In this episode, Rich Gaines, tax attorney and money coach, shares the #1 secret to building wealth and gives practical advice on how to change your beliefs so that you can increase your profits, grow your business and build wealth.
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3 Key Points
We have to change our mindset to change our wealth.
As leaders, as innovators, as change-makers, we have the power to really affect other people’s lives and give them that belief in themselves
You can change your beliefs by changing the story you tell yourself.
[00:51] Ellen: Hi everybody and welcome to Episode 51. Today my guest is Rich Gaines. Rich is a tax expert, not only with a law degree, but with a degree in tax law as well. And over thirty-five years of business experience, including having successfully bought and sold a money management company. Rich helps dissatisfied business owners who feel an urgency to make more from their hard effort. His mission is to expand the way people think and talk about wealth, not only in money, but in values, beliefs and traditions. And rich is a published author of three books.
And this is my favorite part, Rich has been married for over thirty years. He and his wife have twins that were born on Tax Day. So, before we get started, I just want to say that Rich and I met through one of my longtime mentors, Eric Lofholm, when I was looking for help figuring out the Corona virus programs that were available and I did not want to spend hours trying to figure it out. So, I hired Rich and I got my answers in an hour, and it was great, and we got to know each other. And anyway, I hope this is a teaching moment. And if there’s something you don’t know that you’ll take the fast route and hire somebody and get on with it. So, welcome to the call Rich.
[02:02] Rich: Well, thank you, Ellen. It’s great to be with you. I’m really happy to be here and excited.
[02:06] Ellen: Well, I’m happy to have you. We had a good time the other day. We talked about beliefs and how you think about things. And I said to you, “This is a great topic. I want to talk about this.” But before we get into that, why don’t you just tell us more about your story and how you came to do what you do and be who you are?
[02:23] Rich: Oh, thanks. I won’t bore the audience too much, but in my family, education was really important. And so, I was thinking I was going to be a doctor, but that didn’t work out too well. And to be quite candid, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. So, I took some law courses and undergraduate, went to law school, and then the intellectual pursuit really, really hit me. In law school, I took a tax course, and that’s when everything fell into place. I thought this is the area that I want to be in tax, the structure of the tax law, and the tax code really just fit the way I thought.
So, I went on and got a degree in tax law. And one of the reasons that I thought this was so important was because it was an area that I knew I could help people. I could help them to save taxes, build wealth and who wouldn’t want to do that? And it wasn’t boring. It was always going to be changing. So, it wasn’t going to be stuck in this rigid area of law that was going to get stale after a while.
[03:20] Ellen: That’s funny. Cause a lot of people would say, taxes are very boring.
Rich: You know, it’s funny, I’m in this networking group and I say, “Taxes should be fun.” And people look at my like, “Are you crazy?” And I said, “No, taxes are fun because we’re saving you money, and what could be better than saving you money?”
[03:38]: After a long time, I was turning fifty. And I had reached a point where I knew I was tired of drafting documents. I wanted to find a better way that I could help people. And over the past, honestly, it’s been ten years to an overnight success. So, over the past ten years, I was looking at, “How do I build platforms and relationships and a structure that I can do this on an ongoing basis? And that’s basically what I’ve done now. So, I blended business, law and tax together so they can have what I call “MPGs” maximum profit growth.
[04:12] Ellen: So, it says in your bio that you have seven core business areas that you work with people on, what are they?
Rich: We start with a wealth thinking. That’s the most important because it really doesn’t matter what we do if our mindset around wealth and money isn’t in a good place. If it’s not congruent with our ideas. You could be doing the best work on the planet, but you’ll blow it because your mindset isn’t bright. So, we really start with those ideas of our personalities and the relationship of money, the structure of money. I know it sounds strange, but money has a structure. There are relationships around the type of income that you have, the way that you approach the wealth.
We then move to the planning, growth planning. We then have growth foundations. We look at your growth structure, we get into wealth preservation, growth communication, and ultimately wealth harmony or the spirituality of your business and what that looks like. Doing what you love, loving what you do. But those are the seven core areas that we look at.
[05:15] Ellen: So, mainly what I wanted to talk about was the first one, right?
Ellen: Mindset. Okay. So, how does that work? Like what do people have to do to have a good one?
I think the best way to respond to that question is through what I call “An Experience Circle”. And it’s a concept that I developed and that concept is that our experiences create beliefs, those beliefs drive our behavior, the behavior results in actions, actions have consequences, and consequences lead to new experiences.
So, in people’s belief systems and the way that they’re operating their business, they’re getting certain results. They have certain consequences. And the challenge is that for business owners, those consequences may not be what they want. And so, in order to get new consequences, we have to change those actions. Well to change actions, and so I’m kind of going in reverse now,
Ellen: Start with the end in mind?
Rich: Exactly. And so, to change our actions, we have to change our behavior. Well, we don’t change our behavior unless our beliefs change because we’re not going to have a contradiction between our beliefs and our behavior. Nobody does things generally in contradiction to the way that they believe things.
Well, to change our beliefs, we have to have new experiences. And that’s the area that I love focusing in on because to some extent, as an attorney, we ask questions; that’s how we learn and that’s how we test boundaries; that’s how we challenge things. And so, by asking questions and testing those boundaries, we test beliefs and we give ourselves an opportunity to have new experiences.
So, one of the examples that I use and it’s a little bit edgy, but if you have someone that was abused all their life, their experience is that everybody abuses them. If we change that experience and we show that person that they can be loved, then their experience will change from one of abuse to one of love. And now their beliefs will change. Now, all of a sudden, it’s not, “Oh, everybody is an abuser.” It’s “Oh, there are people that love others.” And by changing those beliefs, now we can change all the other things, the behavior, the actions, the consequences.
[07:42] Ellen: Well, something just went off in my head that it’s so important, which is why it’s so important as a leader to constantly be telling people that you believe in them because maybe somebody’s never believed in them. And I was talking to somebody just the other day. It was a family member, actually. And they were saying that, well I was asking them, “Why are these other family members not living up to their potential?” And what that person said was, “Well, they’ve been beaten down so many times that they just kind of gave up. And I said, “Well, you can never give up. You have to find people that believe in you and you have to surround yourself with those kinds of people.”
[08:26] Rich: It’s a great point. And it goes to, I think a little bit of the essence of how people are, but we tend to diminish ourselves. We tend to diminish others. Sometimes, we get it from the educational system when we grew up. In the educational system, you would get asked a question by the teacher, and you raise your hand, answer the question, and then if the question’s wrong, what happens? Everybody laughs. Well, then why would I ever want to raise my hand again?
Rich: And that really carries forward into adult life. I want to share four words that I have found makes a massive difference in how a person feels about themselves, how they respond to things. And that is, “I believe in you.” Four simple words.
And I can’t tell you when I have talked to groups, and I’ve talked to individuals and through the context of my speech, I have gotten to that point in time where I share that idea, and I intentionally say it slowly, right? And as I scan the room and I look at people, it’s amazing the difference on their faces, and it’s almost cathartic. They hear it. And it’s so foreign that it takes them a moment to really process that concept that somebody is saying this to them.
Rich: And when we get into that type of fine set and working with what a person’s true value is all about, it’s a massive change. Really gratifying.
[10:05] Ellen: Yeah. One of the things that also I thought about when you said that was, you know, I’ve been listening to Eric for a long time. I mean, he was one of the first people I ever met, the very first conference I went to. So, I’ve literally known him since 2004. And I kind of go in and out. He’s got programs that are for life. And so, sometimes, you’re tuned in and, sometimes, you’re not. But he says that a lot, “You have greatness in you, I believe in you.” And yeah. It just kind of all clicked.
But yeah, it’s such a powerful thing. I remember I had a woman in one of my book-writing workshops, she was seventy-two years old and she had wanted to be a writer, as a kid. Because of her family situation, she ended up having to go to work. And then, a lot of times what people do is they get to the point where they go, “I’m too old to do it now.” And the irony of that with writing a book is the older you are, in my opinion, the more wisdom you have to share. So, I don’t think you’re ever too old to write a book.
[11:06] Rich: I a hundred percent agree with that. I was talking about when I turned fifty and my journey to build a different structure, a different program. You know, law is a very transaction-oriented business. You see somebody for a project and then they’re gone. And so, the question that I was looking for is “How do I build an ongoing relationship with somebody over a long period of time?” And the realization was when you talk about, it’s never too late, , I’m sixty-three now, and I look back and I go, “Gosh, why couldn’t I have been doing this when I was forty?”
Ellen: I know, me too.
Rich: But the reality is there was no way I could have done it back then because I was learning, I was getting the information, I was developing things that I needed. And I find that I’m more valuable now than I ever was. I have a great amount of experience and knowledge and ideas that I can help mentor people. And I use the word mentor intentionally rather than coach; coaches, just so overused, but a mentor is not somebody who stands there barking at you, but they guide you. Right. And I know millennials, I talked, so my kids are twenty-eight now and they’re kind of millennials, I guess. And I realized that that generation, they want to be mentored. They want information, they crave it, but they don’t want to be told what to do. And so, by providing them with information and ideas and guiding them and really that works for anybody if you think about it.
[12:39] Ellen: Yeah. I mean, I was going to say. as a creative myself, I don’t want to be told what to do. I always want to do my own thing, but you definitely need the right information to decide what you are capable and want to do.
[12:52] Rich: Absolutely. And it’s funny because it carries over, I played tennis and it carries over in my tennis game. I’m actually playing better tennis now than I ever did, because in the old days I could just use the power, right? And sure, I learned the game, but it was like, “Well, why am I hitting a shot the way I’m hitting it?” I didn’t need to worry about those things. I just hit hard. And I took some lessons and what hit me was…
[13:15] Ellen: Strategy
[13:17] Rich: Exactly the strategy, the way to hit the ball. And now I go in with an intention. It’s like, “Okay, this is the shot that’s coming at me. I’m going to hit the ball to a certain direction. And this is how I hit it and why I’m hitting it.” And so, it’s very intentional and actually doing better now than I ever was. So, the thinking part of it.
[13:39] Ellen: Yeah. That’s great. What I wanted to say to go back to the woman that I was talking about who was seventy-two and the wisdom. The other piece of that, that I wanted to share was that in the workshop, she realized that she could do it because I believed in her, and I told her she could do it because I had done it with a lot of people. And now, she’s written three books and she created a cottage industry.
Rich: That’s spectacular. It’s never too late.
Ellen: But it’s just that thing of what you were saying before, too. I mean, as leaders, as innovators, as change-makers, we have the power to really affect other people’s lives and give them that belief in themselves, so that they can go and do whatever it is that’s in them to help other people. And the more you help other people, the more reward you get. And then, the better the world is too.
[14:29] Rich: A great example of that, I think speaks directly to your point is about what I call “the value difference. And it goes to the idea of our thirty-second commercials in our messaging and what we say about what we do. And when we talk about the features of what we do, nobody cares, “I’m an attorney, I’m a real estate agent, great. I sell homes” Who cares, right? But when we change that into an expertise and a value difference, why do I buy you, Ellen? Why are we having this podcast? Because we connect about our value, and we connect about things that we know we can share with others and provide true value. I assume you do a great job with your books and your coaching and all those things, but it’s why am I buying you? Because you lived in Los Angeles, as I did, you know, we have that connection.
[15:24]: And so, there was a value difference there. And when we communicate that value difference, that’s when everything can change for the business owner. They can do the things that you were just mentioning with the older woman, that the belief and the value, and all of a sudden, she starts putting it out there. She recognizes that she has things to share with the world and that she’s unique. It’s kind of strange, but when you think about it, right, there’s a, what, 6 billion people on this planet. And no two people are exactly alike. And if we can understand and tap into that difference, right? For every person, then they can run their business from that value proposition, that value difference as opposed to I sell homes, I do tax returns. Right. Who cares?
[16:08] Ellen: Right. And there’s another level of that, which is staying in the concrete. Like one of the things that I’ve learned that I have found so valuable is like, when people go and say, “I help people live a better life.” I help people, it’s not concrete. It’s nothing they can put their finger on, you know? So, I was talking to a client of mine yesterday and she wanted me to look at her elevator speech, like what you were just talking about. I’ve heard this a million times, what do you do? What do they get? Why are they going to want to work with you? So, I mean, it’s really important that you figure that out.
[16:42]: Rich Oh, you’re, you’re absolutely right. And that was a huge challenge that I had in transforming from the work that I do in law to the work that I do with business mentoring. Because in law, it’s very conceptual, it’s very idea-oriented, you know? You think about most of law are concepts that are written down on paper. So unlike spa day, “I’m going to have a massage. I’m going to have a facial. I’m going to have a treatment for my body” and say, “Yeah, I give you a bunch of papers written on a black ink on white paper. Wow. That’s cool man. Don’t you want that? That’s exciting.” And that’s the problem. So, how do we take these conceptual, intangible things and make them concrete to specific deliverables that people can grab onto and know that they’re really getting and benefiting from it?
[17:44] Ellen: Yeah. Well, from there let’s go into beliefs. So, this was something we talked about that really got me excited, because I really want you to talk about how do people change their beliefs?
Rich: Well, I think I mentioned that before it’s about changing experiences and so we have to…
Ellen: Yeah, but it’s more than that cause you and I did an exercise, so we can do it again, and share it with other people so they can see what we did. How’s that?
[18:08] Rich: Was that the, a purpose exercise?
Ellen: No, that was when I was the belief exercise. I was saying how…if anyone who’s been following me, knows I’ve been trying to do this.
Rich: Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Ellen: I’ve been trying to do this funnel for a long time and I still don’t have it done, okay? And so, I said to you, because we were talking about beliefs and I said, “Well, how do I change this belief?” Cause I was talking to my husband and he’s really been on my case because he really wants me to get this done, which I love that he wants me to get it done, but then also, he pressures me a lot. Like “Why isn’t it done?” So, I said to him, “Look, I’m working on this but it’s really hard…
Ellen: so be patient with me. So, I said to you, “How do I change that belief?” Because that was creating more resistance by feeling that way.
Rich: That is correct.
Ellen: And what did you say to me?
[18:57] Rich: Yes. So, I have to give you the context and a little bit of the story. So, I was in a training. The organization is called Frontier Trainings, and the training was with a partner. So, you had two people pairing up and what we did is we would tell a nursery rhyme. So, I was talking about Little Red Riding hood and using that as the example. And so, the way that this the game worked is that we would start the story, “Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the forest.” And this is the key. Your partner has the ability to say, “Change” at any moment in time, during the story. So, “Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the forest change.”
“Little Red Riding Hood was skipping change.”
“ Little Red Riding Hood was on her head going through the forest.” And so, the idea of changing beliefs is to use the word “change.” Anytime you are putting out a story, a concept, a phrase, you can change that story, change that idea any time you want to. So, to use your example, Ellen, you said, “Oh, it’s really hard for me to get to what was it again?
[20:20] Ellen: To do the funnel, the tech stuff, especially. Yeah.
Rich: So, oh, that’s right. “It’s really hard for me to learn the funnel system.” And I said, “Change, well it’s moderately difficult to learn the funnel, change.”
“ It’s easy to learn the funnel system.”
And now, all of a sudden, your mindset has changed your belief from something that was hard to something that’s easy.
[20:45] Ellen: Yeah, that wasn’t it though. That wasn’t it. What you actually said was “It’s a process.” You didn’t say it was easy. And that resonated with me because it’s like, when you learned as many things in your life as I have, I know that it’s a process because I know that every time I started to do something new, it was hard. It’s hard in the sense that you don’t know how to do it.
[21:02] Rich: That’s absolutely correct. And that’s the follow-up to the point of changing your mindset. So, we changed the first thing we did. You are correct. We changed your mindset from, it was hard to it’s easy.
Rich: And now that it’s easy, we said, “Okay, so what do you have to do now to understand it?” Well, you have to go through the process just like you said, but instead of resisting the hard, “Oh, it’s hard.” We said, “Well, it’s easy.” Now you just have to do it step-by-step. And as you learn each thing, you get better and better and better. And of course, this goes into the whole notion of whenever we do anything for the first time, is it easy? No, of course not, because you’ve never done it before.
Rich: And so, you take a step, and then you get good at it. You get confidence, your confidence builds. You take the next step, and you continue to go through it. And when you do that step by step by step, and you keep at it and you have the discipline, at the end of the process, you will have created the thing that you want to create.
And so, anytime you get stuck, right? this is what the change game, the Little Red Riding Hood story, anytime you get stuck, you can instantaneously in your head say, “Change,” and you can change that mindset from, “Oh, it’s hard to it’s easy. Oh, I’m not. I don’t feel like doing this,” to, “I will do it.”
“ I’m tired,” to “No, I’m energized.” And so, anytime we have these obstacles, these barriers, these self-imposed limitations, we can instantaneously change those. And that was what was so great about this game and this whole idea.
[22:42] Ellen: Yeah. I love it. Love it, love it, love it. And I really wanted to share that. So, I’m excited.
[22:49] Rich: Yeah, it’s great for people to do that. I was mentoring a client, I still have the word “change” on our whiteboard because I’ve never erased it; it’s just there. And it’s just a reminder that it doesn’t matter what we’re talking about, we can always change. And in a sense, that’s what lawyers can do through questioning. We question, “Well, why is it hard? What is it about it being hard? Well, what makes you think that it’s hard,” and just keep asking questions. And as you keep going through it, all of a sudden, you’re going to go, “Maybe it’s not so hard after all.” It just takes time; it takes work; it takes discipline. But those things aren’t necessarily hard.
[23:26] Ellen: Yeah. It’s interesting. Cause when you were doing the Little Red Riding Hood, and you said change and you didn’t know what to say, what I heard was Little Red Riding Hood could change the world. So, I took it in a completely different direction than usual.
[23:40] Rich: Well, Red riding hood could definitely change the world from just going to grandmother’s house to making it to talking in front of 10,000 people. So yeah, any part of the story, and you can do that with any… Jack in the Beanstalk, but other ones, I don’t know, those are the two that I’ve always used.
[23:58] Ellen: I’m thinking though, like when I was talking to you, I didn’t come up with that. You did. So, I’m thinking maybe if you find yourself stuck, get somebody else to do it with you. What do you think?
[24:08] Rich: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. That’s very valuable. Look, you can have an accountability partner that you talk with and that’s a great opportunity because as you’re sharing what your goals are, what your objectives are, and having an accountability partner can help you to overcome some of those barriers and some of that self-talk that holds you back.
I mean, that’s why we have mentors and coaches, right? You talked about using Eric Lofholm . I use Eric Lofholm, and we have those conversations. And sometimes, he reminds me as much as we’ve done and as far as we’ve progressed, he’ll remind me that sometimes, it’s just about putting the pedal to the metal and remembering the value that I have to offer, and the expertise that I have, and he’ll say things to me that just remind me of those things, and it gets me motivated and gets me back into a positive mindset, and then I just go at it because it’s hard sometimes. There you go, I said it, “It’s hard sometimes.”
[25:08] Ellen: We get in our own way.
[25:10] Rich: We get in our own way. That’s exactly it. Yeah. So, having an accountability partner is very important. I mean, honestly, really, if you can do it by your own self-discipline, and then the second that you start hearing the limitations, if you can instantaneously, in your own mind, say, “Change” that internal dialogue, then you’re golden.
Ellen: I think I’m going to take a post-it note and write “change” and just stick it on my computer, number one. And I think another good thing might be to make yourself a list of questions that you keep handy.
Rich: A list of questions to do what?
[25:48] Ellen: To help you change your mind or to help you get out of a loop.
[25:53] Rich: Yeah. That’s a great point. You know, a list of questions might include, what is your value? What is your expertise? How are you making a difference? Why do people work with you? So, when you have these questions and because these are the questions I ask others, so why not myself? And if you have those questions that you’re answering for yourself, then that reminds you of the reason that you’re doing what you’re doing and the difference that you’re making and the benefit that you’re providing to people.
Again, it’s getting away from a transaction. “Okay. I sold a pair of shoes because I needed a pair of shoes.”
“ Why am I selling the kind of shoes that I’m selling? and “How can I make sure that the shoes that you are getting are perfectly suited for what you need?”
A tennis shoe is not a running shoe. I cannot go running in the shoes that I play tennis in. My legs and my feet would be in agony. So, it’s about the reasons for what you’re doing to help people, and moving them through where their reality is and the dream that they want. Right? There’s this gap.
[27:06] Ellen: Right. And that’s also how you help other people. It’s like as a coach when I get on a Bestseller Breakthrough Consultation, a free consultation, asking other people questions. I mean, that’s how we get started.
[27:17] Rich: Yeah. Why do you want to have a best seller? What are you going to use it for? What the journey is supposed to be? What’s your ultimate goal with the book, right?
Rich: How are you looking to get a person from where they are today to where they want to be in the future? So, those are the benefits that we really provide to people. And when we remember that in everything we do, again, doing tax work, it’s not about doing a tax return, right? But it’s saving them money. It’s looking at how they structure their business. It’s looking how they can make more profit, what they can do with that profit, how they can build a life, how they can have a lifestyle, what that’s going to mean to their family, the vacations that they take spending more time with the kids going to the games, the baseball games.
Those are the areas that I mean, in one sense, it’s kind of strange, but this COVID thing, a lot of people have re-evaluated what’s important to them and what they can really do. I know I have. I was going to Toastmaster groups. I was going to networking groups, driving to different places, and meeting people. And I had the notion that all of that was important in order to generate more business. Right? And I have found, I am just as busy if not busier.
[28:28] Ellen: You’re not doing all that, all that stuff.
Rich: How does that happen? I have no idea.
Ellen: Well, anyway, this has been really great. Do you have any final tips before we wrap it up?
[28:39] Rich: I would just like to offer that everyone has a tremendous potential and by tapping into their background of the thing that they love to do best, that is effortless and easy for them, that that gets them in touch with their real purpose in life. And when you are in touch with your real purpose in life, and everything you do then is congruent with that purpose, it just makes things much better, much more enjoyable.
And so, I would say that that is what I would really like to leave the audience with is that notion about true purpose. And one of the things I wanted to do was to provide a gift for everyone, it’s one of my books called Business Strengtheners. You can go to www.businessgrowthbydesign.com/strong and you’ll get a free ebook, or you can also visit my website for other books and other programs, which is the www. businessgrowthbydesign.com website.
Ellen: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate you.
Rich: Thank you, Ellen. I appreciate you as well. And I appreciate the opportunity to be on the podcast and to help everybody out. And hopefully, there’s been some real good value and some ideas that they can take with them to make that hard work pay off.
[30:04] Ellen: Absolutely. So that’s it for today. To get the transcript, go to www. booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast. You’re also welcome to join our private Facebook group. And that link is also on the podcast page, and that’s so you can get first notice of when the podcasts are up, network, there is a marketing day and, and sometimes we do book giveaways, so there’s lots of fun stuff there. So, till next time, Bye-bye.
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