Ep. 10 | Mike Ayala – All The Answers Are Already Inside You!


September 23, 2021

2:18 pm

On this episode of The Rich Equation Podcast, Ashish is joined by Mike Ayala. Ashish and Mike create an amazing, knowledge bomb filled episode as they discuss how your upbringing can affect your relationship with money and how your mindset about money can significantly affect your abundance and energy.


Entrepreneur | Podcaster | Investor | Coach | Managing Partner at Four Peaks Capital Partners & Park Place Communities


0:00 – Intro 2:10 – Ashish asks Mike what does ‘rich’ mean to you 2:13 – Mike shares Robert Kiyosakis quote; “you can measure wealth in the amount of days you take off” 3:20 – Mike shares how he doesn’t think many of us are taught about rich 5:10 – Mike shares a personal story about the first lesson he learned about money 8:11 – Mike speaks about how a lot of the time people are thrown off by the fact that they don’t have a big past trauma and think that because of that they can’t have a conversion 12:09 – Ashish asks Mike what he thinks two of the biggest trip ups people have with money are and what the right mindset to have with money is 14:31 – Mike states that money is a tool and explains how if you store your money it becomes stagnant 17:35 – Mike states that no matter who you are or what your background is, if you don’t increase your inflow and increase your outflow, you’re going to get out of balance 21:33 – Mike address the statement ‘when is it enough’ and gives examples of when enough might just be enough such as when he knows he has enough to feed a thousand other people and not have to worry about whether he can feed his family or not 27:19 – Mike shares a mindset he has and how he believes that once freedom is taken, it’s never given back 32:40 – Ashish states that with awareness comes freedom 38:30 – Ashish states that we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and we have to realise that we are the only ones who can make the change and there is no one else to blame 39:09 – Mike shares the most powerful yet practical tool everyone could use that will help you create some momentum to move in the right direction 46:50 – Ashish states that you are your biggest asset


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Welcome back to the Rich Equation podcast. Today. I have an amazing episode for you. I have a man that is close to my heart, a close friend and mentor, Mike Ayala. He is an avid real estate investor, entrepreneur and business coach, and the host of the investing for freedom podcast. On this episode, we get really spiritual on how our upbringing can affect our relationship with money and how our mindset about money can significantly affect our abundance and energy. Mike is such an amazing teacher and there are some really great knowledge bombs in this episode. I know you will get so much value from it. Here he is Mike Ayala. And remember if you enjoy this episode, be sure to share it with someone that would be inspired by this or this information could be helpful and subscribe right now to the podcast and leave a review so we can continue to bring value to you.

Welcome to the Rich Equation podcast. Are you ready to discover how to live rich today and not wait for retirement? If you’re tired of struggling and want to live your best life now, you are in the right place.

Outdated principles will no longer work in today’s environment. It’s time for a new approach. Your host Ashish Nathu will help you discover methods to live the new American dream. It’s time to start living the good life on your own terms and experience a new way to live rich. Now here’s your host Ashish Nathu.

Ashish Nathu: Welcome to the Rich Equation podcast. Today I have a special guest Mike Ayala, the host of the investing for freedom podcast, an avid real estate investor and entrepreneur serial entrepreneur. Welcome to the show, my friend, how are you? It’s a real honor for you to be here.

Mike Ayala: Ashish I’m super honored to be here as well and excited about the conversation. Every time we ever have one. It’s amazing. So who knows where we’re going, but I love it.

Ashish Nathu: Who knows where we’re going? Well, Mike, the name of the podcast is the Rich Equation. And the first question we always ask everybody is what does rich mean to you?

Mike Ayala: You know, I don’t want to steal somebody else’s thunder, but Robert Kiyosaki said you can measure wealth in the amount of days that you can take off. And that when I heard that years ago, again, you mentioned the investing for freedom podcast, but why reinvent the wheel? I mean, rich to me is the amount of days that I can wake up and do what I want when I want doesn’t mean I don’t want to go to work. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be engaged. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to deal with people and employees and customer and clients. But what it means is if I have a day where my daughter or my son or my wife needs me, or I’m just not feeling it or I’m tired or, you know, there’s situations where this has happened. I want to just take some time off and be with one of my kids. If I can say, you know, know what screw it. I got to take the day off. And there’s no one that can tell me otherwise to me, that’s rich.

Ashish Nathu: Did that change for you generationally? Let’s just go here.

Were you taught that?

Mike Ayala: No, absolutely not. In fact I was probably, I don’t think many of us are taught about rich period. And so I think, you know, there’s a couple ways to learn and one is through watching and mirroring and seeing and understanding. And then, you know, then there’s the direct lessons that were taught through mentors, family, parents, whatever. And you know, what was mirrored to me. And I’ve said this so many times and I’ve learned, I need to start clarifying the difference between my stepfather and my real father, cause my stepfather is a gem. He’s amazing. But so many times I’ve talked about my father, who was my sperm donor. And you know what, he was a drunk, he was an alcoholic. He was in and out of my life until I was eight. He was abusive all these things, right? So I learned not just on the money front Ashish, but I learned an example of what I didn’t want to be when it came to being a father, when it came to, you know, providing for my children or, you know, being a good husband. I learned all the negative things. Not because he specifically taught me that, but because he mirrored it. And so to answer to your question specifically my mom, you know, after going through her initial divorce and then getting remarried, she’s very driven. She’s very successful. If anything, I watched, I learned hard work ethic from her and my stepfather, but they were both gone a lot. And so they didn’t really teach me anything about money. In fact if I ever heard my parents fighting it was usually about money. And so no, I wasn’t taught anything about money. You know, the first real probable, like I had a mentor who taught me a lot and I don’t want to digress on this too much, but I started working at a young age because if I wanted to, you know, have clothes, if I wanted to have a vehicle, etc., I had to work for it. So I had a couple mentors along the way in the restaurant industry, I was a cook at the age of 15. You know, they taught me a lot about hard work and ethics and that kind of stuff, but not really about money. I think one of my first real lessons around money was in a church that we went to. And then my uncle who was very, very successful. This is a story for another day, probably if you want to go into it, we can, but my uncle and Kara’s uncle had known each other from years past in a different state. And when I walked into the foyer to get married, my uncle and Kara’s uncle were like hugging each other. They were crying cause they hadn’t seen each other for like 20 years. And so anyway, my uncle was super successful. One of the only people that kind of broke the mold in my family on my mom’s side. And he gave me book for my wedding. It was called the Richest man in Babylon and in the front of that book, there was a $20 bill and a $2 bill and he wrote this little thing. He said, the $2 bill is yours to keep, the $20 is yours to spend as you wish. And that was really the first time that somebody gave me something that was like financial teaching. And then I had a couple other experiences, but no to bring, you know, it was definitely not generational. I’m first generation success. And by the way, my parents are now successful as well. But, yeah, they didn’t teach me success.

Ashish Nathu: That’s so interest. I actually, I love that framework of, I saw what not to do. You didn’t see a good example. You saw the, the example was the, in the contrast of, I feel like my journey was a little bit of the opposite where I was surrounded by good example, but then I did that and I wasn’t defining it for myself. I was doing it based on what other people wanted it for me or how they define success or wealth or richness.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. You know, I think we can learn as much through parallel lessons as we do direct lessons. And so you know, even there’s a part of me that’s, you know, glad I didn’t, wasn’t taught that as a younger person because right or wrong I think sometimes, you know, I mean, we come in with preconceived ideas either way about life and success and how all that ventures out. You know, I getting to know you a little bit, you know, I talk about like my spirituality, you know, quite a bit. And one thing that I’ve really realized having, I didn’t grow up in the church, but after some experiences in high school and everything else, when Kara and I first got married, we, you know, spent a lot of time going to church and everything else. You can take a lot from the direct lesson, but the reality is that, you know, so many, it’s funny cause some of the preachers that you hear are making the most impact and change in the world are the ones that had the greatest testimony. And this is what people talk about in the church. Like, you know, usually somebody that grabs your attention, they have this crazy testimony, they were on drugs. They killed people. They, whatever they like robed Domino’s pizza. Like they were, they were hellians if you will. And then they had this major, crazy conversion. There is a story in the Bible, like Saul on the road to Damascus, he [08:02 inaudible] Christians. And so when a guy like that is converted and lives a different life, of course it’s like extreme. But the thing that I realized is, you know, some of the people that have a lot of times people think that if they didn’t have a crazy upbringing or something else, then they don’t have a story and that’s just not true, but it’s just another frame of reference. So I don’t know that, you know, either way is better or right or wrong, it’s just what you do with it.

Ashish Nathu: Well, I think that’s, I mean, that’s so true and I feel like a lot of people are hiding their truth because they don’t have trauma. They don’t have some like significant, negative, bad story that they can point to. That’s why I am unhappy and unfulfilled, Or I rose for my Phoenix, but I didn’t really rise. I didn’t have any major traumatic experience in my life. But even everyday people right, I’m listening to a lot of stuff about how, you know, especially raising our children is like, we just don’t celebrate ordinary anymore. Everything’s got to be extraordinary. So it’s either, you’re either, you know, you have all this trauma and everything’s negative or you’re ordinary and that’s not satisfactory.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. It’s so true. And even on the, you know, I mean, we get into this a lot and talk about I don’t know where you want to go with this.

Ashish Nathu: Let’s go wherever we go.

Mike Ayala: I’ve been accused so many times of not celebrating because I’m an overachiever. I’m learning as you just said to slow down, even because, you know, even when we think about like my kids are amazing. But Kara and I have been talking about this a lot lately. There’s certain emotions that we’re not allowed to have, like when as young children, when we deal with anger, like they’re angry. And so then when they get angry, you kind of lash out and the thing is like, we learn to suppress our anger. And so we just have to be careful with all that, whether it’s around money you know, not talking about our fear, I know this is the new rich and that’s one thing that I think Kara and I have done so, you know, well around is having those conversations because a lot of times, you know, if we’re freaking out or we’re scared or, you know, we’re, I mean, even when you’re not walking in faith or you know, I had a pastor in the day and you know, he was telling this story about how they needed like a million dollars to close on this building or something. And if they didn’t, they were going to lose all this earnest money for the church and all this stuff. And he made this comment and he said, you know what, when something like that happens, it’s not your job to worry about it. It’s our job to go fishing. And that like, that set me back because you know, when we get into anger or fear or worry or concern or anything like that, when it comes to money, puts us in the wrong state and we just got to learn, I know we were talking about trauma, but the reality is I think that’s some of the biggest issues that we deal with is when we don’t learn to deal with our emotions and have open communication around it. So whether it’s celebrating, which I’ve been accused of not celebrating with employees because you know what, yeah, great, we did what we were supposed to. You let’s move on. What’s the next big thing we’re going to tackle. But what we have to realize just as you were saying with parenting or anything else, is like, we’ve got to stop and enjoy those moments because what we do, we lash out when our children or our partners or business partners, or even ourselves, our spouses, whatever we lash out when we’re not dealing with, when we’re dealing with certain types of emotions. But the reality is if we stopped and just enjoyed life as it should be, it’d be so much better.

Ashish Nathu: Yeah. We often judge ourselves, right. So much self-judgment, all judgment is self-judgment. And let’s talk about the relationship with money because you’ve really leaned into this subject. Matter of investing for freedom and finding freedom through wealth building, and you know, this topic about money. We, most of us don’t grow up learning about money, talking about money with our families. And so we all have this relationship with money that can really prevent us from achieving great financial success, which then ultimately leads to our own formula of rich or freedom, or what have you, what do you see as like the number or two trip up that people have with their relationship with money and what’s the right mindset to have with their relationship with money?

Mike Ayala: You know, I’ve actually been I was at an event, I don’t know, a couple weeks ago. And Morgan [12:27 inaudible], I think is how you say his last name. He was there speaking and he was talking about the psychology of money. Have you heard that book?

Ashish Nathu: No.

Mike Ayala: It’s a really interesting viewpoint. And so if you would ask me this a month ago I’d probably have a different answer than I had today, but I’ve really been just digging in on a few things that I think are really interesting. And so number one, just like we were talking about trauma, we have to be really careful around the psychology of money because you know, your background, your upbringing, your scenarios are completely different than mine. And I’m really starting to understand that none of this is black and white. And so, you know, coming up from an upbringing where we didn’t have money, I didn’t have anything. You know, people with the same story, same background could go a couple different directions. They could be driven by money because they could say, Hey, I’m never going to be without again, and be so attached to money and wealth that they just hold onto it. I didn’t really take that route. In fact, until I joined a group called gobundance three or four years ago I never even really paid attention to money. You know, I’ve thought of money this way for a lot of years and I’m a hunter. So a lot of people this might not make sense to, but if you go out hunting, you’ll find these livestock ponds or, you know, wildlife ponds, and some of them are natural and some of them aren’t. But the reality is, I think everybody will understand this when you see a lake that’s crystal clear it’s because there’s fresh water coming in all the time and there’s fresh water going out all the time. It’s when there’s no longer fresh water coming in and water going out that that water gets murky, muddy. There’s no life in it anymore. And so I’ve seen money this way for a long time. I just saw that parable, like in my brain of the muddy water, every time I see these livestock ponds, I want to see nice crystal clear like lake pond. You can, you know, there’s usually a waterfall coming down the mountain and there’s usually a waterfall going down the mountain. You can literally see 40 feet to the bottom of the lake. The reason why is cause there’s good water coming in and there’s good water coming out. I look at money the same way. Money is a tool. Now I have to be really careful here again because this is my psychology around money. But I never looked at it, oh my God, I didn’t have money when I was little and so I need to hoard it. If I started hoarding it, then it becomes stagnant. And that’s how I look at that. For me, if we look at ourselves as stewards of money and we look at money as a tool and we do the right things on the front side and the backside money will always be flowing in and money will always be flowing out. It’s when we stop that flow in or we stop that flow out, that’s when things get disrupted. And so that’s what I really think. If you just put yourself in the center of inflow and outflow of money and just keep them both coming now, that might be in terms of, you know, building a side hustle or a side brand, which is some of the things that I’m constantly talking about. You know, we all have our core business or our core job, but how do you get more water coming into that pond? Well, you increase the flow. The thing that we want to do sometimes though is hold onto that because a lot of times we come from a background or a psychology around money where it’s like, it’s not from an abundance mentality. It’s scarcity, Exactly. And so I think we just got to fix both sides of that. And so again, I never really paid attention to money until I joined gobundance and then they started, you know, we’ve got these one sheets and there’s like a score on your horizontal income and all that. And I’ve had to pick careful lately about tracking money too much because it started messing with my psychology a little bit start focusing, you know, I started getting really, I’ll tell you just an exact thing that just happened to me last week. So we’re in a couple’s mastermind with Chris and Lori Harder. And so we, you know, work this scorecard and everything with them, which you’ve seen and have your hands on. Well, I might have even mentioned this to you guys the other day. What’s interesting is, so there’s a question in there, you’re rating the scorecard and my rating around, you know, achieving my financial goals and everything is high. I think I’m either an eight or a nine, which is pretty high. But then my feeling of security around money was a six. And I’m like, what is this feeling? And I’ve really had to like reconcile this lately, Ash, because I’m at a place where I’m not saying this to brag, but you know, I’m sitting on more cash right now and, and have more good things going on in my life, yet I’m feeling insecure a little bit about my position. And what I realized is I’m focusing to too much on money and it was really more of like, okay, I’m sitting on this cash, like where do I put it? I need to find deals. And when we get into that point where we’re having to find deals, this is where big private equity companies and that kind of stuff go wrong. When they have so much capital that they don’t know what to do with it, it becomes a stressor on the other side of it. So too much money and getting into that scarcity mindset and starting to hoard it, becomes a problem. So you got this big pond where all this money’s coming in, yet none of its going out. Well in the natural sense, it’d just be like a dam that would break. And so you would say, well, that’s not a problem, but the reality is like the psychology around money is super important. So anyway, I don’t know if I answered question, but I think you have to be really careful, just like with trauma around money psychology, because we all come from different places. But what I know for sure, I don’t care who you are. I don’t care you know, what your background is. If you don’t increase your inflow and increase your outflow, you’re going to get out of balance.

Ashish Nathu: I love that analogy of clean water ponds. I’ve always heard it with air. Like, do we keep air in bottles on our shelf? Money is like air, it’s energy. It’s got to flow. You don’t put the air or oxygen inside of bottles and keep it on the shelf. Like it needs to low in order for it to be clear, which I love how you put that. I also think that it’s really interesting that, you know, once you’re blessed with that abundance, your mind can play games on your psych. You know, your mind can play games on you that like, well, Mike, you need to spend all this money. You need to go invest it. Like, what are you doing? You know, you’re not really secure this money needs to flow because that’s the story. I think that’s really fascinating. I’m sure a lot of people experience that.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Well, I think it also goes even with, you know, Morgan’s whole book, the psychology of money, which I highly recommend. By the way, I’m super excited, I get a one and a half hour call with him too, just coming up. And I just like have him, you know, just dive in man, like dig on me because that’s one thing that I really appreciate about you Ash is that you’re always trying to become a better version of you and it doesn’t matter how much we know, there’s always more to learn. And so anyway, I highly recommend the psychology of money book, but it’s interesting because you know, even what we think we know I think we constantly have to be poking holes in that. And that’s what I love about you. You’re just always looking for more answers and exploring that and you’re hungry. Remain hungry.

Ashish Nathu: It is kind of funny when, I appreciate that. And I do feel like I’m always searching and I’m not searching for more, but I like, I want to learn more. I have this thirst for learning and thirst for wanting more. And people often judge that like, oh, you’re just lost. You don’t know what you want, you don’t know what your why is. And I don’t know if everyone understands that, that it’s not really, it’s not coming from a place of being lost. It’s more of a place of thirst of like, there’s more, there’s always more, I only have one shot then I’m dead. So might as well learn as much as I can while I’m here.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I love that. And one of my mentors, I was with him last week in Steamboat Springs, and we were having a conversation with a bunch of guys in the living room. And somebody asked him the question, he’s done pretty well. You know, multiple nine figures. So, I mean, he’s up there. He’s done well. Somebody asked him, you know, when’s enough enough, it’s the age old question. Like, when’s enough enough. And I loved his answer. He said, I have enough. Like, you know, if I needed to stop, I could stop, but it’s not about the money. He’s like, it’s about the challenge. He said, the day that I stop loving waking up and building businesses and you know, doing everything that I do, one of my mentors always says, when it’s not fun, I’m not doing it anymore. And that kind of comes back to like the freedom question that you were talking about. Like, what does the new rich mean? I love what he said. I mean, he has enough. And so I love that answer. And then Kara and I were talking about it when I got back from the event. And I think a lot of times when somebody, you know, comes at you from that position of, oh, you’re lost, or, oh, you know, he just doesn’t know what he wants and they don’t understand that. Or they ask that specific question, Ash, when’s enough enough, like, can’t you just be happy, can’t you just be like, you know, comfortable with what you already have. You’ve got more than everyone. When somebody’s asking that question, they’re coming from a point of lack in their life. You know, David Osborne was the guy I was talking about and I love it because you know, every time he’s leveling up, he’s talking about, you know, how much money am I going to give away next year? Like how much more can I do good in the world? How many more jobs can I provide? All that kind of stuff. That’s what usually people are not thinking about when they’re asking you the question when is enough, enough. Well, when I have enough that I can feed a thousand other people and not have to, you know, worry about whether my family gets to eat or not, maybe that’s enough, or maybe once it’s a thousand people that I’m feeding, maybe it goes to 10,000. Or when I can, you know, get to a point where I send in a big 737 jet and help people in Afghanistan, maybe that’s enough. And by the way, what business is it of yours? Like the reality is like, but see, people don’t understand that. And they think you’re coming from a point of lack because you’re searching for more wanting more, but that’s where they’re coming from. And so we just have to be careful also reframing and, you know and this is really easy to do, and we feel like they’re attacking us. But the reality is they think that, you know, we’re in a poverty mindset or we’re greedy or whatever. Most people that are very successful are very, very, very generous. Because it’s coming in and it’s coming out.

Ashish Nathu: Well, look, I mean, in all full transparency to the listeners, like I’ve known you for maybe nine months now. And one of the things that I’ve learned most from you is that, you know, no matter how much you have or who you think you are, you do such a good job of constantly taking inventory and in different seasons of your life, you know, those inventory numbers change, whether it’s about money or relationships or, you know, nutrition or health or whatever, it may be, mindset, How am I feeling about certain things? And that journey of constantly just tweaking and learning and adjusting and investing and Like leaning into what, how you keep up leveling up, leveling up leveling. Somebody asked me recently, like, well, you know, Ashish if you had unlimited amount of money, like, what would you be doing? Or unlimited amount of time? I’m like, to be honest, I do exactly what I do every day. Like, I feel like I am living out the life I want every day. Now, do I have all the time I want? No, do I have all the money I want? No, but I’m doing the behaviors, the habits, the routines of that guy five or 10 years from now today. So I already feel like I’ve manifested that success if you will. And I think that’s what you were talking about is that there’s never really an end to this journey. And all we can do is keep living it every single day. As if, you know, Kara says this all the time is like, live your future yourself today. Like act and behave as if your future self now, I think that’s so powerful.

Mike Ayala: Yeah so good. And I’m reminded of, by the way, I don’t mean to always go spiritual, but there’s a rabbi. I’m not Jewish, but I love this rabbi. You know, I just think we can learn from so many different people in walks of life, but he wrote a book called thou shall prosper. His name’s rabbi Daniel Lapin.

Ashish Nathu: I just heard this, yeah. Tell the story. It’s really good.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Well, he was talking in there about how, you know, we were never designed to retire and he didn’t say this. I don’t think in the book, but I heard this story recently too. Like in our older try days, when the elders would get to a point where they were, you know, too much of a burden, they would literally walk out and just like walk out to their death because they got to a point where they were a burden on the tribe. And I’m not saying we should do that by the way. But you know, and fortunately we don’t have to do that today. I mean, we can make enough money where we can take care of our elders and that kind of stuff. But just coming back to the psychology around, you know, where we came from as humans, the thing that rabbi Daniel Lapin said is that we’re never designed to retire, like the day that we retire and by the way, I hate that word. And I’ve said this so many times because re-tire, I mean, just these and think about the root of it re-tire. Like we’re going into tirement, like it’s re-tirement, we’re going into our rest phase. And, you know, to spend 30, 40, 50 years of our life working for this golden age day that they talk about, like, we’ve got some dream that when we’re 84 years old and we’re fat and we can’t move and we’re tired and we can’t fit on an airplane. And by the way, I don’t think we have to be fat.

Ashish Nathu: Now we should be happy.

Mike Ayala: But you know, we’ve burned the greatest years of our life and it’s just such a fallacy. And it’s so sad to me that, you know, that’s where we’ve gotten to, but Daniel Lapin talks about, we’re not meant to retire. Like we’re meant to be a productive member of society until the day we die. And the that’s how it used to really be. And I just don’t think we have that psychology anymore.

Ashish Nathu: Well, our education system needs to start promoting that, right. Our society has promoted, I mean, I wouldn’t say that it’s not changing. I do believe that it’s changing and technology helps for sure. But you know, the old American dream is not relevant anymore. That idea that you can work for 45 years and have a 401k and save up to your 65, just like you said, and then pretend to be happy, It just doesn’t work anymore. That those days are gone.

Mike Ayala: Well, I was literally having a conversation last night at the hotel that we’re staying at with a couple guys who were super interesting. And if you want to edit this out, go ahead. I have this thought process that I’ve never really shared with very many people and care was like, be careful how, and when you share that.

Ashish Nathu: We’re going to drop it right now. Let’s do it.

Mike Ayala: We’re going to drop it right now. That’s what’s so great about podcasts is, you know, you’re in control. So if people hear this, then Ash, let it go through. And if they don’t then, that’s fine.

Ashish Nathu: Click the next episode.

Mike Ayala: You know, when you look backwards in time, I was Kara and I, we just moved to Austin and we took an RV trip on the way. And we ended up in this town called Ure, Colorado, which the town was named after this chief Ure of the Yutes. And so anyway, long story short, we bought this book while we were there. That, we ended up getting on audio and on the RV trip home, we listened to it and it was called the other slavery and they were talking about how, you know, for years Indians, not necessarily American Indians, but native American Indians have been enslaved. And there’s this long history of slavery. And, you know, there’s certain races that are known as, you know, they were slaves, but then there’s a lot of other ones that weren’t too. And you go by back way, way, thousands of years in time. And there’s literally, this book was talking about how there was like slave law. So like a slave could buy their freedom. And this started triggering something in me that I’ve been saying for a long time. And this is what Kara was saying. Be careful how you say this, because when we’re talking about our education system, I think that people got to a point where slavery was okay so long and by the way, I like think that that is the, my core value is freedom. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what race you are. I don’t care what religion you are, even what’s going on in our country right now, my core value is freedom. And at the end of the day, we have to fight for that because the minute that freedom is taken from you, you know, slaves had literally a title. So they had a title that you just like, we own property today. What’s interesting and a couple things kind of came together and compounded this when we talk about the new rich and the freedom. And by the way, I think America has this blessing on it. Because when you look at countries like, you know, over the history of time, very few countries have had the level of freedom and democracy that we have here. And the ones that did, there’s never been a democracy that lasted more than 250 years, and we’re right on the cusp of 250 years. And so some interesting things are happening. And like I said, once freedom was taken. I’ve never seen it given back. And so here’s the school system thing that I want to like really narrow down and my thinking around it. So Dan Sullivan, who I coached with strategic coach, he made a comment that this was a three or three years ago. And he made a comment around the founding fathers when they were writing the declaration of independence. They said life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, right? The original wording was life, Liberty, and the pursuit of personal property. That was like, what America was founded on was like personal property. You have the right to ownership, you get your freedom, but they took it out because they were scared. They were basically like building this new legal them. And they took out the right to personal freedom because they were scared that a court would overturn their ability to have slaves. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of personal property. And what that meant under our main constitution was that slaves had the right to personal property. Anybody did. So anyway, they took that out. And here’s what I think really happened over time. We got to a point where we knew that we couldn’t eventually be a nation that allowed this to happen.

And so how do we shift the thinking, well, this is the punchline that I’ve said for so long that Kara said, be careful how you say that, because this is not about race or religion or anything else. But I think W2 is just legalized slavery. When we create a system and a process where we brainwash people from the time that they’re little, that, you know, this is the way we think this is the way we do things, you grow up and you just be a good manager, or you just be a good employee. And you do what you’re told until you’re 75, 85 years old. And eventually you’ll basically get your, you know, certificate of free freedom if you will. We just shifted the mindset. And the problem with that is just like in that book and just like in any nation where there’s, you know, laws around slavery, a slave could usually buy law by their own freedom. The reality was that they hardly ever did that because in order to buy their own freedom, what they have to do, they had to get a side hustle because they basically had to figure out how to make more income than what they were making.

Ashish Nathu: It’s like a trap. It’s like a trap. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?

Mike Ayala: It’s a trap. And so when you look at it, big picture forget, you know, the actual am I actually saying that w two employees are slaves? No, I’m not saying that, slavery is a mindset. Slavery is purely a mindset. You know, there were so many slaves that this book was even talking about it. Like, there were so many of them. They could have overpowered the plantation at times, but they didn’t. Why, because they were in bondage, they were enslaved. And so new rich to me, I don’t care who it is. They’ve broken out of in their mindset, not the, the actual fact that somebody owns title to them. But when you think about it, when we let, we’re such a nation of titles, CEO, COO, like director of this. There’s like a whole push right now in Corp, like, you know, EOS and all that to like eliminate titles. And the reality is what’s the first question somebody asks you when they meet you, what do you do? So we’re putting labels, like we’re putting titles on it, like, here’s your title? And so I’m not saying that we’re actual slaves. What I’m saying is that we’re in bondage and the schooling system and the entire process has been designed this way and we’ve just all bought into it.

Ashish Nathu: So with awareness comes freedom. And I think that the mind creates these constructs of security with the title or the job or the W2. And I think now with more information and more awareness and we’re becoming a more conscious society, that’s right I mean, based on the amount of information out there and the podcast ecosystem, the way that books and everything is digested social media, there’s a movement that can’t be put back in the box of increasing awareness. And I think everyone is starting hear a little bit about it. I talk about this at our company all the time that like, we, you know, we can’t just be cranking, turning the crank, and accepting that that’s okay. There has to be more otherwise, what’s the point? What’s the point of all of this? It makes no sense. And a lot of people are still in that program, you know, and that’s okay. I mean, again, if you’re aware and you’ve chosen it with awareness comes choice, so if you’ve chosen it, that’s fine. But yeah. So powerful.

Mike Ayala: You know what I think the bigger issue is, I think we all get glimpses of it. There’s a scripture in the Bible that says hope deferred makes the heart sick. I think we all get glimpses of hope, but I think we’re so sick and we don’t know how, and we’ve got these, you know, limiting beliefs, things that have been ingrained in us for so long. And that’s why I’m, you know, head hesitant to talk about just psychology of money in general, because you know, people’s frame of reference. I don’t, when somebody asks you a question like, you know, will you be a good investor? This is a high level question. I don’t know, like, what’s your investment experience? What’s your background? Like, I have no idea, like none. So it’s the same thing when it comes to like psychology. And I think, you know, just back to that scripture who hope deferred makes the heart sick. I think so many people are sick when it comes to hope. And so even if they get glimpses of it, they don’t know where to go next. They don’t know how to do it. The one thing that I will say is that there’s no excuse, but my heart breaks for, you know, people that, because the only reason that you’re where you’re at is because you fought and you fought, and you fought. I fought the limiting beliefs. Like I studied hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. I’ve read the richest man in Babylon at least a hundred times between listening and reading to that book that my uncle gave me. You know, when I got married at the age of 21 or 20, actually I was 20. I literally read or listened to that book at least a hundred times and know I’m a constant reader. I’m constantly going to masterminds. I’m constantly putting myself or myself, myself, Like I got two of me constantly putting myself in the room. I’m investing in that. But the reason why people are hopeless is because yeah, they get glimpses of it, but they don’t know what to do next. And that’s why your podcast is so valuable. It’s also why you kind of were alluding to this. But in this day and age, nobody has an excuse because the reality is there’s so much free information. I would’ve killed to be able to listen to this conversation for free 20 years ago. I’ve been married for 22 years now. Like I had to pay for almost everything back then, even though the, you know, through CDs because the first real estate thing that got me fired up about CDs, I was at Barnes and noble and on the discount table, there was a CD series by [36:07 inaudible] called the real estate investors college. I was in Reno, Nevada drive into Elko, Nevada. And I put that CD in, I think it cost me $21 or something. You can still buy that CD series today. It’s like 250 bucks, but because they don’t make it anymore. But I put that, it was 16 CDs. So it was like 32 hours. I put that CD in and it was a five hour drive to my house. I wanted to drop Kara and the kids off and keep going my point though, that wasn’t free. I had to buy a CD series. All you have to do is like flip your phone on now. And there’s so much like free information, Nobody has any excuse.

Ashish Nathu: I mean, you could get so much on YouTube, free content, free motivation, free information and, you know, I know you were being sensitive to the topic you were bringing up and the reason why I launched this podcast is to have these blunt open conversations that I have the opportunity to have, and potentially you have the opportunity to have, but people are not talking about this in a public way, because everyone’s so concerned about hurting everyone’s feelings or like, am I going to push? You know, I was having this challenge with my wife about something and I’m like, you know, somebody needs to tell that guy to snap out of it. And she’s like, no, don’t tell him, like, he’ll get his feelings hurt. And I’m like, well, that’s exactly why I need to tell him to snap out of it. Because if we don’t say something, then who will, who will smack, you know, who will, and it’s coming from a place of non-judgment like, but who’s there to hold up the mirror. Who’s there to help us come up with this level of awareness and help us come to choice. And I think that, this is the number one reason why I want to have these conversations and I’m launching this community and this podcast is because is I think that even myself as you’re speaking, I’m like, huh, man, where am I still a victim? Where am I still coming from a scarcity mindset? You know, what can I improve? And with a lot of your mentoring and coaching, like being in the right rooms and having the right masterminds and having the right, you know, kitchen cabinets and all that. So critical to keep that mind healthy and strong. And out of that scarcity type of environment. But like, we have to look ourselves in the mirror and we have to realize that we are the only ones that can make the change and there’s no one else to blame.

Mike Ayala: So true. So true. So good.

Ashish Nathu: So good. So I guess, I mean, the natural question is like, based on everything you’ve seen and this is a, I mean, we have a subject matter expert on the podcast today about this topic. Like what is one thing that you would recommend people, like you said, you know, if we’re lost or confused or have we have a glimpse, like what is one action step, one step in the right direction that we can do to start creating a little bit of momentum.

Mike Ayala: You know what I’m going to give you a, what I think is probably the most powerful, yet most practical tool that anybody can do, but I want to like put some context around it. So I think that the number one thing that anybody could do is start with some thinking time. And there’s a guy we may have talked about this before, but there’s a guy, his name’s Keith Cunningham. And he wrote a book called the road less stupid. He’s a billionaire now, and I love it because he’s an in your face type guy. Like he doesn’t mess around, but he said something. So, here’s, I got to say a couple things in order to get to this, but I think it’s probably one of the most important things that you and I could talk about because if somebody is stuck and they are in that, you know, their heart’s sick because they have no hope. Then I think this is probably the most important thing for them. So a couple things, all the answers are already in you.

Ashish Nathu: So good. I’m so glad you just said that.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. We just don’t dig on it enough. Because you know, and a lot of this is limiting beliefs and it is trauma and it’s all these things. And even when it comes to simple goal setting, like a lot of times even if we have huge goals in our own heart, and mind we’re scared to say it out loud, why are we scared to say it out loud? Because if I say it out loud, one of two things is going to happen. Number one, somebody’s going to judge me and say to me what I already think, you’ll never do that. What makes you think you could do that? Why would you even want to do that? You don’t deserve that, that type of thinking. By the way, we have enough of that in our own head. I don’t need people around me helping me. So [40:46 inaudible] your inner circle. Like you got to really watch that because we’re our own worst critic. And when we have people around us just reinforcing what we already believe about our bullshit story, it gets worse. So you know, there’s that side of it, but I think what’s great about Keith Cunningham. The other side of it is like, we’re natural dreamers, like we’re designed to create, we’re creators and you know, it all starts with an idea. It always starts with an idea. The problem is we suppress that idea because we say, no, not me. No, I will never be able to do that. Cause nobody’s going to believe in it. I don’t have the money. Where would I get the capital? This is why when the gurus get on TV and they’re like, oh, you can buy real estate with no money down, which by the way you can. And I’ve done it so many times, but that’s not what I’m here to tell you. The reality is you don’t need money. Money is just a tool. It’s money in money out. Like when you get that money in the right perspective, you don’t need any of that. So the answers are already in you. So what Keith Cunningham said that kind of set me free. I used to meditate and I still meditate, but when I’d go into meditation, we’re going to do this for 12 minutes and we’re going to meditate. And we can’t think we can’t talk. Our mind has to be quiet. Like we can’t, But the problem Ash is like, I get into meditation and like my brain would start solving like complex problems, like answers, solutions. And I’d Nope, can’t write that down. And then I’d get into this thinking too of, well, you know, what, if it’s that important it’ll come back to me later. You know, those kind of thought processes, which after you’ve done a ton of work. Yeah, You could mine that back out of your subconscious, but the minute that I heard Keith Cunningham say this, he spends 45 minutes every single day, every day of his life. And he’s a billionaire. So creep’s in the pudding like, this guy’s done a lot of great stuff. He spends 45 minutes every day in his thinking chair with his thinking pen, with the thinking notebook. And he writes out a pro problem or a question or, you know, a lot of the questions that you’re even asking me, people would be like, well, what the hell would I sit down and write? You said this earlier. If I had all the money in the world, what would I do? If I had $10 million to give away, what would I do? If you know, I had an extra $10,000 this year, and I’ve said this so many times too, cause we get in to start talking about millions and all this stuff. But the reality is, you know, the average like single mom out there, that’s just, you know, trying to, she just wants to take her kids to Disneyland. So like literally if I had an extra $5,000, what would I do? I’d take my kid to Disneyland, whatever, you know, whatever that is like, that thinking time. And, and let me kind of pull this together, why this is important. Number one, you don’t need to do it for 45 minutes. You need to just take five minutes and create a zone where you’re going to shut out all the, you know, doubt and unbelief and the limiting beliefs and everything else. And you’re just going to dream and you’re going to write that’s the thing that I would say first and foremost is like, you know, start dreaming bigger. And the best way to do that is pull it out of yourself and start writing, you know, again, what are the complex questions, if you’ve got, you know, every month and this probably isn’t your direct audience, but you know, my audience is a wide range. And so this is the thing that’s interesting. Somebody could be making 200 grand a year and still be negative $1,000 every week in their paycheck. So I don’t care how much money people make or anything else. The reality is if you need to extra a thousand dollars a week or a thousand dollars a month or whatever that number is, just sit down and write that out. How do I, cause it’s one or two things. We either increase our income or we decrease our outflow, right? That’s where we start with all of this. But I think thinking time, I think thinking time and learning to dream, we’ve been suppressed like our dreamer, our visionary, our internal person has been suppressed. And I understand why we’ve had our handed to us left and right. You know, there’s never enough money or I got fired or, you know, it feels like the more I work, even if I’m working two jobs already, the more I work, the more, it’s getting touch with yourself and start dreaming about what you actually want. So until the pain of your existing situation becomes stronger than what it’s going to take to get there. You’re not going to do anything about it. So you really have to sit down and shift the narrative from, you know, all the negativity that I don’t have enough money. I can’t afford this. I wish I could do that. Just change all that. Like what do I have to do to get this done? If anybody so, you know, I could have taken that pathway. I could have, you know what? My dad was abusive. He was a drunk, he was an alcoholic. I was this, I was that. None of that matters. Like I’m going to break that chain. I’m going to break that pattern. I’m going to be the best dad that I possibly can. The freedom aspect, you know, my oldest son, who’s a gem. You’ve met him, he’s got a business. And there was a couple years ago where he was really struggling. And I told Kara, one night, I said, you know what? It was Sunday night. I said, I’m going to take Dylan. And we’re going to go to park city, snowboarding for a couple days. I just want to spend some time with him, you know, get him to regroup. This is what I call recreation. I hate the word vacation. It’s recreation. Because when we’re going on vacation, we’re vacating some life that we don’t want or love or whatever. But I took Dylan and we went into a zone of recreation. So I went, I asked Dylan it’s Sunday night, it’s like four or five o’clock Sunday night. I said, Hey, you want to go to park city, go snowboarding. When? Like, tonight we’re leaving tonight. He’s like, yeah, he got excited. And so we went, there’s literally a video that I have from Instagram. I was coaching with Dan Sullivan at that point in time. And you know, we were talking through his business and everything else and we’re on the chair lift. And I’m like, so Dylan, when you’re, you know, struggling in business, this was after we had worked through some things. I’m like, what’s the number one solution. Like, what’s the most important thing in business. And he said, it’s who not how, like he was quoting the Dan Sullivan. Cause like that’s what we were talking about in his business. He was overwhelmed and frustrated. But anyway, the reason why I said all that, you know, I’m always looking at what am I missing in my life? And for me, you know, even at that point in time, I knew that my son was struggling and I just needed the time to go sit down with him and pull him out of it. So it might be somebody that you’re missing in your life. People are always like, Hey, if you got $1,000 or $5,000 to invest, where would you invest it? That’s the wrong question. Pour it into yourself. Like pour it into yourself. There’s nothing you can do that’s going to change your life, If you have a thousand or $5,000 or maybe even $50,000 to invest. The best thing to do is to change this.

Ashish Nathu: Are your asset. You are your biggest asset.

Mike Ayala: I love it. Did I even answer your question? I don’t know if I even answered your question.

Ashish Nathu: Yeah, You did. So I’m not even going to comment. That was so good. I’m going to just let that sink into the listeners. That was really good, Mikey. I’m going to re-listen to that, cause that was really good. I appreciate your time, My friend. I think that was so many knowledge drops. And as a listener, you know, out of this episode, what you are going to really learn is that awareness brings choice and deal with your understanding of your relationship with money. Like face it, understand it, right? Deconstruct it, have a hunger for learning. Understand that when is enough enough live your future self today and one thing that you could do moving forward is just sit, sit in the beauty of the creativity, and have a little journal and write and dream. I thought that was so beautiful. So thank you my brother. I really appreciate it. That was so great.

Mike Ayala: Glad to do it. Happy to be here. Thank you.

Thank you for listening to the Rich Equation podcast with Ashish Nathu. Do you want more ideas on how to live rich? Go to for show notes and resources. Then take one minute to leave Ashish, a five-star review on apple podcasts, and we’ll see you on the next episode.

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You can have results or you can have excuses but not both.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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