How 2 Dudes In Their 20s Built a $30 Million Printing Business (Featuring Ray Salinas)

Show Notes

Ray Salinas shares how he and his partner turned an old printing press into a $30 million dollar business that now employs 70 people based in McKinney, Texas.

During today’s show, Ray also shares:

  1. How he helped to fund his business by working as a waiter at a restaurant called Poppys in McKinney, Texas.
  2. How he was able to take over his girlfriend’s father’s printing business and to take this company from near bankruptcy to a place of success
  3. Ray explains how discipline equals freedom.
  4. How he decided to take over the operations of a flexographic printing company without previously having known what the industry even was.
  5. How he was able to set his goals above everything else, how he stayed myopically focused on his goal, and how he said “no” to the things that were distracting him away from his goals.
  6. Why his mom’s struggle with Muscular Dystrophy fueled his motivation to grow Popular Ink.
  7. Why no amount of money can give you a real sense of significance.
  8. Why at the end of the day, the quality of your life is based upon how willing to be disciplined you are willing to be.
  9. And why


  1. What is flexographic printing? I don’t know, but let’s sell it.
  2. How he and his partner turned an old printing press into a $25 million dollar business, why discipline equals freedom and….
  3. How he waited tables at Pappi’s in downtown McKinney, Texas (the old-fashioned)

  1. Yes, Yes and Yes! On today’s show we are interviewing the co-founder of the super successful Dallas based business, Popular Ink! Ray Salinas welcome onto the Thrivetime Show! How are you sir!?
  2. Ray, I know that you have achieved a lot of success in your career thus far, but for the listeners out there that are not familiar with Popular Ink, I would love for you to share about what Popular Ink is and approximately how big of a company it is today?
    1. Right now it is still thriving. We will do about $30 million in revenue this year.
  3. Ray, I would love to start at the bottom and at the very beginning of your career. What was your childhood like and what impact did that have on who you have become today?
    1. We moved a lot so I had to get comfortable with different situations.
    2. My mom was in the air force working in public health and was in charge of making sure the soldiers had high-quality resources.
  4. Ray, I would love for you to share with the listeners a little bit about your educational background?
    1. The wheels started spinning after college. I realized that I wasn’t wired to work for someone. In this country, you go to school and they teach you how to be an employee.
    2. You go from high school to college to a job.
    3. I did my undergraduate in bio-engineering and masters in engineering.
  5. Ray Salinas, I would love to share about how you and your partner started Popular Ink?
    1. My first job I was working for an engineering firm based out of Colorado Springs.
    2. It was mandatory that I was traveling 60% of my life.
    3. The traveling gave me a lot of time to be by myself.
    4. I was able to read Rich Dad Poor Dad.
    5. I had never thought about working for myself but this book changed my mindset.
    6. I didn’t come from a family with resources.
    7. Along my way, I met a young woman in Mckinney Texas whose father owned a failing printing company.
    8. He started to like me and wanted me to revive this business.
    9. He wanted me to revive the business for sweat equity.
    10. When I decided to take the jump into a company that was $1.4 million in the hole.
    11. I didn’t even know what the business did. I didn’t know what flexographic printing was.
  6. How have your priorities shifted over the years?
    1. In the beginning, I was 25 years old and I was looking to make money.
    2. I thought success was money. My “why” at the time was because my mom had Multiple Sclerosis
    3. I realized that when I had money, there was still something missing. Significance.
    4. I realized that when I am very intentional about positively impacting people’s lives is what my significance is.
  7. What is one thing that you would want to tell 500,000 people?
    1. “Discipline equals freedom” –  Jocko Willink
    2. Your success all comes down to how disciplined you are willing to be.
  8. Ray Salinas, how did you go out and get your first 10 customers?
    1. Although it was $1.4 million in the hole, it was an existing business. The company was successful 20 years ago but there was tons of filing cabinets with lists and lists of former customers.
    2. Thankfully we had one big customer left and because we were printing with this one well known brand, we had some traction when we were in front of other decision makers.
    3. We were only printing a few days per week because we only had a few customers.
    4. We didn’t know what we were doing. We were watching YouTube videos trying to learn how to use the flexagraphs. The core of the company.
    5. We were at the barn 12 hours per day working and I had a job waiting tables at a restaurant called Poppies at night to support myself. This went on for four years.
    6. We would always sleep on a cot in the office. It was a manufacturing company so efficiency was the name of the game. We couldn’t turn the machines off at 5:00 PM and pick right back up in the morning.
    7. Drew married my little sisters best friend so they were starting being a married couple. Right at that time, we needed someone to run the night shift so I did it. I thought it would be temporary but I worked the night shift for 6 years.
    8. I worked the night shift, went up to the cot to sleep for a bit, and would come back down to the floor to make owner decisions and take care of other issues.
  9. What kind of woman are you looking for?
    1. She has to love Jesus
    2. She has to be motivated and driven. A go-getter. I want to know that she can hold down the fort.
    3. She has to be respectful
    4. She has to take good care of herself.
  10. Ray, why has McKinney Texas turned out to be a good location for your business?
    1. We couldn’t stay in the barn. We were doing food packaging printing.
    2. The city of McKinney offered us some money for us to move.
    3. They embraced Drew and I and also helped us with a deal where, every employee we hired, we would get a percentage off of our property taxes.
  11. Ray, you come across as a very proactive person despite constant demands on your time. How do you typically organize that first 4 hours of your work day and what time do you typically wake up?
    1. I am very intentional about the beginning of my day
    2. I am up at 5:30 AM
    3. I am lifting at the gym at 6:00 AM for 5 days per week
      1. I stay in my fat burning zone and stay there for half an hour
      2. I do circuit training never resting for more than 60 seconds
        1. Cable Curl
          1. 110 lb
            1. 15 reps
        2. Tricep Pulldown
        3. Decline bench
          1. 25 sit ups
      3. I do supersets keeping my heart rate up
        1. 30-45 reps
    4. I do cardio while also learning spanish
    5. I get ready and go off to one of the companies that I am working on
    6. I eat:
      1. two cups of egg whites with hot sauce
      2. Half of cup of oatmeal with stevia and cinnamon
      3. My next meal is a shake
      4. The rest of the day is lean meat and veggies
    7. My silver bullet is flavored almonds

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