Aaron Antis of ShawHomes.com joins us to share how his company has been able to grow from $40 million in sales to $80 million in sales in just 3 short years as a result of implementing Clay Clark’s proven business coaching systems. This just in…JUST 42 TICKETS LEFT for the December Thrivetime Show Business Conference.
This station is conducting a test of the emergency broadcasting system. This is only a test.
Oh, yeah. I love that sound, Aaron. You have that sound right there. It’s a beautiful sound.
Well, hey, we’re doing an emergency show right now. For the listeners out there, we have about hundreds of thousands of listeners all across this great country and you frankly, Aaron, have no idea what the emergency is all about.
I don’t. I have no clue.
But you heard we were going to maybe play this noise and you just want it to be on the show.
That’s right. That enticed me.
Okay. I have an emergency broadcast to update. I have two updates for the listeners out there that are exciting.
And one is a big win. It’s a big win. Could you share with the Thrive Nation, many of our listeners have been following your story for about two, three years now. They’ve been listening to the radio show or the podcast and a lot of listeners are now familiar with… They are now very aware of shawhomes.com.
They’ve gone to shawhomes.com to spy on you to verify you’re the real deal. Explain how much its total gross sales you think you’re going to do, because right now as the recording of today’s show, it is 12:42 on the sixth on our little four-minute show here. It’s a quick update here. What kind of sales are we expected to get do you think before the end of 2019?
I believe we’re going to hit 80 million.
And if we hit $80 million, that means that we have essentially doubled the size of Shaw Homes over the past what, three years?
Yeah. About little over three years.
And you had already, before he and I met, you’d already sold over $800 million of homes, am I correct?
That is correct.
So we have listeners out there who are thinking about coming to our business conferences, which you’re going to be speaking at. And as of right now, I just spoke to Julian and she said we have 42 tickets left.
42 total. Can you share with the listeners why you think that they should attend to our business conferences? Because it worked for you, you’ve doubled the size of the business. You were already doing well, you’ve doubled the size of Shaw Homes. Why do you think that all the listeners should attend the business conference at least one time?
Oh my gosh. So, because the things that you’re going to learn at these business conferences are proven to work. So with a ton of experience and a long history of this company, there’s a lot of things that we thought we knew. There’s a lot of things that you have introduced me to over those three years we’ve been together that have been game changers for even a very well-established company to really change the overall trajectory. I mean just in the last 12 months from last year to this year, as of last week, we have grown $12 million just in this year.
From some of the little tweaks that we made just from following the systems that you introduced me to that we didn’t use prior those.
Give me kind of a yes, no here. I’ve got a rapid fire. Yes. No.
Did you use to have a problem finding good people?
Do you have a problem finding good people now?
Not at all.
You learn it at the conference. Did you use to have a hard time dominating Google?
Do you have a hard time dominating Google now?
Now, Thrive Nation. Think about this. Ask yourself the question, are you struggling to make a repeatable system? Aaron, you’ve always been a great salesperson. You are trained by the best salespeople at Toll Brothers.
Was it a hard time finding people that can repeat the sales system or before working with us?
Is it a problem now?
Not at all.
If you’re out there today and you want to see Aaron Antis, let me tell you what Aaron Antis, Google search Aaron Antis. He looks exactly like Kanye West. It’s unbelievable. Just the uncanny-
You got to book your tickets today. Michael Levine, the PR consultant of choice for Nike, Prince, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson, and it’s Michael Jackson. Prince, Nike, Pizza Hut, President Bush, President Clinton, Nancy Kerrigan, George Carlin, the guy from The Bible. Who’s at The Bible?
Charlton Heston, the PR consultant for these people. Not Michael Jordan, but for everybody else in that list. Google search this guy, Michael Levine. Do right now. Do search for Michael Levine, public relations, he’ll be attending. Matt Kline, the franchise brand developer with Oxi Fresh will be attending. Jill Donovan, who grew her company from zero employees, I guess, one employee to 125 employees, the founder of rusticcuff.com. She’ll be attending and Aaron Antis will be attending as well. Book your tickets today by going to thrivetimeshow.com. That’s thrivetimeshow.com, 42 tickets left. Aaron antis, thank you for joining me on this impromptu podcast.
And now without any further ado. Three, two, one, boom.
Darren, is this the amazing Darren?
This is the one and only.
One and only Darren. Hey man, this is Eric from over at the Thrivetime Show.
Hey, you’re bothering me. I’m reading Jackass Three while I’m getting a care team. Honest to God, I’ve got a highlighter. A green highlighter for quotes, and a pink highlighter for the concept. I’m literally reading Jackass Three as I’m waiting for my tire to get [inaudible 00:05:18].
Good. Okay, here we go. Question one here. So what is your name and where are you from?
My name is Darren Ross. I’m from Kearney, Missouri. Home of Jesse James.
Home of Jesse James. I did not know that. You educated me already. How did you originally hear about the Thrivetime Show business conferences?
I’ve been listening to all his podcasts like crazy and glossy. It was pretty funny.
It’s very funny. It’s very funny. Well, if you’ve heard some goober on there, that’s me.
You know, I listened to my podcast on my iPhone.
For some reason on, I guess, on iTunes, I don’t know, it stops with season five, but I guess you can get them all online. Is that correct?
That’s the way, yeah. They take them off after a certain number and he records so much content that it only goes back that far. But they’re all posted on the website that you can get to from [inaudible 00:06:10].
Okay. I did not know that I can cook them off.
Yeah. It only loads up so many of them. And then, so that’s why we make sure and host them on the website as well so that you got to have all of them.
Yeah. I told him the other day, I spent some time with Clay Friday, Saturday morning I guess before I got there about 6:30 and I was just telling him, I said, “You know what? We sold our company.” I started a company in my dorm room selling apparel, custom apparel and promotional products to the fraternity and sorority market, and we just, we ran that business for like 30 almost 31 years and I sold it at the end of 17.
I’ve been literally to… I can tell you how many business seminars, business conferences, coaching programs, courses, masterminds, I’ve spent probably a hundred. I probably spent 180 to 220 grand over the years. Oh, I said, I told him, I told my wife and even my mom, I said, this is the best two day… Well, this is the best business conferences I’ve ever been to. Even though it was only two days and driving distance and 37 bucks. I’m like, “Well, I bought everything.” I bought every book he had except the one, I think there was one I didn’t buy, but-
Yeah. It just seems, it’s so practical, you know? It’s just all of them want to sell you the next business conferences and the next coaching program. And you didn’t feel like… Go ahead.
Well, I tell you, if you build this program for business owners by business owners here, like FUBU, For Us, By Us.
He was the exact same place you were, right? He went to all these business conferences and experienced all the upsells, all this crap. And he’s like, “Why can’t somebody just not tell me what to do? I just want somebody tell me what to do.” So I’m glad you hear that.
I know, man. You know, it’s funny because I have literally spent… You know, I’ve known for the last several years. I want to get into some sort of mentoring and training or coaching entrepreneurs because I just knew that they’re missing something. I was having a gal build me a website. A WordPress website back in February, and she had sent me two or three different sites to look at just for ideas and content because I wanted to have the core of it on how to grow your business while keeping faith and family first. That was kind of my niche. And she sent me three or four websites and your also was one of them. And I’m like, who is this? I’ve never even heard of Clay Clark. I’ve ever heard of Thrive.
I looked at it, I’m like, “This is the coolest freaking thing I’ve ever seen.” So I signed up for the conference within just a matter of a few days.
And then of course I started listening to his websites, sorry, listen to all his podcasts. March and, but I’m like, this is spot on. And it’s no fluff and no crap. It’s just straight to the point.
That is awesome. Well-
I jumped on the podcast probably back in March of 2019 and I probably listened to 75 of them since the end and listened to about two a day.
That’s awesome. That’s where all the media is, right on the bone right there. Right. That podcast has so much information.
Well, what kind of business do you guys have? And what were you looking to learn at the business conferences?
Oh, actually I sold our company. I started a company in my dorm room in 1987. We grew it and built it over almost 31 years. We did a custom apparel and promotional items. We manufacture those items for different organizations and associations, college fraternities and sororities. So I sold that business at the end of 17 so actually I’m kind of in limbo right now trying to figure out my next move.
But you are probably a kindred spirit with Clay on the college entrepreneurship.
Very much so. I started my dorm room. I had a phone booth literally right next to my dorm. That’s where I conducted all my business on the face on for the first several months.
That’s amazing. How would you describe the atmosphere of Clay’s office and team?
You know what, my wife, I’m going to tell you this, my wife’s not a conference-goer. She came with me and I literally had to beg, it was our anniversary. June 7th was our anniversary. I literally had to beg her [crosstalk 00:10:17].
You brought her to our conference on your anniversary?
Oh my 22nd wedding anniversary. [crosstalk 00:10:19].
You wild fan.
We were at the Holiday Inn Express like five minutes away. You got to come. She’s like, “I’m not coming.” I’m like, “You got to come.” I was texting her. So I finally got her to come. I said, “Just come over lunch.” I said, “You can even sit here.” And so she came and literally she had tears in her eyes because she was crying so hard on some of the stuff Clay was doing. But I’ve always been a person that, I love cool company, Christian culture. That’s my deal. I love listening to that cool company Christ- so I have a phone full of pictures and videos of just the office atmosphere alone. Because that was one of the coolest things about the whole deal, just the office atmosphere.
It’s very intentional, right? Like you can tell some thought went into everything and there’s stuff everywhere, right?
Stuff everywhere. Quotes all over the place. Frames all over the place. The bathrooms, I mean it’s… I’ve never seen anything. Well, and I’ve been to a lot of cool companies. I’ve been, I got the inside private tour of Dave Ramsey’s organization several years ago and I’ve been to a lot of places over my lifetime and businesses and it’s probably the coolest one I’ve been to.
Well, that is great to hear it. It wasn’t on accident and so we really tried to build that inviting and kind of high energy, high pace, a really cool eclectic environment. Because we know we’ve got to keep everybody on their toes to learn and we want to laugh and learn. So I love hearing that from you. How was…?
I was laughing?
That’s good. How would you describe Clay’s delivery and presentation style?
Off the charts. I mean just kind of basically leaving you wanting more and more all the time. I mean I had just pages and pages of notes and there was never a dull or boring moment and it was all just nuts and bolts, man. There was no fluff. There was no… It was just all straight to the point that any business owner can listen, learn, and apply.
What is one of the most valuable things that you did learn while you were at these business conferences this last weekend?
Just the importance of search engine and website optimization.
Yeah. I didn’t really… I mean, we’ve fiddled around with websites over the past but never really got much if any business from them. It was just one of those deals really felt like it was a necessary evil and we always looked at it as a necessary evil. But now that I have dug into your all site and look how well it’s put together, and I’ve even checked out some of the sites of people that you had at the conference or that I met at the conference. And it is true, they all are on the definitely first page of Google and usually within the first one or two people after the paid ads.
Oh yes, that’s what I’m talking about.
Yeah. I never heard about… Obviously, I’ve heard of Google reviews and video reviews, but I never knew the importance of them and I never had heard the term canonical compliance and all that. So…
Very good. Canonical compliance. That’s getting into the technicalities right there.
I spent some time with your SEO guy, Ben and a couple other folks and they just kind of broke a few things down. I’m like, “It really is important.”
The cool thing is it’s every other SEO company I’ve ever talked to or I’ve heard from or have, they all like put this cloud around it and it’s this mystique type of thing and like, “Hey, it’s making it down to a- No, no, no, you do this, this and this, and you can control these things and you’ll be top in Google before you know it.”
Well, I’m going to just tell you this. When I was in business several years ago, we had hired the company back in the early two thousands right when the internet was coming on strong and we’ve hired a company to do a really killer website for us.
Of course, I had a consultant on staff and the consultant I was paying them then they said, “You need to have this cool website built.” So we spent like $85,000 and it never worked. And at the same time, the consultant company said, “Oh, by the way, you have this really cool ERP system, which takes care of everything, accounting, order entry.” So we had an ERP system being built, a website being built. Neither one of them worked worth a darn. So we walked away with about $170,000 less in our pocket. And to be honest with you, straight up front, I’ve always had a really bad taste in my mouth about technical and [inaudible 00:14:35].
So we built our business of the first 10 or 15 years on catalog direct mail. So I was like, “I don’t need web. I don’t need to get an ad. I’m going to go on the internet or keep going direct mail, but I just got to put that behind me and listen, you know, learn from the lessons and move on.”
There you go. You check the fruit on the tree first. Right? [crosstalk 00:14:58].
That’s right. Yup.
I wanted to ask you too, how many conferences have you been to and how much did those costs you? And like how did they know in the past?
You know what? I’ve got a spreadsheet. I’m not at my office right now. I’ve got it… I’m on the front page of my map on the desktop. I have courses I’ve purchased and courses and/or conferences. And do you want just core conferences only or…?
Oh, my gosh. Probably if you were to add up courses, conferences, coaching and masterminds, I would say excluding travel probably 200,000 and that’s probably 75 of them.
That’s probably… That’s a pretty penny right there, huh?
That’s a lot. Yeah. And I wish I had that back and had just heard about Clay about 25 years ago and he would only been like 13 you know?
Yeah. Or maybe, I don’t even know. Yeah. Well, that’s awesome and I appreciate you saying that. My last question for you here is why in your mind, does everybody need to attend at least one Thrivetime Show business conferences?
Because what they’re currently exposed to or what they’ve been learning is probably not the right information and the right content or the right way to go about it and if they were to attend one of Thrivetime business conferences, I think they would just be blown away at the simplicity and the how easy it is to break it all down and implement it. Then the big thing is to have someone like you’re all seeing for what you all charged per month is a bargain. And I even asked you, I said, “Does it really include this, this, this, this and this?” They’re like, “Oh yeah, they do everything for us.” So I think-
Yeah. So videography, photography, you name it.
Yeah. I mean what’s, y’all are charging a month for some of this stuff. I mean that email, you could spend that on a five or six-minute video easily. Easily, if you hired a videographer. So I don’t know. I told my wife that day or my mom, too. I said “I’m going back.” I’m trying to figure out when I’m going to come back down there. I told my wife also, I said, “I just want to start a business. I can have these guys helped me implement everything, but I ever had any box. Huh?”
I was going to say that’s the best endorsement we could get right there. I think that’s a-
Yeah, it was so cool. The wow factor was there that I was like, I want to get a new business started. You know, and Clay talks to me when we talked before the conference on Saturday, he said, “Hey, have you ever thought about franchising?” And he said, “It might be a good option.” And I’m like, “I never really gave it a thought because I always ran my own show” and-
But you know, the systems are all built right there in place for you. So I don’t know. I’m kind of kicking that around too, but-
Well, that might be a good move for you, my friend. So it could be.
All right. I’m going to cut the Jackass Three now, we’ll let you get back to doing your diligent reading that you’re doing there. But Darren, I just wanted to say thank you first and foremost for coming to the conference and being a doer and really, really appreciate the time that you took to talk to me about this and kind of give us an overview of what you thought about the business conferences.
Well, I’ll plan on being back to another one. It’ll probably be August or October.
Oh, that’s great man. Well, hey, since Clay is going to turn this into a show, I’m going to count backwards from three. We’re going to do a three, two, one, boom, okay? Thank you. All right, here we go. Three, two, one, boom.
So you’re now a podcast celebrity.
I would just listen to this morning. Does he really do nine a week?
Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah, when we first started, I probably did let see… I was going over there six days a week with him. He was recording from his basement. I had a studio set up over there. We would record Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Fridays at like two or something. And then Saturday and Sunday mornings at five or six o’clock. And man, me and him did that for 10 months. Nine months.
Yeah, it was wild. I mean we were putting out an insane amount of content. He’s kind of scaled back a little bit, but he records five days a week at anywhere from eight to 12 episodes every single week.
Every single week? Every single day?
Every single week.
Oh. That’s just… I was listening to one this morning. He said his home is, he was recording to the office because his home studio got flooded out.
Yep. Four feet of water in his basement. Flooded our entire radio studio down there. Oh, stairway.
It was awful. And then the very next day the river was coming up so high here from the Keystone Dam overflow that we had the entire building like two days after that because they thought I’m [inaudible 00:19:46] in the flood too. And so he was like, we literally pulled everything that was in this office. We pulled it out because we were like, again have the house and the office flooding at the same time. We can’t have that. So…
You know, this was going to be a question I was going to write on the board when I come to the next conference. But how come he doesn’t do like most online marketers where when you go to your website yet an opt in box pops up and then he keeps dripping you content and information over them every week. How come you guys can do something like that?
He has at this point, well, (a) number one is to remember that he, him and Z built this as not the way to feed their family. This is like their passion project. So therefore we are extremely selective about who we take on as a client. And to be honest with you, who we allow to come to the conference, we turned down a lot of people for the conference every two months and we turned down-
Yeah, because we, our business and we have to operate with margins and profit and all that stuff. But we’d like to keep 160 client roster and so Clay’s very guarded about who he lets inside. What he calls it a circle or the Dojo of Mojo, the Garden of Zana here, you know?
So we don’t necessarily want to be out in everybody’s face with popups and drip campaigns and all that stuff. We’re very selective about who we work with because he has decided to design it that way, but we’re not trying to mass produce and get 4,000 clients. Right. We’re trying to stick with in our 160 client roster, but he doesn’t want to get any bigger than that. So we don’t really do other marketing methods that we would teach clients, but that is the same stuff that he did with the vetting photography company or the DJ company or the wedding show and all the other things that he’s been an elephant in the room and all the other businesses.
Well, he uses more drip campaigns on those kinds of things than this.
Yeah, and one of the… We’re not too huge on the automated stuff. It’s just kind of like pick your three or four marketing legs that are working. And then what… Typically, that’s enough. The main problem is that team members aren’t following up with the kind of like assertive attitude that they need to be following up, like the urgency of actual business.
So that’s typically what we find is that a lot of companies are getting leads. They’re just not getting a hold of those leads. And it’s all about calling them fast and calling them often.
But yeah, I mean your people, I’ve got just two or three questions over the last four or five months on just whether it’s the business conference 2020 questions or whatever. And heck man, I always had either a phone call or an email. I was like, most people have a contact form or something and half the time you never hear from anybody.
Never heard from you guys in seven years, anybody there? Hello. Is this thing on?
Yeah. And you know, the business conferences were a real formal, I mean it wasn’t like you had to stand in line. They had this little cavity search to make sure you’re the right person that signed up and I walk in and what’s her name? Not Amanda.
She’s like, “Oh, let me find your seat.” And I’m like, “It’s just a different experience than most.”
That’s awesome. That’s what we’re trying to create, so I appreciate you saying that.
Yeah. He’ll ya. No, but I plan on coming back either. It’ll probably be October, but-
Okay. [inaudible 00:22:48].
Then I’ll have them lined up.
It sounds awesome, man. That’s good. I’ll let you get back to reading your book. Anything else, you reach out to us. But enjoy those podcasts and we can’t wait to see you again my friend.