Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD
Helping People "Live Life On Purpose & Not By Accident!"
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
Dwight Heck (Give a Heck Financial)
Note: transcription provided by Otter.AI, which is a technology company that develops speech-to text transcription and translation applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Welcome, everybody to this week's podcast episode for the Financial Freedom for Physicians Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Christopher Loo. And as we talk about four different types of freedom: time, financial location, and emotional freedom. And so we started out with a guest and speaker cohort, composed of physicians, but now the brand has grown such that I want to share my message with the world. So hopefully both sides can benefit. So in that light, today, we have a special guest, Dwight Heck. And, he's helping people to live life on purpose, and not by accident. So, which is really interesting. He's going to talk all about the emotional side of freedom, health freedom. So I'll let him introduce himself. So Dwight, welcome.
Dwight Heck: Hi, Christopher, how are you today?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Good, good. It's so good to have you on the show. And like we were talking backstage we met through pod managing it's just really these spontaneous informal discussions that come out. So we're happy to have you.
Dwight Heck: Yeah, I appreciate being on. I like how you intro’d though, and said you want to share your message with the world. And really, at the end of the day, too many of us pigeonhole ourselves into a specific niche of people that we can help. I know I used to do that with my own financial planning practice. And really, at the end of the day, everybody from the poorest person to the wealthiest needs help in understanding their financial goals between their six inches between their ears. Because I've found from poor people to wealthy people, people are just at a higher level of broke. They just don't understand at a higher level, and just because they have more money to throw around, doesn't mean that they're living a life on purpose.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, we will talk all about financial freedom and performance. I'm really interested to hear your story. So tell everybody how you get started, and we'll go from there.
Dwight Heck: I got started in the financial industry. I had a consulting company, I'm a serial entrepreneur. And I was, I was just always to the grindstone, always helping people. I was a single dad. So when I wasn't with my kids - at that point in time I had joint custody - I'd be working. And I'd work stupid hours to a point where it affected my health. And just after 2001, after 9/11 occurred, I had a severe health challenge happen to myself. And it made me reflect and reevaluate my life, especially when I had a neurologist and my family physician telling me I needed to slow down and find a career that was more in tune with living life on purpose, not their words. It's mine.
So, I struggled. Though, no, I've been working in this industry, I have this company, people that rely on me. Pushed through it for about another six, seven months. And I wasn't feeling right. I was just on a hamster wheel of life, going to work, going home, getting paid, thinking that I was happy. But really in truth, I was living in quiet desperation. Not sure what I wanted to do. I had a friend of mine, a mentor, reach out and say, hey you're really good with people. You're good at building relationships and your great teacher, you're also a quick study and a quick learner. I think you should get into the financial services industry. And you could really use the help yourself.
And because he was a close friend of mine for many years. So he did have the right to say that to me, sometimes we can be compassionate to others. And he knew how to say it, though. That was an important thing, right? Sometimes we have things that we say, we just don't say it right. So he said that to me. And I thought, well, I don't know. I've got a lot invested in this. I went to school for my electronics engineering, I got into computer consulting, I got all these certifications. And we got that mindset that you just can't let go. But one day, in the summer of 2002, I said to myself, as all my kids are surrounding me, my five kids, and I thought I have to do something different. I'm not happy.
So I went through the process. On a weekend most people are floored by this. Usually they exams, the first exams to get into financial services, insurance and planning. They're really difficult. And people spend weeks, if not months studying. I went and paid the fee on a Thursday to write it on the Monday at our Provincial Office, which would be like the state in the US, and told the people I was going to do it. Picked up my books Friday morning and they said, Well, I thought you had your kids this weekend? And I said, Absolutely. I have my kids this weekend. But this is what I want. So I went to the local Blockbuster and rented a bunch of movies and got a bunch of snacks for the kids. And throughout the weekend, they sat and binged movies, and dad sat on the couch studying. Took them back to their moms’ that Sunday night and I studied till the next morning when the exam was. I literally didn't sleep, it was 8:30 in the morning. And I passed my exam. So I literally did it over the weekend. And I'm not exaggerating the books, if you stack timber, probably about five inches thick, right? And we're talking big manuals, not small books. I just wanted it, I wanted it bad enough.
So, I got into that industry in the fall of 2002. This is my 20th year. And within about six weeks, I fired my trainer, and some people will go, why'd you fire your trainer? Because they didn't have what I wanted. They didn't have what I wanted. I'll say that again. Why do I say that? Because I wanted to help people live a life on purpose, not by accident. I had made that decision. I started using that phrase within weeks of getting into this industry. So I was a tenacious person. There were eight different agencies within our brokerage system. And I’d go talk to people and ask them questions, I'd sit in on their training. I reached out to product providers that offered us solutions and strategies and asked him if they'd meet up for lunch, sometimes initially buying them lunch just to get that time with them, because I knew that they had the knowledge that I aspired to want.
Once I got that knowledge, it didn't make me good at what I did, I had to start applying it to my own life. Because again, prior to me getting into that, I was a six figure earner, but I was living from hand to mouth, I was always broke. And I didn't understand the rules and the money game, I didn't know how to have a goal set for what I wanted and then apply that in a budget structure so that I could achieve it without having to live in debt. Where I can still get what I need. And again, that's a word that people need to understand, you need to understand the difference between a need and a want, I had to teach myself that. And throughout the process, I managed to get myself out of a pickle, out of the funk. In a very short period of time. The first year was tough. I made $8,000 commission, because in my industry, it's commission based unless you do a fee charge based service, which I didn't.
So I'd help my clients out, you could have three, four meetings, and all of a sudden, no, they don't want to deal with you. So you make zero, you invest time on the hope that you're gonna get business. So the first year I only made $8,000 Commission. Meanwhile, I realized I closed down my computer company, I had given away all my clients, my consulting arm, and already closed down my computer store. I also had a retail store. And it was a struggle. But I was tenacious. So from literally September of 2003. So I've been in the industry for a year, till March of 2004. I made over 140 grand.I figured it out, I figured out the secret sauce of what it was. You know what the secret sauce was? Building relationships, communicating with people, actually listening to them and saying, Hey, this is unfortunate you're in this circumstance. And then relating to them, I've been there or I am there. And this is what I've found. And just peeling back the layers of the onion, it may sound really silly, but it's true.
Figuring out what was in their life and their origin from their childhood to where they are, what caused them to get stuck. What caused them to have a picture of what finance should be in their life, what their goals for their life should be whether it's going on vacation or saving for retirement or kids’ education, or just being frivolous and being able to go out and buy something materialistic that they wanted? It was being put before their wants, and their needs. They had to know the difference. Was it a need? Or was it something they wanted? Well, they could have it eventually if it’s a want, but they had to make sure that their needs were always taken care of. And that's what I did a lot of, I still do today. Put a system together to help people set a budget and literally live a life on purpose, instead of going to bed like I did for so many years in quiet desperation and being stuck. It’s a horrible place to be.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, I love that story of tenacity and just getting it done. And it actually reminds me of when I set out after the great financial crisis to live life on my own terms. So when you talk about needs versus wants. What does living on a hamster wheel actually mean when it comes to one's daily life?
Dwight Heck: Well, really at the end of the day, the majority of us in the population, it doesn't matter what country you're in, living on a hamster wheel is something that is set up in patterns of behavior from childhood. So we'll get up. And for some of us, like myself, my dad, a very successful entrepreneur, I get up in the morning, he'd already been gone to his business, I go to bed at night, he wouldn't be home. Right. So I saw that hamster wheel mentality, even though he was successful, very wealthy, he was on his own form a hamster wheel.
I started adopting that hamster wheel. Initially, when I went into a career after graduating from electronics engineering. I started in a career that was on that same path and work, work, work work. Only took the time off that I was allotted are forced to say, end of the workday, maybe I'd worked late at home, or maybe I'd work late at wherever it was, I go home and eat supper, do whatever, you know what I mean, maybe didn't have kids the time, whatever the case may be, and then you go to bed, you'd lay in bed and think to yourself, tomorrow's another day, right. And people do that constantly. They dread the next day, or it's Sunday night.
Last night was Sunday. People are dreading to get up this morning and start their day because their purpose in life is not intentional. They're living the pattern behaviors of their childhood or what they think they should live that they learned in school, they learned from their family, friends, television. It's great, have a job, and I'm not against people having jobs, but jobs force people to live a mundane existence from Monday to Friday, nine to five, go home and watch a couple hours of TV. Nothing in life up to that point has taught them, hey, what do you want out of life? What do you truly want? And I'm not talking about a school counselor sitting down with you when you're in high school and saying, Hey, what do you want to do? Let's figure this out. Oh, you're good at this. What is your dad doing? What does your mom do? Oh, you want to do that?
There's no real constructive conversation. So they already start at a young age on that hamster wheel. And they take those pattern behaviors, they develop them, even more of it themselves, they add on to it. Go to work, go home and get paid. They spend 40 hours a week, they live for the weekends. I hear it all the time from clients still today. They can't wait till the weekend. And I say to them, wouldn't it be nice to live a life where every day is the same? Whether it's Monday to Sunday? It doesn't matter? Well, that's impossible. I said, No, it isn't. It is not impossible. You can live a career, or own your own business where you're excited. You wake up the next day, you're happy. You go every single day people will say to me they'll have conversations about a certain day, and I'll go, What day is it? And they'll look at me like I'm crazy. Well, because I get up and I have a purpose.
I want today to be a day where it's not. Today's Monday, I want it to be Saturday. Guess what? I make it a Saturday because I've put the right things in place so that I'm not living on that hamster wheel. I'm living on my own path to what I want out of life. And again, it's not easy. People think it's easy. I work on it every single day. Do I have bad moments? Absolutely. That's another thing that I coach on is, never ever tell yourself you have a bad day. There's simple little steps I go through and I coach and teach people and I live them myself. I'm not perfect at it. I do have bad circumstances and days that happen. But I never ever have a completely bad day. Right?
How do you stay off a hamster wheel? Change your mindset, change the associations of people you listen to, things you read, things you watch. It's not hard. It's just a process. And you have to start with little baby steps. And I didn't get to where I was by snapping my fingers. I've tripped and fallen lots. I brushed myself off, I got up and started all over again. And I have good people and good things that I can do to make sure that I don't climb onto that hamster wheel again. And I also have things that I'm aware of going oh my gosh, I'm about to climb back onto the wheel. And I pull myself back.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that's really interesting. You talk about intention, mindsets and mental conditioning. And what stood out to me was that you talked about bad days versus bad moments in the day. What steps have you taken, in terms of your mindset, to ensure you only have bad moments and not bad days?
Dwight Heck: Well, I love that you asked that. Biggest thing that I do is I timed myself out. Think about it when you were a kid, if somebody was gonna time you out, you didn't like that, as an adult, I love being timed out. You can time me out all day long, right? Because why do we time people out. Because they're not necessarily in the right frame of mind. They're not necessarily being the best version of themselves. So I literally have gotten to a point, I'm not perfect at it, I still struggle at it, but I work at it. I work on everything that I talk about to the day that I take my last breath.
So, I literally will check myself out. So if I'm working, and I look, and I don't want to have a call for a few hours, or whatever I'm working on can temporarily be set aside, I get up from my current circumstance, I don't stay here in this circumstance that we're on right now thinking that I can change my mindset, I can't. I need to do a state change, I need to get up. Even if it's 30 feet away, 50 feet away, go sit on the couch, go sit with my dog, walk outside, go do something that's different. And then I look and I think to myself, What am I that's caused me to get to feel like this? Did somebody say something that I allowed to trigger me? So I have to admit to myself that really, at the end of the day, nobody has control or power over me, Chris, for only I do.
And I have to say to myself, Why did I let that bother me? Do they have what I want? Are they where I want to be? Are they somebody that I know, like and trust? Like I ask myself all these little things in a matter of seconds, right? My brain just is just whirring, going, okay. You've analyzed it, you figured it out. Now, what are you going to do? What are you going to do to change your state? And certain times that state change is going to happen from some great podcasts I like listening to. But they have to be upbeat, motivational. None of this again, sorry, to your listeners. True Crime doesn't help you. Sorry. Like, if you're living in a true crime podcast, all it's doing is pulling you back. It's an anchor in your life. It can be entertainment, but then you should be using it as pure entertainment. Most people get caught up in that true crime thing. And it's no different than watching television shows. What are they listening to, for books or reading? I listen to a lot of books, which I prefer as opposed to reading now, because I read so much stuff for my business.
And I'll listen to a book. Sometimes I have two or three different books. People ask how I have that many books going on? Well guess what? Each book has its own purpose. That's life. Living life on purpose means I have to know what my mindset is, okay, I'm gonna listen to a little bit of Napoleon Hill. I'm gonna listen to a little bit of Stephen Covey. Whatever the case may be, maybe it's something that is just purely non nonsense, because I just need to disconnect my mind. It doesn't always have to have a purpose to where you're at in life. Sometimes it can just be a book that I like listening to, let's say it's Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights. I used that book a lot to change my state when that book came out, because it made me laugh.
And sometimes that's all you need to change your state, you need something to give you a different form of energy, because your energy that got you into that circumstance of having a bad moment is real. You have to accept it, embrace it, think about it, do whatever it takes. And then I put a time on it. Listeners, this is the last thing I recommend everybody do. When I coach them, we figure out what is the timeframe that they need. And sometimes we have to tweak it over weeks, months of having conversations. And I'll say to them my max time is three hours. They’ll say, three hours, that's a lot of time, I said, Hey, sometimes that can be pretty messed up. I need some extra time to check the old noggin and get myself in check. And sometimes in that three hour period, I might have a power nap. Naps can be good. Wake up, and I will still feel a little bit out of it. Podcast, book, right? Whatever the case, I've even turned on documentaries, whatever the case may be.
And lastly, what are your associations to people? So associations aren’t just what you listen to, read and view. Do you have somebody that you can reach out to, just on the cuff, even if it's a messenger message or a text or whatever, saying hey, I'm kind of in a funk. They don't necessarily need to know why, sometimes it is just, Oh, that's too bad, Dwight. I hope things are okay. Is there anything that I can help you out with? Some people will say to me, I got 10 minutes between a call, you want to jump on a quick call, a zoom call, FaceTime, whatever the case may be. And it's important to have those people that can just reassure you. Because it's not because you want them to go, boohoo poor Dwight, what you want them to do is acknowledge you.
We sometimes need to be acknowledged in life, Christopher. And they'll acknowledge the fact that I'm having a bad moment. And they'll acknowledge that and say, you know what, I'm available in three hours from now, tomorrow morning. And sometimes that can be enough of a good anchor for you to reset and go, Hey, I get to talk to Christopher for 20 minutes tomorrow morning. And I get to lift some of this heavy burden that I haven't been able to displace through my current state changes that I've learned, and Christopher is going to help me, because that's the type of guy Christopher is. He may not have the answers, but he's gonna listen. He's going to go, Hey, maybe have you thought about it this way or that way.
So, again, everything that I'm talking about isn't hard. It's just that you have to have some tenacity in your life, you have to be tenacious and say, I really want it. I'm tired of having it where I say to myself, Oh, I'm having a bad day. Ever notice that Chris, people that say that. You've hung out with that person, they've had a great day. It's three, four o'clock in the afternoon, something bad happens. I've had a bad day. My whole day’s sucked. And they say that to everybody around them. And they continue to say that the whole day, and now they've discounted in their mindset, everything that happened good in the day.
So I constantly tell people to quit saying you've had a bad day. You had a bad moment. Guess what? Could you have a series of bad moments in the day? Yes, you can. But there's always good in a day. Learn to have gratitude. Be grateful. Did you wake up today? Did you have running water? Did you have food in your fridge? Were you able to brush your teeth? Did you have a bathroom to use? Did you have a bed to sleep in, a pillow to be on? That's another thing. I start my day out with gratitude every single day.
Little things. They're not perfect. But they're better than where I was. And that was on the hamster wheel of life. Just go to work, go home and get paid.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. So this has been a really fascinating discussion, we have so many ideas to talk about. I know what you're talking about will resonate with the listeners. And I know you do a lot of keynote speeches and coaching. And I know you have a book as well. So tell listeners how they can get in touch with you, find out more about you and maybe even work with you.
Dwight Heck: The best place to get a hold of me is go to my website, GiveaHeck.com it's designed around a portal, I don't know if you've been on it yourself, you can literally click on it and find out about my book, which is Give a Heck: How to Live Life on Purpose and Not by Accident. You can also find out about me as a speaker, my coaching, you can find out about financial education, my podcast. I literally tried to have it developed, a good friend of mine that owns a company. We had lots of discussions around it. I didn't want it to be flashy, but I wanted it to be purposeful. Right? I tried to make it really purposeful, so they can go on there, you can book an appointment with me where we can have a discovery call, you can check out anything you want to do about me on that site and make it really simple. And yeah, we can touch base and I can see if I can help you out depending on where you live in the world.
I've coached people and I've had people on calls from Australia from all over Europe, UK and Canada. Us. It's not hard to do this over zoom call, don't think that it's something that's scary. Some people prefer it over a zoom call, because it's easier to be vulnerable over a zoom call than it is sitting at a kitchen table or at a business desk, for people just to let go and be true and honest with me.
And, and all it is is a simple discussion. I'll never judge you because I've been that guy that's been on the hamster wheel a life. I've been that guy that was a single dad, I raised my own kids after a while, ended up getting full custody, and it's a struggle. So if you're a single parent that's struggling, you're a couple that's raising kids that’s struggling. I've been there and done that on both sides of the coin. And I look forward to having a discussion and seeing how I can help you live life on purpose and not by accident, and live the best version of yourself because we all deserve to not live in quiet desperation.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, that's such a wonderful ending. And for all the guests, Dwight’s resources will be in the links and show notes. Thanks so much for the great discussion and all of the nuggets of wisdom. So we hope to hear more about your successes in the future.
Dwight Heck: Appreciate it, Chris. Thanks for having me on.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at Chris@drchrisloomdphd.com. I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!
Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.