Dr. Tony Pennells is the founder of MindShift.money and many other heart-centered businesses, but he started his life as a medical doctor working to positively impact the lives of the people in his care. For well over a decade, though, his goals have been higher. He wants to leave a legacy of positive change. And he wants to give other Luminaries a hand up to do the same.
Leaving Medicine To Make An Impact
Dr. Tony focused his medical career on changing the lives of individuals. In that role, he saw the community-wide effects of poor eating and health. Seeing how poor diet impacted long-term health, he says, “It was the first time I started looking at transformation within communities as opposed to individuals.”
In researching how to solve nutritional deficiencies in communities, Dr. Tony discovered change isn’t driven just by education. He realized alternative options need to be accessible and easy. So he set out to start a health and wellness center focused on utilizing the same three drivers that move people towards poor health choices: “ease, convenience, and cost.” Turning negatives into positives to help people instead make good decisions.
To Dr. Tony, changing even one person’s life was important and valuable. But, for him, changing the world is the goal. And influencing community behavior means transcending the limits of change he could affect with just his own voice. He needed to reach people he would never meet or coach personally.
Finding His Focus With Financial Stability
A jump from medicine to health and wellness seems like a logical step. But founding MindShift.money was an even more significant move. He shifted focus from physical health to financial health.
Dr. Tony’s brother had founded a very successful financial services business helping people get mortgages. As he learned more, Dr. Tony grew concerned about the structure of the financial advice industry. “Nobody was asking the obvious question, which was ‘nobody wanted the mortgage, they wanted the house,’” he says. “Equally, no one was saying we have to get you out of this debt, so you own this home.”
Too many people make money keeping others in debt. And for the middle class, almost everyone offering financial support has massive conflicts of interest. The financial industry is built such that, “you couldn’t be profitable as an advisor giving your clients the advice you would give to your grandparents, friends or children.”
And that’s a major problem if you believe a healthy middle class leads to a strong economy. With large-scale financial difficulties facing developed countries—from the retirement of boomers to AI reducing the need for labor—the time for a change is now. So Dr. Tony created MindShift.money as a way to influence the conversation. He wanted a method to put the right information in the hands of those in need.
A Health Scare Broadens His Goals
With more than 27,000 members, MindShift.money has been a successful transformation business changing the lives of many. But Dr. Tony wouldn’t yet define it as such. His personal goal is for the MindShift.money community to grow to more than 20 million members.
But even with the sky-high goals in front of him for MindShift.money, he’s embarking on a new project. One focused on giving others the tools to make lasting changes not only for people today but for the generations that follow.
About ten years ago, Dr. Tony discovered he had an aortic aneurysm in his heart. What he calls a “ticking time bomb in his chest.” Heart disease runs in his family, but this was a wake-up call. He started writing down financial and business advice for his kids, in case he wasn’t there when they needed the answers. These ultimately became his first book series.
In 2014, he had a complication with an aneurysm. The bypass was not entirely successful, and he remains on multiple medications to keep his heart working correctly.
“At that moment I sold out of my business, and I had two choices. I either wrapped myself up in cotton wool and safely wait to die. Or I choose how I show up and what I choose to do with my time,” Dr. Tony says. He believes that the segment of the world most in need of support today is the rapidly weakening middle class. And that the government and corporations won’t drive change. “We have to get the community helping the community.”
The Creation of the Transcend Alliance
Transformational businesses are a rapidly growing market. New coaches, wellness instructors, retreat leaders and more pop up every day wanting to share their experience and genius. But most of these transformation leaders work one-on-one with clients. In almost every case, a person has to show up to do the work.
“I knew if we wanted to create new normals we needed create a zero-to-many model. You needed to be able to influence many and remove any limitations so that it could scale exponentially,” Dr. Tony explained. In short, Luminaries need a way to leverage social platforms. They need the tools to lean on each other and spread their message beyond the person standing in front of them.
Along with his co-founders, Callan Rush, Justin Livingston and SARK, Dr. Tony is building those tools. The Transcend Alliance is a growing a community of transformation-focused businesses that want to create Legacy Businesses. “The Transcend Alliance aims to create an ecosystem, the ideal environment, where social enterprises and social entrepreneurs can grow and thrive,” Dr. Tony explains.
Effectively, an incubator for change makers. The Transcend Alliance has masterminds, co-promotion between members, shared resources along with co-creation and collaboration opportunities.
“You Can’t Do It Alone.”
The Transcend Alliance is currently limited to established Luminaries, generally with $100,000 or more in annual revenue. But the principles of the group can be applied to every Luminary’s business. If you’re striving to make the level of change Dr. Tony has chosen as his life’s mission, he has one key message for success. “Lean into collaboration. You can’t do it alone.”
Chelsea Brennan is a former Wall Street financial analyst and investment manager who changed gears in her career to chase her passion of improving financial literacy and independence. She is now a personal finance writer and content marketer. Chelsea shares her obsession with budgeting, investing, and raising financially smart kids at MamaFishSaves.com.