Nick Kosko

In the latest episode of the Underdog podcast, we meet Nick Kosko, a man whose life story embodies the spirit of transformation and the pursuit of financial freedom. Nick’s journey from a pilot with dreams of conquering the skies to becoming a master of his financial universe is inspirational. Join host Pamela Bardhi in an engaging conversation with Nick Kosko, a Wealth Strategist at CreateTailwind, unraveling the keys to financial freedom.

Nick Kosko, a seasoned Wealth Strategist at CreateTailwind, is dedicated to helping individuals ease financial constraints. With over five decades of collective experience, Nick advocates moving money into tax shelters to finance life expansion. His mission revolves around protecting finances from inflation, taxes, and conventional lending, all while unlocking the potential of Infinite Banking.

Key Takeaways:

  • Career Aspirations, Setbacks, and Personal Growth: Pamela and Nick exchanged insights into overcoming setbacks, rebuilding life after unexpected hurdles, and casting a vision for personal and professional growth. Nick shared his journey from being a pilot to becoming a financial pioneer. 
  • Overcoming Obstacles for Financial Freedom: Nick shared how everything was suddenly gone, emphasizing that he was merely just a highly paid slave. His desires for passive income to exceed living standards and reflections on the significance of questioning daily actions and recognizing deeper motivations.
  • Recognizing Unseen Patterns for Financial Empowerment: One thing that helped Nick in his financial journey is identifying hidden patterns and discerning between financial noise and essential signals.
  • Banking, Leverage, and Financial Freedom: Nick emphasized the importance of financial education, leveraging banks’ power, and the impact of leveraging money in achieving financial freedom. He also mentioned that to get the most out of bank transactions, one has to speak their language.
  • Self-awareness, Personal Growth, and Financial Freedom: Embracing strengths, delegating weaknesses, and fostering alignment and communication within self and the team can help achieve financial freedom faster.

Join Pamela Bardhi and Nick Kosko in an empowering conversation, as they uncover the nuances of financial liberation and the transformative power of embracing a resilient mindset towards wealth creation and personal growth.

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Click To Read The Transcript

From Pilot to Financial Pioneer, Nick Kosko’s Successful Story of Freedom and Vision at Create Tailwind

Pamela Bardhi: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Underdog podcast. Today I’m here with my amazing friend, Nick. How are you, my friend?

Nick Kosko: I’d be a fool to complain.

Pamela Bardhi: 2024 is treating you well. You’re looking fresh. The beard is all cut. Everything is looking.

Nick Kosko: I had the holiday look, know, before yesterday morning for sure.

Pamela Bardhi: I love it. I love it, Nick. Oh, man. It’s such an honor to have you, my friend. We were just talking guys right before we got on. and I’m like, oh, man, this is going to be a powerful one. I’m like, he’s all about financial freedom. and all the amazingness and just such good energy. I can’t wait to get into the story and really find out how you ended up in this space. That stuff always fascinates me.

Nick Wagoner says he always wanted to fly airplanes

But before we get into that, Nick, what inspired you? What did you want to be when you grew up as a kid? What was your dream? Because we got to take it all the way back.

Nick Kosko: All right, well, cool. So I remember as a little kid, all I ever wanted to do was fly airplanes, okay? And, it got all the way to, like, I was in high school, and I used to deliver newspapers here in Louisville, Kentucky. and I was within earshot of the airport, and I used to hear these big airplanes because, ups, this is their airline headquarters. I said to my guidance counselor there, I was like, hey, I want to fly those airplanes someday. They’re like, well, you could go to the military academies. or you go to this school down in Florida, and I was like, I’ll go to that school in Florida. Military academy is not for me.

So it worked out like kind of like a little bit of an american dream, okay? I wrote down when I was 18 years old that by the time I was 30, that I wanted that job flying the 747 around the world. I wanted to be married, I wanted to have a family going, wanted to have the two. and a half kids and the dog, the whole shooting match, right? The four and 101, the retirement plan and sure enough, I didn’t know how lucky and blessed I’d have to be to make that happen. But by the time I was 30, I had all of that.

To be honest with you, I really remember feeling like I was kind of levitating, like I had it made. Like I had this great job, great pension I had all this time, would. I would fly from m Louisville to Hong Kong. I would hang out for a couple days. I’d fly back home. My wife and I would do whatever we wanted. We were starting a family and all this. And then the whole crash of eight nine happened, and I lost that job, I lost what I perceived as my ability to provide for, my wife. She had just told me we were pregnant with our first kid.

The dog is looking at me going, am I going to get to eat? And honestly, that right there set off a chain of events that I can’t describe accurately very well. I’d look back and I can see it all, but it’s very providential for me and how I was wired that I figured out that I was just a well paid slave when I lost that job, I was just a well paid slave. There’s so many people, Pam, as you well know, they’re high paid w two earners, and they’re like me. They really feel like they have it all, but at the end of the day, they don’t have any freedom whatsoever. Right, right.

Pamela Bardhi: but do you?

Nick Kosko: It was right then that I decided that something would be different. And it took me, I’m a slow learner, so it took me a while to figure it out. Through the power of relationship, a faith walk in there, an amazing wife. We figured it out, and, we live a totally different life now. I don’t fly airplanes anymore, I got that all out of my system. And, we do what we want to do when we want to do it.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s amazing, my friend. Oh, my goodness. That’s super powerful. And I love how you just kind of walked us through the journey of how it all happened. and originating from when you were a kid that you wanted to fly airplanes. Now, who inspired you for that on the airplane route? Was there somebody in particular?

Nick Kosko: No. I’ll be honest with you, this sounds almost hilariously dumb, okay? But I was, I think, ten years old when Top Gun came out. and I just totally was enthralled with the navy and aircraft carriers and f 14. I just thought that was the coolest thing ever and there was a moment there where I was like, hey, I want to go be, a navy pilot. And thankfully, that didn’t work out. because I got a lot of buddies who’ve done that, and that just wouldn’t have worked out for me.

It wasn’t my jam, but I just had that in my. Didn’t, you know, growing up here in Louisville. We didn’t have any family friends that were ups pilots or pilots, really at all. I had one of my dad’s buddies took me up one time in a little airplane, but, you kind of get this bug, and once you get in the cockpit of an airplane, it does kind of grab you, and then it just kind of grew legs. And all of my peers in the aviation world would tell you the same thing. But you know what’s so funny now, Pam? is I have no desire to be in a cockpit anymore. Zero. It’s all out of my wonder.

Pamela Bardhi: You know, what’s interesting is how life kind of takes you through these phases where you think you want to be somewhere. but it’s really just a stepping stone. Yeah, absolutely fascinating.

Nick Kosko: I joked that I used it as an atm, and there’s some stories along the way about how I wound up cutting it off completely. I wound up in a car wreck, a few years ago that I lost my ability to fly due to a vision issue. And it’s just kind of funny.

I think a lot of people in my shoes would be really sad and felt like their identity was stripped from them. But, the reality of it was, I can only laugh, to be honest with you about that. I couldn’t draw it up. It makes not a lot of sense to me, other than I’m just meant to go do something else. And thankfully, my wife and kids are amazingly supportive. and I have an amazing business partner, and we have amazing initiatives, and I have a lot of reason to get out of bed every day.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that.  But it wasn’t always that way, right?

Nick says sometimes the universe forces you to shift

At one point, you had the american dreamer. So what? Everybody chases right at that point, and then, all of a sudden, it breaks down in front of you. And now, in 2023, I had a lot of friends that faced a similar type of situation. Like, they had literal meltdowns in their life where things just felt like they were tumbling down. But we’re just now seeing the reason why that’s happening. They say sometimes that the universe forces you to shift.  Because had things not broken down that way, you would have never left, right? You would have just sat there comfortable doing what you do. You wouldn’t have made that shift into what you’re doing now.

That’s what I kept telling all my friends, and that they’re like, oh, my God, my life is over. The same scenario happened with you, Nick, where all of this stuff was stripped and I’m sure at the time it didn’t seem very nice. Or you’re like, why the hell is this happening? so for anybody who’s listening right now, that’s maybe going through that, can you walk us through kind of how you were able to rebuild from that moment and kind of steps that you took? Because that’s a heavy hit. and there’s others right now that definitely could be going through something where they feel like their world is shattering around them. And. Okay, how do I rebuild from here?

Nick Kosko: Yeah. So you can think of it like this. I love weather, okay? Like I had a minor in aviation weather and I was always fascinated by it. I still am. But the cool thing about weather is it always moves. So if you’re in a storm, there’s 100% chance that it’s going to pass. Okay? But what you really got to know is what do you want?  so it’s biblical, it says, right there. And I think it’s in proverbs, without vision, man will perish. Whether you believe in that story or not. There’s all these passages, right, that absolutely have application to our lives. Are you familiar with the Dan Sullivan who owns strategic coach?

Pamela Bardhi: Yes.

Nick Kosko: Okay. He’s got this phenomenal question and what I would encourage you and all your listeners to do is answer this question at ah, a minimum every quarter. And the simple question is, if we’re sitting here three years from now looking back at ah, today, what are all the things that have to happen, both personally and professionally, for you to be happy with your progress? And what it does is it forces you to cast vision.

So many people have trouble casting vision. Like a great friend of mine is Michael Lennington, the co author of the book the twelve week year. It’s only been a New York Times bestseller for over a decade and he’s got this great, he calls it the field Guide. It’s a twelve week year field guide and it starts at the beginning with casting vision. And he gets you to go out 20 years, then work back to ten, then five, then three, then one. and then all the way down to what are you going to do every day? Okay, that’s such a herculean task for some people.

Now, the way he lays it out in his field guide, which is sitting right over here on my desk. because I fill one out every year, it’s super brilliant, okay? But if you’re just wading into the waters of this, just start with that three year vision. What is it that you want? So I started going, well, I want my passive income to meet or exceed my ideal standard of living. I want my wife and kids. and I to be able to go do whatever we want to do when we want to do it. If I choose, like you and I are recording here today, both of us chose to be here. Neither of us has to be here. Right?

Pamela Bardhi: Right.

Nick Kosko: There’s the power of choice and no one likes feeling like they have to do something because now you feel like a slave. Like, if my flight schedule said, hey, I’ve got to go get in the jet and fly from here to Reno today, well, okay, I can try to spin that to a positive, but the reality of it is I have to do it. And so it requires us to rethink our thinking. Nelson Nash talked about in his book, becoming your own banker. is we have to be willing to rethink our thinking and, reshape what it is that we want. Because I was told to go get a college education, get a good job, work there for 35 years till I retire. and then hope I don’t run out of money by the time I die.

Just because that’s the narrative that was taught to you and I when we were kids doesn’t mean that’s the narrative we have to live out. Like, I reject the norms, all right? Only the dead fish go with the flow, right? When everyone’s going right, I’m curious what’s going left. And that curious nature of mine is what allowed me to break away from all of that. But it was really this desire to have something better than I could have conjured up. So maybe that’s it. It’s almost like little kids, right? Like, you’ve got little kids and I’ve got little kids. They ask why all the time.

Nick Kosko: Right? Channel that inner little kid in all of us. I mean, I’m almost 50 years old, and I’m as little kid as there’s ever been.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that you said, only dead fish go with the flow. And it’s so true.

When was the last time you really thought about why you do what

Because here’s the thing, and for anybody who’s listening, I want you to really think about this. When was the last time that you really thought about why you do what you do on a daily basis?

Nick Kosko: Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi: For what purpose? You start to look at the things and you’re like, well, damn right, there’s a time waster here. There’s time wasting here. Why am I doing this? For what purpose does this happen in my.

Nick Kosko: Yeah, and that’s. Simon Sinek talked about that right in the start with why book. and I saw him speak once and he talked about. and I can’t remember if he talked about this in his book there or not, but ask why seven levels deep? Because the first answer is not the real answer. Whatever that answer is, follow it up with why, right? Get to the bottom of it, and I know what my why is in the grand scheme of things. And I suspect you do.

As you know, if you really trying to break away, like if you’re really trying to, I love the underdog. Tell me I can’t do something. Watch what happens. Right? you’re going to bet against Pam, you’re going to bet against Nick. Get your checkbook ready. That’s just how we’re wired, right? Like we want to overcome all the obstacles and you got to figure out how to embrace that struggle too. You can’t run from the struggle. There’s a great analogy and people a lot of times will draw up what they want and then they start figuring out all that they have to do. And that is always rife with challenge, right? They see the resistance. Okay? We see the obstacles. You and I look at obstacles when we call those opportunities, right?

The person that hasn’t had a lot of reps with this doesn’t see it that way yet. And so I always use that scene in, the Shawshank redemption. What did he have to do to get to Zawantneo? He had this vision right back to that. But what did he have to do that night? He had to crawl through that sewer pipe, right? However many feet that was, he says it in there. I don’t know if it was 500ft or whatever it was in that sewer pipe, right, to get to the watt. Neo, you have those things in your life right now. I’ve got them in my life right now. We’re crawling through the stinky pipe to get to where we want to go. Don’t run from, that, that’s part of the thrill.

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely, and I think a lot of people get disillusioned these days because it’s like they see the end goal and it’s so shiny and beautiful. Oh, my God. Financial freedom. Oh, my God, all these things. And then they forget that you have to go through the mud, those dirty pipes, in order to get there. It’s not just like an overnight situation, right? Like, how many years did it take you to rebuild, Nick? From that point where you were laid off from your job. how long did it take you to really start building what you have today?

Nick Kosko: I’m a super slow learner. I got into some other businesses and whatnot. But I’ll tell you what the defining moment was, is I was just being curious. I don’t have arrival syndrome, I’m not there yet because I’m not done. My obituary will be my retirement papers, so there’s no checkbox. But I tell you, what really changed my life was understanding the financial world that changed the game.

I was actually hanging out with a guy one night, and I was complaining about the financial system. because I kept going and sitting down with financial advisors, thinking that they were the answer. And I would leave every one of these meetings and I would go, hm, I think you’re probably a decent guy. I’d probably have a bourbon with you, play golf with you. but pretty sure your whole stick is for your benefit, not mine. But I couldn’t put my finger on the problem. It was just my gut, and this guy one night said, well, have you ever heard of infinite banking? And I said, no idea what you’re talking about.

And so over the course of that night, I was trying to ask this guy, or, I was asking this guy all these questions that he couldn’t answer. He’s like, just read the book. Just read the book. Just read the book. so I finally read the book and it’s this simple book called becoming your own banker by R. Nelson Nash. This 92 page book, small words, big font, something even I could understand, that right there, told me all the unseen about money and that changed the game for me. And, what I realized is that, Pam, you’re going to see 5000 ads a day. Do you know what they all have in common? They’re all geared to get money to flow away from you.

The real wealth in this world knows how to get money to flow to them instead of away from them and I just never put that together. I was so conditioned to go exchange time for money, to be a slave for the industrial. You know, once you see it, you cannot unsee, know. Are you familiar with the logo that’s inside the. You know where it’s FedEx? Okay, well, between the e and the x is an arrow and now the next time just Google FedEx, you’re going to see it on a truck. I’m telling you now, you will not be able to unsee it.

Pamela Bardhi: Wait a minute, I have one right here. Hold on. You’re just going to bother me until I see it. Right here.

Nick Kosko: Yeah, look at the arrow between the e and the x.

Pamela Bardhi: What the hell? Oh, my God, it’s there.

Nick has been teaching people financial freedom for 45 years

Nick Kosko: You’ve, never seen that before, have you?

Pamela Bardhi: No.

Nick Kosko: It’s very intentional. It’s not by chance. So the financial world is the same way. Once I saw the problem and the solution, that’s when everything changed. That’s when I was like, you know what? I know that my blessing is being a connector, and I’m going to connect people to this message. I’m going to practice what I preach, I’m going to help improve and empower those around me the best I can. And I’m not going to worry about the results. That’s not my focus. I’m just going to keep moving with mission all day.

And now we have this whole firm that between my partner and I have over 45 years of teaching people financial freedom. and it is about how do you go create passive income? By behaving like the bank. There’s so much noise out there, just like in your space, right? There’s a lot of people out there, they’ve never put a deal together one time. You’ve got an amazing track record. We joke. It’s called a plus one. You’ve got way more than one plus one.

But there’s a lot of people out there talking and pontificating just because they got money to promote themselves on the Internet. and that part’s painful. It’s hard to train ourselves to wade through the noise and recognize signal amongst all the noise. And so it’s training our ears to differentiate between ads and noise that’s getting money to flow away from us instead of understanding some of the most powerful and important lessons in the financial world out there and how to use that. So it’s been a journey.

It’s a journey of training my ears, training my eyes to see the unseen question, the unseen seek it out, be that curious person. And, I’m still pretty trusting person. I used to get in a big jet and trusted that the mechanic did his know. We didn’t check their work, right. We just got in the jet and we went. The engineers and the mechanics did their have to. You do have to trust that, you have to trust your eyes and your ears and your gut and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Get in the batter’s box.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that, Nick, so much to unpack with all the things that you just said. I just love that you’ve always stayed curious, you’ve always asked those questions, and you’ve allowed yourself to kind of open yourself up to the space. Because what people don’t realize about money, I mean, how do you get it? To flow to you. There’s a whole lot of universal, laws that go in tandem about opening yourself up to receive. If you’re not opening yourself up to receive, guess what? You’re never going to receive it.

Nick Kosko: yeah. Have you read the book, the go giver?

Pamela Bardhi: No, I haven’t, but I keep hearing about it and I need to.

Nick Kosko: If I send you a copy, will you read it?

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely. It’s a bit on my face. I just haven’t done it.

Nick Kosko: All right. So I’ll get your address when we’re done, and I’m going to mail you a copy.

Nick Little: The fifth law of success is being open to receiving

So the five laws of stratospheric success. Okay. It’s a great parable. It’s like 115 pages and I read it once a year. But I won’t spoil all the five laws, but they’re on a canvas hanging over here in my office. It’s like our, core principles. But the fifth law is the law of receptivity. I think it’s the hardest one. It’s being open to receiving.

And it could be as simple as you and I go to lunch and I say, I’ll buy, and you go, no, I want to buy, or I’ll get next time. No, don’t steal my gift. Right? That’s my gift to you. We don’t keep score, all right? It’s just being open to receiving, not having arrival syndrome. Arrival syndrome. Is that mindset. I know everything now. We have to be willing to completely rethink our thinking on all fronts, all the time. Because if not, you’re just going to be stuck where you are.

Pamela Bardhi: Amen. It’s the God honest truth. And what you said about the receiving, that being a gift, like when you take somebody out, that’s something that I’ve even struggled with growing up and stuff. Because when you’re growing up in my world, growing up with my parents had nothing, came to the US with nothing, and really built their way up. receiving was something I had to really learn to do. because I got it myself and it’s like you’re still working through that. So it’s amazing how money is so interconnected with personal development, if you will.

That’s why some of the most successful entrepreneurs that I know in this world have done so much work for themselves. and their mindset in order to be able to receive and become who they are. So it’s fascinating when you’re talking about this and the financial freedom and, all, just the whole thing. It’s incredible. And in your world, Nick, I would love to know, when it comes to financial freedom, how does one really uncover, that, right. Is it this receiving that we’re talking about? What are almost the steps and your advice? Or we could walk us through your journey to kind of give that example. But, it’s just so fascinating to hear how everybody’s kind of gone through their path. because, like you said, once you see it, you can’t unsee it, right?

Nick Kosko: Yeah, I mean, it really was just understanding the financial machine, it wasn’t much more difficult than that. But here’s one thing, and I suspect that you’ve had a mentor or two along the way. Right? Fair. You didn’t come up with all this stuff on your own. I’ve not done a lot of smart things in my life. but I’ve done a couple of them. Is I read Nelson Nash’s book, becoming your own banker. I was so intrigued. I was like, this is what I’ve been looking for. Like, I want to take control of our money, not someone else be in control.

I reached out to Nelson, I found him down in Alabama, this 81, 82 year old guy and I said, nelson, I see no one is certified in the state of Kentucky to teach this. And he said, well, if you want to get certified, you got to do this, that, and the other. I’m like, okay, just tell me where to sign them in.  so I do all that, I get his certification, and I say, nelson, I need a mentor, and he goes, Nick, you don’t need a mentor. You nailed it. I’m like, nelson, I’ve completely fooled you, I need help, I didn’t know how to articulate that. I didn’t know how to articulate the power of the messages in his book.

He reached out to the guy who is arguably the Michael Jordan of our business, Jim, Oliver, who’s only been doing this for 36, 37 years. A homeless foster kid on the streets of Inglewood, California. as a kid who figured out how to get to the other side of the railroad tracks and has a passion for teaching people financial freedom. This is the guy who calls me. I’m just some, knucklehead pilot in Louisville, Kentucky, and here this guy calls me. Little did I know, pam, that was probably the most defining phone call I’ve ever had in my life. because he showed me the real truth.

He helped me unpack Nelson’s book, the 92 pages. He shown me the path to financial freedom and given me the tools to show people how to go do it. And I always just joke, Scotty Pippen gets drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1987 or whatever and Scotty Pippen winds up being one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA of all time. I don’t think that Scotty is in the top 50 or wins six championships unless he’s drafted to the Michael Jordan’s team, and that’s how I feel like I’ve just been so blessed to get blessed with this amazing mentor and amazing resource. And so now our mission is don’t keep it to ourselves. Figure out how to improve and impact and deliver those messages to other people and we collaborate with people all the time.

People bring us its ideas and deals and all of that. Where I have ownership in things I’d never even heard of five years ago. Right, you’re talking about your new, opportunities. It’s funny, as my 14 year old has kind of been dabbling around. looking at things like that, he’s getting a financial education that I never got as a kid, like, opening those doors. I do believe that our biggest opportunity to impact and improve people is right at our kitchen table. I’ve got four, seven through 14 years old. and we just have different conversations. Yeah. That’s what gets us moving.

Pamela Bardhi: I absolutely love that.

Nick: Learning how to leverage is key to achieving financial freedom

Oh, my goodness, Nick, there’s so much there. I love that you talked about the mentor kind of putting stuff into perspective for you. because it’s interesting when they step in and they really start to give you a whole new onset and perspective on things, you’re just like, what? I never saw it that way. And it’s just like the, that they can unleash in you is, like, unbelievable. So having that mentor is really everything. My mentors have been my world, and every single day, I’m learning. It’s a whole new process, and everyone’s like, well, pimp, you’ve been in development for the last ten years. I’m pretty sure you know a lot. I’m like, listen, everything is shifting all the time.

Nick Kosko: Yeah. Just like, the weather never stops moving. You have to adapt or die.

Pamela Bardhi: Amen. And I think that a lot of know, especially now heading into the new year, Nick, are like, okay, well, I want financial freedom, and I want to know what that looks like and all that. And don’t really have an idea where to start, right? Because then you’ve got all these funds that are like, you got to be an accredited investor. You got to do this, you got to do that. Then there’s things coming out. Fractionalization of real estate, where it’s like, oh, invest this much. but then they’re not, you know, there’s, like, a million and a half different opportunities. So I’d be curious to hear, like, if someone said right now, somebody who’s listening, hey, Nick, like, how do I become financially? Like, what’s the first step in doing that? what would be your advice?

Nick Kosko: Yeah, educate yourself. Educate yourself on what is going on in the financial world. So, we have a couple of resources, and this isn’t a shameless plug or anything, but it’s where I started. Anyone can go to community, It’s our online community. Or you can download our app called Createtailwind. All one word, and understand what the heck is going on in the Banking world. Banking is only the most powerful business in the world. There’s not a transaction that goes on without it. So if you really want to achieve financial freedom, understand how the bank works. Even if you choose to not be your own banker, understand how the bank works.

You’ve gone to the bank and gotten millions of dollars of loans. I’ve done the same. If you don’t understand their game, good luck getting the money, right? You got to speak their language, you got to have the paperwork done the right way. there’s people that joke. They’ve got their personal financial statement that’s for the bank, and they got the one for themselves. Right. You got to understand how the bank thinks about things, right? So you can go on, our resources, and you can watch the. What is IBC, infinite banking concept resource, you can get Nelson Nash’s book called becoming your own banker. But understand, there’s a lot more to the financial world than what the financial industry is telling you.

Pamela Bardhi: Right. I feel like they gatekeep so much information. Right?

Nick Kosko: Yeah. Once they realize that you don’t need them, all the veils drop and you get to see, the wizard behind the curtain, kind of the floodgates open. But if they smell that you feel like you need them, it’s a different game.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s so fascinating. You’re right. Not a single thing happens without the bank. And the thing is, learning how to leverage. The bank can change your. You know, I know that some people are big on Dave Ramsey. No debt. No debt. It’s like, okay, well, it’s going to take you lifetimes to build wealth. if you don’t know how to properly leverage, unfortunately. Right.

Nick Kosko: Nick, listen, the most powerful word in the money world is leverage. There is not a financial institution in the world that’s not using leverage. The bank makes money by lending money period. Okay. Whose money do they lend the depositors money? On average, the bank makes 2600% more than the depositors with the depositors money. Okay. It’s leverage, right?

If you think that by paying cash, I did Dave’s financial lunacy course, all right, his math is wrong. I figured out how to disprove it, I didn’t understand it when I sat in his course 15 years ago. but I know how to debunk his math now. Cash has a cost. Remember this, you literally finance everything that you buy. You either pay interest to other people. or when you pay cash, you give up the ability to earn interest and there’s no in between. So if you’ve got a million dollars sitting in a money market account right now, earning 4%, and Pam, you come along and offer someone 12% in some real estate deal, you got to decide, do you want the 5% or the 12%?

Nick Kosko: It has a cost to pay cash, right? Or worse, if you go buy a million dollar house with cash and that money comes out of that money market account, your house isn’t an asset.

Robert Kiyosaki: We have to reshape how we think about assets

Let’s get know Robert Kiyosaki, if that jars you, read rich dad, poor dad, because savers are losers, right? your house is not an asset. Assets make you money. Like, we have to reshape how we think about these things, right? Because you’re sold something else. and it’s for other people’s benefit. So, Nelson, Nash, in his book, becoming your own banker, he just said, listen, you finance everything. So if you finance everything, if all your money flows through a bank, why wouldn’t you be the bank?

I ask people all the time, Pam, would you rather have all the money you’ve made in Wall street or all the money that you’ve paid to other people in interest? Do you want all the interest? Right. Has anyone in the financial industry ever talked to you about solving that problem? No. That’s what our clients do. That’s what we do. We put money into basically a tax shelter, and then we use that to finance all of our endeavors. And over time, I collect all that interest, and it’ll impact my family for generations to come.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s amazing. That’s leverage right there. But you’ve got to know how to structure it, right, that I think is super key. There’s people out there that think they’re safe because they’re 401K. It’s like.

Nick Kosko: Yeah, I got news for everybody. The 401K is m not the 8th wonder of the world, literally.

Pamela Bardhi: And they’re like, oh, yeah, but I’ve got a 401K. I’m like, now people are starting to learn how the money game works. or are really curious about it. That’s why I was so fascinated to learn.

The most powerful thing in the entrepreneurial world is opportunity cost

In your perspective, what are the first steps for somebody who’s interested in this? Because this perspective of you being the bank and you kind of running things, it’s a whole different. Like, what are you really doing with your capital? I mean, one of the most powerful things that I learned in college. which wasn’t until my senior year, and honestly, I learned it then. but it didn’t really hit me until I was an entrepreneur, where my entrepreneurial finance teacher said to me.  the most powerful thing in the entrepreneurial world is opportunity cost.

He’s like, yeah, something could make you money. but, you need to factor in your time in every single thing that you do. because that is the one immeasurable piece to this whole entrepreneurial finance thing. because what you’re doing here, could you do here, or better, there’s all these different things. Like, you said you could put your money in a money market account. but did you know maybe there’s somebody out there that’s offering 12% and you’re making more than double what you’ve got going on right now? It’s so incredible how all of get laid out.

Nick Kosko: Yeah, we have this huge problem. Do you think your taxes are going up or down in the future?

Pamela Bardhi: Up.

Nick Kosko: yeah. And so how do we solve that problem? It’s an ancillary problem that we solve by putting money into a tax shelter and then being able to use it. But taxes are going up. We have clients with tens of millions of dollars sitting in checking account, money market accounts, t bill accounts, and they’re like, I have a problem. I’m completely exposed to taxation. So how do I solve that problem? And that’s what we’re showing people how to do. I mean, it’s always funny.

People think that what we teach is such a contrarian thing, and it’s really for the real, maybe even conspiracy theorists. And I’m like, I always laugh. I’m like, do you realize every Fortune 500 company does this? Every major bank in America, half the Congress, and both the knuckleheads that ran for president last time all do what we teach. How contrarian do you think it really is? Why are you, the average consumer, smarter than all those entities? M every one of those people and entities has figured out how to get money to flow to them in the most uncommon way. Imaginable and you’re smarter than them. Okay.

Pamela Bardhi: Right.

Nick Kosko: Exactly. That’s the other rival syndrome mindset.

Pamela Bardhi: It really is. And, I mean, I think it derives from growing up in your childhood and having scarcity mindset. If there wasn’t enough, then you grow up and you have this rival syndrome where you think there’s competition, that it can’t possibly flow to you. Oh. Because that person has it means I can’t have it. But it’s like, really what people don’t realize is those at the top are always collaborating. It’s those at the bottom that are viewing competition. Right.

Nick Kosko: Yeah. So you bring up one of my favorite words, abundance and scarcity. Like a closed fist, that’s a scarcity mindset. Nothing can flow into it. Nothing can flow out. Open fist is an abundant mindset. Everything can flow into it. Everything can flow out of it. I always just remind myself of this. Motion is the law of God. If air doesn’t flow through your lungs, you’re dead. If water doesn’t flow, it’s stagnant, it’s poisonous. And if money doesn’t flow, it’s, Know, there’s multiple reasons why Kiyosaki says savers are losers, but, one of them is that right?

Pamela Bardhi: Incredible.

Get real in the mirror about understanding yourself and don’t run from

And this, this is my favorite question, too, by the way, Nick. It may tie into what you just said, but what would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now? Like, what is the one thing get.

Nick Kosko: Medieval about understanding what makes you tick? I’ve done a few personality things. Personality, like profile things and then I’ve hired people to help me unpack it and understand what is my unique ability. What are the things that I’m terrible at and shouldn’t even try to get better at? Right. Embrace your DNA. It took me a long time to get there. I ran from things for too long instead of leaning into how I was wired and the gifts that I have. And I would encourage all your listeners to really get real in the mirror about understanding yourself and don’t run from.

Pamela Bardhi: So some of my most powerful mentors, too, they told me the same thing. They’re like, pam, you got to know your strengths, and you delegate your weaknesses.

Nick Kosko: That’s right. This notion of working on your weaknesses is a waste of time.

Pamela Bardhi: Literally. Literally. And I think it also makes you quite miserable, too. If you try to morph into something that you’re really not, and you’re just, like, fighting against yourself, and then all of a sudden, you’ve got all this friction and nothing’s moving, and it’s stagnant energy. And then, like you said, boom, no movement, you’re dead. Right? Yeah, it’s unreal. It’s unreal. I love that, though. That’s such a brilliant thing. I think that once you start to understand yourself and your gifts. you not only tap into your own unique purpose and what you’re divinely built here on this universe to do. but you also start living in flow, right?

You’re not working against it, because every time you’re up in the ocean and you’re up against the tide, you’re going to get smacked every time. But when you’re flowing with it, it’s a whole different story. Right? It’s effortless, and people think I’m crazy when I say that. I’m like, when you’re really living in flow, things will just start happening. That you’re just like, what? That it’s all coming together. Like, I didn’t even have to try. Yes. Because you’re in flow. You’re receiving, you’re open, you’re living your highest and best. You’re understanding yourself. But to get there, you got to know who you are, which ties into directly what you said.

Nick Kosko: That’s, right. Know what you want. Understand yourself. Get everybody on your team aligned. Like, my wife and I know what we want. Kids. Don’t hide things from them. Everybody’s got to be moving in the same direction. I can’t have that resistance from inside our own. And, you know, from the non family members, the business partners, they got to be aligned, or they got to get out. Like, hey, if this doesn’t work, then let’s part ways and go our separate ways. No harm, no foul.

Pamela Bardhi: I love that, Nick. Oh, man. I love your passion, too, about financial freedom and all the things, my friend. I mean, I’m sure everyone who’s listened to this episode, this has been super exciting episode for me, and I just absolutely adore the conversation. I learned so many things and so many nuggets all throughout your interview. I’ve absolutely loved it Nick, and now you’ve got to let everyone know where to find you and your awesomeness. You dropped some links earlier, but definitely just wherever anybody can find you to connect with you and learn more about what you do. All the things.

Nick Kosko: Yeah. So I would say that our online community, you can go to There’s a link to the online community. Join that. Watch what is ibc? You can find me on there. You can direct message me, you can schedule time with me all through there. if you want 20 minutes of my time to ask more questions, it’s free. There’s no strings attached. I will tell you that I’m terrible about following up and all of that with people. It’s a no hassle guarantee with me, you can find us on Instagram, create tailwind, or Nick, underscore Costco. K-O-S-K-O. Happy to connect with any of your listeners and help them shape the path, to their financial freedom.

Pamela Bardhi: I love it. Nick, it’s been a true honor, my friend. You are amazing. I love your energy, I love your story, everything that you’re about. I’m excited to see what you build in the future and how you help other people in the path of financial freedom as well. So thank you so much, my friend, so grateful to have you.

Nick Kosko: Yeah, thank you, Pam. Looking forward to, seeing you here soon.

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely. So much collaboration, my friend.  I’m so excited. So that’s it for today’s episode of Underdog. Catch, us next week. Always dropping on Thursdays. And remember, if you’re interested in real estate or want to learn how to create more money and magic in your life, check out and let’s chat. Sending you so, so much love all we know is all the time barking like the Monday.


Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Nick Kosko. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

If you’re interested in elevating your life 10x, and owning your power, Pamela invites you to join her for a 15-minute call to set your goals straight and get clarity. Start building your game plan now: