My guest is Jevon JT McCormick.
He was born the son of a black pimp father and a white orphan mother.
he’s made millions in the stock market (even though he didn’t go to college),
He serves as a board member for Conscious Capitalism
Today, he’s the CEO of Scribe Media, a multi-million dollar publishing company with more than 1700 authors, including members of The Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Nassim Taleb, and David Goggins, whose blockbuster book Can’t Hurt Me has sold over 2 million copies.
Jevon and I talked about:
- Why he said ‘negativity never solved anything in spite of being raised in a negative environment that could easily lead to cynicism
- Why he doesn’t believe in hope and instead choosing belief
- Why he focuses on god, health, family, business, and investing only and is cutthroat with everything else
- How he broke the intergenerational pattern to create his greatest accomplishment that is his family
- How he uses gratitude to brings himself and employees back to focus
- Why his unstable childhood became the source of his extraordinary EQ and social intelligence
- Why confidence was all he had and how that brought him success and fulfillment
- Why he printed only 5 copies of his book instead of making it public at first
- Why he believes ‘listening and surrounding yourself with great people far smarter than you’ is the secret to running a multi-million dollar business
- Why he thinks CEOs are over celebrated and why people, process profit and going 3 layers deep is the way to go
- His 3-step advice to young people who are reinventing themselves during this time
- The number 1 question he asks candidates to weed out those who don’t have a culture fit
Please enjoy my conversation with Jevon JT McCormick the CEO of Scribe Media
- Scribe Media
- I Got There: How a Mixed-Race Kid Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Arrive at the American Dream
- Think and Grow Rich
Wisdom QuotesI am not a victim. And I always found a way to, how do I use these for positive? How do I get better? How do I learn from these circumstances? Click To Tweet It was always proving something to myself. It wasn't 'I'll show you'. It was more proving that I could do it. That regardless of the circumstances, I could do it. Click To Tweet I always believed if I saw someone else who had already done it. Okay. Then I can do it. Click To Tweet Life isn't fair. It isn't fair. It's never going to be fair. So put that shit aside and focus on, okay, what are we going to accomplish with this? I can't change the past. I can't change what I was born to, but what can you change? And… Click To Tweet You can wake up timid and meek in a weak mindset, or you can wake up confident. And at times confidence was all I had. It didn't cost me anything. And confidence got me through life sometimes because it was all I had. Click To Tweet Even if no one else loves you in the world, you should always have one person that loves you and that's you and that became 'okay, I love me some me. I love myself. If no one else loves me, I love myself in that confidence that love of… Click To Tweet I've got five pillars in life that I live by God health, family, business, and investing. Click To Tweet Thank you for waking me up. Thank you for the gifts, blessings, talents, and abilities. You've given me. Thank you for my family, our home, my career. Thank you for bringing me to where I am now. Click To Tweet Rarely do people pray harder when things are going great. And everybody finds God when things are going wrong. And so I truly commit to praying even more and giving more gratitude when things are going great for me. Click To Tweet The biggest most therapeutic thing I'd ever did was when I wrote that book for my kids. I wanted five copies as a legacy piece for my kids, and I wanted it to be passed down as a legacy piece for my great, great grandchildren. Click To Tweet I just own the hell out of who I am, where I come from, what I endured. I was whatever I had to be to get to wherever I wanted to go in life Click To Tweet When it comes to business, uh, know your numbers, know your company Click To Tweet My calling is to show others what's possible. Click To Tweet What most people would call mundane, I call glorious. I love the structure, the routine, the discipline, the consistency, all the things I didn't have as a kid Click To Tweet Everyone's not going to like me and I'm not going to spend my whole life trying to make everyone like me. Click To Tweet As CEO, I moved some roadblocks and obstacles, make some decisions, set some direction, but the actual execution comes from the company. If you want to give me an award, give me an award for hiring. Cause I figured out how to hire people… Click To Tweet CEOs in my opinion are over celebrated. It takes a team of people to execute. Yes. CEOs set some direction. Yes. CEOs make some decisions, but you've got to have the right people in place to execute. Click To Tweet We're striving for customer fulfillment. We're not striving for satisfaction. What a low bar that is. Click To Tweet There's no success without sacrifice. I don't care who you are. You will sacrifice for success. You will have to sacrifice something. The goal in life is to find the things that are most meaningful to you and be cutthroat with everything… Click To Tweet
Transcription by AI
How to Come Out Ahead After Facing Major Setbacks & Defeats
Welcome to noble warrior. My name is CK Lynn noble warriors, who are interview hearts and entrepreneurs about their spiritual disciplines with deconstruct a mindset, mental models, actionable tactics. So you can take them engineer your life with more impact and fulfillment. If you have any entrepreneurial friends who are reinventing themselves, who could use more inspiration, please share this episode with them. They'll thank you for it.
[00:00:25]guest is Jovan McCormick. It was born to son of a black pen father in a white orphan mother. He's made millions in the stock market, even though he didn't go to college.
[00:00:36] He serves as a board member for conscious capitalism
[00:00:40] today. He's the CEO of scribe media, a multi-million dollar publishing company with more than 1700 authors, including members of the Nobel peace prize committee. Now seem to let David Goggins whose blockbuster book can hurt me, has sold more than 2 million copies.
[00:01:00] Giovanna. And I, we talked about why he said negativity never solved anything. In spite of being raised in a negative environment that could easily lead to cynicism,
[00:01:11]how he found his calling in business at the back of his father's car.
[00:01:16]Why he focused on God health, family, business, and investing only in his cutthroat with everything else,
[00:01:25] how you broke the intergenerational pattern to CRE his greatest accomplishment. That is his family,
[00:01:32] how he uses gratitude to bring himself and his employees back to focus
[00:01:37] why his unstable childhood became the source of his extraordinary IQ and social intelligence
[00:01:45]white confidence was all he had and how that brought him success and fulfillment.
[00:01:51] Why he printed only five copies of his book instead of making it public first.
[00:01:58] And why he believes listening, uh, surrounding yourself with great people far smarter than you is the secret to running a multi-million dollar business
[00:02:08] and why he thinks CEOs are over celebrated on why people process and profit and going three layers deep is the way to go.
[00:02:18] You also share with us his three step advice to young people who are reinventing themselves during this time.
[00:02:26]Please enjoy my conversation with Javan JT McCormick, the CEO of scribe media.
[00:02:32] Please. Welcome Javan McCormick, my man CK. What's going on, sir? Thank you so much for being here, Javan. I, so, so appreciate you from the moment that I heard about you.
[00:02:44] Mommy told your stories and some, you know, some of the time that we converse with each other, uh, you're the real deal. But if you can bring us back to a little bit for those that don't really know your story, bring us back to, you know, the circumstances that you were born into and how you face the worst of humanity.
[00:03:05] Just paint a little picture for us. That would be really great place to start. You touched on a little bit there in the introduction. You know, my, my father was, uh, a black pimp and drug dealer in the 1970s. And in addition to that, my father also. Father 23 children. So I'm, I'm one of 23. Uh, my mother was a, uh, an orphan.
[00:03:28] She grew up in a 1950s institutional orphanage where the, the kids were routinely beat abused, neglected. Uh, w when my mom turned 17 years old, They gave her a, um, they gave her $20, a small suitcase, and they said, good luck to you. There's a world. And she had never been outside those, those four walls. So that's what I came into the world too.
[00:03:51] And I, I grew up in extreme poverty. Now, when I say extreme poverty, us poverty, because being poor in the United States is a lot different than me important, somewhat some other countries. Uh, but for here in the United States, we, we grew up very poor. Uh, I was that kid that at times I would eat out of the trash can to have something to eat.
[00:04:13] I was that kid that, because I got free welfare lunch at school, I would eat Friday at lunch and I wouldn't eat again until Monday at lunch. Oh man. I was, gosh, I was in and out of juvenile three different times as a kid. One of my dad's prostitutes. Um, Sexually molested me from the ages of six, seven, eight years old.
[00:04:38] I don't have, I've got a GED. I don't have a college degree. And here I am, man. And so there's a, there's a lot more in between there, but there there's the, uh, there's the base of it. I, I, I mean, it sounds like a movie literally from, it sounds like, uh, the pursuit of happiness, uh, the time when you were stuck in the subway, it's it sounds like, you know, part of the madman episode, the flashing back.
[00:05:07] Um, but the way you tell it, as you were just rattling off, Some, some script. I mean, how did you as guests? How, how did you maintain this optimism? Because, you know, I feel it like you are a beacon of light and it's so easy for you to go down to a space of cynicism and no possibility. How did you go from that?
[00:05:32] In my mind, darkness to, you know, the positive person that you are today. CK. I feel a lot of it is just, you don't know what you don't know. So at times I didn't know her, it was poor, you know, it was just, this was the circumstances. There were other kids around me who were in the same circumstances. So a lot of it was just, okay, this is where I am in, in.
[00:05:57] What do you do to make the most of it? And you, you found peace and happiness within some of that, that chaos and that fractured, uh, upbringing don't get me wrong. Lot of ugliness in between there as well. And I, like you said, it goes off as a script. Well, I look at it this way. It was my life. That's how I grew up.
[00:06:16] I am not a victim. I refuse to let my background, allow me to be a victim. I can't change the past. I can't change any of it. I can't change who my father was. I can't change who my mother was. You know, I I'll even share this with you. I am truly the product of an abortion. What I mean by that is my mom. Had an abortion before she had me, the abortion was so bad.
[00:06:43] The second time she got pregnant, she made the choice to say, okay, I'm just going to give birth to this child versus having an abortion. I I'm okay with that. That doesn't, that doesn't bother me. I've I've spoken with my mother and I've told her, you know, you, you should have never had a child in and that's okay.
[00:07:02] She shouldn't have, she, she didn't, there were times where my mother and I were raising each other. We were learning things at the same time. So, um, I'm gonna leveling challenge you this a bit, because the way you phrase is, you know, you're like a walking Buddha almost right. Hey, all these circumstances happen.
[00:07:21] I'm just going to rise above. I agree with you a hundred percent. And in that moment, when people are calling you names, when they're being racist at you, when they're beating you, when they, when you are hungry, when you're humiliated, when you're being. You know, sexually molested. I mean, like it didn't just happen.
[00:07:40] Right? So that was a dark space. And when you were receiving all of those abused, the worst of humanity has to offer, how did you go from that darkness to equanimity and ultimately to forgiveness, to love like that is in my mind the day extraordinary. Path that you took on. funny. You, you, you rolled off, you said the name calling and I hadn't thought about this, this story in quite some time.
[00:08:11] I remember as a kid because I'm half white, half black. And I remember as a kid, you know why white people didn't like me because I was half black, black people. Didn't like me because I was half white. You know, I was never black enough. I was never white enough. And, but one particular time. And, you know, kids would always tease me.
[00:08:31] Call me Oreo cookie, call me zebra chocolate, vanilla, swirl, color confused. Huh? I mean, all, anything you can think that has, they can make that mercy. Yeah, there was zero. I walked in the class one time and at my desk, this kid had put, I'm gonna show my age on this. This kid had put a Polaroid picture on my desk and there was a picture of a zebra.
[00:08:56] Man crushed me crushed me because there wasn't anything I could say. I had learned to be quick-witted and, and make fun of other kids and joke and go back and forth. But when I saw that picture, I'm half white, half black and you, you call me a zebra. And I just remember just, I felt just decimated at the time.
[00:09:22] Um, but I. You want to say, how did I rise above? I took all those little things that were happening to me and going on. And I always found a way to, how do I use these for positive? How do I get better? How do I learn from these circumstances? You know, what one story that I recently opened up with and because I never told this story before I was embarrassed of it.
[00:09:48] My first lesson in business came from a dark place and it was one, one weekend. My father had me and we were out collecting money from prostitutes. I was sitting in the front seat. I just remember it was cold outside. And we pull up to the first lady and he cracks the window. So every time I tell the story, I can smell the heater in the car.
[00:10:10] Every time we tell the story. So he cracked the window. And she, she slid through a stack, a stack of cash and she asked my dad, Hey, can I come in? You know, I made my account, I made my money and he's like, no, no, no, you're on a roll. And you know, he encouraged her to get back out there and keep, keep it going.
[00:10:26] You're real positive. And so he rolled up the window, we drove off and we went over to the next lady. And she slid her money in and it was short, you know, her, her stock wasn't as big. And my dad lost his damn mind, get your ass back out there. And they called her every name you can think of. And I remember when he rolled up the window and we drove off, I said to myself, huh, and I'm nine.
[00:10:50] I remember this. I said, I wonder if I treated the prostitutes better and let them keep part of the money. Could I have more prostitutes and make more money in volume because they want to work with me. And then ultimately I'd be the King pimp, if you will. And then I thought, okay, but wait a minute. A lot of other pimps are going to be mad because I'm going to take their women.
[00:11:19] And I was having this full blown conversation with myself at nine on how do you scale this business? And when I, when I look back. I feel like I was I'm doing in life. Exactly what I was meant to do, which was, was business. And because at nine years old with prostitutes, that was my early entry into the business world.
[00:11:40] And I w I wanted to know how you did it better. How do you put people first? How do you treat them better? How do you scale it? Um, but I do to directly answer your question, I always tried to find the positives in negative situations. And, and I can go back so far as a kid and remember that, um, be putting up the Christmas tree with my mom.
[00:12:05] We had this little three foot Christmas tree, cause we didn't have much money and we literally had maybe 15 decorations and my mom would have us hang up one decoration, stand back, look at it. And, and D because it would take longer. And so it seems like we had more decorations, but that was a positive.
[00:12:26] And I always tried to find the positives in every negative situation that I was in. Mm. I, I appreciate that. Um, I guess, I guess what I'm getting at is, so I'll make it personal. So it's, it's when you're in a dark place, it's easy to. Train your inner dialogue, your inner narrative to say our show you as a come from place to do something.
[00:12:52] Right. But the way I experienced you is not that it's, it's not our show. You rather it's Hey, learn from the positive, you know, coming from love and compassion and, and then use that as a source of fuel. Rather than that, you know, our show you as a source of fuel. So I was curious to know how you, perhaps at one point you were in that hour show, you, you know, that source of view or two, then you transition to, you know, Hey, coming from a place of love and empathy and compassion.
[00:13:23] So it was more curious that that internal narrative shift, if there was any, the, the place of love. And, and not feeling a desire to have to prove something that really came later on in life, because everything for me was having to prove something. It mainly to myself, it wasn't anyone that was approved that, okay.
[00:13:49] I'm not going back to the hood. Prove that I can make money, prove that I can figure this job out, prove that I can feel it was, it was always proving something to myself. It wasn't now I'll show you. It was more proving that I could do it. The, that regardless of the circumstances, I could do it. And here here's what became very critical for me.
[00:14:14] I always believed if I saw someone else who had already done it. Okay. Then I can do it. I always believed that in re regardless if it was true or not, I believe in my, okay. They did it. So then why can't I do it? And it's even this a CK, even I've heard so many people say. Well, it's not fair that a minority has to work a hundred times harder than a white person to achieve the same success.
[00:14:45] And for me, I've always looked at it as, okay, great. It may not be fair. But if I got to work a hundred times harder and I gotta be a hundred times better, that's exactly how I see it. I'm just a hundred times better than you. So I'll make myself shine and I, and again, that's me. Where's the positive in this cause I learned a long time ago.
[00:15:06] Life isn't fair. It isn't fair. It's never going to be fair. So put that shit aside and focus on, okay, what are we going to accomplish with this? Yeah, there's a phrase don't wish it's easier. Wish you a better. And that's why you've taken on even this, I, you know, the dark place you talked about. If I go to my bed right now and I pull the covers over my head.
[00:15:34] And I sit there and I say, okay, why me? Why was I born to a, uh, a pimp father? Why am I one of 23 kids? Why was my mother and orphan? Why is it to this day? I still don't know where my last name comes from. I have no clue. My mom got the last name McCormick in the orphanage, and we don't know where it comes from, what you know, so I can lay there and say, why, why, why.
[00:15:58] Why doesn't change anything. I can't change the past. I can't change what I was born to, but I figured out early on, okay, I can change tomorrow. I can change the next day. I can change the next hour. And that became the focus. What can you change? And let's work on that because I can't change who I was born to.
[00:16:16] I can't change my race. Hell God knows. To this day. Lot of people out there probably don't like me. Oh, well, and so I focus on what, what can I have a hand in, in changing? Yeah. So, so if you don't mind going into that. So I'll contextualize my question a bit. Um, the internal dialogue, the internal, the tone of the internal voice determines the quality one's quality of life, um, and sharing.
[00:16:45] And personally the tone, my internal voice used to speak to me is this harsh critic. Nothing is ever good enough. In my experience of life was complete misery, even though on the outside, you know, I have all the achievement and accomplishment and all the beautiful things, right. And then I had to take on this journey of changing this tone or team rather, right.
[00:17:10] It transformed his tone into more loving and nurturing such that my, my experience of life is more fulfilling that way. So I'm curious to know, was there any. Like, how does your internal voice speak to you? You show up so bright. I appreciate th this actually was developed in, in my childhood. Because of the harsh circumstances I grew up in because on any given day I was going to get in a fight, someone, you know, tease me.
[00:17:40] He didn't like me, you know, called me half-breed whatever, uh, may in front of me. Cause I had holes in my shoes, never the case. I remember I used to get teased a lot for having a white mother. I remember at times I used to be embarrassed of that. I used to be embarrassed that I had a white mom. Why I, you know, that that was ridiculous.
[00:17:57] Um, but I remember. Yeah, I had to make a choice early on. You can wake up timid and meek in a weak mindset, or you can wake up confident. And at times confidence was all I had, it was free and you know, it didn't cost me anything. And so it was okay. I'm going to be confident today. And confidence got me through life sometimes because it was all I had.
[00:18:24] I may not have had food. I may not have had money. We may not have electricity water, but I had confidence. And that's confidence got me through many a day. Um, because when you walk through that alley, you walk to school, you walk through some of those halls at school. All you had was confidence on your shoulder because I didn't have the nice clothes.
[00:18:45] I didn't have lunch money. I didn't have a good home to go to, but dammit, I had confidence and that's. That confident even today, when I talked to myself, he asked me what's the internal dialogue. Um, one of positivity, one of confidence, one of belief. I don't hope I don't wish. And I don't use the word luck, so I don't use hope, wish, or luck.
[00:19:12] Those three words were eliminated out of my vocabulary as a kid. Mm Hmm. What's the difference between bravado and confidence? You're gonna laugh at me cause, um, I don't even know what bravado means.
[00:19:30] I, I w I don't run. I sit in meetings to this day and I'll stop the medium by. Okay. What's that word mean? I don't even know what, bro. This is great. I agree. I mean, to me, that's a sign of someone who's confident. If I, if someone who knows everything, I pretty much for sure that this is, this person is pretty insecure.
[00:19:49] So the fact that you shared like, Hey, I don't know what that means. Shows real confidence. Bravado means like a, like an empty PO like puff up when there's no substance in my mind. Right. Versus in my mind, confident person, someone like you, you can easily say, Hey, I don't know this. It's okay. Right, because you're secure with who you are.
[00:20:12] So one is coming from a place of insecurity. The other is from a place of authentic security. So for you, I'm curious to know because you didn't have anything. Right. And then yet you are able to be confident. So I was curious to know, was it bravado? Was it more. Like authentic confidence. It was, it was authentic confidence in any image.
[00:20:36] So I'll dive a bit deeper into that. I realized, um, when I got separated from my mom and she didn't know where I was and I was supposed to be with my dad and he was in England and no one knew where he was and I got left with my dad's prostitute. Um, And at times you felt like, you know, what, what the hell is going on.
[00:20:59] And, and you felt like no one loved you. But I always remember saying to myself, and this, this is powerful. I feel everyone can benefit from this. My, my opinion, even if no one else loves you in the world, you should always have one person that loves you and that you and that became the confidence like, okay, I love me some me, so that's, um, I, I, I often remember.
[00:21:28] I love myself, you know, you, you, if no one else loves me, I love my myself in that confidence that love of myself. Um, I actually even believe it's what kept me from doing drugs. It kept me from being an alcoholic, uh, that coupled with the fact that I grew up in and just seeing extreme addiction and realizing, okay, don't want anything to do with that.
[00:21:55] I saw just deep heroin addicts and you you're you, uh, I want nothing to do with that. So love of self. Confidence in, again, both of those in my opinion are choices. That's not something that's a, you don't have to learn that you just have to wake up and say, I love myself. And I'm a confident person today.
[00:22:17] You don't have to learn that. That's, that's not something that, that someone has to teach you. Okay. Here's how you take the, the hammer and nail the nail into the piece of wood. You have to be taught how to do that. All you have to do is wake up and tell yourself is I love myself. Even if no one else does.
[00:22:34] I love myself and I am confident today. Yeah. Our minds are really powerful tool, body as a terrible, uh, it's a great servant by a terrible master as, as the same goes. What you just share is something that's very simple to execute to do. But for those that have a mind, that's been a Tyron all their life.
[00:23:00] It's not as. Simple because the inner resistance is there. So, so, uh, what Jay teachers share is a simple step on one could do as a way to just sell program oneself. I love myself. And so on. So is there anything else that you wanted to say about way to cultivate this inner self love in yourself?
[00:23:21] Compassion? Sure. So there are two programs. I call them programs that I've used for, for myself. And, and if you allow me, I go, I'll go through both of those formulas. The first one you heard me say, I don't hope, wish her luck. So I'll, I'll walk you through where that mindset came from. Um, when I was a kid and I would hope my dad was going to come pick me up.
[00:23:46] He never showed when I would hope there was something to eat. When I got home, it never produced anything. So I stopped hoping and I switched out hope for belief, belief, forces, execution. If you believe that you can get out of the hood, then you've got to execute to get out of the hood. If you believe that you can have the career you want, and you've got to execute to, to have that, you can't just sit there and believe without execution.
[00:24:11] I believe I'm going to have the big house one day. Okay, well, if you believe it, what are you doing to execute to get it? So I eliminated hope is CK. You'll appreciate this. So I've got a friend of mine, he's a pastor and he tells me one day, he goes, man, John. I said, uh, hope in my sermon, 16 times just last Sunday.
[00:24:31] He goes, I can't eliminate hope from, for my sermon. I said, okay, follow me here. I said, do you want me to hope? There's a God. Or do you want me to believe there's a God in it? And he's a pastor CK looks at him and he goes, damn. He goes, I never, I never thought of it that way. I said, see if I just hope there's a God, I don't have to actually commit to living a godly lifestyle.
[00:24:56] I'm just kind of hoping this God thing's real. But if you believe, then you have to execute that godly lifestyle that you believe in. And then, and then wish a man it's just a horrible word. Um, You can wish that you have the big house, wish you have the career, but it's not gonna do anything. You can wish upon a star all damn day, and it's not going to produce anything even in our house.
[00:25:19] Um, I've got four kids ages, seven, five, three, and two. So we have a lot of birthday parties. When we put the cake on the table, we don't say make a wish. We say, make a goal. And so there's no wishing in our house. So the, the word wish is that that Ray ranks right up there with the F-word. Um, I rather, my kids say the F word to me and say wish, uh, and then luck.
[00:25:44] There was just nothing lucky about, uh, about my, my life growing up. So if you look back at that, I, there was no luck. I don't believe in luck. There's there's execution. There's belief. If you believe, if you execute, then that's. That's where, so that's, that's one of my, my formulas, the second one, um, mindset, choices, and hard work equals success mindset.
[00:26:09] We, we all hear that alarm clock go off at four in the morning. We don't want to get up and I've had people say this to me. Oh my God, JT, how do you, how do you get up at 4:00 AM? You know, I'm not a morning person. Well, you're right. You just told you. So if you're not. So, if you tell your story, before you go to the second formula, I'm actually quite curious cause you have fixed pastors and you know, and I'm curious to know if you have any spiritual belief that you know, that you draw your inner peace from anything like that, or yeah, less is more about just, you know, I'm, I'm the captain of my soul.
[00:26:43] I'm the master of my fate. No, I I've got five pillars in life that I live by God health, family, business, and investing. If it doesn't fall within those five pillars, I don't do it. So you notice number one was, was God, no one introduced me to God. When I was a kid, I didn't actually learn about God till I was about.
[00:27:05] 13 years old when I lived with my uncle. Um, but I look back now and I see what I've made it through. I see where, what I've achieved, what I've become and for people who say, well, you know, I don't believe in God for me again, I don't push my views on anybody for me. I'm kind of like, Hey, to get through what I got through.
[00:27:27] There's gotta be a God out there. So I I'm, I'm a big person of faith and I believe in God. Yeah. Beautiful. And then, um, Let's see, how do you, I guess, commune or, you know, have that cultivate that relationship to your own inner spirituality. It was, do you have a daily practice? Every, every morning, every morning.
[00:27:49] First thing I do, I get up at 4:00 AM. First thing I do, uh, St. Mary prayers. First thing in my prayers can generally consist of gratitude, you know? Uh, thank you for waking me up. Thank you for the gifts, blessings, talents, and abilities. You've given me. Thank you for my family, our home, my career. Uh, thank you for bringing me to, to where I am now.
[00:28:11] And it it's. It's a prayer of gratitude and thank you. More than, than asking. And in here, this is very important to me, CK. I, you, you know this, you've seen people do this when something goes bad, everyone wants to pray to God. When we have a loved one in the hospital, everybody wants to pray to God. We go to prison.
[00:28:35] Everybody finds God. I'm the opposite. I tend to pray even more when things are going great in my life. As a show of respect in gratitude for, wow. Look at what, where you've put me. Versus it, because my belief is when those hard times come and they do for all of us, God's going to be there because I didn't just pray when I needed something.
[00:29:02] I didn't just show up. It's not a transactional relationship. Right. Right now it's kind of like, right. It's like going to the bank for a loan, handing some money, you know, it's um, it's, it's funny. I've looked at it like that. Banks will lend you money when you don't need it. When you need it, they won't lend you money.
[00:29:25] And it's kind of the same thing with God. No one, you rarely do. People pray harder when things are going great. And everybody finds God when things are going wrong, everybody. And so I truly commit to praying even more and giving more gratitude when things are going great for me and given my lifestyle, then there's little things that I give gratitude.
[00:29:50] When I flip on the switch at home and the light comes on, I even tell my kids, Hey, You see that light came that's right. It's magic. We didn't have that few hundred years ago. Be grateful. Yeah. You know, there's food in the pantry, in the refrigerator. I didn't have those things when in growing up. So yeah. I pray more.
[00:30:12] Harder, uh, give more gratitude when things are going great for me. I, I, I appreciate you saying this because you know, in my research you didn't mention this part at all. So that's why there was a missing puzzle for me. Like how did JT find so much grace and love and compassion? Not only for his past himself, but also share with others.
[00:30:34] I was like, and then, cause you just preach hard work and determination and like, yes. And. Like where is the source of that? So as I so appreciate you mentioning that, well, to go on that further to here, here's the other piece to this? Um, sometimes we pray to God and we ask for things. And when it doesn't show up in the form of which we ask for it, we're like, Oh, there is no, God, God doesn't listen to me, but we never take the time to sit back and say, Oh, I'm healthy.
[00:31:07] I'm mentally stable. I've got my arms and my legs. Maybe God already gave me the blessing to go out and give me the ability to go out and execute and do it for myself. Maybe that is the blessing. Not, um, it didn't show up exactly the way I want it. And I want a double stitched and I want, so it didn't show up the way we want it.
[00:31:27] And we're like, Oh, there's no, God. And I'm like, Hmm, I'm healthy. I woke up this morning and I'm mentally capable. That's the blessing. Let me go out and execute. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there, there there's a lot we can geek out from, from, from there. We can get into the metaphysical in a, in a moment. Uh, so I, I'm curious because you had also publicly said for 45 years, you lived then in authentic life and it wasn't until the last few you started living an authentic life and it's very obvious, you know, based on the, all of the talks that you made.
[00:32:05] You're owning your past. You're owning your, you know, the, your new name, right. While your own name and your new name on, on all of it. So I was curious to know, well, one thing I did forget to ask, did you take any, any kind of therapy or anything as a way to really the traumatic past that you experience, you know, especially the sexual abuse.
[00:32:33] Um, molestation part of it. No thing at all, I would say so. So I tried back in my thirties to go, and this may be arrogant of me. I'll I'll own it. Um, or close-minded, I'll say I don't, I don't believe it was arrogant. I tried to go to a therapist. And I remember going in and I asked it was a lady and I remember I asked her, I said, Hey, do you, by chance come from a two-parent home?
[00:33:00] And she said, yes. I said, okay. And, uh, she went to, to university of Texas to get her PhD. And I said, uh, did your parents pay for your college? And she said, yes. And I said, I said, how was your, your upbringing as a child? She goes, Oh, I have fabulous parents and blah, blah, blah. And then she, and then she cut me off and she said, well, you know, we're not here for, for me.
[00:33:26] We're here to talk about you, but what it did for me, I'm like, okay, What are you going to do for me? You don't know anything about the fractured, chaotic background that I come from. And that was the last time I went. I just felt like you don't relate to me. You know, what, what steps could you possibly give me to be able to move forward now again, that could have been very close-minded and arrogant, but I tried and it granted was one time.
[00:33:53] And then I walked out what actually worked for me. What was the biggest. Most therapeutic thing I'd ever did was when I did that book for my kids. Um, when, when we did that book and, and I remember, I, I never wanted my book to be public, never. I wanted to, I wanted five copies as a legacy piece for my kids, and I wanted it to be passed down as a legacy piece for my great, great grandchildren.
[00:34:20] Yeah. But I never wanted that book to be public. And through a lot of conversations, a lot of encouragement, a lot of support people are like, man, you got to make that book public. There's a lot in there that can, uh, help other people. And the help other people is what got me. I thought, okay, if people truly believe this, this is going to help other people I'll make it public, man.
[00:34:45] I was so nervous when that book went, went public because. There were just deep stories in there that I never want anyone to know. I didn't want people to know that my father was a pimp and drug dealer and father 23 children. I didn't want people who, you know, for, for all those years, everyone who just assumed I was Puerto Rican, I'm half white, half black.
[00:35:07] So for all those people who thought I had a degree, I guess what now I know. Um, and so. I was whatever I had to be to get to wherever I wanted to go in life. And here, this book was now going to tell that, you know, this, this is who he is. You know, I was a monster in relationship CK. I mean a beast couldn't hold a relationship.
[00:35:32] Didn't know how to treat a woman. Horrible in relationships. Um, here I am with my wife. Now we've been together nine years. I, it took me 40 years to finally have a healthy relationship. I just did not know how I didn't believe anybody just didn't know how to do it. And, but you have the skills. I didn't have the skills, man.
[00:35:52] Didn't have the tools that didn't know how I always wanted to be a good person. I just didn't know what that consisted of. Um, and what was funny is. What I found for me making money was easier than a relationship because money has no emotion. You know, all I got to do is keep making it, let me just keep making it, but a relationship now I gotta deal with somebody else's emotions and I can't even deal with my own.
[00:36:20] And so, uh, yeah, I was, I was a monster relationships. I wasn't fully authentic. Um, But man, I, I always, always, no matter, no matter what I always wanted to get better, I always wanted to learn. I always wanted to improve no matter what age I was that I can remember always wanting to, to be better, even in school.
[00:36:41] When I struggled to read where I struggled at math, uh, to this day, CK, I don't hold a pen or a pencil the right way. Um, I read excruciating the slow, but I always wanted to improve. Yeah. Well, I mean that, that curiosity and desire and determination is, is the fire is strong in you. It's it's my friend is, is very easy to see.
[00:37:08]So I'm curious to know. In terms of overcoming the PTSD or the trauma. Is there anything else that you did that really help you step into that other than the book? So, or, or it was the book, the singular catharsis that have you.
[00:37:24] Yeah, starting to really own the past own, you know, who you were and own all the, you know, the thing that even you did to others as well. Okay. I got two stories. They'll make sense. Work, work with me here when I share these. So for me, everything has always been, I'll learn. I'll make it happen. I'll figure it out.
[00:37:49] So just follow me on this. So back when I was 23 years old, I had got promoted to be the vice president of the Northwest region for payday loan company. 23 years old, literally had no business being a vice-president of anything. It's 23, but, uh, the gentleman sent me up there because I worked hard. I worked my ass off and I earned that promotion.
[00:38:13] So I get up there. I'm in Portland, Oregon. And I had never been, you know, th that was, I was like, Oh man, I have a hearing in Portland, Oregon. I've never been there. And, and, but it was beautiful. 30 days after being there, the owner of the company calls me up and he says, Hey, I want you to go down to Eugene, Oregon, and open up a new office.
[00:38:36] And I immediately, yes, sir. And I, I, he said you need anything for me? No, sir. You said, okay. Make it happen. So I hung up the phone, I sat back in my chair and Siki, I said to myself, where in the hell is Eugene and orange? I love that. You just say yes and figure it out. And so, so then I just went through my steps.
[00:38:59] I said, okay, step number one, figure out where Eugene, Oregon is. All right. Step number two. And this, this is like 90. Three 90 fours, this one, this, there was no MapQuest and all, you know, anything else to be, there was no Google maps. And so then it was like, step number two. Okay. Drive to Eugene. I get to Eugene.
[00:39:20] I pull over in a parking lot. I'm like, okay. Step number three. I guess I got to find a location. I didn't even know what a commercial realtor was. So I w I drove around, walk around, I looked and I saw signs that said for lease. I said, okay, called numbers. Finally got someone to help me, but that was the checklist.
[00:39:37] And then, and then the light went off and I go, wait a minute. I've got three of these offices in Portland. They all look the same. All I have to do is replicate that here. And so that, but that's how I learn now to your point. Was, was there anything else that I went through, uh, that was therapeutic in, in opening up?
[00:39:57] So I share that story with you. This story will make sense. So book comes out January, 2017. And may of 2017, my two co-founders Tucker and Zach say, Hey, you're going to go to San Diego and speak. I said, okay. Speak to who. And they said, you're going to speak on stage. I said, the hell I am. I go about what they said, you're going to tell your story.
[00:40:22] Oh no. And, and they said, no, no, no, you're, you're going to go out. It's a national, uh, EO event. You're going to go speak. And so I said, okay, I'm in, wait, wait, hold on, hold on. But there was a switch in your head from, I'm not a speaker to I'm a speaker. How did that happen? Was it as easy as, I guess I'm doing this now?
[00:40:45] Cause I guess, I guess I'm doing this now. And then I sat and I was like, okay, what do I do? And I, and they didn't help me. They didn't instruct me. So I said, okay, first. How do people speak on stage? So I literally Googled, uh, Joel, Olsteen the pastor TD Jakes, the pastor, Kevin Hart, the comedian and Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian.
[00:41:11] And I watched their stage presence. I watched to see what they did, how they did it, how they performed, and my takeaways were okay. Don't put your hands in your pocket. Don't look down and don't say, um, And that was where my three takeaways. I said, okay, I got that part. So then I went and I wrote my speech out, just kind of wrote my story down and said, okay, this is in.
[00:41:36] So I rehearsed it, rehearsed it, rehearsed, it stood in the mirror, kept rehearsing it. So I get out to San Diego and I remember staying in the hotel room, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. So then, you know, the moment comes, you don't want stage. And I, you know, deliver my speech 30 minutes, man. I remember afterwards I damned there ran off stage.
[00:41:57] I go behind the curtain, the gentlemen back there, he says, Hey look up. They had a screen back there and I was giving you a standing ovation. And I was like, Oh wow. And then this lady comes running up to me and she says, Hey, uh, who's your speaker, coach. And just like you saw me do, when you said bravado, bravado, I was like, what's a speaker card.
[00:42:19] She goes, who, who trained you on your stage presence, your delivery. And I go, Joel, Olsteen T DJJ, Kevin Hart and Jerry Seinfeld. And so what was interesting about that is when I told that story on stage and that really opened up to where, okay, man, I just own the hell out of. Who I am, where I come from, what I endured, and this is the damnedest thing.
[00:42:48] I just, some people just stood up and clap for me because I shared my story. Now, now here's the other part of the CK. And this is very important. Shortly after that, that, that day someone came up to me and asked me what my speaking fee was. Again, I didn't even know people got paid to do that. I, you know, I knew Jerry Jerry Seinfeld and Kevin Hart did, they were comedians, you know, European and make them, I didn't know, people got paid to tell a story on stage.
[00:43:18] And so I was offended when someone asked me what my fee was and then the why I don't understand it because when I was a kid and I needed money and my mom needed money. No one would give us any money here. I was now all the money I could ever ask for money on top of money. I need any money. And now you want to pay me to tell you about when I was pouring, I needed money.
[00:43:48] And that really the irony of that really got to me, I'm like, how dare you? You know, not to this individual, but in my mind was like, how dare you? Right? No one gave me shit when I needed it. When I needed money and I was hungry now, now I don't need the money. And, and I've worked myself out of that situation.
[00:44:10] And you want to pay me to hear about when I struggle and that, that was a real. Eye-opener for me on this podcast. Well, number one, thank you for sharing that, that story. I mean, you are a natural, uh, storyteller. You, uh, it's, it's interesting how you approach life is the complete opposite of how I approach life, meaning, um, I, I need to kind of survey the landscape, studying the books and see the best practices layout the, uh, the mental models.
[00:44:48] And you basically have very little. Uh, inner resistance. You just say, fuck it. Let's figure it out. Yeah. Opposite. I'm a burn. The ships guy. I'm like, okay, let's go. How are we going to do this? Yeah. It's now to be fair in scaling the company, I don't treat it the same way I live by this premise. When it comes to business, uh, know your numbers, know your company, you don't know your numbers.
[00:45:19] You don't know your company. And so I, I live by knowing your numbers. So I actually, um, before we go into the company part, I wanted to rewind to, for you to reflect on your hero's journey, you probably know that hero's journey arc. Yeah. Yes. Okay, cool. So reflecting upon that, one of the thing we say on this podcast is your biggest moon is the source of your superpower.
[00:45:45] What would you say is your. Dharmic path like the trajectory of your life. What are you here to do? And this is a big question. So if you needed to take some time, I actually, this, this one has his, um, I believe I was born to do business. You know, I told you about when I first learned how to S thought about scaling a company.
[00:46:14] And then I remember when I was 12 years old. And again, I'm going to date myself on this back in the day, you could get a magazine. And you could take out the insert and like order the magazine and you could check bill me later, and then you, you you'd send it in. You didn't even have to put a stamp on it.
[00:46:29] Like it just, you know, postage was paid, so you send it in and then they would send you two or three before they cut you off. When they realized you weren't going to pay the bill. So I would do it with business magazines, and I would pretend that I was a president of a company. I don't know what company, I don't know what type of business I was at the title company, but I was a president of a company.
[00:46:49] I didn't even know a CEO existed. Didn't even know what that was. And so I, as far back as I can remember, I always had this thing for, for business and, um, seek it. You'll love, love this. When I was, uh, I was working at the insurance company. It was my second job. I was the, the mail boy. I pushed the cart and I was a filer.
[00:47:14] It's a one day I'm walking by this conference room. It is a free lunch, 401k. All I saw was free lunch. I'm like, Oh, hell yeah, I'm getting, I'm going to go free lunch. I'm there. You know, I didn't care what the topic was, free lunch. So I'm pushing my cart. And I remember saying to myself, okay, I'm going to go to that free lunch later on.
[00:47:34] So I'm pushing the cart. And then someone was walking by me and I said, Hey, where's conference room 401k. I didn't know that. Free lunch and learn 401k men. There's a free lunch and learn to cover 401k. I thought 401k was a conference room. And so I went to that, that a lunch and learn in her two of the greatest words I had ever heard in life compound interest.
[00:48:03] When I discovered that you can take a hundred dollars and turn it into a thousand and a thousand to 10. Man. That's the mind blown. I'm like, you gotta be kidding me. I'm like, this is better than drug dealing like it. And I literally I'm sitting there like, This is legal. You can literally do this and, and so fell in love and wanted to find out everything I possibly could about, uh, stock investing.
[00:48:34] And so I feel like with business and investing those, those were my calling. I do what I love to do in this world, but more importantly, above both of those, given my background, given what I've achieved. What I've been able to accomplish? I do believe in my heart part of why God has given me this is to show others what's possible.
[00:49:01] I will. I refuse to allow anyone to refer to me as a motivational speaker. I'm a, what's possible speaker. I'm not here. I'm not here to motivate you, but I am here to show you. What's possible that through everything I've went through. The, the sexual molestation, the, the juvenile, the being separated from my mother, that being left with my, my half brothers and sisters for three weeks.
[00:49:27] And no one came for us through the hell that I've walked through. Uh I'm what is possible, you know, from my lack of, of formal education. I still found what's possible in life. So I believe I have a great responsibility, not an obligation, a responsibility to show and teach others. What's possible. I mean, you certainly doing that.
[00:49:55] What? I mean, every interaction that I've witnessed you personally. So I'm curious to know though, so that was clear to you that, that, that path, that North star is clear to you. How long ago. What as far, as far as business. Yeah. In terms of business, also show me out there what's possible. Oh. Showing others what's possible showing what others what's possible.
[00:50:19] That probably came to me man. Seven years ago when I was at the software company and I became the president of a software company. It really hit me that, Oh wow. I'm in a position to be able to go back and teach kids that have gone through some of the hell that I went through and say, Hey, guess what? We can be more than a rapper athlete or drug dealer.
[00:50:39] No one told us about this business thing. No one told us about entrepreneurship that you can be an executive. So it hit me back when I became the president of a software company. And that's when I started going in and mentoring high risk youth at the, uh, juvenile halfway house and at the juvenile prison.
[00:50:57] Yeah. So, so that North star became clear to you seven years ago, whereas I know they want, you wanted to come on the show and share some of the mistakes that you made. Right? So, so now that North star is clear, what are some of the detours and mistakes that you have made as you navigate this path of showing others what's possible for yourself or your family, for people that look up to you for.
[00:51:25] You know, people, that's not, you know, the biggest one we touched on a bit earlier. You, you heard me say, I, I do my best. I don't have a lot of regrets in life. I have remorse. For how I treated women when I was in those relationships. That's, that's probably the thing I'm most remorseful for. Uh, but even then I'm remorseful for what they had to endure for me, but it was still a learning lesson for me.
[00:51:57] And, uh, so that was one of my biggest mistakes is just how I conducted myself in relationships. I, I just, in so much of it was, it was fear. It was anger. It was frustration because I never, until my wife, no one actually knew. Who I truly was. So I was constantly on this, this Seesaw and balance beam of, you know, it's like, I want to trust you, but I don't fully trust you.
[00:52:28] And, and nobody's ever really stayed in my life. And it was always this push and pull and internally with my own mind. And then, then that now you throw somebody else's emotions in here and they got needs and wants, and I'm like, you know, and so it it's, uh, I'm very remorseful for how I conducted myself, myself in the, in those relationships.
[00:52:53] That was a massive mistake. Um, the other big one mistake, go ahead and make going into that a bed. Cause, um, conceptually, I get, you don't need to share this specific details, but rather. The lessons that you learn, right? So maybe you can concretize how you would have said certain things differently. How would have there's certain skills that you have learned pick up along the way?
[00:53:18] Because on this podcast, we talk a lot about relationship as one of the deepest spiritual path one could take on because it's not easy to be. A human being. Now you, as you said, involve another human being, you know, the ego is kalash and all these other things. So, uh, if you could share some of the lessons in, in, in little bit more concretely, that'd be amazing.
[00:53:41] Number one, lesson takeaway for me was if I'm being very direct and having to own this was. Almost every serious relationship that I got involved in, collapsed in when arrived because of me in the moment was everybody else's fault. Her, her, her, you, you, you, you said this, you did that. And if I, if I'm looking back at it, It was me.
[00:54:15] I didn't know how to hold a relationship. I didn't know how to communicate. I didn't know how, I didn't know, give and take. I didn't understand how to incorporate someone else's feelings, uh, show respect. Um, you know, it. That those were the biggest takeaways for me. The number one was realizing, okay, you need to look in the mirror because, um, you're the problem.
[00:54:42] You keep blaming everyone else, but you're actually the problem. And that, that was the biggest takeaway even now. Uh, love, love my, my wife love coming home to the same person every night. Love coming home to hearing my, my kids are coming to the same house. Um, just what, what most people would call mundane.
[00:55:06] I call glorious. I love the structure, the routine, the discipline, the consistency, all the things I didn't have as a kid. And, but, but I also know how to incorporate her feelings. I know how to love my wife. Um, you know, if we're going to go down into the basement CK, I'll give you this one. Um, and no one knew this until to my wife.
[00:55:30] About two years ago. We're on the couch. We're watching TV. It's Christmas time. And my wife, I don't know, she's probably on Facebook or something. She looks over at me and she says, Hey, I got a question for you and CK, tell me if I'm out of line. When I, when I go, she goes, how come you never allow me to initiate sex?
[00:55:50] Normally I got an answer for everything, you know, I'm, I'll think about it. And then I got the answers, right? Here's how we're going to address this. And so I was stunned. I was like, Hmm. Interesting. I don't know. And I told us, let me think about that one. I'll get back with you. About two weeks later, I come in and she's in the kitchen.
[00:56:12] I said, Hey, I got it. I figured it out. She's like figuring out what I go, why I never allowed anyone to initiate. Why I never had allowed you to initiate sex? I said, when I think about it, I never allow anyone to initiate sex. And I said, and I realized why that prostitute used to be the person who always initiated sex.
[00:56:35] And this was just two years ago. I never realized that I had never allowed any woman to initiate sex with me. And it wasn't until my wife actually asked that I had to think about it. And remember that prostitute always initiated it and yeah, it's. So w so when in those relationships, people didn't know those things and those things cause tension and those things call for, at times, for me, they caused panic.
[00:57:06] You know, I didn't want people to know that or know that about, you know, who who's going to want to date or get into the relationship with the guy who's been molested. And dad was a pimp and, um, Yeah, it was rough. It was like, if I said it could beast monster in relationship, but I never wanted you to know why I was.
[00:57:27] Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I so appreciate the trust that you put in, in me and the listener. Um, I know Tucker max is pretty, pretty public about his, um, his practice with psychedelics I Wasco and things like that. And as part of his path to be a better human being and on those podcasts, we do talk pretty openly about this type of thing as well.
[00:57:50] For me personally, I needed to, I mean, I'm a super cerebral person in case you haven't noticed. So I had to learn all of my social skills. Um, you know, through acquisition rather than, you know, naturally blessed with it. So, and then plant medicine has been actually tremendous instrumental for me to actually see what's it like to be in relationship with me.
[00:58:16] So I was curious to know if you have had any experience with that and, and that that had may have shown you, we're giving you some insights about. Uh, as a way to transform as you call yourself. And you know, that monster in relationships who, uh, loving, you know, nurturing, compassionate, human being that you are today.
[00:58:35] The biggest thing for me, man, on that. And let me back up two things there. One, you said you had to learn your, your communication skills or whatever it meant. We all did. I, you know, now I learned mine for some interesting places. My dad. But everyone loved my dad. He was, he was a pimp and drug dealer. He was, he was a beast to women sometimes, but man, everyone loved him.
[00:58:59] He couldn't drive 10 minutes without someone waving them down. Hey, what's going on? Everyone loved him. And I would watch and I would study. He made everyone feel welcome. Even the prostitutes that he would be horrible with. For whatever mindblowing reason they loved him. And, and, uh, but I watched his communication skills.
[00:59:25] I watch how he addressed people, how he listened to people, how he made people feel, and that left an impression on me. So yeah, we, we all had to learn our skills, man. I just haven't learned mine from a PIM. Um, so, but to, to the other point, you know, what's helped me. Most of all is. Actually having, going into a relationship where it was all on the table, Hey, here's who I am.
[00:59:52] Here's what I come from. Here's how fractured my background is. And if you can accept that, then let's get into a relationship. And let me back up a bit on this, uh, this, this isn't something that I've shared a lot, maybe. I don't know a year before I met my wife, I was dating a lady here in Austin. And if I said the name, you probably would know, know who she is.
[01:00:21] And, uh, she, she was a white lady or still is white lady. And, and, and so we, uh, um, we were, we were dating for like nine months and I don't know how the topic of race had never come up. But one day it did. And I say, Oh yeah, I'm half white and half black, you know, w whatever. And nothing really came of it. So two days later we get on the phone and she says, Hey, I, you know, I got something to share with you.
[01:00:54] And I was like, okay. And she goes, Hey, um, I'm, I'm in love with you now, so, okay. You know, cool, whatever. Okay. Was there a response? Okay. Well, it was cause she went, she went wrote right quick with, with it. She goes, I'm in love with you, but. And so it didn't really give me a chance to respond to anything. She goes, I'm in love with you, but as she goes, but, uh, we, we can't see each other anymore.
[01:01:18] And I was like, and she goes, yeah. Uh, my family would never accept you because I was half and half black. And man I've dealt with that my whole life. And so it w I wasn't offended. I wasn't angry. I was at peace. You know, it wasn't the first time I had heard it. I had made peace with, with that at eight years old, I learned at eight years old, everyone is not going to like you.
[01:01:44] Um, you, you, you may have heard me talk about this before CK went, when that lady in the welfare line, my mom and I was standing in the welfare line and we are waiting for our monthly allotment of food stamps, our, our, you know, our handout. And an older white lady looked down at me. She looked up at my mom and she spit in my mom's face and she called her nigger lover.
[01:02:08] And I remember looking at my mom's face and just watching her wipe the spit from her face, the tears coming down, our eyes, the humiliation she had, no one came to her assistance. No one asked if she was okay. And the hardest thing CK is. She couldn't leave the line. She had to stay in there humiliated because she had to feed her, her Mick son.
[01:02:30] And I remember saying in that moment, everyone's not going to like me and I'm not going to spend my whole life trying to make everyone like me. And so when, when go back back to the story, when she said that, you know, my family would never accept you. I was at peace with it because I had made peace with that back at eight years old, when I realized everybody wasn't gonna like me.
[01:02:53] So, um, what, what was interesting though is I went into the relationship with my, my wife kind of with a chip on my shoulder. Uh, even, even on our first date, man, she goes, Oh yeah. You know, I'm just looking to make some more friends. And I literally, I pulled over on the side of the road and I said, Hey, I got all the friends I need.
[01:03:13] So if you're just looking for a friend. I can drop you back off if she was like, are you serious? I was like, Oh yeah. And, and she was like, well, let's see where this goes. So we, we went out, we ended up, uh, like on a seven hour date and. Yeah. Through the course of that day, you know, just told her about my background.
[01:03:35] You know, I can give her every detail on the first date obviously, but, uh, so, so some very significant pieces like, Hey, I'm half white, half black, you know, is that an issue? And, and so, uh, what was therapeutic for me back to your question is the fact that. My wife was the first person who really knew a lot of the darkness upfront of where I come from and accepted it.
[01:04:02]Yeah, I'm kind of a speechless, because I think relationship is such a key component to life. You know, whether it's you're with your significant other with yourself first and foremost, of course, and with others. And also, and now you're in a role of being a CEO you're, you know, in the role of being an, essentially a parent to the rest of the employees.
[01:04:22] So, um, what did we go from here? Hmm.
[01:04:28]You know, one that I do want to actually mention one thing as part of your superpower, Tucker, max, very publicly said about, I dunno, if you saw the actual video on your own website, he, he, he was acknowledging you how extraordinary, not just your EEQ, but also your social intelligence as part of your superpower.
[01:04:50] So could you draw the correlation between how you grow up? Right. All the, the worst of humanity has as a phase to your development. Of the superpower that you have around you Q as well, as well as social intelligence kind of percent, a hundred percent. When, when you on any given day are worried. Okay. Am I going to get beat up today for being mixed race?
[01:05:14] Um, okay. Is this prostitute going to molest me? If my dad leaves, how can I maneuver and get my dad to get to, to take me with me, take me with him and not leave me here with, with her when, when you're just. Any given day, trying to figure out the angle of, okay, how am I going to eat today? The, the social, um, you know, it's funny when, when he first brought up ETQ to me and, and, uh, social intelligence, I didn't even know what those things meant.
[01:05:42] I w okay. What's that? What's that? And he laughed. He goes, damn, you're so good at it. You don't even know what it means. It's just something you do. And, and it came from. You know, how do I learn these, these lessons? Here's to your point of social, I go back to the insurance company. I used to push my cart and.
[01:06:09] There was a black guy there. He was like the head of HR. And no matter who asked this question, he would, they would say, Hey, how are you doing today? He would always say tremendous. Every time didn't matter, who asked them? Didn't matter the time of day, he was always tremendous. And I remember in that moment, I said, okay, if he's always tremendous, what's my word.
[01:06:33] And my word is excellent. Aye. Aye. Aye. Any given time, any given day, everyone in the company knows, Hey John, how you doing? I'm excellent. And, and what I picked up on is you never knew if he was having a bad day or if he was having a great day. Cause he was always tremendous. So you just knew that this interaction with him, he was going to be tremendous.
[01:06:57] And so for me, I, I picked up on that. I said, you know what? I'm always excellent. Where it is served me is it's a very positive way of thinking, you know? Cause some people say, ah, you know, it's, it's it's Monday. Um, it's well-documented with me. You can get fired for saying thank God.
[01:07:16] It's Friday around me. Thank God. It's Monday. Thank God you woke up on Tuesday because somebody didn't. Thank God. We had this incredible company we get to work with. And so if, if you have the type of career or you feel about your job or your role that you've got to trade two for five, You're in the wrong place.
[01:07:38] So if you feel, if you ever feel like you got to drop off, thank God it's Friday. Uh, you, you need to go find what's going to make you happy. Cause this obviously isn't it. Or, you know, uh, it's Monday. Oh, same bullshit. I don't, I don't want those people around me that that's a very negative pessimist. Yeah.
[01:07:56] So, so, so actually I have a follow-up question and I'm very curious about this because. What you just said, you have a very low tolerance of entitlement, this, this, this like, Oh my God. I'm surviving my day. Right. And at the same time, you also have tremendous love and compassion for human beings. So I'm curious then how, how you actually ride it too, because, uh, I get both, um, let's see if I can ask my question in better way.
[01:08:28] Right? So. Coming from where you came from. Um, do you just not have any kind of tolerance for any kind of complaint from your wife, from your kids, from your employees of anything at all? I have had to grow and learn into that because I, I did have a very low tolerance. Uh, I'll share a funny story with you at my house, even.
[01:08:56] So, you know, maybe it's a Saturday and the kids eat, eat lunch about 11. And let's say, I don't know. We, we go somewhere. We're running errands throughout the day. And four o'clock comes around. And it gets like home hungry, angry. And then my wife was saying, Oh my God, the kids are starving the kids. And I'm like the hell when he's starving.
[01:09:19] Do you know what it's like to eat? And Friday at noon and you don't need get until I go into this big and I had the cancer, so, okay. But that's not their life. That's not their life. Right. It's all relative. Right. They're starving. Right? They're like, wait a minute. We usually have one snack somewhere between this and this.
[01:09:39] And so, but yes, I'm very, I'm more so for adults, we all, as humans, especially adults, we get caught up in our own bubbles. We get caught up in our own surroundings. Um, But when I hear people complain about their, and it really doesn't happen here at scribe too much, but any anyone complained about the role complaining about what they're doing in life or whatever it is.
[01:10:07] It goes back to the mindset thing, man, right now, right now, CK, there's a single mom with two kids, literally doing this right now, walking 1100 miles from Honduras to try to cross the border into this country. Man on my worst day of being sexually molested of being left alone with that prostitute of being left with my half-brothers and sisters on my worst day, I've never had to face that I was born here.
[01:10:36] I was born. So I'm ahead of the game. I was born in this country. I, I just, I keep everything in perspective, man. I, you know, I know if I walk outside of my office door right now, I'm looking over there. If I walk outside, I know within a one mile radius shit, somebody will trade places with me in a heartbeat, hard, hard to find, uh, complaints that will come out of my mouth, man.
[01:10:59] I just, I look at life is there's a challenge. Let's overcome the challenge. I don't see shit as problems. I don't see things as, uh, I just do my best to look at things in a positive light and realize, wow, there's somebody trying to get into this country right now. There's somebody in a hospital bed right now that may not leave that hospital bed, man.
[01:11:21] I'm blessed. My kids are healthy. My wife's healthy. The company is doing great. And God I've, I've made so much money. Um, I got a phenomenal life. You do. So if I'm hearing you right, there's the migraine. Well, and then there's the macro. Whenever you feel any kind of, let's say negative emotions, you may want to have the impulse to complain, use zoom out to them, to the macro to compare it.
[01:11:48] Now, you know, this immigrant from Honduras is trying to cross the border at thousands of miles versus where you are. And there's a way to snap snap, BU back to. Gratitude is that what I'm hearing? And, and, and, and I don't mean this to be disrespectful. I, you said, I, I find myself in a place where I may want to complain.
[01:12:09] I don't ever find myself there. I just, I don't, I don't do it. It's I guess, because I've done it for so long. It's just natural to me that. I'm not going to look at something from a negative position because negativity has never solved anything. You can only solve by what's the, how can we get through that?
[01:12:33] It, that mindset alone is a positive because you're trying to get through it. That's not an, Oh, this is happening. This happened to me, you know? Uh, well, because, because, uh, my parents got divorced when I was two, my God, you're 28 years old. And you're telling me about your parents getting divorced when you were too.
[01:12:50] I mean that, no, I refuse. It's it's not a comparison. I never, when people say, uh, you know, I had a hard life, but nothing like yours, nothing like years ago. No, no, no. It's not a comparison. You had your journey. You have your journey. I have mine. We, we don't compare. Yeah. It's okay. Th th great. Let's, let's go there.
[01:13:13] If you don't mind, how do you find that other people's story? Because again, if you look at the absolute, it's pretty obvious who has it worse, but subjectively maybe for them relatively, they still it's still really laced the worst for them. How do you Devon? Fine empathy and compassion. For someone else's quote unquote hardship.
[01:13:37] Does that make sense? It, it does totally it. I usually, because people will usually approach me this way. Well, you know, I don't have that background that you have to rely up on. I, I, you know, I, my life was not that harsh and, and I let people know, and this is what they're shocked by when I gave you the Honduras example.
[01:13:57] I rarely dip back into my own past for, uh, inspiration. I just look around me, the mom trying to get into the country, uh, the, the person who has cancer that's I I've never had cancer. I've never experienced it. I haven't had any family, so I don't know what that's like, but I know that if you're going through chemotherapy and this draining the hell out of you, I know that I am blessed that right now God's given me help.
[01:14:28] So I'm going to focus on that. And so I rarely use my own background is a place of gratitude. I just look around and see, you know, the, the homeless community here in Austin, you know, I drive and I see some of them and I say to myself, man, I was like a half hour from that growing up that could have been me.
[01:14:51] And then I take my mind to a place of. Man, I get to go home to this gated community, a beautiful family. Matter of fact, let me give you a human aspect on this for me. Um, last year, not this, this Christmas, but last Christmas I'm driving home. I left the office early. I'm like, I'm going to get home early.
[01:15:13] We're going to make some popcorn. We're going to watch Christmas cartoons, blah, blah, blah, with the kids. And. It was about 38 degrees, which is cold here in Texas and it was rainy. And so we're, we're, I'm driving in traffic stopped. I mean, I'm talking stopped to the point where I had to put the car in park and I'm furious.
[01:15:34] I'm like what the, and so I texted my wife. This is bullshit. I left early. I'm about to lose my shit in the moment I set down my phone. It hit me. I said, you ungrateful little punk ass. You grew up on bus stops in the winter with three feet of snow. You know what it's like to be hungry. You know what it's like to, to have to get dressed in front of the stove, the gas stove, because the electricity is turned off and you're sitting here mad.
[01:16:08] Could you're sitting in this six figure car with a thousand dollars shoes on going to a gated community with a beautiful family, shut the fuck up. And I sat there. I of, I put on Christmas music and joy to the world. So, so, so that's when the general comes out from inside your head to do it a little SmackDown in, and here's, here's the thing.
[01:16:34] If I had to say what that equates to for me it's self-accountability and if you look in our country right now, Man accountability is just lacking it. Everybody's trying to blame somebody else. Give excuses reasons. It's just pointing the finger. Very few people want to take accountability. You know, my wife's got friends who like, Oh, well, you know, if I was such and such.
[01:17:04] Person. And I had my own cook and I had a, a nanny and I had a personal chef. I too could be in shape. It's just always a reason. Yeah. It's always an excuse. Like you, you don't go to the gym because you don't have all those things. Okay. It's in that. And it's, it's rampid through our, through our country.
[01:17:27] It's always someone else's fault. And, and, you know, we could go back to the beginning of this conversation. Okay. My dad was black. My mom's white. This is what I'm working with. I don't know if you play poker. Here's the best way I can say this. Um, if my life was a poker hand, I got Delta two, a three, a six and an eight, but man, I went all in with my hand.
[01:17:55] And that's what you have to do in life. Just go all in. I'm not going to make excuses. I'm not going to blame the dealer because you dealt me shitty hand. Nope. That's what I got. I'm going to play the hell out of his hand and I'm going all in. And I, I just, I refuse to make excuses reasons and I damn sure I'm not going to be a victim.
[01:18:14] Yeah. I mean, that, that's really obvious. Do you mind if I ask you some more questions about company culture and so forth. Awesome. Thank you. So. If you Tucker talked about your superpower, like he's, you know, you have this like literally superpower, you know, in terms of like social intelligence, so where people that want to.
[01:18:37] They certainly don't have your background, uh, your very unique background. How would you say to them as a way to cultivate their social intelligence? To really, and in my mind, my interpretation of what that phrase means is the ability to understand what the other person is listening for and speak into their listening.
[01:18:58] Is that an accurate definition from your point of view? You're, you're pretty much doing it with in the podcast. You're, you're sitting here, you're asking me questions. You're seeking to understand, unfortunately, for so many people who are in quote unquote leadership. They have the mentality that they're supposed to have, all the answers.
[01:19:17] They have the mentality because they have three letters after their name, CEO, PhD, MBA, Esq, whatever the hell else. Um, that all of a sudden they're there. Now there's this leader. And I'm like, I made the joke the other day. I said, look, man, I had three letters after my name, long before CEO. And somebody looked at me like what?
[01:19:37] I said, GED. I said, so three letters didn't change much. Um, It's it's listening. It's actually listening. It's it's surrounding yourself with people far smarter than yourself being, being willing to admit that I don't ever want to be the smartest person in the room. You know, here's a good one. Uh, uh, I got some CEO award, uh, last December, this past December, and I remember I'm on the phone with the people and I said, I go look.
[01:20:11] I don't understand the whole CEO award thing. I go, I don't actually do the work. I go, yeah. I support the company and, and I moved some roadblocks and obstacles, make some decisions, set some direction, but the actual execution comes from the company. I said, so, so here's the thing. If you want to give me an award, give me an award for hiring.
[01:20:30] Cause I figured out how to hire people who are smarter than me and, and I, I live by this. You're only as good. As the great people you're surrounded by that's it. And so, uh, it's, it's listening, paying attention, truly listening that, that I don't have to know all the answers. I don't need to be the smartest person in the room.
[01:20:52] I don't want to be the smartest person in the room. And that is that in itself will help raise your, uh, EEQ social into whatever it is. It'll help raise it because. Let go of the fact that you're the CEO and embrace the fact that your role is not to know all the answers. Tell people that, Hey guys, I don't know, but we're going to sit here.
[01:21:17] We're going to figure this out together and we're going to make some decisions. Yeah. Embrace it. So principally a hundred percent agree with you. And it's all about listening and really listening for what not what's being said explicitly. Well, what's being said, implicitly was said between the lines, but for those people who are listening Javan, I agree with you too.
[01:21:40] I want it to be better. Social intelligence, uh, empathy, uh, at, uh, at IQ. What. Books, tactical things. What could do to cultivate that, because right now you are at, let's say use a professional sports analogy. You know, you are at the NFL level and you tell people to just work out, then you, you could be in the NFL.
[01:22:02] Yes. And what are the steps? You know what I mean? Like fundamental knowing what, you know, what are the 80 20. Skills, you would say, do this, do this, do this to start off. Here's what I would say. Number one, I ask, ask questions, truly seeking to learn. I have learned this about people. Generally. When someone ask you a question, when someone asks you a question, the first question, isn't what they're actually asking for now.
[01:22:36] Now, you know, don't get me wrong. You can even see this with kids, right? If you've got an ice cream cone, you'll, you'll hear the kids. They'll say, Oh, I like ice cream. They actually asked for anything. They just said, I like ice cream. Cause they want to see if you're gonna offer them some. And it doesn't actually change a lot as you get paid as you become an adult.
[01:22:54] So a lot of times people will come with a question and it's not even the question that they're actually looking to ask. So I always go three levels deep. So someone comes to me and says, Hey, how do we, uh, X, Y, Z, Immediately I, there, I I'm known for this throughout the country. Uh, the company, I rarely act, answer a question first time.
[01:23:18] So if you come to me with a question and I'll say, Hey, you know, we gotta look into this, you know, what, what are your thoughts on doing this for X, Y, Z? And I'm like, look, I've got my thoughts, but what are yours? Immediately. Give me, give me your thoughts then as they're giving me their thoughts, I'm going to ask another question about their thoughts.
[01:23:37] So we're going to have a full blown discussion now or whatever this you you've come to me and rarely am I ever going to give a direct answer. I'm just going to keep it pulling information from you. That that's the key for me. Someone asked me yesterday, uh, what makes a good negotiator. And in business, I believe it's actually listening and asking questions.
[01:24:04] It's not so much, you know, everybody's quick to want to tell you the features and benefits of what they're trying to sell. And, and the fact of the matter is, okay, I'm going to listen to you. I'm going to ask questions from you. I have to learn, but we're quick to want to, you know, push our initiative when you have feature and benefits, and this is why you should buy it.
[01:24:25] I want to listen to you first. I want to understand what, what you want. So the, the key, the number one thing that I would say to your point, what's something tactical. When someone comes to you with a question, ask what their thoughts are about the question that they're asking. I appreciate that that's very tactical on the note of joining scribe.
[01:24:51] How did you know that? This was a soul impact fit. And I used that phrase specifically because professional CEO could easily, you could easily join any other organizations and do this. Why did you pick. Scribe as you want to Zeeshan. And how did you know that there was a cultural fit for your style as was as well as where you want to contribute?
[01:25:16] So I didn't necessarily know there was a culture fit and truth be told. I didn't even learn culture until I was at the, uh, software company. And prior to joining scribe, you know, w when I was in sales, I learned that. Okay. In sales, all you have to do is be worried about yourself. Kind of goes back to that emotional thing with other people as I am, I'll do me and so make money.
[01:25:41] That was it. So I learn, okay. I want to be the number one salesperson. I learned culture at the software company and I'll, I'll, I'll lead you up to scribe in, in how this came to be. When I was at the software company, I was hired as the lowest paid person in the company. I was the sales guy and I sat on a fold-out metal chair in a storage closet to make my calls.
[01:26:07] Within I'll fast forward. Within two years, I became the president of the company and we scaled that company from that storage closet with 13 people to well, over a hundred people. And we had offices in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Monterey, Mexico. And I don't to this day, I don't write code. And so where I learned culture was.
[01:26:33] As the sales guy, I should have been fired 71 different times. And the reason being is I was a, I was toxic to the culture. I was so good at selling. No one could tell me anything. No one could say anything to me. It was all about, Hey, I closed it. You need to deliver, get it done. But I then got promoted to EVP of sales and marketing.
[01:26:58] So then not only was I a toxic person, I created a toxic team of sales and marketing. Like, Hey, we're going to be the best in this company. I don't care what anybody else is doing, but we were going to do this. And then I got promoted to president. And I re, and I remember I walked in one morning. I'll never forget this.
[01:27:16] I was the first one in the office. I turned on the lights. I looked around. I said, Holy shit, I'm responsible for all of this now. And it hit me like, okay, I'm only as good as the great people. I'm surrounded by. Am. I, I got to put people first because if I don't have great people around me, there's no way I'm going to be able to do this.
[01:27:38] And it took me back to the book I read in my early twenties thinking grow rich, and I'm going to paraphrase. It took me to the story of Henry Ford when they had him on trial. And they said that he was not fit to run a company that big because, uh, his lack of education. And I remember when I first listened to the story really touched me, but he, he, he was on trial and they were asking him all kinds of just nonsense, quite, you know, Spanish inquisition, like who knows.
[01:28:08] And then he finally got fed up and again, I'm paraphrasing, he stopped. And he said, look, I assure you for every question that I don't know the answer to. I am surrounded by people that I can go to and get the answer. And it hit me. I'm like, Oh, I don't need to know all this. I just gotta make sure that we're surrounded by people who know all the answers, who can guide the guide, the decision-making that we can have a council with and make decisions that will best serve the company.
[01:28:38] And that's where I first learned that, you know, or made the decision. Okay. You gotta put people first. If you don't put people first, none of this matters. So I operate by people process and profits. So go ahead. So I'm going to lovingly challenge you again, right? Cause you said you were, you know, a solo high performer.
[01:28:59] You ran this sole team of high-performance quote unquote right? Outcome driven culture. You know, screw, screw everyone else, you know, let's, let's just, you know, go get it. That's that's and that's how you rise to the position of president. And then right now you are saying you rethink it back, you know, you got the, uh, president title and you flip the switch to servant people first CEO, right at that moment.
[01:29:29] That's a huge jump from, because what you were working while you were doing was working for you in this smaller scale. Like it couldn't have been that easy as in, I'm going to flip the switch to now people first. So C, C, K, um, I hate to say it, man, but, uh, no, I don't hate to say it. It was truly like when I flipped that switch on to turn on the lights in the office that day, the same switch went off in my head that you can do this all by yourself.
[01:29:59] You better, you better surround yourself. Um, now I'm going to be fair. Here's the other part, there was a gentleman I worked with literally to this day. One of the smartest people I have ever met. Man is brilliant. He was a software engineer. He had a, an engineering degree. Okay. You know, he, he had the master's degree.
[01:30:28] He had all the credentials and he was great at what he did, but I became the president. He sat in a room with me, and this goes back to the, your, your, uh, approving people. Uh, he sat in a room with me and he said, Hey, I don't agree with the decision to make you president. He said, I think it's the, it's the wrong decision.
[01:30:52] He said, I think it's a bad decision. He said, but I will get on board. I was like, okay. And I remember sitting there, I'm like, Oh shit, you dare doubt me. And I remember thinking that and I said, okay, so, you know, I'm going to prove you wrong. And he said, okay. He said, I'll, I'll make a deal with you. You prove me wrong and I'll buy you a drink.
[01:31:14] And I'm like, man, you know, I don't drink. And he said, that's the highest compliment that I can give you is to buy, buy you a beer. So it, okay. So he, myself and at the time our chief architect, we're on a massive sales call in, uh, Wichita, Kansas. You can figure out what company is in Wichita, massive sales call and.
[01:31:37] We closed the deal. And I was leading the presentation and everything. We closed this deal. So we're at a restaurant afterwards and he looks at me and he says, Hey, kind of beer. Do you? Like I said, you know, this is like two years after I had been promoted. I'm like, when you don't drink, you said, I always told you, I'd buy you a beer.
[01:31:58] If you prove me wrong, I go prove you wrong at what he said. Remember I told you, I, I felt that that was a wrong decision to make you president. I said, yeah, I said, I owe you a beer man. I was one of the greatest feelings ever. Uh, I loved that, that feeling went in and I didn't drink the beer, but, um, so, but there's a symbolic gesture, symbolic gesture.
[01:32:22] And so, um, That in itself, you know, I realized I was still in that prove it mode. And to, to your point, uh, because he was one in is still one of the smartest people I've ever met and in a good man too. I mean, he, he, man, he took his kids on boy scout trips. He I'd hear him talk to his wife. He was so nice and loving and just, I really, and, and, and I regret that.
[01:32:48] I never told him, you know, if I had to say I had a regret that maybe one, he was a good man, Yeah, he was hard, but he w he was a good man. And, um, it's. I learned, I learned a lot from him, but I realized, Oh, I got him here. Oh, okay. The lady that does our finance. Oh, she's she's Oh, she's solid. And I realized, okay, you got all the pieces.
[01:33:13] Now we got to bring it together and have a true team environment. But like I said, man, I should have been fired back when I was the sales guy and even the EVP. Um, and then fast forward. Describe now. Actually something just came to me as you're speaking, I guess I didn't really connect the dots until I had to hear it multiple times, that when you are clear about your North star and you're clear about the goals you want to hit, and you're willing to put in the work, the hard work, the hours and all these things to make it work, you don't hold your old identities as.
[01:33:55] I guess gospel, so to speak, you are very fluid about the approach you take. You can forgive about the past, just stay in the present and just be extremely fluid. Is that accurate? Uh, a hundred percent, a hundred percent. And if I, if, if we write it down, it's happening unstoppable. It's I refer to myself, uh, internally, always send me some, okay.
[01:34:17] I'm like a flood of water, you know, you can take your glass of water and you can drink it. Great. Um, But a flood of water. It doesn't matter. What's in it's way. It's coming through over, around under a flood of water it's coming in. I've always internally. I've always referred to myself as I'm a flood of water I'm coming.
[01:34:36] No, no matter what I'm coming, you're a force to be reckoned with. Uh, reminds me of that. Be like water, my friend, Bruce, the quote. I don't know if you've heard that before. Yeah. Yeah, I appreciate that. Uh, so, so in that though, so I have a question is may perhaps a spiritual question or a mental model question, but we are human beings.
[01:34:59] We don't have egos. Right? How do you make sure that the ego for that, that desires the recognitions, the, you know, the respect, the, all of that, not to flare up and let it run. You. Like, how do you master or discipline your ego so that you are serving your organization rather than this desire to be respected and then be to start?
[01:35:25] Does that make sense? It, it does. I feel that it truly goes into a acknowledgement. And what I mean by that is here's a great example. I don't give a damn about being named CEO of the year CEO. This what's important to me are the awards that we've won based on culture, you know, best place to work in Austin, because it's a, it's a blind survey that our tribe members, we call ourselves a tribe that our tribe members take and based on their feedback.
[01:35:59] Is how we rank. And when we hit number one in Austin, that's huge because, Oh wow. We are doing something right. So the, the approach is all the little things. I say, stuff like this, no one works for me. People work with me. No, one's boss three letters after my name don't don't mean anything. Uh, if you were in leadership in this company, you are a direct support.
[01:36:26] We don't, you don't have direct reports. Somebody reporting to you, your role is to support people because you're in leadership. So it's a whole mentality that you take on of the acknowledgements, the crude, you know, all the, the awards and other. At meaningless. The, the goal for me is how do we create this incredible company culture, where people are just knocking down the door to want to work here, uh, where people can sit back and say, wow, I, you know, even if I don't want to, I can retire from this company where we put people first, when last year in 2020, when we wouldn't shelter in place.
[01:37:06] In March, you know, this most companies in America took massive revenue hits. We were no different two days after we made the announcement to shelter in place. I announced to the company, I said, look, regardless of what happens, no one in this company will be laid off because of this virus. And it was important to me that we do that because in that moment, people needed stability.
[01:37:32] They needed reassurance because we had people who had just had babies. It just bought homes, people whose partners and spouses were being laid off and furloughed. So I can only imagine what it was like to sit at home and like, Oh my God, what's going to happen with us. So I wanted people to know you were safe.
[01:37:50] If nothing else you are safe here. No one will be laid off. And I remember sitting back like, all right, now we've got to pull that off. Now we got to make that happen and I'll be damn CK. 2020 was our best year in company history. Yes, that's awesome. I love it. So w when you, when you watch other company leaders, cause I know you're, you, you, you know, you speak at, at EO and you speak to other entrepreneurs all the time.
[01:38:17] How do you discern when somebody like you, who's the real deal who's, who's, you know, basically flipped the org chart and, you know, be in the bottom to serve. And what else, how do you ensure that? Well, one your executive follow suit as well, not just, you know, say yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. But still do, you know, wanting to the, the egoic stroke and then also, how do you look at other entrepreneurs who.
[01:38:44] Uh, who may say these pretty words, but not necessarily being that, like, how do you discern someone who's the imposter serving leader versus an authentic servant leader? So we, we have the incredible position that, you know, every, every Monday we have our executive meeting. So in that executive meeting, you know, there's accountability.
[01:39:05] There's your. You are living by the principles and values of this company. And if you're not, then you're, you're not a fit for the role. So those Monday morning meetings, every Monday, we all it's, it's all about, um, ego checking. He share that, that we're in service of the tribe and the company. Again, I don't really care that you're in leadership.
[01:39:33] That just means you, you serve and support. Great. Um, It's it's all about the people that you serve and support when I'm out in public or meeting other executives, or I'm never really interested in those individuals. I'm more interested in their executive teams or the people who they work with, because I feel like, okay, if you're doing what you're saying, you're doing, it will show w with them just like this.
[01:39:59] Here's a, here's a great one. Um, Everyone celebrates Jeff Bezos. And as they should, he was the founder. He was on his hands and knees out there, you know, putting books in boxes and I get it, but very few people, if I say the name, Jeff Wilkie know who that is. Jeff Wilkie was, was, uh, Jeff Bezos's president of the company since like 98.
[01:40:26] So, so much of that success that you see. It wasn't just Jeff Bezos. It was Jeff, all those people who were there that contributed over the, over the years. I've always said, this CEOs in my opinion are over celebrated. It, it takes a team of people to execute. Yes. CEOs set some direction. Yes. CEOs make some decisions, but you've got to have the right people in place to execute.
[01:40:58] If you don't have the right people. None of it matters. Yeah. You don't know this, but I used to be a, the chief culture officer of a startup. We went from idea to 200 plus people. And, um, so everything that you said definitely resonates very deeply with me. Um, people, we are what we make, if the CEO or the founder, you know, have the right alignment.
[01:41:25] Right. And a clear idea of the North star. As well as the right team around them. Um, it's Mo it makes them much, much easier to succeed. And then if you don't have the right fit, you know, uh, especially amongst the founding teams, uh, it's very easy to, no matter what amount of capital race, the direction you go is still going to be very misaligned.
[01:41:48] And then the chaos would be amplified further as well. Totally, totally. Yeah. It's to touch on that a little bit there. Um,
[01:42:02] You you, you said cap capital raise it threw me off there for a sec. So we're we're six years old. No debt, no loans, no venture capital, no private equity. We're profitable. And I tell people all the time I go, no, we're the real damn unicorn not we work. And so, because it's, uh, in this world of profitability, you know, it's.
[01:42:25] I, I, I've just struggled to see why our company celebrated that have never made a profit. Isn't the goal to make a profit. And, you know, you've got some massive names out there that Uber's the lifts, the slacks have never made a damn dime and that's mind blowing to me. Um, but in to, to your point as well, um, when, when we're talking about the mindset of people, The way you interact right in, in leadership, I will say if I had to say I was in, in Winchell, in something, it's the words that we speak.
[01:43:01] We literally have an internal, uh, language Bible. Everyone knows, everyone knows. We're not saying hope, wish her luck that will, that doesn't come out of anybody's mouth in the, in this company as a non-negotiable non-negotiable does not, can we actually have a language Bible, even this, think about this for a second.
[01:43:19] I know you've heard this. You can see it on TV commercials, you can say, you know, customer satisfaction is our number one driver customer satisfaction. Think about this for a second. If my wife goes to girl's night tonight, and she's sitting there with five ladies and someone said, Hey, how's your husband.
[01:43:41] If my wife said, Oh, he's, he's a satisfactory husband. I'm going to be pissed off. I don't want to be a satisfactory husband. If someone says, Hey, how's your dad. Is he a good dad satisfactory? But it's the damn thing in business. We're striving for customer satisfaction is our number one goal. Really like think of the mentality of that.
[01:44:05] I don't want anyone in here to be satisfied. I want people to be fulfilled. I want people to be happy word. We're striving for customer fulfillment. We're not striving for satisfaction. What a low bar that is. Hmm. Awesome. Are there other tactical things that you could share, you know, other maybe practices or how you run meetings or things like that as a way to cultivate.
[01:44:33] This empathy, this desire for service and more. You came from a very different place and basically everyone had their own journey. So in company settings, everyone's going to have different skill sets, right? How do you, you know, um, escalate and towards this mastery of the skills around empathy and compassion and service.
[01:44:55] So I, I, I pride myself on operating from a very common sense. Third grade level, you know, one of our company principles is ask questions. I don't believe there's a dumber stupid question. I got to give love to my third grade teacher, Mrs. . She said there was no dumb or stupid question, man. I've been asking questions ever since I built a t-shirt after this shoe that you, no, that was Mrs.
[01:45:16] Porter. That was ninth grade English. Um, No total kids, she didn't mess around. But yeah. Mrs. D I said there no dumb or stupid question. I've been asking questions ever since. May I built a career on that asking questions. And so the culture here, you know this, and I say this to people in interviews.
[01:45:40] Everyone has worked at a company where you can get fired for asking too many questions. Everyone's worked at one of those places here. You can literally get fired for not asking enough questions. If, if you make a mistake and it's by way of you, didn't ask a question because you didn't want to look dumb or stupid.
[01:45:59] You're not a culture fit. Because I will sit and meet and you saw this firsthand, so this isn't just me preaching rhetoric. You saw when you said bravado, I don't even know what that means. I sit in meetings, still people have gone to Harvard Duke law school, university of Chicago. I'm sitting in meetings and I'll say, Whoa, timeout.
[01:46:21] What's that mean? Tell me what that word means. And we'll, I'll stop a meeting so I'll understand. And I want people to realize. I'll stop a meeting and ask you a question. Everyone should stop a meeting to ask a question. I don't know what it means. More importantly, like I said, I operate from a third grade common sense level.
[01:46:40] Every everyone's going to sit here and go, Oh man. Yeah. That's that's true. When I say this, how many times have you been sitting in a room and you wanted to ask a question and you didn't ask a question and then someone else asked your question and you thought, Oh good. I'm glad they asked that. Every time you have a question.
[01:46:59] There are three to five other people in the room that have the same question and the bigger the room, the more people have the same question. So when the question pops in your mind, ask the damn question. Uh, so I'm very big from a culture standpoint on. Asking questions. Optimism is one of our values, putting people first impeccable attention to detail, um, things that you don't actually learn in school, eh, or things that have served B uh, ver very well.
[01:47:31] Here's another word. Uh, from a customer standpoint, people will pay us up to $120,000 to publish their book. People are not paying us to think they're paying us to know. And so when we're on the, on a call with an author, when we're interacting with an author, no, no, no. Don't you dare say think they're not paying us to think they're paying us to know if people, people have said, well, what, what do you mean?
[01:47:59] I said, I'm going to give you the ultimate example. CK, if you and I right now decide we're going to go climb Mount Everest. It's about $80,000 to hire a tour guide. AKA Sherpa. And they're going to take us up this mountain. So you and I are thrown on our backpacks. We're high five. Like, yeah, we'll knock it out.
[01:48:16] We're going, going up the mountain, whatever. And then we turn to the Sherpa and we say, Hey, are we going this way? If that Sherpa says, no, I think we're going to go hold the hell on. I'm dropping my bag family. What do you mean you think I want to be told no, we're going this way. Weather permitting. We're going to base camp here.
[01:48:34] Weather permitting. We're going here. And if the weather gets too bad, we're coming back down this way. I'm not paying you $80,000 to think I'm paying you $80,000 to know. Yeah. You want someone with certainty? Yes. yeah. Who is not wishy washy exactly about the approach. So it looks a little things like that.
[01:48:57] It's all little things added up that make the culture that make the difference that set the tone. There's no one big brick or rock or anything like that. It's all the little things that you have implemented and you do it with consistency. The key, if I had to say there was one word, if people want to say, well, what's the one thing consistency you have to consistently execute on those things.
[01:49:23] Was there a mistake that you made that really cement those lessons?
[01:49:32] You want to know where? Okay. Um, my uncle Bobby, when I lived with him, he took me in because nobody else I had nowhere else to go. So he took me in. And my uncle Bobby used to own, uh, duplexes, rental homes. And w this is back, you know, section eight welfare. And back in the day, there were no guidelines. Like people could just treat the house like shit.
[01:49:57] And then when they moved, you know, they didn't have any guidelines. You didn't get kicked out of the section eight program today, you get kicked out of the program, but anyway, So people would move out of these houses and CK, they were horrible. Imagine the worst episodes of hoarders, you know, dirty diapers stacked up in the corner, ranted food in the refrigerator.
[01:50:16] They were just picture in my mind. And so my uncle Bobby would say, okay, you guys need to go clean, uh, clean out the houses. So he dropped myself off and a couple of my cousins and literally he'd go play golf. And he'd leave us there and he'd tell us, okay, you know, I'll be back in four hours, six hours.
[01:50:36] And so we had to clean everything. And that is where I learned impeccable attention to detail. So my uncle Bobby would show back up and, and, you know, he'd check. Is there any dust or crumbs in the corner? He'd walk through, look at the floors and just check everything. On this one occasion, there CK, there was a such a fine crack in one of the windows.
[01:51:00] Like you couldn't even see it. It was in the corner and he goes, Hey, how come you guys? Didn't take this window out. And I'm like, uncle Bobby, you can't even see it. He says what this means here. Also represents what's in there. So if I can see it from out here, that means the inside of this house isn't clean as well.
[01:51:24] And he said, you need to have attention to detail in everything you do. And that stuck with me. And I thought to myself, wow. So even now I walk around, it's one of our principles of the company by way of uncle Bobby impeccable, attention to detail. If, if I'm in the restroom, And there's other offices here in our building and there's paper towels on the floor.
[01:51:46] I pick them up, put them in the trash. What am I so great that I can't bend over for two seconds and pick up some, uh, papers. Hausel put them in the trash. So yeah, impeccable attention to detail. And that that's a lesson that I learned that didn't come from business. It literally came from my uncle Bobby and I teach my kids that they run around the house all the time, impeccable attention to detail.
[01:52:08] So it's. I feel that it has served me very well. Do you? So this is a totally a curious question. Um, do you, so my, my, some of my CEO friends would basically intentionally put themselves in. Hard really difficult situations. So he might, for me, it's like I lost the ceremonies and things like that. Just physically intense Spartan, race, ice bath, right.
[01:52:35] This type of situations, some other, they were basically become homeless for a couple of weeks. Uh, at some random cities, I got to say CK, which is bullshit because you, when you know that you've got. Twenty-five grand in the bank, a hundred thousand, $500,000 in the bank. You never really, truly homeless.
[01:52:56] You're not putting your you no, that there is an end to what you're doing. I've always been intrigued by people say, Oh, well, I want to experience what it's like to be homeless when you don't have anywhere to go and you don't have any money, then you're homeless. When you know that you can get up off that park bench at any given moment and go, you're not homeless.
[01:53:17] You're just choosing to be in a situation. Right. And the circumstances, but not the actual experience of desperation and things like that. Exactly. And that's, that's the homeless problem is when, I mean, and I guess why I take offense to it is because when I was 13 and I was on that bus stop and all I had was that little suitcase.
[01:53:37] I was homeless. There were there's. I didn't have a job. I didn't have any money. My mother, my mother was in Texas. She didn't know where I was. My dad was in England. He didn't know where I was. I had nowhere to go. So when I hear CEO's role play, being homeless, I'm like, man, get the hell outta here. I, I I'm, I managed to get a reaction out of you.
[01:53:58] So I did. I did. So maybe it may, maybe it let me. Phrasing it a different way. Are there things that you put your executives or your kids in a simulated environment? So then they can have maybe not the actual experience, but assimilate the experience of hardship or adversity or, you know, difficulties or challenges such that they would have more wisdom and insights and gratitude.
[01:54:31] Anything like that. I'll I'll I haven't no with my, my children yet. I guess my oldest is seven. Uh, so I haven't done it with him yet. I, I very much planned to, but here with, with the executive team, uh, constantly I'll, I'll say I'll make up a scenario. Okay. So this, this, this happened. So-and-so resigned, whatever, uh, can't get ahold of me.
[01:54:50] What are you going to do? You know, Slack me the plan. What what's that look like? Where are you going to execute this? What are you going to do? Uh, this, this past Monday, I literally, I sat there. I said, Hey, uh, serious question for you all. If I resigned, who's going to take over the CEO responsibility. What are you guys going to do?
[01:55:12] Got some interesting answers. One person said, shit, I'm out flattering. Right? I'm out. And in a, so someone else said, well, I'm going to try to figure out how we get you back first. Um, but then I said, okay, put all that aside. What do you all do? And in what was interesting is like, well, we probably ended up having to bring someone in from the outside.
[01:55:38] I said, okay. So then what? And I took them through this. I said, you got to remember our company has been built on its current structure. I said, if you go bring someone from the outside, then you also have to realize that you're going to have an exit is of people who are like, Whoa, ah, That's not what I signed up for.
[01:55:54] They don't know this per, that person doesn't know the culture and you could see their face, like, Oh, never thought of that. And, and so we will go through scenarios like that, uh, really, uh, testing the thought process. How would you execute this? What would you do? Um, but I don't know. I've not put them in any type of, uh, Iowasca situations or anything like that.
[01:56:20] Well, I, I I'm being. Half series. When I, when I asked this question, because adversity reveals one's character and you came out shiny and bright in spite of all the serious challenges and molestations and you know, people being violent at you and so forth. So. Even though it's not the real deal. Things like Spartan race or ice bath, these type of like intense type things does give people glimpses or you even glimpses of like, Oh, okay.
[01:56:52] So this is, you know, how they're alike, I'm their adversity kind of a thing. So hence why that question? I, you know, it's, it's interesting. Think about this last year, CK. The virus, disruption, the protest, the election current time. I don't feel the need to put the team under any additional stresses. Sure.
[01:57:26] It's what I'm looking for now is to create an environment of. Safety support, um, consistency. And in people, again, world may be on fire, but all is well at scribe. Mm that's. A very wise, uh, statement you just made, right. Versus me. Being an emotional savant asking you about questions and challenges. Why you just may actually, it's a very wise statement.
[01:58:05] You might, if I asked you some rapid fire questions, is that cool with you? Thank you so much. Um, what's. So these questions came from the audience. So what is the ones, one of the best investments that you have ever made? It could be any time relationships.
[01:58:21] Okay. So when you said investment, I'm going to give you the first thing came to my mind. Sure. Because I don't see my wife as, as an investment. She's the, the greatest blessing I've ever had. And then second to that are my kids. But when, when you say investment to me, first thing I think of are our stocks.
[01:58:37] So I got it. You saw how excited I got, um, back in, man, what was this? 13, maybe 2013 American airlines. Filed bankruptcy. And I was going through there. I love business. I love studying. Why did this happen? What was going on? Why did the CEOs make this decision? So I just, I'm a student of business. I can watch documentaries on business all day.
[01:59:04] So American airlines filed bankruptcy and I'm like, damn, another one's going down. TWA went out, Panem went out now, American airlines what's going on. So I started studying their financials and I'm like, wait a minute. They've got $4 billion in cash. I'm like, they're not filing bankruptcy. And so I started digging into it.
[01:59:25] They couldn't come to terms with the pilots union, the fire lieutenants union, and hell, I didn't even know the baggage handlers had a union, so I'm like, Oh, they can't get all this together. So they just said, okay, fine. We're going to file bankruptcy. Stock went down to like 25 cents. And I said, man, they're going to come out.
[01:59:44] They're going to come out of bankruptcy. I said, or somebody is going to buy them. So I got in and, and again, me being the ignorant person that I am, I don't say that as a negative. No one had ever taught me that you don't put 90% of your net worth in any one investment. So at the time I put 90% of my net worth into American airlines and I said, okay, I just need the stock to go to a dollar.
[02:00:14] And so puck went up a little over a dollar, and then it came out that, uh, the bankruptcy attorney approved. American airlines to buy four more, uh, maybe four or either 40 more jets. And I said, see, I knew they were way is going to give you approval to buy new jets. If you're going bankrupt. And then the stock jumped up like three bucks.
[02:00:35] I said, sweet. Then the stock got up to about five. Then word came out that you not United airlines. It was a us airway us air. Was thinking about a merger, boom. Stock went up again. So long story short, um, got in at 35 cents, got out at 13 and change best, best investment I ever made. Awesome here in the air, in the office, two minutes, it's scribe.
[02:01:05] We have a channel called investment channels. I post, I literally post every stock that I buy so everybody can see it. I tell you what I bought, how much I bought when I'm selling it. So there's no bullshit of like, like, uh, someone on one of the financial channels. Well, we recommend, but they only actually own the stock.
[02:01:22] Nope. I show you how much I spent, how many I bought when I'm going to sell it, what I'm going to do. Everyone in here knows I showed in 2016, I bought, um, think it was like 3,500 shares of Amazon for $749. And it is documented on there and people see it. And you know, today I think Amazon's probably like 3,300 share.
[02:01:49] Wow. Uh, that question wasn't meant for a specific investment, but I love, I love the direction that you're taking. Like when you, when you say investment to me, that's what came to my mind. So I, you said rapid fire, I'm thinking, okay. First thing comes to mind. That's the answer I'm giving. Yeah. Since you have no seen to lab on your, on your is as one of your clients, I think could be a really interesting exercise since you love investments so much to have, you know, um, angel list, uh, like, like a syndicate, right?
[02:02:22] So you can essentially have your own fun kind of a thing, so people can invest with you. Um, any, any other, uh, investment that you wanted to mention in terms of time? You know, money, relationships, et cetera, best, best investment is, is like I said, uh, creating your, your three to five pillars. What it does is it in life where, you know, you can't do it all.
[02:02:47] It's just a fact, I love golf, but until my kids are all old enough to take golf lessons and play with me, I'm not going to spend four and a half hours on a round of golf and take that away from my kids. So God. Health family business and investing. That's it, man. If it doesn't fall within that, I don't do it.
[02:03:05] That's that right? There is the best investment I've made in my life there. You know, when people are running around talking CK, you've heard me talk about this. Um, people are running around talking about work-life balance work-life balance. Everybody attacks work don't work 60, 70 hours. Don't check your emails in the morning.
[02:03:24] Oh, we should only have a four day workweek. No one. Checks themselves on life. How about you not binge watch Friday through Sunday and have the nerve to wake up on Monday pissed because you haven't achieved your dreams and goals. How about you not go to the bar Thursday through Sunday, then be pissed on Monday because you haven't achieved your dreams or goals.
[02:03:46] So no one checks themselves on, on the life side of things. You know, don't complain that you're 20 pounds overweight. But you're you're you just went through the drive through at McDonald's in, you know, when you say work-life balance, everyone attacks work, no one attacks what they're doing in life. And think about this last time you heard someone say, man, we've been studied our 401k all weekend.
[02:04:11] Never. I love how you're such a advocate and a defender for the higher self. Right. Versus. You know, uh, giving forgiveness to the human side, right? The, the, the, the, the lower self sort of a thing. So I appreciate that. Uh, okay. Next question. Um, any specific advice for people who have been laid up due to COVID?
[02:04:42] Yeah, these are simple questions. Of course. Yeah. That, that isn't at all. There. There's so many facets to it. You know, I dare to even try to answer that because my wife and I were just talking about this last night, if you're a single mom and you've got two kids and your kids are having to do distance learning.
[02:05:01] And you got laid off, like, what are you supposed to do? So there's so many facets in answers and details that go into that. I don't know that I can even touch that one. I will say this I'll give one scenario. I'm a single person. I got laid off. I'm collecting unemployment. Man I'm studying every damn thing.
[02:05:24] I can get my hands on for the craft that I'm interested in. Be it marketing, be it investing, be what, whatever it is, man, eight, eight hours a day. I I'm, uh, you know, I'm obviously sending out my resumes. I'm trying to, trying to find employment, but the rest of the time, Oh man, I'm doing nothing but immersing myself into the craft that, that I want to be an expert at.
[02:05:46] Hmm. Beautiful. Thank you. What does JT do when feeling unfocused?
[02:05:55] Hmm. Feeling unfocused. When I'm here at the office, I'll walk around and look, or you can see part of it behind me. So we've got this massive wall in the conference room. We call it the, uh, the stadium and it's nothing, but the books we've published in here, I'll walk around and look at what we've accomplished.
[02:06:16] You know, this company was founded in Tucker's condo. And I remember I started with him going to his condo to, to, uh, for the company. And I look at what we've become now, how many people we have the year we had last year. Um, you know, we, we short answer, I focus in on what we've accomplished as a focal point to know what can be done.
[02:06:45] And, and that's where that, that brings me back to, to be able to, to focus, uh, even when, so that's what I do when I'm here at the office, I'll walk around or walk around upstairs, look at what we've accomplished. I see how many people we've hired and I get to work with. And that helps me bring me back to that perspective and gives me focus when I'm at home, um, is going to sound weird.
[02:07:07] I sit in parts of the house that most people wouldn't. I go sit in a corner of the house that. For what? There's no need to sit there, but I look at the house from a different angle. Uh, I may go sit in my daughter's bedroom and look at the house from a different angle. Um, I. It's always attached to gratitude.
[02:07:30] Gratitude brings me back to focus in is the, the, the short answer. Uh, even, even when I go outside, man, to take out the trash in the garage, I look at the fact that, you know, it's two cars in their three car garage. Um, I, I admire. My garage. It's just a garage, you know? Yeah. It's, it's got the, the, the nice floor and stuff like that, but, uh, I'm thankful I have a garage and so gratitude always gets me refocused.
[02:08:01] Thank you for that. When you're dealing with someone else who mean, who may feel a little entitled, who went in, pulled me forget about this gratitude thing that you talked about. How do you. Gently and kindly remind them about, you know, being grateful or, or you don't, or, or you don't do it so gently. I'm not always very gentle about that one.
[02:08:27] Um, because none of us are entitled to anything and it's. For me, life is a, is a, a true blessing and, and we're not entitled to tomorrow. So if you get it, it's a blessing. Take advantage of it. Make the most of it. Um, So, what do you say to them though? You just, you say exactly that. Yes. I, I say that in, sometimes I do, uh, I I'll give you one in, in my, in when I interview.
[02:08:57] So, so everyone who gets hired into the company has to be interviewed by me. I'm the last person that you speak to before you're hired. And I always ask people, I said, um, okay. Most of the people have done some type of research on my background. So they know, you know, some of the story I said, okay, you know, my, my background, you know, where I come from, fractured, blah, blah, blah.
[02:09:18] I said, no, give me the hardest thing you've ever overcome. I said don't tell me it was a thesis paper. When you were getting your degree. I only hear that shit. I said, give me, give me the hardest thing you've ever grown. Yeah. And then what, what what's interesting is because immediately they start, they, they realize they're in a place where Oh, He led with you background.
[02:09:42] So they can't come with some little soft ass story. So they're going to have to dig deep and give me something. And depending on what it is that that really shares a lot about this person. I remember one time we did a group interview and it was the only time we ever did it. We did a group interview and I went around the room and I asked everyone in the room.
[02:10:02] I said, Hey, why do you think you're here? Why do you, how do you think you made it to this point of the interview? And I remember one lady said she goes, because I went to Yale and I was like, Oh, Ooh, there was such a part of me that just wanted to write them. Like, you just need to go ahead and leave. Now.
[02:10:21] Now you are polite. I let him finish out the interview, but I'm like, you realize that has zero to do with you, especially with me, like that holds no bearing on you being here whatsoever. Oh, my gosh. That's a funny story. Thank you. Very okay. Uh, last question, and then we'll complete go two more. C K. I'm sure you have two more there.
[02:10:50] Oh, well I do. I could speak to you for it. Ours. Let's do two more males. You are just, you know, wellspring is done. So what are some bad recommendations you hear out there for young professionals? But that just like drive you like, Oh my God, I can't believe these people are giving us such bad advice that makes you skin crawl.
[02:11:18] That kind of advice. It's the D the w here's what immediately popped in my head. Like I said, rapid fire questions. I'm giving you the first thing that comes to my mind. I was the one, I was the president of software company. Uh, we were. I think they were having like a hackathon or something one night and I hung out, obviously I wouldn't hack in shit, but yeah, I was hanging out with everybody and I weren't hacking shit.
[02:11:43] I wasn't actually shit. I was hacking up some beats or something, but. Uh, one of the guys there, he heard me say, I go look, man. The ultimate goal is to create a company where people can retire from it. That's the ultimate goal. So if you go back to our grandparents, our great grandparents and they worked at jobs 34 years, there I go.
[02:12:05] No one does that anymore. That people used to actually pay off 30 year mortgages. No one does that anymore. The average person is in a home five and a half years at sad. When you think about the memories that are made in a house, the Christmas is the Thanksgivings, the birthdays. Um, but then. He said to me, he goes, Oh man, I'm so relieved.
[02:12:28] I go, why? He goes, my guidance counselor told me that, uh, I should find a new job every two years. Uh, and he, and I said, how long have you been here? Now? He said like 18 months I had already started looking. I'm like, Why would someone give you that dumb ass advice? If you find a great place that you love working, if you're making the salary that you enjoy, you love the people you work, why would you leave?
[02:12:56] And he goes, well, I thought that I was supposed to emulate. Oh, no. I go, ah, that's, that's some horrible advice. So that was the first thing that I thought about it. Matter of fact, I was talking to a person just yesterday. One of our tribe members asked me if I'd speak to her cousin and their cousin called me.
[02:13:15] And he said that, uh, he was thinking about leaving. So how long have you been with the company? He said three and a half years. So how old are you? So 28. I said, man, you need to stay two years, two year at the company for five years. And he said, why? I said people your age right now. I said, you guys have worked at seven different places by the time you're 28 years old.
[02:13:32] I said, when you're 30 and you've been there five years, you can walk into an interview and say things that other people can't, you're loyal, you're loyal. You're, you're looking for longevity. You're looking for a company you can grow with. I go, very few people can say that now. And I said, people, people say it, but the resume doesn't show it.
[02:13:52] Your resume will show it. If you stay there five years. And he was like, wow, that's. I go that now you've, you've just increased your value in the marketplace just by staying there for five years. I said, you'll be third. It's not the, Hmm. So I have a question personally, you effectively have two jobs. You have the role of a CEO and you also very generous in going out and speak and speak to people like me as a, as a speaker.
[02:14:25] How do you balance the two or like, how do you reconcile in your mind to do both? God I'll do it. Well, God elf family business and investing you prioritize, man. You, you can't. Um, and, and here's something that you said, uh, share some wisdom. There's no success without sacrifice. I don't care who you are. You, you will sacrifice, uh, for success.
[02:14:54] You have to, you cannot be successful without sacrifice, and I'll take you to the highest levels. Watch this. LeBron James, everyone sees LeBron James a hundred million dollars a year has his own shoe championships, but no one talks about that. Win-lose LeBron James is on an 11 game road trip. He's not with his family.
[02:15:17] He's missing his, his kids, um, uh, games and plays and activities. He's not there. He's not there for family dinner. He's not there to tuck them in. And so that sacrifice, so it doesn't matter if he's making a hundred million dollars, it's sacrifice and people can sit there and say, Oh, well for a hundred million dollars, you know, I do well.
[02:15:36] That's great. But you know what? You can't recreate the, the bird, the actual birthday. You get, I don't care how much money you have. You can not recreate the actual birthday. And so he sacrifices now I'll take it up a level. Look at these presidents, bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama, when all three went in the office, they all had young daughters at the highest level.
[02:16:02] And we know the role of a president. They miss birthdays. They missed events. They missed holidays. They miss family dinners. There is zero success without sacrifice. You will have to sacrifice something. The goal in life is to find the things that are most meaningful to you and be cutthroat with everything else.
[02:16:25] Don't let it get in the way don't don't. Don't do this. Don't go to dinner with your friend that you haven't seen in in three months and you're, you're enjoying the meal. Oh gosh. Let's see. Can see you in forever, but how you doing whatever your food comes out and you actually have the nerve to sit there and take three pictures of your food, because you're going to post it on Instagram and we all know you never get the first one, right?
[02:16:50] So you take three pictures of it. You post it on whatever social media platform, then you set your phone down. So she came in. What have you been up to, and then what I do? I pick my phone up. Oh, I got like, Oh, sweet, sweet. So I put it back down. I was so, so what else, man, what else is going on? Then I pick it up.
[02:17:08] God forbid I get a comment. Oh, now I gotta, you know, and I got to say something. What the hell one, nobody gives a fuck. What you're eating for lunch. I don't care. You're wasting quality time with that individual spending time connecting with that person, showing them you appreciate the fact that they took time out of their day to spend with you.
[02:17:34] And you're posting a picture of your food. Is still in my mind is the ultimate gift, the presence, and the time they can never ever get back, you can always, always make more money. You can can't get back this time. I can always make more money, man, but I can not get back more time. And it's for me, man, having my, my four children.
[02:17:55] It's like having a human calendar. You just see how fast they grow. My, my seven year old. I see, it just seems like yesterday that she was the same age as the two year old. And here they are, you got a seven year old, a two year old man. You cannot get back to the time and I'll be damned if I'm going to waste mine telling you I just checked in at the gym or taking a picture of my food or, or sin, you know, posting a picture at the beach.
[02:18:19] Insane gratitude where if you're so grateful, enjoy the damn moment. Instead of trying to impress everybody that you're at the damn beach. I, I look forward to hearing this particular point, uh, as your kids grow up and because they're blown into this whole world of social media and, you know, my status is based on the number of followers and likes and so forth.
[02:18:47] I'd be very curious to know how. You're a B a parenting, your young kids, man, I'm going to, I'm going to try to keep my kids off. I say, try my wife and I talk about this. Um, if it's up to me, my kids won't have a phone until somewhere, maybe seventh and eighth grade. Uh, the other thing is, and this isn't, again, some people won't agree with this, my opinions, what we do with our kids.
[02:19:12] Um, you know, my kids go to private Christian school, different set of values. And, and so for, for me, my goal is that my kids don't have a cell phone until they're in seventh grade. Um, I don't want them to be on social media and feel that their self-worth is built on how many likes they got. It's such bullshit.
[02:19:34] You know, I do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? I don't give a damn if, if someone that is just connected to me on. Whatever social platform likes my posts likes my outfit. Do you like it? You know, my daughter all the time, she'll come out and travel and health it. And she'll say, dad, in my pretty, I said yes, but do you work hard?
[02:19:59] I say, cause I know a lot of pretty people who don't work hard in, that's not a good combination. So do you work hard? Are you kind, are you smart? Tell me that. And she's like, yes. I said, okay, then you're pretty. I love that. Always a chance to cause you're acknowledging her for the effort versus the looks, because it looks, you really didn't have anything to do with, she was giving this gene versus the effort that kindness, that gesticulation the words that's coming out of her own sovereign self.
[02:20:33] Her own agency, rather than this thing that's inherited. Thanks to the good looking parents as she's got it's it's interesting. Every day, uh, sometimes two, three times a day. My kids, they, I say, okay, what are your things? I'm smart. I'm great. I'm a leader. Hard work is greatness, positive attitude, and stand up for yourself.
[02:20:54] And we have to, they have to recite those two, three times a day. I love it. Davon J T thank you so much were sharing. So generously with us, with me, your presence, your time, your hero's journey from the darkest places and to where you are today. I mean, honestly, I'm, I'm really, really inspired. Um, just the kindness that you exude, the presence you have this, this fierce.
[02:21:29] Stands for agency for sovereignty that we can, um, thrive in spite of whatever circumstances, challenges to comes our way. And you do it with kindness and generosity and respect. I just so appreciate you as a, as a new friend, as a, as a, as a guest. Uh, and then someone that I. And I look up to you inspire me to be even more open with my own past where more humanity as a teaching tool to share with others that they too can overcome or to achieve their dreams.
[02:22:06] Um, so thank you so much for being the light. My man CKD, uh, incredibly humbling to hear that. I appreciate it. This was, this was good. Good stuff, man. It was great conversation. I feel like we, uh, without the food we get to go to lunch together. Sure. For sure. Um, I look for the senior in person and hopefully at some point we get to do this again.
[02:22:27] Excellent. My man, you, you tell me when we'll make it happen.