s like this: What got you here isn’t going to get you there.
People start out and work so hard to become successful. Eye on the prize, whether it’s 20 years out, 10 years out, 15 years out, they’re going for it. And when they get there they ask, “Is this all there is?” Some of that has to do with having been singularly focused. They’ve been going, going, going but all of a sudden they get there and instead of feeling an appreciation, there’s this hamster wheel feeling. Eventually, it’s the law of diminishing return. “I’m getting everything I thought I wanted, but yet I’m still not fulfilled. Is this all there is?”
That is often why people find Tony or go to an event with him—because he is particularly gifted in helping people who are in that spot. It’s why people dig into personal development. Then when they do, they start to uncover some things. Number one, maybe just slowing down to appreciate what they have and come from a place of gratitude. Tony talks about contribution and growth. Perhaps these people have spent so much time building a business that they haven’t been able to grow themselves, haven’t looked into who they really are, or who they’ve really become. Their identity is in being successful and yet that’s not always or often enough. So, they start to look at other areas of their life as well.
Josh: Yeah, we see that a lot as financial advisors. We get involved with people usually after they’ve achieved a lot of success. They’ve already built up a business or built up a career, an investment portfolio, and oftentimes we see people really struggle when they sell their business. They have a liquidity event or they retire after a career someplace at a senior level. They’ve been very successful people over decades, and then in a lot of cases they really struggle going through that next phase into retirement or whatever you want to call it. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of that. So how do you coach people through that? What’s the best advice you’ve got?
Mandy: Start to look at where your passions lie. That could even be going back to when you were a kid. I have a client now who was wildly successful, just retired, sold his business. He’s in his late 50s, maybe early 60s and asking, “What am I gonna do now? Because I really don’t want to build another business. I don’t need to. I’ve got everything, but this isn’t enough.” And one of the things he is looking at is where his passions lie. He’s also looking at his identity. Who does he need to become? And it’s also about helping other people, asking, “Where can I help others and make a difference?”
There are always clues in those areas, and I can confidently say that every client I’ve had who has been in that spot has been able to move the meter for themselves in trying to find where their passions lie and where they can give back and contribute, where they can make a difference. Some of them have found things that they never in a million years had time to do before. Never even thought about it. When that starts to come up for them, it turns into a win-win situation.
Josh: Yeah and looking at that other end of the spectrum for somebody who’s just starting out, maybe they’re asking the same questions, as in, “I’m out of school right now, got out of college and now I’m trying to figure out my place in the world, whether it be career-wise or how to be helping people.” What advice would you give to somebody that’s just getting started, maybe a college student that’s entering the real world?
Mandy: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think being open and not attached to the outcome is really important. Also going back to when you were the ages of 8 to 13. I often do that exercise. What did You love to do? What were you good at? This is the same for people at both ends of the spectrum that we’re talking about, people just right out of college, and even people who sold a business or are at the end of one career and trying to figure out the next step. I ask, “What comes easiest for you?” Because what comes easiest for you is where the clues are—about what you can charge the most for and what you can build on. Because we take for granted what comes easiest for us, and what comes easiest for us is not necessarily what comes easy for everybody else. I also ask, “Who are your role models; who have you admired?” If you have access to them, maybe sit down and have a conversation. Ask what would their advice be. Try on different things.
Josh: I think that’s especially important once people get going in their careers. Even though we’re financial planners, we kind of act as therapists and coaches in a lot of ways as far as the conversations that we have. And a lot of times we find that as people get into their careers, they find that they’re not happy doing whatever they’re doing—whether it’s that company or that job or the people they’re working with. So we see that a lot as well. And we’ve seen clients make some massive career changes. For example, they were an engineer and then go to become a surgeon, right? That’s a big shift. But we’ve seen people do that successfully and end up being very fulfilled. By the same token, though, a lot of folks get the golden handcuffs; they might have equity awards or be in a business that they feel they can’t liquidate, or things like that. And so it’s important to talk through how people might end up making that career shift.
Looking at that young age though, what advice should they ignore? Say if you were talking to the Mandy that was between 18 and 21 years old, what advice would you have for her on what to ignore?
Mandy: It was probably my own advice because I was pretty driven. And it was about the end results for me. I wish I had enjoyed the journey more along the way. I don’t know if you can tell anybody that who’s starting a journey. It’s one of those things about looking back, but I think not worrying so much about becoming successful, working hard, doing the right thing, taking action, taking consistent action. One of the things Tony talks about is if you do something consistent on a daily basis, you’re going to get to where you want to go. And I didn’t really know that when I was young. It was like I had to push through and make things happen. There was a time frame, and it caused a lot of stress along the way which was not pleasant for anybody. So for me, from my perspective, I’d say enjoy the journey—and also understand that nothing is permanent. You were talking about people who go from an engineer to a surgeon. That’s a huge shift, and I think there will always be fears there because you get in the position where you have a house payment and family and this or that. You begin to believe you can’t change. But there’s always a way. And you have to break it down and dig into your purpose versus looking at the “how”—because so often we come up with something and then start to worry about how we’re going to do it. We can either talk ourselves out of it or end up going down a path that might not be the right path for us. Getting connected to our purpose and our “why” is a really good practice.
Josh: You’ve got some good perspective, and you’re young, right? But you’ve been around long enough, that you’ve probably had some failures along the way and had to examine that stuff for yourself. So how would you say that a failure—an apparent failure at the time—set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure that you want to share?
Mandy: When I was in the newspaper industry, I was a really young manager. I was also female and at the time it was a pretty male-dominated industry, so I felt I needed to take on more masculine energy. I got a lot of feedback from people who worked for me and also people above me that I could be too aggressive and too assertive. I was just driving for results at the time. And that didn’t always feel good. To me, I don’t know if I’d call it a failure, but it was certainly a big disappointment. I really wanted to be a general manager or a publisher at some point before I left the industry, and it never happened for me.
I would be super resentful that other people that I didn’t think were as talented as I was, would get those positions. So, what I learned from that was to be more of who I was, be more authentic versus trying to be somebody I really wasn’t.
When I was 13 I was kind of a surly 13-year-old and my dad sat me down and told me, “You’re going to go through a lot of different personalities as a person, but I want you to know that the one you have right now is not the one you want to keep.” (Ha!) So, getting more comfortable in my own skin and leveraging my strengths versus working so much on what I didn’t have was a great lesson out of that. It has certainly helped me as a coach. I do try to show up as real as I possibly can and help people with that. I have some big egos in my coaching stable and it’s just a matter of shining that mirror up to see, “What do you really want and who are you really?—because I don’t think this is who you are; the personality you have right now is not the one you want to keep.”
Josh: What would you say is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
And it could be an investment of money, but it also could be time or energy. It could be recent or it could be way back in your past. What pops into your mind?
Mandy: Well I would have to say being a mother. I have the privilege of being able to raise boys that I hope become really great human beings and give to the world. They don’t have to save the world, I’m not looking for that. But my investment in those kids has been very rewarding most of the time.
As you know, I have an 18-year-old and it’s not rewarding every day. But I would say that is number one. Number two would be the time I’ve put into personal development. At 12 or 13 I remember listening to Earl Nightingale cassette tapes. I don’t even remember who gave them to me. I may have bought them myself. I’ve always invested money into my personal development. And even when my husband wasn’t particularly thrilled with the investments I made in a coach or a mastermind group or whatever, I’ve never regretted any of that. It’s a journey, for sure, not a destination, but that would be number two.
Josh: As we kind of wrap up here, taking it to our listeners that are asking some of these big questions—maybe the answer is personal development. What resources would you point people to that are asking some of these big questions and trying to figure out what’s next?
Mandy: People are better off with a coach than without a coach. I have always had a coach for the last 16, 17 years. Not the same one, a different one for different things, but somebody that can give you an outside perspective. A coach is different than a consultant. They’re gonna help look at your limiting beliefs and some of your identity, the things that got you to where you are, things you want to shift. Tony Robbins at www.tonyrobbins.com website has a lot of resources as well. There are great coaches out there. Books and podcasts. Start to dabble to see what speaks to you and what will help you feel more fulfilled and purposeful. Living a fulfilling and purposeful life leads to growth. Have some conversations. Ask your friends what are they reading and listening to; what events might they be going to? There’s a lot available for free, and a lot available to invest in.
Josh: To bring it full circle, that’s how Tony Robbins started. When he was 17 years old he started dabbling. He started listening to cassette tapes or maybe back then they were even 8-tracks or something like that. He was asking those questions of himself and did the deep dive, clearly, because he made an entire career, a life out of it.
Mandy: Yeah, and one other thing to add to when we were talking about people who are at the end of their first career or retired and looking for the next thing: Be careful about the story you tell yourself because often there can be stories that become, “What will I do?” or “I need to do this,” or “I should…” “Shoulds” never happen in my world. Instead, be open to what is next. Ask, “Where can I contribute next or where can I add value next?” Those are some really great questions that can start to dig into where you can contribute to the world and give some gifts. That’s where people start to feel really good about what they’re doing.
Josh: Yeah, we’ve had those experiences and I’m sure you have as well, with people that are much older than you and me, towards the end of their lives. As they reflect back, it’s not about the money. It’s not about the investments or the business they’ve built. True fulfillment comes from giving and the relationships you’ve been able to build over time. So I think we all could be reminded of that. The secret to living truly is giving and the more that we focus on that. It doesn’t have to be financial giving, right? It could be giving our time or giving to our own family and the various people that we work with. Those are the things people really focus on as they get older and they look back. So why wait, right? Why not focus on those things earlier on?
Josh: Well, thank you so much Mandy. This will be helpful for our listeners and thanks for being on the show.
Mandy: My pleasure. It was great to be here with you, Josh, thanks so much.
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.