Matt Ham Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Matt Ham
Matt Ham is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
The author of the book “Redefine Rich A New Perspective On The Good Life“, who believes that we really need to look at what path we are on to achieve our goals.
Are we looking to earn a million pounds per month, and suffer burn out, anguish, failure of our relationships and other similar issues.
Or do we take a close look at the true riches that we in the main ignore: Good health, happiness, rewarding relationships, Security, and spending more quality time with the ones that we love.
Is there a deeper, more complex meaning of this commonly misused word; rich?
How The Dots Joined Up For Matt
Well our guest was certainly on the standard corporate path, starting as an insurance agent with Farm Bureau Insurance in 2008 and was recognized as a “Top Rookie Agent” in 2009, and has consistently been recognized as “Best of the Best”, earning the designation as “Honor Agent” in 2013; an award given to the top three agents in his state of North Carolina.
He currently manages over 800 clients and nearly $3 million dollars in insurance premium, and with his three boys and wife Liz, alongside the writing, presenting, training for Ironman competitions and inspiring everyone who comes in contact with him, how does he define his own wealth?
Well as he says in his own words “After chasing the world’s version of richness in my own life, I found myself empty. Regardless of my material well-being or my financial prowess, I felt a longing for more. Truthfully, I lived a life rooted in comparison; I was trapped in what I call, The Good-Life Crisis. Life was good, but then again, it wasn’t.”
So is he someone who talks the talk, but actually is on the conveyor belt like the rest of us?
Or does he have ways of operating that can give him everything that he wasn’t in life, when its right for him?
Has he become truly rich. The kind of rich that has a powerful effect on our well being.
Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs in todays Free podcast, with the one and only Mr Matt Ham
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Matt Ham such as:
How we must make a decision to be grateful for where we are in life, as if you aren’t grateful for the now you won’t ever reach the destination.
The moment that his Dad hugged him on the driveway and shared the words “Don’t let the world change you, its up to you to change the world”
Why he feels it is so important to teach his three boys that they are living in the world of “Can” and not to be held back by “Can’t”
The reasons that he created Bowtie Friday in his office as a way to challenge himself to break free from conformity.
Why we should all watch the amazingly inspirational movie “Rudy”…and here is a preview to get you reaching for your Netflix account.
Books By Matt Ham
How To Connect With Matt Ham
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Matt Ham Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there listeners and welcome to another edition of Join Up Dots. This is Episode 218. Even when I say those kind of numbers, I kind of think is it really to one I have we done 218 episodes where we have And believe me, this one is going to be a great one because I’ve been chatting to the guy beforehand, and he is somebody who’s basically ready to rock and roll he knows how to deliver. He’s the author of the book redefine rich, a new perspective on the good life who believes that we really need to look at what path we are on to achieve algos? Are we looking to earn a million pounds per month and suffer burnout, anguish failure of our relationships and other similar issues? Or do we took take a close look at the true riches that we in the main ignore good health, happiness, rewarding relationships, security, and spending more quality time with the ones that we love Is there a deeper more complex meaning of is commonly misused word rich? Well, our guest was certainly on the standard corporate path starting as an insurance agent with Farm Bureau insurance in 2008 and was recognised as a top rookie agent in 2009, and has consistently been recognised as best of the best earning the designation as honour agent in 2013, an award given to the top three agents in his State of North Carolina. He currently manages over 800 clients and nearly $3 million in insurance premium and with these three boys and whitelists alongside the writing, presenting training for Ironman competitions, and inspiring everyone who comes in contact with him. How does he define the own wealth? Well, as he says, In his own words, after chasing the world’s version of richness in my own life, I found myself empty. Regardless of my material well being or my financial prowess, I felt a longing for more Truthfully, I lived a life rooted in comparison, I was trapped in what I call but good life crisis. Life was good. But then again, it wasn’t. So we see someone who talks the talk, but actually is on the conveyor belt like the rest of us, or does he have ways of operating that can give him everything that he wants in life? When it’s right for him? Has he become truly rich to kind of reach but has a powerful effect on our well being? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots with the one and only Mr. Matt Ham. How are you, sir?
Matt Ham [2:43]
Fantastic, David, what an introduction man I’m all I’m like Ready to go? I’m ready to do some jumping jacks and get get hustling. Man, this is awesome.
David Ralph [2:51]
I almost want you to say, Are you prepared to ignite? But no, that’s, that’s a different show, different show. But it’s the same kind of vibe, isn’t it? You you are somebody that is naturally a positive person and are creating your own kind of fireworks in life?
Matt Ham [3:07]
Well, you know, I think that a positive attitude and perspective is necessary. But I’m the first to say that it’s not always the case. certainly hasn’t been in my life. And I still struggle with that today. But But yeah, I like to, I like to think that our thinking is really where a lot of things begin, if we can kind of get to the root cause, by way of perspective, that it will give us the opportunity to kind of change some thoughts, therefore change some habits and determines and greater action.
David Ralph [3:39]
Well, that cuts right to the chase, really, it’s down to us, isn’t it? It’s down to us to create a life that we want. And for years and years and years, man, I kind of felt that the life was given to me somehow I don’t know where my mind was, but it was when I decided no is up to me to go and get it, then things started to change. You feel the same way?
Matt Ham [4:01]
Absolutely. You know, we talk in a lot of times when I’m when I’m speaking to audiences or whether it’s in the writing, you know, we talked about this word gratitude, which is kind of a key foundational principle in what I, you know, have learned and therefore, and, you know, I’m trying to share with everyone else, and that gratitude itself is not it’s not a feeling, you know, and it’s not based on our circumstances, you know, it’s a choice, you know, we have the freedom to choose to be grateful, regardless of our circumstances, rather than responding to whatever those circumstances might be. So you’re absolutely right, I think that empowering yourself to believe that you can, in fact, you know, take and make that choice is really kind of a catalyst for change.
David Ralph [4:47]
So So let’s talk about your situation at the moment. You are, you’re kind of half entrepreneurial, half employer, employees that right?
Matt Ham [4:55]
Yeah, so I actually run an insurance agency here with Farm Bureau insurance. And the way we’re operated here stateside, David is that we’re a 1099 employee, which means we’re self employed underneath kind of their business model. So kind of like a franchise if you will. And and it’s really, it’s been interesting for me, because, you know, I’ve done I’ve been in sales pretty much ever since I got out of college and met with Farm Bureau, it gives me the opportunity to kind of build this, you know, business per se, but at the same time, I do have certain rules that I have to abide by. And in that is, you know, in some ways challenging for someone who does have kind of an entrepreneurial spirit, but it’s really teaching me a lot along the way. So I’m grateful for, you know, what I do and what I’m able to do. And in my job with Farm Bureau, I’ve got, you know, a tonne of fantastic clients, I get to interact with those people to really help them in a very specific way in regards to their insurance. But you know, what I do with my writing and speaking, I see as an extension of that, just kind of in a different, you know, niche or whatever. So it’s been, it’s been a great learning experience and opportunity for me for sure.
David Ralph [6:03]
So So if we take you back in time, like we like to do on Join Up Dots, your love. Yeah. Well, that’s, that’s the whole theme of it. Yeah. It love it. If you’re in college, and somebody said to you, Matt Ham, what do you want to do when you come out of college? What’s your dream life? Would it have been, I want to be an insurance agent.
Matt Ham [6:22]
There’s a great storey behind that, David, I want to share it with you it, you know, when I when I graduated college, I felt this draw or this kind of desire, this passion to, you know, as people say it in kind of a cliche mantra, change the world, you know, I didn’t know what that looked like, I just really wanted to help people, and I wanted to impact and influence them in a positive way and, and encourage them. And as I did that, I knew that in order to have that kind of influence, that I would have to be rich, and and that word, you know, kind of in our culture pervades our thoughts of having the ability to have wealth independently and have financial freedom, and use that in kind of a noble way, that was really what I thought as I graduated college, and, you know, had my dad at my family has been, you know, I love my family to death, and my dad has always been a, you know, a hero of mine. And it was funny, because as I graduated college, I had an opportunity to go down to Florida, you know, move out of my hometown out of my home state, it was a big jump for me. And I was kind of packing up a car with a u haul behind and 22 years old, and, you know, ready to kind of go and do this, and my dad kind of embraced me in the driveway, we’re going to have one of those moments, you know, I mean, David, that one of those moments, and, and he said, Don’t let the world change you, son, change the world. And, and I always thought of myself, like dad, geez, you know, couldn’t have said like, gas is cheaper in South Carolina, I was like, give me give me something other than that, because I’ve got like a 10 hour drive ahead of me. And all I’m thinking about is those words. And so as I went to Florida, you know, to kind of pursue this opportunity, you know, I was blessed to be able to do well finance and started making money, you know, as a young 20, something in the real estate business. And interestingly enough, David, I kind of saw all of that really collapse in front of me. And so, you know, as, as the storey goes, I had to kind of pick myself up by my bootstraps really was humbled by those circumstances, had to reinvent myself, if you will move back to my hometown kind of tail tucked between my legs changed by the world, certainly not changing it. And and that’s when I began the insurance agency. And so it’s funny, because at the time, my parents and others were liking it, you should look into the insurance business. And I was like, absolutely not. I’m not, I’m not going to be an insurance agent, you know, and, and it’s interesting to see how your perspective changes when when you kind of have the opportunity to go through life and experience certain things. And so, you know, as I did that, and came back to my hometown, I really embraced the opportunity to work with, you know, within this community, within these families, a lot of folks that I’ve known for many years, and really helped them in that regard. So it’s definitely been a humbling and learning process for me. And it’s certainly part of the storey that I’m now telling,
David Ralph [9:09]
so so when you was on that driveway, and your dad came out and said that to you was was your dad, the kind of person that was always saying those kind of things are was based like a bolt from the blue light, you almost thought you dad was having a breakdown somewhat?
Matt Ham [9:23]
Yeah, you know, the interesting thing is my dad is always been a man of chosen words. You know, dad is not he certainly doesn’t have a problem talking or whatnot. But when he does speak with that kind of authority, you know, when to listen. And it certainly was one of those moments. But he gave his dad wouldn’t, you know, aspire to be a philosopher or someone who’s always kind of, you know, pushing or forcing his his thoughts and opinions on on anyone, especially, you know, myself, my brother, but when he, when he spoke, you knew, you know, when it was something that you needed to grab hold to. And so, in that moment, that was definitely something that I knew I needed to grab on to. And, and I’m thankful for that. Because too often in our lives, I recognise that so many people maybe don’t have that, that wisdom, someone speaking to them, for two reasons. Number one, they just don’t have it in their own lives. They don’t have, you know, kind of the fortunate to have someone in their life that’s willing to, you know, keep them accountable and invest in them and pour into them. And, and on the other hand, maybe that person isn’t really looking for it, you know, they’re they’re not choosing to kind of see the wisdom within the moment. So I think it’s kind of twofold. But But yeah, now when dad, when dad speaks with that kind of authority, I know to close my mouth and turn on my ears,
David Ralph [10:45]
that there’s amazing people in the world, isn’t it? I’ve gone through business for many, many years. And I was always the one that if there was silence, I felt like I had to break the silence. And I have been in board meetings where one or two individuals wouldn’t say anything entire two and a half hours. But then they did and you vote yet. That’s why I’ve ever meaning quiet, they chose the moment to give the gold. And I used to live like that, or are you more like me, but kind of you throw it out to the world? Probably more than you should do it. Some sticks, some goes whizzing past, but you can’t stop yourself.
Matt Ham [11:21]
Yeah, I’m really learning that. David, it’s funny you say that, because there’s a quote, by Winston Churchill. And, and it goes something like this, it says it takes courage to stand up and speak, but also takes courage to sit down and listen. And, and I love those words, because in my own life, I think that, you know, I think we all have tendencies. And I think we kind of, sometimes our greatest strength can also be our greatest weakness, and there’s a tipping point, whereby that strength becomes a weakness. And for me, a lot of times it is that, you know, I, I’ve got three small boys, they’re the oldest is four, and we have identical twins that are three. And you know, all too often I find myself wanting to teach, you know, always wanting to teach and, and, you know, there comes a point when I just need to learn to listen, and learn to be present with them, and kind of earn the right to be heard. And certainly the same is true as, as an author and a speaker, you know, one of the things that I that I try to hold to is, as I’m not someone who deems to have a lot of answers for people, but maybe perspective, you know, because I’m still learning myself and and so what I try to do often is, is really listen and learn, and then filter that through, you know, experience the experiences of others and provide perspective rather than answers.
David Ralph [12:41]
Now, how old are you three boys?
Matt Ham [12:44]
Yeah, so Matthew, the oldest just turned four. And then we have identical twins, Wyatt, and Grayson, and they’re going to be three here in a couple of weeks. And it’s wild around their house. I don’t know. You know what your family situations like David, but these boys, I tell you what I had a buddy of mine the other day told me said, madam get rid of had a kid and I think my life’s going to change. And I said, Well, your life is you know, it is the word is it begins with. And it’s four letters, and it were it rhymes with over. And I was like, it’s gonna change, buddy, as it is. That’s just the way it goes. But it’s a blessing. And these kids are great.
David Ralph [13:19]
So so where have you aged man? So since since? Was it Matthew the oldest one? Yeah, Matthew is? Yeah. Well, when Matthew came out, have you age dependent on how many kids you’ve got? Because I certainly have I say this in a lot of shows when we talk about sort of childhood, especially balancing business and childhood responsibilities. Have you got more grey hair than you used to have? Are you? Is there any sign of age hitting you? Because of the kids?
Matt Ham [13:45]
Yeah, no, it’s funny. I’m fortunate I got my dad’s dark hair. I don’t have any grey hair yet. But I think it’s, I think it’s, I think it’s, it’s daunting, because now, the thing that really, kind of age me the most with the boys is probably how that, you know, I think as a child, or even as a young adult, you know, you kind of have this, this energy and excitement towards everything. And it’s like, you know, everything’s an opportunity. And, you know, I say, like, my boys live their lives, empowered by the words, can with a question mark. And, and you’re even the phrase, can I, you know, and I think the boys often they’ll be like, could I climb that table? Yeah. Could I climb on top of that kind of hang from the ceiling fan? You know, could we take the cat and put her in there, whatever the case may be, we don’t have a cat, but you know, that their their lives are empowered by that word can. And I think there’s been a switch in my life, my life where that word can’t, you know, kind of rears its head. And some like, you can’t do that, or I can’t. And I think that that culture of Camp is something that I’m trying to let my voice Teach me. Because too often I think that in our lives, when we approach something that’s challenging the word can’t seems to pervade our thoughts. And I think with my kids, they’re teaching me that I need to spend that on its head. And let the Can I you know, kind of a positive question, really empower, where I’m going and where I’m moving. Because there’s great affirmation. When you kind of stand on top of that dresser or you climb that mountain, you say, I can, you know, I’ve done this. And so that’s one of the things that has really taught me how I need to change my thinking.
David Ralph [15:36]
I’ve been having conversations recently, in this week, where we’re just about to actually on the real time zone, released the 200th episode, we recorded it a couple of days ago. And this was a chap called Sean Warner and he was so inspirational, he’s actually voted one of the eight most inspirational men of all time. And when he was a child, he had cancer twice. And he’s the only person on earth to have cancer twice. And he said, the odds of his happening was like him winning the National Lottery four times, in succession with the same numbers, so you kind of put that he was put into a coma for a whole year to survive, he was given 14 days. Last Rites, basically, the priest came in and started sort of reading his last rites. And now he’s been at the top of Everest, he’s been up every single sword mountain on earth, and he just does not believe that can’t is a word that is there. And when you listen to him, you realise it’s only because of his focus on doing the stuff is not on his focus of the word is on the focus of doing the stuff. And that’s really what I suppose this show is about Matt Ham, and, you know, people listening to you today. They’re probably in a situation where they’re thinking, right, yeah, I’m busy. I’ve got a job. I’ve got kids, I’m exhausted by the end of it. But because you’re trying to do some other stuff, but you believe tonight can category you aren’t making it happen. You know, you’re doing your public speaking, you’re writing your books, you’ve got a podcast, you’ve got all these extra things that people think well, how is it the hell is he doing that? Because you’re making it happen you believe in the power of Can
Matt Ham [17:16]
I love that storey that you just shared with your tonight’s guest and congrats to you, man, what an honour that is. And you know that it’s really and truly David, I believe that storeys are the thing that is this fuel to our life, you know. So when you look at your passion, when you look at your dreams and your hopes, I believe that storeys that will fuel that in yourself, because it creates great hope when you see other people that, you know, have achieved a certain thing. And, and a lot of times, I think it’s a catch between, you know, a lot of people will look at somebody from the outside and say, Oh, he’s just trying to sell a book or he’s just trying to promote himself or whatever. But I think one of the noblest things that you can do is to be honest with yourself, about what you’ve gone through what you’ve learned, and then authentically and vulnerable, a share that with someone else and say, Hey, listen, you know, this is what has happened in my life, take it or leave it, it may or may not help you. I think there’s a lot of nobility in that. And I would encourage people, certainly as you turn the show is the storeys, that’s what really is the fuel. life change
David Ralph [18:21]
is fascinating. The whole theme of this morning shows and I’ve been recording back to back to back has touched on this essence of being not just authentic to yourself, but being truly open and authentic, not going out to hurt people, but providing value. And if somebody doesn’t respond to it, then well, hell, it doesn’t matter. They’re not going to be my target audience. But by being open and generous, the ones that do Love me Will passionately love me. And I’m seeing that time and time and time again, it’s always been something that you’ve kind of known naturally or through your work and you’re speaking is that something that has started to become more sort of relevant to you
Matt Ham [19:02]
know, I mean, and to be honest with you, in regards to my storey, for the longest time I recognised or felt this kind of passion or calling to speak, you know, I don’t really know, it, I can’t tell you exactly when it happened. I just know that when I was 18, I had the opportunity to kind of stand up in a church audience and share, you know, a testimony about a mission trip that I had going on. And and and that was the first time I really stood up and actually spoke about something that had been, you know, going on in my life and I was met then, and subsequently with a lot of encouragement anytime I had the chance to speak. But I always felt like I nobody’s going to listen to my storey. You know, I don’t have a storey to tell storeys are told by difference makers or needle Movers. You know, I’m a dad, and an insurance agent. I mean, like, who would listen to, to me and, and what I began to see is that a lot of times you have to trust in those kind of internal feelings and callings when they are noble, you know, certainly if they’re if they’re selfish, motivated, I don’t think that that you know that that would kind of give you the catch that maybe that’s something you shouldn’t follow. But when there when there’s a deep desire to do something that would add value to someone else’s life, and it’s a strength of yours, I would just encourage people to press into that. Because that is, I believe everybody has a certain set of gifts, and everybody’s looks different. And so it’s important for you to understand what your gift actually is. And as you press into that, do it with authenticity. And I think that that authenticity is going to drive, you know, the value and others lives. It’s funny, you mentioned it, because, you know, like you said, we just released pre orders for my book, and when the time this show airs, the book will actually be available, like the week after that. And it’s really challenging David, because this, this book is a book of storeys, about my life kind of my journey, but through the lens of other people that I’ve encountered. And as you put it out there, you kind of stand up and you see, you’re going to get some kind of positive feedback from this and praise. And you’re also going to get some criticism. And for me in my life, there’s always been this underlying need for approval. You know, I think that even as kids, you know, you want to have your parents approve you. And then in high school or middle school, your friends are, you know, I was big into sports, and so you want to succeed or, you know, win, and you want to be approved. And and, you know, especially in the American culture, there’s this idea that comes along with success and achievement in comparison. And and you get approval by, you know, earning trophies or, you know, by by earning money, or whatever it might be. And I think a lot of
David Ralph [21:41]
times Oh, just recognition, because there’s there’s a difference, isn’t there?
Matt Ham [21:45]
There is I think it’s recognition, but I think people are seeking it because of approval. Right? Um, you know, I think that I heard it said this way one time is that attention is a poor substitute for love. And, you know, if people have this deep seated longing to be like, loved or approved and kind of accepted, you know, that attention, you know, or recognition is a poor substitute for those things. And so, you know, in my own life, I’m trying to say, okay, you know, that at the core that there’s this thing, I don’t want one to kind of stand in front of the other. So that’s been something that I’ve definitely been trying to learn and understand. And it’s some it’s a delicate balance, you know. So that’s a fantastic way of thinking about it.
David Ralph [22:28]
I think, as you’re saying, I think that’s a really difficult balance. You love your farm bureau insurance industry, you’ve proud of what you’ve developed there. But also, you’ve got this other thing pulling you in a different direction. So you do actually feel that you can balance the two and one doesn’t have to give.
Matt Ham [22:46]
Yeah, I think that you can I really think that you can, I think that a lot of it, you know, for me, that that’s where that’s the season that I’m in right now, I think so many people, David are really ungrateful for where they are. And I think they’re ungrateful for where they are them never be grateful for where they’re going. And so I think that contentment is a huge word, but contentment is not complacency. You know, so often people say, Okay, if I’m content, that just means I need to be satisfied with where I am. And, you know, that there’s kind of a complacency to that. And, for me, what I’m learning is that I need to be grateful, exactly where I’ve been placed today, and what I’ve been entrusted with in this day, you know, and and that will be a catalyst for me. You know, as I step into, you know, new things, you know, there’s a, there’s a passage or a parable, it says he can be trusted with little can be trusted with much. And I think that, you know, we need to learn to be trusted, you know, with the little, you know, whatever that might be right now, before we can kind of be trusted with much,
David Ralph [23:45]
I think that’s an absolute nugget of gold there. And I want all the listeners to focus in on that, when you’re starting something, you will have dreams, you will have aspirations, and you will see people doing stuff, that’s amazing. It’s brilliant. That’s the kind of life that I want, I’m going to go for that. But it’s going to take time and effort to get there. And as Matt saying, you’re going to have times when you don’t want to beat yourself up, because I’m not as far forward as I want to be. But if you’re grateful, and the best way of being grateful is to look over your shoulder and see how far you’ve come, then you’ve got a chance of actually moving forward to where you want to go. If you get to that point, you go, our God, I should have been further ahead. This hasn’t happened. That hasn’t happened, Ben, you’re just causing yourself to sort of tie yourself to the nearest tree, really, and you’re not going to make those movements. I think that’s fundamental, isn’t it to the journeys that we talked about on the show, man,
Matt Ham [24:38]
it is David. And one of the things is that when you live a life rooted in comparison, you’ll never be satisfied. You know, and going along the theme of redefine rich, you know, when in my own life, and you said in the intro, you know, I had kind of achieved whatever level of success, I felt like I wanted to achieve, you know, if I said okay, I want to climb, you know, a good friend of mine tomorrow as a philosophy professor, Notre Dame, he retired, he now speaks across the country, and internationally as well. And Tom’s a great speaker and author, and he wrote a book called true success, but he talks about Hill a, and he’ll be on if you ever heard this before. But if a man sets out to climb the highest mountain that he can see, he climbs to the top of Hill a and it’s strenuous. And he’s climbing, you know, as any mountain climb would be. And he gets to the top of Hill, and he stands up and he looks around and surveys the land, he says I have arrived, and he looks in the distance and he sees he’ll be which is slightly higher. You know, so many times I think people let what is good, keep them from what is great. And so, if you have set out to to climb the highest mountain that you can see, when you get to the top of Hill a, you understand that that is a season. And that to go to he’ll be you’re going to have to go down through the valley into another season. And I think that when you when you do start to look at your life in that way and you let it inspire you and empower you to kind of climb the future hills that exists, there never becomes this person like I have arrived, you know, I am? You know it is it is it is here it is now, you know, I think that there. When you get to a point when you start looking and you look back on the hills that you’ve had the opportunity to climb and this success and achievement that you’ve had, and you use it to inspire, you know where you’re going, and you’re in this continual process of becoming, there’s never a point of achievement. There’s never a point of arrival, you certainly celebrate the victories. But it’s not based on the comparison piece. It’s based on you know, within yourself, rather than looking externally for value.
David Ralph [26:38]
It’s funny you say that this week, I’ve had huge success on the show, it’s suddenly sped up in many different ways. And I was kind of basking in it just for a little while. I’m not a good setup writer. I’m somebody that goes out. Wow, that’s amazing. That’s brilliant. And about three minutes later, I’m ready for the next bit. But on this one, it’s been so long getting there. But I hit the top iTunes and in a show like this. That’s, that’s amazing for my category. So I sort of sent it out to the world and said, This is amazing. You know, I’ve hit the top. And my mentor came back and he said, Yeah, well done. He said, You’ve now got to the top of the hill, start climbing the mountain. And it’s exactly what you were saying there. And and also you’re talking about Notre Dame, I was watching a film recently, and I saw it a couple of years ago. And I’ve seen it again, about a chap called moody who played for Notre Dame, yeah, you’re aware of that film. Great movie. he’s a he’s a brilliant movie. And it’s I’m sure it’s on Netflix or whatever, if anybody wants to dip in and find this. But that that just shows you somebody that wasn’t going to give an inch. And he was going to get he’s just rewards. And it’s amazing, amazing film, isn’t it?
Matt Ham [27:46]
It is the thing about Rudy, that’s so inspiring to me, David, and this goes in line with what we’re talking about here. You know, there’s the starting quarterback, there’s the starting receivers on the football team, American football team. And and those are the traditional what they skill players, right? Those are the people that are in the spotlight, those are the people that win like in college football, the Heisman Trophy, okay, or the most valuable player of the National Football League. And, and Rudy was, first of all, he was very short in stature, and he never was was going to be long and big enough to compete at that level. But he was on the practice squad for Notre Dame. And he said, I know that I’m not the quarterback, I know that I’m not the receiver, I know that I might not have the physical stature. But my effort level that I bring every single day to the practice field is going to make these guys better. And so for like four years, he had the opportunity to be on the practice squad. And he saw it is his absolute sole duty to make these other players better, even though he wasn’t getting to go on the field. And, and again, I’m not going to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it, go see it and watch what happens in the end of this movie. Because it’s so inspiring. And I think what’s really key about Rudy, is that he was he didn’t want to be quarterback, you know, he didn’t, he didn’t want to be the quarterback. He was I, the way he embraced his ability and opportunity to participate, even as a practice player was was something that I think so many people, you know, that I see in a culture, including myself, you know, I mean, when you set out to be a sales guy, you know, you like, if you have any kind of ambition, you like, I want to be the star player or the skill player or whatever. And instead of letting that be the drive, you just you start focusing on what you can bring, and how you can make those around you better. And, and opportunities I think will be birthed out of that.
David Ralph [29:37]
But let’s play some words that really sort of tie into the vibe of what we’re talking about at the moment. And that’s the finding the thing that you love, and the thing that you’re going to do everything you possibly can to achieve because you love it. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [29:52]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got to save job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. Now what
David Ralph [30:19]
I love about you, man, and it’s the words that I said in the introduction, I found myself empty regardless of my material well being or my financial prowess, I felt a longing for more you were longing as Jim Carrey was saying you were longing for something that you loved. You were longing for something that made you come alive, which was more of a new is actually getting, and you went for it. Did those words resonate with you as I do with me?
Matt Ham [30:46]
Oh, man, I love that speech by Jim Carrey. I love this storey to about how he wrote himself a check. And, you know, he, you know, as he grew and fame and started me kind of cash that check. And so it does. And I think what Jim Carrey saying is, is that you absolutely should chase your passions, you know, if, you know if you’re going to fail, fail at daring greatly. And I think that that’s incredibly important for me. You know, that’s really what I was kind of recognised within myself is that, you know, what, if I feel like that there’s something that I want to chase or something that I want to pursue? Why would I, you know, wait for it, you know, who’s, who’s approval? Or who’s, you know, who am I waiting to say, Okay, now it’s time, you know,
David Ralph [31:32]
the theme? Was that something that just slammed into you? Or was it just over a period of time you kind of fall? Hang on? I’m kind of letting myself down here,
Matt Ham [31:40]
though. No, it was it was absolute, an epiphany I, it was about 14 months ago, when I was, you know, doing my insurance agency. And I thought that this was just going to be you know, what I and there’s nothing wrong with it. In the sense, it’s just that I, I started kind of feeling something with inside churning, that there was this, this longing or drawing to speak, you know, and I didn’t know what it what it meant. But the words that I kept feeling like we’re resonating in my mind, we’re saying it’s time. And I’m kind of like time for what, you know, like, I’ve got, I’ve got three kids, and I don’t have time for anything. And as I met with my friend, Tom, you know, who said, you know, you need to start writing. That’s really where the journey began for me. So, yeah, it was an absolute epiphany. But the funny thing is, is I went back through my journal from years before, it had always been there. But I think that it was shut up by fear, and possibly shut up by my own perception of what you know, I was supposed to do. And, you know, and that was really the real catalyst for me is when I saw that and said, Wow, this has been here for a while,
David Ralph [32:52]
you’re not alone. I think literally, every single person says the same thing. The thing that they love doing and, you know, I mentioned is all the time because it is true. The tagline of the show is connecting our past to build our future. By looking back and seeing the things that we love doing. More often than not, there’s huge clues to what we should be doing. But we go for the education system, we come out with the desire for a job, it doesn’t matter what job is just a job. Jobs are hard to get by. So let’s get a job. And yeah, we do we pass all these passions in a box, and we put them away. And when we got the opportunity to open that box, it’s the world’s greatest gift, because it’s a gift. But you know, in your heart of hearts, you’ve already mastered, it’s better for you, now with you, because you entrepreneurial, but you are a family man as well, you must have been laying in bed with your wife over a period of time saying, I want more, I want more. And how did she support you? Because I know that that’s a conversation that so many entrepreneurs have, and their partners more often than not, don’t really understand why they want to do more when they’re already busy. And they’ve already got so much on their plate.
Matt Ham [34:01]
Yeah, so you know, my wife and I, she she is I love her to death. And she has been an absolute. She’s been my, the thing that keeps me going. My motivation for all this and just my encourager and my in my rock. And the funny thing is David, it wasn’t always that way. You know, back in a few years ago, before we had kids, my wife and I had a really difficult time becoming pregnant. And we had kind of put our value in starting a family. And we thought that that’s what the next step was for us. And when it didn’t happen, we kind of felt like we failed. And we just saw that, that wasn’t going to be the case for us. And so we kind of, in a way gave up on each other. And, you know, that is part of the storey, whereby we both came to a point that said, this is not who we want to be, this isn’t who we are. And so it almost took me losing my marriage, for me to really value it. And it in that in and of itself was kind of a solidifying reality, you know, the first principle or the first concept we really address in the book is on this path to kind of richness is the recognition that we’re broken. And and I think a lot of people don’t want to admit their broken places, but when they begin to understand that they’re they’re broken places, and that their adversity is in fact, what has created a foundation for them to build build upon if they allow it to heal properly. You know, it gives them incredible strength, because you know, that there’s there’s hope, that that was not in vain. And, and for my wife and I that, you know, part of our storey with our marriage was really a foundation that we could then build upon, so that when I did, you know, have three kids, and when we started wrestling through like, how in the world, because as I always joke with with folks, David, I said, you know, for the longest time, we were asking God for kids, and he gave us three within 15 months. I was like you got a sense, a humour there. And, and my wife and I were kind of wrestling with that, you know, that was the time when I was like, you know, Linda, as this is all leading me to a point. And I’m starting to feel these things. And we had the relationship at that point in time that was kind of built upon that foundation that was broken and therefore repaired. So that when I began to just want to do these things, she was incredibly, you know, she supported me and just the measurable ways. But one of the first things David is I had been wrestling with this in my head and hadn’t really told her about it. Because I was like, you know, I’ve got this job and these kids, and what would it look like for me to go and chase this dream and all the things that I’ve been doing. And she came to me one day, and she says, I could totally see you doing this. You mean being a speaker and an author and such? And I was like, do what I was like, Where did that come from? You know, and it was this affirmation, that, you know, she saw something in me that I saw within myself that I was doubting. And that for me was a huge kind of launching point. About 14 months ago.
David Ralph [37:02]
I think a man that is absolutely the same again, I know I had value when I was listening to your storey. I thought yeah, that’s exactly the same as me, I just knew, but I wanted more. And in many ways, I was annoyed at myself, but wanting more I used to look around at other people think you look just happy, you look happy doing your job? Why do I feel this way? Why do I want to do stuff that’s going to take effort and energy and might lead to disappointment? Why? Why? Why. But I just couldn’t overcome that feeling. And more often than not, I get emails from people. And they have that same feeling. They have that feeling that it’s time it’s time, but they don’t know what to do. And it’s time, but they don’t know how to do it. And there’s always kind of issues. But once you get that confirmation from someone, and the funny thing is Matt, you probably have this a lot. Once you actually start doing it and you become successful at it. The amount of people to come to you go are Yeah, you should have been doing this years ago, I was knew that he was going to be a speaker and a writer. It’s so obvious. I get that all the time people saying to me, yes, you should have been you should have been in radio, why? Why would you never be in radio, but you hold yourself back from it, don’t you and
Matt Ham [38:12]
you do it. So it’s so funny, not interrupt you. But you just said something, I was actually at a store the other day retail store and I ran into someone from from high school. And you know, I guess they had seen some of the stuff going on Facebook or Twitter about the book release and all that kind of stuff. She’s like, I was talking with a high school English teacher the other day, and I just told her, you know, what she had going on. And she was like, I always knew he was going to do that. And I was like, I was terrible. Like in English. You know, there’s no way in the world that my English teacher would have ever thought that write a book, you know, and but and that’s, that’s the hilarious thing about it to me, David is, you know, we often we tell ourselves things, that is absolute, absolute fabrication, and we allow ourselves to believe things that are that are not true. And and that’s where we go back to what I what my whole purpose is, is not provide answers, but to provide perspective, because that’s where I think your your thought processes begin to change around, you know, what is in fact, inside of you that needs to be harnessed, and and what you know, use that as as a way to kind of begin,
David Ralph [39:18]
it’s it’s annoying, isn’t it? Matt? When people say find your passion? Because until it arrives, you just don’t know? Yes. Okay. We do know, because it was what we used to do when we were younger, and we kind of pass it away somehow. But for so many of us, we just don’t know. But it is a truth, isn’t it about once he realised his itself, and he comes to the fore? You kind of slap yourself in the head and think, how can I be so blind? It was bad over time?
Matt Ham [39:46]
Well, I think that it is, but we only get to that point of clarity. You know, when we, when we press on, you know, when we persist? You know, there’s a there’s a another point in the book, we talk about two words, humility, and confidence. And, you know, I think culturally, a lot of times we see humility and confidence is these polar opposites that you can’t be both confident and humble. It’s like pick one, okay. And if you pick one, you’re arrogant. And if you pick one, you’re you’re meek, you know or timid. And, and that’s not what I believe at all, I think that there’s an incredible amount of confidence that we all can have in our natural gift things in our passions, but we have to kind of embrace those with humility. Because as we kind of phrase it, you know, confidence minus humility equals arrogance, you know, so you need to have that level of humility with what you do, and see it as adding value to others. And in start doing that, humbly, where you are right now, you know, like, like I said, For me, it wasn’t like at 22. You know, I was like, man, I’d love to speak someday. But you know, I started going into the field that I was in, in real estate, and I started just doing the best that I could do, you know, bringing every effort that I could to the table each day there and went through those those failures and successes over the period of the last 10 or 12 years before I began to see, hey, there’s some consistency and theme in here, you know, and there’s a storey that’s being told, and and having the confidence to share it, because I had, you know, kind of been humbled by that process.
David Ralph [41:23]
So how did you write your first word, but that’s a key thing, you’re sitting down, you want to be an offer. But now you’ve got that book in your hand, and it’s on the shelf, you have an offer. And that kind of frees you up really to have the belief to do it again, do it again. But the very first time that you sit down at a laptop, you’ve got this idea, how did you start actually doing it and making yourself believe but yes, I can write 200 pages here, it’s going to be worthwhile, people are going to want to read this.
Matt Ham [41:51]
You know, you know, David, it was absolutely a storey that I was simply a bystander in. And as I started to write, you know, the way I always encourage people to write even if they don’t think they can writers, they don’t want to. And for me, it started by just asking questions, you know, it’s like, What am I supposed to do here? You know, who am I supposed to serve? What value can I add in and honestly, within a day, I had a storey that it happened from eight years in my past. And in talking about reflecting on the past, that’s what was the catalyst for my storey. So I’ll share that with you quickly. It was eight years ago, when my aunt who I was very close with was diagnosed with non Hodgkins lymphoma. And she was the type of person that I call her a Disney person in the book, you know, she, she always saw, like, the happy ending and an end, and not every Disney movie, you know, like, tragedy is overcome, you know, with victory. And that’s just the way we thought that her cancer diagnosis was going to end. And it wasn’t until, you know, I was getting that call from my uncle to go and see her in the hospital, when I realised that she was really sick. And as I entered her hospital room, you know, she’s laying on the bed, there’s no one else in the room and the lights kind of casting this glow on her. And I didn’t know what to say to I was 25, or something at the time. And I walk over to her and I get down by her bedside, and I’m just crying and holding her hand, I would say it’s my aunt, and she’s dying. And as I’m sitting there, remembering all this, as I’m writing the storey out, I remember a nurse entering the room and walking over to my hand. And she places a pillow underneath my aunt’s abdomen. And my aunt was really struggling to breathe and her lungs were filling with fluid and her chest was kind of collapsing on itself. And this pillow allowed this, you know, fresh air to rush into her lungs, and it kind of lifted my spirits enter in her chest. And in one breath, she took a deep breath. And she exhaled and looked at the nurse and said, You make my life easy. And this nurse look right back at my hand and said, You make my life rich. And I’m 25 years old writing about this. I’m 32 years old writing about this, you know, eight years ago, seven years ago. And as soon as I wrote those words down, David, it was like they were written in neon, you make my life rich. And I just put my I put my pen down and put my hands on my head. And it was as clear as day to me that this is what this book supposed to be about. And I was like, What book, I didn’t think I’m supposed to write a book, I was just kind of writing, you know, journal entries or blog entry. And it was that that was the catalyst for me. And I shut it up for a few weeks. But But then, number weeks later, I kind of had this, this vision, this dream of what this book was supposed to be about. And I was supposed to interview people and ask people their storey. And it all started to kind of come together in my mind. And I just knew the next step was being obedient to that calling. And, and so I started writing that storey and using my aunt’s, you know, those words exchange between her and her nurse is the catalyst for me to go on this journey and search for what the nurse meant when she said, You make my life rich. And it became a process for me redefining what it means to be rich, and I don’t want to be, you know, presumption was that I had the definition of richness. But for me, it has been a journey. It’s been a journey about redefining what richness is all about. And so that’s why, you know, we call it a new perspective on the good life. And so that is really how it began for me. And what is still to this day, you know, kind of the foundation of this message is that it’s,
David Ralph [45:23]
that’s fantastic. Because in my own storey, I built this whole show around the words of Steve Jobs. And I remember having these words played to me, and I read them and I listened to them. And they just kind of hung around in my head constantly, constantly, constantly. It’s amazing how one person’s words communication, so simple at the time, it seems, can literally change your life. And that nurse, she might upset that 100 times in those situations, she might have said it 1000 times she might have known. But that’s the right thing to say. But at that moment, it was never more Why was it because he’s changed you and you are going to be changing other people’s lives as well. What a gift.
Matt Ham [46:05]
No, absolutely. And a ripple effect, you know, and that’s one of the things that we really kind of try to empower people to is that you might think that what you your passion might not matter, or that you can make a difference, but that that nurse, those five words, you make my life rich, set. I mean, they changed me as a person absolutely changed me. And now the people that that’s kind of rippling to, it just blows me away. And and and here, this nurse, you know is it has really been the catalyst for all of that. So absolutely. If people don’t hear anything else from this episode, your life can have an incredible impact and legacy. But it starts with you, you know, understanding that truth?
Unknown Speaker [46:51]
Which is the point play
David Ralph [46:52]
the words of Steve Jobs that changed my life. Are you going to keep the nurse a book? Are you going to find don’t give up hope? Because that that that would be powerful when it?
Matt Ham [47:03]
Well, you know, it’s funny, David is as as a journey through this, I was talking with my uncle. And he said, you know, we know the nurse. And I was like, you know, the nurse. And he said, Yeah, and her name is Melanie. And I had never shared this before, anywhere. But I had the opportunity to call her. And as soon as I called her, I started getting emotional. And I think it was overwhelming for her. Because she remembered it because she took care of my grandmother a couple years later, when my grandmother was dying of cancer. Emily and I have connected. And it’s one of those things where I do believe that you know, she will have a part in this storey. But I want it to be her opportunity, you know, not me saying hey here. And so absolutely, you know, I’m certainly going to do anything and everything I can to be generous to Melanie, and however we can help her. And I definitely believe that when she’s ready, that her storey will be told as part of this. And, in fact, her and I are supposed to get lunch soon. So yeah, it’s amazing. That’s another thing David is before you play the Steve Jobs bit is that when you start to walk down that path in your life, you will be blessed with amazing opportunities and affirmation. Just like I was with the storey of this nurse who A year later, I found out her name have conversation with her, and I’m gonna have the chance to sit down and talk with her in person.
David Ralph [48:36]
Another thought on your timeline.
Matt Ham [48:40]
David Ralph [48:41]
This is the words of Steve Jobs, as we’ve been alluding to, and as always, by our hugely powerful Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [48:48]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [49:24]
mean something to you those was
Unknown Speaker [49:27]
just a bit.
Unknown Speaker [49:29]
Matt Ham [49:32]
You know, for me, this whole journey has been connecting dots. A quick little snippet storey David, I began seven years ago, wearing a bow tie on Fridays. And I called it bow tie Friday. And for me, it was a challenge a day or if you will, around my office, a lot of guys were kind of dressing down on Fridays. And I just said I’m going to kind of swim upstream and wear a bow tie is kind of a not the fight the system mentality. But it became a charge for me that said, you know, if a bow ties seen in a certain light Could I redefined that paradigm. And so I began wearing a bow tie and try to bring character and integrity to my business. And Botha Friday was birthed. And, you know, as I began writing, I saw that the bow tie kind of paradigm of wearing a bow tie was very similar to this kind of path of redefining what it means to be rich, you know, kind of redefining that bow tie paradigm. And in for me bow tie Friday just was a natural part of redefine rich. And that’s why on the front cover of the book, you see a bow tie untied. Kind of breaking that paradigm of, you know, of what it means to be rich or wealthy. And that the interesting thing talking about Join Up Dots, as I’ve mentioned, my storey of my aunt Trish, is that she actually made me my first bow tie. You know, it was my senior prom. And I wanted an orange bow tie because my school colours. And as I began this whole journey, I look back and found a picture of my aunt Anna on senior prom, and I’m wearing an orange bow tie she made me. So it was just a reminder that this is part of the storey that my life’s been telling all along. And to keep walking that road.
David Ralph [51:16]
Somebody said to me on one of the episodes and I forget who it was now, because Blimey, they blow into one they really do. But I remember the that the messages that people gave me. And he was saying that the trouble with life is we see the big picture, we see the big picture of what needs to be achieved. But we don’t zoom into it close enough to see all the dots but make up the big picture. And that’s about right, isn’t it?
Matt Ham [51:41]
Absolutely right. That’s a great perspective.
David Ralph [51:44]
Right, this is the end of the show, Matt. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic. And this is when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and have a word with the young Matt, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give what we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic. Man
Matt Ham [52:30]
How would go back to
2009 which would have made me from 2728 years old before we had children. And it was a very, very dark time for us, for my wife and I and I would have resonated some words that were pinned in one of the Gospel accounts and it says take heart and do not fear. Because in this world, you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world. And I say that because I was very afraid. And I was losing my heart that there could possibly be any hope, you know, at this point in time. And as I look back now, you know in in my brokenness and in my adversity, how been polished through experience and I wouldn’t change any of it is just it’s you know, it’s made my life rich. And And that for me is our words that I believe that I needed to hear at that time. You know, in lieu of losing hope.
David Ralph [53:52]
Man, how can our audience connect with you say
Matt Ham [53:56]
well, everything is that Matt ham com ma TT h A in I’m one of them on ham I get that a lot. But Matt ham calm is the site where you can connect with my blog. Links to the podcast. Certainly social media. On Twitter. I’m at ham with an S are behind it senior because we got a little Junior running around but but yeah, and then everything from the book, David can be found at redefine rich.com
David Ralph [54:23]
last question, Matt, just before we say goodbye to you, do you think everybody out there can have a real kick ass life?
Matt Ham [54:29]
Absolutely. I think that and the way I view that is richness. And I believe that richness is waiting, and that our storeys are waiting to be pinned. And so we have to have first the perspective that will need to kind of guide us down that path. But but absolutely the book closes with a great charge for people to live a rich storey. And and that’s what I hope people will do.
David Ralph [54:52]
I hope people go over and buy in, in their thousands and their millions because it is a message that needs to be shared really does. Matt, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Matt, thank you so much.
Matt Ham [55:14]
David Have a great day brother.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.