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Host Of Boss Uncaged: S. A. Grant With Co-Host Alex G. – Season Finale – S1E28 (#28)

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Overview

In Episode 28 – Boss Uncaged Season Finale, S.A. Grant discusses the culmination of his first season of the Boss Uncaged Podcast. Interviewed by Alex Grant, S.A. reflects on how a brief recommendation to “just start a podcast” resulted in his new passion for storytelling. Throughout 26 interviews, S.A. chronicles the lives and business breakthroughs of entrepreneurs and business owners from all walks of life.

From Consultants to Investors, Inventors to Capital Funders, season one took his listeners on a journey of growth and self-development as told through the voices of the individuals who lived it!

After the midseason check-in, S.A. Grant turned up the notch and delivered several high-profile interviews. Kicking off the second half of the season with heavy hitters such as Greg Caesar and Milano Harden, two powerful interviews full of thought-provoking nuggets of information. S.A. didn’t stop there. He closed out the season with Andrew J. Miner, a key player in the world of SEO, and Wanda Y. Dunham, the retired Chief of Police for the ninth-largest transit system in the U.S.

“Boss Uncaged is going from a teenager now to being an adult. I think the timing of 2021 is really good for branding… This first season has been awesome! It has been an amazing journey.”

To close out Episode 28, S.A. provided the listeners’ insight into an explosive season two line-up. S.A. has lined up the likes of more SEO bosses, Kindle publishing powerhouses, and a team to cover a full month of interviews on Real Estate and Real Estate Investing.

He also gives an inside look into the 2021 upgrades to the Boss Uncaged Podcast brand. A new yet familiar voice for the intro, the Boss Uncaged Book Club, and a Boss Uncaged Phone Number!

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E28 – Season Finale.m4a – powered by Happy Scribe

Welcome, welcome back to Boss Uncaged Podcasts. Today is one of those days that you kind of have to, didn’t think it was going to come, but is the season finale of season one and my guest today obviously is going to be Alex Grant. I mean, she started us off on episode one and she did the recap in the middle. So it only makes sense that she closes out for the season. Right. I mean, and some other surprises are going to come up about this particular episode that we’re going to allude to as far as her voice being utilized in certain places as well. So welcome back to the show, Alex.

I know, thanks for having me. The funny part is a year ago, we weren’t on video and now we’re on video. And I’m like, what! So the first change that we didn’t have at the beginning of the year or midway through the season, we didn’t have a video. So I guess now post-COVID or still in the middle of COVID it is that we’ve changed to this new format of having video.

Yep, yep. Video is one of those things and I purposely did it to kind of want to make sure we had a following. Wanted to make sure we kind of got the kinks out of just recording and, you know, talking to people and understanding what, what what their responses would be to the podcast. So now that we kind of know what things are, it only makes sense to go to the next level, which is video.

Yep! Make sense. All right. So you ready for my interview questions now?

Yeah. Shoot. Go for it.

All right. So season one, this is the final episode of season one, I can say a year ago, or was it is it 26 episodes now? You can correct me if I had the number wrong.

This is episode probably 28 because we had our episodes in between. So, yeah, this is episode 28.

It’s crazy, 28 episodes a year ago, I think we were recording the first episode in the same place when we were in Virginia. So I guess just kind of give a high-level overview. Like what is, what is this year been like for Boss Uncaged?

It’s one of those things of being from being a marketer and a designer and obviously from a marketing standpoint, it is always about AB testing. You’ve got to kind of put things out there and see what the response of the public is and make changes based upon that. And out of all the things that I’ve been doing for like the past decade, especially in the last two years, the last thing I thought that was even potentially take off as it has would have been the podcast, you know, in lieu of like the books and like dealing with mentoring or dealing with consultants, all these things are all working, but it seems pound for pound, the winner is podcasting.

Yeah, definitely. I think it’s one of those things where, you know, it’s been beneficial from a business perspective and all the tentacles related to it. At the same time, it’s almost like a creative outlet for you because you’re getting the chance to interview friends and family and partnerships that you’ve had, you know, for years, if not decades in some cases, and to just really getting a chance to kind of know them on this other side and know their business. So that’s been pretty cool so far. I know when we talked midseason, you know, we did talk about a few of the episodes that you have, but let’s dig into a little bit of who you’ve talked to in the second season. I’ve been listening to it as the episodes have been coming out. They come out about every Tuesday, if not maybe Wednesday morning when I wake up, my episode is there. But and I know I always ask this question. I think I did last time, like, do you want to pick a favorite or is there one where you can say you’ve listened to multiple times? I know I have my choice. I would say that, you know, Greg Caesar’s episode I’ve listened to a couple of times because they’ve been so many nuggets in that episode. But for you, had there been maybe one or two episodes where you may have consistently listened to? Not just as the interviewer, but more of like, ok, that was a good nugget, I want to go back and hear that piece.

I mean, I listen to every single episode, at least three to four times. You know, I listen to it while it’s live, I listen to it in post, I listen to it after is edited, and then I listen to it again once it hits my, my box. So, out of all the episodes, the one that I would say I listen to again, I think Greg Caesar is definitely a great episode. I think Greg kind of sets the climax for really what season two is really going to be about. Because I mean, season one was me really just reaching into my current Rolodex and touching bases with business owners that I have seen overcome hurdles and climb the ladder to their particular success levels. So it was an opportunity for me to kind of, you know, give back to that community of people. And through that, then it kind of spawned on to a whole new plethora of people that were not in my Rolodex last year, that are in my Rolodex going into 2021. So, Greg Cesar is kind of like the keystone between those two environments. He was in my Rolodex last year, but people that are essentially more like Greg are going to kind of set a way higher bar going into season two.

Yeh, makes sense, totally. I know one episode that I enjoyed, I mean, aside from Greg Caesar, I always say that’s the one I always go back to and listen and pull out little nuggets of information. I like the way you name each of your, your interviewees. And was he the ultimate marketer? Am I remembering that correctly?

Greg Caesar, no he’s the creative marketer.

Creative marketing! I remember marketer being the word, but yes, creative marketer. But I mean another one that I picked up on was actually your friend Lad. A lot of his episode was about stepping out on faith and having faith in what you believe in and taking leaps and just having no fear. And the odd part about it, as I went back and listen to his episode, and actually, I’ll be honestly truthful, I went back into kind of listen to the whole season. I think organically you had a theme and you didn’t even realize that. A lot of your interviews were about stepping out on faith and pushing past fear and not listening to the haters and the naysayers. And I don’t know if that was on purpose if you want to talk about that a little bit. But, you know, a lot of your episodes were about just taking that leap of faith.

I mean yeah, so believe it or not, like, again, I’m 50 percent creative and 50 percent analytical. So in my research of these questions that I’m asking everybody on the show and to allude to the past twenty something episodes, I’m going to kind of release the secret formula now was I’ve done research to figure out what questions are going to spark an emotional response based upon who I’m interviewing. So when I ask somebody a question, I’m saying, ok, “what’s one thing you would have done differently?” Right? That usually follows before a question and then eventually nine out of 10 times, they may or may not say something about family, friends, and it’ll give me an opportunity to then roll into the next question, which is, well, do you come from an entrepreneurial family? Then that question then opens up Pandora’s box and then say, ok, so what’s your morning routine? So but again, I know everybody’s answer is going to be uniquely different, but as they’re answering these questions, just based upon the structure of the questions, that’s going to lead into a scenario to where it’s going to go into faith, it’s going to go into, well, this I’m doing this because naysayers or somebody didn’t believe in me or I hit these particular hurdles. And that’s why the questions are staged in the way they are.

Makes sense completely. Like when I listen to it as one big group instead of like, you know, I listen to when the episode will come out and then I’m not saying you forget about things, but you start to kind of, you know, not remember the little nuances. But when you listen to it as one big group, you, like all of them, kind of have a theme and all of them have that same language of stepping out on faith and taking the leap. And, you know, you know, don’t stop, you know, despite what things are being thrown at you. An interesting episode that I don’t want to say necessarily kind of deviated from that a little bit. But I learned a lot more about this individual was Milano. Like I know Milano through you and I know how incredibly intelligent Milano is and just his diverse background and everything that he’s into from the modeling and and what he’s doing for non-profits and what not. So talk a little bit about his episode, because I think it was like kind of the first episode in the second half of the season. And just some of the nuggets that he gave from that episode, I know kind of touched me a little bit. So talk about Milano’s episode.

Yes, I think Molano is a key episode in the sense that, to your point, Molano is an Ivy League graduate and he’s very highly, he’s intellectual and he deemed to be intellectual. He works in intellectual space. So bringing him into the podcast environment, you know, I don’t think post or pre the episode, I don’t think he listens to any episodes. So he came in kind of cold turkey. So he wasn’t really sure what to expect. But at the end of the episode, I mean, he definitely seen the puzzle pieces come together. And, you know, I think it’s one of those things not necessarily he takes for granted, but he’s been doing modeling and he’s been doing non-profits from an Ivy League level forever. So for him, he just kind of understands the system and he rolls with the punches and he gets things done.And it was kind of an eye opening moment for both of us to say, ok, “dude, you’re like a dream person” because some people, they want to be a model. Some people want to be Ivy League. You’re both and you’re doing both at the same time. So, I mean, not only pat yourself on the back, but you’re doing both of them well. And you’re also giving back to people that may necessarily need his services but once they sign up for his services or understand who he is, then it becomes very fruitful because he understands the market sector and he understands marketing indirectly as well.

Yeah, I think I think maybe that’s why I liked that one as one of the most, because that’s everybody is like, hey, you have a 9:00 to 5:00, you have a day job, you know, If A speak for myself, I have a very analytical job, I’m an Accountant, I’ a Treasurer. So it’s numbers all day, it’s Excel spreadsheets, it’s black and white all day long. And then, you know, after hours, you’re always looking for something creative or your creative side and you either get all of one or all of the other, but you never get both at 100 percent and Milano is both at 200 percent in some cases. So I’m switching gears a little bit. I want to talk about an interview that you did towards the end of the season, which has actually spawned into a partnership. So talk a little bit about partnerships. So Andrew’s episode is Andrew J. Minor, which is a part of Neil Patel’s group. Talk a little bit about how you guys met having him on the podcast and what this new partnership means?

Got you. Yeah, so his nickname was Uncle Andrew. I mean yeah, Andrew the whole Neil Patel partnership thing was it’s just kind of goes back to the Rolodex, right, because of Greg Ceaser, right. And then also knowing the Kindle King himself, right. In that space of learning through the Kindle Cash Flow, and hearing the different tools that they use on that and one of the tools that they were using was Uber-Suggest. So in using Uber-Suggest and using like Google keyword planner, I started digging a little bit deeper into the Uber-Suggest model and I learned a little bit about Neil Patel, and I’m like, this guy is been marketing forever. He’s a household name when it comes to marketers. He’s an international brand. So essentially in that process, I reached out to him and just so happened, they had just started their partnership program. And in that conversation, I was like, ok, guys, let’s figure out how could we partner, whether it’s an affiliate or whether it’s a direct partnership. So we started talking about it and then we went through the entire process. And then I was like, well, I have a podcast and it’ll give opportunity to kind of market the service and give opportunity for my listeners to listen to whoever you have that’s pretty much high profile in your company that can give value back. So then they said, well, Andrew was available at short notice, but I think we shot that like on a Tuesday and the deal had closed like the Friday before. So, Andrew was available and then did my due diligence on Andrew. I mean, Andrew is kind of like the guy behind the curtain, the guy behind the mask that’s been in the game for, like, forever. But he’s built companies and sold companies, and he was like one of the founding fathers that helped Neil Patel get to where he is currently right now as far as a global footprint. But Neil Patel is essentially like the Steve Jobs. He’s the brand. So it was a great opportunity to kind of meet Andrew first-hand on the podcast and also get some more insight about their business model, about their strategies and how they do things at the Neil Patel organization.

Ok, and so going forward, since the deal is done, what does that mean for you? What does it mean for Boss Uncaged? What’s next?

So with that partnership, it kind of gives us an opportunity because, you know, Serebral360 is essentially a marketing agency that can help people with graphic design, web design. And, you know, we’ve definitely done SEO but scaling. Right. So if you want to learn how to scale, you kind of have to either find people that’s doing it better than you or people that specialize in it. And Neil Patel’s organization fits both those bills. They’ve been doing a longer than Serebral360 and they’ve been doing it to a global scale versus we’ve been a national scale. So it gives us the opportunity to not only have those services in our bucket, but it gives opportunity for our particular target audience to get their SEO to another level. So if they want to essentially get a higher return on the SEO and a quicker return versus, you know, we will be able to set up your pages and set up the keywords and set up the searches, but Neil Patel took it to a whole another analytical level to where we’re just not at. So making a partnership makes perfect sense to where we can kind of delegate that work over to Neil and his company will then orchestrate that noise for our particular clients.

Makes sense, sounds like a great partnership. I look forward to kind of what it materializes in 2021, which is as we’re recording this, only a few days away. So, going back a little bit outside of the podcast, a little bit, want to talk about what S.A. Grant has been doing? Again, correct me on my count if I’m incorrect, but I think by now you’ve published five books in 2020 alone. And no, I think the number is bigger of all time, but just in this 12 month period, you’ve published five books, is that correct?

Yeah, yeah. So part of the whole podcasting and again, I always think I bite off more than I could chew. But, you know, I’m kind of like a like a chipmunk with just holding like a bunch of, you know, just. So the reality is, is that, yes, I published five books this year and volume 1,2,3 for “Boss Uncaged”, “Becoming an Uncaged Trailblazers” is volume 1,2, 3 and then in the midst of that kind of doing AB testing and I was like, ok, these books are very masculine and design. They’re very masculine in like the linear style of the look of the book are masculine. I’m like, well my target audience is both 50 50, male and female. So how do I talk to my female audience? So then I came up with the “Uncaged Motivations” brand, which kind of is a softer look with the same bold, bright colors and uniquely different content. So now essentially we have two separate brands. One is the Become an Uncaged Trailblazer volume 1,2, 3. And then we also have Uncaged Motivation’s volume one and two currently. And all of them were published in 2020.

2020. Yeah, definitely. What about do you have any more books planned. I know not for 2020 would be over in about five days or so. But what books do you have planned for 2021?

Well I think before we even step into that, I mean in addition to publishing our my own books, we had opportunity to publish two books for two clients that were also two guests on our show. So.

Yeah, I was going to get into that. I know the first half of the season, if you’ve listened, you heard Dr. B’s episode and you published Dr. B’s book in 2020. And then also, if you haven’t heard yet the Chief’s episode, which was the one right before this, you just published her book a few days ago. Actually, she’s getting ready to go live within a few days. So those are two episodes that Dr. B’s episode and the Chief’s episode where you’ve actually published their book. So talk a little bit about that.

I mean, yeah, there’s always, I always say that when you’re dealing with high profile people, A-Type personalities, and they see things in a particular vision, but this is outside of their scope of work. So kind of leading them to the promised land is a nurturing process of push and pull up, up take and down take, and so, yes, we published two books. It was definitely an informal journey for both myself and for these particular two guests. But the results are there. I mean, Dr. B’s book was number one top seller for the first half of the year. And from that it dawned into other things past that that original book. So that was great. The Chief book is going to go live on the 30th of this month, which is around the same time this this particular podcast is going to drop. So looking out for that book to be a number one top seller as well and to open up her her post journey, I mean, she was Chief for, what, 17 years? She was a police officer for 34 years. So it just gives her opportunity to kind of talk about the new space in a new world that she’s in. And, you know, we’ve been working on that book essentially since about…

Three or four months now. Well, actually, since the beginning of the year. Yeah.

So we started the book probably like six, seven. It’s kind of like Dr. B. Dr. B took about maybe six to nine months to publish his book and the Chief books, about six to nine months to publish her book as well.

Yeah, I kind of remember that story at the beginning. It was, you know, shortly after her announcement of retirement in the actual time of the ceremony, and she kind of came to you and the team and we’re like, you know, I want to publish a book. So, you know, had the conversation about how that book would materialize, the direction it wanted to go, and then headed down that path. And then just got to a point to say she’s like, no, I want to write my memoir, memoir I want to write my story, which completely changed the direction of the book. And I think in some kind of cases it was beneficial because it is her beginning story. And now it’s potentially materializing into a book, two, and a book three, in order to be able to tell all of these various chapters of her life, instead of just having one book on leadership. This is one multi-book operation on growth and, you know, being a leader and now into her post-retirement phase of what she’s doing as far as Consulting. So I think that really worked out for you guys.

I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah. To your point, I mean, the original book was essentially like a nonfiction book. Right. And it was supposed to be about leadership and in the middle of that process well probably near, we were probably 75 percent done with that book, and then she would just kind of like I want to post that book after this book. And it was kind of like we had to throw everything in the hat, and it was like, you do know we have to completely start over with new research, new keyword strategies, new titling, new everything to get this book done before the end of 2020. So it was definitely a wild journey and we’re still in progress of marketing and strategizing going into 2021 currently right now. I mean, I think I have a call with her this week to talk about Facebook ads so yeah. It’s alive and well right now.

It’s a great book though, so when you get a chance, comes out on December 30th, please go out there and grab it. If you haven’t grabbed Dr. B’s book yet, it’s still out there on Amazon, correct me if I’m wrong, yep, I saw it the other day, actually. So it came across my algorithm. But yeah, go out and grab his book as well, as long as well as all the Boss Uncaged books. I really like the motivational books because sometimes you just need that quick little, you know, you’re flipping through and that quick little nudge up. Ok, I keep doing this I can keep going for. So that’s cool. Definitely. What about what’s happening as far as like I said, what are you doing as far as publishing in 2021?

So this year, I decided I mean, considering like the, the positive outcome of the podcast, I said it only makes sense that being that I’m a, you know, we’re we’re a small publishing house and we’re publishing other people’s books and we’re publishing my books. And I might as well publish a book about the podcast. So going into 2021 and currently working on it, I’m going to publish a book that’s titled directly based upon the podcast called Boss Uncaged. And it’s about the twenty six, not necessarily about the individual people that we interviewed, but it’s about their stories in the sense of their keywords. Prime example would be like Tarl is optimistic. So this chapter is going to talk about optimism and how that can kind of help you achieve your goals, overcome hurdles. No matter when things are looking down or gleam, there’s always opportunity for you to move forward and realize that your glass is essentially always half full. So that that topic is essentially came from that particular podcast. And I’m probably going to have to cite some, some key terminologies and probably quotes from Tal. So the goal would be all twenty six episodes from season one are going to be showcased in a book based upon the principles that you learn from each episode.

Oh, that’s really cool. I’m excited about that one. Do you have a tentative release date when we can see that one coming? *both laugh* I’m holding you to the fire.

I would think making it an annual thing. So this podcast essentially started in February of 2020. So looking at doing a release date around that time. So essentially we’re looking at February of 2021. And again, it just is kind of one of those things. It’s twelve months later. Yes. Two months from now. But you know, the beauty thing about writing books is like their systems. Man, once you understand a system of books, I mean you could kind of be down in the hole and be behind and you’ve got four weeks. And if you knuckle down, you can kind of get a really solid book out in four weeks or less if you know what you’re doing. So, so.

Ok we’ll see, I look forward to it. February, be there on Amazon buying it, definitely. Staying in this book space a little bit, I noticed on a couple of episodes you always, not always, but in some of the episodes you’ve asked your interviewees what are they reading? Yeah. So this was kind of like a great segway to talk about, you know, they’re saying what they’re reading. We would like to hear from listeners and subscribers what they’re reading. So let’s talk about a little bit about the Boss Uncaged Book Club.

Yeah. So this is something that, you know, I guess if you live with me and if you’re in my circles, you know, randomly after AB testing and looking at what people are looking at and during, I think it was probably episode 14, 15, I just started asking the question, what book are you reading? And then realizing that everybody I’m interviewing essentially not necessarily high profile people, but they’re highly intellectuals or the business savvy or their entrepreneurs. So nine out of ten of them, literally a 100 percent of them are always reading something. I was like, what the hell am I doing? I’m asking the question, let’s go ahead and make a book club. But it’s not a standard book club to where we’re going to be reading these books. But, you know, if you decide to go to BossUncaged.com/bookclub, it will have a complete outline of all the books from the past episodes. And it’ll have opportunity for you to submit your books as well too so that we kind of just keep growing this environment of, of books from entrepreneurs that are not necessarily self-help, but motivational books, inspiring books, books to kind of get you from wherever you are currently to the next step. And there’s been, I don’t know how many dozens of books that have been mentioned on this podcast, but literally, you know, I’ve purchased some of them and read them, and they’re all golden nuggets. They’re all gems. So it only makes sense that we have an environment to say, hey, guys, if you listen to this podcast, go to this website and take a look at these books.

Completely makes sense, and I’ve heard those nuggets on a few of the episodes, and if I’m usually listening to it while I’m driving or doing something else and I always try to make a point, well, try not to write while I’ll drive, but I always try to make a point to like write it on my hand to say, oh, I’m a find that book later, or check out that book later, and then something gets in the way and I forget. And so this would be really helpful as just almost like a database of all the books that have been talked about on the podcast, you know, including your own. And then the books that everyone’s recommending, like there’s from a book perspective, you know, I’m such a book nerd. You know, I will admit that I don’t know all the books in the world. So to hear from other people, what they’re reading, you know, as far as motivation or productivity or just in general, you know, how to get it, how to take leaps of faith, you know, that would be really good to have all in one database.

I mean, yeah, definitely. I think it really probably started with I think that was episode three or four with Richard. I think Richard was like the first time we indirectly kind of spoke about it and he alluded some books that he was reading. And and then, you know, I didn’t really click to me until, like, later on in the season. So this the question I need to ask everybody, right? Definitely. And I think that the common denominator book of all books is going to be Napoleon Hill, right. “Think and Grow Rich”, like that thing has come up like at least, yes, a third the episodes. Everybody has said that book. If you have not read, “Think and Grow Rich”, I would advise you to read it. And it’s one of those things that’s from everybody that I know that’s a millionaire or wealthy individuals, not only do they read the book or have read the book, but they read it religiously. It’s almost like they’re the New Year’s resolution is to read that book, because as you read that book, it gives you a new light, a new vision, a new tunnel. And you would read something that you didn’t grasp six months ago, three months ago, and in this new space of mine going into a new year, it will open up a new box for you to kind of, you know, dive into a lot fuller.

Good point. Good point. And great segway. So what’s up for season two? What should the listeners be looking forward to for season two?

Season two. So season two, I mean, like I said to your point, you brought up Greg Ceaser and Greg Ceaser is a marketing industry legend to where he’s kind of been doing what he’s doing for a period of time. So going into season two, I kind of wanted to bring some more of that, like right off rip. So like season two, episode episode two, right, is going to be Ty Cohen, and Ty and Greg they know each other. So you can kind of hear the synergy between them and I think on that episode we talked about Greg a little bit as well but tycoon is the Kindle King. And when you kind of hear his episode, you can kind of understand like how did he get the three million dollars annually through just selling Kindle books? We talk about that on that. And, you know, he came from a background, I think he was working at CVS. So think about going from CVS to three million dollars a year.

Wow, yeah.

So, yeah. And then after that we have Damon. And so Damon is another dude that I just kind of you know, I think he was up on Forbes. He was a Forbes writer and he’s a SEO genius as well. And I reached out to him on Facebook. What the hell do I have to lose? I reached out to him. We made a connection. You know, he interviewed me on his podcast, interviewed him on my podcast. But Damon gives some really genuine nuggets just about SEO, just about strategy, or just about marketing. And he’s high profile as well. I mean, he’s been in the game for a minute. And, you know, obviously his revenues is there to back it. So, I mean, he’s going to be episode three directly after Ty Cohen. And I’m just kind of building up like, you know, I put in like some heavy hitters just right away. And I’m going to continue to maintain that in season two.

Talk a little bit about what you’re telling me about potentially having maybe a real estate month? You know, I think and correct me if I’m wrong, you have a few real estate individuals, a few people who are knowledgeable on building capital for investing. So tell me a little bit more or tell the listeners a little bit more about that?

Yeah so, just believe it or not, I mean, I think we’ve recorded maybe about fifteen episodes of the season two already. So it gives me the opportunity to kind of look at it from a high level view to say how to organize these things. So going into February, the second month of 2021, I realized that we have some tenticals with some real estate, whether it’s real estate or whether it’s real estate investment or so I was like, let’s orchestrate all these people into one month. So Jessica, right, which is a close friend of ours, also a close friend of Tally, if you haven’t seen episode one, episode two season one. So we’re all within that circle. And she’s been a real estate agent for a period of time, had a lot of level of success. So she’s, she’s what I would consider to be the traditional real estate agent. And then Lenny the Boss, right, which goes back into these circles, right. So Lenny, the boss is essentially Ty Cohen’s cousin, which is also close friends of Greg Ceaser. But his, yeah, so his niche is real estate, but he does a real estate from. He does rental properties, and this dude is he’s hungry and he’s motivated. He’s always buying rental properties. And his entire Facebook page is all about getting into real estate and building your wealth through having recurring revenue. So that’s his episode. And then episode eight is Dominick Felix, which is essentially real estate, but he does wholesale and he goes to the scale to where I think they’re grossing probably five million dollars annually at this point. Well, probably more than that now. So it gives him an opportunity to kind of talk more so on the wholesale side, like how did he get into wholesale versus becoming a real estate agent versus becoming rental properties? So it’s just different facets of real estate that you could essentially make money from. So it gives me the opportunity to kind of bring them all together. And to the last point would be the last episode. I’m trying to think I haven’t recorded that one yet I’m going to record it, but my goal is to get somebody that talks more so about funding.

Oh, yeah.

So understanding how to raise capital if you want to buy a building, if you want to buy a complex, if you want to buy commercial properties and just diving into that space. And, you know, obviously I think we have some other people that’s particularly lined up that we haven’t closed yet. But if they all come in before then, then obviously February month may roll into February and March.

Yeah, good point. I mean, if you’ve had people on your podcast before who talked about raising capital, Is it the Arjin talk, was his episode was about how he had to do some capital funding, which he raised a lot of money, and then he lost the money and then he was able to raise a lot more. So, but just to go into season two, you know, if you’re able to kind of lock that interview down, I think, and then the ones that are subsequently supposed to happen after that, I think that’ll be a good bit of knowledge for the listeners because it’s kind of, you know, that’s what it’s about. How do you raise the money in order to be able to get your product made or your, you know, service out into the world. I think it was on Harris’s episode, he talked a little bit about, you know, if it’s good, the people will invest in you. So, right, if you, if you know your product or service is good, then how do you get the people to invest in you? I mean, ideally, no one wants to go to a bank and get a loan in this and other because now you are essentially in a sense a slave to the bank. But if you have the resources and the key contacts in order to have these people investing, then that’s better. So once you get those interviews lined up, lined up, I think it’d be really good for people to listen.

I mean yeah, so just to allude, I mean, Ray Johnson is going to be the funding guy. That’s that’s the guy I’m going for and believe it or not, like Ray originally was my first podcast ever recorded before I recorded Tal’s. So the funny story that goes back is that we recorded it like a cafe in Roswell, Georgia. You know, my microphones were ok and I’m using like a handheld recorder. And the ambient noise in the background was kind of cool, but we couldn’t diluted enough to kind of really get the impact of hearing his voice clearly. So, you know, recently I had a meeting, one on one meeting with him, maybe like, what, 30 days ago? Forty-five days ago. So he’s definitely willing to come back on the show and rerecorded 100 percent. So Ray is going to be like the keystone for that February month, because you have wholesaler’s, you have renters, and you have real estate. And then Ray comes in and he’s like, well, this is how you get the money.

How do you get the money, yep!

This is how you raise the capital, raise the funds, what kind of credit scores you need to have, what kind of down payments you need to have, because he’s, he’s kind of like the extension of the bank. He’s not the bank, but he’s he’s a lending network. So it’ll be a great. February is going to be a month if you’re into real estate and you’re into like understanding how to raise capital and build wealth through real estate, February definitely the month that you want to tune in.

Excited. I can’t wait to see what season two is going to look like. I’ll also allude a little bit to what else you’re thinking about doing for season two. Do you want to talk about the Boss Uncaged telephone number a little bit?

Yeah. So anybody that knows me would know that I’m a real big lifetime deals guy. So in my searches for lifetime deals, I came across a lifetime deal that gives give me access to essentially five numbers that are programmable numbers that track analytics and all this different stuff behind the scenes. So I was like, it only makes sense that let me go ahead and create a Boss Uncaged phone number that allows people to kind of call, leave messages, send text messages to. And it’ll also have an opportunity to get in direct contact with me via voicemail or even have a re-route directly to my phone as well. So, I mean, I’m probably not going to release that phone number until the season two and then so you have opportunity to get that number going into season two, episode one.

That would be really cool. Like this is an opportunity to be able to, you know, 1-800 Boss Uncaged, is it that? I don’t know if it is, probably not, but knowing you and branding, it’ll be something really close to that, I’m sure

I can allude, the last four numbers is boss, it took me forever to negotiate and finagle that number and check out all the different area codes. But, yes, the last four digits of this phone number would be boss.

I know you’re the king of branding, i.e., I don’t know if anybody remembers now we’re in Boss Uncaged gear now. That definitely was not in the first episode or even probably midway through season one. There was no Boss Uncaged merch. But now we have Boss Uncaged the store. He can probably give the URL a bit little bit better than me. Where you can get the hoodies and the t-shirts and sweatpants and the mugs and everything, which I probably own the majority of it because I shop at Boss Uncaged a lot.

So that’s store.bossuncaged.com.

Alright, alright. I mean, honestly, just to kind of, you know, wrap it all up for the most part, the season one, the journey of Boss Uncaged that was just like I said a year ago, was just an idea like, you know, one of the things you’re really good at is your network and your connections. And I know we’re just having one of those kind of off the cuff conversations about, you know, what is S.A. Grant going to do next in this and the other and I think I even jokingly said you should create a podcast because I am a super podcast nerd and listen to a lot of podcasts and, you know, a couple of more conversations and a series of better and better and more improved mics, you know, now you’re at the end of season one. So, I mean, talk about that journey a little bit overall, like how has it changed from day one to day now?

Well, I think one of the biggest reality moments for me was kind of like not only do we have a podcast, but near the end of the season, I had an opportunity to to have two speaking engagements, which was kind of like a year before I wasn’t speaking about podcasts. I’d never even developed a podcast a year ago. So being able to speak at podcast. And that’s all thanks to Chris Criminso. In his book, I mean, another going back to the books, a little bit, Chris Criminso book “Start Ugly” it’s one of those books that if, a prime example, like we’re writing these for these other authors, and they have to kind of understand that perfection comes with time. So you have to kind of touch a market sector to put products in front of them, with your best foot forward, but you have to start ugly otherwise you would never start. If you try to make everything a hundred percent perfect out the box, then one day goes to a week, a week goes to a month and six months later. And hence why most people take years to write a book because they want the book to be perfect. And even after the release of the book, it’s not perfect. So have an opportunity to kind of jump onto that sector. And a lot of the people going into season two are people that I just reached out that were fellow speakers at Podfest or at Vidfest and in that journey, right. So to your point, a year ago, literally 2019 December, it was kind of like, “let’s start a podcast”, OK!

It wasn’t that simple. It was, “well-“. And then, then it became OK.

It was like, OK, let’s start a podcast. When will we release, OK, let’s release in February, and I think we were in Virginia at the time. We just like, let’s just record Tal. Tal will be a great first interview because we have history. We go way back. She’s a savvy business person, let’s record her episode and see where it goes. And then after that, it was kind of like, well I need to record more episodes. I need to be consistent. And that’s why I started off with two weeks. I was like two week rotation was like, OK, that’s easy enough for me to maintain in addition to everything else. And then shortly thereafter, by episode 14 or 16, I was just kind of like, I need to put more content out there. I need to go from bi-weekly to weekly. So now I’m at the point where we’re posting an episode every single week on usually on a Tuesday. And it just the following has grown significantly just based upon that content. And it really goes to show if you’re a marketer and if you’re developing solid content, then your audience will potentially grow. And obviously you have to market that content as well. And to be honest, I haven’t really even, I’ve put zero ad spend into Boss Uncaged. Wow. I’ve done I’ve marketed everything else, but I’ve done zero ad spend or zero really outside of organic marketing, I’ve done zero. So going into 2021 it’s going to be a whole new ball game to where I’m going to put some ad spend behind things and I’m going to, you know, significantly push the podcast, essentially more so as a brand anchor than what I was doing before.

It makes sense. Boss Uncaged is in this teenage phase and in 2021 Boss Uncaged becomes twenty-one and Boss Uncaged is grown and Boss Uncaged starts to get ad spend. You know, just like you said, this growth has been all organic. It’s been word of mouth. It’s been, hey, you know, X is on the podcast. You know, we go out, put it on social media, have that person share it. I think we were kind of looking at the numbers the other night while we were sitting around the house and is like, this it’s amazing. You haven’t put any real ad spend behind this at all. This is all been organic word of the mouth. People who know you, people who know the people that you’re interviewing type of growth. So in 2021 Boss Uncaged becomes an adult essentially and really kind of starts to get out there. And like you said, that’s to kind of grow its own tentacles and stuff. So that’s going to be exciting.

So I mean, goal for me going into next year, I would like to hit ten thousand complete downloads. I mean, if we only had twenty something episodes this year. So going into next year we’re going to do a podcast per week so that next season essentially we’re aiming for fifty-two episodes. So just doing the numbers, doing the math, we should be able to hit ten thousand and again. Every time you hit something, there’s an explosion, right? I mean, when I first started off this podcast, it was like maybe five people listening, right? And then it grew into a couple of hundred people listening. So with marketing and ad spend behind that and potentially all the other outreaches that we’re doing and they’re all funneling back into Boss Uncaged, then that brand, we should easily hit ten thousand, then one hundred thousand and so forth and so forth.

Makes sense. Well, I have my last question, which I think I’ve asked towards the end of the first episode, and I think back to it, has your lunch with anyone dead or alive changed in the last 12 months due to 2020, due to how COVID has changed everything that we’re doing? Has that changed? You know, who would you have lunch with or have a conversation with dead or alive? I surprised you, you didn’t know this question was coming.

I mean, I’m just thinking about it. It’s kind of like and I’m recapping like everyone’s answer over the year and like, it’s so funny that I heard some people say some people just pick, like, random people that that are alive, that they want to meet. Some people, pick people that essentially dead that could inspire them. Some people obviously just said directly, like family, like their wives or their kids. And for me, I think all of those answers are great answers. I even got to the point where I’m like, you can’t say your kids anymore. You can’t say your wife like anybody outside of your family members. Who you want to spend twenty four hours with, dead or alive? And when I really stop and think about it, I think it really comes out to like my favorite two movies. Right. I mean, there is “The Founder”, and then there’s “Jobs”.

Yes.

So I’m going to break the rules a little bit. If I could have a mix and mingle lunch and learn, it’ll be with Kroc and Jobs at the same damn time. And I’m sure they’re both going to be arguing about something. They’re both going to you know, Steve is going to like whatever, give me some fruit, shut the hell up. And Kroc is going to be like, you know, he’s going to shank him under the table. But just being in that room with these two titans at the same damn time and just being able to not even essentially ask them questions, just to see both of them interact with each other.

Yeah, because think about both of them are dead and gone. So looking at it from a standpoint of what would these two titans, and I don’t think they ever had opportunity to cross in their time frames.

No, I think that Kroc died in 1984, if I’m not mistaken. So, yeah.

Yeah. So I mean, that was kind of like the real dawn of Apple. He probably wasn’t even thinking about McDonald’s at that time. So to put both those people in the same space at the same time and to be a fly on the wall to see what they would talk about, I think that would be influential, life changing event just to, to record that thing and listen to it over and over again for them to compare notes. Because you gotta think, McDonald’s is essentially the largest landowner, right, and essentially, Apple is essentially pound for pound, dollar for dollar, the largest company on the block, you know. Obviously, Amazon is creeping up on them, but pound for pound, Apple’s margins are ridiculous. So to understand these two formulas is beautiful. Go ahead.

And the cult following that Apple has, though. Yes, I am Apple cult member.

Well both of them, well, I mean, think about it. I mean, McDonald’s is a cult following, too. I mean, think about K, right? I mean, think about all kids and it’s multiple generations of kids over the years that, if you say McDonald’s, the hands go up. This one food universally, no matter what it is, the kids are willing to eat.

This is true. Well, I mean, like I said, that was my last question for you. I don’t, you know, have anything else. I’m really excited about what season two has to offer. Like I said, Boss Uncaged is going from a teenager now to being an adult. I think the timing of 2021 is really good for branding, hint hint on that. So this first season has been awesome. It has been an amazing journey. It has been a lot of lessons learned. I think we were joking with Tal the other day about the first podcast that you guys recorded, didn’t actually record and that was the first one. And, you know, lessons learned, you know, make sure that the button is hit, and this that and the other. So thanks. It has been super awesome journey and season two is going to be dope.

We definitely appreciate. I mean, to your point about the record, I think every podcast at one time or the other, you learn that lesson. And I’m happy that we learned that lesson on the first season, first episode right out the box. Make sure you hit record.

I always say “It was such a good episode. No one heard it”.

I mean, it was it was actually her re-recording was great, but her original, we couldn’t recreate that. I mean, so much emotion and desire that she put into that first episode was. But, you know, it is what it is. I mean, my goal is to get her back on the podcast again, probably going into season two just to kind of see where she is right now.

Oh, yes.

I think a lot of conversation going into season two is probably gonna be more so about COVID and and how people are branching out and adapting and overcoming these new unforeseen hurdles that pretty much came out of nowhere.

No, it’s a great, it’s a great idea. How are people pivoting, how business is pivoting right now with COVID, I mean, a lot of brick and mortar businesses that we know we know of are hurting. Some have already closed their doors or getting ready to close your doors. You know, I know there’s new money, new, you know stimulus money out in the marketplace now, but, you know, what does that mean for someone who’s already on the verge of, you know having to close? So I think to interject that a little bit into season two would be great as well. And then, like you said, like I think you said, the end of all your, all of your podcasts, we want to hear what our listeners are doing. What are they thinking? Their comments, their questions. And those would be good to start to interject into season two just so we can see what’s happening in the world.

Yeah, and I think it is a good time to go into the closing of this particular episode is that, you know, leave some reviews. I mean, I would love to hear like I get text messages, I get emails, but I’m just saying put those those messages on, on the reviews. Not only is it going to help us to grow the podcast, but it’ll also give other people the opportunity to kind of see the responses to your particular questions. And it’s a community. So go ahead and send some reviews and post them live. And obviously, you still send me text messages, but ideally, let’s just put them up live for the world to see them.

Yeah, we would love to know what everyone is thinking about the podcast, what we don’t know, we can’t grow. So put it out in the reviews and then from there, if we can grow and figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

Cool, cool.

So, you ready for twenty one. Is it twenty one?

Twenty one. I’m ready for twenty-three, but yes, I’m ready for twenty-one. So yeah, again guys, I mean I appreciate you doing this interview, Alex. And again guys, we look forward to growing and expanding going into season two. S.A. Grant over and out.

Host Of Boss Uncaged: S. A. Grant With Co-Host Alex G. – Season Finale – S1E28 (#28)2021-02-28T13:39:33+00:00

Leadership Consultant: Wanda Y. Dunham AKA The Chief – S1E27 (#27)

Also Available On

Boss Uncaged Podcast Overview

Check out this episode of Boss Uncaged. I had an opportunity to chat with Wanda Y. Dunham; recently retired Chief of Police of the 9 th largest transit system in the country.

Listen as Chief Wanda provides valuable business and leadership tips and discusses what it’s like to transition from the structured life of a Police Chief to becoming an entrepreneur and Author. She describes the challenges of writing her first book Becoming Chief: Life Lessons Learned On The Road Less Traveled when you have to tap into your emotions and allow yourself to be vulnerable to the reader. This interview is raw, insightful, and candid, which will provide you with an up-close and personal glimpse of this career Law Enforcement Executive.

“Do your research. Yeah, you need to research the business that you’re going into. Sometimes you jump too fast and you don’t know the business and that’s when you get frustrated. And so you need to do your research. And the tools are out here now. I mean, when I had my business, it was even less. But just when I was coming up, we didn’t have the Internet and all of these tools available. So utilize these tools.” Wanda Y. Dunham

BECOMING CHIEF
LIFE LESSONS LEARNED ON THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
VOLUME 1

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS CHIEF WANDA’S NEW BOOK!
Becoming Chief, readers will get to know another side of this extraordinarily professional yet intensely private Chief of Police turned Author and Motivational Speaker.

http://go.wandadunham.com/amzb1

http://wandadunham.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Chiefwanda
https://twitter.com/Wdunham7

Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E27 – Leadership Consultant: Wanda Y. Dunham AKA The Chief – S1E27 – powered by Happy Scribe

Do your research. Yeah, you need to research the business that you’re going into. Sometimes you jump too fast and you don’t know the business and that’s when you get frustrated. And so you need to do your research. And the tools are out here now. I mean, when I had my business, it was even less. But just when I was coming up, we didn’t have the Internet and all of these tools available. So utilize these tools. Networking is super important. Know people in your business. Get to know people that are doing a similar business. Benchmark, find out who’s doing the best and learn what they did, discover how they did and then do a better.

Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become Uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant Conduct’s narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind Uncaged Bosses in each episode guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work-life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and, tips of their trade. Release The Uncaged Bosses Beast in you welcome our host S.A. Grant.

Welcome welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have a special guest, I call her the chief. Some people may know her as Wanda Dunham. Welcome to the show, Chief.

Oh, thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.

So to people that don’t know who you are, which is kind of hard to believe that some people don’t know who you are, especially out of Atlanta. Who are you?

Well, my name is Wanda Dunham, formerly Wanda Gresham. But I was raised in Atlanta. I am a Grady baby. That means a lot to the Atlanteans. We distinguish ourselves whether you are a Grady baby or not. So I am a Grady baby. I am a original. Georgia Peach grew up here and went to school, went away to college, but came back to Atlanta and started working for Morada. Two thousand six worked my way up the chain of command to become the first African-American and first female chief of the MARTA Police Department.

Nice. So, I mean, even with that, I mean, that’s a hell of a feat to get to that level, not only just in the police department, but also in mass transit. So what did that journey really look like for you to kind of come up in Atlanta and to become the chief of police of MARTA?

So it’s ironic because I remember my grandfather riding Marta every day to where my grandfather worked as a janitor for the Sears building on Ponce de Leon. And he rode Marta every day as a janitor and back and forth on Marta. And so we didn’t really read that much. I knew about it, but just didn’t go downtown that much because the times that we lived in segregation. So it was interesting that when I was looking for a job graduate from college, my grandfather was one to suggest that I get a job at MARTA and I didn’t know a lot about Marta.

And he said, well, all my friends and bus operators that he had known over the years, he said that Marta was a great company to work for. And I said, OK, I’ll give it a try. At that time I had a degree, but no job. So I was willing to try just about anything. Well, I had a job, but I had to have a really good job that I wanted. And so I said, I’ll give you a try.

I applied Neverfail ID as a little known that never had an application to after I was to the police academy, applied and went to the police academy and became a police officer. Now there’s a long row between the police officer and being the chief. And it was a lot of challenges, things that I had never done before. So it forced me to push myself and it was uncomfortable. I’ll tell you, it’s not an easy road. It wasn’t an easy road, but it was well worth with that.

I mean, I was just this is the business podcast. And I don’t think a lot of people really understand that even in the police department, even as a chief, there’s a lot of similarities with business and the structure of how you run things. You want to kind of touch bases on that a little bit to kind of explain that obviously you were part of a corporate structure, but in that corporate structure, you learn a lot of business principles.

Yeah. So I didn’t realize that there were similarities. And it wasn’t until I started being asked to speak at businesses. I was asked to speak at the Georgia Diversity Council to speak to them several times. Then I was asked to speak to the National Diversity Council. I was asked to do lenience sessions for the Intercontinental Hotel Group ISG. And at the end of these meetings, you know, I would just get up and talk about what I did as a police chief or at least the lessons that I learned as a police chief and my role to be becoming a police chief.

And the women that I was talking to, they were like, oh, my God, we did not know that police had so many similarities to what we do in the corporate world. I do not either. And so when they started saying, oh, I can relate to this because this happened to me. And one of the stories I was telling of the tale is that when you’re in a room and a lot of times I was the only female and the only African-American in the room, and you come up with a good idea which were benchmarking, we’re talking and we come up with a good idea and I come up with a good idea.

And the rule is that nobody will say anything. And then one of my colleagues who happened to be a male, a white male, they would say, hey, that’s a great idea. So you sit there thinking to yourself, you have to say that the women in the group that I was talking to, they said, oh, man, that happens to us all the time. I didn’t realize that. And they didn’t realize that what we did, what I did.

So what happens is that they were saying, you have to tell the story, because for years law enforcement has been such a closed closed off to the world. We don’t usually talk about what we do. And it’s this kind of cloaked in secrecy because we talk to one another. And so for me to. To these women and these audiences and they were saying this has to be told because we did not know that this happened in your world. And I said, well, I didn’t know what’s happening in your world.

And so it was kind of a natural progression. At first they asked me to write this book and I was thinking of that, didn’t pay much attention and I didn’t think about it. And then as I continue to go three or four and more groups like you have to write this book. And so I said, I think I have to write this book now because I didn’t have time when I was the chief. And so I recently retired in June, June 1st, and I had time to write this book.

So, I mean, that is a solid Segway to how you and I even got on the same accord. Right? I mean, we have common denominators. But when you were talking about writing the book, when we first started to write your book, which was a few months back, The Social, we wrote two books.

We did. Yeah, we did. So let’s talk a little bit more about the differences between the two books. Your first book is the one that you’re going to be releasing. Actually, it’s release now, right? Yeah, right. Yeah. So with that being said, my goal is to get that book to be a number one top seller. So just go ahead and pitch that book and talk a little bit about the story behind that book and where the journey is going to take someone if they read that book.

So the book is becoming cheap, titled Becoming Cheap The Life Lessons Learned on the Road Less Traveled. So let me tell you how the nexus to road less travel, it kind of became the inspiration for that came from one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost, and his poem, The Road Not Taken. And I of that. There’s a lot of things that you go through as you are deciding what your journey will be. And so sometimes how you start is not always how you finish.

And so definitely how I started was not half finished. Little know that I did not want to be a police officer. I know people like you. You’re the chief. I did not know that that was my destiny to become a police chief. And so I went down this path thinking that I would only be Almada as a police officer for two years and then I would go and do something else. God had other plans. And so that started that two year plan of mine turning to thirty four years working for Martin.

But it was my destiny and I truly believe that’s how I ended up there. So behind the scenes, this book, I hope and the early reviews are very positive people. They have been very supportive of the book and it’s very interesting that people want to email me and they’ve been texting me and saying I can relate to this, I can relate to that. They’ve been sending me their own pictures of how they grew up is very encouraging. And that’s really what I wanted.

That was my vision for this book. I want to encourage people, male, female, different nationalities. I think everybody can relate to the things that’s in this book and it’s lessons learned because sometimes it’s how we grow up and you’re thinking, OK, that’s insignificant. That didn’t mean anything but all of these things. And so what we did in the book was to show how from the very beginning, when your parents are teaching these life lessons and you go away to college and you deal with things in high school, and then you go away to college and then you go into the workforce, out of those life lessons can actually benefit, you know, think about it as, oh, you know, woe is me.

It really is set. You were for what God has to do in your life. And so you don’t really know. So you don’t really think about it while you were on that journey. But as you sit back and reflect, you can say, wow, that’s what I have to go through, X, Y, Z. That’s why I had to go do that and go back and tell people one thing. One thing I want them to remember is a no doesn’t necessarily mean not ever is just no for now.

And so don’t get discouraged when you hear no, you’re going to hear a lot of notes and you kind of any kind of letter, you’ll hear a lot of them. You know, it’s definitely a a stumbling block, not a well, I can’t ever get that done. And you have to stay positive and you have to stay on your course.

So with everything that you just said, it kind of opens up the Pandora’s box to say that you’re moving from being a police chief to essentially becoming an influencer. And you’re more so in personal development. Just talk about a little bit. I mean, obviously, in being a chief, you had an opportunity to help people. You had opportunity. And then in your book, you kind of talk about some of these things on your journey, how you you help somebody get from point A to point B.

You also kind of hint to model a little bit. Right. So you’re moving more into a consultant role. What does that journey look like coming from a corporate environment, moving into a consulting role, and you’re using your book as the transitioning factor?

Yeah, so is new. It’s a new space. Right. And so have been achieved is so much different than. The consultant space, but then that’s what I did every day really got me, you know, I gave people advice, I tried to help them. I try to be leaders, people that work for me. I was strong, had a strong belief in professional development. I wanted to make sure that they go back and get additional training courses.

I was really insistent on education, making sure that they had all the tools they need in their tool box to be competitive in this space. And people like, well, there were already police officers. Yes. But I wanted them to get promoted. I wanted them to know that there is life outside of being a police officer, but also the changing workforce. We were dealing with a new demographic of police officers. And if you’re not on if you had honed in on your skills about how to deal with millennials in the workforce, or I think it’s one of the first times we’ve had multiple generations in the workforce and we had the next year, the baby boomers, the millennials, these X, Y, Z.

And so we had so many. And so you have a good leader will understand how to harvest all of those different generations and the different energies and the things that they bring to the table. And so they will harbage that in a different way. And an informed leader will make sure that those folks are utilizing in the best way. If people in that challenge, if they don’t feel that they’re being heard and feel that you care, then you will lose people.

So what I want to do in this book is, yeah, I may not be the police chief any longer, but I can still hopefully have an impact on new people or new leaders that are coming in to the work that want to move up, not just in the police department. I have several meetings. I mentor several people and they’re not in the police department and so corporate America. So I think the mentoring is the same no matter if you’re in the police department or not.

That’s what I want to do. I want to encourage people. But you have to kind of get you have to transition to that to that model. It’s been interesting. It’s been a learning, especially writing. The book was a lot harder than I thought. And people keep saying, oh, I want to go and write a book. There’s a lot different. And so, as you know, I started off on one path, which was doing a training, kind of a self-help book.

We will release that at some time. It was about what characteristics do you need as a good leader? And I think that’s still need it. But I wanted to tell this story first because I think people need to understand where I came from. I wasn’t just a team. Right. So I think they need to understand a little bit about who I am and where I came from and to get to that spot. It’s a lot of people out, as you just always been.

That’s why they know. So some of the feedback I’ve received from the book is like, oh, my God, we can’t believe that you ever been as vulnerable. This is not you. You had stepped out to. Yeah, they they were like, oh, because we don’t know you like that. They only know because what they see like decisive and quick and is done. And so there are a lot of surprise people when they read the book because I am vulnerable in the book and that’s a scary place to be.

Don’t get me wrong, but I think people need to see that so that they can hopefully be encouraged that if I could do it, then they can do it as well.

Yeah, I think it’s definitely funny you brought that up because, you know, I didn’t grow up in Atlanta, but once I moved to Atlanta and writing Marter and I would see you on TV over the years, whether I was a news bulletin, something crazy happened, whatever it was. So to kind of know that person on television as like the pillar, the structure behind the entire transportation authority, and then to kind of help you write this book and to kind of hear some of the stories, I mean, I think one of my favorite stories in the book was the VCR detective.

Oh, yeah. Yeah. And that was one of those things that is kind of like, well, it’s a testament to who you are, but that’s how you got there. So if you want to kind of just dive into, like, that particular chapter a little bit so people can understand, like you weren’t always the chief, but you were always going to be the chief, even though you didn’t know exactly.

I did not know it. And so that’s what I go back to, the journey that life takes you on and has been done because I had no idea that I was going to be a police officer even and graduate from college, needed a job. And I was just taking the job to as a data entry clerk because I wanted to go on vacation and I didn’t want to start a real job. And so I took this job thinking and I was done after a month or two, I left, I was gone, went on vacation, came back and they said, we want you to work full time, really.

So they offered me this job and it was great because it was good money. I could pay my bills. It allowed me to move out because I needed to move out. I wanted to move out. So I moved out. And that’s about extra money, so I took this job at a retail store as a loss prevention officer. I didn’t really know Vigil, but I figured it was about five minutes from my full time job. So I said, I’ll do that.

I went to work and it was basically like arresting shoplifters, like shoplifters. And she said, well, because you had a criminal justice degree, I guess she thought it was a natural progression. I had no idea that I would be arresting shoplifters in a retail store. So I went to work and really didn’t know where I was supposed to do. She told me and my boss, she worked days. I worked nights. I really didn’t get a lot of training.

I said, well, I’ll just go walk around and observe and learn what I’m supposed to do and figure it out that she thought I was doing a good job, whatever I was doing. So I was just being a visible presence. And then I just kind of just being observant and walking around. Nobody knew where I was. So that was good because she never got to introduce me. I just started looking for things that I thought was interesting or different.

Now, have it now I need to set this up because I worked for a retail store before and so I worked some work in retail, not at that store, not for that company, but I knew in general how things were supposed to go. And so when I went to work for this company, I was like something strange here. She left me a note. We will communicate. My boss let me know and we will communicate the messages.

And she said, oh, we had a theft. We’ve had several of these Ja War stolen. Just take a look at it. OK, so I went back to the room. I saw three brand new Bisgaard that were out of the locked cage. And I thought, well, if they’re having trouble with this yard, why would they leave three brand new DCR outside of a lock? They need to be more protected. So I zeroed in on that and I thought, OK, I don’t know.

I just don’t think it was one of those that I didn’t think this is right. So I went upstairs in the dark room and I just started looking at what was going on with the VCR as an employee came, picked up the VCR, the woman a trash can, big bucket, and took it out on top of that. Didn’t look good, went out there. So I said, OK. I went back and looked at the cameras and I couldn’t see what he did, where I knew they were missing.

I didn’t know what they were. And I didn’t want it to be my fault that these three fingers were missing. So I went back to the stockroom. What I told the doctor, I saw him and he I couldn’t find it, OK? It’s in a dumpster. Then I couldn’t find him. I looked into Dumpster, couldn’t find them. Just as I turned around, the three VCRs were underneath the dumpster. So I read that column about my balls.

Used to be the one that kind of police officer. So she called her husband. She was retired. She got a husband who was still a police officer, and he sent some plainclothes folks over to watch the VCR as the employee and a friend at about an hour, hour and a half later after the store close came back and got the VCR and put him in the trunk. It was just like a movie. All of these police officers movie, they made the arrest and I got credited for breaking up a really big VCR frame that had basically been hitting all of the retail stores.

It was like my first two weeks at work. So I was like, oh, this is pretty good employee of the month. They offered me a full time job and it gave me a bonus. So that’s how I became a VCR detective.

Gotcha. So, I mean, the reason why I asked that question, because every single time, like we read parts of the book that you don’t even realize on your end is that you get extremely excited talking about these topics.

You know, in addition to that accolade, I mean, I want you to give us a little list of like what are the things? I mean, you’ve been in Ebony magazine. What other things have you done in the past thirty years of being a chief?

Wow. So I really had a really good career at Marda, and so I’m thankful for that. One of the things that I really concentrate on, I really have a love for the community, any kind of community engagement. I’ve been recognized by several organizations. The national black law enforcement officers gave me a community outreach plan. I’ve been recognized by Ebony for being the first African-American and the first female chief of a four hundred person police department with the ninth largest.

And so Ebony reached out to us and say, hey, we understand we have a person that’s breaking the mold and basically breaking barriers. And so we want to do the story in two thousand six. I was featured in Ebony magazine, did not know it was in the airport, and they said we may or may not do the story. We didn’t know I was promoted in May, and I think it came out in September, August and September, Ed.

I didn’t even know what we just happened to be in the airport. And my son was flipping through every magazine and said, Mom, this is you. They never called me. So, of course, about every one of the had on the stand because you’ve got to keep there’s one. It was pretty exciting, but I wish I could have gotten the best notice. So I’ve been recognized by Women’s Transportation Group for Diversity. At one time, I had every key role in my department where females and so people were like, oh, you know, you have so many female.

No, I had the best qualified people. And so I wasn’t purposely trying to fill those roles with females, but they were the best qualified. And so we ran a really good ship and they were held accountable just like everybody else. But they did a really good job for me. And so I appreciated that I’ve been so many too many to talk about, but I’ve just really been a lot of community engagement, a lot of leadership engagement, a lot of awards for leadership.

And then, of course, just being recognized for diversity and inclusion, which is really a big thing today.

But all those things we always hear about the 20 years that it takes someone to be a success story, that seems to be an overnight success. And earlier on, you were saying that everybody always known you as the chief. Talk about your journey. I mean, so we’re talking about 20 years. How long did it take you to actually get into the role of being chief? And then where are you right now as far as being post chief?

So I have been at Florida 19 years before I became chief, but I worked my way up through the chain of command. I didn’t come in as chief. I worked my way up from an officer starting working to be just like everybody else. And then I went to the next level. And then there’s also the hierarchy is a lot is the chief. There’s a corporal, the sergeant, a lieutenant, a captain, a major, an assistant chief and then the chief.

And so there’s a lot of things that you have to go through. Now, keep in mind, I didn’t go in thinking that I was going to be the chief. And so every level, I was just trying to do the best job. And I think that’s what people should or should think about, is that when you get a job, you should just be the best that you can be in whatever that role that you’re currently, that space that you’re in.

And so I was trying to learn, but I didn’t know a lot about being a police officer. And so as a police officer, especially working in Florida, they gave us a free pass because you get a free pass to read. And I didn’t really know a lot about that. I didn’t know about the trains and that kind of thing or the bus route. But I wanted to be the best officer that I could be in his role. So I got to be the best officer.

So on my holidays, I would just come out and just ride the buses and I would ride the train and just familiarize myself with where I was going and what happens on this route out of the buses, I memorize all the bus routes that came out of the stations I knew have two ways to get to every call, every station just because and that’s just me. That’s my time. My whole time. Nobody told me to do it, but I needed to be the best that I could be.

And I didn’t know a lot about it, but I was going to work hard and harder than anybody to try to find out. And I think that’s what people think. Oh, well, you know, she got promoted because she was friends with somebody. No, I mean, I got promoted because I earned it. No one. But also I worked harder than anybody else to get it. I put in work and that’s what people don’t want to do.

Some people don’t want to do. You can’t wait for a handout. You got to be willing to do what it takes. And so I was just always willing to do what it takes to get there. If it was a training class, I would go and take some take some additional training classes so I can put myself in a better position myself for that next promotion.

OK, so what’s one thing that you would do differently if you could do it all over again? Oh, wow, that’s a good question. So, you know, I don’t know. I don’t think I would do anything different because I really learn from everything that I did, even though I thought that I didn’t want to be a police officer once I got into it, because it really allowed me to do what are the best right. Serve the public and help people.

So I thought, well, I can do this in law enforcement. And so the things you see on television and I know law enforcement has changed and law enforcement officers have a bad rap, I still think that law enforcement is an honorable position and profession and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I think I did really good based on I did some good. I mean, there was a kid on my beat. There was always late. I was at the west side of town and he was always late for school.

Oh, my goodness. And so we have a truancy thing where we would check the kids that were just hanging out of the station and so I stopped as little boy and I said, why are you always late? He goes, I can’t get up on time. I can’t get up on time. So I said, OK, let me go to your house. So I took him to his house. He was grandmama’s, raising him with four other siblings.

I said, ma’am, I said, he comes to the station late every day and I know the school must be calling you. And he said, yeah, they do. And I said, well, what I said was, you didn’t have an alarm clock. It’s like he didn’t have an alarm clock. Well, OK, now, of course, this is before cell phones and everything is on your cell phone now, but we took him to the store and two officers and bought them an alarm clock and he was late to school anymore.

We set it for him and we told him how to use it. We told grandma this is what we were doing and he was late for school. So it’s those little things that you can do to affect somebody’s outcome that I probably wouldn’t have had a chance to do had I not been a police officer. So this kind of makes you feel good that you can affect change. You know, everyone who didn’t have to be arrested, they don’t have to go to jail due to a big change.

And so we learned that lesson. And that’s what I try to impart on the officers that work for me, is that everybody didn’t have to go to jail. Let’s see if somebody some help he’s got a person is need alcohol treatment, then you take him to the alcohol treatment center. So you try to get him some help. If the person is hanging out at the station, you take him to the homeless shelter. So looking at how, you know, you have to enforce the law, you can have people in the station, but you can also do something to try to help find another way, another alternative to putting them into the criminal justice system.

Let’s try to help him even with that. Right. I mean, I think part of that is part of your upbringing, right, coming from the roots that you came in. So that is a two part question. Do you come from an entrepreneurial background like anybody in your family have those kind of roots? And in addition to that, outside of the entrepreneurial side effect, what in your background gave you the initiative to be as caring as you are?

Because considering that as a police person, we always see police as very stringent, very cut and dry. There is no gray space. But you just alluded to there is some room for gray space in there. So if you don’t mind kind of touching on those two topics.

Yeah. So being entrepreneurial is kind of like just trying to do the best that motivated. It was like, OK, I see a need to go and do it. And so I definitely didn’t have any training growing up and being entrepreneurial. You know, I just wanted to make sure that I could do know I was like, OK, there’s a need, what can I do to affect change? And so it was like, OK, let me think about how I can be of service and how I can help.

I didn’t have any person say to say, OK, this is what you do and I have a business and this is what you do. But I’m an avid reader, know, I like to research. I try to see you need and I can do it. I actually started my own business several years ago. I saw a need because my parents were older and I saw a need for home health care. And so my husband, I started our first business.

It was called Helping Hands Home Care Business. It was a lot of work, but just I go out and meet the clients. And then I hired a director to run the day to day. But it was a lot and I was still working at the time. I just saw just the need for people who were kind of they were not realistic and they could live alone. They didn’t need to go in a nursing home, didn’t have a lot of family.

And I thought, what would I do? My grandparents did that care. And so we started a business and it was very successful and we sold the business. It was a nurse that was retiring and he purchased the business from us. And so it was a rewarding business. And I was so happy that she took the business because it was like your baby. And I wanted to turn it over to somebody who I knew would take care of my clients.

And so that was kind of my first business. And then being a consultant is just normal. That is what I do, telling people and advising people and helping people. And so that’s kind of a natural progression since I’ve been retired and I knew I wasn’t going to sit down, so I knew they would work for me to do. I’m not finished yet. So it a lot of things that I can do and this is just the beginning. But writing a book was definitely a challenge.

So and the other part of that question was like, OK, so you’re caring side. Like, where did that come from? I mean, obviously some people would say, mom, some people would say they died. Some people say their family background like where did that again? Because coming as a police officer, you have to be very strict and rigid. Where did that greenspace come in that?

Yeah, so and I think all of the above. So my mom, my grandparents, my grandfather was a Baptist preacher growing up. We went to church a lot. We were in church every day, pretty much. Now we’re in church every day. But we will go to church twice on Sunday or early in the morning. We sometime we started school. And so I think it was my Christian background. And then my mom basically just saying, you know, you have to look at the reasons behind something.

We had a lot of our neighbors and and I talk about it in the book. She would on Halloween, we would have to go to her house and she would give us fried egg sandwiches for Halloween and I really like fried egg sandwiches now. She was my mom’s, like most mothers, right. When you finished trick or treating your parents, come and check the candy to make sure that, you know, that is safe and everything. So it was a fried egg sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil.

And so my mom would get the sandwiches. And so it was always the first thing to go. She would throw it out like that. But we were like, so, mom, why do we have to keep going to our house if, you know, we’re not going to be eating? And she goes, well, she’s lonely, she lives alone, nobody cares, but nobody will come and visit her. And so she has shared with my mom that that was one of the highlights of her year, is to see the kids and to see us come over.

She didn’t have a lot of money. She was on welfare and she used her rations from welfare and eggs and milk and cheese and all of that, then bread. And so she would make all she had to give us was the fried egg sandwiches. And so I learned empathy for that because I feel sorry for her. And knowing that behind the scenes often make it explain why she did what she did. And so we continued to go as long as we live there.

And I was always like gave her extra time and it was kind of extra chatty because I just wanted to make everybody feel good. And that was just kind of me. That was who I will. Now, I’m also be by the book kind of rules person. Right? I’m a typical type is like I’m really structured. And so how do you bring empathy into being disciplined? So you have to compartmentalize things right by the book. And so police officers, we have a huge binder of things, the rules, regulations that you have to go back and look at those things.

And then I try to bring in everything. Everybody makes mistakes. And I realize they don’t make the same mistake over and over and over again because it’s not a mistake. It’s a choice at that point. But I want to make sure that I try to give people a second chance and I bring them in and personally talk to them. I will talk to them about why we were here and what did they think I should do. And this is what the policy is, blah, blah, blah.

Hopefully you will change the way they, you know, the outcome of what they did in their career. And so I was able to bring a little bit into that. But I think one thing people can say or two things people can say is that I was always very consistent. Definitely, definitely with that right. So you’re also a big family person as well. I am. So how do you juggle your work life with your family life?

Yeah. So my husband’s a police officer, too. We met in the police academy. A lot of people like, oh, my God, how do you do? How do you that work life balance and how do you juggle being a chief of police, a wife, a mother? It takes some do it juggling. But my husband is very supportive. You have to start with the support of spouse and you have to build your village. Right.

You have to build your support. Village couldn’t do it alone. And my husband was like he took a different chair so that he chose to work at night like 11:00 at night to 7:00 in the morning. I work eight thirty to bed. And so we’ve got a baby. What? I will get the baby ready, take him to my husband, who may or may not be on our own. And they’re supposed to be at seven. You got a late call.

I’m stuck with the exact I have to hold on to the baby. And we were very lucky. We have people everybody has the support village people. We’re ready operators. We have secretaries. So we had a really good support village. And then, of course, my mom I mean, I went back to school for my masters when I was five. It was a challenge when it was out of town. So I didn’t go to like Georgetown, Columbus Day, and it was like Alcatraz.

I went out of town, had to stay there during the week, but my husband would meet me halfway with the baby at night and thought we could have dinner while I was gone and then also check his homework because I wasn’t sure my husband was making sure he was doing his homework. And so that control factor came in. I was like, I got to make sure he’s doing his homework now. He’s only five. I get that. But I want to make sure that he was doing all of the things that he was supposed to do.

Plus, you need to see his mom and I need to see him.

So it’s funny that you brought up both your husband and your son. Right. So I don’t want to give too much away. But if you get your hands on the book, I want people to kind of read the chapter is called Military Grade Shine, and it kind of talks about the story about how they met and how he knew she was single.

Yes, yes. No, no, no, no, no. You got to leave a little bit to the imagination, right. So you get to meet and also the whole TransAm thing. So, I mean, obviously, reading the story, you know exactly what I’m talking about once you read that chapter. So, I mean, going into, like, your morning habits, obviously you’re very structured, right? You’re almost militant to a certain extent.

So what is your morning routine? It’s funny because like you and I like to be working on stuff and you send me a message like ten o’clock at night, I’ll send you a message back five o’clock in the morning and nine out of ten times. We both always respond no matter what time we send message.

What’s your morning routine look like? So before cause before I retired, having for thirty four years have to be responsive to cell phones. Texting I make to do lists. I’m truly everything to do list everything is structure timelines. I would say my husband. What people don’t know is that he saves a lot of people from receiving text messages from me and four or five o’clock in the morning. So what he did was like, please don’t say that to him if you want to go.

People think they have to respond when you say that. And so it’s like, well, I’m just in an outstanding day because I needed to get it out for my to do list. And he was like, yeah, but they think that you want them to respond. So what I was started doing and because of my husband, I go ahead and type him up and then get him to shoot at seven. So I said a lot of people, he saved a lot of people and he kept me grounded because he was like, OK, let’s send it to him.

And so a lot of people, they have him to thank for not receiving text messages. But I wanted them to just when I think of things, I have to send them out because it mentally gets off my checklist. And so that’s do what are we doing now? I still have that responsiveness. It’s only been six months. So, you know, I’m so used to respond quickly. We do talk about we have a checklist like, OK, this is what we get and then you post things.

And so we’re so alike about schedules and structure and making sure that all of these things are done. And that was a good I think that’s a good habit to have. I think it is very enjoyable because if you write things down, you get have done for me, whether it’s on my phone or in paper and pencil. I’m also I wake up at four o’clock in the morning and I’m on my side the bed with a little light and I’m typing.

And he said to do OK. And he turned up because he knows I need to get it out, because if I don’t, I’m thinking about it all. Like wheels are turning and I don’t want to forget it for that next morning. So it works.

So where do you see yourself in twenty years from now?

How’s. Really retired, hopefully, as an author, which is kind of interesting space, you know, most people like to and I think you told me that, well, you know, you’re an author now. And I was like, I don’t feel like an author. And I see myself as an author. And then, you know, people’s response or reaction to the book, they’re like, wow, you know, you’re an author now. And I thought, OK, so when I get New York Times bestseller, then I feel like an author, but I’m enjoying this process.

This is so new and I like challenging myself. Whatever I can come up with in between now and 20 years, that’s what I’ll do. I like whatever I can do to help people. And so if it’s some type of service that I can be, I love to volunteer for nursing homes in kids. They have a passion. So do some type of volunteerism, you know, staying active and hopefully just playing with grandkids.

I hope my son sees this, but in 10 more years, you could just put you on the spot.

Jordan, just just out of nowhere, just 10 more years of his hustle. Right now, he’s building and everything else. So I don’t know if he wants to have any kids right now.

I know he does. He definitely does not. And he’s the entrepreneur. And I think it’s interesting because my husband says you don’t even know where he gets that from. Know he gets that entrepreneurial spirit from you. He decided he wants to have a brand. And so I close the nine items. And so instead of saying, no, no, no, I told my I told somebody, I said, you know, I’m packing t shirts and folding t shirts.

We make it labels. I’m in my house was like a factory where the kitchen table and I’m helping him a lot more. I thought this was his business. I forgive, but I’m his village, so I’m helping him. But I didn’t do well. Was he met with you? I mean, you told him a smarter way to do it. Thank you. But I didn’t mind helping him because I wanted him to see what it’s like to have his own business.

And he’s had a business in college party. But this is a brand different thing. But it’s good to see something that he was interested in that he was excited about and in fact, helped. And it didn’t cost me a lot of money. I was there for him.

So, I mean, this is another good Segway to what words of wisdom would you have? I mean, obviously, you’re living with a new entrepreneur that’s growing up in the ranks. Kind of you seen him as a child. You’ve seen him go to college. You kind of see what it’s like afterwards. He starting his own business. What words of insight would you have for someone coming out of college on their journey? What would you tell them?

Yeah, do your research. Yeah. You need to research the business that you’re going into sometimes jump too fast and you don’t know the business, and that’s when you get frustrated. And so you need to do your research. And the tools are out here now. I mean, when I had my business, it was even less. But just when I was coming up, we didn’t have the Internet and all of these tools available. So utilize these tools.

Networking is super important. Know people in your business, get to know people your business, get to know people that are doing a similar business benchmark. Find out who’s doing the best and learn what they did, discover how they did and then do a better. OK, that’s definitely solid words of advice, so, I mean, just go ahead and drop the name of the book again and a website so they can kind of get in contact with you.

OK.

So, of course, this is the part one of a two or three part series we haven’t decided yet, but this is part one. And so by becoming cheap life lessons learned on the road, less traveled. And then this next part, because people when I was like, OK, where’s the next part? Where’s that part? We talked about that because this next book is going to be like two is going to be talking about the 14 years that I was watching.

So we had to set the table and we built the foundation. And this first book, Becoming Chief is just that. Who am I? Who was that? How did I get to be achieve all of those lifelessness, ups and downs and how your upbringing sometimes defined or defines who you are, who you become, how successful, and then the people that you meet along the path that are pushing your way in puts in your path to help you.

And it could be temporary. You might never see these people again. But it’s like all of these things is truly just kind of go together to build out the perfect will that God has for your life. And you don’t even know. And you don’t even think about you know, I had the captain who when I had put myself out of taking a leadership role and his little five minutes with me in his office encouraged me to go for a leadership role.

Now, had he not been there, he could care less and said, well, you don’t want to put hand on her. But by him spending time with me and kind of being an influencer to say you’re ready for a leadership role, I didn’t see that in myself. But he saw in me. And so how thankful for him for being who he was to take time to say you’re ready for this leadership role. So so people like that along the way that you don’t even think about that job with there and then you build off of that and you go that OK, but and I talk about a book having to deal with the whole experience of dealing with missing girls in high school.

It was interesting because you think, oh, my God, it was the end of being a husband thinking I was horrible. But it really helped me as I was kind of a police officer, how to deal with real customers, how to deal with people who may have been in this know as co-workers. And so it helps you. It prepares you because you’ve already dealt with this. You know how to deal with it. So that’s what this book is.

The next book will be about being the chief. That’s a different rollercoaster. So I tell people all the time, they say, oh, you broke through the glass ceiling of becoming a female chief. And I was like, yeah, but the journey started. That’s where the journey begins, right? It starts all over again. Because now you have to stay or cheat and you have to deal with a whole new set of issues that I never dealt with as an officer because the buck stops with me.

And so it’s a lot, lot of responsibility. And so you have to be ready for being sued or people blaming you for things that you didn’t even do. You weren’t even there. But because you’re teaching now, you have to respond to that. And as you alluded to, yeah, I was on TV a lot because people wanted to hear from the chief I can sing or bad public information folks out there. And then that’s their request. We want to hear from you, Chief, and knowing when as a chief you should speak because you should always be as cheap, because there’s certain certain times that is reserved for the chief.

And in certain situations, if I’m out there all the time, then it waters down the message. But if I tell them that, you know, that is serious, just understanding that that and how to have your message, you go out without always being on camera. But getting the work done and building your base and building your supporters is so important and so forth. So all of those lessons will be talked about in Book two, and it’s coming with 14 years of just being an officer and thinking, really thinking that because I have been internal, I was already hired and I knew everything about our department being the chief was going to be easy because I already knew absolutely the wrong message.

And so I learned a lot, stressed a lot. I was intentional about trying to do the best job that I have to do. And I think I had a pretty successful career. But it’s all about who you surround yourself with and making sure that you stay relevant is staying relevant. So I’m looking forward to that. I really hope people will purchase this book and other people has already purchased it. Please go out and buy one for your mama.

Is there anybody that you’d think that would benefit from the book and the message is, is that you to your own way, no matter what you’re dealing with? You, too, can build your own success story and whatever that is for you didn’t have to be my success story. Doesn’t have to be the path that I chose. Didn’t have to be college. You can be whatever you feel is right, but you could be starting a business. But hopefully these life lessons that I’ve learned and I talk about in the book will help you on your path.

So, I mean, I think you brought up a lot of good different than points, just about like the book and just about the content in the book, if you don’t mind. Just touch base a little bit about like the journey of developing the book. Like, I think you and I worked on it extensively, has been like, I don’t know, like four or five, six months at this point in time around the clock at certain times and certain times.

You know, we had a week or two, we had some grace period to kind of make some edits and stuff like that. So just go in and touch bases on a little bit.

What people don’t know is that we started writing, we talked about it. We started writing one book. We started probably where we were going to write a different book. And so about June, I had this epiphany and I said, I don’t want to write that book. The book was 80 percent done. It was eighty five percent.

Then it was completed. Almost 80 percent decided anyway. I think it was pretty much done and I couldn’t do it. It was the best period. I needed to write a different type. So the pivot and you guys were very good about pivoting and saying, OK, well, what do we need to do? This is a totally different book. I said this is the book that I wanted to write. I got it right, this one. So we pivoted and we had to really change the change, the style of book to.

Right. So that we had to start out basically. And I think we started out with June, July, I think July. And so from July to now, we’ve been working around the clock. So the good thing about writing the book is you made it easy because you said, OK, you’ve got to have an outline, do it outline about everything that you want to put in the book. And so they were like, was that my outline?

You said these become your chapters and then you go back and I’ll approve the chapters. And you said go back and building. And it really made it an easier process. But I had no idea how to write a book. And so you said it’s really easier than you think. You just kind of fill in the chapters and then the book and write. It still wasn’t deep. Then I got into building these chapters and then we had back and forth about should this go into that?

The land should come in and come out. These stories would be in a place being in law enforcement. We’re very cut and dry. Right. Just the facts.

The thing that was difficult for me was tapping into my feelings and expressing them in the book. So you were like, you got to say what you were feeling when you saw this. And I’m like, yeah. So I was just basically saying, yeah, we went to a college and it was a person, you know, who was pretty much. Yeah. And you were like, OK, you have to go back and tell us a little bit more about this and talk about how it made you feel.

Talk about that something totally. Please. We don’t tap into that. Right. It was difficult. So I had to tap into a whole new feeling. I mean, I have to express those feelings that we normally don’t express in long voice and my line of work. So I had to go back and talk about all of those things. And it really brought up a lot of feelings. And in the book, I think this was cheaper than therapy writing this book, because I got all of my issues out and, you know, and it though I think afterwards.

So, yeah, it’s a good process. I’d like to learn this about publishing. And you think you just write a book and then it’s done, but, you know, formatting and book covers and photo shoots and all of that was different. But step by step, you guys let me through it. And I think that’s what made it a lot easier than having to do it on my own.

We definitely had a good time. And to your point, the particular thing that you’re talking about was, I think by you opening up, it made the book ten times better. And to your credit, I mean, all the references you’re getting at, the reviews you’re getting right now are all because the nuances that people didn’t know that the stories that you experience, the emotions behind it. And I think that’s what really made the book more of it.

To your point, it was more clinical before.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. It was like boot camp. You’re like, I don’t really know what you’re dealing with. So I had to go back and tap into that, but I had never tapped into it before. But, you know, you guys pulled it out and that was good. You know, you recognized that we needed to go deeper and not just surface level. And so I had to dig into that. And so it really made it easier once we get that or, you know, how did it make you feel?

Like I was in the bag. Like, how do. Make you feel when this happens? Oh, well, yeah, I have to think about that.

So I had to go back and dig deeper and it was good. So then, of course, is the editing and proofreading and the formatting. And this is a progression and it’s a step, but it’s a good process. And I would definitely highly recommend I think when people saw that I wrote this book, they were like all of them. We want to write a book. We’ve always wanted to write a book, but we just didn’t know how to get started.

And so I think there’s books and everybody write. There’s something that people could share. They could tell, but they just don’t know how to start.

Hmm. Yeah, definitely. Definitely right about that. So, I mean, going into the bonus questions. Right.

Like the fun part for me. Right.

Yeah. If you could spend twenty four hours with anybody dead or alive, who would it be and why.

Wow. Well I know this is kind of cliche, but I think Oprah Winfrey, just because I respect Oprah and I know her story, she’s been open and told her story. And so truly, her story was a lot of challenges. And so she worked her way up as an African-American woman in a male dominated industry, broadcasting and having very few women that looked like her women of color. So that looked like her. And to build herself up to being a billionaire.

My hat’s off to her. And I watched her masterclasses. And they’re all I always get something out of them. No matter how successful or what have I done, I can always find something that I can say, oh, wow, this is good. This is a nugget of information that I could use going forward. So how does that pick a brain? And to just ask her, when did you know that you were going to make it?

As she probably would say, you probably didn’t know until she made. I’m assuming because she was probably just trying to go through and do it and just getting to the next level and get to the next level. And then she was there. But it was hard work and sure was hard work and a lot of behind the scenes that we probably don’t know. But I would just like to pick her brain.

Yeah, I mean, I think Oprah is a great choice. I mean, I wrote about Oprah in my first book, a whole case study on her. And just studying her life and understanding everything you’re saying wasn’t true. I would think that even till today, I don’t think that Oprah still thinks she’s made it and hence why she keeps on achieving more and more. She’s always on that climb. And so, I mean, she’s a multibillionaire at this point.

But in her mind, probably it’s nothing to work because she’s still on her journey. Yeah.

Yeah, I think so, too. I think she’s humble and probably feels that she didn’t deserve it just because of her upbringing is kind of like that. Where in the church you were taught not to be prideful. And you know that if you strut, you stumble. So you can’t be bragging about these things. And it was almost like you were taught not to not to to expect success. But when you got success, you should bring that out.

And I thought was interesting, people said, well, you’re very shy. And I was like, I’m definitely not shy, but I think they’ll see when I get to book to how my voice has changed and how my experiences change and who I had grown to be as a leader because they don’t see that side in the early part of my story. But as I got to the new role, I think I developed my voice, which is probably not heard in the first as much.

And it goes to the point leaving the first book as a cliffhanger. Right? I mean, sending it up to understand that this book stops at a particular point and it’s going to lead directly into the next book. It’s essentially it’s like a Lifetime movie split up. It is, yeah.

Yeah. What have to be a 700, 800 pages. Right. Because it was getting long and we said we need to cut it off. But I think it was a good place to stop and then go to the next section because 14 years being a team is totally different, different experiences that I want to share with people and those they are totally different than the person. So what was the second question? Oh, superhero, because I want to be Wonder Woman.

I mean, you know, already her I like Wonder Woman because of the strength.

She too was a woman that people didn’t think that she could achieve. She came from male dominated. You know, everything was male dominated. And, you know, she’s a superhero. You don’t have that many female superhero. So I think I embody Wonder Woman just because I think that she can achieve a lot from that being a female in a male dominated industry of superheroes. Gotcha.

I mean, I can really see that. I mean, if I was your age, my personality. So if you didn’t say super woman out of bed scratching my head, like, do you have a split personality? Like what’s going on right now?

That’s who I am. It served me well to be in my career choices, but it has served me well to make sure that things are the way they’re supposed. And I can’t change that at this point, so it is it is. It is. It is what it is coo coo.

So usually at the end of the podcast, I usually give whoever I’m interviewing opportunity to ask me any questions. So the microphone is yours.

What kind of plant would you say. I have been one of the I guess a scale of one to 10 am I had the worst or the best. I need to know where I am.

Put me on the spot. But as far as you’re definitely not the worst client. Oh, that’s good. Thank you. Thank you. Definitely not the worst client, but I mean getting to who you are. I knew you’d be my personality. And I also knew that I couldn’t back down at any point. If I showed you any weakness at all on this journey, you would have completely cut my legs off at my knees and been walking around with me with a leash.

So I had to stand my ground at every stop.

Yeah.

Yesterday, yeah. Yeah. You were like, OK, this is what I have to do this. But I’m like, OK, you tell me why. And the explanation is that the communication back and forth. And so I think we kind of balance out each other but is a good experience. But I was like, he probably thought, why is he doing this?

And I’m like, I got a really text, but do not take the pictures anymore. We’re like, OK, I’m in trouble, I’m in the doghouse. But when I see things that need to be done, I just go in and do it. I mean, yeah, yeah.

I think I have to kind of kind of control myself some because it’s like oh like oh man. Like our system is being broken, the system is broken. Then it’s going to cause a train reaction if things are going to go negative. So I’m trying to wheel it back in. So any time I going to reach out to kind of like this, please don’t do this anymore is because behind the scenes is by things that you don’t know about that if you go wrong because of that and the pictures and.

Right.

So yeah. Oh yeah. No, it was fine. I was like, oh my God. But I didn’t know. So those are kind of things. I jump out of them because I was like, oh, it needs to be done. And I was thinking, OK, I don’t know what you were doing over here. So but it’s definitely been a give and take. It’s been a process. And where do we got it? I think we got it.

We got we have a good understanding. So I think to be a bit easier now. Of course, everybody has read this read, but wonder like when it’s book to come in at. As a kid, as my publisher, well, I mean, the funny thing is I always look at our publishing companies kind of like the intermediate publishing is kind of we’re not the big house publishers and we’re not like the one shot publisher. So we take people that want to publish their own books and get you ready to become a larger publisher.

Right. So what book to in book one? I mean, the goal of that book, one is going to become a top seller. And the goal is I want to kind of get you on TV shows and get you out there with some PR. And then I want to see Book three, book for book five, potentially be to a large publication to where you kind of get more of a global footprint. But this is just starting to kind of get you in that space.

And now you understand the procedures. Now you understand behind the scenes. So when you’re dealing with a publisher, it’s going to be completely different. So that’s what he was talking about. OK, I get it. Oh, yeah.

Yeah, it’s exciting. So I wanted done that is my email address and my website. So my website is up. So please take a look at it and we’re going to have a book signings just because they were a little delayed. But go to my website and look for book signings. I would love to see everybody there and I would love to hear your feedback. So get me up. Yeah, yeah, definitely.

And also, when you go to our website, you want to want to sign up for our newsletter. So you kind of follow up and see what’s going on. I mean, people don’t realize newsletters are the key to success, so make sure you sign up for that. I definitely appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule. And I mean, obviously got a million things going on and business is going on.

Business ventures on top of books, right? Yeah, that’s true. So, I mean, again, I appreciate it as, say, Grant over and out. Thank you.

Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss Uncaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming a trailblazer if this podcast helped you. Please email me about it and submit additional questions.

You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop many unpaid.

His weekly podcast that releases some business owners as they become a Boss Uncaged trailblazer to release your unconventional, secret, untenured trendsetters and unstoppable tycoons. We always hear about overnight success to listeners of Boss Uncaged are invited to download a reality of our hosts. That’s a great, great syphoned. Come on, Uncaged Bosses really learn how to release your success in 15 minutes. Also, download W-W business are a nod to your success Boss Uncaged wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade.

Release The Uncaged Bosses Beast in you welcome our host s.A. Grande.

Leadership Consultant: Wanda Y. Dunham AKA The Chief – S1E27 (#27)2021-02-28T13:31:33+00:00

Neil Patel Digital Investor: Andrew J. Miner – S1E26 (#26)

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Overview

“Think in terms of humans first. Versus technology first, the technology will always change, but what won’t change are basic human behavior and human psychology principles. So if you can start there, start with why people make decisions. Basically read some of the best copywriters and you can handwrite their stuff that will give you a leg up over everyone who is a technical person. First, like anyone can figure out Facebook. If all you did was just say, I’m going to learn Facebook ads, you can learn it, you can learn Google, as you can learn SEO, like anyone could do that if you devote enough time to it. But what not everyone gets to do is understanding psychology and how it all fits together. But if you can do that, I mean, if you can be at least competent at psychology and direct response principles and you can apply technology to it, like if you become an email marketer or if you’re in SEO or if you’re a media buyer, if you understand psychology, you’re going to be 10x better than all of your peers. But you’ve got to go deep on one thing.”

Contact Andrew
https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewminer1/

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https://npdigital.com/partners/standard/?pid=00004880_0063t00000v9opi

Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E26 – Neil Patel Digital Investor: Andrew J. Miner – S1E26 – powered by Happy Scribe

Think in terms of humans first. Versus technology first, the technology will always change, but what won’t change are basic human behavior and human psychology principles. So if you can start there, start with why people make decisions. Basically read some of the best copywriters and you can handwrite their stuff that will give you a leg up over everyone who is a technical person. First, like anyone can figure out Facebook. If all you did was just say, I’m going to learn Facebook ads, you can learn it, you can learn Google, as you can learn SEO, like anyone could do that if you devote enough time to it. But what not everyone gets to do is understanding psychology and how it all fits together. But if you can do that, I mean, if you can be at least competent at psychology and direct response principles and you can apply technology to it, like if you become an email marketer or if you’re in SEO or if you’re a media buyer, if you understand psychology, you’re going to be 10x better than all of your peers. But you’ve got to go deep on one thing.

Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.

Welcome welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have a special guest. Well, his name is Andrew, but you just told me what your nickname was. So let’s go ahead and just jump right into that story right off the bat. Tell people a little bit about your nickname and who you are.

Got it. Yeah, nickname is Uncle Drew, so some people know Uncle Drew, Kyrie Irving, the Pepsi commercials, and that was my first nickname in the company and it just stuck. People are like, why are you nickname Uncle Drew? It’s because I’m a white guy that can dunk. My name is Andrew, but I go by Drew, so that’s where it started. But that started when there were only a handful of us in the company, like Neil, his co-founder, two other people. And then now when we have two hundred plus people worldwide, most people don’t know that the origin story.

Got you. So this is diverter you brought up Neil. So I mean, which company do you work?

So I work with Neil Patel Digital, which is owned by Neil Patel. When we’re a global digital marketing agency and it spans a couple of different websites. Most people would know him through Neil Patel dot com, which is our main marketing website. Then we also have two agency websites, NPR, Digital.com and NPR Excel.Com.

So let’s dive into them a little bit about you and your background and who are you?

Me personally, I’ve. Come from a few different industries. I’m a California native, but I’ve been in a variety of businesses throughout my life, spanning from managing the Cheesecake Factory, some big, big, giant corporate restaurants to trucking and logistics. I had my own agency, so managed a lot of freight for some big, big global companies. And in that process, I realized I needed to be good at marketing to continue to grow my company versus the old school approach of cold calling. And that’s how I got into direct response and marketing in general and then eventually crossed paths with Neil and its co-founder and and some mutual friends. And then we started the agency together. I mean, I’m not a founder, but I was here from the beginning, essentially.

So, yeah, just even today, just a little bit. I mean, I was I know who Neil is. Right. So for our audience, who is Neil and what is it that you guys exactly do?

Yeah, Neal is recognizable around the globe in the marketing world. I mean, if you ask anyone on the street who Neil Patel is, maybe one out of 20 people would know who he is. But if you ask anyone in marketing or business world, most people know who Neil is or if they don’t, as soon as they stumble across him, then they won’t be able to get rid of him because he’ll be everywhere in their searches or in their scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn. Neil started actually as a 16 year old picking trash at Knott’s Berry Farm, and that was one of his first jobs. And one day he just realized I was made for something greater than this. So he just took off his vest and his garbage picker in the bag and just threw it in the dumpster and went home and said, I’m going to start a company. At that moment, he created a monster dotcom competitor, which is a job board Website, hired a couple of agencies to help him get that built and build out marketing. And he took all of his savings, borrowed money, and he ended up basically lighting that money on fire within I think it was within a year, essentially, of launching that project. It was all gone. And he realized, I can’t rely on anyone but myself. I need to know this and get good at it, which is marketing and SEO. So he just went headfirst into the industry to learn himself. And then he started helping companies. He helped some companies grow really fast. A manufacturer grew from like a million in revenue to twenty-five million and one year. Just the CEO. That was his first contract, essentially as a 17 or 18-year old. And the rest is history. He helped a lot of companies grow. He got a lot of attention early on from some big brands where he was helping companies like Airbnb from the very beginning, laid their foundation, Warby Parker, and then they created some software companies. And the rest is history. Everyone came after then. And that’s really how the agency started for Neil because he had so much visibility with his blog, Quick Sprout and Neil Patel.Com and everyone asking for help that he realized I need to actually be able to help other companies. And that’s how the agency was formed. He said, I’m going to develop a super team and we’ll build it as slow as it takes to do the right thing. And that’s where we are today.

Yes. I mean, you brought up a good point about the super team. And obviously there’s a lot of guys that’s on that team that are superstars, including yourself. So, I mean, how did you even come to be part of the team?

I wouldn’t call myself a superstar. Maybe it’s just luck that we kind of came together at the right time. My skill set is in business development and strategy. So, I mean, ever since the beginning, I’ve been helping us just match with the right companies and putting together the right plans and then helping people execute on that. But we’ve been hiring at the highest level ever since the beginning. So we tend to kind of poach from the other big agencies or we get people from in-house positions that other prominent companies. And Neil’s a really good recruiter who can pick up the phone and persuade people to come work with us where most companies like people will want to work with me just because of his brand name and his own work ethic and his own reputation.

Got you to your point. He’s a really good recruiter and you guys have built this hell of a team, but you’ve also created partnerships as well. And I think that’s how you and I got connected. Is the business partnership between your brand and my brand? Could you just tell us a little bit more about that?

Yeah, it’s something that partnerships have been slow, slow to roll out for our company for a long time. Companies have wanted to partner with us, and we’ve always been hesitant to do that. We’ve always been so busy with our own inbound traffic. Like Neil’s website. It’s essentially the one of the top three marketing websites on planet Earth outside of HubSpot and maybe search engine land. So we’ve got a lot of traffic or tens of millions of visitors per month and sessions per month. So a lot of people want us to help that. Like we have a good lead capture machine essentially, and people get into our funnel and we’ve never had a problem with being busy, essentially. So we’ve never been able to devote time to a partnership program. But a lot of companies are good fits for us to partner. So we finally rolled that out within the last few months to where complementary companies can come alongside us, we can come alongside them and we can provide our services to them and they can bring in their audience or their existing clients who might need help with that, specifically content marketing, paid media, whatever that piece is that might be missing or might just need to level up. That’s how our partnership develops. So we’re being very selective with who we work with, you being one of them, to where you can start to introduce your audience to Neil and our team.

Yeah, yeah. I mean, so. Even with that journey, I mean, I think I’ve been partners with dozens of different companies over the years, and I think you guys like to your point, I mean, you have the credibility to kind of really prescreen. So I think the part of the requirements was we had to do like a phone call. We had to do a bunch of pre screening just to kind of build up and even get to the point to where the partnership even existed. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it, but I mean, you guys have the clout to be able to do that. So, I mean, it’s definitely one of those things that in business, partnering with somebody, a lot of times people just want to partner. But you guys are doing your due diligence beforehand. So just staying on the partnerships, I mean, how is your partnership structured like you’ve done businesses before, you’re working with Neal. How are your partnerships structured?

Well, it has to be mutual benefit one and it has to be a good complementary fit. So we’re not going to partner with every single company that comes to us in the same way that we don’t work with every single company that comes to us. So just to take a step back, when we get I don’t know, we get tens of thousands of companies that reach out to us every single month that they want our help. And we end up working with less than one half of one percent of those companies. So our criteria to work with us is very strict, very stringent. And people have to go through a lot of hoops, not because we’re artificially creating hoops, it’s just that our company was built with integrity. Neil’s whole vision for it was, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. And that means we’re not going to be able to work with everyone. It’s just a fact of life, essentially, that the people that we have. So we take that same approach with our partners and we’re going to be very selective with who we partner with, meaning we want to know, do you have the audience that is a good fit and do we like you and you have a good message and do you operate with integrity? Then we can have a conversation. So that’s why it took so long for us to actually make it work. And then we take that same approach with the partnerships and now we treat your audience and your existing clients and whoever you’re bringing to us and really treat them with kind of a VIP approach because you already have the credibility. You’re essentially saying, hey, these are my friends, I want them to come meet you. So we’re going to kind of bypass a few steps, but we’re still not going to shortchange the process and we’re still going to go through this custom evaluation and scoping process to make sure it will actually make sense for them and not just put them through some packages, package A, B or C. That’s how a lot of the agency world operates. It’s all about scale and kind of this Lego block mentality of everyone’s just going to fit in the same bucket or fit in the same package or they’re going to choose a package. We can’t do that or a company doesn’t. It doesn’t work that way. So we have to build everything in a custom manner, depending on the business type and competitiveness and things like that.

So you mean staying on the credibility track? Right. So, I mean, we always hear about the twenty years it takes someone to become a success story and it always perceived as an overnight success. How long did it take you to climb up the ladder and to get to where you are currently?

You mean us as a company?

You and me both. It’s two part question. So you first and then the company second.

Good question. I mean, for Neil, it’s been about a 20 year journey for him to get to where he is now. And Neil had a lot of early success, too. It’s not like he was a twenty-year success story. He might be the exception to where he did hit it big, maybe with a few different businesses early on. Like Crazy Egg is his first software company that he co-founded. And that was very successful and it still is. But the agency itself. Well, let’s just take Neil Patel.Com, his website. When Neil pivoted to his personal brand in twenty fifteen, he went all in his former website was Quick Sprout. If people are familiar with it, if you Google online marketing, you’re going to see two websites at the top. There will be Quick Sprout and Neil Patel and they flip flops sometimes. Those are both Neil’s websites. But when Neil shifted to his personal brand, he went all in and he spent a lot of his own money and a ton of his own time to build up content and really make it the premier digital marketing outlet for the world that’s taken us five years to get to where we are now. That’s with a pedal to the metal spending. I can’t even say the amount, but it’s a lot of money to get to this point and a lot of people, a lot of resources to become that. And most companies, it would take twenty years if they even ever get there. For Neil, it’s taken five years. So that’s how long it took us to get here. Hopefully that answers the question.

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. When you really think about it being five years is a really short period of time to get to the level currently where you guys are. So, I mean, not just a national supercell. You guys are international. I mean, you got like seven locations worldwide or six locations worldwide. So certainly. Yeah, it’s crazy. Crazy. So, I mean, you personally, do you come from an entrepreneurial background? Like where do you get your your business savvy?

Yeah, I definitely do. I’m not an employee type. I mean, I have a unique role here where I have given a lot of flexibility to kind of be entrepreneurial and essentially a deal maker. My job is to make deals. And do it right, so we can grow as a company and grow the right way. And that’s really how I’m evaluated. But I have a lot of input into the process of how we grow the company, the agency, how we develop partnerships, how we are perceived in the marketplace. But I do come from an entrepreneurial background. I mean, my father’s I mean, he owns his own chiropractic practice. It’s kind of an entrepreneur. But I’ve always been the the rebel, the free spirit. And I have created multiple service companies over the years. I’ve had a juice business like a healthy organic produce delivery company. I had a trucking logistics company that did many millions of dollars and dealt with big national and international contracts. So I’ve touched it all and seen it all. That’s kind of my background.

Do you think any of that was a factor to your current success?

One hundred percent. And part of the reason why is that I’ve dabbled in so many industries and my friends are all entrepreneurs like I don’t come from the agency world. So I don’t really know people from other agencies, a lot of people in agencies, they kind of like just run in the same circles and they my job hop. So they just go from agency to agency, the agency. I’ve never done that. All my friends are either like really prominent entrepreneurs or local entrepreneurs. And and that’s just how I’ve always I’ve always operated. So I get to see how a lot of companies operate. And I know the nuances of maybe a SAS company, how they market and sell to a local company, to totally different businesses. They don’t have nothing to do with each other. So it definitely helps when I’m on the phone with someone who owns an H HVAC company or or I’m on the phone with, let’s say, a large manufacturer or a defense contractor, like they all have their own lingo. They’ll have their own buying process is a criteria evaluation, like everything is different. So you have to be able to adjust. And that certainly helps me.

That’s definitely interesting. I mean, obviously, you’re a byproduct of your environment and obviously you keep in your circles pretty tight. But to your point, you’re saying that all your circles are pretty much high-level executives or high-level entrepreneurs. I mean, that’s definitely a win-win situation.

Right.

How do you juggle your work life with your family life?

I guess it’s a little easier now that you don’t have to leave the house or not as much. I’ve always been a family man, so the two kind of blend together and my kids are always involved in what I do. And I want them to be involved. I want them to see how business works, like how deals get put together, how marketing works, how podcasts work, how content is developed. So I love it, especially with what I do because I get to show my kids my wife doesn’t care.

She’s like, I hate marketers because all they want to do is extract money from me. She’s joking, but she always says everything is my fault for being up sold on a deal, on a purse or on a dress or something. But I just try to keep things fluid and open with my family and especially my kids. I don’t have to cut off. At the end of the day. It’s like work stops here. Sometimes it’s a teaching moment.

So I allow things to keep rolling. But there are definitely times when I have to shut everything off and say it’s family time.

So what does your morning habits, your morning routines look like lately as a roll out of bed and open up the laptop and get on a Zoome call with people in Sweden or I don’t know, some other part of the world, but I usually try to jump out of bed and hit, get a walk in or get some type of exercise. My father taught me this, that there’s a response called the Cortisol Awakening response. If you can get out of bed and get like some basically heavy breathing, either run some hills or do jump rope or something to where your body is dressed right.

When you wake up, that will kind of trigger your body’s momentum to keep it. What do you call that, like proper circadian rhythms and decreases your blood pressure and all these other things?

So does that run parallel with, like, working out and getting your endorphins up? Exactly.

Exactly. Yeah. And some people do it later in the day. But I guess there are studies that show doing it right when you wake up has a huge benefit. So some people say you have their morning routine, which is read a book or do your meditation or journaling. And but I guess if you can get exercise and before that, it’s really beneficial.

Yeah. I mean, I think you just brought up a good Segway to like books. Are you reading any particular books right now that you would like to recommend time?

Yeah, I kind of think of what the fact that your eyes went like straight to the ceiling because I was sitting on the floor, you know, my library and I have other ones elsewhere.

But actually a really phenomenal book that I’m in love with right now is a story worthy. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it. I haven’t checked this book out. I mean, it’s kind of a workbook to this guy is an amazing writer and. Storyteller, but if you want to learn how to be a better, more persuasive storyteller or just communicator, that’s the book also reading this one. When the wolves bite, this one’s a little more obscure.

But it’s about the hedge funds that were battling over Herbalife, which is the MLM company out of Utah. Gotcha.

And then another book that is required reading for any entrepreneur or any deal maker is pitch anything. If you heard of that, I have pitch anything or flip the script from or is a buddy of mine. Those two are phenomena.

I reread them quite often, but Goku is always great because like everybody I’ve interviewed on his podcast with the current theme that I’ve realized is that if they’re not reading books, they’re listening to audio books, which is a continuing education thing, you have to kind of stay on the ground around the clock to keep the information fresh and stay updated and stay in tune to your environment. So it’s definitely like I said to me, it was hilarious that you looked over and you looked up.

It was like as he sat on the floor like a hot toilet.

OK, here’s another one. I have so many I can keep sending you. But this one verbal advantage is another workbook type. That is an amazing book. If you want to expand your vocabulary and understand the words you’re using as time goes on. And I’m listening to David Goggins right now, that can’t hurt me. Audiobook nice. I don’t know if you heard that one, but it is brutal. I mean.

Yeah, yeah. I mean I follow him on Facebook and his whole Facebook account is kind of like he’s a good example of what marketing looks like when your audience is doing all the marketing for you. Right. It’s exactly. Everybody on his page is just showing how they went from being bigger to smaller, how they went for it being handicapped to working it out. So, I mean, he definitely has a solid brand for sure. He’s an inspiration.

Yeah, definitely. So what do you see yourself in 20 years?

Who? Probably that’s a tough question, be on a beach surfing every day, probably not working as much as I do now with some passive income moving forward, but never stopping. I mean, this is what I love to do. Like, I live to get better and to be a better communicator and to put together bigger and better deals with my friends and with our company. So I’ll probably be doing some form of what I’m doing now, which is either leveraged buyouts or continuing to grow our agency and the magnitude of it.

Hmm, which is working left with that, I mean, what tools do you guys use that you would not be able to do what you do without?

We have a lot structurally. We run through sales force. That happened as of about a year and a half ago. We made the switch from HubSpot to sales us, and now we’ve got a lot of integrations with that. We use things like work front for project management, but then we’ve got a lot of like the tools of the trade are endless and we pretty much license everything there is in existence from a like a marketing stack because we want to be able to have the right data for our clients so we can be informed by that, not driven by.

I like to use the phrase data informed versus data driven because you want to just take information, then make decisions off of it, not having numbers tell you what to do. We license a lot of tools. I mean, we have our own tool, which is Uber suggest, and that’s getting better and better and better. So we definitely use our own our own dog food and Crazy Egg and Yellow Bar is one of our softwares as well. And then we also have some proprietary internal tools that we use only for our clients.

But when you talk about marketing stack like it runs the gamut, we pretty much license everything there is.

Yes. I mean, I think the fact that you brought up Uber suggests it’s kind of like a really solid. That’s how I found you guys to begin with. It was like I was going through some online training stuff and I was working with Tikhon, which is a big kind of guy. He was making a recommendation for Jess. So I started using suggestions like this is probably comparable, if not better, than using Google keyword planner and is a little bit friendlier, streamlined.

Let me talk about that a little bit more to me. Obviously, if you’re familiar with marketing, you’re familiar with keywords, you’re familiar with SEO by default. Everybody thinks Google keyword plan, right? Probably Google Trends to a certain extent. So just dive into Google suggest a little bit.

Yeah. Google keyword planner has been kind of the default tool for a lot of CIOs for many years. But then other tools, we’re getting better like a Trev’s or it’s a draft, but I address CRM Rush Majestic Maw’s. Those are basically like the four major tools for ASIO. And then Neil bought Google suggest a couple of years ago. It was purely a corporate research tool and he acquired it with the idea that we would make it into what it is today.

It’s barely a fraction of what Neil’s vision is for it. But the idea behind it is simplicity. And you’ll notice that. And that’s what people love about Ebisu, just as it strips away all the complexity of those big tools and just gives you what you need right now, which is I need to make decisions off of my content or my competitors content. How do I go from research to action as fast as possible? And that’s how Neil really designed it.

And I’ve been in the room since we acquired the software and with our product managers building the tool into what it is today and had some input on the development of it. But the whole goal is to just make it easy to use to where you can see where your website currently ranks versus your competitors or just ranks for your ideal terms and then also running audits of your site. Like how well is your site performing from a user experience, site speed experience perspective.

And that’s just go down that one real quick. This is an important piece for your whole audience, is that Google came out in March or March or May of this year and said in a year from now, we’re going to roll out a core update. And Google never does that. Google always rolls out a core update and then everyone has to react to it. There was Pande, there’s Penguin, there was the Google Medek update of twenty eighteen where you saw a bunch of websites just like disappear off the face of the earth because they didn’t have the right authoritative content.

So now in May of twenty twenty one, write that down and do everything in your power to make sure that your website provides a great user experience. And that’s basically evaluated by the core web titles. If you go in Google’s Lighthouse Tool or Google’s page speed tool that you can Google at Google, page the tool and you can go in there and just search for your website, or you can use a tool called G.T. Metrics. GTE met r.i X.com run your site through that to see what it’s showing or scoring for page speed.

It’s also going to show you the core web vitals and how you stack up for that. What that means is how fast is the page load and then how much JavaScript or anything is blocking that from being viewed the page from being viewed and then how much information is moving around on the screen. It’s called the cumulative layout shift. If any of those are slow or there’s too much movement, you’re going to get a bad score. And essentially Google will potentially prioritize your website or that particular page.

So just to kind of recap to what you’re saying, because I think some of what you said, I think some of these guys. Right, you kind of just hand over the right. So just. Meaning what you’re saying is that essentially that Google is dropping a new update and in that update is not going to be as lenient to certain things, for example, like keyword metadata as it used to be, is more so speed loading of the page.

How long, how large images, how much information you have, how much JavaScript, meaning like the stuff behind the scenes that controls the objects on the page. How much of that is slowing down the page? So with that being said, that’s crazy in itself because I would think but 80 percent of all websites in today’s market are probably WordPress and we all know that we’re press on the front end is heavily driven by all the red flags that you just listed, right?

Yeah. So, I mean, what’s the game plan for something like that?

Well, I think WordPress is fifty five percent of the Internet, which is still huge. That’s the majority of websites are WordPress. So, yeah, it is an issue and there’s a lot of a legacy, WordPress themes that are not really compatible or they’re not fast. And then you have like Hosteen issues. So you definitely want to have a fast host and you want to have a theme that will allow you to make adjustments to solve for this essentially.

Yeah. So I mean, WordPress is not the problem in and of itself because Neil’s website, Neil Patel dot com, all of our agency websites, everything is built on WordPress and we’re like steller on all of these metrics. Essentially the core web titles, page speed, it’s really a case by case basis. And you just have to look at and say, can we use this particular theme? Is content an issue? What’s the issue? If there is an issue, can it be solved with WordPress or does it have to be reframed sometimes or do you need a faster host?

A plethora of factors that come into it, but it has to just be evaluated by people. But just real quickly, recap so your audience knows what is important. Mobile first, think mobile only don’t even worry about desktop. Everything should be mobile. Only your website should be geared towards how your page interacts with someone with a Samsung device or an Apple device or whatever. Has to be mobile first, not just friendly, but really designed for that.

The major ranking factors are content like you’re on page content, your links like the actual inbound links from other websites. Those used to make up 80 percent of the algorithm. Now with this core web vital shift that’s happening and that’s going to be more evenly distributed. So it’s still content is important, links are still important. But now the user experience kind of gets on equal footing with those other factors. So you’ve got to really build all of those.

And that’s from an organic standpoint. That’s for search engine optimization. From an organic standpoint, some of that still applies to paid search and paid social, like if you’re sending ads to your website or just sending ads to a page and that page is slow to load and it’s not showing information clearly or things are moving too much, then people are going to bounce. Right. You’re going to have a low quality score. You’re not going to convert people.

So it still applies to everything. But really what we’re talking about now is about ranking factors within organic search. I mean, I think you made a good point about just conversions and in today’s world and everybody wants to get into like Facebook ads, Google ads. So a lot of times I do it. A lot of clients that they’re paying for ads, they’re seeing traffic. We’ve been doing like heat maps to kind of track to see what are they doing on the website.

But some of them are seeing conversions, some are not seeing conversions, and they’re wondering why they’re not seeing conversions. And to your point, that’s the reason why they’re not seeing conversions. Right. Because potentially. Yeah. I mean, there again, there’s a multitude of factors. Congruency is one of them. Like, does your ad does what you’re calling out in the ad, the actual headline, who you’re calling it out for, what the image or creative looks like?

Does that match the landing page? Does that experience match? That’s often where big disconnect is for advertisers. They’re sending ads to basically a garbage page and then people are just going to balance. You know, they don’t have time. I mean, people are making decisions with their thumbs in milliseconds, definitely. So you have to think like that.

Yeah, definitely. I mean, to your point, I think a lot of the landing pages and the quick phone was a great platform, but the younger version of click funnel pages that are still in existence, that are still running and just sending traffic to it, you can kind of see the old versus the new. You’ll land on a page. And it’s like John Belyaev, if you’re trying to sort through it five seconds later, you’re going to leave because you can’t even scroll.

You can’t do anything because it’s frozen at that point. So definitely. Definitely so.

I mean, what final words of wisdom would you have for an entrepreneur that wants to get into, like the web development or marketing just in general space that you’re in, like someone to be kind of doing what we do, essentially some form of agency consultant work to say I’m twenty two years old, I’m kind of in college, out of college.

I understand a little bit of development. I understand like what words would you give to me to inspire me to follow in your footsteps.

I would say. I think in terms of humans first. Versus technology first, the technology will always change, but what won’t change are basic human behavior and human psychology principles. So if you can start there, start with why people make decisions. Basically read some of the best copywriters and you can handwrite their stuff that will give you a leg up over everyone who is a technical person. First, like anyone can figure out Facebook. And if all you did was just say, I’m going to learn Facebook ads, you can learn it, you can learn Google ads, you can learn like anyone could do that if you devote enough time to it.

But what not everyone gets to do is understanding psychology and how it all fits together. But if you can do that, I mean, if you can be at least competent at psychology and direct response principles and you can apply technology to it, like if you become an email marketer or if you’re an NGO or if you’re a media buyer, if you understand psychology, you’re going to be 10x better than all of your peers. But you’ve got to go deep on one thing, deep on maybe one technical piece, deep on the psychology, and then you can add things down the road.

Right. But don’t try to be all things to all people. I think that would be my advice. Solid gold, the nuggets.

I mean, to your point, the riches are in the niches. So, I mean. Right. You gave them a solid roadmap to get to that level of achievement. What Facebook, Instagram like, to your point, I mean, you have so many different platforms out there. How could people get in contact? You guys, if it’s your audience, I’d say go through you, because I think I just got a text today that we were going to do something special for our partners and their audience, their clients this month and December.

So some type of special deal. I don’t know what that is, but whether it’s some additional work from our team or potentially a discount just in good faith that’s happening this month of December. So if anyone is interested in working with us through you, then definitely reach out through the boss. But otherwise they can find us just on Neil Patel, Dotcom or Excel dot com or NPE, digital dot com, probably too many websites to mention, but you can’t go wrong with Neil Patel.

Dotcom. Got it. Got it.

So just going into some bonus questions, right? If you could be a superhero, who would it be and why?

I didn’t prepare for that one. Who would I be? I don’t know. Probably Heman. Do you remember Heman? I do remember him. And just because it was wild and funky, you know, but I guess that would be.

Yeah, I mean, he meant is definitely when I think about him, he’s like a cult classic for sure. Right.

And the reason why I say that is because I saw a blip of a documentary on the making of human. And apparently these guys were like on LSD and stuff and they were just making stuff up as they went along, like, oh yeah, he needs to write a tiger and he’s got to have some just crazy stuff. That’s interesting. And it’s not your typical Superman or a Batman or anything.

I mean, yeah. I mean, he’s kind of like the weird Superman that says the whole alter ego and and then he calls it a power Grayskull. And then he ripped off his shirt.

Sort of got me in a nutshell, a little bit of me.

Great.

So if you could spend twenty four hours with anybody dead or alive, uninterrupted, who would it be and why?

This is always like the stumper question that people have to stop and think about. I’ve been around a lot of celebrities in my life, built around some really powerful people I’ve experienced. I mean, like from generals of Delta Force to James HETFIELD of Metallica to NBA NFL superstars, I took a nap in Jordan’s locker one time and in Chicago hung out with those guys. I’ve been around a lot of great people. If I had to spend twenty four hours, it would still be with my wife and my kids.

And this is a realization I’ve had recently as my kids grow, is that I only have so much time left with them. So I don’t know. It’s probably a corny answer, but I wouldn’t change anything. I would just be here as I am now.

I mean, I think it’s a testament to once you I think you reach a level of success and then you kind of understand that what really matters is it the money, is it the fame? Is it the glory is a success. And then you really stop and think about the only thing I really have is my family. So to your point, you’ve reached a particular level to where your family is, your pride and joy, which I definitely commend.

So this is the time when I kind of just give you the microphone and you can ask me any question you like if you have any. I guess I’m just curious what it seems like. You’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, been involved in different things like what caused you to make the leap and when did that happen for you?

So for me, I think it was always there. And then in college, it was always trying to figure out things. And through that work journey, I kind of had opportunities here and there. So I went full time, Ind., about 10, 11 years ago. Got it. And then that journey was more so I pretty much got primary custody of my son. And it was an opportunity for me to say, you know what, I could work for somebody where I can kind of create my own system, create my own business, and then leave behind a legacy for my son.

And he was young enough. I want to have to grow up in that environment. I want him to understand that you shouldn’t have to if you don’t want to work for anybody. And there may be highs and lows, but in that opportunity, you can see how you can come out on top in the end, right?

That’s awesome. Share similar vision. Like I say, 20 years. But where do you see yourself in two years? In two years?

It was just kind of crazy because like just recently, I came across this crossroads of kind of building up this podcast and getting into like YouTube development and all this other stuff. But I’m thinking that. Again, I’m always hungry for more information and more education, so I’m starting to dip more into real estate now. So I haven’t really, like made a large announcement, but I’m starting to get into real estate investment and on a different scale. So, I mean, obviously, there’s real estate investment where you can look at buildings, you could look at vertical deals.

But I’m more into the space of kind of like land and understanding the land opportunities and the resources on the land and how you can monetize all that three, four or five times and make a legacy of monetizing that land, not necessarily farming, but just like lumber, for example, like just understanding the value of lumber and is a renewable resource that you want some money, you cut down some trees and plant some new ones. And in five, 10, 20 years later, you still have more money, you have more trees.

So just getting in more space of two years from now, I’ll have everything that I’m going on right now. But I’m probably more into the real estate space to a certain extent.

That’s interesting. Have you ever read a book written by Nelson Nash? I think he was from Georgia, too, maybe. But he was a forester like a for a forest resource planner. And he wrote the book called Be Your Own Banker. I believe. I’m trying to think I mean, just look up his name, Nelson Nash, and it’s either be your own banker or something like that, but it’s about creating your own bank off of whole life insurance policies is pretty interesting.

I mean, yeah, I mean, it’s a renewable. So it’s interesting because I was actually an insurance agent at one time. So I definitely understand that model and how that works. So it’s kind of like going into wealth management. Exactly. Through insurances. So right before yourself, you know, giving anyone a percentage of your money. Another question for you. When you’re not working, what do you do for fun?

I say I’m kind of a wild card to some extent. I love rock climbing. I actually just picked up sailing earlier this year. Like, maybe. May this year, so got a sailboat, and so every time I get opportunity, I’m out on a boat just sailing. And it’s one of those life skills is kind of one of those things that a sailboat is not a powerboat. You just turn on and crank it up. There’s checks and balances.

So I’m trying to harness that skill to I’m a sailor. And any time I have opportunity to go, like, you know, to some ninja warrior stuff, climb some trees, do some cartwheels, I’m always game for that. That’s awesome. Well, if you ever make to San Diego, this is a nautical paradise. So want to go sailing? Yeah, definitely.

Definitely. I definitely appreciate your time. And I think you definitely gave my audience, like a lot of things to think about, a lot of insight. So I definitely appreciate everything you’ve brought to the table. Appreciate you having me. Definitely. Definitely. Thank you. See Grant over and out. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss Uncaged, I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming an trailblazer.

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Neil Patel Digital Investor: Andrew J. Miner – S1E26 (#26)2021-02-28T13:24:19+00:00

President Of Worthmore Jewelers: Harris Botnick – S1E25 (#25)

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“If anyway you can figure it out, don’t take a bank loan, to do what you want to do. Because then you’re working for the bank and that’s very stressful, especially if you’re living to a time like this where all your best plans in the world might have changed. There’s individuals out there who, if your idea is good enough, they’re going to believe in you and they will want to invest in your idea. It might take a lot of doors to knock on to find those right people. That’s the right deal.” – Harris Botnick

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E25 – President Of Worthmore Jewelers: Harris Botnick – S1E25 – powered by Happy Scribe

If anyway you can figure it out, don’t take a bank, loan, to do what you want to do because then you’re working for the bank and that’s very stressful, especially if you’re living to a time like this where all your best plans in the world might have changed. There’s individuals out there who, if your idea is good enough, they’re going to believe in you and they will want to invest in your idea. It might take a lot of doors to knock on to find those right people. That’s the right deal. We were fortunate and we had put everything we had into it, certainly, but we had some great investors who believed in what we were doing that we were able to buy out with time, because that’s the way we set it up and they helped us get it started. But we also knew that, God forbid, if something went wrong or our projections were off, nobody’s going to take anything from us and it’s going to be wrong. So I think that was important. I think also, just because your current job situation may not be ideal, that doesn’t mean working for yourself is going to be any better. If you can’t make it through the day to see the good things that you have in the job or in your current situation is probably a lot different working for your self.

Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.

Welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have a special treat, we have the president of Worth More Jurors. I’ve known this is like 14. I’ve known him before my son was born. So at least 15 years and I’ve seen how his business was thriving before you went to multiple locations. You got a couple other things here and there. I mean, just give the people a little bit of who you are harris?

Yeah. So grew up in Atlanta, grew up in the home of an entrepreneur, my father, who was definitely my mentor and role model, and he was a corporate guy to start off and then decided enough for the corporate world. I want to go do something for myself. So that’s really what I was brought up on. Mom also working, dad working, paving the runways. So it was in my blood from a young age, started with a stereo business in a flea market and was always doing something, even in college, working multiple jobs through college, drive in limos, working as a DJ in a bar or whatever it was just to turn it up and have a lot of interaction with people, get to know people, get to know what to do, what not to do. And then was running a big jewelry store here in town to streamline it, got into a discussion with the owners of what the business was worth. And I told them one price. They said, I don’t think it’s really worth that much. It’s like I think you’ll be surprised. We built this thing pretty big. And about six weeks later they came back and I said, hey, good news. You are actually right. The business was worth that much. Cool. I love being right. Good to know. And they said so we sold it. I was like, oh, OK. Well what exactly does that mean? And they said, well, we sold the business, we’re getting out. And I was like, OK, so fast tracking that. I started interviewing my wife at the time, was pregnant. We had a baby on the way. I was like, got to go keep the paycheck coming started interviewing with other jewelry stores in town. And actually my wife Jeri said, What are you doing for years? You have a file cabinet full of business ideas like any entrepreneur, everything from vending machines to whirly ball to jewelry to clothing to coffee bars. Believe it or not, before they were big, I’m a little bit older. We had visited some out of town places that had Austin call. It was for Starbucks was even here. But she was like, this is a sign. This is meant to tell you this is the time to do it. And that was the push that I needed at that time to be like she had a job, fortunately still. But are you sure we can do this? And she said, I’m sure you can do this. And it really was what I needed at the time.

Got it. So, I mean, you always hear about businesses, right? I mean, you’re a jeweller. And I don’t think people really understand what is the definition of a jeweller? I mean, what does that really mean?

Good question. And there are a lot of different people. The way that they look at it, a lot of people, a jeweller means the guy who puts his hands on the jewellery. So I call my jewellers who sit at the workbench all day making jewellry. Jewellers all said I am a business owner who designs jewellry and runs a jewellry business. So I also classify as a jeweller. So it’s a great question because it can refer to multiple things in our industry, from business owner to actually the craftsman who sits there with his hands on the pieces.

So, I mean, you have a really cool title, too. I mean, you’re talking about jewellry. You’re talking about worth more. I mean, how did you come up with the title for your company?

The name was actually truly, truly the hardest thing. Once we decided to do this, we looked at and I looked at numerous businesses. I went out to lunch with numerous businessmen that I respect here in town, from big corporate guys to local entrepreneurs. And they all had one message for me. Hershey Jewellery. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Do what you know, do it right. Do it how you’ve been doing it. So we were like, OK, this is great. One thing that I had experience from working for other jewellers was the need for the independent smaller jeweller when they got stuck with merchandise that wasn’t selling to free up cash flow and manufacturers to when they made all this merchandise that maybe wasn’t the right merchandise and they had to sell it. So I had the idea to do liquidations, go into stores and manufacturers and buy out what they had already made that they need a cash for. So we wanted a name at the time that said discount without it at the time this is twenty seven years ago. The big thing was warehouse. Everything was a warehouse where everything was wholesale and different things like that. We didn’t want to fall into that. We also knew that we didn’t want to do what most family run jewellery stores do, which is call it a family name just because we want it to stick out as being different. So at the time, one of my partners in the business was a big marketing guy who had a big corporate job and a giant staff behind him. And he gave them the project, said, here’s what we’re doing. Here’s what we want to convey. Come up with a name. And literally we met and I think he had four yellow legal pads for every line full of names. And literally we just read through them, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. And there was like three this stuff. And ultimately, we were like worth more describes what we are. We are jewellery we feel is worth our service, we feel is worth more. We’re buying it differently. And we’ve sort of changed our focus over the years that we’re buying it differently. So we know our pricing is also worth more. So we felt like that did it? It also sort of sounded still like a family name. And we definitely get calls weekly asking to talk to Mr. Werthmann where we it.

Got it. So another big thing that I think that you did that was, I think probably key to your success was I mean, location is key, right? Location is king. And you have two premium locations. Like how did you even figure out did you contact a realtor or did you just noted you wanted to be near Piedmont Park and the Keda Square? I mean, how did that come about?

You said the original location, which Piedmont Park is our backyard. We we knew we wanted to warehouse. We feel a big strip center, but not a traditional strip center. So we were actually really hot on how at the time we were hot in Midtown. We wanted to be in Midtown because we wanted a diverse clientele that was super important to us running mall store for so long and seeing the lack of diversity and how different people were treated in the store was one of the reasons we wanted to be in Midtown. We wanted to be open for everybody, no matter what you looked like, how you dressed, who you loved, whatever it is, the diversity was super important twenty seven years ago when Atlanta really didn’t have a lot of shopping experiences for that. But what I saw in the mall stores was people coming in and being judged and not feeling comfortable to come in as a couple are coming together are not yet top treatment because of how they were dressed or whatever it might be that sort of give us a geographical area. We looked at lots of spaces and ultimately the entrepreneurs that I was talking to that were in business that Paris, you can investigate this. You can do as much research as you want, but eventually you just got to open your doors and go with your best option, open your and then you’re going to figure it out. And I took that advice and our midtown store was just prime. We love the area being near Piedmont Park, Virginia Highlands, the diversity. It was also a redone warehouse area. So tons of parking giant spaces that when we lived in twenty seven years ago, all our rent was four dollars a foot. So that also was pretty sweet. Well, now and then the second location came along. We sort of did it as a defensive move. Actually, there was off at our center and Midtown was going to sell. We didn’t want to be without an open business, so we started looking for a second location. This is thirteen years ago. We love the vibe indicator, the sort of small town Mayberry type feel with businesses very locally supported. I love the small guy. They hate the big box chains. So we knew that’s where we want it to be. We probably looked at eight different locations indicator, the one that we’re ultimately on. And East Corp Square was the first spot we looked at. But there was a folk art gallery in there and it wasn’t available. We called the landlord after we kept looking and trying to make these other spots work and we said, that’s our home. That’s where we want to be. When that spot opens up, we would like for a Friday refusal. About six months later, they called us and said, hey, these guys want to get out of their lease early. We said, we’re too close to Christmas right now. We can’t do it this year. This was September already. And we didn’t want to make us want to stretch ourself out for the holidays. And then I have Valentines immediately after that. So I said I can’t take it until after Valentine’s Day. And they said, look, we know who you guys are. Y’all are solid business. You have a following. We know it’s going to be long term. We’ll wait for you. And yeah, I mean, from day one, from dealing with the city to the individuals there, it was just perfect, perfect, perfect. We loved it. We wish we had more space there. But besides that dictator, the clientele is fantastic, too. And again, they like that different. They don’t want any big box. They want cool where when I was in the mall stores, everybody there, what their neighbor was wearing when we got in town, everybody went out with they had never seen before, which was a lot more fun for us.

Definitely. Definitely. And I think you definitely bring an eclectic palette to it, not just with the jewelry, but just the environment, the space, the decor. Another great business move that you made was you made it. It’s kind of like it’s an art gallery as well, both locations that you kind of bring local artists and you sell their work as well. So it kind of tells a little bit about that.

Yeah. So actually, the painting behind me since you brought it up is by one of my favourite, Jonathan Calicut, who’s a local artist. Everything’s handled from the frame to a handgun, pencil in it to the block frame. He’s an amazing guy, but we actually have the art. And when twelve years ago when we opened that store, I was actually in the space scraping down the floor, cleaning out the trash. The previous tenant had left Holland stuff out of there the first week and probably 15 to 20 people knocked on the door and said, oh, all new art gallery and kept on happening. And then I went home one night and I said to Jerry, I’m like, you know what? One thing we have learned over the years is the walls don’t sell jewellery. People just don’t see it. When you have these beautiful wall cases, you can have the best jewellery in the world up there, but it’s behind you and people don’t recognize it. And we think of jewellery as art, art as jewelry. So we were like, let’s do the art. So we tested it out in our Decatur store, which was our newest location. Then I clicked. People love the idea of people who shopped with us for years already and bought gifts for jewelry, gifts for special occasions, and now an art. We saw the reaction there and we quickly not planning it because this was in two thousand and eight. Also, I must mention, by the time we got that store open, wasn’t necessarily the best time in the world to open. A new business started in 2007 when things were good. So we redid the midtown store also and added in the art there. And it really is a great complement to what we do because it helps us our identity. It shows how different we are in our industry and it gives something people. That’s a fantastic gift. I mean, art, you see daily, it brings back great memories, just like a piece of jewelry that can be passed down. So they really go hand in hand. And we love it because it all I said, and it’s great decorations for our store, it looks different every time you’re in there.

Yeah, definitely. I love it. I think it’s also a great addition to you give back to the community in a different way now only you’re giving back to the environment. But I mean, you even gave me one of my jumpstart, right? I mean, it was a few years back when I released my first book and you have these events at your jewelry store. So it gave me opportunity to kind of bring my book and do a book signing, do a book event and it was like a win where we had food, we had music, everything just kind of came together. But I mean, you’re used to doing that, right? So, I mean, kind of tell us, how does that work with your business? I mean, most jewelers are more so this is our merchandise. This is our product. They’ll showcase it, which is showcase a bit more of an indirect route. You’re bringing people in through events and through the events. You’re giving sales.

But first of all, we love to have fun. Like any entrepreneur, our business is our life. We eat it that we work. Twenty seven, late nights, early mornings, whatever it takes to get done. So we like to have fun in the store and we want our customers to have an experience. We don’t want somebody just to walk in and be stressed out because they’re making a large purchase or about to be engaged, whatever it is that they need. So we want a more lighthearted approach to it. And we love bringing in local people who maybe don’t have what we have. We’ve been blessed with twenty seven great years at this point. So our customer list is gigantic. And you know that we as you said, we want to get back. So we support a lot of charities throughout the year. But we also like to bring in sort of these pop up type events like book signings are art openings, charity events, other things like that. So it’s fun for us because not only do we get to help somebody else out, get them to meet our customers, we also get to meet their followers. So it really is a win win and it’s something different and fun. And again, it’s all about the experience. There’s numerous places to buy jewelry. We, of course, feel ours is the most unique. We feel that everything about what we do, I could get out, summarize all the positive aspects. But I got to think every business owner thinks that about their business or they wouldn’t be in business. But and to be able to bring in these outside things and just make a fun event that people remember, that they’re like, I want to go back to that place. It was so cool. I came down for final version of first book signing, but had no idea they were even there. I need to go back from that. And from your event that we had, you know, we met some great people that started supporting us. And at the same, I had some of my customers picked up your book and started calling all the great things that you’re doing now.

Yeah, it definitely is a win win situation. And I think that’s what entrepreneurship really is about. It’s not just about making money is about who else can I bring along with me for the journey and have them excel as well? And I think you’ve been the epitome of that as long as I’ve known you, which is great. I’m blessed to have you in my circle just to say it that way. Thank you. So, I mean, you brought up Jerry, which is your wife. And when it comes to entrepreneurs, right? I mean, there’s always one entrepreneur in the family, Per, and then there’s the spouse or the children and they’re always kind of looking and following. But from what I’ve learned from Jerry, I think she’s just as ambitious as you are.

Absolutely. She also grew up in an entrepreneurial household. So it was in her blood also and tailor by trade. She has a strong retail background and we do get to work together. So it’s it’s something where a lot of people look at us and like, how do you. I’ll do it. Yeah. Yeah, we can’t imagine anything but that. And we do things very differently for the company. We look at things very differently. She’s very fashion driven. I’m very analytical driven. So people look at a piece of jewellery and see fashion. I’ll look at it and see parts. And so it helps in our body. To make sure that we’re buying effectively because we’re getting really the best of everything, we’re getting great looking pieces of jewellery that nobody else has. But because of my background in the industry working for hands on jewellers in the beginning years, I look at the parts to make sure that the pricing is right with it. So we really do compliment each other in the business. And even though we work literally, if we’re both at our desk, which is rare, but if we’re both at our desk four feet away from each other, but we may go half the day without even having a direct interaction because we’re just in there doing our thing. We all have our responsibilities. We’re not blessed that we brought in our oldest child who’d been up in New York for the past three years working for a jewellery designer up there on the wholesale side. She was doing training for them. We got her back to Atlanta during that, and she’s now working with us, too, because she’s seen us grow up and she’s grown up from Jerry’s to bring her in, carrying around the baby, born on her chest, helping customers, trying not to knock her in the head when we open up jewellery showcases. She really grew up in the store and now she’s behind the counter and helping us with our online and taking care of our social. So it’s really gratifying for us to see also what we’ve worked so hard at being another generation falling into it. Besides that, I get to work with my nephew, works for me. My mother in law comes in and does some back office work for us. It really is a home grown. We feel like everybody in the store is our family because we bought many of us for 20 years together and more than 20 years together. But it’s nice to also have those blood ties in it and get to see each other in a different light than you would normally.

Nice. Nice. And I mean, you keep alluding to the twenty seven to twenty seven, and it’s just one of the questions I usually always act, you know, it always takes twenty years to become this overnight success story. I mean, when did you guys really achieve that? I mean, you guys have been in magazines, you’ve been on TV, you guys have been in a lot of different media spots. When did that Eureka moment happen? That was ten years and five years.

And that’s a great question. And I really can’t say I can say that during reflect on all them. We remember that first month where we had sold enough to pay our mom in one thing that I said when we opened at the retail store down in Florida about. This was probably 10 months into it, I was like, you know what, I think we’re both going to be great at this. I think we’re going to do good. We’re going to be successful. We cannot forget is how hungry we are right now, how willing we are to do whatever it takes to take care of our customers, to make stuff happen, to do it in the right way, to treat people right. So long as we never forget that, then the rest just happened. I can’t say it. And you’re right. We have been blessed. We’ve been the best of Atlanta by about every publication in town. We’ve been voted by the jewellery industry, one of the coolest stores in America. Top three designers, best to do business with American Express best. So all of these great accolades, it really does. When we get those every one of them every time still means so much to us because we put so much into it. I couldn’t say when it really started to happen, but I can say that I can promise you that we don’t ever take any of that for granted. So no matter what we become, we know that’s what we are today. But we know that we are never going to rest on our laurels. We’re just not going to sit back, even down to changing the way the store looks that you’ve been shopping with me. We’ve probably redone the store four times. It still is that what I call a dark wood store with deep carpet and big chandelier. We’re definitely a hipper, more bare bones approach to fine jewellery, but we change it up and we go in so many businesses, whether they’re restaurants or other retail stores and we like. This place just sedated at this point, why haven’t they put a fresh coat of paint on the walls? Why haven’t they taken this carpet out? Why haven’t they replaced this? It is money that you have to spend along the way. But their investments, it’s what keeps you relevant and that’s what excites your customers. So every time they’re in, like, wow, this store must be doing good. They keep on keep on upgrading. And so I think more than anything is we have our wall of awards that we love seeing because that’s accomplishments for us. But we know that’s what we earned in the past. We still have to go out and earn it for the next day. And I think that I really do feel like in our whole staff, I think feels that way. They know whatever big sale they had yesterday or whatever customer they made yesterday, they have to take care of that customer. But we have to take care of the next person that comes in and make them feel welcome and make them feel special. So I think that’s the key for any business, especially in times like this. You have to reinvent you after rock and roll. You have to swerve and curve and not just take it for granted and not sit down to feed it and not say I can’t do business in that environment. We just had our first small special event the other night. As you said, we do a lot of large scale special events where we’ll rent out speakeasies, that private events. We’ve rented out large bars and just had band parties, basically lots of designer events in the store. But we actually invited 12 ladies and the other night and we just got into luxury handbags, which are sort of like the fine watch market. And we had the ladies in and they got to shop and privacy. We set up the entreprise instead of having a big buffet, we had separate trays for each lady with everything that they would enjoy. We had cuts. It could be identified as there. So we took a lot of precautions. And it was the first time we were able to do our special events since the beginning of the year. So we started it small. It was very successful and we felt that we did it safely. So with that, we’ll build on this model for a while. We still don’t want to do a huge event because we respect the people’s safety and we obviously respect our family, our crew safety. But we have to figure out ways to still do these events. No. One, we like them, they’re fun. But it’s also part of our business model.

Yeah, definitely. I mean, to your point, you’re saying 12. And I remember when we did the books on, I think we ended up having like one hundred and thirty hundred forty people in the store. So it’s not even a difference. But I think you’re the epitome of the example of how a storefront could still survive through Kovack. Right. That’s like the first things you always think about. It’s a storefront. You have to close the doors. How are you going to make money? Are you going to sell things online? And obviously, I don’t know your numbers, but I would think just from the outside looking in your level, I mean, you’re like stock at this point. You’re just you’re good.

I mean, we lost we were totally shut down for about six and a half weeks. There’s eighteen of us all in. Fortunately, we want to keep everybody on furlough. Anybody. We just we realize what our crew does for us and we have to be there for them. So we we do have savings. Obviously, that’s what we were able to keep everybody moving on. So during that time, we were doing Zoome appointment and we were holding up jewelry to the camera. We were doing whatever we did, making deliveries to people’s houses, using other, but still staying in touch with people so we could reopen. And people felt safe to come in. With all the safety precautions that we’re taking, then we could restart our business. And I think that there were so many people who came into the store and they’re like, we haven’t been anywhere. Harris, you are the first place we did. Wow. What an honor for your jeweller to be your first place. You then and they said, well, we knew you guys would be doing it safely and we needed some retail therapy. We wanted to get out. We need it. Something to do. But one thing I heard from another entrepreneur here in town is like as a small business, we’re able to control our environment better than any big box store because we’re in there, we’re on the floor. We’re seeing what’s happening. We noticed quickly our engagement area was getting very congested.

So we divided up the store and we took parts of the engagement area and put it in other parts of the store that weren’t as congested with a number of people in the store to win a sales person to bailable our guard, let you in and greet you with some hand sanitizer. We’re all in mass, so we’re doing lots of different safety things. And just like business, we’re never going to sit idle. We’re going to always reinvent ourselves. Every morning when we’re doing our deep cleaning of the stores, we’re talking saying, hey, last week, did you notice this?

Yeah, let’s change this. Let’s do that. So again, we’re not going to get comfortable. We’re not going to get complacent and what we’re doing. So we’re going to remain safe for us and for our clients coming in.

And I think another thing that you mentioned a couple of times in the past few minutes is your professional equity for your employees, not necessarily monetary equity, but I think your employees have a sense of ownership when they work with you. I think they have a sense of pride, which I think you’ve had some people that has worked at least 20 years, I would think so. It shows that most companies don’t really hold on to people that much anymore. What have you done besides what you’ve mentioned before, to kind of retain and maintain your employees?

And it is all about the crew. There’s no doubt about it. We realized long ago we understand the business we get at this point, sort of what works, what won’t or what we should take a chance on, what we should pass on, how much things should cost, how much it costs to run the business. But the key to expansion when we were ready to expand was finding the right people. Because if I don’t have the people that do, just as you said, treat you like gold every time you come in, I’m not going back to that place.

They might have fantastic reviews, but for some reason. It wasn’t there for me, so we do feel blessed that we have employees that have been 20 plus years on down that and retail is really unheard of and most corporate structures today is even unheard of. So it is super special to us. What do we do? I think we treat people how we want to be treated. I think we don’t take things for granted. We let people have a voice in the store and what we carry in our procedures.

If I see something that’s not working, I might say, hey, guys, this isn’t working. How can we do it differently? Instead of some bosses might say, hey, this isn’t working, we’re doing it this way? Well, for me to come in when I’m not helping everybody in the store, obviously at this point we have, as I said, 18 of us that are on the floor interacting with customers. That’s the feedback I need.

So I need their feedback to help the store continue to be relevant and to grow. So I think knowing that they make a difference in our business and in people’s lives, one of them said years ago, my manager indicator, Olia, said, you know, what I love about this job is I don’t really look at it as a job. It’s something that I get to do. It’s fun. I love the people I work with and we’re helping people celebrate whatever it is.

It might be a promotion, a graduation or a birthday. Might be a wedding, maybe a divorce, still a celebration. I had a customer this weekend who emailed us Friday and said, my daughter is turning 17 tomorrow. Can I bring my balloons in the morning? This is what I want to spend. This is what she’s sort of about. We all make a big deal out of it. And I was like, absolutely. We stopped and got cakes and roads bakery up on Cheshire Bridge, as in we had sparkling apple cider instead of champagne.

And we made a great deal of this young lady who was fantastic. And she had an unbelievable experience and we had an unbelievable experience with her. For that father. To want her to bring her to my store for her 17th birthday is super special to me and to our crew. So I think they see that they also get a big hand on what we carry in the store. When we’re buying, we’re looking to them. What are your customers asking for?

Is this event so in other words, they’re just not giving jewelry and they sell this. They probably picked out what they’re selling to you, which I think is also very gratifying to be able to have that type of influence on it. And I think that, again, we obviously have procedures and we have an employee handbook, but we also realize you got to look at things independently. We have to look at people independently. People are going to go through things.

People are going to need different things at different times in their lives. And we have to be there for them because they’re there for us. And so I think it’s a circle. It’s the only way we know how to do things. It’s the only way we would want to be treated. So we try to treat people that way. And we’ve been so fortunate that we do have the right people who treat us back that same way. And some of these people came to us as customers are as worked in another store near us.

And they started coming in and we got friendly with them, our different areas in the business or the industry or just in Atlanta so that I cannot stress. Again, it’s nice business is I think a lot of them that I hear talk say it’s all about our customers and for us it’s all about our I always rank it. It’s all about my crew first, my vendor second, my customers who are important to me, but they really are. Third, because if I don’t have my first two in place, it doesn’t matter if I have the best customers in the world, are the most customers in the world, if my employees are not happy, if my vendors are not good to work with, I can’t take care of my customers.

So I have to prioritize and make my crew number one. That’s what everything revolves on. Your experience when somebody comes in may just be with one of our crew members and maybe of our crew members. I need to make sure that you leave with a smile on your face and they will make sure because that’s what they want to do. We’ve got to find for them.

Yeah, I think that that’s just the highlight of a testament to who you are. And another point that you brought up was just you’re looking at your employees not as employees, you’re looking at them as family. So the next question I have in regard to that, I mean, how do you juggle your work life with your family life?

So it’s definitely easier with adult children. But when they were little, it was a struggle because we’re in retail where holidays, where weekends, birthday parties, sporting events, all of those things. That was definitely, you know, mini Saturday mornings where my kids would look at me with their little faces and be looking at you like the rest of the parents and come to our party. And it is hard. And is it the right thing? Is it the wrong thing?

I can’t tell you that it didn’t work for us in our lives. Fortunately, it did. We have family in town that we relied heavily on when our kids were small. We’re blessed to have those sets of grandparents plus lots of siblings here. And so we have that as a big, big bonus. And now down the road that my. Kids got to have so much time with their grandparents when they were young. It was also a blessing.

So at the same time, my son at the time I went to Alabama, my wife went to Alabama, he grew up as a Florida fan. He certainly happily converted later and ended up at University of Alabama. When I asked him, why are you a Gator fan? And he said, well, because you’re never here to watch football with on the weekends. I have to watch it with my grandfather and my uncle. And they’re both gators.

So I’m a gator. So I came home from work one night and there was a gator parking and gator parked right in my place in the garage that my son affectionately put up for me. So we have fun with it, but that is a real dog, any entrepreneur, and it’s a hard one to swallow. And I don’t think there is a right or wrong path on that. You’ve got to communicate with your significant other you got to communicate with your kids and try to give them one hundred percent when you are with them.

Which entrepreneur here? There are many occasions where I’m on the phone with the customer or I’m on the phone with an alarm company or something else, and they’re looking at me and they’re in the pool and why are you like this? But fortunately, my kids now are grown up, as I said. And I got to say, I’m so proud of them. They’ve turned out awesome. I think I have a great work ethic. I think they have great people, ethics.

I think they know how to treat people. They know what’s right and wrong. So for us, it worked. God, I wish there was a formula that I could have read on what was the right way to do it, because there was it’s an important thing. Obviously, there’s nothing more important. But it was fortunate. Jerry was very strong at the time. She would not work weekends when they were little. Now she does work weekends.

But that’s stressful on your significant other two. For them to be the one there is no doubt going to work is easier than being a stay at home parent. Hands down. There is absolutely no doubt about it. So but again, feel blessed that they turned out the way they did.

Great was great. Great insight. I mean, it’s as I feel like I’m kind of like walking behind you in those footsteps and I’m hoping for the same results because, you know, my son is grown up, an entrepreneur family since day one has only ever seen and heard. So fingers crossed, he turns out that way as well. So what is your morning habits, your morning routines?

I got to touch on your son and how much he’s changed. And I can see what he’s into and the questions that he ask you when you are in the store. And everything’s I think it’s a pretty sure thing. He’s got your genes for entrepreneurship morning routine. Very, very important to me. My kids sort of kid me about it. I got to have my morning time. So when they were in school, in high school, still, I would wake up an hour before anybody else in the house look up to have my routine.

My routine currently in four years has consisted of my coffee being made when I walk downstairs because I said it the night before. I have to smell that when I’m walking down my chair that I sit in the blanket that I put over me where I keep my reader to pick up and read. So I get some morning reading time every morning, depending if I’m working out or not, that I could be from thirty minutes up to an hour, usually closer to thirty or forty five minutes.

Drink my first cup of coffee, hopefully go work out. But it’s definitely affected that because we’re not going to the gym right now, so we are doing it at home. But overall I’ve been pretty good about it. Not fantastic. But I do notice when I don’t do it I’m a little more wound up and put out as many fires as I can put out when I’ve worked out in the morning. Helps me with my time. But now that my son is at home, graduated from college and working from home right now because his office isn’t open, my morning has been disrupted.

So I sort of laugh at me because it really does get to me. He’s a very morning person and likes to talk and interact. And so my chair, where I used to sit and read, now I have moved and gone to another room. So when he comes down I’m already reading, which I sort of feel bad about because it is still time I could get to spend with him. But I know my day of having that routine. I think your keyboard was routine, having a routine, no matter what it is, set you for the day and it sets the tone.

It sets the mood. I know what works for me and there’s a few other things that I do as far as stretching and some other things. But what I have to do if I don’t do it, which I don’t even remember the last time I did, I just know it’s going to mess with my sort of the whole day. I’m just going to be out of whack.

So but I’m learning definitely consists of a lot of coffee to what I usually wake up on to actually when the kids are in school. I would be at six o’clock right now in the seven o’clock. That’s if I wanted to sleep later. Unfortunately, I just can’t. But it is nice. Although this morning I was woken up at six at five because Dualla was getting to the store early to get a head start on the week and set off one of the multiple alarms in the store.

So again, joys of entrepreneurship. You never know when that phone is going to ring. And after something like that, you don’t go back to sleep. But I’m pretty much at this point, I feel lucky to be a seven a. So six o’clock and one of the things you alluded to was here, sounds like you’re a big reader in the morning. What are you reading right now?

I have to go get my reader, but want to see the name of it. I usually can’t even tell you authors are the names of the books, but I’m a sort of thriller reader now, sci fi like, sci fi it all sort of espionage type books. And I have to get a look at the name of this one. I can’t even tell you. And sometimes I feel bad that I just keep on clicking on like the next suggestive one, but I need to sample it.

Hopes my interest that a lot of spy type stuff. Gotcha.

So you’re more of a fiction reader than a nonfiction reader? I am a fiction reader. For years I was purely nonfiction business. Self-Help reader could not read fiction for my wife and my wife got me into it with some good people and that sort of got me hooked. When I’m reading fiction, I read on a reader when our reading non-fiction, I got a hold a book in my hands that I liked that I can underline. So your book is very marked up because I had a hard copy in my hands.

But it’s a fiction book, know it’s something where I’m not necessarily referring ever going to refer back to it. That’s probably why I don’t know the names of it all. My business books are up on my shelves are in boxes at this point because there’s too many of them, but there is a balance in there. But I typically like my morning read fiction by reading later in the day self-help. I just find that if I start a business book or self-help in the morning, my mind is immediately into business rather than relaxation and escape.

So do you see like a benefit between splitting that model? You’re saying on one hand when you wake up in the morning, you want to read something that kind of gets your juices flowing, would more of a relaxed state.

And then when you’re reading non-fiction books, you’re more of a like a studious focus honed in and you don’t want to be then. So you pretty much get into the office. So is there a gift thinker’s between juggling those two?

You know, I think it’s what works for me. And I definitely go through phases. My phases are more year phases, not weekly or monthly phases where I’ll get on a self-help kick and then I might end up starting that in the morning. But I definitely find just my whole plan for the day more relaxed when I’m reading something that just sort of takes me away. It’s not reality. It’s it’s some of the stuff. This stuff today seems more and more relevant, like it could be real, but takes me away from it.

But the self-help books definitely, as you said, it’s more of a studious mind. And I’m taking notes and I’m trying to think of things for meetings that I’m going to have with my crew and things like that. So right now, that’s what’s working for me. Next time we talk, maybe different.

Cool, cool. So another thing you just brought up was like the whole alarm thing. So I think what a jewelry store. I mean, I know another jeweler, he walks around with like a Colt 45 on the side. I just I’ve never seen you strapped in a store. So, I mean, just had been broken into. I mean, like, what’s the drama behind the scenes with owning a jewelry store?

It’s stressful. There’s no doubt about it. We keep an armed guard at the door of those stores, which we put in years ago, just really to keep us safe, to keep our customers safe. When we in Vindicator, actually, we sort of got some flack right away from some of the locals were like, do they have an armed guard or do they think this is the police force is great and they are great. And we love dedicated police.

They hang out around our store all the time. There’s nothing that makes me happier. But I started to second guess it after a few months in the making. We really don’t need them. And it’s an expense, believe me, at the end of the year, you’ve got extra employee that’s not producing anything. It’s straight money out. But I started second guessing it into Kaiden at the time. This is eleven years ago now. There was a lot of GM stores at the time.

That was a big, big craze. There was one down the street from us and they had a daytime robbery and actually punched the saleslady in the face and leveled her out to rob them. And I said, What am I doing? Second guess. And that’s that’s exactly what we have a guard to keep us safe. So I won’t go much into weapons beyond that. As far as stress of owning a jewelry store, very stressful. As far as security, we’ve taken a lot of surveillance and countersurveillance teaching from a local guy is fantastic.

The guard service, a different alarm set up, things like that. So there’s procedures, lots of safety procedures that we do coming and leaving the business to change things up, but definitely not the fun part of the business. We could say douchy.

I mean, to your credit, to your guards. I mean, I think you’re new guard the Piedmont store. He’s like a salesman without selling. I mean, he always sounds like a different watch on. So every time I come in, it is going like, well, watch you got on today. So indirectly, I think, you know, they may not be putting anything on the books. What, they’re pointing them in the right direction.

Absolutely.

And that’s one thing we tell them right when they start in every one of our guards is we’re not looking for you guys to intimidate. People want you to greet people, you know, be on the lookout. But this is a friendly atmosphere. This isn’t a confrontational atmosphere. So you’ll start to the guards end up. No, I mean, he knows you when you come in and they start killing each other just like our salespeople do. So it is something where they are part of.

What we’re trying to express the whole experience, we want the guard to open the door for you, to greet you with a smile and to welcome you in, not to sit there, intimidate people and try to scare them away or make them feel uncomfortable, but to be there to protect everybody. So they are very important. We’ll go online and read our Google and Yelp reviews, and it’s very common for the guards to get a shout out. Even the guard was so nice to me, which, again, what we’re trying to do is what aren’t people used to?

What’s the experience that you get in most wars by guards? They give you dirty looks for carrying a backpack. God forbid, if you’re a guy, they’re following you around seeing what’s going on. It’s not a welcoming, but in our store, we want everybody, whether you’re our crew walking in the store, we want everybody to feel welcome to greet you with a smile on their face. And we know you’ve got a lot of options. We want to make sure that you chose the right option by giving you the top experience and starting with the guy who opens the door for you, which right now we are keeping the doors locked in the store so we can control the flow of people.

How many people are in the store at any time? So him opening the door truly is the first interaction with our store that we want that to be a pleasant one. Wow.

Yeah, definitely effective. Just one tool that you use in your business that you couldn’t see running your business without leakproof.

It’s not a tool. I’m not a big gadget guy. I definitely am always looking for the perfect plan because for me it’s juggling things and remembering where I was and what I was doing as I’m sort of putting out fires and dealing with my own clientele that’s coming in, but also helping our crew to find the best vendor or the follow up or something’s going wrong to step in and try to help them and to remember. So I think for me, it’s finding the perfect planner, which after twenty seven years, I still haven’t found.

Maybe you can help me on that. I do know the secret to that is whichever one you end up with, whether it’s computerized or old, school paper is doing the same thing every time, having a system in enforcing that system. Because whatever the system is, I know it works. I just get lazy and I’m like, I’ll go back and do that later. And whatever you think that in business, it usually ends up biting you. But I have to say, as we sort of already touched on, without our crew, without them having interaction that they get to have with our customers, the business would be.

Hmm, I have to say that.

So with that being said. Right, twenty years from now, do you see your business essentially still being a storefront? Are you thinking about maybe possibly going into the online where you kind of selling jewelry through the holograms? I mean, what do you see yourself 20 years from now?

Yeah, there actually are holograms out now that that we’re seeing it shows and they are very cool. Where do we see ourselves 20 years from now? I hope and pray that brick and mortar stores are still going to always be around there. Just whether it’s my business or another one, there’s just nothing like it. Having that experience, getting interaction, getting to touch it, feel it, see it in person. I think nothing replaces it. Obviously, I’m biased.

So what is it then for us? What is done for me is I got time with my two adult children that I would not have gotten because my daughter was in New York working already. My son would have graduated. So he had finished just the last couple of months at home. So we got some quality family time. But on top of that, after twenty seven years and probably four different websites, our first website we were probably nineteen years ago, it was more just this is a flavor of what we are, but because so much of our merchandise is, you know, is one of a kind, so we don’t always get in the same thing over and over and over again.

It’s a one time thing. It’s been hard for us to have items online because by the time we got them up, they could be sold and we might not get it again or it might be eight months before we get it again. So with this closed down and getting my daughter out of New York and her experience with the designer she was working for was doing their website and social media, we actually finally got our website selling. So we got a little bit of merchandise on there.

It’s nothing that overall gives you a total immersive feel of what we do in the store. But in the short time that we’ve had it up, which is really been April, the amount of sales that we’re already getting from it are fantastic. So we’ve always known and we didn’t have our head in the sand. We knew that we had to have it. We just didn’t have the time to do it because being in the store you’re all in when you’re in the groove, you don’t have time to stop and do these other things are that could be beneficial.

But with the closed down, we had the time to get the merchandise up there, to take pictures, to get descriptions on and to get them loaded up. So we sort of chose items. Some of them are the one of the kinds just because that’s really what we built our business on. And we want people to see that range. But then we put some of the other more stock items up there that we can reorder. And again, the monthly sales, the weekly sales are just increasing and increasing.

And I think back with social media to push people through the. It’s been fantastic, set at 20 years. I think we’ll probably have more than the two locations as long as the right people are around, because I think that if you listen to people now, even the big online people, they’re realizing we need a brick and mortar. We need something that people can go into the store and touch, even if we have to lease a little counter there.

So I hope that stays relevant because I love the interaction of people. It’s also sitting behind a computer all day for me. Doesn’t do it for many people it does. For me it doesn’t. We need that human interaction. But I think that the online presence will continue to grow because now we’ve got a taste for number one and we’ve realized, OK, here are some steps. This there’s some ways that we can do it effectively. Obviously now from when we did our first website all those years ago to what it cost to do a website now and how you can upkeep it yourself and change it immediately.

Everything’s evolving and changing. So, you know, I guess I’m getting back here. What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without? I guess it will become that for me, being able to have that online presence is going to be more and more important. And it’s certainly a good complement to what we do. But ultimately, we want that human interaction because people can order anything online. You really don’t get the same experience. It doesn’t mean as much to you when I can get you in the store and explain to you about the designer, the piece that you’ve picked and how special that person is.

It takes it to another level. And I think it makes that piece more special to the end user, too, because they remember that experience. And again, for us, jewelry is it’s an experience, but it’s something special in your life that it’s going to remind you of when you got it, why you got it and what was for. So we want to tie as much great memory into that piece and make it as special as possible with you.

And eventually you probably will be able to get that little pop up. But if you click on a bracelet that I’m wearing about dolmades again, is that a little video of Jill, my pop up? But right now, that face to face, look, feel, touch what we’re all about.

Yeah, I mean, it’s funny that you brought that up because, I mean, I would think in a great environment for you guys right now in the space from a marketing standpoint would probably be Instagram, because this program has that feature that you’re talking about that I can see a product, I can see a visual, and I just hover over it and I’m clicking by now. I think you’ve got enough product that you can kind of just have somebody circle that product through there and reaching out to influencers in that space.

You could become the influencer in that space pretty quickly overnight just because of your passion behind what you’re doing on a day to day basis. I don’t think there’s anybody else in the market is doing what you’re doing.

So I just met somebody and in a whole different field. And I grew up with and he was asking me, should I hire you with this? And then hiring, start with a little budget. Do it yourself on Instagram, on Facebook, you know what you can target and how you can get your what you’re trying to express out there today. It is fascinating. This is starting when we started twenty seven years ago, we were doing newsprint articles every week.

We were in creative like, say, Southern boys, all these different publications. We have rotating ads. They were somewhat segmented, but nothing like we can segment today with social media. And it blows my mind and it’s fun. And you can test things out. We’ll be to trying to put up two items and be like, hey, we can’t decide between these two. Which way do you like it? You like it? Would you like it?

Would it immediately? We’re getting customer feedback on what’s on that. Also helps in the buying.

I mean, I call it organic AB testing. I mean, is nothing else better than that because you’re getting direct results instantly and then you can kind of modify and change it based upon what the users want. So I guess the final words of wisdom and what is something that you can give to an entrepreneur that potentially sees this podcast? Here’s your vision. Here’s your dream. See that you’re living it. What would you give to them?

I think a couple of them. Some of the advice that I got was, if any way you can figure it out, don’t take a bank, Glenn, to do what you want to do, because then you’re working for the bank. And that’s very stressful, especially if you’re living to a time like this where all your best plans in the world might have changed. There’s individuals out there who, if your idea is good enough, they’re going to believe in you and they will want to invest in your idea.

It might take a lot of dollars to knock on to find those right people. That’s the right deal. We were fortunate and we had put everything we had into it, certainly, but we had some great investors who believed in what we were doing that we were able to buy out with time, because that’s the way we set it up and they helped us get it started. But we also knew that, God forbid, if something went wrong or our projections were off, nobody’s going to take anything from us and it’s going to be rain.

So I think that was important. I think also just because your current job situation, mine may not be ideal, that doesn’t mean working for yourself is going to be any better if you can’t make it through the day to see the good things that you have in the job or in your current situation, it’s probably a lot different working. Yourself, but you’re not going to have anybody else to blame at that point right now, you can point some other fingers.

You need to figure that out first. But I think so many people go into business for themselves. I think it’s easier. It’s not. You can testify to that. It’s not less work hours. All of those things as far as gratifying, nothing more gratifying because you did it as far as stress. I mean, when I manage to store for other people, to me that was more stressful, even though this is eat or not eat, because I’m not getting paid unless my business is successful, it’s not as stressful because I only have to prove myself to me.

I’d certainly have to to my crew and to our customers. But if I mess up. I messed myself up and I’m going to learn and not do it again, where when you’re working for somebody else, you’re trying to please them. And if you mess up, hopefully you’re going to feel bad that you messed up and that cost them something. And I think that’s a big difference to just knowing that ultimately it’s all going to fall on you at this point, even if in your current job you felt like it did.

There’s nothing like it. And nobody’s ever going to understand all that you do Mondays today. You were nice enough to do this with me on a Monday. It’s a day I don’t go into the store. I work at home because all I do is book work all day. But I have the flexibility to do that. That’s great. I could take a break and get to talk to you. And we got to talk about the scenery behind you before we jump off of this, but see some great scenery behind you because I have that flexibility where working for somebody else, I might not have that.

So lots of great things, but don’t do it because you think it’s going to be easier. Don’t do it because you think you’re going to get rich doing it because you believe in it, because you love it, because you have something to bring to people to do differently. And we sort of had all of those things together. And to me, that was just very gratifying. We could get back to the community. We could change the way my industry, the jewelry industry saw people with same sex couples or whatever it is.

It was a battle for us when we started cause we’re going to our company saying we need this type of merchandise, know this is what we need now, and so that we feel like we pushed through and we made a difference in that. And that’s been very gratifying to us. So I think it is just be willing to do it all. Years ago, I had a customer come to a store. When we were close, I was mopping the floor and of the store on a day we were closed and I said, you mop the floor, said, do you want to pay more for my jewelry?

And I’ll hire a maid. But yeah, I’m off the floor. Take out the trash. There’s nothing below you as the business owner. And I think that’s key also, especially when you do have people that are working with you to let them see what I’m not going to ask you to do anything that I’m not going to do. I’m going to go after the contractor. I’m going to mop the floor. I’m going to do all of these things also.

But I expect you to do them. So do it because you love it, because you believe in it. Don’t work for the bank and just be willing to work your ass off because there’s tons of other people out there willing to work their asses off.

Yeah, it’s people out there that are willing to die to be in your spot, even though you may think things are hard and difficult. There’s somebody out there in a worse situation. So definitely don’t take what you have for granted. Totally, totally commend you for that statement. What’s your Facebook handle? Instagram, your website, ZAPU.

How do people get in contact with you worth more jewelers? Dot com is our website. As I said, it’s got a good taste of what we do up there. But the store, our midtown stores, twenty five hundred square feet, got our two custom jewelers in there. So a lot more than what’s on there, but it will give you a good flavor. Instagram worth more jewelers, Facebook or jewelers. We give it pretty simple. My email.

I’m Harris Harris or for jewelers. So it’s all in the name. As I said, it was the hardest thing really at that point. The name we were just like, where are we going to call this thing? And I still love it all these years later.

Definitely a great, great title. So I got a couple of bonus questions for you. Right. If money wasn’t a factor, would you still be doing exactly what you’re doing right now?

I got to say, I truly think I would be. And believe me, when we started, the money was certainly a factor, but it was are we going to have enough money to eat literally? I mean, we had built our displays. We did things in business that we laugh about it now, but we said we were too dumb to know. You didn’t do things this way that worked for us. We didn’t realize you couldn’t make your own jewelry displays.

You couldn’t make your faces. It’s just what we did. So I can’t think of doing anything differently. I love going to the trade shows to buy the merchandise. I love interacting with the customers, seeing them get excited about what excited us. I love the crew that we work with, getting to go to work with my family members, getting to work so close like hand in hand with my wife and now my daughter. I can’t see myself doing anything else.

And believe me, I’ve thought of it. You know, I if we sold this now, what would we do? Nothing. I would want to do more. And certainly any entrepreneur will tell you it’s in our blood. We’re going to work till the end. My dad, as I said, entrepreneur well into his eighties. We’re still going to the office every day. As he said, I’m getting slower at what I’m doing, but I’m still going to the office every day.

And he would not have had any different until the very end.

Wow. Well, you’re a big analytical guy. And so this is like one of these questions about jewelry in general. Do you think jewelry is more so an asset or a liability when it comes to, like, investing in something? So we get asked a lot, especially when people are buying diamonds, what’s the right time in the buys and investment? And I quickly say, yes, if you look at the charts, if you look at metal charts, if you look at diamond prices over the years, it hasn’t gone down.

I mean, there’s dips in everything, just like the stock market. But I always quickly come back to buy this because you love it on this piece, because it makes you smile, because it’s going to be a great memory, because it’s going to make you feel good when you’re wearing it. If it’s a watch that you’ve had your eye on that one of your mentors wore that you always respected, if it’s a piece of jewelry that you’ve always longed to have, it’s an accomplishment.

So it means something. But I don’t think that there’s a lot out there to buy. That’s material that we hold that I would say Gulbis an investment. I was at a birthday party recently and one of my high school buddies said, hey, I’ve got some extra cash to buy silver right now. And it’s like, you know, honestly right now, hold on your cash. So I think you’re not going to lose on it because it does have intrinsic value.

But I think more than anything, I want people buying jewelry because of the feeling what you can feel the experience of that. When I put it on, when they feel it on what memories it has. The watch I’m wearing right now is a one of a kind watch. It’s from the early nineteen hundreds. It was a converted pocketwatch into a wristwatch. It’s the only one like it. And I love this thing and I have a lot of watches, but I love picking a swatch up and hand, winding it and feeling the years, moving it and seeing it and knowing there’s not another one of these out there.

To me that’s very special. If I had to sell it today, would I be fine? Yeah, I would be. And what would it have been? A good investment? Yes, it would have been. But again, that’s not what I want people buying jewelry. I want to be buying it for the emotional attachment to it.

I mean, it’s definitely insightful and not exactly what I thought you were going to say. But I mean, it definitely plays into who you are and your character. So I definitely appreciate that. The last bonus question is this is one question I always ask, but I’m always interested to see what is someone going to say? So if you could spend twenty four hours a day with anybody dead or alive, uninterrupted, who would it be?

And what I’m going to say is going to be a musician and without a lot of thought, I’m going to go with a whole band. Sure. Why not just be one person? I would have to get more specific. I’m going to say I get to spend twenty four hours with Led Zeppelin.

Nice rock on then.

It’s been part of my life for a long time. I’m not into poetry. I am very much into music. It does a lot for me. It’s rare that I don’t have music playing, especially on Mondays when I’m just doing book. Music is in the background. Led Zeppelin is a band that I grew up with that I love that has so many great memories for me that the music itself just gets me words, the music, everything about it.

So, boy, I never got to see him in concert when they broke up. So there was a very small chance, but I didn’t have that chance. So to be able to do that would be great. I’m sure there’s hundreds of other people that I could learn things from. I just think that would be a great hang out.

Nice, nice, nice. Well, I definitely appreciate you coming on the show. This is a time where I usually at the end of the podcast, you give whoever I’m interviewing, opportunity to ask me any questions.

All right. My question is, what do I see there in the background? Tell me what I was going to sit outside and I was like, I might be too noisy and then beautiful going on back there.

It’s a fishing boat that’s behind us right now. We decided to one of those things like once in a lifetime, things covered. How do we make the best of it? The kids are all remote school. Why the hell will we stay at home? So we decided to move to Florida for three days. So we’re right here off of Pine Island and that’s our backyard for a couple more weeks. Awesome.

Awesome. And I think those are, again, why you are successful. You look for stuff like that, there’s no doubt. And the water, the beach, that just is a natural relaxation. And there’s a lot that we can all get upset about in today’s world. So to be able to go with your family, number one, and to be able to know, hey, we got to do something, we can do our work from anywhere, but to be able to have that in your life is super special.

And I commend you for doing that. It again, we have to take care of ourselves as much as everyone else around us. But if we’re not in good shape, you and I, we can’t take care of our family. We can’t take care of our customers. We can’t continue to be growing our self. So having that time and you’ve got a great family of megamall and when you all come in, y’all all coming together, you’re sort of like us hanging tough together.

You do things together, but you interact with them as people know. Yeah.

Yeah. I just wanted to have the opportunity to say, OK, like, this may not happen again. Right. You may have to go back to school after January and then we’re going to have to wait till the summer. And some schedule’s all crazy every. He’s everywhere, so I’m trying to take advantage of every single minute that they’re remote for me personally, I like the remote man. I mean, Korydallos, a remote cave, on the other hand, she doesn’t really like their most.

She’s a poor people person. But if it’s up to quickly, I would never have to go back to school with his mom.

We got to make the most of this going on right now so we can make a difference. We got to pull in there together. Got a little jealous with that. I might jump online or off and look at some time we’ve talked about it after seeing how things get in the way. What would it be like to take a month off and get rid of lights and just have the kids come for a while? Family, brothers, sisters, mom, for a while.

That was before they shut down. So you can get to something that we talked about many times in the past. That’s daily motivation for me to try to give back. Definitely.

Definitely. Definitely. Well, again, I definitely appreciate you taking time out of your schedule. And I know you took a time off your day off to kind of get on this podcast. I definitely appreciate it. I think you’ve given me a hell of a lot of value. I mean, you give it a lot more than anybody would ever expect the jeweler to deliver on a business podcast. I definitely appreciate that.

I appreciate it. I got to hit that next time you’re in for sure. Definitely need it for my head.

We both share the same palette, so.

All right. Thanks.

Appreciate it. Have you ever go? Thank you. But thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss Uncaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming a trailblazer at this podcast. Helped you please email me about it. Submit additional questions.

You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop me your thoughts at this essay. Grant Dotcom Post Comments Schirò hit subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your in a BS essay grant signing off.

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President Of Worthmore Jewelers: Harris Botnick – S1E25 (#25)2021-02-28T13:18:00+00:00

Founder Of Barrington Commercial Capital: Ray Johnson AKA The Capital Boss – S2E9 (#37)

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Overview

“Explore, Read, and Commit yourself to action. Exploring allows you to find out what the world can offer you. That’s what it does. And, you know, despite what’s going on in terms of politics and what have you, it’s a big world out there with a lot of different ways that people can make money.”

In Season 2, Episode 9 of the Boss Uncaged Podcast, S.A. Grant closes his real estate month with an information-filled interview. Ray Johnson is the Founder of Barrington Commercial Capital which provides alternative structured finance solutions tailored for business owners.

Each episode of Real Estate month has focused on the property, but in this episode, they discuss ways to get financing for the purchase. With an education in Finance and Accounting, Ray began his career in the world of corporate America. Frustrated by his day-to-day job and armed with a wealth of experience, Ray decided to step out on his own and start a company that focused on providing financing options for business owners that were not receiving funding from the traditional banks.

“We evaluate you differently than the banks do. We are very holistic in our approach to evaluating a credit, which means that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re a business or you have a commercial property, we look at you, your income, your debt to income ratios, and then also default to what the business is doing. In many of the products that we have, we are going to take a look at you from a credit score perspective. But beyond that, we don’t really care about what your income is because none of our products are personal consumer products. They’re all commercial products. So, therefore we can look at what the commercial building is doing in terms of income and expenses and determine can it support a loan and then make that loan on that building based off of the financials of that project versus you personally? We don’t have to look at what your income is. We don’t have to look at what your debt to income ratio is; none of that matters in the evaluation. And because of that, we can do more loans than sometimes banks do because our lenders have more flexibility in how they can evaluate the project. A lot more is dependent upon how the business is doing versus how the individuals perform.”

This episode is so good; you need to listen to it twice. Additional topics that are covered:

  • The benefits of career pivots
  • How alternative bank financing works
  • The highs and lows of lending
  • A deep dive into Accounts Receivables
  • The difference between Lines of Credit vs. Factoring and which one works best for your business
  • And so much more!

Want more details on how to contact Ray? Check out the links below!

Ray Johnson
Website https://www.barringtoncommercialcapital.com/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ray-johnson/
Twitter https://twitter.com/barringtoncomme
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Barrington-Commercial-Capital-LLC-1778527939039570/

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S2E09 – Ray Johnson – powered by Happy Scribe

Over here, right, the levels are looking good. All right, three, two, one, welcome. Welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast on today’s show. Well, let me stop before I introduce who Ray actually is and make me take you down a short little story. Ray was originally supposed to be my Season one, episode two. We were sitting at a cafe. We recorded the episode and honestly, the audio quality became crap. And no matter what I did behind the scenes to clean it up, it just couldn’t work. But, you know, in the past year, we’ve kind of developed our equipment to raise a point that he just made earlier. He like I got better equipment and I was like, yes, yes, I do. So I originally met Ray at a networking group and he came into the networking group. And the network is always a lawyer. There’s always an insurance person. And Ray came in and he was like the capital guy. So everybody was like, who are you? What do you do? So in this show, I’m going to give him the capital boss, Ray Johnson. Without further ado, man, who are you?

Hey, everybody. I’m Ray Johnson, founder of Barrington Commercial Capital. What we do is primarily land money. We lend money to business owners and to investors, real estate investors. We’ve been in business now for seven years, doing extremely well during the covid last year. Have our best year looking forward to twenty twenty-one. It’s off to a great start and business is booming over in our house.

So, so take the story back. So I mean, obviously you deliver capital and we’re going to dive into the definition of what that really means and how could someone qualify and all that. But before that, like how do you as a child just wake up one day and say, OK, I want to be a secondary lender, I want to be the hell with the banks. I want to give money versus taking money from a bank. Like how old were you when you realized that? And what does that journey look like for you?

Well, the the one I didn’t wake up and think that way. I think my career sort of moved me in that direction. I’ve been my background is finance and accounting. And throughout my career, obviously, I’ve done a lot of finance and accounting type roles with organizations in corporate America. And I spend a ton of time in corporate America, but grew increasingly frustrated with one of my roles was as a consultant. And I help people borrow a lot of money through that role. And when I left that that organization, I continue to do this, helping people borrow money on the side. So because I really enjoyed it, I really enjoyed the process of putting together the plans, put me in the forecast showing them how to approach lenders to receive monies from them depending on what their needs were. As I became frustrated with corporate America, I decided to go into business for myself and leaned on the things that I knew extremely well and really enjoyed. I felt like the time was right to actually pursue something that I wanted to do rather than where your career sort of takes you. Even though I was in my field and pursued opportunities to basically become a lender and move on the side of being the actual person who provided financing opportunities for business owners. And when I went into it, I really thought the only thing I’d be doing was business loans. Loan and behold, I believe 30 days after I open my door, as I did my first real estate loan and real estate has continued to be the biggest thing that I do. We do a lot of real estate, all types. Our money brings money from the finance and cash out reifies, whole thing. But we also do a lot of business loans. I just felt like because I have been in business, I would I would attract more business owners and operators and be able to do a lot more of those types of loans. And it’s worked out where I’ve had a really unique balance. Real estate, real estate investors, business owners that actually we help with their financing needs in all types.

But I mean, that’s a really interesting philosophy. So just going back and it’s funny because I usually talk about this on topic, off-topic versus education versus real-life principles or getting a coach. So do you think that your college education was essentially fruitful to where you are currently right now? What did you learn more as you got into the actual workspace that you’re at?

It’s a combination of both, because everything I do currently is a direct result of what my training was in college and also throughout my career. I studied accounting, finance and undergrad and also got my degree in finance and from my MBA is in finance. So I, I was prepared academically. Of course, my experiences and my professional career cemented those types of things that I have learned and allowed me to actually use that every day, every day. I’m looking at financial statements every day determining where the opportunity is for finding financing a business, financing a commercial property financing, for example. But I’m looking at financial information and my money training and career certainly has helped me in. What I do now is just I use it in a different way than what it was. I was doing it as I was working for a company.

I remember going back to the first day when when you stepped into Powercore and everybody was like biting at the chops to get in front of you because in that space, right, we’ve dealt with banks and a lot of people get rejected from banks because they don’t understand what the banks are really looking for. So you came into the room and you told us exactly why banks are rejecting why what banks are looking for and what you’re looking for. So this is going to say that this is Friday morning at seven o’clock. What’s your one minute spiel that you can kind of give us some insight to what your business really helps people do?

Well, we evaluate you differently than the banks do a very what we call holistic in their approach to evaluating a credit, which means that doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re a business or you have a commercial property, they look at you, your income, your debt to income ratios and then also default to what the business is doing. Those two have to line up for them in order to even determine that they can take the next step to consider your loan. In many of the products that we have, we we are going to take a look at you from a credit credit score perspective. But beyond that, we don’t really care about what your income is because none of our products are personal consumer products. They’re all commercial products. So, therefore we can look at what the commercial building is doing in terms of income and expenses and determine can it support a loan and then make that loan on that building based off of the financials of that project versus you personally? We don’t have to look at what your income is. We don’t have to look at what your debt to income ratio is, or none of that matters in the evaluation. And because of that, we can do more loans than sometimes banks do because our lenders have more flexibility in how they can evaluate the project. And that happens almost all the things that we do, including equipment, are just just a number of the products that we have. A lot more is dependent upon how the business is doing versus how the individuals perform.

So, I mean, you just touched on on AR and you also touched on real estate. So I’m going to pick these two apart, let us dive into and AR kind of define what is and what does it usually use for.

Sure. Accounts receivable is what they are actually means. And in accounts receivable, you create accounts receivable in your business when you invoice your customer and that customer now is giving terms to pay you back. So what we have is doesn’t matter what type of businesses and can be a construction company, a marketing firm, a distributor, a manufacturer, you invoice your customer because you perform the service. So you’ve actually done something for that customer, either delivered a product or delivered a service. And now you’ve given him your invoice to say now you owe me. Once you do that, you create an asset for your business. That asset is an asset that is actually a little devil asset to most lenders. Some banks won’t do it, but there are tons of other lenders around the country that will consider that that invoice for advance of a loan. Basically, man, they’re evaluating who that customer is. Some of your customers are Fortune 500 or Fortune 1000 type of entities or even not that large, but have great credit ratings and that can be verified. You basically are created for yourself, an opportunity for a lending opportunity once you buy an invoice, your customer. Now, the way the process works is the lender evaluates that invoice then advances your money against that invoice. That could be anywhere from 80 to 90 per cent of what that invoice totals. Your invoices, one hundred thousand dollars and the advance rate is ninety-five point ninety-five per cent. You basically, once they approve that invoice, you can get ninety-five thousand dollars on that one hundred thousand dollar invoice. So and if we step back under normal circumstances, you invoice your customer. Now you’re waiting for whatever the terms are. Thirty days or forty five days or what have you that they have to pay you. You can turn and sometimes your customers take longer than that. Well your your lender can advance you that money within twenty-four hours after you issued that, that an invoice. So now instead of waiting that thirty or forty-five days you now have that money in your company within twenty-four hours after you issued it helps companies with cash flow, meeting their normal obligations of payroll, utilities, suppliers. And so it really helps them operate in a way where they’re not necessarily sitting on the invoices, waiting on their customer. And there are tons of organizations that use that process. Daily staffing companies. I don’t know if I mentioned those, but they’re big in that. Space manufacturers are big in that space and service organizations. That that do we do a lot with our government contractors, so those are the types of organizations that really take advantage of that and construction people. Also, there are some lenders that specialize in nothing but construction and are sort of.

So, I mean, so in a nutshell, just to summarize that and kind of like, you know, obviously I know you’re talking Bampton bank terminology and I completely understand that. But I want to kind of just simplify it a little bit. But what you’re saying is that if I have an invoice and my invoices net 90, meaning that I have a ten thousand dollar invoice that I’ve submitted for services or rendering or whatever it may be, the person that I delivered that invoice to has 90 days to paid in full.

Right.

I may need that cash now to pay my team. I may need that cash now to get the supplies to complete other jobs. So I’m going to essentially liquidate that invoice, cash it out within 24 to 48 hours to make sure my company can continue to run. And then eventually I’m going to get that payment within the 90 days to kind of washout that loan.

Absolutely. That’s a perfect explanation. Perfect, because that’s what it does. You you’re not creating a separate bill for yourself. You just get an advance on that invoice that allows you to continue to operate it. Source cash flow issues that companies have because many companies can’t operate on that float that you have when your customers to actually pay you. They enjoyed that. You might need your money fast with it to your point, to make payroll to suppliers, to supply for your other customers that you’re trying to service and so on and so on to create a marketing program. Just just a number of uses for those funds in your business. But you’re able to get them a lot faster by utilizing a financing program tied to your accounts receivable. And the companies, even though they’ve been in business for a long time, still might not know about it or understand that it’s something that they can actually access and use for themselves.

So I to give my viewers a next question, is probably going to be, OK, so I have ten thousand dollars. I know I’m going to get paid in full in 90 days. I’m going to liquidate in twenty-four. Well, obviously that’s not free. So what kind of percentages are you looking at and understanding those margins to make it worth it. Like what numbers are we talking about as far as making that payment to cash that out within 90 days. Well less than 90 days.

A lot depends on what type of what type of industry you mean. Obviously, the things the lender is going to look at is what your margins look like. And nobody can determine those but you. But the type they are, the less likely you can afford financing. And the way that we’re describing the rates could be single digits. You know, the 10 per cent up to, what, double digits? So and the rates are monthly because you actually use the money for only the period of time that you have it outstanding is what it is. You’re not you’re not. For instance, even if a lender said, OK, you got a 12 per cent line of credit on your AR, it’s really a monthly number that you’re going to be paying maybe one per cent a month that you’re actually responsible for. And that can be sometimes up to three per cent. But keep in mind that in some cases you have to Furlong’s that you can do in these types of financing, one of which is where you actually are selling your invoice to your lender. That’s one. The second is where you actually have a lending arrangement, line of credit that’s directly tied to your accounts receivable and balances. The line of credit is actually a cheaper form. But because sometimes where you are in your growth cycle as a company, you might not qualify for the line of credit. So they have what they call the line of credit where you’re actually selling and it’s called factoring. Well, factoring allows the lender to buy it. But the process of how they both work is the same. The factoring is a little bit more expensive than the line of credit, but they they work identical to each other. You’re getting an advance against your invoice on either form. And the the lender is taking the risk that the customer is going to pay. And based on that, they’re going to charge you an interest rate that allows them to reap some benefits for actually lending you that money.

is definitely a win-win. So taking that in and going back maybe 10, 15 minutes, the other part that you were talking about was essentially I’m going to kind of. Iterate this right to say, if I’m buying property and I think you and I had this conversation about, let’s say, buying mobile park homes, so if I want to come into the mobile park home business and I’m going through a bank bank is going to look at me personally and look at my credit score and look at how much cash that I have now. So what’s your point? What you said, the way you guys do your capital investments and your lending is that you’re going to look at the the mobile park home and look at how many lots we have. What’s the rent do on each lot? What’s the magnitude of those Lotte’s per month times year. And that’s going to be the number to say, OK, if I lend his guy 100000, how quick can he repay me the 100000 based upon how many lots are being sold? Is that correct?

FALSE they will look at typically the income that’s coming off of their mobile home park, and that’s determined by the number of loss that you have that you have to use part on. That income becomes your monthly income and that is netted against whatever the monthly expenses are associated with that mobile home park. You know, they take into consideration things like repair and maintenance, insurance, taxes. Those monthly expenses are reduced from that income and that net income. It’s called net operating income actually determines what your what what kind of financing you can’t support out of that project in commercial lending, that net income, net operating income also determines value, you know, on or many or many projects. And I just did this with the mobile home park. He came to me because the bank would refinances is his mobile home park. And what we did was it was it was Freidrich that was vacant. That was commercial property. And then he had the mobile home park. But it was what he kept talking about selling the Frontalot right subdermal. So what we did and the bank wasn’t going to do that, even if they had refinanced, what we did was told them to get a survey that separates the front. Right. So now you have a separate lot. And also the economics of the mobile home park determine the value of just the mobile home park, which was more than enough to make the loan work for him. When we finished, he had his mobile home park refinance and he had a free and clear lot on the front that he could sell any time he one didn’t know what dad wanted. So he actually came out better by coming to us to help him with his refinance. And he’s overjoyed with the what the final outcome was, because, as I said, he was able to get his refinance taken care of, but he also got his property separated out so that, you know, to the day after the closing, if he wanted to sell that lot, he could sell it. And there will be no repercussions to his lender the way he was doing it with the bank. If he wanted to sell that lot, he had to go to the bank to get their approval to repay collateral and we alleviate it all. So he didn’t talk to the bank at all about what he wants to do, but that’s that’s how it’s done. Yes. That income determines what you can afford in finance. And that’s that’s how the evaluation happens. That income will either support the loan for the purchase or not. And sometimes, depending on what those numbers are, you might have to come in and actually makes them a much stronger down payment to make the numbers.

Well, I mean, yes. So, I mean, just what you just said and again, if you didn’t listen to what he said, I would say stop, rewind and listen to what he said again. I mean, he’s saying that there was a plot of land, right? And on that land, there’s a mobile park and let’s say an easement, but there’s an adjacent part of that land that could be used and sold for something else. So by going through a company, they were able to separate the land, put everything underneath the one lump-sum of money. But now this other piece of land is completely free. So now you can sell this land and pretty much pay for everything in full if you wanted to, by selling this new piece of land that’s completely separate from the other land is making rent income on a reoccurring basis, which is great.

Yeah, I guess so. And the reason you want to do that was the the front of the land to face the commercial rental that made expection valuable. Then even more so, he knew that at some point somebody would come in there and want to buy the put something in a strip shopping center, air station or what have you. And that that part of the city where he had the mobile home park, that role was being commercialized. So more and more development was coming down there. So he knew. He was sitting on a goldmine, and all we did was to be able to capitalize on that at whatever point he wanted to, and he doesn’t have to now think about, oh, I got to talk to my lender to get their approval to sell my land. You don’t have to do that.

Well, yeah, definitely a beautiful thing. So, I mean, just going like that was a good story. I mean, that was a good, positive story. I mean, what’s your worst experience dealing in this business that you ever dealt with before?

Not able to help people. And the way that they need to be help, I think is the worst. Or because sometimes sometimes it just doesn’t work out for a number of reasons. Typically typically, it’s either the credit score is way lower than what it needs to be. A person doesn’t have the down payment or, you know, those are those are common things that keep popping up that speaks to why a person is not able to move forward and what they think. I get a lot of calls for, even though we’re an alternative lender, there still standards, if you will. And but so it doesn’t mean that we can finance everybody that calls. So we try to be very, very, very quick in making an evaluation of what the situation is and what what options we may have to actually be able to help people. And, you know, I mean, I’m working with someone who says they want to buy a piece of property. What we see a lot of times is businesses that’s been in business for a number of years and maybe even very successful, you know, according to their tournament. But what they do is they’ll take their tax returns for the business and minimize tax consequences. Right. Was that OK? Yeah. You know, I’m a two-million-dollar business, but I made twenty-five thousand dollars, you know, will don’t they help you when you do that to minimize what kind of taxes you pay? They don’t help you when you come to an organization or you now try to do things like, OK, I want to buy a piece of real estate through my business that my business can consider or expand my business because we’re doing well. I want to open a second location. Well, if you can’t prove to your business operations that you can afford that, it’s going to be very difficult and are the types of things that we see. And people don’t understand that correlation. What they what they have is one objective. That objective is to minimize my taxes. But then they say, oh, yeah, well, you know, I’m doing well. I want to renovate my bill. And that may be a half a million dollar type of renovation or expansion of that building to do more in it, to actually generate more revenue. All great things. But if your current revenue doesn’t show that it can support that new debt and we’ve got a problem, and unless they want to go back and restate those numbers, they probably won’t be successful because those are some of the reasons. But we do a lot of good things. For instance, we can help people consolidate debt. We can help people get out of some of those emotions that they got Murchú cash advances that they got because they were hungry for cash and they went and got one and that one turned into four. You know, we can help businesses. I’m helping a company right now move from a rented location to a place that becomes their own because they’re buying a location. You know, I’m helping another person who’s expanding their smoothie shops. They’re going from five of them to about seven or eight. You know, we’re helping them get money for those expansions. So there are a number of things that we do that are very, very positive in terms of helping business owners advance their own cause. And and we have products that once we hear what you’re trying to do, we might be able to identify a product that you might not have thought of that allows you to get the resources, maybe not in the way that you thought, but allows you to get the resources that help your company. I have tons of companies and all that come in and they may say, hey, look, I need one hundred thousand dollars working capital. That working capital is really a function of cash flow issues that they’re having in their company. But they they have either heard bad things about how they are financing or don’t know that it exists wanted it to. And once we try to show them the benefits of using that program versus what their intentions are of a term loan, that turns out because what happens in a turnaround is you get you get an advance of money. I don’t care what the number is. One hundred thousand, ten thousand or a million dollars is dumped in your accounts and now you start to use it. Well, what? Is gone. It can be gone in 30 days, right? But now the the problems that you have in your business that created that, don’t go away. They’re back in 60 days and you don’t have the opportunity to go back to that lender and say, oh, I need another hundred thousand or another million. Many times the problem isn’t trying to get the term loan. The problem is your cash flow isn’t what it needs to be based on how people are paying you or how you invoicing them or how you’re collecting on those invoices. And those are solvable with the types of loans that are replenished based on your customers pay. Because if you don’t have the ability for it to regenerate itself based on those customers paying, you’re going to be back in the same position in a very short period of time and you won’t realize how you got there. And when you do that and you’ve got a term loan now, you’re back in that same position and you’ve got another being a long time for that term limits.

And that gets crazy, squeezing money out of money that potentially didn’t have to be that way.

That’s exactly right. And they didn’t look at all these things and think that I can do it based on how I have one client who kept solving a short term need with long term money. What that means is they kept going back to real estate, that they had refinancing real estate long term, but they were having a short term problem. So they just kept trying to refinance. And of course, at some point you have opportunities to refinance that real estate because you reach for maximums and they reach that, then they didn’t have anywhere to turn. So he finally listened to what we were telling them about the affiliates and that solved all their problems. Permanent, not not permanent.

They are definitely great insight. So on the journey of success is always perceived to be a 20 year thing. Right. And and on the front end, people always see it as something that happened overnight. How long did it take you to get to where you are currently?

My first year was I think I did two or three deals, my my second year obviously was better because you learn stuff as you go along and, you know, now we we have what we call great referral partners. I network with bankers, mortgage lenders, CPAs, business consultants. All of those people are people who refer business to me at one point or another. Those opportunities now are plentiful versus when I started. When I started, nobody knew who I was. And even though they knew I was, many people didn’t know I was in business to do what it is that I currently do. So part of the challenge is how do you how do you come out of the gate and get customers to know who you are, where you are, what you’re doing? Our company does business all over the country and, you know, our ability to do local networking, but also Internet marketing and what have you allows us to find customers who are looking for services that we can assist them with. We certainly aren’t the only lender out there, but our relationships continue to grow daily, weekly, monthly annually that allow us to be in front of people who know they need help and they are referring to us on a consistent basis. So you’re right. It takes a it takes a while to get to where you want to be. But depending on how various people are in those various things, networking and Internet marketing and what have you, because we we think that we are in business and to do what it is that we are here to do whatever that service is. But quite frankly, if you don’t know these other things, your business is going to be stagnant or not grow or not flourish in the way that you want to. You know, it was you know, I think that we sometimes get caught up in what we do and think that’s the end all be all. You know, you can talk to people who are in business. Some don’t have their websites that well. That’s that’s a common thing now. But if you’re in business and you’re not getting those referrals or what have you, that’s the first thing that people do when they say you’re in business. They go look for U.S. They’re the first things they do and this is not there. They may sometimes not consider you to be legitimate. And then and whether or not that’s true really depends on where suckers you’re running and where your business depends on that type of presence. You know, certainly people can operate and not have a website that’s you can do that. But if you’re if your business depends on people’s impressions and what it is that they need to see about you, that legitimizes you. If you don’t have one, you’re not in this business. And so that’s that’s one of those little small things. And, you know, the better it is doesn’t mean because you create it doesn’t mean that you get traffic because you have it. So all of those things, how do you drive people to your website and how do you get customers that filter out of that Web site? All of those things are critical for businesses these days because everything is so accessible. Everything as I state is

definitely so going back to that. So, I mean, what year did you open up the doors to your business?

What year?

What year did you start?

I started in 2013.

So you’re right, around eight years, so less than 20 years. You made a hell of achievement in leaps and bounds in less than a decade. Really?

Yeah, we’ve we’ve grown tremendously since the start. I mean, as I said, I, I went to a training program for my industry and came out of the gate, got my website prepared and allowed that organization that I was training with to do some marketing for me, which immediately got my phone to ring and several deals out of that. But that actually started me on my path. Of course, you have some ideas of how you generate traffic for yourself. And I followed some of those. What I found very quickly was that me being in business did not determine that my phone was ringing or that people would be knocking on my door either happened because I said I was in business. So that has to be a motion that moves people to you. I started immediately doing things like going around to talk to bankers and, you know, some were nice. But what I also found was because there was no affiliation and they had no clue who I was. Most were reluctant to even talk to me. And I certainly didn’t get any referrals in Michigan where I started to really pick up on referrals. And just just the referral partners was when we started doing the networking. You spoke and I spoke. And when we met once I started to do that, I started to see the real benefits of those types of things in my business. And my business really took off and took us to another level, because now your ability to meet those people who are legitimate referral partners is through those associations in those networks. So you already got something in common. They’re more willing to talk to you. I think also the thing that that I’ve been trying to talk to people about and make sure they understand is no matter what your service is, I don’t care if you sit behind a computer all day long. We are all salespeople and you need to remember that because your business is dependent upon how you can get in front of people to actually help them understand what your services are and whether or not they want to do business with. But if you’re selling, you’re not doing business every day, you’re selling every day.

You’re right about that. And that that goes to a very serious point that I mean, a lot of people think that it’s OK to market one time or to put one ad or to send one email. In today’s world, everybody’s complaining about all the ads they complain about on emails. But if you don’t ramp up your content, you’re going to get lost in the noise. You have to put that content out there as frequently as you could humanly possibly do it. So that way, when people do check because you don’t know when people are going to check the e-mails, you don’t know when they go to Facebook. Your content needs to be fresh in their streams on a regular basis. So just it’s going to taste right. I mean, obviously, you have the business hustle. You have a mindset as an entrepreneur. Does that come from your family upbringing? Your family was a business owner?

Well, oh no, my family was educators and my father was a manufacturing worker. And so it was so but I I saw a number of things when I was growing up. My family owns a lot of property down in South Georgia, and I wasn’t necessarily surrounded by entrepreneurial ones, but I always thought a little little about owning businesses and I thought that that was the way to take some steps. And it took me a long time to take the leap, if you will, because we’re so indoctrinated into get an education, get a job in education, get a job that’s sort of the the for most of us, that’s literally what happens in your in your home. Your parents want you to become educated and then get a job, get a job. I saw that there were other people who were doing things from owning businesses and operating in a different way. And I was very intrigued by that. I was always intrigued by business. I would be in college or high school. I would get out the old Thomas register and see how all these companies have built up all of these sorts of under them, all this kind of stuff that always intrigued me. So as I went through my corporate career, I one of the things I was trying to do was figure out what what can I live myself to that will actually be mine. That would also allow me to go out. It would be an entrepreneur and of course, I I went in a couple directions or tried to own a sandwich shop at once but didn’t have a right partner. I went into business being a distributor of of suppliers. Office supplies didn’t have the right path. And then I did real estate for about five years prior to the crash. I just fixed them flip houses on my own. And after I left corporate America the first time I did that for about five years, then got sucked back in to corporate America just because there was an opportunity. It wasn’t even something I was looking for, but it was an opportunity that came there. And all of a sudden that became an offer. That opportunity became my life for like another eight to nine years. And as I was doing that, corporate opportunity again got frustrated with corporate America again and decided that I needed to step out on my own and started my research, found the opportunity because I was I was also looking for a particular type of opportunity. I was I was at the age where I didn’t want to necessarily manage a whole lot of people. I didn’t want to go to somebody else’s office. I didn’t want there to be certainties for me. So I wanted something with flexibility. I wanted something that allowed me. I didn’t have a cap on what my income was and my efforts would prove that we could actually make it. And I found all of that in what I do currently in my company provides me with enormous opportunity for income. We help companies and individuals with their goals of moving their their business or their investment goals forward. We do that every day. So we’re helping people and we’re serving them in a way that allows us to reap the rewards financially from that service that we provide for them. So we’re able to do all of that. But that’s what my business did for me and that’s what it continues to do.

So, I mean, obviously on that journey, I would think that you’ve started a family. So understanding that as a entrepreneur, it takes a lot of time. So how do you juggle your hustle with your family life?

Well, you know, my I’ve always felt like I’ve always felt like the work and life needs to balance, so I’ve always spent a lot of time with my family, my son and my wife, and and then allow work to dominate me in that way. And that’s and frankly, I’ve always had a great work ethic. What have you. And that’s translated into me working for myself. What I do now is actually much more fun than what I’ve done throughout my corporate career. So I find myself sometimes putting in more time than I should. So I have to back it up. I have to take days, you know, so I balance things out by doing the things that I enjoy doing even during the week when I create the opportunity for it. So during the week, on a Friday, because Friday is a slow day for me, I might go play golf in the middle of the day, you know, and my wife has taken up golf, so sometimes I’m doing it with her.

It’s nice

spend some time together. Same thing in the middle of the week. If I have a Wednesday or a day where my calendar is free in the afternoons because I work for myself, my phone can ring even while I’m on the golf course. So, you know, I’m still working, but also doing some things for myself. This weekend, we’re going to go up to Gatlinburg just to get away for the weekend. And we do that quite often these days just because we have the flexibility to do it. My wife is retired, so we’re not restricted to you know, she got to go to work every day. So we’re ready to go. We go.

So. So with that. Right. So, I mean, I think earlier when we got on this podcast, you have like a morning routine, right? So you work out. So this is going to make what is your morning routines look like?

Well, as you mentioned, I work out in the mornings and I love to do workouts first thing. So I wake up probably five-thirty every day and by six o’clock I’m in a circuit or on that by doing cardio half. And so and that’s every day. So my my workday typically starts at around nine o’clock, so I’m up at five-thirty working out before I come into the office. I’ve already determined what my day is going to look like based off of the previous and day some the end of the day. On the previous day, I’ve already outlined what tomorrow needs to look like or things that I need to focus on who the people I need to contact, if it’s a lender, if it’s a borrower, or if it’s a new client or if it’s a networking opportunity. All of those things are sort of lined up for. Of course, I have appointments lined up already that we work around and then those opportunities for admin work in the business come around. Those opportunities for networking or appointments that we have on includes. So my days are pretty filled with those types of activities and I try to do certain things. As I say, you’re always selling, so you have to time to write, in my opinion. So even though those networking and referral partners that we have create calls for me, I also want to actively pursuing relationships that also will turn into referral type opportunities for me. So I schedule on Tuesday like a Thursday in non-covid times. Those are my days to be out of the office if you will. I’m doing things in front of the people who could conceivably be good reform a partner or referral partner types. Those are my days for that. And Monday, Wednesday and Friday were directly in the office catching up with them and were following through on ones that you are moving through the process talking to a real estate investor about what their needs are and what we need to do to help them get to what they’re trying to do and so on. So that’s how my ideas feel.

Right.

And it’s pretty. It’s pretty, you know, because I have customers all over the place. I get calls from California and those people because we’re in front of them sometimes I’m in my office at six, six thirty-seven o’clock talking to people depending on where they are, because. They’re doing their work during the day and they called in the afternoon, so,

yeah, makes sense. So as I’ve been developing this podcast, I realized that everybody I would say probably 90 per cent of people that have had on the show are successful in many different ways. And part of that success Journey books helped them get there. So I decided to create a Boss uncaged book club. So what what are you currently reading or you have read before that you would recommend to someone?

What I think would be very good is who moved my cheese? I don’t know who moved my cheese is about action. It’s about and it’s a very simple bill, but it’s a very direct about what it is that it takes for you to actually achieve. And it speaks to the promises. You know, they show you how in some ways people are complacent in their way of thinking. And because of their being complacent, they’re waiting for somebody to tell them what to do versus taking action. And that’s really what the premise of the book is. It’s a great little farce read is what it is, but it’s a great business book in my mind that I think is very good and instrumental. Another book that I’m reading right now is called Options Trading

Nice.

What I want to become more versed in trading options. So I’m eating and then I’m going to take a course on it and learn how to actually use options as an investment.

who is the author of the book The Obstacles,

Warren Buffet Benjamin is the author of this book.

So with these two recommendations, who would you recommend should read either one of these books?

If you’re interested in investments, that’s the options trading book. But because people all people should who moved my cheese. I even think it’s good for people who are not entrepreneurs to read again. It costs more about the things you do that you create. The change you want is when speaking to and I think is great book for everybody. I guess it is a very, very easy book to read. And it’s a you know, I remember the exact number of pages, but I can remember reading that book and what it meant to read it and the the thought process of what you encounter as you read a wonderful book. What book? And I think, you know, a great read for people. There are there are a couple of others that I can no one is thinking which a black choice. And then the other one is by Napoleon Dennis Kimbro. I wrote that thinking a Blackshirts. That’s Dennis Kimbro, that Napoleon Hill, I believe, is the writer of Thinking Rich, which is also Dennis Kimber’s book is a takeoff of his book. But but both are great books and great reads actually the another. I can’t think of a name of his book, but George Fraser wrote a book about network and. And he talks about the value of networking and how what it is that if you do those things that you talk about. In terms of networking in how to network is also important. I think, you know, you and I met through a networking function, that function opened my eyes to a lot of things because I think when I first I know it throughout my entire career, no matter what group I was part of, I always thought of networking from the perspective of what do you get out of it? Right. What can I get from it? And if if you have first impressions in any network group or that you’re not going to continue with that group, that’s that’s the bigger thing. So and the group that we were part of, the first thing that we were taught was you got to get to get right. And as you do that, you reap the benefits of people giving to you. It’s a powerful lesson, I think. And and if you drink that Kool-Aid, you also see the benefits, because the more you give, you absolutely reap the benefits. And that’s biblical.

So, yeah, definitely.

And as you as you see that do that, comprehend that your rewards in your business grow exponentially. You know, and some people sort of determine early on that that’s the kind of person they want to be and become very good at. Others keep wanting people because we saw even in our groups how people came to that and was like, I got nothing out of it. Nobody’s making any referrals. And Mr Fraser says, if you have nothing, it’s because you have given that that is real.

That’s definitely real. So so I think I mean, because you listen, I think I did a definitely great books. And the irony of all that is I think Michael Richards came up on his podcast at least probably like two out of every five episodes. Somebody always recommends that book. It’s like the timeless book from 1930 that still holds Wait Till His Date is a golden book. So so from from books to like tools and software, what tools or software do you use that you would not be able to run your business without?

e-mail? Obviously, a CRM because, you know, you need a CRM and your system that that can track what’s going on with the customer that you interact with from your calls to documents you may have sent to them and places to store those documents, you know, and how you go about doing that marketing, you know, and some of this is stuff that you even if you don’t know, you got to get proficient at expanding, even if you’re using somebody else to do it for you.So and I think that that’s critical. I mean, a good accounting software I also think is important in a review of your financials on a consistent basis that helps you understand where you are, how you’re getting there, whether you’re making money or not. And it needs to do things for you that you don’t think of in your own mind. If you have different product lines, you need to be able to separate them to determine what’s profitable and what’s not, what’s making revenue for you and what’s not. Those things are critical, I think. And because some of them some of those things are free, some of those things you got to pay for and not versed in understanding financial statements, you need to surround yourself with people who can give you that knowledge. The other thing I think is important is good mentors, good mentors, you know, I think are invaluable to people. I in my work and I’m always talking to people about how to make themselves better early because I you know, I talk to people about what it is that they can do even in the process of borrowing money. I will send them back to somebody that they may have just left, for instance, many times they will come to me as I just left the bank, the bank said no, because they’ll take me all the reasons why. Well, I’m listening and I’m trying to determine how I can help them. Well, sometimes I’ll send them back to that bank that they just got turned back, which doesn’t pay me, but I’m helping somebody do something that helps them. And, you know, I’m not looking for compensation. I’m trying to get them to where they are, trying to get based on what they’re doing. Well, even in doing that, again, I’m giving and I’m not receiving from that end. But, you know, it comes back to and I don’t have a problem doing that or helping people with knowledge. I get people who call who want to be in my business. I tell them, hey, look, I’ll tell you everything I know. You know, we we shouldn’t be stingy with that for two reasons. One is it’s not good for you, that’s one. But to everything we do is written somewhere and nothing is a secret, even though people think it’s a secret, you know, some people become more proficient at it than others because they’re doing it well, they’re enjoying it or they understand all the dynamics that make it successful. That doesn’t mean that it’s not somewhere where I can read it, to understand it and actually even implement. If I chose to spend that amount of time so that people talk to me about my business, I tell them everything I know or anything, but I tell them how it is I got in, I tell them what it is and it costs me. I tell them what it is that you have to do to stay in front of people. I tell them how it is that I create my lending opportunities with the lenders that I talk to about all of that. But here’s what I’ve learned. No matter what you say to people, some people still are going to do anything that’s I’m going to do anything whether you, you know, adhere to that philosophy or not. But some people are going to be the type of people that are committed to action and committing yourself to action will move the needle tremendously. If you’re willing to do that. Doesn’t matter what the process is. It could be real estate investing. If you start, you’ll start figuring out something. You know, you start figuring out what you can do, what you can’t do. But we get stuck in the start. We’re also people who, because of that indoctrination, are going to work. We’re afraid of what it means when I don’t have a job and now I’ve got to depend on myself to create my own income. Some of us cannot fathom that this is not the way we think. So we’re not wired that way. And the false sense of security that comes from working with a corporate America, what have you stifles many people. It’s like, yeah, I will do that, but I’m scared or I don’t know if I have enough money. I don’t know if I know. One of the interesting about that whole process is the number of people that are already working in, quote-unquote, commission type roles, sometimes 100 per cent or also some of the same people who will never go into business for themselves.

Definitely. It’s a great I mean, I think you’re leading into my next question. I think you’ve given some like a lot of I think it’s a golden nugget. I would say like liquid diamonds. Right. What final words of wisdom do you have for someone that may be coming to you or somebody that is younger to you, that wants to become you follow in your footsteps? What advice would you give to them?

Explore. Read and commit yourself to action. That’s what I was saying, because exploring allows you to find out what the world can offer you. That’s what it does. And, you know, in spite of what’s going on in terms of politics and what have you, it’s a big rule out there with a lot of different ways that people can make money. You know, I’m amazed that the things that people can do that create income opportunities for them. And in today’s digital age, it’s actually even escalated that even more people are doing digital stores and selling millions of dollars. And so there are a number of things that people can do that create opportunities. You should read all the time. Most successful people I remember Dennis out here heard Dennis Kimbro speak once. And one of the things he said was readers are leaders, readers are leaders. And inevitably readers comprehend and understand so much more than people who are getting their information off the news or off the television or having because the reading allows you to comprehend it a whole lot more and visualize what’s going on and even sometimes visualize how you can make it happen for yourself and then commit yourself to action. Action. Action doesn’t mean that you’re blindly going out here. And just doing this means that you have a plan of action that allows you to go out here and be successful in this wide world that we have. That speaks to how you can do business. I mean, there like I said, I’m amazed at the number of ways that people are supporting themselves and doing business. And it doesn’t matter what it is, you know, because what you might do, somebody else won’t do with it. I mean, I know people who call garbage, people who haul waste. And, you know, the first thing some people are going to say, well, I can’t do that. Well, you know, but then you go and you look at what kind of revenue these people are generating based on them hauling garbage, you know, it may not be for you, but it could be for somebody else. Another thing I heard somebody say. Don’t be the negative person in somebody’s life. Don’t tell them what they can’t do. You know, the the opportunity for you is very different sometimes than the opportunity for somebody else, you know, just because you don’t like what is it called, network marketing. Some people don’t consider it a business, and I understand that. But because it because of your perception of it or your lack of success with it doesn’t mean that somebody else will make money off of you.

And you definitely right

have to be open to that. You’ve got to be open to these types of things that will allow some people to make money. That’s what I struggled with network marketing was. And it’s not for me. But what I do see is the people that believe in the process and believe in how you go about creating the business that they’re working. You actually do have success. They have success. Can you get there? You got you got a one buy in and you got a buy in, whether it’s the product, the product, the process or what have you first got to buy in. And that goes for any type of business you are trying to do. You can’t go out here and not be happy what you’re doing and think that you’re going to have a flood of customers.

Yeah, definitely. Definitely right about that. So how could people find you? I mean, what’s your Facebook, your website, your phone number or email address?

My website is w w w. Barrington consult Barrington Capital Commercial Capital.com. I’m thinking out loud here for Capital.com. That’s my Web site. My email address is R Johnson at B, C, C, FIR.com. My phone number for my business is four four seven six two four four six to nine one zero zero four or four six to nine one zero zero. LinkedIn is Ray Johnson and I have a my business behind me on my LinkedIn profile. There’s a Barrington commercial capital Facebook page. There is a Barrington commercial capital LinkedIn page. So all of that’s out there. We’d love to hear from your audience. I’d love to help them with any of their commercial capital needs, be that real estate investing or business funding needs that they have very.

So going and going into the bonus round, I just feel like my favourite question. Maybe one day I may change it. But right now I still love this question. Right? If you could spend twenty-four hours in a day uninterrupted with anybody dead or alive, who would it be and why?

You know, I’ve gotten that question from another podcast. I was just on a podcast for entrepreneurs and finance. The question was asked and the person I said was, and I still believe it’s Frederick Douglass. And you know what’s what’s interesting about a person like Frederick Douglass is he was born into slavery. Right. And you escaped death and became a free man, but still owned by somebody in the south. As he was living his life, he became a voice for black of America in a time where we were already oppressed people. And he was a very outspoken person, a great speaker and what have you. I just like to talk to a person like that about what is it like to be in an environment that spoke to you being somebody’s property and and living a life outside of that. How did that come to be? And and then how did you figure out or determine that your life would be speaking out against that? That you were a part of and went because and during that time, it was just so fascinating to me that that person existed, thrived, escaped his enslavement, and then became an outspoken proponent for a Guesclin very outspoken front from being a slave to going to visit people in the White House, this incredible journey. And I just think that he’d have a whole lot to say. That would be very interesting on front. And I’m pretty much an inspiration in a number of ways. So that’s that’s that’s the kind of person I would love to spend some time with and learn more from figure out what it is that we can do. So,

yeah, definitely. I appreciate that is a very thought out answer. And I mean, obviously, to your point, you had an opportunity to answer that question before. So like when you’re filling in the blanks right now, it’s definitely a fulfilling answer. So this is the point in the podcast where I give you the microphone, my guests, to interview me. Any questions that you may have come up with during the show that you may have for me?

Well, you know, obviously we’ve known each other a little while, know we’ve witnessed part of your journey. I mean, I. I like the idea that you’re doing this podcast and exposing entrepreneurs to different people who go into business. Why don’t you talk a little bit about what what caused you the transition that you’ve gone? Because you’ve you’ve done a lot of things and some of which you’ve dropped, but some you’ve kept going. But you’ve done a lot of things that speak to what we talk about, how you make money and also the types of things that could sustain you over time. You’re good at what you do, but I’d like to know your thought process and moving through the journey that you.

Yeah, so it’s like the evolution of boss uncaged essentially came from like you said, I’ve tried multiple things. It’s kind of like my left brain always fights my right brain. So once I’m creative it and the other side I’m analytical. I jump at the business structures. But I had opportunity to kind of think about it like what’s the best way? Like you say, can I give first? And then by giving you would receive and through our networking groups and going through. That’s what we were doing. We were standing up, we were pitching who we were. We were saying to our target audience is a mom, a soccer mom. She may be your neighbour and she may be working from home and she’s looking at X, Y and Z. So painting these pictures to that journey sort of realizing, well, we’re paying pictures, but we need more information. Like, for example, which you today I’ve heard parts of your story, but today you’ve kind of outlined all the pieces of the puzzle to kind of make a complete picture. And so I’m taking that picture and I’m like, OK, here’s my audience. Here’s other people that may find this podcast three, four or five years from now that may one opportunity to understand how capital works, how to raise funding. And this podcast can now give them that opportunity, but by default is associated to me. So in that journey, again, I have a lot of people in my Rolodex that I can give them opportunities to broadcast to my audience. And by default, things will come back to me through osmosis because I am the facilitator of this environment. But my goal is to give people opportunities to understand that business is everything. Business is in all aspects. And that’s why every guess I’ve had on my show, I’ve been uniquely different. There’s some overlaps here and there, but I could get somebody else does a capital guy and he could be 100 per cent investing into not real estate. Maybe he’s a hundred percent commercial business lender versus you’re more in the real estate lending. So his demographic, his story, his missioning will be completely different than yours

right outstanding,

appreciate. Appreciate it. Well, let me if you got to hear the questions, this is a time. If not, then then we’re good.

I think I’m good. I’m good.

Oh, well, I definitely appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule, man. I think this was definitely an impactful episode. I think you gave a lot like I said, not even Golden Nugget. You give liquid diamonds is stating them right. So you give a lot of information that I mean, anybody’s looking for, you know, secondary lending, anybody looking for funding and just wants more information. I mean, I would definitely recommend that they give you a call to talk to you and particularly our audience of small business owners. Right. Our audience are entrepreneurs, solo partners. So you’re the guy is going to be able to kind of help them grow their businesses and take it to the next level. So I definitely appreciate you coming on the show.

Absolutely, I appreciate being here and it’s been a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s not necessarily talking about myself, but what we do is always doing this for me and you,

oh great, great, great. All right, guys. S.A. Grant over now.

Founder Of Barrington Commercial Capital: Ray Johnson AKA The Capital Boss – S2E9 (#37)2021-02-27T18:00:38+00:00

Founder and Managing Director at Atlanta Hospitality Collective: Dona Mattews AKA The Queen Of The Night – S1E24 (#24)

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“Don’t let these naysayers tell you that’s an oversaturated market for you to open up yet another cigar lounge or that this is why I support black businesses or we need to do better or this is why I don’t vote or this is why I just don’t take no for an answer. Don’t get stopped. Don’t let anybody else determine or put opinions in your head that take over what you feel in your heart. That is a huge personal message of mine that I think I’ll always be sort of grappling with for the rest of my life.” – Dona Mathews

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E24 – Founder and Managing Director at Atlanta Hospitality Collective: Dona Mattews AKA The Queen Of The Night – powered by Happy Scribe

Don’t let these naysayers tell you that’s an oversaturated market for you to open up yet another cigar lounge or that this is why I support black businesses or we need to do better or this is why I don’t vote or this is why I just don’t take no for an answer. Don’t get stopped. Don’t let anybody else determine or put opinions in your head that take over what you feel in your heart. That is a huge personal message of mine that I think I’ll always be sort of grappling with for the rest of my life. Don’t let people define you as a mother. Don’t let people say you can’t follow a career. Don’t let people say, well, that’s your ex and you ended it a certain way and it was ugly. And you can’t bridge your relationships forward because you’re going to look silly and you’re going to look stupid. Don’t let the world’s norms. Be your norm, like individuality is powerful and community is powerful and just in sort of being a strong individual and allowing give yourself a lot of grace.

Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.

Welcome welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have none other than what I’ve deemed you like the Queen of the night. So Dona Mattews, who are you?

Thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here. I am first and foremost a mom, a working mom, a community driven working mom. I am a goal oriented, sales oriented, quite ambitious hospitality professional. That is where I’ve sort of found my niche always. But I’m definitely sort of making my name, if I can say that it’s kind of hard to you, to children born. Sometimes I’m a little full of myself, but sometimes I’m like, I really said that out loud. And that might be true

because I remember the first time I met you was kind of like through osmosis. I was like in the middle of creating lamps and just kind of like playing around with that business model. And you were the owner of a cigar shop. So this is kind of step back like how did you even get into that space, into that market sector?

It was through my relationship about eight years ago. My ex and I had met and he was like, join me for a cigar over at Highland Cigar Lounge Cigar Bar, the elder statesman of the cigar community. Right. Like it’s one of the first cigar lounges or. Yeah. In the city of Atlanta. And I went in there. It was an environment that I just wasn’t used to. And I have been in nightlife for a very long time. Like we did the bars. I’ve done bartending competitions. I’ve worked with Remy Martin, I’ve done parties, brought DMX, do yoga, worked on a couple of different fun things like throughout my life up until eight years ago. And I met him and he was like, you know, join me for a cigar. So I go in there, it’s like it’s a man cave. I go into this man cave in in ah, some of Atlanta’s notable May powerful community, men like these men in Atlanta, a couple of lawyers that we know, a couple of politicians that we know, everybody’s in there smoking a cigar. I never smoked a cigar before in my life. I thought it was maybe OK, like it was cool. But I never smoked a cigar before in my life. And it was a thing that he loved. And so but I enjoyed the atmosphere to my very core. Everybody, I love the atmosphere. I love the people that I met at Highland Cigar. I love the whole culture, the cigar culture. I actually understood there’s an actual cigar culture. I just always enjoyed it. Fast forward to a few years later, we had an opportunity to build a business. And when it came to making a decision as to what we would like to do, we were like, we should open up a cigar lounge. We found a venue on Peter Street. Our business partner had off the hook barbershop, and he had that’s on the top of Peter Street. Right. He had a relationship with the owner of the building towards the end of Peter Street. And we were like, let’s open up a cigar shop, let’s put it in a bar, let’s do craft cocktails, let’s do some dope stuff. So I’m to the partnership initially was amongst these two men, we watches fifty to fifty three year old men like, you know, 50 something year old men like map out these ideas. We should call it Habanera Heaven. We should do this with the furniture. We should do this, we should build the bar this size. And I slowly started dropping in my two cents here and there. Like you should make it a safe space, right. Like you need to make it a safe space for women to kind of come into, because that’s what we all kind of enjoyed with each other throughout the four or five years that we’d been together. At that point, as we built relationships, we really, truly saw what he brought to the people, to the table with his relationships and then the energy and the younger the different cross-section of people that we brought to the table together. I never seen that sort of accomplished either. So we were like, we can sort of put together a lounge and it can be something different and we can kind of make an impact the way we want to do. We want to do it. And that’s how we got into becoming a cigar lounge owners. They sat me down and they’re like, we would like to be for you to be an operating partner. And I became an operating partner, Pavano Cigar Lounge. And that’s where I got started, like officially like as an entrepreneur.

So this time travel back a little bit, a little bit further back. So you’re saying you’ve done parties, you’ve done events, you’ve done bartending. I mean, what’s your core background? I mean, where you from and how did you even get into that space?

Oh, so picture this. I’m an Indian girl with the Pentecostal super strict Pentecostal parents that didn’t drink, didn’t party. There was a huge culture shock when we came into this country and we came from Kuwait after the Gulf invasion. Right. Byways of Bombay. So we’re immigrants to this country. And there was just a lot of learning. My parents just kind of cling to religion to sort of help them navigate through the American culture. And me, I didn’t fit in. I couldn’t fit in. I didn’t know how to speak to people. I didn’t know how to really engage. My parents wouldn’t let me do any kind of sports. So when it was time for college, I applied to Manhattan College, got a full scholarship, and then 9/11 happened. And I was like, just my life is still so restricted, I just needed to leave. So I applied to UGA and came down UGA the following January and I lost my mind. I was like, I had freedom, flexibility. I started to develop these relationships. I was able to kind of learn how to engage people at a genuine and authentic level. And that’s a gift. But it’s also, I think, part of my upbringing as well, because I wasn’t raised to think I was that much like just to be pretentious or anything. We were very down to earth and very grounded as a family. And I started just sort of supporting with parties like, you know, just doing ticket sales at the door, like even getting just collecting money. I was the door girl collecting money at the door. I started just building relationships, started promoting like I’ll post a flyer, like, I’ll send this out to a couple of different people, like I’ll put this out in a couple of dorms until a couple of girls about it. I’ve always kind of been a nurturer. I remember when people used to be like, oh, Donna’s bringing the girls. So that means we’re not going to get away with too much. And we, again, like cultivating a safe space for girls to be able to have fun, drink, dance, party and then go home and be safe was always been important for me. And I just as we and I kind of did well with that, like made sure everybody got home, I became like a point person point of contact, being able to communicate with everybody what the details of the night was or just be the point person like everybody get in a cab. So it just developed a system trust and like. Inability to gauge my surroundings, and that was also heightened as I started working with Michael, who’s been 20 something years in an industry in clubs and lounges. And so and then so when we opened up was like, you know, we were pretty solid, like it was a safe space. So that’s always been kind of important for me because I like to have fun. I like to have a good time. I like to have a couple of drinks. I like to party. I like to just let my hair down and have fun. And you need that again, like my culture would tell me, like, you know, you don’t need that. You’ve got to kind of stay pious and graceful and gracious and quiet. I’ve always been rebellious and just I was like, I’m not going to do things that way.

So what was your major UGA?

Usually I’m a police major. I was supposed to go to law school. Wow. I never made it out of college. My first job was with a payroll company and they hired me for H.R. It was a small, small company, very small. And they’re just like, well, you’ve got talent. You need a job like we got you. It was bored. I was not enthused and I was just whatever when my boss approached me and he was just like, you know, you might do well in sales. You like people like you might do them. So I’m not going door to door and selling payroll. And he’s like, no, there’s a system in place. Just you’ll do well with sales. You can meet goals. So I was always a sales girl. I did really well there. I got head hunted for a second company that’s like, you know, just I’ve always been in sales. I wouldn’t say marketing, but just I picked up a few things as far as branding brand strategy. It’s where my passion sort of is like sort of developing a narrative.

Got it, So I’m in that space. I mean, you always hear about some crazy stories that happen in the nightlife environment, like, you know, if a bouncer kind of chokehold somebody and throws them out. You always hear about liquor flying across the bar from topics I like. What’s the craziest story that you can recap that has happened in that environment for you?

Oh, so let me say something. When I first moved down to Atlanta. Right. And I told you, like, just I was on the scene, I was cute. Like, people are like, yo, let me take you out to a few places in a like some classic Atlanta spot. So I was like, OK, you ready to go? I’m like, yeah, I’m ready to go where we go. And I’m it’s fine. I don’t even know where it is. And we pull up to this spot called Central Station. And as I’m walking in, the bouncer is dragging this dude by his dreads through that deck. That wouldn’t have you been to Central Station?

I have it. No.

Oh, man. You should have gone. I think there might still be OK. I’m not sure about covid, but I know they were open a little before shopping is dragging the dude by dreads and threw him. I thought it was like a Mortal combat move, like literally just walk onto that gravel lot. And I was like, I mean, take me inside, I need a drink, I want to be right there. And that was my first spot. The next spot these fools took me to is like, yeah, you want some sake? Like I take you to the best place in the city. I was like, OK, we’re driving down, we’re driving around and we’re driving down Cheshire Bridge Road. We passed those two big Italian spots, passing all these like Doghouse and things like that. And we pull up to this parking lot where there’s these big metal structures. It’s a place called Onyx. And I was like, I had no idea Onyx was a strip club because we’d never been before because I get come on and they’ve got steak. I walk in and we’re at a strip club. As I’m walking in, there’s a dancer on the pool and the bartender sit there and right all around her, it’s just the whole area just smells like straight bleach. And so those are my first like first like jarring moments in the hospital, like Atlanta hospitality scene. Right. Like it. A hospitality strip, clubs. It’s a part of our hospitality scene over here. Same thing with Central Station. Like Central Station is a big part of our hospitality legacy here in Atlanta. And I was in love like I love my fine dining experiences now. Like, I’ve been exposed and learned a lot more. But just to see people have fun and be who they are and be comfortable in a space, in a venue where they’re catered to the way they’re supposed to be catered to, like is a passion of mine. I love it. I live for it. I live for it. Like nobody blinked. And I want to do this just like this. I was like, OK. I was like, I’m like in shock. But everybody was just like, let’s go. Next person in line. Let’s go, let’s go.

So, I mean, definitely your energy, right? I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I wanted you on the podcast, because you have this abundance of energy. Right. And that’s why I’ve kind of deemed you kind of like the queen of the night. So that’s kind of your past, right? These are some things that you’ve done. So what are you working on right now?

So some of the things that are we’re. Working on right now, I started a company a couple of weeks ago, and I know you and I had sort of been talking about developing a brand, I wasn’t quite sure which direction I was going to go into, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to work with someone. And I’ve interviewed with a few people I interviewed with Rocksteady for a GM position. I interview with the Hyatt. I was going to go to work. I was going to do something. I didn’t imagine myself sitting still after we sold Habana. So I owed it to myself and I needed to prove it to myself. So I did a couple of consultations. I built a lounge in Johns Creek, Georgia. It is called Lion’s Den and Beaumont Cigar Bar. I developed their humidor program, their bar program, worked to staff the bar work to staff the entire restaurant, and started to work with them to get a chef in there and then closed out the consult. I understand about myself that I like my short term projects. I don’t plan on being anybody’s GM. I don’t see myself attached to someone else’s brand long term like that. But I love and I enjoy helping people sort of like lift them off the ground and get them started and get them going to where they think that they want to be and where they want to be. So I worked on that currently again. Now we developed a company a couple of weeks ago because we developed a company to work with Sun Goddess wines. I was trying to see if I had a bottle left that I believe are going to get a new case of some badass wines from Fenthion Winery, some that as Wine is by Mary J. Blige. So our company is sort of focused on immersing Sun Goddess wines through the Atlanta market. We have developed a strategy for Mary’s team or Trinity Beverage Group, who carries the wine, who bring the wine to market. And we’re sort of tasked with immersing the market and strategically placing them in just the right places with the right people so as to meet our goals to get everybody drinking. SunGard is mine, my company’s Atlanta hospitality collective. Thank you. It’s Atlanta Hospitality Collective, and it’s going to be exactly what we’ve always kind of wanted. habanas was one of those places. And I’m glad you kind of started off with the fact, like how we sort of got together with you through Darvon and a couple of other relationships that we had our mutual relationships. And we find out like, hey, I have this talent and we’re like, hey, we have this platform. We’d love to share our platform with you. And we’ve always found that model or that strategy successful and build collaboratively, collaboratively working to build mutual success. That’s always just just you can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t approach everything the same way. Different people engage in different styles. Different people are looking for different things. Different people can do different things that you can not do well. And when you and Habaneros taught me all of that and Atlanta Hospitality Collective, what I would love for it to be is whatever your needs are, I think someone just text me a few minutes ago and said, you have a strong network of very powerful people. And I think that is a testament to some of the work that we’ve done in the community and some of the relationships that we build, but also some of the relationships that people have afforded us. And we’ve been able to extend back out to the community, to the people. We don’t forward a lot of things. I just always believe, like your relationship with this person is going to pan out to be what it’s going to be. And if you look good and he looks good, I look like you know what I mean. But at the end of the day, if it doesn’t work out, it’s still not a bad reflection on me because there was a footprint to move forward. So Atlanta Hospitality Collective is focused on a broad vision of what hospitality is, from creating consultations for allowing visionaries and entrepreneurs, giving them a roadmap on how to get a restaurant, get a food truck, go through the licensing and permitting process, how many parking spaces you need to have for this building for you to get this restaurant and this occupancy. So that’s a consultation lease negotiations. OK, this is your building. How can we talk about tenant improvement? We do things like that bar program. Just in the four or five years that we’ve been working at Habaneros alone, we’ve developed a great relationship with Brown-Forman, with Bacardi, Worimi, and those are our relationships that but we don’t have a home in a brick and mortar anymore. It behooves us to bring them to other locations. You’ve got the liquor license now. You’ve got a brick and mortar. So we like I said, if you can you and I can work together. We can come to an agreement like we love to bring you all of these relationships that can be a resource for you because people don’t really understand, especially in hospitality. Like we don’t know. We don’t know. People of color were never privy to exactly what resources are available to us, so we’re always scrambling and we’re always trying to figure things out. And just again, like I said, like, you know, just in developing these relationships, I’ve come to understand quite a bit about how Atlanta works, how politics works, how to get your liquor license and how you go about these things. And we’d like to whatever your vision is, if you have a vision, if you have a good weekend, we can get you capital. We have great relationships like that. Can work to get you some capital. We want to make it happen. We’re solution focused. We’re solution driven. Money is always the goal. And I believe in working together. We can really do that. And we do that through food and beverage because I believe so. While America is currently depicted as is completely polarized country, which it is, I think, a really good platform to sort of deliver a different message or a really good platform to sort of just pivot that conversation is to the food and beverage scene especially, and most especially cigar culture, because people want to enjoy a cigar. People want to enjoy a cocktail. Everybody’s going to enjoy the good fried flounder at the Beverly. Just just it’s a starting point. No, it’s a starting point where you can develop relationships. And we just I’m optimistic all the time because I see it happen. I’ve seen some really weird relationships develop when you’re like, what are some of the weirdest things? Like this dude coming in here into a bar knows where to hat drinking his sweet water for twenty. And the dude next to him is somebody from your house suggesting he drink a sweet water 13. Instead he buys the dude with the maggot had brought the next round. They’re both talking cigars and it’s quite obvious how different, how strikingly different these people are. I was like, I’ve just lived for that moment. I know. I don’t. I don’t. It was the same stuff like that. Yeah.

You brought up a really strong point about just like the cultural differences and understanding, like how to get access to things. Right. So being that you’re not only your business owner, but you sold a business. And like, just in that achievement, in that faith, I felt like a whole nother ballgame because most people are trying to build a business. You’re at the point where you sold the business and now you’re moving on. So what did that journey really look like? I mean, like like how did that pan out?

So I think, like, you just you build businesses and you build things to sell for monetary gain. You build this brand around yourself. You build this business around yourself. And people were like, oh, are you interested in bringing on a partner interested in expanding? Are you interested in doing that? And just at that time, as a family like Michael and I, my ex and I, we had a business together. We had two small children together. We have a four year old and two year old. We were heavily into the community together. Michael’s currently working with City Council on a huge nightlife project right now in which I’m sort of spearheading a task force. And it became overwhelming and it came to that decision. And as a small business owner and being a little small minded and that’s a test I’m just talking about myself, it was hard for me to get let go because I thought it would appear to be failure. Right. But in sitting down and going through that process, as far as that it is a true journey, negotiating with lawyers, negotiating terms and conditions, negotiating a buyout, negotiating like what everybody gets, it’s very eye opening, very humbling, very humbling. It was very emotional because I almost that I was like my baby was going off to college. You’re just going off to college. It was dope. It was in retrospect, like, you know, now that I can sort of like now that I’m separated from it and it’s over and done with, it was super dope. Like we had a great team. And that’s where you really understand the power of a strong team. Right? Everybody has a part to play in all of that. Our lawyer that just sort of brokered everything was Michael Sterling. Michael Sterling was a mayoral candidate, is the husband of Eva Marshall Sterling. And he is just just been pivotal in a lot of different like the legal side of things for habanas. And he’s someone that we trust. He had our best interest. And that was very important because you saw different people were different people were involved. Like I was looking for something different. Michael was looking for something different, like everybody’s results, like what they wanted out of a deal was completely different. And you had to reconcile. All of that is a process is a journey because it’s not always about money. Right. You. Destroyed and you want the narrative done properly, we want you to be like and then they sold and that’s not how it happened. So it was humbling. It was learning. You understood like these things take time and it is a process and you need a strong team that’s had the experience at a high level to execute some of these things because you can get screwed over. So thank God and I will say this about Dennis MacKinley Dennis McKinley, who owns Crew Hookah Lounge is the first and he’s an entrepreneur. He also owns Hot Dog Factory. And he’s also plays a little part in Housewives of Atlanta. He purchased Hookah Lounge in. It’s a true testament to the type of man he is and the type of business man he is. Just he did a dope job like he did a great job like everybody. It was a fair and equitable sale, like it went well. And that’s all everybody. It was fair and equitable and everybody was at peace. And that’s really a lot to say

with it inside. Right? I mean, thinking about when you have business partnerships now, you always hear about the fifty one percent share. Right. And everybody else has forty nine or twenty twenty and then somebody else has 60 percent. I don’t know the exact numbers, but going into an actual sale, if you can kind of describe what does that look like as far is it more so an equity payout. Is it more so you get revenue for a particular time after the business is sold. What kind of things did you guys get into with equity share model?

So what I will tell you is this. Ultimately, it comes down to who put the most amount of money into the business. You can sit here and say that, hey, where to where? One third operators here, there and everywhere. Right. Like it can be on paper. We have an operating agreement amongst ourselves. Even if you define that salary, like, you know, Michael, as GM gets this amount for these many years and we weren’t able to kind of fulfill those salary amounts would still give him the equity at that level. Me as like marketing, branding, events, social media, like the responsible roles and responsibilities that I held. Did this amount of work at this amount of rate, like in a standard industry race or whatever, like this is how much I’ve put in with sweat equity. Right. You realize like the time and effort and energy that you put in and this is a sad part, kind of doesn’t matter at the end because they’re looking at the dollar amount. Right? That’s cool. You guys have an operating agreement. We can be fair and equitable, but at the end of the day, like he’s a person or you’re the person that put this amount of money. So he gets this amount of money in and this amount of return. We also took on a couple of investors. Right. Like we had to go ahead and pay that off. And then we had a certain amount of product. We had liquor. The liquor license was worth certain, right? A certain amount. The humidor, the smell, cigars he didn’t want. So he gave that back to us. So you learn that like that operating agreement that you had in place, just all the terms and conditions that you kind of had in place, like it’s a different conversation. You may have all these things in place, but it can become a different conversation. And some of those things don’t necessarily apply to these negotiations. Like with the sale. You think you have this much of a CEO and you really do. So, again, like I said, that was kind of humbling. Yes.

I mean, it was it’s pretty interesting. And I mean, a lot of people, they may not even realize when they go into a sale, like you had a physical brick and mortar that you talk about liquidation, you have to kind of liquidate like what was on the shelves upon the return if you wanted to. Actually, he didn’t want the cigars. So then you had to kind of financially to keep cigars or sell them for wholesale somewhere and move them. Right. So another thing that you brought up earlier was like just like the whole family environment. I mean, you’re a mom full time mom of two boys. So, I mean, how do you juggle your work life with your family life?

Our family is a two family household now. Right. We made a commitment to two different things. I just we’d had such a strong reputation as community driven business owners like, you know, just entrepreneurs. And we had such an impact. We didn’t want to lose that. We didn’t want to lose the trajectory. We don’t want to fall off the path that we were on. Again, huge learning process. Right. And we made a commitment to our kids. No matter what, we’re going to ensure that they’re healthy, they’re happy, they’re safe, and they’re taking care, which led to us sort of saying we’re going to keep working with each other. So. As a mom and as a woman, the burden of beyond is so big and I don’t know how it’s going to come out, but I say, like, the burden of raising your children is generally falls on the mother, right? Like, culturally, that’s a society is like you’re the mom, you’re going to raise them. And I have a great parenting relationship where it’s literally like a 50 50. I think Michael’s with the baby right now. Right. So I can do this podcast, but I’m going to go pick them up from school later on. And as I pick them up from school, drop them off. I’m going to get ready and host the event tonight at seven p.m. at Australia. And it’s we have to always communicate. And it’s it is juggling. I have to stay organized and I have to communicate. And I have a great business partner still and good for the father of my child is extremely receptive to the journey that I kind of want to take. Right. Like he’s not going to hinder my growth. And like I said, the commitment that we made to our kids and the business and just to our bottom line, to our finances, we want to make money, right? You want to make money? I want to make money. This is the things I’m good at, the things that you set this up for me to go ahead and knock it out. But doing this event, a lot of communication, different expectations around different things. Just I give myself a hard time because I feel like I’m not always there for my kids physically being the mom, being this huge nurturer. And just I’m out here, right. Like I’m hosting an event, but I’m also taking these appointments and things like that. And it’s not that I’m just will I have a purpose and I have intentions and I have a goal slowly but surely, like I’m sort of shutting all of that that stigma and some of that guilt. It’s a process as to like me not physically, always being the one that’s raising my kids and feeding them and staying at home and doing the virtual learning. Like we split that up, like, you know, just I’ll do today. I’ll do the good morning song in the first set of lessons and can you pick them up and you do that. It’s a lot of coordinating between the two of us, but I am blessed and I am one of very, very few women that can say that I have the opportunity to be able to move the way I want to move because I have a good man that’s a good business partner and a good dad, a great dad, great, great person that’s supportive of what we want to do as a family for our kids.

First of all, I want to commend both because I know you and I know Mike. Right. So just being in that environment, like you said, I’ve seen you guys being a pillar of the community for a period of time and then, like, obviously, you guys are apart right now. But to see that you guys are still on a cooperating tip and you’re still united on multiple different levels, that’s something that anybody that’s in your shoes would love to have because there’s a lot of people out there that don’t have that right. I mean, most households are separated. Usually it’s almost to the point where phones don’t ring anymore. Right? It’s to the point where maybe you get a text message, maybe you get emails of you guys to be on that level is definitely should be commended. Definitely. So with all that going on. Right. So what is your morning routine? What did your morning habits look like?

Oh, I definitely have come to realize I start off with a little bit of time to myself. I have to just sort of just center. And it looks like different things all the time. Just some days it’s just being able to just have a coffee and a cigar in the morning. Those are like my maybe like some of my Saturday mornings or Sunday mornings when I don’t have the kids or sometimes I don’t know. If you follow my girl, Marcia Shackelford, she does yoga. She does this morning yoga on her Instagram platforms. So I sometimes just kind of join in. I might not follow everything, but just to sort of have her do a guided breathing and meditative sort of session, that sort of just grounds me just a little bit. I’ve just now started to just sort of start writing down lists in the morning. Sometimes it’s a huge to do list. Sometimes it’s just like, you know, I’m really grateful for this little doodle that Gabe has in my book over here. And I’ll just draw around that. Just taking a little bit of time, carving out a little bit of time for me has served me very well in the past few months. Continuing just sort of recharge has served me well. That’s part of that. And then just always looking at the emails, communication with phones are always going off. It’s always an email that I need to look at. There’s always a text message that came through late last night and developing some boundaries around that has been super helpful and lots of phone calls like the mornings. I always start off with either a conference call on a Monday or call to it’s either conference call Monday that we’re we’re all on together with Michael or just I’m calling him to sort of map out our date So then we communicate with each other just like the kids are. This like this is what I need from you. These are the things so we can sort of coordinate and stay organized after that, we definitely have been going to visit some accounts during the afternoon the other day, I’m ashamed to say. But I was over at the Beverly in Glenwood, Mario, who used to own two five five on Peter Street and opened it up. It’s been out there for like about three years or so and we presented some Guidice wines to him and that just in a moment’s notice, he was like, let’s pick it up, let’s bring it in, let’s sell it. So just visiting all these different restaurant tours amidst this pandemic and just sort of talking to them and seeing how I can support and just gaining some insight from them, sort of offering some resources. And we’ve been having some great conversations throughout the week, some with some great entrepreneurs, which always feeds my soul and comes down in that creative craziness. Right. Like, Oh, we should do this. We can do this, we can do this, we can pull this person. And then everybody’s like, yo, slow down, write this down, just shoot me an email for a life so we can kind of follow your thoughts. Then we kind of wrap it. We pick up our kids. I definitely spend just maybe three days out the week. I’m down there like, you know, just with them. And then three days of the week they’re with me. So mapping all of that out and then at some point or the other, like, again, get I have to consciously take time to make sure I eat. You have all of this list of all these things. I’m like, oh yeah, eating, drinking a smoothie, making sure I’m hydrated. But my girls are super dope. They’re just like drinking water, like take them all. I had picked up a multivitamin for you. So my community is great. Just we all kind of take care of each other, but that’s what my routine kind of looks. And then, oh God. And then my events. And then every Tuesday night I had a yesterday I had an event over at the Beverly tonight where I’m cohosting. It’s actually, Aaron, I can drop names, but there’s industry leaders that sort of are spearheading the initiative and I support ancillary by bringing them. SunGard is doing the cigar smoking and it’s in what we deem to be safely operated spaces, which is also important. Like I can’t take full risk. Yes. Yes. We’re out here hosting events in the middle of a pandemic at restaurants and public settings. Yes, we’re going to continue to do that. It’s the food. And this is our bread and butter, right? Like you cannot tell any restaurant tour to stay at home and collect any type of money. The government started getting in. All that shit is on hold right now. Secondly, restaurant tours are not just responsible for themselves and their households. They’re responsible for these bartenders, servers, barback chefs, line cooks, homeless people that we import people off the streets that we employ to do little task for us. We’re the ones I feel like the restaurant hospitality scene is what I feel like is just going to sort of forge things forward. And so that’s why politics is really important for us as well. Rigth? It’s important for our government to know that resources need to be when they talk about that big bailout for food and beverage scene for restaurant wars, that’s frickin important. We are out here because we don’t have an opportunity. We don’t have the option to stay home. We are out here because we don’t have a different opportunity. We’re out here because these. Let let me tell you something. These landlords are not giving anybody breaks on their leases. You will hear that from restaurant tour after restaurant, tour after restaurant and bar owners and growlers shop, liquor store. They can sit on the property. They own it. They own shopping centers. They own just the shopping centers, like the stuff that all these Kroger’s on. Twenty two of them across the country, they can sit on it. They’re good. They got all the loans, they’ve got the money. They’re the ones making and developing what I mean. So it’s really important for us to be involved and for us to make our voice heard on what our needs are and for us to really sort of be involved at a higher level. it’s not just voting. You have to go beyond the book. Yeah,

which brings me down to another topic, so obviously I’m calling you the Queen of the night for obvious reasons, right. But at the same time, it’s kind of like you’re in alignment to suddenly become a politician as well, too. I mean, like just hearing you speak in the last five to ten minutes. Right. I mean, with the last things you just said was pretty much get up, get your ass out there going vote. And this is why you need to be right. So in that environment, on one hand, you have like you’re becoming the queen of the night, right? You got like the nightlife. You got the pictures going on, you got the cigars. But on the other hand, like, you’re really on some community development stuff. So where do you see yourself in 20 years? I mean, obviously, both of these worlds, you’re juggling them right now, but 20 years from now, where do you ultimately see yourself?

I’m an immigrant in this country. I feel like every politician in here in Atlanta is a lawyer. Everybody then got more house to whatever. I have always been a huge I do believe that my support and my words and my platforms hold a certain amount of weight in how I’m able to relate to people, and I relate in how I relate to my audiences, how I relate to certain politicians. Right. So I lend my support to some very unique people. When it was the mayoral race, I stood behind Michael Sterling because I interacted with him on a couple of different occasions, right on some other things. And I had a very candid conversation with him because I’m like, well, what do you. And he had not been married to Eva yet. Right. But she was on the just you’re dealing with this reality TV star, this model. And I just had to ask the burning question, like what that everybody had in their heart. And this man sat there outside because he came in there asking for our support and he sat out there and thought I was worthy of an answer, an honest answer, and that I just felt he has so much integrity. I could do nothing but throw one hundred and ten percent behind him. And it was kind of a house divided at that time. Caesar Mitchell was the heir apparent in the mayoral race, and that’s who everybody had kind of stood behind. I stood behind Michael Sterling because I valued our relationship and valued that conversation outside of habanas. I believed in the Atlanta that he could sort of lead us into. When he dropped out of the race, I went to Keisha Bottoms. I asked the same difficult questions like, you know, she’s just I was just like, you know, is it important for you to be approachable as a woman? You seem very closed off and very reserved. And she again, like we were at it’s the bar out in Midtown across from, I can tell you. So it was a bottoms event and I’d ask you the question. And she looked us in the eye and she was able to answer it. And I think that level of confidence that she inspired in me, I threw my weight behind her as well. Most recently, I supported Antonio Brown for city council. And again, I know that he’s also a very different candidate on city council. Right. I choose people for whatever reason I believe is important for me, but I’m a huge support system and I’m a voice for people in the community and I’m a voice for them and I’m able to sort of take their message and deliver it to my platform. And even if you don’t stand by the candidate that I believe should be in a position to be able to have a conversation with people and to sort of spark that conversation and get people to do a little bit more research and just get people more involved from anything from behind. Standing behind a politician or candidate to a community cleanup is to rally to get people out and about involved is important for me. And I really think that that’s currently my role. 20 years from now, I will probably be serving the city of Atlanta at a higher level. I’m currently working on a project with my ex, again with the city of Atlanta that’s going to sort of unveil itself and sort of present itself in a few months or so, maybe even in twenty, twenty one at the beginning of January. But it has to do with just really strengthening businesses in this restaurant, in the food and beverage space, in the hospitality scene and providing them with resources, affording them and educating them on compliance and standards, but just really sort of tightening us up. There’s no reason that we can have Buckhead life. There’s no reason that we can’t be the next Ford Fry. Some of these chefs out here and behind the scenes, these executive chefs, Chef Tony man, chef Scott Leanna’s like these African-American chefs, a chef, Asha Gomez is Indian chef. Like there’s some dope chefs out here. There’s some great personalities out here that deserve platforms, just like for Friday’s like Kevin Gillespie does, like all these white boys do. And I don’t have a problem saying that. And I think there’s some people that receive it a certain way, there’s some people like we can’t be bothered with that anymore, and that’s I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid. And I don’t think we can be afraid anymore. We can’t hide behind a lot of this decorum and this shit that we developed to kind of silence people because it’s a farce or it’s just a fallacy. It’s just like a method of control. And that’s something I fight a lot of as well. Like you see a little bit of that feminist movement in me as well. Like just people like you’re in the community, you’re a mom. You got this page called Sex and the Cigar, some racy pictures, but you’re telling people that your racy pictures doesn’t allude to the fact that and I’m like, yeah, yeah, it all makes sense to me. Does it not make sense to you? But if you would just not try to kind of box me in a figure out and just to follow the journey with me, I believe I can take people to my leadership. I do believe that I’m in a position of leadership. I’m not certain like how we can kind of define it. I take people where I go and I believe in like, again, that’s what Atlanta Hospitality Collective is. You build a platform. I’m not the marketing girl. I’ve seen it when I saw your proposal, when I saw your brand strategy, when I saw your outline. Like, this is how we go about it. When we had those conversations, I was like, OK, well, we have a guy, you know, let me refer you let me tell you, like, a little bit about him. Let me introduce you to you all. You need a photographer. Let me tell you about Paul. Actually, just look up. Look up. What you got over here about Paul.

Got got it. I think it’s ironic that your name is Dona Mattews. Definitely sounds like a political campaign name. One hundred percent as far as red, white and blue behind it. And I it again, just by the way, you’re speaking right now. You’re passionate about it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see you running sooner or later.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And it’s always a lot of men that tell me this. And you’re the third person that’s told me this. I am such an impact and I’m such a hothead. Just when I say I support Antonio Brown like he’s a very passionate for the people type of dude like and he gives two hundred percent. And I’ve seen the sacrifices like people like Andre Dickins make. I’ve seen the sacrifices that Keisha Bottoms has made. I’ve seen the positions that she’s sort of been putting right. And I know and I’m confident that I have a community that will support me a little afraid to really even open up to that. But like I said, like I’m committed to it. I know what our kids can do. I know that we can. This is our city. There’s no other city in the country like the city of Atlanta. And it is made and it is paid by people like you. And I like where we got this contract. We’re marriageable age. And when we got this contract, like we were talking about, we’ve got to go the influencer route. And I’m like. You in Atlanta, you sit next to Bobby Brown, one day you’re running into t’ai at the barbershop, the next day Vernon Jones just got off the same chair that at the barbershop that my partner owns. You know, just this this is Atlanta. And you hold just as much weight as these guys do, you know what I mean? Like Car Booker off the Hook Barbershop. That’s where Stacey Abrams was. That’s why Abrams was right twice. Corey Booker was there with Stacey Abrams once we developed and supported winners out of that barbershop. They didn’t want to do it at Habanas. They wanted to do it at the barbershop. And Carlos. But you know what I’m saying? Like, that’s the influence that man wields. Dude from Mississippi, like real like southern Mississippi, like has just had a vision like started small, a barbershop, a cigar lounge.

He’s always been an entrepreneur. He’s you. He’s awesome. And he’s the people like those are the people like that. And it’s important for me to kind of like continue to share proper narrative. Right. And sort of like it’s important for us to kind of be like I understand that that’s your perspective. But let me tell you what our truth is. Let me tell you how we like how we talk and what we share and what our opinions are, what our reality is.

So I’m not afraid I’m open to anything, but I think 20 years from now is probably just about right now. I’m 50. That might be the time I get my act together and run for something. But thank you for the vote of confidence.

Yeah, definitely. I definitely hear it in your voice. So the next question I have for you, right. It’s what tools do you use in your industry that you would not be able to do without?

I don’t know if I can wrap my head around that question, like in the food and beverage industry.

What I mean, I think you’re in food and beverage, which I think you’re more so a consult in that space. So prime example like mean what tools did you use to kind of get the Mary Bly’s brand off with the liquor? Like how did you

people relationships. You think that as being tasked with brand emersion. Right. Being tested. We’re tasked with brand immersion. That’s what we’re going to sell these amount of cases by December. Thirty first twenty twenty. That’s our job. And you kind of look at it and I’m like, how do we best approach. Approach this, so I know that Aaron and Jay have been in nightlife for a very, very long period of time, they’ve cultivated certain energy about themselves, a certain energy that they sort of wield in different parties. And they’ve developed an audience. It is and using them and sort of in using supporting their events, supporting people like Jay, supporting people like Aaron, supporting people like the Sunset their event at sunset Wednesdays at Australia, supporting these events and just sort of showing up and continuing to sort of put their message out there. People developing, people developing, supporting people for defying what they’re already doing, supporting their vision, believing in them. That’s a strategy that we employ. And it’s always been successful as far as training, training and just sort of educating. As soon as we get information like, you know, just looking at stuff that comes out from the CDC is like you have to keep abreast of like new guidelines and standards that kind of come down. But you also have to as that stuff comes down from the CDC. Right. From scientists and doctors, that. Develop these standards and guidelines, you also have daily operators, these GMs, these bartenders, these servers have been cleaning up and serving drinks and taking away glasses and putting things in front of people for a very long period of time. They’re good at what they do. So sort of developing training material in light of the guidelines that they’ve sort of dropped down and sort of continuing to have conversations and training staff and doing with the part of the consulting. It’s all about training our staff and educating them on different methods and your standards, just how to deal with the rowdy guy, the guy that you just saw Roofie in her drink, the scene that we’re talking about, crazy shit that’s happened before. In the past. I’ve seen that several times. I think Michael has gotten a couple of times. It’s crazy when it does happen. But how do you deal with it? How do you have a conversation? Who do you call? How your security, proper protocols, putting girls in cars. They’re going home to get their training people and equipping people, especially younger people who are now taking the risks to be working in this industry. They’re just like, we’ve got to work. We have to take the risk. Like just you’ve got parents of parents and different people kind of staying at home. But now you’ve got a different set of new school industry leaders sort of developing. And it behooves us as like just Michael’s been in this for like 20, 30 something years. Right. And he’s 50 something years old, sort of bridging that gap through communication, training, different platforms like this, like posting this is going to be super helpful for someone. I hope Consultation’s just sort of saying, hey, we’re here just to support you and help you grow and move it in the right way. Having candid conversations to operators who are bad operators is important as well. Like we want to see everybody succeed. And again, you can’t be afraid to have the right conversations with people, other tools, just proper marketing, social media strategies. Employing that to really kind of deliver messages has been very important and useful and successful for us as well.

So, I mean, how could people find you online? I mean, you talk about these social media campaigns. I mean, you definitely got, like I said, a hell of a night following going on. So, I mean, like, how could people get in touch with you?

I’m on also I have about five different accounts that I’ve been managing and growing over the years. And just initially, you don’t look at it like it means anything. But then I was like like I’m delivering this message and I’m like looking at all as I’m managing all these lights and fees and everything like that. I made an impact. First and foremost, if you’d like to know me personally, you can find me on Donna and Sensate. I spent my name with my nan. So it’s Dona- uncensored. If you would like to follow me professionally and get some insight and get some exclusive events. That’s coming up in the near near future. Follow Atlanta Hospitality Collective. I can post all of this on Down Uncensored on all these pages that I’m sort of naming as I post all of this information later on. And then there’s still Habaneros Cigar Lounge. That is something that we’re looking to revamp that’s not going to die. We’re probably going to do a 2.0 version of that we’ve been in communication, but it’s on the table and it may or may not be a cigar lounge. We’re looking at different things and then managing about a cigar lounge. And the most racist of them all is sex and the cigar. It started off as like just I was just trying to find myself and find a voice. And I was just like, maybe if I develop a new personality and deliver something in this method. But that’s been evolving and I’ve been sort of looking at my evolution, like as far as my thoughts and my process and the content that I’m sort of sharing it. So you can see a lot of feminist stuff on there. Just I’m not a man bashing feminist. I think you need both in order for like we have to have a relationship, like just we’re created to procreate. I do believe in God, but I don’t believe in certain institutions that have been created to deliver messages to us. But I do believe, like, there’s clearly if you just open your eyes and look around and talk to people, there’s clearly instances where you see that’s a little bit bigger than you and I in this moment right now, what we think and what we know and I think it’s important for us to cultivate good relationships amongst men and women, to really educate ourselves on some of the challenges that you face like you. Just some challenges. I be like, no shave. November is coming up and it’s focused around men’s health . And men’s health is I feel like it’s like a secondary or that like we don’t talk about it enough. We don’t talk about mental health. We don’t talk about physical health, like men’s health, like definitely need to have stronger, better conversations, especially in our communities, and those are things that women can champion, right? Same thing like men, like, you know, just as we continue to champion each other’s causes, like that’s how we sort of bridge that divide. So that’s what I’m hoping for. When you eventually get into sex and the cigar on Instagram, that I’m able to continue to deliver that message through my stories. And then so, you know, I’m saying I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m a new mom and stuff. And I lost a little bit of weight. I just needed to kind of remind myself of a little bit. And I take pride in that. It’s a real body. It’s a I’m a real woman. I got stretchmarks body positivity. It’s a conversation that needs to be like if I find myself sexy just like this right now and, you know, I’m not skinny. I’m not just I’m not what everybody thinks I need to look like.

Yeah. So that’s another jewel in itself. So, I mean, just to kind of round things out, I mean, what kind of words of wisdom do you have for someone that’s potentially follow in your footsteps coming up behind you? What would you tell them?

Go forward Don’t let these naysayers tell you that’s an oversaturated market for you to open up yet another cigar lounge or that this is why I don’t support black businesses or we need to do better or this is why I don’t vote or this is why I just don’t take no for an answer. Don’t get stopped. Don’t let anybody else determine or put opinions in your head that take over what you feel in your heart. That is a huge personal message of mine that I think I’ll always be sort of grappling with for the rest of my life. Don’t let people define you as a mother. Don’t let people say you can’t follow a career. Don’t let people say, well, that’s your ex and you ended it a certain way and it was ugly. And you can’t bridge your relationships forward because you’re going to look silly and you’re going to look stupid. Don’t let the world’s norms. Be your norm, like individuality is powerful and community is powerful, and just in sort of being a strong individual and allowing give yourself a lot of grace, give yourself a lot of grace there success and there’s failure and that’s simultaneous. There is success before failure to success after failure. That’s failure. Like it goes back and forth. It is not this role. It is not the straight road map. I have to prepare myself for the mistakes I’m about to make every day. That’s that me time. Just I know I shoot from the hip. I know I don’t have this experience. When it came to the wine, like, you know, people like I don’t know if you have enough wine experience to really push it. I’m like, I got people experience. I’ll be OK. I’ll be right. Like, I know restauranteurs. I know how to ask. I don’t have I know how to get support. Like I’ll be OK. Thank you though. Thank you. I appreciate it. Don’t let anything really be a hurdle like pursue your vision, pursue your passion, but just pursue it unabashedly and abandon me. Like give yourself grace to make mistakes, allow yourself to learn from it. Like I said, I’m extremely humbled. I make a lot of mistakes. I poured the wine wrong. I just we ran out of glasses. We had to serve. There’s just a lot going on. Like, you just have to continue to adjust. And that’s something the hospitality industry sort of teaches you. Like, you know, I know this is the run show over here and all like this is what we planned on doing during this podcast. But if I answer something incorrectly, like, you know, that you and I know what what happens between us, but nobody else really knows. We have to keep pushing. It’s a production. We just have to keep moving forward.

And again, that’s one reason why I want you on the show that I know you’re going to be a firecracker. Right. And that’s why I wanted to get you on here. As far as like the whole women empowerment, I know you’re going to go down that route as well, too. And again, to your point, that’s what people need to see. I don’t want this podcast just to be one hundred percent male or one hundred percent African-American. I want it to be diverse plethora of people so that somebody potentially in India doesn’t listen to his podcast, see you and be like, holy shit, I can be her. Why not? And then take the steps, take your words of wisdom and take action. That’s really what America is really about. It’s about giving diversity through people’s successes. And everybody on the show has had different success. I’m not trying to overlap anybody. I’m trying to figure out, well, your success is completely different than the last person and completely different from the person before you. And that’s the beauty of the world that we live.

Absolutely.

So another question I have for you, this is one of the questions that I just love to ask, because I always get these unique answers right. So if you could spend twenty four hours a day with anybody dead or alive, uninterrupted, who would it be and why?

Oh. Just one answer, huh? That’s what makes it difficult right now to think about it just a little bit. Dead or alive, right? You know, I’d love to spend some time with Snoop Dogg.

I can see that he’s definitely the hospitality.

So I spent some time in Sudan and he is a guy I sometimes like myself. I’m a guy. Yeah, I love it. I love his whole swag. I love his whole attitude. Like, that’s who I want to spend a day with a 20 whole 20 for a whole twenty four hours it would be.

Definitely. So this is the of the podcast. I was just going to give the microphone to the person I’m interviewing. So, I mean, any questions you have for me?

Absolutely. Boss Uncaged, right. I love what you do with Paul. I love how you’re like you’re so insightful. Like you definitely see the vision and know understand the message for so many different people. You give it like you’re here on this podcast. There’s a number of personalities, a number of visionaries that you encounter through this platform. I know how I see it, but can you give me a little bit of insight? Like, what do you see in people? What is it that you see? Like how is it that you see like what is that like being like that. Like, that’s that’s that’s like how do you. Am I am I being clear like what? Yeah,

I understand the question,

but like, what is it that says that you gravitate to when you say, I want you on this show?

So for me, it’s the beauty of social media makes it kind of an easy opportunity for me to kind of view people from the outside looking in. Right. And obviously, on a personal level, too, I mean, I was we had all our conversations. We met you guys at the lounge before Paul was on the show as well. And I met Paul through college. So I’m really big on the six degrees of separation. Right. So to one businessperson, obviously, I meet many others and then as I connect to that person, I get to kind of see a little bit inside of the way they process the way they think, what their journeys are looking. So for you. Obviously, we had a conversation. He was talking about branding. We’re talking about marketing. Then obviously, I knew you had the lounge. I knew Michael. And I would just like watching you kind of build and develop the other platform on Instagram. I would just like she is the epitome of what this brand really is. It’s kind of like you’re in multiple different facets, but they’re all in the one wheelhouse of hospitality. So just giving you an opportunity to speak on how you’re doing it and understanding the way you’re processing and thinking, that’s what I would like doing, that she has to be on the show because there’s somebody else out there that’s thinking, oh, I want to come back or I want to open up a bar or I want to do some kind of marketing for restaurants. But you’re the epitome of all those things in one person. So the people that are potentially listening, the entrepreneurs and the small business owners that are listening and I hear you speak and obviously you’re political as well. That’s part of that environment, right? You have to be a politician to be able to move like you’re saying. If you want to get a liquor license. It’s not just filed the report. It’s not just filed the paperwork and pay the fees. You kind of have to shake hands and kiss babies to a certain extent to get that expedited. And people don’t realize that. So just by you saying that somebody is probably listening, like I’ve been doing everything for the past four months and my license is still not active, I wonder why you answer that question for indirectly. That’s what I see. I mean, that’s why I called the Boss Uncaged. I mean, it’s not just about BOSS. It’s about becoming a boss. It’s about on that journey of coming off the cage from being a full time employee to being a full time entrepreneur and jumping out there and never looking backwards, though.

Another question, like politically like, you know, just like I said, I have to kind of do it. And that’s really important for me to get. Like, how involved are you? Like, do you know your candidates? Do you understand, like, the age difference between the two? You know that people don’t understand that these people are three years apart. Three years, I’m not asking you, but are you registered to vote, just are you participating on a local level as well?

So it’s funny that you asked that question, because, believe it or not, I used to be behind the scenes running political campaigns. So for me, I’ve just kind of learned how to resonate what I would like to call in between the gray lines, right? I understand both parties and, you know, obviously like Talli, she was like my first interview on this podcast and her and I had an opportunity to work with an actual I’ll say at a Republican Party.

We was doing marketing a strategy for it. So growing up Democratic, it gave me opportunity to really understand both parties firsthand, like looking at their marketing materials, looking at the content, looking at the designs, looking at everything and understanding like this is just literally black and white. It’s like a chessboard continuously ongoing. And as a matter of essentially picking the right side at the right time. Wow. So to answer your question, I definitely I’m involved, but I really don’t broadcast it because I know how it’s difficult to get into that state of mind and express yourself without going down the negative road of what I believe this.

And you believe that. And I’m in the middle like, well, I think both you guys have leeway. Yeah, I’m not saying I’m voting for either one of you or for one or the other, but I’m saying I understand your views, understand your views. You’re kind of right. You’re kind of right. And unfortunately, in the world that we live in, it’s always going to be divided. And the example I always use and I sound crazy when I say it is kind of like, OK, think about baseball. Basketball is always opposing sides, otherwise they would never be a sport. And without thinking and understanding that, without having opposing sides, then obviously we would never have any politics, we wouldn’t have any religions. So understanding that that’s what we are, it’s always going to be on and off until something drastic happens, like aliens come into the planet. Right. Something less completely out of the mind of anybody to make like a global peace, uniformity of, oh, my God, all of us have the same new common enemy. There’s always going to be opposing sides no matter what we’re like.

A pandemic hits. Right. That affects people of any color. I mean.

Yeah, but even with the pandemic, it’s still black and white. It’s still this party versus that party where masks don’t wear masks. So if aliens appear to kind of change the dynamic of the situation to where it’s not about black or white, it’s not about Democrat or Republican, it’s not about Catholic versus Hindi, it’s about, holy shit, everything on this planet potentially could cease to exist in the matter of that quickly. So now become a uniform front to go against the new common enemy. And again, it still becomes bipolarity, still negative versus positive. Now we’re all on one side, uniformed against the new enemy. And then down the road, that new enemy may be allies and then will be the ally front. You get into Star Wars or Star Trek. That was the allied front against somebody else. And it’s a step by step by step repeat. There’s always going to be like we’ve been like that since the dawn of time. It’s always been, you know, beginning of time. That was man and woman. Right. And that’s opposing sides by default. And then they joined together and they merged together. Right. There’s always been dark and light. That’s our entire existence has been based on that premise. So it’s going to be kind of really difficult to ever have a complete uniform Republican or Democrat Party in one sense. Right. You may have the alternate parties that may come in, but unfortunately, much like religion and sense, you know, Catholics and Baptists and all these different religions, it’s kind of like a group of people that are following something and search for something. So when you have something new that comes into that state of mind, like Kanye West steps into the space, he’s like, I have no religion. It’s kind of like, whoa, what is this new thing some people are going to be attracted to because it’s different. But in reality, the masses are not because they’re been grown and been bred it into something that their grandfathers and a great grandmothers have always instilled in them from generations. So it becomes a highly difficult to kind of have a uniform for. So hopefully I answered your question.

You did. You did. Just like and to just sort of piggyback off that, like, you know, just I know you’re saying, like, you know, one would think that a pandemic. Would unify us just a little bit. Do you foresee, like, immediate change, like within our generation?

I mean, I think we have seen some changes, we have seen some evolutions, and I always look at it from there’s multiple things, right? This education as part of that. Right. Our education system was primarily based upon the industrial revolution as far as being a daisy chain step and repeat step repeat. And now we have the interjection of STEM programs. It’s kind of like more out of the box thinking when the reality is not really out. The box is the way things have should have been since like the 90s. Right. All this technology that’s around this, all based upon people that have been bucking the system, going against the grain. To your point, people that said there’s too much cell phones in the market and then here comes iPhone. When there was Ericsson, there was Samsung. It was all these other major manufacturers at the time and Apple came from nowhere. And now they’re like they’re 50 percent share holders of that market sector. So to your point is one of the things you have to understand that in the longevity of everything that we in existence right now, there’s room for change now is going to happen in our lifetimes potentially. Yes. It may not be the vision that we perceive it to be prime example in our lifetime. Right. And I remember like ninety is the year I graduated from high school. Ninety eight. We were still particularly using pagers and moving into cell phones. So five years after that, everything completely changed, completely changed. I remember in ninety I was on my phone and it had a cap of one hundred contacts. Five years after that, there was unlimited contacts. So in the context of like race and everything else, obviously we’ve made leaps and bounds. Right. But there’s always going to be some left over something. And it really comes down to, again, there’s always going to be black and white, not to say race, but it’s always going be negative and positive. And that’s the way even down to the atomic level, negative and positive is what makes the world go round.

So I love it. Great insight.

Cool cool. Well, I definitely appreciate your time, I think this was like a great conversation. It went all over the place and it was like but it was high, intense energy, right? It was definitely we delivered content business strategy. We talked about politics. But that’s one of the reasons why I definitely reached out to you wanted to have some of that energy on the show. And I definitely appreciate you bringing us to say,

thank you for the opportunity. I loved it. I enjoyed myself like Boss Uncaged resonates with me. And then, of course, I just have a relationship. I really appreciate how you see the vision, how you really have a strategy behind employing it. So just continue to look forward to working with each other. And again, thanks again for the opportunity.

Definitely. It was a pleasure S.A Grant over now. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss UnCaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming a Trailblazer at this podcast. Helped you please email me about it. Submit additional questions. You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop me your thoughts at asksagrant.com post comments, share it, subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your inner Beast. S. A. Grant signing off.

listeners of Boss UnCaged are invited to download a free copy of our host S. A. Grant’s insightful book, Become an Uncage Trailblazer. Learn how to release your primal success in 15 minutes a day. Download now at www.Sagrant.com/bossuncaged.

Founder and Managing Director at Atlanta Hospitality Collective: Dona Mattews AKA The Queen Of The Night – S1E24 (#24)2021-02-27T17:51:42+00:00

Financial Advisor at Edward Jones: Tondeleo Day AKA The Pharaoh of Wealth – S1E23 (#23)

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“For me, it was the best career move I’ve ever made. It changed my life in a substantial way. I mean, the quality of living for my family, my immediate family, and then now I can see the legacy that is going to leave behind this change dramatically. So what I would say is, if you’re interested in it, pursue it, step out on faith, which is what I did at the time. I stepped out on faith and said, look, I’m going to do this because.”

Tondeleo Day
Financial Advisor at Edward Jones

4270 Atlanta Hwy Ste 105, Loganville, GA 30052
(770) 466-0031
tondeleo.day@edwardjones.com
@ejadvisortondeleoday

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E23 – Financial Advisor at Edward Jones: Tondeleo Day AKA The Pharaoh of Wealth – S1E23 – powered by Happy Scribe

For me, it was the best career move I’ve ever made. It changed my life in a substantial way. I mean, the quality of living for my family, my immediate family, and then now I can see for the legacy that is going to leave behind this change dramatically. So what I would say is, if you’re interested in it, pursue it, step out on faith, which is what I did at the time. I stepped out on faith and said, look, I’m going to do this because. I don’t know if I said this part, but when I did start working.

Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.

Welcome Back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have Tondeleo Day today. He’s a financial adviser, but he’s many other things. And I’m looking for an opportunity to kind of break you guys down to what his expertise is and his background. So welcome to the show. How are you doing?

Hey, I’m doing awesome. Good to see you, brother.

Definitely. Definitely. So. I mean, I know who you are. I’ve known you for like 20 years literally at this point. Right.

At least here.

So who are you officially?

Who I am is Tondeleo Day today, financial adviser. That’s the title that’s on my business card on my website. But I like to tell people I’m also a wealth manager because I do manage big wealthy individuals, affluent individuals, high net worth individuals. I’m a retirement specialist. That’s the bulk of my business is my older clientele that is rolling over, ready to retire. Some folks might just equate it to a stockbroker because I do a lot of stock investing for my clients who are interested in that. But anything financial life insurance, estate planning, all of those things are encompassed within their financial advisor role. And just real briefly, as you said, you’ve known me for quite a bit. Yeah, I’m a big family guy, big community activist, I guess, if you want to say that. But definitely just a family guy. I love my business. And on the lighter side, I’m a music, so I love my music as well, you know, and I have a few different hobbies I get into. So that gives you a little brief snapshot of who am i.

Got you. So if you could define yourself in three to five words, what words would that be?

Oh, Father. God fearing excellence. Compassionate. I like to say that we all have superpowers, so we won’t say superpower, we don’t put that in there, too.

And it’s funny that you said superpower. It’s like one of my bonus questions. And since you brought it up, I might as well just jump ahead, jump back a little bit. So I usually, like, come up with this general question to say, if you could be a superhero, who would it be and why?

So honestly, man, I’m a brother all the way through, so I just feel like black people as a race, as a people. We have superpowers that have come through ancestrally. You know what I’m saying is the lagacy is in our blood to think about the things we’ve endured first and foremost and think about what we have to do to be where we are successfully, whether it’s athletics, whether it’s music and singing and putting words together with hip hop, whether it’s technology. I mean, honestly, we’re superpower brother. You look at those different things. So I’m the superhero. I am who I am at this point. I in it’s about fifty five million dollars in assets. My goal is two hundred and fifty. I want to get to that quarter billion more. But fifty five million is definitely respectable for a period of time that I’ve had my practice here, you know what I mean. I’m an accelerated pace and I attribute that to God’s gifts that he’s given me in order to connect with people because people have to trust me right. And trust me to manage their their life savings. I have to build that connection in a very, very short period of time. And where people say, OK, here, say five hundred thousand for my entire life, here it is. You take it and you do with it what you will because they trust me. And to me that’s a superpower in itself. So I’m not going to give you a I love my thoughts and my hopes and all of that, you know, I mean, the vision. And I’m a big Marvel comic book guy as well. I love my Marvel Comics and all of that, but I love the superpowers that God gave me

To step back in time a little bit when I first met you, I was actually a student at the Art Institute of Atlanta right now. You were like on the administrative staff and team. So coming from that, I know you was helping students find their way. So you took some of that and now you’re helping people with their wealth find their way. Like, how did that journey happen? How did you go from working in a school environment, going into financial services?

It is crazy. So not to be offensive. I’m not a witch called a Bible thumper, but I definitely am a spiritual person. And I believe that the path that I’ve taken has already been kind of predestined to be. We don’t see it in the past, back when we’re in the midst of it. But as I look back, I talk to people about this frequently that so like you said, you met me late 90s, early, early, two thousand prior to that I must start with the with prior to that, I worked for Sallie Mae. So it’s always been in fine. It’s OK. I work for Sallie Mae. Most people the audience knows from Sallie Mae is right. I work for Sallie Mae. So I was dealing with debt at that time. And then I started that job, led to working for the state of Georgia in the Hope Scholarship, which then led to the Art Institute because of the relationships I built from job to job and now to the Art Institute. And then that kind of just fine tuned me in terms of a counsellor and being able to guide people and talk with people about finances, not only students, but parents. How are you going to afford this? Can we what are you going to do once you’re out? You know, how are you going to handle the debt and things of that nature? So to me, it was all kind of a progression to get me to this point. There was a small time frame in between being the associate director at the Art Institute of Atlanta dictator, which I opened with the small staff. It will when I was there, but in between I started working for a company that did financial, what we call a CFP credential for financial advisors. And the time was that that certification I used to enroll them through universities like Duke University, Stanford, Loyola, Emory here in Atlanta. And why you big business schools and you would enroll so they get their credentials from those schools. Well, in doing so, Edward Jones, who is where I run my business now to my practice through now was my client. So I would go in, fly to St. Louis and talk with their executive staff about getting the CFP and kind of broke down sort of what you learn in the CFP and how important it is for those advisors that felt like they needed that extra credential to bring in business and so forth. And they would always say, hey, man, you do really. Should consider coming on over here and being an adviser, you have all the intangibles that you need, you know, you have the background, et cetera, and eventually I see because I was always comfortable in my corporate structure. But see, in this business, you are running your own business. So it’s a matter of bringing folks in. And I mean, it is a partnership. So I don’t get like I’m not a salary or anything like that. Know, I killed what I eat anyway. And make a long story short, I took that leap of faith and just been extremely successful since then. But again, the path leading to it is what I needed to get to this point to be successful at what I do.

So it sounds like from the beginning you started off on a journey to currently to where you are. And the irony is that, I mean, you and I have talked over the last like maybe 10 years or so. And I got my licenses as well to, you know, I got my 06 and got my assurances. So I definitely understand what you do. And I commend it because, like you said, you have to kill what you eat. I mean, there is income that comes in from that. But you also have to maintain that as well to keep going.

Right. I started from scratch. I didn’t know any wealthy people. And like I said, I’m at fifty five million. Now is not a small feat.

And that’s assets under management,

that’s assets under management.

So when you break that down, I mean, some people may not understand, you know, if we’re talking about wealth, right. What is assets under management?

So assets under management means the earlier asset handled people’s role. So somebody might roll over a half million dollars from there for one K plan. That means I’ve talked to them and they said, I’m going to entrust you with this money. I’m retiring. I need that money to continue to grow so that five hundred thousand is added to my assets under management. I’m an athlete that gets a big contract and he says, Hey, I got this contract, here’s two million dollars. I wanted to invest some of my assets and it might even be a life insurance policy that is now I might have a million dollar policy, but that doesn’t count as assets under management. But the premium in the accumulation of cash value does. So all the money that I have managing under my office at this particular time now, sometimes everybody loses applying your name. So when money goes out, that’ll to bring your asset management down. But I’ve been fortunate that that really happened is very infrequent for me and I’ve been able to continue to grow at a good clip.

What I mean, anyway, under the rule of seventy two, I mean the longer you have these clients over a period of time that there’s going to grow anyway.

Yeah. Continue to grow. Absolutely. Absolutely. So yeah, like I said, starting out from scratch from zero dollars and then bringing in certain things that I’ve grown what I have like you just said. So just whether, like you said, rule of 70 to just good quality investments in diversification have allowed my assets to grow based on that. But on top of that, you have to continue to bring in new money.

Got you.

And so that’s kind of was my point about what I’ve built from scratch. So is that part, you know, once it’s in, it’s already an expectation on my part and it’s going broke. That’s just my own what I consider my own excellence and what I expect from myself.

I’ve got you. So, I mean, we’re talking about the rules only to demand that. I mean, some people may understand that, but I mean, that’s really the bread and butter of investments is if you understand the rule of seventy two, you can’t lose. Right.So,

yeah, I’m normally I’ll have a little chart out of formula, but just to break it down, real basic terms. The rule of seventy two is just the formula used to determine how fast your money that you are cantrip or investing will double or if it will double. Let’s say you say I want to have it at this point. You can use that formula to say it’s going to take this many years to make it so you can try to use that rule of seventy two to determine the year it takes or to determine the type of return you have to get for it to double within that period of time. And it’s just a formula that we use. And I don’t know the formula by heart, but it’s like maybe if we’re trying to find out the rate that we need, we’ll put in the years that we’re going to have it invested. Let’s say we say ten years and we want it to double and is divided by seventy two and it gives us the interest rate you like, whatever that ends up being. Something to that effect is just a formula.

To add to that, to just it works both ways. It works as far as your money growing or works, whether you have a mortgage or you have credit card debt, it works need a direction. So understanding if you have a higher interest rate, you’ll be paying more out.

You’re going to pay more and over a longer period of time, or if it’s a shorter period of time, you’re going to have a higher interest rate. So,

yeah. So I mean, you’re saying pretty much like you’re a ten ninety nine contractor, right. Is your business set up like an LLC, a EZCORP.

No, no, no. So we we’re a partnership.

OK,

that to my business is a partnership. And as far as the major corporations like Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch’s and things of that nature, they’re all just sell the, dare I say, their salary. They’re not ten ninety nine, but they get W 2s, et cetera. In my case, we’re a partnership, so it just works a little different. I don’t get it to ninety nine. I get a W-2 as well, but it’s still a partnership. And so the longer you’re in the more assets you have, the more things you do allow you to buy into that partnership, which in turn is very lucrative at the end of the day because you’re benefiting from the success of the business.

So I mean, how does the equity share where is this something that I say 40 years, 50 years down the road, you pass away? Can your assets on the management roll on to your kids if they decide to get the same licenses as you or.

Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I could do that if one of my children decided they wanted to be in this business. I can give them those assets today. You know, they’re mine, you know what I mean? I can give them they can come over and do that. And to be quite honest, I could open my own practice without the that we’re doing some barella and I can’t solicit you always sign disclosure decision. Not going to solicit. If you leave folks who want to follow me, I can let them know, hey, I’m leaving. They can follow me and come with me now. Edward Jones is one that I really respect the way that we run our business, because it doesn’t for me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense when you have someone that gives you all these resources to be successful and you’re still running your own business. I set my own hours. I hire my own people and so forth, and they basically do the bookkeeping for me,

that’s a win win situation.

Oh, my God is great. And then I have all the access to the resources in terms of the research analyst compliance to make sure I’m with the compliance with FINRA and the rules. You don’t want to cross those things because it could be really detrimental to your business and to your livelihood. So, yeah. So anyway, that’s what I would say in terms of that. I have a lot of colleagues who have children who have come into the business and they may give them twenty million dollars to get started or they may say, I’m retiring and I’m going to do a retirement transition plan and give my child all of it, you know what I’m saying

with that so I mean by default, you say that you have life insurance so that you would have like a series six or seven licence.

I have a series seven. I have a series sixty six. I have state licenses. I think I’m license right now in about 30 states for both life insurance and for investments. And the six to seven allows me to be offered use, basically not be able to give advice, counsel and to act on the behalf of my client.

So when you say you go to the lawyers or do you have a principal licence as well, do you need a principal licence to be able to open up a new location?

I don’t have a personal license, but you don’t have to. From what I’m understanding, I’ve not explored that option. But from what? And say you don’t have to have the principal licence to open your own.

OK,

as long as you have those licences, you’re good to go to seven in the sixty six. But I understand now. But again, don’t quote me on that one because that’s not something.

I’ve got you. I’m just diving into this. This is sort of our audience, you know, it’s an entrepreneur. So just think about if you want to become a nurse you’ve got to get licensed right. You want to have a tax, you’ve got to get a license. So if you want to take someone’s money and their wealth and understand what to do with it, you have to have a licence and you have that maintainance of that licence as well, continue education roles into this. So that’s just kind of well, leading down with that to kind of just educate people on what you have to go through to be able to sit where you are currently.

Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I’m glad you brought that up, because first of all, those licences are no joke. As you know, I think the seven or the sixty six, it was an eight hour exam. They were one of the six hour exam. And because you are dealing with people’s life savings, their money, their retirement, if you want to get into this business, they’re going to go through a section with the fine tooth comb, I mean that and ask me questions about things like high school. It was crazy. I just wasn’t prepared for that meant like, oh, man, are really digging deep into who I am and whether I’m somebody who can is morally fit to him to do this. They run this position, do this position. You mentioned also how if you notice, I call my business my practice. It is. And I tell people to because people always think that, OK, I can go and I’m going to invest myself and rarely works out for people when they do that. Some people it does, obviously, because that’s why you have day trading. That’s why you have different apps and things that people can do. But I’m always talking about if you consider your money to be important. Just like your health, you got going and operating on yourself, right? You’re going to a physician who’s done the years of training and knows how to operate on. Why would you not take that same sense of responsibility and care with somebody who’s managing your finances to somebody that you’re not going to operate on yourself? Don’t just think that you understand and know things and you don’t have any of these resources and then you end up in a bad situation. At the end of the day, allow somebody who’s trained to do it do those things.

To your point, I think a lot of people are probably scared because, one, it’s the fear factor to not know what it would cost. And they have to understand if you’re making money right, then they have to be making money is the bottom line. The more money you make for them, the more money you can make for yourself. So if you end up making a million dollars with, then by default, this person has to be making way more in a way more.

And that’s what people don’t understand, too, is first of all, you don’t have to be rich to invest. Now, there are advisers like I could tell I could definitely turn some people away. I have some advisers that if you don’t have a half a million dollars, they won’t work with you at all. Some firms say if you don’t have to drive 50 thousand, we won’t work with you at all. But I got into this business because I want to help my community educate and get people to invest. I wanted that to happen. And so for me, you know, I do now have a little threshold in terms of looking at this. Under that, I’m going to refer you to maybe a newer adviser. But if it’s somebody I know or somebody who I want to just really want to help and I want to keep my eyes on their money and their finances, it doesn’t matter how much you have. I’m going to work with you.

Got you. So do you have a baseline? Do you have like I mean, somebody come to you, a five hundred. You’re more like five thousand. Ten thousand. I mean, what’s your range.

So preferably twenty five thousand is my starting point. Starting point. But I say that but then I take a lot of folks. Five thousand is probably the drop dead. Like I’m really not much of a thousand unless it’s somebody very young and they want to get started. And I’ll just say you can do a hundred dollars a month. I do all of those things. But if you like, for example, if somebody comes to me, they’ve given me statements and I know they have a half a million dollars and then you want to give me five thousand, I’m not going to take that account. I’m going to say not. You know what? You stay where you are or you’ll find and you can find someone else because it doesn’t really benefit. If you’re not going to trust me with five thousand over half a million, then you really don’t trust me at that point. You know what I mean? Exactly. Exactly. And let’s talk about really quick. You touched on another part of that because they’re making money off me. Money. If I’m making money, they’re making money. Right. So you’re right. It behooves me, obviously, to grow your account because the way I get paid is a very small percentage. I get paid basically about one percent of your assets with me that if I’m managing the account now, if you don’t want a managed account and you’re just saying I’m to pay a commission when I buy stocks, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, et cetera, then you’re going to pay a larger amount up front. Like, for example, you might pay me two percent for a stock. By that two thousand dollars, you’re going to put no stock. I’m going to get fifty dollars from that stock. I’m not getting rich off of one person.

No,

I’m making my money off of the collection of the collective of assets and clients. And then of course, the biggest way I make money or is to get referrals and so forth. That’s where all my clients or public appearances for me that’s been very good for me. It’s well, public speaking.

Got you. I mean, like the statement was goes I mean, money like speed. Right. So if you’re going to try to shortchange somebody by giving the one percent and that’s going to take that five thousand, going back to the rule of seventy two would probably take seventy two damn years to actually double and a particular interest versus they put half a million in there.

So that actually

it’s a snowball effect pretty much that was the worst experience you ever had dealing with moving funds and money with clientele. Like what’s the worst thing you’ve ever experienced in this business.

That’s a really good question. I got to think about that for a split second. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had anything earth shattering happen to me even when the market has crashed. You know, I’m trained enough to be able to advise people accordingly. And if I can hold, you know, until people take, now’s not the time to sell, you know what I mean? And then a month or two months later, they see that, OK, I’ve made all that money that I mean, like this just happened in March. Everything is crazy, right? March happen. Coronavirus came, the market plummeted. Worst has been in its own way. Basically we’ve had a forty five percent return on. Since that date, so all that’s happened, you’ve made your money back and most of my clients are up for the year about Tinder’s, and that’s talking about an array of clients from conservative to aggressive. I think the smallest I’ve seen doing my annual reviews for folks over the last month or so, somebody might be up five percent. And that’s a small return compared to some that are up 15 percent. You know what I’m saying?

But even at that five percent. Right, I mean, even at five percent, if you look at a basic savings account, it’s like it’s not even a percent. It’s a fraction of a percent.

no is point zero the most basic savings account, all the major banking institutions, you’re probably getting point zero one point zero to. I mean, you’re not getting a return at all. So what I’m telling you is, yeah, I got a conservative client who may be in bonds or bond funds, you know, very conservative investments. And even the market has dropped on us so dramatically where we’ve gone into the first bear market in what was. Oh, wait, wait. Now what does that 12, 12 years. And those folks are still up for the year at five percent. So, yeah, it makes sense to be invested, but it makes sense to be invested wisely. Like, don’t just jump on it. That’s the biggest thing that people make a mistake on doing is they say, oh, this is hot. Well, if everybody was hot, everybody on did not return to quality investments that are going to do well, do whatever, whether to whatever dips and turns in the market makes, you know, so

I think I mean, you’re you’re a really good example because, I mean, what people don’t realize about the market is that there is more than one way to make money. You can make money when it’s on a run. Right. You can make money when is down a short a stock and you can make money when the margins are equal. And just understanding that diversification different ways is.

Absolutely, absolutely.

So, I mean, if you want to disturbances on economy right now, obviously in Covid, right? Everybody’s like, oh my God, pull out, pull out, pull out the market. But they don’t realize people that have the wealth that win if you pull out so you can short the stock. So everything that they’re making could triple and quadruple.

And so the biggest shift of wealth is the impatient to the patient. So like you said, the people with money, they know that the market is coming back. It always has and always will. I always showed this chart that I have. I wish I had it up today, but it’s this chart that I show that starts out with ten thousand dollars and nineteen. It goes all the way back to like nineteen thirty three or something like that to last year to the end of twenty nineteen. Right in that ten thousand dollars. And we use this, I use this chart because it illustrates the up and down at the market and different things that have happened in the world, whether it’s the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War One World War to President Nixon being impeached, 9/11,

other pandemics as well.

I was just about to say, other pandemics, all these different things, and that ten thousand has still persevered. It’s going to go up and down. Right. But at the end of the day, that ten thousand dollars today is worth one hundred and seventy five billion dollars, which is crazy to me because it’s all it’s doing is giving you a seven percent annual return. It’s just a mutual it’s a mutual fund that I use regularly. It’s a regular mutual fund, but the market continues to grow, you know what I mean? And that’s how money works. That’s how the market works. We call it a mountain chart because even though it does go up and down, it always goes up. It still rises up is that trajectory.

So I think you broke down. I mean, what you just broke down was the other part of Rousay to an understanding compound interest is not

in the power of compounding interest. Absolutely. Absolutely.

And I think people will realize

their demands are met hammer that home at every presentation, every face to face. When I have somebody here in my office, we talk about the importance of leaving the money alone. Even the best thing you can do with your four one K is just haven’t invested wisely and don’t touch it. We all tend to use that is a lot of people tend to use. That is. Oh, I got to my car broke down. I need to dip into my four one kay. And if you didn’t have it, what would you do. You’ve got to leave the money alone. That’s how the compound interest works and that’s how your wealth continues to grow. Time is your friend. If I could sing this song, time is always on your side.

Yes, it is.

I can’t stress that enough. It’s important to just start saving no matter where you are. If you’ve not started. I don’t care if you’re five or fifty, start saving, putting money away and don’t touch it. Leave it alone just with your strategy or your plan and you will accumulate money. That’s all this is. All investing is, is saving and getting a good return on it or getting better with.

Yeah, you brought up a solid strategy about reinvesting the dividends so the dividends are being cashed out, but they’re cashed out back into reinvestment. So it’s still funding itself.

It’s just self-funded, just goes back to buying more shares when you do that. And so, yeah, just for example, right now, and I’m not making a recommendation, just for example, Apple stock splits this week on the 30th of June. Usability is going back up to five hundred with just five years ago, it had made it up to almost eight hundred or so, seven for one and had gone down to ninety three dollars. I was getting a lot of my clients in that time and prior to it splitting and after splitting. Now one of my clients was who I love to death. It was like, I don’t trust that or whatever, whether I like well, it’s a good company. It’s a great company. We’re going to put a portion in. I will put a portion. It seems like this isn’t going to go back up to two hundred dollars. I was like two hundred dollars, like it’s going to go to two hundred to three hundred. And as you see now is that five. I think it might be five hundred today.

Well imagine back in nineteen ninety nine. Two thousand when it was five.

That was crazy. But my point is though you didn’t have to get into quality that farago you could get into it today and still benefit from it. You understand what I’m saying?

Yeah, definitely.

Anyway, the investments being that during that time frame when I initially bought that investment for them five years ago, it’s been reinvesting, reinvesting, buying more shares, growing that Apple stock between just over the last five years probably averaged about a 20 percent annually, twenty twenty two percent annually. So now

I had to change my seat

and look now at splitting the again is going to continue to accelerate, which is done over the last couple of weeks once the news of the split has come out. But once it does split, people are going to it doesn’t really change the dollar amount. But what it does is people feel like

there’s are cheaper now. Yeah.

So now more people are buying. So now it just continues to shoot back up again and cycle starts all over.

So, yeah, it’s a beautiful thing. It was. I mean, since you brought it up, we should just talk about it just to educate people, to understand what’s putting a stock is. So if you have a stock that starts off at one hundred dollars and it climbs a two hundred dollars and it splits now it’s back at one hundred dollars. But what happens is the quantity of the stock. I said it was ten thousand shares. Well, it just splits those shares. It doesn’t add any more shares to it. Essentially it just splits those shares in half.

It’s split. But when you’re looking at it, let’s say they had one hundred shares now split two for one. Now you have two hundred shares.

Yeah. Yeah. got you. So it doesn’t mean that they put more shares in the market. It just it they’re splitting the shares at a distance.

No, you’re right. You’re correct. Yeah.

I got you. So I mean we always hear about the twenty year to take somebody to become a success story and the beginning of this conversation, you kind of give a little bit of your journey. But how long did it take you to get to where you are?

Well, I’m going to start this part of this chapter, I would say, seven years ago.

OK,

you know what I mean? Now, it’s definitely took the entire twenty five years of my professional career to get where I am. If you’re just going to be frank about growing in the progression and so forth. But let’s just talk about building this business starting seven years ago from scratch, you know what I’m saying? And again, seven years, thankfully, I was able to sort of start fast in terms of for whatever reason, people tended to come to me very early on in my in opening my practice and trusting me early, just like any other small business, new business, you’re going to have your growing pains. It’s going to be some difficult time. So I did have sort of a roller coaster ride, but over the last of that seven, I would say over the last three years, it’s just been really, really smooth inclined smooth rock.

Definitely a positive outcome, so, I mean, what’s one thing you would do differently to get you to where you are a lot faster if you could do it all over again?

huh I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t know that I would do anything. I always say I wish I would have made this move earlier. I’m not a spring chicken. Right. So I wish I would have made this move a little earlier in my professional career. But I was comfortable with my roles at the Art Institute, my role, you know what I mean? I was in a management position that made a good salary. And for me for me to make the decision to come out on something that wasn’t guaranteed and I had the opportunity earlier, it would have actually pursued me. And I was an artist, too, for quite some time. And I was like, I’m not really interested in commissions only or whatever you want to call it, and building that business, I was very comfortable. But once things set into motion that put me into this position, it just became apparent that this was where I was supposed to be and where my success blossomed. I mean, since I’ve been here, man, I’ve been I’ve traveled the world. I’ve been blessed financially. I’ve been blessed culturally. I’ve been blessed to meet a diverse, different amount of different types of people. I’ve been blessed to be able to contribute back to causes that I believe in. So the path, the journey, I would say really took it started twenty five years ago, but it really kind of took shape on where I was headed seven years ago.

Got you. Got you. So with that being said, right, you talked about your age and if you don’t mind me does acts and you say you started business seven years ago. And I just want to ask this question because there’s always somebody out there that may be 18 years old or somebody that may be 40 or 50 years old and may think at the end of the rope and they got to stay where they are, if you don’t mind me, actually. How old were you seven years ago when you started your practice?

So I’ll be fifty one in October. So what does that mean? I was 40 or so.

You were forty four. And the reason why because I kind of know how old you are. Right. So being that forty four and I just turned 40. So imagine if I decided to say, you know, to hell with everything I’m doing and I’ve done a lot in my lifetime. Right.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

So and four more years I could be like to hell with everything. And I just want to start completely from scratch. Right. And still make it. I just want people to understand it is never too late.

It is not. And I’m a part of a recruiting team here at a war zone. So I recruit advisors and I also kind of put an emphasis on recruiting diversified because there’s not enough black advisors, period. We’re less than one percent an entire country in the right across all firms, black advisors and less than one percent. Some firms do a lot better job than others. I think we are like three or four percent, something like that, something crazy like that. But I think it’s important to have people that look like you helping you with things that are important to, you know what I mean, and understanding sort of what’s important to you, what’s your journey is and things of that nature. And so I definitely try to recruit people who are capable and are interested in doing this interest in running their own business. Now, the flip side to that, this isn’t for everyone. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, you know, a lot of different type of backgrounds and ethnicities in education because it does take a certain DNA to be able to get people, again, to trust you very quickly. To me, that’s the number one thing, is you have to be able to communicate with folks, but you have to get they have to trust you. You have to be able to build rapport very quickly, because if you’re not, you’re not going to be here long. I mean, to be quite as most people I think the attrition is crazy, is a crazy number. But most people who start as an advisor are out within the first year just because you can’t continue to find wealth at a steady clip to continue to sustain your business. And again, I’ve been blessed and fortunate to where that I started out doing well early, which kept me. And so when I hit my bumpy road, I already sort of had some hay in the barn, you know what I mean? Where it was.

Yeah, you live it off the renewables at that point.

Exactly. I was able to continue the residual income and. Yeah, yeah.

So, I mean, do you come from entrepreneurial background with your mom, your dad, anybody, aunts, uncles in your family had the hustle or you just kind of picked it up?

I don’t come from an entrepreneurial background, but I will say I come from a humble background.

OK,

my family has always. Well, let’s go back. My grandfather on my mother’s side, we’re from South Carolina and my grandfather owned a farm. And so, yeah, if you want to look at it like that, he owned a farm, but he also had pigs that he took to slaughter, you know what I mean? And my grandmother was selling greens and peas on the side and saying

they got a hustler in your blood.

We got hustlin blood and my mother has that same work ethic. So we got hustle. But I wouldn’t say entrepreneurial background for my immediate parents, but definitely had that hustle spirit.

Got you. Do you think that was a factor to your success? Just thinking about you reliving that moment just now when you made that statement, do you think that was part of your success?

Absolutely. You’ve got to go get it. This is not a job. And I’ve said this to this isn’t for the faint of heart. You got to be ready to go get it. You’ve got to be able to take rejection as well, people call it. Some people are successful in different ways. They take their path to success in different ways. For me, I’ve never been what I would call a good salesperson, but I’ve always been I’m never scared to work. I’ve worked my entire life, but I love what I do first, which is important to be passionate about what you do. But what am I trying to say here? I love what I do. I’m passionate about what I do. And I think that’s what’s important in terms of for me with being able to again, going back to build that record. That’s that superpower I was talking about. Again, being able to build that rapport as what what has really the thing that made me is not being able to sell people, is being able to communicate and build support with.

So ironically, you I mean, I don’t think you see it that way, but I think part of your superpower is that you are a storyteller and it comes from you, Raimund, right. From being an emcee and being able to deliver a message in a particular fashion. You’re using it in a different light, like when somebody is talking about a million bucks and like, what are you going to do with it? You’re going to tell them the steps, the procedures of how to move that money, how to grow that money is your time and your flow when you’re making a story for them to visually see from point A to point B.

Yeah, and you’re absolutely right. That also attributes I have had this conversation with some of my buddies about being in front of a crowd and talking about investments. I’m comfortable talking to a crowd, you know what I mean? I’m comfortable being in front of a crowd, maybe because of that background as well. But you’re right, storytelling is very important, making people visualize what this money is going to look like for them in the future. Or maybe they’re trying to visualize what that goal should be and me helping them to paint a picture of what that looks like.

Definitely

a great point, though. I hadn’t really thought about it like that. But you’re absolutely right. I love that.

cool cool. So how do you juggle your work life with your family life?

You know, again, this is a career that allows you to do that. From the beginning. My kids have always been involved in sports and I’m very active back then. I’m able I’ve been able to, like, make my time, you know what I mean? I can schedule if I want to take off in golf every Friday, I can do that because this job allows me to do that, this type of career do that. And being here at a firm that really prioritizes your family balance like work, family balance has been helpful because so they’re not again, you don’t really have a boss, but you still got hit numbers in order for them to continue to say it’s good for us to continue to invest in you. Right. Those are the things that have allowed me to have a good balance of family work balance. I mean, I met all my kids events at all, their milestone things that are happening. And I’ve said to you before we started recording, my youngest daughter is having heaven. She’s probably in labor right this minute. She’s at the hospital with my second grandchild. And that all happened this year. So I’m able to be there for those things.

Funny you brought up, because, you know, I had an opportunity to work with Michael, who was kind of like you passed the torch because be a lot of people don’t realize, like when I was in school, you was hiring me as a freelancer to do some of your design work 20 years later. And then your daughter shows up at my doorstep one day. And it was like, how funny how that ecosystem just works.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But I mean, your daughter’s credit. I mean, she’s I would think that in your business structure, she’s a business savvy monster. So I think once it gets to the point, I mean, you’re going to probably be able to help her invest that money to grow that for your grandkids and great grandkids.

We’re already there. We’re already there. So, yeah, she has our accounts open as soon as her child is. My first grandchild was born January twelve from my middle daughter, Zerzan, and he had his account. We opened his account soon as he got his Social Security card and I put money in it. My wife puts money in it. And of course, his mom and dad put money. Right. And so same thing will happen with Mekka, maybe even on a bigger level, because she has more resources at this point. I’m teaching her about investing. And so forth, but again, she’s like, I’m not a personal trainer, so I’m not going to tell her how to do her job, but she trusts me to say her dad, take this and let’s invest it in making some money, you know what I mean? So, yes, we’ve already started that. So, yes, absolutely.

Got you. Got you.

And also being a small business, you know, making sure she understands the importance of having something you can write off in terms of a rate for her, you know what I mean? You can do up to fifty four thousand dollars in a separate, whereas in a traditional or Roth, you can only do six thousand if you’re under 50. So I’m like, OK, let’s get together. You can do more than six, you know, and whatever you put into this, we can write this off this year for twenty one.

Got you. So as far as your grandson, I mean what kind of account. I mean this is five ones. And what flavor did you start for.

Five. Twenty,

twenty nine.

Twenty nine and custodians are basically going into account. I have him in a custodial account and most of my clients typically recommend custodial unless they just admit my telephone calls. But you just don’t know. For me I’m just like you know and is limited on how you can invest the five twenty nine. It goes to a particular fund. Families fund mutual funds that they have set aside or not, whereas a custodial account I can open that the benefit of the five twenty nine is when you use it. If it’s for college it comes out tax free basically like a Roth. But I say let’s put it into a custodial account and let’s grow it. Stocks that are going to grow at a faster rate. This kid is young, so I’ll put him in Microsoft, Apple, you know, Tesla, whatever stocks the exact moment, some great stocks even or things that are interested in Disney, Nike, if they’re athletes, things of that nature, those type of things, stocks that they know because that way when they’re young and they come in, I can engage them and say, look, you own a part of Nike. We’ve put in five thousand dollars over the last five years. Maybe it is worth twelve thousand dollars. So you’ve made seven thousand dollars off of this, right? So we can show them, hey, it’s important to invest in things you’re familiar with. I don’t like people to invest in things that they have no clue what it is they just heard. It’s a good stock or good company. But you never heard of the company. To me, that’s not very wise because you don’t know what the success of that company will be. That’s more of a gamble now. No risk. No reward. Right. So you may get rewarded big. If you take on more risk, you could lose more as well. So you got to kind of wait where you are, what your risk tolerance is in that in that thing. But anyway, I know I’m getting off on it.

Oh, no, no.

I’m going to go on custodial account and start talking about risk and but yeah, his name is Zaira. He’s in a custodial account and we buy stocks for him in that account, as I do with most of my grandparents. Open accounts for their kids or their grandchildren.

Yeah, but I knew when you talk about wealth, you talk about family. I knew your passion was going to shine through in that moment. So you kind of just fed into it with your morning habits, your morning routine. I’ve talked to a couple of dozen people at this point time and not ten of them. Is coffee working out like what’s your morning routine?

Yeah, so I’m not a morning person. I’m usually trying to roll up out of the big man. But since I’ve been a little more focused on my eating habits, I’ll just get up, have again a cup of coffee or maybe a cup of green tea or something like that. My wife thinks this a pandemic has started working from home. So she’ll get up and make a healthy breakfast or I’ll get up and do some bran cereal or something like that. My staff knows that I’m really don’t do appointments earlier than 10:00 a.m.. Right. That’s my first. Whether it’s a phone appointment, whether it’s an in-person Timonium is my appointment. I try to be in the office by nine most days. If I have something earlier than I’ll come in earlier. But if something has to happen at that point, I’ll do that. Sometimes I have different meetings. I have to attend that earlier. But typically in the office about 9:00, you know, my first meeting is usually at about 2:00.

Got you. Got you so what do you see yourself in 20 years?

You know what, this is the type of career where you don’t have to retire, honestly. You can keep working well into retirement age 20 years, man, I’ll probably be still running my office. How will I be 20? I might be looking at retirement, getting ready to retire, saying again, it’s a passion and I might be run in my office with the larger staff and maybe coming in once or twice a week. You know what I mean? I know some of my colleagues who are at that age and typically they sit in by the pool or they’re on the golf course most days of the week, but they may spend two or three days in the office. And then I have some who are workaholics, who are older and still come in five, six, seven days a week. I mean, you know, the market’s is only open five. So me, I don’t do that because I’m already like five days a week. I mean, here I do Saturdays by appointment only if you definitely want me to Saturday. And it’s worth both our while, then I’ll do a Saturday appointment. But I have no problem celebrating my victories. I have no problem taking Fridays off to go golf and things of that nature. But most times I’m here in the office Monday through Friday for sure.

Got you. Got you what tools do you use in your business on a day to day basis?

I have my on my watch list that I watch on stocks and bonds and mutual funds. We have all types of different research reports that come through. And I kind of filter things that I want to filter through and look at and read the things that are pertinent to my business and my clients. But I’m always looking at the market. We have a really good system in terms of putting in trades and things of that nature. But my day normally looks like really just talking to people and finding out what it is they want to do and then putting together a plan for.

Got you, got you. So what final words of wisdom do you have for anybody that’s coming up as an entrepreneur that wants to kind of follow in your footsteps?

Well, I think very quickly you learn whether it’s for you or not. Remember, I said this is the first one. So I think very quickly, for me, it was the best career move I’ve ever made. It changed my life in a substantial way. I mean, my my the quality of living for my family, my immediate family. And then now I can do this for the legacy that is going to leave behind. It’s changed dramatically. So what I would say is, if you’re interested in it, pursue it, step out on faith, which is what I did at the time. I stepped out on faith and said, look, I’m going to do this because I don’t know if I said this part. But when I did start working for that company that did credentials for financial planner CFP credentials, Edward Jones was my client. They told me they were pursuing me at that time, like, you should really do this and I kept saying I kept saying, I’m not going to do that. I’m not. I’m not. I will take this for me until I finally said, you know what? I’m going to step out on faith. I’m just I didn’t even say that. Actually, somebody just said to me, just talk to support to a recruiter. And I finally gave in and said, OK, I’ll talk to them. In my mind, not thinking that I was going to move over and actually do this. But after I talked to them and they said, well, why don’t you just put in an application? And then the process started happening and then it was more and more like, OK, I actually want this. And I kind of said, if I do do this, I knew I had this. I was stepping out on faith.

So, I mean, how can people get a contact? We’ve got a Facebook, a website, email address.

Yeah, I wish I had something to share the screen with. But bottom line is, you can call my office and let me give you that number 77466031 my hours are eight thirty to five. You call my office, somebody will be here. Just my administrative assistant branch office administrator. She handles everything and the office handles my schedule. So again, seven seven seven four six six zero zero three one. My email address isTondeleo DayEdward Jones.Com. Hopefully they’ll be able to see that when this podcast. Honestly, I tell folks if all else fails, just Google me and Tondeleo Day. Usually the Edward Jones will pop right up or Tondeleo Day, Edward Jones and it’ll definitely pop up. And we have a website can come to my website.

I usually get pretty much license in about 30 states. You’re essentially nationwide at this one.

Pretty absolute. Anyhow, the only states, of course I’m not. It’s just places where you don’t really find many folks who are here or who are going to hear about me, which is like

Hawaii.

Yeah, well, actually, I had a client in Hawaii, but I was going to say like Montana, those places, I don’t have anybody out there, Minnesota or Iowa or anything like that, that northern part of the world. But I have people in California and Washington and. Colorado and Texas and all along the East Coast.

cool cool. So I got a bonus question for you, who would you want to spend twenty four hours with, dead or alive, uninterrupted?

Oh, man. I started a book club here with the in business here that we turned. Jones started with about five people that attended the first one. Now we have about 30 that come 30 black advisors. We have dinner at issue, a book out. And so I always do questions like this. And this was a question I gave to the same question. But I think I said, give me three people that you like to have dinner with. So you narrowing that thing down is kind of like, OK, you know, if I’m going to say one person. I could go a few different ways, but you know who I would love to talk to maybe in their prime is Ali muhammad Ali is one of my heroes, a person who was obviously killed at his own sport. But he was involved, obviously, with society and was not going to the Vietnam War and losing his builtin championship during that time, but then also just didn’t know how his lifestyle was because he dealt with a lot of celebrities, females and all of that. And just how he moved through all of those things, through that notoriety, to that fame, how he maintained his respectability as that figure, as an icon through all of that. Of course, he’s human. He made mistakes just like everybody else. So I think it would just be an incredible conversation just to hear some backstories. I love history. So there’s a few people I would like to say to me, of course, Jesus would be having a conversation with you. This would be crazy. Tupac and his father would be. That’s one of my guys. I want to know how to fight, bro. What was going on in your head when this happened? I love now that we’re in this pandemic, we’ve been blessed to hear stories on things like podcasts and things of that nature that we’ve never been privy to. And like the purses here and backstories on songs when you see this versus thing that Swiss beats and Timlin got going on. So there’s a lot of people I would love to. I mean, I think it would be incredible to sit with just to hear some of his stories. He seems to have some just background on everybody in hip hop and some outside of hip hop talent. And he’s going to be real transparent about what’s going on, what he experienced. So there’s a lot. But if I’m adjustable when I’m I’ll just go with my man’s Muhammad Ali.

got you got you a Malcolm X would probably be a close second. Well, I mean, they were around the same time period, so.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah,

definitely. So this is a time in the podcast as I usually give the microphone to you and if you have any questions for me, man, shoot,

we kind of talk briefly, but we didn’t I was just curious, why would you like me to be on the podcast when you think at that point I brought to the table in terms of this conversation?

Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, everybody that I pick for this podcast and this is just like season one, season one is more so kind of like my extended in a circle like everybody that I’ve actually dealt with on a business b be or I was influenced by in one time other within my last 20, 30 years saying that I can remember more so on and on adults. So for you was like, I seen your journey, you see them saying I was there with you and I was in school, but you were working there and then I’ve seen you leave and then I seen you start. Then, you know, when I was doing the series six and you had just finished your seven, it was a lot of like parallel stuff, different directions. Yeah. So I definitely and I was like, you be great because I’m really big on diversity. So on this podcast, it’s really about multiple different backgrounds. I’ve had people from radio shows. I have people that own storefronts. I’ve had people that were just millionaires because they filed a patent. So giving the diversity to understand that there’s a million ways to make a million dollars, no doubt, and hopefully that one of my guests would give somebody an opportunity listening to understand it. OK, maybe the last guy wasn’t. But that this guy is it was this guy, maybe this girl. She’s the one that’s going to make you wake up and realize that you don’t have to work nine to five. Right. You can start your own business. And it’s a million different ways of starting your own business and growing it from point zero to one hundred million to a billion dollars. And that’s the reality of everybody got their they started from nothing. And even if they started, would welcome their bell. They still have to use that wealth to create the next thing. So.

Right, right.

That’s why I got you.

OK, appreciate that. Who is your audience on your podcast? Who are you reaching first? If that’s not the ultimate goal, was the ultimate goal of who to reach and how big you want your podcast.

So what I’ve always learned, just by becoming a marketer over the years and becoming more and more into marketing is you’re going to have to hone in to an audience to obviously the default. And the person that would say everybody is a person is not going to get anybody right.

Focus right.

So my focus group honestly is I would say middle age men and females. So a say I’m talking like maybe like thirty five to about fifty five, because that’s the age group of where people are kind of like, you know what, I’ve been doing this job forever. It’s paid my bills. But now one more or like in your case, you know, you say you was like forty four and he was like, boom, we clicked.

Right, right, right. I’m working for somebody else making them rich, like I need to make a move. If I’m old you will lose all this good talent. And you know, I’m saying I need to be doing it for the benefit of my family.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So and that demographic is just so many. It’s kind of like when you look at wealthy versus middle class. It is way more small business owners than they are million dollar corporation owners, a billion dollar corporation owners. So if you’re targeting a wide audience and I’m targeting, you know, obviously this 20 year olds out there, I can listen to this podcast. You’re doing a Mecca, for example. She’s a demographic that’s different to her age group that’s unique, that she’s a little bit more seasoned as a veteran as far as business.

Yeah.

So, like the terminology that we’re talking about and that’s the beauty of his podcast, is that you not talk about financial services. Right. And another podcast we could be talking about audio engineering. Another one we could talk about graphic design. So just the diversity between the conversations, it’s given a blanket to that demographic.

Right. Right. OK. Yeah. And I love the title is Boss Uncaged. Right. It’s the title of the podcast at Boss Uncaged. Now what your books say Uncage Trailblazer. Yeah.

This one.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s dope. Could you talk a little bit about that real quick before we go.

Yeah. Yeah. So my original book series before that one I had a two part book series before the title was cool and it was more for a younger generation. But now what. Just like to target the demographic that I’m going after has to be a little bit more, not so much in your face, but everybody has a caged animal inside of them dying to get out. That’s why I have a line on the cover. When you think about beasts in our world, the lion kind of represents like the ultimate animal. I mean, you have wolves, you have dragons, but a lion is very symbolic. So the thing that everybody has a lion or a lion this inside of them and you’re a boss and you try to Boss Uncaged trying to break out. So that’s why the podcast and the book are all about being their boss and breaking out that show.

Right. Right. I love it. I love it.

Well, I definitely appreciate you taking the time. I know you’ve got a busy schedule. Your phone’s been ringing off the hook near the end of this podcast. I know you’ve got to get back to work, but I definitely appreciate you, man. And I commend you for what you’re doing.

It’s all good. I appreciate you having me, man. It’s been a pleasure.

Definitely. Man have a good one.

Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss UnCaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming a Trailblazer at this podcast. Helped you please email me about it. Submit additional questions. You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop me your thoughts at asksagrant.com post comments, share it, subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your inner Beast. S. A. Grant signing off.

listeners of Boss UnCaged are invited to download a free copy of our host S. A. Grant’s insightful book, Become an Uncage Trailblazer. Learn how to release your primal success in 15 minutes a day. Download now at www.Sagrant.com/bossuncaged.

Financial Advisor at Edward Jones: Tondeleo Day AKA The Pharaoh of Wealth – S1E23 (#23)2021-02-27T17:50:53+00:00

Chef – Owner at Leaf and Loaf and Fun with Food: Sue Coraggio Snape AKA The Medical Chef – S1E22 (#22)

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Overview

“Don’t be afraid to fail because you’re going to fail a million times and fail could just mean you’re going to find you don’t like it. So just be willing to experiment all kinds of things, different environments, different people. And you want to work by yourself or with other people. One of the things about having a food truck is the hours of having the food truck would have been Friday, Saturday, Sunday, which were the opposite hours that I wanted to be working on my business. So those are definitely the most important things, I think. Right. Don’t be afraid to succeed either, because I know plenty of people that are afraid to succeed.” – Sue Coraggio Snape

http://www.leafandloaf.com/
(770) 309-4627
snapesue@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Leaf-and-Loaf-Fun-with-Food-1658230804416831/

Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E22 – Chef – Owner at Leaf and Loaf and Fun with Food: Sue Coraggio Snape AKA The Medical Chef – powered by Happy Scribe

Don’t be afraid to fail because you’re going to fail a million times and fail could just mean you’re going to find you don’t like it. So just be willing to experiment all kinds of things, different environments, different people. And you want to work by yourself or with other people. One of the things about having a food truck is the hours of having the food truck would have been Friday, Saturday, Sunday, which were the opposite hours that I wanted to be working on my business. So those are definitely the most important things, I think. Right. Don’t be afraid to succeed either, because I know plenty of people that are afraid to succeed.

Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.

Welcome welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have Sue Snape, she is my friend. She’s a business owner. I think her business unit is one of those businesses that you may kind of second guess you would even think it was a business. But she’s found a way to make it work. And not only that, her background has completely had nothing to do with this, to start off with. So, Sue, who are you?

Really good to figuring that out about every day I am a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur. I’m a creative person, a dog lover.

This is true.

I’m really into eating healthy food and being as healthy as I can be so I can do my work that I’m here to do.

So the name of your company is Lift and Loft and Fun with Food. Right? And you also owner of the food studio in East Cop. So obviously we’re in the midst of Colvert. You want to just kind of give us a little bit of insight to like those business units. How do they work? You know, what was the structure and where are you with those two businesses?

Sure. So Leaf and Loaf is the company. I started it in twenty fifteen and it was kind of a combination of all kinds of things, food related, because when I came out of culinary school, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. So I tried all kinds of things and quickly discovered what I did not want to do, which was actually more important than figuring out what I wanted to do. So Leaf and Loaf was a granola company. At one point I put that on hold for a while. Then I brought the company back and then I started some catering and then some personal chef services. And then I also started Fund with Food, which is a children’s program, but it’s under the umbrella of love right now.

So first of all, I want the audience to see how modest she was. She just kind of just stated these things very simply. But your original background, you were a director of content for like nuclease medical media. And that’s what you and I met. Right? We were colleagues. And obviously this creativity in both the environments you are. But I mean, cooking is a completely different creative than digital content. So what did that transition look like I mean, what did you just wake up on a random Tuesday? I said, OK, today enough is enough and I’m going to start cooking. I mean, how did that come to fruition?

Yes, but it was a Sunday.

OK, OK.

I mean, I was in that field for sixteen years. I have a BFA medical illustration. Loved what I did for fifteen years. And one Sunday I woke up and I couldn’t stop crying because I had to go to work the next day. And I was like, this is not right. It’s not how we’re supposed to live. And so I with the support of my husband, we just decided it was time for me to quit. And so that was a process sort of that took a little bit of time. But I quit and didn’t know necessarily what I was going to do after that. I worked with a career coach for a while, which was a little bit scary because she said that we work intensely for two weeks together and at the end of those two weeks, she would have an answer for me. When we get down to the last meeting where I’m like, oh my gosh, what is she going to tell me? I should be. And she got on the phone and she’s like, This has never happened before. I don’t know what to tell you. What are you like,

where’s my refund? Maybe.

Right. I just did all this work and you did nothing for me. But then she said, you know, give me a couple more hours. I’m working on something. And then she called me back and you need to go to culinary school. And I was like, I am forty years old. What are you talking about? Looking back, everything I did outside of my medical situation was really I would go to the grocery store at lunch just to walk around, so I quit my job and went to culinary school. It’s crazy. Crazy.

So, I mean, obviously, I want to dance to the Atlanta as well, too. So I definitely understand that that makeup right. So what was like your main thing, your main attraction once you got into culinary school, like what was that unique moment to say, oh my God, I love this. I want to do this for a living moving forward?

Well, I knew that I wanted to be my own boss. I knew that I was done working for somebody else. And I learned a lot in culinary school, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it, knowing I wanted to start my own business. I was thinking about starting with a food truck, but then I thought, I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I had two little kids at the time and so I decided to work for somebody else and to learn a little bit more about the industry before I jumped into my own thing. So I worked as an employee for someone and ran a restaurant for five years and learned so much more in the first six days of that job than I learned in culinary school because it was specific to what I wanted to do and just sort of felt my way through that and figured out what I liked and what I didn’t like about that environment and just sort of gave through a couple of things out into the wind to see what worked.

So, I mean, the strategy that you’re talking about, I always look at it as a paid apprenticeship, right? I mean, it gives you an opportunity to get paid what you’re learning as you go. And obviously you’re doing it for the end goal, which is to start your own thing. And a lot of people I think that’s part of the hurdle of overcoming the fears of stepping out for corporate America and thinking they’re going to be absolutely with no revenue for a period of time. So that, as always, I mean, your insight was essentially dead on that. So during your experience, I mean, what’s the craziest thing you’ve experienced as far inside of food? I mean, what’s the tea or the drama behind the scenes?

I mean, I don’t know if it’s specifically with food, but with my own company, maybe just being willing and able to say no to things.

OK,

I’m really working on that every day. And I’ve gotten a lot better in the last year about not taking every possible job that comes to me. But that’s the life of a business owner or a contractor or freelancer. You just you’re afraid to say no because you’ve got to take the work when it comes in. But I found that I was taking on jobs that weren’t making me happy, that weren’t actually pushing me through to the company that I wanted to have. And I was turning down work so that I could stay on track to building the company that I was envisioning.

So you’re talking about building companies. So, I mean, a lot of times people always have the question about how should a company be structured? So I know you have like a business background as well because you were a director of content. So you understand a little bit more behind the scenes. Are you sort of more of an LLC in corporate corporate structure looking like

so I am an LLC, but for tax purposes C Corp, so.

Got it, got it, got it. That’s good stuff. So, I mean, are you a sole owner or do you have any partnerships?

Just me. Another thing I decided straight out of the gate was I was not working with anybody. I had heard too many stories about family members and friends that had partners like fifty fifty or forty nine fifty one percent.

And at one percent is a big difference right

oh my gosh where just they all those relationships just crashed and burned and I just didn’t want to deal with it. So it’s just me which is good and bad for you.

I mean there’s extra weight to carry on your shoulders, but I mean, I think you’re up to it. I mean, what do you wake up on a routine basis? And I’ve been looking at Facebook. I’m big at the Facebook. Right. So I think one of the greatest things that you’ve done for your brand is you wake up every morning and you essentially sort of doing a motivational quote. You kind of do what are you grateful for? So how did you come up with that idea, that concept, and how are you tying that back into your food business?

Well, I started doing that. I’ve always been really grateful. And I really like to pay attention to the little things, that whole mindset. But when it started, schools closed here on a Friday on Monday morning, I thought so I have a bunch of classes of like one hundred students that all of a sudden I wasn’t going to see anymore. And my program was essentially on hold. And so I thought, I have to do something for me to get out of bed every morning and to give myself a reason to keep going. And so I started my gratitude post, which was supposed to be for me. And people say, well, why didn’t you just write it down in the journal? I don’t know. Actually, it just I don’t think too much about things. I kind of just do what my heart says to do. And so I started posting something else great before every morning on Facebook. And people were really gravitating towards that and telling me even like this morning, people are still saying your post is the first one that I see every morning and it starts my day off on the right foot. So it’s been. Not just for me, but I guess for other people, too,

and I think that’s a testament to who you are. I mean, considering that Covid happened. Right. And I guess this is a good Segway to step into that pivot point that we talked about before this call. Most people would have hit that pivot point and they would have seen some failures. And it had been like, damn, what do I do next? They would have rolled up in a ball, cried and put their hands up. I would’ve been over. But instead, you took that energy and you put something positive out there. So let me talk to us a little bit about that pivot point. I mean, you are owner of essentially two separate business units, right? And you have to close ones. What did that look like? Closing one, keeping one. And what would that pivot point?

I pivoted so many times in the last six months. I have like Caster’s for shoes right now. So Leaf and loaf is again the company. But I have some personal chef clients, so I would cook for families two days a week and then teach three days a week with food. I go into schools after school and educate, motivate and inspire. Kids see real food. So I had about one hundred students and also last October I opened a brick and mortar of four hundred square foot awesome little space called the Food Studio, where I was having classes there as well. So I can have classes whenever I want it right. It was my space and I can schedule whatever I wanted. I can have birthday parties, I can have just classes. It was fantastic because I wasn’t limited to just having classes in schools during after school hours. So October comes, I get all my stuff and move it all in. I set up. It’s going great. Guns, like my business is thriving. I’ve got personal chef clients, so I’ve got a balance of elementary school kids that keep me on my toes and then a more professional aspect of my business, which is creating beautiful, nutritious food for people. It’s a really good balance for my head and for my skills and everything. And then covid hit and I was like, well, holy cow, I have no idea. Like nobody had any idea how long this was going to go on and how many months it would take before a people were willing to go back to doing things in person. And B, is what I was offering was going to be top priority for them. And both of those answers for me as a business owner were like, you know, it’s a great program. I love what I do. People love what I do, but it’s not a priority. So I had the option to close and get out of my lease early, which was a huge gift, because paying rent on a space that you’re essentially closing up, as many restaurant owners know, it’s tough. So I waited for this to find the space for like nine years and then in the end they decided to close it up. So I was only open for a couple of months. But I have people saying it’s coming back. Let’s see.

I mean, I think that that’s a good segue way. And honestly, I mean, the space that I’m in, I’m really big into, like, growth strategy. And faced with that, with my clients on a regular basis of that pivot point and just hear you speak and seeing the content that you put on social media, what’s your thoughts as far as converting the food studio into like a digital online studio, a digital online course to where you’re just doing food, perhaps, and you’re doing a subscription model to where people are, hey, they’re spending five, ten dollars per month to see you cook a meal step by step, kind of like HDTV, right or Food Network, but is more personal to what they’re used to getting from you, your quality. You’re going out to the farmer’s market and recording content saying this is how I picked this particular fruit and this is what have you thought about doing something along those lines?

So that was my first pivot point actually was just going digital that first Monday, along with my gratitude post, I started a Facebook live because I still had the food studio at that point. So I just went live and showed people how to make some recipes and people that I didn’t know were following me. I had somebody from Thailand log in and watch what I was doing. And I was like, what? How do you even know about what happened? And it was fantastic. And then so that day I was like, wait a second, this could be my hair standing on end right now. It’s like, this is great. My whole mission has been to reach more students, to touch more kids. And I was sort of tapped out doing that in person because I’m just me, right? I can only be so many places at one time. So then I realized doing this online, I can reach everybody everywhere. I don’t have to be limited to five mile radius. So I started doing some Facebook lives, worked with lighting and sound. That was huge. That’s a there’s a huge learning curve there always. And then I started recording videos and putting them on an online platform so people could purchase like essentially a series of classes less expensive because it wasn’t. And I was like, this is the way to go, I’m going to be online, it’s going to be perpetual income, I’m going to be on the beach drinking fancy drinks. But I didn’t like it. I didn’t like recording to nobody. I was watching what I did. And technically, things were great. It was fine. But what brings me joy and enthusiasm is the people on the other side, the people that I’m talking to were teaching or looking at and recording. The camera didn’t work for me. I did a couple of classes and just decided I have to do this live. So pivoted again and reached out to a couple of students that I knew would give me honest feedback. Not that all kids aren’t honest, but these kids were honest. Did a free class for them just as a trial and loved it, like it brought the joy back, and so I started doing some online classes over the summer and it was the best thing ever. So schools are still not in session. And I still have some online classes that I’m doing and just started last week. I’ve got a kid from Virginia, a kid from Washington, kid from Colorado, and I don’t even know how they found out about me. But that’s a huge benefit and a way to look at the situation more positively.

And you definitely understand the business model of like the passive revenue stream. So it seems like for this to work right. In one aspect of it, you need to have live. But on the back end, you had clients that were willing to watch your recorded videos. So are you thinking about possibly recording your live videos and putting them on a membership site that way after you’re done with the lives, you’re just filling in the content?

Yes, definitely.

Perfect. Perfect. Is that website up? Is it built? How are you looking as far as development?

It’s on the table platform right now.

Nice, nice surface.

And it’s fun. There’s videos, there’s quizzes and the quizzes are we’re not doing anything for a great and final thing. It’s just to motivate kids to eat real food. So the quizzes are fun. There’s some downloadable recipes, some coloring pages and things, the whole selection of things to play with.

Got it. It is time for a shameless plug. I mean, what’s the name of the teachable course?

It’s fun with food.

Perfect.

Log on to teachable. You just go to fun with food and to come up.

Great, great, great. Hence why she was the director of content people. So I mean, we always hear about the 20 years it takes someone to get to a level of success that’s always perceived as an overnight success story. Right. How long have you been chasing the dream to get to where you are currently?

Still chasing it, but I’ve been working for myself for six years and that that was my dream. I’m there. Yeah, it definitely doesn’t happen overnight. And I was always even working in medical illustration. I was always looking for ways to emulate things that I liked about bosses that I have even going back to college. I always worked in restaurants. So there were things that I loved about people that I work for and things that I didn’t love. So I sort of kept a list in a journal of things that I wanted to be if I ever hired somebody and things that I thought worked for running a company and things that didn’t work. And I always look for the teaching points and everything, whether it has anything to do with culinary or food or students, there’s always something to learn from everything. So I just sort of gathered those things all along the way. I’m still learning every day. I learn something every time I teach a class.

Nice, nice. So I mean on this journey, right? I mean, obviously you’re saying this job is a wave which all journeys usually are. There’s always highs and lows. What’s one thing you would you would’ve done differently if you could do it all over again?

I’m wondering not I’m not saying I did everything great, but I don’t know that I. Would do anything any differently? Yeah, I mean, everything was sort of an experience and an experiment, so I had knowing what I know now, I honestly don’t know that I would change anything that I’m doing except. No, I was going to say hire someone, but no, no, no.

Got you. So, I mean, it’s a testament to your passion, to what you do. I mean, you loved every aspect of what you’re doing since day one. So, I mean, that’s a rare find. I mean, even with like a billion dollar business owners, there’s always well, I could have done this and made it to a billion dollars a lot faster. Oh, I could have made my first million a lot faster. If you just kind of like. I love the journey. I love what I’m doing.

We’re talking about money is the success point. That’s a whole other conversation. But that’s not hopefully I will get to that point where I can take some of what my company has earned and put it back into the community, help kids, give them scholarships to culinary school, whatever. I mean, I have dreams of that, but that’s not success to me.

Got you on the road map. It looks like possibly you may be developing a foundation down the road. Possibly, I mean, to filter that, but

definitely so. I had at one time over the summer, I had somebody contact me and say, hey, I want to pay for a scholarship for one of your students to take your account. It was a week long camp. And I was like, well, that’s fantastic. So I threw it out on Facebook. And within about three minutes I had someone that said, I would like to take advantage of that scholarship. Awesome. The next morning I get a text from a friend that I knew from the cafe where I worked for five years that said, hey, I saw you had that scholarship. My wife and I want to do the same thing. We want to sponsor ten students for your summer camps. I was just like I was just overwhelmed. And so I had ten kids sign up like in a second for my camps, which was great because everybody’s financial situation right now is different,

extremely

different from one another, but also different from where it was in February. So it made me realize people really want their kids in my program, but finances might be an issue. So that was a great, great thing because I got to meet kids from all over the place on the scholarship. And also I have recently applied for a grant that would essentially pay for all of my classes for like a whole semester. And I would just allow kids to just register for the class and take it without without much of a fee at all. So still waiting to hear on that. But I would love to structure my company more in that direction.

So, I mean, that that’s a shift in your business, right? So what does that scholarship look like? I mean, is it an ongoing thing? Is it online? Is it that the people can kind of just log in and click donations? I mean, how does that work? I mean, obviously this to be a time to kind of make that announcement. Right?

So I have on my registration form, I have a checkbox that says I would like to sponsor a child to take this class. And so if people check that, then they would get invoiced for the extra student. And then when I have and there’s also a checkbox that said I would like to accept your scholarship offer. And so that isn’t super huge right now because nobody really is. I mean, class enrollment right now is pretty. Pretty low, but I think that moving forward, that’s something that I’m definitely going to have and I have been in a situation where we had when my one of my kids was really little, we had to tell him that he couldn’t play soccer for the big league because we couldn’t afford it. I never want a kid to not be able to take my class because of finances. So I’ve always said, if you need a scholarship, just let me know. No questions asked. We’ll get it taken care of. And so the company has given out a couple of scholarships over the years. So really, I just throw it out into the universe. Hey, if you need a scholarship for your kid to take this class, just ask and we’ll get it squared away.

Well, the beauty of the world that we live in, right, with the economic structure of systems. Right. Right now, there’s beer markets. We have bull markets. And to my point is that. Some people may be in decline as far as funding right now, but other people that are becoming millionaires as we speak, so there’s no reason to not put it out there because like you said, you found somebody overseas that you even though you may need to find someone in China that just became a millionaire in the industry that you’re in and be like, great, I want to go ahead and sponsor your classes for the next three years. So I think if you’re going to that business model, I would market and promote the living hell out of that.

Yeah, that’s a great idea. That’s right.

You have it a 50 for being an entrepreneur. Do you come from an entrepreneurial background where your parents or anybody know?

Both laughing Because my mom’s a retired nurse and my dad was in computers.

Really?

No, I didn’t come from a lot. And there was definitely no entrepreneurial anything. I mean, maybe I started when I sold Girl Scout cookies. I don’t know. I think it just sort of came out of years of working for someone else and maybe realizing I didn’t want to do that. I missed out in all of the jobs that I’ve had, as during the time that I’ve been a mom, I’ve missed out on things that my kids were doing because I had to work and I don’t want to ever say that again. So my kids are back now and they’re they’re still my kids. I don’t want to ever say I can’t come swimming because I have to work.

So it’s a good thing you brought up the kids. I mean, we were just talking about Eva not to be confused with Ava, right. Earlier today. And so she was talking about I mean, she has a little hustle to her as well. I mean, what does she stuff that she’s building in developing on her side? Hustles right to begin to.

And we bought our sewing machine and she’s been sewing all kinds of bags and clothes and she buys things from thrift stores and brings him home and washes and cuts them up, makes new things. It’s super awesome. She’s also taught herself at about three minutes how to crochet in the car on YouTube, coming home to the store with Ja War and she just crochet this awesome bag. So she’s doing all kinds of things. And she will one day have her own business because she used to like, take my seltzer water out of the refrigerator to go to the end of the driveway and sell it for a dollar at the end of the driveway and come in making seventeen dollars off my canned water. So she’s got it going on and that our son, who just turned 18, is starting his own business while he’s in school and working to start his own little design business.

So, yeah. So I mean, Olwyn is taking up what was structural in design or

industrial design,

industrial design. So again, the apple doesn’t fall far, far from the tree. So this may we fast forward 15 years from now. And I’m sitting down and having this conversation with your daughter and I’m like, are you from Argenteuil background? The entire store will be completely different.

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I was just talking about that. Someone asked, so he’s he’s working with a business mentor. You get this company started and they said, do you know anybody that has their own business? Like, my mom has her own home.

So what is his business going to be? I mean, what is he going to be designing?

I’m not sure yet.

COOl, cool, cool.

So, so many types of design, you know, who knows who knows what his thought processes.

That’s a really good point. I mean, again, you and I worked together at a medical illustration. Right. Medical animation firm and that was design. But you’re also designing food. Your son is an industrial designer, which is a whole nother monster. And technically your daughter is kind of in the fashion design area a little bit so small with a professor. So it’s not really a limitation to just pick design. It’s down to to what you love to do. So, I mean, you brought up your family. I mean, what’s your work family life balance look like?

Oh, it’s it’s pretty great now, but it’s always been a struggle because I’ve always put. A lot into my business because I had to get it going right, I had to get off the ground, I had to work, work, work. But to me, it wasn’t work, work, work, because I love it. But other people were look like other people in my family were looking at me going, know you’re just working overtime. And I was like, I’m not working all the time. Yeah, but that’s what it looks like from the outside. But in my head I’m like, oh my gosh, I got to try this. Oh my gosh. Now I have this idea. Holy cow. What about this? And it is really hard to turn that off. So not that we should turn that off, but there is a point, I think you know just as well as I do.

Yeah.

We got we got to find that balance right between family health, our mental health, physical health spending, time with family. It’s a work in progress. So it would go it started. I just decided, you know what, the idea of working like nine to 12 and taking the lunch hour and then working one to five does that. And then I was like, you know what? I think I’m going to do that. And so I started that that loose schedule for myself. So after five thirty, I just decided I wasn’t going to touch my business anymore. And things are still working.

Got it. Got it. I mean, I am definitely with you with that it got to the point to where forgetting to eat was like my worst habit. So I’ve used Alexa and I’m saying, hey, Alexa set an alarm every single day at noon and all the Alexi’s go off in the house. And I’m was like, OK, whatever I’m doing at that point in time, I need to get up. You’ll get something. You’ll definitely. Definitely. So what’s your morning habits? I mean, we touched on it a little bit. Obviously, you wake up very early, you have enough time to write a post and all your posts are thinking very organic. You kind of wake up at all the predetermined, right. You got to wake up, take pictures or whatever it is, and you present it in that moment. So what are your morning routines?

So I used to get up at four forty five. That’s not happening right now, but I’m usually up by five fifteen five thirty. I do a little like seriously like three minute meditation. I have some books that I like to read. It’s just a quick little something and it sets my head straight and then a lot of times reading that will help me realize something that I’m grateful for or I just go to make the coffee and realize I’m grateful that I clean water. I do my gratitude post. I usually like to put a photo with it because I’m not a visual person and then I do a workout for a while. My husband and I were just walking a couple of miles every morning, but then I realized that that was great and it was time with him and time outside and breathing, whatever, but it was more meditative. I needed to pump up my cardio and my weight training. So every morning we do a thirty, thirty five minute pretty intense workout and then I sit down and have my coffee and then I do a post for Facebook group that I started called I Can I Will, which is a private group that I thought would be like five of us. And there were like seventy six people there in the group right now, just kind of motivational. How can we support each other, be healthier, more efficient, better moms, better human beings for the planet, all of that. And then I take a shower and I start my day usually like eat breakfast, usually about eight thirty. I’m working.

So I think one of the big things that that you brought up in a couple other guests on this show had brought that up is within those first hour to two hours in the morning, an opportunity to read. And I see you have a couple of dozen books, BOTUS any books that you want to pull out, which you’re reading right now currently.

Those are all cookbooks, actually, but I do. I’ll show you the book that I read every morning. All right. So I’m not a big reader, believe it or not. But somebody told me about this author, so I started reading this book. It’s called Change Makers by Tosches Silver. And it’s truly like one little two page or maybe that sort of sets my head straight and making myself a better person. So there are a little things to read, like I need to be stronger by doing X. That’s great. But since we’re talking about business, this is also another book that I love of hers. It’s not your money because I’ve struggled with the whole concept of money all my life, the whole fear and scarcity thing. There’s not enough money. What am I going to do? I’m going to run out of money. The premise of this book is it’s never our money. It just sort of passes through us to get to other places. And that changed my whole outlook on my business, making money and having money as an individual. And when I started to sort of let go of that money started coming in

as the rules of attraction. I mean, it’s if you think of it positively and I think a lot of times people think of personal development, self-help as kind of like B.S. in the sense of like if I think I should become a reality. But it changes your state of mind. The book that I’m reading right now is a five second rule. And in that five second rule, it’s a simple thing. If you’re faced with adversity, you’re faced with a hurdle. You don’t wake up in the morning, you literally just count down from five to one. And just by doing that, it’s like a rocket. You’re going to jump up and do whatever it is. And in those five seconds, it changes the algorithm of your brain to say, stop making these excuses and get it done. So, I mean, I definitely want to look into that book, the one that you just showed, the last one. Definitely. So, I mean, this is what a topic a topic of books. I mean, obviously, you have a million recipes. You’re a motivational speaker in your own right, even though you may not see it that way. Have you ever thought about combining those two and creating like a motivational cookbook?

I have. And it’s not a cookbook that anybody would think of as a cookbook, because I don’t like recipes. I mean, you see all of these cookbooks, but basically when I use a cookbook, I’ll flip through it just to get some ideas. I close it up and then I go do my thing. That’s where medical illustration and my culinary time sort of overlap because I see it as more of a creative thing and that’s how I teach. Also, I don’t want people to just follow a recipe because that’s not learning how to cook. I want you to taste and smell and experience the whole all of the individual ingredients as you’re going along, that kind of thing. So my cookbook will not have any words.

So it’s going to be like comic book style, like visual storytelling,

kind of. Don’t want to say too much because it’s such a good idea.

Got you, got you.

It’s going to be like a flipbook. It’s going to be a way for people to create recipes. That are all vegetarian or vegan.

Got you. Yeah, so I mean, when are you planning on releasing them?

As soon as I get a little bit like that, a mock up of the whole concept of me being the only person I always have. These giant expectations for myself, like that book was supposed to be done three summers ago, but in its own time, I guess it’ll get finished, so.

got you So, I mean, that that’s another good thing, because, I mean, you’re talking about essentially doing like a flipbook cookbook. So you’re going to illustrations, which is a great segue way to talk about your husband, who is an illustrator, does these awesome illustrations. Please tell me he’s going to be illustrating that book.

Oh, he was on me for getting this book so long ago. Yeah, definitely did my logo. Is that all my marketing materials? Yeah. So there’s the other creative in-house.

I mean, as as a house full of creativity is all four parties.

Yeah.

So where do you see yourself in 20 years.

Not working, so I’m 50, so in 20 years, I’ll be 70. I hope I have the opportunity to not have to work and maybe just be a mentor to some students or some young kids. Honestly, I don’t really know. I say that. I say I hope I don’t have to work, but I can’t sit still. So, yeah, whether or not I have to work or not is different from whether or not I will work. And I will never not work. I will never not have something to do every day.

So do you see yourself still possibly owning a business in 20 years? Would it be like you and your business running parallel or eventually you’re going to sell it off and move on? Or what’s your thoughts on that?

I actually did look into franchising with a couple of years ago, and I think somewhere down the line that that’s definitely going to happen. We maybe, maybe 10 years, you know, I looked into it again right before covid, and then I was like, no, not the time to make an investment into that. I got to just keep my business afloat and let me come out the other side. I’ll start looking at some of those things.

You got you. So what are some tools that you would not be able to run your business without?

My laptop, for sure. OK, healthy attitude. What else

has any particular software infuse your village?

My village. My village is definitely my family for sure. My husband, absolutely no one. But I have just been given so much support and love and care and motivation from people that see what I do and support me, I couldn’t have done it without them, especially when times where I was like, oh, forget it, I’m giving up. I’m not doing this anymore. And they’ll be like, No, just wait. Let’s go to sleep when you wake up tomorrow, a new day. So, yeah, that’s how I’m rolling.

Good stuff. So if I’m a brand new entrepreneur and I’m thinking about getting into the food space as the general genre, I have no details. What I want to be a restaurant owner, whether I want to be online learning or if I want to write cookbooks, what words of wisdom would you like to leave behind for them coming up behind you?

Don’t be afraid to fail because you’re going to fail a million times and fail could just mean you’re going to find you don’t like it. So just be willing to experiment all kinds of things, different environments, different people. And you want to work by yourself or with other people. One of the things about having a food truck is the hours of having a food truck would have been Friday, Saturday, Sunday, which were the opposite hours that I wanted to be working on my business. So those are definitely the most important things, I think.

Right.

Don’t be afraid to succeed either, because I know plenty of people that are afraid to succeed.

I mean, that’s definitely true. And the reality is in my business unit, I see that all the time. There’s always people that are fearful to make that step and they get comfortable currently where they are. But they want to be bigger, they want to do more, but they don’t want to take that step forward. And that’s like for me, what I’ve seen is like the biggest fear is the fear of actually winning, not the fear of losing, but the fear of succeeding, the responsibility that comes with once you make it or you achieve your goal, it’s kind of like, are you going to settle for that goal or are you going to try to achieve something new? Keep growing.

Yes, absolutely.

So where can people find you a lot. I know we talked about a couple of your business units before, but you want to go ahead and just list off a couple websites, Instagram accounts.

So my website isleaf and loaf, all written out.Com, same website. A different URL is fun with food.Fun after you end because that’s super fun, right?

Yeah,

I’m on Instagram, Sue.Snape.leaf and loaf and then Facebook Leaf and loaf and fun with food .

So as I always call it the bonus round because this is kind of like the extra questions. Right. So if you could spend twenty four hours in one day uninterrupted with anybody dead or alive, who would it be and why.

Oh. It will be my grandpa. Why? Because I feel like he visits me pretty often. He was a butcher, and while I know he’s proud of what I’ve done, but I would love to see him again, was the bonus round supposed to make me so happy?

I mean, to think about the bonus questions offstage, them in a fashion from the psychological standpoint, to allow people to let them shout? I mean, business is great, but who are you really? And everything you’ve said from the start of this podcast until now has been one hundred percent driven towards your community, towards people and towards making the greater good. I mean, that’s what you really represent. I’m using food to do that. You’re using your background, but everything that you’re doing is for that purpose. So I’m saying is your granddad I mean, it only makes sense that you kind of get a little bit savvy with that, right?

Yeah. So he was a butcher and he also owned a grocery store.

So so, I mean, that goes back to that question. I mean, there is a little entrepreneurial history in your family there,

you know.

Yeah,

I didn’t even think about that. I was always just thinking one generation back. But you’re right.

Yeah, got it. Got it. So as far as achievements go, what is your greatest achievement today?

My kids. To be able to be so proud of who they are and what they’re doing, I don’t care what they do in terms of careers, but as long as they’re compassionate people, they’re kind to everybody and they work hard. And that’s exactly who they are right now. So that’s my biggest achievement. If you can be achieving as a mom, I’m winning, right?

Great. Great. So this is the part of the podcast where I usually just kind of open up the floor to my guests to ask me any questions. I mean, what questions you may have for me.

How do you find balance? Because I know that didn’t always and maybe your some. I don’t know. I know that hasn’t been a big part of your past.

Yeah, part of my past was just work 24 hours a day every day and just make it happen. And then post stroke, once I had a stroke, I had to kind of re-evaluate things and that kind of give me an opportunity to essentially schedule my days out. So I always have a section of my day in the morning to where I wake up and kind of get things done before anybody else wakes up. And then throughout the day I knock things out. Then I have my alarm goes off for lunch. And now that the kids are working from remote, it gives me opportunity to keep my thumb on their backs. Hey, what’s going on? Did you follow up with the teacher to make sure you get everything done? Because two o’clock comes or three o’clock comes, we’re going to go out and go do something. I mean, probably right now we’re like in Florida. And I was like, dude, I want to go kayaking. Always get what you’ve got to get done. So by three o’clock, we could be on the water.

That’s awesome. So, you know, I have to kayak. You’re welcome to borrow any time.

Yeah. I mean, you are like less than a mile away,

so. Yeah. Yeah.

Great. Any other questions?

How is your family helping you balance all of the work and so many different things.

Mhm. Yep. So with that I’ve structured all my businesses kind of like in a sense of yours. I mean you’re talking about courses, book development, cooking online courses, but they all go back to one main topic, food. Right. So I’ve streamlined all my businesses. I got rid of all the ones that were inside the one hat that the one genre. So that was the first part, the part of my family helping out. Well, Alex, she’s a writer, so it makes perfect sense. I’m writing books, helping people, published books, and I’m going more into the publication space. Right. I mean, I’m on book book five or six that I’ve published for myself and I’ve working on two books for clients and I’ve published one book for a client already. So it just gives me opportunity to say, OK, I have three other editors and I have editor at home. So that gives me an opportunity to give her content and pay her to do the editing work. Kay is an entrepreneur on her own. She’s always hustling. She’s a big sell things online, so she’ll find something around the house and repurpose it to resell it as close as retail value as you possibly can. So night and day, she’s always selling something. So I always get the random question from her on the how tos. And it may not seem like it’s a balance, but for me it’s kind of like mentoring her on, OK, this is what you need to do. This is how you to do it. You set her up with print services, right? So now she has a printer, she’s printing on t shirts, printed on hats to resell these products online and in Kois is kind of the anomaly. He is he’s been an entrepreneur my family’s entire life. So it’s kind of like a gift and a curse. Like every once in a while he may come and asks a question about something, but he doesn’t really have the drive to step into that space. But he’s he’s a developer. He’s been coding for, like the past four years. So it gives me opportunity. Well, I’m working on something from developing. So what’s that? I’m like, hey, come on. So it’s not necessarily them helping me, but it’s more so positive distractions to take what I’ve learned and give back to them. And again, it brings the family a little bit closer in unity as far as we’re working on similar things.

Yeah, and it’s all it’s just about spending some time. Right. Doesn’t know what you’re doing. If you’re all the other spending time on something similar, it’s balanced, I think. Yeah.

Yeah, it’s definitely balance. And the beauty of it is I think we’re in an age where technology could be in our favor if we use it correctly, if we’re using it to not just the monetary gains, but how do we manipulate our time like we’re time traveling every single day? How can we maximize the time that we have and make twenty four hours feel like seventy two hours. Right. That’s really my goal every single day. OK, I got twenty four hours. I have to sleep in there, I have to eat and I have to stop. How could I maximize my time and make things work in my favor.

So yeah. Is there any one thing that you figure it out with that anything we can all emulate.

The the one thing that I figured out which obviously any large corporation has figured out has been since the thirties and twenties they’ve done this is hiring and outsourcing. I mean, that’s the only way to to maximize your time and let people be themselves. What I doing outsourcing of hiring people. My first question is, it’s like I’ve hired them for X. But I’m like, OK, maybe the gambit, right, you could hire me for graphic design, but maybe I’m more of a creative director, which is a different thing. So I’m going to ask them, what do you really want to work on? So I hired you for this, but what is it that you love to do? And usually maybe three out of five people have asked that question. Three of them would say, what would I really want to work on? Is this so then I’m going to transition them from this to this. And then the other two are kind of like, I want to work on everything. And I’m like, no, no, no, what do you really want to work on? Because everything really means that you’re just doing it for the money or you have no clue where you are or what you want to do. So I tend to work with more people that know what they want and I give them those products and services and let them work on that because that’s what they want to work on. And by doing that, they show me that not only they know what they’re doing, but they’ll call attention to details. And that’s what I’m really looking for, is like there’s a little bit of detail that I may have missed because I’m doing twenty five things. It’s your responsibility. I’m paying you for that. And then they’ll bring it back to the table. And I’m like, I’m going to keep that in your pocket. That’s going to be your baby. You manage that. You run that moving forward.

Yeah. And happy employees are productive employees,

extremely productive employees. Well, I definitely appreciate your time. It’s a pleasure having you on the show. I think you definitely gave some insight to not only a strong woman, but a strong business owner as well. And that’s the goal of this podcast, is deliver that content and you’re a family person. So three, three, four, one four. When do I look at it?

Awesome. That’s flattering. Thank you.

Well, I definitely appreciated it. So what’s on your schedule today? I mean, you’re going to cook something or.

Oh, my gosh, probably not. Today is pretty packed day. I have a meeting with the school. I have a class this afternoon and then I’ve got another meeting after the class. Wednesdays are pretty busy just trying to keep things rolling.

Great. Well, I definitely appreciate your time and we look forward to following you online and seeing what you come up with next

. Awesome. Thank you so much.

Have a good one.

Thanks.

Bye bye.

Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss UnCaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming a Trailblazer at this podcast. Helped you please email me about it. Submit additional questions. You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop me your thoughts at asksagrant.com post comments, share it, subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your inner Beast. S. A. Grant signing off.

listeners of Boss UnCaged are invited to download a free copy of our host S. A. Grant’s insightful book, Become an Uncage Trailblazer. Learn how to release your primal success in 15 minutes a day. Download now at www.Sagrant.com/bossuncaged.

Chef – Owner at Leaf and Loaf and Fun with Food: Sue Coraggio Snape AKA The Medical Chef – S1E22 (#22)2021-02-26T15:25:27+00:00

Founder Of Cash Geeks: Dominick Felix AKA Dom-A-Flex – S2E8 (#36)

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Overview

“When I started growing my first company, I would go to a lot of seminars and a lot of conferences. I’d wind up being a part of these big tables or these big dinners with my clients and my competition. And a lot of my competitors seemed brighter than me. They seemed more well-rounded, accomplished college degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees; it’s really, really intimidating. I couldn’t understand how I was at those tables at that time. It was hitting me like, how am I basically two or three times bigger than this guy next to me? Once I started personal development and reading books and really exposing myself to a lot of the bigger players, I realized what I had that they didn’t have. It was Persistence and just merely showing up every day and working harder than other people. You know, hard work will outperform skill when skill doesn’t work hard. I learned that from Think and Grow Rich and that right there just made me feel like I can do anything and that I can just blow out anyone no matter what it is that they have offered me.”

In Season 2, Episode 8 of the Boss Uncaged Podcast, S.A. Grant gives us another dynamic interview for his Real Estate Month. This week he is interviewing Dominick Felix – Founder of Cash Geeks. Cash Geeks is a Real Estate wholesaling company specializing in buying and selling homes through simple cash offers.

Through this episode, learn how this highly-motivated individual started a lawn service company, with a focus on maintaining bank foreclosure properties, pivoted into a multi-million dollar real estate wholesale company.

“It’s funny because I kind of just wanted to replace my income. And I realized once I started building a simple loan company, you just start realizing what you’re truly capable of. You just gotta keep your eyes open and try new things and continue to try to build. I remember one of my first feelings of accomplishment. It’s a very small thing, but it really influenced me a lot.”

Don’t miss a minute of this energizing episode covering topics such as:

  • The benefits of having a business partner
  • Documenting processing and handing them off still requires trust
  • The importance of Persistence
  • Scaling you dream
  • And so much more!

Want more details on how to contact Dominick? Check out the links below!

Dominick Felix
https://cashgeeks.com/
https://www.cashgeekspro.com/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominick-felix-22349b1a2/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/realdomfelix/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dominickpfelix
Join the Facebook Group – The People’s Wholesaler https://www.facebook.com/groups/peopleswholesalersfree

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S2E08 – Dominick Felix.m4a – powered by Happy Scribe

Tests, tests, tests on two. External might check, check, check, check, check, check. DA. Uh. Uh oh. Quote on that, I live in three to one. Welcome back to Boss uncaged podcast today. Sure. We have the founder and CEO of Cash Geek’s, Dominic Felix, better known as Dominick Felix. What’s going on, Dom?

What’s up, man? How are you today, man?

I’m good. I’m good. How long have we known each other? This business like middle schools, like 92, 93.

You know, it’s funny you say that. Yeah, it’s been about that time. And I wear this little kind of wristlet and has coordinates on it. And those are the coordinates of where Marazul and I met,

is it’s crazy, right? It’s classic, classic middle school creeping up on a 30 year relationship. And it’s crazy

and definitely so.

So give our viewers a little bit of baby. Who are you?

Dude, I’m just I’m just a developer, man. I’m just I’m just a persistent guy, you know? Yeah. I’m a I’m a real estate wholesaler of the real estate wholesale team. We’re up to about 16. We do a good number of real estate deals each and every month for the biggest in our market by far. And, you know, real estate investor, entrepreneur. And I’m just a guy who knows how to figure stuff out. You know, problems are brought to me every day, each and every day. And it’s very tough for people to see ways around the issues. And I just have a knack for just like pulling things together and figuring stuff out. And I think that’s it’s a blessing. I think that’s what’s helped me become a successful entrepreneur.

Got it. Got it. So, I mean, this is my first such a first rodeo, right? I mean, you had another business before this one that you kind of grew and you sold or how did that one turn out?

I grew it. Yeah, I grew and I sold it. So, yeah. And there’s a lot that goes along with that. But yeah, man, I mean, so basically I’m I’m a lawn maintenance call center rep. Basically, I’ve worked in call centers for four, seven years. I’ve always done extremely well in any job that I had my first call center job. I was a collections representative right there and I remember my first day starting as a collections rep. I’m nervous, right? I get on the team, everyone’s like, listen, you know, take it easy. You’re going to get on the phones. You’re not going to bonus your first month. You’re not going to bonus your second month. You know, and you my bonus a month here and there. But you’re going to have problems getting in contact with people and dealing with people and getting them to to trust you or pay you or whatever the case may be. They really downplaying it, downplaying it. And the morale is was pretty horrible. So, you know, I just I got on the phones first month I bonus and then from the second month for the next three years straight and collections, I was always number one on the floor for those three full years. Right. Then I transitioned to another position called retention. It’s a retention sales position. People want to cancel their service with the company because they had a bad experience. None of the calls were good. They were all horrible. And then if you convinced them to stay, then you get paid high commission and then they want me to double my salary. I was making like seventy grand a year. I make about thirty five grand a year in collections and about seventy grand a year in retention. You know, for promotion is almost the same thing to me. But it was a it was pretty challenging. It’s pretty challenging. I was able to save on average about sixty five percent of the people that came my way. And I think the requirement was to save about forty-five percent and most people couldn’t make the forty-five percent. So in that position, I was about top three, I was the top three on the floor, four years for giving the least and making the most per transaction. So I was always giving these high offer value rewards which didn’t give very much to the seller but paid me out a lot. So that really just told me like in sales, it’s really just just the people and how you talk to people, how you deal with them. It really very little little of it is is the product or what you’re trying to achieve by going through sales. They need to trust you. You know, they need to believe in you. They need to believe in the process.

So it sounds like you got a little bit of business ingenuity and obviously some Brooklyn hustle in that. Right.

I got the Brooklyn Hustle, man. You know, we don’t have any choice in Brooklyn. You know, we had to live through it. So so basically, I felt like at that point I was making seventy grand a year. And, you know, I was thinking about going into management. I’m like, shit, if I’m going to go into management, they make mid to upper 30s and take a huge pay cut. So I kind of felt like I hit a brick wall. You know, I’m going to have to take a huge step. To to go into management and work my way up in the company and eventually get back to where I am and and pass where I am, and I kind of wanted to do something different that either kept my income the same or helped me to make more or give me the opportunity to progress. So I actually started a lawn maintenance company and in the lawn maintenance company, actually, I was able to get enough customers instead of like four to six weeks. That completely replaced my income in the call center. And then I started doing mortgage field services work, I started maintaining foreclosed homes for banks, and the cool thing about that was in Jacksonville, Florida, here, the typical grass cut, you’d have to pay like thirty or thirty-five dollars to the grass cut crew to come and cut the grass for your house. And with the bank owned properties, it was more like eighty to one hundred and thirty dollars per cut. So it’s like triple or quadruple the income for doing those bank owned properties. So once I figure that out, man, I transitioned everything over to to all the bank owned work. And then it was it was tough to get those contracts. But once I got those contracts, then I started subcontracting that work, got out before you know it, man, within within about four or five years. Dude, I’m in I’m in eight states. I’m considered a regional player. The banks or the national companies that I worked for, they were they were national and I was more of a regional player on my way to becoming national. So what I didn’t realize at the time, because I wasn’t kind of this big kind of market overseer, I’m not playing the market or trying to figure out where the opportunities are. I kind of just fell into it, but I fell into it at the right time because it was twenty-seven when we had the big market crash and real estate was upside down. There was tons of foreclosures and I was maintaining foreclosed homes for banks. So there was just a crapload of inventory and I was able to capitalize on that. One of the things I wasn’t really prepared for because I grew it aggressively over the course of four or five years, like I said, in eight states, I had about twenty-six employees at my at my highest, we reckon, in about five million a year. But I wasn’t prepared for the the economic recovery. I mean, it recovered aggressively and a lot of the inventory started going down. And once I started seeing that decline, I decided to figure something else out, which was real estate.

So this is pulling back a minute. So, I mean, coming from from Brooklyn, you end up in Florida. I mean, how did you even get into that real estate game? I mean, obviously, you’re more on the real estate wholesaling side, but before that, you were more in the market. Both of them are related to real estate. Like what made you decide to jump into that space?

So for some reason, I’ve always been attracted to real estate. I feel like anyone that I knew that had any kind of money always owned like multiple houses growing up in Brooklyn, the big money people that I kind of maybe knew directly, like someone’s dad or someone’s uncle or friend of a friend. Oh, this guy owns this house. He owns the other one down the block or another one in another neighbourhood. And I always, like, kind of respected that. And I always saw that anyone who had money just had multiple assets. They had lots it maybe that’s just kind of what caught my eye, but that’s kind of what I saw. So when I started making a good amount of money with my mortgage field services company, I started acquiring real estate. And when I started acquiring real estate, you know, you start keeping your eyes open a little bit more, you know, certain things start coming in your direction. And I started purchasing real estate a little bit cheaper from wholesalers. And I started to wonder, like the how are these properties this much cheaper than properties on the market? And they’re really similar assets, like they’re very similar. How are they getting them cheaper? And I figured out they’re really marketing to sellers directly. You know, sellers are not going to them like they would go to a real estate agent to list their properties on the market or to sell them in this kind of way that attracts people to get the highest bidder. They really they market to the sellers directly. And there’s tons of tactics. And that’s a that’s a huge stressor episode in itself, the market to the sellers directly. And then it’s really this entirely different way to do sales. It’s more like just a one on one, just me and tional haggling, you know, on a number. And then what that does is, you know, there’s not five people in the mix and they’re all bidding the price up in the property doesn’t go to the highest bidder at that point. It’s now similar to when we were younger and we were going to like the corner Christmas tree sales guy and my dad would haggle with that guy to give him nineteen bucks instead of twenty-two bucks. It really feels very similar to that way of sales rather than the modern online submissions or realtors getting multiple parties to bid the prices up and stuff like that. So, you know, it’s kind of always fascinated me. So at the right time, you know, now I’m looking to get into another industry and I met, you know, a really bright wholesaler. And I had experience building and scaling a business. And when I decided to partner with the guy and then we decided to, I decided at that. Time is right to transition out of my old company, transition into this new company, and then I sold the old company to my operations manager.

Got you. Got you. So, I mean, with that kind of business structure, I mean, do you still have some equity share in that business?

Very small piece. But I do. Yes.

I mean, I’m just saying. I mean, that’s a small way. I do. You still get a piece of the pie even though you’re not even working anymore. That’s definitely good business.

Yeah. I mean, you know, it was it was on a very aggressive decline. And I didn’t have the whole multiple streams of income mindset at that time. You know, I started when I was twenty-six, never had a mentor, never really read books, wasn’t around big money minded people to ever kind of get the exposure that people like us should get to kind of take your money, multiple streams of income, start something different, try to do it as early, as early or as at the right time as possible. Just never had that exposure, which I do have now, though. So,

yeah, I realized that. I mean, I think. Well, you can you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think 10x right. I mean, that that’s one of the people that I think you kind of delve into and kind of help you grow to where you are currently.

Absolutely, absolutely.

Got you, got you. So, I mean, your business, you’re talking about, you have a business partner. I mean, how is that you? Most people, you know, they want to run the business on their own. They want to have employees. How is it having a business partner?

I mean, it’s cool, man, it’s cool because as long as you can get yourself into the mindset of letting go of the vibe on certain things, what I mean by that is, you know, you have these responsibilities and you’re able to give it to someone that you trust that can do it as well as you can do it or as close to as well as you can do it so that you can go on in and maximize in other areas in the company. It’s almost like, you know, you can do more with more people than you can do by yourself.

Definitely.

Yeah. So he had the wholesale knowledge, which did bring a tremendous amount to the table and I had the scaling experience that brought a lot to the table from my part. And now I mean, I think we’ve been in business for right around three years. And, you know, we just hired our 16th team member.

Nice,

knocked out about twenty-one real estate deals last month. And yeah, I mean, we’re having some some really aggressive growth and a really good experience with it. So I couldn’t be happier.

I could have said I don’t think people could really understand. I mean, you’re talking about double digits possibly growing in the triple digits on a monthly basis. I mean, that that’s that’s your move and product. And, you know, I mean, how did you even find the rhythm to get into that? Because, I mean, you’re not doing in one month here. You’re doing it pretty consistently.

Yeah, thankfully, we’re doing it consistently. Any time I’ve ever any time, like in any part of my business experience, I’ve always wanted to learn about something that can add to my company. I’ve always wanted to systemise it and then delegate it in every sense of the word. So even stuff that I’m doing right now, like for me, it bothers me to do anything, you know, the same task over and over. It just bothers me. Once I find myself getting into that rhythm, I just document the process and I hand it off to somebody. It’s very difficult for someone to be able to swallow that. Not everyone is able to do it. That’s why you might have some really strong real estate investors or real estate agents. And I mean, that’s cool. And there’s nothing against that. But they just don’t want to trust someone else to do the job because they know that that person’s not going to do it as well as they can. And I think what people that do on a scale should keep in mind that is that you know, they’re probably not going to do it as good as you can. But if you can get someone to do 70, 80 per cent of as well as you can, do you get two or three of those people, you’re one hundred per cent and now you have another, I don’t know, two-hundred and ten per cent on top. You’re on top of that. I’ve always wanted to just. Footsteps, steps to whatever it is I’m doing, processes delegate, and the one thing that I started to do in my other companies that didn’t really get to master is really put together leadership to then lead those roles that you’re building. And I’m trying to do that earlier this time.

Got you. Got you. I’m really big on systems as well. So what kind of systems you guys have in place is more operational systems. You more day to day where you have a combination of both.

We have a combination of both. Yeah, so, I mean, if we’re talking about specific programs, type systems, then, yeah, I mean, we’ve got scrims to all that. And if anyone doesn’t know what a CRM is, it’s basically like a database to hold all of your data and CRM. There’s different applications that we use for our leads, for our acquisitions, for our properties and any kind of data that you can think of. And the cool thing about the CRM that we use, which is called Podio, by the way, is that it’s it’s totally customizable. Right. So we can get the right knowledge and and and the right kind of overview on how you want the apps to talk to each other. You can build in flows as to where if you click a button, it can calculate this number or it can drive information to another application, which is just it’s just mind blowing to me, man. So I didn’t I didn’t have that in my other company as well. So I think that’s just part of what’s going to help us get to the next level a lot quicker.

So you’re saying the next level. I mean, obviously, you’re doing your last business. You know, you peaked about five-million. What’s the next level for you in the current status?

You know, I know that, you know, at one point in time when I first started seeing the decline on my first business or I started sensing or feeling it coming or feeling myself plateauing, I started talking to some higher-level people that I knew about selling the company. Right, right. I’ll leave it off about selling the company. And they told me that, you know, you’re at five million. Once you get to five million, it’s going to be very tricky to get past that five-million mark. There’s something about that five-million-dollar mark. And that’s just kind of what they told me. I don’t remember all the particulars, but I never had the experience to get past the five million dollar mark. So for me, the immediate next level would be 10 million.

Got you.

But the real ultimate next level would really more so be having a company that, you know, that can operate exclusively without me.

Got you

from leadership and CEO and and all of that stuff.

I mean, you definitely got the right building blocks moving in the right direction. So the next question I have for you, you always hear about the 20 years it takes someone to be successful and it always seems to be perceived as an overnight success story. How long did it take you to get to where you are currently?

So do so. So my first business was started in May of 2007. I mean, we’re in twenty-twenty, so it’s so it’s 13 years and I’m still I’m still hungry. I still feel like I haven’t started, you know, so I mean, in my first experience, you know, they say it takes about five years for for a small business to become profitable. Luckily, I’ve become profitable a lot, lot quicker than that. But I mean, it took me about five years to get to the level we’re talking about. I think I think I advanced pretty quickly there, so. You know, if things kept going in the direction that I was able to bring it in with the market that we were in, I mean, who knows how much I could have taken advantage of of that experience?

Yes. It sounds like you fell into your niche early on. A lot of people, they kind of dibble and dabble and it may take five, 10 years touching different business opportunities even to find their core niche. And you found was kind of right out of the box, it seems like. And then you just grew it into what you’re doing right now.

And it’s funny because I kind of just wanted to replace my income. And I realized once I started building a simple loan company, you just start realizing what you’re truly capable of, you know, and you just got to keep your eyes open and try new things and continue to try to build. I remember one of my first feelings of accomplishment. It’s very small thing, but it really influenced me a lot. And I tell a lot of people about it now, but I’m doing loans and I just started getting into the bank loan properties and I’m still out there in the field. And I had one, two, three. I had three employees. It was myself and three employees and a pickup truck with a trailer and lawn equipment and other kind of handyman equipment. And I was the boss, so I was the driver all the time or whatever the case may be. And then one day I just decided to sit in the back seat until one of my other guys drive so I can just kind of see if I can transition to make them take over the crew. Like if I got sick one day or one day, they can still go out and do work orders and stuff like that. So I sat in the back seat and my hardest worker was this Hispanic dude from Texas. His name was Ali Papà. He called us up Ali Ali Baba because his son’s name is Ali and he was the papa. So I sat in the back ali papa gets in the front driver’s seat and he goes, looked at me weird. It’s like, Boss, what’s going on? I said, all, I’m going to let you drive today. I’m going to stand in the back and just kind of watch you guys whatever he goes home, you will do great things. So. So that kind of hit me, man. It was like, you know, it was kind of like told told me that it was the right move. And in most other small businesses are lawn maintenance businesses, pool maintenance businesses, handyman businesses, the bosses in the driver’s seat driving and running the crew. And he just needs to be in charge every day, you know, and it just takes a bigger person to kind of hand that over and put trust into the system that you’re putting together.

Oh, yeah. I mean, you got to delegate, man. I definitely concur with that. So what’s one thing you would have done differently to get you where you are a lot faster if you could do it all over again?

It might sound harsh, man, but I mean, I I probably would have taken a lot less bullshit, I probably would have put more of the right people in the right seats. You know, I tend to I tend to want to give people chances more so than they deserve. I probably would have paid more attention to. Yeah. Getting the right people in the right seats instead of trusting. You know, I’ma big advocate of friends and family and I’ll do a lot for friends and family. But I really, really have to be careful with onboarding the right people or certain people in certain positions that they’re really not capable of doing. So it’d be more so of truly interviewing and assigning people to certain roles that should be in that role rather than someone that’s a friend or someone that you trust with your kids. But they’re really not capable of doing what it is that you’re asking them to do. So I think if I would have paid a lot closer attention to that early on, I think I could have probably done even more in a short period of time than I’ve done.

Wow. So do you have any entrepreneurs in your family? I mean, I know you say you didn’t have any mentors, but, you know, if you think back, you know, back when we was in middle school, back in high school in Brooklyn, were there anybody that was had like an extreme hustle that kind of inspired you to kind of take things out on your own?

So so, yes, I did have an inspiration and some weird inspirations, probably I feel like it kind of indirectly has an impact on me, even though this person wasn’t really in my life. So none of my family members were entrepreneurs. None of my friends were really entrepreneurs. It was kind of like I said, it’s like someone’s uncle or someone’s father that you know of. But you really don’t know directly that that’s successful. That’s kind of impressive. But my real father, my biological father that died when he died when I was one years old, he was an entrepreneur. Right. So there’s always those stories to write. He was he started a printing company out of the house that I grew up in in Brooklyn. And I started out at a room in the basement. Right. And then at one point in time, he started growing, getting so big that he moved that business into a building in Manhattan, kind of a one-room little office push came to shove over the course of a couple of years. He’s taken over the entire floor of that building. And then he was aspiring to go to acquire a second and third floor in that building because he was growing so aggressively. He’s one of the first building or printing companies in New York to start printing and ink for companies like Time and Playboy and things like that. So, you know, knowing those stories always had an influence on me. Name of his company was Regency Litho and little short for lithography, which is for printing. And the name of this real estate company or the parent name of it is really Regency litho assets. And I kind of appointed that as the name in honour of what he started to do. And it kind of holds me accountable to take the baton from him and finish the job that he started when he was in business for himself. And the reason it’s cashed geeks now is which is just a DBA, by the way, is because it’s a little bit better of a branding name for them for paper click and SEO and just easier for people to remember a little bit more catchy and things like that. People don’t know. Everyone’s like, what’s litho? Or they don’t remember Regency Lothos. It’s very difficult for the common person to just remember in passing.

You know, that’s good sense of branding. I mean, a lot of times with the clients that I work with, I have to kind of clarify that the branding strategy needs to go hand in hand with, like their marketing strategy and in the overall global business strategy. They have to understand that. Right. So, I mean, it’s good that you picked up on that right away. I mean, like the other name was just the definition of it. People wouldn’t understand. And it’s just too many syllables as well. But, you know, the dedication to your dad, I mean, this is a solid, solid kickback. And that was my next question was going to actually. Mike, so do you think that was a factor to your success? But I mean, obviously, you were to answer that by saying you named your company after your dad and continued his legacy, which is it’s all about family. So I definitely could commend that.

Yeah. Thank you, man. Thank you. Yeah. I’m so sorry. Go ahead.

How do you juggle your your work life with your family life?

It’s tough, man, you know, like I aspire, I aspire to do to do big things right. There’s a lot of real estate investment companies here in Jacksonville, Florida, that do similar things that I do. They do things that are very closely related to what I do here in Jacksonville. They have a tough time growing and have a tough time scaling just because there’s no blueprint of how it’s been done before. And for some reason, like I said, I just have a knack for figuring shit out. Right. So it seems like we’re getting some really great tred. And I feel like I have kind of a moral responsibility to do what it is that I’m capable of doing because other people can do it. And if I’m not doing that, I’m really not living up to my potential. So it really takes a sacrifice. It takes a big sacrifice and it does affect family. So what I try my best to do is kind of a family business intergration. So I’m not neglecting my family and my kids. You know, I, I drop them off at school in the morning. Sometimes they have to come into the office or if I have to chip in to help out with a responsibility that someone else has in the office, like an after-hours appointment or weekend appointment, I might do that on the way of the family going to do something. I’m like, we can do this, but I have to drive drop by this property just like now. Like we were flooded with appointments today and I was a little late getting. Podcast, one of the things I tried to squeeze in was, was a contract because my field guy had an appointment and then my H.R. manager was actually backing up one of his appointments already. So we do have backups in place, but there is really no backup to the backup other than sometimes the boss just got to run out and cover it. So I try my best to just work out a work life, family life integration. And then I do. I am starting to build in non-negotiables as well, like Sundays with the family or not getting to the office too early during the week. So I can work with Maricel, which is my wife, to get the kids ready in the morning, spend some time with them, drop them off at school and things like that.

Got you, it’s funny that you brought up Marissa. I mean, she went to middle school with us. So it’s kind of like you guys have been together for a long time. And it’s I mean, when you’re looking for a companion, someone that you can trust, not only someone that you can know. Right. With somebody that you’ve known for a long period of time. So you guys have been through, what, 30, almost 30 years of relationship. It’s kind of crazy. It’s great to have that in your back pocket.

Yeah. Yeah, it’s I mean.

If you can hear me, Dom, I can hear you. There you go. You just got back.

I’m not sure how much you heard,

I heard zero, you said, and it went dead, OK?

got you got you. Yeah, I was basically saying that, you know, Maricel and I known each other since junior high school. The funny thing is that we only dated for a couple of months in junior high school. What happened was that summer came and her mother grounded her. And I had no way really to communicate with her for the entire summer on the first day of high school. And she’s going to kill me for saying this. But the first day of high school came in and I actually dumped her. And then I had the we had our high school experiences and then high school ended. When we were 18, I moved out to Florida, came back to New York to visit. We kind of met back up when we were 19. Then we started dating. And then the rest is history. You know, we’ve dated. We got married. I think it was twenty five or twenty six years old. We’ve been together and now we’re both forty one. So I definitely knew her a long time. Definitely could trust her with with everything in my life. And she’s actually working with me. She’s been a stay at home mom for a while because we have a we have three kids. But now she’s at the point she just wanted to get back into the work, know the work field, and she wanted to be around adults a little bit more. She wanted to kind of build on her career. So. So, yeah, she’s with me in the office now. So it’s awesome.

Definitely. So what’s your your morning habits, your morning routines?

The funny thing is, man, like like I said, it’s its weird with me. It’s weird, right. Because people, they can build their their morning, their specific morning routines. I don’t have there are things that I do every morning, but I don’t really like just reoccurring things all the time. I’m kind of more of a weird kind of visionary in the way that once things become just too reoccurring, I just kind of lose interest a little bit. Some of the things that I don’t lose interest in is just listening to audiobooks in the morning, reading the Wall Street Journal, researching my in my industry. I try to be active on social media. I was a lot more active probably year to year and a half ago. I’m not as active. I think I’m still a little bit consistent. I just want to always stay relative to the community and the people around me. But I try to I try to do some effective posting in the morning. Those are kind of the things that I do before going into work. I spend some time with the kids, help Maricel, get them ready in the morning, drop them off at school, and we go off to the office.

Nice, nice. So what do you see yourself in 20 years from now?

So 20 years from now, going to be 61 years old, I’m pretty certain that that cash geek is going to have several squadrons. We have we have an idea of how we’re going to build the company, how we’re going to build them out in squadrons and squadrons are groups of people that can handle transactions from A to Z and real estate for for certain markets or for for a certain sized market or a certain group of markets that add up to a combined population. Right. So I feel like there’s going to be at that point, you know, 20 years from now, all of the right leadership is going to be in place for it to continue to grow. Without me, I would I would bet there’s probably going to be 10 squadrons at that point. A squadron right now is looking at about 12 to 14 people. And it’s going to include all of the positions from from marketing, lead generation project management, acquisitions, dispositions and transaction coordination, which is wrapping up the deal with the title company at the end of it all solved. So that’ll be a group of people that can effectively do probably 15 to 20 transactions a month that can bring in close to a quarter-million dollars a month. So I can’t see having less than 10 of those in the next 20 years.

Yeah, I mean, that’s a solid strategy. Solid plan. I mean, it seems like you’re you’re 100 per cent focused on scaling, which is, you know, obviously once you get to a certain point, that’s it’s always up from there. You want to kind of grow and expand and grow and expand a step and repeat, repeat. So you definitely got the right state of mind. And so what tools do you use that you would be able to do your business without outside of the CRM that you talked about earlier?

Google Drive, man, Google Drive is is huge. I mean, one of the one of the things that we use a ton is, is Google Sheets, and it just allows a lot of people to be a part of the same document. It’s very close to as capable as Excel is. I don’t know how how you know, how much you use it or not, but I mean, excel, obviously, it’s more advanced. It’s got a lot of functionalities like Google sheets doesn’t have. But as far as communication between all of the other team members and sharing documents and letting them see formulas move live before us in our payout trackers. And, you know, and a lot has to do with Google Drive and Google Sheets. And I think if if they went down tomorrow, we would be screwed.

I told you, which I’ve interviewed, like, you know, probably about two dozen people on this show and literally about half of them Google Sheet, including myself, I, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Docs, and the fact that you’re allowed to share to multiple people and then you can actually control the ownership, whether it’s just an editor or an admin, and you could be anywhere in the world and have access to all your documents. It’s a game,

right? It’s amazing, man. And then, you know, the more we’re growing inside of this company, I used to not think about this before in my old company. But the more we grow, the more I start to get nervous about these systems that we use than the photos and the skip tracing companies that we rely on in the Google Drive. Right. Like if any one of those companies go down, it can truly hurt us. So now it starts to put me in the realm of of creating my all-encompassing own primary program where as to where we don’t have to rely on these other companies because, you know, whether they get attacked, cyber attack or or even just want to go out of business one day or whatever or go bankrupt. I mean, we lose a major functionality of our company. So we’re starting to think about that as well.

Got you. Got you. So what final words of wisdom do you have for up and coming entrepreneurs that possibly want to follow in your footsteps?

So one of the things that hit me real hard here within the last probably about two years ago that I never really knew was this basically when I started growing my first company and I started getting to where we were very close to our biggest, you know, I would go to a lot of seminars and a lot of conferences. I’d wind up being a part of these big tables are these big dinners with my clients and my competition. Right. And a lot of my competitors, you know, they seem brighter than me. You know, they seemed more well-rounded, accomplished college degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees. You know, it’s really, really intimidating. And I couldn’t understand how I was at those tables at that time. Right. It was hitting me like, how am I basically two or three times bigger than this guy next? And I was probably under the national companies. I was probably, if not the biggest one of the top three biggest regional companies in the nation. So, you know, I really couldn’t understand how I was there. And bigger than those dudes is just it always bothered me for a while. But once I started, you know, two or three years ago, personal development and reading books and really exposing myself to a lot of the bigger players. You probably read this book by Napoleon Hill. It’s not good to great. What’s the name of it? Do you remember what it is,

what you don’t think and think and grow rich

thinking and grow rich, everyone thinking grow rich and thinking there are rich told me what it is that I had that I didn’t know that I had. And it was persistence and just merely showing up every day and working harder than other people, you know, hard work will outperform. What is it skill when skill doesn’t work hard or talent doesn’t work hard. I learned that from that book and that right there just made me feel like I can do anything and that I can just blow out anyone no matter what it is that they have offered me.

I mean, that’s a great segue. I mean, the mastermind principle is pretty much what you’re talking about is one element of somebody’s principle. So it’s once you find, think and grow rich and you kind of understand those theories and you start to actually use them on a day to day basis, it changes everything. It’s and it was written back in like nineteen-thirty two and it is still practical and it’s 20 20. So it is definitely that crazy man. So I got a bonus question for you. Right. So if you could spend 24 hours with anybody dead or alive, who would it be and why.

I think Elon Musk. Yeah, so I spend I spend the time with Elon Musk just because he has persistence as well. I mean, he’s a very hard worker. He puts in a lot of hours. Sometimes he’s extremely proud of what he’s doing and he wouldn’t trade it for anything. And at other times, you’ll listen to interviews and it’ll feel like he kind of dreads it and wishes he would have went in another in another direction. And I would want to pick his brain about that to see where he’s coming from, to make sure I don’t make the same potential mistakes. Because you also have life, right? You also have family. You also have things that you want to enjoy. And you don’t want to one day regret everything that you’ve done for the past 30, 40 years. So I think if I had that opportunity to spend time with him and pick his brain about that specifically, I think I’d learn a tremendous amount.

Wow. Yeah, that’s a hell of a choice, definitely.

And I’m surprised I gave that answer. Not even ready for that question. So,

I mean. Yeah, yeah. About the beauty of this podcast. And I like to keep it kind of unscripted and kind of mix up the question. It’s just run with it, man. So another significant question is, what’s your most significant achievement today?

I think it’s I think it’s being an example for people around me, I think I spent a good amount of time with the people I’ve always been around. I think it’s shocking to them what I’m able to do. And I think to be that example for those people and give people hope, I feel really good about,

wow, solid, solid. So where can people find you, man? I mean, what’s your handle on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Yeah, I think so people can find me on Instagram at Real Dumb Felix, you can search Dominick Felix on Facebook and if anyone’s interested in wholesaling or learning more about wholesaling, they can join my Facebook group. It’s called The People’s Wholesaler’s. And we do a show every Tuesday night at 9:00 pm Eastern Time and we go for about an hour and we’re always talking about some aspect of wholesaling or real estate or business building on that show.

And you also got a cash geeks pro.com as well, right?

Cash Geeks Pro.com is a website that displays the inventory of our properties. So if anyone wants to see kind of a little bit more of the inside of our product, they can go to that to that website.

Got it. Got a cool man. We’ll definitely appreciate you coming on the show. And it was definitely a pleasure having you. And usually what I do in the show, I mean, it’s kind of flip the mic, you know, you have any questions for me?

Dude, man, I mean, I probably got a trillion a trillion questions for you, man. I know that we need to get together real soon. I know we talk a lot of shit about it and we don’t really do anything about it. I know you’re busy and I’m busy and you’re in Atlanta, so I’m probably going to be in Atlanta within the next couple of months. I definitely want to want to get together for your brain a little bit about more about what you do. And I know you’re in that you’re in marketing, obviously, right?

Yeah,

I have the 360 company and all that stuff.

360. Yep. Still alive and well.

Awesome man. So basically. Well, can you contribute to me, I guess within the next twenty seconds that can let me know as much as possible about where you’re at right now inside us or both 360.

So right now what I’m really big into, I mean obviously we have web design, we have marketing, we have all these different strategies. But really and truly in the market sector right now, it’s content development, but it’s not just any old content. So, I mean, book development. You’re familiar, but, you know, I’ve published a couple of books. I’ve published other people’s books at this point in time. So surreal. 360 is becoming more of a publication system. Right. So not only publication books, but we’re also publishing courses as well. So that’s kind of the next direction that we’re going into with web design is OK, but it’s always about the results. And where can you get the best results and how could you help the most people is through education. So I think you’ve kind of touched on that space as well, too. I mean, you kind of have an online presence. You have your your wholesaler’s on Tuesdays. But I think you’re at that point now, you have enough content that you could pretty much bottle that up into a course and have that be another revenue source for you day in, day out.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. People people have reached out to us about exactly that as well.

Yeah. So I think that’s that’s like for me currently with the whole Covid thing, that’s really what the market really is right now. If you can create anything that’s online to kind of help all the people get off their feet or help them grow it to help them understand something. It’s a night and day difference, so that’s awesome. Congratulations, man. Definitely appreciate that. But again, I appreciate you coming out to the show and I’m looking forward to getting this thing up and running and up an air.

So awesome, man. Awesome idea. Thanks a lot for having me on. I appreciate it.

It was a pleasure. Have a good one.

Awesome man.

All right. Later

Founder Of Cash Geeks: Dominick Felix AKA Dom-A-Flex – S2E8 (#36)2021-02-25T21:26:53+00:00

The Founder Of The Ultimate Knife: Ladislao Mandiola AKA Lad – S1E21 (#21)

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Boss Uncaged Podcast Overview

“Things don’t just happen by chance, they just don’t. And if you guys think it does, it doesn’t. It comes again in the mind. And when you put it out there and you live by faith. Having that faith as small as a mustard seed as I know, we’ve heard that so many times, that’s the thing. I mean, even Jesus says, you know, he talked about this so many times about belief for anybody that puts their heart out, their God will reward a man according to what his deeds go after, according to his deeds deserve. But you have to do it through faith. The mindset of just knowing, you know what, I’m shaking in my boots, but I’m just going to take this leap, I’m just going to do it. That’s the point. That’s the crossroads life is doing. When I went to that event, a time I even shared that, I really mean it was hard for me to be safe and be who was on a cover and say, you know, in the section, start a road and these intersections happen. You have it was hard to watch.”

http://www.theultimateknife.com

Boss Uncaged Podcast Transcript

S1E21 – The Founder Of The Ultimate Knife: Ladislao Mandiola AKA Lad – powered by Happy Scribe

Things don’t just happen by chance, they just don’t. And if you guys think it does, it doesn’t. It comes again in the mind. And when you put it out there and you live by faith. Having that faith as small as a mustard seed as I know, we’ve heard that so many times, that’s the thing. I mean, even Jesus says, you know, he talked about this so many times about belief for anybody that puts their heart out, their God will reward a man according to what his deeds go after, according to his deeds deserve. But you have to do it through faith. The mindset of just knowing, you know what, I’m shaking in my boots, but I’m just going to take this leap, I’m just going to do it. That’s the point. That’s the crossroads life is doing. When I went to that event, a time I even shared that, I really mean it was hard for me to be safe and be who was on a cover and say, you know, in the section, start a road and these intersections happen. You have it was hard to watch.

Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.

Welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have Lad, Lad is one of these people that I like to refer to as a serial entrepreneur. I met this guy. What was it, like 2019 December at a mastermind workshop where I met him. He was pretty much having a conversation and he was talking about one of his businesses. So let me give our viewers a little bit of who you are and what you do?

OK, A little bit of who I am. Well, basically, I am an entrepreneur like anybody else would be, in a sense, but a little bit different. My path was very different and I’ve had a lot of experiences, especially over the last few years. It’s been pretty interesting. But anyway, entrepreneurial nonetheless, been on my own now when it comes to not working a nine to five job for about 18 years. And that’s the length of my marriage. So, yeah, that all happened when we got married.

So, I mean, the fact that you survived, that’s a good point, right? I mean, you survived 18 years of marriage and 18 years of being an entrepreneur, which is usually a heavy task to juggle both those items.

Yeah, yeah. And leading humbly as a man in the relationship, that’s another one. And it wasn’t easy for me because it put a lot of pressure. You know, I got to say, it just puts pressure on a guy, regardless of how people act today and how they respond to who’s better than the other person and whatever. I never looked at it that way. I always looked at it as the man provides Jodrell and he doesn’t just provide monetarily, also provides through humility, through serving, through loving giving. There is a lot more responsibility for a man to lead in that way and to serve in that way. Just tell you right now that’s not a woman’s role. That is a man’s role to be an example for that woman, because women honestly, you know, have their own thing that they want to do, have a desire to do, but they ultimately need to be led and want to be led. That’s their desire. At least on that end, if they’re going to get into a relationship, they truly want to be able to see the man lead in that way. How humble is he going to be? How loving, caring is he going to be? I didn’t even realize that aspect until you just brought that up, because that to me is a culmination of not just my entrepreneur mindset in my business or whatever. I also had a family with two boys. One’s now 14, the other one’s now 16. We’ve been married now for 18 years. It’s been an interesting ride, but I never look at it. From what you said, you only survived 18 years of marriage. I don’t look at it that way. I look at it from a very successful standpoint that God’s allowed me to have this tremendous relationship with this incredible woman that I’m grateful to be a part of. In this way, God’s the head. He is the first of why I only do what I’m able to do without him. This relationship would never work.

Got you. So it’s I mean, more so I was looking at it from, you know, when you have an entrepreneur and I could tell, like when you pick up something and you decide that you’re going to go for it, you’re going to go three hundred percent into it. Right. So as an entrepreneur, I was more so making a statement of surviving a marriage, because I know that you’re one hundred percent ingrain, whatever it is that you’re doing right now. The next question, how do you define yourself in three to five words?

My ADHD can’t do that one, but I’m going to try to intensely obsessed and committed so that I think that’s what I would put.

Got you.

Those would be the three words. I mean, beyond that, I mean, if you want to understand what happened and how it all started, for me, even as a kid, by the age of 14, I was working a job bagging groceries and fast forward all the way to the age of twenty three. I went through already of probably about six or seven or eight part time jobs here and there. And after graduating high school, when the military I got married when I was 19, married young. The girl who I was with was not what she was supposed to be in the sense of committed on drugs, everything else and not wanting to stop. And I left. I did not want to have children with somebody that was going to continue on this route. So I left. We were married for eighteen months. So I realized my issues and what I created in that relationship as well. So moving forward and then moving on to different jobs, I did not have a formal college education, with the exception of two years of commercial art design skills that I went to school for at the time to call the commercial art. I actually was going to school to be a graphic designer. That’s what they started calling it right when I graduated, because computers started coming into the mix right around that point. And right at twenty three, I knew some friends that had a Mac computer and I noticed that they had a couple of art programs, Photoshop and Illustrator, and they came out initially when Mac came out and I said, wow, this is incredible, what can I do to learn from this? And I pretty much taught myself through the manuals. Not an entry level position, sort of working for a label company. Then I started working for another company. I actually work for my church, which was incredible. The church I went to nondenominational church, and I’m still part of it for 30 years, but worked as a book cover designer and interior layout designer as well for the books and got mentored by somebody who is a phenomenal font creator. The guy was a designer and an incredible traditional commercial and graphic designer. Amazing, amazing mentor. I couldn’t have asked for a better guy and tremendous, tremendous help. His name is Chris Costello. So I think if you ever typed in Chris Costello Treasury, he actually works with the Treasury and he does coins now. He designs the coins are American coins. That’s how talented this man is, a tremendous friend, just an incredible guy. But anyway, I moved on from there and then I had many other jobs in between that. That was probably my longest standing job. I did an interview back in New York with The New York Times on an article about people who have ADHD and, you know, how many jobs did you go through? Because a lot of people go through quite a few jobs. I counted every single job that I’ve had since 14 up and to the point where I was working for my church doing graphic design work. I literally had fifty three jobs. A lot of people look at that and they think that’s crazy. But it was right after I left that job to go to New York to be with my girlfriend, who I got engaged to because my plan was to marry and being thirty four. Thirty three, thirty four. I’m like, I can’t, I don’t want to wait anymore. I just, you know, that was my desire for that. And went to New York, landed a job that landed for some time. But the moment we got married, I knew that my career in the sense of doing design work was diminishing because jobs weren’t paying that much anymore. Everybody and their grandmother thinks it can be a graphic designer now. And it’s just like, OK, forget it, I’m just not doing this anymore. So I got out of that facet of that industry and I looked into an audio book. It was called Cash Flow Quadrant from Robert Kiyosaki. And that’s when things started to open up. I didn’t read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In fact, that was the last audio book that I listened to. I went through all of his thirteen series of books at the time and I just did audio books. That’s all I did. And I listened to all of them. When I listen to all of them, the one that really got me the most, his favourite written book. But he stated it was my worst selling book and I knew why, because people don’t want to listen. They don’t have this desire to listen to reality. They want to Fluffernutter type of book that makes them feel good and rich dad, poor dad, although it explains the truth, is more of a Fluffernutter in a sense for people to have me feel good and as well as it’s laying out the truth. But if you really took the time to listen to both books, Prophecy was the book because he talked about the demise of our current financial situation and the crash that was going to be coming in September of 2008 and lo and behold, to the month and the year he was dead on. But it wasn’t him. It’s because of the information that he gathered from other people because that was all planned. But that’s another topic of conversation. So with that said, four years prior, here I am hustling and I found real estate as my PhD friend because I was able to rehab. I was able to flip homes and do all the crazy stuff that some people just can’t do. But my brain could handle it that round peg in a square hole, that nine to five thing that didn’t fit well, this fit perfectly and it took off from there. But it all happened, too, when the market was not doing well. So it was a bit strange for us to be able to make a ton of money. And the market was pretty much frozen in New York, but it was still kind of growing in Texas. So we moved to Texas and started doing more the real estate stuff over there. But then something else happened. It didn’t do so well because obviously the crash did. Then came it came right in September 2008. So we cashed out on everything and we got our money. We didn’t lose anything, but we got involved with a franchise that unfortunately we found out was a fraud choice. And too bad I can’t coin the word because when I looked it up, I said, oh, shucks, somebody else has that word. Problem was, is that the guy that we bought a franchise from? I’ll just say this, it was playing trade video games, Ron Simpson, the guys don’t know who that guy is, type in Ron Simpson play letter in trade. That was a total fraud. And a lot of people lost everything. And we lost some stuff we had to file because it was a humbling experience for me. We had to give up our house. So when we moved into another place to live in the same neighbourhood that we in the master plan community here in Houston, we moved to another house. The thing that saved us was my wife , because my wife was still a career person in that way and she still had her job. And so here I am trying to figure things out again. And that put a ton of pressure on me. But the great thing is it just dawned on me, what can I do to pay something forward I can help people and yet still make a living during this downturn economy. And this was September, October of 2008, where this all started to hit me. I went to bed one night and it just dawned on me right when I was about to go to sleep home security and personal protection products. And I looked into the home security camera business saturated, didn’t do well with it, tried it for about six months. But in between all of that stuff, I was at the Houston gun a knife show trying to sell my wares. And I was trying to sell camera equipment, flashlights or whatever. And I’m looking at this guy behind me and he’s pulling out this knife. And I couldn’t figure out what the heck is this product that he’s pulling out. So I waited about six or eight weeks. I would go there every four weeks. I used to have this show and I think it was a second or third time that I went to the show. That’s when I started to introduce myself to him. And I wanted to find out what this knife was all about because it was a menacing looking product. But it wasn’t big. It was a karambit knife. It was a curved, talon shaped blade. And so I was like, let me dig into this. And with my obsessive compulsive nature, I, I spent the next four or five days, probably about 20 hours a day. I didn’t get much sleep for four or five days straight. I come to find out that there is no better one handed deployable defense knife on the market. And I’m like, why is nobody talking about this particular type of knife? And how come I found a company that’s in Italy that cut a deal with the guy who created the patent to kind of sublet his patent and also sell their knife for less than half the cost of what he’s selling his knife for? That made no sense to me. So I was going to Billy Mays the heck out of this thing. I was like, man, this is going to be awesome. I’m going to love this. Nobody knows about this knife. So what I did was I ordered both knives and Ernest Emmerson is the king and no one hard use knife maker in America. He’s got about 60 plus knives that he developed, but he has this little catch feature on the edge of the knife. And I’ll just show you, since I’m already kind of on camera, but this right here is a cat feature. And so this catch feature catches right open. Now, mind you, this is one of my knives, but his knife, that’s how he discovered it, because what he was looking for was a blade catcher. So in a knife fighting situation, you’re looking to catch a blade so you can turn it around, get it out of your way so you can do your business to get it back at your enemy. Well, he went home and he deployed it out of his pocket. And when he pulled it out of his pocket, he was just amazed. You couldn’t believe that this particular and I’m going to move this so you can kind of see it on this particular thing just popped out of his pocket like that because it caught on to the edge of the. Huh. It couldn’t figure out what the heck he did it a couple of times and then that’s it. History was made for him. He developed a patent for it and made a boatload of money selling his knives. His knives are insanely well-built. Well, I mean, structured. They’re just awesome. Thing is, is that he decided to allow his patent to be used by two or three companies. But initially he worked with a company out in Italy and Managua, Italy. It was the name of the company is Fox Nice. And so I found all this stuff out and I said, well, his knife is two hundred and seventy dollars at the time. Now it’s three hundred and ten dollars, but their knife is one hundred and thirty dollars. And I was like, why is it less than half the price. I ordered both knives put them through the rigorous. I beat the crap out of these knives. They both held up well and I kind of figured because I said you have German and Italian made product when it comes to knives, that’s what Europeans are known for, especially Italy and Germany, their knives. And I’m thinking, wow, this is fantastic. This is a high quality knife, just as good as Ernest Emersons. Not better, but just as good. And I want to do the right justice by marketing the heck out of this product. So I did it on an alternative news media show because at the time I was listening to Alex Jones and man, that dude’s intense. I contacted his team, sent out the knife and I started advertising. And, man, we were killing sales initially, but then he got so big that he started upping his advertising costs. And it put me kind of out of the affordability range. I couldn’t do it. So I went back down to zero right when I was just starting to get noticed. And then I contacted a YouTube tactical review site company that did reviews on tactical equipment. I thought they had a website or whatever. They said, no, we just strictly do YouTube video reviews. And I said, well, look, I got a knife. I told them about it. I’m down to my last dollars. I didn’t tell them how much I had. I only had about eleven thousand dollars left. And they were going to do a series of four videos with this particular karambit knife with Fox knife. And they were going to do this and they were going to charge me ninety seven fifty. I said, well that brings me pretty much down to nothing. They promised me the world. They said everything was going to work out and I said, yeah, whatever. I kind of just for me it was just going balls out. At that point I said it’s either this or this either works or doesn’t, or I go look for a job as a programmer. And that’s literally what I was going to get into. Gave me the knife. They came back, they contacted me. They said, we’re going to give you a Jimmy video. I said, What do you mean we’re just going to give you something, a 30 second video. Just let us know how it works. We’re still going to do your other four videos. We’re just going to give this one to you for free. I said, OK, sure, they did it. They came back. I saw the video. I thought it was really cool. And within three weeks of them releasing that, I made my ten thousand dollars back. And it didn’t stop, dude, it took off the problem that I had, though, a massive lesson to learn, don’t share everything.

So that’s my next question for you is like, what’s your worst experience you’ve ever had? I mean, you told a story of how you got into that business, how you develop it, you show the success of it. So my next question is, I kind of know the story to a certain extent, right? Yeah. What was the worst experience like? What was the negative side effect of this?

So the best of my worst experience, it gained popularity. The worst of it was I told the wrong person. That is something that I had to learn and embrace. It took me a while to embrace that because I didn’t I was very embittered. I was angry at myself. I told him, man, this thing is taken off. Dollar signs were ringing in his mind because he too is a capitalist and I probably would have done the same thing. But anyway, regardless, we started doing more videos and then as we did more videos, it grew in popularity. So his site was gaining traction because I was gaining traction. It was a synergistic thing that worked together and that combination was incredible competition. My website did really well with it. He was doing great with the videos. But the unfortunate part of that was when I told him what I told him. Again, those eyes of greed, man, it was just triggered. Right then, of course, I didn’t know this. I had no idea what was going to becoming.

And so hold up. Was he a business partner of yours?

No, he wasn’t. What he was was a videographer. His partner left the video company. I’m not going to reveal names, but his partner left. And what happened was I didn’t realize until later why he left. That was part of the reason why. And it was because I don’t know if I was that main trigger or not. I probably could have been that he just couldn’t take that anymore. So he took over the greedy guy and he took over. But he was an editor. He was a filmography editor. He was great. Oh, my God. The guy was incredibly talented so I could knock him for that at all. Thing was, is that now I contacted him, still unaware of what his plan was. And I said, look, I know we’re using this one knife guy who’s wielding the product, but I’ve been really trying to get in touch with this other dude. And for the last year and a half, I finally found out how to contact him. I sent him some knives and I sent my knives to this guy. He was just within an hour. He contacted me after I received it. You know, he’s flipping around the knife, doing his dance with the knife. And he said, man, this thing is incredible. When can we do some videos? I said, I’ll hook you up with him right now. Now, of course, he lived in Toronto, Canada. The other guy lived in right on the border of New York and Canada is only about a four hour drive. He drove out there. They both hooked up. They did a series of four videos for me. It was done, dude, I went from zero to over a million dollars in gross sales within less than three years, but going back to where things failed, where it started to fail was I got to open about what I was making now. He wanted a piece of the action. The other guy that was wielding the product.

Who’s he talking about?

The video market. You know, I’m talking about Doug Markéta, the knife guy, the guy who was wielding the product. And so what happened? And I’ll tell you more about Doug later. Unless some of you people already know the name Doug Markéta, you probably know and I’ll tell you who he is. But through the videos that I was paying for and I paid for everything. Mind you, I was paying for everything. Neither the filmography company that was doing all the videos at Tactical Company nor Doug, nobody put any skin in the game, except they just did some videos, literally a handful of videos that took a day, day and a half of work to do. The rest of it made its money on its own because of reoccurring playing on YouTube, people watching it and then going to my website and buying my product. So with that said, at the end of all of it, he came back and he said, OK, we want to develop another knife because he knew we couldn’t get money off the initial knife. He was trying to build another knife because he got that idea from Doug. Doug says, I want to take the same handle, but I want to create a different shaped knife can you design something like this? And he took some pictures and combined it. And so I designed the knife for him and submitted it to Fox. I designed it with Fox. We did it together. I did everything to expect presented it to Doug. Doug said, OK, that’s great. Can you do something just a tad bit different on this. And I made a certain different cut on a particular part of the knife. I did what he asked, redesigned it, submitted to Fox. Fox came back with the actual prototype, sent me the prototype, sent him the prototype. We fell in love initially with it. He was happy with it. So was I. Great. We put his name on the knife, although I designed it with Fox. We put it on there, got it out there, and we did some videos and boy, did we blow up even more but now there’s a contingency. Now we’re splitting it not just with a small percentage. I was still paying for the videos and they wanted a third of not the wholesale of the product, the retail. Nobody did that in the knife industry, but I did. So now I’m splitting money three ways. When there was no skin in the game with these guys, all they said was my name, my name, my name. I am huge. I am going to be the face of the product and it’s my name with no skin in the game. That’s how I termed it as and that’s how it was. So it totally still blew up. We did great, but I was starting to get upset with what was going on because I was just making it. I wasn’t able to bank the way I was desiring to. So I started coming out with other designs and I was trying to build my brand. But what happened is they got into a falling out. And right when that started happening is when Doug got discovered. After I spent probably about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars on all the videos Doug got discovered by the History Channel, which is now on the number one unscripted TV show called Forged in Fire. That’s the history now of him. He came back and he thanked me for all the work that I did to get him discovered and all that. And I said, that’s fine. You don’t have to say that. I already know that there’s no arrogance on my part because he still had talent himself and he was great on screen. You watch that TV show. He’s great with what he does. He wields a product. Well, he’s good at what he does. Great personality. He’s not one of these guys that you have take fifteen, twenty takes on a video. He’s usually one take. That’s it. He’s really good. So for a guy that can do stuff impromptu right on the spot, I tell you directors and producers and editors love that stuff because they don’t have to spend a whole lot of time going over it again and again. So his talent really reined in that area. So I don’t not that what I knock was the selfishness on both of them, because we were supposed to do another set of videos because we had an improved product that we made on the knife that I designed with Fox that had his name on it. And I said, all we need is another day of film. That’s it. Filming. That’s all you have one day. That’s all I asked for we were going to get a set of seven or eight new videos. Whoa, dude, that would have made two, three million dollars off of that. I already know it would have, but unfortunately, that’s not what he did. He didn’t care. He was getting bank off the show, broke the contract and left and then left me hanging. And I had to start from scratch, so I don’t blame him, but, boy, did I was happy for him, but I was angry at the same time. So it created a lot of bitterness in my heart and it took me a year and a half to get over that. And that’s the other thing I had to learn that, you know what, when things happen, how am I going to deal with stuff? How am I going to handle this emotion? Because things are going to come. I can only look at what I created. I reveal too much information when I shouldn’t have and I should have had a backup plan, which I didn’t I didn’t have a contingency. I banked on this to work. Now, I did have somewhat of a backup plan, but it wasn’t aggressive and it wasn’t the same. And so my business, although it’s doing OK, it’s not where it was before.

So that’s my question to you, is like, how did you overcome that? I mean, you’re talking about you potentially had a business that was generating anywhere between one to three million dollars annually. And obviously you had a three way split. So that cut into your margin significantly. Then a period after that. Then you lost the main guy. Right, to kind of like the face of the brand to a certain extent, which dropped on your business even more. So is that business still active? And how did you recover from that setback?

Well, the business is still on, but it’s slow. It’s not the same. And the reason why there’s another added reason why this is not to spite Google, Facebook or whoever. Look, they’ve got the rules. And I’ve had to learn how to adjust to those rules, even though I couldn’t advertise using AdWords because of the word knife, because they deem the word knife as a weapon. And it doesn’t matter. Even if you’re selling cutlery knives, you can’t advertise a word knife. And the same thing with Facebook. You can’t use Facebook boost at the time. You can use that. And you couldn’t advertise on YouTube. But what you could do was you could show pictures, you can show videos for free. That’s where that worked. But there’s a limit to that because in the small outreach that you have, there is a cap and you definitely need to pay for advertising to make that happen. Had I been able to do that with that product of mine that I still have. Oh, I know. I’d be sitting on 10, 15, 20 million dollars right now.

So what’s the name of the website?

The websites called The Ultimate Knife.Com. The Ultimate Knife. And that’s my initial site. The newest site is Mendiola Defense. That’s where I really gear more and more of the new people that I want on that I have a desire to get on. There is mandiola defense.Com. So mandiola is spelled Man is a man D as in David I o l a it’s pronounced the way it’s spelled. Mandy Olá Defense Dotcom. So you get on there and that’s where I developed and co develop my next knife, which were improvements on the other knife. And the cool thing that I like about this knife is that I decided to take a Tonto Blade and a karambit blade and do a recurve. So I patented the design with a tooling feature that actually can use any quarter. Hex Snibbe. I see it and you can put the attachment on there and then you can take the attachment off. And now you have what they would call a notch feature that catches on the edge of your pant loop. So it’s two purposes and one, a tool and then a one handed deployable defense knife so you can deploy it with one hand. And then I created, you know, I have two knives that I have right now. So that’s what I have. I have a traditional karambit called the short for cold, dead hands karambit. And then I have another one. I see a smiling face and then I have another one called the Toronto. It’s a Tonto Karambit. And I combined the two words trademarked that call that the Toronto. So Mike Wellcamp, who I’ve known GS for over ten years, had been the one that initially got me into all of this because he worked with Fox knives. I got a really good friendship with him. He’s an amazing knife designer, traditional CAD designer. He’ll make a knife from start to finish. Now, me, I do everything in Photoshop and Illustrator. Beyond that, that’s it. I don’t understand cad. I have to submit myself the I should say I have to submit the line design drawings to a company like Fox or to someone like Mike Lacamp and then get the knife produced physically so I can actually have a prototype. But Mike designed the patent that I purchased, which is called the Vex Drive, which is at tooling feature. So we could actually have not only a tooling feature, but also a sketch feature that’s we developed. And so that’s what I have right now.

I mean, I don’t think I have a Toyota Corolla because is my life of choice. So like, when it comes down to like tactical hand-to-hand combat, I mean, only really make sense in that environment. It’s not a really big defense knife, but it’s a great offense knife. So I was looking at it. There’s definitely a pretty sweet design.

I want to add this and I say this with the right kind of pride. So forgive my arrogance. There is nobody in the knife industry that has the fastest one hand, a deployable defense knife with a tooling feature for the money that you can spend, utilizing still one fifty four cm stainless steel. Now it’s a particular grade of steel because you have four forty C and it’s to educate you a little bit for forty C doesn’t rust. It’s a great deal. We have it in our silverware. It’ll outlive us more than likely. Use the knives and forks that we have if we buy a good quality knife and fork set for our household. Usually those knives go through dishwasher, whatever, never rust, usually never tarnish. They’re fantastic to use. But the thing is, the retention doesn’t hold as well as better compound steels. And in Taiwan, your better compound steel over four forty C is what they call s thirty V now. S thirty V is a better grade steel because it has a better edge retention. And when I mean by that is that it holds a better edge for a longer period of time that you don’t have to sharpen it constantly. Now here in America, one fifty four cm stainless steel. Is of the same quality as Taiwanese made steel, American steel has the same kind of quality in the sense of edge retention, and then you have in Italy, they utilize what they call an 690 cobalt stainless steel, and that’s they’re better made steel. So here you have these three steels that are equal to each other in strength. And we’re talking about now there’s a thing called a Rockwell hardness and Rockwell hardness on the edge of a blade for 40 see is right around fifty two to fifty six. The higher the number, the better the edge retention. And when you’re dealing with the next edge of better attention with all those three steals that I mentioned from those perspective countries, you’re now talking about fifty eight to 60 and the Rockwell hardness, a higher number of the best steel you’ll ever own, which is incredibly expensive, is El Max. L. Max Steel, we’re talking anywhere from sixty two to sixty-fourr. You’re not going to get any better than that, and if there is a steal out there, I don’t know it. But now we’re talking about malleable steel. When you’re talking about retention, you’re better, Steeles, really are, when it comes to sharpening and this I got from my village camp, he said, Honestly, lad, I’m going to tell you the better steal for me that I love is one fifty four cm. And it’s Niagara Specialty Company in New York. They’re the only company in this country that makes that steel. Well, guess what? Ernest Emersons been using that from the beginning and what I decided to do with his three hundred and ten dollar knife that he sells. Now, mind you, he’s got a ton of other knives that he sells. I decided to use that same steel from that same company. I exported it out to Taiwan and had my knife made. So my knife, with the exception of the liner part of my knife. Now the liner is the inside of the knife. Ernest Emerson uses titanium. I use regular stainless steel now, when you’re talking about this type of real estate and the size of the real estate that you’re dealing with, the rigidity and strength doesn’t make a difference. It’s negligible. So you don’t have to use titanium. I think personally, using titanium would be better, of course, in a sense of, you know, that’s an upsell, but it becomes very expensive because it is. So I decided, you know what? I’m going to make something that’s going to be able to handle the same kind of rigors and the same kind of quality. And we’re going to use one fifty four cm stainless steel and look at my price. One hundred and twenty nine ninety five for this knife, nobody not even on sale sells this knife for this price. Nobody has it, nobody. And like you said, the karambit knife for self-defense purposes. You know what? Every time I see a fight scene in a movie, I’m like, wow, that could have ended really quick with a karambit. They would have been done so fast with a karambit knife. Why? Because you don’t have to take your eye off of the situation that’s coming at you. When you’re being assailed, all you have to do is reach back with your index finger and pull the ring finger because it’s all memory, muscle reflex, MMR memory, muscle reflex we’re talking about. Your fingertips are like your eyes. When you look for your wallet, when you look for your keys, you already know where to go with your hands because your mind picks up on it very quickly. And as you’re groping, you immediately feel that knife and then you pull it out, catches on that pant loop and a bang. You’re wicked fast, which makes a split second before you can make contact. When you pull it out and you make contact with the assailant that’s coming at you, it’s a done story. It really finished.

But so I could definitely and this is one of reasons why wouldn’t you want to share your passion? Whatever you’re talking about is going to pour out and is literally one of those things. It’s like an open faucet without a cap and you’ll just spit that information out. Is that something that you picked up from like ancestors and your family? More so from the entrepreneurial background side of things. Is anybody in your family have that aspect or is that just something that you just grew into on your own?

My father’s from Santiago, Chile, and my mother is from Warsaw, Poland. And so my staff are American, so my kids are confused. Anyways, I look at my parents and they’re great. I love them. My dad, he came up from Miami and he got off the boat and he is eighteen, worked his way up to Boston, Massachusetts mother. She literally ran for her life because of the war back in World War Two. I just remember her story because that briefly to tell you, she lived in a building that was going to get bombed. And my grandmother, her mom obviously knew the bomb was coming. The planes were coming to bomb that area because the Germans were coming and literally grabbed her, threw her over her shoulder. And as they were running out of the building about two blocks down, she saw the bomb hit that building and it tumbled down. So her life obviously got saved. She would have died and she was two years old. And so when those memories hit you at that age, that’s shock value. You’re not going to forget that. So anyway, she came to Watertown, Massachusetts, by the age of nine. They found their way to get to America, the great place that we all live and the great idea of freedom that we have. I’m very grateful for both. My parents found each other through a friend that mutually knew the both of them introduce them. And so one thing led to another that got married. My brother came and then I came next. But through that time, as I was growing up, my dad nine to five, my mother nine to five. But then my mother got laid off and she was trying to figure out how can I do my own thing? So she started a consignment shop where we had people come in, bring in their clothes. She would make some profit, they would make some profit. And so that’s how she did her business. And she did that for about six, seven years. And through that time, I grew up with that, seeing my father being as boisterous and as loud as he was. And same thing with my mother, of course, in many arguments that they had. I don’t know if any of that had anything to do with who I was. But regardless, I learned a lot from the both of them to a degree. But I was still staunchly taught that I needed to go to school, get good grades. And then finish school, go to college, get a good job, and then go from there and I’m thinking, why are you telling me this, Mom, I can’t figure this out here. You aren’t doing what you’re doing. And I only told her this years later. But you’re not thinking of this when you’re 16, 17, 18, because your mind’s not knowing how to decipher, at least for most people to be able to say it sounds hypocritical. You’re telling me to do something you’re not doing. All I did was I just paid attention to what you just said, because these are my mentors. These are my influences and my parents. So whatever they say, I guess I just have to do. And so that’s the reason why I went through all those jobs, because, again, round peg in a square hole doesn’t work. And God was trying to lead me down a path was like, all right, I’m going to keep on showing you this path. You’re just going to be hard headed about it. You got something in you. You can do this. I was just lacking confidence. That’s what the issue was. And then when I started experimenting and thankfully just got to tell you, my wife was in for her, this would have never happened. She was the one working while I was taking care of the boys. So as soon as she got the boys out of her man and she’s back to work here, I am taking care of two babies. And I’m trying to figure things out on my own entrepreneurially, and that’s where it all started, and then that’s where I gained most of my confidence.

That’s a good Segway, too. So how do you juggle your work life balance today? Right. So, I mean, you talk about in the beginning, you’re saying you have a six year old and a 14 year old. Fast forward 18 years of marriage. How do you juggle your entrepreneurial hustle with your work life in today’s world?

Well, you got to be flexible. I think that’s the main thing my wife gets on me so much like you need to go to bed earlier. Well, my brain doesn’t work that way. I’m up till four or five o’clock in the morning. Sometimes I try to go to bed at three. Know that’s still like a lot of people, but I get six hours of sleep regardless. I get up at 9:00. If I go to bed at three, I get up at 9:00. If I go to bed at four, I get up at 10:00 and I’ll go to bed at five. I get up at 11. I still have my organized time of what I do. So I have a regimen that I’ve been holding on to staunchly because we have a as you know, we have a great mentor and the guy that is mentoring us now, his main thing, it’s about structure.

So it’s I mean, what’s your morning habits like you to go and break that out?

My morning habit. And it’s been this way for, well, nine months now. I honestly had to take a break from listening to Alex Jones. Believe me, that was part of my morning routine, which wasn’t helpful. Not that what he was then sharing isn’t true. I mean, the stuff he shares in the people he gets on, I’m like, oh, my gosh, is this. And he’s very intense. So if you can handle his intensity. But what happened is it brought a lot of negativity and a sense of the reality of what we’re facing even right now with all the garbage that’s going on in this world, all the stuff he predicted years ago. It’s all happening now and it’s not even his prediction. And people on the show saying what was going to happen. Of course, some of those guests have disappeared. So anyway, with that said, I had to take a break. So I made a decision in December. I’m not listening to this anymore. I already know about what’s coming, already know about what’s here. I need to focus on what I need to do for my life, my walk with God and my walk with my family, because this is not helping me right now. It’s not serving me. I had to find things that were going to serve me so I could serve that purpose better. And so my morning routine right now is I get up. I literally do the same thing I teach my kids, get up, wash your face, brush your teeth, drink some water, get some breakfast in your system. And then go and pray and meditate, take 15, 20 minutes out of your day. I don’t care if you read a scripture or passage or story in the Bible, I don’t care if you pray or meditate. Do one of those three things. Mostly I’ll meditate and pray and read through some scriptures that help me, but that is my morning routine. And then I’ll come in and organize my time because it helps me to focus. Believe it or not, people that have to deal with their ADHD to that extent, really, I’m going to tell you right now, as much as you might think it’s corny, meditation is insanely incredible, really helps your mind to focus. And if you stay away from sugar, you’re mostly on protein, vegetables and water. And really, that’s my main staple of diet. If you’re doing that, dude, your brain, even though you battle with distraction here and there, is going to deal with focus so much better. So for me, that’s what helps me. And so my morning routine beyond just meditation gets in to figure out, OK, what was I going to be doing for this week and what am I going to be doing today? Of course I have a monthly goal or have an annual goal, but that’s how I start my routine to figure out what I’m going to plan out for the day. Things do get toward it sometimes and you have to figure out other things. You know, we had a death in our family have to sell the house now for my mother in law. And I have to deal with helping my wife because now she’s in mourning, yet she’s having to deal with title issues, stuff. So things happen, things come through and not how can I be a better support? What can I do to get the house fixed, prepped up and all that? And what do I do to need to move boxes and move furniture, sell stuff? And we’re all tag team together, try to handle this stuff while she’s in mourning. And I’m like trying to figure all this stuff out with her. But see, that’s good because you’re better preparation is through meditation. And then what is your daily goal that you’re going to be reaching today? That is basically what I do. And that’s what’s helped me to get to this point right now where I’m able to move forward and deal with things better without being anxious.

Yeah, I think part of that is what you brought up, mentorship. And we’re talking about tycoon, right?

Oh, yeah.

And obviously I’m coming after you. You’re going to have to get you on the show sooner or later. So I’m just going to put that out into the cosmos and

I’ve got to get him.And I knew you on the show together. Oh, dude, that would be awesome. Anyway, so, yeah.

I mean, I think he was one of the beautiful things about Ty’s mentorship is obviously he’s teaching you how to make money, teach you how to make wealth online. But he really goes back into how do you maintain and hold on to that money. And part of your morning routine is part of that. Right. You have to kind of take the information in. And one of the books, which I think and grow rich, which was part of his mentorship, talks about that the mastermind principles is essentially what you’re talking about, right?

Yeah. Yeah. That was one of the books that he suggested for us to read. And I said, I’m thinking to myself, man, I remember reading that book and I don’t read books. I do not read books. I was terrible with that. I of course, with my ADHD, I’d get past the first chapter and I go, what the heck did I just read? You know, so but the one book that really captivated me and kept me engaged was Think and grow rich. I literally read it cover to cover two or three times. Thing was, is that I only implemented a few principles. I didn’t do really all of it. And I was twenty three when I read that. Here I am. Fifty three. Fast forward thirty years later and I’m like, wow, I’m listening to this again. Like it’s a new thing for me. And that book is incredibly helpful, even though it was written in nineteen thirty seven still online. And one of the other books that he mentioned which really took me, it was like Think and grow Rich 2.0 was a happy pocket full of money written by David Cameron. Good Condee. Now I’m a little different than Ty Ty. God he spent a whole summer he said I must have listened to that audiobook. He said like 60 times is like, wow, I listened to it like thirty, thirty plus times. I’m probably about almost fifty times into it. That is one of again that’s part of my morning in daily routine. I’ll pick a chapter or two and I’ll listen to it while I’m working to get the mindset going. It’s all about how to reprogram the mind and how to talk to your subconscious even out loud and saying, no, I’m not going to listen to that. And literally saying that my wife was like, no, I’m just talking to myself, babe, that’s all. Forgive me, but I talk to myself. She thinks I’m bad, crazy. And I’m like and I was sharing that. And I said, oh, we’re doing the same thing. All right, you know, so it’s one of those things that like minded people, you start becoming a lot like them. And I didn’t realize how I’ve been able to be mentored and imitate what he’s doing in that way because, hey, you know what? This dude’s making three hundred thousand dollars plus a month. That’s worthy of whatever he’s doing in his routine, worthy of imitation, you know, and if it’s good and it’s going to help and it’s edifying and it’s going to help you grow, then why not learn from somebody who can. You and I decided, I said, man, as driven as I am, I’m like, I got to find a way to get in touch with this candy guy. I got I don’t know how to do this. And I’m, like, going crazy trying to figure out how to reach out to him. I figured it out. I emailed him. I didn’t know it was him that I was emailing, but it was and contacted three and a half weeks later, I get this email. Hey, lad, good to hear from you. And you add these programs, add to that. And we went back and forth and then I said, hey, here’s my Skype information. I don’t use it. I use WhatsApp and I go, Oh, OK, I’m new to WhatsApp. I’m using it too. But let me give you my contact information. Boom, we hit it right off and we got a friendship. Dude, he contacted me last night. He was needing some information and we were able to talk to each other. But I appreciate now that I have a friendship with him and he’s really a great asset to have. The is insanely incredible, but very busy. So to me, I’m kind of shocked that he’d even contact me. But again, I’m very thankful for that. And so what I did was I decided to say, hey, Ty, I was able to get in touch with David and Candy. I’d like to see if we could set up an interview. And so we did. We set up that time. And we have a mentoring group that you’re a part of as well. It’s a twenty five K group. You know, the KCF, it’s a Kindle cash flow caf, twenty five K Group Mastermind group. And we got together, did a great interview, loved it and would love to do it again. But I’m telling you man. Tie and the mindset and the sessions we’ve gone through, this guy is full dedication and the thing that I appreciate about the most and the thing that irritated me initially the most, I’m like, get onto the lesson. Why are you talking about this mindset?This is not it’s not serving me

he to make sure you keep the money.

Right, exactly. So I’m thinking just teach a lesson. You know what was so great about it? Every session he would spend 30, 40 minutes getting into the mindset before he laid out his plan and his goal about here’s what I’m going to be doing today, guys. But it was so great. And that he’s still doing it today because at the end of the day, really, guys, it’s about mindset and about getting this working. You don’t get this working right. You’re not going to know what to do for have an idea, but you’re never going to fulfill it. It’ll never come to fruition and believe in whatever you want to believe, universe, God, whatever. I put my hope in God, ultimate creator. He is the universe. He’s our creator. And something had to create this anyway. I won’t get too deep into that. But I’ll just say this. My thing is, is that my connection with him is constant and without that connection through meditation. And through prayer, there’s no way I’d be even here, there’s no way. I know for a fact I’d be homeless

last bit of information that you just gave us, I mean, we touched on a couple of different things, right? And I think if I was actually the next question, I would think the first and foremost answer would be your brain is one of the probably greatest assets that you use on a daily basis. What are the tools besides your brain that you use on a regular basis? You would not be able to do your business without

networking. That is vitally key. That’s how I got to know you tional true. I’m an initiator. I network like crazy. I just put it out there. It’s kind of like going fishing. You just have to cast your rod and your bait. You just cast it out there. You’re not going to know until you put it out there. You’re not going to know if that’s going to be a place where there’s going to be some fish or not that you can catch. And there’s other resources. One of the things that Robert Kiyosaki taught and this I never forgot, you can’t be John Wayne and do it by yourself. You just can’t you’re headed for total disaster if you do that. And that’s where my ADHD shines. How that facet of my brain works is that I’m able to pinpoint notice other people’s talents that I don’t have and how can I utilize their talent where it can serve me as well as them? And how can we network together so they benefit and I benefit. And that’s another thing Robert taught me. You don’t think that you’re going to come into something and that somebody is going to help you without some skin in the game, buddy.

Hmm.

And that’s how he did it is like I didn’t have any money, but I got my time, I got my resources and I guarantee if I pitch myself to this person so I can get their resources, they’re going to want some of my resources. And that’s just networking talent. He says, I’m not the smartest guy in the world. I was a horrible writer from what he said, and look at I got the best selling books. Why? Because I had other people helping me and there’s no way that I could have got where I’m at today without other people’s help. And he found out what his talent was, which helped me find out my talent, which was very similar. He just knew how to find other people that were better than him to do his work that he needed. So if you needed some legal assistance, he found the right attorneys. Of course, he had to build his way up because he could only afford so much. In the beginning. He got better attorneys as they came along. Now he’s got top notch attorneys handling his business. Same thing with a CPA, you know, started small, worked his way up. So that’s exactly what I have done and what I continue to do today. This is the reason why I’ve been able to land on my feet and get myself set with a better foundation, because it’s not just me. I have a network of people that I work with that help me with their perspective talents that I don’t have.But we work with each other synergistically to make things happen.

I think one thing that you left out of it, I mean, I know for you you’re looking at it from a very linear standpoint about you just go out there and network. But I think the bigger thing is that you’re fearless with that. Right? A lot of people, Bastia intuition. They bite their tongue because they’re scared of what the results may be if you don’t give a shit. You just get it done.

And I apologize for not sharing that, because that to me is a given. And if you don’t have that mindset, I just say this. Get over yourself. Really, just get over yourself. You know, when someone says you can do it, you’ve got to tell yourself that. I have a little picture in the back here in my office. Just says I am. I just printed it out. I am. And that’s a happy pocket full of money statement. And being in that I am and being statement in that mindset, you got to be in that being mindset. You are great. So I just have to put the attachment. I am great. I am worthy because God knows I am I am a loving husband course and my wife will tell you different. Probably I am a loving father. I am a great money earner. I am an entrepreneur. Put whatever attachment you want to put on there. I am working on continually being humble. When you attach the I am find those other words. It’s not going to be easy initially because I sat there and I said I don’t know what to say because I was so downtrodden, because of my failing business with my knife business, because I thought I failed. I had people come up to me and say, Lad, do you know what you just did? I said, No. You were able to do what? Ninety nine percent of the people will never be able to experience, you went from nothing and in less than four years you were making over a million dollars and that was just you and your shipper and a few good videos. You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re a success. I didn’t see it that way because all I thought is I got another failed business. I’m a failure. God, you must hate me. I’m a loser. I deserve what’s coming to me. Well, guess what, God answers that prayer, and if you continue to think that way, as a man thinketh, so is he. Well, guess what? That’s where I was that I had a few friends that came up to me that actually helped me to get to the point where I was just like, you know what? I got to give this up. I got to get back on the train of where God wants and desires for me to be. And that’s when I made that decision. It wasn’t easy. It’s not going to be. But, man, as soon as I went to that session when I was with you at the Learning Center two weeks prior, I made that decision. There is no turning back. I watched Ty, actually, I watched him it was August 17th when he put out that video with ethnic group and there was something about Ty that was different from any other person that I listen to. I said, why do I trust him? Now, I know we’re not supposed to put our trust in man, because we’re not. Why do I trust what he’s talking about? And the way he’s conveying this information. I knew immediately when he was on screen, I said, this dude’s an introvert, and then he even said he was. He said, I’m an introvert. I would have just kept this information to myself. But I kept on getting encouraged not to because I was so good at it. You’ve got to teach other people if you really want to get big at what you’re doing. So he was battling with his own confidence issues. But the thing that I appreciate it brought back to me. I can do this, and he’s about the same age as I am. He’s forty eight. I’m fifty three. We’re not too far off in age here in the last ten years where I went from rags to riches, back to rags. Here he is, rags to riches and he’s still growing. Obviously, he’s doing something I need to imitate from

I think it’s the circles is this kind of circles. I mean, like Greg Cesar is another person in his circle that actually had opportunity to interview for the show as well. And just speaking to Greg, you can see Greg was like the bug in his ear saying you have to take this content, you have to give it to the world. So I think it was the support of his circle that made tie even bigger to where he is currently right now. I mean, you’re talking about Anick. Raonic is another monster of an entrepreneur and just having his circle of those community of people always saying, hey, guys, you could do more. There’s no way you can fail. They’re not going to let you fail because they’re always going to be tapping on your shoulder saying you could do more.

And the key thing that I see with those three men, and that’s the amazing thing when I listen, Annika said, wow, he’s Robert Kazuki 2.0. He is the new Robert. And even Robert said it, and I can’t find this four and a half minute video that Robert said. He said, man, it took me decades to get where I’m at now. You’re seeing millionaires pop up like out of nowhere. It takes them two or three years. And he said, man, that really pisses me off. It’s like, you know, because where things are at today, it’s so much more different. You can make things in an instant. And I’m thinking I can do this. I know that this can happen. And things don’t just happen by chance. They just don’t. And if you guys think it does, it does it it comes again in the mind. And when you put it out there and you live by faith. Having that faith as small as a mustard seed as I know, we’ve heard that so many times, that’s the thing. I mean, even even Jesus says, you know, he talked about this so many times about belief for anybody that puts their heart out there, God will reward a man according to what his deeds go after, according to his deeds deserve. But you have to do it through faith. The mindset of just knowing, you know what, I’m shaking in my boots, but I’m just going to take this leap, I’m just going to do it. That’s the point. That’s the crossroads. Of just doing it when I went to that event, I even shared it, it was hard for me to share and be humble in front of people and say, you know what, I have to start over. It was hard for me because I was doing what I was doing money wise, and now I’m having to start over again at my age weight, I was supposed to build my legacy. My legacy was already supposed to be built. What happened? Got to get over that again. I had to talk to myself and say, look, that chapter’s done. God’s going to put you someplace different. It’s time to grow, embrace those mistakes and take them as learning experiences that you’re not going to repeat again. You know better now. Now it’s time to take what this man has to teach, that being ty and implement these principles. God was telling me, dude, my son, you got to grow and you got to get reconnected with me. And I am fighting for you. I’d said this very clearly, an exodus, 14 14. And I read it before, but I never quite got it, and then it hit me when I read it like it was the first time God is fighting for you. You need only to be still. And that has stuck with me for the last year. I’m telling you, man, it is incredible what God can do, what our creator can do and what you can do. And what I can do and stay humble about it and not be arrogant, it’s OK to say, you know what, I’m great because God knows I am. There’s nothing wrong with saying that. As long as you have the humble perspective of going after trying to figure out what it is that you are good at. Huh? And then just putting it out there. For people that don’t get it, and I know you were trying to help me to understand where my mistake was, is that yeah, you know what? Not a lot of people have that kind of you know, that old word that we hear gumption. You know, that backbone, that stick to it, witness that faith that it can work. I can do this. This can happen, and then what? Five minutes later, I’m an idiot. I’m a loser. No, no, no, no, no, no. Again, you got to talk out loud. I’m not. I am what God says I am. He’s fighting for me. I just need to be still. I’m not going to let anything that’s going to destroy what I’m working and rebuilding on, and that’s what I appreciate about Thai and men like him don’t worship the guy. No, but I appreciate deeply what he has done to restructure and help mentor us the way he has. He’s really great. I’m telling you, if you guys are looking into getting into a mentoring program that twenty five K group, insanely incredible. He he only committed himself to do eight sessions. That’s what we were paying for. And when we hit into our sixth session I was like. Are we done because we haven’t even started yet and, you know, it kind of came up and he said, guys, don’t worry about it, I’m not going to do to you. What do you think I’m going to give you so much more? And, you know, we’re at right now week twenty three.

Yeah, I was like twenty three. Twenty two,

you know, would you believe it? Week twenty three. He could have stopped a long time ago. He literally teaches you step by step from beginning to end until you get it. And it’s all on video now. So somebody that comes in to Pazin for this program, they didn’t have to wait like we did, like, oh, we got to wait two weeks to get an answer or, you know, five days when we voxer him or we don’t have to you don’t have to be concerned about. Now it’s in the lesson. You can replay the lesson, go to the next lesson. It picks up right from the last lesson. And I’m telling you, he literally teaches you what to do so you can succeed. And now the funnel that we launched, because he does it through click funnels, if anyone doesn’t notice, he utilizes click funnels with his player program that he teaches. And there’s an hour and 40 minute intro session that he does on YouTube that kind of explains that more in full. But I’m going to tell you. Since I’ve launched it, it’s growing. I’m like, wow, I got a new membership, I got a renewing membership and I got more sales coming in now. And so it’s now starting to kick off. And it’s happened in the last two weeks. I’ve had 20 sales and memberships included. I’m like, this is starting to grow. We’re starting to see some success. This is awesome. And what that does, it catapults this to grow even further. I got to build another funnel, got to do another one already. My mind is thinking forward about what to do next so that I am greatly appreciative of WITI.

So anyway, so this next part of this discourse and we’re going to close it out is how good people find you online. I mean, Facebook, Instagram. I mean, you told us about the ultimate life dotcom. What’s your online handles?

But you pretty much set it right there. Anybody that anybody needs to contact me that way. I mean, just type in Ladislao Mandiola . There is nobody with my name. I hated that name my dad gave to me because I was my middle name is Carl and I’m like, everyone calls me Carl.

Your middle name is Carl. What’s your first name? And last name is like multiple syllables,

which I’m like, why would you do that, Dad? He says, Because that’s just what I wanted to do. Carl, I’m telling you, I do what I want. I don’t care. And I just I just lost my name. But you are Chenda. My name. You want me to smack you, I smack you, you know what I mean? I can smack you. So how are you making fun of my language now, huh? That’s nice. That’s great. You’re making fun of my language. So my dad was hilarious, but no, he gave me that name and now I look at it. I’m so proud to have the name, but I had to shorten it to lad. And it’s like, why don’t you use Carl? Because when you’re dealing with business, you have to use your official first and last name. So I just said, screw it. I’m just going to shorten the name. lad that if you want to find me, all you have to do how you can get on my website. The ultimate knife or Mendiola defense dotcom. You can get on either one of those two sites. I got emails, whatever you can email me directly through there. You can call the phone number that’s on there. You can reach me that way. I do have, like you said, Facebook. You can reach me on messenger. I can go even beyond that. If you guys message me, I’ll text you. I’ll even give you my phone number. You can contact me that way. But first, reach out to me, Facebook and Messenger. And then once we get to know each other a little bit, if I feel like I can give you my number, I’ll do that. Then we can contact each other that way. I’m more than happy to network and put myself out there. I’m more so and I hope that’s enough for contact.

I mean, yeah, I think definitely so. So one of my bonus questions for you, and I’m looking forward to hearing your answer for this particular one, is if you can spend twenty four hours with anybody dead or alive, uninterrupted, who would it be and why?

Dead or alive,

dead or alive?

Jesus.

why?.

Yeah, well, he’s got incarnate, so you can’t get any better than that. And again, this goes to anybody, whatever they believe, whatever. The man was incredible. It’s weird. Why would I spend that time? To learn even more, just to be in his presence, the humility that he exuded and the determination that he had, his resoluteness to see justice done humbly by dying on the cross for our mess ups, that is insanely worthy of imitation. And for me, I am indebted to him. And what God’s done to help me to understand that in full by reading his word, it’s a great guide. I know there’s a lot of other guides out there and a lot of other things out there. But what’s helped me to understand greatness is humility. And some people just don’t get that. But I’m so grateful for that because he was a perfect example of that. So much so he died for us. I mean, wow, you know, that to me is incredible. So, yeah. Why and what would I learn from him? I would only know if I spent time with him, but the main thing to me would be I would just give him a big hug and tell him how much I love what he’s done for me, how much I love his commitment to me. And understanding love is so much different than what a lot of people think it is. It’s true commitment. And that’s what he was and that’s what he is. And that’s the reason why I would choose him over anything.

Got you. All right. I got another bonus question for you. This is a little bit of fun bonus question. It’s if you could be a superhero, who would it be and why?

My kids and I go over this stuff. I tell my kids, would you be quiet already? I’m tired of talking about this one. Would I be what would I be? It’s hard, really, if you think about it, as are so many different things you could do. I would choose the power of. Where I could bend and travel in time because, believe it or not, we live in that existence anyway, this time is an illusion, but because we’re human, we can’t fully understand that. But I would choose time. So, Mr. Manhattan. Yeah. To be able to go past forward wherever. Time travel, regardless of past of forward or present, that’s what I would choose as a power and to use that to observe and learn and be an influence in some way, I would choose.

That sounds like Mr. Manhattan. If you’re familiar with the D.C. side of comics, Mr. Minihan.

I’m not I don’t read comics.

So my question. All right, when you get a chance to look up as a man, DC Comic Watchmen is exactly what you’re explaining. I mean, he’s at all times. I mean, he is in the past, present and future in all existence at the same time. So definitely, I assume you went that route. I definitely appreciate you taking the time much data to come on the podcast. I mean, it was definitely an insightful episode. You gave a lot of jewels and a lot of detail information on just what it’s like to really be an entrepreneur through and through.

Yeah, and I appreciate you having me on. Man, I really do. And you know what? I am going to see what I can do to get tie on here. I’m going to box for him. Let’s see what we can do together. And I want to bring David. If the four of us. Holy cow. That would be insane. I would love it. I don’t know if you’re open to that, but, dude, if you are, of course, I would have said that today. I’m going to contact them both today.

So I look forward to see what they say. And this is the part, the podcast, where I just kind of like open up the mikes to if you have any questions for me, just is time to tax.

That’s really hard for me because we’ve talked so much and I wanted to find out what you did in your background, what happened with you, and gave me your history. So it’s really it’s kind of hard to even ask a question. So I’m not prepared for that. So forgive me. I really don’t know what to ask. I’m dumbfounded right now. I’m like, I don’t know.

It’s catching lad off guard. It’s like a one of a million opportunity here.

So hold on. OK, so someone’s trying to get creative here. One of your most intriguing interviews so far to date that you’ve done since you’ve released boss uncaged.

Wow. So I talked about on the recap episode we talked about it was a teacher that I interviewed. But I think in general. It’s kind of hard for me to pick one person because I think I try to keep the podcast episodes diverse as possible. I don’t want to people of the same background to fall consecutively, but I would say. A really good one is probably the next one I’m going to release, which is C. Milano Harding and he’s a hybrid. He’s one of these guys that he’s a creative fashion designer, but he was a model when he was younger. So a model today. But he’s an Ivy League graduate that does a lot of nonprofit work. So just having that conversation with him is kind of like, you know, he’s a creative mind, but he’s highly analytical. He’s an artist, but he’s also an executive. So to have that kind of conversation with him and you can kind of hear he’s very passionate as well. He’s very animated when he speaks about particular topics. Again, fallen into fashion for the good is what he would deem it. So I would think that episode is up and coming. I think that that’s definitely a memorable episode that I’ve had that just as long lasting content, much like your episode, as long lasting content to deliver value, much like you was saying with Richard, that poor that it could be 10 years from now, 20 years from now, this episode is going to hold weight because the topics we’re talking about are evergreen topics.

Yeah. And, you know, that to me is incredible because when you look at young people now, they laud after that book, rich dad, poor dad, they still read it. And I’m like, why not? You know what I mean? You know what I would tell people if you’re going to read any book, really read Cash-Flow Quadrant, that was his next book and then read Prophecy because you’ll learn. Well, why read prophecy? Because the crashworthy came to read prophecy. And there is more to come. There’s a lot more to come. I believe we’re going to be going through a lot more. And this is just a start. It’s going to be bad but good because I believe in 20, 30 things are going to completely take off from that point in a good way. I think a lot of good things are going to come from this. But anyway, that’s all you know, I’m glad you answered that question. I don’t know what other questions I can ask you, but.

No, no, I think that’s a good way to to round out this episode. And again, I definitely appreciate your time and to your point to what actually the three words to describe you. I mean, I think you definitely personifies your three words in this episode. I mean, everybody can see that’s who you are, 100 percent. So,

yeah. Because tomorrow I’ll probably pick three other words. I don’t know. So, you know, there is my ADHD right there. Come on, man.

I definitely appreciate it. I mean, I look forward to continually working with you. And again, by the way, I mean, we got your logo’s back, too, so I’ll be putting the final touches on those and getting those back to you in about a day or so. Right.

Oh, and by the way, guys, use this man. Anybody who listening to this is services because he does local designs, I can do them, too. But because of my time seat, I mean, don’t be John Wayne. Don’t do everything. It’s good to hire other people and utilize the services. Um, that’s another cat in the hat kind of comment because I apply it. I don’t just say it, I apply it. I could easily do this logo myself. But you know what? I need another eye on this. Or how about this? I need some eyes. And he’s got that ability to do it because he’s got a team of people where would just be me and one other person, you know, utilize talent when you can. I would totally use him.

So definitely appreciate it, man. All right. See, Grant over now. Have a good one.

Yes. Yes. Talk to you soon, man.

All right.

Thanks again later.

thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss UnCaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming a Trailblazer at this podcast. Helped you please email me about it. Submit additional questions. You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop me your thoughts at asksagrant.com post comments, share it, subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your inner Beast. S. A. Grant signing off.

listeners of Boss UnCaged are invited to download a free copy of our host S. A. Grant’s insightful book, Become an Uncage Trailblazer. Learn how to release your primal success in 15 minutes a day. Download now at www.Sagrant.com/bossuncaged.

The Founder Of The Ultimate Knife: Ladislao Mandiola AKA Lad – S1E21 (#21)2021-02-23T20:32:35+00:00
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