Welcome to Steal the Show Season 4: Speakers with Money. On this introductory episode, we’re joined by season-long guest co-host Matt Rzepka.

The founder and owner of specialized financial services firm Valley Oak, Matt is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, entrepreneur, and expert on all things money. This season, we’re teaming up to explore, explain, and demystify the world of finance for speakers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and anyone else who’s ready to learn more about money.

Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Hmm. Business? Finance? Specialized services firm? Is this for me?”

It is.

We believe everyone can benefit from a better understanding of how money works—and we don’t think it needs to be boring or confusing. To the contrary. In Speakers with Money, we decipher the jargon and break down the big ideas to make finance more accessible for anyone, anywhere. (And we have a really, really good time doing it.) 

Whether you’re a professional speaker, an aspiring speaker, an entrepreneur, or someone who’s simply ready to learn more about money, Speakers with Money will help you get ahead no matter where you are in your journey.

Learn more about Michael’s public speaking training company, Heroic Public Speaking, here: https://heroicpublicspeaking.com/

Learn more about Matt’s specialized financial services firm, Valley Oak, here: https://www.valleyoakcpa.com/


Michael Port (00:06):
Hello and welcome to Steal The Show with Michael Port, a podcast from Heroic Public Speaking. I’m Michael Port. This is my fourth season hosting the podcast, and well, a lot has happened since Season Three. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s been a pandemic, but we seem to be on the tail end of that. And if that wasn’t enough, and it was, our 10,000 square foot headquarters and training facility, HPS HQ, was completely destroyed during Hurricane Ida. Now we’re doing okay. We’re soldiering on. We’ve moved into a new space. But to say that a lot has changed for us since our last episode is kind of an understatement. So we decided that the podcast should reflect that, which brings me to the moment you’ve been waiting for. I think it’s time to finally unveil the theme for this season, which is…

Michael Port (01:01):
Speakers With Money. Huh? What you talking about, Michael? Yep. You heard me this season of Steal The Show is all about speakers with money or more importantly, what to do with the money you make so you don’t have to work for the rest of your freaking life. Look, I get that we all love what we do, but you don’t really wanna have to take that chicken dinner gig at the casino motel two hours from the nearest airport just to pay the mortgage. Why? Why focus on money and personal finance? Well, after two decades of working with speakers and entrepreneurs on their craft and business development, I found that many are all often focused on building their brands and reputations, but put little focus on how to manage their money. So when I ask them about how they handle their personal and business budgeting, insurance products, savings, investments, tax planning, and more, I usually get a blank stare or some mumbling about a guy in a suit that takes care of it, which actually means they have no idea what’s happening with their money.

Michael Port (02:07):
So on this season of Steal The Show, we’re gonna bring you all things related to personal and business finance. Look, when I went into business, there was so much to learn and it took me years to really figure out the financial world for myself. And I’m still learning every day, but now I love it. I can’t get enough of it. Although reading P&Ls and analyzing data is still relatively boring compared to say, working with a talented and creative speaker on their signature bit, but it’s tremendously empowering to understand the language and be able to make smart and effective financial decisions. Mind you, I didn’t learn about personal finance in school. And although my parents are educated professionals, they weren’t able to teach me the ins and outs of money management either. So I had a late start, but I took my financial education from the resources around me over the years and now I wanna give it back to you. No cost. No strings. No catches. No conflict of interest.

Michael Port (03:11):
Now you might be saying, Michael, what are you doing? You can’t do that. You’re not a CPA or a CFP. And you’re right about that. But my guest for this season is, and he’s been waiting very patiently for me to introduce him. And he’ll just have to wait another moment. Now in previous seasons, I typically have a different guest on almost every episode, but this season, since we’re gonna take a deep dive into one big topic, I’ve decided to bring you the same very special guest for every episode. I’ve known him for years and he’s helped Amy and I with our tax planning for years. And although I personally manage our individual and company investment accounts, he’s also helped us set up various insurance policies, company retirement plans and compensation plans, analyzed real estate deals, and even advised me on car purchases.

Michael Port (04:03):
Now I might not always agree with Matt on all aspects of personal finance, but I trust Matt, which is actually saying a lot because I trust very few of the financial professionals I’ve met over the years. And over the course of this season, I’ll share why you probably shouldn’t trust most financial professionals either, but I trust Matt Rzepka, and you can too. Matt is a certified public accountant and certified financial planner. He’s the Owner and Chief Wealth Strategist at Valley Oak, a specialized financial services company focused on small businesses and owners. He’s an alumni of our programming here at Heroic Public Speaking, and he’s become a dear, dear friend of mine. And most importantly, he’s a fiduciary, which I’ll explain in our next episode. Matt, welcome to the show,

Matt Rzepka (04:53):
Michael, thank you so much. It’s truly my honor to be here. Can’t be more excited about this season of the podcast and all the things we’re gonna dive into, and more importantly, how we can help serve others and help them learn and understand more about the financial world. So happy to be here. Can’t wait to get started. Thanks so much.

Michael Port (05:11):
Now we met, oh gosh, could it be 10 plus years ago? But I didn’t meet you under the auspices of working with you. I met you when you came and started to do some work with us. But when I found out what you did, and I just liked you, I just thought you were just a delightful person., we would meet before the day’s event. You know, we’d sit there for an hour and we would talk personal finance and you never tried to pitch me on anything. You never tried to sell me anything. You definitely educated me in our conversations. It just was such a wonderful way to get to know you. And then after you had completed your training with us, I said, “Hey Matt, can you take us on? Can you work with us?” And you said, “no, I don’t think so.” No, you said, “yeah, I’d be happy to, of course.” Now we’re going back many, many years. And of course, many of my friends and colleagues work with you as well. And I just want to thank you for the work you’ve done with us and thank you for the support and education you’re gonna provide for all of the HPS community on the show.

Matt Rzepka (06:15):
Yes. Thank you so much. It’s been an awesome journey. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and the team and the ups and downs, as you’ve mentioned. You know, that’s part of why some of this stuff is also additionally important is life has its way of being life. So you’ve gotta make sure you understand when you get a curve ball, like a hurricane, holy cow, how do we pivot and keep moving forward and not let it sink the ship? And so, yeah, just my pleasure, love the community so much. Your programming and what you guys bring to the table is first class, second to none. It’s helped me so much in my life and my career and just being a better human being as well. Just so awesome. And again, can’t be more grateful to be here.

Michael Port (06:56):
Aw, you’re welcome. Now Matt, it’s still possible at this point, some of our listeners might be thinking finance business, CPAs, CFPs. That’s just too complicated for me or worse. They might be thinking that sounds boring. So what do you think, will it be boring?

Matt Rzepka (07:13):
I don’t think it’ll be boring. I think we can put a little spin on it and have some fun. And also that’s one of the things I talk about a lot in terms of the industries that we deal in. It shouldn’t be complicated. It shouldn’t be boring. You want to be excited about your own success and your own wealth and your own goals. And if somebody isn’t giving you that kind of feedback to help you understand and grow and learn, you might want to change your a relationship cuz you wanna work with somebody who’s gonna energize you around these topics, not make you feel belittled or stupid.

Michael Port (07:45):
Yeah. Look, there’s so much jargon and complexity in the world of personal finance. And frankly, I find it offensive. It pisses me off. It’s like the entire industry is designed to keep regular people from ever being able to understand stand it. And that’s something I really want to challenge with this podcast because I really do believe that business and personal finance do not have to be stuffy, boring or hard to understand topics.

Matt Rzepka (08:12):
Yeah. The industry itself, the government regulations, everybody’s trying to step into finance especially and say, we know what’s best for you. And then the professionals that are in the industry are trying to confuse you around, well, you should do this and you should do that. And then you just get frozen in isolation around what to do next.

Michael Port (08:30):
Yeah. And so that’s what we’re gonna do this season. We’re gonna help make sure that people know what to do regardless of where they are starting. You know, everybody starts this journey in a different place and we’re gonna take some of the biggest and most complex challenges facing speakers and entrepreneurs and small business owners and actually explore them in depth to make them less scary, less complicated and easier to understand. And the way I see my role here is as an advocate for you, the listener. Matt’s the true financial expert here, but together, you and I will be going on a journey to better understand how we can grow and protect our businesses with Matt as our guide. So, you know, no pressure, Matt. Whether you are an established speaker or entrepreneur or you’re just getting started, there’ll be so many moments of insight and clarity along the way.

Michael Port (09:26):
I genuinely believe that anyone anywhere can always learn more about how to take better care of themselves, their businesses and their families from a financial stand point. And that’s what we’re gonna do this season. And before we wrap up, I wanna be crystal clear about something. I have no conflicts of interest here because I don’t sell anything related to financial services, Matt, however does, and you can hire him, but I will not be compensated in any way if you do. I’m doing this purely because I love this topic and I think everyone in our industry can benefit from learning more about it. That’s it. So we’ll start next week with our first topic and we’re gonna start with something really important. Something that I think is gonna give you a decoder ring of sorts to help you really start to unlock the world of personal and business finance, accounting, and investing for you. Until then I’m Michael Port. We’ll see you next time.