Teaching Kids About Money and Reinventing Financial Education with Scott Donnell – EP 149

Interview with Scott Donnell

Brian Preston

Teaching Kids About Money and Reinventing Financial Education with Scott Donnell

Today, I’m talking with Scott Donnell. Scott’s the founder of GravyStack – the world’s first gamified banking platform for kids and teens. His mission with GravyStack is to create 50 million financially competent kids ready to succeed in the real world.

Scott’s also the founder of Apex Leadership Co, a school fundraising company focused on teaching leadership and fitness to kids across America. Since 2011, Apex has grown into a national franchise, served more than 6 million students, and has raised over $100M for schools.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, he’s the bestselling author of Value Creation Kid, host of the Smart Money Parenting podcast, and has exited multiplied companies ranging from a few million dollars to well into eight figures.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

✅ The story of how Scott built the largest school fundraising franchise in the US and transformed the lives of millions of kids through his companies.

✅ Strategies for making financial education fun and engaging for your kids.

✅ The value creation model that allowed Scott to buy back his time and exit one of his companies for 30x earnings!

Featured on This Episode: Scott Donnell

✅ What he does: Scott Donnell is a visionary entrepreneur who has created many leading companies in the biotech, fintech, education, and entertainment industries. He is the founder of Apex Leadership Co. (a fundraiser for schools), HerMaker Studios (an NFT Comic Book Company), Hapbee Technologies (a biotech company in mental health), and GravyStack (a financial literacy bank account for kids). With over 600 employees, Scott’s companies serve tens of millions of customers annually. His expertise is creating new businesses, recruiting the perfect team, and building self-multiplying companies. Scott has been featured in Bloomberg, Fox, NBC, The Wall Street Reporter, and the Entrepreneur Franchise 500.

💬 Words of wisdom:It’s not what you do for your kids. It’s what you do with them. Heritage is more important than inheritance.” – Scott Donnell

🔎 Where to find Scott Donnell: TikTok | Instagram | Twitter

Key Takeaways with Scott Donnell

  • How Scott impacted six million kids
  • The piece of advice from his father he’ll never forget.
  • The largest school fundraising franchise in the US.
  • Buying back his time and exiting for 30x
  • How to teach kids money skills
  • The future belongs to the value creators.
  • Your kids won’t remember how much money you have
  • Teaching kids to create value rather than chase money
  • Healthy struggles in your child’s growth.
  • The skills GravyStack offers that schools often miss.

Clips from the Show with Scott Donnell

Free Strategy Session 

For a limited time, my team is hosting free, personalized consultation calls to learn more about your goals and determine which of our courses or masterminds will get you to the next level. To book your free session, visit LifestyleInvestor.com/consultation

The Lifestyle Investor Insider

Join The Lifestyle Investor Insider, our brand new AI – curated newsletter – FREE for all podcast listeners for a limited time: www.lifestyleinvestor.com/insider

Scott Donnell Tweetables


Rate & Review The Lifestyle Investor Podcast

If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Lifestyle Investor, hit the subscribe button on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, or wherever you listen, so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.

You can also help by providing an honest rating & review over on Apple Podcasts. Reviews go a long way in helping us build awareness so that we can impact even more people. THANK YOU!

Connect with Justin Donald

Get the Lifestyle Investor Book!

To get access to The Lifestyle Investor: The 10 Commandments of Cashflow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom visit JustinDonald.com/book

Read the Full Transcript with Scott Donnell

Justin Donald: What’s up, Scott? So good to have you on the show.


Scott Donnell: So good to be here, Justin. Thanks for having me, buddy.


Justin Donald: Yeah. This is fun. This is really fun. You know, it’s great. You and I originally connected via John Ruhlin, so we share him as a mutual friend. We share many other people. We just got done with an event with the Wellspring out at Ojai Valley Inn. And by the way, Ojai is gorgeous. For anyone listening or watching this who hasn’t been to Ojai, which is right outside of Santa Barbara, California, it is incredible. What were your thoughts of that area?


Scott Donnell: Gorgeous. I mean, we both went. Bring the family, definitely bring a spouse, significant other. We had a blast, man. It’s just like out in the middle of nowhere. Gorgeous hills, beautiful golf, beautiful everything. Tons of pickleball. We had a lot of fun.


Justin Donald: We did. And by the way, I learned that you’re a really good pickleball player. You didn’t trash talk. You didn’t do anything. So, I had zero anticipation or expectation. I just, you know, I thought you’d be an athletic guy. You’re really good.


Scott Donnell: I played college tennis so it transfers.


Justin Donald: It showed up. I mean, watching you out there, you’re an animal in a very good way. So, yeah, super cool. By the way, while we were on this trip, I went to the San Ysidro Ranch, which is an incredible spot as well. Amazing food, drink, like their rose garden flower walk thing out back is just a spectacle. I mean, that area, that Montecito area is gorgeous too. Yeah.


Scott Donnell: Montecito, the coast is just amazing. I mean, unfortunately, California has taxes and crazy thinking sometimes, but the landscape is just gorgeous.


Justin Donald: It is. I was reminded going there to experience 68 degrees in the summer, how nice that is, and then it obviously heats up to the 80s. And I just got back from Portugal and it was really nice. We went to Madeira, which is just an incredible place. And then we were in Lisbon but, yeah, there same thing, 67, 66 degrees right when you wake up. So, it just feels so nice and then it heats up to a maximum about this time of year, 85 degrees.


Scott Donnell: Oh, it’s beautiful.


Justin Donald: It was pretty crazy in Lisbon because the pope was there. So, it was like complete pandemonium for a whole week, just road shutdown. He’s doing his secret like his driving areas where he’s going to speak. It was fascinating.


Scott Donnell: That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. I’m glad you got to do that trip. That’s probably a bucket list for sure.


Justin Donald: 100%. Well, the next step in us getting residency in Portugal. So, we jump through all the hoops that we needed to, to get residency so that we can pursue getting a citizenship or a second passport or a second citizenship there, which we’re really excited about.


Scott Donnell: Wow. I love that tax strategy.


Justin Donald: No kidding. Lots of opportunities there. Great Plan B, gives you the ability to live in another country for extended time, travel the world visa-free since it’s such a powerful or highly regarded citizenship and passport. But the other thing that’s neat with the Schengen region is you’ve got 27 countries in Europe that have borderless access. So, if you have residency in one country, you can get to 27 different countries that you can live in for an extended stay. No problem. It’s fascinating.


Scott Donnell: Wow. Oh, that’s amazing, man. Well, congrats. Congrats. We looked at Puerto Rico for a long time. We’ve got a lot of good friends in Puerto Rico. We’ve really thought through this, especially as we build, like high value in businesses which we’re in the middle of. So, we’re thinking through a lot of how do we plan this from forward looking back, making sure that we’re doing the right things with our taxes. That’s a big deal.


Justin Donald: Yeah, no doubt. And by the way, I don’t know what is going on with Puerto Rico and the tax deduction, the tax benefits you can get. I don’t think you can find anything better anywhere in the world like I think that’s it. If you’re a U.S. citizen, that is. I think that’s as good as it gets but it’s a big commitment to live somewhere for six months. Yeah.


Scott Donnell: Now, you cut out there for a second. Sorry about that. One thing too about Puerto Rico. We’re learning all the reasons about it and the benefits, the drawbacks. One thing we heard is that you have to accumulate the wealth as a citizen. And I think a lot of people who get excited about other countries’ tax, they think that they can make a bunch of money and then go somewhere else and not think that the U.S. is going to claw it all back when they try to come back. So, I want to put a word of caution out there. We haven’t done it for certain reasons yet but for people that are in like a high-growth business, you make sure you get really trusted advice on this stuff because I’ve seen some horror stories. People go after they’ve made $100 million and they think that they can just live there for six months in a day and then save all the taxes. That’s not how it works.


Justin Donald: Yeah. You’ve got to do it right. You cannot screw that one up. Otherwise, it is a huge tax ramification.


Scott Donnell: Yeah, for sure.


Justin Donald: And you cannot shortcut it either. A lot of people think they can hack it and do less than what is required and they’re going to find out. I mean, they’ve got a lot of ways to figure it out.


Scott Donnell: They’ve got 87,000 new ways for the U.S. to find out where your taxes are.


Justin Donald: That’s right. That’s right. Well, I’m excited to learn more about your story. You’ve had quite the successful entrepreneurial journey and you’ve started a new company that I think shifts the landscape of just really trying to educate children in just how to make money, how to save money, how to think about money, how to invest for the future, how to be entrepreneurial. And so, I want to get into all this. But before we do, I really want to hear your origin story. How did you become an entrepreneur? How did you start your first company? I think you’ve had a couple of exits. And I would love to know, you know, highs and lows, and then let’s get into your newest company, GravyStack.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. So, I’ll start out by saying this. I’ve worked with 6 million kids now through all my companies. We help kids and we really help their parents and their grandparents really connect, teach character and leadership and fitness and financial skills. And now we train on family legacy with folks to make sure that they can have ten generations of success and really prepare their kids for their own wealth. Right? But for me, I come from four generations of successful entrepreneurs that did not pass on the money. And we’re talking like a lot of money. Hundreds of millions didn’t pass it on. They gave it away. And they set up incredible charitable trusts to help widows and orphans and kids and people all over the world. And the thinking there is someone goes, “Oh, well, aren’t you like mad about that?” No, I couldn’t be more thankful for the legacy that my family has created and the heritage, and they taught me to fish. And that is worth its weight in gold. And so, my first business, I mean, I was shredding papers in the family business at six years old. My first company was at eight years old in third grade selling keychains. I made these little gecko keychains. I actually think I might have one. Hold on a sec. Oh, I have one.


My mom gave me this this summer. I’ve been talking about this and my mom found one. We really would make these keychains for like $0.10 in beads. Sell them for like $1.50 door-to-door. And I learned, “Whoa, It’s not time and effort. It’s results.” That was like the first big lesson for me as a kid. And so, I started hiring my buddies to make them, and I’d pay them a quarter. They’d make a keychain for me and I’d go sell them by the bulk or door-to-door and be like, “Wow, I can make $50 as an eight-year-old in an hour,” you know? And I ended up at one point, like two months into this business I hired at one point, the entire third-grade class was making my keychains. And they weren’t going to lunch. They weren’t going to recess. And the principal got wind of it, and he suspended me.


Justin Donald: At eight years old.


Scott Donnell: Eight years old I got suspended. My supply line got cut, and I go home thinking I’m going to get it and I’m in big trouble. And my dad, instead of punishing me, he took me out to dinner. He said, “I want you to do this for the rest of your life.”


Justin Donald: Oh, that’s so cool.


Scott Donnell: And fast forward, this is my fifth company. GravyStack is my fifth company. I think it will be probably 100 times larger than any other company I’ve ever done. And it’s the world’s first gamified bank for kids. It’s a real bank with 100 games that they play to become intrinsically motivated to learn all the core money skills of earn, save, spend, share, invest, protect, borrow, create value. And it’s just popping off. People are loving it. But it took a long time to get here, man. So, I’ve had five companies now, a seven-figure exit, an eight-figure exit, a nine-figure IPO, and then one miserable failure and now GravyStack. So, I’ve been around the game. Been around the game.


Justin Donald: You’ve come full cycle, right? I mean, in Major League Baseball, it’s a big deal to hit the cycle where you can get a single, a double, a triple, and a home run all inside of the same game, right? You’ve done it as an entrepreneur. That’s impressive.


Scott Donnell: Plus a strikeout. Don’t forget the strikeout.


Justin Donald: Oh, man. That is good.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. So, my first company and it’s all helping mostly kids. One of them was a biotech company that really did well but most of them are helping kids and it started with my wife, Amy, my angel. We got four little kids. She spent…


Justin Donald: Who, by the way, I’m going to say is absolutely amazing. So, we’ve gotten a chance to get to know the Donnells and we’ve got a chance to travel the world with them. And your wife is the real deal. My wife loves your wife and we both, we were singing each of your praises.


Scott Donnell: Same here, man. Same here. It’s so good being with amazing people. And she was a first-grade teacher, right? She’s an unbelievable mom like she’s a heart of gold. And she spent her whole paycheck making $38,000 a year. She spent the whole paycheck on her kids. And I was like, “What are you doing?” And she’s like, “Well, we all do that. That’s kind of the game.” And I was like, “Well, that ends here. That ends now.” So, my first company became the largest school fundraising franchise in America. I started a fun-run system to help her school raise money where 10% of all the money goes back to the teachers. The majority goes to the school to cover costs. We come in with a team of people. We teach the kids, we do a big fun run. They get pledges. We teach character, leadership, money, skills, everything. And the schools make like $50,000. I mean, it’s incredible. Instead of selling chocolate and cookies and magazines where those companies take 80% of the money, this is fun. It’s all students included. It’s healthy, it’s leadership, it’s fitness. You know, we do everything for them. So, it’s hassle-free. It’s a done-for-you system. And it just exploded.


And that was my first real business and we went through all the nightmares, tech failures, people stealing money. We were growing. We went so fast, like in the first three years we went from zero to like 80 employees. And then we started franchising it. We’ve made over half a billion dollars now for schools, 6 million families, I think in just that one company now served.


Justin Donald: That’s incredible. It’s spoiled on your first company doing so well thinking, “Hey, is it always this easy?”


Scott Donnell: Yeah.


Justin Donald: This is like a piece of cake.


Scott Donnell: The funny thing is people laugh. It’s like, yeah, we were a ten-year overnight success because in the middle of growing that company, financially, we were reinvesting, we were growing. We had failures left and right. The stress was through the roof. I ended up finding Dan Sullivan with Strategic Coach and I was about to leave the business for like a couple of million bucks and just go teach or something because it was so stressful and Dan Sullivan changed my life. He set up the tools to create a self-managing company. He set up the system and he helped turn Apex into something that I dreaded to something I loved. And I was doing 5 hours of work a week instead of 50 and ended up growing faster with better people.


Justin Donald: It should. You buy your time back. You stick to your core competencies. You get the people that are great at those activities. You have them specialize and major in the things that they’re best in class at. And yeah, it should go through the roof but most people have a hard time letting go.


Scott Donnell: That’s right. That’s right. So, we let go. It exploded. We ended up selling that company in 2021 for 30 times earnings and we built an incredible moat around the industry.


Justin Donald: 30X is incredible.


Scott Donnell: Yeah, very thankful.


Justin Donald: I mean that’s one of the biggest exit multiples that I’ve heard. There are very few industries that even come close to that. I mean, that’s incredible.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. And it’s a special niche like people are like, “What? What do you do? You teach?” So, no, what we built was the best fundraising program in America that schools repeat business. 93% rebook every single year. And then we franchised it to decentralize the risk, to increase our multiple even more. And so, we had all of our franchises doing well, having million-dollar businesses with their teams, and then they would take our model. We caged it. We give them the tech, we give them the training, we give them the systems and supplies within up a 20% bump kind of thing. And it just started going. And that’s really how you build value, build something that is not just hard to repeat. It makes so many other people successful that you can’t help but drive value. That’s the thing. One of my friends told me this once, you can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want.


Justin Donald: Exactly.


Scott Donnell: And I think that’s the beauty of business is nothing works unless a customer’s happy and value has been added and you help them. And you do that enough times, it ends up giving you the dream life. And that’s why I think entrepreneurship is like the eighth wonder of the world. It’s unbelievable when you think about this from a value creation, sustainable business model.


Justin Donald: 100%. Now, somewhere in this entrepreneurial journey of yours, you became a professor at Acton Academy or Acton MBA with Jeff Sandefer. So, I’ve had many people on the show that have had students that have attended. You know, our daughter, Anna, attended Acton Academy. And I can see it being a great fit for a lot of different people. And for me, I think it would have been incredible. For her, it wasn’t the strongest of fits. And so, we pivoted to something that was a lot better for her. And by the way, she has dyslexia, and we didn’t know that at the time. And so, we needed someplace that could focus exclusively on that. And that’s been a game changer for us. So, super cool. But we got a chance to get to know Jeff and Laura Sandefer, who are amazing people, brilliant, both of them, each of them in their own light. And then I remember Jeff started Acton MBA and I had a bunch of my friends that ended up becoming adjunct professors there with Chris Coggin and Tim Nikolaev and you and a handful of other people. So, how did that all come about?


Scott Donnell: Yeah. So, when I was a, I guess, a senior at university in my fourth year in college, I got written in as student body president. I didn’t run. I went to Whitworth University. So, I was a theology business double major, didn’t really know exactly what I want to do but I thought I was going to be like in the ministry. I got written in as student body president and I didn’t run. Everyone just wrote my name in because I basically like ran the events at the school and everyone knew me. And ended up being an incredible year but when I got that job, the theology department chair, his name was Adam Neder and Jerry Sittser, and then the president of the university, they all sat me down and they said, “You’re not a pastor. Everyone knows this except for you. You’re an entrepreneur. You were born for this.” And they said the most freeing comment anyone’s ever told me in my life. It was my pivotal moment. They said, “In 25 years, you’re probably going to come back and run this university, and we’d all be honored to work for you.”


Justin Donald: Wow. That’s amazing. By the way, it reminds me of David Green. You and I got a chance to hang out with David Green. And this is kind of his story, too, where his whole family went into ministry and he was the black sheep, the odd duck that was an entrepreneur.


Scott Donnell: But they said, “That’s your ministry. That’s your way of helping people. Go do that. You know, we need people that have the right value systems in the market helping customers and growing businesses and taking care of people. Go do that.” And so, literally, that led me to Acton. So, a week later, I met Jeff. I went and checked out Acton. One of the people on the school board at the university said, “You got to check out Jeff Sandefer and Acton.” I went down, looked at it for a day, fell in love with it, and immediately enrolled and got into the Acton MBA program, went through it. It was 100 hours a week. At the time, if you passed, it was free for now. If you failed, it was $50,000 and a third of us had to fail in the class because it’s ranked. Everything you say is graded. It was incredibly like real life experience. You’re doing cold calling and door-to-door sales and building assembly lines and crazy fun year, but really, really hard. And I thought I was going to fail because they never tell you where your ranking is. And at the end of the year, I actually got the top student award, student of the year. So, I got like an honorary inductee into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and it just like launched my entrepreneurial career.


Nobody uses the degree from that school because we all launch. We start our own businesses. We’re entrepreneurs but that’s what gave me that confidence. And also, that was the first year of the Acton Academies that Jeff started. It was my year. And so, over the years, he and I launched the Children’s Business Fairs all over the world together. At one point, we were like co-chairs of it.


Justin Donald: Which by the way we’ve participated in, I don’t know, six of those, maybe seven of those. So, great job there. Those are amazing.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. He turned it into a just simple website. We took it to Arizona. We’ve expanded it a lot. We’ve brought a lot of people into it. It’s an incredible model.


Justin Donald: And for those of you that don’t know, your child does not have to go to an Acton to enroll in the Business Fair, which I think is great because we were doing the Business Fair before Anna was ever in Acton and then we’ve been doing it since she left Acton.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. So, I’ve been running them one here in Arizona for ten years and I’m getting emails now and this leads into GravyStack for a very specific reason and that’s why I have to share this. I don’t know how many tens of thousands of kids have come through our fairs just in Arizona. And I’ve probably sent 400 people to the fairs like all over the world to run their own fairs. I get emails every week, texts from people that did our fairs, and they’re like their kids are now out of school. They’re like, this is the best thing our kids ever learned.


Justin Donald: Totally.


Scott Donnell: Like, forget school for a second. This one thing, they’re paying for their college. My pastor just texted me and said, “My daughter’s paying for her university because she’s doing the skills she learned and now she’s doing her own design company. She’s doing her own like stuff to pay for herself. And she never would have done any of that if it wasn’t for the business fairs.” Like, I get those all the time. And so, what it made me realize is and I’ve seen this in the public schools because we help 10,000 schools for Apex. I saw family after family struggle with the money game. How do I teach my kids the right money skills? How do we get them the critical thinking, the delayed gratification? Why aren’t they learning it? And teachers aren’t teaching this. They’re just not. And it’s not against the teachers. I love teachers. It’s because you can’t homework financial competency. We’ve given 30 million lessons to kids now through Apex, live lessons in classrooms. Think about that. 30 million. I know I am the leading voice in how kids learn money skills because I saw from the very get-go exactly how to teach a kid to learn to move the needle.


And it’s two major things, fun and practical experience. A kid has to have fun to be intrinsically motivated and then real-life experience to get the practical capabilities to succeed. When you combine those two things, it’s like the powerful one-two punch to get a kid to move into their core long-term learning. And that’s why homework doesn’t always work. It’s regurgitation of information that kids aren’t connecting it to something that’s fun and practical. And so, it’s in one ear and out the other. And especially when it comes to money. You cannot learn it unless you make it and manage it yourself. Allowance, it does not work.


Justin Donald: Yeah. So, you can’t memorize this stuff. You need to learn it conceptually. And allowance is creating a dependency and it’s kind of fixing the game and almost grooming or cultivating an employer-employee type of relationship and mindset around money. Whereas, many entrepreneurs, what they want to do is they want to embrace that independent thinking and really compensation based on adding value, not based on some recurring paycheck or recurring allowance, right?


Scott Donnell: That’s right. That’s exactly right. And that’s the point of the book, by the way. So, I’ll get to that in a second but Value Creation Kid, this is our best-selling book for that exact reason. It all boils down with these 30 million life lessons and all the legacy families we’ve been interviewing for five years straight now. It all comes down to this, Value Creation Kid. So, we’ll talk about that. But the point here is we wanted to find a way to help give parents a roadmap to teach their kids good money skills because we know that the schools aren’t teaching it. The banks don’t care.


Justin Donald: Nope.


Scott Donnell: These kids don’t have deposits. That’s how they make their money. And then all the parents needed a roadmap. They need help and even half the time, their kids won’t even listen to them if they tell them.


Justin Donald: And I’d even take it one step further. I almost wonder if it’s not that these things aren’t taught, I think what is being taught is actually like enabling bad behavior is bad mindset around it. I mean to me this is happening even with adults where if Wall Street is controlling the narrative of what’s taught, then you’re building this faulty foundation of a one way of doing things and like outsourcing it forever. And I think with the younger kids, that happens too. It’s just done differently.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. I’ve never talked about this on a podcast and I’ve done hundreds, so I’m about to say something I’m a little nervous about because we work with millions of schools and families. There is something bad that happens when you teach a kid their whole life to get the grade to get to the school to get the job. There’s only one right answer. Don’t work. You know, don’t be collaborative, right? There’s no collaborative. There is group work but each person’s individually doing something to one right answer. And you are grading to the lowest common denominator in an assembly line system. Think about what that does to a kid. It’s not even the right lens to look at the future. Because the future is not an assembly line thinking. The future belongs to the value creators. Half the jobs that are going to be available in 15 years aren’t even created yet, Justin.


Justin Donald: That’s right.


Scott Donnell: So, why are we training children to go get a degree in some industry and go into significant six-figure debt to get a job that may or may not be there? Okay. That’s why we have the problems we have. That’s why there’s trillions of student loan debt. That’s why one in four 22-year-olds, less than one in four 22-year-olds is financially independent. That’s why less than one in four 25-year-olds right now fail a basic money test. Like, “What’s interest?” like that kind of test. And so, we really put our heads together, brought a whole team of people, and we created GravyStack. So, that’s what GravyStack exists to do. It is a roadmap for families to teach good money skills to their kids. It solves this problem and it’s a ton of benefit for the family but in essence, it’s a bank for kids with a debit card so they can learn real money. And it’s 100 games and real-life challenges that they complete. And by the time they’re done, they’re fully financially competent and ready to succeed in the world. So, we’re anti-allowance. We built something called the home economy system, which I can talk about here in a second and it is the number one way to solve the kids’ entitlement, the spoiling, the victimhood mentality, the laziness, the anxiety, and self-doubt that so many parents are worried about their kids becoming. This home economy system solves that, and the value creation mindset solves that.


And that’s what all of these legacy families that we interview because I’ve been obsessed now for five years, I want to find the best families in the world that raise the most incredible kids and grandkids so they’re passing it through generations, like, what are you doing? How are you doing this? 90% of generational wealth is gone by the grandkids, shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations, right?


Justin Donald: That’s right. Yes. So, over 90% likelihood in three generations that the total family wealth, and these are large dollars, over 90% chance that it is all gone in three generations.


Scott Donnell: And in addition to that, you have ripped apart families, violence, divorce, addiction, mental health issues. And you go, “What is going on?” Because everybody right now, the whole financial industry, everyone says we have to secure, protect, and grow your net worth and that’s your legacy. No, I’m here to tell you heritage trumps legacy. Heritage trumps inheritance. And these are the things that we talk, this is what we train like we’re doing these family legacy workshops now. We’re starting to train because I have 24 of these strategies now for how families can basically create a bulletproof legacy with their kids and grandkids for ten generations to come. I’ll give you like three really, really good ones on this call but that’s the thinking you have to have. The biggest one I love to talk about is it’s not what you do for your kids. It’s what you do with them. Heritage is more important than inheritance. So many people they think, “If I work so hard for my kids. I make money for the family. I work so hard to get them into the best schools and teams and camps for the kids.” All that matters is time clocked with them, the lessons learned with them. You only get 18 years and then they’re out. And that’s 93% of all the time you’re going to spend with your kids, by the way.


And I’ll say this, too. There’s no such thing as quality or quantity time with children. You never know when that deep core memory is going to be created. It’s probably going to be created by playing Legos or catch or a game or a drive that you think is just a boring drive. They’ll remember the weirdest things for the rest of their life. There’s no such thing as quality or quantity time. There’s just time. Time clocked with them. And so, heritage is critical. We train this in our legacy workshops. You have to think about what it means to have your last name. What are the values of our family? What are the stories we tell? You know, I have this thing. It’s a little bit different than everything else you’ve heard about family values and mission statement and beliefs and things. I believe that with children, stories win over everything else. So, if you have a two-paragraph family mission statement, congratulations. You’re ahead of 99% of the rest of the world. But if they can’t remember it, it’s useless. We have stories that are connected to every single value that we care about with our kids. So, when we were in at Hobby Lobby together, we had tweaked our family values a little bit to become faith, family, and FISH.


And we did that because in all my training with all these legacy families around the world, we found that if the kids can’t remember it, it’s useless. And we had to connect stories to every single thing in faith, family, FISH. And FISH is fun adventure, integrity, service and value creation, and then hard work, FISH. Now, every day our kids, they say it. My three-year-old says it every day, and they know the stories that we tell. You have to tell principle-based stories that connect directly to each of those values for it to matter and for it to be passed on. So, that’s one of the 24 is like this do with not for. And that’s it. That’s a critical piece. Yeah.


Justin Donald: Yeah, 100%. I mean, you think about any of the great memories you have as a child and they are tied to random things, but it is like not what did you do for me but what did you do with me, like what’s the experience that we had? I mean, you made the comment that it’s 18 years and I think of it in terms of 18 summers. You have 18 summers to create magic moments and epic experiences and just memories to last a lifetime and they’re ticking by, right? So, every year you’ve got one less opportunity, one less summer, one less year that you have for impact and influence. So, think about how old your kids are and how many of these you have left because when they’re 18, they’re going to be ready to spread their wings and fly.


Scott Donnell: That’s right. That’s right. And you want to use those 18 years right. I mean, it’s great to just sit with your kids and play and have fun but you also want to be careful about the things you’re doing together with them, right? And so, that’s the second piece I think we should talk about is the value creation mindset. This is probably our number one of the 24 but I want to hit it really hard. The Value Creation Kid, that’s our book, The Healthy Struggles Your Children Need to Succeed. It’s a bestseller already and it’s starting to rip. I mean, we think we sold like 3,100 copies a couple of days ago again, and it’s just going and going.


Justin Donald: Congrats. That’s amazing. So, this thing’s hot off the press?


Scott Donnell: Yeah. We launched a few months ago, and it was because we wanted to share the lessons of these hundred families and really build a roadmap for families. And so, the idea here is forget all the other ways of raising kids, please, like the hover parent, the laissez-faire parenting, the free-range parenting, the helicopter, forget it. All that matters is how your kids see the world in terms of creating value. Okay. I wish that capitalism was renamed value create-ism because that’s all that matters. That’s all what it is. Okay.


Justin Donald: Right.


Scott Donnell: And that’s also how relationships work. It’s also how faith works. It’s also how school like if you have a value creation mindset and you look all around you and you say, “How can I create three types of value, material value, emotional value, and spiritual value? In every single situation that you as a parent or your kids come across, you can create value in that situation, and that changes a kid’s life forever. It gives them agency and power and responsibility, personal responsibility. Material value is what you create and produce in the world. It’s finding problems and solving them. It’s finding wants and needs and filling them. Emotional value, maybe the most rare of all, how you think and feel. How you help others think and feel creates value for everyone involved, you and them. So, this is like the fastest way to help friends, to make friends, to squash bullies. Honestly, it’s the best way to become the captain of the team. The best way to make the team, actually. There are so many things that this does. And then spiritual value is how you connect to something greater and how you help other people connect to something greater. I love Jesus. I absolutely love Jesus. The best spiritual value is a deep, loving faith in God and Jesus leading you every day. Nothing beats it.


But there’s a lot of things that create spiritual value. We’re going to put a man on the moon and bring him home by the end of the 60s. What do you think that did to our country? It lifted everybody up to something above themselves. I would argue that that’s probably the last time in history we were all so united. Okay. So, it’s material, emotional, and spiritual value. This is the antidote to entitlement and spoiling and victimhood and laziness and self-doubt and anxiety in kids. In any situation, they can go through a healthy struggle. We call them healthy struggles, not trauma, healthy struggles, and create capabilities and confidence that create immense value for them and everyone around them. That is the style of parenting that I want to see. That’s powerful. That’s how you do it, man. And all these legacy families that we found and this was like as we wrote the book, we started to see all these dots connect. Probably 30 of them in a row said they just used the word value creation. They just used the word because they had made it part of their family legacy. And they said, “We don’t try to get our kids to make money first. We get them to think about value creation first because money is a store of value. It’s a store of one type of value, material value.”


And so, you have to get your kids to have this lens to create value. It’s the fastest way to get them the promotion, to get them the job, to get them to like grow that business. Value creation mindset wins over everything else. Best value wins.


Justin Donald: Well, and money is a natural byproduct of offering value and he or she who creates the most value will earn the most money. I mean, plain and simple.


Scott Donnell: That’s right. That’s right. And that happens in every sphere of life. We have 90 healthy struggles in the book, practical skills, business skills, soft skills, hard skills, emotional skills, all these things that you can help your kids go through to do that value creation cycle. Healthy struggle builds capability, builds confidence, builds value creation, like just keep going over and over and over. And now you can sit and think in every situation how that is an opportunity to create value. So, here’s an example. Three days ago, we got the list of second-grade classes and our daughter was in the wrong class in her mind. Her two best friends were in other classes and she’s heartbroken. And my wife said, “We got to call them. We got to move them.” And then I went, “Well, let’s look at it through the value creation lens.” Actually, this might be an unbelievable year for Regan to learn to make new friends, to learn to help the teacher, to learn to find that other kid that might be alone at lunch or recess, to be selfless, to have empathy. This might be an unbelievable year for her to build her emotional value quotient. This is an opportunity. So thankful.


And now we walked her through it and now she’s ready for the year. She’s excited. She knows the three or four things she’s going to do from day one to be adding value in the classroom. She gets to lead because she’s not like with her two buddies all the time. She gets to now lead and add value to everybody in there. Think about the difference. Most parents are like, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to go fight. I’m going to go fight them. I’m going to go down the walls and make sure she gets transferred and be that type.”


Justin Donald: That’s a great reframe that you just did, right? That’s powerful.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. My coauthor of the book, Lee Benson, just got diagnosed with lupus four months ago right as we were launching the book.


Justin Donald: Lupus is tough. That’s an energy zapper.


Scott Donnell: It’s a zapper and hats off to him but he got 20 texts and calls from friends saying, “Man, I’m so sorry. It’s so hard. I am praying for you.” I texted him and said, “I can’t wait to see the value you create from this healthy struggle,” because we’re writing the book together. He called me an hour later. He said, “Out of everybody in my life, you just reframed my mind better than anybody could have ever done. Now, I’m seeing this as an opportunity to create immense value in all ways in material, emotional, and spiritual value for my life.” It totally reframed how he saw his situation. And now, because of that, in the last four months, he is doing more than he’s ever done before, helping people, thinking through his system. He’s impacted thousands now just by talking about this in a certain way to them. Think about the difference when you have this lens, right? And parents can do this every day, all day. It’s just the easiest thing to do. Do you know who Sharon Lechter is? I’m sure a lot of the listeners…


Justin Donald: I’ve heard the name.


Scott Donnell: So, she is the actual real person behind Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and the CASHFLOW game and 14 other international bestsellers, Sharon Lechter’s The Goat in this financial literacy world. She told me when I wrote the book, she called me. She said, “Scott, you have no idea how much you just hit it out of the park.” She said, “When I was a kid, my dad, when I went to bed every night, he would ask me one question that changed my life forever. He would say, ‘Not what did you learn, not how did you fail,’ you know, people say these things all the time. He would ask me, ‘What value did you create for someone today?’”


Justin Donald: That’s a great question.


Scott Donnell: She said it’s the number one thing that shaped her into the person that she is today at 80 years old.


Justin Donald: That’s amazing.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. I wish I could have put it in the book but it’s a brilliant way of raising kids. It’s a brilliant way to pass on heritage. It’s a brilliant way to teach good money skills. It’s what the best legacy families in the world do. And now that’s part of our workshops that we do. It’s our FamilyLegacyWorkshop.com. Everything we do is focused on that and the other 23 strategies, but, yeah, there you go.


Justin Donald: That’s awesome. Well, tell us a little bit more about where we can find your book, where we can find more on GravyStack, where we can find more about you.


Scott Donnell: Yeah. So, the book, it’s on Amazon and Audible. If you like my voice, it sounds better on Audible. So, 5 hours of that if you want it or just grab it on Amazon. And if you do grab it, please give us a review. We’ve been really bad at that. Everyone’s telling, they’re texting us how much they love it, but they forget to give the review. So, I would love a review. Well, we will give a link to your audience, would love to give them a free month of GravyStack. What people don’t understand is there’s an entire home economy system in there that replaces allowance and it helps your kids learn to create value in the home and earn and manage their own money. So, it’s a system of giving them expectations, expenses, and extra pay opportunities. And it’s automated. It’s literally a printout for the fridge. It repeats daily, weekly, monthly. It’s set up just as easy as allowance but it’s not socialism. It’s the right way to raise kids. And it’s what all the legacy families did. They just never had an easy system to do it. And so, now they’re all using GravyStack. But we will give a link GravyStack.com/Lifestyle. We’ll give that link out to your audience. Go there, get a free month.


And then another fun point is these kids, when they start playing the games, they’re saving their parents like $547 on average in the first month. Literally, there’s challenges in there for coupons and canceling subscriptions that are unwanted. And there are so many things that parents they’re like, “Oh, this is a no brainer. I wish I’d have done this with my kids years ago.” But when the kids do it, they’re learning all the skills and then they’re actually saving their parents a ton of money. And so, the lessons are good. The app is amazing. It’s a real bank account with a real debit card. It’s so much better than all the other bank accounts for kids because nobody even logs in. Kids never even log into the other ones. Like they just ask mom and dad to re-up their debit card and give them more money or how much is on there. This gets them a system to earn and then plan ahead to cover the things that they’re in charge of. And then with all the gaming, they’re actually learning the skills and parents get to sit back, no more conflict or nagging over chores or any of that stuff. They have fun playing with their kids and learning together.


Justin Donald: I love it. That is so powerful. And for parents that are listening to this wondering, well, I mean, some chores they just need to do because they’re part of the family. Yeah, that’s true and this supports that as well. Like, hey, these are the things you do because you’re a member of the Donald family or the Donnell family, right?


Scott Donnell: That’s right. Those are your expectations.


Justin Donald: That’s right. Expectations of being a member of the family. But hey, we’ve got this ecosystem where you’re able to earn more based on adding value.


Scott Donnell: That’s right. And then cover expenses because now when you give expenses to the kids, which is right there in the app, you give them a motivation to earn. You give them delayed gratification. They learn budgeting, they learn tradeoffs, and decision-making. They learn the price of goods, all the critical things a kid has to get to to be ready when they leave the home. So, that’s why we built it this way, and that’s why we’re getting so many transformational stories. I just got a text from one of our users. He texted me. He said, “My daughters went from arguing over who has to do chores to who gets to do them.” Think about the peace of mind in there. I mean, wow. So, yeah, I’m so thankful we got to do this today and would love to follow up with any of the audience. They can find me on imscottdonnell. Pretty simple on all socials, but yeah, we’d love to get you guys in the app, get your experience, tell us how it’s going. And then we have these workshops that we’re doing as well, our FamilyLegacyWorkshop.com. So, we’ll follow up on that together for your audience.


Justin Donald: I love it. And just as a personal endorsement, like we love this. Our family loves this. We think this is a game-changer and incredible. So, for anyone who’s wondering if you should do it, if you should check it out, if you have kids, the answer is yes, you should totally do this. We are sold. There’s nothing that I’ve seen that is it’s not only that this is the best thing out there. There’s nothing even close to it. So, this is in like a league, a tier of its own. So, well done. Bravo. Thrilled about this and thrilled about what our daughters going to learn using GravyStack.


Scott Donnell: Awesome. Thanks, Justin. And thanks, everyone, for listening.


Justin Donald: My pleasure. And I love closing out every episode we do with a question for the audience and that question that I want you to ask yourself is this: What’s one step that you can take today to move towards financial freedom or move your kids or your family towards financial freedom and really creating a life that you desire, one that’s on your terms, not a life by default, but a life by design? Hit us up with some of those thoughts, some of the takeaways, some of the action items, some of the single steps that you can take today, some of the big, hairy, audacious goals. We’d love to know what you’re going after. We’d love to be able to support you and we’ll catch you next week.

Keep Learning

Exiting Scribe, Investing in Hard Assets, and Building a Self-Sufficient Homestead with Tucker Max – EP 152

Interview with Tucker Max  Exiting Scribe, Investing in Hard Assets, and Building a...
Read More

The Secret Strategies of the Ultra Wealthy with Greg Smith – EP 151

Interview with Greg Smith  The Secret Strategies of the Ultra Wealthy with Greg...
Read More

Billion-Dollar Scaling Strategies with Michael Abramson – EP 150

Interview with Michael Abramson  Billion-Dollar Scaling Strategies with Michael Abramson In this episode,...
Read More