Learn how to use cash in a crunch with Jason Hanson. His new book “Agent of Influence. How to use Spy Skills to Persuade Anyone, Sell Anything, and Build a Successful Business.
In Jason's money story you will learn:
I was incredibly blessed to work for the agency from 2003 to 2010, and you learn that you always have cash on you. On one occasion, I had to bribe the police in a foreign country, and having good, hard American cash on you. Many of my associates have had to bribe the police, so that's important, gets you out of trouble, but also, you pay cash for everything. You don't want to leave paper trails that you may have been in a country, and plus, when you're trying to recruit an asset, paying cash looks good, meaning you always pick up the tab, and then they feel indebted to you, and it helps the recruiting process. So, I'm a fan of cold, hard cash, and I'm always amazed at people these days who never carry cash on them, even for emergencies.
Bobbi Rebell: Okay, but first of all, there are places that no longer take cash, just saying, and we're not all spies, Jason. So, for the skeptics out there who say, "Well, we're going to a digital world," so much interest in things like bitcoin, what do you say to them? Do you think cash will last forever, and how else does this tie in to financial success?
Jason Hanson: Well, absolutely, it will last forever. I mean, I'm not saying you have to spend it, meaning, I always have at least $300 in cash in my pocket, and it has gotten me out of some jams in life. So, you can use your American Express or whatever credit card 99% of the time, but if you ever get stranded or you're in a jam, you should always have it on you. Plus, I have it in my house, and I have a fireproof safe where I have at least one month's worth of cash in $20 bills in case my family has some kind of financial emergency.
Bobbi Rebell: Share with us a story, if you can elaborate more on one of these instances, because most of us, as I said, will not be spies and will not be bribing foreigners to get out of jams. Tell us more about one of those situations.
Jason Hanson: The story is, something goes wrong, and the police are now around you. I can't elaborate beyond that, but I can tell you how to bribe them. The magic words you say is if, for some reason, again, something goes wrong, an operation or whatever, and the police are around you. You play the dumb American, and you say very innocently, "Oh my gosh, Officer. I'm so sorry. I bet there was some kind of fine to pay. How do I pay that fine?" If they're corrupt, they're going to say, "Well, that fine is $100, $50, and you pay me now," which is what happened in my case. If they're not corrupt, they may say, "Well, there's a fine you pay at the courthouse." That's the beauty of it. You're not coming off as in you're whipping out a wad of cash saying, "Hey, buddy, take this." You're playing the stupid American of, "How do I pay that fine?"
The second story, my father and I love to go hiking together. About once a year, we try and do some big hike. I live near Zion and Bryce National Park, and I'm a huge fan of the outdoors. So, my dad set up this hike, and he was the one who planned it. I just show up with all my gear. Well, long story short is, the hike was not very well laid out and didn't have good signage. So, we ended up about seven miles from where we were supposed to end up to get our car to go home. It was very late at night. We had been hiking for a few days, and we were exhausted. So, my old man is not in the best of shape, so I left him on the side of the road and said, "I'm going to take off now, hiking this seven miles."
Well, what I should've told you earlier, as we were leaving for this hike, I pulled out my cash as usual and put it in my backpack. My dad made fun of me and said, "What do you think you're going to see? McDonald's in the middle of nowhere? Why are you taking this cash? Just leave it in the car," but I took my cash. Well, I'm hiking, exhausted, this seven miles on this middle of nowhere dirt road where I was sure I was never going to see anybody.
After a few miles, this truck comes rolling along. I wave him, flag him down, explain to him what happened and said, "Hey, you mind giving me a ride back to my car?" The guy kind of hems and haws and says, "Well, you know, it's a long drive back. That's several miles." I'm like, "No kidding, buddy. I'm the one on foot here." I pulled out $20. I said, "Well, what if I give you $20 to drive me the four miles back? Will you do it?" He said, "Yeah, sure, for $20, I'll absolutely do it." So, I pulled out $20, gave it to him. He took me back to my car, and I was able to get back to my dad a heck of a lot quicker than had I not had that cash on me. So, you just never know when you're going to need that money.
Bobbi Rebell: Cash is king, at the end of the day. I mean, it's easier. You couldn't really transfer a bitcoin to him.
Jason Hanson: Right. Again, I was in the middle of nowhere in a national park, thinking I was going to see nobody, and yeah. This guy wasn't going to take anything, but a good old American $20 bill.
In Jason’s money lesson you will learn:
Jason Hanson: Well, as I said, I always like at least $300. I want at least $100 bill out of that. Have the rest in 20s, but have a $100 bill because in a serious jam, if you shove a $100 bill in somebody's face and say, "Take me to this location," or, "Let me out the back of your restaurant," I don't care who you are. If you got a $100 bill under your nose, you're going to take it, which is why it almost always works.
Bobbi Rebell: For the average person, that's a lot of cash. It's been okay so far, so people might be a little surprised to hear that much and to carry a $100 bill. A lot of places won't even take $100 bills.
Jason Hanson: I totally get that's a lot of cash. That's why I'm saying, you don't have to use it. You may have that same $300 in your wallet or purse for the next 10 years, but I'm a firm believer in insurance. It's the old cliché of, hey, if your house burns down, you're sure glad you have that insurance. If you get in a car accident, you're sure glad you have that insurance, even though you may never need it. Well, same thing. $300 doesn't take up much space. You may never, ever need it, but if you do trust me, you'll be glad you have it.
One time, we needed to get into a parking lot to get access to a car, and there was a guy there working, probably didn't make a whole lot of money, couple bucks an hour. It was a restricted area. We just walked up to him. We said, "Hey, we just need to check something out." You always have some legitimate cover story. "I realize this is restricted, but I promise we'll be back in 10 minutes, and here's $100 worth your time." Now, that's a week's worth of pay. That's a month's worth of pay, depending on where you are and what country, so the guy accepted it, and it worked, and we got in and took care of what we needed to take care of.
In Jason's everyday money tip you will learn:
Checklists are everything. In the intelligence world, you prepare and you extremely prepare for every situation. You have checklists to make sure you have the right gear, you have spare batteries, you have your flashlight, you have your knife, whatever it may be. So now in the business world, I do the same thing. Whenever I am meeting with a client or I'm working with a client, I go through all the checklist. Did I ask him this question? Did I send him this report? Did I do this, this, and this? So, I run multiple businesses. If I didn't remember my checklists, I would forget things. It's the same thing as my money tip. I have all my expenses. Did I pay this? Did I save this 10% this month? Did I do X, Y, and Z? So, I'm a big believer in making life idiot-proof. That way, I can pull out a checklist and say, "Okay, yes, the $20,000 went here this month," or whatever amount it may be. That way, nothing falls through the cracks.
My Financial Grownup tips:
Financial grownup tip number one:
Jason's cash is for emergencies. So if you do choose to carry cash, like $300, including a $100 bill as he recommends, that is not your spending money. Personally, unless you're going to carry a little notebook and jot down how you spend cash, in terms of your everyday spending money, I prefer to pay for things digitally so there is a record, and you can see very easily the different categories where your money is going. The downside is that we do tend to spend more when we don't see the cash leaving our wallet, and of course, it's harder to set limits. So, it's something to balance what's most important to you. But for me, especially with my family of five, I like having the older kids on debit and credit cards so we can see the broader picture of where our family's money is going, but do what works for you.
Financial grownup tip number two:
Jason talks a lot about checklists. These can be done, literally, on a piece of paper, in notebooks, a pad of paper. I tend to sometimes do this with a pen and pencil, paper, whatever, before I go to sleep. Whatever is around, I just grab it. There is something about physically writing it down that makes me feel calmer at night and more motivated in the morning, but there is also a value in using apps, especially when you don't get something done. It can already go forward to continue until you get it done, basically. Also, it can have short-term, long-term, dates. There's so much functionality in these apps. I happen to use Evernote, but there are also a lot of checklist apps. I'm going to give you some examples, but really, there are probably thousands out there. Some examples include Todoist, which a lot of my friends use and enjoy. TickTick is also popular. It includes a Pomodoro timer, so that is a productivity strategy that allows you to work and set 25 minute increments. I would love more suggestions because this is not a strong area for me. So, please screen grab this episode and add your picks for the best checklist or productivity apps, and post it and make sure to tag me so I can thank you, and then, if it's okay with you, share your suggestions with the community.
Blinkist - The app I’m loving right now. Please use our link to support the show and get a free trial.
Jason's website - www.SpyEscapeAndEvasion.com
Another of Jason’s website - www.CelebrityMethod.com
Jason's book Agent of Influence
Facebook - @SpyEscape https://www.facebook.com/SpyEscape/