Armando Cruz_The R.I.C.H. Man Experience & How to Connect with Your Spouse

The R.I.C.H. Man Experience & How to Connect with Your Spouse – GDP011

“The R.I.C.H. Man Experience & How to Connect with Your Spouse” Episode Overview

Larry Hagner and Shawn Stevenson interview Armando Cruz about the R.I.C.H. (Respect, Inspired, Connected, Happy) Man Experience. Armando has developed a program to take dads to a new level and how to connect with your spouse or partner.

Key Take-Aways

  • Learn about the R.I.C.H. (Respect, Inspired, Connected, Happy) Man Experience
  • How to balance your work life and family life
  • How to recognize the love language of your partner and speak hers/his vs. our own


Guest: Armando Cruz

Armando Cruz_The R.I.C.H. Man Experience & How to Connect with Your Spouse

Armando Cruz is a husband, father, entrepreneur, adventurer, lifestyle physical therapist, ultra-runner, and performance coach. He is the owner of Cruz Country Fitness & Physical Therapy and the creator of the R.I.C.H. Man Experience.

Armando has climbed mountains, has ran over 50 miles in a day in the swamps, has lived out of his car, and has rollerbladed and surfed in hurricanes but his biggest adventure has been fatherhood. He is the proud dad of 3 amazing children and has been married for 8 years to his beautiful wife Christian.

After coaching and working with many different clients, Armando realized his passion and unique capabilities were to help fathers that are entrepreneurs live happier, more connected, and more fulfilled lives. Thus, he created the R.I.C.H. Man Experience: an immersive coaching program for fathers that are entrepreneurs to improve connection to their life purpose, their health, their wife, their kids, and their adventure. The aim is so that they show up daily as the greatest and grandest version of who they are for themselves, for their family and for their legacy.

Be the Greatest Version of You: R.I.C.H. Man Experience

Armando created the R.I.C.H. Man Experience as way to use a compass on a day-to-day basis to check himself and help become the greatest version of himself.

R – Respected:

  • Trustworthy
  • Authentic
  • What you’re saying and what you’re doing are all in alignment

I – Inspired: If you think back, when you were inspired, there was no need to motivate yourself. in fact, there may have been people trying to stop you.

“Very often if you need motivation to do something, it’s not really something that you want to do. Motivation is an external application towards you versus inspiration, which means quite literally to be filled with the spirit, coming from the inside out. And whenever you’re coming from the inside out, in inspiration, you’re more in alignment with your truth, with your passion, and you’re going to be more authentic.” – Armando Cruz

C – Connected:

  • Thing that unites us as spouses/partners and unites us with our kids in our relationships
  • Health — nutrition, exercise, mindset, spirituality, how you’re going into it, attitude, sleep, water/hydration; not just fitness, which is one dimensional

“If you don’t have your health and are not in the best shape, then you’ll be a fraction of what you could be because you don’t have the vitality, you don’t have that connection to your best self, and don’t have the clarity to become it. Being connected is being aligned with the people and things that matter most to you.” – Armando Cruz

H – Happy: Culmination of all three — Respected, Inspired, and Connected — when they’re in alignment, you’ll find yourself being more fulfilled and happy. But also, showing up: If you show up being happy, you’ll find something to be happy for and about — fake it until you make it.

Balancing Marriage, Fatherhood, Work

Armando says that “having it all” really means making the best choices. You really can’t have it all because when you choose something, it negates the rest. You can’t be one and the other. What you’re looking for is really what is going to serve you the best.

The balance is kind of a myth, according to Armando. Balance means that there’s not movement. When something is in balance, it’s in zero: It’s neither going forward nor backwards; it’s just there. For example, a pond that just sits there starts building up algae and bacteria, and it starts eating away at itself instead of growing.

Instead, what you’re looking for is movement, says Armando. In order for there to be movement, there are areas of imbalance. Imbalance is not a bad thing; it’s creating movement. The question is: Are you moving in the direction that you want? In the marriage or relationship with your partner and relationship with your kids, are you moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling, more connected relationships — and what does that mean to you? You need to define what it is that is healthy, fulfilling, and connected. By defining it, you can be more concrete. Make sure everyone is speaking the same language.

Shawn suggests replacing the word “balance” with “integration.” Movement creates progress, and progress is power. It boils down to clarity, getting clear on what it is you want versus what you think everybody is supposed to have or what you think you’re supposed to have. It’s important to take a step back, and write down 5-10 things that you really want yourself and not base it on consumerism. Once you can get clearer about what you want, you can find a much clearer path to get there.

Knowing When Coaching is Necessary

Armando often is asked what he does as a coach. Coaches don’t give answers. Instead, coaches ask people the right, best possible questions so that their clients can find the answers for themselves. Asking the right questions is the best, most powerful way of gaining clarity. Clarity gives you freedom because you can see and know what you want.

One process coaches use is a 3 step method for asking questions to get clarity:

1. Define: What does it look like? (ex. What does success in your marriage look like?) Create a vision for that.

2. Refine: What does it not look like? Sometimes there is difficulty in creating the vision of what it looks like, so asking what it doesn’t look like helps.

3. Align: How will I know when I’m not at the best? When I’m not showing up as the best version at that point (ex. in my marriage) — or, when I’m not there? How will I know when I am there? While those questions may all seem very similar, by giving you that contrast, you’re giving different perspectives. Perspectives give you a richer view of any situation.

There’s a difference between coaching and mentoring, and there are different types of coaching and mentoring. Armando explains that mentoring can be described as: “Do what I do. This worked for me, so this is a path that seems to be good.” Coaching, on the other hand, is a little bit different and it’s a luxury: Coaching is not something that you need in order to survive. We can figure our lives out without it, historically speaking. And for some people, good enough is good enough. When coaching becomes powerful and somewhat of a necessity is for men and women committed to excellence. If excellence is a must for you, if excellence and legacy are things that you strive for, then coaching is important because coaching provides perspective. Coaching comes from a place of gathering clarity not necessarily giving instruction.

“You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.” – Les Brown


Speaking the Same Love Language

A highly recommended book to read for both men and women is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which was featured by Oprah on her shows. In a nutshell, the 5 Love Languages are: quality time; words of affirmation; physical touch; receiving gifts; and acts of service.

It’s critical to know how you and your partner, your kids, and others around you communicate. It’s important to get on the same page and understand one another since people communicate differently, especially when it comes to expressing love. Partners need to get together to talk about their top 2 love languages, and then implement some strategies to have the best communication with each other using both love languages. You need to have specific intent and have these conversations.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Links Mentioned In This Episode


Books Mentioned In This Episode

perfect-supplements-banner3.png Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

5 fun home activities to do with your kids

5 Fun Home Activities To Do With Your Kids – GDP006

“5 Fun Home Activities to Do with Your Kids” Episode Overview

Larry Hagner and Shawn Stevenson discuss the current staggering statistics of the amount of TV our kids watch on a weekly basis. Larry and Shawn share 5 key strategies to make quality time at home memorable, fun, and interactive without depending on TV.

Listening to this episode will give you ideas that will immediately impact positive interaction with the entire family.

Key Take-Aways

“TV viewing among kids is at an eight-year high. On average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV — watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console. Kids ages 6-11 spend about 28 hours a week in front of the TV. The vast majority of this viewing (97%) is of live TV.” — University of Michigan study

Larry and Shawn want to help our kids get away from so much solo screen time and to more time making memories with family and interacting in person! They want to help our kids function better in real life and the physical world.

Activity #1: Game Night

A classic family activity. Generally, to have the best game nights, you need to find something that will include everyone and make things fair. Board games are terrific options to play. If you really want to include technology/electronics, then consider using an app version.


  • Sorry
  • Pictionary/Junior Pictionary (great for laughs with kids)
  • Trouble (sound effects add a fun element, especially for younger kids)
  • Catchphrase
  • Scrabble/Junior Scrabble
  • Charades


Activity #2: Create Vision Boards

Vision boards allow you to see the life the you want to create. They can be empowering, especially when they can be seen on a daily basis, since it gets ideas and goals out of a person’s mind and makes them more tangible. By using a poster board with images or words found in magazines or online, you can make a collage of all the things you want to see come to pass in your life. Having a few material things on there are OK, but it’s more meaningful to get away from consumerism and materialism.

Vision boards also give an important opportunity to help instill into your kids the power of service, thinking outside of themselves and ways they can contribute and better themselves.

Reasons why this works well as a family activity:

  • Great for imagination and creativity
  • Creates a creative and interactive fun environment
  • Builds relationships and understanding by providing opportunities for conversation and discussion


Activity #3: Movie Night with Flair

If you are going to have screen time, do it as a family and make it an event.

Here are two tips:

  • Make it into a “picnic movie night”: Include popcorn/snacks or pizza, drinks, and put down a blanket on the floor
  • Choose the movie beforehand so that you’re not wasting time scrolling through Netflix


Activity #4: Create Artwork

Arts and crafts. Pick an activity and get all the supplies before hand. Pinterest is great for ideas!

For example, Larry and his 7 year-old son made Leprechauns this year for St. Patrick’s Day. They made green leprechaun hats and orange beards, and they absolutely loved it.


  • Get washable paints, canvases, and smocks (kids will love this!)
  • Sketching
  • Besides crafts, create other forms of artwork (examples: writing poems or short stories)


Activity #5: Go Outside

Get some of that Vitamin D from sunshine! (Don’t forget the sunscreen.) Take in nature.

Here are some ideas:

  • Take a family bike ride
  • Make chalk art on the sidewalk and driveway
  • Play any sport in the backyard (examples: wiffle ball; soccer; catch with baseball/football)
  • Play basketball in the driveway, if you have a hoop
  • Take a family walk
  • Take a family jog

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS



Links Mentioned in This Episode

perfect-supplements-banner3.png Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

A Dad Legacy – 4 Lessons of Life

A Dad Legacy means more than just materialistic leave behinds

When you think of “A Dad Legacy” what comes to mind?

Most of us think of inheritance, money, or something of value left behind in a will.


If you ask most of us Dads, we will tell you that we really don’t have a deep-seeded desire to leave behind trust funds, college funds, or property.  Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely want the best for our kids and we want to provide everything we possibly can from a financial stand point.  However, those materialistic items of value are not how we want to be remembered.

In October of 2013, I invited 10 Dads who were diehard followers of  The Good Dad Project Facebook Page to a focus group dinner.  

All 10 Dads had a two things in common:  

First, they didn’t know each other.

Second, being a Good Dad is something that is deeply rooted in every single one of them.

When I first arranged the evening, I didn’t know what to expect.  Some of these men I knew for one month and others I knew for over twenty years.

The night was pretty awesome to say the least.  I had ten questions to ask the group.

I really wanted to understand:  

1.  What Dads wanted most out of life and Fatherhood?

2.  What they battled with most and what challenges they faced through their own lives?

After two and a half hours, we had only gotten through four out of those ten questions.  There was so much discussion that we literally ran out of time.  It was almost like every single one of them had been holding in their own story and points of view on Fatherhood for too long.  Every single one of them shared successes, struggles, and goals.

There was one question that I asked in particular:

“What do you want your legacy to be and how do you want to be remembered?”

The answers really blew me away.  There was not one mention of money, inheritance, or trust funds.  No one said anything about leaving behind anything of materialistic value.  Every single one of them desired the basics.

1.  They wanted to pass on life lessons such as:  confidence, character, and integrity.

2.  They wanted to pass on lasting positive memories of spending time together.  Whether it be playing dress up (for those who had daughters) to taking their sons fishing and camping.

3.  They wanted to pass on family values and traditions.

4.  They just wanted their kids to remember how much their Dad really loved them.

Growing up, I didn’t have a stable father figure in my life.

I don’t share that out of a plea for pity.

In fact, I don’t know many parents my age that came from a family that was not affected by separation, divorce, or family struggles.   It seems almost “abnormal” for to come from a family that hasn’t had a huge struggle of some kind.

Looking back, there was one man who really stepped up to the challenge of being a father figure.  My grandpa, Roy, was the most amazing man I have ever met.


He was a confident and genuine man.

He loved to socialize and interact with people.   He would talk to anyone and everyone.

He was “that guy.”

He didn’t drive a fancy car.  He didn’t have a huge home.  He was a blue collar worker and worked very hard.

The aspect I really respected about my Grandpa is he didn’t seek out to be liked.  As I remember, he really didn’t care if people liked him or not.  He didn’t seek validation or approval.  He was truly an old fashion man who stood for what he believed.

He loved people.  That was the exact reason people loved him.

What Legacy did he pass on?

He didn’t pass down money or anything materialistic.  He wasn’t able to pass down a trust fund or large inheritance.

He passed down the best and most valuable lessons of life…

Lesson  #1:  A Dad Legacy means you don’t need a lot money to live a happy life

My grandpa didn’t come from wealth, nor did he have a lot of money.  He worked hard.  His work ethic was above and beyond anyone I have ever met.  He drove a truck for 7up for 40 years.  He would wake up at 3:30am every morning just so he could get out on the road early enough to make it home for dinner with his family.  Money wasn’t important to him.  Time with his family was above anything materialistic.

Lesson #2:  Compliment others and mean it

My grandpa was such a generous man when it came to affection and compliments.  He was always there with a warm smile, a big hug, or a pat on the back when you needed it most.  I remember him always being so affectionate with my grandma.  Even at the end of his life (at 73 years old), he would hug and kiss my grandma.  He always told her how much he loved her.  You could tell he meant it.

Lesson #3:  Talk to strangers, be nice to everyone, and be a person who enjoys people

As a young boy, I went everywhere with my grandpa.  Looking back, I remember everyone (literally everyone) knowing him.  It didn’t matter if we were in church, shopping for groceries, or picking out donuts at our favorite donut shop (Old Town Donuts), people knew him.  Not only did they know him, but they would light up when they would see him.  He greeted everyone with a smile.  People genuinely enjoyed being around him.

Lesson #4:  Spend time with your family

Growing up, my grandpa always took me fishing.  Fishing was one of the joys of his life.  He would take me on weekend trips to go trout fishing when I was just five years old.  I remember being just a little guy and always tangling the fishing lines.  My grandpa would literally spend the majority of the time trying to untangle my line or bait my hook.  I remember feeling so bad that I tangled my line and I would apologize over and over.  He would just smile, look down at me, and say…

“It doesn’t matter what I am doing…as long as I am with you.  I don’t mind untangling your line, baiting your hook, or helping you pull in a big fish…as long as I am with you…I enjoy every minute.”

I learned so many lessons from my grandpa.  He was such an amazing man.

Thank you again for all your continued support for our Good Dad Project Community.  There are so many resources out there for moms, but very few for Dads who just want to make a difference.  If you haven’t become a free member of our community, please sign up.  Your email will never be rented, shared, or sold.  Our community is about helping Dads be their best…simple as that.



All the best!


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