What Do Blind Men, Elephants, And Becoming A Millionaire Have In Common?

 Who do you have in your wealth management and financial advice support-system?

With a few exceptions to the rule, most self-made millionaires got where they are with the help of a solid and knowledgable support system.

A big part of success is placing yourself around the right people and learning from others’ expertise.

Enter Todd R. Tresidder.  Financial Mentor.  Regular guy.  Millionaire.  In just 12 years Todd was able to create millionaire status for himself.  Not too bad, right?

Was he lucky?

No.  He was smart.

So, being the curious type, I decided to connect with Todd and discuss just what it is that helps make a millionaire.

One of the most compelling things about Todd is that he’s a regular guy with some great insights and advice.  Not only does he have the background and ability to educate, he still actively invests and participates in his own strategies.

In the same way EvenMinds aims to help empower individuals to grow on their own, his expertise aims to empower business owners and investors on a conscious path to acheive financial freedom.

We all know how important the financial aspect of our life is to our well being and this is “teach a man to fish,” philosophy in the best possible way.

Enjoy the interview –

Jason Anthony:  Todd, when I came across your site I really honed in on your message and what stood out to me was your definition of True Wealth, and how its so much more than a bank account or a number.  Could you tell us a little about that?

Todd Tresidder:  Yeah, where this all came from was the million dollar myth, you know?  Most people think that if they get a million bucks they’re free.  That they’re financially free.  So my experience when I hit it, was that it was a myth, as was my experience with it with numerous clients, too.  What happens is when you gain financial independence is that it unmasks the lies in your life.

For example, one common lie is that I’d be happy if my boss wasn’t such a jerk.  Or, I could be happy if I could drive that car or I could wear those clothes.  And once you have enough money to do all that and you still aren’t happy or satisfied, it forces you to look inside and decide what happiness is all about.

JA:  In your opinion, how powerful is mindset and mentality to not only creating wealth to start, but managing it, moving forward, and being able to maintain it?

TT:  Its everything.  I have a product thats called Seven Steps To Seven Figures that I created when I started coaching people in 1998.  It started as an experiment to see if I could really help people.  I retired at age 35 and I had a lot of people ask me questions about how you build wealth.  I really didn’t have good answers then because most people looked at it from an entirely different viewpoint than I did.  There’s actually a Step Zero, which is a foundational step.  That ties into the mindset.

Currently I no longer coach debt management clients.  Back when I started I did because I wanted to help people and I noticed that people who had debt problems had mirror opposite habits and attitudes to the people who already had wealth and were hiring me to ramp up their wealth and take it to the next level.  It wasn’t that they just had a mirror opposite financial reality, it was a mirror opposite practice in how they approached life.

JA:  There seems to be an number of wealth management gurus and services out there.  It’s developed into its own “make money,” niche that seems to be more about the allure of making money or getting rich, than the actual steps and ways to do it. What’s your take on this?

TT:  Possibly.  My take is that consumers are getting smarter and starting to see through it.  The way I see the wealth education, or financial education arena, is like The Three Blind Men And The Elephant, an old Indian folk tale.  The first guy walks and grabs his tail and says, “oh, an elephant is like a rope.”  The next man walks up, puts his hands around his leg and says, “oh, the elephant is like a tree trunk.”  Then the third guy goes up, puts his hands on the elephant’s ear and says, “oh, the elephant is like a great fan.”

So, each one of them is partially right, and they’re also completely wrong.  In the sense that they’re seeing only the half-truths.  They’re seeing dangerous half-truths, they’re not seeing the whole picture of the elephant.

Thats what I think goes on with in the wealth education area.  Its not what they’re teaching is wrong, they’re just giving pieces of the whole truth.   Its a complicated thing. I’ve spent my life learning this.  Its complicated.  I like to tell people, “this isn’t brain surgery – it’s harder.”  You’re dealing with scientific principles on one level, which ties into the brain surgery thing, but you’re also going to tie it back to human motivation, action, and productivity, which is not science.  You know, thats art.  And emotions.  There’s so much depth to that.  Thats what creates the complications.

JA:  Wow, very true.

TT:  The actual actions are brain dead simple, I can give it to you in two sentences.  Make more than you spend.  Then invest that difference wisely so that it compounds and grows faster than inflation.  Thats wealth building in two sentences, now, how you do that, thats a whole different game.

JA:  Excellent.  Now, I know you provide some great references over at your site.  What would you say is a good starting place for the individual who may be starting out or not financially dependent at this time?

TT:  Well, I think it all depends on what you need at the time and I will be putting up more recommended reading, but I think the best starting point for anyone is reading.  Books are the single best value in education.  Thats one of the reasons why over the next couple of years I will be putting out a complete series of ebooks.  I think books are the single best value in financial education.  You’re getting access to somebody who has taken the time to distill their thinking down to a precise well structured format and you get the benefit of that for a couple of bucks.  Its mind-blowing value.

Podcasts.  I’m a regular consumer of podcasts.  I do it while stretching for my run, or doing dishes, or making dinner.  Its just a great way to do education with time that would be otherwise be wasted.  A lot of people listen in their cars while driving, I don’t drive much since I work from home.  I think coaching is appropriate.  On my site I explain who coaching is for and who it isn’t.  My premise on that is who gets more than they pay for out of it.  To me a value is that you get more benefit than you pay for.  Thats a principle of building wealth and I try to walk the walk and make everything that I sell deliver more value than it costs.

So anyway I think people should start with books but be selective of what they read, we’re all very short on time.  I will be offering group coaching in the future.  I think it really depends on where the individual is at.  I’m really against multi-thousand dollar weekend seminars, I think most people would be better served using that money towards their first investment.

JA:  That makes complete sense.  I’ve noticed a number of those high-end 10-15K seminars popping up lately.

TT:  Yeah, some of the stuff there is valid.  They talk about you “upping your commitment.”  You pay more money and you’re more committed.  And its true.  If you’re gonna pay ten thousand your more likely to do what the guy says, or the girl says.  So there is some truth to that.  I don’t argue with it.  I don’t know.  I’ve got kind of an engineer’s mentality on this stuff.  Ten thousand is a down payment on a perfectly viable home, and if you can select a viable cash flow home, and get that first down payment in, I suggest doing that and putting some time into the books.

JA:  Yes, and back to the books I heard an excellent quote the other day which I’ll paraphrase, it said “You cannot implement the knowledge from a book that you’ve never picked up and read.”

TT:  Yeah, thats a good one.  I like that.  And touching back on what I was saying early, which was commitment.  You have to do the work.  This is hard work.  There’s going to be study involved. Theres going to be implementation involved and theres no denying it.  And if you want to spend ten thousand to get that commitment, go ahead, franlky I’d assume just put the ten thousand towards an investment and just become commited.

JA:  That makes perfect sense.

TT:  Yeah, I don’t want to buy my commitment and pay for it, I’d just put it towards things I truly have to pay for, but thats just me.

JA:  Wonderful.  Well, I appreciate the time and information, Todd!  Thank you very much for sharing with us today.

TT: Good talking with you, Jason!

Great stuff!  I can say that Todd and I spent quite some time talking and sharing stories beyond our interview.  He’s down to earth and the real deal when it comes to practical financial advice.  It was an experience I am truly grateful to have participated in.

If you’re interested and serious about building wealth, please stop by and visit Todd over at FinancialMentor.com.  You can also follow him on Twitter @Financialmentor.  


Photo by Lucas Santana
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21 thoughts on “What Do Blind Men, Elephants, And Becoming A Millionaire Have In Common?

  1. Jordan J. Caron


    Good interview and thanks for making me aware of Todd.

    I find what you said here so important.

    With a few exceptions to the rule, most self-made millionaires got where they are with the help of a solid and knowledgable support system. A big part of success is placing yourself around the right people and learning from others’ expertise.

    This is exactly what am I starting to do. Only a few of my current crop of friends and acquaintances are successful. This has made me reevaluate who I associate with from now on. I don’t want to be hanging around with people who are working dead end jobs, have no ambition and sit around playing video games after work.

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      Thanks, Jordan!

      Thats a tough task to take on, but something that has to be done if you wish to stay on the right course. I know from personal experience that even the ones closest to us (friends, family, spouses) can end up being detrimental to our goals. Glad you enjoyed the interview 🙂

  2. Jackie

    Great interview Jason, loved the practicality of Todd’s advice.

    People tend to think that becoming wealthy has to come via windfall, inheritance or some other means outside of their reach. When like Todd say’s its just a matter of understanding the basic principles and making a commitment to follow through with the process.

    I often wonder if its peoples desire to “have it now” that stops them from becoming financially secure.

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      Its very basic, like Todd mentioned in just two sentences 🙂 Whether or not an individual has the patience and ambition to follow through is a different story all together.

  3. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca

    Really cool, Jason. Todd feels like a really great guy to connect with and there’s a lot of wisdom in your conversation.

    I kind of feel like the interview itself is a 3-men-elephant situation, though, know what I mean? 🙂

  4. Eric T. Wagner

    Nicely done Jason.

    The quote; “Make more than you spend. Then invest that difference wisely so that it compounds and grows faster than inflation” is dead on.

    Why do we make it so difficult then? Not sure. Human nature I guess… 🙂


    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      Haha, I think we make many things much more complicated than they need to be 🙂

      Those two sentences are so simple, yet so profound. Thanks, Eric! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

  5. Timo Kiander


    Awesome interview! Thanks for introducing this guy to us!

    I love the simplicity of this sentence: ” Make more than you spend. Then invest that difference wisely so that it compounds and grows faster than inflation.”

    So … I’m heading over to Todd’s site to learn more 🙂

  6. Chris Nadeau

    Great interview! Nothing like a great interview to share with your audience. Thanks for doing this Jason and Todd!

    Looks like I need to check out the Financial Mentor in more detail. That will be my first step or step zero of my foundation. 🙂

  7. Peter Sandeen

    Hi Jason,

    Really interesting interview. I’m a hardcore believer in, “You’re rich when you spend less than you make” 🙂

    It’s unfortunate how people believe their unhappiness is caused by their financial situation. Many countries with huge poverty/hunger problems have higher happiness scores…

    Wealth is in your head. I feel like the richest person alive when I have my family around me (wife and dog 😉 )… It’s all in your head.

  8. Steve Baines


    Wonderful, Awesome! Thank You 🙂

    I figured out Step One myself, but it is very re-assuring to see a self-made millionaire promoting it. If you don’t master Step One – it doesn’t matter how much money you can bring in, because you will just spend it all.

    Wealth is not a dollar amount. Wealth is as Todd defined: “Make more than you spend. Then invest that difference wisely so that it compounds and grows faster than inflation”

    That is true whether you make $50,000 a year or $500,000 a year

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      Thanks, Steve! Im from the school of thought that its not about how much you make – its what you do with it that is the telltale sign of things to come. Appreciate your thoughts!

  9. Tom Treanor


    Really great interview. It gives some great perspective on wealth-building and Todd seems like a pretty straight-talking guy. I like the fact that he hits on the fact that that $10K seminar fee is better spent on a money-producing asset (and buy an ebook instead). I also loved the point about wealth-building being more complicated than brain surgery because of the emotions, etc. involved. Nice job of producing a great interview!

    1. Jason Anthony Post author

      I think for anyone starting out an investment that large would benefit them greatly. I do agree in the value/commitment proposition when you start investing in yourself, however from a financial/portfolio standpoint going for the viable investment is golden. Thanks, Tom!


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