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MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

 

How can you maintain a thriving business? Sometimes, you can’t just stick to what you’ve been doing when it’s not working anymore. You have to recognize that it needs fundamental changes. For more than 20 years, Rocky Buckley has been helping publishing companies in creating and selling products through books, courses, training by working with authors and experts. After that, he realized that he could do more by creating The Power Persona Project, which aims to reinvent organizations’ brands, strategies, and business models to achieve better results. Tune in to learn how he created the new business where he’s the public figure for the first time.

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Reinventing Your Brand, Strategy, And Business Model Through The Power Persona Project With Rocky Buckley

In every episode, I try to come up with problems that a lot of us, small businesses, owners face and bring in experts that can help us guide us through that. The problem here that I want to address is that many small business owners don’t even realize that you do need to build a personal brand. People have to like and trust you before they will buy anything. Building a personal brand is the fastest way to gain some traction, growing your business and positioning your brand as the next thing.

How do we do that as small business people? We all are tasked with many things to do and there are many competing needs for our funds. I thought I would invite an expert in this area. His name is Rocky Buckley. We are going to have him go right into this and tell us a little bit about how he came about becoming the expert in this field of building The Power Persona Project. He is the creator of it. He is also the creator of a program called Gold Platinum by reinventing its brand strategy and business model. Welcome to the show, Rocky.

Thanks for having me.

You have helped thousands of companies build their brands and create their premium branding in the minds of the consumer or clients. You are trying to help the smaller businesses or newer entrepreneurs to go on the same path without their hundreds of millions of dollars. Tell us a little bit about how you came about being this expert on how you help people.

I wouldn’t say I have helped thousands of companies. I started in the business years ago. I worked with some of the biggest publishing companies in the world. I helped them to create a lot of products. Over that time, I was working with authors, experts and people like that. I was helping them to extract their expertise and put that into products whether that was books, courses, curriculum or training. I did that for a long time.

I helped those companies to bring these products into the market. I helped these experts and authors to stand out and sell their knowledge. I did that for a long time. I got to know that process inside and out from being an author myself to developing all sorts of different training online and offline in thousands of products for that year.

During that time, I was completely behind the scenes. I was somebody who was primarily operating as a consultant. I was like a secret weapon for a lot of these companies. I would be brought in and help them to get done what they wanted to achieve. Over that time, I had never been in front of a camera. I had never been somebody who was that public. I had a very small social following, which was mainly family, friends and people like that because my business was completely behind the scenes.

As I started getting around that twenty-year mark in business and getting to a certain age, I started realizing that there’s a lot more that I want to do. I realized that I was sitting on a lot of untapped potential within myself and the expertise that I had. I started to go through this journey of reinvention. I decided at a certain point, “I’m going to transition out of this business that I have built for twenty-something years and been successful at. I’m going to create a different business where I would become a public figure for the first time. I would bring myself out in front of the camera.”

I had to go through a journey of exploration. What did that mean? How did I stand out? How did I differentiate myself? How did I position myself properly? Also, how did I extract my expertise and turn that into products, programs and training? That was the path that I went on. It was more about, at some level, dissatisfaction with the kind of business that I had built. I realized that there was a lot more potential for me to do something more fulfilling that tapped into what I was passionate about, my gifts and talents. The question became, “How do I put all that together and build that into something?”

You can grow up without any real frame of reference in business and still pursue establishing one.

Interestingly, you say that because a lot of people go the other way with their products and expertise. They have done things such as creating their social proof and yet they don’t have a book. Some people do it the other way. They’ll find out that when they write the book and the book gets traction, then you can come full circle too. I come from a retail background where when you are on TV and you have six seconds at a time to try to convince people that you are an expert, why they need the product and why they need that product, it comes down to helping the customer understand who you are, that you are authentic and there’s a person behind the brand.

There was the power of the persona. Years ago, when you started, it wasn’t always so that people bought because they understood who the founder was, the genesis of the product or a program. Nowadays, that’s a must. Look at the Millennials. You are probably a Millennial yourself even though you say you are twenty years old. Millennials are going out of their way to buy things from a smaller company. They almost take pride in, “There’s this cute little company that does watches or protein bars,” whatever it is. They find reasons why they can connect with you.

Even though they don’t have money, they’ll pay more money to buy from somebody that they connect with, that they believe is good for society, good for you and looking out for you. Your timing is perfect. I understand that this was a long-year journey in terms of gaining knowledge, talents and putting them all together. You have helped bring out a few 100 or 1,000 people bring their ideas and products to life, see the birth and growth of that. You almost had like a petri dish for all these ideas, incubated and watching them from the sidelines.

Someone like yourself who has seen diverse categories, expertise and then different stages of businesses, whatever you have to say here would be very valuable to someone who hasn’t gone through that journey. When a small entrepreneurial starts a business, typically, they are busy trying to make profits, more sales versus expenses or they have some profit and they are busy doing that. They forget that without building a brand, without having your product stand for something and having that person who’s founded this company to be the person behind the product and the reason behind why you should connect with them, that’s a tough road.

That’s what we all do. First of all, I will refer back to something that Michael Gerber talks about in his book, The E Myth. Most people start their businesses as a technician. That’s somebody good at what they did. They wanted to be their boss. At some point, they decided to hang out a shingle and start working. That’s exactly what happened to me too. I grew up without any real frame of reference in business. Nobody in my family was in business. When I first started, my drivers were to be my own boss, make more money and do things like work from home. I wanted to be a very hands-on dad with my kids. Those were the motivators.

I never thought about business from the standpoint of playing the long game. It was much more about like, “How do I get the business?” If you are good at what you do, which I was, I got busy right away. I stayed busy. I never got a chance to think all that strategically about my business and especially about me, “How do I differentiate?” I was learning all this stuff because I was doing things for clients. I was creating books, programs, curriculum but also online websites and their marketing campaigns. I would find that as I was working with clients, they often didn’t know how to articulate who they were and what they were doing.

If somebody hired me to do web development for them, design their whole web package and so on, I would have to get things like images from them or write copy for them. To go through that process, I had to extract out of them the things like, “What do you believe in? What are your values? Why do you do what you do?” They often didn’t know. When you are trying to do things like design work, a logo, look or style, they can’t articulate it. What led me into marketing was that I had to help my clients figure themselves out. It’s such a tremendous need for small business owners who get busy and learn a lot of things online from gurus.

The gurus are teaching them tactics, silver bullet-like, “Do this.” They get tactical right away and start taking a lot of action. At some point, they start realizing, “This isn’t connecting or resonating. I’m doing Facebook Lives. I’m putting out all these posts. I’m dancing on TikTok. Nothing’s hitting the mark.” That’s where I come in and try to help people figure themselves out. That’s the foundation of all the tactics. If you figure yourself out well, that’s when the strategies and tactics work out but it often has to be done from the inside out.

You brought up a good point that there are so many mastermind classes. Some gurus teach you how to do what they know how to do. A guru might be a digital marketing specialist and your business might be a brick-and-mortar store that could use online as an add-on. I had this conversation with somebody else that, “The only way you can build your persona is when you understand what it takes to do that.” Whether you are at the beginning stages of a journey, maybe you are starting a side hustle and thinking like, “This could be a permanent job,” or you have been in business for seven years and you’re doing six figures but you are stuck there.

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

The Power Persona Project: There comes a point in your life that you realize there’s a lot more that you want to do.

 

The only way you make more money is by working more hours. Many of you are reading at different stages. Some of you might be overwhelmed with what you are reading. Some of you might be saying, “I’m already doing that but I’m not getting traction.” Rocky has created a Facebook platform that is completely free. You can go Facebook.com/groups/powerpersona. You’ll see all these people at different stages doing their different things. You can connect with people so you can get some support. I always say, “Don’t try to go on a road by yourself without ever seeing any landmines. Talk to people who have seen it before.”

Even if those people failed along the way, they could still teach you something that will still save your time. That Facebook that he has is something I would start to connect with right away. I am a strong believer that if you don’t build up a personal brand, it’s hard in 2022. There are some things about COVID that are going to stay with us forever. We are prioritizing our lives and looking at what we do value. People value meaning, purpose and passion-driven CEOs, even if they are small. They are hungry for this. They are seeking out. The faster you get to position your brand as something that you stand for and that you align with, the faster your business is going to grow more solidly. You have a foundation that connects with you.

More deeply as well. The secret is that you are connecting with people at a very different level and on a values level when you can build a personal brand.

I’m going to put you in the hot seat here. What are the top three things that will help us build that personal brand?

The first thing is taking a step back and doing a bunch of inner work. That’s getting clear on first, your life vision. If a lot of people do get strategic about their business, they can think about the business at the 30,000-foot level but they don’t go to the highest level, which is the life vision. I believe that for someone to create a personal brand that’s highly charismatic, magnetic, resonates with people and taps in on a values level, a person needs to understand who they want to be in life in the big picture? “Who is it that I want to be in the world? What are the things that I care about?” Get very connected to those things.

Allow that to shape the business vision. I view business as a subset of your life vision. When you can step back and go, “What am I all about here? Who do I want to become? Who am I?” When you are getting started on these big picture questions, they have a direct and very actionable impact on the way that you see your business and the way that you run your business because when you can get clear at that level, it shapes everything else below that. It’s the strategy.

I’m going to unpack each step that Rocky is giving. With the first step, I agree with you because I can’t tell you how many times I’m interviewing somebody for my segment or on a different show and normally I am not like this but I’m like, “Stop right there. Who are you?” If you have completed two different personas, “I’m a business person. When I’m in business, I’m wearing my suit and I would talk like this but when I’m at home, I’m a different person.” I’m like, “First of all, those two need to be aligned.”

Aside from what you said embedded in that is also a lot of times people think, “If I show my real self, tell them what I think or give a real opinion about what I believe, I’m going to lose half the audience. They may like me, not like I or I may not resonate with them.” Take a chance because if you are so preoccupied with what other people think, you are not going to ever convince 100% of people. You are better off attracting the people that are aligned with you from day one. It’s easy to work with them. What goes along with that is your vulnerabilities, the things that you fear and you are not perfect about. It’s okay to share them and be honest with people.

A lot of times, when I get interviewed and somebody asks me a question, I would say, “I’m working on that myself personally because that’s one area of my life that I still struggle with.” It’s okay because nobody’s perfect all the time. I am not perfect at any time. It’s okay to be vulnerable at times because that’s what makes you real. Your life vision, meaning all the things that you align with things that you care about, how you want to spend time with, that’s how you are going to be relatable to your target audience but also that’s how you can ultimately help them because you understand that you have to also add value to them and how you can add value.

Marketing helps my clients figure themselves out.

I built my business without ever compromising the things I want in my life. I started my company so I can spend more time with my kids. As my business grew, like people from Dubai, Turkey and Japan were calling me, I wasn’t on a plane going there all the time. I sent them a fax saying, “I have got kids. I have got to get to a soccer game. I can’t do this.” It turns out that I ended up losing some potential clients but the ones I had valued if they were okay with that. I agree with your step number one, which is to figure out what you want out of life and there is a value in who you are to add value to other people’s lives and that you want to help.

Especially from a vision standpoint like, “How do you envision your future? What do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? How do you chart a course to become and embody that? What does that mean for your business?” Your business model will change when you get clear on your life and what you want your life to look like. In your case, your family was front and center and was a very high value for you. That excluded a lot of business models. You couldn’t do certain things and you wouldn’t. Your values and life vision informed your business vision. It put your business vision in a box. It started to shape what kind of business you would have, what you would be selling and what kind of things you’d be offering.

Within that, that’s where your brand starts to emerge. It’s like, “I want to serve these kinds of people in this way. Who do I need to be to resonate with those people?” That begins step two. It’s about becoming self-aware about yourself. What are aspects about your identity, personality, life story or history that you can go conscious and become aware of your background and history? Start extracting these things out of yourself so that you can shape and craft them into that very targeted public persona that resonates with those people you’re looking to connect with.

I’m glad that you transitioned into step two in that way because they work together. Many of you who follow me on this show came to me from my TV shows. You’ll know when I first went on TV in 1998, they had all these movie stars that were on the same network talking about, “When I was on this or that show.” I hang around with all the pretty people in Beverly Hills on yachts and these mansions. I’m a little mom with two kids. Nobody knew who I was.

I go on TV and say, “I do a lot of work in the studios. I work with a lot of clients to pay me good money to do their pieces but I’m here to share the struggles I have, which is I don’t have help at home. I take my kids to school. I’m an active mom. I go to their PTA meetings and soccer games. When I’m in those places, I still want to look good and feel feminine. I want to have something neural sparkly. I don’t want to have to spend a fortune paying for jewelry that could go to my kid’s tuition. Here’s an affordable line of jewelry that’s done with the same care and artistic talent as the stars are using because I was doing a lot of work in the studios. You can buy them for $99. It could be an heirloom piece because it is done with high quality.”

What happens when you do that is you come up with versatile things. You don’t come up with things that you can only wear on the red carpet, those shoulder dusters or big hoops. You are going to come up with a line that’s very elegant that you could wear from day to evening. That messaging is a part of you. It’s not online that you have to script and memorize. You are going to develop products, courses and everything else that aligns with that. That’s natural to attract people who would be inspired by your story and you.

If people reading are interested in the subject of crafting yourself first but then targeting this raving fan group of people who connect with you, I would refer them to an article that I learned about from Tim Ferriss, which is by a man named Kevin Kelly and it’s called 1,000 True Fans. That concept was very influential on my thinking about this. It’s bringing out those aspects of yourself, even if they are peripheral to your business. They don’t necessarily have to be directly related.

It might be the music that you like, sports teams or whatever but you are bringing some of those flavor points into your brand. People are connecting with you on those things and that’s when they become enthusiastic about being in your world. To refer people to that as a reference point, that’s an article that’s a must-read, in my view, in the personal branding space

Tim Ferriss’ books have a lot of golden nuggets. I do agree with you that raving fans are better than 10,000 followers on Instagram that don’t know you. They’ll just hit the like button or something like that. I would rather have that 1,000 raving fans because they are more likely to tell 10 people. That’s how my business grew and I can testify to that. What’s step three?

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

The Power Persona Project: For someone to create a personal brand that’s highly charismatic with people and taps in on a values level, a person really needs to understand who they want to be in life and in the big picture.

 

First of all, you got to be clear on your life vision. You have begun to do that inner work going conscious about all these things that you bring to the table, all these aspects of your beliefs, identity, personality, history, life story and point of view. Get clear on all that stuff so that you’re conscious about it and then you can design that public persona. Once you start stepping into that public persona, you can become very strategic. It’s about understanding your market. It’s about doing work in the areas of market research, positioning, strategy and figuring out those aspects of what makes you unique. Ideally, what makes you the first one and the only one like you?

Get clear on what those points are because that’s what you are going to lean into as you create your brand. All the other stuff that follows from 0.3 is all about strategy, tactics, productizing your knowledge, developing a portfolio of products and offers, eventually elevating your price to a premium brand. There are ways to do that. That third step is all about that positioning, strategy and differentiation part because you’ve got to be clear on that to have effective messaging.

You can be very talented in front of a camera but people can’t follow what you are saying, they don’t know what you are talking about or what are you selling. You are great on camera but your messaging isn’t clear. It all has to come together. The personality, charisma and all of that need to marry itself with the message and go forward from there. It’s about articulating this into a real-world thing that you can act upon. You can start putting out content and so on because your messaging is sharp at this point.

Embedded in what Rocky and I are talking about here is the assumption that you do have amazing knowledge, product and expertise that you can share. BS factors don’t work. All the things that we are talking about, if your product sucks then it dies. Experienced entrepreneurs who give their heart and soul, know their product inside out, are experts, can tell you every screw, little line and their copy but haven’t crafted personal branding persona, that’s where this expertise comes in.

If you don’t know what you want then you are not going to ever get clear on your product, messaging or can anybody refer to the product itself even if it’s an online course? You don’t have anything to add and value. The first thing I would say is to try to figure out what value you are adding to your potential audience. Are you saving them money, time or future disaster? There are all these different ways you could position yourself as to why you are needed in their life.

Thanks to social media, we’re in an age of influencers. We are in a time where people on the power of their personality, what they’re interested in, what they do and how they spend their days. They don’t have any true value or expertise but they can get clear on the persona that they are presenting to the public. They can be outrageous, fun or whatever that kind of archetype or that style that they are. They build a following around that. There’s a lot of business to be done there because, from the face of other programs, they can recommend other people’s stuff. There is an opportunity that may or may not have been in the past. Be like a personality. If you can be strategic about it, you can build a nice business off of YouTube, Instagram and TikTok but getting clear on yourself, even if you want to be an influencer is still the essential key that unlocks everything else.

Even influencers that I know are pretty successful. Years ago, they stumbled onto something but once they become that and they want to be successful at it, they then still have to understand the product that they are influencing with. There’s a lot more work than most people think it is. Let’s switch gears a little bit about those people that have the expertise and have gotten some traction. You talk about how then they productize their knowledge. Specifically speaking, the one thing I’m very passionate about is the idea of generating passive income. Online classes or high ticket training courses, how do you go about converting from an expert or somebody with a product to then creating high ticket online training courses?

The first real step from that is looking at it from a business model standpoint. Most people who are experts find themselves trapped in this one-to-one business model, where they are getting paid for their time. When you are trading time for money, you are trapped. You get stuck in this situation or even if you’re doing well, you have got a nice six-figure business, there’s a ceiling because you have no more time. If you’re not confident about your pricing and you’re thinking about competing based on price, you got a double bind. There’s no way out of that. You find yourself trapped.

Everybody needs to turn their business into their soul.

At a business model level, that’s where experts need to start rethinking what they are doing and say, “Is there a different way for me to deliver my expertise in ways that could scale and become passive, also in ways that down the road, I could structure my business to sell to somebody else or license my intellectual property?” Many of us that are experts who are trading time for money built ourselves a nice job.

I like to think of it like a sandcastle that at the end of the day, after many years of working hard, you have built a sandcastle that gets washed away. When you stop working, there’s nothing left. How do you take what you already know and tweak or shift it in different ways? You don’t need to learn anything else or add any more expertise. You just need to change the way you’re doing it.

I find with a lot of experts reconfiguring the way they’re doing things, put themselves in a completely different business model where they can charge a lot more and have a lot more time and lifestyle, freedom and passive income from selling things like courses. As well as having a business that you can sell at the end of the day, which is a huge factor that very few people even think about. That’s a big consideration when you go into when you have this kind of a business. All those structural elements would be that next step. “How do I take what I already know? I’m sitting on all this untapped potential that if it were configured differently, could rocket me in a different area and take me to another level.” That’s what a lot of experts are sitting on.

I have a couple of doctors in my family and a brother and a sister who are lawyers. My brother was a real top-notch lawyer. He’ll charge $1,200 an hour. He’s charged that for the last years and he’s very proud of it but I always say, “You still have only 24 hours a day. Whether you were charging $1,200 or $400 in 1 hour, those are cap, unless you want to not sleep for another 6 hours. You are still trading high dollars for one hour,” whereas somebody who’s trading stocks.

Let’s say hypothetically I bought the right stock and in 3 minutes, I could make $10,000 if I was right on that. I try to tell him to create an online course that he can sell because he’s got some amazing expertise but he’s doesn’t have time to create an online course because he is too busy trying to make money doing the other stuff. They are trapped.

Not everybody needs to turn their business into their soul way that they’re making an income. My sister is a very high-powered attorney in Manhattan, partnered in a big law firm who makes probably similar money but she’s able to take that income. If you can divert that into other passive income-generating properties, that’s great. You don’t need to turn your business into a thing. If you want your business to mirror up with your lifestyle and this is who you want to be, your business is your passion and everything comes together in your business then you want to build your business in a way that can become a passive income property.

If you are high dollar and making money by the hour, you can take that money and put it into something passive like real estate, stocks or crypto. It’s cool but I don’t think everybody necessarily has to go that direction. It makes sense if your business is all about your expertise. If this is what you love and where you are getting your fulfillment from then why not do this business in a way that gives you all of those factors at the same time? You can make a lot of money, fulfill your lifestyle, talents, gifts and leave a legacy. All of that comes together in your business. Not everybody has to do that. If you own a string of laundromats, that’s great. You don’t have to feel passionate about it but for a lot of us, we do.

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona Project

The Power Persona Project: We’re in a time where people are just on the power of their personality, what they’re interested in, what they do. They’re able to get clear on the persona that they’re presenting to the public.

 

In his case, he tells me every time there was a major crisis he is dealing with, usually, he does like a middle-sized company. It is about $15 million to $50 million businesses. They are pretty good. Unfortunately, the only times he gets involved because of who he is and what he does is when they’re in major trouble. He says, “if somebody needs to be out there telling people how to prevent some of the problems, lawyers should be hired as a precaution at some point but people don’t do that because they’re expensive.” People don’t call a DUI lawyer until they get something or they don’t call somebody until they get sued. There’s a huge market for that.

It is difficult to sell prevention. My dad has successful long-term corporate security. He works at high levels with very big corporations and deals with the risks that they have. Selling them prevention in advance like, “You have these vulnerabilities. Your physical building is vulnerable to attack,” it’s very difficult to sell prevention. Selling the cure to a high-value problem is one of those secrets to selling it at high price points and going premium with your pricing. It’s figuring out, “How could I take what I already know but apply it to an area where there’s the urgency?” Somebody has a bleeding neck problem where I can take what I already know and focus in that area.” All of a sudden, you can jack your price way up. The cure is the secret where you can elevate your pricing significantly.

Is there a secret to selling high-ticket online programs?

There are many secrets but one of the ones that I like to focus on specifically is framing your solution as a well-designed system because when you can package your expertise as a system, it demonstrates that you have mastery over that problem. You solved it enough times that you have can package it together as a 3 or 5-step system. That gives you tremendous leverage from a marketing standpoint because it allows you to articulate your message concisely and clearly in a way that makes it feel like the solution is fast, simple and easy as much as possible.

I’m sure with all of your work over the years, there have been so many products that have to do with weight loss or something like that. When you can package, let’s say, a weight loss solution, “It’s an easy three-step system. It’s something that you can do without having to give up all the foods you love.” It’s in that packaging, taking what you know and shaping it into a systematic formula.

It almost sounds like a plugin system. Other people have done that before and it’s easy. It’s all done for you.

It’s a brilliant way. First of all, formulate your intellectual property in a way that you can sell to somebody else. That’s what we talked about in terms of legacy. You take your IP and turn it into something that you can sell. Also, from a marketing standpoint, when you can articulate, “What I got here is a proven system and it’s consists of this,” people are buying into not only the solution that you’re selling. It might be, “Burn 30 pounds of fat in 90 days. I’m going to help teach you how to do that in these steps. I can teach you that the process is going to be fast, simple and easy as much as I can.” When you can put those things together, it makes it much more marketable and palatable.

It seems almost like a magic bullet solution. People are willing to pay a lot more because they know what the promise is. It’s very clear, “In 90 days, I’m going to get this result.” When you sell your time one-on-one, it feels like an open-ended process. “We’ll work together. We don’t know when we’re going to get there. You pay me by the hour.” When you can sell a system, it changes the game for you. I always recommend every expert learn how to do that.

The second piece of that is in terms of you creating the system, how do you convince them that they need to buy it?

Formulate your own intellectual property in a way that you can sell to somebody else.

The solution that you solve should be a high-value problem that people are already looking for. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and say, “I’m the first one who’s ever solving the problem of weight loss.” It might be that within weight loss, there is a specific problem or let’s say, for people who need to lose 50 pounds or more. It’s not the person that just wants to lose 10 pounds. It’s a person that has a more serious problem. They want urgency. They need this thing fixed. Those people don’t need convincing that they need a solution but when you can get those hot areas where people are already looking for solutions or already spending a lot of money, they are serious and want to get that fixed, that’s where you can step in. When you can articulate a ready-made solution that feels very doable for them, you can almost charge what you want.

You are right on track on that because I have a $5,000, $25,000 and $75,000-course. It’s interesting because after I give a compelling speech like I do a lot of keynote speeches, 30 people will come after me. They want to connect with you and talk to you. It’s easier for me to sell the $75,000 course 10 times a day, than the $5,000 one because these are people who are doing 7 or 8 figures already. With the 7 or 8 figures for a small business, that’s funding everything on their own. In every action, the stakes are so high.

They are one moment away from going bankrupt or setting themselves back in a financial situation. That’s interesting. The $5,000 one to me is the hardest one to sell because that one has less value. You got some beginning entrepreneurs that don’t understand that it’s hard, even though that’s probably the best value. Aside from that, this was a very productive and informative conversation about all the different things you could do whether you are selling products, an author or expert who is trading time for money even if you’re high paid like a CPA or if you aspire to create a side income. With my brother, I say to him, “If you can come up with even a $200 course, when you talk to people come up in the NDA form, that’s not offensive so that they are keeping their intellectual property,” and little things like that.

I agree with you that trying to sell prevention at $10,000 is tough. There are a lot of different ways you could impact a small business person. In this conversation, we covered a lot of ground on how to build your brand persona. At the end of the day, all of you who are reading know that I say this all the time, “If people don’t like, trust or respect you, they are not going to buy anything from you.” That’s the beginning of this. To get the first 1,000 raving fans who are going to talk about you, elevate your message and amplify your voice, Rocky, you came in and shared a lot of wisdom, knowledge and nuggets. How do people find and connect with you and find out more about your community?

The easiest way to enter into my world is through the Facebook community, The Power Persona Project. The easiest way to go there is through the URL at PowerPersonaProject.com. You can hop into this free group. I’m in there. It’s a highly engaged, interactive group. I have interviewed people there like Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, Stu McLaren, Bob Burg and a lot of luminaries in our industry. There’s a lot of great content, conversation, connections and networking inside of that community. Hop in there. Get to know me from that point.

Thank you so much for coming in.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you.

For those of you who are reading, thank you so much. Until next time. Please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices.

Important Links:

About Rocky Buckley

MDH 60 Rocky Buckley | The Power Persona ProjectRocky helps experts, thought leaders, and influencers to “Go Platinum” by reinventing their brand, strategy and business model. He helps transform what experts, influencers, and thought leaders already know into high-priced training programs, so they can generate 5-figure clients and create lucrative lifestyle businesses they can run in a few hours a week.

MDH 46 | Mindset And Emotional Mastery

MDH 46 | Mindset And Emotional Mastery

 

Do you need the motivation to excel and live your dream life? Tune into this episode as the CEO and founder of the One Thought Away Project,  Kerry Tepedino, discusses strategies that we can execute to accomplish our goals, enrich our mindset, and bring positive energy to the people around us. She shares the project she created that focuses on helping women, coaching them to have a good mindset and focus. It all starts with your personal development by having a proper mindset and taking control of your emotions. By this, you will slowly build your confidence and build momentum for success. She also shares a technique to perform to get more things done in your everyday life. Learn how you could increase your productivity and be the best version of yourself!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Leading With Mindset And Emotional Mastery To Achieve Your Dream Life With Kerry Tepedino

One Thought Away From Your Dream Life

In this episode, we have Kerry Tepedino, who is a master and an expert in mindset mastery. She’s also the CEO and Founder of the One Thought Away Project. I want to tell you that if you’re an entrepreneur, as you know, that mindset piece is a key factor. Everything you want to accomplish in life starts with you and specifically with your mindset, how your mind aligns with your body and ultimately, how those two things help you achieve your goals. Kerry, welcome to the show.

We’ve talked a few times, and I want to say thank you so much for having me because I know you are a protective mama of your community and you only bring the best of the best. That’s one thing I appreciate about you and acknowledge about you. We’ve had lots of conversations about what you believe in, who you want to be the resource for and you don’t throw anybody onto your show. I’m excited to be here and have some fun.

Thank you so much for recognizing that. You might know that I only have about 26 guests a year. It’s a very selective process. I don’t want to brag about my show but I want to brag about my audience and that they’re experienced, sophisticated readers. They support the show and everything that you do. I want to take this time to shine a light on what you do and not you personally but also your community, the people that you impact in a way. Especially in COVID-19, we’ve got Delta and all these other variants coming in. You’re a new mom and sometimes you feel like you’re going to break down because there is much to do. In your professional opinion, is it like a woman’s thing where we don’t know how to say no and we take on everything around us?

I think it’s certain women. I’m glad we’re diving into this topic because I did training on this with my clients because I even have our pediatrician. For all of our friends here, as Victoria was sharing, I’m a new mom. At 48 years old, I had two twins. I had a little boy and a little girl. Even my pediatrician says, “Kerry, how are you getting so much done?” She doesn’t even know the extent of my business, Victoria. She’s seeing like the parts that she’s seeing.

I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, the way that I am getting so much done is because of this personal development work that we’re discussing. Leading with mindset mastery and emotional mastery. When you have those pieces, the great thing that naturally and organically can happen is you up your time management but also your energy management. Even now, before we’re here speaking together, it’s amazing how much I’ve gotten done. With that being said, my kids aren’t being put on hold. My kids are still my priority.

I think it does have a lot to do with the mindset you were mentioning that we were talking about. To be a successful entrepreneur or businesswoman, you can have the best business strategy but if you don’t have the personal development work in place, you’re only going to get so far because of your stress, anxiety, you’re overwhelmed and your procrastination will derail you. All those goals that you have for your mission, your legacy, getting your product out in the world, whatever that million-dollar passion is, you won’t reach your potential if you’re not putting yourself first. That is hard for a lot of mamas to do.

I want to ask you a little bit about the One Thought Away Project. One of the key reasons why I was looking forward to this interview was that I’m a huge believer in the one single step that you can take. If you read the outro at the end, I end the show with, “A thousand-mile journey starts with a single step.” That single step doesn’t have to be a huge thing. I thought when I heard you talk about the One Thought Away, that’s a very close cousin, the one thought and the one single action.

If you use a different part of your brain every hour, you become more productive.

Tell me a little bit about how you came about with the One Thought Away Project and also what it does specifically for entrepreneurship owners because entrepreneurship female, you’re dealing with your family. Sometimes in our age groups, you’re looking at having to take care of your parents, your own children, your employees and then your community or a customer. That’s a lot. Some women can do it but it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Tell me a little bit about how you found it at what it does?

The One Thought Away Project is all-encompassing. It’s the big umbrella for the different verticals in our business. Let me put it in a little bit more simple words. One Thought Away Project is our big vision and then within that, we have our group coaching for women. We have the events that we do. We have the book that’s coming out. There are different verticals underneath that big umbrella. The One Thought Away concept is our through-line. It is part of everything we do.

It is because if you don’t have that single focus on being the glass is half full, not half empty, being solution-focused versus problem-focused. If you don’t have that piece, it’s always going to feel like a struggle. Building your business, hitting your numbers, getting that new account, getting some new lead generation, getting that perfect mold for your jewelry or whatever it is, finding that perfect editor. It’s always going to feel extra hard.

Like attracts like. If we’re constantly in this thought of, “It’s too hard, I don’t have what it takes. I don’t know the right people.” The universe is going to want to match that and I’m not being rude but I’m saying, “If that’s what we’re focused on, that is what we’re going to continue to create.” You’re one thought away from being a total success with that million-dollar passion now or not. You’re one thought away from being healthy and happy now or not.

It is like, “Where am I going to put my focus because wherever I’m putting my focus and my energy, I am going to create more of that.” It’s a simple way to help women and entrepreneurs take this concept and continue to redirect them back on track because it’s easy to get off track. It doesn’t mean you’re bad or weak or wrong or not good enough, it means you’re human. What we get to do is the more we practice this personal development work, we catch ourselves faster.

When we go off track and we start going down that rabbit hole of it’s too hard or whatever it is, we can catch ourselves faster and bring ourselves back on track. What I’ve noticed is falling off track starts to happen less and less often and then I see entrepreneurs and women start to build up more confidence in themselves, their abilities. They start to see more successes and that starts to build their momentum up.

I’m not somebody who likes to generalize but I do a lot of work with GSFE. I work with a lot of entrepreneur women. They happen to be a little bit more creative than people who are not entrepreneurial because they have to go out and create value every single day for someone else in order to get paid. When you’re a creative person and especially in the design world or you are in that creative field, your mind is all over the place anyway and that’s the beauty of how your mind works. You don’t know the boundaries. You think everything is possible. You go off the track. It’s easy for creative people to get off track sometimes minute by minute.

MDH 46 | Mindset And Emotional Mastery

Mindset And Emotional Mastery: Work on your personal development so you can be more productive and lead people better.

 

I completely hear you talking about how you think you’re on the right track for three days and then you’re off track because there was another new shiny toy or another thought. I know that you have developed simple rituals. Your website is OwnYourRituals.com, or that’s one of your websites. Tell us a little bit about that. I guess what you’re saying is that it’s normal to get off track and when you do, you need to teach yourself, trick your mind to go back on track. If you have a system that helps you do that, you can do this lesson less.

Let’s start with Own Your Rituals. It’s a free gift, OwnYourRituals.com. We’ve gotten incredible feedback. I hope that our friends here go and dive into that. It’s a gift, but the basis of that is to learn to bookend your days. You have your AM rituals and then PM rituals. What we’re doing is we’re helping our women entrepreneurs and people start their days with the right intention because if you’re starting your day already feeling like you’re behind or you’re starting your day feeling like, “How am I ever going to get to my to-do list?”

If you’re already starting working against yourself, you’re going to start deflated and it’s going to be hard to get even one thing done on your to-do list. It’s not so much you’re doing that we want to focus on but who are you being? I’m being focused, committed, kind, trusting and I’m trusting the process. I’m being motivated. It’s a beautiful proprietary system where we walk you through a process of visualization on your rituals, visualization as a journaling process. That helps you get clarity on who do you want to be in the world, business, personal life and as a woman you respect? What life am I committed to creating now?

With OwnYourRituals.com, we start with the AM ritual and then we’ll move on. We don’t want to throw everything at once because then it can get overwhelming and then some people will do nothing. We start with the AM ritual. We get that down so it becomes more of the core of who you are, like a natural way of being and then we can work in. Later in that program, we work in that gift, we work in the PM rituals. It’s very powerful.

I will give another tip as well that’s not in that because I think you bring up a good point for your readers, like a lot of creatives, artists and designers. There’s this other system that I use a lot called the 60-60-30. I didn’t make this up. I learned this from Eben Pagan several years ago. What he says is write down your list of everything you need to do now. Maybe that’s finding a new manufacturer, doing research on cost development or reaching out to a few hot leads that you got for some new accounts or partnerships.

You write everything down, you look at your list and you think, “What would bring me the most relief to complete now?” You choose three. If your list is 100 long, you only get to choose three. I know a lot of women freak out about that. Circle those three, get a new sheet of paper, put those three at the top of the paper, crumple up the to-do list and throw it away. I know that’s the part that gets hard, “I still have to do those things.” I know there’ll be there for you. Don’t worry.

When you look at those three and see like, “What is the 1 out of these 3 that will bring me the most relief to get complete?” Circle that one. It’s 60 minutes, 60 minutes, 30 minutes. For the first 60 minutes, set an alarm on your phone for 50 minutes and focus, put the blinders on. Even if you’re creative and even if that means bringing out a drawing board or a whiteboard where you’re creating new designs, it can be applied to the creative part of your brain.

We set intentions on who we’re going to be.

For 50 minutes, you just focus on that. Closed down email social media, anything that doesn’t have to do with that task. Your alarm is going to go off at 50 minutes. Stop whatever you’re doing, even if you’re in the mid-creative genius zone, set your alarm to ten minutes and go do something that is going to use a different part of your brain for ten minutes.

Research shows that if you use a different part of your brain every hour, you become more productive. Let’s say that for 50 minutes, you’re designing new jewelry designs or you’re doing something creative. You’re working on your 2022 and beyond launch program or launch schedule, then for ten minutes, go do something physical. Maybe you walk around the block, fold laundry or do something with a different part of your brain. That alarm goes off in ten minutes. You set it for 50 minutes again and let’s say this time you’re going to do something new. Maybe part of your million-dollar passion is to be using your hands and doing pottery, painting or jewelry development.

You do that for 50 minutes and then that 10 minutes that follow, use a different part of your brain and do something that’s more like thinking wise, like maybe reading and answering emails or maybe writing some email copy. That way, what you’re doing is you’re using the power and you’re leveraging the power of your brain to become more proficient with your time and energy and get more done versus over saturating, never getting up and taking a break, going into burnout, going all that other stuff that happens to a lot of entrepreneurs. Owning your rituals and this 60-60-30 are 2 awesome strategies for our friends here.

I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying and that I’ll go even one step further on this. When you get up in the morning and you think about all the things you’ve got to do, you first think about all the things you didn’t get to do yesterday and they get transferred over. There are some things that keep on transferring from day to day and then you wake up one day and you’re like, “I passed that deadline. I need to get that and you don’t want to do it.

When I was working, I did a lot of volunteer work. I’ve worked with inner-city kids, entrepreneurship women and all of that. I know you might agree with me on this, when I ask somebody, “Show me your calendar. What are the things you need to get done?” They will show me 60 things that have to get done. I said, “How much time is this going to take?” For example, you might say, “I need to create a whole new collection.” That’s like a five-day job. You have to decide how much time do I want to spend on that now because you can spend 24 hours a day. There’ll be things like, “I got to drop off my laundry.” That would be on your list. That could be a twenty-minute job depending on where you drop your laundry off.

What I found a lot of women do is they’ll go to the one that’s easy to check off. They’ll go, “I’ll do the groceries for my mom. I’ll drop off my husband’s laundry or my own laundry. I will delegate my staff to do these things.” The bigger things that bring you the most amount of money and probably will give you the most amount of belief, you don’t ever get done. Usually, it takes 60 minutes and 100% focus on the 60 minutes.

What you’re saying is prioritizing the three things that will give you the most relief. I completely agree with you. It didn’t occur to me until I had kids, especially after the second child because I was frazzled all the time and I thought to myself, “There’s no way I’m going to get to this.” Whatever happens with that thing is what’s going to happen. It’s not something I can control and even if I could control, it’s not worth it. I’ve had to learn to let go.

MDH 46 | Mindset And Emotional Mastery

Mindset And Emotional Mastery: You can have the best business strategy, but if you don’t have the personal development work in place, you’re only going to get so far because your stress will derail you.

 

I used to be a control freak and now I’m still a control freak but I’m a controlled freak for a lot fewer things. I love the combination of the two having some a system, a ritual thing where you’re reminded every morning when you get up. I also love how you said, “Not what do I want to accomplish now. What do I want to do but who do I want to be?” The intention is powerful.

If you read my blog, time after time, the one thing I tell you and all the people who are reading is that success like material wealth and all of the success is completely hollow if you have had to sacrifice your family and you’ve had become a nasty person. I’m saying, you’re not a nasty person all the time but if you get screwed over by some manufacturer who didn’t give you the samples or took your money, it’s easy to be bitter and say, “The next one I run into, I’m going to go him.”

That would be like what society would expect you to be. It requires effort to try to be who you were born to be. That kind, gentle and amazing human being is capable of accomplishing not only great things but also lifting other people. I think that starting with that intention every day and reminding yourself, even if yesterday didn’t go too well, you start with that. End capping your day with another positive thought. I’m assuming that would be in the cards. The 60-60-30 to me is the application of that.

There are many things I loved about what you said. One of the things that I want to say is, isn’t it great and beautiful that we get to teach our children that? My eldest son is six. Even since he was four, we set intentions every morning and we don’t inset intentions on what we were going to do, we set intentions on who we were going to be. For example, “Grayson, who are you going to be? What are your intentions?” Honestly, Victoria, he does say this, “Now, I’m going to be confident and kind.” He gets to choose who he gets to be every day. I make a declaration to him so there’s that level of accountability and those brave declarations that are happening.

This is an incredible show for powerful women and strong women who have a mission in the world and not just personally but professionally. We’re blessed that we get to lead these younger generations and when we become the source of that next level of potential ourselves then I truly believe we’re not impacting and influencing the child that is ourselves, our spouses, our child, the client, the partner or the affiliate who’s in front of us. In regards to family, we’re impacting 7 generations in front of us and 7 generations behind us. There is a deep healing that gets to happen when we, as empowered women, choose to heal ourselves. Healers heal thyself first. When we choose to do this work and we become the source of all the results that are happening in our lives now and all the results that aren’t happening in our lives with our families, our parenting, our grandparenting, our businesses, our products.

When we have 100% full ownership of that, what happens is we stop pointing outwards like, “That manufacturer screwed me over or that person didn’t follow through, or that partner ripped me off and I have to declare bankruptcy,” or whatever it is. When we stop pointing out, we point to us and then anything is possible from that positioning.

As we close, I want to say that as a woman, you think you’re leading a tribe of people. You’re still leading your children, families, sisters, brothers and everybody around you and the best way you lead is by example. Where I come from Asia and I can not say all of Asia because I haven’t been to every single one of them, success is defined by a perfect balance of five different things. The first is health and then the second thing in that is your relationship with your loved ones because a lot of times when you’re focused on money something goes. Your relationship with your parents, your children or your friends, that’s the first thing that goes.

The third thing is wisdom, not necessarily intelligence like book-smart but wisdom to know when you’re doing the right things. It’s a little bit more on the moral compass side, and then you have longevity. You could enjoy that life for a long time. The last thing on that spectrum is wealth because if you do all the other things correctly, the wealth will come. It’s the other way around.

Lone wolfing is a lonely place, and it brings a lot of heartache with it.

Even though you probably may not have heard that before, everything you said now exemplifies that. I am glad that we had this time together. As we close, what is the one thing that you would advise to a young Millennial woman like my daughter, who is 29 years old, has a baby, has a business, when she’s struggling?

Get support. Hands down, that’s what I would say. In our programs, we call it lone wolfing. It’s so easy for us to have this big S on our chest as women, and we’re going to be Superwoman. We’re going to do it alone and reinvent the wheel. You know what, ladies, the wheel has been invented. Let’s streamline our process and save ourselves tons of time, energy, money and heartache. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It’s about surrounding yourself. Find a great mentor who can help you get to where you want to be as your guide and then find that community. I say, “I like to be in a strong community of women because I think we’re wired a bit differently in regards to how we commute.”

Find a mentor and community that has the strategies in the right order that can help you get from A to B because none of us need to lone wolf. It is a lonely place. It brings a lot of heartache with it and it’s not necessary. Even if we’re young mamas, new grandmas or whatever it is. Speaks to a friend. There is another woman on this planet who is living the life that you want to live that has that business, that is managing and balancing personal and professional at the same time. If she can do it so can you. It’s about finding that right support and not feeling like you have to get through the trenches alone. You don’t need to.

Kerry, how do people find you and connect with you? Where would you like them to get to know more about you and all the things and great stuff that you do for women?

Go to KerryTepedino.com and OwnYourRituals.com. You can go to that website alone or go to KerryTepedino.com, the gift is there. We do tons of fun things. We do the One Thought Away Challenge, where in seven short days, we help women start to get massive results in their businesses and in their lives. We have The BELIEVE Event that we do once or twice a year. There are many ways to lean in and participate. I highly suggest it. Let’s link arms. I want to partner with you. I don’t want to give you fish. It’s more about teaching the mindset and emotional mastery skills so that you can tap into them for the rest of your lives as you want.

Thank you for reading. If you have not subscribed to the show, please go ahead hit the subscribe button, rate and review because that’s how I get validated about any show being good or bad and you can also write to me as well. Thank you so much, Kerry, for spending your time, expertise, heart and soul. Until next time, stay healthy and thank you.

Important Links:

About Kerry Tepedino

MDH 46 | Mindset And Emotional MasteryKerry Tepedino has made her mark as a top leader in the personal development space for women. Kerry came from a hard background of low self-esteem, not believing in herself, being 45-50 pounds heavier than she is today and desperate for change. She came to a defining moment in her life where she got to make a decision to continue being unhappy and burned out… or find the freedom that her soul was craving.

Through deep study of personal development, leadership, holistic health, nutrition, Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and breath work, Kerry created her Sacred Self System, which helped her life go from rock bottom to where she is today… loving a life that she never thought could be possible for her. She has influenced over 150,000 people worldwide in mindset mastery, emotional mastery, loving themselves, and believing that with the proper mentorship, community and strategies… anything is possible.

MDH 35 | Financial Literacy

 

No matter what happened to us in the past, we could always start all over again. If we want to be financially stable and start up a business, it’s still possible despite the tough circumstances we have gone through. Daniel Blue proves to us that it’s possible for anybody to follow his dreams regardless of the past he has dealt with. Victoria Wieck sits down for a conversation with him, and they delve into how businesses could create wealth and get creative with self-directed retirement accounts. Daniel is the owner of Quest Education, a company that provides financial solutions for individuals and business owners through education. Growing up with no entrepreneurs to guide him, he directed himself to be a successful business owner. Join Daniel in this episode, where he shares more powerful insights on financial literacy and wealth management to grow our businesses and attain success.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

From Drug Addict To CEO: Financial Literacy And Retirement With Daniel Blue

Welcome to another episode. You’ve done all the right things, save money, put maximum contribution to your 401(k), IRA, all of that stuff and you wanted to know if you have any access to that money until you retire. Many of you have postponed retirement or you have retired but you didn’t need the money. Maybe you’re getting close to it you want to buy a house. Having a house is hard. If you wanted to know if anybody could have access to it, I’ve got an expert. His name is Daniel Blue. He’s not only an expert. He founded this company called Quest Education, which is a company that’s dedicated to helping you access your money sooner than the law says so. Completely legally, of course. It’s also tax-free. He’s found all the different ways you can get this done if you want it to.

He’s got a company called Quest Education. You can find that on YourQuest.com. He’s the author of the upcoming book Blueprint to Your Best Retirement as well. I want to tell you one thing that’s interesting about Daniel. He learned how to do all this because probably out of necessity. He has become a parent at age nineteen. He’s gone through some financial ups and downs. He is a very interesting, amazing human being on top of being an amazing expert and an amazing teacher. I wanted to help him tell you his story rather than me going through his bio. Welcome, Daniel, to the show.

Thank you so much for having me. What an introduction. I’m honored to be here.

I know there are more important things here but I got to tell you, I have to tell my audience here, you became a father at age nineteen to a beautiful daughter named Bella.

I did and I still remember that day like it was yesterday when I got the news.

I assume that has changed your life a lot in all the good ways. The first way that a child will educate you is you got to learn how to exist on no sleep. Other than that, they cost a lot of money and you, as a parent, want to provide for your child. Not just what they need like food, diapers, school education and all that but also for their future. The birth of your child, did that have anything to do with being financially super responsible or were you like that before?

You have to look at personal preferences and your goals.

I grew up middle class and lived in a cul-de-sac in California. I had a great life when I was 5 to 12. I stopped at twelve for a reason as my parents got divorced. My dad ended up moving to Mexico out of the blue. I was a teenager and now it’s just my mom. She’s working all day. I don’t get a lot of supervision. My dad moved to a different country and didn’t come back. I don’t know why he left. I’m going through all these different thoughts. When you’re 12, 13, 14 years old, you start getting hormones changing and all the fun stuff there. I didn’t have supervision. I’m ditching school. I’m experimenting with drugs and hanging with the wrong people.

I saw my mom struggle. She was a social worker. She worked her tail off. I got to a point where I wasn’t going to pass high school. I was going to flunk. My mom ended up shipping me from California to a small town called St. George, Utah. We knew one family there. My mom one day came to me and says, “I want you to finish school. If you stay here, you’re going to end up in jail or you’re going to flunk school. I need you to finish school.” She shipped me off to this family. I lived with them. I finished my senior year of high school in this new city, a new school in St. George, Utah. The readers are entrepreneurs or side hustle.

There are two types of entrepreneurs. You’ve got people like Gary Vee that were an entrepreneur since they came out the womb. They were trading sports cards and selling Pokémon cards. They were hustling at a young age. They knew they were going to be an entrepreneur. You got people that stumble into being an entrepreneur. That’s me. I didn’t grow up wanting to become an entrepreneur. I grew up not wanting to be in the same position I saw me and my mom in. Where we were struggling financially and money wasn’t in abundance. I wanted to be in a better position financially and ended up getting into sales at a young age but I wasn’t able to define who I was.

That’s a lot easier in life when you can have standards and core values and know who you stand for. I didn’t have that when I was 18, 19 years old, which led me to make some bad decisions included getting on the drugs. I was addicted to OxyContin. All of this time, I’m making good money selling but then I ended up getting a woman pregnant at eighteen years old and then I had my daughter at nineteen. That was a monumental moment in my life as far as I needed to change and wake up.

I found your story fascinating on multiple fronts. I am a mother of somebody who’s probably your age. I’ve got a couple of kids and they have a bunch of friends. I’ve seen a lot of my daughter’s friends get into similar problems that you were in. They felt abandoned and lost. They felt they don’t matter when parents go through a divorce and all that. I want to break this interview into two parts. The transformation story that you’ve gone through, I would say that’s a huge transformation story. You went from being a high school dropout, a drug addict, being irresponsible and borderline going to jail, according to your mother, to being a responsible father. You’re financially literate, founding a company and you’re helping a lot of other people find their footing.

Also, having gone through with this entrepreneurship in a way that’s you stumbled forward, I would say then you founded this. When other people wouldn’t have access to money or into their retirement funds, they know that they’ve got the money and they want to start a side hustle. You’re helping those people. I think that your transformation story is very inspirational. I have quite a few Millennials reading. You’ll find this interesting, Daniel. I wrote a book. It’s going through its second phase of edits. Editors are tough on me.

MDH 35 | Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy: There’s a risk everywhere. We make and lose money every day. You can’t create wealth without investing money. Be clear on your financial goals and what you’re looking to accomplish.

 

Basically, I wrote a good enough book to attract all these agents. They’ve told me that anything I say, I had to back it up. If I say, “According to the latest news XYZ,” they’re saying, “You have to cite the newspaper itself, what issue, which day.” I did all this research and you’ll find this interesting that you might want to go with this. UPS did a survey two years in a row. UPS Stores have those mailboxes at their stores. They say, “The majority of Americans who are now facing retirement would prefer to own a small business over retiring because they have more financial resources than when they were twenty years old.” They are at the height of their knowledge base where they know a lot more about their expertise or the area. Even if they work for somebody else for all their lives, they have the expertise that they had built.

They’re living longer and healthier. Something like a majority a 55% of Americans would prefer having a small business over retirement. I did all this research. I think this was a survey done by Vistaprint. They were saying that, “Three out of five Millennials, 63% of Millennials either already has a side hustle business or they dream of owning a business someday.” I started my business with $30. If you wanted to have $3,000 access to your 401(k) account and you don’t have that or the psychological, you think, “If I fail for the next six months and I need to have access to some of that. I don’t want to pay huge penalties. How do I go by getting that?”

I’ve heard that you can have access to your 401(k) but I’ve always heard that you have to pay some nasty penalties, which nobody wants to do. From what you were telling me, there’s always the workaround with this as well. Tell me, how does anyone have access to their retirement money without penalties? Secondly, would you ever advise somebody to take the money out before they need it?

This concept was first introduced to me when I was selling. When I was eighteen years old, I got into the sales industry. I was selling real estate coaching for a number of years. As I was talking to these real estate investors, they started talking about how they use their retirement account to buy a house and flip it. They used a retirement account to purchase a rental. That thought process, that concept was foreign to me because I always thought that retirement accounts were for stocks and mutual funds. I didn’t know that you could use your retirement account to make alternative investments like that. This is something that not a lot of people know about. It’s not some brand-new loophole that came out in 2020. This is a strategy that’s been around for decades and it’s IRS approved. If the readers can get one piece of information that they can write down, put in their notes on their iPhone, write down solo 401(k).

If you’re an entrepreneur, you have a side hustle, you want to start a business and you don’t have any W-2 employees other than you or a spouse. You can have 1099 Contractors. You can have VAs. If that fits you then the IRS says you qualify for a solo 401(k). You’re right, someone that has money in a 401(k) from an old job or an IRA and they want to take $10,000 out. They’re younger than 59 and a half years old. How much are they going to have to pay in penalties and taxes? At least 20% to 40%. There’s a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Plus, they have to claim the money as income. It could be 20% tax rate, who knows, 25%. Either way, it’s a lot of money. The way around it is someone can have that 401(k) from an old job or an IRA and convert it into a solo 401(k). From there, they can take money out penalty and tax-free. They could use that money however they want.

I was talking to a friend, a client. She lives in Las Vegas. We helped her access money from her retirement account penalty and tax-free. She took out $10,000, bought a bunch of products for her Amazon store. She’s been able to have a successful Amazon store for a few years now. She was able to quit her job. That’s the goal why younger people want to have more freedom with the business so they can call their own shots. We want to have more time freedom. There are a lot of options that people don’t know about and that’s why we exist.

Be the best you could be, no matter what position you are in the company.

I love that. I read those two, the Vistaprint and the UPS thing. This will be all be in my book Million Dollar Hobbies. To back that up even more, in 2020, the US Census Bureau had more applications for an employer ID number, EIN number, which is what you need to do to start a business than any other time in history. They’ve had something like a 20% increase year over year. The number is incredible. I also think during COVID, a lot of people probably had a shift in priorities. All of us, as human beings, now crave a little bit more about human interaction with people that you want to have interaction with.

I read a lot of other studies about ditching a lot of luxury stuff that is fluff now. From the whole Amazon thing that you were saying, it’s like you have a 401(k) from some other job. If you want to start your own business, you work for yourself. That’s a different job. Is that right? You convert your old 401(k) into the new solo 401(k). They still considered the solo 401(k) but you can invest that money to real estate or something else. That’s brilliant. What are some of the tips that you have? I have a lot of people who are 40 to 65 people year old people that want to start a side hustle. They’re sitting rich and have a 401(k) account. What are the top tips that you would give to someone who is considering doing that? I think that one thing is you’re working for a company now, then the decision one is, “Do I start my own business?” What happens if they go from a one job to another job? If they’ll go from working for UPS to FedEx, can they do similar things?

If that 401(k) from UPS, the original job, if they take that 401(k) from UPS and move it into their new company they’re working for as an employee to FedEx and they move 401(k)s, we can’t help them. The only type of accounts that can get moved over into a solo 401(k) is a 401(k) from an old job. Not a current job. Unless you’re over 59 and a half years of age, then if you have a 401(k) from a current job then we can help or an IRA. I do want to touch on a point you brought up earlier in terms of, should people access money from the retirement account penalty and tax-free? There’s that whole concept of, “That’s money for retirement. That’s money from when I’m 60. I don’t want to rob my future.”

You just have to look at personal preferences and your goals. Some people have the conclusion that they would rather have some of their money. Not all of their 401(k) or IRA money but some of their retirement money in their possession where they can invest where they want. They come to a conclusion, “Instead of having this $10,000 or $20,000 in the stock market where I don’t have control over these stocks, I can make more money. I have more control over this $20,000 if I put it into ABC business.” There’s risk everywhere. We lose money in the stock market every day, every other day, whatever it works out. We make money in the stock market, same with the business. You make money. You lose money. It comes down to your financial goals and what you’re looking to accomplish.

I know when I started my business, I was young. I was in my 20s. When you start your business, everybody tells you you’re going to fail. My rationale at that time was if I’m going to fail, I’d rather fail when I don’t have any kids or any other obligations so where I can start my life over. I went ahead and did it but most people don’t have money when they’re in their 20s. I didn’t have parents or anybody I can rely on. The jobs that I had before, I probably had a total of $10,000 in my 401(k) at that time. I wish I had had access to it because I had to start my company with little. I didn’t have money to even make a single sample, which sucked. I’m glad you answered that because you’re not advocating even when you transfer it over that you risk all that. You’re basically saying if you have a calculated risk situation and you need a little help, that money is there for you.

It’s a good option to have. Also, one thing to talk about is credit card debt. I can’t tell you how many people we’ve talked to over the years have $20,000 in credit card debt and they’re paying 15% interest on their credit card debt. Their retirement account is making them 8%. If they’re making 8% a year on their retirement account money and their credit card debt is costing them 15%, they’re losing money faster than they’re making money. When you take money out of a solo 401(k) penalty and tax-free, the IRS comes to you and says, “We don’t care what you use this money for. You do have to pay back if you’re going to utilize the loan feature.” The loan feature is on the solo 401(k) where you can take out up to 50% of the account value or $50,000, whichever number is less. As long as you pay your retirement account back your solo 401(k) back within five years, there are no penalties and no taxes.

MDH 35 | Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy: When you experience struggling financially, you have to remember to have standards, core values and know what you stand for.

 

The cool part about the loan feature is there’s an interest rate of prime plus two. The interest rate’s about 5.25%. That interest goes back to your solo 401(k). You’re not paying anyone else the interest but yourself. This strategy works out great where if you used the loan feature, let’s say you take out $20,000 and you invest it in your business, you’ve got five years to pay back that $20,000 plus the interest to avoid the penalties and taxes. You can take that $20,000 and pay off credit card debt that’s costing you 15%. Now your credit card payment is gone. You’re not bleeding the 15% and you’re paying yourself back.

You could pay off all your debts. Basically, anything with the interest rate that’s above the 5% and you’d be so much better off and having that one bill. Any interest that’s accrued is going back to your own accounts. I think that’s brilliant as well. In your book, The Blueprint to Your Best Retirement, is this primarily what you teach? Are there other tips on how to live your best retirement?

I think one thing I wish I would have done earlier in life and everyone reading this can extract value from the bullet point I’m willing to hammer home, is the power of a Roth retirement account. When you put money into an IRA or a solo 401(k), when you contribute new money, you have the option to make the contribution as a Roth contribution. To break it down to the simplicity term, the money you put into it, you pay taxes on it. You don’t get any tax breaks when you put the money in the account as a Roth IRA or a Roth solo 401(k).

However, let’s say you put in $10,000. If that $10,000 were to grow to $50,000 over a period of time, that’s 100% tax-free. I don’t care who you voted for the president. I try not to get into politics because, as an entrepreneur, I’m going to make money no matter who’s in office. We will need to have tax-free money because the taxes will eventually go up. We’re operating at a historic low from a tax standpoint. I’d rather pay taxes on my money now. That way, when I’m older, I have tax-free money. As entrepreneurs, we love hearing tax-free. That gets us excited.

The Roth solo 401(k) for you, high-income earners with your side hustle or your existing business, depending on how much money you make as a business. You can contribute up to $58,000 per year into a Roth solo 401(k). You compare that to a Roth IRA. You’re only able to put in $6,000 a year. Not a lot of people are familiar with the Roth solo 401(k). I touch on that subject or the chapter in my book about the power of the Roth solo 401(k) and having tax-free money.

When it comes to retirement, how to live your best retirement, a lot of that which you’re talking about it has to do with the financial part of this. Is that right? You’re not teaching people how to go on wonderful vacations and stuff.

If you want to start a business, remember the most important thing is your personal brand.

Yes, by proxy. Have some nice tax-free money set up and you’re chilling on the beach having peace of mind.

The other thing I want to talk about too is I wouldn’t want to deep dive into this but I think that what you’re teaching is not necessarily retirement money. It’s more or less you’re teaching financial literacy. A lot of Millennials, my whole house is sometimes full of Millennials. My kids are Millennials and all their friends are Millennials. I’ve got 2 or 3 teachers in my family. They’re professors of Millennial kids. They don’t seem to understand the concept or they don’t think that it’s important for them to understand financial literacy now because they’re so young. Would you advise that you basically become financial literate early on because of every penny you save? I don’t think a lot of people understand the concept of compounded interest coming back to you.

There are two ways. Either you educate yourself through YouTube University or you read books. You join masterminds. You surround yourself with people that are more successful and you learn from them and ask questions or you’re a knucklehead like me. When I was younger, you learn from your mistakes. When I was 18, 19, 20 years old, I was making six figures. I was living the dream. I didn’t care about my credit score because I thought, “Why do I need a credit card? I can pay in cash. I don’t need credit.” No one taught me the importance of a credit score, utilization rate and having access to the bank’s money.

Luckily, I was able to learn from some mistakes. As I turned 24, 25, 26, I worked on my credit. I had a great credit score. When I started Quest Education, I was able to get a bunch of 0% credit cards to invest in my business. If I didn’t have that, I don’t know where Quest Education would be now because you need money to make money. Whether it’s at the beginning or the middle, you have to have capital.

I talked about earlier at the beginning of my interview that I was going to get a little deep dive into you as an entrepreneur and what you do as an entrepreneur. You, as an entrepreneur, founded Quest Education, which is educating people about financial literacy, access to money, access to money that you already have. What would you say was the most pivotal thing that caused you to venture into entrepreneurship? Was that by necessity? I know that you said you stumbled onto this. At some point, you do have to make a decision. “I don’t want to work for anybody anymore. I’m going to work for myself and I believe in myself.” You have to have the confidence and the competence to start that entrepreneurship journey. What happened?

I know it’s a mindset. When I was a young kid, I saw my mom work as a social worker. She was one of the only ones in the office that did not have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She didn’t have that degree to have that position but she was in it for a long enough time and outworked everyone. She was able to do what she did and was good at it. She had the mentality of, “I’m going to be the best social worker I can be.” That’s lost in society nowadays. My nephew, he works at McDonald’s. I tell him like, “Be the best fry cooker. Be the best in your position.”

MDH 35 | Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy: Start building your personal brand because people want to do business with people they know and trust.

 

The reason why I asked you that, Daniel, is that based on what you’ve said before about your background, your parents getting a divorce and growing up and everything, you didn’t grow up in a family full of entrepreneurs. That’s why somebody like you would need a pivotal moment or series of events that caused you to do that. Let’s say your father was a serial entrepreneur and he kept on failing at entrepreneurship but he kept doing it. You’d still have that model or something in you being an entrepreneur and failing, this is normal but you didn’t have that. You grew up with a mom who devoted her life to helping other people for very little money. The question is how did you end up there?

Enough period of time of always wanting to be the best at something, then eventually getting to the point because it started off when I bagged groceries at a grocery store. “I’m going to be the best grocery bagger I can be. I’m going to be the best grocery cart corral gatherer I could be.” When I got into sales like, “I’m going to be the best appointments setter I could be. I’ll be the best closer I can be. I’m going to be the best sales manager I can be.” I finally got to a point where I’m just like, “I like winning. I like competition. Why not get in the business?” That’s the next step.

I liked the idea of being able to lead a group of people. I played sports my whole life. I do think there’s a lot of parallels between competition, sports, whether it’s gymnastics, tennis, golf, basketball, soccer and business. There are a lot of parallels between those two. I think that had a lot to do with it as well. In terms of, “I’m 24, 25,26 years old, I want to be an entrepreneur. I’m ready for this.”

Even though you went through drug addiction, all the stuff that you went through. You still had core values, which were to always be in search of excellence. You must have had that discipline because when you play sports, you do have the discipline to show up on time, to be the best you could be, to give it your all. You have to face defeat and victory in a very similar fashion. I think that’s great. Your transformation story is fantastic in the sense that you go from literally in the worst-case scenario.

If somebody looked at just on paper when you were nineteen years old, “This guy’s a deadbeat.” You look at it on paper, they’d go, “He’s got a kid. He’s addicted to this and that. He dropped out of school. We don’t want to hire him. We don’t want to have him consult us or help us.” That’s how society judges you. Here you are. You are now a seven-figure entrepreneur at such a young age. You’ve got a secure business where you’re helping other people achieve their dreams. That’s fantastic. When I say fantastic, meaning it’s such an explosive story. I wanted to help other people. Some of them are on the verge of starting their own businesses. What does it take to start a business? You did it the hard way. You were a single father on top of that.

You created this seven-figure business. That’s not easy to do but it is not impossible to do. I like all of you who are reading to be inspired by someone like Daniel. Also, you could get financial advice from anybody. There are a lot of people who have a certified Financial degree, CPAs, wealth management. The whole world is full of people. When you look at someone like Daniel who’s gone through a lot in his young life, for me, I would trust someone like you who had some real-life experiences. You know what it’s like to be down and out and have no money.

Our goal in life is to have more time, peace of mind, and freedom with our businesses.

I commend you for having made that transformation and you’re paying it forward. Here’s another thing I’m going to tell you. If you were making seven figures, writing a book is the most stupid thing in the world when it comes to money. Isn’t it true? When I go on TV, I get paid in dollars per minute. Every minute you got to make so many thousand dollars of sales and you get a percentage of that. To devote 1 or 2 years of your life to writing a book that’s going to maybe sell for $10 a pop and if you’re lucky, as an author, you get a dollar out of every $10. Usually, authors make about 10% of the whole retail price. That is a poor use of your time if you think about it.

Not a great ROI. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. We are not crazy people. I think that authors who share this type of information do it because we love it. We do it because it is ingrained in us. For me, my success, I would say I’m not Oprah Winfrey or anything like that by going from $30 to $500 million, that is also a transformation story. I feel like so much of what happened to me, even though I worked my rear end off to get every penny that I have, everything that I have, there was a lot of luck involved. I would say that’s my way of paying it forward.

I’m sure, Daniel, you’re very similar in that when you write the book because you can reach people through your website, DanielBlue.me If you can, sign up for his book because us authors, we write books because we want to share. We are dying to share our information. It’s the best investment you’re going to have the $10, all the knowledge that we have put into this.

My editors, my publishers, they make me write. If I say, “I saw it a UPS survey,” what date was the survey was done and who published it? I had to write the guy who wrote the article to the paper like it was Wall Street Journal, whoever wrote the article, where it was published, all this stuff. Literally, it is a lot of work but we do it because we love it. We want you to have a piece of our legacy. Sign up for a Blueprint to Your Best Retirement by Daniel Blue. I have a lot of advisors to handle my money for me. I’ve never heard of the Roth solo 401(k). I never heard that before but I’m going to go check that out right after I get this show. Thank you, Daniel, for coming. How would you like people to get ahold of you to get more information from you?

The best place is DanielBlue.me. That’s my hub. I’ve got a link to my company’s website Quest Education. If you got a 401(k) from an old job or an IRA and you’d like to learn how to tap into that account penalty and tax-free, you can visit the website Quest Education on DanielBlue.me. There’s a link there. My team can assist you. If you’re interested, I do have a podcast. It’s called How Winners Win. I talk about how people can win in their personal, entrepreneurial and financial life. It’s something that I have fun doing. Also, a link to my book. I also have a course called The Quest Way: How to Make Money Tax-Free. I expand on some of the topics that you and I have discussed here on the show.

If you’d like to dive into the course, it does have a link to the course as well as my contact information, my social media handles. To the 30% of people that are thinking about starting a business or want to start a business, the biggest thing is a personal brand. The reason I can assume why you wrote your writing your books is it’s talking about branding. We’re not going to make money off this book but it’s all about our brand. That’s why we start a podcast, we have a book and we’re active on social media. You have to have a personal brand in the year 2021. Even if you don’t have a business concept or a business launched, start building your personal brand. People want to do business with people that they know, like and trust. You can start building your brand now, no matter what service or product you’re selling.

Thank you so much for coming by and sharing all your knowledge and information on yourself. For all of you readers, I always sign off by saying until next time. Please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice. I wish you lots of great choices. Thank you.

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About Daniel Blue

Daniel is the owner of Quest Education, a company that provides financial solutions for individuals and business owners through education. He educates entrepreneurs on their finances so they can focus more on growing their businesses. Quest Education is a 7-figure company and has helped over a thousand customers throughout the country.