April 12, 2022

How to Start a Movement, Not Just a Brand with Finnian Kelly Ep. 65

How to Start a Movement, Not Just a Brand with Finnian Kelly Ep. 65

Dubbed “the Business Mystic,” transformational Intentionality coach and speaker Finnian Kelly is known for his unique ability to awaken consciousness in business leaders, and inspire entrepreneurs to find deeper levels of meaning and purpose in their endeavours. 

As the founder of Intentionality, Inc., a comprehensive philosophy and program designed to help everyday people create extraordinary futures, Finnian leads world class events and retreats inspiring attendees to connect deeply with their businesses and themselves.

A lifelong learner with degrees in math, physics, finance, leadership, and teaching, and a master’s degree in positive psychology and applied coaching, Finnian is also a retired Australian Defense Force Officer and a graduate of the prestigious Royal Military College of Duntroon. His wide-ranging educational background and military experience have proved invaluable in both his building and selling three multi-million dollar companies, and in his efforts to  help others achieve their long-term personal and professional goals.  

Known for his 1:1 Intentionality coaching and his immersive group experiences empowering leaders to shift their mindset and acquire tools that will enhance all areas of their lives, Finnian offers unmatched resources and guidance for professionals of all ages and backgrounds to live in alignment and discover their true nature.

Finnian travels the globe as an ambassador for living with Intentionality.  His work with individuals, teams, organizations, and underprivileged communities has been featured on National Geographic’s Undercover Angel, Business Insider, Forbes, Sky Business, ABC, Smart Company, and more.

Where to Find Finnian Kelly

Website: https://www.finniankelly.com/


This episode is sponsored by Entire Productions- Creating events (both in-person and virtual) that don't suck! and Entire Productions Marketing- carefully curated premium gifting and branded promo items. 


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All businesses as people, that's really all it is. I guess there's great systems and great process. They will help the good people. This is a saying, I picked up one time, "Good people make shitty processes great." They just do.


Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How did they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit? These and a myriad of other topics will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.

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Dubbed the "Business Mystic", and Finnian Kelly is a transformational intentionality coach and speaker, who is known for his unique ability to awaken consciousness in business leaders and inspire entrepreneurs to find deeper levels of meaning and purpose in their endeavors.

We talk about his past businesses, what led him to his current endeavor, and what his biggest challenge is right now. Now let's get right into it.


I started my first business at 24 years old, I had just come out of the army. I was an army officer in Australia, and then I learned how to trade currencies and equities.

And I met a woman who I ended up falling in love with. We built our first business six weeks later, which was quite crazy. It was a private wealth management company for very high net worth individuals. And it was in the middle of the global recession, which was quite amazing. And I think there was a few elements what really contributed to it was one, that we had a different message when everyone else was hiding in the investment industry.

We were coming out on the attack and being really confident on methodology. We also were positioning it that it's not about the the money or the returns, it's about what is this doing for your life? So we got really into values-based advice at a really early on, and we just knew our niche really went well.

We did that and ended up selling that at some point, but we did multiple businesses at one time. That was probably one of our entrepreneurial, I don't know if it was a mistake or it was just the lesson that we needed to have, was to stop multiple new business. We have that business. We also started an insurance and superannuation or 401(k) business as well, which was more transactional.

So one was very high touch. The next was more transactional. And then we started a third business, which was a millennial financial advice and coaching company, which was very cutting edge at the time because no one in the financial industry wanted to deal with the younger generation.

And then at the same time, so you could see this story, we started seeing the benefits of offshoring or outsourcing Fran company because in Australia, the cost of people in the financial industry is really expensive and it worked really well for us. People started asking us, could we do it for them? And we showed them and then we went, well, why don't we turn a business doing that?

So we ended up having a global recruitment company as well for stay-home, remote workers. So that was the journey, which was really great. And I thought it was awesome cause we were diversified, but we weren't big enough yet. They're all million dollar businesses, but we weren't big enough yet to really be diversified because it was a common connection and that was really the founders. So when one suffered, they all suffered. So we've definitely learnt a lot there.

I went to the entrepreneurial masters program through EO and MIT. And there was a speaker there, very old wise guy who said, don't be crude, but he said, "You can never sh*t, uhh sit on two toilet seats once," and it was this idea that like, just focus on one thing at one time. That's definitely how I'm living my life right now.


Okay. So many questions. First of all, I'm in the EMP program now. So who was the guy?


It was George. He's the the Boston chicken guy. Georgia ? I think he's now.


Okay, I haven't met him yet.

Second of all. How long did the relationship last with the girl that you started the businesses with?


So we went on a nine-year journey together, which was incredible. We got married. We're pretty much married from the first day, but we did get married. We moved over to America. We actually started another couple of businesses- we started business in America, I didn't even go into them because I've sort of put them to the side.


I need to do that. Do you know where I live? I'm in the San Francisco bay area.


Oh, amazing. Amazing. So we ended up starting a tech accounting company as well. Cause we were very frustrated with the way accounting was done with startups. And it was interesting. We went into an industry because we hated it. And then I realized we were in an industry that we hated.

And also there was a few other issues going on at that time. Her father died and it was a lot of stress at that moment. We got into a legal battle over a business we sold. So it was that compounding effect. And we just basically had to dismantle it all, which ended up in our relationship as well, nine years later.

But it was nine incredible years. We have made a lot of impact. We have a lot of great times. It was great until it wasn't.


It's wonderful. The thought that at 24 years old, because at 24, you've only had 24 years to live. And for the first 18 you're considered to be a child. You're a youth. And to have the foresight to dig deeper into the result of somebody's financial investments, and then the result of their life is a pretty mature thought process for someone at 24. Not to say that it's impossible, but it's probably on the unusual side.


And it comes a lot from our life experience. So as a child, I saw how money really impacted my life, my family's life. And there was a lot of family disputes about it and there was a lot of excuses. We can't do this because of money. And that was a really challenging thing for me, because then I saw money being used in other areas. So my father was a passionate, like he was a professional musician.

That was always money for a new guitar, new drum set that was always around, but there was never money for other things that we wanted. And what I realized was there always is money. It just depends on your priorities and you would just use money as an excuse. And then I saw how people bicker, and then that's the way how people decided their whole career paths over money.

So we came from a school where being a doctor was put up on a pinnacle and it was all driven really around money. When I think about about it, it was a status thing. There was an element of service. I'm not going to take that away from them, but it was a lot of drive and power. And I was like, I'm just not going to live that way.

And then I became an army officer and I saw that literally how people would justify going to war and killing people and being the risk of being killed while as well, I'll come back with a hundred thousand dollars in my bank.

Then I saw all my soldiers literally come back from six months away. And the first day they go to buy a brand new car and they crash it. The first day didn't have insurance and all that's gone. And I just saw this cycle of how money it was just controlling people. I don't want that in my life. I want to completely be able to empower people and be liberated from it.

And now I truly believe money is a great spiritual teacher because when we think about it, it's energy. It's tied between everything in life. Whether we like it or not, you can translate everything back to money in society because that's the currency.

We've put things in so what it does, if that's energy is flowing through, you can really see where you're battling in certain parts of your life, because it just becomes highlighted through your relationship with money.


You've been called the Business Mystic which I love. Who named you that. And what does it mean to you?


Oh, so we were at an event. It was just basically a big EO event and I was just sitting there. And they were talking about me. And I was sitting at a table, witnessing them talk about me, and I they were just like, "You know what? You're like the Business Mystic. You're the guy who somehow can be this entrepreneurial edge and be very respected in the financial world and businesses and lead yours.

But then you have this whole spiritual element and because you actually are trusted in this world because you have this left side brain as well, and you have maths and physics degrees and finance degrees, we listen. And that's going to really help our business because you burning the mystic into the business world."

At first I just laughed. And then I went to an event with Chris Do who is a big marketing guy. And he said-


He's been on the show. He's brilliant.


He's amazing. And I just went, "Oh, that's who I am. I'm the Business Mystic. And I've spent a finite, I'm going to own it."


I love it. And so what does it mean to you? Is it part of your branding? Does it make you feel good? Do you think it leads to more trust?


So what it does for me, it helps me integrate and be a whole person. So if I look at my personal journey over my life, I've played a lot of different roles. They all made sense for me, but I never felt like I was able to show up fully in myself, in my integrity, in my wonder. And it wasn't until I discovered the word intentionality.

And as soon as I put that word intentionality above everything else in my life, it all made sense, I was like, "Ah, that's what I've been doing."

And suddenly now I get to show in my entirety, because I'm just the intentionality guy, whether that's doing something very spiritual, whether that's working out climbing mountains, whether that's partying, whether that's speaking on the stage, I don't have to hide myself anymore.

That's exactly who I am. And a big part of my message as the business mystique is that you can't just be so business. There's a real world out there as well. And it's mystical. Everyone has to agree that there's a mysticism in this world. And if people are going, "I don't believe in miracles," You are a miracle. The fact that you exist in this world is incredible. Think of all the things that had to line up for you to exist.

The two people meeting the chemistry, then you've got to think about the actual procreation, the chances like that. One little sperm flying through it to hit that egg and then building up, it's a true miracle. And that's what I really want to help people connect with. This is the idea that there is a miracle right now.

It's a wonder, you're hearing this live and really all that matters is like how you're living it and how you're showing up. And I think you need to come and think that you need to change the world. I actually disagree.

I think that's the ego taking over and hijacking what's happening and saying, "Oh, you're so important. You need to imprint in the world." The world might be perfect by itself. But what about, how is it you want to feel and how is it that you want to be useful to the world? How is it that you want to show up? And it all comes from the present moment.


Perfectly into this and that is, I wanted to know more about Intentionality, Inc. And what brought you to developing this new business? Well, newer than the ones we just talked about.


So it's one of those ones where I actually just started listening to people around me. I have one thing I've done in life is I have this extraordinary group of people in my life, whether it's friends, whether it's associates, mentors, leaders, it's remarkable.

And I actually went through a very challenging time, four and a half, five years ago when my marriage broke down and I basically brought out all my trauma, my whole life and just went, let's just process it now. And in those moments, when you're feeling really down, it's really nice to look back and go, "Wow, I'm doing something right."

I have all these extraordinary people and I did feel a little bit lost. So what I started doing was looking at what people had written about me, because I always do testimonials when I've coached people or do retreats or speak. And that was always just on the side. It was something I just loved doing. I still do. It's incredible and I have to see it as work. And I looked for the theme and the common theme was, they just kept saying intentionality.

They say, "He's been the intentionality guy, and he's a practitioner. He practices what he preaches," and that felt really nice. And I looked at this word and I was like, there's something special about being one word. I have a really great friend-

It's a long word, but..

It is. It is a long word. That probably helps me as well. But I have this great friend, Peter Shane, one of the top speakers in the world, incredible entrepreneur. And he just kept always repeating to me. He goes, "If you had just done one thing, you would have built a $100 million business right now. You have that capability? You kept jumping around. You just got to stay in your lane."

And he just kept repeating it to me and repeating it to me. And then I went, okay. I never knew how to categorize myself. And then I got word intentionality and I spoke to him and I went, "I think I can stay in this lane."

And he's like, "Yes." And I know now, this is my life's work. I've never said that before. I've always been very passionate about the businesses thing that it has an evolutionary purpose, but I've never said it's my life's work but this is because it doesn't contain me. It's very concise at the high level but then abstract in how I actually get to apply it, which is brilliant.


And looking back, you may not have been able to arrive at this time and that thought, had you not gone through all the different in various businesses. So I have a 26 year old daughter and she, and everyone else, her age is in a panic to solidify, to put a rubber stamp on what they're supposed to be doing with their lives. It doesn't work that way. You have to go fishing.


It doesn't at all. And all we're doing then is just putting another label on us. I was very nervous about getting that one word because I don't want to be labeled, I don't want to be defined and we already do that so much in our life.

From where you grew up from the school system, from your college degree, how you look, it's all labels, labels, labels. And we think it brings us security, but it doesn't. It actually just brings us a lot of insecurity. Insecurity breeds insecurity. So for me to put that label of intentionality had to be a place where I felt completely free and open.

And that's what intentionality does for me forever. And else I'm just like, explore, have fun. I'm just amazed. I've had multiple careers now. I'm still super young. And I feel like we can do 10 more different careers. Like why would you want to be focused on one thing and try to...


Well you can do 10 more within the container of Intentionality? So what is the business? What do you do?


Awesome. So Intentionality is all about helping people define how they want to feel and then taking deliberate action towards it. So they can really have it extraordinary life.

I really believe that everyone, if the life is ordinary and it's wonderful, but let's make an extraordinary. And we do that through a number of different mechanisms. We have digital programs, which take you through these different pathways of intentionality. Retreats, which we do for YPO and EO for former trades.

Then we also have Intentionality retreats. These immersive incredible experiences. And then I do a lot of keynote speaking as well. And the one thing I'm really passionate about right now, and I believe it could become a huge focus is the idea, bringing more love into the business world, into the business relationships and really helping founders and CEOs or visionary integrators really have an extraordinary relationship because this is an intimate relationship. And if they get that right, when I first do it and then build it in a special way, that can create incredible outcomes.

So I want to be really starting to niche in that particular area and saying, all right, this is significant event. Let's do it the right way and really do it wonderfully. And I just have one of the most incredible experiences reading an article in Forbes. And I was like, "Oh, this is about me."

And it was awesome company that I work with, Media Bridge. She's in EO as well. And she's just the most remarkable leader and entrepreneur true abundance. And I've helped her. And a team member was actually a first ever hire nine years ago. She's now just stepped into the integrated role and we help them go through a process called the love path, where they've now committed and she's kind of a partner in the company. She wrote all about the experience and it was just really gratifying. It was just a privilege to work with them.


Do you work on your own or do you have a team?


So I do both. So right now what's interesting is I'm actually taking a sabbatical. So Intentionality, it's this weird thing. I've been trying to have a sabbatical for a long time and we get in our own way. I had many opportunities where I've sold companies and at the same time I've started another one. And last year I had some visa issues in America. And I actually count like, work that much work right now in America. So I'm just like I'm taking a sabbatical.


A forced sabbatical.


Yeah. It's really wonderful. And what it was, it was magical from doing and striving. So I'm still, I'm here doing a podcast, but that is exciting for me. And it's about keeping the momentum because I have one, the power of when the momentum's there, keep it going. Feel obligated to do anything. So it's very liberating in that regard.


I was wondering about how your military experience may have shaped your ability to be a successful entrepreneur.


So I do contribute a lot of my leadership ability to the military. So I went to Duntroon, which is the equivalent of west point in America. That's like the top leadership place in the world. There's only ever been 10,000 people who've graduated from his intense program. And at age 17, I went through this program.


How and why? How, why did you find yourself there at 17? You're an early adapter on everything.


I skipped grades at school, finished young. I actually would not recommend that. It's too young. It's that whole idea what your 26 year old daughter's trying to do is force life. I was like trying to raise, I've spent the last 16 years trying to unwind that pattern of trying to raise and I'm just getting to that place.


I'm glad you said that because back to Bennett, my daughter, she graduated college in three years at the age of 20. There was an excitement about it because it was on accident, but it did not serve her. It ended up being a negative attribute and an experience, but keep going about your military.


It is, and this is the challenge just because you intellectually are at that level. I had a massive physics degree, double degree at 19, and also an army officer at that age. So at this level, just because you're intellectually, it doesn't mean socially and emotionally or anything you're at that level as well.

So I think that's something we need to be very mindful of. Basically what it was for me was, it was a way out. That was the thing, was this pressure of becoming a doctor. I lived in Tasmania, this small state in Australia. It was very controlled. Didn't want to be there. And I didn't know any other way out.

And the military was a way where I could go on an adventure, which is one of my values as a liveliness. And I thought it was a sense of freedom because I was self-sufficient. I didn't have to rely on anyone. I was getting paid and it was just a different pathway and I realized it wasn't for me, but I'm still very grateful for it.

And going back to that question, a lot of it was the ability to lead at a very young age. So at a young age, sometimes I was in charge of up to a hundred soldiers ranging from 17 to 55 and you ran their life. It was lopsided way going out field for the next month. I just have to do it, tell the families and everything.

So there was a lot of responsibility. And at the same time, I also have these older officers above me, the generals who I'd have to go pitch strategies to. And so you learn a lot of confidence. And that's why when I started that private wealth management company, I wasn't insecure about pitching really wealthy older generation, because I had already being doing that as a army officer. So I do a contributed to it. There's another few things, like few main lessons. You could distill the whole of the meal through training around a couple of principles.

One is just make a decision. That's all you have to do. It doesn't even have to be the right decision. Just make it because once you make it, yourwork out it's wrong, and then you can pivot.

So that was a big one, the importance of clear communication, having that real vision and sharing that. That was another element and yeah, really it's just about your serving your people.

That was another big lesson. Your soldiers, you've gotta be leading by through service. And I was saying, I've tried to do it with my team members as well. So there was a lot of principals.


You're on sabbatical right now, but I'm going to ask the question anyway, because you still own and are running a business.

What is your number one challenge that you're faced with today? You've had a lot of success. You've had some challenges because you're human, these things happen. What is the challenge that you're faced with right now?


So I believe it's been the same problem from day one is getting the right people. I really contribute...

Yeah. And that's it. It's not taught enough, but I look at it all businesses as people, that's really all it is. Yes, there's great systems and great process. They will help the good people. This is a saying, I picked up one time, "Good people make shitty processes great."

They just do and finding them at the right time. Being able to afford them being able to motivate them.


Talk about mysticism. Maybe it is a mystery on how we do that. And I'm at a place where I have temporarily figured it out. Really. I mean, that's how I have to look at it. I haven't completely figured it out, but for this time and place, I have a team that is fully responsible, fully engaged, fully gets it once it has capacity, but it's not necessarily going to last forever. I strive to let it, but yes, people. Okay.


So what I'm doing actually right now is I'm spending most of my energy calling in my people. I'm not actively seeking them. I'm like doing a lot of meditations on calling in and I know I don't need to find a hundred. I need to find the one over two because they'll go find the right people.

So I have this vision of this incredible integrator. I believe she's a female that's there. I've got the image of, cause I just work really well with the feminine. And part of Intentionality is it's built on the feminine and I just want to have an incredible partner, someone who really wants to just drive this business and I can be a great support her and coach in that regard like I do with other people.

So if anyone's listening, please reach out.


So the last thing I'd like to talk to you about is, and we could flip that challenge into the answer to this question, but maybe think about if there's a better answer. And the question is what does your strategy for growth this year?

Clearly we could flip your challenge into what is your strategy and that may be it, but is there something else that you're really doubling down and focusing on for growth?


The main thing for me is consistency in the message. So that's what I've been focusing on the most. I believe the repetition really works and I've seen people who are really like how, come the forefront of that area. We've been saying it for a long time. They literally have just been saying the same message for a long time.

I think of Dr. Joe Dispenza, we think of Brené Brown. These people, it's not new, what they've been doing. They've just been saying it. So I'm just really going consistent with a message. That's where I feel like it would be the most value and really keeping the high vibration of state of the company.

So making sure that we're only doing work that we really love doing, working with people. It really matters. Cause I know that that's what we pay off in the long-term. So it's interesting. I actually have zero goals for the company at the moment. I think dollars can be big detractors, but I've got a lot of feelings around the company.

Like a lot of intentions around how the company feels. What's the energy, and that's very liberating for me.


Finnian shared his incredible journey with us, talked about Intentionality in business, and how early military experience helped shaped him as an entrepreneur. For more information, go to the shownotes where you're listening to this podcast.

Want to know more about me? Go to my website, officialnatashamiller.com. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe. Also, if you haven't done so yet, please leave a review where you're listening to this podcast now. I'm Natasha Miller and you've been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.