The Power of Building Great Relationships with Dr. Charlie Cartwright

February 19, 2021

The Power of Building Great Relationships with Dr. Charlie Cartwright

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The Power of Building Great Relationships Show Notes

Some people just seem to be far more successful than others – especially when it comes to business relationships. You probably know at least one person who seems to always be surrounded by the right people in the right moment, and who can get the help they need to clarify their visions and reach their objectives.

If you’ve ever wondered what makes these people so special, today’s episode is for you. I’m speaking with Dr. Charlie Cartwright, the CEO of People Success Labs. He helps business leaders and individuals all across the country rise to their fullest potential by enhancing their leadership performance, improving workplace culture, and increasing employee engagement and safety.

In this conversation, Dr. Charlie and I talk about the scientific method he uses to help people grow, the importance of community and meaningful relationships in everything we do, and the lessons he learned from 30 years working for major companies, including FedEx and UPS.

In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:

  • How building better teams can lead to explosive ROI.
  • The three brains that every human has and how to bring them into alignment.
  • The Golden Egg Principle – and why it’s so important to nurture, cultivate, and invest in your employees.
  • How working with a coach like Dr. Charlie benefits not just people who want to be better business leaders, but anyone who wants to live a better life.

Inspiring Quote

  • “Human beings are the common denominator in every business challenge. So, it makes sense that the more we know and understand about people, the better we can work with them and motivate them and help them.” – Dr. Charlie Cartwright
  • “Once we start believing in ourselves, magic happens. But sometimes you need to borrow that belief from someone else and that’s where a mentor really is huge in your life.” – Dr. Charlie Cartwright

Interview Resources

Interview Transcript

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[00:00:08] Dean Barber: Welcome to The Guided Retirement Show. I’m your host, Dean Barber. Do you ever wonder how some people seem to have far more success than others, especially when it comes to relationships and how they work with people and how people just seem to gravitate towards them and they can seem to get people to do whatever they need them to do to reach their vision or to reach their objective?

I hope you stick around with me today because my interview with Dr. Charlie Cartwright, he’s the CEO of People Success Labs, is doing just that for business leaders and individuals all across the country. I’m certain that you’re going to enjoy my conversation with Dr. Charlie Cartwright.


[00:00:51] Dean Barber: All right. Dr. Charlie Cartwright, welcome to The Guided Retirement Show. Great to have you here.

[00:00:56] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Thank you for having me. It’s an honor and a privilege to be here. I’m excited.

[00:01:01] Dean Barber: I’m excited to talk to you. Now, for those of you that don’t know Dr. Charlie Cartwright, he is the founder and CEO of People Success Labs. And, Charlie, I want to get into a little bit of your background but before we do that, why don’t you tell me, tell our listeners and viewers what is People Success Labs.

[00:01:20] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: So, it’s a consulting group, and our primary purpose is to help leaders bring out the best of full potential in their people, and we do that in a very scientific way, scientific method. We have over 30-year meta-analyses and we created the People Success Formula.

And those are 10 principles with six exponents that when properly applied, I can take any good leader make him a great leader, I can take any great leader make him a world-class leader, and I can take any world-class leader make them transcendent. And it’s all backed by science data and it’s a right way to treat people. It’s the right way to do business.

[00:01:59] Dean Barber: So, this isn’t a magic pill, right? I mean, this takes some work, I’m assuming.

[00:02:03] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Yes. It takes some work but the ROI is huge and it just makes for a more cohesive team, more productive team, a safer team, better leaders, and then that conglomeration makes your business better.

[00:02:20] Dean Barber: Amazing. So, I think it’s fascinating what you’re doing and there are a lot of people out there that I think would say they’re a competitor of yours. They’re going to help you go to that next level. They’ve got all kinds of tests that they’re going to put people through. How does your process work and how is it different? I mean, you say you take a good leader, make them a great leader, a great leader, make them a world-class leader. How does that work?

[00:02:42] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: So, one of the big differentiators between myself and the competition is I’ve actually done it in corporate America, been in the trenches 30 plus years in the field. So, I spent a decade with UPS. I spent a decade with FedEx. I work for one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the world, the largest privately-held insurance brokerage firm in the world. So, I’ve actually done it in the field. There are so many consultants out there.

They’re reading what they came from a book. It’s a script. They’ve never led a team of 10 people, and they have never had a budget of $10 million. They’ve never actually been held accountable for those numbers. And so, I’ve helped people move numbers in a positive direction. Now, my science and research, I would argue that it’s the best in the industry because what I discovered was this. You have research in healthcare, you have research in automotive, manufacturing, aviation, you name it, military university, but all of these different business entities do not talk to one another about their research in the human space.

So, what would happen if I gathered all that research and found the path that it painted? And that’s called the People Success Formula. Now along the way, in my research, I had discovered some things as well. And human beings are fascinating. Human beings are the common denominator in every business challenge. So, it makes sense that the more we know and understand about people, the better we can work with them and motivate them and help them.

So, in my discovery, we have three brains as human beings so we’re considered a superorganism. Everyone’s familiar with the cranial brain, 86 billion neurons. Heart brain, not as many people, 40,000 neurons. By the way, this one will trump the other two brains. And then you have your gut-brain, 500 million neurons. So, three brains make up one mind. So, if I want to influence a human being, I need to have all three brains in alignment, then they can make up their mind.

[00:04:45] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Because what do people say when they can’t make up your mind? “It doesn’t make any sense.” Cranium brain. “Oh, my heart’s just not on it or I don’t feel right about it,” the gut. When we line up all three brains, we’re going to influence a human being and I know how to do it and do it the right way.

[00:05:00] Dean Barber: Well, it seems to me that that’s something that parents need as well to motivate and move their kids or that we might need to be intuitive to our significant other. So, you’re not talking about just transforming people’s ability to lead, but then their ability to then transform the people that they’re leading into better people.

[00:05:27] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: 100%. So, let’s say I’m working with a male leader. He’s going to become a better leader, a better father, a better brother, a better son, a better husband, and a better citizen of the community. So, you’re right. It’s about making people better.

And the byproduct of that is the business grows. And so, it’s really exciting. I get chills thinking about it because when I get feedback from people after the fact, “Yeah, our numbers are great but here’s what I want to talk to you about. You really helped me with my marriage, helped me with my stepdaughter, or helped me with my son.” And that’s the most rewarding part for me because I want my life to mean something, and I want my life to make a difference. And I believe you make a difference by helping other human beings.

[00:06:20] Dean Barber: That’s it.

[00:06:20] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: That’s it.

[00:06:21] Dean Barber: So, it’s interesting that you say that the human being is the common denominator in all business. I’m part of a nationwide CEO network, where a group of CEOs, we get together and we brainstorm a full day, every month, and then I have specific one-to-one sessions with the leader of our CEO group every month. And you might think, “My gosh, that’s overkill.”

The most fascinating thing that I’ve seen, and I want to get your take on this, is that it doesn’t matter what your business is. It can be in creating ammunition, building greenhouses, laying concrete slabs, putting roofs on buildings, the financial industry, the insurance industry, or banking industry. It doesn’t matter what the industry is. Every single business struggles with the same thing and the common denominator that every business struggles with is people.

[00:07:30] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: 100%.

[00:07:31] Dean Barber: Right?

[00:07:32] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: 100%.

[00:07:33] Dean Barber: And so, your People Success Labs is all about teaching the leaders of those organizations. And it’s not just the person at the top because it’s got a leak down, right?

[00:07:43] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Right.

[00:07:44] Dean Barber: Because you can’t have a dictatorship because that doesn’t work.

[00:07:46] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Exactly. So, it is and it’s about becoming successful with people and I always love going through the training and we’re going through the training or teaching these leaders how to connect with their team and team members how to connect with one another. And we had it all installed.

The bonus content is, “There’s bonus content because that didn’t mention the bonus content.” “Yeah. There’s bonus content.” “What’s the bonus content?” So, we’ve had great numbers, we’re succeeding, they can see it, everything is flowing. So, then my next question is, how do you think your customers will respond if you treat them this way? Yeah, right? I’m talking about love, respect, care, appreciation, authenticity. When you treat your customers that way, now, the key to business is repeat business. Right?”

[00:08:39] Dean Barber: Right. And word of mouth and referrals.

[00:08:41] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Exactly. All that. And so, when you treat your customers that well, they’re going to tell other people, “Hey, you need to do business with this person. You need to do business with these people because they’re going to treat you so well. They care about you and your business.”

[00:08:55] Dean Barber: You know, that’s a difficult task, though, because think about this. When you mess something up and somebody has a bad experience, they’re far more likely to tell their friends and their relatives, “Don’t go here. Don’t eat here. Don’t call that person. This company’s customer service is awful. Look at what happened to me.”

They’re far more likely to vocalize that than they are to talk about the positive experiences. So, what does your People Success Lab, what do you guys do to make sure that you’re addressing that issue of understanding that just because you’re doing some great things doesn’t mean it’s going to translate immediately into word of mouth when people are talking about you?

[00:09:39] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Yeah. It’s the long game. And here’s the thing, that and we have this pyramid, the success pyramid that we talked about. There’s a point about midway in that pyramid where these things you’re practicing become habit. Now, when they become habit, they become who you are. So, now you’re in that transcendent space where you’re doing it without thinking about it because it’s just who you are. You’re naturally treating people well.

And so, now you’ve got this preponderance of activity and consistency that you’re going to win people over and you’re going to connect with that gut-brain. The gut-brain loves consistency that, “Hey, I’ve been coming here for three years, and I’m always treated this way regardless of who the waiter is, regardless of who the manager is. This is consistent.”

[00:10:29] Dean Barber: They call that culture.

[00:10:30] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Exactly. Because I have restaurants that I frequent. The food is great but that’s not why I go there. I go there because, “Hey, Dr. Charlie is here. Hey, how are you today? How did that talk go? Hey, how’s your family doing? How’s your business?” That’s why I go and the food is an afterthought. Yeah, and by the way, let me order lunch, because I’m just welcome there and appreciated. My business is appreciated. So, I’m going to go there and that’s where I’m going to spend my discretionary income on food, because of the way they treat me as a human being.

[00:11:06] Dean Barber: So, it’s interesting that you’re talking about that, in an era of immediate gratification, in an era of curbside pickup, in an era of just get on your phone and whatever app you’re using, you can get groceries delivered right to your door. And people want that instant gratification. They want it to be simple. They want it to be easy. But I don’t think there’s anything that quite replaces that feeling of community, that feeling of being part of something, being cared about. Is that what you’re talking about here?

[00:11:51] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Exactly. And the fulfillment, the fulfillment of our lives, when they’ve done studies of people that are in the twilight of their life, most their lives behind them, and they just have maybe just months or even just a few years left, and when they look at them, and the ones that are the happiest had the most fulfilling lives, had great relationships.

So, that relationship is my mechanic. I have a relationship with my mechanic. The grocery store that I go to, there are relationships there. I remember there’s a place I go to. There’s a Costco here in town. There’s a cashier. If he’s working, I don’t care how long the line is, I’m in his line because I want to talk to him because we have a relationship.

Again, it’s just fleeting but I just feel good that at the end of my purchase, that I get to talk to him and he checks me out. It makes a difference, all those little things, right? And so, I go to that and I look for him. There’s a target, there’s a cashier. I look for him. I’ll wait in his line because I want to talk to him. And those are really meaningful to me.

[00:12:55] Dean Barber: So, say that again because I think what you just said is critical. You said the people that have a few years left, a few months left or whatever you talked about, the people that are the happiest or the people that had meaningful relationships. Alright. So, I want to tie this, Dr. Charlie, to what I do and what my team, Modern Wealth Management, does for our clients.

As you know, we’re a wealth management company. We call it Financial Life Reimagined but we think that life is more than just about money. So, we take our clients and our prospective clients through a process that we call a prioritization exercise.

We get the husband and the wife or the significant other in the same room. We go through this prioritization exercise and we’re basically asking them, to tell us, what is the most important thing in your life? And what’s the second most important and the third most important, and the fourth most important, and the fifth most important?

Inevitably, you know what never makes the top five? Money. It never makes the top five. So, what does that mean? It means that money in and of itself is never the goal. It’s how you get to experience some of the freedoms and the things that you want to do that are really important to you. But almost always what makes the top five is spending time with the people that I care about.

That’s almost always number one. Right? Okay. So, what does that really mean? And how do you get a chance to do that? And what does that have to do with financial planning? What does that have to do with your financial life?

[00:14:52] Dean Barber: Well, if you’re working with somebody that understands that that’s the most important thing and they really understand what it’s going to take in order to make that happen, you build your financial life around what’s most important, and then you have a more meaningful life.

I agree with you. I’ve never seen anybody on their last day or the last month, saying, “Man, I wish I would have had more money in my bank account.” Always the regret is, “I wasn’t there for my kids like I should have been. I wasn’t there for my spouse like I should have been. When my parents were aging, and I was busy at work, I should have taken more time to spend more time with them while they’re here. I regret that.”

Almost everything we regret in life, at the end of the day, is not spending the time that we needed to with the people that we love and the people that we care about. So, I’d love the fact that that’s what you’re talking about with your People Success Labs. Now, you have something on your website called the golden egg principle.

Okay. Now, I couldn’t dig deep enough. I don’t know if you’re going to share enough here on the podcast about that golden egg principle but I found it pretty fascinating just a little bit that I read. So, tell us about the golden egg principle.

[00:16:04] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: So, when I start the training, there’s a parable that I created and it’s called the Golden Egg Principle and there may be 50 leaders in the room and I say, hey, you know what, you’re all one big happy family and you’re third-generation dairy farmers. Okay. And so, you run this dairy farm because it’s profitable and you inherited it but you all have the businesses that you run outside, but everybody contributes to keep this farm going. Well, there’s a tradition.

Every Saturday, you have breakfast. So, whoever shows up, shows up and it’s your turn to cook. You’ve got some chickens on your lot there and there’s farm fresh eggs and, of course, everyone wants some wild chicken and, oh, you might have chicken for breakfast as well. So, you send the nieces and nephews out there and they go and you say, “I need two dozen eggs.” They come back in and one of the eggs is golden. You know, you’re trying to get breakfast together and you’re frustrated.

You’re like, “What is this? There’s no game here. I asked you to go get two dozen eggs.” “Well, that was what was out there.” And so, now you’re arguing with the nieces and nephews and you march out to the chicken coop and what do you find? Oh, man, you find a whole nest of golden eggs.

So, then I started asking the audience, what do you do next? People were like, “Oh, yeah, golden eggs? Well, we got to find out if they’re real.” Well, they’re real. Okay. “Well, we got to erect a fence around this, because we got a golden egg-laying chicken and we got to start feeding them better, and we got to water them and all this,” and they start. And so, we usually get a list of about two dozen items.

Then I take them back through the parable and say, “Hey, the golden eggs represent the product or service your people render. The chickens are your people. And those nieces and nephews, that’s the data. Because you know, people will argue with the data.” They say, “Oh, it’s not true.” Well, the data is telling you it’s true. Right? And then you have to verify that. And then every item that they brought up I relate it back to their business.

“Hey, you said that you were going to treat the chickens well. You’re doing all these things for the chickens, but you’re not doing it for your people.” And people will laugh. “Well, you do it for a chicken.” “Okay.”

[00:18:07] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: And really break it down. And so, you just draw it back to their business and showing how important it is to treat your people well because I don’t care what company it is. Everybody wants golden egg-laying chickens. Everybody wants great employees. They’ll train them. Give me a great employee, I’ll take them. I’ll train them up. And so, you really have to protect that asset. So, that’s the golden egg principle and it’s really a simple parable but it drives the lesson there.

[00:18:32] Dean Barber: So, that’s fascinating. So, you spent 10 years with UPS, you spent 10 years with their major competitor, FedEx. Okay. Do you believe that there was one of those two companies that personified the golden egg principle more than another?

[00:18:51] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: I do. So, it’s interesting. I work for FedEx Ground, specifically. We were RPS and FedEx came and purchased us around 2000-2001. And so, FedEx Ground has only been around since 1985. UPS has been around since 1907. So, when I say UPS, “Hey, we’ve been around since 1907. Stand over there. We’ll tell you what to do.

We don’t need your input.” When I go to FedEx Ground, they’re like, “Hey, we’ve only been around since 1985 so if you got a better way, you can build a better mousetrap, let us know. We’ll implement it.” So, it had so much more autonomy. So, there are probably a half a dozen policies that are companywide that I created because I had these ideas. And because of those ideas, they’re the most profitable branch of FedEx now, and obviously, they’re a major competitor for UPS but it was people like me with these ideas. And here’s what I’ll say and I take this to my grave, swear on a Bible anywhere.

When I was in a leadership position, I remember the last position I had at UPS was in business development. So, I ran the telephone center, preferred customer center, then I had all the salespeople in Western Nebraska. I’m telling you about two to three times a week, somebody would call me up, an upper-level manager, start cussing me out about something one of my people had done or said. Two to three times a week this happened. I was at FedEx for 10 years, it never happened once. That’s a difference.

[00:20:27] Dean Barber: So, you’re saying FedEx personifies that golden egg rule far better than UPS.

[00:20:31] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Far better. Now, there’s a reason why I left too because we were migrating more towards this thinking. It’s a strange thing too where companies are different and that what makes them great. Then they get to a certain level and they say, “Well, they’re not doing this. Why should we do it?” And then they start coming back to the fields so I felt like they were coming closer to what I remember about UPS as I left.

[00:20:58] Dean Barber: But what you’re talking about, what you’re talking about is a stark difference in leadership of FedEx versus UPS. Okay. Now, I have a little trivia here for you. Since you worked for both, do you know why FedEx gained so much ground on UPS, and how they became the major competitor that they are when they got such a late start compared to UPS?

Because you had UPS and then you had the United States Post Office, right? They were the two delivery services and in comes FedEx, some obscure, unknown thing, some young kid with a wild idea, and that young kid with a wild idea was he was vicious, right? He made some things happen. So, do you know the story about when that whole thing happened and what was the catalyst for FedEx making up so much ground and starting to take away business from UPS?

[00:21:59] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: You know, what’s amazing I remember deregulation was a big deal because you didn’t have to fight each state to get in the state, where UPS had to go one state at a time to get the right to cross state lines and all that. When deregulation happened, you or I could open up a business and deliver packages in all 50 states. That was a huge one.

The other thing was the union contract and I remember the last strike that UPS had. Well, I was at RPS at the time, and we couldn’t process all the volume. We couldn’t process it. So, we’d start processing, and then 7 AM, that was it and we dispatch the trucks.

But what happened was we gained so many new clients and then the clients were like, hey, we’re never going to put all our eggs in one bucket again because we had to tell their people. We had to tell, “We can’t pick your stuff up. You’re not a client. We can’t pick your stuff up.” And so, they got caught. So, then as soon as things loosened back up, we gained so much market share because of that. And then also, there were so many ex-UPS leaders working there.

Well, I was a dedicated employee. I went to every single training that was offered because I wanted to be the best I could be. So, when I show up in FedEx’s door, I’m fully trained. UPS spent 10 years training me. They didn’t have to teach me anything. They just had to say, “Here’s the systems. Go do it.”

And so, they turn me loose. Then I was able to take my talent expertise and all that 10 years of training that I had and experience and immediately impact their business in a positive way. And so, how many millions of dollars did they save in training by hiring all these ex-UPS employees with a chip on his shoulder?

[00:23:37] Dean Barber: So, it was the strike? That was the catalyst, right? And you know what? And why is that? Because at that point in time, UPS was totally violating your golden egg principle. Totally violating. And remember all the lawsuits that came from the back injuries and everything else that UPS had to settle because of all the injuries that were taking place because people were carrying too heavy boxes, working too many hours.

[00:24:07] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Here’s another fascinating thing. So, at the time, we’re talking early 2000s here, Amazon wasn’t around yet. Okay. So, the biggest shipper in the country was Hallmark cards based in Kansas City. Guess who was on a tiger team that won that account?

[00:24:27] Dean Barber: You.

[00:24:27] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Me. So, I was running the night crew. All the trailers all were picking up 50, 70, sometimes 100 trailers, I’m talking anywhere from 24-oot long to 45-feet long full of Hallmark card packages. When we go and we’re pitching their executive team, they said, “Okay. At night, there’s a lot of things that happen. How can we ensure that you’re going to take care of our product?” I was Dr. Charlie. “Here’s Dr. Charlie. Now, he’s got,” I think at the time, “15 years’ experience in transportation. Here’s his number.

You call him directly. If you have any issues, he’ll make sure your trailers are taken care of.” So, of course, I want to say we had a trial week. They called and they didn’t have any questions. They just want to see if I’d answered the phone. And the lady asked me two or three questions. Boom. I had the answers. Boom. “Oh, yeah, that trailer arrived at 9:32 PM. This one arrived at 9:37.” “Okay. Dr. Charlie, thank you.” How huge was that?

[00:25:27] Dean Barber: Big time.

[00:24:27] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: How huge was that? And we got so integrated in their system, UPS will never get that account back. Okay. And so again, how much money did that cost? Because what we also understood was that when you have Hallmark cards and you’re shipping a whole trailer to Pittsburgh, that trailer is paid for.

So, all the other packages going to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are riding for free. It’s pure profit because all those Hallmark trailers are paying for that freight, paying for that line. So, there’s so much profitability in it. And so, it was a fascinating thing to be a part of and witness the differences philosophically.

[00:26:10] Dean Barber: So, the moral of the story, as I take it from you here, is that if you’re not following that golden egg principle, somebody else is, and they’re going to take your business away from you.

[00:26:22] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: They’re going to take your chickens.

[00:26:23] Dean Barber: Right? And so, you can follow that same golden egg principle in your relationships and your family with people around you. If you’re not following that principle of taking care of people, somebody else is going to take care of them better than you and you’re going to lose out.

[00:26:39] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Big time. And there’s a big difference between a chicken and a golden egg laying chicken, right? Big difference. And so, big difference between an employee and a golden egg-producing employee. They are rare and they’re the difference makers. So, was I the sole reason why we want Hallmark cards? No. Was I a major reason why we want it? Absolutely.

[00:27:06] Dean Barber: So, you were a golden egg-laying chicken.

[00:27:08] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Golden egg-laying chicken.

[00:27:12] Dean Barber: Alright. So, this is fascinating stuff and I bet you didn’t expect for me to know the story behind UPS and FedEx.

[00:27:18] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: I didn’t. That is awesome. You know, transportation is going to always be in my blood so I love talking about it because I spent so much time in that industry. It’s a great industry as far as understanding the value of customer service and accountability and all those things. I don’t think you can gain those lessons, any other stressor greater than those two places.

[00:27:40] Dean Barber: All right. So, let’s go back in time, Dr. Charlie. People could look at you today, have a conversation with you and they could say, “My God, look at this guy. He’s speaking in front of massive groups of people. He’s teaching leaders of Fortune 500 companies and smaller companies around the country on how to improve their business.” You must have gotten really lucky to be able to do all that, right?

[00:28:10] Dean Barber: Yeah. You know, what is that saying? Take you 40 years to be an overnight success. Yeah, I was 30. Someone asked me one time, how long did it take me to perfect that success formula? It was about 35 years is how long it took to construct.

[00:28:25] Dean Barber: And I bet you’re still working on it, aren’t you?

[00:28:26] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Always, every day, and then I test it. If something comes in, I test it against the formula. Is my formula still complete or does it need to be tweaked? It’s been standing the test of time pretty well, but yeah, it’s been quite a journey. You know, going back to childhood and all those challenges created, who you see today, and I grew up in a very dysfunctional household.

My dad had some real problems from alcohol and some other things and those challenges were real. It was such a difficult upbringing but I have to say that because of those challenges, that created who I am today. I wouldn’t be who I am without that. I remember having a conversation with my mother and I apologized to her because my father’s last six months, we didn’t speak at all and I couldn’t do it anymore.

And so, I apologized to her that, “Hey, our relationship ended the way it did. I just couldn’t. You know, 50 years is enough. I couldn’t just do it anymore because I couldn’t let him drown me too.” And she looked at me and said, “Well, I understand.” She said, “There’s two things that your dad wanted for you. He wanted you to be tough and he wanted you to be smart, and you’re that.” So, I suppose in that roundabout very dysfunctional way he accomplished what he was setting out to do.

[00:30:04] Dean Barber: So, you’re saying you think the challenges that you faced in your youth helped shape who you are today? Because I think there’s a lot of people out there and they see a challenge or they see an obstacle. In our society today, the first reaction is, “Well, how do I avoid that? How do I get around it? Give me a detour because I want to take the easy path.”

[00:30:28] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Yes. It’s so important because that’s what grows you and shapes you. I remember I’ve had so many jobs in the past and interviews, and I remember a very large insurance carrier was looking at me and put me through this test. I mean, it was like five hours, all these questions.

Basically, they’re taking a set of questions and asking you about eight different ways to see the consistency. So, afterward, I met with a regional manager and he said, “Hey, I’ve only seen this one other time,” and he showed me the graph. Here’s how you operate in all these different facets under normal circumstances when things are good. But, hey, when things hit the fan, here’s this graph.”

And the same indices. When you overlay them, they were identical. There’s no difference. That’s because of what I grew up under. And so, the chaos, I understand that I need to be calm, that I need to see clear, that I need to be really thoughtful and think when things aren’t going well. And that’s something you acquire over time that really serves you in life.

[00:31:40] Dean Barber: So, how did you take the life experience growing up, the experience that you had with UPS and FedEx, and your other corporate career? How did you take that and then decide one day, “Hey, you know what, I’m going to coach other people on how to do this.

I’m going to create this People Success Labs and I’m going to market myself and I’m going to speak in front of groups. I’m going to get CEOs of big companies to hire me to come in and teach?” How did you? Well, I mean, that’s a pretty big step, man. That’s a bold move.

[00:32:15] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: I mean, I’ve got a prayer life. I’m a very faith-based guy and so that is probably the biggest reason there. And then I believe because of that, I got a couple of mentors that came into my life late in life. One was Tom Hill. He’s out at Lake St. Louis, Missouri. He’s in his 80s. Another one’s local here, Darryl Rodrock.

These two people believed in me and when they believed in me, I started believing in me because I had so much respect for them. I was like, “Man, if they believed in me, it’s true,” and as human beings, we only need one person to believe in us. And once we start believing in ourselves, magic happens. But sometimes you need to borrow that belief from someone else and that’s where a mentor really is huge in your life.

I mean, Tom Hill started me on the reading. I mean, I wasn’t a huge reader until I met Tom Hill and I remember our first conversation. He said, “You need to read 1,000 words a minute.” I was like, “What?” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “Okay.” And I can see the look on my face. So, we finished this conversation, our first conversation, and he says, “Do you have any questions for me?” “Yeah. How many books do you read?” He says, “What do you mean? A week, a day, a month?” I was, “Well, yeah. How many?” He says, “I read two to three books a day.”

[00:33:34] Dean Barber: Wow.

[00:33:34] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: A day. And he says, “Don’t worry. Listen, there are ways you can learn how to read 1,000 words a minute,” but he said, “You got to read, man.” Then the other thing he said was, “Hey, I’m 80 years old,” and he said, “If I ever get the sense that you’re not listening to me,” he said, “I’ll be very hard to get hold of. I don’t have time to waste.”

So, I say, “You do.” And so, he really helped me and that reading opened up a whole world because there’s so much knowledge and information and Warren Buffett talks about it all the time. He reads like 500 pages a day and then he uses that time to read and think, and that’s how he runs his business. So, those mentors really helped me believe in myself.

And then once I started believing myself, well, hey, look at all this experience you have, look at all this education you have. You have things you can really teach others. Then I created the people success formula and the success pyramid, and these are tools that people can really use to better their lives and better their team, better organization.

[00:34:39] Dean Barber: So, you think people benefit from what you do that are not necessarily a business leader, but they want to have a better life. They want to have more control.

[00:34:46] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: 100% and I remember, I didn’t even know because you don’t realize the impact you have on people. And the very first professional speech I gave, there’s a gentleman in the audience and seven years later, he’s been promoted, he’s worked for a different organization, and he runs this whole department. He brought me in to speak.

So, I’m like, “Oh, yeah, I remember you and this is great.” So, when he introduces me, he tells the story to the audience of how he had his 11-year-old son and he just wasn’t connected with him and he was a different kid. He really had a fractured relationship with him.

He said, “And then Dr. Charlie stood up there and told a story about his son, and how he had overcome some challenges with.” Then he said, “I went home and I implemented that, and my son’s my best friend now, 18 years old,” and the guy, he got emotional about it. And I was just sitting there going, “I had no idea. This stuff is bigger than business.” Because that father-son relationship is sacred. It’s so sacred and to have him connect like that at that level.

[00:35:58] Dean Barber: Well, that story, right there, Dr. Charlie, I mean, if that was the only success story of your entire career, I mean, that would be huge, right? Because you can tell that story and you’re getting emotional telling the story because that’s a big deal.

[00:36:13] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: It really is. And so, that is just so important to me that, you know, during the pandemic people struggled, struggled emotionally and financially, and there have been so many struggles. So, to give people some light at the end of the tunnel, some hope, here are some things you can do, here’s what you can control. I get at least one note every day from someone somewhere in the world that will say, “Hey, I just want you to know.”

[00:36:42] Dean Barber: Are you writing a book or anything?

[00:36:44] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: I’ve been thinking about it. Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it but it just means a lot to me that I just want to make the world a little better place.

[00:36:52] Dean Barber: You know, you and I talked before we started the podcast here and you said that communication face-to-face, voice, that you feel like that level of communication is where it’s at that that’s where you can make the connection, that’s where you can make the difference.

So, how are you doing that? Are you doing that one person at a time? Are you doing it in large groups? Can individuals hire you to coach them? Or do you only coach for business leaders? How does all that work?

[00:37:25] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Yeah. I do it all. If there’s people, then I’m in. You know, whether that’s one-on-one coaching, working with teams, organizations. How I’m doing it now, I do a lot of virtual and that’s really important that you come across well in the virtual space. And so, my job when I’m working with a team is everyone sitting there and they may be at their home and they see me on the monitor. But this is like when you watch a great movie. You might be at home on your big screen.

There’s a point in time in that movie when the television goes away, you’re just immersed in the movie. So, my job, as a leader of leaders, is to make that computer monitor go away. And now Dr. Charlie is in the room speaking with them and creating that kind of connection, and that really moves people and people feel that when they get off because the brain at that point knows no difference. It felt like I was sitting in the room with them.

And people know that I genuinely care and the things that I’m saying are true and then when they practice and implement them, they see the results. That’s the magic. So, yeah, I love working with people and companies have different goals and aspirations and I can help them take those next steps, get to that next level that they’re trying to achieve.

[00:38:47] Dean Barber: All right. You were talking about the test, the quiz, the whatever it is, the five-hour long process that the insurance company puts you through that talked about here’s how you make decisions and do things in a normal state and also in a state that have a difficult decision or there’s a lot of emotion or chaos. I think that when we look at our lives, we can all identify some extremely difficult times.

In my world, Dr. Charlie, I see this change in people when they almost lose their identity. So, you get somebody that’s in their mid-50s where we are and tell me about yourself. And what are they going to do? They’re going to tell you all about their job, their career, what they’ve done, etcetera but is that who we really are?

Now, I say that because people are going to transition away from their job into retirement. Then who are they? And I think that that moment in time causes more anxiety, more uncertainty, because really, who am I? You know, it hit me. I started in the financial industry in 1987. I worked with a doctor in 1989 to get him into his retirement and I’ll never ever forget this.

He said to me, he said, “Dean, I’m scared to death.” And I’m like, “But doctor, you got nothing to worry about. Look, you’ve got all this money here. I showed you exactly how it’s going to work out. You’re going to be able to do all the stuff you want to do.” He goes, “That’s not what I’m scared of.” I’m like, “What are you scared of?”

[00:40:44] Dean Barber: He goes, “I don’t know who I am.” He says, “When I go to work every day, people need me. They rely on me. They look up to me. My identity of who I am as a person has been ingrained in my business, in my practice.

When I leave that, who am I going to be?” And we’re in this era of time, we’ve got 10 million people a day reaching retirement age and there’s that paradigm shift that takes place. So, I’m curious, your success lab, have you thought about how what you’re doing can help people in that transitional time of their lives?

[00:41:32] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Wow. You know, that’s just a great question and it’s an important one. I think the biggest takeaway that leaders have with what I teach is how to impact and treat other people. I remember meeting another speaker for coffee. We’re meeting down the road in DeSoto, Kansas, small town. The coffee shops were closed. That’s how small town it was.

They’re not open. What do you mean they’re not open on Mondays? We ended up going into a McDonald’s down the highway. A silver-haired lady he’s been speaking to for years and she just wanted to ask me some questions. We had such a great conversation. She walks up to the counter to order our coffee. She created an experience for the person, the cashier. The manager came over and was talking to her and she just created this experience.

The manager brings a coffee to our table at a McDonald’s. That’s the kind of experience she created. And so, as human beings, we have an opportunity to create experiences for our children, our grandchildren, our friends, our closest relatives. Go into the grocery store and that’s a life worth living, as I see it.

[00:42:51] Dean Barber: Awesome. So, what’s the future hold for you? I know on your website and, by the way, if you want to learn more about what Doc Charlie and I are talking about today, in the show notes, you’re going to find a link to the website, the different success labs that he’s got going on right now, some things you’ve got, an incubator phase that looks like you’re testing and trying to say, “Okay, is this ready to roll out?”

All that information is in the show notes. But what’s the future hold? What do you see as your role? And obviously, you’ve made a lot of difference in a lot of people’s lives at this point in time, and it’s exciting to be able to spend time with somebody like you that’s done all that. What’s the future hold for you?

[00:43:27] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: That’s a great question and I believe that some of the training methodology that I use, that I utilize, I have this daily dose product to where it’s a three to five-minute video every day that reinforces something that the company wants to do or some training. I believe that’ll be the way people receive their training instead of this one lump at once a year. That’ll change.

I’ll have a lot of opportunity to go internationally overseas because English is the international language of business when you think about it. And so, I have a lot of opportunity to go overseas and I think that’s how business will be run. A lot of the people’s success principles will be foundational to any successful business, whether they know it or not. It will be foundational to how they run their business. So, I see a bright future in really helping leaders understand and be intentional about the way they conduct their lives on a daily basis.

[00:44:31] Dean Barber: All right. I’m going to tie this back around to why I brought you on The Guided Retirement Show because people might be saying, “What does this have to do with, Dean, your guided retirement system?” It’s this. So, I think that each of us, as individuals, we are the CEOs that are in charge of our own personal finances, our own personal destiny.

If you look at a good CEO, they’re a visionary. They can see the future. They imagine what they want the future to be. And then what do they do? They work closely with the people around them to help them see that same vision, to help them see what that future reality can be, and then they work with that team around them in order to make that future a reality.

How I believe that relates to somebody’s finances is that if you’re the CEO of your own personal finances and your own personal financial destiny, who are your team members that you’re sharing that vision with, that you’re sharing that objective with, and are they listening? Do they understand you? And do they understand what that future objective is? Are they working together?

CPA, investment professional, insurance, professional, legal professional, are they working together on your behalf to really shape the future the way that you want it to be? Or are they simply arm’s length relationships where you’re just expecting something from them? Maybe you’re expecting them to read your mind, to be clairvoyant, and you’re disappointed in the relationships.

[00:46:23] Dean Barber: And I would challenge that if you’re disappointed in the relationships, Dr. Charlie, and you can speak to this because you’ve been doing this with business leaders for years and years, if you’re disappointed in the relationship or the results, and somebody’s not reading your mind, maybe you need to look in the mirror. Right? Maybe you need to ask the question, am I really clear with the people that I’m asking to help me implement my vision.

[00:46:48] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Right. Yeah. Leaders always teach them to be first. You got to be first. You’ve got to be first to initiate the conversations, and you can’t wait for this person, that person, this situation. You have to create it. And by creating it, I mean, be first.

[00:47:06] Dean Barber: I really appreciate you spending time with me. I can’t wait to follow the success that you’ve had. And I think we’ll have you back on here because I think you’ve got a lot more to tell our listeners. Do you have videos that you put out on Instagram or anything like that where people can catch up with you?

[00:47:23] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Yeah. On LinkedIn, I’ve got that’s called DashCamWisdom and there’s a YouTube channel for DashCamWisdom too, and it’s a daily video Monday through Friday. I put them out and just little nuggets of wisdom sitting in my car.

[00:47:38] Dean Barber: Awesome.

[00:47:38] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Yeah. So, I really enjoy that.

[00:47:40] Dean Barber: Well, thanks for taking the time.

[00:47:41] Dr. Charlie Cartwright: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

[00:47:43] Dean Barber: Absolutely.


[00:47:44] Dean Barber: Well, if that wasn’t a fascinating conversation, I don’t know what would be. I certainly learned a lot there from Dr. Charlie Cartwright, some personal things for me. That’s what I’m always looking for and I appreciate you taking the time to join me on The Guided Retirement Show. Each and every episode, I attempt to bring you something that can help you live a better life.

We always say through our Guided Retirement System that we want you to live your one best financial life, building great relationships with those around you like what Dr. Charlie Cartwright talked with us about today is essential in that. I hope you enjoyed it and please make sure to share this episode with your friends. If you haven’t already subscribed, make sure that you’re subscribed. If you’re watching us on YouTube, give us a thumbs up, give us a like, share with your friends.


Investment advisory service is offered through Modern Wealth Management, an SEC-registered investment advisor.

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Investment advisory services offered through Modern Wealth Management, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Adviser.

The views expressed represent the opinion of Modern Wealth Management an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax, or legal advice. Modern Wealth Management does not accept any liability for the use of the information discussed. Consult with a qualified financial, legal, or tax professional prior to taking any action.