How Kevin Improved His Life By Walking Away From $20m | Ep. 172

Are you overwhelmed and stressed out with how your life is currently running? Kevin Dahlstrom’s story is going to present you with some interesting questions and perspectives that might challenge the way you’re doing things and improve your life. Kevin is the CEO of Swell Money. He joins Eric Anderton in this episode to talk about how his journey of walking away from $20 million led him to consider a different approach to his career. Listen in and learn more as Kevin shares how you can balance your career with your choices outside of your business life.

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How Kevin Improved His Life By Walking Away From $20m

Balancing Career Goals And Quality Of Life

Continuing to get insights from folks outside of the construction industry on how to live your best life as a hard-charging entrepreneur is what this episode is all about. My guest is Kevin Dahlstrom. He is the CEO of Swell, which is a financial services company. The point of this episode is how Kevin walked away from $20 million and improved his life. You are going to enjoy this conversation particularly if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out with the way that your life is currently running.

His story is going to present you with some interesting questions and perspectives that might challenge the way that you are doing things at the moment and cause you to consider a different approach to your career. Also, balancing your career with your choices outside of your business life. If you find this episode helpful, you can always connect with Kevin on Twitter @Camp4. That is where you can connect with him. He is active on Twitter. I appreciate him coming on the show. I know you will enjoy this conversation. Thank you for reading.

Kevin, welcome to the show.

Thanks, Eric. I’m excited to be here.

Tell me about the first job you ever had.

Even though I’ve spent my entire career in technology and finance, my first job ever at the age of sixteen was in construction. I got a summer job for a commercial construction company. They put me on the demolition crew and it was an eye-opening experience. You know how construction guys are. When there’s a new kid on the job, they pull pranks. On day one, they put me on the jackhammer for eight hours. I was chipping tile as part of a demolition project. I was a skinny sixteen-year-old kid who had never worked a jackhammer before in my life.

After eight hours on that thing, I went home and the next morning, I could barely move. I shuffle back to the job site the next day. They’re all laughing at me. It was my first win in business because they said, “We do this to all the new guys and about 50% don’t even show up the next day.” The lesson I took that was a big part of success is being consistent and showing up. You got to show up to claim the prize.

To give a little background for your readers, that summer was the extent of my experience in construction. I was a math guy as a kid, so I ended up working in financial services. Over the past years, I’ve started a bunch of companies. I had one that became a big company. I did an IPO, but I’ve also done transformations at larger companies. I’ve been a C-level executive at three different public companies. If I have anything unique to offer, it’s that I’ve been running hard for a long time and I’ve seen a lot in business and in my personal life. I’ve been super active in my personal life as well.

COGE 172 | Improve Your Life
Improve Your Life: Happiness is having a multi-dimensional life where you have these other dimensions competing with each other and ending up paradoxically making you better at everything.


Let’s dive into that a little bit because 98% of my readers run hard. They have built their companies or are leading in these companies. Construction is a tremendously difficult industry. What have you found are some insights into leaders like yourself who have been able to succeed, even though they’re running at a high pace in balancing their life out and making sure that they’re not going insane?

It’s tough. That’s the struggle that we all have. I write a lot on Twitter about finding that balance. I found it fairly late in life, but it was an epiphany for me. Like a lot of your readers, I’m wired to run hard. I like to win. I’m usually willing to do the hard work to win. The question is, “What game are you winning at?” For me, it was a one-moment that I remember being an epiphany. I was one of the top executives at this multi-billion dollar financial services company. I remember distinctly sitting in a board meeting and there was me plus ten other board members and executives.

I remember having this moment where I looked around the table and they were all wildly successful if you measure it purely on financial measures, but there wasn’t a single person who I wanted to emulate. They were all physically unhealthy. A lot of them had broken family lives. That moment was a huge epiphany. After that day, it was hard for me to even come into the office one more day.

Long story short, I pulled the plug on that job. I’d had most of my career in Texas to that point. I moved my family to Boulder, Colorado, which is where I live. It wasn’t an easy move by any stretch, but it paid off in a huge way. It was part of a midlife awakening that many of us have around like, “What are your priorities and what does success mean to you?”

Let’s explore that a little bit. You said that you had an epiphany, which we think of as a moment, so that visceral insight as you look around the room and think, “I don’t want to do this. Perhaps I want to do that.” Was there a process that you can remember that led to that epiphany, a series of perhaps smaller insights that led to that larger insight?

Yes. As funny as it may sound, the thing that was the catalyst for all of this was rock climbing. I’m a rock climber. I started rock climbing many years ago. Rock climbing changed my life in so many ways, almost all of them positive, because it introduced me to a pursuit where the scoreboard was not dollars. It was this community that I became a part of. A lot of my best friends come from my climbing pursuits and many of them don’t even know what I do for a living. They don’t care and nor should they, and I love that. I got a glimpse of what the other side looks like.

A lot of times, especially for hard-charging men, we start our careers. We charge forward and put our noses down. We wake up one day and we’re like, “What in the world have I created? This is not what I wanted.” For me, rock climbing showed me that there was another part of life to be savored. For me, this big change was about gaining back time because time is ultimately our most valuable currency.

It’s interesting to think about because I picture you on the one hand, on the face of a rock and on the other hand, in that board meeting. You’re associating with two different groups of people, and we are so much formed by the people that we associate with. Someone reading perhaps is saying, “Kevin, it’s cool that you had that epiphany. You made changes as a result of that. I know that maybe changes need to happen, but I’m not quite there where I want to make the change.” What was it that pushed you to the point where the epiphany became action and not just the thought or the existential dread that, “Maybe I’m not doing with my life what I’m supposed to be doing?”

A big part of success is just showing up. You need to show up to claim the prize. Click To Tweet

It was recalibrating happiness as the success measure. I was in my mid-40s, so it wasn’t it was super early in my life. I realized that the key, at least for me and for most people, to happiness is having what I call a multidimensional life where you’re not just trying to win on one dimension. You have these other dimensions in your life that are competing with each other, but it ends up paradoxically making you better at everything.

I’m going to share something I’ve never said publicly. This is going to be an interesting bite for your readers. I walked away from about $20 million to make this change. To quantify how important this was to me, I was a “made” man. I had a very clear path. I put my money where my mouth is. A lot of my friends said, “What are you doing? You’re crazy.” I was 45 and we’re not going to live forever. I wanted to gain control of my time. I realized doubling, tripling or quadrupling my net worth wasn’t going to change my life in a significant way because a lot of the things I valued most don’t cost much or anything.

I’ve been reading the Book of Ecclesiastes from the wisdom literature in the Old Testament. I’ve read a verse which I think you’ll like. “It’s better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”

There’s a lot to be said for this idea of stillness, quietness and re regaining some of that in our lives. We get used to charging so hard and having every minute of our day be packed. At some point, that breaks. It’s not sustainable forever. In the early days, younger people out there, you do what you have to do to pay the bills and get ahead. You don’t have control over your life when you’re young. You get to be in your 30s, 40s and even 50s. The goal should be to slowly regain more control over your life so that more of what you do is things you choose to do rather than things you have to do.

I have this notion that’s fairly controversial. The old retirement paradigm is DOA. It’s dead. This idea that you work your butt off for 65 years, and then you suddenly stop and watch TV all day is not a path to happiness. It’s a spectrum where over time, the majority of your time becomes things that you would choose to do. I’m 51 now. I would say that it’s never perfect, but over half of the way of my time is spent doing things that I choose to do.

I want to go back to this idea of you walking away from $20 million. How did you reach that point where you were emotionally okay with that? I’m thinking about this on a number of different levels. Number one, thinking about what other people think about you because you are around a particular peer group where walking away from $20 million makes you look a complete fool.

At the same time, you do have this sense that we have in our lives. “I have responsibilities to others.” For instance, going through that conversation with your family about what that means, how did you negotiate both the perception of other people and also the practical impact of that decision to walk away from the $20 million?

It means putting your money where your mouth is. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t care about status. I’m not chasing dollars,” but it’s another thing to make hard decisions that reflect those values. I’m not a monk. I’m a hardcore capitalist. I started at a company and raised $10 million. It’s a venture-backed technology startup. I want to create a billion-dollar company. I still run hard, but it was about doing things on my terms.

COGE 172 | Improve Your Life
Improve Your Life: Your goal should be to slowly regain more control over your life so that more of what you do is things you choose to do rather than things you have to do.


That was very insightful of you to point out that that epiphany was probably the culmination of a long process where slowly I realized that chasing more status and money wasn’t going to make me happier. What was going to make me happier was living in a place that inspired me, having time to spend with my family, traveling, rock climbing and investing in my relationships outside of work. Those were the things. One thing we all share is we have roughly the same amount of time on this planet.

There’s this concept that people call the time billionaire. It’s a litmus test for people because you go to a 30-year-old and say, “You’ve got about a billion seconds left to live in your life. Would you trade those billion seconds to be Warren Buffett and be 95 years old, worth however many billions he’s worth? Would you trade places?” Most people would say no. If you believe that, that means you’re already more wealthy than Warren Buffett because you’ve got time. How are you going to use that time?

How did that conversation go with your wife? When the epiphany became action, it was something that perhaps was working inside of you. It came out in conversation and then in the decision.

It was a tough discussion because I blew up her life. I blew up my kids’ lives. There are levels of blowing up lives. I was forced to move that nobody else asked for. My wife and kids had a very different perspective because they weren’t living my reality every day. My wife enthusiastically supported me, changing my life to find more happiness and fulfillment. Part of that ended up being that I needed to move.

I needed to be somewhere more inspiring. I needed to be closer to the people that I connect with. That was the hard part. The good news is little four and a half years later, I asked my wife, “Be honest, would you still rather live in Texas?” She said, “No. Now that we settled in here, I see Boulder sells itself and I’m happy to be here.” My kids would say the same thing.

You made a macro decision, but you’ve also spoken on Twitter about some of the micro decisions that you’ve made. When I say micro, it’s smaller ones. One of them that interested me, particularly because I’ve gone through this process myself, is the purchase of a car. Tell us about the car that you purchased and the decision-making process that went around that.

It was something I wrote on Twitter and apparently, it hit a nerve with a lot of people. This was many years ago. I had a big financial win. I’m not a big spender. We’ve always lived well below our means. I don’t have fancy things. Since I was twelve years old, I’d always had an obsession with the Porsche 911. It’s the most beautiful car ever designed. I had posters of it on my wall growing up. When I had this big financial win, I was like, “I’m going to go buy a Porsche 911.” I went to the dealership and bought the top-of-the-line Porsche 911. It’s the Turbo S Convertible. It was gorgeous.

I posted a picture of the exact car online. I paid cash for it and it wasn’t stretched at all. It was a check I could write easily. I got it home that night. I’m laying in bed and this car is already causing me stress. I’m like, “I have to maintain this thing. I have to keep it clean. Is it going to be my daily driver? Do I want to keep miles down?” I realized very quickly that I wasn’t that thirteen-year-old boy anymore with posters of the 911 on the wall. What the 911 represented to me back then was the pinnacle of success.

It's better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind. Click To Tweet

My definition of success had changed. Part of my definition of success now is less. Less is more. Less things, less stress. Long story short, I took that car back to the dealer the next day. I said, “This car is freaking amazing, but it’s not for me.” To the manager’s credit, he said, “You’re the first person who has ever done that. Let me shake your hand and we’ll take the car back.” They tore up my check. That was another, “Put your money where your mouth is.” If you’re going to live these principles, you got to live them. To cut to the end, I still drive my same fourteen-year-old truck with 160,000 miles on it. I love that car. It makes me so happy.

This is what I’m hearing. Our definition of success and happiness comes from our identity. It sounds like, over time, your identity has changed.

I had a rough upbringing. I grew up in a very nontraditional, chaotic household with family members in prison, addiction issues and all this stuff. I was probably a little bit different along, but you nailed it, Eric. What we’re talking about is identity. Let’s say you own a construction company. You’ve had some success. Probably a huge portion of your identity is wrapped up in that business. I’m here to tell you that’s not enough long-term to sustain happiness. You’ll get older and older and your identity is so wrapped up in the business that you have nothing else.

In fact, I have a great story for that. A CEO of one of the public companies I worked with pulled me aside one day and said, “What are you doing? You seem to be a lot happier than me. I’ve had all this success. I’m worth nine figures, but honestly, I’m miserable, Kevin.” When I dug into it, it turns out he had nothing other than work. His identity was 100% wrapped up in his work. His family situation wasn’t great. He didn’t have any hobbies or external interests. His work career was coming to an end. He was like, “What do I do for the next 30 years? I got nothing.”

It’s so interesting because you can spend your whole life “acquiring or succeeding.” At the end of it, you can look back on it and say, “What did it all mean?”

Meaning is what we’re all searching for. Why are we on this rock hurdling around in space? What’s the point of it all? Ultimately, the only things we have are relationships and experiences. The best of both of those things cost nothing.

Let’s talk about this idea of multi-dimensions. You have perhaps these competing dimensions of your life, yet as they come together, you find synergy in those dimensions. Can you talk about that a little bit?

I’ll give you a simple example. I love working with multidimensional people because I always say they always have something better to be doing. Let’s say you’re sitting in a meeting. The people with multidimensional lives are ruthlessly efficient. They’re like, “Let’s get this meeting done because I want to get out of here.” They have other things to be doing. If you’re multidimensional, let’s say you’ve got your work. You’re dedicated to your family and trying to build that. You’ve got friendships outside of work. You’ve got a hobby or a pursuit. Your calendar’s full, so you have to be ruthless with your time.

COGE 172 | Improve Your Life
Improve Your Life: It’s one thing to say, “I don’t care about status. I’m not chasing dollars,” but it’s another thing to actually make hard decisions that reflect those values.


You can start to see, though, how that becomes synergistic. Not only do you have to be ruthlessly efficient, which is good for everything, but there’s also bleed over in terms of the learnings, skills, insights and inspiration that comes from these different dimensions. I’ve been a marketing guy most of my career, so it’s probably on the extreme. A lot of my work is creative. I’ve had some of my best ideas while rock climbing. Are you going to call that work? Is that not work? What is that? I don’t know. It’s all the same thing.

You have your startup. Is it Swell?


As you’re building that and you are working with perhaps younger people who are at a different point in the journey of life. How do you communicate this epiphany to them in a way so that they’re able to achieve what they want to achieve and yet perhaps not get into is some of the traps that you got into as you were building your career?

It’s hard. As you know, Eric, there are some things you have to learn the hard way, unfortunately, no matter how good the advice you get is. Hopefully, it helps a little bit. Ultimately, we all have to go on our own journey. For your readers, I’m not going to talk much about my company, Swell, because it’s not related in any way to what most of your readers do.

Think of Swell as a new financial app that replaces your old-fashioned bank account. It does the things that banks should have been doing all along to help you get ahead with your money and help you build wealth. It’s especially important for younger people who are beginning that journey. In many ways, Swell is the manifestation of everything I believe.

Money is a means to live a great life. That’s the way it should be framed for everybody. You should be doing smart things with your money, but only as a means to live a great life, which sometimes takes money and sometimes doesn’t. What we’re trying to create with the Swell brand is almost a lifestyle to your point about, “How do you convey some of these lessons through your work, through Swell?”

The ultimate win for Swell is that it gets viewed as a lifestyle where it’s like, “This replaces my bank for all the basic stuff I need checking, savings, loans and all that stuff.” Everything that Swell does is done with an eye toward helping me live a happier, healthier life. I subscribe to that brand ethos, which ultimately will drive loyal, long-term customers for us.

Less is more; less things, less stress. Click To Tweet

With this idea of the epiphany and decision, I can think of a particular decision that I made. It was something that I’d wrestled with for a long time. It was weird. It was this little passing insight and that was enough for me to make my decision. If someone is at the point where you were, where they’ve had that epiphany, but they’re still teetering on the brink of the decision, what are some recommendations for helping them tip over the edge and take the path they know they should take?

The answer is usually much clearer than we’re willing to admit. Usually, we end up making decisions too late, not too early. One thing to keep in mind is, “Is the answer that you’re seeking crystal clear and you’re just trying to deny it?” I see that all the time. Ultimately, what we’re dealing with here mostly is fear of what’s on the other side. The funny thing is the other side is almost never remotely as scary as we imagine it to be in terms of risk.

In fact, it’s almost always better. You talk to anybody who’s made a big life change or life decision. For some reason, most of them end up saying, “It’s the best decision I ever made,” especially if it relates to improving your lifestyle. A lot of these old clichés and adages like money can’t buy happiness are clichés for a reason and it’s because they’re true.

Let’s be real honest. In the context of our career, the fear that holds us back is financial security. You have to be smart with your money, but usually, if you’re rational about it, the risk is incredibly low if you’re smart enough. How can you get help thinking through these things, mentors and talking to other people? I always say, “Find someone who is what you want to be.” This is a huge thing for young people.

There are so many loudmouths on Twitter and social media who are self-professed experts in everything, but they don’t have the credentials. They haven’t done what they’re talking about. Find someone who has their credentials, who has done what you want to do, who is what you want to be in all arenas of life, whether it’s health, money, career or whatever. Do what they do or listen to what they say.

This idea of fear is interesting. How has rock climbing helped you to negotiate those fear demons in your life?

It’s funny you mentioned that because I posted a thread that claimed that rock climbing is the single best metaphor for life in the world of sport. The reason for that is it’s a microcosm of so much of what we deal with in life. Rock climbing itself is so multidimensional. To be a good rock climber, you have to be much more than just a strong person or have strong hands or whatever. You have to be smart. You have to be flexible. You have to have endurance. You have to be strategic. You have to have intellect. All these things go into it.

Anything in life, there’s probably a metaphor in climbing, including fear management. In climbing, in a very real sense, you’re managing life or death type of risk. If you were trying to eliminate the risk completely, you’d never climb. I love climbing, so I climb. It’s all about, “How do I manage that fear?” The whole trick in life is not ignoring it, acting it doesn’t exist or completely avoiding it, but managing it and being rational.

COGE 172 | Improve Your Life
Improve Your Life: You can spend your whole life acquiring or succeeding, and at the end of it, you’ll look back and ask whether or not it meant something.


How do you manage fear? Tell me how you do it personally.

To use one of the metaphors, someone in climbing told me a useful tool is to separate rational fear from irrational fear. I’ll give you a great example of climbing. In climbing, a lot of times, there is an absolute rational reason to be scared. If I’m climbing up something and it’s one of those situations where if I fall, I’m going to tumble to the ground and get injured, that’s rational.

There are a lot of other situations, let’s say, where you’re high up on a wall. You’re in an exposed place and it feels scary, but the reality is you’re secured with a rope. That’s an irrational fear. You can have a deliberate process whereby you recognize and separate out rational from irrational fear and heed the rational fear. That’s legit risk and danger but push the irrational fear away.

How do you push the irrational fear away?

Naming it is the start and recognizing it for what it is. What happens is in the moment, irrational fear feels rational fear. It feels the same as legitimate danger. If you step back for a moment, categorize it and say, “That’s silly. I understand why I’m scared, but that’s not something I need to be afraid of,” it helps you push through. That’s exactly how climbers do it. When I’m in a scary situation, I can even calm myself down pretty quickly by recognizing, “Let me step back for a minute. It’s not a bad situation.”

Do you have any experience helping your children with this irrational, rational fear dynamic?

That’s a great question. Anybody who claims to have parenting figured out is lying.

I believe you 100%. I got five kids and I don’t have it figured out.

Your definition of success and happiness comes from your identity. Click To Tweet

The best you can do is give your best tips. I give my best tips, and hopefully, there’s something in there. One thing that my wife and I jokingly refer to ourselves as our parenting style is the selfish parents’ style of parenting. We like to live our own lives in addition to our life with the kids. As a result, we have been hands-off. We see a lot of our friends who are incredibly hands-on, the classic helicopter parents and I don’t what I see.

It’s not that we were smart or knew what we were doing. We’re just selfish. Therefore, we left our kids to fend for themselves a lot. I have two girls. I’m proud that we’ve done that because I see how they function and think of adults, even in simple situations. I went to a concert in Las Vegas with my older daughter.

It was the Metallica concert, right?

That’s right. It was amazing. She leads the whole travel experience. When we’re in the airport, I’m not leading her through the airport. She leads me because she’s done it. The reason is because we never coddled them. We never did it for them. They’ve become very good at fending for themselves.

I appreciate your insights here, Kevin. I do want to summarize this because I do know that as we get into our late 30s, 40s, 50s, we get these opportunities for the midlife crisis epiphanies. What we do with them can be positive or negative. Let’s say we don’t act on it. We can become despairing or perhaps we act incorrectly and end up doing things that are destructive. You’ve made a choice that, as you look back on it, was a positive one for you. What would be 2 or 3 things that you would encourage people in that epiphany moment to do as the next steps in taking action?

I’m glad you brought up the destructive side of this midlife awakening crisis because that’s the risk. It can go one way or the other. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I started to go down a bit of a destructive path. That was one of the motivators for me like, “I need to make a change. I’m in a crisis here.” This is a great insight for your readers to take away. When people talk about a midlife crisis, most people think of it as, “All of a sudden, Eric changed. He became a different person.” The philosopher Carl Jung would say, “It’s exactly the opposite.”

What happens in a midlife crisis is the masks come off and you become your true self. All these masks you’ve been wearing to be successful in business, to be a good family man, start to come off around midlife. You’re not changing. You’re becoming who you are. Recognizing that so that you don’t fight it, you embrace it is a great tool. It’s digging in and it always helps to get professional help.

A lot of people who are going through this also find they’ve lost their physical health a little bit. They’re not fit. That’s a great place to start, Eric. If you find yourself struggling a little bit, start by getting yourself in excellent shape and you’ll be amazed how it’s like the rising tide that floats all boats. Everything becomes better. Your path becomes clearer. You’ll find these other dimensions of your life that you enjoy without even trying.

COGE 172 | Improve Your Life
Improve Your Life: You should be doing smart things with your money, but really only as a means to live a great life which sometimes doesn’t even take money.


I have a great story related to that. One of my good friends who co-founded a business with me and still runs the business had a midlife crisis. He ended up getting divorced. It was nasty. He said, “I’m going to go back to some things I loved as a child.” His fitness wasn’t great. As a child, he was a BMX racer. He found that there were these adult BMX leagues that he joined. He said, “Kevin, it has transformed my life. I met a whole community of people who I love hanging out with. I travel on weekends with them. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in many years.” Those little things can make a huge difference in your life.

That idea of masks is interesting because as you go through this midlife crisis and perhaps you’re beginning to remove the masks, you have to make one of the decisions is, “At what point are you going to stop removing the mask?” Perhaps you go destructive because you have a particular mask on and behind that is your best self, but you haven’t quite got to that point yet.

Carl Jung, the philosopher who came up with that concept would say, “Removing the mask isn’t a choice. They’re coming off at some point, whether it’s when you’re 40, 50 or 60. The later they come off, the worse it is in terms of doing something destructive.” If you want to be strategic about it, you recognize this early on and actively in a controlled way, remove the mask and become the person you are.

When I had that epiphany, I looked around and realized that board room was a place I didn’t want to be, but I also had this life we had built that wasn’t even representative of who I am. We lived in this concrete jungle suburb. I’ve always been an outdoor guy, fishing and climbing and things that. I lived in this concrete jungle, in this big mansion with all these things that looked nice on paper but had nothing to do with the real me. If you’re strategic about it, you can keep from having to blow everything up at once.

That’s interesting because you can have an epiphany. There are some choices that you can make right away that are rather radical, but there are other choices that may take more time and consideration.

I always joke with my friends and they agree. If they know me, it’s like, “I like to blow stuff up.” I will tend to make more radical changes. I have to check myself on that a little bit. The reason for that is because in the environment I grew up in, I get nervous when things are going well. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ll blow things up proactively before they blow up on me.

I appreciate your time here, Kevin. I’ve enjoyed this. I’ve got to ask this question. Would you Free Solo Half Dome?

I’m a pretty good climber, but I’m certainly not on that level. The answer is no. The risk involved there is a rational risk. That’s not an irrational risk. When your chances of dying are double-digit percentages, that’s probably where I draw the line.

Ultimately, the only things you have are your relationships and experiences, and the reality is that the best of those things cost nothing. Click To Tweet

Do you know Alex?

I’ve met him a couple of times. I don’t know him. I wouldn’t consider him a friend. If you watch the movie, Free Solo, which is what Eric’s talking about, it’s a great movie. It won the Oscar for the best documentary. As scary as that looks to non-climbers, it’s even scarier if you’re a climber because some of us have been on that wall and know what those moves feel like and how hard they are. It’s insane but a mind-blowing achievement, for sure.

They did a little bit of work around what’s going on in Alex’s brain and how he’s able to process that fear. It’s interesting. I found that movie fascinating. I had to ask you because you love climbing.

What you’re getting at is I like to study extreme people because there are things to be learned from people at the extremes. I read a lot of biographies. Almost all of them are of extreme personalities. I’m reading the biography of Steve Wynn, the casino guy. These are not normal people. They’re extreme, but there’s a lot to be learned from them.

That’s a good place to end our interview here. You’ve got the Steve Wynn biography. Give me 1 or 2 other biographies that you would recommend people to read.

Right off the top of my head, the Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. That’s a great biography of Steve Jobs, another extreme personality. For whatever reason, one that also comes to mind is Lance Armstrong’s autobiography. He has had two out even though his life blew up on him. I don’t think he’s necessarily a person I want to emulate. I found them insightful because you’ll see a little bit of yourself in these extreme people. A lot of times, it’s a cautionary tale.

I appreciate your time, Kevin. It’s at if anyone’s interested in checking that out.

I encourage everybody to go sign up for our community. We haven’t launched the product yet. You’re going to like it when you see it.

Particularly for the younger folks in people’s lives, that would be a nice tool in terms of getting ahold of your finances and those kinds of things at an early age. Kevin, I’ve enjoyed having you on. Thank you for connecting with some random guy on Twitter and coming on the show. It’s been tremendous having you. Thanks for the discussion.

Thank you. I appreciate you not exposing my absolute lack of knowledge about anything related to construction.

You have plenty of knowledge about life and that’s been the most helpful thing. I appreciate it.

Thanks, Eric.


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About Kevin Dahlstrom

COGE 172 | Improve Your Life


Founder @ Swell. Helping people make money moves. Also climb rocks & raise girls.