This week on The Millionaire Choice Podcast, Tony talks with Jeremy Ryan Slate, CEO of Command Your Brand. Tony and Jeremy discuss his financial awakening and journey to become a future millionaire.
About Jeremy Ryan Slate
Jeremy Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, which studies the highest performers in the world. He studied literature at Oxford University, and is a former champion powerlifter turned new media entrepreneur. He specializes in using podcasting and new media to create trust and oping leader status. In iTunes, he was ranked #1 in the business category and ranked #78 in the Top 100.
Jeremy was named one of the top 26 podcast for entrepreneurs to listen to in 2017 + 18 by CIO Magazine, top podcast to listen to by INC Magazine in 2019 and Millennial Influencer to follow in 2018 by Buzzfeed. The Create Your Own Life Podcast has been downloaded over 2.5 million times. He’s also a contributing editor of New Theory Magazine and Grit Daily.
After his success in podcasting, Jeremy and his wife, Brielle, founded Command Your Brand Media to help leaders use the power of podcasts to change the world.
Welcome back to the millionaire choice show. We're gonna have a lot of fun today because I've got a guy that I've really just come to know in the last three or four months, yet he's made a real big impression on me and I'm sure he will on you too. We're gonna be talking to Jeremy Slate, the CEO and founder of Command Your Brand, who is actually handling the PR for me, getting my name there and talking to a lot of other financial guys that are trying to help people with their money. And he's a future millionaire. So I'm eager to see and hear about his journey and how he's going on that. So Jeremy, welcome to the show.
Jeremy Slate (00:33):
Hey Tony, thank you so much for having me. I've enjoyed a lot of our conversations, and I'm glad we get to have another recorded one. So, thanks for having me.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to share as a future millionaire. I love having millionaires on the show because they share their stories about how they got there and what they're doing. But sometimes I think, for a listener, a future millionaire listening, you kinda at least touch, the people that are in the trenches with you who are going through the motions. You know it took me about 15 years to become a millionaire once I figured out that's what I wanted to do. The average person that I've had on the show and talked to takes between 10 and 20 years. Some people do it just a little bit faster than that. Some people take a little bit longer, but that seems to be the window for the people I talk to. And, how old are you now?
Jeremy Slate (01:22):
Yeah. Get up there. I'm 51. I just had a birthday on November 17th. So, I still feel young, but I'm showing my age a little bit.
Jeremy Slate (01:35):
Well, it's funny man. Cause I barely shave. So, like most places I go, they think I'm 17 or 18. It was interesting when I first got into the sales world because people are kind of like, "you're how old?" They don't grant you the levity initially until they can see what you know, and what you do.
It's interesting how that happens in a professional career. I'm probably a little bit guilty of that, as I was a leader and a corporate exec. Sometimes the younger guys would feel a little bit dismissed even though that wasn't my intention, but I think- what is it they say in the twenties, "you think you know a lot more than you really do in your thirties, and then when you get older, you realize how little you really do know as you get older." And I think I'm coming into that age, but so you're a future millionaire, 34 years old, I think you said. And on your journey- CEO, founder of Command Your Brand, but you didn't grow up with money. You didn't grow up having financial wisdom. Share a little bit of that.
Jeremy Slate (02:31):
It's interesting, cuz I feel like the head junk I picked up as I was younger- I love my parents dearly, but a lot of the things I learned financially from them, I feel like we're a huge barrier initially for me. I feel like a lot of us have to kind of get past that head jump. My dad was somebody that thought he was gonna be professional baseball player. And, he was a pitcher and he was only five-foot-nine. So, that takes a beating on your body pretty quickly. He really didn't make it much past the lower levels of the minors. He was left in his early twenties as somebody without a high school degree and without a college degree wondering what he was gonna do, but he always was somebody that worked hard and that's the biggest thing I've learned from my dad.
Jeremy Slate (03:16):
So he actually started out- he got his GED- started out working at a company in the machine shop and was always looking, "what can I learn from this person? What can I learn from that person? What can I learn from the person above me?" over the years, that led him to the next position, the next position, the next position, and he eventually ended up as the vice president for quality control of one of the companies he was in. So, he had done very well for himself, and made over a hundred thousand dollars being somebody that didn't originally have a high school education and things like that. But the ideas around money that I learned were just a little different, I guess, to say, they definitely held me back. Like I remember my dad thinking a $3,000 credit card was like a big thing, and I'm looking at it now.
Jeremy Slate (04:00):
I'm like, "you know, I have $20,000 credit cards now," you know what I mean? It's much different than that. But, and when I looked at the idea, if I could make over a hundred thousand dollars, that was gonna be a big deal. So, it's interesting that I think that the more you go through owning a business, the more you kind of work through that stuff. But initially I remember the first business I started after I quit my teaching job was a network marketing business. I didn't know what I was gonna do. I knew nothing about it. So, I put a whole bunch of money on credit cards and I think I was like $12,000 in the hole and hadn't figured out how to make money yet. It was a really weird position to be in because I hadn't really learned a lot of the skills and things like that, and changed how I think about money to kind of get myself out of that position. So, for me, experience and doing's actually been the biggest learning points because I didn't initially start out with, I guess, the right mindset on how to make money.
It's interesting. There's a lot of similarities, I think, between, you know, where you came from and where I did cause my dad dropped outta school in- depending on who you talked to, the ninth or tenth grade, and my mother used to tell me it was ninth grade, but then we found a yearbook that had a picture of his 10th grade picture in it. But I remember him getting what I believe was his GED at the time, but I was probably maybe 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, somewhere in that range. And him going to night school and we would drive out to night school, and because my mom was working, there was no babysitter and I would sit out in the parking lot in his truck, and run around the parking lot and climb on the dumpsters and stuff like that while he was inside at school.
You know, it sounds crazy to say that now, but back then, you do what you had to do as a family to survive and make it and learn money. Neither one of my parents understood money or learned how to manage it. It was kind of something that I think I'm the first generation to do that the way that we're doing it. So I know my grandmother wasn't hurting, my great-grandmother was fairly well off, but as far as millionaire, like building actual real wealth. What I love about what you said is the hundred thousand dollars mark. I think for my family- making a hundred thousand dollars- there was like no way. It's like, "what's a hundred thousand," like, "what are you talking about? How could you make a hundred thousand dollars?" My mom, was making about 35, maybe at her peak of her career. My dad probably about 48 at his peak. It's just interesting, isn't it? How the concept of money can shift and anybody can do it. I think that's the cool thing. Anybody can do the millionaire thing.
Jeremy Slate (06:38):
What's interesting about that is the thing that was really hard to break myself of, and I don't know if you found this the same way Tony, is my hours to the money I made. Like, "okay, if I works X number of hours, or if this is my salary, this is what I make." And I think the biggest thing I had to learn is, "what can I get my money to do for, for me? How can I get my money to make more money? What do those investments look like? What do the good ones look like? What do the bad ones look like?" But initially, it was getting past the, "okay, if I work X number of hours," or, "if this is my salary, this is what I make." That was a really difficult thing to break myself up initially.
I agree with you. It's really comes down to mindset. I think the first things that have to shift for you is- you have to have a vision or a belief. I think that's the first thing that has to happen. You have to believe that you can do something different. Whether that's, "I can live a debt free lifestyle," or, "I can live a millionaire," like become a millionaire, that's the belief. Then you've gotta back it up with a mindset shift that supports that. And then the actions come on top of it. So, it's kinda like you're stacking stuff up, but as a kid making $3 and 35 cents an hour, pulling weeds and paint curbs and scraping concrete gum off of concrete at the convenience store, you think like, "man, if I could just make another dollar an hour, I'll be able to get ahead."
Like, "I can make it. It's gonna change the world. If I can go from $3.35, an hour to $4.35 an hour," and then it changed and nothing changed, then you get to $10 an hour and nothing really changes. And you get to $15 an hour, nothing really changes, but it's somewhere along that journey for me. I think it happened when I got more into the corporate world and started seeing exponential growth in my income and then my investments too. It's like, "oh, I gotta change the way I think about making money. Like there are different ways to make money other than just a job." Like that's what I think we all get programmed into the system to do is to trade, you know, as Robert Kiosaki talks about it, "trade hours for dollars." That's the work, the job mindset.
Then you've got the passive investing where it's rental properties or real estate. But, I think the big thing is, if you work on average, you have about 2000. If you wanna live a balanced lifestyle, about 2000 hours of productivity a year, that's about an eight hour work day for 50 weeks out of the year, give yourself some vacation time in there, but that's without working overtime. I tried to look at my life and go, "how much with that 2000 hours of productivity- whether that's a business or working a job for somebody or through some mechanism- how much income do I wanna spend off out of that," whether that investing or work wise. And I tend to like the thousand dollar an hour. To go, "Hey, if I could average investments, whatever, a thousand bucks an hour, that's a good number."
That's a good number for me because that ends up being about 2 million a year, which allows you to have, I think in my world, influence; to be able to affect people and do things. If you wanna write a hundred thousand dollar check for somebody that really needs it, or a ministry, whether that be human trafficking or something, you have that income at your disposal to be able to do that now. That's a number that- I'm not there right now. I've been there in the past, but I'm not there in now. But once you've been there, it's like, "oh, that's possible." And I think that's what you're talking about is; the possibility, what's the real possibility in our humanity or our form, what can we really accomplish? And I think we're limited by that. Most people are limited by that.
Jeremy Slate (10:13):
Well, I think to that too, just to go back to the schooling point, cause that's a really good point is you have to look at our current school system and the way it was created. I think it was at Massachusetts is where a lot of the school that we deal with now around the industrial revolution came from, and it was really built around somebody learning how to be good in a job. It wasn't built around teaching someone to run a business or start a business or things like that. So a lot of our education is built around the industrial revolution and working in a company; whereas, to really create something, you have to create a level of freedom for yourself. And I think so many times, so many of us are, are chained down to that. So, I think part of it is an education problem and that's why for me, I'm really big at looking at our education system and saying, "there has to be a better way to do this." I look at a lot of the highly successful people I've interviewed and a lot of them- yes, they went to school, but a lot of the things they use are self education. So, I think in realizing that in order to grow, you have to educate yourself. I think it is a really big point of getting towards that income goal you're looking to create.
Yeah, absolutely. The possibilities are there. The school system, it does program you, for a job mindset, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just a very limiting thing. And I think for some people, they're able to breakthrough that very quickly. I love Grant Cardone's story about going into sales, and bombing out in sales. He wasn't very good at it. At first.
Jeremy Slate (11:45):
He went to rehab too in the middle there.
Oh, I didn't catch that part.
Jeremy Slate (11:48):
He went to rehab; his latest book, "Be Obsessed or Be Average," He actually talks about; he failed at sales so bad and he actually went to rehab and somebody told him, "yeah, you're never gonna make it." And that was like a big motivational thing for him too.
He obviously likes to fight against the grain. So, somebody was just pushing the buttons he needed. Some people are wired like that, but to be able to just realize there is a bigger possibility or bigger options. And I think, Robert Kiosaki, I haven't read his book, but it talks about the "cashflow quadrants." Maybe you're more familiar with that than me.
Jeremy Slate (12:20):
I read that one.
Well, talk about that for a minute, if you're familiar with it.
Jeremy Slate (12:25):
I don't remember exactly what the quadrants are, but he has it where you're on one side where you have a job and another side, you have investments, another side, you have an entrepreneur and it's basically you're trying to get more into being less dependent on money paid to you, versus money you create from your investments. And I think what a lot of us are trying to get to is; we're trying to figure out, "how can I make the money I make from my investments more than the money I make from income." When you can get to that level is when you start creating some real financial freedom for yourself. Cause you're not dependent on that job or dependent on that business rep, maybe your financial vehicles have surpassed that. So, it's been a number of years since I read it. But that's what I seem to remember that book being about.
I think you hit 75% of it. Like you said, the concept there is to go, "Hey, there's different ways to make money and working a job is the lowest level of being able to make money." And then you be able to stack that up. So Robert obviously uses leverage to buy rental properties or real estate properties. You wanna say real estate, cause it comes in forms and then cash flows. So use other people's money, which we're not going into today, but using other people's money to build your wealth, that's a Robert Kiosaki model. A Dave Ramsey model is, "no debt don't use debt. Your income is your most powerful wealth building tool, and then pour that into investments." So, not that either of those strategies are right or wrong. They're both good. They work and they've both been proven to work for different people. You get slightly different results, but you also have slightly different risks associated with that.
Jeremy Slate (14:08):
For me, I've tried to focus on like- I don't profess to be a super smart guy, but I I've always focused on things I could understand. So, our first investment that we got into was several good whole life insurance policies. Cause if you get whole life insurance policies, they do grow over time. You can borrow against them. And there's some good stuff there before I finally get into real estate in the last couple years, but I've kind of started out with basic things I could understand. I sold whole life insurance for years. I have a good understanding of how it works and that kind of industry. For me, that was a comfortable thing to get into as our kind of first financial vehicle was just something I could understand.
I think that's a great one. The only thing we left out there was self-employed. I think the thing- what Robert's trying to communicate there is employees trade time for money. Self-employed trades time for money. You're just taking a little bit more of the money home for yourself, but you're also absorbing more risk and then the passive income, or where you have the most control is business owner and investor. And that's where he's trying to say, "you need to move into those," which is more the passive income or the full unlimited abilities to build wealth. And a lot of people knock on- say, a MLM multi-level marketing or direct sales business. But when you think about it, you can spend 15 years working on a job and then get fired, and you have nothing, you take nothing forward with you when you get fired from your job or your company goes outta business; hello, Enron, hello, sprint MCI, WorldCom, any of those kind of companies.
Jeremy Slate (15:44):
Sears- you name it. So, you have nothing left, but under the business owner model, or MLM model, if you put 15 years into building a business, which MLM is, but you're building on somebody's platform. You're actually investing in something you have control over in the future. I think there's a lot more power in that. And that's kinda like Robert Kiki's mindset on that. So, your business, you started Command Your Brand. What was the story behind it?
Jeremy Slate (16:13):
Well, I just wanna go back to the point about network marketing real quick. Cause that was the first thing I jumped in after being a school teacher. And I actually saw the results of like, "Hey, you put together a team, you built something and you can make some income off what other people are doing." And that was kind of the thing to get me to look at things differently. So, it definitely was not the business I do now, but it was a huge learning point for me.
Which MLM were you in by the way?
Jeremy Slate (16:37):
Market America. The issue I found with that is we sold everything and that could be difficult too. So like, "you have that, oh, we have that. Oh. And we have that and we build websites." It can get difficult cuz you do everything. So, to me, when it's more of a niche product, it makes more sense.
Yeah. We're in one right now, a program called Melaleuca, which I don't really push it a lot.
Jeremy Slate (16:59):
We love their products. My wife has a friend that she buys 'em from all the time.
Yeah. Well, let me just do a pitch in here. Cause they have this thing called mela-gel. They have mela-gel and pain-a-trait. I have children that play soccer like crazy. So they're like, "Hey daddy, can you put some pain-a-trait on my calves tonight?" And I'm like, "sure I'll do it." And so that stuff works. It's all organic and you know, healthy oil. So it's marvelous. And then the mela-gel, which is an antibacterial kind of thing for like cuts and stuff, that stuff's like magic sauce or something.
Jeremy Slate (17:32):
We love their bug spray because most bug sprays are like just horrible cancer creating agents and their bug spray is like supernatural, but it actually works too. Like it actually like keeps the mosquitoes off me, which is pretty impressive about where we live.
Yeah. I don't think we've tried that yet, but I think we need to.
Jeremy Slate (17:49):
It's good stuff, man. You gotta get it.
Well, this new house we bought, we were getting eaten up by mosquito. So we'll probably have to pick that up, but so back to Command Your Brand. So thanks for sharing that. So talk about that a little bit because obviously you've left the job mindset behind moving into a business. You've been in business ownership for a while now and doing pretty successfully from what I can tell. I'm a client.
Jeremy Slate (18:11):
Interestingly enough, like I mentioned, the first business I jumped into in 2012 after leaving teaching was network marketing. I went from there to selling life insurance, which I was good at, but I just didn't enjoy the conversations of, "so you're gonna die. You should buy this thing." Like there's a special type of person to that. And I just wasn't that person. I went from there to actually private labeling and selling products on Amazon. So, I'd buy 'em from China and we'd send them to Amazon and do it that way. But I left the "get my product for a dollar" promo code on my listing and lost all of my products in 20 minutes. So, I was outta business like my first day in and I kinda had like failed with all these things.
Jeremy Slate (18:52):
I'm like, "what am I gonna do?" And I have been a podcast listener since like 2007, when it was like audiobooks and the public domain. So, I started a podcast cause I was really excited about it. I reached out to a lot of people I really admire and had a lot of success getting interviews. Our first 30 days we had 10,000 listen and things kind of took off. We had a hundred thousand listens very quickly and I started having people saying, "Hey, can you do this for me?" So, the first version of what we do was called Slate Media Productions. And we did a full "done for you" podcast model for people which included putting together your show, booking all your guests, editing your show, doing your social media, putting you on a bunch of podcasts before you launched and doing press releases and things like that.
Jeremy Slate (19:37):
And I found we were doing so many things and I hadn't learned how to hire people yet that I wasn't making any money. So, I was charging this and I was actually going negative in the money I was making. I eventually realized from like talking to some of the clients, they're like, "well, that 80% doesn't really work for me. The 20% of you just putting me on podcasts and doing a really great PR program around that was great." So, we actually formed a new company called "Get Featured." And we did over a hundred thousand revenue our first couple months in business. But I reached a disagreement with my business partner; things weren't really going well. We eventually had to separate and form the new company, called Command Your Brand, where we've really focused on being the go-to in the PR space for getting on top podcasts.
Jeremy Slate (20:28):
My business partner is my wife and we have a team of- I think there's 50 or 60 of us now, really helping to service people all over the country and all over the world to make an impact by appearing on podcasts. It's interesting because I look at the version of myself that started this company in 2016 versus the version of myself now. And, you have to focus a lot less on the small stuff and more on the bigger strategy. Initially that was one of my barriers because I had to learn how do you help other people to be more productive in your company rather than you trying to micromanage them. So for me, that was a really big barrier early on. But once I learned that; it's been a huge piece of growth for us.
I love how you said that. I think a lot of times managers don't get trained on how to be leaders. That's the thing; you get basically thrust into a role. He's like, "oh, you're good at your job. Now you're getting leadership," and you have no training, like zero training. Even the people that are advising you, they got no training. So it's kinda like replicating bad leadership principles. It's terrible. But the real thing is you gotta realize, "Hey, we're all going in the same direction. What is that direction? If we can all just agree to move in this direction with excellence, we're gonna get there." I think that's a beautiful thing. I love the book, called "1-800-GOT-JUNK," by the COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK.
Jeremy Slate (21:51):
Brian's an awesome guy. I've had him on my podcast a number of years ago.
Yeah. I love what he says in that book about just going away and painting the clearest picture of the future that you can possibly create. Like, "what is it?"
Jeremy Slate (22:02):
Oh, he calls it the "vivid vision."
Yeah. It's amazing. Like, even at the company I worked for, we thought we were conveying vision, but we really weren't. And then finally, when we did clarify it at the top, we were able to put it into a way that we could disseminate it out to the rest of the company. As soon as we did that, it was like all the leaders, all 70 of the leaders were like, "I've been waiting for this for five years. I've been here for five years and didn't know exactly where we were going and now I do." That was so powerful just to see that now that company has gone on to be over a thousand employees. And, from what I understand, over 200 million revenue- just seeing astronomical growth. But I point it back to, 10 years ago, where we find that picture.
And I think your family finances are the same way. When we became millionaires, I walked into my wife and I said, "we're millionaires." She's like, "what are you talking about? I didn't know we were trying to do that." And that's because I had the vision, but I hadn't really communicated it to her. But what's powerful about that learning for me- I failed as a leader in that point- is that I'm going, "you know what, the next vision we're gonna be on the same page for, and we have a bigger goal, a much bigger goal. We hit the first goal at 40 now, where are we going past that?" And we're working on that together. Just like a company. I'm a big believer that the leadership principles you practice at work; a lot of those transfer to the home. If you're good at the home with leadership, keeping your kids on the same page, which I'm running a little mini corporation here with six kids.
Jeremy Slate (23:38):
You get yourself three more, you got a baseball team.
Well, we're working on indoor soccer team right now is what we're shooting for. So you only have to have about eight for that. So we've got that number.
Jeremy Slate (23:47):
I went to high school with a family. They had eight kids, but they all played basketball. So, they had a starting five and three bench players.
That is so funny. My wife and I have played some co-ed soccer together, but we haven't played any co-ed soccer with kids yet, but I'm looking forward to that day. At 51, hopefully I'll be able to pull my weight. Can you imagine being out on an indoor soccer field at 60 years old playing with 25 and 30 year olds?
Jeremy Slate (24:15):
Baseball was always my thing. I played soccer, I think for like one game as like a six year old. And I had these big old glasses. I just remember getting hit in the face right between the eyes with the ball, and my glasses shattered. I'm like, "yeah, this sport isn't for me." So that was kinda the end of my soccer career.
Yeah. I saw that happen to somebody in high school and the glasses shoot off like 20 feet in either direction.
Jeremy Slate (24:37):
They just shatter.
But you make some good points; your business and how you're growing and you're obviously helping me. You get good messages out. So I think for you and your company learning, not to micromanage, but to lead the team there. Now, how many people do you have on staff these days?
Jeremy Slate (24:56):
We have 15 right now.
Wow. That's amazing.
Jeremy Slate (24:59):
I found that one of the biggest things is, how you train is really, really important. Meaning that people have different modalities, right? Some people prefer written as some people prefer video training. So when we're training for something, we do it in both ways. Especially a lot of our stuff is done on the computer, so it's easy to have a screen record narration, but I found that unless you fully write up everything about a job, you still end up keeping a piece of that job. Well, somebody answering the phone should be friendly. Surprisingly, you have to add something like that to your job description. Or to what somebody's doing in that job. So, we've become kind of maniacal about how we write up different job positions in our company. I read a book a number of years ago. I don't know if you've read this one, it's called "Built to Sell."
No, I haven't ready
Jeremy Slate (25:51):
He talks about productizing a lot of what you do. Cause, especially being in a service based business, not everything's exactly the same depending on who you're working with. So, what we've really tried to do is even take our done for you services and make that more of a productized things because it does make it easier to train people, deliver that, figure out what's wrong, what's right, and also to sell new products. So for me, really training well and making sure we're productizing, what we do has been a big part of that.
I think it's quality assurance. So if you don't take the time to ensure that; it's gonna drift. One of the things I learned in corporate was; lot of times a company culture will try to disseminate information with verbal. We're very verbal, verbose, speaking type individuals, but the reality is not everybody learns that way. I'm not an auditory learner. So, there's a wonderful book by Cynthia Tobias, my wife read it and then shared the information with me because of our kids. Like how did your kids learn? And, what I found at that point that I'm actually a kinesthetic learner. So I have to be very-
Jeremy Slate (26:55):
You learn by doing.
I learn by doing. And, I look back through all the way back down into school. My teachers were always getting onto me for doing artwork in class. I either had my head down sleeping in class, or I was doing art in class, but I was a A/B student and they would get frustrated cuz like, "oh, if you just paid attention, you could be a straight 'A' student." And I'm like, "I can't learn from you. I just- I can't- unless you get me active, I can't learn."
Jeremy Slate (27:20):
I was weird then I guess. I was somebody that didn't read anything in school. I didn't become a big reader until after I got outta school. I would just sit there and listen to the teacher. I had this ability to just memorize anything they said. So, I guess I was weird in that way. I just sit there, and they'd be like, "are you paying attention to me?" And I just rattle off anything. They just said, "wow, that's incredible." But for me, that's how I learned. I was weird.
Well you were probably auditory. So, my one daughter struggles very much with that. But my other daughter, she is very musically inclined, and she can memorize stuff that she hears like super fast. I had another funny story. My oldest son, he had to do recitals. So he had to do poetry memorization, and it was a bear. Like I remembered it being hard for me because you're reading the words. I'm like, "I don't remember this." I'd have to go over 20, 30 times to get it right. And my oldest son was the same way. Well then when my second son started doing the same memorization, I still remember this. So clearly, like he comes in, he's like 10 years old. He comes into my room at night, 10 o'clock and my wife says, "Hey, you need to work on that with him. He's gotta do that tomorrow."
And I'm like, "Ugh, it's late. I don't wanna mess with this." So I started using the same process, right. That I'd used with the other kid that works for me. And I said, "you need to go write this down, write it three times to memorize it and then come back and, and recite it." He goes, "I don't wanna do that. I've already got at it memorized. And I do not wanna do that." Like 10 years old. I'm like, "all right, smart butt, go ahead. Recite it." And he literally like just rattled off a full page of poetry. It was multiple stanzas in rhythm, like a song. And I'm like, "Oh my gosh. I would have to work like a week to memorize that. And you just- like it was no big deal."
And then I'm like, "all right, you know what? Go to bed." It was crazy. But you know, kids, that was the first time I realized like the same learning processes don't work for every kid; you have to learn. And the same thing goes for adults. So, I love what you're doing in the corporate setting or the business setting, "Hey, you know, some of our team members learn this way. Some of them learn the other way," but developing a process around that. I think the big takeaway for me is when you understand that for your own professional career. I've probably got 500 books or more in my library, maybe a thousand, I've got, 'em all boxed up, but I'm like, "you know what? I bought a lot of books. I never read too." Like I had intentions and I'm like, "I gotta break through that. I gotta start absorbing that knowledge in, in the cracks of time that I have available. I've got a 45 minute drive down to my house. I need to pop an audio book in."
Jeremy Slate (30:00):
Tons and tons and tons in audio books, but you know, one thing I make sure I do, Tony. Cause I think sometimes like we tend to like jump past words. We don't understand and stuff like that. So, I tend to like try and not go gloss past definitions and things that I don't get, so that I retain better. But I'm a huge, huge, huge audio book listener. I've listened hundreds over the years and it's how I'm able to get so much done.
I've gotta become more efficient like that. I think sometimes where I'm at today is breaking free from old ways of doing things like, "yeah, that way worked back when you were 25 and books and magazines were the only thing that were available. Now, I do absorb a lot through YouTube. There's a lot of great training today, but I think I could even evolve a little bit more. You don't have to sit down and meticulously go through things. You can get 80% of what you need in a quick cursory. My problem with audio books, Jeremy, is if they say something good- I'm a problem solver- I'm gonna spin off and start figuring out how to apply that to my business or to something. And I'm gonna look back- I'm like, "oh my God, I just missed the last 15 minutes of this audio book. Cause I was off on this rabbit trail that they got me going on." So, that's a bad habit of mine, but so where are you going with your business, your personal life, your investments, you can share some of your investments too. What are you into?
Jeremy Slate (31:23):
Can I just add one thing to the training element too, because one thing we found really, really important for staff training is we call them, "what do you do drills?" Cuz we find too often like people like, "all right, I get it. I understand it." And then the problem comes up and they don't know how to fix it. So, we have a lot of unique scenarios like, client says, "Blah, blah, blah." Well, what do you do? So, we found that like creating this scenario based training after somebody goes through training helps them to be able to solve problems. I just wanna add that to that. Cause that's a really big problem solving element. That's really important.
Yeah. Especially if you're doing customer service stuff, which a lot of your stuff is customer service based. And you got, probably got some people with some egos too.
Jeremy Slate (32:03):
You get that sometimes man, those can definitely be harder to work with. You get the "don't you know who I am?" People and you're like, "yes, I know who you are, but I'm trying to help you. So let me help you."
Does that work? When somebody plays that card?
Jeremy Slate (32:16):
Typically, no. Cause those people end up being really hard. So, I find you just gotta tell 'em how great they are so that they'll let you talk to them.
Well, my wife-
Jeremy Slate (32:25):
"Tell me again how wonderful I am!"
Well, my wife makes fun of me sometimes cuz she's like, "how did you get out of another speeding ticket?" And I'm like, "I'm just nice. I'm nice to the cop. I treating 'em with respect. I'm just nice about it. I'm guilty. I did the deal and you know, nine times outta 10, I think I find being nice to people gets you a lot farther in life." No matter what the situation is, occasionally you have to put the hammer down because somebody's just not getting the picture and you just have to straighten 'em out. And, and usually that typically is these higher, strong, very, very strong willed personality types. And I hate to say it, man. You usually just gotta take a two by four to somebody at that point cuz they only understand direct conflict and you know, no matter how hard you try to be nice about something, you just gotta be direct and hard. That's part of it. But so, you're future millionaire. You're on your journey. What are some of the things you're doing, And feel free to share some things you made mistakes in too. People like to hear that.
Jeremy Slate (33:27):
Well, I think one of the biggest things is, and you and I were talking about this is; we took on a lot of debt over the years that I've almost paid off, but we didn't really figure out how to make money while paying off the debt. So that kind of gets you behind the eight ball a little bit. But, we paid off a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of debt in the last five years, which has been great. In terms of what we've started investing in; we've done several whole life insurance policies over the years, which has been good because they have a sizable cash value, you can borrow against them. And the penalties aren't really high. I think the penalty to borrow on the one is like 2%, but you still make 5% return on it.
Jeremy Slate (34:07):
So even by using the money and paying it back, you still make 3%, which is pretty incredible. So, whole life insurance has been really the first thing. We also have a couple different annuities and things that we have invested in over the years. We've started to invest in a couple different real estate properties too. So that's really been like, "you know what? Our portfolios looks like nothing intense, but growing the business over the years has really been our key focus and paying down debt." And as we've done that, we started to put money into other things.
Well, what I love about that, is you got started. I think that's the whole journey is no matter where you're at. Cause a lot of people don't know where to start and sometimes that doesn't matter, you just gotta get started. So like what you outlined for me, whole life policies, CDs, and then now-
Jeremy Slate (34:55):
Beautiful for buying a car by the way, because like there there's- I forget what the tonnage is of a vehicle. But, if you buy the right tonnage of a vehicle, you can write off a certain percentage of it for taxes. If you buy it through your business. And then if you use whole life insurance to pay for it, you don't pay the crazy rates, you'd pay, you know, with an actual financing company. And then, like I said, there's a penalty small and you're actually still making money on it by paying it back. So if you can get pretty strategic, do some pretty cool things.
We've had a couple people on here talk about "infinite banking," which is part of that. But I think the thing about getting started with where you're at- So for me, I jumped right into stocks and mutual funds. That was just the natural- and paying off debt. So, I chop my paycheck up into three pieces, which was live living money, debt money- to pay off my debt- and then investing money. And I just simplified my life. That was at 25. Now what I do today is a little bit different. I'm obviously absorbing a lot more risk cause I've got a lot more money in VC capital, which is "venture capital" for you that are listen, it's like angel investing for startup companies, for future millionaires, listening to the show, not what I would recommend for a new investor.
It's more dangerous and high risk. Also cryptocurrencies. So, a lot of your investment guys today are like, I just met with one today for lunch. And, he works for a financial advisory company, great company, a reputable company, but not doing anything with crypto yet. And I'm like, "you know, the way I look at crypto is it's a risk that you have to take. Cause the growth potential is so great there." I've got a friend of mine that started crypto investing with me like three or four years ago. I got started four years ago. He started three years ago, just a little bit after me, and has been able to grow 30 grand into about 150 grand in three years time, which you can't do that in a mutual fund.
It won't happen that way. It is risky. It can be risky, but there are also ways to be a little bit safer when you do that. I just think it's a risk worth taking because of the what's happening in the economy and the system right now. But the whole purpose of me saying all that stuff is; I wouldn't have started with crypto where I was back at age 25. It wouldn't been my first investment cause I wouldn't have understood enough about it now, you know, I've played the game a little bit longer and am willing to take a little bit more risk than that. Plus I've got a lot of safe money. So, for me, I look at it as keep 90-95% of your investments and stuff. That's kind of tried true and productive. That's been around for a while. And then if you've got that set aside, you can play with 5-10% into some other things that hopefully will return. The jury's out right now. I was able to make quite a bit on at least one of my cryptos; a 2000% return on some of of it. So that's not too bad.
Jeremy Slate (37:40):
I'm curious from that perspective, and this just popped into my head, Tony. When you make a return like that, do you have like a personal policy then? And like, "okay, so I take this percentage out of it and continue to invest this percentage," or you just kinda let it grow?
Well, it just depends on how everything else is doing. So I think it's really- there are what I would say is; there are general investing guidelines for me. It's not like hard and fast rules, and I think hard and fast rules can be very dangerous, because you never know what kind of circumstances are gonna show up. So, the kind of the rule of thumb would be- let's say you put 10 grand into a cryptocurrency. Let's say like Bitcoin. All of a sudden if you put 10 grand in when I started, you would've gotten one and a half bitcoins, and today that would've been about $10,000 today, that that would be about $90,000. So, you took 10 grand roughly, and turned into $90,000. So some people would say, "leave it alone cause it's gonna keep going." So, then you haven't diversified any of your risk. Other people would say, "take your 10 grand back out, put it somewhere else," which would be diversifying it. So now even if Bitcoin goes to zero, you're still good.
Jeremy Slate (38:49):
You got your original investment.
Yeah. You got your original investment. If you want, mentally, that's a very safe way to look at things, because mentally you haven't lost anything. So, that's a safe way and it keeps you mentally healthy. It doesn't make you gun-shy. I think one of the worst thing an investor can do is on their first investment- Let's say they put a thousand bucks in; they lose a thousand bucks. Well then they're gonna say, "I tried that. I did that and I never wanna do that again because I got burned." Well, that's the wrong way to look at it. You need to go, "Hey, I tried that. I did that. I made a mistake, but now I'm gonna learn to do better. I'm not gonna repeat that mistake." That's what a successful person does; they go through a lot of failures to actually find success in the end, but they have to build on those failures to grow.
So, another concept is just to diversify with cryptocurrency. So, instead of owning Bitcoin, go, "Hey, I'll buy some Ethereum, let me diversify into another crypto." Both of those cryptos by the way, have grown over a 1000% in the last four years. Which by comparison, if you bought a SMP index fund in like 2003, you would've seen a gain of about 371% roughly. So, in three years time, you're getting a thousand percent, which you would not get in your lifetime from a traditional investing vehicle, like SMP index fund. And I just think that's worth not putting all your money into it, but at least taking a shot and going, "Hey, it's an opportunity that I don't wanna just gloss over."
And then like Amazon. There was the .com bubble. A lot of people were throwing money around in the .com age. I see this a lot like that. You're seeing technology transform the world in a lot of ways like in 1998, 99 in 2000. I think that's what's happening with the financial markets with crypto. You're seeing technology now transforming the financial world similarly to how- now is that gonna be a good thing or a bad thing long term? Eh, we're gonna find out. Because I don't think there's there's any stopping it. I think there's gonna be some bad things from it, but at the same time it's gonna be here regardless of what Jeremy does or what Tony Bradshaw does. We're not gonna affect that system.
Jeremy Slate (41:05):
It's interesting though, too. Cause you can kind of see on the world markets, some of the shifts they're making as well. I think it was towards the end of last year; the fed went off of the swift system and they moved to something called the fed now system, which actually built on blockchain. And then you're seeing the same thing in Europe now too, where a lot of them are trying to go to like, "you know, I get that a lot of our money is digital now, but they're trying to go to more of a digitally based currency. So we are seeing broader changes. So it's kind of interesting to see where that goes.
Yeah. And I don't think long term it's gonna be a good thing. Honestly, you're gonna have a one world currency. You're gonna have track full tracking of all transactions and, uh, you, and this is the scary thing. And I, I normally wouldn't go here, but hey, we're here, right?
Jeremy Slate (41:45):
Hey, we're here, man. We arrived.
If you go into Austria right now, they're doing some crazy stuff. Like they started to curfew non-vaccinated people. So a lot of these countries are trying to create two tiered systems. They're trying to create two tiered civilizations. You know, you got the vaccinated and un-vaccinated; one gets to participate in the financial system. One does not. That's ultimately where you see things kind of going and blockchain empowers that control even more than the current, the swift system, like you just said. And I had not heard the fed now system. I did hear,
Jeremy Slate (42:19):
I can find the article for you. It was towards the end of last year, they went to the fed. Now they had a, they had one of those little like mini press conference with a little fed board of directors, talked about it, but it wasn't anything that was like, kind of widely talked about.
Normally they put that out there and don't publicize it, but I did hear inside of Biden, the financial secretary or whatever mentioned that there should only be one bank, not multiple banks. So, she was talking about a federal reserve bank and nothing else, which is a scary, scary thing for me personally, because it's just centralizing more control and absolute power corrupts. Absolutely what we know. So, well, Jeremy, thanks for being on the show and talking, we covered a lot of ground today. I loved how you shared your introductory concepts getting going with what you've done with your investment in your company. Definitely some good leadership tips in there. If somebody wants to follow up with you, you got a podcast too, as well. They can come listen to your podcast, right?
Jeremy Slate (43:12):
Yeah. So my podcast is called the Create Your Own Show. They can check that out over at, Jeremyryanslate.com or if they wanna check out how we can help them get on the right podcast, they can check out, Crush It on podcast.com and that'll get "The Seven Reasons Nobody Knows You Online," and it'll be a really great piece of information they can take back to their company.
Well, thanks for your time today. Really appreciate it.
Jeremy Slate (43:36):
Hey, thank you so much for having me, Tony.