It's Never About Money

Joe Stephan

Welcome to It’s Never About Money, a podcast that uncovers the true meaning of success. Hosted by Joe Stephan, powered by Stephan Independent Advisory.

Welcome to It's Never About Money
Trailer 23 min 16 sec

All Episodes

James Kostarakis is Managing Director of Fastrac Foodservice, a second-generation family owned and operated food wholesaler to the hospitality sector. James, at just 38, is planning his transition out of the business he has worked in for 20 years. We explored this approach, discussing the parallels between James’ transition into taking over Fastract from his father, and now his planning of his own transition out of the lead role. James shares his learnings and experience along the way, including how to negotiate succession planning in a family business, where the next generation is not family.Find out more:Connect with James on LinkedIn: out more about Fastrac:Facebook:

Nov 24

55 min 34 sec

This is Part 2 of our discussion with Dr Steve Garth. Steve is the Principal of Principia Investment Consultants and is a member of our Stephan Independent Advisory Investment Committee. I invested Steve onto It’s Never About Money because he brings a unique perspective to his role in consulting on investments and investment philosophy. He has a rare combination of technical, research, and communication skills that have taken him to the top levels of academia, finance, and business. He holds a PhD in Mathematics, a Master of Applied Finance, a Bachelor of Science (Honours in Physics) and an Arts degree in History and Politics. In this episode we talk about DIY investing, diversified portfolios, private equity and why investing should be boring. Find out more: Connect with Steve on LinkedIn: Website:

Sep 15

44 min 23 sec

This week we sat down with Dr Steve Garth. Steve is the Principal of Principia Investment Consultants and is a member of our Stephan Independent Advisory Investment Committee. Steve has a rare combination of technical, research, and communication skills that have taken him to the top levels of academia, finance, and business. This gives him a unique perspective when undertaking his role in consulting on investments and investment philosophy. This is Part 1 of a two episode discussion with Dr Steve Garth where we talk about DIY investing, hedge funds, green and sustainable investments, and why no investors are ever rational. Please note that the information contained in this episode is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. Find out more: Connect with Steve on LinkedIn: Website:

Sep 1

43 min 55 sec

Peter Muling from Ethical Leaders is all about flipping feedback on its head, and that with the right approach to feedback, every interaction can be positive. In this episode, we discussed the ‘Blue Triangle’, how to prepare a culture of feedback and his new book, The Power of Triangles. This episode is perfect for anyone who works in a team as there are some great practical takeaways throughout.Find out more about Peter:Website:

Aug 18

49 min 51 sec

It’s interesting how an adverse situation can set you on a new path in life. And sometimes, upon reflection, it seems that the new path was the right one for you all along. This is what happened to my guest, David Harrison, CEO of The Essential Group. Originally trained as an airline pilot, then a salesman at Fuji Xerox, then a family business owner and now a business mentor, his journey and reflections are both interesting and insightful. Here is Episode 17 of It’s Never About Money.Find out more:Follow David and the Essential Group on LinkedIn: more about the Essential Group:

Aug 2

49 min 50 sec

Tim Washington is former corporate lawyer, ex-textile manufacturer, family man and now the future of Australia’s clean vehicle industry. Tim’s career has taken many turns, but the most important of all was his switch from chasing money to chasing his passions. In episode 16 of It’s Never About Money we talk about the transition from the corporate world to small family business, egos and respect, redefining your relationship with your parents and all the lessons he learnt along the way.Tim is the founder and director of JET Charge, Australia's largest EV charging infrastructure business. JET Charge is also a co-founder of Chargefox, Australia's largest EV Charging network. Tim is also the Chair of the Electric Vehicle Council, the peak body for the electric vehicle industry in Australia.Find out more:Website:

Jul 20

57 min 50 sec

Matej Varhalik is the CEO and Founder of SpeedFit; a company that he built from scratch, in a foreign country and in a second language. The now Perth-based entrepreneur and father of two, has been steadily growing his group of fitness studios across Australia since he immigrated from Slovakia in 2013. On his journey, Matej has taken some calculated risks (he famously turned down a million dollar offer on Shark Tank) and has learned from every challenge thrown at him along the way. These traits have enabled him to build a thriving business in the ‘lucky country’, but there’s no slowing down as Matej’s ‘to-do’ list is never finished. We hear about how he finds joy and success in the journey, not the destination, in episode 15 of It’s Never About Money.SpeedFit website: LinkedIn: Facebook: Instagram:

Jul 5

50 min 5 sec

Gary Hoag, AKA The Generosity Monk, is the President & CEO of Global Trust Partners. He is a public speaker, author and academic who has dedicated his life to encouraging Christian generosity. In this episode, we unpack Gary’s meaning of generosity and what that means for him spiritually and practically. This episode takes a different tone than the usual It’s Never About Money episode in that it brings an alternative definition of success to the conversation. It goes against the grain of traditional financial advice and challenges you to reframe your views on financial success. Whilst Gary’s views are strongly based around his Christian beliefs, the fundamentals of generosity can be heard practically, regardless of one’s religious or spiritual beliefs. We talked our way around philosophy, relationships, philanthropy and Aussie coffee in a curious, thought provoking discussion guaranteed to inspire self-reflection. Enjoy Episode 14 of It’s Never About Money.LinksRead more about the Generosity Monk: more about Global Trust Partners: on Facebook: on LinkedIn:

Jun 21

51 min 54 sec

After 25 years in a family business, Martin Tobin knows a thing of two about the advantages, challenges and issues of mixing business with family. From blurred relationships, sibling rivalry and succession planning, Martin upacks how to make a family business truly work.Martin is the Director of Kin in the Game, a family business advisory service, and Victorian Chairman of Family Business Australia. Previously he was Managing Director of Tobin Brothers Funerals (Melbourne).Kin in the Game: with Martin on LinkedIn:

May 31

56 min 35 sec

Emily and Marc Rovere are the owners of DLC Nutrition smoothie bars. The husband and wife duo are passionate about all things health, fitness and helping others, and have managed to create a thriving business that does this in spades.But their success didn’t come easily.It was losing half a million dollars in their first business venture that forced them to turn the focus inwards and redefine their relationship with money. They had to work on their core, so that they could truly fulfil their personal purpose for running a business and start making a positive impact on their community.Emily and Marc first met through mutual circles in the Mornington Peninsula, but it was their strong work ethic and passion for giving back to their community that eventually brought them together.“It was just really refreshing to find each other. We started thinking about our whole goal to really help people change their life, to really reach their full potential... [and thought] imagine if we could combine our skills and our passions and make a bigger impact?”, says Emily of their meeting.Combining Emily’s skills as an Osteopath and Marc’s personal training background, the Rovere’s were able to create a business focusing on their love of holistic health, nutrition and fitness.Both acknowledge that by combining their skill sets they were able to far exceed the heights that they could have reached individually. The freedom and scalability gained from working together has allowed them to kick goals with their business and turn their sights to spreading their gifts wider.“We now have to go on and show other people that if they're in that dark hole, like we were 10 years ago, there is a way out - that's our responsibility now, is to pass on the gifts that we were given,” says Emily of their philosophies behind extending their brand.Now, through the success of their smoothie bar, they have gone on to deliver a ‘non-franchise’ franchise model of DLC Nutrition and also create Global Transformations Co, an organisation of health conscious entrepreneurs, coaches and clients.Emily and Marc’s aspirations have always been about the people around them. Their measure of personal success is to have made an impact on another person’s journey.It’s safe to say that this episode helps further that aspiration.We unpack further Emily and Marc’s amazing business journey, along with what they pinpoint as the key elements of their business model that have helped their success, in Episode 12 of the It’s Never About Money Podcast. Happy listening.

May 20

58 min 52 sec

Aaron Smith is the founder and innovator behind KX Pilates, Australia’s largest pilates franchise, which features over 75 studios across the country and international expansion plans on the horizon.But for Aaron, running a successful franchise empire was never about the money. Even at the start.Aaron first experienced reformer pilates while working as a personal trainer in London. He fell in love with it immediately. It wasn’t like anything he’d ever done, and right away he could see that an Australian audience would love it too.Aaron started his business out of passion. It was about helping people. He wanted to provide others with a unique experience that he loved, so they could love it the way he did. And he wanted to reach as many people as he could.It’s an ethos that stemmed from how he was brought up. Aaron was taught that in loving what you do, and helping people, success will come from it—whatever that success looks like for you.“As they say, where focus goes, energy flows—and the focus was always on pilates,” says Aaron.It was this love, this single-minded focus, that delivered the effective and sustainable business model that KX Pilates has built today. Together with his wife, Andi, they’ve shared this focus to create an empire, that’s only going to continue growing—whether Aaron is at the helm or not. And, more than helping people enjoy how they move their bodies, creating a successful franchise has been a vehicle to help others build their business dreams, too.Not to say that it’s been easy; as all business owners can attest to, creating your own business—no matter how large it grows—is also an avenue you spend most of your life sweating over, working towards, and dedicating your time and energy into, day in, day out.And the hard work, dedication, and all-or-nothing attitude has paid off. A 10-year overnight success story, Aaron likes to call it.But the most gratifying thing for Aaron, the belief that centres him, has always been that he gets to share his love with more people. In his passion, he found his success, defined by values that were never about the dollar sign attached to them. He focussed his single-minded energy into growing a business that’s set to succeed, whether he’s there or not.Ultimately though, he’s helping people achieve their dreams, and sharing his passion at the same time. And to Aaron, that’s success.KX Pilates Instagram - Pilates Facebook - Pilates LinkedIn -’s LinkedIn - Pilates Website -

May 2

49 min 30 sec

Join us on a discovery of what it takes to be happy, backed by the science! In this episode I am joined by Associate Professor of marketing & behavioural decision-making Hal Hershfield from UCLA who amongst many topics discusses the importance of placing value on our future self & deep dives into his research on whether time or money has a greater impact on experiential happiness.Send Your Future Self a Letter | DearFutureMe.orgwww.stickk.comHal Hershfield – Ted Talk “How can we help our future selves?” | Hal Hershfield | TEDxEast - YouTubeHal Hershfield’s body of research - Research — Hal Hershfield

Mar 31

1 hr 4 min

Christine Khor is a powerhouse of an entrepreneur. She’s got an invigorating energy, with a down-to-earth confidence that rubs off on you.Christine’s goal has always been to build capability, and the love for what you do. It’s about helping people build the career they want, and helping organisations build the capability and the teams that they need.But, midway through her career, Christine came up against a wall that many people will find all too common. She realised that the career she’d made for herself, it wasn’t what she wanted to do. She was so focused on running the business, that she didn’t actually ask herself if she liked it.“I quite loved the process of recruiting— I didn't love running a recruitment business. Loving to cook doesn't mean you want to own a restaurant.”A large portion of working people, whether they’re building their own business, or working for someone else, can relate to this.“49% of people think they’re in the wrong career. I don’t mean the wrong business. I mean the wrong career,” Christine says. She felt stuck.But that feeling was a motivator. It was this knowledge, this complete understanding of being shackled in the wrong career, that led Christine to take the step and move into a different career. At 50. Founding a tech start-up. But she knew it was the right choice.“I had been in that recruitment line for 20 years, and I no longer wanted to be in that line. And I'll tell you something: you cannot be amazing at what you do if you don't like it.”That’s exactly right. It’s a stark lesson that many people can learn from.So she made a switch. She created a new business that she was passionate about. She ignored the money, the success she’d built, and went for it.Christine recognises that financial stability is important. But if money is the only thing that’s keeping you in your job, then it’s not fulfilling. That’s not success, for Christine.For Christine, success is about the impact you’re making. It’s being able to help others love what they do. It’s about being inspired, and inspiring others.“At the end of the day… when I can say those two things, then I feel I've had a great day.”It’s about finding the lane that’s right for you. About finding the career that you’re so enamoured with that you don’t even think about the money. Because, as Christine says, if you do a great job, the money will come.

Mar 16

58 min 54 sec

Join me for a very deep exploration into the business & personal life of founder of CAMP Australia, Anthony Phillips. We discuss all things personal development, how Anthony’s late mother was a strong influence in the Phillips family’s culture of giving & the most challenging AFL player Anthony ever faced.Power of Now – Eckhart TolleThe Phillips Foundation - Phillips Foundation ( Documentary -

Mar 2

1 hr 17 min

Imagine if you put your visions down on paper & surrendered your plans to achieve them. Imagine if during the very height of lockdown you were able to completely transform your life for the good. This is what happened to our guest Sarah Hawley. During lockdown Sarah met Joe Hawley, got married, is now expecting a baby boy Luca and managed to receive giant leap forward in her tech startup 'Growmotely'. Join us on an honest, deep soulful discovery into Sarah's life story.Personal Blog - www.sarahriegelhuth.comGrowmotely - www.growmotely.comOur Website:

Feb 16

1 hr 17 min

Ever known a person that has been dealt a difficult hand & despite this remains upbeat & resilient? This episode we are joined by Bree Cleal, a mum, a businesswoman & widow who has a difficult & inspirational story to tell about her husband’s battle with brain cancer & her insights around resilience & dealing with significant challenge in our lives.Bree Cleal is a thriving graphic designer, a business owner, a public speaker, a mother.And a widow.In 2009 her entire life was thrown into disarray when her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was a huge shock, and completely unexpected.This massive life change led Bree into the darkest times she’s ever experienced. But somehow, throughout it all, Bree experienced a moment of clarity. All she could do was focus on controlling the controllables in her life.This decision enabled her to, slowly, build a conscious resilience, to put one foot in front of the other, and keep going. After all, she had to. For her husband, for herself, and for their daughter.In many respects, having her own business helped Bree deal with the overarching fear, anger, and loneliness. She learned to compartmentalise everything that was happening.“I boxed it, put the lid on it, put it on a shelf, and went to work,” Bree says.She made the conscious, difficult choice to get up in the morning, and control what she could control.She engaged a business coach, who gave her a routine to work to, and she learned to proceduralise her business in a way that would work around her life.It was a contingency, a way to put steps in place to manage whatever came in the future, despite not knowing what that might be. She was able to put the support systems in place, in her business, and in her personal life, to continue on getting up in the morning.As business owners we have this strategic plan, this roadmap that we’re working to, that gives us some measure of certainty about the future. So it’s a massive shock when life takes a turn, and it doesn’t go as we planned. It’s an utterly grounding moment. Because we can’t apply those same business principles to life. It just doesn’t work.But by continuing to make the conscious choice to control her controllables, to choose to simply press on and endure, Bree found she was able to lean on the conscious resilience she’d built.It won’t always be easy—but it’s something that can help you weather any storm, keep going, and to live life on your terms.

Feb 1

1 hr 12 min

In this episode we discuss the youthful elixir to reverse ageism, being authentic & how to make a start on social media.Emily Wallace runs and owns her own property buyer's advocacy business.For Emily, outside of the initial early days of opening her books to clients, it’s never been about the money. Revenue is an important factor, of course, but it’s always been about providing education, and helping first home owners achieve their property dreams.But to be able to achieve this, she needed balance. Starting out as a solo entrepreneur, Emily learned quickly something that it takes a lot of us a while to understand: that saying ‘no’ allows you more room to say ‘yes’.Emily was able to clearly identify the type of client she was passionate about helping, and then put all her efforts into working purely for this customer segment. She knew who she wanted to work with, who she enjoyed working with. And by identifying this, it made it easier to attract this type of client, and build efficiencies into the business to deliver more value for this specific client type.Emily has never been a person to hide behind a façade. For her, what you see is what you get. She treats all her clients the same, speaks the same way with clients as she would family.There’s an honesty there, an authenticity that can’t be replicated. And this is what her customers engage with. They engage with this honest personality, the clear indication that Emily has their interests in mind.It takes courage to be honest, and to work with a purpose in this way. And it takes courage to specialise, to say ‘no’ to particular clients because they don’t quite fit your ideal client mould.But the rewards are definitely worth it.For Emily, success is about raising others up, while raising yourself up. It's about bringing other people along the journey with you, and helping them succeed as well.Emily has focused on what she does best. She helps people achieve their dreams, and take the next step in their life. And thanks to this, the business is growing. For Emily, success is being able to grow with people.By building a values-based business, a service offering that’s based on a belief system instead of a monetary goal, Emily has set herself up for a long-term, sustainable business.She helps her clients, and through this passion, the money will come.Because it’s not about the dollars—it’s about the cause.

Jan 17

47 min 53 sec

Paul Marsh joins me to discuss how he successfully managed to establish P2 Group, making the BRW Fast 100 and selling the business by age 40 whilst also juggling family life with 4 kids.Paul Marsh is the owner and co-founder of P2 Group, a specialist consulting company that assists employers proactively manage occupational health cover and workplace compensation claims.Paul built a successful business from the ground up, making the BRW Fast 100 in 2012. And, at the tender age of 40, Paul went through a liquidity event transition, selling his business to global insurance brokerage firm, Gallagher. Paul had the unique opportunity to see the transition-out process for his own business play out in front of his very own eyes, while still continuing to work in the business.So while Paul and his business partner, James, had worked hard to get their business to where it was, they hadn’t yet considered an exit strategy. And at that age, you don’t.But the opportunity for Paul to sell P2 Group came as a living case study on how to manage the transition out of your business; albeit in somewhat different circumstances.It’s always hard, as a business owner, to relinquish that control. But the opportunity to sell allowed Paul to avoid many of the mental traps awaiting business owners.Under new management in this way the business would continue to grow and flourish without him, and his team could continue on in their roles. Selling the business, but still working in it, provided him a fantastic opportunity to continue to generate an income post exit. And he didn’t have to worry about losing any business identity he’d spent so long cultivating.Paul hasn’t really had the chance to leave a business to his kids. But now, instead of a legacy of a business, his legacy is his work ethic. Of working hard, being a good corporate citizen, and placing a priority on one-to-one, human interaction.His motivation didn’t die with the business transitioning. In fact, it’s only gotten stronger. He’s got more to prove now, but more opportunity to prove it.So while it came with some tough decisions, Paul knows that selling his business was a fantastic opportunity.So while he might not be leaving a business to his children, he’s still able to leave a legacy.

Jan 3

1 hr 1 min

In this episode we are joined by Craig Abbott owner/ founder of Heavy Haulers & Phiit Studio. We discuss what it means to build a community, how to start prioritising health & how Craig & his team overhauled the business during the pandemic.Craig is the manager and founder of Heavy Haulers & Phiit Studio, an outdoor group fitness program he runs with his wife, Jess, where amongst other copious exercises members perform compound exercises using large, heavy tyres.There are many things that drive people to success. And for Craig, it’s not just about the bank balance. While you need cashflow to ensure the business stays afloat, he’s got a different scoreboard.To him, success is about helping people, about having a positive impact on their lives, and being able to see tangible changes in their self-worth.Thanks to this positive attitude, and desire to help, Craig has built up an amazingly positive culture around his training programs.But culture is a thing that tends to get misconstrued by many businesses. It’s not something that can be forced, or contrived, or decided upon in a branding exercise. It can be a deliberate choice, sure—but it has to be genuine.It’s this culture of support and positivity that enabled Craig to build resilience into his business. And resilience was a trait we all needed in spades in 2020.It was a tough year, particularly for the fitness industry. COVID-19 taught us a lot of things, but one undeniable learning was coming up against the hard realisation of what we can’t do.For Craig it wasn’t so much about the business itself being impacted; it was about the impact on his family, and the community he’d built.But he’d built that level of resilience and positivity into his business that instead of focusing on what they couldn’t do, Craig immediately focused on what they could. They pivoted, and they pivoted quickly. Craig and Jess spent two solid days, sacrificing sleep, focusing on their programs, to create an online training space for their community via Zoom meetings.And they didn’t just survive. Heavy Haulers & the Phiit Club has continued, and thrived.Because Craig is committed to his business. He’s passionate. And he believes in it. This commitment is what keeps his community coming back, what drives his members, and the factor that has kept their business trajectory strong.By modelling this behaviour, by constantly pivoting to the positive, despite what life throws at you, by demonstrating what success looks like in your own eyes—this is the best resilience plan you could have.

Dec 2020

54 min 53 sec

In this episode we are joined by Marianne Marchesi from LegaLite. We discuss many topics including what work/life integration means to her, the concept of Wellness Wednesday’s & the benefits that day dreaming has had on her business.It takes a unique group of individuals to run their own business.They’re passionate. Stubborn. Aspirational, and hard-working. They can’t be afraid to buck trends, explore alternative solutions... and daydream.These aren’t typically qualities you’d expect to find in the tightly-regulated, process-driven legal world.This is the world that Marianne Marchesi lives in. Marianne is the founder of Legalite, a legal practice that does things differently. As one of Australia's leading franchising experts and advisor to some very prominent brands, she's passionate about flipping traditional ideologies of legal practice. Instead of the impenetrable legal jargon and rigour, they offer legal services done simply, taking a human-centred approach.Before founding Legalite, Marianne had worked in traditional private practice for ten years. But traditional practices, she quickly realised, were so focused on strict numbers and making profits that the human aspect fell by the wayside. It was a money-driven, cynical environment that didn’t align with her values.Starting Legalite was Marianne’s opportunity to create a values-driven business.Coming from a migrant family, she’d always seen how hard her parents worked. Her father was a pharmacist, and her mother was a freelance interpreter, so she always got to see the joys and the frustrations of running your own business.Raised within a family community, it was all about building and nurturing relationships. It was about doing good for the people around you, doing what you could to help them succeed.Her father always told her that money isn’t everything. Sure, it’s nice when you get it—but money simply enables you to do more, to do more to give back. And if you’re doing what you love, the money will come in.And for Marianne, this has absolutely been true.At Legalite, it’s always been about community. About the people. About helping clients and team members work with a purpose towards a bigger picture. For Marianne, it’s about having a positive impact on the people in her life, in her business, and in the community she’s built.And to see past the money, to see the human aspect of the law professional, it takes a mind that thinks differently.A daydreamer.If you'd like to hear more you can listen to the full podcast via iTunes, Google, or Spotify, or head to our website

Dec 2020

49 min 45 sec

For me, my motivation hasn’t been about wealth, or acquiring things.It’s always been about time, and legacy.Think about it. Time is the resource we need to spend with the people we love, or that we can use to look after our own health. It’s what we always wish we have more of when a family member falls ill.And it’s time that we always take for granted, as business owners. We focus all our efforts on building our business, creating our legacy, that we don’t think about anything outside of this. We always think we’ll have time to do things later.But we know that this isn’t always the case.I experienced this first-hand with my father. He was a driven man, hard-working, well-loved, and with a huge network of people that respected him. Some might even say a workaholic. He left a hell of a legacy.And when he passed, we all wished we’d just had more time.It was his legacy, though, his motivation and work ethic that drove James and I to ensure our practice remained fiercely independent. We knew we wanted to be authentic. We knew how we wanted to act as a business. We knew what we were about as a family, and we knew what our Dad stood for. We knew that becoming an independent business would allow us to wear our values on our sleeve, suggesting to the world that, for example, we don't take commissions, and that we act with the utmost integrity. So it was clear to us from the outset that independence in our advice absolutely a non-negotiable.It was thanks to my Dad’s work ethic that we made that decision to be independent. It was his legacy that drove us to where we are now.My Dad’s legacy means everything to me.And it’s thanks to that, I feel like this is delivering a vision of what I consider success for myself, and the business. I feel like I’m now in the position where I’m doing all the things I want to do as a financial adviser.It feels that now I can start taking bonuses in time. Time I’ll take to focus on things outside the business. Like my health, like playing the guitar, and spending time with my family.Because at the end of the day, it’s all about having that time.If you'd like to hear more of my story, you can listen to the full podcast via Apple Podcast, Google, or Spotify, or head to our website

Oct 2020

23 min 16 sec