AYF 100 | Creative Strategist


We all have a creative side and a strategic side, and most of us tend to veer towards one or the other. To really succeed, however is to get in that place of genius, and genius all about being a creative strategist. What is a creative strategist, exactly? In this 100th episode of the Get Fundable! Podcast, Merrill Chandler pivots from the tactical approach of the last 99 episodes and takes a minute to talk about the end game. Join in as he explains the need for every one of us to strike that perfect balance between the creative and strategic and show up more powerfully in the world in whatever we do. Plus, see what Merrill is up to in his next book.

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The Creative Strategist

This is our 100th episode and there’s going to be a huge pivot here. We’re going to get down and dirty of exactly what it takes to be successful.

We’ve been talking for literally 99 episodes about what it takes to be fundable, what fundability™ means, how to build relationships with banks, and how to make you look super attractive to lenders. Now the question comes. I can help get you money, but what are you going to do with it? Don’t get ahead of yourself here. Most of us are like, “The whole reason why I’m going to get money is that I’m going to flip more houses. I’m going to write a check and do a deal. I’m going to warehouse some notes on my line until I get long-term funding. I’m going to buy another franchise and pay the franchise fee with my credit line.”

Every one of these things are tactics. They are the things you do after you do the planning, set goals, achieve the goals, got your money and now want to move forward. The question is, why are you doing all of this? What is it about your situation to cause you to want funding? One of the things that we got to look at is in this 100th episode, and I’m thrilled about it, from here on we are going to be talking about fundability™ but we’re going to be talking about how to change your mindset and upgrade your programming. Everybody talks about programming and likens it to software but the issue is nobody talks about upgrading the software. They say, “Let’s not be programmed.”

These are great topics that we’re going to be covering as the next 1 dozen, 2 dozen, next 100 episodes are presented. The bottom line is, what is driving us? What is driving us is our why, the raison d’être, the end game. Lots of people call it your why. I call it, what’s your Z? In the A to Z of your life, what is your Z? What is your end game? What is it that you want to have accomplished by the time your friends and family say goodbye to your sweet self? In order for us to understand, we’re going to go further upstream. For us to understand what it means for us to accomplish these goals that are way downstream, getting money and flipping more houses or buying a new franchise, all of that is way downstream, those are the results.

Think of it as the fruit. The results are the fruit of your intention tree, but where does it begin? It isn’t even in the roots. We’re going to be talking about the soil of your life. What is the soil because if you’ve got poisoned soil, then there are very few nutrients that even the roots can pull out of that soil, much less create an abundant harvest of results. What do I mean by all of this? In this 100th episode, I call it a pivot because we’ve been talking for 99 episodes about the tactical engagement to get you money. Now and peppered throughout the next 100 episodes, we’re going to be talking about addressing your why. In my case, the Z, the end game of your life.

The 80-20 Rule

When we talk about that end game, we have to understand what we’re bringing to this table. There have been many great thinkers out there. Napoleon Hill was promulgated beautifully by Anthony Robbins. There are a lot of forward thinkers who have addressed this issue. Let’s take a look at one of their models. All of these master thinkers talk about carefully what they call the 80/20 Rule. There are a number of times that people refer to 80/20. The 80/20 of what we’re going to be talking about is that 80% of your results derived are the result from your perspective or what I like to call your filters. Those filters are how you view the world.

Eighty percent of your results come from your perspective; the other 20% are the result of your strategies #GetFundable Share on X

Twenty percent of your results derived are the result of your strategies, the things you implement, your wealth strategies, your work strategy, and your work ethic. All those things are only 20% of your results, 20% of your success or the reasons why we aren’t succeeding as much as we wish. What is that 80%? I’m calling that 80% the seedbed. It’s the ground of your life. It’s the literal dirt from which you have drawn all of your beliefs and those beliefs are truly responsible for 80% of your results. If you succeed, 20% is the strategy and 80% is the result. I’ve got full episodes exploring and deep diving. This is the tip of the iceberg. We’re going to be going down into great detail in many of these and in subsequent episodes

Let’s look at one of the ways in which we fail. How many of you believe you’re not as successful as you want to be? How many of us have run into a problem where everything looks perfect? A deal’s getting ready to go through, something magical is happening in our world or whatever that is for you and all of a sudden at the last moment, it falls through. It tanks. All the work, time, effort, energy, and even resources that we’ve devoted to that project are up in smoke. It disappears and it fails or doesn’t come to fruition or in the alternative may be far less successful than we wanted it to be.

I know you have examples of that. I’ve had examples of that. In previous episodes, I’ve talked about taking the win and self-sabotage. That’s what we’re talking about here. There are times that we will seek to do something and we believe we’re doing everything right. Somewhere energetically in our mind and heart, the filters that we’re viewing a particular deal activity or a goal through those fall apart and many times in the last moment. Why is that? Why do we sabotage ourselves? Going back to the tree metaphor, why do we get no fruit out of our harvest? Why do we get one bushel instead of ten bushels? The reason is that at some fundamental level, you and I believe that we don’t deserve it or we’re not worthy of it or that we should work harder for it. It came too easy.

Whatever belief system that we have, whatever soil from which the fruits of our labors are supposed to be produced, in one way or another, you and I pull the rug out from underneath us. Now, nine times out of ten, it looks like someone else is doing it to us. Somebody betrayed our partnership and did something and all of a sudden our deal failed. Here’s the thing. If we’re going to be accountable, which you know I’m going to hold your feet to the fire and in this process, I’m holding my feet to the fire. You know me. I get raw and real. I want to level up like I’m challenging you to level up.

Many times, right at the finish line, we trip and fall flat on our face and yet it’s so convenient to look outside of us and point the finger and go, “So-and-so did this. This situation happened. The market crashed. This thing happened.” Ultimately, we are accountable for the creation of what’s in our life. We are accountable for our results. Here’s what sucks and is beautiful. Results never lie. If we look at our results and if we’re not as successful towards hitting our goals as fast or as frequently as we would like, then we can’t point the finger out there. We get to bring it home and find out how we’re filtering for all of this.

I can help you get money. It’s never been a doubt. I do it all the time and we’re over $122 million in funding now. We’re picking up $1 million-plus on average every month for our clients. I know how to get you the money, but the question is, and I say this in my bootcamps and in my web classes, am I putting a gun in the hand of a two-year-old? My Texas clients and students always laugh and say, “That’s when we like to start them in their concealed carry permit classes.” Many times we will take the money that we receive and we either are afraid to deploy it or we don’t know what to do with it.

AYF 100 | Creative Strategist

Creative Strategist: Ultimately we are accountable for our results.


Even though now you are saying, “I know what to do. If I had $1 million, I know exactly what to do.” The question is what did you do with the last $20,000 and $50,000 you had? The amount of the money, the number of zeros behind your number, whether it’s 4 or 10 or 5 or 6 digits, it doesn’t matter how much money. What happens when you have money? Does it flitter away and not get used for what you want it to be used for? Do you invest it and you fail? Some of the time, much of the time, 50/50, 90/10, or 10/90. We’re all not as successful as we want to be and there is something that is stopping us from experiencing that. I’m going to propose to you in celebration of this 100th episode and the pivot, because the money is only the instrument to create your dreams to come true, to create your Z.

It’s only the instrument. It’s the tool, but what about the person holding the tool? If you are doing it right, you have to make sure that you are the tool holder. As crystal clear, as sharp as razor, as clear on the job as, as you want the tool to be. The thing is you are in a position to blame people on the outside. Blaming somebody outside of us is not going to get us anywhere. If we bring it home and I’m not saying blame yourself. We’re not a whole episode on the blame game. What we want to look at is what is the framework? What are the tools? If we’re the toolmaker, 80% of our success depends on who we are and how we’re looking at the world and how we are navigating and using the tool. $100,000, $500,000, $700,000 or $1 million is a million dollars. It’s how it’s deployed.

I believe 99 episodes on creating an amazing tool so that you can explore and develop the Z of your life. I think that’s pretty solid. What we’re going to address now is that 80%. The person holding the tool, that is you and that is me. Let’s take a look here. I believe that everything that we’re doing right now, that 80/20 Rule. The 20% tool and 80% tool holder, that is what we’re looking at. That’s what we have to spend our time and energy on. That is what makes us successful, not the tool. You’ve seen people who are like they have the Midas touch. Everything they touch, it turns to gold because it doesn’t matter the strategy they’re working on. It matters that they’re holding the tool and that they’re implementing those strategies.

In everything that we’re doing, we want to know how to develop us as a tool holder, as the toolmaker, as implementing everything else. When we get to what we’re doing, we show up in 100% of our awesomeness. What is that awesomeness? Let me tell you. It’s your genius and by genius, I’m not even talking Einstein stuff. I’m a physics guy. I love physics. I love energy. I love how energy radiates both in the physical world. Astrophysics and astronomy are my jam, but physics in the natural world. There’s also physics of our soul, our mind, our emotions, our psyche, our spiritual lives. There is energy to that.

The physics of your spirituality, of your emotional intelligence, of your mind. If there’s the energy associated with it, the rules of physics apply. I’m not going to geek out too much in this episode, but we’re going to be exploring the physics of our internal world. I’m telling you, it is a revelation. Every single genius that has existed on this planet, we could name literally dozens and dozens of them. They had two major components. Two parts of them that we’re both in play for them to become a genius. Write this down. Paste this up on your mirror. If we’re going to go somewhere together, if we’re going to level up and if we’re going to make our lives even better, we have to know this principle.

That’s why I saved it for our pivot, our 100th episode. That 80/20 Rule is having a genius holding the tool. Your genius implementing the strategies. When you are a full-fledged genius, it doesn’t matter what strategy you choose. You will succeed. Some of you, and you know who you are because I’ve done it myself, how many of you have thought it was the strategy that you were using that made you unsuccessful? You tried flipping and you didn’t do so well. You said, “Let’s do notes.” You didn’t do well. You’re like, “Let’s buy a franchise,” and you didn’t do well. The reason why we didn’t do well is not because of the stress. It’s because of who’s holding the tool. Who’s the tool holder and the implementer of the strategies?

That 80/20 Rule is having a genius holding the tool #GetFundable. Share on X

The Perfect Blend

What is a genius? Genius is the perfect blend, the perfect mix, the completely balanced of the two sides of your psyche self. Some of you will like your spiritual self. Some of you will like your mental self. Whatever framework you’re using, there are two sides to it. There is a creative side to you, and there is a strategic side to you. I like to call it the creative strategist and each one of those, some people call it masculine and feminine. There are literally hundreds of books and articles that say that every single person on this planet is a mix of masculine and feminine energies. Those masculine and feminine energies are perfectly crafted to do things to help us succeed and implement any strategy we want.

I reiterate. It’s not the strategy. It’s who is implementing that strategy. That’s 80%. Let’s take a look here because every single genius out there has a balanced blend of the masculine, feminine parts of their energy. The creative and their strategic selves. Let’s take a look at them one by one. What do I mean by the creative self? Your creative self, that part of you and I’ll split up the language to see what resonates with you. In your mind, heart, soul or whatever it is, your creative self is an embodiment of inventive, imaginative, innovative, and experimental. That part of you that experiments with stuff, that’s your creative self. What makes you original?

I have a perfect example. I had a guy who when he bought his cars, before he took possession, he had the dealership literally cover every emblem and logo from the dealership, the make and model of the car. That was his jam. He didn’t want anybody knowing what kind of car he had. He had some cool cars, but he took the labels off. That’s original. Your artistic self, whether you’re a bonsai tree cutter, or you love tagging empty buildings and railroad sidecars, that artistic self. Whether you do music, paint, sculpt, any form of artistic expression is your creative self. Expressive and inspired. Have you ever had that “ding” literally the light bulb above your head and you’re like, “I had an idea?”

That is your creative self taking from the ether an idea that comes up comes alive inside of you. I like to use the term ideation process. The idea creation process is called to ideate, that inspiration that you have. Have you ever been inspired to get out of bed and go downstairs or check something out and found something amiss where you needed to protect your family, your belongings or your goods? You walk out of the bathroom too soon to go to the airport or at the airport and notice that somebody was eyeballing your bag.

Inspiration comes in all forms and types. That is your creative self, the visionary part of you. If you have a vision for and you’re like, “I’m not just fixing and flipping. I want to buy every property or buy and hold every property in this street or in this neighborhood. I want to transform the entire neighborhood.” The vision for your life is your creative self expressing itself. It’s enterprising. Many of us look at it and say, “Enterprising, that’s a get down to it.” No. The word isn’t working, it’s enterprising. It’s a creative version of iterating. When you’re an enterpriser, you do something, then level up, do it again, get feedback and level up. Your enterprise is all your creative self.

If you’re resourceful. You’re a dot connector. You read about it in my book. I talk about it in the show as well as the bootcamps and masterminds. My personal dot connecting that I did to create fundability™ optimization, it’s all my creative self, 100%. My strategic self had nothing to do with it. Your flexibility to collaborate or to something work in an agreement, it’s all your creative self. When you trust a process or a person, it is your creative self. Trusting, intuitive, receptive, and nurturing. Before I came to all of this, before all of this was downloaded to me, and I started operating from this in my personal life, I would walk into a business meeting and I would literally sit down, look at whoever we’re talking to.

AYF 100 | Creative Strategist

reative Strategist: Genius is the perfect blend, the ultimate balance between your creative side and your strategic side.


Let’s say it’s a referral partner. I sit down with a referral partner and say, “Let’s get to it. What dates do you want to do this? How can I serve your people and create an awesome presentation? How can we educate them?” I didn’t understand until someone told me what was in my blind spot. I didn’t know how to build relationships with anybody in the business space, in my professional environment. I was all my strategic self. I was all strategy. I was like, “We’re here. Let’s make sense of this. Let’s get it done.” The second someone pointed that out to me and where I started nurturing the relationships with my friend and partner, Brad. He put a fine point on this behavior for me, because I was all about business, but not nurturing any one of my business relationships. That nurturing means that I was not proficient with my creative self.

I wasn’t allowing that part of me to contribute to my genius. The interdependent communal, and when I say communal, I’m not talking about communism. I’m not talking about living in a commune. Communal means that I have the capacity to nurture multiple relationships at the same time. Your contractors, the people that are buying your homes and are selling their homes to you. Your franchisor or the other franchisees. Communal means, “Can I get together at a franchise, a convention, and break bread with my partners in anything I’m doing? Can I share space and truly want them to succeed where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts? That’s what communal is. It’s being trusting and collaborative are both part of your creative selves. Some people call this the feminine self. There are different names for it, but I love and my next book is going to be about your creative strategist and how to create the biggest and most badass version of yourself. The tool holder, the implementer is amazing. You then pick any strategy you want and you will succeed because of your creative self.

The Strategic Self

Let’s take a look at the other side of us and take a look at how much do you resonate with those words? Take a look inside of yourself and make a note to yourself of how much you resonate or don’t resonate with those words. There is also the strategic self. Your strategic self is the powerful one, rather than the receptive. I want to call it not soft, but soft as in a yielding and collaborative and the ability to be receptive. There’s the powerful self, your decisive self. Every decision you have ever made in your existence and every decision you will make in the future will come from your strategic self. Every decision is strategic. It is part of your strategic life.

The logical reason, the one who goes from A to Z in a straight line. That’s your strategic self. When you go from A to L and B to Z and M to R, that dot-connecting part of you, it is your creative self. Your leadership skills are a shared space. What makes you a leader is your ability for your creative self to work in conjunction with your strategic self, but leading itself, the decisions to make goals and move forward as a team is your strategic self. The builder and ambitious part of you is your strategic self. The ambition, that drive, some people write about this as your masculine self. Whether you’re male or female, regardless of gender, regardless of persuasion, including all of the gender-neutral and non-binary, proponents have masculine and feminine energies regardless of how you identify.

Your ambition and however you show up in the world, that is your strategic self. Part of the reason why I like pulling the words masculine, feminine out of this conversation is that I don’t want people to get confused with the idea that, “I’m feminine. I’m masculine.” There’s too much noise around that, but there’s no noise around your creative self or your strategic self. When you are motivating and coaching somebody else, that is your strategic self. Notice the difference, when you’re motivating and inspiring somebody, it is your strategic self because you’re building this team and you’re hitting goals together. When you collaborate with somebody, it’s the feminine and the creative side of you. Your independence, the creative self was interdependent.

The strategic self is independent. Your confidence is part of your strategic self. How well-centered and grounded you are. How rocketed deep into the roots of who you are. That ability to be centered is your strategic self. Whereas the creative self is more ungrounded because you can’t ideate new ideas and new opportunities unless you’re willing to be outside of the box. Your creative self is outside of the box. Your strategic self is inside of the box so you’ve got every part of this box handled. There are numerous words both on your creative and your strategic self, but your courage, your willingness to push envelopes, your willingness to punch through old limiting beliefs, that’s your strategic self.

When we have a balance of our creative and our strategic selves, our genius will go through the roof #GetFundable Share on X

There’s so much to explore here because let’s say I get you $500,000. Now what? I don’t want you to lose it because you are not implementing your genius to be even more successful than you already are. In combination, that makes you a genius. Remember, Sir Isaac Newton’s old story about sitting under the apple tree and it falls down and he’s like, “WTFMF, this apple fell. Why did this apple fall?” He started looking at what we now call the Newtonian Physics. The physics of the large bodies, the large heavenly spheres, the planets, black holes, suns and stars.

The very dot-connecting he did was his creative self. The very math he did to prove it was his strategic self. I like to think of geometry. Geometry can be part of the creative experience and Calculus and Algebra part of the strategic part of our brains. We’ve all heard hundreds of times the right hand. We are counterposing. Our left brain is the strategic self. The right brain is the creative self. The stereotype is that lefties are more creative because they are right-brain dominant. They see the world from a more creative space. I’m generalizing here. The right-handers, we identify with our left brain and that is more analytical and a strategic side of who we are.

I’m sharing nothing new when it comes to the makeup of the human psyche. What I’m bringing to this conversation is that when we have a balance of our creative and our strategic selves, our genius will go through the roof. Our power to create, that 80% that is the implementer, that is the tool holder, will be able to implement any strategy whatsoever and succeed at higher and higher levels. Many of us tend to identify with the strategic self or the creative self more. Many women, no matter how you identify, many of you literally identify more with the creative side. You identify with that creative self.

On the other hand, many of you identify with the strategic side. Here is what I bring, why this is the 100th episode and why this is our pivot. This is what I bring to the conversation. You and I, to level up and continue to level up more and more is to bring into balance. The vast majority of us are lopsided. We’re riding a bicycle with one of our tires near empty or completely flat, no air in the tire and that’s what the next 100 episodes are going to be. How do we bring our genius to everything we do? How do we develop our genius? How do we boil up the part of us that we have not been exercising?

Ask yourself a couple of questions. Do you approach most things in your life from an analytical perspective? That means that you are using your strategic self more lopsided than your creative self. Yet your creative self is designed to do the heavy lifting to help the strategic self make sure that you have the best deals in play and make the best decisions possible. Connect the dots that the analytical self, your analytical self is not even designed to connect dots. There’s no intuition there. The question is for you who are way lopsided to the strategic self, what percentage are you intuitive?

Is it 90/10, 95/5 or 70/30 strategic to creative? Whatever that lopsidedness is, to whatever degree, no harm, no foul. I’m not here to judge. I’m here for us to ask the hard questions as I always do. I ask these hard questions and then let’s go to work on creating a balanced genius soul in us. The more balanced you are, the more powerful you will show up in this world, the more magnificent the results you’ll have. You will be a superstar because you are in balance. How many of you identify more with the strategic self? How many of you identify more with your creative self?

AYF 100 | Creative Strategist

Creative Strategist: Every decision is strategic.


Some of us spend a lot of time over in relationship-building, developing, ideating and creating, but we don’t pull the trigger with our executive self or the strategic self. We don’t know how to pull the trigger. Here are a couple of symptoms to watch out for. If you are a majority and a majority to me guys are 51% versus 49%. If you’re in the majority where you only analyze, you only make checklists, you are super goal-oriented, but only about getting things done. The premise that this is based on none of those things is bad. If you are doing the majority of those things to move in the world, then you’re out of balance with your creative self. Your creative side isn’t contributing all the gifts that it can bring to you. Some of the symptoms are bad interpersonal relationships where you analyze what’s going on and you only try to fix what’s going on in your relationship.

If you are not a good listener in your relationship, and I’m talking business partnerships and everything, it translates to your personal relationships. If you are super structured and analytical, then you’re missing out on all the gifts that an underdeveloped creative side has to offer you. Those symptoms can be devastating in our personal and professional relationships. If you have trouble making money or implementing plans. If you have great ideas, but you have trouble implementing them, that’s a symptom of being a higher percentage of your creative self and being out of balance with your strategic self, that creative side of you. If you have tons of ideas, but you haven’t implemented many or any and those ideas are not yielding positive results for you, then you’re heavily into your creative self and you have not developed that strategic self.

If you let those two parts of you do their jobs as you come closer and closer into balance, success is effortless because the idea, inspiration, nurturing, and collaboration that make up the work is phenomenal. Your ability to execute, pull the trigger, get things done, and check everything off of your checklist and execute, that’s effortless for your strategic self. The ideating and collaborating and nurturing of business relationships, it is effortless for your creative self. I want to keep going. We have dozens. My entire second book is about these principles, about what is your strategic self and what is your creative self.

I’m going to give you some permission here because everything that I’m going to be working and framing on all of this is you can either call it your creative strategist or strategic creative. Either one works for me. Whichever one you have a predominance in, know that your success will multiply 5, 10, 20 times when you allow and collaborate both sides, strategy and creation, your creative and strategic selves. Every time you get closer and closer to balance, your ability to succeed in this world is not just going to level up. It’s a whole new game. It’s not even the same game and going, “A whole new game.”

You will be unstoppable because your creative self ideates, creates and gets the intuition and hands it off to you effortlessly to your strategic self who implements. I’m telling you, this is the game-changer that this 100th episode is launching. We’ll be discussing more and more of this. Take a second and find out. Watch yourself. Watch your behavior and see what you’re doing and where you operate from. The more aware you are of that division, 90/10, 70/30 or 30/70, wherever you are, everything’s going to go through the roof. Closer and closer, you make those two parts of you true. I cannot wait for us to explore the beauty and the exquisiteness of your creative strategist. Have a great day.

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