Happy day to you. This is Ken Kaufman and I am thrilled you’re here for episode number 87, Grounded in Gratitude. Now, this is the week of Thanksgiving and I wanna kick it off with engaging in just a little bit of personal reflection on some of the many blessings that I have in my life. And I wanna specifically call some of these things out and tell you why I’m thankful for them. And it starts off with as I sat down, the first thing that came to my mind was my professional career because I was thinking of it from the perspective of net worth. And I’ve seen over the last 25 years my professional growth and my professional career just explode in some areas in good ways. And we’ve had some bad explosions in the process, too, a lot of change, a lot of physical moves of the family from one place to another. And all of that has brought a couple of things that I’m especially thankful for. The first one is the opportunity I’ve had for so much personal growth, wow, making a good living concurrently. It has been such an amazing ride that I’ve been able to learn and grow and push myself into new things and make a good living. And I just am so thankful for that. And when I look back at all this personal growth that I’ve enjoyed and had and I’ve been able to gain, I just…I don’t think I’d change a thing about where my career has gone.
And I’m so grateful for that, that things have fallen into place and things have worked out in a way that I think it’s just created all the right outcomes. Now, I wanna be clear, I would definitely go back and take back some mistakes I made. I would definitely go back and take back some poor decisions that I made. But all in all, I have to say that I have a lot of gratitude here in this week of Thanksgiving toward all of this and to the growth that it’s brought in me individually and personally. I would not be who I am today without some of the challenges and difficult things that I’ve had to learn to overcome and the things I’ve had to push myself to learn and excel in. It’s been amazing. And I just have to add on there, I am really grateful for what I’m doing right now. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be a partner in the business. And I get to do what I love every day and just overcome challenges, everything associated with building up a company and growing a company. And I’m especially grateful that I get to work very closely with people that I look up to, I respect, and I enjoy being around and we’re all close friends. We look after each other. We care for each other. It is not your normal corporate job or corporate environment. It’s been a huge blessing and I’m very grateful.
I wanna jump now from professional career to my educational career. And I think this is a place in my life where sometimes I take this for granted. I think every day I’m reminded professionally of where I used to be and where I’ve come to and where I still have to go. I think education sometimes sits in the back. And I forget that I had a great blessing and opportunity to go to BYU and the Marriott School of Management there and earn a business degree. And that was a game-changer for me. It opened up my eyes and gave me an opportunity to see a lot of things I would not have seen otherwise. Oh, and by the way, I was actually really close to going into education and not business. And I’m just grateful that I felt strongly about moving in the direction of business and it’s worked out so well. I also have to be grateful for the opportunity to go back and get an MBA. At the time, I was actually also thinking about law school and I took the LSAT. And I was even accepted to some schools to go to law school, pretty good schools. And we decided, my wife and I decided, you know, do the MBA first and we did that. And then we were thinking about doing law school after that and we decided not to and went down this business route and it’s actually been an amazing path. And as I have the opportunity to sit from a place of hindsight and I can look back.
I am so glad I did what I did. I don’t have anything against the legal profession or those who go into it. It’s an amazing career. It’s an amazing opportunity to serve and do good in the world and make a difference. But now that I interact so much with legal in my day-to-day corporate finance job, I love being on the side that I’m on. And it’s just the best fit for me, And I know that the legal profession is a great fit for others, but, you know, by no means am I casting any judgment any direction. But I’m just grateful that everything ended up falling into place. And that one year at the University of Georgia where we were able to do an 11-month accelerated program, get an MBA in entrepreneurship and finance, that was a game-changer on so many levels in terms of helping me grow and progress my career. But what I learned there, what I gained, the way that it challenged me and forced me to learn new things and become different in the way that I was prior to those 11 months. And it set my feet firmly on heading toward a corporate finance role with the types of things I learned and with the mindset that it created within me. And ultimately, it’s why I am where I am today. It could not have happened to the extent that it has for me.
I also wanna mention because I talk about professional growth and opportunities and where that career’s gone and education. I also have to say because it’s a place where I put a fair amount of time because you pour time into education and obviously your professional pursuits. But I want to express gratitude for the religious service opportunities that I’ve had. I’m an active member of my church. I’ve had an opportunity to serve in many capacities. I served a two-year mission for my church and have had opportunities to one, be a lay member of the congregation. But also have an opportunity to serve in various capacities with youth, with kids, with adults in doing all different types of things. And it has been a huge help and blessing for me that just focusing on education or just focusing on my professional pursuits, it’s almost like these religious service opportunities have come in and just rounded out everything else and kept me grounded in what’s most important in terms of my faith and the faith of my family and the things that we believe are most important and that we hold dear and that we hold as truths that are sacred to us. And I looked at it and as I thought about it, I thought, “These are kinda the three main places where I’ve spent most of my time in the last 25 years.” And I’m just so grateful for all the experiences, everything that I’ve been able to learn.
And, of course, I have to go to my fourth area, which is family. Obviously, I’ve spent a lot of time with my family. Eight kids, I could to be more proud of… I don’t know that it’s them, just more proud of being a part of something that my wife and I have created that is amazing. And I love being around my kids and interacting with them. I love being around my wife and for us being a team together and building this. In fact, I often joke… My wife will come with me on occasion to a business event of some sort. And as people are going around talking about what they do, there was one occasion where my wife introduced herself and my wife has chosen…outside of being a school teacher once we started having kids, she’s made a choice to stay home with our kids and we actually homeschool the kids. Well, really, she does. And we were sitting at this event around a table and everybody’s introducing what they do. And when it came to my wife, she said, “I am a CEO of a growing company.” And that’s what it is. That’s what our family has been, is an ongoing growth opportunity because you have 1 kid or 10 kids or however many kids you have, they’re always growing and they’re going to the next level. And we have to keep, as parents, stepping up our game to help them and support them in the way that we best can.
And when it comes all the way back around to hey, this is a podcast around net worth, growing net worth, how do we put hacks into our lives so that we can develop net worth, first of all, number one, it’s for us to hopefully, first and foremost, support our families and be able to provide for our families and then provide for our future. And I joke about this sometimes because I say, “Wow, if I didn’t have a family, my net worth would probably be quite a bit higher.” Because as many of you know, kids are expensive, life is expensive, and everything that goes with it. And we’ve certainly spent money on things that weren’t my favorite thing to spend money on over the years and on things that weren’t necessarily going to grow our financial net worth. But that leads me to my final point and really the thing that I’m the most thankful for. And it is that net worth is about so much more than just what’s on your personal balance sheet. It’s about the choices that we make, it’s about the way that we spend our time, and it’s about what we allow ourselves to become in the process. If I chose not to ever be married and have a family and just hoard all my money and watch my bank balances go up faster than they certainly did by having a family, I don’t like the person that I see that I would have become as a result of that.
I’m not saying that my way is right for anyone else. I’m just saying that my way has been right for me as I have this benefit of hindsight and I just am here to express gratitude for it. And I think that my family and the way that they’ve helped me grow and push me in so many different ways to learn and to be better and to help them and to support them, I think that is…I think financial net worth pales in comparison to who I’ve been able to become because of what I’ve been able to achieve or the opportunities and blessings that have come, I’m sorry, in my professional development and educational opportunities, in my religious opportunities to serve and help other people and be a part of a congregation and then in everything that I am because of my family.
So, the title of this podcast, Grounded in Gratitude, that is where I am today. Firmly set, my feet planted, if you will, upon the sod of what has happened so far in my life with tremendous gratitude, but still excited for what the future brings, excited for where things can go professionally, where things can go with my family, and in so many other areas. I express gratitude. I hope some of you can take some things away from this. If you’re at a point in your life where you’re not sure that you can find gratitude, I can tell you if you will just look backward at where you were and where you are now, you’re gonna find plenty of opportunities where you’ve been able to grow and learn and develop and ultimately develop your worth, your net worth as an individual. Many, many thanks to you for joining today. This is a wrap for episode 87. Happy day.