Episode 109 Part 1 – Jerry Brazie
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to Episode 109 with Jerry Brazie – An Inside Look at the Operations of a Thriving Transportation Company
Jerry is an experienced entrepreneur who has more than 20 strong years of experience under his belt. He started from humble beginnings and now owns and runs TKM Holdings, LLC, and he is also hosting his podcast “The Jerry Brazie Podcast.” His company focuses on logistics specializing in transporting everything from paperwork, auto parts, medical supplies, lab specimens, food specimens, etc.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Jerry shares his “hellacious story,” of his humble beginnings; how he was working by age 11, and was out on the streets by age 17.
- How he disproved the idea that “there’s no way getting ahead when you’re poor.”
- Learn the value of work ethic.
- Do you know that there’s a huge hidden value in giving away service for free?
- There is no such thing as competition for real men, find out why in today’s episode.
- How do you fight with institutional generational poverty?
- Discomfort is usually where you’ll find success.
How To Stay Connected With Jerry
Want to stay connected with Jerry? Please check out their social profiles below.
With that… let’s get to listening to the episode…
Jerry Brazie 0:00
I’m trying to reach as many people as I can to let them know what reality is for them, contrary to a lot of what I see as seen on social media, and in the media in general, and that is that you can’t make it. I’m a dirt poor kid. I’ll tell my story. It’s a hellacious story of where I grew up and how I got where I am. I have zero education. I didn’t graduate from high school, I was on the streets at 17 years old. And along the way, I’ve been able to fashion this career for myself and the way that I did that. And so my whole life I heard it was somebody else was pulling the strings. I grew up in poor neighborhoods. It’s just about telling people what’s possible and then to give as much advice as I can for free. I want to help as many people as I can, and the younger the people, the happier I am to help them particularly the young startups.
Richard Matthews 1:04
Richard Matthews 1:47
Hello and welcome back to The HERO Show. My name is Richard Matthews and I am live on the line with Jerry Brazie. Are you there, Jerry?
Jerry Brazie 1:53
Richard Matthews 1:55
Awesome. Glad to have you here. So, Jerry, you’re joining us from Portland, Oregon?
Jerry Brazie 1:59
That is correct, Richard. Yes, sir.
Richard Matthews 2:01
Awesome. And for those of you who are following along with our travels, we are still serving out our Coronavirus sentence in Kissimmee, Florida. So we’re still here, we’re not moving for all of the craziness that’s going on in the world. So that’s where we’re still at. So for those of you who don’t know who Jerry is, I’m gonna run through a quick introduction for him, and then we’ll get in and start talking a little bit his story. So Jerry was a … … kid from Portland, Oregon with eight brothers and sisters, which is pretty awesome, who has owned and operated more than a dozen companies over the last 20 years with combined sales of more than 400 million, as well as a commercial real estate investor with multiple buildings in Portland as well as land development and a residential home builder. So, what I want to start off with, Jerry, is what is it that you’re known for now? Why do people come to you? What’s the primary product or service you offer to the market? And just start there. What is it that you’re known for?
Jerry Brazie 2:53
I own a large transportation company. We have about 130 employees. Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Everywhere from I have a walker that does work for the DA in downtown Portland, all the way up to your line hauls that line haul between three states. And every vehicle in between I’ve had that business, now –
Richard Matthews 3:14
You’re gonna have to define a couple of things for me. You said walker and line haul and I don’t know what either of those things mean.
Jerry Brazie 3:21
So literally we have a walker down in the courthouse that moves files for the district attorney and is an employee of mine and so I have someone that actually walks for a living working for the county and –
Richard Matthews 3:38
So you literally mean a walker. Someone who is walking.
Jerry Brazie 3:41
Yeah, someone who walks just like The Walking Dead, literally a walker and then all the way up to every vehicle in between, if you will, depending on what needs to get transported all the way up to line hauls and trucks that go interstate.
Richard Matthews 3:57
Awesome. So that’s the transportation company you guys do – what things do you transport? Is it just – you mentioned files and then what things are on some of your bigger?
Jerry Brazie 4:09
Literally, anything and everything from paperwork to auto parts to medical supplies to pharmaceuticals, lab specimens, food specimens, you name it, it probably has moved or is moving on our trucks.
Richard Matthews 4:27
So interesting question then just because I’m not in a space where we have to move products. How does someone know when they need to hire you? Is this something that you have to go out and do marketing to find something like hey if you need something moved, you hire us. Or do they go: Oh, you know what, I need to hire a transportation company and they go looking for you.
Jerry Brazie 4:41
They largely come looking for us. There’s a certain sales aspect to it and has been but when people put out requests for bids, particularly at our size, we’re going to be one of the first people that one of the first companies that are going to make sure particularly in Oregon because we have such a huge footprint out here. And things are so far apart out here that that transportation companies with the infrastructure that we have are few and far between. So, some we just started an account here at the first June as a million two a year as an example. And we were one of three companies in the country that could have done it. So to some extent, they’re coming after us but then the company’s built long and hard off of just good old fashioned knocking on doors and getting sales calls.
Richard Matthews 5:31
That makes a lot of sense. So just out of curiosity, how does coming in and doing podcast interviews like this help build that business?
Jerry Brazie 5:39
Richard Matthews 5:40
So what’s the purpose of the podcast interviews? Is it …
Jerry Brazie 5:42
It doesn’t. The purpose of the podcast is my story and where I come from, and I’m trying to reach as many people as I can, to let them know what reality is for them. Contrary to a lot of what I see us seeing on social media, and in the media in general, and that is that you can’t make it. I’m a dirt poor kid. I’ll tell my story. It’s a hellacious story of where I grew up and how I got where I am. I have zero education. I didn’t graduate from high school. I was on the streets at 17 years old. And so I’ve been through – I’ve seen multiple murders and suicides and violence like you wouldn’t believe. And along the way I’ve been able to fashion this career for myself and the way that I did that and so my whole life, I heard it was somebody else was pulling the strings I grew up in the poor neighborhoods. And is that man back east that somehow has had some impact on my life and there’s no way to get ahead and when you’re poor, you can’t do these things. And so I said as part of this podcast and starting the podcast, the Jerry Brazie Podcast, it’s just about telling people what’s possible and then to give as much advice as I can for free. I want to help as many people as I can, and the younger the people the happier I am to help them, particularly the young startups. So I have a lot of interaction with young startups, companies that are two-three years old that are trying to figure out how to grow, and again that access to how many people are out there this is a bit self-serving that have done well we’re almost $500 million in revenue over 22 years. I didn’t know the first good goddamn thing about business when I started. So I didn’t know about interest rates, I didn’t know about mortgages, I didn’t know about financing, I didn’t know about anything. I am a kid from the street and so my podcast is all about – and me doing this is to try to get that message out about what’s possible.
Richard Matthews 7:34
That’s awesome. So it sounds a lot like – it actually sounds like it’s a really good fit for where we’re going with this show because one of the reasons why we built The HERO Show is just the idea that for so long historically if you look – You said you had kids before we got on the thing every kid show you watch the villain is always an entrepreneur. It’s some guy who’s pouring oil in the water and killing all the ducks. The good guys have to fight against the entrepreneur. And I’ve always hated that message. Because the reality is, is that everything you interact with on a daily basis is built by someone like you. Someone who is coming in and touching and building all the products and services that we use on a daily basis. Entrepreneurs really are what make the world go round. So we’re looking to tell stories of entrepreneurs and help lift them up and make them into the heroes that they really are. So, which I think drives really nicely into my next question for you, which is about your origin story. So we’ve talked on this show, every good comic book hero has an origin story. It’s the thing that made them into the hero they are today. And so we want to hear that story: were you born, were you bit by a radioactive spider that made you want to do business? Or did you start a job and eventually move into becoming an entrepreneur? So basically, how did that happen for you? How did you get into the world of business?
Jerry Brazie 8:51
Necessity and opportunity. So I am child Number Seven of Nine kids, and my parents had six kids by the time they were 22 years old. So that’s if my older six brothers and sisters are less than a year apart on average, my mother had a zero-year-old and a five-year-old, six kids. And then – if you can imagine that. And then seven years later, I came along and they didn’t want me to be an only child. And so I have a little brother that’s 22 months younger and a little sister that’s four years younger than I am. So that’s born right into the middle of this big family. And we were about as poor as you could be. And so powdered milk and stealing food. My little brother and I knew how to steal from every shopping mall and center that you can imagine. And which is how we fed ourselves a lot of time. Really the true definition of a latchkey kid because my mother worked. My dad worked. No one was ever at home. And we were just left to our own devices. And so that is the way that I grew up. Not a lot of college or high school graduates in my lineage, on neighborhood wise, it just wasn’t something that happened. And then by the time you’re 13-14-15 years old, the streets start to take over. And by the time I was 17, I was out of high school and at 16, and by 17, I was living on the streets. But growing up like that, the one thing from an origin story perspective for me is I got my first job at 11 years old, I washed dishes. I paid taxes, believe it or not, Richard. I paid taxes as an 11-year-old. I had a job. I got a job at a local restaurant up the street, I washed dishes, and he paid me in a check. And I remember it’s the first time I’d ever had money and he paid me in a cheque and took taxes out and then I went down to cash that check it was $17 and 34 cents, and I cashed that check for all $1 bills, so that I looked like I had a lot of money like I had seen on TV, and bought my first meal with my own money. It’s the first meal I ever bought at a restaurant was with my own money and so that started. I add at that very young age, I’ve never not had a job since. And I’ve never And I’ve never missed a day of work. I’m 51 years old. So for 40 years, I’ve not missed a day of work and I’ve never not had a job. And because for me, work and food went together. Once I got that job, I figured out that I could eat based on that job, eat food that I liked and eat food that I wanted, then for me that was always inextricably linked. And even to this day, I gotta be honest, if I gave myself the chance to think about it, it’s all subconscious, now, I think about it every morning. It’s how I’m going to eat so you gotta get up and go to work regardless of how you feel.
Richard Matthews 11:44
Absolutely. I have a similar story. I didn’t grow up on the poor side. I grew up in a middle-class household. But I got started in business at about 13 years old. I had been reading some books from Robert Kiyosaki that my dad had – someone had given him at work and he wasn’t going to read so I took them and read them myself. And I convinced my dad to give me a loan for 50 bucks. And I got the $50 loan from him and … as I rode to the Big-box store and I bought a whole pile of those big candy bars you can’t get at school. So the big Nerd Ropes and 100 Grand Bars and the big giant Snicker bars, and whatnot from the Smart and Final, and I went to campus with the proverbial guy selling fake Rolexes on the streets of New York. I was showing my wares except it was in a backpack and full of candy. And I lasted about six weeks and sold probably about 1500 dollars worth of candy before I got – I tell people I had – you paid taxes, I got my first government shutdown at 13. So I had the powers that be told me I was not allowed to sell on campus without a business license and being 13 I couldn’t have a business license so they shut me down. Anyways, that’s how that started for me, but it’s that addiction. You realized that I can actually create – I can create the wealth that I want. And for me it wasn’t linked to food, it was linked to freedom. I can do what I want. If I can create the income then I can do the things that I want to do.
Jerry Brazie 13:16
I didn’t have any concept of entrepreneurship or even business in general, or going into my own business until I was – I had an epiphany at 28. But up until then, I just knew that I worked at the small restaurant and then all of a sudden International House of Pancakes downtown on Saturday and Sunday gave me full time two days, and I just had to be there at six o’clock in the morning. So there I am a 12-year-old kid taking two buses to downtown Portland to work at this International House of Pancakes and they paid me 50 cents more and gave me a free meal. I’d have work for the meal. I say all the time. My favorite meal ever, I remember it like it was yesterday was a club sandwich. I never had that many fries before and the cooks knew I was a poor kid. They-you know how they cut that club sandwich into four pieces and they put the fries in the middle of it. Well, I had this giant pile of fries. Now again, everything I ever had up to that point you ate quickly or shared. Either you wanted to share or you didn’t because there’s so many hands. So this was the first time that I ever got to sit in the break room, I’m sure I covered it up and kept my eyes going back and forth to make sure nobody took a bite of it, but I couldn’t believe it. So right then that’s where I was like, Okay, I can make for myself, not necessarily entrepreneurially but I can make for myself through this thing called work. And really, ultimately through all of the rest of my life, and particularly those formative years as I fought my way from where I live to where I’ve gotten. It was all based on hard work. So no matter where I was, I just went to work. So if I’m living on the street, I lived at 25 when I was 17. I lived in a $25 a week flophouse with hookers and heroin addicts like you would imagine it looked like in a bad Dirty Harry movie, just one lamp, no lampshade, a sheet over the window, and a creaky old double bed, and a shared bathroom down the hall. And I lived there for $25 a week, but I did my best not to get robbed or killed on my way out and robbed and killed when I came home because I went to work every day. So I just had that coming from being poor, and from eating, it just was ingrained in me to go to work. And so where I am here today, I learned to be an entrepreneur, because I was always looking for a new job. I’ve had 25 jobs. I’ve always been looking for a new job. Wherever you’d pay me more, I’ll come work for you. And so then I worked for Safeway, and I work for McDonald’s, and I’ve worked everywhere. Give my two-week notice, I acted correctly. But if somebody would pay me more, I quickly figured out that that market force was at work, and that I had value because of my work ethic. And so I could extract money from that value that maybe my peers weren’t able to do because I simply was able to and willing to work.
Richard Matthews 16:10
That reminds me of one of the lessons I tried to teach my kids all the time. And maybe you’ve done something similar, but one of the things I always do with my kids is we’re going around them, our normal daily interactions is I always tried to point out the people who are working. And I always tell people, I tell my kids all the time, I’m like, you are paid in direct proportion to the value you provide. And so I always – we’ll point out – like the guy twirling the signs on the street, what’s the value he’s providing? And how much did you get compensated for that versus the person who’s selling you food at the restaurant to the people who were picking berries in the farms? I was asking, what’s the value they’re providing? And let’s take a step above that. And what about the guy who owns the farm? What’s the value he’s providing? And he’s providing the jobs and he’s providing the food and he’s doing all these other things. I’m like, do you think he gets compensated differently for that. So it’s like a conversation, we’re constantly having realized that, hey, the value you give is directly proportional to how you get compensated in this world.
Jerry Brazie 17:09
And that’s – And that goes back to that’s a great point because it goes back to why I’m talking to you and why I do these podcasts and why I do my own podcast is people don’t get – kids don’t get Get don’t get taught that. I was born in 1969 and went to school and through the early 80s, no one teaches you this stuff. There’s no one telling me how business works and economics works and civics works and it’s just gotten worse. It hasn’t gotten any better. So I think hopefully, through doing these things, and having these conversations with guys like you, that message gets out there.
Richard Matthews 17:47
Absolutely. So how did that transition go? You started, you had an epiphany at 28. How did you go from realizing that, hey, I could work time for dollars or I could work for free essentially and create a system that drives value and get paid considerably more for what you put in? How did that happen for you?
Jerry Brazie 18:03
Let me – I’ll back up. I’ve had two big epiphanies in my life that have put me where I am. And the first one was when I was 14 years old. When I was 13 years old, my older sister died of a heart disease, cardiomyopathy, that killed her on her 21st birthday. She died literally on her 21st birthday. And then eight months later, I went blind in my right eye. So I’m now a 14-year-old street kid, nothing but trouble. I’m six foot four 230 pounds at the time, I’m a big guy, and was just all full of piss and vinegar and looking for anything I can. And I got rolled by four guys at a mall here in East County, Portland. Rolled is I got robbed, and they robbed me and they gave it to me pretty good and they rolled me underneath of a bus stop facing in underneath the bench, and I woke up passed out and had blood all down my front – now this is 1983. It’s a different world than it is today. I got on the bus and took the bus down to my transfer point where I passed out under a big tree at a park. Because like I said, they gave it to me pretty good, figured out that my nose was broken, I have this big notch on the top of my – on the right-hand side of my nose. And so they had broken my nose and so I’m holding it shut and then I get on another bus and then I have a two and a half-mile walk. And I could take you to the point. I could take you to the spot today. Anytime I drive by it. I have to tell whoever’s in the car with me the story. I remember it – this well, it’s like it happened yesterday. And I was standing there just about to walk over the freeway on this bridge in northeast Portland. I’m holding my nose closed because the bone keeps jutting out and the thing won’t stop bleeding. Both eyes are completely black and my front is covered in blood. And I remember thinking at 14 years old, okay, if you don’t take care of yourself, no one’s going to help you. No one’s going to take care of you. I never had that epiphany as clearly as I’m sitting here talking to you. And I never forgot that. So that independence. Don’t count on anybody else. The government’s not going to help me. My family’s not going to help me. When I got home, there was no one there and for three days, it hurt you for three days. I sat in my bed and held my nose shut until the bone stopped coming apart. That’s what – when you’re poor, that’s what you call going to the hospital, is you just hold it shut until it no longer opens up.
Richard Matthews 20:19
Until it heals.
Jerry Brazie 20:20
Until it heals. Yeah. And so that’s the first epiphany I had that put me if I was to say, down that entrepreneurial road, that is the independent road where everyone else is going right and I decided to go left. It’s because, from that point forward, I was responsible for myself. If I went to prison that was on me, if I murdered somebody that was on me, if I sold drugs that was on me, or if I went to work and did what I’m supposed to and worked hard, that’s on me also. So I had that epiphany at 14. Jump forward to 28. I probably had about 25 jobs somewhere in there and I landed at a messenger company. Where I drove, because I like to drive and they would pay me more money. And so, as was my way that I did things, if they were paying me more, I’m gonna go do that. So I went and did that. And I enjoyed driving very much. I drove for about nine months, just driving my own car as a messenger. And I went to the owner of the company. There were about 30 employees at the time, and I said, Your dispatcher sucks. Now I’m 22 years old. I was like, your dispatcher sucks. But here’s what I’ll do. And I don’t know why I was – I don’t know why I knew to do this. And this is very important to anybody listening. I don’t know where this came from. No one was counseling me. I wasn’t reading business magazines. I didn’t know anything about investing in yourself. I just knew inherently from a street smart perspective, I suppose, that this made sense. And what I said to her was the following: I’m assuming you’re paying that person 40-50 thousand dollars a year to dispatch. I will do it for you. I think I can do it better. I will do it for you for $10 an hour now. I knew how to live on $10 dollars an hour. That goes to me. That was a fortune. I said, I’ll do that for you for $10 an hour for six months. If at the end of six months, I’m doing the job that you want me to. And you think the job I’m doing is better then you pay me what you’re paying her. And I did that job for seven years. And I ran that company from a million and a half dollars a year to $5 million a year running the entire operations working 10-12 hours a day. But for the next six months, I worked 10-12 hours a day doing this dispatch job for $10 an hour well under what I should have been paid but the payoff the investment in myself was that I got the job making $45,000 a year which obviously was more money than I could have ever imagined in my life. So then that’s when it started to click for me and I was like, wait a minute, okay, I have this I have these skills. And these skills, much like when I went from the restaurant locally to the IHOP or from IHOP to Safeway on a much bigger scale. These skills have value. So now I’m 27-28 years old, I’m sitting in my office. And I got approached, I had trained all of the dispatchers in town and had grown a bit of a reputation. So I approached from a company out of Seattle, and they said, Hey, Jerry, why don’t you help us start a company and we’ll put you in charge of it. And I said, Okay, and they had sent me a pro forma, and a forecast on what they thought the business would look like. And I remember sitting there, two pieces of paper in front of me, I had no idea what I was looking at. Now, I was tortured. I was hot shit, and everybody working for me was twice my age. And I could tell you where 30 people were at one time and keep track of 100 things in my head and have three conversations at a time and I couldn’t be touched. I was the greatest. And all of a sudden, I have these two pieces of paper in front of me. And I’m humbled. I didn’t I literally didn’t know what I was looking at. And so it’s the second epiphany in my life of the two major epiphanies I’ve had. And sitting there in that desk staring at those downtown Portland. It just came to me. And I said, if you don’t shut up and listen if you don’t find people that are smarter than you are, you’re going to still be working for $45,000 a year or maybe a little bit more when you’re 50 years old. And I had that specific epiphany, shut up and listen. This is before all of these online gurus and all the rest of it are telling us to shut up. I just knew again, I had that inherent feeling. Shut up and listen. And so what I did is I got rid of all of my friends, because all we did is talk about sports, play sports, talk about sports, go to the bar for sports, argue about sports, sports, sports, sports. And so I said there’s no value in that. I need to find friends that I’m dumber than. I need to find some attorneys and some accountants and people who know better than I do, and then shut up and listen. And so I’m sitting here today because of that epiphany and that company ended up – I did $3 million, my first year for those guys, they didn’t believe that I would do that. And so I ended up having to after a year, they fired me. And 17 days later, I opened this company now. And here we are 22 years later.
Richard Matthews 25:16
That’s really awesome.
Jerry Brazie 25:17
That went on forever there. But I wanted to make sure I answered that thoroughly.
Richard Matthews 25:21
No, that’s some really good stuff. So there’s two things I want to pull out real quick, that I think are really important for people to get. One of them is the idea that you learn to invest in yourself at a young age. So the whole idea that if I make myself more valuable that you get. So like your example of: I will do this job for $10 an hour knowing that it’s less than what it’s worth. I tell people all the time that entrepreneurs are willing to work for free for future value.
Jerry Brazie 25:31
Richard Matthews 25:52
And so we actually operate that way in our own company. That’s how we close sale is I’ll go into – going to talk people in but they’ll come to us with projects, stuff like that. And I will just do the first part of the project for them as a way to prove to them that we can actually help them by actually helping them and getting them a result. And they come back. They’re like, how much is that? I might say the first one is on the house kind of thing. It’s a work for free kind of thing. And those things turn into big, long term contracts that are worth, over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Jerry Brazie 26:21
And people will tell you, people will tell you all the time too. And I could not agree with you more. I see it all the time online, particularly with new owners, new businesses asking for advice and they get all this advice about whatever you do, don’t do the shit for free. And I just throw my hands up in the air. Because there’s this all again, the business gurus who have never ran a business, who’ve never owned a business, but boy, they read a book and then they’re telling: don’t do things for free. I’ve done more shit for free in my lifetime than I can shake a stick at and here I sit and you’re the same way. So I could not agree with that more as a great way to bring in customers and then if you don’t get it, again, it’s a learning experience. What you do right, wrong, what can you take away from it? Maybe something that guy will remember you down the line. There’s always value even when you lose.
Richard Matthews 27:17
So I’m a Christian. And one of the things that I always go back to is like in Jesus’s … talks about – all the different talks about one of the things he talks about is, you give first and then you receive. That’s one of those – I tell people that it’s the way the universe works. It’s not like, this is what you should do. It’s more like, hey, these are the laws of the universe, if you operate that way, that’s just the way the universe works. So we operate that way in our business and one of the things I’ve found is that if you understand how to do that and how to do it intelligently. So you learn over the years of what makes a good client … things and the ones that are worth actually putting some free effort into.
Jerry Brazie 27:59
Richard Matthews 28:00
But I have found even with clients that people who don’t end up becoming clients, you do something like that for them. I had one person that we didn’t end up being a good fit. But every time they run into someone that is a good fit, they send them my way.
Jerry Brazie 28:14
Richard Matthews 28:14
So that relationship is turned into more business than if they had become a client themselves. So that happens all the time. So I love the idea of learning how to essentially entrepreneurs work for free for future value. So that’s the first one that I wanted to call out. And the second thing that I wanted to call out was the idea that you are working for things that are going to happen next. Your future – the future is you’re not working for today. You’re working for the long game. You’re playing a longer game than other people play.
Jerry Brazie 28:54
I think the – and with that, the value in that for me was that back to that latchkey kid independence is that I had faith in myself because I was self-sufficient. I was taking two buses across Portland from one side to the other when I was six years old, nobody, all by myself imagine that in today’s world. And so I looked at that – I looked back on all of that fondly. And this is in the middle of the 70s, and the height of the heroin epidemic in downtown and there I am right there. But I look at that fondly, and say, the skills I picked up there unknowingly are ones that then helped me when it came time to invest in myself and believe that I’m always going to succeed. Almost gave me – It’s funny that you use the comic book reference because I say all the time that I think I’m Superman, so if you ask me what my superpower is, my power is I think I’m Superman, meaning that no matter what I’m going to do, I’m going to persevere I’m going to come out ahead and I can’t be stopped. I’ll put in the hours. I’ll put in the time. I’ll put in the effort. I’ll put in the pain. I’ll put it in the risk, whatever it is, I will do it. And then if I lose, I shake it off, I stand back up. And guess what? I go do it again. And I go do it again. And I go do it again.
Richard Matthews 30:11
My question for you on that is when did you come to that realization because it’s something that I think a lot of entrepreneurs realize. And I tell people this all the time, I was like: You can’t compete with me. And the reason I know you can’t compete with me is because I will work you under a table. And I tell people that all the time – and in my areas, places that I know that I have skill. You can’t compete with me. And because I will outwork you. I will out-think you. When long after you drop them to the table drunk from taking too many shots. I will continue going.
Jerry Brazie 30:45
Richard Matthews 30:46
The whole – and that’s it. It’s a thing that anyone who is in that entrepreneurial space who has their belief, they have that realization that I’ve gone to the point where you can’t be competed with and I’m just curious where did you come to that realization for yourself that you’re like hey, there’s no competition for, in my case, I say there’s no competition for real men or real women who are actually willing to put in the work.
Jerry Brazie 31:09
On the comp I’ve said that same thing here over the last few years. My producer is 27. He started with me when he was 25, Billy. And I have that young of a person too because we play off of each other and I get a good insight into what the 25-26-27 and people we use to edit are young and so I tell them all if I was 25 years old today, none of you would stand a chance. The opportunity that’s available today to kids is so tremendous over what I had back in the 80s It’s insane and so they should be glad that I’m not 25-26-27 because I will just be crushing everything that I came across, and for me, though I don’t look at it as a competition. I really didn’t until just recently, I just had this utmost faith and belief in myself. I didn’t need to hold myself accountable to anybody else, or to beat out anybody else. I was fighting institutional generational poverty. That’s what I was fighting. So my race was I didn’t want – to the extent I was going to have kids, and I have three of them now. They weren’t going – I was not going to continue this legacy that I came from, which is this institutional poverty that was just generational. I have kids that I went to school with that are my age that are great grandparents that are my age, 51 years old. Think about that. So they got pregnant as teenagers, their mother had them as teenagers, their daughter got pregnant as teenagers, and now the daughter is pregnant. So we’re talking about great-granddaughters at 51 years old. And so that’s the norm. That’s the expected. That’s where you are going. And so for me, I was running from that as quickly as I could and if someone got in my way, I just pull you over because there was going to be – I was just going to work as hard as I could to amass as much as I could. And I’m going to add that epiphany at 28. I started to learn, that’s when I really took off because I started to learn exponentially at 28. Because I was open to hearing what other people said. I realized I know a lot about one thing, but there’s this whole other world that started with spreadsheets, and I had no idea what they were. And so for me, as I started to learn exponentially, by 33, I was a millionaire. And I’m 51 now and have been in business for almost a quarter of a decade.
Richard Matthews 33:35
Jerry Brazie 33:36
So that would be my answer to that. now it’s about competition and and and the young guys, and all of that but coming up and going through the last 20 years, really it was just about me, cementing a change in my lineage from where I came from, to what I was passing on to my kids.
Richard Matthews 33:53
It’s one of the things that I talk about all the time is the reason I can do a lot of things that I can do is because I found a shoulder of giants. Everything from entrepreneurs that came before me to the next generation. My dad worked his ass off to give us the life he gave us growing up. Cause he came from where you were. He was poor. His dad died when he was eight years old and he basically helped support his family of five when he was 15 years old and put his older brothers to college. And we never wanted for anything as kids because of the amount of effort he put in. And I had such a great starting point, because of where he put us off to that. I’ve been able to, like you said, crush it. I can crush it because of what I was given to start with. And so that’s a really cool place to be. And it’s funny, because like you mentioned, getting to the place where you realize you need to be in a room with people who are smarter than you are. I remember I had that realization just recently and I think just recently was within the last four or five years that I realized the thing that was holding my business back was that I was the smartest person in all the rooms I was in. And that’s the problem. If you want to grow, you can’t be the smartest person in the room. And so I started changing the rooms that I was in. And I remember the first first time I got into a mastermind, that I’m still a part of now that the first weekend that I was there With these people, I was like, in my head, the picture I have of the way it felt was like, I was in a room, in a swimming pool with all these varsity water polo players. And I was a seven-year-old learning how to swim. I don’t even know how I managed to get into that room. But there I was. And it’s funny because three years later, after getting in that room, my business is four times bigger than it was.
Jerry Brazie 35:40
You can’t go anywhere. I say this all of the time on Twitter, on Instagram, without being uncomfortable. If you want to find any success, doesn’t matter what it is label success however you want. It doesn’t have to be monetary success. I believe that you can’t get there unless you’re uncomfortable and being the seven-year-old in the water when all of the college-age kids are playing Water Polo, that is uncomfortable. And a lot of people don’t want to do that, because they don’t want to be wrong, particularly men, and particularly young men. Because nobody knows more than 22-year-old dudes. And so it can be very difficult to do, but it is, again to use your term another superpower is that ability to withstand that uncomfortableness. And then to just absorb, to just learn, to just take in that radiation, to keep that superhero thing going to just suck all that in, and it doesn’t sprout right away. You’re not just taking off and running with it. But it will take hold. And there’s a lot of lessons to be learned. Just if you take away nothing else. Just be uncomfortable. And being uncomfortable is where you will ultimately find success.
Richard Matthews 36:53
And one of the things that I’ve found, and you’ve probably speak to this a little bit because you’re in that space yourself, is I have found that entrepreneurs that are 10-20 years further along the road than you are are incredibly helpful. And they are like, I have not yet run into someone who’s 20 years farther down the road than I am, who is not absolutely willing to sit down for coffee with me and help me as a young entrepreneur get to the next level, which is something in my head, I didn’t believe that as a younger entrepreneur, 5-10 years ago, where I was like, I can’t talk to those people. They’re unreachable. They’re untouchable. And then you find people like yourself or some of the people that are in my mastermind groups who are – they’ve seven-figure businesses, and I’ve got a small six-figure business. I was like, why would they talk to me? Why would they take the time? And you find out that one of the things that I have found is pervasive in the space of entrepreneurs is how much they are willing to give back to the next generation of entrepreneurs. So my encouragement to the listeners is that don’t be afraid of that. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Because you’ll find that. You’ll find people and entrepreneurs and you’ll find the people who are smarter and more educated than you are more than happy to, even if it’s just to sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk about your business, talk about life, talk about the skill that you need to have. It’s really cool and the thing that I’ve discovered is if you’re talking to someone who has an experienced and you turn around and you implement the things that they tell you, they are all that much more likely to just step up and do more. Help you more.
Richard Matthews 38:26
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Jerry Brazie 39:59
I just did a post the other day about why do people ask for advice? And then they don’t follow it. I have people come and ask me about business and this is what my business is doing. And I think back, okay, 20 years ago, I had that same problem. Here’s how I dealt with it. That was wrong. Here’s what it cost me. So then I ended up doing this. So you go do this, and you’ll be just fine. And then they don’t want to go do that. And then I think: you weren’t asking me about brain surgery. Because if you’re asking me about brain surgery, I don’t know anything about brain surgery. So I wouldn’t have answered the question but you asked me about-you asked somebody who has done that specific thing, made the mistake, paid for it, fixed it, and this is what I did to fix it and you can save yourself all the grief but you don’t like the answer so you don’t follow the advice. So to your point, just the other day, I tweeted that out but on the flip side to it – and I’ll use Billy again my producer, he bought a house and here’s – here you go: Why would somebody like you help somebody out, that’s just coming up? So Billy wants to get into real estate and wants to get some passive income. I’m a big real estate guy. And so I’m helping him buy his first duplex. Really the first house that he ever bought, and he bought more than he thought he ever could and was a great deal better than what he thought he could get. But after 10 or 12 deals had fallen through, he was starting to feel like it wasn’t going to happen for him and he’s asking questions that I found to be quaint. And so what I learned was that I got to vicariously remember how uncomfortable doing these deals can be. and the enjoyment and the excitement that comes from doing those first deals because when I signed for real estate, somebody brings me the paperwork and I sign it and somebody runs off with it. There’s none of the pomp and circumstance that comes with it anymore. But at the same time, it helps me reinvigorate me for business whenever I can help younger guys and I love business and we all love business. And I think that that’s great advice on your part because not enough people. What I find is interesting, Richard, people will pay for advice before they’ll ask for advice. On the internet, they’ll pay for it before they’ll ask for it. And I don’t know how that makes any – a lick of sense, whatsoever. But that’s been my experience. Oh, I’m buying this program here. I’m buying this program here. And it’s like, well, you could just ask me, you can just reach out we’re on the internet. There’s a million other people just like me. We’re here. You can just ask.
Richard Matthews 42:37
We’re here, just ask and I have gotten more accomplished by finding people that are doing things that I want to do and offering to take them out to lunch than anything else. And it’s amazing how often people will say yes to things like that be like hey, I noticed you run a really cool business. Can I offer to take you out to lunch, stuff like that, and people say yes to stuff like that. But to your point about asking for advice, that’s uncomfortable. One of the things that changed my business for me was that that room I told you, I went to. The first time I was in the room. And all the people, I felt like I was in a pool full of water polo specialists. And I was a seven-year-old kid who didn’t know how to swim yet. One of the things that I was invited into the room because I had a specific set of skills. And so in certain areas, I was the smartest person in the room, which was cool. So that’s how I got into the room in the first place. But we all came around and chatted about the things that we were skilled at. And when it was done, the guy who put the mastermind on together, he pulled me aside, he was like, Hey, I have a couple of pieces of advice for you. And he was like, the thing that I noticed about your business and the things that you talked about, things that you do, which are really cool and really powerful, is you’re your own bottleneck. And he was like the thing that I want you to do when you leave here is hire this person. Go out and hire this person to do these things in your business, and in my head, I was like, I can’t do that. I can’t afford to hire someone right now. I don’t know how that would happen. And he was like, I don’t care how you plan to pay for them or anything else he’s like, the thing that you need to do is you need to hire them. Hire this person, and have them do these things. And I remember panicking internally, and being like, I can’t do that, that’s not something that – I’m not in a place in my business where I can afford that. I can’t do anything. And I remember literally shaking because I was like, I respected this guy. And he was really good at what he did. And when he offered advice like that, I was like, I know I need to do that. But I know in my head, I know I also can’t do that. But I remember going home and I sat on it for a couple of days. And then about a month later I just I hired the person for – and I was like I’ve talked to my wife about it, I was like I don’t know how we’re going to do this because that means I’m on the line for this person’s salary and their families depending on us and our revenue and there’s all these things that go into. Now, I’m Not just a solopreneur, I am a CEO. And I’ve got other people’s families who are relying on the revenue that our business generates and they were like all this fear that went into hiring staff. And I’m sure you probably remember the first time you hired someone, but I hired my first person. I was like, I don’t know how we’re gonna afford this. And my wife is like, I trust you. You can do it. So I hired the person, we hired him on. And I didn’t know how we were going to pay for them. And by the end of the first month, they’re like, it clicked for me that now all of a sudden, it wasn’t just my 40 hours a week that was getting worked out. I had another 40 hours of work that was getting put into our output. And within the first month, we doubled our revenue. Because I was the bottleneck. And it wasn’t something that I could see. I couldn’t see that because I was on the inside. It took someone else giving me that advice. And to me, despite being scared to death of that advice, taking it anyways. And since that day, my business has grown four times. So we’re four times larger than when we started everything from employees to revenue to number of clients and all sorts of things. Because I was willing to take advice that I was afraid of and act on it.
Jerry Brazie 46:05
And the thing too is when someone like that gives you that advice from his perspective, it’s not really advice. It’s: here’s what you go do. Here’s what you go do based on the 10,000 different experiences, I’ve had that bring me to this point to give you this advice. To you, you’re going: Oh my god, I can’t buy that duplex, or Oh, my God, I can’t hire that person. And I’m sitting here going, but you can’t not.
Richard Matthews 46:29
You have to. … have to do next.
Jerry Brazie 46:31
Correct. You just can’t not do it. And as soon as you do it, you’ll realize that this is gonna happen. And that’s what I mean. When you find those groups, when you find a part of success is finding that mentor, and that person should challenge you fiercely. So that person if you have somebody that’s just there to egg you on and give you a good time and tell you to keep working hard. That’s the wrong person. You need somebody that makes you uncomfortable, somebody that calls you to the floor, and because this is a Battle. Business is it’s rough. And if all you’re getting is good vibrations in advice, you’re doomed. The guys that can handle the ugly parts of business are the ones that typically are going to come out ahead. I assume every day, I’m going to be out of business when I come in in the morning, and that gets me through to the end of the day, and I start all over again, because again, I come from nothing. That’s another part though. Also, along those lines is that I don’t fear risk and risk to your part-risk in buying or getting on that employee or risk in buying the duplex. I don’t feel risk because I’ve been poor, and I drank powdered milk. And so that doesn’t scare me. And I think that stops a lot of entrepreneurs from doing what they think they or what they want to do, simply because they’re frightened of the repercussions. But I say like that CEO said to you, if you could look through my eyes for two minutes, you would see what’s possible well beyond anything you could ever imagine, if you came from, say, your background. And so when I tell you, this is what I would go do, and I don’t think twice about it, well, you’re going to toss and turn and be up all night, three weeks in a row. And then you do it. And it usually works out, particularly if you’re taking that advice. So, for me, I never forget that I don’t have any risk aversion whatsoever. And I have three kids at home and I started a business with a brand new son at home on a house that I had just bought. And so for me, it was a no brainer.
Richard Matthews 48:34
Yeah, because one of the things that I have learned over the years, I call it learning to be a parachute builder. And what I mean by that is, you jump off the cliff and learn to build a parachute on the way down. That’s the way entrepreneurs operate. And it’s one of the things that you have to learn that skill for someone who came from a privileged background because of all the work my dad put into his life. I have to overcome some of that stuff. And I exercise that muscle regularly now where it’s: we jump first and then we figure out how it’s gonna happen because the risk is part of the game. It’s part of the game that you’re playing.
Jerry Brazie 49:12
And that’s how you find success. I say, people go: I don’t have any money. I said that’s wrong, it’s the wrong way to look at it. Figure out what you want, and then go find the money because believe it or not, money’s always easy to find. Well, how could Jerry? How can you even say that? Because I’ve done it 5000 times and I can direct you to 20 people right now, that’ll give you loans that you didn’t even knew existed. Ways to finance startups and companies and real estate that you didn’t even know existed. Now the interest rate might be a little bit more and you’re gonna have to work twice as hard for it. But there are ways of financing things that the average day person just doesn’t understand. And so I say go find what you want. Figure out what that is, and then go find the money afterwards. Because nine times out of 10 you’re going to be able to secure financing for whatever it is that you’re trying to – whatever it is you’re trying to do. So we can all plan too much and save too much and work too hard to try to get these things going. But if we listen to some advice and get some access to people who’ve been there and done that, you can save yourself enormous amounts of time. And and probably hedge your risk just a little bit also.
Richard Matthews 50:23
Absolutely. So I want to talk about something a little different in the interview. So we first covered your superpowers already. You didn’t know we have a section for that, but we already talked about Superman, but the flip side of your superpower is of course your fatal flaw. So just like every Superman has his Kryptonite or Wonder Woman can’t remove her Bracelet to Victory without going mad. You probably have a flaw that has held you back in your business, something that you’ve struggled with maybe it’s perfectionism that something I struggled with for a long time keeps you from shipping, or lack of self-care that lets your clients walk all over you. But I think more important than what it is, is how have you worked to rectify it? For our listeners who might suffer from the same thing, they might be able to learn from your experience on that.
Jerry Brazie 51:04
I, as a younger guy, as you can imagine, who had all of these responsibilities working for the company that I worked for when I was 28. Like I said, I had 100 people that reported to me directly. And then when I started my business at 28, and then I grew it to $3 million in the first year and then I had to – I got fired from that. And then I went and retrenched and started again 17 days later. I did $4 million my first year. 8 my second. 12 my third, and 14 my fourth. So I had this exponential growth. It was exponential growth. I had 220 employees and what I learned, so you can imagine how big my head was. Coming from the streets. 33 years old, I’m a millionaire, 10-12 years prior I’m living in a flophouse. And so I got way out over my skis. And I don’t know how people dealt with me. I don’t know how anyone put up with me, I really don’t because I was a nightmare. And I knew the answer. And I had, I was all-powerful. And I’ll outwork you and I’ll out-think you, I don’t need you. And so that probably cost me five years’ worth of time, I’d be five years ahead of where I am now if I hadn’t gotten out of my own way. And so that ability to let other people – I always say a good manager took me years to learn that. Learn this: a good manager gets people to do what he wants them to while letting them think it’s their idea, which is very difficult to do as a person is that you do all the work, you put all the effort into it, and then you tell them what to do and let them think it’s their idea, Jerry, I can’t do that. Exactly. Now take that time 1000 because that was me. So not only what I tell you what to do, how to do it, and then shove it in your face that I did just tell you what to do, and how to do it. And so I was a nightmare. So I really had to learn. And again, some of that comes with maturity, I had to brush off the street kid that I was in the rougher edges and learn how to operate in an organized society. So really, I would say, that was my Kryptonite if you will, and then I cured it through just extensive introspection, and I evaluate. I have a very analytical brain and so luckily, I’m not emotional at all, which is very beneficial when it comes to business. Because making decisions emotionally is just brutal. So I have a very analytical brain, and I don’t get too excited generally. And so I was able to work through that pompous ass that I was, and and and look at myself, honestly, maybe this is by the time I was 38 or nine. So it took 10 years and from that point forward, the business has really really taken off and really everything I had really started to sprout this 13-15 years ago maybe.
Richard Matthews 54:08
So that’s actually a really interesting discussion because I have – I understand that. Where when you realize at a young age that you’re the smartest guy in the room, it’s a hard thing to deal with. And so I remember going through that myself, I had some benefits. One of my mentors growing up, my spiritual mentor growing up, taught me a lot about how to actually think about myself and … and one of the things that I learned pretty young was that that the difference between humility, and what people think humility is, and what humility actually is, is this idea that a lot of people think humility equals denying your own skill set, denying your skills and you either are a pompous ass or you’re humble. That’s what those two things are. And what this thing is you are capable of recognizing the greatness that you have been given, your spark of divinity, the things that you’re really good at, and being humble about it, which is the idea that: hey, I’ve earned the things that I have, I’ve earned the skills that I have. And I have value there. But realizing that there’s more, other people have that as well. They have the things that they’re good at and their skill set, realizing that you’re not the end all be all. And it’s a hard thing to understand. How do you not reject your own skills? But also, we used to, you recognize them, but don’t do it in a way that you turn into the pompous ass as you said.
Jerry Brazie 55:40
And for me, what I had to do is I had to transition this goes contrary to popular belief, but I think this is in my experience is 100% true. I had to transition from a low small ego to a big ego. You go, god, Jerry, all we hear is our whole lives is that big egos are bad. I said, and I’ll tell you that the ingredient is a big ego with a healthy dose of humility. And so I’m humble, I don’t forget where I’ve come from. Now, this is all through maturity, getting to where I’m sitting here as a 51-year-old telling you this, but over the last 10 years, it’s really that humility and that humbleness, not forgetting where I came from, combined with a large ego. And what a large ego allows me to do is I don’t care about being right or wrong. You can be right all day long, Richard, as long as you’re making me money, I could care less. So in terms of that, it’s not important to me anymore. I don’t identify as that person who has to be right or wrong. In fact, I really don’t care. Because my ego is unassailable, you’re not going to hurt me no matter what you do. So that means I can give you all of the credit. I can give you all of the glory. I can stand in the back of the room while everyone claps for you and I’ll be right there clapping, right along with you, and then I’ll be the one that’s making the money and my Company continues to prosper. And so that’s what a large ego does. That small ego is the one that makes you want to run to the front of the room and say I did it. Right now, I can’t let you do that. That’s offensive to me. I can’t give up that credit. Look at me look at me look at me. And that’s where it makes business very difficult, particularly when you’re managing people. So those ingredients for me humility and humbleness doesn’t forget where I came from, combined with then this large ego that doesn’t let my feelings get hurt. And a healthy dose of I don’t get too emotional anyway, are all some of the key ingredients. And again, I keep using superpowers to use your theme that have helped me get where I am. So I agree with you on that.
Jerry Brazie 55:43
It’s a really interesting thing. And it’s hard. There’s not a word that describes that. So it’s hard to discuss, but it’s that idea that you have to have. You have to have a big ego and that arrogance. The understanding that I’m here, I’ve earned this, I know where I’m at. I know where I stand. I know what my skill sets are. And I know that nobody can really touch me. So it doesn’t matter whether or not I get the adulation or the praise or whatever. What matters to me is that my business grows, that my team gets the things that they need. That they get the adulation that they need, that they get the praise that they need, that they get where they want to go in their life. And because of the work they’re doing for our business, that’s more important. I don’t need to have my ego stroked because I’ve already – it’s already there. I’ve earned it.
Richard Matthews 58:15
Right. That’s 100% correct. I agree.
Richard Matthews 58:35
It’s a really really interesting discussion. Glad you brought that up. That’s really cool. So my next question for you then is your common enemy. So every superhero has an arch-nemesis. It’s the thing that they constantly have to fight against in their world. So in the world of business, it takes many forms, but generally speaking, we put it in the context of your clients and people that you work with. And it really is a mindset or it’s a flaw or something you constantly banging your head against the wall. You’re like, hey, if I didn’t have to deal with this thing. Or you had your magic wand and you could just bang your clients on the head with that at the beginning of your relationship that you could get better, cheaper, faster, and or a higher degree of result for them. What is that thing that you constantly have to fight against in your business?
Jerry Brazie 59:12
So to anybody that doesn’t know, Richard has a long list of questions wrapped around this superhero theme that he does. And that’s another one of his questions. And so I just want to say, I read your questions, but I didn’t give him any thought because I wanted to answer each question, spontaneously. I didn’t want to have anything scripted out. I don’t have any notes for just this reason, because as you’re asking me the question, now I’m going through my head to see what pops up rather than some canned response about what may or may not have impacted me on the day that I read the question. And so I think I came up with a better answer than I would have otherwise, which is that the thing that is my arch-nemesis is, is I have two of them: critical thinking and passive-aggressiveness. Common sense and passive-aggressiveness. Passive aggressiveness be they in customers. But really be they in just the general population employees when you have as many employees as I do. You see so many otherwise talented individuals with work ethic, but they just don’t have common sense. If I could bottle common sense and sell it, I wouldn’t have to do all these other things I’m doing, I would be a fat cat without – no question about it. So critical thinking and common sense, are just so missing and lacking today. Particularly in the sub-40-year old demographic, and I don’t know what – I have ideas on why that is. But as the kids, as I get older and they get younger, that whole ability to discern and look at a problem and figure it out, seems to be becoming less and less of a skill and to the point now where I say in order to be Extraordinary. You just have to be ordinary, to be ordinary when I was born, or to be extraordinary when I was born, you had to really stand out. That was something else. And today, as an employer, I will take extraordinary which is really just ordinary by any other measure. So I would say that if I was to be critical, or what is that thing that I fight the most, that I wish I had more of, or could teach more of, or could find more of, I would say, critical thinking and common sense.
Richard Matthews 1:01:31
I think we are seeing an A lot of that play out on our national stage in politics right now.
Jerry Brazie 1:01:38
Richard Matthews 1:01:39
It’s kind of insane.
Jerry Brazie 1:01:41
Well, right along that, not to make it political but right along those lines. It takes critical thinking to vote, it’s – and this is a perfect example: Nothing that you hear or see on television is true. For the most part, you have to or if you take it at face value. It’s not necessarily what you think it is, you owe it to yourself and you want to build yourself in such a way that you will question everything and verify. A good example and I’m not saying this is true or not, I’ll just use this as an example. Let’s say the Amazons. They’re destroying 100 yards of the Amazon every day. You go 100 yards of the Amazon. That’s terrible. And that’s the way that they’ll still sell it to you. What they don’t tell you there’s 87 billion yards of Amazon, and we couldn’t destroy it in 500 years if we tried. Now, like I said, I didn’t say that’s true. I’m just giving you that for an example. A critical thinker would say, Okay, how many square feet or yards are there of Amazon that were destroyed? See that one more question, but it’s so easy to stop at 100 yards, that’s terrible. And not go to that next question. And that’s where we want to stop being emotional. We want to start being analytical, and that’s where critical thinking comes in. So imagine if everything a politician said we fact check. And you did the work rather than it makes you feel good because he speaks so eloquently or all the rest of it. No, I don’t care about any of that. Here’s what he said, I have this very cool thing called the world that I hold in my hand. Every bit of information ever amassed in humankind is right there. And I can simply look it up and do my own research. That’s what I mean by critical thinking. And I think it’s why I grabbed hold of that when you said politics because I think that’s great – we’re also divided and everybody’s on their side of the fence and I really don’t care if you tell me one thing, and it doesn’t turn out to be true. I’m going to vote the way that the facts take me.
Richard Matthews 1:03:38
And it’s really interesting too because one of the things that I have – I was taught growing up because it’s one of the things that I say, the reason I can do what I can do is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. One of the things my dad hammered down my throat as a young kid is he never answered anything for me and to this day, he still doesn’t and the best that he’ll ever do for me is to help me think through problems. But he’ll never give me the answers. And I do the same thing to my kids because that’s how I was raised. And it’s this idea that the answer is never just handed to you on a silver platter, you always have to go to the next level, you have to take it the next level deeper and understand how you search for things? How do you find things? How do you use those thinking skills? And it’s-I was blessed to be taught that. But it’s something that can be learned. If you weren’t taught that it’s something that can be learned. And what I find interesting is one of the things that I do in my business is we do a lot of – we build education for other companies, help them sell it. And a lot of the education that we’re teaching people is we teach people how to do things. I work with a couple of – you do real estate. So I have a couple of educators that teach real estate investing. And being a real estate investor does not make you a great teacher of real estate investing. Those are two separate skill sets. What one of the things that I’m really good at is teaching. So I can work with – I worked with a publisher model for a while where somebody is an educator or who has a skill set and wants to be an educator. And so we do a lot of how you build a training that gets people to take actions. Because we’re not teaching people how to read and write, which is you just learn that by rote and you just have to muscle your way through it, you’re teaching people how to do things that if they want to get the results, they have to go out and change their action, they have to do things differently. So you have to teach in such a way that encourages those actions to change. And so to your point, you mentioned the idea that people will make decisions based on emotion. And what’s interesting is people make decisions based on their emotion, but then they generally will go back and back them up, hopefully with logic. So the idea that I buy a BMW. I go to the store, and I buy a BMW because it makes me feel good. Because it looks cool, because the way people interact with you when you drive a BMW, you get interacted with differently. That’s an emotional buying reason. And then when someone asks you, why did you buy a BMW, you don’t respond well, because it makes me look cool and I like the way that people interact with me. I bought a BMW – even though that’s true, you don’t respond that way you respond with well, it’s got a 3.0, inline-six engine and blah, blah, blah. You have all of the logical justifications for why you bought the BMW. So people make decisions with emotion and they back up with logic. And one of the things that I find is really interesting is, for some reason, when it comes to the critical thinking skills and things like what’s going on the politics is we hear the emotion and then we don’t do the next step, which is like, let’s go and logically back up that emotion and find out – prove these things true is the emotional trigger, like work? Is it actually worth being there? So it’s an interesting step that for whatever reason, in certain areas, we don’t take the same actions we do elsewhere because in your most-of your other decisions in your life, you do emotion first, backup with logic, and for whatever reason in politics and global things like that, it seems like we stop at the emotion and then forget the critical things.
Jerry Brazie 1:06:58
Particularly if they tell you what you want to Hear. particularly if it goes along with what you already believe. That to me, that comfort, this goes back to being uncomfortable, that comfort level where somebody will say something, and I’ll go I agree with that. I like that. But no, that’s uncomfortable. Don’t do that. Because the world is hard. And when you are going through life and you’re making decisions, the easy decision is rarely the correct decision. And that’s been my experience over – like I said, a dozen companies and everything that I’ve been through. And so the hard decision is typically the correct decision. And so I searched for, and I’ve trained myself that I don’t pay – when I’m comfortable, something’s wrong. The little warning bell goes off now, after all of these years, and something tells me I need to verify exactly what I think because this is too simple. And so if someone says something to me and I go, I really liked that. That feels good. Nope. Hold on a minute. Let me go check that because that sense of I get along and that feels good to me there’s no value in that. I need to check that and make sure that’s right. And then now I might be uncomfortable because I learned that it’s not true and the person who said it I look up to and all and then you start to justify it and all of the rest of these things. This saying from a political perspective is also true in business, those same skills, you can look at politicians and critique them and fact check them, business is the same way because politicians are going to throw you easy answers, and rarely is the answer ever easy. Rarely is it ever – the hard way is always the correct way.
Richard Matthews 1:08:38
It’s the same – it’s exactly the same way in business. You mentioned earlier, a lot of people like to pay for advice. And when you buy advice, you are given advice that is sellable. So if someone’s going to sell advice, they have to package it up in a way that people are going to want to buy it. So you are not buying, you’re not generally buying – I don’t know how to say this – you’re not buying the raw advice. You’re buying the advice that is packaged in a way that can be sold. And so when you are looking at things that are sold online and business and all these things – I have learned over the years that I’ve been in business, that if everyone else is doing it, it’s probably wrong.
Jerry Brazie 1:09:26
Richard Matthews 1:09:27
That applies to pretty much everything in life, but everyone else is doing it. It’s probably …
Richard Matthews 1:09:34
We had so much fun recording this episode, we had to break it into two parts. Check back next week for part two of this exciting conversation.
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