"Look at a good definition of your wealth. It's not just money and not just digits. It's not just dollars. It's not just stuff. It's time. How can you sort your life so you can have more time?How can you spend more time with your family? How can you connect with your God better? How can you increase your freedom with what you have now? How can you make yourself more self sufficient? What if the job goes away tomorrow? What are you gonna do? What skills could you gain?" — Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson, a regular columnist here on the Freedom Media Network, joins us for a discussion on how to amass wealth in our fast-changing, crazy, kooky world.
This episode taken from a longer workshop in our Freedom Circle Mens’ Community.
Mike was one of the most entertaining, educational writers on LinkedIn until he was removed from the platform for sharing actual data about COVID, the economy, and the world today.
He is the most downloaded guest in the history of my podcast.
Mike was a reporter-turned-entrepreneur who made money and lost it all — then engaged in a series of entrepreneurial ventures that allowed him to retire early as a multi-millionaire.
My favorite story -- how he turned a folding chair into a half-million-dollar business in the middle of Cody, Wyoming.
Raw Transcript of this Episode:
[00:00:00] Curt Mercadante: Over the last month. I gotta tell you, Mike, I've gotten more questions from people who have seen our interactions in the past asking me where the hell's Mike, where is he? . Uh, Mike was, Mike was summarily banished from LinkedIn for having the audacity. The audacity to share his opinion and some data, uh, regarding the recent unpleasantness, I shall call it, uh, that starts with a C and ends with a D.
[00:00:26] Um, but you know, Mike, if you've, if you've had the, the pleasure of, of partaking in some of my other, uh, podcast interviews with Mike, you know that Mike is. Mike's a few things. Uh, Mike is a, a rabid non-conformist like some of us here, uh, and not just a non-conformist. To not be a non-conformist, a non-conformist to actually seek the truth, do, uh, do his research and also look for opportunities.
[00:00:55] And Mike's, Mike's the number one most downloaded guest in my [00:01:00] podcast ever. Um, and Mike's, uh, career life has been about opportunities and it always hasn't been an upward trajectory. My right, Mike and, uh, businesses that didn't. Go is planned down in Florida, moving to Cody, Wyoming, starting a trolley business, making money there, turning, folding chairs into a half million dollar business, uh, investing in mobile home parks becoming a millionaire.
[00:01:26] So we'll talk about all that today. Micah, I, without further ado, I'd like to welcome you to the Freedom Circle. Well,
[00:01:32] Mike Johnson: thank you very much. I was a couple minutes late cuz the darn technology wouldn't work. So I was pushing buttons like crazy and I finally arrived. So thank you for Well, I,
[00:01:41] Curt Mercadante: I, I, I said, I said, Mike's in a cabin butting up against the Yellowstone National Park, so I can only imagine my, I had a, uh, at seven 20 my time, I had a, a live TV interview.
[00:01:52] Well, it was taped. I thought it was gonna be live in back in Charleston. They remembered me in Charleston, South Carolina, and asked me to be on and. [00:02:00] It was seven 20 and at seven 15 as they call me, my internet just went dead . So I had to reset the router and it worked out. But you know, right. Things happen.
[00:02:11] You make it happen. Um, you know, Mike, it's, it's a. For lack of a better term, a kooky time going on. Uh, you know, I love to read history, read, uh, ancient wisdom, whatever that is. Uh, I read the Do de Ching every morning, and the Do de Ching was written during the War States period, which was 400 years of Kookiness, right?
[00:02:37] And, and so you realize when you have context. The world has always been a kooky place. We know about it probably quicker now than ever because of social media and other things, and we know things happen 25 seconds later. And so, you know what I'd love to talk today is about amassing wealth in a kooky time when it's easy to be down.
[00:02:58] And maybe some of the things we'll talk about, people [00:03:00] get a panic, but there's a difference between being aware. Right. And being in a panic and being abundant, but being realistic and aware of what's going on, isn't there, Mike?
[00:03:12] Mike Johnson: Yeah, there, there really is. Um, you know, I'm one of those guys I can levitate in between, uh, extreme negativity and extreme positivity.
[00:03:21] I've spent a lot of time searching for God. I've spent a lot of time searching. Devils behind the government and financial systems and somehow I've been able to levitate in the middle of that and still have a successful life. And it's because you, you'd never lose grip to the spiritual side of things.
[00:03:40] You know, I feel like sometimes when I am researching the kookiness that I'm actually doing the world a favor from the standpoint is I have to go immerse myself in all that crap to learn about it and then come back. Articulate in a way that lets people help themselves in [00:04:00] some particular way, and then you've gotta kind of delo yourself and get back to normal, you know?
[00:04:06] So the thing, I think the perspective here is, is as we even start this day is, is at least in my belief as we all live forever, we're all gonna live eternally, and we're Earth is temporary duty. So, In that regard, we really can't lose. It's just a matter of how much pain and suffering we have on the way to, to the other side.
[00:04:30] So if we keep that in in mind, I think that help keeps the perspective. So really this is kinda like a game, you know, the, it's even a game within the game because the big game is eternal life and how you work yourself into that. And then the, the little game is a game that we're. We're learning, we're growing, we're trying to help, we're trying to have a comfortable and successful life.
[00:04:56] So, um, everything I talk [00:05:00] about from here on is just trying to extend the little game and to be a little more comfortable to the little game.
[00:05:06] Curt Mercadante: You know, you mentioned the word spirituality and, and we're talking about amassing wealth, and I, I recently did a question and, and, and it was anonymous, so I do, I recently did a questionnaire in the Freedom Circle and, and some people said more business, more prosperity, but less spirituality.
[00:05:20] Now you mentioned spirituality in the realm of prosperity, and I think a lot of people, when they think of spirituality, they either confuse it with religion or they think that it's not related to any other. Of their lives and they're trying to make money, but rejecting spirituality and wondering why they're grasping and stressed and anxious and they can't move forward.
[00:05:40] So, Mike, why do you bring up, we're talking about wealth today. Why the heck would you bring up something that should be so far different and walled off is spirituality?
[00:05:49] Mike Johnson: Well see in that CEP fallacy, it's not, and it's all connected. And so the people that you know have that belief, they're gonna have a tougher.
[00:05:58] And the universe has [00:06:00] a way of kicking you in the butt until you figure it out, you know? So that's kind of the system that's worked for eons and, and sometimes people that give advice like this right here is we're thinking, you know, does the universe even really need us? Because their system is, is, is that if you make bad decisions, you get pain and suffering.
[00:06:18] If you make better decisions, you get abundance and. You know, so the people that are cutting themselves off from spirituality are, are in for a harder ride.
[00:06:30] Curt Mercadante: Hmm. You, you were in journalism, in the news business. You started up your own business in Florida. Some of that didn't go, uh, probably as you set out.
[00:06:40] Then you moved to Cody, Wyoming. You start a trolley business, you make a bundle of money. You notice in a wild West show that people are standing instead of sitting. So you have this crazy idea. Of charging people for folding chairs to sit people. Someone who worked for you said it was the dumbest idea you ever heard today.
[00:06:58] That's a half million [00:07:00] dollar business. Then you decide to start investing in mobile home parks and become a millionaire in assets almost overnight. You write the Millionaire letter to a friend who you said, the first one of us to become a millionaire will write the letter first. And now you've transferred those assets, you've sold them to your children.
[00:07:18] So you've given something to them, they're millionaires, and you have your retirement plan Along the way, there was probably a lot of distractions, a lot of downs, a lot of punches on the chin. How did you stay focused on the opportunities around you instead of allowing that negativity to draw you down?
[00:07:38] And, and, and probably even conditioning of, you know, none of the things I mentioned. Can our, our, our traditional paths that are taught to us in our, in our mainstream schools of the, of the path to follow . Right.
[00:07:53] Mike Johnson: Well, it starts with self-discipline. Of course. You have to really want it, and you have to know why you want it, and you have to be excited [00:08:00] when you think about wanting it.
[00:08:02] But to me it was always get up an hour early. So I always gave the first hour of every day to me first that that meant writing my escape plan, researching it, figuring out reading, uh, People that had already achieved what I had done. Um, meditating, reading, relaxing, taking a walk with a dog, anything that would keep you chilled out and on task to what the biggest thing is.
[00:08:26] Because if you go 24 hours and you haven't made any progress, that is extremely demoralizing, and then you're gonna get in the wrong cycle of advancement. It's not gonna happen. But if you give that first hour to yourself every day, first you make progress for. before the day even starts. You've set the scale for yourself.
[00:08:48] The let the world have the leftovers, because if you're not enough, you don't have anything of value to give. That's the way I did it. That's how I stayed focused for all that time. [00:09:00]
[00:09:00] Curt Mercadante: And, and being aware, like you, you know, as we started off, there's, there's weird things going on in the world, and I have some clients who are trapped in the, and I'm gonna call it obsession because I've been.
[00:09:13] I mean this in terms of the attachment to, well, I can't move. I, I'm in a life that I really don't like, but I'm stuck here and I'm frozen because I have 10 years, I have 15 years, I have 25 years of my 401k. I gotta put it in my retirement fund. I have my 5 0 3 B or whatever the hell it is, uh, for my kids' education.
[00:09:35] And there's a part of me in my brain that would love. Make them aware of the fact of things like inflation and the digital dollar and the fact that everything you are attached to in regards to passive investing and, and blindly trusting your financial advisor, you can remain attached for the next 15 years.
[00:09:54] And all of that will be completely obliterated. We may not have a dollar in 10 years, but [00:10:00] there's a fine line between bringing that. From people who are not open to hear it, who will go into an outright panic and grasp even tighter beyond, you know, I took all my money outta the market a couple years ago.
[00:10:12] It was the best thing I ever did. I taught myself how to do active investing, and I noticed treasury bonds are dipping because inflation or rates are. So I just keep investing. I made five grand through the Robin Hood app in about last 24 hours, just betting against the market. Every time the Fed is gonna meet, I put a put option the day before and I make five grand.
[00:10:36] Right. Nice. Cause I'm aware of the crap. And there's opportunity in loss, right? And, and so, so how do you, if you, if you're, if you have some advice for someone, where's that fine line of, don't panic, but be aware and cash in on some of the opportunities that are around you as the world is burning .
[00:10:57] Mike Johnson: You know, it's such a long journey to become [00:11:00] aware.
[00:11:00] And then there's, there's the believability part of the people that are still locked into listening to the authorities, the experts, the government, the financial planners, wall Street. Um, it's really hard to crack that if they're still stuck in that matrix. You know, I think you just gotta let things take their course and the universal straighten out over time.
[00:11:21] Um, but for the folks that are already aware, I think it's coming a lot sooner than everybody thinks. And in these types of times, you really should prioritize where you're at, what you have, and try to look ahead and no one can predict timing. Timing's a fools errand unless you're an insider that's gonna pull the pin on the whole thing, but, So you need to have enough stuff in your house to survive.
[00:11:53] That's have some security, have some, let's not worry about it because $50 in the bank is [00:12:00] worth a hundredth of $50 worth of groceries in your house. You know, the day may come, the store may not be there, the day may come, the dollar may not be there. And I think those days you're coming extremely quicker than people think.
[00:12:13] So do the things that you need to do. To have the stuff in your house before you get too cute out there trying to advance your wealth tremendously. And the other thing I would say is look at a good definition of your wealth. It's not just money and not just digits. It's not just dollars. It's not just stuff, it's time.
[00:12:37] How can you sort your life so you can have more time? Um, How can you spend more time with your family? How can you connect with your God bidder? Um, how can you increase your freedom with what you have now? How can you make yourself more self-sufficient? Um, what if the job goes away tomorrow? What are you gonna do?
[00:12:57] Um, what skills could you gain? [00:13:00] Maybe you already have a skill that you don't use in your job that would generate income in a grid down scenario, or a bad scenario, or a job loss scenario. If you put some brain power into those things in that first hour in your morning, you're gonna feel a little more prepared physically for whatever may come your way.