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The Power To Speak Naked. Sean Tyler Foley
It’s okay to be afraid of what people will think, but don’t let that fear stop you from sharing your story with the world!
Our next guest, Sean Tyler Foley, is an accomplished film and stage performer who has been acting since he was 6 years old. He has appeared in productions including Freddy Vs Jason, Door to Door, Carrie, and the musical Ragtime. Tyler is passionate about helping others confidently take the stage and impact an audience with their stories. He is currently the Managing Director of Total Buy In and author of the best-selling book, The Power to Speak Naked.
Bob and Tyler share their stories about how they found the courage to share their story.
[3:21] Seeing the world through someone else’s lens.
[6:45] “Watching my mother budget on a single income.”
[11:36] Money works for you. You don’t work for money.
[17:21] Waking up on a Monday morning and discovering your business has gone.
[25:48] “If kids are old enough to put money in their mouth, they’re old enough to learn about it.”
[27:50] Story is what binds us together. A compelling story will vibrate and resonate with your audience.
For a limited time, download Tyler’s guide “The Method” for free. Deliver engaging and inspired content with genuine kindness, compassion and care that will move your audience.
Connect With Sean Tyler Foley:
Click to Read Full Transcript
[00:00:30] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler, and in this episode, we’re going to explore, question, examine, converse, dig deep, expose, laugh, and cry about the money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges of our next guest. Turn up the volume, listen, learn, and laugh.
[00:00:46] Well, our next guest is Sean Tyler Foley. He’s an accomplished film and stage performer who has been acting in film and television since he was six years old. He is passionate about helping others confidently take the stage and impact an audience with their stories.
[00:00:59] He is currently the Managing Director of Total Buy In and author of the #1 best-selling book, The Power to Speak Naked. Tyler is a father, husband, son, and performer, in that order. Some days he feels like he has dabbled in every industry on the planet from oil and gas, to aviation, to film and television. But that diverse experience is what has made him so versatile.
[00:01:20] Regardless of the industry or the titles he’s held, what they all have had in common was promoting and encouraging people to be heard and understood. The skills and resources he has garnered along the way have enabled him to become an entertaining professional speaker and a knowledgeable trainer, who inspires others to reach for their dreams.
[00:01:37] Tyler, great to have you on the show.
[00:01:39] Sean Tyler Foley: Bob, I’m looking forward to this, and Money You Should Ask, I’ve had this one circled on the calendar for a bit.
[00:01:48] Bob Wheeler: Well, I’m looking forward. So I want to start off with the fact that you, you’ve written this book, The Power to Speak Naked. And so the first obvious question is, how often do you speak naked?
[00:01:58] Sean Tyler Foley: I’ve only done it once and it was for charity, but I’ll tell you, it was an absolute riot when I did it.
[00:02:04] Bob Wheeler: That’s pretty good. And then the follow up question is you’ve, you’ve got a cover, you’ve got your book I think if you, you’ve got to show us your book.
[00:02:11] Sean Tyler Foley: I do, I’m happy to show.
[00:02:13] Bob Wheeler: All right. And so then the question is, is that a stunt double, or did you, did you stand in for the picture?
[00:02:18] Sean Tyler Foley: Well, I wanted so badly to be the person on there, but that guy definitely works out more than I do. No, that’s, that’s the funny story about that. That’s a stock image that was purchased from a site that Jeff Bezos owns, and that same site will not allow me to advertise my book on said site because it breaches their, their ethics policy.
[00:02:41] It shows a naked man or a, it brings undue attention to the breasts and or buttocks in a sexually suggestive manner. And so although it’s a purchased stock photo, I can’t actually plug this on Jeff’s site. So unfortunately, I can’t advertise my own book.
[00:02:57] Bob Wheeler: That’s hilarious. Well, that’s awesome. So what got you, so I know you wrote this book and you were inspired to have people to be able to tell their stories and to be heard. Why is story important?
[00:03:10] Sean Tyler Foley: Well, story connects us and it’s how we are able to see each other through another lens. You know, they often say never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
[00:03:21] Well, I can’t physically do that. You know, either your shoe size is too big or too small for me, or we have a physical distance to cross. So I am not going to be able to actually walk in your shoes. But when you tell me your story, it allows me to see the world through your lens, through your point of view, through your eyes.
[00:03:41] And in doing that, I can gain empathy. I can gain sympathy. And if I’m empathizing with you, if I sympathize with you and your position, that’s when you have the ability to change my mind, change my heart, change my opinions, get me to see something in a different light or a different manner. And that’s the power of story.
[00:04:01] I, you know, that’s an old adage that “stats tell, but stories sell.” It’s an old adage because it’s true. We need stories and we’ve been communicating through the power of story for eons. You know, I think we’re spoiled in this modern era with the level of literacy and the amount of technology and the ability to read the written word and the prevalence of it in our society these days, because that hasn’t always been the case.
[00:04:29] Like you only have to go back 200, 300 years. Literacy was not this prevalent, it was not this available. And yet we’ve been able to pass on histories throughout the ages. And we’ve done that through storytelling. It’s storytelling that allows us to pass on knowledge, and it’s how we’ve been doing it for, you know, millennia.
[00:04:53] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. Joseph Campbell talks to the power of storytelling. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with him.
[00:04:58] Sean Tyler Foley: Well, and Joseph Campbell does the Hero’s Journey, which is one of the greatest models for putting together a truly compelling and effective story. And I actually, in my workshops, structure a lot of people’s elevator pitches around the Hero’s Journey. But a lot of people when they implement that, implement it wrong.
[00:05:17] A lot of people try to make themselves the Hero in the story, and that’s not how you tell a compelling story to an audience. The real key to telling a compelling story to an audience is actually to make yourself the Sage or Mentor that guides the Hero along the journey. Your audience is actually the Hero and you have to meet them where they are.
[00:05:36] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. Yeah. Big fan of Joseph Campbell, so I love that you incorporate that stuff. So part of your story, you’ve had some life changing experiences a lot of people don’t experience early on. You lost your father unexpectedly when you were six.
[00:05:51] And I would imagine that had an impact on the family. Your mom is now a single parent. You’ve, you know, what, tell me a little bit about that.
[00:06:00] Sean Tyler Foley: Well, to be honest, you know, it is probably one of the key moments in my life that set me on the path that I’m on today. Tragic as it was, there was grace in that event, because as you pointed out, it did leave my mother as a single mother and very strapped for resources, but that’s nothing that I would have ever known as a child growing up. My mum worked very, very, very hard to make sure that my sister and I wanted for nothing. And I mean, I’ve always considered that I had a very average middle-class upbringing and I don’t know that my mother would agree.
[00:06:45] I don’t know, I don’t know what her finances look like, but it was one of my earliest money lessons was watching my mother budget on a single income. She was an administrative secretary for an accounting firm. And for her to be able to stretch a dollar the way that she did and raise two children on her own from a very young age, my sister was two years old when my father passed away, as you had mentioned, I was six.
[00:07:09] And to see the discipline that my mum put into money was an amazing lesson to learn at an early age. And I didn’t really understand it or appreciate it until I moved out on my own. And I, growing up, went to a fine arts high school, I was billeted.
[00:07:26] So I started living on my own at 15, you know, with other families, and then on my own, on my own running my own household at 17, when I moved out to the west coast. And I was so grateful in that time to see how my mother lived. You know, I didn’t have a credit card. I couldn’t get a credit card for years and years and years because I was self-employed actor, banks do not give you credit.
[00:07:52] I actually had to get a more expensive apartment. Like I had budgeted an X number of dollars for living accommodation. And I couldn’t get credit to get into the apartment. The apartment that I ended up getting into was significantly further away from my workplace and at a much higher dollar value because the landlord took a shot on me because he had a crush on me.
[00:08:19] So instead of living in Burnaby where I wanted to be, I was literally the west end of Vancouver. Middle of the rainbow district and, Davey and Denman, right on the corner of it. And the only reason I got in was because, like I said, the, the landlord took a shine to me and let me move in. And that was again, you know, how do I work that into my budget?
[00:08:39] I had a lot of money lessons that I learned early from my mum that helped me be successful going forward in my adult life.
[00:08:47] Bob Wheeler: And did she talk about any of it or was it mostly observing and saying, “Wow, that’s really amazing what she’s doing.” Were there conversations?
[00:08:55] Sean Tyler Foley: So there weren’t direct conversations. My mum first of all, was very, very busy. So she worked 12 to 14 hours a day cause she worked for an accountant. And I, apparently accountants never sleep and don’t stop working.
[00:09:08] Bob Wheeler: We don’t!
[00:09:10] Sean Tyler Foley: No, you do not. And, and I, I, I smile at it and I, I have a great admiration for the profession because it definitely put food on my table. But so she wasn’t around a lot, but when she was, they were, there were indirect conversations. So it was one of those things, like I remember wanting to, I was fascinated by magic when I was younger from about 8 to 12, I really jumped into the performance and the art of magic. I was just, I was fascinated by it, and I wanted to get magic sets, right?
[00:09:44] We had an offshoot of the Magic Castle here in Calgary, and it was this great little magic shop. And you had to like go in, it was in this back corner and, and it was very secretive. And you went in and, and the guy who ran the shop would, you know, he, if you knew you, he trusts you and he’d show you some cool tricks.
[00:10:01] And if he didn’t, you didn’t get to see all the cool stuff that was behind the secret door. And, and I wanted, I wanted this stuff so bad and my mum never, one of the greatest things that my mum did was she never told me or my sister, no. You know, even if she couldn’t afford it, what she would say, she never said that she couldn’t afford a thing.
[00:10:21] What she would say is, “What do you need to do to get it?” And that was a great lesson for me too. So she never, she never said that I couldn’t have it, but she also didn’t just give me the money for it too. So like, I had to mow lawns or have a paper route. I was lucky because when my father passed away, I actually got into acting at a very young age.
[00:10:40] So I was making my own money as a professional actor from the time I was six. But when you are that young, 75% of your money goes into a trust.
[00:10:50] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:10:51] Sean Tyler Foley: And so you don’t, you don’t ever see that cash. So I was only, slave labor at that point. I’m only making 25% of my, my wage and my mum was able to take a portion of that and use it and she was really good. She never did, it went into my savings account.
[00:11:04] So I had to track, and I grew up in a time, remember where you had a passbook in a bank?
[00:11:09] Bob Wheeler: Right. Yeah!
[00:11:10] Sean Tyler Foley: You had to go and you had to give it to them and they’d stamp it and you could track how much money you had.
[00:11:14] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s right.
[00:11:15] Sean Tyler Foley: You know, you had the ledger and you had the credits and the debits and it, and it all added up.
[00:11:20] So I was doing that from the time I was seven. And I think that was a very helpful thing for me to do too, so I can track my money. And I knew that if I wanted to get this illusion and it was $30, this is what I needed to do. This was how much money that I had.
[00:11:36] And mum was really good with instilling the fact that money works for you, you don’t work for money. But money only works for you if you invest it and grow it. And, and so I could have access to my cash, but I was only allowed to spend half of it. So for everything that I made, I could only spend half. And that became really disciplined too, because I know that if I make $30, I can only spend 15.
[00:12:06] So it became this constant. How do I earn the money to be able to do the things that I want and still have money left over?
[00:12:14] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Did you get the magic set?
[00:12:18] Sean Tyler Foley: Absolutely. I had great illusions. I had, I got the one where you pass the pencil through the glass plate. I got, I got the magic bag so that you could have an empty bag and pull items out of it. I had a, just styling magic top hat too that had, yeah, I had the full sets. I had some rope tricks. I had a Chinese ring tricks. I had a lot of sets.
[00:12:42] Bob Wheeler: Magic wand, I had a weighted magic wand. I had a, made it, and it did stuff.
[00:12:47] Sean Tyler Foley: I didn’t have a weighted one, but I had the magic floating one where you could make, where you could dance with your wand.
[00:12:53] I loved that illusion. That was my favorite illusion. Actually, when I moved to Vancouver, I bonded with my first agent over it. He was like, you know, “What’s something people don’t know about you?” And I’m like, “I do illusions.” He’s like, “Really?” And I’m like, “Yeah.” He’s like, “Dude, have you ever danced with the wand?” I’m like, “I love that illusion.”
[00:13:08] And so he had two of them in his office and he like pulled it out. And at that point, me and Cal, Cal and I are still friends to this day. He hasn’t been my agent now in over 20 years. But I talk with him regularly, so…
[00:13:22] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. I think I still have two or three magic books in my childhood box of books. I’ll have to look for that. That’s fun. That’s fun. So you had some other experiences, you had a business, you started a business, and then your business partner died.
[00:13:37] Sean Tyler Foley: Yes.
[00:13:37] Bob Wheeler: Shut your business down.
[00:13:39] Sean Tyler Foley: Well, we didn’t have the right director’s insurance in place, and that was a very, very interesting learning experience too.
[00:13:45] Where, when you, especially at that time in my life, I just graduated from school. I’ve always been entrepreneurial and my uncle, very entrepreneurial himself, when my uncle was, you know, in his mid twenties, he lived on the east coast and the company that he worked for, transferred him to the west coast.
[00:14:10] And he picked up his family, my cousins and my, my aunt. And they were young, I think my cousins were like two and four at the time. And so he moves his family, literally across country, to go and relocate for this business. And then it went bankrupt. And they had transferred him and two other gentlemen out and he looked at them and he said, “Listen, we have all this expensive equipment.”
[00:14:35] It was a photogrammetry. So aerial map-making. And he said, “We have these million dollar machines and they’re state-of-the-art, this company has gone bankrupt. We actually have the opportunity to buy these on pennies on the dollar. I’ve just purchased my house out here.
[00:14:55] I’m willing to take a second mortgage if you two are willing to stick it out with me for a year. And so they created an agreement and formed an amazing company called Triathlon Mapping. And my uncle was very successful in that industry. Ended up selling it to satellite company McDonald Detweiler, MDA, and they, in doing that, I got to see how owning your own business, how that works.
[00:15:27] Like, you know, it’s better to have that business on your own. And my uncle has always been a great mentor. So I got into the same industry. We got into aerial photography, photogrammetry, and then eventually pivoted and went into interior mobile mapping. And two problems with that. We did interior mobile mapping over a decade ago, and nobody knew what that was.
[00:15:49] Like, that wasn’t, it wasn’t a thing. And so there was very few customer bases and the equipment at the time was extremely expensive. The cart that we had put together was $1.5 million. And so we had to charge a very high amount of money to gain back the investment.
[00:16:10] And we didn’t have clients who were willing to pay a high amount of money on an untested and unproven technology. So we had a bad business model.
[00:16:16] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:16:17] Sean Tyler Foley: And then on top of that, literally my business partner felt a tightness in her chest on a Friday, went into the hospital that night, was looked at on Saturday, and had passed away by Sunday morning.
[00:16:31] And she was named in everything. All the equipment was leased in her name. The business was her idea. I was in as a, as a partner. But it was, it was small, small business and, and literally overnight, I had no access to anything. And we didn’t have director’s insurance in place, which meant that I had no way of covering the cost of the asset.
[00:16:54] And so for me, where my uncle was lucky because there was a bankruptcy and he was able to get, purchase equipment pennies on a dollar. In our case, we just had a liability. And you know, in the tune of, when everything was totaled over $6 million. Well, that, wasn’t something that as an untested, unproven business model that wasn’t generating a lot of revenue after we pivoted, that banks were willing to finance or back.
[00:17:21] And literally I woke up on a Monday morning and didn’t have a business anymore.
[00:17:25] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, no, that is rough. And I can only reiterate to people out there, when you’re in business with a partner, you’re not on your own. And you do have to make sure you’ve done the legwork and that you, you’ve got that director’s insurance or key man insurance as they call it out here. Having the agreements of what happens, the exit strategies, whether it’s, you know, by choice or by nature, right? You’ve got to have all that stuff in place because things happen.
[00:17:52] Sean Tyler Foley: Yeah. Succession planning is critical and I didn’t, we, I had no appreciation of it then, and I have an extreme appreciation for it now.
[00:17:59] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. I can only imagine. One of your other lifechanging experiences, and I can imagine, my assumption would be you’re 17 years old, like life is right before you, right? You’re 17, like, “I got this, I’m going to be in my prime.” And then you have a mini stroke and you’re paralyzed for over a year. And you’re an actor. At 17 I was pretty active. I can only imagine going from, “I can do anything I want,” to, “Oh, I’m, I’m immobile.”
[00:18:32] Sean Tyler Foley: Yeah. It was, it was more stark than that too, because at 17, at that point I had been acting professionally for 11 years.
[00:18:42] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:18:42] Sean Tyler Foley: I was in a fine arts high school, senior year of a fine arts high school.
[00:18:47] You know, one of the leads in a play, in the musical, and part of my requirement for graduation was to perform in said production. And New Year’s Eve 1996, I go to sleep. Everything’s fine. New Year’s Day, 1997. I wake up and the entire left side of my body is paralyzed.
[00:19:12] And as somebody who relies on my body as a physical instrument to perform, and with my entire career, you know, at 17, I had already had it mapped out. I’m going to go to New York or LA, I’m going to be on Broadway or Hollywood. I’m going to be a star, name in lights.
[00:19:32] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:19:33] Sean Tyler Foley: And taken away in the blink of an eye. I was, I was devastated. Like it, it was, you know, that’s how I was making money.
[00:19:43] It’s how I earned a living. That’s how I planned on earning a living and, and then on top of it, there was social isolation with that too, because I, it happened over the Christmas break and I was literally and metaphorically in a dark place because…
[00:20:01] Bob Wheeler: Sure.
[00:20:01] Sean Tyler Foley: Growing up in a theater, I am very comforted by dark places.
[00:20:06] As weird as that sounds, a blank empty black box is home for me.
[00:20:13] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:20:14] Sean Tyler Foley: So when I was, I don’t know, 14 or 15, I’m moved from my bedroom upstairs into the basement. And we had this little kind of, it was, it was basically like a bombshell bunker. It was four concrete walls that were an addition onto the original structure of the house. And it had a doorway punched into it.
[00:20:35] And at one time it was where my dad had built a hot tub. And so that wasn’t there anymore. It was just literally this, this dark concrete bunker with one little tiny window that definitely wouldn’t be legal now because you can’t get out of it. And I painted it black because it, because I love to, I’d love to be able to control the lighting and it was just comforting. But I’ll tell you, when you’re 17 and your face doesn’t work, locking yourself into a black dungeon for 10 days until you go back to school, not good for the mental health.
[00:21:08] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:21:09] Sean Tyler Foley: And so it was a, it was literally and metaphorically, a dark place for me for those first 10 days. Cause I didn’t have access to my friends. I couldn’t drive. I drove a 1984 Honda Accord, five speed manual transmission. And when your left foot doesn’t work, you can’t clutch.
[00:21:24] Bob Wheeler: Can’t clutch.
[00:21:26] Sean Tyler Foley: And so I couldn’t even drive anywhere. I didn’t like talking on the phone because my face didn’t work. So my mouth didn’t work and it drooped like this. So when I talked, i, I couldn’t, I couldn’t form the vowels and, and, and I didn’t want, I didn’t want to talk on the phone. So I, and you know, mid 90s, there was, there was no internet.
[00:21:46] I wasn’t chatting with people, you know, or texting or anything like that. You talked on the phone and the phone had a wire that connected it to the wall. So yeah, it was, it was, it was not a good place for me. Luckily I had great support.
[00:22:02] One of, again, the blessings and the grace that happened when my father passed, was that I grew up in a small town and I had an entire community rally around my mum.
[00:22:15] And some great professional men from the men that were partners at the office that she worked at to, you know, the medical professionals in and around my town, one of them being the Corbett family, who are a family of doctors. Dr. Corbett, Dr. Corbett, Dr. Corbett, and Dr. Corbett.
[00:22:33] Three of . Them are doctors of chiropractic. One of them is a doctorate of law. He’s the black sheep and doesn’t count, he’s also my best friend. But his parents, Bob and Joe, Dr. Corbett’s, doctors of chiropractic, both treated my physical symptoms but helped with my mental health as well.
[00:22:51] But Bob and Joe did a great deal to lift me out of the darkness and show me the light and show me that there was hope and gave me something to fight for. Really, really invigorated me and gave me the opportunity to see that regardless of physically how I looked, there was always still something that I could do.
[00:23:11] And showed me incremental improvement too, which was a nice thing. And a lesson that I’ve tied to all things in life, professionally, monetarily, you know, seeing incremental growth and incremental change and being able to track and measure those things is, is critically important. I actually use it to track my net worth now, you know, if my net worth goes up by $2 over a year, it still went up by $2.
[00:23:35] You know, what is that balance? What is that ledger? And so it doesn’t have to be great growth. It just needs to be growth. And that was a lesson that I learned from that medical incident that left me paralyzed, because there was a time where I didn’t think my face would work again and here we are, and I can talk and emote properly.
[00:23:52] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And in those lessons that you’ve learned, you now have a daughter. Do you talk with your daughter about money? Do you consciously, intentionally engage with her in those ways?
[00:24:06] Sean Tyler Foley: Yeah. One of my great money mentors, Jen Whitney, who I think would make an excellent guest on your show and I’m going to be connecting you guys after.
[00:24:13] Bob Wheeler: Oh, awesome!
[00:24:14] Sean Tyler Foley: She is, you know, a Dave Ramsey fan and has been, she was one of those people who was, like most, very, very in the red with consumer debt. And she has an incredible story that I’m not going to even remotely touch on because it’s hers to tell, about when she, she hit rock bottom with, with her debt.
[00:24:40] But from that, from her rock bottom moment, and I can’t remember what her number was, but it was high, high, high. She turned around and paid off her mortgage in under five years. Paid off all of her consumer debt paid off her mortgage on like a 30 year mortgage, paid it off in five years. And has since started to coach people on, on money.
[00:24:58] And one of the first things that she said in a conference that I heard her speak at, and when she was helping coach me and my wife with some finances, she said, “If kids are old enough to put money in their mouth, they’re old enough to learn about it.”
[00:25:11] Bob Wheeler: I like that. That’s great.
[00:25:13] Sean Tyler Foley: And you know, so at two years old, you know, Kenzie understood that things cost and, and I took the philosophy and I’ve, that my mother taught me and I never tell her that she can’t have it, I just asked her how she can afford it.
[00:25:27] A lot of times it means that we have to go through some of her toys and put them up for sale or consignment or Kijiji. Her, Jen’s kids are, are also very entrepreneurial. And they, they sell school packs. So they have theme packs throughout the year. So back to school packs, and Valentine’s, and Easter, Christmas, and they do these Zack and Mack packs that are awesome.
[00:25:49] And so we’ve imparted that onto Kenzie. What can you do? Like she had, today actually, we’re going to be going shopping for her lemonade stand because she wants to make some money. And we’re about to hit a heat wave. She understands supply and demand and she’s six years old.
[00:26:03] She’s like, “It’s going to be hot this weekend, right daddy?” “Yes, it is.” “Maybe we should have popsicles for the people.” “Maybe we should.” So when you and I are done here Bob, we’re actually on our way down to Costco to get the stuff for her lemonade stand.
[00:26:18] Bob Wheeler: That’s great. That reminds me, there was a Wall Street Journal commercial, the little girl selling lemonade, and she was selling lemonade and it was a hundred thousand dollars per cup. And, I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but anyway, so guy approaches her and says like, you know, “Honey it’s a hundred thousand dollars for a cup of lemonade. She goes, I only need to sell one cup.”
[00:26:44] Sean Tyler Foley: So true!
[00:26:45] Bob Wheeler: You know, hey! Set your price, know your audience. I love that you’re doing that. That is, that is super fun. Well, I want to ask a question about, you know, you’ve had all these different experiences. In the letter you wrote to me, you talk about the grace that you’ve discovered through all of this.
[00:27:01] And I think really the question for me is, why do you want to help other people? Like, what is the importance of getting out there and saying, “Hey folks, share your story. I want to help you get there.” Like why is that important to you?
[00:27:18] Sean Tyler Foley: Because, particularly this day and age, I find that we’ve gotten very polarized as a society and very divisive.
[00:27:27] And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are confusing opinion for fact. What I’ve just stated right now is my opinion. It is not a fact. It is just simply my opinion. And yet we, we have gotten to this interesting point in history where fact has stopped mattering.
[00:27:49] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:27:50] Sean Tyler Foley: And the reason I want to empower people to tell their story is because story is what binds us together.
[00:27:58] Story, as I’ve discussed earlier on in, in the show, it’s how I can walk a mile in your shoes. That’s how I can have empathy and sympathy with you. And if I don’t use story, then I’m just stating opinion blindly. And that’s when people tend to get their back up against the wall, right? Because my opinion may not match your opinion, and therefore, my fact doesn’t meet your fact, therefore, my reality doesn’t meet your reality and we butt heads.
[00:28:29] If I tell story, this is an experience that happened to me, this is how I perceived my life. This is the lessons that I have learned along my journey. You can see the world from my point of view, you and I may have vastly diverging opinions on money and money management and how we do it.
[00:28:53] But when I tell you my story of why I feel the way that I do around money, based on my upbringing with my mum being a single mother, based on me having to move out to the west coast on my own at 17, the fact that I was never given credit until I was almost 30, shapes why I feel the way about money and although you and I may approach it differently or the same, you can see why I approach money that way.
[00:29:21] And it allows you to either mentor me or get on my side, or at least present a viewpoint that may differ without it having to be combative. And same when you tell me your story, now I can, I can see it from your point of view. And I think of Jen Whitney and, and her philosophy on money and how it’s evolved too.
[00:29:42] Like, she, she was a staunch believer that you, I remember the one time I wanted to pay myself first. And she said, “No, you need to tackle your debt first.” Like everything should be going towards debt. Then you worry about paying yourself. And I’m like, “No, in my heart of hearts, I know that I should pay myself first.” Like I always need to budget, even if it’s only 5%, I put this little bit away and I will budget everything else here.
[00:30:07] And she was like, “No, no, no, no, no.” Year ago, she came to me and she says, “I’m really sorry, Tyler. I agree with you now.” You know, I agree that that was a thing, at the time, she didn’t believe in it because she was hyper-focused on, on, on her debt. But now she realized, you know, that there is that little bit of, of savings that if you can get disciplined in that habit, yes, you could pay this off quicker, but you still need to have you know, this, you need to save.
[00:30:34] She also, you know, we, we had differing opinions on emergency funds and what need, what needed to go into the emergency fund and how funded that emergency fund needed to be. And she had her belief and I had my belief. We could discuss it because we use story, because she said, “Well, when I did this and when I had this, this was my experience, this is what triggered me.”
[00:30:54] And I’d say, “Okay, well this is my experience.” And instead of us stating facts, well, Dave Ramsey says this and well, Bob Wheeler says this, and when I read Tony Robbins said this, and you know? Like, instead of just spouting off all of these different people, we could say, well, this is my belief. This is where I came to my understanding.
[00:31:13] And it wasn’t combative then, it was a conversation. We still had differing opinions and neither one of us changed our minds on it. But we could have a conversation because we’re using the power of story to do it.
[00:31:25] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I love when you’re talking about that story piece, because I think, you know, like when I wrote my book, I was afraid to go out and say, well, who am I to write this book? Because somebody might dispute this or that. Right? Maybe I don’t have it exactly right. Or maybe I didn’t remember everything perfectly.
[00:31:43] It’s still my story. And nobody can take that from me. My story, it doesn’t have to resonate with anybody else. You know, you know, ironically it does, I, I can tell the story and people say, “Oh my God, were you writing that to me personally?” And no, I’m just sharing my story. And this is, if I speak from here, I don’t need all the data.
[00:32:02] It’s, it’s great to be able to back up the data and say, yeah, see all these things support that. But the truth is, if we feel it and we know it just like you were trusting that, pay yourself first versus a pay off the debt. Right? There was something that just was trusting.
[00:32:16] I think there’s something that people resonate with, and I still find it in all the work that I’ve done, when we’re vulnerable, when we share our truth, it actually brings us closer to people, even though in our mind, logically, it says it’s not going to happen. It, it actually does.
[00:32:34] Sean Tyler Foley: And it’s so true. And when I was working with Bo Eason, one of the things that he said was, the more specific you can make your story, the more detailed your story is, the more universal it will resonate. Because people need to, need those details to be able to get immersed into that story, to allow it to resonate with them.
[00:32:55] And you brought up a really, really good point in that that vulnerability piece is critical. One of the things that I teach in all of my workshops and seminars is that the thing that we’re afraid to say is probably what your audience needs to hear.
[00:33:16] Bob Wheeler: Yep.
[00:33:17] Sean Tyler Foley: And if you do ever get a chance to have Jen on your show, ask her about the piggy bank.
[00:33:22] Bob Wheeler: Okay.
[00:33:22] Sean Tyler Foley: She has a very, very specific story around a piggy bank. And when she tells it, I promise you, there is not a dry eye anywhere. You, you taste your heart, cause it will be instantaneously in your throat.
[00:33:36] But the way she tells that story is so detailed and so specific, and it is very specific to her, but I promise you, it resonates with any parent ever, and anybody who’s ever struggled with debt or has felt that, that burden on their shoulders of being crushed by their finances.
[00:33:56] And, you know, she’s so specific about this one thing, and yet it speaks to millions, if not billions of people. And she’s vulnerable too, like, she’s a money coach and she’s talking about like, not only her darkest moment, but a real crisis of morality too.
[00:34:17] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:34:18] Sean Tyler Foley: And, and because she does, you know that she’s a genuine person, you know that she, and she is one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met in my entire life and loves humanity and is, is quite possibly the most trustworthy and honest person that I’ve ever met in my life, which is why I love when she tells her story.
[00:34:36] Because it’s just so incredibly powerful and that’s, that’s the true power of being vulnerable. You know, the thing you’re afraid to say is likely the thing that your audience needs to hear. And if you can have the power to express that, and if you can get over the fear of judgment, it instantaneously brings your ideal clientele, your ideal audience to you.
[00:35:06] Because it resonates with them the same way that two tuning forks who are harmoniously tuned, you can tap one on this side of the room and the other one will start to vibrate because of the harmonic frequency. And that’s what telling a compelling story will do.
[00:35:21] It will vibrate and resonate with your audience. They’ve actually done studies with it. That’s a, that’s a physical truth, not just a metaphorical one. If anybody gets a chance to study heart math, when you get your heart and mind connected, you can actually send resonance through the room and amplify it.
[00:35:36] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. And when you tell the truth and you tell your story, you’re actually letting yourself be free. There’s like a freedom in that because you don’t actually have to hide who you are. You actually just get to be fully who you are.
[00:35:50] Sean Tyler Foley: Well, and it’s instantaneously disarming too. So I, you know, it’s a, it’s a horrible reference, but it’s an apt one, the ending of Eight Mile with Eminem, Marshall Mathers.
[00:36:01] You know, he’s in this rap battle, and when they’re prepping for it, his buddy looks at him. He says, “Well, what if he says all of this stuff about you?” And that’s what triggers him to go up on stage. And he just goes, “Yeah, I’m this, I’m this, I’m this, this happened to me. This happened to me. This happened to me. What are you going to do about it? Now, let me tell some truths about you.”
[00:36:21] And then he just destroys the guy. And then the guy that has nowhere to go, because he’s already put it all out there.
[00:36:27] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:36:28] Sean Tyler Foley: And that’s, when you can be vulnerable and you can just put it out there, you’ve owned your story. And you’d mentioned, you know, it is your story. Nobody knows your story better than you. Nobody can tell it more compelling than you. Nobody knows the details like you do.
[00:36:44] So when you embrace your story, not only is it disarming because you put it out there and nobody else can then tell it better than you, but because you have the power to do that, you can tell it and you can script it and you can mold it to serve you the way that you need.
[00:37:01] But you have to do it in a real way. You have to be very self-aware and you have to be honest with yourself and therefore honest with your audience when you tell these stories.
[00:37:11] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. And I, for people listening out there that think their story doesn’t matter, your story matters, your story deserves to be heard.
[00:37:18] So I just encourage people to bring their voice, bring their story. We are at our Fast Five. So I’m going to change the energy a little bit, the Fast Five. And so, let’s just have some fun. If you could travel back in time and change one financial decision you’ve made, what would it be and why?
[00:37:34] Sean Tyler Foley: Wouldn’t have bought my house in 2015.
[00:37:39] Bob Wheeler: Good one. What is one money mistake you made in your life that you don’t want your daughter to make?
[00:37:44] Sean Tyler Foley: Maxed out my credit card and line of credit and pushed, you know, with the mistaken belief that I could pay it back rapidly, that I was getting an ROI without actually calculating what the ROI was. Debt spending and deficit spending to try and earn more money never has panned out for me. And I always do best when I work with a cash budget.
[00:38:07] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, cash is king. Does your wife have a “bad” financial habit?
[00:38:16] Sean Tyler Foley: Yes. You guys won’t get the reference, Tim Horton’s, it’s equivalent to Dunkin Donuts. And what’s worse, it’s that this is the thing, it’s such a slow bleed. It’s $1.62, twice a day.
[00:38:28] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:38:29] Sean Tyler Foley: But here’s the thing, my wife only drinks about a quarter to a third of the cup of coffee, because then when it gets cold, she won’t drink it. So she’s bleeding through $1.62, but only consuming, maybe 60 cents of it. And it drives me insane because even if we went with the K-cups, cause you can get the same branded K-cups of the coffee, that would cost 30 cents a unit.
[00:38:49] And I do do that math and I’m like, at least, then we’re only wasting. 20 cents, as opposed to over $1.
[00:38:57] Bob Wheeler: That’s hilarious. I will drink the last cup, even if it’s cold, if I’ve paid for it, I’m not wasting a drop. So, I hear you!
[00:39:05] Sean Tyler Foley: Half-drank beverages are the, the bane of my existance.
[00:39:09] Bob Wheeler: Oh my God. That’s hilarious. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever purchased and how much money did you waste on it?
[00:39:15] Sean Tyler Foley: Ooh, that’s a good question. I never feel that I’ve wasted any money. I’m very intentional with all of my purchases. I do know what my, my frivolous purchases are. My most frivolous purchase was my new truck that I bought because…
[00:39:31] Bob Wheeler: Trucks are never frivolous.
[00:39:34] Sean Tyler Foley: Well, you say that until you start, you know, $700 a month payments, $200 a month’s insurance, and probably $800 a month in gas.
[00:39:45] But I use it all the time. Like it is, it is quite possibly the most inefficient spot of my finances, but I would never give up my truck. I got a Ram 1500 Sport that does everything for me, bought it new in 2014, have 300,000 plus kilometers on it. It’s still running strong. It purrs. And I love my truck.
[00:40:12] Bob Wheeler: Love it. Love it. I can, I can relate. I relate. In the past year, what’s one thing you’ve gotten in the way of your own financial journey?
[00:40:25] Sean Tyler Foley: Oh, COVID. My entire . Business model is derived from speaking to people in-person, and a lot of speakers are, are, are, and were able to pivot to a virtual forum. I’ve always had a virtual side, in that I have digital products that are available for training, but they’re just not the same.
[00:40:52] Bob Wheeler: Yeah.
[00:40:52] Sean Tyler Foley: And the majority of my revenue or 80% of my revenue is derived from in-person interactions.
[00:40:59] And being so heavily reliant on that is, is damaging. And there’s not a lot that I’m willing to do to change that. Are there, is there the possibility for me to do it? Yes. Have other people in my space done it? Yes. Could I copy them? Yes. Am I willing to? No.
[00:41:18] Bob Wheeler: That’s great. Being clear, knowing what you’re willing and not willing to do. I love that.
[00:41:24] So M & M Moment. Sweet spot, Money and Motivation. Can you give us, the listeners, a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom, something that’s helped you along the way?
[00:41:34] Sean Tyler Foley: Yeah. Always pay yourself. Find a number that you’re comfortable with and do it. I know when I stopped doing that was the worst four years of my financial health.
[00:41:44] And if I could follow one up on that, it is develop a spreadsheet to track your net worth and be honest with what your net worth is. It’s the only way that you can track your growth. And even if it’s only a dollar or two. I learned this again from Jen Whitney and another incredible money mentor, Erin Skye Kelly, who coincidentally has a book out right now called Get the Hell Out of Debt.
[00:42:08] So if any of your listeners want to pick up a book other than mine, other than yours, Get the Hell Out of Debt by Erin Skye Kelly is, is a great read. And I, I really do highly recommend it, but and she’d be a great guest on your show too. But tracking your progress is, is critical. I, like I said, I update my, my spreadsheet monthly and track my net worth.
[00:42:33] And there are months where it literally goes up by 50 cents. But it went up and I need to see where I’m tracking and how I’m tracking and make sure that I’m increasing my net worth over time. And as long as I can continue to do that, growth is growth, however, small it is, but the only way to know what it is is to track it.
[00:42:56] So always pay yourself first and make sure that you’re tracking the metrics to know what direction you’re headed.
[00:43:01] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know what I, and we’re coming to the close here. And one of the things that I am aware of in this conversation, even though some of it hasn’t been explicit, is this place of “how do I make it work?”
[00:43:16] Like how do I reach my goal? And in that, I hear a little bit of understanding the piece of delayed gratification, that I’m not going to get everything right this minute, but it’s it’s available to me. I just have to figure out how. And the other thing that I, what I didn’t hear was a lot of judgment, negative judgment of taking yourself out for making choices.
[00:43:38] Even with the truck saying, “Ah, it’s not the most efficient, but it brings me so much pleasure.” Right? And so being able to look at all that and not take ourselves out or having had the debt or having had the business just completely disappear from you, picking up and moving forward, instead of sitting in the corner saying, “look what happened to me.”
[00:43:58] I, I hear this place of responding and being proactive in your life, even if it’s only 50 cents over the course of a period of time, but there’s movement forward instead of just looking back.
[00:44:11] Sean Tyler Foley: Yeah. No, and it’s true. I have, I’ve never really had guilt around money. Which is funny cause conversely, my wife I, I feel, I, you know, when we were, we were heavily in debt, I, I distinctly remember working, going to one of Jen’s workshops. And my wife who is also named Jen, just breaking down on it. You know, what are, what is the debt? And to her, it was a heavy burden. And to me, as long as I am happy with that purchase, if it brought me joy, whether it was a spontaneous one or delayed gratification, I’m doing it with intention.
[00:44:49] I never spend money unintentionally. And I think that’s the key. I spend money with intention. Do I always spend it well? No. But do I spend it with intention? Yes. And therefore I’m never disappointed with my purchases. I mean, I can look right off to my right. I have a Lego set that’s almost a thousand dollars.
[00:45:12] Was that purchase necessary? No. Did it bring me and my daughter great joy when we built it? Absolutely. And so was it worth it to me? Yes.
[00:45:21] Bob Wheeler: I love it. I love it. And in a couple hours you’re going to have a lemonade stand and some rocking profits from, from your heat wave.
[00:45:28] Sean Tyler Foley: Yeah, no, and she, and it’s her own money.
[00:45:30] She’s investing her own money. She sold a couple of her toys at a garage sale. So she has the money. And so it’s her money that she’s going, we’ve got a budget to go to Costco, she’s going to purchase it. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to eat some of her profits. Literally. But I’m dad, I get to do that.
[00:45:50] Bob Wheeler: That’s right. That’s right. That’s the perks. That’s the perks. Love it. Where can people find you online or social media?
[00:45:56] Sean Tyler Foley: Best place to go is SeanTylerFoley.com. And Sean is spelled the proper Irish way. SEAN Sean Tyler Foley .com. SeanTylerFoley.com. Tell them Tyler sent ya, and if you go onto it,, before they do Bob, what I would ask that they do, if they are getting, if your audience right now, listening to our conversation, is getting value out of Money You Should Ask, and they come back and they’re finding that they are getting actionable advice and tips, and that the guests that you’re bringing on regularly are serving them, I would ask that they hit pause on this episode right now.
[00:46:31] And give your show a five star review, a like, a thumbs up, a share, whatever that platform is asking you to do. If you really want to go above and beyond, give a comment. What was your favorite episode? What was the favorite bit of money advice that you’ve gotten from Bob during this time? And that’s how he can grow his show.
[00:46:49] And I know as a guest I’ve really, really enjoyed my time on here, Bob. And so I think it’s the least that I can do is to ask your audience as a call to action before they do my call to action, to help your show grow by giving you that five-star review, giving you the thumbs up, and comments on the episodes that they like.
[00:47:07] And if they do that, if they come to my website, SeanTylerFoley.com, right on the main landing page. We have a banner that says The Method. If they click on that, I’ll give them an 11 page document called The Method. And it has five Insider Secrets that I’ve learned over 35 years of public speaking and performing that will help them be more confident in telling their message and sharing their story and saying the thing that they’re afraid to say, and, and really getting out in front of their messaging and, and saying what, what needs to be said, what’s on their heart and sharing it in a very authentic way.
[00:47:41] So if they can do that, it’s my gift to them. But only, only if they give you a five star review, sir.
[00:47:48] Bob Wheeler: Well, I appreciate both calls to action. I really do appreciate that. That is, that’s very kind. I’ve loved having this conversation with you. And I do hope that people will go out and give me a five star review as well. That’s, I won’t say no to that!
[00:48:00] I do want to say to our folks out there, please don’t forget to share the love. You can like, follow, and share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Search for MoneyYouShouldAsk, all one word. Follow this podcast on your favorite podcast player, or visit Spotify and Search for Money you Should Ask or click on the link in the description.
[00:48:15] If you’re watching this episode on YouTube, don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe. For more tips, tools, or how to learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit themoneynerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. I’m both.
[00:48:28] Tyler, thank you so much for joining us today. I so appreciate your insight. I hope everybody goes out and buys your book, and I hope everybody’s out there speaking naked. It’ll be a great sight to see.
[00:48:40] Sean Tyler Foley: Thank you so much, Bob. Yes, we, we encourage it always.