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May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Caleb Guilliams is the Founder and CEO of BetterWealth, a company that helps people gain control over their money today while maximizing their future wealth potential. At an early age, Caleb read every financial book he could get his hands on. Now, he’s one of the youngest leaders in the industry and is quickly becoming “the new face of finance.” Caleb is the Author of The AND Asset, hosts the BetterWealth podcast, and is on a mission to impact as many lives as possible.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • How did Caleb Guilliams become a leader in the industry at such a young age, and what sparked his entrepreneurial spirit?
  • How young advisors can build credibility
  • Why Caleb went down the life insurance career path
  • The value of focusing on results and working in your unique ability
  • How Caleb became such an active listener
  • Tips for building trust with your clients
  • Caleb shares the topics he’ll be talking about at APEX
  • Caleb answers a series of rapid-fire questions

In this episode…

Caleb Guilliams became the youngest person to run a life insurance unit in history at a bank. At age 21, he went on to start his company, BetterWealth. Now, he’s grown his team and services clients in all 50 states. So, how did Caleb do it? In this insightful episode, he shares all the details. 

One of Caleb’s top drivers of success is leading a life of giving. He’s learned how to become an active listener, ask thoughtful questions, and open up to clients so that he can understand their most important needs. With a giving attitude, Caleb is able to build trust with clients and help them live the life they truly want. 

In this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan are joined by Caleb Guilliams, the Founder and CEO of BetterWealth, to talk about his journey in the financial industry. Caleb shares what inspired him to found his company, his proudest moments and biggest pitfalls, advice to gain credibility, and why giving to others is one of the most important values.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services. 

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:19

Hi, everyone, this is Chris Gandy, your co host for NAIFA’s Advisor Today podcast. Today we have a very special guest, Caleb Guilliams, a better wealth who was a rising star in the industry. And due to his record breaking production numbers, it's such a young age. Before we get to Caleb, I want to introduce our wonderful co host. And wonder with a wonderful smile, Suzanne Carawan of NAIFA, who heads up Marketing and Communications, has, has the jump on Caleb because they met via NAIFA in Tennessee last April. Suzanne.

Suzanne Carawan 1:00

So before we talk about Caleb, I just realized we just were talking quickly about mispronouncing people's names and making sure that you get those names, right, and how interesting names are. And again, in the financial services business is one of those things that a lot of times the financial services you get taught, make sure you understand the prospects names, etc. But as we go on to even a more diverse population, I think it's a little key there, we should always say, you know, instead of even trying to say, Hey, would you pronounce your last name for me, I'd really like to make sure that I get that correct, et cetera. And so we found that that is actually Caleb Guilliams. And so we're excited to have Caleb with us today, I'd like to give a quick shout out to Guardian who's actually going to sponsor Caleb at our upcoming Apex event. I'm sure we're going to talk about that in just a second. But thank you, guardian for selecting such a fine speaker for upcoming event. And so Caleb, I guess I'm going to start off with saying since we're talking about the name thing, what's the history of Guilliams?

Caleb Guilliams 1:56

The sad reality is I don't really know the answer to that. So that might tell you a little bit about my personality, but I do know, it may be like, German, or whatnot, but I'm not I'm not 100% Sure. I know that there's very few people out there in the world, but there is actually a winery. That and we that's Guilliams wine. So that's a that's a little fun fact, but there's I think there's one or two other Caleb Guilliams out there in the world. Now, now that I'm sure there's maybe others out there. But when as it relates to social media and whatnot. We're rare. We're rare kind.

Suzanne Carawan 2:31

You know, Carawan's the same way. There's very few Carawan's in the in the world. I'm the farthest Carawan in the, you know, in the western part of the United States are all down in North Carolina, Chris Gandy, that's not that common of a name either. We've got like three kind of uniquely named people here.

Chris Gandy 2:46

I actually was googling Christopher Gandy, just to see what popped up on Google. And there's an actual financial advisor who works for State Farm.

Suzanne Carawan 2:55

Because not you, it's like your doppelganger

Chris Gandy 2:58

by doppelganger, who's not my doppelganger because he looks the exact opposite of me. You know, perhaps we can leverage each other's marketing.

Suzanne Carawan 3:06

Exactly. That's, that's kind of cool like that. You could do a whole thing with that. That's really cool. Well, let's get into it with Caleb, something Caleb, you want to start with? Kind of giving us the kind of the elevator speech of who you are, how you've kind of gotten to this point and fame because you're kind of a well known person around the streets, if you will. I know you've got such an interesting story. You want to kind of start with that.

Caleb Guilliams 3:28

Yeah, I first and foremost, want to say it's an honor to be on here, super pumped for APEX super pumped for what's to come. And Nathan, I'm just really honored to be a part of this podcast. So thank you for the interview. And I'm just so I'm so grateful for both of you. The quick story is I grew up in Wisconsin, oldest of six kids. First job was actually at a chicken farm. Okay, so I won't get super graphic on the podcast, but let's just say I have an appreciation for the chicken sandwich. And for the work that goes in behind the scenes to make that possible. Chicken I love chicken chicken. Chicken is my favorite. meaty, so so that yeah, again, it's I've love love for that. And was given two books at that time Richest Man in Babylon and good to great. And at that time, it became really, really clear to me that I was like, Man, I want to start some type of business because I love to get great concept. But I but the richest man in Babylon really spoke to me because there's like these principles that can help people become wealthy. And these are not like, you need to learn the newest tactic. It was like really, it's principle centered. And so that very much, started something that became a passion and I started reading other books and got a job at a bank when I was 17 years old, and made it my mission to learn everything I could at the bank. And then fast forward at the age of 19. At that same bank, I became one of the youngest people in the country to actually take over the investment department of that. So never trust banks, by the way, because it was like they gave me this crazy opportunity. But it was that platform that I realized that I didn't know that much much. And I was going to leverage that platform to ask people like yourself to mentor me. And so I went on a very two and a half, three year mission, it's actually really cool because Alex is going to be speaking. And he wrote the book, the third door. And the I took the third door approach, even though I didn't read it at the time, I took that approach. And that's one of the reasons why I've been able to open so many relationships and so many doors, no pun intended. And then from there became very, very clear that there was a need in our space, I became obsessive about life insurance, and the multi dimensional aspect of the protection gives you different options, if it's this compounding machine, and it just ultimately, make sure that what you want to happen will happen no matter what if you if you get that at the foundation of your life, and we talk about financial security, not really, I really became passionate about that. So fast forward, when I was 21, I thought it was a good idea to leave the bank and start better wealth. And, and so very humble beginnings started better wealth to people really believed in the mission help start it with me. And we were just like, hey, we believe that if people understood the power of life insurance, they would come to us. We're not we don't need to sell, you don't need to sell life insurance if if people understood the power of it, and so wrote a book started a podcast started speaking, and very humble beginnings. And it was it was rocky start. But fast forward five and a half years later, we have clients in all 50 states have a team of 15 people and do everything virtually. And there's a lot of other fun and exciting things that we're doing. And I think this journey, and as I just reflect back, there's been a lot of moments where I just very overwhelmed and just humbled by the fact of like, Man, I get to be in the greatest profession slash industry of all time. And we get to really make good money in the process of serving so many people like, I just feel really grateful to have found what I love, and have learned from some legends in our space, but then also not pick up bad habits and say, Hey, how can we put an innovative virtual spin on an industry that, you know, to be fair has been couldn't be held behind as it relates to innovation? And so that has been? That's that's a story in a nutshell. And yeah, it's, it's been a pleasure.

Chris Gandy 7:14

Okay, well, let me ask a question. So, you know, where did this idea of kind of being an entrepreneur come from? I mean, chicken farm to, to virtual. I mean, that's, it's a big, it's a big jump. Where did where did the idea of these ideas kind of spur from? Was it the book? Was it? mentors? I mean, where does it Where does it come from?

Caleb Guilliams 7:42

That's a great question. I didn't, I wasn't aspiring necessarily to be an entrepreneur, I wanted to be part of a company. And if you'd asked me, like, 17 was my dream job. It would have been like a CEO or president of a feature company. So it wasn't necessarily an entrepreneur, but I've always always driven by leadership. And I think it really came down to I was sitting at the bank. And and I loved the people I was working with the CEO of the bank gave me an amazing opportunity. He's like a second father to me. But I was sitting there. And I was frustrated. Because I wanted to do these things I wanted to share, I wanted to start a podcast, I wanted to get the word out. And I was told, You can't do that. You can't do that, that goes against her. And so the so again, the entrepreneurial desire to me that I couldn't necessarily, I didn't even know what an entrepreneur was. And I still can't spell spell entrepreneur to this day. I was like, man, like, I don't like being told I can't do something. And so that was like that, that that was when I started, like, bucking the system. And it really became like, I really got the courage to leave because leaving the bank, a cushy gig at 21 years old, was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, because I was, quote, unquote, sad at a young age, with that credibility of having the corner office of a bank. But I remember watching a TED talk. And the TED Talk simply said, like, essentially, at your age at 85, people all usually don't regret taking risk. They regret not taking risks. And so I'm thinking, and again, I'm like, 21 years old, I'm like, when I'm 85 years old, am I going to regret staying in something that I want? Like, I was afraid to leave, but I knew I needed to, if that makes sense. And so that's when I started again, never had a desire to like start my own thing other than the fact that it's like, I know that that was the only way that I could get an outcome that I wanted at that time, if that makes sense. So it was one of those progressions, but the bank very much set me up to meeting people and I was mentored by a lot of people that started their own business. And so it wasn't it wasn't like a super new concept, but it was definitely one of the things that was hard at the time. Got it

Chris Gandy 9:42

got it will talk to me a little bit about the largest the biggest turning turning point or milestone, let's go milestone. What are you most proud of? I mean, obviously it's been a it's been a it's been a run right and, you know, you reform act on on where you've been and where you're going. What's been the thing you've been the proud of the most early in your career?

Caleb Guilliams 10:08

Yeah. So I love that question. And it has, it's around two things. Number one, when a lot of people talk about financial planning and helping people, there really has to be reverse engineer around the metric of why we're doing what we're doing. Simon Sinek has had a lot of impact in my life has started with why. And we talk about ROI, or as a return on results statement, not a rate of return or not return on risks. And so every single one of our clients gets really clear I want what results they want out of their life. And we reverse engineer the in financial independence number or retirement income. Number two, what does intentional living look like? What does intentional living look like? Because it's my humble opinion, that wealth is the ability to live intentionally and live intentionally with the people that you spend time with your time how you use your resources, how you use your God given talents. So that's number one. It's like, I'm very, very proud of the last five years of us trying to articulate and really push this industry to say, yes, you might have $2 million in a bank account, but you might be miserable. And I'm gonna leave out other words, there, you might be extremely miserable with your life. And so what's the point of this whole thing? Why would you start? Why would you stay in a job that you hate for the care to call retirement. So that's, that's one thing that we've been really trying to passionate about is like, get people to reframe their financial independence number, which should potentially change the friendships times talents, how you use your resources. So that's number one. Number two is the people that I get to do life with. What I'm most proud of is the team that I'm a part of hands down. I'm, I'm blown away by the people that I get to work with in a day in and day out. And it's just a bunch of people that see the vision because they could be doing so many other things, it probably could get paid way more in the short term, but they see that we really are creating a platform to make an impact and help people more live more intentionally. And so again, I get passionate, but that those are the two things I'm most proud of.

Chris Gandy 12:03

biggest pitfall?

Caleb Guilliams 12:05

Sure, yeah. So biggest pitfall early on is feeling like I needed to know all the answers. And I realized early on that the more I talked, the less my credibility went down. And it's not in convincing, but it's in that questions that we ask. And so the biggest thing as I look back is I would, I would say, if you're struggling, closing business or building trust it probably in the words that you're saying and the and that it's coming across as a pre frame as convincing. And anytime someone's trying to convince us of something, the trust is, is waning. And so what I would say my biggest pitfall was early on when I was trying to read books on how to handle objections and how to convince people, whereas I think that was a pitfall to be be completely frank. Huh.

Suzanne Carawan 12:51

So what I mean, how can you give some advice for the young advisors who are listening this right now about building that credibility? And how did you build that rapport? Quickly? Like, do you have any tips there?

Caleb Guilliams 13:01

Competence creates confidence. Okay, so I'm not a big fan of just saying, like, be confident, listen to motivational speaker, it's like, if you know what, if we know what we do, like, Chris, I'll put you on the spot. You don't need to prep for a meeting. Like you don't need to be like, Alright, I need to memorize these 10 questions. If I get it, it's like, you know, you are a master of your craft. And so it's it creates so much competence, because you're not worried that someone's going to ask a question that's going to be like, Oh, I don't I don't know the answer to that. So I've heard that. I've never heard that one before. Right. Right, right. Yeah. I was like, Oh, let me I'll get back to you on that. So here's the deal as a as a young advisor, totally, that's like you have to be like, like, if someone asks you a question, don't lie. But like, what I'm saying is, a lot of times, we spend way too much time learning how to convince and so and if we just learned the power of how life insurance works, how disability works, how retirement works, if like, we truly understand that that's powerful. So that's number one. Number two is the definition of efficiency is literally, I'm paraphrasing, but to get to a desired result and removing any friction to get there. So as a coach, as an advisor, if I can really get clear on what you want, and I can articulate the best way to get there, the person will feel understood. And at the end of the day, that's what financial planning should be. Really, that's, that's the goal, how do you get to your desired result, removing all the friction, and, and so number one, it's be competent, and spend time learning your craft. But then number two is you can be super, super calm, competent, and know all the things about life insurance and all this stuff. But if it doesn't translate into helping your clients, the people that you're sitting with, whether it's virtually or in person, live out what they want, like intentional living, what their return on result metric is what they truly want. You're just you're just another person that's pitching a widget that may or may not translate to an actual result. That's beneficial for

Chris Gandy 14:52

them. So Caleb, let

me let me ask this, I heard you say a couple things that I'm gonna dig and we're gonna we're gonna go Take a look, we're gonna go from 50,000 feet down to five, because you told me before this interview, I could ask you whatever I wanted to so, so, so the question I've got for you, which is really interesting is why life insurance? Why? Why insurance? I mean, the insurance, the insurance world. And if we're speaking to young advisors, and trying to connect more young advisors with this amazing opportunity, why the world of life insurance? I mean, why not go sell mutual funds?

Caleb Guilliams 15:29

Now, I know I asked myself that every day, like, why don't I just build a brand around investing in a mutual fund. And by the way, I want to be very, very clear. With this, I'm not anti investments, I'm not anti other things. So so what I'm about to say is, please don't take it out of context. But there's a couple principles, and then I'll share you with why life insurance is the thing that I'm most passionate about as a financial tool is, number one, I believe that you are your greatest asset. So the number one investment, this not investment advice, don't sue NAIFA Or me, but the number one investment I think you should be making is in yourself. And I see one of the biggest problems in the world is they're diversifying their ability to have an impact. They're like, they're directly not investing in the number one thing that's getting them to where they are in their life. So people are massively wondering investing in themselves. And also, they're under protecting their ability to earn income. So those are like, so when I think of like you being your greatest asset. That's number one. Number two, is if if we're all about helping someone get results get to their desired result, then I have to ask the question, okay, what like, if someone's saying, hey, I want to do this, this is what intentional living looks like, then we can look at all the other places that you could put your money. The reason I love life insurance, and I've written a book called The and asset is when structured and utilised properly, you put $1 in a place, and the utility of that, that life insurance policy creates multiple aspects of that dollar. So just like a cell phone, every single person that I know has a smartphone, why for less than 1000 bucks, or maybe a little bit more than 1000 bucks, this is my alarm clock, it's my GPS, I can call on it, I can go on social media, it gives me so much utility. And I believe if we understood the power of life insurance, you put $1 in a place that protects you, you put $1 in place, it gives you future options in retirement that could enhance your cash flow, there's a lot of people that are talking about this right now, you put $1 in place that will give you the lifetime benefit of life insurance, you put $1 in place, you have access to that money throughout your life, you put $1 in a place that potentially allows you to save more, because you're not locking it up to 65, you put $1 in place that directly protects you and respects you as your number one asset. And so I don't sell life insurance. from an investment standpoint, I'm saying from an asset standpoint, it's very, very and like, and if you're going to build a foundation, make sure it's solid. And that's why I'm a huge fan of life insurance. So for all those reasons, I'm like, Man, life insurance is not the investment. But it's an amazing foundational asset where you can put dollars and give it multiple jobs. And if people understood that they would really like life insurance a lot more.

Chris Gandy 18:03

I think we're I think we're okay, when you said the idea that it's an asset, not an investment. Right? You said it's an asset. So people buy assets, not debt. Yeah, it's one of the conversations that people forget about is that we go out and we buy, we don't buy, we typically don't buy debt, right? We buy assets, because we want those assets to accumulate, and then ultimately give us some sort of return based on that asset. So we buy these assets. Let's shift let's shift gears a little bit about, you know, obviously, you didn't just arrive, right, how did you win it? What do you do on a day to day basis? I mean, there's there's discipline to get to this level. So So share with me a little bit about, you know, if a young advisor or even older advisors are trying to re engineer their lives and refocus their careers, what are some of the things that you're doing daily, that you see is super important? Absolutely, each day, and then kind of what's what's your typical day even look like?

Caleb Guilliams 19:03

So what I'm going to be actually talking about at Apex is a framework which I call value, leveraging, which if I had to summarise it, it will get paid for the outputs and results we give to others, not the inputs. So it's like no one really cares about how much time you're spending on XY and Z, they're really they care about the result or the output that your service or product creates. And so what I tried to do from a standpoint of how the week looks like and whatnot, is I really tried to get clear on not what am I doing, but what results are going to happen? Because this week, okay, so that's one thing that we try from an organization across our whole team creates three outcomes that is going to happen for each week. And so one of the things is like, there's a lot of things that we're going to do but what are the three most important outcomes that are going to be a reality because you showed up this week and so that's the that's one thing that we try to be we try to focus on and and really try to lead by example, from a standpoint of like how I spend my time I, I try to I'm maybe a little bit unique on this aspect is I don't necessarily meet with consumers because of our business model. So I block off the mornings and really try to work on on the three things that I need to be doing to move the needle forward is relationships, content and creating vision for our business. So those are the three things that I know if I'm doing what Dan Sullivan would say, I'm working in my unique ability. So if I'm creating content, if I'm building relationships, or if I'm creating vision, if I'm able to work in one of those three things, I know short term and long term better wealth is going to be served the best. And so this is cool, because I'm building relationships, and building content. So I'm not going to have my two of my three things I know I need to be doing. And so that's why I'm saying yes to this and saying no to all the other things that I could be doing, because this is the most important thing for me to do with where we are as a company in the mission that I have in my life.

Chris Gandy 20:54

Awesome. So

Caleb, are you? Are you a morning guy? Or what do you mean, you probably I

Caleb Guilliams 21:02

didn't I didn't answer your so I wake up at 6am. I tried to have like my Bible time and just just really tried to reflect on on the day. I try not to take meetings till noon. And then from noon in the afternoon. We're usually doing meetings internally and externally. That's because I work best in the morning. And then I'm a true extrovert. So I'll I'll show up powerfully in a meeting regardless. And so if that's the case, I'm going to do it in the afternoon where I'm not as creative. So and we're still in the stage we're working a lot so I if my wife was on here, she would say she would like me to take take credits off and that's that's a work in progress. I'm a work in progress it Suzanne, you need to give me a t shirt that says

Suzanne Carawan 21:45

yeah, work in progress in progress. All of us are working progress. Chris isn't he's a morning guy too. He's a steadfast get up into it. I'm trying to I'm trying to transition to that.

Chris Gandy 21:56

30 am is the breakfast of champions. Right? Breakfast of Champions. So

Caleb Guilliams 22:02

I'm still in REM sleep while you're while you're crushing the day. Yeah,

Suzanne Carawan 22:06

it's working out. That's right. And regardless, I mean, he lives in Chicago, right. So bad weather in there. He's an avid

Chris Gandy 22:12

Caleb, let's, let's let's let's let people get to know you a little bit. Um, interesting hobbies for you. I mean, what do you what do you do when you're not? Out creating and changing the perspective on insurance and investments and the financial services world? What do you what are you doing? Yeah,

Caleb Guilliams 22:30

that is a great question. I, I love business. So I so there's other businesses that I have an opportunity to work on, not just in the financial service space. I love sports. So I played Ultimate Frisbee. I actually played competitive ping pong back in the day. I don't play that competitive now. But like, do you guys like the which way? Did

Suzanne Carawan 22:47

you hold the pad on the

Caleb Guilliams 22:48

right way? No. I guess the American way I eat majority of people hold it, you know, this way. And, and so I love sports. And then I love people. We, I just love, I love spending time with people hearing their stories. It's something that's not worked for me, I just genuinely enjoy it. And so, you know, whether it's being active, I love reading and other animals involved in our church and some ministries. And so that that's what I like to do. But I genuinely and I'm not just saying this, check the box, like I generally love business. Because if business is done, right, it's going to make an impact. And it's one of the best leveraged ways to make a difference. And so for me, it's like, Man, if I can interact and figure out something that can make a difference. Not only is there a monetary gain there, but there's also a like a impact gain there that is, is really fun for me in this stage of life now. We don't have kids yet and whatnot. So it's just the it might radically change five years from now or even three years from now. So yeah, maybe maybe you guys can have me on in a couple years. And I can give a say like the difference. Yeah.

Suzanne Carawan 23:57

Well, we called DK before kids, radically changed universe. I've heard that. We did. You know, we did get to have a dinner together we had, we got to spend some time. I think one of the things that is so different about you is you're such a good listener. And it's almost a little off putting at first because it's like, is this kind of for real? Like is he for real? Like who really listens anymore? You know what I'm saying? And you really are you really take the time to listen says you always been like that, or did you have some you develop some skills around listening to because to your point, a lot of times financial services, people as they're kind of becoming masters of the craft. They're so busy in coming up with what they're supposed to ask or looking for those cues. They're not actually authentically listening and responding. Do you have any help for that or advice for people?

Caleb Guilliams 24:42

So the the thing that I realized early on is the listening came out of just maturity and learning like man, want I love hearing why people make decisions and what I really when I meet someone, I really want to get deep and figured out What is their underlying values of how they're living their life? And what are they dedicating their life to? Like, if I bet that's the most important of the most important questions that you can really uncover is if I can figure out what is your underlying value where you're betting your life on, then, as a friend, I can, as a communicator, I can speak directly to that. And there we were, we're cutting through all the noise and talking about the weather and all of that. And so I will say that that's been a skill set that I'm continuing to hone. And I've just, it's been one of those things where I've been called out early on by saying, Caleb, you talk way too much, your your egos high. I've been called nurses, and all that. And so early on, I've just been like, Man, how do I live a life that is truly giving, and I'm realizing one of the best forms of flattery is asking a genuine question and actually caring. Because that's like, being asked a thoughtful questions, one of the nicest things that you can do in this world. So it's been something that I've honed by Jen, it's not worked for me. I love our conversation. And I'm like, it's tough for me to be interviewed, because I do love asking questions. And you two are both amazing. You guys get deep and so I appreciate it. But we'll have to do I did on my purse or

Suzanne Carawan 26:15

something. Yeah. Well, so I mean, do you find that most people like when you're asking that, and you're sitting down with your clientele? Does that startle most people? Or do they say, oh, yeah, I can really articulate what's my underlying, you know, underlying drivers are? Or do you feel like also, you're kind of just attracting the right clients? Because of that. He's you I'm saying, Yeah, I think a lot of people kind of walk around. Totally, I don't know that they can articulate that. So

Caleb Guilliams 26:38

two things, I think if visors across the border, need to get better at asking questions, but especially if you're young, you think you need to state make statements to be credible. If you ask thoughtful questions, what in my experience, you will be more trusted, and more credible, because of the questions that you ask. But you also be able to do a better job because that annuity or life insurance or whatnot, may or may not be the right tool, but the more questions you ask, it should be able to highlight like, Yes, this is actually the best thing for you. And so I've just I've also found when people come in, I don't straight up ask, like, what is your underlying value that you're dedicating your life to? Like? That's, I usually work around that, like, I'll ask the question, like, if money wasn't an issue at all, what would you be doing? And then usually, that's not the answer. But you ask why a couple more times, then you go, okay, that's, that's important to you. The other thing that and I won't straight up ask this, but it's fun. It's funny, a lot of people are driven by fear. And so that underlying the why to that fear also tells me a lot. And so I just, yes, it can be very intimidating. But I don't I, I try, like in the first meeting, it's really trying to understand them, and what's important to them. And we we can start with softball questions, but I can, I can be intimidating. And that's a, that's something that you should be careful about, especially early on, if you don't have any credibility or influence, make sure to lead as well. And the last thing I'll say is, don't straight up ask people questions, like maybe the reason I was a slight turn off early on, is what I could have done a better job is share a little bit of insight on who I am. So you're just like, I don't want to be interrogated right now. So what I found is people will match your authenticity. So if I can share, like my story, the things that like my why some of my underlying failures, people will naturally open up to that, versus if it's hard for them to open up if they don't have any trust or if it's not a two way street. So get really good at sharing your two three minute story, make sure that there's a mission in there and make sure that it's not just all about your greatness, make sure to touch on some of your down down downfalls, which will actually bring a lot more trust, credibility and love to who you are.

Suzanne Carawan 28:45

And, Chris, can I ask you the same question from that advisor standpoint, when you can come across as super intimidating to like, what what do you do to kind of get people to be more open with you and, you know, open up that trust channel, like right off the bat?

Chris Gandy 29:00

One is I sit down, because typically, typically taller people are very intimidating to others. I mean, so so when I when I sit down to nonverbals wise, I have a very open stance, instead of having a closed stance, you know, some people are very closed and, and so people feel like they have to overcome that. And three, mirror to match their personality based on just asking a couple, just very general questions. And so understanding similar to Caleb, understanding their why and really being, you know, really being inquisitive and curious about what got you here. It's not going to get you to where you're going. But everybody has a story, right? And so we have people walking around with stories, right? And I always talk about, you know, you're nothing more than a byproduct of a series of chapters of your life and wherever is the chapter or now you're already preparing for the next one. So, you know, really understanding what got them there. where, and why they're there, whether it's good or bad, right? And even even the people that have gotten in trouble, there's something there's a reason why they're there. It's not that they came out of the womb and they were already destined for, for for trouble. No, it's something along the way or a story or a chapter in their life is still not close. So I'm really curious similar kid similar the cable is that, you know, I'm, I'm really interested in people. It's they're really dynamic in nature. And you can have some, you have to have the same exact individuals with the same exact problems, issues, problems, challenges, and it's a completely different decisions. If that isn't curious to hear, like, okay, so how did you make this decision? And what, what, what motivated you to do so, and they have two completely different tracks or trajectories? So, from my perspective, I think he's hitting on a lot of the things that we do. Now, we may not do it as succinctly as he does, because he mentioned the fact that his business is 100%. Virtual, I still rely on that personal that hand to hand combat. Because you're right, I am intimidating by nature, just by a being six, nine to being an African American, right? That is just by nature and the world in which we live. It tends to intimidate people, so I have to dial it back a little bit, as a dial it back and say, okay, you know, here's who I am, here's what I'm about. And I love, I'd love to have an opportunity to earn your business. So it's a little different. And again, we do rely on that that personal hand in hand, I want to shake your hand looked you in the face, so you can get a feel for who we are and what we do. Not saying one is better than the other. But I can say Caleb's probably more efficient than me grabbing halfway across Chicago, having the same conversation. It's great, because I can tell that Caleb has, you know, one of the things I think advisors and Caleb, you can comment on this, I believe that advisors has to have to constantly focus and work on their ability to communicate a message. I can tell he's practiced, right, very practiced in college, his ability to communicate a message in a way that creates a, a picture or a vision for people. And he's obviously done that because I can tell by based on the words in which he chooses the way he uses his hands, right, a lot of that is nonverbal communications. He's laughing, he's smiling, because I know, because I took nonverbal I took communications in college, Caleb, so I actually paid attention to that. That's

Suzanne Carawan 32:37

huge 70% of communication is nonverbal. Yeah,

Chris Gandy 32:40

I can definitely tell that he he's worked on his craft, to get it to the point of mastery. And now he can teach it to others. So we appreciate that, that Caleb and Suzanne, for asking me that question. But so Caleb, you're going to be at Apex? That's the word on the street. What are you doing there? I mean, I mean, come on, can we can have a conversation? What are you going to be doing there?

Caleb Guilliams 33:07

So I'm going to be speaking about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, it's called valued leveraging it is the framework, in my humble opinion, if you want to be successful in business and take your business to the next level, it's the one two punch for you to really, it's like the audit that you need to do with your with your business. So number one, are ours is your business valuable? How does value how is value created? How do people do business with services and products that they value, the perceived value? So number one is a lot of people in our space, they just jump right into marketing, they think they have a marketing problem. When they really have a value slash offer problem, it that might hit hard, but it's the truth. So number one, it's like, you know, we really have to have a frank conversation and say, like, we need to do the work we need to lean in part of competent competency creates like, Hey, do you are you 100% sure that your service is creating the value and is that offer intriguing, because at the end of the day, if I'm selling the Lamborghini for 1000 bucks, I don't need marketing, there's going to be a line outside the door. And I would argue that if we really understood our profession and industry, we what we do is, is the most amazing thing. So number one, it's that and then number two is a lot of people have value. They like they're super great when they meet with people, but they just lack leverage, they lack the amplification of that valuable offer. And so leverage when you think of leverage, think of money and obviously, you know, money can create massive returns, but I'm not even gonna talk about other people's money. I'm gonna be talking about other forms of leverage, like charisma, like the internet, like different ways to communicate, and just different ways that you can take your message your business, and with one little tweak, you can amplify that message. Now, the disclaimer that I'm going to be sharing is if you're leveraging a bad message, or if you're leveraged Doing something that's not valuable, I'm actually going to hurt you more. So that's why the value has to come first. But that one two punch is what I'm going to be sharing what we've done, I'm going to be sharing the mistakes and successes that we've had. But I'm also going to make it very, very practical on how anyone listening can can audit their what they're doing and say, How can I increase the perceived value of what we're doing, and then what is one lever that I can do to have a greater impact and be more successful, and how we serve people. And so I'm, it's not f, and I'm very excited to share. And I've gotten a lot of good feedback. On just, as I prep on some of the things I'm sharing, I'm going to be sharing a recording, and part part of a recording that I've really never shared publicly before. And so I'm excited about some of the things that we're working on.

Chris Gandy 35:49

Cool. We look forward to seeing you there. If you're not signed up for apex, make sure you get signed up for APEX today, Caleb will be there. I will be there, Suzanne will be there. We look forward to seeing everyone there. You know, Suzanne, do you have anything before I send him to the lightning room,

Suzanne Carawan 36:06

I was just gonna make one extra comment, which is to say that what's kind of cool about the way we're doing Apex this year is not only will Caleb be on main stage, but then we're actually going to have a time to be with him during our learning labs. So you can actually kind of be up and close with him and, and kind of bring your own conversations and bring your own questions to him. And I'm sure Caleb will be happy to give advice and be able to make those connections and, and memories to boot. So I think that's what you get kind of a one two punch, you get a little bit of a one two punch with Caleb Williams at Apex.

Caleb Guilliams 36:36

And I'll say one other thing, the information is great. But the real value is is meeting people and making those connections. And I can only speak for myself, I will give like crazy to anyone I interact with these next couple days at Apex. And I know I'm one of many, many people that will give generously. And so I just, I want to encourage you if you're on the edge, and you're like, hey, I can watch these. I can read the third door book and whatnot. Well, yes, but you're not you can't be in person with these people. And so I would highly recommend if you can make it to make it a priority to be there.

Chris Gandy 37:13

Definitely, I will, I will comment on that. You know, I played sports in my previous life, you know, recovering athlete, those you don't know. But in my previous life, our coach once said is that you can't play the game unless you're in the stadium. Which is, which is so true, right? You can't can't put a jersey on across the street and say, hey, yeah, I'm gonna shoot baskets. That's not how it works is you have to actually be in the stadium. You have to be where it happens. You got to meet people where they're at, and you got engaged. So, so we've been having some fun at the end of these podcasts. And so, Mr. Caleb, I'm gonna ask you a series of questions. Whatever comes to mind. First off, you gotta say that's how this works. Okay. Yeah, I didn't prep for this. So, so you're ready. I'm ready. All right, here we go. So we'll start off pretty easy. favorite TV show

Suzanne Carawan 38:14

I was like I never Why don't watch

Caleb Guilliams 38:15

TV. So.

Chris Gandy 38:16

Favorite favorite favorite movie

Caleb Guilliams 38:24

I'm sorry, I'm really sorry. I'm like you asked me my favorite song. I won't be able to answer that too. I'm, I don't

Chris Gandy 38:30

know. Favorite food. Chinese food. Chinese food. Got it. Favorite podcast? Oh,

Caleb Guilliams 38:43

so I wouldn't say the Better World podcast even though I've listened to every single episode because that's the podcast that I do. Probably. I love the how it started podcast.

Chris Gandy 38:54

Best advice you've gotten from a mentor.

Caleb Guilliams 38:58

The value of your life is not measured. It is is always measured by how much of it was given away. So be a giver.

Chris Gandy 39:04

Be a giver. All right. And last but not least is favorite thing that you like about NAIFA?

Caleb Guilliams 39:13

Oh man, it's super easy. It's the people built around what I believe it has the greatest industry slash profession of all time. So it's the people and the profession that one two punch is really special.

Chris Gandy 39:28

All right, Mr. Caleb and our and Suzanne I think we we can put a bow on this one. I think Caleb Thank you. Thank you so much for being here. And Suzanne, you're always amazing and wonderful and and you do such a fantastic job. Bringing a picture and making sure that naifa is out there and always participating and always in everyone's face and making sure that you know we're getting the marketing and branding and in a way harness out to our to our people

Suzanne Carawan 40:03

in the world because I have to market people.

Chris Gandy 40:07

You have anything else before we wrap it up? Suzanne?

Suzanne Carawan 40:10

I was just gonna say no thank you Caleb can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks. Thank you,

Chris Gandy 40:13

Chris. Caleb, do you have any final words?

Caleb Guilliams 40:16

I don't have any final words. I gotta go catch up on movies and TV shows. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being such a disappointment there.

Chris Gandy 40:26

We'll send you some movies that are that are that are good, good movies for you to take some great quotes out of so thanks everyone for attending. I'm your co host Chris Gandy, Advisor Today podcast, where as an organization we come together. We appreciate each other. We come we educate, and we and we empower each other to be better for tomorrow and for this industry as a whole. Thank you so much, and we appreciate all your time. Thanks, everyone.



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