Community, Connection, and Covid.
Speaker 1: Welcome to Purpose City, stories of humanity in action. Sponsored by Executive Wealth Management. Guests on Purpose City do not necessarily reflect an endorsement of Executive Wealth Management.
Ken: [00:00:30] What is community really? Is it solely the place where we live and those in our neighborhood or town? Then what is having a sense of community? Having a sense would suggest a feeling. Is community a human need we all share? If you're human, this is for you. And to discuss community today we have Dan West, who is the Livonia Chamber of Commerce CEO and president. And we also have Rob Larsen, private wealth advisor with Executive Wealth Management, [00:01:00] whose core values are trust, compassion, and community. Hi guys.
Rob: Good Morning.
Dan: Morning Ken. Thanks for having me.
Ken: Thanks for coming out.
So start things off. Rob.
Rob: Good morning, Ken.
Ken: Hey, how you doing?
Rob: Good, sir.
Ken: Thinking about your past, how do you think you grew up in community? Looking back when you're a kid, you probably weren't thinking, "Hey, this is my community." As an adult, looking back, what's a community's... Community slash communities you grew up in?
Rob: Community's physical [00:01:30] locations, I was in Highland. I actually started off in Commerce when I was very young, moved to Highland, went to Milford High School, then went to Central Michigan University for college and came back and still live in... Now, living in Commerce.
Growing up, I didn't seek community as a kid, but I was always involved in sports. So I'd love playing baseball. Baseball was my game and I was a catcher. I loved... I was a catcher. So not very many kids wanted [00:02:00] to be catcher growing up. So I took that position on and all of a sudden, you're the one that's coached the most. You're the one taking a lot of flack, kind of guiding the games, controlling the infield, really managing the dugout sometimes too, like keeping people in line. So you kind of are naturally the captain of the infield when you're the catcher. Because you're taking signals from-
Rob: You know, things like that. So I kind of naturally fell into that kind of role where I wanted comradery and that's something that I still strive for today. Like trying to be involved in some sort of group [00:02:30] or a team or something of that nature. It's just kind of unconsciously something that I look for all the time.
Ken: I think that's alright. I'm not picking your words, but I hear unconscious. That would be subconscious or unconscious?
Rob: Subconscious. [crosstalk 00:02:44].
Ken: So if you were unconscious and you had a community of unconscious people, it'd be pretty dull.
Rob: That'd be a weird community. Yeah, subconsciously you're actively pursuing involvement with people. It's whatever it was. And so for me, I just... Playing sports all the time, being involved like that. [00:03:00] So.
Ken: What about you, Dan?
Dan: Grew up in Detroit? I was also a baseball player, also a catcher.
Rob: There we go.
Ken: Did you have an unconscious team?
Dan: I played unconsciously at times but-
Rob: There we go, yeah.
Dan: But, no. I grew up in Detroit until 13, moved to Livonia. Franklin High School, Wayne State University journalism major. And then for me, my real introduction to community was my first job out of college. I worked in a weekly newspaper in St. Ignace, Michigan north of the Mackinac Bridge, where the guy there, [00:03:30] really contrary to traditional journalism teaching, saying to be effective writing about a community you have to be involved in it. And as a journalist, you're generally told this, "Be objective and neutral." And he said, "It's impossible to be objective and neutral because we all have our own biases and experiences."
Dan: Just to be fair and honest is what you do. And it's a great education. But as a journalist, and I learned this later in my chamber of commerce career, when you're able to connect with people, it is through the community. It is... We care about our neighborhoods or stores or development or schools, our parks, all that [00:04:00] stuff. That is a common thing that brings people together.
Ken: So those listening in, let's say, South Dakota, north of the Mackinac Bridge would be the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Dan: It's not Canada.
Ken: It's not Canada. It's the upper peninsula. So if you're working at a newspaper in the upper peninsula, was it like the Moose Gazette or what kind of town was it up there?
Dan: It was a town of 3000 people.
Ken: That's pretty big.
Dan: Our tourism is huge because they have a ferry line to Mackinac Island. Mackinac being the leading tourist attraction in the state of Michigan. [00:04:30] Snowmobiling's big. In the 1990s, when I was working there, they were really proliferating the Indian casinos and that as an entertainment, they were having shows. I saw George Carlin at one of the Sioux tribe venues up there at the time. But it's tourism, but it's very much a small town life. And the high school sports are huge there. And really every fish fry, no matter what the cost for a church for a family in need was always a big draw for the community.
Ken: So for the [00:05:00] advice to be to be involved in your community to be successful, that would suggest that there's more to community than just living by people. So meaning, you live in a neighborhood, you may not even know your neighbors.
Ken: But you could be involved in many communities outside of your community.
Rob: That's right.
Ken: So community really means connection. So your boss has given you advice that you need to connect with people. [00:05:30] They're going to do business with people they trust as opposed to just proximity.
So I have a couple of definitions here, that I pulled off of the reliable internet here, of community. See what you think about this. So here's one definition, "A community is a social unit with commonality, such as norms, religion, values, customs, or [00:06:00] identity."
I've got one other one for you, "The definition of community is all the people living in an area or group or groups of people who share common interests. An example of community," which this seem random to me, "is a group of Buddhists who meet and chant together." Instead of saying faith community that was pretty specific.
"A group of people living together or in the same locality or who share interests or a sense of identity." [00:06:30] So thinking about that definition, and Rob, you hit it when you start saying you were involved in a team and the camaraderie, but think more back then. If you take it back to the same question I started with, if this was more of a social identity than a town or location, what would be some community that you grew up in? Does that... Is that a different question now?
Rob: [00:07:00] As far as like social identity?
Rob: What did I want to connect with?
Ken: Or what did you just by birth? You're born into a family. Wouldn't that be our first community?
Ken: Let me read... You probably have heard this before, but it's really, maybe this'll help the conversation a little bit. "So a professor of biology did a study in the past and the insights of nature and of the need for human interaction. [00:07:30] He cited cases where babies were fed, clothed, and cleaned, but that's it. Other than the minimal human contact that resulted during these necessary activities to address their physical needs, the babies were left unattended." I mean, who would do this for the first place? But they did. "The result. Many of them died and the ones that didn't had serious and debilitating developmental issues, even though they were all [00:08:00] given the quote necessary, sustenance to survive via food and shelter. The lack of human contact literally killed many of them."
And there's study after study of when it gets more into adulthood, you can survive yourself, but it's depression, anxiety, all of these things. So there seems to be, even by science, a need for humans to have social community.
Rob: A place to belong.
Ken: A place to belong, [00:08:30] but a connection with people.
Ken: So I had... We all had COVID... We didn't all have COVID-19. We all lived through a world having the COVID virus, where we were isolated. And I lost work during that time. And pretty much living alone in a condo for a year.
Rob: That's brutal.
Ken: It's pretty brutal. So I would literally at times kind of go crazy and [00:09:00] go to a mall just to go shopping because there's people there and that felt worse. So there's community of all these people... Well, you couldn't during COVID so I guess that's right. But as soon as I could get out, I'm out around people or I'd even go to a movie or whatever, but when you're by yourself, you don't have that social connection.
Ken: It feels the same if not worse.
Rob: It makes it worse.
Ken: And I didn't realize it 'til I was reading these studies, but it was more satisfying to watch movies because [00:09:30] of... You're participating, although fictional, in other people's interactions, than going out around people and not having any.
Dan: Well, Ken, if you look at the last 18 months, a lot of people were to follow orders and for what they thought was their safety and stuff like that had to stay home and stepped with their family. And I think that's the one lesson we all learned. We are interdependent. Our happiness depend on other people. Our primal instincts say [00:10:00] that I'll keep to myself, protect myself, stay away from conflict and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, thinking outside of ourselves, what truly makes happiness, it's what you connect with people.
And when we're talking about various forms of community, I have two teenage daughters. So other families that are going through the same stage in life, you have that bond as a community. They play travel sports. They go to the same school, same church. Hanging out at the same restaurant, do the same things within Livonia and my particular town. Those are all prospects to connect as [00:10:30] community. And it's about having something in common with somebody, but also able to give and share an offer to the conversation. That's where connection happens. And having that taken away for really so long, and I think one of the problems going forward when you look up about mental health and people's other struggles going forward, is that, how do I get back to that? Because we're out of practice. We haven't really done that consistently. And that'll be the struggle going forward.
Rob: That was my experience, too. Doing what I do, managing client assets and doing all that stuff, obviously [00:11:00] COVID wasn't fun for the market, but things recovered pretty quickly relatively, and you're still locked down at home. And I was by myself in an office basement trying to stay busy. But when you're... When I wasn't connecting with other colleagues regularly like we do in the office kind of. And then the things we do with our clients and it was just all web-based stuff, but not having that office setting where I could bounce ideas off of other advisors or go to clients' places of business to [00:11:30] have meetings with them, you start getting in your head a little bit too much.
Rob: You know? And those days are kind of wishy-washy. So I was really excited to get back in the office the second you could. I was there just trying to get back to normal and the clubs and stuff I'm involved with are still holding back where they wanted to meet face to face. So I wanted to trickle back in as fast as I can.
But yeah, it's the hard part. I lost one of the memberships and striving to find... Finding [00:12:00] the next one as we're kind of back to normal here. Yeah, it was an interesting time being in your own mind, locked down all day, wondering what's going on out there? How's everybody handling all this? Am I doing the right thing right now? Am I doing okay? And everything was fine, but it was... It does play with you when you have a little bit too much solidarity.
Dan: Well, to add to that, what Rob was saying, when you're able to collaborate in person with people, there's a sense of community there. You have a shared value of [00:12:30] what's best for the company, best for the customer.
Ken: You get affirmation, you're doing the good things.
Dan: That works, that doesn't work. I have an idea. You have another one to make it better. And that's what makes the product. But also coming together as a team is more gratifying as well. So the collaboration, the team, and you can do Zoom meetings see each other's facial expressions. The bottom line is that with the Zoom meeting and stuff like that, people aren't paying as close attention. When you're face-to-face there's actually hormones that are triggered that actually allow you to connect. When you're able to talk face-to-face, shake [00:13:00] hands, hug, that type of deal. It makes a huge difference in feeling valued and connecting to people. And this is all part of that sense of value that I think all the sense of community we're talking about here works.
Ken: I'm not a scientist but in the study I read it's oxytonin for the hugs, the affection, the closeness of people that gets triggered in a brain, especially in the infant developmental stage, that bonds you with people. That's a need in your psyche and as adults, we need [00:13:30] it and it's found through... It could be found through good family relationships, a spouse relationship. And I think to me, it kind of says to look and appreciate those maybe that we take for granted. That we need them and they need us to be affectionate, kind people that feel safe to be around. Because that nurture is a mental need for us to feel at peace.
Rob: Yeah. I'll tell you, helping clients [00:14:00] transition into retirement is... The word retirement is ambiguous in my mind because it is... You make it what it is. But oftentimes you see people that don't have activities or goals or anything to do after retirement. They find themselves depressed or lose their sense of self. There are CEOs and highly respected in their community at work, and then they go retire and no one cares anymore. You don't have a sense of belonging anymore.
So you have to [00:14:30] find those clubs, those activities. I don't care if it's bowling or golf leagues or whatever it is. Or staying in some capacity in your career, consulting or whatever that happens to be, but being not busy and not having anything to do is completely depressing and unfulfilling. Some people can say, "Oh, I'm very comfortable sitting around relaxing and doing nothing." That's not true. You're looking forward to taking care of your house or cutting the grass or feeling like, "Oh, I did something today that was productive." And that's always made me feel [00:15:00] good, is having something to do every day and doing that. But-
Ken: I think a thing to reflect on is this week, maybe this day... Like today in my schedule of things to do with the community around me, that maybe just this general conversation on community for people maybe enlightens like, "Okay, that means social community." And that it's a human need.
So who is it? Well, it's my family. It could be your faith community. It could be whatever's in your sphere, [00:15:30] but are you just doing busy stuff in all of those? Or do you take... Could I even in my 24 hour day take one hour where I have no plans, I'm not building or doing anything or working on a future project, and just enjoy that company? You know?
I mean, we're doing a podcast, it's got different reasons for it, but we could just sit for 30 minutes and just kind of enjoy having a conversation outside of everything else and that fulfills a human need. I think we literally will feel better in our day than if we're just [00:16:00] going through the motions.
And same with our family. Go home and go through the motions of this role, that role, clean the garage, and do this or that. But just to sit down... And I guess that's the old fashion thing about The Waltons... I just dated myself. But sitting around the family dinner is that one hour a day-
Rob: Very important.
Ken: To look at other humans and social interact.
Dan: Well just in the few minutes I've gotten to know Rob here this morning, I've identified... We [00:16:30] find value in connecting with people in person in the sense to build trust with that in business, without hard selling people, but by focusing on the relationships. And we both have the baseball bond. So right out of there, I know we'll always have something to talk about and something to bond over for a gentlemen I just met.
Ken: Yeah. I've known you for probably 15 years. I've no bonding with you. I don't know what to talk about.
Dan: Yeah, no communications background, nothing to do with Livonia. Nothing.
Rob: Zero affiliation. [crosstalk 00:16:57].
Ken: Let's talk about Livonia just one second. I wanted to, so I don't [00:17:00] forget. We're talking about, like you mentioned Rob, socialization at work. I have a quote here from an article I was reading on community and has, "Creating the conditions for community should be a goal of any organization." I think that's really important. If you just go in and you're work drones, there isn't job satisfaction. There isn't personal satisfaction. At the end of the day I don't think you have a better outcome or product. As a financial planner, building the relationships with your clients that you care about [00:17:30] them and they're not just a number.
Ken: In the office, I think our place is pretty good. In the summer every other Friday, we have grill Friday. We had the COO two weeks ago grilling us all chicken fried shrimp and taking time just to stop working. And we're humans. [crosstalk 00:17:47] It doesn't matter if you're support staff, if you're an intern, if you're the COO, let's just stop a minute and just socialize a little bit.
Ken: The little things of just celebrating birthdays or [00:18:00] being social.
Dan: Well, I've always advocated to our members through the years to always take a genuine interest in somebody other than theirselves. Every human being likes to talk about themselves and think about themselves. But I think where you connect is if you take it, "Tell me about your situation at home? How the kids doing? How's work training. What are you learning at your job this day?" Because we can always, even in business networking, we can always learn from somebody else's industry.
Dan: There's always something to be gained from that and apply it to what you're doing in your industry. So we've always [00:18:30] tried to get people to do that and it's more gratifying and it builds the connections because here's the deal. Is that if you're going to go sell insurance one day, I may not need you today. But if I make a relationship with you over time, in six, seven months I may want to shop around. I may want to do something. I have somebody who's looking for something. Then you become that guy or that lady that you can refer to one of your friends or family that's looking for something at that moment. That's really where business flourishes.
Rob: Yeah, I learned that very early in my career. Hearing rebuttals from clients when I was [00:19:00] a banker like, "Oh, I have a guy." Okay. Everybody has a guy, I guess. Well, now I get to be that guy. But just like you said, it's not the hard sell. It's getting to know the person or uncovering the real need, right?
Because everybody has the needs and they know what we're going to do as far as managing money and stuff of that nature. But I have to build real connections and not come off and try to hard sell our firm. I don't need to do that. That's proven by a lot of clients or referrals or whatever it is anyway. [00:19:30] But if you come to me and say, "Why should I do business with you?" I'm not going to rattle off 10 reasons why we're amazing. That's in the Rolodex. I can talk about that for sure. But I'm going to take a step back and say, "Well, maybe we aren't going to work together. I need to find out more about you and to see how you fit our firm's outlook on what clients look like and what we want our firm base to look like."
And maybe we do have a connection where it makes sense where we do work together. And we take a lot of time to [00:20:00] do the financial plan first with no obligation to do business and stuff like that. So, that's really loose and so in sales practice no one wants to hear the guy that's like used car salesman. [crosstalk 00:20:11] "It's 20,000 miles. Only one previous owner. Beautiful colors," or whatever. It's a terrible example, but you see what I'm getting at. It's just having a conversation first and get to know the person.
Dan: Yeah, it's the theory of halos and horns. Your first impression with somebody is very, very powerful.
Rob: Yeah, ten seconds.
Dan: And if you jumped... if you jump them right away, it's [00:20:30] a bad impression. But if you took the time to get to know, "Hey, I like this. I like that. My family this. You do this, you do that." As a powerful first impression that will last with people. But if you have a negative first impression, it takes a long time to break and you're going to be forever that person branded as that-
Rob: Perception is reality.
Dan: Exactly. So that first inception... First connection with somebody, you have to be strategic about it.
Ken: So Livonia, Michigan. I have been associated with Livonia as you know, in [00:21:00] work form, in volunteer form. Not lately so much, but I don't know, over 16 years or even before that, before you knew I was working at a church there for like five years. So total, I haven't lived there, but I've actually been a part of that community in some form or another 20 years. And what I have found is the people that are there are you. Meaning you went to school there, you grew up there, you may have went to the [00:21:30] UP for job purposes and learning or whatever, but then you're back. I found there's a sense of community there that overall people live there and they don't like to leave. So why do you think... What's different about Livonia or how does a town like that... Because honestly, to be honest, it doesn't have a really great historic downtown where it's cute like Northville or Milford and you get to mingle around [00:22:00] or whatever. But yet, there's a staying power of the social community. What is that? Or what's in that town do you think?
Dan: We've always talked about our community spirit at length in Livonia, and if you look at it, it started with families. When Livonia really started taking off in the '50s building homes, building neighborhoods, they strategically built church, school and park. And just about every new neighborhood throughout the '50s and '60s, the school population took off and all that stuff. And [00:22:30] at the end of the day, you have a lot of people that went through Livonia public schools, the Clarenceville school district, even the Catholic schools within that town. And your school is always a sense of your identity and your bond. So you have a lot of families through that.
But through the years you have a lot of older people that bought homes that stayed there until health wouldn't let them live anymore. You have a lot of three, four, and five generation families. I'm a three generation family in Livonia right now. My parents, my brother and I, and our kids all live in Livonia. And I just think when you look at the schools, when [00:23:00] you look at the churches, when you look at all the youth activities, a lot of youth sports, a lot of arts programming, all that stuff. And you did it all in that town, that just fosters and strengthens a sense of that community.
And the Livonia Spree through the years, that's like the all class reunion for everything to do with Livonia for many, many years. You have people that see each other once a year at that thing, but they get back and they talk about all when we were in school, when we played that game, we played at that show, went to that, we worked together, what have [00:23:30] you. All that comes back. And our youth years are very foundational and very formative to our well-being. And you're able to relive those when you're in a community that has so much to offer like this.
Ken: Yeah. And one of the social communities there that is really prevalent is their faith community. There's a church. You could throw a Frisbee and always hit a church, isn't that right?
Dan: And every neighborhood has one within walking distance.
Ken: That's right. [00:24:00] And I know that it happens to have one of the longest prayer breakfasts, and most successful, in Michigan, other than a couple that are corporate-sponsored and they keep going. And that speaks a lot for... And its community volunteer-led.
Dan: Completely grassroots. No one gets paid for doing it. It is a passion for the people involved in that community. And they put together great programming and we sell out five to six hundred people every year. Ken, you're very instrumental in doing that for many, many years.
Ken: That's why I brought it up.
Dan: I know. I know you're getting at here. [00:24:30] You always have someone else pat your back, right? But in all seriousness, when you're talking five, six hundred people of all faiths... Of Christian Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, I mean, everyone coming together. And people think Livonia is not a diverse place, but we do come together in a very, very diverse... Unified in God and community for that two hours with song, with scripture, with inspirational words and with seeing people. Hugs and [00:25:00] all the stuff that brings community together really is proliferated in many, many levels at that present [crosstalk 00:25:05].
Ken: But it's up to attendance of... It's around 600 a year, which is pretty good. So the business community, tell us a little bit about the business community there.
Dan: What's really... you talk about Livonia being a button. You have a lot of people in Livonia. You're a perfect example of this, Ken. People that maybe didn't grow up there don't live there, but have a bond with that place. And you have a lot of people that maybe grew up there and started a business or maybe moved out of [00:25:30] town, but all their community volunteer stuff is in Livonia. They support the symphony orchestra. They support local schools, charitable causes, a sports team, what have you. Their sense of community is still in the town where they work more than necessarily where they live, even though their kids may go to school in another town. And I'll give you an example, a lot of new homes are being built in Livonia right now. And a real estate agent told me that 70% of the people that are buying these new homes in Livonia either currently or formerly lived in Livonia. They're coming back to town. So there is a draw to this place. [00:26:00] And I do think it is a tight sense of community.
Ken: And honestly, my favorite part of Livonia is... I am an expert. I mean an expert, not in many things in life, but on blizzards and flurries, specifically M&M ones.
Rob: All right, I'm listening.
Ken: And the Dairy Barn. I even on my Instagram I only take photos of like my travels and great things in the world. And I have a picture of the Dairy Barn on my Instagram. It's so good.
Dan: [00:26:30] And then I'll go to Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak, and they'll have a picture of Bates at night in some sort of interesting crafted fashion as sold art. You know? So it's like these little things come out of Livonia.
Ken: That's right. So to wrap this up, I mean, it's an interesting conversation. What I got out of just kind of pre-thinking about this and just kind of prepping for this conversation is community... When you think of the word community, the TV show could pop in your head, like the not funny TV [00:27:00] show.
Rob: Look it up. That's what pops up, too.
Ken: Yeah, it's not that funny. My kid's into that now, streaming Community.
Or it's generally my community where I live. But when you think about it, unless you're really an extrovert, not many people... Their own community is their... But you think about social interaction and my community is... The modern word is tribe. You know, who is your tribe? It's the people that are in your world that fill [00:27:30] that social need. And you're doing the same for others.
Our last guest was Chris Elias. He's the CEO of Nexecute who... He helps companies find core values. He used to be the president of Elias Brothers, or Big Boy Restaurants. And we talked about core values in a company, but we got on a conversation about... We didn't use the word community, but it kind of goes with this. Is the people who end up in your social community ends up being people you share values... It wasn't one [00:28:00] of these definitions, your core values with. You kind of just connect with those people.
Rob: You gravitate towards them.
Ken: You gravitate. You can have conversations with people, you're in the room, Dan's in the room and you guys connect and you leave me over here. That's fine. I don't have baseball stories, but you've got some kind of shared experience and value that now there's a connection that I may or may not make, but it's those values. It's who we are [00:28:30] and we have a need to connect with those people. And I think that happens through our whole lives.
Rob: I mean, that just reminded me of, randomly, when I was in college you meet several people, right? And there's not many people I still stay in touch with from college, maybe three or four from outside my original circle from... Actually I went to Milford and a lot of kids went to Central with me. So you kind of naturally hang out with those people from your community because you're comfortable with that. And then you meet other groups. When I met one particular [00:29:00] guy there, I knew immediately I had to known him for a long time. And he was just very driven, business oriented, entrepreneurial, just really had his head on his shoulders. And I could see that he would be going places. You know what I mean? So it's like, I myself, kind of having that same type of personality, we gravitated towards each other and always bounce ideas off each other.
Over the last a year and a half during COVID we kind of lost a little bit of connection with him a little bit, but I know he's doing great [00:29:30] and I'm doing fine, too. And it's one of those things where I... When I first saw him like, "That guy knows what he's talking about and he's not full of it." Right? "And he's going to be going places and I want to know him outside of college." So that was... Yeah, you just naturally gravitate to what your personality drives.
Ken: Yeah. During the isolation time, I was telling you about not only COVID, but loss of work COVID, which was totally isolating. I mean, I got to the point where I'd take six mile walks every day. I had time for that, sadly. And it did a lot of good to think things [00:30:00] through, but I got... I was so deprived of socialness. I was looking forward to seeing this chicken that was always like three miles into my walk. And I felt pretty lonely if I didn't see that chicken that day. And of course, I think, "Chicken."
Dan: I mean, I know you're making light of it, Ken, but there's a lot of people still today that are still afraid to leave their house. They're afraid to go out and about. They're going to remain anxious for a while. And really the best suggestion I'd give to anybody, try to invite somebody to something.
Ken: That's right.
Dan: You know, a chamber event, your church, out to dinner, [00:30:30] out to the high school football game. Invite them, remind them that there's people out there for them to connect with. And they may say no, but that gesture I think will be much appreciated to give them the chance to re-engage with society.
Ken: And if you don't know what to join, create something yourself. So the best thing I did was, "Okay, I've got to do something. I got to get my mind in a good place. What do I have to offer other people?" And I started... There's some things I am knowledgeable about. And I started having a [00:31:00] Zoom Saturday morning guys thing where I lead a study. I've been doing that almost a year now and that's become... That helped me during that time. I looked forward to those Saturdays and I spent the week studying for it. It gave me something a little mentally every day. And these people end up being... They're inviting other people. So they're across the state. There's a guy in Pennsylvania, they're all over. And then they're inviting somebody else. They're a group of all these people I never would have met and our study topic is going to be over next Saturday. [00:31:30] And I'm pretty upset about it because I've gotten to know these people. They've become part of my social community, but it helped me in that time. I had something to look forward to where I knew social interaction was coming up.
Rob: Yeah, and you found yourself a sense of purpose looking forward [crosstalk 00:31:47].
Ken: I found a sense of purpose.
Rob: I tell my friends, parents, clients this, too. You have to have something to look forward to. Like if it's a vacation come up or whatever it is, you put something out there in the calendar that, so that today you're going to make [00:32:00] decisions to lead to that goal or lead to that excitement, you know? So you're not just going through the mundane parts of life.
Ken: So I would say anyone listening, if you are lonely, depressed, think of what you can offer people. Start your own little community or look around and find them, or look at the community you may have and not realize it. Reach out to family and friends. It's literally lifesaving.
Ken: And any last thoughts, Dan?
Dan: No, really community comes out of [00:32:30] thinking out of yourself... I mean, using what you have and thinking outside of yourself to connect with others. And always try to find how you can take a genuine interest in other people. I think that's how you connect with people. Even with Rob and I right now we can talk baseball and stuff like that. [crosstalk 00:32:46] Catchers, yeah. Always getting yelled at. Always had to have the biggest mouth, right? Out there.
Rob: You do.
Dan: Yeah, you did. Everybody had to hear you. [crosstalk 00:32:54] And if a cut was missed, you're the one that got yelled at.
Rob: I got the deep voice, too, so if I go up another decimal everybody in this whole [00:33:00] room will hear me or the building. So it's... I can yell.
Dan: And my kids to this day still think I have a big mouth. I'm too loud.
Ken: All right. Thank you, Rob. Thank you, Dan. This was a great conversation. And this podcast is always sponsored by Executive Wealth Management, which Rob is a private wealth advisor at. And we're going to close this program out with seeing a little bit more about what Rob does at Executive Wealth Management.
Rob: Oh we are, are we? Okay.
[00:33:30] My name is Robert Larsen, private wealth advisor with Executive Wealth Management. And I wanted to get into financial services right out of college. I graduated right before the recession and when that hit, I was brand new into the corporate America, working at a big bank. And I saw it. I saw the impact it had on many businesses, many families, my own family. And I realized I want to be in the know [00:34:00] in my industry. I want to know what's going on in the markets and why things react the way they do.
I believe the key to any type of success is to have a plan. Many families, young professionals, kids out of college, many business owners as well, everybody has different goals. We're here to help create peace of mind, whatever your goals happen to be. Whatever phase of life you're in. It's more than our fiduciary responsibility. It's who we are. Build, defend, advance. If this aligns with what [00:34:30] you believe and you're interested to hear more, give me a call.