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Balancing Parenting and Entrepreneurship (& Teaching Kids Financial Skills) with Gordy Bal

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama podcast. I’m Katie from And this episode is about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, which is balancing parenting and entrepreneurship and teaching our kids financial skills. And I’ve talked about this a little bit in the past, but in this episode, I’m so excited to get to go deep on this with my friend Gordy, who is the author of the book, The New Millionaire’s Playbook, as well as the founder of the Conscious Thought Revolution, which is And he’s now a sought-after advisor, speaker, mentor, and coach to entrepreneurs and investors, as well as a dad of three. And I love that in this episode, we got to talk about integrating whatever we do for career and business with family life, rather than compartmentalizing those, how to prepare our kids for financial success, how to prepare ourselves for that, and the inner shifts that we can make that make a profound difference in both of these areas. We also talk about tech use and screen time with kids, how to help them develop a healthy mindset for all of these things from a young age, and so much more. So, let’s join Gordy and jump into the conversation. Gordy, welcome back. I’m so excited we get to have another conversation.

Gordy: Me too. Thanks for having me again.

Katie: Well, I will link to our other episode for you guys who haven’t heard it yet, which gets to go deep on a lot of topics related to what you call the new millionaire. And I love that episode. In this one, I would love to talk a little bit more because most of the people listening are parents. I know that you are as well. You have three kids. I would love to talk about balancing entrepreneurship, whatever we’re doing in the financial realm with parenting. And also, how do we help our children build a solid foundation of financial skills in life? And like I said, I know that you have direct experience with this as a busy dad yourself, but what advice do you have to other entrepreneurs who are in that growth phase, striving to build a business, and also trying to keep family as a big priority in their lives?

Gordy: Yeah, I think for me, the biggest shift was integration and really integrating my mission where it’s not separate. Like I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs who are parents, and they kind of compartmentalize, and it’s like, okay, I’m wearing my business hat now, and now I’m wearing my family hat. And that’s really hard for me. And so, what I do is to me, my mission is my mission. So, whether it’s business or family, it all comes together. And so, part of what that looks like is, you know, when I’m going on speaking tours or going to facilitate workshops or going to investor meetings, like I’m having one of my, at least one of my kids with me and they’re part of it, and we’re strategizing, and we’re talking about it. So they’re part, like, they’re part of the process, and it just makes it so much more fun because frankly, and I talk about this a lot, is like the school system, you know this, the school system is not really equipping our kids in the best way possible. I mean, it’s set up to create factory workers and rats for a rat race. And I think like, you know, if we just fully rely on the school system to help our kids become thriving souls in this world, then I feel like we’re doing a disservice. So for me, like, you know, my mission is to accelerate the evolution of human consciousness. And so, whether I’m doing that through my investments, through my businesses, through my family, through my children, like it’s all the same thing. And so that’s one of the things that I’m always, you know, filtering for is like, does this fit inside of my mission? So, I’d say that’s like the biggest thing for me is the integration and not compartmentalizing it.

And also, including your family, including your kids or your partner, in business-related conversations to the degree that they’re interested. And this is a little edgy to say, but I would say that if you have to have your business and your family so separated, I would ask you to question if your business is really nourishing you, and if your business is truly an expression of your soul, and is it truly a mission? Because if it’s not, then it is hard, and it’s hard. And, like, if your family doesn’t care or interested in what you’re building and creating, I would say that’s an opportunity for you to reflect and see, you know, how do you want to, you know, have your soul essence expressed through your business.

Katie: I love that shift. I also bring at least one of my kids with me to many events and even to board meetings. And I’ve done that for a long time. And it’s, I never cease to be amazed by how incredibly capable kids are of understanding so much from such a young age and how that becomes part of their understanding and vocabulary so much earlier than it was for me. And it’s really fun to see them now at older ages starting their own businesses and entering that world and how they are so much better equipped than I was as an adult even much less at their ages. And I do think for kids, too, it’s an advantage. And I tell my kids this all the time, It’s an advantage to know that earlier and to enter that world even while you’re still a kid because it’s less common. So, you actually already have sort of a leg up because it’s less expected. And especially if they have some of those foundational skills that they learn from us modeling them, it’s really fascinating to watch.

And like you, I realized when my oldest was entering kindergarten age that none of the existing school options adequately prepare kids for what a very uncertain adult future could look like because my job didn’t exist when I was entering school. And so, when I worked backwards of how do we adequately prepare them for whatever their future might be, I ended up with a much more first principles skills up versus knowledge down approach, which thankfully, the internet makes a lot easier than it would have been 20 years ago. And so, I love that you have that focus with your kids as well.

And I also love that you talked about the mission-driven component of business because I think this might be the missing link for a lot of people who don’t feel fulfilled by the work that they’re doing. And often, it seems like small shifts in our thought process or in how we’re integrating with a business or even a job can make a tremendous difference, even if we don’t shift our entire career or shift into an entirely different path. Often doing sort of like we talked about in our first episode, that inner audit of our thoughts and our mission and our motivation can help us to find so much more gratitude and fulfillment in the work we’re doing, even if it doesn’t drastically change. But have you noticed that with all the people you’ve worked with as well?

Gordy: Yeah, it’s yeah, I mean, this has been so big for for the work like so, you know, part of my professional life is I run a venture capital fund, and I invest in companies that are that are mission-driven. And it’s been alarming to see even the leaders of mission-driven companies are are doing the work on themselves. They’re not, they’re not actually, you know, excavating their own inner shadow and demons to really reflect their, their process, their deeper process. And so, what I what I’ve noticed is that their business becomes a byproduct of their own consciousness. And so, part of my work with them is to help them connect deeper to their soul, and then, you know, do some of the deeper consciousness work so that the problems they’re trying to solve in their business, if you’re trying to solve the problems with the same consciousness they use to create them, how do you expect a different result? It’s like that famous Einstein quote, we can’t solve the problems with the same thinking we use to create them.

And so, you know, this, it was funny, I was working with one entrepreneur, super, like driven, highly driven, A type like highly successful, but he was having massive problems. And, and, you know, when you, you know, every stage of growth in a company, you face new challenges. And he was at a point where he was facing challenges, both in the business and in his personal life with his family. And so, as we’re sitting there, and I could see like his face, like his forehead was crunching up, and he’s like, really, like his, his physiology was like in a very constricted state, because he’s trying to solve this problem. And I just paused for a second. And I said, what does your soul want? And it was like his brain exploded. And I said, and he’s like looking at me, I’m like, when was the last time you connected with your soul? And I said, do you have to book an appointment with your soul through Calendly? Or does your EA have to book an appointment with your soul? And he’s just, he started laughing, and he had in his fate, and his whole physiology shifted because he realized there’s this whole deeper aspect of himself that he’s not tapping into, and when you’re not connected to your soul, your, your intuition isn’t fully online. So, you’re just trying to use your cognitive abilities to solve problems, but your cognition only has so much bandwidth. And if it’s always being bombarded by the negative thoughts and the lack thoughts anyway, you’re, you’re fighting an uphill battle. So this is why, like, I’ve realized, you know, everything can be a spiritual process, especially business. And if you treat it like that, then your business becomes much more than a business. It becomes a mission. It becomes something much greater than yourself and then you enjoy it. And then it’s like a game, and then you’re also improving and elevating yourself. And by doing so your business grows and shifts and changes. And this is how, again, like family becomes a part of it because it’s all interwoven into the tapestry of your existence.

Katie: And I know that as a dad, you’re also very focused on helping your kids in this journey and helping them have a strong framework from a young age. So, I would love to hear any ways that you’re sort of doing this deeper work with your kids or making it a foundational part of how they function in the world from the very beginning. Because I also feel like our kids are some of our greatest teachers. And when we model for them, we often learn the lessons in a much deeper way ourselves. So how do you integrate this into your family culture? What kind of conversations do you have with your kids around this kind of stuff?

Gordy: Yeah, so there’s a few things. One thing I’ll share that’s been really valuable for us is we felt a lot of tension with screens and technology with our kids, and we were noticing that they were starting to really become overly consumed by their laptops or the tablets. And so, what we did, a couple things we realized. One on just on a health level was we realized that if we actually offset their instead because instead of taking the screens away from them, which I think is not the ideal answer, but we there’s a couple things we did, one is we offset their screen time with nature because nature has a natural way of recalibrating the nervous system, especially with the negative ion energy from like being in the ocean or beach or forest. So just helping them even understand that because, because they love gaming too. And there’s this one game. It’s a it’s I think it’s a Mario game. And in it, one of the characters, he goes, “Negative ions go,” is what the character says. And they and so, for me, it was that perfect opportunity to explain what are negative ions. How do they help your body? Let’s go get negative ions.

And then so, when we’re doing that, that opens up the space for discussion and exploration. And then what I’m able to do is, I’ll show them what I’m working on in business, and I’ll get their feedback. What do you think? How do you think this should? And it’s crazy how smart their ideas are. It’s like, it’s a way better than some of my own team would have. So, I think and then honoring them, honoring them for their ideas and respecting, respecting them and giving them that confidence for themselves.

And what was so cool for me was, oh, and then yeah, what was really cool is, you know, I just a couple weeks ago, I was doing a keynote in Toronto with our mutual friend Jim Kwik. And, and my, my 11-year-old son Jackson was on that journey with me, and he was in the audience and, and well, one was really cool. He saw me do a keynote and he said, and he really loved it. He said, Daddy, your talk was the best, which is really cool to hear. But then I could see that he was really admiring Jim because, you know, Jim has, you know, he’s worked with the Elon Musk. He’s worked with all the Marvel characters. So, and, and, you know, they’re big into comics, and then it was cool because he after he was like, he was kind of like, you know, nervous to want to connect with Jim, and he’s like, I want to ask him something. And I was like, okay, well, come on, let’s go ask him. He’s like, I don’t know if I want to, and I was like, Jim, Jackson wants to ask you something. And then, obviously, Jim’s such a sweet guy. He’s like, what can I help you with? And Jackson asks him, he’s like because you know, Jim is the brain guy.

And so, and Jackson has his brain, like, you know, he’s, he’s cognitively brilliant. But sometimes, that’s also his, his kryptonite. And he said, Jim, how can what’s one thing I can do to help my help use my brain better? And Jim goes, multiple times a day, just ask yourself, is this good for my brain? Or is this bad for my brain? And, and it was so cool to see Jackson get that information because now, ever since then, he’s applying it, and he’s using it. And he’s even in his own, like, ideations of whether he’s doing a school project, or whether he’s playing a game, or whether he’s doing research, I can see he’s caught that filter. And not only does he have that filter for himself, but now he has that filter for others. And he, so now part of, and he told me, he’s like, Daddy, I think I want to be an entrepreneur, I want to solve problems. And so, because he. because of this exposure that he’s gotten. And so those are some of the ways that you know, we’re holding space and having these conversations, and also not being attached. I think that’s one of the things sometimes we as parents do is we have these attachments that we want our kids to be these grand, amazing, epic humans that, you know, must meet our expectations. And I think that’s, that’s, that’s crazy, too. It’s just like, you know, honor them for who they are, the unique stardust beings that they are, and, you know, unconditionally love them. And when you’re not unconditionally loving them, what is it that you’re projecting onto them? What is the aspect of yourself that you haven’t yet learned to love? Because you know, that’s an opportunity to see how they’re teaching us that we’re still, we still need to do our work.

So that’s kind of the, you know, the relationship and we’re always, you know, asking them like what how questions like we talked about in our previous podcast as well. You know, we, we’d be as mindful as possible to not ask, like, why did you do that? Because when you as soon as you frame a question, like, why did you do that, you’re already making them wrong. You’re already making them defensive, and they they their programming starts working as like, well, something must be wrong for me to now I have to think of. But whereas, whereas if you ask them something like, oh, you know, how did that feel? Or what are three things that worked about that? Or what’s something that you want to have happen? Now all of a sudden, it’s more of an inquiry, curiosity-based conversation versus, like, you know, an emotionally triggered one.

Katie: I think that is an incredible tip that you just gave and how you talked about gratitude as well. That’s a practice we’ve adopted as a family is at dinner, we’ll often go around and name three things we’re grateful for just to kind of give them that lens of looking through life throughout the day of, like, what am I grateful for? Because, as you said, that’s the energy of having already received. And so, when we exist in a state of gratitude, first of all, we end up being a lot happier often, but I love helping them keep that as their focus throughout the day. And I also love what you said about attachments and the things that we project onto them because I feel like I had incredible parents. And I also felt a lot of pressure, especially in academic-related things growing up. And so, I was trying to be very aware of that with my kids. And I think so many parenting struggles could be solved by simply remembering at all times that they are each their own infinite autonomous beings. And that’s one of my first principles of parenting is they are not mine, they do not belong to me, they are not reflections of me, they are not mini-versions of me, they are each their own infinite autonomous humans. And I’m not here to help determine who they are. I’m here to help them discover who they are. And so, I love that you brought that up.

Gordy: I know from writing, I’m writing this down, infinite autonomous humans. I love that.

Katie: And I think if we just even keep that top of mind in how we interact with them, it’s not us as the authority telling them what to do as someone who doesn’t have authority. They’re already autonomous. And that doesn’t mean we don’t guide them. But I love your approach in ask good questions, help them learn to ask good questions. And I think if we build that connection in a strong way, it removes the need for a lot of the power struggle and the things that a lot of parents run into. So, I love that you have this ethos woven throughout your business, woven throughout your family culture, that those things are intertwined. They are for me as well. And I think the more people that are able to do that, like you said, we’re moving in this very beautiful conscious direction as a society as a whole. And I believe strongly that it starts with each of us and with our families. So, I love that you’re bringing that message.

Are there any other key takeaways related to the book that I know we talked about more in the first episode or to family culture and parenting that you would love to leave people with in this episode?

Gordy: Yes, but I have a question for you first on the gratitude. So, we’ve implemented the gratitude as well. So, every day they write three things that they’re grateful for. But if this is what I haven’t figured out how to support, but the things that they write are be like pizza, video games, trees. And so, I’m happy that they’re getting into the practice of gratitude, but I’m noticing that it’s almost like they’re… and maybe it’s just me judging what they’re being grateful for, so it’s my work again. But I’m curious, like, yeah, is there something that you’ve noticed or that you do to help them really get deeper into the gratitude versus like things? You know what I mean?

Katie: Yeah, sometimes I’ll frame that in three, sometimes it’ll be three people you’re especially grateful for today. But often, it’ll just be three things you’re grateful for with three deep reasons why and adding that word deep. And it’s fun because kids connect the dots in such amazing ways that I would not necessarily think to. So, they might still say they’re grateful for pizza, but then it might have a deeper reason of because we always eat pizza together as a family, and I feel connected or I think it helps them like connect, like where’s the feeling underneath just the gratitude? Like what else does this connect to within my soul or within my life? And I think kids are such amazing natural pattern recognizers and that they connect dots in unique ways. And I think that’s just an easy tip to help them look for patterns in other places.

Gordy: That’s brilliant. Okay, I’m gonna add that to, to report back. Yeah, so I guess the other thing that I would say is what’s been, what’s really worked well for me is tapping into my own inner child with them and playing and not taking shit so seriously, and really letting my own playful, joyful version come out. Because, as you know, we somehow when we become adults, we just start taking things too seriously. And so, the more we can let go of the seriousness and, and fall back into play, it’s, it just creates such a better connection. And I noticed that anytime that, you know, I’m finding there to be tension, it’s just it’s because I’m being too serious. I’m taking it way too serious. And so, if I just remind myself to be like, well, what if I was 10 right now or 12 or 13? What, how would I be? And it’s like, it immediately shifts it.

So, I’d say use the opportunity to really tap into your own inner child and have fun. Like, enjoy these moments, enjoy life, like play this whole thing is just a game anyway. So, play it to the best of your ability to have fun, have meaning, have purpose, and generate abundance through laughter and curiosity. That’s yeah, that’s a big reminder I tell myself every day, like play and have fun.

Katie: I love it. I think that’s a perfect place to wrap up for today, but hopefully, we can do more episodes in the future. But I am extremely grateful for you and for all that you’ve shared today. Thank you so much for being here, Gordy.

Gordy: Yes, my pleasure. Thank you.

Katie: And thanks as always to all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us both today. We’re so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the Wellness Mama podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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