Episode 46

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Published on:

24th Feb 2023

046: Rocky Lalvani - Changing the Money Mindset & Getting Value for Your Money

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Rocky Lalvani serves as Chief Profitability Officer (CPO) for business owners. He helps small business owners maximize their business’ profit so that they have time and freedom to do what they love. He does this by changing the mental accounting formula from ‘Sales minus Expenses equals Profits’ to ‘Sales minus Profits equals Expenses.’ The point is to make sure that profits come first.

Today, Jonathan and Rocky discuss the Profit First method, why there aren’t more wealthy people, and the misconception small business owners have about growth.

📺 Watch on YouTube

https://youtu.be/Sj-2nXN-bZ4

Key Takeaways

00:49 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Rocky Lalvani, who joins the show to share how to get value for your money and other financial lessons that were critical to his success

07:02 – Rocky’s first paper route to his current role as CPO

13:56 – Why there aren’t more wealthy people

17:29 – Statistics on small businesses

19:55 – The two equations of Revenue, Profit, & Expenses

24:55 – The fallacy of ‘Growth’

27:26 – The Profit First system

31:55 – One piece of financial advice to heed and one thing to completely ignore

35:22 – The last thing Rocky changed his mind about and one thing Rocky would like others to know about him

37:44 – Jonathan thanks Rocky for joining the show today and lets listeners know where to connect with him

Tweetable Quotes

“I think the biggest lesson coming out of it all is you can live an abundant life on a pauper’s budget. I think, too often, people just overspend money and they don’t get value for it.” (05:14) (Rocky)

“I can look at a set of numbers and they tell me a story. I can look at data and I can pick out the anomalies. I know how to make the buck work. In small business, understanding numbers and stretching your bucks is what makes you successful.” (11:57) (Rocky)

“So there’s all these different money messages that are going into people’s heads, and if they never question them then that’s a problem.” (15:06) (Rocky)

“If nobody wants what you have to sell, or they aren’t willing to pay for it, then it doesn’t matter. I think that’s a big part of it. The other thing is understanding the business-to-business, understanding how to systematize, how to build processes, how to lay stuff out and get stuff done.” (18:57) (Rocky)

“Too often, I think [business owners] are focused on the wrong metrics, which is what’s the topline? The question, at the end of the day, is how much do you get to keep, how much do you get to take home, and how much is for you?” (25:57) (Rocky)

“Our first step is to sit down with the business owner, and the first question is, ‘Tell me about how you grew up and learned about money.’ Because whatever those money mindsets and habits are, I need to know how they are affecting you today, what the programming is, and what your core beliefs are and how are you thinking.” (30:59) (Rocky)

“Number one, you have to know where you’re going. If you have no idea where you’re going, how are you going to get there?” (32:30) (Rocky)

Guest Resources

Rocky’s LinkedIn

Rocky’s Website

Rocky’s Podcast

Mindful Money Resources

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Transcript

Jonathan DeYoe: Hi, there. Welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money podcast, I’m chatting with Rocky Lalvani Rocky serves as chief profitability advisor for business owners. He teaches business owners how to make sure they’re getting paid and how to make profit a priority. In a nutshell, he changes the mental accounting formula from sales minus expenses equals know what’s left over to sales minus profits equals expenses. The point is to make sure that profits come first. Now, I know Rocky because I was on his podcast, the Richer Soul podcast, and I remember just how genuine and sweet a man he was at the time. Rocky’s parents immigrated to the US when he was two years old. Five years later, his mother unfortunately, passed away. He’s had to overcome a lot of struggle, and he is inspired to help other people overcome struggle and to achieve as well. Rocky, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.

Rocky Lalvani : Thank you so much for having me on, Jonathan.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, I’m really excited. I’m glad to do this way. I think when we first talked, I didn’t have a podcast to host you on, so this is turnabout is fair play. Where do you call home? Like, we like to start with a little bit about you. Where do you call home? Where are you connecting from?

Rocky Lalvani : I’m in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. So a bit more rural, but east coast, and we enjoy it here. I grew up in Jersey. I like to say I escaped.

Jonathan DeYoe: Now, your parents emigrated from where and where did they emigrate to originally?

Rocky Lalvani : So they came from India and to New Jersey.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay.

Rocky Lalvani : And so that’s where we were on the wrong side of the tracks in the beginning.

Jonathan DeYoe: Me, too. Um. Uh, that’s how it starts, right? Did you learn any money lessons or entrepreneurship lessons when you were growing up?

Rocky Lalvani : So we did. Uh, one of the things that was unique that I didn’t realize was unique until much later in life, looking backwards, is that they would have conversations with their friends and relatives about money. So money was not a taboo topic. They’d be like, well, how are you getting things done here? You bought a car. How much was the car? How did you do that? Those were just normal conversations, down to even how much money people were making or how they were doing or how they were investing. So those conversations were pretty normal. And back then, we kids didn’t have iPhones. We barely had tv. We got stuck listening to adults. So I just osmosis of listening to those conversations. The other thing is, because people were coming over at different times and with different skills, we saw people who had economic success within our circles, so they were all together because they were coming from a particular area. How well you were doing wasn’t as relative of a distinguishing factor between everybody. And so I always saw people who were successful. And for whatever reason, as a kid, I just knew I wanted to make a buck because we didn’t have that many in the beginning. And so I knew if I could make bucks, then I could go and do more. So I don’t know if that was natural. It wasn’t something that was kind of put into me, I don’t think. But I always had a desire to hustle. So as a kid, I was very entrepreneurial, always willing to work, always willing to make a couple of dollars and do that.

Jonathan DeYoe: Were your parents entrepreneurs sole proprietors, or did they work for.

Rocky Lalvani : No, my mom was, uh, math teacher. Actually. I take a step back. My dad came from a very entrepreneurial family in India in that they owned a drugstore, they owned other businesses over the years. When he came here, he did not do any kind of business inside the United States. And I think also with my mom passing that, he realized he had limited time and limited abilities. And so I think that kind of constrains you a bit as well. Plus, it was a very different time, for sure.

Jonathan DeYoe: So I’m just imagining you as a four year old, five year old, nine year old, sitting around listening to your dad and neighbors and friends talking about different aspects of money, buying the car, starting a business, whatever, investing. Were there lessons you learned in that time that have been really important and positive? And then were there a couple of lessons that were like, you know what? I should never have learned that lesson.

Rocky Lalvani : I would hear conversations about real estate and, um, how people did well or didn’t do well in real estate. I think the biggest lesson coming out of it all is you can live an abundant life on a pauper’s budget. So I think too often people just overspend money and they don’t get value for it. There are ways to be able to do that. Now, today you hear a lot of people will talk about, oh, how I use credit card points to get hotels for cheap or how they get upgrades and all of that kind of stuff. And I think that was kind of the lessons was figuring out how do you buy things for less and how do you get value for your money. So classic example is Christmas when I’m 910 years old. My dad’s like, look, you can get a Christmas present ahead of time or you can wait till the week after Christmas and we’ll go to the store and you can buy all the stuff you want because it’s all 75% off. And so it’s, hey, if you wait a week, you can get four times more. So, uh, the choice is yours. So I think the delayed gratification, learning on to live less than you make and learning to use money as a tool and not just waste it were probably some of the big lessons.

Jonathan DeYoe: There’s two parts of the thing you said. I mean, it’s obviously you spend less than you make, but the idea of getting value for it in terms of column, um, happiness points or well being points, like really understanding what it is you want and focusing on those things and not just letting it leak out to 17 streaming services and making sure that you’re doing things that actually feed you. Start with what you want and go with that, right?

Rocky Lalvani : Very much. I think it’s just about being practical with your money and that’s not what, we don’t value that as a culturally anymore, I think.

Jonathan DeYoe: Right. So how old were you when you got your first job or started your first little side enterprise?

you got better tips. So I’m:

Jonathan DeYoe: At:

Rocky Lalvani : Yeah.

Jonathan DeYoe: So I’m curious. You start with a paper route. Now, you sort of coach businesses, fill in the gap. Like, there’s a lot of space in there. How do you get from paper route? And I understand that you learn customer service. You learn, what job are you in? You’re not in the paper delivery business. You’re in the customer service business. Right. But how do you get from there to doing what you’re doing today?

Rocky Lalvani : So a couple other things between the paper route and I used to go into New York City and buy stuff wholesale, come back and sell it to my friends for double what I was paying for it. So I had a ton of cash. And one of the things I did as a kid must, uh, have been about 16. I walked into the Apple store. Well, it wasn’t an Apple store back then, but I wanted my apple two e, which was a, uh, whopping four k of memory, $2,000. And I paid cash. I brought cash in because I had earned the money, and I was able to do it as part of that, playing with computers, learning tech, I started to learn how to play with spreadsheets because that’s when the first one came up, which vizi calc, and people learned that I could do this. So I was actually getting opportunities in high school and college to help companies with their spreadsheets and doing all of that. So that was my original. So I went to college because that’s what we were told to do. You got to go to college. So I had no desire to go to college. I was sick of school, but I went because that’s what I was supposed to do. And throughout that period, I’m like, oh, I’m going to build spreadsheets for people. I could get a job. Like, I could create a business doing this. The problem is, I had no idea how to market that business, and I had no idea what the value of spreadsheets and data was at that point, because back then, they didn’t have electronic data. So I got out of college, and I got a job, and I did well at my job. So you get stuck on a track. I, uh, always say that good is the enemy of great. And I did very good, but it was still a job at the end of the day, and I made good money doing that. And I built my wealth as a w two employee, and I was always investing. And I was the kid reading the wall Street Journal at 22, figuring out, what do I need to do to make this all happen? And that continued for a long time. And then at some point, I hit my wealth goals, and I was like, what do I really want to do? And so that’s when I started to say, well, one of the first things that popped up was, as I looked around, why aren’t there more wealthy people? This isn’t hard. If I can do this, anybody can do this. So, actually, just this morning, I think it popped up. About eight years ago Today, I went to Dave Ramsey’s financial coaching program, learning how to do that. And that’s where my other podcast came from, was, hey, how do you build wealth? How do you do these types of things? I struggled to connect, and I struggled, and I realized there’s a couple reasons why Warren Buffett says it best. Nobody wants to get rich slowly. And that was my message. And so people all want to get rich this weekend. They’ll spend a lot of money to do it, and they’ll lose it all. So it was okay. And I was trying to connect and figure out how to do this as a side hustle so that I could leave and kind of make it the retirement lifestyle. And throughout that journey, I came across this concept that business owners weren’t actually looking at their business reports, their pnls, and their balance sheets. Business owners were ignoring the business of business. And I’m like, no, that can’t be right.

Jonathan DeYoe: Totally true. Totally true.

Rocky Lalvani : It was totally true. And so I was like, wait a minute. I’ve spent my life playing with spreadsheets, understanding taxes, looking at things, and understanding how the numbers flow. I’m like, I can look at a set of numbers, and they tell me a story. Like, I can look at data and I can pick out the anomalies and go, okay, why’d this happen? How do we change it? And I know how to make the buck. Work in small business, understanding numbers and stretching your bucks is what makes you successful.

Jonathan DeYoe: I want to ask a question about your peer group. I was also ten years old when I was reading value line research in my local broker’s office. But I had nobody until I was 15 that was anything like that. Nobody had any interest in it. So did you have anyone else that was, like, math centered that was trying to do spreadsheets that you were working with, that was also interested in reading the Wall Street Journal that you were banging these ideas off of? Or is it just you?

Rocky Lalvani : As a teenager, it was mostly just me. Other than getting jobs and working in companies, doing it for them, but still not realizing the value. When I got out of college, I actually joined a stock club that my friend’s dad ran. So I was sitting here with guys 23 years older than me, reading the value line, doing all that kind of stuff. So there was that. But no, you were kind of alone. Now, when I was going into New York and buying stuff and bringing it back and selling it, I think the only real connection, one of my teachers realized how much money I was making, and he realized he could do it. So he learned from me, and so he started doing it because he had a much wider network. So he was selling the teachers, and I was selling the kids.

Jonathan DeYoe: You guys cornered the market at your school. I love it.

Rocky Lalvani : We cornered, uh, the market at school. Yeah. And by that time, it wasn’t unusual for me to have a couple of. In today’s world is pretty nice.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’s real money. It’s thousands. Today, it’s, uh, an 18 year old with thousands of dollars. Right. My son is a little bit that way. He’s not as entrepreneurial, but he’s got a job that he makes, like $25 an hour at a local restaurant, and he saves and invests it. So it’s a similar concept as a kid. Not many peers do that. Not many people are working. I wonder if there’s. You asked the question, why isn’t there more wealthy people? And part of it’s businesses don’t pay attention to what they should pay attention to. But part of it is we don’t raise people to be wealthy. We raise people to think of money as. Or what do you think about that? What’s the difference there? People aren’t thinking. You studied it. You read the Wall Street Journal as a teenager. I read value land as a ten year old. No one else did that. Why not?

Rocky Lalvani : So I think a couple of things come up, and there are a couple of different reasons. Number one, if you’re growing up in a middle class, upper middle class family, everything’s being handed to you. So there’s no need, there’s no drive, there’s no anything being plugged. If you’re growing up in a middle class to lower family, and even if you’re growing up in an upper middle class family, you are being taught money scripts. So remember I talked about how I learned about money as a kid? What are most people learning about money? What are the things that they heard? We don’t have enough money. Their parents are always fighting over money. We can’t afford that. Rich people are evil. God will provide. So there’s all these different money messages that are going into people’s heads. And if they never question them, then that’s a problem. Number two, if your parents aren’t money savvy, how are they going to teach you about money? They have no idea. And I think m for my kids, because we taught our kids money from a very early age because we knew and we had learned the lessons and we knew that they needed to learn the lessons. And they also needed to have a little bit of skin in the game because otherwise they get lazy. Right. But when they got to college, they were like, nobody knows how to comparative shop. Nobody’s even necessarily looking at the prices of what they’re picking up and questioning, should I make a substitution? And they don’t even know how to do it. They don’t even know how to shop. They don’t know how to cook. They don’t know how to deal with life. So it was kind of quite, uh, eye opening.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. We always talk about wealth, lives across generations, but it’s not just the wealth. You don’t just inherit money. You inherit skills, traits, and you inherit an education around money. And people that aren’t raised with that, they got to take the responsibility. They got to learn it themselves. So where do those people go? Or what happens with those folks?

Rocky Lalvani : Well, they have to learn. Right. But so here’s the thing. This is what we heard generationally. This is what I saw and this is what I learned. The first generation busts their butt. Maybe they take risks, they go out and they make something happen. The second generation, because they had that foundation, can truly skyrocket. Right. So when I look around at the people my age who were kids with me, who were hanging out, listening to the parents, a good chunk of them are doing very well. Right. Here’s what happens, though. They want their kids to have it easy. They don’t want their kids to struggle. That screws up that generation, which then means the next generation is done.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. I was so lucky to marry my wife because I would be like, just showering stuff on my kids. And she was like, no lessons, hardship, difficult. I’m like, yes, I get it now. I understand. Thank you for correcting me. So there’s so few people that actually begin this process of starting a business, and there’s so few businesses that end up being successful. And there’s a lot of statistics around this. I don’t know if you’re cable this or if this is something that’s in your quiver, but can you paint the picture, statistically of business starts, business successes, the things that get in the way? Why is small business so hard, so rough?

Rocky Lalvani : Stats are about half of businesses don’t last five years to make it ten years. I think it’s probably less than 10%. To make it to a million dollars in revenue is a very small percentage. You might be in the single digits. And that’s just the reality of the stats of business. Why doesn’t it happen? So I was just looking at an article the other day. A third of it was they ran out of money. A, uh, third of it was no market need. And this is the biggest problem, I think, of new business owners. I’ve got a great idea. Everyone’s going to want this, but they never test the market. And so go back to me, I’m teaching people how to build wealth. You would think everybody would clamor to that. But because I can’t do it this weekend, nobody’s clamoring to it. Right, because it’s long term wealth building. Even though I’m giving away great information, trying to build a business around, it doesn’t work. And that’s so true for so many products out there. If nobody wants what you have to sell or they aren’t willing to pay for it, then it doesn’t matter. So I think that’s a big part of it. The other thing is understanding the business to business, understanding how to systematize, how to build processes, how to lay stuff up and get things done. I’m amazed at. So by my very nature, I’m an ops guy. I’m an operations. Like, show me what needs to get done and I’ll figure out. Lay it out and I’ll do it. I find most engineers are good at this. Like when you see engineers and money and they’ve been taught together or business, they tend to do well because they think systematically, okay, I need to lay out a chart, and then I go take these actions. A lot of people aren’t like that. They don’t show up and do what they need to do, and they don’t come up with a systematic way to do it. So I think that’s one of the problems that you run into.

Jonathan DeYoe: So if those two equations we mentioned earlier, and we got a lot of listeners here that aren’t business owners, and I’m always suggesting that they somehow become business owners, but they’re not currently business owners. So can you talk about those two equations? We got revenues, profit, and we got expenses. How should we think about those things?

Rocky Lalvani : So let’s just look at this from a personal level first. How many of you have been told pay yourself first.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, absolutely.

Rocky Lalvani : How many of you pay yourself first? Right. The same thing in business, right. Uh, the second thing is, and this is how, and I think you might have grown up with this. Can’t remember if you told that story back in the day when people got money, they took their money, they gave it a job, and they put it sometimes in jars or in envelopes and said, this is the rent money, this is the grocery money, this is Christmas money. And they would give every dollar a job and put it to that purpose and let it go do that. And those are, the principles are always in place, regardless of what you’re doing. So we take these principles from personal finance and we put them into business finance. So in business finance, everyone’s told sales minus expenses equals profit, which again, goes back to the same thing. You’re paying yourself last, you’re profitable last. And so what the whole profit first system is, is to say sales minus profit equals expenses. You take your profit first. You said you’re going to start a business, you said it’s going to be profitable. Well, where is that profit? Why can’t you skim it off the top? If it’s there, it should be there and you should be able to use it to be able to do that. And that’s the case. That is the big switch in how to think about doing business. And then along with profit, first comes the ideas of creating buckets in your business. So there’s a bucket for profit, there’s a bucket for your pay. Most business owners, contrary to popular belief, pay themselves last. Don’t take money out of their business, constantly reinvest. So we actually create a bucket for owners pay. So that when you get paid, you can take that money out and live your life. And then the next bucket is taxes. People don’t realize, I mean, you get your paycheck, it’s half of what you expected. Well, a lot of that is taxes. As a business owner, if you don’t create that bucket and pull that money out up front, you get shocked when you have the massive tax bill at tax time. So we create a tax bucket, and then what’s left is what’s truly left for the business to operate on. And so it’s basically constraining yourself and automating the systems. And these principles work no matter what. So whether you’re in personal finance, business finance, it’s all the same. You put the system together to work for you based on how your money is flowing.

Jonathan DeYoe: And people aren’t just beating down your.

Rocky Lalvani : Doors for this, for this, yes. For business owners. Yeah. Business owners will pay me a lot of money to help them with this. Good, because business owners have to make payroll. Business owners have to deal with continuing to do business. And if finances isn’t their forte, which, that was the, aha. Uh, that’s why I was like, okay, I thought business owners knew how to do this. It’s no. Business owners went into business to do the thing they love. Accounting wasn’t on the list, right? Handling their finances wasn’t on the list, right.

Jonathan DeYoe: Accounting is on no one. Accounting is on no one’s favorite list.

Rocky Lalvani : No one’s, no one’s except mine. I’m the weird, good, hire you. And that’s what happens, because they’re like, oh, this is. And I’ve worked with business owners who’ve been in business for over ten years, and 18 months later, again, I told you, it’s not overnight success. We’ve built up cash in their business and they’re like, we’ve never had so much cash in our business. What do we do? I go, we remove it from the business, we give it to someone like Jonathan, or we go buy real estate, or we do something different to build wealth outside the business. So we create multiple streams of, and.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’S, this is a total aside. But as you do that with your business, the value of the business itself goes up. That’s Like a huge benefit. And that’s where most wealth is created in the world, is the value of the business, which requires all these things you want to put in place.

Rocky Lalvani : And that’s why dave RamseY drove me up the wall, because dave RamseY’s LiKE, don’t use credit, right? Go buy houses for, like, I kept scratching my head for years, how do you do this? And then it dawned on me, and he won’t say this to you, you start a business that makes crap tons of money, and you take the money out of the business and you go buy real estate. You told me that. I would have gone and done that.

Jonathan DeYoe: So let’s talk about growth. I hear about this. We talk about it from an economic terms, the gdp. We talk about it about individual businesses. We’re always talking about growth, growth, growth, growth, growth. But we’re talking about growth of perhaps the wrong thing. So can you just PEel that BaCk.

Rocky Lalvani : A little Bit when you say growth is the wrong thing.

Jonathan DeYoe: Revenue.

Rocky Lalvani : Oh, yes. So most small business owners, they’re always thumping their chest about how is revenue? And you’ll always hear, oh, I’m a seven figure business owner. And here’s the truth. Of the matter. I can’t tell you how many seven figure business owners have very little for themselves because they’re focused on the wrong thing, which is growing the top line. And what happens is the end of the month starts coming close. They realize they haven’t hit their goals. So what do they do? They discount. And they discount so much sometimes to bring in the deals that they’re actually unprofitable. But they brought in cash, they thought they were making money, but they did it. And so too often I think they’re focused on the wrong metrics, which is what’s the top line. The question at the end of the day is how much do you get to keep, how much do you get to take home and how much is for you? And so that is our big focus is actually looking at how much they get to keep.

Jonathan DeYoe: So it’s little admission here. That’s me. Like, I did that for so long. I focus on revenues and growth and new clients and spend on marketing and grow and grow. And I didn’t fund my own four hundred and one k. I didn’t save money. I just kept putting it back in the business to create a bigger business. And then I hired a bookkeeper. And my bookkeeper said, we should look at your PNL and your balance. You should look at this and realize you need to pull more money out of it. You need to not have it all go back into it. And so we created the buckets, started doing a little bit of profit first. Thinking that in the next eight years made all the difference basically in my life. It is incredible what that’s done for me personally. So, highly recommend.

Rocky Lalvani : Yeah. And this is what I think people need to realize. You get a choice. Either you put in the time and the effort, or you’ll be just as broke eight years from now as you were today.

Jonathan DeYoe: Well, that’s eight years after twelve years focused on top line, eight years focused on bottom line. Then it’s good, but it’s 20 years.

Rocky Lalvani : Yeah, well, and that’s why people hire me to speed it up, because they get tired of that.

Jonathan DeYoe: Totally.

Rocky Lalvani : And they don’t always listen to their bookkeeper.

Jonathan DeYoe: So tell us about the profit first system. Like, what are the key differentiators that people might employ?

Rocky Lalvani : So I think the key differentiators are, number one, it’s a cash flow system. So it’s designed like that. And again, it’s basically a bucket system. Money comes into your business, you put it into the different buckets, uh, based on the percentages, and then you continue to do that. But over time, what happens is you increase the percentage for profit, you increase the percentage for your pay and you lower your expenses. So you just stop putting all the money back into the business. Because more often than not, just like in life, we waste a lot of money in business and we buy things that don’t provide value or we have some money in the business, so we think we should spend it or reinvest it without actually taking the time to think it through. And that’s the bigger problem. So the whole concept of profit is to think and to make little changes over time. So whether you’re in business or in personal, if you start saving 1% today, whether it be in your savings or in profit, and then three months from now, you add another percent to it, and three months from then, you add another percent to it, and three months from then, you add another percent to it. You won’t miss those pennies out of dollars. But pretty soon you’re at a 4% savings rate. And at two years you’re at eight, and at four years, you’re at 16, right. So, uh, you see how little teeny steps start getting you pretty far towards being much more profitable and to being able to save more money whichever way you do it. But it’s just taking baby steps and little changes. Everyone’s trying to swing for home runs. Hey, just swing for a single, get on base and get the next base just really quick.

Jonathan DeYoe: It sounds like this would apply to almost any kind of business, but are there specific businesses that you seem to attract or seem to be most benefited by the profit first system?

Rocky Lalvani : So it does work with any business. Some businesses, when we sit down and we look at it, we realize you just don’t have a good business model.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, of course.

Rocky Lalvani : So sometimes it’s going to save you losing a lot of money. Sometimes you can make appropriate changes, like increase pricing, cut costs, do whatever you need to do to slowly shift it. I think it’s more around the mindset of the person. Are they willing to show up? Are they willing to put in the effort over time? Because this isn’t going to happen overnight. Like we keep saying, are you willing to follow the system and are you willing to make little changes consistently? So I think it’s a lot more about a mindset, much more so than it is about what kind of business. It’s a psychographic versus a.

Jonathan DeYoe: Or can you share with us? The very first step, you meet somebody that says, I’m going to hire Rocky to do this profit first system. What’s the first thing, you take them through.

Rocky Lalvani : Well, so there’s two things. There’s the first step of profit first, and then there’s my first step, which is totally different in profit first. The biggest stumbling point for most business owners is opening up the extra bank accounts. For whatever reason, trying to get them to show up at a bank and open bank accounts is difficult for them. For me, our first step is actually to sit down with the business owner. And the first question is, tell me about how you grew up and learned about money, because whatever those money mindsets and habits are, I need to know how they’re affecting you today, what the programming is and what your core beliefs are and how are you thinking? Because more often than not, your beliefs are going to screw things up more than any system will. And so it’s understanding the business owner, where they came from, what are their dreams, where do they want to go, what’s the gap? And then what’s the first thing we can start doing towards closing the gap?

Jonathan DeYoe: We have to deprogram before we.

Rocky Lalvani : Yes.

Jonathan DeYoe: So every episode we do, I ask, uh, a couple questions that I want to simplify personal success for. You know, if you were sitting with somebody, client, maybe it’s on an airplane, and they, you know, Rocky, how can I be more successful? What’s one thing that they could start doing today that would lead to more personal and financial success?

Rocky Lalvani : So you say I sit down next to somebody, right? Let’s assume we’re on an airplane.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay? Let’s make the assumption.

Rocky Lalvani : All right. So I sit down next to someone on the airplane, and I look at them, I go, do you think the pilot knows where he’s, I mean, you’re on the airplane, clearly he says, hey, this is the flight to Chicago. If you’re not on the flight to Chicago, you’re on the wrong. So, number one, you have to know where you’re going. If you have no idea where you’re going, how are you going to get there? You’re going to be bouncing all over the place. And I think more often than not, so what don’t we teach in school? We don’t teach money, right? We don’t teach psychology of emotions, of behaviors, all of that stuff. And we don’t teach kids how to define what they want out of life. We tell them what they should do. Go to college, right? If you want to be successful, you have to go to college. Maybe that’s not what the kid wants. Or not only do you have to go to college, you have to be a doctor, you have to do that. Uh, the first and foremost thing I think everyone needs to do is define what they want out of life, regardless of what someone else programmed into you, right? Because how many people wake up at 40 or 50 going, how’d I get here? This isn’t what I wanted. So I think the first step of success is, what does success look like? And, uh, define it very clearly. And the first thing I’ll tell you is it takes time to do this right. Again, this is not the weekend job. It might take a couple of months to start defining it. And then the second thing is to realize every ten years, your definition might change. So be flexible in it.

Jonathan DeYoe: And that’s okay. The flip side of that coin is we all swim in this soup of everyone telling us what we need to do to be successful or what we need to do to be happy, or what we need to do to be sexy or whatever. There’s all these messages, right? What is one thing that people can just say, you know what? This is holding you back. Stop doing it.

Rocky Lalvani : Oh. So go into the bathroom and look in the mirror, and there’s your answer. The reflection in the mirror. Who’s there in the mirror? I did that. So I used to coach soccer when my kids were in high school.

Jonathan DeYoe: Me too.

Rocky Lalvani : I took an iPad. I lined up every single kid, and I had them stand in line. I said, I’m going to show you. I took notes on my iPad. Is the answer to what’s holding you back from being successful on the field? I said, once I tell you, you need to go sit down, and you’re not allowed to talk till everyone goes through the line. And so they would all come up, and I would hold up the iPad, and it had the front camera on, and they saw a reflection of themselves. I’m like, you are the reason you’re not successful. All those doubts in your mind, all that negative self talk, you would never allow anyone to talk to you like that, nor would you talk to anybody like that. And yet we talk to ourselves like that. We prevent our own success. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says. Stop that. Stop that. Yes.

Jonathan DeYoe: That’s awesome. Just before we come to an end here, come to a close, a couple of things that I want to go back to the personal a little bit. What was the last thing you changed your mind about?

Rocky Lalvani : The last thing I changed? That’s a good question. I don’t know. What’s the last thing I changed my mind about? Oh, I know. And it’s in your ballpark. I have no clue. What the financial markets are going to do. And I need to stop thinking that I do because I keep making the wrong decision and I need to just let go of that. I need to stop thinking. I know what it’s hurt me in my investing career quite a bit. It finally stopped. I’m like, I give up.

Jonathan DeYoe: That’s the single best answer I have ever heard because it’s right there, what I believe in. I love it. I love it. That’s great. Everyone listen to Rocky. That’s the best piece of advice I think you can probably there in terms of your investing. There’s other good stuff, too. Is there anything people don’t know about you or maybe you’ve told them and they just don’t remember about you? That’s really important to you that they.

Rocky Lalvani : Know that’s important to me. Maybe it’s important to them. So you know what I did this morning? I go to the gym, I deadlifted 275. Not bad for a guy in his.

Jonathan DeYoe: Fifty s. You know what I did yesterday is I did a single legged weighted squat and I tweaked my back. So that’s not the story. So be careful. Do the right thing.

Rocky Lalvani : Do the right thing. Form is more important than weight. But here’s the thing. I don’t think people realize, and by the time you realize that, it’s too late. Once you start hitting your lose muscle mass, you lose flexibility, you lose strength. It’s a downhill battle. Well, waiting till then to do something about it is too late. You got to start in your button to the gym, start lifting heavy. None of these crazy programs, just basic foundational strength building, muscle building and flexibility. I think those are the two things the human body is capable of so much more than we give it the possibility of. Again, we’re holding ourselves back. It’s amazing what some people can do with their bodies, and it just takes showing up and doing the work.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’s so much like everything else. The relationship with your spouse, your business, your savings, your investment. Just show up and do the work. You put in the time and it pays you back. That’s kind of how it works, how people connect with you. Tell us how people get in touch with you.

Rocky Lalvani : Well, before they do that, can I ask them a favor?

Jonathan DeYoe: Please.

Rocky Lalvani : So if you like Jonathan’s show, have you shared it with somebody? Have you told somebody about it? Have you posted it on social media? Have you been nice? I mean, people need to know about mindful money, and you’re the one who can help him do that. So I appreciate if you do that. After you do that, if you want to come find me, come find me. Jonathan was on the podcast. Most of what we talk about on the softer side of life is found at richer soul. If you’re a business owner and want to understand the business side of finance, we teach all about that on profit.

Jonathan DeYoe: Answer man thank you, rocky, so much for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it, and you’re just as sweet and nice of a guy as you were a year ago.

Rocky Lalvani : Thank you. Hopefully in a year I’ll still be that nice.

Jonathan DeYoe: I assume you will be. Thank you.

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About the Podcast

Mindful Money
Do you struggle with money? You’re not alone.
Money is a means, not an end. It’s a necessity of life for sure, but more money does not always guarantee a “good life”. Money enables many aspects of modern life, but as a dominant consideration it becomes destructive. 
The paradox is that more time and energy spent on personal finance does NOT create better outcomes. Unlike many other parts of life, we can’t create better outcomes by being smarter, spending more time, or putting in more effort.
Join Mindful Money author and experienced 40-year investor Jonathan DeYoe as he shares stories from artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and other advisors about how they mindfully minimize their need to think about money and get more out of life.
If you aren’t happy with your finances, feel like money takes more time that it should, or want to place your financial decisions into the broader context of your life, this show is for you. 
Each episode will draw the line between the “enough” activities that the academics tell us are additive to family outcomes, and those “little bit more” efforts that take time and sap energy, but do NOT improve outcomes.

About your host

Profile picture for Jonathan DeYoe

Jonathan DeYoe

Jonathan DeYoe is a best-selling author, speaker, financial advisor and angel investor. He is a husband, father and a practicing Buddhist. His simple underlying message brings a welcomed sense of order to financial chaos and restores a calm center to your financial life.