067: What Money Really Does, With Ryan Ponsford


Have you ever thought if you just had money everything in your life would be fine? If you have, you’re like many other people. But our guest for today’s show says money would only emphasize what already exists in your life, it wouldn’t necessarily make it better.


Ryan Ponsford of Main Street Philanthropy joins us on this episode of Real World Woman: Sex, Money and Food to discuss what he has found by working with affluent families, inner city kids and the amazing organization he created by combining the two. Ryan’s journey is an insightful and inspiring one that you’ll get to hear all about on today’s show!


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Ryan has two decades of experience in the business world, the non-profit world and in the financial services sector. In that time he’s learned a tremendous amount about relationships, the importance and benefit of giving, and what it means to disrupt the status quo of an industry.


When Ryan began working with affluent families about how to pass on their wealth, he noticed some patterns that were true across the board. When wealth was transferred to the kids, they blew it away frivolously and ended up hating each other.


He wanted to get to the bottom of why this was happening and address the root cause. He soon realized it wasn’t just true of the good or bad habits of wealthy families but of all families who didn’t have a clear purpose for the future. If they didn’t have a purpose binding them together bad things pulled them apart. But if they had purpose the family stuck together.


Ryan says this is true beyond families, it’s true of our other relationships, our romantic partnerships, our careers, etc. Having a purpose holds things together when life gets difficult.


Beyond having a clear unifying purpose, he also saw a need for greater financial literacy. According to Ryan, money doesn’t fix things or change things, it simply magnifies existing issues. He wanted to help people understand this and he needed to find a tangible, measurable way to do so.


He took families on a journey of financial understanding through philanthropy. He didn’t tell them that’s what they were doing but it was the core of his work with them; he was helping them make the world a better place through their financial contributions.


The families interviewed various charitable organizations and met with their boards of directors, reviewed their tax returns and learned about tax codes. In the process, they were learning the core elements of their own financial literacy – and were helping others with their contributions.


However the real turning point came when Ryan began talking with a friend who worked with inner city kids. These were kids who had already had a tough start to life, some had been abandoned by family members, left to fend for themselves on the streets, etc.


Together Ryan and his friend teamed up to create an experiment: these kids would give money to a charity like Ryan’s wealthy families had. In fact, Ryan’s families agreed to fund the exercise.


Tune in to hear what happened and how far Ryan’s experiment has spread as of today! This is a heart-warming and touching tale you won’t want to miss. Listen in for all of that and much more on this week’s episode of The Real World Woman: Sex, Money, and Food Podcast.  


Ryan Answers the Questions


Q: Rank the following in order: sex, money, food.

A: Money is a tool to make things happen, but you couldn’t live without food or money. So food is first, money in the middle and sex last if we are looking at this from a needs-based perspective.


Q: There is nothing better in life than…

A:  seeing people happy or realizing something new. I love new revelations, new experiences.


Q: Your ultimate pleasure in life is?

A: I’m an experienced guy, I do love new experiences and adventures and going on trips with no agenda.


Q: What does your grandmother’s story about Akili smell like to you?

A: I’m the youngest in our family’s generation and there was one job reserved for the youngest: the pooper scooper. So the first smell that comes to me is elephant poop!


Q: What is a mistake or a circumstance you went through that has allowed you grow and learn?

A: The most clear transformational thing for me was losing my mother. I’m the youngest of four boys and we were very close, we were largely best friends and I am who I am because of her. There was a point where she had cancer and those final conversations with her were extremely transformational for me. They gave me insight into what life meant, what death meant and what Heaven was.


Q: What book are you reading?

A: I’m an avid book reader, I read a couple books at a time. I’m reading one written The Serving Leader by  Ken Blanchard, I just finished Give and Take by Adam M. Grant.  I usually have some type of novel too, and I just finished the Bible using a phone app where you can read the Bible in a year.

Tweetable: “Money can be a great benefit, or a massive destruction.” ~Ryan Ponsford



Resources From This Episode


Alexandra Harbushka
Alexandra Harbushka
About me

I am an entrepreneur, a daughter, and a lover. My life passion is to help women discover the secrets to having all three of life’s essentials: sex, money, and food. I bring my international experience and corporate success together to help other women thrive as a Real World Woman.

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