On Purpose

How to Skill Transfer Your Financial Services Knowledge to More Healthy Habits

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We Talked With Stevyn About: 
  • The parallels of the financial services industry and health.
  • Why being “wellthy” starts with awareness.
  • How to find your health credit score and steps to improve it .

About Stevyn Guinnip:

As the daughter of a financial advisor, Stevyn Guinnip grew up watching her father help people build financial success and prepare for retirement, only to get sick or die prematurely because their health was neglected. She also saw financial advisors ignore their wellness for decades and found herself asking, “What good is wealth, if you don’t have your health?” Stevyn went on to earn a master’s degree in exercise physiology and became a certified health & wellness coach. A near-death experience in 2016 brought her to an epiphany—the same skills it takes to be financially successful are the ones necessary for staying healthy. Stevyn founded
Grow Wellthy and teaches her clients that health is their biggest asset. Today, she helps financial advisors, investors, and their clients retire “wellthy” by earning back their health.

Featured Resources & Shout Outs

Full Audio Transcript

Lauren (00:02):
Hi, Stevyn. Thank you for joining us.

Stevyn (00:05):
Hi. Thank you so much for inviting me. This is exciting.

Lauren (00:08):
Yes. Like I shared earlier, I've been following you on LinkedIn. I know we've got all these small town connections, small world connections. It's really fun to see that all come together. But I'm really looking forward today to really hearing about your company and what you bring to this world and financial services and the financial advisory world and all of those good things. And in particular about Grow Wellthy. So why don't we start there? What's your story? How did you get to where you with your offering?

Stevyn (00:40):
Yeah, sure. So Grow Wellthy is a play on words, obviously it's W E L L, it's wellness wealth. It's the other wealth that a lot of people aren't talking about. And if anyone's listening, I would just say the one main concept I teach is that your health is an asset, just like your 401(k) is an asset or properties you may hold are an asset. It is something we want to treat like a financial portfolio to be there for us in the future. So because of that, the name of the company is Grow Wellthy because we're actually trying to not go bankrupt in this space of health and wellness because we need it in retirement just as much as we need those dollars. And so I came into this because my dad is a financial advisor. He was for 32 years in the industry.

So I jokingly say I've been in the industry since I was 11 when he started that business. And I got to see from the inside out what it takes to be in this industry with the stress, the sedentary, the pressure, all of the things to grow a business, to be seen, to be heard, to be relevant, to take care of your clients. And I was like, oh my gosh, that's a lot. I don't want that. My dad asked me, he said, do you want to go into this business? He had a booming business. And I said, no, I don't want this because I've seen too much of the high producers, the very successful financial professionals, what it takes from them, and I didn't like it. So I went and became an exercise physiologist. I said I'm going to fix this from the other side. So for 20 years I did that, and it was when I almost died in 2016 while living in Australia that my two worlds collided.

And that was the world of understanding the financial services industry and understanding what health is. And my own near-death experience made me realize they're the same. They're identical industries. It's just that one of them has an asset of money, one of them has an asset of health, but you follow the same principles to achieve success in both—long-term thinking, small deposits, consistency, staying out of debt, having all these different concepts. And I was like, oh my gosh, all we have to do to help these people who mean so much to me is skill transfer all these concepts they already know just to a different medium, which is their health, and then they can get to retirement, not be bankrupt, not have one good year, die at the desk, all these things I've heard. And that's where Grow Wellthy was born when I kind of made those two worlds come together.

Lauren (03:09):
So share a little bit more about who you serve today. What kind of things are you doing for them?

Stevyn (03:15):
So I serve financial professionals, people who understand money. I help them to assess how they're doing with their health, look at the trend that's been happening, and then we find the gaps and we change that trend to a better place. So I work with financial people to transform their health, to get out of debt with their health and to become an abundance of wellness. And we do that through coaching, group coaching and private coaching. And that's something I've been doing for years now and most recently, which is kind of interesting for your people, is that we've started to actually integrate that into the culture of the company and to say, okay, this is great for me as the financial professional to change my health, but how do I integrate this into the culture of my company and help my clients to understand how this is an important thing for them too? So we've started educating and offering value add and ways to attract and retain more people by delivering these concepts through what I call the quarterly wealth webinar series. So there's kind of two arms to what I do.

Lauren (04:29):
So when people come to you, are they at a breaking point? What is the trigger? Are you trying to, I'm assuming, of course, wanting to try and reach them before you get to that, but what's the reality?

Stevyn (04:43):
Kind of in financial services, the younger the person is, the less they're willing to take action and save for retirement, even though they should, they should start decades earlier.

Lauren (04:57):
Really, there's many things you should do, right? 

Stevyn (05:00):
Right. It's the same with health. They're like, okay, when should we start? Two decades ago, that's really when we should have started. So people come to me, they're like, yeah, I kind have been neglecting this for a while. So there's two big triggers. One of them is turning 40. They're like, I'm at 40ish and I've been not doing what I should be doing, and I feel like it's going to get serious soon if I don't do something. That's one. The others are people who are maybe 50, maybe even 60, who are like, okay, my bloodwork does not look good. My doctors want me to take this medication. I'm at risk for a heart attack. I've got these issues that are not making me feel healthy, and they're going to turn into a really big problem soon. And so then we're really trying to make changes quickly to get them out of the danger zone and back on solid ground again. So there's kind of the people who are more preventive in nature and the ones who are trying to fix a problem.

Lauren (05:52):
So just in the wealth management space, there's triggers in all of it. Someone gets scared, has a baby. So you're sharing that these triggers are really turning points with your age. Something happens medically, what have you. And I'm assuming there's been other factors that are sort of off so they know they should be doing something. So what do you do to help them get that in line? I mean, as business owners and a lot of advisors, you're going out, you're hitting the ground, it's high energy, it's hard to fit in these other things and make them a priority, even sort of fit it in to what's going on, or well kind of get their own buy-in, right?

Stevyn (06:35):

Lauren (06:36):
I see the alignment with a little bit of what you're talking about with the financial planning side of it, but keep going. 

Stevyn (06:42):
Yeah. Well, I've interviewed 500 financial professionals because I'm writing a book on this topic. And the three things I consistently hear, and I see this in my own clients too, there's three barriers that keep people from actually doing it. Everybody wants to be healthy but not everyone is doing it. And so that creates this frustration gap. So the three things are that they are unmotivated—they know they should do it but they're just not that motivated to make changes. So they use excuses, I just don't have time, or things are too busy right now, or whatever. And so what we have to do is address that and make it a priority by showing them what I call longevity metrics. When they see their longevity metrics, they're like, whoa, I had no idea. I am 52 but my metabolic or biological age is 67.

What? No, this can't keep going. I'm going to die too young. So we take some of these really key metrics and help them to see where they really are as opposed to just like, oh, I probably should do something. They're like, this is where you are. And that's really motivating, and it creates perpetual motivation. You start to see these numbers create a trend, and then you get excited about it. So that's number one. Number two, it's just utter confusion. They're like, well, I tried keto and then I was told I should probably do this 75 HARD program. And then someone said if I just ate asparagus or whatever, there's a million ideas of somebody's cousin's aunt who did something and lost 30 pounds, and it's like analysis paralysis. They don't know what's right for them. And so that's what we have to do too, is ask what are the best practices?

And then what are they based on? They're based on three authorities, which is how you feel about it, what your results say, and what does science say? So we kind of clear the mud and make it really actionable on a few items that get them to where they're wanting to go in a very strategic way. And then the third thing is that they may know what to do and they're motivated but they just can't be consistent for whatever reason. They'll go a few days and then miss a few days. So we work on the consistency pieces, what to do, the right time of day to do it, and we embed it into four of the habits they're already doing in their day. They're four routines that are happening every day no matter where they are, and it throws it on autopilot. I call these the High ROI routines, and that's basically just making sure you're doing the least amount of effort to create the biggest amount of impact on your health so it's sustainable over the next several decades. And that's the process we go through and it works.

Lauren (09:17):
And is it customized to each individual? How are they monitoring this? Is it through an app?

Stevyn (09:26):
I have a coach portal.

Lauren (09:26):
Yeah, share a little bit more.

Stevyn (09:28):
Yeah, I'm the coach. I have a portal that is HIPAA compliant. They get a username and password. We actually go through and communicate constantly through that, through either data exchange because a lot of these wearable devices and things we do are actually auto ported right into it. So I can see what's happening behind the scenes and I can give them direct feedback on that and say, I noticed this happened. You might want to try that, or how come we're doing this? And we just kind of start to build this customized process. But there are five main concepts they go through, and I teach everyone the same main concepts but how those play out to each individual is very unique. So there may be one gentleman who’s really working hard on fixing his meals and balancing out his macros and his fiber because he’s just way out of whack.

Once we get those balanced, all of a sudden his weight starts to fall off. I have somebody else who's just incredibly stressed. So they're going to spend more time in that module working on those techniques to get their heart rate variability, their HRV, down so they can actually start to achieve their goals. And so each person may have specifics they're working on but they all work for everybody, generally speaking. So what I'm trying to do is help them become their own wealth manager. So as their body changes and their lifestyle needs change over the years, they just go back to these five concepts and rearrange things and rebalance their portfolio and their health continues to stay as high as possible. And I call it living long and dying short, or just trying to extend their health span so their sick spans shrink and they're not losing their quality of life or spending money on stuff they don't want to spend it on.

Lauren (11:16):
Yeah, okay. It sounds like it is customized to each individual but are there tricks you've seen, especially for busy professionals? Does everyone calendar it out or does everyone have a wearable device? What are those efficiencies that keep that sort of pattern of accountability in there that make it as easy as possible? It's like a meal planning program. I’d love to hear more on that because people are busy and you have to make it fit or else it can feel more friction, and that can also, I would assume, deter people. 

Stevyn (11:53):
Yeah. Well, more friction creates more cortisol and more cortisol in your system prevents you from reaching your goals in a state of breakdown all the time. Stress can be mental but it can also be physical. And so the last thing we want to do is create more friction. We want it to be fun and easy. That's our guide. I call it becoming a dopamine detective. Dopamine is the feel-good hormone in your brain. So when it feels good and it's good for you, follow that, follow that. And sometimes that's where people start. We're just like, if I give you everything you should be doing, you're going to become overwhelmed. It's not going to work. Where's the place that feels good to you? So I would encourage anyone listening to this or watching this to say, what's something—just do an audit of your life.

What's something that feels good and is good for you? For me, it's hiking. I love to get out and hike, and I always have really great numbers on my wearable whenever I get outside. So how do I build more of that into my life? Or I love my shoes. I know this is crazy but my running shoes are kind of a purple and blue, really crazy colors, and when I put them on they make me feel happy. Sometimes it's just that, just get a new pair of shoes that make you feel happy that you want to put them on, and that can catapult you into more things because we have to follow the dopamine. That's why people get stuck in eating snacks late at night because dopamine feeds in their head, because it feels good to do that. We just have to find other feel-good things.

And so that's where I would tell people to start: what do you like and what actually is good for you as well? And the other thing I would say is get the book Outlive. If you're looking for another book to read, I highly recommend this book by Dr. Peter Attia. He’s got great stories. He's a physician but he also comes from a background of risk assessment for the banking industry. It's a really cool kind of combo hybrid skill set, and he's got some great concepts I think people could learn a lot from. So if you need a book, I would recommend that one. Also, I think a good place to start is ACT. So ACT is an acronym, and it's obviously three letters. The A is your awareness, what are you actually doing? As soon as someone says to me, I try to exercise three days a week, I know immediately they're not doing it.

Lauren (14:18):
Red flags. 

Stevyn (14:19):
Yeah, red flags.

Lauren (14:20):
We've all been there. You're like, there's these little subtle words and you're like, I try. Yeah, I hear you. I know we've totally all been there.

Stevyn (14:30):
Yeah, so be real, it's the reason why some people don't go to financial planners. They try to save 10% every month, but they're not; in fact, they're going into debt and they don't want anybody to know that. But you can't actually get better until you see it for what it is. So A is awareness, and you can get that through getting a wearable, like this is a Fitbit. You can get an Apple watch or a ring, whatever, but what are you doing? And then the next letter is C, which is curious. Get curious. That's just start posing questions. I wonder what it would be like if I did go to bed an hour earlier. And sometimes just posing the question is enough for your subconscious mind to start to chew on it and create space for that thing you've just asked for. And then the T is find something, take some action. Any action will start to build momentum. You can't feel motivated and then take action. Action creates the motivation, so do something and then the motivation will show up afterward. So hopefully that gives people some ideas.

Lauren (15:31):
Yeah, those are really good tips. It can be scary to be able to commit to something like this, right? You've got to show up and then you've got to be able to act on it. So I'm sure you help to hold that action accountable too, but to help, how do you ease that scariness? Are people having to get gym memberships? What kind of volume of time is required even to sort of get going, and then when do you see it sort of level out where a pattern is actually quite consistent?

Stevyn (16:03):
If someone were to work with me, what's that commitment look like?

Lauren (16:07):
Yeah, what's kind of the ramp up to actually get to a place of steady consistency and what's the initial kind of commitment?

Stevyn (16:16):
It usually is about six weeks to find consistency and automation in these habits, and there's a bit of confusion.

Lauren (16:26):
That’s long. I have to say that because I mean, I was thinking you're going to say like 90 days or something like that at least. But yeah, it’s about patterns. Is it in 30 days a pattern can be created, something like that?

Stevyn (16:39):
Some people say 21 days. Yeah, the first two weeks of working together is very much data collection. We're just trying to figure out what's going on and where the issues are. And then after that, once we understand them, then we can pick the best practices that work for that person. And then it's a matter of working it out and figuring out where these things fit and how they're going to be easy and automated and not something they're going to, I can do it. I know I can. I'm talking myself into it. No, can you see yourself doing this in five years? Well, no. Well, then let's not do that. We're not going to pick that one up. We'll pick up something else that seems easier. So that takes us two or three weeks to kind of figure that part out. And then we kind of refine things.

And the last week of working together is called High ROI routines where we bring all of it together into this beautiful web of wellness where you actually get 16 opportunities to make choices for yourself throughout the day. And by that time, I'm like, we're launching now. You've got what you need. It's time to actually take off. And then they can either go on their own and take their plan and execute on their own, or they can stick with me on a monthly membership to hold them accountable. And a lot of times people stay with me for a year. I have several people who started four months ago and they've already reached first goals and they're into second goals. Like, oh my gosh, I never thought I'd be here. One of them was to be under 200 pounds. He hit 199 within I think two months.

It was like 30 pounds of weight loss, and he's feeling great. He's achieved all three of his goals we started working on. He's like, I'm ready for my next goals. Let's keep going with this. And so it's really up to the individual where they set their goals and what they want to continue to pursue. But as far as initially setting up this framework, which is why I have it this way, I used to teach these concepts over a year and just drip it out very slowly and slowly improve people's lives. It doesn't work very well that way. Give them the plan and then slowly implement the plan so they can see the whole picture that works for their goals, get all that stuff done, and it works so much better to achieve, to actually get it done for good and never revisit those higher weights or blood pressures or cholesterol levels.

Again, I have one gentleman who went through this and within four months he had reached his goal. He went back to the doctor and the doctor's like, you did it. I've been bugging you for 10 years to take blood pressure medication and now you don't have to anymore. Your cholesterol's fine, your blood pressure's fine. He's like, do you know how good that feels? To not have to say, I promise I'll do it this time. It's done, right? It's done. And he's the first one to say it's, I've got my habits. It's like clockwork. I just do these things all the time now. So to me, six weeks is nothing. You take six weeks, you commit an hour a week to learn the concept, and then you take some action and communicate with me through the portal and this beautiful thing just blooms of your new habits.

Lauren (19:37):
So a lot of advisors will often refer to themselves as the financial quarterback for an individual. So I'm sure you've heard this expression as well. So do you find yourself in sort of a quarterback role? Are you liaising with others to be able to help that individual reach their goals? Or is it kind of a one-stop shop but it's that individual's responsibility to, I don't know what it might be, if it's identifying an easy meal planning program or something like that. How does that side of it work?

Stevyn (20:09):
Yeah, I help them find all of those resources. So if it's to understand, we use apps; I've got a customized thing that we can actually say, okay, what foods don't you like? What do you like? And we can build a meal plan specific to their likes and dislikes and give them a whole collection of meals that are what they want that meet all their goals. So we have those resources. I tell them what blood tests to get. I say, here's the scale you need to order off of Amazon. It's $25. It's going to tell us a whole bunch of different body composition numbers. I help them figure out which of the wearables is going to be the best one for them. Some of them love their Rolexes, and so they're not going to wear something like this. So we have the Oura Ring and they wear just the ring, and that works out fine too.

So we figure out all of that stuff. And then if they have a doctor who is going to work with them on this stuff, great. If they don't have a doctor who’s willing to work with them on this stuff, then we help them either supplement the testing with just their own tests they get themselves or find a new doctor who is going to help them. Because some doctors are just like, you're fine. Stay on cholesterol medication, stay on blood pressure. You don't need to worry about this. You're fine. And when they come and they say, no, I'm taking back some ownership of my health here and I want to get off these medications, I want to get to this new weight, I want to do whatever. Some doctors just aren't willing to work with that and some are. So we have to help them navigate that too.

Lauren (21:36):
Okay. Oh my goodness. So many things to consider. So on a related topic, to just swing back to the initial part of the conversation. You also had shared that you talked with, it sounds like employees as well, or even potentially those advisors referring you out to their own clients. So are you doing workshops for employees around this? Am I understanding that right? And what kinds of topics are people interested in?

Stevyn (22:04):
So we started in 2023 in January. We've done three of these. Now the next one's coming up; there are four, we'll say there's four a quarter, or sorry, four a year, one a quarter. And it's a live event with me where I teach on a specific topic. Last time we did it, it was healthspan versus lifespan and what that means for your financial portfolio. So it's connecting the dots between a client's health and their wealth and helping the advisor have better conversations with them in their planning meetings. The one before that was tax-free health, how to reduce taxes and keep money, more of your health for retirement. Then we did one on health as well. And then I think we've got one coming up that's called Your Health 401(k).

Lauren (22:49):
Oh my goodness.I love that title, Your Health 401(k). It’s so fun.

Stevyn (22:59):
Yeah, so that's the one that's coming up in October. And so we do this in two ways. We educate, they're educational, and we're not working on the transformation. I'm not coaching people, we're just educating on these ideas. And so sometimes in a financial firm, we're just educating within their own structure, within their own support staff and financial advisors to help them as a value add. But then sometimes they take this and they invite their clients to it, and they use that to drive referrals or to keep this thing interesting, build themselves apart, build an event, customer appreciation. And the feedback we've been getting is fantastic. No one's ever done this. No one's ever talked to me about this before. I had no idea these things were so connected. What do I need to do? And they start taking more interest in their health because they realize how connected it is to their own financial portfolio. Oh, that's great. Yeah, that's been really fun. 

Lauren (23:55):
It's a new unity, like a built-in event. And sometimes what we see too is with prospects, they're not ready to talk about the numbers. They're thinking about what am I going to consult about after I've retired? Or other topics that are more here and now. So it's an interesting sort of even lead into prospects, especially if you're sort of looking at those time periods you mentioned.

Stevyn (24:16):
Yeah. Yeah.

Lauren (24:17):
Oh, fun. Well, we're about at our time here. Any other final thoughts or things you think would be helpful to share for folks who might be interested in exploring this kind of a service?

Stevyn (24:29):
Yeah. Well, I think a good place for anyone to start, like I said, is with the A awareness of that ACT acronym. And one way they can do that is go to my website@growwellthy.com slash quiz, or it's just on the homepage too. And you can get your health credit score in that quiz. So basically you answer, I think it's 15 questions, and it's going to give you a score from 400 to 850—what your credit score looks like for your health, because that's your buying power for your future, your purpose, your relationships, all the things you want to do in retirement depend on that score. And so that's a good place to be like, just how am I doing? And what that will do is give you information, some steps to follow, but it also gets you onto my newsletter, which is called Well-Advised and Well-Advised goes out once a month.

And I share interesting topics, people who are doing great things in this space, in the industry and spotlight, and maybe even someone who’s listening with you wants to be a spotlight who's doing great things in this space. But my whole goal is to plant seeds of thought and open new concepts that this is part of financial planning. Your health is part of that, and it affects your assets, and it is its own asset. And how you deal with that, with your own life and with your clients’ life and how you infiltrate that into your culture, I think is really important. So a good place to start is how am I doing? Where's my credit score? And just go take that quiz on my website.

Lauren (25:59):
Oh, I love it. And like I said, I really enjoy hearing about the fusion between this world and wellness. So interesting.

Stevyn (26:07):
Yeah, it's fun.

Lauren (26:08):
Thank you again for your time, Stevyn. Really appreciate it and I'm looking forward to staying in touch.

Stevyn (26:12):
All right. Thanks so much.

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