June 13, 2022

57- Bob Wheeler Talks About Our Relationships With Money And His With Comedy

57- Bob Wheeler Talks About Our Relationships With Money And His With Comedy

In this episode Bob shares:That originally he wanted to be a lawyer until he met some.  Accounting for Bob was initially just a course to keep his GPA up in college and not something he wanted to specialize in.Accounting allows him the freedom and opport...

In this episode Bob shares: That originally he wanted to be a lawyer until he met some.   Accounting for Bob was initially just a course to keep his GPA up in college and not something he wanted to specialize in. Accounting allows him the freedom and opportunity to pursue creative outlets. Bob shares that his girlfriend at the time got him his first job out of college as a Controller for a hotel. Bob was one of the first people in his college to actually use a computer in the work force. Bob sees a lot of people that compare themselves unfavorably to their friends and colleagues perceived financial situations and despairing because of it. Like al lot of us, Bob's parents did not prepare him financially with good habits because they did not know any better themselves. Emotions play a larger role than many might think when it comes to financial decisions and beliefs.  Bob finds that Fear is a huge driver when it comes to money. People are often afraid of what they don't know about money coming back to hurt them. Others believe that they are 'imposters' because their financial journey hasn't been as difficult as others.  Bob views a healthy relationship with money as being one where he is comfortable with the money that he as and the ability to live within his means. Bob reiterates that not all debt is bad. Debt can be very helpful when starting a new venture. It is when debt is used inappropriately (like a blank check) that it becomes a problem. Bob advises giving oneself a 24 hour waiting period on major purchases and/or using someone else as a sort of gatekeeper to have to run major decisions by, even if that is not the case.

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Our guest today is crusade for personal growth. That's cross pollinated with his accounting practice to create a new approach to personal finances. His passion is to help others gain insights about how their emotions trigger financial decisions. Combining finances with behaviors. Bob explores his personal concept of creating a healthy relationship with money.

The money nerve navigating the emotions of money, his online course, where he explores mastering the emotions of money and his podcast money. You should ask while strengthening his accounting practice. Bob has simultaneously pursued his low satire and ventured into the realm of standup comedy. From his 30 years of helping clients.

Bob has distilled a concoction of warp humor, information, motivation, and budgeting directives that he offers to anyone with financial concerns and who doesn't have those. He's also currently the CFO for the world famous comedy store. Now without further ado, Bob. 

Thank you, Greg. Great to be here. Uh, yeah.

I want to meet this guy maybe. 

Yeah, we always sound better in our intros. 

Oh, it sounds better on paper. 

Always, well, Bob, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from that intro and bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world today. 

Yeah, absolutely. So I have my own accounting practice.

I originally was going to be a lawyer and I was prep prepping for law school, met a few people that were lawyers and thought, eh, I don't really like this group of people. I think I'll do something else. Accounting was something that was, uh, what I did to keep my grade point average up like everybody else.

Right. And, um, so, uh, 

Not for you all the way down. 

 Fortunately accounting was just something that came easy for me, pretty easy. And so I jumped into that. I actually got into accounting to learn about other businesses so I could start another business, not meaning to start an accounting practice as my business.

It's been my bread and butter.  People need their taxes done. So, that's been really good. I've done stand up. Comedy did that for quite a long time, pretty regularly. I needed to have my own accounting firm to help me fund my dreams. Cause creative stuff doesn't always pay off, financially.

But having my own business has given me the ability to. So sort of call my own shots and probably work more than I want to, but, like no complaints. So I'm currently still the CFO at the comedy store. I'm working on a couple of children's books on financial literacy that I'm hoping to get out in the fall.

And I just continuing trying to have conversations about money and, how we make financial decisions based on our unconscious emotional beliefs around money.  

Did you come from an entrepreneurial background at all with did anybody in your family have their own business? 

Well, you know, it's interesting.

My dad worked for other companies, always. My grandparents worked for the people. My mom was an artist. She had a business for a little bit. Wasn't the greatest business person. If there was money in the cash register that was hers. You don't have to pay for that stuff you sell. Not really.

I, everybody around me, I think I was going to go work for other people initially. 

So what was your first job if you don't mind? My asking. 

So my first job was the hotel controller for the Memphis Hilton airport convention hotel. And. That was a pretty crazy job. My college had a really good reputation for accounting and actually what's funny is my girlfriend at the time put in a job application for me at that company, I was actually going to go work for a farm tractor parts company, which is probably more in line with my small town background.

And they called me up and said, we want you to come work for us. I was one of the first people in my college that actually learned how to use a computer.  Everybody else was using number two pencils. And so when I got to the hotel, they were pretty disorganized and I basically helped them get back on track.

And,, it was a good job. This is a great job. 

Now you went to Rhodes college, correct? Okay. So you're my first road 

scholar. There you go. Exactly.  Yeah. I actually would say that I would credit Rhodes college with, this idea of, oh yeah. I could have my own business. I got to meet with other people from other backgrounds other than small town folks from Tennessee.

And it really helped me see that there was a much bigger world out there and I think. It really taught me how to challenge the system and challenge myself. 

So it sounds like you've had  a long career in the  financial realm. Yeah. Why is financial education so important to you?

Well, my parents did not give me any education about finances and I was fortunate that I got a scholarship. But I didn't know anything about finances. When I got three or four credit cards that each had five, $10,000 on it, I thought that was more free money. I had no idea like, oh, they're going to add another 20% to the balances.

They don't mention that on the front page and I just was not good with finances. And I think I went into finances because one, it was something that was easy for me in terms of the numbers and everything just made sense. But I also knew that I needed to get an education. Financial literacy.

And so for the first few years, I could tell other people what to do and inside I'm like going, man, I got to learn how to do this. I'm telling other people what to do, but I'm not doing this. So it was important for me to, as I started working with creative types and being out in Hollywood and a lot of people are in entertainment and  there was so much shit.

Around what they didn't know. And they would say, oh, I wish I was like your client that drives that Mercedes I'm like, oh no, you don't  if you knew the story on them, you would not want it. And I realized we were all walking around, making snapshot judgements on how everybody else's life is so amazing.

And then taking ourselves out for not living up to these things that we've made up in our head. And so it was really important for me to start having conversations and just, let's talk about money. Let's talk about money. What are your beliefs so that we could actually, become desensitized to the trauma that we've experienced around.

Now let's explore that just a little bit. And you mentioned trauma, and you also mentioned that you were handing out advice that  used suspected, or you knew to be true. Why weren't you doing that yourself?  

I think what happens is whether it's diet, whether it's finances, it's our health, we know better.

We have the information. We maybe just didn't cultivate the habits. I did not cultivate the habits and this isn't a blame, my parents kind of thing. They didn't know either, but they didn't teach us how to save. And if I did save money and they needed to borrow it, they borrowed it. And so I didn't see any real benefit.

 And I didn't see how I could get ahead. So I had a story that no matter how much money I make, I'm never going to get ahead. I'm never going to be able to see. And so it was a story that I was attached to. And I used that story instead of actually saying, look, I know better, and I'm not the exception to the rule.

I can actually move out of this. I also think at the time, and again, I think all of us take on different stories. When my parents got divorced, And I was in high school, about 10th grade. My mom said, you need to make lots of money to become really successful. So your siblings and I can have the life we deserve and want.

And I have four siblings and I thought, well, that's expensive, stayed broke. 

Does she have the same conversation with the other siblings? No, 

man, that was me. No pressure there. And she may have been joking. Right. But I took it and went, oh no, I'm not. 

Okay. Now, how do you think that emotions can impact our financial decision-making?

Well, it helps us determine whether we're going to go buy a house or not buy a house. We might be in complete fear that we're not going to qualify for a loan as they judge us. When they look at our application, I know. Changed jobs because you okay. They were going to get more money, but then they were required to do public speaking.

Or if we make more money than we might have to tell people, no, when we don't want to take a trip with them or if we don't want to lend them money. And so there's a lot of. Energy emotional baggage that goes into financial decision-making, you know, the best example. And this was recent. All my family was together.

Recently. We all went out to dinner, trying to split the check is an amazing thing. Some people run for the Hills. Some people want to buy all the booze and split it. Evenly amongst the people, other people are like, I had fries and a water. I'm giving a dollar  and some people go hide in the bathroom, you know?

And so even just, that is an explosion of emotions  when you're trying to deal with, who's going to pay the bill. Somebody else might come in and say, I'll pay the bill. Cause I'm super good and kind, and I want everybody to like me, so I'm just going to pay the whole thing. And then we don't have to deal with any con.

So we often use money to avoid conflict. I've done that. Oh, throw money at it. Then I don't have to have a real conversation. Parents do it. I'll take you out of the inheritance if you misbehave. 

Not a problem with me.

Be interesting to see if I get a reply back from a mom or dad.

 So how do you go about helping people? Well, what's your first step and I guess we even need to walk back, maybe even back that up a little bit. How are people discovering? 

So a couple of different ways.

The first way initially was a lot of my tax clients,  tax appointments turned into therapy sessions. And from there I realized, wow, if I don't understand what's going on for them emotionally around money, no matter what advice I give them, they're not going to listen because like me, they're going to be tied to a story and they're going to hold onto that story.

And so. That's where it started was with clients. And then I started doing workshops and teaching seminars and people would hear about me. And then I wrote a book, the money nerve. And so people would say, Hey, I've read the book. I'm curious, I need to look at my financial stuff. And I also several years ago did, a four-year program that somatic therapy, that's also leadership.

And so. I got a little bit of this psychology background, and being able to, you know, be, an active listener, be empathetic, create a safe space where people , and really start to explore this emotional connection. Around money and just opportunities opened up. And as I spoke and people heard about me, people would reach out to me.

And so I work with people in groups. I work with people one-on-one I also work with sometimes that turns into a tax client or vice versa.  Just keep putting it out there. Just letting people know, I'm here to talk about money. Let's talk about money. What comes up for you? And a lot of people are uncomfortable with it and share stuff with me that they haven't shared before.

And I think people want to talk about it because they do feel so isolated. And so that's what I hope. I provide a safe space for people to explore all that stuff that they don't run around, telling people like I'm in debt. I just filed bankruptcy. You know, it's not something we have joy around. 

Okay. So you're talking to somebody, I assume that at first, a lot of your clients were probably in person, but I'm assuming now that you've probably doing zoom sessions or something along those lines.

What's kinda like the first. , session, what kind of questions do you ask? 

Well, you know, interestingly, the first couple of questions I ask are, are you willing to do the work and, or are you willing to be uncomfortable? And I have on a couple occasions, had people say, no,

and then I say, well, we're done sessions, done sessions free. We're done. I need people to be willing to jump in and get uncomfortable because there's going to be tears. There's going to be anger. There's going to be grief. There's whatever comes up for people. But we start with excavating. What'd you learn as a kid, did you grow up in an environment that was fiscally conservative?

Did you grow up in a commune? Did you grow up in a religious organization or what kind of influences came in? Did your grandparents raise you? And what were the things you heard? And what was not said around money, but you knew better, right? What did you have to interpret? And so we start to excavate all of that, so that we can start to get a sense of, oh, I had a lot of shame around money.

I was told I was greedy. I was told I was stupid. that's for boys, whatever it might be so that we can start to see what we're dealing with and then decide how do we want to move forward with that information? 

Now you just mentioned, or you just listed a lot of the  potential emotions that could be associated or beliefs.

What by far has been like the strongest, most prevalent, one of those, or maybe it's not one of 


There's a lot of fear around money. I think that it's interesting there. I mean, in the book, I talk a lot, a lot about all the different emotions, but I spend a whole chapter just on fear,  because there's a fear that we've done it wrong.

There's a fear. Somebody is going to find out that we're not as smart as we thought we were, or that we don't deserve the money we've gotten. Imposter syndrome is a real big thing. A lot of successful people feel like if people only knew. Like they got it too easy. It should have been harder.  There's just, there's a lot of people come to me around fear around being,  arrested and going to jail with the IRS, even though debtors' prison doesn't exist in this country.

That is a huge thing. People come to me.  I've been avoiding this, but I know if I don't do it now, I'm going to jail. And I haven't filed in four years or I haven't filed in five years. I'm like, oh, that's nothing, you know? And, and, but there's just, we create all these fears and I think fear around having too much money, not having enough.

What am I going to do? When I retire? The fear drives a lot of our financial decisions.

How would you describe a healthy relationship with money? 

For me, I held the relationship with money is learning to live with the money that I have. The live within my means to doesn't mean that I have to deprive myself of everything.

I know people in LA that make 20, $30,000 a year and they're incredibly happy and they feel incredibly fulfilled because they've got strong family relationship ties. They've got great life experiences that they've had. And so they're not measuring their life success based on the number of dollars in their bank account.

And I think most of us. Ben beyond our means instead of learning to spend within our means and being able to be comfortable with saying, yeah, I'd love to take a trip to Paris. It's not in the cards this year, because I want to actually pay off my house or I want to buy a car and learning to make choices that actually serve us instead of that just indulge us.

Are you finding that people don't actually prioritize? They're just kinda like. Living paycheck to paycheck and not prioritizing future expenses or projects. 

Most people live in check to Jack, whatever fire comes. That's what we throw the money at. Instead of stopping, I've got clients that make two, three, $400,000 that don't put a penny away for safety.

And to get people to just start doing five bucks, 10 bucks, like I'm not trying to do anything crazy here. Like I'm not saying put away 5%, he just do $5, $5 a week. And after a while they're like, oh, that's embarrassing. I could do 10. Right. But I got to cultivate a habit and most of us have not learned to cultivate habits.

I could see that, your book is called the money. Yeah, what is a money nerve? 

So money nerve for me, money and our emotions can be visceral, right? If I win the lottery, I get so excited. My body feel it right. It's so exciting. But if you walk into a store and your credit card gets declined, or you forgot to transfer money, or you didn't have money to transfer to cover that checking account.

Nauseous people have heart attacks over money. People have strokes, people have jumped off of bridges. Like we feel it physically in our bodies. And so for me, I was trying to make the point that we carry our emotions around money and other things in our body. And if. Tap into that and then release it.

We're just going to keep holding it and our shoulders are going to tighten. And we're just going to try and protect ourselves from the eventual attack that may be coming our way 

With most of your clients. Do you find that they have the fear that is built up in their mind? That is way worse than reality.


Absolutely. I think most of us, the fear is greater than the actual event. So yes, people create these monumental stories that will be in life shattering.  It's been interesting to me. I've had this on several occasions, where clients, their business may be about to fail. And I've said, well, maybe you should shut the business down, but my parents will be so different.

I can't let my parents know that I didn't. I'm like this isn't a lot of money. Like your life is about to change dramatically. You're worried about your parents are going to judge, you know, about the fact that your life is going to unravel. If you don't make some healthier choices, but there's this real strong.

Sense of, I've got to make my parents proud and  I've actually had people I've said go to your parents and ask them, what is the dollar amount at which your parents will stop loving you? Because maybe if you know that dollar amount, you you'll have some comfort there.  It's imagined.

 You talking about in your book that the money nerve can get pinched? Yeah. What is that? And what can you do about that? 

Well, here's the thing. You're going to have reactions around.

I'm a bit frugal. I'm always thinking there's not going to be enough. My pantry has got six months worth of food. I'm good for six months. it may be that I don't ever get over that. 

We'll be publishing Bob Wheeler's address after this 

that's right. I'm always, probably going to be a little bit of a over supplier.

Right. It doesn't mean that I have to shame myself. I can just go, oh, there's crazy, Bob. That never thinks there's going to be enough. And is woe is the future and I can laugh about it. And so it doesn't mean that I have to be taken out by it. A good example I give is, I get really frustrated with the IRS, so I deal with them a lot and.

Sometimes I get angry and then I don't get the results I want and they hang up on me. So I have staff that talks to the eye and handles things because that's just something that's still just drives me crazy. Um, you know, two plus two is four. If you can't see that, I just get angry. It doesn't mean I get rid of the anger.

It just means I know how to control it and manage. And some things I've let go of and said, oh yeah, that's not me. But some of the stuff is just so deep. We get pinched. Something comes up for us, but we can then go, oh yeah. there's that again, not a big deal. I got through it before. I'm going to get through it now.

 The country itself is overwhelmed with debt some people believe debt's a part of life. I read a story it's just a day that, the dollar may not be the default reserve currency in the future, which that would be huge. I think they were speculating in the story that it could be the.

Swedish crone and the south Korean one, I would actually think it would probably be the Chinese yen, but who knows? What are your thoughts on debt and how that fits into somebody's personal finance? 

So debt can be a very helpful thing if you're starting a business.

 Responsible debt can help you build that business that you might not have otherwise been able to build. I think we have to be careful though, in how we create debt, I'm really against using debt to cover our daily expenses. It's covered the food to cover those basics because you're adding 15 to 25 to 30% on top of that, depending on what your interest rates are being charged.

I feel much happier when I have no debt when there is just nothing other than a mortgage. even then my mortgage is lower. Everybody's like, you should have put so much money down. You know what? I don't have to worry. I got it covered if everything dries up. I'm good. but there were certainly times where I was very irresponsible with debt and.

For me, that's why teaching financial literacy and all that, and learning about money is so important so that we can learn to distinguish between this is responsible debt. This isn't such a great thing to put my credit card on,  but I'm not against debt and certainly I've used it to my advantage.

 I've gotten much more careful about creating debt that isn't actually. Going to benefit me in the long run.  I'll take 10 months to decide if I'm going to buy a TV or not. I'm not just going to go out and put $4,000 on a TV.  But other people will. Yeah.

For those people, I'd say, give yourself a 24 hour period before you charge things, before you sign a contract. And even if you don't have a wife or a business partner or your kids, you just say, my wife said, I can't sign this until I go over it with her and mostly go, go. Right. Find yourself an out, if you're not capable, I wasn't always capable of saying no.

So I would blame it on other people that I had to be accountable to and they'd always go. Yeah, totally good. That way it took me off the hook in that moment. Because at the beginning. Oh yeah, you all signed this contract. Oh yeah, sure. I'll do this. What did I just do? I was just trying to be nice instead of actually self-advocating.

I wish I had known that a long time ago, that would have been so very,  helpful in the past. 

So let's, let's switch gears a little bit here. What happened in Africa that changed your beliefs around money? 

Yeah. So when I went to Africa for the first time, I was socialized of the mindset that I am my accomplishments.

So if I've got a million dollars in my bank, I'm a good guy, but if I've got 2 million, I'm even even better, again. And so I was all about accomplishment. I was all about what can I do to get me to the next level? And when I went to Africa, I was in Tanzania. The average income was a hundred dollars per year, per person, a hundred dollars a year.

And I'm looking at them. They don't have several pairs of shoes. They're lucky if they have a single pair of shoes. They don't have hot water, take a bath on a daily basis like which I take for granted. I would throw things in the trash that they would pull out of the trash to reuse. And I kept thinking what's wrong with these people?

Don't they know like, why are they so happy there? they're right around happy. They shouldn't be happy. It mess with my mind. I just couldn't understand how these people could be so happy and loving and kind and compassionate when they didn't have money in the bank.

And so it really took a lot of just being confused and realizing not everybody grew up the way I did. And. To realize that actually these people are enjoying life a whole lot more than I was because they're actually enjoying each moment. And I was actually spending my moments, trying to figure out how do I get more and not actually being in the moment.

And so for me, when I got back to the states, even though I was happy to see my Mercedes and I was happy to have all those comforts, I realized, yeah, this really isn't this nice. But I want to have the joy and the happiness that those folks had, because that's for me what living's about. 

What were you doing in Tanzania at that time?

Well, you know, I still had to do. Things when I go places. So I was running a marathon and climbing a mountain, as part of my vacation.  I was hiking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and, ran a marathon, at the base camp of Mount Kilimanjaro. So it was just ramp was starting to get out in the world because I had a belief that only rich people traveled and I wasn't rich and breaking that.

Now, when you say you were hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, or you're going up a trail,  vertically, or are we talking about you're on the rock wall, going from one, one Pensar to one. 

Yeah. So Mount Kilimanjaro, thankfully there are no, rock walls and climbing over crevasses and all that.

But hiking up in those mountains and at that altitude, it's more of a mental game.  Mental, the tenacity to keep going. Cause a lot of people just bail. It's the altitude, the air thins out, you struggle, you're clumsy, at a certain point, if you get a bit of altitude, well altitude sickness, but you just here at this high altitude, you eat, everything's in slow motion and you're responding very slowly.

For me, it's the game of, can I make it all the way to the top? And,  Kilimanjaro was a great first mountain to start with, to just go, oh, okay. Yeah. I sorta like 

this.  Yeah. I can imagine your insurance agent probably didn't care for it, but you know, 

whatever. Exactly. Exactly. It's better than jumping out of planes.

There you go. 

You talk about baby steps a lot, what happened in Nepal when you were tracking into base camp Everest? 

Yeah. So what happened? There was, I had a group of friends we'd all converged in Nepal and we were going to hike to base camp. And a couple of people had hiked with me before a couple of people had not hiked that much.

And the very first day of the hike, you have to go into the national park and you have to go down this very steep, I don't know, whatever it is. It's very, very steep. You go down and then you have to go back up and, um, can't even think of the proper word here, but it was an intensity. Yeah, exactly. We finished that first day and everybody looked at me and said, well, let's go back to Katmandu and just get massages and like, hang out.

This is fricking. And me with my mindset of I'm not wasting my money. I just spent like 10,000 bucks. I'm going to get my money's worth. I'm like, no, no, no, we can't do that. So what I did was I just looked at her. I said, what about this tomorrow? When we hike, let's just agree to hike for an hour. And at the end of the hour, we'll decide if we want to hike another hour and I divided it up into baby steps.

And literally every hour we would stop and decide if we were going to continue. After a few days, people are like, ah, we can go for hours. It just took the overwhelm out of the process because when we started and we looked and saw how far we had to get, it was like, yeah, it's a non-starter let's, let's call it a day.

Breaking it down into baby steps. Really helped everybody to be on board with it because it was much more digest. 

 I guess I'll ask the same question for that. I asked for Mount Kilimanjaro. where you hiking up the trail where, you know, rock walls, 

crevasses. Well, when you get to base camp, that's where all that starts.

So base camp, you're still climbing some very steep things and I will tell you, my sister was on the trip and. This was my second time through this area. And so the Sherpa knew me and he said, Hey, you know what? Your friends are a little slow. If you want, we'll take the shortcut and we'll get there and you'll have a couple of hours to rest.

Well, we met our friends about an hour after they got to there. After they got to the destination, the shortcut was about an 18 to 20 inch led. That we had to on our backs shimmy across this mountain for about an hour and a half, but literally you would drop about seven to 10,000 feet if you fell.

 And we couldn't go back cause we had backpacks. So I'm just literally going, why did I take the shortcut? You should know the shortcut before you agree to the shortcut. It was terrifying. Absolutely true. 

Okay. Was he messing with you 

or no, he literally didn't realize I had S you know, when you've only got 20 inches to put your feet on and you look down for me, that's terrifying.

Yeah. And he just he's so used to just jumping around like a mountain goat, you know? Oh yeah. Yeah. He did not realize like how terrifying that was for me not having a safety. I literally, we just inched our way in pure fear. 

I can understand that. 

We'll do that one again. 

So now we'll switch gears again.

You're a finance expert. You have no business being funny. None whatsoever. None. So how, why did you get involved into comedy? 

Or maybe it's not.  For me, you know, I was already, I was a smaller kid, so I could either make people laugh or run really fast or do both. And so I was dabbling in comedy doing sketch comedy and a little bit of standup.

I found that when I did stand up comedy in real life, if I had to get up in front of a hundred people, I'd be terrified. And people would say, well, you do stand up. Why is it any different? Well, in stand up, I just have to make. I don't have to be smart. I don't have to be logical. I can switch gears. I can do whatever I want.

And for me it was a place to express my outrage or my frustration with people. And then just go, just kidding. So, Hey, I'm a nice guy in life and I'm not going to be the guy. That's the mean guy or say something offensive, but in comedy it allowed me a space to say all the things that I was thinking.

And then just go, just kidding, just kidding. Just a thought it was something that worked well for me, people laughed. So I thought, eh, I'll keep doing this. 

Okay. So how did that lead into you becoming the CFO of the world, famous comedy store. 

Well, I was producing a show at the comedy store and a lot of my friends were performing at the comedy store as was I.

What does producing a show at the comedy 

store mean?  So the comedy store has a lot of clubs. They have their own shows, they booked the people, but then there's two or three nights during the week, on a week night that they'll have other people come in and book a show. And so I had to book the show.

I had to fill the room and they got all the drinks and I got the door and. Or they call it promoter shows, things like that. So I was producing a show there. They people do them at coffee houses and they do them in bars and things. And so I was producing a show every week at the comedy store and doing comedy in different places and doing other shows and friend of mine.

Mitzi apparently shared with her that they were behind in their payroll taxes. They owed about a hundred thousand dollars in payroll taxes. Things were a mess. And my friend said, oh, call Bob, he's a CPA. He'll help you. So Mitzi called she's like this has minty shore and you got to help me. I'm like, no, no, no.

I'm a comic. I'm not a CPA. No, no. Forget that. I'm a comic. But you know, the comedy store, I love the place and my friends and myself were all performing there. So I was like, all right, I'll help you out. That was twenty-five years ago. And, you know, here I am. Very 

cool. So what would you describe as your number one?

And conversely your number one weakness. 

Hm. I would say that my, my biggest skill is being able to listen to what people need, and then being able to act on it or help them act on it. I think pretty quickly. And so I can get to the big picture a little quicker than other people sometimes.

I think my biggest weakness is. Not always having the ability to say no. Like I love to take on a project. I love to take on a challenge and sometimes I might have two or three too many projects going on and it's hard for me to say, no, I'm not going to do that. Cause you know, I'm not going to give it my best because I'm spread too thin.

Okay. Now what motivated you to write the book and how was that a process? And then I guess the same thing for your online course. 

Yeah. So the, what happened for the book was I'd been realizing, I wanted to talk about money. I was actually sitting at the comedy store and a friend of mine came in and said, you know what?

I was just with my family. They're all doctors and lawyers, and I'm such a loser. I chose to be a comic, what an idiot. And I wish that I was anybody. A creative person. And I said, you know what, all those people, I know lawyers and financial planners and all these people, they do not have their money together.

You're looking at a moment in time. And most of those people, you wouldn't want to have their debt. You wouldn't want to have the pressures they have. And they were like, what. And I was like, okay, I got started having more conversations. And so that was part of the reason I wrote the book was I just want to start having conversations with the people out there going, Hey, it's not just you, lots of people got it wrong.

Everybody that you think is doing an amazing, if you actually saw behind the screen behind the curtains, you'd be shocked at what you see. 

 I think everybody, was amazed at how much money Johnny Depp had managed to burn through and have to have his name. 

Yeah. But it's pretty easy.

Even with the Michael Jackson estate, he was burning through so much money. And when he passed his estate made so much money because he wasn't spending. Right. And that's the thing is we spend. Often more than we actually have coming in. And so I wanted people to start to understand, like, this is pretty common people and you're not as alone as you think you are.

It's just not something we talk about. And I want it to normalize these conversations around money.  That was the impetus. And when I started the book, I sat down with a great friend of mine and. Told them concepts. And he would just pick my brain and ask me every question and I would articulate it.

And we taped every conversation and we taped every conversation for about eight months and we would get together for an hour minimum every single day and just record, record, record, record. Then I transcribed everything and then I started putting it into an order. And that's what worked for me because I couldn't type fast enough.

And it was easier just for me to talk about. 

Now with your course, is that online and automated or is that still going through like the manual zoom sessions? No. 

So it's, self-inflicted you sign up for the course and you can go through each of the weeks and the days on your own.

 We certainly have zoom, Meetings and support groups and communities stuff, when that arises and people can always reach out to me, but it lets people go at their own pace. It's interesting when I first started it, I had, several beta testers and the comment came back from a couple of them by therapists.

They're making so much bank because I'm having to process so much stuff around my money. I had a client that was in their sixties or seventies, I guess it was like, I didn't realize how angry I wasn't, my parents around money stuff. And so,  stuff comes up. So letting people take it at their own pace, and not having the pressure to like, you must do it like this, take it at your own pace.


Well, good deal. Let's get ready to wrap this up. Is there anything I haven't asked you that you'd like to talk about or at. 

The one thing I would say, when a lot of people come to me and, they haven't gotten where they want to be and  haven't set goals or they have goals and they haven't met.

I have this. What, why, why, what that I ask people? What, why, why, what, what do you want, why do you want it? Why don't you have it and what are you willing to do to get. And I think if we actually look at, I think a lot of times we just say, I want to have a fancy car, but if we don't know that it's just cause we want to impress people or it's because somehow when I was a kid, like if we don't understand our motivation of why we want it and why we don't have it.

It's going to be hard to be motivated to move forward and actually have it. So I think it's so important to set goals and actually sent set timetables budgeted out, instead of just saying, I want to be a millionaire by next week. Come up with some tangible steps to actually get you there, baby steps.

I'm going to start saving five bucks and I'm gonna start saving 50 bucks and I'm going to get to a hundred bucks and maybe I won't become a millionaire next week, but I could actually get there in a few years if I actually cut my spending, focus on my goals and then set that plan into motion. 


Good advice. Now what's the best way for people to check you out and get in touch with you. 

So the best way is, the website is the money nerve.com. That's nerve not nerd. I'm a money nerd, but it's funny 

podcast and a totally different 

function. Exactly. And they can find me at Bob Wheeler. And, I'm on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, tic-tac blah, blah, blah, all the social media stuff.

You can find me there, but we've got great blogs. We've got tools on the website. We've got guest writers, all kinds of stuff. We try to provide resources for people that are trying to figure out how to do it. You don't have to spend any money. You can still get the resources. 

Okay. Lastly, what's the number one piece of advice that you can give for our lists?

And you may have already given it, 

What I would say is just do it. that sounds so simple, but I think there's so many people that want to wait till everything's perfect. The weather conditions just right. The money's just the right amount of it. Just move forward. Just step through, forget about the fear.

Step through with fear. Get moving, start taking those steps and you'll get where you want to go. I think so many people get paralyzed with it, not being the perfect conditions. Just go for it. 

All right. That's a wrap. Thank you, Bob, for being my guest on entrepreneurs over 40. 


Bob WheelerProfile Photo

Bob Wheeler

Financial Expert & Motivator, Book Author, and Founder of The Money Nerve

Bob Wheeler helps listeners conquer their money shame and avoid making poor financial decisions by teaching how emotions can dictate our choices.

As a man of true integrity with infectious energy, Bob’s crusade for personal growth has cross-pollinated with his accounting practice to create a new approach to personal finances. His passion is to help others gain insights about how their emotions trigger financial decisions. Combining finances with behaviors, Bob explores his personal concept of creating a healthy relationship with money in his recent book, The Money Nerve.

While strengthening his accounting practice, Bob has simultaneously pursued his love of satire and ventured into the realm of standup comedy. From his thirty years of helping clients, Bob has distilled a concoction of warmth, humor, information, motivation and budgeting directives that he offers to anyone with financial concerns. He is also currently the CFO for The World Famous Comedy Store.

Bob's world travels have led him to high altitudes. He has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, ascended to the Mount Everest Base Camp, and hiked several smaller mountains in between. With charm and humor, his experiences on the road, in the office, or running a Greek marathon, feed his wit as a standup comic and financial motivator.