• Contribution

“We overvalue nonessentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health.”

― Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

​As a guru and life coach to many entrepreneurs, Lee Brower uses the concept of True Wealth in order to help his clients focus on the essential​ activities in their lives. In the video below, Lee explains how he uses the four quadrants of True Wealth in order to prioritize his thinking and focus on the essential.

​I’ve noticed that as I get older, I’ve come to value wisdom, character​, and know-how more and more. Some people are skillful and fortunate enough to create financial legacies for their families. Empowered Wealth has given me the opportunity to observe how one’s wisdom, character, and know-how if thoughtfully and intentionally conveyed in the form of teaching, mentoring, and coaching can guide younger generations, regardless of their financial wealth. I’ve been slow to realize that empowering younger people to become the best leaders they can be is the most reliable way to sustain families, organizations, and groups over multiple generations.


  • Core

This is a far-reaching, visionary statement by Mark Zuckerberg. As the communication platform of choice for most people on the planet, what Facebook stands for and what it aspires to achieve really matters. Zuckberg's statement is a quintessentially Silicon Valley, California, American, democratic, free-enterprise expression of hope and belief in technology to transform our lives and build a better future, a global community that works.

My narrower, more local view is that regardless of the medium or platform, families, organizations and communities require strong moral, ethical leadership. This leadership (or lack thereof), when combined with the power and reach of Facebook and other platforms, is what will drive our future and our fates.

Building Global Community
On our journey to connect the world, we often discuss products we’re building and updates on our business. Today I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want? History is the story of how we’ve learned to come together in ever greater numbers — from tribes …

  • Core

January 27th, 2017 by Ron Nakamoto

What to Do When the VUCA World Dominates Our Attention

“The same view you look at every day, the same life, can become something brand new by focusing on its gifts rather than the negative aspects. Perspective is your own choice and the best way to shift that perspective is through gratitude, by acknowledging and appreciating the positives” – Bronnie Ware, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed

We’re in a new period of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). Nobody – not President Trump, Congress, the news commentators, or any other prognosticators – really knows what’s going to happen. Our very human tendencies to focus on what’s negative, shy away from risk, and avoid losses works against any planning and decision-making in this VUCA world.

To counter these tendencies, I have two suggestions. The first is to maintain a proactive practice of Gratitude. Our very human tendencies towards negativity, anxiety, and fear can be neutralized through a trained and disciplined Gratitude response. No matter the circumstances, we all have people, things, opportunities, experiences, etc. that we can appreciate; we all can be compassionate, forgiving, or giving in some small ways.

The other suggestion is to begin making plans. But I suggest doing so using a tool that Empowered Wealth has adapted from among others, Shell Oil Company: Scenario Planning.

Part of scenario planning is looking into the future and imagining what might happen in the external world, let’s say 10 years from now. By then, two Presidential elections would have taken place and Donald Trump would no longer be President. What might happen, both good and bad, between now and then? Think of two scenarios: one is mostly good and the other is mostly bad. For this example, these two scenarios will represent the external world, the VUCA world.

In our work, we often ask our clients, “What do you truly value, especially what do you value more than money” What we’re trying to get at with this question are people’s highest, most essential priorities in life. Lee Brower, the founder of Empowered Wealth, created a model of "True Wealth" based on these priorities, as well as financial, experience, and contribution assets. It’s what makes us happy, fulfilled, and feel that we're living meaningful lives. Isn't this why we build successful businesses and why optimizing our financial success matters?

Now imagine that, despite the VUCA world, you personally thrive. Consider that scenario a “good” personal one. Alternatively, you could also experience a “bad” personal scenario. This tends to be difficult for many people to imagine but let’s go ahead and develop a short “story” about what that might look like. Maybe it’s poor health, or an accident, or some poor decisions that lead to a downward spiral.

Now you’re ready to do some scenario planning. You now have the basis for four different scenarios 10 years from now:

1. “good” external world and “good” personal (the good/good scenario);
2. “good external but “bad” personal (the good/bad scenario); 3. “bad” external but “good” personal (the bad/good scenario) and
4. “bad” external and “bad” personal (the bad/bad scenario).

Spend a little time and build a narrative around each of these four possibilities. Our experience has been that these narratives highlight the dangers, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses of people as leaders. Coaching and mentoring then brings out the possibilities for seeking better opportunities, avoiding known dangers, working within our strengths, and minimizing our most limiting weaknesses. It’s a way of breaking through negativity, indecisiveness, and anxiety.

General George Casey, the former Commanding General of the Multinational Force in Iraq, said, “VUCA environments thus become invitations for inaction – people are befuddled by the turmoil and don’t act. And to succeed, you must act!” Scenario Planning is a tool that can lead to a clearer vision and point to ways to act. It’s a way of getting into motion.

  • Core

January 23rd, 2017 by Ron Nakamoto