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Scott Donnell is the Founder of GravyStack, the world’s first gamified banking platform designed to help parents teach their kids and teens financial skills. He is also the Founder of Apex Leadership Co., a fundraising company developing fundraising plans that more effectively mobilize students and community members. His companies have equipped over six million kids nationwide with leadership, fitness, and financial competency skills.

Scott is also the Founder of Hapbee, a biotech company integrating physical fitness and mental wellness. He is a best-selling author of Value Creation Kid and hosts the Smart Money Parenting podcast, where he shares practical financial literacy tools for kids.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:02] Scott Donnell shares his journey writing Value Creation Kid with Lee Benson
  • [05:13] Financial lessons from wealthy families that helped birth GravyStack
  • [10:42] What are the three types of value creation?
  • [17:56] Scott talks about five critical money skills
  • [18:45] GravyStack’s 3Es home economy system
  • [23:35] Teaching kids to earn money through home and brain gigs
  • [26:36] What are the healthy struggles your children need to succeed?
  • [38:32] Apex Leadership Co.’s journey and lessons learned

In this episode…

Are you worried about your child’s financial future? Do you want to equip your children with financial skills to help them grow into financially competent adults? You are not alone.

According to Scott Donnell, financial literacy and value creation expert, financial literacy skills prepare kids for their future. Financial literacy for kids and teens is at an all-time low as most schools do not teach money skills. Scott discovered that kids learn through play and healthy struggles. He shares his journey of creating an educational bank account app that plays as a game, teaching kids how to earn, save, spend, share, invest, and manage their money wisely.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Scott Donnell, Founder of GravyStack, to discuss how kids can achieve financial literacy. Scott talks about financial lessons from wealthy families that helped birth GravyStack, the three types of value creation, GravyStack’s 3Es home economy system, and the healthy struggles your children need to succeed.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments: 

  • “Teach your kids how to create value, not money.”
  • “Kids learn capabilities and confidence and value creation as they go through healthy struggles.”
  • “Money comes as a byproduct of creating value.”
  • “A kid will never spend your money the same way they would spend their own hard-earned money.“
  • “Fun trumps all.”

Sponsor for this episode

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We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPOEOLending TreeFreshdesk, and many more.

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.

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Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs leaders today is no different. I have Scott Donnell all the he also runs but Scott always like to before I formally introduce you mentioned other episodes people should check out of the podcast and we were introduced, big shout out to Lee Benson. Lee grew Able Aerospace from three to 500 employees achieve the nine-figure exit. He actually co-wrote the book with Scott called the Value Creation Kid which is the healthy struggles your children need to succeed which we’ll dig into. You could check out more about Lee And Scott, some of my favorite author interviews that I’ve had. Chris Voss wrote Never Split the Difference past FBI hostage negotiator. John Ruhlin wrote Giftology which I know you know John as well. He’s an advocate for GravyStack and what you’re doing. Michael Gerber of the E-Myth, Perry Marshall wrote 80/20 Sales and Marketing and a fan favorite Gino Wickman who wrote Traction. So we’ll dig into Scott’s book but…

Scott Donnell  1:31 

All those guys are dear friends and half of those guys are actually investors in GravyStack our app for families to learn money, so yeah.

Jeremy Weisz  1:39 

That’s awesome. Yeah, I saw what are some of your favorite books?

Scott Donnell  1:44 

I love, my go-to is The Road Less Stupid Keith Cunningham, fascinating. Like that’s like a playbook for every entrepreneur, Who Not How Dan Sullivan, probably one of my other favorite books, I was one of the first readers of the manuscript. It’s brilliant. I mean, the list could go on like Tiny Habits, my friend BJ Fogg. That’s a brilliant book Limitless by Jim Kwik, is a brilliant book. I got to give a shout-out to my co-host of our show, we have Smart Money Parenting is our show for families. Chad Willardson, and I do this little tiny 20-minute topicals. And almost 100% of our listeners have listened to all the episodes. So it’s kind of crazy. But Chad wrote the book Smart, Not Spoiled. So it’s the seven money skills for kids and parents to learn. And then our book Value Creation Kid, obviously, is my first book. I don’t know if I’ll ever write another one. Because we put it all in here. When you combine those two books, it really sets a family up for success financially, to pass it on to their kids.

Jeremy Weisz  2:48 

And I saw on your site. I think Hal Elrod is an advocate I’ve had him on and his book a Miracle Morning. I think he has several Miracle Morning kind of books there. So how did you and Lee get together to write this book?

Scott Donnell  3:02 

Yeah, so we’ve met at Genius Network with Joe Polish, and we hit it off the bat really well. And we started using his company ETW to help us with our most important number. And he immediately invested in GravyStack when we launched GravyStack. Just because the mission is 50 million kids financially competent and ready to succeed. It’s how do we make the biggest dent in the next generation and really curb these issues, these systemic issues of debt and student loan issues. And less than one in four 22-year-olds has financially independent. And all their parents thought they would be and they’re not. And there’s just so many issues, it’s going the wrong way. And so he joined on GravyStack side, that’s how we initially got connected. And then as I started writing this book and putting my principles down, I had a call with him. And he’s like, oh, man, you need any help. I was like, sure. Let’s write it together. So it was an incredible six-month experience with him. He is a brilliant man. Now he doesn’t have kids of his own. He’s a kind of a godfather to many kids, he coaches 1000s of high schoolers and college kids. But I wish he had kids because he’s an unbelievable mentor to me and friend. And the principles that we put together in this book. I think it was a one plus one equals 10. And this thing is ripping like we just hit Wall Street Journal bestseller. I mean, we sold 3100 copies the other day, like a little bit ago and it’s just ripping. So I think parents are really starting to understand like, yep, there’s a certain way to raise your kids to ensure success. And a lot of people don’t do it that way. So that’s really the principles in Value Creation Kid.

Jeremy Weisz  4:54 

We’ll talk about, some of the top lessons learned that you’ve learned from interviewing some of the wealthiest families on the planet, and they were the keep their wealth into generations. And that’s, I think you mentioned what’s the stat of like the third generation? There’s some stat out there.

Scott Donnell  5:13 

Yeah. Well, what we’re trying to stop here is, well, first of all, we’re trying to stop generational poverty. How do you get a kid who doesn’t have the skills at home, they’re not being taught, their parents don’t know it, how do you get them there? How do you get them with the right mindsets to learn the core money skills, right, that’s one side of the equation. That’s why GravyStack this app, the banking and investing app for kids and teens that plays like a game. That’s why we built it. Because we learned that kids, I’ve worked with 6 million families now on financial literacy. And the only way kids learn is fun and real-life experience. That’s how you learn you can’t homework your way to this in school, you can’t do more homework, can’t rid of book and be there, you’ve got to do it with real money in the real world and have a fun time doing it. And so that’s why GravyStack is like 100 games inside this banking app for kids and parents. It’s like 23 cents a day. And the average family saving $500 In the first month, by the way, it’s insane. I can get into that a little bit. But that is the tool for families that might be struggling, but also the wealthiest families in the world because we took their best practices and put them in this app for everyone. Okay. And so what happens with wealthy families like first-generation wealth, right, 90% of it is gone by the grandkids. 90%. Why? That was the question I wanted to answer. What is going on shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations? Why does that happen. And what we saw was, so many parents 90% of them, they start with love, and they say out of a good intention, they go, I just want to give my kids all the things I never had. I just want to give them all the opportunities I never got, I want to make sure they don’t have to deal with all the problems I had. Well, what made you man, like, going through those healthy struggles made you who you are today. Now we’re not saying to pass on trauma, don’t abuse or neglect to your kids. But there’s some systems that you better put in place real quick, to make sure that your kids are prepared for wealth, that they’re prepared to earn our five core money skills that we’ve learned from these families, these 100 legacy wealth families. And by the way to be a legacy wealth family, you have to have Rockstar kids and grandkids, they have to be generous, kind, hard, like charging driven, successful, wealthy themselves without your money kind of generations. That’s what cues you in. And by the way, the most important piece to us is deeply connected with a family legacy that matters a mission, a shared value and mission in the world. That’s what qualifies in our 100. We had to scour the globe, okay, it was not easy. So, a lot of these families, we were shocked, they did the same stuff. But what shocked me more was that no one else did them. Nobody else practices, the home economy system, nobody else practices, the heritage legacy stuff and everyone else does allowance. Everyone else does. Like, I got to make so much money and give it to my kids. It’s like ridiculous, I can’t believe it. And so we just dissolved all the information into the Value Creation Kid book, and then the gravy stack app to make it operational.

Jeremy Weisz  8:37 

And Scott, I’m going to formally introduce you and then we’ll get into some of the top lessons you learn from some of the wealthiest families around that was able to keep it and pass it on from generation to generation that generations keep it. So this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25, we help businesses give to and connect to your dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run your podcast we do accountability strategy and the full execution and production. We call ourselves the magic elves that work behind the scenes to make sure it’s easy for the host in the company. For me, Scott, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I’ve found no better way over the past decade to profile the people in companies I most admire in this planet and share with the world what they’re working on. So like Scott, if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, you can go to and formally, Scott Donnell is the best-selling author of Value Creation Kid, the host of Smart Money Parenting, like he just said he’s the founder of GravyStack, which is the banking investment app for kids and teens that plays like a game and he also created Apex Leadership Company. They’re the largest school fundraising franchise in America. They have over maybe this has changed but from my research, over 4 million customers served 100 million raise for schools and 450 employees nationwide. He also started Hapbee Technologies, which is Hapbee, which is a public biotech company that focuses on mental health. And since 2011, his companies have taught leadership fitness and financial competency to over 6 million kids nationwide. And I’m excited to dig into the Value Creation Kid, and I love kind of the healthy struggles, right? You keep mentioning healthy struggles, your children need to succeed. So start off with some of the top lessons that you learned from these legacy families.

Scott Donnell  10:42 

Yeah, the one lesson was this, they taught their kids how to create value, not money, they focused on value, not money. Money is a store of value, okay? Money in itself should not be the goal. value creation is the goal. That’s how you create lifelong wealth, lifelong impact, lifelong value. So what these families did is they’re like, okay, and this is in the book. So we have three types of value creation, all right. material value, emotional value, and spiritual value. Value is not money, money is a store of one type of value. But when you think about creating value in the world, a kid can look at the world with a lens and say, I can create value in any situation, I can make a difference, I can make an impact, I can create value right now for myself, for the people around me. And it’s not just the money you make, that’s not what that is, right? What we’re talking about is the material value of what you create and produce in the world. The emotional value of how you think and feel and how other people think and feel and the spiritual value, how you lift other people up to something greater than themselves. That can be done in any situation at any time with a kid. And so the idea here is kids instead of likes on TikTok, or the cool kids club, or the cliques of popularity, or self-image or all these issues. A kids lens should be their primary motivation. And drive is like, how can I create value right now in this situation, it changes everything, it changes their entire mindset changes their mental health, it’s the antidote to entitlement and spoiling a kid and victimhood, laziness, anxiousness, it’s all gone, when you focus on this value creation cycle. And that’s the healthy struggles your children need to succeed. And so kids learn capabilities and confidence and value creation as they go through healthy struggles. And that’s the precipice of the book. That’s the point we have 90 healthy struggles that families can help their kids go through, that are not taught in schools, that by the time they’re done, they’re a tornado of value creation in the world, a powerful force. So that’s the point of the book.

Jeremy Weisz  13:05 

Can you talk through an example for each of them? So from an emotional spiritual, what’s an example?

Scott Donnell  13:13 

Yeah, so I’ll start with material. Material is what you create and produce in the world. So my seven-year-old Regan, she loves flowers. And she’s like, how can I add value and create value with these flowers. So there was a local children’s business fair, she launched Reagan’s Flower Power six months ago, she went to the fair, she brought 60 vases with her flowers in it. For five bucks a pop made 300 bucks right there in three hours. Everyone loved it, everyone was happy. They were raving fans of Reagan’s. And she was six at the time. And think about the confidence, right? Think about the capabilities she learned in doing that small business for a day. Right? She created an incredible value. She created material value and emotional value in the people that bought it. She learned profit, she learned price, she learned product, pitch marketing, her passions. That kid is a rock star. Right? And she didn’t just go blow it on ice cream. We taught her how to do the five money skills with it. She learned how to earn, she learned how to invest, save, spend and share. So she split up all those funds. And then she created immense value from it, right? So that’s a good material value example. Emotional value. Emotional value is how you lift others up how you feel and how you make other people feel. It’s probably the most scarcest commodity in the world right now. But in any situation, you can lift other people up emotionally, you can brighten their day, encourage them and check in with them. Praying for somebody lifts them up spiritually. That’s the third type. There’s so many different examples of how you can create value in the world. But if you really look at everything as a value metric, then a kid always has something to do to lift themselves and other people up around them. It’s not about money first. That’s the issue, very few kids are even gonna even think about money. Right? That’s the problem. We surveyed 1000 families when we started GravyStack. And the parents, overwhelmingly, these are wealthy and poor parents alike. Okay, struggling parents and parents that had millions. They have no roadmap, they had no clue what to teach their kids when, in what order. And even if their kids are listening, they’re like, we need help. Give us a roadmap. And that’s GravyStack, right? The 100 games, the home economy system? Well, the poor parents were like, we need help to, like we’re just trying to cover ends meet. But I don’t want my kids to know that I don’t know anything. How do we make it fun so I can play along with my kids and actually learn, right? So that’s also GravyStack. But now get to the interesting part. Guess what the kids said? Overwhelmingly, the kid said, we don’t want to talk about it. Money is a conflict in our home. sex and money, kids don’t hear about the first one they hear about money. We can’t afford this. Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know how much that cost? You have any idea how hard I work to get you this and you blah, blah, blah. Those are the things that make kids shy away from money. Only 5% of the kids have that entrepreneurial gene where it’s like, we’re gonna go make money, dad, where can I go make money? 95% of kids don’t even want to talk about it. They’d rather wait until they’re adulting to talk about money. And then by then it’s too late, because they’ve already got credit cards and student loans and bad habits. Right? So focusing on value is the critical piece. Money comes as a byproduct of creating value. Right? That’s the piece.

Jeremy Weisz  16:47 

So Scott, the material, the emotional, what’s an example of the spiritual piece?