In this episode Josh talks with Emily Scott, a legacy and philanthropic guide, author and passion-holic. They discuss how instead of asking “What is your passion?” a better question would be “What energizes you?”.

Emily started Emily Scott AND to fill the void of merging the technical side of money with the human side of money, especially during transition. As a thought partner for her clients in the issues and challenges of legacy planning, financial prioritization, and philanthropic choices, she collaborates with other professionals to align core competencies for a robust client offering.

Ms. Scott’s earlier professional career includes years on Wall Street, the retail industry, and marketing consulting. With her 30+ years of personal experience in investing, philanthropy, managing a family office, and legacy discussions, Emily fully appreciates the nuances and pressures that having a high net worth can bring.

In today’s episode you will learn:

  • How instead of asking “What is your passion?” a better question would be “What energizes you?”
  • How do you fail at passion?
  • Should you seek for passion, or let your passion find you?
  • Once you build high interest or passion for something, how do you keep it there?
  • If you find your passion waning, what can you do to rekindle that?


Narrator:         Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.

Josh:                 Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick, and you’re at The Sustainable Business. Today my guest is a repeat offender her name is Emily Scott. Emily is one of our top listened episodes from almost a year ago. She was on where we talked about the topic of passion and we’re going to talk about passion again today. Emily told me that she has some new thoughts about that they were different than last time. So let’s bring her on and find out what those new thoughts are.

Hey, Emily, how are you today?

Emily:               Good, Josh, how are you?

Josh:                 I’m doing great. I’m doing great.

Emily:               I love the fact that I’m a repeat offender for this. This is a good thing to repeat. And I think anybody who listened to us, that’s fantastic. That’s nice to hear.

Josh:                 It is. It was nice that someone to actually pays attention to what you’re doing.

Emily:               Yeah. I actually would be very curious to see based off of what people heard, if it affected change for them either an action or a thought that would be interesting feedback, and whatever came up for them and they’re more than welcome to contact me directly. My website is I’m a firm believer in Jim Collins, The brilliance of the AND versus the Tyranny of the OR. So I use the word and whenever possible, and I will always do credit, Jim. And my email is I would be very curious to see what people think. Then part of the reason why is one as you know, I’m naturally curious. I live by the motto come to the conversation curious. And I would also say there’s been a lot of conversation around the word passion. So I’m glad that we are revisiting the topic.

Josh:                 So what’s different about your thoughts now around passion versus what it used to be?

Emily:               It’s probably knowing you, Josh, you’re going to go, “Okay, that’s a nuance” so, but I’ll bring it up anyway. So I still do believe in what I said. But on April 21 of this year, Stephanie Lee wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times, basically asking somebody, what’s their passion is the wrong question and you shouldn’t ask them. And her premise was that and I will quote her, “People often assume that their interest or passion just needs to be found or revealed. Once revealed, it will be a fully formed state. By that logic, pursuing one’s passion should come with boundless motivation and should be relatively easy. And what the essay went on to say was that humans tend to give up the minute that we start failing. And so therefore, if we found our passion that if we failed at it, we wouldn’t continue in there for is it really passionate.

Josh:                 I need to stop you there because I have a question.

Emily:               Okay.

Josh:                 To me, passion is not the same thing as a goal.

Emily:               I agree.

Josh:                 So how do you fail at passion?

Emily:               I agree and this is why we’re having the conversation because I completely agree with you. It’s not the same at all. I think asking an 18 year old what his passion is putting pressure on that person who was still performing. I think some 18 year olds will have it, some 10 year old— there are people who knew at six years old that they wanted to be a nurse or doctor or policeman or whatever it be. I don’t personally think that that’s the majority. And when the question is, you need to go find your passion. I appreciate the pressure that that puts on you. I would actually offer up that the question is really stay open. And let your passion find you.

Josh:                 I would agree with that. I don’t think you go look for passion. I think your passion find you.

Emily:               Yeah, I totally agree. And I think that and one of the questions that this article brought up was, do we truly find our passion or do we develop them over time? And the researchers went on to say the people who hold a fixed theory had less interest in things outside of their current interests, were less likely to anticipate difficulties when pursuing new interests and lost interest in new things much quicker than people who hold a growth theory and that I completely agree with.

So, if we reframe it as to how do you stay open to finding your passion or having your passion find you? That’s one of the things that I have been experimenting with and asking clients and colleagues and bringing up in different presentation in what energizes you because I do believe that you can think about it about energy as opposed to passion. You’re opening more opportunity for the passion to come find you. I think that there’s certain questions that you can [inaudible 00:05:57] particularly in business to learn about the energy as well as [inaudible 00:06:03] those have to think what energizes them and then creating a culture on that to accomplish the goals at hand.

Josh:                 So, while you were talking, I was just saying you’re thinking about this for a second, which I have a bad habit of doing, which is you have passion. Passion is sort of like this Uber thing that’s way out there. Does it make sense at first, we start trying to identify what we’re interested in and see if any of that develops into a passion?

Emily:               Absolutely. I totally agree with you and you know this is the problem. I think every year there’s some words that become part of our normal day vocabulary and then they get swept away, right. And I think the word passion is, I think it’s a tough word in all of this. And I think that it becomes this Holy Grail that, “Oh, my God, if you’re not passionate about something, then you’re wasting your time and your energy.” And I just don’t believe that. I think there are lots of things that we do that can have some element of passionate. It doesn’t have to be all encompassing. Correct? And that’s why I think the word interest is absolutely true. And I keep on going back to there’s something about energy. When we look throughout your office, you think about what are the things that you can’t wait to do? What are the things that you’re trying to do? I don’t think it’s just an interest, Josh. I think there’s an energy field around it as well.

Josh:                 I think that asking somebody will they have energy around is a much, much, much better question than asking them what their passion is.

Emily:               I agree. And really, when somebody asked me this about 10 months ago, what energizes you because I’m used to people saying to me about your passion— I have like this thing, wafting. I’ve been watching Chernobyl now. I’m like, “Oh my god, I have radiation over in my room.” So every time I see a fuss ball, I’m wondering how much radiation I have. We digress. So when somebody said to me, what energizes you would stop me because I wasn’t used to the question. And I had to really think about it. And I think about it from a standpoint of personally and professionally, what energizes me and is there a crossover? Is there alignment? Does something energize me with clients versus with colleagues, where all of the— you and I, when we talked last time, I talked about the personal Venn diagram, but so how does what energizes me? How does that fit into a personal Venn diagram?

Because I do believe that when you have those intersecting pieces, that’s where I always say that’s where your passion is, that center core, but let me go through some of these questions with you. I did a bunch of research about how do you even talk about what energizes you? There were some questions that came up, which I thought were interesting. What drives me? What could I talk about for hours? What do I feel passionately about? Which, by the way, I don’t know if I would actually ask that question, but it is a question that can be asked, what do I do? For I feel less tired afterwards than I did before I started? What do I get so excited about that I want to tell everyone I know, and how do I recharge?

Josh:                 Okay, so a bunch of those questions, I think are crucially important to folks listening to this podcast, because I will tell you people have walked in my office many times. And they asked, “Well, what are we here for?” And they say, “I want to sell my business.” And I say when they say yesterday, and I say why? And they say because I’m burned out. So what I will often in fact, always do at that point is I engage him in a conversation about what energizes them. And I will tell you that 100% of the time, the reason that these folks want to get out of their business is because they’re spending zero time in their energy building areas, and 100% of their time, and energy draining areas.

Emily:               Makes total sense.

Josh:                 So the first thing that I do is I start working with them on spending more of their time, or at least some of their time in energy producing activities. And then as we work we want to expand that time into more and more and more of the majority of what they do is energy producing in the minority of their time is energy draining. And my goal is to actually get that down to zero.

Emily:               It’s great. It’s terrific.

Josh:                 Well, if I do it, the person that walks into my office is I want to sell my business yesterday. I’m successfully getting to make that switch in their life and their business. I go back and say, “Okay, we’re now ready to sell your business.” They look at me like I’m crazy.

Emily:               Right. Right.

Josh:                 Why do I want to do that? I’m having too much fun. I’m making too much money and my life is perfect.

Emily:               So obviously, especially when you’re looking at— I know so many of your clients are entrepreneurs so at some point, obviously, they were energized or they wouldn’t have started their business to begin with. So at what point do you see the move into drainage? Do your clients or other people in business—are they taking things on because they know they can do it? They may not want to do it, but they know they can do it. So they just added onto their plate and does that then become a drain feel that— where is it that it starts shifting?

Josh:                 Well, typically it’s a little bit at a time. They’re excited about what solution they’re providing for their customers, but running the business has lots of activities that that owner might not be very good at, but has to get relatively good at, even though it’s energy draining because the business needs it. Most people who, at least in my experience, who live in the world of I hate what I do, are also really bad at delegating. So they’ve never learned how to delegate those activities that they don’t like, and they’re not very good at even though they’ve gotten to be competent at because they don’t trust the people they work with.

Emily:               So it’s not—it’s just easier for me to do it. It’s a lack of trust.

Josh:                 Well, it’s also it’s easier for me to do it because I can do it better than anybody else. And many entrepreneurs have an idiotic belief about I can do things better than anybody else. And why would I ever want someone to do it? Because they’re just not going to do as long as I am and I’m the best thing ever walked down the street?

Emily:               Now you know, I’m going to fuss at you for using the word idiotic, you know this right?

Josh:                  You can do what you— [Laughs] I kind of like that word so, okay.

Emily:               In my business, I’m very careful about judgment. So I would call you on that if you are my client, but okay—

Josh:                 Well, I actually live in the world of judgment as many other people do.

Emily:               So if it’s a trust issue, then I would say, well, then you’ve hired the wrong people but that’s an easy end so—

Josh:                 That’s actually not why they don’t trust— there’s a long story in that, but I actually want to stay more on the topic of passion today, because I think it’s a piece that’s missing there. Over a period of time, we might have started out with high interest or you could even call it passion for what you do. But there are things that come along the way that sort of kill that. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s sort of a slow thing. So once I build high interest or passion on something, how do I keep it there?

Emily:               I love that you asked that question, because I literally just went through this with my own small practice, because I was getting very disillusioned, I would say. And I reframed it to what energizes and I took the word passion, out of play, because at that moment in time, because my business has not grown in the way that I fully expected as to everybody else. So I’m no longer passionate about it. So it wasn’t so much a sense of failure, which is what this article in The New York Times talked about that because of failure, we stopped being passionate. It wasn’t that. It was a disconnect. I didn’t understand why this wasn’t getting traction, that’s why I was more frustrated than I was finding failure that makes sense. And so that’s really where I’ve been turned around and said, “Okay, so I wanted to do this because I had passion around helping people prioritize and get emotionally comfortable with their wealth, but I need to reframe this and I need to go back to thinking about why am I doing this and what’s the energy around it?”  Was the energy for me because I wanted to make gazillion dollars? Was the energy because I wanted to have a huge staff and I want to fly around the world helping people that I wanted to collaborate with lawyers and accountants and money managers and go speak at conferences, what was it?

And so I went back to these questions that we talked about earlier, what drives me and what can I talk about for hours? Where do I feel less tired afterwards versus more than how do I recharge? And what I kept going back to is the full on and I now say this in presentations all the time, that two things. One is I firmly believe on a cellular level and I don’t care what scientists tells me I’m wrong. I will tell them that they’re wrong. And I firmly believe three things. People want to matter. People want to feel heard and people want to be seen and that to me is how I deal in my life personally and professionally.

That is huge energy and huge past around that. I think when we have that we would probably have more just course in our country but that would be another conversation you can have on another day. The other piece of it is having been in financial world for three decades now that I know for a fact having been both [inaudible 00:16:29]. I know for a fact as well as [inaudible 00:16:31] there’s whole, whole universe and there’s this person around their money story, their money narrative, how they think about money on a daily basis, how they’re spending it, how to think about investing it. I do believe that the industry focused on [inaudible 00:16:59] be it money or the emotional side of money and that’s what drives me [inaudible 00:17:04] such a narrative— to the emotional side of the money.

This is why Susan Bradley who runs that money, and I just completely aligned, because we have that exact same feeling. And she’s created a spectacular program that’s really geared to people in transition. And that’s what drives me is that I don’t think that we have such a money story. We have such a narrative that we’re not paying attention to what we’re getting in our own way. So that’s what keeps me up, Josh.

Josh:                 So going back to the three things again, that you said everybody wants to be heard.

Emily:               Everybody wants to feel like they matter.

Josh:                 Yeah.

Emily:               People want to be heard and people want to be seen.

Josh:                 Okay so if you’re looking at those three things, you might want to be thinking that if you start noticing your passion for something goes away, which one of those three things is out of alignment? At one time, we all feel incredibly passionate about something. Well, I would say anybody who’s successful in business. They have to have enough passion to get them through the hard times. So if in fact, you do find your passion waning, what can I do to rekindle that?

Emily:               You know, this is why I like talking to you. We make these conversations infinitely more interesting than I have with anybody else. So to me right now, this is a knee jerk reaction to what you’ve just said, that this is a combination of the three things that I find important, and what you advise your clients. And I believe that somewhere along the way. Let’s talk about the business owner, something’s not happening. And is it that they don’t feel like they matter anymore? Has this business taken off without them and that they’re not being seen and heard and the company’s running along and if they came, or when it wouldn’t really matter, that they’re now sort of a ghost? I mean, is that a problem? I don’t know.

Josh:                 For some it’s a big problem.

Emily:               Right so where is it? And I think it’s a hard question to ask yourself. I don’t think that we spend a lot of time on this and I go sexist for a second, I’ve been reading a whole bunch of books by Dr. Terrence Real. And I don’t think that we have done men a great service at all by not allowing boys to be vulnerable and express emotion. And does this start playing out in this? I mean, if you’re being told as a little boy that your feelings don’t matter. Does that come to bite you when you’re a grown man and suddenly your business is going on smoothly without you? I don’t know.

Josh:                 So unfortunately, we’re going to have to leave this conversation there because we are out of time.

Emily:               No, we can’t be out of time.

Josh:                 Yeah, we are out of time. So Emily, you did mention in the beginning how to get in contact with you. Would you repeat how people could find you? It also tell people what you actually do, because I’m not sure anybody knows.

Emily:               Okay, well that you can also find on my website. So let me answer the first question. The first question is my website is All my contact information is there. It’s very easy to find because I can’t stand websites that contact information is not easy to find. My email is and what I do. I work with the professionals in your life, your lawyers, your accountants, your portfolio managers, to help you prioritize and emotionally get comfortable with your wealth in three specific areas— estate planning, legacy planning, what I call financial reconciliation, how you think and spend money and then the third piece is philanthropy. Either that’s already something that you do or it’s something that you want to think about or something that you want to include in your estate plan.

Josh:                 Cool.

Emily:               But what happens is I will say very quickly, what happens is because it will go back to the judgment thing, this is not for me to judge, and this is your life. Basically, I am giving you the space and the opportunity and encouragement to think from not just your head but from your heart and from a very personal standpoint, without any judgment, and I insist that you don’t judge yourself. And what comes out in these conversations is absolutely riveting and surprising and helpful beyond more than I ever thought possible.

Josh:                 Cool. I also have an offer for you, too. I have a program called Cracking Cash Flow Code. And for this I wrote, what is the success path where you go from having no cash to having excess cash and your business is really easy to get. Just go to and you get my free info graphic and take a look at it and see where you are on the path to achieving cash flow, freedom in your business and your life. This is Josh Patrick. You’re at the sustainable business. We’re with Emily Scott. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

Narrator:         You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around a hundred years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at, or you can send Josh an email at

Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.

Topics: sustainable business podcast, Sustainable Business, transition, reframing, passion, emily scott and, emotional connection to wealth

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