The Wisdom and Wealth Podcast

Intangible Balance Sheet 47: Lisa Schwaller

September 16, 2023 Joshua Klooz
The Wisdom and Wealth Podcast
Intangible Balance Sheet 47: Lisa Schwaller
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to this week's Intangible Balance Sheet Episode with guest, Lisa Schwaller, a master certified coach, who gives us a glimpse into her family's intangible balance sheet. Lisa walks us through her family's unique heritage and work principles of creating opportunities and serving others. Lisa shares a lifestyle that shaped her resilience and ability to adapt to new environments and also how her father's business experiences and her grandmother's wisdom, have become part of her intangible balance sheet. 

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JOSH KLOOZ, CFP®, MBA
WEALTH ADVISOR

Phone 281.719.0036
Text 281.699.8691
Fax 281.719.0156
jklooz@carsonwealth.com

1780 Hughes Landing | Suite 570
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Music by bensound.com




Speaker 1:

Welcome again to another episode of Wisdom and Wealth. I'm Josh Clues, the Senior Wealth Planner for Carson Wealth here in the Woodlands, texas. Today is another of our Intangible Balance Sheet episodes, or our Weekend Edition of the podcast, and I have the distinct pleasure of introducing Lisa Schwaller to our podcast. Lisa, thank you so much for joining us and welcome to the podcast.

Speaker 2:

Oh, thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

Lisa, for those that are newer to this format and to these podcasts, we call it the Intangible Balance Sheet because I believe that there are life principles and maybe values Some people would say that we live our life by that mean more to us than money and specifically the stories that bring those principles to life. And in some ways, you know, I think it's generational. Maybe our grandparents or our parents even play a role in that. But before we dive into that, I'd love for you just could you just introduce yourself to our audience just briefly, and then we'll dive off into our formal questions and content.

Speaker 2:

Yes, absolutely so. I'm Lisa Schwaller. I'm a master certified coach and I like to tell people that I have the best of all worlds, because I have worked in IT as a project manager for a very long time, but I also, on my nights and weekends, work as a personal coach. I love helping people with career issues, relationship issues, if they're in transitions in their life, so it's just really rewarding to bring new things to life through the IT teams that I work for and then help people realize new beginnings in their personal life through some of the mindset work that I do.

Speaker 1:

Hmm, very rewarding, to be sure, and very creative, I'm sure, in both instances, maybe in different facets, but creative to be sure, I would imagine yes. So with that background, one of the ways that I've started engaging with with guests recently has been you know, are there any stories that you have heard from your great, your grandparents, or maybe even great grandparents that you know live on and are a part of your family's intangible balance sheet that you wouldn't mind sharing with us at all?

Speaker 2:

It's so interesting to think back on the kind of the family culture growing up. So I was very close to my paternal grandmother and grandfather. My dad grew up in the Denver area and his parents live there for their whole adult lives, ever since they had kids, and I just remember, with that concept of the intangible balance sheet, just the value they would put on working hard, not just for money, but working hard to, you know, create opportunities for their family and to take care of what they had. And I would say probably the, you know, the biggest story of my family was just a really strong work ethic. We are a people who love working, whether it's to collect the paycheck or our projects on the side. So that's what really comes to mind and I just I was just talking to a friend about how my grandmother her main work was raising her children, but then she cleaned houses when she was older and she did get paid for that, but she loved being of service. And she would say, these old people can't take care of things and they shouldn't be up and down the stairs in the basement. And I remember thinking, because I was a little kid, like aren't you an old person? And just this idea of that work doesn't stop until you're physically incapable of it. And she would grow, you know, rhubarb in the garden and turn it into a strawberry rhubarb pie and so I think that's a story that comes to mind is what an example she was of the, of how rewarding life was with the fruits of your labor, sometimes literally.

Speaker 1:

So, listeners, I don't know, in Houston is rhubarb a thing? I don't, I haven't seen it yet, but strawberry rhubarb pie might be my favorite, because it's the balance of the sweet and the sour. It's.

Speaker 2:

It's perfect, but yes, so anyway, royers does a very nice strawberry rhubarb pie.

Speaker 1:

Okay, all right. Well, I have to. I will have to check that out. Yeah, so the I don't know if this applies to you or not, but I've heard it said. I kind of you know, took over it for myself. But I think a lot of families if if what I'm hearing from you is is correct is they're relaxed by being productive. Would that be an accurate statement, even in their relaxation, that they're still doing something active and something that has a definite start and end date or end time on it?

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm. Yes, it's, it's. There were and there were different types of being like in motion. So, my grandmother. We used to tease her that she couldn't sit down or she might not get back up. She was constantly in motion. And then there are other people in my family and I think this would be more me who the the restful activity is more learning something or volunteering, or you know, like I was really active in Toastmasters for a few years and put it on hold due to a scheduled change. And I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about going back, because it's so relaxing, being a part of the community and and serving in the club. So I think there is this idea in my family's culture that there's always something interesting to learn and explore, and for us it did. It did look like work type stuff.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm. Yeah, but most we worked, we worked fishers. To the outside world. People look at it and go, that's not relaxing. You're like, well, you may have a point, but what about your community? I I tend to call this like the barbershop ethic, right? Or there is there anything within your community that you look back on? You're like, hey, that that I definitely get that principle or value from the place I grew up.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, what just jumped to mind is is a memory. My grandfather was chief of detectives of Denver, PD, and lo, and you know some of his children were law enforcement career. So the law enforcement community was actually that was kind of our barbershop, and I remember they would have Santa down at the police station closest to their house and it was just such a. It was just such a part of our life. And you know my uncle was on the SWAT team and my aunt was the first female US Marshal and so we always had these people in our community, were people who their work was service and their work was community, and so the idea of what it meant to be in community had a really practical example in what I grew up around.

Speaker 1:

And real world, to be sure, yeah, hmm, and probably leaves an impression on you of people that in the right, you know context are incredibly dangerous, but you see the teddy bear at all times, right Like behind that, you know the exterior that, shifting to yourself, are there beliefs and principles that have that stand out to you as you've charted your course through your career and your life. And so what would those be? What would be a few of those?

Speaker 2:

Hmm, the first one that came to mind was it was the late 90s and they were still books on tape and they meant cassette tapes. And there was one I don't even know how this book on tape found me, but it was by a person who was teaching on negotiation and he said never let anyone else say no for you. And and maybe I don't know, maybe he said it, maybe he did it, but that's what I heard is, if there's something that you want to try, if there's something you want to apply for. You know, so often we say no to ourselves without letting the other person even know we're interested. And for me that really I haven't really realized until I see it now, that I have children who are teens One is a recent high school graduate and how often you know, these kids will hesitate I don't think I can, I don't think I should, I don't know if I'm qualified. And I've always been like throw your hand up at the, throw your hat in the ring and don't let other people say, no, you know like, or don't let them be the first, no, right. And so that really has has stuck with me, as I've, you know, grown into adulthood myself. After hearing that fun little book on tape, I would say another one as far as a value to live by is, we always have better information after we've tried something than before, and in full disclosure. I love to plan, I love to forecast. I, like so many human beings, we want to get the right answer to save ourselves pain, discomfort and future regret, and I have found that it's only through experience that I have the information to know whether it's a good decision or not. So, it's one of those where just putting something into action and testing it, even if it's small, I am so grateful for. However, I heard of this idea of like pilot programs or do a little experiment and realizing that I didn't have to have the right answer or the full picture or the full plan. I could test out something a little bit at a time. Is is so valuable and is something I really encourage other people Like if there's something and you're not quite sure, how can you collect actual evidence and results and then see if it's right for you?

Speaker 1:

So when it sounds very similar to something that I read not long ago and I've been trying to think through ways to do this with my own kids of how many ways am I modeling being a beginner to my own kids and giving them the kind of the model of, hey, it's okay to become a beginner, it's okay to admit that you're a beginner, because that's how you're going to learn, right? Don't assume that you've learned something or that you know something and then you move on. But I like the idea because it is so true there's so many things that we are interested in but they're like, ah, that might be too hard, or I might make a mistake or I might look silly or whatever the case may be. So I really appreciate that. What else would be something that you would say you look back on and you're just thankful for in hindsight, from a principal perspective, that has turned out to be really important to you?

Speaker 2:

This one came through the life experience of moving a lot. My dad built houses, so he would build a house. We'd move into it while it was on the market and repeat, repeat, repeat. We moved a lot. He would always try to keep us in the same school for the full school year, even if we were moving in between. But that experience taught me that Well, many things, but one of them is when you live in different places, you realize what is similar between people and what is different. And we're all people. We just want to be liked and seen and included. And it made me very comfortable at being the new kid in class. So all through my adult life, you know, I might feel that awkwardness or that tension or that discomfort, because I'm a bit of a homebody, but I find that once I can get out of the car and walk into the networking event, for example, I'm really comfortable because I always know that I can have an interesting conversation or help someone. Even that the new kid in the classroom can always see who are the other new kids in the classroom and I think it helps to. You know, I really have become very good at being welcoming for other people, so I think that is something that I didn't realize at the time, how valuable it was. It just seemed very disruptive, but has paid off in spades.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I can only imagine how what that would be like at different junctures of your childhood and high school, middle school, etc. Are there any events that you know similar to what you just shared with moving and being in new environments? Are there any events or experiences that have influenced how you live your life today and the choices that you make going forward at all that are shaping in that way?

Speaker 2:

One thing that was a surprisingly positive experience is my dad was, you know, a small business owner and he took a risk. He had invested in a lot of houses. There was a big company that was going to be moving into where we were living, or so he thought, and, long story short, he overextended and ended up the business declared bankruptcy and we went from having a lot to having very little. And it was right before Christmas time and I remember he sat down with us and said all right, kids, we need to have a conversation about Christmas. And it was. You know, quite honestly, most of his life financially was a little bit boom and bust, and yet, with my adult perspective, I can really understand how much that has shaped my resilience and I've become a bit of a good saver, you know. So there's some practical aspects that I came out of it of oh yes, safer rainy day, because the rainy days will come. And then, of course, my grandmother was in Nebraska at the time of the Great Depression, and so having those models of we can still be, you know, plentiful and secure, even when the financial security isn't there, was very has been very useful to me in certain aspects.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, as you think about you know your life, say 30 or 40, maybe 50 years from now, right, you start to shift and start thinking about what you know some people would call your ethical will or your you know how you'll be remembered, right? So it's that magical shift of you know. We spend a lot of time earlier in our lives worrying about a resume and being on paper. You know who we want to be and trying to like, measure up. And then we, there's that magical shift where we realize, well, shoot, you know, I really need to work on my eulogy more than I want to work on my resume. And so I have, because of David Brooks's article in the New York Times, started calling these kind of the what he termed the eulogy virtues. I don't want I'm not going to ask for an entire list, but if you were writing out your ethical will, what would be some of those eulogy virtues that you want to be a part of your eulogy and also that you want your kids to you know, to at least consider and be you know and be changed by as they live their lives?

Speaker 2:

Hmm, what a beautiful question. That question has recently come into my awareness. With that, what do you want to be known for in 10 years? And just this idea of looking ahead and thinking about with intention what would I craft for that future version of me? Is it? For one thing, it really asks you to reflect on your values and whether your time and focus is being spent in bringing those values to life. And then I do think, as we look into the future and I agree that there there do seem to be times in our life where we tend to be a little bit more aware that we're not going to be around forever, and what impact do we want to have while we're here? And so, specifically for me, I think what is really top of mind for me or it's actually in two categories One is a desire to teach and to really amplify the potential of other people in all different generations. You know whether they're in high school or coming out of college, and I just hop on the on a zoom call with them and we looked at their LinkedIn profile and just not to really direct or guide them, but to really amplify their strengths and their confidence and being a part of letting them know, through actions like that, that there are people who care about you, you matter. Where you are today is great, and where do you want to go? That's great too. So that being that, teaching and mentoring and really helping people move, what is blocking them from who they want to be? And most of the time it's in our head. And then the second thing is, I have been toying with the question lately what kind of revolutionary do I want to be? And by that I mean there are changes that I would like to see. There are things in the world that I would hope that my grandchildren and great grandchildren would note as as long since solved for. And I've really been given that question to like what kind of revolutionary do I want to be, from a position of, like, generosity and being open to criticism and being willing to set a table where we would like to see our children educational in their communities, brainstorming on what can we do, not just what the problems are. It's so, it's such a distraction and such a diversion to talk about what's wrong in the world today and these kids these days, and it's so much more powerful to think, yes, but while I'm here with me and with these hours that I have to contribute to my community, where do I want to focus? And, and even beyond that, what kind of energy do I want to bring into those conversations? So I think a lot of my. If we were writing my eulogy, I would love it to say that Lisa amplified human potential and really helped open hearts and minds and help amplify real change like really important change.

Speaker 1:

That is so inspiring and well said. To be sure, it's interesting to me that you combined being generous with receiving criticism. Well, you don't normally see those, those two, those two pieces of the chain link together. I like that because they're both a skill and an art both being generous with others in the way that we give criticism but, you know, in reflection, receiving it back. That is so cool. Is there anything else, lisa, that you'd want to share with our audience before we sign off today?

Speaker 2:

I think, when it comes back to this, just the big picture of the intangible balance sheet is that everything that we do matters. And when I think of my intangible balance sheet, that definitely includes how well I'm taking care of my health, how well I'm taking care of my relationships with myself. That includes how nice and kind and generous and open to feedback I am with myself. And really, as I really get more mature in my career and even in some of the organizations that I work in, and especially, obviously, with all the coaching that I do and seeing so many different minds and how they think and where they struggle, I really think that a big part of our intangible balance sheet is is recognizing and choosing how we're going to to grow outward. I think there's so much wealth in relationships and, of course, that can also come back on our tangible balance sheet too. I've been hearing a lot in the last couple of weeks about the mycelium networks, the mushrooms that form these very complex networks and they feed the trees, and the tree is just. It's beautiful and I think, oh, we are all like that too. We are all somebody else's mycelium root system, and I think it's really beautiful for everyone to really reflect on those times when it feels like they don't know, you know, like is this all there is to life? I feel so tired. I think there's such a sense of exhaustion that I'm picking up on that wasn't present years ago is remembering that it may feel like you're maybe not moving where you want to go, as quickly as you want to go, but you're more meaningful than you might believe. So just some encouragement to the people out there who are like I'm just tired.

Speaker 1:

And go to bed earlier, that may be part of it. Thank you, Lisa, for your time, your words of encouragement and inspiration for us. We wish you and your family nothing but truth, beauty and goodness in the road ahead, and thank you for sharing your intangible balance sheet with us today.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you to you and your listeners for spending time with me. It's been beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Have a great day.

Intangible Balance Sheet and Family Values
Moving, Resilience, and Leaving a Legacy
Reflections on Exhaustion and Encouragement