Chris, the “Cash Flow Expert”, is a leading authority showing growing entrepreneurs how to quickly free up and create cash flow TODAY! He’s an author, speaker, and radio host that has been featured in US News, CNN Money, Bankrate, and has spoken to thousands getting them fast financial results.
Subscribe to EOFire
- Audible – Get a FREE Audiobook & 30 day trial if you’re not currently a member!
- Pocket Casts – Chris’ small business resource
- Three Feet From Gold – Chris’ top business book
- Money Ripples
- The Chris Miles Money Show
- Man’s Search For Meaning
3 Key Points:
- Clarity creates confidence. Understand your niche and understand who you serve.
- Be persistent. Keep moving forward and find people that inspire you to work.
- Don’t ask yourself how you can make money. Ask yourself how you can create genuine value.
Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:27] – Chris is married with six kids
- [01:57] – Chris was on episode #502 of EOFire
- [03:02] – Chris generates revenue through events, online programs, and consulting
- [04:30] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: In 2008 Chris’ real estate investments tanked and he ended up millions in debt
- [06:29] – “There are no accidents”
- [06:37] – Chris’ life turned around when he submitted to the experience and kept going
- [07:08] – “Dollars follow value”
- [08:17] – Chris was able to learn practical lessons from his own experiences
- [09:10] – Chris paid off $900k of debt in 3 years
- 09:50 – Man’s Search For Meaning – All you have control over is your attitude
- [11:32] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Having everyone in the room at an event become his client
- [13:20] – “Show up. What in your life are you not showing up for?”
- [14:42] – Biggest weakness? – “I’m easily discouraged”
- [15:35] – Learning to deal with emotional highs and lows has been a long journey
- [16:10] – “Surround yourself with the right people”
- [16:53] – Biggest strength? – “Persistence. I keep trying to make things better”
- [17:50] – What has Chris most fired up today? “Being with you!”
- [20:24] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Fear of the unknown”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Dollars follow value”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “An Hour of Power in the morning”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Pocket Casts
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Three Feet From Gold
- Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world, identical to Earth, but you knew no one. You still have all the experiences and knowledge you currently have – your food and shelter is taken cared of – but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next 7 days? – “I would find people that are in the space I want to be in. Use the $500 to start taking them out to lunch and seeing what I can do for them.”
- [23:18] – Parting piece of guidance: “Keep moving forward”
- 23:33 – Connect with Chris at Money Ripples or through his podcast
Chris: Let’s light her up, man.
John: Chris, the cash flow expert, is a leading authority showing growing entrepreneurs how to quickly free up and create cash flow today. He’s an author, speaker, and radio host that’s been featured in U.S. News, CNN Money, Bankrate, and has spoken to thousands, getting them fast financial results. Chris, take a minute, fill in any gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Chris: Yeah, you bet. So I actually was raised near Portland, Oregon, so I’m a West Coaster, right? Moved out to Utah about 17 years ago, and ended up getting married and have six kids, and got stuck here ever since.
Chris: So when you got that many kids, you have a whole village you gotta bring you. It’s like refugees. So anyways, yeah, been out here. I originally went to school out here. Went to ballroom dancing, Japanese, psychology, sociology, but I ended up going into business, and that’s kind of where I’ve been today, is I’ve been a business owner now for the last 14 years.
John: Well, Fire Nation, if you recognize Chris’s voice, he was actually episode 502 of EO Fire, so Chris, do the math. That was 841 episodes ago, which is insane.
John: I mean, that is almost three years ago.
Chris: Yeah, I know. It’s insane.
John: So we got a lot to talk about today because a lot has happened in the past three years in every entrepreneur’s life, and Chris is no exception to this rule. Did you have six kids three years ago?
Chris: No, I had five.
John: Oh, so another one’s entered the picture. There you go. He just has added to his band of refugees. But, Chris, let’s talk about today, right now, before we get into a little bit of the past. How are you generating revenue in your business right now?
Chris: In the best way possible, working less and making more.
John: Oh, love that.
Chris: The way I’ve been doing it lately has really been through – I mean, although I put on events and things like that, and I do my own podcast show and that kind of stuff – I’ll tell you, the cool thing is that with me, it’s been the one-on-one consulting, just have the best people, the best clients show up in my life, and just been rocking it that way.
John: Let’s get a little more specific. How do the dollars come in the doors?
Chris: Well they come in the doors, like I said, I put on events, so I make money with events, I make money actually through my programs, CDs and things like that I have online. And then one-on-one consulting, where people hire me to work with them to be their cash flow expert, kind of be their own little financial advisor of sorts, but for business owners.
John: Now, Chris, if you sent me a CD, I would have nothing to do with it. I mean, I don’t have anywhere to play a CD. What happens when people get that?
Chris: Well that’s the funny thing. Most people never ask for CDs anymore for the last couple years. So I’ve been sending them downloads. It was just this last little while somebody said, “Hey, can you send me the CDs?” I’m like, “Oh, crap. Yeah, no problem! I got downloads, but, yeah, sure, I’ll go have some made.”
John: I actually am kind of bummed about my – because I got a computer a year and a half ago that was new then, but this computer that I’m talking into right now, it doesn’t have a CD player. And so I subscribe to Success Magazine, which I love as a magazine, and every month they send you this great CD as well in the magazine that has all this great content, and I’m like I can never get that content. I used to be able to pop it into my old computer, download the MP3s, and then listen to it. Now it’s just Frisbee for my dog. It’s like what’s going on here?
Chris: Now you just need to figure out where that boom box went, right? Man.
John: There it is. Oh, man. So, Chris, let’s talk about your worst entrepreneurial moment. Now I’m not sure how far back you’re gonna go, because you might not have had that bad of a moment in the past few years. But take us to what you consider your worst entrepreneurial moment, either ever or in the last three years, but really take us to that moment in time and tell us that story.
Chris: Yeah, I’d say the worst entrepreneurial moment I’ve ever had was really back in 2007, end of 2007 through about 2009. So it was about a two year period, or almost two years.
John: That’s a tough moment.
Chris: It was. It was the great recession, if you remember back then. And it was one of those times when I actually had retired a few years previously.
Chris: I’d actually retired as a 28-year old, and I was loving life and having a great lifestyle. But I cut off some of those income streams to shift directions with a business that I was forming with some other partners. And what ended up happening is we were focused all on real estate investors. And, ironically, as you all know, the real estate market just tanked in those years. And as a result, they didn’t get paid, they didn’t have money, and when they didn’t have money, they didn’t pay us, and the next thing I know, I find myself in the hole like $16,000 a month, meaning I was short $16,000 a month between my business and my personal expenses and I went from millionaire to upside down millionaire. I lost almost everything. Didn’t file for bankruptcy, but I was pretty dang close. And so it was a moment where, I’ll tell you, it was weird. I was the guy, I thought I had the Midas touch, I thought I had it all figured out. And I was the guy telling people how to get out of the rat race only to find myself back in it. And that’s where it was a very humbling, humbling experience – lots of fear, lots of crap, lots of depression, lots of wanting to give up or just not knowing what to do, feeling helpless and hopeless, right?
John: Okay, two things. How did you get out of that funk? What was that first turn that kind of got you to kind of come up from that rock bottom? And what was the biggest lesson you learned through that?
Chris: I think the biggest thing to help turn me around is understanding that there are no accidents, right, that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t understand why. And I didn’t know what the reason why, but I had that faith to kind of keep moving forward, to keep going and say, “You know what? There’s gotta be a reason for it, and maybe there’ll get some benefit from it because of what I was going through.”
So I did – I kept going, I kept pushing, and eventually, sort of dig back out when I started to submit, I guess is the best word for it. I submitted to the experience to say, “It’s okay. I don’t care if it takes me two days or two decades. I’m gonna keep living the principles, things like dollars follow value, which was one that helped me get to the point where I was able to retire. Now it’s like I was being tested on it, wondering if that was really what I believed. Did I really believe that I had to go out and create value for people, even if there was no promise of return or reciprocity. So I did, and I kept working, I kept finding ways to serve people. I found out that service is really free. It requires time and energy, but it doesn’t always require money. Even though I had no credit, no savings, I was flat broke, I still knew that I could offer my value to people.
And ironically what helped me get out of it was the experiences that I learned from myself, where I had to dig myself out of the financial hole as well, both making money as well as getting my expenses under control, getting my debt under control, dealing with creditors were calling multiple times a day, battling all of that, that was actually the very thing that people needed, and still to this day need. Because everybody talks about money, they’re talking about, “Hey, save your money for five million years and maybe you’ll retire,” all that crap. But I’m like, dude, what about today? What about right now? What can I do to solve my financial problems right now?
And so when I was able to learn from those experiences, we just happened to get connected with some really good centers of relationships, because we had to get ourselves in an abundant state. By staying in that abundant state, we got connected to a couple people, one was a chiropractor, a chiropractic coach, and the other was a dental coach. And I remember one of the first people I got was a chiropractic coach that worked for that guy, and we found $100,000 he overpaid in taxes for the previous three years, so we were able to get him 100 grand back from the IRS, and he was freaking out. He was thinking it was awesome, and some other guys that we were able to find 50 or $60,000 a year, and it was so crazy.
It was doing so much good or them that they were just talking about us like crazy. And the next thing we know we went from maybe eeking out a half million dollars in that business that year of 2009, to then doing over five million in 2010. And it just grew on a massive scale, and I was able to reverse my situation even more, because now I had everything under control, but now the income side was coming with it as well, and helped me accelerate and pay off over 900 grand of debt in three years.
John: Fire Nation, let’s talk about attitude. Attitude is something that you have control over when you’re talking about your attitude. You can have a crappy attitude when things are going bad. You can complain, moan, groan, gossip, do all those things that are just stupid and waste time, or you can say, “You know what? I’m in control of my attitude. I’m taking responsibility for the situation. I’m going to have an attitude of one that’s going to take positive steps and movement towards a solution.”
Great book that I love, I haven’t mentioned for a long time on this show, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl. Here’s a guy in a concentration camp in WWII, the absolute worst conditions, taken away from his wife, his children, his loved ones, and he just loses it all. But the one thing that he kept was his attitude; because he knew that was the one thing he could keep control over with everything going on around him. And if that person, Victor, can do that in that situation, who’s to say that you can’t do that in your situation? The answer is you can. It’s your attitude.
Now let’s do a little bit of a shift, Chris, because I want you to share with us an aha moment. I mean, you just shared with us a huge aha moment that you had, that you went through, and was able to erase 900K in debt in three years. That’s amazing. But you’ve had a lot of these great aha moments. So take us to one of the greatest aha moments that you’ve had in just the past couple years here that you’ve been like, “Wow, that’s an idea. Wow, that’s an epiphany.” And how do you take action on that aha moment to turn it into success?
Chris: I think one of the biggest things is understanding your niche and understanding who you serve, because clarity creates confidence. That’s one thing I’ve discovered. I can’t tell you how the most perfect who have been attracted to my life lately because as I got really clear, I realize the best people I serve are people that are couples, they’re business owners that either one, they’ll say, “I’m making more money, but where’s it all going? It feels like my business is making more, but I don’t have a better lifestyle. How do I get myself to have a better lifestyle?”
John: Okay, so Chris you said that you can’t believe that there’s these people that are attracted to you. Tell me a story of one of them. Take me to that moment when that clarity went off and this couple or these people, whoever they are, what’s the story?
Chris: Yeah, so I just did an event last January and at that event, I kind of didn’t promote it very well. I was horrible marketing it. I had another event the week prior, so I was focusing all of my efforts on that, and I’m like, “Oh, crap. I got an event coming up. Oh well.” I had invited certain people, and what’s interesting, only a few people showed up. It was my smallest event I’d had in over a year. But every single person in that room became a client, because they’re sitting there – and some of them were people that either were just starting a business or had a business, but some of them had money sitting around. They’re like, “We don’t even know what to do with this. We want to make money in a way that we don’t have to make money in business. We want to be able to make other streams of income, too.”
And I’m like – I told them the first hour of the event, I turned to them and I said, “You know what? You guys are perfect for me. You’re exactly the kind of clients I need. You’re perfect.” So I’m like, “Let’s just create a butt load of value in this event, and then we’ll work together.” And they did, all of them. And I loved it, because me being clear on knowing that I wanted people that said, “Hey, I want my money to work for me instead of me always working for my money.” Knowing those questions that people ask, those people will show up. That law of attraction works, especially when you’re clear, when you know who you are and who you’re serving. It’s amazing how those people just show up.
And I’ll go speak at an event, and a couple of people will come up to me and they’ll describe their situation. I’m like, “You’re easy.” I’ll tell them, “You’re not easy like you’re easy, but you’re easy for me to solve. You can’t see the solution, but for me, you’re a cake walk. You make me wanna get up in the morning.” And those people will just show right up. And that’s where I’ve been speaking less, which is funny. I speak less but I’m picker about what I speak on or who I speak to. So I’ve been telling people no more often. And I’m just like, “Hey, this is what I’m doing. Here’s what I go for.” And viola, people show up and I make more money working less. It’s crazy. It’s awesome.
John: You said the words show up, and you said it in a different context than I’m going to use it, but I really want you, Fire Nation, to just think about those two words. Show up. I mean, Chris didn’t have to show up at this event, because of course it was his event, he had some obligation to it, but he could have just cancelled it, because he was like, “Hey, I just did this event the week before, I forgot to market for this next one. I don’t have enough time to market. There’s only gonna be a handful of people that shows up. It’s probably not going to be worth my time.” And he might not have showed up. But guess what? He did. He showed up.
And so what in your life, Fire Nation, are you not showing up for? Maybe in your relationship, maybe in your business, maybe as a parent, as a child, whatever it might be. What are you not showing up as? And then what are you not showing and specifically on this entrepreneurial adventure that you’re on right now? Just show up.
I had people that came to me – I spoke at a conference the other week in Des Moines, Iowa. People came up to me like, “John, I was so close to not coming to this. I was just gonna think it was a waste of time. It was the first time this conference was ever put on. I was thinking it was just gonna be maybe not worth it, not of value.” And they’re like, “Instead, I got this idea, either from your talk or from Kevin Harrington’s talk, or from somebody that was from stage. We just got so much value that we’re gonna go back, now, and we have something for the first time in a long time.” Because they showed up. So whatever you’re doing, Fire Nation, show up.
Chris: Show up.
John: Chris, what’s your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Chris: My biggest weakness is discouragement. I get easily discouraged. I’m kind of an emotional guy sometimes, which is funny, because I was told by some people like, “Man, you’re like Spock. You don’t have any emotions.”
John: You’re like, “If you could only see me inside.”
Chris: You can’t see I’m crying right now. But, yeah, I mean I’ll tell you, for example, the event I did just the week prior to that, which is funny, because you talk about showing up. It would have been very tempting not to show up, one because I didn’t have a lot of attendees, two because the week prior – I tend to have highs when I do events. I don’t know if you’re like this, John, but you do events, you’re on a high, and then you get home and you crash. So I have highs and then lows. And I remember crashing after the event prior to the event where I had new clients, and thinking, “Ugh. I’m so tired. Man, maybe I should just quit my business.” I’ll get those feelings and those emotions.
I’ve started to recognize now that those are just emotions. They’re just feelings, they’re thoughts, they’re not real. So I’m like, “Okay, go to sleep, wake up in the morning, you’ll probably feel different.” And eventually I did. People started sending messages saying, “This was life changing, thank you so much. This was awesome.” And I’m like, “Okay, cool. I made a difference.” But I’ll tell you, discouragement comes in all the time. I was discouraged during that horrible time where I was $1 million in the hole. I’ve been discourage in the last year, went through a divorce, and had to deal with the business then, too, and all that kind of stuff. I mean, I’ve had lots of discouragement. But the key is you keep persisting, you keep moving forward.
John: What I wanna kind of talk about is the solution to this here, Fire Nation, is surround yourself with the right people, because you are always going to be the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And when you’re surrounding yourself with people who you admire, who are just positive thinking, who are go getters, who are motivational, inspirational in their own rights, then when you go through these little funks, they’re gonna pull you out of it. And guess what? They’re not perfect, either. They’re gonna go through those funks, and then you can be there for them. You can be there for each other. That’s why I’m such a proponent of masterminds. I’m in a weekly mastermind. My time is very valuable, but I spend an hour a week with my mastermind partners, and we keep each other in check. And when one of us in a check, we knock each other out of it. That’s how we roll. Now what, Chris, is your biggest strength?
Chris: My biggest strength, I would say, definitely is what I just ended on, is persistence. I am someone that I just keep trying to master and perfect and just keep making it better and better. And so that resolve to keep moving forward, to not give up, sometimes to a fault, sometimes there’s times when you should just cut it off and say, “Okay, I see the writing on the wall. This is just brain damage right now. I’m just banging my head against the wall.” But I’ll tell you, other times just what I’ve been able to gum through and overcome, that’s what’s given me the greatest value. All the things of experience is what I’ve been able to turn around and give to my clients. And I’ve helped people save tens of millions of dollars as well as be inspired and have more hope, all because of the crap that I went through. My pain became everybody else’s gain. So the ability to persist, to keep moving forward, even when most people would quit, that’s definitely my greatest strength.
John: Chris, what’s one thing, today, right now that you are most fired up about?
Chris: Being with you, man, of course.
John: Well, what! I love you living in the moment.
Chris: That’s right, man.
John: So few people say that.
Chris: Definitely, I think that’s it. I mean, really the thing I’m most fired up about is that I have these people showing up that are the people that I need to serve. I can help anyone, there’s no doubt. All of us have the ability to probably help just about anybody to some level. But it’s so awesome to know that you’re helping the right people that will rave about you. I mean, especially last year, going through a divorce, it was hard to keep pushing forward through that. I mean, that was maybe even in some cases, in some ways harder, emotionally, than even losing $1 million, right?
But I’ll tell you, just being able to have the right people show up, and I had a client just a month ago, just a few weeks ago, even, where we were able to find another $4,163 a month, we were able to free up for them. That’s almost 50 grand a year. And the crazy thing is she works for a bank. She understands money, and we were able to find 50 grand a year. And she was like, “Crap, now I have all this money. Now what?” “Well, cool. Let’s go do this. Now we can make some money with this. We can go do some real estate investing or whatever, make an extra couple grand a month.”
And all this cool stuff that can happen, that by the end of the year, she might be making an extra 270 grand from what seems like nothing. And that just excites me. When I have people show up, and say, “Hey here’s my situation. There’s gotta be an answer.” I’m like, “Yes, and I’m it!” That just gets me fired up. I love it. I love creating, I love just being able to evolve as a business owner myself, and being able to help others do the same, and just get this huge lightbulb, aha, hopeful moment. That’s what I love.
John: Well, Fire Nation, you are going to love the lightning round. So don’t you go anywhere, because we’re gonna take a quick minute to thank our sponsors.
Chris, are you prepared for the lightning round?
Chris: Oh, yeah. Bring it.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Chris: The biggest thing, obviously, is fear. I’d say the fear of the unknown, the fear of nobody else in my family really being much of an entrepreneur, so being able to try it out and do it, that was a big fear for me.
John: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Chris: Dollars follow value. If you wanna create more money in your life, stop asking, “How do I create more money, how do I make more money?” Dumb question. Just ask yourself, “How do I create more value?” and money is the natural byproduct.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Chris: I would say what Tony Robbins would call the hour of power, where every morning I wake up, I exercise, I read good books or listen to podcasts, I pray, meditate, read scriptures, you name it. I’m doing all those things to get myself ready in the first thing in the day to get myself to an abundant state, and then I rock the rest of the day.
John: Can you share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation.
Chris: I love to use pocket casts. I love to use that just to be able to get downloads and podcasts and things of that nature. So I love things that just – I’m not big on using my phone, but I love that one.
John: If you could recommend just one book for our listeners, what would it be and why?
Chris: I would recommend, if you’re experiencing anything like – if anything I’m talking about resonated today, I would say get the book from one of my friends, Greg Reid and Sharon Lechter, Three Feet From Gold. That one inspired me when I was going through my biggest crap, and it helped me out in so many ways. And there’s great truths in there, great advice. And I’ll tell you, that works. It’s good stuff.
John: Chris, this is the last question of the lightening round, but it’s a doozy. Image you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world that’s identical to earth, but you knew no one. You still have all of the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter’s taken care of, but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Chris: I would do the same thing I had to do when I started Money Ripples, with a two-year non-compete. I had to start with brand new relationships. It felt like a foreign planet, especially when I was focused on women entrepreneurs a lot at that time. I’ll tell you, the biggest thing is I would find people that are in that space. I would probably go find groups like that, be like, “Okay, who can I serve? What are some entrepreneurial groups nearby?” Find that, meet some people, and use that 500 bucks to start taking them out to lunch, breakfast, dinner, dessert, you name it, and just see how I can serve them, who I can connect them with, what answers can I give them, what can I give them that’s of value to create a real friendship. And when you create those kind of bonds and those ties, man, they will talk you up, you will get so many connections and open doors that it’s awesome. I mean, that’s how I met you, John, was just through that very same means.
John: Let’s end today on fire, with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Chris: Yeah, parting words, I think if there’s anything is that, you know what, keep moving forward. Keep persisting, keep on keeping on. Don’t keep doing the things that don’t work, obviously, but find great people to guide you and help give you that hope, inspire you and to help you move forward. And then ways to reach out to me – I’ve got my website, moneyripples.com. That’s M O N E Y R I P P L E S dot com. And I’ve got a podcast as well. If you love listening to shows like this, I’ve got the Chris Miles money show that you can find on iTunes, Stitcher, and that kind of thing. I’d love to be able to keep serving you.
John: Boom. Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and you’ve been hanging out with CM and JLD today. So keep up the heat, and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Chris in the search bar. His show notes will pop right up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. Of course episode 502. It would be pretty cool to listen to both those episodes back to back to see the similarities, and of course, the big differences. And of course check out moneyripples.com for all the killer content you’ve been hearing today and then some, and the Chris Miles money show is in iTunes, Stitcher radio, all of the major places that you can listen to a podcast. Make it happen, Fire Nation. And Chris, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
1) The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
2) The Mastery Journal: Master productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days!
3) Free Podcast Course: Create, Grow and monetize YOUR Podcast!