With Sanger Smith, a managing partner at Clearfork Wealth Management, a firm that manages half a billion dollars for its clients.

As a high school student, Sanger began his first job at Clearfork Wealth Management, a nationally ranked financial advisory practice. It was clear from the start that he was a natural in the field, but he worked hard to learn all of the ins and outs of the industry. Celebrating 10 years, this year, Sanger is now a managing partner and on a mission to help business owners make great money decisions so they can meet their goals and live a better life!

In this conversation, you’ll hear about Sanger’s unique approach to his work, how he helps clients evaluate their financial goals and priorities, and why he believes you shouldn’t be setting goals without also understanding and clearly identifying your values.

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Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:

  • Sanger’s personal story and the moment that both broke his heart and cemented his mission.
  • The process that Sanger walks his clients through to really get to what matters.
  • Sanger’s one question that he asks clients that can save loads of heartache and improve their decision making.

Check out these highlights:

10:45 Listen to one of my favorite quotes from the episode: “But if you’re showing up and saying, Okay, well, this work that I get to do is going to help my clients fulfill not only their goals, but fulfill their soul, you know, their values, it’s gonna give them the opportunity to live a life that they want.”

15:52 Just be sure to listen to this part, I’m not going to spoil it.

19:12 Hear about the most rewarding thing Sanger gets to do in his work.

32:29 Why a lot of “money rules” don’t work for so many people.

41:52 One of the big mistakes that people make with their money.

How to get in touch with Sanger

On social media:

Sanger Smith’s Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanger-d-smith-b1690647/
Sanger Smith’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sangersmith/
Clearfork Wealth Management’s Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ClearforkWealthManagement

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Learn more about Sanger or get in touch with him via his website here.

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.

GGGB Intro  00:00

Coming up today on Guts, Grit & Great Business …

Sanger Smith  00:04

It’s a reflection of something that you value. Maybe you value experiences. You spend a lot of money going on vacations and having really great Saturday nights, but you eat ramen noodles, you know, every other night to be able to do that. Maybe you value security so you sock all your money away and you don’t do anything fun. Okay, whatever. There’s no right or wrong there.

GGGB Intro  00:30

The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit & Great Business podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell  01:04

Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington. I serve entrepreneurs around the world in protecting their online and offline businesses. Today, I am so excited to welcome you to another episode of Guts, Grit & Great Business. We have got my new friend, Sanger – I’m so excited that we had a few minutes to chat before we get started here. But Sanger Smith, who is a financial guru, based out of Texas, we’ve been talking about some projects, a lot of fun things going on in his life right now. And we’ve got a fun conversation in store today. So for those of you who don’t know, Sanger, as a high school student, Sanger began his first job at Clearfork Wealth Management, a nationally ranked financial advisory practice, it was clear from the start that he was a natural in the field. But he worked hard to learn all of the ins and outs of the industry. Celebrating 10 years this year with Clearfork Wealth Management, Sanger is now a managing partner at a firm that manages half a billion dollars. Sanger, I know there’s a lot more to you than that I mentioned – you live in Texas, you help business owners and entrepreneurs make better financial decisions and investments in their life. And I’m super excited to dig in how you know, into all the ins and outs of how you do that. What drives you in this work and what you really care about. So, share with us how did you get started? How did you get an interest in the financial world? 

Sanger Smith  02:41

Sure. First of all, thanks for having me on Heather. That’s a great question. Whenever I meet with prospects, that’s a question I feel obligated to answer. Because this is such a boring career. I tell people that all the time. My job, it you got to be a nerd to want to do this. Oh, when I you know, cook up some numbers in the cookout. sounds bad. But I want to you know, look at numbers all day and help people with their money. It’s not fun, you know, or exciting, right? It’s, it’s it, we like it. And we’re passionate about it once we get into it, but you got to be a nerd to want to do it. So I started working when I was 15. Four, my dad is a financial advisor. And really, I wasn’t doing anything of any substance, right? I’m scanning files and but during that time, I’m learning, hey, what’s a mutual fund how to stocks work all these things, and I hated it. I really hated it. I thought the whole I mean, you got to wear a jacket to work, you got to be professional. You got to talk to people the right way about these very boring topics, handling their money, that’s super important. And I can you know that’s a high stress. Well, then an old hunting rifle made me realize that I had to be an advisor. So my granddad Heather was this. You if you’ve ever been to Texas on a road trip and stopped by at a gas station in the middle of the dustbowl that my granddad was every guy walking around that gas station, Amy he had a pearl snap shirt every single time I ever saw him big bushy mustache real cowboy guy, right? So he loves to go hunting, and so did I. But we never got to go hunting together because he was in and out of the hospital for years and years and years. Anyway, ultimately, he passes away in April several years back, I think it was 1718. Seven months later. It’s deer season in Texas. And I’m walking through this field out near Heiko with his old Remington 25 six hanging on my shoulder. And so it’s early in the morning. Sun’s not up yet. It’s freezing cold. And I’m creeping through this field really, really slowly to get to my spot so I can hopefully see a beautiful deer this morning. And as I’m creeping real slowly, trying to not step on a branch not making noise. I smell out of nowhere. This fire burning. Like, okay, what what is what’s going on? I look over to my left, I don’t see any flames look up past the trees, there’s no smoke, look over to my right. And I start to realize it’s it’s old cigarette smoke, right clinging to this leather strap on the rifle. So, of course, I realized I’m not going to sneak up on a 12 point bucks smell like marbles. So I pack everything up. And I drive to the cemetery where he’s buried in this small town. And when I get there, I realize that there’s just a smooth pile of dirt on the spot where he was buried that I hadn’t been to since that April, but there wasn’t a headstone. And so in that moment, I learned that my granddad didn’t have enough money to pay for a headstone. And so I called my mom, I said, Why the heck does my granddad not have headstone? I’m sure it was a lot more angry when I asked that question. I said, Why the heck does he not have a headstone? And she says, I don’t know, I don’t know. And I said, Well, why don’t you pay for it. And she goes, Well, I paid for his funeral. And she hung up the phone. So I realized he didn’t have enough money to pay for his funeral, either. And so that moment, is what I reflect on when I realized this is that’s why I have to show up every day, and help people create a legacy that’s more meaningful, more impactful, more long lasting, everything, just more than material goods. I mean, I love that rifle. Right. But that’s, it could be so much more. Yeah. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  06:31

Yeah. Well, it’s, it’s fascinating that that story, that it just hit you in that moment, or sometime in that timeframe, you know, the impact of our choices that we make in this life, including the the long lasting, and far reaching financial choices that we make, right, not only around our own legacy, but how we end up impacting others who are left once we’re gone. And like you, I can relate to being in an industry where it doesn’t feel all that glamorous, or you know, to mean, like you have to be a bit of a nerd to have chosen that industry in the first place. And when I sat through, I took a business law course in undergrad and like other people are literally falling asleep in that course, right. It was a mandatory course for our business program. And I’m like front row, Joe, you know, totally, like, enjoying what it is that I’m learning in that business course. And anyways, long story short, I think, you know, where I sit now, like you the the impact that I really feel that I have is around helping people build legitimate businesses that allow them to have influence in their life and allow them to do things through their business. And I really see entrepreneurship business, you can also say finances as one of the greatest opportunities that we have in life for the expression of good right for the expression of ourselves and for the expression of good and influence in the world. And, and so the mission is so much bigger, right? It’s so much more than just looking at numbers, it’s so much more than just being good with spreadsheets or planning, right? It really is, like your core mission IC is really connected to people’s purpose and their legacy and what they want to either be remembered for the way they want to influence other people’s lives. Oh, absolutely. And I love what you said, giving people the opportunity are empowering them to have influence or provide influence, you know that when we talk about legacy influence, those things are so much bigger than money, right? I’m not showing up to work to help people have a bigger portfolio just for the sake of adding zeroes to their bank account. What What is the point of that? Right, just like I’m not trying to help people build businesses, same thing, just so they have more money in their account, like it goes way beyond the paperwork and the documents that I put in place for them. And it’s about helping them employ others, helping them get a message out into the world that changes lives, helping them do all of the things through their business that helped to raise What is it a rising tide lifts all boats? Right. So like you it’s not about sometimes what people think it’s about.

Sanger Smith  09:30

Yes, absolutely. I think that we’re both in industries where people approach us rightfully with a lot of skepticism, right? Oh, you’re, you know, how many lawyer jokes Have you heard?

Heather Pearce Campbell  09:43

Oh, my God, I can tell the few. Yeah, there’s some of the only like jokes I can actually remember.

Sanger Smith  09:51

I can empathize with as an advisor because I think that we might be the two top industries for just unleashing In the words, but you know, I’m saying people don’t exactly trust every advisor that they meet. People don’t exactly trust every lawyer that they meet, ensure there’s a lot of people that are not motivated by those things in both industries, right? People are motivated by money wherever you go. But I think you have to really be successful and have fulfillment. You have to have something that is more impactful, that you’re fighting for a deeper reason to continue to show up and do the boring paperwork that you have to do. And look at the boring graphs that I have to look at. Because it’s not always fun and glamorous and exciting. It’s not an adrenaline pumping job every single day. But if you’re showing up and saying, Okay, well, this work that I get to do is going to help my clients fulfill not only their goals, but fulfill their soul, you know, their values, it’s gonna give them the opportunity to live a life that they want. Yeah, not just checkbox,

Heather Pearce Campbell  11:05

right? Well, I think anytime people, you know, thoughtfully bring an advisor on board, it moves you out of the bucket of folks that are responding to life and like letting life happen to you and moves you into the planning side, where you get to be there with more intention, you get to create things in your life with a plan, with intention around and hopefully towards a bigger goal, right? So talk to us who who are your people that you really love to serve? Who is it that you primarily love to show up and work for every day in the course of your work? Sure, well,

Sanger Smith  11:45

the technical answer would be my minimum is anybody that has over half a million dollars of investable assets, if they have less than half a million dollars, I’m not working with them. But I make an exception for three people every year. And these are actually my favorite people to work with. So three people each year that have less than half a million, I don’t care where they are, I don’t care if they have $1, I don’t care if they have 499,000. All that I want is to know that they’re dedicated. They’re advice, receptive, I like them, they like me. And, and they are there with it. Right? They may not be there today, and of all ages, right of all ages, there are people in their 20s. They’re like, I’m just starting, I don’t know anything. There are people who are in their 50s that go, Hey, you know, I don’t really meet your asset minimum, but I just want to, I want to change, I really want to get on board with what you’re doing. And those are, you know, I can’t, that’s not exactly the the formula for great monetary success, but for emotional fulfillment for me, those people pay me way more than I could ever get from any other client, because they show up with the best attitude, they show up with the best attitude, we get to work on things, I get the ability to work with them in a way that number one, I don’t always get to do. Because sometimes I’m working with a we’re just managing money. And that’s how it takes a lot of work sometimes to get clients out of that mindset. But if I’m working with someone, there’s no money to manage. You’re educating them, I I’m getting to really, really, really talk about behavior, because that’s the only thing we can talk about. Right is behavior. And that’s really fun, right? Because that’s, to me, that’s the artistry side of financial planning. The science side is investment. And I, you know, if I had to pick, I’d rather be an artist than a scientist, I’m just not smart enough to be a scientist. So get into work with those people, young business owners, young entrepreneurs, they’re not cranking it out right now. You know, they’re not printing money, but they show up and they just say, Hey, man, I’m here to learn, I want to ride and they, they probably call me 10 times more than the client that has $2 million. And I probably spend, you know so much more time with them. I love to do it, because I know that we’re on the same pay. Do you see what I’m saying?

Heather Pearce Campbell  14:14

Well, I think that process of being able to educate a client so that you are not only helping them, you know, with the money side of their equation, but transforming who they show up as in the world. So for example, in my business, the way that I look at this is, you know, there’s a lot of places you can go for legal support out there in the world. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you know, you’ve got some options, some are going to be more expensive than others. But what’s missing in the marketplace is the ability to support entrepreneurs in a way that effectively deliver the legal tools that they need, and transform them as a leader of their own business. So in your instance, right, whether it’s somebody leading their own business or leading their own life, you know, and needing to make it financial decisions that are congruent with what they want to create, I think anytime we have the chance to transform somebody, the work is more meaningful.

Sanger Smith  15:09

Absolutely, absolutely. I think that to continue down that road, the my favorite people to work with are people that have a base level of introspection that I think is above the average person. Every time I go into a first meeting with somebody, I asked what is important about working with an advisor to you or something along that lines to kind of get basically like, why are you here? Right? I don’t say it like that, because it sounds rude. But But why are you here? And the first answer is always, what do you think? I mean, really, what do you think other?

Heather Pearce Campbell  15:46

The first answer of why they’re there, you

Sanger Smith  15:47

would go see an advisor? Yeah,

Heather Pearce Campbell  15:49

well, they’ve got a problem. Or they I mean, I don’t know, they need help.

Sanger Smith  15:52

They want to usually own and get better returns, or, you know, it’s just money level. Yeah, specific to the money. it’s specific to it’s, there’s $1 sign in that answers somewhere. And so, if I, when I go through the follow up questions, to understand, okay, but what’s important about that, what’s important about that, and I usually have to go through that 10 times right Layer Layer to give me an answer. But that’s not a real answer. Because there’s no value in that answer. That’s what I want to get better returns. Okay, what’s important by getting a better return? So I have a bigger portfolio, what’s important about getting a bigger portfolio, so I have more money to spend? What’s important about having more money to spend, though? Well, so I don’t have to worry. Okay, okay, we’re getting close. What’s important about not having to worry? Well, then my wife doesn’t have to worry. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere in how if your wife doesn’t have to worry, what’s the significance of that? Well, then I’ll have a better relationship with her. And I’ll probably get to spend more time with her doing the things that we love doing. Because my family’s The most important thing. Whoa, okay. But are you told me was you wanted to get 8% next year? Mm hmm. Right. Some people, I can go through that exercise with them. And they will never arrive at the point where they’re willing to tell me what’s really actually important to them. Some people will never get there.

Heather Pearce Campbell  17:19

I believe it. And I think that’s part of why the money conversation is so hard. In our society, I think we have a lot of shame around our relationship to in our habits with money, we end up inheriting a lot of patterns from our parents and our upgraded, good and bad, right, there’s, there’s just a lot that happens with money. And, and we’re also judged on the outside by how much money we do or don’t have, right? There’s a lot of shame and judgment that goes on with these conversations about money. And, and we do a lot of judging ourselves in the same regard. You know, probably How many times have you heard, depending on when people intersect your path, like, Oh, I should be farther along than I am now. I thought I would know, I thought I would have more saved by this stage. Or I thought I thought I thought and I think the end of the day, the reality is that our money reflects the, it is one of the ways that we express our values. Right? And which is why that conversation, it’s a tool, but it’s it is one of the ways that we express our values in the world. Because if we value something, we will spend our money on it, or we won’t right, depending on what it is. But it’s also what makes that conversation really hard. In a marriage in a family, right? People value different things. They have different expressions, they have different ways that they express those values in the world, including by using their money. So I’m curious because I know you do some, you know, talking about values based decision making and values based planning. Do you want to share with us some of your insights around that topic?

Sanger Smith  18:57

Yes, I this is one of my most passionate topics when it comes to the work that I do. Because investing is Yeah, it’s interesting. Yes, I love it. Okay, obviously, I’m good at it. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. But getting to understand a client’s values and having their their the actions that they take with their money align with those values, is the biggest and most rewarding thing that I get to do. It’s so much more rewarding than getting somebody X percent a year in their portfolio. So exactly what you said Heather is what I’ve learned by doing this being in this industry is that the choices that we make with our money are a reflection of our values. They are a reflection of what you buy, down to the Starbucks latte that you got this morning is a reflection of something that you value. Maybe you value experiences, you spend a lot of money going on vacations and having really great Saturday nights, but you eat ramen noodles, you know every other All right to be able to do that, maybe you value securities. So you sock all your money away, and you don’t do anything fun. Okay, whatever. There’s no right or wrong there. So what I do with clients is when they come in, in the second meeting, once we’ve agreed to work together, is I have them go through an exercise where we identify their top five core values. And I like to do it, if it’s a couple, as a married couple, I like to do it for both spouses, and have your individual values Don’t try to come up with a family values, though, that can be really good. But usually, I’m gonna have both of you in here, when we’re making decisions. And I need all of us to know that Bob values this and Mark values this, right, I need us to all be on the same page, that there’s a disconnect. So we can compromise because I can’t sit here and get you got I can’t play mediator, I have to let you make a decision anyway. So I have them identify their top five. And what we do is we make sure that all of the number one that goals that we’re setting, line up with those values, which is that’s the easy part. Because nobody comes to me, Heather and wants to set a goal that’s in conflict with their values, right? Right. No, that just doesn’t happen. security and stability are really important to me, but I’m going to pull out all my money from my 401k and go sail around the world for a year, that doesn’t happen. So the goals need to be aligned to the values, but the actions need to be lined up to both the goals and the values. And that’s where people get tripped up. Right. So I’ve got to identify the values. First, what I what I share with people is that we’ve got an ideal version of who we want to be, right, you have some version of who you want to be other, I have some version of who I want to be to. And when I think of that version of myself, that Sanger is eating a certain way and exercising a certain way and spending his money a certain way, and dresses a certain ways, doing all these things that are just better than what I’m doing now. Right? The reason it’s better is because I don’t live up to my values every single day, that ideal version of me would. Now the only way I have a chance to get to become that ideal version of myself is to first identify those values, so I can live up to them. So identify them, then every time I have an A decision point, I’m reflecting on those values. So every time I meet with clients, I pull up those values before we even start the meeting. And I say, look, these are your top five. Remember that Heather, you picked this. Now, I don’t need you to do anything with this information right now at this moment. But we’re going to probably make a decision today. And so now you know that that’s in your brain, it’s in my brain. And if we have if that decision becomes tough to make, we’re going to come back and reflect on these and make sure that it lines up with one of the five values that you said it was important to you. Not that I said was important. Because a lot of people look to me as an advisor, they want not everybody a small fraction, want a decision to come from me. I can’t do that, especially with a married couple that disagrees? Well, should we buy this house or this house? What do you think’s? I don’t know, you can do either one. Right? It doesn’t matter. It’s about what is important to you? Is security important to you? Or is experiences important to you the cool things you’re going to get to do in the backyard of this bigger house that’s harder to afford? Or is the security instability important to you in this house? You’re not gonna have very cool experiences, but you’re gonna have security instability.

Heather Pearce Campbell  23:44

Right? Yeah. And I think I think you’re right, that the action part because I think people when they dig down, like they know what they value, but it doesn’t always translate into our behaviors into our decision making. You know, I think we have different pressure points in our life that can lead us to make decisions that are not always consistent with what should be our true path. I’m curious what you see in the financial world, because I really like this, you know, going inward to make decisions that are consistent with where we’d like to be. What What kinds of advice do you see being given in the financial world that you feel like is just wrong advice that maybe you see a lot of or that you have, it’s been around for a while and that people tend to follow without thinking about it?

Sanger Smith  24:37

Okay, that’s a good question. So I see this, particularly for younger people, right for your Gen X and millennials, who have been told that the reputation the stereotype is lazy, they don’t have anything going for him. Yeah, they’re just leeches on society. And all of those negative comments come from the jet. That raised them. So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But that’s the stereotype, the financial advice that is given to them. There’s a lot, but there’s a couple big ones. So one is avoid all that. Get rid of your debt, get rid of it as quickly as possible. Well, okay. In theory, yes, yes. I don’t want you to show up into my office with 80 grand in credit card debt, we’re not going to be able to do a whole lot for you. Right? With that 29% interest rate, you’ve got going? You’re in a hole, okay. Yes. But But people take that to the extreme and say, zero debt. Right? I should have zero debt. Okay, well, interest rates are at all time lows right now. So if you are going to finance your car at 3% interest, or withdraw your money from your investment account, that was probably making eight plus, that’s a silly decision. So so what I say instead is you should be able to not be in debt, you should be able to not be in debt. Now, that’s totally different than you should have zero debt.

Heather Pearce Campbell  26:13

Right? Because it may at some point be a wise decision to leverage a little debt if it helps you meet your end goal.

Sanger Smith  26:21

Yes. So Heather, I had a client come to me, probably a year ago, maybe less than a year said, Hey, we are going to remodel our home. And they did a great thing by asking me, you know, that I’m not shaming them for asking me. But this is the mindset is, hey, we’re remodeling our home, should we take a loan out? Or should we just pay for it with our investments? I said, Well, what’s the interest rate? 1.9? Well, okay, let’s look at what your investments have done over the past 15 years. And what do you think, do you think we can beat 1.9 that’s a pretty low bar. So what I share with people is, if you when you’re making a purchase outside of your primary residence, outside of your primary, that’s the only real exception outside of your primary residence, you should be able to pay cash for that. You should be able to pay cash for that car, you should be able to pay cash for that second home. That doesn’t mean you should doesn’t mean you should, especially if you’re a business and business owners know that, right? business owners know that, but carry you can carry that over to some extent in your, in your personal life. And I know that goes counter to what very successful, you know, financial Talking Heads, say Dave Ramsey, Suzy Orman, okay. The important thing to remember is that their audience, right, if you’re sitting here listening to this podcast, you’re probably not in Dave Ramsey’s audience. Yeah. Okay. He is speaking to a different crowd. He’s speaking to people. God bless him, he found a way to make money serving people that don’t have money. It’s amazing. not taking anything away from him. But he has to take a hard line. Because what he is doing is speaking to people that are in the hole,

Heather Pearce Campbell  28:14

Right, they have to get out of the hole first.

Sanger Smith  28:17

Yeah, they had a behavioral problem that got them to where they are. And so he has to go, “Hey, man.” No, you know, it’s like talking to pets

Heather Pearce Campbell  28:26

It’s a snowball, right, get out of it.

Sanger Smith  28:28

Yeah, it’s great. And it helps people in the people that abide by the it changes their life. But it’d be like taking all of your nutrition advice from what’s your face on the biggest loser. Jillian Michaels, who says, you know, no junk food? None? Well, okay, you can have some, but if you were 400 pounds last year? You probably shouldn’t.

Heather Pearce Campbell  28:55

Actually, that nutrition example is a great example. There’s a guy that I follow named Jade, and I’m not sure how to say his last name, Teta or Te-da. But he lives in the nutrition health world, knows a ton about women’s hormones and weight loss and all of this stuff. And he goes against so much of the mainstream advice about these hardcore rules. And he said, Look, for some people, having, you know, 300 calories of junk food in a day is not going to blow their diet, and it will actually help them stay on track the rest of the time. Right. And I think some of that can carry over into our financial life. If we’re able to occasionally have a meal out or enjoy a coffee or do something that makes our life enjoyable, we may be more likely to stick to our otherwise what may seem like hard savings and spending rules right rather than a budget. Right? And so I think it is that balance of like, how do you enjoy life and do it in a way that meets your goals, which may require some restriction or behavioral change or whatever.

Sanger Smith  30:04

Sure. And as long as we’re limiting the impulsive nature of those transactions, those decisions, right? Because impulse and really in any emotion can derail that, right? Because we can have great goals and be on track for those goals. And we’ve identified right our values, but then an emotion comes in, and it can be big or small, right? It could be going out to dinner and getting an appetizer. I’m really excited about having a good night. Okay, that $15 not going to kill you. Yeah, that’s not going to derail your financial plan. And you’re not going to have to retire later. Because you you got some fried okra. But when it’s a house, how, yes, excitement can can derail you, it’s excitement, it’s harder to recognize, because it’s a positive emotion. It’s really easy for people to recognize fear, or anxiety, you know, something like negative emotion. They go, oh, maybe my, my anger is causing me to make decisions. I say easy, relatively compared to excitement, right? But any emotion that comes in, requires me to reflect purposely consciously upon my values, and go Okay, regardless of whether or not I’m excited, afraid, happy, sad, mad, whatever it is, Can Can I justify this decision against my values and my goals? Can I justify buying this house against a goal that I have? Is it here? Okay. Yes, it is, was to buy a house? Okay. What about my values? What about my values? Is it in there? And if you can’t, then then you know the answer.

Heather Pearce Campbell  31:44

Now I like I mean, it’s a much like the the layers of decision making, right, the layers of looking at goals and and values, it becomes a much more finely tuned picture than if you’re just making decisions on the surface based on rules.

Sanger Smith  32:01

Yes, yeah. Yeah, there’s no rules. I mean, there, there really aren’t very many rules that you have to follow in the financial world.

Heather Pearce Campbell  32:10

But you hear a lot of them, right? Even like we were just talking about, you hear a lot of rules, where it’s like, oh, well, if I just do this, I’m gonna be okay. Right. But it’s really about creating that picture that works for you, that is multi layered, that sets you up for success, but allows you the freedom to still do what it is

Sanger Smith  32:27

exactly. The reason that you hear rules are because though that information is coming down, regardless of who it’s from Dave Ramsey, or some article you found on Yahoo, that is directed at a mass audience, the only real way to get my information out there is to set a rule out no debt, don’t have debt, you know, and I’m clients come to me with a lot of rules embedded in them. Well, I’ve got to have, you know, in what, wherever they get it from, I’ve got to have this percentage of bonds, because I’m going to retire. Well, I can only pull this percentage of my portfolio. Okay. But well, who is that rule for, you know, your 50. That rule is for 70 year olds, so that’s not gonna work, you know, it’s not the same thing. So there’s so many rules that, that just don’t, it just don’t work because you’re an individual. So all of my clients are individuals, I, there is nothing that I can do for one client, that’s going to exactly work for any other client, because all of my clients have their unique values. But even they also have their unique goals. So it’s not just about the goal, because then I could say, Oh, well, if you want to buy a house in 10 years for $500,000, you got to do that. Or that or no, no, no. Oh, you have that you should pay it off. Well, I mean, yeah, probably a good idea. But there’s some nuance here, right? There’s some there’s some nuance here.

Heather Pearce Campbell  33:58

That sounds like you really love actually living in that nuance.

Sanger Smith  34:03

I love it. I love it. If I wasn’t an advisor, I would want to be an artist and the artistry of being an advisor is what’s exciting. And I you know, yeah, that sounds weird. You don’t hear that very often. It’s like, Yes, I don’t like rules.

Heather Pearce Campbell  34:17

I totally get what you’re saying. It’s like a combination of a life coach involved in your money picture, right? Because you are digging into things that are at the forefront of people’s lives and minds and you know, and deeply held in their hearts whether or not they acknowledge it, right. They may start with a number story, like, Oh, I need to be making x per year. But there’s something underneath that.

Sanger Smith  34:40

Sure. And most people do start with that, right? Most people start with the numbers most people and that’s just because of what’s available in the industry. Most people come and and I’ll be really, really clear, not 100% of my clients, allow me to engage them this way. Right. You know, there are some That just don’t that’s okay, fine. Hey, man, I’ll do, I’ll do the advice. I’ll do what you exactly what you expect an advisor to find. You’re not going to let me in, I can’t make you. That’s okay. I just the clients that do they get the most out of it. Yeah, they get the most out of it. So I met with a client just a couple of weeks ago, who is one of my favorite clients to work with, he has so much money that I told him, he, I showed him this was like, you could lose a million dollars, you could flush it down the drain, you could put the rest of your money in cash gets 0%, you could lose money to inflation every single year. And everything that you’re telling me that you want to do, you will be able to do it, because that’s just your situation. Yet he still wasn’t doing anything, he still was not spending this money. Right. And so I said, my goal for you is not to get you to spend this money for no good reason. Right? But my goal is to get you to live a fulfilled life with this money that you have. And how can we do that? So I reflected on his values, right? And I said, Well, one of your values is relationships. Now you’re a single man living in a small town of 200 people, you have the money to buy relationships. And he goes, What the heck are you talking about? I said, you can buy your way into connection with people. I’m not saying you have to move because he goes, I don’t want to move out there. You don’t have to. You don’t have to. But you can buy a second home in a city. And he goes, What? I said, Yeah, look, I told you, you could lose a million dollars, why don’t you put that towards, you know, anything that would allow you to go into somewhere where there’s people, because also I could like, I could buy like an escape loft. And so we call it the escape loft. And so he started talking about I’m like, yeah, you can, you can where you want to go, because you can pay to fly there once a month, because I can I show. But my point with that is now this guy’s talking to real estate agents, looking at, you know, condos and houses in, in cities across the country, to just say, Where can I go and meet people, and he’s still gonna live in his tiny town. And he’s still gonna have the same lifestyle that he had. But now he his lies lit up, like I can’t tell you that one conversation is was so exciting and fulfilling to me. Because I got to see this guy recognize, oh, I am going to actually enjoy.

Heather Pearce Campbell  37:37

Right this money, right? Well, and this is where the power of an advisor to help show us the map. Like if we don’t have the skills, or the way to look at that ourselves, I think it’s just so powerful the way that you can support somebody’s life and actually change the decisions that they’re making right now, that actually create, you know, greater alignment for them and what they really want. So, and I know, we could probably talk all day, just about like the money and the finances, I want the audience to get to know you a little bit better. On the personal side, like I know, you are a hiker, and you’re into martial arts, and you have these other interesting topics that you have found a way to tie into the conversations and the stories that you tell about money. I want to share with us a little bit about that.

Sanger Smith  38:27

I treat and I think you’re going to resonate with this. Like if you really love your job, you’d love your career. It’s not it, doesn’t it? You know, you carry that hat with you everywhere you go, right. And so I tell the younger advisors on my team, I’m like, Guys, you you have to be an advisor everywhere you go. And if you don’t want to be an advisor, every single where you go every step you take, just you need to accept your fate. And that’s different type of lifestyle, right? So I have learned so many lessons from applying my values, in the same way that I coach clients to make decisions with their money that are based on their values. I make decisions about my money, of course, based on my values, but my life. So one of my values is challenges. Now that’s not a value that everybody has. That’s okay, that’s another value that everybody has. So for me, it’s challenging, so I specifically seek out things I think are hard, right? One is jujitsu. jujitsu is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. If you don’t know what jujitsu is, it’s involuntary yoga with two people. So what you just go into a padded room with your psychotic friends, you slap hands, and then you try to strangle each other and break each other’s arms, right to the point of devastating damage and then you tap out and reset and do it all over again. And we show up every day. We do that for fun. I learned through through jujitsu. I train under one of the best in the world. His name’s Travis looter in Fort Worth. I learned that so many lessons but number one is You can get hurt if you’re overconfident. So I have been training for a couple of years before I go train at Travis’s. Right. And I show up on that first day. And I’m saying I thought I was really good at this other gym. I would show up every day and I would smoke everybody at this other gym. So I go to Travis’s gym and I think I’m going to be okay, right. And I’m trying to with all these guys about my same age, doing pretty well, feeling really, really good. Then after about five, six rounds, I don’t know something like that. I hear a voice call out from behind me and say, Hey, you ready? I kind of look over my shoulder. And I saw this woman who noticed respect. I mean, she’s about my mom’s age, right? And she weighs nothing, you know, the wind would blow her over. And so I said, Yeah, okay. Yeah, sure. And so I slap hands with her. And for the next five minutes straight, she embarrassed me beyond belief. I mean, she twisted me up like a pretzel. She was squeezing my neck until my face was turning purple. Now, I was trying with all of my strength, all of my technique, everything that I had, and I knew jujitsu at this point. I had been training for years. I’m telling you, I could not do anything. You remember seeing cartoons as a kid. And you see people falling in quicksand. how hard I tried to run and can’t get out. This is how I felt the entire time this lady was having an I kid you not an entire conversation with someone who is sitting on a bench about her son’s upcoming high school graduation party the entire time, she was smoking me. And so I realized, oh, if you’re overconfident, you can really really have physical pain as a consequence. Now that’s true in a fight, right? Am I gonna go pick a fight? Now I will pick a fight with anyone. I don’t care if they’re middle aged woman. Alright, I’m not under estimating anybody. But you can get hurt with your money over by being overconfident. You know, I don’t really need advice. I’m good. I can make these investing decisions on my own. Hey, man, maybe Maybe,

Heather Pearce Campbell  42:04

yeah, now you see it, you see people who make decisions based on their life experience and companies that they like. And so they put a whole bunch of money into really specific investments, right. And they might do well for a time. But if they don’t have an overall strategy that supports, you know, consistent growth and consistent risk management, it’s super easy in the financial world to get in over your head.

Sanger Smith  42:28

Oh, oh, it’s so easy. You know, and literally one question I if this can save one person from making a silly mistake, if this would all be worth it. I have one question that makes that has stopped so much of that other. And that question is I show someone they say, Well, I want to do this, and whether it’s I want to put you know, half a million dollars into this private equity deal that I found this, you know, private company, I want to concentrate it all into this thing. And it’s a whole life savings. I’m gonna do this, just like you’re saying, Okay, how sad would you be if it didn’t work out? Yeah. How sad would you be if it all went to zero? And that simple question. I use the word sad. How sad would you be? Because you’re going to be sad. You’re not going to be disappointed how savage me? Now sometimes people say not at all, because they’re in a place that they actually can do that. Yeah, that’s usually not that’s usually not the people that I’m asking this. If I say how sad would you be they’d go, Oh, I jump off a building? Oh, well, then what are we doing? Are they go? I mean, it would ruin Christmas. Okay, well, when we can tolerate that, you know, that’s, there’s a, there’s a degree but we just need to be, we need to really, really, really, really, really understand that the worst case scenario, right? You need to have a crystal clear picture of worst case scenario. And if you are not okay, with worst case scenario, I’m not saying you would accept it. But if you can’t survive it, what you really probably shouldn’t do whatever you’re talking about. Yeah.

Heather Pearce Campbell  44:05

Yeah, no, it’s a similar. I have a similar question that I asked certain of my clients around like branding and protecting the brand, or company name or whatever it is that they’re building. And if you could no longer use that brand name, or signature program or product or course name or whatever. And somebody else in the marketplace owned it. Yeah. Right.

Sanger Smith  44:27

How sad would you be?

Heather Pearce Campbell  44:28

Right? How sad would you be like, how frustrated would you feel? Because if the answer is that you’re devastated, you need to do something about protecting it right now. Like you need to line up for money. Yeah, you need to line up the intellectual property protection plan to make sure you take care of that. Because, yeah, the risks. I mean, they’re there and they’re real, and especially in the financial world, when people are making decisions that have a significant amount of impact and they don’t necessarily have the skills that it takes to be making Making that particular decision right? Or the right context for the way to approach making that decision. So that’s why we need people like you.

Sanger Smith  45:08

I think that’s perfect. I mean, sometimes it’s great when when somebody can you can ask them that question, say, hey, how sad. Would you be napkins? Whatever?

Heather Pearce Campbell  45:16

Yeah, right. They’ve got flexibility.

Sanger Smith  45:18

Yeah, that’s fantastic. You got enough enough businesses. So if someone steals your branding, you’re, you’re good to good. You’re good. Yeah. Oh, God, you’re killing it. But you need to be able to

Heather Pearce Campbell  45:30

confidently say that, right? Well, in the alternate is if they don’t care too much about it like, Well, you know, I’m also like, what are you doing? What are you doing building a business or a brand where you don’t care about like you? So it’s kind of the flip side of that same coin. But it’s a really important question. And I’m sure that there’s a gazillion more where that came from when it comes to people’s money and what’s driving certain decisions. I feel like this probably the tip of the iceberg. For folks that are listening, where do you like to connect either online? Or how do you connect with folks, for somebody that’s like, you know what, I want to reach out, I want to learn more about saying or in his business, his work? Where do you recommend people go find you? Sure. Well, my parents gave me the best marketing gift of all time. And that’s a weird first name. So like, thank you, thank you, Mom and Dad

Sanger Smith  46:23

We are easy to find. At clearforkwealth.com. That’s my business. That’s our website. Alright, that’s where you can find us.

Heather Pearce Campbell  46:32

Awesome. Well, and I’ll share that link. Anything else I know, even before we went live, you chatted about some projects that are under way. If those are live, and you want anything else for me to share with the audience, I’ll plug those into the show notes. So folks, if you’re listening, be sure to go visit Sanger visit his links, get to know more about his business, at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Sanger, it’s been so nice to connect with you and hear about your approach, the way that you advise your clients and things that you have them think about, I know, there’s a lot more there. Do you have any final thoughts for people that are still hanging with us and listening?

Sanger Smith  47:11

First of all, thank you, again, so much. This is a blast, I had so much fun, the one thing that I would leave everyone with is if you write your goals on your bathroom mirror, your values need to be right next to them. That’s it, see how that changes, because it’ll have the same impact that the goals on that post it note.

Heather Pearce Campbell  47:29

I love it, it’s so there’s one thing that I’ll add to that, because a lot of times and I’ve went through this, I just led a group of women through a daily course where I woke up every morning, we met on zoom at 6am for an hour, and we did some really powerful work together. And this this connection between goals and values, because I feel like the world really gets it wrong when they teach us how to write goals, right and how to even create goals. And oftentimes, when we’re creating a goal, we’re thinking about how we think we’re going to feel when we accomplish that goal, right? So that’s often what drives our goals is it’s that promise of like, oh, I’ll feel so much more amazing about myself, if I’ve lost 15 pounds or all, you know, I’ll just I will know that I have arrived. If I have $300,000 in my savings account or whatever, right? It’s, it’s how we think we’re gonna feel that’s often what is motivating our goals.

Sanger Smith  48:31

It’s a big let-down most of the time.

Heather Pearce Campbell  48:32

Yes, this is the reality is that then what happens when you get there is like, you’ve actually got the same old life you always had you now just are 15 pounds lighter, or you’ve got 300k in the bank, and you still have the same problems. Yes, right. And so the thing is, though, it’s really fun to have this conversation actually about values and goals, because one of the things I lead these women through is a values exercise where we all got connected to our values, and we had to write them out. But also, if we look at our values, like there is a feeling that is created by acknowledging and living from our values, right? And, and if we also acknowledge that we often do the the wrong approach to our goal setting and instead think about how you want to feel and make choices in alignment with that feeling right now, today, not put it off as some future event, right? Yes. And our values help us keep alignment with that. Anyways,

Sanger Smith  49:35

I just love so much what you have to say about connecting goals and values. And that’s how we find fulfillment, right? And the flip side of that is, you may and I think this is what you’re getting at, you’re gonna have, like I said earlier, rarely Will you see a goal that’s in conflict to Baptists. That’s just doesn’t happen. But what happens so much is values that don’t have any goal. You have this value, but you Have no golf for it, you’re not doing anything. So you didn’t just set a goal to have a goal, right? But you have a value that needs a goal. And it needs a goal. Why so that you can take action that’s fulfilling it. So for me, that was about a month ago, I was just at this point, right? I knew I felt stuck. I was like, in my personal life, like, Hey, man, I’m not loving it as much as I should be. You know, I got everything going for me got great family, making good money, you know, I love my job. Why am I not loving my life? And my friends are great, everything’s awesome. But I just didn’t feel good. And so I reflected on my values. I said, Oh, well, I don’t have a challenging goal. There’s no challenging goal for me. So I said, Well, I’m going to run, I’m going to do an Iron Man. And so I set that goal. And literally the moment I set the goal, I was just so much happier. I had to tell everyone, I am still so good. I’m so happy. And I started waking up and I started running, I can swim and doing all the things. Now I have not run the Ironman yet. And the fact that I still have to run an Ironman is is dreadful, right? That’s awful. I I’m not actually looking forward to, but having the goal. And knowing Oh, I have a challenge now is every single day I’ve got that and it just brings me so much fulfillment. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  51:21

I love that. Well, I think it’s a great place to end on especially now as we’re hunkered down, we’re still going to be in COVID. I mean, we’re recording this in the midst of COVID and spikes around the country. But we’ll still be there in a few months. And I think reconnecting to our values, especially when times are hard is just so critical. Now more than ever. Sanger, so great to connect with you. I appreciate the work you’re doing and so glad to have you on the podcast. Big Thank you. I hope you’ll be in touch when you your some of your projects are coming to fulfillment. I’m excited to hear about that. 

Sanger Smith  51:55


Heather Pearce Campbell  51:55

All right. Thank you. 

Sanger Smith  51:57

Thanks, Heather.

GGGB Outro  52:01

Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit & Great Business podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more. See the show notes which can be found at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.