There is a huge difference between being self-employed and being a true business owner.

Neither is right or wrong and having a lot of experience in both roles, I can tell you they each have their pros and cons.

In the world of web design and online entrepreneurship, you’ll likely be self-employed then eventually find yourself running a legit business and wondering what to do next…

Now, can you be a self-employed business owner? AKA solopreneur? Yes, I did for a while.

But you might find yourself wanting to free up your time and start making your business bigger than just you.

To help us navigate this particular window of time, I’ve brought on to the podcast an established and super successful entrepreneur/business owner Brian Will, who is also the author of the book “The Dropout Millionaire.”

I LOVE the opportunity this podcast has brought me to be able to pick the brains of established business owners to hear about lessons learned, mentorship and advice on what they’d do differently.

In this episode, you’ll get so many gems of great advice to help you navigate going from self employed to being a business owner as well as determining if it’s the right time for you.

As I got to know Brian, I really soaked up his advice, mentorship and experience throughout this chat so I’m excited to share it with you as well!

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
04:51 – Greeting to Brian
06:22 – Successes and failures
10:32 – Plethora of opportunity
14:29 – You must decide
17:40 – It’s about what you want
18:27 – Dangers
22:11 – More value, less time
25:20 – You and Elon Musk
29:16 – Fight your ego
32:49 – You five years from now
35:45 – Your sphere will change
38:34 – Achieving a dream
41:36 – Visualizing a lifestyle
45:44 – McDonald’s safety net
49:06 – No other choice
52:59 – Understanding problems
56:55 – Worst that could happen
59:09 – Pay yourself first
1:03:15 – Be prepared

P.S. I vividly remember him talking about opportunity and that if you look around you, you’ll see literally billions of dollars of opportunities to make the business of your dreams…I hope that resonates with you, especially if you’re feeling limited or if you’re working through a “famine” mindset.

The reality is, there’s more opportunity than EVER before to build and grow your business. And if you’d like help, guidance and mentorship from me personally, you can join my coaching community and we can build your business together!

Head to JOSHHALL.co/COACHING to get started!


Connect with Brian:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #176 Full Transcription

Josh 0:00
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Josh 1:02
Hello, friends, welcome into podcast episode 176. In this one, we’re going to talk about the difference between being self employed, and being a true business owner. Now, neither is right or wrong. And I actually have experience in both of these roles as a solopreneur web designer to eventually scaling and building my business as a business owner. And I will tell you, there are pros and cons of both, especially in the world of web design and online entrepreneurship.

Josh 1:33
It’s more likely that you’re going to start as a solopreneur. And you’ll be self employed. And then eventually, more often than not, you’re going to get to a point where you might want to consider delegating and making a business that’s more than just you. And again, this sometimes depends on the season of life you’re in. It’s also depends on what your goals are, and what type of lifestyle you want to live in what type of business you want to run. And I will say is it possible to be a self employed business owner? Yes, it’s called a solopreneur. And again, I did it for a while. But you might be in this point where maybe you’re taking on so much as a solopreneur that you’re like, Man, I might want to make this more than just me.

Josh 2:11
To help us navigate this particular window of time in your journey I brought on to this podcast, a very established and successful entrepreneur/business owner. This is Brian will He is also the author of the book, The Dropout Millionaire, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Brian. We talked about it a couple episodes back because we had Lisa Staff who was also an established entrepreneur and business owner on recently. This is another one and this is one reason I love doing podcasts because it really does open the door sometimes to be able to pick the brains of successful business owners in here about the lessons learned and mentorship and advice and maybe what they’d even do differently.

Josh 2:53
In in, in this topic of going from self employed to business owner, Brian shares so much so much gold in this conversation, I think there’s a lot of great advice that’s gonna help you navigate going from self employed to business owner, or it’s going to help you determine if it’s even right for you. Because it may not be time to scale or to become a true business owner quite yet, depending on where you are in your journey. So I’m really excited to hear how this is gonna help you just like it helped me it’s kind of funny, I think you’ll kind of hear as this conversation goes on.

Josh 3:23
I really, you know, he was kind of the Yoda to me being the Luke as far as just listening to him and soaking up his advice. And he gave me some really tactile and great advice that’s gonna filter right down to you as well. And I will say this because I remember Brian saying this in the conversation he talked about because he flies he goes up to the air. And he talks about telling some of his friends that if you look around, literally just look around at your surroundings, there is billions of dollars of opportunity. So it’s up to you to make the business you want into to do what you want to do. So I hope that’s inspiring to you just like it is for me, he, he makes it sound better. But anyway, real excited to hear this episode helps you out.

Josh 4:02
And real quick before we dive in. If you are in this point, it can be really challenging. I mean, you’ll get a lot of practical advice here. But if you would like some personal help from me, to help you navigate going from self employed to business owner, I would love to do that you can join my personal coaching community, you can go to Josh hall.co/coaching, there’ll be an offer there for you to try it out. And we can have a personal conversation you can be welcomed into this amazing community of other online entrepreneurs and business owners a lot of whom are going from self employed to being a business owner. So I want to fully support you in doing just that. But for right now, check this conversation out with Brian and get ready to have some fun because I learned so much and I know you will too. Enjoy

Josh 4:47
Brian, welcome onto the podcast. What a pleasure to have you on.

Brian 4:51
Thanks, Josh. Appreciate you having me.

Josh 4:53
So I am super excited to chat with you today and get some of your experience about this topic and this idea of self employed vers business owner. We were just we were just talking before we went live most pretty much all of my audience is going through this to where we’re freelancers or self employed folks, a lot of us had no intention on actually creating a business. We just started designing and building websites. And then before we know it, we’ve got a business and now we’ve got taxes, and we might be hiring out and now we’re our mind is kind of shifting from freelancer and self employed as a business owner. So I’m very, very excited to hear from you about, you know, some tips and tricks to help us do this. Before we get started. Would you like to let us know first off where you’re based out of? And then nowadays, when people ask you what you do, what do you tell them?

Brian 5:42
Well, I am based out of Atlanta, I do spend a fair amount of time down in Florida, but my primary home is here in Alpharetta, Georgia actually. And what do I do that? It’s a tough question people ask me and I resorted to say that I’m an entrepreneur.

Brian 5:55
Okay.

Brian 5:56
I’ve been I’ve been in multiple industries, built multiple companies, startups and exits and currently own a chain of restaurants, which is, is very interesting. So it’s what I consider a business and then, you know, ultimately, for me, I’ll probably in next three to four years sell that company and I may go back to being a solopreneur, or self employed again.

Josh 6:18
And what were the different industries that you’re that you had some experience in?

Josh 6:22
Yeah, my first company was in landscaping, it was when I was 21 years old, built that up, I franchise did seven franchises, lost everything. So that one went from zero to 100. And back to negative 10. That makes sense. I got into the insurance industry built the first direct to consumer call center and health insurance, sold that to a venture capital firm. Back in 1999, I think. Then we started another one that we sold to another venture capital firm at a Silicon Valley started an internet marketing company. And we sold to a private equity firm out of Chicago, did another direct to consumer call center, so to speak, that we sold to an Indian call center company, then bought a restaurant, turned into six wrote a couple of books got involved in local politics here in my hometown. And, and here I am today.

Josh 7:15
Gotcha. I’m assuming you got into the restaurant game before COVID hit.

Brian 7:20
You know, it’s funny, where you end up in life versus where you thought you were going to end up. I always find it humorous. And I talk to people and they’re like, I met a guy on a plane. And he said, What do you do? And he said, I saw smokestacks to big companies. And I’m like, how do you get into the smokestack business? And he said, Well, you know, one thing leads to another that leads to another and pretty soon you’re selling smokestack. So nobody is there, you know, at 10 years old thinking when I grew up, I want to sell smokestacks. But right, right places, I literally was, I love to take my folks that work with me out to lunch and happy hour, and we’d sold a company 10 years ago, and I took everybody out. And they were like, you like going to these bars so much? Why don’t you buy one? I said, that’s a really good idea. So I bought my first bar, and which is a cliche, quite frankly, when people buy sell companies end up buying restaurants, because I think that’s easy.

Josh 8:10
I can only imagine especially Yeah, especially in today’s landscape. I can only imagine the challenges with that. But you’re it’s a great point, Brian, everyone, particularly in my industry of web design, and entrepreneur, really online entrepreneurs who are listening, we all have a different path into web design. Typically, I don’t know how much you know about me, but I actually was a cabinet maker by day working on tour bus, like customizing tour buses. And then I was a drummer in a rock band at night. And we were playing all around. And then I got into graphic design, and I was creating our T shirts and album artwork.

Josh 8:42
And then somebody at a festival asked me, how much would you charge to design our stuff. And I was like, I mean, the light bulb just went off. And I was like, wow, I can make money, doing something I actually enjoy. And that was the genesis of getting into design and then eventually web design. It seems like everyone that I’ve talked to has a cool path into being a business owner and being an entrepreneur. So I think that’s fascinating. I don’t know, in your experience, but I have not found too many people who come from the traditional academic world who are an entrepreneur. So it seems to me that there’s always a story behind it are always an odd entry. Have you found that to be true as well and your experience I have,

Success and whatever you’re doing is a progression of ideas and decisions that many times leads you to an end result that you had no idea you were even heading there when you started. – Brian

Brian 9:20
I’ve kind of got this phrase or this ideology that I that I tell people all the time and I say you know, success and whatever you’re doing is a progression of ideas and decisions that many times leads you to an end result that you had no idea you were even heading there when you started. Right. So every great company started off as one thing and ended up at another every pert you know, people that are an entrepreneur started doing one thing and ended up doing another. So yeah, I think it’s extremely common for people to start one place and go someplace else. You know, I also say where you are today has absolutely no bearing on where you can be 10 years from now. That path and the next 10 years is completely up to you. And to that people hold themselves back.

Josh 10:07
That’s a great point. Gosh, I love that, Brian, I found that to be true in my life for sure. And I think especially with technology now, the options are endless. There are so many options. Now as an entrepreneur, I love it. I just And let’s just ask this question right out of the gate, how do you feel about the landscape for entrepreneurs and online business owners, I personally cannot be more excited with the options that are available to us now.

Brian 10:32
Listen, the world, the United States, the world is a plethora of opportunity. It’s up to you to decide to take advantage of what’s out there. And I’ll give you a kind of a little example of that. So you flown in an airplane, right? Okay, so most people live their lives in what I call four square meter box. You know, your life is basically what’s in the four square feet around you. And you’re very focused on what you’re doing here and there. And sometimes you get, you get this idea that well, maybe I can’t do that, or maybe there’s not enough opportunity for me. And I’m a pilot also. And so I do this with my friends, I’ll we’ll take the plane up to 10,000 feet or 12,000 feet, and I’m like, Okay, look around you. Okay, what you can see around you, is worth billions and billions of dollars. And yet, we are a micro speck on planet Earth. So there’s that much opportunity from 10,000 feet looking down, think of what there is, in 100 square miles, or in the United States as a whole or the world, there’s so much opportunity, there’s so much money, there’s so many things you can do. Literally the only thing stopping you from doing it is you.

Josh 11:44
That’s awesome. Well said. And this is really important, I think, to lay the groundwork and the foundation for becoming a business owner. And as I just explained to you my path into entrepreneurship was not I guess, pretty common in my industry. But again, not academic, I didn’t set out to say I’m gonna start my own business. I just kind of fumbled into it. And then people started paying me and then I started making more. And then then I got to the point where I was like, I don’t need to find a job, I created a job. But that’s exactly what I did. I created a job as a self employed freelancer.

Josh 12:16
Yeah. And I think that’s what a lot of my students and a lot of folks listening get into as well. You know, it’s awesome. It’s exciting. I think it’s a great first step, to become a freelancer and to be self employed. But then you get to this point where you start becoming an entrepreneur or you realize, okay, now I actually need to stop working in the business and doing everything and doing all the projects, doing support actually, running the business and focusing what on what only I can do. That’s kind of the mindset shift that I had. Did you have that right from the get go? Because I mean, you started your business at what 21? Right. I mean, were you always entrepreneurial what, what started the entrepreneurial journey for you?

Josh 12:51
And my background is, I came from a very abusive childhood, very made a lot of anger issues chip on my shoulder the size of a small Honda. I was 21, just got married, couldn’t hold a job. I was working at a bus as a busboy at Applebee’s, honestly, I kept getting fired from job after job. And finally, I was like, You know what, I just need to do my own thing, because clearly, I don’t work for other people very well. Now, I had no idea what I was doing either. So I jumped in and failed, failed, failed for a lot of years before I started figuring out, you know, the secret to success, so to speak.

Brian 13:28
But, you know, success, I’ve always said is not about the people say this all the time, you have to fail to succeed, right? You’ve heard this phrase you got to fail to, you know, that’s wrong. You have to fail and learn to succeed, just failing only teaches you how to fail. Learning from that failure is what teaches you how to succeed. And too many people that go into business don’t learn from what they did wrong, every failure should have a post assessment, right? Wrong. What do I do next, so that you don’t make those same mistakes. Again, I see too many people that don’t do that.

Brian 14:03
So many people that start their small business also, and this is to the point you’re talking about. You’re a solo entrepreneur, you got into business, because in your case, for instance, you weren’t good at doing something somebody asked you to do design work, right. And I would say a lot of people who are independent, self employed people are what I call the technician and the business. And if you want to be self employed, that’s awesome. You can make a good living, you can have fun, you can work at your leisure, you can do what you want. And at some point, you need to make a decision on whether you want to be stay self employed, or whether you actually want to build a business because they’re two very distinct things. One has no bearing on the other.

Brian 14:39
So the person who’s self employed is what I would call a technician in my book, and it’s a person who’s really good at what they do. But that same person might not be the right person to actually run a business. Because running a business requires administrative management stuff that a lot of technicians aren’t good at. A lot of entrepreneurs aren’t good at it, quite frankly. cuz it’s very detail oriented. But if you don’t get those details, right, you can really mess up your business long terms. So yeah, if you make that decision to go from self employed to business, figure out who you are, who you’re not, what your strengths are, what your strengths aren’t, and don’t let your ego get in the way. And whatever your strengths aren’t, you need to hire people are bringing partners in to fill those gaps. And that will allow you to see succeed at a much higher level. If you try to do everything yourself or try to be something you’re not, you’re not going to make it.

Josh 15:28
That’s well said, I found that to be 100%. True. And especially, I think for most designers and developers in my industry, there’s we all start out as technicians, because we get good at design, we get good at the Tech. And it actually is a huge hurdle for a lot of folks becoming the business owner. Because we’re so integrated in the tech, we don’t want to pass that off, we feel like why don’t need to hire a web designer, I can build my own website, or we often this really impact sales I found out in the web design world because we’ll we’ll talk to potential clients. Like they’re a developer, like they know what the heck we’re talking about when we need to see them at their level and talk at their level.

Josh 16:06
So I definitely learned all that I, I found out I think through trial and error, and through those through those failures, what I was good at and what I felt like only I could do in my business. And I think you said something really important that I do want to circle back around on and that is the fail the the missing step between failure and learning from failure. Because I totally agree, Brian, I’ve seen that 100% Where there is such a narrative where people just say, don’t be afraid to fail. And I’ve said that in some context. But there is the learning aspect that so many people don’t talk about. And maybe it’s just not as sexy sounding or not as nice on a title. But it is 100% true.

Josh 16:45
And what I’ve seen is a lot of people who and this is just in my experience who have come from the corporate world, try to go for it, they fail once and then that’s it, they don’t learn, they don’t even take the time to learn because they just tried it and they failed. And then they go back to work in a nine to five or whatever, right? The people, the people who I feel like have longevity as an entrepreneur do learn from it, whether it’s a small failure or a big failure. So I just wanted to bring that up. Because that that is that’s such a really important point, especially when you become a freelancer to becoming a business owner.

Josh 17:17
So I guess another question I have for you in this idea is, you know, a lot of folks listening are in that self employed bucket. How do we know that becoming a business owner is right for us? Is there there’s some some red flags and some signs that we can pull from? And is it just a matter of experience? And and you know, life? Or I don’t know, maybe a tough question to answer. But yeah, what are your thoughts?

Josh 17:40
I think it’s all about your personal desire. What do you want? Do you want to be the guy or do you want to actually build a business as I’ve building a business allows you to create intrinsic value, and a company that you can exit from in the future, at a much higher economic level, right? As a solo entrepreneur, you can’t really sell anything, you’re going to be a solo entrepreneur. As long as you’re a solo entrepreneur, the danger in being in being self employed. And I talked about Joe the Plumber in my book is if you get hurt, your income stops.

Josh 18:23
Right.

Brian 18:24
If you become incapacitated in any way your income stops. That’s the danger. Being a business owner allows you to create a business that has value and operates without you in it. And that’s something that if you get hurt, your income goes on. You know, I don’t work at my restaurants don’t know how to cook, don’t know how to make drinks don’t even show up. Don’t go to most of them ever. And yet, I didn’t you know, I have all this money and income that comes in from them. Because I’ve created a business that doesn’t require me to be there. So if you’re fine being an entrepreneur, then you should do that. And there’s some lifestyle to that. But if you personally make a decision that I want to do something big, I want to do something that I can create value and I can sell in the future then you need to start making that transition. So it’s really about what you want.

Josh 19:06
And you know, it’s interesting because I’ve found that sometimes life just changes for people that makes them reconsider that because a lot of my students are happy being the guy or being the gal they love being a solo entrepreneur and I was very content for a long time I was very content being a solopreneur until I had 23 projects at once on my play and I was like I literally cannot do this. That was the impetus for me starting to scale and I’ve never looked back from becoming a business owner from that. A lot of my students face the same thing they either get so slammed as an entrepreneur as a solopreneur they just they can’t do it anymore.

Josh 19:43
Or in some cases life happens like recently did were you guys did you guys get hit by the tornadoes that came through in December in Georgia not know so I’m sure I’m imagining you heard about that. But the Midwest got some terrible tornadoes which is really odd for timber. And I’ve got some students in Kentucky who were hit really hard. I had one student in particular who was in Arkansas, and he, his house literally got destroyed. And this, he told me because he’s, he’s in my mentorship club, my coaching club, and he told me this event has caused him to think about becoming a business owner because he had to stop for a little bit.

Josh 20:22
And luckily, he told his clients, he handled it in such a tactful way. But he let his clients know, listen, my house was literally destroyed, I’m going to be, you know, I’m going to be working sporadically for the next month or so. And it really caused him to reconsider this. So I think it’s kind of interesting. Sometimes it might be a push or a pull that you have internally, and then sometimes it’s external, like life happens to you, I know, a lot of people become parents. And then suddenly, they don’t want to do everything, they’re like, I have much more limited time and limited capacity, I want to hire this. So I found that to be kind of pretty common to for people who are going from self employed to business owner, are there any other things that you’ve seen that

Brian 20:59
I think the danger you have, the danger you have in a particular situation is I’m going to go tell all my clients that I can’t work with sporadically. I mean, clients are just going to leave, they’re going to go find somebody else that can execute in the timeframe they need done. And so you really put yourself at risk. And that’s what I say become incapacitated. That’s the beauty of being in a business that you can, you know, it’s not really reliant on you. So on the other hand, to flip the script on that, you know, I’ve got 150 employees that work for me, and it gets very tiring having employees too.

Brian 21:33
So you know, when I sell this company, I may go back to just doing consulting all by myself. Now, unfortunately, I’m not in a position where I need to do it for the money. So I can do that without the risk. But, you know, these are decisions you folks have to make, I’ll throw on something you made a comment about a few minutes ago is, you are not your solo entrepreneur, you have so many projects that you can’t physically get to them all. I see this with business all the time. In fact, the editor for my book, she said, Brian, I am so busy. People are just calling me and they and I said her name was Hillary, I said, Hillary, you’re not charging enough.

Brian 22:11
She’s like, What do you mean? I said, if you are that busy, that means you’re the cheapest person out there to do the job. And if you’re the cheapest person, that’s not good. I said, She charged me $3,500 to do some editing on a book. I said, charge 5000. She’s like, Well, I’m afraid to. I said, trust me. Just the next couple three people tell them it’s 5000. She called me back two weeks later, she goes, Oh, my God, all of them did it and didn’t blink.

Josh 22:36
Yes.

Brian 22:37
So yeah, now you’re going to make more money working less time, because you will lose a few clients who were looking for just cheap, cheap, but you’ll be better off in the end.

Josh 22:46
It’s true. And I advise that to for folks who are at that point. It’s either you just want to stay a solopreneur. Yeah, you have to up your rates. And the cool thing about that is you have a little power and little leverage to be able to charge more, and you’re going to be more confident because you don’t need to take on everyone. And then like you said, I echo that, Brian, it’s like I experienced that. And all of my students experienced that once they raise the rates, virtually everyone still goes for and the few that don’t are just they’re not the clients for you anymore, or they’re just you know, they were they were great to get you here, but they’re not going to get you there to the next level.

Josh 23:16
So I back that up, you know, 100%. And the idea of becoming a business owner, from self employed, this is really interesting, because this is a huge pivot for a lot of people. Like I said, for me, it was that point well, subsequently, and oddly enough, I’m trying to think back. So that was beginning of 2018. For me when I had all those projects. And it was right before my first daughter was born, it was just a absolutely chaotic time. But right before that, at the end of 2017, I went through a business course like and a three month in depth business program that was in person.

Josh 23:53
And that really started shifting my mindset to where once I got to that point where I was just utterly swamped, I’d already been raising my rates. I just knew I didn’t want to continue on doing everything myself. That was kind of the the real impetus for me. What are some other ways that people can, you know, they’re thinking about really moving from self employed to business, being a business owner? What are some of those things that can help us in the early days? For me, it was that business, my that business program that really helped my mindset. What are some of the things that can help us you think are you experienced?

Josh 24:28
Well, I’ll jump into a whole topic that’s intertwined within my entire book, right? When I originally wrote this book, The Dropout Multimillionaire, I really thought it was going to be more business lessons. And as I got about halfway into the book, I realized that there are so many differences in every single business, there’s no way to write a book on what to do for every individual circumstance. And so sure, the book kind of moved more on to the psychological level of what it takes to succeed and fail in business and I’ve seen people succeed and fail trying to build these businesses for 30 years.

Brian 25:01
I’ve consulted to small businesses all the way up to Fortune 500 companies, it’s all the same, because it’s all people driven, right? The thing that I will tell you is this. And let me start by asking you a couple questions, Josh, Sir, let’s do it. Sure. So what do you think the difference is between, say, you or any of your audience and say, Elon Musk? or Bill Gates, or Warren Buffett, or Jeff Bezos? What’s the difference between you?

Josh 25:37
I would say would probably go back to the the idea of being a technician, we’re just so used to doing everything and doing the work that it causes a much longer path to be having that owner mindset, I would say being stuck in that technician role.

Brian 25:52
You touched on it. But the only difference between you is the way you think I’m going to take this to a much higher level, right? The difference between you and me and Elon Musk is the way we think. That’s it. We’re both we’re all people, we’re brains, hands, arms, it’s just the way you think. Right. And the way you think, is a byproduct of every piece of information that’s ever gone into your head from the day you were born. Right.

People who will accept that information is filtered through everything you learned. – Brian

Brian 26:19
So I talked about this subconscious filter, I call it a success filter or a failure filter, right. And that filter that sits in your subconscious takes information in in real time as it’s being presented to you and it makes a decision and whether it’s willing to accept that information or reject it. Okay, there are people listening to this podcast who are going to reject what I’m telling. And there are people who will accept that information is filtered through everything your parents taught you everything you learned in elementary school, everything your friends tried to talk to you about everything you went to college, for every book you’ve ever read, every podcast you’ve ever listened to every TV show you’ve ever seen.

Brian 26:56
All that information develops this filter. And this filter sits in your subconscious and says this is how I believe this is what I believe. And this is the way I believe. It’s what I believe about myself. It’s what I believe about my abilities. It’s what I believe about what people are going to tell me about the way the world works, or business or whatever. So you will build a success or failure filter across every paradigm in your life, whether it’s being a parent, whether it’s how to drive a car, or whether it’s how to run a business, or how to deal with your spouse, right. So this filter makes decisions on your behalf in real time all day long.

Brian 27:30
If you’re trying to build a business, and you’ve never experienced business success, then your filter has no idea how to make the proper decisions. It just doesn’t. If you’ve never operated a large business, then your filter has no idea how to make the right decision. And many, many times it will make the wrong ones. This gets back a little bit to the learning thing. If you fail, and you don’t learn, then your filter is going to continue to make you fail. You’ve got to fail your filter. And that’s just the way it’s going to work. Right. So when we talk about people that want to build businesses, and we say what do you need in order to be successful in your business? Okay, thinking about your filter and all that kind of stuff I talked about? Let me ask you another question. You’re familiar with Apple Computer?

Josh 28:15
Right, staring at a couple right now in front of me. Yeah.

Brian 28:18
Okay. So do you know who the CEO of Apple is?

Josh 28:21
Mr. Canal, right.

Brian 28:22
Yeah, exactly. Right. Right. And Apple just hit $3 trillion. I mean, down in the last week, but there are three trends, biggest company on planet Earth, right? The most successful biggest company on planet Earth, run by this guy named Tim. So do you know that Apple has a board of directors?

Josh 28:40
Sure.

Brian 28:41
Sure. Everything? I mean, that’s like a stupid question like, well, of course, they have a board of directors, do you know, the Board of Directors, what they do, is they sit down with Tim, every month or every quarter? And they say, okay, Tim, what’s going on in your business? Okay, now, based on our personal filter based on our background, our experience and the way we think these are the things that we think that you should consider, these are the things that we think you should do, this is the direction we think you should go. And Tim sits there with 12 people and he takes all their information. And then he makes decisions, whether he accepts or rejects it, and then he pushes Apple forward, and he’s built the most powerful company on Earth.

Brian 29:16
Okay, so let’s back down to you. You’re an entrepreneur, I find the biggest problem with entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs is their ego. Sometimes they think they’re too smart. They know everything. They don’t need your help. But I asked you if Tim Cook needs a board of directors to help him make the right decision. Why don’t you?

Josh 29:36
Good point.

Brian 29:38
Right? Why are you trying to be the smartest guy in the world? Why are you trying to make all the decisions in an area that you’ve never done before? If you’ve never built a business, you don’t really know how you don’t know which way to go or the decisions you need to make versus not make. You need somebody to help you. Whether it’s a mentor, whether it’s Thank you say you you’ve students that work with You

Josh 30:00
This is literally Brian, why I’m doing this is to help everybody where I was 10 years ago.

Brian 30:08
Find somebody who is five or 10 steps ahead of you and track them down and have them help you make decisions, whether it’s in a mentorship relationship, it’s a monthly meeting, it’s a CEO club, you need people to advise you and guide you and help you make the right decisions so that your personal filter becomes a success filter in the business that you’re trying to grow. If you try to make those decisions by yourself, your chances of success are not nearly as good.

Josh 30:36
Yeah, it’s got such a good point. Yeah, I mean, that is that is exactly why I do what I do now is I’m so passionate about teaching people, the lessons learned mainly the hard way that I learned. So they could either bypass those or not go through as many struggles and challenges that I did. I mean, everyone is going to go through the challenges and struggles of entrepreneurial life. But if you can fast track your journey and limit those, that’s, that’s what I’m all about.

Josh 30:59
And it is kind of interesting, going back to a point you said earlier, where you know, when you start your journey, you never know where you’re gonna end up. You said some great points on that it was it was very true for me, because I found out later on that I really enjoyed teaching. And I’m really good at teaching, I’m actually a way better teacher than I was a web designer. So that’s kind of what started me with, with this passion of giving back and doing what I do now.

Josh 31:23
Now, this was after becoming a business owner and having that mindset. And what is interesting is I built my personal brand here at Josh Hall co in less than a couple years, at a way higher level than I did almost a decade as a web designer. But it’s because I learned I took all the little failures I learned along the way. And now boom, here we go. Now I have a big question when it comes to this, this pivotal point of you know, that mindset shift, because you just nailed it. And I meant to say to I totally back you up on that, Brian, I have a business course on how to build a web design business. My first lesson is mindset. Because it’s the idea of going from freelancer to owning the business and actually creating something bigger than just yourself.

Josh 32:06
What are some other ways that we can help tweak our mindset other than I mean, we talked about mentorship, you know, some sort of coaching that’s big. I think it’s probably obvious being an author that books are a huge, huge mindset shift. And that was for me, for sure. Because I’ve found that suddenly with a book, and podcast, whatever. Not only is it your mindset that is controlling everything, but suddenly you get the input of awesome minds like reading your book, suddenly, I have access to all your years of experience all your lessons learned and it just filters right through. I imagine you back me up and saying books are big? Are they any other, you know, methods that can help us with shifting the mindset?

Brian 32:50
Yeah, we’ve said this for years. The difference between you today and you five years from now, are the people you associate with books you read and the information you take in. And it’s that simple. Think about it. Think about it. At a simplistic level, you go to college, what do you do? You associate with people who read books, and you take in information and you’re a different person four years later, if you want to be a business owner, the right books associated with the right people, learn from the right folks, and you will be that much better when you get to the end of that road. If you don’t do those things, then you will not progress. You just won’t.

Josh 33:26
That’s great. That’s so well said I’d like to focus in on the people. Because this is a biggie and what’s interesting, I don’t know how many entrepreneurs are in your family. I know you have a you know, you talked about your your your upbringing and stuff. So I can’t imagine you have a largely entrepreneurial family, but I definitely don’t I have I all my family are comfortable with jobs and paychecks and are more conservative and they’re not as risk prone, which is fine. I I don’t think everyone should be an entrepreneur by any means. But I learned years back that I can’t and it wasn’t that I ever felt I was better than my friends or anything. But I did start to just veer away from all the friends that I had through my band years in high school because none of them are entrepreneurs. None of them virtually are business owners aside from a couple.

Josh 34:14
And I had almost like shift my personal sphere of people around me and then now all my friends are almost virtual and I haven’t a mastermind with a few people and I have a lot of my students and close colleagues. That is a big isn’t I think this is what a lot of people fear is that like I’m gonna lose all my friends. I mean, again, for me, it was just I wanted to start associating and talk about business with people who are like minded. What’s your What are your thoughts on that with with that the the challenges of you know, changing who you take input from, who are who are around you, whether it be family or friends or colleagues.

Josh 34:47
Yeah, and I will tell you, the first thing you brought up there, my family zero entrepreneurs, except the one exception was my grandfather on my mother’s side. My grandfather had a third grade education, didn’t go to school was a was a merchant marine and World War Two. Good old boy from Mississippi, I mean, but he was an entrepreneur, I didn’t know what that meant when I was growing up. But he had a couple little car locks. He had a bunch of dozers, he cut roads he get, and I would go visit him in the summers. And we would just jump in the truck in the morning and we drive all over the place doing cool stuff. Like we didn’t go to a job we. And I used to think as a kid, that is the coolest thing ever. Someday I would like to not really have to go to a job and but I remember thinking about that at the time. But it planted that seed that eventually one day, I was like, You know what I want to do what my grandfather did, and just do my own thing.

Josh 35:43
I felt that too early on.

Brian 35:45
Yeah. But to the end of your point there at the end. Um, unfortunately, if you’re going to grow as a human being, you are going to probably drop some friends. That’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it is. And it’s not, it doesn’t have to be a negative, it’s just that you need to put yourself in a position of hanging out with people who are where you want to be. And they will not relate to the people who are where you used to be. Yeah, that’s just, I mean, they, they say it’s lonely at the top. And that is a fact, the bigger your company gets, the less people you’re gonna associate with. Even though I have 150 employees, I don’t hang out with them. Right. You know, I have other friends who were, you know, successful business people or corporate guys that are different from the guys I hung out with? You know, back when I was a busboy at Applebee’s?

Josh 36:39
Yeah, yeah. Look, that is a big, that’s one reason. The other aspect of what I’m doing with teaching and courses is community and building online communities specifically, because I found that the struggles that I went through is feeling alone as an entrepreneur and a designer, everyone is facing that because entrepreneurs are typically very different from our upbringings. If it is a more conservative type of upbringing, less we’re fortunate to be in an entrepreneurial type of family and it comes natural.

Josh 37:04
So yeah, I mean, I remember starting my business, and so many people around me were so worried and they were like, how are you making money? What if it stops like you don’t, you know, there’s no security and all this stuff, although the past couple years have shown us how valuable becoming an entrepreneur and knowing how to run your own business and pivot and adapt online is how beneficial that is. But that’s a great point, Brian, it really is. It’s an aspect I don’t think too many people talk about, about when you become a successful business owner, you often do lose friends, and you shift who you hang around. And a lot of that does change.

Josh 37:39
But I, this is kind of an aside, but I wanted to circle back around to something when you were talking about these big time CEOs and business owners like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, etc. Here’s one thing that myself that I feel, and I think a lot of students and entrepreneurs feel, and that is, I don’t want to be them. Like I personally do not want to be the next phases. I don’t want to be Elon Musk. But I do want to be a business owner. So to kind of circle back around that, yes, our mindset is shifting, we’re thinking bigger, we’re thinking like a business owner that, you know, the possibilities are endless, like you talked about visually, which is awesome, with flying, and just literally looking at this incredible land of opportunity all over the world. But what if we want to become a business owner on a lower level? What are your thoughts on that of being a small team and just being content with, you know, having a small business? What are your thoughts on that?

Josh 38:34
Yeah, I think it boils down to what you want in life. Right? So and I’ll give you a couple of contrasts. So I remember when I sold our company in 2008. And you know, I grew up with nothing got kicked out of a house at 18 had to fight for everything I wanted. I was one of those guys that had a dream board, right, I had a thing on the wall with a picture of a Rolex watch and a Mercedes Benz. And these are the things I wanted. This was my goal in life at work. And when I was at that level, that was all I could think about is this stuff that I wanted. And I remember when we sold the company, and suddenly, we made all this money. And I went out and I bought all those things I wanted, and I had achieved the level of success in life that I thought was the end goal. Right? I had a nice car. I had a small airplane, I had a beach house and a lake house and I was pretty much done. But that’s because that was the life that I wanted. And I had no desire to take it above that. Right? That’s what I wanted to do. I knew what I wanted, I wouldn’t achieved it. I look at people and I use the example all the time, like, I don’t know. What kind of music do you listen to Josh?

Josh 39:42
I made the heavy stuff as a drummer. The heavy stuff.

Josh 39:46
Yeah, I like country like Kenny Chesney to me is like the greatest musician ever. Right?

Josh 39:51
Okay. All right.

Brian 39:52
You look at some of these people that are that are like in the music in the music business and you know, like Kenny Chesney is probably worth I don’t know, $300 million Why does he still go do what he does? It can’t be for the money. It’s got to be for something else because he doesn’t need money anymore. I had no desire when I hit that level that I thought was really where I wanted to be. I had no desire to ever do it again. I didn’t need to grow anymore. I didn’t want to be any bigger. I didn’t need to make more money I had what I wanted. And to the point of your question, as I think as a business owner, you need to decide what you want first.

As a business owner, decide what you want, where do you want to be, and then start attacking that goal. – Brian

Brian 40:25
Do I want to be just me running my own shop? Do I want to build a business? What’s my end goal? I’m huge on goals, by the way, huge, huge, huge daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, five years? Where do I want to be? And then that’s the goal I’m going to go after. And it doesn’t have to be what you want. It doesn’t have to be what anybody else wants. Elon Musk wants to change the world and, you know, put people on Mars, I have no interest in that. But that’s what he wants. Good for him. So as a business owner, decide what you want, where do you want to be, and then start attacking that goal. And when you get there, then you can make a decision on whether you want to go the next step or not.

Josh 41:01
That’s, you know, what great advice. I’m using that as a snippet for the answer to that question. Because I Yeah, it’s, it’s so important to start with the just the simplicity of what you want, like you just said, I think a lot of people do tend to just think about a number and just think about a finger particularly with goals. I actually, while we’re on the idea of goals. That’s something I struggled with is okay, how much do I want to make this year, and then it’s like, all the other goals just fit around that. Whereas I’ve kind of learned that that might be a part of my annual goal, or whatever we want to do this year. But there’s also a lot of other factors in this.

Josh 41:36
What is really interesting too, about visualizing a lifestyle for yourself as a business owner is, I think that will really determine what you’re going to let into your schedule and what type of projects you’re going to take on and in all, all the things that you’re going to do day to day, because I found a lot of business owners just in my experience, get so inundated with busy schedules and nonstop calls. And they didn’t really visualize their week, what they wanted their average week to look like. And then suddenly their business is just running them all over again.

Josh 42:07
The biggest thing that I’ve personally found is I visualize and set my week, my week is Mondays are soft days, I don’t take any calls on Mondays. My only call days are Tuesdays Wednesdays and Thursdays and they’re not filled with calls. There’s you know, segments of calls. And then I have my deep work segments in there. And then Fridays, I usually do a half day so Mondays are open to whatever work I want to do. I have my calls with all you know what I want to get done that week. And then I have kind of a lacs day on Friday. Sometimes I’m doing anything on Friday, depending on what my family is up to.

Josh 42:39
Everything, all the other decisions I make in my business revolve around that is that something that’s beneficial that you’ve seen when you think about your life and your goals, particularly when when we are self employed. And we have a little bit of leverage. Now if we want to become a business owner, we can kind of plan out what we want our life to look like is that kind of a good encapsulation of what your goals and so?

Josh 43:00
This is your lifestyle goal. This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is what you’ve decided you want from a lifestyle perspective. I don’t want to work on Fridays. I work a half day on Mondays and I’m going to focus on Tuesday. Great that’s your lifestyle goal. Got it. Now you should have monetary goals you should have new business goals you should have vacation goals you should have you know where are you going to be in five year goal everything should be set up so that you know what you’re trying to achieve based on what it is that you want. We now know that you know your lifestyle is you’re not I call you on Friday you’re not going to answer.

Josh 43:31
Yeah yeah my respond to a quick email for you Brian. But yeah, we’re not

Brian 43:36
But it’s good that you’re living the life you want then and that’s exactly what you’re trying to achieve as a business owner.

Josh 43:42
Well you know that’s kind of interesting too because when you said you hit your your goal your life vision of the Rolex the plane the financial freedom the beach house, which is a goal of mine for sure. Beach House, either your your guys are in Clearwater for the beach house stuff, right?

Brian 43:57
Yeah. Yeah.

Josh 43:58
So we Yeah, I have my my wife’s aunt lives down there. And gosh, what an area anyway, that’s a whole nother topic. But that’s definitely a beach house is on the you know, the the visual for goal for me. But what was interesting is my goal as a web designer, eventually when I became a business owner was to just have a more open schedule and be able to spend time with my family, particularly when I became a dad, I have two daughters now two and three, you probably hear him occasionally run and pass the office.

Josh 44:27
One of my daughters does have a lot of special needs as well. So it’s often very time intensive. We have weekly appointments. What was interesting about the goal idea is that for me, one of my newer goals is to be able to assist with homeschooling her because we don’t feel comfortable putting her in a public school system with some of the challenges she has, quite frankly. So that was it was kind of an interesting, you know, again, going back to the life Sometimes life hits you and it changes things for you in your business. That was a big difference for me.

Josh 44:56
But something else had happened more actually more recently. was, I’d say probably about maybe three years or so ago, I envisioned this type of schedule. And I envisioned a healthy enough income stream where I could maintain this and not have to hustle. And I hit it. Like I’m here, I’m at that point where I don’t have to hustle that much. I’m currently working on financial freedom, and really taking finances to the next level to be able to even you know, take where we’re at, but to the next level. But it was kind of interesting, I thought about it recently, I’m like, I kind of hit the goal that I set my set myself for. So now, I guess my question to you is almost like a little coaching session here. Now that I’ve hit this level, how, I guess the question would be, how did you think about your next set of goals once you hit your lives?

Josh 45:44
Great question. So it this is a great question. And and, and here’s the answer. And I’m going to go back and tell you a little story. So back when I was in landscaping, early 90s. I did landscaping for one of the Atlanta Braves. Okay, we he had just come over, he was our new third baseman, super nice guy, and I did the landscaping on his property. And he didn’t live in a huge house. And remember, he used to tell me, we became semi friends. And he said, you know, Brian, here’s my deal. I don’t do investments, I make my money off of my profession, baseball, I pay cash for my house, I pay cash for my cars, and my money is in T bills.

Brian 46:30
Because I know that one day, I won’t be able to earn a living. And I want to know that my money is there. And I want to be able to, as we call it, I want to be able to know that I have my McDonald’s safety net. And I said, What is the McDonald’s safety net? And he said, easy. I could lose my income today. But because financially, I’m set up the way I am. I can work at McDonald’s and maintain my lifestyle. McDonald’s is a joke, but you can make a very low your lifestyle.

Josh 46:58
Right

Brian 46:58
So the point of your question is you’ve hit this lifestyle that you’ve got today, and it’s the lifestyle you want. The next goal should be to secure that lifestyle for the rest of your life, then you move your lifestyle up. So if your lifestyle is what it is, then you need to ask yourself how much money do I need to maintain this? If I never had, I could never generate another dollar in my business? Do I have enough assets are my debts low enough that I don’t have to lose what I’ve got, and I can maintain my lifestyle forever, right.

Brian 47:30
And as long as you’re continuing to produce income, you can start working towards that goal of everything’s paid off, I have enough income through my investments that I’m good. Once you achieve that goal, then you can start moving your lifestyle up incrementally. And then continue to put yourself in a position of not having being able to lose it. Personally, I lost my lifestyle at one point and it scared the crap out of me. So when I lost my first company, I had to sell my house, my car, my furniture, everything I owned, and start all over again at 29 years old. And it scared the crap out of me. Because I didn’t ever want to be in a position again. Everything in my life could be taken away.

Josh 48:06
Gosh, what great advice. Well, I’m taking that to heart, Brian, that’s awesome. That really is what a timely response for me right now with where I’m at. Because yeah,

Brian 48:15
Too many business people, Josh, they say, oh my gosh, I’m making a lot of money. Let’s crank the lifestyle up. Oh, my gosh, I’m making it, let’s crank the lifestyle up. And then one day that business goes away, or that income goes away, particularly if you’re self employed, and you’re like, holy crap, I can’t afford my house, I’ve got a Mercedes, I’ve got this, I got that. And I’m gonna start downsizing my life. And that’s the most depressing thing in the world. Trust me, I’ve been there. You don’t want to do that. Put yourself in a position of a lifestyle that you’re good at. Or you can work at, put yourself in a position where it can never be taken away, then crank your lifestyle up.

Brian 48:19
Gosh, that’s awesome. I’m curious when you when you lost it all late 20s. I think a lot of people may have view that as I tried it, I failed. Now I got to get a job. What kept you being an entrepreneur?

Josh 49:06
I had no education, didn’t go to college. I had no experience. Nobody was gonna hire me. I had no choice. So I just went from, you know, I have a landscaping company with seven offices around the city. I had, I don’t know, 75, 80 employees, we lost everything and was back to me and a shovel and a truck. And I was the most miserable human being on the face of the earth. I had a brand new baby. I lost my health insurance because I couldn’t afford to make the premium payments and to move out of my house and into a rental. I mean, I was a miserable human being but I didn’t have any other choice. So I just went back at it.

Josh 49:42
And so I want to dive into this. This is really interesting. I didn’t think we’d go here in this conversation because I didn’t know about that about you, Brian. But this is really interesting because a lot of people who that I’ve found get into entrepreneurialship they’re they’re afraid to fail, especially if they come from a traditional corporate world or academic type of situation. Afraid to fail. But I always ask what does that failure actually look like? If the worst case happened? Most people could move in with family or they have friends. And there’s not too many people who are going to end up on the streets for you. What did your support system look like? At that point? Did you have friends or family that helped you? How are you able to rebound?

Brian 50:20
Sold everything. The house, the cars literally sold my furniture. My mother came to visit. And she said, Where’s your furniture? I said, I had to sell it. I gotta feed the baby. She goes, Okay, well, I’ll buy you new furniture. She bought us new furniture. She went home, I sold that furniture. Hmm. I had we were that broke, right? But here’s what I’ll tell you about failure. And that kind of gets back to our fail, learn fit, I call it F lfls. fail, learn fail, learn succeed, right?

Brian 50:47
Here’s the thing I can look back at my my life. And I’m 56 years old today. And I can look at every single failure in my life. And I can show you the path to where it led to something better. Right? When I was in landscaping for 10 years, I hated it for 10 years hated every day. If I had failed, I would have never started selling insurance. If I hadn’t sold insurance, I wouldn’t have sold my first company to a venture capital firm which lost the rest of my career. So that failure led to something better.

Brian 51:17
When I when I give you another one when I lost everything and we couldn’t afford health insurance for my daughter who was 18 months old. I dropped my health insurance, I suddenly find out she has what’s called Atrial Septal defect all in her heart. And it requires open heart surgery. This is a horrible thing, right? And so we had scheduled her to have open heart surgery, they’re going to cutter from neck to belly button cracker Chest open and do the surgery. Well, I’m out selling insurance. And I ran across this lady by never even sold a policy to she was too old. But I’m sitting in her living room being nice to her because I’m a nice guy. And I tell her the story and she says you need to talk to Dr. Burke at Miami Children’s Hospital.

Brian 51:59
Okay, so I called Dr. Burke and he had just invented and perfected heart surgery that they do arthroscopic Hmm. Don’t crack the chest, don’t cut it open, go into one hole and you fix the heart. Wow. So because I lost my insurance, I didn’t go to the doctor that wanted to do this. Yeah, because I started selling insurance, I met a lady who introduced me to a doctor who fixed my daughter with one little hole as opposed to cutting her all the way.

Brian 52:31
So that failure led to that success. Getting out in landscaping led me to insurance, which led me to that lady, getting an insurance led me to sell my company to a private equity or to a venture capital firm, which led me to the next company was sold to private equity, which led me to consulting for Fortune 500 companies, which led me to write a book, I can check every failure and track it forward. And so things go wrong all the time. I don’t care what how good you think you are how good your businesses, my friend says you’re either going into a problem, you’re in the middle of a problem, or you’re coming out of a problem. You’re going to be in one of those.

Brian 53:05
And whenever you think it’s perfect, you’re about to come into the next problem, right? So you need to just understand that’s the way business works and problems don’t really excite me anymore. I don’t get upset. People that work for me say how can you not be upset? I’m like, You know what, because every bad thing that happens, leads to something better, I promise you in five years, we’re gonna look back and you’re gonna go oh, it’s like having a lottery ticket in your pocket that you don’t know about. Like, if you knew you were gonna win the lottery in five years, would you be worried about money? No, right. But if you continue to fail, learn failed and failed learn you literally have a lottery ticket in your pocket. It’s just a matter of when you’re going to find it.

Josh 53:42
Yeah. Gosh, that’s awesome. Brian, that that really inspirational to say the least, particularly because you are an example of somebody who I mean, you are at the you’re at the bottom there. I mean, there aren’t many people who I know in my personal sphere of entrepreneurs who have been to that point, it’s usually like, like the worst case the worst thing that ever happened to me my family is we were late on a mortgage payment. That was the My worst entrepreneurial Yeah, blow to this point. You went through it though. That was like like I honestly I applaud you for being able to stick with it and me, but I guess it sounds like probably in a weird way. I imagine your background and your childhood probably prepared you to just deal with that situation. Right? I mean, it sounds like you were used to just face facing the shit on every aspect. So there you go, here we go.

Brian 54:32
Wheels are off the bus. I will tell you this, that and I told you this earlier and I’ll repeat it going through that and losing everything and having that issue with my daughter and not having any money and that drove that lesson into me so hard not to live above your lifestyle. The reason I lost everything is because I had borrowed money. I had a house payment to car payments and motorcycle payment. You know, I was in debt up to my ears and the first glitch that came along in my super successful company. Show The whole company down and we were done so much. Yeah. Don’t you know, you gotta focus on putting yourself in a position of not being able to lose things? Because if you do, it sucks.

Josh 55:09
Yeah. Now you said something important there, I don’t want to gloss over, which was you don’t let problems rattle you. Now, this is something that I’ve found myself getting better with. I think, as a web designer, typically, we would have clients who like if their site went down, it was a big deal. And I used to I used to use lose sleep over and I used to freak out nowadays, like, if something like that happens, we’ll not worry about it. We’ll figure it out real quick. Don’t you know, don’t lose too much sleep.

Josh 55:38
What are some lessons that have helped you maybe with dealing with problems and not letting them just crush your soul? When? And I’m sure it depends on the type of problems. Obviously, the more money more problems I’m sure that’s very true with with the point you’re at in your life in your career, I mean, opening so many businesses, restaurants, I can’t imagine the amount of headaches and little things that come through there. But what are some of the just do you have like a daily practice that helps you just, you know, just take those problems and not let them sink in.

Josh 56:07
Because this is something I’m really interested in, at a higher level, because now I’m like, now I’m getting used to like paying way more in taxes, which is like, I’m almost having to train and train myself, like, you know, and I’m not a huge, we’re not huge spenders. But you know, we have a lifestyle, we’re building a house right now we need more space, we, we do have more expenses coming in. But I’m kind of telling myself, don’t go to, you know, even though I’m not a Rolex, I’m not a Lamborghini kind of guide, those, I’m not really interested in that kind of stuff. But just providing for a family and having a bigger house and everything we’re doing, the expenses do add up. So I’m kind of teaching myself, don’t, you know, don’t go too wild, have some more savings get more you have the more stability. But it all goes back to that like facing those problems. So do you have any tips like that on how to just, you know, get past those problems or just not let them go to heart?

Josh 56:55
The exercise that I go through every with every problem is what’s the worst case scenario? All right. So I’ll go back to what I said before, if you put yourself into a position, that your lifestyle, you’re not going to lose your lifestyle, if something happens, and this is a financial issue, you can put yourself in that position, then I say nothing can really hurt me. I can’t lose my house, I can’t lose my wife, I can’t lose my kids, I’m not going to lose my car, I can I can eat. If you can put yourself into a position financially where you can’t really be hurt too bad. Then the always ask your question, what’s the worst that can happen? Right?

Brian 57:35
I had I got, you know, a lawsuit against us from the EEOC for some employee somewhere something, you know, everybody’s like, Oh, my God, that’s horrible. What are you going to do? And I’m like, What’s the worst that can happen? Like, they they want to sue me for $100,000? Because they’re claiming I did you know, something that we didn’t do. But if that’s the worst that can happen, $100,000 isn’t going to change my life.

Josh 57:59
Gotcha.

Brian 57:59
If I invest in a business today, I invest not out of my assets, but out of my income, so that if that business tanks and goes away, the worst that can happen is I lost money. Right? And that’s not going to affect my life. Now, that’s something I’ve grown into over the years, we’ve become you know, more and more successful in what we’ve done. But the point is, if you keep that as a goal, make sure you put yourself in a position where financially you can’t get hurt. And then ask yourself, What’s the worst that can happen? And when you deal with that, then everything else is irrelevant.

Josh 58:32
That’s awesome. So go if you could coach yourself and advise like a 25 year old you when you were in your landscaping days in the company, would you would you basically just tell yourself to make sure you don’t have near as much debt and you’re not overspending and that you have a three to six year cushion of it. Like you know, income or just savings? What What would you advise yourself back then more earlier on in your entrepreneurial journey?

Josh 58:56
Pay yourself first, make sure you have enough savings that you can’t get hurt. Too many entrepreneurs think everything, they’ve got every dollar every dime every asset into what they’re trying to build. And then if it fails, they’re in trouble. They should have paid themselves first took care of their family and their their basic living expenses first, so that they can’t get hurt. If some of the wheels come off the bus. That would have been huge for me when I was younger.

Josh 59:22
And what did some of those expenses look like for you in that company? Was it gear? Did you go wild with marketing and advertising like well, because this is something that I think a lot of people have questions about myself included, it’s like, I’ve always paid myself pretty dang well as a solopreneur. And even now as a business owner with my stuff, but my question apart from that is well what other than taxes and, you know, platforms and subscriptions that we have, what are these other expenses that a lot of people tend to just put out that what are waistline?

Josh 59:53
This is personal, it’s buying a house that’s too big, getting a car that’s too expensive, a car payment that costs too much or too There are three of them. spending too much money on vacations and taken out of your savings, your safety net. It’s it’s living a lifestyle that’s above where you can afford and not be able to put money aside to take care of you if something happens.

Josh 1:00:15
So when you say pay yourself first, it’s take care of the basics and have that security net that safety net, not necessarily pay yourself first. So you can buy that Lamborghini or Rolex the first month of your business.

Brian 1:00:26
How much does it cost you to survive? You should have six months of that spending account someplace before you go do anything else crazy.

Josh 1:00:32
That’s good. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, I want I have one final question for you here. Brian. This is almost been an hour, man. It’s been a really great chat so far. Man, I’ve really enjoyed talking to you and taking some of these lessons out of your experience. Before we get to that final question, where would you like my audience to go to? To find out more about you? Of course, you’re the author of the dropout, new millionaire? Would you like people to pick that up? Where would you like everyone to go up this?

Brian 1:00:56
Yeah, actually, I have two books. The one we talked about here is the dropout multimillionaire, it’s 37 business lessons on how to succeed with no money, no education, and no clue. Because I had no clue when I started. The first book I wrote, interestingly enough, is called I give the dumb kids hope. And it’s because you know, I had no education. There’s a story behind that with. I’ll give you a quick when my daughter went to a private school and cost a lot of money and these to teach these kids to get good grades, get a good education, get into a good college, get a good job.

Brian 1:01:27
She used to study all night long, and I would come out in the kitchen, the living room, and she’d be studying at one o’clock in the morning. And I’d say Honey, you got to go to bed. She said, No, I got to study I got to study. And we have this argument here and there. And one night, I went out and she’s laying on the floor in the kitchen on the hardwood floor and I said, Honey, go to bed. She goes, You’re not supporting my educational goals. And I said, Honey, your education isn’t that important? And she said, that’s not fair daddy. And I said, well, then how do you explain me? I got kicked out of high school. I didn’t go to college. I had no education. I had no hope. How do you explain me living in our, you know, mansion with our airplane and each house in Lake House and blah, blah, blah.

Brian 1:02:08
And she said, Well, you know, daddy, we actually were discussing you in school the other day. And I said you were I said, What do you talk about? She said, we decided you give the dumb kids hope. Hmm. And I started just thought, well, that’s the title of my book, right. And it’s the story of coming from nowhere and fighting, you know, for everything you’ve ever had in life and ending up on the success side of it. And it’s the life lessons you learn along the way. So both of those books are on Amazon. They also have Instagram pages and Facebook pages. So the dropout multimillionaire and I give the dumb kids hope you can find me there in contact me there if you want to.

Josh 1:02:45
Awesome. Yeah, we’ll definitely link those up in the show notes. It’s been awesome. Brian, my last question is for somebody who’s listening to this, they’re a self employed freelancer, and they’re pumped up, they’re like, Okay, I am serious about having the lifestyle I want and having more control. And being a business owner, what is maybe a challenge that we should be prepared for moving from being self employed to becoming a business owner, I’m sure there’s 1000s. But what’s like one that you would recommend most people be prepared for? As far as what’s ahead here.

Josh 1:03:15
I hate to be negative, but I’m just going to tell you right out of the gate, when you move from self employed to business owner, the world is not designed for you to succeed, the government’s going to be against you, your employees will be against you, customers will be against you, you’re going to have problems, and you need to be prepared to have those problems when you get started. Because if you think you’re going to start a business is going to be all, you know, Guns and Roses, it’s not, you’re gonna have challenges, you’re gonna have to overcome them. And you need to prepare yourself to do that. Because if you’re prepared for the problems to come, and it won’t be as bad when they actually get here.

Josh 1:03:51
And let’s end off on a positive note, then what’s because those are true, it’s very true. I think a lot of people think like, oh, you’re just a business owner, you’re probably making so much money, you get down, you know, where and I get to work when and where I want. It doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of other challenges and struggles that pop up. And I’m fortunate to be to be in a business. And I have a business model that is not client to client or customer to you. Like I don’t have service type products anymore. There are online courses and coaching and consulting. But those problems do arise. And then when you bring in a team and like I talked about you’re paying more taxes, all those do comes I think it’s really important. But what about the upside? Yeah, let’s just end off on a positive note. What do you encourage somebody with to be maybe the most excited about what being a business owner?

Brian 1:04:41
Easy, What do you want in life? Where do you want to be in five years? Tell me what that is. And then let’s back ourselves into that all the way to today. You can have anything you want, but tell me what it is define it. And then let’s back into it. Too many people think oh, I wanted to go to California. Okay great. How are you going to get there? Well, I was just going to drive. Well No How are you going to get there? Tell me the route the map we’re gonna stay we’re going to eat tell me how you’re going to get to that five year goal. What is it you want, I want a million dollars in the bank. I want a 5000 square foot house. I want to drive Emerson Great. Whatever those goals are, tell me what they are. And let’s back our way into them all the way back to today, with with step goals all the way down, and then we can show you how to get exactly what it is you want. And all you have to do is follow the plan. Be prepared to improvise and adapt along the way. But it all starts with telling me what you want when you want. If you can define that then you can get it.

Josh 1:05:40
Awesome. That’s a great way to end this conversation. Brian. That’s perfect man. Very well said Gosh, what a blast. Definitely we’ll have your books linked in the show notes the dropout multimillionaire and was it I give dumb kids hope is that I give the dumb kids hope Yeah, but okay, I’m I need to pick that one up for myself. So yeah, this is this is awesome. I did. Thank you so much for your time, Brian. This is awesome. Really, really loved hearing your your lessons learned and experience and thank you for being so transparent about your life and what you’ve gone through. And I think it’s gonna be a big help to a lot of people man.

Brian 1:06:12
Josh, I appreciate it. Thank you very much for having me.

 

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