Ep656: Matt LeBris – Prepare for the Downs During the Uptime

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Quick take

BIO: Matt LeBris is a born and raised NY’er who inevitably caught the hustler’s spirit that fills his hometown streets.

STORY: Matt got an opportunity to be part of a successful business venture in his early 20s. He was making good money and living a good life. Unfortunately, the business went down, and he took an unpaid internship with Daymond John of Shark Tank. Matt’s biggest mistake was to continue living large even though he no longer had money coming up. He blew over $80,000 of his savings by living way above his means.

LEARNING: Understand how you’re subconsciously programmed about money. Live below your means.


“Understand how money works. If money’s not coming in, be very cautious of how it’s going out.”

Matt LeBris


Guest profile

Matt LeBris is a born and raised NY’er who inevitably caught the hustler’s spirit that fills his hometown streets. A Forbes 30 Under 30 nominee, Matt has worked with Daymond John of Shark Tank as well as hosted a top 1% globally ranked podcast, Decoding Success. His life mission: impact one person a day, and that’s what he’s here to do today.

Worst investment ever

When Matt was in college, he was very fortunate to have had an opportunity to surround himself with individuals a little older than him in a particular business venture. It was a New York City hospitality throwing various events. Matt was in his early 20s and raking it in. He was doing good for himself and felt proud to make a lot of money, drive a nice car, travel, and eat out without making a dent in his bank account.

At a certain point, the business started to change. Matt also began to change as a person. This led him to intern with Daymond John of Shark Tank. It was a leap of faith for Matt because it was an unpaid internship. What Matt didn’t do was change his lifestyle. He wanted people to still think he was the rich young man he was before. Even though Matt now had no money coming in, he continued to live above his means just to maintain an image. He ended up blowing $80,000, taking Ubers instead of taking the train and eating at the most lavish restaurants instead of eating at home. Matt’s need to appease his ego was his worst investment ever. He is still trying to forgive himself for that.

Lessons learned

  • Understand how you’re subconsciously programmed about money.
  • Live below your means.
  • Turn your worth inward.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Your life is going to be full of ups and downs. You’ve got to manage during your uptimes to have the cushion you need to survive the downtime.
  • Spend as little as you can and take pride in that. This will keep you happy even during your worst times.

Actionable advice

Understand how money works. If money’s not coming in, be very cautious of how it’s going out. Put your ego aside and find any possible ways to make money.

Matt’s recommendations

Matt recommends talking to somebody like a therapist if you’re feeling down or struggling to regularly work through these issues.

No.1 goal for the next 12 months

Matt’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to adopt the mindset of John Gordon’s simple equation: E+P=O (events plus perspective equals the outcome.)

Parting words


“I’m giving you your kudos, Andrew. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join you here on this platform. Shout out to everyone that’s listening.”

Matt LeBris


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that to win an investing you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives to join me go to my worst investment ever.com and sign up for my free weekly become a better investor newsletter where I share how to reduce risk and create grow and protect your wealth. Fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests, Matt LeBris, Matt, are you ready to join the mission?

Matt LeBris 00:43
I am very ready. And I want to express gratitude to you for having me here and letting me join this mission with you. So thank you so much.

Andrew Stotz 00:49
I appreciate that. In fact, I was listening to one of the episodes of your podcast that was episode 256 with Dr. Corey Yeager. And there was some great, you know, great stuff, but thinking about gratitude, the questions that we're asking and how we're, you know, making ourselves better people. So fantastic. Well, let me introduce you to the audience. Matt, is a born and raised New Yorker who has inevitably caught the hustler spirit that fills his hometown streets, a Forbes 30 under 30 nominee Matt has worked with Daymond John of Shark Tank, as well as hosted a top 1% globally ranked podcast called decoding success, his life mission, impact one person a day. And that's what he's here to do. Today. Matt, take a minute and tell us about the unique value that you are bringing to this wonderful world.

Matt LeBris 01:44
You know, that's such a beautiful question. And I wrote it down to ensure that I can ponder on it further after this. But I'm going to close my eyes, take a breath, and I'm going to give you what comes to mind. It might not be the sexiest answer, but you're going to help me on wire it and unpack it and do all of that. So give me one second here, you got it. So what's coming up for me is an individual, a merely just an individual, like everyone else that has is expletives allowed here, joy, that has fucked up a whole ton in life. But I've also won a whole ton in life. But what I'm currently doing my unique intrinsic value, I believe, is helping individuals get back to their core, get homecoming. Getting back to who we truly are, at our core level. The reason I say that will most definitely be disclosed in this episode being that it connects to my worst investment ever. But I will say it is exactly that my unique intrinsic value. And I'm glad we're talking about this is helping people come back to who they are at their true essence.

Andrew Stotz 02:58
Why do people go off track? I mean, we're beautiful, we're great. Just as we are, you know, we're unique. And when you think about, you know, having fun as a kid and in a great environment, and then all these things happening, we go way off track. Why do we go off track?

Matt LeBris 03:15
So many reasons. So many reasons. Parents, parenting, conditioning? You know, why does? Why does my mom cook a ham in a certain pot? You know, it's because her grandmother did and then her grandmother did, right. You know, that's just how it goes. I were friends growing up. I remember I grew up I went to private school my whole life. But I'll tell you this in elementary school, I really wanted to join a gang. Don't ask me why I grew up in a great neighborhood. But that's what people around me on my basketball team and on my baseball team kids that were going to public school. That's what they did. I wanted to do that. culture, society. So many factors pull us away. today. Well, we were just talking about Instagram, right? We can spend hours upon hours scrolling on our phone saying to ourselves, this is what I want. But is it really what you want? Or is it what the person you look up to, you know, is in possession of and that makes you want it? There's so many factors that pull us away from who we are at our core. I can go into all of them. But we would be here for hours upon hours. There's a lot for sure.

Andrew Stotz 04:23
I was just thinking about when I was young, we used to play pinball and get the way that the ball bounces around from you know, all kinds of different things that it's hitting. It's like that's what we go through in life and half of our life is untangling the masses. You know, if you want to live a life of kind of self awareness, you have to start to go back and ask the question, why do I react this way that what is it and I'll give you a simple example Matt. Six years ago, my mom came to live with me in Bangkok when my father passed away, and you know, all my life I never really ate shelf, shell food, right clams or other things like that I just didn't wasn't that keen on it, I would eat lobster or shrimp or something, or fish, but I didn't eat that. And when my mom came, we were just talking one day about how we went to stone harbor in New Jersey, when we were young, we drove from Ohio to New Jersey and had two weeks there. And when we got back from one of those trips, when I was like six or seven, my, my dad and my two sisters got hepatitis. And they were locked in their room, they were actually quarantine in the rooms. And my mom was, you know, preparing the food for them and all that and try to it was a dangerous situation that my mom and I didn't catch it. But they suspected at the time that they caught it from eating shellfish. So then I was like, Oh, so that's why I don't eat shellfish. Hmm. I just never really put it together. And then you just realize how things happened in our lives, that set our mind set at that time in a certain way. And we never even know I mean, I, I didn't even really think about it at all. And so it did you make me think about mindset a lot.

Matt LeBris 06:12
Yeah, I think what you said, is very beautiful, right? Because we all have the opportunity to untangle or peel back the layers, if we choose to do so. We don't all choose to do so. And one thing that I've been Ultra curious about is the why behind that. And this conversation can go super metaphysical here, it can go in so many different directions. But why? And of course, the very human rebuttal is that it's scary, right? Why do we not face ourselves in the mirror and peel back those layers? Because, you know, we want love, we want attention. We want all of these things without a doubt. But maybe by doing so will realize that we never got that or whatever it is that will be revealed. But furthermore, are we meant to in this lifetime, right? This can get so deep. But I appreciated the fact that you said that because it's true. There's people in my life that I would have loved if they would have done that type of work on themselves. And they choose not to but you know, you can't really focus on anyone but yourself. And that, you know, it's troublesome at times, and it hurts sometimes. But that's the reality.

Andrew Stotz 07:32
I learned a lot from my ex girlfriend many years ago. And we were in a relationship. It was really kind of her first real serious relationship. And it was all about abandonment issues, ultimately, and it was just so difficult and painful. And it was just really hard. And eventually she decided to go to a therapist, and she went to a therapist, and I picked her up that I took her there. And then I left. I picked her up and we went out had dinner and she just cried the whole night. And she woke up the next day, a changed person. Wow. It was remarkable. And basically, she was aware that she was having real issues. And that she was you know, looking that I was potentially abandoning her but she wasn't, you know, she hadn't addressed it. It hadn't really come up. And so she went to the therapist, and she I asked her what happened. She said, I went to the therapist, and they asked she asked me to describe a situation of abandonment if she had it. And she described how her mother didn't pick her up one day when she was supposed to pick her up from the private school that she stayed at and live that. And eventually the people running the school said Well come back in and let's go to bed and you know, and your mom's not coming, you know, and that was like the time that she really realized she couldn't rely on her mom and that she was abandoned by her mom, they still her parents still, like paid for everything, but she wasn't getting the emotional support. So the therapist said this doll, you know, firstly, he said, Imagine yourself in the most comfortable place in your life, you know, and she's like, okay, my sofa. I'm here. Yeah. And this doll represents you. And she put it across the room and she said, go pick up the doll. Nobody's gonna pick you up. You gotta go pick yourself up. Yeah. And then she went across and picked the doll and went back and just sobbed. And she sobbed for 24 hours. And then. So what the lesson that I learned from it is it's sometimes in our lives when we're trying to discover ourselves. There's a lot of layers that we got to dig through. And sometimes it's right there. The awareness is there. And when the awareness is there with the right feedback and the right person involved, these things can be revealed and resolved. So you know, I was just thinking about that when you were talking. Authenticity. This podcast is about

Matt LeBris 09:51
oh, I love it. I love the way we've started. I appreciate you sharing that story. I mean, kudos to her because a lot of people like I said they won't turn inward. And you know, for the fact that she did is a beautiful thing. And I'm glad to know that she was a changed person after that. Abandonment is no joke, you know. And oftentimes, what we don't realize is when we don't do the work that we need to do for ourselves, we're actually abandoning our true self. Right? We're abandoning our true self, and we're not, we're just not going to live the life that we can truly live our truest potential, and will end up settling, whether it be at a, you know, in your career at a job, in business, or whatever the case may be. In numerous different facets, we actually abandon ourselves for the sake of allowing ourselves to feel what we believe is not foreign. What's the best way to say not far and the opposite of that? I don't want to use the word comfortable. But what's familiar, there we go, you know what we'll abandon ourselves for what's familiar?

Andrew Stotz 11:04
Well, that's a great discussion, I think this is a lot to learn. And for everybody out there, you know, I always share my own experience of being in drug rehab when I was 1617, my senior year in high school, I was basically in three different rehabs and struggling, but I was being pushed by people to face those, you know, all the past and the issues that I was dealing with, and it was like a reboot to the computer. And so I always like to tell people, you know, there's you can always, always improve yourself by looking at, you know, what's going on in your past and being able to address it. And really, on a lighter side, that's what this podcast is about, is looking at our past and seeing what we can learn from it. So now, it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment, thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the story and the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story.

Matt LeBris 12:03
Absolutely, I will say that my worst investment ever was in my ego. The reason being is because in my very early 20s, I'm grateful for my life, I would never change anything about it. Anything like I am so grateful for the way everything turned out. But it goes back to when I was in college, I am very fortunate to have had an opportunity to surround myself with individuals that are a little bit older than me in a particular business venture. It was a New York City hospitality throwing events. And I'm in my early 20s. And I'm raking it in. I'm doing good for myself, and it felt damn good, right to know that you're making a certain amount of money, I'm driving a nice car. You know, I'm able to give my parents money. If they ask for money, like it felt really good to know I was in that position, I was able to travel, eat out and it never felt like I was making a dent in my pocket or my bank account. And at a certain point, the business started to change. And I started to change as a person. And it led me to taking the next step. And that next step was taking on an internship with Daymond John of Shark Tank. I had met him on my college campus, I had a five minute conversation with him. He looked at me like I was absolutely crazy. And I had 10 heads when I told him I was going to work for him. And I'm saying to myself, I know this one head right here is pretty big, but it definitely don't look like 10. So he thought I was crazy. But I ended up getting an internship with him. And I had to take the leap of faith because it was unpaid. But the thing Andrew that I didn't do was changed the way I was living. I never changed the way I was living because although I'm working for a shark, I wanted people to still think I were to still think I was the person that I was before that as well. Right? Right. And I continuously didn't change my standard of living. I never lived below my means I always lived above them at that point, just to maintain an image. And that's why I say my worst investment ever was in my ego, because I blew $80,000. And granted, I was paying for my own college tuition. So that's incorporated in that. But to make the story sound extra sexy, I give the full amount. And man I was taking Uber excels when I could have been taking the train. I was eating at the most lavish of restaurants when I could have been eating at home, you know, the food that was in my fridge and it hurt for many years. And I think I'm still trying to forgive myself for that. But that right there was my worst investment ever.

Andrew Stotz 14:57
And how would you describe the lessons that you learned from them?

Matt LeBris 15:01
I'm still learning them. You know, I'm definitely still learning them. I think ultimately one thing that I'm learning, I'm actually reading a book by T Harv. Eker. Are you familiar with him?

Andrew Stotz 15:10
Yep. Okay, millionaires, I'm

Matt LeBris 15:11
reading. There you go. That's the book I'm reading. And in this book, I've realized that the span of two years, three years where I was really living above my means, I believe what had happened from that particular event program is me to believe that I'm not worthy of having that type of money. Right? It's not to say that I can't make that type of money. But I believe on a subconscious level. Number one lesson is that being that I spent my money in such a way that I do not deserve to withhold that type of money. So that's Lesson number one, subconsciously, how are you money programmed? Right? That's number one. Number two, is the blatantly obvious live below your means, right? There's no ones who impress right. And if you're confident in your core self, as we talked about earlier, you don't really care about who's out there to impress, Is it nice to not worry about the right hand side of a menu? Absolutely. I don't care if I see MP next to an order of fish, you know, but should you be doing that five nights a week? Not necessarily, right? I mean, unless you're hosting business clients, and you could justify it. Like, let's be realistic, I'm not telling people to be, you know, cheap, Charlie, and I'm not here to point a finger at the way anyone else spends their money. But lesson number two for me was live below your means. And obviously, I, you know, went a little bit further on that, but that's one and two, and maybe potentially one A and one B. Yep.

Andrew Stotz 16:51
Maybe I'll share a couple of things. I mean, the one thing at that I've learned is that your life is going to be full of ups and downs. And you've got to manage doing your uptimes, you've got to provide the cushion that you need to survive the downtime. And that's not only financial, it's also emotional, you know, and you're going to face a lot of ups and downs. And so that's the first thing that I was thinking about. Because I've been through so many ups and downs. And when I, in the 1997 Asian crisis, we had set up a factory in Thailand, and I was working as an investment banker. And basically, everything collapsed, I lost my job, the factory, basically, the business didn't, you know, take off the way we had hoped. And then the economy collapsed by 11%, in 1998. And basically, what we did is we just said, my best friend, and I was running the business at the time that we said, we're going to move into the factory. And we cut our costs to zero for rent. And we moved into a factory out on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, in like a jungle area, practically, and a little industrial, in a cement building with one room that had air conditioning, where we put two beds in like we were back at university. And we're fearless. And we're not afraid to bring ourselves down to our roots. And I would share one other story of mine in that is when I, when I got sober, I got out of treatment, and I was in 12 Step programs that I've been in for my life. But when I got out of I was 18. And my parents was like, Okay, go out, make your way. And I didn't have any money to go to school, I was just like working at a factory and all that stuff. And I didn't have anything. I mean, literally, I remember going to church at times to get you know, canned goods and getting food stamps occasionally at times, and but what I remember is, every night I went to a 12 step group meeting with my friends, and I was making great friendships. And that taught me that happiness and money are not correlated. Yeah. And you know, you can have it and be happy, you can have it and not be happy. But I know, when everything is stripped from me, I still have me. And that is, you know, you remind me of that and the importance of understanding. Number one, there's a lot of ups and downs. So you've got to prepare for the downs during the up period. And number two, if you can get yourself to be down at the lowest level of spending and all of that and take pride in that, then you really can see that happiness can come you know, even when you're going to face everything, because a lot of people they lose everything and they killed themselves or they go into deep depression. And so, you know, those are the things I would take away anything you would add to that.

Matt LeBris 19:50
Yeah, I think you know, I appreciate all of those shares and ultimately, looking back at that period of time, the reason why I think I hung my head on it so much was because my worth wasn't in me, it was in what I had. Right. And being that my worth wasn't what I had, when it was dwindling down. My worth was dwindling down. And it's really hard to admit that, but it's the truth. And that was revealed to me over the course of you know, the past few years when I was able to turn inward and realize that, listen, the car that you were leasing, had to go back after the three years, you know, you no longer have that car. How do you feel about yourself? Now? Do you care about what you drive? You know, you're no longer a member at this private membership only club? How do you feel about yourself now? Right, all of those things were very revealing. So ultimately, you got to turn you got to turn that worth inward without a doubt. So that's definitely something to add. And it's which goes mandatory,

Andrew Stotz 20:58
which goes back to the unique value that you are bringing to the world. I think this story definitely connects with that. So based upon what you learn from this story, and what you continue to learn in your life, let's go back in time. What one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate?

Matt LeBris 21:19
Wow. Understand, understand how money works. Understand how money works, if money's not coming in, be very cautious of how it's going out. I know that might sound basic, but every week, I would travel into the city as an intern, taking the Express Bus nonetheless, not the train, there's about a $5 difference one way or two ways it's $10 per day, I would get a juice of fresh juice, which was $10 or $20. Now, right, I would get lunch in Manhattan is not cheap. That's another 15 $35. Multiply that over a week, multiply that by a full year, without money coming in, or very little of it being that you were an intern for X amount of months, or whatever. The very simple understanding of how money works, is, you know, the absolute key. And, oh, if I could throw something else in here, especially being that it's 2023, I think it's really important to understand that you can make money in many different ways. Right? Looking back, if I could do, maybe a second thing different, is put the ego to the side, and pick up my phone and start delivering UberEATS on the weekend, start delivering DoorDash on the weekend, doing something maybe going through my baseball cards and seeing what I could sell on eBay, right. There's 1,000,001 ways to make money. And I think at the time, my ego had the best of me because I didn't want to be seen doing something I believed I was above. And are you really ever above anything. If you're operating from the vibration of love, you're not. Yeah, and this is something I'm still working on, by the way. So I don't want to come here and sound like this enlightened guru that has it all figured out. But at the end of the day, these are the things that I would change without a doubt.

Andrew Stotz 23:28
I like would a tie a tie friend of mine that we used to work together with, he always called me Startseite Startseite on the street fighter. Everything I got was from Street Fighter and on the street, you know, learning and scrapping with no money and you know all that. And he took pride in that I think for the listeners out there take pride of being a Street Fighter and out there on the street and out there hustling and keeping your costs low. I think there's a lot that can be gained from that. Let me ask you, what's a resource of either yours that you have or anything else? I mean, you've already mentioned about the Millionaire Mind. Is there anything else that you'd recommend? In pertaining to money? Yeah, or anything, anything that's helped you.

Matt LeBris 24:13
Number one thing that's helped me is therapy. Number one thing that's helped me I put myself in therapy in June of 2020. I was going through a relationship that was bringing up anxiety in my life. And I said to myself, Why is this happening? Like, this has been a little bit of a pattern at this point. And I said to myself, Why am I an anxious person? Let's uncover it. And I got curious. I said, You know what, enough's enough. Let me try therapy, put myself in therapy, and that is exactly why I'm able to meet you here today. The way that I'm able to meet you here. That's the best way to put it. I discovered and at that point, I was probably 26 I think I was 26 years old. I And wow, 26 years of unpacking a lot to unpack everything from the divorced parents to the abandonment, the rejection, the, you know, emotionally unavailable, parents emotionally unavailable partners all of it, it was all included in that deal. But that was the best. That was absolutely the best investment I made myself.

Andrew Stotz 25:23
That's a great one. And for the listeners out there, you know, number one, if you feel down or you're struggling, talk to somebody. Number two, if you can find a therapist or somebody that you can kind of regularly work through these things, you know, it's really, it. I did about 2000 hours of therapy during my youth because of my addiction and where I was, and it definitely shaped me to understand myself and others much better. So my last question for you is, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Matt LeBris 25:55
Number one goal for the next 12 months is to adopt the mindset of a very simple equation. The equation is not something I came up with. So I'm going to give kudos to where kudos needs to be given to John Gordon, I'm not sure if you're familiar with him an incredible individual that's written many books. And the equation is something that I'm working on, because as you mentioned, there's ups and downs in life, right. And that is without, that's something we cannot control. As much as we'd like to. We're on a roller coaster here. Sometimes the ups are high, sometimes the lows are low. But the equation is e plus p equals O. what that stands for is events which are uncontrollable, some are at least some are controllable. Those events, which is a variable being that we can always control it, plus the P which stands for perspective, e plus p equals Oh events plus perspective equals the outcome. What I want to do in the next 12 months to truly adopt that 2022 was the hardest year of my life, turn 30 years old and 2022 It was very dark at times, I was struggling at times, it got lighter, but then it rained again. And now it's sunny in my life. And I told myself, I need to adopt the mindset of understanding that my perspective is what's going to determine the outcome of any dark time and any bright time. And I'm not saying for anyone that's listening to this right now, if you're going through a breakup right now, if you're in a position where you just lost $80,000 If you're on the struggle bus, it's not easy to believe that you're experiencing what you're experiencing for a reason. But six months down the line, maybe three, maybe a full year, maybe six years, you're gonna look back, and you're gonna say, oh, that's why I experienced that. So your perspective might take a little time to kick in. But it will. But that's my goal for the next 12 months.

Andrew Stotz 27:54
Fantastic. Well, listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. Remember, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. If you've not yet joined that mission, just go to my worst investment ever.com And join the free weekly become a better investor newsletter to reduce risk in your life. As we conclude, Matt, I want to thank you again for joining our mission and on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Matt LeBris 28:27
I absolutely do. My parting words are sharing gratitude with you for what you've built. 600 Plus episodes 600 Plus individuals that you've had on here, I'm giving you your kudos, I'm expressing gratitude. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join you here on this platform. Shout out to everyone that's listening to this I always say if you are tuned into this, there is a reason you're tuned into this. There's something within this episode you need to hear otherwise you wouldn't have been listening to this. So on that note, I am saying thank you again for this opportunity.

Andrew Stotz 28:58
Boom. That's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. Let's celebrate that today. We added one more person to our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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