Episode Number: 181

Episode 181- How to Build a Bigger Life (not a bigger lifestyle) & Become a Master of Your Money w/ Adam Carroll

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Jamila Souffrant 0:00

You're listening to the Journey to Launch podcast, How to Build a Bigger Life, Not a Bigger Lifestyle and Become a Master of Your Money with Adam Carroll.

Intro 0:13

Welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast with your host Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest, and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey to Launch to Financial Freedom in five, four, three, two, one..

Jamila Souffrant 0:40

Hey journeyers, welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast. If you're new around here, don't worry, we are going to have lots of fun and you're going to learn and hopefully you'll become a returning journeyer. That's what you are now if you are with me on this journey to Financial Freedom and Independence.

Now this week on the episode, I have Adam Carroll. Adam Carroll is an internationally recognized speaker and author. He's a two time TED Talk speaker with one of his talks surpassing 5 million views. Creator of the documentary film "Broke, Busted and Disgusted", and works with companies large and small on culture initiatives and engaging human capital. Adam is the founder of the Shred Method, the host of the Build a Bigger Life Podcast and retreat leader within his community of life architects. Adam lives through the principle built a bigger life and not a bigger lifestyle, and is doing this through helping others with his platform. And I was really excited to talk to Adam because I can tell already, by his content that we are similar in the approach of thinking about building your life, and then having money be something that funds that life. So going within to really understand what matters to you the most. And then being able to craft a life you love. And of course using money to fuel the things that you want, right. So using money to have the things that you want, but not letting money, decide what it is that you truly want. So a really enlightening conversation that I think you'll enjoy with Adam.

First a word from our sponsor DCU, also known as Digital Federal Credit Union. Now at their core, credit unions were founded on the philosophy of people helping people for individuals that might find themselves part of the underbanked or underserved communities. Credit Unions offer individuals a safe place to manage their finances, or help fund purchases as an alternative to other financial service providers like payday lenders, at DCU. The credit union places and enhance focus on financial education by offering learning modules on key financial topics like budgeting, saving for the unexpected building credit and much more. DCU also offers a secured credit card that could help individuals establish or improve their credit by borrowing securely against their savings balance. To learn more, check out and stick around to the end of the show for a new segment called the DCU money tips of the week, where I'll be sharing tips to help you save and manage your money so you can reach your goals.

If you want the episode Show Notes for this episode, go to or you can click the description of wherever you listen to this episode to get the full episode show notes. Now, if you are a new listener to the podcast or OG journeyer I've created a jumpstart guide to help you on your journey to financial freedom. It includes the top episodes, so listen to the stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources to help you and so much more. Get it for FREE by texting launch 233777 text launch 233777 or go to to get your guide for free right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Hey journeyer super excited as I always am to speak to this week's guest Adam Carroll. Adam, you have a blog and books and podcasts and you talk about money. You know, I really try not to like stay away from like the echo chamber of personal finance, like people I try to it's hard because sometimes like speaking to you guys, it's like you, you know exactly like what it is that will help people because you're doing it in your own stuff. But I saw the TED talk that you did about money and I want to talk about that and just overall building a bigger life like this is something that draws me to when people talk bigger than just like the dollars and cents. Like what does it all mean in the context of us all living better life now like not waiting for everything like to happen all our goals. So all that to say I'm excited to talk to you more about how we can all build a bigger life. So welcome,

Adam Carroll 4:48

Jamila. Thank you for having me. And it's an honor to talk to the journeyers Yes, this is awesome.

Jamila Souffrant 4:54

Okay, so building a bigger life. Your brand is based on that. Very like, you know, everyone says they want to do that. But you know, some people will say like, but how do I build a bigger life without more money? Like how can one build a bigger life right from where they are with be still being in debt, still not understanding all the investments they need to do or still feeling like they're behind? Like, what do you say to people who are just like, how do I do that without more money?

Adam Carroll 5:18

Yeah, I listened to your show with Ramit Sethi, and you were talking about richness is basically freedom of time for you that it was the ability to spend time doing what you want with whom you want. And I learned this years ago from a gentleman who had started a software company and ended up selling it before he was 30 for like $15 million. So he had achieved this level of financial freedom that I was really aspiring to. And his name was Matt. And Matt told me at a conference where I met him, he said, Adam, I'm all about the four legacies. And I said, what tell me what the four legacies are. And he said, The first is financial freedom. Financial Freedom leads to time freedom, because those who have money have time, time, freedom leads to relationship freedom, because those who have time spend time with people they want to spend time with. And then relationship freedom leads to service freedom. And I kind of borrowed this from another speaker, but he said, we were put on this earth not to be employed, but to be deployed. And so when we figure out what our deployment is, then we can really build a bigger life because we're doing what we enjoy every single day. And so to answer your question, Jamila about how do people build a bigger life, one of the very first things that we have to do is we have to get really clear on what are our core values that we want to live by every single day. And it may seem like completely removed from money. But it's truly not like for me, I know that my five core values are family, freedom, love, growth and connection. And if I'm living my life, according to those five values, my life is infinitely bigger. And so the goal is to architect my life, so to speak. And I truly believe that we're all life architects, that that I have to architect my life in a way where I get to leverage those five values every single day.

Jamila Souffrant 7:09

Oh, my gosh, so there's so many quotables I don't know where to start. Okay, so I actually really like breaking out the freedom into four stages. And I think most people actually in the way, I don't know if it's meant to be in that order, but I do believe most people think in order for me to have the ultimate freedom of like service. So like, you know, given the way I want, like they have to be financially free, and then time free, and then a relationship and then so on. But I wrote down that list, and I'm like it, can you start backwards? like can you work? Can you like, do this in a way where you find and still reach financial freedom, but not make that like the ultimate or the first step for some people where it seems so out of touch? But like, how can you give in service despite your current situation? And then how can you choose like, the relationships you want? Like you actually have a choice, you don't have to wait for financial freedom to do any of the other things. But maybe you can't do it to the capacity you want. But you can do it. What do you think about switching around if there is an order, like switching it so that the finance part of it is actually like the last part? It's kind of like the byproduct of everything else?

Adam Carroll 8:10

Yes, yes. I love this question. And I've gotten this from a number of people who will say, I don't know that it has to be in that order. And I would agree, I think you can do this in reverse order. Or you can mix and match what you want to when you want. Candidly, I think that, and I don't know your particular situation, family and money and all of that. But I would assume that when you started putting out content, it was really more about being of service to other people, because you had the story you wanted to tell. And I think those of us in the financial education community, we start doing this because we just have this desire to serve, we want to create content and help people. And then eventually we build this massive relationship of folks who are also in our sphere, and those who are helping in terms of a tribe. And then we eventually get to a little more time freedom because the money starting to come in on what we're building. And then eventually we get to financial freedom, which is awesome.

The way that I approached it, because I had met Matt, and he laid it out exactly. It has to be money- time- relationship- service. For me, it was studying really hard about how would I create financial freedom in my current state, or status or income level. And so I wrote about in my book called "Mastery of Money for Students", that it's really about playing two things simultaneously, you play great offense, and you play great defense. So from a defensive posture, my wife is an amazing couponer. She like she will cut costs yet. She'll have 12 tabs open on on Google Chrome, trying to find the best deal on a pair of pants for my son, you know what I mean? And she's great at defense. But I particularly think I'm really good at offense. So the two of us together make a really effective team because we're constantly trying to limit our expenses and maximize our income which in my world creates this this giant spread, which I call the life factor. And the bigger the life factor is over a longer period of time, the more free you ultimately can be.

Jamila Souffrant 10:11

Yeah, I love that. And it's so many ways you can look at this, if you have a partner, it's great if maybe one has a specialty and the other, either area, you may just be a single person and, or the person in your family who is like really the one thinking about all this because not, let's be real, like some people, like have partners, and they're not really involved, like financially, like, they're not like helping with that at all. So I would say this, like my husband, like he's involved, but he really, he kind of like leaves leaves it up to me, like he follows my lead, which is fine. But it's really like being able to like, and I wrote this in the notes that I sent to you before, it's like finding that balance, because one of the things that you talk about in your TED talk and in your content and get into like this idea of invisible money, and financial abstraction that like the fact that especially nowadays, money is not as real as it was before we don't see it, especially our children don't see it, they just see cards and money, just like things being bought without understanding the value of money that that's what sends people into a lot of financial trouble.

And you talked about kind of money is not limitless when it comes in that area to like spending. But then on the other side, you know, having an abundant mindset on income and earning money, especially as an entrepreneur or just you know, anyone earning money, which is everyone hopefully, how does one balance that because let's say you're the same person, if one person is like just focused on cutting expenses, and they may be fine, they have a partner that can take on the abundance mindset, and then maybe that's fine. But I've also found that it's been hard like being one person and trying to balance those two things in me, because while I'm like, okay, I don't want to spend that like, you know, it's only $10. But it's $10 that we can put towards something. But then on the other side, undervaluing maybe the income that needs to come to me in order to be abundant. So what are your thoughts on that?

Adam Carroll 11:54

I think finding the balance is a really tricky thing. And I think particularly in couples, one of the things that that has to happen, in my opinion. Now some people out there will say no, no to two different people can do this differently. And you could have a couple that as two separate accounts and spending money that's different and all that. I truly believe that my wife and I getting on the same page was crucial in our journey to financial independence, financial freedom. We read a book years and years and years ago, called "Smart Couples Finish Rich" by David Bach. And David, you know, is a monster in this industry. But his his advice was so straightforward, and it was needed at the time. But it was basically get on the same page about what your future vision is for each other and for the relationship for your children. And when we did, it was much easier for us to create balance, because we said, Hey, we really want to take cool vacations every year, we really want to make sure that our children are are able to do athletic activities and take lessons and certain things and there's expense that goes along with that. So the trade off that we're gonna make is in going out to eat as an example. And lucky for us, my wife loves to cook. And she voraciously took on that task of making sure that she was cooking all the time. But she loved it and it feeds one of her passions. So I think in finding the balance, going back to my original statement, if you know what your values are, and what's your husband's name, Jamila,

Jamila Souffrant 13:25


Adam Carroll 13:26

Woody. So if you know what Woody's values are, and Jamila and Woody can come together on here are 10 values we got to live up to every day. And we're going to do our best to get seven or eight of those every week. You can create balance without having to overspend in one area or another.

Jamila Souffrant 13:42

Yeah, that totally like makes sense. And as you're, you're saying it, I'm like, but I want all the things right, like I still want to go out to eat. I still want right now to live in New York, which is expensive. Yes, I want to send my kids to extracurricular activities. I want to take nice vacations. I don't do all those things right now. But those are the things that I aspire to want to be able to do even while on the path to financial independence. And so I also think it's a matter of maybe not all the things now, not now, but later with some of it.

Adam Carroll 14:10

Yeah, I think I mentioned pre interview. I've been on 750 college campuses over the last 15 years doing a program. Originally it was called the "Money Game." And then it was called "Mastery of Money." And having spoken to hundreds of thousands of students, my lasting final message to them was always this: You can have everything you want in life, everything. You just can't have it at 22. And there will be people who want to sell it to you at 22. But if you buy it all at 22, you'll be paying for it at 32 and 42 and 52 and 62. So if you can be a little bit patient and impatient at the same time, you can grow a massive amount of assets and resources in passive income that allow you to afford whatever you want.

Jamila Souffrant 14:56

Hmm, yeah, that's an important distinction. It's not denial. Forever denying yourself from these things that you want. It's just for the moment, and then finding those pockets of enjoyment in the meantime. So you're not depriving yourself.

Adam Carroll 15:10

Exactly, exactly. I'll give you a case in point, I had this big vision to actually that kind of coincided, one was to pay off the house, they just have to be to live completely mortgage free. And the other one that kind of came at the same time was, I wanted to spend an extended period of slow travel time in Italy, because I just had romanticized, what it would be like to live on the Amalfi Coast and be there with my family, and so on and so forth. So both of those actually coincided In the same year, I paid off my house, and we ended up spending a month on the Italian coastline. And to get there, what it required was, we did a couple of years of not over indulging on vacations we had like staycations, and a couple of drive vacations. But where we didn't spend the money on that we were either pouring it into blasting away the mortgage, or setting ourselves up so that we have the money set aside for this European vacation. And a lot of people were like, I don't know how you'd even do that. And what they see is the event, but they don't see the 18 to 24 months leading up to the event, which made the event possible.

Jamila Souffrant 16:17

Yeah. And it's being also clear on what the trade off is like, what is that you are delaying? Because then it makes the delaying not so hard. I mean, it's still gonna be hard, and, you know, decision to make every day that you're gonna stick to your goal. But I think knowing that, hey, in two years, we'll be able to do this. And we'll still have fun in the meantime, and it won't be at the, you know, the same level. But I think that allows you then to put that work in to get it done. So you talk about so your TED Talk, which I watch you talk about money and financial abstraction, and how it puts people more at risk with money. Can you expand on that? And then we'll definitely link the TED talk in the show notes.

Adam Carroll 16:56

Yes. So when I started speaking on college campuses, the average amount of debt for students was hovering in the like 20 to $25,000 range. Over the course of 10 years, I was hearing numbers of 40,000 60,000 80,000. And it literally was doing these market jumps every couple of years. So I started wondering, why are we getting to a point where students are willing to young people are willing to borrow, in some cases up to six figures, in order to get a degree to then go out into the workforce and make 35 or $40,000 a year and struggle financially for an extended period of time. And what occurred to me was that many of them had grown up in a household where either A, they didn't make any decisions about money, or B, they were never exposed to mass decision. So they would spend maybe 20 or $50 at a time. But they had no context around what it was like to drop five grand or 10 grand on something. And so to bring it home in my TED talk, I was playing a game of Monopoly with my kids, and realize that it was more about rolling the dice Jamila than it was about playing the game. And the game of Monopoly, as you know, is about bankrupting everyone around the table, making sound business decisions and buying real estate and leveraging up properties. And so you know, all of that. So I'm playing with my kids. And I started wondering, is the reason they're playing this way. Because the money isn't real. It's just paper slips of paper. And then I started combining that with all the experience I had on college campuses, where it's like, well, maybe the students are making the decisions they are because the money isn't real. It's all just slips of paper, we sign off on a document they give us 20 grand for tuition, we hand it over to the school, but we never see it. And would it be different if you literally had $20,000 given to you? And then you had to usher $20,000 over to the you know, the bursaries, office or whatever? It might feel different, right?

Jamila Souffrant 18:58

Oh, yeah. When you put it that way, I'm like, Yeah, I would totally feel different doing that.

Adam Carroll 19:03

So I decided that I wanted to do this experiment where I would play Monopoly with real cash for two reasons. Number one, I wanted to see if my kids played differently when there was actual tangible Benjamins on the table. And number two, I wanted to show them what $10,000 in cash look like. So they they would realize like, Oh, it's a lot, but this is doable. Number one, oh, it's doable. People can save $10,000. Because I think there's a lot of people out there. And I would I would venture to guess like 98 99% of America is thinking, I don't know that I could ever save 10 grand. But in reality, saving $10,000 should be something we can all do. And we need to get to that point to then realize how easy it is to accumulate wealth, in my opinion.

Jamila Souffrant 19:49

Yeah, so you gave them real money. And how did that change that that change how they played right?

Adam Carroll 19:55

It did so each of my kids have a personality, my daughter She does not generally buy a lot of properties. She plays the luck strategy. She loves chance and Community Chest cards. My youngest son buys everything that he lands on with no exception. When he plays, and my middle son is very strategic, he buys boardwalk, he buys boardwalk and Park Place when he can afford it. But in the build up to that he buys all the railroads and all the utilities. And when they played, my middle son still bought utilities and railroads. But he bought oriental and Baltic Avenue, which are the cheap properties. And when I asked him why he was like, Dad, they're just more affordable. And then he immediately put houses and hotels on them. And that's what bankrupted everybody. My, my youngest son, he buys everything became very, very conservative. And this was a big deal, Jamila, like because he's a kid who he gets five or 10 bucks. He was like, Okay, I'm gonna go buy gummy worms, right. He just, he is all about spending it. And ever since that exercise, and we kind of put some rules in place. He's a kid who always has cash. And he's very conservative about when he spends money, how he spends money. And then my daughter just loves having cash on hand. So she didn't, she didn't really change a lot. But she's very much more mindful about how much she has, and making sure she knows where it is.

Jamila Souffrant 21:13

Yeah, and so and this is really important, because I'm a mom and I have a lot of parents who listen and then so I want to talk about it from the perspective of raising children who are aware, you my mom texted me because one of my earliest memories about money was our mom taking me to a bank to open up a savings account at about six years old. I my oldest is now about six. And so she texted me, she's like, Oh, you should take Zach to open up his account. And he had an account Actually, I did it when he was like one or two. But like, actually want to take him with me to like, get that experience the way I remember it. And so important to me, I know important to a lot of people listening, and then this is gonna be probably maybe same question. Another question is how we are were parented ourselves, even when we don't have kids? how that impacts how we deal with money. So how can we raise more financially aware children? How did you do it? You know, I know you did the game, but like, what other things did you do? And then how can we recognize where in ourselves we need to reparent the way we saw money?

Adam Carroll 22:12

So one of the things I mentioned in the TED talk was there was a study done years ago, it's been replicated a number of times, but it was basically leaders, young leaders within companies. And they're, they're some of the youngest CEOs, they were asked, what is it that put you on the path to this CEO position in your company. And I don't remember what percent it was. But it was a large percentage of the respondents said, early on in my career, I was thrust into a leadership role. But I had really great mentors alongside me. And they were the ones who are coaching and guiding my decisions, which put me in a position to succeed, once I get into a legitimate business leadership role. I sort of extrapolated that study with money and said, if we want our kids to succeed with money, then we have to A, give them money, or allow them to make money at a very young age, and then allow them to make decisions around money at a very young age. That is entirely their decision. But we get to mentor and coach them. So what you find happens most of the time, particularly with six year olds, and what's your six year olds name? Zach, does that go to the store with you? Does he like to go shopping?

Jamila Souffrant 23:22

He likes to, we try to avoid it right now. He does a lot. But no, he is definitely I can see him being a spender.

Adam Carroll 23:30

Yes. So here's what I find is that when families take young kids to Target as an example, and I've seen more than my fair share of young, you know, toddler and elementary school kids throwing a fit in target. And I start, you start to legitimize what the behavior is all about, like they want the thing. But they can't have the thing because the parents have said no, so they have no control over it. But what if we gave the control back to them? If they had money in hand, and you said, they said, I want this nerf thing, or this Lego set, or whatever it is. And you said, well, Zach, that Lego kit is $19. And you only have $12. And you get $6 every week. So how many more weeks would it take for you to save the extra money for that Lego kit? two more weeks? Okay, well, so in two weeks, we'll talk about Legos. And we can either come back and get it or by that point, you may not want them anymore. And so what we're doing is we're teaching number one, they get to make the decision. Number two, we teach delayed gratification. And number three, when they make the decision, there's a little bit of pride of ownership because it's not about you buying them some tchotchke it's about them spending their own, you know, quote unquote, hard earned money for doing some chore around the house that allows them to go get it. So first of all, does that make sense?

Jamila Souffrant 24:54

It does and I'm like, Okay, I'm gonna I'm gonna do that. That's good.

Adam Carroll 24:57

So we did two things with our kids to answer So the other question you asked, how do you how do you build awareness and potential in your kids? Number one, we implemented an allowance program almost immediately after the Monopoly game. And basically, it was $1 per year of age per week that they received. So Zach would get six bucks a week. And some parents are like, that's a lot of money for my kid. $24 a month seems like a lot. But 10% goes to saving 10% goes to investing 10% goes to giving, and 70% is theirs to keep as they see fit, do whatever they want with it. The wrinkle in that was, they had to, and this was a, this was an absolute must. They had to have $300 in an emergency fund, by the time they were five, they had to have $500, by the time they were seven, and they had to have $900 in savings by the time they were nine, I'm sorry, was it three, five, it was up to $500, I think by the age of nine, and then they ended up scaling up. But each of my kids had over $900 by the time they were nine. But at $500. It was 62 or 64% of the American populace, according to CNN Money could not come up with $500 cash in the event of an emergency. I started looking back at that data and thinking that's just habit. That's just poor habit setting, that if you have the habit of saving money, it should not be that difficult. I know college kids that can save $500 in a year. So if we can teach young people that you always have $500 in an emergency fund. And I'd had people say at nine, like what kind of an emergency would need $500. And I told him none. But if they have $500, at nine, they're going to $500 at 19 and 29 and 39, they're always going to have it. And so for us it was all about setting the right habits, and creating behavior that created those habits for them. By offering them things like the family 401k plan, where I would double whatever they put in the invest jar up to $25 a month. And my middle son, he did it every single month. 25 bucks doubled the 50 every month.

Jamila Souffrant 27:13

And how did you deal with like if they got gifts from birthday money gifts? Did you allow them to decide exactly what they want to do with it? Or did you put percentages around how they would use it,

Adam Carroll 27:23

We did the same 10 10 10 70 with money they were given, I still added the family 401k plan so I would double any money they put in from gifts. And my intent with that really was number one, I wanted to have them delay gratification. So it wasn't like I got $100 I want to go to Target and blow it right now. And number two, I've also wanted over time for them to get really into the stock market and understand what it was like to put money into an investment vehicle that they could track over time and watch it grow. So we started talking about what you want to put money in. And you know, one of my kids said, I want to buy Minecraft and Minecraft had just gotten bought by Microsoft. So they bought Microsoft stock and it doubled over the course of the next 12 months. One bought Hershey's chocolate because we had read an article that Hershey's is a very capital efficient company. And then the other one, I'm trying to remember what he invested in. I'm sure it was apple or Tesla or something he was he was geeking out on at the time. But we track we track and measure and monitor what their stock portfolios are doing. Not so much about how much are they gaining. But I want to show them things like look what the earnings per share is, and look what the dividends are and look with the you know, all those kinds of things. What was the 52? week high in the 52? week low? Do you think it's a good time to buy right now? Why is that? So we have those discussions around the dinner table, which I think just makes them a little bit more curious.

Jamila Souffrant 28:46

Yeah. And you know, I think for a lot of people, like even myself, honestly, like I talk about money, I have a platform about money. And for me hearing these ideas, I'm just like, oh, that's such a great idea. I need to implement that I need to do that. Because the kids right now they're at that age, they're six, four and two, where it's like, now's the time to start. You know, they have 529 accounts and investment account, but like for them to now physically be in charge of money. And I think for a lot of people too, it's just implementing them. Like they know some of this stuff. Some of this, maybe they're hearing for the first time and you're like, oh, but I feel like for me a barrier has been just like time like, Okay, this is going to take some planning and timing and of course, like the word like, like there's not a million other things on my list to do. And I think that happens for a lot of people where it's just like my mom growing up, she took me to open up an account, but she didn't have time just like people listening. Now maybe they're a single parent, single mom. They don't feel like they maybe have the time to dedicate as much but I guess it's important to understand that we have to figure out a way to implement some of this stuff. If we're raising kids. We want them to be financially ahead then where we are we have to figure out how to put it in our schedules.

Adam Carroll 29:54

I could not agree more and I think as a suggestion to do that just in kind of on the fly. Is that There are teachable moments happening all the time. And one of those teachable moments might be when you swipe a card at the grocery store, and you turn to your child and say, Now, where does this come from? Where does the money go? Where does it come from? And how would we use this effectively? Or what do you notice when I use this? Where do you think the money is coming from? Because some kids, if you were to ask kindergarten children, where does money come from, they'd say, the machine out in front of the bank, you go to it, you push in a number and out pops money. At one point, and I mentioned this in my TED talk, I used Apple Pay for the first time. And I was like, blown away, this is so easy. I just hit it on the on the, you know, the terminal, it takes money right out of my account. And my son said, I can't wait to get a phone so that I can pay for stuff. And I was like, hold up, hold up. This is not how you pay for stuff. And so there are teachable moments that we can have conversations when we drive through the bank or the credit union, when we buy something online. When we're price shopping. When we click coupons, we get something in the mail. We are constantly either teaching our kids, consciously or unconsciously, because our children are picking up what we're doing. Every single day. They're mindful of it, just like you said, You are watching your mom do things that were subconsciously impacting who you are today. And some people that's a good thing. And some people they're like, I do not want to be like my parents. I'm going to go spend spend spend because I hated pinching pennies growing up.

Jamila Souffrant 31:30

Yeah, yeah. So in terms of like, you know, you as you've grown up listening to this, right, who they're already had those experiences subconscious or talk to them about money, and they recognize some patterns or things about themselves. How does one begin to almost reparent themselves in the way they view money is, is it possible? I know it's possible, but just asking kind of the question, how do you break that cycle that was passed down to you maybe the negative money aspects?

Adam Carroll 31:58

Yes, I think first, there's probably a number of ways to do this to Jamila. So what I'm saying is definitely not like, here's the prescription of how you do it. But I worked with a money coach, a very good friend of mine by the name of Nick Durer, who is a brilliant, brilliant dude. Young and wise, but beyond his years, and Nick posed the question to me if money were a person, if money walked through the door right now, what would it look like? And what would your relationship to it be? And some of the answers when I asked that of other people, they'll say, oh, money looks like a mob boss. Money looks like this really attractive woman across the bar that I'm afraid to go talk to. Some people have told me that money is in, you know, all buttoned up suit and tie carrying a briefcase, but very intimidating. And whatever the answer is, it's somewhat indicative of what your relationship to money is. So if somebody says, Oh, it's a mob boss, in my mind that that relationship might be I'm afraid of it, or it's shady, or, you know, can't be trusted. Someone who says, well, it's it's all buttoned down in a suit in a briefcase, if you don't align yourself with that image, or maybe you're a female and you see money as a male, subconsciously, you may think, oh, women don't have money men do, which is could not be farther from the truth. But that may be something you heard growing up, even in passing, like, I don't have any cash, go ask your dad, he always has money. And the the message that you took out of that is men have money, women don't, or vice versa. And so we got to just dig into like, what are the money stories we've been telling ourselves, and then start to supplant whatever that messaging is. For me, it's money comes easily and frequently.

Jamila Souffrant 33:41

So what is the what is your person look like? Or if money was a person,

Adam Carroll 33:45

you know, it's funny. It's a friend of mine. He's also a bald dude. So I'm a bald dude. He's a bald dude. He's a little bit older than me. But he's a multimillionaire, runs a business has tons of fun tons of friends. And money is like, it's irrelevant to him. He lives his life, he does what he does. He's super passionate about certain things as these great hobbies, but he does not sweat it a bit. And he's very generous. And to me, that is the relationship I want to have. So whenever I see him, or I imagine money, I see him and I think we have so much fun when we're together. We just have a great time. And so that's my relationship to money. It's abundant. And I can't wait for that, you know, for that money person to show up in my life again.

Jamila Souffrant 34:28

Okay, so I'm gonna just what does it mean? Cuz I just tried to think of my money person and I thought of a clown. I don't know what that means. That someone? Yeah. And so what would that make me because I'm thinking that I'm thinking a clown, because, like, they're joking around and it's like it here today. Maybe not like, you know, hey, you don't like it's pull. It's give and take, and also not very serious, but it's like the clown playing around like, the money is there. Sometimes I'll show it to you. Sometimes I won't. I'm just like playing around. I don't know what that means. Someone Maybe listening will be like trying to,

Adam Carroll 35:02

you know, what I would do is I would unpack How is your mom with money? How is your dad with money? Did you ever do things? Like, did they take you to the circus? Or did they take you where there would be clowns that maybe in your mind, it's like, oh, that's where you go to have fun or money equals fun? It could be any one of those things.

Jamila Souffrant 35:20

Yeah, it's interesting. Well, I'll, I'll think about that a bit more. So I every one, I want you to think about what money looks like for you. I think that's a really interesting exercise. Okay, so one of the other questions that you say everyone should ask themselves is why money is important to them. So why is money important to you? Why should everyone ask themselves this question on the surface seem very basic. But like, what, let's, let's dig into that question.

Adam Carroll 35:43

Some of this goes back to how I was raised. And what I saw growing up, my dad worked very hard all his life, and was able to retire and, you know, has a comfortable retirement with my mom. But one of the things that I noticed growing up was, he was very tied to work. He was very tied to having to be gone having to, incidentally, I kind of followed in his footsteps in some of my work modalities. But I think what I what a equated money and why money was important was money gave you choices, and options and flexibility. And so part of what I mentioned earlier about traveling to Europe and spending a month in Italy, were most people would say, Well, how on earth do you do that? Money is how you do that, you know, creating time freedom is how you do that. I wanted to have relationship freedom with my kids and my wife to go do that. But money was what it made it made it all possible. So for money that for me the reason money is important. My Why is it gives us choices, and options and flexibility. And and you know, one of those, any one of those would be in my top five core values. by the very nature of acquiring wealth or creating resources, passive income streams, whatever it may be. One of my goals was, how can I fulfill this core value of freedom and flexibility?

Jamila Souffrant 37:02

Yeah, yeah. Cuz you know that that going back to what you think money is going to get you right? So like, if someone says the goal is to buy the car, or the bag was just not a problem, you like that stuff? But or to have a million dollars, right? Like, what is the I always go back to what is the feeling that you're trying to attain, like, the feeling is security, if you know, if there's ever a thing of security nowadays, or at least security from immediate, you know, being at least being a cover your expenses in case something happens, right and pay your bills, or the feeling of having the car or the nice bag is like a feeling of pride and a sense of ownership in something and you know, proving to others and maybe yourself that you you're at a status level, whatever that is. So I think it's important to really, like keep asking the deeper questions on, it's not like, okay, I want I want time to travel. But what is that feeling that you're going after? Like, what is keep going deeper into what it what it means for you?

Adam Carroll 37:59

I mentioned Nick, before my friend in the money coach, he would ask that question. So tell me why money is important to you? And you would say, well, like because I want it to be able to travel. Okay, why is that important to you? Well, because I like to explore Okay, and why is that important to you? Because my mind is opened all sorts of new things. And why is that important to you? And eventually, you ask it seven or eight times, and you might get to the heart of it, which is ultimately that? Oh, money is money actually allows me to explore curiosity? Or money is, you know, my way of changing the generational history of my family, or what you know, it's going to be something and you're going to find it, but you do have to keep peeling the onion back.

Jamila Souffrant 38:41

Yeah, yeah. So, one, it's also talked to you because I know you know, you run a business, what you do full time you write books, and like your idea of financial independence, like where you are on the path, like, so. Are you at a point where if you literally said I'm not doing any of this anymore, I just want to like hang out? Could you do that? And if so, what motivates you to keep doing your work? And then if not, like, Where do you see yourself on the path to financial independence?

Adam Carroll 39:07

Yeah, part of the reason that that I'm I'm intrigued by everyone's answer, when you ask this question is, I was told years ago that wealth is actually a component of time. And so the amount of wealth that you have, you can equate back to how long can you live your existing lifestyle before the money runs out? And so everything that I always did, and I think the, I think the FIRE, philosophy and methodology, kind of the mentality around FIRE is a is kind of a byproduct of this or an offshoot of this. How long can you last given your current set of of expenses, before the money runs out? For me, it's decades, I could live decades at this point. Before the money run out living exactly as my wife and I live right now. And we're looking forward at the prospect of you know, our kids leave the home when you're kids leave, it gets a lot cheaper to live. I think we may travel a lot more and go out to eat more. But but at the outset, I think it's going to be cheaper to live. candidly, I think we are very, very close to fire where we could just pull the ripcord and be like, Okay, now we're, we're good to go. What keeps me going, is, number one, I'm a writer. And I'm, and I love to speak, I'm a, you know, I get paid to be a professional speaker most of the days. And I always have a story to tell. So because people pay me to tell stories, I love telling stories, I don't think that I'll ever quit doing that. And I love to write because there's a guy named Jim Rohn, he used to say that what people will know you by in the future is our pictures and our words. And so for me, the more I can write, and the more I can sort of tell my story or other people's stories, the longer the message last. So in short, we're really close to fire. But I also don't know that I'll ever stop doing what I'm doing.

Jamila Souffrant 41:02

Yeah. And I think that's like that, that beauty of it is when you're doing something already. And I think this can be the goal for everyone, even if you're not going to use complete financial independence and timeframe you want is to find that thing that you can do that even if you did reach financial independence, you want to still do it. And because I always think I started a journey to launch to chronicle and show like my path. And then it became almost a catalyst to helping me reach financial independence. Like, that's the goal now. But like, if and when not, if, when I reach my goals, my financial independence goals, how would I change? What would I do differently? What Journey to Launch like, I would love to say that right now, like I'm doing exactly what I would do if I was financially independent, but I'm not like, just like, there, I have to the business has to earn money for me to be able to continue to do this. So they're probably things that if I really had like the option not to do like, I would be like, I'm not doing that, right. So I feel like my options would change. And so I feel like people are in this position, where they're trying to figure out, what is it that I'm doing? And how can I live a life that I enjoy now, but I still have to, like, reach my goals, and compromise a little bit, like balancing that with this idea of but like living that free life before you get to independence?

Adam Carroll 42:15

Yeah, I think the question that people need to ask is, how quickly do I want it. So if you said, I really want to hit this goal, and I'm gonna hit it in the next 24 months, it definitely changes what you need to do versus if you said, and I know, you threw out a million dollars, I think Ramit threw out a million dollars. And you get to that point. And it's like, Okay, what next? Okay, it's there. And how does it make me feel some people candidly, Jamila feel just as insecure, with a million dollars in the bank as they do $100 in the bank. And at that level, what I would say is, the insecurity is not coming from money, it's coming from something else that you've really got to work on and dig down deep and, you know, zoom to get rid of it. Because at some point, you're going to be, you know, you're going to be good. I think he had to ask how fast do I want to do it? Because, you know, to be quite candid, my wife and I could be driving luxury cars, and living in a bigger home, and taking lavish vacations, but we wouldn't have hit the number that we set for ourselves as early as we did. And so, you know, all of those things will have, it's just down the road, and I'm okay with that. Maybe down the road, maybe it's not maybe like, No, I dig my Nissan. It's cool. I like a car. 100,000 miles on it.

Jamila Souffrant 43:31

Yeah, yeah. And I like and we can kind of just end on this note, because I think it's important to understand, like, what you what you said, and it's hard for people to like, see it, like the people who say, Oh, don't worry about the money, but then they already have money, even like, you know, running a business and like getting to a point where it's really successful. And then you look back and you just like, Oh, these are the things I would not have done. But then people are like, well, you wouldn't have got there if you didn't do these things. So don't tell me as the person trying to, like attain this, not to like do this. So I think it's important, though, that people are really understanding that yes, it will feel good to be debt free, it will feel good to, you know, have $100,000 a million dollars in your investments. But whatever that is insecurity, like you said, or those traumas or demons that are plaguing you now outside of being able to like cover food on the table, like they are still going to be there. They're gonna be magnified, the more you have, because you have more to lose, like you have more to lose when you have more. So it's interesting.

Adam Carroll 44:27

And I want to touch on really quick your your comment about what happens when you're, you hit all the goals, does your business change? And I think the difference is that right now, I saw someone describe it this way right now you're a reporter. So you're reporting on all the things that you're doing and even in interviewing other professionals in this industry, you're reporting on them. So you're effectively a reporter, but once you hit it, you become the guide. And the guide is the one that leads everyone to this place of financial freedom, the journey to launch So you're you're literally setting everyone's Launchpad for them as a reporter, and you'll be the rocket fuel when you're their guide, as you've hit it, because it's like, Listen, this is what I did. And this is how you're going to go through it.

Jamila Souffrant 45:12

Right? And of course, everyone always say this. Everyone has their own unique path. Like it's never going to be the exact same thing. But you can take things that you hear. I'm used to tools that apply to you or that can apply and try them out. Leave what doesn't apply, leave what you don't like to make it work. All right, this was an amazing conversation. I know journeyers will love this. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about you.

Adam Carroll 45:34

Well, if you want information on Adam Carroll, go to Adam Cafrol, two R's, two L's and my last name dot info,, And everything's there. The TED Talk is there. I did a documentary on student loan debt, you can watch that there, as well as a previous pretty, pretty copious amount of podcast episodes and articles and things like that. So .

Jamila Souffrant 45:57

Awesome. And I will definitely link all that in the episode show notes. Thanks so much, Adam, for this enlightening conversation.

Adam Carroll 46:02

Yeah, Jamila. Thanks for having me.

Jamila Souffrant 46:08

Okay, I hope you guys enjoyed that conversation with Adam. I know I got a lot of aha moments from it. Hopefully you did, too. Now, when you think about your life, and what you want your life to be, I want you to really, really think about how we talked about describing and building a life from within? How can you build a bigger life? How can you enjoy your current journey? Right? So with the debt you have, with maybe working in a job you're not completely in love with? while you're still on this journey? How can you enjoy it and live a life that you love?

Okay, here's the DCU Tip of the Week, do a fall cleaning, now's a great time to see what you have around the house that you no longer need. Consider selling furniture, or co signing clothing that's in good shape for extra cash and make sure you put that extra money to your savings goals.

If you want to check out the episode shownotes that's where you can get links to anything that's mentioned, and even get a transcribed version of this episode that you can read. Go to or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. Now you can also still grab your free journeyer jumpstart guide by texting, launch 33777 or go to

If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you're not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this in Apple podcasts, rate, review, and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @journeytolaunch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeyers. They're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co-worker so that we can spread the message of journey to launch. Alright, that's it. Until next week, keep on journeying journeyers.

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How can you craft a life you love today while not waiting for the end goal of Financial Independence to be realized?  How can you build a bigger life (not a bigger lifestyle) and become a master of your money? Adam Carroll is an internationally recognized speaker, author, podcaster, and retreat leader.  He’s a two time TED Talk speaker with one of his talks surpassing 5 million views. Adam believes that we are all life architects and for him that means living his life according to 5 core values; family, freedom, love, growth, and connection. The more we get aligned with our core values, the more we are able to build a big life. 

Adam and his wife work together as a team for their future vision and shared goal of Financial Independence. With him being on the financial offense (focusing on growing income) and her being on the financial defense (focusing on limiting their expenses), they make an effective team thus increasing their “life factor”. The life factor is limiting expenses and maximizing income which creates a giant spread. The bigger the life factor, the more free you can ultimately be. Using this strategy, Adam and his wife were able to pay off their mortgage early, take a month to travel through Italy and raise more financially aware kids. Adam shares that money is important because it gives us choices, options, and flexibility. While he is very close to reaching Financial Independence, he doubts he will stop working because he loves what he does- writing, speaking and storytelling.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How to build a bigger life and become an architect of your life
  • What is a “life factor” and how to create more balance on your financial journey
  • How to mentor and coach your children to be successful with money 
  • Ways to build financial awareness with your children
  • How to break money cycles and much more…

Special thanks to DCU for sponsoring the episode! Learn more about DCU by clicking here.

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Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • Adam gave a Ted Talk on what playing Monopoly with real money taught his kids. 
  • Adam mentioned the book he read, “Smart Couples Finish Rich,” that helped him and his wife get on the same page 
  • Check out the other tools that help me with my finances and business here.
  • Check out the Journey To Launch Podcast index here which categorizes all of the Journey To Launch podcast episodes by subject. Now you can binge on your favorite topics or type of episode.
  • Join The Weekly Newsletter List
  • Leave me a voicemail– Leave me a question on the Journey To Launch voicemail and have it answered on the podcast!
  • Watch me on News12  Watch my latest segments on News12
  • YNAB –  Start managing your money and budgeting so that you can reach your financial dreams. Sign up for a free 34 days trial of YNAB, my go-to budgeting app by using my referral link.

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