Maximize Impact with Sharon Lechter

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact


In this episode, I’m joined by a true legend. Sharon Lechter is co-author of the international bestseller, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, author of Think and Grow Rich for Women, and trusted advisor to the Napolean Hill Foundation, for which she’s re-energized Napolean Hill’s legacy by releasing Outwitting the Devil and Three Feet from Gold,

Sharon has made a profound impact on the way entrepreneurs think and succeed. She’s a sought after motivational speaker, business expert, philanthropist, financial literacy advisor to the office of the president, and the recipient of many national business awards.

Our conversation was warm and thought provoking, and we covered several gold nuggets on prosperity, impact, and purpose. Sharon also offered sage advice to employers hoping to spark greater engagement and productivity from their employees. Great stuff! 🙂

Listen to the podcast here:

Maximize Impact with Sharon Lechter

We’re talking about maximizing your impact. Our guest, Sharon Lechter, has been making a huge impact for many years. Most recently, she has recommitted herself to upping her game and helping others to do the same through her Live Big initiative. A lot of our discussion will revolve around expanding your sense of what’s possible in terms of what you contribute to the world. We all have, I believe, a gift to impart and a role to play in making it a better world. The best entrepreneurs and the best leaders have this as a driving force. Maximizing your impact and having your business make a difference is a worthy goal.

Our guest has made her impact primarily by teaching financial literacy, helping people gain freedom from the bondage of money, which she would be the first to tell you was a necessary part of being impactful. If you haven’t been taking care of yourself and your family, there’s very little likelihood that you’ll have the bandwidth, the resources or the inclination to help anyone else. That means financial well-being is a very good place to start. I thought I’d kick it off with this segment by sharing my views about prosperity and perhaps Sharon will chime in on those views when she joins us.

I’ve been looking at this question of what is prosperity and what constitutes success for many years. It’s a big core principle and part of what I talk about and what I think about. There are two cardinal teachings that I tend to go back to and these go out to people I know, both those who are caught up on the hamster wheel of success and are working very hard to try to achieve some financial freedom and maybe to profit greatly in life to become rich. This includes those get rich quick people and the people who feel like life is all about a scorecard. Speaking to that group and then also speaking to those people that I know, friends of mine in the spiritual movement who tend to look at money as evil or look at money as maybe not something worthy of striving for that one should only look at making a difference and anything that involves a profit can be looked at askance. I believe that neither of those points of view is pure or fully conscious.

The two principles that I like to share, number one, is that prosperity in many ways isn’t how much you have, but how little you need. Prosperity comes when you have a gap between what is necessary for you to live the life you’ve chosen to live and how many resources you were able to draw up in order to have that. I want you to think back to a time in your life when you were a teenager and you got your first job. Leading up to that first job you probably thought, “When I finally can make $150 a week, I will be golden. I will be set.” That was what it would take to live the life you were currently living. “With $150 a week, that would be just fantastic.” There came a time when you made $150 a week and probably you’re making a whole lot more than $150 a week. Yet from the perspective of prosperity, from the perspective of your inner well-being, your comfort around money, your sense of spaciousness, you might be in just the same shape you were in back then or maybe even worse. Obviously making $150 was only a value at that time because at that point, it produced the gap between how much you could have and how much you needed.

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact

Maximize Impact: Prosperity comes when you have a gap between what is necessary for you to live the life you chose and how many resources you’re able draw in order to have that.


There are a couple of different ways that one might go about creating that gap between how much do you have and how much you need. One way that we tried, the way that we trained to try is to keep making more. Sometimes we can for a while outpace our need, but more often than not what happens is that the need comes up and chases us right back into the same level of discomfort we had before? What do we do when there’s this gap that does not exist when we find ourselves or when the gap is in the wrong direction that we’ve got less than what we need to live the life we want to live?

We can simplify our lives where we could start finding ways to not need so much that’s one way to lower the relationship between how much you have and how much you need. You could try to make more money, that’s one way to perhaps shift the balance. This goes to my second principle. My second principle is for most of our lives, without any direct intervention on our own part, there is always a tendency for a gap to exist. That gap has something to do with our consciousness. It has to do with our mindset, the way we think and the way we believe about money. Interestingly, for reasons that I can fully explain, maybe metaphysical reasons, the gap seems to exist the same for any given person throughout their lives unless they intervene and learn how to change their consciousness.

What I’m saying is that you can’t permanently close the gap or change the gap between how much you have and how much you need by increasing how much you have or by decreasing how much you need, because you might have noticed there are times when you try to economize and then suddenly you’re making it a little less money and you’re right back into the same gap. Sometimes you try to make more money and then suddenly your needs arise. It’s mysterious. How does it always happen? I believe that there’s a way in which our consciousness is manifested in the form of this relationship that we have between how much we have and how little we need.

I’m curious as we begin to speak with one of the world’s true great leaders in the area of prosperity, what she thinks of that for you and whether she has anything to say about it. I’ll be speaking with someone that many of you already know and admire, a dynamic, thoughtful leader, a kind and authentic mentor, bestselling author, and one of our century’s greatest teachers on the topic of financial literacy and making an impact.

Sharon Lechter is an international speaker, award-winning entrepreneur, mentor and the nation’s premier expert on financial literacy. She advised the Office of the President on a financial literacy. She’s a co-author of the international bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and helped build it into a world’s leading personal finance brand. In 2008, she began working with the largest personal development brand most of you know, Think and Grow Rich. It has helped reenergize the teachings of Napoleon Hill for her works. She wrote Three Feet from GoldOutwitting the Devil and Think and Grow Rich for Women. You might have seen Sharon on CNN. Fox write about her or seen her articles in Forbes or Fortune or the Oprah Magazine. She’s won pretty much every business awards you could imagine. She’s quite a remarkable woman. 

Understand that we’re not living in a world of scarcity; we live in a world of abundance. Click To Tweet

On a personal note, I met Sharon briefly when I was speaking at the Think and Grow Rich Convention, on the 75th anniversary of Think and Grow Rich. I met her more fully through our mutual friend, Erik Swanson, the Habitude Warrior, Mr. Awesome, an amazing speaker who will also be on our show here in the not too distant future. We had an opportunity to meet. Please welcome, Sharon Lechter. You are one of the most quotable speakers I have ever seen. Do you love talking on stage? Is that a passion of yours?

It was never on my bucket list. That was never anything that I dreamed about doing, but I realized that in order to make the greatest impact, I needed to share my message. I’ve embraced it and I actually do love speaking. It’s an opportunity for me to share my message and to provide tools and things that people can do to improve their financial lives. I do it because it helps me spread the word.

People love you, Sharon. It’s always a delight seeing you do what you do and you do it very well. You’re one of those quotable speakers. I write down little tidbits. I remember writing down when you said, “It’s not work-life balance, it’s debt-life balance. Debt is the issue. You’re either master of your money or a slave.” Another one you said, “The sexiest word on Earth is assets.”

It’s not what you do for your paycheck, it’s what you do with your paycheck.

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact

Maximize Impact: It’s not what you do for your paycheck. It’s what you do with your paycheck.


I’ve got that one here too. I know I want to talk to you about impact, but I do want to talk a little bit about prosperity. I remember there was a point at which you were talking about both expanding your means and also living below your means.

I think it is about mindset. I often talk to people about, “What did your parents say about money? Did they say money doesn’t grow on trees, pinch your pennies?” Most of us grew up in an environment where money was always referred to with a negative comment. As children in our subconscious, we would hear, “Money negative, money negative, money negative.” It’s no surprise at all that as grownups we would be afraid we weren’t going to make enough money or once you become successful, afraid you’re going to lose it. It’s that gap you were talking about earlier. As we talk about providing tools to improve your financial life, there have to be action steps as to what you do demonstratively to go in the right direction. It needs to be in tandem with how you’re changing your thinking, recognizing bad thoughts about money, stinking thinking as we call it, and then how you can adjust that to become prosperity-minded. Understand that we’re not in a world of scarcity, we live in a world of abundance.

The name of this show is Executive Zen. I’m speaking to leaders primarily, I think most of us are in some form or another or aspire to be. The idea of Executive Zen is to master your mindset, to become clear about your own thinking, to become a witness to your thinking rather than the victim of your thinking. 

I think a great example of the whole mindset is that if you think of yourself, and I’m sure everyone at some time has said something like, “I can’t afford it.” If you think about that statement as negative and it closes your mind, it actually makes you feel smaller and it’s a definitive negative statement. There’s nothing positive about it. If you can just think about changing your words and instead of saying, “I can’t afford it.” Ask yourself, “How can I afford it?” By just adjusting how you say the term, “How can I afford it?” It triggers your imagination. It triggers your entrepreneurial spirit. All of a sudden, the gears start turning in. Your mind starts saying, “This is a challenge. How am I going to afford this?”

Instead of closing yourself down, it opens your mind to the possibilities. That is exactly what we want to do with people when they talk about prosperity. You want to be open to opportunities. Many times when you’re not open to them, they pass right by you. It’s a matter of just training yourself to start being open to the possibilities and being able to recognize them so that you can take the demonstrative actions that will help improve your financial life.

What do you do or say to people who are closed off to their own inner voices, that those negative voices pop up so automatically that they don’t even realize? They’re saying, “I can’t afford it.” Maybe they’re not saying it out loud, but they don’t even open up to the possibility of achieving this thing because in their subconscious they can’t afford it, end of the story.

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact

Think and Grow Rich

I think I’m one of the greatest tools I have has been a huge honor and the gift of being asked to bring out the book Outwitting the Devil because it’s something Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich and certainly spent his life doing that. It was released in ’37 and when he released it, he was frustrated. He said, “Even though people know what they’re supposed to do, they don’t do it.” I’m sure a few people feel like the bull’s eye is on their forehead, certainly me. We all had come to those times in our life and we know where you should take a certain action, but we just don’t do it, we hold ourselves back. In 1938, he sat down and wrote this manuscript called Outwitting the Devil. The title scared his wife to death, she forbid from being published and fast forward 75 years later, the foundation reached out to me and asked to look at it.

I was blown away by the manuscript and we were able to release it a few years ago. It helped me identify those negative thoughts that were still incurring in me even as much as I had worked and built such a positive mindset around money. We still have those nagging things and once you can identify him and reveal them, you can get rid of them. A lot of people that I talked to they go, “I have my brother-in-law or my son, I just can’t get them to change the way he thinks.” I said, “Give him a book. Give them Outwitting the Devil. Do it subterraneously. Give them something to read.” It does help open your mind to the fact that fear and that negative stuff holds us back. Fear does one or two things, it paralyzes us or motivates us. Most of us, fear paralyzes and this understanding to recognize it and when you see it coming, being able to convert it from not paralyzing you, but turning it into something that is a motivation for you to do what’s necessary. Step outside that comfort zone because that’s where the miracles happen.

I have to admit I never finished reading Outwitting the Devil. I started listening to it on audio and I was fascinated. It’s a matter of timing and it’s definitely on my bucket list to finish that up. I think a lot of people would look at that it sounds very God and the devil thing, a little Christian or whatnot that it might be a metaphor. It might be looked at as a metaphor of the devil being the voices in your own head.

Even in the beginning of the book, Napoleon Hill writes, “You can think that I’m talking to the real devil or the imaginary devil inside your own mind. The question is, will you derive any benefit from what I share?” He addresses it right up front and it’s something that we have a lot of ministers who share it with their churches. Michael Beckwith wrote the afterword. There’s a little spiritual coverage there. It’s an amazing parable related to how fear can destroy our opportunity and destroy the possibilities for prosperity and success in our life. That we have to first recognize it, then deal with it. The book outlines how to recognize it and how to deal with it.

Many of those messages, they are misunderstandings of what money is and they’re misunderstandings of what’s possible. People that are very close to me, who look at people who are prosperous or aspiring to be prosperous, they may not see those people as being caring in the world. They’re too selfish, they’re too greedy. Those are some very specific voices. It’s like I equate money with this negative way of being. There are people who are like that. There are people who are greedy and there are people who are self-centered. What do you say to those people who are maybe more like the social services people who are not making a lot of money, but they’re making a big contribution in the world? How do you help them open up their mind around the area of money without it sounding you’re trying to get them to abandon their values?

Success or prosperity is not necessarily measured by dollars and cents. It’s how you feel about yourself. Click To Tweet

I have a couple of responses to that. First of all, success or prosperity is not necessarily measured by dollars and cents. It’s how you feel about yourself. I say success is defined by how you feel when you look in a mirror. You don’t have to be wealthy to feel prosperous because people that are significant have success. They are making a significant impact and they feel good about what they’re doing. Mother Teresa was not wealthy, but yet she was incredibly successful. Part of it sometimes is there is a fear that they don’t have and you have, there’s a bit of jealousy there. Sometimes when you think about it, there are people that are greedy. The Bible said the love of money is the root of all evil, not money itself. It’s the love of money.

In my career, I absolutely believe that being successful and having more money brings out more of who you are. If you’re a generous person, you’re going to be more generous. If you’re not a nice person, having more money is going to allow you to be less nice more often. Money is not the culprit, it’s the individual. I tell people, this is not the credit card that’s at fault, it’s the person holding the credit card. It comes back to your mindset and what your thought process is. Certainly, living below your means or expanding your means to live the life you want again is a mindset. If people who choose to live below their means, that’s the choice they’re making. If that’s what they want to do, fantastic.

I believe we live in a world that we have the opportunity to expand our means, to live the lifestyle we choose. However, as part of that and part of the elements of success, certainly as outlined in Think and Grow Rich and everything that I do, is the element of giving back. The more you make, the more you can give. If we look at this as a cycle, not a one-way street, as you become more successful, you have the opportunity to help become more successful. For those individuals that you referred to that feel that they look at rich people with negativity, maybe start introducing them to some people that are making a difference, people that are rich and yet giving at the same time.

Most definitely the idea that money doesn’t define who we are, if you start out as a miserable poor person and you start making a lot of money, you might probably be a miserable rich person. If you’re a greedy poor person, you’re a greedy rich person. I know a lot of people who are successful in the way you and I define success. They tithe or they give and they give to charitable causes and they’ve been doing that since before they were wealthy. It’s been part of their wiring. Whereas a lot of other people might say, “I’ll give when I finally have a lot.” Since their mindset is all about, “I’ve never got enough, therefore I’ll never be able to give.” That’s greed. That’s just a thinly disguised version of greed. When Napoleon Hill refers to giving back in my book on hypnosis, I talk about what I call giving goals, setting goals for what you want to give rather than what you want to receive.

I think that’s true. As I achieved a certain level of success when I set out my goals for the month, the week, the year, foremost in my mind is how am I going to accomplish the gift side? In order for me to give what and do what I want through charity, then I have to make sure my business is even more successful. We talk about debt-life balance as opposed to work-life. There’s also a giving life balance. It’s how you can continue to support yourself, feel successful, but also understand that gratitude is part of that success. That gratitude can be demonstrated by giving.

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact

Maximize Impact: Become a witness to your thinking rather than the victim of your thinking.


You could have a thin little pipe that water is flowing through and a big fat pipe that water is flowing through and so you have more water flowing through a bigger pipe. Somebody who’s more prosperous who’s living in that sense of flow and feels that giving back is an important part of it, they’re a conduit for more.

Absolutely, you look at a beautiful fountain. The beauty is for all people to see, but in order for it to stay beautiful and it continues to recycle. It recycles by feeding itself and it feeds itself by filtering the water and it’s something that as an individual you want to be taught of. In my new initiative, part of the process is living your legacy, not waiting until you’re gone to have a legacy. How you make someone feel is your legacy. How they remember you is your legacy. Do you want to be remembered as someone who’s greedy and selfish or do you want to be remembered as someone who’s successful and giving?

Is that part of what you mean when you say it’s not what you do with your paycheck, it’s what you do with your paycheck?

Yes, there are two sides of that coin. When you are in desperate financial conditions, you’re broken financially, you need to first concentrate on striving for break even. During that, you have a certain amount of money coming in. How are you utilizing that? Are you using it wisely or are your expenses out of whack? I take people to compare their expenses to the national average. When you are at that level, you have to concentrate on healing your own wallet. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing with your paycheck. Then as you get to breakeven, and we want to play in the play big movement is that we want to get you to financially free, then you have to start talking and looking at not so much your income and expenses, but your assets and liabilities. How can you utilize what’s coming in to start buying, building or creating assets that generate income? It’s when the income from your assets exceeds your monthly expenses, that’s when you’re financially free. That’s when you’re most able to give back and make a contribution to society.

For example, if one of your assets is a home or apartment building and you’re earning a rental income from that place and it exceeds your monthly expenses, you’re free, everything you do after that is gravy. You wrote a great article recently about how to overcome fear and take action. It spoke to what we were talking about in terms of Outwitting the Devil. There was one part I wanted to quote here and I wanted to get your comments on it. You had a paragraph that said, “Separate fact from fiction.” You said that in his written work, Napoleon Hill identifies fear as ghosts because they only exist in your mind.

To overcome fear, first identify if your fear is based on fact or fiction. Is it caused by a personal experience or the experience of someone else? Are you living somebody else’s fear? Is it based on your perception or forecasting of the worst-case scenario, which so many of us do? Eliminate emotion from your evaluation by taking an analytical approach. You go on to talk about analysis, about being analytical, about making intelligent judgments. Can you say a little bit about that piece, the non-emotional thinking and how that contributes to prosperity?

First of all, when you have high emotion, you have low intelligence. It’s important. Often you hear people say after surgery or after traumatic, a loss in your life not to make any life-altering decisions because you’re in shock, you’re in this altered state of reality because you’re in an emotional state. When you think about that from your life perspective and fact versus fiction, the second example I recommend you think about is have you ever had an appointment to meet somebody that you knew you had to address a conflict? You spent hours thinking about, “If I say this, he’s going to say that. If he does this, I will go do this.”

You are either a master of your money or a slave. Click To Tweet

You get yourself into this emotional state and then you have the meeting, it’s not nearly as bad as what you had imagined. Yet you spent all that time churning inside. That’s because you’ve allowed your emotion, you’re not dealing with facts, and you’re dealing with imagined fiction in your brain. That’s called being a human being, but it’s also time to recognize that there was a definition of the word worry that I found probably close to ten years ago now that I use almost every one of my talks. To worry is to pray for what you do not want. You’re focusing on negative outcomes.

Of course, Napoleon Hill in 1919 wrote about the Law of Attraction. What you think about comes about. I happened to be the queen of worry. I’m a champion worrier. I’ve trained myself for that definition when I catch myself, “Sharon, stop concentrating on what you don’t want to happen. Adjust your mind and let’s concentrate on what you do want to happen.” It’s almost magical because it allows my whole state of being to focus on creating a positive outcome. It takes that emotional hit out of it.

When you’re talking to someone about a potential issue that you have to deal with, I will often share on the other side of the coin. I’ll say, “Let’s go for a moment to what’s the worst thing that can happen.” Allow yourself to think about what’s the worst that can happen and then how would you deal with that. Bring yourself back up to where you are and realize you’re not there, so be happy that you’re not there and deal with the situation at hand.” It’s something that has helped me and my business life and my personal life and in supporting and helping individuals. As I started, I will end. High emotion generates low intelligence and it’s important to try and separate fact from fiction.

From what I’m hearing, you offered two strategies. One is to look at yourself and notice if you are in that worry mode to turn the question over from, “What don’t I want?” to “What to do I want?” In almost an opposite way, it’s where you willingly go to the end game of, “This is how bad I fear it might get. Can I handle the worst-case scenario?” If I can, then I’ll bring myself back to the moment and let’s get real. In mindfulness practice and in Zen, we talk about awareness plus equanimity or in other words, being aware of something but also being accepting of it.

It’s becoming aware when you’re worrying and accepting yourself, not adding an extra layer on top of it, which is what a lot of people will do. They’ll be like, “I can’t believe I’m worrying. What’s wrong with me?” Then they’ll worry about the fact that they worrying. That’s the Ninja course. Not only do you become aware of the thing you’re doing, but you learn how to accept it and see it in a more open way. I call it the Grandma Flo, because my Grandma Flo, she was a worrier. I love my Grandma Flo and she had my best interests at heart, but sometimes she would give me all these worry voices. “What if this happens? Are you sure you want to take a chance of doing that?” When I get a worry, I just think that’s just Grandma Flo, she loves me. Let me get down to the business of figuring out what I do want, not what I don’t want.

There are people that worry. Part of it is you can’t change someone else, you can just change how you react to them. My dear father-in-law, he’s 92 in December. He still has his every penny he ever earned. He’s such a miser. He used to come over and just drive me nuts because he would criticize about things and he comes over and he’d say, “Sharon, you got all these lights on, you’re spending a fortune.” It used to be just like, “I just go right down to where he was.” Finally said, “I’m not going to change him, but I can certainly bring levity into the situation.” I say, “Yes, I know you were coming. I had to give you something to complain about.” It’s always your choice whether you accept someone else’s mood and go to that level or you allow them to come to yours.

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact

Maximize Impact: You can’t change someone else; you can just change how you react to them.


That’s a great piece of wisdom and a great reminder for us all because we’re also reactive to other people. Let’s talk about impact. What we’ve been talking about up to this point about developing some financial freedom of being prosperous naturally has an impact on impact. Talk a little bit about that and also in the context of this new Play Big initiative.

Many of your audience may or may not know my background, but I’ve always played big. I had the children’s talking book industry that we grew globally and we did that by partnering with Disney, Warner Brothers and at that time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When we built Rich Dad, I partnered with Warner Books and Time Life for infomercials. We were always looking to find those partners and players out there that could help us grow exponentially. Therefore, that allowed us to go globally much quicker. When I left Rich Dad, certainly being on the adviser council continued. Then of course working with Napoleon Hill Foundation has been an incredible honor.

Five and a half years ago, I lost my youngest son. Even though I remained busy because I had built a certain reputation and things were coming to me, I became somewhat in neutral. I put myself on autopilot. Instead of being proactive, I was much more reactive. I continued working, but I didn’t have that same zest for life. It was a horrible thing to happen and I couldn’t even go out of the bed for a few months. I actually was thinking of stepping back and retiring because I was still working a lot, but I wasn’t feeling that energy that’s feeding me that cycle of being excited. I started talking to my friends and family, got a little push back and even felt a little bit of a nudge from above saying, “Get over it, mom, get back out there.” I rededicated my life to Play Big again, which is a book that I’m going to be writing. The Play Big Movement is I want to share that all of us sometimes have things stop us in our tracks that keep us from going as big as we are.

The most successful businesses solve a problem or serve a need. Click To Tweet

We’re all experts. I want to support going from expert to authority and realize that there are people out there that need to hear from you. There are people out there that need to learn from you. You have a responsibility. The most successful businesses solve a problem or serve a need. I had to tell myself, “Sharon, you still have more work to do. You still need to get out there and continue driving the passion that you have.” That is providing affordable products for people wanting to improve their financial lives. Whether it be entrepreneurs, families, and young people is something that is a driver for me. In doing this, I’m sharing my journey with the things that I’m doing to continue to play big again, to expand my brand and to reach as many people as possible.

As part of that, the Play Big Movement is to be number one in your field, be the authority, live your legacy, and understand that each and every day you’re making an impact on people. That’s how they’re going to remember you. Your legacy is every day, not just when you’re gone. Then to create maximum impact, understanding that to live a full life is to share yourself with as many people as possible and support them in finding their own pathways to success.

For people to join in on the Play Big Movement, does that mean that they’re part of an accountability partnership with you and others? How does that play out logistically?

There’s no cost to join my Play Big Movement. We’re doing a Play Big Movement podcast that we’ll be launching, but we also have a private Facebook group, Play Big Movement with Sharon Lechter that we would love everybody to come back and we actually are inviting folks to participate on that. To share their stories, share how they’re playing big, what they’re looking for. Part of it is your power of association. We want to create a fertile environment for people to find those associations to help themselves grow and continue spreading the word with others. We also have an online course that is going to be launched and that is for those people that feel financially broken. The first part of the course is helping them get to breakeven. The second part is once you’re at breakeven, let’s refocus our efforts on building those assets, building generational wealth, building the ability to create and live your legacy, create an opportunity to have maximum impact, but also to live a life of significance.

I’m asking this for personal reasons for friends, that this would be a good place to start if you’re at a turning point in your life. You were just about to retire, you just graduated and you’re wondering what’s next. Is there some support within this community for something like that?

Absolutely there is because that’s exactly where I am. There are a lot of people out there that are going through transitions, whether forced or elective. We’re saying, “Is this all there is? What’s next? What’s more? What’s the next chapter of my life? There are so many of us and then I want to provide that opportunity for us to come together and support each other in defining and figuring out what’s next. It’s the personal success equation that we came with in Three Feet from Gold, which is combining your passion and your talent. Where your passion may not be what you learned to do in school, but that passion is strong and we need to identify that passion. My passion was anger. I was mad that we weren’t teaching our kids about money in school. My talent was I became a CPA. I had a lot of experience in publishing, so I was able to combine that.

The more you make, the more you can give. Click To Tweet

What is your passion? What’s your talent? Then true success in every successful person out there has done that through the power of association. The personal success equation, P + T x A, that stands for association times A that stands for taking the right action and then plus F, having faith in yourself, having faith in what you’re doing is needed and necessary. Having faith that it will succeed. Having faith that you will get through their tough times and that success equation is what helps you drive through the valleys and get through the rough spots. Also, it helps you define what you want out of life. A lot of people are at that point where they say, “This is what I’ve done to now, but what’s next? How can I take that next step and create the life that I deserve?”

I know so many people in that position where they’ve got passion, they’ve got lack of clarity, but they’ve got passion and they have some great skill or talent that got them to this point. The faith in yourself and also the association helps you get through those tough times. It’s pretty hard to do that alone sometimes. 

Business is a team sport. It is very important to find those right people. It may very well be that you have great people on your team and great mentors who have gotten you to where you are. They may not be the right ones to get you to where you want to go. Be open to that possibility, be grateful for what they’ve contributed to your life, but also recognize what you need and who you need to surround yourself to get to where you need to be.

Being willing to pivot and try something new, learn from somebody new, and look at a new point of view. Let me ask you one more question, Sharon. A lot of the people in our program are employers, C-level executives, people of that sort. A lot of what we’ve talked about up to now is important for everybody as an individual, but this is also something that can impact their employees as well. If you’re an employer, how can an employer support their employees in getting financially free and making more of an impact? Obviously, we all know that employees who are financially free and who are centered have less stress, they have better health and better productivity. It’s in the employer’s best interest to have healthy, happy employees who are not stressed out.

The greatest gift you can give anyone, an employee, children, friend, is the gift of financial education. Once someone understands and learns how to become a master of their money, they can sleep better. They can look at life at a little better lens in their glasses and understand that they have control of what their destiny is. We are each CEOs of our own lives. When I talk about entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship doesn’t mean you have to own your own business. You can be an entrepreneur in your own job. That comes back to that statement. It’s not what you do for your paycheck, it’s what you do with your paycheck. You’re there during the day. Your responsibility as an employee is to make your company that you’re working for successful.

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact

Maximize Impact: Once someone understands and learns how to become a master of their money, they can sleep better.


That’s what you’re being paid to do. Are you using the money that you’re receiving for that job? Are you reinvesting it in yourself? Are you paying yourself first? Are you paying your family first? Are you using that money to build, buy or create assets in your own personal asset column? Are you sending it out the door never to be seen again? That’s the tough hard look you have to give yourself. When you have employees, providing them with that education and those tools will give them such an incredible gift and will build loyalty. If you have an employee work, they keep looking out the window because they’re afraid their car’s going to get repossessed. Do you think they are 100% present on the job? Of course, they’re not. If you have someone that has felt the incredible power of understanding that they’ve gotten rid of their bad debt, they are able to live on the money that they’re receiving and they’re starting to get ahead a little bit that builds confidence. It builds loyalty. They can then provide 100% focus on what they’re doing during the day.

A word to the wise leader to the wise employer is making sure that you allot some time and resources to providing that training for financial freedom and financial literacy. If you want a team of people who are there, they’re present, they’re healthy, they’re happy and they’re giving you their very best. This has been amazing. I absolutely enjoyed this conversation, Sharon. I wish we could go on and on and on. I know we’ve got so much more we could say if we had time to do it, but time has a way of getting ahead of us. Thank you so much, Sharon, for everything. Any final words?

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I appreciate the fact that you provide this resource to individuals. I congratulate everybody for taking the time to work on yourself and to provide that opportunity to hear words of wisdom from the guests that you bring on. I think each and every one of you out there has an incredible opportunity to create success like never before dreamed. Being open to that opportunity will allow those things, sometimes you have to close the door for other doors opened for us. In this world, we have a tremendous opportunity and if we position ourselves to be ready for it, it will come.

For those of you who would like to learn more about gaining financial freedom and playing big or bringing somebody into your company, visit If you go to, you’ll learn more about the Play Big Movement as well. Have a look at that as well.

Understand that gratitude is part of success. Click To Tweet

Our metaphor is the myth of Tantalus. If you remember the group from Greek Mythology, Tantalus had to reach up to try to get food because he was hungry, but he couldn’t reach it. He had to reach down to get water because he was thirsty but couldn’t reach it. That’s what prosperity can be like. It’s out of reach because we’re constantly straining ourselves to it. Change your consciousness, stop making effort so much, change the way you think about money. You’ll see it becomes easier to bring it into your consciousness.

I’ve got two quotes for you. One of them is from Martin Luther King who said, “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” The second quote is Catherine of Siena, who said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” I’d like to leave you with a challenge for the week, and that is to make a list of everything you wanted when you were five years old and think about how some of those things might make an impact on the world and see if you can start letting your five-year-old self-guide you to greatness in life.

Our next guest will be primitive TV and radio show host and former Fortune 100, CMO C-Suite Media’s Founder, Jeffrey W. Hayzlett. We’re going to be talking about how to be relentless. Share this with your friends and subscribe to my podcast and visit Executive Zen on iTunes or find replays on my website, Thank you for being here. Remember, lead consciously and profit responsibly. Take care.

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About Sharon Lechter

EZ 5 | Maximize Impact

As an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist, international speaker, mentor, licensed CPA and a Chartered Global Management Accountant, Sharon Lechter is the premier expert for financial literacy and seeker of success. She is the co-author of the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, and has written 14 other books in the Rich Dad series and built the empire into the world’s leading personal finance brand. Starting in 2008, she began working with the Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re-energize the brand and has released three bestselling books in cooperation with the Foundation, including Think and Grow Rich-Three Feet from Gold, Outwitting the Devil, and Think and Grow Rich for Women. Sharon has also released Save Wisely, Spend Happily, in cooperation with the American Institute of CPAs.

Sharon is a highly sought-after mentor and has worked with major brands like Disney and Time Warner and served on the first President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. As CEO of Pay Your Family First, she has dedicated entrepreneurial efforts to the creation and distribution of financial education books, games, curriculums, and other experiential learning projects. Everything about Sharon’s career centers around impacting others to improve their financial IQ, access untapped potential personally and in business, and be the best. 

But everything changed in 2012 when Sharon’s son unexpectedly died. All of Sharon’s successes seemed to fade into the background. She kept working, but on autopilot. She stopped playing at the level she always had and just started coasting.

Until now.

Now, Sharon is back and playing big again, and she wants you to as well with the Play Big Movement. Don’t let whatever kept you playing small continue to dictate what you can achieve. It’s time to play big and master your money and time and create a legacy.

Sharon continues to be a committed philanthropist by giving back to world communities both as a benefactor and a volunteer and has honored with numerous awards.

Sharon lives in Paradise Valley, AZ with her husband and business partner, Michael Lechter, a powerhouse in the area of Intellectual Property, Organizational Architecture, and Publishing.  Together, they love spending time with each other and especially like to get away to their dude ranch, Cherry Creek Lodge, where they can get “off the grid” (literally) and get recharged for their next big play.

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