Creating a Legacy Map to Replace Retirement with Intentional Living with John Anderson
Today, I’m talking to a baby boomer who has no intention of “retiring” – and is instead truly living a purpose-based retirement. John Anderson is the founder of Replace Retirement and co-founder of The CEO Advantage, and he’s on a mission to help others replace retirement as we know it with intentional living while finding your purpose on life’s journey.
In his book, Replace Retirement: Living Your Legacy in the Exponential Age, he teaches readers to create purposeful, rewarding, and inspired life plans. Filled with success stories and proven tools, he wants you to chart a course for a fuller, richer life today and continue making the world a better place for years to come.
In our conversation, John shares how he teaches others how to achieve their greatest potential, how to prevent your life or career from falling victim to disruptors before it’s too late, and everything you need to craft a legacy map and chart a course for the next phase of your life.
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In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
- What massive transformational purpose is and how it shows up in our lives.
- Why John replaced retirement as we know it with intentional living–and how a meeting with Verne Harnish and Peter Diamandis transformed his life.
- How retirement can turn high achievers into shells of their former selves
- How to stop floundering and get your focus and momentum back.
- What it means to truly create and leave a legacy for your family and where so many people go wrong.
- How to set a vision for your future self by taking small steps, rejecting perfectionism, and doing the little things that make big differences.
- "Stop making opinions about people until you have the opportunity to determine who they are. Don't let your parents dictate that. Don’t let your past dictate that. Treat everybody as somebody you respect until you understand who they are." - John Anderson
- "I have beat myself up my whole life for falling short 80%, 90%. Why wasn’t it 100%? Nothing in life is 100%. We’ve got to stop beating ourselves up." - John Anderson
- Replace Retirement
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- The CEO Advantage
- REPLACE RETIREMENT: Living Your Legacy in the Exponential Age by John Anderson
- Entrepreneurs' Organization
- Salim Ismail
- Peter Diamandis
- 10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy
- Verne Harnish
- Peter Diamandis
- Jim Collins
- Patrick Lencioni
- Gino Wickman
- Cameron Herold
- Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future by Cameron Herold
- Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) by Verne Harnish
- What the Heck Is EOS?: A Complete Guide for Employees in Companies Running on EOS by Gino Wickman
- Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish
- Stephen Covey
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
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Casey Weade: Welcome to the Retirement With Purpose Podcast. My name is Casey Weade, where it is my mission to deliver clarity and purpose and elevate meaning in your life. We do that on the podcast in a couple of different ways. Every single Friday, we get into a conversation on a trending topic that circles around our Weekend Reading for Retirees email series. What's that? That's an email that hits your inbox every single Friday and a resource that you must get because not only are you getting this amazing email with four articles that are trending topics in the financial and non-financial space that are impact this particular time in your lives but we'll also invite you to special webinars, events, you'll be receiving white papers, all types of books and giveaways along the way. But we also ask you as a subscriber to participate in our conversations. Today, you're going to hear me pull in some of the questions that our Weekend Reading subscribers have submitted for our guest today, John Anderson. We are here on a Monday. Why are we here on Monday? Because every other Monday we get together with one of our world-class guests and we bring to you a conversation that is in a long-form format.
And today, we have a world-class guest. We have John Anderson joining us here today. We have a baby boomer that has no intention of retiring. And it's always great to bring on to the show people that are really living that purpose-based retirement. He is the founder of Replace Retirement and co-founder of The CEO Advantage, and he is on a mission to help you replace retirement with intentional living, to articulate the realization of your life's journey, and find your unique purpose. He founded the Detroit chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which is kind of how we ended up getting connected and he has also been featured in Forbes and Next Avenue. I'm sure his articles will at some point pop up in our Weekend Reading for Retirees email series. And he is the author of Replace Retirement: Living Your Legacy in the Exponential Age, which is what we're going to be exploring today. And we're also partnering with John to give away free copies of that book, Replace Retirement. If you would like to get your free copy of Replace Retirement, it's super easy. All you have to do is go on over to iTunes, write us an honest rating and review of the podcast, and then shoot us a text. Text us the keyword ‘book’ to 866-482-9559 and we will shoot you a link that you can select that book and share with us your iTunes username so that we can send that book out to you for free. Well, let's get into the content.
Casey Weade: John, welcome to the podcast.
John Anderson: Thank you very much, Casey.
Casey Weade: And, John, I'm excited to have you here. You know, as someone with such a massive, transformative purpose as yourself is perfect for the Retire with Purpose podcast. You actually talked about this in your book where Salim Ismail I believe is how to pronounce his name. Salim Ismail coined this term, massive transformative purpose, after analyzing the 100 fastest-growing startups. And I wanted to get that from your perspective. What is a massive transformative purpose and how does that show up in your life?
John Anderson: Good question. I for years just went with the definition of purpose like you do. And so, my purpose is to inspire and challenge leaders to achieve their greatest personal potential. And I've had that since I was in my twenties and that led to all the work I do and the work I'm doing today. This idea of a massive transformative purpose or MTP was this term that Salim and Peter Diamandis kind of coined, and I guess it's one way, maybe just to brand a little bit differently but it's fundamentally the same idea as a purpose. I think all they're doing because they think of everything from an exponential lens versus a linear lens at what would be a massively transformative purpose that changes the world. And so, from that standpoint, if we kind of separate that idea out, if my purpose as John Anderson is to inspire and challenge leaders to achieve their greatest personal potential, which will never end, right? It can always work on that so it's tireless. I can always improve on that, which is what a purpose should do. And finally, the word ‘leader’ is you could insert growth-minded people. It's just that, at that time, we didn't use that language. And I thought a leader is somebody who's at one stage in life and is willing to do the work to get to a higher stage in life, whatever that is. So, it's not by title. It's really a behavioral thing.
A massively transformative purpose might be more of this replacing retirement with intentional living, right? That's like pretty big. Like, how would you replace retirement and what would that look like? So, that would be closer to his definition of a massively transformative purpose. And in that lens, I looked at that through more of the purpose of my company beyond just John Anderson's purpose. Does that make sense?
Casey Weade: Yeah. Well, the thing that's funny about purpose is it seems like there's a lot of different levels of purpose. And the more that I've done this over the years, you find everyone not only has a different definition, but actually there's different types of purposes. You have this they'll say you have Purpose with the capital P then you have purpose with the lowercase P. Well, now we have MTP on top of that. So, I have MTP, Capital P, lowercase P. And I do think that's helpful though because for many, when we look at a massive transformative purpose, that can be really intimidating. And the way that you've framed this, I think it helps individuals better wrap their head around that purpose. But maybe you can share with us how you think of these different purposes, these lowercase Ps, these capital Ps, these MTPs.
John Anderson: When I do work with clients, I use the simple term ‘purpose.’ And in that vein, it's like, I want to understand, Casey, what's your purpose for life. If to use kind of a spiritual piece, what does your higher power intend you to be here for or God intended to be here for? What's your sort of whole meaning to life? So, from that standpoint, and again, I mentioned in my forties to inspire and challenge leaders to achieve the greatest personal potential. I felt like that would carry me for the rest of my life. I'll never tire. So, as a business coach, right, I was doing it in the business realm and then as I evolved into creating these legacy maps and now it's much more one-on-one, it's about 80% of the work I do, I'm doing it with individuals, The Replace Retirement book is still inspiring and challenging leaders to achieve their greatest personal potential, right? Leaders under that definition are people who are at one stage in life and willing to climb to the next stage, willing to go on that journey. So, I think that's an important piece every human being should have a purpose, and that purpose should create the direction whether northeast, south, or west of their life. This massively transformative purpose, again, is a little bit of - and I've been exposed to Peter Diamandis for more than a dozen years. Like, he had a big impact on me and it's here's this guy talking about that in the next ten years we'll see 100 years of change. Well, that's exponential. That's not just linear growth. That's like massive growth. And that's why I kind of pay attention to that and so on.
I'm not going to discount this idea of a massively transformative purpose or as both followers of Dan Sullivan, the recent book by Benjamin Hardy, 10x Is Easier Than 2x, it's that same idea. He's saying perhaps it's not that much more difficult to have a ten times growth strategy than a two times growth strategy. What he's essentially saying, maybe it's not that much harder to be exponential than it is linear. My metaphor for that is flying. So, when we're young and we get on our first flight, it's very exciting but we're walking to the back of the plane and what you notice right away is all the first-class passengers have already boarded. They're in their seats. They’re watching a movie. They're having a drink. And it's almost like the walk of shame to the back of the plane. And so, those of us who are kind of driven as leaders are like, “I want to get in front of the plane like I want to get on first, I want to get off first, I want to have my drink, I want the bigger seat.” That's my goal. That's my aspiration. That was certainly mine as a young man. Then when you get a private jet, it's a whole another thing. Not so much the fact that you have this private area and so on. It's that plane is flying at 45,000 feet and a commercial plane is flying at about 35,000 feet. At 45,000 feet, the air is thinner. It actually uses less energy for that private jet to fly at 45,000 feet than it does for the commercial jet at 35,000 feet. That's my metaphor for exponential versus linear.
It's actually not that much more energy it takes. You've got to design your plane to get 45,000 feet. You still have to land it. You still have to refuel it. You still have to maintain it. But when you take off again, you're back up to that high altitude, that exponential way of thinking, that ten times. How do we design a life and the behavior that gets us to that altitude instead of just 35,000 feet? That's my kind of metaphor for linear versus exponential or MTP versus purpose.
Casey Weade: Yeah. That's beautiful. I think that's one of the best metaphors for that 10X mentality that I've ever heard. And you talk about achieving, making sure leaders are achieving their greatest potential. And that's something that it sounds like you've been doing since your thirties, forties. At what point in your life did this concept of replacing retirement with intentional living come into play? Did that happen when you were actually contemplating retirement? How did we get to that point?
John Anderson: It took a lot of thought. And there is a journey. So, if one of the biggest impacts in my life was meeting Verne Harnish. So, if I go back into my - I started my first career with working at IBM, which was great. If you think about most baby boomers and back to the 80s, if you could get a job in a really great company, you could be there for the rest of your life. So, when I started at IBM, they never had a layoff in the history of the company and it was the most profitable company on the planet. My father, who's president of a company, worked 37 years and grew into the president role, was so proud of me because he's like, “You're at the right company doing the right thing. You're on your way. You’re set for life,” right? Because that was the model. That was the design back in the 1980s. So, I'm working at IBM, but then I get this sort of entrepreneurial bug and I decide, "You know what, I don't want to be at this company. And things are changing, right? The world’s accelerating. And so, I want to be an entrepreneur and I get into this office furniture business through a partnership with somebody who is actually older. By the way, he had set the goal he was going to die when he was 100. He died on his hundredth birthday. The power of intention and goal setting. So, I'm partnered with Verne. I'm running Gorman's furniture, but I'm really an IBM salesperson, so I don't know much about running the company. So, I'm reading Inc Magazine, I’m reading Fast Company, and I see this little caption, The Birthing of Giants. Every year, we invite 60 entrepreneurs from around the world to attend the Birthing of Giants at the MIT Enterprise Forum sponsored by YEO, which is what EO was before and Inc magazine.
I signed up for that. I was one of the 60 people selected. This is back in 1994. I meet Verne Harnish and it's like this is Obi-Wan Kenobi. I mean I'm really enamored with this guy. I want to understand more. I want to learn more. I want to become friends with him. And today, Verne and I are very close friends. We spend a couple of times a year together at my cottage and doing various things. And so, that was a big impact and that led to business coaching and all the stuff I do today. And he introduced me to Peter Diamandis and Jim Collins and Patrick Lencioni. These are all people I've known along the way. So, Verne, huge influence on my life and continues to be today. The next big person was Peter Diamandis. He's speaking at one of our Fortune events. This is probably 13 years ago and I'm like, "Okay. This is like Yoda. This is the guy I have to study for the next 25 years because he's talking about this sort of exponential future and this abundance and all these concepts that I had some understanding of but didn't really know that well.” And so, now I make the same commitment. I'm going to learn. I want to become friends with Peter Diamandis. I'm going to spend time with him. I got to understand what he's saying.
So, now I’m in his program, Abundance360, that's been going on for a dozen years. Well, he has a huge influence on me because at first when he talks about all the next ten years is going to feel like 100 years of change, it's a little overwhelming. It's like I don't know what that is like I'm not sure I even want to know. I just want things to kind of go more or less like they've always gone, right? That's a natural reaction. So, then that's the first one. Well, okay, I got it but that's not me. And then that kind of year or two, it's like, well, I could see how Ford Motor Company could be disruptive. Boy, if they don't really sort of change themselves with electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles and so on, there may not be a Ford Motor Company by the end of the decade. They better get their act together. Those guys, right? Then you kind of go the next year. It didn't work perfectly on three years. Year three, it's like, “You know what? I could see myself getting disrupted. What if AI replaced me?” Like, I'm not the business coach anymore. You have this avatar, and it could be Jim Collins if you want. It could be George Washington if you want, right? It could be skinned as anybody and it's really like Watson. It's this AI pulling all this information about your industry. You can look back in your industry, you can look forward in your industry, and knows everything else.
And it was Gino Wickman who had been my business partner when I launched my business. He was there with me and he's like, “Yeah, but it can't replace the human side like the stuff we do that helps with teams and everything.” I said, “Why not? Have you ever watched The Terminator? It's like reading your body language and your energy, and all that stuff.” So, now this technology can even understand how emotionally you respond in situations. So, with all that in place, AI really could disrupt John Anderson as a business coach. So, I thought about that for a while. So, how am I going to be a disrupter? Now, one of my things and the reason why Andrew and I are so close is you never blow up a relationship. I'll put relationships before money. It's been my theme my whole life. You never blow off a relationship. You never go head-to-head with somebody who's a friend of yours and so on. So, that's why I never competed with Verne. So, I thought about it. Well, what's the space where I can be a disrupter? Because that's what Peter Diamandis is challenging me to be. He says, "If you're not a disruptor, you're going to be disrupted.” And I thought about, “Well, I'm a baby boomer. I don't intend to retire. I really enjoy the work I do. Maybe that's how I could disrupt.” And so, that's what led to Replace Retirement: Living Your Legacy in the Exponential Age.
I was trying to bring these same ideas to a whole group of baby boomers, a huge demographic, and I'm not stepping on my past partner space and I'm not stepping on any of my influencer space. This is kind of open territory. This is a big wave. And as Verne says to me, "This wave is way bigger than the business coaching way. This is a huge wave. This is the biggest thing that's ever come along. And if you could really get up and surf that way, man, that could be huge.” And so, that way I still have the support of all the people in my life, whoever they are because I'm not getting into their space. It's kind of a new space. So, that's what kind of led to this whole journey is that I'm a business coach, I'm thinking strategy, and helping companies with strategy. I then sort of start individuals with strategy and then always applying it to myself with like, "Okay. If I'm going to be disrupted, how do I avoid that from happening?” And that's what led to writing the book. But also, the rationale behind the book is if this change is coming and it's coming out fast, will this whole concept of retirement, as we know it today, be disrupted? And I believe it will be.
Casey Weade: You believe it will be. And I guess the question to me is, does it need to be? You want to inspire others to skip retirement. So, does that mean that what if I want a traditional retirement? You know, it's kind of like what you said we want to hold. I kind of like the way things are. Things are good. Why do we have to change things 10X? Why do we have to go through these massive technology changes? Can't we just kind of slow things down a little bit? Because I find that there are so many still that want a traditional retirement. Do you think that that will end at some point? Do you truly wish that no one had a traditional retirement and that retirement itself became a thing of the past?
John Anderson: Well, I think one of the things to look at is everything on that statistical bell curve, right? 20%, 60%, 20%. So, if we look at any sort of demographic and let's kind of call it use that term A, B, C players, let's say it's employees. If we have 100 employees, 20% of them approximately are just A-players. They're outstanding, they're fully driven, they're fully engaged in the company. You wish you had more of them. Then you got roughly 20%, maybe 15%, that are kind of like if they resigned tomorrow, you're like, "Thanks for working here but we're not hiring you back kind of thing.” But you can't let them go because it's always hard to find new people. They're trying to get their job done but we wish they were more like the A-player. That's the C player. And then in the middle, you've got the bell, the 60%, kind of the B-players. And B-players can swing either way. If they hang around in A-players and sort of like our conversation, our relationship and Andrew, anything else, you start kind of leaning that way. “You know what, I like what this guy is saying. I'm going to try a few of these things.” Or maybe they’re hanging around the C-players and this is when I was a young man, what everybody would do is they'd work for the automotive companies and they would get a job working for Chrysler on the line. These are upper-middle-class kids who come from relatively affluent families who can go to college and they're saying, "You know what? You get $28,” it was a lot of money, “$28 on an hour to work on the Chrysler assembly line.”
Now, if you're going to be working on the assembly line and you got to do that for 30 years or whatever before you retire but I do get to buy a new Trans-Am and I get an apartment. And so, I was caught in that thing. Do I take this sort of short route, the easier route, the linear route, or do I take a more challenging route? And so, again, that was sort of defining that purpose , people, or habit. No, I think I'm going to go to this next stage. So, we got this bell curve going up. I would say, to answer your question, yes, 20% of the people probably can do a more or less traditional retirement, and they can do that because they've been thoughtful about how are they going to spend that time, not necessarily looking backwards but by looking forward. And they'll do fine. They'll keep their mind sharp, they'll keep their body sharp, they'll continue to grow their relationships. And we do see that, right? And in any demographic, you'll see that. But I'm saying for the other 80%, if they're not intentional about what they're doing, it's not going to go well and we see that in the general public. And I referenced my father. My father was president of a worldwide corporation. He had a great 37-year run. He retires and within five years he was a shell of the former man.
I'm like one day I check in with him, “How's retirement going?” This is what he would say, “I'm surviving.” I'm like, "Surviving? You should be thriving. I thought this was like the panacea.” “Well, I really kind of enjoyed my work. I kind of missed that.” Ah, well, there’s something insightful, and then I'd say, “What have you been doing?” “Well, I played golf,” and so I said, “Oh.” I never was a golfer. My dad was kind of a hard worker, so he didn't have a lot of hobbies. I've always had hobbies. And he'd say, “I wasn't really good on the green but, boy, I could hit that ball a long way.” Well, that's what all hacks say, right? I can hit the ball down the fairway, but I can't putter. So, I said, “Dad, why don’t you take up golf?” “Oh, I can't do that.” “What do you mean, you can't do that?” “Well, no, I'm busy,” and so on. So, this was a common conversation I had with people who are retired without intention is they're kind of floundering with how to focus their energy, focus their time, and so on. But think of the word because you're retired, you're an old part that's not necessary anymore. We've moved on. So, I use that again, if you think about that influence of Peter Diamandis in acceleration and exponential, it’s like you can get left in the past and I don't want to do that. I want to be part of this ever-changing dynamic of the world, to be creating value all the way through.
So, 20% of the population intrinsically know how to do that, great value, and so on. I think the remaining 80% really need to be purposeful and thoughtful about just how are you going to use your time because time is the most valuable thing you have.
Casey Weade: Yeah. But I think most think of it as the other way around. Well, there's probably 20% that are struggling now that they're financially independent and they've got all the free time to do whatever they want to do. And the other 80%, they're really having a great retirement. But you're saying it's kind of the other way around. 20% are succeeding naturally in retirement, 80% are still trying to figure it out. And I feel like we might be able to take that even a step further. Maybe it's 20% can live this traditional retirement. They can step in, live the traditional retirement, travel, and just really enjoy what maybe their parents did or their grandparents did. And then you have this other 20% that is probably truly struggling, right? They’re the 20% that need to take things to the next level. They need to grow into this exponential age. And you have 60% that are probably kind of in the middle. They're not sure which one they are. Am I a traditional retirement person? Am I more the exponential retiree? So, let's get into the book. Let's get into the book, Replace Retirement: Living Your Legacy in the Exponential Age. And I want to kick it off with a focus on legacy. We all have a different definition of purpose. We all have a different definition of legacy as well. What is your definition of legacy and where do you feel that we go wrong in our interpretation of what that is?
John Anderson: Oh, that's a good question because I don't get asked that a lot. And so, I got to kind of think real time. My way of interpreting that is that we think of legacy if you look it up in the dictionary and so on, it's kind of like an after-the-fact thing. So, Abraham Lincoln left a legacy. George Washington left a legacy. But were they sort of working on it while they were alive? And one could say, yeah, perhaps without knowing it. So, my thought on this whole legacy idea is that instead of it being something after the fact, can I be in fact shaping it right now? So, if I'd like to leave all my children with character and focus and soundness and if I'd like to impact others in a meaningful way, why not design that into the model today so it's more likely to be the outcome? Like, we will never fully know the legacy of all the people we touch, right? There may be, I'll share a great story that one of the big mentors in my life was Richard Cooper. And so, growing up, again, I grew up in a sort of upper-middle-class area. And there was a couple of things, I think like my parents and maybe again, I think in the 1950s there was a lot more behaviors that don't happen today in diversity and everything else.
And so, across the street was this Jewish family and my parents and I know it was my mother or father because they weren't outwardly saying it, but there was some disdain. There was something different about that Jewish family. I didn't know what it is. Again, it was all happening kind of subconsciously as a child, but they were the ones that we'd ring the doorbell on and run away. We always seem to be picking on the Gillis’ but I know why, right? This is just something that was behavioralized. Maybe it was my friends that I hung out with. I'm not sure what. So, now I'm working at this mortgage company and I'm working in the mail and I have two jobs. I take care of the mail and copying and all these things and then I also have to do these bank loans because this is a mortgage company and this is before all the Internet and so on. So, we literally would take the paper typed up by secretaries in the pool and then go to the banks to make deposit and the Federal Reserve and so on. So, everything had to be manually carried out. My job was to use a company car instead of my own car whenever possible because I already got fleets of cars back then. I look out of a parking lot one day and there's no company cars except the chairman of the board, Mr. Richard Cooper, who's this Jewish man. And I'm all these things, you know, that Jew he’s walked through the hallway and blah, blah, blah. So, I go in there kind of cocky. I'm a cocky young guy and I say, “Mr. Cooper, the only car in the parking lot is yours. I need to use it.”
And he throws me the keys, which I was kind of surprised by. And I come back and I give him the keys back and said, “Sit down and talk to me.” And he ends up becoming a friend, a friend and a mentor. Changes my life. First of all, it's like you got to stop making these opinions about people until you have the opportunity to determine who they are. Don't let your parents dictate that. Don’t let your past dictate that. Treat everybody as somebody you respect until you understand who they are. So, Mr. Cooper has this huge influence on me. And one day he says, “John, you're going to…” He said, “I wish I were you.” I'm like, “Mr. Cooper, what are you talking about? You’re chairman of the board. I’m a freaking mailroom clerk. I’m like Mr. Loser.” And he said, “No, you're going to do great things in your life.” And I'm like, “Really?” Until maybe my parents had tried to impart that on me. Maybe a teacher had, but I didn't believe them. Mr. Cooper had no motive to tell me this. He just did this. So, here's this man. He takes me from going this direction in my life and started me in this direction in my life. What would that look like? And so, you could say that's his legacy. And when I went to his funeral… I'll share a little more. I end up marrying a Jewish woman. I'm at a Jewish country club. They didn't realize this whole backstory, her family. Otherwise, he would have been invited to the wedding. I didn't know he belonged to the same country club.
So, “Mr. Cooper, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you.” And he said, “No, John, you wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for you.” That was amazing there, right? Always giving it back, always reinforcing you, always making you feel good about yourself. So, I go to his funeral and other people are telling the same story. Like, it wasn't just me. This is what this man did. He changed young men's life. Okay. So, that's his legacy. Now, how intentional was he about that or was it more sort of secondary? So, I share that story with you is that we have all done that and we will do that through our lifetime. But perhaps if he actually had a vision and maybe he did. Maybe it was more of a subconscious than a written one but in my case, I'm always writing these visions out. Who am I going to be in ten years? How am I going to impact the world in ten years? How is that going to play out? So, essentially, I think you can write out your legacy. You can design it yourself, not perfectly because life happens but that would be my thing is instead of it's something that happens after the fact, you kind of design it into your life.
Casey Weade: But, John, he didn't say anything about money. I think that's where my dad would have went. I know that's where he would have went. I mean, he thinks about legacy. He thinks about the finances. And I find that it seems that most people think about the money, they think about the finances, but in the end, that's not what is most valuable. And you believe that this third age is when we find ourselves to be most valuable, and it's not because of the money.
John Anderson: Well, then so that weaves in another part of sort of why writing the book and this all integrates into the story. So, I married into a very successful Jewish family who owns a fleet of private jets. And remember I said, “You never step on a relationship. You never burn a relationship.” To this day, my ex-wife still lets me use the plane with my new wife. As a matter of fact, last March we went down to Baja. This is the second year in a row and I had called her up before I bought my commercial tickets, and I said, “Yeah, we're going to Baja for, you know, a couple of weeks, blah, blah, blah. But if we could take the plane, we could take our dog with us. This place is dog-friendly.” She goes, “Oh, my God, take the plane.” And so, she pays for that. The company pays for that, $50,000, we’re going to fly to Baja with my dog and my wife. That's how tight that relationship is. That’s what, you know, so never burn a relationship. The other thing about that is that I had the opportunity. I was retired by age 30. I didn't need to work. We have more money you could spend in a lifetime. These are billionaires. My children are in the same situation. So, what I found is this panacea that I've been sold, and it's all about money. You know, you get money, and the world’s yours and all that.
I'm like, "This is not delivering the goods. I'm not feeling more fulfilled. Yeah, I go on cool trips. I get to fly around private jet, a lot of cool stuff, but it's not giving me meaning. It's not giving me purpose. It's not creating value.” And that hollow feeling happened in my thirties. And again, it takes time. I'm accelerating all this stuff, but I just kind of reflected on like, “This is not getting me where I want to go.” And so, I walked away from all of that. And that was part of her thing is like, “Thank you for not taking my money.” It wasn't about money. I wanted to go back to being a leader who challenges myself to achieve my greatest personal potential. I want to see what that journey looks like. I want the road less traveled kind of thing. And so, that's what I'm doing today. And my children see that. You know, I always tell them, "Either I'm the stupidest man in the world or there's something to this because I divorced your mother and she and I are very good friends.” We still see each other. We sometimes spend holidays together. I love her, but I felt like as long as I was in that bubble, I was never going to really be walking on my own path. And so, I had to step away from that and just follow the road that I created to create my own legacy.
And maybe that goes back to the legacy question. I was living a little bit that family's legacy. I would be able to open doors because of the name of that family. And it was even one of her uncles. I was sitting down with him and I said, “Yeah, I used your name and I got in here.” And he said, “Why don't you use your own name? Like, why do you think I need it?” And so, they would tend to mentor me also, like, "You need to create your own identity. You need to forge your own path in life. Don't get involved in our family business. You can use it as a resource, but I don't think…” Even my father-in-law who helped me with my first company said, "You don't need to call and check in with me all the time. You'll never know whether I did it or you did it. You need to know that you did it. But if you get in trouble, you call me up.” So, there was that kind of unconditional love of support and at the same time go carve your own path in life. Create your own legacy. So, I had that sort of an experience of what would it be like to be retired and have all this time and all this freedom on your hand. And I realized I wasn't really free. I was living someone else's definition of what so-called success looked like, and it just wasn't working out.
So, it still weaves back to everything we talk about through Retire with Purpose. There has to be this underlying purpose. There has to be a value creation. Otherwise, if I have no value, I think at a subconscious level it starts that decline and sort of the decline I watched my father take, which is I don't know kind of why I'm here or what I'm supposed to do. I had a similar situation. I have a concierge doctor. He introduces me to one of his clients, very, very successful. They live on Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe, which is a very affluent area, sold the company hundreds of millions of dollars. His wife is building a second home on their property on Lake St. Clair, so when their kids come they can stay in the second house. I mean, that kind of keeps her busy, right, big projects. That's how lots of wealth. There's always project. There’s ways to spend money, which is kind of exciting, which is all fine at the end. This man is miserable. He's experiencing anxiety from like 8 to 5. When he's on vacation, he was okay like if they went on a European vacation but on his normal day, he was anxious. Part of it he’s watching Fox News and everything and I go, “Oh, my God. Cut out all that stuff. That's just going to freak you out.” But the other part is he lost all those relationships at work and probably his wife was more of an extrovert so he's having trouble sort of cultivating those. And he didn't understand sort of what his role was. He was just marking time. And so, I see this thing. It's not a money thing. It's a mindset. Everything’s a mindset.
Casey Weade: Let's say that we've accepted that. Let's say that we've accepted that, “Eh, it's not about the money. Legacy is about something more than that. And I want to figure it out. What's that really mean for me in my life?” So, getting to brass tacks, in your book, you talk about creating a legacy map. So, how do we get started? What is a legacy map? What does that look like?
John Anderson: Well, it's essentially and this is out of the work of Dan Sullivan. So, everything in my life has been influenced by somebody just like everyone else. And one of the things Dan introduced this, he called it the Lifetime Extender. And Dan was one of the endorsers of my book so he saw everything before it went to press and approved it. But essentially, it's this idea let's go all the way to the end of your life. How old do you want to be when you die? And when I initially went through this exercise, I picked 103. And so…
Casey Weade: That's where you started? Your first time through was 103?
John Anderson: 103.
Casey Weade: And everybody goes through it and it gets longer.
John Anderson: Yeah, I've actually moved it up to 111.
Casey Weade: Okay. I was going to say I think I started at 98 and then I go, “Oh, okay. 117.”
John Anderson: Well, before being exposed to that, I probably would have said 65. I was kind of going to flame out early. My mother died when she was young. And so, like her, I was kind of flip it, right? So, once that 103 number was put down, the first thing I started to look at was my lifestyle. Again, that's where I got kind of scared. Is this lifestyle I'm on, this kind of craziness and over the top and too much alcohol and everything? I'm not going to make it. And then the concern came with my kids are going to say, “Yeah, my dad was a great guy, but he kind of flamed out early,” and that was not the legacy I wanted to leave them because what are they going to do? They're going to flame out early too. It's just going to be this perpetual thing. So, I'm like, "Okay. If I’m really going to live to 103, then I need to adjust my lifestyle. I need to start taking care of my health. And so, I started making all these changes from that.” But that's the power of sort of setting that number, 103. And then the next thing I do is I had already described in six different areas what would your life look like spiritually, physically, mentally, relationally, and financially, all those things. And just like the number 103 is a bit of, going to use Jim Collins term, a BHAG, it was the same thing with my financial net worth. I set it at $20 million. I didn't have $20 million. I don’t have $20 million today. It was simply I could get my head around it.
I knew people had $20 million. I certainly had that at one time in my life through marriage. So, it's not a crazy number but what I'm doing today won't linearly get me there. I'm going to have to build new relationships, find new partnerships, find new ways to enhance my value in the world because I felt that gave me the freedom. That isn’t money like you can own the private jet kind of money, but that does give you the freedom to certainly charter one if you want. So, I don't have to go to a family to use it and so on. So, that was sort of my thing but I would create these sort of aspirational or BHAGs in that long-term plan because if you can't believe it in your mind, it's never going to happen, right? So, that's the first step is you got to have this lifetime goal. It's just like business. Then you back it down to one year. Okay. In the next 12 months, what are the areas I'm focused on? What are my priorities? And those need to be measurable and attainable and so on. But they're directionally…
Casey Weade: To me, it kind of sounds like everything that you're explaining sounds a lot like. I'm sure you're aware of Vivid Vision, Cameron Herold's Vivid Vision, that you would apply to your business. And so, would you make the parallel between Cameron Herold’s Vivid Vision and kind of what you're creating from a legacy map standpoint, a very vivid vision of your legacy?
John Anderson: Yes. So, obviously, since I was a business coach for 25 years, this all came out of business coaching. I'm coaching companies on you've got to have a BHAG, you got to have a vision, you got to have core values, you got to have a purpose, all these things that Verne Harnish had taught me and then kind of what are your three-year and your one-year and your quarter and so on, and what your weekly meeting look like, what your huddle look like. All I did was design all that into an individual plan, and that kind of came from the same point. It's like I'm telling people to get your act together. Maybe I need to get mine together. And so, that became one of the things in 25 years of business coaching. Once you get these fundamentals down, whether they're Scaling Up or EOS, and again, remember, Gino was my partner so EOS just came out of the same model. Once the company has that in place, the stall point ends up being the CEO or founder or owner. They don't have a plan for themselves and so they're not growing and so the company can't grow beneath them. So, that's why the legacy map was kind of created is really for the business owner. So, it used to be I do the business coaching. Got to do legacy now. That was the agreement. And then today it's transition to 80% just doing legacy maps and only 20% business coach, you know, really take on those gigs anymore, but I finally realize that it comes back down to the individual.
And then to take that one step further, I would say it's congruency and this ties to age and wisdom. Let's assume, to bounce around a little bit, let's assume that you had your job to a career and now I'm really helping people go from a career to a calling. So, with the career, I know how to make money. I know how to kind of get my financial house in order. I've got skills that have value in the world and so on. So, now it's like if it's a calling, if it's truly you design it. Think about retirement. The idea was, it's so funny. So, you had to follow someone else's rules all your life. When you're growing up, you had to listen to the teacher and your parents, and then you get a career and now you got to follow your boss, right? And he kind of dictates when you come in and when you go and your two weeks’ vacation, all that. You're still being told by others what to do. You have some degree of independence, but you're still kind of in the structure or someone else's structure. Retirement is the calling. The structure is gone. You get to design the perfect business. You get to design the perfect life. But if you've never designed it before, how do you do it? So, this is why I work with so many business owners. It's like it makes sense, right? It's like you're doing this in your company and you see the value and see how it's growing. You're up and seeing how you're accomplishing goals. Why wouldn't you do this personally?
So, it's not even a hard sell. Like, yeah, it makes all the sense. And then once I get the CEO on board, he's like, “I got one company. I work with 11 of the executives. They all have legacy maps. What happens there?” It builds congruency. It builds congruency between my head and my heart and it gives me a sense of purpose and direction. And it answers that big why. So, my career is now just one aspect of who I am in this larger legacy idea. It's just a component of it. It's one area I get energy from, but it's not the full area.
Casey Weade: When you say that we need two commitments before we start creating that legacy map to be inspired and manage your energy, I want to hit on both of these, but can we start with inspiration? Because I think a lot of the questions that we did get from our Weekend Reading subscribers I think they're just kind of centered in general around inspiration, kind of struggling with inspiration. What do I do next? I'm a little lost. So, how do we spur and create that inspiration? How do we get inspired?
John Anderson: Well, one of my friends thought I had done a nice job in the sense that he said a lot of books sort of talk about things but they don't give you the how-to. In my book, I am sort of breaking down a lot of these how-tos so you can build a legacy map after reading my book. You may not do it as well as if I was helping you with it, but it's really kind of a lot of how-to. That, we talk about in the book is the legacy map and then character compass. The character compass, again, it's all adapted from business, your little whys on that, includes the purpose, principles, core values, and then I've changed it since now writing the book, the fourth category is beliefs because beliefs are a powerful driver. So, that is a lot of where that inspiration comes from. If you know your purpose, so your big why and you know your core values and these are core values for your family, right? Those few ideals that you're trying to behavioralize a model to your children and your friends and your extended family, right, everybody in your life. Principles would sort of keep you between the rails. Those are kind of what Patrick Lencioni would call aspirational values. One of mine was patience. My father was not a patient man. I wasn't patient when I was younger. But for the last decade, I've been working on that patience. Actually, my dog has taught me as much about that as anyone. I'm a transformed person in terms of patience today.
And then finally, the beliefs, I read my beliefs out loud every morning, four days a week, almost like affirmations. And I'm sort of changing those beliefs. I’m taking them all belief that’s from like the linear thinking to exponential thinking by these beliefs statements. All that is intended to help inspire me when I wake up in the morning and it comes back again to that time when I was married in all that wealth. And this is what I've told my children because they have trust, is that most people have a job or career and they wake up in the morning like, “Oh sh*t, I don't really want to do this. I like to sleep in for a little bit longer,” but they got to go to work and so they get up and they have the cup of coffee, they get on their way and so on. And they get to work and they start creating value and they’re like, “I feel pretty good.” If it's a slog all day, you're right, you're in real trouble. So, it’s like, “You know what, I think I'm good.” And then we come up with all kinds of habits, whether it's exercise or whatever to kind of help spark on that. Fair enough. I started doing the cold shower in the morning and what kind of gets done. Okay. Well, I told my children, "What happens with you? You got a job. You wake up one morning. You’re like, ‘I don’t feel like going to work today,’ and you’re like, ‘I don’t need to go to work. What the hell do I need to go to work for? I got all the money in the world. Screw it.’”
And I said, "That is a really bad way to approach your life. It's sort of putting your needs before something larger than you. It's a selfish thing.” And that is the early stage of life, right, if I use that job career-calling metaphor again. A job is an extremely selfish thing. It's like, what is this company going to do or what is somebody going to do? Because I need to get my paycheck and I got to take care of me. And that's kind of that lower-level. A career is somebody who said, “Oh, I get it. If I serve the company, if I serve the customer, I'm actually taking care of me. But that's how the game is played. I got to be good. I got to take care of my customer. I got to create value out there and the world will reward me for that. So, that's how the game is played.” This third stage, calling, which again can lead to retirement, it's like, “No, no. My driver now can't be extrinsic. It needs to be intrinsic. What is the thing that drives me? What is the thing that inspires me in the morning to get up and do what I need to do?” So, that's where I kind of talk about the purpose and principles and so on. And even those lifetime goals, I got to have something that inspires me. The other piece we didn't touch on and this takes a little more time, and this is the hardest thing I have with clients and across the board is I write a ten-year narrative.
So, my last one I wrote in 2016 what it would look like on July 4, 2026? So, it starts out that morning. It's July 4, 2026 and here's all the things that have transpired over the last ten years to get me to this point. Interesting enough, I didn't know this at the time I wrote it. That's actually the 250th anniversary of our country. This happens to be the same day. That's kind of cool. That was just a serendipitous thing. So, I write a vision in as much detail as I can about ten years out, which again, is getting me towards a lifetime goal. So, all that are tools to inspire me to get up in the morning and not just lay in bed.
Casey Weade: Well, we can take this a bunch of different directions but I think, first off, I want to talk a little bit more about that ten-year narrative and then drilling down to those quarterly targets, which on Scaling Up we've got some rocks built up here, right? So, you're getting inspired by looking at that ten-year narrative. And in large part we start with the end in mind, right? So, you say that. You say start with end in mind. Do you even go further than that? A lot of people want to talk about writing their eulogy. So, do we go further than that and we say, this is what my life is going to look like when I pass on and then we take a look at our ten year, then we go to our one-year, then we go to our quarterly targets? How do you view that? Or are we just starting with that ten-year narrative?
John Anderson: You know, I've never done that eulogy exercise. I'm very familiar with it and I'm going to say my initial reaction is probably not a bad thing. The only nuance that I've learned along the way, and I could be wrong on this, this goes back to goal setting. I learned this again, helping companies set their goals and then scoring like the rocks every quarter. When I do a legacy map, I'm like a really easy scorer. And I would even do it to this degree. And maybe this is wrong. This is where you could get into some controversy. And I'll tell you the rationale why. So, if somebody I just had a monthly this morning and then I've got a couple of other monthlies this afternoon, so I have a monthly check-in with the client. Let's look at how you're proceeding against your quarter, right? So, they got after the things on a weekly basis, a monthly basis, quarterly. Okay. So, I’ll look through it and we were looking through this quarterly today and we've got our quarterly coming up in just a few weeks. You only got a couple of weeks until the end of the quarter. So, I said, “Well, you got to make them kind of easy. You only got two two-week goal left in this month of September. But there was one there, I forget what it was, and I said, "Let's just put a line through it.”
So, what it was at the beginning of the quarter, we had this intention to get X, Y, Z done but here we are just two weeks away to the end of the quarter and it's not done yet. I'm like, “Just put a line through it.” Putting a line through it means it's a good idea. But you know what? I never got any traction on these. I'm like, “Let it go. It's a rollover. We'll look at it again next quarter. We're not going to beat ourselves up on it. It is what it is. It's okay.” So, we set lots of goals. It's okay. So, I'm easy on that one. The same thing, if they got a goal like this one it was about sort of scheduling a trip with his mom because, again, a lot of my clients are older and stuff. When someone is getting older, they want to do something with their special before she dies. Fair enough. It’s all good stuff. So, he said, "Schedule or design,” that was design a schedule a trip with his mom for the fourth quarter. “Do you have a design schedule?” “Well, we've talked about it, but we don't have a schedule.” “Are you going to schedule in the next two weeks?” “I don't know. That's pretty close.” “Why don't we just say design a trip with your mom for the fourth quarter? Let's just call it what it is.” So, we go ahead and manipulate it right there. Here I am changing goals just two weeks out from the end zone. Now, what happens when you come to score? He mostly gets greens.
Okay. Why do I do all this? This is Johnny or something. I have beat myself up my whole life for falling short 80%, 90%. Why wasn’t it 100%? Nothing in life is 100%. I have to learn the trick that if I just keep getting 80% and then 80% and then 80%, you do that for a decade and decades, your life's going to be beautiful. We got to stop beating ourselves up. There's a lot of sort of philosophies we picked up as young people that just, in my opinion, are not reinforcing stuff. And maybe that goes back to Richard Cooper. God bless him. You're going to do great things in your life. I need to hear more of that. I believe that so I do that for myself and I do that for my clients. Let's stop talking about where we're falling short. Let's talk about all the progress we made and then we start to believe there's nothing I can't accomplish if I set my mind to it. And you know that, Casey, and everybody I ever talk to knows that. You've really gotten everything you wanted so why not be more thoughtful about exactly what you want? Because you will end up there. One of the things that's in my office here and I'll spin this. This is my legacy map in a graphic form called vision goals.
Casey Weade: Yes. There it is. I love it. If you are just listening to the podcast right now, I would encourage you to check out the YouTube video of this. You can actually see John just shared with us his legacy map. And boy, is it beautiful.
John Anderson: Back when I did this, well, this is a decade old almost, so I was calling it a success map back then. So, I changed the name and there are some things that have taken place. But the real key in showing this is in the middle of it is Proverbs 16:9, “A man's heart plans his way, but God directs his steps.” So, for me, that was really, really powerful. It's our role to understand what our heart truly wants. That's what this calling period is about. This is what this retirement period is about. It's like, let's really find out what's in our heart, not our head. Your head got you here. Your head you needed a job. Your head you need a career. Now, it's time for your heart. What does your heart want? That's what purpose gets at, right? What does my heart truly want? And if that's what's meant to be, that journey, that's my mind is kind of windy, will get you there. Because that was another sort of spiritual moment for me because I've done these things where I sit on a mountain for three days in a tent. I try everything. And that was kind of the insight that came to me in that quiet moment is that, “John, you love snowmobiling, ice snowmobile, sometimes 10,000 miles on a winter, ride motocross bikes.” I rode 500 miles this year on my jet ski on Lake Huron. Okay. Like I'm into like high-speed, crazy adventures.
So, in my quiet time listening to my heart for the Lord is saying, “I never designed your life for a straight line. This marrying into this wealthy family, very smart, but that's like a straight-line highway. You are living your life unless it's this crazy journey thing where you don't know what's around the next bend. And why is it that way? Because then you're going to be all focused. You need to be all in. You need to really be paying attention. But that's when you're at your greatest joy. That's when you feel everything coming to you.” So, it doesn't just have to be on a motocross bike. It can be your whole life. What about that? So, this is all of that legacy thing and map and everything's about. It's like, how do I design this ideal life now that I'd be given this time, money, and freedom to do whatever I want on whatever terms I want? I need to really be thoughtful about this because this is the last chapter of this thing. Like, if I don't figure it out now, I don't want to die with regrets. Well, I shoulda, coulda. And that's what I felt a little bit with my father. My mother didn't take care of her health, so when times got difficult, she couldn't fight through the diseases. And my father just kind of he just coasted the last part of his life. And it's not that he didn't visit his kids and his grandkids. I took him on some trips and stuff. And I love the guy and he taught me so many great things and paid for my college education. I don't want to run him under the bus but that last part of his life, I think he missed out on a lot.
And so, his lesson to me is I'm not doing that. I'm going strong all the way. And yet I take the month of August off, right? I take the month of February off. It's not that I don't have downtime. I'm probably off at least three months a year. I've been working this year into more of a four-day week, so it's Monday through Thursday and then I get along on a weekend because I really like that. It's like Saturday and Sunday it's going like that. So, that extra time, Friday, kind of helps the whole thing. So, again, it's always tweaking and aligning, just like I choose who I'm going to work with as a customer and I choose the timing on that. And oh, by the way, they don't mind that I'm gone in February and August. They get that. That's the way I roll. I'm living my legacy.
Casey Weade: And I can hear some, you know, we're talking about, well, you have your ten-year narrative and then you have these lifetime goals. You have these top six priorities. You have this one-year goal and you have these quarterly targets with this 30-day focus plan. Then I've got to meet with my coach. They're going to hold me accountable. They're going to ask me all these tough questions. I've got to figure out my principles, my core values, my purpose, my beliefs are. And then I've got to have these daily rituals. That kind of sounds like work. I just got done working. I don't really want to do all this work. What do you say to others that just feels like too much work? I just got away from that.
John Anderson: Well, and as you bring all that up, and I appreciate that, Casey, one of the things that's not in the book because we hadn't designed it at the time is we have something called the Weekly Triangle. So, there is this sort of 30-minute weekly huddle where we're checking in every week. So, that's not even in the book and it was a big kind of addition to the practice. But coming back to your challenge there, I would agree it does sound like a lot and I do get some of that pushback, but it kind of goes back to my original purpose to inspire and challenge leaders to achieve their greatest personal potential and why so much of my clients are YPO and EO members and so on, or Strategic Coach, right? It's anybody who's already sort of been on this path who understood some of these tools and the fundamentals in getting their career really locked in, are willing to sort of make that step on this next stage of life and understand it really isn't that much. It's the same thing when we were selling business coaching if you add up, Verne handed in Rockefeller Habits, so if you add up all the time for all those meetings, it's less than 10% of your time. We're really talking about a small investment of time.
The other thing I would pull from is Stephen Covey. It's being proactive. Let's say it's 10% of your time. You're being proactive with 10% of your time. You can still be reactive with 90% of your time. So, it isn't all that much. The other thing I'll kind of play on is that Covey also talked about in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People about the sort of quadrants and he said quadrant one was those things that are urgent and important and quadrant two are those things that are important but not urgent. And then we'll forget about quadrant three, of course, because they're kind of a waste. The people I usually start to work with whether it was in business coaching or personal coaching are usually ninjas at quadrant one. They're really good at both important and urgent. They know how to dismiss those things that aren't important. What they're not good at is important but not urgent. The entire legacy map is important, but not urgent. And Covey underlined, he said, "All progress, not some progress, all progress is made in quadrant two in the important but not urgent.” If you keep working that through a methodical program like this, like exercise if you will, I spend 2 hours each morning before I begin my day working on all important things that aren't urgent.
So, I pray, I meditate, I exercise, I journal, I read, I write notes of gratitude, personal notes of gratitude. I have a whole sequence. I read those beliefs out loud. I have a whole sequence of things that I've gathered over a 20-year journey. I didn't start out this way. I just started out with journaling, so 15 minutes of journaling. And then I did habit-stacking that James Clear talks about in Atomic Habits. So, you got this anchor habit then I had this habit, and then this habit, and so on. And so, it's a whole sequence of things, but it's like now I'm spending 2 hours a day proactively on things that aren't urgent but are very important so that the rest of my day can hopefully follow that same line. Why do I do that? Because we're in a world with all this noise and these devices here, right? My screen time is like nothing. That's why I'm out in the woods and doing my… That's the whole legacy there. What are the things that are important to me that aren't necessarily urgent, and how do I direct my life so that I get there? And then finally, trusting back to that curvy road, I'll take that one step further. And even to Dan Sullivan's credit, again, Dan Sullivan introduced the idea of a strategic byproduct. So, he said when you're on your journey from today to a future goal, it's not a straight line. And he kind of did this little thing that there's these kind of curves, if you will.
But what happens along the way are these strategic byproducts, something comes to you, some insights, some lessons, some uncovering that could have happened if you hadn't set the original intentional goal. And now you sort of look through that in life like, "Ooh, I know there's going to be a strategic byproduct on this crazy curvy direction of where my lifetime goals are. And now I'm going to be more aware of it and looking for it. I'm going to be responding to things versus reacting to things.” So, everything we're talking about is just a reinforcement that every book, whether you go back to Marcus Aurelius or anyone else, right, I'm just applying all this knowledge, which is, by the way, one of the tools of this Weekly Triangle. I ask my clients like, “What are you reading and how are you going to apply it in the next seven days?” A very simple act but it's like I've read thousands of books, maybe tens of thousands of books, but I didn't apply a lot of stuff. Now, I'm all about how do I apply it? But I can apply it because I've got free time on my hands. So, that's in the morning, right? Those books that I read in the morning, I'm underlining and writing thoughts on that. So, I'm right now in the 10x is Easier Than 2x. I’m on my second time through, I'm now kind of putting it in the journal and cementing these concepts into my head and trying to go with that.
One of the thoughts on that, that I kind of picked up this morning, which we didn't touch on today, Casey, but I think it’s really big is that what's my identity? So, my identity, your identity, all identities are really past-based, right? They’re all the things that have happened that got you to the stage. So, your identity is basically based on a past but we know that world is different. It’s just like I don't need a 1950s identity. It's not going to get me anywhere, even in 1980s identity. I need one for 2023. By writing out that future vision, by setting these long-term goals, by coming up with a purpose and core values and all these different components, I'm now painting a new identity for John. Now, if I take actions every week and day that move me to that new identity, I'm not going this way. I'm going this way. So, because we are kind of that identity word is huge. We have the identity that we work for a company and the identity… A lot of people say, “So, what do you do for a living?” That's the first question. You essentially say, "What's your identity?” And my tagline and my emails, everything, my purpose is to inspire and challenge leaders to achieve their greatest personal potential. So, that's my identity. Now, how do I create a plan that aligns with that? So, I'm not doing anything new. I'm just taking all these concepts and trying to package it into some sort of path that gets me to where I want to go. And then I've had the blessings along the way of having this sort of like, okay, you've got all the money in the world. You won the lottery. Huh? Which we know the stats of lottery winners. My God. It’s like, “Oh, that isn’t necessarily going to be there.”
And so, again, if I look at myself, my children are blessed because their mother and their grandparents have left them this great wealth. And I'm simply saying, "Okay. What are you going to do with it? What are you going to do with all this freedom? What are you going to do with all this time? How are you going to make the world a better place?”
Casey Weade: Well, long story short, I think everything that you went through there, when you talk about living in the gap in the game, you talk about making the sequential, taking small steps. It's not about perfection. It's that 80/20 principle and the urgent, the important, I feel like it's just about taking some steps. We don't have to get everything done all at once if it feels daunting or it feels overwhelming. That first step is pretty darn easy, and that is to get a copy of your book. And guess what? We're going to be giving away that book for free. So, if you say, “All right, I'm inspired, and now I want to get started building my legacy map and I just want to start making some small steps,” it's super easy to take that first small step because we're going to give it away to you. So, if you'd like to get a free copy of Replace Retirement: Living Your Legacy in the Exponential Age, all you have to do is write an honest rating and review of the podcast, shoot us a text, texting us the keyword ‘book’ to 866-482-9559. We’ll shoot you a link. You can send us your iTunes username. We’ll verify your review and we will send you the book for free.
John, our time is up. I wish it wasn't. I think we touched on so many things that we could have taken such a deeper dive into. I look forward to having the opportunity to take deeper dives with you in the future and to see the legacy just really evolve for yourself and the impact that makes in so many lives over the future. Thank you, John.
John Anderson: Thank you, Casey. This has been amazing. And, yeah, you can see my passion for this.
Casey Weade: Absolutely.