Pathways with Amber Stitt

Focus On Money: Principles Based Planning for Financial Freedom with Maria Betancourt

October 03, 2023 Amber Stitt
Focus On Money: Principles Based Planning for Financial Freedom with Maria Betancourt
Pathways with Amber Stitt
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Pathways with Amber Stitt
Focus On Money: Principles Based Planning for Financial Freedom with Maria Betancourt
Oct 03, 2023
Amber Stitt

Welcome to The Amber Stitt Show!

In this captivating episode, host Amber sits down with guest Maria Betancourt for an enlightening conversation about the steps towards financial freedom by using the Principles-Based Planning method and her personal journey to financial freedom after working within Wall St., corporate America, and being an entrepreneur.

Join them as they delve into the importance of mutual understanding, principles, and having a system in place to stay on track.

Discover the pillars of peak performance, learn about Maria's remarkable backstory, and gain insights on managing liabilities, understanding marketing, and staying relevant with technology.

Prepare to be empowered as they discuss personal development, financial literacy, and the pursuit of financial freedom.

Don't miss out on this dynamic discussion that will leave you feeling inspired and motivated to take control of your own financial destiny. Tune in now to unlock the keys to peak performance on The Amber Stitt Show!

For more information about Maria Betancourt, or to contact her please use this contact information:

Phone: 954-770-4802

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to The Amber Stitt Show!

In this captivating episode, host Amber sits down with guest Maria Betancourt for an enlightening conversation about the steps towards financial freedom by using the Principles-Based Planning method and her personal journey to financial freedom after working within Wall St., corporate America, and being an entrepreneur.

Join them as they delve into the importance of mutual understanding, principles, and having a system in place to stay on track.

Discover the pillars of peak performance, learn about Maria's remarkable backstory, and gain insights on managing liabilities, understanding marketing, and staying relevant with technology.

Prepare to be empowered as they discuss personal development, financial literacy, and the pursuit of financial freedom.

Don't miss out on this dynamic discussion that will leave you feeling inspired and motivated to take control of your own financial destiny. Tune in now to unlock the keys to peak performance on The Amber Stitt Show!

For more information about Maria Betancourt, or to contact her please use this contact information:

Phone: 954-770-4802

Amber [00:00:00]:

Hello, and welcome to the Amber Stitt Show. I am your host, Amber Stitt, and today we welcome my friend and colleague Maria.

Maria Betancourt [00:00:07]:

Hey, Amber. How are you?

Amber [00:00:09]:

I am doing lovely. I've been excited to have you on.

Maria Betancourt [00:00:12]:

The oh, thank you. Thank you for having me. And I just love what you do on your show, so it's exciting to be here with you.

Amber [00:00:19]:

So I wanted to dive in a little bit on a personal nature. I want the audience to know first of all, where you live, and where you are. But I also want to celebrate with you. You've had something new happen, I heard, through the grapevine. So do you care to share a little bit about what might have happened in the last, what, two weeks? Month?

Maria Betancourt [00:00:36]:

Sure, of course. So I live in the mountains in Colorado. I live in this town called Evergreen, about 30 miles west of Denver. And we're at 7200ft and our deck overlooks the Arapaho National Forest. So I'm in God's country, and my husband and I my husband and I, we recently celebrated our wedding a couple of weeks ago, and we had it here at the house on our deck. And we believe in signs of any nature.

Amber [00:01:07]:

You talked about this view, but it's actually your house. You can just have coffee every morning out there, except for when it's snowing, I suppose.

Maria Betancourt [00:01:14]:

Well, we even go out there when it's snowing. We're hearty souls.

Amber [00:01:17]:

Yeah, I mean, if you have the right gear. I always say it's not about the weather, it's about your gear. That's what my brother says. He knows I'm in Arizona, and I always like to stay warmer.

Maria Betancourt [00:01:25]:

Without a doubt.

Amber [00:01:25]:

Well, congratulations. I wanted to introduce you, but I was like, okay, are we keeping last name? Are we changing it or not yet?

Maria Betancourt [00:01:32]:

I'm going to hyphenate my name. Legally, I'll remain MariaBetancourt. But socially, I'm Maria Morse. And on my business cards and all of my professional stuff, I just have Maria Bettencourt Morse.

Amber [00:01:43]:

I have two last names myself. So, you know, my husband, he teases me. He's like you're. Kim Kardashian West. Or I guess that's not even the case anymore. But he does make fun of me a little bit about that. But it's hard to drop that after you've had your name for so long. So let's talk about back in the history of Maria.

Amber [00:02:00]:

So you and I have met through a group of wonderful people who are helping others with their financial freedom goals. And I want to go back in time a little bit because I don't know that you were always in this wall, call it a club of independent thinkers. And I say it that way because I think you know where I'm heading. There was a part of your lifetime, I believe, that was maybe in a different mindset of what financial security could mean for people. And so do you mind taking some time to explain what you do today and where you've come from, just the history.

Maria Betancourt [00:02:31]:

Amber, I'm going to switch it up with you a little bit and start where I came from because that will explain where I am today. I graduated from Wharton Business School and at the time, the places to go were to be an investment banker or to go into consulting. And I really loved the finance part of it and decided to join Chase Securities. So at the time, it was Chase Securities. Now it's JPMorgan Chase. And I worked on the trading floor. I was one of 23 people in our incoming management class, and I was the only female being in my industry.

Amber [00:03:08]:

Not many of us are females. And that's a whole other conversation, so that's wonderful.

Maria Betancourt [00:03:13]:

It's a whole other conversation. Yeah.

Amber [00:03:15]:

So you're on the floor. That buzz of energy, I mean, I think a lot of us see it on TV or in a movie. Like for you, was it so intimidating? Was it exciting? All of the above?

Maria Betancourt [00:03:25]:

It was exciting. It was intimidating. I actually was on the institutional investor side, so that's different than the retail side, which is what you see a lot in the movies of the stock market and the prices going up and down and the crazy frenzy on the floor. I basically managed a $1.2 billion portfolio. And I have to chuckle because when you're in that world, Amber, 1.2 billion doesn't mean anything. 50 million is nothing unless you're talking in the triple 300 billion or above. It's just you lose the concept of money. And I think that's part of the problem with the mindset on Wall Street because the little guy and the little guy could be worth $10 million, right? The little guy gets lost in the shuffle, and that's lost at 10 million.

Amber [00:04:18]:

You're lost. Okay, audience, don't leave. We are focusing on getting you there in different ways.

Maria Betancourt [00:04:25]:

So I've managed that portfolio and basically, I worked with other banks. But in the process, I really got to feel and get a sense of what Wall Street was all about. It really had nothing to do with helping individuals protect, grow, and nurture their wealth. It was very greed-driven. And that premise, I think, is evident in every movie that we see. It's that greed factor, and it's just so pervasive and all around you that you can't help but fall into that. So I decided to leave Wall Street. I actually went to London and worked there with the risk of management instruments on the derivative side.

Maria Betancourt [00:05:12]:

It's kind of fancy stuff.

Amber [00:05:13]:

That's pretty amazing. Maria, I had no so this means people can't work with you and say she doesn't know what she's talking about. I mean, absolutely. You've been there, you've been in the trenches with that, and then know more international. That's a pretty amazing story.

Maria Betancourt [00:05:29]:

Well, thanks, Amber. And I think it was a really eye-opening foundation for me. So I leaped from corporate America to becoming an entrepreneur. And I started my own business in one of my dad's extra offices, and I had started to play golf, and I went to buy golf clothing, and I figured, oh my God, this stuff is really awful. And I thought, well, how hard could it be to make golf apparel? And so I started to partner with a golf pro, and I figured that she knew a whole lot less about being an entrepreneur than I did. And so I said, hey, listen, I think I'm just going to do this on my own. And I learned the hard way. I used to staple my hems because I didn't know how to sew.

Maria Betancourt [00:06:12]:

So here I am making clothing.

Amber [00:06:18]:

You're literally yes.

Maria Betancourt [00:06:22]:

What does the say?

Amber [00:06:23]:


Maria Betancourt [00:06:24]:

Ignorance is bliss.

Amber [00:06:27]:

Yeah, but I was goodness, okay.

Maria Betancourt [00:06:30]:

I was driven and hardworking. And so I took my business to a $10 million company, and I owned four different brands, two of which continue today. I ended up having and I'm just going to fast forward. So we sold all over the United States and had distributors internationally. I covered from coast to coast, and we put out two collections every year under the Betancourt name that was spelled B-E-T-T-E ampersand Court. And then we had swing.

Amber [00:07:02]:

You can't lose that. No, because there's literally we talked about marriage, and a lot of my clients that are physicians keep their maiden name, but now you literally have a brand that you can't.

Maria Betancourt [00:07:14]:

It was very eye-opening and this kind of segues into why I do what I do today. I had no idea about a lot of different ways to protect my hard-earned assets and the business that I had grown from the ground. I was a very active horseback rider and triathlete, and at 45 and healthy, I thought I was invincible. And somebody briefly talked to me about disability insurance, and I thought, oh my God, why do I need that for? Nobody taught me about it.

Amber [00:07:43]:

I've heard that before.

Maria Betancourt [00:07:45]:

Nobody taught me what, for example, we teach at Unique advantage. And so I had a very bad fall. Eleven broken ribs, a punctured lung. I crushed t eight. So my back is fused. By the grace of God, I am walking, and I am probably in better shape than I've ever been, but it was a close call, and had I known what I know today, I probably wouldn't have had to sell my business. I probably would have been able to pay off my bank loan. So that was an eye-opening.

Maria Betancourt [00:08:17]:

You know, from there I went to work for Perry Ellis in the apparel business as well, and managed their Callaway PGA Tour and a number of other private-label brands until I came to Colorado. And here in Colorado.

Amber [00:08:32]:

Why Colorado?

Maria Betancourt [00:08:33]:

Because I was a mountain lover. I lived in Florida, and Florida is just not my vibe. And my very best friend from high school lives here. And she said, what in the world are you doing in Miami? You're not a Florida girl. You're staying out here.

Amber [00:08:47]:

You're staying close to international airports.

Maria Betancourt [00:08:49]:

You know what? That was a big component of it. And I had two little girls who are now grown women, and they would ask me, mommy, how many pajama nights are you going away? And I would try to make it as few pajama nights as I could, but in the process, I really took a toll on me. So fast forward. I'm here in Colorado. I was a chief growth officer for this company with an entrepreneur growing a business. So I know about the whole aspect of business development and what it takes. And then the pandemic hit. And with that, a lot of changes happened at the company, and I found myself looking for another avenue.

Maria Betancourt [00:09:25]:

And in the process, I got to know Kyle Christensen, who's the author, through a friend of mine who was involved with his principles-based planning for individuals that are in the financial world. And I read his book, and when I was reading his book, I had flashbacks of Wall Street. I said, oh, my gosh, this guy gets it. And so I started chatting with him. And fast forward. I now work as one of his agents, and we look at insurance as part of a holistic game plan to achieve financial freedom. And that's what I'm so excited about because I've worked on Wall Street, I've owned my own business, I've worked for entrepreneurs, I've worked in corporate America. And I know that no one ever gets rich.

Maria Betancourt [00:10:16]:

Just putting their money into a street is very savvy about marketing. And it's not that Wall Street is bad or that people are bad. It's just that when you're thinking about how you're going to protect and grow your hard earned money, boy, I certainly want to know and understand the fine print. And sometimes that fine print is meant to be onerous because they don't want us to read it. Who reads a prospectus, really? It's microscopic. You almost need a magnifying glass, and yet the devil's in the details. So what we do is we unpack all of that for our customers and our clients, and it makes a big difference. So I'm just so energized by what I do because it's come full circle.

Maria Betancourt [00:11:00]:

And sometimes you wonder when you're going through pain, you say, Gosh, I wonder why this is happening to me. And then you look back and you say, gosh, I would never be able to do what I do as authentically as I do it without having had that life experience.

Amber [00:11:14]:

So much to unpack here. As we chatted about this episode, I had a direction that I thought I was going, but I didn't know this amazing backstory on you. I'm glad you started at the beginning for the pathways of peak performance audience. I usually refer back to categories five pillars, essentially, and Maria like, you're just hitting every one of them. So I want to pause for a moment when we look at step one, it's focusing on talents and this is where you're looking at within it's more of that personal development section. Maria, you clearly are a high achiever. You are ambitious. You didn't care about your gender now, in this business school back in the day, I mean, things have changed, but not so much.

Amber [00:11:54]:

But you had a drive and it didn't really matter and you just pushed forward. Is there anything that you could say that you know, to your core that kept you going? Or is there anything from a personal development side of things that you do because it might have been different two decades ago than today, but is there something that you remember that stood out that just you're like you knew that you needed to be there and why? Anything like that you'd like to share?

Maria Betancourt [00:12:17]:

When I made the decision to start my own business, Amber, I was already a mother. And I knew that as a woman back in the day if you took too much time to care for your family and you were absent and perhaps you couldn't attend a business meeting on the other side of the world because it was your kid's graduation, I knew that I didn't want to do that. I did not want to be an absent parent. And so my drive were my daughters. That was my why I knew that if I worked hard enough at my own business, I could call the shops and I could speak to a CEO or the merchandise manager at Dick Sporting Goods and say, hey, Joe can't remember his name now, but, hey, Joe just can't make it this Wednesday. What about next week? And that Wednesday, I was the classroom mom in charge of the Halloween party. And that was important to me and I had that freedom and that's what drove me, Amber, was that freedom and to be able to teach my daughters to be independent, to also go after their dreams, to know that setbacks are not you're never going to achieve this. You're just, oh, you've got to figure out a better way.

Amber [00:13:34]:

And I say this because I want audience members that do feel maybe a lack of motivation or maybe it's not now, it's not time for me. Or if there's something in your mind that you're like, I wish I could do it this or that way. I feel that there are more conversations now that you can build out your own way. Now, not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, so let's step back and even talk to the people who would rather walk out at 05:00 P.m. And go home and do their thing, that is okay too. But if you have excellence in anything that you do, there's value there. You will be hireable. If you don't feel like being a business owner, or if you're an entrepreneur, you kind of have to have that.

Amber [00:14:09]:

But the beauty is the freedom. And that's kind of the whole principle. There are principles in the book that we're referencing. You were already participating in that before even reading the book. So then I want to go to focus area number two, which is focusing on money. Maria, your clients are not all financially sophisticated or competent in finance, but that doesn't mean you can't find your own competence level with your money and having freedom and accountability and some of those principles. I mean, do you have these conversations with clients where some of them just feel so overwhelmed and you're like, It's okay that you did not come from Wall Street? I want people to almost take initiative that you don't have to feel like this mathematician to be okay with your own money. And I think that's part of what you're teaching with clients.

Maria Betancourt [00:14:52]:

You know, Amber, that's such a good point that you bring up, because here's the irony in all of that. As sophisticated as I was and knowledgeable about higher level finance, know derivatives and regression analysis and all know nerdy stuff, I didn't really know how to take care of my own personal finances. I didn't know how to not only protect my assets but look at using the income from my business to eventually be able to have financial freedom, to be able to create a portfolio of assets that produced income for me so that I could eventually sell the business and do something else. And it's really important because a lot of times we focus strictly on protecting and growing our assets.

Amber [00:15:39]:

Let's even go down a notch. What she's saying is using your income, you're doing this job, this business, this paycheck, but you're putting it somewhere else to start generating. And we're talking essentially about passive income. But I think sometimes we gloss over these vocabulary words and people are like, yeah, I know what it means. But I remember even getting in a decade ago, going, there's financial planning and then there's budgeting and then there's cash flow. Like, what does all this mean? It all sounds like the same thing. It's raw retirement planning, right? And it's like, no, the freedom that you're talking about. So I'm going to have you keep going with this is taking the income that you're producing and putting it to build assets.

Amber [00:16:13]:

Keep going with that.

Maria Betancourt [00:16:13]:

Yeah. So it's taking the income that you're producing. And when you own your own business and you've survived and you're now into your 15th year, you're making some decent money. And at the time, I thought the only options were 401 and 529 plans for my kids. And what I realized now is that there were so many other options that I wasn't aware of. I was so busy running my business that I forgot to take the time to really think about why I was growing my business and how I would evolve as a person, as an individual, as a business owner, to be able to take my business and either sell it or become a passive consultant or whatever. And I didn't have someone to teach me about those options. And so what happens is, on Wall Street, many of the financial planners, as we traditionally know them, their primary objective is to take your money in, promise you that they can manage it better than you can, and take a fee.

Maria Betancourt [00:17:16]:

Then they give it to a money manager who also takes a fee. And we don't have to do any of the work because who's got time for that? And so what I do is, through the process with my clients, I start from the very beginning and say, you know what? It's not going to take a whole lot of time for you to learn some really fundamentally important facts so that you can make better decisions and without you having to read the fine print, I'm going to teach you about that. And so we look at both how to manage assets, what are options, and what are the pros and cons of different types of ways to protect your assets and grow your savings. And then we also talk about managing liabilities, Amber, because managing liabilities is almost as important as protecting and growing and nurturing your assets.

Amber [00:18:02]:

And that's step three. Focusing on risk can be getting organized. Not any product, but having conversations in your home. Can your husband find things if you're in the hospital? Transferring risk, causing less stress in your life because things are going to happen? Fast forward, you're talking about managing liabilities, but also this dances along the disability conversation with you. We all think nothing can happen to us. I just had a Facebook post in this grouping. Someone from high school was hit by a bicycle. He did not survive.

Amber [00:18:32]:

And there was a post about it. We don't think these things can happen. We're organized and we have the management of liabilities. We can give our families at least peace of mind if we don't survive. But if we do gosh, can we do something while we're healthy and well to feel better? Up front wall of this builds confidence. And then you can say, I'm such a good spouse, parent, brother, sister, kid because you're not a liability to other people.

Maria Betancourt [00:18:53]:

Yeah, that's a really good point. And so managing risk is really a fundamental component of a sound financial plan. Most people just focus on the asset part of it, the revenue-generating part of it. With our clients, with my clients, what I do is I talk about all areas where they need to be looking at what protection they have. And we read the fine print.

Amber [00:19:17]:

You don't skip steps. How many people in the audience raise your hands, do you say, yes, I'll take this or that? I think I need umbrella insurance. And then your agent tells you, just up the limits to this, and you're good, and you have no idea what it means. We are however many years since a driver's license, and we still don't really know what the limits mean in a policy. Most people don't.

Maria Betancourt [00:19:35]:

We don't. And you take the steps, and I take the steps, and we unpack it. And it's not this big. I don't try and prove that I'm more knowledgeable than my clients. I just have worked it a little bit longer, so it's more understandable. So because I understand it, I break it down and I just say, hey, here's what this means, and here's why it's important for you to have this, because otherwise you're exposed. And nine times out of ten, whether it's auto insurance, estate planning, life insurance, disability insurance, most people I've found, most of us think, oh, my God, that's going to be so ungodly expensive, I'm not even going to bother. Why waste my time?

Amber [00:20:10]:

And what overwhelms misinformation?

Maria Betancourt [00:20:13]:

And what people find out, Amber is that, first of all, it might not be as expensive as you think, and you are able to understand what your policy means. And it doesn't take a whole lot of time to really get from point A to point B. And I can read through these documents and know what I'm looking for. And then when I meet with my client, I just tell them, hey, did you know this or why did you choose that? I don't know. The agent told me that it was good. I have a funny story. So I chatted with one of my clients and explained some things, and I said, hey, these are some of the questions that you now need to go and ask your property and casualty agent. And she came back to me and said, well, after the second question, he was getting very frustrated with me and wanted to end the conversation.

Maria Betancourt [00:21:00]:

I said, well, that means because they're.

Amber [00:21:02]:

Probably like, wait, I don't have the answer. Let me go get it.

Maria Betancourt [00:21:05]:

Exactly. They're not trained to do that. It's very transactional. So that's important. Managing the risk is absolutely fundamentally important. And, hey, it's not as important to get it all done immediately. It's important to understand the game plan. And maybe you say, hey, I can't do all of this right now, for whatever reason, time, headspace, money.

Maria Betancourt [00:21:27]:

But set a game plan, in five years, I will have all of these areas covered so that I will.

Amber [00:21:34]:

And you were saying, I will. It's like the I am statements like, you're visualizing this is going to be what we're doing, versus I hope I can, I can't, because there's a little positivity built into that to put that into motion.

Maria Betancourt [00:21:47]:

I also think, Amber, that it's really important that we don't set ourselves up for now. Sometimes you want perfection. I'm a well-known, high achiever, and sometimes I realize that, hey, if I give myself a window in the next six months, I will accomplish this. I tend to do it with a whole lot less stress, and a lot more happiness, and I do a much better job than saying, oh my God, why haven't I gotten this done already?

Amber [00:22:12]:

I use a hashtag. We talk like take action today. So my motivation is to get people to take action. Even if it's little steps, it's okay as long as you're moving forward with some momentum and not going backward. So some people have the ability to kind of take it in a lot, but that's not the goal. Is there a sequence of meetings that help break it down, and you're available to them? And so that's what's great about the process, is they're not skipping steps through the principles that you're teaching clients that you're giving them some time in some bite-sized pieces or maybe bigger, depending upon the person, but it's customized to the person, which is so important. And that's why I meant the very beginning of independent thinkers is that we do truly work with the person and not just be transactional.

Amber [00:22:52]:

This leads me to step number four. I usually talk about marketing, focusing on marketing and technology, not to go buy a bunch of applications or software programs, but to be aware of what's out there. But today, I want to think of this differently. There should be an awareness of how marketing works. And it's been around since the beginning of time. There are all different ways down to coloring of robes. The royal people had purple, and it was a difficult color to gather. Whatever with the dyes.

Amber [00:23:17]:

There's like a reason things were marked a certain way since medieval times, we'll say up to the present. You mentioned the marketing of the banking systems.

Maria Betancourt [00:23:26]:


Amber [00:23:26]:

And so we've been almost pre-programmed to just have other people do things for us. But there's no accountability. We're not touching and seeing the fruit. And so that kind of almost ruins the joy of the hard work for today's. Step four, I would say that marketing technology is not about business ownership. And hey, here's the latest thing, because you've seen it. You've seen how the banking kind of institutional, like the 529 is the only way to protect your kid's education. It's not the truth, especially when we're talking about assets and cash flows elsewhere where you have access and you're not waiting for a certain age because you've seen things in your industry, in your industry, you've seen that people just kind of go, 401K, sure, I got to go get that match.

Amber [00:24:08]:

Everyone else is doing that. And you almost feel foolish if you have a glimpse of this idea that, gosh, maybe I won't do it the traditional way that the employment benefit package is telling me I should do. In that mindset.

Maria Betancourt [00:24:20]:

Yeah. And so Wall Street has been extremely astute in how they market things I think maybe everyone doesn't understand or know about the five principles that we teach, but everybody I would say I would say 95% of the population knows that saving is important. What has Wall Street done? And this is a perfect example. Let's take 400 and on and 529 plans for college. What do they call them? They call the savings plans. However, in reality, are you really saving? Because when you save something, you secure it, right? If you look at Webster's definition and when you secure something, you know that it's protected, it's liquid if it's an asset and it's guaranteed to be what you put in. And then when you look at what you do with a 401, is that money really secure? Is it really guaranteed? Is it really liquid? So are you saving or are you crossing your fingers and hoping for the best? This can also be termed gambling, but it's called a savings plan. And yet you can't take out your money for a how are you saving? I'm saving in a then when I unpack the definition of it and we talk about, well, if you're younger than 59 and a half, you have to pay 10%.

Maria Betancourt [00:25:36]:

And no matter what, you're going to.

Amber [00:25:38]:

Have to pay tax and the penalty.

Maria Betancourt [00:25:39]:

The penalty, that's exactly right. And no matter what, you have to pay taxes too.

Amber [00:25:43]:

We have taxes on our money. We know that there's a way we can shift things and have a lower tax bracket, great. Capital gains tax better. But I think people don't realize the penalties to get access. Is your point is the security is gone or the opportunity costs are lost? If we have to just wait and wait and wait for this perfect time, we're not living and truly being part of the process if everything's just given away and locked up.

Maria Betancourt [00:26:07]:

That's exactly right. And that's well said. And I would add to that that you might think you have 100,000 or $200,000 in your 401K if the market takes a dip like we saw in 2008, what happens to that $400,000 or 200 that you were hoping would be there? You just lost it like that and you have nothing to show for it. It's eye-opening. And that's really what I want to teach my clients, is, hey, let's go into your decision-making process about your finances with eyes wide open. And you know what? It's not as hard as you might think it is by the time agnostic.

Amber [00:26:44]:

Because it's like you can't get emotionally mad at the principals. They didn't get mad at you. They didn't talk back. They're just guardrails, essentially. And it takes that. But this happened today. No, go back to the principles. That's what I like about it.

Amber [00:26:58]:

It's like that third-party mediator that says, yes, this was a rough month, a rough year. But if you follow the principle, is there's resilience and that's part of the pathways of. Peak performance is finding these steps, which is step five is the community. We'll wrap up with that one because you and I met through a community, and there are a few other things you've mentioned that I want to touch on. I want people to kind of expand their thought process of, like, living within some pillars that can keep you grounded. That's what the principles are about. Can help take that emotion out. And your spouse's partners can look at each other and say, you didn't see it that way, but I know how this works.

Amber [00:27:29]:

No, if we both know what the principles are, we're meeting at a mutual basis here. You can't be now upset because, one, somebody's smarter with the math that we were talking about earlier versus someone with concepts and maybe the law or the words of behind the scenes. So finding that system can help people stay on track. And it's like, even with anything in life, I know Tony Robbins talks about consistency. It's not about the smartest person in the room. It's who's consistently showing up and following the guidebook. And so the principles or when we're talking about the pillars of the pathways of peak performance, focusing on community, if you're really looking at yourself, money, goals, that managing liability that you talked about, understanding how marketing could get you, looking at your behavior, but also staying relevant and keeping up with marketing and technology. So, staying upfront leads you into the community aspect.

Amber [00:28:14]:

And this is where I think you can do so many different things. And this journey that you're on right now might not always be the path. You've seen this a few different ways. You've been very successful in your Pivot, but sometimes you need to find that conversation, that smile you'll give somebody. We're kind of always so busy, and we kind of stop and forget to appreciate who's in front of us. That community helps you find where you are today. And this is completely different than the industry that you were in. And there's some magic there if you really appreciate the conversations, each conversation, even if it's not turning into a sale or being monetized or gosh, there's some analytics there.

Amber [00:28:51]:

And that's really the beauty of just having communication with people because it can lead to so many different things and helping others and new business roles for ourselves. And you're a perfect testament to know.

Maria Betancourt [00:29:01]:

Amber, when you talk about community, I totally understand what you're saying, and I would also know the community is certainly that interaction. And for me, it's getting curious about what's happening in other people's world. And you realize curious wall of us have had some setback either due to just fate or we didn't know then what we know now, whatever it is. And that's our common human bond, and that's what makes us all real with everyone else. And so it's not about being perfect and getting it all right, but it's about allowing ourselves to learn from other people, to be curious about their lives, and to realize that, wow, we're all in this journey together. The other aspect of our community that I wanted to point out is that when we're on this mission or this path to financial freedom or to gain greater financial literacy and savviness, plugging into a community where you can continue to grow because you're constantly listening to different things, whether it's your Podcast or Justin Donald's Podcast about Lifestyle Investor or any other Podcast. It's about fueling ourselves with positive information, with knowledge, with those AHA moments that might help you pivot in a certain way. And I think that today I would say, and I don't want to sound dogmatic, but it's almost inexcusable that we don't feed our brains because we don't.

Amber [00:30:27]:

Have there's no excuses.

Maria Betancourt [00:30:29]:

It used to be when you had to have time and read a book, right? And when you read a book, you can't do anything else except maybe listen to soft media.

Amber [00:30:36]:

And not everybody loves to read a book. They want to see or hear it. And we're finally now understanding that absolutely people don't learn the same way.

Maria Betancourt [00:30:43]:

And so you can listen to an audiobook, you can listen to a podcast when you're driving. You just might never know what little nugget of inspiration you might find. And that's also what I think is so important about plugging into a community so that you continue to stay focused, you continue to inspire and motivate yourself to continue on the path as you listen to the way other people have done it or to other ideas. So it doesn't take a lot of time, but I do encourage those two components of community to really become a presence in our lives for all of us.

Amber [00:31:17]:

There was usually this closing question to wrap up today that's really, I think, the takeaway like a challenge. Pathways challenge. What are you doing? What habits are you putting into your own lives for that personal development piece or community? You can be an introvert, you can be an extrovert, you can be whatever you want to call it. There's no excuses. Find something that's bringing you the next edge. Or if you have that crazy idea, find somebody that wants to hear about it. If you're around people that are not appreciating thought leadership growth, if they're like, oh, you're doing that study group again, why would you waste time doing that? You need to be on another client call, whatever. The more that negative thought process is, it's kind of like even if it's close to you and your family, recognizing that and trying to be less around the people that are not going to bring you up.

Amber [00:32:00]:

And that's where the community is so important because whether you're sick or whatever the case is like you could think of like church, hey, there's people in your community that can help you if there's something going wrong. But like, on the flip side, is your community supporting you and being so excited for you and not oppressing your ideas, because if that's happening, they're probably not successful in their own lives. And that's more of a reflection on what's going on with them. The people that are truly leaders and not just entrepreneurs are going to be excited for you and not feel like you're competing with them.

Maria Betancourt [00:32:27]:

I think the most successful people are always looking for new ideas, are always reading, are always just curious. Let's just say curious. Just be curious. That's I think fundamentally the key to it all. And when you think about being curious, it just sounds so much more fun. It does.

Amber [00:32:43]:

Yes, there is that joy. I mean, like, we talked about having young girls. My daughter's almost five right now. But just that sincere, honest joy of just imagining the what if. That's where I mean, the ideas that we have today that we're using every day comes from that little nugget, that know, spark of magic in your, like, appreciate that. Be around people that wall help support that. Maria to wrap up today. I love this episode.

Amber [00:33:06]:

You bring so much information. I think there's more for our conversations in the future, too. I'm going to go ahead and link up a way to have people find you and the books that we're talking about, the podcast, justin Donald as well, Kyle Christensen's principle based planning book. And we'll look forward to being with you again soon in the future. So I really appreciate you being here today.

Maria Betancourt [00:33:26]:

Super Amber, thank you so very much. It's always great seeing you.

Amber [00:33:32]:

Thank you for joining us on today's episode of The Amber Stitt Show. For more information about the podcast, books, articles and more, please visit Until next week, enjoy your journey at home and network. Thank you for listening.