Find Your Freedom, Episode #100

Ron Carson is not only the Founder and CEO of The Carson Group—but he was also the first guest on the Mitlin Money Mindset™! Ron has a tenacious focus on serving clients’ best interests, a relentless pursuit of excellence across every activity, and a burning desire to learn, grow intellectually, and innovate.

Ron is a celebrated and respected financial advisor in the industry. Investopedia ranked Ron #5 in the Top 100 Financial Advisors! He’s a sought-after speaker and investment strategist. He’s also a nationally acclaimed best-selling author, his most recent book being “Proven in the Trenches: 11 Principles to Maximize Advisor Value and Transform Your Firm’s Future.

Listen to this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset™ for some great takeaways about leadership, the future of financial planning, and why mental health is important to living your best life.


You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • How the Carson Group has evolved since 2020 [4:25]
  • How Ron sees the future of financial planning [6:53]
  • Dissecting Ron’s partnership with Bain Capital [12:40]
  • What does the “Find Your Freedom” tagline mean? [15:16]
  • Partnering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention [21:24]
  • Maintaining a thriving culture at the Carson Group [24:35]
  • The RIA model and the value it adds to those we serve [32:14]
  • Why Ron writes down the name of people he wants to work with [36:10]
  • Ron’s advice for listeners who feel stuck in a rut [39:34]
  • What brought Ron joy and put him in the right mindset for success [43:23]

Dissecting Ron’s partnership with Bain Capital

19 companies raised their hand to partner with the Carson Group. Ron narrowed that number down to five and spent time with all of them. They didn’t need capital, they needed capabilities. So they asked each of these companies how they’d improve their value proposition. Many of them couldn’t offer anything unique.

But Bain Capital not only answered their questions with unique propositions but fit with the culture of the Carson Group. Their long-term partners had nothing but great things to say. They have a resource group that Ron can tap into, from cloud computing to HR, data analytics, and more.

Maintaining a thriving culture through growth

Speaking of culture, one of Ron’s favorite talks that he gives is “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” How does an organization function without the leaders around? Is it a positive or negative culture? Ron points out that a positive culture is giving it your all, even when it’s inconvenient to do so. It’s to treat stakeholders (clients) like extended family. The Carson Group challenges its organization to be culture agents. Culture is something everyone must be aware of and protect. You can’t lose focus on it.

As the Carson Group grows, Ron wants to proactively implement things to improve the culture so it continues to evolve to a higher level. Every decision they make is to surprise and delight clients and deliver unexpected value.

What does the “Find Your Freedom” tagline mean?

At the Carson Group, you get to define your freedom and they’ll design a path to help get you there. Freedom means something different to everyone. Most people don’t get a shot at true freedom because they don’t have financial security. As an organization, they want to help people feel comfortable with their plan. They proactively work on your portfolio so that you know you’ll be okay. Once the fear is removed, you can experience freedom.

What does freedom look like for Ron? He wants to be able to live an authentic life and do the things he loves to do—leading the group, making an impact with charitable organizations, and spending time with his grandchildren. He wants the capacity to help people when they need it.

90% of people have never thought about what “Freedom” looks like for them. But you want to think about it and answer it so you can be intentional about making that freedom a reality. Your plan doesn’t have to start perfectly. The goal is to make meaningful progress. It will evolve over time. What freedom looks like now may be different in 20 years.

What does the future of financial planning look like at the Carson Group? What advice does Ron have for listeners who feel stuck in a rut? Listen to the whole episode to learn why we are a partner firm of the Carson Group.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Ron Carson


Ron Carson is Founder and CEO of Carson Group, which serves financial advisors and investors through its businesses including Carson Wealth, Carson Coaching, and Carson Partners. Founded in 1983, Carson Wealth has grown to become one of the largest wealth management firms in the country offering portfolio management and wealth planning services to high net-worth clients. Established in 1993, Carson Coaching has grown to become one of the leading advisor coaching programs in the country empowering advisors to overcome key business challenges through personalized coaching, proven strategies, marketing services, and a passionate community of thousands of advisors. Carson Partners empowers advisors to improve client service, efficiently run their practice, grow their business, and build a legacy through a turnkey integrated partnership. All three organizations are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska but serve a broad base of advisors and investors across the U.S. and Canada.

Ron first began honing his core principles while working from his dorm room at the University of Nebraska in 1983: a tenacious focus on serving clients’ best interests; a relentless pursuit of excellence across every activity; and a burning desire to learn, grow intellectually, and innovate. These driving principles enabled Carson Group to grow to over $18 billion in AUM and have led Ron to receive many accolades. He is continually ranked among the top advisors in multiple publications, most recently to Investopedia’s Top 100 Financial Advisors (#4).

He was one of only two independent advisors inducted into Barron’s inaugural Hall of Fame, was recognized as an InvestmentNews Innovator, and acknowledged as an Inc. 5000 CEO, marking Carson Group as a four-time participant in Inc.’s annual list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies, as well as one of the top in the Midwest. He also appears regularly on broadcast media for Fox Business and Reuters as a leading expert advisor and commentator.

Ron is one of the most celebrated and respected financial advisors and executives in the industry—he is a sought-after speaker, thinker, and investment strategist. In the spring of 2012, Ron continued to expand his industry leadership by co-founding aRIA (Alliance for Registered Investment Advisors). aRIA is a “think-tank” study group comprised of eight forward-thinking RIA firms with a commitment to growth, who seek to proactively improve the future of the RIA industry by building a culture and mantra of continuous learning.

Committed to serve advisors in multiple realms, in 2014 Ron joined The American College of Financial Services board of trustees for a three-year term. The College offers turnkey programs that produce effective advisors who are able to join a team and make an impact immediately, helping the industry by adding capacity, and building the next generation of advisors. Ron was also a previous member of the Financial Advisor Council of CNBC, where he provided insight and frontline perspective to the CNBC Digital news team.

Ron’s academic credentials include being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Certified Fund Specialist. Beyond this, he is a nationally acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, and has shared his success principles through several books, including 2005’s Tested in the Trenches, 2007’s Avalanche, 2012’s second edition of Tested in the Trenches, 2016’s The Sustainable Edge, and most recently, Proven in the Trenches: 11 Principles to Maximize Advisor Value and Transform Your Firm’s Future, which is a follow-up to his 2012 novel, in which advisors receive an actionable game plan touching on the core dimensions of a highly-functioning financial services firm. The book is available on Amazon, along with an audio version narrated by Ron himself during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ron is actively involved in charitable giving and his personal mission is to “do the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.” He and his wife, Jeanie, co-founded the Dreamweaver Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling end-of-life dreams for seniors with terminal illnesses. He also founded the American Charitable Foundation—a foundation established for a more efficient disposition of charitable assets. He supports more than 48 charitable giving organizations, served as a past President of the Child Saving Institute, has personal partnerships with charity: water and Global Coralition, and has helped his firm provide more than 600,000 meals to children in Kenya through work with No Hungry Children.

Ron and Jeanie reside in Omaha and have three wonderful children. He enjoys spending time with his family, collecting and drinking wine, hiking, flying, pheasant hunting, and he’s an avid Nebraska Cornhusker fan.

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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