The #1 Money Lesson School Failed To Teach You [Escape The Rat Race] | Codie Sanchez | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "The #1 Money Lesson School Failed To Teach You [Escape The Rat Race] | Codie Sanchez".
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If you're going to achieve outside success, you have to get so good you're impossible to ignore. This requires an obsession with skill acquisition. No one starts out great, you become great. As today's guest says, "The difference between you being broke and being a billionaire is just a set of ideas. Understanding which ideas to invest in, which to discard, and how to achieve financial freedom through your own actions." To that end, I bring you Cody Sanchez, the woman with an instruction manual for success. What do people need to know about how the world really works and how you went from being an underpaid journalist to buying a portfolio of small, what you call boring businesses that now kick off just under $100 million in annual revenue to you?
Path To Becoming A Billionaire And Lessons From The Journey
The Risk Free Road to Becoming a Billionaire (00:30)
Business in general, especially small business, gets way overcomplicated. So we hear these stories of Silicon Valley billionaires who have exited these giant tech companies and built this next social app or Tesla. And in reality, you're richest neighbor, maybe not in this neighborhood, but in most neighborhoods, is probably somebody who owns a plumbing company, somebody who owns a local landscaping company. The community all around you, the services you use every day, can make you a lot of cash. And what makes real change is that money is the architecture's change in our world. You want to get somebody elected? Money. You want to change your local community? Money. You want to have different zoning so you can change the businesses in your local area? Money. And so I don't acquire money because I want Lamborghinis and fancy things. I do it because I think it is a way to freedom because it is a tool for power. I mean, when I first had money, was when I made like $30,000 when I left college. I mean, I made no money at a college and I thought I was super rich and I might never have to work again. And then I heard about taxes and figured that out. But quickly, I realized that I worked at a big company called Vanguard at the time.
Working At the Greatest Financial Firm in the World (Vanguard) (02:05)
And Vanguard was the world's largest financial manager. And what was fascinating about that company is the people inside of Vanguard touched, at the time I think, one and every $4 in the US economy was touched in one way or the other because of the mutual funds and pensions that they invest. And I realized, wow, these humans speak a language that I don't understand. Like ROI, EBITDA, basis points. There's this whole other language and finance has that for a reason. They have it because you and I, as normal people, do not speak that language. And so they say, give me your money, Tom, and trust it to me because you, poor thing, aren't intelligent enough to understand how to shepherd your own future. And so I had people calling me in 2008 when I worked at Vanguard, crying, asking me how Vanguard could have stolen their money because of the crisis and not realizing that the stock market has fluctuations in it. And at that point, I realized, oh, wow, like I'm never going to let this happen to me in mine. And that was hard because my family thought to chase money was evil and that we were happy and we didn't have a lot of money. So you don't need money. And then I heard this thing called the napkin theory. I can't remember who came up with it. But basically at the time, I was struggling with, am I okay to chase after money? Like is this bad? Am I a bad person for this? And I heard this story about a napkin. And imagine yourself in the middle. So you are standing in the middle, Cody, and around me is my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, let's say on each of the four corners. And when you, Cody in the middle, pick up your napkin like this in order of pursuing financial freedom, you lift up everybody else around you, right? Because you can't be what you can't see. And also because money trickles. You know, people talk about trickle down economics. We could think about that one way or the other. But money actually, when you have more of it around your family, you can hire your family members. You can build new businesses. You can create more wealth by spending it. And so they explained it as one of the best pursuits you can have is pursue it so you can pick everybody else. And that changed a lot for me.
How to Get People to Care About Personal Development (04:13)
I have a bunch of businesses that I own, right? These small businesses largely run by blue collar workers. And I remember I called up one of the operators in one of my companies. The guy who runs the whole thing oversees, let's call it 100 employees and contractors. And I was like, I want to do events for our like line workers. So for blue collar, largely Hispanic, same thing. And I want to do self improvement events. Like what could we do? What would they be interested in? We'll pay them to go even. And I remember he said to me, they won't go. They're not interested in personal development. You can't find those people. And I thought that was so fascinating. So I called up a couple other operators, some of the businesses that I owned. This was back in the day. And like two or three of them kind of like pranced around it a little bit, you know, we're a little bit PC and then said the same thing. I was like, that's fascinating. So are they right? Or like, is there some miscommunication? And what I basically realized is that the language that we use, even the people on YouTube, listening to this right now, by and large, most of the people listening are already understanding the words personal development. They think it's a good thing, not a bad thing. And most people that are blue collar workers, at least in my experience that I've worked with, they think about personal development a bit like therapy. Like I told my dad, I was going to go to therapy with my husband proactively, like before we got married, he was like, what's wrong? Are you guys okay? And I was like, no, no, it's because we want to work on this thing called marriage would seem important and I failed at once. So like maybe we should get some help. And he was like, okay, that's bizarre. And I told my mom kind of the same thing. Now they're smart, great humans, but the words meant something different to them. And so what I realized with our group is, oh man, we basically have, I think there's sort of two worlds in the US right now and maybe even three, but one world are, it's kind of the elites and the elites might even mean white collar workers in corporate jobs that use words like quiet quitting. Those words don't fucking exist in blue collar, blue collar land. And so what I tried to do early on is I realized I had some of those words like, oh, therapy, bad personal development. Why? What's wrong with you? You know, and I had to re navigate and negotiate my language. That was the only way I could change my relationship with money. So it started with being okay with things like personal development, which is totally normal now. Everything I'll say is I get really annoyed today when people, especially like on Twitter, let's say they start saying things like, oh yeah, you should just get up at five AM, get into an ice bath, then sauna, then whatever, like, you know, you nerds. And it's like, hey, I know that that seems crazy for a lot of people, but you guys are so inculcated into this world of being elites that you don't even realize you're being extra elite by trying to tell people that have never experienced what it feels like to get up early and meditate, but that's unnecessary because it's actually really powerful. So instead of trying to like break out of the, you know, world we live in where people are obsessed with personal development, realize most people are not in that world and help them. Don't try to belittle it. And that is an interesting cycle. I think we're in right now today. It's like self education is bad.
Are People on the Internet Creating a False Version of the World? (07:24)
And I think that's so wrong. I can't remember where I heard this, but somebody said it might have been you where there's mystery, there's money, like are people intentionally creating a false version of the world to keep other people down? I think in this case, it's more people don't realize that they live in bubbles. People on the internet largely talk to other people on the internet that are just like them. And so a lot of the people who are mouthpieces, like you and I, and let's say, and you've been at it a long time, they never had your experience of hiring ex convicts, speaking to them and driving them around Beverly Hills. Never. And probably they've a lot of this generation is like solo entrepreneurs who like that idea of being a solo prenuer and want to talk about on the internet, hey, I built this business to $10 million in 90 days and I have no employees. And I think that's a fucking tragedy. I think one of the most incredible things you can do is hire people. They're going to drive you crazy, but they're also going to mean you have a legacy on this planet that's above and beyond just what comes out of your body as a small child or human. And so I just think they don't realize how bubbled they are and that their idea of happiness, aka a solo entrepreneur with $10 million, I think it's going to be really empty in the years to come because you know this too, but there's nothing better than watching one of your employees change completely underneath, you could call it your leadership or just within your culture and building this thing where people are creating bigger than you. It's an incredible feeling. So that's my belief. Yeah, I'm obsessed with that moment where somebody realizes, oh, I'm actually capable of more than I thought that I was. So for me, it really did feel like as I climbed my way up, what I was doing was pulling the curtain back and seeing how the world actually works. And that sense has not stopped for me. Like the farther I go, the more I learn, the more I succeed, the more I'm like, oh, whoa, like the world works in a certain way. And getting into finance was actually the big thing for me. That was the first time where I felt like maybe there really is a conspiracy. Like when you start to understand what inflation really is, it's like, bro, what is happening?
How to get people to pay attention to good ideas (09:38)
So how do you, because you're a big believer in, and I think this is something that we'll really share. So I step back and I look at the world and I feel like it's losing its mind. And I'm like, the fuck is happening. And never did I think that I would deal with culture war stuff or anything even remotely politicky, and then I realized that the world is tearing itself apart because of bad ideas. And that really is my jam. So how we start getting people to pay attention to good ideas, one thing you said that really resonated with me is getting more people to have skin in the game, because if you own part of the house, you don't want to tear it down. What do you mean by that? And what are you actually trying to help people discover in that moment? Yeah, there's a famous law called tragedy of the commons, right? And it's an economic theory that is really crucial if you want to understand why people burn instead of build. And I heard about it from a famous economist by the name of Thomas Sowell. Oh my God. Yeah. If I was going to be a fanboy for anybody, it would be Thomas Sowell. Me too. His book economic facts and fallacies, I think is crucial reading for anybody that wants to understand numbers, not regurgitate them, and to do it in a way that is a competition of ideas as opposed to, let me just shout my idea the loudest. And he talks about, for instance, when I lived in DC, I saw it firsthand. We had, we were in a new development. We were in Columbia Heights and, you know, some of the streets were the hood. Some of the streets were brand new developments. Across from us was a big project that went up, subsidized housing, really well done, pretty. And sadly, within about the year that we were living there, it went from like a nice establishment to by the end, most of the houses boarded up one year. And I remember sitting there watching it, and at the same time I was rereading economic facts and fallacies. And Thomas Sowell talked about this, about how instead of subsidizing housing, okay, making it cheaper for people, but having no skin in the game, nobody is responsible for anything in that place. And some of them live for free. What they've done is they've taken away their personal sovereignty. You know, have you guys ever been on a street, let's say, and you see those scooters around, right, that everybody, you can rent for a few dollars, whatever bird scooters. And they're like, beat to hell. You know, they're thrown on the sidewalk in Paris. They throw them in the sand all the time. And that is the tragedy of the commons in action. If that was your scooter, you would take care of it. But because you don't own that scooter and you have no incentive one way or the other to take care of it, you beat it up and you being collective, you all of us. And so I think one of the biggest problems in our society today, we did this huge research analysis and it shook me. And it was we looked at sub-sectors in the US economy. So not just construction, but let's say hardware stores and roofing companies. And what we found is across, I can't remember how many sub-sectors, but let's say 30 or 30 that 25 to 30% of all sub-sectors are owned by the top 10 companies in each sector. And that number is growing rapidly. So we don't own our local businesses anymore. We don't own our homes as much anymore. One in four single family homes in 2022 was bought by an institutional buyer. And so we are sort of, we're doing the narrative that's supposed to not be true, which is that, you know, you will own nothing and be happy about it. And we're doing it, we're letting it happen right in front of our eyes. And I think that's a horrible thing because you have all been to, I mean, you certainly seen it here in LA, but you go to a Starbucks, right? And outside it's like, kind of dirty, beat up. The greeter doesn't know your name. The barista spells it wrong. They get your coffee. The beans are kind of burnt. And it's lost what it was. The mermaid is no more. And then you go to a local coffee shop. And what do you feel? Like it's the same person every day. I just was at one in San Diego the other day. Gosh, I wish I remember his name so I could shout it out, but great little coffee shop in Bird Rock. The owner is right there. He's making the coffee for me. We get to know each other. He's having a community party on Sunday. That is never going to happen at a Starbucks. And that's why owning those small businesses is so important, I think. And that skin in the game is all the difference. And then I'll shut up. But last thing is just, I don't think everybody should own a business. It's hard. You know that better than anybody. You've been playing this game in a big way. But I do think having some incentive where if I do X more, I can make Y more and I can leave my stamp on the world, it's really important. So that's my mission. I love that. I think it's really important as you were talking. So you're going to own nothing and be happy. So when I got into this, I really thought anybody, if you believed in any conspiracy, you were out of your mind, you were like, oh, geez, I like, do I even have time to have this conversation? And then I really started thinking about the way that people think.
The beautiful game of life (14:30)
So here's my thesis. Dear smart people, stop trusting yourself because you think you're real fucking clever. And I'm just going to tell you right now, you're wrong more than you're right. I'm glad you're there. I'm glad the world has smart people. And I'm glad that people really push the envelope and do things and take chances and believe in themselves. That's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the scientific method. Like you have to approach everything with humility. And when I hear things like, you're going to own nothing and be happy, it's like, bro, stop trying to do top down, top down always ends in tyranny.
Life is a Game (14:59)
Not once, not most of the time, it always ends in tyranny. And so seeing people snatching buildings up or whatever, one, I think it's unwise to think of it as a grand conspiracy. I think it is better to think of it as well intentioned people. They aren't evil. They certainly don't view themselves as evil. But they have a belief system that we have to dunk on. And we have to understand, we being anybody listening to this, that you can get so good, they can't stop you from controlling your own life. You can get so good that you can buy a bevy of boring businesses that generate $100 million. That's so crazy. And getting people to understand that. And I love that you used to be a journalist, that you did not go to Harvard. But like I think at one point you said, I did more keg stands than like MCAT prep. I forget what the other thing was, but I was just like, just, oh God, it was so on point. And yet you learn the rules of a game and now you play that game well. And so I've been thinking a lot about, okay, my show has evolved a lot over the years. Always with the same mission. I want this moment. I want people to understand that you can get so good at the game that nobody can stop you. That's it. I love this. I work this fucking hard for that one thing. And as I get into this part of my thing where I'm trying to have way deeper conversations. So for the person that's been following me for seven years, it's like cool in the beginning, we got your mindset right. Then we helped you get your personal finances and your relationships right. And now we're like full reality distortion field. And what I want people to understand is that the game of life has rules. You can master them and you can play to win. And so the tagline I'm noodling on is life is a beautiful game because I don't want people to hear wolves howling in the background. I don't want them to think of Klaus Schwab as an evil guy. He really thinks he's good. He really thinks he's trying to help you. And if you approach him in that way, you'll be better off. Anyway, I want people to understand life is a beautiful game, but you need to master it.
And so looking under the curtain, seeing how all of this works, that really is what I'm all about at every level, whether I'm doing a comic book, working on the video game, or doing one of these interviews, it's like lift up the curtain, see how this, see that it has rules. Once you know how to play, then you can really get good. Oh, yeah. Well, I love that because I think you're right. I mean, think about first of all, the beautiful game is interesting because that's what they call football or soccer around the world, which is the most viewed sport in the world, right? Globally, which I love. And I think also, if you think about it as a game, then you think about problems as levels, and you think about them as natural, and you start to look forward to the solution of said problem as opposed to expecting that life instead of a game is a vacation with a Mai Tai on a beach chair somewhere, which I think is what a lot of us expect. Like it should be easy.
I should have this. It's not fair that this happened. It's like, why do we think that we want life without some villains in it and without some worthwhile adversaries? There's no David without Goliath. And so you need those, those enemies and adversaries because they're how you level up. How boring of a game would it be if we were just handed the prize as soon as we walked on stage? What are we going to do with the rest of our time? And so I've really tried to program my mind over the years and to learn from people who look at problems and they're like, oh, this is juicy. What are we going to do about that? How do you think, okay, let's get curious. Like do we use the, do we use the lightsaber? You know, do we use the laser gun? And if you can do that with business too, then I think this whole world of opportunity opens in front of you where you become the wizard behind the curtain and you realize, oh man, you know, actually every single, any game you want to play, there's rules, then there's ways to break those rules, then there's trends, then there's ripples, then there's rhythms. And so as soon as you realize that you can have fun with it, I mean, we're talking beforehand about YouTube and I have so much fun with social media online because it is a giant game. It's hyper algorithmic. There are tons of rhythms to learn and watch from other people. There's a feedback loop that tells you if you are succeeding or not, almost immediately. And that is just like business. So if you like playing around with social media and learning which posts go viral because of the human attention span, then you might actually like business too. And that's why sometimes people are like, you know, well, I want to be an influencer online or I want to be a singer or an artist. It's like, I don't know. Is that actually what you want? Do you want that label or do you want to play a game in which you have some skill set that maybe you could uniquely apply in order to win a little bit more than you lose? They do want the label. I know, but I don't think they're happy once they get it. They're not because they didn't earn it. But the and this is where I really want to get into the way the world actually works. So this is all psychology, yours and others. And the reality is people do want fame for nothing. They do want money for nothing. Now what they don't understand going back to money is just the great facilitator. So if you don't know what you want to do, it's going to implode you. No one will believe you until they do it themselves. But that really is true. And so the question is how do we get people to understand that in fact you've said this, the happiness is struggle. And once you understand the way that I come at it is from an evolutionary lens. So over millions of years of evolution, nature realized that it had to put algorithms in your mind. One of those algorithms is you won't enjoy anything if you don't work hard for it. Period. Because nature had to make sure you were willing to face a saber to tiger, go hunt, go gather like every day in an unrelenting parade of difficulty and misery. You had to keep going. And so there had to be a tremendous reward for I just worked hard. This is why no one once ever said I worked my ass off to get this thing. And I'm so sad I did it, right? It's like I worked my ass off to get a thing I care about. That is important. Cody Sanchez says, be careful the mountain you choose to climb, which I think is very wise. But if you worked your ass off to get something you care about, then you feel good, not just about the thing you feel good about yourself. But there's a reason that rich kids implode because when you get that thing, it's not going to hold the emotional weight that you wanted it to. And so the thing I fear with kids is when I got into business, I didn't do it so I could get on the gram. The gram didn't exist. So I spent almost 20 years just building businesses, not thinking one day people will think I'm cool for this. I was doing it just so I could launch my studio. That was it, man. I fucking ground myself into the dirt in order to be able to do it. And it was only I was already worth hundreds of millions of dollars before I picked up my first social post. And if I could get people to fall in love with, go get good. That will feel way better than all the likes that you could ever get, all the followers and all of that. That shit is transient. But being good at something is forever. You can reboot your life, your health, even your career, anything you want. All you need is discipline. I can teach you the tactics that I learned while growing a billion dollar business that will allow you to see your goals through. Whether you want better health, stronger relationships, a more successful career, any of that is possible with the mindset and business programs and impact theory university. Join the thousands of students who have already accomplished amazing things. Tap now for a free trial and get started today. When you get rich and or famous, you start to get around other people that are rich and famous.
Approval of people you actually respect happens offline. (23:10)
What's interesting then is they can see who's real and who's not like this. And you start to crave actually the respect of people that you respect. And so I've seen it implode real fast because, you know, I have a friend and he's young and he's done well, made couple, let's call it tens of millions of dollars online. Now, but he's done it in ways that people just don't kind of want to associate with it. And so it's also, it's this empty thing. You have to pretend to a legion of humans listening to you that you're the real deal. And yet at the same time, you feel you can feel it. And so, you know, I've talked to him about it a decent amount. I'm like, man, you've got the thing. You're just chasing the wrong rabbit. And so you've got to find your actual real rabbit because you're never going to have the respect just from the likes and clicks. And you'll get it once you're around a bunch of humans who are like, oh, he's a builder. Oh, he's got interesting ideas. No, no, no, he's not a hustler because that's not really what the people that you want respect from are interested in. It's like, no, he's a, he's a creator. And by that, I mean a creator of value in this world. And most people don't know to strive for that. They think that we walk around comparing our bank accounts like, no, but did you see this? I'm real. Oh, I have no idea what's in your bank. You have no idea. And also, if I told you, you told me, we wouldn't, what does that mean? Nothing. You can't talk about that over a dinner table. You talk about what ideas are in your head and things are you building that are worthwhile for us to have a conversation that doesn't feel like we're at the shallow end. And at a certain point, that's where you want to go when you've had some success. And so, you know, Lisa and I were talking about how do you network with cool people? It's like, be cool, dude. And I don't mean like outfit cool. I mean, try to do cool or inspiring or things that bridge your curiosity. Because when you do that, eventually you just attract other people who are interested and try and do. And that I think is the real joy of what we get to do. It's like, I don't really care about, I mean, you've been in this game for a long time. I've met a lot of famous people and a lot of people on the interwebs. I'm like, oh, I could do a health that. Never mind. Not what I thought. And then you meet some builders and you're like, this guy scrubs his, one of my CEOs scrubs his name off of the internet. You can't find it anywhere. He's definitely, I mean, he's never told me or showed me his bank account, but a billion. And you couldn't find his name anywhere. And he is one of the most interesting humans to talk to because it is a one of one conversation and none of it is regurgitation. And so I think it's important that people are on the internet like you because otherwise you have a lot of humans who only do chase fame. And that's not the universe of pours of vacuum. So they're going to fill it with more Kardashians or they're going to fill it with builders and actually no hate to them because they're builders now too, but maybe not the world that I want to see exactly. Right. I get that. I'm a little obsessed with Kim Kardashian. I'm not going to lie. And when she lit the internet on fire by saying, maybe she need to work harder, I was like, yes, yes, motherfucker, people need to work harder. I could not believe that that was controversial. I agree with that. I stand by I stand in solidarity with Kim Kardashian. With Kim, I don't know the rest well enough, but I will say that yes, it is what she has built is very impressive. I know. Now, how are we all supposed to feel that it started from a sex tape? I don't know.
Kim Kardashian's impact on the world. (26:45)
I should not care about that. Like that sucks that somebody did that to her or that it got out. I don't know. That's like, I don't care. I'm not a Puritan. I think I'm more just like, oh, do I really think and I use it. So what the fuck, you know, do I think we need more makeup brands or more like clothing brands everywhere? Interesting to me. That's a brand play. And so that's all psychology, which I'm I'm all for. I don't have any beef with that. And I really don't have beef with social media and leveraging that. Yeah. There is something at the edges. I've not taken the time to dive into this. I'm really sort of spouting off right now. Yeah. I think it's probably good. But that I haven't thought about. Yeah. Well, I don't know. Like there's there she did a friend of my Matt Higgins does a class at Harvard Business School every year and he invited her in to be a case study. And I actually thought that makes a lot of sense to me. Me too. So in the modern era, but there yeah, I get it there.
Learning(!) from Billionaires (27:40)
There's something at the edges that I. Well, and maybe not even that, I think it's cool that humans are building in public. And I think anytime you have people that have built multiple billion dollar businesses, not to mention just one billion dollar business, there is something to learn there. And you're crazy to be a moral absolutist and say, I got nothing to learn because it started from a sex tape. How many sex tapes are out there? And they're not billionaires. Yeah. So there's talking something to learn there. So I would take a masterclass from her and her larger bank account any day.
Exploring Leadership Values And Focus
Where Is the Obsession? (28:10)
But I do think what I would like to see a little bit more of are like more people like you, more people like Andy Fersella, more people like, you know, that are building something that I think is super America focused that I think has like the mission and values. I'm more of a mission and values sort of human in this world today. That's interesting. That is almost certainly the thing that bothers me. I don't know that there's a mission. I don't know. I have not looked. But it does not radiate out from what they create. Thank you for putting your finger on what bothers me. Yeah. That's very interesting. We are living in a time where I think it's, it's, I would never have been an entrepreneur in any other era because for me, the only thing that allows me to work this hard is I have to hold a people, a small group of people that I actually know and love and show up everyday fighting for them. So at Quest, it was fighting for my mom and my sister. They were morbidly obese. I wanted to make food that they could choose based on taste and it happened to be good for them. And so I was willing to fight for that. I was willing to make choices that cost me hundreds of millions of dollars in order to just, well, this is either going to help them or it's not. This decision makes me more money. This decision actually helps them. And so I was really proud of that with impact theory. It is again, a very small group of people. And unfortunately, I've been to one of their funerals already and that's fucking heartbreaking. But just the changes he made in his life before, just car accident, just fucking dumb. But watching him change his life was unbelievable. And it was just an incredible reminder of how this stuff really works. But when you have that mission, that leaks out hopefully through the choices that you make, the products that you build and that we're living in an era where that's also great marketing. Yeah. It's hard to beat obsession. You can have all the tactics and tools and money and leg up. But if somebody is obsessed with the thing they're spending every day building, they're hard to beat because they'll just work longer. They'll sacrifice more. And I do think that your success level often is tied to the sacrifice that you're willing to give. It doesn't mean you have to work 100 hours a week, but it does mean you need to sacrifice a lot if you want to achieve massive success. And I think anybody who says you don't probably has never played the game. No, there's no way. There is no way. Everyone has to fight against entropy. And so I won't say that nobody ever got, didn't get lucky. Of course, some people have gotten lucky, but that's just going to be such a minor, minor, minor, minor, minor thing. But the thing that's fascinating sitting down across from you who is a fellow builder is that you actually know how to do this. So what I want to do now is go, okay, look, we've talked mindset. You people understand that money isn't what you thought is actually more powerful, but it's different. You really can do this. It really is about pulling back the curtain. It's about understanding psychology, knowing how the world works, understanding how to insert yourself into it. But to do that for anybody at home that's like, okay, I want to do this, but now let's get into the real tactics. So that obsession becomes a set of skills. It really is that simple. And how do people, I think it's really twofold. One, how do they know which mountain to climb? It might be worth telling that oh, so wonderful story. And then once they know what mountain to climb, let's really get into the how doth one climb a business mountain. Well, I think we all miss the class in high school where they taught us to know themselves, you know, Oracle at Delphi style. But I do think- Nice reference, but- Yeah, that's good. Was that eyebrow? Very elite of you. Right holiday, we're proud. I feel like that was very stoic of me. I was already leaving a comment in a few, I can feel it. So I think, man, if I could have gone back and done something different that would have gotten me out of working in corporate jobs that I didn't really like for like 12 years, even though I was a CUMI, I was stacking cash as I was doing it, what would have changed that for me would have been if I had thought more about who am I and what do I want. And so if anybody listening hasn't actually written down consistently, I mean, I did it daily, you can do it weekly, monthly, but you know, what are the things that I like doing every single day? What am I actually uniquely skilled at? What do people come to me for advice on? What do I do and focus on even when I've never paid a dollar and nobody's watching? That was big. You know, what are the things that I find so interesting that I become obsessed with them? And it's like they talk about that flow state. The whole world just goes, "Wom," and you're just, you're narrowed in. And maybe even your family's annoyed because you won't shut up about this one thing that you're doing all the time. Right? Where can you find those things? And as you narrow in as those, they don't have to become, I think a lot of people then go video games. It's like, no, no, no, be more granular than that. Is it, wow, I get obsessed with the characters or I really like thinking about the technology on it or I kind of understand how this video game grew this much. Try to get really granular. And I wish I had done that earlier because then I could have found games that I actually wanted to play. I was too scared that I didn't have some big startup idea like yours. I didn't have any ideas. I just, it's like, I want to work hard. I want to make money. I want to do what I like to do.
Can we cause on that for a second? Yeah. So one thing I heard you say in another interview and I was like, oh my God, no thyself. As you said, you said, I'm never going to have the next idea about a music app or whatever. That's just not me. And I was like, whoa, because people want to be cool. They want to be the person with the big ideas. Everybody thinks they want to be the CEO, but not everybody's wired for that. And then even if they are, they may not be a product led CEO. They're a people led CEO or a process, see it, whatever, but not everybody has to be in that same thing. But once you own, okay, that's not me. Now you can start narrowing your focus to what your strategy is going to be. And that's the cool thing about you is that you really have taken a super unique path to generating. I repeat just under a hundred million dollars a year as bananas. So the fact that you were able to do that in a unique path, but it's born out of finally going, oh, I'm just going to be honest about who I really am and what I actually respond to. The question I tell people to ask themselves along those lines is when you're trying to figure out what it is that you want to do, first of all, who is it you want to serve? Because you'll never fight hard enough unless you're serving somebody. But what is the thing that you're prepared to become the best in the world at? Because if you're just prepared to get good, you'll get crushed. And look, you're probably never going to actually become the best. But when you think about that, you know that's going to be ungodly difficult. And then at least you're approaching the problem, honestly.
Drucker vs. Ries, and One Question for What I Want (& Am I Willing to Sacrifice It) (34:58)
Yeah. Well, actually my husband has us do this incredible thing that I love, which is instead of saying, what do I want? What are my goals? It's what do I want? And what am I willing to sacrifice to get it? Preach. And so he has me do this with him every year because I'm the workaholic. He's actually balanced. Really? Yeah, which is to say that about a Navy SEAL feels like off. I was going to say. I was like, now you know how fucked up I am. But you know, he is not singularly driven by money and the creation of an empire. And I am. Interesting. And I'm not driven by money in my pocket because I basically deploy all of it. So you're training buddy that's linked into your background that is very clear? Yeah. But I just find it fascinating. I want to just build this huge thing. I want the billion dollar business. Power, this is control. Yeah, must be. And I also just think it's fun. It's my favorite thing if I have to talk about the weather or PTA meetings. I'm going to just. Now, are you like the oracle of Omaha where it's like literally just a scoreboard thing? No, I think I will get to a certain point where there'll be a new game. Like he has, we've talked about this before, he has singular focus for decades.
My First Class Lesson in Time and Consistency from a Billionaire (36:07)
I mean, I told this story on Twitter once, but I sat next to this guy on a plane. I actually think if you have enough cash to do it, first class, even today where everybody's posting other private jets or whatever, first class today is one of the best investments you can make. If you sit and talk with some of the other people in first class, except not me because I hate talking to people. I'm going to say facts if you see facts. You can say hi, that's lovely, but I want to talk to the flight. But what's fascinating is if you get to the generation above ours, so let's call it 50, 60, 70, 80, I was flying back from somewhere in France. Must have been conned or niece. And I was flying to the UK. And I sat next to this guy, Joffrey Kent, who created Abercrombie and Kent. You remember that company? I don't. Luxury Travel Company. First company that created those Safari tent experience. Very, right. He grew up with nothing in South Africa, built up these Safari tent companies by himself, then created one of the largest luxury travel companies in the world. Friends with the King of England now like Fancy. Billions billionaire. And anyway, he was flying next to me, which I thought was kind of interesting. I was like, huh, like, thought he'd be on a jet. And he's like, I like to fly commercial. Like, all right. We get to talking and I'm like, all right, you ran Abercrombie and Kent. You sold it twice once for a billion dollars and then going to sell it again and probably for another ex and bought it back. I'm like, what was this secret? Yeah, he's fascinating. I was like, what is, what do you think the secret is? Like you did this for 60 years, like billions in, in, in valuation. And he's like, well, he's like 60 years plus the same thing. It's like time plus consistency beats everything else. I was like, God, that's so true and not what people want to hear because most people here, oh, you could be a billionaire at 97 years old, like Warren Buffett. No thanks. I'd rather have my crypto millions today. And they think they think, but I sit there and listen to that. I'm like, this is fascinating. Like what if the only thing that separates a billionaire and you is time of working really hard on a particular thing plus consistency of doing that thing and getting better and iterating every single day? That means that we have a much more even playing field than I think people will tell you today. It compounds. There's no doubt. We were talking before we started rolling.
Fatherly Chat with Sloan (38:25)
This is my mental illness. I really, really, I have a very hard time narrowing my focus. I am so keenly aware that narrowing my focus will give me better results, but the problem is I'm also a human and so I have to love my life. And so when I'm very envious of people like my wife, for whom the thing she wants to spend her time doing and becoming the best at, she loves from top to bottom. And so she's just all about it. I, they're, thankfully, it's not like I have seven things that I'm trying to do, but I have two and I cannot seem to stop myself. They're tied, but there, there is a big enough gap that I'm well aware. If I would just do like media be in front of the camera or I would just do a storytelling game development, my life would be better. It would be more productive in either direction and only mental illness stops me from doing that. And I mean that very sincerely. I'm not happy about that, but at least know thyself. I know that about myself. We do things in the company to protect us from that. Do you think why, why do you think that that's bad? Like Warren Buffett has multiple things and is one of the richest men in the world. Does he? Because he, as far as I know, and I may just not know, but as far as I know, he's, he is purely investing. He finds he, if, if you abstract out to what he understands how to do is recognize the deal when you seize it. That's it. That's all Warren Buffett knows how to do that plus operate. I don't know. I don't know him well enough to know if he operates from what I heard. Maybe you just say to Charlie Munger.
Focusing and operating differently as a leader (40:06)
He doesn't operate. Like, did you ever hear the Charlie Munger quote that's, he said, oh, it might not have been Charlie, it might have been his mentor. He said, you know, the difference between good leaders and bad leaders is when I hire a dog, I don't do the barking for it. Wow. That's good. That has really driven a lot of my business building is realizing I'm like you. I'm in some ways, I like, I like hands and pots, which is not very good for focus. But what I found is that there are a lot of people who are singular focus individuals who do incredibly well with one thing in front of them. And so those end up being my number two's and you know, you've built massive wealth. So you're obviously very good at focus too. But sometimes I wonder like, is there just one way? I mean, maybe there is a main thing in a side piece. I really think there are physics. Yeah. I think that whoever you point to, oh God, I'm going to ruin my own example here. Because I was going to say, except for Elon Musk, like it's freakish. But I, so here's what I think. That's so blue origin. Yes. But the vast majority of his career was just focused on Amazon. It wasn't until he started really starting to pull away. And he had so many of the world's most talented people working for him. And my problem isn't putting my hand in too many pots because I don't want to do people's jobs. I am not a micromanager. Because I tell people if I'm micromanaging you, it's because you're not delivering results. I don't want to pay attention to you. What I want to do is the part I like, the part that I'm uniquely good at. That's all I want to focus at. And if I'm getting results in other areas, amazing. The problem is when you're the CEO, you have a bigger responsibility. You have to pay vision. You have to keep people excited. Anyway, I have a feeling that even Elon Musk, there might be networking things that work for him. But I have a feeling each one of his companies would be better off if he gave it 100% of his time in focus. It's just that he is such a freak and the rate at which he can think. And also of his own admission. He's not the CEO of many of his companies. He's usually the lead product and engineer guy. And so his mind just seems to work very, very fast. So there's some level of what's the speed at which you think and how many tasks do you take on. So for instance, if I could think faster, which would not be a stretch, I am not a fast thinker. I'm a fast talker who thinks slowly and deeply about a lot of subjects. And so I confuse people who think I'm a fast thinker, but I'm not. So if I could think faster, then I could have more output across more things, but I can't. And so alas.
Business Development And Prioritization
Creating a business criteria (42:50)
It really is holding us back. So anyway, getting into the tactical side here. So you need to be, you need to know yourself. You need to know what your skill set is. You need to be very careful not to misalign your particular skill set with the way that you contribute. But the cool thing when you realized, okay, I'm not going to come up with a next business idea. I'm going to go buy a business. How did you begin to build a criteria? Because you have so many specific criterias from your get rich tripod to your deal valuations have to meet certain criteria. Like you've really systematized the stuff. How did you in the beginning when you didn't have any of that? How did you begin to formulate it? I have a very bad memory. And so, yeah. So one of the worst things about a bad memory is you can't remember things. One of the best things is you have to processize everything. And that frameworks and memes or specific vernacular actually help you remember. And so the reason that I have the get rich tripod and my deal box and our rules and thesis for investing is because I have to remember. Otherwise I do bad deals. And so I think one of the superpowers you can have is as you're going on your journey, what I had to do, I didn't mean to do it, was document these frames that I lived by. Because one, when you're in charge, you got to communicate it to people. So I would go, hey, what kind of businesses do we buy? And they'd say like BRT, right? We buy boring businesses that are recession resistant. We raise the prices. We add technology. Is the business that you're putting in front of me a BRRT business? No, it's not. Okay, go find another one. And so I would use it to communicate to people and to really communicate with myself, which is half the shit on my Twitter is like yelling at Cody. And probably I don't know if you're the same. Exactly the same. Like when people are like, oh man, like you're being so hard on people, I'm like, bro, I am talking to myself. That's a whole, a whole reminder at some point I'll have to just be like lessons to Cody and I'll just be my Twitter feed. But I like to framework them out for that reason.
How I Analyze Deals + Shop for TikToks (44:50)
And the way that you do that is just by taking inventory, I make so many mistakes all the time, even like 15, 16 years into doing deals, I just had a deal go bad last month that I'm like, God, you think I'd figure this out by now. And every time that happens, I have a post op. So just like after you have surgery or after you have a game, you sit down and you analyze what went well and what went wrong. We do that for every single deal we do that goes sideways. Do you have a structure for that? Are you running them against the BRRT or? We run them against our entire investing framework. So we usually have something called due diligence questions. So it's called a DDQ and we build out our DDQ list is now gigantic and it's graded. So like what's most important to what's least important. And then we look at these deals and we say, what did we learn? And so on this most recent deal, I realized, gosh, I have a flaw with partners. I pick bad partners if these characteristics are there. If they're friends of mine already, I let them in and I skip a bunch of stuff in the DDQ. So now I go, oh, okay, now I have a new rule. And the rule is no new friends. I don't do deals with new people until we've been together for a long time. Otherwise, they go to this other person on my team and they run them through the typical due diligence because I have a weak spot there. And so everything that I'm doing, it's just like when you play a sport or when you do a video game, you go through and you're like, what went wrong there? Oh, I can't step out here because then the car hits me or I can't go out to the left because that means the guy's going to get there. He's faster than I am. And I think we don't do that enough in business. So I am nonstop action, analyze, action, analyze, document. And as long as you do that AAD, then I find that I can kind of continuously make better decisions. That's really helpful. How much time do you spend on either the creation of these documents and going through them? Or I guess not or and then when you're doing the breakdown at the end because running a company takes so much time and energy, when I was researching you, I had overwhelming sense of guilt because I'm like, God, you do a lot of things that I should be doing. And I was like, where the fuck does she find the time for all this? So yeah, how much time do you spend on that analysis? I let a lot of things go by the way side. One of the most important things I keep reminding myself is that no isn't actually a wonderful word. No is an incredible word to use more often. And so is the ignore button. You know, I got a lot of shit on Twitter because I posted like, leave your text messages on red. I don't respond to a lot of text messages. I don't respond to a ton of emails. I don't take phone calls. You can't pay me enough money. Somebody reached out with like a number that I thought was crazy to just to test my resolve, I guess, for an hour phone call and I was like, no, I just, I don't do it because I will get distracted too quickly. And I'm a golden retriever. I want to chase tennis balls, right? All over the place. And so a lot of mine is I let low level stuff fly all the time. And that's one.
Professional Documentarians (47:53)
And then two, I think I just have gotten in this process of continuously each week because I'm a writer writing this stuff down. That's my favorite part about content is it makes it gives me like the right to do recaps and postops because I turn it into content then. It's one of my favorite reasons for getting on the internet. So every single week when we have our investment committee and I learn something new or a deal goes bad and I'm writing the newsletter for next week or I'm writing more content for our business buying group, it's real time what's happening to me in our businesses. And I don't think I could do content and running the businesses if the two weren't intermingled at the same time. That's really interesting. That's really interesting. Yeah, like, because you don't talk as much about the stuff that you're building right now from like a behind the scenes perspective, like document as opposed to create content. And I'm really push our team. I mean, my guys here somewhere Spencer, because I was like, I'm, we can't be creating these stories all the time. What, what are we doing in our life right now that we can just document because we're actually real builders.
Becoming a real builder (48:57)
We're not just like creators creating bullshit stories online all day. We're building. Let's talk about that. It's way more interesting than some fake story that we make up based on the news. And so now we try to balance between the two, but I would love like, I told, I was telling Andy for sale about the other day. I'm like, dude, I had no idea you did this in your company. You're like, you don't talk about any of that stuff online. Because I would love to hear more about that from you. I hear it about Quest, which is how I know a lot about your background. But today even we're talking, I'm like, yeah, what do we do for live? We make Tiktok, and you're like, actually I'm doing these six other things that I had no idea about. Yeah. Lisa is unbelievably good at that. She loves doing that. For me, I'm not joking when I say from the moment I wake up. So imagine I'm awake. I will, I did this this morning. So I have an episode with you today. I am still in bed, which I give myself 10 minutes to get out of bed, but I'm still in bed. I realize I'm awake. I reach over. I already have my headphones on, which is a whole nother story. And I turn off my book right now about Winston Churchill. And I already had an episode with you queued up. And ironically, it was you and Andy Frisella. Oh, yeah. And start listening to that. I get out of bed. I brush my teeth all while listening to that. So from the moment I wake up until the moment I either go to bed or if it's a moment where I'm trying to get some time with my wife, till the moment I spend time with my wife, I am working on something. And so I have a real problem being pulled off a task that drives me crazy. So for a long time, the social team would be like, oh, just real quick, let's turn it into like an Instagram post. And I'm like, man, this, so first of all, building a video game is the hardest thing I've ever done. And so oftentimes I'm like, my head is thumping and I'm like dealing with shit. And the last thing I want to have to do is turn to the camera and be like, okay, let me tell you what we're doing. It's like, I'm getting my face kicked in right now. And it probably would make amazing content though. So we actually are trying to build that team up because my team has been all wranging me to show more of that side. So. And even, I mean, one thing that I think I'm stealing from Jay Shutti, I was chatting with him the other week, but I liked, I was expecting from a month, like a lot of like love and touchy feely stuff. And he actually gave me some tactical stuff that I thought was really interesting. And I really liked him. But he, he, one thing that he liked, he's like, I have efficient and effective days. And I have heard before like content days versus building days and that never resonated with me. Because I'm like a whole day on content. Like, I don't know about that. That makes you want to die. And I'm like, but this efficient versus effective, I thought was interesting because he's basically like, I would, I would block segments of my time where I know that like, if I do the 20% thing that drives 80%, the day is successful. And he's like, and on those days where I know that I am having, he says on his effective days, so the ways where it's just like to do less, to do less, to do less, to do less, is the days that he allows content documentation. Because those are the days where your brain is like less, you're not big picture thinking. So that helped me a little bit. So now I have a half day on Thursday each week where I'm doing a lot of, like I'll put all the contracts I have to review and one off, you know, people issues that are just lower level, but have to be handled only by me on that day.
Choosing your priorities (52:15)
And on that day, we'll also do content. And so I'll be working on stuff and they'll have ideas in between me doing warm monotonous stuff. Anyway, works for me, but you know, you could try it on. Yeah, it's interesting. So I've tried many things with my calendar and this is one thing just refocusing on the tactics, you've got to get your calendar right. Like if you don't maintain, if your calendar doesn't reflect your actual priorities, you're in real trouble. So I keep a list that I call important things. And the important things are what is the most important thing that I could be working on right now? And I will just tell any, any stage entrepreneur, but certainly beginning stage entrepreneurs, you're going to have trouble prioritizing. And the reason you're going to have trouble prioritizing is because you think you're dumb, but in reality, the problem is no one's going to prioritizing until they've done it a lot. And then you begin to get a sense of, okay, this is the, to quote, Tim Ferriss, this is the lead domino. If I do this thing, it'll make everything that comes after it easier. So you'll start to identify those things. And you're going to do those until you can't do them anymore, either from fatigue or there's just nothing more to do. And now you're waiting for somebody to come back to you, whatever. Then you move on to the second thing. But I find everybody gets paralyzed by, I don't know what to put in first place. And so now you have seven things in first place. And so I, and I constantly fight with my team about this, you stop fucking being weak. Like what's number one? Like you're allowing yourself to be emotionally paralyzed because you're like, oh, it's all important. Yes, motherfucker, but you can only execute on one thing at a time. So what's that one thing? And so I'm just ruthless about that. So the beginning of my day, so I'm up usually at four or four or 30 in the morning. I don't let anybody on my schedule until 9 AM, 9 30 if I can push it. And then I don't let anybody on my schedule after 1 PM. So there's a narrow window where I've already gotten four to five hours worth of work in the beginning. So I'm doing my most important shit, all execution. Then I take meetings and make sure everybody's moving and they have whatever questions they need answered. And then I'm fucking in it. I'm in product and I'm in marketing. Those are the two things I'm just like obsessively focused about. And so I'm available. I'm with the team, which by the way, I'm going to guess because of how many businesses you own, you don't operate like this during COVID. I was like, word, go wherever you want.
Why John Decided on a Office (54:33)
You can move away. No big deal. Now I'm like, motherfucker, you better get in the office. Like we are back in a big way. It is so inefficient to not have people here. Yeah. Well, we just bought an office in Austin for the same reason. I've especially found, you know, I have an incredible team because they'll tell me they'll be really honest about it. Like one of the guys on my team who runs part of the creative thing, he's like, yeah, I'm just. I just don't work as hard when I'm not in the office. I'm like, I can't believe you just said that's my face, but also thank you. And, and, and I think it's true because most all of us have willpower issues and all of us can benefit from a little eye over the shoulder. And the reason why I think we can really benefit is because I remember when I was a Goldman Sachs and they were watching us like crazy, I was never on social media. I was never digging off because I wanted to get out of that office. I knew I was going to have to do long hours and I wanted to get out of there when I was done. And I never understood the Silicon Valley, foosball, make them stay here all the time thing. I'm like, come here, give it intense, maybe do a workout break or a walk in between, come back to intense and then go live your life. You know, and if you're like me, you're going to work way more than that. But like be here when you're going to be here. Like think about work like meditation. You should be so singularly focused that all distractions sort of fades away. And if you do that, then you actually have to, you have to work less because you're so much more effective. But I remember early on in my career, you know, it's why I couldn't stay at Vanguard actually because I was sitting at a desk and I was trying, I was like, you know, those ducks where underneath the surface, they're paddling like crazy, but on top there, smooth, that was me. I was drowning. I didn't know anything about finance. I'd come from journalism. I, everybody was smarter than me. Everybody went to Harvard and Stanford, et cetera. I went to Arizona State, Harvard to the West, as you said. And I remember one of the, my teammates came up and was trying to talk to me about lunch planning stuff. And I was like, CC, I, I'm focused. I don't have time to talk about any of this. I'm, I'm here, man. We could talk like after work, but like I'm here right now. And that happened like a few times and I wasn't trying to be a jerk. I just couldn't be distracted because then I lost my focus entirely and I probably have a little ADHD. And so it would derail me for like 30, 40 minutes. And I remember that happened and then my boss at one point was like, your team thinks that you would leave dead bodies behind you. And I was like, huh, really? Why? They're like, well, you don't pay attention when they come up to your desk. You don't do party planning. I was like, guy, I am here to do a job. And I am going to, I would never like run over somebody to do the job, but I will be singularly focused to get it done. And so that is, I think, what it takes. Are you backed off that or are you, because now as a CEO, I have to imagine. Yeah. You got to make people feel a little more warm and fuzzy. Or have you found a way to be like, yo, I have good people who are more warm and fuzzy than I am. So I found in life, like you are who you are, kind of.
Importance Of Individuality And Adaptive Learning
Being who you are (57:31)
And every time I try to become somebody that I'm not, first of all, it comes off as inauthentic and second of all, it doesn't really work. So if I come in and I'm too warm and fuzzy, nobody's going to buy it. I am fun, I think, like I'm aggressive, but I'm fun. So I'll make jokes and I do something every Monday called the compass. And basically it's just a little PowerPoint, 10 minutes that I give to the whole team. And in it are a few things like our culture code. Every single week I go through what the 13 values are. I pick like one, one person who wins, like something for one of our values. And in that there'll be some funky fun stuff for each of them. And so I will like, I will cheer lead the shit out of the company during that period. But when somebody needs a hug, they know not to come to me about it for sure. Now, I think the counterpoint to that is I've always taken care of my people. Like as long as you are good to your teammates and to the company, like I will have your back. If you need a new job and this isn't the place for you, I will help you find a new job. I will fire you. Like I will handhold you. If you have a health issue, I'm going to take care of you. But like I don't think you have to be warm and fuzzy. I also hire like a lot of, we're really honest about who we are in interviews, which I think is really, really, and if you, you know, I was a terrible employee at Vanguard because they're super touchy feely, you know, kind of socialists. And I liked Goldman. I liked capitalist kind of jerks, but they were really smart. And so I liked that. I wanted the pressure. And so now when people come in and interview with us, I'm like, hey, like talk to me about like your favorite moment of pressure, talk to me about when you did the thing that felt unreasonable to get the goal. And I tell them upfront, our interviews start with all the things that are terrible about the company and why I'm awful to work for. And if they still like it after that, then they might be a win. But otherwise, at least they know, you know, we have a very similar thing. So it's our culture doc. You can't come into interview unless you've read it. Oh, I don't like that. Yeah.
The right culture repels people far more than it attracts them. (59:34)
Oh, yeah. And the funny thing is I've had multiple people say, hey, we've lost a lot of candidates when they read the culture doc. And I'm like, that's the point because I want them to know who we are. And if you're not about that life, then this is not the place for you. I am trying to win a championship. Nothing short. I'm not trying to be in also ran. I'm not trying to play and get a participation trophy. I'm flat out. I'm trying to beat Disney. Yeah. And that is a big task. And the odds of success are very low. And so I want to have fun, but I also want to be surrounded by hardcore motherfuckers that are here to win. And the document says exactly that. And yeah, it is very aggressive. And so, yeah, we have we did people out. But what I always say to the people saying like, hey, are we sure like this thing is really aggressive? I'm like, it found you. Yeah. I'm like, what's your favorite thing about this company? The people exactly. Like we are a very specific flavor. And if you like our flavor, I like to think we're like Black Licorice, which I love. Now, I know for some people that is the most disgusting thing in the universe. And so I'm like, but we're that kind of specific for the right person. Like we will be the favorite place you've ever worked. And for the wrong person, we will be trash. So for any of my entrepreneurs out there, let me tell you right now, culture is one of the most important things. Product market fit more important. Yeah, great. Make more money than you spend more important. But then like culture is going to be a huge deal for retention for employees enjoying with what they do for you getting things done in a way that you're proud of. Like, as I always say to people, hey, Lisa and I ran the experiment of what it looks like when you don't have the right culture and it's ass. Yeah. And we hated it as much as anybody else and not liking being at your own company. That's really lame. And so when we founded Impact Theory, we're like never again, like culture is going to be a main thing that we hire against that we hold people accountable to. We have something, do you know Ray Dalio?
Values Translate To Company Culture (01:01:33)
Yeah. Oh, God, I love this guy. So for people that don't know, he built the largest hedge fund in the world. Oh, amazing. And he has this thing in this culture that he calls dots. So everybody can give everybody else like a score on whatever 30 different criteria. And so we have a bunch of those criteria that are part of our culture doc, like our people being hardcore, et cetera, et cetera. So we can all rank each other. I love that. You know what I find fascinating is the stuff when I was poor or not where I wanted. That I ignored is the stuff that makes you millions and then tens of millions of dollars, like culture, like leadership. I used to think, what? Like I'm just here. I get a job done. I want to get rich. I want to do the thing. This is how it goes. And so, you know, I think it's really interesting whenever I'm with builders who have built a lot, they all want to talk about the same stuff. It's like, how do you get more humans to want to do the things you want them to do? Culture, leadership. And if people want to have real success and you want to do it in a way where you're not killing yourself all day, those two words are like two of the most important words in the English language. What's funny is I'm sure if we did a YouTube video and the title was how to build a $100 million culture. People would be like snooze, but if you're like, how to make a million dollars with the vending machines in 30 days, fucking millions of views. But guess what? The one on the left, the first one, $100 million culture is so much more valuable than the vending machine video. And so if you can push through what the world wants you to listen to, which is literally the candy, the vending machine, the sweets, and you can actually want to eat the broccoli, oh my gosh, that's where all the magic is. It's actually funny because I was sitting with this the other day.
Walking UN conventional path in doing the work (01:03:13)
I went to team three of the Navy SEALs 40th anniversary of being in existence, right? It's cool. So this was the team that my husband was at. And we go on to the new base. It's incredible. We take a tour through these halls where our friends, their gear when they were killed in action is sitting there in my husband on the flag with his name written on it that was taken away from ISIS and showed our, yeah, it was just incredible, right? That's heavy. It was really cool. It was cool to see the steps that land from people that you've known before. But what stuck with me from a business perspective is we're sitting, we're looking out at the ocean. It's beautiful. And we're sitting listening to five people speak, Admiral McRaven, who's probably one of the most well respected living team guys. It's Johnny Kim. Anyway, both a Navy SEAL and an astronaut and a doctor. Jesus. I mean, total under performer. Yeah, not doing anything. Exactly. Some people. Yeah, and the current head of team three, what was fascinating is you had Admiral McRaven. He gave this incredible speech, right? Like best-selling author, one of the most senior guys in the military. You had the head of the team. You had overachiever Johnny Kim, astronaut, doctor, et cetera. But then at the very end, you had what's called the CEO, I think, excuse me, if anybody in the military is listening, I'm probably fucking this up. But he's like the head enlisted guy. So there's officers. And then there's the enlisted guys. They work hand in hand. But the chief enlisted guy is a badass. I won't say his name because I don't know what's public or not. But anyway, he at the very end of this, like couple hour long segment, it's emotional. They're mentoring some of the people that have died. I was looking at it from a team perspective and from an inspiration perspective. And all of these speeches were like relatively formal. They were good. But at the very end, he comes up and he has seven or 12 team guys and full kits. So like machine gun or AR or something, all decked out with their gear, helmets on, and they go and they line up on the other side. And so it's like very jarring, right? You see them walk across the island. And what they are is they each represent members of the team that were killed in action over the years. And what was incredible is he closed out the ceremony and they would yell out the name of the person who was killed. So it'd be like, you know, Brendan Looney and then everybody would yell, right? They yell really loud. And then they'd shoot off the machine gun. And so by the end of it, everybody's crying, everybody's yelling. And that guy had set the tone. He wasn't the leader. He wasn't the highest member of the team. But if there was one speech and one person you remembered and one person who everybody there, 600 people would say is like the epitome of what they wanted team three to be. It was that guy. And I think about that a lot because people sometimes think you got to be the CEO. You got to be McRavin. You got to be the head of the team. But like this guy was what they call the heart and soul of the team. And I think that that is something really important to take with you for the members of your team and for the people listening who aren't at the top, like you don't have to be at the top to be the person that everybody goes to. And that stuck with me ever since that day. It's really powerful. So as somebody who walked a very unconventional path started with nothing, like how do you walk that path? How do you go from being that guy to running something? You know, this, I think this guy is an interesting one to stand for a second. You know, we have a saying we do the work. I think it's a well-known saying. You just say it can train thinking too. But I think one of the ways that people don't realize is super easy to get ahead is there's two things. Curse of competence, which means there are actually very few competent, hardworking, driven people in this world. Way more than I think people realize. And you've seen it before. Like you've seen when somebody goes 10% more than the norm. It's pretty rare actually. Like how many people have you had come in here and not impress you? Just be kind of like everybody else. And then you notice the guy who's like, oh no, he's here before everybody else. Oh, he stays a little bit later than everybody else. Could be 10 minutes on both ends. Oh, he like submitted a brief and an update without being asked. Like do the work.
The difference between being competent vs being great (01:07:54)
Be that one competent human in a ocean of humans who are complacent instead of competent. And then the second thing I think that surprised me about how easy quote unquote easy it was to succeed is that most people say they want things, but they say it almost like hopes instead of wills. And so, you know, my husband and I kind of talk about this a lot. We're like, like, do you want it? Or are you going to do it? And he has this annoying saying. He always says to me, which is like, you know, are you a good white shark or are you a great white shark? And he says it to me. He says it to me often when we're working out, which is what I really want to murder him. But it's like a little family motto. Like, are you going to be kind of okay and good? Are you going to be great? And the difference between good and great is 10% and nobody strives for it. And so for people listening, I mean, I don't know. Look, like how easy is that? Be there 10% earlier and stay 10% later than something that everybody else at your company for six months. Like, watch what happens. And if that doesn't get noticed at that company, go to the next one or build the next company in the 10 minutes that you're there in the beginning and in the end. So when I did a Goldman Sachs, I got recognized by the most senior director and then I had multiple job opportunities after that. I wasn't smarter than anybody else. I didn't go to any fancy schools. I didn't have an MBA then, but I worked slightly harder than everybody else. I was competent and I did a little bit more than everybody else. And that was it. When somebody's aggressive, when they are working harder than other people, when you can tell they want it, there's, it's a joy to be around. It's a joy. Like, there really is something. I talk about this a lot. Like, don't make me drag you. Oh. Don't make me drag you. I'll drag you across the finish line if I have to because I am going to succeed. But God damn. If you can make me sweat, that's thrilling. When I'm around people that I'm like, whoa, I look at this person like they're really showing up. They're playing to win. It's intoxicating. It's just for the right person.
The process of learning new things fast (01:10:06)
For me, that's a thrill to be around. I love that so much. And it really will get people a lot farther than they think. Yeah. I agree. Now, how did you actually start learning? Like do you have a process for how you learned all this stuff? Because you were just saying earlier, you're now a finance person. Like you really understand the finance of a deal, but you weren't a finance person. So you went from journalism to like straight up Goldman Sachs. Obviously, there was something in the middle, but like, how did you go down the process of learning something that you did not previously know at all? What I've been amazed by in life is that most people don't ask questions. They pretend like they know things. Yes. At the top, all the way to the bottom. Why? Because they think that if they ask questions, they look dumb. And what I found is I was trained as a journalist to do one thing, ask questions. And actually, the better the question, the better the results as a journalist, that's all. That's the only thing. And so I never associate at asking questions with looking dumb. In fact, I don't care to this day. I ask stupid questions all the time. In fact, when we look at a deal, I'll often say explain to me this like I'm six. And then if they bring me a very large deal, Sam Zell was famous for this. I'm a big Sam Zell fan. He wrote the subtle, no, am I being too subtle? Famous, they call him the grave dancer. And he was a grave dancer. Yeah. That's quite the name. He was famous for turnarounds of real estate businesses. So he would take them out of the grave. They would say danced on it, but he would take these businesses that were going to fail and then turn them around and build them to something huge. And Sam just passed away actually. He famously, when they would bring him a deal, like a, you know, some multi-hundred million dollar deal they were going to do, one deal, they threw it in front of him, big deal, had a deal book, professional, all these stats and everything. And he just flipped it back to him. And he said, "Should we do the deal?" The guy's like, "Well, I have 400 pages prepared here." And he goes, "Give this deal to me in a one page brief." And then he'll know you understand it. Facts. Facts. Facts. Yeah. Constantly telling people, say your thesis in a single sentence. Yeah. Because if you can't say it in a single sentence, you don't understand it. You don't understand it. And I realize this for myself too. In fact, if you want to get ahead quickly, I think, you know, associating yourself with people who already have the things that you want is really important. One of the easiest ways to do that back in corporate land was everybody fought for one job. And that was the chief of staff job. You wanted to be chief of staff to one of the senior leaders.
Learning Finance And Importance Of A Supportive Environment
How learning about finance is like picking up a new language (01:12:41)
And the reason why is because you learned, one, what do they care about? And how do you learn what they care about from the daily briefs you put together for them? And so you actually got a way to steal their 10,000 hours by looking at the very few things that they looked at every day that determined what was important for them. And so briefing has become really important at my company and people get annoyed with me on this. Just going to say like, "I need to do briefs like this sounds hot." You need to do briefs. It sounds hot. I love this a lot. I did. Let me tell you, there's nothing sexier than a hot brief. And it's funny because my team, the other day, there's this one woman that are just a team, I'll shout her out, and the tilled, who does incredible briefs. And why does that matter? Because it shows me how you think. And the way that you think tells me how you work and how you work tells me what you prioritize. And so these briefs are incredible. And the best way to learn them is you can actually see examples of the president's daily brief. And who could have a more succinct, important daily brief than the president of the United States? And so a lot of my team will look at that. And they'll also look at briefs for some of the largest CEOs out there. And so if you have a team at all, get them in the habit of doing this. And that, I think, is an incredible skill to get good at. Yeah. I love that the most. We will definitely be doing that. I'll send you some examples of what I have to do. Yeah, please. That would be incredible. Yeah. Okay. So when you're going about learning something, for me anyway, it's really rudimentary. I need to know the terms. Yeah. So that's going to be the first thing. So in fact, I went on a similar journey for a very different reason. So when COVID hit, I realized, oh, the people also going back to all my time in the inner cities, I was like, they're going to get obliterated. I didn't understand money printing yet. So I just thought they're fucked. And so I was like, okay, I've got to find a really tactical, like personal finance vein to get people in on the show so that I can help. But I didn't understand finance at all. I'm good at making money. I'm not good at investing money. And so I was like, okay, I'm going to start learning about this, bringing people on all that starts with learning the lexicon, figuring out who the players are and doing what I call reading and swarms. Now reading could be YouTube, whatever. You're just taking a topic. You're trying to see it from as many different angles as humanly possible. Have you ever seen those like sculptures that are made out of trash, but you can only see what they are from like one specific angle? Okay. That's life. Yeah. And then when you start doing business from the wrong angle, it looks like this big crazy mystery and it looks like Closhwab is the evil madman he's going to take over. You start twisting it around and you realize, oh, it's just a bunch of people who think that they're smarter than they are and they really should learn to distrust themselves. But once it clicks into place and you realize that Steve Jobs is right and the world is created by people who know smarter than you, then it's like, oh, I'm seeing how this really is. But to do that, you have to see it from a lot of different angles. So when I'm reading about a topic, I'm trying to get as many different perspectives on that thing as I can so that I can triangulate on what the truth really is. Then once I have that and I have a sense of what this is, I'll formulate my own hypothesis. Hypothesis will make predictions. Then I go test that prediction. Now, if that prediction is accurate, then I know that I'm actually understanding this. And this is whether you're talking about business or romance, boys and girls, your brain is a prediction engine. Once you realize that it is very hard to discern what is objectively true, very hard, even at the level of physics, we don't know.
Improving your mental model (01:16:01)
So objective truth, so you get into perspective and interpretation. Okay, cool. But all of these things make a prediction. So I think if I do this, I'm going to get this outcome. Well, do it. If you got that outcome, then your understanding, your mental map of the world is pretty close. If you try it and you get something completely different, you need to understand your mental model is broken. So if you point to other people, oh, it's their fault, it's the economy's fault. No, no, no, you didn't understand something. That's why it broke because let's remind St. Coby that booze don't block dunks. It doesn't matter how much somebody's trying to trip you up. It doesn't matter how bad the economy is. There is a solution to that puzzle. You just didn't find it. And so if you can own that, update your mental model and try again, just recognizing it as a prediction engine. So that's how I go in to learn any new thing. Does that sound roughly analogous to what you do? I actually think I am much dumber on this. So the way I'm going to say it isn't dumb, whatever you're about to say, different perhaps. So I'm much less scientific. So when I want to start learning something, I just go where the game is played. And I just get in. And so what that would mean in the beginning was I didn't understand finance. I wasn't smart enough to do what you said. You know, read and swarms, go find a predictive. I was like, where are smart finance people? I guess this company called Vanguard that's located here. Could I get a job there? And I go, I bet if I get a job there. I get the job though. Because they're going to be like, do you know finance? Go. The funny thing about humans are they love to hear themselves talk. And so one of the secrets to get in a job place is you just ask a lot of questions. So at the time I sat next to this lady Tara and I was like, so what do you do? She's like securities. And I'm like, oh, she's got a lot of work because I thought she was talking about security. Like, you know, she had a gun, but she was actually talking about. So wait, you were applying for the job at Vanguard and you didn't know that he was. I wasn't applying. I was sitting at a conference next to her to be fair. OK. So I sat next to her at a conference. Yeah. Were you at the conference to learn about finance? Yes. OK. Finance conference. Got it? How often are you checking your credit score, afraid of identity theft or account breaches? We all use the internet every single day for important things like personal banking and remote work. So why not protect yourself with our sponsor, Aura? Aura is an all in one cybersecurity service that keeps you safe online. Aura identifies data brokers exposing your info and submits opt out requests on your behalf. Aura also monitors your credit, tracks your passwords for data breaches and secures your online activity with VPN and anti malware protection. You can try Aura for free for two weeks by clicking the link in the description or scanning the QR code. Man, I hope people are drinking this in to not know to be at a conference for finance and to not know what a security is. That is amazing. Your story gets better by the second. Yeah. And again, why was I at the conference about finance? Because I wanted to get into finance, but I didn't know anything about it. So I just said, well, let's go to a place where they're talking about finance. So I go to a conference. Then I sit next to this lady. I get curious about her. I ask her all about her. I ask all about Vanguard. I get really curious about her job. What does she care about? What does she do? What's their mission? And when I get all those questions, I write down the answers. And so I'm actually getting the cheat code to what a hiring manager cares about at Vanguard because I'm asking her questions. And then she gets intrigued by the fact that unlike most humans, I'm not talking at her. I'm asking her information and I'm very tuned in. I'm focused on her intently and I follow up, which most people also don't do. I send an email afterwards. It was so amazing to talk to you here through things I learned. Super interesting. Love to have coffee with you a second time. We have coffee again. I just ask a bunch more questions. And then she asks me to apply for this very, it was a rotational development program. So tons of people, all these fancy degrees everywhere and little Cody who didn't know what a security or a mutual fund was. But I think, you know, the difference was I was really curious and that is an abnormal thing in a world of humans who pretend that they know what they mean. So crazy. And then so if I was trying to do this again, I would do the same thing.
Get a job today (01:20:24)
When I wanted to get into content, what did I do? I just went and tried to talk to humans who knew something about content that I wanted to know. So if I wanted to understand media today, I would probably get really curious and I would learn on somebody else's dime. I think a job today is like a free MBA. In fact, it's an MBA that they pay you for. And it's really underrated to have a job early on. The average employee at Vanguard, they say they spent $100,000 on training per employee when I was making $30,000 a year. So I was given this free MBA at Vanguard, not to mention three licenses that I've carried for the rest of my life that have to be registered at a company. I couldn't get them any other way. And so I think people should just go get a fucking job working for somebody, learning from them, and go where the games played. And then the amazing part is they could start in a factory with you. And if they're really hard workers, they're super curious and they keep asking if they know thyself continuously, you're going to keep promoting a really smart, a very hard working, very curious, iterating human. And you'll promote them to different things that they want to that are within their skill sets.
Why being around top performers is crucial for personal growth. (01:21:30)
And so I probably to learn, I just, I like to steal other people's 10,000 hours. I want to go where the game's played, I want to sit with a bunch of winners and I want pressure because then I think you can learn. And it's, you know, Lisa and I were talking about this a little bit earlier, but there is scientific research that shows that being surrounded by top performers increases your performance by 15% and being around underperformers decreases your performance by 30%. And so if you're in a company with a bunch of underperformers, get in one where it is hard. And if you are hanging out with friends that all are underperformers, get in one where you're with some top performers because, you know, you're going to earn 30% more money. Or you're going to earn, actually, what is that? You're going to earn 45% more money if you're around top performers than if you're around underperformers. And I think most people don't think about that. Like people talk shit about Goldman. And I'm like, that place is amazing for a young, hungry person, it's awful at a certain point. But for a young, hungry person, it's like top performers that are going to make me earn more that are going to put pressure on me. It's the only way diamonds are made. It's the same thing in work. I love that so much. That is, you know, when I think about why people fail, it's two things. They either lack clarity or they don't want it badly enough. And if you don't want it badly enough, because here's the reality. So the promise of this episode is that you really can lift the curtain up, get so knowledgeable that you can generate wealth and not be controlled by other people. But it takes a lot. Like you really have to get good at something that is extraordinarily multifaceted. Like it's really multifaceted. There are a lot of different things you're going to have to come to understand. And it's going to take an egregious amount of time. And you are really going to have to want it because life is going to kick you in the face. The thing that I explain entrepreneurship to people, and I'll be curious to see if this resonates with your experience, is it's like being kicked in the face and you're choking to death on your own blood and teeth and you're gasping for air. And everything is riding on this moment and you're in extreme pain, extreme pain. And the thing that's hardest, because it isn't the pain, it's knowing that if you quit, all the pain goes away. It stops instantly. If your teeth snap back into place, there's no more blood, it's instantly okay. And in the back of your mind, that little thing is just fucking with you. Like hey, you could coast. You could be one of those B players and you could just get by and let somebody else cover it and all will be well. And you won't control your destiny. But for most people, that's okay.
Why Chriss road to success was so much more stressful than Lisas. (01:24:22)
And I don't know how to feel about that. I weep for them. But maybe I'm wrong. Like I'm so distrust yourself, right? Part of my whole thesis, I definitely distrust my own assessment. But I remember when at Quest, so to your point, we had hired all these ex convicts and some of them turned their lives around and some of them didn't. And I just couldn't fathom how you're given this opportunity to rise up, to make money. We're growing so fast, whatever job you can get yourself prepared for, you can have. We had one guy go from, so he came, it's funny, he started working at Quest as a front for his drug money, which he admitted to me later. And he said, it just ended up being such a great opportunity and you seemed to care so much about me that I decided that I was going to go straight. And he just learned and learned and learned and ended up going from minimum wage line worker to making over $100,000 in like, it's like nine months or something. I mean, it's just ridiculously fast because he just kept being the right person for the job and just getting promoted, promoted, promoted. And at the same time, that same guy got in a fist fight with somebody who said, you've changed because you're reading. And I thought, wait a second, that guy is so mad about somebody wanting something and striving for it, that instead of being inspired and going, okay, I want that pressure. I want to turn into a diamond. He got so angry, it was such a challenge to his identity that he threw punches at this guy who was one of his best friends. I made him tell me that story like eight times because I was like, wait, what? Like you actually got into a physical altercation. Yes, Tom, he threw a punch at you. Yes, Tom. I was like, what the fuck world do you, I was like, that is absurd. Like you've got to get away from people like that. And that was really when I realized and let's see how angry I can make people, but I believe this with all sincerity, I've dedicated my life to this problem. So people need to think about that before they get too pissed. Poverty is not a money problem. It's a mindset problem. People stop themselves before they begin. They don't think, oh, I can go get better at this thing, but I'm going to have to want it. Yeah. You know what? It's fascinating when we lived in what I'll call the, you know, it was the hood in D.C. basically. What I found fascinating is Chris had just come back from the Middle East. So he was at war during that, which means you have hyper-village lengths. So, you know, he's very aware of his surroundings. Wow. Super, super tight at all times. We made friends with our neighborhood drug dealer. How does he do? As one does. And what was interesting is I understood something then that I had never understood before, which is the stress level of living at the poverty level or even being surrounded by it. We weren't at a poverty level. I was actually doing really well. We just happened to buy a house in a place that we didn't really think about that much. And it was one of our second homes. So we were like, oh, this is a cool street that was actually surrounded in D.C. by not cool streets. And what was fascinating to me is I felt this stress basically. I felt the stress of what it must feel like to live in that every single day. And there's a young woman who lived across the street from us. Most of the families around us had like four generations living in one townhouse. And so she would come over when she found out that we went to college because she thought that was really cool and that we had been on an airplane, which was crazy. And so we would talk to her about, you know, what could she go to college? We apply for some grants like Howard University. They have an amazing grant program. And in any way, one thing I thought was fascinating is she, to your point, hit it from her family. So she had like cousins and brothers. That she wanted to go to college? Yeah. And then she was talking to us. So we would talk to her when her family wasn't around. But when her family was around, she'd just kind of look at us down the street because they would all look at us. So like the lines were never to be crossed. And so I do think there is a real thing about crabs in the bucket. And you know, my realization was different, not so dramatic. But I realized, listen, the people who love you now, your family, they love you as you are. They don't love the new you that you're going to be. It's just scary for them. They think they're going to lose you. They think you'll think you're better than them. They think you might realize that they're failures. All their projections and insecurities come out.
Zain's Struggle (01:29:15)
So that's what we would talk to her about would be like, listen, you know, this is something you probably can't change in your family. You probably can't explain it away to them. And the only thing you can do is you can live your life in actions that show them that it's possible and that you won't leave them behind. And hopefully if you do that, they'll come along with you. But if they won't, then you will have to leave them behind. But I had never felt before the stress and pressure to conform and the stress and pressure to also not engage with people that were bettering themselves. And I'll never forget that because like in the Hispanic community that I was in, that wasn't a thing really. It was we don't want you to move away. Like could we stay close as a family? And that is a limiting factor in some ways. But it wasn't don't become something else entirely. Thank God. Yeah. So that's something that I at least didn't have to have to shoulder as a burden. But that is everywhere. Yeah. Did you have to change your identity? In fact, I will ask the community had a question for you. And that was what was the shift that you made that had the biggest impact towards your success? I think the biggest shift, the biggest shift for me, period end of story was finding others who already had the life that I wanted to live and trying to engage with them more often. That was it. And the biggest shift was I actually think that money might be contagious and that if you are around people who have it, the exact opposite of everything we think happens or we're told as a society like rich people don't care. Rich people aren't giving.
Understanding Business Acquisitions And The Power Of Money
Money is Contagious (01:30:53)
You know, the rich people only want X, Y, and Z. I found that to be the total opposite of true. Especially when you're young and especially if you're hungry, rich people love to be told how smart they are. They love to tell their stories. And oftentimes they love to be the enabler. We all think that like, "Oh, we're smart. I got to figure it out. Let me tell you my sage advice that I've learned from all of this face-kicking fucking awful pain. Let me make it mean something." And so I got around any human I could who had a life that I wanted, like cool business, you know, healthy bodies, big bank accounts. And I just started trying to learn from them. And the first way I did that is I was assistant to the wealthiest woman that I knew in Arcadia at the time. And I took her dry cleaning and laundry. And I drove her hummers one time. I drove her hummer actually. And I ran it into the garage. And I didn't tell her about it for like 10 years and I paid her back later. How awful is that? So like, you know, I did people's bitch work because I wanted to be around them. So smart. And you know what, those guys, they ended up giving me a million dollars into one of my first investments. Whoa. So that was like 15 years later. He took one of the first risks on me that I'll never, never forget. Yeah. This is why it drives me crazy kids today. What's the matter with kids today? So we know we're getting old. It's been shaded. I know. This is, I'm much older than you, my dear. So, yeah. But the thing that drives me crazy is that people will freak out at the thought of working for free. And I'm like, bro, listen. He spends once knowledge monetizes forever. That's a great line. So I all day, I would work for something. If they have knowledge that I want all day, I would work for them for free. And I would work until my little fingers bled. Like I want the knowledge because I know what I can do with it. Man, somebody can shortcut your learning curve. Also I'm somebody that grew up without the internet. So for me, the fact that you put all this information out and people can just learn how you buy business is crazy town. Oh, yeah. Or Ray Dalio's book. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I would pay so much money to go join Warren Buffett's masterclass. Like, like unparalleled amounts of money. But it's a really good point because I work for free all the time right now. Actually, one of my little moves that I like to do is I don't think I've ever talked about this. So when I find somebody that I think's interesting and they are in a position of power that's more than me, I try to think about what's one thing that I could give them for free. What does free work today? Cody Sanchez, as is, I'm pretty successful. I have some money. I put together, for instance, I met Vivek Rama Swami. So I met him at a conference. I thought he had some interesting ideas. I was like, huh. Was he already running for president? He was already running for president. And stuff I agree with him, some stuff I don't. But he was backstage in room that I was at and he was running around. I couldn't really get to him, but I saw one of his like lackeys with him, right? And so I was like, huh. And so I just really quick was like, God, what would I know that Vivek wouldn't know? I'm like, well, he already has lots of money. He's definitely built business businesses. I was like, oh, social media. I know a thing about that. So I go on a social media real quick. I'm like, yeah, it's not that good. So I go over to this woman. I'm like, hey, by the way, I'm Cody. Nice to meet you. I'm like one of the speakers here too. Oh, you're with Vivek great. I'm like, oh, husband, former Navy SEAL. You know, now you have to pay attention to us. And then I started talking to her. I'm like, man, you're social. Like here's what I would do different. Here's a couple of things that I don't think are that great, whatever.
Free Work (01:34:40)
I'm like, listen, let me send you, like give me your email. Let me send you a quick analysis of what I would do for your social. So we end up doing that. I put together this whole like one page. It's a big brief. Probably took me five hours to put together. And on the brief is all this stuff I would change on his social and why. And then I had a member of my team do some analysis too. We shot it over. Next thing you know, Vivek's reaching out. Now we're kind of buds. We go out and do his podcast. We meet him in person. Great. And I was like, huh, that worked once. And so then I did the same thing for this other guy, Sree, who's a big investor at Andreessen Horowitz. Sure. I'm sure. Right? Okay. So Sree reaches out to me and gets me involved in this creator group that he has. Right. The one that we're in. And I looked up his background and I'm like, huh, I always wanted to like meet Elon. Maybe one day we could make that happen. Sree knows Elon. Now I've never mentioned this to Sree. But I'm like, huh, let me put together a whole thing analysis for Sree. And I did it for his content. And I did it for his podcast shit that I would do different. And I said it to him. I didn't ask for a thing. I don't want anything from him. But maybe one day they'll remember that. Right? I may come to you. Exactly. That's good. That was good. I like that. My favorite is not big enough though. I need like a suitcase full of cash. But like, why would I stop doing that now? Why would I stop doing free work now? No, no reason. I do not understand people's reaction to that. I don't understand. Yeah. Well, and also the fact that the government tells you not to do it usually tells me that it's probably a good thing to do. You know? Yeah. Brittle. All right. I want to walk through how you go about actually buying one of these businesses. This is like the most genius cool thing ever for people that either they want to, they really want a side hustle or whatever, but they're going to go do something dumb.
Buying a Business (01:36:28)
It's going to be drop shipping on a product they don't believe in. They don't give a shit. It's not profitable already. They're going to lose a ton of fucking money. So the first time I heard you walk through this, I was like, oh my God. This is very impressive. So yeah, let's get into the weeds. How do you do it? Okay. Let's start with real boring businesses. So this is like the 1.0 version. First I would say, do me a solid. There's a blog post on there called like 20 Ways to Fuck Up Doing a Deal. So before you buy a business, please read that because- Buy a one Miss Cody Sanchez? Yes. Oh yeah, at contrarian thinking. So why I want you to read that first is because the problem with investing or buying anything is there's risk always. And so I'm very honest with people about the fact this is not, you know, E-trade where I tell you to do this thing and you're obviously going to make a million dollars. Like there's risk and it takes work. Now if you can understand that, read those things. The next step I would say is basically this, that all around us right now today, there's something like 11 to 12 million small businesses in the US that are up for sale. If you go in a room with entrepreneurs, you could try this at any time. It's kind of fun. And go a bunch of entrepreneurs who are like growth minded. Like we are. And maybe even still in growth stage. And you go, how many of you would sell your business at the right price in the right terms? At least 60% of the room, their hands are going to go up. You go in a room with people who are 60 years and older, 90% of the hands in the room go up. Most people will sell their business and they've already done what you said, which is stacked skills and are ready for the next transition. Most people are, which is fascinating. So if you believe those two things, 11 to 12 million small businesses for sale, most small business owners, not even listed, are interested in selling, then you realize that there is, it would be like, if you were on a street in the US and you looked at 12 houses for sale, 10 to 11 of them, I'm sorry, 12 houses on a street, 10 to 11 of them are for sale. That's crazy. All around us are businesses that are open to be embarked and most businesses will not sell within a year. And the reason I know this is because we have data on thousands and thousands and thousands of acquisitions. And most of- Do you collect that data? Well, we get 100 million views a month across our social media. Well, you guys do a lot more. We do 100 million views a month and we have thousands of members of our community that are all interested in business buying and they submit deals every single week. So we get like, I can't even tell you how many deals submitted a week. What we need to do is what you're doing. We need to add tech to it going forward. That's what keeps me up at night, is thinking about all the shit we're doing wrong. You too? Yeah. Face bunch, face bunch.
You can buy these businesses (01:39:19)
So all these small businesses are for sale. The part that's interesting about this is that most of these small businesses sell from anywhere from two to six X the profit, right? So if a small business makes $100,000 a year, it's worth anywhere from $200,000 to $600,000 fraud generalization, but mostly true. Now most people think why don't have $200,000 to $600,000? So just ignore Cody. The interesting part about that is 60% of small businesses are sold using what's called seller financing, right? So I make $100,000 a year in profit. I'm the business owner. Nobody wants to buy my business because 11 of the 12 houses on the street are also up for sale or 11 of the 12 other businesses on the street are also up for sale. So I need to make my business look more attractive. Because of that, I'm going to offer seller financing, which means instead of you having to give me the money or go to a bank, I'm going to say, I make a hundred K a year in profit. You need to pay me 300,000 for my business. Why don't you pay me 300,000 over five years so that you can take from the $100,000 profit the payment you're going to give me across five years. You can keep some profit yourself. I can take some profit off the table and I can exit my business. And so when I realized this was the case, I was like, I'm going to go to the office. I was like, wait a second. Why don't I just buy some of these? They're already profitable. They're already up and running. I don't have to take debt on the business. I maybe don't even have to personal guarantee it, which is what you would do if you had the government give you a loan, the SBA. I can just work direct with the seller. So that's what I talk to people about all day because here's the problem. And if you don't believe me, go to Google, go to Google right now and type in Japan's business selling crisis. All over Japan, they're giving away businesses for free or the businesses are shutting down. And that's happening right now in the US to the tune where now all the time you're going to, if you go, you know, ideas, I feel like are like, they're like the flu. It's like once you like somebody sneezes on you, you like get it and it spreads all over your body, you know, and I think now that I've said this, you'll notice people are talking about foreign businesses, people are talking about M&A now. It's becoming the thing. But two years ago, I think we did. Which was cool. Very fair. At 100 million views a month. Yeah, I would say you can lay claim to that. Thanks. I do get excited when I see people, you know, on Twitter, like using my exact tweets for it. I'm like, I see you. I know we did that first. And so this is happening all over the place. And I, the reason that I care about this, why would I go yell about this on the internet? Why don't I just buy all these businesses? One, I can't buy them all. Two, these businesses are small, so they're super hard to aggregate. What I actually need to have happen is I need a bunch of people. To go buy up these businesses and turn the onesie twosies into twosies and five z's where they combine them. And then once they're at twosies, five z's, ten z's, I can buy the bigger ones. But we actually need a ground swell movement of humans buying these businesses. Otherwise, what's going to happen? Walmart, Walgreens, the big companies are going to own all of them, just like they're doing with single family homes, except on steroids. And I don't like that idea.
Marrying AI with acquisitions (01:42:30)
I mean, you have seen this from traveling all over the country. There was a period when I was in private equity where I was traveling every single week. I was on like three different planes a week in three different cities. You hit the million mile club, right? Oh, yeah. I mean, it's bananas. I was all over the place. And I started to realize God, Topeka looks just like Milwaukee looks just like because they're all strip malls. Like that sucks. Nobody wants strip malls with commercial conglomerates. We want the little mom and pop stores. So my mission is like, listen, you can buy these businesses. You can use seller financing to do it, not always, but like, let's just ease you in with this idea that that could be the case. And these businesses are not rocket science to run. They are painful. There's hard work there for sure, but you don't have to be a genius to do it. In fact, your community might need to do it and they're all around you. So instead of going and like trying to drop ship a bunch of fucking nonsense, you know, talk to some of your local business owners around you and see if you might be able to even instead of coming and working for us even, go talk to your local hardware store owner who's probably looking like he's going to retire in the next 10 years, become a mentee of his and start talking to him about, hey, would you be interested in potentially letting somebody like me buy this business as you transition out? And I think that could happen all around the country. And in fact, I think it already is happening. And I think we got three to five to 10 years of this before maybe 20 years at the high end before buying a business is as commoditized and normalized as buying real estate. That's interesting. Yeah, I would not be surprised if that happens on the lower end of that time scale. Yeah. As AI starts to match people up and because I know was it in Japan that somebody's already made a billion dollar business just off of linking people up? Yeah, it's like Saksuma. I can't remember his full name. But yes, it's a glorified business brokerage. Yeah. That's all it is. And we're trying to build some stuff around that in the same vein here. So we'll see if we're able to accomplish it. Interesting. But that, my acquisition, my acquisitions used to be laundromats and car washes. And now that I've sort of seen the matrix and with our giant ecosystem, we should own the entire satellite ecosystem to SMB acquisition. Interesting. That would be amazing. I mean, that's certainly smart in terms of broadening out. Which speaks to a quote, one of your mentors friends.
Going to Bill Perkins House (01:44:58)
Somebody said, hey, do you think doing all the small stuff is making you think too small? Tell me about that. Bill Perkins, you know him? Dye of zero? Yes. I know of him. I don't know personally. Yeah, you would like him. He's also a hardo. Yeah. We're walking. So Bill reached out to me. We invested in a company together, a company called SkyFi, a really cool company. And so I met him. I was on a little panel and I think I was given my song in dance. And afterwards he came up to me and he's like, lovely to meet you. I want to talk to you again later. Okay, cool. I didn't know anything about him. So I went home and read his book and read more about him. It's like interesting dude. So we exchanged contact information and he invited me out to his house in Austin, which is this beautiful compound. And I remember first of all, I was late and seems to be a trend of mine and I was panicked. I like to be late and panic about being late. Yeah, it's nice. It's great. So how I like to start off conversations. And so anyway, so I'm panicked. We get there. I'm like, Bill, I'm so sorry. We'll cut the meeting short. I'll be in and out. And he's like, take it easy. He's like, I'm here for you. I'm here for this. And I was like, still, I know you got a busy day. And he's like, you're the day. And I'm like, why? And he's like, well, talk to me about what you're doing. So I tell him about, we're buying this, we're doing this, we're building this. And he's like, it's really interesting. He's like, I think you have a generational wealth opportunity here. And I was like, me too. We're trying to figure it out. And I tell him my plans. And he looks at me about halfway through and goes, can I just stop you for a second? I'm like, sure, of course. And he's like, do you think you have been investing in small business for so long? Small has infected you thinking. And I was like, I don't know what do you mean? And he gave me the advice that I didn't know that I needed, which was, man, I'm like, I'm Cody, you're thinking like a millionaire, somebody that has that many zeros would think. And here's what it looks like to think like a billionaire. And I didn't know I needed that push, but it was another example of, I don't really know how to learn, except they get around other people who have more than I do. And I just see how they think. And then it opens up this whole aperture. It's like almost before like these cameras over here, you know, they start out really tiny in me for money and then the more people I can see when I see what you guys have and what you all have built, I'm like, oh, wait, there's another level to the skin. I kind of thought I was doing it. And that stuck with me and still does. He texts me all the time too. He's like, how we doing? And you know, he's just like my little stress, my little stress text every once in a while. That's cool. Lisa and I say the same thing. There's levels to this shit. Yeah. It was so funny. The world or the universe has a way of letting you know where you're really at. So we bought this house and I'm not joking. Like three days later, we get invited to P Diddy's 50th birthday party. First of all, that's cool. Right. Was he cool? We didn't get to spend any time with him because we were invited by somebody that I think, yeah, she worked with him at the time. Amazing ladies.
Money Versus Happiness And Manifestation Of Success
Invited to P. Diddy's House (01:48:02)
She's been on Lisa's show a couple of times. And so we go and he has a 22, I think, million dollar piece of art hanging in like the foyer. And I was like, okay, like I know where I'm at. Just when I thought I was the man, I'm like, Jesus Christ. Three days later. That's incredible. I was like, this is hilarious.
Money can't buy happiness (01:48:25)
So yeah, I was like, that's why you have to be so careful about what money is and what money isn't because there is always somebody like when I think about the gap in wealth between me and Elon Musk, it's actually hysterical. It's terrible. For him, my entire net worth is a rounding error. It's just too funny. But it's good. It keeps you from taking this kind of stuff too seriously. Dude, it's so good. Well, especially, I think at a certain level after you've, well, I was actually talking to Andrew Wilkinson about this. I don't know if you know him. Anyway, he's a cool guy. He runs a company called Tiny Capital. It's actually a really smart thesis. He buys venture companies, so old venture companies that raise too much capital are never going to reach expectations for pennies on the dollar. So he bought like Girl Boss from Sofia on Marosa. And they had raised a bunch of venture funding. The company was never going to be a venture scale business. So he re-capitalized the whole business, basically told all the investors like, you're going to get pennies on the dollars for this, but you'll get something and you'll exit. And so he's had a really successful history of doing that smart dude and Canadians. So very nice. And anyway, so he and I were talking and we were like, you know, I think there was that study that said there's no additional happiness found after $100,000 made. And I didn't believe that. 100,000? 100,000. That's what the- 100,000. These are the ones. So that was, you know, everybody quoted it all over the internet. After $100,000, no happiness made. Then somebody went and re- like replicated the study and basically found all these errors in the study and was like, it's actually, it might even have been $70,000, $70 to $100,000. Yeah, I think the original was $72,000. Oh, there you go. Right. And I remember thinking- We didn't believe it either. No. Right. And so then they redid it and it was like, what? $250,000 or something like that. Don't know. I never heard about the redo. There's a redo. And so I went through and was thinking about this and I was like, huh, definitely I was happier after I made a 100k. I think I was happier at about $250k. But I actually think like material happiness, for me at least, after $500k, I was like, hard for me- No, a house and nice vacations. Like I'm not really into a clothes cars types of things. But after $500k, if you take out the fact you can buy nicer houses and you can go on a little bit nicer vacations. But I don't even really want to take that expensive vacations. So let's maybe just say even a house. Not that much material change in happiness. And what I thought was interesting then is then it stops at least for me becoming about money. It's like probably with $500k I could live per year.
Money is zero-sum game (01:51:14)
Can I pitch you on something? Yeah, tell me. Okay. So first of all, you and I agree on the exact number. Yeah. So my team has asked me, when did you feel rich? Yeah. And I said, you'll feel rich when you make $500,000 a year. Yeah. I don't know what it is about that break point. But that's the first time where you're like, if you didn't grow up with money. So for me, I did not. So when I hit $500,000, I was like, oh, word, I'm rich. And that was awesome. Same. Now, I will say that your early thesis that money is power is so right that there's basically no time where you won't think I wish I was a little more powerful. 100%. So and when this makes me mad, we all have a thing where we redline. You said one of yours earlier, fuck, I forget what it was. But my red line is where people are like, how could you even spend all that money? Oh, yeah. What? Like, I could, I'm not kidding. I could spend $100 million on a long weekend. Intelligently. Yeah. By a business. Do you know how easy it would be? Wait, though, you could do it. If you couldn't spend it on business things. Okay. Do you know how much a video game costs? A triple A game. Do you know how much Grand Theft Auto 6 is the one that's about to come out? You know how much it costs? No, to make, right? Yeah. No, but if you can't spend it on business stuff. It can't be any business thing. It can't be anything related to personal. I could, I mean, yeah. So private travel alone is ungodly expensive and amazing. I never do it because every time it's like, I just, everything becomes an employee to me. Yeah. So I'm like, for a round trip ticket on a private plane, first, even like to go to Miami and back, it's going to be like 500 grand. Yeah. Sorry, 100 grand. So I'm like, uh, for a hundred thousand dollars, that's an employee. That's a good employee. Yeah. And I get to work with them all year. I could have a meaningful relationship with my billboard. So I just can't do it. Yeah. But yeah, I could spend, I could spend a lot of money with, and I'm not a, I mean, look, I have a fancy house. I'll be the first one. But I'm not like an extravagant guy. No. I'm not a car. It's from 2012. It was a little fancy in 2012. I've had a rat's nest, literal rat's nest in the engine twice. Uh, so yeah, I'm not, I don't have any fancy watches. My shoes cost $40. Like I'm not that guy. Uh, so, but even then, like there are, so you're taking away my one thing. I know that's the thing because that's mine too. Yeah. I could spend hundreds of millions of dollars on business. So you, if I said that I was going to create charter schools, does that count as business? Yeah. Okay. It's like, it would have to be research. Yeah. I think that all is. All right. Once you take all that, if I just have to piss it away and it's like Brewster's millions, then that's such an old reference. Yeah. Uh, then yeah, I'm not going to be able to do it. Yeah. But, but I do think that is a red line for me. How could you spend all this money in the idea that I think when people say that what they're saying is rich people, you don't need your money. And so let us help you and let us distribute it. Yeah. You're a flawed person for pursuing this gross thing called money. Yeah, yeah, yeah, which I just think is ridiculous because what's the alternative? You put it in the hands of the people who have never earned a dime and don't actually know how to distribute it at all because they're politicians. So here is, let's play devil's advocate. Okay. So the one of the problems with money is minus irresponsible money printing, which is rampant. Yeah. So I get why people don't think of it this way, but money is a zero sum game. If you don't print more, so let's talk about Bitcoin for a second. Bitcoin is a zero sum game, not in a bad way. I want people to understand that's what makes it good. Yeah. It's called hard money. We're going to derail anyway, when there's a finite amount of something, somebody really can win it all. And now you're in a hard spot. So people see because they don't understand net worth versus money in your bank, which is the big fucking problem. No matter how many times I say it, people still don't get it. Yeah. But they think, oh, wait. There's only whatever $2 trillion that exists is not true at all, but whatever, they have a number in their head. Yeah. And they're like, Elon Musk has 160 billion. Like, where's the rest of it? And they think somebody else is poor because he has that money because they don't understand how economics work. Now look, neither do I. Economics is insanely complicated, but I understand it well enough to know that's not accurate. But yeah, people do not understand money and it creates all kinds of weird beliefs.
Money vs. wealth (01:55:40)
Those weird beliefs keep them poor. I think you're right. Well, I think you need to understand at a base level the difference between money and wealth. And so, you know, for instance, you can create there's zero sum games would be like hedge fund trading or stock market trading. I categorically am going to sell a stock because I think it's going down. And I hope it does because otherwise I'll be kind of pissed if I sold it at that level, right? And in order for me to win, somebody else has to lose because you had to buy it at a point where it's going down, right? Zero sum game stocks. I think what people think of when they think of money. When I think about wealth though, I think about I have a house and the house is a shack. It's just almost a teardown. But I work to rebuild that house and the house that I rebuild then becomes worth more than it was before. Was anybody harmed or was any cash taken away from money and the creation of that house? Absolutely not. That's the difference between wealth and money. And so I think people get confused with money like in order for my business to sell more, I have to take money away from Tom's business. That's what they think about. But they don't realize there's this whole bucket over here that is just, no, there's entropy that happens continuously in the world around us. And wealth is just the manipulation of entropy to be creation instead or betterment instead, probably a better word there.
Skills & Manifestation (01:57:01)
But at least that's how I think about it. Yeah, I think thinking about it as a zero sum game is a wrong way to think about it. You want to be thinking about I've created something of value that people would, they want that thing more than they want their money. And some people are just better at bringing that kind of value to people. So Jeff Bezos is such a great example. And I'm so sad that people think negatively of him. Like he gave us the era where you can want something and like eight hours later have it. Like it's bananas. And so I am so grateful for that. And because I'm old enough to realize that's like a modern miracle. It did not used to be that way. You used to have to wait six weeks, six weeks. That's not me being hyperbolic if you wanted to get something in the mail. And the fact that they can get it to you the same day in some cases is truly a modern miracle. It's unbelievable. He's driven the cost of goods down. He's negotiated on our behalf. I've been a product maker and seller who's hated him for how they negotiate with people that create products. But as a consumer, it's awesome. So yeah, I don't. I grew up in the 80s. So for me, it was like you wanted to strive to be more and to make money and to get rich. And so I used to tell anybody who would listen when I was a kid, I'm going to be rich. I'm going to be rich. I'm going to be rich. Now I had no idea what it was going to take. But because I believed it was possible, I just kept running forward, oftentimes falling on my face. But I just kept running forward. It's one of those like, it's very cheesy and I don't believe in manifesting at all. But if you believe you can, you will act in accordance with that.
The 3 Wins (01:58:36)
If you believe you can't, you will act in accordance with that. So it's not you're not convincing the universe to give you something. You're just doing the thing you needed to do to actually make that come true, which spoiler alert is going in acquiring skills. Yeah, that's so true. Yeah, Dan Sullivan, from strategic coach said something cool that I really liked. I realized that not like if you're the type of person that feels you need motivation, you need inspiration, you can't get through your day, like hearing all the tactical stuff is really difficult for you to then get motivated to do the right thing. Dan Sullivan has this incredible framework that was so simple for me that I really liked at a time when I didn't want to work that hard. And it was basically he said something like every single day, I want you at the end of the day to write down your three wins, three wins at all that you had from the day. And then I want you to write down three wins that you will have tomorrow and not like a big, the type of win you and I would write like, I'm going to close a million dollars tomorrow, but like an achievable win that you know you are probably going to hit tomorrow. And then I want you to do that every single day for 30 days. And what I thought was interesting about that is because we are so often in the, you know, the gap of like, I haven't achieved this, I haven't done this, this other person is doing this, I'm not good enough. That immediately puts you on what he calls the gain, which is, no, here are these three things that I already did. I'm already a winner because sometimes you need proof that you are on the right path forward. And I find this with working out, for instance, I'm not, I'm so business motivated that I just will work nonstop. And for me to want to get to like the six pack level of working out is hard, actually, I'll always stay healthy and fit. But to get to that next level of fit, I have to put in some work, you know, you don't get a six pack by accident. Are you going to do it? Oh, yeah, I'm doing it. You're going to go all the way. I'm going to go all the way. I know. But in order. It's hard for guys. It's even harder for women. You're going to have to want that shit. I know. Well, and in order to do it, I have to put, I have to say, what am I willing to sacrifice? Yep. I have to put some money on the table because otherwise I won't do it. Interesting. I need to find somebody who has already done it, who I can steal their 10,000 hours. I have to track it and I have to make movement on it every single day. And then what I realized is I was like, Oh God, I'm kind of weak. I'm kind of weak minded in this workout thing because my why isn't big enough or I don't know what. And so the three wins each day started to help me because I was feeling like I'm like tracking of this 47 things I'm tracking and it's just more stuff to do and I couldn't get motivated. And so I think even for people like me at least and I don't know about you, there are things that I still have to trick my mind and to do in frequently. You mean everything? Not everything. I have to trick myself into so many things. Interesting. I just have rules and procedures and like ways to build desire and how to focus. It's yeah, left to my own devices. I am extraordinarily lazy. I am not driven at all.
Understanding Success Through Values And Relationships
Honest review and Rategy acceptance led Russell to analyze more successful people's patterns (02:01:36)
It's really bad. I had to overcome a lot and it was only shame that allowed me to get going in the first place. I had dreams but I was what I called an empty dreamer. So I had big dreams but I was not doing anything to actually make them come true. And I then managed to convince this young Greek girl from England that I was actually going to do these things and told her father that I was going to make his daughter rich one day and he didn't believe me. And then I realized, whoa, I'm not doing any of the things I would need to do to actually make that come true. And I remember thinking this was the exact thing I thought I now have a witness to my crimes. And so when I lay in bed, there's a witness. There's somebody else whose life now is worse because I'm laying in bed and that really made me feel badly about myself. And it ended up being the greatest thing of all time because that got me up and it got me going. And once I realized, oh, this is what's been missing this whole time. I have to take the steps. I have to do the thing. And now I'm getting better and better and better but I have to just keep pushing myself. And once I realized, oh my God, like the human is the ultimate adaptation machine but I have to put myself in an in an adapt or die situation, push myself to learn to make use of it, to stay curious, which I've heard you talk about. And if I do that, oh my God, on a long enough timeline, I became obsessed with this idea, on a long enough timeline, I can beat anyone at anything because life is a game of attrition and most people will quit and I won't. That's absolutely true. And just looping around that. Another thing that I say, which I hope this will give people listening to this particular episode, some solace. I can be laughed at longer than the average person.
Russell says, "I can be laughed at longer than the average person. (02:03:22)
That's my superpower. Like I'm not afraid to look dumb ever and I'm not afraid that I will make mistakes and I legitimately will embarrass myself and it will actually hurt my credibility and I'll have been here on social media fucking screaming from the rooftops what I'm doing and some things not going to go well and people are going to point and they're going to laugh and it's going to hurt. And in that moment, it's either crumble or just keep going, internally laughing, knowing on a long enough timeline, I'm going to beat all of the people laughing at me because I just don't stop. Yeah, that's so good. You know, I'm I'm twying around with this idea right now that now I've heard you say it and two other people I know that are really successful and I feel the same, which is that I also think there is a superpower in a partner. In this day and age, there's a lot of people who are alone who want to swipe left and right nonstop and who are looking for an ideal before bettering themselves. And man, every time I feel like there's difficulty in my life, extreme difficulty, having a partner that I know can weather the storm with me is an absolute game changer. I have a feeling that, you know, I don't know, let's check in again when we're all 80 and see where we're at, but I have a feeling that that that second hand, second set of hands is something that's missing in a lot of this generation. Like they feel isolated, they feel alone, they feel like there's nobody that has their back and that might be because they need to choose a partner. And I never used to think that, but I was in a bad partnership before and there's also not the worst of that. And so now having somebody where when something's going wrong, I do. I think about what would Chris think about my actions in this instance? Like, is this how we want to represent ourselves as a family? And those are really powerful feelings to have. And I don't hear enough people talking about them. You know, you couldn't, you couldn't pay me enough money. To like have an affair on the side. I'm like, are you kidding me? I barely got time for this guy. You think I'm going to have another one? Like, no way. And then on top of that, the type of human that I strive to be does not suffer that. And so, you know, I think it's interesting, like sort of what we're having in the world happen around us and how little we care about partnerships. And maybe there's a superpower there for the people who choose. And I'm not saying, I mean, who knows? We'll be, Chris and I always laugh that we're not interested in like mental or physical polyamory, but maybe, you know, check in again in 30 years, you know? And how long have you guys been married?
No Amount of Success or Money Can Touch a Successful Love Life (02:06:04)
We've been married three years and together for six and known each other for twenty-five. That's right. You guys went to high school together. Yeah. That's bananas. Yeah. How long have you guys been married? Been married twenty-one years. That's wild. Yeah, it's dope. So here's the punchline for anybody that's wondering, "No amount of success, no amount of money can possibly touch the rewards of a successful romantic partnership." Nothing. It is the greatest joy life has to offer you. Now, I don't have kids. Even after twenty-one years. Yeah, yeah, yeah. More now than ever. Yeah. Now, you have to know how to navigate it. Yeah. And it is not the simplest thing, but it is the most rewarding. Like, it's unbelievable. And there was a great quote. I don't remember who said it, but the people who take the biggest risks have the strongest home life. Oh, God. And I'm never going home to Lisa and being like, "Oh my God, that is so true." Because the number of times that both of us have thought, "You know, we're doing this thing. It's hugely risky. This could really all fail." Yeah. And because success, there is no finish line. So despite all my success, I don't feel like, "Oh, I've made it. I'm on the other side of some magical line and I can never go back." I'm always like, "Oh, fuck, you're only a small series of bad choices away from being broke." And so, yeah, that feeling at least for me has never gone away. And I always think, "Well, if it goes away, will I still have Lisa? Because if I still have Lisa, I'm good. I won't be happy. Like that would be traumatic. Don't get me wrong." But losing Lisa and brain damage, those are the only two things that legitimately scare me. Everything else, I'm like, "Ah, it wouldn't be fun, but I'll be fine on the other side of it." So losing Lisa would be like, "The effect in my life would be the same as if the sun just ceased to exist." And I don't mean in a romantic, like, "You are my sunshine." I mean, "You're the gravitational center of my life and I will fly off into the ether without you." Because I've been with her since I was in my early 20s. So I legitimately don't know who I would be. I don't know who I would have developed into had I not been married to her. So, yeah.
Values and Prioritization in Building a Successful Relationship (02:08:14)
That's incredible. Well, what's interesting too is I have a little peek back here because I was up there chatting with her and we all have friends like Vanessa that's been friends with her for a long time. So we meet a lot of people online, but you can tell when I was up there with you, I was like, "Oh, yeah, I was just down with your wife. That was incredible. You were lucky." What were you guys talking about? It was genuine, which is rare, especially where we are right now. What you guys are surrounded by. Hey, that's interesting. This is just like business though. So you go, "Okay, there's physics to this situation. This thing works in a certain way. And can I figure out how this thing works? And if you can figure out how the thing works, then you can navigate it well." Like, okay, there are what they call the four horsemen of the apocalypse in a relationship. Oh, yeah. And the most common one is contempt. And so we were just like, "Okay, well then we know. Avoiding contempt is one of the most important things that we can do in our relationship." And so I won't derail this conversation on that, but there are things that you can do. And they're just like daily habits that you make sure that you're constantly keeping the marriage tuned up. You understand what you're each good at. So she's far more likely to feel disconnected than I am. So we never wait for me to feel disconnected. If she says I'm feeling disconnected, then I stop working and I go spend time with her. And we just don't violate that. And so it's like, "Yeah, cool. Because this is going back to something I've heard you talk a lot about values, if they know what your values are. And I'm just fearless when it comes to prioritizing. So my wife is my number one priority. My business is my second and my family is my third." Now that my family doesn't love that. They don't love that they're in third place, but I'm just being honest. So but Lisa really is my number one. And we act accordingly. Now that doesn't mean that she gets as much of my time as the business, but it does mean when the two collide and she says, "Hey, I need time." Oh, okay. Cool. We're just not conflicted.
Golden handcuffs (02:10:08)
Yeah, it's interesting too. We kind of practice this thing kind of like you talked about with realizing how little we actually need. Like when we go on vacations, for instance, we'll usually start at like not a very nice hotel and then we'll end up in like a sick one. That's hilarious. You know, something, maybe we'll go camping the first time or something. You're doing that on purpose? We didn't do it on purpose originally. We did it because he likes to go camping and I don't fucking like to go camping. So I want to go to the Amigari and he wants to go camping. Correct. And we start where he wants. And then after a while it became kind of a fun game because it was like, we have an incredible, now it sucks if you flip it. Yeah. If you start. You never end on the cold shower. No, you never start on the cold shower. Exactly. But it's kind of a fun thing just to realize to your point, if you have those north stars about what really matter, then you can cut out all the stuff that is the reason why most people don't make change in their life. I mean, when you have nothing and you have nothing to lose, that is the best time to take massive risk. The worst part about as you get better and bigger and more successful is you carry a lot of weight, right? And so those are the golden handcuffs that people talk about. And usually that's what stops you from taking risk. And I saw it again and again and again in corporate finance. And people would be stuck in these jobs. These hated for fucking decades. And one of the things Chris and I like to practice is like, no, remember how little we need as long as it's like the two of us, we can camp still. Maybe we can't go to the Amigari. But we can survive and actually be really, really happy. Would it be traumatic? Yes. But we can go back to that place where we can continue to take risk. Because for sure, I mean, it'd be a lot safer for both of us to not spend, I'm sure, the amount of money we're spending building these businesses and just keep the cash. You know, there are plenty of people that do that. I thought a lot about that. As I pour millions of dollars into building a video game that could fail. Yeah. Yeah.
Rachel's unique mind (02:12:00)
I'm hyper aware of that. Yeah. And that's something that I think makes you uniquely good because anybody listening to this, if somewhere in their soul, they can feel that you know something still that they don't. You've been entirely candid in this conversation. I don't doubt that for one second. I have a quote in here. I want to see if I can find it. There's actually a couple. So I'm going to read a couple quotes from you that I think speak to this thing. So money is the financial Trojan horse I use to get people to start thinking critically. And that idea of critical thinking is the thing I think that really makes you special. That you understand that clear thinking is more important than just about anything else. And just hearing you teach, you're very good at like, okay, this is the plan that we said we were going to stick to, we stick to this plan when we deviate things go wrong. And you're just like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom down. I think that that's very important. Here's another one. Everyone wants the hack. Be the person who wants the work. That's money. And then one last one that I think is really interesting, choose being the victor over the victim always. And you said that in response to somebody saying, what's it like to be a woman in business? And I was like, the Brits used to do that like fingersnap thing. I was just like, that's so on point. Like, look, it is things are going to be harder. Whatever your problem is. Yes, 100%. Going to be more difficult. It could be your skin color, it could be your gender, it could be your height, it could be whatever. The way you were raised, the fact that you don't know anybody, blah, blah, blah. But if you take that excuse, which is incredibly valid, you won't get anywhere. And so you don't do any of that. Okay. So get that in people's heads. There really is something special about the way you approach the world. But there's also, I want to know what is it that makes you good because you have to convince business owners to sell to you. How do you do that?
Reverse Engineering And Value-Based Decisions In Business
How to NOT be a Victim (02:14:13)
Well, on that last point, one really quickly, nobody wants to see Goliath win. So everything that you think makes you a victim is what will make your story infinitely better when you win. And the only reason we remember David through history is because he was a small man with a slingshot up against a giant that was sure to beat him. And I don't know when in today's world, we decided that having difficulties put in front of you meant that you were meant for less. That is such a false narrative. So I just don't ascribe to it. I am very aggressive when people ask me to come speak at like, hey, you know, we want a woman CEO to come to an event. I'm like, okay, I don't know. And I just, I say no. I go, I'm not sure what my vagina has to do with it, which really also makes people uncomfortable, which makes me chuckle. You know, I just happen to be born with that.
Asking the Right Questions (02:15:05)
I don't know. And I think it's totally unrelated to running a business. What are we talking about here? And I think if more people felt like that, then it would just be zeroed out and you'd realize, man, why advantage? Like, I hope they don't find out that I'm the only long-haired Latino woman at Goldman Sachs that doesn't wear a suit. And so how much easier am I to remember than all Brad's, Chad's, Tom's and Larry's. It's like a lot easier. And so I think it's, it's you're doing yourself a huge service if you choose to label yourself as a victim. And the moment that you realize that is the moment your life will change. And as far as like, how do I get business owners to convince, how can I convince business owners to sell to me? Goes back to asking the right questions. I think in life, if I could leave one thing, one of our taglines is question everything, including me, maybe especially me, but question everything. And with business owners, what's fascinating, what's annoying to them is young people coming to them and saying, Hey, you know, I want to buy your business. Oh my God, you're doing this and this and here's what we should do differently. And we're going to put it on Slack and we're going to API into this. It's none of that. You never go to a business owner and you say, here's all the things that I want to do to this poor tragic thing that you've put together and let me lead it from the future. Instead, you come with a lot of empathy, like a journalist and you say, if you were a local auto mechanic owner, I would go something like this. I'd go curiosity, empathy, pain pushing, solution giving. So I'd first go, Hey, Tom, incredible. You've built this place? This is your place. So cool. How long you been running it a couple of years? That's awesome. Who's who's here? Number two, who's taken over next? Oh, nobody yet. Okay. Cool. Like how many people do you get in here? Man, this is crazy company. Curious, right? I'm just starting to get to know you. I'm not telling you anything about me. I'm just being a human engaged with you because that's rare. Then two, empathy. Wow. You started this 20 years ago from nothing. You can and you built this up to what I got. How many employees do you have today? Like I'm feeling it with you, right? Then once I understand a little bit about your business and I show that I'm empathetic with you, I start to push on the pain. Oh man, 20 years, that's a long time. Sometimes 20 years is enough, you know? And you're like, fuck yeah, feels like that on some Tuesdays. I'm like, me too. I used to run this business. You know, the employees are the tough part, right? Yeah, man, I'm looking for a new manager. You know, I'd really like to retire and you start to push on the pain buttons. Now you can't create pain. So you're really only looking for the person that already wants to sell. They just might not know it or they might not want to tell you. And I want to push on the things that could be painful for them so that they realize that I'm here to give them a solution. And then the last thing that we're going to do is solution solving. So then we're going to say, huh, that's incredible. Like you built this huge business. You know, you're kind of ready to go on your next adventure. There's some stuff that's like a little bit overwhelming in this business. Interesting. You know, I don't know if I told you this, but like I do buy businesses. Now I've never bought a mechanic business locally here, but like I live down the way and actually like I know so and so that owns this business up along here too. I buy businesses that kind of sound like they might be in your wheelhouse. Now I have no idea if we would be like a match for each other at all. But if you're open to it, maybe I could just take a look at what you guys do overall and we could see if at the right price and the right term there might be something here for us. So once down the road, maybe it's years, but regardless, you'd at least have evaluation for what your business might be worth. If you want to sell, I don't know if that might be interesting to you. And usually at that point they go something like, huh, I don't like explain to me, what would that look like? And that moment, what would that look like? Explain that to me is the open door. And that's when you start to figure out, is there a dance here? And then one thing that I make sure that I do is no matter how that engagement goes, I make sure that engagement is a win for them every time. So if that business is awful and I would never want something to do with it, I'd put together a little something for them. I'd be like, okay, so here's how businesses are bought. You know, here's the valuation. Here's like a little industry report on your business.
Zohar decides if she wants to offer to buy a company by reverse engineering (02:19:17)
If you ever wanted to sell this one, your business is a little too small for what I typically buy, but I actually could maybe make some intros to some other people if you were seriously thinking about it, or we could like touch base in a few months, I'm happy to be a resource for you. I want them to feel good about it every time because what happens? So I'll talk to other business owners because we're all getting punched in the face together. And so they might not be your seller, but the next guy might be your seller or gal. And so that's the way it goes. You just start with curiosity, empathy, pain pushing, solution solving. And you do it again and again and again until you find your silliness and derailleur shoe. And how do you go about like, what's the ratio of number of pitches to deals close? Like I know in real estate, that's a big thing. You have to have bird dogs that are out there. Like how do you get the deal flow? So I don't do it. I've never been a cold, cold, mass volume type of gal. I hate that game. I'm much more a, I connect with humans one on one and I get to know them and usually they'll either take me somewhere is in the form of referral or something with them. So if I was to do this, I'd do something called a personal P&L review, which basically means, I mean, you could do the same thing, probably have, but you look at all the things you spend money on, both personally in your business. And it's really easy for business owners. If there's any business owners listening, you should pay attention. In your business, you spend money on, I don't know, ads. You might have a vendor that does ads for you. You might have a vendor that does events for you. You might have a vendor that does studio set up and take down everything that is a liability or cost me money on a monthly basis or an annual basis. I note. And then I look for three things. I look for, can I get to the owner of the business? AKA Jeff Bezos, probably not going to sell to me, also couldn't afford it. Is the business interesting to me that I might actually want to own it? Like I probably don't want to own an accounting business, for instance, for liability reasons. But I might want to own an ad agency or at least part of it. And then the third aspect of it is, is this a business owner that is aligned with my target demographic of a seller? So if I want to buy the business outright, it needs to be an owner that wants to sell, not a growth minded owner. Like you're not looking for a young gun that's cruising right now. You're looking for somebody who's probably a little bit older and ready to exit. And on the other hand, if you just want a part of the business, especially like you, Tom Billie, you, if you're like, huh, like I actually want a young owner because I just want to own 30% of that business for the cash flow. And I want a young gun that's going to grow it. But if I mention my vendors for this on my podcast wants, I'm going to 5x this business. So why don't you give me 30% of the company for the upside that I'm going to give? And we're basically just going to wipe out one of the costs on my bottom line. And so, and usually you can, you can do those type of deals like revenue share profit shares. What equity deals with, you know, one of three things? You either bring them more revenue or profits. So increase revenue. You can decrease costs. So help them cut centers of costs in the business or you can operationalize the business. You could take away pain from the owner like, oh man, you know, you don't have any systems in here. What about, you know, putting SOPs? What if we put EOS over your business? Business owners usually feel pain when they're not operationally aligned, when they have too many costs or when they're not bringing in enough cash. And so for any of those three things, you could buy a business for theoretically $0.
The three values that could buy a business (02:22:47)
Makes a lot of sense. You talked about money, sweat equity. Does money and sweat equity, do they match out or is one more valuable than the other? Well, I talk about the get rich tripod, which is basically this. You have no excuse to not buy a business. If you say, I don't have money, it's not an excuse. If you say I don't have time, it's not an excuse. If you say I don't have experience, that's not an excuse. Now, might be a reason why not to because you don't want to. That's cool. But any of those three things shouldn't stop you. And here's the reason why, because buying a business is like a tripod. So you have three legs to the stand. Money is your highest leverage leg, right? Because it's not finite like time is. So if you have money, you always want to put money into a deal because Tom's time is actually worth way more than your dollars. And so for most people who have money, it's much more expensive to get an hour of Jeff Bezos's time than $100,000 from Jeff Bezos. One's not equally weighted. So I always try to use money if I can first in a deal because I don't want my time involved. Unless I have experience, which allows me to be a better deal maker. And then I don't even have to use money because, and I don't have to use my time because I really have experience that this company wants or I have experience at deal structuring. So let's say for instance, I'm an accountant. I have a friend who has cash. I have another friend who has time like they want to operate a business. And I have the experience of running an accounting firm before or being an accountant. I might be able to get access to a deal for $0 because I just have knowledge that they don't. I could consult on it. I could be a part of the business in some way, but my experience could be an option. And the third is if you don't have experience and you don't have money, you have time. That's pure sweat equity. So this is basically what venture capital does. Like venture capitalists say, I have billions of dollars. You go take the pain of face kicking on a startup. I will give you capital and you will pay me a return based on my capital at some point paired with your time. And so that's what you can do if you have neither of the two. So there are people every day that I hire and get equity in my businesses because they operate them. There are people every day that I hire and get equity in my businesses because they have experience. And then right now I'm the only money in my businesses. But theoretically, if people build funds like Ray Dalio's, he just uses other people's money. Right. Okay. People have gone on this crazy journey with us. They really are edging towards sovereignty, owning their own life, being able to control themselves. Why does that matter?
Does financial freedom equal sovereignty? (02:25:24)
What's that? I hear you talk. I almost never hear people use the words sovereignty, but you talk about it a lot. I really should use more like, you know, 25 cent words, I think. I think sovereignty is the right word. It's just irreplaceable. You know, sovereignty in my mind is the ability to be a self-providing island in a world of humans that need connection in order to survive. And I think money is one of the fastest ways to get to sovereignty because it allows you to build resources, power tools and time, basically. And so, you know, one of the reasons that I'm obsessed with this mission of skin in the game and people becoming owners is because I think that we are giving away our sovereignty and we really saw it over the last couple of years in many instances. I was like you. I believed in no conspiracy theories. I kind of thought they were all crazy and this is not political. I think both the left and right are nuts. But what I realized is very few humans had decision making power because they didn't have enough cash to sustain themselves to make difficult decisions one way or the other. And they didn't have enough cash to have the willpower to say something one way or the other. And I just saw it. I saw it for the first time ever. And I realized the people who were actually sovereign were those who had built up assets, which really like form the modern day sword and shield. And so that's why I'm obsessed with financial freedom because I think you need to be healthy, which is really important into your mission. Bank account doesn't really matter if you don't have your health. And you need to be able to think critically in order to make the right decisions at the right time for yourself. But even if you're healthy and you can think critically, but you don't have assets in this world, I think you're in trouble because people will push upon your sovereignty continuously. And your only pushback is zeros. And I think it's the only international language that everybody speaks in this day and age. Now maybe it won't always be that way, but I do believe that it is that way today. Yeah, I'm going to guess that it's always going to be that way.
Critical-thinking and contrarian cultures. (02:27:35)
I don't see a way around it. So given the importance of being able to think critically, given the fact that you have named your company about not conforming to anybody else's way of thought, do you have a method for thinking critically? Yeah. I mean, the only method that I have is to follow the greats. Like we just launched this Instagram account actually today. And the reason why is because... What's the account? It's called contrarian thinking. We're really in it original around here. You know, also I'm terrible at naming companies. Like, could there be more vowels in that company? I can barely spell contrarian. Anyway, we launched this account because I did money first, like the Trojan horse like we were talking about because I started in 2020 talking about contrarian thinking. Like let's think for ourselves. Let's look at these problems happening in the world today. What's going on? Like can we have debates about this? Let's let the ideas compete. And basically people are like, I think great. What's going on up here? It's awesome. And I'm right about most things because people don't really want to question their own thinking. We want to question everybody else's and we never want to go, huh, idea in my head, do I actually believe you? Cognitive dissonance is hard. And so we started with money. We got a lot of people hyped about money. And now I realize it's shallow and we want to make sure we go deep too. And I think the next step is we go to the greats who are contrarians at huge personal risk to themselves and kind of have this idea, which I never really talked about before. But you know how Ryan Holiday did really normalize stoicism? This method of thinking that like basically was, can you be sort of the calm in the storm, despite what's going on? And I think contrarian thinking is never going to be stoicism in an ism perspective, but it might not be enough to be a calm in a storm.
The Power Of Contrarian Thinking And Personal Purpose
Contrarian thinkers (02:29:14)
We might also have to add like a push back to the wave. And so the idea is we put together some of the top 150 contrarian thinkers who paid prices for ideas that turned out to be true. Do you have anybody off the top of your head? Oh, yeah. I mean, tons of them. I have like, you know, you have Aristotle, you have Plato, you have Marie Curie, you have Confucius, you have, oh my gosh, the world is not flat, it is round. Galileo? Was that Galileo? I can't remember. Oh my gosh. I'm pretty sure Galileo is the one that got, can we let's look it up? Is it Galileo? Okay, we'll find out. Tell us how smart we are or not, how cultured. And so, so we put together this list and then there's like Christopher Hitchens, who's a personal favorite of mine, letters to young contrarians. He's fascinating to me because he changes mine like four times on life-altering decisions. He was a communist, atheist, and then by the end of his life, he was a capitalist Christian. Really? I don't know his story well. Yeah, it's actually a fascinating story. Letters to young contrarians, an interesting book to read, a fast one. But I also like going through and reading some of his quotes because they really haunt you in the gut. And so I like humans. He obviously questioned his own thinking multiple times. And towards the end of his life, he had to go back and say half the things that he thought were true turns out they're not backed by facts. Thomas Sol is another contrarian thinker, basically eradicated from the history of the great economists because his ideas were not politically correct. Yeah, he's amazing though. He's amazing. Yeah. And so that is the only way that I know to get better is like, can I go to people who have had these ideas before and then could I try to backtrack the way that they think? Do you know Churchill much?
An observation on Winston Churchill (02:31:16)
Besides reading his biography, but I think he would be another good one. He's hyper contrarian. Yeah, yeah. Hyper contrarian. That's one of the things I find so interesting is man, talk about somebody who paid a price for his opinions and he just could not help himself. Like pathologically, he said, I'm always going to say what I think is true, no matter what the price is. That's impressive. And then he did it and ends up still becoming prime minister, but there were times where he for sure thought, I'm done in politics. Yeah. I'll never make it now because I just had to say this thing that I thought was true. And then obviously he's banging on about Hitler from like day one. Guys, he's a problem. He's a problem. I'm telling you like this guy is going to be a disaster. He's built. He's going for war. I'm telling you, he's going to invade. And everyone's like, Oh Jesus here is Churchill again, just not shut up about this guy. And people were saying like, I don't know, like Hitler seems like a nice enough guy. And he's like, what the fuck? Like this guy is a psychopath known with listen, he invades and obviously the rest is history. But it is very impressive. It is so easy to just nod and smile when it would be very uncomfortable to push back. It's very easy. I have a lot of admiration for people who don't. You know what I thought was interesting about Churchill too, that I didn't know was that he refused to meet Hitler. Did you read about like, and I never thought about that because a lot of times like some of the big podcasters today, for instance, will say, you know, who should we have on a podcast one way or the other? And I always have sort of had the mindset of, well, just anybody that you want to curiously talk to them about their ideas. And then I remember reading that story about Churchill, how he wouldn't meet with Hitler because he thought that the more you met with a person, the more human you could see in them and it would cloud your thinking about interesting. Well, the bad news is he did meet with Mussolini. He did meet. And for years had a photo of Mussolini, like a signed photo of Mussolini in his house or his office. And then I was like, whoops, you put the photo down. No perfect humans. Yeah, no, I mean, look, to be the, when I agree to have a guest on, it's like, you do some vetting for sure, but you can only do so much. Plus, yeah, I don't know. I'm not weird about platforming people. My thing is, do they have something useful? And if they're saying something crazy, do you push back and say, that's crazy? No one is going to be perfect. I'm sure there are things that I wish I'd push back on. And the worst part is when somebody clips something out and they say something crazy and you're like, but if you look at the greater context, that was in the middle of something. And like, by the time you was finished with that thing, it's like, yeah, we'd move on past that anyway. It is a risk of the job, but yeah, contrary to the curse. Do you bring on people that you know you're going to disagree with? Like to. I do now. It's a very long time. So the show has gone through three very distinct phases and it's only been in phase three where I'm like, I will actively bring somebody on if I think that we can have a good faith conversation about something. And then it's like, and I do really weigh a lot. Like how far do I stray? How far do I ask my audience to go with me on the journey of empowerment? To me, until you are fully sovereign, you are not empowered. But phase one, where it was just like, think like this, act like this. People loved it. They celebrated me. I did like, they were sort of albums of me like doing these really inspirational riffs. Yeah. We'd put music to it and it was like, that was a lot of fun at a great time. And then it just got to the point where I'd be interviewing somebody and I'm like, half of what you're saying is bullshit. And so we'd film for an hour and a half and release a 30 minute episode because I'm like, yeah, so I rather than confront them, I'd just be like, well, we're going to cut that out. We're going to cut that out. I like to get along. I don't invite someone on your show and then you're going to like, yeah, it's tough. I didn't like it. Yeah. And then I started to feel like a coward. And so when 2020 kicked off and all hell broke loose, I felt like a coward. And so I had Jordan Peterson in my ear being like, all it takes for evil to win is for good men to remain silent. So I'm like, Oh God, am I going to start talking about this shit? And so I thought, okay, yep, don't be a coward. Say what you think. And so I started saying what I thought. And then it became for a while, our views really went down and then then they, because you have to build the new audience and then they started going up and we were bigger than ever. And then I changed again and we went down again and now we're bigger than ever again. So it's like the audience keeps rewarding me on a long enough timeline. But yeah, so it is very difficult to try to always see things through that lens to help other people see what I see. I'm not super good at that. So it takes me a lot of time to be able to say simply in a single sentence, like this is my thesis. This is how these things connect. But so I'm working on that now. But it's, as I said to my team, you either lose me as a host or we figure out a way to expand who we can have on the show, because otherwise I just get bored. Oh, yeah.
Billy's loss of tolerance for shallow conversation and woo-woo (02:36:21)
100%. Yeah, that's one of my biggest fears about talking or about doing a podcast is I think the, you get, you lose tolerance for shallow conversation or bullshit, really. And you don't want to be rude because there's like, it's one thing if you're like, Oh, no, intellectually, let's debate because there's something interesting there and I disagree and let's go. And there's something else with this is, it's not going to be fair or it's just going to be mean. Right. And so what's the point in going at somebody? I've never really liked that. It'll get, so it has gotten more fun for me and part of it is, okay, now the audience knows that I am going to push back when I disagree. In phase one, it would have been so jarring. I remember we actually didn't release an episode. I don't know if I've ever talked about this before. So the, when I decided, okay, I'm going to start pushing back on people. We had somebody come on the show who's very what I'll call woo woo. Oh, yeah. I don't have a fucking woo bone in my body. And so we started getting into it. Now I felt that as being very respectful and I was only saying what I believed and I was leaving space, but like I disagree with his ideas and he disagreed with mine. So we were like going back and forth and it was like getting pretty intense. You could tell he had never been disagreed with him for. He was so used to people being like, yeah, manifestation is real. And I was just like, I don't see how that works and like let me lay it out. And so then it got religious and so I was like, well, so I can understand your position, which is curiosity, right? So I'm not attacking you. Yeah. I just want to map what you think is true. But dude, one thing I have learned, if you make people say in a single sentence what they believe and you don't let them dance around and use flowery words and you're just like, are you saying this? You can make them extremely uncomfortable. Interesting. It's fascinating. So that interview, I was like, okay, to my team, I was like, I don't know if that was amazing or if that was trash. And they said the whole fucking company was gathered around the Monix because we did it live. So like this where we've got somebody editing. So it used to be in a totally different room. The whole company was around the computer watching because they'd only ever seen me do phase one interviews. Fascinating. And so they were like, what the fuck is happening? And so we ended up not launching it because it, I guess I came across a little aggressive. So we ended up not using it. That's a while. Well, I live in Austin land of the woo woo. So I've heard it all. Hey, woo. Oh my God. Austin to the maximum. Really? Oh, yeah. I mean, we were at part of this one Jim shout out, Squatch. There's actually like, there was an Instagram channel about like overheard in Austin or something or maybe it was Twitter. But yeah, I mean, I would be in the sauna and I eventually just told my husband, I'm like, we got to stop going there. I was like, everybody's really nice, but we're in the sauna and I'm like, Oh, what's going on? Cody? She's like, I'm Rainbow. And true story. And I'm like, that's cool, man. You know, great. And somebody else walks in. It's her dude. And I'm like, you know, how are you guys? What's going on? I don't be normal, I think. They're like, you know, great. And I didn't know this stuff then, but they had like the marks from like the toad. You can like you, you like DMT? No, I think it's called Bufo. Bufa. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay. I know of it. I've never done it. Yeah. And circles. And so I was like, Oh man, what happened there? What's that? And he starts to explain it. And then they started to tell me that they live at a female coven that is located in Austin that she is the God. What was the word? I wish I could remember this. She was the not the goddess, but something equally cringe of. So she was in charge of the coven of witches that he lived in. And and I remember just sitting there thinking this is fascinating. And also I wish I had something to sell you guys because I bet you would buy it. Like this is incredible. And so that's Austin basically today. Wow. Yeah, it is. I did not. Even more so than L.A. You guys had witches. Yeah. Oh yeah. The whole thing. Interesting. Last time I was in actually, what's that fancy? No, it wasn't. So one of the main streets in Hollywood or Venice, and there's a there's like a crystal store there. You've probably been you see like a crystal guy. And I'm going to crystal stores as as a matter of course. And I remember we were walking by and they had a like a, you know, crystal, all crystals being sold sale. So I walked in and I was like, oh, business is tough. I'm like going out of sale. Nobody is moneyed by crystals. And they're like, oh no, we're getting a bigger store that one across the way like two times the size. Wow. I was like, yeah, you know, explains it. Yeah. Yeah, not your people. So I shouldn't send you a crystal next time. You probably shouldn't send me a crystal. It's very sweet. And I appreciate the thought. It's very generous, but I yes, I will not be wearing crystals or putting them under my pillow or anything like that. But it is fun. So here's what I try to do because I actually don't like being a dick. That's not my personality at all. So I'm always like with genuine curiosity. I want to understand. What do you think is happening? Like is it that there's something going on at the quantum level that we don't understand and see between these crystals or what? But that's where people tend to derail when you make them say it and very succinct. And then I have a special place in my heart for people who use quantum to mean magic. I can't. I can't deal with it. Like if you do that, you will not be a guest on this show. I can't do it. I think it's amazing. I actually find the whole thing fascinating because it's just such a... Like have you watched that show? It's like how to build a cult or something like that? How to become a cult leader? This is amazing. And I think it's really interesting that we humans, I do think, were in search of purpose at all times. And so you can either determine your own or you can be given it. And I think in this day and age, there's so many people that want purpose so very bad that they will turn to things that seem like they give them purpose. And so I do think it's something. It's a slippery slope. I'm maybe a little bit judgy about that. Just that I think you should determine your own purpose. And it's probably not in, you know, feathered caps and crystal necklaces.
How Cody personally determines her purpose (02:42:37)
But you know, that's just me. So how do you determine your purpose? I think it's...
Self-Mentoring And Embracing Advice
The best advice Cody ever gave: "The best advice is the advice you give yourself" (02:42:44)
I think you know. I go back again and again to the best advice is the advice you give yourself. And I think most people know deep inside if they were to spend some time with themselves, if they were to stop distracting themselves, if they were to stop medicating themselves and spend some time in the awful place that is just you in front of the mirror, then I think you actually often find exactly what you're looking for. And most people just aren't willing to look at the mirror. And I was one of those people for a long time too. And I was in corporate America for like 12 or 13 years living other people's dreams. And it took me really spending some time by myself to realize, man, like this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing. And so I really think for most humans, it's you got to start knowing yourself. And that was the secret that was told to us a billion years ago by an oracle, actually, to come first circle, you know. And so I think if you're lost, you like you probably have more answers than you think. Listen to podcasts like this, you can believe in yourself a little bit more, but just start paying more attention yourself because it's hard to hide. You know, once you feel the sense of purpose, you can't let it go. Like it becomes an obsession and watch out everything else. But most people cover it up. This has been amazing. Cote Sanchez, where can people find you? Cote Sanchez and all the socials and contrarian thinking for the newsletter. I love it. Every bit of it is amazing. I assure you I've spent much time in her world. I highly encourage you guys. If you really want to execute, there is no better place. Speaking of no better place, if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends be legendary. Take care. Peace. If you want to scale your business and avoid all the BS advice out there, check out my latest episode with Alex or Mozy. You can drink and do drugs and watch porn. If you still do the shit, that's all that matters. I want to do the formula and then live my life how I want to live. Each of us gets to make a daily choice to