Matthew's Mind

Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.

Casa Bonita 2Matt Neuman
Advisors Excel’s most senior Vice President on his one-third plan,
penguins and thoughts alone in the car.
– Interview by Josh Jones

(If you’re looking for the polished up, professional stuff, it’s not below. You can find that here).

What’s the experience that most changed your life?
Two years out of college, and one year after marrying Alice, we backpacked Europe for a couple weeks. I remember leaving my desk thinking “this will be interesting” and coming back with an entirely different worldview. The world expanded in front of me and that first trip across the pond opened my eyes to much bigger opportunities down the road.

If you had six months with no obligations or constraints, what would you do with your time?
A third, a third, a third. I’d spend one-third of my time with my boys, doing simple things like taking them and picking them up everywhere, finding experiences to enhance their mind and just soak in their presence. I’d spend one-third of my time in the church, finding ways to grow in my own faith and hopefully help others find The Word in their lives. And I’d spend one-third of my time CrossFit training in the gym, maybe doing that three hours a day and preparing for higher level competitions.

I’m going on vacation, where do you recommend?
Staying stateside? Check out Bend, Oregon. It’s the perfect mixture of outdoor adventure, a vibrant local scene, breathtaking scenery and it’s free of pretentiousness. Going abroad? It’s tough to beat walking the streets of Italy with a couple dollars and a simple guidebook in your backpack.

What role does ego play in a person’s life?
Most successful people have a certain amount of ego. They want to be the best, constantly improve and strive to achieve at the highest levels. But when that ego becomes the No. 1 reason they’re driving at something it turns unhealthy in a hurry. I’ve seen people really lose their way.

What’s something you’re shamelessly proud of?
My boys. Everyone brags on their children, but I really brag on mine. They’re absolutely what my life has become about, and our Saturday morning “guy time” around Lawrence, Kansas, is my favorite time of the week. Now if they get their mom’s looks and mom’s smarts they’ll go somewhere!

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say, and why is he there?
Forget the tuxedo; let’s get this fiesta started!

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
My gut first said hunter because I enjoy working in an entrepreneurial role and making my own business decisions. You eat what you kill, y’know? But my soul is a gatherer. At the end of the day I’m a relationship person. And the most enjoyable part of this career path is walking side by side with people who are consistently reaping benefits from what they’ve sewn.

How do you make a tuna sandwich?
Bread, cans of tuna, fat-free mayonnaise and some pickle relish, right?!? Usually Alice cooks and I clean though, so I’m sure she’d make it different and it’d taste better than mine.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
On my 25-minute commute into work I think about improvement. I listen to podcasts, audio books, advisor interviews, really anything to get me primed for the day. On the 25-minute commute home from work, I try not to think about anything. It’s time to decompress and flip the switch into “daddy mode” soon.

What’s one shocking thing about you that no one could guess?
I’ve spent 25-plus hours in a tattoo chair. Unless we go to the beach together you’d never know because everything is covered. But I have a full back piece tattoo that’s my own mural and vision of Heaven.

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