#198 – A Life Worth Living W/ Matt Gersper

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Episode Summary

On a scale from 1-5, how happy are you? 1 would mean flat-out depressed most days. 3 is living the status quo. And, 5 means you are living your good life and wake up fulfilled and happy (most days, anyway!). 

If you are between 1 and 3, the question to ask oneself is WHY? What is the source or circumstance that is (or at least appears to be) the “cause” of life of so-so (at best)?

If you are less than a 4 — what if I told you that there is a Happiness Formula? That by following the code, you could pretty quickly and easily push up your score.

Let’s give a couple of tenants of happiness a practice. Assuming you are less than a 4 — try these: 

  1. Create a Happy Mental state via a Deliberate Physical Action 
  2. Deliberately Smile (until you feel Happy)
  3. Observe a Physical Action that can come via a Deliberate Mental State
  4. Think to yourself, “I’m Happy,” (until you Smile)

In this episode, I interview Matt Gersper. Matt literally wrote the book on “how to live a happier life” based on a Happiness Quotient that he assembled after studying happiness for many years. He witnessed the uncommon level of happiness in others who lived by this formula. And discovered for himself that it works! He is now a self-proclaimed happy person!!

And, I proclaim the same. I met Matt at a Paleo f(X) conference. Before I knew what he did, my thought upon meeting him was “wow, that guy is happy!” When I quickly learned he authored a book on happiness, I was immediately curious … “what secret does that guy know that the rest of us do not …”

To find out his secret I asked him to be on the Wealthy Wellthy podcast — since the mission of my company is to help others architect a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. 

So, if you wish for a little more happiness, no matter where you are on the scale — you’ll wish to listen in.

Here are a few threads we explore:

– How Matt Found Happiness 

– The Happiness Formula

4-elements of Happy

– How Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness 

– How Money Can Be A Amplifier 

– Can Healing & Money Co-Exist?

– Finding Purpose & Passion 



The Belief Road Map

The Happy Formula Video

Happy Living Website

Sovereignty Academy


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You can also click on the timestamps below to jump to those specific points in the conversation.
Read Full Transcript

This transcription was made by using Otter.ai so it is not 100% accurate.

Krisstina Wise [0:00]
Hi and welcome back. In this episode, I interview Matt Gasper. Matt literally wrote the book on how to live a happier life. Based on a happy quotient that he assembled after studying happiness for many years, he discovered that those who were really happy had a core set of beliefs and behaviors in common. He distilled them down into what he calls the happy formula. He put them into effect for himself to become a really happy guy, and now he’s a self proclaimed happy person. And I proclaimed the same. I met Matt at a paleo effects conference before I knew what he did. My thought upon meeting him was Wow, that guy’s happy. When I quickly learned that he had authored a book on happiness, I was immediately curious what secret does that guy know that the rest of us do not? So with an intention to uncover what made Matt so happy, I invited him to be on the show, to divulge his happiness secrets. Now, this episode isn’t just about how to be happy. Matt is a successful entrepreneur who had an eight figure exit in the sale of his last business. Matt talks about how he lost a lot of his happy while building the business. But it wasn’t until he got his happy back, he’s able to steer the company to its ultimate success. And now he recognizes that business isn’t worth it if the cost is our emotional well being. Here are a few threads we explore. We’ve talked about how Matt lost and found his happiness, we break down his happiness formula. He discusses how money doesn’t buy happiness, but how money can be an amplifier to happiness, and he discusses the importance of finding one’s purpose and passion mats, the founder of happy living a health and wellness media and book publishing company. He’s the author of turning inspiration into action, the belief roadmap and inspiring women. After his exit, he’s now dedicated the rest of his professional life to developing and sharing best practices for health and happiness. Matt sweetspot is how to build a multi million dollar business while focusing on creating happiness and wealth well being in all walks of life. So if you’re wishing for a little bit more happy, you’ll wish to listen in please enjoy my episode with Matt Gasper. Matt, what a pleasure. Thank you for being on the Wealthy Wellthy podcast.

Matt Gersper [2:09]
Oh, I’m super excited. Thanks for having me.

Krisstina Wise [2:12]
All right, well, let’s just jump right in. And I teach on on my podcast, it’s really I’m in these I’m in these two camps and the Wealthy Wellthy camps. One is talking about money and finance and wealth creation and in everything money. And then on the other side, it’s really everything health, because our bodies are number one asset. And if we don’t take care of self or know how to take care of self, if our self breaks down, all the money in the world doesn’t really matter. So anyway, that’s that’s Wealthy Wellthy, like how to invent how to architect how to create a Wealthy Wellthy life. Now, that’s great. What I’ve said, also is that if you have all the money in the world, and if you’re physically fit and healthy, but you don’t have read, if you don’t really have great relationships, you’re you’re alone, or you’re not happy, like what’s the point like the the reason why we want to take care of our bodies, the reason why we want to have money is to fund the cost of being happy, you know, of creating the life experiences and being the person that can be happy. So you’re all about happy and happy live in and I will want you to introduce yourself here in a second. But first of all, Have you always been happy?

Matt Gersper [3:28]
I have. I remember walking around as a little kid, and being asked, Why are you smiling? And I said, why not? And so I’ve, I’ve, I’ve got a secret to my happiness that I didn’t discover for a while. Would you like to know what it is? I do. So I really didn’t understand this probably until in my 30s or 40s. And I, I wrote a poem about it. I didn’t actually write the poem about it. I received the poem. And my I had a brother that was born one year before me. His name is Matthew Bryan gurdaspur. That’s my name. And he died at birth. His name was met. My parents changed his name to Jeffrey and so I always knew there was Jeffrey in our in our lives. I always knew that I was the replacement kid. I always knew that we had gone see his gravestones and and all that when we were lived back in Ohio. But it wasn’t until way into my life. 30 or 40 years old, sitting in a hot tub in my house in Colorado. And I just got this poem, your angel lives at Heaven’s Gate. It starts out something like you were me before I became you there was nothing else. There’s nothing we could do. It was God’s Will something and so I’ve just this whole poem. I jumped out of the I ran into the house, and I wrote it all down. And I realized for the first time, that’s maybe why I felt the way I felt my whole life because I’ve had an angel watching over me, literally, my whole life. And so I look back on that. And I say, That’s why you’re the stupid little kid running around with a grin on your face. So it’s very interesting. And you know, 60 years later, I end up doing happy living. And so Life is good. And I’ve been blessed. I think,

Krisstina Wise [5:32]
I love that well share with everybody just a little bit of life story that really brought you to this place of helping people learn how to be happy through happy living.

Matt Gersper [5:46]
My life story is getting longer and longer. I turned 60 this summer. All my life as a kid, I wanted to be an athlete. And that turned into a very early on, I remember writing an essay in the fifth grade, about becoming a professional football player. And which was a lot of kids thought that way. It was unusual for me because I was a really, really tiny kid, I started high school, I was five foot two and 100 pounds. And I always believed I could become a professional football player. And my parents supported me and I worked hard at it. And I worked my way through high school and ended up being a co Captain on the varsity football team and went to college and worked my way up into we went to the national championship in Division Two football against Southwest Texas State. And I got signed by Saskatchewan roughriders, up in Canada, and I got signed by the Los Angeles Raiders, right after they won the world championship. So I was literally on the best team in the world, trying to make the team. And then after that I had gotten married during the time. And my wife at the time was pregnant. And I got signed by the Orlando renegades and the USFL. Baby was supposed to be born in March, I said, See ya and I went to Orlando to I thought I was going to be gone for six months. And I didn’t even think Christina that I could take a break and go see my child be born. That’s how bad I wanted to play football. And off, I went with all the emotional turmoil left at all. And I came back in two days because I got cut. And I had to, I had to reconfigure my life. And so after that, I went back to college finished my degree got into to be an employee. And for whatever reason, all of my employee days, I was really being groomed by different people not on purpose, but just as life would have it, and all different aspects of running the business. And then 1415 years ago, I had the chance to buy a business. And so I bought into a business got got to put all those things I’d learned all those years to work in my own company. And we grew that that was in the international trade space. We bought the company for $1.5 million in 2004. And we launched a startup at the same time. So we bought an existing company, I was the founder of the startup, we raised two and a half million bucks. we merged the companies together after seven years, and we sold it for $42.1 million in 2014. And against my wishes. I had moved into the chairmanship and we it was a it was a money making machine had what I call the perfect business model, doing work you love with highly recurring revenue near zero marginal costs and no geographic boundaries. We had customers all over the world we had highly recruited our data was so deep into the bowels of their er p systems they couldn’t get rid of us and so that we ended up selling the company anyways. And it was a blessing in the long run because here I get to be Mr. Happy living now and study all things happiness so

Krisstina Wise [9:20]
I thought what a great story and I love hearing I love hearing you tell your story there’s just such happiness and and gratitude and even the way you share that experience and so you can see how this is just a thread of who you are and how you are and I love hearing the story of a successful exit you know, we don’t we don’t really hear a lot of of exits and I so i i so congratulations. And then also when I do work with people who have had exits are there. They’re working towards the end in mind many times what happens is like what happens after the exit? All right, I’ve got this money I’m cashing out. What do I do? Today, if I’m not in that business creating, yeah, all the stuff that you that you were doing, and fill that time. So what was the pivot point you sold your business? And then how did you pivot to what you’re doing right now?

Matt Gersper [10:12]
Yeah, so I got lucky. As I mentioned, when we bought the existing company, we bought it from KPMG, and the accounting firm. So we bought it from them. And I launched this startup. And what this company did was gathered data about customs regulations, what company what countries say, the rules are for importing into and exporting out of their, their countries. So this is highly specific database of country rules. And then what my company did, I was a part owner in this company, then, my company did was, we didn’t know for a while I launched a startup and I went from one month to another mountain, we finally figured it out. And what we did was we built software that helps enterprises, you can think of every major company in the world that does cross border transactions. Most of them were our customers over here. big huge corporations, we were getting three, four or $5,000 annual subscriptions, so we weren’t important to them in terms of big relationships. But with this little business we were. And so this other company focused on the company data, describing it from a customer’s point of view. And so we ran these two companies completely separate for seven years, we merged them towards the end of the seventh year, and eight, nine and 10, we were one company, I, I moved out of operations into the chairmanship of the company. And we had one major challenge for me to do operationally, which was get our financial house in order from being a cash based business to be in accrual based and getting all of the code with Sarbanes Oxley so that we would be ready for a sale should it happen, and but after that, I was planning on doing the chairman thing, spending a lot less time in the business, just providing a little bit of oversight, and thought leadership, it was gonna be really fun. And then what am I gonna do next. And so that was where I started thinking about changing my life from trying to to, I can say it this way from trying to conquer the world, to conquering the need to conquer the world. And so I was really a hustler, I was really focused on everything I could do to advance my cause. And even if I did something that was generous, like by invest in a charitable contribution to get tickets to give to my raffle tickets to go to my customers. So that’s a nice thing to do. $5,000 to make a wish, but it was selfishly motivated. And so I’m really I’ve said, Can I can I try to flip that? I got lucky, you got an exit. I don’t have to worry about that part. Can I really, really give back. And so that’s the journey I’m on now happy living is the framework for that journey. And it the catalyst for it was not just the chairmanship, but also a friend of mine from high school, who I hadn’t seen. In years. I was going around the country talking to our investors trying to convince him why we shouldn’t sell the company. And I was up in Portland because we had investors up there. And I talked to my friend Kevin, and my son Kyle is important at the time, too. And the three of us went out to dinner, just a personal dinner. And we were just chatting and catching up. And Kevin, we were both 52 at the timer. So he must have said a dozen times, you know call your dad my glory days are behind us. I’m thinking What? You said it again and again. I finally walked him out of the car. I said, Dude, what are you really talking about? Here’s an executive in his company, married to his sweetheart had a big beautiful home. I’m just getting started I don’t understand the mentality. And so that was that got me thinking No, why are you always smiling stupid kid smiling. Why do I think differently that my time is not about in my time is just getting started? And that’s what really became the fuel for the development of happy living.

Krisstina Wise [14:26]
I love that insert describe happy living, is it a Is it a Is it a charity? Is it a for profit?

Matt Gersper [14:35]
It is a really poorly functioning for profit run at the moment. It is for profit, profit and it’s not my goal. Although I would like it to be the nice happy benefit of not making it my goal and I believe that’s what will work out in the end. So you know, we’re we’re still making money. If I don’t need the money and I make it, I can give more away. So I would like it to just be another cash cow, we’ll see how we can get it to become a cash cow. But what it is, it’s mainly, I guess you can think of it as a media company. We’ve been we, you’re a great entrepreneur, you know, and you have a, you have a tight niche. You know, if you’re gonna start a business to say get in, what’s your niche. And I know, I know that I’m a business guy, I know, you’re supposed to have a niche. But I didn’t want to have a niche. I wanted to improve the happy of the world, one person at a time. And that’s the whole world. That’s this big, massive thing. But I wanted to flip my thinking and say, Look, dude, if all you did in the second half of your life, was really improve the health and wellness and happiness of one person, your family? Shouldn’t that be enough? And wouldn’t that be an amazing thing. And so we get off spin spun up about, you know, being bigger than, you know, dominating the world. And I’m trying not to do that. And I hope that in my effort not to do that, and being softer, and being a giver instead of a taker, that that turns into a big business story. There’ll be a great story to share with people.

Krisstina Wise [16:17]
Oh, yeah. Well, they I love that. I often say, you know, being being a money and financial educator and coach, part of what I, I shares that, you know, there’s this, you know, saying that goes, that money doesn’t buy happiness. And I think it’s really worded maybe the word hands off a little bit. Because I don’t necessarily think that’s true, because not having money doesn’t mean happiness either. So, you know, it’s it’s, so I like to make sure that it’s like maybe money doesn’t buy happiness, and not having money doesn’t buy happiness either. So let’s rework it a little bit. What I said is, is that you can’t go purchase happiness, I think that’s what it means. Because if you’re the if you’re a happy self, naturally, let’s say and, and grateful and appreciative, you really move in that moods and spirits, you know, life is certainly better than just complaining, and, you know, victim and all these things. But if you can’t pay your bills, and you can’t put a roof over your head, and you can’t put your kids through college, or you know that that breeds a lot of fear and anxiety and stress that makes it more difficult to be happy. You know, because you’re just in the stress of that. So money is, does provide a lot that can give us more access to happiness, I guess, you know, when you’re distance from just the day to day, month to month stress, but what I say so I say like money, money is important. So let’s not let’s not minimize it, by using sayings like money can’t buy happiness, but also, what I think that can be meant by that is you can’t go purchase happiness. Like, you know, no matter how much money you have, you just can’t go purchase. It’s not sold on the shelf. And I think that’s what it means is that, that happiness is like it’s a state that we create, and we can bring that different pieces to it. We just can’t go by it no more than like we can go by, you know, you can’t go by love right? You fall in love. You create love you act love. You can’t just go buy love off the shelf either. So what do you say about that, like this love and happiness quotient that’s a little bit more nebulous, and we get these scenes like you can’t go by it.

Matt Gersper [18:38]
Yeah. I’ve thought about this question quite a lot. I remember, before all this started way, way back in the day, probably in my 20s and 30s prime my 30s maybe. I went on a trip and visited my brother, younger brother, who’s bigger than a big, big, beautiful soldier. He served our country for 26 years, mountain of a guy and he’s now driving a school bus. Awesome. A killer driving a school bus. Anyways, I remember him and his wife and I was, you know, I was fighting for my career, and I was a hard charger and, and I was having success. And I remember him and his wife saying, you know, we don’t want a lot of money. And I said, What are you talking about? No, money is not good money is a lot of people think money is bad. I don’t want to chase money. You have to do bad things get money, I’d say no, money is freedom. Money and it’s not money is not even the issue. It’s the currency of the realm, whatever it is, if I live out in the wilderness, and I’m completely away from civilization, I need the currency of that area to be able to provide for myself it’s not money, but what is it then it would be like strength or or ingenuity. So you have to have the currency that you need to take care of yourself. So that you can Take good care of yourself and have something more to give to others. That’s the whole gig for me. And in where we live, it’s money. And so money is, is like I say, it’s freedom. If I have a lot of it, I have more than I need right now I can give, I can give money away, and I do. And it’s awesome. But what I’ve discovered about money is in the way I didn’t miss not my original thinking, I heard this money emphasizes and magnifies your personality. So if you are up, I used to use a bad word. If you’re really a rotten person, you can be way more rotten way more mean. And you see it people are like that. If you are a beautiful soul, you can do a lot of good, a lot more good with money than without it. And so one of the things I write about is, is live your money, be proud of it, live your life with without apology, and also without arrogance. And you get money, and then give it away. When we started. We started this. In my business, we started, we were in debt for seven years. Christina, growing US trade business. But every year, our revenues were going up. And our profits were going up. Like 30% a year, our profits grew like 30% a year, all the way through our 10 years. It was amazing. But we were in big debt, not big debt. I told you when I paid 100 million bucks for the company, but we were in debt. It took us seven years to get out of it. But I can see what was happening as soon as the final debt was paid off, cash flowing. And in the cash flow. And we started we started distributing profit to our we had 11 owners, I was the largest shareholders there was 10 other guys. And we started distributing profits, which nobody was expected to be getting profits. And then we started we started a minimum monthly guaranteed profits. So every month you are getting a check. So as a as a employee as a as the president of the company, and one of them. And as a investor, I was getting 12 paychecks a year, I was getting 12 million minimum monthly distributions a year. And I was getting for quarterly profit sharing checks. It was just rolling in. And so I started thinking, What am I going to do? I were saving it, we’re investing it, we’re doing what we need to do, and I could give back. And so then I secretly just started giving 50% tips. Every time I went out to a restaurant. And I feel pretty good. It’s making people smile. I’m changing lives just a little bit at a time. And you think you know that waitstaff. There’s all kinds of communities that have a hard, work hard, and it’s hard to get ahead. And that was just what I chose. And so you can do it everywhere. And I kept it a secret for a while. And then I showed my wife. And then my wife said, Oh, that’s great. And then so she started doing it. And so then every once in a while when we go out when I sold my company, you know, I’ve started arbitrarily buying someone’s dinner. And so you can just do little small acts of kindness that I could think about if I didn’t have money, and that I can act on if I do have money. And the other thing I would say is if you don’t have money, I had the I have the privilege of

befriending the guy who was the original founder of the Macintosh Corporation, Frank shank wits, they made a movie about him. It’s called wishman. And he learned a lesson when he was dirt poor from his mentor that really was attracted to decorate his life. And he said, One Delgado was the guy’s name. And he told Frank, you know, you have to give back to people I said, Well, I have nothing to give. He says not everybody has something to give, you can go over and and weed your neighbor’s lawn because she makes you burritos. And since he’s a school of burritos every other day. And so she’s doing a kindness to you, you can give him back. And so it’s not about money. It’s about capacity to be a giver. And if I have an excess capacity of kindness, I can give it time I can give it money I can give it money is no different than those other resources as well.

Krisstina Wise [24:33]
Yeah. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. And I completely agree. And like you said, something you touched on there that I think is really important is how good it feels to give unsolicited you know that you’re like where you’re just giving a 50% tip and you know that made somebody’s day and it might have made difference like what food was put on the table that evening without any expectation about any entitlement. It was just really stupid. A prize gift that could have made somebody’s day. And, and being able to do that is that’s where the happiness is. So, so much have like an example of happiness, I guess that is missing in this story that money doesn’t equate to happiness in any form or fashion.

Matt Gersper [25:21]
Yeah, that’s where I’ll go back to it, it’s the same, it’s the same way money’s money just gets a bad name, but any of your any extra capacity, you have kindness, time, money, whatever it is, can be used as a as a resource to enhance your personality, good or bad. Right. And if you’re a good person, then if you’re listening to this, and you’re a good person, get as much money as you can, because you can do a lot of good with it.

Krisstina Wise [25:49]
Yeah, I’ve said that there’s so many people that are in the health space, or the spiritual space for that, for that matter, and they do a lot of good, but they have this scarcity money story that I shouldn’t charge, because I’m going to keep because I’m a healer, this and, and, you know, so I really work to try to, you know, bust that belief system, even that narrative that’s embedded in lots of these cultures, for example, that, you know, healing and money, they’re, you know, they’re, they’re polar opposites, you can’t genuinely be good at one and care about the other, like, they’re mutually exclusive. What do you say about that?

Matt Gersper [26:26]
Well, it’s just, it’s just not true. And, you know, some of our, I don’t know, it’s interesting,

you know, some of the great healers of the, of history, where I just read about this, you know, they were pictured wearing rags, basically, you know, Gandhi, Jesus, very, very modest, not wealthy, by, by money, situations. And then they, the religious apparatus around them in Golden palaces, and fine, you know, all this complete, filthy, disgusting wealth. And so I think that’s what is, I think that’s the training that we’ve been given. And so it’s hard to break through, that was going to be my what you mentioned before, in terms of a myth, that money is bad. It’s what you do with it, it’s the same as any, you know, is a is a gun, good or bad? Well, if you’re using the gun for good to protect, you know, a whole list, make it to protect a bunch of puppies, you know, just to make a dramatic, from from being, you know, captured by an evil villain that might be then the gun could be used for good. It’s just an asset, it’s just a tool is a car good or bad, a car is bad, if you if you use it to run people over, it’s really good if you use it to rescue people. So money is just a resource that has been painted through history, as you have to, you have to lie, cheat and steal to get it. Only, you know, only the evil people have it, the ones who want to control everything. That’s a big common discussion. You know, and they want to take money away from, from the business people that have built these businesses, because they have so much money way more than they need. You know, of course, if you look at the Bezos and those guys, of course, they have way more than any, but what has what have they done, they’ve created jobs all over the world, they’ve lifted people out of poverty, and they pour a lot of money back into goodness. And so you know, I think it’s just a matter of your of your framework. And I think if you can, if you can take money out of that special place, and just make it a regular, it’s just a resource. It’s just a tool. It’s like all kinds of other resources and tools that you use freely to either do good or to do bad based on who you are. Love that.

Krisstina Wise [29:01]
Exactly. I completely agree. All right, let’s flip it a little bit. What What would you say to someone says, Well, Matt, it’s easy for you, you’ve already had your exit, you already have your millions in the bank, so it’s easy for you to be happy. But I over here don’t I haven’t had my ex say yet.

Matt Gersper [29:18]
No. Friend of mine. When I started, I’ve had a couple of instances when I started to change my life. Anytime you change your life and you go in any direction. You get arrows coming at you. And I have you know when one of the arrows that came at me early on was Who are you to give advice to anybody about health and wellness? You’re not an expert. I said, I’m not giving advice. I’m just telling you, this is what I do. So that’s First of all, I’m not giving anybody any advice, but I’ll share with you how I’m living my life and you can see if you like it or not the other guy The comment was exactly what you said. Yeah Mr. Fancy Pants with your lake house and and money you can do Whatever you want to do now, and I had to think carefully how I responded to, to this guy, who’s a friend of mine, and I did respond, and we got through it. And it’s like, my philosophy in life is, you’ve got to do what you got to do to take care of yourself. And in fact, I got a, I got a chart, it’s a, it’s a pyramid, I can use to explain this. And it’s the framework for happy living. And on the pyramid was seven blocks, four blocks in the bottom two blocks in the middle and the block on top. And the blocks on the bottom are about building capacity that you need to take care of yourself and have something left over to give to others. Physical Fitness, spiritual, physical fitness, mental fitness, spiritual fitness, and financial fitness. Okay, and what I learned as those are mine, you might also could throw emotional fitness in there, you know, whatever, whatever it is, you need to build your capacity, I would put those in those blocks, and, and so when if I don’t have everything I need, and I spend all my time in those blocks. And when I can get past that you mentioned that earlier, you talked on Maslow’s theory of hierarchical needs. Once you’re once you’re covered, then you can get into the next block, which is all about exploring your purpose. Why are you meant to be on this planet, you can’t get there. If you’re don’t have shelter, or you don’t have food. Once you have that covered that you can get there. And you can start discovering what turns you on what is your, you know, what’s inside your authentic self, what is it. And those blocks I call love and adventure. And love is about doing things you love with people you love and places you love. And adventure is about getting outside of your day to day stresses and things you have to do. And having a moment of clarity, when you can just feel the universe speaking to you. Or what I’ve learned over time is not out there. It’s in here, you’re picking up something that that touches you, that catches your excitement catches your spirit. So, so I get maybe I just get glimpses. I used to just get glimpses, but I had to go back and be a janitor. I’ve been a janitor, I’ve been a paper boy, I’ve done jobs I liked I’ve done jobs I didn’t like I’ve been rich, I’ve been poor. I’ve been in big debt. So I know I’ve been I’ve been all over the place in that regard. All through the time, I can always do something, pursuing my purpose. Right. So if my purpose was to eventually become a bit, my personal business guy, but I used to be an employee. But as an employee, I had to do my work at it in my 40 or 50 hours that my boss had had to do. But I could read books about owning my own business someday. And so maybe at the early days, when my capacity was lower, I spent 95% of my time doing what I must. And 5% of my time doing what I had when I when I wanted, who I wanted to become exploring my purpose. And over time, and it takes a whole lifetime. If you try to switch those, and that’s all and now mine is pretty, pretty switched. I do 90% of my time I spend doing things I love, but I wasn’t always that way. So that’s what I told my friend is. And also I would add one more thing, I got lucky, I didn’t work any harder. And those 10 years of my life that were growing those businesses than I did the 10 years before the 10 years after. It was just it all clicked. And so you know you don’t know and cent maybe sometimes it never clicks. And maybe all you can get is to 30% what you love and 70% it’s worth it. If you’re not working on it, you’re gonna be at 90% which don’t like to do or 100%. So you just keep swinging, keep swinging and keep trying to turn those tables until you spend more and more time doing things you love with people you love in places you love.

Krisstina Wise [34:12]
Yeah, like you said, it takes time is that there, there’s not a lot of additional capacity. But in capacity, I think capacities can change too. So if I reflect back, let’s say on my especially my 30s and let’s say early 40s that were a lot of that type of capacity was like you said in the must but it’s it’s energized by a lot more physical capacity, because that youth energy, right? I mean, you can just you really can create a lot more and accomplish a lot more just with youth and you know, it’s it’s I wish I would have known some actually I was on a podcast yesterday and he said what would have you told your 20 year old self And I would have said, just to appreciate my youth, you know, all that energy and, and excitement and kind of untainted point of views and, and you know that there’s no race like just to really settle the EFF down and just really experienced life versus just, you know, trying to get there, my older self, so to speak, anyway, but like, what you said is, is, that’s the time in that youth to start creating these little spaces capacity, like you said it over time, that way, when we’re a little bit lower on that type of energy capacity, we have a lot more space and time as a replacement to slow down to experience life differently than we do you know, so it’s like that trade off. Does that make sense?

Matt Gersper [35:50]
Yeah, it does. And the other thing I would say along those lines is if you know, if you have something that really is a passion of yours, let’s say you love the love to play music, and in your dream in life, would be like BB King, he’s, you know, one of my, one of my idols and happy living. I’ve written about him for a bunch of different reasons. But he, here’s the reason, if you look at BB King in his life, and his body, he certainly wasn’t the epitome of health and wellness, right, he was overweight, out of shape. And you’d put quotes on those things for me now, because he meets my criteria of having the capacity to take care of himself and to give to others. And he lived into his 90s. So shame on me for saying BB King was out of shape, BB King was in the perfect shape for him. And he made his living doing what he loved. And he lit people up. I talked to somebody who said, he came into a restaurant one day when I was there. And you could just feel the energy coursing through the the whole restaurant. So if you can discover what you love, you got to hang on to that as tight as you can. And if you have to literally work 90 hours a week, so you can go play a gig, you know, one, you know, one night, Sunday night and at a church. That’s all you can do. But then you get to be up on stage for that for that two or three hours. And it’s just awesome. That is that dream, that inspiration, that purpose of yours, you feel a lot better going through these 90 hours, because you’re doing them for a reason. You’re not doing them just to get by, you’re doing them because you’re feeding your family, you’re taking care of your business, you’re taking care of yourself, and one day you’re going to be discovered. And you’re going to keep working on those skills. And then again, over time, maybe you can do more and more and maybe someday you become a movie or a big, big hit. But if you don’t know he hasn’t been lost?

Krisstina Wise [37:51]
Do you think that you have to have that purpose or that dream? Or that? You know, inspiration that’s pulling you have to be happy? Oh,

Matt Gersper [38:05]
yes, I do. I think you have to, you have to understand what, why you’re here. And when you do. And so, yes and no. It’s like, it’s like the question of love. Oh, I’m in love them. I love them, I love and then you’ve never been in love until you finally met your soulmate. So it’s all a matter of definition. If you want to really be fully engaged in loving life, you got to be doing things that you love doing with people that you love doing them and creating value to others. I don’t see any other way around it. I wrote about it in the book, if I love to play music, and I sit in my soundproof room, and I and I make music all day long. That makes me happy. But I’m not giving. I’m not I’m not letting I’m not inspiring anybody else the music didn’t get out of my room. I’m not a giver, I can’t really have a fulfilling life that way. If I have nothing, I have no money. It’s not nothing. But if I if I feel like I have no money, and I give of my time to a local charity, four hours a week, and I help kids learn how to read while I’m there. That is a very purposeful, very, very, it’s going to be a happier person. Because that person is giving they’re engaged in life and they’re doing what they love to do help people read and it’s not for monetary. money gets everything screwed up, as you know, and then both those people had what they needed to take care of themselves. You know, they say I’m poor. Well, you seem to be taking care of yourself. You’re eating every day, right and you sheltering your family. So you just don’t have extra money, but you might have extra something else. And if you know you want to help people to read your big your big literacy person, then you’re going to be jacked up and turned on. If you’re just doing your janitor job, and not doing anything else going home watching Netflix, you can see you’re happy. But you don’t really know what happiness is, I would say,

Krisstina Wise [40:12]
is happiness and narrative like, Is it a story we tell ourselves? Is that a feeling? Is it a combination of both?

Matt Gersper [40:22]
I have, I am coming. First of all, I want everybody to know, I don’t know anything. I, there’s no science. This is just pure life experience, what I have actually experienced in my life, that’s all I can share with you. And what I’ve learned, and for the last six years, I’ve been playing and happy. It’s all I’ve been doing. And a lot of my ideas have changed about it. I think it is when you discover your true authentic self. Then hear there. And it doesn’t, it’s not about money, it’s not about the resources. It’s not about them, you might discover, you know, what, what’s your gift. And you really can’t, you don’t have the resources to spend much time in that gift. You’re but now you’re motivated to do more and more and more of it. And that’s all it takes. Once you once you have that, that’s all I take, I was totally motivated to be a professional football player, made me happy. I spent all my time doing that I was living authentically, professional football player. I never, I made about $3,000 in all my different camps in over two years as a pro athlete, so I didn’t make it. But I was so engaged and so happy going through it. So it’s not about the death. It’s not about the end. It’s the old cliche, right? It’s a journey. If you are jacked up with why you’re here every day you wake up and say, Okay, I know I get to go work with those kids Sunday at 12. I’m excited I got to go through here. But um, but my Sunday at 12 is going to be there, I’m going to be helping those kids. And that’s my reason for being on this earth. And someday, I’m going to create a university that’s going to teach kids and it’s going to be free. And I have all this worked out in my head. And right now I’m only making 250 a week. But I’ve, I’ve got I’ve got a dream. And I’m working on my dream. I’m not just talking about it, I’m doing something about it four hours a week, and then eight hours a week. And that’s how you get there, or you don’t get there. But that’s that journey. Is his happy?

Krisstina Wise [42:45]
Yeah, it reminds me hearing you talk it reminds me of the definition for passion. And, and when I’ve done study about about the most successful entrepreneurs, and it’s a little site, it’s separate from the personal happiness piece. But I think there’s a lot of things in common. But when I studied all these very successful entrepreneurs, including myself back in the time, I was working to find what is what is that that key ingredient that’s across the board of all of them. You know, a lot of them had different things about them. That wasn’t it, but things the same, what was the same and every single one of these high performing entrepreneurs that had had an exit or real business success. The common ingredients was passion. And passion. So and they use the word passion or I can just see it in the way like you the way you the way if anybody’s watching you, they see you’re lit up when you’re talking like that can’t be manufactured. It’s more than words. It’s an energy, it’s a mood, that when you when you talk you you can even watch her eyes like you’re up in a dream and you’re looking down in the heart of what this feels this future is going to feel like. So that was the ingredient of like I said, like I said they either said the word passion or they were lit up when they’re talking about these and I gave it the word passion. And then I went to look up like What does passion mean? Or where does it come from? and passion comes from a narrative of a future story. That’s a happy story. It is something like we can envision it and we can we can relate to it. We feel it now like we’re so and that’s the poll that gets passionate people, these entrepreneurs that are passionate, they don’t have to have an alarm clock, they jump out of bed, because that fire to create that future is so present for them. That that’s that energy that inspiration. So that’s on the business side, but what it sounds like, that’s like the same thing for happiness is that this feeling of the fire of personal happiness, it can be set separate than business because people can be passionate about the business and still be miserable, not really happy, right? So I see a lot of similarities. But there’s in my own head, there’s still a distinction of like, happy is more than happy, happy is like the person we bring in all situations. You know, maybe I’m passionate about my future, my business, but I’m a jerk to people around me because I’m not happy as a person. Right? So yeah, so I keep like this happiness quotient, if like, yeah, there’s inspiration in these pieces that, that bring us happiness, when we’re in that space and time with these things we love or futures that we imagine we can love. And how much of it is, is choosing or witnessing or desiring to just be in a state of happiness through through, I can choose to be more happy today, and focus on gratitude and you know, things that are positive, or I can wake up and watch the news and hear people argue and, and be disappointed and pissed, you know, itself, how much of our environment or the narratives the you know, the things around us just create the state? Yeah.

Matt Gersper [46:13]
Passion, passionate, didn’t know that definition. I like that. I think that’s important. But as you’re telling me that story, the other thing that I think I’ve evolved to in terms of what makes people happy is engagement. And I’ll give you just a couple of examples. And it’s not. So like we talked about the janitor, I forget who that person was describing, but the $250 hour week person that wants to be helped literacy and shear he has in her vision of the future, a university that is free to everybody who needs it, you know. So that is she’s passionate about it. But she’s also engaging in it, not just talk, it’s not just thoughts, it’s actually getting out in the universe and doing the work. She can only afford four hours a week right now, that’s fine. And it doesn’t have to be big, huge engagement. two summers ago, maybe three summers ago, I installed a 30 foot rope in one of my trees in my backyard. And I wanted to start for a happy living experiment, I was gonna start rope climbing again. And I was really into it, I went to bed at night, I was thinking about my rope experiment. And when I woke up in the morning, I was thinking about it. I’m working on right now. School, of course, for the philosophy of you and your inspired life. And I’m so jacked up about it. I you know, I wanted to work on it this morning, before I was getting prepared for this show. And I can’t wait to get back to it. So that’s also it engagement. And my rope story doesn’t have anything to do with money. It just has to do with engaging in life, and something that I wanted to do, and that I was going to challenge myself to do it. And so I think engagement is really something that’s that is in every aspect of happiness. There is engagement, engagement, you know, there could be money, but there’s it’s not. That’s not the purpose. Yeah, no, no,

Krisstina Wise [48:12]
when I heard when, when I was listening to you, what showed up for me was that I think we it’s so easy to think of happiness as a destination. When I get there, I’ll be happy. You know, we hear this all the time. When I get in the right relationship, I be happier when I have enough money in the bank, when I have be happier when I quit my job and start my new business, I’ll be happy. And you know, those, those can be very subconsciously built in. But we’re waiting for happiness until there’s some future event. And what I hear you saying is it doesn’t work that way. Like we create happiness by being in hat like being in motion or action or like you said engaged in a way that we feel happy because we’re tackling that rope and you know, the kind of the the story or whatever the goals are around that it’s like, yeah, I want to see, you know, at this age, or this how, you know, the top of the rope, can I do that in three days, three months, 30 you know, more years, but I’m gonna get out there and just figure this out. And so by virtue of getting in there and seeing the success and a toil and falling all the way down again, it’s like getting back up and then you have a little bit more

Matt Gersper [49:19]
rope burns. suffering through the pain and but, but it’s worth it is. And the other way to think about it really even more simply is if you’ve ever had to fall in love, if you’ve ever been smitten with somebody forget about the definition of love. But when you go to bed at night, you’re thinking about that person when you wake up and you can’t get enough of them. That’s what happiness is. And it doesn’t have to be romantic love. That’s how you can feel with your work. If you’re doing work that you love. That’s how you can feel with your play if you’re playing what you love. And and I’ve taken it so far, you know, I say the the the easiest way To improve your happiness immediately, and stop doing things and hanging out with people that make you feel bad, stop it. And a lot of people who are listening, hang out with people that make them feel bad, cut them off. I don’t care after your mother or your father, or your brother, or your sister, or your husband, or your wife, or your children. Life’s too short, to be around people and to be doing things that make you feel bad. And on the doing things, even things that are good for you that make you feel bad, stop doing them find an alternative to get that goodness that you’re trying to get. There’s lots of alternatives. Yeah, well, your child I mean, that’s, that’s a tragic thing. But figure out I mean, deal with it, or figure it out. Because life is too short. You gotta go to towards what you love, and away from what makes you feel bad. responsibly. Right, responsibly.

Krisstina Wise [50:59]
Right? Yeah. And that’s one of the hardest things to do. So to really wrap this up, we’re approaching the end of our time together. And to wrap it up, one final question here is, how much of happiness comes from relationships, I mean, there’s obviously what we’re talking about here is a lot of relationship with self. And, you know, going after our dreams, our desires, our aspirations, their inspirations, and, and that piece, it’s really connected to kind of our personal life purpose, and why we’re here and the impact that we’re making. And, and, you know, that happiness that really does come from within, as we, the creators, actors in our lives, and, and it’s just individual. But if we do that in a vacuum to your point, or if we’re just not experiencing or engage in life with other people, there really isn’t that love peace outside of just self. How much of happiness is built into that piece, and I say that, especially in these times, we’re so isolated and locked up, and depression numbers are higher than ever, suicide numbers are higher than ever. And I think some of these might have been people that had experienced a decent amount of happiness before and all of a sudden life is just is really dark. So is that built into the formula?

Matt Gersper [52:19]
I think that is highly personal. So it’s, for me, if you’re a person, that is back to capacity, right, building your capacity, if you’re a person that is that thrives on social pneus, then you have to build your life in a way that includes engaging with lots of people. I’m married to a beautiful woman, she does not get jacked up with socialness, she is very, very comfortable with a very few small, important people in her life. She doesn’t chat people up and end and get turned off, we have a guy that that’s a good friend of ours, he needs it. If it’s not around him, he gets depressed. And so it just depends on what you want. And that’s where I go back to the The trick to happiness is really discovering who you are. And then pursuing that life. And where people make mistakes, in my opinion, is they don’t they pursue the life that their mom wanted them to pursue, or that their dad wanted them to pursue, or that they think culture accepts. And they they tamp down the real them. Because I can’t like people would would look at my, my wife and say, Well, she doesn’t have enough friends. Or people look at BB King and say, Well, he’s not in good shape. Or people you know, we put all this crap out other people. Forget about that. Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business, your opinion of yourself and what you want, if you want to go live in the woods and have no money, and hang out with the animals and do kind things for the animals. And that really is the life you want. And your dad who is a dentist and his dad that was a dentist before him says son, you can’t do that you can’t live in the wilderness. You must be a dentist. No, he should go live in the wilderness. And then he gets eaten by a bear 10 years later, and he had an amazing life. Because he lived his life. So that’s the key to me. And I think too, it’s too hard for for many of us to do that self discovery. And I’m I cheated because I got it from my my brother Angel probably at birth. So I know it’s hard. I see people really, really, really struggle with it. But I know it’s it’s in there because you can see people light up. And when you light up, pay attention to that you got to figure out what that was and double down on it. So

Krisstina Wise [54:53]
I love that. Well thank you so much, Matt. And again, just thank you for bringing your own enthusiasm and happiness and This, it can’t be faked. You know, I mean, that’s where the enthusiasm and happiness that comes through that. I mean, it’s an energy, it’s a vibration. And that exudes out. So thank you for being such an example. And bringing that to this conversation. So as we wrap up, there’s a few questions I wish to ask. And I asked all of my guests these, this little series, the first question is, say, Krisstina. If you really really knew me, you would know that what’s something that most people don’t know about you? That’s really quintessentially Matt?

Matt Gersper [55:38]
Oh, my god. I’m worried all the time.

Krisstina Wise [55:49]
You know, that’s really good, because I love that because that’s probably a big desire for happiness is like to as the anecdote for, for worry. So that totally makes sense. All right, tell me something, a brag moment, what’s something you’re really, really proud of?

Matt Gersper [56:08]
brag moment when I was at the Raiders, first of all, well, the they had a big offensive lineman that they had drafted in the first round the year before from USC, I can remember the guy’s name, I was playing strong safety. And nobody is probably not going to make the team really long shot. The General Manager al Davis, walked around me one day of practice and said, Hey, man, how you doing? That was I was surprised he knew who I was. But I remember this one play when the big guy from USC was pulling around to on a running play. And I was in strong safety and I took that big old mountain man on and clogged up the whole plane. It was my my greatest play in, in professional practice football history.

Krisstina Wise [57:01]
You know, what I love? Isn’t that fun? How this memories are just embodied in our body, like in like, truly embody it, and you can still tap into that exact moment in time,

Matt Gersper [57:10]
except I always wonder is how much of that is real? And how much has been you know, I’ll tell you real quickly. I was I got to play in the in the national championship game in Division Two, but I got injured. I was a starter, but I got injured the week before. And so I my memory is that I tested my injury, it was a hamstring, and it couldn’t run very well. And I said, If I can’t beat one of my friends in this race, I wasn’t gonna play, I’m gonna take myself out of the game for the good of the team. And so my memory of that game is I only played about a half of the first quarter. And then lo and behold, just a few years ago, a tape came out, you know, the of the game. And so I sat down, and I watched it. And I was horrible. I didn’t do anything. And I was in there, first quarter, second quarter and part of the third quarter. So I completely reframed that bad experience in my life to make it better. So I don’t know how good I trust my memory.

Unknown Speaker [58:12]
Doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, it makes me happy,

Krisstina Wise [58:15]

Upside with something that what’s a big failure? That is one of those things that it’s like, Man, I’m so glad that happened because I learned this lesson. But if I had to do it all over again.

Matt Gersper [58:36]
So quick, funny when I was a first grade, first grader in Lafayette, California, lived in this little house, my dad was a UC Berkeley professor. My mom didn’t work. We had no money. His starting salary, like $11,000 for kids, we had no money across the street, big house. I thought they were rich. And so I started bullying the little boy who walked to work, I was taking the kids lunch money. Fifth grade, happy math. From me first grade, happy man, I got in big trouble for and as I should have. So that was a real low moment, where I was just a jerk, apparently. But more currently, in my trade business, that we we have the two companies, Iran one, my partner and another. I wasn’t very fun to my partner. I didn’t think he was very good at what he does what he did. And I was the leading shareholder in the company, and both our companies exact same operating agreements, you know, exact same ownership. So he ran this one, I ran this one and I was the largest shareholder. Once I got my discipline working like I wanted it to work. I started doing more oversight. And in my oversight also as an investor, I started more putting more pressure on this guy. And to the point when we merged when I became Chairman, I was, I put so much pressure on him he was having he was getting sick. And one of the major reasons that we sold the business was because of the fighting between the two of us. So if I had put half as much energy into the relationships, as I did to pursuing the bottom line profit, I’d still have that company today. That is a really big regret. I didn’t understand it until I wrote my second book, turning inspiration to action. I wrote that chapter. And I said, Oh, dude, you’re, you’re the one that blew it up. So he got an apology, and at least in the book,

Krisstina Wise [1:00:44]
again, talk about big awareness and, and constantly, you know, being shifting and growing. Alright, so one final question. And we’ve done a lot of myth busting here when it comes to happiness. But any final myth that you’d like to bust

Matt Gersper [1:00:59]
since it’s the Wealthy Wellthy Show, The myth that money is bad. Money is not good or bad money is what you do with it. If you’re a good person, get as much as you can, because you can lift the world with it. And if you’re a bad person, you’re not listening to the show anyway, so we’re fine. Money is good. It gives you freedom to do the things you want to do with the people you want to do them with. And the places you want to you want to do them and to give to others. Money is good, is how you use it.

Krisstina Wise [1:01:34]
Amen. All right, Matt, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you for bringing that happy energy being a happy example. And do be have a business it’s about everything happy. We’ll be putting all the everything about you in the show notes and link to your your books and, and the other things that you’re working on and your other businesses. So thank you so much for your time today.

Matt Gersper [1:01:55]
Thank you, Christina. It was a pleasure.

Krisstina Wise [1:01:59]
If you enjoyed today’s show, there are a few things you could do as a way to save things. First, simply hit the subscribe button to the Wealthy Wellthy podcast. By doing so it helps both of us. You’ll never miss an episode and it helps me and my radians. Second, if you’re so ambitious, please leave a review while you’re at it. Third, just keep doing what you’re doing and continue to share the Wealthy Wellthy podcast with your tribe of friends and colleagues. On another note, although you likely listen to the podcast when remote keep in mind that there are links to the guests and their work in the show notes that you can find at WWE podcast.com You can also find a WWE podcast.com the latest information on my upcoming events and other things I’m creating to serve you in our mutual quest to live a Wealthy Wellthy life. Thank you so much for listening. See you next time.

What We Covered

[3:37] Have you always been happy?

[5:32] Share with us a little bit of your life story.

[9:35] I love hearing the story of your graceful exit. So how did you pivot to this new business?

[14:26] So describe happy living.

[16:20] Money can’t purchase happiness or Love. What do you say to that point?

[24:36] Money is simply another resource. It doesn’t equal happiness it can be a vehicle to bring a little bit of happiness into a person’s life though. Such as giving you the opportunity to be more generous.

[26:10] There are some people that have the belief that Healing & Money are polar opposites. What do you say to that belief?

[29:02] What’s your opinion when people say it’s easy for you to say that when you are already on the other side. You have found your exit and happiness already.

[37:51] Do you think you have to have that purpose and drive?

[40:12] Is happiness a narrative we tell ourselves?

[42:45] How do you define passion? Hearing you talk reminds me of studying what passion is in entrepreneurship.

[48:13] Money & Happiness Is Not The Final Destination.

[51:09] How much happiness comes from relationships?

[55:25] Krisstina if you really really knew me you would know that?

[56:04] Tell me a Brag Moment!

[58:16] What is one of your biggest perceived failures?

[60:51] Any myths that you would like to bust?


“I remember walking around as a little kid, and being asked, Why are you smiling? And I said, why not?”

“A lot of people think money is bad. I don’t want to chase money. You have to do bad things to get money, I’d say no, money is freedom. ”

“Money emphasizes and magnifies your personality If you’re really a rotten person, you can be way more rotten way more mean. If you are a beautiful soul, you can do a lot of good, a lot more good with money than without it.

“That is that dream, that inspiration, that purpose of yours, you feel a lot better going through these 90 hours, because you’re doing them for a reason. You’re not doing them just to get by, you’re doing them because you’re feeding your family, you’re taking care of your business, you’re taking care of yourself,”

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