I am “The Mexican Fisherman”

The alarm sounds and I climb out of bed and start my day. I boil water, in a cute yellow teapot sitting atop the stove, spoon some New Orléans style chicory coffee in a French press, and make a dark French Roast to sip from my favorite Topanga coffee mug.

NO Coffee

Walking outside to see the sun rise, I free the chickens from “Henna’s House”, more of a chicken palace than coup, and gather some eggs. Then, feed Dog Dog, a fiercely independent farm dog that walked out of 34,000 acres of wild hardwoods bordering our farm and decided to stay, and Queen Buckingham Flat, the working retriever fit for modeling. Checking the garden, I harvest a few strawberries, kale and one ripe tomato and then give each plant water from my grandmother’s tin watering pale.

Walking inside, my two-year old, Rumi, is awake and turns her attention from Cookie Monster to me, runs to give me a morning hug and kiss. Together we make breakfast, the freshly gathered eggs, scrambled with today’s harvested kale and fresh strawberries.

I sit down in my office, a converted front porch overlooking the farm, to check any new messages and start today’s agenda, helping people and organizations align their assets with what matters most to them and a newer concept, Core Impact Investing, helping society move forward – making profit and doing good.

My 5-year-old, Sage Pilar wakes, and softly knocks on the office door. She sleepily walks over and crawls in my lap, lays her head on my shoulder and I carry her to sissy to watch Full House, an old school sitcom – her favorite show.

My wife wakes and makes smoothies and we visit about life and world events – today’s conversation, Hillary Clinton’s run for President. Together, we organize the day around work and life. Daily home school lessons, Bendi Baby (our kid’s yoga mat business – helping children find the beauty of connecting the mind, body and soul), Yield Wealth (my business), and the working farm — an entire day revolving around the things in life we love.

father daughter fishing

Before the sun sets, Pilar and I take an hour and go fishing in the reservoir, just a short walk from the farmhouse. She talks, I listen. We catch a few fish and take them home. Rumi comes out to greet us and the three of us clean 2 crappie and a bass – fish tacos and fresh tomato for dinner.

After dinner, we retire to the family couch and watch “grown-up” shows. My wife puts the kids in the bath and I go to the office to plan the next day. A little family time, before bed, with some rookie mandolin and guitar with the kids dancing or joining on drums. Kids in bed, some adult time with my wife watching Jimmy Fallon is much appreciated. Bedtime, with a short read of something fun, tonight, Gertrude Stein. Another day in paradise.

Of course, life never happens like we plan. Having a plan diverts you from just “going through the motions of life.”

Daily road blocks are navigated, kids will be kids, bills, bills, bills and chaos all exist – everyday. There is joy, pain, anger, passion and sadness – such is life. But this is my version of The Mexican Fisherman, doing what I love most, as much as possible and navigating a mindful quality of life.

road to take

The purpose of this blog post is to help people feeling stuck, realize there is a way out. Organizations like, Corporate Hostage No More, can help you strategically find a way out. Yield Wealth will help you with what matters most to you, and help you prepare for your own version of “quality of life” to do more of what you love.

It’s time for all of us to look deep inside ourselves and ask, “What is most important to me.” Prioritize what matters most. Organize your finances and actions and align it to your priorities and Simplify Life – create a doable process and plan to live the life you’ll love.

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel is a second generation wealth advisor and third generation family farm operator. He is the founder of Yield Wealth Management, one of the first benefit corporations in Arkansas. To learn more about Charles, Yield Wealth or set a time to visit, visit http://www.yieldwealth.com or email info@yieldwealth.com. The articles written in this blog should not be construed as investment advise.


Planning for Yeshe’

IMG_6406We’d met the day before, as I ate lunch in Jasper, after a long morning of fly-fishing the upper Buffalo River. I was alone, writing in my journal about my day and he was my server. He met me with gentle eyes and a servant’s heart. We connected immediately, and as I left, he followed me outside and asked me what I was doing in town. We had a short conversation about mutual friends, Circle Yoga Shala and the next days sweat lodge. As I started to leave, he said, “They’ll know me as Yeshe’.” and that was it.

The next day I found a Monk in his maroon and yellow wraps, chopping wood. Beads of sweat rolling down the side of his face, focussing entirely on the task at hand. This is Yeshe’. Whether washing windows, dishes, chopping wood or in deep conversation, Yeshe’ is always in the present moment.

After a long, hot sweat lodge, a joyful potluck with friends and a few tears shed from the opening of chakras (or just plain sweating out every thing I am), we sat atop the back porch of Circle Yoga Shala’s barn studio watching the sun set beneath Mt. Shiloh. We respected one another’s presence. Yeshe’, a Buddhist Monk, with a dream, and me, a humble wealth advisor, helping him manifest it.

The first step, with mindful wealth planning, is understanding the definition, wealth. Wealth is more than just how much money you have. Money is purchasing power.

Wealth comes from our own definition of inner values. The sum of your talents, creativity, dreams and fears. It is all the qualities that are uniquely yours and make you happy – therefore, determining quality of life.

As with all my clients, I asked, “Yeshe’, What is most important to you? Understanding who you are, what you want and what you need is the starting point. Until we know this, you’re spinning the wheels of life.”

Yeshe’, knowing how to “just be”, was still and deep in thought. He listened carefully to me and everything making up his being – inside and out – taking it all in. His breaths rhythmic and slow, choosing his words with care, he said something of this nature,

“To be wealthy and free, I need scarcity.”

Despite my 15 years experience having conversations about wealth, there are some stratospheres I just can’t fathom. Unlike most Americans and people around the world, Yeshe’s definition of wealth was like nothing I’d ever heard. Instead of building assets to become financially free, he wanted to give away all his worldly possessions and retreat to the mountain top of his Buddhist Monastery, in silence, for three years. His own definition of wealth and freedom.

cowboy and monk

We talked for hours, me, learning more about Yeshe’ – and how he’s become the product of the environment he created – his past, education, trials, tribulations, fears and dreams. We embraced and parted ways with a clear understanding of where he is now and where he wants to be in the future and set a time and medium to follow-up on the next steps of how to create a “road map” of sorts to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’.

  1. Prioritize – What matters most to you.
  2. Organize – Your finances and align them with what matters most to you.
  3. Simplify – a process and plan to make it easily understood and doable. Most of All, Simplify Life. Minimize chaos and focus on what matters most and do more of what you love.

Throughout the next year, Yeshe’ and I would communicate. He’d update me on where he was in his plan, ask questions, voice concerns and basically leverage me as a sounding board and creative think tank.

Planning for YesheExactly one year later, February 2015, we met again, at Circle Yoga Shala. After the sweat lodge and potluck with friends, we sat inside the barn studio and filmed a conversation about manifesting his dreams. It was beautiful. Yeshe’ is beautiful.

The next day my family, wife and two daughters, met him at his Monastery. He showed us the sacred grounds, nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains near the Little Buffalo River. We prayed, feasted, and thanked God for the opportunity for Yeshe’ to spend three years in prayer for others.

Thank you, Yeshe,’ for reminding me of my true wealth, which is independent of how much money I have.


ck photoCharles Kochel is the founder of Yield Wealth Management, a fee-only investment advisory and wealth management firm in Arkansas. The opinions in his writings are his alone and should not be construed as investment advice.

For more information or to learn about Charles or Yield Wealth visit http://www.yieldwealth.com