Posted June 7, 2021 in Podcast
Dollars follow Value
How can you create financial freedom in 10 years?
Sometimes it’s difficult to break out of the money cycle that we find ourselves in and try something different than simply saving into our 401k. Do you feel uninspired by the current financial “freedom” model? You’re not alone. Keep reading, because my guest today shares some answers on how to change the way you think about money. Throughout his life, he was constantly being forced to evaluate his financial position, and used his pain to create a new system.
Friends, I’m so excited to have Ryan Lee on the Reaching Beyond podcast to share his advice with you all. Ryan’s story is an inspiration to me, and I can’t wait for him to share it with you. In this episode, we cover a lot, including his professional journey, how he came to start Cashflow Tactics, how he defines financial freedom, how to become financially free in 10 years, and what he believes is the best asset class. Let’s get going!
Who is Ryan Lee?
Ryan is the co-founder and creator of Cashflow Tactics, a company on a mission to help others become financially free in 10 years or less.
Ryan was born in Orange County but has lived all over the world. He now happily resides in Utah with his family. Ryan has three children aged 15, 13, and 9. Living at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Ryan believes they’ve found home and will never leave Utah.
Ryan’s biggest influence growing up was his father. From a very young age, he taught Ryan what it meant to work hard. Some of his earliest childhood memories were working in a garden, getting his hands dirty, and having the Saturday chores. Ryan learned that at the end of a hard day’s work came the sense of satisfaction that he had earned his keep.
For most of Ryan’s early adult life his definition of success was based on others’ definitions. He found himself in a hollow and empty place.
“Today, I define success as: ‘the people who know me the best respect me the most.’ It’s one thing in our line of work to put yourself out there and project yourself online as this person. But if the people who know you the best don’t respect you, you’re just putting on a facade. So my definition of success is that the people who know me the best respect me the most.” – Ryan Lee
I love Ryan’s creative, solution-focused approach to teaching financial independence. He believes 97% of the financial education currently available to people is false, and I think his willingness to stand up, call out the untruths, and help people is commendable. It is my pleasure to bring you this interview as part of his financial independence crusade.
Ryan’s Professional Journey
The majority of Americans grow up with a predetermined path for success, but as a high school dropout, Ryan lived in the gutter for almost seven years and felt far away from that path. Finally getting his life back on track, he started by getting a GED with the intention of being committed and determined to become a productive person. Entering college, the focus wasn’t about getting educated — Ryan just wanted to graduate so he could get a job.
“I did a four-year degree in two. I don’t know how I did it, but I would take two classes at the same time. I would rotate which day I went to which class cause I wanted to get done with college. I had a side hustle to pay my way through college to graduate without any debts. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I got my first corporate job in Arizona. My first paycheck [was far from a] rewarding and a validating experience. [After] the sacrifices I had made to get that paycheck and after two weeks of work, moving to a different state, after all the taxes and deductions came out — I made less in my corporate career than I made in a weekend as an entrepreneur in college.” – Ryan Lee
Ryan felt like quitting, but social conditioning kicked back in, and he told himself that responsible people who are married and have a child on the way don’t quit. So Ryan decided to climb the corporate ladder as fast as possible instead.
That took Ryan on a wild ride for the next five years in a line of business where every promotion came with bigger geographies, more management, more responsibility, and higher sales quotas. Every promotion earned him a little bit more money, but his expenses would increase, too.. Despite that, Ryan prided himself as a prolific saver pouring money into his 401k to get out of the corporate world faster.
That is until 2008 taught him two difficult lessons. After seeing his 401k crest $100,000, he thought he was on his way. However, over the next couple of months, Ryan watched it drop to about $28,000. Talking to coworkers and people in his field, he realized everyone had lost money. Everyone’s version of retirement had changed.
“I had one person that I looked up to who was grooming me to become an area vice president and his life sucked! I thought he was making good money, but … he told me that his entire financial plan turned upside down. That was reality check number one. Number two hit home: my corporate career pulled me away from my family so much I traveled 80% of the time. I lived up in Indianapolis, and my family lived in Texas. My wife gave me a call and told me my oldest son, who was four, needed emergency open-heart surgery. I felt my entire life falling apart in front of me. … I realized that the people I cared about the most, I wasn’t anywhere near being there for them when they needed me.” – Ryan Lee
Flying home on the next plane, Ryan questioned everything. Over the next couple of weeks in the hospital with his son, he decided to make a commitment that would radically alter his life. That started him on the path to creating Cashflow Tactics.
Cashflow Tactics is an education and strategy-focused company aimed at empowering people, and showing them how to use money as a tool. Ryan keeps a sign that says, “Rise up, live free.” He says this matches up with his company’s motto, which is: “You take control, and with the right principles and strategies, anyone can become financially free in 10 years or less.”
“Outward facing, our mission to the world is to empower you with — not a better strategy than everyone else —but a complete opposite strategy, so you can become financially free in 10 years or less. To make that a reality or even a possibility requires you to do something that most people will never do: rise up and take control over your money.”- Ryan Lee
Ryan thinks the biggest lie that we’re told is that someone else is smarter than you, better than you, more qualified than you, and that someone else will care more about the success of your financial plan than you. Cashflow Tactics empowers people to take control over money, but they also understand that their message is not for everyone: only for people ready to take control.
Let’s dive into some of the strategies they recommend to become financially free in 10 years.
How to Become Financially Free in 10 years
Ryan first defines financial freedom as being able to make decisions, not based on money, but based on purpose and production. When you have assets that produce income greater than your expenses, you own and control your time.
The obvious question then is: how does someone even do that? Everyone thinks and has been taught the standard: invest for 40 years in a 401k. Yet here, Ryan tells us 10 years.
“First thing is we help people understand the definition of financial freedom, stop measuring all your success based on net worth, start figuring out how to produce income. Then the first investment you should make is in yourself: your mindsets, your skill sets, and your network. The more you can use those mindsets and skill sets, the more money you make, the more dollars follow value. The second thing is, it’s not how much money you make — it’s how much money you keep. People find themselves trapped in this consumer cycle and before they know it, they are underground with debts. You can’t live beyond your means. Stop getting into this consumer condition cycle where you’re trying to buy your happiness. Then the third thing is cash flow. We have this inside of our financial freedom formula, a concept that we call the four pillars.” – Ryan Lee
Ryan breaks down the difference between investing in a 401k and real estate using his four pillars approach, which covers the four ways you can make money.
Rather than diving into all four, let’s focus on the top two. (You can hear all four in the podcast!)
- Cash flow
By choosing the 401k, money is made with appreciation. Buy a mutual fund in Apple stock at one price and over 40 years, it goes up to a higher price.
By investing in real estate, there are examples where it can go wrong: just look at the 2008 crash. People bought real estate thinking it would only go up in value. However, like any other asset, the value of real estate is based on public opinion.
This means if that’s the only way you’re making money, you’re playing a time game. It will take a long time for your assets to appreciate, and you won’t be able to control the outcome. However, if you can purchase real estate without focusing too much on value appreciation, and while focusing more on cash flow, you’ll be able to generate rental income — and the property will increase in value at the same time. One return is not correlated to the other.
The point being, unlike traditional financial advice, Ryan advises people to focus beyond just gaining wealth through the appreciation of the assets they own. Instead, while appreciation is still important, finding a way to create cash flow out of those same assets is just as important.
If real estate isn’t your thing, Ryan does have more advice.
What if Real Estate Isn’t for You?
I myself have been burned when I owned another property and the managing agent I had didn’t do the job I hired them to do. If you’re like me and still a bit on the fence about this, Ryan unpacks another option that also ticks all the boxes.
“The most successful [option] that includes all four pillars is a business that you own and operate. Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and every other small business owner out there, you can put a dollar into your business and if you get good at investing in mindset, skill sets, and network people, processes, and systems — you can predictably and reliably take $2 out $5 out, $10 out, $20 out, and beyond that is 100% your best investments. If you’re a business owner, your best investment is to double down on your ability to make money. If you can just get good at making money and keeping your money, that’s all you need to do.” – Ryan Lee
Ryan has given some valuable tips and information today. I have no doubt Cashflow Tactics will continue to build on their current success and help transform people’s journey with money.
Why You Should Listen to this Podcast Episode with Ryan Lee Right Now…
Guys, this interview with Ryan Lee is educational — especially for those wanting to find ways to change their current relationship with money.
Before I leave, I wanted to share something Ryan told me that stuck with me. I asked him what the topic would be if he had to give a TED talk on something he wasn’t known for. This was his answer:
“I would talk about entrepreneurial anxiety. I went on a process of self-discovery, which turned into a website where I taught other corporate executives. My goal was to help give people holistic solutions to anxiety and depression, to help them move into a space of happiness and healthy living.” – Ryan Lee
As a father myself, I was eager to hear what piece of advice he gives his kids.
“As my children are growing up and wanting dollars, I talk to them [about] how dollars enter their life. Dollars don’t just enter because you wake up and stomp your feet. Dollars enter at the tail end of the value that you create, the problems that you solve. It’s always good for me to remember as well — if I’m not providing value, why on earth should I expect dollars to flow my way?” – Ryan Lee
Ryan truly shows what is possible when you put your mind toward taking control of your current financial situation. If you are interested in getting in touch with him, check out his Instagram page or find them on Facebook. Also, if you are interested in learning more about Cashflow Tactics, and maybe trying their five day challenge, visit them here!
If you found value from this episode, it would mean a lot to me if you took a few seconds to write a five-star review and share it with some of your friends on Apple Podcasts. I’d be so grateful! I’d also love it if you tagged me, @kyle_depiesse, on Instagram with your most noteworthy takeaways from the episode!
Cheers to your success! I’m rooting for you.