Grit Nation

Blue Collar Cash - Ken Rusk

December 13, 2021 Ken Rusk Episode 19
Grit Nation
Blue Collar Cash - Ken Rusk
Show Notes Transcript

 Welcome to Grit Nation, the Building Trades Podcast. 

I’m Joe Cadwell, the writer, producer, and host of the show and today I have the pleasure of speaking with Ken Rusk.  

Ken is a blue-collar career choice advocate, construction industry entrepreneur and the author of Blue-Collar Cash which details how you can…. Love Your Work, Secure Your Future and Find Happiness for Life. 

We’ll start today’s conversation by learning about Ken’s background and how his passion for hard work and construction earned him the nickname “The Million Dollar Ditch Digger”.

 We’ll then unpack the lessons Ken learned from a lifetime in the trades that enabled him to write his book, and how these lessons have been useful in his current role as a life coach and mentor to those interested in pursuing a career as a blue-collar tradesperson. 

Next, we’ll discuss the downside of buying into the oversold notion that the only pathway to professional pride and financial security is through a college degree and why now more than ever blue-collar jobs and the people who can do the work are in such great demand. 

Later, Ken will explain the importance of detailed visualization in helping you map out a future that will bring you Comfort, Peace and Freedom. 

And we’ll end our conversation by leaning what Ken’s definition of success is and why he is so passionate about helping people achieve their dreams regardless of their educational background or past.   

The Show Notes

Ken Rusk
https://www.kenrusk.com/

NW Carpenters Union
United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Regional Council in the Pacific Northwest

Union Home Plus
Union Home Plus helps union members save money when they buy, sell, or finance their home.

The Martinez Tool Company
Martinez Tools, built tough and built to last a lifetime.

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Joe Cadwell:

Welcome to Grit Nation -The Building Trades Podcast. I'm Joe Cadwell, the writer, producer and host of the show. Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Ken Rusk. Ken is a blue collar career choice advocate, construction industry entrepreneur, and the author of Blue Collar Cash, which details how you can love your work, secure your future and find happiness for life. We'll start today's conversation by learning about Ken's background and how his passion for hard working construction earned him the nickname The ""Million Dollar Ditch Digger". We'll then unpack the lessons can learn from a lifetime in the trades that have enabled him to write his book and how these lessons have been useful in his current role as a life coach and mentor to those interested in pursuing a career as a blue collar trades person. Next, we'll discuss the downside of buying into the oversold notion that the only pathway to professional pride and financial security is through a college degree. And why now more than ever blue collar jobs, and the people who can do the work are in such great demand. Later, Ken will explain the importance of detailed visualization and helping you map out a future that will bring you comfort, peace and freedom. And we'll end our conversation by learning what Ken's definition of success is and why he is so passionate about helping people achieve their dreams, regardless of their educational background or past. Afterward, be sure to check out the show notes to find out more about Ken, his message and his book, blue collar cash. And now onto the show. Ken Rusk, welcome to Grit Nation.

Ken Rusk:

Thanks. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Joe Cadwell:

Yeah, thanks, Ken, thank you for taking your time to be on the show. I understand. You're a pretty busy guy. The book seems like it's blowing up for you right now. And I want to start off our conversation by asking why did you write Blue Collar Cash?

Ken Rusk:

Well, you know, it was it was one of those things where it kind of was born of necessity, you know, I've been doing this business, which, you know, we're, I guess you would call us glorified ditch diggers. And we've been doing that for about three or four decades now. And in that time, I had to hire a lot of people, a lot of them, it might have been their first or second job. So I found myself having to do a lot of coaching, you know, their first checking account, their first credit card, their first car, their first department, getting their driver's license, straightened out all those kinds of things that happen to younger people. And the more the coaching went on, the more we again, out of necessity to try to hire and attract people into a great culture, we had to build a great culture. And part of that was a lot of intensive coaching, not only for their current, but their future lives. And, and it just got it kind of spiraled from there. People said, you know, what, you do work so well, you need to take it beyond the four walls of your company. And I started jotting down some notes and telling some stories from friends of mine. And pretty soon we had a manuscript in there when

Joe Cadwell:

so why do you think our younger people or people that are considering exploring blue collar trades are so underprepared to step into this this sort of world, I know myself having gone to high school 35 plus years ago, you know, everyone was gearing us towards either college, or in my case, the military, but there was a there weren't a whole lot of wasn't a whole lot of emphasis put on the blue collar trades. And I think people were just expected if you didn't go to college, you were just going to jump into it and things would take off for you. But it sounds like there is a steep learning curve, regardless of what you do once you exit the our education system.

Ken Rusk:

Yeah, I think I mean, I call it like a perfect storm, there was two or three different influences that that created what we have today, which I call a blue collar crisis, actually. And I think the first thing was, you know, somebody's idea to get rid of shop class in high school, where, you know, kids accidentally discovered, you know, the great careers of, you know, plumbing, electrical and carpentry and, and masonry and home economics, and mechanics, and all those things. And we replaced those rooms with computers, which, again, computers are essential for all of us to know, I get that. But why did it have to be a binary choice? Meaning one or the other? Why didn't Why didn't we have both of those things? So that was the first thing. I think also, as kids begin to grow up, and when I was younger, we build tree forts in the backyard, we got hammers and nails, and we got lumber that we could find and we built a tree for it. Well, now they're building, you know, cities on Minecraft on their cell phones, and it's just not the same, the whole step back moment kind of feel. And then I think, you know, between parents and colleges, they're really, really good at this default mechanism, which means, you know, I got to raise my kid, I have to clothe my kid, I have to bathe them, I have to feed them and then I have to send them to college, as if it's an automatic default process. And you and I both know that college isn't the only path to success. There's many other paths. And, you know, we're here to talk about that today. So it seems

Joe Cadwell:

like we've lost a lot of creativity to think outside the box that everyone tells us to not find ourselves in. And you're right, the default mechanism is just go to college, figure out what you want to do when you get to college. And as everyone knows, college is a horribly expensive place to try to figure out what you want to do, unless you're actually after a degree. An education that requires a degree, like a doctor or a lawyer, to just go there and sort of explore the possibilities of life at $40,000 or $60,000. A year seems like a real disservice to these young people to find themselves in a financial hardship as soon as they begin the next step of their life. And that's why I think it's so important that people like you are rising to the challenge saying hey, there are other viable alternatives out there. I've there's there's blue is the new white Josh, Solon has written a great book, I've had Josh on the show last year, I stumbled across your book, fortunately, and had a chance to read through that and, and you've just got so much insight and, and wisdom and personal experience. So let's take it back just a step if we can can. Your personal experience I understand you used to cut through a particular construction yard on your way to school and you became sort of enamored with with that yard? Can you tell us a little bit more about that your backstory? Yeah,

Ken Rusk:

yeah, that thank you for asking that there was a fence that connected my high school to an industrial park. And we would always go after school, we go hang out at the carry out like kids did. And we would cut through this fence. And, you know, there was always going through these these different and industrial buildings and whatnot, there was always a lot of action and energy and people milling about, you know, there was things that every young, every young man, like there was, you know, tow motors and back hoes and dump trucks and guys all over the place, and you know, energy and, and it was just a neat place. So, one day I went in, and I said, What do you guys do here? And they basically said, Well, we're ditch diggers, I mean, we, we dig up old foundations for houses, and we fix them up and, and put it all back together. So I said, you know, I need I need money to to go, you know, bowling or get pizza or take my girlfriend out like anybody else. So I can do that. And I jumped into that work. And I started doing, you know, digging ditches in the summertime. And in the wintertime, I worked in the office when I was in school still. So we continued that for a while. And then it grew into a position where I could, you know, lead the men for a while. And that was really great. And then we grew into a management scenario where we were starting to open franchises. And they sent me around the country to open up these new little incubator offices all around the country. And I did that for a few years and finally moved into my own. And now here I am in Ohio with two locations and about 200 employees. So it's, it's really been a great ride. So Ken,

Joe Cadwell:

there's plenty of ditch diggers out in the world. But not everyone can be called the million dollar ditch digger. So what separates you the million dollar ditch digger from the rest of the ditch diggers that are that are out there that are not making millions that are definitely working hard, just like you did. But what what is your recipe? What was the X factor that allowed you to take your understanding and hard work and tenacity and turn that into a very successful lucrative career?

Ken Rusk:

Wow, that that's a really great question. And just so everybody knows, I didn't necessarily label myself "The Million Dollar Ditch Digger". That was the people that helped me write the helped me publish the book and that they, they put that out there. I'm a little more modest than that. But you know, hey, I have to do what they say sometimes. But it for me, it was really simple. You know, I kind of knew the things I wanted my life to look like I knew, I knew what kind of I wanted to get a car and I wanted to get a house and I wanted to, you know, to do these types of things. I love to water ski. I wanted to buy a boat. I mean, there was a lot of things that I wanted to do. I was I was into into weightlifting and into golf. And, you know, there's just a lot of things that I could see myself doing in the future. And I realized that when you're working with your own two hands, okay, which out of the 160 5 million people in the United States, about 70 people 70 million people do that in the workforce. I like being outside working with my hands because I could control my input, which meant I could control the output and which means I could control my finances and in the quality of all that and I don't think I'm any different than anybody else. I think when you talk about being an entrepreneur, there's only there's probably nine characteristics that make up entrepreneurs. And I believe, Joe that every one of us has those within We just need a reason to have those come out. And to me, it was all about seeing what I wanted my future to be and then making it very crystal clear and defined and then going after.

Joe Cadwell:

And in regards to your understanding or knowing what your future wanted to be, I understand you use visualization a lot. And as an athlete, myself, I know the power of visualization and actually just taking that time to sort of reflect and see how you want your free throw to look at your golf swing to look or your your batting stance in the follow through, you use visualization. And you use a methodology using paper and crayons from what I understand to help people actually map out what they see their future to be. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Ken Rusk:

Yeah, you know, it all began years ago when I was doing some coaching and basically, I would get a big poster board and I would say okay, what do you see your your future looking like? Like what's your nirvana? What is your I call it in the book, blue collar cash, I call it? What's your comfort, Peace and Freedom look like? And it's real simple. I mean, you basically start to sketch what what kind of car you'd want? What is it a truck, pickup truck, or minivan or a car or a scooter? Or motorcycle or electric vehicle? You know, what kind of house you want to live in, out out in the country in the suburbs? Maybe downtown in a condo or an apartment? What is your? What is your Your? Your health moment? Like? What do you do for yourself to keep yourself healthy? Describe that in great detail. What is your hobbies? What is your sports? What might your pet be? Is it a cat or a dog or something else? And if so, what would you name it? What color would it be? I mean, we really get detailed down into what you want your life to look like. And pretty soon, you kind of have this collage or this puzzle or this drawing of Yeah, that would be really cool. You know, what would my vacation look like? I draw this stuff out. And then I can kind of have a path to follow to get there. You know, you've never left a driveway, Joe in your car, put it in drive and said, Okay, where the heck am I going, you know, you always have a destination. And I think life should be that way. And all all of its facets, because then that drives us almost involuntarily towards the completion of those things. And we all get to live better lives that way.

Joe Cadwell:

Yeah, and actually writing it down or drawing it down. Making that plan can definitely help you kind of build a roadmap for your future, I pulled this straight out of your book, and you'd written that 80% of us have no goals at all. So 80% of us have no goals at all. 16% of us have goals, but don't document them in any way. Okay. 4% write down their goals. 1% Pay attention to their written goals. And the same 1% earns about eight times more income than the other 99%. And I think that's amazing. The power of this visualization, the power of setting goals, knowing what you want and how to get there setting this pathway for success. And I think that's, that's huge. Now, you had mentioned comfort, peace and freedom. When you were talking about setting goals or visualization of what your life would would want to be what is what is comfort, peace and freedom? Let's start with comfort. What does comfort mean to you, sir? Well,

Ken Rusk:

comfort means a lot of things. It doesn't just mean that really nice couch. I mean, it's are you comfortable with who you are? Are you comfortable with your surroundings? Are you comfortable with what you need to be to make yourself happy? I mean, we all have to look in the mirror and set this this parameter for ourselves. I mean, again, we're not we're not all going to aspire to be, you know, own a McMansion, and it'd be hugely out and 15 cars, I mean, it's, every one of us has this level, where we could say, Man, if I could do that, that would really make me feel feel comfortable. And that would be like my place. So what happens is, when you take comfort like that, there, there's there follows a sense of peace, a sense of calm, and I talked about that the lack of stress, a sense of just having a well being about man, my life is in a really great place. I'm designing it the way I wanted it, I'm getting it the way I want it, and I'm in control that and that's awesome. And when you combine those two things, that opens up a certain amount of freedom for you to do things on a spontaneous level, okay, spontaneous level, where otherwise you get so wrapped up in life and being busy that you lose the ability to be spontaneous, and just make some cool thing happen for yourself, like take your dog for a walk or go give back to a charity or do some of the things that we do, you know, you know, call someone that you love and miss or just some of those things that that busyness kind of like screens this from doing so. Yeah, I think comfort, peace and freedom is like a triangle. All those things interrelate. Really to each other, and, you know, Freedom isn't necessarily freedom as in the United States citizens sense, although that's a fantastic thing that we have. It's freedom in a sense of your whole being and who you are as a person and to be able to look in the mirror and go, Wow, you know, I'm one of those people who, who've got it, I've got life licked. You know what I mean? I've got this thing one. And I worked really, really hard to get there and to make that happen.

Joe Cadwell:

No, I agree. 100%, that free freedom, the autonomy to just sort of control your own life not be beholden to other other people, either financially, or just mentally, you know, bound by someone else's belief system. It's huge. Now along with that, that comfort, peace and freedom. There are times though, when things aren't going to quite go the way you visualize them, or the way you had hoped for them, or the way you've been building towards. And you have those those those hard times before you? How does that in your mind build strength and character? And what do you what have you dug deep into Ken, it during your life to overcome this these adverse challenges?

Ken Rusk:

Where you know, there's so many things, I'll just use a real simple example. You're digging a hole, and I've done a lot of that I've planted 1000s of trees I've done. I've dug lots of ditches, I've done all these things. Invariably, you're digging a hole, you're gonna run into a root, okay, something that's trying to stop you. And what do you do? You have to work around that. Okay. So there's a challenge, you see it, boom, you jump on the shovel, you almost break your ankle, you fall off the shovel, you're like, wow, what was that, you just have to work your way around around that either by getting a stronger piece of equipment or finding another position, or whatever you need to do to make that thing happen. And I think persistence and resilience, which are two of the main characteristics of an entrepreneur, I think those two things really do build character. Because, you know, you've always heard people say, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. But it's the try try again, part that really gets you to become, you know, adaptive, okay? So, you know, if you run into a wall the first time, it's like, Okay, I'm gonna go around, I'm gonna go under, I'm gonna go over, I'm going to do these things. And it's that type of resilience that creates the one percenters that you were just talking about. And the best part about that Joe, which I think is, the joy of this whole process, is it's anybody can do that. Anybody can grab a piece of paper, write down their goals, tape them up to their bathroom mirror, and then have their brain through osmosis, almost naturally attract themselves to the completion of those goals. And it's such a powerful tool, it doesn't cost a dime. And anybody can do this. That's why when I when I share this stuff, and they say, well, you're one of those lucky entrepreneurs. I'm like, No, anybody can do this, as long as you have a reason. So find out what your WHY IS, and you'll be there.

Joe Cadwell:

Now, quick break in the action for a word from our sponsor. Today's episode is brought to you by our friends over at Union Home Plus, union Home Plus has been in the business since 2002, helping Northwest carpenter families just like yours, save money when they buy, sell, or finance their home. If you've been listening the show for a while, you've probably heard me talk with Patrick Towne, the director of operations over a union Home Plus, Patrick and his team of finance or real estate professionals are dedicated to helping you make the right decisions with what many consider to be the cornerstone of the American Dream Homeownership. For more information, be sure to check out the show notes and today's episode, or visit union Home Plus dot o RG on the web union Home Plus, helping Northwest carpenter families find their way home for nearly 20 years. And now back to the show. That sounds like great advice. And I know you've done a lot of coaching over the years since starting your company. And it's sort of culminating now with with the creation of your book, and I'm sure books to follow. There's There's a saying that I hope I don't mess it up too much. But if you come across a a post someday, and on top of that post, there's a potato, right? One thing you can pretty much guarantee is that potato did not get on top of that post by itself, right? There's always going to be some help along the way to get it there. And you talk about entrepreneurial spirit, and that so much of that comes from your own personal desire, but it really does take a team in order to get everyone successful. How do you get team by? And how do you get people that you work with the buy into your vision to make you successful? And along the way to buoy them up as well and make them successful? Where does that come from?

Ken Rusk:

This is probably the single greatest thing that I've ever stumbled across and or some people say invented or whatever. But, you know, to me, if you ask the people in our office and he said What does Ken say more than anything else when he's talking to you and I've done a lot of meetings over the years. They will say what he tells us is that Ken can't get what he wants, nor can his company get what he wants until all of us get what we want first. And that is an absolute truth. I mean, if you think about it, you have everyone in this company doing a piece or a part, making some part of the whole happen. And that all has to happen before the company can actually create, you know, a sale or create an installation or create a payment or a revenue stream. So, for me, I found a long time ago, that I don't mind if the people working in our organization are working from a very selfish place, meaning I'm here to get what I want for myself, and my life and my family. And I'm going to do this and help Ken along the way. So they're their priority, their futures are the priority, not mine, because I won't have a future of they don't. So, to me, it's all about, let's set a bunch of goals. Let's live a life that's full of anticipation. Meaning, like when you when you, Joe, when you set up a vacation, right? That might be six months from now. And you think about, Okay, I'm going to Florida, I'm going to go to the beach, I'm going to get my sandals in my bathing suit, and I magazine in my lounge chair, my towel my drink, it's going to feel great, the sun's going to be you know, beaten down on me maybe some breeze off the ocean. And you actually relive that for months before you go, Well, why are vacations The only thing that we anticipate, we should be anticipating houses and, and cars and maybe learning to speak another language and giving back to a charity or making ourselves the best us we can be through hobbies or sports or health, we should be anticipating every one of those things the same way we anticipate a vacation. And when you do that, you just kind of have this flow going. And you just kind of flow through life with this kind of real sense of again, comfort, peace and freedom that you don't get if you're under all this stress of what's next and how am I going to do it,

Joe Cadwell:

right. And that flow state is is super important. It is something that is is worthy of striving for and and again, as a leader, you realize that your flow state is so dependent on on the morale and attitude of the people that you are leading to get you there to get you all there. Sort of that collective accountability, I think you've mentioned in the book, you know, when everyone is is responsible for their part, we're everyone's going to be successful. We're gonna see through the rough time.

Ken Rusk:

Yeah, you know, there's important points of that, you know, I, especially in this day and age where someone can come into your company, and they passed probably 15 or 20, help wanted signs getting to your front door. Okay, so they have a lot of options and a lot of choices. And it used to be where it was like the old Neanderthal thinking, you know, I am Boss, you are employee, you will do what I say why should I hire you? Now it's a little different. Now, when they come in, they're almost saying, hey, what's in it for me to work here? And I'm okay with that. Because if I can answer that question, I'll have a self motivated, self directed self managing gold crushing individual, that's going to help my company get way further than I can do it on my own. And that's what I think, you know, the bosses out there, they need to really think about maybe parking, that ego that they have relative to running a company and allowing the the people that work there to really grow for themselves. And you will benefit much more so than if you just try to do everything on your own.

Joe Cadwell:

That's for sure. And in your book, you mentioned a work partner, Tim, what can you tell us about Tim and Tim story and how you to develop the relationship in your company.

Ken Rusk:

He's actually the very first person I ever did a coaching session with and this was back in 1987. There was a young man, he was just recently married. He was he was expecting a child there was there was problems with the pregnancy and medical bills. And he was in this apartment. And he came to me and he said, I just don't know how I'm going to get out of this cycle. So we literally took markers and crayons and a piece of paper and we wrote down, what would you like to your life to look like? And, you know, he thought, well, I need to get a working car because this car I have is breaking down. So we started saving for a pickup truck together. And then we started saving for a piece of land that we bought a land contract from a farmer. And he paid that off over time. And then he got some money together. And he started building this house. And then he had now he had four kids and some went to college and some didn't Some went to the military think thank God for that. And so it was this kind of combination of one success after another because we just talked about it. And we kept it in front of us. Like we taped it on the mirror, and it was always there and I'm happy to say I mean I met with him this morning. He's he's been here 36 years now I think and 35 years and it's he was the very first one I ever coached and, and that's why I made sure to put them in the book as a way of thanking him because he's an amazing human being. And you know, it's funny because as a boss, and I hate to use that word, but as a boss, he wants to thank me and give me credit for helping him do all this. And I look back and say, Listen, man, I had like, maybe 2%. To do with all this, you were the other 98. So, you know, live well and be happy for it.

Joe Cadwell:

Absolutely. That's a great story. And I found a lot of pleasure in reading that, you know, and Tim success. And I'm glad I had the chance to talk with you about it. Can you know, going back to where we first started, we, you know, both of us are pretty much not anti college, it's a great place to go if you know what you want to do in life. But you'd written a couple of sections in there that kind of address some of the shortcomings that our current educational system finds and helping people manage their money and doing budgeting and the importance of compounding interest. Why did you decide to put all that into your into blue collar cash?

Ken Rusk:

Well, first of all that, yeah, that that's two different questions. And I love them. The first one is, you know, I'm not an anti college guy. If you're going to operate on my shoulder, or manage money or teach somebody something, or you know, maybe design a skyscraper, you're going to need to know everything that there is to know about that particular thing. Okay? On the other hand, if you're just going because someone told you, you have to go, you know, why amass all that dead, if you have no real reason for being there. I mean, if you think about it, they say that up to 25% of people that have gone to college, 40% of whom didn't have any idea why they were going, but 25% of them change their major after two years. And then another 33% of them never work in the field that they studied. And here they are with all this debt, and they have this degree in European English translation that they can't use for anything. And they all this money, and it, it just doesn't make any sense to me. It's an inefficient system. Unless you know exactly why you're going if you're going to go be a doctor or lawyer, then bam, go do that. I think that's fantastic. So yeah, that that's, that's really part of the whole thing with collagen. I'm not against it, you just really need to know why you're going there. And if you coupled that part up with the fact that oh, my gosh, I mean, for I think they said the other day, I put it in the book, and it might be improving now, but at that point, one in it for every five electricians that was retiring, only one was coming online. And that's simple supply and demand, Joe, I mean, if if supply gets low and demand gets high, then that's where the money goes. And in Toledo anyway, we have carpenters and plumbers, and electricians, making as much as lawyers and engineers. And, and it's, it's crazy, how well they're doing. And you know, the timing is perfect for that

Joe Cadwell:

going back gangbusters during the the COVID era for sure. And yeah, the ever widening skills gap and in the US and Canada is apparent. And it's just not in the blue, or I shouldn't say the blue collar trades, that the building trades. But all across the board, bus drivers, nurses, even airline pilots, the people that are really wanting to get out and put in the hard work and the time or are in short supply. And so along with all those newfound riches, I noticed in the book that you had put in some some insight on budgeting and money management and the effects of compound interest. And I thought that was fantastic to help people that are maybe considering this, this career path that wow, you know, I do have the ability to start preparing for the financially for the long haul. And and the the advice you put in there was was a magic, why did you decide to put that in?

Ken Rusk:

Well, you know, I looked at it from two ways. Either A, you're the person working for someone else, or B, you're the person who has people working for them. A typical 401k is such a win win for both the employer and the employee. I don't think most people know this. And this falls under the category of man, I wish someone would have told me this when I was younger, right? If you put $60 a week away into a 401k account, and but when you're 21 or 22, you only have to do that for 10 years, which is about $3,300 a year or $33,000 over the 10 year period. And then you can stop doing that. And by the time you retire, you're going to have over a million dollars in your 401k account. I don't think if you went on the street today, Joe and asked people that that scenario, half of them wouldn't believe it. The other half would say well why hasn't anybody told me that before? So I specifically you know we have a million we have what we call a 401k Millionaire Club here where we put everyone into the 401k we put their first dollar and not their last dollar Okay, so if that gets paid Before anything else, and, and what's great about that is these are 1920 21 year old kids who now that they can go to their friend's house or the bar or whatever. And they can say, Hey, man, my retirement is handled, I don't even have to think about it anymore. So that felt again, it was one of those things where I'm like, Why isn't this being taught everywhere? You know, so we can rely less on entitlements and stuff that, you know, government largess or whatever, and we can be responsible for ourselves, right? I mean, I don't want to rely on somebody else, I want to rely on me. So if I can create a situation where I've got a million dollar account that only cost me $30,000. I mean, that's unbelievable. So if you pair that up with the budgeting I put in there, it shows you how to live with carving out that first $60 and, and then living with the rest of the budget, the way you lay it out. And I gotta tell you, there's, there's no more powerful tool than to set yourself off in an unstressed situation financially, which again, brings you all that comfort, Peace and Freedom you're looking for. It all

Joe Cadwell:

makes sense. And it's common sense. And you're right, why don't we teach more common sense to our kids, Warren Buffett, arguably one of the richest men in the world, you know, made the majority of his money through compound interest. And it came later on. But Warren had been investing since he was 10 years old, from what I understand. But your advice is fantastic. I'm going to hit you up on one more piece of insight someday versus today. You mentioned that in the book someday versus today, someday, people and today, people, what's the difference between the two?

Ken Rusk:

You know, it's just an accidental mindset. You know, I think people have good intentions. I don't think anyone wants to be a couch potato or whatever. But it's just the way that the words come out. Because it's much easier to say, you know, Sunday, I'm going to go back and build that deck behind the house or Sunday, I'm going to do this or Sunday, I'm going to do that. Whenever someone uses the word Sunday to me, I always say, well, when is that? Because Sunday really never comes. If you think about you know, the bar is going to serve you free drinks someday. Well, that never happens. Right? You see those signs up?

Joe Cadwell:

Up there and beer tomorrow? Yeah, a free

Ken Rusk:

beer tomorrow. So I really wanted to put it out there that, you know, you have control over the things that you do. And if you really want to get a goal to happen for yourself, you need to put that into action. And you need to do that right now. Okay, you need to do that today. So, you know, for all of your listeners out there next time, someone says, Hey, you know what, we should go to lunch Sunday, let's go to lunch. I want you to pull out your phone, get out your calendar and say, okay, when do you want to do that? And watch the look on their face as though oh my gosh, we're really doing this well, in that the way you're supposed to live your life? I mean, because trust me when I say this Sunday never shows up.

Joe Cadwell:

Makes sense. So Ken Rusk, what's your definition of success?

Ken Rusk:

Oh, my gosh, I I think I've said it a few times here, I can look in the mirror and say to myself, Man, I have created everything I wanted to create for my life. I don't want for anything, I don't have any stress, I don't have any financial issues. I've set myself up to to be very, very calm at this point in my life, which is really cool. But I think I think for anybody else it is, can you find? Can you find meaning in in who you are not in who everybody else is? Or who in who everybody else wants you to be? Can you look in the mirror and find out what is going to work best to make you the whole person that you want to be because there are 1000 different levels of success. I know a lot of rich people that are miserable. Okay, so set yourself up in a way that you see yourself living a really, really cool life. And yeah, you'll have what I call success for sure.

Joe Cadwell:

All right, great answer. And I know yourself, you're a mentor. You're a coach, you're an author. You're a successful business owner. And I know you're a very charitable guy as well. From what I understand, would you mind sharing a little bit about your charitable efforts? I know you're a humble guy as well. So I don't want you to toot your horn too much. But I know you're involved heavily into the Ronald McDonald House, is that correct? And another we do quite a bit

Ken Rusk:

we work with Ron with townhouse, we also work a lot with Make a wish and, and recently, we're working with junior achievement. You know, one of the things that we that I wanted to make sure is that this wasn't just a book that you read and put up on the shelf, like some trophy and then you forgot about it three weeks later. So we created a course that follows along the book that anyone can take, I don't care if you're 15 or 50. You can take this course and it'll actually change who you are. And it'll change how you think and in how you look at the rest of your life. And it's a it's a pretty cool thing to see what we're doing with kids today. And and even you know I had a gentleman who said he was a sales rep for a medical company. He's 52. He's miserable. He loved plumbing when he was younger. So he went back to and he's never been happier. So yeah, we're trying to change people's lives every day, any way we can here.

Joe Cadwell:

Great stuff. Well, thank you so much, Ken. This has been a fantastic conversation can where can people go to find out more about you and your book?

Ken Rusk:

Well, you can go to Ken ross.com. And you'll see what we're up to there. You can go to Ken Rusk, comm forward slash path, which is where the course lives. And you can also find us on Ken Rusk official on, you know, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and all that. And, again, you know, one of the things that I always like to tell people is, I donate all the proceeds of the course and the book, back to charity. So I'm not in that part for the money. I'm in this to help people because to whom much is given much as expected, and I've been very blessed and very grateful for that.

Joe Cadwell:

I guess there has been Ken Rusk, author of blue collar cash, which is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or at your favorite local bookstore. Be sure to check out the show notes where you can find information to help you dive deeper into the content. If you like this episode, be sure to share it with a friend, family member or co worker. And until next time, this is Joe Cadwell, reminding you to work safe, work smart and stay union strong