274: Live an Epic Life on Your Terms - with Rock Thomas
With three decades as a life coach and self-made millionaire, Rock Thomas inspires people to live a life on their terms. From humble beginnings that started out on a farm just off the island of Montreal, Rock Thomas rode to the top to become a self-made millionaire, best-selling author, and host of the top-rated podcast, Rock your Money, Rock your Life. For years, Rock traveled the world to study with Deepak Chopra, Anthony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki, and more. With over 42 streams of income, Rock's mission is to teach others how to become financially free and live an epic life on their terms.
How does one scale a business to get to 42 different levels of income?
Well, one at a time. You just do them kind of every six months, I guess for 21 years. But the reality is once you figure out what the system and processes are to do things, you're basically looking for talent. So I'm actually working on my 43rd stream right now, which is the solar business and I have a current small organization that does $10 million a year of sales. We're going to scale that in 2021 to $100 million, using the system and processes that I have done in my past businesses. So it's really about finding talent, creating a manual for training because most people stumble in the training area, they don't know how to do it, and then making sure you have the Empire builders and the Empire protectors. The protectors are the finance people, the systems, the processes and guarding the money and the builders are the marketing and salespeople. So you're probably wearing hats on both ends which is frustrating because there's not one person I've met that flows in both of those dynamics. We were all meant for something and that's why we do assessments, the disk model, you may have heard of things like that, figure out which team you're on. Are you in the offense team or the defense team? Let's put you in the right place and let you flourish and then the offense doesn't have to worry about defense and vice versa.
Let's circle back to the training and creating a manual for training. Where do you see entrepreneurs failing in that area?
So when you get to be 58 like I am, you have gone through every trial and error and eventually, I decided to invest money in getting the experience from other people. I tried everything myself, but I got exhausted. So you know, you buy a book for 20 bucks, you get somebody with 20 or 30 years of experience, you take a course you get the same thing. What I learned is that a process called me, we, they. The biggest mistake that small entrepreneurs do is they work until they're working 60-70 hours a week, and then they can't take it anymore. They find somebody like their unemployed cousin or their neighbor's daughter or whatever, and they go help me out with some admin stuff. But they're so busy, that they don't train them properly. They do a poor job because they weren't trained properly, and then the solopreneur goes, "Nobody can do it like me." They Pat themselves on the back, they tell their spouse, their family how awesome they are and everybody else in the world just doesn't get them. Understand that business model, and that they have to do everything on their own. They play a little bit the martyr sometimes and then eventually they get burnt out over time. The solution is a step by step process of training called me, we, they.
What is me, we, they?
So you do your own sales? And can you do it? Like are you making a living? Yes. Right. So what you would do in that sales process, whatever it is, on the phones, are you sending emails or you're talking to people at networking events or you're on Zoom call. Whatever it is, you need to have the person you're going to hire that either has great sales experience, ideally, already, six-figure income earner, because you don't want to necessarily start from the bottom, because that will be a long cycle, they need to witness you doing it. So in one of my businesses, we do zoom calls, and we call them directors of opportunity. They speak to people for about half an hour, and we have a script that they follow. But before they even get a chance to talk to one of our leads, is they have to watch multiple recordings of me doing the call and enrolling people. Then we do role-playing with them and then they jump on a call with one of our directors of opportunity, and they just sit there quietly and watch. That's the me part. They watch me do it, they will watch you do it. Then you will do something called a CSI, Creative Suggestions for Improvement, which is after the call you're going to ask them, "So what did you think I did that was great.? What did you think I could do that needed improvement? And how could I have made it better?" Once you go through that process over and over and over again, the person starts to become highly aware of how it works, then you shift to the not the me but to the we and that's where you say, "Hey, why don't you do that segment on product service, or on refunds, or on whatever it is you break it down into pieces?" Then you do the CSI with them. So you're like, "Hey, what did you think you did really well?" And then you give them feedback, you discuss it until they get to a place where they can do it to the part where they can do it at the standard that you have set for your organization.
Sounds like you offer a lot around mentorship, coaching, and training. Can you talk a little bit about what you do to help businesses overcome these hurdles?
20 years ago, I did my first Tony Robbins event and I fell in love with the power and impact that it had on me that I kept going back and I hired him as a coach, I paid him $100,000. I did 19 events in 19 months, and I watched people's lives change. But when I started to do this for the last 20 years and 75 events later, I realized that it's about 5-8% of the population that can implement what they learn. Everybody else goes home and their environment supersedes their ability to apply what they learned. So you've got to really protect your environment, like an ecosystem, and find people that are hard-charging like you want to be or you are, and then it's easier to maintain a new normal. So I created a group eight years ago, a tribe of healthy wealthy, generous people that choose to lead epic lives and don't apologize for grabbing like big. We gather people like yourself, or other people that all want this dream life where they don't have to work all the time, they want to add value, they want to make an impact, they want to leave their mark or legacy. Then we help refine each other because steel sharpens steel and we have a culture of support, encourage and challenge. So if you are in the group, and you're like, "Hey, I'm trying to scale my business, here's my challenge," you're going to get feedback from, you know, what is 350 people now. Not from all of them, but from some of them will comment and go, "Hey, have you tried this?" or, "Hey, this is what I did when I was at your stage, here's a resource or talk to this person." So when you put yourself in that environment, it's a bit like if you're part of a country club, like a golf or tennis or chess club or something, everybody has a mindfulness toward getting better at that particular craft. Ours just happens to be entrepreneurship, and a strong mindset because the chains of habit are too weak to feel until they're too strong to break. Sadly, most people don't realize this until they're down the road. And then they now have to try to break these habits and they tell themselves this story that holds them back. Or if you're somebody like yourself, you're incredibly driven, you're going to push through and get things done, but it starts to drain you because it's not your sweet spot. So we got to get people into their sweet spot where they thrive, where they feel great about what they're doing. And they have enough leadership skills to add people to do the stuff they don't like.
You mentioned the whole life millionaire. Can you share with our listeners what exactly it is or define that for us?
Yeah, so again I'm in my late 50s. So I have a bit of experience and what I noticed is that a lot of people, you know, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is food, shelter, clothing, and they struggle to win the money game. We are a consumer society, we're not taught to earn to save, we're taught to earn to spend. So most people are living paycheck to paycheck, the average American makes $44,000 a year. Even if you're a solopreneur and you're making 150 or 200, the net is what counts and for most people, it's not very much. So people struggle, they don't put money away so they never can really retire. For the few people that have said, "You know what, I am going to become a millionaire," most of them have given up on their relationships or their health to get there because they have to go all in. I don't have time to work out, I don't have time to take the kids to soccer, etc, etc. So I said to myself, there's got to be a way that you can be healthy, have great relationships in your family, your friends, and your significant other, and be financially free. So I created a model for that and we tested it and 66 people later, it's not a million people. But I think it's pretty good creating 66 millionaires, I don't know anybody else that can say they've done that. It's kind of like, we're popping now like popcorn, one or two a month, because we have the system and the methodology. So it's really about this whole life having it all.
Can you share with our listeners, one of your favorite or most successful networking experiences that you've had?
Yeah, sure, by the way, I really believe that your net worth will only grow to the extent of your network. So I think if you look at your network as a place where you come to add value, you don't have to be fearful around Oh, I'm coming to get something. I think that's partially what creates fear for some people. But I was at an event seven or eight years ago, and there was a speaker who was very dynamic. I went up to him after the end of the event as I do, and a lot of situations when I see somebody that I can learn from, and I said, "You live in Austin, Texas, I'm going to be there in a couple of weeks for a training, I'd love to spend some time with you and hang out." He kind of looks me up and down, like who the hell are you, and he goes, "Do you golf?" And I said, "Yeah," and he goes, "Okay, come a day early, and we'll golf." So we golfed and became fast friends and now we started two or three businesses together. He's in real estate, I'm in real estate, we started one of our mastermind groups together, we've done investments in multifamily. I'm very fortunate he has gone on to become really wealthy. So as an example, on the 21st and 22nd of this month, he's flying in with his jet. I know it sounds pretentious. He's picking me up and we're going to Pebble Beach to go golfing for two days, and then come back here in Scottsdale and spend some time together, masterminding on our next business project. We've shared some stock tips together and one of the reasons he's coming to pick me up is he says, "That last stock take you tip you gave me made me $48,000 so I think I owe you a trip." So this is the type of thing that can happen when you hang around people that are intentional around wealth and playing big and having fun. But you know what, since those 7-8 years ago, we've grown together we've contributed to each other's lives. So networking to me is you know, often call them up and I'll ask them, How can they add value? Who you want to meet? I just did one of my podcasts and met somebody's really cool. Would you like to learn more about them? Here's somebody you should be on their podcast. So I think the networking thing starts first with adding value. I think people forget that because they usually come to get because we're trying to build something come to serve and to give and you usually find that things will come back to you.
With quite a vast network and community, how do you stay in front of invest, nurture the relationships that you've created?
I think that that's a tough one because sometimes I go through my portals, you know, Facebook, text, Instagram, and DMs and I feel like I could just circle through the over endlessly to create and keep relationships. So I have a couple of personal assistants now that manage a lot of the relationships up to a certain period of time. And eventually, people understand that if you're going to have a conversation with me, it's going to have to pass certain levels of problem-solving. Because it is impossible to talk to everybody on every level for everything. So you just kind of grow to that place and then people understand it.
Yeah, that makes sense and this is obviously what you preach and teach a lot is finding the right people to handle certain jobs and tasks.
Yeah, talent is probably the biggest problem that successful people have and it's the biggest thing that struggling upcoming people fail to recognize. So when I talk with my different buddies that are running big companies, their whole thing all about always looking for talent. I used to be proud that I paid people the least amount possible. Today, and I learned this story from one of my mentors is you can judge your success by how much you pay your people. So here's the example. Maybe you pay, the person that works for you minimum wage, they cut your grass or whatever, great, you got a couple of people working for you, somebody cleans your house, or you have a COO that you pay $280,000 a year to run one of your companies. That's pretty cool because they are generating a lot of value for you. So if you can afford to have two or three or four people at that level, then you're probably doing a lot of the work still.
What advice would you offer the business professionals looking to grow their network?
Your one good hire from the next level in your company, you need to decide who that is, is it going to be an admin person? Is it going to be an operations person or a salesperson or a marketing person? You may have to sub some people out and you can do that more and more today. So you can hire somebody remotely from the Philippines or what have you. But if you're going to grow, you got to take off another hat or two. But I would say the hat that you need to keep on is you need to be aware. This is how I divide my businesses up into four areas: traffic or leads, nurturing of those leads or the funnel online, sales which is creating relationships with the leads, and then identifying and giving them the right product or service, and then the fulfillment. What most entrepreneurs are really good at is the fulfillment part. So they teach people how to dance or they will have a restaurant and they are good at cooking the food. But they're not good at the other three parts. So decide what you're really good at and even if you're not good at sales, you've got to keep a relationship with sales, because sales is the lifeblood of your entire organization. Without sales, nothing happens so you can't just delegate sales completely. If you do you're going to give them a lot of money because most people suck at sales and if you're going to hire somebody, you're going to give up 20 to 50% of what comes in.
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
Hang out with smarter people. I mean, I grew up as a farm boy in a town and I had very low self-esteem. My brothers and sisters called me pizza face and told me I was ugly and so I was really introverted. So all I did was like a taxi and I built decks, anything that really didn't have to do with having to be that much out there. But what I would have learned differently is that, as humans, we have seasons. There are seasons where you're going to be awesome and seasons where you're not going to be awesome. You're going to go through a stage, if you're married, where maybe you have young children, and you're going to feel not as important in a relationship. I was not as patient as I could have been in relationships. I played sports and lead the team, and if somebody dropped the ball two or three times, I want to kick them off the team, like I was a little bit ruthless for standards, because that's what I experienced growing up. So I would be a little bit more I guess, compassionate, and empathetic with the people in my life at a younger stage of my life, and I've learned that in my later years.
What triggered your, your shift in your professional career?
You know, I just started to notice that I had a lot of broken relationships. For a while, I was like, "Oh, that person's unreliable or that person's lazy." Then I kept on going, "Hmm, there's one common denominator in this whole thing and that's me." So I started to realize, okay, well, what part am I taking in this process of broken relationships. I started to realize that I had, you know, stupid high levels of expectations and it was creating a lot of broken relationships. So I started to realize that just because somebody has a bad day or a bad week, you can't just fire them, you realize we're all variable, and life happens, where's a little bit of flexibility. So that took a long time too because, you know, I was raised on a farm. The horses want to be fed, whether it rains or it's sunny, or it's Christmas, or your birthday, or you're sick. So we learn to create a result every day on the farm, whether you feel like it or not. Those drilled into me so I ran my businesses that way, which created incredible growth. But it also created some alienation with people that had a life. Over time, I started to increase my awareness, meditate more, do more yoga, and go, okay, there's another way to look at this life.
Do you have any final words, or advice for our listeners with regards to growing and support your network?
I think to look for the people that excite you when you talk to them or see them, and go up and try to either add value or be part of their ecosystem, you've got to invest in yourself. We teach 10% of whatever you earn needs to be reinvested in education, mentorship, products, services, learning about how to do your job better in a fast-paced, changing world, like we have today. If you can't afford to invest in that, then you need to invest in adding value. Do a hang out with somebody, add value, pick up their dry cleaning, bring them a coffee, offer to hang out with them and do things, and learn from just being in their environment. So one or the other, but get around people that have the result that you want, learn from them, and turn decades into days.
Connect with Rock:
Claim your free copy of Rock’s book: Your Epic Life Blueprint:
Check out Rock’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/RockThomasRealtor
Rock’s podcast: https://rockyourmoneyrockyourlife.com/