In A World Podcast – Angela Kreps – Chief Connector at Aspyre Wealth Partners

We all have choices about how we spend our days. After Angela’s own success as a bioscience Industry CEO and sales leader, her choice is to have the absolute most fun helping other people succeed.

Angela is grateful for an amazing network built by connecting with great people doing great things, and forming meaningful and mutually rewarding relationships. Much like the African proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Her goal is to pay it forward and make connections that can help make a difference for as many people as possible. To find out more, go to www.aspyrewealth.com or to reach Angela email at akreps@aspyrewealth.com.
´╗┐

________________________________________________________________________________________

-Transcript-

Brad Burrow:
Hello, and thanks for joining us. I’m Brad Burrow and I have a very special guest today, Angela Kreps. Now I’m trying to think Angela, we met probably a couple years ago. Is that right? I was remembering back when you and I met.

Angela Kreps:
It’s kind of funny how time goes into a warp because these last 18 months so have been weird. So you can’t even say was it two years ago or three? I don’t remember but it’s been … I guess in the not too distant past.

Brad Burrow:
It does kind of throw your timing off, doesn’t what we went through with COVID and I had … Not to get on too much of a tangent starting off, but I did have my staff working remotely, but I came in every day, because we have files and stuff here in our servers and stuff that I’d have to get to the guys. But it was kind of weird being here. It’s like I’d come in every day, I’d be by myself, nobody here, but we’d be communicating via Slack or something like that and say, “I need this file. I’ll need this file.” So I’d get it and send it to them and … Isn’t that crazy?

Angela Kreps:
You’re like the internal runner.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Yeah. But in some ways, I kind of enjoyed being up here but in other ways it was a little weird, being the only person here.

Angela Kreps:
Right, being kind of isolated, yeah.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
In a place that was so full and bustling with people and making things happen and then having it kind of … The switch gets flipped and then it’s completely … Like everything is so different.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
And how the stuff still gets done, but you can’t see it being done, and you don’t get to chitchat about it.

Brad Burrow:
We actually had some projects come through that were … People were switching to virtual kind of events. So we became really good at that very quickly, of doing virtual events and that type of thing for our clients. So that helped us get through shutting down for however long it was, six months or nine months or I can’t even remember.

Angela Kreps:
There’s probably a whole series of podcasts that could be done about what pivot did you make. Because we all pivoted.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, that’s right, that’s right. Well, so I’m going to read … This is your not title, but kind of a byline I guess you could say from LinkedIn, it says, “Angela Kreps, chief connector.” I’ve seen that in action already by the way. “Coach, helping people be their best so they may achieve extraordinary results at Aspyre Wealth Partners.” That’s awesome.

Angela Kreps:
Yes.

Brad Burrow:
That’s got to be fun, huh?

Angela Kreps:
It is so fun.

Brad Burrow:
It is fun helping people?

Angela Kreps:
It is fun. It’s fun. I guess my whole career, I have just been drawn to helping people solve their problems. I guess that’s kind of the way I think of sales is helping people find the things they need to get where they’re going and sometimes those things are inside you and maybe you know that. But sometimes it requires some help from somebody else, and so it’s kind of grown into a career of being a connector, where I help people … I guess I believe that we’re all just one person away from who we need to meet to get a little bit closer to where it is we want to go, and so that’s what I get to do every day which is so much fun.

Brad Burrow:
I have a friend Joe Calhoun, I don’t know if you know Joe. So I went on an interview with him, or we flew to Dallas to meet Zig Ziglar, and so I spent a day with Zig Ziglar with Joe and one of the things that he said that’s always stuck with me, and I can’t do his voice or I’d do it, but he said, “If you want to be successful, help somebody else be successful.” That’s kind of what you’re talking about, right?

Angela Kreps:
Right. Right. So I’ve worked a lot in sales and leadership and I’ve found that if you help other people get where they’re going, become successful, get their things, do their stuff, and be genuine about that, then the rest of it falls in place for you. Getting where you’re going, clarifying where you’re going, and it just seems like the road gets a little bit easier because you’re helping somebody and it’s not just a reciprocal thing, but a lot of times the reciprocity does help. But it’s not like … I don’t look at it as a requirement. I just look at it as if I help someone get where they’re going or help them refine where it is that they’re going, help them see better, more clearly where they’re going, and then help them find whatever it is need that they need inside of them to get there or maybe through a connection that I might have, get them a little bit closer to where it is that they want to be, then things fall in place for me, so …

Brad Burrow:
Do you find it hard to manage expectations? Because that’s where my [inaudible] … A lot of times when you help somebody, it’s like, “Okay, I need something back out of that.” But you can’t have that attitude, right?

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. I think it’s part of just really being genuine and authentic when you are approaching people and wanting to help. Many times in an organization that’s natural because either they’re in your group or maybe reporting to you or someone you’re reporting to, and so maybe that makes it naturally a little bit easier and there’s not enough questions. But when it comes to meeting with people outside your organization or outside your team in a larger company, it does. You have to kind of deal with those questions and kind of put people at ease and I’ve found that happens more easily if you are just genuine and authentic.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Yeah. I think that, especially in sales, people are so results-driven that they forget some of those things, and the relationship side, if you just trust the relationship side of it and let that happen, you’re going to be successful.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. Well I started out my sales career in banking. So this was right out of college and –

Brad Burrow:
Interest Bank, right?

Angela Kreps:
Interest Bank. Which was a great bank. I don’t know how long I had been there, and they made me their first sales officer. This was back in the day when I don’t think banks really thought they were doing sales and I certainly didn’t know what it was, because I was fresh out of college. But what I found with that is they put us through all kinds of sales training. What I found was that my special ability was to just have conversations with people, find out about what their current business goals were, and if I had something that could help them, then we would go there. If I didn’t have something that would help them, I would let them know that maybe there was somebody else that they should be going down that path with but it wasn’t me, and I think that set me up.

I moved from banking, I went to work for a company called ADP. You might recognize them, they’re a Fortune 300 company, and they grew this into a sales strategy that they called value-based selling, and that was the basis for what I built my sales career on, is focusing on what the other person needs. Where is their pain, where is their difficulty, where is their challenge, and if you have something that can help them overcome that or in some way get further faster, so like … I think it’s an African proverb, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. So it’s just helping to find ways for you to help somebody get where they’re going, and I think that’s where that came from was way back then in the early days of ADP. It was like, I don’t know, I’m really old. It was like the early nineties.

Brad Burrow:
Well I have it right here in front of me. So yeah, 1996, right? To 2005. So you were there quite a while at ADP.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. I guess I’m what’s called sticky as an employee. Yeah, I was there for 10 years or almost 10 years, and really enjoyed so much learning. There was so much to learn. I was in a couple of different markets. I was in the Wichita, Central Kansas market for a while and then I moved up to Kansas City and met some incredible business leaders and they … I think what was fascinating for me is to learn how those business leaders ran and managed their companies and when you create a relationship with a company like ADP, you choose to outsource because you want to focus more of your resources internally on doing what you do best, and then have other people who are experts at the other stuff do what they do best. You’re able to buy more expertise that way with your dollar. Your money goes farther that way, and at a relatively young age, I was able to learn from these business leaders a lot of business lessons that really have helped me later on in my career, have helped me with making decisions and kind of understanding about what really matters and where to focus your time, effort and energy.

Brad Burrow:
That’s a really hard thing for small businesses to think that way. I can say that from experience by the way. But I think you think about … Well we worry about cost, the idea of outsourcing things that you do to somebody else that’s an expert at that. I just think a lot of small businesses struggle with that. Maybe bigger businesses are better at it. Would you agree with that?

Angela Kreps:
I do agree with that. I think it’s hard, especially … Those of us, it’s a leadership quality. It seems like we want to do it, we want to have our hand in it, we want to run it, manage it, own it, see it all the way through.

Brad Burrow:
By the way, I still do payroll. I knew that would make you laugh. You’re speaking to me right now, just telling you that.

Angela Kreps:
Well, what I learned with ADP is everyone is good at something, and I think we know this as humans too, and ADP sent me through this training program where … I don’t know, back in the day it was called strengths finders, Clifton StrengthFinders I think. So if you can focus on being good at what you’re good at, instead of trying to be good at everything, what happens is you get incrementally better at what you’re already good at instead of just sort of maintaining an acceptable, passable grade on everything. So if you can find the areas where you’re weak or areas where you aren’t as strong, and have somebody else do those things, even in your personal life. This is what my husband and I go through with every major decision. Like okay, so you’re good at that, so you’re going to take that on. So the most recent example was there was a big fat rain and we got water in our basement, so we had to make a decision about what we were going to do. So he loves spreadsheets, so guess who got the spreadsheet job, yeah?

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
Yep, and I am just naturally a little bit more curious, so I started to ask around, talk to neighbors, find out if anybody else did something, what did they find, what did they … So we kind of just divide up the duties and the responsibilities. So I think that that, in our professional careers, if we can just focus on getting better at what we’re good at and have somebody else do the things that we’re not good at or that we don’t enjoy, then we’re going to get better faster. It’s kind of like training an Olympic athlete. It’s all about focus, and so in the world of sales and marketing, I’ve put this to use in my career with the other companies that I’ve worked for and how I’ve helped other companies reach their goals is by just focusing on what those strengths are. Finding who is your ideal customer, what’s your best customer segment? How can we get more customers like that? Because you can’t be everything to everyone.

Focus matters, and when you’re able to focus, get better and better and better at those competencies, outsource the other stuff, and when you outsource, you can buy so much more expertise than you could engender on your own. Like if you’re not really good at … I mean I’m not saying this about you at all, but if you’re not really good at accounting, then have somebody who loves doing that do it every day. Because they’re going to find better ways and more efficient ways to do things and in the long run it’s going to cost you less because you have the expertise of somebody who knows what they’re doing, stays up to date on all of the laws and the rules, and then you don’t have to spend your time, effort and energy doing that.

Brad Burrow:
Is that a big part of your consulting is really trying to learn the makeup of people that you’re working with, like I know for me for example, I’ve done the StrengthsFinder, I think it’s Kolbe is the one that I’ve done that I’m thinking of, but I’m high on vision, high on relationships, follow-through is not the greatest. But I can sit and I can see what needs to happen on a project for example. How we need to do it, but I need somebody alongside of me that can help execute on that.

Angela Kreps:
Right.

Brad Burrow:
Once I figured that out, I knew what I needed to do to make that happen. But usually the person that can execute on the strategy can’t do the vision inside of it.

Angela Kreps:
Well that’s the whole thing about teams and why teams can typically reach the target so much faster. It’s that African proverb again, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together, and it’s because of capabilities, it’s because of focus and expertise, and when you bring that together, it’s that synergy that gets created when you’re relying on other people to support you and when you are able to take … I don’t know, I’m a maximizer.

Brad Burrow:
What does that mean? What’s a maximizer?

Angela Kreps:
It means I just want the maximum benefit, the maximum capability. So I don’t know, if you take raw materials, if I can get two uses out of it, then well that’s better, right?

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. No waste left over.

Angela Kreps:
Right, right. Use the waste streams for sure. I’m a maximizer, achiever, relater, futuristic. So all of those things together, which really resonated with me, and it helped me become better and more effective in my work. So yes, to answer your question from earlier, I do look for that in people. When I’m looking at what team I’m joining or what organization I’m serving, I want to find out where they’re going because I’m futuristic, and I’m also strategic, and I’m a relater, and I’m a maximizer. So all of those things, it’s part of … I just am curious about what does all that look like for you, and then is there something that I can do that can help. And if I find that there is a good fit with that, and that the values that that organization has or that those people have align with my values, then there’s a pretty good chance that that synergy that I was referring to earlier, that that synergy can happen, and I’ve just been really blessed by having that happen quite often in work, which is awesome.

Brad Burrow:
Pretty good feeling, right? Being able to help somebody achieve something that maybe they couldn’t achieve without your help.

Angela Kreps:
I think a lot of times that we don’t realize that our wildest dreams are probably possible and it’s just a matter of focus and alignment and being able to get the rest of the support team in place, and you’re probably helping those people achieve their dreams while you’re doing yours. It’s like if you get the right team together, those really incredible things can happen. It’s very rewarding to be able to work, to earn a living, to provide for your family, while still just having an absolute blast and helping other people reach their goals. It’s really great.

Brad Burrow:
I’ve been asked several times, would you sell Real Media, and something I thought about is like, “Would I sell it? I probably could sell it? But you know what I’d be doing if I sold it? The same thing, because I love what we do, and so why would I sell it?”

Angela Kreps:
So it’s funny that you say that because I have a friend who did that. So he sold his company, and then I don’t know, waited out the period. He dedicated the time, effort and energy so he could stand by his agreement with the company that was buying it, dedicated his time to help them get started, get off. Waited out the waiting period for non-compete and things like that, and then he started a company that did the same thing again because of his love for that work. So if your goal though is to sell, to exit, he was able to accomplish that goal. But then what he found was in that waiting period a reflection on his life and what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

Brad Burrow:
Missed it.

Angela Kreps:
He found that … Yeah, he missed the work and it was what he wanted to do and he felt like that he could contribute more to that line of work. So he just started another company.

Brad Burrow:
Well, that probably worked out good that there’s a big engineering company here in town, I won’t say the name, but the guy that owned that, I don’t know if it’s the same guy you’re thinking of, but sold to one of the largest construction companies, and then now has started his own company again and I think he sold the second version of it too.

Angela Kreps:
If you’re a great entrepreneur and you’re a great builder of companies, I mean why not?

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
Because there’s so much important work to be done, and if that’s what you’re called to do, if that is your gift, bang, go do it, and then get paid. Get paid for the exit, do it all over again. Get paid for the exit again. There’s no reason why that’s not okay.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. I agree. That’s awesome. So let’s back up a little bit.

Angela Kreps:
Okay, okay.

Brad Burrow:
So tell me about growing up. Hugoton High School. Where is Hugoton? I think I’ve heard of that name in Kansas somewhere, right?

Angela Kreps:
It’s in Kansas, on the total diagonal opposite corner of the state.

Brad Burrow:
Like Dodge City?

Angela Kreps:
Way past Dodge City.

Brad Burrow:
Oh, okay.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah, but way out there. So close to Colorado, close to Oklahoma. Not too far from New Mexico, not too far from Texas.

Brad Burrow:
Okay. Wow.

Angela Kreps:
It’s flat and it was a wonderful place to grow up.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah?

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. My dad was a pharmacist and all the time growing up my mom was a stay at a home mom. She ended up going back to school and getting her master’s degree and became a math and science teacher. But it was a great place to grow up. A small town, 3,500 people at the time. I’m not sure what the current population is. We are a 3A school if that gives you any frame of reference.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, 3A. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
So small school. So it was easy to be involved in just about anything that you wanted to be involved with. I grew up working for my dad’s pharmacy. I would walk to the pharmacy, so starting in third grade, I got to walk to the pharmacy and go to work at the pharmacy and my dad paid me. So I got a paycheck, and then it was great because I could buy candy or all the things that are important when you’re in third grade. Because I had my own money and that was fun, and he taught me so many things about pharmaceuticals. In a small town, the pharmacist does a lot of different jobs. So he filled prescriptions of course, but he was also an intermediary for the nursing homes and providing service for different people and he would also compound pharmaceuticals and that was fascinating to me. So we had this scale, and it was a very intricate and delicate scale, and I couldn’t touch it, I couldn’t get over there. First of all because it had compounded pharmaceutical things that were important to be pure and not tainted by candy on sticky fingers. So I had to stay away from that. Yeah, that was really fun.

So I got to watch him do those things and then I think it was either in fourth or fifth grade he started me engraving. Now I think … Okay, so let’s just say it was fifth grade. I don’t know how old you are, so people would buy really expensive jewelry, and my dad would send me with that very expensive piece of jewelry into the basement of the pharmacy and I would engrave their initials on them. I don’t know how he would … I mean I can’t even imagine trusting my kids to do something like that but somehow that was my job and that was fun. It was kind of creepy being in the basement though. It was [inaudible] work during COVID. It was kind of like working in the basement because I was the only one, except it was really dark.

Brad Burrow:
Just leave the lights on when you’re leaving, right? [inaudible] run out of there.

Angela Kreps:
Exactly.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
And then you went to K State.

Angela Kreps:
Yes.

Brad Burrow:
So that’s probably a six or seven hour drive from home, right?

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. It was a long ways.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. So when you went to K State, what were you planning on graduating in?

Angela Kreps:
See, that because that’s always something different than what you end up graduating in for most people.

Brad Burrow:
Right. That’s kind of why I asked that question, that changed like it does for most people?

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. It changed for me. Yeah. For sure. Yeah, I was pretty sure I was going to be an attorney. In high school, I got involved with debate and we won the state championship. It was kind of a big deal for our little 3A school in the corner of the state. So when I went to K State, I was pretty sure I was going to be an attorney and I changed my mind. I ended up getting involved with journalism, mass communications, so I graduated with a journalism degree from K State. It was a great place to go to college and I had wonderful experiences, met people that are still my friends today of course. Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
I’ve had some pretty funny experiences with the K State mascot.

Angela Kreps:
[inaudible]

Brad Burrow:
Because we did the Cat Train video, I don’t know if you ever remember watching the Cat Train video back in the day, but yeah. I was telling somebody the other day about some driving around Manhattan with Willie in the back of the car, and one particular time, we’re stopped at a stoplight and a bus pulls up with a bunch of kids. Willie’s head is so big that he can’t even turn to look out, so it’s just kind of down so he could get it in, and the kids see that and they just start going nuts and they’re all hanging out the window, trying to get his attention. He just can’t turn his head, he just puts his hand out the window and waves at them and we just busted out laughing and it was one of those times that you have something like that happen that you just don’t ever forget.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
Pretty fun. Well I noticed, so biosciences.

Angela Kreps:
Yes.

Brad Burrow:
Tell me a little bit about your experience there. K State, was your background at K State helpful in kind of moving that direction with your career?

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. It was just another one of those examples of synergy. There was actually a friend of mine from K State who connected me with the group that was doing the search for the bioscience organization when it was getting formed. This was back, the state invested lottery proceeds to invest in the biosciences. We had a burgeoning bioscience industry that had to do with Marion Labs and spawning out of a bunch of contract research organizations in the Kansas City organization, but across the state of Kansas, there’s always been a lot of bioscience in the ag area. So agriculture and animal health. So it’s kind of an interesting combination of bioscience expertise that has been built up over the state, and so I guess I didn’t really have any real awareness or exposure to it per se, the industry, until I got involved with it, but I grew up as the daughter of a pharmacist, and as the daughter of a math and science teacher, so it just really felt like a really good fit for me.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
And having grown up in Kansas and just appreciating so many things about the people of Kansas and trying to take lottery proceeds to grow industries that would help people not only get the benefits of the products we produce but also to have really important high-paying jobs that could keep people here. It’s just a great quality of life and has been a great place to grow up and I’ve loved having the opportunity to build and grow our family here and it’s just such a wonderful place to be from and to grow up in and around.

Brad Burrow:
And being a connector.

Angela Kreps:
Yes.

Brad Burrow:
That was probably a big part of your job, right? I mean you think about all the animal health, just the animal health corridor, and all the connections that needed to happen. You can play a big part in that.

Angela Kreps:
Right. That was a lot of the job was to help get people connected. Because it’s so easy to get in a silo of where you are in your company, and what your job is and keep heads down and just be productive and do your thing, and it’s that opportunity that I’m talking about before about synergy. And I found that so many times in the bioscience industry, if this company knew about this company, they could probably put something together in terms of a partnership and get closer to the goal. So I mean that happened so many times. You look at a company like Bayer Animal Health and they’ve gone through a lot of changes since then but at the time they were looking at as they’re developing pharmaceuticals for the animal population, they could partner up with a human health company and do the development, co-invest in some of the development and so it really accelerated a lot of the timelines. And in pharmaceutical development, both animal health and human health, a day is really worth more than a million dollars. So if you can cut that time off by making the process more efficient, then it just allows you to do that much more research and development on other future products.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Amazing. So you’re kind of in the middle of seeing the animal health corridor really come into existence really.

Angela Kreps:
Right, yeah.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Very exciting.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. Very capable organization that was formed at that time. Obviously collaborated with all kinds of amazing people and companies and attracted some big and important companies to Kansas City, and we’ve seen so much growth in that cluster and so much growth in the technology clusters that surround and support that, and just to see Kansas and the Kansas City area just to gain some notoriety from good old fashioned work ethic and a lot of smart people and some effective partnerships and one of the early concerns that people had was the capital formation side, and if you look back 15 years ago, that was a concern, but today, there are so many organizations that are involved in capital formation. So many private equity, other kinds of institutional investors as well as angel investors and investors all along the continuum for startup companies that really can help accelerate the growth of those companies and so it’s really built up and built out that infrastructure that positions the Kansas City region for whatever kind of growth opportunities that are out there.

Brad Burrow:
Kansas City has become such a growth area for startups. It seems like to me. Now I’m not in other markets and seeing what other markets are doing, but it feels like we’re really a great place to come start a business.

Angela Kreps:
It is a great place to come and start a business. It’s helped not only by the success of the companies themselves and the success of companies that have grown, that have sold. I was referring to my friend earlier, Kansas City has a name and reputation for building good solid companies which is terrific. But it also helps that [inaudible] Ted Lasso get our name out there for fun and exciting things too.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. That’s a great series by the way. Have you watched all of them?

Angela Kreps:
Oh, every single one. I just consume it. It’s just such a delightful time of our week.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, yeah. Not to get on the tangent of Ted Lasso, but man, what a great story, great writing. Everything about that show is awesome.

Angela Kreps:
It just makes you smile.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
It just makes you think about just … I don’t know, good, old-fashioned fun.

Brad Burrow:
Are you getting any of your coaching tips from Ted? Like when you’re working with a CEO or somebody like that?

Angela Kreps:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Brad Burrow:
You need to learn some of Ted’s lines, huh?

Angela Kreps:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Brad Burrow:
He has some serious wisdom. One of the things I wanted to ask you, because I think if you look back at your life, thing that you’ve done that kind of turn you into the person that you have become, experiences, things, jobs help you later, I wonder if your experience starting out in sales has really helped you now in consulting, in coaching, connecting, all of those things. Would you agree with that?

Angela Kreps:
Oh for sure. Early on, I had to endure some of those stereotypes about salespeople, but I never really let that settle in as much as how rewarding it is to connect people with what it is that they need and by focusing on that and learning so much from the people you serve. So I wasn’t ever really one of those people who thought, “If I could just make another sale.” I was one of those people who thought, “If I can find a way to help people solve their problems.” Then that kind of grew into … I don’t know, an obsession I guess. I just like to help people solve problems, and so having that approach, whether it’s through being a leader of an organization or being a member of a team, or through helping people figure out what their next thing is, or helping people with rebranding, figuring out … I mean here we are in the middle of the times that we’re in where people are leaving jobs to figure out what their true passion is and if they’re going to spend this much time working, they might as well have their values aligned with the company that we’re working with. So helping people figure that out, helping them figure out … Okay, this is what you’re naturally good at, so maybe the job that you’re in right now isn’t serving you.

So we don’t want to be in a situation where we’re just working to work. It would just be so much better if everybody … It’s a privilege I know, I’m coming from a place of privilege by saying that, but it’s just terrific to be able to be in a position where you can find a way to serve others with work that also gives you such personal rewards.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Is that an innate thing that’s just part of you or is that something you learned?

Angela Kreps:
I don’t know about that.

Brad Burrow:
I sense that it’s innate. I mean I wonder. So I don’t know, do you think you can learn the ability to … Or you just want to help people? Or is that just a part of who you are? I suspect it’s part of who you are. I don’t know if everybody has that.

Angela Kreps:
I don’t know about that. I haven’t ever really thought about that. I know I did –

Brad Burrow:
We get into deep things here on the Real Media podcast.

Angela Kreps:
This is really deep.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Well I’m just curious because it seems to me, man, if everybody felt that way, our world would be changed.

Angela Kreps:
I don’t know about that, but I did have really great parents and they gave me a lot of opportunities, and that may have been part of it. So I always try to think about what are the things that really mattered that I can pass on. I do think I’ve figured out some of those things that had to do with allowing people the freedom and flexibility to be good at something. So allowing them to have a little bit of rope to go and explore what more can you make of this. You don’t necessarily have to do it my way, this is what I see, but if you’re going to be doing it, you may see it differently. So then take that and run with it, and then helping people along the way. My parents were really good at checking in. How’s it going? Any challenges you’re having you need my help with? And my dad asking me, probably when he was teaching me to engrave on other people’s stuff is just to be thinking about what is the intent of this and what is your role in making that? And if you can’t get it there, and you need to ask for help, I’m just right upstairs. So there were a lot of times like –

Brad Burrow:
What great life lessons though.

Angela Kreps:
I know.

Brad Burrow:
Just in those little things.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
I think one of the questions I had written down to ask you is I think we’re afraid to ask for help. I think a lot of people are afraid to ask for help.

Angela Kreps:
Oh, you are so right about that.

Brad Burrow:
And it’s okay, right? It’s okay to ask for help.

Angela Kreps:
I think people really enjoy helping. I certainly love the feeling of being able to help. So by not asking for help, you don’t give people the opportunity. But I also think it’s maybe just a little bit easier to get wherever it is you’re going if you have a little bit of help.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, that’s exactly right, and why learn the hard lessons if somebody can teach you about those things already?

Angela Kreps:
Yeah, no kidding about that. That is so for sure, and I find that in the work that I’m doing right now with Aspyre, that … I mean I had been a client for about 10 years before I joined their team, 10 or 12 years, time gets away, but –

Brad Burrow:
Now you went through their program, right?

Angela Kreps:
I did. Right.

Brad Burrow:
Before they said, “You need to come work here.”

Angela Kreps:
Right, right, exactly, and they made a difference for me and then they made a difference for my mom when she was going through a transition. It was a crazy store with my mom. One of the times that I took a step back to help my mom, she was having what was diagnosed by her hometown doctor as a vasovagal reaction to just being stressed because my dad had died and he was kind of the CEO of the family and she was the accountant. So she would write all the checks, and there wasn’t any new money coming in after my dad passed away. So my mom didn’t know where the money was going to come from and was there enough, and so by being able to answer that question, how much is there, because my dad was also very diversified with his interests and so there was stuff here and there and just getting it all together and getting a plan together really helped her see with clarity.

So being able to see that kind of an impact that … I mean it transformed her life, it transformed life for my husband and me. My husband, I remember when he decided that he wanted to become a stay at home dad, like that … I think I may have had a panic attack. I don’t know what it was until that hit me. It was like, “You want to do what? T hat’s not the deal we signed up for, buddy.” Like I don’t want to be the solo rainmaker for the family. So it’s a little bit of maybe growing up where … So we became non-traditional in that way, but just going through it, knowing what the plan was, knowing what the numbers were, it really enriched our marriage. He was able to have the life then that he wanted and then it became incredibly helpful to me. Because we still had small children, and he was able … Like getting there by 6:00 to daycare. It wasn’t the same frenetic run every day, and then this was before obviously the kids could drive or anything and so he was able to be taxi dad and taking them everywhere and it was just such a relief to me and it made work more fun, because I wasn’t worried about all of the stuff.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Right.

Angela Kreps:
But I wouldn’t have ever dreamed that that were possible if we wouldn’t have had some help to look at it and crunch the numbers and so the future forecasting so that we could make that dream a possibility.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
So it’s kind of back to what you were saying before. It’s just sometimes you just need a little bit of help.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Right. So tell me about Aspyre.

Angela Kreps:
Aspyre?

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
Aspyre Wealth Partners, so we are a fee only registered investment advisor. Which means that we’re fiduciaries, so it’s not just like taking your money and investing it, that’s a part of it, but it’s also … The why in Aspyre is because we start with you and your why, and that’s where we start and we figure out where it is that you want to be going. Then we help put a financial plan together and then help keep you accountable to that plan and also adjust it for –

Brad Burrow:
That might be hard. Keeping people accountable to the plan, right?

Angela Kreps:
Well, it is hard because –

Brad Burrow:
Hence the coaching part, right?

Angela Kreps:
Right. The coaching is important. There are also inevitably changes that happen throughout your life, and it’s being able to make those changes. There’s a saying that money goes into motion when transitions happen. So if you can imagine, you lose your job or something happens to somebody in your family, or when things … Or even good things, marriages, children coming along. New opportunities that –

Brad Burrow:
COVID.

Angela Kreps:
COVID.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
Right.

Angela Kreps:
When transitions happen, we make decisions differently when we’re under stress. So if you look at having a plan and then having some partners alongside you when those things happen, you’re able to make decisions that help keep you closer to track. Sometimes when those changes happen, you really need to redesign and reroute the plan, and so we do that a lot too. Just like with the great resignation. A lot of people are deciding that they want to resign, they want to do something different. So charting that out, helping people see, just like with my husband and me. So we had to figure out what it was going to look like without his income, but we also didn’t have his expenses.

So it was just a process of mapping that out and knowing what you don’t know. The crazy thing about how tax policy changes or just different changes that happen. What’s the cost of your benefits, what’s the benefit of your benefits, how does that all pay out if you were to take time off to deal with an aging loved one, how is that going to impact your ability to reach your goals. So it’s kind of just having a partner around your life.

Brad Burrow:
Do you have like a target type … I don’t know, person is what I’m thinking of, that you really want to work with that feels like … I’m sitting here, like, “Okay, we need to talk.” But I’ve gone through a lot of those things with Real Media where I’ve tried to figure out, “Okay, what do I really need to do with the assets that I have?” Most of my career, I’ve put everything back into the company to try to grow it and grow capability and all that stuff. But not necessarily thinking the way you’re thinking and I would think that there are a lot of small business owners that are just like that.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
So we need somebody to come alongside and say, “Okay, you’re locked in on this, but you really need to be thinking 30,000 foot, or whatever that is, to what are you going to be doing in 10 years? What are your goals?” Those types of things. That’s what you’re looking for, right?

Angela Kreps:
Right. So we have two different tracks, so we have … I’m going to call it an emerging leaders track. So these are professionals, executives, managing and leading business units or parts of business units, and then another track which is maybe a little bit closer to financial independence, where maybe you’re a business owner or a professional or executive and you’re facing … Maybe you’re in the midst of transitions. Maybe you’re in the midst of some of those things happening or like me you’re trying to figure out what the next job looks like because you know that you want to be doing something a little bit different. So I’ve gone through a couple of those career pivots myself and it’s helpful to have somebody to bounce those ideas off of. Sort of like a personal CFO. Because you know that there’s a big world out there, but sometimes you don’t know what some of the different utilizations, potential utilizations of your skill set might be, and so when somebody like Aspyre Wealth Partners, we’ve kind of seen a lot of people go through these things.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
And it’s like learning the easier way maybe. Or the benefit of having that insight?

Brad Burrow:
Path of least resistance. Something like that, huh?

Angela Kreps:
Maybe having some insights from having seen people do it a lot of different ways, and seeing the things that make it turn out a little bit better or knowing what some cautionary tales are for some things that you might want to avoid, and also different investment strategies. Like I’ve learned so much about the different things that my dad invested in and which ones kind of panned out and which ones didn’t. So just think about that for over hundreds and hundreds of different clients, it’s quite a bit of insight that can be gained. So people who are making decisions about what they want to do with their lives, executives, professionals, business owners, those are the people that we typically serve, we typically best serve.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Well I’m going to go ahead and wrap up here, but I want to ask you one more question. What advice would you give to somebody that maybe is starting to think this way? Like me maybe. The significance, maybe you’ve had a small business or you’re looking at your future. What would you tell them?

Angela Kreps:
Well, I would say we have a practice called creating decision-free zones. One of my colleagues, Jessi Chadd, taught me about this, and she is a certified transitionist. That is a real thing. She’s also a certified financial professional, a CFP. But a decision-free zone … Like sometimes we can get overwhelmed by the amount of decisions that we see ahead of us, and so if you can just look at all of those decisions on a piece of paper, pick the three decisions that need to be made right now, focus on those three decisions and making the right decision, and by the way, the right decision is the one you make.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Angela Kreps:
When you go back and look at decisions later, it’s mostly because of new information that makes you rethink your decision. So the right decision is the one that you make. You focus on three decisions, that makes it a little bit easier, less overwhelm, and of course I would encourage you to find someone to talk through your decisions with. Maybe that’s your partner, your business partner, your life partner, or maybe a partner like Aspyre where we can help you as a sounding board or your friend or your partner, life partner can help you as a sounding board to think about things differently than maybe you’re seeing them. Because those outside insights are going to allow you to make the best decision for you for those one to three decisions that you’re making now, and then you can chart out what decisions need to be made soon and what decisions can be pushed off until later. So that gives you a framework for decisioning, and it allows you to focus and simplify and by focusing and simplifying, it’s easier.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Is that part of what you’re doing with somebody when you’re working with them? Is helping them figure out what those three decisions are and breaking all of that down?

Angela Kreps:
Yeah. Breaking it down. Breaking it down.

Brad Burrow:
And how long does that take? What does that process look like? I mean is this months, is it one meeting?

Angela Kreps:
So a typical engagement, so depending on what path you’re on, so the first path I was telling you about for the emerging leaders, that’s a subscription model. So we’re on call as your CFO on call. Okay, so that’s easy. Whenever you’ve got something, just give us a call. We’ll talk through it –

Brad Burrow:
Angela, I need your help.

Angela Kreps:
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Now you typically would want to talk to a certified financial planner because most of these things have to do with things that have to do with tax implications and other kinds of implications so I would include my teammates and they would be working with you. I’m not a certified financial planner myself. The other track, it can be different ways. Usually, so as a client myself, we usually meet two, maybe three times a year, and we’ll have very specific objectives. We’ll be looking at our plan, we’ll be looking at what are the milestones on our plan, how close are we to meeting those objectives. Some of them are personal, some of them are financial, some of them have to do with the outside influences, like for me with my mom. So those things are on my plan and we’ll touch base on those things. That’s the accountability part. But also as I mentioned before, things change, and so we also have that part of the relationship too. So like my husband has it on speed dial. We were talking about the basement and the water in the basement.
So that was a capital expenditure. Even though we got some insurance, and we also got some help with what’s the right way to approach the insurance company, and what we could expect in terms of what they would cover and what they wouldn’t. But it was a capital expenditure that we weren’t planning, but it was in our reserves. So just –

Brad Burrow:
Having somebody, a voice of reason to talk you through those things and it’s okay, we’re going to figure this out.

Angela Kreps:
Right, and should we spend … This is another really typical question. So something like that happens to your house, the roof, the basement leaks, whatever. How much should we invest? So there are some guidelines for how much you want to invest in your home when something like that happens to make sure that it’s a smart investment. There are kind of some guidelines about how much you should put year over year.

Brad Burrow:
Right, right. Which I wouldn’t know any of that. Well how would somebody get ahold of you? So somebody’s heard this podcast, they’re like, “I’ve got to give her a call.” How do we get ahold of you?

Angela Kreps:
So akreps, A-K-R-E-P-S, @aspyrewealth, and it’s aspyre with a y because we start with you and your why, A-S-P-Y-R-E-W-E-A-L-T-H.com is my email address. You can also find us online at aspyrewealth.com.

Brad Burrow:
Okay. Awesome. Well thank you so much for coming in. This is really awesome. I really enjoyed it.

Angela Kreps:
It was great to talk to you, Brad. I’m glad that you’re back and you’re well.

Brad Burrow:
I appreciate that. I’m glad to be back, so yeah. That’s another podcast.

Angela Kreps:
Exactly, I’ll be waiting for that one.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, so … Well thank you so much. We can’t finish until you do In a World with Real Media.

Angela Kreps:
In a World with Real Media.

Brad Burrow:
That was really good. You may have a future as a voiceover talent.

Angela Kreps:
Okay. Okay. Okay, I’ll look into that.

Brad Burrow:
All right everybody, thanks for joining us and be watching out for the next podcast. Talk to you later.

This has been In a World with Real Media. Thanks for joining us and be sure to subscribe on iTunes and follow Real Media on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, so you never miss an episode..

Share
This

Post a comment