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Mindset & Money | Our Greatest Asset

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Hosted by
Mike Ayala

On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike tells us why our relationships are our most important asset. Mike challenges us to talk to more people and to work on our relationships, which will help us achieve our highest potential. Enjoy!

“Our relationships are our most important asset, and what’s going to set you apart is the way that you nurture and protect those relationships and go out and create more of them.”


0:00 – Intro
1:05 – Our most important asset is human capital, our relationships
2:06 – You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with
3:24 – Mike isn’t as extroverted as everyone thinks he is
4:05 – Mike challenges you to take inventory when you turn up to an event
5:01 – You have to leverage new relationships
5:27 – Mike describes a situation which occurred in the hotel he’s staying in, where he was able to use his connections to help someone else
8:45 – We think in terms of win-lose or lose-lose and we think people are always trying to get something from us
10:50 – Mike challenges you to pause, and have conversations with people
12:23 – We need to be more intentional about finding out what people do and what they need
14:56 – If you don’t schedule time out to work on some of your relationships, you’re not going to have the network you need to achieve your highest potential


Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. I’m actually coming to you from my hotel room in Austin, Texas, where I’m spending the week with a group of guys from GoBundance, the champions group. And I’m just super excited about the relationships that I’ve built and that I get to continue to build this week.

It’s got me thinking about what I really wanted to talk to you about today. And you know, it’s really just our most valuable asset. And in this world, you know, we spend a lot of time thinking about assets in terms of real estate investments, the companies we own, our home, which is a whole other conversation, but the most important asset is arguably human capital, our relationships. And one of the main reasons why I joined GoBundance when we go back, I was at this stage where I was looking for really a group to join. I had spent three years in The Real Estate Guys mastermind, and they had taught me a ton about real estate investing and built some amazing relationships during that time. But I was really looking for an organization that would work on me. And I’ve been asking the question of myself recently, and I’ve brought it up to you guys multiple times, who do I have to become? And we talk a lot about, you know, the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. And the question that I constantly bring up, and I want to just keep saying this because repetition is the key to mastery and understanding, you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. But the question that I have is when you’re looking to become a higher version of yourself, who do you have to become in order to have those people attract you to their group or you to attract yourself to that group, who do you have to become?

So, I joined GoBundance. The thing, there are six pillars in our GoBundance and the one that really stuck out to me was authentic relationships. And I’m sitting here just taking inventory about the amazing relationships that I’ve made through this tribe and, and the reasons why, and it’s because everybody shows up ready to play full out. And so the first thing that I want to say is like when you go to an event or you’re looking for a new business opportunity or a partner to invest with, or even you just want to go to, you know, maybe it’s just a seminar, how do you show up? Because if you’re the little bird in the back of the room that never spends any time talking to people or sharing your challenges or your struggles, you’re never going to progress and advance and meet your full potential.

Now, let me say this. You may not know this but I’m sitting here hiding behind a microphone because I’m actually, I’m not, I’m actually not as extroverted as most people think I am. I am extroverted when I’m in an environment where I’m comfortable and I already know everybody, but there’s nothing that’s more awkward or challenging for me than to go into a room with 1, 5, 10, 100 people in it where I don’t know anybody, or even if I know one or two people I’ll tend to stay in that group of one or two people, but it’s like going to a restaurant and eating the same dish over and over, we’re creatures of habit. And when you do that, you don’t get to experience the other amazing things that are probably on the menu. And it’s the same thing with people.

So what I’m challenging you to is to just take inventory in how you show up, whether it’s at work, whether it’s at events that you go to, or maybe you haven’t even been going to events and you know, you need to and it could be local meetups for real estate. It could be Chamber of Commerce events because you need to expand your business, or you’re looking to buy a business or, you know, potentially you’re looking to buy a property. Where are you going to find those sellers? And if it’s on the MLS, or if it’s through a realtor, you’re going to get to look at everything that everybody else is looking at too. And I’m not saying that that’s necessarily bad. But you’ve got to get creative on the places you’re going to go to find what it is that you’re looking for. And if you always stay in your same circles, you’re going to get the same results. That’s the definition of insanity, right?

And so, we talk a lot about leverage and, you know, if you want something different in your life, then you have to leverage things that you’re not currently leveraging. And while this sounds bad at first glance, or when we first say it, you have to leverage new relationships. And so, the point of this conversation, I think that human capital is probably our most, it’s not even probably our relationships or human capital is the most important thing in the world. It’s more important than anything else. Zig Ziglar said you can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.

And so, here’s what I’m really here to say to you today. There was a situation that happened this morning. I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee at the coffee shop here at the hotel and the person in front of me, his card was declining and, you know, that happens to all of us when we’re traveling our banks flag our cards. I don’t know what his situation was, but he got on the phone and was talking to somebody and I said, Hey, man, don’t worry about it. I got you. And he’s like, are you sure? I mean, yeah, I got you. It’s not a big deal. I mean, every one of us probably would have done the same thing. So, I paid for it. Didn’t think much about it. We’re on the other end of the bar waiting for his coffee to show up, waiting for mine. He says thanks again. We start having a small conversation. Well, the guy that was behind me saw that whole thing happened. And, you know, I never really thought about it at that point in time, but then he comes over and I had my habit tracker journal. It has a symbol on the front of it and he says, that’s an interesting symbol on your notebook. Do you know what it means? And I said, no. And he’s like, well, it’s not bad, but it’s a family crest from Japan. And so, he starts talking to me and he lives in Japan and my son’s a professional wake surfer who, we’ve been to Japan several times. So, we start having this conversation and I find myself two hours later, I’m still sitting in the coffee shop with this guy, and we’d had an amazing conversation about Japan. He lives in Japan, he’s an American, he’s an ex-pat, but lives in Japan. Open invitation to go to his house next time we’re there and he’ll show us around.

Well, then we started getting talking about, you know, why I was there. And during the course of this two-hour conversation, five or six of the GoBundance guys showed up, you know, introduce them to Richard and we’re talking. And throughout the course of this conversation, he starts telling me about this nanotechnology that he’s working on, eight years in the making, and how it’s going to revolutionize a certain industry, which I won’t go into right now. But kind of the next level of where he needs to progress is in a certain like metals technology with gold mining and any of you guys that, well, it’s not gold mining, mining in general, different types of metals. But any of you that have listened to me for a while you know I come from a gold mining community and over the course of the years, I have met so many friends and family members and clients that have done pretty well in the metals industries, in the mining industries. And so, as we’re having this conversation, I start talking to him about a certain friend that you know, we had actually spent time together on family vacations. And this guy’s a physicist, works in the metals. I think he’s a metallurgist or a geophysicist or something. So, here’s my point. This guy is working on this nanotechnology. And the next step is to prove out some of these technologies in the or space. And I started realizing that I have all these connections that I’ve made over the years could help him get what he needs and simultaneously if they’re willing to help him get what he needs, it’s because they have, he has something that they need. And a lot of times, you know, just back to Franklin Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people, we think in terms of win-lose, or lose-lose, and not true win-win. There’s so many limiting beliefs out there that not only I have, but we have in general to where, you know, we think that we don’t want to ask somebody for something or connect to people because it might be a lose-lose, or a win-lose type scenario. We’ve got these preexisting beliefs that we think that people are always trying to get something.

Well, the reality is that our highest form of capital is human capital. And if you think about anything that you’ve done in life, any area you’ve been successful in, any successes that you had, there’s always a person on the other side of that transaction. The only thing that we have at the end of the day is our relationships with humans and the value that we bring to those humans. And again, Zig Ziglar said, you can have everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want. And what he was, if you just think about that, you know, there’s this old, again, a preexisting thought that like salespeople are dirty, used car salesman, blah, blah, blah. There is always a person on the other side of every transaction. And if they agree to buy something, it’s because they need it. It isn’t dirty, capitalism isn’t dirty, transacting with other humans isn’t dirty. And so back to the point of this story, I sat there realizing number one, I got to meet a new friend, probably, you know, a lifelong friend. The one thing that I haven’t done a great job of over the years is keeping like a Rolodex if you will, or like a CRM. I’ve been working on that the last year because I’ve met so many amazing people that I probably wouldn’t even know how to get in touch with them. But I’ve done a good job of like, when I met Richard this morning, we connected, we shared contacts and we talked about how he could add value to me and how I could add value to him. That is the highest form of abundance. That’s true, that’s human capital, it’s relationships, it’s all we have.

And so, here’s the thing that I’m going to leave you with. We live in such a busy world. And by the way, COVID, isn’t helping this. Because as you know, we’re all in the coffee shop wearing masks, and it’s a lot harder to connect when we’re scared that the other person has a disease, that’s going to infect us. But I’ll get off that soapbox, but it’s even harder to connect when we are wearing masks and we’re critical, or we’re fearful of what that other person might, you know, might have, be carrying. We’re not having the same conversations that we used to have on airplanes, all this stuff. But the reality is that goes deeper than that. There’s so many of us that probably don’t stop to have conversations anyway. And I’m going to challenge you that the most valuable asset in the world is your relationships. And the more of those relationships that you can make, the better off you’re going to be. That’s where that asset could really be deployed. And so, here’s the question that I have for you.

How can you help me if you don’t know what I need? And if we’re busy going about our day, our life, that you don’t take the time to get to know me and truly listen, it doesn’t have to be two hours. I just happen to love people. But if you don’t take the time to get to know me and listen to me for 5 minutes or 7 minutes or 10 Minutes and understand what I need, how can you help me? How can we engage in a mutually beneficial transaction? We can’t. So, you have to take the time to slow down and get to know people and to listen.

But then here’s the other side of it that gets even more challenging. We’re all genuinely, for the most part, we all love to hear other people and listen and get to know about them. I don’t think that we do, I don’t think we’re intentional enough about it. We need to slow down and be more intentional about trying to figure out what people do, what they need, how you could potentially meet somebody down the road that you would know to connect them back. But here’s where it gets even more difficult. And there’s the old saying that all of us love to hear our own voices. And I think to some degree, that’s probably true, but the reality is, I don’t think that we do enough, a good enough job of sharing with the world, what we need out of life. We’re not transparent enough to share where we’re struggling because that’s a  sign of weakness. Our egos in the way. If I come out and I say hey, I need XYZ, can anybody help me? We’re showing our weakness. We have to get transparent. And that’s one of the things I love about the GoBundance group and the fact that I’ve built so many authentic relationships. If you’re not authentic and you’re not transparent and you don’t leave your ego on the table and you’re just the guy that’s always like oh, I don’t need any help, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, so yeah, great, you’re always providing solutions, but people need that mutual transaction. And so, here’s what, I’m going to leave you with this. I already said, how can you help me, If you don’t know what I need, meaning you need to be able to listen to me, but this is probably where most of us fail.

How can I help you if I don’t know what you need? And it’s really hard for us to be transparent, to be open, to be honest, to ask, or to even just share openly hey, here’s what I need guys. And so, if you find somebody along the way that could help me with X, maybe you could introduce me to them. And so, the biggest asset that we have I think is our relationships. And I guess I’m just sharing all of this to share that if I hadn’t stopped and spent some time with that guy this morning, I don’t know where this is going to go. Maybe it goes nowhere. Maybe I just have a friend in Japan. That’s good enough. But maybe all these people that I’ve met over the years that are in mining and everything else, actually need what this guy’s technology can do. And he sent me an email and I’m going to connect him with a couple of people that I think they could probably form a mutually beneficial relationship. And even if nothing comes out of it, it’s not my responsibility. It’s not my job to make something work. It’s my job to be a connector.

And I’m going to leave you with this. The biggest asset we have is our relationships. And if you don’t slow down long enough to even maybe just schedule some time to work on some of these relationships, and it could just be a five-minute call, hey Mike, what are you working on? What can I help you with? If you don’t schedule that time out and if you don’t get intentional about it, you’re not going to have the network you need in order to achieve your highest potential. And you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table because at the end of the day, you know, we’re moving into a period of time where AI is changing the world and, you know, robots and all this stuff, but without your human relationships you’re not going to have anything. So, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world where all my interactions are with robots and my face is covered and I don’t have relationships. Human capital is our most important asset. Our relationships are our most important asset and that’s what’s going to set you apart is the way that you nurture and protect those relationships and go out and create more of them.

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