Chris Collins is the best-selling author and “business whisperer” shares how entrepreneurs and leaders can use gamification and motivational tools to sustainably increase their profitability.
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On today’s show, we interview a man who lives in Los Angeles, California, a man who’s known as the business whisper and a man who is the post to be business outlaws podcast. He’s also the bestselling author of Gamification, playing for profits, a book of sales games and motivational tools. Oh, ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show, we are interviewing none other than my brother from another mother, Chris Collins.
yes, yes, yes and yes. Drive based on today’s show, we are interviewing the incredible Mr
Chris Collins, a man known as the business whisper Chris Codes. Welcome onto the show. How are you sir?
Great. Hey, thank you so much for having me.
I know there’s somebody out there who wants to know what is a business whisper? What do you do? My friend?
So I obviously tool box that I feel probably about 20 years went in and fixed struggling businesses a lot of times in very extreme and dire circumstances. If you imagine kind of the wolf from pulp fiction that goes in and fixes businesses really quick on commission. So I would have agreements that I would only get paid if there was an upside and I turned them around. So I couldn’t be the typical king song that just came in and told people the idealized version and pointed out what they were doing wrong. I actually had to get people to change, move, add to increase sales, lower expenses, raise margins, raise our sales per customer very, very quickly, fixed the marketing, everything in, uh, you know, sometimes is quickly is 60 to 90 days.
Now for the listeners out there who, whose minds are already blown by that idea, um, could you share with us about your, uh, your background and, and, and really your, your, your childhood and how that impacted the entrepreneur that you are to how it impacted you, become the entrepreneur that you are today.
Yeah. And do you, do you think Chloe? Like, cause I’ve always kind of thought, but it’s like you either had a lemonade stand when you were a kid or you didn’t. Right.
I, I do think there’s a lot of truth in what you just said right there.
Yeah. And so I, I grew up a missionary’s kid. So when I was five, my mother married a pastor and their dream was to be missionaries in Mexico. And so they moved to an orphanage in Mexico. And I was, you know, the only, the only American white kid out of 200 orphans in this orphanage. And it was right on the outskirts of Tijuana down on the border. And I mean it was, it was a crazy experience. We were in the orphanage for a couple of years and then my stepfather became a pastor of a church in a different part of Tijuana out by the beach in a, in a place called Colonia that God us, which is crazy. But my first language was Spanish. Like I, you know, I wasn’t allowed to watch TV or listen to the radio. The only interaction I have like that as I was driven across the border every day to go to a Christian school in Chula Vista.
And so I’d hear kids talk about the Cosby show and hear him talk about Motley crew. But I, you know, I never experienced any of that. So you know, much, much later, my stepfather was very, very strict and what I used to do, I remember I was in fourth grade, I would go buy jewelry in Tijuana and then I would resell it at school and I became the kid that kids would come to me and you know, I want a Jew, you know, I want to a silver cross or ring. And I had a little case, I bought a little case and I would take it to school in my backpack and I would buy things for a dollar and I would sell them for 10 and that was Kinda my lemonade stand in fourth, fifth, sixth grade and little import export business if you, if you will. You’re an early age. So very entrepreneurial.
You know a lot of our listeners immediately Google search people that we have on the show to. So you look like you’ve got a full beard rock in here. I mean you have a, it’s a, it’s a bonafide and not that you need a notification from me, but it’s a bonafide beard. Did you have the full beard when you were 13 I mean, were you just born a man with a man facial hair? Is that your move?
No, I don’t. I don’t it 13 I might’ve had a little stash for sure. I had a little mustache, a little stubble trouble, but no, it took a while to grow the beard and yeah, for listeners out there, when you Google me, I could have a career as a beard model if I was to choose that, but no, I haven’t. I haven’t tried that yet.
Now for the listeners out there that know this show, sometimes I ask questions that people say, did you just ask that question? So I’m going to do the whole thing where I say, oh, Chris Collins, with all due respect, which now gives me permission to ask the question with all due respect, because you talk about your missionary Stepdad and his 21 year old girlfriend who was not your mom.
Oh, you want the, you want the fun? Okay. Yes.
So I mean this with all due respect.
Yeah. No, and I had, you know, you’ll, you’ll take what you will from, from this, the, but um, you, my stepfather, one thing that he did you be, you know, besides his issues, if he pioneered this thing called the house in a day, so we paid an architect to design a house that youth groups can come down and builds in a day. He would pour this, this concrete slab that was like 12 by 12 that had bolts sticking out. Youth groups who would come down, they would build the walls, they would roof it and in a day they could, they could put up a house and then most people don’t understand this, but if you’re a citizen of Mexico, you’re entitled as a citizen. Do a piece of land, but to get that piece of land, you have to put a house on it in six months.
And so he would work with, with the government, he would work with families from the church and the Colonia and he would time it just right. But in the summer he would go around and go from church to church showing slideshows. That’s how long ago it was of what he was doing in youth groups would commit to so many houses. They would put them on the calendar, they would raise the money that we send them, the money, he would buy all the supplies and then they would come down and build one or sometimes 10 depending on the size of the church and the youth group. But we were from Washington and so we would spend our summers in Washington and you would go around to church like Wednesday night, it’d be a church. Sunday morning it’d be a different church and Sunday night would be a different one most of the time.
And he was just raising support, you know. And so when I was 13, we did our summer trip to Washington. I was staying at my cousins and I got a call, you know, you need to go back to your grandfather’s something happen. And I knew, I kinda knew what it was. I had a premonition cause he’d been seeing this girl a lot from church. He showed up to pick me up from school once with her. There had been some conversations and some confrontations within about it, but he left in the middle of the night, went back to Mexico, cleared everything out and ran away with this girl from the church leaving my mom and I in Washington, you know, virtually homeless with with nothing. He took all the bank accounts and everything’s a real classic guy. Um, for me, honestly, it was a blessing because I was 13. I was having a really hard time being a teenager and Mexico, going to school in Chula Vista.
I couldn’t, you know, I couldn’t talk about the movies. The TV shows I was, there was really a gap in what was going on socially. And so for me, just to be an American in America, living in Washington, even on my mom, you know, hadn’t had a job and we had, we had nowhere to live except for my, his couch and spare bedroom. It, you know, it ended up being a, a pod or I made a positive out of it. My mom on the other hand, her identity was a missionary. And so getting a job, losing her husband, he took her a couple of years to, um, you know, the first year she prayed for him to come back and people lay hands on her and all that. And so it was, um, it was a crazy experience. But for me, the one thing my mom wanted me to go to a Christian school, she just thought going to a public school would turn me into, you know, basically thinking child, I guess, if that is possible.
And so I remember when I was 13 and this is where it all kind of changed for me and I literally had an out of body experience is there was this big church in Seattle that maybe 700 or so in the congregation that my mom had a lot of friends in that church. They were very supportive of their ministry and we went there for a Sunday night service and it, you know, I’m there flirting with girls, I’m thinking about girls and at the end of the service the pastor says, can, can I get Chris to come up here? And I was like mortified, right? I got asked him 13 like I wasn’t, I’m very good at public speaking that and, and I just, I looked at my mom like, what? And she goes, no, go up, go up. And I’m like, no, the pastor’s please Chris, could you, could you come up?
Everybody’s looking at me. So I stand up and I start walking out of the aisle and I, I’m like so mortified that I’m being called up on stage in front of the whole church that I literally separated from my body, which is something that’s never happened to me before. But I’m, I’m out of my body and I’m watching myself kind of walk down and get walk around the stairs and up on the pulpit and the pastor says, everybody knows what’s happened with Johnny and Chris Collins And, um, we, we want to take an offering because he needed school clothes and Johnny really wants to put him in a Christian school. And I was just like, oh my gosh. I was just so tired of living on faith, praying for everything being for, and I just like, at that moment, I’m like, I will never, ever be in this situation again where people are.
And I mean, I, I have, I give money. I, I, you know, am very grateful to everybody who supported us and who even gave money that day. But I, I wanted to be on stage because I was contributing to them. I didn’t want to be taking handouts the rest of my life and I didn’t, I didn’t want it to be that context. I wanted to create, I want it to be in control of my own destiny. And so that was the moment that changed everything. I was like, as soon as I can work, I’m going to work. And I started working, you know, from basically that moment I was mowing lawns, I was doing whatever it took, but I was not going to live on safe and offerings. I wasn’t gonna go out and you know, I was going to be the one giving money, not the one taking money. And it was, it was a very pivotal moment in my childhood because I was never the same after that.
You know, Chris, I think a lot of our listeners out there can identify with your story in some capacity according to the millionaire next door. I’m sure you’re familiar with that book or read that book, but it’s like 80% of American millionaires are first generation millionaires. And it starts with just being just sick and tired of just barely getting by. And one of our show sponsors has been sponsoring our show for three years is here with us on the show today. I’ll Paul Hood Cpa meet Mr Chris Collins. Oh, I do. I have you muted over there. Paul’s Ivy Mute. Are you there Paul? I’m here. Oh, there you go. Chris Collins Meet Paula.
Yeah, he controls my words by cutting the lights out every now and then submits it is instead of throwing sticks across her studio, he talks. Yeah, he grew up super poor. I did. I did. I do. What question do you have for Chris Collins? Cause you’re a CPA now. Your firm’s doing great. So one question. Do you have for Chris about his mindset? Yeah, Chris will. What I want to know, Chris and our practice is very successful. We have clients all over the country and what we do is a lot like, uh, uh, you and clay do is we help businesses become successful for specifically from a measuring standpoint. My question for you is, is do you see a commonality between these businesses that you come in and work with? Is there kind of a common theme? Uh, both on the negative side and then so, so which in reality means there’s a common theme on the, uh, on the, on the successful side?
Yeah, that’s a great question and answer to that. But there’s a couple, there’s a couple of commonalities and something that I learned very, very early on is that the first step is that you have to own the responsibility. So there’s a, there’s a lot of entrepreneurs out there that have the right idea, but they’re always a victim. It’s the market’s fault. It’s, you know, it’s the situation that they’re in the industry they’re in, it’s their fault, but they, you know, they don’t look in the mirror. So the vet, the most important part of being a successful entrepreneurs accepting 100% of the responsibility for your outcomes, whether you can control it or not, you have to accept responsibility. And so that’s the first part. And then the second part is being a great marketer. Marketing is probably the most important tool. If you can’t sell more and you can’t get people in the door, it’s really hard to cut a business into the profitability.
In fact, I have over the years gone into businesses that just laid off 20 people and I have to ask them, could you get those 20 people back please? We need them because we need somebody to answer the phone and you know, do things. And so sales is everything. You have to be able to market and sell. You can never cut any, any business into profitability or I haven’t figured out how to do that in a scalable, in a scalable way. So accepting all the responsibility, understanding you’re a marketer, and then there’s a great quote, and this is kind of the third one that is you can accomplish anything in life as long as someone else does it. And think about that for a second. You can accomplish anything in life as long as someone else does it. And if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to have talent around you and talent that can make you successful.
You need to hire people better than you. You need to have systems in place that they’re held accountable for their results and that they’re very clear on what the results are that they need to deliver. But you can accomplish anything in life as long as someone else does it. If you’re going to try to be the one that does everything you, you will implode. You’ll hit a wall. It’s not scalable. You only have so many hours in the day and so much energy. The best entrepreneurs are the ones watching from 10,000 feet and kind of being the puppeteers, not the ones in the trenches fighting a battle day today and then they got to come back and make the big decisions and have clarity and be able to have a brand strategy and think two steps ahead. It’s very hard to do that when you have decision fatigue and your battle worn and tested, so you’re going to accomplish anything as long as someone else does it.
Chris, I read where you actually started. Your career kind of began where you were working in the wash pit of a car dealership and then you kind of began harassing your, your boss. I believe his name was Dick for like a year and a half to get a promotion. Can you tell us about this time working with Dick in the wash pit at the car dealership?
Yeah, that’s really funny because his real name wasn’t Dick, but I changed his name to Dick in the book. Um, just because you know, they respect that respect. That’s great. Yes. Without, with no do. Yeah, I’ll do you know, respect. I remember too, when I was a porter used to vacuum his car and he used to have, this was back when, you know, managers did cardio, ships did lines of blow. And there was a time I never experienced, but I used to find some, some fun paraphernalia in his car, but he, uh, uh, so I was in a band and my senior was dating this girl who knew a person who is something who knew a part time job at a car dealership. So I went there, I had, you know, to have a job, to pay my band, rent, buy drumsticks, that sort of thing.
But my goal was I was going to be a rock star. That was my key to success enriches. There was a time in Seattle, late eighties early nineties where, you know, the music business was blowing up and it was a, it was a good time. So I started as a porter from 12 to five washing cars. And my grandfather, who was kind of my father figure always told me that if you work for somebody, give them more than they pay you per hour. If you always give them more than you’ll, you know, you’ll always have work and you’ll always be in demand. And I have that work ethic. And so I showed up early, I gave him more, I did extra, I stayed late and I became very quickly the person that they counted on. So I got promoted to retail manager and then I would pull up the cars and I would see that the service advisors, we’re always in disarray.
They, the customers, we’re always pointing out things that had been missed when they dropped off their car. And I’d have to go in there and get the advisors to come out and I saw how much money they were making. I was like, I want to see it. Service advisor. And I got passed over I think seven times. So he passed me over seven times. I knew how to do the paperwork. I would write when people would be sick, but he passed me over. But eventually when I got the job I um, I became the top adviser and I was making, you know, 19 or 20 and I was making 60,000 plus a year. My third year I made 120,000 and I’m in my early twenties. So it was life changing for me because I, I learned a lesson that when you’re, when you’re in a sales position in your commission, you create your own destiny. And I could have never imagined that I could be making not much money on my, my personality, my work ethic and my systems. And really they were systems. I figured out systems over time. But I mean I never looked back. I couldn’t believe, you know, music became less important to me cause I was just like, wow. In business, the harder you work, the better your systems, the more you pay attention, the more you make. And it was life changing for me.
And I understand that at some point you started your own dealership and it failed. Your wife left you, your beloved dog, Rocky died of cancer. Did this, did this all happen at one time? Walk us through, take us to kick us to the bottom.
Yeah. So I had, I had a car dealership that was in 2007, 2008. It was one of the ones that Chrysler I’m wanting to get rid of. I had a, a partner, um, didn’t have the resources and the working capital that he had proclaimed to you. We ended up in a lawsuit. They closed that, that point that closed a lot of points at that time because Chrysler was, um, you know, they went through some, some changes and downsize their dealer body. Right after I lost the dealership, I pulled up my bank account and there’s this big check to like Epstein Weinstein and something. And I called my wife and I said, uh, Hey, what’s this? Check this. And she goes, oh, I forgot to tell you, I filed for divorce.
Oh, okay. And
then, yeah, in rock, rocky Rocky’s cancer came back for the second time and he, um, he passed away. So it was, it was funny in the divorce when I pulled it up online, it, um, the first thing was the dogs too and rocky passed away. So yeah, it went through a divorce, lost my dog, you know, lost, lost the business. And at the time it felt like my, you know, dream, um, had been shattered. But the truth is like those terrible situations like that, just when you look back there, you know, so valuable because the thing that you learned in that moment when it seems so low is that you’re not dead. Like even when, like when, when I went through the loss and on the dealership, I couldn’t even put money in a bank account. I was carrying around like $100,000 in cash because every, the creditors from my partner were coming after me and they would seize money when I’d put it in a bank account and I was alive.
Like I just was alive. Like you couldn’t, you know, they weren’t killing me. I wasn’t, I was deep for the moment. But the, you know, in the end I’m gonna win the war and that, that last one, I know people say that when they claimed bankruptcy, which I’d actually never claimed bang per se, but my friends that have fueled the salmon. So like the thing that you learn is like, you’re not just like, you got to pay attention. You learn except to 100% of the responsibilities and try not to let it happen again. But you’re, you know, you’re still alive
on your website. Everything I’ve read about you online, it appears as though you’re a guy who can help a lot of businesses, really rebound. You’re resilient guy. You personally have rebounded with your career, but you have written about there is one condition that if a business owner can’t meet it, you can’t help them. What is the condition that you can’t help a business owner if they don’t do do what?
So I think what you’re referring to is accepting responsibility and wanting to get, wanting to get better, tell the truth more, more than anything.
So they won’t do that. You’re not, you’re not going to work with somebody who can’t accept responsibility, you won’t do it.
No. So see the problem that happens for me in, in my business and I’m sure you guys have experienced this also is I become trendy. So you know, I, I get handed around between guys that are really successful that have big egos. They’re like, oh well Chris Collins can fix that. And so it’s a lot like weight loss. So they call me and they want, they want the gym membership, they want to call it and they’re super excited. But it’s like all the people that bought px 90 when they get me and I tell them they got to work out every day and eat chicken, they’re like, well we declares and we know what we’re doing. And it’s just like, well can you, what you doing? You wouldn’t be losing money or you wouldn’t be in the situation. You’re hiring me to get you out of it.
And you got to understand that you have to change your habits in order to get a different outcome. And I don’t like, I have magic. So my magical only works if I can create a circumstance in an outcome and we’re, you know, we’re going to follow a different system. I magic doesn’t work in your old system that didn’t work. But you know, guys that have a lot of money and have had success, have huge egos, gals also. And so they want to hire me and I’m like this lucky charms, but they, they don’t want to take action and they, at the end of the day, sometimes it feels like they really don’t want the outcome. They just wanted me around. Is, is that like lucky rabbit’s foot?
Oh Chris, I want you to know I’ve never considered you to be a lucky rabbit’s, but you’re more of a lucky rabbit’s, higher fee of the rabbit. They’re the foot in the ears, the whole thing. You’ve worked with many different business owners and you’ve probably seen some really dysfunctional stuff outside of not accepting responsibility. What are some of the common dysfunctions where you say, I hope that if somebody out there listening right now and they’re taking notes and they’re going, okay, I’m ready cause they’re, they’re coming up to you right now, Chris, you’re meeting, you’re sitting down with this person for coffee and they’re saying, tell it to me straight. What are the most common dysfunctions that I’m probably doing right now? Give it to me straight. Chris, what do you got?
Okay, so the first one usually is when I go into a business, I usually find some mismanagement, sometimes embezzlement, but there’ll be an office manager or somebody, they can sign checks and the business owner or the CEO isn’t signing all the checks. They don’t really have an idea what’s going on. I’ve found, you know, office managers that have companies that they’re writing checks for that you think they’re the cleaning company. You think there’s something else
that’s very normal by the way. I see that all the time. Continue that. I see that all the time though.
Yeah. And it’s funny when I talk to billionaires, like I always was one of the questions I ask that you sign every check. And I have friends that are billionaires. They’re literally still sign every check. And so part of it is like really paying attention to the accounting and the expensive. And although I said before, you can never cut a business in the profitability. The last thing you want to do is have your expenses outpace your, your increase in sales. So you have to have a tight one. The other one is not. Um, how would you say this not dipping your pen in the company? Ink is a common one. So the, you know, the guys that, or it’s mostly guys, I have never seen it yet with a female entrepreneur, but maybe it happens. But yeah, just, you know, mixing business with pleasure and employees is never a good idea and that is more common than you would think and the access that I have and the things that I, that I see that’s one that usually I’ve have to have a,
if you had to give you a conversation with people, Chris, good to give me a percentage. I’ve coached businesses for many, many years and I have a percentage in my mind of what percentage of people, um, are having some sort of weird relationship in the office, you know, where are dating their secretary or dating their sales manager or something like that, or there’s embezzlement it. What percentage of the time do you think there’s either embezzlement or some weird relationship stuff going on that’s killing the businesses success?
Maybe a little less than half.
That’s what I was going to say. I’m like right at half. Right? That’s dead is crazy. That’s crazy. No, Paul Hood, you have a hot question for Mr Chris call. I don’t have a crusher question. You know, Chris, I’m a CPA. And what was that first part about? People not minding their accounting or their expenses. We see that same thing. Oh, it’s 100% of the time. I have millionaires that come into my office. People that make a million a year, not a million. I mean, you know, there may bring it in gross million dollars and they have no idea where their money’s going. And I talked to them about, it’s kind of, now I’m going to steal your eclair story there if you don’t mind. But um, you know, they, they just, it’s Kinda like when you’re trying to get in shape or you’re trying to lose weight and you never step on the scale, you don’t know, you don’t monitor, you’re not intentional. So what I see most of the time is people are not intentional for their success. They’re not planning, they’re not working towards deliberately, um, everything they do moving towards success. And so I just thank you for bringing up the whole accounting and measuring and paying your own bills and, and expense side of things. Now I can’t do anything about that. Not having an affair side of thing at work
maybe for is as a business coach, I’m here to try to help somebody build like a linear workflow and repeatable processes to scale and then all of a sudden I’m like, Oh wow, are you aware that this person’s dating that person and this person’s robbing you? Chris, what are some other common dysfunctions that you’ve seen up close in the trenches coaching businesses where you say, this right here is a common problem.
Culture is broken. And so entrepreneurs don’t understand how important culture is. And I like to say like, you know guys, you can get somebody to drink koolaid and killed themselves. There was a guy that got a bunch of people that put on Nike Cortezes kill themselves and think they were catching a spaceship to the moon or whatever. And you can’t get your people to show up on time or answer the phone. And so you have to think of your business is a cult in a way. And you have to understand that there’s certain things in, in a cult and a religion that you have to do in your business to get people to, you know, be a culture of performance, not entitlement and most businesses out that people are entitled, they’re not vested in the outcome, they’re hourly employees. And so you know, you have to have some sort of bonus system, you know, buy my book that they sold so well.
Gamification playing for profits. People have to be vested. There has to be a game. You have to get them involved in the outcome and in performance there has to be a hierarchy of performance. They have to know where they stand all the time. You have to really, really spend a lot of time and effort on culture. You have to remind them every day and a shifted meeting everyday. You have to point it a sales board everyday who’s winning and who’s losing. You have to really, really run it like, like you would run a culture or a church or the military, whatever the analogy is that resonates with you, you, you have to do all that stuff. Then you have to, there has to be an enemy. You know, your culture is a lot easier to create if there’s an enemy and these are all things that people get a little, um, you know when I say this sort of stuff, they were like, oh wow.
Like he’s saying, my business used to be a cult. Well apples would called Google’s a coat, go work at apple and share one of their secrets and see what, see what happens and how quickly you get put in jail for disclosing their proprietary stuff. Like it’s serious, like he needed to take that stuff very, very seriously. And I, a lot of entrepreneurs take the culture at the, at the front lines for granted with hourly employees that are arguing with our spouse or you know, they just don’t, they’re there. They come into work everyday worried about other things and you’re paying them $12 an hour and you’d expect that they’re going to go die for you. You have to have a bigger cause. You have to have an enemy. You have to really understand how to create a culture of performance. They also have to see a path. They have to see a path where they can grow in the [inaudible].
Oh great, good.
I’m a manager. They have to, they have to know that there’s something there for them in the future. You have to genuinely be interested in them. That’s another thing that drives me crazy and knocking on it, Angie. When people say it’s just business and be like, oh, it’s just business. Really it’s just business really been 12 hours a day here. It’s just been this, you’re not my friend. Like usually when someone says yes business, I’m about to get stabbed or shot or something. It’s like, no, I care about the people that work for me. They’re my friends. If they’re not performing, I have no problem telling them they’re not performing. If they’re on the wrong seat on the bus, I have no problem telling them they’re in the wrong seat on the bus. Our friendship doesn’t cloud that. I want to see them succeed. I want to, the friendship helps me cause I want to see them on the right seat on the bus. I want to see them feel good when they come into work every day and not feel like they’re struggling. So you have to genuinely taken interest in your people and you have to really understand how to create a culture. Because like I said, you guys can get people to drink koolaid and killed themselves and you can’t get people to answer the phone and show up on time. There’s something really awesome.
Well, let’s think about this for a second. Okay. Let’s say you’re sitting down with say we worked with a lot of home builders, right? A lot of people that build homes, you know, and in a small home building company, there’s a bunch of people building houses. Now that’s culture number one. And then culture too is there’s like a sales team. If you were sitting down with the owner of a home building company and he or she, let’s say she could not get her people to make calls while working in model homes, you know, cause the model homes, you’re sitting all day waiting, you know, and you key, you couldn’t get the people to make outbound calls while working in their model home. What advice would you say, what would you have you say to the owner of a home building company? If he’s saying, I’m having a hard time. She said I’m having a hard time getting the sales people to make calls while sitting in model homes. What would you say?
Okay, so I probably wouldn’t say anything. I would say get them all together tomorrow morning at whatever. When did they start? Eight o’clock seven 45 and so what we want with the outcome that we want is we want them to make more calls and when they make the call, we want them to make an appointment for a strategy session. What do we do
when you were trying to set an appointment for, these are people who’ve expressed interest in buying a home in the past. They fill out a form on the website and we want to call these people to set up a specific time to tour the home and to eventually do a price out.
And how many sales people do I have? 10. Okay. So I’d get all 10 of them in a room, but I’d have a wad of cash. I’d have fives, 20s [inaudible] hundreds and I would say, okay, here’s the game. The game today, everybody who sets a confirmed appointment, um, it’s 10 bucks, 10 bucks goes to the pot. The person who has the most appointments today gets the pot. And I would just kind of start that way and I would see how it works. And I would, you know, I haven’t talked trash. I would find out who the top sales person was and I would get him talking trash with, you know, the other people out. Then as soon as I took a break and I’d go over to 100 say, hey, you know, Tommy over here said this is his, the wind and that you’re not motivated because you’re going through the bourse and you don’t really care. And I would just push buttons and kind of see, see if, if that amount of money and got them going
and let’s say let’s say seven out of 10 out of 10 of them are now going there. They’re rocking. Okay, but you’ve got captain sarcasm, right? So she just won’t make calls and she just won’t make calls and she just won’t make calls. And then you got, you know, a Darth Vader, you know the gloom and doom guy. So you’ve got captain sarcasm, gloom and doom, and then you’ve got just chronically late person. What would you do with the final three amigos?
I would ignore them. I’d have a couple of one on ones with them. I wouldn’t let them set the tone for the meetings that I was just meeting every morning. And then I would eventually read, probably replaced them if they didn’t want to join in. If I got seven out of 10 I don’t need Jack Wells. You know, taught me that it’s at the bottom 20% it has to turn over because then your top always be getting better. So I would be interviewing for those. I would also, that’s another thing that I do when I go into a business is I start interviewing people even if I’m not going to hire him.
Oh come on. Great. I’m thrilled.
I’ll let everybody see that I’m interviewing. I literally interviewed people that I wouldn’t hire him to like walk my dogs and I walk. I’ll walk them through. I’ll introduce him to people cause I just want them to know, but I’m hiring, you’re not the only person they can do it. Psychological warfare, but it, you know, you’re not going to hold me hostage. We’re going to succeed either way. I want you to come along, but if you don’t want to, there’s other people that want to do it
and you believe in the Jack Welch philosophy. It sounds like a, I certainly do of every year trying to figure out who your bottom 10% is and, and fire these people
every month. You’re every month, eight years too long.
Yeah. So you gotta go every month, every month you say, see, this is something that’s a controversial out there. It’s called differentiation. For the listeners out there, the don’t know differentiation. It was Jack Welch’s method and he believed that every quarter at Ge is huge company recorder to do it. Um, I, I really do believe you gotta be gotta be proved in that tree and getting rid of that bottom 10%. But you recommend monthly.
Yeah. You know what happens, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this is your top gets better. Yes. Top goes up. We like what you know, year one when you do this, your bottom was like something you couldn’t even like. Imagine in year three of your bottom is what your old top used to be.
Jack Welch also mentions Public Haynes at work. Oh, what’s your opinion of that?
Yeah. Sometimes you got to shoot a hostage. What is it? He’s the guy from southwest airlines. It says never wasted. Good firing.
Oh her it herb Keller, was it herb Keller that said that or was it somebody else’s southwest?
It was herb Keller. Yeah. Never waste a good firing. Yeah, you gotta be careful because you know like when I go into a business, I’m changing paid plans who do all kinds of things. You have to be sensitive to that and people are people. But there, there is a point usually where there’s like a 90 [inaudible] 90 day bell curves for me where sales go up, momentum starts and after about 90 days to gamification isn’t working the same. People kind of heard all my stories, they’re just a little bit worn out on the pressure and the new pace and there’s like a little bell curve and that’s usually the time that you got to, you know, you got to make some changes and make it very public and let you know, let people understand also that the time to move everybody’s desk, like just move their desk, move them around, change their environment, mix it up a little bit. Sometimes that’s a very powerful tool to is just go in and no reason other than you’re rearranging, make somebody sit in a different desks.
Now let’s talk about your book, Gamification for profits and the syndicate x series. Let’s start with gamification playing for profit to Andrew. While he’s talking about it, I want you to make sure that you buy a copy of the book by another copy of the book on Amazon. And leave. Mr Chris, a great review is, this is a great book here. So Chris walked us through gamification, playing for profits. What’s this book all about?
So when I was early in my career of turning businesses around, I had a lot of turnover when I would go in and I got the nickname the bull dog. And over time I had the situation where we were running a contest between some different um, locations. One was in Texas, one was in California. And the normal conversation when I’d go into business was, you won’t work here. You don’t understand. Our customers are different, our market’s different. They won’t buy that. All the excuses. And when I went into Texas, I was like, Hey, we have this contest between California and Washington. And I showed it to them up front and they were like, oh, tell us what to do to win. And I was like, oh, he’s in your market, different your texts. I ain’t going to tell me it’s different here. And they just wanted to beat California. They didn’t care. And so I kind of learned like there’s, there’s this power, you know, Napoleon said, my life changed the day. I realized the man will die for the blue ribbon. And it really is true. Like people, if there’s a hierarchy, there’s just, there’s uh, you know, 30, 40% of the population that just can’t stand seeing themselves in the middle of the bottom of the list. So that’s the unification is rewarding behavior, creating games and fun to, um, you know, to create an outcome and not, that’s what I’ve kind of mastered over the years.
I have a funny story for you, Chris. Kind of a confessional from when I was 21 years old. I started my first company called Dj connection.com which went on to become the nation’s largest wedding entertainment company. It still exists today, Dj connection.com and I remember I was hiring this guy when my first sales guys and he said, hey, what’s the most number of sales anyone’s ever done in a week? I just want to know like, you know, cause again, I’m a 21 year old guy hiring somebody, my first sales guy and uh, I told the guy said, well, you know Mikey, you know, used to do 15,000 a week. Now Mikey was a fictitional, a fictitious character that I made up. And the guy was like, Mikey. I said, yeah, Mike, he would do 15 now again, as a company, I would do 15,000 a week by myself.
But I didn’t have a Mikey, I never had anybody else. And the guy was like, so 15,000 that’s what, that’s the number. I said, yeah, well this guy every week would get to like 12 and I’m going, that’s crazy. One Guy Sell at 12,000 or 13,000 and he was, he’d always like, come to me for approval. And I’m like, ah, Mike, he used to get 15, this is a pretty weak there buddy. And finally when he got to 15,001 week, so will you tell Mikey it his face? You know, and then I let them know that Mike, he didn’t exist and I felt really good about it. But, uh, that was a move.
That’s the right question though, right? Right. Person is asking that. That’s a good sign.
Now the syndicate x series, what is the syndicate x series?
So I said down and I wanted to write a book about my experience turning around businesses. I’ve quickly realized a couple things. I couldn’t talk about the stories and name names of embezzlement and all the fun that I’ve seen and, and still see. Yeah. And the second one is, I couldn’t fit it on a book. And so what I decided to do was I was going to create a, uh, a drama series where the drama, the sacs, the murder, the rock and roll with the delivery system. For my business experience and knowledge. And so I created this character. Michael got Naira is 24 years old. He’s in college, he gets called out of class and finds out that his father, that he never knew, they left his mind before he was born at three breweries in Los Angeles and his father was a very artistic person, loves food and wine and beer, but wasn’t a great business guy, but he’s expanded to three breweries and he was murdered and he left everything to Michael.
Now Michael is a 24 year old business students who is inherited three breweries, one point $8 million in debt and a father that’s been murdered and nobody knows why he was murdered. And there go, you know there goes the, the book series. And so the first one is kind of laying out the story. The second one is grand strategy. So how you create a grand strategy for your business and systems that are scalable. And then we’re going to go through customer experience pricing strategies. They’re counting it, you know, everything. There’s 14 of them that I have charted out, but they’re, you know, there a series and each one has its own, you know, business and mixed in with with the story of, and they’re trying to turn it around.
So where, where do you call home these days?
Los Angeles. Okay. So I have two final questions for you there as we interrogate you from Los Angeles here. So here we go. Question number one. You’re very intentional guy. So what time do you wake up every day and how do you organize the first four hours of a typical workday?
Okay, great, great question. So I set an alarm for five, but I usually wake up on my own around four and then I meditate. So something I do is transcendental meditation, which has been life changing for me. I meditate, I’ll visualize for a little while just thinking about things. And I work out. So I have a trainer, I pay a trainer to train me because if I don’t pay a lot of money for a trainer, I’ll skip it. And so I kind of trick myself into working out I box, I lift weights. So five, six days a week I do that. And then I’ll go through my um, calendar and start checking emails about the third, three and a half hours in. And I’m, I don’t handle my own calendar, so I’m not the, you know, the rule here at my companies, I’m not allowed to touch my calendar if I touch it, I messed it up.
So I have somebody that handles all that for me. So I look at what they’ve put in there, what the notes are for the day. And then we have a shift meeting at eight 30 with all the department heads and we have a little, you know, 30 40 minute meeting where they can come ask me any questions. We talk about anything. It saves me all the dotted minutes throughout the day. Yeah. So you know, somebody has an issue at two o’clock in the afternoon and I’m like, well, tomorrow at eight 30 so it cuts out the god of minutes. They know that they have a standing time with me. Come prepared, come ready. And so just about every day we’d have that eight 30 meeting unless I have something that can flit. So that’s kind of my first, first four hours, the premeditation to shift meetings.
And we definitely will put a link to your books on the show notes today. But is there one book or a couple of books that you’ve read throughout your career where you thought, man, that one book really impacted me at a young age. Is there a certain book you’d recommend to our listeners rock or a handful of books?
Yeah, so though the one that really, really taught me systems and mindset in this kind of psychological warfare, there’s a book called winning through intimidation by Robert Ringer. Have you read that?
I have not read this book. Winning through intimidation by Robert Ringer.
Yeah, get the old one. So it’s printed in the 50s they breed printed in a read on it, but getting all the one that costs, I don’t know, it’ll probably cost you about a hundred bucks on Amazon use got and it’ll smell like an old book, but that’s the best version of it. So winning through intimidation. The, like, he goes through how he created a real estate empire, but every little thing mattered how his lawyer handled it, you know, I learned one thing in that book was that lawyers have their own conversations and I’ve been involved in lawsuits with clients and um, I’m pretty good at helping people with their legal problems that way in managing attorneys. But the one thing that I learned is, you know, attorneys, when they go back into chambers, they’re like, hey, where’s your client at? Oh, where’s your client at? And they’re really just ringing up the bill.
Right? Well, I want an attorney that walks into the chambers is like, my client isn’t going to give up. We have, you know, we’re coming after you. It’s often, it’s often, it’s often said. So the book’s amazing. Winning through intimidation. Don’t let the title scare you. I, I don’t know that your listeners are going to, are going to appreciate this one, but the other book that she’s made a huge impression on me as maps of meaning by Jordan Peterson and like I’ve never highlighted or, or read a book so much. If you have you read that book.
No, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re, what you’re doing here is you’re blowing my mind, my friends. I’m taking notes. Your maps of meaning. What is this?
Okay. So he, you know who Jordan Peterson is.
Continue to educate me. I, this is like a, it’s a mind expanding shell here for me. I knew this would happen.
Okay, well I’m gonna read, I’m gonna read you the very first paragraph of the maps of meaning and then you tell me what this means. Okay, you ready? Here we go. Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. So something we cannot ski protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see his culture. It is an inter psychic and internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted unwittingly chaos returns, we will do anything. Anything to defend against that return.
So that’s why I say I hesitate to say it cause it’s deep, but it’s unbelievable. It’s an amazing book. So maps with meeting Jordan Peterson. I think you have the best selling book last year, 12 rules for life. He’s an, he’s amazing, but that’s his first book. Um, I think he was at Harvard when he, when he started it, it took him like 10 plus years to write it. It’s very heady, but it’s a kind of book you can pick up and just open up to any part and get something out of it.
The culture is so hard to develop and once you get there, it’s an unbelievable momentum. Then I think people fail to realize how important that is. And indeed, the office, the office decor, the smell, the sights, the sounds, the accountability, the scoreboards, the trash talking, all of those things play into the creating of, of culture. And, uh, Chris, I think that your book about Gamification is really a great book for the listeners to pick up there. Um, I guess if somebody is out there debating and going, well, should I spend the $20 to buy gamification for profits playing for profits? Or should I buy some, a hot dogs at a, as some regrettable hotdogs at a gas station this month? Why should everybody pick up a copy of gamification playing for profits?
Well mean, first of all, you’ve got to let yourself make some bad decisions. So maybe the hot dog is, is the right,
thinking about gamification is it’s going to give you tools that work not just in your business. Like the feedback I get all the time from that book is that they use it on their kids, they use it on their spouse, they used it in other things. But once you understand how to get under people’s skin and motivate them, you’ll have your kids will do their chores. If you do it right, you can get your spouse to, you know, do different things. Um, so it’s more than just business really. Once you understand it.
Chris, I thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to be here with us today. We’re going to put a link on the website, on the show notes to all of your different, to your podcast, to your website, to your books. And again, just thank you for being here, my friend.
Thank you so much. Thank you.
And now without any further.
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I don’t, I don’t think we’re going to catch out. I mean, this is a, you know, pretty soon the Internet is going to be all phased out and it won’t be a thing anymore. I ain’t going to trap time. show.com forward slash credit cards are not doing it and I’ll show, do, find. I enjoy, um, spending more money on credit card fees now that I’ll think about it. I just something beautiful about just watching those fees come on in and I just keep paying them and be out there fishing on the lake, making him payments. Beautiful thing. Really hope off helping the credit card companies get a little bit richer. It was kind of my administrators, how I look at it early on. Yeah.