Finding The Yield Of Dreams, with Charlie Epstein
Charlie Epstein has been part of The Strategic Coach® Program for 27 years, and he’s found that it allows him to continually find the oasis in the desert of entrepreneurism. In this episode, he tells Dan Sullivan and Shannon Waller about bringing together his personas of financial advisor and stand-up performer in a one-man show.
Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:
- How Charlie’s show impacts on the financial level, as well as on emotional and spiritual levels.
- The three-faceted workshop that’s being created for audiences to sign up for after the show.
- How everybody has been kidnapped by their own doubts.
- The way you can always wake up joyous.
Doubt your doubts: If you want to doubt something, why not doubt your doubts?
Isolate the voice: You are able to isolate the voice in your head that doubts your identity and questions your abilities.
Stop doubting yourself: You can negotiate with your mind to stop doubting yourself.
The oasis: If all entrepreneurs are wandering in the desert, entrepreneurial coaching can serve as an oasis.
Bring together: Instead of aspects of your identity fighting with each other, you can bring them together to work in simpatico.
Myths about money: What’s holding you back from pursuing your passion might be just myths about money.
Around incredible people: Exciting opportunities come out of being around incredible people.
Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss
Yield Of Dreams, The Livestream
Dan Sullivan: Hi, everyone, this is Dan Sullivan. And this is the new episode of Inside Strategic Coach. And today, we're really going to go inside Strategic Coach with an entrepreneur that I've been in constant conversation with since 1994. Thai food, 57th Street in New York, Le Colonial—great, great restaurant. I don't remember anything I ate because Charlie was there. So I have Charlie Epstein. And I have my partner here, Shannon Waller, who predates Charlie, because as Shannon started on Strategic Coach in 1991, as a crucial team member, and has done nothing but grow as she got on.
So first of all, it's just such a pleasure that we can talk about everything over the last 27 years, but we can also talk about something I suspected in the first year when I first met you. So there's two stories here. There's your unbelievably successful career as a wealth advisor, financial planner for really, really successful people. But that's the day job. Okay. In the very first time, we had dinner together, and we clicked. I mean, we've always clicked on a lot of different levels. And what happened is that you showed me a whole other side of Charlie, which is the entertainment business: stand-up comedy, theater. And I remember after the dinner we had with you, we were walking back to our hotel, and I said, “You know, I got a suspicion that Charlie is telling us what the day job is. But my feeling is the big thing is the night job that he's talked about.” I said, “He's proud of what he's done in the day job. He's passionate about his night job.”
So can you fill us in, Charlie, and just, you know, kill the suspense—let's just go to the punch line right now. And you tell them, you know, what you've created. And then you can show how the day job actually freed you up to do this.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah. And first off, everybody, I mean, I think as entrepreneurs, we all wander in the desert, you know, looking for the oasis and the elixir in life. And Strategic Coach, and Dan, and Shannon—because Shannon has coached all of my team, all of our employees over the years—you've been the that oasis.
So the punchline for everybody is, I was born as an entertainer. My mother likes to say, when I was born, and I came out and the doctor held me up, everybody laughed. You know, so I got my first big laugh right in the OR. And my mother was an opera singer, and her father was concertmaster Radio City Music Hall in the 1920s. But my father, on my other side, was an entrepreneur and a businessman, and his father was an accountant. So I say I was born with a divine discontent. There's Charlie Epstein, entrepreneur, financial advisor, and Charles Bretane, which is my stage name, actor, performer, artist.
And it's taken me 64 and a half years, which is so cool because I'm going to live to 148—so I'm not even halfway there—to get to this place where we've created a one-man show called Yield of Dreams that I first performed last August, more as a stand-up storytelling show. Got a lot of feedback, hired a playwright, rewrote it, and now it's a play. And the play is really about how I've been able to bring Charlie Epstein and Charles Bretane together rather than fighting with each other, in simpatico performing together. And it's been an amazing journey. And the show, the audience gets to go on the journey with me on an airplane. Amazing. We have a Tony Award winning light designer who designed the lights, but we can talk more about those details.
But the show really asked the question, folks, what did you want to be when you grew up? What happened to that promise? And how do you restore that passion and energy in your life? And then, so it takes you on an emotional and spiritual journey, but also a financial journey because I'm still a financial advisor. So I've managed to weave in conversations about people's myths about their money that stopped them from pursuing their passion. So that's it in a nutshell. The start.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. And I think it's very timely, you know. Another passion that you and I have is discussing the current geopolitical issues in the world. And I have a sense11 I've been guided by a great author by the name of Peter Zeihan—sounds like Zion National Park, Z-E-I-H-A-N—and he's written four great books in the last eight years, each of them more impactful than the other. But he's predicting, is that we've lived in a world that was still created by the outcome of the Second World War, with America being the dorm supervisor for the whole world, and the protector, basically the cop and the funder, and that that period was created because of the fear of the Soviet Union. And, where the Soviets created an Iron Curtain, America created a prosperity curtain to keep the Soviets in their own field. And that-- It's over now, and a whole new world is starting. And the United States has just decided to come back and take itself to another level. And it depends upon its citizens to be really fully in ownership of their life, their liberty, and their happiness. And my feeling is that your play and what's happening in the world have coincided.
Charlie Epstein: Wow, well, it's interesting, because I'm working on-- So after the show, people are asking me, “What do I do, Charlie? How do I get out of my way? How do I overcome my doubts and my obstacles?” So Peter Zeihan, Howard Getson, and I are actually creating a workshop for people. So once they see the show via the livestream, which we'll talk about, that they'll then be able to sign up for this workshop that talks about the geopolitical aspects with Peter, talks about the technology/AI world we're heading into with Howard, and then the heart and the passion with me. So we're going to pull those three things together. And this really hit me when my director of my show, David Dutera [SP], who was amazing. His fiancée is an actress. And after the show, she said, “I have never seen a show that impacted me so much on my emotional, spiritual, and financial level.”
And I never really put those three together with the show. It was, you know, to get that impact. And so now with Peter, Howard, and myself, we've really got those two elements. The other thing I wanted to share with you that came out Monday at a Strategic Coach-- Chris Voss was sitting in front of me at the table, and you were having a conversation with Chris.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, let everybody know who Chris is because he's--
Charlie Epstein: Chris Voss was an FBI negotiator. And he negotiated with terrorists and kidnappers for 23 years, and wrote a book called, Never Split the Difference: The Art of Negotiation. So this-- You want to learn anything about negotiating, any aspect of your life, Chris is the guy. And I've gotten to know Chris over the last year or two. And you and he were having this conversation and telling one of the stories, one of his stories, when he was on the phone with a kidnapper in a bank and how he managed to get the guy out without anybody getting killed. I think this kidnapper sends him a Christmas card every Christmas, if that's the one. But something went off in my head because in my show, I look at the audience, and I say to the audience, “You know, listen to that voice in your head. Everybody close their eyes and listen to a voice in their head.” And they say, “What voice?” "You know, the one that just said, 'I don't hear anything.' That voice that always doubts who you are, that always questions your abilities." And then I look at the audience and I say, “If you want to doubt something, why not doubt your doubts?” Well, when you and Chris were talking, it hit me. You know, everybody-- Their doubts have kidnapped them.
So I looked at Chris at the break, and I said, “I have this idea. You know, you're a negotiator. But I'm in the business of trying to get people to negotiate with their mind and stop doubting themselves. I think there might be something here.” So, we have a Zoom call scheduled next week to talk about how to put Chris’s genius and Yield of Dreams genius together, and maybe teach people, “All right, Charlie, you've told me how you've done it in the show, but how do I actually do it? What are the steps so I can have my mind stop kidnapping me? You know, that voice from kidnapping me.”
Anyways, I’m just excited by the possibilities that come out of being around incredible people like Howard Getson and Peter Zeihan and Chris Voss and that kind of thing.
Dan Sullivan: You know, giving some respect to the 40 years of your work in turning people's financial lives around. And actually, when they think that they've done everything that they think they can achieve, you say, "Well, that was just the R&D part of your life. Now, let's get to the real business of your life." And I think Yield of Dreams-- And I'm-- You know, people say, “Wasn’t there a movie about that? Baseball or something?” So tell the connection there."
Charlie Epstein: Yeah.
Dan Sullivan: Then talk about-- You actually went and filmed yourself in the actual ballpark in the middle of the Iowa cornfields. And that's now a super tourist attraction. You know, millions of people go there every year to see this.
Charlie Epstein: The shrine.
Dan Sullivan: And they do it because they wanted to be back in touch with the movie, but the big thing was the transformational plot of the movie. And so you've made a phenomenal connection, you know, just to ground people in something they've all seen. And I bet the, the streaming downloads for Field of Dreamswill go up just as a result of our discussion here.
Charlie Epstein: Right.
Dan Sullivan: But the big thing is that the United States, America especially, is the Republic of Dreams.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah. So, a couple of mantras that I've discovered in my life and from the show. The first one is: I asked people, what would it be like to live a life of wonderment, joy, laughter, and play, and discovery for discovery’s sake. That's it. Like imagine you woke up every day, living in wonderment, joy, laughter, and play, and discovery for discovery’s sake. And people will look at me like “What?” I said, “Yeah, this is your job. Your only job in life is to wake up joyous. And what are you going to discover? Not necessarily for something, but just to discover something?” So, I say that first, up front, Dan, is because this journey that I've been on creating this one-man show has been just that. And let me just start-- 2019-- January 2019, Abundance 360, everybody—so that's Peter Diamandis’s program. I've been a member, thanks to Dan, since the beginning for 10 years. And when I attended that session, the first day was a networking session. And I wrote down one name. I said, “I need to meet one person today.” That was Mike Koenigs.
Dan Sullivan: Yes.
Charlie Epstein: That's the name I wrote down. I knew of Mike, but we didn't know each other. So, I walk into the session. It's an empty room. I sit at an empty table. And who's the first person who sits next to me? Mike Koenigs. Mr. Tinseltown himself, right. Folks, Capability Amplifier, Mike and Dan. Unbelievable. So I turned to him, I said, “You know, I've wanted to meet you.” We had lunch. Long story short, I told him about I wanted to get back doing stand up. I hadn't been on stage in 19 years. And over a six-month period, we finally got to this place where he said, “Charlie, you should be like other comedians. Hire a team of comedians to help write this show for you.”
Now, I said, “That's great, Mike. I've been in the business 19 years.” He said, “You hire me to be your producer, I'll find the comedians.” So October of 2019, I fly out to La Jolla to hole up for two days in Mike's condo looking over the Pacific Coast Highway. And I want to share the story because I had nothing. When I wrote Mike a big check to fly out and spend two days with three comedians and Marissa Brassfield, I had nothing written. I had nothing. And there's a documentary film, folks, when you go to the Yield of Dream’s dot live site, you can watch a documentary that Nick Nanton—who by the way, just produced Dick Vitale’s documentary that ESPN bought. And I just saw it the other day in Chicago.
Dan Sullivan: Twenty-one Emmy Awards, he’s won.
Charlie Epstein: Twenty-two, right?
Dan Sullivan: I'm sorry. Yeah, I was talking to him three months ago, so.
Charlie Epstein: [laughs] So, the point of the story is, I always say to people, “How big of a check would you write to discover something you don't know about yourself that's a possibility that it could be a major breakthrough?”
Now, I believe in angels, and I believe in God. And I believe you have to have ears for the angels. So I just want to tell you a story because I get on the plane from Hartford to Atlanta. You know, flying to San Diego to hang out.
Dan Sullivan: Oh, of course.
Charlie Epstein: And on the first leg--
Dan Sullivan: By the way, that constitutes a direct flight these days.
Charlie Epstein: Yes, it does. I sit next to this incredibly successful guy in his 70s. And we just talked for two and a half hours. I'm like, wow, picture of success.
Then I'm getting on the plane from Atlanta to San Diego. And I look over to see who's sitting next to me in first class. And it's what I call in my show, Mr. Yield. You know, he's in a power blue suit, white shirt, tie, cufflinks. And I get on this five-and-a-half-hour flight. And I sit next to this guy who's super successful, CEO of a capital markets consulting firm, and I can sense miserable. And he proceeds to tell me, he just turned 50. And I finally say to him, “What do you really want to do in your life?” He says, “Really?” I said, “Yeah.” He says, “I want to run a nonprofit and make an enormous impact in the world.” And I said to him, “Why don't you just do it now?” He said, “No, no, no. I need 10 to 12 years to get the yield on my portfolio in a place where I can finally do what I want to do.”
Dan Sullivan: Yield.
Charlie Epstein: Magic. I get into the room the next morning with the three comedians, and they spend two hours asking me, “What do you want to do? Money seminars? You want to do--?” I said, “No, I want to do stand-up. I want to, I want to create a show.” Took about three hours and then I start telling the story of Field of Dreams. And for those of you who haven't watched Field of Dreams, I've only watched it 100 times and I still cry in all the same places. But, every character in that show has something they want so badly, they're suffering. And in order to get the thing they want, they have to give up something huge. In the case of Ray Kinsella, Kevin Costner's character, he mows down his cornfield, his only source of income, his livelihood, to build his field of dreams. And those are lines right out of my show. And he risks everything for this insane desire to have Shoeless Joe play baseball on his baseball field--
Dan Sullivan: And Shoeless Joe is one of the most infamous—famous and infamous—
Charlie Epstein: Yes.
Dan Sullivan: … one of the greatest baseball--
Charlie Epstein: Played by a great, great actor, Ray Liotta, who just passed away. Unbelievable.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, just before we get too far along here, Shannon, you've known Charlie as long as I have, and your take, and what what you're getting out of this, from Inside Strategic Coach. I mean, you're the master of Inside Strategic Coach. So, sort of talk about two or three compelling things that you've heard so far.
Shannon Waller: Thank you, Dan. Charlie, you and I have had some conversations. I remember when you were super frustrated, kind of like the guy in the plane. Right? I talked to you back then.
Charlie Epstein: Hey, I'm both those guys. That's the point.
Shannon Waller: Totally.
Charlie Epstein: The angels put me next to me on both flights.
Shannon Waller: One hundred percent. And you were so frustrated, like, “How do I do this?” And you were-- And that sense of torture that you could not fulfill your bigger dreams. And you couldn't figure out, “Do I stop doing this? What do I have to give up in order to get it?” I mean, this truly is Inside Strategic Coach because it's the process of growth and development and expansion that you've gone through to get to this incredible pinnacle that's even still just the beginning of what's possible. Right? So to my mind, this is just through and through Coach, your creativity, Charlie, your willingness to jump out of your comfort zone, sometimes radically, you know, to do something that's bigger and better. And what a good storyteller you are is also what's coming through loud and clear.
Charlie Epstein: Thank you.
Shannon Waller: So those are some of my takeaways so far, and I cannot wait to see it. So I'm looking forward to the live stream.
Charlie Epstein: You've known me so long, and I know you've seen, sort of this, you know, you've seen the journey and…
Dan Sullivan: The arc of history as a former president used to say.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah. Somebody said to me the other day, “Why are you so calm? And everybody's coming up to you?” And I really thought about that moment because, you know, Shannon, what you just said, how agitated I've been over the years. I mean, just think of that session when I was going through my divorce. You remember that?
Dan Sullivan: I do. Yeah.
Shannon Waller: Oh yeah.
Charlie Epstein: Well yeah, Dan. I mean, Dan, you absolutely changed everything because, you know, you went around the room, and everybody was sharing. And then I was like, the last person. You looked at me, and you said, “So Charlie, how was your day?” And I basically said the F word to you, and everybody laughed. But you said something so magical. You said, “You know, he who has the check, can, you know, write a check for his freedom.”
And I did. I wrote a $2 million check for my freedom. The next day, I called my lawyer and said, “I'm buying my freedom. We're done.” Now, the power in that has so freed me up. Like it was a stepping stone, Dan. I just wanted to let you know, it was a stepping stone to do this show. Because not only have I been the writer, the producer, the bottle washer, the actor, the performer. You know, I've been writing big checks for the last three or four years. And it’s interesting because, you know, we talk about check writers and always test with check writers. And I'm testing with the long game on this thing. Because the check writers that are going to come, it's going to be, like, enormous.
Dan Sullivan: Mm-hmm.
Charlie Epstein: And it just so happens that the investment is longer than the normal, you know, put something out and get something in return in a month or a year. And it's allowed me to be a marathoner. And that has actually calmed me down.
Dan Sullivan: Mm-hmm.
Charlie Epstein: Because my whole life I've been a sprinter. And when you're a sprinter, you're always agitated. But when you're a marathoner, you got to relax. I mean, Kim White and I have talked about this a lot, you know, with energy and that kind of thing. So, I just noticed that as you were saying that, Shannon, so thanks.
Dan Sullivan: Just to use your own model: so, what is the cornfield that you cut down to build the theater, the ball field? And then we'll talk about the ball field that you're inviting the greats to play a game in your new ball field.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah, so ironically, the way I look at Ray Kinsella is, the cornfield was the obstacle. And he had to clear the field, he had to clear the deck. And so in everybody's life, there's something that's the obstacle that you have to clear. And for me, it was my relationship with money. You know, and ironically, I'm a financial advisor. And I've always been in control of it. And I've always been successful. What I had to do was financially mow down my control and just listen to the opportunity. And I mentioned that about Mike, when he said, you know, write a big check or produce this. In the past, I would have been, “Where's the payoff? What am I going to get in return right away? What's the out?” And I love the moment in Field of Dreamswhen Ray Kinsella is on the tractor with his daughter, and he's mowing down the cornfield. But as he's mowing down the cornfield, he's telling the story of Shoeless Joe.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah.
Charlie Epstein: So I, what I did is I just started telling the story of Yield of Dreams—Mr. Yield on the plane—and suddenly discovered that everybody is yielding for something in their life. They're holding back, but they want something they desire. And how do we identify that's holding them back? Because that's what they have to sell. That's what they have to mow down and get rid of. So I had to mow down my control over money. I had to literally say, “I am all in. And I'm taking this ride wherever it takes me.”
And that's scary. Because it wasn't only the financial part. It was like, oh, my God, what about as an actor and a performer? And this journey that I just went on for the last month and a half with a new director and a new playwright, I was scared out of my mind right up until opening night. What a great place to be.
Let me just get to the punch line for everybody. So, Saturday night, there was a Broadway producer in the audience who had just won a Tony Award for The Lehman Trilogies—you know, the story of Lehman Brothers.
Dan Sullivan: Fantastic, fantastic play.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah. So Alan won a Tony Award. He had never seen me perform. And after the show, he walks up to me says, “I had no idea what amazing performer and actor you are.” He says, “A matter of fact, we're producing 42nd Street at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, and we want to take the show to Broadway in 2023. And I just called my partner, Richard.” He said, “Show ended. I just called Richard and said, ‘There's a guy who hasn't signed. And if the guy doesn't sign to do this role by tomorrow,’ I said to my partner, ‘I got the guy.’” Meaning me. Was that cool? I mean, that. Wow. The unexpected. Out-- The good news is the guy signed, because I didn't want to do the role. And here's the punchline: I would have actually turned down the opportunity to be on Broadway for the first time in my life because I'm so singularly focused on what I'm doing right now. And, you know, you taught me that, Dan. As a Quick Start, I've gotten really, really, really, really good now at pushing everything aside and just staying in my lane. Thank you.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. Oh, well, and the other thing you're living in a country that totally supports this. This is-- I tell people, you know, the United States was created by dreamers who risked being hanged—all of them being hanged—to create a new kind of Republic of Dreams, a republic. See, everybody talks about freedom in a negative sense, you know, you don't want people to take away your freedom. But then you find—and you pointed it out earlier in our chat here—that the biggest obstacle that's keeping you captive is actually your desire for security at the cost of your opportunity.
Charlie Epstein: That is, that is the essence of what I do as a financial advisor now that makes us so different from everybody else. Actually my playwright, she said, "Do you know that you actually own a word?" I said, "I know." She said, "No, I googled it. Desirement." I own the word desirement, and I trademarked desirement planning. Because you know what the word retirement means. It means to put something out of use.
And I say to people, "I don't know anybody that wants to be put out of use. So we're in the business of helping you create a paycheck for life so you can do all the things you desire to do. But first, I got to know what do you desire to do? And then what have you sold out?"
And then we actually have gamified the process. We have this deck of cards. We call them the Desirement Dream Cards. And we put people through this process to identify their top three priority goals or top three desirement dreams, and the 15 myths that inhibit their ability to pursue their passion. And at the end of that session, people go, "Oh, my God, I've never had this experience before. And I worked with other financial advisors." I said, "Yeah, because they're all talking about money.
I'm talking about your dreams and priorities and your myths." The money is the easy part. That's chiropractic. Anybody can manage money. But managing your mind and your doubts, and getting you to actually commit to do something that's going to scare the bejesus out of you. That's what I'm interested in.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. So people are listening and they're saying, "Boy, when that show comes out, I want to see Charlie's show." But we can do that right away, can't we, with this here? Because you're doing a live stream of the entire show. And, just for the listeners of Inside Strategic Coach, this is gonna go worldwide, you know, on the streaming networks, but they can get this just as a result.
Charlie Epstein: Yes, we're going to create a waitlist before we live stream so they can either go to YieldOfDreams.live, like Field of Dreamsdot live, or just shoot me an email, I'd love it. Charlie, C-H-A-R-L-I-E, at YieldOfDreams.live. Just shoot me an email and say, "Hey, love it, put me on the waitlist, send me information." You know, give me the ability to be able to get your email and get you on the list and let you know when this is gonna go live stream because they're, they're editing it right now. Nick's team is editing it. It takes about eight to 10 month-- uh, weeks. So we'll probably start live streaming in October. So I'd love to hear from your 40,000 listeners and viewers. It's gonna be so cool. So--
Dan Sullivan: And I think this is going to be an all-time download for us just because of what, you know, the value that you're creating here. And on a personal note, Charlie, I get a feeling that your mother died recently, and she lived a life where she actually died on stage, you know. If you actually think about who she was as a personality, you know, more and more-- I'm 78. And more and more, I see a lot of my mother in me that when I was 10 years old, she got me aside and she said, "Dan, I just want you to know that there's going to be a lot of temptations over the next eight years before you graduate from high school to settle down around here. And I just want you to know that you're not going to meet someone and marry someone here. You're not going to get a job around here. The moment you're 18, you're going to go out into the world." And more and more that I've thought about it—because I was her number-one conversational partner. And she sort of sacrificed that for the rest of her life. Because when Dan's gone, Dan is gone. And I always felt that, more and more, I'm doing what my mother wanted to do. But she was, you know, she was a girl in the 19-teens, you know. She was in the 1920s. And there was no opportunity to do it herself. But she could launch someone else to do it.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah.
Dan Sullivan: I get a feeling that there's a similar story here with your mother.
Charlie Epstein: Totally. I mean, I'm-- Wow. When my father passed away, 18 years ago, I moved my mother back north, she was literally five minutes from me. So for 18 years, you know, we were it with each other. And she was the kind of woman that was hugely independent and in control. So when she moved back north, for example, I-- When they moved to Florida, I made my father take out a mortgage. You know, he was 68 years old. This is one of the money conversations I have in the show. And my dad says, "A mortgage? For how long?" I said, "For 30 years." He said, "I'll be dead before it's paid off." I said, "What do you care? You'll be dead." He said, "What's your mother gonna do?" I said, "Well, she doesn't play golf, and she doesn't play mahjong, so if you pass away before her, I'm gonna move her north." So when he did pass away, I called my mother up, and I said, "I think we should talk about selling the house." And my mother goes, "My bags are packed. Get me out of here." Right? So, we moved her up north, and we built her a house. And I'll never forget, she's like, 'Your father's rolling over, I'm building a house." But it was to give her the independence. And then she looked at me, and she said-- She was 79. She says, "Do I get to take out a mortgage?" And I went, "Atta girl, Mom."
And she tells me a story. One day, she's sitting with all her friends, and they're all, you know, in their 80s at this point, and they're talking about how they, you know, mortgages are all paid off.
And my mother says, "Oh, I have a mortgage." And they're all in shock. They're like, "You have a mortgage? Well, who's your financial advisor?" And my mother goes, "My son. You want to talk to him?" They're like, "No," because they don't understand the big and the spread, and how to use other people's money. And these are things we talk about in the show. But my mother would storytell about her opera days. And, you know, when she was 18, 19, she studied at Juilliard and Hartt School of Music. So just like you, Dan, we had that, you know, compassionate conversation. And I was just like you, the go-to person, you know, to storytell and act out with her. So it was just-- She got to see the show last August, and I'll just share a funny story. She was in the front row with my nephew. And I talk about my mother a lot in the show. And I said, you know, my mother, Margaret Elizabeth Bretane [SP] and my mother goes, "Elizabeth?" Right in the middle of the show. She goes, "That's not my middle name. It's Cecille." And I look at my mother, she's right in the front row. And I'm like, not even a foot away from her. I said, "Are we going to do this now in front of everybody?" She goes, "Well, if you got my name right, I've only been your mother for how many years?" And the audience is like peeing their pants, right? She's an actress. She's a show woman. I was giving her the opportunity to perform. You know, it was so ... such a great memory. Such a great memory. So, yeah.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. Let's go through Morale, Momentum, and Motivation, which is a standard thought process in Strategic Coach. Okay, we're just summing up your life until now. What's the thing you're proudest of now? Now you look back, you've wrapped up stage one of your life. And now you get on to the important stage two of your life. What are you proudest about of stage one?
Charlie Epstein: Adopting my children. My son is Vietnamese, and my daughter is Chinese. My first marriage was a shipwreck. But the thing I'm most proud of is, my first wife and I went to China, brought my daughter, Hannah, back and brought my son, Noah, back from Vietnam. And that's the greatest accomplishment. You know, in this chapter, to be honest with you.
Dan Sullivan: Charlie, just for my personal interest, was I named in the divorce proceedings as the other person?
Charlie Epstein: Remember how you used to say, when spouses were upset about you and Strategic Coach, what was it they used to call you?
Dan Sullivan: Well, I had a divorce where my client, a man, was, as evidenced in the divorce court, he brought along 1,200 emails she had send him and they were flamers. You know, but that's where I learned that Dan wasn't my first name. It was a word that started with F and ended with G, and I was named in 600. And I said, you know, I feel really proud about this. First time I've ever been named in a-- And she goes, "You know, before you started with that bad word, F and G, Dan Sullivan, we were happy. And now, that screwed everything up."
So my sense is I said, you know, I only got one client, and I'm totally committed to the freedom of my one client. What happens with the other people in the person's life? Well, that's private negotiation. I don't involve myself in that.
Charlie Epstein: It's funny because people will say to me, "How was your divorce?" I said, "Five judges, five lawyers, five GLs, which is a lawyer for your children, and $5.5 million, and you'd be as happy as I am."
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. Charlie, momentum. What are you really confident about right now? Right at the moment? What are you so confident about what's happening right now?
Charlie Epstein: Two biggest things is, taking Yield of Dreams on the road, doing a live tour, 30-city tour. And I'm also working on a reality TV show called Money Makeovers. So this is the real big enchilada. You know, if you turn on the TV set, I don't watch reality TV, but everything's either a cooking show or a home remodeling show. There's one money show called The Profit. But this show is a show where I go in like Anthony Bourdain, and I have my team of experts like David Chang does in his cooking show. And we work with a family and pull back the curtain on their financial problems and their psychological issues and how they relate to their myths about money. And we provide solutions, and in doing that, we empower our viewers to give themselves freedom to learn how to find and pay for the freedom to have what they want, and then have their money aligned with their--
Shannon Waller: Oh, that's brilliant, Charlie. That's going to take off like crazy.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah.
Dan Sullivan: Shannon, just put that down. When that show's ready to go, we do another podcast with Charlie.
Shannon Waller: Okay, perfect.
Charlie Epstein: And I'll just tell you, it's interesting. So I've pitched to the people who created Fixer Uppers, you know, the Magnolia couple. And I just tried to pitch to another group. They're all saying the same thing: "The stations don't want a show on money." And I email them back the same way, saying, "Well, they don't know what they're doing. You're the ones creating this stuff. So let's do something that NOBODY'S DOING!"
Dan Sullivan: [laughs]
Charlie Epstein: Nick said to me the other day, "Well, another no. You're that much closer to a yes."
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, Walt Disney had a reverse set of reviewers of his new ideas. He had 10 people. And when he had a new idea, he'd asked them what they thought and he said, "If I got 10 noes-- "
Charlie Epstein: He was on the right track.
Dan Sullivan: [crosstalk] 10 people, he said, "I had a winner. I knew I had a winner."
Charlie Epstein: Oh, you know what's cool about this is, I was built for this role. Right? Finance and entertainment on a reality TV show, making money funny and entertaining and impactful. Where's the microphone? Oh, here's my cigar.
Shannon Waller: Making money funny, Charlie.
Charlie Epstein: That's it.
Shannon Waller: Love that.
Charlie Epstein: Folks, YieldOfDreams dot live or Charlie@YieldOfDreams dot live. I'll make money funny for you. And you'll love the show.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. Next 12 months, what excites you most about the next 12 months?
Charlie Epstein: Living just on the edge, dangerously. You know, I've never staged a national tour. You know, I forget how to do a show. Now I get to stage a national tour. Never put together a reality TV show. And here's the other cool part is our financial business is just on fire. And I don't even have to think about it. You know, I'll give you one last story.
Somebody said to me, "Well, what does this have to do with your business?" I said, "It's everything. It's both entertainment and marketing at the same time." The Monday before opening night two weeks ago, I get a phone call from a gentleman I hadn't heard from three years. He said, "I'm calling you for two reasons. I've been getting your emails about the show. I'm coming opening night, and I need to talk to you." So he went to the show Thursday night. Monday after the show, came in. He said, "I know you haven't heard from me in three years. But we're getting ready to sell the company. I don't want to work with my wife's financial advisor. I interviewed some guy from Morgan Stanley in Boston. And he looked at me, said, "I want the Charlie experience." So.
Dan Sullivan: That's a good line. That's a compelling offer, by the way.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah.
Dan Sullivan: "I want the Charlie experience" is a good compelling offer.
Charlie Epstein: That's it. That's it.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. Yeah, well. Shannon, have you just had the Charlie experience?
Shannon Waller: I certainly have, Dan. And--
Dan Sullivan: Well, we've had it for 27 years.
Shannon Waller: But I have to say this is the--
Charlie Epstein: I've refined it.
Shannon Waller: ... the calmest, happiest, and, frankly, also most contributing version of Charlie ever. So, to see where it's come, the investment that you're making, living on the edge, I'm super excited. And this is going to be epic. It already is. But I can just see the impact. Because this is a conversation that people aren't having, and they're not tying it to their desires. And what you're going to open up for people is going to be incredible. So thank you for sharing with us, Charlie. This is really fun.
Charlie Epstein: You just may realize, you know, money without passion is worthless.
Dan Sullivan: And it's corrosive, actually.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah. I mean, if it's not tied to passion, it's worthless. It is corrosive. It's a disease. That's why people have so many worries and fears. You know, the last thing that I've discovered out of this whole process—and I owe Kim White, for those of you who don't know, who's our energy coach. People say to me, "What did Kim do for you?" I said, "Not much. He removed all fear in my life." Now I've said I'm, I'm scared shitless doing the show.
Dan Sullivan: He removed all past fear.
Charlie Epstein: Correct.
Dan Sullivan: So you could have creative new fear.
Charlie Epstein: Real fear. No, real fear. You know, productive fear.
Shannon Waller: Yes.
Charlie Epstein: You know, like, fear that you want to ride like being on the edge of a surfboard on that big wave. And you don't know if you're gonna wipe out or you're going to make it through the tunnel. That's fear worth having.
Shannon Waller: Mm-hmm.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah. Just want to ask you one more question. Have you gotten any feedback? Aren't you a little bit late in life to be doing this new thing, Charlie?
Charlie Epstein: So Saturday night, Dan, my entire family was in because my mother's memorial service was the next day, Sunday morning. And I'm the youngest in the family at 65-to-be, so everybody's you know 70 to 80-something. And periodically I would look under the lights and see all my retired cousins and sister. And the whole show is going over their head. So yeah, so the answer the question is, every day.
Dan Sullivan: Yep.
Charlie Epstein: Except the young people, Dan. Here's what the young people say to me. "This is so amazing that you're still going for crazy at 65. What an inspiration."
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, I just wanted to relate to another project I have. It's with a personal friend from New York City. I met him through Joe Polish, because I meet everybody through Joe Polish. He was telling me about five years ago, and he was at that time 68, 69. And he's been a documentary filmmaker, new fashion season for Ralph Lauren, and he did that for 30 years and other things. Great filmmaker, teaches at The New School in New York City, marketing. He said, "I got this idea." He says, "I'm going to create this musical on the-- probably the first pioneer, the crossover artist who started the whole rock and roll age in 1951, Lloyd Price." Very famous, had 10 number one hits, actually created the first doorway for teenagers in the United States to have this kind of music. And was just phenomenal. But he created his-- most famous is Personality. Lloyd Price. He died in, two years ago. Didn't take drugs, didn't drink, was just a total good person. So right now, the play is together. We invested in it. You know, I said, "Babs and I'll pay the coffee." He said, "I'm looking for a little bigger investment than that." So we did. We did round one. We did round two. And we're at round three now. So they, they got the play together New York, showed it to the media, showed it to investors, opened up in Philadelphia in February, three week, rave reviews. We open in Chicago for 10 to 12 weeks. "We," I say. You know, we're on the train that he's created. And that's 10, 12 weeks. And then the next step would be Broadway. So it's really, really interesting. Babs and I, I think, are probably going to be going to New York quite a bit in 2023. Because Charlie's going to be there.
Charlie Epstein: Well, I got a good Thai restaurant or better for us when you're there. So let me know.
Dan Sullivan: You bet.
Shannon Waller: I'm coming too.
Charlie Epstein: Yeah, West 63rd. Across from Lincoln Center. We found the most amazing place [unintellible]. Yeah, looking forward to it.
Dan Sullivan: So anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I'm really proud to know you.
Charlie Epstein: Thank you.
Dan Sullivan: And I'm really proud that you let us in on your stage one. And now you've let us in on stage two. You know, we want to really get this story out. We already have an immediately 40,000 who, on average, download here. And I got this one that the [unintelligible] for this one is going to be 10 times bigger. And I'm really excited just to be in on the know, from the kind of inside the Charlie experience. We're Inside Strategic Coach, and we get to be on the inside of the Charlie experience, so.
Charlie Epstein: I'm going to call the livestream Yield of Dreams 3.0. Because we did 1.0 in August, 2.0 two weeks ago, this will be 3.0. And then when we take it on the road, it'll be four to go. So thank you, Dan and Shannon. It's been an amazing 27-year relationship. And I look forward to 2,700 more.
Dan Sullivan: You know, I was just looking, you've got this great Zoom background when you came on. And I'm seeing "Charlie experience" in the clouds there right behind you, so.
Charlie Epstein: Well, this is the theme now. We went from having a Yield of Dreams field to the show takes place, I'm on an airplane. And there's actually seven people—you don't see them. There's voices talking to me on the plane as we go, so people get an idea. So that's why we're up in the clouds here. That's the new thing.
Shannon Waller: Congratulations, Charlie. This is great.
Charlie Epstein: Thank you so much, Charlie.
Dan Sullivan: Thank you very much, Charlie.
Charlie Epstein: Appreciate it. Pleasure. Peace out, everybody.
Shannon Waller: Peace out.