Welcome to The Elite Advisor Blueprint – The Podcast for World-Class Financial Advisors. I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development at Advisors Excel, and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising.
Today, I’m talking with Jason Hewlett. Jason is a leadership expert, author, and hall of fame speaker. He’s delivered over 2,000 presentations for Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, Delta Airlines, and the 2002 Winter Olympics, to name just a few.
In his keynote, The Promise: Become a Legendary Leader and Discover Your Signature Moves, Jason uses music, entertainment, and unconventional storytelling to convey actionable insights and proven processes designed to transform leadership skills.
For financial advisors who want to compete in a world full of robo-advisors, AI, and talented people attracting clients all over the globe, Jason’s message is a must-listen. It’ll do more than help you grow your business – it’ll give you the power to live a more joyful life.
Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
- #1: What Jason learned about public speaking from his father, who just happened to be SunLife Canada’s number one insurance advisor – and how he responded when Jason told him that he wasn’t taking over the family business. [05:33]
- #2: Why so many financial advisors’ websites are like commercials that don’t deliver – and how you can find your signature move, become unforgettable, and forge incredible connections with clients in an era defined by technology and global competition. [18:46]
- #3: The one thing Jason did to fill his calendar with steady work from ultra high net worth individuals for years and years… and why it’s at the heart of every business relationship in every industry. [01:03:17]
- [13:02] Why failing to follow through on your promises is like your favorite artist not playing their biggest hits in concert – and how this disappointment can kill your business.
- [27:18] How to use technology to be an even better advisor, speaker, and presenter – and stop AI from taking away your job.
- [31:37] How others can help you identify, magnify, and clarify your strengths to find and hone your signature move.
- [35:45] Why Jason went to Las Vegas to become a one-man-show entertainer – and how playing to tough audiences night after night taught him to deliver 100% to every room, no matter how many people were in it.
- [44:16] How Jason found great mentors, even though no one he idolized was willing to even speak to him.
- [53:28]How Jason found his financial advisor – and why they’ll never be replaced by a robot.
- [01:03:17] What Jason did during what seemed like a dead-end gig to make a powerful connection with several billionaires – and how this simple action brought him to many of his greatest gigs of all time.
- [1:09:12] The lessons Jason learned from writing an extremely viral Facebook post in 2015.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Jason’s Facebook Post: Kind of embarrassed to admit this…
- Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention
- As a Man Thinketh
- How To Win Friends and Influence People
- The Greatest Salesman in the World
- Power of Positive Thinking
- Spiritual Roots Of Human Relations
REVIEWS OF THE WEEK
Isaiah, what’s up man! Thanks so much for the kind words. These are the types of notes that make my day. I really enjoy the conversations and hopping on the mic with ultra interesting people that I can learn from, and simply being curious. For those of you who think you have a podcast in you, I challenge you to go for it. Go out and set up some conversations with people you can learn from and who inspire you, and just hit the record button. Glad it’s bringing value to you Isaiah, as well as any other advisors out there. I’ll continue to keep cranking out episodes!
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For those of you that have interest in diving deeper or figuring out how you may be able to have our team help you implement many of the ideas shared on the show, my day job happens to be consulting financial advisors from all over the US on how to grow their business and design a practice that serves them, versus them serving it. Yes it’s possible to grow your business and work less, this is a model we’ve replicated over and over in markets all over the country… So, if you’d like to apply to see if it makes sense for us to have a 1-on-1 conversation on how to overcome what may be getting in your way, you can do that at bradleyjohnson.com/apply. It takes about 5 minutes to fill out the application so we can understand what your business looks like, what challenges you may be facing and how myself and my team may be able to help. We then dive into a Discovery session where we ask a lot of questions based on your survey. We do a lot of listening, and take a lot of notes to build a rough draft of our proprietary Elite Advisor Blueprint – 90 Day Plan™. Taking the first step is as simple as applying at bradleyjohnson.com/apply 🙂
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Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast with your host, Brad Johnson. Brad’s the VP of Advisor Development in Advisors Excel, the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the US. He’s also a regular contributor to InvestmentNews, the Wall Street Journal, and other industry publications.
[00:00:27] Brad Johnson: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world-class financial advisors. I’m Brad Johnson, VP of Advisor Development at Advisors Excel and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders and apply it to the world of independent financial advising.
Today I’m talking with Jason Hewlett. Jason is a leadership expert, author, and Hall of Fame speaker. He’s delivered over 2,000 presentations for Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Delta Airlines, and the 2002 Winter Olympics to name just a few. In his keynote, The Promise: Become a Legendary Leader and Discover Your Signature Moves, Jason uses music, entertainment, and an unconventional storytelling method to convey actionable insights and proven processes designed to transform your leadership skills. For financial advisors who want to compete in a world full of robo advisors, AI, and people that are after your clients all over the globe, Jason’s message is a must-listen. It will do more than help you grow your business, it will give you the power to live a more joyful life.
Here are three of my big takeaways from this episode. Number one, what Jason learned about public speaking from his father, who just so happened to be one of SunLife Canada’s number one producers in their whole distribution, and how he responded when Jason told him that he wasn’t taking over the family business. Definitely a lesson in how he reacted. Number two, why so many financial advisor websites are like commercials that don’t deliver and how you can find your signature move, become unforgettable, and forge incredible connections with clients in an era where it seems like personal connection seems harder to come by. And number three, the one thing Jason did to fill his calendar with steady work from ultra, ultra-high net worth, we’re talking billionaire clients for years and years, and why it’s at the heart of every business relationship in every industry. As always, all the show notes that include links to all the resources books mentioned and people discussed are available on the show notes page at BradleyJohnson.com/69.
[00:02:29] Brad Johnson: And that’s it. As always, thanks for listening and without further delay my conversation with Jason Hewlett
[00:02:40] Brad Johnson: Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint. I’ve got a special guest, Jason Hewlett, here with me today. Welcome to the show, Jason.
[00:02:48] Jason Hewlett: Hey. Thanks for having me, Brad. This is great.
[00:02:50] Brad Johnson: Well, it’s always this podcasting thing’s been such a weird world to navigate because I feel like I’ve got random friends all over the place that introduced me to other amazing people. And it was fun how we cross paths. John Ruhlin was out speaking at I believe it was Top of the Table out in Hawaii and you guys shared a stage together. And he sends me a text or an email or something like that and he’s like, “Hey, there’s this guy named Jason. I’ve got to introduce you guys because, number one, like a million-dollar round table, he’s like spoken there 10-plus times. I keep bringing him back. And he had the whole crowd going and I know he can bring a lot of value to your audience.” So, I’m super excited to have you on the show here today, Jason, because your reputation precedes you.
[00:03:33] Jason Hewlett: Hey, man. John Ruhlin is the best and here’s the thing. When I heard of John coming to the event, because I was the master of ceremonies and I wish I had done 10 events for MDRT, it was actually I’d only done a few and as of now, I’ve done seven in 15 months so that’s pretty cool. But, yeah, I read about John and then I watched a couple videos before I did a one-minute introduction of him. And when I watched him, I was like, “This guy is so good like so legitimately good.” And this message is so legit about Giftology and gifting others and I was just so taken by him and then I met him, and he’s just even cooler in person. And we had such a great connection. He’s become a mentor to me, a really dear friend, so I’m thrilled you connect with him.
[00:04:25] Brad Johnson: Yeah. John, I was joking with him the other day. He is the ultimate connector. He knows everybody but even better, like he thrives on connecting people that don’t know each other, that could help each other together. So, that’s what I love about John and the other thing is Giftology isn’t just a show for him. That’s how he lives and randomly like sets of knives are showing up at my house and I’m like, “What’s going on here?” And it’s like gift bombs coming from Ruhlin. So, anyway, it’s fun when a guy like that connects you.
[00:04:55] Jason Hewlett: Yeah. That’s his signature move. That’s what I call it. He’s known as a connector. I mean, we all have signature moves that make us unique and John, I mean, he’s certainly that. So, I’m glad that we could be connected through his power connect.
[00:05:08] Brad Johnson: Yeah. Well, let’s dive in. We did a little phone call just so I could understand a bit more of what you bring to the table. And there’s a lot of different aspects to what you got going on, Jason, but as I was prepping for this, one of the coolest stories is you actually can bring to this audience, obviously, a bunch of financial advisors out there a different aspect that many of them struggle with. And so, we talked, you grew up. Your dad was an ultra-successful I think more on the insurance side of an advisor and you were the kid in the crowd that he kind of like brought along with him to all the speaking engagements he was brought out to. Like, he was the number one guy for SunLife. Was that…
[00:05:52] Jason Hewlett: Yeah. SunLife of Canada.
[00:05:52] Brad Johnson: Number one guy.
[00:05:54] Jason Hewlett: Yeah, number one in the world for several years.
[00:05:55] Brad Johnson: Number one in the world for all of SunLife in the mid-90s. And so, you’re his son kind of following around to these conferences and speaking engagements. And I mean, you even shared, I think he was like he was hopping on the stage after Zig Ziglar. I mean, this was legitimate speaking events. And so, what I would love to hear is oftentimes this audience that’s listening in, they’ve got their viewpoint. They’re the dad, right? They’re the dad. They’re sitting there trying to make a business where it can be a lot of excitement, but also a lot of frustration like any entrepreneur. Can you go back to young Jason, the Jason sitting in the crowd, and what was that like? Because we’ve got a lot of moms and dads, and what were the benefits of that and what were some maybe lessons that they could take away with their children and how to maybe incorporate them into the business or trips or some different things that your dad did?
[00:06:47] Jason Hewlett: Yeah. That is such a cool angle, Brad. I mean, nobody ever talks to me about this stuff so I love that we can talk about this for your group, because the power of having a parent that’s doing this for a living, it’s so unique. It’s extraordinary in the sense that they are the go-getters. They are the self-motivators. They have to be so entrepreneurial-minded and then they can teach everything about life just by doing their business. And my dad taught me so many valuable lessons in the sense of he actually took me along the journey with him. And I’m so grateful that I fell into that place of the oldest child. He would take me along on these crazy trips. And when you hit those levels of success, you start getting to go from Salt Lake City, Utah, you go to Texas, and then you go to LA, and then you go to New York, and then, oh, now we’re going to the Bahamas, and now we’re going to Ireland and London.
And, oh man, how cool was it that he would take me on these trips because mom had all these other children that were younger than me so I became his traveling partner. It was really, really awesome. And then when your dad is already your hero because he’s awesome at what he does, he can sell things and do great things himself, then the next thing you know he’s standing on stage after the best speaker you’ve ever seen and he actually is as good as that speaker in your opinion as a child. It opens your eyes to the possibility of what you can become. And so, as a young boy, thinking to myself, “What am I going to be when I grow up?” Because I do weird things with my face and my voice and I wasn’t doing so well in school at the time, then I’m thinking, “What am I going to become?” and my dad would always say, he would say, “You’re going to take over my business someday. You’re going to be doing this same thing so you need to learn this from me.
[00:08:49] Jason Hewlett: This is how you negotiate. This is how you talk to people. This is how you connect.” We would sit down to dinner, and then I’d look up and he was gone. He’d be networking, connecting the entire room all together and he was just working the tables, talking to everybody. I watched him take people to the Utah Jazz basketball game and then he would connect everyone in the arena, it seems. I just remember watching him saying this is something I want to be able to figure out in my own career so that I can make it work. But, yeah, when he would jump up on the stage after winning an award and then he would give an acceptance speech that people were laughing, and then they were crying and imagine how I felt as his kid. You know, I’m just like, “Man, that’s my dad.” But you know, the problem with that is then you’re like the shadow is cast so long, what am I supposed to do? And so, as I’ve gotten older and I’ve created my own career for myself, it’s obviously turned out okay but I’m so grateful for a dad that taught me so many things in that way.
[00:09:57] Brad Johnson: That’s so cool. Yeah, I think a lot of times all of us we kind of get focused in through our career and what we’re doing and, obviously, we’re trying to be the best parent along the way as well. But sometimes, we should take a second and look through the lens of our children and see how they’re experiencing it and what lessons that we might be able to instill in them that way. Was there a lesson or two, like looking back that your dad gave you? Obviously, he was modeling success. He was modeling connection but was there like a core lesson that sticks with you, where it’s like, “Hey, son, someday…” some wisdom that he dropped to you or anything that as the advisors out there that are the ones on stage presenting and running these businesses that they might be able to purposefully instill into their children?
[00:10:40] Jason Hewlett: Well, that’s a great question as well, because I would say to him, “How did you come up with that speech? You know, like, it seemed like it was off the cuff.” And he said, “Yeah, it was.” And I would say, “How did you do that?” They’re all laughing and they’re all crying. And he said, “I’m just ready to speak. I live a life that makes me ready to get up and do that.” And that inspired me at a very early age to realize, I guess I kind of don’t need to write a speech per se. I just need to collect stories as I go along that inspire that move people. And he would sing a song. I remember sitting there and he goes, “I’d like to close with this song,” and I was like, “What?” He did an acceptance award speech and he’s like, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” And people are like, “Oh my gosh. Who is this guy?” And I was like, “That’s my dad.”
So, yeah, that kind of thing inspired in me the thought that a speech doesn’t have to look like everyone says it does. And at the same time, I remember going with him as a kid and sitting across the table from very, very wealthy people, because when you start in the business of insurance and financial planning, you’re dealing with people that have some amount of money to utilize. And then he would say to me, as we’d be walking in, he’d go, “Son, I’m going to tell them what my fee is to do their financial planning but I’m shocked because it’s pretty high for what I’m offering with setting up the partnerships and the foundations and estate planning all these things.” He said, “But watch how I’m just quiet after I tell them the fee.” And I was like, “Okay.” I didn’t think that much of it but as I’ve learned more about negotiating in my own life now, I realized he taught me that. Just by him pointing it out these are my techniques as to how to talk to people and tell them what I’m worth and tell them the value I’m helping them to utilize in your own life, all those life lessons, man, that changed my whole world moving forward in my career.
[00:12:49] Brad Johnson: Well, what I’m hearing is he always showed up with a high level of authenticity and confidence is the couple things that I’m just pulling out of that, which all great presenters have. Well, let’s dive in because it’s interesting as I started to understand your life work and one of your keynote conversations you have from stage you call it The Promise and what’s interesting, it’s the promise to clients and the promise to family so it’s almost like this is your life story just molded into a keynote speech. So, can you share whatever can benefit the audience here today? What is The Promise? What’s that like? How could advisors out there start to think about that?
[00:13:28] Jason Hewlett: Yeah. It’s actually as I gave that speech yesterday for a group of real estate folks, I realized, “Man, this is just my life story in a very applicable system and process that people can apply to their own lives.” And so, yeah, the promise is just this concept that I like to say why set a goal when we can make a promise? And not to say that goals aren’t important, but goals are particulars and promises are proclamation. So, what are your proclamation in your life and in your business? A lot of people call it a mission statement. I like to consider The Promise as even stronger than that. They’re the non-negotiables. They’re the things that we just always do, we always deliver no matter what. And you know, if people are concerned about semantics and goals, I love goals, I set goals, but I know that when I miss a goal, I just reach, “That’s the goal,” or make a new goal. But if I make a promise and I break it, then I have a problem.
And so, what are those promises that are the unbreakable in your business and in your family life? And so, I talk about how there are three elements to the problems. The first element is our audience. And if we consider ourselves performers in all that we do, we’re based upon performance, we get paid for our greatness as performers anyway, no matter our stage, we all have an audience and they’re your clients. And then the second element is the family. The family could be the family at work or the family at home. And so, I talk about both of those and our promises in that regard. And the third element is the promise is the promise to the one and the one is yourself. It’s you. What are the promises you’re making or breaking to yourself? And so, I teach this process of the promise and what is our promise to our audience, our clients, let’s say, if you ask that first. Now, let’s consider this, Brad. Say you go to a concert. Do you have a favorite performer you’ve ever seen in concert that you went to the concert so excited to see them and they didn’t sing their hit song you’re expecting to hear?
[00:15:41] Brad Johnson: Yes. And I’m still mad about it today. The Violent Femmes in Las Vegas they did not play Blister in The Sun. Can you imagine?
[00:15:51] Jason Hewlett: No way. Really?
[00:15:52] Brad Johnson: They played every song except Blister in The Sun.
[00:15:55] Jason Hewlett: Why do you remember that so fondly or terrifyingly the emotion?
[00:16:00] Brad Johnson: Well, I mean, some people would call the Violent Femmes a one-hit-wonder. I don’t think they were but they were very much known for one song and if you don’t play the one song that everybody comes to see then that’s going to create an issue. And I still can’t believe it to this day.
[00:16:16] Jason Hewlett: Okay. So, I’m sorry to bring that up, but the truth is, right, it matters. Yeah?
[00:16:22] Brad Johnson: It does matter.
[00:16:22] Jason Hewlett: They broke a promise to you. Whether they realize it or not, whether they cared or not, whether they even spoke the promise and said, “We know we made a promise to the young Brad who’s coming to see our only hit in Las Vegas and we’re not going to play it because we know he wants to hear it.” They didn’t do that consciously but think about the promises you’ve made to your clients in that regard, in the sense of delivering something that they came to you initially for. Why did they choose you? It’s because of your hit song. It’s because of your signature moves. It’s because you have something that you deliver, that made you stand out enough in this world. I call it standing out in a sit-down world. Your signature move was so unique, your signature song was so awesome that they came to your concert and you’re cheering from the front row and now you don’t deliver it. You’ve broken a promise to that audience.
So, what are those promises that we’ve made? Do we even realize we’ve made them? Oftentimes we don’t even realize. It’s like an unspoken subconscious promise but if you’re offering something in your website and you’re not actually delivering that reality, it’s called the commercial versus the reality. It’s the concert thinking they’re going to play their hit when you show up and they don’t. So, you have a certain expectation, you show up, and they don’t need it, well, we don’t want that experience for any of our clients. And you have forever been affected by your allegiance to the Violent Femmes for their inability to deliver on their promise. That doesn’t mean you stop listening. It just means you didn’t go to their concert and come away going. “I’m an even bigger fan.” That’s what we want our clients to feel when they interact with us. If they come away saying, “That was not what I thought I went for. That’s not what I thought I committed to.” That’s what we do not want. We don’t want the commercial to be greater than the reality. That is a broken promise to our client. So, does that make sense?
[00:18:34] Brad Johnson: 100%. You’re bringing up all these emotions from a concert I went to like a decade ago. So, now how often, let’s dive in there because that’s so spot on and I’m just like even as you said, website, I’m sitting there thinking about all of these financial advisor websites because I’ve helped advisors build them. We focus on marketing a ton and all of them have all of these promises and it’s funny how oftentimes like when you actually dive into their planning process, it is a commercial. It’s not actually getting delivered upon. So, if I was going to start to correct that, is there a framework that I want to start to think through of what do I promise? Or how do I come up with that promise that’s unique to me?
[00:19:18] Jason Hewlett: Totally. That’s awesome that you would ask. I would say that as you’re going through it, you need to make sure that you have your signature moves, your signature offering, those promises front and center. What are they going to receive? What are you willing to stand on in order to make it so that they go, “Oh, yeah, he kept my promise. She kept her promise to me.” These things are hard to identify. And so, what I’d like to do is before we lay out, hey, what’s going to be your new marketing or your website, your brand and all that, we’ve got to go back in time a little bit to, “What is your signature move? What is your hit song? Why is it that they came to you in the first place?” If you can’t answer that then you have some incongruence in your messaging and your branding and your presentation. And so, I call that the discovering of our signature move. And so, how do you do that? If I asked you, Brad, I’m not going to put you on the spot but we talked about John Ruhlin.
John Ruhlin’s signature move you could tell me right away is connection. That is the connector. Okay. He has more than just that. But that’s like the main one you said. It’s the first one I thought of too. People are talking about your signature moves and why they would listen to this podcast compared to anyone else. I mean, there are other podcasts like this but no one does it just like you. And so, if I asked any leader in business, “Hey Brad,” or, “Hey, whomever, what’s your signature move in business?” It actually makes your mind freak out for a sec. You know, I put you on the spot, “What’s your signature move? What’s that thing that makes you stand out from everyone else?” And we kind of go, “I don’t know.” We kind of go shy or unconfident.
[00:21:06] Brad Johnson: You’re so right there because in our coaching process, that’s one of the things we help advisors create is their signature move. We call it their proprietary process, right? But it’s so funny, like the upper, upper echelon, what is it that makes, you know, why do your clients choose you? Like, that’s our version of asking the same thing, right? And it’s crickets because I guess people have not thought that deeply, right? Like, right to your point, they haven’t thought that deeply about their signature move.
[00:21:32] Jason Hewlett: And that’s normal. That’s normal for a leader because the leader and I call it becoming a legendary leader, discover your signature move, and keep your promise. That’s the whole message I share. And so, when I ask leaders, it’s just the funniest thing to watch them. I mean, I’m sitting there talking to millionaires or billionaires or even speakers on leadership, and I say, “Hey, what’s your signature move?” And they’re like, “Don’t put me on the spot, man.” And I’m like, “Okay, that’s all right. That’s normal.” So instead of me pinpointing just one thing that’s your signature, let’s flip the funnel. Instead of going to just the one thing, let’s flip the funnel to say, “Hey, you’ve got tons of them. You have tons of talents, gifts, strengths, abilities that make you who you are. Let’s go for 100.” And so, if your audience was not driving a car or working out listening to this and they’re sitting with a notepad, I challenge your audience to actually start writing down what they think their gifts are, natural gifts.
I know if I do this process, the first time I did it, I only got to about 30 and I was stretching to get to 30. I’m funny. I play the piano, I love my children. It’s like you’re trying to put whatever it is together, when in reality, you can start to impact what it means to be an entertainer and my way of defining it. So, if I say to myself, “I’m an entertainer. I identify with that as one thing,” I can now impact that and say, “Well, an entertainer is it’s funny, insightful, could be philosophical, could be musical, could do stories, could educate others,” and then you start unpacking that all the way down. Now, I have not just the entertainer word, but maybe 10 or 20 words that help define that one word that I identify. So, now I come up with like 100 gifts, talents, skills that I have.
[00:23:29] Jason Hewlett: And maybe those that are listening are thinking to themselves, “Well, I don’t identify with entertainment.” Okay. Then identify with financial planning. Well, I’m analytical. I can solve problems. I can connect the dots. I can help people that can’t help themselves. I can keep on track, on target. I’m Mr. Accountability. I’m Mr. Organization. I’m Ms. Thoughtful. Whatever it is, right? So, start to unpack that, write it down, here’s your gift. Don’t think about what you’re not good at. We always talk about what we need to improve. Don’t think about that. Think only about what you’re good at, what you’ve always been good at. And as you start to identify it, if you actually got to 100, amazing. Start to circle the ones that really stand out and then whittle it down to your top 10 list. If you come up with the top 10 list, the next thing you know you’re going to have many, many, many signature moves that make you who you are.
And so, if I were to do an impersonation of a musical artist, I can easily do the impersonation just by looking at the things that make them who they are. For example, if I said Elvis Presley, that might be too old for your audience, but pretty much everyone knows who Elvis was or for those who still think he is alive is. And so, Elvis if I say, “Hey, what’s my impression of Elvis has to look like?” People say, “Well, you have to have the hair.” Okay. Uh-huh-huh. I got the hair. What else do I have to do? I have to do that voice thing. Uh-huh-huh. Oh, yeah. Thanks very much. Uh-huh-huh. Okay, let’s do another signature. Oh, he’s got that lips thing you do. Uh-huh-huh. Hey, thank you very much. Uh-huh. And then he also did this jiggle thing with his body. Uh-huh-huh, well, it’s all going on. Uh-huh-huh. And now I move my shoulders. These are all signature moves of Elvis. Oh, I got to get some of that. I have to get sideburns. I have to get an outfit. I have to move my leg. Uh-huh-huh.
[00:25:28] Jason Hewlett: When Elvis Presley walked into Sun Records in the 50s as a kid, the lady at the receptionist’s desk said to him. “Okay, Mr. Elvis Presley, who do you sound like?” And Elvis said, “What are you talking about?” She said, “Well, what artist do you sound like?” And he said, “I don’t sound like nobody. I sound like Elvis Presley.” And now that’s somebody who understands their signature move. And so, what are your signature moves? Intimidating question, right? But what a process.
[00:26:05] Brad Johnson: I feel like you’ve done an Elvis impersonation before. That wasn’t the first one, was it?
[00:26:10] Jason Hewlett: No, no, I just have a lot of impressions. But that’s just a good example of someone who use a lot of signature moves that they’re known for. We don’t have a lot of them.
[00:26:21] Brad Johnson: And if you keep following that path, why he was so distinct and stood out from the crowd, right? Because as he combined his signature moves, nobody else had that combination.
[00:26:34] Jason Hewlett: That’s right.
[00:26:35] Brad Johnson: And that’s what most financial advisors are trying to do is stand out from the crowd and not be a commodity. So, it’s really interesting how those two can tie together.
[00:26:44] Jason Hewlett: Especially nowadays with AI coming in, I mean, I just did an event with Sophia the robot and all of the 10,000 attendees in Sydney, Australia for the million-dollar roundtable are sitting there thinking, “Okay, AI and technology is taking over my job.” Well, it’s not going to take your job as long as you’re utilizing your signature moves that make you completely indispensable, completely unforgettable, important in every way, then you can just utilize the technology to help you get even better.
[00:27:18] Brad Johnson: So, let’s go to that because I know you just got back not too long ago from that event and legitimately you interviewed I think the most advanced robot currently available, correct, as far as AI is concerned, Sophie?
[00:27:30] Jason Hewlett: Yeah. She looks like she was designed after – what’s her name? From Tiffany’s. Anyway, she’s like an old movie star. I can’t remember any of it.
[00:27:42] Brad Johnson: Breakfast at Tiffany’s?
[00:27:43] Jason Hewlett: Yeah, yeah.
[00:27:47] Brad Johnson: Audrey Hepburn.
[00:27:48] Jason Hewlett: Audrey Hepburn, yeah. She’s this very pleasant-looking robot, very creepy, and she has this beautiful face and then this robot head. And so, you cannot be told that she’s a human because she has a robot head but she has a beautiful face and an actual body and the client only paid for the top half of the body because the legs are even more expensive. So, they put her on a cart and put a skirt on the cart to make it look like a full-sized human. And for three months, Brad, I went back and forth with the robotics people at Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong and we created the script and the material that I would perform on stage with this robot. It was unbelievable.
[00:28:39] Brad Johnson: So, this is like I’m completely fine with going down a rabbit trail here on this because this is just weird and interesting all at the same time. So, the context because AI, Robo advising, a lot of that is obviously very, very top of mind for a lot of advisors out there, was this whole presentation, was it more of just like a spoof like I’m interviewing a robot? Or was there a lot of actual like here’s some technology you need to start to be thinking about to how to kind of put a moat around your castle as it comes to a financial advisor and AI and the advances there? Like, were there any key takeaways that just from that, that whole experience that three months that you could share that would be meaningful?
[00:29:21] Jason Hewlett: I would say it was more just a stage performance rather than like some educational piece around what AI is going to offer and create for your audience and listeners. But the truth of it is, is that they gave me the opportunity to write the script around what I can do to see how she works with me. In other words, instead of forcing me into some pigeonhole performance, they said, “Let’s see what you can create, Jason, with your talents and skills that we can see if Sophia, the robot, can imitate or complement what you’re doing. And so, in that sense, that’s what technology is. It’s what we put into it. It’s how we connect with it. It’s how we utilize it or we can ignore it. And we can say, yes, it’s there and that’s what it does and then we fall behind the time, or we can say, “I’m on top of this. These are my signature moves I identify with. And how do I utilize that within technology?”
I know, Brad, when I stand on the stage either on my phone or I have my laptop or I have an iPod and I press play and the music cues to allow me to create the experience the audience is going to have. So, they’re laughing at one thing, but not another. I can skip forward and create it just because of the beauty of this technology. And so, I’m using that in the live performance just as you can utilize that for actuarial numbers and estimates and these types of things that these insurance people were thinking through and how to create numbers and estimates and percentages that they never probably could estimate in their own head with technology just going, “Oh, it’s right here.” Now, a lot of people in the financial world are freaking out thinking, “Well, yeah, now people can go online and do my whole job. I’m not even important anymore.”
[00:31:18] Jason Hewlett: Well, that’s too bad that you think that. If you are good enough with what you do that they want to connect with you that they want to have you be the one they trust, and trust me, you will have a job for a long time and be very essential to the planning of everyone you work with.
[00:31:36] Brad Johnson: Yeah. I couldn’t echo that more. I’ve dealt with some very, very intelligent advisors over the years like have every designation under the sun. And, quite honestly, if they didn’t have that one skill, the skill of connection and dealing with humans, I mean, they weren’t very successful because people didn’t want to interact with them. They could have been the smartest guy in the room but they just didn’t know how to create a relationship, which is what’s so key. And just even hearing the story of your dad, that was the skill set he had was connecting and creating relationships. And that’s what I’ve seen with the very, very best. They can still be really good at math but they have to figure out that skill as well if they want to do well in this industry.
[00:32:19] Jason Hewlett: Totally. That has to be the driver and that’s why this process if your audience is willing to write down what the process is, they’ll tell them in three words. You ready? It’s identify, clarify, magnify. If they’re willing to do that process of identifying their talents, their gifts, their skills, their strength. Clarify, the clarify process is asking others to help us clarify what we don’t see in ourselves. And the magnify process is simply in finding out once we know our identify, clarify elements of ourselves, now, we magnify it by keeping our promise to those that we serve. We share and use our signature move. If we find out what makes us great with our identified process then we discover our signature move and we don’t share them, we are cheating the world of something only we can deliver.
If we have clarified from other people that say, “Hey, you’re good at that. Keep doing that. Do that more,” you know, whether it was the teacher in high school or it was the co-worker that said to you, “Hey, you should probably leave this business and go start your own, because you’re so good at this on your own,” and there are listeners right now they’re like, “Oh, yeah, that happened to me.” okay, so here we are. How are you magnifying those skill sets? Or are you just stuck in the minutia every single day of doing your least valuable things in your business? So, identify, clarify, magnify. When you come up with your signature moves through that process and clarifying it with others as to what makes you unique, what makes you amazing, then magnify that, that’s your promise.
[00:34:03] Brad Johnson: Cool. All right. I’m going to switch gears on you a bit. Because if I didn’t get to this, I mean, everybody needs to hear this part of your story. So, as we connected before we actually recorded here, you mentioned in the beginning of the story, which was growing up in financial services, and your dad saying, “Hey, someday you’re going to be a partner at the firm,” well, we can share pieces of that story if you want. But you kind of went past that and then decided to hang out in Vegas as an entertainer for a while before you became a keynote speaker and some more what you’re doing today. I would just, speaking of identifying, I mean, to me, that’s like going back in your story you were trying to identify what is it that Jason’s really good at, can you kind of talk us through a little bit of that story where, hey, either the passion wasn’t there, “I didn’t end up being part of dad’s firm then I was out in Vegas,” and I think the other thing I’m asking the world’s longest question here, I’m going to get to it. I’m going to throw it back to you.
I want to hear that story but I also think there’s some really cool learnings we can get from your time out in Vegas, because the craziness of Vegas and we’ve all probably experienced that at some times in our lives as you’re sitting out there entertaining for people that they might be sober, they might not. They obviously have a high expectation of your performance. But I think a lot of financial advisors can identify with doing public events, being on stage, what’s the curveball that I’m going to get from the heckler out in the audience? So, maybe just share whatever that story applies to the audience here because I think it can be really fun.
[00:35:33] Jason Hewlett: So, let me just make sure I’ve got it. Are you wanting me to talk about how I ended up in Vegas instead of with my dad working on the business or what for sure do we want to do?
[00:35:44] Brad Johnson: Yeah. Let’s share a little bit of the story because there was the growing up expectation that then, obviously, you transition and spent some time in Vegas. So, I think just the biography of that could be really cool but then maybe stop in Vegas and share a few key learnings that advisors might be able to learn from some time doing live performances out there.
[00:36:02] Jason Hewlett: Okay. So, how did Vegas start? Well, I mean, when you’re being told by your teachers in elementary school, you know, at least my parents were being told, “He’s going to be held back,” every single year, my parents were very proud. Now, my mom and my dad are obviously the champions of the story, right? Because my mom would go into school as the room parent and she would help and stay after and help me read. I mean, I find it interesting that I’m failing in reading and language and I’m going to a speech therapist and now I’m a speaker and an author and it’s because of a mom who wouldn’t give up while the teachers are saying, “Hold him back. Hold him back.” So, parents can make a huge difference in that sense, of course. Then there’s my dad. My dad’s looking at it going, “Here’s the kid that’s going to take over Hewlett Brothers Financial Corporation.”
What on earth am I going to do with this? You know, because I’m practicing in the basement with my faces that only I can do. And for those that are listening, they need to watch this part again.
[00:37:14] Brad Johnson: You need to check out YouTube for that.
[00:37:14] Jason Hewlett: That I found that I could do all these facial things that nobody else was doing but it made people laugh. And unfortunately, it also made me a bit of a target. So, the teachers were like, “He’s not learning. He doesn’t take it seriously.” That was only a few teachers that said I was actually a leader and I needed to harness this talent. But it wasn’t until I’m sitting in my bedroom one day trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my future, my dad walks in and sets a couple of books down on my bed. And he says, “Son, not doing well in school. Okay. You’re going to probably be running my business someday. Okay. You need to make sure to read these books.” And he started to set them down. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Let’s see. What was the next one? The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino. The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale. Spiritual Roots, Stephen Covey.
I mean, he just started setting all these powerful books down. He says, “If you can read these…” You know, and I was struggling through Spot the Dog, you know. I was having a hard time with normal kid books and he said, “Read these books.” I said, “Which one do I start with?” He said, “The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino.” You open the book and it’s this quick little story and then it goes right into these scrolls that you’re supposed to read every day over and over again for 30 days each. So, the book takes like a year to read if you actually go through it. So, that’s what I did. I just sat there and started doing the scrolls every single day. And he said, “I expect a report from you,” my dad. And so, I’d go into his office and I’d say, “This is what I read,” and he’s like, “Oh, he’s actually reading it. He’s starting to understand it.” And my dad’s office was covered in books anyway and said, “Well, when you’re done with that, then you’ll read this one.”
[00:39:16] Jason Hewlett: He’s pulling out the books that became the education that I needed to receive more than when I was sitting in the classroom going, “Hey, not now. Okay.” I’m grateful to have a dad that would see me that way. And any parent can help their child if they keep the promise for the family to help them discover their signature moves. That’s what that comes down to. And so, how did I end up in Vegas? I believe it’s because when I served a mission for my church for two years in Brazil between the ages of 19 and 21. When I was in Brazil, that’s when I actually realized, I guess I’m not just funny in English. I guess I’m not just funny in my neighborhood or my school. I’m actually pretty funny in front of a bunch of people that don’t know the cultural references I’m referring to. And I can make anyone laugh in any language. That’s pretty cool.
And so, when I came home from this mission, my dad was like, “You ready to take over the reins of the business?” I said, “You know, I have this idea. I would like to try my hand at being an entertainer in Las Vegas. I want to go there,” and he goes, “Do what?” And I said, “I want to sing, dance, perform. Maybe I’ll become a speaker. You know, I’ve always wanted to speak like you. Maybe I’m a songwriter. Maybe I’m an actor. I don’t know. I want to put something together.” My dad said, “All right. Well, let’s go to Vegas and see some show.” So, he told me about a guy named Danny Gans. Danny Gans was the greatest entertainer in Las Vegas at the time, which was in 2001. And he said to me, “Son, if you can do a show similar to this, then corporations will want you, Las Vegas will want you.”
[00:41:17] Jason Hewlett: It was an incredible show of musical impression. And so, I looked over at my dad 15 minutes into the show and I said, “I can do this,” and he goes, “Really?” “Yeah.” He goes, “Do you know how much he makes?” He had just signed a $150 million contract.” And I was like, “Yeah, I can do this.” So, I went home and started working on it. Through my dad’s connection, through the people he knew through his work, he was able to get me an audition with the Las Vegas Legends in Concert, which was the top impersonator show. Now, I didn’t end up doing Elvis. I didn’t end up doing anything like that. I became for them Ricky Martin, the bonbon shaker, the living la vida loca. And then I come back out on the stage completely transformed as Elton John. I can impersonate both of them so spot on that no one knew it was the same guy.
And eventually, after that job, I said, “I want to do a show like Danny Gans and I put together hundreds of impressions, comedy, music, my facial exercises, all my signature moves, and I became a one-man show entertainer in Vegas. Now, when you’re asking about your financial advisors that are giving a speech and they’re not sharing with the curveballs and the fruit that’s flying from the audience, the truth is this, every single audience in Vegas is a tough audience because they expect it to be Las Vegas promise-level commitment, right? They also are usually either drunk or tired or conventioned out or walked out or they lost all their money so they’re generally quite ticked off. And so, to be able to stand in front of an audience like that and deliver 100%, that became quickly my promise to every audience.
[00:43:12] Jason Hewlett: I don’t care if they look like they’re asleep, if they look like they hate me, I’m going to give them 100%. There were some nights, Brad, I’d show up, there would be 10 people in a 1,000-seat theater. And it’s like, “We’re really doing a show here?” And I learned from the veterans, the veteran performers, the Elvis impersonators, The Blues Brothers impersonators, they were giving it 100% as if there was a thousand people there. There were only 10 people in the audience. That was when I was like, “Okay. I know exactly what to do learning from mentors. You just have to go for it every time you’re on stage.” And I hope that answers your question.
[00:43:55] Brad Johnson: Oh my gosh.
[00:43:55] Jason Hewlett: Did you get that?
[00:43:56] Brad Johnson: I’ve got like eight follow-up questions. So, first off, you advisors that think like you went to a seminar and had a rough crowd, it could be worse. That’s the first lesson. So, let’s go to the mentors that you mentioned and I think this can probably lead into a follow-up question, but how did you seek them out? I mean, did you just go watch some shows and pull them backstage? Like, how did you learn from others because that applies just as much in financial services?
[00:44:31] Jason Hewlett: Well, that’s a fascinating question. Now, every mentor I reached out to is a complete jerk, man. I mean, they didn’t even help me and I would go to Danny Gans and others, they wouldn’t talk to me and it became a thing where I would send them letters and I tell them I was a fan. I’d send him videos. Eventually, I found out that the mentors had to be people that were either on my level already or were just kind of a little bit higher than me. I couldn’t get to the top-top because I wasn’t qualified to even talk to them, in their opinion. So, I would reach out to people that were kind of on my level, like a lounge singer. And I was somebody I could actually see and grab before they went in the kitchen to their little hole and eat their dinner. And so, I’m like, “Hey, how did you get this gig?” And eventually, these mentors started to show me that, “Yeah, this is a tough business. If you’re going to do it, you have to do these different types of things.”
The mentors I was referring to in that story of Legends in Concert, these are guys that I saw on stage with me that were already in the cast. And so, we go backstage in the dressing room and I’d go, “You guys, what do I need to do better or different?” And my first job was as Ricky Martin impersonator and they were like, “This Ricky Martin shelf life, he’s not going to be around very much longer,” and I was like, “What are you talking about? Ricky Martin is a legend.”
[00:46:03] Brad Johnson: He was hot in 2001.
[00:46:04] Jason Hewlett: He was hot in 2001 and they’re like, “Dude, that’s like a thing.” We were conversing along. And I was offended but then I said, “So, who’s a real legend then?” and they said, “A real legend is somebody who continually create new songs that are new hits.” And a real legend is somebody who is always relevant. And the truth of the matter is that Elton John was that guy, because they would look at me and they said, “Put on some glasses or put the glasses on.” They said, “Here, just squeeze them down over your nose like this and let’s get bigger glasses. And now let’s hide this,” and I didn’t have a beard at the time and I painted the space in my teeth and I put on an earring and we’d put a hat down and I look just like Elton John. Then I realized I can impersonate him. But these were mentors that were saying to me, “You have to remain relevant. You have to discover other talents that you could utilize.” They were like, “Do you play the piano?” I said, “Yeah, a little bit.” So, he said, “You need to figure out how to play like Elton John.”
So, I went and learned how to play like Elton John and that took a long time until I got it down but then I’m on stage playing the piano, singing the songs. I would do the 70s version, “I remember when rock was young. Me and Suzie had so much fun. La la la la la,” singing along and then I turn around, whip my hat off, put on a wig, turn into 90s Elton John. From 70s glasses to 90s mature Elton and I sit down the piano with his new different voice, “Can you feel the love tonight. It is where we are.” And they were like, “Oh my gosh, you just transformed before us.” They didn’t even know I was Ricky Martin just a couple characters prior. So, do we listen to the mentors that tell us, “You need to remain relevant. You need to update your content. You need to continue to push yourself. Learn new skills. Practice harder whatever it takes to get there and to remain in the profession that you’re in.”
[00:48:06] Brad Johnson: Well, that was some good 2001 advice because I’d say Elton John is still very much around and I don’t remember the last time I heard about Ricky Martin.
[00:48:15] Jason Hewlett: Well, I’m glad I listened.
[00:48:88] Brad Johnson: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it’s one thing to have a mentor but you still have to be coachable. So, I want to go back because the first thing I thought of like your dad has this grand vision of you taking over the firm, and then you’re like, “I want to go be a Vegas performer.” And what a testament to your dad to go with your dream but have you ever deconstructed like he literally, I’m sure this was his dream like bringing you along to these conferences all through the years, “My son’s going to take over the company,” and then you throw him the ultimate curveball like was that just like, boom, he immediately supported you? Because I think there’s a lesson there because a lot of the listeners here, I’ve seen it a lot where they’re bringing their children into the business and some of them it’s catapulted their business to the next level. And some of them it’s like, you know, it might not always work out that way. So, is there a lesson from your dad and the way he reacted to that, that you could help some advisors out there with?
[00:49:15] Jason Hewlett: Yeah. That’s the big one right there. In fact, I’ve written a chapter about that in my new book that’s coming out, The Promise to The One. When I was so scared to talk to my dad about this because I knew it was his dream to have me take over and to work with me. And I had to sneak around in a bit in order to go and record a demo of me singing and my own recording and my own songs and covers of songs to try to figure out can I prove to him that I’m serious? And so, I was scared. And as I thought about it, how worried was he? I mean, that was what he had paid for my private school education for and he was so excited for me to do this. Although I don’t know if he thought I would be competent and capable, but he was willing to take that risk.
And so, I remember, as a young adult walking to his office in our home, our home is 12,000 square feet, I mean, in the 90s, when he was doing well, you know, I mean, just so successful. I handed him the demo, and I said, “Will you please listen to this CD?” and for the listeners that are millennials, a CD is a thing that spins and it plays music. And he puts the CD in and I remember sitting outside his office door as I’m praying to myself, “Please let him understand where I’m coming from,” and he listened. Then I heard him listen to it again and then again. And it took maybe a half an hour for him to get through the whole demo in about a couple of times. He came out of the door with tears stained on his cheeks. And he said, “This is you?” I said, “Yeah.” He goes, “You really want to do this, huh?” I said, “Yeah.”
[00:51:17] Jason Hewlett: He goes, “Well, then just be the best. You need to be the best. I’ll do whatever it takes to help you get there. What do you need to get there? Do you need connections? Do you need instructions? You need coaching? What do you need?” It was almost like in one moment it wasn’t as if he needed the flip but there was a switch that had to say, “That’s my son’s dream. What can I do to support it?” even though he had other plans, and thought I was probably leaning towards those as well. And this was a moment for me that has always been a tipping point moment in my life, that my dad would support my dream even when I was a kid. And he’s still to this day other than my wife and my mother and my children he is my biggest fan, my biggest cheerleader.
So, to those that are listening, maybe I didn’t answer your question as far as turning it over the business but what happens when they come to you and say, “That’s not my plan?” What’s your level of support? What’s your promise to that person that’s asking you for help to make sure that you give them all the support you possibly can? Because that is a defining moment in the life of that young person.
[00:52:37] Brad Johnson: I just want to let that one sit for a bit. I mean, I think that’s an awesome story. It says a lot about your dad as a person. It says a lot about you willing to chase the dream. And, man, just being a parent, that one hits home with me. So, thank you for sharing that. You’re trying to practice your dad’s speech where you’re making me laugh and cry on the same conversation. Well, where to go from that? Let’s go into as we were getting ready here as we were prepping, I think one of the things that the audience loves to hear whenever we can get into it is you’ve obviously been successful in life and on the stage and a lot of other things and we’ll maybe get into the strategy that we’ve never covered on this podcast before, which is how to connect with billionaires so maybe we’ll get there eventually. But advisors love to hear the psychology of how does a successful guy like Jason actually pick his financial advisor. So, any of that story that you’d be willing to share?
And don’t disclose any personal info or anything about your advisor that you don’t want to disclose but what was the psychology growing up as a financial advisor’s kid and then becoming successful and doing well for yourself? How did you select a financial advisor? Was there a marketing funnel you fell into? Was it a referral? Like, just anything that you’re willing to share would be cool.
[00:54:00] Jason Hewlett: No, that’s cool. As a kid growing up in the financial field and insurance world, I first of all recognize the importance of insurance and how foolish it is for anyone to think they don’t need it. And so, I’ve always preached that because I also did try to take the insurance exam and I failed it miserably. And so, insurance is essential. And so, I’ve always been a proponent for that, financial planning as well especially because without it then you have an even bigger problem. And so, as a kid growing up, I remember watching people come into our home and they would drive in and I have to manicure the lawn and the property. It was a 5-acre property outside of Salt Lake City, Utah up in the mountains in Sandy, Utah. It was a beautiful spot, right before you drive up to Snowbird and Alta ski resorts, world-famous. So, we live in a pristine spot. My parents created this beautiful property in the state.
So, I was the gardener. I was the worker that kept the whole place clean. And I remember watching these successful people come in and out of our home. They were always pretty much the millionaires around and eventually a billionaire started to show up and my dad became even more and more successful. And as I’ve gone in my life to look at who do I want to help me, obviously, I could save more money. I could be better as a steward in that way but if you can see behind me and for those that are watching, I have a picture of my family on the wall. Those are the most important people to me. And finances and money is really just a tool to create whatever life we can for them, right, and to be able to give more to the world. And so, when I was looking at a financial planner, I thought, “How can I find somebody that can understand my dream as to what I want to create for my family, like my actual dream?
[00:55:58] Jason Hewlett: Not just saving for someday but putting that in place so that there’s something always going in automatically, and we’re good. But I want to figure out some things some way that we can utilize life with the young children now. Because if we wait until I’m old and they’re gone, that’s too late. So, how do I make it so that I’m not insanely spending but at the same time living a dream?” And so, I was referred to the right financial planner, after I asked all these questions of the most successful friends I have, and I asked them, “What are you doing?” A lot of them did not have a financial planner and it was insane. I thought, “What is the deal?” And a lot of these people no longer have either the job they were in or the money that they once had. They have their ebbs and their flows of their career. But there is one guy that was so successful, he became my business coach eventually said, “Who do you use as your financial guy?”
And he told me about my friend and now my financial planner named Jason Payne and he is brilliant. He’s a family-first guy. That was important to me. He understood my faith and where I’m coming from. That was important to me. He also understood my vision, which is I want to make sure that we’re set for the future, but especially that we’re living in the now and we’re creating special moments for my family, which included buying a motorhome, to the chagrin of most financial planners listening. I bought a motorhome even without my house paid off yet because that has created the greatest memory as our family has connected in our entire life. When the children draw pictures at school about their life, they draw the motorhome. And so, how does a financial planner see your vision, your dream, your life, your wants?
[00:57:58] Jason Hewlett: That’s where AI does not matter. That’s where empathy, understanding, connection, creating vision, and helping those that are dreaming big like myself to find the right financial planner for themselves. And I’m so glad I found the guy who I can call in the middle of the night weeping because I look at my bank account, I go, “What have I done?” And then the other time he goes, “Come on. Sit down. You got to put all those documents, update them, and put him in the vault. We’re going to meet.” He is my friend. He is somebody we trust and we love and he’s made a lot of difference to us in the ebbs and flows of my business which I make a lot of money in some months. Other months it’s a desert and that is the financial planning, insurance salesman, entrepreneur life anyway, and he understands that.
[00:58:50] Brad Johnson: So, you were originally referred to Jason?
[00:58:53] Jason Hewlett: Jason Payne. Yeah.
[00:58:54] Brad Johnson: So, you’re originally referred to him by somebody you trusted? And then how long have you worked with him?
[00:59:02] Jason Hewlett: I’d say now, seven years, I think.
[00:59:05] Brad Johnson: What are some things he’s done over those seven years? Because I mean, you said like there’s a great relationship there now that’s kind of turned from a financial advisor into a friendship. Are there things he’s intentionally done as you look back those seven years that helped morph that relationship from a business relationship to a friendship?
[00:59:22] Jason Hewlett: Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, he’s got a fairly sizable office. He could totally hand me over to whomever and, obviously, there are things that he doesn’t need to do like I don’t need to call and ask him to walk me through how to load my bank account information into his system so he can check what I’m doing, but just having those systems in place is so helpful. Also, I mean, he’s constantly making sure that I’m not getting off track. And he understands that that’s my main issue. Because of the feast and the famine life that I live, which is unique to a lot of his clients, his clients are mostly like retired or have made millions doing their software company or whatever they’ve created. Because in Utah, we have what is called the silicon slopes. And so, lots of these technology people are working with him. So, for me, he understands the dynamics of my business, and thankfully he cares and understand.
He contacts me in the summer because he knows that’s a bad time for me financially. He contacts me on those months when he knows I’m making a windfall and he says, “Remember what we talked about.” And so, he’s never…
[01:00:34] Brad Johnson: Double the deposit this month, right?
[01:00:36] Jason Hewlett: Yeah. He goes, “Okay. Remember, we have classes coming up in April. What are you going to do in September?” I’m just grateful for the reminders that he’s constantly reaching out. Not annoying. That’s helpful. He sends out a weekly newsletter of great ideas. I can click on it and read it if I want. But I’m just grateful that he’s always there that he’s interested. And he’s not just thinking, “How can we put Jason’s money in here so I can make more over here?” I’m not thinking that way. He’s just like, “Hey, if it makes more over here, cool. If it doesn’t, oh well, let’s put it over here instead if that’s where you want it.” And he’s constantly advising me properly and not with his agenda as his main thing. I think that’s the most important to me.
[01:01:19] Brad Johnson: Yeah. I think the RV story is an awesome one for advisors to listen to and not just hear it but understand it. Because to your point, money is just a tool. And I feel the exact same way. We take our kids on a trip every year, kind of a little mini family sabbatical because it’s important to me to create these memories and experience because someday the kids are going to be gone. I mean, we’ve got a limited amount of time with them. And I love the fact that you’re like, “Hey, this is money well spent to reallocate it over here to basically an experience maker that we drive around all around the country in. And so, I think sometimes financial advisors get very stuck in the spreadsheet world, where sometimes you have to look at the human side of it, the element like what is the purpose, the experiences we can create with this money? And so, it’s cool to hear that your current advisor very much got that. Was there a process that he went through to get you to that? Or are you just like, “We’re buying an RV. How do we make it happen?”
[01:02:20] Jason Hewlett: Actually, we talked about it for a few years because we were thinking, “Do we buy a cabin up in the woods by our family where we have a family ranch and all that, we build that now? Or what if we want to have a cabin on wheels, then we can park it anywhere?” And as we worked with him on this concept, he was like, “I think Instead of motorhome when you’re 65, it should be motorhome when you’re 35.” And I was like, “Whoa, okay,” because that was always my dream, you know, take the kids around because everyone I’ve ever talked to just like, “We did motor home when I was a kid.” They always say that’s their childhood memory, right? And so, for me, I was like, “I want to create that for our family because we travel anyway.” And so, for him to recognize that and say, “Yeah, I think you need to do it,” obviously, this was a few years ago, I’m now 41, but it changed our whole dynamic of our family and the way that we create memories so I’m grateful for that.
[01:03:16] Brad Johnson: Very cool. All right. So, I want to hit this because you’ve – and don’t share any names you don’t feel like sharing but you’ve had the opportunity to do some private events for billionaires like legitimate, like billionaires everybody on this podcast would recognize. I think one of the things that’s always like, “Uh-huh, I wonder how they do that in financial services,” it’s how do you connect with ultra, ultra-high net worth individuals? Because for a lot of people, those could make great clients. Any tips you have? Was it just, “Hey, I had a relationship with one and then it was a referral on to the next one,” or what can you share there, Jason, that might be able to help some advisors out there?
[01:03:52] Jason Hewlett: Okay, that’s cool. I’ve never been asked this question. I’ve had two cycles of billionaire moments, which has been interesting. But first one was at the very beginning of my career, I was asked to perform at an event for free, which is never fun, up in Montana. In Montana, I drive from Salt Lake City to Montana eight hours to go do a birthday party for a friend of our family. And I thought, “What a waste that I just drove eight hours to go perform for 50 people for a 50th birthday party?” Well, it turns out that this guy works for the oil industry. The next thing I know, he’s referring me on to the next opportunity, and they hired me and in the audience was the owner of Sinclair Oil Company, which is a billion. It is a billionaire family. The Earl and Carol Holding were in the audience.
After they saw my performance, this was in probably 2002, they saw my performance of all my comedy music and it was family, family, and they came up to me and said, “We want you to perform for every single party we have,” and I said, “Really? Who are you, you know?” And they’re like, “Well, we own Sinclair Oil and we own Sun Valley, Idaho and we own…” I mean, it was like, “Oh, my gosh, you are the reason we help the Olympics come to Utah.” So, then I realized who they are. Next thing I know, I’m flying on a private G5 around the country with my wife. They’re two retired Air Force One pilots putting booties on our shoes to walk into the gold plated I think was the prince of Arabia’s former Gulfstream and we’re sitting there with these very, very wealthy people. And we’re like, “This is a nice thing. I like the corporate lifestyle.” We didn’t realize what we had gotten ourselves into. It was the greatest gig of all time.
[01:05:54] Jason Hewlett: What happened is once they realized they could trust me with their people, that they knew my material was clean and it was positive and it’s family-friendly, they use me for everything. And they did that for about three years. And I’m so grateful that they did that because they helped establish my career as a performer for corporations. And the next thing I knew, it spread like wildfire because of all the word of mouth. And so, that was that moment. And then more of recent, I have become the trusted performer once again for some of the most important parties for the most important people as far as finance is concerned, and people that are making a difference in the world. This just comes back to the same principle. They saw me or their assistant saw me or someone heard about me and they saw me at one party that led to another party that led to another event.
Next thing I know I’m the guy that they trust with their audience. And when one important person sees you do that well, and you not just have the door open, but you slam it shut, that means that now they’re going to share you with everybody. And once one of them finds out about you, they’re going to tell everyone how much they love you. Then this continues as a cycle in my career as a performer who brings something of comedy, of music, of familiarity, of nostalgia but infuses it with a message of positivity. You see, they come away saying, “I’ve never laughed so hard, but at the same time I was crying because you talked about your family,” or, “It reaffirmed for me what my message is in my life, what my signature move is.” And I go, “Awesome. That was the whole point of the show.” And so, whether it’s called the feature show, I don’t care.
[01:07:52] Jason Hewlett: But in terms of relating to and connecting with these billionaires, it’s all about being authentically who you are, being someone they can trust, and being somebody that they know will deliver every time because they have some important people there to them. And if we can appeal to their grandchildren, their children, their spouse, you’re set.
[01:08:19] Brad Johnson: It’s funny how many of those same themes that we oftentimes say, if you’re presenting from the front of a stage as an advisor at a seminar or something like that, they need to like you and trust you. And I heard you say the word trust about five times there where especially as a billionaire that gets like 100X more important because you could pull out your phone and live stream something and they’re very much in the public stratosphere, whatever you want to call it out there. So, that’s really cool to hear. It’s honestly a lot of the same principles that work for everyone. I don’t want to run you straight into the weekend, Jason, so let’s start to bring this to a close, although I feel like I could just keep going here for a while. So, there’s one thing that I wanted to circle back around to. Actually, let’s just go to the philosophical because you’ve talked a lot about family and I know family is really important to you and it’s really important to me and I know it’s really important to a lot of our listeners. So, I did a little bit of research and you have this random Facebook post back in 2015 and I read it.
I’m like, “Wow, that’s good stuff.” So, I think there’s a few things but I want to get to kind of the philosophical conversation. So, I’m going to read the front end of this post and then I’d love to talk about maybe a lesson or two that can come from it. So, it’s 2015, you’re just posting out on your, I think your random speaker page out on Facebook and I’m going to read the intro so kind of embarrassed to admit this. So, this is Jason writing this, “Kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I think I sort of cheated on my wife today. To explain what I mean I was at Target getting a few manly things, you know, eyebrow, tweezers, toenail clippers, beard trimmers, mustache molding, waxes, beef jerky, sardines. And as I went to pay, I saw this woman in line that knocked me out. I thought, ‘Wow, some lucky guy is with her.’ And in a split second, I realized it was my wife.” So, funny true story, because you literally like post the picture of like, two back in line from your wife that she’s checking out. But there was a really cool theme. And as a husband, it really hit home with me and the thing went viral so it hit home with a lot of people.
[01:10:18] Brad Johnson: But just speaking to the picture right there over your right shoulder, and why we all actually do this business, which is typically for those that we love and experiences that we love, to make money to do things like that, that we enjoy, share just some thoughts about like what you’re actually writing there and then, in your opinion, why it went so viral. And maybe explain how viral it went. I don’t know but it was like millions of views.
[01:10:41] Jason Hewlett: Yeah, man. I wrote that just that night laying there in bed, you know, typing into my Facebook post and then I went to bed. And then I woke up and my friends are like, “I think you’re going viral,” and I’m like, “What does viral entail?” And they’re like, “Being shared like crazy, you know.” And within two days The Today Show was calling and the next thing we know, I mean, they’re talking about on The View and they’re ripping me apart or they’re praising me. It was kind of all over the place. But I think it went viral because of the clickbait, which I didn’t even realize I had traded the perfect clickbait which is, “I think I cheated on my wife today.” And the post closes after I have watched my wife trying to get her attention through text and she didn’t look up. And I thought to myself, “I’m just going to sit here and watch her,” and then watch her just in her element. I didn’t know she was there.
She didn’t know I was there until I’m looking at her and I’m thinking, “Man, I’m so lucky to have this person as the one that chose me.” And here I am two people away. She doesn’t even notice me like how close did I come to this not even happening, she and I together? I’m so grateful I found out what I’m good at and what I have to offer because I never would have thought I could have somebody like this in my life. And so, I just concluded the post by saying, “It’s nice to see those that we love with fresh eyes, to realize the life they are in our lives.” Because so often we wake up every morning and just be the same person. We just go, “Hey,” and then we go off to work and that’s the routine. But what happens when we really start to appreciate them? And that’s why I like traveling. I go off to my stage and then I’m in the hotel. I’m kind of lonely and then I think, “I’m sure grateful I have a family that’s at home in the States that I love.”
[01:12:44] Jason Hewlett: And it makes me appreciate them that much more, right? The separation creates the fondness perhaps. But I think that the message went extremely viral because of the idea that people clicked on it thinking a man had just confessed to cheating. And at the end, they realized it’s a love story. And all of us has a story like that or we want something to be created like that. Then what is our promise to that person that we have devoted our lives to? I don’t think a man has ever stood across from his spouse to be and said, “I set a goal to be faithful,” that I never done that. That sounds ridiculous.
[01:13:26] Brad Johnson: That one might not go so well.
[01:13:30] Jason Hewlett: No. We make a promise. We make a promise to love that person and to give them our all, to be present, to plan for the future, to keep them safe. And that’s what this post was. 100-plus million people have read that post. And we have done that math just through the amount of headlined on stories in Sydney, Australia, to Brazil, to South Africa, to Iceland, to Russia, China, all over the world. People were floored by this concept that a man could look at his wife and fall in love with her again. And as sad as that is that people were floored by that I’m so grateful that it was me. And for all the funny things that I do, Brad, that makes me the impersonator and the funny guy, I find it interesting that it was the words of my own heart, the promise to my wife to love her just that much more, to commit more deeply, to appreciate her every single day, that is the only thing I’ve ever done that’s gone around the world.
[01:14:37] Brad Johnson: Yeah. I read that and you’ve got to be very careful in life to – I feel like the closer people are to you, the easier it is to take them for granted. And that post of like, literally, you sitting there and realizing like being introspective enough to give yourself some space and like kind of play with, “Man. I’m sitting here like this girl’s hot. I’m lucky I married her, and she has no clue who I am,” and then the realization of that could have actually been reality. And that’s what was so powerful. But then the stepping back and saying, “Man, I really appreciate this person that I chose to spend the rest of my life with.” And so, I’m going to put it in the show notes because I just I love it. I think it’s a great message. And so, I just wanted to get your personal insight on that because that one definitely hit home with me.
[01:15:31] Jason Hewlett: Thank you, bro. I appreciate it and I’m grateful that so many people have read it, but it really just hopefully brings everybody that reads it back to their promise and say, “What is my promise to my family? This is my promise to myself,” and make sure to live that.
[01:15:48] Brad Johnson: Yeah. All right. I’ve got one last question and then we can get on to our weekends here. So, I would love for you to share and what’s fun is you’ve done so many different, you’re not that old and you’ve done so many different fun things in life. So, what is the one piece of advice that you would share with the audience if you were going to say this one thing led to my success or where I’m at today?
[01:16:10] Jason Hewlett: Oh, wow. I would say just what God created in you is your opportunity for success. It’s the Matthew 25 Parable of the Talents. That’s all it is. If you’re willing to embrace what you came here with and you’re willing to identify, clarify, and magnify it, that’s how you become successful. I truly believe it. I’ve preached that my whole life.
[01:16:35] Brad Johnson: Cool. Well, you’re living proof. I mean, maybe we’ll throw the other YouTube video where you do the lip thing and how you turned your one talent into a career. Jason, man, it’s been a blast. I knew it was going to be a fun conversation but thanks so much for grabbing some time and sharing with the audience today. I know a lot of this is going to hit home with them. So, I really appreciate it and look forward to the next time we get to cross paths.
[01:17:01] Jason Hewlett: Brad, I love this show. I love what you’re doing. You have an incredible power and energy and spirit about you. I mean, obviously, you have multiple signature moves that I think that you’ll be known for as well for the ability to connect people with this heartfelt experience that you have with every single guest. It’s very powerful, where a lot of these types of experiences or shows are geared more towards other things I think you did to such a different place but that’s one of your most fascinating signature moves is that you’re able to get the diamonds out of the rough, man, and I’m honored to be a part of your legacy that you’re creating. People don’t realize what a podcast takes. They just listen. So, I hope everyone will thumbs up or review or share this with their peers because trust me, this is a huge undertaking, and I’m just honored to be a part of it today, man. Thank you.
[01:17:53] Brad Johnson: That’s mutual, man. Hey, maybe this can be our second thing that goes viral, right? Everybody, go out and reshare it. So, well, thanks, man. I appreciate it. I’ve enjoyed every minute and until next time. See you, Jason.
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