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July 6, 2021

Jeff Reeter

Jeff Reeter takes an expectation-subverting, kingdom-minded approach to finances: radical generosity and radical gratitude.

In this week’s episode of Trevor Talks, Jeff shares about the unique family history that shaped his perspective. He also puts his belief in generosity into practice by giving away key life insights that he’s gained in over 37 years of work as a financial advisor. That insight led to Jeff being trusted for a season with a role as financial advisor for Dr. Ben Carson.

For more wisdom from Jeff Reeter, you can read his book Do Life Differently. In addition to being an author and a managing partner in a financial advisory firm, you can follow him on social media for daily quotes, coaching, and encouragement.

Jeff Reeter takes an expectation-subverting, kingdom-minded approach to finances: radical generosity and radical gratitude.

In this week’s episode of Trevor Talks, Jeff shares about the unique family history that shaped his perspective. He also puts his belief in generosity into practice by giving away key life insights that he’s gained in over 37 years of work as a financial advisor. That insight led to Jeff being trusted for a season with a role as financial advisor for Dr. Ben Carson.

For more wisdom from Jeff Reeter, you can read his book Do Life Differently. In addition to being an author and a managing partner in a financial advisory firm, you can follow him on social media for daily quotes, coaching, and encouragement.

Get Do Life Differently:

Instagram: @jeffreeter

Facebook: Jeff Reeter

Twitter: @jeff_reeter

LinkedIn: jeffreeter


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Trevor Tyson  0:01  
Thank you for tuning in to Trevor talks podcast where we talk to real people about real topics and real stories. Today, we've got a special guest with us. And I'm, I'm just positive that this conversation is going to bring you some amazing tips and tricks that we can all apply in our business and personal lives. He's a speaker and the author of do life differently, a strategic path to the extra ordinary, and notably a former financial adviser for Dr. Ben Carson. today, we have Mr. Jeff reader with us, Jeff, I can't imagine what your schedule looks like. So thank you for taking time out of the day to join us for this conversation.

Jeff Reeter  0:37  
Man, Trevor, I'm so excited and even grateful for just the opportunity to spend some time with you and your incredible team of folks that are going to listen in on this, I know that your crowd is a place that I'm going to love to engage with and be a part of their lives. And so this is a true blessing for me.

Trevor Tyson  0:59  
Now, it's awesome. And I'm just super honored to have you again, before we started recording, I was telling you actually read the book, I have it right here. And I know for a fact, I walked out of reading this book with a different perspective on how to do life differently for myself, whether it's through my agency, the podcasts, like marketing, branding, but the whole message of life. It just challenges every single aspect of that. So I want to open up with you just sharing the heart behind do life differently. And what led you to even put this message into a book?

Jeff Reeter  1:32  
Well, Trevor, I think I'm safe here to say that I'm a Christ follower. And I spend quite a bit of time daily, just pouring into God's truth and God's word and, and one of my favorite parts there it says that Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the fool, have it abundantly, habit differently habit, with an extraordinary life pursuit, and, and so man, who who was I are Who am I to have written a book, I don't really have anything to say. And truly what I sort of did in that book was kind of plagiarize the Bible quite a bit. And I did, as I call in the format of being a sheep and wolves clothing. In other words, I didn't really say it was the Bible much. But I'm convinced that you, Trevor have a podcast right here. We've got a lot of people tuned in and listening in. And what's the purpose of this is for us to run life in a way that God would be pleased. And God's pleased when it's extraordinary. God's pleased when it's intentional, God's pleased when it's a vision, that's his kind of vision, which is a bold vision. And so that's what I love to help people think about a little bit.

Trevor Tyson  2:46  
No, I love that so much. And you have a wife of a long time, Cindy, and you're a Baylor grad? How does it feel to just be on this flip side of you've done the whole entrepreneurial pursuit, you've been very successful in your career. But you're sitting back and you're a family, man, you've got an amazing platform, and God's really just using you. And I want to encourage listeners with a little bit of aspect on what Jeff does day to day now. I assume you still keep a very crazy schedule. But I'm also thinking maybe you've toned it down just a little bit. As you've grown in your business. I've you've grown in your influence, and been able to work with some really influential people, to help them to build strategic lives, especially with their finances. So what does it look like right now for you to be on the flip side of this whole crazy pursuit that God's put you on?

Jeff Reeter  3:35  
Yeah, I'm such a, I'm so blessed to be where I am. For 37 years, I've been a financial advisor. And these days, I'm running as Managing Partner, a firm that I just love, I love the people with all my heart. And we've got about 50,000 clients, over 150, financial advisors, huge things that we get to be a part of, and honestly, you're right. I mean, my firm is so gracious to me that it's not like my calendar is as as full as you would think with things that are critically necessary for the firm, because our advisors are so gifted and so special in their ability to love and serve and care for their clients. And we really, as a firm are seeking to prove to the world that if we seek first to serve and love and care and matter and be a catalyst in the life of other people, and I don't care, where we meet them, we want to meet them where they are, they may have hoards of credit card debt, and they may not, you know, we may not make a recommendation that they make an investment for another 10 years, but we are going to help them and we're going to help them elevate to a place that's different than where they were when they met us. And that has been something for that for all these years has proven true and the reason why I mean if you look in Matthew six, I think You'll find some scripture that will back up that God that that will not return void, because that's really God's word.

Trevor Tyson  5:07  
I love that and you didn't stop on the financial aspect, you're doing the exact same thing that you've done for clients for decades, to the general public, everyone has access to get this book, everyone has access to your story, and to hear what God has done in your life. And I commend you for that. I think it's amazing. And even with your social media, you put out encouraging quotes every single day, I know that you're just going out of your way to help people live life differently. But I want to get to the nitty gritty piece of where did this journey all start for you. You said earlier? Who am I to write a book like I'm just Jeff. And I'm just Trevor like, why if if people are out there living their dreams, why not us? And not even getting into like the prosperity aspect of it. But I wake up every single day and it's not, oh, how am I going to monetize my podcast? How am I going to do this or that I genuinely wake up. And I'm like, you know, I've struggled with anxiety in my life. I've struggled with depression, but God has me on this journey to overcome it daily. And that's living life differently. 100% different than where I was three years ago, working for a TNT I bought my first house at 19 years old. I was doing on the outside, it looked like it was all glitz and glamour. But I was obsessed with my job in a way that was very unhealthy for me unhealthy for my mental health. I'd completely walked away from evangelism that I had been doing. And it may sound weird. I started when I was 12 doing like touring and stuff like that. But at 18 years old, had my first panic attack, and it kind of took over my life for a season. But it's because I wasn't equipped with the knowledge and power that Christ carries the word of Christ, the Bible, every single aspect of what Jesus provides for us. We're not meant to live in panic. We're not meant to live in anxiety. But I had to learn that. And now I'm on the flip side, being able to walk other people through that. And I want to hear your story. I want to hear how you grew up how your family life was, what are the things that happened to you while you were a child, and then even into college and meeting your wife and family that have helped you to develop into the leader that you are today being Jeff reader?

Jeff Reeter  7:16  
Yeah, I love it. You know, Trevor, my theme this year is best bold hope. And best bold hope is actually three words with four letters. And each letter is an acronym. And, and I guess the I'll do hope real quick, helping others pursue extraordinary. That's really why I love this incredible opportunity to be on this podcast. And I feel like our world needs us all. To dedicate ourselves to helping each other pursue extraordinary. I love the transparency that you have around your mental health journey. I think that's a huge thing. There are, you know, I think it's unprecedented in America right now. The number of people that are really dealing with mental health, depression, that are dealing with the anxiety of the next day and all that's going on. And we've got to help ourselves to to, to help others pursue extraordinary. So I want to tell you about my mom, since you asked me about my early years, my mom and dad had me I was a mistake. I was truly a mistake that caused my mom to cry herself to sleep for many, many nights. And literally, I think had her pondering whether i She ought to give birth to me. And bless her heart she chose to and I'm so grateful for that. And I'm my hope is that I'm the best mistake my mom and dad ever made. That's my my mom and dad are both in heaven right now. But but I'm, I'm hopeful someday I'm gonna, you know, try to see if maybe that could have been the case. But what I was gonna say about my mom is she was a psychologist. And she spent her life investing herself and other people trying to help them through their issues. And here's one of the things that she used to do that I just love so much. And she did it several times. And she'd be sitting in a counseling session with a person, you know, a lot of times a female. And my and my mom would be talking to somebody that was depressed, and my mom would say, hey, and toward the end of the session, she'd say, Hey, we're gonna meet next week. And I'm really excited to meet with you again next week. And by the way, are you do you know how to make cookies? And the person would look at her and say, Well, yeah, my mom would say, what's, what's your favorite kind of cookie to make? And then the person would say, chocolate chip. And my mom would say, would you make me some chocolate chip cookies? And the person would say, Well, I guess I could and she'd say, would you bring them next week? And so literally, the next week, the person would show up and she will make my mom chocolate chip cookies. My mom I'm gonna tell her story. And she would say, they weren't always really good. Sometimes they actually were. But either way, my mom was gonna rave over these chocolate chip cookies and say, oh my gosh, thank you, thank you for serving me and caring for me and loving me, I feel so special. And then at the end of the day, that session, they talked through some things at the end of the session, my mom would say, Okay, who were three more people that were going to make some chocolate chip cookies. Literally, the person would make three more batches of chocolate chip cookies, and deliver them to people and report back the next week. And my mom, who was a Christian psychologist, would walk us through my father and I, you know, walk us through what happened in the life of this person that was serving and loving and caring for others. And so I learned so much from my mom and dad. But that's a fun story to think about helping others pursue extraordinary.

Trevor Tyson  10:55  
No, I love that. And we've gone behind the core message of do life differently, and your day to do day to day life. What are you doing that is so different than where you were before you finally honed in on this message? And one thing that you do vary greatly, obviously, with having so many clients, why do people trust you with their finances? And did you have anything that happened early in your business career that made you want to be more of a trustworthy person?

Jeff Reeter  11:27  
Mm hmm. Man, that's a great, that's a great question. So let me think where to start with that. First of all, I, I'm, I'm guessing that I love to wake up really early, and spend time in God's word. I didn't always love that. In fact, for for a period of time, that was probably years, I did that because of discipline. I just wanted to have the discipline of doing that. And I did it for a sustained period of years. And then at some point, if you'll choose the discipline of it every morning or every day, then you'll become like a deer that pants panteth after water. And that's sort of the goal is that, oh, my goodness, I get to wake up and go spend time with God or in God's word. And I think that's a big deal. And so for those of us on the call that are dealing with some uncertainty, I wish I could say that if you had to get up tomorrow morning, a little earlier and have a daily quiet time, for a while, it will always be fun and good and encouraging, enriching. But the truth is, it isn't always it builds to that over time. And that Lonneke longing happens after a sustained sort of a a discipline, a longer term discipline in the direction of a good outcome. And so and by the way, habits are a key in everything we do, whether it's exercise, or anything we're doing, habits are a critical thing. Now regarding our clients. Man, that's a, it's a humbling thing to think about the number of clients that have trusted our firm with their financial resources. And I would just say that, you know, I sort of want to say that we've sort of earned their trust, but the reality is, I feel like it's also grace we have had for a sustained number of years, you know, the good fortune of things going well, but the reality is, it's it's sort of, it's sort of a joy of the journey and, and these wonderful people that we're doing life with and trying to elevate their pursuit of extraordinary not just in their financial life, but even more broadly than that.

Trevor Tyson  13:56  
And you are often heard up and down the halls of your financial firm saying seek first to serve, love, care, matter, make a difference, and be a catalyst in the life of another person and see if everything else doesn't work out for you. That's a mouthful. And where did that come from? Because I love it. I need to shout that up and down the halls. Like that's a new that's, that's a powerful statement there, sir. Where'd that come from?

Jeff Reeter  14:27  
Trevor, that's my paraphrase of Matthew 633. So Matthew 633 says, Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. And so I realized that in my firm, which is a secular, firm and and full of awesome people, but it's a secular, firm and very diverse in every way you can think of diversity, but certainly also in diversity of religion. And so I just, I sort of thought about okay, what would that mean to seek first what is that? You know, the kingdom of God and So that's where it comes into the seat first to serve and love and care and matter and make a difference and be a catalyst in the life of another person and see if everything else doesn't work out for you. If we put others before ourselves, things are going to work out.

Trevor Tyson  15:14  
And I'm, I've said it a few times on the podcast over the past few weeks, because I'm assuming that some of the listeners are like, why are there so many financial advisors and people in business coming on the show as of recently, and I had this thought I was like, Okay, we've had Grammy nominated artists, we've had rock stars, we've had all of these entertainers. And I'm like, okay, but What is God doing in my personal life? And why am I not talking as much about some of the things that I find really interesting. And I've always had a passion for personal finance. And this year is the year that I want to become debt free, like I'm working towards being debt free. So of course, we started off with Chris Brown, formerly from Ramsey solutions. Then we had Rachael Cruz, and we have yourself and we have some really big opportunities coming up for more people in the financial space. And it's like, okay, how can I tie this into what we're doing at Trevor talks. And for me, I've personally gone through the mental health journey, as we discussed, and the listeners are very in tune with knowing like, that's a discussion I will never back down from, but financial distress anxiety, especially during the past year, and the pandemic, so many people were struggling with suicidal thoughts and financial distress, because I didn't know where their next check was gonna come from. And I look at myself, and I'm like, God, however you want to do it, whether it's a miraculous blessing, or just an overflow of work and budgeting, I'm gonna get myself out. But I've always felt like, Oh, I'm not qualified to speak on business. I'm not qualified to speak on finances, because I don't have it all together. And I'm like, But who are we to do anything outside of Christ? And if Christ called me to do it, why not do it? Okay, I'm 23 years old. We've got uncle Jeffrey around here with us, why not have that discussion? So have you seen like, even people with millions of dollars that come to you write Hey, how can I do better with this? How can I invest this properly? Have you seen people that have thought they were going to be happy when they got rich, quote, unquote, which is another thing I want to discuss later, like different characteristics of what being rich actually means? Because it's very different for so many people. But people think that, Oh, if I have this amount of money, I'm going to be happy. But if you look at track records, especially more recently with Jeff Bezos, and Bill and Melinda Gates, you know, divorce, everything is still there when you get to the top of the world. So yeah, like mental health finances. What's the correlation in your opinion?

Jeff Reeter  17:53  
Yeah, man, I, I love that question. And yeah, we've got story after story. And frankly, I'll give you an example. That's even interesting. We had some clients come, this would have been many years ago, but they won the lottery. And I'm talking about a huge a number, I mean, really huge. And, and so we were helping them and trip doing everything we can to say, look, let's treat life as if it hasn't changed. And at some point, you know, they did like that story. They hired another firm, and literally, within five years of $100 million. They were divorced, and literally bankrupt. I mean, I'm talking about financially bankrupt, which is, to me kind of hard to do. I mean, you know, they were our client for about, I'm gonna say, seven months. And we were really trying really hard to get them to see things a little differently and, and realize that it's not about owning stuff. And not to say that if you had $100 million, you shouldn't. But we think that in my in my crazy firm, we think that if you have $100 million, your number one job is extraordinary generosity, and extraordinary gratefulness. And, and what's interesting is, is that when somebody wins the lottery, they sort of have a hard time with generosity and gratefulness. Much more so than somebody let's say that builds a company and does well and then sells the company and kind of knows where it all came from. But man, Money does not buy happiness. Great gratitude buys happiness. Generosity buys happiness. A focus on truth buys happiness, a pursuit of Christ, which is the pursuit of God who is loved by his happiness. And I'm talking about agape Godly love. So what an opportunity for us to all get our our heart set on the right focus as it relates to money and resource and why God wants us to have it and when we have it, what he wants us to do with it.

Trevor Tyson  19:57  
What what is the I guess two words extravagant generosity. What does that bring up in your head?

Jeff Reeter  20:06  
Well, it it, it the an instant thought is the widow, the widow's mites. If you really look at Jesus in his time, and when he sat at sat in the tempo, and he watched, and you know, you got people making it making a big deal, what they're putting in the plate, and this one lady puts into little, little baby mites. And he says that woman is extravagantly generous. And I think it's not about I think, I think we all have this opportunity to be generous with our time with our treasurer with our wisdom, which which so many people on this call have, and but it's all about helping others pursue extraordinary.

Trevor Tyson  20:45  
I love that so much. And for the final topic point, I really just want to bring in what are your thoughts when it comes to if you were back in your 20s? Are there anything like? Is there anything that you would like to tell to the younger Jeff reader? Are there any mistakes that you made over and over and over again, that you could reteach yourself? What would they be? And how do they apply to the people that are listening now?

Jeff Reeter  21:14  
Wow, that's cool. But what's cool about that is literally at 11 o'clock today, I had the great privilege of sitting with the son of one of our advisors, one of our great advisors has a son that's in law school. And he, this young man who went to West Point, he fought for our country with valiant courage, and now he's in law school, and we're having a discussion about him. And he's just a great young man that I just can't even believe would take time to listen to a crazy guy like me in the context of mentoring and advice, but what here's what I told him forever, I said, bro, the sky is the limit. Do not limit yourself, you can do extraordinary things you can do exceedingly, abundantly above or beyond what anybody or anyone else would ask or think of you. And he was seeking to have a vision for his future. And I feel like the Jeff reader of old would have never dreamed what could be possible. And it's just this step by step progression of seeking to determine what might be possible. I love something called a v 60. Trevor, where V 60 to me is victory 60 or vision 60. But it's 60 months from now, what do I think might be possible in my marriage, in my fitness, in my family, in my community involvement in my faith, in my you know, this or that, maybe mentally reading books and thinking, but at the end of the day, what could be possible 60 months out, kind of take the pressure off yourself, think about this extraordinary possibility. And then try to make a track in the next year or so to run in the direction of what you think might could be possible. And so if we'll do that, we will maximize ourselves. But But I think my my greatest piece of advice to us as young ones, when we were young ones is don't underestimate what could be possible.

Trevor Tyson  23:28  
And we can all take that from the son of a psychologist and the son of an appliance store owner, I grew up working at my dad's appliance store, and I always had these astronomical dreams, like, I'm gonna go and interview on the red carpet at the Dove Awards, and this and that and have a podcast and tour and all of these things. And everybody thought I was crazy. Everybody thought I was crazy. But that's just the vision that God gave me for all my life. And I just, I'm super humbled. And I just love this conversation. Justin, thank you so much for being here with us. And everyone go check out Jeff's book, do life differently at do life differently? you can get it on Amazon connect with Jeff, on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Just go search Jeff reader. And is there anything else? I'm missing there, Jeff?

Jeff Reeter  24:22  
No, you did. So good. Thank you. And I'd be humbled. If anybody bought that.

Trevor Tyson  24:28  
I, I've got a few copies, I need to go get for some people. And I genuinely just thankful that you took time out of your day to be here. And everybody if you're listening in now take some of these tips and tricks that Jeff has given us. He took time out of his day to invest in our everyday lives. So think about that V 60 journey for you. Where do you want to be in 60 days? Heck, where do you want to be in 60 years unless you're going to be in the grave? You know, then you want to worry about that? 60 days and 60 After that, keep going and so forth, but just have that mindset honed And on that where do I want to be in 60 days and this episode has been brought to you by new release today and we will talk to you guys next week

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Jeff Reeter Profile Photo

Jeff Reeter

Author and speaker JEFF D. REETER pursues life by design as an entrepreneur, servant leader and strategist. His mission in organizational leadership is wholly developing teams of champions dedicated to excellence in serving others. He is often heard up and down the halls of his financial firm (Northwestern Mutual) saying, “Seek first to serve, love, care, matter, make a difference and be a catalyst in the life of another person and see if everything else doesn’t work out for you.”

Jeff is married to Cindy and enjoys outdoor adventures (hiking, fishing, hunting, etc.) and spending time at the Reeter Ranch with their family and friends.