(The following is an abbreviated transcription from a video I recorded with Derrick Kinney. Please excuse any typos or errors.)
Do you have any money attitudes holding you back in life? You just may. But, we can always change our attitude and breakthrough.
Derrick Kinney wrote a really cool book that I’m really excited about. There’s so much in this book that lines up with what we’re doing and correlates with our book Simple Money, Rich Life.
But anyway, Derrick’s book is called “Good Money Revolution.” If you aren’t familiar with Derrick, he is a former, retired, financial planner. So he’s been in the industry a long time.
And I’m excited to chat with him about some of the things we’re going to be talking about when it comes to the money attitudes holding you back. I think there’s a lot here in terms of our beliefs, with financial attitudes, and things that we established on our financial journey.
Now before we get into the details of the book, I recorded our discussion that you can listen to on our Podcast. But, if you would rather read the full transcription, you can do so here in this article!
Your past has shaped your financial worldview
Bob: So anyway, without any further ado, Derrick, thank you for taking some time out of your day to come chat brother.
Derrick: Oh, happy to do it Bob. I don’t take this lightly. I know that you have a devoted audience and to place your trust in me coming on your show means a lot. So it’s really great to be with you today.
Bob: Well, we’re glad to have you we’re excited to chat. I’m really excited by your book. I want to start here though, I want to look back. Let’s go back to your upbringing. Because I’m always fascinated by how many people have so much of their financial worldview shaped by their childhood, and shaped by what happened with their parents. We can go in a whole bunch of different directions with this, but I’d love to hear from you.
What was that like growing up? What was the financial education that you got from your parents, or whoever raised you?
Derrick: What my story wasn’t, was I didn’t walk up hill in the snow, both ways to school. I didn’t have to carry a hot baked potato to warm my hands and eat that for lunch. That wasn’t my story, because that really sells today.
My story was that I grew up in a lower middle-class family. But when I was a kid, I just thought I grew up in a regular family and a regular house. I remember going to a friend’s house, the very first time I was inside of a two-story house, my mind was blown. I thought to myself, I’ve never been inside of a mansion before. A house that had three bathrooms. It was mind-boggling. And then to go back to my house began to give me some perspective of the world.
Taking action from what you have come to realize
Derrick: But here’s an example of the house I grew up in. I didn’t see my parents arguing over money per se. But as I got older, what I realized was my dad’s specifically always had a bend for wanting to make more money.
He worked as a metallurgical engineer. We moved six times before the sixth grade. So it was hard to make friends. You know if you look at my nose, my nose is larger than average, and that caused a lot of problems for me growing up. I thought I’ve got this beautiful art piece on my face. Not everybody saw it that way.
They bullied me. They teased me and it made me feel really isolated, quite candidly. And, and I was on my own a lot. When I was in junior high, I began to really get teased a lot and into high school, but I had this epiphany that, you know, what if I ran for office? What if I tried to get above all of the fray here?
And what happened was, I just feel like it was a God-inspired idea. I looked around and I recognized. There were a whole bunch of nobodies that, and I was chief of them. I did not come from the gene pool of the popular kids, but I recognized if all the nobody’s got together. We could become somebody. And I had this idea where I would run for office and I reached out to all the leaders of these different organizations.
The country western crowd, the rock and roll crowd, the athletes, the students, the band. And I had a picture taken with each of these leaders and on the poster, it said: “Hey, let’s rock the boat with Derrick.” And I won the election that day.
A message of hope
Derrick: What it taught me was that whatever your upbringing, whatever people have told you that you can do. Or past decisions you’ve made or in your own mind. You’ve said, “you know what? This is just who I am. And I can’t get out of this.”
But you can. And I want to give people a message of hope today. I think back to that moment, even when I see the students, I graduated high school with today, they always go back to that moment. It was a moment where we all felt like man, we can conquer the world. It was when the non-popular kids suddenly won a victory.
And I think it helped me in business because I recognized if I can help people be appreciated and listened to and valued. You can do really well with your money and it can allow you to give a whole lot more money as well.
Bob: Wow. That’s really interesting.
Working to earn your money
Bob: So tying that into, you had that big revelation. Let’s pull that back to your financial worldview at that point. How did you think about money? Did you think money was wrong? Did you think money was good?
Derrick: Yeah, so I was the kid who would age 15, was trying to find a way to get my driver’s license, when I had to wait to age 16. I wanted to get out, get my car, be independent and work. My first job was at Minyard food stores making $3.35 an hour as a package clerk, the guy that would bag groceries for you.
Derrick: And I would keep cash books. You’re going to laugh at this, Bob. I would keep cash books and record every paycheck I made. Every penny, every nickel, every quarter I had found on the ground got recorded in my cash book.
And I had these great plans of having a driveway cleaning business. I bought this package of powder at the local hardware store. And power washed with a hose people’s driveways, the way we did in the old days.
I inspected my sister’s bike, my bike and my parents’ bikes for like $5 a bike. I even had my parents, I would loan them money so that they could pay me back interest based on my amortization chart I had on the back of my closet door. I mean, so I loved making money.
The more you make the more you can give
Derrick: What I began to realize was the more money I made, the more money I could give. I remember vividly at our church, there was a food pantry that was there and I loved giving money anonymously. But it was a really small church and I realized if I wrote a check out of my checkbook or things like that, people would know.
So I practice writing with my left hand on the envelope and just putting a cash in there and dropping that in the offering plate. As I went by that way, it was never tracked back to me. So I just had the sense of “hey, it’s fun to work and it’s fun to make money. And the more money I make, I can give more money.”
And it was just this perpetual cycle that drove me to actually end up working two jobs while I was going to school, just to have that flexibility. So it was just a connection I made that money was good. And the more I had of it, the more good I could do.
Bob: Yeah. And it’s beautiful. I love it. And that’s honestly a passion of Linda and ours too. It’s the same motivation. We don’t need any more money, our needs are taken care of. But part of our driving force is, we want it to be able to give more. And that’s why we feel like we’re on the earth.
Jobs and Callings
Bob: I just love that you found that at such a young age. I didn’t. I had pretty rocky beliefs about money at that point for me. But, was that never a struggle for you? Did you not ever have any negative beliefs around money?
Derrick: Well, I’ll take you now to my first job out of college. And this is when I observed my dad’s negative belief about money. And how it could impact me.
So I was in a job first job out of college. And at this job, my boss would regularly say on Friday afternoon, “Hey, by the way, guys, Saturday is a work day.” And we would just hang our heads.
Bob: Oh wow.
Derrick: And I have to call my wife and say, “honey, our plans we made are dashed. I’ve got to work.” This was also the company where my tithing check bounced twice.
So imagine your pastor calling you and saying, “Hey, Derrick, I don’t know how to tell you this, but the check you wrote for tithing didn’t clear Well, that meant that the business account from which my paycheck came from, the money wasn’t there. And we didn’t have extra money to go around. So there was a point I reached where it was an epiphany that I had, and it was a path of two choices.
Betting on yourself
And one path was I could stay in a job like that, or that job. And depend on someone else to always tell me what my value was at that point through raises evaluations, et cetera. And that was the path my dad flirted with, but he stuck there. The other path, the one less worn was: bet on yourself, follow God’s leading, ask for wisdom, ask him for favor and provision and go on your own.
And that was the path that I took. And for about four months, while working full time, I was getting licensed in the evenings. I was studying weekends, evenings, any time available. I’d go on my lunch break to the library, come back.
And after four months of working and training, I was told “Derrick you’re going to fail. Yeah, you don’t have enough money in cash reserves. What do you know about money? What do you know about business?” So all of these really affirming voices that were out there were really cheering me on.
What God is calling you to do
Derrick: But I just felt a sense that… “Derrick, this is my calling for you and this is what you need to do.” And I really hearkened back to being teased as a kid. And sensing that my Dad so often had come to the precipice of wanting to take a risk, but he couldn’t cross that chasm. You know? Like in the movie of Indiana Jones, when there is that faith based scene, he couldn’t do that because he couldn’t see it.
The value of money
Derrick: Funny story, my mom asked me, this was probably five years ago. She said, “Derrick, can I ask you a question?” And I could tell she was very serious, very stoic. She said, “are you a millionaire?” And the question blew me back because yes, I was a millionaire, but I didn’t think much about that. Because I recognize first of all, a million dollars doesn’t buy you a whole lot these days.
And if you’re in business, typically get into the first million is the hardest. And then you just build on that (how you can become a millionaire by investing).
Derrick: And I said, “Yeah, yeah mom. I am.” And she was like, amazed. Like, oh my gosh, my son has made it. And so whether it was generationally or just how my parents thought, boy, if you get to a million dollars, you’ve made it.
Well, I know I haven’t made it. And that’s what keeps driving me and fueling me to say, Hey, let’s, let’s go make more, but not just for what the world says and culture says, have the biggest bank account and have the best car and the biggest house. I want to make more because I just like making money.
Adding value to the life of people around you
To me, it’s a game of how much value can I add to people and how many people’s problems can I solve? And therefore make more money because I’m helping them make more money. Which I can then give more away. So that just how I see it. And it’s what fuels me and really gives me fulfillment every single day.
Bob: Yeah. That’s great. Well, I’d love to hear from you in terms of, you’ve worked with a lot of people. You’ve talked to a lot of different people about money over the years.
Bad money beliefs
Bob:What attitudes have you seen that seem to be particularly limiting or destructive that you think hold people back?
Derrick: Well, I’ll give a shameless plug to my book here, Good Money Revolution. One of the things I talk about in my book is bad money beliefs. And I’ll tell you a story. There was a woman who I’d worked with for many years.
Fear of making a bad decision
Derrick: I was in my office on a Saturday catching up and I saw my voicemail light blinking and I recognized just a voice inside. I think it was the Holy Spirit telling me you need to listen to this message.
So I pressed the button and this frantic woman’s voice. This client I just mentioned was on there. She said, “Derrick, you have to call me back right away. Somehow I wrote a check, there wasn’t money in my account to cover it. And now I’m going to go to jail.”
Well, if you can imagine the shock and surprise if someone said that to you. So I knew I couldn’t wait till Monday to call her back.
Derrick: I quickly picked up a phone dial did, and I said, tell me what happened. She said, “Derrick this was my fault. I wrote a check. I didn’t move money from my savings to checking to cover it. And now they’re going to send me to jail.”
I said, “okay, timeout. First of all, let’s call the bank together Monday. We can take care of moving the money and no problem. We’ll take care of that part. But why in the world, do you think you’re going to go to jail?”
So she goes back and tells me the story, Bob, this negative belief she had went back to when she was a seven year old. She says “when I was a seven-year-old, I overheard my dad on a phone call and the store manager called him, who he had just bought school supplies and clothes for her and her siblings,” and said “you bounced a check and I’m going to call the police and send you to jail.”
So this seven-year-old girl thought, if I bounce a check, I go to jail. She’s now 55 years old. So in that moment I recognize and really have this idea. Here was a woman who had always been hesitant on making bold investment decisions. There were many times I’d recommended a couple of different stocks that had just gone public that had done really well, but she opted not to participate. Or she wasn’t able to make decisions that caused her to really advance in our company.
And it gave me perspective that she feared making a bad decision. And if she made a bad decision, something bad would happen to her.
It opened up an entirely new relationship with us in terms of our working together. So we then began to talk about it afterwards. And she began to really blossom financially and professionally because we were able to take a big eraser and take out this false thinking she had.
If only I had more money…
Another example. I would tell you would be so many people grow up, maybe some people listening right now, they might’ve seen their mom or dad or grandma or grandpa bang their fist on the table and say, “if only we had more money, then we could do this. Then we could do that.”
And as a young child, you’re only left to see that, “my gosh, if we don’t have any money, we can’t be happy and move forward in our lives.” What that does is it just holds people back.
I believe as I think you do too, Bob, we’re called to be potential extractors of people. God forbid if my kids ever saw me talk like that or even act like that, I don’t want them to be limited in terms of the potential God has given to them.
Pressure to share your finances out of obligation
Derick: You know, I just talked to my kids just yesterday. We had a family zoom call. I was talking to somebody just about culture and they talked about how there’s really pressure being put on people who are making money these days to have to share it with other people and not in a positive way, but out of obligation so that everything is equal.
I told my kids, look, I’m not going to force this on you. And don’t think there’s pressure from your dad, but now is the time that you need to have your own business. As you go to college, decide not to go to college. I want you to have a mentality that you need to have something of your own, that whatever the government does in the future, whatever culture does, whatever the regulations may be, you can control that.
You can still complain, but it’s better to complain about government policy while you’re controlling your ability to make income and add value to other people on your terms.
Bob: Yeah, that’s good. Back to the story you shared about the woman having that fear. I’ve seen instances like that, situations like that. And it just never ceases to amaze me that the beliefs that people have carried and oftentimes for a long time, like 50 years or something.
That are birthed out of one conversation or one thing like that. So are there any other attitudes you share in the book that are worth bringing up?
Finding your generosity purpose
Derrick: Yeah, another story in the book I talk about is one of my clients named Dave. So Dave came to my office several years ago and this was a successful businessman. He loved going to the office. He loved working there. His family worked as part of the business. But what he realized was he was working just to build up his bank account.
And he said, “Derrick, I’m not feeling fulfilled anymore.” And Bob, for whatever reason, I think it was the Holy Spirit. The Word just jumped out of my mouth and I asked him, “is there a cause that you care deeply about?”
Well, I could tell the question caught Dave by surprise. He leaned back in his chair. He began to kind of look off to the left a little bit. And he told me a story about how he and his family had gone overseas. A village they had visited, the guide mentioned that there was a school house that needed to be built because it was holding back this entire village. The lack of education.
Bob: Oh wow.
Derrick: He remembered a glance with his wife and back and forth those non-verbal things. And as if to say, wouldn’t it be cool to build a school? Well they get back to The States, years go by, life gets busy, business grows.
So my question took him back to that moment. And he said, “Derrick, I would love to build a school for that village.” So I proposed a question. I said, “Dave, what if you did this? What if you said over the next six months, you’re going to set a sales goal. And half of that increase would go to fund that school?” Well, his eyes got as big as saucers. We talked about some ideas, exchange, some more small talk and he leaves the office.
He comes back in three months later, this guy looks completely different. He looks younger, more invigorated, all in the game. He said “Derrick what you said to me at first, I was a bit skeptical about it. But I said… there’s nothing to lose.”
So he let all of his customers know that going forward. And I talk about this in the book. His generosity purpose as I call it, would be that a portion of all of his sales would go to provide a school in this village.
Give a cause to your cash and meaning to your money
Derrick: And his customers got excited and they recognize they could buy Dave’s product from anybody, but they couldn’t buy his cause from anybody else. So his customers got excited, they referred to other people. Dave got excited because now he had a purpose and a reason to go to the office to add more value to people’s lives, grow more sales.
He tells me the great news that he’s already funded half of that school. Now picture this. So, here are two guys, myself and Dave in the office. And I’m not overly emotional, but it was a moment of connection between the two of us rise saw a transformation occur.
Doing things God’s way
Derrick: Here was a guy that wanted to serve God. Wanted to build a business to honor God and honor his team. And now we found a new compelling way to do it. So his money belief was about previously, Hey, let’s just go make money. And that wasn’t very motivating. But when he tied a cause to his cash and meaning to his money, suddenly his business grew and he was able to give a whole lot more. And he built his business even more.
Bob: Yep. I love that. And I love the synergy. I just feel like that’s the way it works when you do things God’s way. And when you seek to give first, it just unlocks things. And it just opens things up and yeah, I just love that.
When God calls you to give
Bob: So one thing I wanted to ask you, because giving is such a big part of everything you do in such a driving force and factor. I’d love for you to share. just one of your own stories in your own life when you’ve gotten to be generous in a particular way and something that was particularly meaningful to you, or that stands out. And even if it was anonymous, you can share it here. We won’t tell.
Derrick: Well, I’ll tell you a craziest story. I don’t share this story that often. So this would have been about 15 years ago. I was really feeling like God was calling me to give a certain amount of money to our church and specifically, he said give away payroll for the next two weeks.
Bob: Oh, wow.
Derrick: Well, if you can imagine all logic was thrown out the door because that may no sense at all. That made no business sense, no financial sense. But what it was, was a sense of created dependency. And I was being put in the situation where I didn’t have any way out. I was putting money in a place where I felt like God was calling me to give it with no expectation. Only belief that he would provide in the way that he would choose to provide.
Derrick: Well, I did it and I was nervous. I know God says, God loves a cheerful giver. But in this case I was cheerful, but I was also nervous and anxious and worried at the same time. Being completely transparent here.
Derrick: Weeks later, unexpected, bigger clients came in the door.
Derrick: My business grew in ways I could not have imagined and didn’t even link it initially. I just knew everything was okay. We met payroll by the nick of time money came in. But our business was blessed. Now am I telling people, “Hey, give to get?” No, but there’s been so many times in my life where I feel like God has worked through adversity and just pure trust to grow me.
Stepping out in faith
Derrick: You know, I’ll tell you another quick story. When we expanded our business into Dallas, I have an office here in Arlington, and this was when I had my financial planning practice. A practice came available for sale, it was going to double our size. There was no way I could afford this, but I said, okay, God, I keep seeing emails and getting calls about this.
I’m going to lean into this and God, I want you to shut it down. I want it to be the moving car and I’ll wait for him to meet me in the driveway. I’m going to go down this highway and if you want me to take an exit I’ll take the exit. But if not, I’m going to keep going forward here.
And what happened was bank said, no. My brother-in-law stepped in last minute, gave me the down payment and allowed me to get into the practice.
But what happened was I felt like the Holy Spirit said “Derrick, when you make this acquisition, two things will occur. One, you’ll grow closer to me. And number two, you’ll become a better leader.”
Derrick: And Bob, what happened was what I wouldn’t wish on anybody listening. And that was the agreement I signed was a non-compete with these other advisors. The night I signed it, these advisors began to violate their non-compete agreement.
They began to go back after their clients. It was terrible. I wasn’t prepared for that. I thought if you put your name on the agreement, That meant it’s meant something, but it actually meant nothing. A signature means nothing. Only the person’s integrity means what it really means on an agreement. So I began to hemorrhage money, lose money quite a bit. Talked to my wife. We even talked “man, do we file bankruptcy?” What do we do here? And my wife, you know as we talked and we prayed, we just recognize we have faced adversity before. It’s always better to lean into it than run backward.
Derrick: That’s never the pathway. And so one by one, God just allowed calls to come in from clients, “Hey Derrick, this is what the advisor said to me.” And he began to give me clues. He let what was happening in the dark, be revealed in the light. And we ended up having an office across the highway to avoid those clients seeing those old advisors.
Because I was investing and giving throughout that entire process, my net worth grew at the highest rate it’s ever grown in the midst of the most business, I call it crunchiness now, that I’ve ever experienced.
And as God said, I drew closer to him and I definitely became a better leader. So the lesson, I would just tell your listeners is…
Derrick: Don’t think that, “oh my gosh was God on his day off when the adversity is struck me, was he not aware of this?” Know that that’s part of the deal. I mean, even psychologists tell us the average person has three to four crises per year interrupted by the occasional emergency.
That just means if you’re average and most of us are all above average, you’re either going into a crisis or coming out of one. Yeah, just learned to expect it and embrace it to know this is part of God’s plan.
Bob: Yeah. This is part of how he teaches us so much. Well, that’s really good. So this has been really great.
Good Money Revolution Book
Bob: Again, so where can people find the book?
Derrick: Yeah. So the best way is on Amazon or wherever you buy your favorite books. Also, you can follow us on Instagram @DerrickTKinney. We post daily content on how to do better with your money. And also for people that want to get the first five chapters for free, you can go to GoodMoneyChapters.com. Good money chapters dot com. Download the first five for free and give it a taste.
Bob: That’s awesome. All right Derrick well this was a great conversation. So thankful that you came and stopped by to chat. And yeah, when I’m in Dallas, maybe we can have some coffee.
Derrick: That sounds great. I would love that. Thanks for having me today. This was a real pleasure. Thanks for the conversation.
Bob: Take care.
Derrick: Thank you.