Ep 050

The Soul of Wealth, Money vs Happiness, & How to Write a Book


Daniel Crosby

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Inside This Episode

Today, I’m talking with Dr. Daniel Crosby, a psychologist and behavioral finance expert who helps organizations understand the intersection of mind and markets.

As the Chief Behavioral Officer at Orion Advisor Solutions, Daniel develops tools and tech that make it easier for financial advisors to apply behavioral science to the real world.

He’s authored books such as: “The Laws of Wealth,” which was named the best investment book of 2017 by the Axiom Business Book Awards AND “The Behavioral Investor”, which provides a comprehensive look at the neurology, physiology and psychology of sound financial decision-making. He’s also about to release The Soul of Wealth: 50 Reflections on Money and Meaning, which you can now pre-order.

In this episode, Daniel and I talk all about the relationship between money and living a meaningful and happy life. We also talk about what I call the “Entrepreneurial Lie”, his latest book, The Soul of Wealth, his book writing process, how to lead from a place of authenticity, and so much more!

3 of the biggest insights from Daniel Crosby

  • #1 The psychological connection between money and happiness – and how to break the cycle of putting work before everything else.

  • #2 Daniel’s framework for writing a book with impact and the simple steps any advisor can take to overcome writer’s block and knock out that first book – regardless of how busy your schedule is. 

  • #3 The power of authentic leadership – and how to build genuine connections by embracing imperfections and showing vulnerability.


  • Destigmatizing mental health
  • The relationship between money & happiness
  • Navigating the entrepreneurial lie
  • The 3 principles to living a purposeful life
  • The Soul of Wealth
  • Daniel’s framework for writing a book
  • Top regrets of the dying
  • Real Friends VS. Deal Friends
  • Leading with competence and warmth
  • Geeking out on sports card collecting







David Crosby

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  • When you start to question convention, you see that a lot of the rules that exist in life and business are just for convenience or because everyone else did it that way. I personally found it very freeing to scrap convention and do something different.” – Daniel Crosby

  • If you do what everyone else is doing, you’re going to get what everyone else gets.” – Daniel Crosby

  • I think sometimes we wait til it’s too late to do life.” – Daniel Crosby

  • We’re all living inside our heads. And when we keep up this ruse of perfection, we don’t allow other people in.” – Daniel Crosby

Brad Johnson: Welcome back to another episode of Do Business, Do Life. Have the one and only Daniel Crosby here with us today. Welcome to the show, my man.

Daniel Crosby: Thanks, Brad. Great to be here.

Brad Johnson: Well, as I was preparing for this, I’m like, where do we start? Because it was fun. I think Aaron Klein introduced us originally because you’d just spoken at the time, a Riskalyze conference, now renamed Nitrogen. And he said, “Hey, I got just the guy you need to have on the show.” And at the time, it was circa 2017-ish or sometime around, it was the bitcoin bull market is all I remember because we got into that in the first interview and talked about behavioral finance. And so, anyway, it’s been fun. We ran into each other at Future Proof a few months back. And I just love your work. I love how you show up. You have a lot of fun while you do it, and so, I have no clue where this conversation is going to go, but I’m excited for the journey. So, any thoughts as we kick this thing off just rattling around the head lately?

Daniel Crosby: Lots. Lots on the meaning of life. We’ve been going deep, as you can tell by my cardigan. I’ve been very serious-minded of late, but now, the feeling is absolutely mutual, man. Love watching what you’re building. I’m an absolute Triad fanboy. I think I like every single post on Instagram, which may be getting a little awkward, but it’s good to be here too.

Brad Johnson: Hey, in the early days, we only had one or two likes. So, I’m just grateful you are one of them, man. So, I appreciate all the support we can get. Well, as we dive in, I know some might not be as familiar or didn’t hear previous episodes. Really, you’ve been a pioneer the way I look at it in something that was much needed. I feel like therapy in general. In the general population, it’s becoming more normalized lately. I’ve had more conversations the last two, three years with clients, with advisors, with husbands, wives that my wife Sarah and I know. And it’s almost like what was very taboo, I think COVID helped as well, is becoming something like people, hey, it’s okay to talk to somebody if you’re having issues. So, you’ve got that, the therapist side of you, but you really blazed the trail and brought a lot of that into finance around the behavioral finance work. So, just give me your take on like what’s creating that need or filling that void and what’s really driven that.

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. Well, I think there’s a gradual destigmatization that’s been going on. But you made a great point about COVID. When we look at COVID, so here in Atlanta, and it was similar in the UK and different parts of the US that I’m familiar with. But calls to mental health crisis hotlines were up 400% in those first couple of months around COVID.

Brad Johnson: Wow.

Daniel Crosby: So, if you look at the research around what makes people happy, what leads to thriving and flourishing, relationships are always at the very top of that list. So, among the many things that COVID changed was COVID just rocked us from a wellbeing perspective because the thing that’s most predictive of our happiness, of our wellbeing got taken away from us. We were all trapped in our houses and, yeah, so I think COVID threw us in some respects into a mental health crisis, but hopefully catalyzed a willingness to talk about feelings and emotions and mental health stuff too.

But I just think we have a huge problem, right? I mean, we have a huge problem. You know I’ve been talking to you and texting with you about some of the stuff I’m looking into right now. A few years ago, we had the first decline in longevity, the first decline in life expectancy in the US in peacetime ever. And one of the main drivers of that is what we call deaths of despair, which is overdose and suicide, drug deaths and suicide. So, we’re in this place in this country where we’re increasingly well-off or increasingly wealthy as a country and as a world, but there’s something missing, right? I mean, there’s something missing and in some respects, that’s what your whole business is founded on, this idea that you can have an extremely successful career and everything looks incredible from the outside looking in.

But your life, the business part of the equation can be quite good. The life side, not quite so much. I mean, I could kind of go on and on about the crumbling foundations of sort of our well-being and the institutions that support that well-being. But yeah, lots of people have not been doing life. And I think that people are getting bolder and braver about reaching out for help, which is nothing but a good thing.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Big topic. Well, one, obviously, as you said, it’s really close to my heart and I think specifically in finance and obviously, you’ve done work with the many books you’ve written, you’ve done– The Laws of Wealth was more focused on behavioral finance to the retail investor, the population out there. And then the next book, Behavioral Investor, was more financial professional focus. I see the need in both places when it comes to Do Business, Do Life. You see a lot of our clients that work with retirees where these people have slaved away, basically sacrificed all their most meaningful years for more money in the bank account, and then they get up to retirement. They’re like, what do I do? I don’t even know who I am anymore. Like, how do I even travel? How do I talk to my spouse because I’ve been slaving my whole life away?

And then you take that and amplify it. You see that all the time in finance. I call it the entrepreneurial life. I’m providing for my family. Obviously, finance is still, although this is changing, and that’s good. It’s still heavily white male influenced on the financial advisor side. But you see a lot of these guys that are just slaving away, missing family dinners, missing ballgames. And then they look up and they’re an empty nester that’s a multimillionaire. And then, like, I would buy all that time back if I could, but it’s too late.

So, as a dad, as a husband, obviously, all that work is really meaningful to me. So, you hit some of the statistics with COVID. What are other statistics you see around happiness and money and just what’s called through the do business, do life ones that have been surprising that might be of interest out there to listeners?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. Did you call it the entrepreneurial lie? Is that what you called it? Yeah, I like that. So, I want to run with that for a minute because I think that some of the most pernicious lies that we tell ourselves have an element of truth, right? And so, this idea that like, oh, hey, I’m working hard, I’m supporting my family, is true. But it’s maybe not the most true thing. And it allows us to get away with some things that you talked about to let the family die or to neglect their health or lots of other sort of worthwhile activities because we’re doing this thing that sounds virtuous or seems self-sacrificial when it may be avoiding some larger truth.

So, I think a lot of people who would never go out and do something bad or just outright ignore their family will have a similar impact because it has the sort of tinge or the appearance of something good. So, when it comes to happiness and money, Viktor Frankl, who’s kind of like my professional hero, he had this line that ever more people have the means to live, but no meaning to live for. And you’re seeing that a lot, right? So, whoa, I’ve been doing this research right now. You go back, you look through human history.

And for most of human history, we’ve just been squeaking by. I mean, as recently as the founding of the US, so the late 1700s, the average life expectancy is just below 40 years. And if you look at civilizations in North America not that long ago, in some places, the violent death rate was 60%. So, most of the people you knew were going to die in war. And you can kind of go on and on, right? As recently as the founding of this country worldwide, 92% of people lived in poverty. That number is 9% today. So, all of these things have happened. Life used to be– Thomas Hobbes said life was poor, nasty, brutish, and short. That all used to be true for most of human history.

And if you condense human history down to one calendar year, this country was founded on December 29th. So, for most of human history, we have been trying to stay warm, trying to avoid people who are after us and trying to get enough to eat. And that’s kind of how we’re wired. Well, now, we live in a world where there’s way more abundance and, especially among the people that we work with and the people that we serve as clients, there’s way more abundance. But those problems haven’t gone away. Those problems have just gotten pushed up Maslow’s hierarchy. So, if you think about the base of Maslow’s hierarchy, it’s things like warmth and food and safety, well, we’ve got that, right? Nobody you work with is fearful for their safety with any regularity. They got plenty to eat. They got plenty of money.

But as we tick off those sort of bases of the pyramid, our concerns become spiritual and psychological and relational. And that’s what we’re finding right now is a country full of well-to-do people who have a spiritual sickness or who have a psychological or relational sickness. And that’s why I’m so proud of Triad for starting the business model that they have because it’s an implicit recognition that that’s the case, right? You maybe couldn’t have cited all those stats, but you saw that that was happening and you tried to address it. So, that’s I think where we find ourselves is we have more than we’ve ever had before, but we still feel like something’s missing and we’re trying to figure out what to do about it.

Brad Johnson: What’s fun about this conversation, because I promise right now, there’s advisors out there listening in or watching it and saying, “Yep, that kind of sums it up to me. I’m making more money than I ever thought I would. I’ve got that car that I always wanted as a kid that was on that poster. Now, I have it. And that didn’t make me happy. What’s more out there,” right? And they’re trying to solve that same problem for the retiree clients feeling the same way. So, I love that it applies to both there, the do business, do life side because we’ve mentioned it a couple times. So, I just think it’s worth mentioning because Shawn and I have had the question, I’ll just come up with this amazing idea. And it’s kind of an underwhelming answer, like we just listened. We had these super successful advisors that we grew up in the business with them. And we kind of all started out and then here’s how to market. Oh great. I’ve got appointments coming in. Oh, I’m saying what I need to say where the majority that need to work with me are working with me. And you’ve got an ops team now that’s delivering on the promises.

And as that becomes more successful, it’s like, wait, now, like I looked at my calendar and I haven’t been to one of my kid’s games for two weeks because this business is eating me alive. The business they built to bless their life became their life, essentially. And so, a lot of do business, do life in the integration versus the tug of war that balances came from a core need. As these advisors, as these founding entrepreneurs became more successful, it did not create more freedom. And that was the whole goal of building their own business and running their own business in the first place.

So, let’s go back to the entrepreneur lie because I want to get your take because you’ve been a therapist too. So, you’ve been in a lot of these conversations behind closed doors. Is there part of it that on the business side, their safety, there’s almost like a retreat because it’s like, I kind of know how the rules work inside of my business? And I get home and now, I’ve got teenagers, man, that’s a different set of rules. And I can tell you as a parent, there’s not always a playbook to addressing that. So, is some of that also a retreat to safety in the known because obviously, they want to be a great dad and a great husband? I think everybody wants to be that, but sometimes, it’s like really hard to actually do it, and so, I retreat back to what I know. What are your thoughts there?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. So, this is a really brilliant observation. And you’re always going to get some studies with me, right? So, there were studies done during World War II, if you think about London, right? London shelled absolutely, relentlessly during World War II. The exurbs and the suburbs of London caught some fire as well, but nothing like the nightly bombing that was going on in London proper. Now, when the doctors and the physicians and the psychologists and everyone descend on London and try and sort out the wreckage, the human wreckage of that after the war was over, they found something that surprised them at the time, which is that the incidence of PTSD, the incidence of ulcers and other stress-related ailments were a lot worse in the exurbs than they were in London itself. And it’s sort of counterintuitive because you go, “Well, wait a minute,” like London got shelled 10x the extent of the suburbs. The difference was the predictability of it, right?

If you lived in London, things were bad, but you knew what to expect. Every night, you black out your windows, you get ready, you hunker down, and you just know it’s going to suck. You know what to expect versus the element of uncertainty that the people out in the suburbs were dealing with. You see the same thing all over the place with humankind that we prefer even a bad known to uncertainty or complexity. You look at a slight majority of adult children of alcoholics marry alcoholics themselves. And you go, why? If anyone has had a front row seat to the chaos of living with an alcoholic, it’s these folks and they, of all people, should want to avoid that and keep far away from that in their own lives. And yet, 51%, 52% of adult children of alcoholics wind up with alcoholics themselves because it’s a chaos that they know, right? It’s a chaos that they know and they have become skilled in managing.

So, back to the entrepreneurial lie, it’s like, well, hey, work’s not perfect. There’s certainly things I don’t like about it, but I’m important here and the rules of the rules. And if I’m the boss, people listen to me, right? I got a 14-year-old. She doesn’t always listen to me, but you know.

Brad Johnson: I’m glad we’re in the same boat there with teenagers. That’s reassuring.

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. She’s a wonderful kid, to be fair, but I’m not batting a thousand on terms of my wishes getting executed. So, there’s a simplicity and a hierarchical nature to the nature of work. And work rewards you, right? I mean, you and I can go to award show and pick up a plaque and get an award and get money and get all these nice pats on the back that you don’t always get at home. So, there is a regularity and a rhythm and a certainty to work life that doesn’t always exist in family life. And I think it’s a great insight on your part.

Brad Johnson: All right, so let’s go business therapist for a second. So, let’s say an ultra successful, founder, financial advisor walks into your office and you’re doing a therapy session. And they kind of express what we just talked about. Like, man, I know I’m dropping the ball on the DL on the do life side, but I’m just having a tough time breaking away and kind of course correcting. What sort of things would you, what questions would you be asking them? How would you start to pull them out of this doom loop that they’re in?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. So, first of all, you got to start with why, right? I know you just had I know you just had Simon Sinek at your event and– I’m sorry, it’s not an event? Experience?

Brad Johnson: I wasn’t going to correct you, but yes, we do experiences, not events. Thank you.

Daniel Crosby: My bad. You just had Simon Sinek and your experience, right? And he’s talked about the power of why. I’ve been digging in on the why because this is become one of those truisms, right? We start with why and like his stuff’s gone mega viral for a good reason. It’s very good. But I’m trying to ask the question, what does why look like? And as I’ve gotten into the research, I’ve really found that there’s three things that that purpose needs to take its full shape. And I call it, believing, belonging and becoming right, which I’ve looked up and see that some churches use. But I’m stealing it from these churches and using it for a different task.

Brad Johnson: Ask for permission or ask for forgiveness, I should say.

Daniel Crosby: That’s right. So, when we look at the research around purpose, you got these, these three facets. So, one is believing right? This is your meaning needs rules. You know back to the unpredictability, the chaos piece. We need a life script, the rules by which we live our lives, right? This could be a philosophy, like stoicism, right? So, Ryan Holiday and all this stoicism has become very big in our world. Maybe you want to live a stoic life and those principles resonate with you. Maybe it’s spirituality or religion. Maybe it’s self-constructed, right? But you need some sort of framework for living your life. So, this person that’s coming into my office, my assumption is going to be like that maybe needs a little tweaking. What are the rules of engagement? What do they believe about life and the good life? And I would want to understand that in greater detail.

Brad Johnson: Would that be fair? So, once we kind of get to the why and the believing portion, at that point, is that where you would start to set non-negotiables and boundaries, or do we go further down the track before we start to figure out what those trade-offs are?

Daniel Crosby: Well, let’s talk about the other two and then circle back to that, right?

Brad Johnson: Okay, cool.

Daniel Crosby: The second piece is belonging, right? You need to be important. You need to matter to someone. So, that’s where I want to have a conversation with this entrepreneur about who are the someones in your life that you want to matter to and why? Who are the people you want to matter to and why? And then the third piece is becoming. This is that goal. This is that carrot that’s out in front of you. What are your goals? What are you striving for? How are you going to be better tomorrow than you are yesterday? And I feel like people who are in crisis, people who are in transition like this, all three of these facets of purpose are important to understand, right? What do they believe about the world around them? Who in that world matters to them, and who are they trying to become? And once I think you know those three things, you can start to formulate where are the deficiencies and where can we be of service.

Brad Johnson: So, just kind of simplifying this, if I look at this like a math problem, kind of believing plus belonging plus becoming, once you’ve kind of defined each of those equals this other thing on the other side of where it’s kind of a destination that I want to end up the why. And then it’s really based on current, like, one of my favorite sayings is your calendar doesn’t lie. So, if I look at my calendar and I’m like, “Wow, okay, well, here’s what I believe, who belongs or who matters, and what I want to become,” how does that calendar reflect? Is that going to get me to that destination or no? And that’s where you could maybe start to back into some of those boundaries. Is that fair?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. And I think, I wrote in my new book, The Soul of Wealth, about your budget doesn’t lie. It’s the same concept, right? Like, we have these purported these stated values, like, where are you spending your money, how you value health. We all value health, but how much money did you spend on personal trainers versus Chick-fil-A? Like, let’s talk about Chick-fil-A is good.

Brad Johnson: That balance is probably off in Atlanta is going to be my guess.

Daniel Crosby: My balance is off in that respect. I won’t lie to you about that. No, so you think about, let’s go back to the DBDL thing, right? We use meaning and purpose interchangeably. Sometimes I’m going to use meaning as like sort of holism here. So, your formula is believing plus belonging plus becoming equals meaning, I’ll call it, right? Usually, there’s some sort of balance. So, the becoming portion is I want to be the world’s greatest financial advisor, whatever that looks like. I want to serve 150 households or whatever that goal is. That’s a lovely goal. That’s a virtuous goal. But not in isolation. And sometimes, people have over-indexed on that and they’ve forgotten about the family, the belonging, and maybe the rules of life, the non-negotiables that you talked about, the believing. So, sometimes, like you said, with that entrepreneurial lie, we can be in pursuit of something that has the potential to be good, but we need moderation and balance and all these things. And if one gets out of whack with the other, I think that’s where you get the people in your office.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. All right. I want to transition because before we hit record here, I was kind of, I said, “Hey, let’s not just make this a book report because what’s cool is any time we get together, I just love the deep conversations we have. You’re a deep thinker. You’ve got lots of incredible insights.” I was like, “Let’s just hit record and see where this goes.” But as we were kind of doing the timeline of your books, and I know you wrote a book or two before Laws of Wealth, but let’s kind of like kick it off there.

So, Laws of Wealth was really written for the general public, behavioral finance package for them. Then the next book, Behavioral Investor, it was for behavioral finance packaged for financial professionals and then, not released yet, but I do know you have a cover or maybe two, and you can get into that if you want, but The Soul of Wealth is your upcoming book. And you said this is applying behavioral finance applied to the meaning of life, which is really cool because you’re like, it’s kind of the DBDL timeline going from business to life and money to meaning and all of that. So, let’s do a little preview, whatever you’re open to sharing with the world out there, The Soul of Wealth, and apply your thought process and how you’ve kind of evolved as you’ve written more books.

Daniel Crosby: It’s funny, like, I hadn’t articulated it in the DBDL since, but then when I started talking to you, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s exactly how my books have flowed.” So, the Laws of Wealth and The Behavioral Investor, both of which I’m very proud of and stand by the contents of, they were written for a very specific business purpose, right? The first one was written to kind of give me a foothold in this space. Behavioral finance is sort of a much of a discipline. And so, most of us are either psychologists, like me, who learned about finance or financiers who are studying about psychology. And so, it’s not like, well, now you can. But when I was starting out, it’s not like you could just go get a degree in this and sort of be credible. You needed to sort of put your stamp on something.

So, The Laws of Wealth was really this thing that I wrote to say like, “Hey, I’m here and this is what I want to believe. This is what I believe, and this is what I think about the world of behavioral finance,” right? Then I want to kind of take it up a level of complexity and talk about the specific asset management applications of behavioral finance, which I think are understudied. And I’ve been talking to your CIO about that. We’re having fun talking about that stuff. So, that was the second…

Brad Johnson: You and Brent have been chopping it up? Even tell me, why is he holding out on me?

Daniel Crosby: Are you holding out, man? Yeah, we’ve been talking.

Brad Johnson: Hey, Brent, if you’re listening to this, not cool, man. So, I’m going to have to have a word with you, but yeah, that’s awesome, I love it.

Daniel Crosby: Don’t mention it to him. And now, you’ll know if he listens to the show or not.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. There you go.

Daniel Crosby: You go. But so, those two were written for a very specific business purpose. Now, The Soul of Wealth, available for preorder now, coming out in October, this is where I said, look, I’ve helped people select good securities. I’ve helped them stay the course, have peace of mind, on and on and on. If they’ve done the things that are written in those first two books, they’re going to run into some money. They are. Like, I mean, that’s the path.

If you’re maximizing your own human capital, you’re investing prudently, you’re going to have more than you need 99 times out of 100. And yet, I’m still seeing this lack of enough. I’m still seeing this lack of connection. I’m seeing people chasing the wrong dream and arriving at that financial goal with a broken family and a broken heart and, like, how can I help to do this? And the way that I patterned The Soul of Wealth, have you read Rick Rubin’s book?

Brad Johnson: I have not.

Daniel Crosby: It’s really good. So, Rick Rubin, the famous producer, he worked with Jay-Z, Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, all these great folks.

Brad Johnson: Well, based on our shared X back and forth on the songs that we just had the other day, I know we have a shared passion and an eclectic taste for music. So, if it’s a recommendation, I’m adding it to the list.

Daniel Crosby: He’s a fantastic guy. And he has an HBO documentary that’s just super cool, too. But I read this book, it’s all about creativity. And I see creativity is like one of the highest in sort of the highest callings of humankind. So, I read this book about creativity. And it’s like 70 essays and they’re all like two or three pages long. And I found the format so enjoyable because I could read something, I could kind of ponder on it, I could share it with my family at dinner. And then the next day, five minutes of reading, I’m back and I’m thinking about something new.

The Soul of Wealth is written in that format. It’s actually 50 essays. And so, these essays are like three to five pages a piece, each like a quick hit or little topic. So, The Soul of Wealth is really inspired by Rick Rubin’s work and the desire, there’s knowledge and there’s wisdom, right? Those first two books were about knowledge, imparting knowledge. But I feel like there’s a dearth of wisdom in our world today. Like, even if you ask the average person, you ask a kid, ask a college student, “Where do you go for knowledge?” And they’re going to go, “I got a phone in my pocket with all the knowledge in the world.” And that’s right. We have more access to knowledge than we’ve ever had before. But you ask the average person, “Where do you go for wisdom?” And you’re going to get a funny look.

And so, The Soul of Wealth is about taking all that knowledge you’ve accumulated and turning that into wisdom. So, the hope is that over the course of a year even, you take one of these essays a week, you read it, you think on it, you apply it, and let it act in your life more so than just sort of memorizing facts about how to pick a stock.

Brad Johnson: I love that format because it’s pretty rare in business books. And I think, number one, I would assume as an author, that’s got to be kind of freeing to kind of more creative freedom of like, I can hit a lot of different topics and give you kind of complete creative freedom to do that versus like, okay, here’s a theme we got to stick to on a 200, 300-page book. Did you find it a different writing process as opposed to your other books, because your other books were like kind of topical?

Daniel Crosby: Yep. The process is so different and I will say so much better. I’m just a big believer in– I know you are, as evidenced by everything you’re doing and just sort of rethinking convention, right? I set out to write this book and I should have mentioned this. This book was kicking my butt, like I wanted to write a new book and I knew I wanted it to be about soulful wealth, but I was trying to like 10 chapters, 22 pages apiece and I was trying to do it, Brad, and it just sucked. And I got about 80 pages in and I threw it away, which is enormously painful to do. It just wasn’t good, like I was reading over it and I’m like, “This just isn’t right.”

And then I sort of asked myself, after I read the Rick Rubin book, which is all about creativity, like who said a chapter has to be 20 pages long, right? Like, who set up, it has to have 10 to 12 chapters? And I think it’s when you start to question convention, you see that a lot of the rules that exist in life and in business are just sort of for convenience or because everyone else did it that way. And I personally found it very freeing to sort of scrap the convention and do something different.

Brad Johnson: I’m going to term that, one thing we call that at Triad, because we actually kind of– and I don’t say this from an egotistical standpoint. I just, we tried to throw the old rulebook away. Elon Musk calls it first principles thinking. But we said, if we start with member obsession, because we’re like advisor’s a bad word. Brokerage companies have advisors or insurance agents. We’re like, we want a community that’s curated. We want members, just like a high-end mastermind would have. And they don’t just let anybody in. And so, if you go down that path, it’s like, how do you create member obsession? Well, you listen and you try to serve them at the highest level. And oftentimes, that means throwing away stupid things that suck and people don’t like because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

So, I’m going to just apply. You had reader obsession to your new format. You’re like, I don’t want to write a book that sucks to write because I’m pretty sure it would suck to read. And you just kind of threw out the rulebook and said, “Let’s go with this way.” And I love that approach because we’ve used that whole concept in our business, and anytime we forget it, we just go back to it and are like, “Is this member obsession?” “No, that’s stupid. We shouldn’t do it.” So, any of that apply to just how you got to the new format?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah, it does. And when I look at your business, I mean, I was shocked when I saw some of the speakers y’all were rolling out in your first. I’m like, how are they spending this much money? How are you putting this high quality of an event on six months, a year into your process? But I think you have to throw out convention and then it stands out. It can’t be overstated how crowded the world is, right? I mean, there’s 300,000 advisors in the US. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’re going to get what everyone else gets, right?

I was just doing some research on happiness books. There was a three-year period over the last couple of years where there were a thousand books a week coming out on happiness, like a thousand books a week. How are you going to stand out from that crowd? And there’s so much out there that’s just that’s the way it’s always been done. And I think, it’s more interesting for you as a creator and it’s more interesting for the people you’re trying to serve, and you’re going to stand out more.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. I want to ask a very selfish question for the audience. You’ve written many books, so it’s not like this last book, The Soul of Wealth, was like, hey, this is my first run at this. I’m assuming at that point you had a pretty dialed in writing process. There’s many of our members, many advisors out there. As my friend Michael Hyatt says, there’s life before the book, there’s life after the book. It’s a huge credibility thing. It can really build a platform. It’s obviously helped your platform tremendously. If you’ve got the dreaded writer’s block or, hey, I’m writing stuff that just kind of sucks, what are some hacks or some ways to put meaningful words to a piece of paper, different strategies you’ve used if there’s advisors out there struggling with that process?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah, so I will definitely go through my process. Your mileage may vary. So, here’s what I do. I pick a topic, right? So, I’m writing about meaning in life right now, meaning and purpose. I researched this till I resist the urge to outline it or anything like that at first. I just research it to death and take me where my curiosity takes me. And what you’ll find is you’ll start pulling on a thread, right? You go, “I’m reading about meaning now,” and then I go, “Oh, this meaning thing takes me to meaning in health,” right? Like, oh, people with higher purpose in life recover from knee surgery quicker and they’re less likely to have a heart attack and on and on. So, this takes me to meaning at work and so on and so forth.

What I have found with every single one of my books is you follow that curiosity. You resist the urge to outline it too early and just enjoy the hell out of that curiosity process. Just let it go where it takes you. Because if you’re not enjoying it, you’re writing the wrong book, right? Like, this part is the most fulfilling for me. I’m just learning, learning, learning, taking notes, and going, trying to connect all the strings, like in the movies where they’re hunting the murderer and they’ve got all the red strings all over the board, right? They’re trying to connect all the dots.

Brad Johnson: I’m picturing A Beautiful Mind where he’s got that wall. You remember that movie?

Daniel Crosby: Exactly. Going to start writing on your windows. That’s the key, right?

Brad Johnson: Yes.

Daniel Crosby: So, I research it until I start to come across the same ideas again and again. You get the sense, I call it reaching the end of the internet, kind of like. You’re like, “Yep, I’m seeing this for the fifth time. We’re back to this.” The new ideas, it’s not as generative anymore. There’s not as many new ideas. You feel like you’ve got a corpus of knowledge. That’s pretty good. Okay? So, now you take this, for this new book I’m working on, the one that’s like, I’m 10% through writing. I got about 85 pages of notes.

Brad Johnson: Can I just stop here? Because I love the fact that we’re talking about The Soul of Wealth, which is not released yet. Obviously, you’re done writing it and now, you’re already onto the next one. So, you’ve found the right career track, because I think most people would take a breath and be like, okay. Okay, I can take a little mini vacation here, but you’re already onto the next thing. So, you just must have this natural curiosity that just jumps to the next thing. Is that what it is?

Daniel Crosby: So, here’s what’s interesting though. I wrote three books in a span of four years. So, Personal Benchmark, The Laws of Wealth, and The Behavioral Investor were just like, bang, bang, bang. Maybe it was five minutes. And then I did not write a book for about five years. And part of that is because I felt like I didn’t have anything to say. I felt like I was kind of out of juice. And I didn’t want to write a book to write a book. I think that’s disrespect for readers and my reputation and things like that.

But now, I found this new thread that’s made me come alive. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had at work, right? So, you reach this into the internet. Now, you’ve got all this substance, this body of knowledge in front of you. Now, you look for themes, right? You go, “Okay, what’s coming up again and again? What sense can I make of this? What themes are emerging?” Now, I outline it. And that outline is absolutely critical. You should outline it such that if you are doing the 10 chapters thing, right?

Let’s say you are doing the 10 chapters thing and you wanted to do a 200-page book. For every one of those 10 chapters, so pull out your themes, those are your 10 chapters. Now, think of four to five sort of subthemes for each of those chapters. Write those down. Now, you’re in the sweet spot. So, you’ve got 50 sort of headings and subheadings. Now, you’re talking about four pages apiece. That’s ultra manageable. Four pages apiece, you can do that in a day or a week or however long it takes you to write. But let’s say you’re doing four pages a week. Absolutely doable, even for busy people. And you’ve got these 50 subheadings. You can have a book in a year.

So, people, I mean, it’s the old cliche about eating the elephant one bite at a time. People look at that Microsoft Word doc with that blinking cursor and they’re just like, “Oh, where do I begin?” But you follow your curiosity, you pull out themes, and then you do this micro chunking process, so it is absolutely doable. And anyone can write a book. And I mean, relatively fast, too. I would suggest to you that most people have four pages a week on their calendar if it’s important to them. And you even get it done in a year once that curiosity pays off.

Brad Johnson: You know how I’m writing my book? Right here, I’m going to take the best of the greatest DBDL moments and it’s going to be a book someday. I’m going to do it Tim Ferriss style, Tools of Titans. So, to that note, because I think a lot of people think we’re writing a book, to your point, on Microsoft Word at the computer hacking it out. Is that your style? Are you typing it out? Are you dictating, speaking? How do you get it out of your brain onto a piece of paper?

Daniel Crosby: So, that’s a great question. I’m typing it out. I’m not smart enough to dictate it. I feel like it would be a hot disaster. Like, I’m definitely…

Brad Johnson: I think with your sense of humor, there would be some zingers in there. I think it’d be pretty good.

Daniel Crosby: I’m definitely writing it out. But here’s where you have to be careful, in my opinion. Getting it out on the page is the hardest part. And for some people who are a little more detail oriented or a little more perfectionistic, there can be a real temptation to try and wordsmith or finesse things. And I would suggest to you that the most important part in those early stages is generativity. Just get it on the page. You can hire an editor, right? You can hire an editor, you can edit it yourself, whatever. Getting those words on the page before the thoughts escape your brain is ultra important, and you’ve got to resist the impulse to try and edit too much.

Brad Johnson: It’s like a brain dump or it’s like, it can be messy. It can have all kinds of grammatical errors. I don’t care, I just want the ideas flowing.

Daniel Crosby: Yeah, the judgment. So much of writer’s block is not being compassionate with yourself and being sort of too critical of every little word.

Brad Johnson: How old were you when you wrote your first book?

Daniel Crosby: Thirty-two, thirty-three.

Brad Johnson: Thirty-two, and at this stage in your career, had you made the jump from psychology to finance? Had that behavioral finance jump happened?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah.

Brad Johnson: And what was it? Did you have a mentor that’s like, “Dang, Daniel, that was legit.” You just riff on that. That should be a book? Like, what was the nudge to write a book?

Daniel Crosby: Okay, so this is another for listeners of yours that want to write a book, this is perhaps the best, the most primary piece of advice I can give at all. I was asked to write a book by a major publisher in part because of my niche. I was doing a thing not a lot of people were doing, but in larger part, because of my social media presence and my writing online, they knew I could write because they were reading stuff I was blogging about and they knew I had a platform because my publisher is fantastic. They publish my books, they publish Morgan Housel’s books, which have sold a few more than my books. So, they are great. Nick Maggiulli, like all kinds of people from the finance world, work with Harriman House, my publisher. I get people once a week, who come to me and are like, “Hey, get me an intro to your publisher.” And I’m always happy to do it for people who I think have a good work in them.

The number one question my publisher will ask them and every publisher will ask them is what is your platform like? Because a book is a business, and a business needs a marketing plan and it needs an audience. So, a lot of people have great ideas and they think that the book will rise or fall on the merits of those ideas in isolation. But a publisher is going to only care about your book if you have fans, if you have people who are reading your stuff, following your work, listening to you on your podcast, whatever. So, building that audience and building that platform and building that voice are a critical first step to the whole process.

Brad Johnson: On that note, is there a kind of minimum viable number of whether it’s my email list on my blog, my followers on X, like what sort of where a publisher would be like, okay, we’re probably at the level it makes sense?

Daniel Crosby: I don’t know that. I don’t know that I’d be making a good guess there, but…

Brad Johnson: Any ideas what it was when you first got the book offer for you personally?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. I had 20,000 or 25,000 followers on LinkedIn and probably similar on Twitter. An email list is better than all that, though. An email list is better than all of that. And that’s nothing I’ve ever done well. And it’s very, very powerful.

Brad Johnson: Well, a guy like yourself just needs a new goal for 2024. That’s all. It sounds like you throw it out to the universe, you’re going to blow up your email list this year.

Daniel Crosby: The email list, that’s right.

Brad Johnson: All right. Let’s keep rolling. So, The Soul of Wealth, behavioral finance applied to the meaning of life, and you kind of teased a little bit the project you’re just starting, which, kind of how you described it to me prior to hitting record here is it’s kind of just the meaning of life. It’s like we took the money, the business side, and behavioral finance, and now we’ve made the full shift over. It’s like the full DL, now doing life.

Daniel Crosby: We’re just doing life, yeah.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. So, which, where is your wife, you said, because you’re like, do we get paid for just doing life? How’s this work? But give me kind of your takes. Like, what’s pulling at that string and taking you that direction?

Daniel Crosby: Well, I think I’m like a lot of people, right? I think I’m like a lot of people that I talked about earlier. I’ve had a good career. I’ve made a little money and you get more freedom to work on the projects that you’re truly passionate about as that becomes more of an option and you’re less sort of scraping to get by. Not everything I do now has to be about where can I make the most money?

I mean, early in my career, it was really just like, how can I get a foothold? How can I turn this thought into a dollar? My need to do that is not as great as it once was. And so, you can follow where passion truly leads you. And then I think the irony of this is, if I had to guess, I bet this meaning of life book, which is 8% done or something now, so it’ll be years out, I bet this will do better than all of the others combined, is my strong suspicion because people can sense that authenticity and that real passion. So, I think, one of these regrets, right? You know about the top regrets of the dying. Have you seen that research?

Brad Johnson: I don’t know specifically. No is my short answer. Just go.

Daniel Crosby: There was this woman, Bronnie Ware, something like that. She was a hospice nurse in Australia, I believe. And she compiled these top regrets of the dying. And it’s all doing life, right? Like, nobody’s saying, I wish I had spent more time at work, but people are saying things like, hey, I wish I had allowed myself to be happier. I wish I had let myself follow my passions. And I think, sometimes, we don’t let ourselves do life quickly enough.

And even with this project, when I set out to write it, I had a real mental block and a real sort of internal resistance about doing it because it felt frivolous, it felt outside of sort of my realm of expertise. And giving myself permission to do that has been has been a wonderful thing. But I think sometimes, we wait until it’s too late to do life.

Brad Johnson: Well, awesome timing on this conversation because you mentioned a couple times our launch experience was just last week. Yeah, like, literally, this time last week. And I actually had the recommendation from Michael Hyatt to see if we could get Arthur Brooks to speak, and for those unfamiliar, wrote a fairly well-known book, I think, Strength to Strength. And then, he just recently published a book with Oprah on just like how to be happier. And one of the things he said that I want to get your take on, because we’re talking DBDL and how your books have transitioned more of the DL side, he has this concept that is academically backed up. He’s a Harvard professor. The difference between real friends and deal friends. Have you heard this concept?

Daniel Crosby: I mean, I’ve heard that terminology, but I don’t know any research behind it.

Brad Johnson: Well, I see it very common. And I’ve been guilty of this myself is, you go to college, you’re an idiot, but you’re learning along the way. At least I was. I won’t apply that to you, but, and you have these buddies. These college buddies, and then you grow up and you start your business career, and you find you’re spending 40 hours plus at work, and those became your new friends. And he calls those deal friends because it’s directly related to the do business side, producing revenue. And you find really quickly, you start to, if you’re not intentional, lose touch with your formative years, the friends from those years, your high school buddies, your college buddies that kind of formed you, they listen to the same music you do. Sports fans, all that. And the studies actually show if you don’t have, as Arthur Brooks calls them, useless friends that can do nothing for you other than just be your friends, they can’t advance your livelihood, your happiness actually decreases dramatically. So that was one of the challenges he made to our Triad community out there. It’s like, if you don’t have any useless friends or any real friends, you need to go back and you need to incorporate practices to make sure you’re reaching out and staying connected, because studies show you’re a happier person if you do. So back to the meaning of life. I don’t know how you want to apply that, but that like, as I looked at my life, I’m like, man, there’s been times where I’ve absolutely abandoned that side of my life.

Daniel Crosby: So, first of all, I know now why you had me on the show today. I’m your useless friend that you– I’m the useless friend.

Brad Johnson: Actually, you are the perfect mix of DBDL because before, like, we are going to talk about sports cards before this is over. So, I will keep my eye on the clock. But no, you’re a perfect blend of both.

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. So, it makes perfect sense to me. So, a few years, it’s probably been six or seven years ago, I reconnected in a guys chat with my three best friends from college. And that is probably the single, besides my wife and kids, that chat, which is the most inane nonsense, is probably the greatest source of happiness in my life. Stupid memes, dumb jokes. And my one friend is a realtor, my one friend is an FBI agent, and my other friend is in tech sales. None of them work in the industry. None of them can do a thing for me. And it is so wonderful. And I mean, it is such a buoy and a support to me and my life. Just have these guys who have known me for a long time. We just joke around and keep it light because we’re all dealing with heavy stuff. I love that research, that’s great.

Brad Johnson: Now I know where your Twitter content comes from. You just crowdsource the best stuff and just throw it out on Twitter. Is that how it works?

Daniel Crosby: That’s right.

Brad Johnson: I see we have a few minutes left here, and one of the things, as we’ve gotten to know each other better back to just social and what makes people happy, like I love, I think, most of your personal stuffs on IG where you kind of have a nice little business mix, and we’ll put this in the show notes for people that want to follow you out on X or on IG or whatever. But I love how you show up intentionally as a husband and as a father. And, it’s just really cool. I love your IG feed because like, you’re real. You’re not trying to show some glamorous side, like “hey, wow! My kid’s mad at me today.” But I know that’s a big part of what matters to you. So, as you’ve become more comfortable, as we’re all just dudes trying to figure this out along the way, what are some learnings along the way of just, like, not being scared to show your real true self and not just be all business and buttoned up all the time? Because you do a great job of that online and I admire that about you.

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. So, when I was in college, I would go to the family sciences arm and I went to a religious school. So, I mean, they were like pretty upfront about the value of family. And there was a quote, like a big quote painted on the wall where I would go do most of my studying, let’s see if I can get it right. But it said something to the effect of, “No success in the world can compensate for failure in the home.” And that’s something that I think about a ton. You have to keep that front and center. You also know, again, you’re going to get a study with me Brad. I think, I’ll share the research and then talk about how it plays into my life. There’s something in psychology called the Pratfall Effect. And it’s a great name. And it was done on these faux politicians, and they had three politicians, and they had people, you know, they’re fake politicians, it’s a psych study, but they have this crowd of people and they’re like, “Who do you want to vote for?” The first person goes up and is just ridiculous. They’re unprepared, they’re goofy, they’re uncoordinated, whatever, disaster. The next person goes up there and they just nail it. Tailored suit, every line delivered with precision. Ten out of ten, nailed it. The third one goes up there and they spill a little coffee on their shirt, and they make a little joke and their suit is a little rumpled, and then they deliver an eight out of ten speech. Solid, they know their stuff, but it’s not as precise and it’s not as regimented as the second person.

People love that third politician the most. That’s the one they want. Competent but human, right? Competent but human. And when you think about, there’s research on how we appraise other people, the two biggest factors in some studies are competence and warmth, right? Does this person know what they’re talking about, right? Are they competent? Do they move through the world in an intelligent way? But then, are they warm? Are they kind? Are they gentle? Because when someone’s competent and cold, that’s scary. I mean that’s an enemy. That’s someone who’s going to use their brilliance against us. But trying to be competent but warm is, it’s not like I’m doing it to do it. But for me, if I can inject 1% more realness into the world, because one of the gifts of having been a therapist and I have not been a therapist in like, whatever, 15 years or something. But one of the gifts of having ever been a therapist is seeing wealthy, successful, titled, otherwise high-functioning people come into your office and fall apart because things are not as they seem. And that was such a gift to me to understand that nobody has it figured out. Nobody has it figured out. Nobody’s life is perfect. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. And if you can be honest about that battle, while still being competent, you’re going to have so many people drawn to you.

So, when we act fake, when we act too good, when we act perfect, when we emphasize that competence over that warmth, we create cages that sort of require other people to do the same. And likewise, when we let our guard down, when we show our blemishes, our imperfections a little bit more, we give other people the permission to do the same. And so, for the listeners of this show, if you can be 10% more real and more authentic, you’ll allow other people the privilege of doing the same, and will set in motion a virtuous cycle that I think is super powerful.

Brad Johnson: Man, so true. You brought two recent experiences to mind, as you were saying that. I’ll share a couple just real quick, because I think it can serve the listeners and the watchers out there. So, we had a little panel out at our launch experience, and it was four of our most successful members on stage. And we do our biggest award every year we give is a DBDL award. So those that level up in business but not sacrifice the life. Like both, yes and. So, we had a panel discussion and I won’t say who it was, but let’s just say like a young, well put together, one of our members, he got into, it was a panel discussion and he started to break down and tear up because he was talking about this year and what it meant to him and how he grew the team and how impactful it was to him. And he’s a spiritual guy and how he was serving a greater good and that was his mission. And he had to take a second and gather himself. And he stepped off stage and I immediately, I went up to him and I said, “Man. Thanks so much for that.” And he goes, “I appreciate it. Sorry for getting emotional.” I go, “No! Get emotional more often because I will tell you, everybody in this audience says you’re a little bit intimidating. You take care of yourself. You got the perfect part. You’re a good-looking dude. And you let everybody in” and I go, “When you teared up, I teared up and I felt you. And I’m deeper connected with you now than I was before that.”

So, lesson as a leader, be vulnerable every once in a while and it will let people in. And it’s exactly what you’re saying. I feel so many times in finance because it’s professional and you’re in a suit and tie or whatever, it’s almost like this armor that protects your persona, you don’t let people in. To your point, when you let people in, it’s so powerful. And, can I do one more? Because you’re driving at home and I just like, if there’s one thing we can hit from this whole episode, it’s been awesome. It’s like, if they get this– man, so we did a private mastermind with 10 or 12 of our members. This was on the back end and the last guy up, it was a, we call it the Spotlight Seed, and it’s like, “Where do you need help?” Talking with his peers, Michael Hyatt was in this room hosting it. He said, “I’ve always been really good at sales. But as a leader, as my team’s grown. I feel like a fraud. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m in over my head.” And he was real enough to be authentic and just share. And Michael goes, he stopped, right after that, he goes, “Hey! You’re all leaders, you’re all entrepreneurs, you’re all running businesses. Does anybody else sometimes when you’re leading, feel like you’re a fraud and you don’t have it all figured out?” And he raised his hand, and every single person in that room raised their hand. And he looked back at the guy sitting in the chair, he goes, “Congratulations. You’re normal.” And it was one of the most powerful moments. And I just want to echo that because it’s so true. And for some reason, all of us dudes think we have to be perfect. And it’s absolutely not true.

Daniel Crosby: Well, when you go to a therapist, when I was training to be a therapist, the first thing we were taught to do was what in the business is called normalization, which is exactly what Michael Hyatt did with the person in that spotlight seated at your experience, right? It’s we’re all living inside our heads. And when we keep up this ruse of perfection, we don’t allow other people in and we don’t allow each other to let down and understand that we’re all going through the same thing. And like that’s curative for that guy, to just say, hey, nothing he could have said, nothing Michael could have said as good as he is, nothing he could have said would have been as impactful as him, looking around that room and seeing that his peers are in the same boat. And we keep that gift from each other when we’re not honest about our struggles.

The last thing I’ll say about this. Relationships are the best predictor of everything – happiness, meaning, workplace success, on and on and on. And the basis of relationships is what we call progressive vulnerability, right? Like think about, you go on a first date with someone, you go, “Okay, where do you go to college? What did you major in?” And then it moves to like, “What movies and music do you like?” And then it moves to like, “What do you remember about your childhood?” And then it gets down to like, “Let’s talk about your pain now” and on and on. That’s the way human connection is formed. And if you’re dating that vulnerability, you’re missing out on opportunities for connection and you’re hurting every part of your life. So, I agree this is the message. This is the takeaway.

Brad Johnson: Man, if all the rest of this episode sucked, tune into the last 10, 15 minutes, right? I feel like that was just pretty spot on. I mean, I just know from my experience in finance, it’s like, if you could inject that into our industry, a lot of pain and a lot of just these personas and egos the people put, these masks, I guess, is the best analogy I can put would just, like, there’s no need for it, it’s silliness.

All right, well, we got to close. I’m an Enneagram 7. I like fun conversations. This has been really fun. We got a little deep there. Let’s end it on a lighthearted sports card conversation. So, back to the do life side and the useless friend side. Was COVID kind of what set you down the rabbit trail of sports cards? I know it said a lot of people because they’re just sitting in their house bored and there’s no sports on TV. But what kind of unlock the sports card reigniting that passion for you?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. So, it was COVID. So, I have a son who’s 10 now. He would have been, whatever, 6 or 7 at the time. And during COVID, you got all this time, you’re not going anywhere. So, my son and I would do all these games, I mean, we would play Madden. We’d play catch. We would do all these games. And it was like, “Okay, whoever wins Madden.” We’re trying to up the stakes. “Whoever wins Madden,” I would say, “Hey, if I win, you got to, like, whatever, clean your room or something. If you win, you get to pick one of my sports cards from when I was a kid,” right? Because I’m of the age, where I was collecting in the junk wax era and all that. I got all these cards. So, my son is good at Madden and it’s this pretty…

Brad Johnson: He played it for like a year straight. He’s got to get good.

Daniel Crosby: He gets this encyclopedic knowledge of all my cards and starts picking off my best ones, right? He got some Bo Jackson rookies and some Ken Griffey Jr. rookies. But I’m thinking like, ah, whatever. So, for Christmas that year, I get him a Beckett price guide and put it in his stocking. And so, over the Christmas break, we’re valuing all the cards that he has now pilfered from me over the last, whatever, nine months. And I’m like, “Some of these are worth money.” And this is over, effective immediately. There’s no more betting Griffey Jr. rookies on Madden because yes, a couple hundred bucks. So, that was the catalyst.

And then it got me back in into the hobby, as we call it. And ever since then, I think I told you this. I treat it like an asset allocation. I’ve got a punch list of all the stuff I want. Now, I’m not a multi-asset class investor yet, Brad. I’m just a baseball guy currently.

Brad Johnson: Just baseball. Hey, that’s where most of the blue chips reside. So, you’re doing okay.

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. So, I’m US equity only. I’m US equity large cap baseball guy so far. But yeah, that’s how I got back into it. I realized my son was robbing me blind.

Brad Johnson: That’s a funny story. I forgot, I think he’s reminded me that you were like, oh, sh*t, I gave away some– well, you think. What’s fun is you ignited a passion in your son. I’ll tell you what. And I’m going to get you to a Dallas card show. So open invite. I usually go a couple times a year. There’s one about every two, three months. But father/son story, both of my sons have been with me. And one of my proudest dad moments, speaking of the Beckett price guide, which I think most guys our age, remember, if they did sports cards, well, now it’s all electronic. You’ve got apps on phones. I use only Alts, one of my favorites where it just aggregates all the sports cards. And it’s truly becoming an alternative asset class with like, the high-end cards are– there’s multimillion dollar private equity funds that invest in high-end sports cards.

But long story short, my son, my middle son Nash is out there, and Pokemon was kind of his flavor and he started watching YouTube videos, went real deep, and started to get an encyclopedic knowledge of Pokemon. And so, we’re down there. They do trade night. And so, he’s got a couple of his Pokemon cards, and I look over because I’m not paying attention because I’m talking to another guy on a sports card deal. He’s probably 10 at the time. And there’s this 40-year-old lady looking at one of his Pokemon cards that he had graded, and he’s looking at the app and they’re kind of bartering. And he’s like, “Yeah, I think I can take about 100 for that” because it was a pretty nice Pokemon card. So, he’s like, “Okay, deal.” And I see him shaking her hand doing the deal. And he’s sold a 40-year-old lady her very first Pokemon card ever. And I’m like, over there just observing this. And so, yes, it’s a hobby, but there’s so many business lessons and economics that go into it. And that’s what I love about it. It kind of marries my love for sports, for collecting, but also for business and economics and finance. And it’s just a really fun hobby to get into with your kids. I’m assuming you’ve experienced some of that as well.

Daniel Crosby: It’s really fun. It’s become a real source of bonding for us. It shares so much in common with other markets that it is sort of a good gateway drug for talking about markets broadly, talking about stocks and asset allocation and things like that. So, yeah, we love it to this day. And I’m not as deep in the game as you are, but I do really enjoy it.

Brad Johnson: Well, I just tell my wife it’s investing. It’s not a hobby. It’s investing for our future. Does that work in your house or no?

Daniel Crosby: I haven’t tested the limits yet. I buy a card about every two weeks, like, when I get paid. It’s like when the paycheck comes in, you grab a new one. My punch list, I told you that my punch list is getting expensive. I kind of picked off the low-hanging fruit, and now we’re getting to the spendier stuff, so it may be time for us.

Brad Johnson: Did you pick up the Bob Gibson rookie yet? I know that was one of the big ones you were looking at.

Daniel Crosby: I have not picked up a Bob Gibson rookie. I mean, a Bob Gibson rookie of any quality is pretty spendy. So, I have not picked up a Bob Gibson.

Brad Johnson: Okay. Well, that might be, maybe not this year, but I think you need to put that on the champagne moment somewhere out there, like that needs to be– I remember I was at the Dallas card show, and it’s a really cool card because it was like, kind of, do you remember the year, his rookie year? Was it late 60s, early 70s? It was somewhere in that kind of hippie era, I think. Maybe a little earlier, but it’s like a pink border. It’s like one of the coolest looking baseball cards out there. That’s what’s kind of fun. It’s like, I’m not going to be an art guy that’s hanging big, expensive pieces of art on my wall, but those vintage cards, it really is a form of art. And they’re fun to really admire. What’s your number one current holding on the punch list? What’s your favorite card if you could only pick one?

Daniel Crosby: I don’t know if I can pick a favorite. I mean, for the sentimental favorites, always going to be the Ozzie Smith rookie. I mean, Ozzie Smith was my guy. I had the Wizard of Oz poster. I’m a big Cardinals fan. I have the big Wizard of Oz posters up all over my house. My most recent purchase, again, big Cardinals guy, was a quad relic. So, it was Lou Brock, Yadi Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Nolan Arenado. So, we’ve got some past greats and some current greats for relics, bats, uniforms, all that on a card. It wasn’t an expensive card, but my son was in absolute awe of this that four of our heroes were kind of on the same card.

Brad Johnson: That’s cool. Is he a Cardinals guy, too?

Daniel Crosby: I mean, if he wants an inheritance…

Brad Johnson: Or is he allowed not to be a Cardinals guy?

Daniel Crosby: If he wants to eat dinner, I guess he is, yeah.

Brad Johnson: Here you go, here you go. Well, cool. Well, I’m serious, let’s get– maybe we can start a little. I’ll invite the audience. For those of you dads or moms out there that want to do a Dallas card show, I’ve gone three or four times now. It was an absolute blast. So, maybe, we’ll get a little group that all meets up out there sometime. So, as we wrap, Daniel, obviously, we’ve talked all about do business, do life. I love that your work really, I mean, there’s so many synergies between what we’re about at Triad and the meaningful work that you do out in finance. So, I have to close with, I would love to hear Daniel Crosby’s definition of what does Do Business, Do Life mean to you?

Daniel Crosby: Yeah. It’s about that synthesis, right? My favorite line from my favorite book is A Christmas Carol. And I read it every Christmas. And I love the line where he says, “Business. Mankind was my business.” And I’m so lucky that I get to integrate the study of and the care of and the love of humankind and the work I do every day. So, for me, it’s that synthesis of what I find most important and what pays me and what gets me out of bed in the morning. To be able to do those two things simultaneously, is the greatest blessing and the greatest gift. So, I feel very lucky that way.

Brad Johnson: It’s pretty awesome when you can wake up and your work doesn’t feel like a job. And I couldn’t agree more. Well, as always, I just love our conversations. And so, thanks for carving out the time, my man. Always enjoy it. You always have an open invite. If you ever, don’t just fly over Kansas, but actually stop there every once in a while. Always an open invite at Triad headquarters at my home. So, love every time we connect. So, thank you for the time today.

Daniel Crosby: And congrats on what you’re building, man. It’s beautiful to watch.

Brad Johnson: Appreciate it.


These conversations are intended to provide financial advisors with ideas, strategies, concepts and tools that could be incorporated into the advisory practice, advisors are responsible for ensuring implementation of anything discussed is in accordance with any and all regulatory and compliance responsibilities and obligations.


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