Today we are joined by Sharon Lechter, an internationally renowned financial literacy expert, keynote speaker, and successful entrepreneur with a remarkable career that spans over 35 years.
In this episode, she shares her insights on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and talks about her latest book, “Exit Rich.”
Seize this unique opportunity to learn from Sharon Lechter’s wealth of knowledge and experience — elevate your business to new heights with her valuable insights into building business value, achieving scalability, and unlocking the keys to entrepreneurial success.
- Intro (00:00)
- The Conversation About Financial Literacy. (4:08)
- Scalability, Scalable & Sustainable? (5:51)
- Build A Business That’s Scalable (9:56)
- Business Mentor (12:31)
- Begin The Cycle Of Change (19:11)
- Association & Faith Go Hand In Hand. (21:28)
Sharon Lechter is internationally recognized as a financial literacy expert, keynote speaker and business mentor. She is a 5 time New York Times Bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and enjoyed a 35 year career as a licensed CPA. She has advised two US Presidents on the topic of financial literacy. Sharon co-authored the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad and 14 other books in the Rich Dad series. In 2008, when the economy crashed, she was asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re-energize the teachings of Napoleon Hill. Her best-selling books with the Foundation include Three Feet from Gold, Outwitting the Devil, Think and Grow Rich for Women and Success and Something Greater. She is also featured in the movie Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy and on the national television series World’s Greatest Motivators. Sharon’s newest title, Exit Rich supports entrepreneurs in building value and scalability in their businesses so they can be in the position of greatest potential.
Connect with Sharon:
About the Host:
Paul Finck is The Maverick Millionaire™. Paul brings to the table a vast array of knowledge and skill sets from 36+ years of sales, marketing and entrepreneurial life experience. He has consulted in numerous industries, including the Medical, Dental, Financial, Retail, Informational Marketing, Direct Sales, Multi-Level Marketing and Speakers/Coaches/Trainers. He is a former mortgage broker, real estate agent and investor. Starting with a desire to be great, Paul learned from several of the biggest names out there and Dared to be Different – he dared to be a Maverick. His successes include moving multi-millions of dollars in Real Estate, and over $20 million in informational products. With his primary focus on multiple streams of income, he has built up several businesses in Informational Marketing, Network Marketing, Real Estate Investing and now speaks and coaches internationally, teaching others how they can create this success in their own lives while Doing It Different – The Maverick Way.
Paul is well known for his success and his awesome family, and has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, CNN Live, The Jane Pauley Show, The Montel Williams Show, local Channel 8 and Channel 11 News, Parents Magazine, and most local newspapers in his home state of Connecticut.
Connect with Paul
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Welcome everyone. This is Paul Finck The Maverick Millionaire and this is Mavericks Do It Different podcast. And today like all others, we talk about how to do things different, how to create something different in your life to create a different result in your future. And your future could be right now, so pay attention. We've got a special guest with us today that is just an icon. And I'm so proud to have her with us today. Internationally recognized as a financial literacy expert, keynote speaker, business mentor, five time and I have five time New York Times bestselling author of maybe more well, we'll tap into that a little bit successful entrepreneur, philanthropist 35 year career as a licensed CPA advisor to two US presidents on the topic of financial literacy, co authored the international bestseller, Rich Dad, Poor Dad and 14 other books in the rich dad series, something that many of you are familiar with, in 2008 when the economy crashed and shifted on us, and I was part of that as well. She was asked by Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re energize the teachings of Napoleon Hill. So powerful, best selling books with the foundation included Three Feet From Gold, Outwitting the Devil thinking Grow Rich for women, and success and something greater. featured in the movie thinking Grow Rich, the legacy. Also on national television series world's greatest motivators. Sharon Lechter is with us with her newest title, exit rich supports entrepreneurs and building value and scalability in their business. Sharon Lechter is such a great pleasure to have you here. So happy you're able to spend the time with us and join us.Sharon Lechter:
Well, thank you, Paul. I'm delighted to be here. And I love the word Maverick is exactly what we need more Maverick today,Paul Finck:
Here here. I've been a maverick for a long time longer than I knew what that word meant. So understand I live within that space. Tell me and and we were talking about your expertise, financial literacy, understanding the the challenges that we have in our society around financial literacy, and taking all that with building a great life and a great business is so key with my audience. What is it about? Why don't people understand financial literacy in the marketplace? Why is it such a hard thing to put our head around?Sharon Lechter:
Well, because we're not taught about money in school, and very few of us actually have conversations about money with our family. And so we've heard you've heard the expression that rich get richer, the poor get poorer. That's because we learn about it at home. And I was very fortunate to did not realize at the time how unusual it was. But I was raised in a family that we talked about assets, we talked about appreciation, cashflow at the dinner table. And it wasn't until I got out and started my career that I realized people didn't understand money, and all they knew was to work hard and get a paycheck. And if you you know, you needed more than you got a second job, or you asked for overtime. And such an incredibly difficult thing to do when you're need more revenue. But let's solve a problem, solve a few problems or serve a few needs and create a business around it. And you'll see the ability to grow something that's sustainable and scalable.Paul Finck:
And I want to talk about sustainable and scalable. Just note I want to touch on something you said that we don't talk about financial literacy. We're not taught it. And it's almost taboo to mention it. I have been ridiculed by close friends and family aside meet people. It's like, oh, how much do you make? What's going on? What do you advise people on how to get into those conversations and really make it a part of our norm rather than the exception?Sharon Lechter:
Well, you know, part of is just having those conversations and meet you know, maybe not ask them how much they're making, but talk about what kinds of things you're involved in what kind of investments do you have? You know, the the word I always have always, my favorite word on Earth is assets, right? And I have people say it over and over again. So they get comfortable saying that aren't even comfortable saying the word assets because they know they don't have enough. And you're financially free when the income from your assets exceed your monthly expenses. And so the more we can talk about it, I'm women getting together on investment clubs. I've proven to be great investors because they talk about it and they do the research. And it's really important that we somebody's got to teach us and then we're either going to be in control of our money or our money is going to be in control of us. And so we have to take this the action to say this is information I need to understand I need to learn and do what you need to educate yourself about money so that it does not have control over you.Paul Finck:
Hear, hear, so get the education, understand assets, assets, assets and pay attention to those. So the next step for many of the audience that are listening here is that they want to build a business or they already have built a business. And the component of actually making something that is, is has potential that has value is scalability and scalable and sustainable. First off, but I think for some of them, they get confused by all these things. Can you help clarify what those terms mean?Sharon Lechter:
Certainly, scalability and scale? Well, most people who think they're business owners don't really own a business, they own a job, because they haven't done what's necessary to create a business that can operate without them. And so a true business is based on a sound legal structure, sound marketing system, business systems that allow you to automate what you're doing and have other people run it, using other people's money, time and resources. Way too often, people think that they have a business they can sell, but they can't sell it because it's wrapped around them as an individual. And so that happens more often than not 85% of businesses that try to be get sold, don't sell. And it's primarily because the owner hasn't structured it correctly. And so when you want to build a business, you want to think about your mission, your team, your leadership, you want to make sure you have the right people on your team, you want to think about the legal structure. So that it is something that can grow, making sure you have tight agreements with people that are part of your organization, strategic alliances, and then have a strong database, identify your competitive advantage, identify your intellectual property, protect it and leverage it. And above all, systematize everything you possibly can, so that it is scalable, because it's not scalable. If it's just one or two people, you need to take what they do create the systems so that you can scale.Paul Finck:
Though in scalability, so repeatability in that so it can be done over and over again, whether you're in the mix or not. And that's really key. I've been an entrepreneur for 36 years, and at least half that time, I was doing it totally ass backwards. totally ineffective, because I was the guy that oh, it's all centered around me. So I'm exactly who you're talking about, and building assets to find for the business models, what are assets? What were define them as, how do we know to identify them to say, oh, that's an asset, got it.Sharon Lechter:
An asset puts money in your pocket. As simple as that, you know, an asset is something that's income generating, it could be a rental piece of real estate that your tenants paying you more than what you're paying and mortgage and expenses. It can be a business that's operating, that generates revenue for you that you don't have to be there anymore, because you've got people sis people operating systems operating the business and generating cash flow. At the end of the day. It could be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, it could be any of the we've got cryptocurrency, we've got, you know, collectibles, those don't generate cashflow. But there are assets that you hope appreciate over time. So if you're looking for cash flow, you want to focus on on those types of investments like REITs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate and businesses are primary. And the other one is intellectual property. You create something, you write a book, you create an online program, and you get paid royalties, my second favorite word, and on an ongoing basis, so you do it once and it creates a an asset that generates income for people.Paul Finck:
That's huge. And it's something that so many people, they they discredit what they've created, and not realize that it's an asset that they can capitalize on. So interesting in the marketplace, the the concepts of of scalability. And where do people begin? So here they are, they're in business, how do they identify to say, Okay, this is scalable, or this is not what do they need to do to change that?Sharon Lechter:
Well, I mean, I could say, read my book, exit rich, but we've created programs and career of helping people build their businesses so that it is a business not a job. And that's the biggest question, can you walk away from your business for three months can come back and it's stronger than when you left? That's a question and most people have a hard time answering. But that's the quote. That's the one that triggers whether you've actually built a business or whether you've built a job And so the issue is, you go back to your mission, what's your definite purpose? What is the problem you're solving? What's the need you're serving. And that's what helps you focus on building the right systems. So that you can serve as many people as possible, and that you have the ability to do it even when you're sleeping. And that's where most people don't, don't think about that. They think that they, if it's gonna get done, nobody can do it as well as they do. Well, that's the superstar mentality. And most entrepreneurs that are innovators don't they tend not to be very good managers. So it's really important to find the right team members that can come in and keep the business moving and direct. You know, where you want to go. I'm I'm totally a victim of shiny object syndrome, I'll get a phone call get all excited. But I have people on my team that say, well, Sharon, does that change the priorities we set yesterday? I mean, they, they kind of bring me back to Earth. And so you want to have the innovation, you want to have the excitement, you want to have the opportunities that come. But then you need to process in a way for you to review it and say, you know, what, are the priorities? Does this really change the priorities of your business? Or do you need to set it aside and say, This is not going to move me forward, I have a focus, I have direction. And I have the ability to have the right team members helping me drive the business forward.Paul Finck:
And so many components of that, and we've all been there where the shiny ball object and we run to it out man got so excited that we bring it back to the team. And then the next day, you forgot about that shiny ball and you're onto another one. And, and your team just goes Oh, my God, not again. So what? So a couple of things in that. Who? How do we know that we're doing that? How do we identify that, if you will? Is there any like that that's happening?Sharon Lechter:
Well, let me start with one common high emotion is low intelligence. All right. And that's the importance of having a mentor. That's why I do mentoring. It's not it is one on one for me is a dedication of my time. So it's not, you know, it's not the right side of the Cashflow Quadrant, where it's a system my system is, but I love what I do. So I have a few clients that I work with and help them get to that seven figure get to that eight figure get to that nine figure, because I can see what they can't. And I can also see without the emotion that they have. And so they get excited about a new opportunity. And they're just ready to jump. And so my job as a mentor is like, okay, let's walk through the opportunity. Let's walk through the possibilities. Let's walk through the positives. Let's walk through the negatives. And as you do you start peeling the layers of the onion, getting rid of the emotion and bringing it back does this truly benefit, the forward motion of the business happens to all of us? You know, I had somebody come to me a very large company that wanted me to be a mentor, right. And so I was like, really wonderful. It just felt so good to back that they were coming to me. Well, then as you know, as we got further into it, they just wanted my influence. And they wanted me to, in essence, be a commissioned salesperson. So okay, timeout, you know, that's not that's not the role that I play. And so understanding what the roles or responsibilities are of your team, but also don't be the smartest person on your team, have a mentor, who's been where you want to go, that they because they can steer you around pitfalls, and open doors of opportunity for you. And they don't have the same emotional investment that you do.Paul Finck:
Yeah, so key, and I'm a product of the product. The only way I'm here is because I got a mentor invested in people that were more experienced, more knowledgeable than I was, I wasn't the smartest guy in the room. And it was a it was it's one of those things. That's a hard lesson to learn, because it means you've got to bite the bullet and step into it. However, everyone that I know that's created success that's been the road and one way or the other. So really powerful with with creating events or creating is some form of group of people around you to be able to help identify and guide you. Advisory Board and mentors and coaches. You also mentioned that it sounded like we need someone to manage because when we're so much of the visionary, we need someone to manage the day to day to really be the driving force to what happens in cleaning up the mayhem, if you will, that we may create. What does that look like?Sharon Lechter:
Well, very few entrepreneurs love getting into the weeds and the details. they just want it done. They just want to keep moving. And quite frankly, as an innovator, and entrepreneur, you need to be focused on moving the business forward. And so you need to think about the things that you're not good at the things that you don't enjoy, and bring people onto your team who are who thrive at that. And love it. They love the nitty gritty, they love it, look at the way things work, and how you know how a goes into B, right? So they have the ability to help create those systems that you would gloss over because your big picture. So if you're a big picture, innovator, you're not very good at managing the day to day. And you shouldn't be because that's not the best use of your time, your brilliance and your opportunity. So bring somebody in who has that skill. They, they might even be entrepreneurial themselves, but they're more of a facilitator implementer. Okay, so they have the implementation skills to take your vision, and make it a reality.Paul Finck:
So is that someone that we hire?Sharon Lechter:
Typically, I recommend hiring them. Because when you're build first building your business, you don't want to give away too much equity until you understand where you're going and what the opportunities are. But somebody that comes in and you hire them, and they used to you start seeing, you know, incredible bottom line results over time, you can create an opportunity for them to have equity because they're helping you build it. And that's something that is very important to think about. But don't give away too much equity upfront, because it can, it can always hurt you. And if they turn around and want to leave in a couple of years, now you've got equity in somebody's hands, that's no longer there.Paul Finck:
It's such an important conversation, that alone to unpack. I see it over and over again, where people, they don't seem to understand that a pie to divide it up. You cannot divide up more than 100%. And, and they will and they'll give away more than the company can produce.Sharon Lechter:
I had this exact conversation with a client yesterday as a matter of fact, and upwardly mobile medical practice at 4 million on track for 10 million this year, right in looking to truly explode 10x Beyond that, and you know, I said let's talk about instead of giving equity, look at a profit sharing opportunity to profit percentage, that's a way to entice people to come in so that they share in the success of the company, but you're not giving away the underlying underlying equity. And there's lots of different ways to do it. But you want to make sure that you're protecting yourself for the future as well as rewarding those people that help you make a success today.Paul Finck:
What are you talking about? And this is an extension of that conversation or might be the prelude to that conversation is bringing on people and understanding that that what you start with as what you think is your profitable profit margins, if you will, changes dramatically as you grow because you enter multiple layers of either management or administration that they don't account for when they start. Can you talk a little bit about how to avoid some of those pitfalls.Sharon Lechter:
Part of that is also having the right mentor. The other thing that I see even more often, Paul is a lack of understanding timing of cashflow. People start a business, they're very successful. If his product base, they have to pay to create the product. And then they sell it and it may be 180 they turn between when they have to pay for it and when they get paid for the cup by the customer. And they don't account for that in their cash needs. And so as they create more success, their problem grows, because they they have to try and fund the development of the product prior to actually receiving the cash. And many times companies just they fail to grow. And they end up having a black mark on them because they can't meet the demand. And that happens over and over again. And so you really want to look at use of funds, cash flow requirements, and your overhead expenses overhead can kill you particularly, we know I'll often joke when I'm invested in a company soon as they buy a building or a plane, I sell my stock, you know, because your focus is changing. So it's really important to understand what the underlying purpose of the businesses and how they're using their funds.Paul Finck:
Oh, that's so great. has indeed I've seen that over and over. That makes a lot of sense. So what are some of them and we've got people that are there in those beginning stages a lot of our clientele they they built a business, and even if it's 23456 years down The Road, they're still in those beginning stages of building it, it hasn't quite gotten that momentum, they certainly can't step away. What are some of the key things that they can be doing today to to begin the cycle to change things to build a real, valuable, scalable, sustainable business?Sharon Lechter:
Well, in my book Three Feet From Gold, which was my first book with a Napoleon Hill Foundation, I released it in 2009, I introduced something called the personal success equation. And it really is something I use for every interview with every client, because it kind of helps you identify the things that you're doing right, and identifying things that you should be doing differently. And it starts with a P plus t, which is your passion and your talent. Now, my passion came from anger. They weren't teaching kids about money. My talent was many years as a CPA many years in publishing. And most of us stopped there thinking we have to do it on our own. And guess what school teaches us do it by yourself. But true success comes from times a power of association, having the right people around you, having people who push you forward, who challenge you, having that mentor, having the right people on your team, people who are strong, where you are weak, and then times a taking action. How many times do we know what we're supposed to do, we just don't do it. And then plus F faith, having faith in yourself having faith in what you're doing, having faith that is needed and necessary and having faith that you will succeed. And so when I start working with clients, I have high level clients that I work on one on one, I step into their world, it's not a predetermined program, it's basically custom made for what they need to get to the level of their, what their goals are. And we go through the formula. And it's usually the power of association, they've had some success, and then they plateaued. Because they have not continued expanding their associations. They've had a mentor that got them here, but that mentor can't get them there. So they need a different mentor, a team of advisors tax legal, maybe they need a different set to get them to the next level. And that's so important that power of association and their competence. So they felt pretty good about getting to a million dollars, but they're hesitant. They're scared to death to get to 10 million. And so that faith is being challenged as the power of association and faith go hand in hand. Because when you have the right people around, you're gonna have a have a have a bad day, they're not gonna let you stay down. And so that's the person success equation. And I use it in every every talk, I give, and I referenced you URL, personal success equation.com, where I have a, a an ebook and a work plan for you to go through to determine what you need to do to get you to the next level.Paul Finck:
Really key and I want to highlight that personalsuccessequation.com. Absolutely. You want to go grab this information. So you have it in front of you and work through it in detail. These are so key to your success as a business owner. And and so important. And most people that get started and they just randomly create something, and they start jumping on the bandwagon and run with it without actually doing the foundational work. And what you talk about Sharon is how to get back to basics. Do the fine do the real structure, the hard work that creates the the foundation to build empires on?Sharon Lechter:
It's much less expensive to do it upfront, than to get yourself in a situation when you're ready to scale and you can't because you don't have the systems or you're ready to sell and your books are a mess. Your legal documents are a mess. And so you think you can sell for 10 million in the company come buyer comes in and says no, you know, you're you're a mess, I might offer you 3 million. And it all could be adjusted by doing it right up front, creating the agreements, understanding what you own. Now, in today's world, we all use third party independent contractors do you have a work for hire with them? Because if you don't they own whatever they did for you. And most people don't understand that. So it's really important to have the right legal agreements so that you ensure the ownership you have. I have a company that we talked about an exit rich that, you know, they were ready to sell on we're talking $50 million. And the company that the buyer came in and all of their sales contracts were not assignable. Well, that's a problem. And so they had to extend another six months and go back and get the contracts renegotiated with the customers so that that particular buyer would still be interested. And so that's something that is so easy to handle up front. If you just pay attention and You have the right people on your team,Paul Finck:
Those details in, in, in structure system and, and underlying some of that conversation is also protecting the assets that you built, understanding that their assets and that they need to be protected, and how to do that with the proper paperwork and all those components. So valuable. Thank you so much. With, with all the people listening, we've got people all over the world listening, final words of advice, you know, what should they be doing?Sharon Lechter:
Well identify your definite purpose and remind yourself of that every morning. Because when you don't want to get out of bed, if you remind yourself the problem you're solving, then you just serve and it helps you like pop up out of bed. And always remember that, you know, if it has to be it's up to you, you're gonna you're the CEO of your own life. And so nobody's gonna do it for you. Even though we live in a world we think that we're entitled everything done for us take action, and go through the personal success equation, your passion, your talent, do you have the right people around you find the right mentor, somebody who is going to customize a program for you, somebody who is going to step into your world, not drag you into theirs at some free department determined course, you want a mentor who's going to be your advocate, and be there to support you and achieving the success that you deserve. And one of my team members gave me a one of these magazine covers, as you know, said my legacy is creating legacies. And I love that because it is so true. My greatest joy is helping other people succeed to becoming the authority in their field.Paul Finck:
Brilliant inspiration, Sharon, such a pleasure to have you here with us. And so many levels. I totally agree and, and live and dream to be living within all that you teach. It is powerful stuff. And it definitely builds success. I've watched over the years and been a fan for so long. And it's such a great pleasure to have you here.Sharon Lechter:
It's been my pleasure, Paul, and thank you for doing this. We need more people out there sharing information and guidelines to help people make the choices that are best for themselves.Paul Finck:
I would love to continue these conversations both with more podcasts with you as well as live. And I would love to extend that invitation to you whenever you can come back. We'd love to have you.Sharon Lechter:
Well, thank you so much. Well, I appreciate it and congratulations for being a maverick. I love it.Paul Finck:
Yes, indeed. Maverick all the way as I know you are as well, Sharon, we share that same heart and soul. I appreciate you so much. Everyone, you want to go to Sharon lechter.com or personal success equation.com Grab hold of the information that's there so that you can put it to work and reach out to Sharon. She is a powerhouse on so many levels. And a great mentor you're looking for someone that you can lean into Sharon's definitely a person thatSharon Lechter:
Thank you so much, Paul, and they can reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org anytime as well. Direct access.Paul Finck:
Thank you so much. This is Paul Finck this is the Mavericks Do It Different podcast. Sharon, such a pleasure. Again, thank you so much for sharing with us.Sharon Lechter:
Thank you, Paul.