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This episode is a business coaching course that provides information on learning how to save.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Notable Quotable: "[Being a steward] means to watch over something for someone else as if it was your own."
  • Between 60% and 80% of athletes in the NBA and NFL go bankrupt within five years of retirement, despite making an average of $5.15 million per season. www.gq.com
  • Ask Yourself: Do I consider the upkeep costs when purchasing something new?
  • Lesson Nugget: Use your goals to direct your spending and where you want to go in life.

accoutning teaching like amazing.com, time management

-What's up, guys? My name is Daniel McKenna. I'm the executive producer here at Thrive15, the online training website for time management, sales, marketing and pr. And today Clay Clark is going to be sitting down with NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson. Now, David Robison has made a little bit of money during his NBA career. A lot NBA players do. But a lot of NBA players happen to also go broke shortly after their career is over. David is actually going to be talking to us about the importance of living below your means.

Whether you happen to be a multimillionaire like David Robison, or maybe you make $10,000 a year. The point isn't how much money are you making, the point is how are you treating that money? How does that affect your lifestyle and your decisions about how you spend that money? David is going to be talking to us about a little bit how to live below your means, regardless of how much money you have. Here at Thrive we believe that knowledge without application is meaningless.

Unless you actually learn something today and take something from today's lesson and apply it to your business, watching today's lesson is going to be more meaningless than recording the entire Thrive15 catalog of lessons onto a vinyl record-- like this, when you'd sit-in in your house and play this and listen to it. And you learn a lot, but it would sound great because vinyl is not digital. The audio is not compressed.

-Dave, how are you, sir?

-Clay, good to see you today.

-Hey, thank you, my friend. We're here to talk about saving money to buy opportunities. And David, I think a lot of people view saving as a chore. Like, I don't want to save. Saving? But yet, it allows us later to buy opportunities. And I'd like to ask you this-- what does it mean-- you hear people say you should be a good steward of your money. What does it mean to be a good steward of financial resources in your mind?

-Well, a steward is one who watches over for someone else. So the idea is that it really doesn't belong to you, you're just a caretaker of. And it typically is associated as a word of faith, being a steward of whatever God has given you. So we think of our blessings, our finances, our resources, as something that God has given us. Even our children. God has given them to us and we need to be stewards over them until they go out into the world. So it just means to watch over something for someone else as if it were your own.

-So if you're watching over your money, if you have that viewpoint, I don't think that the following stat would actually possible, but here's the stat. About 60% to 80% of retired professional football and basketball players go bankrupt within five years of retirement. Now from your first hand perspective, you've seen guys-- I know the Spurs organization, you don't really talk about money a lot in the locker room. But you saw guys, I'm sure, who maybe made more money than you, or less money than you.

You saw the way they spent their money. You could see some of it firsthand. What's going on, and why aren't people being a better steward of their money when they're making that sort of paycheck?

-Really it's just a lack of knowledge. It's lack of understanding. It always seems like you have more money than you actually do. And if you don't plan very well, you can easily run out of money. If you buy something, you need to put aside money to upkeep that thing. So those are things that I think guys generally don't consider. And at the end of the day when they have to pay out all the maintenance and the replacement and all of the things that don't ever return anything back to you, they end up with a lot less than they think.

-Do you remember when you received your first large check? Did you feel like half of it was missing after you paid taxes? I mean, did you have any idea how much taxes were going to be at that point.

-I heard the numbers. But it didn't really hit me until actually after I had to write the tax check. So I think when you get your first check and you think it's all yours, there's a number that's in your mind and it's in your spirit and you think, I can spend this. But that's not actually true.

-Well, one thing I found in America-- I work with a lot of business owners. And I'll find a small business owner. Let's say he makes $50,000 a year. Let's say he makes $100,000 a year. Whatever that number is. They'll usually spend that entire amount, not factoring in taxes or maintenance and things like that. And it seems like no matter how much somebody makes, whether it's NBA or NFL or if it's the neighbor down the street, it seems like people really do spend everything they make. So I want to know from your perspective, when you got into the league, did you have a mindset that you were going to start setting money aside from day one? Or when did you become a good steward of your money?

-I was very fortunate, I think, from the day one when I came in. I understood that I was going to be better off if I could save as much as I could. I was in a fortunate position where I could sign a long term contract and I knew there would be a sum of money there relatively guaranteed. So my initial thought was, I'd better put some of this money away and save it. Other people come in and they have a less stable career. And in those situations, it's even more imperative that they understand this may last, this may not last, but I need to put some of this away for future endeavors.

-Let's say that I hired you to be my financial consultant, or let's say that you were sitting down with one of your sons or something--

-Disclaimer-- I am not a financial. But I will give you whatever.

-Well, let's see about that disclaimer. Let's just say, though, that I was reaching out to you from a mentor-ship perspective and just said hey, how much money should I be setting aside on a monthly basis? As far as a percentage, do you have any tips on that of what you could do to encourage somebody as far as what would be some good just basic fundamental rules for setting money aside?

-Man, I have no tips. I mean, I think you have to understand what your goals are. If you really are thinking long term and you really want to put away money for tomorrow, then you need to save a significant amount of it. But if you think you are going to be successful and prosperous and you have this steady stream coming in, then obviously that number's going to be smaller that you try to put away. But I just suggest to people that, number one, I like to tithe.

I like to set aside my first fruits, the very, very first bits of my money, and giving thanks to God and just understanding, hey, what a blessing. I'm lucky even have this. And I think that gets your mind in kind of a good frame of mind, where you're understanding that this was a gift. I'm blessed to have this. And then the rest of the money you have to sort through


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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Ask Yourself: Do I have money at the top of my list of priorities? Do I need to change my priorities?
  • Notable Quotable: "You should not be living in any way that is unsustainable for your income level."
  • Lesson Nugget: The way you spend you money says a lot about you, and can make an impression on others.
  • Ask Yourself: What do my spending habits say about me?


-Let me ask you this. When you say tithe-- let's pretend I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you break it down for me? One, what does the tithe mean? And then two, sort of, what is it mean? Are you paying the tithe off of when you first get paid? Are you paying it at the end? Just kind of walk me through what that means.

-Well, a tithe is another term that's generally associated with faith, with religion. But a tithe is typically 1/10 of what you earn. And it's really designed to give back to God, to really show where your priorities are. I don't remember who first-- it was proven in the Old Testament. Someone in the Old Testament was asked to tithe-- I wish I knew that off the top of my head.

But it was maybe Melchizedek or someone like that. But it was in the early days of scripture. And that was to show that God was the very first fruits-- as a matter of fact, Cain and Abel. That's the very first example of a tithe. God asked them both to give a percentage of their stock and I think it was a Cain who grudgingly gave God a percentage and he didn't give him his very best.

He gave him the leftover and the less desirable part of his fortune. His wicked heart showed out in the end. So I think when we talk about money, we need to understand that money is a blessing. It can be a blessing. But it's clear that money is also the root of all evil. Man, the love of money is the root of all evil.

So you have to put it in its proper perspective. And so when we're dealing with budgeting, we're dealing with money, we need to understand its level of importance in our lives. It should not be at the top of the list.

-I have found that a lot of entrepreneurs, if we want to buy opportunities-- ultimately, if you want to get in the game, if we want to start a business, we're going to need a little bit of capital. And I have found that if we can save money-- you have two options, really. One, you can make more. Or, two, you can kind of live below your means a little bit.

You can say, you know what? This year, I'm going to pull back in this area so I can save some money and then start a company or that sort of thing. Do you believe in-- because I think right now, whatever your financial status is, you could probably ratchet it up and buy more stuff and buy more things. Do you believe in the concept of living frugally or living below your means? Or what's your thoughts on just how to manage those funds?

-I'm a big proponent of always living below your means, always. I can't think of any reason why you should find yourself living above your means. You shouldn't be living in any way that's unsustainable for your income level. I think that that is a big mistake and that's typically where I think a lot of the guys get in trouble, especially as athletes. We get in trouble when we start to do that.

-You're a big family man. And they say in families that one of the number one causes for divorce is financial issues, where a wife spends a certain amount, a guy spends a certain amount. Whatever reason or another, they don't talk about it. They get into a fight about it, that sort of thing. And I don't want to get too personal in it but I think there are a lot of people who are watching who are married and they're looking for a little guidance here.

Do you and your wife get together and talk about money ever? Or is it kind of a deal where you handle it and she doesn't handle it? Or do you have somewhat of a system for how as a-- if I'm a married person and I'm trying to figure out how to do this thing, is there some sort of reference that you'd like to give me or some sort of--

-I'm a math major. I'm a money guy. I'm a number guy. I kind of can figure that stuff out so that tends to be my responsibility in the household. But you know I think really the key is-- like I said, having it in its proper perspective. Because in a relationship, where you place your money, that will be where your heart is. And so it's very telling.

And I think it's one of the clearest ways whether you can see whether someone loves you. The guy may think, well, I'm not spending all my money on this girl and the girl says, well, I can see where your heart is. I can see where your affections are-- certainly not with me. And the guy may think that's ridiculous and the girl may go by that. But you know money does tell a lot about a person. It tells a lot about where your heart is.

-Do you, as far as communicating about money-- say it's a business partner. So you're partnered with some people and then you're also married to somebody who's your partner. Do you think it's important to be very transparent when you communicate with those in your inner circle, your business partners, about money? Or what are some of your rules for communication about money?

-Well, money is a tricky thing. I think it is always important to be transparent about money. I don't care what the situation is, whether it is at home or whether it is in a business with a partner, money has a way of creating division like nothing I've ever seen. And like I said, your heart is so closely tied with your fortune that it is the clearest way people could tell what type of person you are. If you are a generous person, they can see that that is where your heart is.

If you are not a generous person, we go into a restaurant and you don't leave a tip for someone who has been working hard, then that tells me a lot about where your heart is. So money is a tricky thing. You want to make sure that when you give people an impression, that is the correct impression about where your heart is.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: If you are having troubles with your money, find someone who is good with money and let them help you.
  • Lesson Nugget: Money isn't inherently evil. The way you treat money will determine of it is used for good or bad.
  • Lesson Nugget: The love of money will make you selfish, greedy, and unaffectionate toward people.

-There is a book called The Millionaire Next Door, which is fabulous and it basically talks about the average millionaire in America, over 80% of them are first generation. So it's people that have during her lifetime have started a business and have worked from here up to here, which is encouraging to me growing up without a lot of money. And I thought, well, gosh, there's 8 out of 10 millionaires that did it the hard way, first generation.

And it seemed as though in almost all those stories, the habit of saving and living below your means was always a constant. They all lived below their means. They had the habit of saving. In your career, after you retired, because you saved, you were able to have a few opportunities. I mean, you were able to start the school. Do you feel like if you wouldn't have been focused on living below your means and maintaining a budget and those sort of things, that you would have the opportunities off the court that you've had now?

-Without a doubt, I would not have had these opportunities. And that's what's so fantastic about it because when we talk about living below our means, it sounds so harsh. It sounds bad. It's not bad, especially for those of us who grew up and we didn't have a lot of money. My means are pretty simple.

It was never a question how I was living. I knew how I was living and didn't have these high expectations about jet setting everywhere. So living below my means-- I had pretty solid means when I got a chance to get to the NBA. But I think that that it was a critical thought in my process and in my ability to be able to now be in a position to go into business or be in a position to be a blessing to my community.

-If I'm watching this and I've never been a big saver, my family's never been a big saver, I wasn't taught how to be a good saver, I don't know people who are good savers, would you recommend that somebody, maybe, does like a direct withdrawal and sets a little money aside? Or maybe just lives off the cash method? Or is there are some sort of idea that you could give somebody of just how to be a better steward of their money. If they say I want to be a steward, do you recommend getting off credit cards or what do you recommend someone does on a practical step to become someone who builds the habit of saving money?

-I hate to make general statements because everyone's situation is different.


-But if you have trouble with money, then it's just like anything else. If you have trouble with your weight, go get a trainer. If you have trouble with money, go find somebody who's good with money and ask them your advice. I think, in general, if you need help, direct deposit is a wonderful way to do it. Let someone else handle getting the money from here to there if you can't handle that. But for the most part, I would say if you have trouble, find someone who's good with money and let them help you and walk you through it.

-Final thing I wanted to ask you about the topic of money-- is money-- inherently is not evil, I don't think-- but the love of money--

-The love of money, yeah.

-I would like for you to explain the difference between that. Because I think that even though it's a statement you hear a lot, oh, money is the root of evil and then people say no, no, no. It's their love of money is the root of evil. Can you explain what the difference is?

-Well, when you love something, you will do anything for it. It is your passion. It becomes a kind of a controller in your life. It is something that you will move mountains for.

I love my wife. I will move mountains for my wife. When money becomes that object, it creates problems. Let's just say problems.

And so the Bible says that that is the root of all evil. It is the greed, the selfishness. Money can't love you back. And so it ends up that we become selfish, we become greedy.

We lose affection for others because it's a competition. Either you can have the money or I could have the money. And so I think that there's just so many things that come out of that the level of money that none of which are positive. There's nothing positive coming out of the love of money. So I think that's why it is the root, it is the cause, it is the thing that creates division and separation. And that's what I think is evil.

-Well, you know on Thrive, our whole goal here is to help you move beyond surviving and to get to a place of true happiness and true success, where you're not just successful at work, but you're successful at home and you're doing well. And I think one of the biggest things we have to get a hold of is how we manage our money. So I would encourage you, if you're watching this, and you're looking for some really in depth budgeting, planning, we have that for you. But I think the insight that you're providing is helpful because I think we, as a group of people, we grow up saying well, money's evil, so I don't even want to think about it.

-Well, let's not get that wrong. I mean, money is not evil. Money can be a blessing, a great blessing. I've seen many kids lives here in San Antonio changed because we've been able to put money into their education. We've been able to invest in their future. Money is not always evil. It is the way we treat the money. Like I said, it shows where your heart is. So if you ever want to kind of gauge what type of person someone is, watch how they spend their money and it'll give you great insight.

-Yeah. David, I appreciate you bringing clarity to that subject. I know it's not something a lot of people talk about very often but we need to. And I appreciate you taking the time to share your insight there.

-It was my pleasure.

-Thank you so much.

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