Re Perez is an entrepreneur, speaker, and brand builder. He has built an inspiring business called Branding For The People. They bring Fortune 500 branding to small and medium-sized businesses. He is an inspiring entrepreneur and has really unique insights on getting started in business and creating a life full of impact.
In today’s show we’re discussing the best way to get started in business. Re shares how chasing money is not only shortsighted, but can also be soul crushing without the right mindset.
We dive into the shortness of life and making it matter, because every single moment is not only precious but an opportunity.
Finally, we get into why the absolute simplest way to get started in business by asking one single question and exactly what that question is.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Hear when Re first took the leap in entrepreneurship and what made him take that route.
- Find out what Re means when he says he’s in the business of transformation and branding.
- Discover the three things Re looks for when working with clients.
- Hear what advice Re has for people wanted to make the change from the corporate world.
- Learn which struggles along the journey really made an impact on Re’s life.
- Find out how to balance not having financial resources and still living your higher purpose.
- Hear what fears Re has in life.
- Find out one directive Re gives to people just starting out in business and entrepreneurship.
- Discover how Re has been able to add value to people’s lives and help them.
- Hear how Re gets out of his comfort zone on a daily basis.
- Find out why Re believes failure is a necessary ingredient to living.
- Re tells us who has had the most profound impact on his life and what they’ve taught him.
- Discover which books had a great impact on Re’s life.
- Learn what self development Re has done to grow as a person and as a business leader.
- Find out how to keep life fun and light while trying to achieve your dreams and goals.
- Re shares on some upcoming ventures and what gets him jazzed.
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Re Perez — https://brandingforthepeople.com/
Re on Twitter — https://twitter.com/bftpagency
Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Work Week — https://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307465357/
The 5 Love languages — http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now — https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808/
Deepak Chopra’s book, The Path to Love — https://www.amazon.com/Path-Love-Spiritual-Strategies-Healing/dp/060980135X/
Dalai Lama’s book, The Art of Happiness — https://www.amazon.com/Art-Happiness-10th-Anniversary-Handbook/dp/1594488894
Nick Unsworth — http://nickunsworth.com/
“RP: The one recommendation or advice that I would give is to identify what and how you can add the most value to another person’s life.”
[0:00:16.1] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Fail on Podcast where we explore the hardships and obstacles today’s industry leaders face on their journey to the top of their fields, through careful insight and thoughtful conversation. By embracing failure, we’ll show you how to build momentum without being consumed by the result.
Now please welcome your host, Rob Nunnery.
[0:00:41.9] RN: Hey there and welcome to the podcast that believes, if you desire to create the life of your dreams then embracing failure by taking urgent and bold action is the only way to get there.
Today, we’re sitting down with Re Perez, he’s an entrepreneur, speaker and brand builder. Re has created inspiring business called branding for the people where they bring fortune 100 branding to small to medium sized businesses. Re is a great friend, he’s an inspiring entrepreneur and has really unique insights on getting started in business and creating a life full of impact.
We’ll be discussing the best way to get started in business and how chasing money is not only shortsighted but can be soul crushing without the right mindset. About the shortness of life and making life matter, now every single moment is not only precious but an opportunity.
And the absolute simplest way to get started in business by asking one single question.
But first, if you’d like to stay up to date on all fail on podcast interviews and key takeaways from each guest, simply go to failon.com and sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page. That’s failon.com.
[0:01:47.1] RN: Re, welcome to the fail on podcast my friend.
[0:01:49.8] RP: Rob, how’s it going, thanks for having me.
[0:01:51.2] RN: You got it man. Just for a little context, we’re sitting in a little Air BNB in San Diego in Hill crest that Re rented out because he just put on a branding intensive this week which I actually attended and was awesome.
[0:02:05.1] RP: A lot of fun.
[0:02:06.3] RN: Just for a little context on where we’re sitting, I’m moving to a lot more in person interviews and they’re a lot more fun because I get to hang out with my friends in person. But, just to get right into it Re, for a little context and know a little bit more about you and your background.
When did you first take the leap in entrepreneurship and what made you want to go that route?
[0:02:27.0] RP: You know, interestingly, I’ve been thinking about this because I’ve really been technically an entrepreneur for just a little over seven years but I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset, I’m being at 14 years old just wanted to figure out how I can make money and at the time it was just mainly so I can buy the stuff that I wanted to buy.
I can kind of toggle between that past versus the true entrepreneurship which is about seven years ago when I left, I worked at some of the top global branding firms and my last post was in Dubai in the UAE in the Middle East and there was just something, I went through a series of personal life changing events that had me leave that.
I was trying to figure out if I wanted to work for someone else again or if I wanted to do something on my own and I wanted to charter my own history and create my own economy, to go out six months off to just figure it out and I knew that I needed to do something on my own, that I wasn’t wired to work for someone else and started my own agency. I knew that I wanted to do branding and that I had no longer wanted to work with Fortune 500 companies. Working out some of the big firms. I decided to essentially start my own agency.
[0:03:48.6] RN: Just on that note, how long ago did you start Branding for the People and just for a little context and a timeline, what were you doing directly before that, were you working with the agency in New York?
[0:04:01.2] RP: Yeah, so I left New York, my story just to go back a little bit, just inconsistent with the theme of this podcast, you know, I was in New York and I was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do and I kept getting recruited to work for all these other firms and I was like, I don’t want to live here anymore.
I didn’t want to live in New York anymore. I got recruited to go work for this position in Dubai and I also fell in love around the same time and that’s someone I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with but through a series of events we said, let’s go to Dubai and we did.
I was out there for about six months and I thought it was going to be a big position, it was tax free income when you’re working as an expat and it was a high profile position and it was exciting, it was different. Different part of the world and I was going to use that as a jumping point to go to different countries and travel and explore that side of the world.
You know, as life would have it, I went through a breakup and I went and came back to New York and I decided that that wasn’t the trajectory that I was going to go on and so I left that position, that opportunity.
[0:05:14.5] RN: What year was this?
[0:05:15.1] RP: This is in 2010.
[0:05:16.8] RN: Okay.
[0:05:17.4] RP: Yeah, 2010 so yeah, it was actually a dark period of my life because that breakup was more impactful, it wasn’t life threatening by any chance but it was certainly life impacting for me but it was also an awakening thing for me just being able to look at, you could say that that opportunity was a failure, you know?
Going to Dubai and chasing the money and my relationship, that was a failure but yeah, that was the catalyst, Like I said, I took six months off and I said, well, what was my purpose you know? I even went to Sedona, Arizona, I did a lot of reading and journaling, read a lot of spiritual books but I also read some business books.
I read The Four Hour Work Week, trying to figure out well, what should I do next? Through a series of events, I came up with the idea branding for the people. The vision was to do all the things that I love doing with regards to branding but to work with brands that were making some sort of economic and social impact in people’s lives and that led me to entrepreneurs.
[0:06:23.8] RN: It’s an interesting spot right? Because if you don’t mind me asking, how old were you in 2010 when you decided to do that?
[0:06:30.2] RP: I’m trying to remember what’s the age that I am now. Let’s see, I’m 45 now so do the math.
[0:06:37.4] RN: Okay. Like late 30’s.
[0:06:38.8] RP: Late 30’s.
[0:06:40.7] RN: Which is an interesting spot for somebody that has worked in some big companies, working in kind of the corporate world right?
[0:06:49.1] RP: Yeah, it was corporate even though with the creative environment, it was still corporate.
[0:06:53.2] RN: You had somebody to report to every day, you had a place to go?
[0:06:55.9] RP: Yeah, there was a hierarchy, there was a certain politics that you needed to manage and wrestle with.
[0:07:01.7] RN: I think the easiest for you to do after that Dubai stint right? Would be okay,”Let’s regroup and let’s find another high paying job somewhere else” because that’s the easiest path right?
[0:07:10.4] RP: That’s the easiest path.
[0:07:12.0] RN: What made you really say you know what? “Screw it, let’s do my own thing, I’m here, I have more potential than working with somebody else, I can build my own thing,” what was kind of the catalyst that really made you go that route versus just getting another high paying job?
[0:07:27.8] RP: Well all this things were happening to me at the same time and this happens to everyone differently, entrepreneur in terms of why they get into it. For me, kind of was a series of all this different things that were impacting my life and I just knew deep down in my gut that how I wanted to spend my time.
Time is actually one of my highest values right? Giving my time, you know, I don’t know if you ever studied the whole Five Love Languages.
[0:07:56.9] RN: Actually yeah.
[0:07:58.5] RP: It’s like time and physical affection is like my top two love languages but when it comes to time, I could care less about material things and what not but my time is really important and so I looked at how do I want to spend my time and with the time that I have.
I knew that it had to be purposeful. I mean, to answer your question, that was really my driving force, what was my higher purpose and yes, it’s branding but I’ll say a term which is overused in many different industries but it’s meaningful in the context of this conversation.
The business that I’m really in is transformation and branding is just sort of the paint brush that we use to transform people’s lives.
[0:08:42.7] RN: Give me an example of that?
[0:08:44.4] RP: Well, there’s a couple of different levels, the first level is that a lot of the clients that we work with are transformational leaders. Personal development leaders, experts, authors, speakers and they’re doing some form of transformation whether it’s transforming people’s finances, transforming people’s mindset, transforming people’s businesses. There’s some form of that so we work with a lot of those leaders.
[0:09:10.7] RN: Was that the intention as you got into the business that you wanted to work with those types of people or do you kind of just gravitate towards it?
[0:09:16.6] RP: It kind of gravitated towards that and you know, they say you attract that which you are so I’ve done a lot of personal development work. You know, I’m trained in being able to coach large groups of people and I’m training a lot of distinctions in personal developments so I guess when you’re in a conversation, you kind of surround yourself with people who speak the same language so I definitely attracted that mainly because I can understand what they’re saying and I knew that while what they’re doing is important and meaningful.
They might not be the best at marketing it and branding it. I was like well, that could be my gift, that could be my contribution to helping them be able to do what they do better or at least make it visible and relevant and meaningful.
That’s one level and then the other level too in terms of transformation. They might not be experts or speakers but they might be consumer products right? That are making people’s lives better so I look at that as transformation.
[0:10:15.7] RN: When you look to work, when you look to take on a client, are you specifically looking for that? Something that’s actually making a difference in the world, like would you turn down somebody that’s selling Amazon widgets that don’t really change a lot per se?
[0:10:31.0] RP: Yeah, you know, with the company called Branding for the People, it does naturally tend to attract that, people who are making some sort of difference and impact, have we taken on a client or two, that’ s not front and center in terms of changing the world or changing people’s lives?
[0:10:48.2] RN: Yes.
[0:10:49.7] RP: Will I say that there are long term clients? Probably not. You know, we are servicing many different people I would say that at least 98% of our clients are making some sort of difference but to answer your question, yes, there’s three things that I tend to look for when it comes to working with clients.
One, what’s their purpose, why are they in this business and why do they want to even create a brand? It’s really telling when you get the answer to why people are doing this right? The second thing is I look at sort of the mindset and you known, I’m not a mindset coach, there’s lots of great experts and friends that we have that can teach that and that can work with that.
There’s a certain level of mindset to people to step in to a big game so I look — we look for people, entrepreneurs who are playing a big game. Then third thing they look for is that they’re looking for something that is their own signature mark, their own legacy or their own distinction.
People who don’t want to be a me too brand you know? There might be a separate podcast but I represent many different societal identifiers and yet I don’t represent any of them. I love being different, I’ve always felt different, I always felt like I never fit in one particular category so I celebrate that so I try to find people who really want to stand out.
Not for the sake of standing out but to stand out because they have some kind of unique message, unique gift or unique service or unique angle, whatever that is. I’m drawn towards businesses that are really not only looking to make a difference but have something unique and distinct in the marketplace.
[0:12:36.7] RN: Makes sense. To kind of — because I think it’s a really interesting spot being where you were, kind of at the delayed 30’s mark and then really taking the plunge. I guess on that note, for somebody that’s listening right now that might be in the same spot, maybe they have a good job, they’ve been in the corporate world for 10 plus years but they have that feeling inside of them that’s like I know there’s more.
[0:13:00.8] RP: There’s more right?
[0:13:01.4] RN: There’s more to this, I don’t want to do this for the next 30 years. What would you tell that person?
[0:13:07.1] RP: Well, I know I gave one example in terms of the position like going to Dubai and so forth but if I looked at a couple of different failures throughout my life, the thing that — the reason why you could say that those became failures is because I led with what’s going to make me money.
[0:13:31.7] RN: Yeah, trust me I resonate with this a lot.
[0:13:34.3] RP: Yes. It’s like, “whenever you lead with what’s going to make me a lot of money, that’s always a recipe for failure”. Well, I’ll say that in parenthesis because perceived failure, I mean, everyone might have their own different perception of failure but for me, it would be perceived as a failure because you’re not living your true purpose in life.
The one thing is, wherever you are, if you’re in a corporate position, you might like it, you might like it a lot but ask yourself the question or let’s say you’re thinking about starting a business, you’re not working and you’re thinking about starting a business or maybe you are in a business already. Ask yourself the question, Are you doing this for the money? Are you doing it for, 80 to 90% is the reason why you’re doing it for the money.
Now, not to put a judgment on that, if you are, it’s to ask yourself the next question which would be “What would be possible if 80% of why you’re doing what you’re doing is for a higher purpose and then the money follows?”
What would life be like for you, what would be the experience of showing up to work every day be like? Knowing that there’s going to be ups and down but what would the experience with that be knowing that you’re fully aligned with what you’re meant to do and that your life is fulfilling and you’re making money, does that make sense?
[0:14:56.5] RN: It does. I think it also brings up — I think the challenge there for a lot of people is you know, in one hand, they have — maybe they’re doing it for the money but it’s making them decent money and it’s supporting their lifestyle or their family, paying their mortgage et cetera and then on the other hand, they know they’re only doing it for the money, they know they want, it’s not what they’re here for, not why they’re on this earth.
They’re here to do something else, do something with a greater sense of purpose. How do you balance that?
[0:15:28.5] RP: Yeah, I love this question because as long as you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, if you’re very clear that if you’re doing something to make money, that might not be your legacy or your life’s purpose but if there is a life purpose and you relate to that job or that position, as your bank loan, right? As your funding source for your passion project or your, the thing that is really going to — as long as you have a plan because you could relate to that as like a piece of the puzzle to get to where you got.
Now, you know, I started the business seven years ago but I look at all the historical set of experiences that I’ve went through, they were all building blocks towards to prepare me for what I’m doing now and so yeah, all those positions helped fund my life and obviously give me experience to be in the position to be able to…
[0:16:24.6] RN: Right, I think in your case, tell me if I’m wrong is, so you stopped and you took six months off but you had money in the bank to kind of…
[0:16:31.6] RP: No, I just realized I was like, I set myself up, it wasn’t like I had a lot of money in the bank to then go and start a business. I actually generated about $50,000 in credit card debt because I knew that it was more important for me to figure out my purpose first than to quickly jump into a job.
I needed that space to think through it so I racked up and I had a mortgage in New York and I was like, I’m just going to live on credit cards.
[0:17:00.4] RN: And you’ll figure it out?
[0:17:01.3] RP: And I’ll figure it out.
[0:17:02.2] RN: Sure. I think that’s the other side of it right is like, I know I work best in that kind of respect is if, I know it’s not for everybody and there’s a lot of different opinions on this. I’m good with my back against the wall, when you’ve got to make this happen right? There’s no greater fire for me but for a lot of people, you know, I hear the advice a lot of don’t burn the ships, let’s be more practical about this.
[0:17:29.8] RP: Safe? Yeah.
[0:17:30.9] RN: Let’s use it as a bank loan and put some money over into the business. For me, it’s always like one toe in, one toe out type of thing where it’s really hard for me to commit fully if I’m spread like that. I don’t know.
[0:17:45.0] RP: You’re wired differently but out of respect for where everyone’s at, you know, the distinction here is you either create your own urgency or it’s created for you.
[0:17:57.3] RN: That’s a very good point.
[0:17:59.7] RP: If you get fired from your job tomorrow, would you have the where with all to be able to take action and make it work for you or do you create your own urgency like you said, there was a point where I was in a position, this is years ago, I think in my 20’s, I forget the timeframe now. I actually quit a job without having another job lined up.
[0:18:21.7] RP: That would be an example of me creating my own urgency. I got bills to pay right? I quit my job. Most people are like, you’re crazy, why would you do that? I’m like, because like you Rob, that’s how I work best is like, there is no alternative other than up or there’s no alternative other than to make this next thing work.
[0:18:43.3] RN: Another alternative here, I was talking to Drew in the workshop this week actually and Drew is like, this is what I did, I don’t know if I’d recommend this, I don’t’ know if it’s legal but this is what I did. He just basically said okay, I’m going to — he’s working at a corporate job, making like 60k a year and he was like I hate this, I want to start my own thing.
He basically just kind of stopped doing his job even though he’s still employed but he stopped doing it right? He eventually got fired but after eventually got fired, he’s like okay, well now I’ve got 1,900 a month to live on unemployment which can fund my business. He’s like recommendation is like…
[0:19:21.3] RP: 1,900?
[0:19:22.3] RN: 1,900 a month.
[0:19:22.9] RN: Okay. He is like you know, stop doing your job, you’ll eventually get fired, collect unemployment and go start your business with that money then you’re good. I don’t know if I’ll give that advice but that was Drew’s advice.
[0:19:37.2] RP: That’s one way to do it for sure. You know, I think the other thing too just one thing and I don’t know if you were going to ask me this but it’s so front and center for me is that in terms of what I would tell anyone in wherever you are right?
One of the big reasons why I work with the people that I work with is so that people don’t live their life in fear. Why I do what I do or what my message would be, one of my other messages would be is not to live your life in fear because even failure is — you can say that it has a lot of fear associations to it but embrace, failure and not live your life in fear because that’s a mental construct that we’ve imposed on ourselves right?
[0:20:27.3] RN: I always like to think like what’s actually the worst that’s going to happen? Exactly, I love that scenario planning. What’s the worst that can happen?
[0:20:37.6] RP: At the end of the day, you try stuff, you lose money, it doesn’t work, you learn something, at the end of the day you're still going to have a roof over your head because you can still get a job, you can go be a server somewhere, you can do things to make money to cover your bills.
[0:20:51.3] RN: Yeah.
[0:20:54.3] RP: Thinking about what’s the worst that could happen, you go back and get a job, maybe you eat some of your pride and you just do it because it’s part of the journey.
[0:21:02.8] RN: That can also be just by the way that can actually be a motivator to have you keep going at it with your business because the idea, I was actually talking with Drew about this too. It’s like, that’s actually not even an option. That would be the — If that was the worst case scenario or you know, that actually becomes a motivator to make this work, to make entrepreneurship work.
[0:21:25.8] RN: Totally. I kind of remove some things and I think about going back to a job and it makes me want to puke. Literally, it makes my stomach churn and I’m like, no way in hell would I ever do that again. But that’s me.
[0:21:41.7] RP: In your five years of adulthood.
[0:21:44.6] RN: Five years of adulthood. Get out of here. All right, so out of all your struggles along the journey, thinking back, which one really makes you think and go man, I just wouldn’t be here today without that happening to me.
What moment or point of impact in your life?
[0:22:02.6] RP: Gosh, you know what? I know I brought up the buy examples, I would say there’s a few different moments right? The first one was and the theme, I’ll give a couple of different examples but the thematically, is what I was saying earlier, is always when I was chasing the money you know?
I was 19 and was in New York and I was in a completely different position at the same time that I landed, I was going to NYU and I got offered a full time position to go work and make money and they were going to pay my tuition so I went to school part time.
Anyway, got this position and then I left it a year later to go work in real estate and I sucked at real estate in New York, it was a highly competitive and volatile environment so I was not making it, it was commission based only but I would show an apartment and I’d be like, do you like it? No? All right.
[0:22:57.5] RN: You just couldn’t like get into it really? It wasn’t a passion or…
[0:23:00.0] RP: It wasn’t a passion, I could care less if they wanted to take this apartment or not. I was just thinking about the commission chucks, right? I saw an ad.
[0:23:08.6] RN: It’s money focusing?
[0:23:09.2] RP: It was money focused. The other one was obviously at the turning point when I was working at one of the big firms and I knew that I was not going to excel or keep — there was a grey ceiling for me or glass ceiling, I call it the grey ceiling because the reason why I was not going to accelerate is because I did not look old enough.
[0:23:31.2] RN: Interesting.
[0:23:32.2] RP: You know they said, I didn’t have enough white hair.
[0:23:36.2] RN: Big New York agency where that was just kind of the culture right?
[0:23:40.3] RP: We won’t mention the name of the company because it’s illegal to…
[0:23:43.9] RN: Yeah, exactly. This HR.
[0:23:45.7] RP: HR number one no no. That was one but what was I chasing there, maybe it was more money, maybe it was more ego based and then my last post was in Dubai because you could say that moving to Dubai. There was no real reason for me to move to Dubai. There’s just a lot of things just that aren’t aligned, their values are not aligned with mine.
But I was chasing the money and I was like wow, I could live there tax free and I’d use that as the jumping point, I use that as my bank loan to go and travel to this different places and that’s why I say you know, if you just lead with what’s going to make you money, that’s short lived or short term thinking.
[0:24:26.7] RN: I agree with that 100% but I feel like for those listeners that are in a position where financial resources are limited, I feel like it’s natural for that to be their number one focus right? Because that’s man, I just need money, if I had some money, a lot of my problems would be solved, there would be less stress, I’d get out of debt, et cetera.
How do you balance one, not having a ton of financial resources and two and still trying to live your higher purpose. Or is it progression? Do you focus on the money first and then go…
[0:24:26.7] RP: Everyone’s different, everyone has a different experience of it and I can only reference sort of my perspective on it to be honest. I didn’t come from money sort of — you know, very humble family. In fact, at one point — well, let me answer your questions because just as a context for people who don’t know me is that it’s not like I was raised with money.
Everything that I’ve created was because of the drive and the hustle that that was inside me to be able to create things. I get what it means to not have money and I get the driver for wanting to make money if you don’t have it.
The tweak that I wanted to make with that is there are times where you chase the money knowing that it’s going to help you do something that you ultimately want to be doing and that’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with that. My proposition is, well what would it be like if you were to be able to chase the dream of which money is a vehicle or the means to get that.
If you’re not making any money, first identify what’s the dream, what’s the why behind making that money and if the career or the job or the business that you’re going to start if you’re an entrepreneur, is in alignment towards that train, awesome. If it’s not, just know that that’s a stepping stone towards achieving that dream.
It’s less about a balance, it’s about a mindset of what comes first.
[0:26:45.5] RN: Yeah, I like that. I think it’s something most people don’t spend a lot of time on is actually you know, with social media, everything’s so busy nowadays, it’s really easy to get stuck on the hamster wheel and just going through life and going to your job and coming home, having dinner, go and see your friends, go the bar et cetera.
I think it’s not something that people really sit with and ponder enough, figuring out why are they here, what do you really want to do in this life? We were talking about before we even got on the air, life’s short man.
[0:27:15.9] RP: Life’s short.
[0:27:19.0] RN: Life…could not be here tomorrow so it’s really about just taking life by the horns and living it today like there’s not going to be a tomorrow which sounds cliché but you know…
[0:27:28.4] RP: It’s true. I think that’s one of the reasons why I loved what your podcast is about, really being an inspirational force for people to take action because like you said, as cliché as it is, it’s like obviously life is not guaranteed tomorrow and for while you’re here, it’s like, make every moment matter.
You know, not that life’s not going to hit us and smack us on top of the head, everything is an opportunity, every moment is precious.
[0:27:59.2] RN: What are you most afraid of?
[0:28:00.7] RP: Well, I think it’s a tough question. Yeah, it’s a tough question but it’s one of those things where it’s like okay, if you asked me this 15 years ago, I might have said something else but I’ve done so much personal development work that my neurological patterns are so programmed to focus on the opportunity of things.
By and large I don’t think I live in fear. But that being said, I think that what keeps me up at night which might be the same thing as what I’m most afraid of is not living a life where I’ve seen and traveled all that I want to see in the world. Now, I might sound — I don’t know how it sounds to people but for me it’s like there’s so much of the world to see and then I would never want to actually be on my death bed thinking that I didn’t do something, experience something or have a relationship with someone because I was too busy making money or I was too busy or just too busy.
Not that I don’t — I mean, I do have a busy life but it’s being able to have all the beauty that life has to offer exactly how you want it. Living a designed and creative life, I would fear going back to work for someone else. You know they say when you should become an entrepreneur it’s like you’re kind of set, you’re never going to work for anyone else but yeah, aside from that, I don’t really live a lot in fear other than maybe sharks. That’s that.
[0:29:43.3] RN: You sound like my wife. She will not go into any water that’s murky, it could be a lake, there’s sharks in here.
[0:29:50.5] RP: Yeah.
[0:29:51.8] RN: Yeah, I get that. I’m going back to this whole concept of somebody that, a listener that might be in the spot where they are looking for that perfect business idea which doesn’t exist obviously because there’s a lot of directions and people get into business thinking their first business is going to be the only business they do for the rest of their lives which for some people that may be the case, vast majority of people they’ll probably do a lot of businesses start that don’t work, that have mild success and they’ll move on and they will continue to build different things.
What’s one directive or action item that you would give to somebody that’s in that position where they don’t really know what to start? They know they have a higher purpose, they know they want to do something, they’re just paralyzed by one, the fear of failure and two they just don’t know where to start or they’re overwhelmed by too much information which is very easy to have happened with everything online nowadays.
[0:30:52.6] RP: Yeah, so to ladder up everything that I have been saying around not living your life in fear and making every moment matter, the one recommendation or advice that I would give is to identify what and how you can add the most value to another person’s life. So what I mean by that is, as a business owner, as a human being, as a friend or a family, figure out how can you add value to someone else’s life.
Is there a problem that you can solve for them? Can you make another person’s life better? Can you inspire someone? And I say someone like a singular person but maybe for some of you who are listening, it might be large groups of people but if you think about how can you add value to another person’s life and you lead with that, everything else kind of always works itself out. If you want to monetize that you can monetize that if you’re adding value, if you are solving a problem in the world and the money will come, the opportunities will come, the people who have a problem that need to be solved.
If you can add value to them they’ll come and they’ll refer people to you. So simplistic as it may sound is just focusing on adding value to someone’s life.
[0:32:18.5] RN: So with Branding for the People and you’re just getting started, take us through how you’re able to do just that, add value, help somebody and how you’re able to get your first client.
[0:32:31.3] RP: I did a strategy not knowing that it was really a strategy. Like I said, I was working for big firms and I was used to having resources at my disposal. I was used to someone else paying the payroll and so forth but when I first started the company, I did what’s called a Prelaunch Phase and I said, “Okay let me find three to five people that I can add value to” and I’ll charge them a fraction of a price of what I eventually will be charging and say, “Hey, let me help you solve your problem”.
[0:33:03.2] RN: A little test group basically .
[0:33:04.4] RP: A little test group and all I would request in return is if I added value to you that you write a testimonial for me. So I got five testimonials at least and then you rinse and repeat and then I basically did that for the next level and I kept doing that and doing that to the point where now I’m billed at $20,000 a day whereas before, I don’t know, those first few clients, they’re quite lucky I got them for a thousand bucks or something. Not that the money matters it’s just that running an agency with nine people and the role that I have in the company, my time is spent on other things. I can’t be in the business as much.
[0:33:48.4] RN: What made you do that strategy in terms of low charging for a small test group and getting testimonials?
[0:33:54.3] RP: It’s because I remember I was coming from working with a Fortune 500 companies.
[0:34:00.9] RN: Is that something they do?
[0:34:01.9] RP: No, it was just more of the mindset of I knew what my bill rate was and I knew the budgets for Fortune 500 company is different than entrepreneurs. So I knew that if I needed to understand what the market would “bare” in the entrepreneurial space I needed to figure out what are the problems that they are wrestling with because the branding problem of an entrepreneur is different than the branding problem of Coca-Cola or Target or Apple, right? I mean yeah, it’s still branding and perception and so forth but I had to adapt to this big brand thinking to the solo entrepreneur.
[0:34:36.8] RN: And this is your first time ever working in that space?
[0:34:38.5] RP: First time ever, yeah. So I’m making sure I answer your question but that was definitely what I had done was to just add value.
[0:34:49.2] RN: So you weren’t just looking to get these people on just for a quick testimonial. You are actually digging into what their needs, problems and trying to figure out how you can best solve those right?
[0:34:59.7] RP: Yeah, exactly and it also helped me to frame how do I need to go to market with our offerings. So big companies, they’ll spend lots of money on market research. I didn’t have the resource to do that so I said, well I know I wasn’t going to make one but a thousand bucks at that time was better than nothing.
[0:35:17.1] RN: It was a thousand dollars closer to getting out of debt right?
[0:35:19.8] RP: Exactly or at least put food on the table in that particular week, sure. So I knew that if I needed to do that and the other thing that does is it builds momentum. You got three to five people then they tell three to five people of how excited they were and then they tell people. There was one other thing I was going to bring up if I had time and it was just what I did to add value is I put on an event, a one day event to 50 people.
I said, “Come spend a day with me. I will show you and teach you everything that I know about branding in the time that I have and if it makes a difference for you, awesome that’s how small you or hire me for the next level and if it doesn’t, then I refund your money back” and no one asked for a refund.
[0:36:05.6] RN: That’s awesome. That’s validation right there right?
[0:36:09.4] RP: So it’s an approach but that is why I had mentioned that if there was one recommendation is to add value to people’s lives.
[0:36:16.4] RN: Yeah and I think the way you approach it is actually as simplistic as it is, it’s brilliant because it’s something that everybody sitting at home right now or in their car or at the gym can do. You find a group of three to five people, all have a similar problem, do it for free even if you have to and just try to solve those problems, get testimonials and boom, you’re off to the races, rinse and repeat. So it might sound simple but it works.
It works but it does actually takes some work to do that. It is just not going to be falling in your lap so it does take some hustle. So as you know, Fail On is the mantra we live by here with the idea being that if you’re not failing you’re not growing so how do you force yourself to get out of your comfort zone even today?
[0:37:02.1] RP: You know it’s so interesting because I feel like I’m always outside of my comfort zone. I’m the type of person who looks for mastery. I look at developing how can I master my game and along that path, I like to test and try some different things. All the “gurus” might be teaching one thing and I might want to do something completely different. If someone says you can’t do this, I’m like, “All right I’m going to try it this way”, every single time.
Actually the event that I hosted this past weekend there is a certain format and I’m like, “I’m not doing it in this particular way” so a little bit of a rebellious kind of guy. I force those opportunities to get outside of my comfort zone purely by doing something different. I don’t want to say innovative and creative. I mean I just do things different and that forces me to be outside of my comfort zone. If you’re constantly driving the same way to go to a destination, you’re going to get used to it.
And that you’re living in the subconscious there or you’re doing things unconsciously but when you force yourself to try a different route, you use the brain a little bit more in terms of being more aware of what’s happening.
[0:38:23.5] RN: It’s also along the lines of herding sheep, right? If you find yourself on the side of the majority it’s time to reconsider and look at doing things the opposite because if you are with the majority you’re probably going to a nine to five job and that’s the opposite of what entrepreneurs and creatives do, and think.
[0:38:44.8] RP: You know I want to say just for the sake of this and I know you asked a great question but I feel like I am compelled to say that it’s not easy doing things different or pushing out just outside of your comfort zone. It’s not even easy being an entrepreneur or even the CEO of a small company.
[0:39:03.1] RN: It’s way harder than being an employee.
[0:39:04.8] RP: Anyway it’s way harder.
[0:39:07.6] RN: More painful, it’s a lot more stressed so yeah it’s definitely not for everybody, continue.
[0:39:12.1] RP: Yeah, it’s definitely a lot more stressful because everything rolls up to you. You’re the one that is making the decisions and your livelihood and other people’s livelihood, they’re dependent on you. While it’s stressful it is equally rewarding but I was going to say what makes it not so hard, not so easy at times is that as you progress or as you’re the top, it’s a little bit lonelier. It doesn’t have to be that way and that’s why we have mastermind groups and colleagues and so forth.
It’s a little bit lonelier because people are looking to you to lead the way and there might be a different philosophy around this and maybe there is another perspective that I should consider but from the experience of having been running my business for seven years is when you’re the person that people go to, when you are the one that is leading the way, you have less people around you, does that make sense?
[0:40:08.5] RN: Yeah and it is a common thing that I’ve heard from a lot of entrepreneurs actually that it gets lonely up there.
[0:40:16.0] RP: Yeah.
[0:40:17.0] RN: And one I think is there’s not that many people that can relate to you right? That’s why we’re in a mastermind together. That’s how you surround yourself with other people that are doing similar things but on the day to day I totally get it and it’s a common theme. What does failure mean to you? If you have to boil it down.
[0:40:38.8] RP: You know even the answer to this question I feel like, “Okay how can I say it differently than everyone else?
[0:40:44.8] RN: Well surprisingly enough, most answers have been pretty different.
[0:40:49.2] RP: Everybody than me?
[0:40:50.1] RN: Yeah. So this is for you to be different as we just talked about.
[0:40:55.3] RP: Failure is a necessary ingredient to living.
[0:41:00.5] RN: I like that. I like that you said it with living not business, not entrepreneurship, not anything specific. It’s life.
[0:41:09.0] RP: It’s life and you can use it metaphorically but I will not use a business analogy right. Listen, when I went through that breakup and I fell real deep in love, like both feet in, here’s what I got from that experience is that you know the phrase, right? It’s better to have loved than to not have love at all. Having that experience in the taste of what that is, is far more valuable in my life. Like yeah, that relationship failed but the experience of that and the taste of being deep in love has trickled into a every aspect and had I not gone through that process, I would have not started my business. So it’s an ingredient towards living, towards life.
[0:42:03.3] RN: And I think an important part of this is that, probably take and I am not going to speak for you but it’s probably taken you a while to be able say that right? To be able to get to the point where you looked at it as a learning experience, as a catalyst.
[0:42:18.5] RP: Yeah because when you are deep in it, it might.
[0:42:21.5] RN: Because when you are deep in it, the world is over right?
[0:42:22.6] RP: It sucks right? It took at least a year or two. It’s true but to be honest I did channel my energy towards starting the business. So it worked out and it was a necessary ingredient. How’s that for a definition of failure?
[0:42:39.6] RN: I think it is right up there, top 10. Who’s had the most profound impact on your life and what did they teach you?
[0:42:48.2] RP: Oh gosh I just have to pick one huh?
[0:42:50.0] RN: Just one maybe two.
[0:42:52.1] RP: You know I would like to say, I’d like to respond with two because one might seem like an obvious one or one might be something that most people will say but I do have to say this. One is definitely my mom. She has taught me at a very, very young age. She had a terminally ill disease, my mom is still alive today. She had a terminally ill disease and I used to complain about and she had a disease where it was similar to muscular dystrophy where she could not move or walk at times because she just didn't have the muscle strength.
I remember complaining around taking out the trash once and she said to me and I just remembered it so clearly she was like, “You should be grateful that you have the opportunity that you can do that” and as simple as just taking out the trash as a kid where I would complain about it, she taught me at a very early age that everything that you’re able to do never take it for granted because some people can’t do it. Simple things like walking or hearing or listening or talking and so I’ve never taken that for granted. So she’s my rock.
[0:43:58.9] RN: It’s such a powerful lesson.
[0:44:00.4] RP: Powerful lesson, she’s my rock and she’s had the most impact. She’s not just my mom, she’s my best friend, she’s everything right? So that’s one and then the other thing too, I will put them in a category. There’s three books that I read when I was going through this journey. There was Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, The Path to Love which was Deepak Chopra and The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and collectively I will put them in a group of spiritual leaders.
Who have just allowed me to focus on self-love and that’s an impact on me because yeah, while I was going through a break up and while I was chasing money at times or while I was doing all these different things, all of that noise really was designed to teach me to take a step back and look at loving yourself first and everything comes from that when you love yourself, you are then a whole different person to be in love with someone else. You attract a different person.
When you love yourself, you create a business that’s for yourself and the things that you want and when you love yourself, you’re able to have better relationships with your family and friends. So I think that was in the subconscious in terms of like, “Oh I don’t know that I was fully loving myself” we all have some version of “I am not X enough” right? But you just focus on self-love. I mean those three books specifically, those three different people collectively have really had an impact on me in terms of really looking at self-love and that is a guiding force on everything that I do, even in my business but also my life.
[0:45:49.1] RN: Was that a deep dive that you did in those six months in Dubai?
[0:45:53.0] RP: Yeah.
[0:45:53.6] RN: Post-Dubai when you were trying to figure things out?
[0:45:54.5] RP: Yeah, definitely. The first book, The Power of Now is still in Dubai before I left. There was a month there where I was trying to transition at that job, going through a breakup and I just happen to stumble across in the Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world. I was like, “Let me go pick up a book” and The Power of Now is right there and you could say that book saved me.
[0:46:20.6] RP: It saved my sanity.
[0:46:22.3] RN: Right.
[0:46:23.0] RN: It’s powerful. You mentioned earlier that you’ve done a ton of internal self-development type work. Outside of these three books, what other things do you do to grow as a person and as a business leader?
[0:46:36.4] RP: Yeah, there’s a few things. I think my top three things are definitely meditation that stuff an early one in terms of clearing my mind because I am constantly thinking throughout the day.
[0:46:46.9] RN: Do you do that in the morning or what’s your practice for that?
[0:46:50.2] RP: Mostly in the morning and then there are times where I’ll do that in the evening but I think what usually happens is it’s in the morning. It’s the subset of meditation but it is different but yoga is really good because it helps me be more aware in my body and there’s obviously room for me to be in better shape but by doing yoga, it’s really more about awareness of being in my body and the third thing to be honest, it might sound simple.
I am not trying to be all stoic and everything but it’s just finding opportunities to laugh more. Someone once told me when you are laughing you are in the present and so I was looking for opportunities. That’s why I am always joking around, that’s why I am always having fun because it keeps me in the present. I take my business seriously, I take my friendships and family seriously but I don’t take life too seriously and I think that’s my way of saying:
All that stuff is important and it’s good and go for money and go for the business and have big dreams and embrace failure and all that stuff, right? But I think it is more enjoyable when you don’t take it so seriously, so significant because that means you are either living in anxiety around what’s to come in the future or you’re carrying a lot of baggage of what has happened in the past and so if you can just have a little bit of a lightheartedness and fun and laughter on the way, it keeps you in the present. Does that make sense?
[0:48:25.2] RN: A 100% and I can actually resonate with that and relate to that because it’s something I try to keep in mind too because I get so focused on goals that it does a lot more damage than good, just because there’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of stress around that. So it is an incredibly important point. What would you say to somebody that realizes that they need to do that as well? How do you do it? How do you keep it light?
[0:48:51.0] RP: How do you have more fun? How do you keep it light?
[0:48:54.4] RN: At the same time while also trying to achieve your dreams and goals.
[0:48:58.1] RP: You know that’s a good point. I actually never taught this so I don’t know how I could so give me a second just to figure out how I would say this, how do you go about making life light? You know just think of I guess…
[0:49:09.9] RN: But not too much, not making life not so chill.
[0:49:13.6] RP: That you’re frivolous, it’s not like you’re thinking it like a joke.
[0:49:16.9] RN: Like keeping it light but also go for your goals, live to the fullest.
[0:49:22.1] RP: Yeah, I know I said it earlier but the work for me or the distinction is like not making things so significant, so heavy in meaning. You know, “Ah here’s one way I’ll free it” like I said I don’t really teach this. I’ve done personal development but I don’t really teach it. When you’ve stripped away morality, right versus wrong and so you could say that often times the reason why people argue or they have different points.
The reason why over the basis for all of that is because either you are trying to be right about something or you are trying to prove that you are not wrong about something and so I bring that up as a way to be like, “Okay, if you just strip away, is this the right thing or is this the wrong thing and is this just something that just feels good and is fun and light and purposeful and all those things?” like you’re on a path. That’s the best way I could say it, just go along a path and to strip away and to remove the things and the thoughts that place a judgment on what you are doing in terms of right or wrong.
[0:50:41.6] RN: I like that.
[0:50:42.7] RP: It’s a different perspective.
[0:50:44.6] RN: It is, that definitely hasn’t been on the show so.
[0:50:48.6] RP: I’ve got to be different, you know that’s part of my brand.
[0:50:50.5] RN: You do. So what are you most excited about now? Just life, business, moving forward, what’s got you jazzed?
[0:50:57.8] RP: Yeah, all of that. You know there is a few things going on that have a few intentions that I have going on in my life right now and one of them is sort of that next relationship because I am the same person and yet I am a different person than I was over the past seven years but the next relationship for me, international travel. I am being called to speak on different stages around the world which is awesome but also just personally going into travel.
Before I started the company, I used to travel at least once every year internationally and now I have a business that can enable me to be able to and I designed it in a way such that I can and should be able to travel and part of that is personally driven but the other part of that is you know as entrepreneurs and when you are surrounded with a lot of inspirational and leading visionaries, I have a global network of friends and I’m like, “Let’s take advantage of that” and go see that and see the world at the same time.
So those are the two main ones, I think the third thing of course would be just taking my company to the next level where we are looking at different ways that we can better service our clients on a global level not just predicated on, you know where I am speaking or the referrals that we have and our team is good. Our agency is good, I have a great group of creative talent but being to, who knows what’s going to happen when we take our offerings and me on the road on the international level? So I am excited about all of that.
[0:52:33.5] RN: That’s amazing man, cool. Thanks for having me over at your Airbnb.
[0:52:37.1] RP: Yeah.
[0:52:37.5] RN: Actually this is fun. We are drinking coffee, I’m used to drinking piña colada’s during these talks but coffee is more appropriate at 9 AM.
[0:52:44.6] RP: Yeah, well this was fun dude thanks.
[0:52:46.6] RN: No, it was awesome. Thanks for your time and I will catch you next time.
[0:52:49.8] RP: All right, peace out.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:52:54.1] RN: All right, you can find Re at brandingforthepeople.com. He’s firstname.lastname@example.org for email and of course, all the links and resources Re and I discussed including more information on his company, Branding for the People, will be found at the page created especially for this episode. You’ll find it all on failon.com/014.
One the next episode of the Fail On Podcast, we’ll be sitting down with Nick Unsworth. Nick is the founder of Life On Fire and shares quick tips on the best way to get started on entrepreneurship. It’s a great chat, a little on the shorter side compared to our typical episode but he does share bit size nuggets of gold so don’t miss it.
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