How To Achieve Maximum Freedom In Your Life, with Dave Van Buskirk
Published DateAuthorDan Sullivan and Strategic Coach
The Strategic Coach® concept of the Four Freedoms refers to ever-expanding freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose—what every entrepreneur strives for. In this episode, financial advisor Dave Van Buskirk shares, “As long as I keep to what I learn in Strategic Coach, as long as I keep my eye on the Four Freedoms, and as long as I go back to my workshop every 90 days, I can get through anything.”
Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:
The freedom that was one of Dave’s reasons for becoming an entrepreneur.
The incredible difference having the Four Freedoms makes when you’re trying to have balance in your life.
How Dave has learned to be positive during potentially stressful times.
The way that Dave has introduced his children to Coach concepts and tools.
The advice that Dave has for young entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are the one category of individuals on the planet who have no limits on how much they can increase their Four Freedoms.
Everyone wants the Four Freedoms in their lives when they’re working, but there are few jobs where you can get them.
When you’re working, everything affects everything else.
For most people, the number one purpose of working is to do better for your loved ones.
Stress at work can affect what’s happening at home, and vice versa.
When you’re starting out, it’s important that you spend a lot of hours working.
If you’re too burned out, you’re not going to be good for anybody.
Even when entrepreneurs are all doing the same thing, in each case, they're applying it uniquely to what their life is and what they want their future to be.
Dan Sullivan: Hi, this is Dan Sullivan. I’d like to welcome you to the Multiplier Mindset podcast. Today’s Free Zone Frontier story is from David Van Buskirk. David lives in Grapevine, Texas, which is northwest of Dallas. David loves the central promise of Strategic Coach, and that is the Four Freedoms for entrepreneurs. And the Four Freedoms for entrepreneurs is ever-expanding Freedom of Time, expanding Freedom of Money, expanding Freedom of Relationship, and expanding Freedom of Purpose. And you do that by the constant development of all the other concepts and tools in Strategic Coach.
Dave just organizes his life around his quarterly workshops with Strategic Coach, where every time he comes, every 90 days, he has measurable progress that has freedom in those four areas—time, money, relationship, and purpose have increased. The way we look at it in Strategic Coach is that you should give yourself 25 years in thinking about the future. Those 25 years are broken down into 100 quarters. And every 90 days, you will make progress in expanding your Freedom of Time, Money, Relationship, and Purpose. Entrepreneurs are the one category of individuals on the planet who have no limits on how much they can increase their Four Freedoms.
So Dave says, “I’ve had some real rough times. I had a particular situation where at the same time, my daughter was sick in a way that really concerned me.” And he says, “And I had three team members leave. And it seemed trouble was coming to me from all sides and enormous stress and pressure.” But he says, “As long as I kept to what I was learning in Strategic Coach, as long as I kept my eye on the Four Freedoms, and I go back to my workshop every 90 days,” he said, “I can get through anything.” And that’s exactly what he reports when he came out the other side. So he said, “This is just the greatest way to think about your future growth as an individual, as an entrepreneurial company, as a parent, someone with deep relationships. That if you’re constantly increasing your freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose, you’re the best possible person for everybody else in your life.”
David Van Buskirk: I’m Dave Van Buskirk from Grapevine, Texas, and I’m a financial advisor. It’s always something I’ve loved. It was something that I was interested in when I was even in high school. I was subscribing to Money magazine. I studied it in college. Every class I could take when I did my MBA had to do with investing and helping people. And then finally, I got into the industry after about 12 years in the corporate world. I just didn’t have the confidence when I got out of school to do this. I met my wife and we decided we were going to be living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And so I left the corporate world to do this. And one thing, as I was preparing for the podcast, I was thinking about my folks, no matter how busy they were, they always were able to be there for us three kids. And the same with my wife’s parents.
Everything I’ve learned about her upbringing, both of our parents, they always were there for the games, they coached, they were there for every band recital, whatever it was. And so becoming an entrepreneur, one of the reasons that I did it was to be able to have that freedom to be able to be there for our kids. But even more so because our parents, they worked in the corporate world and there were some times that they had to miss some things. And so that was something that was very, very important to me about becoming an entrepreneur. Even though it was a new career, no clients, going and having to sell really for the first time, it was just amazing because it was my baby. And I knew that every time I was able to talk to someone, I could help them in some way, even if they did not become clients.
And then as it started to grow and clients started coming aboard, the relationships that we’ve established that have been going on for 18 years now, some of them from back to the time I started, have just been incredible. We share a lot of laughs. We shared some tears. But these folks, they’ve really become part of our family.
I would say the transformation is probably the Freedoms of Time and the other Four Freedoms that we talk about at Strategic Coach: time, purpose, relationships, and money. All of those, everyone wants that in their life when they’re working, but few jobs can you get those Four Freedoms. So now with what I do, I’m able to have all those Four Freedoms, and it makes an incredible difference when you’re trying to have the balance in your life.
Any person who’s married and has kids and has a business, or even if they are in the corporate environment, things happen. There are health issues. You’ve got maybe a child that gets sick and is in the hospital for a couple weeks. We had that experience. We’ve had an experience in our office where three people that worked with me, one ended up retiring, and then two wanted to become financial advisors themselves. So when those things happen, what can happen is you can withdraw and become really not confident in what you’re doing. You can take a negative view of things.
But what we have found, my wife and I, really from so much that we’ve learned from Strategic Coach because the concepts and tools, are a few things that have really helped continue to keep me positive during those times, to be a better dad and a father and a leader and working with our clients and with my team. It’s probably something that we’ve put into place in our family almost every day that… It’s a couple.
One is called The Gap—The Gap versus The Gain. Also, Having an Attitude of Gratitude. Also, the Positive Focus. Those three things for sure. And I’m so grateful for learning these things. It all started with Kim Butler who was my first coach, and then having Lee and Dan since. Everything affects everything. When you’re working, typically you’re working to do better for your loved ones. That’s why you do it. For most people, it’s the number one purpose. And when things are stressful at work, it could affect what’s happening at home, or vice versa. And so to have these concepts that you can use, that we learn here, it can really just go a long way in helping keep that balance. I would say, for example, let’s talk about gratitude and Positive Focus. When we had situations where life just threw us curve balls, we have been practicing these things for a while.
And even in sharing them with the kids, one of the things that Lee Brower taught us one time in class—and this might go back nine years ago—I remember him talking about Positive Focus and saying, “Try this at home with your kids.” And the first time you try it, you’re going to say, “Tell me something good that happened today.” Don’t just say, “How was school?” Say, “Tell me something good that happened today.” And the first time you ask them, they’re probably going to say, “Oh, nothing.” And you’re just, “Okay. Well, good. Well, thanks for thinking about that.” Then you try again the next day. And you do it a couple times, and then they start answering. Then you do it a couple more times and they start thinking about things throughout the day to be able to tell you at dinner time later is just amazing. Then they really get it when they come to you and say, “Hey, dad, tell me something good that happened today.” That is pretty outstanding.
So, those types of things, when you’re happy at home and your wife is happy and the kids are happy, it just makes things easier at work and vice versa. But doing those things and putting them into practice and doing them often, especially when things might be stressful, it really helps a lot.
My daughter a couple years ago was pretty sick. And she was having these migraines, we couldn’t figure out what was going on. And it was debilitating. She couldn’t go to school. We had to take her out of school for quite a while. She had to stay in the hospital for a couple weeks. It was her diet and is really doing a fantastic job with eating the right way, which is very hard to do in college. Another credit to her is she has 100% taken herself off of all the medicine that she was taking.
Yeah. So, for young entrepreneurs, the advice I would give them is just pay special attention to making sure you’re setting time aside for yourself. It’s really easy to get really all into work and spend 80, 100 hours a week working. And when you are starting out, it’s important to do that. You got to get the business ramped up. But at the same time, there’s a lot of people relying on you both at home and at work and your loved ones. And if you’re too burned out, you’re not going to be good for anybody. So making sure to have some time set aside for yourself, hopefully with your family, and taking care of yourself.
Dan Sullivan: What I love about David’s story is that to a certain extent, it’s what we expect to have happen to everyone who joins Strategic Coach. And it’s not about some special magic about me or some special magic about other individuals we have in the program. It’s just that we have a set of principles, we have a set of laws. And the number one law is that everything you do in Strategic Coach is for the purpose of expanding your Freedom of Time as you want it to be; your money as you want it to be, both quantity and quality; the relationships you want to have, both in your work life and your personal life; and your purpose in life, what does all this mean? What impact on the world does it come from you being a very, very free, constantly more liberated entrepreneur and all the great impact you can have in the world in all your different roles with other people?
Magic happens because it’s strictly based on what you want, but measured by your increase of these Four Freedoms. You’re in a community with other entrepreneurs who are doing exactly the same thing, but in each case, they’re applying it uniquely to what their life is and what they want their future to be. And they have great coaches who have been, in most cases, close to 30 years in Strategic Coach and more than 20 years oftentimes as a coach. And they are also basing their life on these same principles. And when you’re in a community where that’s happening to everyone, the magic is 10 times. The fact that you know that you can do this every quarter for 100 quarters, and then beyond, that makes it 100 times more magical. So it’s a system, it’s based on principles, it’s based on a process, it’s based on a community. And as long as you’re willing to actually enjoy and anticipate greater freedom in your life, it will work for you.