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True Living Comes from Giving

Adapted From It All Adds Up: Designing Your Game Plan for Financial Success by Devon Kennard


My life has always been about more than just making as much money as I can. It’s also been about giving back and teaching as much as I know.

As you are working toward your goals and your definition of the American dream, you should find time to give back in some capacity that works for you, no matter how small.

Do something. Do anything. It all adds up.

I understand that time is short for you as you’re committed to your work and your family. But time is also of the essence with others who need your help, your expertise, and your guidance.


Not sure where to start? If you want to change the world, start at home. Before I try to have a positive impact on anybody else, I want to have a positive impact on my wife and kids.

When Camille and I first met, she was making good money managing a dental office. Her own career plan was to save some money and go to dental school so she could become a dentist. Her mother is in the dental field, too, and it was something Camille had always wanted to do.

She was working long days and then taking online classes after work to finish her undergrad degree. She doesn’t shy away from work, and I love and respect her for that, but once we were together, she started to learn about mailbox money, too.

Early in our relationship, we had a deeper conversation about her interests and dreams and our (future) children. Camille realized that becoming a dentist would mean long hours away from the kids and accumulating even more debt. With this realization in mind, our discussions shifted into other options for her professionally that would not require going to dental school, such as owning a dental office and renting the space out to dentists. After a few years of being a sounding board for me at home, Camille also gained a genuine interest for real estate; so after we got married, she chose to get her real estate license. Today, she’s working with one of the best real estate groups in Arizona. She’s also adding value to what I’m doing with real estate investments. That’s what it means to bring someone with you or help someone get in a position to succeed. I want to bring as many people with me as I can, and you should, too.

Do you have kids? Let them see your work ethic. I can tell you firsthand that kids listen to half of what you say but watch everything you do! Instill habits in them to help them achieve their goals. There are days my daughter doesn’t want to go to gymnastics or ballet, so we teach her that when you make a commitment, you need to stick to it. I make sure that I set that example so my girls can see what that looks like. Those messages have made an impact on her. So don’t let yourself off the hook by saying you are too busy. The least you can do is make an impact at home and in your direct sphere of influence—family, friends, coworkers.

Then, once you have more time, extend your reach into the community and the rest of the world. Making an impact is an evolution that grows as you and your financial wealth grow. Share your knowledge, gifts, and talents with the world, especially with those who don’t have access to them.

The unspoken rule for me when it comes to flipping the bag is that once you have done it, you must teach someone else to do it, too! People will forget what you did but will forever remember how you made them feel, so leave people with a sense of empowerment by spreading what you’ve learned and how you have applied it to your own life! The world needs to hear your story!


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