E1: The Vision: Empowering CRNAs Toward Financial Freedom

MoneyRx for CRNAs Episode 1

Hello, I am Brett Fellows. Thank you for joining me in the first ever episode, episode number one of MoneyRx for CRNAs.

I’m really excited to get this podcast and educational series for CRNA professionals kicked off today. We have some great content planned, a series of interviews with successful CRNAs, and a lot of resources that I think will really do some good things and give you a framework for making good financial decisions.

Let me start by introducing myself. I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and founder of Oak Capital Advisors, a fee-only financial planning firm based in Charleston, South Carolina.

For the last 16 years, I’ve helped clients grow their wealth and successfully exit their professions to retire on their terms. My goal with this podcast is really to do the same for you. With each episode, hopefully by providing a new insight or an action item that gets you closer to financial freedom.

My initial plan with this podcast is twofold. Every other week, there will be a podcast where I talk about some of the technical issues of financial planning for CRNAs. But more importantly, I’ll give you action items that you can take away and apply immediately to your personal finances.

Next, on opposite weeks, we’re also going to have an episode talking with actual CRNA professionals. We’re going to go behind the scenes to hear stories of how leading CRNAs navigated the inevitable challenges that arise on the path to financial success.

I also want to introduce insights from leading industry consultants about how to break through to the next level in your wealth creation as a CRNA professional.

[02:52] Who Should Listen to This Podcast?

Okay, so who is this podcast really for? This podcast is for the CRNA who’s seeking more balance, perspective, or clarity when it comes to planning for your financial future. You’ve worked hard and had success as a CRNA. And now you’re at a place where you’re interested in growing your net worth and someday exiting your profession. You want to retire comfortably and on your own timeline.

Maybe you’re a working mom. And you need to make sure that every hour you are spending away from your kids is worth it. Is your money working for you and exponentially providing for your family? Or are you just burning the candle at both ends trying to keep up with the career you worked so hard to establish?

Maybe your high achievement mindset has you using your career and income to fuel other projects you are passionate about, like travel, real estate, or advocacy. How can you make your multifaceted lifestyle mesh together and propel you forward rather than leaving you feeling like you’re spreading yourself too thin?

At the end of the day, you’re a leader and a pioneer with incredible achievements you are so proud of. But the question is, what resources do you need to stay resilient in the face of risks, surprises, and the high demands and stress your profession places on you?

In fact, you’re probably facing such intense demand from your career, you feel burnt out. You need to free up time in your schedule by creating a plan for your finances as soon as possible. So, you’re looking to tap into smart financial decision-making strategies that will benefit not only your lifestyle but also your family’s future.

[04:45] The Backstory: How MoneyRx for CRNAs Was Born

For today’s introductory episode, I thought it would be helpful to go into my own backstory. And the story that led to the creation of a financial planning process specifically for CRNAs that I have created. Now, this episode isn’t intended to be a self-promotional diatribe. But rather, to share how my experience as a financial planner has shaped how I think about work. And how that ultimately flows through to the work that I do with my clients and the insights I’ll be sharing with you throughout this podcast.

One of my first mentors was a fantastic guy named Dan Sullivan. This was the first person I paid coaching for. At that stage in my journey, I had very little money from having grown up in an environment of poor decisions around money and wealth creation. But I knew I needed to change things. So, I made a commitment to do whatever it would take.

I even took money out of my own retirement account to pay for his services. The truth is, I was desperate to change my trajectory. And sometimes, when you’re in a place of pain, it’s the greatest gift because you finally say enough is enough. You take action. And it worked. Dan showed me exactly how he had built wealth and freedom for himself.

He showed me the exact processes he had used to grow his practice, to make large amounts of money, and to scale his level of impact, more importantly. And so, I thought, what if I could have that same impact on my ideal client, the CRNA? What if I could inject other CRNAs with education, possibility, and inspiration through this podcast?

[06:33] Why CRNAs? The Decision Behind the Focus

First, I’m sure you’re wondering, why a podcast just for CRNAs? And that would be a great question. But it’s really pretty simple. I recently began working on my practice with a new business coach. And one of the first things she had me do was to literally write out all of the specifics of what my ideal client would look like.

Now, I knew it had to be someone in a high paying, high stress career. So, I went ahead and defined what my ideal client’s income was, what their net worth was and their age, what their problem was, and what solution I had. What were their goals and hopes, worries, and fears? What were they aware of wanting, versus what I knew they actually needed?

The outcome of this exercise was I had defined, almost to a T, one of my favorite existing clients: a CRNA. And at the time, other than my client, I knew nothing about the CRNA industry. So, I started to do some research. And what I found out is that with 61,000 active CRNAs billing $1.7 million on average to commercial payers, this is a big industry.

Yet, despite you being the fastest growing segment of nursing, you all have very few resources for financial help. So back to the first question. Why did I start this podcast for CRNAs? Well, now that I had information and an understanding on what were some of the greatest pain points for CRNA professionals, and what was keeping them up at night, I knew I had a unique ability that could help you.

So now that you know how I came into financial planning, and why I chose to work with CRNAs, I want to make a closing statement about why I chose to funnel my financial knowledge through this podcast. Throughout my journey, I’ve learned one very important takeaway. In the times that I lacked personal belief, I realized I needed to borrow someone else’s until I can start seeing the possibilities for myself.

I intentionally changed my environment, my network, and my belief system, and my ability to create wealth took off. See, the truth is, if you want to use your CRNA career to create a high 7-figure net worth, then you need to hang out with people or get a person in your life who has achieved exactly what you want and spend as much time with them as possible to adopt their thinking patterns. So, to make your financial life easier, I have created this podcast for you. If this is the future you envision for yourself, stick with me.

I will talk mindset and personal growth. And I can say with absolute certainty if you are adding to your daily and weekly routine, podcasts, newsletters, and social media influences that embody the positivity, success, health, and wealth you are wanting to make on your own, and if you lean into it without skepticism, I believe your ability to create wealth will take off just like mine did and the CRNA clients we work with.

Okay, enough about the why behind it all. Let’s dive deeper into something personal.

[10:00] Understanding Your Relationship with Work and Money

I want to talk about your intimate relationship with your work and money. If you think about it, as a CRNA professional, you have to deal with two amazingly selfish business partners and one schizophrenic financial partner.

Now, working backwards, the schizophrenic financial partner is the economy or the stock market. Unless you can sell your practice, which very few have and can do, the bulk of your net worth will be in investments. And with the stock market, you have no idea if it’s heading up or down, and it’s amazingly irrational.

And by the time you even think you can do something about it, it’s too late. So, there’s your financial partner. Welcome to it, whether you like it or not. Now, the two selfish business partners you, as a CRNA, will always have to deal with. Number one, the profession itself. Think about this. Your CRNA work is relentlessly stealing from you your time, your energy, your resources.

The upside, of course, is as a CRNA, you can earn a very high wage. But as I have learned, the more my income grows, the more it takes up my time, my energy, and eventually my confidence. So, in that regard, the work itself, your profession, is extremely selfish. And the second selfish entity is money. Whether your CRNA career is successful or struggling, as humans we’ve seemingly evolved to this place where, frankly, we tend to identify our self-worth with money.

And if you define your self-worth by money, you define yourself by how much you have, or what you have, or how much you don’t have. If you don’t take control of that relationship, well, that relationship controls you. It’s these realizations that I have experienced from the growth of my own financial planning practice, and what the business expected of me, that foundationally had a huge influence on the way I see our association with work and money.

So, my thinking today is that if I felt this way about money, my CRNA client has felt this way about money. And other CRNA professionals must be having similar experiences with money. To achieve financial success, not society’s definition of success, but success on your terms, you first have to change your relationship with your work and your money.

[12:40] The Philosophy: Changing Your Financial Perspective

Most people have this idea that financial advice is just about managing money or dealing with money. But I actually disagree. I think financial advice is really about perspective. So that’s where my passion comes from and why I started this podcast. My life is way better. Because I’ve learned over the last 25 years to apply certain financial perspectives in this light.

Like the power of liquidity. The power of structuring your debt properly, and the power of accumulating assets before you think about reducing debt. The power of entrepreneurship, and the power of leveraging your income potential by investing in yourself. And investing at an early age and making your time value of money and compounding work for you. The power of appropriate risk management.

To be able to really help CRNAs feel like no matter what happens to them, their family is going to be in great shape. So, I hope that sets the stage for this podcast, which I’m hoping will provide a new perspective on money management and financial planning for CRNAs that’s possibly one you haven’t heard before. And I’m very much looking forward to future episodes and especially getting to know all of you better.

[13:58] Looking Ahead: What’s Next for MoneyRx Listeners

With that, I’ll leave you with two final thoughts. First, your CRNA profession and money can be selfish. If you don’t control your relationship with both, they will control you.

And second, success looks different for everyone. Ask yourself: What is it that I would love to do if I didn’t have the money? What is it that I would do if I did have the money?

So, thank you again for turning into this very first episode of MoneyRx for CRNAs. We’ve got a long way to go with new episodes every week. And as you can tell, I am super excited.

Be sure to subscribe to this podcast, so you don’t miss out. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our free resources. Or click the free pre-op assessment link where you can schedule a call with me at your convenience. I’d love to hear from you and find out about your journey as a CRNA.

Have a great week.

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