Do you struggle with money mindset blocks? Then you HAVE to listen to today’s episode with entrepreneur, Chris Harder. I met him in a very unique way (you’ll hear the full story in the intro!) and I have to say, he is one of the kindest and most generous humans I know.
After an 11-year career as a hard-working executive and partner in the banking industry, Chris was feeling burnt out and lacking fulfillment (I can totally relate to that story). Since then, he’s retired from banking and teamed up with his wife Lori and her brand, LoriHarder.com, to find the meaning and purpose that was missing in his previous corporate career.
Chris is also the host of the hit podcast, For The Love of Money, which helps people bust through their money blocks so they can pursue wealth and use their earnings as a positive tool for good in a world with many needs.
In today’s episode, we’ll be talking about how you can reach new levels of wealth, why our culture has a problem with generosity, how to work through financial issues with your partner, and the steps Chris and Lori have taken over the years to create a truly incredible relationship and marriage! (Seriously, these two have something special together.)
Check out the episode below:
In this episode, you’ll hear about things like…
- The most common money mindset blocks that keep people from truly living in abundance and wealth.
- The reason that our ego can literally be our biggest overhead and how it can cost us.
- An interesting way to look at The Law of Attraction and how to manifest bigger things (in a completely different way).
- A time when Chris read 30 books in 30 days — why he did it and what he learned from the experience.
- Why our culture thinks it’s taboo to share our acts of generosity and how we can shift that paradigm in a meaningful way.
- Chris’s thoughts on how powerful women can find a man that can keep up with them, rather than resenting their ambition.
- Chris’s best relationship tips to cultivate a stronger and more loving bond with your romantic partner (and the special activity that he and his wife do together every single day to build a deeper connection).
Some Questions I ask…
1. What are some of the most common Money Mindset Blocks that you see people have? And how can they work through them?
2. What are some of the strategies that you and your wife, Lori, have used to intentionally created a stronger relationship together?
3. A lot of ambitious women struggle to find partners that can keep up with them. How can these types of women find men that aren’t intimidated by their power?
Links from the interview:
- Chris’s Podcast, For The Love of Money
- Chris Harder on Instagram
- Lori Harder (Chris’s Wife)
- Artichoke Pizza
- Pursuit With Purpose Podcast, Episode 19 with Jim Fortin
- Tai Lopez: Here In My Garage
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. What are you manifesting in business and in life? Have you struggled with money blocks in the past? Leave a comment below and let’s chat. 🙂
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Thank you for listening!
TranscriptRead the Interview Transcription Here
His name was Chris Harder, and spoiler alert, it was the same man who told my friend and I the password hours earlier. Now he took no credit for this good deed and genuinely just wanted the people around him, most of them strangers, to have a good time. He didn’t want them to know that it was him that was paying for all of this stuff. He was just trying to share this generosity with everyone that came into his path.
Now I love telling that story because now over a year later, I’ve gotten to know Chris Harder pretty well. That story to me is still just a perfect example of exactly the kind of person he is; extremely kind and extremely generous. After an eleven year career as an executive and partner in the banking industry, Chris ended up experiencing a lot of success, but he lacked fulfillment and was just completely burned out. In that way, Chris’s story is a lot like mine. So since then, he retired from banking and partnered with his wife, Lori, and her brand loriharder.com. Now Chris handles most of the business affairs and business coaching for their two multimillion dollar brands, and he finally found that fulfillment and meaning in his career. Chris is also the host of the hit podcast, For The Love of Money, which is aimed at helping people bust through their money blocks, to become unapologetic about their pursuit of wealth and to show that money is a tool for good in a world with many, many needs.
Now in today’s conversation, we’re getting deep. We’ll be talking about money mindset blocks that keep us from reaching new levels of wealth, why our culture has a problem with generosity, how to work through financial issues with your partner, and the things Chris and his wife have done over the years to create a truly incredible relationship together. I know them both personally and I can testify that they really do have something special figured out. I am so, so excited to introduce you to this amazing human. Let’s get started.
Melyssa Griffin: Hey Chris, welcome to the show!
Chris Harder: Melyssa! How you doing?
Melyssa Griffin: Doing so good. So excited to have you here and to be able to chat with you. So I want to talk to you a little bit about where you grew up, where you started. I would love to hear where that was, what your life was like growing up and how that affected you or shaped you.
Chris Harder: Yeah for sure. So I am Midwest born and raised in Wisconsin and a diehard Packer fan – for all you football fans out there. I was raised in like the most normal family you could ever be raised in; one sibling, middle class, maybe upper middle class a little bit. I mean it was really vanilla. It’s funny that part of your question was how did that shape me or what’s come from that. I feel like when you’re born and raised in the Midwest, there are some great roots, some great morals, a great foundation that’s built, but then when you can take those, like that work ethic and some of the simple things that you like in life and you take that to the coast, and you apply it on one of the coasts, I feel like that’s the magic combo. Because you take this unshakable foundation of work ethic and good morals and whatnot, and you bring that to where all of the magic is happening, bring that to where all the action is. You can just crush it. So that’s kind of what we did. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and then met Lori in Wisconsin. We moved to Minneapolis, spent a lot of time there, which is still Midwest. That’s a great city by the way if anyone hasn’t visited there. Only visit in summer because in winter, it’s brutally cold. And then after like six and a half years in Minneapolis, we decided that we wanted to move out to California. My brother was out here and all the sunshine is out here. That’s how we ended up out here five years ago next month. It’s felt like it’s been two minutes. It’s crazy.
Melyssa Griffin: Wow, it goes by so fast. I’m actually surprised that you’ve only been out here for five years. I feel like you are just like a born LA native from what I…
Chris Harder: You feel at home here. I think we’re meant to be in LA, so…
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, it suits you. When you were growing up – you talk a lot about money and money mindset and abundance, what were some of the beliefs that you created about money and abundance when you were growing up?
Chris Harder: That’s a great question. So growing up kind of in the middle class in Wisconsin, it’s funny because you get to see a lot of what people – you get to see a great exposure of people who have less than you, but then you also get to see – you get a good exposure to people that have quite a bit more than you. What happened was, I would spend time over at a couple of my friends’, house whose parents were incredible entrepreneurs. Listen, my parents worked hard and they provided an epic life for us, but these friends’ parents were crushing it. I remember I would sit in the kitchen, and we’re talking like middle school, high school, and I’d be more interested in talking to the parents about their business and about finances than I was hanging out with my friends. It’s a really weird thing at 14, 15, 16 to want to be in the kitchen talking to the mom and dad about how they run this company and how they started the company. So I kind of had that entrepreneurial bug in me from a very early age. At the same time, some of these homes I would visit were so beautiful that I also got that bug to have really nice things. And so, when you combine those two things, it creates this inner drive in you, and that’s what drove me to want to be successful in my older age.
Now here’s what’s funny, “successful” for me now has such a wildly different definition than a nice house and some nice things and being an entrepreneur. When you’re young, when you’re in your teens, those are the first few flashy carrots that might kind of turn you on to “oh I want more”. It’s funny because as I’ve worked through this money mindset brand, I’ve really realized that you can’t judge anybody by their first carrot. So in other words, if a really nice home is the first thing that makes them get out of bed and work hard or if the desire for a nice car or the desire for nice clothes or the desire for something that we would normally judge and call “very surface”…if that’s your first carrot that gets you to get out of bed and gets you to create this moneymaking machine – maybe it’s your business, maybe it’s your career. And then once you start to accumulate a couple of those things, you realize, wait they’re not as exciting and they’re not as fulfilling. What else is out there? You discover things like philanthropy and giving and being of service and making impact. You now have this money making machine that is providing you with all the excess to give to those things. And so, if that’s the route that people have to take, shiny thing first, you got it – oh, not as exciting. What else is out there? Giving back, that’s more fulfilling. Then hey, I can’t judge whatever their first carrot was because that is the carrot that made them go out and create the abundance that they now have to give.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, wow I like that. I noticed that, for example in social media, it’s easier for someone to complain about their job or talk about something that’s kind of negative than it is for them to be like I just donated money to this awesome charity. Where do you think that comes from? Why do you think it’s a thing to hide our generosity?
Chris Harder: I’ve totally noticed that and that’s why I did – I don’t know if you remember the seven day generosity challenge.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, it was amazing.
Chris Harder: I wanted people to be unapologetic about showing that they’re doing good things, and here’s why. Number one, just what you said. People will, they’ll show something ridiculous or that has no value, but they won’t show themselves giving money or food to a homeless person, because they’re afraid of being judged for showing their good deed. The problem is if you don’t show that stuff, then you can’t create a chain reaction of giving. If you don’t show that stuff, you can’t inspire somebody else to want to go out and give something as well. I mean that’s how these lines – you know when you always hear like a car pull up at a coffee shop and they said, “oh I’ll pay for the coffee for the guy behind me”, and then that person passes on. The line would go on for like 60 cars, no joke. That is the perfect personification of what I was trying to do, and that is, when somebody sees you do something good, then they’re going to say, “wait a minute, in my busy day, I guess I could stop and find someone to do something good for”, because they’re inspired. They do something good and someone else sees it, and they do something and someone else sees it. So I feel like it is our responsibility to not give in the dark, and that’s what I call it. When we do all these great acts of service in the dark, when we give in the dark, when we keep it a secret, we’re really being selfish because we’re keeping it a secret because we’re afraid of being judged. We’re afraid of people saying oh you’re not supposed to show that stuff, oh you’re not supposed to give yourself a pat on the back. That fear of judgment holds us back from starting these great chain reactions. I feel like if giving is the opposite of being selfish, then being selfish by not showing the giving is also what sabotages that.
That’s what the big drive was behind the seven day generosity challenge. It was awesome. I loved seeing everybody. I got so many messages, Melyssa, where they’d be like okay, I posted my act of giving today or my act of generosity today, and it was the toughest thing I have ever done. I didn’t realize it would be so tough for me. That was a breakthrough for that person. This was not just an exercise in giving. This was an exercise in being unapologetic, about being who you really are out in public, instead of doing it in the dark. So there were so many cool things that came out of this.
Melyssa Griffin: Do you notice that when people are talking about money or generosity or abundance that it’s never about the money, it’s about some underlying thing? You’re talking about how there’s this fear that came out. It was kind of unrelated to generosity. Do you notice that when people talk about this?
Chris Harder: Always. There’s so many avenues we can go down here. So like, if we first just stayed on this subject, the fear of being judged – I’ve got this saying that says “ego is your greatest overhead”. What I mean by that is ego will stop you from speaking up when there’s a good opportunity in front of you because you’re afraid of being judged, you don’t want to hurt your ego. Ego will stop you from looking poor for a while, while you get your business going. So instead, what do you do? You buy nice shiny things when you shouldn’t. Ego will stop you from stepping in and maybe defending somebody when you should because you’re afraid of being judged. Ego is literally your greatest overhead. Ego will also cost you opportunities if you’re operating from ego, if you’re too flashy, if you’re brash, if you’re a jerk, if you’re always talking about what you have and what you’ve done and you don’t take interest in other people. That version of ego will also be your greatest overhead because it’ll cost you too much opportunity. I feel like one of the answers to your question is summed up by that saying, “ego is your greatest overhead”, simply because when we start to peel back the layers of why we’re holding back, why we don’t feel abundant, you can usually peel it back to some level of fear and the fear of not being able to gain something, or the fear of I gained something and I’m afraid of losing it, or the fear of being judged for not having something, or the fear of being judged for having too much of something. All of these things go back to these weird fears that we have that we’re not going to be enough and we’re not going to be loved.
Melyssa Griffin: What are some of those fears in your life that have showed up around money if any?
Chris Harder: I still have one. That’s probably why I do my podcast. I feel like it’s okay for somebody to be excited and show their new Toyota Camry. I’m just picking a car right, please. I don’t want hate mail about Toyota Camry. They’re nice cars, don’t get me wrong. So I feel like there’s no judgment if someone’s like “Oh, post on Instagram. I got a new Toyota Camry tonight. I’m at the dealership. I’m so excited.” All their friends comment, “Well congratulations. It’s wonderful. I’m so proud you. You work so hard.” You post that you got a new Ferrari and everyone is like you’re not supposed to show that stuff or they talk behind your back. Maybe they don’t, maybe that’s just my fear. So I find that when I show one of my cars in my Instastories or something like that, which is normal, like you’re walking out of the parking lot or our garage is all glass, you see what’s in there. When you see these things on social media, I get this little gut feeling like oh I don’t know if I’m supposed to be showing that, but that’s why I do the podcast because I’m trying to make people an apologetic about their pursuit of success and unapologetic about their pursuit of wealth, because when good people make good money, they do great things. And so obviously, we teach what we need the most. That’s been a long journey for me and that’s why I continue to teach it.
Melyssa Griffin: So true, I love that. We teach what we need the most. I feel like also for me, it’s like we teach or I teach what took me the longest to learn or was the hardest for me to get through. Yeah, I completely agree with that. What do you think – I mean not that you’re a psychologist, but I’m curious of your thoughts on kind of the psychology behind that. Because it’s so true, you can post your Jeep Wrangler on Instagram and people are like happy for you and you post your really nice car and people are like oh why would you do that, you should keep that hidden. What’s behind that? What’s the psychology of that?
Chris Harder: I’m totally guessing here, but I’m sure it is a reflection of something that they don’t like in themselves. So it could be a reflection of the fact that they are capable of going and earning those things, but they’re not doing the work and the follow through to get them. It could be a reflection that they love nice things and they like showing off their bag or whatever their trophy is, but then because they feel a little squeamish about it when somebody else does it, again it’s a mirror, and they want to say “oh you’re not supposed to do that”, when it’s really just them judging themselves saying “oh see, I don’t know if we’re really supposed to be showing these nice things or not”. So it’s really, I think it just kind of creates a mirror for something that they’re concerned about and that’s why they react the way that they do to these things.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah that makes sense. It seems like almost every time you get some kind of criticism from someone, it’s always some kind of projection that they’re putting on to you. That makes total sense.
Chris Harder: At the end of the day – to stay on that subject real quick, people as a whole are playing small. In other words, the majority of us – and I’ll put myself in this category too, we’re playing smaller than we’re capable of. And so, nothing is a bigger gut hit, nothing is a bigger slap of reality than when you see somebody doing something that you know you could do, that you want to do, but you’re not following through in doing. It’s like the worst reminder that you could, but you aren’t, and right away, you feel kind of like a slacker. And so, that’s also another layer I think that’s behind those feelings that come out.
Melyssa Griffin: Yes, I completely agree. I don’t even want to say. I think that’s such an insightful way to put it and what people are often thinking. It kind of reminds me too of something that you talk about a lot which is this idea and mindset of abundance. Do you feel like money and abundance are the same thing? Do you feel like they’re different?
Chris Harder: I think abundance is a more generic term that means an excessive amount or an unlimited amount of something that you desire. So there can be an abundance of money of course. There can be an abundance of love. There can be an abundance of happiness. I strive to have an abundance in all those areas in my life, an abundance of fulfillment. I don’t feel like we should strive to have just enough money or just enough love, just a good enough relationship or just a good enough house to live in or just a good enough friendship with your friends. I feel like it should be an abundant love, an abundant relationship, an abundant amount of money, abundant friendships. Why not have as much of these good things that you can possibly have? So an abundance oftentimes does get pigeonholed into finances, but really abundance applies to all these great areas of your life that you should be striving to accumulate. Because who wouldn’t want more of these great things?
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah I agree.
Chris Harder: Like an abundance of pizza, that’s what I want right now.
Melyssa Griffin: That sounds phenomenal. What’s your pizza of choice real quick?
Chris Harder: Anything with extra cheese.
Melyssa Griffin: Oh my gosh, really?
Chris Harder: …pizza guy. So when people get all fancy and they’re like barbecued chicken, Hawaiian – no, just like lots of cheese and pepperoni. It’s got to be like the New York style, the huge slices.
Melyssa Griffin: Oh yes. There is a place in New York, I don’t know if you’ve been, called Artichoke Basille. They have like spinach artichoke pizza and crab pizza.
Chris Harder: Oh my gosh.
Melyssa Griffin: Favorite ever. When you go to New York, please have it for me.
Chris Harder: Okay, that’s a deal.
Melyssa Griffin: Okay. So on the topic of abundance, I feel like for me personally, and I’m saying this because I think maybe some other people can relate to it, I feel like I’m good at being abundant in certain areas of my life and then there are other areas where it just always trips me up. It’s like I always feel triggered by something. My word lately has been surrender, just surrender to whatever happens in your life and surrender that things are turning out more beautifully than you could imagine. So how does this idea for you of surrendering or having faith, play into abundance?
Chris Harder: They actually go hand in. You won’t get abundance if you don’t first have faith that it’s all going to work out. Because if you believe at all in the law of attraction, you can have a fear of not having something or a fear of not achieving something, what are you going to get more of? You’re going to get more of not having that or more of not achieving that. When you have an absolute sureness, an absolute feeling that yes it is coming, yes it is on its way, that is when it starts to show up. So these things, they actually go hand in hand with abundance. In terms of if you want to accumulate an abundance of anything in your life, you have to first be absolutely sure that it is going to work out, absolutely sure that you’re on the right path. So how does that help you with surrendering? Well you can force your way to abundance, and that never works out for anybody we tend to see. If you’re surrendering to the idea of okay, I know I’m doing all the right things, I know that things won’t necessarily happen on my timing but they will happen, then you’re kind of surrendering to the flow as long as you are not giving up to the flow. In other words, people tend to do things to one extreme or the other. They tend to say okay, I’m just going to surrender and let it happen. Well I’m sorry, but you have to work your ass off too. But then, some people take it to the other extreme. They say I want more faster, more faster, more faster, and I’m going to go out and I’m going to grab it. I’m going to drag it back to the cave no matter what. The problem is that will burn you out too and sometimes backfire. So I feel like when you reference surrender and abundance in the same thing, that’s the middle ground, that’s the sweet spot, that’s the part where you are surrendering because you know that it’s on its way and that you’re doing all the right things. The key word is doing.
Melyssa Griffin: So it’s like you put in the effort to get this thing, but you also have the mindset and the belief deep down that it’s going to happen. It’s not just that you’re working on something and in the back of your mind, you’re like this is not going to do anything, this is not going to work, not going to get anything.
Chris Harder: You need both. You need absolute assurance that’s going to happen and you need the work to go along with it.
Melyssa Griffin: I’ve been working on this myself too, a lot of like law of attraction kind of mindset and beliefs that I have about my own self and the things that I want to achieve. I find it difficult sometimes. Sometimes it makes sense and it’s easy, but sometimes I find it difficult where it’s something that’s programmed so deep in my mind that it almost feels like I’m lying to myself when I think I can do this, like I will have this, it’s already been done. Do you have any tips or any personal experience…?
Chris Harder: Yes, I totally do. Here’s the problem, people are like – let’s say you make a 100 grand a year right now, and then you say well according to the law of attraction, all I have to do is sit here and chant I have 10 million dollars, I have 10 million dollars, and it’s supposed to show up eventually. The problem is the law of attraction works not because you say something, the law of attraction works because you believe something. And so, if you’re making $100,000 right now and you can’t believe, literally, you cannot see the 10 million yet, then you need to chunk it down to smaller steps. This goes for anything. I know we’re talking about money, this goes for anything. So if you can’t believe the outcome yet, chunk it down to smaller steps. Maybe the first thing that you’re going to see coming in is, come hell or high water, you’re going to have 250 grand. And then when that shows up, I’m going to have a half a million. And then when that shows up, I am going to make seven figures. And then when that shows up… So if you chunk it down, then you can actually digest it, then you can believe it. So a lot of times when people find themselves first learning about the law of attraction and learning about abundance, it seems like this very easy equation and they shoot for the stars like people encourage you to do. The problem is, no matter how many times you say it, you’re not believing it. So don’t be afraid to chunk it down and get there in steps.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, I like that. It makes it so much more digestible and actually believable like you said versus just lying to yourself about something that seems out of reach. Yeah, I’m going to use that. So we talked a little bit about some money mindset issues that people tend to have or kind of the insecurities that they have around money. What do you think, like how do we overcome our fears and our limiting beliefs around our relationship with money?
Chris Harder: Great question. Give me one limiting belief or fear. Let’s start with that.
Melyssa Griffin: Good idea. So one that you kind of brought up I think earlier is that maybe somebody grew up in a certain environment and thinks that’s their ceiling, like they can’t earn beyond that or maybe they grew up in certain circumstances that made it hard to keep money or make money.
Chris Harder: So you don’t know what you don’t know. Famous old saying, you don’t know what you don’t know. If you only know of a certain ceiling, like pretend the area you grew up in, the person that was doing the absolute best was still doing like a D+, then the D+ is the best you’re ever going to know until you seek out other larger examples. Listen, we’re intuitive. Your gut knows that there’s something bigger and better out there. You just have to go seek out what that example looks like and then surround yourself with that example as much as possible. So I encourage people, as cheesy as this is, if you are strapped financially right now, go sit in the lobby of a gorgeous five star hotel. Spend some time there, have coffee in the lobby if you don’t mind spending the money on the coffee. Be around that energy and that beauty and those people as much as possible, removing you from the other location where you feel absolutely uninspired and limited. Because just being in that beautiful space where you see all these people doing what’s possible, that alone will inspire you and change your entire outlook and change your in look, and then that starts to change what you believe is possible. So that’s one example. Go to a restaurant that you normally would never go to, you can’t necessarily afford. No, I’m not saying sit down and have an expensive meal, but just sit at the bar and have a drink. And then take your time and be in that beautiful restaurant where you would never imagine yourself being before, and do that as often as possible. When you travel – and I’m talking all different financial levels here, when you travel, if you always book a coach seat, if you’re always on Expedia, sort by lowest fare and you’re doing three connections and it’s a crappy experience, just once, spend the extra few hundred dollars on first class. Once you experience, again something different, you see what else is possible and you don’t want to go back. It sparks something in you.
I’ve got this friend, his name is Hayden. He’s playing NFL football, he’s huge. He’s like 6’ 4”. When he played ball, he was like 280 and now he’s down to like 230. While he was coming up financially, he would always book coach seats. You’re sitting like this in airplanes. One time he got bumped to first class and he said to me after he experienced this, he said, “I will never sit in one of those small seats again.” Once he knew what was possible, once he knew what it felt like, once he realized that his giant ass didn’t have to like squeeze into this tiny seat between two people, then he said I will never do that again. And guess what? He never did again. His business took off. His drive took off. Not just because of this one thing, but it was one of the things that showed you what was possible. He has never sat in a non-first class seat again. He finally fits. He’s finally comfortable.
So that’s just one example of how you can start to taste these other things. Once you taste them, then you know what’s out there and once you know what’s out there, a lot of times you don’t want to go back to what you had before. That sparks a whole new drive in you and a whole new set of values and a whole new possibility that you work towards.
Melyssa Griffin: I like it because it’s like you are changing your identity, your beliefs about yourself by doing these things that maybe seem like things you wouldn’t normally do, but you’re starting to cultivate this identity of yourself and worth inside that you deserve these things…
Chris Harder: It’s almost like a magic trick – I don’t mean to cut you off, but what happens is when you do this, it’s not just this inner desire that makes you start to do better. When you’re in these locations, at first you’re going to feel like you don’t fit. That’s okay. Get over it, keep going back. You start to meet the people that can bridge the gap for you because where are you going to meet these people that are going to boost your business. Are you going to meet them in the area where you don’t feel abundant and everyone is struggling? Are you going to meet them in the five star $1000 a night hotel lobby? Where are you going to meet the people that are going to say, “Oh, I know a PR person that could help you out.”? Are you going to meet him in the beautiful restaurant at the bar or you’re going to meet him at Applebee’s? You know what I mean? I don’t need hate mail about Applebee’s, but big difference. And so, the whole point is it’s not just this magic trick where you want something more and all of a sudden you start working towards it. All the connections that you want are in these locations as well. So there’s multiple reasons to do these cheesy exercises as I would put them.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah, I totally agree. In episode 20, I interviewed Jim Fortin who does subconscious reprogramming. He talked about basically this exact idea where you start, you can’t change a habit or a belief without changing it at an identity level. The things that you’re talking about are very similar. It’s like you have to be that person and feel what that person feels before you can actually achieve what that person achieves or becomes.
Chris Harder: Yeah. A great hack to be able to do this, if you’re saying Chris, you don’t get it, I can’t get to a five star hotel, I can’t sit in first class, I can’t do any of these things, then there are plenty of podcasts, there are plenty of books, there are plenty of ways for you to infiltrate your brain with these outer influences that will inspire you, that will teach you, that will give you higher expectations, that will alert you to what else is possible in this world and how to get there. There’s no excuse anymore, and these things are free. So there’s literally no excuse to not succeed anymore, because we’ve never lived in a time where it’s easier to plug into people that you want to plug into, where it’s easier to get information that you need in order to succeed, and all of it is free.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. Yeah it’s amazing. You brought up books which I’m glad, because I remember when we first met, one of the things that moved me so much about chatting with you is that you talked about an experience where you read 30 books in 30 days. I would love to know a little bit more, if you could talk to us about why you did that and what you learned from that experience.
Chris Harder: I’m so glad you brought this up. So a lot of people wake up in life and they find themselves just treading water, and not even treading water in a bad place. Sometimes good is the enemy of great, very famous saying out there by Jim Collins book, “Good to Great”. So that’s where I was. Lori, my wife, was on a rocket ship. She was doing everything needed to be on that rocket ship and she was shooting sky high. I, because everything was good, was just going through the motions and wasn’t doing much self-development. We had enough money coming in, where I didn’t have to work any harder. Everything was just good. The problem is, I knew I had greatness inside of me. There’s probably no worse place to be than totally playing small when you know what you’re capable of. It’s knowing that there’s this gap that you’re supposed to be bridging, that you were put here for a purpose, and not doing anything about that is one of the worst feelings. It’s like this asterisk back here all the time whether you’re having a good day or a bad day. You know you’re not living up to anything. So it didn’t take me long to say I feel a little empty and to say my wife is on a rocket ship, and one day she’s going to end up here and I’m to end up down here, and that’s going be a great big gap between the two of us. To say I needed to do something radical to catch up, to put some zest back in me. Because Melyssa, it got to the point where Lori would tell me about an incredible self-development event that she went to or a great book, “oh my God, Chris, you should read this book” or you should do this or meet this person, and I’d be like oh God, not another one of these motivational people, oh God, not another one of these events again. That was really just me, again, she was holding up the mirror and I knew I was supposed to be doing that stuff. And so, it was an ugly reminder that I wasn’t doing it and that was why I had that reaction to that. So something really needed to change.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. And first, I just want to knowledge you for having the self-awareness that something needed to change, because I think so many people are in those situations and then nothing changes. It ruins their relationship and changes their life in a negative way, but you saw the change that needed to happen and you did something about it…
Chris Harder: Yeah. I got to be honest, like we know – every single person out there watching or listening, you know it’s a gut feeling, you know when there’s a problem starting to form even if no one’s told you. Lori never told me, “Hey Chris, you know you’re boring.” Oh my God, I remember one time being out to dinner and feeling like I was boring to my wife because I didn’t have anything interesting to talk about. Why didn’t I have anything interesting to talk about? Because I wasn’t doing anything interesting. I was doing the bare minimum. And so, we know, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, is up to us. We don’t need someone to tell us. Lori never said, “Hey Chris, you’re getting boring. I think you should do something. Hey Chris, I’m on a rocket ship, you’re not. I think you should do…” No, she never had to. It was in here and it festered enough where I said, “Oh sh*t, I better do something.” Am I allowed to swear? I don’t know.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah. No problem.
Chris Harder: I saw this guy on Instagram, and a lot people know who he is, Tai Lopez. I didn’t know who he is back then. Now I actually know him. I’ve been to his house and all that. He’s got this video that – he’s a really brash, comes across egotistical, cheesy individual – and that’s a whole separate tangent as to why he comes across that way. It’s actually for a great mission. He’s a marketing genius. Anyhow, I come across this famous video of his that’s had over one billion views. Can you believe that? He’s home* in his garage and he has a cell phone. He’s just doing the selfie video. He says, “Here I am in my garage. Here’s my Ferrari. Here’s my Lamborghini. But do you know what I love the most in this garage?” And then he pans to his walls. His walls are lined in books; bookshelves on all four walls of the garage. He says, “What I love the most in this garage are these books. I read a book every single day. As a successful entrepreneur, I believe that you need to be reading in order to succeed.” You see, what most people don’t know about Tai, and I didn’t know this about him at the time, he has the second largest book club in the whole world, short of just Oprah. I know, nobody knows that about him. I don’t want to get off on tangent, but great dude doing great things. And so, that video caught me first because of the Ferrari and Lamborghini. I love cars. But then when he said, panned to the books and he said these are my favorite things in the garage and he went on to talk about why. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but it was like this aha moment where I was like that’s what I need to do. If this dude reads a book a day, every day of his life, I could read a book a day for one month. I sat on it for about three or four days. I told Lori the idea. At first I think she thought I was crazy, but probably maybe a little bit excited. I sat on it for three or four days, and every single day, the more I sat on it, the more it became this strong “I have to do this”. It was growing inside of me kind of thing.
Now I need to give you some context, because this is embarrassing, but hey, we all have our stories. I have not read, or up to this point, I had not read a regular book cover to cover in my entire adult life. Think about that. So to go from never finishing a book in your adult life to all of a sudden committing to 30 books in 30 days, that seems like a huge undertaking. It’s not like I was some speed reader. I knew myself well enough to know that once I committed to this, I would have to tell the whole world so that they would hold me accountable, and I’d even have to take it a step further, and that is I would have to attach it to something like a charity or you know when people say hey I’m running a marathon, donate money, one of these drives. I knew I’d have to turn it into a drive in order to hold myself accountable, because when it got tough and I knew it would get tough, I knew I’d say to myself, “Hey, I did it for a week. Congratulations. You can quit now. Wow, I can’t believe you got 14 days, way to go. I can quit now.” But when I told the world, “guys, I’m reading 30 books in 30 days, here’s why, and I’m attaching it to the Make A Wish Foundation” – and what Lori and I did, is we said during the 30 days, every single dollar that all of you donate, we will match. That part I knew would hold me accountable to finishing the books all 30 days in a row, because I didn’t have it in me to take somebody’s money and not follow through with what I said I was going to do. That’s the part where I would draw the line and finish even when I didn’t want to.
Well it’s a good thing I did that because this was such a hard undertaking, I had no idea. I thought the hardest thing about reading 30 books in 30 days, Melyssa, was just going to be blocking the time out and clearing my schedule for that month. That turned out to be the easiest part. The toughest part was, I remember the second day – the third day, I’m sorry, the third day I went to grab my book and I was like oh my neck aches, oh my shoulders ache, oh my eyes are burning. I thought oh crap, I’m getting the flu. I went into a pity party saying of course, achy muscles, my eyes are burning, I’m exhausted, of course I’d get the flu when I try and take on something big like this. But I’m like well I have to read anyway, so I got into position again. And then I realized oh my God, it’s when I get into position. I realized that after just two days of reading two books in a row by sitting in this one position looking down with my shoulders forward and my eyes locked into the book for 8 hours a day, that it had literally caused this physical ache and these exhausted eyes and this fried brain. So I had to make a lot of adjustments on the way. I would read on my back with my arms held up. I would read on my stomach. I would stand and walk and read. I would set the book up on things in different positions. I had to get really creative.
Melyssa Griffin: Upside down.
Chris Harder: Oh totally!
Melyssa Griffin: …hanging* from the ceiling.
Chris Harder: Crazy stuff, because I had to find a way to physically get it done. I’ve never expected that the physical part of reading 30 books in 30 days would ever be a hurdle. I mean I work out every day. That wasn’t even on my radar. So that was one thing that was crazy. One of the things that came out of it – so many beautiful things came out of it. I realized that I was wasting so much time on social media and just doing dumb stuff that I didn’t have to clear as much of my schedule as I thought. I went and I cleared my schedule, but then I started adding things back in, knowing I’m still going to get the books done. Because I mean it was such an eye opening exercise too, how much time I must’ve been scrolling on Facebook or Instagram or something, because I was able to fit in these six, seven, eight, nine hours a day of reading, no problem, even still doing a few of my coaching calls and other stuff. So the preparation for it was crazy, the things I learned coming out of it were crazy. Best of all, it was the kick in the butt that I needed to totally uplevel my game and my expectations of myself. Reading the 30 books in 30 days was one of the things that caused me to start the podcast. Because of all the things I learned in the books, there was one common thread – and I got to kind of frame this for you quick, there was no criteria to the books, other than they had to be less than 300 pages so I could finish it in a day. It had to be a book that would benefit me in some way. I don’t care if it was spiritual, business, how to, a biography of somebody awesome – didn’t matter. It had to be a book where I’d learn something from it in less than 300 pages. And so, they were all different types of books, but this common thread started to show up. It was 15 books in, I said to Lori, I go “Babe, you’re never going to believe this, but so far all 15 out of 15 books have had one really strong common thread, and that is giving is the secret to everything we want.” It’s like in a spiritual book, it was giving to have a better spiritual connection. In a business book, it was giving to get more back. In a relationship book, it was giving to have a stronger relationship back. It didn’t matter what the book’s agenda was, it always went back to giving was the secret to happiness, to abundance, to more money, to better business, to everything.
And so, then I started looking for this common thread, not hoping to see it where people say “oh of course you’re looking for it, you’ve seen it in the last 15 books”, no. I was looking for it, being like wait a minute, come on this can’t show up in every single book, so objectively. And sure enough, strong as can be, giving was the common thread through all 30 out of 30 books which is crazy. And that’s when I realized giving really is the secret to everything and people need to know that. They have to know that giving is the secret to everything because we are all seeking different things, but giving will get you there. That’s part of the reason that I said if people want to be successful, then they need to give more, hence For The Love of Money, the podcast, that is all about how generosity has played a big role in people’s success stories.
Melyssa Griffin: I love that. I remember when you first told me that story, I was like tearing up because that’s such a beautiful message to get out of all of these different books. You would think that they would all kind of have their own sporadic advice to give you, but to see it so clearly, and we probably get these messages a lot throughout our lives. But because you did it in such a way where it was back to back, everything that you learned, you’re able to tie together those patterns so seamlessly and really find that truth that’s at the core of all goodness we have. So I love that. That’s beautiful.
Chris Harder: And as a side note, we ended up raising 15,000 for Make A Wish during the 30 days. So that was cool too.
Melyssa Griffin: That’s awesome. You do so much charity work too and giving back through money and generosity. I think that’s incredible that you are so all about that.
Chris Harder: I would love to say it’s heroic, it’s selfish, and thank God it is. Thank God, god source – whatever you guys believe in out there, put that gene in us where the thing that makes you feel the best is doing something for somebody else. And so, to everyone listening, if you feel guilty that you’re doing it because it makes you feel good, if you feel guilty because you get a dopamine from giving or helping somebody, if you feel guilty because you’re talking about something great you did for somebody and you’re excited about it, don’t, forget it. That gene was put in us on purpose, enjoy it because it feels better than anything you can buy, it feels better than anything you can do. It is like the ultimate high, is when you help or give or contribute or create impact for somebody.
Melyssa Griffin: Yeah I agree. So I want to transition to something a little bit different, talking a little more about relationships because I observe you and your wife, Lori – for everyone listening, all three of us are in a mastermind together with Lewi Howes. I’ve gotten to observe you guys just as a couple and as independent people and as business partners, and people who have their own businesses. It seems like you have this really strong relationship. It’s really realistic as well which I love. I want to first ask you how has money or finances, how has that shown up in your relationship and how did you work through any challenges that have been there with that?
Chris Harder: That’s a great question and I’ve got a couple cool answers to it. The first one is we’ve been really broke, like below zero broke and we’ve been really wealthy. I will tell you neither one makes you happier, but it is way more convenient and easier to have a great relationship when you don’t have financial stress. So that’s in direct answer to your question. To everyone listening, do your best to have a strong financial foundation because the number one reason for divorce or bad relationships is financial stress, the number one reason. So if you can mitigate that one reason, everything else falls into place so much easier. I mean think about if you could go back and write down the last few things you bickered about with your significant other, especially a spouse where you start to share bills and you start to share those stresses, not just when you’re dating. Go back and write down things that you fight about or bigger about, the last four or five of them. I’ll bet you if you peeled one or two layers back, go back to a time that you were stressed about work or you’re stressed about the bills or you’re stressed because you felt like they had a higher expectation of you. And so, when you eliminate that financial stress, it’s so much easier and so much more fun to have this great thriving relationship. So if you don’t do it for the flash*, if you don’t do it for any of the aesthetic reasons, do it for your relationship. That’s number one.
Number two is when Lori and I were at our brokest* moments and when we are at our wealthiest moments, there were these core things that we would do together that made us the happiest ever, and it cost nothing. That is – like for Lori and I, it was going for long walks. I don’t know why. Going for long walks has always been a stable, a foundation of our relationship. I’m talking long, like three, six, nine, ten mile walks. So I remember when we lost everything. We were living on these tiny little lakes in an apartment in Minneapolis, and because we didn’t want to spend money where we didn’t have money to spend, and because we were rebuilding and needed to be in good energy and come up with some ideas, we would just go walk around these lakes. Each lake was about three miles around. There’s three of them connected. So we would go on nine mile walks that would take us literally three, three and a half if we stopped, four hours. At the end of that three or four hours, we would feel totally connected, our endorphins were high, we got our exercise. We were idea machines, like we found ourselves dreaming out loud and talking about oh my gosh, yeah we could do this, we could do that, maybe bring in this money and then we could do this with it. I mean everything about these walks were a life saver for us when we had absolutely nothing. Now that we have everything that we’ve ever wanted, guess what we still do? We go for these walks every single night. It’s a non-negotiable in our relationship because we work together. Careful what you ask for, you might just get it. Now we have these thriving brands, these thriving businesses that are busier than ever. In order to combat the stress in a relationship that comes with that as business partners and lovers, we go for this walk every single night, that is at least three miles long or more, an hour or more. Even when we don’t feel like it, it’s a non-negotiable. So it’s just a locked in agreement.
During the beginning of this walk, sometimes we won’t even talk to each other for the first two miles or two and a half miles, the first half hour or whatever, because we either argued about budgeting or marketing or she thinks I said her business idea was dumb, or whatever – who knows what. And so, this walk will leave enemies – and I’m kind of joking when I say that. By the time we get back, because we’ve physically changed our state, physically changed our space and we’ve been away from where the mess happened long enough, that we are once again lovers and best friends and super happy. Last night, I was – I worked so hard yesterday that I was so crabby at the beginning of this walk. It took me a half an hour before I started to joke around and have fun and hold her hand and do all that stuff again, yet by the end of the walk, we had our salads that we pick up every single night and we were laughing and holding hands and the dog was being goofy. Those things won’t happen if you don’t force them to, those things won’t happen if you don’t schedule them in.
And so, I look at all these couples, even if you’re not building a business together, he goes off to his career here, she goes up to her career there, they’re busy, they have financial stress, they have kids stress, they have all these things. Instead of separating themselves for one hour from all the chaos, what do they do? They stay in the chaos and they wonder why it’s not getting better. Well nothing’s going to get better when you stay in the chaos. We all have chaos, rich or poor, fat or skinny, healthy or sick. We all have chaos. You have to physically remove yourself from that chaos and it has to be a non-negotiable.
Melyssa Griffin: I freaking love that idea. That is so powerful. I love that it’s almost like this meditative state that you guys probably go into when you start walking. It’s like sometimes when I meditate, I’m in a bad place mentally. I am mad or I feel hurt about something. Then by the time I’m done meditating and just feeling more connected to the universe. It’s like maybe that stuff is not even important. It sounds like going for walks is almost this similar experience where you’re kind of just meditating as you’re walking and then you’re going to reconnect successfully. I love that.
Chris Harder: Especially when we’re quiet. If we don’t say a word to each other for the first 45 minutes, hey that’s meditation, because you’re just here silently in your head. You’re processing everything. Now Lori processes out loud, and this is another thing. Relationships are always a work in progress. Well I like to fix problems. I like to just look for the most obvious fix and be like duh, here it is. She likes to process out loud over and over and over and over again because that’s how she solves things. Even if someone says here’s the solution, she doesn’t want that. She just wants to process it. So at first, I would get annoyed. I’d be like “You said the same thing six times. I already told you how to fix it. I don’t want to hear it anymore.” But then she told me, she’s like “Chris, this is how I process and I need this walk. I need this time to just talk about this out loud. Even if I say the same thing over and over again for 45 minutes, that’s how I get right with it.” So now what do I do? I just be quiet and I let her say the same thing over and over and over and over again and talk about it out loud, and all that stuff. I just made an effort to become a good listener because she told me that’s what she needed. There’s the key guys, speak up about what you need in a relationship. You can’t assume the other person is supposed to know what to do or how to react or how to best serve you. You won’t get what you don’t ask for. So speak up like Lori did, because had she never spoke up, I’d keep trying to solve her problems and it would still cause stress.
Melyssa Griffin: I love that. It’s such a good reminder to just speak up about what you need and to remember that you’re two different people. You do things, think about things, feel things in a different way. It’s so easy to get into a relationship and think that the other person does everything the same way as you. So I love that advice. Is there anything else that you think is important to do or be aware of if you want to have a successful relationship?
Chris Harder: Yeah, a million things. Learn how each person wants to be communicated with. This might sound kind of similar to what I was just talking about, but it’s different. People have different love languages. People want to be communicated with differently. And so, have those conversations, put them on the table. Don’t be afraid to discuss here’s what makes me happy or here’s what makes me unhappy when you talk to me this way, or when we have a problem I know we have to address it but could you address it this way, or could you say these things first. Again, you’re not going to get what you don’t ask for, so you have to put these conversations on the table and have them or you’re going to wake up one day and you’re going to wonder where it all went wrong. Where it all went wrong was you never bothered to check your ego and say I don’t think I’m getting it right, is there a way I could do it differently or you didn’t bother to check your ego and say you know what, I appreciate you trying to solve my problems but I wish you would do it this way. And so, it’s that communication piece. This is romantic partners or business partners or really any damn partners on a planet, that communication piece, when you make an effort to get that down and talk about that, everything else gets so much easier it’s not even funny.
Melyssa Griffin: I love that. So I’ve just got a couple more questions for you, Chris, that I’d love to talk about. One of them, I know that we were at Summit of Greatness, Lewis’s conference recently, and I noticed a few of the women asking some of the speakers and saying that they were successful women, but it was really hard for them to find a man that liked being with them and that wasn’t scared of their success. Now you and Lori are both very successful in your own ways and your own rights. What are your thoughts on that, in terms of women who are successful and powerful, finding someone to be with who respects that?
Chris Harder: I mean my advice is don’t settle for anything less. I remember seeing that trend too. I was blown away by that trend, it kept showing up at Summit of Greatness. I was like wow, it’s got to be really hard to be an enlightened, powerful, go getter woman these days, because it sounds like all of these women are having a lot of trouble finding a guy who is equally enlightened and successful and driven. So my first piece of advice is don’t settle for anything less because it’s not going to work. How dare you dim your light or how dare you pull back on your dreams or how dare you not follow through with your calling, just to play down to what some other guy wants. Because guess what’s going to happen? If you are becoming miserable in order to make him happy, one of you is still miserable and the relationship is not going to work out, or if you’re playing loud and proud and large and fast and furious and he’s not happy, guess what? One of you is not happy, it’s still not going to work out. So don’t settle for anything less, even if he’s a great guy and he checks off a lot of the boxes, but this is one big box that he’s just not heading that direction and he doesn’t support you in or it makes him feel less masculine for some reason. Then you’ve got to make the choice to go find somebody who is going to support you in this, or I promise you in the long run, you’re going to be unhappy and it’s not going to work out. As a matter of fact, I can’t imagine anything worse than it working out because you dimmed your light and now you are somebody who – you are pretending to be somebody who you really aren’t just to make things work. I mean that would be like a lifelong sentence to me. So that’s number one.
Number two is you’re not – so when Lori and I met, we were just a couple of turds with big dreams. We were partying too much. We weren’t in the kind of shape we wanted to quite be in yet, especially me. It’s not like we had the same thoughts and development and ideas and processes and habits that we have now back then, but we wanted to – we knew that we both wanted to grow. We knew that we both had big dreams and we chose to grow together. That is absolutely key, is choosing to grow together because you are going to change a lot. You can’t stop it. Lori and I met when she was 21 and I was 24. I am 40 next month. So you change a lot from 24 – or let’s use Lori, from 21 to 25 to 29 to low 30s to mid 30s to 40. You become a lot of very different people during that time and you’re supposed to, that’s life. Every time she would want to try something that seemed weird to me, every time that she would want to go down a road that was like I didn’t know that was in the plans, instead of me saying no way, that’s scary, no way, that’s crazy, no way, we already have a good thing going, I was willing to try it on for size. This didn’t mean I was committing to it for life, but I was always committed to trying it on for size and see if I liked how it felt and fit. Guess what? It almost always felt and fit pretty good once I tried it on for size. And so, you have to find a partner that even if they’re not where you are right now, they show clear signs of being willing to change along with you and grow together instead of accidentally growing apart. That’s the key, you accidentally grow apart or you intentionally grow together. There’s no other in between space. You accidently grow apart or you intentionally grow together.
Melyssa Griffin: Oh my gosh, I love that. That’s so awesome, such good advice, Chris. So I have one final question for you that I like to ask all of my guests, and that is just: what do you feel like people should do to live a more fulfilling and meaningful lives?
Chris Harder: Give, give, give, give, give, give, give. I’m not kidding. It’s the secret to everything. If you want better relationships, give more to the relationship and give more to yourself. You’re not to be happy in a relationship until you give yourself the love that you need to get to get, so you love yourself and then you’re easier to love and it’s easier to love other people. So if you want a better relationship, give more to the relationship and give more to yourself. If you want more money, give more to your business. If you want more abundance, give more to other people. If you want more connections, connect more people. Everything is, you act first and eventually in some weird and magical way, it pays you back tenfold. That’s just the way the world works, it really is. You’re not going to get what you want until you become like this serial giver, because it’s the secret to everything.
Melyssa Griffin: I love it so much. Chris, you are phenomenal. I appreciate you so much and I’m really grateful for everything that you shared in this interview. Where can people go to find you and learn more about your amazingness?
Chris Harder: So you can check out the podcast that I’m so excited about at fortheloveofmoney.com. You can reach me on Instagram @chriswharder. Make sure you get the W in there because chrisharder is somebody totally different.
Melyssa Griffin: You don’t want to know.
Chris Harder: Yes, you don’t want to know. I respond to DMs on Instagram. It’s the easiest way to get a hold of me.
Melyssa Griffin: Amazing. Thank you so much, Chris.
Chris Harder: No, thank you, Melyssa. This is the best. I loved it.