Mike Malatesta

Entrepreneur | Author | Coach

Mike Malatesta

Entrepreneur | Author | Coach

Bryan Sweet – Becoming a Dream Architect (322)

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As a Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisor for multiple years running, Bryan Sweet has been on the mission to help people live their retirement dreams since the start of his career in financial services back in 1979. It is because of this that he created his proprietary The Dream Architect™, which not only helps his clients maximize their distribution planning in retirement, but also helps them strive for and accomplish their biggest dreams. 

With Bryan’s vast industry experience, he is also partnered in multiple entities including Ultimate Advisor Coaching and the Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium, which both support high-performing financial advisors across the United States in the growth and scaling of their businesses. He and his partners do this through teachings on team engagement, marketing, automation, best practices, and all that it takes to build a high-class and scalable advisory practice. 

The bottom line is that Bryan thrives on helping others experience the growth and freedom that he has created in building a world-class financial services practice, all while living the life of his dreams. 

You won’t want to miss this fascinating episode!

To learn more about Bryan Sweet, please visit the links below:

And now here’s Bryan Sweet .

Full transcript below

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Podcast with Bryan Sweet. Becoming a Dream Architect.

Mon, Oct 03, 2022 3:05PM • 59:59

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, brian, life, dream, life insurance, business, clients, helping, podcast, money, mentor, planning, pay, college, retirement, created, big, years, couple, firm

SPEAKERS

Bryan Sweet, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:03

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the How’d It Happen Podcast. So happy to have you here. And I’m so excited to have Bryan Sweet with me, Brian, welcome to the show.

Bryan Sweet  00:18

So glad to be here, Mike.

Mike Malatesta  00:20

So I was telling Brian, before we started, he’s been very flexible with his schedule with me. I’m normally like clockwork. And I think two times I had to change the last one was last week or the week before, because I had COVID for the second time. And I just, it’s so hard to put these things together sometimes that but you know, you always have to have flexibility. And he certainly showed it. So Brian, thank you so much for your very welcome.

Bryan Sweet  00:44

And I’m just glad you’re feeling better.

Mike Malatesta  00:46

Thank you. And I did also have the opportunity of Episode 278, I did a podcast with Brian’s partner, Brittany Anderson. So if you want to learn more about Britney, and you didn’t get that episode, Episode 278, I think you’ll really like that one, as well. So this is sort of my second sweet, sweet pack. And, and I’m looking forward to it. So let me tell you a little bit about Brian, so that you can get as excited as I am about this, what’s going to happen here. So Brian is a wealth advisor. And he’s, he’s, he’s really at the top of his game. He’s a Forbes best and state wealth advisor for multiple years running. He’s been on a mission to help people live their retirement dreams since this started in financial services, which goes back quite a ways. Back to 1979 or so. And it’s because of this that he created his proprietary process, which is called the dream architect. Love the name of that, by the way, Brian, thank you. And the dream architect not only helps his clients maximize their distribution planning in retirement, which I’m assuming that means what you end up with Brian, or is there a different meaning to distribution that people should know?

Bryan Sweet  02:03

Yeah, it’s like how do you get your, you know, normalised cashflow, when you’re not getting a paycheck from work, and just making sure that you’re taking it from the right areas taken into consideration, taxes, and all of the interesting IRS rules and regulations when it comes to things like 401, K’s etc.

Mike Malatesta  02:23

Okay, got it. All right, thank you. So so the distribute the dream architect, not only helps clients maximize their distribution, planning in retirement, but also helps them strive for and accomplish their biggest dreams and dreams is going to be a big thing here. You know, it’s the name, it’s one of the names in his process. And I really want to get into this whole retirement dream thing or living the life you dream thing, because it’s, it’s sprinkled throughout all the stuff I read about Brian, and I’m just interested in learning more about that. Brian is also partnered in multiple entities, including ultimate advisor coaching and the elite Wealth Advisors symposium, both of those support high performing financial advisors across the United States in the growth and scaling of their business. So as I get that, you’re not only helping your direct clients, to clients of your firm, but you’re also helping the whole industry sort of up their game. Is that fair way to say it? Yeah,

Bryan Sweet  03:19

that’s a great way of saying it.

Mike Malatesta  03:21

Okay, cool. He and his partners do this through teachings on team engagement, marketing, automation, best practices, and all that it takes to build a high class and scalable advisory practice. And when you get right down to it, Brian thrives on helping others experience the growth and freedom that he has created in building a world class financial services practices of his own, all while living the life of his dreams. Brian is the author of a couple of books, the latest, I believe, is dare to dream. Design, the retirement you can’t wait to wake up to which I think is a great name. I don’t know if you came up with that subtitle that it’s a good one. You can find out more about Brian. Or you can connect with him on LinkedIn, B R ya en suite, SW E T. And then his firm is sweet financial.com. Brian, start every episode with a simple question. And that is, how did it happen for you?

Bryan Sweet  04:26

Well, I don’t think it was any one thing Mike. I think it was a series of scenarios that played out over my life that I was fortunate to listen and and believe in some mentors. And so I think it probably started back when I was a little kid to be honest with you. And my mom and dad, probably fortunately got divorced when I was three. And because of that, I got to spend some time with my My uncle, who owned a an implement dealership, and I got to spend summers with him. And I think my initial interest in maybe entrepreneurship and whatnot came because of him. And he was just this gregarious, really fun loving guy, and everybody loved my uncle Roy. And I learned, you know, how to treat people relationship building, and just, I think I got my interest in business from him. And then, as time went on, you know, I had a mentor in college, who was kind of a marketing guy, and he helped me make some decisions and got me in the industry initially. And so if it wasn’t for him, and be listening to things that he said, because my mom was probably a little upset when I first made my announcement, what I what I was going to do when I got out of college, and he was also a district manager for a life insurance company. And since I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do, I said, Well, I’ll just give that a try. And fortunately, then that led to other things, but kind of scared the bejesus out of my mother, that, you know, get to four years of college, and I was gonna be a life insurance agent. And then when I got into the financial services area, I had a great mentor, he was the CEO of our broker dealer. And at a, after one meeting, we were sitting down and having a kind of a leisurely conversation. And I had always done pretty well, I was maybe in the top 10% of all the advisors. But that particular night, he was sitting with me, and he looked at me and said, Brian, I just wanted you to know that I think you could be one of the top representatives of our firm. And I think what happened is I actually believed him. And within a year, I was in the top 10, of, of ad 200 advisors around the country. So that was a an interesting scenario. And then just more recently, as you alluded to Brittany Anderson, who’s my partner, and another business, which we do called dare to dream. And that will talk a little bit more at Scott talking about the dream architect life we’re creating. But Brittany has been an amazing resource for me, because sometimes it gets a little lonely in your office, when you are the, you know, the visionary and whatnot. And Brittany has got this uncanny ability to be a visionary, but she’s just a great people person. So I get to interact with her, literally daily. And I think she keeps me motivated. And then I’m also just a lifelong learner. So I’ve been a member of Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan’s organization for 23 years, and then, more recently, a mastermind called Genius Network. And by being in those, I’ve really met some amazing people and was able to take information from different industries and apply it to what we do. Subsequently written five books and all sorts of crazy things started for other businesses, just because of, you know, commentary and inspiration I’ve gotten from others. So that’s a long answer to the short question like, but I don’t think it was any one person.

Mike Malatesta  08:43

Okay. Well, thank you. Yeah, you lay down a lot of paths there. And I want to explore a couple of them if you don’t mind. Yeah, absolutely. So your parents divorced when you were three? It sounds like you were raised by your mother. Is that Is that accurate? Yeah.

Bryan Sweet  08:57

No, my mom. You know, she’s kind of a memory care unit today, which is, you know, a little sad. But yeah, she, she raised me since I was three. I got to see my dad one time since they got divorced. And that was at his mom’s funeral. And he actually left early from that. So I think I don’t think I know it’s good that he wasn’t part of my life, because I’m 99.9% sure things wouldn’t have turned out like they have had he been part of it, because he just really wasn’t a good person. So yeah, my mom did a lot when I was young. And so, you know, hard, hard to repay mothers as well, as we all know.

Mike Malatesta  09:43

Sure, sure. It’s easy to discount what they’ve done for you too.

Bryan Sweet  09:46

Yeah, you know, very much so.

Mike Malatesta  09:48

I know I’ve done that in my life. So you said that she was not thrilled about the life insurance path. What did she want for you? What was she hoping for,

Bryan Sweet  10:02

you know, I don’t know if she had any specific areas that she wanted me to go into, I had a big interest in accounting, I think what she wanted was something that had stability, because she probably in her own mind felt that she didn’t have a lot, come to find out just, you know, doing some investigating as she has gotten older. You know, the most she ever made was $10.32 an hour. And then my dad never paid her a dollars worth of alimony. And, you know, so I never felt like I was without anything. But she had to have sacrificed in an amazing amount for me not to feel like, you know, I was missing something. So, you know, it’s just, you know, when you start thinking back, and you know, at the end of their lives, you know, start thinking a little bit more about all that stuff, and you really can’t repay them enough for all they did and sacrificed.

Mike Malatesta  11:05

And in your only only child, did mom ever remarry or Yep, only child. Yep. All right. My mom never remarried or she did she

Bryan Sweet  11:16

actually, about three months after I got married, she got remarried to a great human being that treated her like, gold. And that was so that was such a great thing to see. But it took a number of years, it was 2022 years that she was single. Yeah,

Mike Malatesta  11:38

yeah, that’s a long time. Huh. She sounds like an incredible person. I, these mentors, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s funny, like, a lot of people attribute some part of the success in their life or some to a mentor. And I find that a lot of, I think, like a lot of people don’t really know what that means, for example, they understand what the word mentor means. But it’s like, you know, and you hear people say, well find a mentor. And I often wonder if it’s just someone you look, people think, well, mentors to someone I look up to, or a mentor is someone who I actually have a relationship with that, you know, imprints in me or on me, something that would not have otherwise been imprinted? And it sounds like in your case, that’s, it’s, it’s, it’s was real engagement. And I wondered if you would mind taking us through like, with your uncle, or with the other two gentlemen that you mentioned? Like, what? What was the relationship actually like? And in what did you get from it? And what did you give to it? If you could reflect on that a little bit? Ya know,

Bryan Sweet  12:45

let’s start with my uncle, because that was the, you know, the earliest one, I would tell you that he probably served a little bit as a father figure to me, because I didn’t have one. And you know, he, he was very kind and I worked at his at his implement dealership, and I remember this, to this day, we got to drive farm equipment out to the county fair. And, you know, that was always the highlight of of the year. And, and, you know, he took me everywhere he went, he went to lunch. And he literally gives you, you know, the shirt off his back. But the one funny story about Roy is, and I’m just dead serious. Every human being just loved him to death. And he was like, the most gregarious guy, so I’ll never forget this. But we used to go into this one local restaurant was called the White House. And he’d go in there for lunch. And he just knew everybody that was in there. And he’d go up and down the aisles before we would go to sit, he’d say, you know, Hi, Bob. Boy, those French fries look good eat, grab one and eat it. He said, Well, I might have some of those today. And literally, he’d like take a bite out of somebody’s sandwich. And they then they didn’t think anything bad about it, because that was just who he was. And they’d have a bunch of yucks with him, but he really knew how to handle people and become friends and create relationships. And it was just so noticeable how people were attracted to him, because of him being outgoing and caring about others. And he always took care of his clients first. I can remember lots of stories about things he did for farmers that, you know, just he went way out of his way where he never made a dime, but he just cemented the relationship but for somebody that maybe worked with him for 20 or more years, and you just don’t forget those things. And I think a lot of that applies to what I do today. I just have that in the back of my my mind. Dick Ford. Like I said he was my college professor. Interesting story with that is As time went on, I ended up being their financial advisor for him and his wife, and then all of their family members. And it was, it’s really interesting, I just had a client trip to Italy, and their whole family ended up going, and I wasn’t able to participate. But I sent a couple of my staff people, but you know, we’ve just created this long, lifelong friendship, where he helped me now he subsequently is passed away, and now I get to help his wife, you know, maintain her lifestyle and her, you know, ability to, she loves to travel. And so it’s, you know, kind of full circle there. But he was also he was like the number one teacher at my college for three years running, and just learned a lot of skills from just how to tie a tie, to just, you know, I won’t say sales skills, but it was more just once again, relationship skills and how to treat people, and you know, what to say and what not to say. So that was really helpful. And then Dick Abraham, who was the president of our broker, dealer, um, you know, I would say, I had not, it wasn’t the closest relationship just because he was, you know, the top guy, and you’d see him at conferences, you know, I had his phone number and things and you needed something, you know, had to open line of communication. But, you know, it wasn’t like, I had a lot of like daily interactions with him. But he was just a really caring guy. And if he saw something that or saw something in someone, including me, but he did this to others, he let you know that, you know, there was more in the gas tank than you were letting on. Because I think sometimes what happens is you need somebody to have belief in you before you believe in yourself. And I don’t know what happened. But the timing from you know, being pretty good. You know, being much better. It all happened within a short period of time after he said that.

Mike Malatesta  17:18

I think that’s so true, what you said there, like it’s, it’s oftentimes someone else has to have the belief in you, before you believe it. yourself. And it was interesting what you said, because when you first described that you said, you know, he said, you could, you know, be a top rep and you believed him, that’s what you said, I believed him. And, and it’s it’s funny, because you may not have believed it before. He says that you believe that. But then once you believe it, you start acting toward it, right, you start acting as if this is inevitable, because this person has to be right, because this person believes in me, so I they obviously I can they think I can do it. So I must do it. You know, it’s huh.

Bryan Sweet  18:00

Yeah, it’s, you know, strange amount of circumstances there. But yeah, it was a real defining moment. And then, you know, from there, it’s just continued to get better, because now I always believe in myself.

Mike Malatesta  18:15

Yeah. And Uncle Roy sounds like a real character. Because that’s, that’s not easy to pull that off what you saying like to be the person. Most people are going to come off as being jerky or something. That’s what I that’s what I think when they try to pull something like that off, but to pull it off and have people be like, Wow, I really just had a fright one of my friends that was hilarious or whatever. That’s, that’s a real skill.

Bryan Sweet  18:39

Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you, the first time I saw it happen was a little more shocked, because I couldn’t believe he was doing it. But that was just him. Every time we went to lunch, he did the same thing. So it was, but yeah, everybody just found that funny because of just who he was, and how he handled himself.

Mike Malatesta  18:58

And Brian, when you, you know, we, when you got out of college, we know where you went at least the first direction. But what about when you were going in? What were you thinking about for you? Or as a career? Or did you have an idea?

Bryan Sweet  19:14

Yeah, you know, I really didn’t, I’ve always loved business, and I’ve always loved numbers. So I got a minor in accounting, you know, finance business degree and so wasn’t quite sure. And and, you know, when we were getting close to graduation, or the senior year, I wasn’t 100% sure of what I wanted to be when I grow up, if you will. And so when Dick said, Well, if nothing else, why don’t you try and and I did this during my senior year of college, you know, being a life insurance agent. He said, worst case scenario is you’ll get some really good experience. It’ll look really good on your resume. And you’ll have more you know, skill Some things to share with a future employer than you did before. So I said, Well, I don’t have any other options to consider. So, you know, I said, let’s give that a whirl. And just one thing led to another and it kind of took off and, and, you know, things progressed and, and ultimately got out of the life insurance side of it because of certain things I didn’t have control over. And I love the, you know, the financial planning and wealth management side much more. But, you know, if I wouldn’t have taken those initial steps, I probably never would have gotten there.

Mike Malatesta  20:36

And was, was a career like working for your uncle or taking over his business. Was that ever in the cards? Or was that? Oh,

Bryan Sweet  20:45

no, that actually never never came up. He had some great business partners or people that worked there for years that ultimately took over and, and you know, except for the summer, I really didn’t have any skill sets or anything. So, you know, he obviously made the right decision there because that company is still going strong today. And the people he’s sold it to have flourished with it. So he definitely made the right decision.

Mike Malatesta  21:15

And after college, you went and got a master’s degree, I think, at the American College in Bryn Mawr, which is only interesting. Well, two reasons. It’s interesting to me, one, I’d never heard of it. And I grew up right near Bryn Mawr, so that, and then I, I so I wondered how you found it. What was what was it? And how did you find it?

Bryan Sweet  21:40

So the American College, if you’re in the life insurance arena, is well known for their designation designations and how you can learn and get better about the profession. So they’ve got the chartered financial consultant, designation, chartered life underwriter, and then their top level, if you will, is the Masters of Science and financial service. So it’s a really a life insurance or financial services only college. So you probably wouldn’t have heard of it unless you were in the industry. But it’s typically people just in the insurance or financial planning arena that typically go to that. But you’ll see, okay, CLU ChFC after a lot of people’s names on their business cards that are, you know, in the life insurance industry.

Mike Malatesta  22:35

Okay, got it. That makes sense. And speaking of those things, CLU all these other designations how? Like, most people see that and they don’t have no idea what, what, what it is? How, what kind of, what is it? I mean, what what do they really teach you that puts you ahead of people who haven’t don’t have that education? But are, you know, yeah, what does it really bring you?

Bryan Sweet  23:06

Yeah, I would tell you, it probably doesn’t really give you anything except some advanced knowledge. And I think the thing that it probably does the most is it gives you some confidence that you maybe no more than your quote unquote, competition does. And you know, the other part of the story is my aunt, Roy’s wife, was a high school principal. And so I think, you know, my wanting to be a lifelong learner came from her. And so that’s why I belong to these masterminds. I’m in a couple of study groups and gotten these advanced degrees, because I just want to feel myself that I know as much as I possibly can to help the people that we’re working with. And so, but most people never bring it up if you if they get your business card, and you’ve got the initials after it. You know, they never asked what it means or, you know, what advanced levels do you have that somebody else doesn’t? So I think it’s more of a personal thing myself.

Mike Malatesta  24:10

Okay. It’s probably like in the industry, it’s probably meaningful to like someone sees someone that

Bryan Sweet  24:17

Yeah, I think if you were applying for a position and you know, you had those initials after your name, you would stand out from somebody that didn’t for sure.

Mike Malatesta  24:26

Okay. And on the on the Lifelong Learning front of you, you mentioned Strategic Coach, I’ve talked about strategic coach frequently on my podcast, I was a member for six or seven years myself, but so people that are listening are familiar with that. But you also mentioned Genius Network and I know what Genius Network is. I know, you know, who created it and stuff, but I I’ve never been to Genius Network and I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind telling us like what is As Genius Network, what is it for you? And what is it done for you?

Bryan Sweet  25:03

Yeah, Genius Network. I think initially, I’ve probably been a member for six years, something like that with a Genius Network started by a gentleman by the name of Joe Polish, who probably is the most connected human being in the world. If you want to meet somebody that does anything, Joe probably knows him. But I think it started as initially as like a more of a marketing, like, how do you brand yourself? And how do you market your firm better? And how do you use all the fancy technologies to your advantage, but what I’ve seen is it’s really developed into more of how do you become a better person, in addition to all of the marketing things, and there’s people from all over the world and every kind of industry from, you know, health care, to garbage collectors to builders, to financial advisors. And I would say, you know, Strategic Coach is how to become a better entrepreneur. But I would tell you, Genius Network, if I had to pick one thing that really forced me to really think bigger, it’s been Genius Network, because I’ve written all my books. Since I’ve been a member of Genius Network. I’ve started all the additional companies, since I become a member of Genius Network. And so I think there’s just something about the thought process that goes on, you know, when you’re with those people, or at those meetings that get you to think differently. And then I’ve been able to take a lot of different thoughts and ideas from people in those different industries, and say, Well, I love that concept, how can I apply it to what I do, you know, to make with our industry better. And so we’ve been able to do you know, several of those things. And part of that is our new platform that we’re coming out with here in 2023, called the dream architect life is really just because of conversations I’ve had with Genius Network and Strategic Coach, people.

Mike Malatesta  27:15

So I want to make sure that I’ve been I’ve got this straight, you’ve been in this Genius Network for about six years. And during that time, you’ve written five books. Yep. And started for new businesses. Yep. All from the conversations or interactions or relationships that you’ve met at this? Yep. And what is it? Is it A, is it a regular throughout the year type thing, Brian, or is it I know, there’s a conference, but

Bryan Sweet  27:43

yeah, they every November, they’ve got a three day conference where you know, all the members get together. So it’s the only time where probably everybody is going to be in one facility at one time. And then they have, I think, nine monthly meetings. And one of the great things that’s happened is when we had COVID, they were forced to use Zoom as the platform. So they opened it up, where literally, you could zoom in and or now go go in person to all of the meetings. And instead of just two, so used to go to the annual event, then you could go to two other meetings. So out of the nine meetings, you could go to three, well, literally now, because of COVID, you could go to all nine, so you have a little more opportunity, assuming you have the time to, you know, participate in a lot more than you otherwise could have, huh?

Mike Malatesta  28:41

Well, that sounds like an amazing accelerator, at least it for you. It’s been amazing,

Bryan Sweet  28:45

ya know, it’s been really helpful. And, you know, one of the things that I have found is, you know, unless you go to groups like that, the those are the places where the people think differently. And the more you’re with those kinds of people, the more you think differently. And if you just hang around, you know, nothing wrong with, you know, say average people or people that aren’t striving to do something exceptional, you know, that you kind of replicate the people you hang around with the most. And so the more time you can spend with, you know, out of the box thinkers or people like that, at least for me, it’s amazingly motivated, I could spend 812 hours a day with those people. And at the end of the day, I got more energy than when I began with, but it’s just, you know, it just quite the atmosphere just for, you know, thinking out of the box.

Mike Malatesta  29:41

And why does that excite you? And I’m asking because you know, someone that’s had sort of your level of success, you’ve been 40 years plus, you know, doing what you love doing and so let’s take six years off of that, you know, so 35 or so years of doing it in this thing comes along and you’re like, oh, I want to try that not only do you try it, but you, you know, have the kind of acceleration that we that we talked about what what’s going on inside of you that makes you because most people I think they might not? They might, they might say, well, you know, what, I don’t need that I’ve been doing this, it works. Great, I’m satisfied all that stuff. So what’s different about you?

Bryan Sweet  30:30

Well, I think a little bit of it is I get bored with, you know, things that you’ve done, and you’ve been successful at, you know, that, like, repeating too much. So I like creating, I think, you know, creating something that’s better than what you were delivering today, or solving additional problems that exist, that you haven’t accomplished, but you see continually happening. And that’s maybe the closer one to it is the longer I’m in it, I see other problems that people are having, or clients are having, and I don’t see somebody else maybe coming to the plate and answering that. So then, you know, we’ve just said, Well, maybe we can, you know, handle that. So lark, our conference, our elite Wealth Advisors symposium, I’ve got a partner in that from Ohio, Randy Carver. And, you know, for five or six years, we talk to each other, we were going to barons conferences and whatnot. And we go, you know, like half or three quarters of the material just wasn’t applicable to us. And we go well, and maybe one day, we’ll create one that’s got everything that people like us would want to attend. And we go to the next conference, and we’ll say it again. And then finally, we just said, well, let’s just do it. And, you know, it was just a different conference. And it’s resonated. And, you know, that’s taken off. And, you know, like the dream architect, I did start that back through strategic coach. So Dan Sullivan helped me create that idea. But I found for other things that our clients were continually having issues with that when they retired or even prior to that. And so I just said, Well, I don’t see anybody creating that. And so we’re kind of taking the dream architect, which is our wealth management process. And then we’re expanding that to create the dream architect life, which then solves not only the wealth management, but these four other pillars. And it’s not me doing it, I’m just collaborating with lots of people from around the world, to bring in their expertise in these four other areas, and putting together an immersive event. And then it’ll be on video and whatnot, also, but just because I haven’t seen it done. So I guess, wanting to provide more, solving additional problems is probably the answer.

Mike Malatesta  33:05

I applaud you. Because like I said, it’s I mean, I hang out with a lot of entrepreneurs. And it seems like by the time they get a certain way down the path, particularly if it’s been a successful way down the path, it’s hard to get them to, you know, think about doing more, it’s seems like they want to think about doing less. Or,

Bryan Sweet  33:29

you know, I’m very fortunate, I have got great teams behind me. So I get to spend my days, really just doing things that I enjoy, and I guess you would call it your unique abilities using a Dan Sullivan term. And so you know, that stuff just gives me energy. So I do very little in the big picture of things. But I’m, you know, I’m more of a visionary. And then we’ve got great people that actually implement all of it. And so I think when you could do that, then you know, you’re not not ever bogged down by the stuff that you don’t enjoy. And, and every day is something new and fun and exciting. And and you’ll look forward to getting up to see what more progress you can make.

Mike Malatesta  34:16

I I like to call that an options, not obligations life.

Bryan Sweet  34:20

Yeah, options like that. I might steal that. If you don’t mind. That’s

Mike Malatesta  34:23

great. Yeah, go ahead. I didn’t trademark it or anything. I think I did make it up. But but it’s open source. So feel free to feel free to well. So I want to just sort of foundational question here and that is when you’re in the life insurance and you decide you want to for various reasons you decide you want to go into the I don’t know if you would call it wealth advising at that point or you call it Retirement Planning Specialist. What did you call it then?

Bryan Sweet  34:54

I would say more investment planning best. Yeah, at that point and it kind of is great. gradually evolved. But yeah, as more investments.

Mike Malatesta  35:04

And what gave you the confidence, Brian to go that way? Like, was it the education or I’m always thinking to myself, well, man before someone has, you know, you’re young, you’re getting started. I know, when I was young and getting started, I didn’t have, I had a 401 K plan, and I had some other stuff, but I wouldn’t have been confident helping someone else, you know, put up, put a roadmap together for their investing, and I’m wondering where that confidence came from for you?

Bryan Sweet  35:33

Yeah, well, when I was with the life insurance industry, the one thing I did find out is I worked for a specific insurance company. And you know, as you got more knowledge, I just came to find out that they didn’t have the best product for every situation I came across. And so one of the things that, you know, ultimately told me is I need to be independent, because I’m actually working for my clients, not a particular company. And so, the reason I also got out of the life insurance is, you really sometimes didn’t have any control over whether you can help people or not, because if they needed life insurance, but they applied and they couldn’t get it, then you know, you were no further down the line and helping them than when you started. So I found, you know, just kind of little bit through trial and error, the investment thing, I had a lot more control over everybody wanted to save money for, you know, retirement or college educations or whatever. I found, I enjoyed it. And, you know, get just gravitated more towards the things I could control. And then just wanted to make sure that I could always represent the product or service that ultimately, it was best for the client, because if I wanted to keep them, I needed to make sure that I was always looking out for their best interests.

Mike Malatesta  37:04

Got it. Okay. And then your most recent book, which is dare to dream, right?

Bryan Sweet  37:10

Actually, I do have a more recent one that just came out a couple of months ago called Dream architecture,

Mike Malatesta  37:17

Dream architecture. Okay. So Well, I haven’t seen that one. So thank you for mentioning that. But in dare to dream, you wrote that with Brittany, I believe. And you know, as I mentioned before, the subtitle is designed to retirement you can’t wait to wake up to and in that book, you cover 10 costly retirement mistakes. And I remember one thing I read somewhere, which I don’t know if this is in the book, but it was something like people spend more time planning their vacation than they do planning their retirement, which is, you know, kind of a funny thing to say, but it’s not a funny thing to it’s not a funny thing. Really. Right. Yeah. So before I get before I asked you to share a couple of mistakes, what is the mentality? What is the mentality that people fear in your experience where, where they would spend a lot of time planning a vacation for seven days or something, but they will not spend much time planning their life? You know, I mean, not not even after they retire, but up until and then after?

Bryan Sweet  38:28

Yeah, I think a big part of it is, say retirement, for example, is, you know, a considerable ways into the future, too far or too far for some people. And there’s a lot of mentality of, you know, a lot more likely instant gratification. So, you know, if I’m gonna take a vacation, well, maybe that’s three months from now or six months from now. So I can, you know, plan for that. And I’ll worry about something that’s 30 years from now, you know, down the road. And so I just think it’s people not understanding the benefits, because, you know, if you just ever looked at the math, if you start at a really young age, and then you just let your money compound, you’ll probably make more the last two years of compounding than, say, the 28 years you did prior to that, because of the you know, the effects of compounding interest and it’s just kind of an amazing scenario, but I would say that’s probably just off the top of my head the the biggest thing is just, you know, more instant gratification, I can get by this or go on this trip. And since I’ve got time, I’ll just worry about that down the road.

Mike Malatesta  39:51

And how it seems I mean, I get both of those things, but it seems It’s almost like ignoring your health until you’re, you know, dying and then go oh, crap. Oh, no, what, right?

Bryan Sweet  40:07

Yeah, well, and really well said, I mean, one of the new pillars in the dream architect life is health and longevity. And you know, so that is one thing that people do, no tend to not worry about just take for granted when, if you were a little more proactive on lots of different things, the results would be a lot different.

Mike Malatesta  40:29

Right? So besides not doing it not planning for it, what, what are some of the other biggest, what are some of the biggest mistakes that you talked about in the book? And yeah,

Bryan Sweet  40:41

I think the biggest one for sure, that everybody can relate to is taxes. And what I mean by that is maybe two things, one, there is this propensity to say, what can I be doing today, to pay the lowest amount of income taxes possible. And in theory, that that makes lots of sense. But the problem with it is, is that just to give you a little example, if you were saying the 12% bracket, and you had another 10, or $20,000 of income, or withdrawals that you could take to keep in the 12% bracket. But since you didn’t want to pay any taxes on any additional money, you decided not, you know, fully fund the 12% bracket, what can happen is, then that money accumulates, and then you got to pay taxes down the road, when you retire, you have these required minimum distributions. And so it’s just been almost mind boggling to see if you do the proper planning, how much over a long period of time you can save, if you’re willing to just follow a couple of different rules in the, you know, the initial years, and it’s, that’s just been probably the, you know, the biggest one, and then the second biggest one, as it maybe relates to taxes, is when people do get to retirement, you know, the distribution planning is 90% of the skill set that I would say, us as a firm has, because accumulating money is is really pretty easy. You know, put it in certain things, just let it sit there yadda, yadda, yadda. But the distribution is, is by far the most challenging thing. And what people do that maybe don’t work with somebody like us is they’ll just haphazardly take money out of whatever, at the time that they need money. And, you know, they could get extra Social Security subject to tax, they could, you know, bump up what they have to pay for Medicare, and all of a sudden, you know, they go well, I thought I’d only have to pay tax on this $10,000. But, you know, they had 10,000, more Social Security tax, they jumped up another bracket and Social Security, excuse me, Medicare, and that was another, you know, 300, and some dollars a month that they have to pay for the next two years. So there’s all sorts of little issues that when I don’t think people, you know, understand them or know that they’re there. But that’s why you really want to work with somebody that looks at all those details, and says, you know, what do you need to be doing today? But does that decision affect what you’re going to do down the road? And then giving you the choice as to, you know, would you rather pay a little extra tax today to avoid, you know, extra taxes later on. Because I don’t think we’re ever going to probably be in a lower tax bracket environment than we are right today. And so if you can do things to pay less tax today, seems like the government always needs more money and more money and more money. And, you know, they talk about, you know, the people that have more and they use the word 400,000 lot for, you know, an income bracket, but ultimately, everybody pays more in tax in some way shape or form. Because if they don’t pay more in tax them, you know, their goods and services that they buy probably are going up in cost and indirectly that might be considered a tax that everybody has to pay.

Mike Malatesta  44:38

So so not all money is created equal. In other words, there are a lot of unintended consequences to how you move or spend money that you may not see if you’re not working with someone who’s got the whole picture. Yeah,

Bryan Sweet  44:49

I mean, it’s literally amazing. I you know, we’ve had several cases where just the proper planning is literally saved hundreds of 1000s of dollars in income tax, you know, over somebody’s life. Time, you know, and then if you don’t need the money yourself, wouldn’t you rather control where it went. So if you want to give it to charity, you know, instead of the government or whatever, I would rather have the client have that choice than make it mandatory that they have to pay the extra tax.

Mike Malatesta  45:17

And I’ve heard a lot of stories about people who sold their businesses and didn’t have the proper planning in place before the transaction took, took place. And, you know, really ended up regretting. I mean, and not just regretting it, but regretting it with a big cheque or lots of checks, you know, not having done the planning before. I mean, so the lesson too, is like, it’s not just about saving, but if you’re going to come into money, for any reason in your life, you really need to be looking or have someone looking at what that means and what you can do prior to getting it that, you know, could save you a ton of money and ton of headache a ton of just making a mistake, just making a mistake, like you said, I just thought it was $10,000. Well, it was $10,000, then now it’s right. Yeah, yeah,

Bryan Sweet  46:12

yeah, no, Mike, so true. And if you take like, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make, if you’re a business owner, is exactly what you said. Because typically, a business is a person’s biggest asset. And a couple of things happen there, most business owners have never sold a business, right? So they don’t even know you know, how to value it or what it’s worth. And most business owners take, you know, maybe 50 or 100%, less than it’s actually probably worth. And there’s an interesting term that a lot of people use where they say, you know, most businesses have Rembrandt’s in the closet. And so you know, just trying to find out, what’s that little secret sauce that you have that makes your, your business worthwhile. And so I couldn’t agree more if if you own a business, and you’re, you know, five years from retirement, you really want to work with some specialists that no one, you know, what things do you need to do in advance the selling the business to make it look the best? And then just what are all the ramifications tax wise and other that you need to be aware of? Because lots of things can go wrong? If you’ve never done it before? It’s just like, if you’re going to do surgery, you know, when you hire, you know, the top surgeon or would you do the surgery yourself? Well, obviously, you’re not going to do the surgery yourself. And when you’re dealing with your biggest asset, probably don’t, you know, we want to minimize the number of mistakes, at least I would.

Mike Malatesta  47:47

Yeah. But yeah, it’s it’s weird, because I, you know, you do see it happen all the time, people, you know, when someone puts a number in front of your face, sometimes you just get fixated on that number, and you’re like, oh my gosh, that’s too good to be true. I don’t want to lose that. So I’ll just like full speed ahead. But without doing like what you said, which Yeah,

Bryan Sweet  48:06

well, there’s a gentleman we collaborate with who’s got an interesting story and that he specializes in helping business owners, you know, do the right thing prior to sale and, and he was going to sell his business for seven figures. And, and then, you know, that just didn’t seem right. So then he didn’t sell it. And he really started digging into what are all the proper things. And later on two years later sold it for nine figures.

Mike Malatesta  48:36

Is that Jeffrey Filbert Jeffrey Feldberg? Yeah, okay. But

Bryan Sweet  48:40

Jeffrey, do you know Jeffrey?

Mike Malatesta  48:41

Yeah, I had him a spin on the show. I was on his show as well, ya know?

Bryan Sweet  48:46

Yeah, really small world. But he’s, you know, he’s got so many great tips. And so Jeffrey helps us with our clients and, and we’d like to send them through his 90 day process. Yeah.

Mike Malatesta  48:59

Okay. Okay. Yeah. Nice. Nice. Nice. Nice. I’m glad we can make that connection between Yeah, absolutely. So a couple of things I want to I’d like to talk about before we before we end here. The first is this. In your bio, it says living life of his dreams. And then as I mentioned before, you’ve got dream and the architecture, you’ve got dream and the book titles. And so I have two questions. Brian, one is how do you define how do you know when you’re living the life of your dreams? That’s question number one. Question number two is how do you get people in the thinking about what they what is actually a dream for them when it comes to their, their planning for the rest of their life with your firm or any other firm? Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I

Bryan Sweet  49:52

think, you know, a dream is a very personalized thing. And I I would tell you that My quick version of it is doing what you want with who you want, when you want. And that is kind of a, you know, a dream, if you will. One of the things that has is really noticeable to me, but it’s very tough to have these conversations. But if you go back when you’re a little kid, and you know, you’re growing up, and, and you just think back of any young kid, even today, or when you were young, we all wanted to be astronauts and firemen, and we all had these grandiose, you know, dreams of, you know, what we could be and what we could do. And I don’t know exactly what happens, whether it’s school or life or, or whatnot, but all of a sudden, you get all these pressures and people saying, Oh, wow, that’s what are you thinking to do in there. And that’s really silly, you can’t do that. And you start getting all these naysayers that, you know, start, you know, shooting on you, if you will, you shouldn’t do that. And you shouldn’t be this and, and I think it just kills the creativity of most people. So, you know, when we bring up the topic, is usually pretty foreign to most people to go, oh, that’s kind of woowoo stuff here. And but you know, we just have a series of questions that we like clients to go through a lot of times, it’s, you know, we’ll have them take it home, and, and we call them over dinner discussions, where if you’re looking for a conversation with your spouse, about, you know, what you want your life to be in the future, here’s some questions, you should start asking each other and writing down the answers. And then when we get together, let us know what you’re thinking. Because all we’re trying to do is just get people to think a little bigger. Because I have just found, and this is just me. Whatever you think about seems to actually happen, and whether you think positive things or negative things, you’ll get those results. So if you start thinking about in a big possibilities, and that’s what you constantly remind yourself. So I’m a big, you know, journaling guy, and I like to read my goals daily, because if it’s front of mine, all of a sudden, you know, gee, this pops up, that is the answer to something that I’m working for. But Consequently, if you’re in there, I can’t do this, or this is negative, well, that stuff will appear in your life also. And so the reason we wrote the second book Dream architecture, is we realized that that should have been the first book, because it’s all about the intersection of mindset, and money. And dare to dream was all about the dream architect process. And so we totally missed all the things in the framework that clients need to think through and understand, to help them live the dream life. Yeah. And so that’s the nature of of that, that book, and, you know, just little trial and error. You just don’t realize it at the time, but so that in the sequence of things, we would have our clients read dream architecture first, then dare to dream.

Mike Malatesta  53:32

Got it? Got it. Got it. Yeah, I imagine I’m trying to I was trying to imagine sitting around the dinner table and you call them dinner, you know, dinner table conversations, because those aren’t. Even when you sell to someone to dream, you know, it’s still like what you said about Dick, you know, he believed in you more than you believed in yourself. And people, I think, when it comes to their own dreaming feel the same way, like they need to be prompted, and I bet you have a bunch of questions that prompt people to about, you know, how they would, it’s not just about do I have enough money to survive once I’m not getting a check in art, right.

Bryan Sweet  54:11

And I think it’s, it’s, you know, my role in our team’s role is to be the encourager, or the Inspire or, you know, that, yeah, you could do that. Yeah, that’s possible. Instead of, you know, somebody that’s always telling them no, and I just had a really crazy experience the other day, I was at a close friend’s funeral. And so I we were having a little celebration afterwards, and a bunch of people were together and this young lady comes up to me and, and we were having a conversation. I hadn’t seen her for a while and she had been through a bout of cancer. And I although I will, I forgot until she reminded me but she came up and grabbed me and we went off into a corner and she said Brian, I just wanted to thank you. Because if you remember, when I had my cancer, you sent me a note. That said, you must have a lot of other good things to accomplish in your life. So you’re meant to be here or something to that effect. And she’s doing fine. Now she’s cancer free, but she has never forgot that. And so just that little bit of encouragement was, you know, I mean, I almost got to tears that when she said that, because I was just trying to be, you know, helpful and kind and send her a little encouragement note, but, you know, she apparently took that a little bit differently. And then at one of our E was conferences, a guy came up, and he was fighting cancer. And he said, Brian, I just wanted to let you know, I’m a big listener of your podcast. And one of the things that got me through cancer was just your positive attitude and your perception on life, and you just don’t know how you’re going to affect people. But just those two little things. Were, you know, mean, I was just doing my podcast, and I was just, you know, what, it takes me 15 seconds to write a note to the right, this lady. But, you know, if you can be an encourager, and anybody can do this, you know, if you can be a positive force in anybody’s life and point out the good and don’t point out the bad and, and you’ll have this, like, amazing impact, plus, you’re gonna get a lot out of it. And, and that’s a really great thing.

Mike Malatesta  56:36

I like that be a positive force. And what was so interesting about that, too, is like, you know, I’ll bet you that. Because I know this has happened to me a lot of times I, I like to write notes to, and I don’t even remember that I’ve written a note, and someone mentions it and like, like she did with you. And it’s like, wow, that note? No, because a lot of things you do in life to be positive, for example, they don’t get recognized, right, people don’t be like, Oh, that was awesome. You know, they just you. So when it does happen, you think, Oh, my gosh, this, you know, this is worth it. This is good. Right? It’s done something good for someone?

Bryan Sweet  57:18

Yeah. And, you know, I think it’s just, if you can just get in the habit of doing that more often. And, you know, it just takes a little bit of time it once a day, you wrote a positive note to somebody and send it to him, whether it’s a friend or somebody going through a rough patch, and just give them a little encouragement, would it take you 30 seconds,

Mike Malatesta  57:37

right. Be a positive force, Brian. I think that’s a good spot to end. I do want to promote your podcast. I did not do that at the beginning. Can you you said you do two podcasts?

Bryan Sweet  57:48

Yeah, we have the dream architect life podcast, which is for just literally anybody and we try to be you know, the intersection of mindset money and have some real positive guests on and Brittany that you’ve had on his as one of your guests her and I do the podcast and then we have for financial advisors, we have the ultimate advisor podcast. And we’ve done 180 episodes or something with that one, but the dream architect life is relatively new. I think we got you know, we’ve recorded like 30 of them.

Mike Malatesta  58:24

Okay. Well, nice to podcasts. I love it. And and both serving a different sort of demographic, I guess. So. Thanks. I’ll make sure that goes into the show notes. Appreciate that. Sweet financial.com. Brian, sweet B ry A N? Is there anything that I haven’t asked you or that you would like to leave everyone? With Brian before we sign off?

Bryan Sweet  58:47

No, it’s it’s just been so enjoyable, Mike, and just wanted to thank you for having me as your guest.

Mike Malatesta  58:52

Well, thanks for coming on. It’s been a pleasure. And I’ve enjoyed getting to know you a bit. So thank you.

Bryan Sweet  58:57

You’re very welcome. And likewise.

Mike Malatesta  59:03

Here is the intro. This is the intro for the podcast. 321 Hey, everybody on today’s show, I’ve got Brian sweet. Brian is the CEO at Sweet financial. And we talk about some really cool stuff. We talk about the mentors in his life, particularly his uncle Roy. Brian’s need to be independent and what that means to him. The unfortunate fact that most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do planning for their retirement. And what he does to help people move past that with his dream architecture process. I know you’re gonna like Brian. So here we go.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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