PR 94 | Risk Versus Reward

The quality of our lives is equal to the quality of our decision-making as well as the choices we’ve made. So how is it that we make choices to begin with? Investment advisor Robin DeSota makes decisions all the time about the proper balance of risk versus reward. Robin is the founder and CEO of Palisade Investments which ranks as the 34th fastest growing investment advisor in the US out of 30,000 other firms. Robin is also the driver behind the TEDx South Lake Tahoe event which promotes ideas that make our world a better place. He discusses the risk-reward matrix, financial literacy and investment learning, the similarities between making investment decisions and personal decisions, and the fundamental pivots he’s made in his career and personal life.

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Risk Versus Reward with Robin DeSota

I feel incredibly fortunate just to be here at this moment because there’s always so much going on in our lives and in the world in general. To have a moment of being present, I’m feeling grateful for that moment to be able to take a deep breath and be grounded and just know that it’s all good. Not everything is something that we’re pleased about and that we think is so great that we wouldn’t want to change it but this moment is still sacred in so many ways. I don’t know that I’m acknowledging as often as I’d like to just how perfect this moment is so I’m acknowledging it right now. I hope wherever you are, whatever it is, however you’re consuming this or any other things you might be doing that you can take a deep breath and recognize how perfect this moment is.

I feel blessed now among other things because I get to have a chat with somebody that is a fairly new friend. We have all these areas of our lives that we have in common including amazing kids and an amazing spouse, having started off in a similar place in college. His name is Robin DeSota and he’s the Founder and CEO of Palisade Investments. He’s an SEC registered investment advisor and fiduciary advisor with offices located in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Denver and Seattle. Palisade Investments was ranked 34th fastest growing investment advisor in the US out of 30,000 other firms. Robin has some very diverse interests. Robin, that’s an impressive statistic to be 34th fastest growing out of 30,000 firms in a highly competitive space like that. I’ll just say you must be working your tail off.

We do what we can and we always aim to please.

To aim to please, that’s a relentless task and it’s exhausting to please.

It’s unachievable, but why not make it a goal?

Making good money is hard work. Click To Tweet

You’ve had an impressive career and I’d love for you to share with some of the diversity of your career path with us. In sharing that brief introduction, what’s not written there? What’s between the lines that you would love for our community to know about you?

It’s easy when you look at anybody who is in sync with how they want to live their life and doing the things that they want to do and having some measure of success. It’s easy to look at that person. They make it look so easy and their journey is nothing like mine. My journey is a struggle. They’re living a life that just seems to be everything’s falling in place for them but as you can imagine, there’s much more to the story. We’ve all had our highs and lows and moments in life where we’ve made positive conscious changes to get to a place that we’re happy enough. As they say, it takes at least fifteen years to be an overnight success. There’s a lot more hiding beneath the surface that allows one to get to a place that they’re happy with. It includes a lot of work a lot of struggle and a lot of potential risks but that’s one of the main things. There’s a lot more to the story that got you to a place that you feel happy about.

It’s so easy to look at other people’s life situation or what we can see of it and think that the grass is greener. I made this statement talking to my dad and we’re discussing something similar to this. I said, “This may sound crazy but I think the grass is never greener.” I’ve not had an experience yet even when I thought the grass was greener than it was in the end.

In whatever way that is, whether it is socially and business-wise. It’s easy to look at somebody else’s path and think, “They’re making tons of money and cruising along and seemed happy.” What most people don’t realize is the cost at which they spent to get to that point and I don’t mean cost in a dollar sense. I mean cost in terms of a time commitment or social commitment or family commitment and psychological commitment to be in that place. To me, the goal is how do we each identify what we want then we can make positive steps to do that. That sounds nice and easy but it’s not. Those are two important ingredients.

You’re an investment advisor so there are criteria that you use as models and metrics and lots of things. I’m sure it’s sophisticated and some that are more just about gut instinct and experience, I suppose. You are making decisions all the time on risk and reward and how to determine that proper balance of risk versus reward. You’re looking at what’s the ROI for taking a certain risk. Can you apply that formula to your personal life or to the way that you’ve made decisions in your personal or even in your business life outside of just specifically investments?

PR 94 | Risk Versus Reward

Risk Versus Reward: We’ve all had our highs and lows and moments in life where we’ve made positive conscious changes to get to a place that we’re happy enough.

 

The answer is yes. There ought to be a risk-reward matrix for all of those decisions. The risk-reward matrix ought to look like the risk of not living your true self and living your dream and going after the goals that you want. In most cases, you find the risk far outweighs the outcome of going down that direction and similarly in the investment world, we analyze risks. The risk is looked at not only in terms of risk of loss but risk of loss of access to capital or liquidity. In our personal life, we have the risk of loss of time spent doing things that you don’t want to do or aren’t consistent with your value set or the way you want to live your life. There are similarities there between the risk reward that you would take in a financial context and how you would do it personally.

Has your modeling for that changed over time? I know the answer is yes, of course. Looking back at a different time in your life, did you assess risk differently? Were you making decisions in a different way? The quality of our lives equal to the quality of our decision making and the quality of the choices that we’ve made. The root of it is how do we make choices to begin with?

One of the interesting similarities in the investment world and in the personal decisions that we make are when you’re young, you think you have all the time in the world. You may spend your time doing things you don’t necessarily want to do because you’re like, “I’ve got lots of time left.” In your investing world, you can afford to make small decisions that aren’t hugely impactful but are investing mistakes because you have time to make up for that. Ironically, if we made better decisions investing-wise and in our personal lives when we were younger, we would be in a much better position later on.

Unfortunately, we’re not blessed with that foresight and oftentimes we don’t know ourselves well enough either from a financial context or personal context to make those decisions. As you get older, you get to know who you are and what’s important to you. Unfortunately, we start to realize that time starts to run out of our lesson and we start to value that more. The decisions that we make both from an investing context, as well as their own personal decisions, are that much more important because we’re running out of that yet perceived time later in our lives. It is an interesting parallel.

Financial literacy is something that isn’t taught early on unless you’re fortunate enough to have parents that were sharing that information or mentors that were sharing it early on. I don’t remember getting any education in the financial literacy space even through college and even through law school. We weren’t taught the business of law or anything related to the management of money.

Oftentimes the quickest buck isn't the best buck. Click To Tweet

It’s so important and so central to our family’s livelihood, health, and happiness and oftentimes it isn’t discussed at all like that and it is unfortunate. I would love to be able to change that at some point. That would be a great add-on to get people in a solid foundation of investment learning.

Just to pivot a little bit in our conversation which may relate to this. You’ve had pivots in your life and you’ve had significant changes and more micro pivots. Where do you want to start that conversation? What’s a good place for you to begin there?

I’ve had several pivots but one fundamental to have it in my career life and personal life. I was on the track of going to be wildly successful very quickly in my life. I’m going out to graduate school. I had this career-oriented job and this was back in the early ‘90s when the economy wasn’t very good and we have a high unemployment rate particularly out west. I found a great job working for dream projects in my career at the time which was the land planning and landscape architecture and design. We were working on huge enviable projects and I felt like, “This is what I’m going to be doing.” Fast forward a few years and I was miserable for a whole bunch of reasons. I’m miserable because I wasn’t living where I wanted to live. I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. I wasn’t growing in my field and I wasn’t even enjoying my field. I did some serious soul-searching at the time and also soul searching into the patterns that I had growing up.

My parents were like, “This is the job that you trained for and this is the job you’re going to do for the rest of your life.” They’re that kind of people. I don’t fault them for it. It was a culture at the time that that’s what you did. I had to battle those preconceived ideas about how to pursue your career and what that means for you versus personal and professional happiness. I made a pivot and I said, “I want to pursue a career that I’ve always wanted to do which was help people based on personal finance and investing.” Whatever it is that you want to do, we can help you be successful in a financial sense. You just be whatever you want to do and let me help you with the financial side so that you’re ultimately doing what you want to do with your life and you have a successful life. I’m being intentionally broad and vague about what that means but that was my goal and I want to live in a place that I want to live in. Both of those things were seemingly impossible at the space I was in at the time. How am I going to move to a place with limited career opportunities? Can I build this business up? What does all that look like? I have identified what it was I wanted to do. Now, I need to figure out the steps to getting there.

About what age were you at this point? You had gone to California Polytechnic State University and you’ve got a degree. What was your degree?

PR 94 | Risk Versus Reward

Risk Versus Reward: Just as everything else and every other adventure, the journey is truly what defines who you are at the end.

 

Landscape Architecture.

We’re both graduates of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and you got a Master’s degree there. What was your Master’s degree?

Land planning. I was a researcher and I was a teaching assistant. They claimed that I was talented in doing computer applications and geographic information systems and all that. It was all very interesting to me because I was growing as a human being and a person and as a student. The reality hit when I was working on things that were supposed to be incredible projects. They weren’t driving the feeling of success and happiness that I thought I was going to get out of it. It led me to go on this soul-searching to some degree backing up a little bit. I grew up in a single parent household with the art teacher, my mother, who raised us. I have three brothers.

As you can imagine with an art teacher salary, you’re not doing very expensive things. We were fine but nevertheless, what I got out of that experience was I want to learn as much as I can about investing and investments and personal finance so that I can help both myself and my career and others. That’s what my underpinning even with my other career and all of that, I still had a strong interest in the investment and personal finance side. That’s when it dawned on me that instead of dabbling in it or doing it personally, why don’t I go out there and truly help others and get in the field and deal more with helping others? That drives a lot of happiness for myself.

Was it a smooth ride right out of the gate or were there the usual challenges?

Be willing to grow to the extent that the community is interested in growing, too. Click To Tweet

It’s hard. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. It’s hard to start over. It’s hard to start a business. Making good money is hard work. If anybody says to you that it’s not, or it’s going to be super easy, you ought to seek a different opinion to have a variety of approaches of opinions because the reality is it is tough. It’s tough mentally like, “Is this going to work?” You have to find the confidence, the perseverance and the security to know like, “We’re going to make this work and it’s going to work,” and to keep at it. There are small victories along the way. There are plenty of defeats but just as everything else and every other adventure, the journey is truly what defines who you are at the end of all of this. It’s the journey of highs and lows and the strength of character and also doing it in the way that you want to do it. Doing it in a way that’s consistent with your values set and consistent with how you want to approach your business. Oftentimes the quickest buck isn’t the best buck. That may not be consistent with your values set so those are important values for me.

That’s an important thing to stress there. The quickest buck isn’t always the best buck. Sometimes I call it clean money. There’s a difference between the money that you can earn if you’re willing to sell your soul a little bit or sell out your values or any number of other things that just don’t feel right. I’m not saying necessarily anything illegal, immoral or unethical, but just something that doesn’t feel right. Those are the pin holes in the container. Based on that one little pinhole you’ll think, “It’s not such a big deal.” You make this small sacrifice here but after a while, those pinholes can add up and the leaks can be significant. I would imagine that, especially in the investing space. It’s so important to have rules of the road for yourself, not just the SCC rules or not some other rule of governance but more along the lines of what makes sense and feels right to you as the person in charge of that.

The field is littered with folks that are unscrupulous. Forget even the obvious examples. They’re just folks who don’t act necessarily on the way that’s in the best interest of their client and they act in their own best interest. Unfortunately, the field allows that range of motion, so you have to have a compass in all of that personally that says, “I’m going to do this that’s purely in the best interest, sometimes at my own detriment.” It’s the right way to do it and it’s the right way to live your life in every area and every aspect. The beautiful part about where we’ve come to is there’s complete consistency with how I feel about something, how I act about something, and how I communicate that something to someone. That feels great because there’s no turmoil in that case and it is what it is. For those folks who do that in the financial world, it can be a tough road because you’re competing against people who don’t necessarily have the same value set and who can make claims that aren’t necessarily complete or true even. It’s good to have that new compass of sorts.

There’s a documentary out that I can’t remember the name of, but it’s about the 2008 crash. It was what was going on with Bernanke and Paulson and a number of other people on the street at the time. You came through that period and your firm has been around a long time. How was that for you? Was it as bumpy as it was for a number of folks or you’ve weathered that storm a little better?

It’s human nature to have that sense of panic or mild depression. They didn’t open their statements, they didn’t want to talk about it and they don’t want to look at it. They either ignored it. Those who wanted to act on it, we try to explain the broader context of things. It was an extraordinarily challenging time. This is true with anything and it’s not just an investment conversation. There are two extreme moments in an investor’s world which can parallel anybody’s personal experience. It’s when things are going fantastic and they’re high. At that point, everyone’s a brilliant investor, everyone’s optimistic, everyone sees the blue sky like, “Why do I even need an advisor at that point? I can do it all.” There are parallel to everyone’s personal life where you get artificial confidence when you were successful which may not necessarily be 100% truth.

PR 94 | Risk Versus Reward

Risk Versus Reward: Nobody needs people who are beaten down. We need these ideas and we need inspiration.

 

The contrary to that is the 2008 or 2009 scenario. Complete giving up like, “I don’t know anything. The future looks dim and extreme pessimism.” It’s the exact flip side where you’re not taking advantage of the opportunity and in fact wallowing in the darkness of it. That’s a lie too. The reality is the truth lies in the middle. It’s the oscillating curve of life which you have these highs and lows and not to get loaded into, as Rudyard Kipling says, the imposters. Those are imposters and we need to live in the middle and know that we’re going to have highs and lows but let’s appreciate those for what they are and continue on our journey. The more we can do that ahead of time, both personally, professionally and investment-wise, the more prepared we mentally are.

It’s like this, “This too shall pass,” saying because when people say that, it’s because there’s something that’s gone wrong and this is a way to help you to get through it. The truth is it applies in both directions. When things are great and when you feel as good as you could possibly imagine feeling, this too shall pass. That’s just the nature of the whole experience that we’re having. To get all worked up in fear when things look as troubling as they did, most of us even were aware in September 2008 or to be so irrationally exuberant. Even September 20th, 2018, it might have been the recent high watermark of the market, describing that the market only goes in one direction and that direction is up. Think in terms of how that greed and fear oscillate with people and how it drives different behavior.

We’re not well-designed to be disciplined investors and you could argue in other parts of your life. We do get carried away with the negatives and the positives but if you can look at things philosophically in that regard both personally and professionally, let’s enjoy the great times. Let’s not put too much pressure on the idea that it’s going to be great forever or we’re bulletproof. We don’t want to put too much weight when things are bad and out of our control that things are going to be bad forever. This too will pass. The more you can prepare yourself as a human being and treat the upsides with grades and the downsides with humor perhaps, the happier you’ll be in life.

I want to build a bridge to the way that you and I connected and came together. It was with the theme of building bridges through a TEDx experience that you curated up in South Lake Tahoe. I want to build the bridge to that and I suppose what’s coming up for me right now. There is a bridge that can exist between those two quite diametrically opposed or differing emotional states, that of fear and that of joy or exuberance. That bridge in many ways is how it is that we enjoy the ride because, without that, the ride that we’re taking is very much this rollercoaster experience. One day I could be up and the next day, I could be literally thinking it’s all over based on things that are outside of ourselves to the point of the event and the talk that I was privileged to be invited at TEDx event. It was more around the lines of how is it that we live within ourselves each day regardless of the stock market is up or it’s down. We still have a loving experience for ourselves and every place where we are interacting in the world. Let’s talk a little bit about that because you took on a massive project and you’ve been doing it a couple of years. I’d love to know how it is you got inspired to want to curate a TEDx event and what that’s been like. If you want to give us a little lay of the land as to what’s the good, the bad and the ugly, that would be great.

I love my community and I love where I live. I love the community members that we have and I’ve often looked for ways to try to contribute back to my community, doing so in a way that was consistent with the things that I was interested in. I love the sharing of ideas. I love expanding people’s ideas. I love educating people because we’re all better off when we get more information and get smarter about things collectively. We make better decisions as a society when we do that. TEDx was the perfect platform to be able to do that. It’s a good fit to check all the boxes for me. This is something that is not traditional but I can put this event on. I could bring amazing people in to share great ideas that aren’t just ideas that we have here in our town. They are ideas are from the outside that people are bringing in and that is international in scope. That was how it was born. I want to do this for my community. With all the other adventures in life, you run through the gamut of emotions like, “I’m going to put this event on. I’m going to spend thousands of hours on it and lots of money on it.” It’s not money making by the way. It’s quite the opposite. We’re not allowed to make money and we do a fantastic job of not making money at it.

Everyone's got something to say and everyone has a story to tell, and it's your job to find out what that is as a human being. Click To Tweet

We couldn’t make money and we did it with the exception. We were exceptional at it. You’re thinking all these things like, “This is going to be a lot of fun.” You’re also thinking, “Is anybody going to care? Is anybody going to show up? Does anybody else care about the same things that I care about? Am I benefiting the community?” You always thought of these questions and self-doubt about, “Am I wasting my time or is this going to be something of value?” We did the first one and we had to do a smaller one just based on the licensing and how it works with TEDx. We were limited to an audience of 100 people and we sold out in twenty minutes. We thought, “This is great. Maybe we’re onto something.” We had a nice event, great people, great speakers and lots of great feedback. We grew in size and we involved our local community college who are fantastic partners in it. As you grow, you’re still having these nagging voices of saying, “That’s nice that you want to grow. Does anybody else want to grow with you? When are you going to hit the wall on this thing and is there a wall to hit?” We were sold out in a few days on that one and that was about 260 people went to that one. It was a nice event and we had some great feedback.

The thought is let’s just spread this to as many people as we can. We’re giving all the information away. We want to inspire people to do things and to do things that either in their personal life or to do things that share their passions with the world because the world needs people with passion. Nobody needs people who are beaten down. We need these ideas and we need inspiration. I thought, “Let’s make it bigger again.” We were very happy to have the speakers we had, including you. You have left me with a fantastic mantra which has given me a lot of gratitude. Thank you for that and I appreciate that. Adding onto what you’re saying, this sense of gratitude in life is a place that can center us in those up times and those down times. You feel gratitude in the great times. It’s humbling to some degree and then the real negative times, it’s uplifting to feel that gratitude. That’s been our journey with TEDx. We had 450 people or so in the audience in a much bigger theater with the potential to do more. It’s been a great journey. I’ve met some amazing people and I made some great friendships. It’s just been a fulfilling ride so far.

Is it still your goal to see that event grow? Is there still an iteration of it that’s even bigger than I saw?

I’m willing to grow to the extent that the community is interested in growing too. If there’s a demand for growth then, absolutely. I don’t want to push things to the community that there isn’t interest for. I’m interested in sharing ideas and bringing the best of the best speakers, ideas, and inspiration to our community both from a sense of putting it out on a TEDx platform. That is essentially putting it out forever and hearing those ideas out there forever. It’s also for our local community to bring some sense of pride. To be there in person is quite a magical experience and very moving for a lot of folks. The experience to provide that is an honor for us.

Being a speaker at this event, I didn’t get to watch everybody’s talk but there was some that moved me. Sandra Joseph’s talk and Sam Horn’s talk and Max Stossel. We had Max and he shared a poem that was an impromptu poem that came up while we were chatting and I thought, “What a talented young man.” He’s just an incredible guy. Is there one particular talk that still resonates with you or a message or something that still is part of your consciousness on a regular basis?

PR 94 | Risk Versus Reward

Risk Versus Reward: The people who give the best talks are the ones who know who they are because they have that sense of connection with their passion and what they’re doing.

 

It’s like saying, “Which is your favorite child?” I am the collective whole of all the experiences that I’ve had in terms of my memory and inspiration from TEDx. There are a lot of individual ideas as I mentioned your mantra there. There’s a bunch of either philosophy with the way it shows or celebrates what’s right with the world. I love my life. I listen to other folks. Don’t wait for some days in the week. Do it now as the Dalai Lama said, “The problem is you think you have time.” You can say the sum total of all those snippets that I refer back in a mental Rolodex way. Art is very important to me as you can imagine with my parent’s background in art. Art matter because of the expression of self and the sense of passion and of that stuff. There is a consistent thread through all of this stuff which is hope and passion. It’s hard to go to a TEDx experience and not leave there completely inspired and hopeful.

What was the theme for your first event?

Our themes have just been placeholders in the sense that what we’re looking for is your best idea and not you to contrive your idea to fit our somewhat random theme. Most people don’t have gazillion great ideas. They’ve got a couple if they’re lucky. I want that couple and I don’t want you to make up something to fit the theme. I want you to bring your best of who you are because that is going to inspire others. One of the musicians that we had says, “What do you want me to do? I like this song but I think this one’s more pop and maybe more popular.” I said, “You’ve got to do you. You’ve got to bring what you’re feeling in your heart that you are going to be happy that you expressed.” She did and she was amazing. She brought that emotion to it and we saw it and we all loved it and felt it and have goosebumps. That’s just true. Everybody who’s a speaker, you need to be you. It’s cliché at this point but everyone else is taken so you be you in the best way that you know how to be you.

There are a lot of people who are looking for those opportunities or speakers or people who have something they want to say who are looking for a TEDx event. I heard some statistics and it’s crazy. Some of these events they’ve got 4,000 people applying for spots. It was an audition and there have been 40 people that have been selected to audition to be part of that group. These things have gotten competitive I suppose in some regard. The advice that you’ve just given us is priceless for those folks in our community or thinking about wanting to be part of a TEDx event at some point. The best advice is the one that you just provided. To be you and to do you, in the classic way that is. Some people are going, “If I only knew myself well enough to be me and to do me, I would.” It’s is great because part of the TEDx experience from my perspective is the way that you can distill an idea down. I started out with about 4,500 words of something that was two talks and not one. It was Hemingway who said, “Writing is a process of killing off your darlings.” These things that are so precious to you that you love. It’s your precious words and your precious thoughts. I had to kill them off in a way. It was excruciating, Robin.

I went from 4,500 words to 3,500 and I thought, “There’s just no way. I’ll just have to speak faster.” I’ll have to condense things and somehow bend time. After practice and realizing that I couldn’t get from a word count standpoint strictly. I couldn’t stay more than 2,400 words without it feeling rushed to me and rushed to the audience. It would have been the worst of all situations to be up there hurrying or speaking quickly as opposed to embodying whatever the message was and then delivering it at a pace that made sense. To get down was excruciating to cut things out but that process of excruciating focus on getting to the clearest message. The most concise and precise way to communicate something has such great value.

For anybody that’s even thinking about it or never gave it some thought but now all of a sudden, you’re thinking about it. If you’re clear about what you want to say and what message you have and have the idea worth spreading according to the standards, go for it. If you are somebody who knows you’ve got something deep inside to communicate but you’re not clear about that at all and you’re thinking, “That’s a good reason not to do it,” think of it the opposite. This might be the greatest opportunity in your adult life to get so crystal clear so that you could stand up in front of however many people, small or large group and communicate that from the heart in a very powerful way.

I always think everyone’s got something to say and everyone has a story to tell and it’s your job to find out what that is as a human being. It doesn’t mean you are doing a TED Talk but if it is, it’s great. It’s a great place to come from it and go through a journey to finding out who you are. The people who give the best talks are the ones who know who they are because you have that sense of connection with your passion and what you’re doing. I’ve spent a lot of time in that space understanding what it means and doing the research and understanding how you got here. The complexity of that depth leads to simplicity in the message and the simplicity of the message is the essence of it. That’s what makes it from 10,000 words to a much smaller talk but concise and with some beauty to it because it’s the simplicity of it all that appeals to a lot of folks.

Not only do you end up with your great talk, but you also end up with maybe twenty years of therapy in the process.

It is therapeutic to go through that journey.

Is there a ritual practice that you have each day that does something special for your outlook or your attitude or your remaining passion about the road ahead?

I have a few. I exercise daily and that involves some sense of cardio which I find to be quite meditative and I require it to be meditative. For me, that’s a huge stabilizer. It’s not only great for you physically but great for you mentally. Exercise in some way is a great thing to do. The other thing that I’ve done for going on is I wake up in the morning and I focus on all the things that I want in life. I’m not talking about material things but they could be and then in the evening, I focus on being thankful for everything that I have. I have found that to manifest a lot in my life. Even if it didn’t lead to manifestation, it leads you to a happier place. It leads you to a more centered a place. It allows you to maintain focus on the things that are important to you that you want. It also gives you that sense of gratitude at the end of the day. Maybe at sunset, you allow yourself some minutes to enjoy the sunset and you’re just thankful for that moment. Those two things can work together. I have found it to be quite productive for me.

I appreciate you being a guest on the show. I know our community is going to love having listened to you and learn from you and maybe even thinking about some new things based on this discussion.

I appreciate you having me. I’ve enjoyed our discussion as well and I look forward to the next.

I’ll leave our audience or Pivoters with this. If you’ve read to any recent episodes or even any of them from the beginning, we always come to this fork in the road which is how will we choose to embrace the day? Tomorrow if we’re lucky or as fortunate as we were now, we’ll get to wake up again. You brought that up, Robin, in how it is that you wake and the ritual that you have when you wake up and even the one you have before you go to bed. My prayer is that we all get to wake up again. It’s a blessing. It’s not a guarantee. It’s clear that when we’re waking up and we take the first conscious breaths of the day, there will be people taking their last breaths of life.

One of the things that have been quite helpful particularly when you’re doing hard things in life or hard training or hard at work is the attitude of, “I get to do this. I get to be outside. I get to be working hard. I get to feel my body working hard or my mind. I get to have this human experience.” It changes your perspective to your point. The alternative isn’t good. This moment is good.

Thank you, Robin. We get to and we don’t get to and how often we catch ourselves to got to get the energy of obligation or whatever that feels. It can detract from the moment. We all get to wake up and we get to. Take that breath and feel gratitude for that moment. If you’re willing to do this as well the way that our TEDx Talk ended was to propose that you take ten seconds. It’s not a requirement by any means but an invitation to take ten seconds. As you put your feet on the floor, feel gratitude and appreciation for yourself as you take those breaths. If you’re inclined to do it, you can say these words, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” What would it take tomorrow morning to wake up and acknowledge yourself in that way? What could be different? It’s something I’ve been doing for years now. Just as Robin said, these seemingly nonbusiness related practices pay tremendous dividends both on the side of the material world. They pay even greater dividends in this invisible world that we all live in primarily within ourselves. Robin, a pleasure and much gratitude to you for the incredible event that you both put on and invited me to participate in.

Thank you for all of it, Adam. I appreciate it and thanks for having me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. I’d love to get your thoughts and your feedback. If you go to iTunes, you can leave a review. We love to get those and we just want your honest feedback whatever that looks like for you. You can leave a comment and I’ll get to respond to you directly. If you want to join our community of like-minded and like-hearted Pivoters or people who are contemplating what it is that you’re wanting to incubate in the future even what changes are happening at this moment, you can go to StartMyPivot.com and join that community as well. We’ll see you again soon and we appreciate your commitment to this and giving us some of your time.

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About Robin DeSota

PR 94 | Risk Versus Reward

Robin DeSota is the founder and CEO of Palisade Investments, LLC., an SEC Registered Investment Adviser and fiduciary adviser with offices located in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Denver, and Seattle. Palisade Investments was recently ranked as the 34th fastest growing investment advisor in the U.S. out of 30,000. Robin also has prior experience working for a national Brokerage firm and a top 401(k) provider.

Robin is also the linchpin behind the TEDx Talks held in South Lake Tahoe. TEDxSouthLakeTahoe is a local, independently organized event that that strives to re-create the unique experience found at TED, where the world’s leading thinkers gather to share ideas with the hope of changing attitudes, lives, and ultimately the world.

Early in his career, Robin worked for a prominent land planning firm headed by the California State Parks Director. He has a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo whom he represented on the cross country and track teams. Robin enjoys travel and outdoor pursuits, including mountaineering, which has taken him to 5 continents and peaks as high as 23,000’. In all of his professional and personal pursuits, he strives for innovation, success, integrity, and inspiration.