Join us today for  the Interview with Matt Lesser, author of Unsatisfied: When Less is More...

This is the interview I had with speaker, leadership coach, and author Matt Lesser.  

In today’s podcast I interview Matt Lesser.  Matt shares with you what brought him to write Unsatisfied and why it applies to you.  Matt also talks about his faith journey as well.  I also ask Matt to share with you why legacy and having a why is so important.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1322: Interview with Matt Lesser about his book Unsatisfied: When Less is More

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1,322 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:09] Matt Lesser: I'm Matt Lesser. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to find your real definition of success is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this.

[00:00:30] The Inspired Stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.

[00:00:43] What am I passionate about and what am I called to do and I'm calling to be? That can be a difficult one because it can get all wrapped up into some mystical ideas and emotion. It's really what is that thing inside of you that you have either you love to do and you do it [00:01:00] without even thinking about it, or you do it for free or you do whatever you're willing to give that away just cuz you love doing it.

[00:01:05] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time. Your talent and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:37] Matt Lesser: In

[00:01:37] Scott Maderer: today's podcast, I interview Matt Lesser Matt shares with you what brought him to write his book, unsatisfied, and why it applies to you. Matt also talks about his faith journey as well, and I also ask Matt to share with you why legacy and having a why is so important. One reason I like to bring you great interviews like the one you're gonna hear today is because of the [00:02:00] power in learning from others.

[00:02:02] Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by Audible. Go to inspired to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial.

[00:02:23] There's over 180,000 titles to choose from, and instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast. Matt Lesser has trained leaders, teams and boards of directors for over 20 years, and on six continents, he is the founder and c e o of uniquely normal L c.

[00:02:53] Facilitating leaders, leadership teams and boards on their journey to improving organizational health and [00:03:00] performance. He has served in various C-suite roles in private equity banking and commercial uniform industries. He also launched an operated several businesses in the Midwestern petroleum industry and his new book called Unsatisfied When Less is More.

[00:03:16] Is out now. Lesser and his family live in northeastern Indiana. He enjoys traveling, biking, running, weightlifting, riding, public speaking, and reading. Welcome to the

[00:03:26] Matt Lesser: show, Matt. Thanks, Scott. Glad to be here. I've been looking forward to our conversation today.

[00:03:32] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. I'm looking forward to it as well.

[00:03:35] I shared a little bit of your background in the intro and a little bit of some of the things that you've been doing, but would you expand a little bit more on, on your journey and your background and what brought you to, now the point you are today with the book coming out and the work that you're doing now?

[00:03:55] Yeah.

[00:03:55] Matt Lesser: Happy to share. So after college I went into [00:04:00] our family business. And it was one of those things, Scott, that. That wasn't necessarily my intention. My my, my dad and I just didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things. And but after college, that's where I wound up and I did that for a year and a half, went into resign.

[00:04:18] So I walked into his office one day, I said, dad, this isn't working. One of us needs to go and it's probably not gonna be you because you own the stock. And and he said, literally, he said, sit down. So I sat down and he said, actually, I'm leaving. And he meant it and he left and he divorced my mom of 29 years at the time.

[00:04:36] And on his way out the door, signed the business over and that should have been a red flag. But instead I viewed that as, oh wow, okay, I can do this. No problem. I was, Cocky just outta college. Academics came natural to me, and so therefore, I thought everything would, and within the first six months I uncovered mess, after mess.

[00:04:58] And I was looking [00:05:00] at certain failure. And in, in the process of doing that, I went through a. I spiraled into a very deep, dark, suicidal depression. And it was in the bottom of that I called a pit because that's what it felt like. I felt like it was in this dark hole that I had no way out of. And so I became helpless and hopeless and I.

[00:05:20] Quite frankly, that's where Miracle, after Miracle just began to happen. God orchestrated an amazing story out of that. And so I was removed completely for a period of time about six about nine months. And during that time a a local businessman friend of my mom's came in and just helped us see what we had.

[00:05:41] We were able to start over and so we started over. And then literally from the first month forward, it was profitable. And so from there it was just three of us. So it was me and my mom. I had hired my mom to come work for me and a family friend that worked for us for 35 years combined me and my dad.

[00:05:57] And by the time that I sold it [00:06:00] about about 11 years later it had grown immensely. It started out with three people. By the time we sold it, we had about 180 lives. And and so you have to learn real quickly how to lead. And that's where I fell in love with leadership because they don't teach you in business school how to go through a business failure and they don't teach you how to necessarily skill a scale.

[00:06:25] Scale a business from three people to 180. And and so a lot of my learning and leadership was in the trenches. Trial and error. A lot of error. And and so I just became passionate about healthy, effective leadership. So after I sold the business, I actually went to work in private equity. I went to work for the gentleman who helped us when we were in the dark times.

[00:06:47] And I spent 12 years there. And most of the time that I was there, I was focused on either operations or the investment side or leadership development. And it was in my time where I was traveling the [00:07:00] world, literally looking for investment opportunities, and I would meet with the owners of businesses.

[00:07:04] Many of these businesses were family owned, just like I had, and they had grown it oftentimes. They were they were, oftentimes, they're the first generation and they had reached a point of success in their business, but they had capped out. And so I began to hear this story, Scott and I didn't hear it once, twice, or three times.

[00:07:21] I heard it a hundred times. And it was this, it was. Man, I, here I sacrificed all of this. And what this was usually their marriage, many of them were on their either divorced or second or third marriage or if they were still married. They had largely, they had a separate lives. Their kids were often grown and gone and had very little to do with dad because he wasn't around when it was often dad, sometimes it was mom.

[00:07:45] Most of it was dad. Dad was never around and it's and I kept hearing this. If I could just do it over again, I would've done it so much differently, or I wish I could do it over again. And so there's this deep sense [00:08:00] of regret, this deep sense of being unsatisfied. When I, when literally it's okay, I have everything I thought I wanted.

[00:08:07] I have money, I have discretionary time, now I have flexibility, I have autonomy, I have this, but I'm miserable. And that's what made me start to think about writing a book on it, because there was just so much there. And so I began literally at the same time this was happening, I was beginning to look myself in the mirror.

[00:08:27] My kid, I have three kids and one of them was getting ready to graduate high school. And I began asking, okay, wait a minute, where have I been while my kids

[00:08:35] have

[00:08:35] Matt Lesser: growing up? Because as I have chased my career and ch climbed the corporate ladder and when I had my own business as well. And so all these things collided at the same time and I can't explain all the reasons what happened or why it happened even, but the way that I did things literally stopped working.

[00:08:55] I'm a doer by nature. I love engagement. I love execution, and [00:09:00] the way that I did things just stopped working, or at least stopped working for me. And so I wound up leaving a job that I honestly, I thought I would retire at and I left. I. And I went into another role regrettably because it was not a good fit and my wife didn't want me to do it either.

[00:09:17] I didn't listen. Literally it was about money and it didn't work out. And so I left there and then I started this business. And at the same time, I started this business right during the middle of Covid. Don't recommend doing that. Very difficult to start a consultancy when when you can't meet with people face-to-face.

[00:09:36] And so I ended up going to work. Actually. It was a combination first client, but I was on his payroll kind of a thing. Anyway, did that for a year. That's when I started writing this book. And I had the idea for the book about a decade prior. And about five years later than the model that's in the book.

[00:09:56] First came to mind, and I had the first four [00:10:00] layers of the model, but I didn't have that fifth. And the difference between the fourth and the fifth is what finally was the catalyst to write the book. And wrote the book, came out last October. Immediately started writing actually, while was the process of finishing the editing and preparing for lunch.

[00:10:16] I started writing my second book. That one now is in edit. I'm released a manuscript last week actually, so that'll be out later this year. And the second book is really the book I wanted to

[00:10:27] Scott Maderer: write a, a couple of things came to mind during that. And first off you mentioned the that the book came out of or some of what came out of that as this kind of dissatisfaction with where you were at and how you'd gotten there.

[00:10:45] And yet you had the trappings of. Success money, good position, travel, all of that. And I think that's something that a lot of people can resonate with. You, like you said I've heard that [00:11:00] story before. I've had some of it play out in my own life what do you think keeps us from.

[00:11:08] From recognizing while we're in it why we're building that mess that we then get into what keeps us from seeing that's what we're doing that we're creating something that ultimately we aren't going to be satisfied with, we aren't gonna be happy with, and yet we're creating it anyway.

[00:11:27] Matt Lesser: That is a, that, that is a terrific question, and it's the question that I have been pondering ever since I started this own journey, my own journey, about five years ago in this. And I think it's a multifaceted answer and I think it's complex, quite frankly. And so I start with fear. I. So you have fear of the unknown.

[00:11:46] Many people have a dream that they would like to pursue something else, whether it's their own business or writing or speaking or whatever or whatever. It's, and no matter how big or small, but there's this comfort I [00:12:00] think that we get used to having a nice paycheck and benefits and it's predictable.

[00:12:05] We we know what our work schedule is for the most part. We know what we have to do. The expectations are, So you just get into this comfortable rhythm and it produces a nice life. And I think to think about leaving that behind, jumping into something else where we don't know the outcomes, it's not predictable.

[00:12:24] It may or may not work out. That's scary. And so I think there's this blend of comfort. Predictability and fear that all play this role. And there's also this societal, I think, expectation and messaging that goes around it of what you do in your career is you work your tail off, you climb the corporate ladder as high as you climb, as quickly as you climb.

[00:12:48] No matter what it takes to get there a thing. I don't care who you climb over, who you stab, whatever you do, stab in the back rather and you just do it. And I think we've been fed that's the American way or the west, even [00:13:00] western, a western world way. And it's a lie.

[00:13:03] And so it's what you have to do is you have to work hard, make a lot of money, and you buy the house. Buy the vacation house, buy cars. You have this vic, wonderful vacations. Do this. And then you're living the dream. And it's not a dream. It's a nightmare. And part of that too, I think So I work with a lot of folks that are one of the areas that causes them to come with me is that they're, they make really good money, but they're broke.

[00:13:31] Scott Maderer: They've got on paper they make high six figures, multi six figures. I've even had my, my highest income earner earn $250,000 a month. Not that's insane amounts of money to most people. And yet, They don't necessarily have the things to show for it that you would expect in terms of even just monetarily but for sure around relationship and communication and [00:14:00] family and joy in their life.

[00:14:03] Yep. And all too often, a lot of times what I hear is I'll do that when I retire. But I've also known the people that passed away six months before retirement.

[00:14:16] Matt Lesser: Or six months into it, or six months into it. Either

[00:14:19] Scott Maderer: one. Yeah. Yeah. And it's that, I think a lot of times we think that I'll do it later becomes our mantra as opposed to why not find a way to actually enjoy your life now and Exactly.

[00:14:34] Provide for your family and do all of those other things. We make it an either or so often. Yeah.

[00:14:39] Matt Lesser: Yeah. Yeah. And I think part of that is having the right perspective. And I love this exercise and I actually have this in the book as one of the exercises to do. And that's it's a legacy exercise.

[00:14:53] Fast forward to the end of your life no matter how old you're right now, and think about what do you want to be remembered for? What [00:15:00] do you want people to be saying about you? And once you find out, when you do this exercise I've done this exercise with high profile, high power leaders.

[00:15:10] And they're in tears often because they realize that they're, the path that they're on in life is not going to lead to their desired end of life outcome. It's not about how many zeros you have behind your net worth. It's not about how powerful you are, how big your business is. It's about relationships, often, usually family and friends and impact.

[00:15:29] And when they begin to realize that those paths are quite divergent, then it causes a serious wake up call and a crisis of belief in their own lives. They didn't mine.

[00:15:39] Scott Maderer: So I can, yeah. I can afford to have my coffin made out of gold, but who would care?

[00:15:43] Matt Lesser: Exactly. Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about your own faith journey and how that intersected with your personal journey and writing this

[00:15:54] book?

[00:15:56] Yeah. Absolutely. It's an integral part of who I [00:16:00] am. So I I actually I gave my life to Christ when I was four years old, but I didn't really accept, I didn't really accept my faith as my own until I was a teenager. I. I had a rare, a very rare blood disease blood disorder going into my freshman year of high school.

[00:16:16] And I spent a year in the hospital in and outta the hospital, primarily in, and it was about halfway through that year where I finally surrendered my life to God and re and that was the point I point to where I took my faith for myself. And that was a game changer for me. And it was about the same time too, that I sensed God's calling on my life.

[00:16:37] To do what I'm doing now. It took 30 years, over 30 years actually, to get clarity on what that was. But here I am. And and then going through my depression, that really taught me about dependence on him and how dependent I really am and need to be. And that's really against my personality because I tend to be very independent, maverick, get it done a thing.

[00:16:57] If it's, to me, it's up to me a thing. [00:17:00] And and a lot of that began to be debunked. And when I had my own business my, my mindset at first was, okay I need to work my tail off in business and then I need to do ministry in the church. And so for a long time I was working 60, 70, 80 hours a week in business, and I was putting another 20 hours a week in the church.

[00:17:21] And this is a time when I was starting to have kids and I just literally was never home. And and so finally a dear mentor friend of mine, he's since passed away took me out to lunch one day and I was, he was asking me about faith and faith integration. And so I talked to him about what I just explained.

[00:17:38] And he said, wow. He said, that sounds exhausting. And he says, why do you do it that way? And it's because God calls us to be in ministry. And he's why don't you integrate? He's like, why don't you integrate your faith in what you do during the day in business? And then you'll have your, you'll have your ministry place as your mission place in in the work.

[00:17:59] And I, [00:18:00] as a thought, quite frankly, I knew it wasn't a new thought. It'd been around for a long time, but it was the first time I had that thought. Cuz he gave it to me. And from that point forward, Scott I really sought to integrate and live an integrated life. My faith in my work, my home and be the same person I am at home as I am at work, as I am at church, as I am in the community and not live.

[00:18:20] This kind of the two, two paths in life, or two roads in life kind of a thing. It was an exhausting way to live. And that's the way I des I wanted to live. Did I do it perfectly? No, absolutely not. I failed, I sinned just like everybody else does. And I and when I became aware of that, you asked for forgiveness and you accept God's grace and you move on.

[00:18:40] And so when I wrote the book, then. I wanted to it would've been inauthentic of me to not integrate my faith into the book. But I also knew that as soon as you start introducing faith, especially Christian faith, especially if you use the name Jesus, you can alienate yourself [00:19:00] and you can marginalize yourself from people that you really want to read your book.

[00:19:05] And so the way I handled it in the book is actually the same thing in my second one coming out is. I just right up front said, Hey, here's my worldview. I have a biblical worldview. I have a relationship with Jesus, and that's my faith system, and that's who I am. And I'm occasionally going to talk about it because I can't not talk about it.

[00:19:25] However, I don't expect you to believe what I believe. I'm not gonna push my beliefs on you. I'm not gonna proselytize. All I would ask is that I'm gonna respect what you believe. Please respect what I believe. And if at any time you know you want to talk about it, I have an open door. And it's the same thing now when I do coaching or I do consulting I had a, I had somebody ask me just recently how do you handle faith when you're coaching consulting?

[00:19:49] It's the same thing. I open the door, but if they don't wanna walk through it, we don't walk through it. So a

[00:19:56] Scott Maderer: lot of that, yeah. I and I have a similar approach [00:20:00] with I have a faith-based podcast. I have a faith-based business. But what I tell people is that's because I. I'm a person of faith.

[00:20:07] That doesn't mean you have to be. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. My, my favorite is when I have I have a few clients that are of a radically different faith than I am and yet we usually find common ground because at the end of the day the belief is it about, A particular message as much as it is, oh no, we can still talk we can still find the things that we agree on and that we see eye to eye and have in common.

[00:20:38] Yeah. So earlier you mentioned uncovering the you had the first four levels of the framework, but you uncovered the fifth, and that was more about that. Can you talk more in unsatisfied with the framework the approach you take and what you were talking about when you said when I found the fifth one it was clear that [00:21:00] it's like something changed in your mind with that.

[00:21:02] What was that about?

[00:21:05] Matt Lesser: Yeah, sure. Love to So I started with the first four levels. So it was a, for whatever reason it was a triangle model. It just worked the way that I was building this book. It just worked that way. And so the bottom level is diminishing. And so it's people that have just checked out on life given up, and they're just living this diminished existence.

[00:21:25] Next layer is surviving. People that get up every day and they do whatever it takes to survive another day, they're gonna, they're gonna work hard. They're gonna run hard. They're gonna do whatever I have to do to that day to live that day. Not taking a whole lot about tomorrow, about today. And then they're striving it, it's people that begin to realize I don't want this daily existence.

[00:21:43] I want to figure out a way to, to better myself, better my career, whatever it takes. And so they begin to invest primarily in themselves to get better and to grow. So that's striving. They're striving for something different than they have right now. Then they're thriving. And [00:22:00] thriving are a lot of the people that I was talking with.

[00:22:02] When I was having these conversations about their successful businesses, but they were unsatisfied and they were bed inside and that's what really intrigued me is that, okay, for from society's definition, you are thriving. You have reached the pinnacle. You have what everybody says they want to have, but yet you're telling me if you could do this over again, you would.

[00:22:25] You do it differently. And that's what intrigued me. And so actually the first working title of the book was called Beyond Thriving, but when I test marketed it, nobody got it. So we went to, we had to do a different different title after a lot of different work on it. Having, I was having breakfast with a a good friend.

[00:22:44] This is about six months before, no, it was probably a year before I started writing. And he used the word flourishing and it caught my attention. And so I said, talk to me about flourishing. What do you mean by that? So he was talking about it from the the dimension that we often hear about it from that human flourishing, so [00:23:00] having your basic needs met, food, water, clothing, sheltered, those kinds of things.

[00:23:04] And but I did a word study on it and here's what I found. I did a word study on flourishing and thriving really is a focus on me or focus on yourself. And it's a focusing on accumulation of money, wealth, power positions, title, authority, whatever it is that you want to accumulate, it's focused me.

[00:23:25] Flourishing is a focus outward. I've been given. I'm going to give, I have been invested into, I'm going to invest out. I have I have been blessed. I'm going to bless. And it's a focus on outward and it's very if you think about it, it's very biblical as well. Love God, love others. And and so there's this huge alignment and this huge crash of, oh, I had literally, it's like this big aha that's it, that's the word.

[00:23:52] That completes this model. And so then the book then was written on how do you how do you intentionally [00:24:00] live your life in such a way that you pursue a flourishing life, a life committed to legacy, a life committed to something that's bigger than you? A life committed to to others. Rather than just living for yourself.

[00:24:14] Scott Maderer: Why do you think then that so many people try to get happiness and try to do it by achieving that thriving level and don't really think about flourishing? What can they do different to begin to integrate that? Because I don't think these are necessarily, or I am not hearing in this, that these are necessarily always just like in order move from A to B to C to D, no they're more of a cuz you could monetarily or perceptually. Have the ability to be at a thriving level and still be operating in survival mode, cuz I've met those folks.

[00:24:57] Matt Lesser: Absolutely. Yep. [00:25:00] Yeah in fact, one of the exercises in the book is I asked you to identify as many of the hats or roles that you play in life.

[00:25:07] And identify where are you on the triangle in each of those roles. You could be thriving in your career, you could be flourishing in your physical health, and you may be barely surviving in your marriage. And it's being really honest about that. And and one of the, one of the misconceptions that I've had questions about this in the book.

[00:25:27] When I say To pursue a flourishing life, I'm not saying that you cannot make a lot of money. That's not it at all. It's your mindset and your heart about, in your approach to money and your approach to your career. If you only do it for you, if you only do it to get more and more, and more, that's that thriving mentality.

[00:25:47] It's how do you approach it's really holding things loosely. How can I use what I've been given? How can I use what I've earned to bless others and to make my life more fulfilling that way? And so I think that's probably the [00:26:00] distinction between the two and, but you're right. It's not a step-by-step.

[00:26:03] Okay, you have to do this then this. It's not that clear cut. And it's actually quite fluid too. I might be flourishing this year and this, but I may struggle and I may go back down to thriving or vice versa. And

[00:26:16] Scott Maderer: I think a lot of times too that So the way I've heard it talked about is the difference between being a reservoir and a r and a river both could be filled with life giving water, but a reservoir has a dam that's holding that water back, maybe it will be used later. Maybe it won't be, but it's holding it back where a river, that water is continuing to flow and go downstream and go to others and in motion, in action. Yes. And driving mindsets much more of things are moving. It's in, it's a current, it's not a

[00:26:57] Matt Lesser: I love that.

[00:26:58] I love that example. That's a great [00:27:00] example. Because again, thriving is not necessarily quote. Bad or good. It's not a there's not a value

[00:27:10] judgment. It's a, it's not belief. Yeah. No. And it's not a moral issue either. And I point, I make that very clear in the book. It's not a moral issue and it's not a judgment to your point.

[00:27:18] It's a mindset and a, and an intentional decision of how you're going to live your life and orient your life around that. Yeah. Cuz

[00:27:25] Scott Maderer: And so you know what? What are some things that we can do to start changing that mindset and start looking at the world with that mindset?

[00:27:37] Matt Lesser: It starts with the mindset of service servanthood, servant leadership of surrender, realizing, okay, it's not my way all the time.

[00:27:48] How can I serve others? How can I invest in others? How can I set aside my own desires, my own selfish intentions [00:28:00] and help others come along? It really is about living outside of yourself and rather than focusing on me, It's begin it's really focusing outward and it's just making an intentional decision every day.

[00:28:14] I had a question just recently of what does a person do to move toward flourishing life? And the fir the answer is, take one step today. Just take one step and then take another one. It isn't leaping here because that's very difficult to do.

[00:28:30] It will just be discouraged. But what is one thing you can do today that you're not doing to help you adopt a different mindset?

[00:28:38] Scott Maderer: So when we start to have that mindset and begin to look at legacy one of the things I saw that you had mentioned in the book and it resonates with me because it's something that I work with people on as well, and I've seen the same thing, is this idea of having a big why or a deep and passionate why the why [00:29:00] behind what you're doing or what you mean by legacy and what we wanna leave, and what does even success mean really, and finding that why do you see folks needing to work on that part to really begin to flourish?

[00:29:20] Matt Lesser: I think it is a fundamental foundation in our lives to understand our purpose, understand why we are here at this time in history. Why is it that you and I were born in such a, in, in, in such a point in history to be here together at the same time? You know why? And so it's really taking a look inside and saying, okay, what are my gifts?

[00:29:42] What are my abilities? What are my skills? What are my experiences? How do I create value? How do people say that I contribute value? What am I passionate about and what am I called to do? And now calling can be that can be a difficult one because it can get all wrapped up into a, some mystical ideas and emotion.[00:30:00]

[00:30:00] It's really what is that thing inside of you that you have either you love to do and you do it? Without even thinking about it. Or you do it for free or you do it, whatever, you're willing to give that away just cuz you love doing it. And it's really, and it's tied to your passion, your dreams.

[00:30:14] And once you identify these things, you're beginning to identify your purpose. Maybe this is why you are here. I never, I don't believe God wastes any experiences. Our lives both good and not so good. And so it's understanding, okay, God, what, why is this happening? And how can I use this to bless others?

[00:30:33] And that you begin to understand then and grasp, okay, this May, this is may be my why, this may be why I'm here, and we live into that. Man it's nothing like it in the world. And I think so many times we get comfortable because we have something that's predictable and so we're afraid to move outside of that.

[00:30:52] And we do that we get into a habit habitat. I'm doing it for a week, a month, a year, 10 years, 20 years of lifetime. And then we look back [00:31:00] and say, why didn't I ever try that? Because that's what I really wanted to do. Some of two, what I've seen is folks begin to confuse a goal.

[00:31:13] Scott Maderer: With a why where a goal to me has a has a beginning, a middle, and an end. In other words I can identify a goal, I can work towards a goal. I can accomplish a goal, it, yep. It passed or it failed. It worked, or it didn't there's a, an arc to it where a y kind of lasts more than that, yeah. It can be deeper than that. It doesn't really have a begin. It's not that it can't change, and it's not that it can't shift, but it's not, it doesn't really have a clear beginning, middle, and end. How do you see that playing out for folks?

[00:31:53] Matt Lesser: I agree with you.

[00:31:54] I think it transcends that, and I think it's something that has staying power. I really believe [00:32:00] that God showed me my why when I was 15 years old. I didn't understand the clarity of it. I didn't have any focus or direction on it, but I had a clear calling that like I said, I didn't know what to do with it, quite frankly.

[00:32:12] And so what I did for the next 30 years is I just began to work on the skills that would be necessary for me to be able to do that someday. And I didn't even do it. I did it intentionally, but I didn't have any clue what it was gonna look like someday. And I got to the point, quite frankly, over the last, before I actually jumped into doing this, I got to the point of saying, okay, God, this, maybe this is what you want me to do I'll.

[00:32:40] I'll preach occasionally at church and I'll speak to groups I'm invited to speak at and I'll do some writing. Maybe I didn't, at that point, I hadn't decided I to write the book or not. And quite frankly, I actually prayed to not write the book because I knew how dog on heart it was gonna be e e.

[00:32:54] Every Christian

[00:32:55] Scott Maderer: that has a book that I've ever talked to is I was mad at God for telling me to write a [00:33:00] book. I'm like, yeah, it's amazing that thread always shows

[00:33:03] Matt Lesser: up. I tell you what I literally prayed, God, I take this away from you. I don't wanna do this. And every time I pray, Scott, I got more clarity, so I stopped praying about it.

[00:33:12] Dog

[00:33:13] Scott Maderer: It's like praying for patience. Do that.

[00:33:23] So my brand is inspired stewardship, and I run things through that lens of stewardship that is a key word for me and a meaningful word for me. And yet I've discovered over the years that's one of those words, that it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Kinda like leadership where we were talking about earlier.

[00:33:40] So when you hear the word stewardship, what is the word stewardship mean to you? And what has its impact been on you?

[00:33:49] Matt Lesser: Stewardship to me means taking care of what I have been entrusted with, whether small or big. It means understanding that I'm not an owner, that I am a [00:34:00] steward of what has been allowed, basically lent to me while I'm here on this earth.

[00:34:06] Yes, I know I take possession. You have a title to a house or to a vehicle or whatever. But it's making sure that I am taking care of what God has given to me and using it to bless others and to honor him. And it's really how do I take what I have and making sure that everything is employed to honor God, and bless others.

[00:34:31] And so

[00:34:32] Scott Maderer: way back in the men beginning, you mentioned that you have an exercise that you have folks go through in terms of thinking about legacy and things. This is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. So imagine for a minute that I invented this magic machine and I could pluck you from the chair where you are today and transport you into the future, maybe 150, 200 and years.

[00:34:57] And through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and [00:35:00] see your entire life, see all of the connections you've had, all of the relationships, and all of the impacts that you've left behind. What impact do you hope you've left in the world?

[00:35:13] Matt Lesser: I hope that I've left an impact of living a life of intentionality, a life of authenticity, a life of transparency a life of living for something that's bigger than me a life that is surrendered to God and serving him with my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

[00:35:37] I wanna live in such a way where I inspire others to live an intentional, flourishing life.

[00:35:44] Scott Maderer: So what's on the roadmap? What's coming next for you is can you continue on your journey?

[00:35:49] Matt Lesser: I just I'm in the process right now of working on book two. So it's in my editor's.

[00:35:56] Skillful hands right now. Should get that back shortly. Be [00:36:00] able to work through it. Hopefully that'll be released by the end of the year. The name of that book is Unengaged Building Flourishing Organizations. And it's really, it's the book I wanted to write, Scott. The first book was the book that I needed to write, and I didn't understand all the reasons why, and you talk about being upset with God about that.

[00:36:17] And it was literally, I kept out questioning like, God, this isn't the book I wanna write. And literally, I just kept hearing him say trust me. And when I wrote the second book, I was able to pull some of the concepts of principles into the second book. It stands alone. But I wouldn't have able to do that if I hadn't written the fir written the first one first.

[00:36:36] And this one really focuses on the core of my business, which is, Building organizations around three pillars, empathy, empowerment, and excellence. And how do you build organizational culture and build organizations that are human again and that treat people like they're people. And that's my focus of my work focus now of my writing.

[00:36:57] And I am really excited [00:37:00] about this second

[00:37:01] Scott Maderer: book.

[00:37:06] You can find out more about Matt and his book, the Work He Does, having him come as a speaker or working with him with your organization Of course, I'll have a link to that over in the show notes as well. Matt, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:37:25] Matt Lesser: Just to live an intentional life.

[00:37:28] Make a choice today to live intentionally and take one step today toward that just one.[00:38:00]

[00:38:21] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode, Please. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired

[00:38:47] Rate all one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review, and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get [00:39:00] every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

In today's episode, I ask Matt about:

  • What brought him to write Unsatisfied and why it applies to you...
  • His faith journey as well...
  • Why legacy and having a why is so important...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

What am I called to do?  Calling can be a difficult one cause it can get all wrapped up into some mystical ideas and emotions.  Its really what is that thing inside of you that you really love to do and you do it without thinking about it or you do it for free. - Matt Lesser

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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