From surviving and thriving under a savage mindset not so long ago, let’s now take a peek at how we can grow from there. Welcome to our first-ever episode as Intuitive Finance.
What’s next after surviving a hard-fought battle? We can go back to what we have gotten used to and jump right back into the fight. Or we can do the hard thing: sit down, get out of our comfort zones, and reimagine our money stories.
So where do we start?
- [02:59] Saying goodbye to the savage mindset
- [06:31] What makes a healthy relationship?
- [09:59] Wealth and self-worth
- [12:45] Attachment and authenticity to self
- [17:09] It’s all about relationships
[00:00:00] Dylan Bain: Hello everybody, I’m hoping that you are looking in wherever you get your podcasts and seeing Intuitive Finance with Dylan Bain. I’m so excited to be bringing this rebrand. Before we get to today’s episode, I just want to say thank you so much for sticking with me here through this process.
[00:00:14] A couple of housekeeping items, we are going to be moving to a once a week format. That’s because a lot of content is going to be coming on Instagram and on my email list. So if you aren’t following me on Instagram, please do so @TheDylanBain. And if you’re not signed up for my email list, you absolutely want to be. You can go to DylanBain.com and sign up for that. And so without further ado, this is this week’s installment of Intuitive Finance, and here’s the show.
[00:00:47] Intro: We’re saying goodbye to the rigid numbers and strict budgets and putting relationships back at the heart of Personal Finance. This is more than a podcast, it’s an invitation to reimagine your money story and journey with us through a landscape of intuitive strategies and abundance. Join a community that nurtures transformative financial mindsets. Welcome to Intuitive Finance. I’m your host, Dylan Bain.
[00:01:20] Dylan Bain: It’s May of 2017, and I am so excited because I have just graduated with my MBA. I have my CPA. I have a job at a Big Four accounting firm. And I’m moving from Flagstaff, Arizona to Scottsdale, Arizona to rejoin my wife and kids. I could not be happier with what’s happening in my life.
[00:01:40] We rent this house and we move into it. I’m feeling like all of the pieces are falling together because we’ve struggled so hard since we moved back to the United States and had kids, with supporting my wife through graduate school and going back to school myself so that I could get my CPA so that I didn’t have to work multiple jobs and be in welfare, and we could start growing the future that we had promised each other as a married couple. I am so excited.
[00:02:09] We move into this house in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the feeling we’re moving up in the world, and my marriage just deteriorates. We’re fighting all the time. We can barely be in the same room. We don’t know which end’s up.
[00:02:22] And I’m confused because, well, we’re done with school. She’s got her first professional job and I’ve got a professional job, and for the first time in our entire marriage I’m working one job and I’m paying all the bills. We’re putting money into a 401k. We’re growing wealth, we’re paying off debt, and we have a house! We have a house, our daughters play with sidewalk chalk in the driveway. It’s amazing. Life’s looking up. Why are we not happy?
[00:02:50] Ladies and gentlemen, I tell that story because it really gets to the heart of why we’re rebranding into Intuitive Finance.
[00:02:58] And so on this inaugural episode of the new rebrand of Intuitive Finance with Dylan Bain. I want to remind you of what we said when we said goodbye to Fiscally Savage. When you find yourself struggling in life, a lot of times you find yourself needing to adopt the savage mindset. That’s something that lives in my heart and it will always be a part of me. The ability to smash and grab and redefine things in your terms, and be able to make things happen. I’m Dylan Bain, the guy who doesn’t shoot for the moon so he can land among the stars. I’m the guy who demands the entire night sky and we negotiate from there. I am the savage. I’m going to take what I view to be mine. I’m not taking no for an answer. I’m done being kind. I’m done being nice. I am through being diminished and squelched and shut down. I’m standing up to be counted. That is savagery.
[00:03:57] And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how my wife and I got off welfare. We put our heads down and ground our way through graduate school, and multiple jobs, and illnesses, and car accidents, and all sorts of just horrendously terrible things that was barrier between where we were and where we wanted to be. And when we came out the other side, as I said in last week’s episode, we found ourselves as the Viking in the tea shop.
[00:04:27] You see, the savage area was my comfort zone. I wasn’t growing. I wasn’t progressing as a human being by continuing to indulge in this heart of savagery because I had already mastered it. I was that savage through and through. And the problem was, is that when we find ourselves on the other side, when things let up, when things got better, we were now out of our context, because the battle had been our context, because the fight had defined us. The savagery had defined us. And it’s not unusual for couples to get divorced after they’ve gone through just trials and tribulations, and just major down periods and then things get better, and they get divorced, and you’re like, WTF man, you should be happy now, right?
[00:05:16] The reason that happens, ladies and gentlemen, is because those people also found themselves in a tea shop. They’re the Viking in a tea shop. And what that means is that they now have three options. They can continue to be savage and trash the place, which of course is not going to make them any friends. They can be cowards and run back to their comfort zone, which is the battle and the fight. Or they can put aside their battle axes and sit down and learn to start boiling water.
[00:05:45] Because when you get to that stage of life, you’ve become great at hitting metrics. And the battle is your comfort zone, but the definition of success has changed. That’s no longer going to make you successful. It is very similar when you are very successful at getting things done, starting businesses, getting wealth, finding jobs. You find yourself being successful, and then you have kids. Guess what? The rules have changed, because what’s going to count for that child is not you hitting metrics and targets and all this other happy jazz. It’s do they feel safe? Do they understand how they are in relationship with you? Have you helped them form attachment? It’s learning to boil water in my story of the Viking in the tea shop.
[00:06:31] So much of our lives is defined by how we are in relationship with everything. Our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our jobs, our relationship with food, and sex, and women, and men, and children, and family, and cars, and the list goes on. When all of life boils down to this fundamental question of relationship, there is an underlying question everyone asks, which is, what’s a healthy relationship? How do I do that right?
[00:07:05] And if you ask people, say, what’s a healthy relationship? There’s all sorts of little idioms that people throw out. You’ve heard, “Happy wife, happy life.” That’s actually a really unhealthy relationship. A good relationship is where you have tied your happiness to the happiness of somebody else. No, that is also an unhealthy relationship because that is the textbook definition of enmeshment.
[00:07:27] What makes a healthy relationship? For me and for this show, we’re going to work with the idea that a healthy relationship is one in which your self-worth and your sense of self, your sense of your solid self, is not dependent on the thing that you are in relationship with. Now I’m going to say that again. A healthy relationship is one in which your self-worth and your sense of who you are is not dependent on the thing that you are in relationship with.
[00:08:00] I’ve talked a lot to date this idea of an anti-human society, and it ties our self-worth and our sense of self to tons of things. And I’ve mentioned some of them. But think about it. How many people define themselves based upon what they do to make money? That’s crazy! I become increasingly perplexed when I meet new people and they say, “What do you do?” And my response has now become, “I live a good life and relationship.” And they look at me like, but no what do you do for a living?
[00:08:37] I live on this planet because I’m here. And I know what they’re asking. They’re asking what I do for a job so they can define me. Well, I’m I’m a corporate auditor. Or I’m a CPA. Oh, okay. And it feels comfortable because now they can define that thing, but that’s not actually who I am. And if I tie my self-worth to this idea, what would happen if I forgot to do my CPE and I couldn’t renew my CPA license? That would be a direct affront to my sense of self-worth.
[00:09:06] And the same thing is true when I left teaching, when my principal confronted me and said, “Hey, I need you to commit fraud for the sake of our graduation rate.” Part of the problem, part of the terror and fear inside of me was, who am I if I’m not a teacher? That’s what I do. That’s how I bring in the money. And if I have to bring money, something else is going to change who I am. That is an unhealthy relationship. Replay that again to say, okay, I’m not going to be a teacher anymore. Okay, I’m still me. There’s none of my self-worth tied up in being a teacher.
[00:09:40] My self-worth is dictated by me and my sense of who I am, and how I find myself in relationship with all these things. So when that job goes away, I might be sad. I might have a lot of feelings around it. But I’m completely fine. I’m still me. I’m still worthy as a human being. I still matter.
[00:09:59] And this is true when it comes to wealth. Does our wealth define us or a source of income? I don’t want to take a handout. Yes, my house is in foreclosure and I can’t feed my kids, but I’m better than going on unemployment. Are you? Is that really what it comes down to, that the source of your cash flow is what defines you as a person and your sense of worth? That is an unhealthy relationship.
[00:10:23] Body size, how you look, how you dress, what car you drive, the food you eat. I’m a vegan. That makes me morally superior. No it doesn’t, because if you’ve tied your sense of self-worth to the food that you consume, you’re enmeshed with it. That is a codependent relationship. That’s not healthy.
[00:10:45] And we do this as a society, and I’ve said before, our society is anti-human. We do this because unhealthy relationships are economically exploitable. Think about brands. We can be manipulated by advertising to buy certain brands. We can buy — it was quoted in the movie Fight Club, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” and that’s exactly because we’ve developed unhealthy relationships, and they are exploiting that for their own benefit. When we detach our self-worth and our sense of who we are from our money, it allows us to be in a healthy relationship with it.
[00:11:22] And people will think immediately, oh, that means he’s talking about going into monk mode. That he’s talking about separating yourself from your money so that you don’t have to worry about it ever again. And you don’t even need money. We’re getting rid of earthly possessions.
[00:11:37] No, that’s not it at all. We need money to live. I really like my wife too. I like my kids. I need my food. I need to work out. I need to be in communion with other humans. These are all things that I need. But my self-worth is not tied to that. It’s not tied to my money. So when your job stops serving you and it’s just barely tolerable, you can look at it and go, I’m not my job. And this relationship no longer serves me, and I’m going to walk away as a whole and complete person because my self-worth and my sense of self are not tied to my job.
[00:12:11] And you can say, I really want to have a million dollars. Okay. And you can wake up every morning and you’re not there yet, but you’re not going to be frustrated because your self-worth isn’t tied up in it. It’s just a goal. It’s a metric. But you, as a person, you wake up every morning and you are a good person. You’re good. You’re worthy. You’re whole. And you are then in relationship with those things. When we detach our self-worth from this, this allows us the freedom of interaction, and allows us to truly make choices for us.
[00:12:45] And that’s the goal of Intuitive Finance. I’ve worked on a building statement, and the building statement for what I am doing with my coaching practice, what I’m doing at DylanBain.com, what I’m doing on this podcast. I’m building a financial revolution that puts relationships back at the heart of personal finance, because it’s time to reimagine our money stories.
[00:13:07] And I use those words very deliberately because we need to create a revolution. It is time for us to overthrow our current mentalities around money and wealth and self-worth. It is time for us to establish a new dawn for ourselves that puts our relationships back at the heart of this entire conversation. Our relationships with each other, our relationships with our food, and most importantly, our relationships with our money, because all of those are wounded.
[00:13:38] And my good friend and mentor, Dewey Freeman talks a ton about attachment and authenticity and intuition. And we talk about attachment. How do we attach to the things in a society? You attach to your parents, you attach to your friends. Do you have good attachment?
[00:13:55] And one of the things that Dewey has talked about a number of times is this idea that when you have secure attachment, you will show up in this world authentic to your true sense of self, but sometimes we give up that authenticity because we think we need to in order to attach to our caregivers. And caregivers, in this context, is very broadly defined, because your job could be considered a caregiver. So are you attaching to that? And if you’re giving up your authenticity — so that therefore your authenticity is a fake — the attachment that you’re giving up your authenticity for will also be fake. That is inherent to the process here.
[00:14:40] And when you give up your authenticity, it shortcuts your intuition. It shortcuts your ability to feel. On an embodied level, from the neck down, the truth of what you are experiencing. How many relationships, whether with our jobs, with our food, with loved ones, with parents, with siblings, with friends do we — when we’re in our truest moments and holding our truest power — know are not good relationships for us? That we’re not authentically ourselves?
[00:15:18] Why do we stay? Why do we continue with it? When we give up one for the other, we just lose. Our goal is to start having this conversation around developing our intuition, because on so many different levels, when people come into my coaching practice, I spend a lot of time talking to them about what’s true for you. How do you want this to work?
[00:15:41] And my peers and contemporaries in the field will have counterpoints of, “I think that 30% of your income should go to your mortgage.” I look at it and go, how much do you think it should go? Why are we talking about percentages? Let’s talk about where you want to live.
[00:15:58] “We have to have good tax strategies for our personal residents.” Do you? Because if you’re buying a house as a personal investment, you’re buying an asset, not a home. And if you’re going to live there with your family, do you want your kids to look back and go, “We had a really good asset in our personal house,” or do you want them to say, “I had a warm and loving home?” Just let that settle in for a second. Which side of the fence do you want to be on?
[00:16:24] I’ve made my choice. I want to be able to trust my intuition. And as we repair our relationships when we start to embrace our authenticity, and we start to form good and secure attachments, we will find that we’re able to do so much more and build so much more.
[00:16:44] And as I said to a friend recently, the music will be merrier, the colors will be brighter, the food will be tastier, and all the relationships and conversations will be so much deeper. When I had started Fiscally Savage one of the taglines I had was, “To break the chains of debt and dependency,” with the idea that, well, we’re going to create a battle, we’re going to embrace savagery, we’re going to shatter those chains.
[00:17:09] And what I found is that the dependency comes from a lack of relationship. To be able to do that in a true and effective way, to be able to retire your debt, to be able to build wealth in a healthy way, a way where it edifies you and enhances your life without distracting from the things that are most precious — your friends, your human interactions, those moments that we still remember from way back when. That’s all about relationship.
[00:17:40] So much of our fear around money comes from the idea that it’s going to somehow change us, because we’ve tied our sense of self-worth and our sense of self to the idea of money. “I don’t want to be my dad working all the time.” “I don’t want to be my dad, I don’t want to be poor.” Both of these are two sides of the same coin. There’s an enmeshment. There’s a lack of relationship there. That relationship is not healthy. And as a result, those people are going to make decisions that are going to drive wedges into every other one of their relationships.
[00:18:14] It’s the spouse who’s working all the time. It’s the parent who’s absent. It’s that person who cannot spend a single cent on themselves because they just can’t do it. Or that person who refuses to save for tomorrow because they’re convinced it will never come.
[00:18:28] The revolution, ladies and gentlemen, is going to be relational. It’s going to be about connecting with us, with ourselves, with our money, with our jobs in a healthy way. And when I look around the world, I see the breakdown of relationship with ourselves, other humans, our job, nature, and of course our money, leading to so many of the issues that we’ve become so well-acquainted with over the years. We can all list out things that we see: homelessness crisis, oceans that are overly hot, communities that just hate each other. A complete car dependent hellscape. Massive government subsidies to enrich other people. All of this ties back, in my mind, to the fundamental idea that we have lost our ability to have healthy relationships.
[00:19:23] And I’m speaking from experience because those years in Scottsdale, in that house that my wife and I were renting, were really hard years. And looking back at it, I’m actually quite shocked we didn’t get divorced, although that card was on the table a whole lot, and was for years afterwards. But over time, I started focusing on her. I started focusing on how I’m in relationship, and realizing that my sense of self-worth being tied to her and how I was in relationship with her meant that every disagreement was a sense of primal terror within me because it was an assault on my sense of self, and that if I wanted to truly love her and my children, I needed to separate those things. I needed to be 100% right and okay with me first, and then to develop relationship with them.
[00:20:27] Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not an easy path. It’s not a linear trajectory either. It’s not easy, it’s just worth it. And I say that as somebody who’s gone through a lot of this stuff. And my wife and I are still together. We’re still building a beautiful home for our children. And that’s making all the difference in the world.
[00:20:52] Outro: Thanks for listening. The conversation doesn’t end here. Please share the show with friends, and make sure you keep up with all the latest updates on Instagram and Threads @TheDylanBain. And dive deeper into the world of finance with me at DylanBain.com, where you’ll find insights, resources, and strategies to reimagine your money story.