#310 – The Power Of Generosity With Bob DePasquale

I heard once at a concert, this is before I went through my illness and the whole thing. So I didn’t register with me right away. But the lead singer of the band stopped, you know, in between songs and he just, he had a couple of words. It wasn’t a long, you know, he was probably talking for less than a minute, but he ended his little, his little note with, you may not change the world, but you may change the world for one person and that I didn’t get it at the time. But now I totally do after my experiences. And so, um you know, generosity, positive impact in the world, doing good things for people. Being ethical is not necessarily about solving world hunger, you know, or changing an entire uh entire world. It’s just a simple thing, doing the right thing for people. And you could, you may never know, but you likely have changed someone’s world. Uh If you just be a kind nice person, the to screen podcast is owned and made possible by ethical marketing service. If your business is struggling with Google or Facebook ads, maybe you’re frustrated figuring it out or there’s a performance issue.

Ethical marketing service has worked on hundreds of accounts and we can help in this area. We offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you would like to find out if we can help. It’s a free no salesy consultation call and the link is in the description, enjoy the episode. Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode. Today, we have Bob depasquale. Bob, welcome Thomas. Thank you for having me. I love to talk about this subject. So I’m excited to be here and hopefully we have a good conversation. I’m very happy to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Sure, I would love to. Um, so I actually have a ba a background in, in training and education, master’s degree in broadcast journalism. I thought if I wasn’t going to be playing sports when I grew up, I was gonna be talking about it and I actually worked in the radio business for a couple of years out of grad school. And uh I love to communicate, still love to do podcasting and this sort of thing and, and do some media. But I was actually recruited into the financial industry and the financial industry is highly regulated, but also uh moves, moves very fast.

And so I learned pretty quickly, uh the need to stay up to date on trends and figure out how to market myself, uh as a person in that business. And what I found is that there’s a lot of people out there, uh who are very, very concerned about their capabilities of supporting themselves or family. And they also have this desire to, uh, to give to the world most people. In fact, I thought I was going into finance thinking that I was gonna find a bunch of greedy people, you know, all they wanted was money. Uh But I found out there’s quite a few ethical people out there. And so, uh it was an interesting career that I had at a large firm uh over here in the States for about 12 years and I learned a lot about the industry but also about people’s psyche. And so over the past almost three years now, uh my business partner and I have had our own firm and we’ve been w working pretty hard on marketing our firm and, and building a brand and figuring out how to do it in a truly ethical way. So, um I, I really appreciate the, the word and the concept of generosity. That’s something that I talk about a lot with or with organizations.

And so I think that’s a big, big part uh of contributing to the world in a positive way and making it a better place. Well, thank you for the introduction. Um I would definitely like to talk about that as well with you. Cos I think you’ve got a lot of insight there. Um I am fascinated by your story uh and how you’ve learned the things that you have learned. So, um would you like to start with where you feel that that’s relevant in relation to what your story is? Yes. Uh 100%. I, I have an interesting story about how generosity saved my life. And so I, I’d be happy to dive into that. Uh It, it all started when I was 18 years old. And I don’t know if I don’t know about you. But when I was 18, I felt like I was invincible. I thought like, you know, nothing could take me down. So if you’re listening to this show out there and you can take yourself back to that time when you felt like you, you, you are a young human and indestructible. This, this story might relate to you, but I was going off to university and I had an opportunity to play football, American football specifically and I was in training camp which last about 34 weeks before the season starts and you’re there before students.

And, you know, we’re the first people on campus pretty much and it’s really, it’s actually a nice opportunity to get comfortable with the campus of your school and, and people and get to know people before the school year starts. But I had what I thought was a groin injury and another question or or situation that I’ll bring up to people is if you ever pulled a groin muscle, I don’t know about Thomas. Have you ever, have you ever pulled a groin muscle before? I would say not badly. But I think I know what you mean. Yeah. I mean, if you do that, especially if you do it badly. I mean, it’s, it’s hard to walk, sit, stand twist. I mean, it’s a very, very debilitating injury. I don’t think people realize how much you use that muscle. You just, you know, you just walk, you’re just used to it. So I couldn’t move very much, let alone run down a football field. And so I tell this story because I would, I would have to do this rehab exercise where I would sit on a three wheeled stool and shimmy across the training room. Now, a training room, you know, at any given morning, it could be 100 people in there before training camp, practice with doctors, coaches, trainers, you know, players. And so I think part of the exercise was just really just to dodge the people.

And if you picture me sitting on this stool and shimmying across the room, II, I guess I was doing it to strengthen the, the muscles around my hips and the groin area so that I could get back out on the field. But I’ll never forget this. One day, the head trainer stands up and he was a, he was not a big guy, but he would have to stand on this box to get everyone’s attention and it’s, it’s loud and he would have to scream while he cuts his hands and yells across the room to me. He says, Bobby, they called me Bobby at the time. Quit being a weakling. You need to get back out on the field. So here’s the head trainer calling me out in front of everyone. And so he ended up sending me to the doctor later on. And I over a period of about a week and a half, I went to numerous doctor’s appointments and had every test you can, you can name in the book, uh ultrasound cat scans, sonograms, MRI S, everything to try to figure out what was wrong, like hoping to get me back out playing football again, but it ended up kind of dragging out for a long period of time and I’m, I’m 18. So technically I’m an adult by the law.

So I’m going to these appointments by myself. I’m filling out paperwork and I, I have no idea how medical insurance works or any of this stuff. And it was pretty stressful, but I’ll never forget this on the last day that I was supposed to come up to, to my last test. Essentially, my parents were supposed to come up to New York where I went to school and they were coming up for my first game. Now we knew I wasn’t playing in the game at this point, but they had scheduled this trip quite a while back. And so I went to the appointment and expecting to be there for hours because that’s how all these other appointments were I went in. But I mean, it’s almost like they were expecting me to come early and they were just ready for me to walk in the door. And as soon as I walked in the door to the office in the waiting room there, they’re like, oh, you know, come Robert and they called me Robert because that’s my, my full name and come back. You, you’re immediately, they, they brought me right and they sat me down in the office and just maybe 30 seconds later, the doctor comes in and he sits down at the table there and he looks me in the eye and says, Bobby, you have cancer.

And I said what? I’m 18, I’m invincible. I have a little, maybe a little groin injury. How cancer? What? And the only thing he said to me after that was don’t panic, we’ll hook you up with an oncologist. You’re free to go. I mean, I looked at the guy, I’m like, that’s it. So I walked out of there in shock and the moment I walked out of the building and this is like divine timing. I, I don’t even know how this happened like this. But the moment I walked out of the building my phone rang and it was my mom and she ca she said, oh, hey, I wasn’t expecting to get a hold of you. I figured you’d be in this appointment all morning. I was just gonna leave a voicemail, let you know that we landed and we’re on our way to your uncle’s house. Now, my uncle lived in New York and that’s where, that’s where we would be staying or that’s where they would be staying. And she goes well, but while I have you on the phone, how’d the appointment go? And I said, uh about that appointment? Mom and you know, Thomas, like I had to tell her what the doctor told me and I, I could feel her on the other side of the phone, she didn’t say anything.

It was dead silent, but I could just feel her screaming inside. I, it was the most eerie feeling and the only thing I could hear was my dad and I think he knew something was wrong too by her reaction and he was like, Susan, Susan, which is my mom’s name and he’s like, what’s wrong? And I, I’m hearing him like screaming on the other side of the phone. So we ended up meeting back at my uncle’s house and now I hadn’t seen, I hadn’t been away from home for that long in my whole life. So it was a month, it was almost a month and I mean, I saw my parents I gave him a big hug. We kind of looked at each other and we shed some tears and said some prayers and we’re like, what is going on? Like, I cannot believe that I had this disease. So a couple of days went by and that, that was a Thursday. So a couple days go by. It’s, it’s a Saturday now, which was supposed to be the day of my first college game now, like I said, I wasn’t playing in the game, but we were there and I’ll never forget this. My uncle’s best friend comes over his house. Now, we don’t know this guy because we live in Florida, which is, you know, about three hour flight from where my uncle lives and his name is Tim.

He walks in the door says hi to my aunt and uncle introduces himself and he walks directly over to my parents. I mean, almost like he was like, he knew them really well and it kind of looked like he was gonna slap them or hit them in the face in a strange way. But he reached in his pocket and he shoves his keys in my parents’ face. It just seemed like he was being so aggressive with it. But he goes Bob Susan, which is my, you know, my parents names, he’s like, I can’t imagine what you’re going through with your, with your child right now. Take my keys, you can have my car for as long as you could possibly need it. And I thought to myself, wow, that’s the most generous thing that someone’s ever done for me and my family. And I, I looked at my uncle looked at my aunt and we’re like, this is real like, is this guy actually doing this? And he was there for maybe 15 minutes and then he left, he was gone. And we’re like, who is this guy? And my uncle was like, you know, that’s Tim, he’s just a really nice guy. So that was on Saturday. This is a critical part of the story because that was our experience with Tim.

It just felt like he was such a nice, generous person. So a few days later now it’s a, it’s Tuesday. So my, I, I did speak with an oncologist and he told me not to drop out of my college classes. So I went to my second ever college class on this Tuesday morning. I came out of the class. I, I was hungry, I went to the cafeteria and I was sitting at, you know, like at the bar type of, you know, stool, uh, high rise, you know, bar spot and I’m eating a breakfast burrito and I’m watching TV. Now, Thomas, I don’t know if you remember like an old school television might be 88 inches and it’s like hanging from a bracket in a public place. People ceiling in the wall. You know what I’m talking about, and I’m watching the TV. Now I’m watching the news now. I don’t know, the news station up in New York. I, I, first of all, I’m 18. I don’t even watch the news but this is what’s on. So that’s what I’m watching. And I’m looking at the TV, and all of a sudden a plane crashes into a building. I’m watching it and I’m like, whoa, that’s what a horrible accident. So, I called my dad who was back at my uncle’s and I said, hey, dad, are you watching the news?

He’s like, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I just, I just saw this, this plane crash into the building and we were talking for maybe a minute. Not even. And all of a sudden a second plane hits the building right next to that one. And then we were like, what, what is going on? And we realized that was the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of September 11th, 2001. We didn’t know what was going on at the time. But my dad’s like, well, that’s not an accident. You should probably get back to your uncle’s house now. Like something’s going on in the world. So I hopped in the car. I, that breakfast burrito is probably still sitting there on the counter. I mean, I just, I sprinted out of there as much as I could with my, with my, the pain I was having and I got in the car and it would typically would take me 15 minutes to drive from school to my uncle’s house, Thomas, it took me nine hours and I was driving down the highway driving. I mean, I was idling down the highway for nine hours. Now, I told you I have a broadcast background. I worked in radio but I will never ever listen to nine straight hours of AM radio again in my life.

But I listened to the whole thing, all the coverage about September 11th and I’m in New York. So in the distance I’m looking, I, I can see burning towers and smoke and, and it was unbelievable. I ran out of gas in my uncle’s neighborhood. Thankfully, I didn’t run out of gas on the highway, but we pushed my car into his driveway and my aunt was hysterical. I mean, everyone was hysterical but she was specifically hysterical because my uncle was supposed to fly to New York that morning and we spent the next hours trying to get a hold of him and figure out what was going on in the world. I looked at my parents and like, we were like, well, a few weeks ago, I was this invincible 18 year old living my college dream, playing sports and spending time in a big city. But now we were worried that maybe my life was coming to an end because of my illness. And on top of that, maybe the world was coming to an end. So it was a, quite a, a stressful time. But we finally got a phone call for my uncle that, that evening, you know, it might have been, I don’t know, eight o’clock or so. And he’s like, guys, I’m, I’m ok.

I’m fine, I’m alive. I’m really sorry, I’ve been trying to get through, but the phones have been dead and he was stuck in Denver. He was in, on business the night before in Denver. So he couldn’t get home and he’s like, all right, I’ll be ok. I’ll try to catch a flight tomorrow. Um but you know, love you guys, everything’s fine and we were gonna hang up the phone. But before he hang up, he said, but before I let you go, I gotta let you know something, my best friend, Tim, who you all met on Saturday was in the towers this morning and he died. That is crazy. And we’re like, you mean the guy, the guy that just was at the house and gave us his car and, and we just looked at each other like, well, that doesn’t, I mean, this guy doesn’t deserve, didn’t deserve that. I mean, he was Tim, you know, super generous guy like why, why did he deserve to pass away? And well, it turns out that Tim worked for Cannon Fitzgerald, which is an investment firm and if anyone wants to, to, you know, real, I don’t know, relive may not be the right word, but just learn about a little bit more about that situation. A guy by the name of Howard Lutnick was the CEO of Canter Fitzgerald and he was uncharacteristically late to work that morning because he had something to do with his kid.

And, um, he was the only one from Cantor Fitzgerald, the hundreds of people that worked in the tower that was not there that morning and his survivor’s guilt and the, the press conference, you could find it on youtube. And it’s one of the most emotional things. This guy lost everyone in his firm and he should have been in the building that morning. Well, Kor Fitzgerald and Tim and how all those people were known for being very generous people, they would donate office space to my uncle’s foundation for cystic fibrosis, which is a disease my cousin has. And I say that because at that hour in the morning, no one from the foundation would typically be in the office. There is only one person who would and she was also uncharacteristically late that morning and she got caught in the subway underneath the tower there. She ended up escaping and it always makes me wonder and think, you know why? And her name was Tammy, like why was Tammy saved? Like why did she not perish in that? But Tim and all those people for Cantor Fitzgerald did and I’ll never know the answer to that question.

Um But I say that. And I tell you that story because you asked about, you know, why is generosity important to me? There were other things that people did for me to make sure I survived and we got through the cancer and everything. But what Tim did stuck out because Tim was known for being one of those people that would do radically generous things. Most of us, if someone else is giving or financially or they’re supporting someone or holding an open a door for someone, most of us will do generous things when they’re expected. But not everyone would do radically generous things when they’re unexpected, like give someone their car. And so the thing about Tim and this whole concept makes me, you know, people talk about YOLO, you only live once or fomo fear of missing out. And I’m not necessarily against those things because I think we should live our life to the fullest. But Tim had this saying or thought is like, you never know when the last opportunity you’ll have to be generous to someone will be and we don’t. And in crazy fashion, our family provided Tim the last opportunity to be generous that he would and his and he took advantage of it.

And so I’ll never forget that. So a lot of my story and the reason why I talk about generosity is because of what happened that during that couple day period of my life. Well, thank you for, for sharing that it’s an amazing story. Um, and I’ve, as you can imagine, got absolutely loads of follow up. Um, the, the first one, I mean, the first thing that stood out to me was, uh, the, the way that you were delivered, the message of something which could potentially be quite traumatic. Um, do you have any, should we say anger or resentment towards that person who told you something pretty much when you’re, when you’re a child? Uh, which seemed fairly blunt from my perspective. No, no anger whatsoever. Uh, confusion was, but the, the fact is the doctor did the work to part, part of the work to save my life. So, no anger. I was just at the, at the moment I, it just seems so abrupt but you have to, I have to, I try to put myself in that person’s shoes. I mean, he’s probably making these type of announcements to a lot of people. And so it part of his job is to not be emotional.

And so I think that was key and I think he also knew how overwhelmed I was mentally with all of the tests and things that I had been doing over the past couple of weeks and just the confusion. I think legally he had to tell me that I was ill, but he knew that it wouldn’t be helpful for him to give me a laundry list of things I need to do. I think he with my consent. He would speak to my parents, but he had to tell me. So, I think I, I, no, no anger whatsoever, just confusion in the moment for sure. Well, um, I appreciate you bringing it to the conversation and part of the reason why is because, um, you’ve gone through something which I think you now have experience to help other people with. So if someone else is now in that position, um, and it happens frequently in terms of they get told something devastating by a doctor. Uh, what advice would you give them? Well, the, the first thing is to just take a deep breath and try not to, to react. I’m, I’m a reactionary type of person. So I’ve had to work at this in my life.

I, I don’t know why I didn’t in that moment, I think, uh, if you would have asked me or, or even asked me now, I would have probably expected myself to scream or yell or, or get mad or something like that. But I, I had this amazing sense of calm possibly because I had been gone through so much over the past couple of weeks. But, you know, my advice for people is to when you, when you’re dealing with medical situations, one of the hardest things is to not know what’s going on to be ill and to have an issue and I’ve had other issues since then, but it was one of the hardest things. So if you have a doctor or a medical professional who’s trying to help you figure it out and they’ve, and they’ve determined something. I think there’s some semblance of gratitude that you have to have. And maybe if you could think a little bit more like that and just understand that at least you have some information, maybe you don’t have all the answers, but it’s better to know so you can have a course of action. I think that’s probably the best way to think about it. But let’s be honest, I mean, if it’s an abrupt announcement like that, it could be hard, you know, maybe, maybe you’re not capable of completely avoiding, uh, some kind of rea you know, a reaction that may not be ideal.

Uh, but maybe after that subsided, you can calm down a little bit quicker and, and just gather yourself. And, uh, one other thing I’ll add to Thomas is that, you know, when a medical diagnosis, uh, this is also true for loved ones. If you’ve ever been through a situation where a doctor has had to tell you something about a loved one that’s maybe not so good. It’s kind of a similar kind of a similar experience. So this may not apply directly to you at any given time or at least right now in your life, but maybe it applies to announcement related to, uh, someone else that you care about deeply. Well, that’s another thing which, um, I feel that you have experience in which would be valuable to others and that is for the people who let’s say it’s not you, but it’s someone that you love. Um, what’s the right way to deal with that conversation when you’re told? Because I do feel people have the ability to say the wrong thing without really realizing it. Any thoughts there. Yes. Um, well, let, let me, let me ask you a quick follow up question. You mean that the person receiving the news says something that’s not really appropriate, not the medical professional, correct?

So the the example would be um yeah, though we, we’re not talking about the the doctor anywhere more. We’re talking about uh you, you’ve got the diagnosis and you tell your, your family or your friends and there’s a wrong way that they can deal with that. Um What’s, what’s a piece of advice you would give a person who is receiving knowledge that their loved one is, has got a diagnosis? Sure. Uh I, I give a lot of credit to my parents when, when they were sharing information with me and received my diagnosis. And I think the first thing you have to do is you have to acknowledge it. Uh It’s not uh it’s not something where it, it can be tempting to kind of run away from it or not talk about it, but it, it has to be acknowledged. Ok, this is what you have or this is the situation that we’re dealing with. Um, say those words, uh, verbalize them because they’re gonna have to be said or understood at a certain point. Uh The next thing, the next thing I, that comes to mind is you have to know and be comfortable acknowledging that you’re not the medical expert and that you don’t have all the answers.

So my parents never told me when I, you know, when I was diagnosed, oh, we’re gonna help, you know, we’re gonna fix your cancer or we’re gonna treat you or don’t worry, we’ll make it better. That that would have been a lie because not that they wouldn’t have tried if they were the only option. Uh But it just, that’s not, that’s outside of the realm of their skill set to treat me for cancer. And so you, you wanna be honest and true about that. So acknowledge and then say we’re gonna do our best to help you. Uh And we’re gonna find whoever, you know, we’re gonna, whatever we can do to be of assistance or find the right people. Uh And then the next thing is, is you, I, I think you have to give the person an opportunity to express their feelings. So in other words, you don’t want to say too much. Uh and my parents, I don’t remember this. Exactly. I mean, it’s still, it’s kind of blurry because all that was going on. But I, I do remember them allowing me an opportunity to express myself, you know, it wasn’t like sh don’t say anything or we’ll handle it or just do what we say or do what the doctors say it was, this is what you have.

We’re gonna do our best to find the right treatment or the people that can actually help you. And then how does that make you feel or what do you want or do you have questions or what are the things that you’re worried about? And they let me express myself. So essentially um rather than thinking about yourself, uh think about the other person who actually has the diagnosis. Yes. And that’s critical. And for anyone who’s been through this type of illness that I had or any illness for, for that matter, I would imagine your mental state is absolutely critical to you, the effectiveness of your treatment and your overall health because you can easily go in the wrong direction. And I remember specifically me being told about this and said, this is not an ideal situation. We’re not gonna sugar coat it. You have a serious illness that could take your life. But that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna, that doesn’t mean that you, we don’t have the, the right treatment protocols and we don’t feel confident that we can treat it. Um But you have to, you have to keep your mental state in, in a, in a positive light.

And uh it’s not gonna be fixed overnight. So it’s gonna be tough. But you have to consider that you’re, we’re doing everything that we possibly can and we’re making progress every day. And I know that the um the philanthropy uh example that you gave uh has impacted your life. What about the, the diagnosis? How much did that change you as a person? That’s a great question. The way you asked it is a little bit unique compared to some how, how, how other people have asked me similar questions. But, and I say that because the diagnosis itself did change my life. Uh but the whole scenario that changed my life immediately, like once you hear that, I mean, there’s it, it immediately changed my perspective on life. It suddenly went from invincible, 18 year old to extremely mortal human. So it changed my life immediately. It changed my mindset. Now, the whole scenario of the situation that 56 day period in my life between my diagnosis and 911, uh that’s something different that’s taken years to really, for me to really work through its 20 something year, 22 years ago now.

And uh that’s a different animal. And I think about that time every day, I don’t think about specifically the diagnosis every day. But I do remember being on a completely different mindset, especially later that evening, once I had a minute to let it set in. But it, it was pretty immediate the way it made me shift my perspective on. Wow, my time here is limited. Yeah, it’s sort of something that we, we know intellectually but for, for whatever reason, don’t implement anything as a result of it. So having that um adversity can sometimes be, sometimes be beneficial for life. But um the, I wanna say the, the example that you gave the, the story that you, the way you told it and everything was really great to listen to. Um in terms of how Tim Right was uh was. So um so kind in, in, in that scenario, um the question is, have you done anything similar in your life? Have you, have you done a Tim?

I, so that’s a, that’s another really good question. So yes, but I don’t think I can ever live up to, to Tim’s legacy. At least for me, I mean, he was known for being a generous person. I’m sure he did a lot of great things for other people that, that remember him, specifically his family. And I’ve had a great opportunity, pleasure of speaking with his Children since then. And they were young, I mean, they were babies at the time. So now they’re adults and uh that’s been great conversation. So yes, the short answer to your question is yes, I’ve done some incredible, I had the opportunity to do some incredible charitable and philanthropic work across the world. Uh I, I’ve, I’ve been to places and helping families and and other people build homes and do other things that they just need to sustain life. Uh, but I honestly, I don’t think any of those, uh, I can’t, I, I struggled to compare that type of work to what Tim did, which was completely radical. I mean, it was, I can’t imagine what his wife said when he got home. Like, oh, hey, by the way, I just gave up, I just gave the car to the deepest qualities and she’s like, who are the deepest qualities.

Um And so it was uh yes, I, I have and I, I have two comments about that. Number one is giving truly is receiving and this is, it’s not a cliche in my life. I, the people that I know that are the most generous and the, and the leaders in business who are the most generous and the most giving and I don’t necessarily mean with money, it could be, time, could be resources, could be intellectual property, whatever it might be, mentorship, the people that are the most giving, find the most success and they find the most fulfillment. And so I have done those sort of things and I, and I enjoy and I love doing that type of stuff. I love a little bit of sacrifice for a lot of, for a lot of fulfillment. And then the other thing that comes to mind too is Tim’s way and I don’t know this for sure, but my thought is this, if Cantor Fitzgerald was a giving firm, they were a generous group of people. I feel like it was contagious and maybe Tim had a, a gene in his body that made him a super generous person.

But I think it was only magnified by being in the environment of other givers. So for me, I’ve absolutely done does other gen generous things in my life, but I feel like they’re the most pronounced or that I do the best or feel the best about it when I’m involved with other people and groups of people that are doing projects and things to care for other people. And if you’re a business leader out there, just one thing that comes to mind to me all the time is I think there’s nothing better, there’s no better team building exercise than doing something hard for someone else for a third party. And if you’re a leader out there, great, go take golf lessons, go out to dinner. Do you have a holiday party? Any of those things to build, you know, camaraderie amongst your team? But I think one of the best things or the best thing is to go out and do some kind of service project for another, for someone who is not related to your business. But those are the type of things that I do and participate in pretty consistently. Um And I, I love it. I think it’s a, it’s really, really good for the psyche and I have scientific evidence actually about the bonds and the hormones that, that have to do with this.

I’ve done a lot of research and I, I know a few people who have done even more research than I have and I’ve learned from them about how the, how important uh the human psyche and mind is uh to, or how, how important giving and generosity are to the human mind. I like the answer. Um I feel like you’re being humble at the same time. Have you got a, have you got a, a story that you would be willing to share where, where you’re the giver? Sure. Uh I love this one. You make me smile. You’re, you’re bringing back some joy for me. So my, the company that I used to work for did some incredible work with an organization called Habitat For Humanity. I don’t know if you’ve, if you’ve heard of it, but they’re a worldwide organization. They build homes for families that they build adequate housing for families that don’t have. And I’ve had an opportunity to do a couple of different trips, but it all started with, when I was working for my former employer. I had such a good time on this one trip and I felt like the work that we did was so meaningful to the community that we went to. It was in Nicaragua, which is a few hour flight from where I live in South Florida here in the States.

And I had the opportunity to lead a trip myself. Uh Not too long after that. Now, my wife and I have been on numerous trips like this over the years. But this one sticks out to me the most because we, we were working really, really hard on helping this organization, uh or excuse me, helping this, this family. And there’s a family, there’s probably 8 to 10 people in this family. Plus the whole community is helping us build this home on a, in the mountains in Mexico. Now, most people think Mexico, they think, you know, uh they think Cozumel or like a cruise or a vacation, it’s really hot the summer. Well, we were up in the mountains in central Mexico uh and it’s, and it’s kind of chilly. Um and we’re working really hard and they don’t even speak Spanish. Now. Hablo Boco Espanol, I speak a little Spanish and I expected to go down to Mexico and be like, oh, I’m gonna be the one communicating with everyone because I speak a little Spanish turns out they don’t even speak Spanish.

They speak AAA dialect, an indigenous dialect called soil. And there was only one guy in the whole crew that spoke, he spoke fluent, so fluent Spanish and like a very, very little bit of English. So it was up to me and him to figure out how to communicate with, with the group because I would speak a little bit of Spanish, he would speak a little bit of English. We would figure it out and he would translate it into soil. So at one point we were working really hard one day. Now it’s chilly up there. But we were working so hard that we were sweating and I mean, it was, we, it felt hot even though it probably wasn’t that hot. And at one point we were gonna take a break. And one of the, the people, I think it was the, the head mason or someone said, OK, everyone, we’re gonna take a break. I can tell that you guys are all not doing so well. So we took a break and it was maybe five minutes or so. People are drinking water and sitting down and relaxing. And I’m thinking, man, these people are wiped. What did I do? I took these people uh to a foreign country in a place where they don’t speak English and they’re probably gonna be upset with me or, or they, they probably feel terribly exhausted and you can just picture, you can picture the 10 of us sitting around and then the, the, the people from the other, uh the people from the family and the community, uh you know, resting as well and trying to communicate in different languages.

And I was really discouraged. I thought to myself, man, what a bummer. At least we’re doing good work. Like at least we’re doing it for a good cause. So I was talking with Sebastian, the guy that spoke, uh that spoke Spanish and so well, and I thought to himself, I’m like, man, I, I’m, I was gonna try to tell him, man, I think we’re pretty wiped. But thank you for, you know, thank you for like giving us a chance to take a break. Well, he, the, the mason guy said, all right. Well, let’s get back to work. And I was expecting everyone to like slowly get up and, you know, maybe grab a tool and, you know, you know, reach for their back or something. Like I just felt like it was not gonna be a good moment but to my surprise, everyone like jumped up, grabbed their tools, put the water. I mean, they ran right and they went right back to work and I was like, wow, like this is amazing and I was talking to a couple of them. I was like, guys, like, thank you so much for working so hard and they’re like, Bob, we love this like this is amazing and we’re like, oh OK, cool.

Oh my God, that’s awesome. So I went over to Sebastian and I was like, I was like Sebastian and it took me a minute to explain all this. But I was like, man, we’re like, our group is loving this. Like this is an amazing experience for people. Um We love you guys. We, you know, we love the experience. It’s been awesome. So he went over to the teenage girl from, from uh from the family who was the on the best Spanish speaker of the family, like the the whole family spoke soil. But she was the one that could, could translate and do a little bit of Spanish. So Sebastian goes over to this young lady and he starts explaining to her what I told her. Like I was like, Sebastian, tell her that we love them and we love this experience. So he was talking to her for like five minutes and I’m like, what is taking so long? I didn’t, I didn’t give you a whole para I just said, just tell him that we’re like, we love it. So he comes back over and he says to me, he’s like, I’m, I’m just, I’m really having, I’m, I’m having trouble expressing what, what you’re telling to me.

It’s like Sebastian, this is not that hard. Like just tell him we love what’s going on. And so he goes back over there and he’s there for another five minutes. It probably seemed like five hours, but he’s sitting there talking and I’m not working, like my whole crew is working and I’m just staring at this conversation and I probably should have been helping the crew build. But he comes back and finally I saw a smile on her face, on the young lady’s face. Like I saw her like light up and I was like, OK, something good happened. So he comes back over to me and he’s like, I figured it out in. So they don’t have a word. There’s no word for love. Like there’s literally not a word for like you can’t say, I love you. And he said, but love is a tremendous concept to them. And it’s expressed through action, not through words. And he said what she just told me was that no one in their family’s thousands of year history has ever loved them as much as you all because you came to help them build the house and the actions that you’ve taken over the past week have been more loving than anything they’ve ever seen.

And it, I mean, I was just for it. Iii I started tearing up. I was like, wow. And so the moral of the story is that your actions truly speak louder than words, even when you’re, even when you want to tell someone that you love them. Well, thank you for sharing that. Appreciate it. Um I’ve been meaning to ask about the book in the background. What’s the story there? Well, the story talk about love, what a labor of love the book was when I, I mentioned I worked for a big financial firm over here for 12 years. I had always wanted to write a book and do more media appearances like and do podcasts like this. And after my broadcasting background. But in, in that big model, when you’re working for a large firm, it’s very hard to express uh the, the compliance and regulatory reasons and it’s understandable. Uh you’re really not encouraged to, to, to do that sort of work. And so when, when my business partner and I left our firm and started our own, I thought to myself, well, you know, I left behind quite a few clients at our previous firm. But there’s a lot of things and insight that I have that I want to share with the world and being from the financial world.

I, I had not known a lot about the financials, but I wanted to do some research about social media, technology ads and how like that all affects our mind and in, in our buying decisions. And so I took my experience and 12 years of experience in, in the industry. Then I did a whole bunch of research. I interviewed 50 plus people about these different topics and I was able to write a book and uh it’s called Personal Finance in the Public World. It took me about a year to put it all together. It’s available in hard copy and audio version. If you want to listen to me talk anymore, you might be sick of hearing my voice after the podcast here. But uh soft cover and ebook. And it’s really about how social media and ads affect our buying decisions these days. And it’s designed to help you break down each chapter is a different financial topic that you might be interested in. Uh, so it’s a pretty, it’s a pretty easy read, what you pick the topics that you, you can read through the whole thing from cover to cover or you can go back and address different subjects like retirement or investing or Cryptocurrency, uh, or interest rates.

If you’re, you know, you’re looking to buy a home or a mortgage. That’s a great chapter for you. But the idea is that these, the way the world works, it really affects how we think about money and it doesn’t have to be bad though. You know, some people will tell you, well, social media is killing me because I, I, all I see is ads and I want to buy things and I go to Amazon and I do one click buy and it’s just I, all I do is spend money because of social media and technology these days. And I just don’t believe that to be the case. I think you can actually use technology and some of the tools out there for good. So hopefully by the end of reading the book, people will have a better handle on technology and be able to use it as a positive force in their financial lives. Well, congratulations on becoming an author. Well done. Uh, do you have a favorite chapter? Uh, well, I mean, I, I’m a little biased since I worked in the industry and I and I run a financial firm helping people. There’s a chapter towards the end that’s about helping you choose the right type of advisor. And so I wasn’t gonna put that chapter in the book because I just wanted to be strictly about information about different topics. And there’s some great stories. It’s very, very story based.

In fact, the story I just told you about love. And so Seal, that’s actually in the book. Um So all of these stories cover it, but that one chapter is my favorite because I think it really because to me, I, I, to me, I think people that a lot of people out there are probably a little bit nervous or they heard stories. I don’t know what it’s like by you. But for me, there’s a lot of fraud and there’s people who have had terrible experience with professional advisors in their life. And so this chapter is certainly not to sell you on my services or anything. In fact, we don’t even talk about my firm. It has nothing to do with me. Uh It’s just a unbiased approach to choosing the right person for advice or maybe not even choosing because some people, maybe they aren’t in a position to need an advisor. Um but it breaks down the different types of people and the different expertise. So you can make an educated decision on if and who you should choose as someone to provide you financial advice. Well, um, it’s not an easy thing to do. So, uh, you sh, I, I would imagine you’re quite proud of yourself that you, you’re now an author.

Yes. I mean, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any pride. Uh It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it. I met some incredible people along the way interviewing and also, I, I mean, I owe a lot of credit to my editors and to my publisher. Um, you know, and then marketing a book is a whole another animal too. So I learned a lot about, I learned a lot there. Sure, you could provide some insight on that. So, yeah, it was a tremendous experience. So I, I do have a sense of pride about it. Um I, I try not to be, I, I, I’m not a professional author. Well, I shouldn’t say that I guess I am a professional author since I have so copies, but I, I am not just an author. So I struggle to parade my book around and, you know, if I was, if I was the only thing I do is if I was an author and that’s how I made my primary source of income and a, and a living and that’s how I built my business. Sure. I think I’d be totally ok. Hey, buy my book. You know, I’m an author, personal finance in the public world. But um you might argue that I don’t do a good enough job of marketing it.

But uh you know, I, I will, I will brag a little bit. Um It no longer now you can go on Amazon. It’s probably number 2 million. Um But it was the number one release in wealth management. Uh It’s uh the first week it released. So I actually do have uh that claim to fame for a very short period of time. I was the number one book in, in wealth management new releases. So uh it’s been a pleasure and yes, I, I am proud, proud of it for sure. Thank you for, for mentioning that. No problem. If people want to buy the book, where do they go? Uh go to my website Bob Di bis.com, that’s one way or you can just go to Amazon um or you, if you’re international, that’s probably the easiest way to do it at amazon.com. Search Personal finance in a public world or, or just search my name, Bob Divis. You can’t miss it. And um do you have any closing thoughts for us today? Yeah, I do. Uh So there’s a quote that always comes to mind to me when we, when I get in conversations about doing good things for other people. And I heard once at a concert this is before I went through my illness and the whole thing. So I didn’t register with me right away.

But the lead singer of the band stopped, you know, in between songs and he just, he had a couple of words. It wasn’t a long, you know, he was probably talking for less than a minute, but he ended his little, his little note with, you may not change the world, but you may change the world for one person and that I didn’t get it at the time. But now I totally do after my experiences. And so, um you know, generosity, positive impact in the world, doing good things for people being ethical is not necessarily about solving world hunger, you know, or changing an entire uh entire world. It’s just a simple thing and doing the right thing for people and you could, you may never know, but you likely have changed someone’s world. Uh If you just be a kind nice person, love that message a great way to end. And um yeah, thank you for sharing your story today. Um And Bob, thanks for being a great podcast guest. You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.