Systems and Self-Care with Emlen Miles-Mattingly

Brian chats with Emlen Miles-Mattingly, the founder and CEO of Gen Next Wealth, a financial planning firm focused on helping minorities grow and retain generational wealth. In the episode, Emlen talks about his 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, including the challenges he overcame to pivot from banking to starting his own company. He also shares why small habits and daily systems help him to thrive in his business and personal life.


Episode Highlights

Clients can define your mission.

Before starting his firm, Emlen worked for an insurance company. Despite helping people grow wealth, the job didn’t quite feel right, which was how he knew it wasn’t mission-driven.

“It just didn’t sit right because I couldn’t do it the way I wanted to do it until I started my own business,” he said.

Even after Emlen started Next Gen Wealth, it was the clients who ultimately defined his company’s mission. That’s because Emlen kept encountering similar clients and answering the same questions about fundamental financial topics.

“People just kept coming to talk to me, and they were all the same,” Emlen said. “So that’s how I got my mission/vision/purpose based on the people who were coming to me.”


Systems can give you freedom.

There’s at least one thing that Emlen has in common with Tom Brady: They both love schedules. That’s because schedules allow them to block time in their day for the activities that are most important to them, Emlen said.

“When I look at the time, at any given time, I know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing,” Emlen said.

Emlen credits the systems and processes he deliberately created with providing him free time for his personal life and wellbeing. In fact, the freedom to be an active part of his children’s lives is one of the things he says he most enjoys about running his own business.

“I’m the drop off, pick up guy,” Emlen said. “The reason I can do that is because we have a tight process.”


Self-care isn’t selfish.

Part of Emlen’s tight scheduling includes time for self-care — an act that he stresses is not selfish. In fact, when Emlen first started scheduling time for self-care, he found that blocking out time for exercise, meditation, and reading helped him to ultimately have a more productive day.

“I could look through my planner, and I could see I was way more productive in terms of revenue,” he said.

Since noticing that productivity uptick, Emlen has continued to track his daily self-care habits and tweak his routine using a Full Focus Planner. The result is a better business and home life.

“It was the aspect of tracking over time that made me realize, when I do this, I was a better husband, I was a better dad, I was more patient with the kids,” he said. “It did all these other things, and it freed up a ton of time.”


Resources + Links


About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast 

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.