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IAM1774 – Best-selling Author Believes in Financial Literacy Training

Podcast Interview with Jonathan DeYoe

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of I AM CEO Podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Jonathan DeYoe, a best-selling author and financial advisor who believes in the importance of financial literacy training. Jonathan shares his insights on the intersection between love and money and how individuals can use mindfulness practices to improve their financial well-being.

Throughout the interview, Jonathan emphasizes the importance of financial literacy training and how it can help individuals make more informed decisions about their finances. He also discusses the fiduciary standard and the benefits of working with a financial advisor who is legally obligated to act in their clients' best interests.

Jonathan shares his CEO hacks and nuggets, which include the importance of staying focused on the mission and being open to new opportunities. He defines being a CEO as being responsible for the success of the company and creating a positive impact on the community.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into the importance of financial literacy training and the benefits of working with a fiduciary financial advisor. Jonathan's experience and expertise in the field make this episode a must-listen for anyone interested in improving their financial well-being.

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Jonathan DeYoe Teaser 00:00

This is my morning routine. Like I spend two hours before anyone else in my house is awake. Usually, I work out, I meditate, I read, I write. This is every day for the last 10 years. I spend two, two and a half hours by myself taking care of my physical body, taking care of my mind, and reading and feeding myself with the right kinds of stuff.

Intro 00:20

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs and founders. Without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:47

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Or what I like to call the CB nation architects, those that are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focusing on knowing thy numbers. I could hear the phrases from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, and if you understand or don't understand exactly what numbers is, think finance, economics, accounting, capital, investment, funding, bootstrapping, anything that's around numbers. So, we have to understand how important it is to know your numbers and how important that is for you to forecast, make decisions, and to be able to truly strategize around your business and do that successfully.

Things are gonna be a little bit different obviously, this month. So look for CEO hacks and CEO nuggets and interviews that focus around this. But more than everything else, make sure that you know your numbers because they're extremely important to the life of your business.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jonathan DeYoe of Mindful Money. Jonathan, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jonathan DeYoe 02:11

It's great to be here, Gresh. Look forward to chatting.

Gresham Harkless 02:13

Definitely looking forward to having you on as well too. Before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Jonathan. So you could hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

Jonathan is the bestselling author of Mindful Money Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend. He writes and speaks about the intersection between love and money, and he has been investing for 40 years and has been a financial advisor for 25 years.

He started his firm in 2001, and he is a big believer in financial literacy training in a big advocate for the fiduciary standard. Jonathan, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Jonathan DeYoe 02:43

I am ready. Let's do it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:45

Awesome. Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story? What let you get started with your business.

Jonathan DeYoe 02:54

Yes. This is probably way too long a story to fit into a single podcast, but just in quick nutshells in series. So first nutshell, I was raised in a poor, poor environment. I don't if you are familiar with this happening, but what that does is it stimulates the desire for money. So I always wanted stability. I always wanted financial success. It's been something that I've wanted since I was a little kid.

And so I purchased my first stock with my summer earnings when I was nine years old.

Gresham Harkless 03:18

That's awesome.

Jonathan DeYoe 03:18

I've studied investing my entire life. I love it. I love how the economies work. I love entrepreneurship. I love people who start businesses. I love people who run things. I think it's just so much fun to get involved in that. I did all this study and then went to college to study finance, and I was just bored out of my mind. So I switched to philosophy. So I became a Lutheran Seminarian.

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Gresham Harkless 03:40


Jonathan DeYoe 03:40

I switched from that to becoming a Buddhist academic. Then I finally switched from that back to this concept of being a financial advisor. But I had that whole, deep mindfulness training for many, many years of psychology, religions philosophy that kind of fed into how we did it. All this culminates and culminates in the book in 2017. I started writing the book in 2008. You might remember that was a rough time for the US economy.

The great recession was going on and people were resonating with a story. So I was like, okay, let's talk about how mindfulness works in finance. And then wrote the book and it's been an interesting three years on podcasts and interviews and all kinds of things happening.

Gresham Harkless 04:18

Yeah. I definitely appreciate you sharing that. I say so often that so many times we forget about the human aspect of business, of life often too. I love that you talked about all those things and also how all those things add up to where you are in your philosophy and how you look at things, because I think so many times we're used to things being in a silo and that this has nothing to do with that.

When in reality, all of it aligns and makes us who we are and what we choose to create.

Jonathan DeYoe 04:40

Yeah, absolutely. I love it. It's who is it? Seth Godin talks about your tribe. So by me out there talking about mindfulness, I think I've attracted the kinds of people I'd really like to work with. That kind of makes sense and I love the fact that's the way it is.

Gresham Harkless 04:51

Yeah. The more you tell your story and talk about who you are, it gets that magnet out and you start to connect with those people that are just like you and I love that you talked about, I say a lot of times I'm a big believer in like binaries as you talked about, like in the beginning of your story and in your experience.

I think so many times we get put in certain situations because just like that magnet, it'll propel us into wanting to get things and appreciating certain things. So it's almost again all in alignment with who we are and who we end up becoming.

Jonathan DeYoe 05:15

Yeah, totally true, totally true. Love it.

Gresham Harkless 05:17

Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. I know you touched on it and I did as well too when I read your bio, could you take us through a little bit more about your book and how you work with the clients, and all the awesome work that you're doing?

Jonathan DeYoe 05:26

So, I guess a good way to summarize the book, there are three parts to the book. The first part of the book, it's all about the illusions, the stuff that we're told about money that's just not true. Or the stuff that we instinctively feel about money that's just not true. I had so many of these going in, I pretty much cut and slice and splice them down to eight big illusions. So I debunk those illusions.

The middle part of the book is where all that history with philosophy and religion comes from or comes into play. The middle part of the book is about really figuring out what matters in life. What I mean by that is how do I look forward, create more happiness and more well-being in my own life, in my family's life? There's a ton of research on this, Like psychologists have been studying the human brain, religious people have been meditating, philosophers have been saying what is the good life for thousands of years. And so this has been written about, and one can find answers to these questions.

The interesting thing is, it's not a faster internet connection. It's not a boat, it's not a bigger house. It's not the things we generally think of that create happiness. So really getting down to what makes us happy before we start applying a financial planning process is so important.

The third section of the book is really about doing that financial planning process. It's really understanding where I am now. Understanding where I wanna go ultimately, and all the stops I wanna make on the way, and then what tradeoffs am I willing to make? In other words, when am I willing to give up to have the things that I really want? So that starts with identifying what those things are and really understanding yourself and then writing it all down. Once it's written down, it becomes a document that pulls you through life, no matter who you are. You know all the CEOs that are listening to this, you get hit with things from outside your purview smack you are off track and you got to get back on track. What was the track?

The plan is the track. So you return to plan, something happens, return to plan, and that's pretty much what we do. Like we do the planning stuff. We help people really think about their lives, what their trade offs are gonna be. Then we help them stay on plan when the world tells them or their brains tell them, Hey, something's going wrong, something's going wrong, something's going wrong. Well wait, wait, wait. We thought about this. It's in the plan. Let's look back at that plan. What we really wanted.

Gresham Harkless 07:35

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And I feel like I don't know if you've had this same experience, I feel like so many times we learn about finances and we don't necessarily do that work that you talked about in the first two parts.

Before we do that, we say that, oh, happiness is about a six-figure check or whatever it might be that we hear that we start to redirect our entire life based off of that forgetting to do that work in the beginning and then using finances and money as a tool to get to where we want to be and what happiness truly is.

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Jonathan DeYoe 08:05

Yeah, I think that it's rampant. Starting off when you're in high school and you want a thing how do you get the thing? You set the goal and you go for the thing. Let's look at that groundwork first, we're not very good at being introspective.

You know that if you sit alone for more than five minutes in quiet, you're like, oh my God, I got to check my device. We're not really good in just quiet space which is a habit. We should be working on spending some time quietly with our own thoughts.

Gresham Harkless 08:29

Yeah, absolutely. I feel like that's one of the things that has happened in this past year is that a lot of the noise that we did have before has been taken away from us and has forced us to be quiet, to be more introspective, to really look at what matters.

So that's why I love what you do, because it aligns more with the person and what they're trying to achieve, rather than the thing and then working backwards from there.

Jonathan DeYoe 08:47

Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 08:48

Awesome. So would you consider that to be what I call your secret sauce, the thing you feel sets you apart and that makes you unique? Is it your ability to do that introspection for other people, understand that and then create that path from there?

Jonathan DeYoe 08:59

Secret sauce? So it's funny because I talk about in the book and those illusions I talk about, there is no secret sauce. It's really just about having a plan and following the plan. So if that's a secret sauce, then I guess that's a big part of it.

Gresham Harkless 09:11

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So many times we find out that when you hear people that have reached success or happiness or whatever and however you are defining it, we sometimes can overcomplicate it and say that, okay, what is e equals mc squares, or what's the square root of pie? Or whatever these questions are.

That's the answer. But in reality, sometimes the answer's right in front of us. You just have to create, do that work to find that answer, then create the plan and execute on that plan to get there.

Jonathan DeYoe 09:34

Yeah. Yeah. Have a plan. Execute on the plan. It's pretty simple. I think there's a lot of motivational speakers that talk about massive action. That's true, that's great and that's important, but it's got to be massive action in the right direction.

You got to have the direction, then you take action and so many people get stuck on one or the other of those things. It's the coordination of those two things that actually makes life worth living. Like it makes you end up where you want to go.

Gresham Harkless 09:55

Yeah, absolutely. And it sounds like you've been able to tap into that and help people to understand that in so many different ways with all the work that you're doing, and that kind of helps people get to really where success is for themselves individually.

Jonathan DeYoe 10:06

Yeah, we try. We try.

Gresham Harkless 10:07

Yes, absolutely. It's always a journey, right? So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Jonathan DeYoe 10:19

This is my morning routine, like I spend two hours before anyone else in my house is awake. Usually I work out, I meditate, I read, I write. This is every day for the last 10 years. I spend two, two and a half hours by myself taking care of my physical body, taking care of my mind, and reading and feeding myself with the right kinds of stuff every day. I do it on Saturday, I do it on Sunday. I do it every day of the week.

I know that whenever I don't do it, when I miss it, when I have an interview that's early in the morning and it takes me off schedule or something like that, I feel it. I know there's a difference. I'm not as settled, I'm not as good, I'm not as smart. So that's really important to have that morning routine that works for you. I really think high intensity training is part of that routine. Your health is critical. So having that morning routine, I think that's the greatest hack that's existed in my life.

Gresham Harkless 11:09

Absolutely. Absolutely. What would you consider to be what I call a CEO nugget? This could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. You might have already touched on this. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Jonathan DeYoe 11:21

Yeah. So, when I look at my practice relative to a lot of my peers practices, we have these study groups and things like this. What I note is, a lot of these guys are smarter than I am. Like a lot of guys are really good with technology. Their tech stack is awesome. A lot of guys are really good at marketing, they're really good at something. The thing I notice is I've always hired ahead of growth. So the nugget there is I've grown fast. Like my company in the last 10 years has grown faster than most of my peers.

And in prepping for this, I was like, what can I do, why do I think that is? From a metrics standpoint, you got to measure these things. From a metrics standpoint, what I'm talking about is your revenue per full-time employee. So my revenue per full-time employee is less than my peer group's revenue per full-time employee because I hire ahead. Because I'm doing less and I'm having people do more stuff for me. If more people are doing more stuff for me, I have greater capacity. They have greater capacity.

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So the minute someone just starts bumping up against capacity, we hire someone else. Bumps against capacity, we hire. By hiring earlier we grow, faster. I think that's a nugget that if I would've known that 10 years ago, I would've hired much more quickly than I have hired. I think I would even have a bigger and better practice today had I done that.

Gresham Harkless 12:39

Absolutely. I definitely appreciate that. Now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, We're hoping out different quote and quote CEOs on this show.

So Jonathan, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jonathan DeYoe 12:52

So we're actually in the process of rolling out the entrepreneurial operating system, EOS, I don't kno if you've heard of this?

Gresham Harkless 12:58


Jonathan DeYoe 12:58

So I think the CEO, it's changing my view of what CEO is, and I think the CEO is a visionary. Here's the path, this is where we're going, and then they're setting expectations of individuals and then they're just supporting. Then they become a servant.

So visionary, setting expectations and then becoming a servant, helping everyone do their best in their role that they have so that we can meet the vision. People have questions about their vision, setting them straight on their vision. This is our vision. This is your part in that vision. Clear. Great. Fantastic. How can I help you do these things to help us get to that vision? I think that's it. Vision and then vision, and then support servant.

Gresham Harkless 13:36

Yeah, absolutely appreciate that and even that holistic view, because I think so many times, especially as we talked about investing in the people that are on your team and bringing on those employees, you have to make sure those employees know or those team members, I should even say, know what success is and how to reach that.

But you also have to be there and be a servant to them and support them in so many different ways to make sure that happens. When you start to hit on each of those, that's when you really start to see the success and getting to achieve that growth.

Jonathan DeYoe 14:01

Yeah. And you have to meet them individually, like you can't make the assumption that, hey, today is a great day for this person. You have to say, hat's going on with you? What are we overcoming today? Sometimes you'll hear nuggets, you'll hear stuff that's really important that you've got to think about and help people think through maybe business related and maybe in their lives.

There are a lot of folks that talk about making it personable, making love the center of the whole thing, really taking care of people. As long as we're doing that, I think we're all gonna be a little bit more successful.

Gresham Harkless 14:24

Yeah, absolutely. I think we all definitely, as a world will be, because I think when you start to make that impact and you start to talk to the person and help out the person, then it starts to affect them. It starts to affect their family, the organization, the business, and the world as a whole. So I definitely appreciate that definition and appreciate your time even more.

What I wanted to do is passionate the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course how best they can get ahold of the book, find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Jonathan DeYoe 14:50

Great. So, the best place to get information about what we're doing is to go to There's, it's just You can find all of our social media links and then when you're there, and this is something I'd really suggest, go to the financial courses. Go to financial education. So one of the things that really struck me about a year ago, was the thing that moves people towards financial freedom, there are lots of things, but there's a first thing, and the first thing is financial education.

The thing we fail as a country at doing, is providing any kind of framework for financial education. So we've built an 18-module system that teaches people the difference between credit and debit, teaches people the difference between stock and bond, teaches people how to save, what a match is, what a 401K is, what's IRA is. We are just educational. You don't have to hire us for anything, but there are courses there.

I'd really recommend people start with financial education that'll enable them to make better decisions about who they work with in terms of an advisor, if they wanna do it themselves. All these things are fine but start with some education. I think that in the last couple of weeks we've seen so much in the last year, the last couple weeks we've seen this thing with GameStop and that's been pretty crazy. I think a lot of education would've protected a lot of people when all the fallout comes down a little bit better. Education would've helped a lot of people.

Gresham Harkless 16:04

Yeah. I definitely appreciate that, Jonathan. We will have the links and information in the show notes, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:16:10] Outro:

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Get your driven CEO gear,

This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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