The Affluent Entrepreneur Show

The Tipping Points to My Wealth Journey with Corene Phelps

September 11, 2023 Mel H Abraham, CPA, CVA, ASA Season 2 Episode 172
The Affluent Entrepreneur Show
The Tipping Points to My Wealth Journey with Corene Phelps
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Setting out on the path to financial freedom and wealth creation involves a sequence of significant moments that shape how we view things, the choices we make, and the steps we take.

These moments, often referred to as "tipping points," can change the trajectory of our lives and guide us towards a path of abundance.

Recently had the honor of sitting down with Corene Phelps, the fantastic host of the Super Expander Podcast, where we had a candid conversation about what it truly takes to build wealth, the journey to financial freedom, and the key tipping points that have propelled me forward.

We also touched on the importance of living an affluent life, which doesn't necessarily mean opulence, but rather a balanced and abundant life that aligns with our values and goals.

Don't miss out on this insightful episode that sheds light on the transformative moments that have shaped my financial journey and can potentially shape yours too.

IN TODAY’S EPISODE, I DISCUSS: 

  • How life-changing events can shift our perspective on money and life
  • The importance of moments in building true wealth
  • Overcoming money stress to create a living legacy

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Mel Abraham [00:00:06]:

This is the affluent entrepreneur show for entrepreneurs that want to operate at a high level and achieve financial liberation. I'm your host, Mel Abraham, and I'll be sharing with you what it takes to create success beyond wealth so you can have a richer, more fulfilling lifestyle. In this show, you'll learn how business and money intersect so you can scale your business, scale your money, and scale your life while creating a deeper impact and living with complete freedom, because that's what it really means to be an afflunet entrepreneur. Oh, my god. I just had the blessing of being interviewed by Corene Phelps. She's the host of the super expander podcast. She actually had asking me a lot of different questions about my journey to financial freedom, what it took to build.

Mel Abraham [00:00:57]:

The wealth, what it took to kind.

Mel Abraham [00:01:00]:

Of build the money machine the way I needed to build it, what were the tipping points, what were the things that she could do, her audience could do. And I thought it was such a valuable conversation that I wanted to share.

Mel Abraham [00:01:12]:

It with you here on my show.

Mel Abraham [00:01:15]:

So in this episode of the affluent entrepreneur show, we're going to go deep.

Mel Abraham [00:01:19]:

But she's going to go asking me.

Mel Abraham [00:01:21]:

A whole lot of questions. So you can listen in on our conversation. Enjoy this episode of the affluent entrepreneur show. I'll see you in the episode.

Mel Abraham [00:01:29]:

Cheers.

Corene Phelps [00:01:29]:

Hello, super extenders. Welcome back to the show. I am literally sitting on the edge of my seat, so excited because I'm sitting here with mel Abraham. And I have to tell you that this is kind of like one of those pinch me kind of moments, because I've been on this entrepreneurial journey for many, many years, and in lots of different containers, and it's really kind of becomes a full circle moment when you get to have somebody who, as a superexander for me, who I met as a speaker in a container. And now he's sitting here on my podcast. How exciting is that? Welcome to the show, Mel corey.

Mel Abraham [00:02:06]:

It's so good to be here. My gosh, it's a small world. It's funny how things kind of just connect together and come full circle. So it's so cool to see again.

Corene Phelps [00:02:17]:

Yeah, it's so amazing. I think that actually the harders are starting to be a little bit like Kevin Bacon. That's how I yes, because that is our mutual thread is the harders. I was in fast foundations mastermind, you came in on one of the amazing days that they have where it's like live speakers and so much education and inspiration. And I've been following along on this journey, and I know actually we have another common thread, which is somebody like our backend support team who actually has become a dear friend of mine over the years. And I think that's one of my most favorite things about being an entrepreneur is that it stops being this corporate contact where there's these barriers in relationships that you can't have or you don't get to deepen them. It's like every time you have an interaction with someone, you get to focus on relationship.

Mel Abraham [00:03:11]:

I totally agree. For me, there is no such thing as hierarchy. There's just threads of connection, and there's no such thing as rules. Those are just suggestions.

Corene Phelps [00:03:22]:

Yeah, okay, we are going to go in deep in that, because I would call myself a rule bender, and I get from that very correct, polished statement that you gave that maybe we share a few things in common. Okay, so let's just kind of dive straight in, because I'm dying to hear this answer. Who's Mel on a soul level?

Mel Abraham [00:03:50]:

Gosh. Part of me the gut instinct to that is, in some senses, a scared child that sometimes will get caught up in trying to prove to myself that I can do things. I remember I was sitting in an audience. A friend of mine was speaking. It was a small group, maybe 50 people there. And he says, I can get Mel.

Mel Abraham [00:04:18]:

To do anything I want. And I looked at him and I said, what are you talking about?

Mel Abraham [00:04:23]:

He says, All I got to do.

Mel Abraham [00:04:25]:

Is tell you you can't do it. But I think that the reality is that it's easy to dress things up.

Mel Abraham [00:04:35]:

On the outside and have people look and say, you got it all put together. But on the inside, at a soul.

Mel Abraham [00:04:44]:

Level, I'm just a guy who cares.

Mel Abraham [00:04:48]:

A lot, who wants to matter, who.

Mel Abraham [00:04:50]:

Wants to make a difference, and has a little bit of fear that I won't.

Mel Abraham [00:04:56]:

And so it drives me to make choices. It drives me to do things.

Mel Abraham [00:05:01]:

It drives me.

Mel Abraham [00:05:02]:

People asked I had a conversation with David Bach. He's in the same money space as me, and he's a ten time New York Times bestseller.

Mel Abraham [00:05:09]:

And he says to me, Why are you doing this?

Mel Abraham [00:05:11]:

You don't have to work.

Mel Abraham [00:05:12]:

You don't have to do this. And I said, It gives meaning to.

Mel Abraham [00:05:17]:

My life to be able to serve.

Mel Abraham [00:05:19]:

To be able to maybe know that.

Mel Abraham [00:05:24]:

I made a difference. Because I think that this idea of legacy we talk about legacy as something we leave behind, and I think that's a mistake. We don't want to die to have legacy, but what we want to do is live to have legacy, to turn around and realize that legacy is as.

Mel Abraham [00:05:45]:

Little as a smile or a pat.

Mel Abraham [00:05:48]:

On the back or an I'm proud of you. It's every moment of the day where you have the opportunity to shift someone's direction, shift someone's life, to boost them up. And if we realized that legacy was built that way, we would realize that the moments of life matter. And when we stack the moments together, we create legacy by living it day to day versus sitting back and saying, what am I going to leave behind? What am I going to leave behind, because legacy isn't what we leave for someone. Legacy is what we leave in someone. And that's the thing that I think starts to drive me deep down in the soul.

Corene Phelps [00:06:28]:

That is so good, right? It's kind of the idea of it's funny, I have my clients always walk through something called a live list instead of a bucket list, and we work through really creating memories throughout the entire year. So really focusing on checking a live list item off of your list every week, creating moments in life, because I believe that that's what really is the thing that builds true wealth. But as you were talking about that, the first thing that came up for me was, well, two things came up for me is it's never about the money and this whole idea of money stress being the thing that blocks us from being able to actually build that living legacy that we get to walk through. So talk to me a little bit about the journey and how it is that you came to really understand that living in the now and living your legacy was how you wanted to approach your life and how you teach others to do that, build wealth for themselves.

Mel Abraham [00:07:37]:

Yeah, I think it probably goes back to it's probably further back than this, but I think the big catalyst for me was becoming a single full time dad. I became a single full time dad of my son. He came to live with me when he was five and a half years old, and I was building my businesses. I was doing the work. But at that time, I'm a CPA by education, and my partners pushed me out the door. They basically said, we don't want to be partners with you anymore. And I had no clients, I had no cash flow. I had no backlog. So I was sitting there with $300,000 in new home debt, and this gift of being a dad, this wonderful gift of being a dad, sitting back saying, how do I make this work? And so I jumped on the treadmill, which most entrepreneurs will do. You put your head down, you start running, and you start running, you start running, you start running.

Mel Abraham [00:08:33]:

And all of a sudden you start.

Mel Abraham [00:08:35]:

To see things are working. I'm getting clients, I'm getting cash. Everything's going well. And all of a know, I'm looking at my son Jeremy going, dude, we're going to be okay. Ruth's going to be overheads. We can do the things. Everything's going to be fine. And he comes running in from school one day and says, daddy, Daddy, daddy.

Mel Abraham [00:08:53]:

I drew a picture of you at school today. And so I knelt down.

Mel Abraham [00:08:57]:

He was so excited. It was like it was his birthday. Morning. I grab a hold of this picture, and it was me, a stick figure in blue felt tip pen. And I was standing in front of.

Mel Abraham [00:09:08]:

Two computer screens with a phone in each ear and one on the desk ringing. Yeah.

Mel Abraham [00:09:15]:

I mean, at the hands of a six year old boy, I was given probably one of the greatest money lessons and life lessons and business lessons I could ever imagine.

Mel Abraham [00:09:24]:

And the challenge for me is that.

Mel Abraham [00:09:28]:

I could have looked at it and.

Mel Abraham [00:09:30]:

Said, hey, but I need to do this, Jeremy.

Mel Abraham [00:09:33]:

We need this so we can do the things we want to do. We need this so I can keep the roof, we can go to Disneyland. We can do all of that. We need the profits to make it happen. But it wasn't until I realized that it isn't the profits he wanted, it's.

Mel Abraham [00:09:49]:

The presence he wanted. He needed me there. And that's when I started to shift.

Mel Abraham [00:09:56]:

This idea of realizing that our ability to measure wealth should be less in dollars and more in time. And so now I had to look at it through the eyes of how do I control my time? Because those moments matter.

Mel Abraham [00:10:11]:

How do I control my time so.

Mel Abraham [00:10:14]:

I could give to him and give to the world the way I wanted to give?

Mel Abraham [00:10:18]:

And to be able to live life.

Mel Abraham [00:10:22]:

At the fullest, to be fully engaged and fully expressed through life, it took.

Mel Abraham [00:10:29]:

A lot of reengineering of how do.

Mel Abraham [00:10:33]:

We look at the old paradigms of money, the old paradigms of wealth, the old paradigms of business, and recreate it. I came from, like I said, the accounting. So we were swapping hours for dollars.

Mel Abraham [00:10:45]:

So if I wasn't selling hours, I wasn't making money, which meant that the.

Mel Abraham [00:10:51]:

Only way I could make more money was to sell more hours or try to boost the rate, which meant running harder, faster, longer on the treadmill, which.

Mel Abraham [00:11:00]:

Only leads to breakdown or burnout.

Mel Abraham [00:11:04]:

That was probably the one pivot point that started me down this path.

Mel Abraham [00:11:10]:

So at the hands of a six.

Mel Abraham [00:11:16]:

Year old boy, I got a lesson. The problem is, I didn't know how.

Mel Abraham [00:11:19]:

Important the lesson was until 2019, because.

Mel Abraham [00:11:22]:

In 2019, things were going well. My son and I were as close as close could be. He's now 33, with two kids and.

Mel Abraham [00:11:30]:

A wife and everything, and I stepped off a plane.

Mel Abraham [00:11:35]:

I'm traveling the world, speaking on the biggest stages, and two weeks after I stepped off, a private jet wasn't mine. But listen, you got to do it at least once and hope someone else pays for it. And two weeks after I stepped off that jet, I would found myself in a hospital bed with a surgeon looking at me saying, we see a five centimeter tumor in your bladder. You have cancer. And so my life got flipped upside down and at the hands of a six year old, I changed the way I looked at money. I changed the way I did things in business. I changed the way I did things in life. But at the hands of cancer, I realized the importance of it.

Corene Phelps [00:12:20]:

Wow. Isn't it crazy how those are the kind of lessons? It's like these things have to come in like a two x four to get us. And when they do, you have to be able to see them as the gift that they actually are. We're faced with two choices. When something like that happens, you can see the lesson and see how it's happening for you, or you can shrink back and let it ruin you.

Mel Abraham [00:12:47]:

Yeah, I love that you're saying this. I did often think back going, was there a message I missed that they didn't have to go so far as cancer? Was there something in the back? But the other thing, and I love that you're saying the lessons, because the.

Mel Abraham [00:13:04]:

Struggle I had with the cancer was.

Mel Abraham [00:13:08]:

I went into a dark place of resentment and trying to find something I did or someone to blame. I was trying to give it a reason and say, what did I do? What did I do? Did I eat something wrong? Did I do something wrong? I wasn't a smoker, I wasn't a drinker. I wasn't a candidate for cancer. No one my family's ever had cancer. So I was struggling with that because I was looking backwards. And then all of a sudden it dawned on me.

Mel Abraham [00:13:37]:

I said, well, what happens if the why for the cancer isn't behind me but it's in front of me? And that the reason I ended up with the cancer, was to get the message to me that I was meant.

Mel Abraham [00:13:57]:

To do something else or I was.

Mel Abraham [00:13:58]:

Meant to do something more. And all of a sudden, the cancer.

Mel Abraham [00:14:02]:

Took on a whole different element. It took on a positive and valuable thing in my life.

Mel Abraham [00:14:08]:

And now to those that I get to serve.

Mel Abraham [00:14:12]:

And I found myself that as long as I stay looking forward and say, wait, my why doesn't have to be behind me. My why can be what's pulling me forward.

Corene Phelps [00:14:24]:

Well, isn't that the most powerful why ever? The one that's actually magnetizing you forward? I think that's a much easier why to stay committed to than the one that is in our past. Wow. So all of that happened and then we shifted the lens. Then what?

Mel Abraham [00:14:47]:

So for me, after Jeremy did the.

Mel Abraham [00:14:51]:

Drawing, I started to just do business differently. I started to look at things and I said, here's the challenge. And this happens with most entrepreneurs, especially service entrepreneurs or personal brands. If we're not careful with our personal brands, they become our personal burdens because.

Mel Abraham [00:15:06]:

We don't realize that if we're not.

Mel Abraham [00:15:10]:

Turning the wheels and running the treadmill, we can't get any income and there isn't anything that's sellable from a personal brand in most cases, not all cases. So I started to understand this dynamic that we got trained industrial age thinking, and we got trained and schooled in this idea of earning. You got to earn a living, earn a living, earn a living, earn an income, go get a good job, all that stuff.

Mel Abraham [00:15:35]:

So they were really good at giving.

Mel Abraham [00:15:38]:

Us an idea that we needed an earnings journey. The problem, and this is the problem that I had when I left the firm and I started to start my own thing, is to think that when I started my own business, when I started my own firm, this was going to be my path to control.

Mel Abraham [00:15:54]:

This was going to be my path to freedom. That if I did my own thing.

Mel Abraham [00:15:59]:

I called my own shots, I could.

Mel Abraham [00:16:00]:

Do whatever I want. And the fact is that's wrong.

Mel Abraham [00:16:06]:

The reason you go in business is not for freedom and it's not for control. And if you've been in business for any length of time, you know what I'm saying. But when we understand that the purpose of business is to optimize your value.

Mel Abraham [00:16:22]:

And optimize cash flow, it's to provide.

Mel Abraham [00:16:26]:

A solution and an impact in return for cash.

Mel Abraham [00:16:31]:

That's it.

Mel Abraham [00:16:32]:

That's the only reason we do it. That's the earnings journey that people are on. And the mistake is that we stop there. What we need is now a money journey. We have to be on parallel journeys at the same time. You're creating an earnings machine through your business, through your wages, through whatever you're doing.

Mel Abraham [00:16:51]:

But we now need to create a.

Mel Abraham [00:16:53]:

Money machine, because in the money machine, this is where we take the cash.

Mel Abraham [00:16:57]:

And we do something with it.

Mel Abraham [00:17:00]:

Now all of a sudden, in the.

Mel Abraham [00:17:01]:

Money machine, this is where you find your freedom.

Mel Abraham [00:17:05]:

Because the money machine is about optimizing.

Mel Abraham [00:17:09]:

Your time and optimizing your assets. And when we stand that, now all.

Mel Abraham [00:17:15]:

Of a sudden, if you build them parallel, what will happen? And the whole objective of this is to get my money machine, the dollars I have at work, to work harder for me than I ever did for them.

Mel Abraham [00:17:29]:

And when I do that, I find myself at financial freedom.

Corene Phelps [00:17:33]:

So can anyone build a money machine?

Mel Abraham [00:17:35]:

Absolutely. I have a belief, core belief. Financial freedom is your birthright. We just got to go claim it. And the problem is, the society doesn't want us to talk about money. We've all been told it's impolite or we demonize that. But when you think about money is the second leading cause for divorce. Behind infidelity money is the biggest stressor in 78% of people's lives. Money will cause unproductive, unfocused work at work. If money has that kind of impact on us, why are we not talking about it? Because we never will ever solve a problem without first having a conversation around the problem. And so I'm out here saying, no, we're talking about it. We ought to be talking about it. I started talking about it to my son when he was ten, teaching him some of the things. He's 33, his wife's 30. They got three homes, and a multimillion dollar net worth already. And it's not about greed, because in the process, I taught him generosity. I taught him impact. I taught him service. I taught him the money machine and the earnings machine and to live life, him and his wife Take, they got two little kids, one's two years old, and little princesses, a two year old and a six month old. And they take a month, a year, go live in another country, work from there, and experience it.

Mel Abraham [00:19:09]:

We don't do that.

Mel Abraham [00:19:11]:

We need to experience life. The journey is what we want to enjoy. We're not going to wait for the destination.

Corene Phelps [00:19:19]:

So as you're talking about this, it starts making me think about a few things, because a lot of things that I do are rooted in nervous system regulation and building wealth from that place. And I talk a lot about burnout and how burnout is a public health crisis, essentially. So is stress. Right. But it's a number one killer. And I'm just thinking about how this conversation is a pivotal piece of solving that actual problem. And then also another thing that I started thinking about, something that I say all of the time is that you don't know who you really are until you get to a place where money isn't deciding, like your bank account isn't choosing for you.

Mel Abraham [00:20:00]:

Yes. Because when you get to that place, all of a sudden you live a life of choice versus need.

Corene Phelps [00:20:10]:

Yeah, absolutely. It's funny. So my daughter lives in New York City, and I worry. She's 24 years old, lives in New York City, and I worry. And she can be a little outspoken at times. And she has this thing, this pet peeve. People riding down the street, like, guys that doing the delivery service, right? Uber, driver, whatever, postmates or whatever. They're delivering food, and she yells at them every time, and she gets really indignant. She's like, you can't be doing that. And I was like, You've got to stop yelling at these people. She's like, no, I don't have to stop. I was like, yes, you do, because these people who are doing this typically are behind an eight ball. And when you're behind the eight ball, financially, you almost can't be held responsible for how you respond and react because you're stuck in this place of just literally trying to survive.

Mel Abraham [00:20:57]:

Yeah, absolutely.

Mel Abraham [00:21:00]:

The problem is, if we just understood some simple principles, none of us would.

Mel Abraham [00:21:09]:

Have the issues that we think we have with money. In fact, I actually truly believe that no one has money issues. I know some people are going, you.

Mel Abraham [00:21:18]:

Ain'T seeing my checking account.

Mel Abraham [00:21:21]:

And I go, here's what I believe, all right? Because it has less to do with the money you make and more to do with what you do, is that you don't have money issues.

Mel Abraham [00:21:29]:

You have money symptoms. You have symptoms of the decisions, the.

Mel Abraham [00:21:35]:

Habits, and the behaviors from the past. I know that's confronting for folks because they'll sit back and go, well, wait a second. Now you're blaming me? I said, no, I'm making sure that you're responsible. You have the ability to respond. Because if you know that it is a result of behaviors, choices and decisions in the past, we just need to make different behaviors and choices. We just need to understand that and we'll get a different result.

Mel Abraham [00:22:01]:

Doesn't mean that it's easy, but it is simple.

Corene Phelps [00:22:05]:

Absolutely. So here's a good one for you. Because you work with people who are wanting to build wealth, and oftentimes it's not just the strategies to get us there. We were just talking about before we hit record, about the mindset pieces. And something that I feel like I've discovered that I think is kind of an interesting dynamic or shift when you start thinking about these mindset pieces is that a lot of times we get so entrenched in this negative money story that you can't really envision who you'd be without that money story. So there's actually this secret part of you that likes that.

Mel Abraham [00:22:41]:

Yeah.

Mel Abraham [00:22:45]:

Psychology. They call it secondary game. It's interesting. So when I got diagnosed with the.

Mel Abraham [00:22:55]:

Cancer, I shut everything down because I had a money machine.

Mel Abraham [00:23:00]:

Now, mind you, just so people have context, I didn't come from money. I'm a son of an immigrant family. My dad was an engineer. We didn't have money. So that's why it goes back to, I truly believe anyone can do it.

Mel Abraham [00:23:14]:

I did it just getting a basic Cal State degree.

Mel Abraham [00:23:21]:

But I shut everything down because I wanted to heal.

Mel Abraham [00:23:24]:

And so I went through three surgeries.

Mel Abraham [00:23:28]:

Four tumors, 57 treatments.

Mel Abraham [00:23:30]:

In fact, I go in in a.

Mel Abraham [00:23:33]:

Week from this recording for another scope.

Mel Abraham [00:23:37]:

But I'm now three and a half years clear. But what happened was, once I started.

Mel Abraham [00:23:44]:

To feel comfortable that I've got it.

Mel Abraham [00:23:46]:

Behind me, I looked at this empty.

Mel Abraham [00:23:49]:

Desk that I created because I cleared everything off.

Mel Abraham [00:23:53]:

And there was this sense of loss because for two and a half years.

Mel Abraham [00:23:59]:

My sole focus, my sole purpose was beating cancer. Everything in me was beating cancer. And all of a sudden that was gone.

Mel Abraham [00:24:06]:

And I go, who am I?

Mel Abraham [00:24:08]:

Who am I without this? And I think it's the same thing with some of the money stories and some of those elements that come into play, is that we start to ask ourselves when we start to take it away, say, look, wait a second.

Mel Abraham [00:24:23]:

If I take that away, who am I without it? Until you realize you're probably far greater than you ever were without it.

Corene Phelps [00:24:33]:

Absolutely. But it's a really funny question to explore when you first ask it to somebody who's maybe never thought about it in that context. It's like wait, hold on. Who am I? I've never actually thought about who I might be. There's this part of me, of course, I want more money. Of course I want to have it. And I talk about it and I think about it all the time, but I've never really thought about who I'd be. So it's like this block, this bottleneck between your subconscious and your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. What the subconscious mind wants, it gets. And so until you clear that piece up, you're in this big bottleneck and battle between the two.

Mel Abraham [00:25:11]:

Yeah.

Mel Abraham [00:25:14]:

I think the thing is when you start to think about it and this is where we start to look.

Mel Abraham [00:25:19]:

At most of our money lessons are caught, not taught.

Mel Abraham [00:25:25]:

Because since we don't educate in schools, since we don't have it, where do we get it? We get it through conversations or observation.

Mel Abraham [00:25:34]:

And who are we observing?

Mel Abraham [00:25:36]:

Probably people that didn't get the money stuff straight, like my parents. One of my earliest memories, in fact, one of the first stories in my book is the first time I saw my dad cry because he felt he was letting the family down. Now, I didn't understand money back then.

Mel Abraham [00:25:51]:

I was five years old, but I.

Mel Abraham [00:25:53]:

Understood it had to do with money. And all of a sudden I realized the power of money would make it so you didn't disappoint people. Now all of a sudden it starts to inform things. But was that the reality? It was just my interpretation. It was an observation. But it starts to build your money, what I call your money set point in how we do things and that will then be carried forward as if it were a truth. Now, mind you, it's your truth until.

Mel Abraham [00:26:22]:

We dismantle it, until we start to.

Mel Abraham [00:26:25]:

Look at it through a different lens.

Corene Phelps [00:26:28]:

Yeah. So inside it you have an amazing program. Is that what part of what you do is you start to dismantle it inside of that program? Yeah, that's amazing. So obviously people need to get inside the program to get all the things. But if someone's listening and they're like, oh, that just piques my curiosity. What's one little micro step? Because I'm all about the micro steps because I think that's how we make big progress. What's like one little micro step that they could take in the immediate to start to dismantle that.

Mel Abraham [00:27:01]:

So the first thing is that we.

Mel Abraham [00:27:03]:

Have facts and we have interpretations or meaning.

Mel Abraham [00:27:10]:

And what drives your emotions is the interpretation. And until we separate the interpretation from the facts and I'll give you an.

Mel Abraham [00:27:21]:

Example, we will tend to keep ourselves.

Mel Abraham [00:27:26]:

Either placed down or shrinking or in a non productive place. I'll give you, for instance, is that in 2005, I got involved in an investment that unfortunately turned into being a Ponzi scheme.

Mel Abraham [00:27:43]:

It wiped out one third of my net worth.

Mel Abraham [00:27:45]:

Between me and two other friends, we lost over four and a half million dollars.

Mel Abraham [00:27:51]:

Now.

Mel Abraham [00:27:55]:

I had one friend who was retired at the time, so all he did was adjust his lifestyle and then keep on going. I had the other friend who's the one that got both of us in.

Mel Abraham [00:28:02]:

It, who spiraled into resentment.

Mel Abraham [00:28:06]:

He destroyed his business, he destroyed his.

Mel Abraham [00:28:08]:

Marriage, and then he started drinking, destroying his liver. This was five.

Mel Abraham [00:28:13]:

And it wasn't until just recently that.

Mel Abraham [00:28:17]:

He'S come back out of it.

Mel Abraham [00:28:19]:

It literally destroyed him. Now, with me, I started to go down that road, too, going, oh, my God. Oh, my God. Here I am. And my son at the time was.

Mel Abraham [00:28:27]:

He was 1514 years old.

Mel Abraham [00:28:30]:

But I was looking at myself saying, you're an idiot. You're a CPA. You should know better. You shouldn't be doing this. You shouldn't be talking to people about money anymore. All of a sudden, I started to spiral into these emotions because I was telling myself a story and I was creating an interpretation until I sat back and said, Wait a second. What's the facts? If you want to know what the.

Mel Abraham [00:28:51]:

Facts are, you got to look at it as if you're looking through a camera lens with the sound off. And what would the camera see? What would the camera see?

Mel Abraham [00:29:03]:

The camera would see me giving someone money. The camera would see me giving him more money. The camera would see me not getting money back.

Mel Abraham [00:29:11]:

The camera would see all of that. It wouldn't see me saying that I'm a loser.

Mel Abraham [00:29:17]:

It wouldn't define me as a loser. It wouldn't define me as an idiot. It wouldn't define me with the interpretations. And when we start to understand that there are facts and there are interpretations, now we look at the facts, and we can ask ourselves instead of an.

Mel Abraham [00:29:30]:

Interpretation, we can ask ourselves, one, what.

Mel Abraham [00:29:35]:

Lessons can I take from this to make it valuable?

Mel Abraham [00:29:39]:

And two, what else can this mean? My investing rules and the criteria and.

Mel Abraham [00:29:46]:

The things that I teach and that.

Mel Abraham [00:29:47]:

I've done for myself came from dismantling the stories around the Ponzi scheme, because.

Mel Abraham [00:29:56]:

Now I have criteria. Now I have rules that.

Mel Abraham [00:30:01]:

I don't.

Mel Abraham [00:30:02]:

Go through, I don't violate. It's just the way it is now. So whatever the story might be, we have to go back and say, well, what would the camera lens see?

Mel Abraham [00:30:13]:

First, those are the facts.

Mel Abraham [00:30:15]:

How am I giving it meaning?

Mel Abraham [00:30:17]:

Second, that's just interpretation, that's perspective.

Mel Abraham [00:30:21]:

And just the same as if I.

Mel Abraham [00:30:23]:

Hold the book up like this, you see the backside, I see the front side. It's the same book, but they're different perspectives.

Mel Abraham [00:30:32]:

So your interpretation isn't fact. It's just your perspective.

Mel Abraham [00:30:37]:

And we need to let go of that.

Corene Phelps [00:30:39]:

I like that. That's good. You got to let go of it and adapt a new perspective. Change the perspective.

Mel Abraham [00:30:45]:

Yeah.

Mel Abraham [00:30:46]:

Absolutely. Within 18 months, I recovered what we lost, and I tripled it.

Corene Phelps [00:30:56]:

Whoa.

Mel Abraham [00:30:57]:

Because I learned some things. Look, if you're going to lose over a million bucks you paid for, like, three Harvard PhDs, you better. Use it for. So the thing is that when we take the lessons from it, at least it was valuable. It still doesn't take the pain away, it still doesn't take the effort away, but at least it was valuable. And go, I will be better on the other side of this.

Corene Phelps [00:31:26]:

Yeah, absolutely. I think they always say that when you know how to make money in that way, it doesn't really matter. You could lose it all, but you'd be able to make it again. When you have those sorts of skills, though, building a money machine kind of sounds like a game. And the idea which I think so many things, business, it's a game, and it actually starts to make it exciting and fun. When I think about approaching making money as a game, is that kind of the how? I mean, I don't know how your program runs, but that's the vibe I.

Mel Abraham [00:31:59]:

Get a little bit.

Mel Abraham [00:32:00]:

Well, so I don't know that I look at it as a game, but I certainly say if it ain't fun.

Mel Abraham [00:32:05]:

We shouldn't be doing it, so it.

Mel Abraham [00:32:07]:

Has to be fun. But I do say we play the.

Mel Abraham [00:32:11]:

Money game because.

Mel Abraham [00:32:16]:

The mistake is when we give money too much power, it's just a tool. It's a tool and we're going to lose it.

Mel Abraham [00:32:24]:

We're going to get it.

Mel Abraham [00:32:26]:

Some get more, some get less, but we always have the opportunity to generate more income. I don't believe in that. There's this pie and if I get a bigger slice, someone has to lose. No, I think that we have the opportunity to expand the pie.

Mel Abraham [00:32:42]:

We all get a chance to win.

Mel Abraham [00:32:47]:

And I think that when you come from that perspective, it gives you a lot more place to go. So with me and building a money machine, I want it to be a game, but I want it attached to your life. So one of the mistakes that I.

Mel Abraham [00:33:03]:

Think I see made is that we.

Mel Abraham [00:33:06]:

Focus on the income I need to.

Mel Abraham [00:33:09]:

Make this kind of income.

Mel Abraham [00:33:11]:

And what we really should be doing.

Mel Abraham [00:33:13]:

Is saying, I want to have this kind of life.

Mel Abraham [00:33:18]:

And when we come and say, this is the life I want, that can inform the choices and the plan to make that a reality. And now you can create the fun in the journey to make it happen versus the drudgery of sitting back saying, oh, I got to make this, I got to make that. I didn't hit my numbers this week. That angst, that pressure is not productive for anyone, let alone a relationship or a marriage.

Corene Phelps [00:33:47]:

Yeah, absolutely. Oh, my gosh. It's kind of like a full game, right? It's a reverse engineer process, which I think is always the best plan of attack, if you will. All right, so I have a question. In your own personal money journey, what was the biggest and maybe even like, the darkest money belief, secret that you had to reframe or rewire. For example, mine is that money is control. And that's really had a grip on me for a long time until I flipped it into money is choice, which is the same, but in a much more abundant way of thinking.

Mel Abraham [00:34:28]:

Yeah, I think that for me, is I thought that it would make me be liked.

Mel Abraham [00:34:36]:

Ah.

Mel Abraham [00:34:40]:

And the reality is that most people have no idea what I have. Well, I'm making an assumption here, and they like me just the same.

Corene Phelps [00:34:55]:

Yes, I love it. Yeah, absolutely right. That's why I always say I want to be, like, a billionaire that drives the Honda Civic, or I'm still driving my Black, whatever, Toyota Highlander that I've been driving forever. I specifically actually get the same car over and over again, so nobody knows when I get a new car, I just, like, kind of flying under the radar, like.

Mel Abraham [00:35:19]:

So that's I think that's probably the biggest thing that I did, because I think that insecurity that we talked about at the very beginning.

Corene Phelps [00:35:26]:

Yeah, that's exactly what I said.

Mel Abraham [00:35:28]:

If I can do this, they'll see me. But then the funny thing is that once you're successful, I go, like, other than when I'm trying to serve people, I don't want to be seen. I'm really kind of a private dude. My wife and I, we live on a beach. We just kind of our own thing. I don't want to be seen.

Corene Phelps [00:35:48]:

I'm with you. I am with you. That is so good. So on this journey, there had to have been we kind of already touched a little bit on the one. Your son being a big expander. But there had to have been someone who really was a big super expander. For you, that showed you that building wealth was possible for you and really for anyone. And that brought you into the place where you are now serving and teaching and guiding people to create this abundance and freedom in their lives.

Mel Abraham [00:36:20]:

So I'm going to go back always to my dad. Now, my dad never we were never wealthy.

Mel Abraham [00:36:32]:

We had what we needed. Okay.

Mel Abraham [00:36:37]:

Like I said, I'm a son of from an immigrant family. My dad was 17 years old when he came here. My dad was born and raised in a country where he was being persecuted because of his background, because of his religion.

Mel Abraham [00:36:53]:

He was actually being hunted, and he was part of a group of five.

Mel Abraham [00:37:00]:

Guys that were smuggling people out to keep them safe and smuggling guns in to protect them.

Mel Abraham [00:37:06]:

And they captured two of them, and.

Mel Abraham [00:37:09]:

They were torching the two to get the names of the other three so they could hang all five in the square. So we're talking about 1946 now.

Mel Abraham [00:37:22]:

My dad took his granddad's name, Abraham.

Mel Abraham [00:37:26]:

So our family name, real family name, is not Abraham.

Mel Abraham [00:37:30]:

And they got fake papers for all five.

Mel Abraham [00:37:33]:

They helped the other two escape, and my dad came here at 17 years old with nothing, got himself in school, got educated and started to build. And four days before my dad passed.

Mel Abraham [00:37:48]:

Away, I asked him to tell he.

Mel Abraham [00:37:51]:

Told me the story, and I really thought that I was going to have.

Mel Abraham [00:37:56]:

A chance to record it because we.

Mel Abraham [00:37:58]:

Didn'T expect him to pass away. But four days later, he passed away, and he was sitting in the wheelchair as I asked him the questions. And I said, you're 17. I know what I was thinking at 17. The last thing I was thinking was smuggling guns in and bringing people out and doing all that. I was thinking about, did she like me or would she go out with me? Or something like that. I said, Why would you do something like that at 17 years old when you knew if they cut you, they're going to hang you in the square?

Mel Abraham [00:38:26]:

As an example, he sat up in.

Mel Abraham [00:38:28]:

His wheelchair, and he looked at me.

Mel Abraham [00:38:29]:

And he said, because it was the right thing.

Mel Abraham [00:38:35]:

And I look back on my life, and it's the way dad always showed up. He didn't talk a lot.

Mel Abraham [00:38:40]:

He was quiet.

Mel Abraham [00:38:42]:

But everything he did was through the.

Mel Abraham [00:38:44]:

Eyes of, is it the right thing to do? And I look at some of the things that I'm trying to do, and.

Mel Abraham [00:38:51]:

It'S driving the same thing.

Mel Abraham [00:38:53]:

And I know that he can come here with nothing.

Mel Abraham [00:38:57]:

And he brought it so far.

Mel Abraham [00:38:59]:

I want to take it the next step for our family and our family tree.

Mel Abraham [00:39:03]:

And I know that the more financially.

Mel Abraham [00:39:05]:

Successful I am, the more right things I can do for other people, and.

Mel Abraham [00:39:11]:

It allows me to expand the reach and go further.

Mel Abraham [00:39:13]:

And so I think that on that.

Mel Abraham [00:39:16]:

Side of the driver for it would.

Mel Abraham [00:39:19]:

Have to be him. The other side would be my I.

Mel Abraham [00:39:24]:

Worked for my cousin who is a.

Mel Abraham [00:39:27]:

CPA while I was in college, and.

Mel Abraham [00:39:29]:

He was an entrepreneurial CPA who always.

Mel Abraham [00:39:32]:

Kept saying to me, got to do.

Mel Abraham [00:39:35]:

It on your own. Go get educated, get the training, get the experience, and then go do it on your own. Go do it in a bigger way. He's the one that literally said, go, I was still in college, and he says, Go try the CPA exam now. Back then, it was a four day exam, no calculators done by hand, okay, with those little blue books that if I see one, it gets me sweaty already. And he says, Just take it.

Mel Abraham [00:40:03]:

So.

Mel Abraham [00:40:04]:

You'Ll have a chance to know what it's really like when you get out of school.

Mel Abraham [00:40:07]:

And about a month and a half.

Mel Abraham [00:40:09]:

Before the exam, he came to me.

Mel Abraham [00:40:11]:

And says, I want to cut your hours.

Mel Abraham [00:40:14]:

I'm going to pay you for those.

Mel Abraham [00:40:16]:

Hours still, but I want you to.

Mel Abraham [00:40:18]:

Go and study for the exam. I just want you to go experience it. Well, I ended up passing the whole.

Mel Abraham [00:40:25]:

Exam before I graduated college.

Mel Abraham [00:40:30]:

Having someone that sees something more in.

Mel Abraham [00:40:34]:

You and is willing to push you.

Mel Abraham [00:40:37]:

And willing to prod you and do that, I think is really helpful. It's not critical, but it's certainly helpful. And I think so if I look at the two of them, were huge influences in my life. And this journey that I've been on since then, with all the people around me, the Kristen, Lori Harters and Ed Miletz and Amy Porterfields, all these people.

Mel Abraham [00:41:04]:

That are around me that forced me to up my game and notwithstanding my.

Mel Abraham [00:41:11]:

Son and my beautiful, always, I'm better.

Corene Phelps [00:41:15]:

Because of both of oh, such great stories there. And absolutely right. So good. Okay, so I know everyone that's listening is just really dying to know more about this program and how they can get in and start to build their money machine.

Mel Abraham [00:41:34]:

So cool. Thank you. We're doing a special three part training that I do once a year, totally free. I'm going to walk you through the three different elements. Not three different elements, but the first day, the first training, I go deep into the things that will get in the way of building wealth. How do we break down the stories? How do we break down the barriers? How do we understand the concepts that will start to drive it? What does it mean to live an affluent life? Okay. Not an opulent one, but an affluent life. And then the second training is when I start to give the principles, six fundamental principles that doesn't matter what's going on in the economy, doesn't matter what's going on in your life. These principles are what drive every choice and every decision that I make. We calculate some numbers in your life. We figured out what your targets are. And then last training, I give you the nine accelerators, the nine critical things. That is basically your checklist to build the machine to get it right. And we go deep dive. I have an action guide with frameworks and worksheets. And so it is a workshop where I'm on for at least 90 minutes and as much as I possibly can. Because by the end of those three days, I want everyone to have a direction, I want everyone to have an idea, and I want everyone to be able to say, all right, I can go and work on this on my own and really start to build.

Corene Phelps [00:43:11]:

That's so good. So you get access. They're there. They're listening to you. So you guys are listening. You got to scroll down because in the show notes, there's going to be a link where you can find this. So go ahead and sign up and then go get your notebook because you're going to want to take copious notes while Mel is out there teaching you how to build your money machine. Oh, my gosh, I am so beyond grateful for you. I just can't even believe that I got to have this conversation with you. My heart is so full. So thank you so much for your time, for your wisdom, for sharing so authentically and vulnerably.

Mel Abraham [00:43:46]:

Oh, my God. Thank you for asking me and being willing to jump on and do this to me. Like I said, this is what gives us the meaning to the cancer. So you've given me a gift be able to serve.

Corene Phelps [00:43:59]:

Oh my goodness. Well, you're welcome. We will catch you on the next episode.

Mel Abraham [00:44:09]:

Thank you for listening to the affluent entrepreneur show with me, your host, Mel Abraham. If you want to achieve financial liberation to create an affluent lifestyle, join me in the affluent entrepreneur Facebook group now by going to to Melabraham.com/group and I'll see you there.

Introduction
Money lesson from a 6-year-old
The lesson from cancer in 2019 and its impact
The importance of looking forward and the magnetic 'why'
Living a life of choice vs. need
Shutting everything down after cancer diagnosis
Personal experience with investment loss
Money as a tool, not for validation
Influence of family in money journey
The Affluent Entrepreneur Experience Event