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    #174 Rey Flemings: A Different Definition of Success

    Giving children space to explore their identity and interests, living the desired lifestyle, and avoiding control and inconsistencies can lead to successful and happy children.

    enAugust 22, 2023

    About this Episode

    Dubbed during his career as “The Man Who Knows What the World’s Richest People Want (and How To Get It),” Rey Flemings has years of experience dealing with success. He sees it every day as the co-founder and CEO of Myria, a company that provides concierge services to fewer than 100 elite clients with a combined wealth of over $400 billion. On this episode, Flemings discusses what he’s learned about wealth, money, success and happiness while on the job, how he makes impossible tasks possible, and what it was like to try and smuggle ventilators into New York City during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    Flemings founded Myria in 2021 and has worked in the luxury services industry since 2017. He also served as the founder and CEO of Stripple, a web imagery monetization company, and CEO of Particle, an Internet services company acquired by Apple.

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    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • The story highlights the unpredictable nature of crisis management and the critical role of adaptability and resilience in navigating challenges and ensuring the availability of essential supplies.
    • Success is not just about wealth, but also about prioritizing unique experiences and meaningful connections that go beyond material possessions.
    • Success should be defined beyond wealth, taking into consideration values like kindness and happiness. Rather than obsessing over material possessions and constantly seeking validation, finding contentment and meaningful connections leads to genuine happiness.
    • Social media can lead to feelings of inadequacy, understanding large numbers is crucial, and helping others should be prioritized over accumulating wealth.
    • The current system of government is no longer effective in managing society's complex needs. To rebuild trust and create a better future, we should learn from South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and prioritize kindness and charity in solving economic problems.
    • Despite the financial benefits, attaining wealth and success often leads to a smaller circle and sacrifices. Communities like Myriad aim to address this issue and foster connections for success and happiness.
    • Success shouldn't be measured solely by wealth. We need to redefine success to prioritize community, happiness, and personal growth, while also working together to create a more equitable society.
    • Meaningful change requires inclusive discussions, personal introspection, and embracing diversity to address societal problems and move towards progress.
    • Our success is tied to the success of others; by supporting local businesses and being mindful of our choices, we can create a society that addresses challenges and promotes meaningful change.
    • While money can enhance a person's traits and behaviors, it also brings forth new challenges and responsibilities. Gaining wealth should be accompanied by humility and an understanding of its influence on oneself and others.
    • Giving children space to explore their identity and interests, living the desired lifestyle, and avoiding control and inconsistencies can lead to successful and happy children.
    • Confronting challenges and embracing discomfort leads to personal transformation, enabling success in various aspects of life such as business, parenting, and making a difference in the lives of others.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Navigating Challenges and Unexpected Twists: Acquiring Ventilators in a Crisis

    During a time of crisis, even essential life-saving devices like ventilators can become highly valuable commodities. The demand for ventilators during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to skyrocketing prices and fraudulent activities. Despite facing immense challenges, the CEO of Myra was tasked with acquiring thousands of ventilators within a tight deadline. This involved navigating through diplomatic tensions between China and the United States, dealing with criminal elements, and ensuring the authenticity of the devices. However, after successfully completing the mission, they discovered that the state of New York, for unknown reasons, did not want the ventilators anymore. This story showcases the unpredictable and complex nature of handling critical supplies during a crisis and the importance of adaptability and resilience in such situations.

    Unlocking Exclusive Experiences with Concierge Services

    Access to exclusive and impossible things becomes a priority for successful individuals. People, especially those who are successful, have a desire to feel special and access things that others cannot easily obtain. This is where concierge services like Maria come in, providing enhanced access to relationships and experiences that are not readily available to the general public. The spectrum of concierge services ranges from simple to impossible, with the most challenging and unique requests being the most sought-after. As individuals accumulate wealth, they realize that money alone does not guarantee fulfillment, leading them to prioritize experiences, connections, and a sense of post-luxury where it's about more than material possessions. Being wealthy goes beyond being rich; it involves a mindset shift towards valuing experiences and meaningful connections.

    Rethinking Success and Finding True Happiness

    Our society's narrow definition of success based solely on wealth has led to a never-ending pursuit of more money and material possessions. This constant chase for success has created a culture of hustle and an obsession with always looking forward to the next goal, leaving us feeling unsatisfied and constantly seeking more. It is important to broaden the definition of success to include holistic aspects such as kindness, charity, and happiness. If the richest individuals in the world were also the most generous and compassionate, it would have a tremendous positive impact on society. We must also recognize the negative effects of social media, where we compare ourselves to unrealistic standards and constantly seek validation. Finding contentment in what we have and focusing on personal growth and meaningful connections is the key to true happiness.

    The Pitfalls of Social Media and the Misunderstanding of Numbers

    Social media platforms can give a false impression of other people's lives, creating a constant need for comparison and leading to feelings of inadequacy. The highlight reel of life that we see on social media only shows the best moments, making it easy to forget that everyone also has difficulties and challenges. Additionally, the conversation highlights the importance of understanding large numbers and the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire. People often struggle to comprehend these numbers, leading to a loss of perspective and an inability to grasp their true meaning. Lastly, it is essential to recognize that the problems of humanity are compounding faster than money can solve them, emphasizing the need to prioritize helping others over accumulating wealth.

    Rethinking the Current System: A Call for Change

    The current system of government, particularly the presidency in America, is no longer effective in managing the complex needs of society. The idea of one person holding all the power and responsibility to run the military, educate children, manage the economy, and provide healthcare is unrealistic. The systems are too big and the demands are too diverse for any individual to excel in all areas. This has led to a breakdown in trust and a fraying of the American experiment. To rebuild trust, we can learn from South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which encouraged acknowledging past wrongs and committing to a better future. Inclusive exclusivity, where the world's wealthiest individuals also prioritize kindness and charity, can also contribute to solving economic problems and creating a more enjoyable and inclusive society.

    The Isolation of Wealth and Success

    Wealth and success, while providing financial benefits, can also lead to a smaller and more exclusive circle. Successful individuals often dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to their careers, narrowing their focus on one vertical. This intense dedication can result in personal sacrifices, including missing out on important family moments. Additionally, as wealth increases, trust and genuine connections become harder to find. The more money one has, the fewer people they can rely on or trust. However, communities like Myriad aim to address this issue by connecting successful individuals with other interesting and accomplished individuals, fostering contact theory and ultimately promoting success and happiness for all parties involved.

    Rethinking Success & Building an Equitable Society

    Success should not be solely defined by money. Society often promotes the idea that wealth equals happiness and fulfillment, but many billionaires and wealthy individuals actually struggle with personal imbalances and a lack of connection with their families. The definition of success needs to be reconsidered, focusing on factors like community, happiness, and personal growth. Additionally, our current economic and political systems have evolved significantly since their inception, and we must adapt them to better serve the needs and well-being of all people. Inequality, especially among marginalized communities, can persist for generations, eroding trust and perpetuating systemic issues. Instead of blaming individuals, we should work together to change the rules of the game and create a more equitable society.

    Fostering Inclusive Conversations for Societal Progress

    There is a need for honest fact-based conversations to address and solve societal problems. The current division in the nation is preventing progress and creating a spiraling effect that needs to end. Even the wealthiest individuals understand the flaws in the system and desire change. However, relying on one person or throwing money at the issues will not fix them systemically. To move society forward, it is essential to create inclusive groups of people who can have meaningful discussions and work together. Choosing happiness and broadening the definition of success is crucial. Asking introspective questions and considering one's impact on the community can lead to personal growth and a stronger connection with others. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of community and the need to avoid becoming disconnected and self-centered. Opening up to different perspectives and embracing diversity is vital for societal progress.

    Interconnectedness and Collaboration: Building a Successful Society Together

    We are all interconnected and part of a larger ecosystem. We cannot create a successful society where we don't need each other. The shift towards a more self-centered mindset, reflected in culture, music, and movies, has limited our perspective. However, by recognizing that our success is intertwined with the success of others, we can work towards growing the pie for everyone instead of focusing solely on our own gain. The story also emphasizes the importance of supporting local businesses and understanding how our choices impact the larger system. By being more open and honest about these issues, we can create a society that addresses important challenges and promotes meaningful change.

    The Impact of Wealth on Character and Society

    Wealth can amplify both positive and negative aspects of a person's character. Money doesn't change who a person is, but it can turn up the volume on their traits and behaviors. While it provides safety and security, it also makes them a target for litigation and isolates them from others. Wealthy individuals deal with worries similar to normal people, but on a larger scale, such as concerns about society and the future. Additionally, it affects their children, who may face challenges such as privacy issues that can harm their social life. Ultimately, gaining wealth should also come with a sense of humility and awareness of its impact.

    Balancing guidance and freedom in parenting

    Parenting is a delicate balance between guiding children and allowing them to be themselves. The most successful and happy children are often raised by parents who give them space to explore their own identity and interests. Trying to control or micromanage a child's life can lead to strained relationships and resentment. Additionally, it's important for parents to live the lifestyle they want their children to grow up in. Inconsistencies between wealth and expectations can cause friction and dissatisfaction. Furthermore, wealthy parents may be physically or emotionally absent due to work commitments, which can have long-term consequences on their children's well-being. Being aware of these potential pitfalls can help parents make better decisions for their children's future.

    Embracing Difficult Moments for Personal Growth and Success

    Facing and embracing difficult moments is essential for personal growth and success. Rey Flemings, an entrepreneur and father, shares his own experience of going through a major life crisis and the positive effects it had on his life. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing that challenges are not happening to us, but for us, leading to personal transformation. He advises others who may be going through their own difficult moments to confront them head-on and not shy away from the discomfort of change. Success, for Rey, is not just about business achievements, but also being a better father, fulfilling social responsibility, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

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    Watch the episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theknowledgeproject/videos

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    Tom Gayner: Invest Like The Best

    Tom Gayner: Invest Like The Best

    Tom Gayner, CEO of Markel Group, reveals the lessons he’s learned from Charlie Munger and Berkshire Hathaway, how he invests, and the specific way he thinks about opportunity cost.

    Gayner shares the difference between good debt and bad debt, where he disagrees with Munger, and why he focuses on the basics.

    This intimate conversation offers a level of insight and honesty that Tom hasn’t offered anywhere else.

    Gayner is currently the CEO of Markel Group and the Director of The Coca‑Cola Company. He also serves as chairman of the Davis Series Mutual Funds board and on the boards of Graham Holdings and Markel.

    Listen and Learn.

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    Blake Eastman: Learn to Read Anyone

    Blake Eastman: Learn to Read Anyone
    Blake Eastman has dedicated his entire life to psychology and nonverbal behavior.
     
    In 2009 he founded The Nonverbal Group, a  behavioral research and education company in New York City which conducts large scale studies on human behavior and uses a wide range of technologies to systematically deconstruct and improve human communication.
     
    Eastman dives deep into a number of subjects revolving around how we communicate with one another, including the ability to read nonverbal cues, his thoughts on big talkers vs. silent types, how we can communicate with our partners without complaining, the value of watching ourselves communicate on video, understanding the power structures and social dynamics at work, and so much more.
     
    Eastman has also served as an adjunct psychology professor at the City University of New York for six years where he taught General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Group Dynamics. He is also a former professional poker player and the founder of School of Cards, the first brick-and-mortar poker school in New York City.
     
    Listen and Learn

    --

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